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Old 12-27-2009, 05:25 PM
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Question SOF in T2K

What's your take on special operations forces in the Twilight world?

I tend to think that SOF warriors would be fairly rare in the later stages of the Twilight War. SOF types tend to draw the more dangerous missions and seem to suffer disproportionate casualties compared to line units. After three or four years of high intensity combat, one could argue that there would be very few true SOF left.

On the same tack, after the TDM, SOF training programs would probably suffer. Considering the historical antipathy towards SOF in the upper echelons of the conventional force structures of most armies, I could see the brass being reluctant to part with their "best" (this might be relative in after '97) men as the fresh recruit pool dwindles.

On the other hand, the nature of warfare after '97 (a non-continuous front, lower force-to-space ratios, cantonments, "raids", etc.) would seem to favor unconventional warfare and its practitioners.

As a GM, I usually allow folks to play SOF types, despite myself. I know that playing SOF types is rather alluring and I don't want to spoil anybody's fun. As a result, in my PbP campaign, the proportion of SOF to non hovers around 4 to 14, although at times during the campaigns three-year history, its been higher. This usually lends to a decent balance but the SOF types usually have more to work with, both skills and gear-wise. As a GM, I'm not sure how to address these imbalances fairly.

As a player, I've never played an SOF type. I usually prefer the "ordinary men in extraordinary circumstances" motif. Part of me, though, really wants to RP the highly skilled, professional warrior; the other part is weary of descending into munchkinism. Lately, I've gotten a hankering to try playing an "operator". ATM, I'd love to play a grizzled German KSK noncom, decked out in Flektarn and strapping an G8/HK21 with all the trimmings, a P21/USP pistol, and sweet dive/combat knife.

Special forces in the Twilight War are neither special nor particularly forceful. Discuss.
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Old 12-27-2009, 05:46 PM
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I think lots of small groups in T2k would be called SOF, but aren't 'true' SF (ie. Q course, etc.). Just small groups of infantry/scouts that work well together, that would be given missions that would traditionally go to 'true' SF units. Actual operators would be exceedingly rare I'd think, for the reasons you outlined - they'd all be dead/stranded/etc.

When I used to GM (I would now, but can't find players!), I let people be SF if they wanted. Generally though, I had good players that didn't abuse it. I'd make them come up with a real good story of how they got to where they were, etc. I never played an SF player - it's kind of like playing the game on 'easy mode'
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Old 12-27-2009, 05:57 PM
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I prefer to let players be the character they want to be. It's a game, played for fun. As long as the player can justify the character, I tend to let them run with it.

But I think in order to balance the game, they start out with minimal gear. Either they start out as having escaped from POW status, or they managed to lose the gear ( boat flipped over, whatever.)
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Old 12-27-2009, 06:06 PM
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Canon modules have Russian, Czech(IIRC) and US Special forces. I think strong unit cohesion and general survival knowledge will help these units survive better than most, somewhat countering their use on the more difficult missions.
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Old 12-27-2009, 08:39 PM
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In addition to the proper SF types, there would be a need for lots of guys doing SF types of missions. Once again using my own work as a concrete example, in Thunder Empire the leadership identifies a very strong need for both LRS and small unit trainers to raise local militias and give them the training they need to make the most of whatever weapons they do have. (Knowledge goes both ways, by the way.) None of the soldiers who come to operate in these modes are properly trained SF.

In Poseidon's Rifles, my newest name for the USCG enclave on the northern New England coast, there is a need for LRS and for commando-style raiders to precede attacks on enemies throughout the area. The Marines who become part of First District pretty much run the training for both of these functions.

LRS pretty much defines the SF role among the Green Jackets (State of Vermont), the Granite Brigade (State of New Hampshire), the Black Watch (southern Vermont), the forces of Keene (also New Hampshire), and the 43rd Military Police Brigade in western MA. The infantry units, LRS or otherwise, are trained for raiding, but it would be hard to confuse them with properly-trained Special Forces.

In Silver Shogunate, the Shogun (Nevada) really doesn't have any SF. His special troops are more like SWAT or are members of his secret police.

I've been cooking up some nastiness for southern Idaho, which is under the control of New America [Howling Wilderness]. My working title for this is The Final Solution. As in other locations, LRS-style operators are about as close as they come to true SF.

Colorado is going to need scads of true SF to bring other sections of the US back into the fold. How they will manage to train and equip these soldiers is an open question.

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Old 12-27-2009, 09:32 PM
Abbott Shaull Abbott Shaull is offline
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I don't see many people being sent back to US and by 2000 sent back to even the UK for training. I can see selected members of unit who have been through the training setting up 'mini-courses' to help train what may be needed locally.

Would you find them in the T2K settings, well there was Soviet unit operating in Southern Poland. I think they made it in the original modules and they returned again in the series of modules that were suppose to take place in 2001 a year later for those who didn't move on to catch the boat. Even in the Krakow and Warsaw Modules one of the unspoken things if they had the pleasure of meeting DIA/CIA agents in those areas would try to recruit the party to carry out such operation for them. There was small A-Team on Operation Reset that B troop of the 116th was suppose to support.

As for units of trained Green Berets, SAS, SBS, Seals, or your particular flavor of Special Operation unit would be hard press to be completely made of members who have been trained to pre-war standards. Even these units one of the things for NATO units is they train, train, and train more. I see Long Range Recon Patrols type Vietnam style Ranger companies being recruited and trained too at Corps and Division level where possible.

Also one of the issue with canon I have had was the fact that the all of the 75th Ranger Regiment was sent to the Middle East when in reality either the Battalion from Fort Stewart or Benning going there, the other one to Europe and Fort Lewis being deployed to Korea, with probably a couple Battalions in training. As well Special Forces Groups and Seal Teams in various stages of training in late 1997. Many of these units were kept home to help in the rebuilding process after the Thanksgiving 1997. Many of the not Ranger units could be put to good use in helping out. Yes, granted they aren't using their combat skills, but an A-Team or Seal Platoon could be put to good use in places where you don't have the means or population to send various support brigades.

From 1999 and 2000 there are regions of the Eastern Europe that are ripe for the type of missions that SF, Seals, and the SAS have trained for. In making partisan units behind enemy lines. I am sure there are Soviet groups doing the same thing in Eastern Germany. Also I am sure there would be various groups working in Southeastern Europe and Italy to work with pro-NATO partisans. Where as many of the units before 1999 were there to harass enemy and didn't do much force multiplier operations. Also the Polish Legions were suppose to be under the control of US SF groups too during the final Offensive that lead to the destruction to the 5th US Mechanized Division.

As for the playing the game in easy mode. No I find it the opposite to be true, especially if the GM limits it to one type in the group. Yes, this person has all of this training, but at the same time he has to prove to his 'new' team he knows what he doing, and then there is rank issue too. If Generals have trouble in accepting advice from a mere Sergeant, it not any easier trying to convince a Lt or Captain that their plan wouldn't work and your would work. Even in a Group without an Officer, and the Sergeant was the highest ranking person, he would still have convince the party to do things his way.

Remember many Officer and many Non-coms are fond of the Spec Warrior types. There are even some who have passed the various course aren't confident that they can do what others believe and shown they have been able to do. The thing is this type of character has to work to 'fit' in. For Lone Rangers won't last too long in the T2K world.

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Old 12-27-2009, 09:49 PM
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To reinforce one point Abbot brought out, there are really two roles people have in mind when discussing SOF in the Cold War/T2k context.

The first is the one made popular by the movies, and into which US Army Special Forces have slipped into post-Cold War, and many other militaries have their SOF execute - direct action, commando-type operations - basically raids against high value targets by highly trained, superior quality light infantrymen.

The second role, which had been largely downplayed in the popular imagination and press, was conducting insurgency and counterinsurgency campaigns and training local forces. During the 80s this largely overshadowed the direct action role for US Army Special Forces - they were chock full of guys that spoke Russian, Polish and Ukrainian.

The Ranger battalions were the direct-action guys, the SF were the ones to make the Soviets divert combat troops to protect their supply lines, (in the T2k context the Polish Free Legions were the children of 10th SF Group.) In addition, SF and the Long-Range Surveillance guys were providing targeting info for deep strikes (air, cruise missile, IRBM).

There had been a lot of discussion on the old board about raising additional Ranger battalions. It makes sense to me, makes GDW's commitment of the entire 75th Ranger Rgt to CENTCOM more reasonable to understand.

In 2000, I would imagine that there might be remnants of Ranger and other direct-action units scattered about, possibly attached or part of regular infantry/combat units. The SF guys would be a mixed bag... some would be deep into Byelorussia and the Ukraine, some in Poland, some "come back in from the cold" with whatever friendly unit they bumped into or were assigned to by whatever remained of high command. Some would have gone native and never come back. The state of the army in 2000 IMHO would argue against having much direct-action guys concentrated together, as the casualties would be irreplaceble and the insertion, target location and commo assets needed to perform missions scarce.
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Old 12-28-2009, 08:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Abbott Shaull View Post
There was small A-Team on Operation Reset that B troop of the 116th was suppose to support.
Minor correction - B troop had a completely seperate mission totally unrelated to Reset. Unfortunately they did not receive their final mission briefing from their contact and so never found out what it was (it was something relating to the retrieval of the Black Maddonna).
There is a specific mention of this in Black Maddonna, something about the right hand not knowing what the left was doing....

I believe the situation regarding SF types may resemble the approach the Germans took in WWII - there were no specialisted SF units. Missions were simply assigned to line units who were expected to carry them out.

This may be reflected in T2K as a unit trying it's best to carry out mission specific training and rehearsals, but as has been said, I doubt there'd be any organised SF training courses, schools and the like after late 97.
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Old 12-28-2009, 05:05 PM
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Quote:
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...I believe the situation regarding SF types may resemble the approach the Germans took in WWII - there were no specialisted SF units. Missions were simply assigned to line units who were expected to carry them out.
There was at least one and even when they no longer operated under their original title they continued on as a specialized unit, the Brandenburgers
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brandenburgers
http://thirdreich.net/Brandenberg_Commandos.html
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Old 12-28-2009, 06:09 PM
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Here's an idea I think I presented on the old forum, and which may explain the relatively high proportion of "Ranger" characters that seem to populate the Twilight world.

Before '69 (IIRC), there were no separate Ranger regiments in the U.S. army. Instead, each division in the field (we're talking Vietnam here) was responsible for creating its own LRRP (long range reconaissance patrol) company. These LRRP companies were the precursors to modern Rangers and were designated as such in '69 (IIRC). Later, these companies were reorganized into the regiments still in existence today.

So, perhaps after '97 in the Twilight timeline, divisions in the field would create their own organic "Ranger" companies for LRRP'ing, prisoner snatches, ambushes, etc. This would make sense given the nature of warfare after the TDM. Perhaps each theatre would set up its own "Recondo" school to train these shake 'n' bake Rangers. In Twilight 2000 terms, "company" is a bit of a misnomer. Of course, by 2000, a company would probably be around pre-war TOE platoon strength.

Although this precedent/proposition applies to the U.S. (and Rangers, in particular), other countries could use a similar system.

With a war raging across the globe, I just don't see the quantity or quality of the remaining SOF being particularly high, c. 2000. Even at full Cold War strength, the SOFs of most nations would be stretched pretty thin once WWIII was in full swing.
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Old 12-28-2009, 07:47 PM
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As many forumites will know from my past crazy stories about my long running campaign, it focused on a core group of SF-type PCs and important NPCs. But the PC commander Major Po actively sought out and recruited SF types for his team where he could, and they weren't easy to find. Many important roles in his team were filled by characters who didn't have an SF background but were very good soldiers and were given additional training where possible by Po's SF personnel.

I'm not sure that SF troops would have survival rates that much lower than other troops. Sure they get sent on very dangerous missions but they are also damn good at what they do and they are some of the toughest and most resourceful troops. I think their survival rates would be on par or even slightly higher than line infantry.

In an RPGing context, having an SF-oriented campaign is all about balance in my experience. Sure Major Po's group were hard core killers and tended to utterly dominate similarly sized and equipped opposing forces, but they also attracted a higher quality of opposition too. In my campaign from Krakow onward Major Po's group were being actively hunted by elements of Spetznaz, the GRU and even the CIA. And once they made contact with Colonel Richard Stark from the DIA they were tasked with some horrendously difficult missions, they prime example being their (successful) deploying of a backpack nuke at WarPac Reserve Front HQ in Lublin.

In my campaign the CIA started a program in 1996 aimed at detecting and preventing any military takeover of the US Government in the event of a global war. This would seem like an act of prescience and in fact it was (a result of one of the great successes of Project Stargate http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stargate_Project). Major Po was one of a team of 12 US Army SF and Intelligence officers and NCOs who were recruited by the CIA and placed in positions in the US military where they keep watch for signs of a military coup. That is why Po (originally a medical doctor) went from being an FBI forensics agent to being comissioned as a US Army Green Beret captain. His SF and officer training were fast tracked but the escalation of the war prevented him from receiving all of his training and that is why he didn't have jump wings.

After the TDM in 1997 Po decided that CivGov was responsible for the destruction of the US and he went to the DIA and told them all about the CIA project he was involved in. After that the CIA went to a great deal of effort to have him killed. In my campaign there were some really vicious CIA vs DIA stoushes that continued right on into the Armies of the Night module.

I think that if a GM allows a player to have an SF-type character it should be on the condition that the player puts some effort into researching the role and playing the character appropriately. The players of SF characters in my campaign had very complex back stories and tended to be played (IMO) appropriately.
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Old 12-28-2009, 08:45 PM
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Quote:
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So, perhaps after '97 in the Twilight timeline, divisions in the field would create their own organic "Ranger" companies for LRRP'ing, prisoner snatches, ambushes, etc. This would make sense given the nature of warfare after the TDM. Perhaps each theatre would set up its own "Recondo" school to train these shake 'n' bake Rangers. In Twilight 2000 terms, "company" is a bit of a misnomer. Of course, by 2000, a company would probably be around pre-war TOE platoon strength.

You've summarized my thinking more succinctly than I did.

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Old 12-28-2009, 09:29 PM
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All US divisions will start the war with an organic LRS which is basically as described above. They are a division asset, roughly of company size. Corps will have larger LRS units but they exist in the prewar force structure for the divisions. They can be used in the long range recce, or as a direct action asset for the division or corps commander. Typically, the NCO's and officers to a large percentage will have gone through ranger school, in addition to the LRSU leaders course, plus the entire unit is airborne capable. I think some of these assets are listed on the Tanknet OOB, but I'm not sure. I know the 104th Inf Det (LRS) was part of the 28th ID.
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Old 12-29-2009, 01:13 AM
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I'd go along with Raellus and Webstral on that one. The professional SOF would be held at Corps and Army level for really high-value operations, while divisions would be setting up these Recondo schools for their own "Rangers." Of course, anyone who was already Ranger qualified would be in high demand as instructors.

Our group at CSU Fresno had six SEALs as PCs, but as the unit grew, to include some Soviet defectors, cut off Army personnel (with armor) and so on, it became more of a conventional unit. But those SEALs got to use their skills on numerous occasions-like when we did a Kelly's Heroes style adventure, and hitting the POW camp described in the Challenge article Black Siberia. (we gave the Commandant to the prisoners...his fate was, shall we say, richly deserved-the surviving guards were executed, and the trusties were lynched)
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Old 12-29-2009, 05:00 AM
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From my reading and research, there may be way more soldiers in the US Army with Ranger Tabs than there are Rangers in Ranger units. Ranger School seems to be a major way of developing leadership potential in soldiers of all combat arms.

In several of Harold Coyle's novels, I got the impression that completing Ranger School was, if not required, definately advantageous to getting promoted if you were an officer.

As the war went on, it is possible that troops with Ranger Tabs formed the core of LRRPs etc.

For other armies, simlar institutions may exist (I'm not sure), I do know that in British Regiments there are individual platoons or companies that train for specific missions, there are for instance, platoon traine as paratroopers (often called Pegasus Companies), jungle fighters (Chindit Companies) and other specific missions. This is supposed to garuntee that any given regiment has a cadre of trained troops should the unit be tasked with that type of mission.

It's not inconcievable that other armies do the same.

As for playing SF types, when I began playing FtoF Twilight, the role of SF was just coming into the popular conciousness and nearly everyone wanted to play SF types. Later we explored other roles and enjoyed playing line troopers.

Sometimes there is the temptation to kick back and play an action hero style SF member, but Twilight isn't really the system for that because, quite frankly the difference between SF careers and normal ones isn't that great.

Still, one day I'd love to run my munchkin character, but it probably wouldn't be as much fun as I think it would be.
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Old 12-29-2009, 05:32 AM
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When I was actively playing (which is now well over ten years ago), we didn't have any PC's that were current SF in our regular campaign, although we did have one US Army Sergeant First Class who was Ranger qualified (he broke both his legs in a parachute jump that went wrong in 1996 and the docs said he couldn't jump again, so he was transferred out of the 75th Ranger Regt and into the 5th Dvn just in time for the War in Europe) and one NPC who was a West German Fernspahtruppe.

There was no specific ban on Green Berets, SAS, and such like, it just never happened...(players were expected to come up with a plausible back story as to how their character ended up in Kalisz in August 2000 so that might have had something to do with it...personally I'd struggle to justify a realistic reason why a Green Beret Lieutenant Colonel (for example) would end up with a squad of 5th Dvn riflemen).

The group very occasionally encountered NPC SF types (such as a US Army Green Beret Captain who was working with one of the Polish Free Legions - the one that was in the north, I think the 2nd?), but I always tried to make such encounters rare, so that meeting a SF soldier was something that would stand out as something a bit diifferent...

Our Persian Gulf campaign was a little different (which was the intention to be fair)...SF types were much more common, both PC and NPC. Mind you, the Persian Gulf games always seem to run out of steam relatively quickly and we'd abandon our munchkins to come back to Europe and the more fleshed out, rounded characters we had there).

For the bigger picture, I go along with the view that in the year 2000 any remaining SF characters who have gone through all the required pre War qualifications, etc would be kept in reserve to be used as a strategic asset by Corps / Army HQ (or higher - I don't think it's too much of a stretch that any existing SF in CONUS might report directly to the Chiefs of Staff?).
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Old 12-29-2009, 09:47 AM
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A possible consequence is that special ops training is going to get more diluted, and will be more and more OJT. Today, it takes a long time and a lot of money to produce a newbie special ops troop -- for an SF medic, for example, its about 14 months of training and close to $3 million. As the war goes on, that kind of time won't be available any more, but paradoxically, the need for special operators will increase.

I think that this will lead to "poaching" -- the best troops from regular units being drawn off and put into an accelerated special ops training in the new unit coupled with lots of OJT in their new unit.

Another effect will be that airborne-qualified special operators will decrease -- the qualification will be needed less and less as the war goes on and fuel and aircraft stocks decrease. By 2000, you'll have a bunch of guys with silver wings that may not even remember how to do a proper PLF anymore...
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Old 12-29-2009, 10:08 AM
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Quote:
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I'm not sure that SF troops would have survival rates that much lower than other troops. Sure they get sent on very dangerous missions but they are also damn good at what they do and they are some of the toughest and most resourceful troops. I think their survival rates would be on par or even slightly higher than line infantry.
Perhaps. My assertion was based on the fact that in some of the SOF groups I've studied extensively (Vietnam era LRRPs/Rangers & SOG recon teams, WWII Allied airborne- not SOF, but certainly "elite"), unit casualty rates often exceeded 100%. Vietnam era SEALS did not, but they tended to be operating against the more isolated and poorly equiped VC in the Mekong delta (which became even more rag-tag after the '68 Tet offensive) rather than the better equipped and organized NVA. Only the WWII era-airborne troops were regularly involved in direct action missions. Green Berets leading irregular indigenous direct action units (Mike Forces & CIDGs) in the field, as well as manning SF camps, also had very high casualty rates. I'm not necessarity talking KIA here- a lot of the casualties were WIA and many returned to their SOF units where they were WIA again (or KIA). But, if you're WIA badly or often enough, you're not likely to be put back into the field. To support my idea for divisional/corps level provisional "Ranger" (LRRP) units, these folks could make up the training cadre for the army level Recondo school that would train these provisional Rangers.

On the other hand, in WWII at least, some conventional units also approached or even met the 100% casualty ceiling. In general though, per capita, in WWII and Vietnam, SOF (and Airborne) units had significantly higher casualty rates than conventional combat units. So, it's by no means a hard and fast rule that SOF casualties would exceed those of conventional forces, but there is some convincing recent evidence to support this.

One boon/bane (depending on how you look at it) is that it is so easy to explain the presence of SOF in T2K campaigns (at least in Europe). Since SOF often operated behind enemy lines, it makes sense to be meeting up with onesies and twosies. In some cases, it's more difficult to explain the presence of conventional forces deep behind enemy lines. For example, my PbP is currently set near Warsaw in mid October 2000. As far as I know, no NATO conventional forces were operating in that area in the summer of 2000. SOF, on the other hand, could have any number of reasons to be operating there, even that late in the war.
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Old 12-31-2009, 10:58 PM
Abbott Shaull Abbott Shaull is offline
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I think by 2000 many Corps, Armies and Army Groups HQ would have their own 'Funnies' as such units were called in WWII in the British Army. With the fact that in Europe and Iran both side would have several levels of Special Operation units operating. Not sure what would be happening in Korea since GDW never got to make any module of there.

Many of the last properly train Green Berets, Rangers, and Seals would still be on the CONUS. First the SF and Seal units would be used to help with disaster relief. Then they would be needed in the Northwest and then in the Southwest. By 2000 some units would started to be diverted to deal with New American threat.

Much like the Soviet Special Force team roaming Southern Poland to keep an eye on what the Czechs were doing to the south as well the Free City of Krakow and the Kingdom of Silesian as well keep eye on what the Soviet unit that had stop obeying orders and were either operating as marauders or heading home.
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Old 01-01-2010, 07:03 AM
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The Funnies from WW2 refers to a number of tanks modified for the invasion of Normandy, they weren't special forces.
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Old 01-01-2010, 07:49 AM
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I'm not sure about WW2, but British units from 1946 to about the mid Sixties were involved in lots of counter-insurgency operations as teh Empire was disbanded. The SAS and other British elite units were involved in lots of Black Ops and undercover work, including "keenie meenie" (snake in the grass operations).

In one instance, British soldiers out in local towns were being targetted by terrorists. The SAS started to send out single soldiers in uniform followed but a disguised hit team (apparently a prerequisite of being on the team was that they could quick draw a HP-35 and empty the magazine into a target the size of a playing card -I don't know how far the target was from the shooter). The target soldier would get into trouble and the disguised team would get the terrorists.

Individual Regiments started to copy this technique and there were several instances of the SAS being ambushed by Regular soldiers and vice versa.

This would suggest that units would start copying succesful special ops tactics by forming their own units, these wouldn't be as effective or well trained but might provide some service.

As for the best men being siphoned off tor SOF work, this might happen but you can bet that lots of units would be hiding their best troops in order to keep their own units effective.
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Old 01-01-2010, 09:28 AM
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I was going to bring up Battalions having thier own incountry recondo schools but Rae beat me to it. I know for a fact 101st AB did this, my father was one of the LRRPs for a while, and I've read a couple books about it.

As far as "siphoning off the best men", the Bn asked for volunteers and the recondos were chosen from them.

Pop told some wild stories about 4 man recon patrols, and I don't know if it was while he was with the recon unit, but he was also an advisor to an ARVN unit.
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Old 01-01-2010, 10:00 AM
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I was going to bring up Battalions having thier own incountry recondo schools but Rae beat me to it. I know for a fact 101st AB did this, my father was one of the LRRPs for a while, and I've read a couple books about it.
I've read a couple of memoirs by 101st ABN LRRPs. I wonder if your dad was mentioned.
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Old 01-01-2010, 04:26 PM
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I've read a couple of memoirs by 101st ABN LRRPs. I wonder if your dad was mentioned.
None of the ones I've read. Although I have pictures of Tim Garner and this big black dude whose name I've forgotten who was mentioned in one book.
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Old 01-01-2010, 07:34 PM
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I can see this happening in various units, especialy those who who have established their own catonments. However, it is true that alot of units at the company level will keep their best men back so they can look good to the comand. As for "volunteers" well there is volunteer and "volunteer" or "volunteered" which is often a way for units to get rid of problem children and make them someone else's headache. Sure the trooper may be good, but, if they are a non traditional type this often IRKS the standard leaders so they are happy to see them go. On the other hand someone who is non traditional is perfect for the unconventional forces since they tend not to be "yes" men and act independantly, tell an officer to piss off if they are messed up and do it not the book way but do things how it will actualy work.

However, I can see alot of units certainly at the division level and probably at the Regimental Level opening their own if not schools at least training programs to bring support personel up to speed, the Air Force and Navy personel and the untrained replacements from the States up tp speed.. As well as bringing the personel new and existing versed in enemy equipment or tactics or new developements, as well as regular training like a leadership program for new NCOs, an OCS program converting seasoned NCOs into much needed officers, maybe even transfering MOSes turning out engineers, medics and reconassance specialists from clerks, regular infantrymen and even men from mechanized units who no longer have a job.

One thing to consider, is alot of forces and nations still rely on the Regimental System, the US Army was focused on the Divisional system although they are going to the modular thing which is focused on the Brigade system which really is nothing more than a reinforced brigade, but the mindset is still being created and has yet to exist.
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Old 01-01-2010, 10:47 PM
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I agree with those who say that most formations will form their own informal recon schools, to keep their scout units full-strength (or as near as anyone can). I think a lot of these may be the first to convert to horse cavalry. Long-range patrols may look like Vietnam War LRRPs and Rogers' Rangers of the Seven Years War, mounted or not. This is what I see in most adventures written in modules or magazines.

'Striker' style units, aka commandos who blow up stuff in the night, will be much more rare, as the intelligence and rapid-insertion capabilities of even WW2 disappear. Instead, raids may be much more short-ranged, and resemble WW1-style trench raids, and assembled on the fly. The need for direct-action SOF will fade away, and be replaced by infantry or cavalry forces, perhaps volunteers or handpicked or just assigned.

In summary: SOF? not so much anymore, except for scout-rangers.
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Old 01-02-2010, 12:23 AM
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The ability of a given force or cantonment to support specialized training will vary wildly from setting to setting. At one extreme we might find Colorado, with its large and fairly stable population, food, and plenty of men with rifles. Colorado might be able to train something along the lines of the pre-war Special Forces or just Special Operations. At the other end will be innumerable tiny cantonments incapable of providing more than rudimentary training to their scouts. Once again, the larger and more stable cantonments will have certain advantages over the smaller and more tenuous ones over the long haul.

To some degree, marauders might be able to tap into inherited skills. Some of their number might be hunters, former military, or otherwise talented in recon, intelligence gathering, or what have you. In most cases, these people aren't going to be able to pass much on. The marauder's life seems rather sketchy.

Warlords, on the other hand, might have some success in training their own LRS. Whether a warlord in 2001 would see any advantage in having SF-type troops is an open question. I could certainly see a warlord wanting informants in place in the surrounding communities. I don't know if that means moving ahead to more specialized troops.

The Soviets in Alaska might be in a good position to assemble Special Operations teams. They are marooned in Anchorage with a lot of troops and (presumably) little in the way of supply. SO types might be the best way for them to make the most of their abundant manpower and limited supply. They might also be the best way to take the war to the Americans.

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Old 01-02-2010, 01:53 AM
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Long Range Raids would be used. I can see two versions used.

The short instant raids on enemy supply depots and other vital areas in the immediate area.

Long Range raids like the plot from the John Wayne classic "Horse Soldiers" based on Griersons raid, or even Shermans march. You are sneaking into enemy territory, and striking deep into the heart of the enemy doing more than a specific mission in support of a specific operation. But the long range mission would disrupt the enemy on multiple levels, supply, transit, local populations and reducing their numbers available to fight as they would need more troops in the rear to guard against further raids.



SPECIAL OPERATIONS FORCES:

We can develope troops with special skills for special operations. That would be pretty easy since the forces would simply train for the specialty that the area they are in provides.

Colorado <as was mentioned> would be the place you could train some kickass mountain troops, with plenty of oportunities for winter training like skiing, winter survival and fighting, mountain training, rock climbing, rapelling, and lots of forced marches for conditioning.

As well as recon and scouting as they apply for that terrain and climate.

Coastal areas, would involve lots of swimming and water operations, infiltrtion and scaling rocky beach cliffs.

Iowa or Kansas or similiar plains areas would require scouting both on foot and via horseback as well as camping out under wide open skys, but also how to operate in a open savanah or grassland infiltration and similiar skills as well as long range shooting would be good skills that would be natural ones for those regions as well as well needed.

Some things would be almost universal, trench, urban would be easy to set up almost anywhere, as would alot of the basics.
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Old 01-02-2010, 02:18 AM
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I can't remember who said it, but the saying "Make the enemy fear his own home," comes to mind. This would be a good use for such troops, though these would be troops who would have to slowly infiltrate enemy territory instead of a quick insertion. They would also have a good use for enemy equipment, especially weapons and uniforms.
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Old 01-02-2010, 07:33 AM
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Having served in both reserve and regular units, I'd have to say the best suited to a T2K situation would be the reservists.

Although usually lacking in strictly combat skills, they often have a much broader range of survival skills to draw from. Depending on where they're originally drawn from, you can almost guarentee a plattoon will include somebody who knows something about a task. For example in one reserve plattoon I was in, we had a mechanic, banker, several farmers, builder, ex navy comms specialist, locksmith, train driver, pilot (small single engines), and ambo (paramedic). Most were also keen fishermen, hunters, etc in their spare time.

I can see this type of unit almost being tailor made for some SF missions. Giving them a month or so of intensive military and fitness training might actually be quicker than training a military unit in all the technical skills they might need.

Of course in a purely combat sense I'd rather have the professionals who'd been training in nothing else for the past few years...
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