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Topic: Modular Strategy (Read 1263 times) previous topic - next topic

Modular Strategy
One of the biggest differences to a standard army, and us... is our inconsistency, our fluctuating numbers as players log on and log off.

I intend to create a battle strategy that turns this weakness into a strength, here are my initial thoughts.
There are large clusters of players as well as individual players, if the system is too ridged we may see a mob mentality grow as players populate and disperse at a rate the command structure is incapable of controlling in real time, constantly. 

Based on what I have read so far, Operation Pitchfork could change from an offensive operation to a defensive... Depending on who strikes first, if the rumor of earth being attacked is true, we cannot rule out the possibility that Operation pitchfork is the trigger for this event.  So, if we fail in operation pitch fork.  We may see earth burn... In order to prevent this occurring, We need to be reactive for a long period of time... our planning is great, we can rehearse the play but if the Vanduul change the script can we as a fighting force react?

This is how I would enact a Modular Combat philosophy,
Theater Commanders are designated, enough so that a presence is on for the majority of the day... They leave posts on the forum of the warfront situation, where we stand... and what we need, based on their own observations and those from analysis teams.

Below them are scene leaders, Scene leaders take charge by gathering pilots and carrying out tasks they see will best intact the wishes or concerns of the area commanders.  Scene leaders post back information after the completion of a mission, this gives analysis teams a look at what we are facing.

How pilots are gathered on a day to day basis I do not know, but will need to be planned as the participation is expected to be massive.

Missions should be defined, or have an end point not to exceed one hour.  This allows flights to pull out, re-arm refuel.. and players a chance to stretch.  We will have better participation, less desertion, and a friendlier base than if we drive them with.. well, a pitchfork.

If we designed theater combat to be structured this way, it would be more responsive, able to handle an irregular army, and keep the fighting force in a healthy state to prevent fatigue, (fatigue is what I am most concerned with, as players will begin to make more mistakes and become more rash).  We can't just stress on the ships, we have got to insure the pilots are in the best mental state possible... if that means pulling them out of the fight to go get a snack, head call, whatever so be it.

for the average player and fighter flights... one combat tour flight, break... one tour patrol/escort... this keeps our supply lines secure from not Vanduul... but other players.

We nominate always ready analysis personel that split their time between filtering through forum reports, and reconnisance.  We give suggestions on how to do it, and what we need.. they will fill out the rest on their own.

Not everyone is going to bring supplies, cough up money, or be willing to do the runs.  Corperations can be contracted out based on the salvage we bring in to support this.

Fighter squads can consist of just about anything, and scene leaders adapt tactics to the ships, personal, and situation.  We do this long enough and it will become a self persistant entity.

This is not a plan, but the theory of a plan.  It is not inclusive, as it does not include corperations.  They will most likely act on their own built in specialties.. some will be cargo runners, some will be strike teams. 
We use what we got... they are deputy scene leaders, and report to the theater commanders on their actions.
For the sole purpose of intelegence sharing if they wish.

Re: Modular Strategy
Reply #1
I appologize for this being the first real post I have created, I have been reading the subject matter here for the last few days and this is what I came up with. 

Re: Modular Strategy
Reply #2
It does indeed bring up good points

Re: Modular Strategy
Reply #3
I have an answer for this!

In my most recent conference presentation, I analyzed the post-Vietnam US TRADOC (Training and Doctrine Command) under Generals DePuy and Starry, and their contributions to contemporary US defense policy. Starry was responsible for creating AirLand Battle, while DePuy created it's predecessor: Active Defense.

Active Defense, at its most basic level, took away the idea of static armored defense in central Europe and converted it into mobile force actively seeking to engage threats as they emerged. The reason AirLand Battle was created was because it didn't consider one facet of Soviet strategy: piecemeal reinforcements. The Soviets had units lined up all the way to Moscow for a reason, so that they could feed their reinforcements in or withdraw them depending on how the first strike went.

The essence of DePuy was that everything was a decisive battle: who won the first engagement would likely win the war since everything would be on the table from the start. AirLand Battle both created a system for engaging and destroying Soviet reinforcements while establishing a rear area reserve which could cover breaks in the line or be fed in for counter-offensives. That is what we need to examine.

The problem of Earth's defense definitely needs to be considered. The way to do that is to take what we know, against what we don't, and formulate an active defensive strategy as a blocking force. Essentially what we know for a fact is that many of our assets will be forward deployed, but we may need to simply accept that not everything can be put forward from the start. Send the Cells in to a moderate degree, keeping reserves behind in at least two established rear areas. Some can be forward deployed to patch up the spaces in the lines from the casualties we incur, while others can potentially be only a jump or two away from earth if the doomsday scenario happens.

I don't know what the star map looks like but that seems to be our best option, to have an 'Active Defense' against Vanduul retaliatory strikes or counter-offensives. This would be a page taken directly out of FM100.5 Operations 'AirLand Battle' 1986. This version calls for 'the counter blitz', in which supposed breakthroughs are met with a massive counter-push, or breakthroughs themselves are followed by the rear area reserves to exploit those breakthroughs and round up retreating forces.

We may be successful in one theatre, while the Vanduul exploit our stretching and jump to Earth. If we discover this, we need to have rear area reserves ready to deploy to Earth to meet and destroy those Vanduul which do. If we can successfully mobilize to counter their offensive, we can use this momentary break in their momentum to knock them off their operational centre of gravity ala the Clausewitzean model of warfare, and initiate a counter-blitz and gain more territory. The key is gaining adequate intelligence on their likely actions, how many ships and ground forces they can drum up, and how quickly they can deploy them, specifically to Earth.


Also, its important to remember that another key feature of Active Defense as well as AirLand Battle was modularity, which is why I was immediately reminded of this. Commanders were expected to be in touch with their command authority at all times, but were to be able to act independently to implement commander's intent. They'd see threats and engage them within the confines of their individual mission and area of operation. Well defined AOs, expectations of how to react to these events, and having forces arrayed to respond to them are the keys to what I'm proposing with my 'rear area reserve' concept.
  • Last Edit: June 22, 2014, 12:25:21 PM by Wanderjar

Re: Modular Strategy
Reply #4
Another good read  :) Overall speaking this will be interesting to find out. Basically we have 3 factions here. The Vanduul, the UEE and well us players.

The question is how the Vanduul AI rate the UEE strength. Do they rate the UEE on its own or as a sum of players and AI NPC's? And subsequently if they act on that either as individual units or as a coherent force.

Say that the Vanduul AI indeed rate our operation and it goes really, really bad for us. Then they might indeed decide to strike in UEE space, based on detecting and anticipating lower human precense of our player ships. However as the UEE navy, advocacy etc is a force beyond our control I would expect that those are still present and will act as a defence force automatically... In that sense my initial idea would not be to provide pitchfork defence forces to, for example earth and such as that is the UEE's job by default.

However perhaps the even more interesting factor is not how the Vanduul AI will behave, but what the UEE AI will do. What could happen is that UEE forces detecting our operation, might send ships of their own into Vanduul space... If that is the case and those UEE forces would be destroyed, then that could indeed shift the balance of power.

So basically:
If Pitchfork invades Vanduul and the UEE stays into their own position => no or minimal defensive positions to support UEE assets that are not immediate pitchfork essential

If we see during initial operations in advance of the main operation that the UEE shifts positions and leaves area's less defended, then we have to think about also defending UEE assets.

We can for example as an experiment in the weeks before the operation seek out 1 of the outer Vanduul bordersystems and see if we can clear it and watch how bot Vanduul and UEE respond to that.
  • Last Edit: June 22, 2014, 06:31:26 PM by Marcus ImpaleMan

Re: Modular Strategy
Reply #5
Would you be willing to forward links on information concerning: post-Vietnam US TRADOC

There are negatives to a pre-strike into Vanduul space and we would lose on several counts.  The UEE and Vanduul forces are known quantities, we the civilians are unknown quantities to either side.  The UEE has not seen a crusade before, and so the Vanduul will not expect it either. 

If we attack a system we will be successful but will lose the war.  They will know a larger scale invasion is now possible, and will begin defenses and troop shifts to reflect this: We don't exactly know who else their forces are committed against. 

Lastly, if we attempt to take a system... even if we succeed, they will show up in force and it will cause hesitation among the ranks, if we throw everything we have on the onset and take the system... then we are not fighting on the offensive but the defensive, how we perceive the fight changes.

Against overwhelming odds a person is more likely to stand and fight on homeground.
Players are less likely to give back what is taken, that is human, and it is in play.
Our strategies not only need to reflect the physical, but the perception. 
As that can win as many battles as the equipment we carry can, as the devs will be the puppeteers of the Vanduul... though we cannot scare the AI... we can scare the hell out of them, or cause them to pause, which will give us something we will always need, Time.

The more flexible we are, and the more information we have access to... the less of a reserve force is required, more importantly:  We will have a live player base that isn't going to want to be on reserve for long, if we keep them there for too long they may lose interest or the will to fight.  I cannot stress enough our biggest weakness is a inconstant army, if our plans do not reflect this we will fall apart.

Does anyone have any information on how player created missions are generated?  I think this would be a valid way to implement what I was referring to.

  • Last Edit: July 08, 2014, 04:28:12 AM by Ringsead

Re: Modular Strategy
Reply #6
Hah. I had to delve into FM 100-5 for my thesis.

Your point, I think, is well-taken. However, my interpretation is that the Vanduul attack on Earth might happen as a result of Pitchfork. So, the big issue, to my eye, is retaining strength after Pitchfork to defend Earth. Which, as you point out, will be difficult because we are a volunteer organization.

Still, I think it would be cool as hell if Pitchfork had legs, and united the players to defend Earth. Perhaps it would be called Operation Aegis, though.

More later when I'm not inebriated, and when the discussion has moved on a bit.
United Space Confederation Envoy to Operation Pitchfork
Envoy, USC
XO, USC Defense Force Training Command
Member, USC Interstellar Commerce
Member, USC Expeditionary Corps
Member, USC Department of Aerospace Engineering

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