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Ivan Rapkinov
17 Nov 03, 22:22
I asked this question of TacOps, and it seems only fitting to do the same here. Mike R was quite helpful in etsablishing the boundaries of the following that TacOps was currently able to model, and I know some of you will be just as helpful in the ATF situation.

I want to demonstrate to an audience using ATF the difference between Tofflerian, RMA-based theory, and Fehrenbachian/Van Crewaldian manuveur theory.

I had always assumed that given CPT Proctor is a gunner, he'd be all for ascendancy of fires, and other arty-important things; and thus, given his background ATF would have that bias (it is very noticable when you use both sims regularly the level of detail in a ATF fire-mission in comparison to the treatment it gets in TacOps).

but it's not fair to put words in the man's mouth :D

CPT Proctor/whoever: what scenario would you recommend to demonstrate the various schools of thought? At the moment I'm just using an editted DVAttack scn, loosely based on a John Antal article - with a smattering of Leonhard thrown in for good measure ;)

To me this seems a bit light on, in terms of what I'm trying to get across, but my ATF knowledge isn't the greatest ;)

for those who don't have a clue what Tofflerian RMA theory is, basically it's as the title suggests - the ascendancy of fires vs the primacy of manuveur. Both sides have the same SA, just the manuveur force is lighter and less concentrated, and the fires force is heavy, less manuveurable, but packs a much larger punch. ("heavy" can be combat mass, but more likely to be the level of interdependcy such a unit needs)

This comes about from the TFAWE XXI and DAWE XXI a few years back, and Australia's own current revamp of military doctrine (I think we're unconsciously a manuveur force, but the current purchases are making us more and more linked to the fires supremacy theory.)

sorry to those who check both lists and the double headache :D

Pat Proctor
17 Nov 03, 22:56
I must confess only a cursory knowledge of either shool of thought, but, as I understand it...

You might try a scenario where you pit a maneuver heavy force against a fires force. DV ATTK would be a good, small scenario to do this with (the OPFOR artillery already dominates BLUFOR 3 to 1). You could exchange some of the defense for more guns, add some better observers, and substitute the blue arty battalion for more maneuver.

By COFM (a concept I utterly loathe) the two forces are roughly equal). But I think you will find that the OPFOR's fires are brutal on a stationary enemy. It is even more so if you use many, disparate OPFOR artillery platforms, because the different "timings" cause the OPFOR AI to spread its fires out more.

As soon as the BLUFOR stops to breach, it will be a bloodbath.

Ivan Rapkinov
17 Nov 03, 23:45
CPT Proctor; I'm not so much trying to show a preference for either theory, as trying to show the strengths/weaknesses of both. Thus far I've removed the BLUFOR Paladins for "light" arty (Hamel equivalents), and replaced it with another mech Coy. Replaced armour with mech, and then added UAVs galore to simulate complete SA. That's for the manuveur side. The iddea being, it has less oompf, but can get to where it's going faster.

For the fires side I've added more arty and reduced the actual shock arm of the force. Same as the other force with the number of UAVs to simulate SA, just using a small heavy force backed by hefty firepower -> the goal being that the arty (less precise than I'd like, but I don't want to fiddle too much in case I bollox it completely :D ) wipes out the enemy in a version of Antal's "Sensors find. Arty Kills. Infantry mops up." approach.

edit: I should clarify - I'm after two separate battles - then compare how each force fared; not a direct force-on-force comparison.

Scully
18 Nov 03, 00:10
Some of your discussion here is a bit over my head, but I think if you're trying to test out manuever warfare and RMA theory, you might be better off using a larger area than the DVAttack. I think the terrain there may be a little restrictive, particularly around the objective.

I think the Fulda Gap scenarios (particularly Fulda Gap 4) and the Iraq scenarios might work better (I'm specifically thinking of the meeting engagement). These scenarios would allow you to test these theorie with significantly more options than DVAttack.

These scenarios also offer significantly different terrain types as well. You might find that while one works well in the open space of a desert, it's not so great on the German frontier.

Of course, the OoB's would need some modification, but it appears you're already doing that.

Just one amatuer's $.02. Good luck,
Brian

Ivan Rapkinov
18 Nov 03, 00:30
hmm, I think you might be right - I was a bit hesitant to increase the battle area in size too much, as the "empty" battlefield, whilst being quite suitable for the needs, inherently favours the manuveur force - the only way to counter that advantage is to add more units; which means more work for me, something I'm not fond of :D

DV Attack does funnel the forces to a degree, but that's life when attacking an entrenched position :D In my tests thus far, the MFor (are opposed to FFor) has managed to use it's mobility and speed to outflank the defenders to a degree (helps when you know exactly where they are ;) ), whereas FFor has kept them quiet by dropping bucketloads of copperhead on them.

Problem is I'm not sure if I'm tailoring the fight to the conclusion I want, rather than actually making it a true representation of the "capabilities" of either force.

CPT Pat: When I approach the TacOps list with this same situation, Mike R posted that it was beyond the scope of the game to accurately guestimate what I was after. I have a feeling it might be beyond the scope of ATF too :(

Scully
18 Nov 03, 13:56
Hey Ivan,

Here's something that might be interesting to try:

Develop a scenario with the OoB's that you want in the space that you want tested on

Find two willing participants that would learn a particular theory to test
-one would learn the RMA and one would learn Maneuver
-You could help them understand how the theory should be applied to their current OoB

Then have the two play against each other online. They could report back to you what they learned (you could even be one of the two) and you could test the theories that way.

Just a thought.

Good luck,
Brian

Deltapooh
18 Nov 03, 19:01
I'm not so sure ATF is the best platform to test the theory. IMHO, lower echelons fight battles with more focus on fire than maneuver.

If it is possible, Scully's proposal might be the better of the two. You would need to compare theories employed by two commanders. Even then, you might have problems. pH/pK stats could lead to inaccurate conclusions. Then again, it's not a company or battalion commander has control over the accuracy of his troops.

However, CPT. Proctor is the best person to tell you whether testing the theories are possible in the current ATF engine.

Philip
18 Nov 03, 20:50
One is not better than the other it is a question of when to use which. An army should have the capability of both. A heavy force is excellent if it can locate and then fix an enemy, a light force is excellent if it can out manuveur especially if the terrain is suitable. Indeed the more difficult the terrain with the greater manuveurability the better. However if you were a light force you would aim to avoid the enemy heavy forces and use your manuveurability to strike deep in the rear areas.

In ATF against a static defending force I never seem to have enough arty I would love the old soviet policy of 100 barrels per km for the main thrust of attack in the face of such opposition it would be suicidal to have anything but a manuveurable defence.

Pat Proctor
18 Nov 03, 23:36
Not to bad mouth the competition, but ;)

The TacOp's sand box just is not as big as that in ATF. Also, the ability to represent on-screen artillery limits the vulnerability of a fires-only force to counterfire, a very real "con" of this approach.

We can argue about pK's and pH all day, but I would say that as long as the numbers are consistent for both tests, and you are trying to answer the question, "which is more effective in the offense/defense" or some similarly large question, the accuracy of the pH and pK model should have no effect on the results (again as long as it is consistent).

I agree that a wide open "sheet of glass" battlefield artificially favors the maneuver force. And, frankly, this is not where most battles are fought. Battlefields of today are generally urban terrain, mountainous regions, or similar complex terrain that favors a low-tech enemy. I would rank the choices as Germany, Death Valley, NTC, then Iraq, for map choices.

Deltapooh
19 Nov 03, 04:39
Not to bad mouth the competition, but ;)

The TacOp's sand box just is not as big as that in ATF. Also, the ability to represent on-screen artillery limits the vulnerability of a fires-only force to counterfire, a very real "con" of this approach.

We can argue about pK's and pH all day, but I would say that as long as the numbers are consistent for both tests, and you are trying to answer the question, "which is more effective in the offense/defense" or some similarly large question, the accuracy of the pH and pK model should have no effect on the results (again as long as it is consistent).


Actually, I was thinking about how people respond to combat conditions. There are plenty of cases where soldiers exceed, or failed to meet standards as the bullets start flying.

Faustus
21 Nov 03, 01:39
Interesting discussion. To add a couple of observations:

1. My view is that complex terrain favours the manoeuvrist. Open terrain permits the the fire force to find and fix by fire the enemy. Complex terrain permits the manoeuvring force to hides its movements giving it freedom of action albeit at a much slower rate. For example, in the 1944 Ardennes Offensive, German mechanized forces chose the most complex terrain and the worst weather to execute their manoeuvres as a means of avoiding overwhelming Allied fire/air power.

2. Someone in this thread made an observation to the effect that the attack on a fixed defence inevitably forces the manouevre force to constrict itself into a narrow area. While somewhat true, in pure manoeuvrist theory it would not. Instead, the manoeuvrist force would recognize the strength of the defence and avoid it altogether.

Overall, I believe that ATF is capable of some experiments in comparing firepower dominant forces against manoeuvring forces however it would require numerous trial scenarios. You would need two manoeuvrist force structures and two firepower forces structures and several different terrain types. You would need to compare manoeuvre force against manoeuvre force, firepower force against firepower force and finally manoeuvre force aganst firepower force in each type of terrain set.

In reality, where possible, most militaries try to maintain a balance between manoeuvre and firepower so that for specific campaigns they can tailor their deployed forces to match the enemy and terrain that they face.