Tuesday, 22 June 2010

A different approach (Part 2)

To continue the urban army, I thought I'd talk about a few ideas I had, with regards to the special units.

Special Units

The special units consist of anything that falls outside of the infantry platoons. I have already covered the airborne, jump-pack platoon so there is no need to revisit those but there are a selection of different units that could be considered special. These are:



Command of an army is essential but what makes up a strong, field command unit? First of all, you need the field commander; a high ranking officer who has honed his skill in battle. No commander would go to battle without his advisers and assistants so there would need to be a selection of support officers and NCOs. There would need to be a communication section to the command unit and maybe some artillery officers and aircraft control personnel as well...so that they can coordinate the ground/air forces. There may be other members of the command section like padres, medics, clerks, stores officers, di-staff and maybe even field police/bodyguards. You could really go to town with the command unit but I think I'll keep it fairly simple and trim the troops down to a manageable amount.


Support is a general term that could be applied to all manner of personnel, equipment and resources. For the sake of this army, I will be thinking of support weapons rather than general support.

For the support weapons, I plan on having two distinct branches: a troop based support element and a vehicle based support element. I will deal with airborne support at a later date (by airborne support I mean fighters/bombers/ground attack aircraft and not the airborne transports of the jump-pack platoon).

The troop support element will be a platoon made up of a command section and a number of support sections. I am likely to keep this unit as a platoon and will likely have a command section and five support sections to equal the amount of troops in the rest of the platoons. Each of the support sections will consist of 4 troops; two with basic weapons and two with support weapons...probably heavy machine guns. I will treat these as a unit that advances with the standard infantry platoons and is used as anti infantry support.

The vehicle support element will be split between walkers and tanks.

The walkers will have a range of weapons capable of taking on troops, armoured vehicles and even aircraft. They will be able to closely support the troops in built up areas due to them being smaller than a tank and more mobile due to them having legs.

The Tanks will be anti armour and will travel along with the APCs of the troops, giving protection while the army advances in vehicles and acting as cover when things slow down and the troops have dismounted.


The veterans will be the special forces element of the army. They are likely to be better equipped and more highly skilled than their brother troops. They may also have extra skills and be harder to kill. I can see this unit being smaller than platoon size to highlight their 'special' nature.


The mundane element of support is made up of engineers, medics, suppliers and the general 'hangers on'. If any of these turn up in my Grymn army, it will be much later on and will not necessarily be made for anything other than to add colour to the force.

Special Unit Sizes

It would be very easy to make all of the support elements platoon sized but I don't think that it would be a particularly good idea to do so. However, one thing that is a good idea is to keep the organisation of the platoons going through the rest of the army. What I mean is that each of the platoons have pairs of 4-Grymn fire-teams so that they can support each other. It would be nice to keep this theme going when thinking about building the special elements of the army.

As mentioned earlier, it makes sense for the infantry based support unit to be platoon sized so that there are enough fire-teams to add coordinated support to the advancing infantry. What wouldn't be as sensible would be to expect 24 model walker platoons, or tank platoons. I also wouldn't expect to see platoon sized command units and the veterans would be elite so having a lot of them would be a bit un-flavourful.

Using the above ideas, I'll try to build some acceptable units, using the constraints I have suggested.

Command Section: This will be made up of two command fire-teams and two bodyguard fire-teams. All of the fire teams will have four Grymn in them so the total section size would be 16. The command fire-teams would each have a pair of officers and a pair of leaders; including comms and different types of personnel...like an artillery officer, for example. The bodyguard fire-teams would be armed with a mix of SMGs and pistols for close protection. The command section would get a pair of vehicles to transport them.

Infantry Support Platoon: 24 Grymn in a similar organisation to other platoons but made up of one command section and 5 support sections.

Walker support section: I have 16 of these. I have enough for a command element and 3 support elements. I would try to justify this but this unit speaks for itself and has the same building blocks as the rest of the force...so it makes sense to stick with it.

Tank support section: For tanks, I was thinking about using these as much smaller units. I think that a 4 tank unit would pack quite a punch so that is what I'll go with. Each section would have 4 of the same tank with one of them acting as the lead vehicle. This would enable a certain amount of flexibility but still offer a heavy hitting section with a certain amount of redundancy built in.

Veteran Section: I think 16 Grymn would be perfect for this unit too. I think that one command fireteam and three veteran fire-teams would work just fine. The command element would have an officer a leader and two veterans, with one having comms. The veteran fire-teams would have three troops with basic weapons and one with a support weapon. The veteran section would get a pair of vehicles to transport them.

So there you have it. The basic, army-building units will be in platoon sized units and the more specialist units will be smaller to add to their mystique a little.

Airborne support will be along at a later date...as will a nice organisation chart.

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