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Old 10-06-2018, 07:38 AM   #11
hal
 
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Default Re: Utility of a Master Tactician

Why not run a thought experiment? Stat up a samarai unit, and have a go at it with a professional modern military unit. Give the low tech unit a numerical advantage and see what happens. That should be a good test of the GURPS MASS COMBAT rules no?

Question? Skill 24 tactics. Is that modern tactics or TL 5 tactics?
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Old 10-06-2018, 09:35 AM   #12
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Default Re: Utility of a Master Tactician

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Originally Posted by hal View Post
Why not run a thought experiment? Stat up a samarai unit, and have a go at it with a professional modern military unit. Give the low tech unit a numerical advantage and see what happens. That should be a good test of the GURPS MASS COMBAT rules no?

Question? Skill 24 tactics. Is that modern tactics or TL 5 tactics?
Tactics is not a /TL skill. Nor is it sub-divided into specialisations, so the Master Tactician's skill is universally applicable, though obviously if he knows literally nothing about the enemy and modern firearms, he'll have some problems.
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Old 10-06-2018, 09:37 AM   #13
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Default Re: Utility of a Master Tactician

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Originally Posted by hal View Post
Why not run a thought experiment? Stat up a samarai unit, and have a go at it with a professional modern military unit. Give the low tech unit a numerical advantage and see what happens. That should be a good test of the GURPS MASS COMBAT rules no?
In a fight between four elements of the best trained and best equipped medium infantry possible, facing one element of the worst trained and worst equipped TL8 riflemen possible, the riflemen get a +3 bonus to their combat roll for fire superiority. Against a single squad of the modern infantry company in Mass Combat, four elements of the best possible medium infantry are hopelessly outclassed with +21 to the riflemen.

Add more samurai, and the rules no longer value Tactics much. The commander would need to use Strategy, instead.
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Old 10-06-2018, 10:48 AM   #14
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Default Re: Utility of a Master Tactician

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In my mind, a master tactician could be vitally important because they could negate any advantages of their opponents. Imagine a situation where you have medieval samurai versus modern infantry. If the medieval samurai have a master tactician on their side, they could start combat within reach and behind the modern infantry, allowing them to surprise and slaughter the enemy before they can even respond, despite suffering a horrible technological disadvantage.
This kind of reads to me as if you are starting with the GURPS rules, looking for the most beneficial possible interpretation, and then coming up with a narrative based on it. I tend to prefer to look for a narrative that makes sense and then try to figure out what application of GURPS rules is compatible with that narrative. I'm not sure there's a plausible narrative for the scenario about the samurai.
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Old 10-06-2018, 12:11 PM   #15
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Default Re: Utility of a Master Tactician

Let's put the samurai to the side and compare two equivalent companies of contemporary infantry (the largest group you can reasonably influence with Tactics at TL8, as you can use it through one intermediary). Imagine the impact of one company led by a junior CO with Tactics-12 against one company led by a senior NCO with Tactics-24 (we will assume the captain of the second company understands well enough that his or her job is to push paperwork while their senior NCO gets the job done). What difference could we expect in performance when they are facing each other in combat (either combat exercises or real combat)?
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Old 10-06-2018, 01:52 PM   #16
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Default Re: Utility of a Master Tactician

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Originally Posted by RyanW View Post
In a fight between four elements of the best trained and best equipped medium infantry possible, facing one element of the worst trained and worst equipped TL8 riflemen possible, the riflemen get a +3 bonus to their combat roll for fire superiority. Against a single squad of the modern infantry company in Mass Combat, four elements of the best possible medium infantry are hopelessly outclassed with +21 to the riflemen.

Add more samurai, and the rules no longer value Tactics much. The commander would need to use Strategy, instead.
Strategy is Tactics-6, so the Tactical Genius could direct the battle as an expert general.

That the Samurai would need three other individuals to manage the whole campaign is what makes it interesting. Then the issue of the narrative rests its ugly head.

Page 27 of GURPS MASS COMBAT talks about narrative in the form of operations. What are the Sword armed individuals doing and why? What is the objective for both sides? Let's call this a time travel scenario or maybe a dimensional gate issue where one side comes through and finds itself squaring off against a TL disparate foe. 500 TL 5 forces vs 250 TL 8 forces hardly seems fair to the TL 5 team, but that is more or less what the original poster hypothesized.

When up against a single element CAS helicopter, plus a platoon of IFVs plus a headquarters element in addition to regular infantry - not to mention these units are night vision equipped units seem to give the more modern unit a lot of edges.

With armor, air, 3CI, and fire superiority - don't know if one can treat armor as cavalry bonus as well (doubt it), and the engagement will be heavily weighted in favor of the higher tech unit where the final strategy roll is made. Assuming well trained officers leading the TL 8 unit, that becomes a contest of 14 vs GT's skill of 18. Modified skill however, will start at 26 vs 18 before one even takes on the bonus for troop strength.

Assuming average rolls for both commanders, in 30 minutes of battle, per GURPS MASS COMBAT, the battle results based solely upon edges and skill result in 25% casualties for TL 5 elements vs 5% casualties for TL 8 elements. This of course ignores all other aspects as to who has surprise, who has position advantages, etc. Note that I didn't include artillery bonuses on the premise that perhaps a unit of 250 men might not have it.

Againg, this related to GURPS MASS COMBAT.

As for either of Strategy or Tactics not being TL based seems striking odd. How can a person who has never been exposed to TL 8 doctrines and capabilities predict what a TL 8 commanding officer do if he can't understand what the opposing side is capable of? But, that's a discussion for another time.
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Old 10-06-2018, 06:13 PM   #17
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Default Re: Utility of a Master Tactician

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Originally Posted by AlexanderHowl View Post
Let's put the samurai to the side and compare two equivalent companies of contemporary infantry (the largest group you can reasonably influence with Tactics at TL8, as you can use it through one intermediary). Imagine the impact of one company led by a junior CO with Tactics-12 against one company led by a senior NCO with Tactics-24 (we will assume the captain of the second company understands well enough that his or her job is to push paperwork while their senior NCO gets the job done). What difference could we expect in performance when they are facing each other in combat (either combat exercises or real combat)?
A modern company is not lead by an NCO. Almost certainly, a company is lead by a captain, and each platoon in the company is lead by a lieutenant. Unless they've been killed already, of course.
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Old 10-06-2018, 07:11 PM   #18
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Default Re: Utility of a Master Tactician

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Let's put the samurai to the side and compare two equivalent companies of contemporary infantry (the largest group you can reasonably influence with Tactics at TL8, as you can use it through one intermediary).
You won't be running a modern company through only one intermediary, because that means the platoon commander is giving individual orders to 30-40 people, and will rapidly lose control of them, and lose situational awareness as they overload trying to track and manage so many people spread out over a large area.

A platoon is a more reasonable unit - the Platoon Officer Commanding orders around squad leader/section commanders, and they order round their men. Even then it's a bit marginal, as squads/sections tend to be split into fire-teams or groups that are ordered as units to ease the workload of the leader/commander, who has the most soldiers directly subordinate to them of any position in the army (and who is a junior NCO or junior Sergeant with only a few years experience).

So we're looking at the Platoon OC, usually a Lieutenant's slot, as being the master tactician's place, commanding about 35 people.

Quote:
Imagine the impact of one company led by a junior CO with Tactics-12 against one company led by a senior NCO with Tactics-24 (we will assume the captain of the second company understands well enough that his or her job is to push paperwork while their senior NCO gets the job done). What difference could we expect in performance when they are facing each other in combat (either combat exercises or real combat)?
Much as I admire senior NCOs, and god-like as Sergeant-Majors are, it's really their job to make sure that the CO's orders are carried out in a professional and skilled manner, not for them to be formulating plans, and by the time someone gets to be a CSM they'll have spent years doing admin, training, and managing day-to-day discipline, not commanding units. The more like master tactician, in my opinion, would be some old captian, frozen in rank for some reason and shunted off to be the senior platoon commander some place. The other option is simply that they're a 1st lieutenant and a tactical genius.
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Old 10-06-2018, 09:21 PM   #19
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Default Re: Utility of a Master Tactician

In my military experience, junior officers told senior NCOs what they wanted done (strategy) and let the senior NCOs figure out how it was done (tactics) while the junior officers buggered off to do paperwork while the enlisted did the work. There is not an O-3 on Earth that knows half as much about tactics as an E-7 unless they came up from the enlisted ranks. Honestly, those were the best officers because they knew to stay out of the way.
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Old 10-07-2018, 01:50 AM   #20
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Default Re: Utility of a Master Tactician

Interestingly, the Strategy skill gives no guidance as to the scale at which it applies instead of tactics.
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