Scouts Out!

Scouts Out!
C Troop musters for action

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

The US Army on Liberty

Note:  This is the first in a series of article detailing the various fighting forces on Liberty. In this article I'm going to take an in-world prospective to give the "fluff" for my forces and to demonstrate the miniatures that I'm going to use for each army.  Many of the pictures below are of my own miniatures, however I'm borrowed some pictures from Khurasan and and Antenocitis Workshop for units that I on order but haven't received or haven't painted yet.  My US Army force is a mixture of miniatures from Rebel Minis, Iron Wind Metals, Khurasan, and Antenocitis Workship.

The US defense force on Liberty can be a motley bunch bunch at times.  However its solid core are the battalions of the US Army.  LIBCON, the joint US military command on Liberty, can call upon one Regular Army infantry battalion, 4 National Guard (ANG) infantry battalions,  2 support fires battalions (ANG),  cavalry squadrons, one Special Forces/Ranger SPECOPS company, one aerospace support battalion, and several logistical and support companies. This article will detail the Regular and ANG elements of the US Army on Liberty.

The Polar Bears of the Regular Army's (RA) 1st Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment provides the solid, veteran core of the US Army on Liberty.  1/31 Infantry is the ready battalion from the 10th Infantry Division (Mountain) which was hurried to Liberty to help blunt the LRL's insurgency on Crossland.  Later, the battalion proved instrumental to the defense of Centerville by engaging LRL assault forces in some of the most deadly urban combat seen by the US Army since the Battle of Fallujah in 2004.  Despite heavy casualties, the Polar Bears were able find off numerous LRL attacks and, later during the campaign, provide forces for the allied counter offensive.  

Tactically, the Polar Bears are organized as a standard US Infantry battalion with four rifle companies, one heavy weapons company, an attached mecha platoon and ADA platoon.  Each rifle company is further split into three rifle platoon who in turn are divided into 1-3 nine man sections.  The section is a unique US formation that goes back to WWI and was brought back into use during the late 21st Century as an intermediate level unit between the platoon and the squad.  Modern rifle sections are split into two four man squads led by a Staff Sergeant with the small rifle squads being led by 'buck' sergeants or corporals.  This organization brings needed command and control down to very small units and allows the US Army to operate very small units over huge combat zones.

Typically, US Army rifle sections are assigned two HUMVEE IV Apache tactical troop transports to provide transport in most situations ranging from peacekeeping up to low level insurgencies.  However the Apache is well armed and protected which allows it to survive even in more intense combat zones.  However when conventional combat is anticipated the standard M577 APC is issued.

Also to strengthen the section, and to provide it with more 'eyes' on the ground, rifle sections can be issued up to 4 M1A1 Gun Drones (AGP) or a similar number of M1A1 Sentry Guns. The sentry guns and drones are typically deployed as needed, however as a basic rule they are evenly divided between the two rifle squads.

For small arms, the US Army currently enjoys the newest generation of M41 Pulse Rifles (ACR) and M56 Smart Gun (SAW).  In addition the section can count on M240 Flamer, RPGs, and infantry plasma guns in high intensity combat situations. Many of these weapons are kept on-board transport frigates even during peacekeeping missions are are available when needed.

For heavy combat situations the rifle battalions have to look to organize heavy weapons and to assets attached from light and heavy armored battalions.  As a general rule, each US rifle battalion has an organic Ares mecha platoon.  The M-1 MBS Ares battle mecha is an awesome piece of hardware that is used even in peacekeeping missions.  The machine is a fearsome sight to behold and just its mere presence is enough to cool simmering tempers and bring combative factions to the negotiation table.

The Ares carries a formidable arsenal of weapons to the battlefield.  Its main gun, the 90mm M552 Railgun packs a terrible punch that can cripple even the best protected MBTs with a single shot.  Its secondary weapons, the M550 20mm Heavy Gatling Gun can tear through infantry and light armor units with devastating effect.  Indeed, a single strike section (an infantry section with AFVs and an Ares) can easily take on and defeat a company of conventional infantry with even light armored support.  

To supplement the Ares the Army rifle battalion can sometimes call upon AFVs ranging from the light M-578 Jackson Fire Support Vehicle:

To the powerhouse M-40 Ridgeway MBT:

Both vehicles are armed with the formidable 90mm M552 Railgun, but offer better levels of mobility (the FSV) or armor (MBT) then the Ares.   This mixture of state-of-the-art equipment makes the US Regular Army rifle battalion a serious force to contend with on any battlefield.  Fortunately for the LRL the 1/31 Infantry only has a mere handful of these tanks and mecha.  However more have been dispatched to restock and reinforce the battalion.  

If that were only true for the Army National Guard!  Modern weapons and equipment comes with a steep cost and it would be prohibitively expensive to equip the ANG with the most modern weapons, so sadly the ANG has to make due with previous generations of combat gear.  The ANG on Liberty is organized into four rifle battalions belonging to the 57th and 45th Infantry regiments which use a very similar table of organization as the 31st Infantry.  It's the gear, and training, that separate these two organizations.

For small arms the ANG continues to soldier one with the M16A5 rifle or the M4A4 carbine. These weapons are based on the same basic design that was introduced back in the 1960s and first saw action during the Vietnam War!  This over 200 year old design continues to soldier on even today because of the soundness of its construction, its simplicity of use, and its sheer adaptability.  To support these weapons the ANG can call upon two equally antiquated designs: the M249A6 SAW and the M203A6 UGL.  Each squad of four men carries one M249 and one M203.

While this has caused something of a scandal in recent years, especially in the Filipino and Liberty press, the Pentagon has pointed out, many times, that ALL USANG units are equipped with this 'generation' of weapons and that it has been quite effective against LRL main force units.  Only the most modern LRL formations can claim to have a material advantage over the Liberty ANG troops and that these units are few and far inbetween.  Generally most ANG units only see action against Liberty insurgents and LRL regulars who are even more poorly equipped them them!

For vehicular support the ANG can call upon somewhat more modern AFVs, mostly upgraded Bradley IFVs and Abrams MBTs:

While these are also antiquated designs, they are more recent rebuilds of these classic designs and are still quite effective on the battlefields of Liberty.  Unfortunately, the LRL also has a number of these vehicles too!  As part of the 2165 Military Assistance Package to the French Union, the Liberty ANG transferred some 24 Abrams and 72 Bradley ICVs to the loyal French Union militia.  When the war ended almost half of these vehicles were turned over to the newly formed LRL despite US protest!  In fact, the LRL's 2nd Brigade brought a full company of M1s and 2-3 platoons of Bradley IFVs to support their invasion of Crossland. The use of these vehicles cause no end of confusion during the early battles and contributed to the collapse of 1/45 Infantry during the Battle of Ender's Corner.  This defeat routed the ANG's defense of northern Crossland and opened the way for the 2nd Brigade to advance on Centreville.  

As of the siege of Centreville the Liberty ANG has only a few dozen of these AFVs in operation and husbands them carefully for future use.
The final major Army formation on Liberty is the 1/26 Cavalry.  The cavalry serves as the eyes, ears, and mechanized reserve of LIBCOM and Task Force Bataan and its constant use has worn the squadron down in both manpower and in material.  However even in its reduced state the squadron is a powerful force on the battlefield.  Generally, cavalry squadrons are organized into 4 company sized troops with a tank troop and a gunship troop in support.  However the 1/26 never really reached that ideal organization.  Only 3 cavalry troops were ever organized and the tank and gunship troops never had more than two or so platoons of vehicles.  

However their impact on the battlefield has been decisive!  The 1/26's recon efforts kept LIBCOM and Task Force Bataan well informed on LRL troop movements and C Troop was instrumental in delaying 23eme RI's drive to cut off Task Force Bataan from the south.  

The Scouts of the 26th are currently being withdrawn from Crossland to regroup and reform near Liberty City.  The squadron is so badly battered that it can barely muster two full cavalry troops and a mixed platoon of tanks and gunships.  However 2-3 platoons may find themselves attached to TF Bataan to continue their scouting missions.

A standard cavalry platoon is very similar to a rifle platoon, however it only has one section of infantry.  Its second section is a mecha section (two pilots, two Apache crew, two mechanics) that operates two M-3 Valkyrie scout mecha with a Apache HUMVEE to provide support.  Occasionally other mecha ranging from the hulking Ares down to more modest Seraph and Hollander mecha may provide extra muscle to the platoon.  During the Battle of Centreville C Troop was assigned one precious Ares mecha.  However the brute simply couldn't keep up with the cav and was destroyed during a bitter firefight.  The cavalry works best with lighter units that can keep pace with its Valkyrie and Apache vehicles.  Cavalry platoons also carry a standard mix of M1A1 drones to support their operations.

In our next article we will take an in-depth look at the US Army Special Forces company that is currently operating on Liberty.

Semper Fi,  carry on. 

No comments:

Post a Comment