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Old July 23rd, 2016, 10:53 PM
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Question Acceptable US Casualties Against 3rd World Armies

IronDuke99 in his recent thread: http://forum.shrapnelgames.com/showp...13&postcount=1 proffered that winsbmpt casualties are too high given real world perceptions of acceptable losses. I found the discussion fascinating and in designing my latest Afghan USMC scenario I am testing various ways to impact battle points with respect to casualties.

Question, what percentage of a light infantry company from a First World army would be accepted as losses, no more than 6, 8, or 10 percent?

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Old July 24th, 2016, 02:30 AM
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Default Re: Acceptable US Casualties Against 3rd World Armies

The problem with "acceptable losses" is you're dealing primarily with civilian perceptions which are most definitely NOT the same as military.

In general, and I stress this is the military viewpoint, the US Army considers a unit to be "combat ineffective" at around 25% casualties, the USMC at around 50%. The key here is the term "combat ineffective" not the number of casualties. It's felt that at these casualty percentages the loss of firepower, unit cohesion, and morale means the unit can no longer be expected to perform the mission a unit of a given size would be expected to perform.

For a US Army 9-man squad 25% is the loss of 2-3 men, the remaining 6-7 can no longer be expected to perform a full squads mission. The USMC squad is 13-men, so a loss of 50% still leaves it with 6-7 men ... the same size as the US Army squad with 25% losses. This is one of the reasons the USMC feels it can accept more losses (also the "Sturmtruppen" attitude of the USMC).
http://www.realcleardefense.com/arti...ry_108075.html

Civilians on the other hand tend to see losses of more then 5-10% as horrific. And I can understand this, imagine if 1-in-10 people near you died or were maimed in the next few minutes ... that's pretty devastating to the uninitiated.

Keep in mind WinSPMBT deals with military not civilian perceptions (and I've long felt the AI is secretly run by WW II Japanese).
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Old July 24th, 2016, 02:49 AM
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Post Re: Acceptable US Casualties Against 3rd World Armies

Quote:
Originally Posted by Suhiir View Post
The problem with "acceptable losses" is you're dealing primarily with civilian perceptions which are most definitely NOT the same as military.

In general, and I stress this is the military viewpoint, the US Army considers a unit to be "combat ineffective" at around 25% casualties, the USMC at around 50%. The key here is the term "combat ineffective" not the number of casualties. It's felt that at these casualty percentages the loss of firepower, unit cohesion, and morale means the unit can no longer be expected to perform the mission a unit of a given size would be expected to perform.

For a US Army 9-man squad 25% is the loss of 2-3 men, the remaining 6-7 can no longer be expected to perform a full squads mission. The USMC squad is 13-men, so a loss of 50% still leaves it with 6-7 men ... the same size as the US Army squad with 25% losses. This is one of the reasons the USMC feels it can accept more losses (also the "Sturmtruppen" attitude of the USMC).
http://www.realcleardefense.com/arti...ry_108075.html

Keep in mind WinSPMBT deals with military not civilian perceptions (and I've long felt the AI is secretly run by WW II Japanese).
Good stuff!

By Iwo Jima losses the game AI maybe ran by Japanese ghosts. I read an account of that battle where only 7 out of 22 battalion commanders survived and other accounts where privates were field promoted to lead platoons. Horrific losses. Even, more to your point of civilian expectations, after the San Francisco Examiner ran stories of the mounting losses, the panic screamed.

Thanks suhiir. I'm thinking more of civilian perceptions than military combat ineffectiveness.

Actually, I'm working on the scenario when I got email notification of your post.

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Old August 7th, 2016, 09:14 PM

IronDuke99 IronDuke99 is offline
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Default Re: Acceptable US Casualties Against 3rd World Armies

Speaking as a Pom who lives in Aussie, I agree with what Suhiir said.

Modern (ie, certainly 2000 onwards) western censors, firepower and body armour all tend to reduce casualties against 3rd world enemies. (although body armour sometimes prevents death rather than wounding).

These days in a modern Western military with body armour, and helo evacuation of casualties, excellent medical services, etc if you lose 10 men as casualties chances are only one or two will die.

Civilians, including the media, tend to take much more note of military deaths than they do of military wounded (which, maybe, is partly why we end up with so many homeless/in problems ex military, but I digress).

In game terms a casualty is a casualty, without regard to being more or less slightly wounded up to atomised.

No Commander likes casualties to his own men. Every Commander, worth his salt, strives to minimize his own sides casualties in his plan, while still carrying out his assigned job of work. Battalion Commanders and above tend, these days, to be very conscious of the media, while those below them are much less so.

My own view on modern, COIN/terrorist/guerilla, game scenario design would be that an objective would have to be very vital for it to give victory, in an offensive operation, to a Western military that suffered, at most, anything over 25% casualties. Defensive ops would have different rules, since being overrun, against a lot of these types, would almost certainly result in 100% unpleasant death and the spoiling of ones whole day.

Scenario designers need to make maximum use of assets like, night vision devices (ie, a Western military should be able to spot the enemy considerably better than the enemy spots them at night or in poor visibility) attack helos, spotter drones, close air support and artillery, etc.

Use Preferences and increase a Western forces Search (to help spotting) and also Infantry Toughness (to allow for body armour). I also tend to slightly raise Western and/or lower terrorist/guerilla Hitting as well since many of them -not all- seem to have poor shooting skills.

My view is that, in general, the game is pretty good at showing peer on peer warfare, such as a Russian or Chinese battle group v a US or British battle group (that is always going to be bloody) but you have to tweek it a bit to be more accurate for COIN ops and then give the western side fairly strict parameters to win the game.

Last edited by IronDuke99; August 7th, 2016 at 09:25 PM.. Reason: better wording.
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Old August 7th, 2016, 09:50 PM

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Default Re: Acceptable US Casualties Against 3rd World Armies

PS
Please remember Western soldiers are relatively expensive (although none of them are paid enough) and there are fewer and fewer of them.

In my day (1980's) the British Armed Forces (Royal Navy including Royal Marines, British Army and Royal Air Force) was over 325,000 strong.

Today the British Armed Forces are only about 187,000 strong, in my view, at least, 50,000 short of what is required.

(That compares to to over 393,000 prior to WWI and over 384,000 prior to WWII, although the vital RN strength was relatively much higher in both cases).

US, and other Western, forces are also all thinner on the ground than they once were...

Last edited by IronDuke99; August 7th, 2016 at 10:07 PM.. Reason: spelling mistake.
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Old August 7th, 2016, 10:40 PM
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Question Re: Acceptable US Casualties Against 3rd World Armies

Quote:
Originally Posted by IronDuke99 View Post
Use Preferences and increase a Western forces Search (to help spotting) and also Infantry Toughness (to allow for body armour). I also tend to slightly raise Western and/or lower terrorist/guerilla Hitting as well since many of them -not all- seem to have poor shooting skills.
Regarding Preferences, do have numbers in mind to affect the changes you suggest? I'd appreciate the numbers.

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Old August 8th, 2016, 12:12 AM
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Default Re: Acceptable US Casualties Against 3rd World Armies

I think what you also need to remember is game "casualties" (especially in regards to a high tech army Vs 3rd world forces) may not mean any/many are actually hurt - Most "Western" forces will tend to try to extract the wounded man immediately, That means as many as a whole section leaving the fight to carry their stricken comrade.

What I mean by this is SP reporting 6 casualties may mean 1 poor guy shot (but will probably recover) and 4 or 5 carrying him out. Game 6 casualties = military 1 casevac = public zero casualties.

Therefore no real need to change anything as this is effectively already built in (with experience and morale levels)
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Old August 8th, 2016, 12:57 AM

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Default Re: Acceptable US Casualties Against 3rd World Armies

If you increased the cost of the unit in the editor, would the other side not get more points for inflicting losses? You might eliminate a company but the loss of your platoon gives more points than what you received and give a victory them.
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Old August 8th, 2016, 09:26 AM
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Default Re: Acceptable US Casualties Against 3rd World Armies

Quote:
Originally Posted by jp10 View Post
If you increased the cost of the unit in the editor, would the other side not get more points for inflicting losses? You might eliminate a company but the loss of your platoon gives more points than what you received and give a victory them.

If you increase the cost of a unit and it is eliminated, the other side will get the increased points so yes, if you wanted casualties to have a greater effect on the final game score increasing them will do that


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Old August 10th, 2016, 10:57 PM

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Default Re: Acceptable US Casualties Against 3rd World Armies

Quote:
Originally Posted by shahadi View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by IronDuke99 View Post
Use Preferences and increase a Western forces Search (to help spotting) and also Infantry Toughness (to allow for body armour). I also tend to slightly raise Western and/or lower terrorist/guerilla Hitting as well since many of them -not all- seem to have poor shooting skills.
Regarding Preferences, do have numbers in mind to affect the changes you suggest? I'd appreciate the numbers.

=====
For post C. 2000 games, for what little it is worth, I tend to increase the Western forces spotting to 150% and and infantry toughness to 140%, while increasing hitting to 110-120%. If terrorist/guerilla forces have any armour I will also reduce that armour's toughness by 10-20% to simulate poor maintenance,lack of spares etc. This latter is especially important with more advanced tank designs with advanced armour.

As I said, this goes along with setting the Western forces low, ie, 25% maximum in most cases, casualties to gain victory.
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