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Subject: Order of Battle (OOB / ORBAT) Research? rss

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Cameron Taylor
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How exactly does Mitchell Land or any other wargame designer research the Order of Battle (OOB / ORBAT) for conflicts?

For a conflict across the border, factions would likely send their units already stationed in the nearest military districts / military bases, so the OOB would simply be the national OOB confined to the current unit deployment. However, I'm unclear as to how many units would be held back to garrison friendly territory from that subset of units.

I know that there are several forms of expeditionary warfare, which limits what overseas factions can field in a far–off region to their expeditionary units all the way to main units of the line (e.g. American USMC, Russian VDV):

(1) Expeditionary in a hostile environment.

Arguably only specifically expeditionary forces can conduct a Joint Forced Entry Operation (JFEO) and arguably only the US possesses this capability at the moment. (Exceptions may be where the belligerents are very close together, such as with the Taiwan / One China issue.)

(2) Expeditionary in a friendly environment with short time for build up.

Assumes that close–by forces can participate in a friendly country's war where there is a contiguous border between the friendly country and the enemy belligerent.

(3) Expeditionary in a friendly environment with a long time for build up.

Assumes that substantial forces can participate in a friendly country's war where there is a contiguous border between the friendly country and the enemy belligerent.

I realise that scenario design can be a bit of a sausage factory with many assumptions, but please describe the process by which these 'sausages' are made.
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SeriousCat wrote:
How exactly does Mitchell Land or any other wargame designer research the Order of Battle (OOB / ORBAT) for conflicts?

For a conflict across the border, factions would likely send their units already stationed in the nearest military districts / military bases, so the OOB would simply be the national OOB confined to the current unit deployment. However, I'm unclear as to how many units would be held back to garrison friendly territory from that subset of units.

I know that there are several forms of expeditionary warfare, which limits what overseas factions can field in a far–off region to their expeditionary units all the way to main units of the line (e.g. American USMC, Russian VDV):

(1) Expeditionary in a hostile environment.

Arguably only specifically expeditionary forces can conduct a Joint Forced Entry Operation (JFEO) and arguably only the US possesses this capability at the moment. (Exceptions may be where the belligerents are very close together, such as with the Taiwan / One China issue.)

(2) Expeditionary in a friendly environment with short time for build up.

Assumes that close–by forces can participate in a friendly country's war where there is a contiguous border between the friendly country and the enemy belligerent.

(3) Expeditionary in a friendly environment with a long time for build up.

Assumes that substantial forces can participate in a friendly country's war where there is a contiguous border between the friendly country and the enemy belligerent.

I realise that scenario design can be a bit of a sausage factory with many assumptions, but please describe the process by which these 'sausages' are made.


Mitchell Land told us were he was getting his infos on the units, some were from open source material and some are via payment.

Also, if you follow his old next war games, he gave us access from his virtual drive and you can find interesting pdf files of some 20 to 200 pages of units and other stuff.

I think that some units came from leaked and open source data and some are a "may come in to help" units.

I suppose, and i'm not an expert at all ( sorry ), that if he knows that in a war theather X there is a unit stationed at base Y than that unit may come in help and then add it.

Then don't forget he is a professional game designer, he probably have read military books and knows how a faction and his armed forces will react in a war case scenario.

To finish this, in this module there is also a tactical map that shows some of russia, the baltic states, walrus and other regions, so i'm quite sure that in the big scenarios the russians have to open a gateway trought the baltics and then attack poland.

What do you think? I am friendly so no offence or disrespect intended.

Hugs!!! meeple
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Cameron Taylor
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I know he mentioned he was using the International Institute for Strategic Studies' The Military Balance series, which gives an overview of units (without unit designations) and their main equipment—it's an invaluable resource.

I just wonder what the rationale is for including and excluding particular units in a war scenario. For expeditionary units it makes sense that only expeditionary–capable units would be involved, as well as any units already stationed close–by, but for local / domestic forces should only the nearest military districts be included? (e.g. Kaliningrad Oblast and Leningrad areas for Next War: Poland.)

This is the sort of stuff I find fascinating.
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SeriousCat wrote:
I know he mentioned he was using the International Institute for Strategic Studies' The Military Balance series, which gives an overview of units (without unit designations) and their main equipment—it's an invaluable resource.

I just wonder what the rationale is for including and excluding particular units in a war scenario. For expeditionary units it makes sense that only expeditionary–capable units would be involved, as well as any units already stationed close–by, but for local / domestic forces should only the nearest military districts be included? (e.g. Kaliningrad Oblast and Leningrad areas for Next War: Poland.)

This is the sort of stuff I find fascinating.


Mmm, interesting final question. I know there are some 300.000 russian soldiers at the border with the baltics, i think those will be the bulk of ground units used. Maybe some special unit like paras or spetsnatz will be included along the Kaliningrad ones.

I don't know if russia will mobilize more forces, probably yes but i'm not quite sure.

Its ok that only Expeditionary forces will be avaible, but don't forget we are not in Taiwan or India or Korea. We are in Europe and send military aid and support is much more doable.

Germany is close to Poland, France is too, Italy too, UK too. I'm quite sure the right question will not be if those nations could send help but IF THEY WILL SEND IT! Who will answer Act 5?

What i find interesting is with what NATO will respond surprise?

We will probably see the always presents USMC and 82nd Airborne from the US but the other NATO countries?

Please answer back.
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Cameron Taylor
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If the collective security article of NATO is invoked, we could be seeing a ridiculously large OOB! Under Mitchell Land's scenario, the Baltics would be taken over, which means Russia would have a contiguous border with Poland, so they could definitely send in more troops from the rest of Russia. Normally it would just be the VDV and whatever military district was closest, but it could end up being a whole lot more.
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Lorenzo Nannetti
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Consider that this game is NOT designed to give players a feel of how a war would really play out. Because there's no chance a war between Russia and the West will be like this. A realistic simulations of this (as those done for professional wargaming purposes) wouldn't be commercially viable - it wouldn't be much "fun".
This is a commercial wargame, so don't try to look for a too realistic portrayal of what would really happen, this is not its purpose.
 
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Lorenz79 wrote:
Consider that this game is NOT designed to give players a feel of how a war would really play out. Because there's no chance a war between Russia and the West will be like this. A realistic simulations of this (as those done for professional wargaming purposes) wouldn't be commercially viable - it wouldn't be much "fun".
This is a commercial wargame, so don't try to look for a too realistic portrayal of what would really happen, this is not its purpose.


Interesting quote.

Do you know where one can find one of those simulations? ( If they're avaible for common people ).

I've read about the RAND simulations of a Russian invasion of the baltics but there are others?
 
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Leo Zappa
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Lorenz79 wrote:
Consider that this game is NOT designed to give players a feel of how a war would really play out. Because there's no chance a war between Russia and the West will be like this. A realistic simulations of this (as those done for professional wargaming purposes) wouldn't be commercially viable - it wouldn't be much "fun".
This is a commercial wargame, so don't try to look for a too realistic portrayal of what would really happen, this is not its purpose.


I would certainly think that the designer would dispute your assertion. I have a hard time believing that Mitchell went to all of this trouble to produce a fancy version of "Risk".

What about this game do you think is not "realistic"???
 
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Mitchell Land
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I wouldn't want to get into a debate on "realism". After all, no one, thankfully, is dying in these games.

I prefer to think of them as reasonable facsimiles.

The kinds of games that are played be professionals tend to be more along the lines of spreadsheet exercises, sometimes with software-aided support, and umpires, lots of precise data, and tens and sometimes hundreds of participants. And they're far more like work.

Commercial games attempt to distill all of that into something playable and enjoyable, yet still retain enough "reality", as it were, to be a fair approximation.

That's my two cents anyway.

Edit: Another point I meant to make is that commercial games should give a sense of what the real-world "players" would need to pay attention to, i.e., air defenses, SOF targets, supply lines, etc. without overburdening the players with the minutiae of knowing how many tons of fuel a particular logistics unit can move to the refueling station in eight hours.
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Jakub Kircun
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Rydo wrote:
Do you know where one can find one of those simulations? ( If they're avaible for common people ).

Whenever I think of "professional" military wargames I think of large scale real world exercises, combined with a group of senior officers and analysts looking at every aspect of a situation, similar to what you see in the following video.

Commercial wargames are essentially "just for fun", but it doesn't mean you can't get an education from them. Just like certain naval charts that are "not to be used for navigation", but you can still use them to get an idea of the coastline.
 
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Lorenzo Nannetti
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For example a Matrix game. Follow paxsims website for some info on that.
 
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Lorenzo Nannetti
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Professional wargames are of various kind, especially nowadays. But yes, they *are* work, and therefore the target is different.
Mind you, this game is great but as you state it has a different purpose, and that's perfectly fine.
 
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Lorenzo Nannetti
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This is not a funky version of Risk at all! And it's surely a very good commercial wargame. But in order to be a very good commercial wargame it had to give some things for granted, when they aren't, and build a what if situation that is debatable.
It's perfectly fine, after all it's a "what if" wargame and aside from some OoB concerns other people had indicated on the InsideGMT blog, it works.

But nowadays few people in the professional field would represent a Russia-West confrontation like this. But a professional wargame isn't (necessarily, although it helps if it is) fun and couldn't be commercial.

Because of that, what I wanted to note is that debate on what will/would happen in reality in such a situation is surely fun but is also marred by the fact that likely we wouldn't get to this kind of scenario under these terms.
 
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