WinSPMBT: Gaming Infantry Fights subject logo: MILGAM
Posted by: badanov

The Steel Panthers series, especially WinSPMBT, gained a rep since its original release 12 years ago as an armor game. As the game evolved, however, it has turned into a damn fine infantry fighting game as well.

But it is not without its problems.

We may have written about this: even when an advancing unit knows an enemy unit location, even with robust squad level tactics, a dug-in opponent can own an advancing squad once it appears in its line of fire.

In the case, Russian Marines, no slouch themselves in infantry tatics, have a very difficult task in engaging effectively opposing units such as Iranian Revoltionary Guards, hereinafter referred to as Pasdarans.

The modeling in the game give Pasdarans 10 men per squad, all armed with G3 7.62mm assault rifles, hand grendages, a choice of grenade launchers and RPGs. All in all, a very effective unit.

However, Pasdarans are commonly considered to be, in game terms at least, fanatics, not especially well trained, but willing to fight hard under the right condtions.

Russian Marines, on the other hand, while not as effective as the US Marines, are a relatively elite fighting force, with limited operational deployments, mainly to fleet requirements.

Why in the advance a Russian Marine squad will suffer horrendous losses against Pasdarans, are probably owing to several factors.

One is that Russian Marine squads, according to the modeling presented by WinSPMBT, have seven men, as opposed to ten Pasdarans. Each man with a 5.554mm AK-74 rifle, a number of hand grenades, one man with a grenade launcher one and one with an antitank rocket launcher.

The Russians are a system which unlike all western armies, have NCOs which have no signifigant say-so as to deployment, gunnery and tactics, thus making it much harder for Russian squads to recover from a mauling without an officer present.

Which, when you push around Russians on a battlefield, is nothing particularly frustrating. You expect Russians to take a hard punch in the nose, to be bloodied before they can rally and become the fearsome warriors they are.

What is frustrating is just how tough Pasdarans are, way too tough given the amount of ordnance tossed their way.

Our view is that Pasdarans should be hard to break, but once they do break, they should never be able to recover, they should be brittle to the point of routing, especially if they are seeign their comrades take horrific losses without flinching.

Here is how an expert described it:

I think the certain infantry units breakpoints are too high. When they are dug in they don't break at all. And that's BS. I don't care how tough you are, when a platoon of M1s fired AP, .50 and coax, cutting the squad next to you into ribbons after first firing HE is to break for cover, you tend to break when they turn toward your position. You don't hold and fire RPGs and light MGs at the tanks.

Trust me - in RL, if they are looking 20m to the right of them and see their buddies over there with decapitated, arms and legs either ripped off or ripped open, intestines hanging out, and the few living are screaming their way to death, and see the same thing that did that coming after them, they will break, not fire weapons they just saw uselessly used by their now dead/dying buddies.

Trust me, its hard enough to continue the mission being on the sending end of that and seeing the results, much less having taking it.

Yet in game I could do just that and the units sit there, suppress, but don't move or bolt off, and rally themselves quickly.

The game doesn't work well as a sim in that respect. Hell even the SS could be broken by firepower. Someone has the those units misfactored, and credited with god-like NCOs that can rally a unit over anything

As we suspected. And in WinSPMBT, the coding for morale logic is tweakable, but we have to agree with breakpoint is way too high for Pasdarans. They should be tough to break, but once broken, they should start looking for better cover.

As we wrote in response:

was that once counterfire is initiated and it is effective, the Pasdarans are very very hard to break; they take like 60 to 80 percent losses before they start thinking that maybe those 72 Virgins™ ain't worth it and its time to seek better cover.

If you have something to add, Fire Away!

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