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The Marines

Obviously Mercenary units will have any number of organizations, Planetary Armies will be in the same boat. Organization to suit Tech Level gear and whims of commanders. But the Imperial Marines should have a definite structure. They should be organized into specific building blocks and one unit should be the same as the next. (With specialists units being the exception but still organized along the same lines.) TA#6 had an interesting implication as did Book 4, Mercenary, that is the Imperial Marines is primarily a Light Infantry force. (In book 4 it took cross training to be either Artillery or Armor and the only vehicle in TA#6 mentioned as being used by the Marines was a fast attack craft. That means, to me, some IFVs and Armor but not much and used for specialized preplanned purposes. Mostly drawing their support from Fleet Guns and Fighters instead of having their own Artillery and Armor. Though they would tend to have their own Assault craft and Assault Craft Pilots. (Though in the tradition of the US Marine Corps I tend to give them Fighters and Fighter Pilots.) In the Tradition of Starship Troopers, Battle Dress and Drop Capsules would then be the norm for Planetary assualts, (Also in the Tradition of the Kinunir.) And my battledress troops have always also be equipped with grav belts. because mobility is extremely important in combat and if you are going to hit someone with small heavily armed and armored forces they have to be mobile. For Boarding actions Combat Armor would be more the norm. (Hard to walk in confined spaces wrapped in a Tank.) Standard weapon mix, IMTU, is Gauss Rifles with RAM grenades for the Troopers and each squad having a Pair of Fusion Gunners. Though I am torn by the size of a typical Squad or Platoon. Fusion Guns are extremely nasty, in most cases too nasty and tend to cause quite a bit of collateral damage. While there may be missions where it would be advantageous to cause great amounts of collateral damage normally that wouldn't be the case. (And if you just want to cause wanton damage why not just use orbital bombardment?)

Organization, I tend to go with 10 man squads organized as two 5 man fire teams, team leader and Squad Leader with each team having a Fusion Gun. 3 Squads equipped as above and a 4th Squad with 4 Fusion guns for support, a Platoon Leader and Platoon Sergeant would then make up a Platoon. (Giving you 42 in a Platoon.) 4 Platoons, plus a Headquarters element, usually consisting of a Commander, First Sergeant, Clerk, Supply Sergeant, Armorer, Communications Specialist, Medic and 2 Air/Rafts. Which would make a typical Company, 176. 4 Companies, a Recon Platoon, an Aid Station, a Maintanence Section, and a Headquarters Platoon, making up a Batalion. (880 troops.) 3 Batalions, a Recon Company, an Armor Batalion, (Perhaps using the Fast Attack Sleds or Fighters.) would then make up either a Regiment or Brigade depending on whether it was designed for sustained, independent operations. (Given the size of the Imperium I would think the Brigade would be more common.) 3000 would be about right. And a division would be 4 Brigades plus a Fighter Wing, Plus Assault transports, plus support, plus Armor, plus Artillery, plus engineering assets, roughly 16000, and based on size of the Imperium, generally the largest sized unit to be deployed for an operation. Anything bigger than that use the Army. (With a Division of Marines for securing Landing zones, as a striker force and mobile reserve.)

Those are my thoughts on Imperial Marines. How do Marines work in YTU?
Being a former Marine I have gone with something *similar* to what it was like when I got out.

15 man squad, effectively 3 teams, one of which contains the Sergeant, Commo, Medic, and two troopers. All have gauss rifles with ram launchers, two fusion guns per squad.

Platoons have 50 men; 3 squads and a five man command section to include the Platoon leader, Platoon Sergeant, Commo, and two marines with fusion guns.

Companies consist of four platoons, one of them being a Weapons platoon giving access to mortars, snipers, VRF Gauss guns, etc. The company would number between 155 and 205 troops depending on strength and detachments.

Battalions would have 3 companies for somewhere around 600 or so troops. Battalions would have access to gun sleds and larger mortars, along with artillery batteries.

Regiments would consist of 3 Battalions, numbering around 1800-2000 troops. Tanks are regulary assigned to these formations.

Divisions would have three regiments, so number around 6-8000 troops, depending.

All this being said, we get to confuse things with BLTs and RCTs, MAF, MAB, and other such formations. Oh, BLT = Battalion Landing Team, RCT = Regimental Combat Team, MAF = Marine Assault Force, MAB = Marine Assault Brigade. Those last two have different meanings in the real world.

Outside of the main combat troops above would be support battalions of tanks, artillery, wings of fighters and dropships, recon battalions and companies, etc.

All of them would be trained with grav chutes, grav belts, sleds, drop pods, batteldress, etc. Everyone would be a rifleman first and whatever else later.

That's how I have them set for my own games.

One interesting thought about the marines is that they might be one of the chief weapons of pirate hunters. Raiders, rebels, Vargr Corsairs, what nots, would seldom take the Imperial Navy face to face. Instead they would hide on various planets that have nasty terrain. Or bribe or otherwise persuade a local princeling to give them shelter. So the normal pirate hunting would be done by customs. But the Imperial Navy would go on regular sweeps. On these expeditions there would always be a large force of marines in case the prey escapes and takes shelter in the way described.
One idea that I've been playing around with is building a TO&E that is both a large Company or a small Battalion. The idea is that you can taylor your force size to the capabilities of your enemy. Against a well equiped and well trained force, you have a very strong company sized unit, but against a low tech level enemy, you can cover a battalion sized area with the same force.

If you take a 15 man squad as the base, you could then have the three 5 man teams each become a squad. If you double up on some of the leadership positions this becomes doable. So, have a 17 man squad of three 5 man fire teams, a Squad Leader and an Asst. SL. At Platoon level you have a Platoon Leader (senior LT) and and Asst PL (jr. LT), a Platoon Sgt and a Gunnery Sgt. When you break the teams into squads you now have enough leadership in the platoon to create a CO and XO and a PL and Platoon Sgt in each platoon.

Just a thought
I figure Marines are MOUT spcialists, whether it is a boarding asction or capturing a hostile downport.

Squad- SGT 3 Fire teams. TOE of the FT is variable, nominaly a CPL & 4 privates but practically a CPL or LCPL and 3 PVT.
2 FT are equiped as asault teams
1 FT is the support team, usually the team with the newbies. Often has a long-range weapon.
TOE Authorized: SGT, 3 CPL, 12 EM (16 total)
Actual: 12-14

Company- CAPT, (2)LT, 1st SGT, company clerk, 5 RTO, Supply Sgt, supply clerk, Tech Sgt, Armor/weapons tech, 4 medics, 2 CPL/snipers
Support Section: Gunnery SGT, 3 weapons teams (5 ea)
(4) Rifle sections
TOE Authorized: CAPT, (2) LT, (8) SGT, (17) CPL, (12) Specialists, 60 EM (100 total)
Actually: 80-85.

Battalion Team
3-5 companies amnd a support company under a MAJ or LTC. May have landing boats and attack boats attatched.
400-700 men.

Regiment 20 companies under a COL, 15 rifle companies, 4 support companiqes. Usually divided into 3 or 4 teams.
Authorized TOE 2000

Brigade Group
Under the command of a Brigadier
4 BT (usually an entire regiment with the COL taking command of the 4th BT
1-2 Attack Squadron w/ attack fighters
1-2 Landing Squadron w/ landing boats

Ship Troops: A cruiser normally carries a "short" company, a battleship 2 companies+
Originally posted by Bhoins:
Those are my thoughts on Imperial Marines. How do Marines work in YTU?
My short answer is that they bear a resemblence to current US Marine Expeditionary Units (Special Operations Capable) (MEU(SOC)) and to Heinlein's Mobile Infantry.
Good answer, if you mean the real Heinlein not the Hollywood schlock "Starship Troopers" (more like Army ground-pounders).
Originally posted by Straybow:
Good answer, if you mean the real Heinlein not the Hollywood schlock "Starship Troopers" (more like Army ground-pounders).
What movie? ;)

Yes, definitely the book, where indivdual troopers on the battlefield are a force to be reckoned with.

The other side of the coin is where the Marines do small raids, noncombatant evacuations, combat search and rescue, security missions a la a MEU(SOC).
Originally posted by Straybow:
Good answer, if you mean the real Heinlein not the Hollywood schlock "Starship Troopers" (more like Army ground-pounders).
<<twitch>> Ground pounders? The last time the US Army showed that level of ineptness was 1st Bull Run. Sherman's Army of the Tennessee could take the movie MI with muzzleloaders and bayonets.

I concur that the M.I. are very close to Imperial jump troops.
Originally posted by Straybow:
Good answer, if you mean the real Heinlein not the Hollywood schlock "Starship Troopers" (more like Army ground-pounders).
<<twitch>> Ground pounders? The last time the US Army showed that level of ineptness was 1st Bull Run. Sherman's Army of the Tennessee could take the movie MI with muzzleloaders and bayonets.

I concur that the M.I. are very close to Imperial jump troops.
I agree with the Imp Marines resembling the starship troopers of the book. As for the movie of the same name, I thought I would see troopers in armored suits, jump jets, and rocket pods, not that dirt bike pad wearing militia dregs that were on the screen.
The chicks were hot! ;) Otherwise there was absolutely no reason to watch. :( Obviously the director has an ingrained hatred for the military. Nothing else could explain making them all such idiots.

Forgive me, brothers. I meant Army ground-pounders in terms of equipment (flack vests and pulse rifles).
And of course the Marines from Aliens represent the Imperial Marines in a more 'permissive' environment.

Originally posted by Andrew Boulton:
</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Obviously the director has an ingrained hatred for the military.
He grew up in Holland during the Nazi occupation, so he's not a huge fan of fascism or militarism. </font>[/QUOTE]But the book has nothing to do with fascism, and it is militaristic because it is dealing with a military situation. If the director couldn't do it right, then he should not have done it at all.

FYI, another gaming company is going to produce a Starship Troopers RPG, mini's game and graphic book line. The minis ought to be good for Traveller, unless you are using 15mm figs.
I would like to be sure of that. The movie studio shut down Avalon Hills excellent game because it was true to the book.

The minis may be usable as militia, but I'll bet they are overpriced to feed the movie liscence. I'm not sure if I'm more upset about the money or about feeding the Studio.
Oh, the studio did that? I thought it was just because AH was on the skids (bought by Hasbro in ~2000 and shut down a year later).
Yeah, but when the Movie Studio (Fox?) bought the rights they told AH to stop selling the Starship Troopers game back in 1997.
Mongoose Publishing is the company putting out the Starship Troopers RPG, wargame and graphic novels, in case it helps. I myself am looking forward to it with some intrepidation, because while I enjoyed both the book and the movie, I also hold that the movie is a blasphemy to Robert A. Heinlein's masterpiece. It was just easier to turn off my brain and pretend that the movie was just a sci-fi flick with the same name as a cool book.

There's also a Starship Trooper II: Hero of the Federation movie coming out this year, and probably going straight to video. You can find out more on the IMDB.com website.

Pitching in a few credits,