Saturday, 11 February 2017

Legio Comitatensis

Drawing inspiration from Mailanka over at Mailanka's Musings and his very detailed loadouts as seen here from the G-verse I wanted to create my own loadouts of combatants as found in the sphere. I really like the idea and done right it can provide a lot of useful information ingame, there simply wont be any need to roll on loot tables or having to stop to sit and think of the equipment players can find on such characters. It's also helpful for the day players want to join the ranks of some organization or disguise themselves. No doubt I'd have to copy this.


The current loadout I have built is for a Martian Legionary. These guys are the Storm Troopers of my setting. The are well armored and sport big heavy (and old) guns and an array of different weapons. More importantly I do these Legionaries first because they are supposed to be the baseline for other orbital troopers or Espatiers in the setting. The other factions have broken of from the aging Regnum Mars but they have still learned most of their tricks from Mars and its military.

The core principle behind the Espatiers is survivability in his book Robert Heinlein played with the idea of invasions across the vastness of space. He made the observation that such invasions would rely on a select few elite troops that are able to dish out a lot of pain. The problem with huge numbers of troops is that they demand a lot of logistics: Food, water and life support. The more food, water and life support you bring the less bombs, bullets and guns the same spaceship can bring. Not to mention the mass of the spaceship will go up exponentially. Heinlein himself went for mecha troopers as the solution, mecha troopers with nuclear missiles and very, very big guns. While I'm not that big a fan of the book it does make some very interesting points on how to build a planetary invasion force and I want to use some of those observations myself.

However Regnum Mars is supposed to be under very different circumstances than the Federation in Starship Troopers face. First of Regnum Mars never encountered any aliens. It was just a bunch of dead planets lying out there and waiting. So these Starship Troopers style invasions were never necesary. The defining moment in Martian military history was taking control of Earth orbit and using the gravity gauge to threaten Earth governments into submission and whenever rebellions have happened it has all been about securing orbit and moving in under tactical and strategic superiority to destroy rebels and dismantle their leadership. Some similar things can be found in this scenario, Mars has no need of huge amounts of dudes with guns running screaming at the enemy while holding in the trigger and instead like SST rely on a few elite soldiers to do the job efficiently. Due to this history of having to fight on non-terraformed worlds with potentially toxic athmospheres they will need armors capable of also protecting against any environment and provide air in orbit where they also risk fighting.

With me settling on a Roman theme for Regnum Mars I figured that heavy infantry that could conquer anything and be peacekeepers would be the Legionaries of Rome. But I also wanted it to be a failing late Rome rather than the ancient powerhouse. I thus named them Legio Comitatensis after the failing late Roman units of the same name. I made them corrupt and ineffecient to reflect how the empires politics are also locked in the same mindset and corruption is rampant. Without further ado here is the Legio Comes and his loadout. Including flavor text. 

Martian legionary
Martian Legio Comitatensis were and arguably are the backbone of martian military power, they are trained to operate in assaults both on the ground and in space. They are the offensive troopers of Mars and are trained to operate in small groups against greater numbers. They rely on individual initiative and bravery.

The armor provides life support and protection and a small amount of aid in targetting. The gun is powerful, even if antiquated and its underbarrel grenade launcher provides the legionary with a number of options in combat.

Legio Comitatensis means companion soldiers and one of their main tasks are to bodyguard important officials. Legio I: Sons of Mars is the famed bodyguard of the emperor himself and many emperors have originally been lords in Legio I. 

Companions of The Emperor
The legionaries of Regnum Mars are drawn from the richest and most athletic of martian people. No expense is spared when it comes to equiping the legions of Mars. This is probably the result of corrupt nobles and that many Legio Comes officers also are politicians (often in some of highest posts). However the Legio Comes of Mars suffer from antiquated equipment as the same nobles who ensure their cashflow, also hold the contracts to their equipment. Legio Comes are expected to carry out any task and under any circumstances as dictated by the empire. From planetary landings to boarding spaceships and stations.

Most legionaries are nobles and its high commands are often of blood related. The politicians are often also legionaries themselves. The result is that the legions rarely ever end up in active combat and when they do they are often at a disadvantage due to inexperience. Fewer and fewer actual invasions and military expeditions are carried out by Regnum Mars. Effectively the Legio Comitatensis has become parade troops and bodyguards of the elite. This renders the Legio Comitatensis an expense to the empire. Due to their high positions its also impossible for the empire to be rid of this expense and often the emperor is surrounded by Legio Comitatensis. From an administrative point these troops are Legio Comes and classed as Protectores Domestici. Which clears them for bodyguard duty in lieu of actual combat.

There also exists Legionaries who believe in virtue and honor and actually protecting mankind however these are often so few in number and spread among so many different legions that they never have any real impact. 

Formations
A squad is the minimal combat unit that the Legio Comes will present to the enemy. Any group that is smaller than a Squad will not engage and instead retreat. Note that all parts of the squad need not fight, it is reasonable for one team to engage and one to focus on the objective.

Legio Comitatensis operate in squads of 9 where each fire team is composed of 4 Legionaries and an attached squad leader.
Of this fire team 3 are specialists: 1 man is a Medicus, 1 man is an anti-armor specialist and a third carries a SAW instead of his regular Storm Rifle. The fourth Legionary will act as a loader for the SAW or missile launcher while carrying extra ammo for both. A Sergeant will accompany 1 fireteam bringing it up to 5 men.

Platoons consist of 3 squads and are led by a lieutenant often this lieutenant will be assisted by the most senior Sergeant of the squads who will be accompanied by his fire team. Effectively this forms a command squad of 10 men. 

Tactics
Legio Comitatensis are equipped to operate for 24 hours before needing resupply. If resupply is not possible they will need to scavenge or they will lose environmental protection and be forced to abandon their suit. This means death in hostile environments. As well as power cells they will need provisions and ammunition. They however only need very little water. The Legionary and his gear is from an age of Martian dominance an era where Mars ruled supreme. Mars have never moved on from this golden age and the Legionary shows this in his loadout. He operates on the assumption that Mars has total tactical superiority, Mars no longer has this and the Legionaries are effectively defense troops deployed to defend the Martian elites interests.

Legionaries will try to shoot the enemy from a distance to gradually wear them down. Often legionary squads will divide in two with one group flanking the enemy. Most Legionaries will not employ complex strategies and will go for simple and intuitive maneuvers.

If engaged by a superior force the Legionaries will make a fighting retreat to the safest position possible. If possible injured Legionaries will be recovered along the way. Dead Legionaries are left behind.

If engaging an inferior foe they will shout patriotic jargon while mercilessly advancing. Flanking tactics will still be applied. In some cases they may engage in melee, most often to be able to brag of bravery later.

Virtuous Legionaries might spare brave opponents or in extreme cases hold the rear for their escaping comrades. They may even accept challenges to one on one combat. The will usually never be anything beyond NCOs. 

Wargear:

Legionary armor: [Grand total: 66.95 lbs]
    Space armor, 45 lbs (p. UT179) [Total wgt: 50.7 lbs]
        biomedical sensors, 0.2 lbs (p. UT187)
        Magnetized plates, 0.5 lbs (p. UT188)
        Waste relief system, 2 lbs
        Trauma maintenance (p. 189)
        Desert environmental system, 2 lbs (p. UT189)
    Webbing: [Total wgt: 8.25 lbs]
        Web gear, 3 lbs (p. HT 54)
            2x bandage spray can, 1 lbs (p. UT197)
            1x first aid kit, 2 lbs (p. UT198)
            3x Food paste rations, 2.25 lbs (p. UT73)
            10x Suit patches, 1 lbs (p. UT188)
    Space combat helmet, head, 7 lbs (p. UT180) [Total wgt: 8 lbs]
        infrared visor (p. UT61)
        hearing protection (p. UT171)
        small radio (p. UT44),
        Provisions dispenser, 1 lbs (p. UT188)
        HUD (p. UT24)
        Near miss indicator (p. UT188)
        Tacnet (p. UT149)
        Targeting (p. UT149)
    Lower body exoskeleton (p. UT181)
Power pack: [Grand total: 23.1530 lbs]
    Small backpack, 3 lbs (p. HT54)
        1 large air tanks, 10 lbs (p. UT177)
        2 D cells, 10 lbs (Power cells, p. UT19)
        3 B cells, 0.15 lbs
        4 A cells, 0.0015 lbs

Note that the Legionary package weighs 66.95 lbs and includes a lower body exoskeleton. This subtracts 70 from the weight when counting encumbrance. Effectively the user gains an additional 3.05 lbs to his carrying capacity while the exoskeleton is powered. This package does not detail weapons and specialist gear which is on the next page.

While wearing the legionary armor and its helmet the user has the following abilities:
Can survive in vacuum for 36 hours.
Additional 3.05 lbs to characters encumbrance limit.
Protection against loud noises as per protected sense p. B78.
10 mile radio communication range.
Thermal imaging lets the user see via heat vision.


Rifleman loadout: [Grand total: 34.865 lbs]
    Storm rifle 10 lbs B cell, [Total wgt: 13.015 lbs]
        4 accesory rails, 0.8 lbs (p. UT150)
            Compact Targeting Scope, 0.5 lbs, (p. UT149)
                A cell, 0.0005 lbs 100 hours
            Smartgun electronics (p. UT149)
                B cell, 0.05 lbs
            Mini flashlight 0.25 lbs (p. UT174)
                B cell, 0.05 lbs 24 hours
            25mm Underbarrel Grenade launcher, 1.5 lbs
    Ammo satchel [Total wgt: 17.8 lbs]:
        Waist satchel, 1 lbs (p. HT54)
            10mm CLR APEP ammo, 8 magazines of 12 shots. 9.6 lbs
            25mm HE x3, 2.4 lbs
            25mm Flare x3, 2.4 lbs
            25mm Tangler x3, 2.4 lbs
    Longsword (monowire) 4lbs [Total wgt: 4 lbs] (p. UT163 + LT55)

Specialist loadouts
These specialist loadouts are added to any legionary after his regular gear has been accounted for. The only exception is the SAW loadout which replaces the Storm Rifle with the Storm Chaingun.

 SAW loadout: [Grand total: 57.5 lbs]
    Storm chaingun, 20 lbs, [Total: 20.5 lbs]
        Compact Targeting Scope, 0.5 lbs, (p.149)    A/100
    Ammo backpack: [Total: 37 lbs]
        Backpack, small, 3 lbs (p. HT54)
            10mm CLR APEP ammo, 6 magazines of 60 shots. 36 lbs.
      

Anti-armor loadout: [Grand total: 13 lbs]
    IML 64mm 4 lbs (p. 145-146) [Total: 4 lbs]
    Ammo satchel: [Total: 9 lbs]
        Waist satchel, 1 lbs (p. HT54)
            HE x1, 2 lbs
            Shaped charge x3, 6 lbs

Loader loadout:
    Ammo satchel: [Grand total: 49.4 lbs]
        Backpack, small, 3 lbs (p. HT54)
            64mm HE x1, 2 lbs
            64mm Shaped charge x3, 6 lbs
            10mm CLR APEP ammo, 2 magazines of 12 shots. 2.4 lbs
            10mm CLR APEP ammo, 6 magazines of 60 shots. 36 lbs.

Medicus loadout:
    Medical satchel: [Grand total: 19.1 lbs]
        Backpack, small, 3 lbs (p. HT54)
            Neural inhibitor, 0.1 lbs (p. UT201)
            Medical supplies, 5 lbs. (p. UT199)
            Crash kit, 10 lbs. (p. UT198)
            2x bandage spray can, 1 lbs. (p. UT197)

Through these loadouts a fireteam or squad will be able to present a decent array of weapons in combat and deal pretty well with groups of foes. Their main strength is their suitability, their armor will take a lot of fire before they are incapacitated add to this good cover and targeting and it will take a lot of effort to bring down a group of Martian Legionaries. I would also like to credit TheCommaBandit for providing inspiration, some proofreading and actually listening to my inane sci-fi speculation.

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