Combat Mission: Shock Force MARINES Module Manual
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Combat Mission Shock Force: Marines is in no way affiliated with - nor endorsed by - the United States Marine Corps
Introduction Welcome to the first Module designed for the Combat Mission: Shock Force environment. The purpose of this Supplement is to describe the elements unique to the Marines Module which are not found in the main game manual. Since the game itself plays exactly the same for all customers, no matter what Modules they do or do not have, the main game manual is still the primary source of information about how the game itself works. Therefore, the bulk of this Supplement covers the units contained within the Marines Module and, to some extent, tips and techniques for using them.
Installation Installation from disc In order to install the game, insert the game disc. The Combat Mission: Shock Force Installation Menu should appear if you have CD Autostart enabled on your computer. Click on the “Install Game” option to begin the installation process. If you have CD Autostart disabled, or if the Installation Menu does not appear, please browse the contents of the disc and simply double-click on the file called “CMSF_Marines_Setup.exe” or “autorun.exe”. That will manually launch the game installer.
Installation for Download version After you have successfully downloaded the Combat Mission: Shock Force - Marines download file (filename CMSF_Marines_Setup.exe), copy this file to a temporary folder (or anywhere on your hard drive) and then doubleclick on it to launch the installer. Note: downloads from www.battlefront.com are limited to 365 days or 10 downloads. It may be a good idea to keep the file(s) you downloaded and make a backup copy to CD/DVD, USB stick, etc. Or, of course, you can simply order the “download&hardgoods” delivery option right away, which will give you an original CD as backup.
License Overview Combat Mission: Shock Force is protected by an online activation system called “eLicense”. eLicense is a tool to restrict the illegal distribution of the software without being annoying or intrusive to the legitimate customer. Details about how to license and unlicense your Battlefront games can be found in the CMSF Manual. With each license key, you can have up to two copies of the game installed and active (licensed) at the same time. If you would like to install and activate on a third computer, you need to first unlicense the game on one of the previously installed PCs. Note: Unlicensing and uninstalling the game are two different things!
There is no limit as to how often you can unlicense and relicense games. The key never expires, provided that you do not forget to unlicense unused games. For more information about how licensing works, please visit: www.battlefront.com/faq
Modules Modules are not standalone games! They require the base game (in this case, Combat Mission Shock Force) to play. It is therefore VERY IMPORTANT to install the Module in the correct location, i.e. inside the previously installed CMSF base game directory. Note: if you purchased the bundle, then this is taken care of automatically during installation of course!
The installer will try to find out where the base game is installed automatically and suggest the correct location, but this may not always work 100% correctly, especially if you didn’t use the default installation paths, or if you have a non-Battlefront localized version of CMSF. Please doublecheck your installation folder therefore BEFORE installing the Module (the Installer Menu will remind you of that). If you have a non-Battlefront version of the base game which requires the CD to be in drive in order to play, then by
installing the Marines Module this will no longer be required. After you have the Marines Module installed, you will never need to patch the base game of CMSF separately any more. All future Marines Module patches will also include the corresponding patch to the base game of CMSF already (if any). The Installation program adds a number of useful links into your Windows Start>Programs group by default, such as:
Direct link to the PDF manual If you purchased the Download Only version then the game documentation is included as an Adobe PDF (Adobe Reader required from www.adobe.com) file, and it can be accessed quickly from here.
UNLICENSE link This is a quick way to manually unlicense your game before uninstalling (or e.g. before making any major modifications to your PC).
Version Check link This is a quick way to check for updates online. The link is pre-coded to know which version of the game you have installed, and will automatically inform you if any patches or updates for your specific game combination are available.
Tactical Considerations New units mean new things to take into account when forming and executing your battle plans. While the fundamentals of combat remain largely unchanged, the new units require adjustments regarding how operational and tactical problems are dealt with. This section gives players some things to keep in mind as they learn the pros and cons of the units unique to the Marines Module, as well as how best to use them with the forces found in the main CM:SF game.
General Tactical Tips Firepower is king in modern warfare. Use it well and the enemy will crumble before you, use it poorly and you’ll quickly find your casualties mounting quickly. The Marines, in particular, have a massive amount of firepower at their disposal. This is something for both sides to keep in mind! Generally the attacking player has enough time to proceed at a slow to medium pace. If the time is available, use it. Remember, the more you degrade the enemy’s forces at a distance with massed firepower, the easier it is to get in and take your objectives. Put another way, a half hour of saturated fire on enemy positions may save you an hour of difficult and costly close combat. Armored vehicles are vulnerable to a wide range of weapons, many of which are carried by regular infantry. Forgetting this is sure to produce excessive friendly casualties. Have your armor follow your infantry from covered position to covered position along the cleared routes. If done correctly, the only enemies capable of engaging your armor will be those that your infantry is already engaging, which hopefully will be suppressed or at least distracted so your armor can dispatch them without significant risk. Remember that you have a wide range of armored vehicles in terms of offensive and defensive capabilities. Above all, remember that light and medium armored vehicles such as AAVs and BMP-3s, are NOT tanks. Defensively, they generally can be destroyed by a first hit from any significant infantry or vehicle weapon system. Second chances are rare! Tanks, on the other hand, can often shrug off
small to medium hits at least once. Hits from other tanks, however, are usually fatal. The best way to avoid being destroyed is to avoid being shot at. Sounds simple, but on the battlefield only a gifted tactician can consistently keep his armor from harm without diminishing its contribution towards victory. If a unit doesn’t appear to be doing anything productive, and yet isn’t needed/optimal for the primary mission, have it perform a secondary role to guard against the unknown. Guarding flanks, providing overwatch, and acting as a reserve may not seem an exciting use of a particular unit, however it sometimes happens that such “boring” assignments prevent potential success from turning into failure. Conversely, when attacking one should never assume that all the enemy’s forces are identified even after an hour of intense combat. An improper, hasty maneuver towards the end of a battle can still turn into a victory squashing disaster. Heavy support fire from artillery and aircraft can turn the tide of a battle in the right direction if used correctly or the wrong direction if not! Get to know your Support Assets and learn how to use them effectively as quickly as possible. Misusing Support Assets is a quick way to undermine your chances of victory. If you don’t understand the range of options you’ll be less likely to form and execute an optimal plan! For example, often the best course of action is to hold off from doing anything major while a Support Mission is getting under way. Moving too soon may lead to unnecessary casualties and/or delays and moving in too close may mean getting hit by friendly fire. Conversely, moving in as a mission ends might catch the enemy completely disorganized, demoralized, or otherwise incapacitated. Smoke can be both your best friend or your worst enemy. Defensive smoke can lessen the chances of an enemy engaging you, but it also may reduce your chances to put down effective covering fire. Units that have access to thermal aiming/observation devices can see through most smoke, at least to some degree, which means that popping smoke can sometimes blind your unit and yet do nothing to blind the enemy. Also, do not presume that smoke will stay where you want it to! Wind, time, and other conditions affect the location, direction of movement,
and effectiveness very quickly. Expect only a few seconds of optimal screening from smoke unless quite a lot of it is used.
Coalition United States Marine Corps United States Marine Corps Armor
United States Marine Corps Infantry
The Big Difference What makes the Marines different, in game terms, from all other forces within CM:SF? The answer is very simple: the Marines Rifle Platoon. The Marines Rifle Platoon is by far the largest, most heavily armed infantry element in the game. Each Squad has 13 men compared to the more typical 7-9 found in other US and Syrian formations. In simple terms this effectively gives the Marines an extra Squad’s worth of infantry per Platoon and an extra Platoon per Rifle Company. Not only are there more Marines when comparing formations, but they are also heavier in firepower. The Rifle Team Leaders each have a dedicated multi-barrel 40mm grenade launcher, for example. Almost all Marines are armed with the M16 which extends their “reach out and touch” rifle range considerably over other forces. Instead of having a squad AT capability like the US Army and Syrians, the Marines have their guided (Javelin) and unguided (SMAW) missile systems in the hands of dedicated crews. This means that a Rifle Platoon not only has more riflemen in the line in absolute terms, but also in relative terms because none of them have to pull double duty as AT hunters. Not that the Marines don’t haul around a bunch of AT4 and M72A3 missiles just in case, because they most definitely do!
Field Organization The Marines organize their forces using a very flexible “task oriented” doctrine. The basic TO&E (Tables of Organization and Equipment) is used more for non-combat and logistics purposes than combat assignments. While it is true that the majority of Marine TO&E is maintained in the field, there are some regular instances where reality and theory differ. Because of this, and with the “blessings” (more like insistence!) of our Marines testers, we have made several significant changes to the standard Marines TO&E. The two major changes we made are as follows: 1. There is no Infantry Battalion Weapons Company. Instead the dismounted assets of the Weapons Company are already task assigned to the Rifle Companies. The Humvees, on the other hand, are reorganized into a Combined AntiArmor Team (CAAT) platoon, which is discussed in more detail below. This gives a more realistic feel to the organization as a whole. It also greatly simplifies purchase decisions since the plethora of small support units are already integrated into the large formations they would normally be attached to. 2. The Marines Expeditionary Unit (MEU) exists as an organic force. A MEU is a large and complex force which has units from nearly all of the Marines’ specialized formations. It would be very difficult for a player to create one of these on the fly without extensive knowledge of how the MEUs are organized. Even then, the effort needed to create one in the game would be significant. Therefore, we’ve created a typical MEU for players to utilize. Note that the MEU most likely needs to be downsized for most scenarios by selecting a MEU and removing portions that are deemed excessive for the task in hand.
The Combined Anti-Tank Team (CAAT) It is safe to say that the Marines love to wield overwhelming firepower against their adversaries. It is also clear that the Marines have a special love for combined arms superiority. The CAAT is a theoretically ad-hoc force organized from the Infantry Battalion’s Weapons Company vehicles, which are armed with M2 .50cal MGs, Mk19 40mm Grenade Launchers, and TOW-2 ATGMs. The concept is built around Teams of Humvees armed with one M2 and one TOW. Two such Teams equal a Squad, which is led by a
senior NCO in a Humvee armed with a Mk19. Three Squads are in turn commanded by an officer in a Humvee with a Mk19. In combat each Team operates as a single entity, with the M2 providing protection against light targets and the TOW against heavier ones. The Squad Leader, with his Mk19, supports whichever Team needs additional firepower. The Mk19 also provides cover fire while the M2 and TOW Humvees break contact with the enemy. Because Humvees are very lightly armored, the CAAT relies on speed and firepower in order to overcome its inherent defensive weaknesses. When used correctly for recon, screening, and mobile fire support purposes, the CAAT is extremely capable and can be quite deadly. Thinking a CAAT force is capable of going toe to toe with a mechanized or heavily entrenched defender is not a good idea!
The Marines Expeditionary Unit (MEU) The MEU has just about everything in it except for the kitchen sink (if a sink had a gun on it, I’m sure it would be included too!). There are LAVs for recon, armed Humvees for various hit-and-run assignments, Abrams tanks for heavy killing power, Marines galore mounted in tracked AAV personnel carriers, Snipers, Engineers, attack aircraft, forward air controllers, artillery forward observers, and of course lots of artillery and mortars. This large and diverse force is roughly the size of one and a half battalions, though with a far more diverse range of capabilities than any single formation could ever hope to have. It should be obvious that the main purpose of packing all these units together is to give the commander on the ground the widest possible range of options when tackling specific tasks. Sometimes an armor heavy force is used with infantry playing a supporting role, while other times an infantry-centric force deploys with very little armored support. From a scenario standpoint that means not every single thing assigned to a MEU needs to be included to have a realistic force mix. Rather, each scenario should have Marine forces picked specifically, and intelligently, for the nature and character of the mission at hand. Note that each MEU usually has six AV-8B Harriers and six AH-1W Super Cobra attack helicopters assigned to it, yet these are not included in the MEU formation within the game.
They aren’t included simply because each has different weapons configurations and it should be left to the scenario designers to choose which ones are appropriate for their scenarios. Therefore, when MEUs are used it should be common for Harriers and Super Cobras to be available for support.
AAVs and MTVRs It is important to make sure there are not too many AAVs and/or MTVRs proportional to infantry units found in a scenario. From a passenger capacity standpoint the two vehicles are nearly identical, so it is helpful to think of them as interchangeable in terms of how much infantry they can hold. Each Marines Rifle Company can fit into an AAV/ MTVR Platoon, which means the typical scenario should not have more than one platoon of transport. Note that it is possible to purchase the AAVs in Company strength, which is enough capacity to move an entire Marines Infantry Battalion.
Antiarmor (Javelin) Teams Unlike the US Army, which gives out Javelins like lollipops, a Marines Infantry Battalion has a total of eight Javelins available to it. To put that into perspective, eight Javelins is what two Stryker Rifle Platoons carry! Because of the limited number, the Javelins are assigned to dedicated two man Anti-armor Teams, making them the only users of the weapon. Additionally, these Teams have no organically assigned transport. What this means is that you will not find Javelin CLUs stowed in any Marine vehicle for general use.
Assault Squads Each Rifle Platoon has a dedicated Assault Squad of two SMAW Teams each. Think of the Assault Squad as a general purpose demolition unit. Not only are they armed with the powerful SMAW rocket launcher, they also carry some C4 explosives with them as well. The Assault Squad is best used split into Teams, with one up front with the Rifle Squad on point and the second with the supporting Squad. The Assault Squads more than make up for the shortage of Javelins, as you will find out once you become comfortable with how to use them.
Sniper Squads Snipers are organized into Squads, but they should always be split into Teams at the earliest possible opportunity. Snipers are best used to cover very large geographical areas from the most advantageous firing positions possible. On the attack, they are best used to keep an eye on flanks or to silence distant enemy heavy weapons teams. In the defensive they are also good for covering flanks, but are also exceptionally good at causing casualties on an attacking force which is not using cover well. Snipers don’t mind a target rich environment, however they have limited ammo and can be taken out quickly if they stay in one place too long. It is best to have close by alternative firing positions in mind when deploying Snipers.
Heavy Weapons Platoons It is possible to purchase Heavy Machinegun (M2 and Mk19), Antitank (TOW), and Antiarmor (Javelin) Platoons in their real world organic form instead of having them parceled out as part of an Infantry Battalion or MEU (which, by default, they are already). The HMG Platoon consists of two HMG Squads and one Grenade Launcher Squad, the TOW Platoon has four Squads with two TOW launchers each, the Anti-Armor Platoon has a total of eight Javelin launchers organized into 8 Teams. As a rule it is best to have the Heavy Weapons Squads split into Teams at the earliest possible opportunity and to keep in mind that they tend to move very slowly at great cost to physical condition (Javelins much less so than the others). Therefore, it is best to think of good starting positions that are likely to be relevant for the entire game or to have transport made available to them. NOTE - if any of these Platoons are used, then the corresponding units in an Infantry Battalion or MEU, if present, should be deleted. The Heavy Machinegun and Antitank Platoon units are all in the CAAT Platoon, while the Javelins are sprinkled throughout the various infantry formations. Since these are Battalion level assets, it is very unlikely that a CM sized battle would see more than one Battalion’s worth of these weapons.
Marines Vehicle and Weapons Details Note that the Marines use a large amount of equipment common to the US Army. Instead of repeating the documentation for the US Army weaponry, the following sections cover only those things new and unique to the Marines.
M1A1 Abrams FEP The Marines made a decision to upgrade their existing M1A1 Heavy Common (HC) Abrams instead of replacing them with current Army models, such as the M1A2 series. The Firepower Enhancement Program (FEP) brings capabilities to the fire control systems similar to those available on the US Army’s M1A2 SEP model of Abrams. Second generation FLIR, Far Target Locator (FTL), integrated GPS navigation, laser range finder, and other enhancements to aid gunnery make the Marines Abrams FEP a formidable weapon on the battlefield. The M1A1 HC is still found in the field as upgrading progresses.
The Light Armored Vehicle (LAV) Family Long before the US Army started its Stryker program, the Marines integrated wheeled armor into their basic combat forces. Specifically, the LAVs are found in the Marines Light Armored Reconnaissance (LAR) Company. Like the Strykers, the LAVs are based on the Swiss Piranha 8x8 light armored vehicle. There are three primary LAV variants in CM:SF Marines: LAV-25, LAV-AT, and LAV-C2. All three variants have recently been upgraded to “A2” standards, which includes better armor, suspension, and targeting systems. The A2s are the standard model used in CM:SF, however the older versions can be selected as well.
The primary model is the LAV-25. It ‘s armed with a M242 25mm chain gun and crewed by three Marines. Its primary role is to provide transportation and fire support for a four man recon team which rides in the back.
The LAV-AT is an anti-tank version equipped with TOW-2 wire guided anti-tank missiles. The two launch tubes offer it the ability to engage a target and still have another shot at the ready without reloading. It has a crew of four Marines, with the fourth being a dedicated loader.
The lightest armed of the three LAVs is the LAV-C2, armed only with a M240 machinegun. The primary purpose of this vehicle is to observe and direct the actions of the LAVs under its command. It is crewed by three Marines with room for two more in the rear. Generally only the Company HQ rides in a LAV-C2.
Assault Amphibian Vehicle (AAV) Family The AAVP-7A1 (personnel) and AAVC-7A1 (command) vehicles are the Marines’ primary armored fighting vehicle for their Rifle Platoons. Over the years the Marines have been transforming from a predominantly water borne assault force to one that is expected to conduct operations well inland of the sea. As a result, the AAV was designed to be far more similar to a traditional armored fighting vehicle, unlike the previous vehicles used which were designed more for their abilities to get to shore than to fight inland. Of all the AAV’s features, the most notable for players is its massive size and corresponding passenger capacity. Measuring just shy of 8m in length, the standard AAVP-7A1 can carry about four times as many combat equipped soldiers (25) as the Army’s Bradley IFV. This large capacity allows the Marines to transport its combat forces in far fewer vehicles than a similar sized Army force. Additionally, the per vehicle capacity is about the same as the 6x6 MTVR truck, which makes the logistics of moving forces around by different transport easier to plan and execute. The small turret at the front of the vehicle has both a 40mm Mk19 Grenade Launcher and a co-ax mounted M2 .50 caliber machine gun. The combination gives the AAV quite a punch against enemy infantry and lightly armored targets. The Mk19s provide excellent suppressive capabilities while dismounted Marines move into better
combat positions. Although the AAV is armed with significant weaponry, it must be remembered that its armor is fairly light. Although it has reactive armor (ERA) on top of 45mm of steel plating, in battle it can only safely shrug off hits from small arms and light shell fragments. It has the ability to defeat some RPG rounds, however it depends heavily on the type of RPG round and the circumstances of a hit. What this means is that the AAV should be treated as an infantry support vehicle, like the US Army’s Stryker, rather than an infantry fighting vehicle, such as the Army’s Bradley. The AAVs are not organically assigned to any infantry formation. Instead, they are held by higher commands and task assigned to carry Marines based on the mission at hand. This is very different from the Army’s Stryker and Bradley vehicles. A single AAV Platoon is capable of carrying a Marines Rifle Company, while an AAV Company can carry an entire Marines Infantry Battalion.
The Command variant of the AAV-7A1, the AAVC-7A1, is designed to transport the Battalion HQ element of a Marines Infantry Battalion. The vehicle is loaded with a variety of high tech communications and planning gear at the expense of passenger and fighting capabilities. Instead of the AAVP’s 25-passenger capacity and turreted weapons systems, the AAVC can accommodate only 10 passengers and has fixed weapon mounts.
AAVs come with a mix of infantry weapons and ammunition, such as small arms rounds, M136 (AT4) rockets, etc. One thing they do not not come with are Javelin CLUs. The reason is that Marine Javelins are carried by dedicated crews instead of being stowed for general purpose use.
Mk23 Medium Tactical Vehicle Replacement (MTVR) In order to simplify logistics the Marines standardized on one family of medium trucks to perform the bulk of their tactical needs. Because Marines Rifle Battalions do not have organic motor transport, the same Mk23 MTVR might find itself hauling food in the morning, a M777 155mm Howitzer in the afternoon, and a bunch of grumbling Marines in the evening! With a maximum off-road payload of 7 tons (15 tons on-
road) it is capable of performing all these missions and more. There are two versions of the MTVR in CM:SF: standard and armored. The armored version allows the Mk23 to protect its cargo, be it supplies or Marines, from light small arms fire. A dedicated gunner is part of the standard vehicle crew of three Marines. The gunner mans a ring mounted M240 machinegun on top of the truck’s cab. The MTVR is capable of transporting around 25 fully loaded Marines.
M1046 TOW HMMWV For light, mobile anti-tank capabilities the Marines utilize a TOW-2 launcher on a standard HMMWV platform. This provides Marines with a very light, maneuverable, fast, and easy to maintain tank busting capability. They are primarily used alongside the M2 heavy machinegun and Mk19 Grenade Launcher armed HMMWVs of the CAAT Platoon (see previous section for details). In theory, each Infantry Battalion has eight of these vehicles, but in reality two have their TOW launchers swapped out for Mk19s or M2s in order to supply the CAAT Platoon with the correct balance of vehicles.
MARINES AIR ASSETS F/A-18C/D Hornet The standard multi-purpose fixed wing support aircraft for the Marines is the carrier based Hornet. It is capable of carrying a wide array of missiles and bombs designed for all types of ground targets. Advanced sensors and guidance systems allow Hornets to get in close and hit hard.
AV-8B Harrier Harriers are never far away from Marines because they can be launched from just about anywhere, be it a mid sized ship or a small patch of unimproved ground. Like the F/A-18, the Harrier has a wide array of weapons capable of taking on any enemy force in any terrain at any time of day or night. Unlike the F/A-18, the Harrier has a 25mm gun pod which it can use to strafe enemy positions.
AH-1W Super Cobra The Cobra got its start during the Vietnam War and has subsequently been upgraded over the years to remain the backbone of the Marines’ ground attack capability. Its primary weapon is its 20mm three barreled gatling gun. It can also be outfitted with 2.75 inch “Hydra” and 5 inch “Zuni” unguided rockets for area suppression. For precision attacks, the Super Cobra can be outfitted with Hellfire missiles, which are one of the most accurate weapons in the US military arsenal.
MARINES WEAPONS M16A4 This is the standard rifle of the Marine Corps and will be for many years into the future. It is an improved version of the Vietnam era design in terms of reliability and functionality. It fires the standard 5.56mm x 45mm round accurately up to 300m and for suppressive fire up to 500m. This gives the M16A4 about double the effective range of the M4A1. It can fire single rounds or three round bursts.
M32 Multiple Grenade Launcher (MGL) Traditionally the Rifle Team Leader was armed with a M16 and a 40mm M203 grenade launcher. Starting in 2006, the Marines began adopting this stand-alone shoulder fired 40mm grenade launcher as a replacement for the M203. The M32 fires the “Hellhound” High Explosive Dual Purpose (HEDP) and “Draco” Thremobaric rounds with a sustainable rate of fire of 18 rounds/minute. The lighter M4 rifle is also carried in place of the heavier and bulkier M16A4.
M16A4 Rifle w/M203 Grenade Launcher Some soldiers are still equipped with the older single shot M203 40mm Grenade
Launcher instead of the M32 MGL because of weight and bulk issues, though they use the same exact grenades. M203s are most commonly seen in the LAR Platoon and as a support weapon for Snipers. The M203 fires the M406 High Explosive (HE) and M433 High Explosive Dual Purpose (HEDP) rounds.
M240G Machine Gun The standard Medium Machine Gun (MMG) of US ground forces fires the NATO standard 7.62mm round. It is effective against point targets at 800m and can suppress targets out to about 1800m. Functionally is the same as the US Army’s M240B MMG.
M82A3 Special Application Scoped Rifle (SASR) Almost identical to the Army’s M107, the M82A3 is a 10 shot semi-automatic .50 caliber “anti-material” sniper rifle. The large caliber assures the sniper that a hit will equal a kill against soft targets. It is also very effective against lightly armored vehicles. It has a maximum range of about 2000m, though it is more likely to hit targets consistently under 1500m. The differences between the Army’s M107 are very minor and not performance related.
M40A3 Sniper Rifle The M40A3 is an improved version of the M40 which has been in service with USMC snipers since 1966. It is a single shot, bolt action rifle system which fires a special load 7.62mm round. Combined with a high powered scope, the M40A3 has an effective range of about 1000m.
M2HB Heavy Machine Gun The oldest weapon in the US inventory, the M2 (or “Ma Deuce” as it is called by soldiers) .50 cal HMG can trace its origins back 90 years. It’s primary use is on vehicles as a means of offering anti-personnel and light anti-armor capabilities. The M2 can tear into most light and medium armored vehicles, buildings, and many other forms of light/medium cover without difficulty. While normally mounted on vehicles, the M2 can be mounted on a tripod and fired from ground positions. It is very heavy and difficult to redeploy, so when used in a ground role it is effectively a static weapon much of the time. The Marines Heavy Machinegun Platoon uses its M2s in the ground role when not mounted on Humvees as part of a CAAT Platoon.
Shoulder-launched Multipurpose Assault Weapon (SMAW) The SMAW is a reloadable crew served rocket launcher, similar in concept to the WW2 Bazooka or modern day RPG-7V. It is a light weight launch system which can fire three different types of 83mm rockets: Mk3 High Explosive Dual Purpose (HEDP), Mk6 High Explosive Anti-Armor (HEAA), and Mk80 Novel Explosive (NE). The latter rocket type is a new thermobaric round which increases lethality within confined spaces. The SMAW is capable of defeating most hardened targets, be it a concrete bunker or an armored vehicle. It has a maximum effective range of about 500m, but is most effective in the 150-250m range.
Mk19 Grenade Launcher (Dismounted) Although generally used mounted on vehicles, the Mk19 can be dismounted and used on a tripod for static defensive fire. It uses a 40mm M430 HEDP (High Explosive Dual Purpose) grenade which is much more powerful than the HEDP rounds used by the M32 and M203 launchers. The extra power gives the Mk19 a fairly long range (effective out to about 1500m) and excellent lethality. A single round can kill anything within a 5m radius and wound out to 15m. It is also capable of destroying light and medium armored vehicles and bunkers, while having a decent chance of damaging heavier armor’s more vulnerable components. Because of its size and ammo weight, the dismounted Mk19 should either be left where it starts or relocated using motorized transport.
BGM-71 Tube-launched, Optically-tracked, Wire-guided 2 (TOW 2) The TOW 2 heavy ATGM system is capable of destroying any vehicle, including those with Explosive Reactive Armor (ERA) at a range of about 3500m. Usually the TOW 2 launch system is found on a HMMWV, however like the Mk19 it can be dismounted and used on a tripod. Unlike the more portable Javelin ATGM system, the TOW 2 requires continuous LOS to the target during the missile’s flight. Because of its size and ammo weight the dismounted Mk19 should either be left where it starts or relocated using motorized transport.
M72A3 Light Anti-Tank Weapon (LAW) A one shot, disposable 66mm dual purpose anti-tank and anti-personnel shoulder fired rocket. Originally used in Vietnam, this weapon system was replaced by the heavier and more capable AT4 (M136). However, as a result of combat experiences in Afghanistan and Iraq, the Marines determined that Rifle Squads would benefit from having more firepower for the same amount of weight/bulk. Therefore, the M72 was dusted off and slightly improved to become the M72A3. It is now in use alongside the AT4 and can effectively engage targets 150-200m away.
PURCHASING EQUIPMENT Most of the units in CM:SF have very specific equipment assigned to them because, in real life, there isn’t significant variation to speak of. However, some types of equipment are more variable and therefore are assigned to units semirandomly. The main CM:SF Manual describes, in detail, how to influence the game’s equipment selections. This section arms you with the specifics unique to the Marines Module.
Sniper Squad Good ........ M40A3 Bad .......... M82A3 Normal ..... Mix of both M40A3 and M82A3
Abrams Main Battle Tank Good ........ M1A1 FEP Bad .......... M1A1 HC
LAV Family Good ........ A2 Model Bad .......... Standard Model
Mk23 MTVR Good ........ Armored Bad .......... Unarmored
M1114 HMMWV Good ........ M2 HMG, Mk19 GL
Syria Syrian Airborne (Special Forces)
Airborne Forces The majority of new units added to the Syrian side belong to the 14th Airborne Division, which is organizationally part of the Syrian Special Forces. The organization of the forces themselves, however, is significantly different. They are more or less a hybrid of a standard Mech Infantry force and Special Forces, which reflects the fact that in practice the “Airborne” designation is more name than practical fact. There are two types of Airborne Companies: Airborne Infantry and Mech Airborne Infantry. The basic difference is that the Mech Airborne use BMP-3s for transport and combat support, while Airborne Infantry are without armored support. The Airborne Infantry Platoon has a Sniper Team which isn’t present in the Mech Airborne due to the limited seating capacity of the BMP-3s. The Syrians do not have enough BMP-3s for the entire Division, therefore the standard Airborne Infantry formations are the more common of the two.
Airborne Rifle Squad The basic structure of an Airborne Rifle Squad is similar to the standard Army Mech Infantry in some ways, but not in others. The primary difference is that the Airborne forces, like Special Forces, are trained to operate in two Teams like US Army Squads. This gives them more tactical flexibility than the more common Syrian Army forces. Airborne forces wear the same camouflage uniform as the better quality Syrian Army units do. The standard rifle is the modern AKS-74U, which is a more compact version of the standard AKS-74 that has about half the effective range. Team A’s punch comes from its modern RPK-74 squad automatic weapon (SAW) and a AKS74 with GP30 under barrel grenade launcher. The big firepower, however, is found in Team B in the form of the modern RPG-7D or, less commonly, the older RPG-16. More ammo is carried for the Team B’s RPG than in Army formations, giving the Squad far more firepower than standard forces. Because of its particular mix of weapons the Airborne Rifle Squad has certain benefits and limitations in terms of range. At close range (100m and less), it is capable of using all of its weapons to great effect. At medium combat ranges (100-250m), it is a little less capable since the accuracy of the AKS-74U starts to drop off. At longer ranges (over 250m), the Squad is only capable of light suppressive fire from its RPK and RPG. Therefore, range must be treated as a very important tactical consideration when employing Airborne forces.
Airborne Engineer Squad The Airborne forces have one Airborne Engineer Company per Airborne Battalion, consisting of two Platoons each. The Airborne Engineer Platoon has only two Squads instead of the normal three, however there are ten soldiers per Squad instead of eight. The Squad is similar to the standard Airborne Rifle Squad, consisting of two Teams with an RPK in Team A and a RPG-7D in Team B. The difference is that there are a lot of explosives carried in both Teams, thanks to the additional soldier in each.
Airborne Anti-Tank Capabilities This is the special two piece airborne variant which is lighter than the standard RPG-7V. In addition to being lighter, which makes the Team more mobile, the standard rockets are the OG-7V (HE), TBG-7V (Thermobaric), and PG-7VR (Tandem Anti-armor). However, the older airborne RPG, the RPG-16, is probably still in service and therefore found occasionally. For heavier anti-armor weaponry the Airborne forces have the AT-13 and AT-14 ATGM systems at their disposal. These are the best available for Soviet/Russian equipped military and are quite formidable weapons. The ATGMs are few in number and allocated to the Battalion HQ, so they are not commonly seen on the battlefield.
Using the T-90SA The T-90SA represents the best, most modern export tank from Russia on the market today. It is equipped with a wide variety of offensive and defensive features which finally bring the Syrian tank capabilities into the 21st Century. The T-90SA is small, fast, and extremely maneuverable as well as having good defenses thanks to its plentiful Explosive Reactive Armor (ERA). The offensive punch of the 125mm smoothbore cannon can take out any US armored vehicle, though with some difficulty against the M1A2 SEP. Having said all that, the lifespan of Syrian armored vehicles is usually limited due to the plethora of highly accurate, highly lethal weapons available to the US forces. The T-90SA, while definitely head and shoulders above all other Syrian armored assets, is still quite vulnerable. From the superior M1A2 SEP to the deadly infantry wielded Javelin ATGM, the T-90SA must be used carefully in order for it to rack up battlefield kills before being knocked out or forced to withdraw. Although US weapons are extremely accurate and capable of hitting moving targets, speed and maneuverability are still assets which can throw off the aim of an enemy just enough so that he misses. Therefore, it is usually best to keep the tanks moving as fast and as erratically as possible when there is credible threat of being engaged. Because of the T-90SA’s very good stabilized computer aided fire control system, firing on the move during such maneuvers is a
viable option. Using your tanks together gives them the ability to offer mutual fire support, which in turn increases the chances of both survival and the destruction of enemy units.
Using the BMP-3 One of the more controversial Russian armored vehicles in production today is the BMP-3. The design attempts to blend the best features of both the BMP-1 and BMP-2 together with upgraded gunnery equipment and armor. Like many compromise designs the BMP-3 is in some ways better than its predecessors, and in some ways worse. A good tactician can mitigate the downsides while leveraging the design improvements to have the best impact on operations. The best use of the BMP-3 is similar to the best use of any IFV: move quickly into a sheltered deployment area, disembark passengers, and then follow them as closely as possible to give them fire support as needed. The 100mm main gun is capable of silencing even the most stubborn enemy fighting positions. Along with its secondary 30mm cannon and three medium machineguns, the sheer volume of fire this vehicle can put out is unlike any other in CM:SF! Having said that, do NOT be tempted to use the BMP-3 to engage heavy enemy armor as the BMP-3, like all BMPs, is not a tank! It can be shredded by pretty much any US vehicle and infantry unit due to its rather thin aluminum based armor. Worse, the massive amount of ammo carried is stowed without protection from internal detonation, means that penetrations of the BMP’s armor very often lead to a catastrophic explosion. If enemy armor is to be engaged on purpose, it should be from ambush positions or as a precursor to immediate withdrawal to safer positions.
Using the BRDM-2 ATGM (AT-5) In the basic CM:SF, there is a Regimental ATGM Platoon equipped with the small 4x4 BRDM-2 and AT-3 missile launchers. This marginally effective ATGM system, by today’s standards, is the sort of system that the Syrians would likely have upgraded for their better quality forces. The improved version mounts five AT-5 “Spandrel” ATGMs,
which can be fired and guided one at a time. Although the AT-5 is superior to the AT-3 in all ways, it is still an old missile technology that needs fairly good circumstances for success. The BRDM-2 is a very small, fast, and maneuverable vehicle. The best use of it is to quickly move into a firing position, fire, then move even quicker to cover. Immediately relocating to another firing position may be tactically possible, however try to make sure the path between firing positions is obscured so that the enemy can’t track and engage while moving. Remember that once the AT-5 launches, the enemy has quite a bit of time to spot, aim, and engage before the ATGM has finished its guided flightpath. Giving the enemy even more time to engage, either while stationary or on the move, is a very bad idea.
Syrian Vehicle and Weapons Details Note that the Syrian forces in the Marines Module mostly use weapons found in the basic CM:SF game, and therefore this section only covers those things which are completely new.
T-90SA The current top of the line Russian export tank is the T-90SA, which is a slightly altered version of what the Russians use for themselves. The tank is based on the older T72 design and therefore shares a lot of outward similarities with the tanks commonly found in CM:SF. Note that it is highly likely that the “SA” designation is unique to a batch of tanks ordered by Algeria, therefore it may not be technically correct to call the one model in the game as “SA”. Since there is no official designation for export tanks to Syria, and they are likely to be the same as the Algerian ones, we decided the best thing to do was keep the “SA” designation. The T-90SA features a modern 125mm smoothbore cannon with laser range finder, dual axis stabilizers, and computer aided fire control system. This gives the T-90SA an excellent fire-on-the-move capability that other Syrian tanks, except for the TURMST, completely lack. In addition to modern HEAT, APFSDS, and HE ammunition, the T-90SA is also equipped with a handful of AT-11 “Refleks” laser guided ATGMs. The latter is fired like a normal tank round while the tank is stationary and guided to its target by laser. The coax 7.62 MG and roof mounted 12.7mm HMG give the tank additional firepower against light targets. Other systems include a fully modern Infrared gunsight, commander’s display screen (slaved to the gunner’s view), and parts of the Shtora defensive system. The latter is a slightly less capable version of the Russian’s own system, with the capability of deploying anti-IR smoke automatically when an enemy “lazes” the tank. This means near instant interference with range and aiming lasers during the first few critical seconds of enemy target acquisition and aiming sequences.
For armor the T-90SA is the heaviest armored tank the Syrians have available. The base armor is very well sloped and fairly thick, especially around the front of the turret. Additionally, the front of the turret is covered with Kontakt-5 Explosive Reactive Armor (ERA) in order to better defend against HEAT munitions. Some older generation ERA “blocks” are distributed on top of the turret. This formidable armor combination, reactive defenses, offensive weaponry, speed, and small size mean that the T-90SA is more survivable than any Soviet/Russian tank model ever produced. Still, US forces have a number of weapons systems that can destroy a T-90SA in one shot if given a chance, so it is important to not feel impervious when commanding these tanks. Note: in order to get a T-90SA, you have to select Republican Guards/Guard Tank Company, and set the Equipment to “Excellent”.
BMP-3 Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV) After many years of delay, this is finally the successor to the aging BMP-1 and BMP-2 designs. The primary weapon of the BMP-3 is a 100mm cannon mounted in its turret. This weapon packs a huge punch when it is used against enemy infantry and hardened positions, but it is also able to fire the 9M117M1 Arkan anti-armor missile. The primary weapon is the 100mm cannon using HE ammo. It is a deadly weapon against infantry and hardened fighting positions, as well as lightly armored vehicles, out to a range of about 4000m. For heavier anti-armor duties there are a limited number of 9M117M1 “Arkan” laser guided ATGMs which are also fired from the main gun up to a range of 4000m. The 30mm cannon mounted next to the main gun also provides excellent offensive power against anything but heavily armored targets. The three PKT (7.62 MGs) also provide good suppressive fire for smaller or more widely spaced targets.
RPG-16 In the 1960s, the Soviets created a smaller and lighter two piece version of the standard RPG-7 for use with airborne forces. The primary limitation of the RPG-16 is that it
fires one type of grenade, PG-16 HEAT, which has a very limited kill ability against heavily armored vehicles or vehicles with ERA. On the plus side, the range is roughly double that of the RPG-7V (400m effective, 800m max). It is probable that the Syrians have withdrawn this weapon from service for the most part.
RPG-7D3 To overcome the deficiencies of the RPG-16, the Syrians have likely acquired the more modern RPG-7D3. Like the RPG-16, this RPG is lighter and can be broken down into two pieces for easier use by airborne forces. Unlike the RPG-16, the RPG-7D3 can fire the full range of modern RPG rounds available to the RPG-7V system. This includes tandem warhead, HEAT, HE, and Thermobaric rounds. Effective range is about 200m, though closer is definitely better due to accuracy factors. The maximum range against a stationary target is about 500m.
PURCHASING EQUIPMENT Most of the units in CM:SF have very specific equipment assigned to them because, in real life, there isn’t significant variation to speak of. However, some types of equipment are more variable and therefore are assigned to units semirandomly. The main CM:SF Manual describes, in detail, how to influence the game’s equipment selections. This section arms you with the specifics unique to the Marines Module. Airborne Rifle Squad Good ............... RPG-7D Bad ................. RPG-16
Regimental ATGM Platoon (BRDM-2) Good ............... BRDM-2 w/AT-5 ATGM Bad ................. BRDM-2 w/AT-3 ATGM
Republican Guards / Guards Tank Company Excellent .......... T-90SA
Icons CM:SF is making extensive use of various Icons to allow the player to spot vital information in the game user interface at a glance. Below is a list of the most important icons introduced the Marines module, and their description.
Special Equipment M72 LAW RPG-16 SMAW SMAW anti-tank missile SMAW high-explosive missile SMAW thermobaric missile
Branches United States Marine Corps Armor
United States Marine Corps Infantry
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Credits Game Design Charles Moylan Stephen Grammont Programming Charles Moylan The Battlefront Team Charles Moylan Stephen Grammont Dan Olding Matt Faller Fernando J. Carrera Buil Tim Orosz Martin van Balkom User Interface Design Stephen Grammont Charles Moylan Jean-Vincent Roy Scenario Makers Kip Anderson Thomas Daxner Mark Ezra James Goodman Stephen Grammont Jean-Charles Hare George McEwan Jon Sowden Martin van Balkom Thomas West Special thanks go out to Jon Sowden for his tireless work on coordinating the construction of the Campaign! Game Manual Stephen Grammont Martin van Balkom
Artwork Marco Bergman Mike Duplessis Gordon Molek Dan “Kwazydog” Olding Jean-Vincent Roy Sound Design Matt Faller Voices Wyatt Barnett Matt Faller Eric Henshaw Jeff Weatherspoon Testers Kip Anderson Elmar Bijlsma David Blakey John Costello Phillip Culliton Thomas Daxner Mike Duplessis Mark Ezra Andy Farley Mark Gibson James Goodman Jean-Charles Hare Jeff Hoolihan Cassio Lima George McEwan Matthew Merrell Max Molinaro Wesley Netcher John Osborne Tim Orosz Jon Sowden Mike Steiger Dmytro Stepanchuk Martin van Balkom Thomas West Tom Wilcox
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