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russian armor

Suggestion for "fixing" soviet infantry.

12 Jan 2019, 09:06 AM
#1
avatar of porkloin

Posts: 111

I've seen quite a few comments about conscripts being "worthless" on this and various community boards. While personally I think that they do fine for their price point, it's hard to say that a soviet player shouldn't immediately go for the more elite penal battalions since they are so low in the tech tree.

Speaking of penal battalions, why are they the soviet "elite" infantry? Historically they were staffed by disgraced soldiers, civil prisoners, and prisoners of war. I think it's safe to say that they were the lowest priority in the supply chain, and weren't assigned SVTs over a group of regular conscripts.

In the game's meta the soviets seem to also have a "missing" AI upgrade for their mainline troops. Their only real upgrades are doctrinal PPSH's. Meanwhile all the other armies have quite a large variety of weapon upgrades that play an essential part of their decision making over course of the game . It's not uncommon for a soviet player to be floating hundreds of munitions in the mid-game with only off-maps to spend it on, or by laying a somewhat "unfun" number of multipurpose mines, meanwhile everyone else is fretting over their lmg and infantry AT ratios.

In recognition of the historically odd hierarchy of infantry roles, the complaints about soviet T0 infantry being useless, and a missing munitions sink/ mainline AI upgrade I think the following should happen to make the soviet army a more interestingly played army:

-Conscripts and penals swap tech positions.
-Conscripts take the current penal SVT's, PTRS's, and demo's, but keep the molotov's and doctrinal PPSH's.
-Penals take the current conscript Mosin Nagants, sandbag construction, and merge ability.

***-Penals have an X munition "commissar" upgrade. The commissar would replace one penal model or more with a commissar and guards that are equipped with whatever weapon makes sense. More importantly the commissar would increase the squad's model count limit by 2-3 models. The extra models would not carry weapons, but would tank damage for the squad, and would also be prioritized for merging whereupon they'd equip the crew-member weapon. The squad's popcap/reinforcement costs would be adjusted some to compensate for the unarmed extra models.***

This commissar upgrade gives the soviet players a munitions sink that upgrades their mainline infantry, but without the problems of an lmg upgrade on a six man squad, and sameness of gameplay. The commissar would also more emphasize the armie's design style of a high manpower but short supply early war russian army. Crew weapons and such might have to go through a slight power re-balancing due to the increased merge capacity, but overall would see a greater and more unique importance in soviet gameplay as they'd spend much longer times on the field if skilled players are able to constantly top them off with spare penal models.
12 Jan 2019, 10:07 AM
#2
avatar of Crecer13

Posts: 1467 | Subs: 3

Historically speaking, there is:
- penal company, for soldiers and sergeant
- penal battalion, for officers. Officers have more training than soldiers
During the entire war (that is, not simultaneously), on all fronts during the years of the Great Patriotic War, 65 separate penal battalions (oshb) and 1048 separate penal companies (oshr) were formed in the Armed Forces of the USSR. Usually these parts disbanded after a few months. From 1942 to 1945, only one separate penal battalion existed - the 9th separate penal.

Penalties used the same weapon as reular troops, the only difference between them was missions, they were sent to the most difficult sectors of the front.

But I also think that having two main main infantry units at the start is an extremely bad design.
- rename "conscripts" to "strelki", take away the merger, give an upgrade to six SVT-40
- remove “penal troops” from T1 rename to “conscripts” put in the ability: rapir conscript, add merge, transfer the explosive charge to the engineers.
- instead of "penal troops" in T1 add - "broneboyshchiki" - anti-tank riflemen. four men - conscripts skin, armed with two PTRS-41, two Mosin rifles. Abilities: anti-tank explosive charge, anti-tank mines, ambush camouflage.
12 Jan 2019, 10:18 AM
#3
avatar of Katitof

Posts: 13646 | Subs: 6

1) Don't overthink it, penals are "elite"-ish infantry, because relic thought it was an interesting unit, also they were NOT suicide troops by any means, they simply were given toughest to impossible odds missions, so they were actually motivated more then regular troops to fulfill their duty and come back alife, their gear for the more tough missions was also better, therefore SVT representation.

2)Lack of AI upgrade for cons is the only reason why they are avoided, they work perfectly fine with PPSH, but the fact that they need a doctrine to function on pair with other mainline infantries is a solid proof that locking that AI upgrade behind doctrine was a horrible choice and some kind of mid-late game AI upgrade on pair with weapon upgrades of other factions is the only way con problem can be solved. Too bad relic is in denial about it and some people pretending cons are fine without stock weapon upgrade/scaling mechanic(because higher vet clearly does NOT work as proven by no one using cons).

3)Switching units serves no purpose and solves nothing, because now you have differently named mainline T0 infantry with exact same problems(actually even more, because they are now even more useless then cons for the same price), you're fixing semantics, not problem. Increasing upkeep and bleed for shit squad adds more problems as well.
12 Jan 2019, 10:35 AM
#4
avatar of hypersenator

Posts: 9

Same as coh developers team, you now not much about Soviet WW2 history. Penal battalions were consisted of junior and middle-class officers(rare, even with majors or leutenant colonels), who at one time disobeyed the stupid/deadly orders of higher-ranking officers. whole battalions could consist of excellent officers and usually such battalions, at the expense of the composition, were much more trained than ordinary soldiers.
You right, they were the lowest priority in supply chain, but, they were sent to death missions, and they were adequately equipped for such tasks.
So yes, not in a general sense, but they were elite troops of society army
13 Jan 2019, 01:00 AM
#5
avatar of porkloin

Posts: 111

Same as coh developers team, you now not much about Soviet WW2 history. Penal battalions were consisted of junior and middle-class officers(rare, even with majors or leutenant colonels), who at one time disobeyed the stupid/deadly orders of higher-ranking officers. whole battalions could consist of excellent officers and usually such battalions, at the expense of the composition, were much more trained than ordinary soldiers.
You right, they were the lowest priority in supply chain, but, they were sent to death missions, and they were adequately equipped for such tasks.
So yes, not in a general sense, but they were elite troops of society army


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shtrafbat gives a 1-3 month life expectancy for penal soldiers. The very first (officer) penal battalion lost 600 of it's 900 men in only 3 days of fighting at Stalingrad. While very skilled officers might of ended up in a penal battalion, the high turn-over would dramatically hinder the unit's ability to organize and act coherently. It's hard to do a good job when you're working with someone you've only known for a few days.

The soviets might have been hasty in applying punishments, but I think it's safe to say that they weren't completely brain-dead idiots, and were more often than not sending their poorest preforming officers and soldiers instead of elites that disobeyed an order.


jump backJump back to quoted post12 Jan 2019, 10:18 AMKatitof


3)Switching units serves no purpose and solves nothing, because now you have differently named mainline T0 infantry with exact same problems(actually even more, because they are now even more useless then cons for the same price), you're fixing semantics, not problem. Increasing upkeep and bleed for shit squad adds more problems as well.
As mentioned in the OP, pop and reinforcement costs would be modified by the upgrade to prevent further bleed. Keeping "to the last man" on the new penal, but applying it to the now larger squad size would give a significant boost to the squads fighting ability on top of whatever weapons come with the commissar upgrade, and extra models for tanking damage. It also deepens the utility of the merge ability, and helps differentiate the role of soviet support weapons without making them clones of the other armies.
13 Jan 2019, 05:01 AM
#6
avatar of RoastinGhost

Posts: 266

I also have a problem that they're called "penal battalions" when they're a squad. Also, calling Conscripts that doesn't seem fair either when 2/3 of US troops in WW2 were conscripted.

It bugs me too, but the game is quite old at this point and I don't think flavor issues like that are going to be sorted out. Something to be mindful of for CoH3, I think.
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