Eugen's awareness of RD's woe has resulted in a few positive changes. However the coalition is still far from a viable and competitive option compared to other coalitions. Due to the prospects of a more dedicated patch, i will primarily focus on 3 most important/promising tabs (INF, TNK, AIR) using a modular approach of suggestions.
Like always all suggestions are done with authenticity in mind, given what scarce info available to the public of course. For PLA I have used almost exclusively Chinese language sources. However some things about a secretive military like China/NK need to be understood:
Disclaimer: Every PLA watcher worth their salt should know that information about the military is jealously guarded, all things we read openly in the web are just estimations or in best cases leaks. Some of those data are more logical and well reasoned and some are just daydreams. It is near impossible to verify those info depending on the equipment (for instance tank armor). There is basically 3 ways how we can interpret those data. 1) take it as it is 2) take it as exaggeration 3) take it as understatement. I think the same also applies to NK. For game balance we should apply those 3 ways with reason.
The Goal of this thread can be summarized in the following points, which also serve as the segments divided by their urgency:
1. Top priority minimum changes to give the faction the basic amount of tools to come back into meta.
2. Secondary additional changes that builds upon the former segment to further improve the competitiveness and overall more meta friendly.
3. Miscellaneous changes divided by tabs, to make the make the roster less redundant, more coherent
4. New unit suggestions to close capability gaps or to give the coalition some defined features aka flavor
5. Inconsistencies small and big that should be corrected, some major ones which affects the competitiveness will be highlighted
Before we start, I'd like to point to a list of links with good information or nice ideas and so on:
- Frosty's KPA spreadsheet and the corresponding post, additional info on naming and some info on NK SOF military branch
- Hansbroger's RD tank analysis
- H-J's Chinese units thread from 3 years ago, may the old marshal rest in peace, only figuratively, he is not dead!
- Shrike's list of tweaks and new units
- Assessment of RD/BD, done by everybody's favorite noob
- Info on type-81 serie of rifle/mg
- Bougnas' RD airforce refoles
- Hansbroger's RD mid-end arty assessment
- US' assessment of KPA capability and their operation profile
- Youzhe's PLA unit roster overhaul
- Info on KPA small arms
- Info on NK's stance about mg
- Info on PLA tank development history
- Info on ZTZ-85 line of tanks
- Rough data on Chinese tank armor/ammo
- Info on R-77 in China ITF
- Info on type-69 line of RPG
- Info on J-7/J-8/Q-5
- Info on aircraft munitions used by PLAAF
- Mi-17 ITF for China (1990-1991)
- Info on YJ-5 SEAD missile, available much earlier.
- Info and better pictures on ZTZ-85-III, including data on chinese ERA
- Info about Oryx and Eugen
- Info on armed Z-9 chopper, interesting is also asymetric loadout
- Info about 2nd priod 125mm ammo performance used in 90s tanks.
- PLA tank tech-tree
- Xeno's aircraft overhaul, for all nations
- Info and trial numbers on Chinese 120mm gun
Color code for segment miscellaneous:
Red = Problems/issues/missed opportunities
Green = Proposed solution
Blue = Proposed flavor/unique attracion
Now, let‘s start!
1. Top priority
About the shortcomings of RD deck you can check this summary by a competitive player, it is a bit old though. To summarize it a bit more precisly the coalition simply lacks certain options and capabilities all other coalitions possess. To just name a few: F&F MRAAM, fast aiming 10 sec arty, armed recon chopper etc.
Furthermore their once unique units (recon tank, long range ATGM vehicle) lost their attraction due to the new DLC providing often better options. So, i believe it will be more productive and constructive to focus the main efforts on some tabs and thus providing good enough tools to be relevant on post DLC battlefield.
Taking authenticity into consideration both nations should have very good selection in infantry, since there is a strong emphasis on ground forces and especially infantry IRL. Accompany them is a tank force that mostly should be relatively thinly armored but have very good firepower. ASF should be thanks to the Soviet Union also offer at least 1 high-end option. The basic changes suggested in this segment strives to achieve just that.
- Gonbobyong re-role into shock recon squad (With all current transports and deck access), renamed to Chŏngguktae
- Yuckjeondae '75/'90 re-role into light shock infantry, 5 pts price cut for both (all current transports and deck access), renamed to Kyŏngbobyŏng
- Jeogockdae '75/90 re-role into elite marines, 5 pts price increase for both (all current transport and similar deck access like Commando-Marine/Kustjägare/Korps Marniers), spelling corrected to Chŏgyŏktae
Excerpt from the document about the special purpose forces
North Korean SOF fall into many different categories: ranger/commando, light infantry, airborne, sniper/strategic assassination, SEAL, reconnaissance, amphibious assault/naval infantry/marine, agent infiltration and intelligence operative. North Korean SOF are associated with conventional warfare, unrestricted warfare, unconventional warfare, guerrilla warfare, partisan warfare, asymmetric warfare, and insurgency. Page 40
During the early 1990s, the VIII Special Corps was renamed the Light Infantry Training and Guidance Bureau. The special purpose forces continued to expand during this period from 85,000 troops organized into 22 brigades in 1990 to approximately 100,000 troops organized into 25 brigades in 1996. Page 44
Kim Il Sung stated that there would be a unique strategic approach based upon “light infantry units,” which had the capability of conducting “all forms of combat.” This was a pivotal point in the development of the KPA’s special warfare forces. Prior to this, guerrilla warfare was the primary mission which received the bulk of support and funding. Now these units would
be responsible for a broader, more balanced range of unconventional and special warfare operations.
Prolonged political subversion and intelligence collection became the primary mission. Page 43
Judging from these, the role of NK special purpose forces are rather fluid, ingame this means the marines could easily be considered the amphibious assault troops of the elite division, Gonbobyong can be considered light recon for forward intelligence gathering and infiltrating etc
I believe there is much to gain by reroling Gonbobyong into a recon, which will provide NK with a fighting shock and freeing up light infantry slot for re-role. Which the yuckjeondae with their current better loadout and transports will do admirably.
Original idea post: http://forums.eugensystems.com/viewtopi ... 8#p1002048
For an more extensive explanation of the NK small arms situation visit this post. For some more details on NK MG preferences and the type-73, visit this post.
- Type-81 mg gets 10% more accuracy and burst length improve from 8 to 10
- 125mm gun armed ZTZ to 8 rpm (ZTZ-85IIA and 85III)
- Up-value ZTZ-85-III (23 AP DU round; 20 FAV, 8SAV, 4TAV, 70 km/h speed, 155 pts)
- Up-value ZTZ-85-IIA (65% ACC, 50% stab; 21 AP DU round; 17 FAV, 3 TAV, 3 RAV; 120 pts), rename to ZTZ-85-IIM
- Up-value ZTZ-85-II (60% ACC, 50% stab; 14 FAV; 75 pts), rename to ZTZ-85-IIA
http://www.zgjunshi.com/Article/Class38 ... 01304.html
The system has self-diagnosis function, capable of automatically selecting ammo type, loading and firing procedure, combat RPM reaches 8.
RD high end tanks are currently solely kept afloat by the T-90. The 85-III can be very reasonably and easily up-armored and given it's intro date also access to Chinese DU rounds. A similar reasoning can also be made about the other 2 lower tier 85, which is currently underrepresented in front armor.
The ZTZ-85-IIA is in reality the ZTZ-85-IIAP sold to Pakistan, it's domestic usage name would be ZTZ-85-IIM. Generally the armor for the M version which is the same as for early ZTZ-96, which is estimated to be around 530mm in 1992.
The same should arguably also be done to the 85-II, which really should be called ZTZ-85-IIA, since it doesn't have the long barrel gun.
These changes is will generally distribute units more evenly among price brackets and especially help the scarce high-end segment, which is very important in the current meta.
For more info check this extensive post about tank development history in the PLA.
For more info check this extensive post about ZTZ-85 line of tanks.
Info and better pictures on ZTZ-85-III, including data on chinese ERA
Chinese tank ammo/armor rough data
- Su-27SK loadout change to: 4xR-77; 2xR-73; 160 pts; rename to Su-27SMK (1995 prototype)
2. Secondary priority
Continuing from above, this is a „module“ intended to build upon the changes of the last segment. While the last segment can be seen as a foundation of „back into meta“ this segment will actually build a nice „meta worthy“ home out of it.
- All Type-69 RPG to 55% ACC
- Type-73 MG to 10 burst length, due to belt ammo-feeding
- Type-69-I RPG using Type-84 grenade (65% ACC; 875m range; 20 AP; 10 rpm; introdate 1985)
- Zhanshi '85 gets type 81 as machine gun (with CQC and stabilizer)
- Yuckjeondae '75 and Jeogockdae '75 both AT weapon change to RPG-7V
- Yuckjeondae '90 AT weapon change to Type-84 RPG (The now changed Type-69-I)
- Gonbobyong AT weapon change to SPG-9 RR
Zhanshi '85 is the worst modern line inf right now. With better mg they should compare more favorably to other 90s line troops. This in turn will up the effectiveness of mech/armor decks. Another issue will be the cost of 15 pts right now, either give them a better RPG or it should come down in cost. They should be comparable to Fusilier or Diggers if the 15 pts tag stays.
Jeogockdae/Yuckjeondae 75 version weapon change addresses mainly their price should somehow also reflect their capability (20 pts and 30 pts respectively). The weapon change on 90s version of Yuckjeondae is primarily here to differentiate them from the elite marines and providing a „longrange“ flavor seen on many light troops. The SPG-9 on Gonbobyong will singlehandedly turn the lackluster unit into a very useful infiltrator.
Info about Type-69 serie of RPG
- JH-7 load-out change to 24x250kg cluster bombs (type-250-2, 6AP), price to 145 pts
- NK MiG-29 gets authentic MRAAM missle loadout (2 x R-27R and 4 x R-60M)
- A-5I load-out change to 2x500kg HE bombs and 4x250kg napalm bombs; No SRAAM
With only 4 small bombs the A-5 is a rather bad cluster bomber, it can have a max load of weapons up to 2000kg, this would mean 8 x 250kg bombs, distributed to 4 on fuselage and 2 under each wing. For NK the rather annoying lack of an affordable bomber and the absence of a usable napalm bomber in the coalition can be solved with the particular loadout of HE&napalm combo. The distribution of weapon on the aircraft would be 2x500kg HE bomb under both wings and 4x250kg napalm bombs under the fuselage pylon.
source: http://www.zgjunshi.com/Article/Class38 ... 006_2.html
After the basic Q-5 passed the testing and equipped the troops, it performed well. With an internal load of 1000kg and no additional external load it can barely fly supersonic.
After 1977 April the flight range expansion program started. Including 7 big improvements, like turning internal weapon bay into fuel tank, bigger main tank and a soft tank. Changed into the more powerful 36,8 kn WP-6AIII engine etc. Name was changed into Q-5I.
For a more illustrative image just start the China campaign in game. In intro you will see a Q-5 with 4 center line bombs and under wing rocket pods and fuel tank. As fly front line duty it can pass on the external fuel and fill both under wing pylons with weapons.
JH-7 is indeed the most advanced aircraft the coalition currently can field in game. It is intended for being a strike aircraft, since the coalition has lost a reliable AT plane, the JH-7 can change it with a high amount of cluster munitions. Possible loadout can be seen here
Bombs and aircraft weapon: http://forums.eugensystems.com/viewtopi ... 20#p998220
This segment should be regarded as the final „module“ of cumulative changes to the last two. It is divided into tab and problem focused entries. The main objective are to reduce redundancies, provide more coherence and maybe actually make RD coalition have some more character, which currently boils down to TY-90 and strela memes.
RD specialist teams are heavily redundant and lackluster.
- Ban-tank Fagot weapon upgrade to Konkurs (rename to Ban-tank Konkurs)
- Bibanchungpo to RPG-7V FIST and rename to Hwaryok-jiwon-ban
- Fanghuabing to napalm rocket launcher (The Lijian '90 launcher); rename to Fanhuabing '90
- Add 5 points transport for reservists
RD transport options are preventing some good/interesting options to be utilized.
- Zhanshi '85 gets ZSL-56 as transport
- NK manpad, ATGM, FIST get access to VTT-323 serie of IFV
Infantry is a legitimate area where RD could shine, however it still lacks character even after reroles.
- Luzhandui '75 and '90 get access to all Chinese transports, get access to armor/mech/moto specializations, rename to shénjiàn 神剑
- PW-80 RR change into PF-98 (25 AP, 70% ACC, 2 HE+napalm effect); Tankeshashou rename into Tankeshashou 90; 20 pts
Konkurs will in turn offer a more effective infantry based defense against tanks. The FIST and Flamer changes are to differentiate them from the clone units with different names and to offer the coalition more options.
To provide RD with some flavor and unique attractions Luzhandui can be rer-oled into an all rounder shock troop and Tankeshashou could be a powerful FIST thanks to the PF-98.
For Luzhandui I digged a bit around about PLA special forces and found the operation profile
http://www.zgjunshi.com/Article/tezhong ... 847_2.html
translation pulled from sinodefence forum:
Unlike the U.S. SOF, the PLA focuses the roles of its SOF very much on direct action (DA), special reconnaissance (SR), and counter-terrorism (CT). PLA SOF units are not trained for unconventional warfare (UW) and civil affairs (CA) like their American counterparts. This is because the PLA only intends to use the SOF for a high-intensity, lightening-fast regional conflict that is over in short amount of time. They are not going to be involved in long-duration, low-intensity operations in foreign countries, like what the U.S. SOF did in Southeast Asia in the 1960s/70s.
Direct Action (DA) - The most important mission for PLA SOF, involving short-duration strikes and other small-scale offensive actions by SOF to seize, destroy, capture, recover or inflict damage on designated personnel or material. For example, prior to the outbreak of major hostilities between the PRC and Taiwan, PLA SOF will infiltrate the Taiwan island using powered parachutes, helicopters, or other methods, and launch a pre-empty strike against key enemy personnel and command & control elements, to paralyse the enemy C3I network and leave the enemy troops leaderless. This strategy is sometimes being referred to as “Decapitation Operation”.
Other DA operations may include capturing enemy airfields and seaports for the upcoming airborne and amphibious landing troops; sabotaging enemy equipments and systems; attacking vital civilian infrastructure; ambushing enemy forces; spreading rumours to cause enemy confusion and misjudgement, etc.
Special Reconnaissance (SR) - SR involves reconnaissance and surveillance actions to obtain or verify vital intelligence and information, by using visual and other hi-tech collection methods. This is very much like what SOF units of the Coalitions Forces did during the two Gulf Wars. Small teams consisting 2~4 people will be dispatched to behind enemy lines to collect intelligence concerning the capabilities, intensions, and activities or enemy forces. It may also involve locating and designating targets for precision strikes.
Counter-Terrorism (CT) - PLA SOF units are receiving training in offensive counter-terrorism operations to prevent, deter and respond to terrorism. As a result of the growing separatist activities in China’s remote regions such as Xijiang, PLA SOF have became increasingly involved in the counter-terrorism role. In October 2002, a PLA SOF unit took part in the joint China-Tajikistan counter-terrorism exercise. A recent report by the Chinese state media also confirmed that counter-terrorism had been added to the basic Special Forces training subjects under the renewed PLA doctrines.
Other Roles - In some occasions, PLA SOF are also acting as “Blue Army” (opposing force) in exercise to test the ability of regular army unit against special forces.
Each of the 7 military districts have their own „special forces“ unit, and like the profile says: direct action and recon are primary concern. I would say the recon is more in line with traditional infiltration and demolition task and the direct action guys are more like shock troops.
Instead of rerolling luzhandui into just the airborne unit, a more useful way would to be the direct action „special forces“ attached to the group army. In the case of second Korean war, this would be the 38th group army, the top dog among China's land forces, it consists of 1 mech, 1 armored and 2 motorized infantry divisions and their supporting assets in the 70-90s time frame. The re-roled luzhandui would be an abstraction of shock troops provided by those infantry divisions.
http://www.zgjunshi.com/Article/Class1/ ... 14304.html (history and composition of the 38th group army, will answer questions or provide translations only if asked to)
RD artillery selection is cluttered by redundant and low end options
- Koksan price cut to 90 pts
- Re-role either PHZ-70 or PHL-63 into a HE/smoke MLRS like the Yugoslavian Plamen
Since Yugoslavia introduced smoke/HE rocket combo the lower tier highly redundant RD MLRS section could be diversified by 1 re-roled unit with similar capability
Findings about the accuracy of Tokchon Arty
NK doesn't have a recon transport
- Re-role M1992 recon car into a 25 pts good optics recon transport for NK sniper team and Gonbobyong shock recon
RD low-end recon tanks are overpriced compared to other coalitions
- 5 pts price cut to ZTQ-62, ZTQ-62-I and NK Type 63
A humble 5 pts price cut will help many underwhelming units.
RD recon helo are all unarmed and slow
- Re-role either NK MD-500 AGS-17 or the Chinese Gazelle HOT into a good optics recon
4. New units/weapons
Some capabilities can not be met with current units in the roster without buffing them to unrealistic levels. Since the emphasis is put on infantry, I think some new infantry weapons can be a pretty big boon for the coalition, not to mention easy to model. However there are also some vehicles which worth consideration.
- PF-98 AT rocket
- PHZ-89 / PLZ-45 / PLZ-89 / WS-1
PHZ-89 (1989): Autoloaded GRAD with 1 full reload on board
WS-1 (1990): 302mm high HE 4 shots sniper
PLZ-45 (1988): average high-end tube arty
PLZ-89 (1989): 122mm amphibious arty.
- QLZ-87 grenade rifle
- Type-84 370mm RR tank
- HQ-17 (TOR-M1)
- Type-73 mg doesn't have a shock training version
- Su-25K gets 2 rear armor like Su-25T due to post 1986 intro date with added armor
- J-7C is a copy of MiG-21MF, thus should have the same 20% ecm and 350 turn radius. However this will create some issues with what eugen perceived as direct successor: The J-7H. For more details on thi issue visit this post
- PL-11 should get 60% accuracy like the ground based HQ-61
- B-5 should be 2 per card with 1 card only like all other heavy bombers in the game.
- PL-8 and the Python 3 should be the same one way or other
- ZSD-90 should be 20 pts after the massive armor buff
- NK MiG21 ATGM plane availability doesn't make sense regarding the pricing and capability of the aircraft
- F-7b availability is 5/4/0/3/0 not 6/5/4/0/3 like china's mig.
- PGZ-63 lacks anti-aircraft range like other similar vehicles.
- BJ-212 PWL-78 has the wrong weapon, the model is type-75 105mm RR
- All J-7 variants, except the J-7C, have the wrong gun. It should be 2xtype-30-I 30mm cannon.
- Several naming issues with NK infantry units, for a detailed list check this
- QBZ-56-I rifle is an AKS clone with folding stock, thus should be changed as such
- Following tanks are using the same FCS (ISFCS-212) as ZTZ-88B, but gets less accuracy: ZTQ-62G, ZTS-63-II, PTZ-89, both lower end ZTZ-85 tanks
After more than 2 years and several waves of new contents, RD as now 25% of RedFor is still very weak. The reasons has been discussed in many threads, including this one.
Realistically speaking there isn't much opportunities anymore for RD, since there is no current known plan left for wargame 3, it is reasonable to assume the support will dry up for the game after more than 2 years. I sincerely hope that before this happens the coalition will be brought on a more competitive level against other coalitions.
Regarding how eugen will do the tweaking, nobody knows, but i'd like to point out that all past patches has only buffed RD in lieu of general „look at“ of factions. Their relative place have never been changed, which IMO is rock bottom. As ¼ of RedFor and a 2 country coalition I believe this shouldn't happen and instead their options should be as viable as possible.
I thank all people who participated in this thread and contributed to this list. I have tried to keep the changes as simple and few as possible without sacrifice too much competitivness gain. Lets hope eugen can make some if not all of these changes happen to RD so we can say titular faction of Red Dragon is finally great!
Earlier rounds of suggestions: