Right, this is not the first time people proposing this, but up to this point I don't see the issue has ever officially addressed or answered.
So the problem is, the Zhanshi 85 is perhaps the least used 85-90 era regular line infantry in game. It has got the sad combination of a not-impressive AT weapon and a frustrating MG, the squad is not unique at all and not cost-effective enough. The RD/CHN players usually just go for the cheaper reservists or high-end Shock/SFs instead. However there are some viable transport options exclusive to Zhanshi 85, not to the baseline Zhanshi and many other infs (besides the pricey marine squads). This is also a lil shame and a pain in the ass when making your deck.
Well before then all infantry pricing and stats are strictly standardized, All regular line-foots had the same assault rifle ACC and ROF and Non-CQC MGs only. I can see the reason why this unit is being awkward. However some recent tweaks to the Anzac Diggers 90 gave me inspirations. As regular line-foots, the Diggers 90 have got a CQC MG, and a ROF buffed assault rifle. These certainly created discrepancies, but I don't see them being OP, because: 1) the Diggers have got a sloppy AT launcher anyway; 2) the ANZAC is also one of the weaker decks that can use more love; 3) I enjoy some novelty and diversity once a while, some CQC-oriented regular foots looks cool.
Therefore, here comes my vision of modelling the Zhanshi 85 into a redfor Digger 90: 1. Replace the Type 67 with CQC-capable MGs like RPD (Type 56-1) or Type 81;
Both weapons are already in the game. Besides, IRL they are the standard squad automatic weapons for both light and mechanized infantry. In offence, the PLA infantry valued small fireteam (1-3 man) maneuvers and frequent alternating overwatch to take enemy positions, mobility was always the greater concern for PLA when it come down to the choice of squad firearms. An entrenched PLA Type 56-1 (RPD variant) gunner during the Sino-Vietnam conflict in 1979. A PLA recon squad on the Sino-Vietnam border, presumably between 1983-1984. Notice that the machine gunner (third left) was already holding a Type 81 LMG, while the other soliders had not switch to the Type 81 assault rifles yet, they were still carrying Type 56 (AK47/AKM variant). Soon later the major army groups had complete the throughout transition to the Type 81 squad weapon family and had seen extensive actions in border conflicts.
This change would much Zhanshi 85's firepower and re-role them as an affordable anti-infantry/urban combat unit, just like the Diggers 90. 2. +5% Buff to Type 81 rifle ACC
Even though the in game rifle stats are mostly standardized, small discrepancies still exist, e.g. the ROF of the F88, the ACC of Stg 941, etc. I understand that the F88 is a bullpup design, and the Stg 941 has...er...polymer parts? whatever, they bring diversity to the infantry gameplay.
So to further emphasis the close combat role of Zhanshi 85, improving their rifle ACC a bit wouldn't hurt. I am not here to talk big about gun mechanisms, but if you know about military rifles, you'd understand that Type 81 is not an AK clone (and it certainly deserves an independent in-game model). The improved gas system (w/ a gas regulator), redesigned bolt lugs engagements and a reinforced receiver provided significantly smoother action, and helped a lot in full-automatic accuracy. Accuracy data sheet of the Type 56 (AK47/AKM) assault rifle. Numbers in red box are the shots deviations at 100-500m in single shots (vertical and horizontal), numbers in blue box are the same deviations in short bursts.
Same data for the Type 81 assault rifle. It can be seen that there are better results in the burst fire department.
Some more links to read if interested. Don't get me wrong I am not arguing the Type 81 is a better rifle of some kind, just providing some ideas of potential more variety and diversity. It could make some differences in gameplay. http://www.military-today.com/firearms/type_81.htmhttp://www.tactical-life.com/firearms/c ... pe-81-lead*3. Or AT laucher buff instead
I believe this has been proposed much more often. The dilemma of the Zhanshi 85 is that they are not good at anti-infantry nor anti-armor. I think the devs are more cautious at buff the AT laucher than small arms. Therefore my proposal is to gave Zhanshi 85/90 a clearer role, either go CQC MGs or PF89, I only ask for one of the two.
(And I don't think PF89 is asking too much, since it's on par with LAW80 and chronically correct. If I want to be greedy, I would bark for a Zhanshi 95 w/ prototype tandem warhead PF98B)In summary
The both nations in the RD faction lack viable regular line-foot options, especially in 85-90 era, and the Chinese deck alone is short of infantry options right from the start. I don't think any of the changes above would hurt the current game balance nor take any effort to re-model, but they would certainly enrich RD tactics. Just imagine how many combination you can have with Zhanshi 85 and all the transports options? It is more cost-productive than modelling new faction into the game.
The Wargame series are not just about gamey and meta, it helps us reliving the military legends in a different timeline. The PLA in 1980s were not hold up by a few western-imported hi-tech nor superhuman SF badasses nor reservist zergs, the large number of hard-willed and sufficiently trained infantry were the backbone of the dragon.
I hope it can be finally well portrayed in Wargame Red Dragon.