According to FLX both Asian factions will get buffed back into the meta in one of the coming patches. Based on that message I will ditch the separated re-roles and incorporate them into tab based segments of what i think the coalition lacks the most.
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 bring the faction back into meta
2. Changes to make the roster less redundant, more coherent and more competitive
3. New unit suggestions to close capability gaps or to give the coalition some defined features aka flavor
4. Inconsistencies small and big that should be corrected
Before we start, i'd like to point to froosty's KPA spreadsheet and the corresponding post.
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. 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 changes suggested in this segment strives to achieve just that.
- Luzhandui 75 and 90 get access to all Chinese transports, get access to armor/mech/moto/airborn specializations, rename to shénjiàn 神剑
I digged a bit around about 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)
- Type-81 mg gets 10% more accuracy and burst length improve from 8 to 10
- Su-27SK loadout change to: 4xR-77; 4xR-73; 165 pts; rename to Su-27SMK (1995 prototype)
2. Secondary priority
The idea is to streamline most tabs with re-roles and thus eliminating redundancies, of course authenticity is again present in all of those suggestions and will be available to read in-depth under reasoning. For a different idea about RD deck viability visit this post
RD modern line troops and specialist teams are severly lacking or redundant, thus force players to rely on expensive infantry and further make some specialization decks ineffective.
- Zhanshi '85 gets ZSL-56 as transport
- Zhanshi '85 gets type 81 as machine gun (with CQC and stabilizer)
- Zhanshi '85 gets type-69-III rpg (rename to Zhanshi 90).
- 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)
- Add 5 points transport for reservists
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.
NK shock and special forces units are severely lacking, in case of marines they are even redundant to their own special forces due to same loadout.
- Type-73 mg for all shock and elite infantry using ammobelt (20 hits burst), RPD goes to Bochongsu with stab and CQC
- Gonbobyong get SPG-9 grenade with 16 AP for their RR, introdate change to 1980 (optional: re-reole into recon infantry with 16 AP)
- Jeogockdae '90 loadout change: Type-68 AR; Type 68-I (RPG-7V); Type-73; Price to 25 pts (Basically Morskaya clone)
- Yuckjeondae '75 loadout change: Scorpion SMG; Type-68-I (RPG-7V); Type-73
- Yuckjeondae '90 loadout change: AKS-74U; Type-68-III (RPG-7VR); RPK
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
Gonbobyong is a very weak unit due to bad mg and RR. Simple solution would be just let them use the same RR grenade imported from Soviet Union like the polish FIST SPG-9. Optionally it can be used as a shock recon squad, which fits the description of their operation profile, and would improve NK decks with a fighting shock recon squad.
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
For an more extensive explaination of the NK small arms situation visit this post. For reason why type-73/RPD is switched around and RPG changes visit this post.
Jeogockdae is generally inferior to the special forces with the same loadout. To increase their cost effectiveness and to differentiate these 2 units, downgrade the RPG to justifiying 25 pts.
Yuckjeondae would be a good allrounder special forces with RPK mg imported from the Soviet Union.
RD tanks suffer from a overpopulated low end, mediocre mid end and a scarce high end
For more info check this extensive post about tank development history in the PLA.
- 125mm gun armed ZTZ to 8 rpm (ZTZ-85IIA and 85III)
- Up-Value ZTZ-85-IIA (65% acc, 50% stab; 21 AP; 16 FAV, 3 TAV, 3 RAV; 115 pts), rename to ZTZ-85-IIM
- Up-Value ZTZ-85-II (65% acc, 50% stab; 14 FAV; 75 pts)
- All kpvt armed tanks get 5 points price cut, except Ch'onma-Ho 5 (Ch'onma 1 and 2, both type 59)
- ZTZ-59-IIA gun range to 2275m; accuracy to 65%, 50% stab; offroad speed to 55 km/h (due to new engine); price to 55 pts
- 2 cards of ZTZ-85III
RD high end tanks are currently solely kept afloat by the T-90. With a second card of 85III we can field somehow similar numbers of heavy tanks like most other coalitions.
In a tank heavy meta a higher RPM doesn't just adress authenticity issue (all openly available Chinese sources cite the rpm of 125mm ZTZ as 8). It will help 85III to be able to keep up with damage output of similar priced class peers.
http://www.zgjunshi.com/Article/Class38 ... 01304.html
combat RPM reaches 8.
The ZTZ-85-IIA is in reality the ZTZ-85-IIAP sold to Pakistan, it's domestic usage name would be ZTZ-85-IIM. For more info check this extensive post about ZTZ-85 line of tanks. Generally the armor for the M version which is the same as for early ZTZ-96, which is estimated to be around 550mm-650mm. For ingame purpose and the model without ERA it can come down to fill the gap of tank tab.
The same should arguably also be done to the 85-II as to bring more units into the mid-end of the spectrum, the FCS is the same after all and composite armor is the same as the standard export model ZTZ-85IIA.
Increased gun range on ZTZ-59-IIA would offer RD a viable option like the polish Merida, it has the same western derived FCS used on ZTZ-85 series.
These changes is supposed to generally distribute units more evenly among price brackets
RD artillery selection is cluttered by redundant and low end options
- increase rate of fire of small caliber and open topped artillery. (PLZ-70, Tokchon 122 and 130)
- Koksan price cut to 90 pts.
RD still have bad fire support vehicles
- SU-100 to 9 rpm and 35% acc
RD recon helo are all unarmed and slow, while the Z-9 all have the mid 2000 recon Z-9WA model
- Z-9 HJ-8 to good optics recon (price to 60 points) or add the autocannon Z-9A as good optics recon (40 pts)
A short post about the chopper with it's appearance differences.
RD lacks a cost effective or high end ASF like other coalition, since the LGB change it also lost one of it's good AT plane. Not to mention the air force is full of redundancies.
- 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)
- Q-5IA load-out increased to 8 bombs and change to napalm
- A-5I load-out change to 4x500kg HE bombs, price to 70 pts.
With only 4 small bombs the Q-5I/A-5 is a rather bad 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 A-5 it can get 500kg HE bombs to help NK to et a cheap bomber alternative to B-5.
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
3. 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
- Chonma 5 should have a 115mm gun instead of a 125mm one, and it should lose autoloader and 1 HE
- ZSD-90 should be 20 pts after the massive armor buff
- Su-25K gets 2 rear armor like Su-25Tdue to its introdate
- 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.
- Mig-23ml is 95 pts when the same plane for East Germany is 85.
- PGZ-63 lacks anti-aircraft range like other similar vehicles.
- NK shilkas 40 speed when the Russian Afganski with added weight is 50
- NK Su-7BMK cost the same despite being worse than Soviet MiG-21Bis
- PGZ-95 has very slow rate of fire for its QW-2 manpad (6 seconds between shot), unlike every other gun/manpad combo. This is still not fixed, despite what the patchlog say
- BJ-212 PWL-78 has the wrong weapon, the model is type-75 105mm RR
- J-7C should get 20% ecm like the MiG-21MF it is based one and J-7H should be reroled into J-7D as the direct successor with 30% ecm. For more details visit viewtopic.php?p=970200#p970200
- All J-7 variants, except the J-7C, have the wrong gun. It should be type-30-I 30mm cannon.
- Several naming issues with NK infantry units, for a detailed list check this
- NK Jeonchaldae (sniper team) should have 95% acc on their sniper rifle
- PL-11 should get 60% accuracy like the ground based HQ-61
As 1/3 of RedFor and a 2 country coalition I believe the options should be as viable as possible.
I thank all people who participated in this thread and contributed to this list. Lets hope eugen can make some if not all of these changes happen to RD so we can say Red Dragon is finally great!