I've broken my suggestions down into the two categories I think most need addressing for maximum coherency and inclusiveness. These suggestions require *no* new units or models and are overall, relatively simple changes that would go a long way to adding to the depth and playability US deck.
There are many more things you could do, but just these changes would be exactly what the US deck needs.
-Riflemen '90: M60 swapped for Minimi
The SAW was developed through an initially Army-led research and development effort and eventually a Joint NDO program in the late 1970s/early 1980s to restore sustained and accurate automatic weapons fire to the fire team and squad. When actually fielded in the mid-1980s, the SAW was issued as a one-for-one replacement for the designated "automatic rifle" (M16A1) in the Fire Team. In this regard, the SAW filled the void created by the retirement of the Browning Automatic Rifle (BAR) during the 1950s because interim automatic weapons (e.g. M-14E2/M16A1) had failed as viable "base of fire" weapons.
Early in the SAW's fielding, the Army identified the need for a Product Improvement Program (PIP) to enhance the weapon. This effort resulted in a "PIP kit" which modifies the barrel, handguard, stock, pistol grip, buffer, and sights.
The M249 machine gun is an ideal complementary weapon system for the infantry squad platoon. It is light enough to be carried and operated by one man, and can be fired from the hip in an assault, even when loaded with a 200-round ammunition box. The barrel change facility ensures that it can continue to fire for long periods. The US Army has conducted strenuous trials on the M249 MG, showing that this weapon has a reliability factor that is well above that of most other small arms weapon systems. Today, the US Army and Marine Corps utilize the license-produced M249 SAW.
-Light Riflemen '75 rerolled to "75th Rangers" or just "Rangers" with 1986 unit date, 20 points, M16, M2 CG, M249
In Jan. 1974, Gen. Creighton Abrams, Army Chief of Staff, directed the formation of a Ranger battalion. The 1st Battalion (Ranger), 75th Infantry, was activated and parachuted into Fort Stewart, Ga. on July 1, 1974. The 2nd Battalion (Ranger), 75th Infantry followed with activation on Oct. 1, 1974. The 3rd Battalion, 75th Infantry (Ranger), and Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 75th Infantry (Ranger), received their colors on Oct. 3, 1984, at Fort Benning, Ga. The 75th Ranger Regiment was designated in Feb. 1986.
-Light Riflemen '90 renamed "Mountaineers" or "Light Riflemen", stays in Marine deck, possibly swap M240 for M60.
Since Light Riflemen '75 become Rangers, it does not make sense to have just Light Riflemen '90. The 10th Mountain Division is the inspiration for this unit, having the first two brigades activated in 1985 and 1988 and then deploying 1,200 soldiers in Desert Storm to support the mechanized infantry. The unit will do just that in Wargame, working with Riflemen '90 to provide the ranged capability of the Dragon and MG. This is a familiar unit to Wargame, having just been lost with the creation of Cavalry Scouts. The US deck welcomes them back.
On 13 February 1985, the 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry) was reactivated at Fort Drum, New York. In accordance with the Reorganization Objective Army Divisions plan, the division was no longer centered on regiments, instead two brigades were activated under the division. The 1st Brigade, 10th Mountain Division was activated at Fort Drum, while the 2nd Brigade, 10th Mountain Division was activated at Fort Benning, moving to Fort Drum in 1988. The division was also assigned a round-out brigade from the Army National Guard, the 27th Infantry Brigade. The division was specially designed as a light infantry division able to rapidly deploy. In this process, it lost its mountain warfare capability, but its light infantry organization still made it versatile for difficult terrain. Equipment design was oriented toward reduced size and weight for reasons of both strategic and tactical mobility. The division also received a distinctive unit insignia.
-Delta Force: M72 swapped for M2 CG, M60E3 swapped for M60 "Shorty", OR cost increased to 35, given HK21 (copied C2A1) and M3 Carl Gustav, Blackhawks added as transport option
If I can still make the case for HK21, I have some sources. (as just a copied and renamed C2A1) At Wargame's level, FN FAL and HK G3 are exactly the same, and C2A1 and HK21 are MG versions of their respective battle rifle, so C2A1 = HK21 as far as Wargame is concerned.
Some may remember the less-than stellar long-term performance of the first belt-fed HK machine gun, the HK21. Little more than an HK 7.62mm G3 assault rifle with a belt feed mechanism added to feed the weapon, early HK21s and later the improved HK21A1 models found favor with many Armies around the world. Some of the current users of the HK21E machine gun and its numerous variants include the armies of Thailand, Peru, Mexico, Finland, Ecuador and many others too numerous to mention here. Even special units like the U.S. Army's elite Delta Force used the early model of the HK21 during the attempt to rescue the American hostages in Iran in 1980 during Operation Eagle Claw. Today various U.S. special operations units and federal law enforcement agencies as well as security elements within the Department of Energy use HK21Es.
Excerpted from Delta Force, Chapter 32 & 33 by Charlie A. Beckwith, Col. U.S. Army (Ret.)
Col. Beckwith, describing the Iran Hostage Crisis…
It had always been assumed, in establishing a counterterrorist unit, that when Delta was needed overseas, the country in which it would operate would be friendly or at least neutral. When the target was taken down, Delta’s backside would be protected. Ish seemed to sum up the situation in hostile Iran perfectly. “The difference between this and the Alamo is that Davy Crockett didn’t have to fight his way in.”
We had to accommodate this new situation. Delta continued to be the only available team for the job, but it must adjust. Snipers were converted to machine gunners. Delta’s room cleaners selected as their weapon the Heckler and Koch MP5 9mm parabellum submachine. Both the Brits and the Germans use it. It feels good in your hand. It is smaller and lighter than a Thompson, and can be used with a silencer. It was ideal for Iran. Other operators used the CAR15 and a few carried .45 grease guns (M3A1s) or M16s.
Additionally, two light machine guns, the M60 and the HK21, both 7.62 were used in CampSmokey. Their hammering could be heard on the range every day. The American M60 can fire 550 rounds a minute and its air-cooled barrel can be replaced in seconds. The West German HK21 is a Rolls Royce. It fires full automatic or single shot, has an effective range of 1,200 meters, a cyclic rate of 900 rounds per minute and can fire drums, link belts, or box magazines. And unlike the M60, which is a two-man gun, the HK21 requires only one operator. Light, flexible, and accurate, for the tasks we had to perform, it’s one hell of a good weapon.
Boris had fallen in love. He is no longer a sniper. In Teheran he will be a machine gunner and he has been smitten by the HK21. For hours and hours he has familiarized himself with every nuance of the weapon. He’s changed barrels, he’s changed ammunition, he’s changed feed systems. He can take it’s roller-locked, delayed blowback system apart and reassemble it blindfolded in a matter of seconds. He makes the HK21 sing on the range. The problems he is solving in late November revolve around his weapon – how much ammo should he carry and how will he carry it, will it be more efficient to carry and fire drums, belts or magazines?
The M3 Multi-role Anti-armor Anti-tank Weapon System (MAAWS) is the U.S. military designation for the Carl Gustaf M3 recoilless rifle. It is primarily used by USSOCOM forces such as the Army Special Forces, 75th Ranger Regiment, Navy SEALS, Delta Force, DEVGRU and MARSOC. When in use with the 75th Ranger Regiment it is known as the Ranger Anti-tank Weapons System (RAWS).
In the late 1980s, the Special Operations Forces Modernization Action Plan indicated need for a Ranger Anti-Armor/Anti-Personnel Weapon System (RAAWS) to replace the M67 recoilless rifle in use by the 75th Ranger Regiment. A market survey in 1987 indicated that the Carl Gustaf M3 was the best candidate for satisfying RAAWS requirements. On 29 September 1988, the M3 was selected as the RAAWS from candidate proposals submitted in response to the market survey compiled by ARDEC. A subsequent review of the contractor-supplied fatigue test data determined that the data did not meet U.S. Army requirements. Benét Laboratories conducted fatigue test of 2 tubes to establish an interim safe service life for the weapon. Tests were conducted in 1993. The manufacturer’s recommended life for the weapon was 500 rounds, but bore surfaces showed no indications of erosion until 2,360 rounds. The U.S. Navy SEALs became interested in the program and moved it to a Joint Integrated Product Team. The program name subsequently changed from the RAAWS to the Multi-Role Anti-Armor/Anti-Personnel Weapon System (MAAWS).
The Multi-Role Anti-Armor Anti-Personnel Weapon System, or MAAWS, also known as the M3 Carl Gustaf, has been in the United States Special Operations Command inventory since 1991.
-Marines '90: M72A4 swapped for AT4 or price reduced back to 25, Humvee and LAV-25 added as transport options
The added transports make this unit much more versatile since they can now get two new 150kmh transports with the cheap Humvee and Cult-of-Autocannon-approved LAV-25 which was used as a transport in the late '80s and early '90s.
-Rangers renamed "LRRP Rangers" or "Recon Rangers", M240 swapped for M60 "Shorty", M2 CG swapped for M72 LAW, unit date set as 1972 and opened to Marine deck
-F-14: Moved to Air tab
The F-14 began replacing the F-4 Phantom II in U.S. Navy service starting in September 1974 with squadrons VF-1 "Wolfpack" and VF-2 "Bounty Hunters" aboard USS Enterprise (CVN-65) and participated in the American withdrawal from Saigon. The F-14 had its first kills in U.S. Navy service on 19 August 1981 over the Gulf of Sidra in what is known as the Gulf of Sidra incident. In that engagement two F-14s from VF-41 Black Aces were engaged by two Libyan Su-22 "Fitters". The F-14s evaded the short range heat seeking AA-2 "Atoll" missile and returned fire, downing both Libyan aircraft. U.S. Navy F-14s once again were pitted against Libyan aircraft on 4 January 1989, when two F-14s from VF-32 shot down two Libyan MiG-23 "Floggers" over the Gulf of Sidra in a second Gulf of Sidra incident.
The participation of the F-14 in the 1991 Operation Desert Storm consisted of Combat Air Patrol (CAP) over the Red Sea and Persian Gulf and overland missions consisting of strike escort and reconnaissance. Until the waning days of Desert Storm, in-country air superiority was tasked to USAF F-15 Eagles due to the way the Air Tasking Orders (ATO) delegated primary overland CAP stations to the F-15 Eagle. The governing Rules of Engagement (ROE) also dictated a strict Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) requirement when employing Beyond Visual Range weapons such as the AIM-7 Sparrow and particularly the AIM-54 Phoenix. This hampered the Tomcat from using its most powerful weapon. Furthermore, the powerful emissions from the AWG-9 radar are detectable at great range with a radar warning receiver. Iraqi fighters routinely retreated as soon as the Tomcats "lit them up" with the AWG-9. The U.S. Navy suffered its only F-14 loss from enemy action on 21 January 1991 when BuNo 161430, an F-14A upgraded to an F-14A+, from VF-103 was shot down by an SA-2 surface-to-air missile while on an escort mission near Al Asad airbase in Iraq. Both crew survived ejection with the pilot being rescued by USAF Special Forces and the RIO being captured by Iraqi troops as a POW until the end of the war. The F-14 also achieved its final kill, an Mi-8 "Hip" helicopter, with an AIM-9 Sidewinder.
-F-16: loadout change and turn rate/ECM buff
Suggestion: US currently lacks an AGM option that isn't either really slow (A-10) or part of the Marine deck (AV-8B, F/A-18A, F/A-18C). A nice option would be to give this loadout of six Rockeyes to the F-16A and change the F-16C's loadout to 4xAGM-65G and 2xAIM-120s. Date should be moved up to 1989 as a result of that.
Misc: Turn rate should be comparable to the MiG-29 at least. The MiG doesn't lose out on maneuverability just because it's carrying bombs.
-F-15D upgraded to two per card or AIM-120s and 50% ECM.
You could also balance it with Su-27M and make it a multirole with 50% ECM and MRAAMs.
Xeno426 wrote:Change F-15E to have 2 avail in one card.
-F/A-18: improved turn rate for all, F/A-18A rerolled as cluster bomber
Xeno426 wrote: F/A-18 had amazing AoA (Angle of Attack) capability, so the turn rate should be at least 350, if not 300.
I hope EUG can seriously consider these changes before patch support is ended. Please leave the US deck and Wargame as a whole on a positive note as you transition to AoA and other developments. I would love to hear all thoughts on these proposed changes.