Modern Personal Armor

R Hooks

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Has anyone tried to figure out how armored vests and Kevlar body armor would affect ASL type units? Would it reduce the fire table, say an 8 attack reduced to a 4, a 32 attack reduced to 16. Would there be some kind of penetration check needed to see if the armor has any effect before or after the attack is resolved. My only experience with body armor was flak jackets in Vietnam, is there a player with knowledge of the modern stuff who can comment.
 

A_T_Great

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I have no experience with Modern combat body armor, but if I was portraying it in ASL, I would reduce the fire table by one column, and decrease the portage capability of MMC by one.
 

Eagle4ty

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Having worn that C#@%P for a few tours, I would say it reduces the effects of small arms attacks & indirect Fire shrapnel effects by about a +1 or +2 DRM on the IFT/IIFT. The shock of being under fire is still there and your entire body is not protected, but the upper torso is sufficiently protected to ward off many otherwise fatal or disabling hits but ones natural tendency to take a defensive posture is still there. I would also say it increases the ability to become CX after some moderate physical exertion as the average weight would be around an additional 25lbs to the wearer. (Doesn't seem like a lot until you've got to operate in the stuff for an extended period of time). JMHO of course.
 

R Hooks

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Having worn that C#@%P for a few tours, I would say it reduces the effects of small arms attacks & indirect Fire shrapnel effects by about a +1 or +2 DRM on the IFT/IIFT. The shock of being under fire is still there and your entire body is not protected, but the upper torso is sufficiently protected to ward off many otherwise fatal or disabling hits but ones natural tendency to take a defensive posture is still there. I would also say it increases the ability to become CX after some moderate physical exertion as the average weight would be around an additional 25lbs to the wearer. (Doesn't seem like a lot until you've got to operate in the stuff for an extended period of time). JMHO of course.
Thank you Eagle4ty, I was exaggerating what I thought the effects were to get a more reasonable answer. Do you think say +1 if no other TEM and +2 if other TEM sounds right? I'm guessing that it would increase existing TEM and be even more effective if something has already slowed down a bullet. Can you be a bit more explicit on the physical exertion level that brings on CX? Did you ever feel like you would have been carrying other things into combat if you weren't wearing one? What would you give one up for to carry.
 
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TopT

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Thank you Eagle4ty, I was exaggerating what I thought the effects were to get a more reasonable answer. Do you think say +1 if no other TEM and +2 if other TEM sounds right? I'm guessing that it would increase existing TEM and be even more effective if something has already slowed down a bullet. Can you be a bit more explicit on the physical exertion level that brings on CX? Did you ever feel like you would have been carrying other things into combat if you weren't wearing one? What would you give one up for to carry.
I don't know.
The Kevlar vests, outfitted with SAPI plates, were effective to stop 1 round very effectively but in doing so they would shatter to spread the impact on the wearer's body. After that 1 impact their effectiveness was diminished. They worked. We had about 5-6 Marines walk away with no more than severe bruising from a dead on sniper shot. They were not infallible though and snipers would aim for the neck, abdomen, and thigh areas.
I am thinking that the results could be impacted on a successful sniper activation. If a unit is so equipped (Kevlar vests with SAPI), then on a subsequent dr (1-3 is effective) & 4-6 +1 to SAN #) -a 1 SAN becomes a 2 and a 2 becomes NE. Just spit balling.

They were heavy though. The vest w/ SAPI's, 6-8 fully loaded mags, 1 gallon of water and various miscellanious equipment would add about 40# and your body could not breathe. You just sweat. In Afghanistan, they were having mesh holders made to just carry the SAPI plates due to the heat.
 

Vinnie

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How did they work at reducing suppression by fire?
I can see the vests reducing any morale check by 1 rather than reducing the effect of the fire. Thus a 1MC becomes an NMC and an NMC becomes a +1MC. This reflectingnthe greater confidence in risk by the wearer.
 

CTKnudsen

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I wouldn't change it at all. The IFT is more a reflection of morale effects than straight up lethality. Kevlar or no, troops still go to ground under fire, moreso if they are poorly trained, inexperienced, etc. And kevlar, combined with modern battlefield medicine, has transformed the ratio of wounded to KIA greatly. But this is not something that is present on the scale of ASL. If dealing with a CG involving body armour, I might be willing to concede a walking wounded or casualty recovery rule, but I think it would be a mistake to start awarding DRM or column shifts to troops with body armour. Of course, YMMV.
 

jrv

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The troops that have the best morale in ASL tend to eschew things like helmets and other protections, at least initially. Think of Lord Lovat's commandos crossing the bridge wearing berets and not helmets. Me, I'd be wearing body armor. Inside a tank. Located outside a VFW post in upstate New York.

JR
 

Paul M. Weir

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The IFT is more a reflection of morale effects than straight up lethality.
This I have to agree with completely. From both original design explanations and subsequent discussions, the dominant factor of the IFT was perceived to be psychological. Hill himself stated that even removed "dead" units often did not represent really dead, just incapable of further combat within the time frame of a scenario. A failed morale check could represent not a single wound, just the majority saying "They are firing real bullets!".
 

hongkongwargamer

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The troops that have the best morale in ASL tend to eschew things like helmets and other protections, at least initially. Think of Lord Lovat's commandos crossing the bridge wearing berets and not helmets. Me, I'd be wearing body armor. Inside a tank. Located outside a VFW post in upstate New York.

JR
You have done this before, haven’t you?
 

R Hooks

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The troops that have the best morale in ASL tend to eschew things like helmets and other protections, at least initially. Think of Lord Lovat's commandos crossing the bridge wearing berets and not helmets. Me, I'd be wearing body armor. Inside a tank. Located outside a VFW post in upstate New York.

JR
When I was doing electronics training in US, I drew a bunker under the officers club as the place I wanted to be in Vietnam on the back of one of my notebooks, because everything was being moved out when I got in country, I was made into the officer club manager. Crazy
 

Magpie

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IMO as protective vests turn a killing shot to a wounding shot, in that regard they'd have no real effect in ASL.
If you've been hit and knocked to the ground you're in all likelihood combat ineffective within the context of a lightly wounded soldier as represented by pinning and morale checks anyway.
 
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TopT

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IMO as protective vests turn a killing shot to a wounding shot, in that regard they'd have no real effect in ASL.
If you've been hit and knocked to the ground you're in all likelihood combat ineffective within the context of a lightly wounded soldier as represented by pinning and morale checks anyway.
Yeah, that's probably it. The Marines, in my battalion, that were hit and survived had deep bruising that would take a couple days to calm down.
 

Magpie

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"KIA" in ASL though doesn't mean dead. It means no longer combat effective.
About the only time you -might- look at it I think, is body armour on leaders/heroes. Even then ... not really. Maybe something like "reroll a KIA" wound result.
 

CTKnudsen

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This I have to agree with completely. From both original design explanations and subsequent discussions, the dominant factor of the IFT was perceived to be psychological. Hill himself stated that even removed "dead" units often did not represent really dead, just incapable of further combat within the time frame of a scenario. A failed morale check could represent not a single wound, just the majority saying "They are firing real bullets!".
At one point I tinkered with a ruleset intended to generate ASL scenarios that could be played in order to resolve engagements from an operational level computer game. Forces would be moved around in the computer game, bump into each other, and you could resolve the battle in ASL. Sort of a meta campaign game.

One of the biggest sticking points, however, was in handling casualties. The op level game would want to break off attacks or conduct defensive withdrawals at realistic casualty rates - definitely well under 10%. But if you take an eliminated squad in ASL at face value ie ten men or so lost, 10% overall losses happened really really quickly - so quickly that you never really got to play the scenario before your loss rate (which was fed back into the game as a battle result) got way too high to sustain in the CG. I never did figure out a way to deal with that before the project kind of went into hiatus.

At any rate, I view that experience as a sort of reverse proof of the non-lethality of the IFT, if you will.
 

skarper

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I suspect the effects balance out somehow on the KIA/WIA level.

Perhaps something could be done with PTC? A -1 drm on PTCs is about as far as I might go. Perhaps a -1 rally drm to reflect that those knocked down by torso hits and only lightly wounded? If troops are getting hit and knocked down then in the heat of the moment those around are going to react instinctively.

In the longer term, the effect of having troops wounded rather than killed or critically wounded will have a big impact. In a CG more troops could be returned to the fray after a few days.

Were I designing a CG I would have 50% of all losses return as good order MMC in the next CG date. Perhaps if body armour was in use this percentage might be 60%. Not sure what I would do about leaders.
 
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