01 November 2011

Sound Off! Quantity or quality?

Another thought from our good buddy Jack Nastyface:

Firepower versus numbers: when choosing your forces, is it more useful to have 1 unit of 2x firepower...or 2 units with x firepower?

Sound off in the comments below!

By: Brant


Matt Purvis said...

More units!!! I'd rather be able to mass fires and have more chances of hitting something rather than one giant fist that may miss.

Brant said...

I'm sure sooner or later Dan will pay us a visit with the statistical analysis of which one *performs* better, but stats can't tell us what *feels* better...

Guardian said...

As the question is phrased, quantity wins in my mind. Having 2 units with firepower x gives you more flexibility than 1 unit with firepower 2x.

That said, in the real world, I'm a believer in quality over quantity. Give me a 12-man SOF team over a battalion of infantry conscripts, a platoon of M1A1s over a battalion of T-55s, a 4-ship flight of F-22s over a wing of MiG-21s (*), etc.

(*): Just keep the fight under 10K feet, so my pilots don't black-out from hypoxia with the flaky life support system :). Why do I like picking on the F-22 so much?

besilarius said...

An example of some military brass thinking.
During the 1973 Yom Kippur war, the USN had three carriers deployed in the Med.
As they came in, at first there was one very large task force. Three carriers, about six cruisers, probably fifteen destroyers, and an indeterminate number of attack subs.
After a few days, this was immediately broken down to three seperate task forces.
Being a wet behind the ears junior officer, my appreciation was based on Admiral Jack Towers suggestions to Tom Kincaid prior to Santa Cruz.
He was ComNavAir pacific, and well respected.
His idea was that one big task force, with all available ships concentrated for air defense was a better strategy than each carrier having its own group, with a divided gunnery power and Combat Air Patrol .
Kincaid went ahead with two carrier groups built around Enterprise and HOrnet. Hornet took heavy damage and was lost.
I was worried when three groups were formed, which meant only about seven escorts per carrier.
Older hands felt it was safer due to nuclear weapons.

madmaxusmc said...

According to the old saying, "Quantity has a quality all its' own..."

Anonymous said...

Sorry for posting late...on vacation this week. Once again, please allow me to respond to my own quare.

When it comes to wargames (and I'm only speaking in terms of wargames, not real-life) the basis of my question becomes especially relevant when you weigh in the defense value and combat results table. Although I used to be a big fan of the "heavy hitter" units, I can to understand that defense factor is equally important. So a unit that fires "2x" isn't really twice as potent as unit that fires at "x" if both units can be killed by the same result. So the 2x unit isn't really worth 2x...it's worth something more like root 2. So in games like GEV, I found that light tanks were more effective than the Heavy tanks (half the price, half the strength, but but 2/3 the defense), and infanty units were best deployed in 2x strength. Other examples include "buying" 50 gun ships instead of big 100-gun ships-of-the line in Wooden Ships.

I'm not sure if this methodology always works in "real world" examples. I'm sure we are all familiar with the expression used by German tankers during WWII..."out tanks were worth 10 of yours, but you always had an 11th". Fair enough...but those 10 tanks represent real men, real equipment, real training hours, money, money, moral, etc...

Yours in gaming,

Jack Nastyface