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What is the right squad size?


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#1 dracopticon

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 05:31 AM

Hello all. 

Excuse me for this extremely noobish question, and this has probably been answered somewhere in this forum, 
but I searched it and could find anything  on "squad size". So here's the question: how many men does a basic 
Cadian infantry squad include?  7 men? 10 men?

And also, how many squads make up a platoon? 4? Grateful for any help!



#2 Tygre

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 12:29 PM

The standard Infantry Squad consists of 10 Guardsmen.  Most times 1 Sergeant, 1 Heavy Weapon Gunner, 1 Heavy Weapon Loader, 1 Special Weapon Gunner, 6 regular guardsmen.

The standard heavy weapon squad or special weapons squad consists of 3 gunners and 3 loaders.

The Platoon sizes vary depending on the regiment.  A platoon consists of a command squad and 3 to 6 squads ,depending on the regiment and casualties.

By the way the platoon command squad consists of 1 Lieutenant and 4 guardsmen.  In the tabletop game you can upgrade the guardsmen to things like a banner bearer, medic, special weapon, heavy weapon (takes two, gunner and loader).



#3 Plushy

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 03:18 PM

 The general assumption (and the standard in the US Army, I think?) is ten men. So in OW, that would be five PCs and five Comrades. But it could depend on the regiment.


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#4 Tygre

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 09:14 PM

The standard for the US army is actually 9 men.  Staff Sergeant and 2 fire teams of 4.

The 10 man squad most likely come from the British Army in WW2.  Games-workshop being a British company, not American.

From what I've read the Imperial Guard prefer to keep their squads up to full strength, merging squads to bring up numbers.  But still basically 5 players and 5 comrades.

I agree that, as always, it depends on the Regiment/World/Situation etc.



#5 Ryath

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 06:51 AM

Fuff wise if you have read any of the Ciaphas Cain novels by Sandy Mitchell the main character of the novels would refer to a full squad of guardsmen as a 10 men squad, he would also make refernces to when they would split up combat squads in to "fire teams" of five men each if a situation needed the squad to cover more ground faster.

 

In any of the Imperial Guard army codex for the table top game as standard combat platoon squad would be 10 men.  They could have a number of different units withint that squad like one sargent, a two man heavy weapons team, a specilist with a different weapon (Plasma/Melta Gun) or a Vox unit.  But most of the the time a full combat squad would contain 10 men.  So of the other squads like a Command Squad or Heavy weapons Squad could have 4 to 6 men,  In more specialized armies like the Catachan Death World Codex some of the patrol squads or special elite unit squads could be easily 5 to 10 men.

 

For playing the game if you can get five player character together I would think that would be a great start.  I do have to say I wish I could get that many people to play, but that aside that is a good group number and with the 5 PC you could have 5 npc comrades.  Just have to remember some of the clases like Commissar, Tech-Priest, and Storm Trooper didn't get commrades in the beta, may have changed now but thats just a minor point.



#6 Monkfish

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 11:08 PM

Current British infantry sections are made up of 8 men consisting of 2 fire teams made up of Charlie fire team lead by the section commander who is a Corporal and Delta fire team who are lead by a Lance-Corporal. 

There are three sections to a platoon, the platoon HQ consists of a junior officer (2nd Lieutenant, Lieutenant or occasionally a Captain in the case of a specialist unit such as a Recce/Sniper platoon), a Sergeant, a signaller and possibly one other soldier.

However current procedure on operations is to split the platoon into 2 multiples with the Sergeant leading one and the officer leading the other.

I'll be using the British system, ranks and organisation, as I have 4 players and 'cause I am (British).

 



#7 borithan

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 04:35 AM

Tygre said:

 

The standard for the US army is actually 9 men.  Staff Sergeant and 2 fire teams of 4.

The 10 man squad most likely come from the British Army in WW2.  Games-workshop being a British company, not American.

From what I've read the Imperial Guard prefer to keep their squads up to full strength, merging squads to bring up numbers.  But still basically 5 players and 5 comrades.

I agree that, as always, it depends on the Regiment/World/Situation etc.

 

10 has long been the "base" that all armies have worked form since the early 20th century. WW2 German squads at least started at a nominal strength of 10 (this was reduced to 9 later due to manpower shortages). British squads ("sections") had a 10 man strength, but originally the intention was only 7 or 8 would actually fight at any one time (the British had a "Left out of battle" system where 2/3 men would be left behind to account for those who were sick, wounded, or to give a respite for the men), but as the war progressed it was incresingly decided that the full 10 men strength would fight. American squads, at least in the army, were based on 12 man nominal strength (the airborne may have been different, and I think the marines worked in 13, with 3 fire teams of 4 and a squad leader).

 

This tends to have been reduced in armies since the war to about 8, but then we have had a move towards smaller, more professional armies, increasing firepower with smaller numbers of men (most WW2 squads were based around a single light machine gun. Now you tend to have 2 or more automatic support weapons per squad, and the rest of the section tends to be armed with semi or fully automatic weapons, rather than bolt action rifles), and changes in doctrines.

Even though they may technically not be 10, they are obviously based around that number.

IG squads are 10 men, 1 sergeant, 1 Special weapons guy, and a heavy weapon gunner and his assistant. This purely comes from the fact that GW has worked from squads of 10. They could have had more variety, or worked different numbers, but they chose 10 as a nice round number.

IG squads used to be 3 squads and a 5/6 man command team, with 3 and a 5/6 man command squad (total strength roughly 110). Now it seems that they are started at 5 squads and a 5 man command team, leading to a full strength of 55 men. A company is 6 such platoons (330 men), a command squad, and a support platoon (of 5 support squads, each of 6 men). Bloody massive, but then many of them will be quickly reduced in the meatgrinder.



#8 Radwraith

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 07:20 PM

borithan said:

Tygre said:

 

The standard for the US army is actually 9 men.  Staff Sergeant and 2 fire teams of 4.

The 10 man squad most likely come from the British Army in WW2.  Games-workshop being a British company, not American.

From what I've read the Imperial Guard prefer to keep their squads up to full strength, merging squads to bring up numbers.  But still basically 5 players and 5 comrades.

I agree that, as always, it depends on the Regiment/World/Situation etc.

 

10 has long been the "base" that all armies have worked form since the early 20th century. WW2 German squads at least started at a nominal strength of 10 (this was reduced to 9 later due to manpower shortages). British squads ("sections") had a 10 man strength, but originally the intention was only 7 or 8 would actually fight at any one time (the British had a "Left out of battle" system where 2/3 men would be left behind to account for those who were sick, wounded, or to give a respite for the men), but as the war progressed it was incresingly decided that the full 10 men strength would fight. American squads, at least in the army, were based on 12 man nominal strength (the airborne may have been different, and I think the marines worked in 13, with 3 fire teams of 4 and a squad leader).

 

This tends to have been reduced in armies since the war to about 8, but then we have had a move towards smaller, more professional armies, increasing firepower with smaller numbers of men (most WW2 squads were based around a single light machine gun. Now you tend to have 2 or more automatic support weapons per squad, and the rest of the section tends to be armed with semi or fully automatic weapons, rather than bolt action rifles), and changes in doctrines.

Even though they may technically not be 10, they are obviously based around that number.

IG squads are 10 men, 1 sergeant, 1 Special weapons guy, and a heavy weapon gunner and his assistant. This purely comes from the fact that GW has worked from squads of 10. They could have had more variety, or worked different numbers, but they chose 10 as a nice round number.

IG squads used to be 3 squads and a 5/6 man command team, with 3 and a 5/6 man command squad (total strength roughly 110). Now it seems that they are started at 5 squads and a 5 man command team, leading to a full strength of 55 men. A company is 6 such platoons (330 men), a command squad, and a support platoon (of 5 support squads, each of 6 men). Bloody massive, but then many of them will be quickly reduced in the meatgrinder.

Close. If I understand the Codex IG the "typical" (If there truly is such a thing!) Platoon would consist of 3 Infantry squads with 10 men each; 1 heavy weapons squad with 6 men and a Sergeant for a total of seven and a Special weapons squad (Sniper, Flamer or engineer/sapper) with 10 men as well. Lastly would be the command squad with 5-6 men. This would yield anaverage platoon size of approx. 50- 52 men.



#9 dracopticon

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 08:53 PM

Many good answers here guys! Thank you so much for the effort. I think I'll go with the Primer's instructions on this.



#10 Drop Bear 2.0

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Posted 15 December 2012 - 11:49 PM

going all the way back to Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader (the 1st ed of the table top game) 10 was concidered "Normal" but they could be as large or as small at cermnstances allowed or needed (20-30 being the practical Cap), there was once a "Squad" of  100 IG Beastmen in one semi-offichial battle report I read and at a Con I saw photos of one of the Studio armies with a "Squad" of 30 IG Mutant Penial Leigon both way back in the 80's.

 

normaly an IG Squad is 10 men icluding a Sergent, optionaly one man can cary a Light Suport Weapon and also optionaly a two man Suport Weapons Team or a 2nd Light Suport Weapon Trooper

 

curantaly a IG Platoon has a 5 Man Command Section (plus atached spechlists like Psykers, Comisars, Tech Preists, Eclasticay ect.), Optionaly a Suport Weapons Squad with 3-4 (normaly just 3) Suport Weapons teams and optionaly a Seargent & 2IC is attached to the Command Section and the platoons Main Body is mase up of 2-4 (normaly 2-3) 10 man Lasgun Squads, other Spechlist Teqams and Squads are atached from higher command as needed and/or avalible.

 

an IG Company normaly has a five man Company HQ with a attached Commisar and Spechlist pool (Psykers, more Commissars, Tech Priests, Eclasticay ect.) and Spechlist Squad pool to be arached to Platoons as needed, thease are normaly detached to Company HQ from a higher HQ.



#11 AtoMaki

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Posted 16 December 2012 - 12:41 AM

From a canonical perspection, the answer is this (it is regimental/company level organization, but you can have the idea):

From a game-playing standpoint, i would say that 4 PCs+their Comrades, 1 "big" NPC (with specialization and Comrade) and 2-3 "cannon fodder" NPCs are the optimal size of a OW party. 

 



#12 dracopticon

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Posted 16 December 2012 - 06:21 AM

Drop Bear 2.0 said:

 

going all the way back to Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader (the 1st ed of the table top game) 10 was concidered "Normal" but they could be as large or as small at cermnstances allowed or needed (20-30 being the practical Cap), there was once a "Squad" of  100 IG Beastmen in one semi-offichial battle report I read and at a Con I saw photos of one of the Studio armies with a "Squad" of 30 IG Mutant Penial Leigon both way back in the 80's.

 

normaly an IG Squad is 10 men icluding a Sergent, optionaly one man can cary a Light Suport Weapon and also optionaly a two man Suport Weapons Team or a 2nd Light Suport Weapon Trooper

 

curantaly a IG Platoon has a 5 Man Command Section (plus atached spechlists like Psykers, Comisars, Tech Preists, Eclasticay ect.), Optionaly a Suport Weapons Squad with 3-4 (normaly just 3) Suport Weapons teams and optionaly a Seargent & 2IC is attached to the Command Section and the platoons Main Body is mase up of 2-4 (normaly 2-3) 10 man Lasgun Squads, other Spechlist Teqams and Squads are atached from higher command as needed and/or avalible.

 

an IG Company normaly has a five man Company HQ with a attached Commisar and Spechlist pool (Psykers, more Commissars, Tech Priests, Eclasticay ect.) and Spechlist Squad pool to be arached to Platoons as needed, thease are normaly detached to Company HQ from a higher HQ.

 




Many thanks for your answer! A useful description for my gamemastering.



#13 dracopticon

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Posted 16 December 2012 - 06:36 AM

AtoMaki said:

From a canonical perspection, the answer is this (it is regimental/company level organization, but you can have the idea):

(pic)

From a game-playing standpoint, i would say that 4 PCs+their Comrades, 1 "big" NPC (with specialization and Comrade) and 2-3 "cannon fodder" NPCs are the optimal size of a OW party. 



Very good pic there! The regiment I'll be gamemastering though, is not an armored regiment. Look to my other thread "A question about the "100 Regiments for Only War" thread" for a description of my own invented regiment "The Hardlanders".



#14 Drop Bear 2.0

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Posted 16 December 2012 - 11:45 AM

A squad can be as small as your party, repesenting either a spechial pourpous team or squad, or just a grab bag of spechlists on lone to the Platoon from higher command, eg Jenny is a Medic on lone from Batalion, Bob is a Sniper detached from a Coups level Spec Opps company, Frank is a Bomb Tech on lone from the Eneginers Reigment, Sally is a Psycher down from Regiment and Marcus is a Close Assualt Storm Trooper who's unit got wiped out a few months back and has no where else to go since his reasigment is caught up in paperwork. a fairly diverce set of characters just throwen together and atached to a Platoon bacause Company saw it was the only sub-unit with open files/Billit space in it's TO&E.



#15 AtoMaki

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Posted 16 December 2012 - 09:34 PM

dracopticon said:

Very good pic there! The regiment I'll be gamemastering though, is not an armored regiment. Look to my other thread "A question about the "100 Regiments for Only War" thread" for a description of my own invented regiment "The Hardlanders".

 

Oh, it has the Infantry Regiment too (right side), but the scaling is kinda' off. Just save the pic, and you should see it.



#16 borithan

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Posted 16 December 2012 - 11:51 PM

Radwraith said:

Close. If I understand the Codex IG the "typical" (If there truly is such a thing!) Platoon would consist of 3 Infantry squads with 10 men each; 1 heavy weapons squad with 6 men and a Sergeant for a total of seven and a Special weapons squad (Sniper, Flamer or engineer/sapper) with 10 men as well. Lastly would be the command squad with 5-6 men. This would yield anaverage platoon size of approx. 50- 52 men.

Where did you get that from?. From what I am remember of the pre-5th/6th edition codex 1) a heavy weapon squad doesn't have a seperate leader (totalling 6 men), and special weapon squads are also 6 men (though this may have changed for the latest edition, I haven't looked at the codex in a while), and 2) those support squads are attached at Company level, not platoon level. I know they are now part of the infantry platoons in the current codex, but as far as I aware this hasn't been made into an official organisation, just a game mechanic one. This is unlike 3rd through 5th editions 5 squad platoon and company HQ with attached support squads, which was translated into an official organisational structure. The Cadian… can't remember the number, but Kreed's regiment, is broken down in detail and uses exactly this structure. That was a change from 2nd edition, where it was 3 squad platoons, and 3 platoons to a company (with an unspecified number of companies in a regiment, and attachments of support etc being unspecified). Battalions don't seem to be an organisational unit in the Imperial Guard, other than possibly a naming convention for certain regiments, but then their at least partially self contained nature is entirely counter to the Imperial Doctrine of "No single man must be able to command a viable stand alone force".

Of course, as you say, the Guard are meant to be very varied, so this won't be universal.

And according to that chart, at least one Cadian Regiment uses a 3 platoons (of 3 squads each) to a company structure (but then no company level organic support, presumably just attachments from the heavy weapon companies).



#17 Drop Bear 2.0

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Posted 17 December 2012 - 12:38 AM

Him ot Terra, all this IG talk has got me diging out 40K IG books going back to '90 and my folder of Army Lists and found my 40K:RT 1500 pt Assualt Company (base rolls and fleshed out with points), first 8 squads all scored Boltguns w/Shirikin Catapults for Squad Support Weapons. 2 Squads with Bolt Pistols& Swords. allSargents also with Bolt Pistol & Chain Sword and every one with Photon Grenades, Mesh & Flack, Visors & Masks. the Companies only Heavy weapons where mounted on a handfull  of Road Wheelers.



#18 Radwraith

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 01:05 AM

borithan said:

Radwraith said:

 

Close. If I understand the Codex IG the "typical" (If there truly is such a thing!) Platoon would consist of 3 Infantry squads with 10 men each; 1 heavy weapons squad with 6 men and a Sergeant for a total of seven and a Special weapons squad (Sniper, Flamer or engineer/sapper) with 10 men as well. Lastly would be the command squad with 5-6 men. This would yield anaverage platoon size of approx. 50- 52 men.

 

Where did you get that from?. From what I am remember of the pre-5th/6th edition codex 1) a heavy weapon squad doesn't have a seperate leader (totalling 6 men), and special weapon squads are also 6 men (though this may have changed for the latest edition, I haven't looked at the codex in a while), and 2) those support squads are attached at Company level, not platoon level. I know they are now part of the infantry platoons in the current codex, but as far as I aware this hasn't been made into an official organisation, just a game mechanic one. This is unlike 3rd through 5th editions 5 squad platoon and company HQ with attached support squads, which was translated into an official organisational structure. The Cadian… can't remember the number, but Kreed's regiment, is broken down in detail and uses exactly this structure. That was a change from 2nd edition, where it was 3 squad platoons, and 3 platoons to a company (with an unspecified number of companies in a regiment, and attachments of support etc being unspecified). Battalions don't seem to be an organisational unit in the Imperial Guard, other than possibly a naming convention for certain regiments, but then their at least partially self contained nature is entirely counter to the Imperial Doctrine of "No single man must be able to command a viable stand alone force".

 

Of course, as you say, the Guard are meant to be very varied, so this won't be universal.

And according to that chart, at least one Cadian Regiment uses a 3 platoons (of 3 squads each) to a company structure (but then no company level organic support, presumably just attachments from the heavy weapon companies).

My Information comes from the IG 5th edition codex. It in noway requires the mix I presented but it sort of suggests it in the Army points list under the "Troops" section. The 10 man squads ARE the standard that you buy. At a minimum it is 9 guardsmen and a sergeant all armed with Lasgun, close combat weapon and grenades. (The Sergeant has Las pistol and chainsword instead!) Various upgrades can change this of course and platoons are considered a single troop choice. It is at the platoon lvl that I noticed that the structure that I posted would be likely. 



#19 Kasatka

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 04:06 AM

When a regiment is tithed it is constructed to optimally sized units according to the tactica imperialis, the needs of the campaign and simply what the planet has to offer (feral warriors are best put into bigger units to mob the enemy, heavy infantry fair better in smaller units with armour support etc).

At a very basic level the 3 components of a platoon are the following:
A command squad - 1 NCO and 4 guardsmen

Infantry squads - 1 NCO and 9 guardsmen

Heavy/Special weapon squads - 6 guardsmen

A platoon at an absolute minimum consists of 1 command squad and 2 infantry squads and can add up to 3 more infantry squads, 2 special weapon squads, 5 heavy weapon squads and even a conscript squad (consisting of between 20 and 50 men). This means that a platoon can be anything from 25 to almost 150 guardsmen in strength.

If a regiment survives a campaign (which many simply won't) then it obviously suffer casualties. This reduces many squads to less than full strength. Once the fighting is over or during transit from one warzone to another, regimental command will reorganize the squads back up to full strength. Platoons that may have started off with close to 150 strength may end a campaign with barely a quarter of that.

Finally are the rare occasions when a platoon will be wiped out but for a handful of guardsmen. These grim faced survivors will have employed a range of ingenious and highly unorthodox tactics in order to survive and when recovered are either put into command positions of other squads or formed up into their own Veteran guardsmen squads to better make use of their unique talents.

 

So short answer - a squad is anything from 5 to 50 men strong depending on the situation and type of regiment it is.


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#20 borithan

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 04:37 AM

That's the thing: I don't think the "Imperial Guard Infantry Platoon" in the current Imperial Guard Codex is actually representative of any official platoon. It is just a way to organise it for game purposes. In "reality" it would represent an infantry platoon with various attached extras: heavy weapons squads and special weapons squads from the company HQ and heavy weapon companies, and possibly a nearby platoon of conscripts (organised as very large squads in the game because their lack of training means they cannot operate properly as independent squads). I haven't seen anything yet which translates this into an "official" organisation for any guard regiment. It just seems to be a a game abstraction. This is different from the previous optimal 55 man platoon (5 squads plus 5 man HQ), as the 4th edition codex actually describes at least one regiment using exactly that structure (with having 6 platoons to a company, and a company HQ with organic support elements). The 2nd edition codex also specified that in "reality" a platoon was 3 ten man squads + platoon HQ, with a company being made up of 3 of them.






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