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Vehicle Crew

Wed 25 Aug 2021, 22:58

I have some questions about vehicle crew. As I understand, there are 4 different positions, Driver, Gunner, Passenger and Commander. If crew is one, I assume that it's the driver. If crew is 4 and there are two weapons (main and secondary) there is 1 driver, 2 gunners and 1 commander.

So I am wondering what the commander's role in this is, other then being hit? Can a 4 crew tank be driven by only a driver and a gunner? Can a 1 crew vehicle (humvee) have a commander too and what is his role?
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Re: Vehicle Crew

Wed 25 Aug 2021, 23:07

Depends on the vehicle. In a humvee his role is to command the vehicle, that's about it. In a tank, the commander usually also operates the external weapon. But there's a lot of variety there depending on the specific design. If there's a main gun and a coax gun, then the gunner operates both. If there's a gun and a missile system, then that's also all the gunner. Any additional weapon is probably the commander's. I can't think of any vehicles that have 2 dedicated gunners off the top of my head.

As a rule of thumb, if there's a mounted MG like a .50 that isn't the primary weapon, then that's probably the commander's responsibility.
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Re: Vehicle Crew

Wed 25 Aug 2021, 23:19

Makes sense in a realistic scenario. But in the game, the commander doesn't have any special role, I mean rule wise other then being a target? There doesn't have to be a commander, they can just all be passangers, exept the driver or gunner if there are guns? Anyone can do the survival role for navigation?
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Re: Vehicle Crew

Thu 26 Aug 2021, 03:03

The commander's job is to coordinate the action of the crew. They keep a managerial level of awareness of the situation and direct the rest when and where to do their tasks. Even in a tank. As to what happens when the commander is hit, that seems unspecified. As a rule, I might degrade the crew's rating by a step or two, depending on how vital to the perception of the battlefield they are to the crew. A HMMWV would take less of a hit than a tank, for example. (Obviously, if a gun is at their crew position, that would be unavailable, too, unless another crew member abandons their original role.)

(Note, a passenger is a passenger because they aren't a crewman. There would be no degradation of crew skill if one is lost.)
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Re: Vehicle Crew

Tue 07 Sep 2021, 22:26

In combat, out of a main battle tank's crew, only the commander has any practical situational awareness. The gunner is glued to the main gun sight and will be attempting to hit the one target he can see. The loader, if there is one, is entirely preoccupied with the physically demanding task of reloading the main gun. The driver is low in the hull so has a poor vantage point, and will either be moving the tank or standing ready to do so. The commander can actually look around a bit, call out targets to the gunner, give movement orders to the driver, and potentially communicate with other tanks. At the company and platoon levels (squadron and company for the British) the tank commander may also be a small unit commander.

If a main battle tank or similar vehicle has no commander, then either someone else has to step into that role or the crew will have very little awareness of the situation outside the vehicle. If the vehicle is being crewed by PCs then the referee should give them almost no information about the outside. If the vehicle is being crewed by NPCs then it may well stop fighting. History has shown that when an AFV takes a crew casualty, the remainder of the crew is very likely to drive away from the fighting.
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Re: Vehicle Crew

Tue 07 Sep 2021, 22:37

There is a joke about the s-tank (strv-103) that is has a crew of three, one commander, one gunner/driver and one who fix the coffee (real job is rear driver).
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Re: Vehicle Crew

Fri 10 Sep 2021, 05:34

There is also a big difference between a vehicle being unbottoned verse being fully buttoned up.

Personally I have no experience with tanks, only APCs as an infantry passanger but once you are inside you can't see or hear anything going on outside the vehicle. Depending on the vehicle some of the crew will have vision blocks, periscopes or even cameras. But only the commander is likely to maintain 360 degree situational awareness.

So the driver can probably only see what is immediately in front of them sufficient to navigate the vehicle.

The gunner will have excellent vision but only in the direction that the gunsite is pointing.

A loader or a radio operator may have access to vision devices but only if they are not performing their primary task.

The commander will have access to multiple vision devices and it is their job to understand what is going on around the vehicle.

Also many AFVs will have blind spots in close where infantry will be below the vision devices on top of the vehicle and hence be invisible to the crew.

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