NEWS

Light Machine Guns useless?

  • 97 Replies
  • 23556 Views

The other Bandit

  • *
  • Newb
  • *
  • Posts: 96
« Reply #30 on: (16:38:33/12-17-13) »
@martinchaen:
I have fired the MG3 during my time too and would hardly call it an LMG, furthermore the much to high RPM of this machine gun does not help in any way too. Although it is heavy for sure. What exactly is that thing at the barrel called again? You know where other machine guns have muzzle brakes or compensators... oh right the "recoil booster"    ;)

A better comparison would be the american M4A1 and the M249, felt recoil from a 3.4 kg carbine and a whooping big 10 kg heavy machine gun firering the same fast and light caliber will make a difference, standing or prone.

There are weapons that can and should be fired from shoulder (Smaller caliber LMG, slower firering MMgs) and weapons that should not be fired from shoulder (hyper fast MMGs and big ass HMGs).
In SR5 the HMGs have a place because of range, damage and penetration.
But point of this thread seems to be the weird place LMGs take in this version, a problem which should be adressed so that all my 2nd and 3rd edition mercenaries can rest in peace knowing that there IS a reason to lug around the big stick!
« Last Edit: (16:42:22/12-17-13) by The other Bandit »

CanRay

  • *
  • Freelancer
  • Mr. Johnson
  • ***
  • Posts: 11028
  • Spouter of Random Words
    • CanRay's Artistic Work
« Reply #31 on: (19:39:47/12-17-13) »
Maybe set up something like that scene in RED where the machine gun just keeps chugging along while everyone has left?
Si vis pacem, para bellum

martinchaen

  • *
  • Guest
« Reply #32 on: (23:31:59/12-17-13) »
The other Bandit
You'll note that at the end of my previous post I compared the MG-3 to the Stoner-Ares M202 "Medium" class machine gun in SR5 (what I would call a general purpose machine gun). I made no attempt to classify the MG-3 as a light machine gun in SR5 terms, as it is very clearly no such thing.

That is also precisely why I compared the MG-3 machine gun to the G-3 assault rifle, as both weapons fire 7.62mm standard NATO rounds; with the MG-3 at approximately 10kgs (unloaded) and the G-3 at a little over 4kgs (again, unloaded and without accessories), these are very similar to your example of the M4 and the M249, except that they fire a larger caliber round and will therefore have much higher felt recoil in both instances. Firing either at full auto from a standing position is highly ineffective if accuracy is your goal.

I would also argue that the M249 is a light machine gun in SR5 terms, not an MMG. It's 7.62mm equivalent, the FN MAG, is more along the lines of a general purpose machine gun, or MMG, at least to my mind.

All in all, I don't think LMGs have a weird place at all, as you have to compare like for like and take caliber of the round into account.

Real world examples:
Comparable 5.56mm chambered LMG and AR: FN Minimi (M249) and AR15/M16/M4 type rifles
Comparable 7.62mm chambered MMG and AR: FN MAG (M240) or MG-3 and G-3 and AK-103 (modernized version of the AK-47, though both of these are chambered for the slightly different 7.62 x 39mm round)
Comparable 12.7mm chambered HMG and "AR": DShKM, GAU-19, or Browning M2 and Barret M82 carbine and M82A1 (or newer variants) rifle

The M134 Minigun could be classed as an MMG based on caliber, but it's high rate of fire, weight, and actual usage as a vehicle mounted weapon places it more in the HMG category.

In SR5 terms, this breaks down into the following based on base DV (note that the MMG and the HMG has superiour AP values by 1 and 2, respectively):
Comparable caliber LMG and AR: Ingram Valiant and Colt M23
Comparable caliber MMG and AR: Stoner-Ares M202 and AK-97 or FN HAR
Comparable caliber HMG and AR: RPK HMG and Ares Alpha and Yamaha Raiden

As evidenced by the above, comparing the Ingram Valiant, the only LMG available in SR5, to an Ares Alpha is unfair because in reality it is a weapon more suitably compared to a smaller caliber assault rifle like the Colt M23.

The same amount of firepower in SR5 as that thrown downrange by an Ares Alpha thus requires a strength of 10 to wield unless it is mounted on a vehicle.

frankhlane

  • *
  • Newb
  • *
  • Posts: 54
« Reply #33 on: (08:00:54/12-18-13) »
The same amount of firepower in SR5 as that thrown downrange by an Ares Alpha thus requires a strength of 10 to wield unless it is mounted on a vehicle.

Agreed, but I'm pretty sure that Alpha is getting toned down, or everything else is getting tuned up.  My preference is to tune everything else up, SR5 is especially deadly and I like that a lot.
This is your ICQ number.  This is your AOL Instant Messenger nickname. Your MSN messenger email address. This is your Yahoo! Instant Messenger nickname.

The other Bandit

  • *
  • Newb
  • *
  • Posts: 96
« Reply #34 on: (14:00:29/12-18-13) »
Judging from the first two fights my Character was I totaly agree on the lethality. He is in Doc Waggon care now after getting chopped up by frikkin ninjas.
Interesting to note is that the first few rounds not much did happen, all were dodging quite happily along until the first hits got through. After that with penalties stacking up it got pretty intense. I really like it!

@martinchaen: Yes that sounds completely logical, nice summarisation! It is interesting that I never thought of HMGs as .50cals (or equivalent). That is food for thought!
                             I am still getting the feel for the new damage codes and combat rules. What do you think is or should be the LMGs niche in the new system?

martinchaen

  • *
  • Guest
« Reply #35 on: (14:54:08/12-18-13) »
Personally, I think the LMG has it's niche; it's a fully automatic weapon capable of carrying 100 rounds of ammo (enough for 5 sequential suppressive fire zones without reloading), at a low cost with a decent damage and AP value, which can be used by anyone as it has no STR requirement.

Sure, if you're a cybered up street sam or a Troll, you're better off packing a MMG or HMG if you don't care at all about subtlety, so I would make an LMG just a tiny bit easier to conceal (on par with an AR at +6 or a Sniper Rifle at +8, given that most real world LMGs are not that differently sized from their AR counterparts; take the M16 rifle vs the M249 LMG, for instance. Mag size is the only thing differentiating them). Other than that, they fulfill their role as portable machine guns that can be carried and fired by anyone, unlike the MMG and HMG. Everything has a cost...

mjack

  • *
  • Chummer
  • **
  • Posts: 101
« Reply #36 on: (20:11:41/12-18-13) »
SR5 determines difference between MG cassifications by their ranges (p. 430). Does not make much sense because MMG and HMG share the same range, but ... What ever. If MGs are classified by calibers as in real life today it would get a bit unbalanced - especially concerning MMGs and HMGs. I do not want to image an augmented Troll with a M2 Browning marching fire from the hips as well as I do not want to image running into a deployed M2 Browning operated by a Dwarf. In my understanding of what SR's common gameplay is meant to be these two types of firearms are out of place. They are a victim of balancing for sure, but that is not a drawback. For future editions the developers maybe should get rid of MMG and HMG in the core rules and add them later with an additional source book. Would be more interesting to have 3 unique LMGs then.

Generally, LMGs in SR5 are fine as they are and in opposite to their bigger siblings pretty close to real life potential. The question why they seem useless when compared to Assault Rifles is the common gameplay I already mentioned above. SR is not war. It is more about convert operations in close, possibly urban quarters where you simply have less use for a firearm which on the one hand can be carried and operated by a single individual, but on the other hand is primarily designed for sustained suppressive fire in terms of support and covering (which was already mentioned by many others in this thread). From my experience even a Troll can better go with an Auto-Shotgun. Somebody already said the real use of a LMG comes into play when the team has to keep down a lot of targets, but if a Run has come to this situation everything else already went wrong.

Nevertheless, I would suggest to drop the doubled recoil modifier for LMGs and apply a minSTR of 5+ for undeployed use.

@martinchaen, I do not agree with your comparation in a negligible detail. The russian 7.62x39mm caliber is classified as an intermediate rifle cartridge (which are recently also investigated by NATO partners in terms of the 6.8mm Remington SPC or 6.5mm Grendel as a replacement for 5.56x45mm) while the 7.62x51mm is classified as a full-powered rifle cartridge. In SR5 terms, the former one would be 10P -2 and the latter one 11P -2. At least, that is the result of my disassembling of game mechanics ... Which might be totally wrong, because nobody knows if there was any reference to nowadays calibers involved in SR development as all  :-X

martinchaen

  • *
  • Guest
« Reply #37 on: (09:53:29/12-19-13) »
mjack I wholeheartedly agree that Shadowrun is (in most cases, at least) war. Shadowrunners carrying machine guns are definitely on the more violent side, which is fine and dandy but not par for the course. My troll street sam managed to pick up an LMG in a street level game I play in and it was hella fun shooting up the Redmond Barrens (until I got my hands on an assault cannon, that is), but now that we're transitioning into a more shadowrunner-y style I'll likely be ditching the LMG in favour of slightly more subtle weaponry.

I would also agree with you on removing double recoil modifiers for LMGs, with the caveat of STR 5+ for hand-held use.

I stand by my comparison of the two 7.62mm rounds. In my own personal experience, a 7.62 x 51mm round fired from a G-3 rifle has similar destructive capabilities to the 7.62 x 39mm round fired from a good old-fashioned AK-47 at 200m. I will concede that in the real world there are certainly differences between the rounds, but to my mind and based on my own experience firing at practice targets with both rounds and for the purposes of this highly theoretical comparison of real world vs Shadowrun weaponry, I felt the comparison was, in short, close enough.

You'll note that part of my argument is that the AK-97 is listed as a 10P weapon in the core rules, and this is likely because it is either based on the AK-47/AKM/AK-12 type models chambered for 7.62 x 39mm, or the AK-74/AK-105/AK-107/AK-12 type models chambered for the newer 5.45 x 39mm. And while you're right that the designers may not have intentionally based their weapons on caliber size, it seems too much of a coincidence that the weapons we know are based on real life versions (the AKs, Colts, FNs, Remingtons) are seemingly scaled in damage potential according to real world calibers of some sort.

frankhlane

  • *
  • Newb
  • *
  • Posts: 54
« Reply #38 on: (11:12:20/12-20-13) »
[spoiler]
mjack I wholeheartedly agree that Shadowrun is (in most cases, at least) war. Shadowrunners carrying machine guns are definitely on the more violent side, which is fine and dandy but not par for the course. My troll street sam managed to pick up an LMG in a street level game I play in and it was hella fun shooting up the Redmond Barrens (until I got my hands on an assault cannon, that is), but now that we're transitioning into a more shadowrunner-y style I'll likely be ditching the LMG in favour of slightly more subtle weaponry.

I would also agree with you on removing double recoil modifiers for LMGs, with the caveat of STR 5+ for hand-held use.

I stand by my comparison of the two 7.62mm rounds. In my own personal experience, a 7.62 x 51mm round fired from a G-3 rifle has similar destructive capabilities to the 7.62 x 39mm round fired from a good old-fashioned AK-47 at 200m. I will concede that in the real world there are certainly differences between the rounds, but to my mind and based on my own experience firing at practice targets with both rounds and for the purposes of this highly theoretical comparison of real world vs Shadowrun weaponry, I felt the comparison was, in short, close enough.

You'll note that part of my argument is that the AK-97 is listed as a 10P weapon in the core rules, and this is likely because it is either based on the AK-47/AKM/AK-12 type models chambered for 7.62 x 39mm, or the AK-74/AK-105/AK-107/AK-12 type models chambered for the newer 5.45 x 39mm. And while you're right that the designers may not have intentionally based their weapons on caliber size, it seems too much of a coincidence that the weapons we know are based on real life versions (the AKs, Colts, FNs, Remingtons) are seemingly scaled in damage potential according to real world calibers of some sort.
[/spoiler]

In other words, a little bit of damage adjustment, either to assault rifles (not my adjustment of choice) or to machine guns (my adjustment of choice) is in order simply to keep the weapons in line with each other as far as caliber is concerned.
This is your ICQ number.  This is your AOL Instant Messenger nickname. Your MSN messenger email address. This is your Yahoo! Instant Messenger nickname.

martinchaen

  • *
  • Guest
« Reply #39 on: (13:45:23/12-20-13) »
frankhlane
That is not at all what I'm saying, just to be clear. The entirety of my last three posts have been intended to show the similarities between assault rifles and machine guns based on caliber. Different guns firing the same caliber round will (in large part, and without extreme modifications) have relatively similar damage potential.

The most significant difference between an AR and an MG lies not in damage potential per round, but in operational role as a result of platform features. One is designed to be the standard service rifle in most armies as it fits the majority of engagement requirements of a modern soldier, while the other is designed to be a force multiplier (like sniper rifles) and fulfills a more specialized role.

Shadowrunners carrying machine guns regularly are going to be more of a mercenary outfit than clandestine operatives, as a machine gun is everything but subtle. And while an AR is far from inconspicuous, at least you can get a silenced carbine that'll still perform quite well as a scaled down machine gun AND allow for some concealment.

However, if concealment is not on your menu and you just want to fuck shit up, go for the MG every time. Mount if on a vehicle if you can, and enjoy the benefits this gives you as you roll up on your enemies and unload.

Again, I feel that the LMG fits the role it needs to: a squad level heavy weapon that can be carried by anyone, with decent damage potential, high ammunition capacity, and low cost. Would it be more attractive if it didn't suffer double recoil at the expense of being limited to use by STR5+ characters: yes. Does it badly need this adjustment? No, not in my opinion.

BaronBanana

  • *
  • Newb
  • *
  • Posts: 13
« Reply #40 on: (21:51:38/12-20-13) »
Again, I feel that the LMG fits the role it needs to: a squad level heavy weapon that can be carried by anyone, with decent damage potential, high ammunition capacity, and low cost. Would it be more attractive if it didn't suffer double recoil at the expense of being limited to use by STR5+ characters: yes. Does it badly need this adjustment? No, not in my opinion.

I don't want to be a nitpicker but you might feel that the LMG fits its role, and if you look from a fluff point of view it might, but looking solely at game balance terms it does not.
- "can be carried by anyone" (counts for every assault rifle as well)
- "decent damage potential" (less damage than basically every assault rifle)
- "low cost" (12x to 2x the price of assault rifles might be "low" but still higher than all assault rifles in the book)

The only selling point is
-"high ammunition" (and if they go for it like in the 4th edition this is gone with weapon mods)

And you pay for this list of disadvantages and one advantage by doubling the un-resisted recoil, no possible concealment, and a high weight.

Yeah it might be cool to fire a LMG in Shadowrun and yes it might be described in-game as terrifying, but the data behind it doesn't back that up. I think that's also the point frankhlane is referring to.

Michael Chandra

  • *
  • Catalyst Demo Team
  • Prime Runner
  • ***
  • Posts: 8830
  • Question-slicing ninja
« Reply #41 on: (04:42:03/12-21-13) »
Which is why I think it's a bad move to declare mounted weapons all have 250 rounds available. Without that, even a heavily-modded AR still only has 200 rounds available, while the LMG has 250 without trying and can get ammo-bins for 500 or even more rounds. At that point it truly is the weapon it should be. Not to mention it makes it an actual decent drone-weapon, since a drone with 500 rounds doesn't need to go in for a reload as often as one with only 40 rounds pre-mods.
How am I not part of the forum?? O_O I am both active and angry!

The other Bandit

  • *
  • Newb
  • *
  • Posts: 96
« Reply #42 on: (05:23:08/12-21-13) »
That seems reasonable. Its not that easy converting magazine fed weapons to belt fed weapons (for example there are one or two companies today that make uppers to convert AR15 style rifles to belt fed) and even then you got just a rifle with tons of ammo, while the safe sustained firerate still sits at 12 to 20 rounds per minute for long engagments.

There is a damn good reason machine guns are bulkier, sturdier and heavier.

My fear is just that with weapon modding rules coming up we will see the return of very large magazines for assault rifles (drum mags, coffin mags, simple very looooong mags).
But just popping in a 100 rounds Beta C Mag in your M4 doesnt make it a LMG.
Or maybe I am thinking too long term or complicated for Shadowrun use of this stuff?

Does a streetsam care that after putting 100 rounds through his AK97, at full auto, at these poor corp sec slobs his rifle may jam or ammo might cook off in the chamber on the next mag?
Have these thoughts a place in a "normal" Shadowrun session?

martinchaen

  • *
  • Guest
« Reply #43 on: (10:13:20/12-21-13) »
Since the majority of people (not players) does not have a military bacckground or even a reasonable enough understanding of physics to where they would know about barrel wear, potential cook-off, and exploding barrels, I'd say this is not a concern for most players.

Adding such rules would increase the logistical part of the game and make the rules more complex, and I for one don't think that's necessary.

Also, Baron, just because something is not "the best choice from a game mechanichs point of view" or "suboptimal" does not make it useless.

The LMG works fine as is. I've used it for a troll hanger who didn't have to worry about concealment, and I had a blast. Your mileage may vary, of course, but that doesn't mean the game needs to change.

Counter argument. How many players realistically take the lower end ARs voluntarily? The Colt M23, the FN HAR, the AK? I see a lot of builds with Ares Alphas, desppite the fact that this weapon is Forbidden, just like the LMG...

Csjarrat

  • *
  • Prime Runner
  • *****
  • Posts: 5101
  • UK based GM + player
« Reply #44 on: (17:28:50/12-23-13) »
yeah, no matter how good your licensing is on a low end AR, the cops are still gonna screw you for carrying one around to the shops. if you're gonna get screwed anyway, might as well take the big bad boy and get the job done well!
that said, my chars that take the Automatics skill use MP's 95% of the time. if the situation is really grim, they bring out an SMG. haven't found a situation where i was glad of an AR as yet, i prefer concealability and a large clip size over raw stopping power most of the time
Speech
Thought
Matrix
Astral
Mentor