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Light Machine Guns useless?

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Sichr

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« Reply #90 on: (11:12:05/01-03-14) »
Composure is good idea, even battle experienced soldiers would rather lay down when the lead starts to fly...you need someone realy crazy to run against the barrel. Or some good motivation, like Russians had in WW2...
« Last Edit: (17:57:49/01-03-14) by Sichr »

mjack

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« Reply #91 on: (17:52:53/01-03-14) »
 
One thing I feel is lacking from the hard rules is composure; coming under suppressive fire means you take a potentially significant negative dice pool modifier to all actions, but you can still act. If the aim (heh) is to make the LMG more viable, add houserules for requiring composure tests when coming under fire and modify them based on the weapon used. Taking suppressive fire from a heavy machine gun should rattle the most stalwart combatant, unless they're oblivious to danger due to drugs or some other source of recklessness. I think a composure test might adequately reflect this.
That's one for my list. When a character is caught in the suppressive fire zone of a Machine Gun she cannot take any action in her phase - except retreating or getting more cover - until succeeding in a Composure test. This would also increase the value of a good Leadership (Direct) skill and some decent Mental Attributes for Street Sams. I was even thinking about calling for a test whenever a character is in a fire fight for more than (WIL+CHA) Combat Turns without appropiate gear (like ear protection) to emphasize the mental stress caused by noise for example. But maybe that is a bit too much. Really, the idea of utilizing Composure Tests in combination with MGs is the best suggestion made in this thread.

In general, more hard rules for Composure test are welcome here. Im my group it took some time until the GM started to call for such tests regularly. But since, some aggression and brutality vanished from the game table which is quite some effect I appreciate.

Btw. Rifling was already invented in the late 15th century, but it did not work well with at the time military tactics of marching lines and shooting volleys. Muzzle loaders with rifled barrels required way more time to reload than smoothbore muskets while the production was more costly.

martinchaen

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« Reply #92 on: (18:46:25/01-03-14) »
Composure could even be called for when coming under fire from any Heavy Weapon; to my mind, assault cannon rounds, machine gun fire, and rocker/missile launchers are terrifying weapons, and this could be represented by a simple composure test.

Suppressive fire for sure (add a requirement that unless you succeed at a composure test (threshold whatever you want for your table) you MUST take the free action to drop prone or the interrupt action if you have no free action left. Until you succeed at your composure test (taken at the start of each round in a suppressed area, or if being fired at directly by a Heavy Weapon such as an assault cannon or rocket launcher and you are still alive) you may take no actions at all except movement and the take cover action. Something like that.

And yes, while rifling was invented a long time ago, advancements in miniaturization technology did not allow for revolutionary use of said technology until the 19th century.

Reaver; I said ammunition has developed, that doesn't mean "got bigger". While the standard assault rifle round currently used by NATO is indeed smaller than what it used to be (7.62mm vs 5.56mm), this doesn't mean that the rounds are the same as they were 100 years ago. Advancements in research methodology and manufacturing technology have allowed manufacturers to develop more powerful loads (i.e. projectiles impacting with higher kinetic energy), as well as ronds that have significantly higher accuracy potential.

Rounds and rifles consistently performing at sub-MOA levels only "just" came into production in the last 50 years, and when you look at specialized rounds such as those used for anti-matériel and sniper roles the differences are even bigger. While Zaytsev managed to score an impressive amount of kills with his trusty Mosin-Nagant, these days a 900m kill-shot is not considered a difficult maneuver with the right equipment. The invention of very-low-drag ammunition such as the relatively heavy .338 caliber round coupled with more efficient chemical loads results in effective ranges of 1500+ meters. While the furthest kill-shot in history is somewhere beyond 2000m, luck plays as much a part of shots taken at these distances as anything, but Lapua and Sierra both qualify their rounds out to 1500m, and wildcats will further increase the range and damage potential.

And while you may not consider optics part of the weapon, I will guarantee you that every soldier with a red-dot, milrad, or good old fashioned MOA sight does; unless you're a machine gunner, accuracy does matter and putting the other guy down first can be the literal difference between life and death. Optics are no longer a snipers tool (though we certainly rely on them more and more), and advancements in computer technology means my scope can now indicate wind speed at my location, as well as compensate for range and elevation differences, allowing me to place more accurate rounds on target faster.

Heavy weapons benefit from barrels constructed using new metallurgy techniques, allowing for longer bursts of sustained fire before barrel replacements are needed. Again, ammunition technology has leaped forward with the advent of high-explosive, armor-piercing, incendiary rounds (aka multipurpose, see Raufoss MK211) leaving infantry with the capability of disabling or even damaging lightly armored vehicles.

Then there's the manufacturing process itself. My old G3 was a solid piece of weaponry, but it needed constant care and maintenance. The G36 that replaced it, while less powerful at longer ranges due to the smaller caliber, was nearly maintenance free due to the way it was designed. It was also far easier to clean, making them more reliable in the field.

And while we haven't really seen much of the most recent technological advancements on the field itself, there certainly is a lot of possibilities. The G11 with it's caseless ammunition was mentioned, and while it itself was a bit of a failure marketwise several similar technologies are being worked on. Metal Storm is another concept that sounds scary as fuck to this former infantryman, as does the computer-controlled, directionally stabilized, "smart" rounds currently being researched.

Would a few hundred modern assault rifles in the hands of WW1 soldiers change the course of the war? No. Advanced weaponry is all good and well, but tactics and strategy wins wars, not the weapons themselves.

Reaver

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« Reply #93 on: (20:24:59/01-03-14) »
You have a good point about the powder loads in ammo. I should have thought of that myself, considering my experience with hand loaded shells. (Misread the grain count for the powder I was using, and put in 6 extra grains of powder into my .38+p rounds.... and blew my .357 up in my hand! Luckily I wasn't hurt... but I did unload, check, and recheck every single round I had hand loaded!)

The reason I don't consider a scope/red dot/laser sight as part of the weapon system is because these are essentially addons and generally do not come built into the rifle (there are exceptions to this of course). Are they a valuable addon? You bet! But they are still an add on, usually made by a different company then who makes the rifle (which makes sense. I'd put more faith in a scope made by  an optics company then I would one made by Colt...)

If you want to talk serviceability, ruggedness, maintenance and weapon failure.... look at the AK-47! Designed in 1947, it is considered to be the most rugged, easy to maintain,  and reliable rifle ever made! And it is almost 70 years old! Now if only the accuracy was better at long range....
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martinchaen

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« Reply #94 on: (21:06:11/01-03-14) »
Ouch. And that's why I never hand loaded :) To be fair, the military was also fronting the bill for the more than 20k .338 rounds I fired during my service, so I just shot whatever the hell they gave me. Just imagine how much of a difference smokeless powder must have made; speaking of which, I'll have to look up when that was invented and when it achieved widespread use.

Fair enough on optics; I'll concede that it's technically not an advancement of the weapons technology in and of itself, though I maintain that it is certainly related given that it enhances it. And optics have come a very long way since WW1.

The AK-47 is a shining example of innovation done right; it is indeed still a weapon that sees a great deal of use. That being said, while the design most assuredly is of an extremely high standard, the many, many licensed and unlicensed copies are not necessarily so; when built to spec the rifle can take a pounding and keep on sending rounds down range, it's easy to use and maintain, and it doesn't cost much to build. But, as with all things in life, you can have any given thing a) fast, b) cheap, and c) well made, and you only get to pick two of those. I've seen a lot of discarded AK-47s with blocked chambers, rounds jammed in the magazine, damaged barrels, and all sorts of problems to warrant questioning the often-quoted reliability of the weapon. There's no doubt it's easy to come by, cheap, and easy to use, but in many instances the real world production models differ from the design by enough to make it questionable.

That being said, take a G36 or similar weapon and give it to an untrained civilian along with an AK-47 (or one of it's newer variants), and I will guarantee you that said civilian will be able to more accurately place rounds on target at ranges up to 200 meters and more easily learn how to and actually service the weapon.

mjack

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« Reply #95 on: (23:15:55/01-03-14) »
That being said, take a G36 or similar weapon and give it to an untrained civilian along with an AK-47 (or one of it's newer variants), and I will guarantee you that said civilian will be able to more accurately place rounds on target at ranges up to 200 meters and more easily learn how to and actually service the weapon.
A scary experience. Stripping a G36 is mostly about removing - cannot remember exactly - 5? studs. It is more difficult to replace the harddisk of a computer. And shooting this rifle made me even feel more uncomfortable with a live loaded firearm in my hands than I could have ever imagine before. With its little recoil and the red dot sight it was nearly impossible to miss a human-sized target on 100m.
Quote
Composure could even be called for when coming under fire from any Heavy Weapon; to my mind, assault cannon rounds, machine gun fire, and rocker/missile launchers are terrifying weapons, and this could be represented by a simple composure test.
Generalizing the idea of Composure Tests for all Heavy Weapons is a bit too much. No question, if the runner next to a character is eliminated by a Panther's 25mm grenade I would definitely call for a test. But expanding such tests on grenade launchers for example would also mean they would apply for thrown grenades as well. Actually, our characters are meant to be tough enough to stand at least a little bit of war  ;) Optionally, you could house rule multiple attacks with heavy weapons (excluding MGs but maybe including grenades) - like 6 runners shelling a target's position with grenade launchers - as some kind of barrage fire with similar effects as Suppressive Fire of machine guns.

Heavy Weapons could certainly provide an additional bonus when comparing Intimidation Modifiers. Wielding a Revolver should not negate the bonus for wielding a Light Machine Gun.

Reaver

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« Reply #96 on: (00:26:35/01-04-14) »
The problem with the AK47 is that its construction has been licensed to about 30 different countries for production... and not all those countries are up to the same standards when it comes to their respective machining abilities... not to mention the black market knock offs (made from scrap metals,  not stress tested, etc)

That said, no other weapon system out tgere has seen as much abuse and miss use as the AK and still kept firing.

A couple of buddies if mine thought tgey would cash in on the jobs in Iraq/Afghanistan (and at $30k+/month, I was sorely tempted myself!) According to them, they got to handle a few AKs from the area.... beat to crap, missing screws, rotting wood, rust pitted frames.... but they still fired, and fired well! Just not accurate... (to be expected when your stock wobbles,  or you are missing your nose sight, etc)
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Sichr

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« Reply #97 on: (04:28:01/01-04-14) »
S for the Composure test...this works both ways. It is funny as hell to roll for NPCs, when runners do something really ugly to one of them. Sometimes it helps to finish the fight far quicker and with less cassaulties.
Ah...and it helps with negotiations :)