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MGs & LMGs
 
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Sharpe

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Post subject: MGs & LMGs  Reply with quote   (Liked by:0)  Like this post
I'd like to start on these units next.  I wanted to use the MG42/34 as a baseline.  Essentially, that would be the best and every other MG would go down from there.

This is what I plan:

1.  Air-cooled MGs would have Speed 1.  Modern water-cooled would have an SA like HEAVY RIFLE.  Obsolescent/heavy models would have RELOCATE 2 (especially in second-line units).

2.  Heavy MGs would have some sort of cover reduction.

What I don't know:

1.  Effective ranges-->What sort of range brackets should MGs have?  How does their effectiveness drop off?

2.  Real rates of fire-->While the MG42 could theoretically fire 1200 rpm, this couldn't be achieved over a sustained period of time because of barrel changes.  Sources lead me to believe that the Vickers could actually put out just as many bullets during a minute because it could fire continuously.  Thus, I don't think we can use raw rpm data.

3.  What about LMGs?  What role did they play and should we treat them differently or just as the more mobile red-headed stepchildren of MGs?

Thanks in advance for your comments.
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Buzzkill

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Sharpe wrote:
What I don't know:

1.  Effective ranges-->What sort of range brackets should MGs have?  How does their effectiveness drop off?

2.  Real rates of fire-->While the MG42 could theoretically fire 1200 rpm, this couldn't be achieved over a sustained period of time because of barrel changes.  Sources lead me to believe that the Vickers could actually put out just as many bullets during a minute because it could fire continuously.  Thus, I don't think we can use raw rpm data.

3.  What about LMGs?  What role did they play and should we treat them differently or just as the more mobile red-headed stepchildren of MGs?

Thanks in advance for your comments.


1. I will have to look into that and get back to you.

2. I think we need to keep in mind that we are talking about a specific burst of fire, not sustained fire. MG42 had a cyclic rate of 1200 rpm double that of the Vickers or Browning .30 so it should be reflected as much more powerful. An MG42 ripping off a 3 second burst at a group of infantry was putting 60 rounds on target.

3. LMG's as in what? Bipod versions of MG42's and Brownings, or DP-27's, BAR and BREN type stuff?
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PostSun Mar 08, 2009 8:19 pm
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Sharpe

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BARs, Brens, etc
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PostSun Mar 08, 2009 8:22 pm
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NeuralDream

 
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Sharpe wrote:
1.  Effective ranges-->What sort of range brackets should MGs have?  How does their effectiveness drop off?

The effective range was approx. 800m for all. You may see numbers from 1200 to even 1800m for some, but they are just measuring effectiveness in a different way. The real differences between MGs were in the combination of long-distance accuracy and rate of fire.
The German and French ones had minimal drop off between medium and short range. The Bren was worse in that respect. It could not hit much at 600+, so I'd suggest one fewer die compared to the French FM 24/29 and German MG34 and MG42.
Quote:

2.  Real rates of fire-->While the MG42 could theoretically fire 1200 rpm, this couldn't be achieved over a sustained period of time because of barrel changes.  Sources lead me to believe that the Vickers could actually put out just as many bullets during a minute because it could fire continuously.  Thus, I don't think we can use raw rpm data.

I hadn't thought about this before you mentioned it last time. It's an excellent observation. However, I'm very cautious with personal war accounts and generally prefer raw data. If you trust these sources and they are not one-dimensional, then I'm ok with it.
Quote:

3.  What about LMGs?  What role did they play and should we treat them differently or just as the more mobile red-headed stepchildren of MGs?

They are the same in my mind. The difference between a Vickers MG and a Bren is minimal in practice, since we follow the 1-minute-action-per-phase paradigm.
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Buzzkill

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NeuralDream wrote:
Sharpe wrote:
3.  What about LMGs?  What role did they play and should we treat them differently or just as the more mobile red-headed stepchildren of MGs?

They are the same in my mind. The difference between a Vickers MG and a Bren is minimal in practice, since we follow the 1-minute-action-per-phase paradigm.


Except ROF is significantly different because of the available ammo supply. The Vickers was typically fed with a 250 round belt vs the 30 round magazine of the Bren. Although their ROF falls within the same general speed, the Bren would empty its magazine in 3 - 3.5 seconds, while the Vickers would still have over 200 rounds ready to fire while the Bren crew was reloading. I think this should probably be resolved with the double shot SA for the MG's and not for the LMG's.
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PostSun Mar 08, 2009 10:27 pm
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NeuralDream

 
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That's reasonable, but then what will make the LMGs different to rifles?
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Buzzkill

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NeuralDream wrote:
That's reasonable, but then what will make the LMGs different to rifles?


That is a good point, in fact many people consider the Bren, BAR etc as simply automatic rifles rather than LMG's but again ROF of the LMG's should give them some SA like Covering fire or Suppression and better dice, especially at close ranges.
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PostSun Mar 08, 2009 11:04 pm
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Zeus

 

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LMG's and HMG's had very specific (and very different) roles, which should definitely be represented.

In most armies, each riflemen squad of 10-12 men had one LMG team of 2-3 men. The LMG team would provide cover while the rest of the squad advanced, and then the rest of the squad would provide cover (even though the combined fire of the bolt action rifles still couldn't compare to the one LMG) while the LMG team moved up, etc. Sustained fire from LMG's would quickly wear out the barrels, although spare barrels were usually carried, and the barrel was reasonably easy to change.

I think that in general, WotC's representation with Covering Fire is not that far off the mark. LMG's should normally have some sort of ability to represent them doing what is described above. What should also be represented is weaker rounds (6.5mm weapons, FM 1924/29's weakened round), and smaller magazines (Breda Modello 30's 20 round clip), which limited its covering ability (shorter period of cover).

Note that the BAR wasn't a true LMG. It only had a 20 round mag and no barrel change facility, and was usually fired at a reduced rate of 60 rpm (probably because of the no barrel change thing). It was issued to squads as LMG's were in other countries, but it was more of an automatic rifle (AR  Smile ), used to bolster the squad's firepower rather than the tactical use described above. Maybe the BAR should be dealt with more as an assault rifle together with the FG-42 and StG-44?

HMG's were usually put in separate sections or even separate platoons. They were very much defensive weapons. They were capable of sustained fire, both because of their being belt-fed usually (but not always, and I think this should show up in-game), and because their barrels stood up to wear better (often being watercooled).

An HMG needs something to make it very good from static positions (remember the MG nest scene from Finding Private Ryan), like Suppressive Fire, but should not be too easy to just move around the map. I personally don't like Relocate 2, as it is weird that a unit can't move at all in the movement phase and then move 2 hexes in the assault phase; rather I think HMG's should have an ability that limits or disallows completely their attack in the assault phase if they move in the movement phase.

As for Suppressive Fire and Double Shot, it depends a bit on your interpretation of these abilities. What do they represent? Does Double Shot represent the stable firing platform, better/watercooled barrels, 250 round belt? It matters because not all HMG's had all of these features (for instance, the Breda Modello 37 and Type 92 used a 20 round tray).

Finally, some HMG's were very prone to stoppages because of open breaches or lubrication systems (like the Italians - they sure got the short end of the stick with their HMG  Razz ). Prone to Stoppages would be appropriate for these units (something like getting a face-up disrupted counter when rolling 3 or more natural 1's on an attack, not removed the following casualty phase). The MG-34 would also qualify for this "ability", and incidentally this would make it a bit more different from the MG-42 (which would otherwise probably only get an extra die at short range).

Finally, don't forget the MG-34 and 42 came in two very distinct versions! The light role (with a bipod, depicted by all MG-34's we got from WotC so far) was used as an LMG, and should get the LMG benefits, while the heavy role had an especially designed tripod giving it all the advantages and disadvantages of other HMG's. I would definitely suggest making two separate cards for these roles, one with Double Shot and Suppressive Fire, and one with Covering Fire (or however these abilities will be named).

Sorry for the long post  Shocked , I hope the information and suggestions will be of some use!
PostMon Mar 09, 2009 7:52 am
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NeuralDream

 
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Each miniature represents 5 men, so if we consider the LMG as a one man and useful only for support, then it is not possible to use it as separate card.
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Sharpe

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I was thinking that for the LMG's, instead of attacking, they could combine 1/2 their Attack Dice with a rifle unit in the same hex into a single attack.  Mobility would also be a good differentiation along with 3/6 Defense and a higher cover.

BTW, good post Zeus.  Lot to think about.
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NeuralDream wrote:
Each miniature represents 5 men, so if we consider the LMG as a one man and useful only for support, then it is not possible to use it as separate card.


N.D:  It is possible to use an LMG as a separate card if one simply considers the figure to represent what is a typical mix in the army of which it is a part.  For example, since the FM 24/29 was a squad automatic weapon in the French army in 1940, a typical squad could be represented by one LMG figure/card and one rifle figure/card.  The LMG figure would in turn represent 1 LMG and 3-4 riflemen. Even at this scale, the attack values on the LMG card should be significantly different from the attack values on the rifleman card.  

For HMGs, the two man figure (e.g. French Hotckiss) will represent not only the two-man gun crew but also 2-3 riflemen.  

For SMGs, it may be necessary to have different ratios, depending on the historical unit in question.  In some cases, as with the German MP-40, the ratio for 1940 line infantry will be similar to that for the French FM 24/29.  That is because this weapon was issued only to squad leaders in such units (not so for paratroopers).  In other cases, as with the later war Schmeisser or the Russian SMGs, it is my impression that entire squads were equipped with the SMG rather than having a mix of SMGs and rifles. Thus a figure or card may represent 4-5 men who are each armed with an SMG.

I think it is important to include the effect of LMGs and SMGs in ANH in order to maintain some historical realism.
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PostSun Mar 22, 2009 11:39 pm
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NeuralDream

 
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Relevant to this part of the project:

http://greek-war-equipment.blogspot.com/2009/05/st-etienne-mg.html

Btw, the cardmakers/artists of the forumini can use any of my blog's images without asking for permission.
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The Actual definition of a Machine Gun is an automatic weapon that fires a Rifle type cartridge. SubMachineGun is an automatic weapon that fires a pistol type cartridge. Now having said that, I expect to be called on it too. No problem.

Now, let's go with the Quad .50. MUCH larger round. Should it have better numbers for AI?  Probably, IMO, yes. A longer range......maybe as well. They also came as air coled and water cooled, not in the quad configuration, but they did. They also had different rates of fire for the .50. All in all, a very powerful weapon. IMO, I think it's numbers are rather low for AI. Maybe a range of 10-12 as well. Maybe some better AV numbers too, even a 4 would make it seem more realistic. I understand the "Abstract" that has to be used to keep things reasonable, but still, the .50 is a powerful weapon, and the Quad was putting out almost as many RPM as the MG-42, but it is not really reflected in it's numbers. Just my thoughts.......one more thought, maybe a single .50, like the M1919, Vickers and Maxim., one can dream can't we........they did have them historically.......
PostSun Oct 17, 2010 9:34 pm
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arizonaicedtea

 

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After all, the world's farthest confirmed sniper kill was obtained with a M2HB .50 with optics firing single shot. (2286 meters.)
We Canadians later beat this with a .338 Lapua Magnum C-14, but thats beside the point.  The M2 should have some sort of extended range of like... I dunno... 10 maybe? However I'm pretty sure It's rate of fire was slower. Maybe MMGs and HMGs could fire once with more dice to represent a quick burst at close range? Just plinking here...


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