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HHRgamer

 

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Your elegant solution was beginning to dawn on me, Sharpe.  I've just been a little slow on this one.

It will be historical and easy to impose standard range bands for vehicle MGs.  I'm thinking maximum effective range of 500 yards.  We could have a point blank band (0/ same hex), a 200 yard band (1-2 hexes), and a 500 yard band (3-5 hex).  With these standard range bands an icon with x/y/z superimposed or next to it will convey the necessary information.

I assume there is agreement that the rear turret MG and the rear hull MG should be handled by SA, since they are not standard.  

What say you to the Hull MG?  This is common.  Do you want another icon with numbers superimposed, or an SA?
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PostFri May 22, 2009 10:52 am
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I vote icon for hull, a different icon than turret.

And the credit goes to Zeus.  He had the idea.
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PostFri May 22, 2009 4:10 pm
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Yes, thanks to Zeus!
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PostSat May 23, 2009 1:58 am
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Third revision of Part ONE, posted above, is up, along with a couple new queries. Thanks to Zeus, Sharpe, AOD, and the rest of the gang.  Let me know what you all think, and I'll try to get part TWO up soon.
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PostSun May 24, 2009 2:50 am
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I read it. Sounds good. Voting for a hull MG icon too.



So, basically, you can have a load of different tank configurations : for example

Tank with Main Gun Turret , Hull MG and whatever else they bolted on (like a Pz IID and a Sherman).

Tank with Turret MG (like a Pz I and early T-26)

Tank with a Main Gun Turret , and a coaxial MG (like a T-26 1933 and the Stuart) and hull MG('s).


About the Turret MG : is that for the coaxial gun too or is it meant purely for an actual Turret MG configuration (i.e. for early war tanks like the Pz I only) ?
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PostSun May 24, 2009 11:50 pm
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Zeus

 

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Quote:
Rear turret MGs:  Rare enough to be handled by SA, thus:
     "Rear turret MG:  This vehicle may attack soldiers to the rear of
      the turret with attack values of X/Y/Z.  The vehicle ____
      [may/may not] fire the coaxial or pintel mounted turret MG in
      the same phase."


Note that with this description, you introduced a turret facing into the game! This will require additional explanations in the rules (when can you turn the turret? Does a turret have to face the enemy you want to attack with the main gun? etc).

The main purpose of a tank's MGs (and pretty much the ONLY purpose of a rear turret MG) was to prevent enemy infantry moving up to the tank to "close assault" it. A rear turret MG never had a dedicated gunner, so giving it an extra attack in any way might be too much. Maybe allow it to make def fire attacks against Soldiers moving into the tank's hex, or if tanks in FA can already do that, give a bonus to def fire against Soldiers, or a penalty to Soldiers close assaulting the tank?
PostMon May 25, 2009 5:59 am
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Zeus is right again.

Icons for hull and coax MG.

Matrix for vehicles whose main armament is an MG.

SA allowing DF against soldiers entering hex from any side for turret rear MG.  Let's stay far away from turret facing.
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Thanks for the feedback.

Turret MG as used above is intended to cover the coaxial and an MG mounted on the top of the turret (pintel-mounted) which sometimes is considered an anti-aircraft MG.  It is not intended to cover MGs used as the main gun (Pz I).  See question 2 below.

Yes, I realized that turret facing was raised by the rear turret. I didn't intend to include facing for any other turret mounted weapon.  However, I agree we should eliminate turret facing altogether if possible.   See question 1 below.  

Before I do another revision to Part ONE, please let me know what you think of these issues:

1.  Rear Turret MG.  I agree we want to stay away from turret facing, but that leads to a conundrum with the rear turret MG.  Since turrets have no facing, when would one ever use a rear turret MG instead of the coaxial or pintel-mounted turret MG?   I suppose one would do so if the rear turret MG had a better attack value, or if there was no coaxial or pintel mounted MG in/on the turret.  

2.  Vehicles with MG for a main gun.  I like the idea of substituting MG value in the matrix for AI if the vehicle had MGs as the main weapon in place of a "main gun" (e.g., Pz I).  However, this leads back to the issue identified earlier:  the AI value on different vehicles will represent different things.  What about indicating, in the matrix, "AI-MG" if the anti-infantry value is based on a machine gun?  

3.  Hull MG firing arc.  Directly in front is not historical.  Command Decision and Blitzkrieg miniatures rules allow for 45 degrees either side of straight ahead (for a total arc of 90 degrees).  This is simple for inches players, but could also be used for hexes, if one uses the "bottom" sides of the hex directly in front of the hex in which the vehicle is situated to roughly define the permissible arc of fire.  Use a top down view and illustrate:
1 hex range = hex directly in front,
2 hex range = hex that is 2 hexes directly in front, + the 2 hexes at forward angle to the hex directly in front.
3 hex range= extrapolate in same manner.

4.  Simultaneous firing--hull MG and main gun.  I have asked about this earlier and have done some research.  If the configuration and number of crew permit, there does not seem to be any reason why a vehicle's (forward) hull MG and main gun could not fire simultaneously.  For example, the Pz III had a crew of 5: commander, gunner, loader, driver, radio operator/bow machine-gunner. The Commander, gunner, and loader were located in the turret.  Under this configuration, it seems reasonable that the gunner and loader could fire the main gun or coaxial MG at the same time that the radio operator/bow machine gunner fired the hull MG.  
Likewise for the following vehicles:
T-34/76-B, crew of 4:   Commander/gunner, loader, driver, hull gunner/radio operator.  
M4A1 Sherman, crew of 5: Commander in turret right rear (coax or flex MG), Gunner in turret right front, Loader in turret left rear, Driver in hull left front , Assistant driver in hull right front (w/ hull MG in ball).
Not sure about rear hull MGs firing simultaneously with the main gun-- it would depend on the vehicle configuration and the crew.

5.  Simultaneous firing-- coaxial MG and main gun.  Command Decision IV allows the main gun and a turret MG to fire at the same target simultaneously.  Presumably this includes the coaxial turret MG.  Northern Rommel's rules for AAM permit the main gun and coaxial MG to fire simultaneously at any targets which are located in the same hex.  One source says the purpose of the coaxial MG was originally to help zero in on the target for the main gun. The problem with this is that it is hard to see how the gunner and loader could fire the coaxial MG at the same time as the main gun. Even well-crewed vehicles such as the Pz III do not appear to allow for this.  Any comment?  

6.  Simultaneous firing--rear MG/ main gun. Command Decision prohibits the rear turret MG (as in the Type 97 Chi-ha) from firing simultaneously with the main gun. Not knowing what the crew size and layout was on the Chi-ha, this sounds like a reasonable rule.  Any comments?

7.  Simultaneous firing-- pintel-mounted turret MG, or anti-aircraft turret-mounted MG/coaxial MG.  Anti-aircraft MG.  Command Decision prohibits the anti-aircraft MG from firing simultaneously with any other MG. depending on teh vehicle and crew, why wouldn't the coaxial be able to fire simultaneously with the AAMG mounted on the top of the turret?    

8.  Double shot for MGs.  Are we planning to allow vehicle MGs to have the double shot special ability to reflect the MG rate of fire?
This might make an MG with a lower attack value preferable to a main gun with a higher attack value if the target is not in cover.

9.  MG ranges.  I know FA rules use the concept of flexible range boxes.  However, in drafting a vehicle-specific layout of MG and AI values, I found it very difficult to make a comparison of the MG and the AI attack values when the ranges were not standard.  I kept assuming that an 8/6/4 for an MG was at ranges 0-1, 2-4,and 5-8, not at ranges 0 (same hex), 1-2, and 3-5 as proposed.  Thus it was hard to know, as a player, whether the main gun or the MG has a higher attack value at a specific range (such as 4 hexes).  It was also difficult to determine whether the added reduction of the target's cover was worth the reduced attack value of the AI as compared to the MG. For now I intend to stick with standard ranges.  When one has no choice, as for example when attacking a vehicle, differential range boxes are not a problem.

Have to go now, more later . . . .
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PostTue May 26, 2009 12:32 pm
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I have to catch a plane in a few minutes, so I can’t go into depth.  Wish I could tell you where, but it’s very hush-hush, Ju’ ‘no.’  All I know is that the Overlord said to pack a Sword, made of Gold, and that I was traveling via Omaha.  Anyway, I’ll be shipped back stateside on 10 June.

1.  Rear turret/hull MG should give the tank OVERLAPPING FIRE, or something along those lines.  It should not be an actual “attack.”
2.  I don’t see a problem here.  MG attacks and HE attacks from a gun less than 75mm should be about the same.  The dice and system should handle the situation.
3.  Hull MG would only make DF attacks in a 60 degree arc.  It would never make an actual “attack.”  Any extra realism doesn’t compensate for added complexity, IMO.
4.  See #3.
5.  I believe that you fire the coax until you ascertain the range, then switch to firing the main gun.  I don’t believe they fired simultaneously.
6.  I see MGs smaller than 20mm having double shot.
7.  I think MG ranges for the icon values should be 0-2/3-5/6-8, but that’s just an opinion.
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PostTue May 26, 2009 5:41 pm
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Do we agree that the primary purpose of a tank's MG's, or at the very least a very important part of their role, is to stave off close assaults by infantry? If we do, maybe you should consider allowing a vehicle with any turret MG to do def fire against enemy Soldiers moving into its hex (if it's on a hex that doesn't give it cover - this allows infantry to sneak up on the tank if it's in a town, forest etc), and if you do that, handling the different turret MG configurations becomes a lot easier  Very Happy .

1 - Rear turret MG. Giving it an extra attack doesn't seem right because of the way it was used. Allowing it def fire against Soldiers doesn't feel right either, because then why shouldn't front turret MG's get this?

If coaxials do allow def fire, then a rear turret MG can allow def fire too if it doesn't have coaxials, or give a bonus to def fire if a coaxial is present too.

2 - Vehicles with MG for a main gun. It's the unit's main gun (however sad that is  Wink ), so its main stats (both AI and AV) should reflect this. That it happens to be an MG shouldn't matter.

3 - Hull MG firing arc. I think you have a front-side-rear system in FA? So if the Hull MG description states that "the target should be an enemy Soldier in front of this unit", you're good to go!

4 - Simultaneous firing--hull MG and main gun. I agree that these two are completely separate from each other. Both front and rear hull MG's are not fired by the same person manning the turret main gun, and thus whether or not they get to make an attack and/or def fire has nothing to do with whether or not the main gun fires. Maybe a penalty on firing a rear hull MG should apply if it didn't have a dedicated gunner (it usually didn't). Someone would have to move to the gun to fire it, as opposed to the front hull mg that usually had someone sitting behind it.

5 - Simultaneous firing-- coaxial MG and main gun. These two are in fact fired by the same person (the gunner) usually. I think having to make a choice of which one is best in a certain situation is quite realistic. Also, trajectories of HE shell and MG bullets will be different except at the closest ranges. When firing HE, the barrel will always be aiming at least slightly higher than horizontal, making the coaxial MG useless right then. In some cases, MG's could be aimed separately from the main gun, but even then, a gunner can't aim two guns at the same time accurately. I would stick to your "either-or" solution.

6 - Simultaneous firing--rear MG/ main gun. See 4.

7 - Simultaneous firing-- pintel-mounted turret MG, or anti-aircraft turret-mounted MG/coaxial MG. I think the primary purpose of these guns is always AA. Only in movies do tank commanders expose themselves to a quick hail of fire and their tank to a grenade lobbed into the open hatch by trying to use these guns against infantry. I would just allow the unit to make an attack against Aircraft, and either allow adjacent enemy Soldiers to make a def fire attack against defense 3 (using AI stats for this) before the unit can make the AA attack, or not allow making the AA attack at all if there are adjacent enemy Soldiers.

It should be possible to make this attack and still fire the main gun or coaxial too. Maybe the main gun/coaxial attack should then get a penalty for the commander being busy?

8 - Double shot for MGs. As most tanks had a coaxial, you're giving a lot of tanks double shot then. I think it would be better for KISS to reflect the high rate of fire in the attack stats (and the current 8/6/4 does this IMO).

9 - MG ranges. The MG ranges shouldn't depend on the range boxes of the main gun. So they either need their own range boxes, or a blanket rule with tank MG ranges. BTW a hull MG, being closer to the ground and having worse vision, should probably have worse range and stats that a coaxial. Under the normal 0-1/2-4/5-8 rules, I would agree with 8/6/4 for coaxials, and give hull mg's 7/5/- or 8/5/-.

I think the choice between one attack and another one with slightly lower attack stats but with a -1 to cover is quite cool! You can of course make percentage tables to see which one has the better chance, but for many people it will be more of a gut feeling which one to use, which is great!
PostWed May 27, 2009 9:28 am
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Thanks for the feedback.  Before I go further, could anyone explain to me what an "overlapping fire" special ability would consist of?  I looked at HHR's "covering fire," which is used to soften up a target, but it doesn't seem applicable.
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PostThu May 28, 2009 5:02 pm
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Unit can Defensive-Fire against Soldiers.
PostThu May 28, 2009 5:27 pm
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Zeus,

    I agree that a very important role of a tank's MGs is to prevent close assaults by infantry.  I had always intended that vehicles with MGs could make defensive fire attacks against soldiers.  Your comment caused me to check the proposed rules, as posted by Sharpe, where I see that vehicles may not make defensive fire attacks against soldiers (except for soldier/motorcyles).  I certainly agree with you that a vehicle with a turret MG should be able to make a defensive fire attack against enemy soldiers moving into the same hex or any adjacent hex.  
   Why limit vehicle defensive fire to targets in the open?  The attacking infantry will get the benefit of whatever cover is available when fired on, but I don't see why the MG can't fire at soldiers attacking from cover. The sneaking up ability would be better modeled by having certain terrain block line of sight with the result that the soldiers can only receive defensive fire when they are adjacent to the vehicle's hex.  Sharpe's comprehensive terrain effects chart specifies that forest, buildings, hills, hedges, brush, and jungle block line of sight. I would not limit the range of a defensive fire attack.  Thus the vehicle MG could, in the open, reach out and touch enemy soldiers up to 5 hexes away.  The same vehicle in jungle would only be able to make a defensive fire attack against soldiers within 1 hex.
   By the way, is there agreement that "overlapping fire" simply means defensive fire?  Somehow I had the impression something more was meant, and I haven't been able to find a special ability by this name in the original AAM rules, the advanced or expert AAM rules, the HHR rules, or in Sharpe's draft FA rules.
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PostThu May 28, 2009 6:56 pm
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Here's what I propose for rear turret MG.  This is an attempt to make the rear turret MG less than useless without introducing a full-blown turret-facing rule. Without some special provision, the rear turret MG becomes irrelevant unless it is more powerful than the coaxial MG.   The SA attempts to give value to the vehicle's ability to fire the rear turret MG at a 180 degree angle from whatever direction the coaxial MG and main gun are facing in order to hit the other target.  

1.  Rear Turret MG.  SA:  This unit may make an additional defensive fire attack of X/Y/Z when the main gun or turret MG makes a defensive fire attack.  The additional attack can only be made at targets in a hex located on a straight line drawn from the target of the main gun or turret MG which passes through the center-point or the turret.  

What do you say?
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PostThu May 28, 2009 7:17 pm
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2.  Vehicles with MG for a main gun.  In the proposed stats I plan to post, there is a difference between MG and HE attacks from a gun less than 75mm, especially if the gun is low velocity.  My suggestion for an "AI-MG" label when the main gun is an MG was based on an earlier objection to placing the higher of the MG or HE value in the AI line for all vehicles.  If we don't need an "AI-MG" label then I think the stat cards for vehicles which have an MG for a main gun should say so.  The general rules, describing stat cards could state that vehicle AI values are based on main guns firing HE unless otherwise stated on the card.

How's that?
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PostThu May 28, 2009 7:26 pm
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carrion

 

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HHRgamer wrote:

   By the way, is there agreement that "overlapping fire" simply means defensive fire?  Somehow I had the impression something more was meant, and I haven't been able to find a special ability by this name in the original AAM rules, the advanced or expert AAM rules, the HHR rules, or in Sharpe's draft FA rules.


Anyway still looking for the "Overlapping Fire" SA, well here it is again with a link below.  It is a SA for the Carro Armato M13/40 and it states, again:
Overlapping Fire:  This unit can make defensive fire attacks against soldiers.
Look here if you think I'm wrong:

http://s142.photobucket.com/album...39-1945_Revised51_CarroArmato.jpg

PS:  Have you had a chance to work with the card template, if so how is it going.
PostThu May 28, 2009 8:58 pm
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3.  Hull MG firing arc.  Perhaps we should allow only a 30 degree arc.  One authority gives the Tiger I's front hull mounted MG a 30 degree arc, with 15 degree traverse left and right.  Gladys Green, Panzers at War, at 121.  The hull MG was operated by the radioman who used a hand trigger and small optical sight.

4.  Simultaneous firing--hull MG and main gun. Simultaneous attack allowed.  Hull MG not limited to DF only.  Shouldn't be that complex to allow vehicle to roll attack for main gun and additional attack for hull MG (if in range), and I suspect it will make some difference when a combined armor and infantry attack comes to close quarters with defending soldiers.  If play testing shows this not to be the case, it can be dropped later.  Rear hull MG could also fire simultaneously if the target is within 30 degree arc of the rear hull MG.

5.  Simultaneous firing--coaxial MG and main gun.  Concur with Sharpe and Zeus that this should not be allowed because controlled by the same crew member (gunner).  

6.  Simultaneous firing-- Rear turret MG and main gun.  Allowed only when their respective targets are on opposite sides of the turret, as set out in item 1, "Rear turret MG," above.

7.  Simultaneous firing--pintle-mounted (or "anti-aircraft") MG on the top of the turret  and coaxial MG.  I do not agree that only in the movies do tank commanders expose themselves to enemy fire by opening the hatch and manning the pintle-mounted MG.

    According to Steven J. Zaloga and Howard Gerrard, US Army Tank Crewman 1941-1945, the .50 cal. MG mounted on the turret of the M4 Sherman "was intended for anti-aircraft protection, but in fact it was much more often used for self-defense of the tank and for attacking ground targets that did not warrant the use of the main armament." Id., at 20.  The same source quotes General Bruce Clarke of the U.S. 4th Armored Division as saying, "We were not able to fight from tanks with the tank commander buttoned up--that has never been successfully done.  [Buttoned up] he can't hear or see and so pretty soon he unbuttons.  Now if he's got a free .50 cal machine gun, all he has to do is press his thumb and he can pick out a dangerous spot.  It may be a bazooka flash or something.  He can throw a burst there without even thinking about giving an order."  It sounds to me like the commander could give orders to for the gunner to fire the main gun or the coaxial and immediately open up with the .50 cal himself.  Thus the MG on the top of the turret should be able to fire simultaneously with the coaxial MG or the main gun.
      I agree an exposed commander is easier to hit, but I'm not sure how to incorporate this with a simple mechanic.  Perhaps if the tank fires the pintle mounted or AA MG, place an "unbuttoned" marker on the tank and make the tank's defense versus infantry or machine gun fire a 3 during the next phase.  The marker would come up at the end of the turn.  Would that work? [/b]
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PostThu May 28, 2009 9:37 pm
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Carrion,  
   Thanks for the cite.  I think something other than an "overlapping fire" SA is necessary to handle the rear turret MG. What do you think of the proposal under #1 above?  
   I haven't had a chance to work with the card template yet, as I've given priority to the vehicle AI project.  I appreciate your tips.  Let me know what you think of the rest of these issues.
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PostThu May 28, 2009 9:41 pm
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HHRgamer wrote:

      I agree an exposed commander is easier to hit, but I'm not sure how to incorporate this with a simple mechanic.  Perhaps if the tank fires the pintle mounted or AA MG, place an "unbuttoned" marker on the tank and make the tank's defense versus infantry or machine gun fire a 3 during the next phase.  The marker would come up at the end of the turn.  Would that work? [/b]


How about allowing headshots against given tank by -any soldier- (i.e. 4 hits will face-up-disrupt the tank, as if it was a normal commander) when unbuttoned. (more then the face up disruption will not happen though this way, except that it's immediate so it lowers the defense against -anti-tank- weapons instantly). Being buttoned up would also probably allow -any- defensive fire except overwatch, as vision is heavily impaired.

On the other hand, too many markers are no fun. We have overwatch markers, disrupt, damaged and destroyed markers. We wouldnt have -moved- markers (which I think is way more relevant then being buttoned up or not). Being buttoned up is small cake in this regard (that's an expression right ? my slang is non native).

Last but not least, the whole 'unbuttoned' status is non-problematic if you move second. Your assault phase would be second too, which means the status effect would do you no harm at all.


I'd not go into the unbuttoned status effect line of thought. Keep it somewhat simple and stupid. If we decide to do anbuttoned status effect, I'd first and foremost want a 'moved' status effect.


I have a simple sollution (somewhat stolen from WotC Smile / the German Flak halftrack)
Buttonned Up SA : if there is any enemy unit within 2 hexes of this unit, given pintle mounted weapon has -1 to every attack die. (Thus the weapon is a lot less effective when people are threatening the commander.)
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PostThu May 28, 2009 11:42 pm
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Firing the AA MG. I like the "Buttoned Up" SA, although I wouldn't mind some sort of actual danger to the officer popping up from the hatch. Headshot (from the official Wehrmacht Sniper) causes the face-up disruption to last until the end of the next turn (no doubt precisely to prevent a player moving second not being affected by it). Maybe something like that is a possibility?

Turret MG and def fire. If you do allow def fire by a turret MG, does it then matter which turret MG it is? If a tank has only a coaxial MG, or only a rear turret MG, could it then do def fire against Soldiers?

If so, you could suffice with a general SA "Turret MG - this unit can make defensive fire attacks with 7 dice against Soldiers" for a unit with either a coaxial or rear turret MG, and an SA "Multiple Turret MGs - this unit can make defensive fire attacks with 7 dice against Soldiers, with +1 on each attack die" for a unit with both a coaxial and a rear turret MG.

The defensive fire references in the abilities should of course be finetuned to your exact way of handling def fire (distance, cover etc).

Hull MG fire arc. In AAM we're stuck with hexes to measure everything, so trying to get a fire arc to 30 degrees might be hard... At least the addition of Vehicle sides narrows the fire arc for forward-only guns considerably, forcing more tactical decisions.

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