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Author Topic: Machine Guns  (Read 5843 times)

Daryk

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Machine Guns
« on: 23 November 2016, 12:54:46 »
I've been going through the Infantry Tables v3.0 for Tech Manual and noticed a problem with machine guns.  I posted this up in errata, but I suspect it will just have to remain a house rule for me.

Aside from the M42-B being listed as a Heavy Burst weapon in the standard (vice support) list (which I also posted to errata), the "Light Machine Gun" appears to be completely out of step with the rest of the machine guns.  In AToW, it inexplicably has 5AP/3BD (for 0.49 TW damage, less than the Auto Rifle), where the vanilla Auto Rifle has 4AP/4BD (0.52 TW).  The medium machine guns (Portable and Semi-Portable) have 5AP/4BD, and the Support Machine Gun has 5AP/5BD.  So outside of the Light Machine Gun, the family of weapons seems to follow a progression analogous to the real world progression of: Infantry Automatic Rifle (IAR), M249 Squad Automatic Weapon (SAW), M60, M240, M2 Heavy Barrel (i.e., 5.56 mm for the first two, 7.62 mm for the middle two, and .50 cal for the last).  My fix is to bring the Light Machine Gun into line with this progression by changing it's ammunition to 4AP/4BD, and increasing its burst rate to 20. This yields a TW damage of 0.60, right between the Auto-Rifle and Portable Machine Gun, where it "should" be (it should also have the Heavy Burst ability). Extending the analogy up to vehicular weaponry, it looks to me like the vanilla 'Mech (and BA scale) Machine Gun is roughly like the tri-barrel GAU-19 (essentially a Gatling version of the M2HB).  Conveniently enough, the Support Machine Gun qualifies to be the 'Mech/BA Light Machine Gun as is, and the Heavy Machine Gun is easily modeled as the six-barrel GAU-19 (with twice the burst of the three barrel version).  The full table is below.

Code: [Select]
Analog Weapon AP BD PF Burst DF RF Crew TW Damage Wt(kg) BA Mech
? ? Light 5 3 1.25 15 19.5 1 1 0.4875 7
IAR 5.56 Auto-Rifle 4 4 1 15 26 1 1 0.52 4
M249 5.56 Proposed Light 4 4 1 20 30 1 1 0.6 7
M60 7.62 Portable 5 4 1.25 15 26 1 1E 0.65 11.5
M240 7.62 Semi-Port 5 4 1.25 20 30 1 2 0.75 20
M2HB .50 cal Support 5 5 1.25 20 37.5 1 2 0.9375 44 75 0.5 LMG
GAU-19 .50 cal GAU-19(3) 5 5 1.25 50 67.5 1 3 1.6875 60 100 0.5 MG
GAU-19 .50 cal GAU-19(6) 5 5 1.25 100 117.5 1 4 2.9375 90 150 1 HMG

I think I'll take a crack at missiles next (like in a few weeks; the ordnance rules are trickier, and apparently weren't used as written to make the tables).  I'm not sure energy weapons are fixable.  The combinations of damage and range at the infantry level are completely out of whack with the vehicle and BA scale weapons.
« Last Edit: 30 December 2016, 14:21:03 by Daryk »

CrossfirePilot

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Re: Machine Guns
« Reply #1 on: 30 November 2019, 16:27:23 »
Maybe add some eastern bloc numbers to this if you really want to get fancy.

Daryk

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Re: Machine Guns
« Reply #2 on: 30 November 2019, 16:59:16 »
I did that with my Grenade Launchers thread, as they were the only ones who really ever used 30mm grenades.  12.7mm is such an awkward bore size...  ;)

Seriously though, thanks for looking in!  I'm currently mulling over the Semi-Portable Autocannon, and am of two minds with regard to fixing it.  On one hand, the fluff says it delivers an "incredible rate of fire", but ultimately only gives a burst of 25.  My GAU-19 analog above has a burst of 50.  On the other hand, "Semi-Portable Autocannon" seems to imply something heavier than a Support Machine Gun, but they give the weight as only 25 kg, and the TW damage converts to a mere 0.77, compared to the Support Machine Gun's 0.94 (and the Portable Machine Gun's 0.75).

The ultimate problem is that it lacks the Heavy Burst special.  In order to qualify, it has to have an AP x BD of 20 or more (6x3 only equals 18), and a burst of least 15.  So we can get "there" with either 7AP/3BD (+1 AP from where it is now, which yields a TW damage of 0.89, still below the Support Machine Gun, or 1.00 if we give it a "splash" effect), or just use my GAU-19 (which seems to meet the fluff with regard to fire rate).  Another option would be to lower the burst rate to 15 (the minimum for the Heavy Burst special) and increase the damage code to at least 6AP/4BD (same AP as current, and +1 BD; this would yield TW damage of 0.78, or 1.05 if it has a "splash" effect).  This would seem to make more sense from a fluff perspective, as it would be closer to the 20mm infantry support weapons of history.  Going this route might mean an increase in weapon weight.

Daryk

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Re: Machine Guns
« Reply #3 on: 01 December 2019, 09:42:52 »
Ok, after doing some research into the M197 electric cannon (a 20mm, 60 kg door gun for helicopters in the 1960s), I think I'm going to go with:

Code: [Select]
Analog Weapon AP BD PF Burst DF RF Crew TW Damage Wt(kg) BA Mech
? ? Light 5 3 1.25 15 19.5 1 1 0.4875 7
IAR 5.56 Auto-Rifle 4 4 1 15 26 1 1 0.52 4
M249 5.56 Proposed Light 4 4 1 20 30 1 1 0.6 7
M60 7.62 Portable 5 4 1.25 15 26 1 1E 0.65 11.5
M240 7.62 Semi-Portable 5 4 1.25 20 30 1 2 0.75 20
M2HB .50 cal Support 5 5 1.25 20 37.5 1 2 0.9375 44 75 0.5 LMG
GAU-19 .50 cal GAU-19(3) 5 5 1.25 50 67.5 1 3 1.6875 60 100 0.5 MG
GAU-19 .50 cal GAU-19(6) 5 5 1.25 100 117.5 1 4 2.9375 90 150 1 HMG
M197 20mm SP-Autocannon   6 5 1.5 25 42.5 1 2 1.275 40
? 25mm? Bearhunter 7 7 1.75 30 66.5 1 2 2.3275 40

I threw in the Bearhunter (without any changes) for comparison.  With my adjustment, it's only roughly twice as powerful as the IS version, vice more than three times.  In a squad with two support weapons, the Bearhunters would bring 5 points of damage, where my AC would bring 3 (and the canon version only 2).

RifleMech

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Re: Machine Guns
« Reply #4 on: 01 December 2019, 16:02:00 »
Does this include the Vintage Machine Gun or Vintage Mini Gun from AToW Companion?

Daryk

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Re: Machine Guns
« Reply #5 on: 01 December 2019, 17:57:40 »
Not yet, but I suppose I should put them in the table too... more table work that will have to wait until I've caught up...

Daryk

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Re: Machine Guns
« Reply #6 on: 01 December 2019, 18:33:12 »
And by popular demand, the table with the Vintage Machine Gun and Minigun included (note: the requirements for the Heavy Burst special are APxBD of at least 20, and a burst value of at least 15, so nothing lighter than the Portable Machine Gun qualifies).  I also threw in the canon Semi-Portable Autocannon for comparison:

Code: [Select]
Analog Weapon AP BD PF Burst DF RF Crew TW Damage Wt(kg) BA Mech
? ? Light 5 3 1.25 15 19.5 1 1 0.4875 7
? 0.30? Vintage MG 3 4 0.75 15 26 1 1E 0.39 11
? 0.30? Vintaqe Minigun 3 4 0.75 50 54 1 2 0.81 21
IAR 5.56 Auto-Rifle 4 4 1 15 26 1 1 0.52 4
M249 5.56 Proposed Light 4 4 1 20 30 1 1 0.6 7
M60 7.62 Portable 5 4 1.25 15 26 1 1E 0.65 11.5
M240 7.62 Semi-Portable 5 4 1.25 20 30 1 2 0.75 20
M2HB .50 cal Support 5 5 1.25 20 37.5 1 2 0.9375 44 75 0.5 LMG
GAU-19 .50 cal GAU-19(3) 5 5 1.25 50 67.5 1 3 1.6875 60 100 0.5 MG
GAU-19 .50 cal GAU-19(6) 5 5 1.25 100 117.5 1 4 2.9375 90 150 1 HMG
M197 20mm SP-Autocannon   6 5 1.5 25 42.5 1 2 1.275 50
? ? Canon SP-AC 6 3 1.5 25 25.5 1 2 0.765 25
? 25mm? Bearhunter 7 7 1.75 30 66.5 1 2 2.3275 40
« Last Edit: 15 December 2019, 06:16:40 by Daryk »

RifleMech

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Re: Machine Guns
« Reply #7 on: 01 December 2019, 23:04:01 »
Looks good  :thumbsup:

Daryk

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Re: Machine Guns
« Reply #8 on: 15 December 2019, 06:22:34 »
I finally realized I had made my SP-Autocannon lighter than the Support MG, so I tweaked the weight up a little.

Daryk

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Re: Machine Guns
« Reply #9 on: 11 April 2020, 10:39:42 »
Found this article on the history of service rifles in the US Army: https://arsof-history.org/articles/19_aug_form_follows_function_page_1.html

I figured it would be interesting to anyone who's read this far.  I'm going to cross post it in my AR+ thread too.

RifleMech

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Re: Machine Guns
« Reply #10 on: 12 April 2020, 02:00:00 »
I'm not sure the burst rate or damage for the gatling gun is right. Wiki's got a firing rate of up to 200. I get a burst of 16 rounds. It's listed as 12 in the companion. Firing 16 rounds should increase the damage.

It's surprising how many old machine guns there were and what their rates of fire could be. Even old flintlocks and wheelocks looking at other links in the articles.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Early_machine_guns

Daryk

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Re: Machine Guns
« Reply #11 on: 12 April 2020, 05:57:58 »
It would go from 0.17 to 0.20 by my math...  An increase, yes, but not much of one.

RifleMech

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Re: Machine Guns
« Reply #12 on: 12 April 2020, 07:10:04 »
It would go from 0.17 to 0.20 by my math...  An increase, yes, but not much of one.

Cool. It's better than nothing and every bit helps with infantry. Thanks  :thumbsup:

Grognard

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Re: Machine Guns
« Reply #13 on: 20 August 2020, 21:52:51 »
Relocated from a discussion on MG Arrays...

my House Rules for MGs:

1. MGs get the pulse weapon modifier of -2
2. firing MGs will cost you 2 D6 of ammo.  thus, you can burn 2 rounds or 12. 
Tends to make those 200 rds per ton make more sense.
3. MGs will do 1 D6 of damage, rolled in single point locations like LBX rounds.
*bonus*
4. multiple MGs fired from the same location (from RA or LT) can be fire linked and give performance bonuses.
> 2 MGs = no change
> 3 MGs = 2 D6 damage, but use 3 D6 of ammo & will generate 1 heat.
> 4 MGs = 2 D6 Damage, 3 D6 ammo use, generate 2 heat, BUT give a -3 pulse weapon mod.
> 5 or more MGs = 3 D6 damage, 5 D6 ammo use, generate 3 heat, and have the -3 pulse weapon mod.
best of all: ONLY applies to Inner Sphere Mechs, and Targetting computers have no effect on MGs.

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I am Belch II

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Re: Machine Guns
« Reply #14 on: 01 September 2020, 19:20:25 »
Now see if you can make Modern Infantry squads.
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Grognard

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Re: Machine Guns
« Reply #15 on: 01 September 2020, 20:50:32 »
professional or militia?
3rd world or 1st?
American or Euro?
Army or Marines?

GROGNARD:  An old, grumpy soldier, a long term campaigner (Fr); Someone who enjoys playing tactics and strategy based board wargames;  a game fan who will buy every game released in a certain genre of computer game (RTS, or computer role-playing game, etc.)

RunandFindOut

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Re: Machine Guns
« Reply #16 on: 02 September 2020, 13:31:42 »
Now see if you can make Modern Infantry squads.
It's not actually that hard to do, you build the squad as a platoon, since that's the smallest BT unit of infantry.
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Daryk

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Re: Machine Guns
« Reply #17 on: 31 January 2021, 13:27:17 »
The real trick there is that modern USMC squads are 13.  Not exactly easy to model as a platoon.

Personally, I think the introduction of the Individual Automatic Rifle (IAR) simplifies this a little, but not much.  Basically, a Fire Team (Squad for design purposes) reduces to three Riflemen with IARs (bog standard Auto-Rifles), and one with an underbarrel grenade launcher.  Using my AR+ and AR++ for these (see links in my sig block), each fire team would do up to 3 points of damage (2.5 rounds up to 3) at 1/2/3 range.  At the "Platoon" (real life Squad) level, that adds up to ~7.5 + 1 (assuming the Squad Leader ALSO has a grenade launcher), or 9 points of damage at 1/2/3 range, with no movement penalty. Because these squads are larger than 10, it's not possible to aggregate them to the Platoon level directly (a USMC Platoon has 3 Squads, AND a leadership element).

The US Army, on the other hand, only has two fire teams per squad, plus a squad leader.  With IARs in the mix, this means 7 AR+s and 2 AR++s.  That would translate to ~3.5 + 2 = 6 points of damage per squad.  Throwing in one more IAR for the Platoon Commander to round out the platoon to 28 yields 17 points of damage at 1/2/3 range (18 if they have an under-barrel grenade launcher instead, or a second Platoon-level position with another AR+).

For comparison, a typical BT Squad would have two Fire Teams of 3, and a Squad Leader for 7 total.  The logical way to break those down is to give each Fire Team one under-barrel grenade launcher (AR++), and the Squad Leader an AR+.  This would result in 5 points of damage at 1/2/3 range with no movement penalty (because AR++s aren't Support Weapons).  Since they're only 7 troopers, you can roll up 4 squads into a platoon.  Due to rounding, the damage for a platoon would only be 22, unless you add one or two additonal Platoon level positions.  These could add 1 or 2 points of damage, for a maximum of 24 points of damage for an "Auto-Rifle" Platoon.

If you were really looking to maximize damage and minimize movement penalties, you'd look at IS Heavy Auto-Grenade Launchers.  They do 1.76 damage at TW scale, and if you limit them to 1 per squad, don't affect mobility while maintaining 5 points of damage.  That gets you to 20 points of damage per Platoon with no movement or range (since both AGLs an ARs have the same) penalties.

Now, if range is a priority for you, I recommend the Sinper Rifle thread linked through my sig block...  ^-^

Terminax

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Re: Machine Guns
« Reply #18 on: 02 February 2021, 17:47:00 »
Just slap an illegal quirk on it and build it however it should be.

Daryk

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Re: Machine Guns
« Reply #19 on: 02 February 2021, 18:28:12 »
You could certainly do that, but you'd have to invent ways to deal with multiple (2 or 3) "secondary" weapons...

Terminax

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Re: Machine Guns
« Reply #20 on: 02 February 2021, 19:18:50 »
Only allow the usage of one type of secondary weapon at a time and increase the cost per extra type.

Daryk

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Re: Machine Guns
« Reply #21 on: 02 February 2021, 19:23:27 »
That would work, but wouldn't reflect how those weapons are used in the real world.  Grenades and machine guns coming in on your position at the same time would break it pretty fast...

Terminax

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Re: Machine Guns
« Reply #22 on: 02 February 2021, 19:38:39 »
Your other choice is just pile on the weapons like real life. Keeping in mind at a certain point even in TW, your details will be sanded off a bit as a balance issue. In the end, you end up with a complicated, more expensive unit that gets killed just as fast and someone decides that it presents a real danger.

Daryk

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Re: Machine Guns
« Reply #23 on: 02 February 2021, 20:04:20 »
The game balance issue comes because you start getting multiple special abilities on top of increased damage and range.  It's not impossible to manage, just hard.

 

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