BattleTech - The Board Game of Armored Combat

BattleTech Game Systems => Strategic Combat => Topic started by: cray on 11 August 2020, 19:11:54

Title: Force Operations - Peacetime Ammo use
Post by: cray on 11 August 2020, 19:11:54
I seem to recall a discussion that ammo use specified in Campaign Operations was a bit high. Does anyone happen to have a link to that thread, or opinions on ammo usage rates?
Title: Re: Force Operations - Peacetime Ammo use
Post by: idea weenie on 11 August 2020, 23:02:07
Here are some quick links:

Training Ammunition - https://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php?topic=37274.0

ICE vs Fusion Engine costs (this post was about cost differences for training ammunition usage)
https://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php?topic=64998.msg1543126#msg1543126

Interstellar Operations Open Beta Test: Creating A Force: Discussion (this had a comment about monthly ammunition usage rates and which quarter of capacity would be used)
https://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php?topic=24888.msg570191#msg570191

Cadre/Training missions had you using a quarter ton of ammo per ton ammo capacity per month
https://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php?topic=53533.msg1238262#msg1238262
Title: Re: Force Operations - Peacetime Ammo use
Post by: cray on 12 August 2020, 04:22:40
Awesome, thank you.
Title: Re: Force Operations - Peacetime Ammo use
Post by: Colt Ward on 19 February 2021, 18:20:28
WELL . . . somehow I had missed this . . .

IF it is still of interest, and I know it was brought up on those threads, BUT . . .

Current standards for large weapon systems are a annual live fire exercise which is typically a practice shoot to qualify but NOT a live fire under tactical conditions.  Lots of staff work on safety and other such stuff goes around that . . . the fire is slow and methodical to be sure things are right.  Live fires ALSO shoot practice rounds which were shorter ranges, not sure this applies to BT.

 . . . but when I was in the Guard you spent half or more of your weekends doing tactical drills which were 2 or 3 days in the field doing fire simulations under tactical conditions- The operational tempo is designed to be worse than what experience says- or even what the equipment can stand because you are exercising the troops and the best way to do that is under the worst conditions you can.  The average drill weekend in the field a battery 'fires' more in those two days than a battalion might in a week for expected combat conditions.  The annual training spends a week in the field and intentionally pushes the op tempo for pressure.  While the weather might not be the worst- it is summer so hot & nasty rather than cold, wet and muddy, the intention is still to keep that tempo so folks end up short on sleep while having as many other sucky conditions stacking on top as possible.  We had a guy at the end of the week after running 24 hour ops answering the radio calls for his launcher in a light doze, or so his platoon sergeant said . . . you could hear us call over the speaker and he would answer back.

To be clear, this was for rocket artillery and was not any different by what I could hear & see from active duty nor for the cannon cockers.  You do this because practice firing through the computers does not put stress on your weapon systems and keeps maintenance and replacement costs down.  Each weapon system has a expected lifespan and it depends on the use.  Consider the battleship which had a turret accident in the 80s and was never able to replace that barrel- because they were no longer made.

Small arms . . . one annual live fire qualification for rifles and crew served weapons.  Annual familiarization for crew served weapons for those not assigned to them- if you were not the Gunner or the Assistant Gunner on say a M240, M2, etc then you fired it off at the range just so you were familiar with operations though you did not have to qualify.  Rifle qualification is in NO way a accurate tactical application.  I hated it b/c it was so artificial . . . and laughed my butt off when some of the 'experts' sucked it up when we DID get into tactical fire qualifications, what was called CQB- Close Quarters Battle- where you practiced urban clearing shoots.  The ONLY time I have ever done that was as part of the two mobilizations to go to Iraq after the invasion, the same as mounted (in a Humvee) firing.  Infantry formations probably do a bit more of this but according to the annual training or mobilization requirements, there is not a lot of live fires- it is about training muscle memories and habits.  I did a LOT more 'glass house' clearing training than I did CQB shoots during those mobilizations.

There is a reason first world militaries only have annual live fires.  It is expensive in munitions and expensive in the operational life of the heavy equipment used.
Title: Re: Force Operations - Peacetime Ammo use
Post by: cray on 19 February 2021, 21:47:08
That is some fantastic information, sir. Unfortunately, I was asking to make sure I captured some comments for Campaign Operations' errata, which was submitted in November-ish.
Title: Re: Force Operations - Peacetime Ammo use
Post by: Daryk on 20 February 2021, 12:15:31
Sorry I missed this thread during my hiatus, Cray.  I probably could have found the thread you were looking for.
Title: Re: Force Operations - Peacetime Ammo use
Post by: ThePW on 03 April 2021, 13:38:56
Consider the battleship which had a turret accident in the 80s and was never able to replace that barrel- because they were no longer made.

I spent an hour just looking at the wiki entry for this event. It was a dark time for the Surface Navy apparently (but i don't think it was a CASREP issue that prevented that barrel (and the rest of the systems involved) to being repaired but politics and the Investigations from that event.

But none of that applies to BT but it would make the basis for a good story about Gunnery training (and negligence). In fact, i want to say that something has already been written about it, either as fanfic or cannon story telling?
Title: Re: Force Operations - Peacetime Ammo use
Post by: Colt Ward on 03 April 2021, 14:38:07
A barrel COULD have been made but it would have been a 1-off and extremely expensive which is why it really became more of a political football.  Falls into the same sort of category where the Shuttle program was buying used 80s electronics off of ebay to provide replacements that were compatible with the systems.
Title: Re: Force Operations - Peacetime Ammo use
Post by: Daryk on 03 April 2021, 15:43:16
I remember seeing spare barrels stacked in a field in Dahlgren in the 2000s... I'm pretty sure they were available in the 1980s...
Title: Re: Force Operations - Peacetime Ammo use
Post by: Colt Ward on 03 April 2021, 16:57:40
16-inch barrels?  Especially when they used old salvaged barrels for the original runway cutter bombs?  or was it bunker buster.
Title: Re: Force Operations - Peacetime Ammo use
Post by: Daryk on 03 April 2021, 17:22:25
The runway cutter bombs were smaller artillery barrels.  I actually managed to see a video about their development a number of years ago (well before COVID) at the Armory in Watervliet.  I don't know if that museum is still open...
Title: Re: Force Operations - Peacetime Ammo use
Post by: Colt Ward on 03 April 2021, 19:38:47
Oh yeah, the used 8 inch barrels.
Title: Re: Force Operations - Peacetime Ammo use
Post by: Daryk on 03 April 2021, 19:51:13
The video said the first one they dropped in testing went so deep into the ground, they couldn't find it...  ^-^
Title: Re: Force Operations - Peacetime Ammo use
Post by: Wolf72 on 12 April 2021, 16:34:57
The runway cutter bombs were smaller artillery barrels.  I actually managed to see a video about their development a number of years ago (well before COVID) at the Armory in Watervliet.  I don't know if that museum is still open...

Believe it is still open, one of these days I need to take some time to head down there.  Sad that for 2 years I lived about 5 min away and did not really do anything but a drive-by.  (edited for grammar/spelling)
Title: Re: Force Operations - Peacetime Ammo use
Post by: Colt Ward on 12 April 2021, 16:40:37
Believe it is still open, one of these days I need a some time to head down there.  Sad that for 2 years I lived about 5 min away and did not really do anything but a drive-by.

I lived in N Houston as a space nut and never went to the Space Center . . . my wife (then girlfriend) went to the Battleship Texas with me, I had never gone to see it either except from a distance when at San Jacinto.  Odd thing is the attractions that are local you rarely ever go to see.  When I lived near the local Army base I took visitors a couple of times to go see parts of the Berlin Wall . . . it is a display that does not have much to tell you what it is- in fact I think it did not even have a placard, you had to know what it was when you looked at it.  But it is not on very public display, so you have to know where it is on the base . . . last time I took folks, I had to get buzzed in by the weekend SDNCO.
Title: Re: Force Operations - Peacetime Ammo use
Post by: Wolf72 on 12 April 2021, 18:17:57
I know the feeling.  Grew up commuting distance from NYC, have yet to visit the Statue of Liberty ...

I am glad, however, that when I arrived for my first ToD in RoK the visit to the DMZ was scrapped (hmm, that may have been a policy anyway by the time I enlisted -- I remember older peers saying they got to see it).

Since I don't want to derail the thread to much:

My peacetime ammo use stories:

1992 ... 3? Time to qualify at the range in RoK (20th ASG as non-combat in Korea as you can get!); we were given a ton of ammo to use and were not allowed to bring any back.  Well, they let "Hadashi" (google says Ajosshi) use an M-16 too ... between the two of us we almost eradicated a support beam at the back of the range ... oops  >:D

1994: Talk about stingy as hell back stateside.  We didn't have our own weapons, so we had to use another units ... it was a total SNAFU of a day.  Weapon jammed, and apparently the 1SG in charge of the range declined to let anyone get another chance if the weapon they had jammed.  Had to do some backtracking to get a waiver for the promotion board "But 1SG, you only offered the first group a chance, as soon the second group was done you had us pack up and go".  I felt like they didn't want us there to begin with.
Title: Re: Force Operations - Peacetime Ammo use
Post by: boilerman on 23 April 2021, 15:10:03
I spent an hour just looking at the wiki entry for this event. It was a dark time for the Surface Navy apparently (but i don't think it was a CASREP issue that prevented that barrel (and the rest of the systems involved) to being repaired but politics and the Investigations from that event.

But none of that applies to BT but it would make the basis for a good story about Gunnery training (and negligence). In fact, i want to say that something has already been written about it, either as fanfic or cannon story telling?
Spare barrels were available. USN had a stockpile, I think 5 or 6 at the time. I was stationed at the base in Maryland where a good deal of the investigation happened when it happened.
Title: Re: Force Operations - Peacetime Ammo use
Post by: Daryk on 23 April 2021, 17:11:37
I remember visiting Pax River, and seeing the STACK of 16" barrels.  That alone was amazing, even as long ago as it was...