The Order of the Stick: Utterly Dwarfed
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  1. - Top - End - #121
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVIII

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaptin Keen View Post
    My gunnery instructor informed me that that's exactly what happens. It never made sense to me, and I have no source for the info other than one military instructor. But .. it's what he said.
    For the first extremely short fraction of a second after it leaves the barrel there's still expanding gas behind it. I wonder if that tidbit got over-generalized and just became part of the instructor's internal trivia list.

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVIII

    @Mike_G: Thanks so much! This really helps out with what I'm trying to go for. I definitely think pack mules will come in handy. Why would the squads have different weapon types instead of all having the same loadout?

    @Pauly: Yeah, they're specifically fighting in the jungle. The PMCs are being funded by the two countries with the strongest economies in the game, so they would have close to the best gear available for the time period. Would it be worth the time and money to even bother with mortars, given the problems discussed?

    @KineticDiplomat: We're looking at no later than 1953, if that helps. Any vehicle recommendations for evac?

    @Storm Bringer: The reason the PMCs are fighting in the jungle is because the area is allegedly rich in oil. Both of the major powers in the world want control of the region without officially putting their own troops into a country they are technically allied with. The country where the fighting is taking place doesn't have the manpower to eject the PMCs from the area because of an ongoing civil war (instigated by one of the major world powers as a distraction).

    Oh, kind of an important question I forgot to ask earlier. How likely would it be for the PMCs to mistake my group's characters for enemy combatants?

    Thanks for the help, everyone!
    Last edited by SleepyShadow; 2019-06-27 at 11:25 AM.

  3. - Top - End - #123
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVIII

    Quote Originally Posted by Max_Killjoy View Post
    Wish their FPS ticker didn't give the misimpression that the projectile is still accelerating outside the barrel.

    Just before where you have it linked, they miss, and a piece of burning propellant has enough KE to blow a chunk out of the first melon.
    I think that's just a pretty graphical effect for the chronograph, rather than a measure of the shell still accelerating. Still, I see your point, but watching the slow-mo shots again from 15:18 onwards suggests that any visible acceleration is just due to the angle of the camera.

    It's a 16.something minute video and while I've watched the whole thing multiple times, I figured that not everybody here shares my somewhat unhealthy enthusiasm for large calibre crew served weaponry.

  4. - Top - End - #124
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVIII

    Quote Originally Posted by SleepyShadow View Post
    @Mike_G: Thanks so much! This really helps out with what I'm trying to go for. I definitely think pack mules will come in handy. Why would the squads have different weapon types instead of all having the same loadout?
    You need a variety of weapons due to the demands of the terrain and the fact that you picked 1950. Today you could give all the troops an M4 and call it a day.

    You want a SMG for close combat, which there will be a lot of. But it's no use at anything other than very close range so if you do wind up fighting in a clearing, you want something with longer range.

    A full length rifle like a Garand or SMLE is overkill, since you will probably never get a shot at 500 yards, and it's long and awkward and heavy and has a lower magazine capacity. But a carbine is a nice compromise. More range than a SMG, accurate out to 200 or 300 yards, but still short and light and high capacity.

    A LMG, like a BAR is nice for at least one per squad, because sometimes you want heavy, full powered automatic fire. Good for punching through cover and providing nice suppression and covering fire. And if you do need to kill a light vehicle it's nice to have the option

    Shotguns are nice when you have a quick look at a target, or know somebody is behind that bush, but you can't see him. And the round that miss won;t go very far and endanger your other teams if the enemy get in between you.

    So you want a variety of capabilities and in 1950 there wasn't a universally good weapon for everything. If I had to pick one gun for the jungle, it would be the M1 carbine, but I'd rather have a balanced team.
    Last edited by Mike_G; 2019-06-27 at 01:07 PM.
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  5. - Top - End - #125
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVIII

    A question for all of you as I am not well versed enough in these topics to really say. Bludgeoning weapons such as hammers and such are useful against heavy plate armor compared to swords and other slashing weapons. Would such an advantage also hold for creatures with thick hide like Rhinos in real life or similar magical beasts in a fantasy setting? Bludgeoning weapons would probably still be very effective against invertebrates and other magical creatures with giant exoskeletons but I was mostly unsure about thick hide type armor.

    The context for this is I am doing a bit of game design and was wondering from a realism perspective if a weapon with an advantage against armor would also apply to creatures with high natural armor.
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  6. - Top - End - #126
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVIII

    May I ask as to the scale and scope of the PMCs? I'll be happy to make recommendations. It looks different if they're a 20,000 man "Corporate Army" versus a battalion of vets who shouldn't go home (looking at you former SS types) versus a company of scruffy adventure seekers. In terms of small arms, this is what would be out there:

    Bolt Action Rifle In all flavors and varieties. Enfields, Mausers, Springfields, Moisin Nagants, Arisaka There will be fifty years of these built up, of varying grades and types. Cheap, virtually impossible to jam (though you can still misfire bad ammo), and usually chambered for a round that will make you stay down if hit. In many cases, state armies will still have this as a mainstay weapon. Of note, many are service rifles - they'll still be quite accurate for a good shooter, but the modern perception of them being precision systems wasn't there when they were built. The technical accuracy will be excellent, but for many - especially older ones - the iron sights will be notch and post systems, the ergonomics...not a priority...and things like trigger weight more intended for, well, service, than for precision engagements. So handing one of these to a local peasant won't make him a marksman. But on the other hand, he can probably get his hands on one.

    And so can your mercs. No, it's not optimal for a jungle. It does not throw walls of lead. It is probably too heavy and long. The range is wasted. But, you know, the Japanese, Chinese, Burmese, and British beat the hell out of each other in jungles using rifles just like these. So "sub-optimal" is a far cry from "won't work."

    Semi-Auto Rifles The Garand is probably the trope namer on this one. Despite it's clear utility, Semis were basically leapfrogged for most nations. They went in to WWII with bolt actions, maybe had a few 'self loading" or "autoloading" rifles than were less common than the classics for industrial scale and engineering reasons (the German Army in WWII, for example, only built about 400k Gw43s ), and eventually went to assault rifles in the late 50s with very few stops. (The British held onto semis until the 1970s as the exception.) So you're at the dying days of the SA battle rifle. But there will be plenty of them to go around if you had a WWII-like event and one side was US-like. Slightly less technical accuracy, but honestly by being a product of recent modernity would have the most advanced "common" sights, and very few people need to see in a firefight if bullets are landing with 1.5 inches or 2.25 inches of where they aimed. Due to their single real source at industrial scale, odds are that if any force has these as a mainstay, it is with some backing or at least tacit approval from one of those superpowers.

    So why would you have it in a jungle? Well, if your merc company was not in the business of custom tailoring it's weapon load to every contract or just hasn't adapted to years of jungle fighting, this would be considered the state of the art for a battle rifle. Accurate, superior rate of fire to most people's bolt actions, reliable. Hard to beat as a general purpose weapon.


    SMGs These will be popular. They will generally come in three varieties.

    Cheap and light ones like the sten gun, made for mass production. They throw lead. They don't weigh much; really, theyre about the lightest "main" weapon you can carry. They're super handy and, being made from mostly stamped parts are really, really cheap. Sure, the rounds are usually lighter - but when you're both either blasting bushes where you can't tell if you hit anyone anyhow, or hitting targets inside a house or on a trail...does it matter? Up to your players to decide, though the first time they hit a man twice and he's still standing, they may reconsider. Also if you do need to have a firefight across a football field...accuracy will suffer.

    Reliable bullet hoses. Looking at the PPsh series. Famously tough. A little bit heavy. And, as the Americans learned in Korea, easy enough for a peasant to use to gain fire superiority real quick.

    More to follow.

  7. - Top - End - #127
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVIII

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike_G View Post
    So you want a variety of capabilities and in 1950 there wasn't a universally good weapon for everything. If I had to pick one gun for the jungle, it would be the M1 carbine, but I'd rather have a balanced team.
    Given the year and circumstances, that's what I was thinking as well. Lighter per-round ammo (carry more for the same weight), actual magazines instead of "strippers", semi-auto, made in large numbers during WW2, hits well at the usual ranges and has decent range for when fights are in open areas, less bulky to carry and easier to shoot in tight spaces, etc.

    The what-if circuit in my brain is musing about a "Thompson 2.0" with a moderated rate of fire so that it's easier to control and doesn't devour supplies quite so fast. The .45ACP with a long barrel (compared to pistols or small SMGs) wouldn't be a bad "generalist" weapon for jungle fighting.
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVIII

    Quote Originally Posted by Silva Stormrage View Post
    A question for all of you as I am not well versed enough in these topics to really say. Bludgeoning weapons such as hammers and such are useful against heavy plate armor compared to swords and other slashing weapons. Would such an advantage also hold for creatures with thick hide like Rhinos in real life or similar magical beasts in a fantasy setting? Bludgeoning weapons would probably still be very effective against invertebrates and other magical creatures with giant exoskeletons but I was mostly unsure about thick hide type armor.

    The context for this is I am doing a bit of game design and was wondering from a realism perspective if a weapon with an advantage against armor would also apply to creatures with high natural armor.
    I think you'd still be looking at cutting weapons for effective damage in that case - until you get to 'this creature's hide is actually as tough as metal' you're still going to do more damage cutting into the meat than bruising it.

    If I were going to be aiming at distinguishing them, I'd want to find a way to reflect a rhino's toughness as part of their bulk rather than the equivalent of their Armor Class - it's not that they're all that much tougher to injure, they're tougher to injure in a way that really hampers them. You can cut the hide, but the same slash that would go through a gambeson or buff coat on a human and cripple a limb is a flesh wound on a creature the size of five people put together.

    (Large herbivores might actually be more resistant to bludgeoning damage, since for many of them bashing each other around is actually how they handle fights for territory, food, or mating rights, and it's relatively non-lethal.)
    Last edited by tyckspoon; 2019-06-27 at 02:16 PM.

  9. - Top - End - #129
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVIII

    Quote Originally Posted by Silva Stormrage View Post
    A question for all of you as I am not well versed enough in these topics to really say. Bludgeoning weapons such as hammers and such are useful against heavy plate armor compared to swords and other slashing weapons. Would such an advantage also hold for creatures with thick hide like Rhinos in real life or similar magical beasts in a fantasy setting? Bludgeoning weapons would probably still be very effective against invertebrates and other magical creatures with giant exoskeletons but I was mostly unsure about thick hide type armor.

    The context for this is I am doing a bit of game design and was wondering from a realism perspective if a weapon with an advantage against armor would also apply to creatures with high natural armor.
    The fact that I have never heard of big game having ever been hunted with a blunt weapon leads me to believe blunt is bad against big targets.

    Piercing seem to overwhelmingly be the damage type of choice in the real world for big game.

    The thing is a big animal might have a tough hide, it might have a thick hide but it does not have a hard hide and all the meat under that hide is going cushion the blow. What you want is something like a spear that can deliver deep wounds. Slashing weapons risk the fact that the vitals might be to deep to reach easily.

    Logical a blunt weapon would likely be good on an exoskeleton that makes sense to me.
    Last edited by awa; 2019-06-27 at 02:22 PM.

  10. - Top - End - #130
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVIII

    Quote Originally Posted by Gnoman View Post
    Realistically, 1950s "PMCs" would be using arms from one of two sources - the United States, or the Soviet Union. Any other supply source would be too limited at the time.


    Using US weapons, the primary personal arms would be the M1/M2 Carbine, the M1 Garand, and the M1 Submachine Gun. Heavier firepower would be provided by Browning Automatic Rifles and M1917 Machine guns. These weapons were all available in massive quantities, and were widely distributed.


    Soviet weapons would be PPSh submachine guns and Moisin Nagant rifles, with the submachine guns being far more useful for most people. Heavier firepower would take the form of DP-2 light machine guns or M1910 Maxim guns. These were all being phased out by the Red Army, and were thus widely distributed to potential allies.
    You'd have a fair bit of ex-Axis materiel around at that time as well - surrendered weapons were distributed to other countries, plus you'd have battlefield trophies (Lugers in particular from Europe, plus Katanas from the Pacific theatre).

    There'd also be some Allied-issue weapons that were supplied to resistance groups during the war or friendly governments post-war (Israel in particular got a lot of second hand materiel) that might have made their way into such groups in some manner, especially if better things came along (Stens getting replaced by Sterlings for example), plus trophies, issued weapons that were "destroyed" or taken off fiendly casualties and never returned to the QMs, looted caches, the black market, supplied via back channels by intelligence agencies to deniable assets for proxy wars, and so on.

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVIII

    Quote Originally Posted by SleepyShadow View Post
    @KineticDiplomat: We're looking at no later than 1953, if that helps. Any vehicle recommendations for evac?
    Helos, specifically the small two man types you see in the opening sequence from M*A*S*H.

    Oh, kind of an important question I forgot to ask earlier. How likely would it be for the PMCs to mistake my group's characters for enemy combatants?

    Thanks for the help, everyone!
    As high or as low as you need. Assuming PMCs are recruited from friendly neighbours there isn't much to differentiate between the majority ethnic group in America or Russian on visual inspection. A squad of black guys is probably from the US if they're speaking in English, but that's no guarantee given that the Soviets were mucking about in Sub-Saharan Africa.

    This isn't like WWII where an Asian guy fighting in France by default is on the Allied side of the conflict.

    You have to remember that these PMCs are in a combat zone, they're either discharged soldiers, or were never stable enough to join an army to begin with. So apply your preferred level of paranoia and go.
    Last edited by Beleriphon; 2019-06-27 at 02:43 PM.

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVIII

    Quote Originally Posted by Silva Stormrage View Post
    A question for all of you as I am not well versed enough in these topics to really say. Bludgeoning weapons such as hammers and such are useful against heavy plate armor compared to swords and other slashing weapons. Would such an advantage also hold for creatures with thick hide like Rhinos in real life or similar magical beasts in a fantasy setting? Bludgeoning weapons would probably still be very effective against invertebrates and other magical creatures with giant exoskeletons but I was mostly unsure about thick hide type armor.

    The context for this is I am doing a bit of game design and was wondering from a realism perspective if a weapon with an advantage against armor would also apply to creatures with high natural armor.
    Generally speaking large animals would be hard to hurt with blunt force trauma inflicted by a human, they're big and have lots of flexible force dispersing skin, fat and muscle between their skin and their bones and vitals. I wouldn't give blunt weapons a bonus against them. Blows to the legs of things like horses are meant to work well though, so maybe they could do a lot to a rhino's shin as well.

    The usual way to hunt them is long piercing weapons that can punch through the hide and deep into the meat or even into the vital organs, or to pepper them with projectiles that cut the skin and cause them to slowly bleed out. Which also happens to be the main way predators like lions kill things like rhinos and hippos, lots of lacerations and bites until if falls to the ground from a mixture of bloodloss and exhaustion.

    If I was going for realism I'd probably work out some kind of bleed mechanic or find a way to represent the ability for spears to be driven deep into an animal's body.
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVIII

    Quote Originally Posted by awa View Post
    Logical a blunt weapon would likely be good on an exoskeleton that makes sense to me.
    Wouldn't you want something with an armour piercing beak rather than a bludgeoning weapon for something with an exoskeleton?

    Assuming magic allowing for giant invertebrates to be just scaled up versions of current critters, their internals tend not to be be as 'squishy' as mammals, plus the fairly uniform structure of their exoskeleton may just dissipate the force of the blow throughout the whole body segment comparatively harmlessly, rather than allowing the force to be concentrated enough to crack the segment.

    Depending on the hardness/thickness of the chitin, you may want to treat them as the equivalent of plate harness, with all the standard tactics to defeat them (two handed weapons with armour defeating spikes, long pointed daggers to slip inbetween the joints, etc)

    Quote Originally Posted by Grim Portent View Post
    Blows to the legs of things like horses are meant to work well though, so maybe they could do a lot to a rhino's shin as well.
    I've had the pleasure of being less than 3 metres away from a big rhino at Longleat safari before. The thing was bigger than my car and there's very little opportunity to hit the legs from the front due to the massive head and horn in the way.

    Their legs are also substantially thicker and since the animal is not as tall as a horse, they're also shorter. In my opnion, big spears and any sort of deadfall traps would be the way to go as rhinos are rumoured to be mean grumpy critters and one of them charging would test the morale of even the strongest warrior.

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    Last edited by Brother Oni; 2019-06-27 at 03:55 PM.

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVIII

    @Mike_G: M1 Carbine sounds like a good idea, at least for a while. Maybe they'd start using SMGs and so forth once they've got a better handle on how to fight in the jungle.

    KineticDiplomat: I'm happy to answer whatever questions might get thrown around. The PMCs are mainly corporate soldiers, with the higher-ups being the sort of old war dogs who didn't know what to do with their lives during peacetime. Both groups have about 15,000 total troops available, and both are reliable so long as they keep getting paid.

    @Beleriphon: I suppose you make a fair point. More paranoia means more fun

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVIII

    Quote Originally Posted by Brother Oni View Post
    Wouldn't you want something with an armour piercing beak rather than a bludgeoning weapon for something with an exoskeleton?
    honestly I think either would work.

    in regards to rhino legs vs horse legs

    horse have relatively long thin legs, while rhino have shorter thicker legs. I mean its probably more effective then trying to bludgeon the things body but I suspect its a lot harder to hurt a rhinos legs.

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVIII

    Quote Originally Posted by SleepyShadow View Post

    @Mike_G: Thanks so much! This really helps out with what I'm trying to go for. I definitely think pack mules will come in handy. Why would the squads have different weapon types instead of all having the same loadout?

    @Pauly: Yeah, they're specifically fighting in the jungle. The PMCs are being funded by the two countries with the strongest economies in the game, so they would have close to the best gear available for the time period. Would it be worth the time and money to even bother with mortars, given the problems discussed?

    @KineticDiplomat: We're looking at no later than 1953, if that helps. Any vehicle recommendations for evac?

    @Storm Bringer: The reason the PMCs are fighting in the jungle is because the area is allegedly rich in oil. Both of the major powers in the world want control of the region without officially putting their own troops into a country they are technically allied with. The country where the fighting is taking place doesn't have the manpower to eject the PMCs from the area because of an ongoing civil war (instigated by one of the major world powers as a distraction).

    Oh, kind of an important question I forgot to ask earlier. How likely would it be for the PMCs to mistake my group's characters for enemy combatants?

    Thanks for the help, everyone!
    well then, the jungle still isn't valuable per se, what is valuable is the oil under it, and the roads/rivers into and out of the area.

    Since its only "allegedly" got oil, I'm guessing that this is a very recent discovery and that no oil wells have yet been dug. Thus, the primary objectives will be the access routes. these may be different for the two sides, if they are both being supplied form their parent countries, but basically what the PMCS need to control is the civilian roads into and out of the oil bearing area, because they are what any drilling teams are going to be using to establish a oil field. they also need to control their own supply lines, but thats a relative thing.

    The "deep" jungle is not really worth fighting over, and a lot of the fighting is going to be occurring within weapons range of the main roads, which makes vehicles suddenly more important (given the time frame, I think WW2 surplus half tracks would be ideal). a secondary objective would be securing ground for a pipeline (or control over a few pinch points where the pipeline must pass though).

    for a proper military to secure control over a road like that, they'd set up a series of firebases along it, or on nearby terrain that dominates the road (like a hillside), each of which has some form of artillery in it ("normally" a battery of light howitzers or heavy motars in the 80-120 MM range). the firebases are strung out so that each firebase can provide supporting fire on the two either side of it (i.e if you attack one, you get hit by the fire of that base, and the base to the left and the base to the right), and also sited so they can drop fire along any point on the road. then, between the major firebases, you build a string of much smaller blockhouses or Sangers, again sited for mutual support. A sanger is basically a fortified watchtower, and it will provide observation along the route and be able to direct fire missions for the guns. then, youd have vehicle mounted patrols running along between firebases.


    but that all takes manpower, firepower and money, all of which a PMC don't have in the same amounts as a formal army. So they'd take a more limited approach, and build a base site at only one or two chokepoints, then push a patrol out every so often if they need to clear the road.


    time and space permitting, they might build a light airstrip next to their bases (something that can take small planes), for both spotting, and for light transport duties (or even limited air support)


    obviously, this all assumes that the host nation is indeed incapable of intervening or otherwise imposing its will over these "rebel" (for that is surely what they will be called) groups working in its country.
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVIII

    Hey all, I am working on a "swords and science" setting for use with the Numenera system--think a medieval technology level society built on the ruins of an incredibly advanced civilization that left remnants of its amazing nanotechnology behind which the current world considers magic. So their manufacturing capability is roughly 17th-18th century with steel and gunpowder weapons (flintlock firearms); anything more advanced than that would have to be found rather than made, since they don't really understand the tech.

    My question is, I have been trying to figure out a hand grenade-type weapon to put in the equipment lists that is low enough in technology level for them to manufacture. Being in the "future" I think they could have knowledge of what we consider modern explosives, but they don't have much in the way of chemistry or engineering, so I feel like a modern frag grenade or anything along the lines of C-4 isn't within their capabilities. I am trying to figure out a pre-World War I explosive they could make that would actually be effective. Black powder and dynamite are the most likely candidates but their historical use in warfare seems pretty limited by my basic research, both being unreliable as explosives. Is there anything I missed that would make a simple thrown bomb work at this technology level, or do I have to invent something fictional?
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVIII

    For a .45 ACP submachine gun in 1953, US M3s are probably your best bet if you can get them. Cheaper, lighter, more compact, and a lower rate of fire so that it's more controllable. Marginally less reliable than the Thompson, due to a number of factors, including the single-fee magazines, but overall superior performance in pretty much every other category. The Thompson is heavy, easily as much so as a Garand.
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVIII

    Quote Originally Posted by AdAstra View Post
    For a .45 ACP submachine gun in 1953, US M3s are probably your best bet if you can get them. Cheaper, lighter, more compact, and a lower rate of fire so that it's more controllable. Marginally less reliable than the Thompson, due to a number of factors, including the single-fee magazines, but overall superior performance in pretty much every other category. The Thompson is heavy, easily as much so as a Garand.
    I was thinking more of a .45ACP "automatic rifle", lighter and slower firing than the Thompson, but more robust than the M3. Again, just the "what if" part of my brain that never shuts up.
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  20. - Top - End - #140
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVIII

    Quote Originally Posted by genderlich View Post
    Hey all, I am working on a "swords and science" setting for use with the Numenera system--think a medieval technology level society built on the ruins of an incredibly advanced civilization that left remnants of its amazing nanotechnology behind which the current world considers magic. So their manufacturing capability is roughly 17th-18th century with steel and gunpowder weapons (flintlock firearms); anything more advanced than that would have to be found rather than made, since they don't really understand the tech.

    My question is, I have been trying to figure out a hand grenade-type weapon to put in the equipment lists that is low enough in technology level for them to manufacture. Being in the "future" I think they could have knowledge of what we consider modern explosives, but they don't have much in the way of chemistry or engineering, so I feel like a modern frag grenade or anything along the lines of C-4 isn't within their capabilities. I am trying to figure out a pre-World War I explosive they could make that would actually be effective. Black powder and dynamite are the most likely candidates but their historical use in warfare seems pretty limited by my basic research, both being unreliable as explosives. Is there anything I missed that would make a simple thrown bomb work at this technology level, or do I have to invent something fictional?
    During this period there were absolutely grenades and launchers in use, that's generally the period when the term grenadier came into widespread use. There was apparently a decline in the early 18th century, but that was followed by their repurposing for assaults requiring elite troops. Cast-iron or even glass spheres filled with gunpowder with a fuse could be used quite effectively against fortifications and dug-in troops.
    Last edited by AdAstra; 2019-06-27 at 04:30 PM.
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVIII

    Is there anything I missed that would make a simple thrown bomb work at this technology level, or do I have to invent something fictional?
    I think fusing would be the main tricky part here? Making something blow up isn't hard, making it blow up reliably when you want it to can be. If you can make a working impact sensor (goes off when it smacks into the ground/hard cover object) or a reliable timer-based ignition charge (ie 'pull pin, count to three, throw, it'll go off at or very near to the end of the toss') then you've solved a lot of the potential problems with throwing bombs. If the best you can do is stick a match cord in it and say 'this will explode somewhere between 5 to 10 seconds after you light it' and you can't necessarily guarantee it'll even light or that you have a ready source of flame to set it off, well, your viable uses for that are a lot slimmer.

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVIII

    Quote Originally Posted by genderlich View Post
    Hey all, I am working on a "swords and science" setting for use with the Numenera system--think a medieval technology level society built on the ruins of an incredibly advanced civilization that left remnants of its amazing nanotechnology behind which the current world considers magic. So their manufacturing capability is roughly 17th-18th century with steel and gunpowder weapons (flintlock firearms); anything more advanced than that would have to be found rather than made, since they don't really understand the tech.

    My question is, I have been trying to figure out a hand grenade-type weapon to put in the equipment lists that is low enough in technology level for them to manufacture. Being in the "future" I think they could have knowledge of what we consider modern explosives, but they don't have much in the way of chemistry or engineering, so I feel like a modern frag grenade or anything along the lines of C-4 isn't within their capabilities. I am trying to figure out a pre-World War I explosive they could make that would actually be effective. Black powder and dynamite are the most likely candidates but their historical use in warfare seems pretty limited by my basic research, both being unreliable as explosives. Is there anything I missed that would make a simple thrown bomb work at this technology level, or do I have to invent something fictional?
    as others have said, Hand grenades were a thing in the 17th and 18th century.


    basically, imagine the classic cartoon bomb, scaled to hand sized. the big issue with them was basically quality control on the fuse, which gave very inconsistent burn times for the match. but they still found a role as a specialist and niche weapon in the gunpowder era.

    they'd fallen out of general use sometime before the Napoleonic wars in the 19th century, but the specialist assault troops that were trained in their use, the grenadiers, remained the premier infantry of most armies. they wore a distinctive tall hat nicknamed the mitre (after the hat of a bishop), as opposed to the tricorne hats worn by the regular infantry. the idea was that it had no brim to interfere with overhand throwing. they often also wore a "slow match" (a lit fuse that slowly smouldered for several hours) on a special sash on their chests.

    the Grenadier Guard of the British Household Division (ie the guys who guard the queen) date back to 1656, so its well within your planned time frame for grenades to be available.

    grenade launchers were a thing then as well. googled them, they are clockpunk as hell.
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVIII

    Quote Originally Posted by Storm Bringer View Post
    well then, the jungle still isn't valuable per se, what is valuable is the oil under it, and the roads/rivers into and out of the area.

    Since its only "allegedly" got oil, I'm guessing that this is a very recent discovery and that no oil wells have yet been dug. Thus, the primary objectives will be the access routes. these may be different for the two sides, if they are both being supplied form their parent countries, but basically what the PMCS need to control is the civilian roads into and out of the oil bearing area, because they are what any drilling teams are going to be using to establish a oil field. they also need to control their own supply lines, but thats a relative thing.

    The "deep" jungle is not really worth fighting over, and a lot of the fighting is going to be occurring within weapons range of the main roads, which makes vehicles suddenly more important (given the time frame, I think WW2 surplus half tracks would be ideal). a secondary objective would be securing ground for a pipeline (or control over a few pinch points where the pipeline must pass though).

    for a proper military to secure control over a road like that, they'd set up a series of firebases along it, or on nearby terrain that dominates the road (like a hillside), each of which has some form of artillery in it ("normally" a battery of light howitzers or heavy motars in the 80-120 MM range). the firebases are strung out so that each firebase can provide supporting fire on the two either side of it (i.e if you attack one, you get hit by the fire of that base, and the base to the left and the base to the right), and also sited so they can drop fire along any point on the road. then, between the major firebases, you build a string of much smaller blockhouses or Sangers, again sited for mutual support. A sanger is basically a fortified watchtower, and it will provide observation along the route and be able to direct fire missions for the guns. then, youd have vehicle mounted patrols running along between firebases.


    but that all takes manpower, firepower and money, all of which a PMC don't have in the same amounts as a formal army. So they'd take a more limited approach, and build a base site at only one or two chokepoints, then push a patrol out every so often if they need to clear the road.


    time and space permitting, they might build a light airstrip next to their bases (something that can take small planes), for both spotting, and for light transport duties (or even limited air support)


    obviously, this all assumes that the host nation is indeed incapable of intervening or otherwise imposing its will over these "rebel" (for that is surely what they will be called) groups working in its country.
    Great stuff to know. Thanks I was wondering about how the PMCs would go about setting up bases, and this satisfies my curiosity nicely. The poor host nation is going to be tied up for a while dealing with the internal organization trying to destabilize the government. Right now, they aren't too concerned about the PMCs as long as they are only interested in fighting each other.

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVIII

    Nearly missed your evac question. If you can afford it, as Bellerphon pointed out, the first light helicopters exist. You don't really hear about them being used in Korea outside of MASH, but they exist. Chances are that a surplus jeep or deuce and a half is going to be your evacuation platform of choice. There are specialized ambulances, but getting up the nearest trail with some morphine and life saving equipment on board is going to matter more than having the best option that is stuck on the gravel two miles away.

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVIII

    Incidentally, 15,000 is quite a few troopers. That's a short division by western standards, and a full division by soviet standards (they tended to centralize support stuff higher).Massive amount for a PMC, so they are going to have a lot more ass than you typically associate with modern mercenaries. Artillery, transport, probably multiple battalions of logistics and maintenance guys alone, weapons companies with heavy machineguns, field hospitals - one or two that can actually support trauma surgery besides the line ones. Finance detachments, possibly internal police, a small platoon of lawyers in all likelihood for when they aren't fighting in third world hellholes. Hell, they probably have guys whose whole job is booking the shipping that gets them to wherever their next contract is. And while it's unlikely the governments of the world would look fondly on them having an air force...they might have a cactus air force of light transports and recon planes. So, on one side the players are going to have all sorts of goodies and support on call.

    Just not the ones they think they will. At that scale, standardization of arms and equipment, normalizing logistics, these are going to be the orders of the day. Sure, new-guy "I want to be a badass" thinks he needs precisely THIS gun, but what he's going to GET is whatever the corporation can buy in standard lots by the thousands, and can buy ammunition for. Reliably, from a supplier who can produce in bulk and who is tacitly politically alright with selling a mercenary division these guns. And if the corporation armed it's people before the most recent jungle contract, they aren't shelling out for 5-10,000 new weapons if they are already equipped.

    Once you get to that scale, the quality difference in small arms needs to be close to generational for it to really tip the balance. What seem like major differences to the man using it are producing much smaller impacts to the people running the war. Take Vietnam. The M-16 of the time was not well beloved. It was finicky, hard to keep clean in the jungle, it's rounds were light, and it seemed to jam a lot. It's easy shooting and aiming didn't matter much in those tight fights. The AK-47 was, for the environment, a better weapon by literally every factor. None the less, the balance of other arms meant that uncle Ho was probably closer than he would have liked with his prediction. Casualties were disproportionately in favor of the US.

    Even without heavy supporting arms, only around 30% of US deaths were to small arms...mines and booby traps ran a close second. All of which pointed out to the men in charge, and may point out to your PMC shareholders and leaders, that the guns they have are good enough. They don't care if Jimmy wants a carbine and Sammy wants an SMG and bob thinks shotguns are best. A squad will do squad work.


    Now, your players can, of course spend entire sessions scrounging, bartering, wheedling supply sergeants and armorers, exchanging casks of local brew for items to be written off as combat losses...

  26. - Top - End - #146
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVIII

    Quote Originally Posted by SleepyShadow View Post
    ...
    Oh, kind of an important question I forgot to ask earlier. How likely would it be for the PMCs to mistake my group's characters for enemy combatants?
    Do your lads wear uniforms? Are your uniforms a lot like A.) the PMC's, B.) the enemy's, C.) neither? Are they so noticeably different as to be identified quickly without colour or via silhouette (at night)? Are the PMC and enemy's equally recognizable?

    Even if your answer is "Just like the PMCs, and their uniforms are unique by day or night!" you will occasionally still have someone accidentally shoot you when they weren't expecting you to be there, or if they panic.
    Last edited by Misery Esquire; 2019-06-27 at 09:25 PM.

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVIII

    Quote Originally Posted by Silva Stormrage View Post
    A question for all of you as I am not well versed enough in these topics to really say. Bludgeoning weapons such as hammers and such are useful against heavy plate armor compared to swords and other slashing weapons. Would such an advantage also hold for creatures with thick hide like Rhinos in real life or similar magical beasts in a fantasy setting? Bludgeoning weapons would probably still be very effective against invertebrates and other magical creatures with giant exoskeletons but I was mostly unsure about thick hide type armor.

    The context for this is I am doing a bit of game design and was wondering from a realism perspective if a weapon with an advantage against armor would also apply to creatures with high natural armor.
    Probably not.

    Big animals haven't just thick hides, they have thick bones too; you won't do much damage with a warmace... Plus their internal organs are protected by thick layers of skin, fat, muscle and bone...

    Also, when you compare the strength of your puny human arm to that of rhinos or buffalos charging at each other, or of bears raking at each other... that's not very impressive...

    And anyway, thick skin isn't the same as thin, rigid metal plates... why would a mace do a better job against flexible hide and muscle when compared to a spear that can punch through them and reach the internal organs?

    I don't think it is impossible... the karateka Mas Aoyama killed bulls with his fists, there are reports of bears being killed by a lucky hit to the eye, and in some cultures a maul was used to sacrifice cattle... but it would be far less effective than using a spear...
    Last edited by Clistenes; 2019-06-28 at 03:36 AM.

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVIII

    Quote Originally Posted by Clistenes View Post
    and in some cultures a maul was used to sacrifice cattle... but it would be far less effective than using a spear...
    Maul and a spike to the head is essentially how we used to and still do slaughter cattle.

    Unlike a spear it doens't tear up the skin and meat unnecessarily.

    Quote Originally Posted by Beleriphon View Post
    This isn't like WWII where an Asian guy fighting in France by default is on the Allied side of the conflict.
    Yang Kyoungjong wouldn't agree. Or maybe he would. (Just wanted to bring that guy up because was recently reminded of it. Crazy stuff.)
    Last edited by snowblizz; 2019-06-28 at 04:06 AM.

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVIII

    Quote Originally Posted by snowblizz View Post
    Maul and a spike to the head is essentially how we used to and still do slaughter cattle.

    Unlike a spear it doens't tear up the skin and meat unnecessarily.
    Yep, but we are speaking about fighting something like a charging rhino or buffalo, not of slaughtering a cow that is standing still...

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVIII

    Definitively at that point were talking about a coup de grace often with a weapon to inefficient to be used in normal combat.

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