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    Default Got a Real-World Weapon or Armor Question? Mk. V

    Comrade Gorby: This thread is a resource for getting information about real life weapons and armor. Normally this thread would be in Friendly Banter, but the concept has always been that the information is for RPG players and DMs so they can use it to make their games better.

    The original thread was started by Eric the Mad, and included contributions from many posters for both questions and answers. Once that thread hit critical mass, Version II began, followed by Version III, and naturally Version IV. This thread is Version V.

    A few rules for this thread:
    • This thread is for asking questions about how weapons and armor really work. As such, it's not going to include game rule statistics. If you have such a question, especially if it stems from an answer or question in this thread, feel free to start a new thread and include a link back to here. If you do ask a rule question here, you'll be asked to move it elsewhere, and then we'll be happy to help out with it.
    • Any weapon or time period is open for questions. Medieval and ancient warfare questions seem to predominate, but since there are many games set in other periods as well, feel free to ask about any weapon. This includes futuristic ones - but be aware that these will be likely assessed according to their real life feasibility. Thus, phasers, for example, will be talked about in real-world science and physics terms rather than the Star Trek canon. If you want to discuss a fictional weapon from a particular source according to the canonical explanation, please start a new thread for it.
    • Please try to cite your claims if possible. If you know of a citation for a particular piece of information, please include it. However, everyone should be aware that sometimes even the experts don't agree, so it's quite possible to have two conflicting answers to the same question. This isn't a problem; the asker of the question can examine the information and decide which side to go with. The purpose of the thread is to provide as much information as possible. Debates are fine, but be sure to keep it a friendly debate (even if the experts can't!).
    • No modern real-world political discussion. As the great Carl von Clausevitz once said, "War is merely the continuation of policy by other means," so poltics and war are heavily intertwined. However, politics are a big hot-button issue and one banned on these boards, so avoid political analysis if at all possible (this thread is primarily about military hardware). There's more leeway on this for anything prior to about 1800, but be very careful with all of it, and anything past 1900 is surely not open for analysis. (I know these are arbitrary dates, but any dates would be, and I feel these ones are reasonable.)
    • No graphic descriptions. War is violent, dirty, and horrific, and anyone discussing it should be keenly aware of that. However, on this board graphic descriptions of violence (or sexuality) are not allowed, so please avoid them.


    With that done, have at, and enjoy yourselves!


    The first six posts that follow were copied over from Mk IV.
    Last edited by Gorbash Kazdar; 2008-05-19 at 11:12 AM.

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon or Armor Question? Mk. IV

    Thanks Mike G, thanks Storm Bringer, thanks Norsesmithy. All very useful answers.

    One other question under the spoiler. If you plan on playing my Supermen and Flying Machines campaign, (you know who you are) please don't read it.
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    Odd one I know, but how many men would it take to crew a destroyer, similar to the Royal Navy's 1927 A-Class destroyers, at bare minimum. I'm talking movement, not crewing any guns, radio or anything like that.
    For context, the campaign involves the hijack of two Canadian A-Class destroyers by a group of pirates. I need to know how many pirates, essentially.

    Many thanks,
    -Hairb

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon or Armor Question? Mk. IV

    Quote Originally Posted by Hairb View Post
    Thanks Mike G, thanks Storm Bringer, thanks Norsesmithy. All very useful answers.

    One other question under the spoiler. If you plan on playing my Supermen and Flying Machines campaign, (you know who you are) please don't read it.
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    Odd one I know, but how many men would it take to crew a destroyer, similar to the Royal Navy's 1927 A-Class destroyers, at bare minimum. I'm talking movement, not crewing any guns, radio or anything like that.
    For context, the campaign involves the hijack of two Canadian A-Class destroyers by a group of pirates. I need to know how many pirates, essentially.

    Many thanks,
    -Hairb
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    Judging by Wikipedia's description of her plant, I would want a bare minimum of 14 men, at all times, crewing her boilers and turbines. And that is hard work, so figure 6 hour shifts, not eight. Of course, if you only want a couple of knots steam, you only need to crew one boiler, not all three, which would be doable with 4 men.

    Then you need a couple of lookouts, a helmsman, a navigator, and a couple of runners to relay messages between the groups of pirates in different areas of the ship. on a short hop, you can have them run 12 or even 24 hour shifts, but if you intend to steam for more than a week, you need to reduce them to 8 hour shifts.

    And you always need a cook, or no one will be happy, figure 12 hour shift for him and he will be the busiest man aboard.

    So I say between 20 and 50 men per vessel.

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon or Armor Question? Mk. IV

    Quote Originally Posted by Hairb View Post
    What was military radio equipment like during WWI, in terms of range, portability etc?
    A military wireless (they hadn't got round to calling it a radio) of the Great War was a building with a large antenna sticking out and a big electric generator. Capital ships could carry them. Buildings could carry them. Army headquarters could carry them, with the necessary equipment for the wireless tent broken up into multiple wagons or trucks. There was no such thing as a man-portable, or even land vehicle-portable military radio receiver to the best of my knowledge. There was certainly no such thing as a portable transmitter.

    Hence the reliance on runners and field telephony, hence the chaos that resulted when you tried to launch an offensive. The infantry couldn't talk to their own HQs and artillery, so they couldn't coordinate, which meant that any scheme of central military direction broke down almost immediately. You couldn't go tell the corps commander that he needed to get the regiment on your left to move up before you were outflanked. You couldn't tell the battery of 60-pounder heavy artillery five miles behind the lines that their shells were falling short... on your head. You couldn't tell the big friendly tank 100 yards away that you needed help with a machine gun nest, because anyone fool enough to run close to a tank would be cut down by the hail of bullets being fired at it by every enemy soldier in range.

    Obviously, this was less of a problem in open warfare where runners were less likely to get killed and where the field commander could see what was going on because he didn't have to live in a dugout. And it was less of a problem in defensive warfare where the runners had the advantage of communications trenches and the field telephone lines were somewhat less likely to be cut by enemy fire.
    ____________________________________

    Oh, and the A-class weren't commissioned until 1931.
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon or Armor Question? Mk. IV

    Quote Originally Posted by Ruerl View Post
    Now, I admit that I have next to no experience fighting with a shield, but it still seems to me like its easy enough -if you stand in a proper stance to begin with that is, to simply close your legs together and whack the offender on the head, then again, I would likedly try to parry the initial strike to my head with a strike to wrist of the attacker.

    ...but as I said, I have next to no experience with shields and i'm simply not used to thinking in those lines, my line of thought when it comes to combat is that of parrying and killing your opponent with the same stroke, not blocking a feint.

    With feints though: Are your feints intented to score a "kill" also?

    edit:
    I forgot to add that where I train the legs *are* a legal targetting zone, but that most attacks towards it gets punished with a blow to the shoulders, arms or head.
    Mike_G's already covered the majority of this topic, but I do want to throw something else out there.

    Having studied MS I.33 (sword & buckler) at some length, I can say that the system explicitly discourages attacks to the leg. Why? Normally the idea when fighting with a sword and shield is to strike low and cover your head with your shield from your opponent's counterstroke. In I.33, the buckler and sword are generally moved as one unit, simultaneously blocking an opponent's strike and striking in the opposite line with the wrists almost "cuffed" together. In essence, you're using a single weapon that both defends and attacks. That's the trick - with a SINGLE weapon, you do not generally attack to the legs.

    You ascertain, correctly, that to strike to the legs from a reasonable distance (that is, not so close that neither of you has to step to strike the other) you are forced to extend forward slightly and expose your head to a counterstrike. You also realize that the best defense against a leg attack is to step back with the leading leg and to bring your weapon around at the exposed head of the enemy. When using a single weapon, if you attack the enemy's leg, he will simply step back with the lead leg and kill you, because you've no way to defend the counterattack.

    It is only when paired with a secondary weapon (read: shield) that allows you to defend the head does a strike to the leg become feasible and survivable. It's what allows you to follow Mike_G's information about feinting in the first place. That's what makes fighting with a shield so different that fighting with a single weapon. Fighting with shields is actually VERY mobile and fast, not because two guys are humping each other while they try to "wrap" blows around each other, but because each is striking at either the head or exposed leg, which must be defended and maneuvered to avoid a fight-ending stroke. Fights between individual shield fighters tend to drift in a circle around the shield side of whomever doesn't have the initiative - this mobility is anathema to the stereotypical 5-foot 10, 300lb SCAdian.
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon or Armor Question? Mk. IV

    Quote Originally Posted by Dervag View Post
    Oh, and the A-class weren't commissioned until 1931.
    But they were ordered in 1927, and the two the Canadian ships were launched in 1930.

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon or Armor Question? Mk. IV

    I may have misunderstood the Wiki, or it may be wrong. Scratch my comment about the destroyers.

    Not the radios though.

    If it's relevant, the A-class destroyers would have a radio, and a pretty good one, too. Long reach and all. However, no walkie-talkies or other man-portable radio sets like them. Those were not invented until World War II- amusingly, by a Canadian company.
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    If your idea of fun is to give the players whatever they want, then I suggest you take out a board game called: CANDY LAND and use that for your gaming sessions.
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon or Armor Question? Mk. V

    Quiz question, in hopes of starting the new thread with a bang:

    Who do you think has been the most innovative culture in terms of military tactics and strategy? Note that this includes recent times as well as medieval and ancient.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Betty
    If your idea of fun is to give the players whatever they want, then I suggest you take out a board game called: CANDY LAND and use that for your gaming sessions.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dervag
    Obviously, you have never known the frustration of being stranded in the Molasses Swamp.
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    Physics is a dame of culture and sophistication. She'll take you in, keep you warm at night, provide all kinds of insight into yourself and the world you never find on your own.

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon or Armor Question? Mk. V

    Damn you, Dervag!

    Contendors: Romans, Mongols, Chinese.

    Gah, this question is unanswerable... good topic for debate, though.
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon or Armor Question? Mk. V

    Quote Originally Posted by Dervag View Post
    Quiz question, in hopes of starting the new thread with a bang:

    Who do you think has been the most innovative culture in terms of military tactics and strategy? Note that this includes recent times as well as medieval and ancient.
    er......that's a real bugger.

    All in all, I'd have to vote the assorted politcal entites thoughout history known China, who invented among other things, modern gurellia warfare, Gunpowder, Trebuchets, a form of feudalism, several forms of martial arts, the oldest known treatise on strategy (and one of the best).

    I'm sure thiers more, and indeed I'm sure at least one of those i've listed will turn out to have been invented somewhere else, but you get the idea.



    failing that, the European Peninsular.

    edit:

    Romans, Mongols, Chinese.
    I'd argue against the romans as innovators. most of the tactics and tech they used was already in existance when they found it. they were, however, great adaptors,able to take ideas form several different scorces and mix them successfully (for example: Iberian short sword+ celtic chainmail+ Hellenic close order drill= Roman Legionnare).


    mongols...... hmm. Not sure. we know thier way of war was common before the mongel conquests (for example, the parthians that contested roman eastern boarder fought in a simmilar manner). To be honest, the only thing i can think they invented was thier tactical subdevisions, which, while definatly invented (as in created indepenantly, without outside assistance), are not exactly orginal (never created before) I may be overlooking something, as i admit my knowledge of the mongols is at the 'they took over a HUDGE area in like no time, then lost most of it fairly quickly' level.

    edit edit: S***. I've just realised that I've answered the wrong question, or more accuratly, a boarder question. I thought he asked about Innovation in tactics and technology.
    Last edited by Storm Bringer; 2008-05-19 at 03:06 PM.
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon or Armor Question? Mk. V

    My knowledge of general military history is somewhat patchy, but I'm still confident that Napoleonic France counts. They did after all force everybody else to fight like they did and that has to count for something.



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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon or Armor Question? Mk. V

    Quote Originally Posted by Thiel View Post
    My knowledge of general military history is somewhat patchy, but I'm still confident that Napoleonic France counts. They did after all force everybody else to fight like they did and that has to count for something.
    to my knowledge, Napoleonic french tactics tended to be both simple and at times Archaic. Thier favoured assault formation, the Column, was a throwback to older styles and more of less forced on the revolutionary french commanders by the lower quality troops they had to work with. Their famed mobility was a side effect of their lack of an workable logistic system as much as it as the result of diberate planning, and was in common with older armies from the 30 years war in the mid 17th century.

    Napoleon's tactics were masterfully executed, but were not to my knowledge innovative . About the only thing i can pin to him is the formation of Corps, though i admit that was a significant advance.

    edit: futher reshreach also indicates that the french were also responable for considerable advances in the handeling of artillery, so chalk that one up as well.
    Last edited by Storm Bringer; 2008-05-19 at 03:56 PM.
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon or Armor Question? Mk. V

    Quote Originally Posted by Storm Bringer View Post
    About the only thing i can pin to him is the formation of Corps, though i admit that was a significant advance.
    I realize now that it wasn't at all apparent from my original post, but I was actually referring to the corps system.

    Stupid second language.

    Anyway, they were, as far as I know, also one of the first armies to introduce dedicated signal troops.



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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon or Armor Question? Mk. V

    Quote Originally Posted by Storm Bringer View Post
    All in all, I'd have to vote the assorted politcal entites thoughout history known China, who invented among other things, modern gurellia warfare, Gunpowder, Trebuchets, a form of feudalism, several forms of martial arts, the oldest known treatise on strategy (and one of the best).
    You can make a good case for it. On the other hand, the Chinese had a nasty habit of inventing weapons and not making much out of them. Hence their weakness in military technology as of the Industrial Age, and arguably into the present: Their military tech is poor because their economy was poor until recently, and their economy was poor because they were the sick old man of Asia, and they were the sick old man of Asia in large part because conquerors could use them for punching bags... because their military tech was poor.

    failing that, the European Peninsular.
    I would not identify the European peninsular as a single culture.

    edit edit: S***. I've just realised that I've answered the wrong question, or more accuratly, a boarder question. I thought he asked about Innovation in tactics and technology.
    Actually, that's the question I should have asked, so I revise my question to include military technology.

    Quote Originally Posted by Thiel View Post
    My knowledge of general military history is somewhat patchy, but I'm still confident that Napoleonic France counts. They did after all force everybody else to fight like they did and that has to count for something.
    Not quite. The tactical regimen that dominated the 19th century wasn't that of revolutionary France. It was mostly created by post-revolutionary France, and a lot of it was simply a logical descent from ideas that were around before the French Revolution. Firing lines of infantry, for instance.

    Napoleon went for swift-moving mass, and raw mass was not the prevailing tactic for most of Europe.

    I mean, we could equally well argue that the 18th-century British were great innovators because they revolutionized naval tactics and strategy. Navies count too, y'know.
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    The Chinese had a good signal system hundreds if not thousands of years before Napoleon, as did the Mongols, and the British of the same era used alphabetic flag signalling at sea just as effectively as the French used their signal corps on land.
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    If your idea of fun is to give the players whatever they want, then I suggest you take out a board game called: CANDY LAND and use that for your gaming sessions.
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon or Armor Question? Mk. V

    I'm going to say the United States. With the development of nuclear weapons, the U.S. dropped the curtain on the long-line of Adventurer-Conquerers (the last being Adolf Hitler).

    Even naval and air power doctrine changed to account for nuclear weapons. Warfare will never be the same. You will never again see conquests the likes of what the Roman Empire, Napoleon, Hitler, or Alexander accomplished.
    Last edited by Crow; 2008-05-19 at 06:05 PM.
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon or Armor Question? Mk. V

    Quote Originally Posted by Dervag View Post
    Who do you think has been the most innovative culture in terms of military tactics and strategy? Note that this includes recent times as well as medieval and ancient.
    For strategy I nominate Greece. Throughout their history they...
    - were the first western country I'm aware of to use well disciplined forces. (The phalanx)
    - have been one of the first to use a professional citizen army. (Sparta)
    - pioneered the idea of combined arms. (Philip of Macedonia)
    - created modern logistics science. (Alexander the Great)

    Tactics is a bit more difficult. The principles haven't changed all that much. It's the technology and tools available to implement tactics that are constantly changing.
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon or Armor Question? Mk. V

    Quote Originally Posted by Crow View Post
    I'm going to say the United States. With the development of nuclear weapons, the U.S. dropped the curtain on the long-line of Adventurer-Conquerers (the last being Adolf Hitler).

    Even naval and air power doctrine changed to account for nuclear weapons. Warfare will never be the same. You will never again see conquests the likes of what the Roman Empire, Napoleon, Hitler, or Alexander accomplished.
    Well... we hope. I'm reluctant to say definitively.

    That said, the atomic bomb was a technological innovation, yes, but not one unenvisioned by other nations, and it was one thing. It's changed the rules enormously, but so have a lot of other weapons. Atomic weaponry only changes the rules between the nations willing to make the investment to build it and in the situations where they're plausibly going to use it, after all.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Betty
    If your idea of fun is to give the players whatever they want, then I suggest you take out a board game called: CANDY LAND and use that for your gaming sessions.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mikeavelli View Post
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon or Armor Question? Mk. V

    I'ma go with Germany, circa 1930. They invented modern warfare with the Blitzkrieg. And would have had an atom bomb before us, but the allies did somethings, blew some stuff up, and stole a scientist.
    yeah, the skeletons, their on our side.

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon or Armor Question? Mk. V

    A blitzkrieg is just a cavalry attack launched past fortifications. The Mongols did it earlier and better.
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon or Armor Question? Mk. V

    I'm going to have to go against the apparent flow of the forum, and nominate the Oldowan culture.

    And unusually, I'm not being facetious, although I do admit to being a bit strange about this. As with everything, its all a matter of perspective. As far as Ive been able to gather, this culture may not have been the first to use manufactured weapons, but it was the first to gather together *multiple species* (including Homo hablis, Australopithecus gahri, and even Paranthropus boisei), and train them in how to produce flint tools, creating in effect the first military-industrial complex on planet Earth in the middle of paleolithic Ethopia. You could write a sci-fi novel based on this, it seems so strange, and yet it actually appeared to happen.
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon or Armor Question? Mk. V

    Quote Originally Posted by Raum View Post
    A blitzkrieg is just a cavalry attack launched past fortifications. The Mongols did it earlier and better.
    Right, what Germany did was invent a very good Unit Doctrine manual putting their army years ahead of everyone else. US finally wised up and updated its own manual with very similar concepts mid-war.
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon or Armor Question? Mk. V

    I would not identify the European peninsular as a single culture.
    No, but china can hardly be considered a single culture either, with something like over a hundred minority groups still recognised by the chinese government, no unified language (i mean, mandarin is not the frist language of most of tje chinese, just the offical one), wide varitaion in geo-graphical size (most of what is now china was not part of it for most of history)......and so on. historical china was not much more culturally linked than most of europe was.


    You can make a good case for it. On the other hand, the Chinese had a nasty habit of inventing weapons and not making much out of them. Hence their weakness in military technology as of the Industrial Age, and arguably into the present: Their military tech is poor because their economy was poor until recently, and their economy was poor because they were the sick old man of Asia, and they were the sick old man of Asia in large part because conquerors could use them for punching bags... because their military tech was poor.
    Oh, indeed, but those are political failings that came about form being a superpower without any practical external threats, and a long standing conservitive theme in thier culture. They were a LONG way ahead of the europeans in the mid-15th century, but choose to rest of thier laruels rather than press thier advantage, and so became ossified into old practices while the europeans, driven by the intense national rivialres, kept on inventing..

    if you ever get the chance, read 1421 by Gavin Menzies. While the whole book is most intresting, the frist chapter in particular discribes the state of china at this point in time, and how far ahead of european nations it was.
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon or Armor Question? Mk. V

    Quote Originally Posted by subzerosako View Post
    And would have had an atom bomb before us, but the allies did somethings, blew some stuff up, and stole a scientist.
    Not so. While it's true that the allies blew up a lot research and production facilities, they actually only managed to blow up one that had anything to do with nuclear research, the heavy water plant in Norway.
    As for stealing scientists, I'm fairly certain that all the German scientists involved in the Manhattan project defected. It's one thing to force people to work, but getting them to do research is an entirely different story.
    Besides, the German team thought they needed about a ton of plutonium in order to make the bomb work.



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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon or Armor Question? Mk. V

    Quote Originally Posted by Dervag View Post
    Well... we hope. I'm reluctant to say definitively.

    That said, the atomic bomb was a technological innovation, yes, but not one unenvisioned by other nations, and it was one thing. It's changed the rules enormously, but so have a lot of other weapons. Atomic weaponry only changes the rules between the nations willing to make the investment to build it and in the situations where they're plausibly going to use it, after all.
    Only time will tell for sure. But in our "Global" culture, it's quite likely that if somebody started steamrolling every nation in their vicinity, somebody (who may possess nuclear weapons) is going to get their toes stepped on. Even if they're on the other side of the world. When the U.N. intervenes in some situation, the rules change dramatically when there is the possibility that the other side has nukes. If it's confirmed...then the kid gloves really go on.
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon or Armor Question? Mk. V

    Inquiry: What are the typical tactics used by helicopter gunships? Attack altitude, distance, movement, etc.? I'm willing to bet that different armaments and different models of helicopter are used in different ways, as well as different armies possessing their own doctrines of of use, so feel free to provide as much information as you feel necessary.

    As this question arose from the need to describe a Kamov Ka-50 Black Shark in action, so information relating to this particular model would be helpful. (But I like helicopters in general, so a generic Gunship gameplan would be nice to hear as well, since I end up inserting them into my games so often.

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon or Armor Question? Mk. V

    Since it's capable of launching the 9K121 Vikhr air to ground missile I'd guess that It's used in much the same way as the Apache.
    That means flying around at low altitudes and hiding behind cover only to pop up, shoot your missiles and be gone again before your target has a chance to response.
    It should be noted that it's smaller, lighter, faster, has a slightly better power to mass ratio and can carry a bigger payload than the Apache.



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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon or Armor Question? Mk. V

    Quote Originally Posted by Kasrkin View Post
    Inquiry: What are the typical tactics used by helicopter gunships? Attack altitude, distance, movement, etc.? I'm willing to bet that different armaments and different models of helicopter are used in different ways, as well as different armies possessing their own doctrines of of use, so feel free to provide as much information as you feel necessary.

    As this question arose from the need to describe a Kamov Ka-50 Black Shark in action, so information relating to this particular model would be helpful. (But I like helicopters in general, so a generic Gunship gameplan would be nice to hear as well, since I end up inserting them into my games so often.
    Assuming they are expecting to face heavy weaponry that can track and hurt them (i.e. .50 cal MG's and up), the standard tactics are to fly as low as possible, below treetop if they can, to avoid exposure. standard attack patterns involve a quick pop up (less than 30 seconds) to aquire targeting data, duck back into cover to plan attack and assign targets, then another pop up to fire missles at hard targers.

    I'm not sure of thier networking abilty, but some modern choppers can aquire targeting data form external scorces, eg, only one chopper needs to spot for several.


    all the above assumes that the Ka-50 is fighting in a conventional warzone agianst foes armed with heavy point defense AA (50 cals, SPAAGs, blokes with stinger missiles, etc). If enguaging a foe with nothing heavier than small arms, they can afford to be a lot less paranoid and spend more time in the open, shooting at soft targets.

    edit: important note: their is a sublte but significant difference between the Vikhr missle used by the ka-50 and the Hellfire missles used by AH-64 Apache. the hellfire is a Semi-Active Laser Homing system, while the Vikhr is a Laser Beam Riding missle.
    What this means is that if an Apache is working with ground forces equipped with suitable laser designators, it can let them guide the missile and pop down as soon as it's fired (the Hellfire looks for flected laser light and homes on that). the ka-50, however, must stay thier, guiding the missle onto the target themselves (the vikhr tracks be 'riding' down a missle between the launching platform and the target).

    if you're looking for a nail0-biting tension moment, this is it.
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon or Armor Question? Mk. V

    Quote Originally Posted by Storm Bringer View Post
    No, but china can hardly be considered a single culture either, with something like over a hundred minority groups still recognised by the chinese government, no unified language (i mean, mandarin is not the frist language of most of tje chinese, just the offical one), wide varitaion in geo-graphical size (most of what is now china was not part of it for most of history)......and so on. historical china was not much more culturally linked than most of europe was.
    Not during some eras, anyway.

    That said, even though it wasn't culturally or linguistically uniform, it was generally much more politically unified than Europe. I suppose I'm conflating cultural entities with political entities, but I think it's dishonest to talk about "European" as a militarily innovative culture and put credit for everything that Europeans ever figured out under one roof.

    Oh, indeed, but those are political failings that came about form being a superpower without any practical external threats, and a long standing conservitive theme in thier culture. They were a LONG way ahead of the europeans in the mid-15th century, but choose to rest of thier laruels rather than press thier advantage, and so became ossified into old practices while the europeans, driven by the intense national rivialres, kept on inventing..

    if you ever get the chance, read 1421 by Gavin Menzies. While the whole book is most intresting, the frist chapter in particular discribes the state of china at this point in time, and how far ahead of european nations it was.
    I know more or less what happened; my point is that a culture which invents weapons and tactics and then discards them at its own great future expense might not be qualified as 'most innovative.'

    Quote Originally Posted by Crow View Post
    Only time will tell for sure. But in our "Global" culture, it's quite likely that if somebody started steamrolling every nation in their vicinity, somebody (who may possess nuclear weapons) is going to get their toes stepped on. Even if they're on the other side of the world. When the U.N. intervenes in some situation, the rules change dramatically when there is the possibility that the other side has nukes. If it's confirmed...then the kid gloves really go on.
    Thing is, our current global culture is the product of a very specific economic and political order. Lots of oil, a strong single superpower with global reach, et cetera.

    A lot of things could happen or will happen that would shake up the current culture. We can't assume that the status quo will persist indefinitely. The current situation is as much the temporary product of a recently resolve conflict as post-Waterloo Europe with its dominant Royal Navy was.
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon or Armor Question? Mk. V

    if you're looking for a nail0-biting tension moment, this is it.
    Very true. I wonder how long it's going to take before someone sticks the targeting laser on top of the rotor, like the radar on the Apache Longbow.

    As far as I've been able to find out, the Ka-50 is equipped with excellent targeting systems and it's capable of sharing data in real time with other units, including other helicopters and infantry.

    It should also be noted that it's capable of carrying a wide selection of rockets, one of the most interesting ones being the 120mm S-13T Tandem HEAT capable of penetrating 6m of earth and 1m of concrete.



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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon or Armor Question? Mk. V

    Quote Originally Posted by Storm Bringer View Post
    edit: important note: their is a sublte but significant difference between the Vikhr missle used by the ka-50 and the Hellfire missles used by AH-64 Apache. the hellfire is a Semi-Active Laser Homing system, while the Vikhr is a Laser Beam Riding missle.
    What this means is that if an Apache is working with ground forces equipped with suitable laser designators, it can let them guide the missile and pop down as soon as it's fired (the Hellfire looks for flected laser light and homes on that). the ka-50, however, must stay thier, guiding the missle onto the target themselves (the vikhr tracks be 'riding' down a missle between the launching platform and the target).

    if you're looking for a nail0-biting tension moment, this is it.
    What really makes this a disadvantage is that this means that while the missile is in flight, the Ka-50 cannot side slip and still expect to hit its target, and side slipping is about the most effective helicopter tactic for avoiding AA gunfire and GAM missiles.

    Russian doctrine for helicopter gunship use is very similar to Russian Doctrine for Tank use, they tend to advance in ranks along a long line, each heli a kilometer or so apart, firing at targets as they advance, switching ranks so that once a helicopter is winchester (ie out of missiles) it can return to a supply depot, re-arm, refuel, and get back to the fight in time for it to advance to the first rank again.

    If heavy resistance is met, they tend to encircle (or semicircle), gather forces, and do a coordinated push.

    They also want to be advancing fast enough that the enemy doesn't get their AA systems on full Alert before they are engaged.

    A smart gunner will engage flak and missile tracks before tanks, unless they are supporting friendly ground forces in danger of being over run.

    American helicopter doctrine is a little different, but thats another post.

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