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bpmasher

Weapons for World War 2 Hero

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I've been toying around with the idea of running some Commando comics -influenced World War 2 game with pulpy heroes boosted with abilities from Dark Champions and Pulp Hero. The players would participate in a number of imagined and real world operations in various World War 2 theaters in their adventures.

 

I've looked at writeups for weapons of the era in Hero and I wanted to make some changes. Hopefully this thread will contain many "realistic"  weapons for greater verisimilitude in WW2 era combats. I mainly focused on assigning correct autofire ratings for these weapons, but damage might change too in some cases, and some notes regarding crews manning the weapons.

 

I will not include point costs or anything since the genre would be mainly Heroic instead of Superheroic.

 

Weapons for WW2 Hero:

 

MG34, 800-900 rounds per minute, 7,9x57mm Mauser bullet, 50 round drum magazine or 250 round belt 

 

Damage: 2½d6 (Dark Champions pg. 203 listing), increased stun multiplier +1

Capacity: 50/250 or more with linked belts

Crew: 1 or 2 men according to role in the battlefield, one gunner, one loader

Notes: AF15 (900rpm), Bulky, (Crew 2), can be used by single soldier as a light machine gun

 

 

MG42, 1200-1800 rounds per minute, 7,9x57mm Mauser, 50 round belts, 75 round drum, or linked belts (250+ rounds)

 

Damage: 2½d6, increased stun multiplier +1

Capacity: 50/75/250+

Crew: 1 to 2 men

Notes: AF20 (1200rpm), Bulky, (Crew 2), can be used by single soldier as a light machine gun

 

 

Type 99 Light Machine Gun, 700 rounds per minute, 7,7x58mm Arisaka, 30 round box magazine

 

Damage: 2½d6, increased stun multiplier +1

Capacity: 30 

Crew: 1 to 2 men

Notes: AF10 (700rpm rounded), Bulky, (Crew 2)

 

 

M1918A2 Browning Automatic Rifle, 500-650 rounds per minute,.30-06 caliber, 20 round box magazine

Damage: 2d6+1, increased stun multiplier +1

Crew: 1

Notes: AF10 (650rpm), Bulky

 

 

 

 

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For quickly resolving automatic fire hits, just use the average damage per die (3.5 for d6 or 1.5 for ½d), and apply armor to the results before applying damage to characters, by multiplying with the number of hits acquired with autofire. Additionally, when using hit locations chart, just apply the average damage and multiply by hit location and number of rounds that hit.

 

Additionally, one could round the average damage up to 4 or down to 3 per die, possibly depending on the shooter, to the player characters favor, or even against them.

 

Rapid-firing weapons should almost always be used to provide covering fire for advancing or assaulting troops (per the covering fire rules), to not overwhelm a single player character with a highly damaging full-auto burst if hit. A crew of 2 men with a MG42 will be able to cover a large area with a volume of fire, and with a skilled loader (fast draw skill) the fire can be almost continuous.

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Just for the fun of it, I will point out that the BAR was also available in 6.5x55, and I believe FN had developed a belt fed version of the gun with a quick change barrel by 1936...

 

And the thought of an FG42 in a cartridge with less recoil, say 6.5x54 or 6.5 carcano with spitzer bullets makes most post war assault rifles look a little underwhelming...

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Minor point of order: the average roll on a ½d6 is two, not 1.5.

 

Otherwise, looks good!

 

Yeah of course, I was uncertain about that one.

 

Hopefully I'll get the hankering to stat more weapons soon, maybe try an armored vehicle or two.

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A word about tactics.  The Germans used light machine guns like the MG-34 as an offensive weapon, not as infantry support.  The soldiers with the rifles would pin down the enemy so the machine gun could get into position to finish them off.  Most other armies had the opposite view.

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That comes with having only/mostly light and medium machine guns that are highly portable. The Germans didn't have a 12-13mm "heavy" machine gun like the Americans and Soviets. Those guns are better suited to defensive positions or fixed positions behind the advance. LMGs can be brought to bear more quickly on where enemy resistance is greatest/least, in order to create breakthroughs.

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If you can find a copy of the Firebird Press version of Golden age of Champions get it

it has TONS of weapons/vehiclesfor WW2

while the 4th ed of GAOC only has a small taste of weapons they  are the major ones

 

get this version

 

http://www.amazon.com/Golden-Champions-playing-Super-Heroes/dp/B000NSMN7C/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1404028722&sr=8-4&keywords=golden+age+of+champions

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If you can find a copy of the Firebird Press version of Golden age of Champions get it

it has TONS of weapons/vehiclesfor WW2

while the 4th ed of GAOC only has a small taste of weapons they  are the major ones

 

get this version

 

http://www.amazon.com/Golden-Champions-playing-Super-Heroes/dp/B000NSMN7C/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1404028722&sr=8-4&keywords=golden+age+of+champions

 

I got the 4th edition version, and it doesn't have many weapons, and the tanks have lower-damage guns with the armor piercing advantage. Tank combat would be greatly simplified from just looking at the stats in Hero 5th edition, since they have killing attacks and a single DEF -stat. I would like to tinker with these stats so that tanks have armor piercing rounds as well as high explosive rounds, and several armor ratings for different sides of the tank.

 

The armor ratings could be bumped up a bit, then apply a percentage of it to different sides of the tank for greater verisimilitude. Crew damage and hit locations would be worked out too. Another solution would be to use lower damage armor piercing rounds, and use the DEF stats as they are...

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A word about tactics.  The Germans used light machine guns like the MG-34 as an offensive weapon, not as infantry support.  The soldiers with the rifles would pin down the enemy so the machine gun could get into position to finish them off.  Most other armies had the opposite view.

 

I was thinking about the game balance, depending on the types of characters that PCs have. A "realistic" heroic campaign would have characters that consistently get chewed up by machine guns.

 

That, and also the fact that I was thinking about german defensive tactics they used in bocage country, where they set up a point for the machine gun, shot up as many allied soldiers they could and quickly retreat to another position. Using suppression fire in game terms would be a good way to simulate those kinds of tactics, since the allies were trying to advance towards the german positions (taking hits as they moved, or remaining pinned in position).

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A word about tactics.  The Germans used light machine guns like the MG-34 as an offensive weapon, not as infantry support.  The soldiers with the rifles would pin down the enemy so the machine gun could get into position to finish them off.  Most other armies had the opposite view.

 

With all due respect, no. This was actually a French innovation, enshrined in the Army Law of 1926, and by 1939 had been embraced by most countries.* The conspicuous exception is the United States. I guess it pretty much says it all that the WWII tactical game of my generation was "Squad Leader," which of course started with Germans and Russians and has only tepidly embraced Americans in late expansions. Yet the American army was the only one to use squads!

 

The distinction here is fairly minor, I understand. The original French equipe of the 1926 Law was 11 men built around a Chatellerault LMG fire team. The American "squad" was typically 13 men, including a BAR along with a few more riflemen than an equipe. The difference is that the French began with the understanding that the equipe might shrink under attrition or to conserve manpower, perhaps to as few as 7 men, because the main weapon of the infantry was now the LMG, The Americans of course understood that the squad could similarly shrink in battle. The difference as that they continued to see the BAR as a supporting the rifle.

 

*Oh, wait. Did I just suggest that the French were good for something? Forget this whole post. Obviously the Germans invented everything awesomely warlikely superior.

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the americans where the only country to outfit it's soldiers w/ a semi auto rifle at the start of the war

no bolt action except for sharpshooters

so the basic rate of fire over all is greater per person than 1 LMG and a bunch of bolt action rifles and maybe an smg or 2

also the BAR can be fired from the shoulder or hip

not so much w/ an mg 34/42 or Type 99 LMG

With all due respect, no. This was actually a French innovation, enshrined in the Army Law of 1926, and by 1939 had been embraced by most countries.* The conspicuous exception is the United States. I guess it pretty much says it all that the WWII tactical game of my generation was "Squad Leader," which of course started with Germans and Russians and has only tepidly embraced Americans in late expansions. Yet the American army was the only one to use squads!

 

The distinction here is fairly minor, I understand. The original French equipe of the 1926 Law was 11 men built around a Chatellerault LMG fire team. The American "squad" was typically 13 men, including a BAR along with a few more riflemen than an equipe. The difference is that the French began with the understanding that the equipe might shrink under attrition or to conserve manpower, perhaps to as few as 7 men, because the main weapon of the infantry was now the LMG, The Americans of course understood that the squad could similarly shrink in battle. The difference as that they continued to see the BAR as a supporting the rifle.

 

*Oh, wait. Did I just suggest that the French were good for something? Forget this whole post. Obviously the Germans invented everything awesomely warlikely superior.

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the 3rd edition version by Firebird Press like I said has TONS of stats for pistols,rifles ,smg machineguns, cannons,grenades,mortars,tanks,aircraft and ships from PT's to BB's

I got the 4th edition version, and it doesn't have many weapons, and the tanks have lower-damage guns with the armor piercing advantage. Tank combat would be greatly simplified from just looking at the stats in Hero 5th edition, since they have killing attacks and a single DEF -stat. I would like to tinker with these stats so that tanks have armor piercing rounds as well as high explosive rounds, and several armor ratings for different sides of the tank.

 

The armor ratings could be bumped up a bit, then apply a percentage of it to different sides of the tank for greater verisimilitude. Crew damage and hit locations would be worked out too. Another solution would be to use lower damage armor piercing rounds, and use the DEF stats as they are...

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the americans where the only country to outfit it's soldiers w/ a semi auto rifle at the start of the war

no bolt action except for sharpshooters

so the basic rate of fire over all is greater per person than 1 LMG and a bunch of bolt action rifles and maybe an smg or 2

also the BAR can be fired from the shoulder or hip

not so much w/ an mg 34/42 or Type 99 LMG

 

And the French were getting ready to go over to a semi-automatic rifle in 1914. (Shh! It's a birthday surprise for Germany!) Unfortunately, like most of the new rifles of 1914, it bet on magnum cartridges and proved to be a mistake. 

 

But you know what? It doesn't matter, because I am not criticising the United States Army for what it did do. I am criticising it for what it didn't do. The Garand was a good rifle, but comparing the aggregate rate of fire of the infantry section from one country to the next just shows the same failure to take the point that victimised American infantry in WWII.

 

The LMG, as Cassandra pointed out, was established (as I correct, by the the French Army Law of 1926) as the base of manoeuvre of the infantry equipe. The peloton attacks by manoeuvring its LMGs forward, not its musketeers. That day is done. That's why the French abandoned their experiments with the "automatic rifle." Demanding that the individual musketeer be the base of fire was demanding too much. They replaced the Lebel with a perfectly satisfactory bolt-action rifle, and an excellent LMG, and that simply made for a better fire team than the much larger American squad, M1s and shoulder-fired(!) BARs nothwithstanding.

 

Nor is anyone saying that the BAR was a bad design taken on its own terms. Your argument is faulty in the sense that all LMGs can be used to give "walking fire," that is, fired from the hip, but that's by the by. The complaint against the BAR is that it is a poor  LMG in its ability to develop a base of fire. That is, in giving sustained rate of fire from the bipod.

 

At this point, it is as well for someone who thinks about these things a great deal to step back and apply a guiding heuristic: Which army/navy/air force is likely to have done a better job of assimilating the experiences of WWI: one that was in the thick of the fighting and made an effort to adequately fund its armed forces afterwards? Or one that had less than a year of battlefield experience to draw on, and let its armed forces waste away in the interwar years? 

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With all due respect, no. This was actually a French innovation, enshrined in the Army Law of 1926, and by 1939 had been embraced by most countries.* The conspicuous exception is the United States. I guess it pretty much says it all that the WWII tactical game of my generation was "Squad Leader," which of course started with Germans and Russians and has only tepidly embraced Americans in late expansions. Yet the American army was the only one to use squads!

 

The distinction here is fairly minor, I understand. The original French equipe of the 1926 Law was 11 men built around a Chatellerault LMG fire team. The American "squad" was typically 13 men, including a BAR along with a few more riflemen than an equipe. The difference is that the French began with the understanding that the equipe might shrink under attrition or to conserve manpower, perhaps to as few as 7 men, because the main weapon of the infantry was now the LMG, The Americans of course understood that the squad could similarly shrink in battle. The difference as that they continued to see the BAR as a supporting the rifle.

 

*Oh, wait. Did I just suggest that the French were good for something? Forget this whole post. Obviously the Germans invented everything awesomely warlikely superior.

 

All due respect, I think this is a difference between theory and execution.  The Germans were much more effective then the French during World War Two (and World War One, and the Franco Prussian War, etc.) because they were able to put their tactics into practice.  The French may have come up with some theories, such as Charles DeGaulle's notions of the use of Armor, but lacked both the equipment and the doctrine to put it into practice.  For example a model of light machine gun the French produced during World War One had an open magazine that frequently jammed with dirty.  On top of this, French equipment was hand machined versus the use of assembly line, which meant that parts from one machine gun would not work with another even of the same model.  

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I was thinking about the game balance, depending on the types of characters that PCs have. A "realistic" heroic campaign would have characters that consistently get chewed up by machine guns.

 

I once played in a Danger Int campaign wherein lightly-armored agents and NPCs went up against each other with SMGs.  The campaign lasted approximately three phases.

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IIRC both sides (French and German) had the same amount of tanks(the French had better ones at the start)

It was the Germans deployment of massed tanks w/ infantry support vs the French infantry each having a few tanks to support them

in this case the german model worked out much better

All due respect, I think this is a difference between theory and execution.  The Germans were much more effective then the French during World War Two (and World War One, and the Franco Prussian War, etc.) because they were able to put their tactics into practice.  The French may have come up with some theories, such as Charles DeGaulle's notions of the use of Armor, but lacked both the equipment and the doctrine to put it into practice.  For example a model of light machine gun the French produced during World War One had an open magazine that frequently jammed with dirty.  On top of this, French equipment was hand machined versus the use of assembly line, which meant that parts from one machine gun would not work with another even of the same model.  

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equipment wise the 4th ed of GAC is a mere candle to the arclight flood that is the firebird press book(3rd ed hero system)

this is not to say the 4th ed GAC is a bad book ,it is not

It just has a different focus ,it is geared more toward supers and plots
this is why I have both

I got the 4th edition version, and it doesn't have many weapons, and the tanks have lower-damage guns with the armor piercing advantage. Tank combat would be greatly simplified from just looking at the stats in Hero 5th edition, since they have killing attacks and a single DEF -stat. I would like to tinker with these stats so that tanks have armor piercing rounds as well as high explosive rounds, and several armor ratings for different sides of the tank.

 

The armor ratings could be bumped up a bit, then apply a percentage of it to different sides of the tank for greater verisimilitude. Crew damage and hit locations would be worked out too. Another solution would be to use lower damage armor piercing rounds, and use the DEF stats as they are...

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And the French were getting ready to go over to a semi-automatic rifle in 1914. (Shh! It's a birthday surprise for Germany!) Unfortunately, like most of the new rifles of 1914, it bet on magnum cartridges and proved to be a mistake. 

 

But you know what? It doesn't matter, because I am not criticising the United States Army for what it did do. I am criticising it for what it didn't do. The Garand was a good rifle, but comparing the aggregate rate of fire of the infantry section from one country to the next just shows the same failure to take the point that victimised American infantry in WWII.

 

The LMG, as Cassandra pointed out, was established (as I correct, by the the French Army Law of 1926) as the base of manoeuvre of the infantry equipe. The peloton attacks by manoeuvring its LMGs forward, not its musketeers. That day is done. That's why the French abandoned their experiments with the "automatic rifle." Demanding that the individual musketeer be the base of fire was demanding too much. They replaced the Lebel with a perfectly satisfactory bolt-action rifle, and an excellent LMG, and that simply made for a better fire team than the much larger American squad, M1s and shoulder-fired(!) BARs nothwithstanding.

 

Nor is anyone saying that the BAR was a bad design taken on its own terms. Your argument is faulty in the sense that all LMGs can be used to give "walking fire," that is, fired from the hip, but that's by the by. The complaint against the BAR is that it is a poor  LMG in its ability to develop a base of fire. That is, in giving sustained rate of fire from the bipod.

 

At this point, it is as well for someone who thinks about these things a great deal to step back and apply a guiding heuristic: Which army/navy/air force is likely to have done a better job of assimilating the experiences of WWI: one that was in the thick of the fighting and made an effort to adequately fund its armed forces afterwards? Or one that had less than a year of battlefield experience to draw on, and let its armed forces waste away in the interwar years? 

 

If only the French had gotten the 8mm Ribbeyrolle fielded...   No one paid much attention to the Federov Avtomat  of 1916, but...    IMO recoil operation was not ideal, but if the Revolution had not occurred, they might have gotten more than iirc 4-5000 built and fielded.   This could have been transformational.  

 

Once again, Credit to Anthony Williams.  http://www.quarry.nildram.co.uk/Assault.htm

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IIRC both sides (French and German) had the same amount of tanks(the French had better ones at the start)

It was the Germans deployment of massed tanks w/ infantry support vs the French infantry each having a few tanks to support them

in this case the german model worked out much better

 

At least some of the French tanks had heavier armor and better guns, but they usually had one man turrets, with the commander observing, commanding, loading, and firing the gun.    He was overloaded.   If they had put a 2 or 3 man turret on a couple of their designs...

 

Another big problem they had was apparently a system where very small numbers of each design of tank were built by small, inefficient companies that could NOT produce them in useful quantities.    If you look at the discussion forums on Anthony Williams site, that I already posted, there are MANY discussions of the faults of the various militaries prior to and during WWII, and what just a LITTLE time travel could do to fix them....  ;)

 

edit:  http://forums.delphiforums.com/autogun/messages/

Here is the forum.   I suspect that many of you would find it fascinating.  frustrating and infuriating at times, but that is the nature of the Internet.  

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