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Sean O'Connor's Games • View topic - Anti-tank Gun Issues

Anti-tank Gun Issues

Real time World War II combat simulation

Anti-tank Gun Issues

Postby Andy Brown » Wed Nov 30, 2005 11:09 pm

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Postby Quitch » Thu Dec 01, 2005 10:18 pm

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Postby Andy Brown » Thu Dec 01, 2005 10:27 pm

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Postby Sean OConnor » Thu Dec 01, 2005 11:08 pm

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Postby Quitch » Thu Dec 01, 2005 11:36 pm

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Postby Andy Brown » Thu Dec 01, 2005 11:39 pm

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Postby Quitch » Thu Dec 01, 2005 11:47 pm

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Postby Sean OConnor » Fri Dec 02, 2005 10:24 am

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Postby Quitch » Fri Dec 02, 2005 1:03 pm

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Postby Sean OConnor » Fri Dec 02, 2005 1:28 pm

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Postby Quitch » Fri Dec 02, 2005 1:37 pm

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Postby Andy Brown » Fri Dec 02, 2005 10:03 pm

The advantages of an HMG should be:

Range: The 850m x 850m Firefight map isn't really big enough for this to be important and the HMG maximum range of 550m is too short anyway - they should at least be able to shoot from one side of the map to the other.

Ammo: They should have lots of ammo and therefore a much higher volume of fire than the LMGs in the infantry squads.

(Here I'm talking primarily about rifle calibre MGs mounted on tripods like the German MG34 and MG42. Properly "heavy" HMGs like the US .50 cal are a bit different, designed more to smash things rather than suppress them but my discussion is more-or-less valid for them as well).

Things I've noticed with Firefight HMGs are:

Too easily knocked out: In "real life", HMGs tend to be heavily dug in and camouflaged, something Firefight doesn't permit. They also tend to have bigger crews, at least three men, preferably four or five.

In real life, HMGs work best firing at a distance across the front of friendly troops, exploiting the characteristics of grazing fire and beaten zone.

Grazing fire refers to the fact that a bullet fired from, for example, the British 7.62mm General Purpose Machine Gun at a target 600m away over flat ground will never rise more than four feet (1.2 m) above that ground and is therefore a threat to any man-sized target anywhere along that 600m.

Beaten zone refers to the cigar-shaped pattern the bullets make when they hit the ground around the point-of-aim.

If I understand Firefight correctly, a casualty occurs when a virtual bullet actually collides with a virtual man so Firefight's approximation of these effects should be pretty reasonable (although if suppression only occurs when bullets land near a man, rather than also when they go cracking past him, this effect will be somewhat diminished).

The idea, therefore, is to stick the HMGs out to the flanks away from the main infantry fighting positions but able to fire back across the front of them so that enemy infantry advancing on your infantry lines up with your MG's axis-of-fire and fits nicely into the beaten zone.

Putting the HMGs out to a flank also gets them away from the main infantry positions where, hopefully, most of the enemy's fire will be directed. This is very important in Firefight as, not being able to dig themselves in, the couple of guys grouped closely round an HMG above ground are (as they should be) extremely vulnerable.

Because, in Firefight, an HMG is not able to properly exploit its range advantages, and because it is often impossible to site them in the protective terrain they need to be really effective, they should probably be worth about half a squad in terms of purchase credits.

I've seen some good work from Firefight HMGs that I have managed to position in places where they were able to survive the battle. I get very disappointed with HMGs that do survive with rounds unused. :) Putting HMGs in the firing line, however, is definitely a waste of credits. :!:

Note: Releasing the cradle locking lever so an HMG spins freely on its tripod and blazing away in all directions is Hollywood stuff that only happens when the HMG is being overrun. Proper sustained fire from MMGs and HMGs is a very mathematical affair often involving precise adjustments of fractions of a degree.

Regards,

Andy Brown
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