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Author Topic: Fire Effect- Anti-Tank Rifles  (Read 380 times)

Offline Unlucky General

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Fire Effect- Anti-Tank Rifles
« on: July 01, 2018, 08:44:45 AM »
**** Calling all early WWII wargamers ****

What is the fire effect of anti-tank rifles in the rules you use?

As far as I have ever played Rapid Fire, ATRs take out an armoured vehicle similar to an anti-tan gun. I've never been completely comfortable with this but confess to never having seen footage of an ATR taking out anything.

Does it hope to rupture a fuel tank or damage the engine block - how would it knock out a tank? Or is the application about killing the crew and drive the survivors from the vehicle?

Please pardon my ignorance.

Offline Ultravanillasmurf

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Re: Fire Effect- Anti-Tank Rifles
« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2018, 10:09:25 AM »
Bolt Action treats it as a weapon capable of penetratiing armoured vehicles.

My assumption is that the effect is of multiple shots rather than one shot (in-game ROF of 1).

From my limited reading, in general use it was not  effective in WW1, though they could penetrate the armour, the round had limited energy after penetration. of course having something put a hole in your tank is disconcerting¦

For a skilled user, it would be used like a sniper rifle, hitting exposed crew, vision slits etc. that does depend on it being well made,.

Offline julesav

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Re: Fire Effect- Anti-Tank Rifles
« Reply #2 on: July 01, 2018, 11:03:20 AM »
I've read about Russian ATR units volley firing at Panther drive sprockets to get 'mobility kills' in 1944-45 period combats. Also several mentions of 8th Army chaps using it as a big round sniper rifle in the Western Desert.

In ''Our Enemies the French' there's mention of Vichy French R35s being proof against British/Australian Boyes ATR fire.

I also read an account of a bloke on Crete shooting down a Stuka by hitting it in the engine at pullout point. Another similar account credited such a kill to a Bren gunner. I wouldn't trust any rules giving ATRs good AA ratings though! Lol!

I think the above are my complete set of ATR related incidents in 45 years or so of reading about historical battles.
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Offline Etranger

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Re: Fire Effect- Anti-Tank Rifles
« Reply #3 on: July 01, 2018, 12:51:02 PM »
The Germans produced some ATR rounds that contained a pellet of tear gas in the base, which was supposed to be released inside the tank & incapacitate the crew but it was such a tiny amount that it would probably have to hit someone in the eye to have any effect! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/7.92%C3%9794mm_Patronen

IIRC ATR crew were trained to fire at weak spots such as vision blocks & ports, & in the case of the Russians it's quite possible that volley fire could cause significant, if temporary damage.

Lest anyone think that the ATR was a dud, it's worth pointing out that the contemporary Barrett M82 Rifle is much the same thing. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barrett_M82
« Last Edit: July 01, 2018, 12:54:05 PM by Etranger »
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Offline Arrigo

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Re: Fire Effect- Anti-Tank Rifles
« Reply #4 on: July 01, 2018, 02:47:57 PM »
well,

what an ATR round is supposed to do, in the words of Dr. John Stone, is 'interact' with the crew once inside. More or less as every other AP solid shot. Once you got a penetration you have this thing moving inside the crew compartment, it is not nice. Other possibility is to hole the engine and cause a lot of problems. But you have to keep in mind one thing. ATR rifle were weapons designed to face tanks with armour capable to stop 7.62 to 9mm bullets. The .50 started its life as an automatic ATR (this is why the .50 is sometime referred as anti-materiel calibre, because it was supposed to be an AP caliber), but the 12.7 bullet become quickly obsolete vs tank and was replaced by 15-16mm weapons, then 20mm, then 25mm (and when you got to 25mm you have things that are not anymore ATR but small antitank guns that then were replaced by larger and larger one).  The majority of AP shells were indeed solid shots rather than explosive ones. Then you have heat rounds and so on... but I do not see any reason why an ATR should be considered different from an ATG in effect. Of course it is different in rate of fire, 'portability', and armor penetration. But then, a 2pdr is different from a 17pdr.

The ATR were not duds, but they were designed to cope with much less armour than the one deployed from 1939 onward. Even them flank and rear shots could penetrate, and also sustained fire could cause damage to fittings like vision ports and periscope. But on that issue automatic weapons were better.

Of course while they were obsolete in their intended role, they evolved, more or like the trusty ma deuce!



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Offline Rich H

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Re: Fire Effect- Anti-Tank Rifles
« Reply #5 on: July 01, 2018, 06:48:03 PM »
As above, against flimsy tanks they were great, but quickly got outclassed as armour thickness increased.

They could still get mobility kills on later stuff and lucky hits but generally they were not going to kill a tank after about 1940. 


Offline Ultravanillasmurf

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Re: Fire Effect- Anti-Tank Rifles
« Reply #6 on: July 01, 2018, 07:19:10 PM »
Lest anyone think that the ATR was a dud, it's worth pointing out that the contemporary Barrett M82 Rifle is much the same thing. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barrett_M82
There is a slight difference, in that the current Anti-Materiel Rifles are precision manufactured and rigged for 'scopes. Think the difference between a line rifle and the sniper's version. Of course they are not for killing tanks, but for engine blocks, munitions and lightly built vehicles they are great.

As a reverse of the Barratt, the KPV heavy machine gun used on Soviet APCs uses ammunition derived from a soviet ATR.

As a gamer, Boyes ATR smoothbore was de rigeur for Call of Cthulhu players in Britain.

And always remember Frank Chadwick's rules on a lone infantry man with a rifle being able to suppress a tank (there is a John Kovalic cartoon for that). Volley fire from ATR would be frightening.
« Last Edit: July 01, 2018, 07:29:50 PM by Ultravanillasmurf »

Offline Ultravanillasmurf

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Re: Fire Effect- Anti-Tank Rifles
« Reply #7 on: July 01, 2018, 07:23:16 PM »
Of course for the adjacent sub forum, they are good for putting holes in powered armour and monsters.