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Author Topic: HMG value  (Read 714 times)

Offline Sergent-chef Chaudard

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  • Posts: 2
HMG value
« on: June 18, 2020, 02:20:21 PM »
Hi,
I am new on this forum. So, first, my apopogies for my very poor English. I will try to be clear enough, but tell me if you cannot understand me!

I plan to game the russian civil war in 28mm and I will probably use Setting the east ablaze. I have also read Triumph of the will, A world aflame and The sword to adventure rules, as they are for the same period, to compare and take ideas for modifying the rules if needed.

A thing seems strange to me: in 3 of the rules, the HMG  characteristics differ from what I though about HMG during first part of the 20th (and after)

I explain: HMG seems in most rules not so powerfull that I was thinking: 6D in Setting the East ablaze, against 1D for a rifle, so a machine gun with its 3 crew is equal to 6 riflemen. In A world aflame, HMG is 4D against 1 for rifle, which seems low, even if machineguns have more chance to hit (3+ instead of 4+ on a D6). Here, HMG is equal to 4 snipers… In Triumph of the will, it seems than an HMG is equal to 10 riflemen. Finally, the sword to adventures takes 5D for each MG crew, so a 3crew HMG is equal, more or less, to 15 riflemen. However in this last rules, chance to hitting is a bit slower, as it is in TSATF.

Another thing surpises me: the movement  speed of HMG , this time, is higher than I expected. The same or a little below the riflemen (apart in the sword to adventure where it is 1/3). Considering the Russian maxim for example, I am not sure that it was easy to pull at a man's normal speed.

So, in your opinion, do I make an historical mistake? And, maybe the more importan question: if I modify this, will the rules will still be playable? Is it a risk than under a such HMG suppressing fire, all the troops  became pinned and my game transform in a WW1 one?

 

Offline trev

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  • Posts: 169
    • The Bits Box
Re: HMG value
« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2020, 09:01:33 PM »
Hi Sergent and welcome to the group.

I don't think the scales of the rules are as literal as you are assuming.  Steve will be able to tell you what he intended in his rules but I guess the designers are probably intending to represent the historical troops in a way that allows support weapon miniatures to be fielded at a different scale. 

For example.

These historical troop numbers are from Mark's Pygmy Wars site

Volunteer Army 1st Infantry Division in October 1919
Markov Brigade – Major-General Tret'yakov
   1st General Markov Officer Infantry Regiment – Colonel Bleysh – 882 bayonets, 20 MGs
   2nd General Markov Officer Infantry Regiment – Colonel Morozov – 1,174 bayonets, 24 MGs
   3rd General Markov Officer Infantry Regiment – Colonel Naumov – 618 bayonets, 24 MGs

Most of the rules probably don't assume a fixed scale but if we use a scale of 20:1 for argument's sake, that is 134 figures and 3 MG bases.  Plus some of those MGs might be Light MGs. 

These are the elite regiments of the Volunteer Army army too, so about as well equipped as you get in the war.  Even within the same division we have these.

1st Division reserve infantry
Reserve Battalion of the 1st Infantry Division – Colonel Konovalov – 1,122 bayonets, 7 MGs
1st General Markov Engineering Company – Colonel Grotengel'm – 563 men

So another 84 infantry and about a third of an MG base.  We would end up with model armies where nearly every figure is an infantryman with a rifle.  That's quite dull and doesn't allow for much differentiation or the representation of small but significant numbers of support weapons.

For artillery it is even worse. 

1st Artillery Brigade – Staff Captain Shperling – 14 light guns, 11 howitzers
1st Divizion – Colonel Mashin
   1st General Markov Battery
   2nd Light Battery
2nd Divizion – Colonel Mihailov
   3rd Light Battery
   4th Light Battery
3rd Divizion – Colonel Ropponet
   5th Battery
   6th Battery
4th Divizion – Colonel Ayvazov
   7th Light Howitzer Battery
   8th Light Howitzer Battery

These 8 batteries barely rate a single gun model at 20:1 and only by combining the different gun types.  Yet in the historical sources we have examples of where even a single real gun could be a significant advantage.

So if we take into account the reduced numbers of weapons and historical ammunition shortages the game effect is probably much more reasonable. 

For movement it is probably to do with the time scale being compressed.  Real battles involve a lot of waiting about.  The MG crews therefore have time to catch up and the movement is probably based on tactical movements rates rather the walking speed of the crew with their gun.  If we modelled real movement rates based on uninterrupted walking we would need to have lots of very short turns where often nothing happens. 

I would guess that with our 20:1 infantry scale then the rules might assume 4-8 real MGs to a base and 2-4 artillery pieces to a base. 

I hope that makes sense.   :D

Offline Sergent-chef Chaudard

  • Lurker
  • Posts: 2
Re: HMG value
« Reply #2 on: June 19, 2020, 10:53:39 AM »
That makes sense undoubtedly !

Thanks for these informations which are very rich and useful, and that I dind't have. And thanks for your analysis to which I subscribe. Sure that I will use STEA as it is, due to what you told; it's a good balance between history and playability. As everyone, I like to push HMG and artillery pieces on the table, so the solution of different scale seems very logical.

Offline trev

  • Librarian
  • Posts: 169
    • The Bits Box
Re: HMG value
« Reply #3 on: June 20, 2020, 11:01:58 AM »
No problem, glad it was helpful.  Please post some picture of your figures and games or tell us your thoughts on the rules you end up using.  It's always good to see or hear what others are doing.

Offline Ignatieff

  • Moderator
  • Scatterbrained Genius
  • Posts: 2550
Re: HMG value
« Reply #4 on: August 28, 2020, 08:21:33 AM »
Hi,
I am new on this forum. So, first, my apopogies for my very poor English. I will try to be clear enough, but tell me if you cannot understand me!

I plan to game the russian civil war in 28mm and I will probably use Setting the east ablaze. I have also read Triumph of the will, A world aflame and The sword to adventure rules, as they are for the same period, to compare and take ideas for modifying the rules if needed.

A thing seems strange to me: in 3 of the rules, the HMG  characteristics differ from what I though about HMG during first part of the 20th (and after)

I explain: HMG seems in most rules not so powerfull that I was thinking: 6D in Setting the East ablaze, against 1D for a rifle, so a machine gun with its 3 crew is equal to 6 riflemen. In A world aflame, HMG is 4D against 1 for rifle, which seems low, even if machineguns have more chance to hit (3+ instead of 4+ on a D6). Here, HMG is equal to 4 snipers… In Triumph of the will, it seems than an HMG is equal to 10 riflemen. Finally, the sword to adventures takes 5D for each MG crew, so a 3crew HMG is equal, more or less, to 15 riflemen. However in this last rules, chance to hitting is a bit slower, as it is in TSATF.

Another thing surpises me: the movement  speed of HMG , this time, is higher than I expected. The same or a little below the riflemen (apart in the sword to adventure where it is 1/3). Considering the Russian maxim for example, I am not sure that it was easy to pull at a man's normal speed.

So, in your opinion, do I make an historical mistake? And, maybe the more importan question: if I modify this, will the rules will still be playable? Is it a risk than under a such HMG suppressing fire, all the troops  became pinned and my game transform in a WW1 one?

You are right, the rules were designed as a balance between history and playability.  As I say in the intro, it’s all about a fun game.  However, as I also say, if you dont like something, then just change it.  For what it’s worth, 4D6 for an HMG in my rules would make them useless.
"...and as always, we are dealing with strange forces far beyond our comprehension...."

All limitations are self imposed.  Work hard and dream big.