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Old 01-04-2018, 04:03 PM   #21
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Default Re: Logistically Viable Weapons AtE

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Originally Posted by Refplace View Post
To me the main issue is making quality bullets that shoot the same and wont foul the gun. I think your more likely to be able to salvage a decent amount of guns and repair them but run low on bullets.
Most likely apocalyptic scenarios leave few people and an awful lot of bullets. There's probably around 20 billion rounds of M855 in NATO stockpiles. Most rump reconstruction states or local warlords are going to run out of shooters before they run out of bullets.
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Old 01-04-2018, 04:06 PM   #22
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Default Re: Logistically Viable Weapons AtE

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Originally Posted by sir_pudding View Post
Who deploys airborne pike?
I am obviously not talking about airborne pike. I'm talking about paratroopers armed with simple riffles pitted against tanks, artillery, machine guns, and superior numbers.

for specifically spears vs. Cartridge guns, you're looking at Zulus, Apache, and Maori, along with some interesting cases in china.

Some observations:

In all cases but the Zulus, the spear wielders were pretty much outnumbered but managed to put up a fight anyways.

In all three cases, the spear wielders had guns, but of inferior quality than their foes, and a smaller density as well.

All three cases had a warrior culture.

All three inflicted notable losses on their opponents.

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Paratrooper equipment is inferior in that it compromises performance for transportability. It's not normally inferior in the sense of being outdated!
Indeed it isn't. But the reason WHY its inferior really doesn't matter. We have very few examples of highly trained TL6 troops facing poorly trained TL8 troops!
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Old 01-04-2018, 04:13 PM   #23
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Default Re: Logistically Viable Weapons AtE

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I am obviously not talking about airborne pike. I'm talking about paratroopers armed with simple riffles pitted against tanks, artillery, machine guns, and superior numbers.
I was specifically asking for a historical example of a successful deployment of pikemen versus a TL6 force.

Although I don't think that I can think of any examples of paratroopers who use a simpler rifle than the same force's line units, either.

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In all three cases, the spear wielders had guns, but of inferior quality than their foes, and a smaller density as well.
Yes, they used all the guns they could get. At no point did they say, "Hey, we don't need guns. Let's just form up a 16th century line of battle instead and assault their fortifications!"
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Old 01-04-2018, 04:14 PM   #24
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Default Re: Logistically Viable Weapons AtE

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Indeed it isn't. But the reason WHY its inferior really doesn't matter. We have very few examples of highly trained TL6 troops facing poorly trained TL8 troops!
It does matter when the question being presented is whether disciplined troops with Low Tech melee weapons might be the preferred approach!
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Old 01-04-2018, 04:41 PM   #25
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Default Re: Logistically Viable Weapons AtE

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Originally Posted by sir_pudding View Post
I was specifically asking for a historical example of a successful deployment of pikemen versus a TL6 force.
Quote:
Yes, they used all the guns they could get. At no point did they say, "Hey, we don't need guns. Let's just form up a 16th century line of battle instead and assault their fortifications!
well that doesn't exist. Because pike is the wrong low tech unit to use.

They grabbed the guns they could, but they also relied heavily on their melee weapons. The guns were used to make the enemy cautious. The Zulu had about 1 gun per 10 men. At Iswanda they outmaneuvered the British and then charged, and won the battle through superior concentration of force and sticking their repeating riffle foes with spears.

The Apache and Maori had more guns, but they constantly sought to engage at close range, were they had the advantage. The greatest defeat of the british in new zealand happened when the Maori tricked the attacking force into charging one of their forts, and then emerged with hiding places into close combat.

Quote:
Although I don't think that I can think of any examples of paratroopers who use a simpler rifle than the same force's line units, either.
The difference isn't in the riffle, as I made clear. Its machine guns, tanks, and artillery. The riffle, and particularly the TL6 world war ii bolt-action riffle is not a great weapon compared to the machines that surround it.

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Originally Posted by Ulzgoroth View Post
It does matter when the question being presented is whether disciplined troops with Low Tech melee weapons might be the preferred approach!
Where has that claim been made?

Dan Howard has stated that melee weapons are a good choice against "crude firearms", implying muzzle-loading arms. This is historically well attested. See the Manchu conquest of china, the tactics of the Swedish empire, and Napoleonic cavalry. And if you can't sustain your fire, you may as well be using muzzle loading arms.

The more general statement has been made that a less equipped force with superior training will defeat a better equipped force. This is a general military statement, and most of my posts have been in defense of this statement.

melee troops against repeating riffles with sufficient ammo is really hard to pull off, and I have only commented on that situation when specifically asked. Its hard to do, but its been done. I recommend caution, outnumbering your foe, choosing a battle ground with a lot of cover, and spending a lot of time making him shoot wildly to run out his ammunition.

If you can't outnumber your foe, and he has access to large numbers of cartridge rounds, you've been economically defeated.
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Old 01-04-2018, 05:27 PM   #26
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Default Re: Logistically Viable Weapons AtE

One question that may be critical to group with poor training is "what can you standardise?" What is the simplest weapon you can give everyone?
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Old 01-04-2018, 05:38 PM   #27
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Default Re: Logistically Viable Weapons AtE

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Originally Posted by ericthered View Post
Where has that claim been made?

Dan Howard has stated that melee weapons are a good choice against "crude firearms", implying muzzle-loading arms.
Is it, though? That's a question which has been asked.
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Old 01-04-2018, 06:11 PM   #28
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Default Re: Logistically Viable Weapons AtE

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Originally Posted by ericthered View Post
well that doesn't exist. Because pike is the wrong low tech unit to use.
Then why should the OP's warlord train pikemen?
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The difference isn't in the riffle, as I made clear. Its machine guns, tanks, and artillery. The riffle, and particularly the TL6 world war ii bolt-action riffle is not a great weapon compared to the machines that surround it.
I can't think of an example of a airborne MG or tank that is simpler than the equivalent either. Often they are more sophisticated, because they are advanced lighter models.
Quote:
Where has that claim been made?
Post #2.
Quote:
Dan Howard has stated that melee weapons are a good choice against "crude firearms", implying muzzle-loading arms.
No, he advocated training pikemen, with cavalry (not sure if he meant horse or armor) and sniper support in a scenario where bolt-action rifles and insurgent assault rifles were the available options for "crude firearms". I suppose he could have meant the PanEuro Ogre Mk. I, but I am pretty sure he meant the renniasance formation.
Quote:
This is historically well attested. See the Manchu conquest of china,
They used guns.
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the tactics of the Swedish empire,
During the 30 years war? They made extensive use of guns too. Adolphus thought the cavalcade was stupid horse-circus foolery, he didn't think that guns were.
Quote:
and Napoleonic cavalry.
Napoleonic Cavalry typically had pistols or carbines, and Marshal Ney discovered exactly how bad things can get when charging massed fire at Waterloo, besides.

Also none of these cases describe anything like a massive TL difference, or suggest any good outcomes if you want to form up pike squares against Lord Humongous or the Boneyard Master.

Quote:
The more general statement has been made that. a less equipped force with superior training will defeat a better equipped force.
Sure this can be true. It isn't a fact. there are plenty of examples of supposedly "elite" troops getting destroyed by ordinary line troops with more money, more guys, and better equipment. Notably the Maori, Zulu, and Apache all lost.
Quote:
This is a general military statement, and most of my posts have been in defense of this statement.
Okay. That's fine. I only dispute the word "will" there. However this general possibility doesn't carry over well to the specific case of forming pike squares to fight guys with basically M14s.
Quote:
melee troops against repeating riffles with sufficient ammo is really hard to pull off,
Well, yes. Which is why I thought Dan's suggestion was a little out there and asked him to clarify.
Quote:
and I have only commented on that situation when specifically asked.
That isn't the question though.

The question was "How does this warlord arm his guys? Bolt-action rifles or the TRW LMR?" Dan's answer was "pikes, cavalry and snipers" which seems like a non sequitur.

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Old 01-04-2018, 07:08 PM   #29
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Default Re: Logistically Viable Weapons AtE

A lot depends upon what technological level you're aiming for, and what "feel."

A flintlock rifled-musket is the obvious choice for a muzzle-loading black powder era weapon. Really, what else is there? And advancing to a Trapdoor Springfield clone, and then to a purpose-manufactured breechloader using the same cartridge is an obvious upgrade path.

If you can make percussion caps you can make cartridges, so there isn't much point to a percussion muzzle-loader.

As has been mentioned, if you want to start with percussion caps a shotgun is a great choice from a practical point of view. The shells have a long life (i.e. can be reloaded many times before they fail), they work just fine with black powder, and the weapons themselves do not require fine tolerances. The problem, given your criteria, is that there isn't much of an upgrade path unless you want to start with a single-shot break-action, then double-barreled, then pump, etc. And switch from smoothbore to rifled in there somewhere for the +1 Acc with slugs.

Another option is some sort of rifle firing a straight-walled brass cartridge. Any of the Victorian-era weapons might work. I'm partial to the Remington Rolling Block, but any of the lever-action Winchesters would be a more functional option. You could start with the pistol-caliber Winchesters (bonus: you have revolver ammo, too) then move on to the ones firing more powerful cartridges as your upgrade path.

If you want something more modern then the Soviet model of LOTS of guys with cheap submachine guns seems reasonable, though you sort of need smokeless powder for it. The PPS is perfect for cottage manufacture- it's almost all stamped from low grade steel- but any mostly stamped weapon would work: Sten, PPSh, M3, Uzi, m/45, MAT-49, etc. Submachineguns have pretty forgiving metallurgical needs. And if you don't like 7.62x25mm, any gun chambered for that caliber can easily be made in 9mm instead. (The Germans issued replacement barrels for captured guns in WWII; even the same magazines worked.)
A possible upgrade from there is to a largely stamped rifle, like your LMR, or an AR18, or heck an AKM. Or how about the 7.62mm Sterling? If there really is a lot of 5.56mm laying around then the LMR or AR18 (presumably with wooded furniture) do look quite attractive. The full-auto-only LMR does raise worries about ammunition consumption in the resource-constrained AtE environment, though.

The M1 Carbine isn't stamped but clones have been churned out of machine shops all over the world. It turns out that it's a pretty straightforward machining job, and the low-powered cartridge is also forgiving of any less-than-ideal metals that you might use. (Unlike, say, an M14.) And revolvers in .30 carbine are possible as a sidearm, though firing them is a bit sporty.

It truly is not difficult to produce minimally capable firearms given a decent selection of scrap steel. Guerrilla movements all over the world have proven this time and again, and the Khyber Pass gunsmiths continue to do so today. Even boring barrels and rifling them is certainly more simple than a lot of people on this board seem to think. And if you have percussion caps the most likely weapon is probably some black-powder cartridge breechloader.

Last edited by acrosome; 01-04-2018 at 08:00 PM.
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Old 01-04-2018, 07:48 PM   #30
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Default Re: Logistically Viable Weapons AtE

Another thought, what's the "typical combat environment"? open terrain would suit a bolt action rifle while crawling through the ruins of a city would favour smaller higher ROF pistol caliber weapons.

Related to this is "what are the expected enemies?" Would a more versatile grenade be a useful weapon if the expected foes include hordes of mutant rats and giant critters?
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