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Old 01-04-2018, 09:33 PM   #31
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Default Re: Logistically Viable Weapons AtE

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Originally Posted by (E) View Post
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?
The chief advantage of the smoothbore musket was that it could make effective an army of fungible soldiers. People who did not catch that point and treated them like crossbows just ran out of men to soon.
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Old 01-05-2018, 01:32 AM   #32
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Default Re: Logistically Viable Weapons AtE

My point is that a small number of highly experienced troops will win against a superior number even if their equipment is inferior if they are deployed properly. In a AtE scenario they will have even more of an advantage because pretty much any force they face are likely to have little to no discipline at all.

Put all of your resources towards finding the right men and giving them the right training. Then make sure that they have the best logistical support - transportation, food, communication, medical, etc. If they have all of this, their weapons will be irrelevant - they could take over the world with sticks and stones.
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Old 01-05-2018, 04:50 AM   #33
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Default Re: Logistically Viable Weapons AtE

As to TL6 riflemen being defeated by cold steel - okay, it's not pikemen, but I seem to recall numerous accounts from the Russian Civil War and Polish-Bolshevik Wars of infantry being cut to pieces by lance or sabre armed cavalry in the open field. You may even be able to find this happening as late as WW2, especially on the southern flank of Barbarossa where the Soviets were still using a lot of cavalry and the Axis forces contained a lot of second and third rate infantry.
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Old 01-05-2018, 04:56 AM   #34
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Default Re: Logistically Viable Weapons AtE

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Originally Posted by ericthered View Post
...

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.

....
The problem with general statements is that unless they are universally true in all possible instances then until you actually define the specific parameters they're don't really work.

So what is "Crude" here?

How inferior is "inferior" here, moreover inferior in what way*?

Because I can think of examples of well disciplined troops with inferior weapons compared to the crude example of the higher tech weapons of their opponent winning, but I can think of examples of them losing as well! Perhaps more importantly the former seem to be more isolated and the latter more long term and decisive (ts hard to really say though as having access to higher tech tends to also come with having access to other advantages that help you win long term)

As has already been stated your three examples are not actually correct in terms of not using guns but beating those with guns .


*the example of paratroopers was given earlier. Yeah they might have a disadvantage in certain equipment compared to say a regular formation being fielded in their usual situation. So you could describe that as inferior, but it's not like those paratroopers get into fire fights with sticks and stones and come out winners either! i.e agin what does "inferior" mean


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Originally Posted by DanHoward View Post
My point is that a small number of highly experienced troops will win against a superior number even if their equipment is inferior if they are deployed properly. In a AtE scenario they will have even more of an advantage because pretty much any force they face are likely to have little to no discipline at all.

Put all of your resources towards finding the right men and giving them the right training. Then make sure that they have the best logistical support - transportation, food, communication, medical, etc. If they have all of this, their weapons will be irrelevant - they could take over the world with sticks and stones.
Yeah basically see above, yes training and discipline are very important. But all things interrelate and balance against each other. At some point disadvantages in other areas like weaponry if great enough will overcome these advantages (those other disadvantages are certainly not irrelevant as you claim).

Another problem with fighters like you describe is that being so resource intensive to create, maintain and support you tend not to have very many of them. So unless you can take over the world with sticks and stones and also not take losses while doing so, attrition will still hit you.

Now in a stereotypical resource tight ATE scenario its mean they're not likely to face numberless hordes, but the resource tightness will also limit them.

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Old 01-05-2018, 05:10 AM   #35
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Default Re: Logistically Viable Weapons AtE

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As to TL6 riflemen being defeated by cold steel - okay, it's not pikemen, but I seem to recall numerous accounts from the Russian Civil War and Polish-Bolshevik Wars of infantry being cut to pieces by lance or sabre armed cavalry in the open field. You may even be able to find this happening as late as WW2, especially on the southern flank of Barbarossa where the Soviets were still using a lot of cavalry and the Axis forces contained a lot of second and third rate infantry.
The thing is a lot of those examples tended to come down to specific contexts that facilitated the outcome. Also IIRC yes there were certainly horsemen in those wars and in WW1 (eastern front especially) but the horse was more a means of transport* than battlefield weapon.

Yeah caught unaware TL6 rifle men could get cut down by TL4-5 horsemen. And yes if your TL6 riflemen aren't the best they're possibly more likely to get themselves into a situation where that is more likely, and yes if your TL4/5 horsemen are great they may well be more likely to engineer and capitalise on such an advantageous situation. Combine both and yep you're even more likely to get that outcome.

But it is inherently against the odds, and the greater the disparity in other areas the greater the odds fall out of balance. Ultimately even with the above examples neither sets of wars were won by horsemen with sabres and lances beating TL6 riflemen in the field. Moreover being against the odds it's high risk in that if you don't get it exactly right you end up with your elite horsemen being bullet riddled corpses (something that also happened in the first half of the C20th, as well as the C19th**). And well elite horsemen don't grow on trees.

It's a bit like the conversation about bayonets still being battle winning modern day weapons in the hands of disciplined and committed users. In that yes in certain circumstances thay can be and in fact there are a couple of oft quoted examples in recent history where they were (context being again v.important). But generally speaking you end up shot dead if you try and melee-charge riflemen in the C20th.





*it's like that famous photo of Polish Uhlans charging German panzers that got used as propaganda at the time. Only of course they didn't charge panzers with lances, they fought like everyone else with rifles, machine guns and anti tank guns etc. It's just being a cavalry unit they were fast, agile and mobile compared to infantry (even sometimes infantry in trucks). To me that's the cavalry advantage in the first half of the C20th, and yeah that can be a good one when you are moving over large areas of eastern europe or russia that doesn't have lots of nice roads etc, etc more so when your fighting a pretty fragmented affair with lots of localised action over a huge area like the Russian civil war.


**and actually I guess cavalry use in the C19th kind of tells the story, the battlefield role of cavalry got further and further truncated and the situations were you could charge at an enemy without getting shot to pieces got increasingly limited. And how elite a lancer you are will only go so far in countering bullets.

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Old 01-05-2018, 05:24 AM   #36
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Default Re: Logistically Viable Weapons AtE

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There are definitely stockpiles of prewar ammunition scattered about. It's the reason I'm not strongly considering flintlocks. My initial idea is to have whatever weapon chosen be chambered in 5.56 NATO, but at least initially the conscrips are using low quality ammunition made in this warlords factories. I'm thinking carbine length rifles so for 5.56 that would be 4d+2 pi, acc 4 by default. 3d+2 pi-, acc 3 when using the bad ammunition.
I would actually go full length with a bayonet.

That way you have a gun and a reach 1-2 spear in one. And sometimes a spear is all you'll need so conserve the bullets, (and yes at some points a spear might even be better than a rifle)

I don't imagine that if you're already making a carbine length barrel a full rifle length barrel is that much harder. You might get another point of acc out of the rifle. A longer barrel might well be more forgiving of substandard ammunition in terms of performance as well.

Generally speaking carbine length kind of become a widespread thing because you had troops being moved around en mass in ways that full length rifles got in the way off, and better tech came along meaning that carbine length wan't the performance tradeoff it had previously been (and then combat ethos changed as well moving away from in GURPS terms firing 7d of damage past 1000m) . This may not be in effect in an ATE setting?

Although I know you said you weren't keen on it being too good (or rather having room for improvement)?

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Old 01-05-2018, 08:31 AM   #37
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Default Re: Logistically Viable Weapons AtE

Ever had one of those moments where you write two pages of text in response to a half dozen posts and when you click submit you get logged out?

Sigh....


Long Story short the end result of this Rifles evolution would look a lot like a Enfield SMLE Mk III.

My big questions
1.) What supplementary weapons should be used in conjunction with the Rifle. Assuming It's matured into it's Enfield form.
2.) On the continuum from crude Flintlock to Refined Bolt-action War Winner Should the PCs enter on. (The answer is highly circumstantial I know)
3.) Should this Rifle ultimately make the transformation to semi/fully-automatic or stay bolt-action?
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Old 01-05-2018, 08:49 AM   #38
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Default Re: Logistically Viable Weapons AtE

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Ever had one of those moments where you write two pages of text in response to a half dozen posts and when you click submit you get logged out?

Sigh....


Long Story short the end result of this Rifles evolution would look a lot like a Enfield SMLE Mk III.

My big questions
1.) What supplementary weapons should be used in conjunction with the Rifle. Assuming It's matured into it's Enfield form.
I think that's really going to depend on what else is going on. Are there going to be armoured vehicles (albeit primitive ones), artillery etc, etc?

In RL even when the SMLE Mk III was in it's heyday Tommy Atkins who held it was part of a much larger and diverse armed force.

But if you don't have all that (and in ATE you may well not) that bunch of rifleman can get a lot done by themselves.


However one other weapon comes to mind, mortars might be pretty doable and useful at doing stuff rifles can't!




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Originally Posted by Minuteman37 View Post
3.) Should this Rifle ultimately make the transformation to semi/fully-automatic or stay bolt-action?
Going semi automatic would seem to be a reasonably simple matter of manufacturing with only upsides and not much down side for use. FA would seem to run into issues with ATE tight resources, and FWIW I don't think FA infantry rifles gives you much extra combat benefit ove SA ones.

A balance that's further effected by Semi automatic rifles being easier to manufacture than fully automatic ones (I assume).

I can't really answer 2). beyond what do you want them doing and on which side of the development do you want them?

Last edited by Tomsdad; 01-05-2018 at 09:53 AM.
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Old 01-05-2018, 10:09 AM   #39
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Default Re: Logistically Viable Weapons AtE

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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.
I have one: no tank at all. Tanks were not dropped from planes in wwii, which is the heyday of paratroopers.

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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".
That has yet to be established. In fact, I believe most of the folks advocating the melee weapons are holding that advanced ammo will be pretty darn rare. Dan at least has specified that the "crude" firearms he's talking about are muzzle loaders.

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They used guns. 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.
And they used pike. But that's the founding of the Swedish empire. the later empire faced mostly line infantry and trained their men to rely on the charge, defeating larger forces with bloody, intense, hand to hand contests.

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Napoleonic Cavalry typically had pistols or carbines, and Marshal Ney discovered exactly how bad things can get when charging massed fire at Waterloo, besides.
But they were not the primary weapons. Napoleonic Cavalry used the lance and the saber as their primary weapons. the pistols fired one or two shots, and the cavalry faced off against superior numbers in most cases.

And any tool can be used wrong. And as stated, cavalry was used to great and decisive effect all over the eastern front of WWI. This wasn't just dragoon style fighting. It was charges. Not it every case, but it happened a lot. The weapon that stopped the charge as a tactic in WWI was the machine gun. And the machine gun requires excellent logistics. On the western front, everyone had lots of ammo and a dense front. On the eastern front and in the chaos at the end of the war, logistics were strained, bullets got scarce, and there were huge distances to cover. A situation very similar to the wasteland.

Quote:
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.
If you want to see a two TL difference in tech where the low tech side has superior economics and numbers, that war does not exist. I can think of a few examples that might come close, but each one fails the economic requirement. In almost all high tech vs. low tech conflicts, High tech doesn't just have the tech advantage, they also have the economic advantage. There are small scale examples with small tech differences, but nothing like what you are looking for.

Quote:
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.
The implication being that the TRW and bolt action riffles are both not logistically sound weapons in the wasteland. But the OP has given us a factory capable of making the cartridges, so I suppose he's already hand-waved to biggest obstacle.

My personal armament would probably be 12 gauge shotguns. Don't bother to maintain them much. Just use a very common gun you can replace by scrounging. The hard part is the ammo train. certainly add a long sword or pole-arm that can be manufactured from old automobile sheet metal. This force will have its downsides, but that's what specialty troops are for.
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Old 01-05-2018, 11:27 AM   #40
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Default Re: Logistically Viable Weapons AtE

There are trillions of bullets, all of which are more resistant to the end of the world than the billions of people. Worrying about running out of ammo quickly seems to be solving the wrong problem.

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