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Old 10-17-2017, 02:45 AM   #1
Xakaz
 
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Default [Low Tech] TL4 Rifles

Hello! I'm slightly confused on Range characteristics of TL4 rifles in Low Tech p. 94. Text above rifles table states that "Ordinary troops, armed with muskets, often resented the sharpshooters who could pick them off from afar . . ." But rifles in that table have rather unimpressive range values compared to smoothbore guns. Is it intentional?
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Old 10-17-2017, 02:52 AM   #2
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Default Re: [Low Tech] TL4 Rifles

The max range stat almost never has any bearing on the effective range of a weapon beyond thrown projectiles, and the 1/2D range is isn't typically of great importance either except for anti-armor weapons.

The practical limit on range is how far away you can hit a target with the weapon, not how far it can throw its shot. That relates to the Acc stat, not the range stats.

Of course, the rifles only have 1 point more Acc than the smoothbores for the most part, which isn't exactly helping the case a whole lot.
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Old 10-17-2017, 03:40 AM   #3
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Default Re: [Low Tech] TL4 Rifles

Ulzgoroth make's the key point about range vs. accuracy.

There's also the point that sharp shooters were likely better shots themselves so may have a skill advantage. Ordinary troops without direct experience of firing rifles may just have assumed it was all about the special gucci gun given to the special troops. i.e in terms of what different troops historically thought of each other they weren't all using GURPS LT as shared reference.

And that extra point of acc allows an extra +1 when taking enough aim actions so for an extra second you can bump the advantage up to +2 (which is not unlikely for sharp shooters)

Last edited by Tomsdad; 10-17-2017 at 07:06 AM.
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Old 10-17-2017, 06:25 AM   #4
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Default Re: [Low Tech] TL4 Rifles

Rifle men were better trained. In some instances to wear a special uniform (Beginning of 19th Century) and to shoot from hidden positions. Also use small unit tactics.

Rifles were slower to load due to the muzzle load and rifling. Given the black powder propellant and similar bore sizes with the exception of rifling then there is not much difference in range. With basic iron sights and on the rifling to improve accuracy it is hardly surprising that there is little difference in game terms.

However, it was not just a good shooter and a rifle. It was also the concealment and ability to get into position to target officers. In some armies this would be called into question because how dare a common soldier be allowed to kill an officer?

The trade was for the Baker Rifle to have half the shots per minute but to twice the effective range of a Brown Bess. ROF 2:4 and Range 200:100 respectively.
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Old 10-17-2017, 06:35 AM   #5
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Default Re: [Low Tech] TL4 Rifles

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ulzgoroth View Post
Of course, the rifles only have 1point more Acc than the smoothbores for the most part, which isn't exactly helping the case a whole lot.
While +1 Acc doesn't sound like a lot, the extra +1 to hit translates to a 50% increase in the range at which you can effectively hit a target (whatever the definition of "effective" might be). See the Speed/Range table, and notice what happens to the "Linear Measurement" when you move up one line. That would be a pretty noticeable effect for the soldiers on a battlefield.
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Old 10-17-2017, 07:50 AM   #6
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Default Re: [Low Tech] TL4 Rifles

training is everything.

I'm not saying that the musket troops weren't trained. I'm saying they were trained in different skills. Like how to reload quickly to increase the rate of fire, and how to use the bayonet. At close range, riffle troops will be crushed by the rate of fire or a bayonet charge.
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Old 10-17-2017, 09:01 AM   #7
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Default Re: [Low Tech] TL4 Rifles

Quote:
Originally Posted by Xakaz View Post
Hello! I'm slightly confused on Range characteristics of TL4 rifles in Low Tech...
To a certain extent, the folks above are correct. Also, this is something of a GURPS modeling problem - ranged weapons, Acc (and other stuff) are set up to be more "adventury" and less "military."

However, I have had good results just using the following tweak:
Muskets have no Acc past their half damage range.

Originally worked out here.
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Old 10-17-2017, 01:36 PM   #8
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Default Re: [Low Tech] TL4 Rifles

Quote:
Originally Posted by ericthered View Post
training is everything.

I'm not saying that the musket troops weren't trained. I'm saying they were trained in different skills. Like how to reload quickly to increase the rate of fire, and how to use the bayonet. At close range, riffle troops will be crushed by the rate of fire or a bayonet charge.
Training is a lot, but doctrine is a thing too.

Rifle troops tasked as sharpshooters would pick individual targets, and aim as well as their equipment allowed before firing, because that's how sharpshooting works.

Line infantry with smoothbores were at least sometimes trained not to pick individual targets at all, let alone carefully aim at them, since their purpose as shooters could be characterized as being a low-tech training and loading mechanism in a huge multibarrel weapon.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anaraxes View Post
While +1 Acc doesn't sound like a lot, the extra +1 to hit translates to a 50% increase in the range at which you can effectively hit a target (whatever the definition of "effective" might be). See the Speed/Range table, and notice what happens to the "Linear Measurement" when you move up one line. That would be a pretty noticeable effect for the soldiers on a battlefield.
Yeah, but depending where 'effective' is being defined, shooting without that +1 may not be that big a drop in effectiveness.

Shooting at an 11 instead of a 12 or even a 9 instead of a 10 isn't a hopeless exercise, especially if you've numbers on your side.
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Old 10-18-2017, 02:31 AM   #9
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Default Re: [Low Tech] TL4 Rifles

Accuracy seems to have never been a priority except for specialist sharpshooters. Firearms have been getting more and more accurate over the centuries but, if you look at various battles over those same centuries, the number of shots fired per enemy casualty progressively gets worse, not better. It seems that the main priority has always been to send as much lead at the enemy as possible and forget about accuracy. A TL4-TL5 musketman would be trained to load and fire as quickly as possible, not to shoot accurately. The only real instruction in accuracy they receive is being told to "aim low".
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Last edited by DanHoward; 10-18-2017 at 02:40 AM.
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Old 10-18-2017, 03:21 AM   #10
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Default Re: [Low Tech] TL4 Rifles

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ulzgoroth View Post
Training is a lot, but doctrine is a thing too.

Rifle troops tasked as sharpshooters would pick individual targets, and aim as well as their equipment allowed before firing, because that's how sharpshooting works.

Line infantry with smoothbores were at least sometimes trained not to pick individual targets at all, let alone carefully aim at them, since their purpose as shooters could be characterized as being a low-tech training and loading mechanism in a huge multibarrel weapon.
Yep, which I think illustrates why a point about musket men thinking about rifle men picking individuals off is more a point about different ethos around effective fire rather than "those chaps get a+1 rifle it's not fair"

Muskets fired at blocks of troops. You wouldn't know who you had hit, and you'd certainly never know who had hit you. It was also pretty much an established part of formation battle. You move close enough to fire effectively and you fire as quickly as you can in volleys until one side breaks, retires or advances into direct contact.

Rifle men though don't do that. Not only do they act differently, they look and form up differently. The pick who they shoot, and those picked may well realise that they got picked to be shot by those rifle men who aren't standing in a nice tight formation and getting shot back at by you and you mates.

That is very demoralising, competing volley fire you can at least comfort yourself in know your hurting them while they hurt you and if you are better at it or stick it out for longer you come out on top. Riflemen less so. Similarly look at attitudes to enemy snipers which are just the trh rifleman concept taken further.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anaraxes View Post
While +1 Acc doesn't sound like a lot, the extra +1 to hit translates to a 50% increase in the range at which you can effectively hit a target (whatever the definition of "effective" might be). See the Speed/Range table, and notice what happens to the "Linear Measurement" when you move up one line. That would be a pretty noticeable effect for the soldiers on a battlefield.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ulzgoroth View Post
Yeah, but depending where 'effective' is being defined, shooting without that +1 may not be that big a drop in effectiveness.

Shooting at an 11 instead of a 12 or even a 9 instead of a 10 isn't a hopeless exercise, especially if you've numbers on your side.
Thing is as per above it not just a matter of raw bonuses. If nothing else the musket men firing at a formation of troops should be getting some favorable target SM* mods that may level the playing field here in terms of hitting their chosen target!



*although I know which rules to best show a formation shooting at a formation has come up before in threads here

Last edited by Tomsdad; 10-18-2017 at 07:05 AM.
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