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Old 03-30-2017, 10:36 AM   #41
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Default Re: [High-Tech] Military Equipment: Global War on Terror edition

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Originally Posted by Michael Thayne View Post
I think this is a fairly standard feature of combat aircraft—existing canonical write-ups omit it, so I'm doing so as well, but sure, it's worth noting.
Actually this is pretty much unique. Very, very few aircraft are as heavily and comprehensively armoured as the A-10A. Only the Sukhoi Su-25 series comes even close.

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Old 03-30-2017, 10:38 AM   #42
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Default Re: [High-Tech] Military Equipment: Global War on Terror edition

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The same PDF also has stats for the M230. Includes proposed handling of HEDP ammo, as well as alternate "API" (armor-piercing incendiary). The damage on the latter seems low—no better than .50 caliber weapons. Maybe someone else can defend it though?
The 30×113mmB is pretty anaemic. It has not enough punch for API to be effective. The HEDP round follows the rules in High-Tech.

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Old 03-30-2017, 10:40 AM   #43
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Default Re: [High-Tech] Military Equipment: Global War on Terror edition

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my take is that in game terms the M1's gun appears to be very close to the T-72's.
There is a write-up of the Rheinmetall Rh120, the German original of the M256 cannon, in our old Pyramid article “Heavy Metal: Four 20th Century Tanks for GURPS” (22-DEC-2000).

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Old 03-30-2017, 10:51 AM   #44
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Default Re: [High-Tech] Military Equipment: Global War on Terror edition

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Originally Posted by Fred Brackin View Post
Modern naval vessels don't tend to have that many guns. They almost certainly have computer targeting for the one or two guns they do have.
Fires are often massed, and computer fire direction is fire direction.
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Old 03-30-2017, 11:53 AM   #45
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Default Re: [High-Tech] Military Equipment: Global War on Terror edition

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Originally Posted by HANS View Post
Actually this is pretty much unique. Very, very few aircraft are as heavily and comprehensively armoured as the A-10A. Only the Sukhoi Su-25 series comes even close.

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I stand corrected. I'd misremembered something I'd heard about the A-10 as applying to other fighters. Thanks.
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Old 03-30-2017, 12:27 PM   #46
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Default Re: [High-Tech] Military Equipment: Global War on Terror edition

Handling smart bombs: the guided and homing weapons covered in High-Tech are mostly designed to either score a direct hit (anti-tank warheads) or explode after coming within a set distance of the target (anti-air warheads). From my research, larger "smart bombs" appear to be much less accurate. It's not clear what rules are appropriate for handling them, but nothing in the homing rules prevents giving homing weapons negative Acc. So for these weapons, use the negative square root of CEP (circular error probable), e.g. -4 for a JDAM under GPS guidance or -6 for a JDAM under inertial guidance.

Update: Actually, I don't think negative Acc works under the homing rules. More like the weapon attacks with a skill of 10-square root of CEP (circular error probable), e.g. 6 for a JDAM under GPS guidance or 4 for a JDAM under inertial guidance. Unsure what a failed operator skill roll ought to mean—for laser-guided and radar-guided warheads, using normal rules for hitting the wrong target (with e.g. the laser) followed by a low-skill attack roll on that target probably makes sense. For GPS navigation or similar, a possible approach is subtracting margin of failure from the main attack roll, with critical failure indicating a something disastrous like accidentally bombing a hospital, but at this point I'm just making things up—I have no idea what the second-percentile worst-case scenario for smart munitions is.

Last edited by Michael Thayne; 03-30-2017 at 02:57 PM.
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Old 03-30-2017, 12:58 PM   #47
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Default Re: [High-Tech] Military Equipment: Global War on Terror edition

Final post on US equipment for the time being. Future posts will focus on equipment used by the opposition.

The main cluster bombs used by the US appear to all use the same sub-munition, a "combined effects bomb". If similar to HEDP, we might be looking at something similar to the M72's HEDP option (6dx2(10) cr ex with 6dx2 [3d+1] cr ex linked). According to Wikipedia, they use parachute-like devices to spread out; presumably this also helps them land pointed in the correct direction for the shaped charge to actually be effective. Number and dispersal depends on the weapon being used to deliver them.
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Old 03-30-2017, 01:17 PM   #48
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Default Re: [High-Tech] Military Equipment: Global War on Terror edition

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Last US vehicle I'll do for awhile—one without which no 2017 motor pool would be without:

MQ-1 Predator Drone

ST/HP: 42
Hnd/SR: +1/3
HT: 10f
Move: 3/67
SM: +4
Occ: 0
DR: 3
Range: 675
Loc.: WrWiX
Stall: 31

Acceleration is a guess based on canonical stats for other TL8 propeller-driven aircraft. Weapons are Stinger missiles, Hellfire missiles, and the AGM-176 Griffin, which has a 140mm warhead, probably 6dx8 [7d] cr ex, with a range of 22,000 yards (not sure about speed).
Hah! I was just about to ask about Griffin missiles, as there is a non-zero chance that a sufficiently bad outcome for our PC heroes in the next adventure will result in Griffins being targeted at their location.

Hmmm... if that were to happen, Speed sounds like an important stat to have. And, for that matter, the Size Modifier of the missile... :-)
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Old 03-30-2017, 05:11 PM   #49
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Default Re: [High-Tech] Military Equipment: Global War on Terror edition

Okay, now let's talk about the militant groups of the Middle East. They tend to rely on captured military equipment, and since many of the countries they operate in are former allies of the Soviet Union (and in Syria's case, a current ally of Russia), they tend to wind up with a lot of Soviet/Russian hardware. The breakup of the Soviet Union also led to unscrupulous military officers selling weapons to smugglers, who then sold them to militant groups, though this seems to have been a more important factor in sub-Saharan Africa.

The fact that many Soviet designs are currently manufactured in many different countries makes them useful for countries that want to covertly arm insurgent groups. Even the United States has provided Syrian rebels with Soviet designs (though this may have been motivated more by a desire to avoid giving away any proprietary technology).

Middle Eastern militant groups are by no means limited to Soviet weapons. They've been reported to have used an amazing variety of weapons, usually acquired by capture, and in some cases provided deliberately—think the United States' fateful decision to arm Osama bin Laden in the 1980s when he was fighting the Soviets.

Wikipedia's article on Military equipment of ISIL is unusually thorough, so I'm going to focus on them. The Wikipedia article has a lengthy list of Soviet weapons reportedly used by ISIS, as well as a number of Eastern European and Chinese designs that fire the same cartridges and should probably be treated as indistinguishable from an AK-47, AKM, or AK-74 for game purposes. Several Western assault rifles are also listed: the M16 (and its Chinese copy the Norinco CQ), the M4, the FN FAL, and the H&K G3. All of these are covered by High-Tech.

Three sniper rifles from High-Tech are listed: Izhmash SVD, M14 EBR, Mosin-Nagant PV-1891 (I thought this last one was a mistake at first, but it really does seem to still be in use today). Not listed in High-Tech or Tactical-Shooting are the Romanian PSL and the Chinese M99. The former can probably be treated as an Izhmash SVD for game purposes. Reports of the latter being used by ISIS are disputed, but for GMs who want to include it, it appears to be similar to the Barrett M82, but is lighter (26 lbs.), has a magazine that only holds 5 rounds, and maybe has a 10% shorter range.

At this point, you should be seeing a pattern (namely "everything and its Romanian-made cousin"), so I'm going to skip over the machine guns and pistols too look at the heavy weapons. There are IEDs of course, which Kromm covers very well here. There are, of course, RPG-7s, and standard hand grenades of both Soviet and US designs. But there's also the RPG-43 (which High-Tech might have made you think was no longer in use), the ASG-17, the RPG-22 (apparently similar to the RPG-18 in High-Tech), the RPG-29 (apparently similar to the best RPG-7 warheads listed in High-Tech), and the M79 Osa (again apparently similar to the RPG-18).

That's enough for now. In future posts, I'll go into detail on guided and homing missiles (yes ISIS has them), as well as vehicles.

Last edited by Michael Thayne; 04-03-2017 at 05:28 PM.
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Old 03-30-2017, 07:52 PM   #50
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Default Re: [High-Tech] Military Equipment: Global War on Terror edition

Heavy weapons:

There are disputed reports that ISIS has captured Stinger missiles from the Iraqi Army; it's not clear to me whether the US has actually provided Stinger missiles to the Iraqi Army at all. It seems ISIS definitely does have Soviet analogs of the Stinger. The oldest Soviet MANPADS captured by ISIS may have Acc 3 (as opposed to Acc 4 that High-Tech assigns to the FIM-92A Stinger). ISIS has captured TOW missile launchers originally intended for Syrian rebels.

ISIS is even reported to have captured much larger surface-to-air missile launchers, the Soviet S-125. These do 6dx30 [3dx6] damage and have a 22 mile range. I'm unclear on accuracy and speed.

In addition to missile launchers, ISIS is reported to have captured a wide range of Soviet-made cannons and autocannons.

The ZU-23-2 antiaircraft gun is possibly similar to the 23mm autocannon in "Dogfight Action!" Many others are very old designs, in some cases dating back to WWII, meaning their stats can be converted from 3e WWII sourcebooks. For example, 85mm D-44 appears to be essentially the same as the 85mm tank cannon in GURPS WWII (minus the tank). Acc 5, Range 1,600/6,400, RoF 1/3. If this formula for converting 3e to 4e explosive damage is correct, HE warhead will do 5dx2 [6d] cr ex damage. This PDF also has some of the artillery in Wikipedia's list.

One gun I'm not sure how to come up with stats for is the AZP S-60: a 57mm antiaircraft gun. It's unusual enough to go on my list of "things to return to if I find the time".

Irregular forces like ISIS often rely heavily on "technicals" or improvised fighting vehicles. A very common approach seems to be to put some kind of heavy weaponry in the bed of a pickup truck. ISIS is also reported to have captured large numbers of humvees, and smaller numbers of other military vehicles.

Those other vehicles include Soviet BMPs (see above PDF) and T-55s (similar to the T-54, found in the same PDF), as well as BRDM-2s and T-72s (both found in High-Tech). There's also the M21 Grad, found in this PDF (again linked in a previous post). ISIS has even reported to have captured one or two M1 Abrams'—if these were captured from the Iraqi Army, they may have inferior armor to the ones operated by the US.

ISIS has captured a small number of combat aircraft, including a fair number of fighters in the MiG family, but it appears that few if any are still operational (the Syrian Air Force claims to have shot down two of the MiGs). More common will be civilian drones (e.g. quadcopters) converted for bombing and surveillance use—the upper end in terms of explosive damage is probably around 6dx2 [3d] cr ex, probably delivered at a speed of 10ish yards per second.
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