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Old 02-17-2020, 09:29 AM   #11
Join Date: Mar 2016
Default Re: The Utility of Very High Vehicle Skills in Combat

Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
Eh, using realistic rules, Dodge doesn't really help against attacks you don't see launched (you Dodge away from the spot being aimed for, you don't actually Dodge bullets), so it wouldn't work against lots of machine guns and mortars at 800+ yards.

Plus, the attacks that kill the would probably be mortar rounds or machine gun fire not aimed at them directly, but just happening to hit them because they were within the beaten zone slash target area.
Realistic games also don't have characters with Driving skill of 24, but I'll admit I could just be making an assumption here.
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Old 02-17-2020, 09:57 AM   #12
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Luxembourg
Default Re: The Utility of Very High Vehicle Skills in Combat

Originally Posted by AlexanderHowl View Post
Here is a fun thought scenario. You are an American expatriate fighting with the French in WW II in May 1940. You are on patrol on a WW II heavy motorcycle with a sidecar that contains a gunner and an Enfield Bren Mk. 1 (total +0 Handling/+3 Stability). You have heard over the radio that the Germans have broken through the French defensive line and are heading towards Paris, and your company is in the way. Your commander requests that you delay the Germans as much as possible so that the rest of the company can retreat to defend Paris.

Your character possesses a DX 12 [40], IQ 12 [40], Combat Reflexes [15], Driver's Reflexes 4 (with the Alternative Benefit of +1 Per/level to notice hazards) [20], and Driving (Motorcycle) (A) DX+12 [32]-24. We will say that the passenger possesses DX 12 [40], Combat Reflexes [15], Fast-Load (Ammo) (E) DX+4 [8]-16, and Guns (LMG) (E) DX+4 [12]-16. For the sake of the argument, we will say that the team possesses a full load in the weapon and nine reloads.

What type of stunts could you accomplish with such a vehicle skill? How much would you contribute to the pair's combat effectiveness? How effective would such a pair be against a standard WW II German infantry company? Could they meaningfully delay such a company?
The Schützenkompanie is moving toward Paris .. so they are on the road, either in trucks (kfz 70 I guess) or on motorcycle (I think at the time it was 2 companies on truck, one on motorcycle, but I can be mistaken.)

So, hit and run using your driving-24 to break through the line, and you can likely disrupt the column with relative impunity - at least at first.
Your shooter is not skilled enough to snipe the ennemy drivers reliably while you do so, however.

I would advice heading straight for the head truck, stop on a dime, spray the driver with bullets, go around, do the same with the second and third truck, then get away, do some maneuvering, and attack the back of the column for a bit more chaos.

By the time they clear the road, you will have gained some time.

Mortar and LMG won't be a concern at first, but if the trucks are top-open, you risk a hail of mp40 fire - one bullet is enough to end you and there will be lots of bullets flying. And soon after, they will get the mg34s in battery on the trucks and you will be finished if you come back - even driving-24 won't save you from crossfire from multiples LMG.
Of course, if you keep circling close enough that they hear you (and occasionnaly catch a glimpse), they may decide to stop and setup a defense position and deploy the HMGs/mortars - delay achieved, now run away !

If they are on motorcycle ... now the fun start !
On the positive side, you are free from the hail of machine gun fire from the truck platform. On the negative side, there are a lot of vehicles to dodge and you will likely get trapped sooner or later, especially with a sidecar.

Either way, time to play Indiana Jones :)

Last edited by Celjabba; 02-17-2020 at 10:57 AM.
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Old 02-17-2020, 10:14 AM   #13
Join Date: Jun 2013
Default Re: The Utility of Very High Vehicle Skills in Combat

Originally Posted by Icelander View Post

The pair would die within seconds regardless of individual skill.

In order for small units of skilled specialists to have a chance to delay a much larger force, they have to be able to survive engagement by the organic heavy weapons attached to the larger force. At any kind of modern TL, that means stealth and camouflage, because anything that can be seen can be killed.

A moving vehicle effectively prevents the use of cover, concealment and camouflage. It's useful for escaping contact, which is what the pair should immediately do, but it's the wrong equipment for snipers or forward observers in a situation where they need to lay down or call in harassing fire.
Yeah, this. If you can somehow ambush them in something like a canyon (which I suspect there's a lack of on the road to Paris), you might be able to use your wicked driving skills to keep yourself mostly in cover, with your rider spraying them with bullets during the brief times you emerge from it. After a brief bit of chaos, however, so long as they have a modicum of discipline and a halfway-decent leader, even if they can't figure out where you are by sound they can just arrange themselves so there are several guns pointing in each direction you could come from, and as soon as you emerge they'll open fire. You'd probably get a solid kill ratio, but you'll end up dead and won't have significantly slowed them down. If you can successfully figure out when they adopt such an arrangement, you can cease your attack then, and wait for them to start moving again. Once they do, you could harass them from time to time to slow them down. You'll eventually get unlucky and catch a bullet, but you may well delay them for hours with this tactic. A dense urban area could also be workable; possibly set up some ramps beforehand so you can launch yourself into the air and attack from unexpected angles.

If you need to attack them on a relatively open road, which is probably the most likely case, unless they're advancing at night you're too visible to survive for more than a few moments. Dodge 13 is exceptional, and your effective range (once taking into account speed) is going to penalize them, but sheer volume of fire is going to mean you, your passenger, and your vehicle are going to catch some bullets in short order. If they are advancing at night, you're going to need to work with your lights off, making it difficult to avoid any debris or similar (which you'll have to deal with, as you'll need to mostly stay off the road), but your exceptional Driving skill should be able to manage that just fine. The confusion may result in some friendly-fire incidents, but eventually they'll take you down, even if they have to guess where you are by the sound of your motorcycle.
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Old 02-17-2020, 11:47 AM   #14
Join Date: Jun 2016
Default Re: The Utility of Very High Vehicle Skills in Combat

If the pair also have good navigation, they might save the day by getting orders to the relief forces as fast as physically possible, driving over rough terrain at speeds that would pulverize lesser drivers. Historically, the French defense around Belgium was poorly coordinated at least partly because the local commander refused to trust radio transmissions and sent all his orders by motorcycle courier.

Last edited by clu2415; 02-17-2020 at 12:54 PM.
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dogfight, vehicle combat

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