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Old 03-02-2019, 10:19 AM   #371
Icelander
 
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Default Re: Waffen-SS Gebirgsjäger Flak Defences

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Originally Posted by johndallman View Post
OK, put the MG-FFs and the MK 108 on rooftops, at corners so that they can cover some directions with depressed fire. Tracer ammunition will be advantageous: it makes attackers try to dodge, which spoils their aim, as well as helping the gunners.

The easy way to keep the guns on roofs warm is to put them in collapsible huts which enclose them completely, and give them a warm-air shaft up through the roof. to keep the hut warm. It will require a few seconds to collapse the huts and free the guns to fire, but it's worth it. This assumes that alerts which may require firing the guns are fairly rare, but given the danger level of the opposition that is around, that seems likely. If they were getting attacked every day, the ASN position would be unsustainable.
Yeah, attacks are very rare.

When the ASNs first got there, they fought several pitched battles with ghouls and nightgaunts. As neither species is more than TL0, the company of SS-Totenkopf stormtroopers and platoon of Gebirgsjäger masscred anyone dumb enough to show themselves. Sure, several MG42 jammed in the cold and even the K98k rifles had trouble until they could set up heated facilities, but the ASNs could keep their weapons firing enough to break any attempt to rush them, especially as the nightgaunts and ghouls didn't even understand spears or missile weapons at the start of the expedition.

In six months, the ghouls and nightgaunts have gotten smarter and occasionally use thrown icicles or the odd rock, but those are still pretty pitiful weapons against guns, especially when the most exposed gunners are Kadavergehorsam stormtroopers who know no fear, boredom, fatigue or mercy, not to mention that they have an uncanny ability to sense heat and life even in total darkness and seem to share some kind of hive mentality so that if even one detects a threat, they can all engage it.

Amfortas, supported by some ASN ground troops, has engaged in warfare at the edge of the Plateau of Leng, both against the Men of Leng (before reaching an accomodation) and against the White Riders. There, they faced skyships, shantaks and vile beasts in the air and were able to come up with intelligence estimates of their threat levels against Kadath Base.

In actual fact, however, no flying beast comes closer to the gate pillar than a couple of kilometers and no skyship has ever been spotted anywhere near it. The mountains at the highest point of the Plateau of Leng seem taboo to all locals aside from the ghouls, nightgaunts and shantaks that live there.

It's probably been a month since a shantak last flew close enough to the gate pillar for the alarm to be raised and even then, he most likely shied off as soon as an SS-Totenkopf trooper tried for him at extreme range with a shouldered PzB 39 AT rifle. Which would have been long before any human eye could spot it in the darkness.

The threats that mostly occupy the defence force are ghouls or nightgaunts trying to find new routes through the infinite maze of tunnels to be able to rush the living quarters without having to cross the killing zones and prepared defences. Which they haven't managed yet, but they probably run into patrols and checkpoints on at least a weekly basis. So far, the ASNs have gotten the best of such incidents.

The stormtroopers might be less-than-human in many vital ways, but they retain their hard-won soldiering skills and many of them fought through one or even both World Wars as front line infantry. Combine that with a hive mind, magical senses and the ability to drive their bodies far beyond biological limits and even Lovecraftian horrors have learned to fear them.

There are at least twenty stormtroopers there who learned their trade in the trenches of WWI, spent the years between wars in various Freikorps or in brown shirts brawling as part of Weimar politics and then fought throughout WWII as senior NCOs in infantry units, many on the Eastern Front. They may have died defending Berlin in 1945, but it's hardly slowed them down and they've been fighting posthumously the last fifty years. Sure, they might be a bit hazy on a few things about their former mortal lives, but their military skills are mostly preserved.

Even the 'younger' stormtroopers mostly have extensive service in WWII, come from elite infantry units and are trained for shock action. There are Kadavergehorsam stormtroopers who were a later addition to the SS-Sturmkampfgruppe Totenkopf than the original WWII veterans, but very few of them were sent to Kadath, if only because the company that was sent was supposed to include only veterans of winter warfare, which generally meant either Alpine or Eastern Front service.

Sure, as Kadavergehorsamer they are extremely dull-witted, simple and blunt, but they're more Idiot-Savant than traditional unthinking undead. And anything that has to do with killing the living falls under the Savant part, at least if infantry shock tactics are involved.
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Old 03-02-2019, 07:12 PM   #372
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Default Re: Waffen-SS Gebirgsjäger Flak Defences

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Incidentally, the MK 108 is quite a low-velocity weapon, so it isn't powerful in that sense. However, its shells have a lot of explosive.
That's why I suggested it - it's quite light, has relatively low recoil force, but the HE shells were big (and thin cased so they packed a lot of HE), even for a 30mm shell. Those shells would count as SAPHEC (HT169), with no major fragmentation, so they'll need direct hits to do major damage, but a direct hit would seriously hurt anything of normal flesh-and-blood (and also aircraft, civilian cars, and so on).

EDIT: A check online gives the shells as containing 85g of RDX, which would give the follow-up explosion as: 6d cr ex. That's a pretty massive explosion for a fairly light cannon, especially as the damage is tripled (for hitting the vitals) if the shell penetrates first. I'm not sure how much kinetic damage the shell would have - the shell had a bit over double the energy of MG151/20 shells, but also a bit over double the cross-sectional area, which would imply similar penetration.
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Old 03-03-2019, 07:12 AM   #373
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Default Re: Waffen-SS Gebirgsjäger Flak Defences

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That's why I suggested it - it's quite light, has relatively low recoil force, but the HE shells were big (and thin cased so they packed a lot of HE), even for a 30mm shell. Those shells would count as SAPHEC (HT169), with no major fragmentation, so they'll need direct hits to do major damage, but a direct hit would seriously hurt anything of normal flesh-and-blood (and also aircraft, civilian cars, and so on).

EDIT: A check online gives the shells as containing 85g of RDX, which would give the follow-up explosion as: 6d cr ex. That's a pretty massive explosion for a fairly light cannon, especially as the damage is tripled (for hitting the vitals) if the shell penetrates first. I'm not sure how much kinetic damage the shell would have - the shell had a bit over double the energy of MG151/20 shells, but also a bit over double the cross-sectional area, which would imply similar penetration.
Cool, thanks for the stats. In 3e, the MG151/20 and MK 108 indeed had the same penetration, i.e. 5dx3(0.5) pi++, and differed mostly in explosive damage. The MK 108 probably ought to have a lower Acc than higher velocity autocannons, as it was seldom used at longer ranges than 300 yds or so, due to the low muzzle velocity.

In light of the fact that the MK 108 autocannon is by far the most effective weapon against an attack by a hostile skyship, it would be extremely desirable if the weapon could shoot in all directions, from the highest point around, i.e. the gate pillar.

Is that something that would be possible?

I realize that there are practical problems attendant on placing a weapon high up where the airship if meant to be moored, but if it is at all possible, it would probably be something the garrison would want to try.
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Old 03-03-2019, 10:00 AM   #374
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Could you refresh us on your working assumptions about the top of the pillar and the other installations there? Having a small FlAK platform hanging off the side of the pillar might work although wind will be a problem, and I doubt that the carriage would have to be so much bigger than a carriage for the Gebirgsflak 20 mm.
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Old 03-03-2019, 10:15 AM   #375
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Default Re: Waffen-SS Gebirgsjäger Flak Defences

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Mount 2 cm flak guns on the points at the left and right of the diagram. Don't try to put a weapon on the point at the top of the diagram, because that's where the airship mooring mast is, and if the airship is there, it's just too easy to shoot it by accident.
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In light of the fact that the MK 108 autocannon is by far the most effective weapon against an attack by a hostile skyship, it would be extremely desirable if the weapon could shoot in all directions, from the highest point around, i.e. the gate pillar.

Is that something that would be possible?

I realize that there are practical problems attendant on placing a weapon high up where the airship if meant to be moored, but if it is at all possible, it would probably be something the garrison would want to try.
In that case, put it in the place where I put one of the 2cm flak guns. It doesn't weigh much more than them, and I had forgotten that the pillar was the tallest thing around when I wrote that post.

Don't put a heavy automatic weapon by the airship mooring mast, airships are just too fragile to risk accidental hits, hot cartridge cases flying around, and so on. You may want to put the other flak guns where they can defend the area where the tail of the airship lies, since damaging the airship will be a priority for any attacker who understands what the ASN are doing.
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Old 03-03-2019, 10:24 AM   #376
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Default Re: Antarctic Space Nazis Across the Multiverse

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Could you refresh us on your working assumptions about the top of the pillar and the other installations there? Having a small FlAK platform hanging off the side of the pillar might work although wind will be a problem, and I doubt that the carriage would have to be so much bigger than a carriage for the Gebirgsflak 20 mm.
I think the 20x138mm rounds are technically more powerful (or at least harder recoiling) than the 30x90mm ones, so the Flak 38 guns should actually be bulkier and heavier in an AA mount than the MK 108.

The pillar is about 10 meters in diameter at the top and it's by far the tallest object around, at about 30 meters. In fact, nothing within 200 meters is taller than ten meters or so.

There are some 30+ meter buildings further away, a couple of them starting 210 meters away, side by side. But there's nothing really tall until about a kilometer away, where there are towers that reach 100 meters into the air, but those tower spires are spindly enough so that nothing can effectively be mounted on them without constructing some kind of structure around them.
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Old 03-07-2019, 03:14 AM   #377
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Default Re: Waffen-SS Gebirgsjäger Flak Defences

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In that case, put it in the place where I put one of the 2cm flak guns. It doesn't weigh much more than them, and I had forgotten that the pillar was the tallest thing around when I wrote that post.
Very good.

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Originally Posted by johndallman View Post
Don't put a heavy automatic weapon by the airship mooring mast, airships are just too fragile to risk accidental hits, hot cartridge cases flying around, and so on. You may want to put the other flak guns where they can defend the area where the tail of the airship lies, since damaging the airship will be a priority for any attacker who understands what the ASN are doing.
So, to go over this again, before hopefully playing it out over the weekend:

On the superstructure of the gate pillar, there is a pentagram. We are aiming to put weapons on four out of five points on it, with the fifth point being occupied by the airship mooring mast. Away from the mast (Point 2), the MK 108 would be placed in an elevated mount rising out from a heated hut, which would enable it to shoot in almost all directions.

On the next point of the pentagram (Point 3), one of the Gebirgsflak 38 guns would be mounted similarly, if somewhat lower (it's heavier and recoils harder, not to mention that it would sometimes shoot in direct fire at targets on the ground). Points 1 and 4, i.e. the ones closest to the mooring mast, would be occupied by lighter and more softly recoiling weapons, Point 4 by a MG 42 and Point 1 by a MG FF 20mm autocannon.

On the roof of the 10 meter tall building that is next to the place where the tail of the airship lies, we'll place the other MG FF autocannon and the other Gebirgsflak 38 gun. Also, probably, a couple of MG 42. All of these mounted weapons would be somehow sheltered or heated when not in use, requiring a few seconds or even a minute or two to ready for action.

Does this sound practical?
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Old 03-07-2019, 03:23 PM   #378
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Default Re: Waffen-SS Gebirgsjäger Flak Defences

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So, to go over this again, before hopefully playing it out over the weekend:
That isn't quite what I had in mind, but it's close. The top of the pillar has a lot of machinery on it, to the point that the pentagram may not be obvious.
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Old 03-07-2019, 03:44 PM   #379
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Default Re: Waffen-SS Gebirgsjäger Flak Defences

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That isn't quite what I had in mind, but it's close. The top of the pillar has a lot of machinery on it, to the point that the pentagram may not be obvious.
How would you distribute the guns instead?

If the top of the pillat is too crowded, placing an MK 108 and an MG FF there takes priority over the rest. The two Gebirgsflak 38 guns can be placed on the roofs of lower buildings, they have range to spare, probably beyond any range at which the gunners can spot threats anyway.

I'm not actively trying to kill the PCs if they fly their skyship straight at the gate pillar, but I've got to keep in mind that the most severe threat that the ASNs envision would involve one or more skyships attacking the mooring facilities. So that's what their heavy weapons are meant to stop, with lighter infantry weapons, up to MG 42s, being considered sufficient for ghouls and nightgaunts.
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Old 03-08-2019, 01:27 PM   #380
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Default Re: Waffen-SS Gebirgsjäger Flak Defences

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How would you distribute the guns instead?
Say point 1 is at the top, and they're numbered clockwise from there.

Point 1 has the airship mooring "mast" - it's really more of a pier, sticking out horizontally from the pillar.

Points 2 and 5 have space for two heavy weapons, with no problems.

Point 3 is cramped by the heated hut with the crane on its top. So you put the lift there, and an MG42 in the lift - requiring the lift to carry a heavy weapon all the time is making the engineering pointlessly hard, and you need to defend the lift against ground attackers.

Point 4 can have a heavy weapon if you want. Its sky arc is a bit cramped by the crane, which is why my original plan had another MG42 there.

The crane needs to have a standard parked position that has the job horizontal and pointing away from the centre of the pillar, to cause the minimum possible interference to weapons.
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