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Old 12-13-2009, 05:07 PM   #1
Green-Neck
 
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Default Reality Check: guns (lmg) and Gunner (mg)

It seems odd to me that there is no default between Guns (LMG) and Gunner (MG).

Here is an example to elucidate:

It's 1970 in Vietnam; and our hero - Corporal Magnus Magnuson [DX 10] - is protecting a famous table tennis player [DX 14] during a demonstration match.
They are attacked by 20 NVA soldiers, all with AK47's.
Magnus fires his M60 at the attackers (and with skill 18 in Guns (LMG) he hits quite a few). Magnus gets the table tennis player into a bunker where he conveniently finds an M60 compatible tripod set up facing the right way, with good sandbag cover. Happy, he sets up his M60 on the tripod. His effective skill [Guns (LMG) 18, +1 for ROF] of 19 now drops to 7, as the skill required changes from Guns [LMG] to Gunner [MG] ; with no default to the guns skill it results in DX-4, HT134.
He does however get +1 to hit for the tripod, bringing his effective skill to 8.
The table tennis player, who has never seen a real gun before - shoves Magnus aside and fires the M60 [with a default of DX-4 = 10, +1 braced, +1 ROF =12 to hit].

Now the sportsman is a better shot than our commando hero?!
Perhaps Magnus deserves a default of Guns -4?
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Last edited by Green-Neck; 12-13-2009 at 05:09 PM. Reason: page ref added
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Old 12-13-2009, 05:58 PM   #2
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Default Re: Reality Check: guns (lmg) and Gunner (mg)

Agreed.
In this example, he should simply take a -2 unfamiliarity if he isn't familiar with tripods.
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Old 12-13-2009, 06:40 PM   #3
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Default Re: Reality Check: guns (lmg) and Gunner (mg)

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Originally Posted by Tema69 View Post
Agreed.
In this example, he should simply take a -2 unfamiliarity if he isn't familiar with tripods.
Particularly with this example, since even though it's on a tripod, Cpl Magnuson still puts the stock to his shoulder, aims, and pulls the trigger.

How about if it were a M2 machine gun, that is fired with both hands on the rear of the weapon?
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Old 12-13-2009, 06:55 PM   #4
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Default Re: Reality Check: guns (lmg) and Gunner (mg)

thanks for your replies.
So Magnus' skill should be reduced to 6 [unfamiliar -2] and perhaps our table tennis player to 8 [unfamiliar -4]?
Even if the sportman penalty should be worse [-6 to-10?] Magnus' skill has still dropped from 19 to 6.
Thats effectivly a -12 penalty for connecting his gun to a tripod.
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Old 12-13-2009, 07:18 PM   #5
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Default Re: Reality Check: guns (lmg) and Gunner (mg)

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Originally Posted by Green-Neck View Post
thanks for your replies.
So Magnus' skill should be reduced to 6 [unfamiliar -2] and perhaps our table tennis player to 8 [unfamiliar -4]?
If he doesn't use the traversing and elevation device on the tripod, I would just allow a -2 fam penalty on his Guns LMG skill. It doesn't seem that different than using a bipod.
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Old 12-13-2009, 08:45 PM   #6
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Default Re: Reality Check: guns (lmg) and Gunner (mg)

I hate to take issue with GURPS' wording, since the people who make it peruse here, but I'll risk it since I think that's where the issue's coming from;

Guns (LMG): Any machine-gun fired from the hip or a bi-pod.

Gunner (Machine Gun) : Any kind of heavy projectile weapon capable of firing bursts.

If Magnus is hauling his LMG around, then you'd use LMG skill. Period. No penalties even, since it's just braced on the tripod; I doubt not needing to hold it himself is going to put too much strain on his ability to use it. Gunner skill seems to be for guns too heavy to hold (except that rig in HT, the hand-held GAU). In that case, using an HMG with gunner skill, I don't see a reason for Magnus to be better (or maybe even as good) as the ping-pong guy, since both are inexperienced with it and the ping-pong guy is simply better biologically. After all, game-wise, Magnus would have the soldier skill, and could roll against that for using the HMG. I don't think the mechanic has to be changed.
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Old 12-13-2009, 09:03 PM   #7
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Default Re: Reality Check: guns (lmg) and Gunner (mg)

Thanks Ubiqitous for your reply.

HT 134 specifically states that he must use the Gunner [MG] skill with his M60 if it's attached to a tripod, and Guns [LMG] to fire unattached.

Skill: Gunner
'This is the ability to use a heavy weapon, usually one mounted on a tripod or vehicle. BS 198

Skill: Guns [LMG]
Guns (LMG): Any machine-gun fired from the hip or a bi-pod. BS 199.

The intention of differing skills seems to me to be about whether the gun is mounted or not.
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Old 12-13-2009, 09:27 PM   #8
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Default Re: Reality Check: guns (lmg) and Gunner (mg)

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Originally Posted by Green-Neck View Post
Thanks Ubiqitous for your reply.
I can't tell inflection on the internet; I dunno if you're thanking me sincerely or if you're being sarcastic; I dun blame you for the second one, because I think putting 'period' in my post was a little forceful. Sorry about that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Green-Neck View Post
HT 134 specifically states that he must use the Gunner [MG] skill with his M60 if it's attached to a tripod, and Guns [LMG] to fire unattached.

Skill: Gunner
'This is the ability to use a heavy weapon, usually one mounted on a tripod or vehicle. BS 198

Skill: Guns [LMG]
Guns (LMG): Any machine-gun fired from the hip or a bi-pod. BS 199.

The intention of differing skills seems to me to be about whether the gun is mounted or not.
I think GURPS' writers did a bad job of explaining it, I'll put it bluntly.

Most of the LMGs I see on HT, if not all, are guns that can be hand-held and fired like rifled; they have a stock. Mounting on Tri-pods is optional, but not necessary; certainly effective WITHOUT being mounted.

HMGs in HT though, are all guns with rear-grips. No stock, no real practical way that I can see to fire them unless you're manlier than the average man. Gunner seems to me to mean guns that MUST be mounted.

I don't see the reason to differentiate the skills myself, but I'm sure GURPS has a reason.

EDIT: Basically, if you put a sniper rifle on a tri-pod, you don't turn it into Gunner: Cannon, you just collect your bonuses for bracing and such (right? If that's not how it works I'll look pretty foolish). I don't see a reason to outsource Guns (LMG) for Gunner: Machinegun for the same reason.

Last edited by Ubiquitous; 12-13-2009 at 09:30 PM.
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Old 12-13-2009, 09:42 PM   #9
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Default Re: Reality Check: guns (lmg) and Gunner (mg)

No sarcasm here... happy to get any and all comments!

Note some guns without stock [ie. colt 1895, HT 137] are designed to be used mounted, but stats are also given for firing from the hip [ST17, Bulk -7].
It would make sense to me to use LMG skill for this use.
You can also fire a Maxim 1-lb autocannon from the hip... you just need ST 31! [I can smell a TL5 fantasy campaign in that!].
I would use LMG skill for that too, given it just a matter of scale and mass.
I would limit the use of indirect fire though... unless the user had gunner or artillery skill, which - I belive - rightly has no default to guns.
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Old 12-13-2009, 09:49 PM   #10
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Default Re: Reality Check: guns (lmg) and Gunner (mg)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Green-Neck View Post
No sarcasm here... happy to get any and all comments!

Note some guns without stock [ie. colt 1895, HT 137] are designed to be used mounted, but stats are also given for firing from the hip [ST17, Bulk -7].
It would make sense to me to use LMG skill for this use.
You can also fire a Maxim 1-lb autocannon from the hip... you just need ST 31! [I can smell a TL5 fantasy campaign in that!].
I would use LMG skill for that too, given it just a matter of scale and mass.
I would limit the use of indirect fire though... unless the user had gunner or artillery skill, which - I belive - rightly has no default to guns.
Well, to be honest I was gonna say; ANYTHING is hip-fired, it's just a question of ST.

I think the skill in LMG should extend to mounted LMGs, and normally uncarriable guns should depose to Gunner: Machine Gun.
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