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Old 11-04-2009, 01:32 PM   #91
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Default Re: Emerging smokepowder weapons in my fantasy

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First of all, the 1-2-4 entries can be discarded. They correspond to special troops, to few for making a decisive impact in the battlefield.
Fair enough, but note that because of their greater levels of training, those special troops were able to have an impact out of proportion to their size. That is to say, training pays off. And it's no accident that the trend in warfare has been ever greater training and ever more specialised troops.

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3 entry, British light infantry
Light infantry also fought in line, and in that role it was usually superior to the line companies. Training pays off.

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Yes, in the Peninsular campaign they have an edge. But less that it's usually believed-. Most of the British claims of victory are indeed dubious, like La Corua (getting your C-i-C shouted, having to kill all your horses and lossing your artillery), Busaco and Talavera (both followed by a retreat of the supposed winner).
In much of your examples, British troops did not stand line to line and exchange fire. Instead, incompetent generals squandered opportunity or pursued objectives which they had little chance of attaining. In many cases, the strategic plan was nonexistent.

This doesn't change the fact that if a number of British troops was put against an equal number of French ones, the advantage was with the British.

And all of the above battles were victories not because they hammered the enemy, but because they achieved the objectives that the commander set out with. For the most part, they were fought in order to make a retreat feasible, where the strategic situation mandated a retreat.

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British have the finest troops of a volunteer army, was leaded by the 3rd best general of the age, and have also the local population cooperation and a have a near perfect intelligence. French have second rate troops of a conscripted army, was leaded in some cases by second rate generals (Victor, Junot or Jourdan) and had the problem of a hostile local population and almost no intelligence, due to guerrilla warfare. I thing that all those factors are, by far, more important in explaining the edge of the British army that the 30 training rounds-by-year advantage.
Why were the British troops first rate and the French second rate?

It was certainly not because the British 'volunteer' army yielded a superior class of man to the French system of conscription. Famously, the British got jailbirds, drunkards, the unemployed and the Irish. The scum of the Earth.

But, as Wellington was fond of adding 'but what fine fellows we have made of them'. The difference between first- and second-rate troops is training.

And before we start assuming that the defeat of the French on the Peninsula was foreordained, let's not forget the numerical discrepancies involved. And the fact that the 'perfect' local cooperation forced several retreats when the Spanish could not feed the British army.

And 3rd best general of the age? Humbug!

From his first steps as a field officer, Wellesley was an inspired general who never lost sight of the objective. He was a master of fighting a battle for limited gains when gambling on decisive victory would have been foolhardy, but he showed several times that when it was warranted, he could act boldly and fast. Assaye was a miracle of generalship (and a brilliant showing by British troops) and Salamanca showed flair and adaptability. But most importantly, the fact that he never overplayed his hand, never got caught out in a way that meant his war was over, puts him above any other general of the age.

By their success we shall judge them. And while Napoleon languished on St. Helena, Wellington parlayed his military success into politics.
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Old 11-04-2009, 01:45 PM   #92
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Default Re: Emerging smokepowder weapons in my fantasy

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The vast majority of mammals deliver their young far more capable of surviving on their own than humans.

The birthweight is low, I'd think, but the young would grow quickly.

I'm guessing they walk on their own pretty soon. And are able to eat solid foods within a very short time too.

I recall some lore stating that orc litters often fight for food, so only the strong grow to adulthood. On the other hand, any injury that doesn't kill an orc outright will have a much better chance of eventually healing on its own than for a human.
Well that is kinda the point of my questions. That Orcwif is birthing largish puppies not 6-8 pound infants. Those pups are then growing at a phenomenal rate to hit, lets say 150 - 200 lbs, and they do it faster than a human?

What about Orc baby skulls? Are they softer and more unformed because 1) they are smaller than human babies at birth and need to be able to fill out that skull so that their growing brains will fit and 2) so that they can get through the birth canal with out killing Mum. If the skul is softer that may expalin higher infant mortality accruing from the fights for food. I wonder about the dietary requirements of the Orcs. Fast growth normally requires high calorie diets and abundant minerals and vitamins doesn't it?
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Old 11-04-2009, 01:56 PM   #93
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Well that is kinda the point of my questions. That Orcwif is birthing largish puppies not 6-8 pound infants. Those pups are then growing at a phenomenal rate to hit, lets say 150 - 200 lbs, and they do it faster than a human?
Indeed. Orcs hit adulthood (i.e. reach full size) at around ten years of age, but are self-sufficient years before that.

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What about Orc baby skulls? Are they softer and more unformed because 1) they are smaller than human babies at birth and need to be able to fill out that skull so that their growing brains will fit and 2) so that they can get through the birth canal with out killing Mum. If the skul is softer that may expalin higher infant mortality accruing from the fights for food.
I'm guessing that even if they are soft at birth, they harden extremely quickly and end up stronger than human skulls. By the time an orc infant can walk, I'd expect the skull to be hard enough to take quite a few bumps.

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I wonder about the dietary requirements of the Orcs. Fast growth normally requires high calorie diets and abundant minerals and vitamins doesn't it?
Yep.

It helps that they can eat most anything, of course. Carrion, fungi, moss, etc. And they're accomplished hunters, trappers and gatherers. Their ability to eat things that would sicken a human boosts their survival ability considerably.
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Old 07-08-2013, 07:48 PM   #94
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Default Using smokepowder for grenades and bombs

The PCs in my campaign have managed to obtain an (apparently) reliable source of smokepowder in decent quantities at rock-bottom prices (only $200/lb). The catch is that it is not a binary explosive with REF 0.8 like the smokepowder they are used to, it is instead a greyish-black substance with REF 0.4-0.5, depending on the age and condition.

While they will continue to try to get the superior (and much more expensive) kind for their elite caliver corps, they do see a role for the inferior kind as an explosive.

Obviously, they can make something similar to the hand grenades used by European grenadiers of the 17th century, of which the Grenade Main is a decent representative.

On the other hand, even this cut-rate powder is 4000% more expensive than historical black powder. It might be worthwhile to custom make something a little more effective.

One thing that immediately springs to mind is that the shepherds and bandits of the hills where the PCs are recruiting auxiliaries tend to be expert slingers. If you could use a heavy sling as a grenade launcher, that would extend the range and accuracy significantly.

For special purposes, using a magical fuze would be possible. It costs around $250, so it's a bit more expensive than a pound of smokepowder. Probably not practical for the main ammunition for auxiliaries, but definitely for the best shots among them, as it makes it possible to build entirely enclosed cast-iron or lead spheres filled with explosive, which would be pretty good sling projectiles and probably have fairly good stats as explosives too.

1) With more-or-less TL3 (locally) and TL4* (foreign experts), what would be reasonable designs for sling bullet grenades, both magically fuzed ones and ones reliant on non-magical solutions?

2) What stats could one expect from one that couldn't exceed the size of a 1-lb sling stone?

3) And how would the statistics of the heavy sling be affected if instead of a one-pound round projectile, one were to launch one of 2-3 lbs.?**

4) What about a projectile that used smokepowder to ignite and spread alchemist's fire? How small could one reasonably be, without using magic? What materials would you use? And what would be the stats for the smallest version and perhaps a more reasonable 3-lb version?

*With up to TL5 technologies available in some fields by certain master craftsmen; mainly metallurgy, ship design, architecture and clockwork. Mostly custom-made prototypes that can only be built by masters, in some cases only if they are divinely inspired.
**I.e. something with the stats of the Grenade Main or similar.
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Old 07-08-2013, 08:32 PM   #95
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Default Re: Emerging smokepowder weapons in my fantasy

1. They actually make sling grenades for paintball. I imagine a similar design could work for explosives.

2. Figure you need at least 4 ounces for the grenade itself to survive the launch, so whatever explosive damage you would expect with 12 ounces of powder. Also, figure on either cutting or piercing shrapnel, depending on the material used.

3. Staff sling is probably the way to go for these. Roughly the same range, but easier to get a steeper angle for lobbing heavy projectiles. The current world record for such a weapon is 477 meters.

4. Assuming smokepowder creates enough heat to ignite alchemist's fire, you would probably want the magical fuze so you can have a small container of smokepowder within a larger container of alchemist's fire. If you just want to burn one target to death, you could make it a specialized tip for a bow/crossbow. The 2-3 pound version? You're basically making a napalm grenade there. The initial explosive damage is just a bonus on spreading burning death to whatever radius smokepowder can manage. A staff sling could still launch this into the middle of an army to not only get multiple kills, but also to demoralize the enemy. They can see a mage casting, their mages can counter fireballs, but how do the counter having an entire line of men launching explosive death?

5. If you want to use non-magical means, the smaller container of smokepowder needs to be attached to the outer shell, with either a short fuze, or some form of impact detonation. Again, the minimum size is entirely dependent on the blast yield of smokepowder. If they use the cheap stuff, you'll need more than you would for something freshly made.
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Old 07-08-2013, 10:09 PM   #96
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Default Re: Emerging smokepowder weapons in my fantasy

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1. They actually make sling grenades for paintball. I imagine a similar design could work for explosives.
Historically, they did launch black powder grenades from slings. I just happen to lack GURPS stats for such things or even the sort of real life details one could use to extrapolate such stats.

I'm looking to figure out what clever PCs aided by some of the best TL4 (advanced) engineers could design, with the most important difference from the real world being that instead of explosive filler being cheap and plentiful, it costs more than custom-made casing from a good smith. So while real world designs might usefully try to keep the cost of casing casting and preparation down and go for volume (at $10 per, most of it in casing, you can afford that), this makes less sense when you're paying more than $12 per ounce of smokepowder.

So, some way to make a useful anti-personnel weapon while using as little powder as possible would be nice. If that's practical, that is. I'm not sure myself, hence the appeal to the Hivemind.

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2. Figure you need at least 4 ounces for the grenade itself to survive the launch, so whatever explosive damage you would expect with 12 ounces of powder. Also, figure on either cutting or piercing shrapnel, depending on the material used.
Judging by extant GURPS stats on grenades and bombs, you need a lot more than 4 ounces of cast iron or other fragmentation material to produce decent shrapnel damage.

I also have no conception of the relative difficulty of making shells of various sizes at pre-modern tech levels. What can most journeymen be taught to make with normal TL3 blacksmithing tools? What is extremely hard to make? What requires TL4 knowledge or tools?

Hollow lead or iron spheres the size of 1-pounder rocks would be useful, but are they substantially harder to make than the heavier shell casings used for historical grenades? Are they strong enough so that the powder actually explodes, instead of burning messily in all directions?

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3. Staff sling is probably the way to go for these. Roughly the same range, but easier to get a steeper angle for lobbing heavy projectiles. The current world record for such a weapon is 477 meters.
I was thinking that too. The current GURPS rules don't allow a staff sling to be of a heavy variety. Maybe adding some Cost and Weight to a Heavy Sling, adding +1 to damage and increasing the range to x6/x10 would do it.

Though a 3-lb version would be far superior as a grenade launcher. Any suggestions for the range? x2.5/x4?

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4. Assuming smokepowder creates enough heat to ignite alchemist's fire, you would probably want the magical fuze so you can have a small container of smokepowder within a larger container of alchemist's fire. If you just want to burn one target to death, you could make it a specialized tip for a bow/crossbow.
The point of using Alchemist's Fire is that it's slightly cheaper than smokepowder. Hence, it's a more economical, if less effective, weapon.

But I'm not sure if it would be effective at all, at least not unless it weighed a lot. How much oil can one fit in the volume of a hollow sphere similar to a 1-lb rock? Would that be any more effective than just lobbing a rock? Enough to justify the cost?

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The 2-3 pound version? You're basically making a napalm grenade there. The initial explosive damage is just a bonus on spreading burning death to whatever radius smokepowder can manage. A staff sling could still launch this into the middle of an army to not only get multiple kills, but also to demoralize the enemy. They can see a mage casting, their mages can counter fireballs, but how do the counter having an entire line of men launching explosive death?
One would hope badly. On the other hand, I don't know what the stats of a sling like that would be. It would need to launch a huge projectile that was substantially less dense than a rock.

Maybe a reasonable goal is an earthenware shell with a pint of alchemical ber-oil, enough smokepowder to spread it and a basic TL4 burning fuse. Could weigh around 2-lb and be launched from a huge staff sling designed for 3-lb rocks. But what kind of range would that get?

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5. If you want to use non-magical means, the smaller container of smokepowder needs to be attached to the outer shell, with either a short fuze, or some form of impact detonation. Again, the minimum size is entirely dependent on the blast yield of smokepowder. If they use the cheap stuff, you'll need more than you would for something freshly made.
I wonder if there's any point in slinging a an earthenware shell the size of a 1-lb rock filled with smokepowder. How much can you fit in a shell that size?

What about a more reasonable sling bullet size? How small could you make this and still do more damage than just using traditional projectiles?
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Old 07-08-2013, 11:58 PM   #97
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Historically, they did launch black powder grenades from slings. I just happen to lack GURPS stats for such things or even the sort of real life details one could use to extrapolate such stats.

I'm looking to figure out what clever PCs aided by some of the best TL4 (advanced) engineers could design, with the most important difference from the real world being that instead of explosive filler being cheap and plentiful, it costs more than custom-made casing from a good smith. So while real world designs might usefully try to keep the cost of casing casting and preparation down and go for volume (at $10 per, most of it in casing, you can afford that), this makes less sense when you're paying more than $12 per ounce of smokepowder.
Up to 3lbs can launch upwards of 400 meters. Using cheap clay makes more sense than iron.

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So, some way to make a useful anti-personnel weapon while using as little powder as possible would be nice. If that's practical, that is. I'm not sure myself, hence the appeal to the Hivemind.
Use clay, not iron.


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Judging by extant GURPS stats on grenades and bombs, you need a lot more than 4 ounces of cast iron or other fragmentation material to produce decent shrapnel damage.
Again, clay. Makes for nice, easily fragmented cases that a TL1 society could mass produce. TL 4? No problem.

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I also have no conception of the relative difficulty of making shells of various sizes at pre-modern tech levels. What can most journeymen be taught to make with normal TL3 blacksmithing tools? What is extremely hard to make? What requires TL4 knowledge or tools?
TL4 can make a clay case with iron casts for uniform shell sizes.

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Hollow lead or iron spheres the size of 1-pounder rocks would be useful, but are they substantially harder to make than the heavier shell casings used for historical grenades? Are they strong enough so that the powder actually explodes, instead of burning messily in all directions?
Again, clay with a fuze of some sort. This has historical precedence with naptha grenades.


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I was thinking that too. The current GURPS rules don't allow a staff sling to be of a heavy variety. Maybe adding some Cost and Weight to a Heavy Sling, adding +1 to damage and increasing the range to x6/x10 would do it.

Though a 3-lb version would be far superior as a grenade launcher. Any suggestions for the range? x2.5/x4?
3lb version has a historical range of 400 meters. The advantage to a staff sling is that you can get steeper trajectories than a standard sling.


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The point of using Alchemist's Fire is that it's slightly cheaper than smokepowder. Hence, it's a more economical, if less effective, weapon.

But I'm not sure if it would be effective at all, at least not unless it weighed a lot. How much oil can one fit in the volume of a hollow sphere similar to a 1-lb rock? Would that be any more effective than just lobbing a rock? Enough to justify the cost?
If alchemist's fire burns at roughly the temperature of naptha, or hotter? 1 ounce being splashed on somebody takes them out of the battle, either through direct injury or being forced to remove their armor and run. The real advantage here is that a rock might kill 1 target, but fire burns many targets AND leaves a patch of flames. If this is a defensive battle, the field can be covered in dry brush ahead of time, causing the first incendiary sling to burn thousands of men alive.


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One would hope badly. On the other hand, I don't know what the stats of a sling like that would be. It would need to launch a huge projectile that was substantially less dense than a rock.
As long as it's a rounded shape, you just need to practice using a sling with a larger pouch.

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Maybe a reasonable goal is an earthenware shell with a pint of alchemical ber-oil, enough smokepowder to spread it and a basic TL4 burning fuse. Could weigh around 2-lb and be launched from a huge staff sling designed for 3-lb rocks. But what kind of range would that get?
Once again, history shows 3lbs can go up to 400 meters. Not accurate enough to kill a specific target at that range, but launching into a massed army is still going to kill SOMEBODY.

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I wonder if there's any point in slinging a an earthenware shell the size of a 1-lb rock filled with smokepowder. How much can you fit in a shell that size?
I would not suggest this for use on infantry. The noise will scare off horses, but the best use is to blow apart the gates to a fort/castle without a battering ram. You're better off with the incendiaries against anything that isn't a siege target, unless you're bombing a camp at night, when everybody is wearing no armor.

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What about a more reasonable sling bullet size? How small could you make this and still do more damage than just using traditional projectiles?
If you can fit enough powder (whatever its blast yield may be) to add just 1d explosive damage, you're in good shape. The explosion would be a passive follow-up in GURPS terms, so a projectile punching through leather armor and causing 1 injury would actually explode *in* the flesh of your target. A hit to the chest causing 2 or more injury could easily be a vitals hit.
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Old 07-09-2013, 10:31 AM   #98
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Up to 3lbs can launch upwards of 400 meters.
Do you have any sources for that?

As far as I know, the records for distance are made with ovoid lead projectiles weighting from 1 oz. to around 3 oz. You can still get good distances with 4-5 oz., but at the heavier weights, range definitely suffers. The huge 1-lb stones generally can't be thrown longer than 100m and that's by strong men using what in GURPS would be Extra Effort, not something that's a good guide to effective range in combat.

Even a strong man apparently can't sling a 3-lb stone much further than 60m.

And these slingers won't necessarily be strong, as they will be recruited from among poorly fed hill tribes, bandits and shepherds. In fact, they'll be ST 8 to ST 11 or so, averaging around ST 9-10.

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Using cheap clay makes more sense than iron.

Use clay, not iron.

Again, clay. Makes for nice, easily fragmented cases that a TL1 society could mass produce. TL 4? No problem.


TL4 can make a clay case with iron casts for uniform shell sizes.

Again, clay with a fuze of some sort. This has historical precedence with naptha grenades.
Clay is fine for incendiary grenades, but I'm concerned about whether it can contain the burning of the smokepowder well enough to produce an actual concussive explosion. Since black powder (and thus REF 0.5 smokepowder, which is a magical version of the same thing) is a deflagrating explosive, it requires confinement for a worthwhile explosion to happen. Hence, if you use clay, you'll need much more material than if you used cast iron.

Historical grenades used cast iron for this reason.

I'd welcome some suggestions from explosives-savvy forumites about the minimum amount of casing necessary to confine a certain amount of black powder enough to produce a concussive explosion and convert the casing to fragments. For clay and cast iron both, perhaps.

I'm wondering about this for ammunition which ranges in size from the same size as a fired clay ovoid of about an ounce (most definitely not practical without magic) up to the size of a rock of 3 lbs.

The optimal size for the purposes of sling range and accuracy would probably be around a 4 oz. lead ovoid, but in order to have any kind of payload, I'm aware that it will probably have to be bigger.

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3lb version has a historical range of 400 meters. The advantage to a staff sling is that you can get steeper trajectories than a standard sling.
Staff slings are also apparently better at handling heavy projectiles.

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If alchemist's fire burns at roughly the temperature of naptha, or hotter? 1 ounce being splashed on somebody takes them out of the battle, either through direct injury or being forced to remove their armor and run. The real advantage here is that a rock might kill 1 target, but fire burns many targets AND leaves a patch of flames. If this is a defensive battle, the field can be covered in dry brush ahead of time, causing the first incendiary sling to burn thousands of men alive.
Alchemist's Fire is more-or-less a very optimistic version of Greek Fire with some extra magical oomph. They also have the option of using what they call Thayan Fire, which is pretty much what real-world Greek Fire would have been like, a mixture including naphta.

The part-magical Alchemist's Fire costs $100 per pint while the clever chemistry Thayan Fire costs $10 per pint. This means that they are more economical for ammunition which sees heavy use than even the cheaper smokepowder, which goes for $12.5 per ounce and would thus come to at least $300 for a pint. I strongly suspect that a pint of smokepowder would do considerably more damage than a pint of either type of oil, though.

The REF of the cheaper smokepowder for sling ammunition use will be 0.5, because I expect the PCs will quality-control the batches and consign anything with less purity, water damage or other problems to use in land mines, where explosive power per volume is less important, because you can just build them bigger.

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As long as it's a rounded shape, you just need to practice using a sling with a larger pouch.
Remember that density has a huge effect on range. Air resistance increases with greater volume and drag affects light projectiles proportionally more than heavy ones.

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Once again, history shows 3lbs can go up to 400 meters. Not accurate enough to kill a specific target at that range, but launching into a massed army is still going to kill SOMEBODY.
What historical source discusses ammunition of this weight? And at these ranges?

And point accuracy is very much a concern, as few if any of these will have enough explosive power or fragmentation to be effective at more than a few feet away.

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I would not suggest this for use on infantry. The noise will scare off horses, but the best use is to blow apart the gates to a fort/castle without a battering ram. You're better off with the incendiaries against anything that isn't a siege target, unless you're bombing a camp at night, when everybody is wearing no armor.
While a small percentage of the opposing force are armoured heavy infantry, professional cavalry or other such troops who have expensive armour, most of the light infantry, local levies, muleteers, ox drivers and other logistical troops will be unarmoured or with a padded jack at best. And horses, oxen and mules don't wear armour, except for a few destriers in the elite cavalry.

Even most of the enemy heavy infantry will have unarmoured parts of their legs and arms, as well as open-faced helmets, since it's too hot to wear armour over their entire bodies.

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If you can fit enough powder (whatever its blast yield may be) to add just 1d explosive damage, you're in good shape. The explosion would be a passive follow-up in GURPS terms, so a projectile punching through leather armor and causing 1 injury would actually explode *in* the flesh of your target. A hit to the chest causing 2 or more injury could easily be a vitals hit.
That's awesome for magically fuzed ammunition, yes. But magic fuzes cost $250 per round of ammunition.

I need something with a smaller price point, with the assumptions given above, that still outperforms lead as a sling projectile at certain ranges.

What would that be?
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Old 07-09-2013, 10:47 AM   #99
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Clay is fine for incendiary grenades, but I'm concerned about whether it can contain the burning of the smokepowder well enough to produce an actual concussive explosion. Since black powder (and thus REF 0.5 smokepowder, which is a magical version of the same thing) is a deflagrating explosive, it requires confinement for a worthwhile explosion to happen. Hence, if you use clay, you'll need much more material than if you used cast iron.
Offhand, ISTR a rule in HT about contained explosives, wherein if enough explosive damage reached the furthest wall of a room and didn't destroy any windows/walls/etc, all damage within the area was doubled. It might be appropriate to say that, for deflagrating explosives, a container that can withstand the non-contained explosion is necessary for a proper explosion to occur. We'll take it another step and say a deflagrating explosive that fails to explode is treated as having, say, 1/2 normal REF, so really you only need a container that can withstand that. So, figure out how much iron you need for sufficient DR to contain an (in this case) REF 0.25 explosion, then figure out the same for clay. This should be more than sufficient to have a proper explosion (you can likely scale it down further, but I have no idea how far this could go...).


EDIT: Come to think of it, to get the DR values you could probably use the rules from Spaceships. Iron (if it isn't already in one of the books) would be one step down from Steel, Clay would probably be a step (maybe 2) down from Stone. That'll give you the necessary mass, then you just use the densities of iron and clay to figure out volume.
Another thought is that, for fragmentation, you could fill the explosives with sharp steel shards. This would really only be necessary for clay-contained explosives, and probably only truly useful with rather large explosives (like landmines and the like).

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Old 07-09-2013, 11:30 AM   #100
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Originally Posted by Varyon View Post
Offhand, ISTR a rule in HT about contained explosives, wherein if enough explosive damage reached the furthest wall of a room and didn't destroy any windows/walls/etc, all damage within the area was doubled. It might be appropriate to say that, for deflagrating explosives, a container that can withstand the non-contained explosion is necessary for a proper explosion to occur. We'll take it another step and say a deflagrating explosive that fails to explode is treated as having, say, 1/2 normal REF, so really you only need a container that can withstand that. So, figure out how much iron you need for sufficient DR to contain an (in this case) REF 0.25 explosion, then figure out the same for clay. This should be more than sufficient to have a proper explosion (you can likely scale it down further, but I have no idea how far this could go...).

EDIT: Come to think of it, to get the DR values you could probably use the rules from Spaceships. Iron (if it isn't already in one of the books) would be one step down from Steel, Clay would probably be a step (maybe 2) down from Stone. That'll give you the necessary mass, then you just use the densities of iron and clay to figure out volume.
Another thought is that, for fragmentation, you could fill the explosives with sharp steel shards. This would really only be necessary for clay-contained explosives, and probably only truly useful with rather large explosives (like landmines and the like).
Not having Spaceships with me, how would the results from these methods look for ammunition in the 4 oz. range, the 8 oz. range and the 1-lb range? Or 2-3 lbs.?

I was thinking that a sling which could use 1-lb rocks could launch fired clay ovoids or spheres containing smokepowder, which would weigh around 0.33-0.5 lbs., depending on how much was fired clay and how much was packed smokepowder. A similar sized cast-iron shell with a smokepowder charge would weight 1.5 to 2 lbs.

I just need to know how much of the projectile needs to be casing and how much can be explosive filler. That allows me to calculate cr ex and fragmentation damage, using the explosives rules in Campaigns and comparing to shells and grenades in High-Tech for reasonable fragmentation.

Using incendiaries, the 1-lb rock size (about a fist) would yield a ca 4 oz. fired clay projectile, with around an ounce of that being incendiary oil. That's not much, really. Good on a direct hit, of course, but without magic, fuzing for that is pretty much a matter of luck.

For incendiaries to work, we'd need an oversized sling pouch launching oversized clay spheres. And that would play havoc with range. But it might get 30-40m or so, with decent accuracy for good slingers, which is at least better than hand hurled incendiaries.
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