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Infantry Firepower Questions


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#1 John Taylor

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Posted 15 September 2010 - 01:32 AM

I recently received my copy of MP and the WWII data book and I'm very happy with them but I have a few questions, mostly about the infantry stats: 1. In most lists the LMG teams alone appear to have higher firepower than when they are embedded in infantry squads. I'm having a hard time understanding why this would be the case. I presume when deployed as an independent team they may have an extra man to hump ammo, but this wouldn't seem to answer for all the extra punch.2. As often as not (more often than not?) machine pistol squads have better long range FP than rifle armed squads, but only when both are equipped with integral LMG, (a double whammy since the SMG squads generally get a ROF of '2'.) I'm planning on 'house ruling' this away by swapping the 24" FP's and only permitting ROF 1 at beyond 6", the apparent range of SMG's in the game, unless there's a reason here I'm not seeing? (Wouldn't be the first time.)3. My final question regards the sample modern lists in the main MP book. The Soviet veteran and elite entries have a lower pts modifier than their US counterparts despite having equal or better stats across the board. Not sure why they'd be cheaper. (It appears the Soviet entries may be misprints in any case - their command distances are expressed as modifiers rather than inches and some of the numbers appear suspiciously inflated.)Thanks for your patience!

#2 Bob Benge

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Posted 15 September 2010 - 03:33 PM

Hi! :)Hope to answer your questions here:1. I believe that the case of the sustained firepower for the standalone LMGs is the reason for the difference here. The example I think of is that the MG34/42 has a 75 round drum with a squad assigned ammo carrier/rifleman. A standalone MG34/42 would use belts and have 2 ammo carriers with 250 round belt ammo in boxes. This would allow for longer sustained fire for the standalone LMGs. Sustained fire would cause more casualties, I believe, as our FP numbers account for, in part, the amount of lead fired and its accuracy down range.2. Actually there is a good reason for this. As the Rifle has long distance fire capability but its accuracy diminishes, it brings down the longer distance accuracy of the combined fire. Having to combine the fire of the Rifle and LMG would account for a penelty for doing so. This is purposely done by the original author. The SMG does not have long distance fire so it does not diminish the longer distance fire. As to the ROF question, you make a good point. We should make a change to this. I will run this by our establishment to see if I am missing something there as well and see what comes of it.3. Looks Like there is an issue with the two tables there. I also noticed a similar problem with the Ultra Modern Tables. I will have to get corrections to these as well. Again, thanks for point this out.Thanks for your questions and pointing ou the issues. :)

#3 John Taylor

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Posted 16 September 2010 - 10:36 AM

Thanks for the answers! Hadn't thought about belt fed vs clips, (or belt length, etc. for that matter.)

#4 Bob Benge

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Posted 16 September 2010 - 02:48 PM

No problem.Also, I posted corrections to the Cold Wars and Ultra Modern Chapters that corrected the BPV values and Command Distance numbers in the tables. Download them from:Downloads Library Private Access Library Mein Panzer 2 Core Rules Databook Samples

#5 Mark 1

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Posted 18 November 2010 - 12:26 PM

I've been noodling the original question of this thread a bit. I saw the answer regarding clips vs. belt-feed, but I have to say that I'm not quite sure I "get it".Let's set aside the question of German MG34s and 42s for a moment. Let's just look at American BARs and British BRENs. Or Russian DP28s, or French FM24/29s. Or Romanian .... or Italian ... or Japanese ...The starting point of my "not getting it"' 'ness, is that there was only ONE army in WW2 that equipped most squads with an LMG that could also serve as a belt-fed SFMG. So it should be considered the outlying case, not the basis for modelling the others.Now if I look at the US Infantry, I find that a squad of 10-12 men, with 11 x M1 Garand Rifles and 1 x BAR, has LESS firepower than a 2 man team with 1 x M1 Garand Rifle and 1 x BAR. In the case of the Brits, not only does the 2 man BREN team have more firepower than the combined rifle + LMG squad, but it shoots more often too (higher ROF).I am struggling to understand how this could be, unless we assume that there are 10 soldiers in each squad who each have the combat role of kicking the LMG gunner while he is trying to shoot.If this were reflective of reality, the US or British Armies would have cut their manpower allocations to 8 men per platoon (3 x 2-man LMG teams, plus platoon sargent and CO). This would have boosted their platoon firepower by over 100%. So why did they bother with the other 25-30 riflemen?Nope, it is not passing the test of reasonableness....-Mark(aka: Mk 1)

#6 Blue Leader

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Posted 26 November 2010 - 07:24 AM

This has been an issue before. Where LMG stands alone have more firepower when deployed alone than with rifle squads. Note that rifles do not generate the volume of fire that automatic weapons do, and that most infantry combat took place at, and takes place at about 200yds. An automatic weapon will generate most of the fire for a squad when it is so eqipped. Having said that, it might be better to just come up with different stats for automatic weapon equipped squads.

#7 Mark 1

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Posted 26 November 2010 - 10:46 AM

Blue Leader wrote:

Note that rifles do not generate the volume of fire that automatic weapons do ... An automatic weapon will generate most of the fire for a squad when it is so eqipped.

Yes, and (maybe) no. It is hard to generalize when the squads were equipped with rather different kit, and operated under different doctrines.With a 1942 German squad of 10 infantrymen in a defensive position, the two men serving an MG34 will generate more firepower (and do more killing) than the 8 men with Kar-98k's. No disagreement. The Wehrmacht expected this, and the men were trained for it. The primary role of the riflemen was to protect the MG team, who were the main source of firepower for the squad.With a 1944 US squad of 12 infantrymen advancing, the 11 men with M1 Garands will generate more firepower (and do more killing) than the 1 man with a BAR. The army expected this, and the men were trained for it. The primary role of the BAR mad was to suppress the enemy so that the riflemen could maneuver into positions from which they could provide effective (lethal) fire.

LMG stands alone have more firepower when deployed alone than with rifle squads.

No disagreement. I think this statement is fully reliable, and born out by history.The question is how far we carry it.Case 1: LMG stand, alone, has greater firepower than the increment it provides when you add it to a stand of riflemen.In my book that is a reasonable approach.Case 2: LMG stand, alone, has greater firepower than a stand of riflemen AND LMG.In my book that is not reasonable.If an LMG-only stand has firepower of 14, and riflemen-only stand has firepower of 8, then a combined rifle+LMG stand having firepower of less than 22 (< 14 + 8) is reasonable to my readings of history. So give it 20, or 18, or even 16. But the combined stand having firepower of less than 14 just doesn't make sense.To examine a practical case:The Italian army in WW2 had an "obsolete" platoon structure. Rather than integrating their automatic weapons into the rifle squads, they kept the LMGs in seperate squads, with each platoon organized as two sections each with a rifle squad of 11 men, and an LMG squad of 9 men with 2 LMGs. I have tried to organized my Italian force according to this (historically correct) structure. Since there is no rating for a squad with 2 LMGs, each LMG squad is modelled as two seperate support-stands each with 1 LMG.Under Mein Panzer rules, Italian rifles are rated lower than most other nation's rifles, and Italian LMGs are rated lower than any other nation's LMGs. I think this is reasonable. The Italian rifles and LMGs were notoriously poor compared to other nations' kit. Yet under Mein Panzer rules my Italian infantry platoon has more combat power than any other infantry platoon in my forces, if they are rated at the same skill level. More than my US, Soviet, French or Romanian infantry.Why? Because while the platoon's rifle stands are anemic, the LMG-only stands each have more firepower than a combined rifle+LMG stand, so the net firepower of a platoon is very high.This just ain't right.Even the Italians realized this historically, and forces in the field by 1942 often re-organized away from the specified platoon TOE towards the combined squads that other nations used. Now why would they have done this if they originally had more firepower than their opponants?

Having said that, it might be better to just come up with different stats for automatic weapon equipped squads.

I'm bumping up against the conclusion that something has to be changed.-Mark 1

#8 Bob Benge

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Posted 26 November 2010 - 02:45 PM

Mark,I see your point. I will have to think on this a bit to determine if/how to make changes and to confer with the partners on making changes.More to come on this...

#9 Mark 1

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Posted 11 February 2011 - 08:06 PM

Hmmm. Was hoping to stimulate more discussion or thought on this.So maybe I'll try a different tack. Let's look not at generalities, but at specifics.Here are the firepower ratings of LMG teams and Rifle + LMG squads for several armies. I am listing only their firepower at the first two range bands to ease the formatting. Germans:MG34 LMG team: 15 11 ROF=2Kar98K + MG34 squad: 12/8 10/6 ROF=1Soviets:DP28 LMG team: 12 9 ROF=2M91/30 + DP28 squad: 9/5 7/4 ROF=1Americans: BAR team: 13 8 ROF=2M1 Garand + BAR squad: 10/6 8/5 ROF=1Under the current values 2 men with a BAR shoot with firepower of 26 per turn (13 x ROF of 2). If you surround those same 2 men with another 8 riflemen, their firepower per turn drops to 10 (falls by more than 60%). Under the current MP values it appears that in squads with LMGs, no rifleman ever shoots his gun. All the riflemen do is stand around kicking the LMG gunners.So why should the firepower of a squad go down when it takes casualties? It seems we should double the firepower of the squad when it takes a hit. After all, if you can just get all the riflemen killed, the LMG gunners + loaders will become more than twice as effective.Let me propose some play-testing. Choose ANY nation in the WW2 data book. Take two standard infantry platoons of 3 squads and a command stand. In one, kill all the riflemen, so that it consists of just three 2-man LMG teams and a command stand. Then put that platoon into a test game against the other full strength platoon.If you can find ANY army where the platoon that has lost all of its riflemen (the 8 man platoon) doesn't easily wipe-out the full strength 32 man platoon every time, I'll buy you lunch.At least that's what the current infantry data seems to show.-Mark 1

#10 Blue Leader

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Posted 12 February 2011 - 07:09 AM

mark1 wrote:

I've been noodling the original question of this thread a bit. I saw the answer regarding clips vs. belt-feed, but I have to say that I'm not quite sure I "get it".Let's set aside the question of German MG34s and 42s for a moment. Let's just look at American BARs and British BRENs. Or Russian DP28s, or French FM24/29s. Or Romanian .... or Italian ... or Japanese ...The starting point of my "not getting it"' 'ness, is that there was only ONE army in WW2 that equipped most squads with an LMG that could also serve as a belt-fed SFMG. So it should be considered the outlying case, not the basis for modelling the others.Now if I look at the US Infantry, I find that a squad of 10-12 men, with 11 x M1 Garand Rifles and 1 x BAR, has LESS firepower than a 2 man team with 1 x M1 Garand Rifle and 1 x BAR. In the case of the Brits, not only does the 2 man BREN team have more firepower than the combined rifle + LMG squad, but it shoots more often too (higher ROF).I am struggling to understand how this could be, unless we assume that there are 10 soldiers in each squad who each have the combat role of kicking the LMG gunner while he is trying to shoot.If this were reflective of reality, the US or British Armies would have cut their manpower allocations to 8 men per platoon (3 x 2-man LMG teams, plus platoon sargent and CO). This would have boosted their platoon firepower by over 100%. So why did they bother with the other 25-30 riflemen?Nope, it is not passing the test of reasonableness....-Mark(aka: Mk 1)

Mark, The MMG group struggled with this very issue for some time, and came up with its own massively playtested rules for the combined stand.

#11 Bob Benge

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Posted 14 February 2011 - 09:38 PM

Sorry for the delay, but I am still trying to come up with a viable replacement system. This may even include removing the LMG completely from the stand. I just don't know at this point.

#12 Mark 1

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Posted 14 February 2011 - 10:21 PM

Bob:I wonder if going back to look over the older MP1 fire-team based numbers might not illucidate a path to resolution.I don't have my old MP1 rules handy anymore, so can't say for certain. But the current values seem so out of whack that I have to wonder something got lost during the fire-team-stands to squad-stands transition.I hope that a simple solution presents itself. My first thoughts (not fully developed, but put in public view so I can share in the criticisms that all authors face) is that the LMG values somehow are doubled from what they should be.To whit:A rifle squad with no LMG has a firepower of about 8 (differs nation to nation, TQ to TQ, but somewhere around there).An LMG stand (with no rifles) has a firepower of about 28 (14 x ROF of 2).Put that same LMG into the rifle stand and it adds a firepower of about 4. I'm thinking hmmmm, maybe the LMG stand (with no rifles) is where we've got a problem.I have heard the rationale that a good LMG contributes the larger share of killing power in a squad of rifles + LMG. But that's not what I see in the numbers. When the LMG is in a squad it is only a marginal increment to the firepower of the rifles.And I have heard that an LMG in a squad will not actually do as much shooting as an LMG on its own. But that's not what I see in the numbers. What I see is not a marginal reduction in the firepower of the LMG -- it is a catastrophic reduction.I think much of the problem is that the LMG stand firepower is out of line to start with.So maybe, if rifles have a firepower of 8, an LMG should have a firepower of 10 or 12 rather than 26. And if it has a firepower of 10 or 12, maybe adding it to a squad should add 9 or 10.The ROF issue makes it a bit complicated, but one approach might be:Rifle squad FP = 8LMG stand FP = 6 x ROF2 (retaining FP better at longer range)Rifle + LMG stand = 8 x ROF2 (retaining FP better at longer range). Or maybe = 12/8 (where it can split fire for 2 x 8).Just some thoughts.-Mark 1

#13 Bob Benge

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Posted 23 February 2011 - 04:47 AM

There are some good ideas here Mark. I also want to look at my old standby Squad Leader to see how it was done there.

#14 Bob Benge

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Posted 20 March 2011 - 10:32 AM

I am going to try and work out this issue over the course of the next couple of days. I hope to have something out NLT a week from now for initial ingestion and comments.

#15 Bob Benge

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Posted 22 March 2011 - 11:12 AM

Well, I think I may have come up with something. For this first iteration I am keeping the Infantry Stats but changed the Heavy Weapons and Vehicle Heavy Weapons stats. I have attached a PDF with the prospective tables for WW2 German and US Small Arms tables. Please give these a look and comment.
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#16 Gene Ogden

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Posted 08 April 2011 - 08:45 PM

This looks much more reasonable. The next question is, when do the other pages get changed? I think I can change the squad numbers myself (it looks like everything went down 1), but the pattern for the individual MG's is not so simple. I eagerly look forward to the next round of updates (or even some suggestions for how to change until then). Thanks in advance and keep up the great work.

#17 Bob Benge

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Posted 09 April 2011 - 10:52 PM

This looks much more reasonable. The next question is, when do the other pages get changed? I think I can change the squad numbers myself (it looks like everything went down 1), but the pattern for the individual MG's is not so simple. I eagerly look forward to the next round of updates (or even some suggestions for how to change until then). Thanks in advance and keep up the great work.


Hi Gene,

I need to get more input on the numbers. So far you are the first to comment. I need to have a little playtesting with them to verify the numbers actually work ok. Please try the numbers in a game or two and let me know how they work out. Soon as I am comfortable with the results, I will make the changes and post them.
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#18 Mark 1

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Posted 29 April 2011 - 07:05 PM

I need to get more input on the numbers. So far you are the first to comment. I need to have a little playtesting with them to verify the numbers actually work ok.

Bob:

I guess the new website design must have kicked-in right in the middle of this discussion. I did not get my normal notification of activity in the thread, so I am afraid I was not very prompt in reacting to your update. Oops! :unsure:

But I have now downloaded the test sheets. I will take a look, and give you my first impressions shortly. I don't have a game coming up anytime soon for play testing, but I might run a solitare engagement in the near future just to get a feel for how they work. If I can round up a compadre or two I'll also try running a short scenario to test 'em out.

Feedback upcoming either way.

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#19 h3st4by

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Posted 26 May 2011 - 03:33 PM

If one change the Fire Power for individual "stand-alone"-infantry-MGs, one should maybe also change the Fire Power values for "vehicle mounted small arms" e.g. vehicle mounted MGs.

Edit: oh well after downloading it I see they are also changed ;-) ... sorry ...

#20 gregoryk

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Posted 26 May 2011 - 04:56 PM

Unfortunately our big infantry test game was cancelled, this weekend past. I was looking forward to some good results.

I am going to try and work out this issue over the course of the next couple of days. I hope to have something out NLT a week from now for initial ingestion and comments.






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