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Old 11-06-2008, 10:54 PM
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Default Defensive Fires

I'm in a squad level game at the moment and it really, really sucks not having fire support.

I heartily endorse everyone to get their PCs to get at least a 60mm mortar. At worst, there's several breeds of 51mm ('commando') mortar out there that can bring down devastating fire on the enemy.

Now, you may be thinking 'Pah! My M203 grenade launcher, backed by it's big brother the Mk 19, can deal with anything!'

The difference in explosive power between a grenade and a mortar bomb is immense.





These are the 40mm HEDP and the 60mm HE.
The big problem with mortars is their minimum zone, with the above bomb you are looking at 70m, vs the 10m for a launched grenade.
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Old 11-07-2008, 12:45 AM
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Why does the mortar have to be just 75m? There is close, then there is danger close and then there is the enemy is overrunnng my position so I am dropping it even closer and hiding in the bottome of my hole and hope for the best. And yes that is something we would talk about when I was on a mortar team.

Also, if the badguys are within 100ms and closing well then you only need two men firing the get and the rest of the crew, if you have them can be better used laying down rifle fire because the FDC is no longer needed, the gunner can just direct lay the target, and use small elevation changes or even go to hand firing it while the second guy preps the ammo.

And here is something to also consider.

How long does it take a man to move 100m? If the enemy is that close then something bad has happened and something worse is about to happen. The mortar crew is not just within rifle fire, but also machinegun and shotgun fire. The effectiveness of their rounds will be eh, not that great, and the enemy will be on them in a matter of seconds or minutes at best unless you are in a well prepared position, or, there is a trenchline between you and them. I can only imagine the mortatr crew in a regulation mortar pit with ammo pit and connecting trench, as the members pop up to fire riflefire and a couple of its members continue to drop rounds, that actualy sounds terrifying.


Here is something else to consider,

Machineguns can be used in an indirect fire role where they are implimented so that the rounds end up giving plunging fire <damn its been so long I am unsure if thats the right term> but basicaly the arc is so tall and the angle is so steep they are almost falling down on an enemy in a deadspace or on a reverse slope or in a trench.

Something else to consider, a riflegrenade, they have more explosive than a round fired from a grenade launcher.

And the 60mm can be fired in the handheld mode as well, much like the Japanese "knee" mortar was.

And didn't the Germans and British have a smaller portable mortar or two, I think they were in the 50mm range both handheld similiar to the Japanese "Knee" mortar, and I think the Germans has a tiny 50mm mortar that had a metal stand as well, I recall seeing one in a photo of action in Eastern Europe.

But yeah, the explosive power between the two is pretty good, a few ounces of explosive verses about a pound more or less.


But then we also have defensive fire that is multi faceted, which should include indirect fire assets, automatic weapons, smalls arms and of course terrain, mines, wire and other denial weapons and methods and pre determined areas and zones of fire, points, targets limits blah blah blah, alot more that I have forgotten.
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Old 11-07-2008, 02:10 AM
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... claymores, your last line of defence.
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Old 11-07-2008, 02:12 AM
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a mortar is awesome for longer range situations in game -but few players are willing to forego all the phases that are required to set up the mortar position ,and then 6 phases required for calling fire -if the enemy isnt in plain sight . At least 12-18 phases there .

As for the discussion of what portable artillery to bring :

riflegrenades are not very accurate

the 40 has some accuracy but lacks a little punch -it has a lot of nasty shrapnel though

the mortar has problems with direct fire and has a minimum range but packs a punch and has got range to it and has indirect fire properties .

and then for wrapping it up - the carl gustav 84 mm RFK or 84mm Gustav as I believe its called in Anglo.

This is a truly versatile weapon capable of using different rounds -illum,smoke/WP,HE ,HEAT ( Capable of penetrating app 700 mm homogenous steel).
Rounds can be set for airburst ,it can get ranges out to 2000 meters with some ammo and one two man team can carry it and 5-6 rounds and still keep up with the rest of the squad in fire and manouver .(It is a heavy bastard though )
The rest of the squad can each carry a round in a canister giving the team app 10-12 rounds .

In game two players or one player and 1 npc can fire and reload in 2 phases (from the last round was fired the shooter aims while the loader ejects spent shell casing and loads the new one ).

This means that players "ine the artillery" can join the fight after an initial set up period of 2 phases -and if they are crazyenough to run with it loaded -get a quick shot of in app 1-2 phases.

In all fairness it has disadvantages - it has a violent backblast capable of serious injury something like 10-15 feet back .It has to be shot using ear protection /the hard plastic domes not plugs ) or 1-2 shots will render you concussed and scrambled brained. Also it is by far not as efficient without a laser designator to measure distance to target .If you know this and target is stationary -90% success rate even for conscript soldiers with 3 weeks training .

Ranging w/o laser and hitting moving targets is the province of experienced heavy weapons operators -liek a PC with certain skill . ( The ranging can be considered incorporated in the skill heavy weapons as use of laser range finder gives a bonus to the roll OR tasked by the GM in a seperate phase prior to the shot if the GM feels the situation warrants .

In conclusion -if indirect fire is not a big worry and you have a LOS -the 84 is the way to go .

Manportable

kicks like a mule - ( well I like to feel the gun I am shooting respond,not just lay there ,like a dead piece of metal)

versatile ammo infantry,soft skinned targets,armoured,support -it does it all.

robust -banged one around for years in the back of our APC-functioned like Swiss clockwork .(Had to realign sight every week or so -but that takes 5 minutes)

And finally - the sound of the breachblock being slammed shut after loading a round has a charachteristic ring to it that will scare the shit out of anyone that know what it is and is likely to be on the recieveing end .

ALL in my humble opinion -of course
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Old 11-07-2008, 02:38 AM
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Mortars do not have a min range, as I said you can go max elevation and drop the round right back in your lap. And with a 60mm I would do it if needbe if I had a well prepared fighting postion, The only danger is if the round landed right in your hole or on the endge then you would be in a world of hurt.

As for firing, often a mortar team in my unit would have all of 2 men, which sucked on humps, but we did what we did to get the job done. And they can be fired in the handheld mode with the trigger. In the now dead Korea game in yahoo I had a character who was humping his gun with a small baseplate and fired it with the handheld mode, he also had an AK chest pouch where he carried some extra mortar rounds.

As a GM I often give the players a mortar and allow them to be used usualy when they are attacking someone, but that is usualy when they conduct a surprise attack so I don't have to worry about taking turns setting things up getting the ranges and prepping round <GMs you need to work your magic to avoid the entire procedure of getting a mortar up and ready to fire, although a good crew can have it assembled and online in under 30 seconds.>

And again a mortar is only as good as its crew. We could usualy hit targets the size of a jeep or at least keep the rounds in the explosion radius most of the time.

And remember the thing about a mortar, you can hit targets in the range of about 5km if I recall correctly. And you can keep a hill between you and the target which makes you fairly safe, it is also a terror weapon since alot of people don't know it is comming or where it is comming from other than from the sky. And as I said a small crew of two and even 1 person can use it if you carry the basics with limited additional gear and ammo.

and a morar vs a rocket launcher, well, which would you rather cross a field against? A field with a Gustav, or a feild with a mortar dropping rounds on you? <Yeah I am biased> Biut then again a 60mm is ineffective almost against armor beyond making them button up and damaging external gear and equipment. however, as a defensive weapon a mortar is a good system.
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Old 11-07-2008, 04:56 AM
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In a Merc game, I had a great time with a mortar once. I had time to set up on a building. When the rest of the group opened up with small arms, they dropped a few bad guys while I missed long with the first round. The second one was bang-on the doorway that the baddies were rushing out of. Many, many casualties, and suddenly everyone knew why I'd been making them lug that haevy thing around.
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Old 11-07-2008, 10:28 AM
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This is on-topic honest..

I am new here and returning to T2K recently after a break of 20 odd years so hey

My new campaign (following the original Polish storyline) with new players (albeit experienced RPGers) has gone really well. I gave them a blend of chars to sample all the skills/abilities but I must say the biggest impact has been with use of IF and mortars. The char with the best IF skill has been hogging all the free luggage space for looted mortars and rounds and basically blowing away most of my encounters.

I was initially not sure I was using the rules correctly, but on re-reading it looks sound. As long as the char has LOS and prepares a position it is devastating. This week an OT-64 took a direct hit for her 81mm round and the survivors caught in the open were fodder - it was just a matter of how many rounds were used (4, and she did get wounded by a lucky bullet).

So - not being an expert in any way - my present GMing experience using the T2K rules = mortars are awesome. My group love the portable 60mm variety but I have managed to make the rounds hard to get and they are dry for now :P
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Old 11-07-2008, 12:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jester
And again a mortar is only as good as its crew.
And that's the key -- a good gunner and crew. You can drop 60mm rounds in your lap -- but most sights for small mortars are only accurate down to about 40-70 meters. After that, you're using your calibrated eyeball and an edumacated guess. You can also use the 60mm mortar as a direct-fire weapon in some circumstances -- but again, you need to be damn good (and not have one of the few drop-fire-only small mortars in the world).
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Old 11-07-2008, 09:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adm.Lee
Many, many casualties, and suddenly everyone knew why I'd been making them lug that haevy thing around.
You ought to try lugging the rounds! We used to have half the platoon at the 82nd carrying four 60mm mortar rounds in his ruck (we used large ALICE packs at the time) -- but on my 2nd jump at the Division, they plebed me and gave me ten to carry. Luckily, the field problem only took two hours, but we were on the bounce almost the whole time.
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Old 11-08-2008, 01:55 AM
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Damn, for us 2 rounds were standard combat load for every swining dick in the company. And there was often a belt of 60 ammo to go with it, or spare radio batteries <the old style batteries that took up the whole bottom of the PRC 67>

I had a bro in mortars before I went over who humped about two dozen rounds the poor bastage. As for motar crews, in our company if it was tactical then the gun would be assembled and carried to be fired in the handheld mode. If we were rucking to reach a location then it got broken down and spreadloaded.

When using mortars there are other factors,

the old WWII-Vietnam style stuff is not as powerful of has the range as the new stuff they gave us in the 80s/90s my special book of wizardly skills was aquired by an unknown soul long ago so the actual numbers of the items and what they can do are lost to me.

Further, where you are firing also affect things. Firing into soft sand, mud or snow will reduce the effectiveness of your mortar. In rocky terrain and hard packed ICE then the fragmentation effect is increased, same with heavily wooded areas due to wood splinters. However, those areas also are limited in area due to the density <is that a word?> to block the shrapnel.

Those are just something to think about.

And a 60mm won't really do much against armored vehicles, but an 81mm will.
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Old 11-08-2008, 01:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jester
Mortars do not have a min range, as I said you can go max elevation and drop the round right back in your lap. And with a 60mm I would do it if needbe if I had a well prepared fighting postion, The only danger is if the round landed right in your hole or on the endge then you would be in a world of hurt.
I love that idea . I would really love to see a group of player bursting out of their well defended position under heavy ennemy fire just because they miscalculated it. Once, I had a player who shut down the group's vehicle engine under heavy fire just because the enemy commander asked him to. Six years already that we are making fun of him.
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Old 11-08-2008, 02:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jester
And a 60mm won't really do much against armored vehicles, but an 81mm will.
The French have a 60mm gun/mortar with some rounds that will make short work of a light armored vehicle, and possibly some older tanks if they hit it in the rear.
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Old 11-09-2008, 07:35 AM
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Current 81mm and some 60mm rounds can be set to Air burst, Impact, or Delay via a dial. Air burst to take out a larger area of troops. Impact to take out vehicles, destroy defenses. Delay for bunker busting and building devastation.

One key to using a mortar is having all your presets. Already having the target positions plotted ahead of time. Where the enemy will attack from, and where he will run to. A good forward observer team will identify these positions and plot them for the mortar team.

///ed///
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Old 11-09-2008, 07:46 AM
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Originally Posted by BigEd
Current 81mm and some 60mm rounds can be set to Air burst, Impact, or Delay via a dial. Air burst to take out a larger area of troops. Impact to take out vehicles, destroy defenses. Delay for bunker busting and building devastation.

One key to using a mortar is having all your presets. Already having the target positions plotted ahead of time. Where the enemy will attack from, and where he will run to. A good forward observer team will identify these positions and plot them for the mortar team.

///ed///
Good to Meet ya, BigEd!

Anyway, don't forget the FPFs (Final Protective Fires -- not to be confused with an FPL, Final Protective Line, though they are used to the same purpose). That's your final "save your ass" fire support, when you are about to get overrun. It's often dropped just outside your lines or even among your (hopefully evacuated) outer defensive lines, and usually set to airburst or delayed. Sometimes it's smoke, but usually its HE.

On a different tack, I've heard they are working on a GAMP (Guided Anti-Armor Mortar Projectile)-type round for the 60mm mortar. Anyone have any word on this?
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Old 11-10-2008, 12:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mohoender
Once, I had a player who shut down the group's vehicle engine under heavy fire just because the enemy commander asked him to. Six years already that we are making fun of him.




HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA WOW
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Old 11-10-2008, 04:51 AM
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From a decade of playing various incarnations of Steel Panthers, engineers and mortars (mainly the 120mm variety) have become my favorite units.

Although I still fear Finnish ski troopers ...
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Old 11-10-2008, 05:19 AM
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Default carl gustac airburst rounds

Quote:
Originally Posted by jester
Mortars do not have a min range, as I said you can go max elevation and drop the round right back in your lap. And with a 60mm I would do it if needbe if I had a well prepared fighting postion, The only danger is if the round landed right in your hole or on the endge then you would be in a world of hurt.

As for firing, often a mortar team in my unit would have all of 2 men, which sucked on humps, but we did what we did to get the job done. And they can be fired in the handheld mode with the trigger. In the now dead Korea game in yahoo I had a character who was humping his gun with a small baseplate and fired it with the handheld mode, he also had an AK chest pouch where he carried some extra mortar rounds.

As a GM I often give the players a mortar and allow them to be used usualy when they are attacking someone, but that is usualy when they conduct a surprise attack so I don't have to worry about taking turns setting things up getting the ranges and prepping round <GMs you need to work your magic to avoid the entire procedure of getting a mortar up and ready to fire, although a good crew can have it assembled and online in under 30 seconds.>

And again a mortar is only as good as its crew. We could usualy hit targets the size of a jeep or at least keep the rounds in the explosion radius most of the time.

And remember the thing about a mortar, you can hit targets in the range of about 5km if I recall correctly. And you can keep a hill between you and the target which makes you fairly safe, it is also a terror weapon since alot of people don't know it is comming or where it is comming from other than from the sky. And as I said a small crew of two and even 1 person can use it if you carry the basics with limited additional gear and ammo.

and a morar vs a rocket launcher, well, which would you rather cross a field against? A field with a Gustav, or a feild with a mortar dropping rounds on you? <Yeah I am biased> Biut then again a 60mm is ineffective almost against armor beyond making them button up and damaging external gear and equipment. however, as a defensive weapon a mortar is a good system.
I dont believe there are many mortar rounds in the same size category that can top a series of well ranged and properly dialed 84 mm he airbursts.

Tried them on the shooting field many a time - absolute devestation .
As for the ability of a mortar to circumventthe LOS -that is a positive that is hard to beat .But then again the 84 can take on a charging tank head on (preferably side on ) and win
-the mortar most likely cannot .

so its a question of whatever suits .
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Old 11-10-2008, 08:16 PM
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Default Kind of off topic but kind of not

Don't know if the newer 60 rds can be used like grenades, but during WW II a soldier recieved the Medal of Honor for heaving rounds out the second story of a house and breaking up a German attack.
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Old 11-10-2008, 11:33 PM
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Quote:
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Don't know if the newer 60 rds can be used like grenades, but during WW II a soldier recieved the Medal of Honor for heaving rounds out the second story of a house and breaking up a German attack.
That sounds like a scene from Saving Private Ryan.

However a Navy Corpsman or Soldier maybe a Marine on Okinawa did exactly that and earned the Medal of Honor.


I must say those rounds, were unstable, had a high dud rate and less range than the newer rounds that we were getting in the early/mid 90s. There was something else about the fuze on those that could be set but you didn't like to as it caused issues, and they were less stable thus more dangerous to the user.

Now if someone were using the WOJO rounds, those I beleive could probably be used as a large grenade, again though the whole stability of the round, I mean, the quality control in a T2K world would be less than stringent as to the workmanship, materials and quantities.
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