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Old June 21st, 2021, 06:16 AM

Kiwikkiwik Kiwikkiwik is offline
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Default Play balance issue? MG34 vs 50cal

So comparing these two weapons It appears that the .50cal is overrated and the MG 34 underrated which I think substantially tips the game balance as there are so many of each weapon. US up Germany down.

The 23 .50cals in an US infantry regiment were all mounted on trucks without dedicated crews. They were only rarely used on their ground mounts. This is because the .30cal was a much better HMG. .50cal is too heavy and the lack of a quick change barrel gives a ROF so low it was incapable of serving in the sustained fire HMG role. Watercooled versions excepted. M3 Halftrack in action by Mesco gives sustained fire of 50 rpm. This weapon is much closer to an autocannon than a HMG.

I have the MG 34 war era Manual, it is written in German. It translates thus.

Beschreibuing, handhabung und bedienung des M.G. 34 als leichtes M.G., schweres M.G. und in der fliegerabwehr

Describing, handling and operating the M.G. 34 as a light M.G., heavy M.G. and in air defense.
by A Butz.

Die bisierreichweite betrÃĪgt bei benuzung des mechanischen bisiers 2000 m, bei benuzung der M.G.-Zieleinrichtung auf M.G.-Lafette 34 im direkten Richten 3000 m und im indirekten Richten 3500 m.

The sight-range is 2000 m when using the mechanical sights, when using the M.G.-optical sight on the heavy M.G.-mount 34, 3000 m in direct setting and 3500 m in indirect setting.

Beim direkten Richten kann bis auf 3000 m, beim in-direckten Richten bis auf 3500 m gerichtet werden.

With direct setup can be aimed up to 3000 m, with indirect setup up to 3500 m.

Direct setup means looking through the telescope at the target, Mechanical sights means the open sights.

The telescope on this weapons tripod is either 3x or 4x. It is this telescope and the extraordinary stability of its tripod that gives a range of 60 the game range value of 36 severely underrates the weapon. 60 range is confirmed in MG34-MG42 by Myrvang, MG 34 and MG 42 Machine guns by Chris McNab and in the British war time publication The Regimental Officer's Handbook of the German Army 1943 from the Imperial General Staff.

As weapon calibres increase in the game so does range this is because larger weapons can usually fire further and are usually equipped with better optical sights to take advantage of this. There is an exception to this rule. It is the Heavy Machine Gun calibres of 12.7, 13.2 and 15mm. Rifle calibre HMGs get 30, Heavy HMGs get 40 then 20mm cannons go back down to 30. Obviously 20mm should outrange 12.7mm.

Both rifle calibre 7.62/7.92mm and heavy calibre 12.7/13.2/15mm bullets can easily reach out to 2000m on a tripod. mThey both have the same types of sights, they should both be treated the same rangewise. The rifle calibre HMGs get a range of 30 because you basically can't see the target at 40 and because the gun sights basically obscure a target so small, not because your bullet can't reach it. Exactly the same difficulties apply to the 12.7/13.2/15mm calibre HMGs because they have exactly the same open sights as the rifle calibre HMGs. The bigger bullet doesn't mean the open sights work any diferently. Probably best if 12.7/13.2/15mm calibre HMGs get a range of 30 instead of 40 as this also means they stop outranging 20mm weapons.

Rottman in Browning .50-calibre Machine guns says this about the .50cal tripod "To be effective the tripod must be sandbagged into place." otherwise the front leg bounces. So not really conductive to shooting accurately out to 40 hexes I would have thought.

Also rifle calibre AA MGs are discounted from 30 to 24. However the 12.7 and 13.2mm MGs keep their 40 range in the AA role. Should probably be discounted as well.

A couple of relevant quotes
From Rapid fire by Williams
"Given effective sighting arrangements, the maximum effective AA range of a typical heavy machine gun is around 1000-1500m, of a 20mm cannon about 1500-2000m, a 25mm some 2500m and a 30mm about 3000m"
From War department field manual Browning Machine gun calibre .50 HB, M2
says this about .50 cal AA fire.
" Low flying aircraft which come within a slant range of 600 through 800 yds can be taken under effective fire. Fire is never opened at ranges in excess of 1000 yds"
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