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  #1  
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 beträgt 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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Old June 22nd, 2021, 01:34 PM
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Default Re: Play balance issue? MG34 vs 50cal

Just for the sake of brevity, what exactly are you advocating for here? Are you saying that 50 cal. range should be 20 hexes, and the MG 34 range should be 60? Right now in the game from what I see the 50 cal. is at 40 hexes, while the MG 34 is at 36 hexes in an HMG role (MMG role seems to be 24 hexes). This doesn't seem like it would substantially tip the game balance as you say. In fact, from just a quick Google search it would seem that the only thing that anyone might want to tweak would be to flip the current ranges and giving the 50 cal. 36 hexes, and the MG 34 40 hexes.
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Old July 2nd, 2021, 06:22 AM

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Default Re: Play balance issue? MG34 vs 50cal

Hi Felix thanks for your interest. In a nutshell what I am saying is that all HMGs whether 30cal or 50cal or their equivalents should get a range of about 30 hexes. Because that is about as far as either calibre can hit something because of their open Iron sights. The exception is the German Lafette tripod that comes with telescope and hydraulic buffers giving it a documented range of 60 hexes.

Playbalance Issue. Obviously German infantry becomes much more capable with a HMG firing out to 60. For the US pretty much -every- vehicle has a 50cal on the top and the ability of these to hose down infantry with suppression out to 40 hexes is a gross exaggeration. No US tanker even opened his hatch and fired his 50 cal at Enemy infantry 2 kms away. All the maxim derivatives HMGs had a lot of vibration which precludes accurate long range firing except on a very heavy tripod.

The German MMG actually doesn't exist MG34/42 came with either a bipod or the telescoped tripod, They could safely remove the 34 and 42 MMGs and free up 2 weapon slots.

I hope this is a bit clearer.
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Old July 2nd, 2021, 07:15 AM
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Default Re: Play balance issue? MG34 vs 50cal

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiwikkiwik View Post
The German MMG actually doesn't exist MG34/42 came with either a bipod or the telescoped tripod,
Oh really ?
And what is this then?

The MG and tripod could be set up for use with or without the telescopic sight

MG34


MG42


When the scope is mounted it's very obvious

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Old July 3rd, 2021, 01:37 AM
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Default Re: Play balance issue? MG34 vs 50cal

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiwikkiwik View Post
Playbalance Issue. Obviously German infantry becomes much more capable with a HMG firing out to 60. For the US pretty much -every- vehicle has a 50cal on the top and the ability of these to hose down infantry with suppression out to 40 hexes is a gross exaggeration. No US tanker even opened his hatch and fired his 50 cal at Enemy infantry 2 kms away. All the maxim derivatives HMGs had a lot of vibration which precludes accurate long range firing except on a very heavy tripod.
Is play balance really an issue with this game? Would this apply to tanks also? To give balance wouldn't you need to make a Sherman more effective to be on par with a Tiger or Panther for example, or make the German tanks less effective in order to be in balance with a less effective tank (which now that I think about it can be done in preferences or even MOBHACK)? If I have a unit that is less effective than an opposing unit I will simply have to find a way/s of using what I have that can even up the odds.

As far as reducing the US machine gun range for tanks because no tanker ever fired out to maximum effective range in real life (which I don't know whether that is true or not), I don't see how that applies here. As a player we can use the equipment and units in ways they might not have been used in actual historical ways simply because this is a game, not a historical documentary.

The issue of suppression seems like a non-issue to me as well. If I want to fire at units I see out near maximum range to suppress them, I don't give a damn about accuracy, I just want to slow them down/make them dive for cover/make them run away, anything but be able to fire at me effectively or be able to close into range where they can be effective against me. I don't care whether I hit anything or not, and at that range the chances of hitting a target would be slim to none anyways I would think (isn't there a utility that can show the effectiveness of these weapons at different ranges?).
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Old July 3rd, 2021, 02:44 AM

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Default Re: Play balance issue? MG34 vs 50cal

Yes I see your point DRG but the tripod is issued with the Scope on a 1 for 1 basis so yes they could choose to use the tripod without the scope. In which case it is exactly the same as all other HMGs and should get a range of 30 not 24. They still have the telescope in their kit and can fit it if needed.

Hi Felix,
Put simply I think all weapons should have their correct ranges. In game the MG34/42s on tripods have about half their actual range. That effects playbalance because it disadvantages the Germans.

With the 50 cal getting 40 instead of 30, Its not about what happened historically so much as about what is within the realms of possibility. The reason a 50cal on a sherman turret top doesn't fire out to 40 hexes is because it has no chance of hitting or suppressing that target, because the sights aren't up to it and because you can't see where the bullets are landing so you can't correct onto the target. Basically it is a waste of ammunition which is usually frowned upon.
These are the reasons most HMGs have a range of 30. A bigger 50 cal bullet makes no difference. 50 cal should have a range of 30 same as all the other HMGs.
Hosing down troops from a turret mounted 50 cal at 2 klms is not actually possible, any more than it is with a 30 cal.
This affects playbalance because it gives the US an unwarranted advantage vis a vis reality.
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Old July 8th, 2021, 08:34 PM

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Default Re: Play balance issue? MG34 vs 50cal

Usually, at those ranges nothing hits anyway. Unless the target is in open terrain you rarely get a kill. In most cases, targets will only take suppression. They are very deadly at close range. I think play balance is good and realistic.
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Old July 21st, 2021, 06:11 AM

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Default Re: Play balance issue? MG34 vs 50cal

That may be true Dion but probably only because HMG killing power is underrated in the game. The tripod mounted MG34 range is however definitely wrong. I think I have found a bug my bailed out Italian vehicle crews get one smoke grenade when they throw it next turn it is always replaced.
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