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> Recoilless Rifles: Where Are They?, Paging Carl Gustav, Carl Gustav to the thread.
Zombayz
post Jun 26 2009, 06:56 AM
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So, I started building a heavy weapons character for a PbP game on Something Awful, and I'm going through Arsenal and I notice something.

A disturbing lack of recoiless rifles.

There's not a single recoilless rifle in Shadowrun, not even the good old Carl G. So does anyone have stats for one? It'd be nice to have something that isn't a rocket launcher but it still capable of putting large shells into vehicles/trolls.



Fake Edit: No, assault cannons are not recoiless rifles. Assault cannonc are more like WW2 era anti-tank rifles.
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Machiavelli
post Jun 26 2009, 07:07 AM
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Short question: there is none. You can modify them and try to get maximum recoil compensation (tripod, gas-vent, etc.) but there is none from the start.
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Zombayz
post Jun 26 2009, 07:13 AM
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QUOTE (Machiavelli @ Jun 25 2009, 11:07 PM) *
Short question: there is none. You can modify them and try to get maximum recoil compensation (tripod, gas-vent, etc.) but there is none from the start.


I don't think you've got actual recoilless rifles in mind.

Just for future reference, I'm talking about THESE.
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TheOOB
post Jun 26 2009, 07:59 AM
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Ehh, the level of abstraction in SR4 is high enough where it is easy to take an existing weapon and mod the stats slightly to make it what you want. An Assault Cannon and a high caliber sniper rifle use almost identical stats.

If you are looking for something heavier then an assault cannon or a rocket launcher, then perhaps you are playing the wrong game. Shadowrun is about small teams of runners going against corporations and such, not ability military warfare.
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McAllister
post Jun 26 2009, 08:10 AM
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Having read the article, it sounds fundamentally similar to an assault cannon, except with a more massive projectile moving at slower speeds. I'd probably keep the DV the same, dock the AP a point or two because of the slower projectile, and relax the firing rules; Arsenal says

"Heavy weapons are so large and potentially damaging to the user that they cannot be carried and fired without the help of a gyro stabilization unit. Trolls and other unusually large and strong metahumans may be an exception to this rule. Any character with a Body of 8 or higher and Strength of 8 or higher can carry and use a heavy weapon without benefit of a stabilizer. However, whenever a character fires a heavy weapon he is carrying, he must resist Stun damage equal to half the Power (round down) of the weapon, and may be knocked down (see p. 151, SR4)."

Maybe, to represent the lower recoil, I'd ease those; characters can fire a recoilless rifle shoulder-mounted with Strength and Body of 3, and forget the stun damage. Also, perhaps eliminate all penalties/stun damage if you have either a friend to help stabilize it, or a bipod.

For gits and shiggles, you could always throw in a rule that says, in a 30 degree arc behind the rifle, there's a DV 6 -1/meter explosion to represent the backwash. That'd be dangerous, but awesome!
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Dakka Dakka
post Jun 26 2009, 10:40 AM
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I haven't read the whole wikipedia article, but weren't recoilless rifles superceded by rocket propelled grenades? That may be why they are not in a futuristic role playing game.
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crizh
post Jun 26 2009, 12:27 PM
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QUOTE (McAllister @ Jun 26 2009, 09:10 AM) *
"Heavy weapons are so large and potentially damaging to the user that they cannot be carried and fired without the help of a gyro stabilization unit. Trolls and other unusually large and strong metahumans may be an exception to this rule. Any character with a Body of 8 or higher and Strength of 8 or higher can carry and use a heavy weapon without benefit of a stabilizer. However, whenever a character fires a heavy weapon he is carrying, he must resist Stun damage equal to half the Power (round down) of the weapon, and may be knocked down (see p. 151, SR4)."


It is important to point out here that this is an optional rule in Arsenal.

I might go as far as to say a poorly conceived one at that.

Hell, it goes as far as to use the term Power. Copy/Paste for the lose there guys.
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psychophipps
post Jun 26 2009, 02:16 PM
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The real answer is that they're obsolete. We already have AT infantry weapons that can be safely fired within an enclosed space. Why go back in time to weapons that don't work as well for your typical engagement?
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rathmun
post Jun 26 2009, 03:02 PM
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QUOTE (McAllister @ Jun 26 2009, 02:10 AM) *
For gits and shiggles, you could always throw in a rule that says, in a 30 degree arc behind the rifle, there's a DV 6 -1/meter explosion to represent the backwash. That'd be dangerous, but awesome!


Of course, you then have people using it as a shotgun.
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TBRMInsanity
post Jun 26 2009, 03:27 PM
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If they had Recoilless Rifles in Shadowrun the availability rating would be well out of the range of the average Shadowrunner. Even today only militaries are legally allowed to own and operate modern RRs.

As a side note it usually takes 2 people to carry and operate a RR (one carries the weapon the other the ammo, the person with the weapon is the firer, the person with the ammo is the loader). In the SR world this is not effective for 90% of runs (let alone firing one in an office building). There are better (and cheaper) ways to take down a troll, the biggest one is having a mage on hand. Plus if your GM is sending trolls against you, that is a hint to turn and run. Run away today so you can fight tomorrow.
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Dakka Dakka
post Jun 26 2009, 03:33 PM
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QUOTE (TBRMInsanity @ Jun 26 2009, 05:27 PM) *
If they had Recoilless Rifles in Shadowrun the availability rating would be well out of the range of the average Shadowrunner. Even today only militaries are legally allowed to own and operate modern RRs.
The same is true for hand grenades. But that doesn't stop criminals. Today or in 2070. The high availibility would probably be caused by the fact that no one builds or uses them anymore.

QUOTE
As a side note it usually takes 2 people to carry and operate a RR (one carries the weapon the other the ammo, the person with the weapon is the firer, the person with the ammo is the loader). In the SR world this is not effective for 90% of runs (let alone firing one in an office building). There are better (and cheaper) ways to take down a troll, the biggest one is having a mage on hand. Plus if your GM is sending trolls against you, that is a hint to turn and run. Run away today so you can fight tomorrow.
Aren't Rocket Launchers handled quite similarly?
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psychophipps
post Jun 26 2009, 04:28 PM
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QUOTE (TBRMInsanity @ Jun 26 2009, 07:27 AM) *
If they had Recoilless Rifles in Shadowrun the availability rating would be well out of the range of the average Shadowrunner. Even today only militaries are legally allowed to own and operate modern RRs.


Is that why the US Dept of Interior uses RRs and old surplus ammo for avalanche control around ski resorts and train tracks?

And there aren't any "modern" RRs, guys. These weapons are obsolete but are still in use because they're cheap (being obsolete does that) and still kill people. Everyone made mad grips of them before they became obsolete so they're all over the frickin' place. If a SR team was going for RRs it would be like a modern SF A-team deciding that single shot roller block rifles was the way to get tactical supremacy.
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Warlordtheft
post Jun 26 2009, 04:34 PM
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QUOTE (Dakka Dakka @ Jun 26 2009, 05:40 AM) *
I haven't read the whole wikipedia article, but weren't recoilless rifles superceded by rocket propelled grenades? That may be why they are not in a futuristic role playing game.


There are some still in service in some second rate militaries and paramilitaries today. The US no longer has any in active servie-the last one being 105mm recoiless rifle whic was typically mounted on a Jeep. It was replaced by guided rockets (Tow) and automatic grenade launchers (the Mk-19).
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Machiavelli
post Jun 26 2009, 04:40 PM
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QUOTE (Zombayz @ Jun 26 2009, 08:13 AM) *
I don't think you've got actual recoilless rifles in mind.

Just for future reference, I'm talking about THESE.

Ah, now i know what you are talking about. I german the word "rifle" is used moreof for what you would call "longarms", the german equivalent of rifle would be more of "cannon". My mistake, sorry.

...ok, for me this is just a variant of a rocket-launcher with massive projectiles instead of a explosive (or whatever) warhead. And due to the fact that rocketlaunchers, assault-cannons and the like exist in SR...you have what you want. Assault cannons seem to work different because the HAVE recoil, but my fore-posters already gave some good explanations and proposals. So i better shut up.^^ (Do rocket launchers have recoil?)
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Dakka Dakka
post Jun 26 2009, 04:55 PM
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QUOTE (Machiavelli @ Jun 26 2009, 06:40 PM) *
(Do rocket launchers have recoil?)
Yup, and we already had this discussion. In fact I started it. But since most rocket launchers are single shot, it is a non issue. For those that aren't the second shot is -2 unless you add a shock pad.
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kzt
post Jun 26 2009, 05:04 PM
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QUOTE (Warlordtheft @ Jun 26 2009, 09:34 AM) *
There are some still in service in some second rate militaries and paramilitaries today. The US no longer has any in active servie-the last one being 105mm recoiless rifle whic was typically mounted on a Jeep. It was replaced by guided rockets (Tow) and automatic grenade launchers (the Mk-19).

No, the 90mm in use by Rangers until 1990, long after the 105 was gone. It was replaced in Ranger service in 1990 by RAWS (Ranger Antitank Weapons System), which is a M3 Carl Gustaf Recoilless Rifle. I understand that Naval Special Operations also uses this.
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'Sconnie
post Jun 26 2009, 05:10 PM
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QUOTE (Warlordtheft @ Jun 26 2009, 04:34 PM) *
There are some still in service in some second rate militaries and paramilitaries today. The US no longer has any in active servie-the last one being 105mm recoiless rifle whic was typically mounted on a Jeep. It was replaced by guided rockets (Tow) and automatic grenade launchers (the Mk-19).


I seem to recall the Specail forces in Afghanistan still use the Carl Gustav. It's apparantly the cat's ass when it comes to busting up bunkers.
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Kerenshara
post Jun 26 2009, 05:58 PM
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OK, a few thoughts here.

First, I'm not sure why we seem to be hung up on the designation "recoilless rifle". The original design function of the type has been LONG superceeded by modern guided anti-tank weapons. The FGM-148 Javelin ATGM weighs in at just over 22.5 kg / 49.5 pounds loaded, can be fired from within an enclosed space, is self-guiding to target, and is effective as close at 75 meters and as far away as 2500+. It is designed to be able to engage vehicles, structures and anecdotally, even helicopters. It is used by at least sixteen nations. The raw mathematical potential of the Monroe Effect of the shaped charge warhead is approximately 50% greater than the Carl Gustav, to say nothing of the ability for top attack. The original Recoilless Rifles were designed as a means to give an accurate, long range anti-tank capability to un-armored forces. The original types in that capacity were large, heavy, cumbersome and ineffecient, but were considerably better than nothing. Shoulder-launched rocket systems (bazooka, Sovie-era RPG weapons, AT-4, M-72 LAW, and so on) offer comparable hitting power (diameter limited) to the Recoilless Rifle, as both still rely on shaped-charge HEAT (High Explosive Anti-Tank) warheads to penetrate armor, as opposed to high-velocity impact penetration.

The current role of weapons like the M3 Carl Gustav are to provide a more handy, portable but shorter range weapon system for use against hardened targets. A Javelin is overkill against mant targets, but a 40mm grenade launcher often is not enough. Other systems that fill a comparable role with similar capabilities, however, are pure rocket-based weapons including the USMC SMAW (Shoulder-launched Multi-purpose Assault Weapon) and the follow-on FGM 172 SRAW (Short Range Assault Weapon). The M3 and the SMAW both have a back blast which makes them inoperable inside an enclosed space, but the SRAW, like the Javelin, uses a soft(cold)launch system, and is usable at ranges as short as 17 meters / 18.5 yards, while retaining the range of the CG and adding a self-guiding ability and top-attack arcing-profile.

Now, jump foward to 2070: A LAW rocket is 750
¥ while the low-end Ballista I rocket is 1000¥. It's got a bigger punch, better range, and better options. Presumably (though it does not explicitly say so) you could fire the weapon from an enclosed space, especially if you allow for the current progression in similar modern weapons, especially like the SRAW. A Recoilless Rifle, by definition, can't. Soft-launch also means you leave a lot less obvious indication of your launch position. So for what your actual mission requirements probably call for, THAT's going to be your weapon of choice.

Oh, and as to your OP topic, if you take a closer look at the Arbelast II MAW Rocket Launcher, you'll see it's pretty similar to what you're looking for in terms of stats and description.
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Zombayz
post Jun 26 2009, 07:33 PM
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QUOTE ('Sconnie @ Jun 26 2009, 09:10 AM) *
I seem to recall the Specail forces in Afghanistan still use the Carl Gustav. It's apparantly the cat's ass when it comes to busting up bunkers.


Canada still actively uses Carl G, as do several other nations.


QUOTE (Kerenshara @ Jun 26 2009, 09:58 AM) *
Intelligent word pile


Thank you. And I never noticed the similarities between the MAW and a RR. A little bit of flavour and a tiny bit of mechanics and it'll be a recoilless rifle.
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the_real_elwood
post Jun 26 2009, 08:16 PM
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Why not just use a rocket launcher with an unguided rocket? Seems like it accomplishes the same thing.
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TBRMInsanity
post Jun 26 2009, 08:25 PM
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The Canadian Forces have a long wait period before introducing new weapons (due to budget constraints, training costs, and effectiveness of existing weapons). The Carl G works, so they choose not to replace it. The CF does use some rocket launchers as well (M101 IIRC).
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Kerenshara
post Jun 26 2009, 09:26 PM
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QUOTE (the_real_elwood @ Jun 26 2009, 03:16 PM) *
Why not just use a rocket launcher with an unguided rocket? Seems like it accomplishes the same thing.

Simple answer: accuracy, flexability and range.

If you only need to go a hundred meters or so, unguided is inarguably the way to go, except in one case: enclosd space launch. The Ambrust was a LAW designed to be usable from an indoors position, but the necessary baffling, couter-mass and other added bits made the thing nearly the size of a NON-DISPOSABLE weapon system. A weapon with even minimal self-guidance ability (MRAW above) can correct for the destabilitation common to a soft-launch to primary motor transition. The MRAW can be fired fom inside an efficiency appartment at the appartment across the alley safely, but retains the ability to reach out 600+ meters.

*shrug*

Like they always say, right tool for the situation, but heavy weapons are HEAVY and bulky, meaning it's harder to keep the right variety on hand for every situation. The Ballista system can duplicate most functions neatly in the light-to-medium threat environment across all effective engagement ranges, has a Semi-Automatic firing capability for follow-up/repeat engagement and can have a 4-round mission-selectable clip swapped out (relatively) quickly by a dedicated loader, and to top it all off the system is actualy quite ergonomic, requiring no hands to carry (backpack). IF I was going to take a rocket-based weapon system on a 'run anywhere in a 'plex, that would be what I would choose.
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the_real_elwood
post Jun 26 2009, 10:58 PM
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QUOTE (Kerenshara @ Jun 26 2009, 04:26 PM) *
Simple answer: accuracy, flexability and range.

If you only need to go a hundred meters or so, unguided is inarguably the way to go, except in one case: enclosd space launch. The Ambrust was a LAW designed to be usable from an indoors position, but the necessary baffling, couter-mass and other added bits made the thing nearly the size of a NON-DISPOSABLE weapon system. A weapon with even minimal self-guidance ability (MRAW above) can correct for the destabilitation common to a soft-launch to primary motor transition. The MRAW can be fired fom inside an efficiency appartment at the appartment across the alley safely, but retains the ability to reach out 600+ meters.

*shrug*

Like they always say, right tool for the situation, but heavy weapons are HEAVY and bulky, meaning it's harder to keep the right variety on hand for every situation. The Ballista system can duplicate most functions neatly in the light-to-medium threat environment across all effective engagement ranges, has a Semi-Automatic firing capability for follow-up/repeat engagement and can have a 4-round mission-selectable clip swapped out (relatively) quickly by a dedicated loader, and to top it all off the system is actualy quite ergonomic, requiring no hands to carry (backpack). IF I was going to take a rocket-based weapon system on a 'run anywhere in a 'plex, that would be what I would choose.


I'm not gonna dispute any of that from a real-life perspective, but it seems to me that if you statted out a recoilless rifle in SR4, it would end up accomplishing much the same thing as a dumb rocket launcher. I'm not opposed to more rules, but that just seems like rules bloat.
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Kerenshara
post Jun 27 2009, 05:54 PM
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QUOTE (the_real_elwood @ Jun 26 2009, 05:58 PM) *
I'm not gonna dispute any of that from a real-life perspective, but it seems to me that if you statted out a recoilless rifle in SR4, it would end up accomplishing much the same thing as a dumb rocket launcher. I'm not opposed to more rules, but that just seems like rules bloat.

That was sort of my point. *grin* So long as the engagement profile is covered, what you call it is kind of irrelevant.
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