- Wed, Aug 9th '17 at 22h 10m 57s #5645PolarfuchsParticipant
Support Weapons and their role on an advancing battlefield.
The Machine Gun, and it’s Role on the Battlefield:
A machine gun is a singular barreled, automatic weapon, capable of firing at high RPMs, (the exception of this being the BAR and Lewis, with comparatively low RPMs due to their design in the 1910s) and also capable of laying covering or suppressive fire. The machine gun is an area denial weapon, not meant to hit the target, but to keep said target pinned down while the squad advances. The machine gun is so important that German squad tactics were based around the machine gun.
The gunner is the class that wields the machine gun in game (although the any unit can equip one (supply crates, weapon crates, the commando’s upgrades, and the frenchies’ random weapon)) and his abilities are support based, with the first one reflecting the importance of the machine gun in holding a position. The gunner’s first ability being the bipod, “allow the gunner to fire prone, active until moved or suppressed”, shows the use of the weapon for defense, although not very useful for offensive operations. The machine gun can also be used as an area denial weapon, with a high skill gunner switching targets multiple times to cover the area in a spray of lethal lead projectiles. The area denial is a property of the Lewis and Browning guns, due to their high ammunition capacity (50 and 250 respectively) and in the case of the Browning the insane rate of fire that it has.
For more on allied weapons (including machine guns): go here
The Browning Light Machine Gun and Support Weapons vs. Machine Guns:
An effective weapon, but with it’s drawbacks.
The Browning Light Machine Gun, (a.k.a: Browning 1919 LMG, browning gun [though this is often associated with the BAR gun], and the good ol’ .30 cal) is a high rate of fire, high capacity LMG that serves the same purpose as the MG-34, and MG-42, (in game the MG34 is tripod mounted, while the MG-42 is bipod mounted) that of a squad support weapon. The role of the squad support weapon is to suppress the enemy, cover an advance, and generally discourage any assault on a position due to the deadly nature of high rate of fire weapons. It is important to make a distinction between a support weapon and a machine gun. A support weapon is any weapon that supports the main rifle team. By this logic the SMGs, Shotgun, and Pistols, are all support weapons, as they contribute to the security of the main team, consisting of the rifleman and his comrades. The machine gun however is a specific class of weapon, designated to provide suppression fire and covering fire to support the rifle team. This is like squares and rectangles but with weapons, “All machine guns are support weapons, not all support weapons are machine guns,”. The browning gun is almost perfect, high magazine of 250 rounds in a box magazine, high punching power of the 30.06 cartridge it shares with most American small arms at the time, and a respectively average rate of fire. The Browning may not have the RoF of a MG-42, but it is more accurate. The main drawback is the ability to target switch. Due to the lower RoF the Browning gun has a hard time keeping enemies down due to the fact that less rounds are put on the target area before the wielder switches his aim to the next guy, and the next, and so on. This problem becomes exponentially more of a hindrance for each enemy you add on. The RoF of the gun on a max XP gunner allows the weapon to put out between a 30 and 50 round burst into the target area. With two targets that’s 15-25 each, with three 10-17 each, four, 7-13 each, and on. This makes the weapon very bad against large concentrations of enemies when using the MnB targeting logic (a bullet can only hit the target it’s aimed at, if it misses it’s no longer a bullet, but a yellow line on the screen that does nothing at all) because upwards of 5 enemy troops there just isn’t enough firepower to keep the enemy down. And this will lead us into the next topic.
Suppression and Crossfires:
Suppression is the ability of a weapon to, yup, suppress the enemy. By this we mean keeping their heads down so they can not return effective fire. It is important to note the difference between suppression fire and missing the target. Suppression fire is the use of an inaccurate weapon that has a high rate of fire to deny the enemy a chance to return fire, while missing the target may suppress him, it is not a permanent effect. Suppression is the continued effects on moral and combat ability caused by facing an automatic weapon. These effects usually result in an overall loss in will to fight, and eventually result in a continuous pinned situation. Suppression also results in a time where movement can be undertaken without return fire. The difference in use of suppression between MnB2 and MnB3 is obvious. In MnB2 you used suppression as a defensive means to keep the enemy down far away from your main defensive lines. In MnB3 you are the attacker, and suppression is used differently. Suppression in MnB3 should be used to cover the advance of one section of your squad. I won’t go over infantry tactics in this guide but there are 2 different setups I use. 3 groups of 2 and 2 groups of 3 are both very good for following the rules of a covered advance. Suppression in MnB3 is best used in a crossfire. A crossfire is the overlapping of firing arcs from different angles to create a kill zone. Crossfires apply to all types of combat, including AT guns, artillery, and AA guns. A crossfire combined with weapons that can suppress the enemy can result in a complete tactical advantage over your opponents. For an example of a crossfire say you have two gunners: Bob and Bill, Bob and Bill both have the M1919. If you position one on each side of the screen they’re firing arcs will overlap in the center, creating a zone where even if one soldier is reloading, there will still be shots inbound. This is why crossfires as so dangerous, because there will always be bullets flying into the kill zone. Many times you will see the Random Number Generator spawn 3-4 MG-34s in a row across the screen. This is also a crossfire with many kill zones, but from my experience they no longer gib people (off topic).
Air Support, and how to use it:
Air support comes in two forms, CAS/Strafing Run, and Bomb Drop (Huge explosion that kills everything in a 20 meter radius). CAS is very ineffective (a complete reversal from MnB2) and generally a waste of time. Although on maps with lots of sandbags (e.g. mortain) a good CAS strike can do a lot of good damage to enemy cover, but that also destroys your cover soooo yeah, not really the best. The more useful and more powerful piece of air support available is the bomb drop. The bomb crater would suggest a weight of 1000 lb for the bomb. A bomb strike is one of the two ways to destroy a bunker, the other being TNT. The bomb strike, if you get lucky enough for it to land on target, can disable any vehicle, emplacement, or piece of cover the Germans can throw at you. There’s a catch though, the timer is 3 minutes long so don’t expect to spam bombs everywhere to destroy large swathes of map (use arty for that, it covers more area, more on that later). The best way to use air support is to flush out enemies from their positions behind cover, or destroy that cover altogether. This way you gain the upper hand. The other use of air support is to use it as an offensive weapon, targeting enemy assets, vehicles, and troop concentrations to gain the upper hand in a gunfight (this will not give you the upper hand tactically, although it may destroy cover like the first method). The first method is best used when using CAS, and the second when using the giant explosion death machine known as the 1000 lb bomb.
The Final Topic for Today:
Artillery: Pros, Cons, and Tips of Usage
Artillery is the third and final type of support available from the communications menu on the sig’s radio, and is the most powerful. Arty is a combination of the map coverage of CAS, and the potential damage of the bomb strike. The arty strike hits 4 separate places, close enough together to make whatever is there into a pile of red goo, but not all in one place, this can result in A LOT of lag, if, for example, you hit a hedgerow, then thing go flying. Artillery CAN NOT destroy bunkers and pillboxes, take my word for it. But arty is also more precise than a bomb drop, allowing you to take out emplacements and vehicles much more easily. Using arty is a key to victory and a good commander can make the most out of it, targeting clusters of cover and enemy positions, and removing almost half of all enemy opposition on the map.
Feedback is appreciated!
Best of Wishes,
PolarfuchsSun, Aug 13th '17 at 0h 51m 32s #5696Lt.DanParticipant
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