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TheOGBluejay

Infantry Anti-Vehicle Weapons

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Before I properly dig into this post, I want to add a disclaimer. My players and I prefer to play more realistic campaigns in Only War, and thus some of the Grim-Derptm is toned down in my games. As such, the content of this house ruling will reflect that. So, without further ado, I present two new additions to the Imperial Guard's armory.

 

Since the morning of September 15, 1916, when the first armored combat vehicles rolled across the massive open grave that was The Somme, tanks have dominated warfare. Even 38,000 years later, in the 41st Millenium, this is still the case. Armored fighting vehicles, from Sentinels to Baneblades, represent a significant threat to the foot soldiers of the Imperium. And what do they have to counter them? Meltaguns, while effective, have an extremely limited range; their shoulder mounted missile launchers are prohibitively heavy and struggle to damage MBTs unless shot directly at their rear armor; Las-Cannons, while very effective, weigh in at an extremely ridiculous 55kg, or approximately 110 pounds. The only one of these proven to be reliably effective against the Main Battle Tanks (or equivalent) of the enemy is the Las-Cannon, which cannot be carried around by any but the most exceptional of guardsmen. While Line Infantry, Mechanised Infantry, and other units with regular access to vehicles can mostly circumvent this downside, it means that units of Light Infantry, Drop Troopers, Reconnaissance Troopers, and other specialist infantry must rely on either the extremely short ranged meltagun or the heavy and ineffective missile launcher. My players love playing Drop Troops and Light Infantry, so we decided to remedy this.

 

Shortly after the introduction of the tank to the battlefield, it became apparent that killing them was of the utmost priority. While cannons and other heavier weapons (such as the Las-cannon in the 40k universe) could be employed while on the defensive, killing them while on the offensive was a little more difficult. A squad of infantry cannot carry a 57mm AT gun on their backs after all! At first, the weapons developed to take the attack to armored vehicles were simply oversized rifles, firing .50 caliber or larger rounds. Between the world wars, tanks became more armored, so the world's militaries began to look towards other options. At first, they depend on near suicidal weapons such as the Sticky Grenade or Satchel Charges, but they soon came to the conclusion that rockets where the only feasible option. Cheap and easy to produce, they could propel a charge powerful enough to ensure a kill to extreme ranges, ensuring some safety for the infantrymen using them. The Panzerfaust, the Panzerschreck, the Bazooka, the PIAT; these were all rocket based weapons that succeeded in their intended goal of killing enemy tanks. After the end of WW2, most nation's militaries continued to look to the rocket and missile for the answer to the problem of enemy armor, but one arms manufacturer in particular did not. The Carl Gustav was born.

 

The Carl Gustav is an 84mm recoilless rifle. Unlike a rocket launcher, a recoilles rifle fires a much larger round significantly faster with the assistance of physics. Recoilless rifles are simple tubes, into which a modified artillery shell is inserted. When fired, the round exits the front of the weapon and a massive flare of fire and exhaust gasses exits the rear of the weapon, rendering it effectively "recoil-less," hence the name. As the weapon itself is simply a steel tube with a firing mechanism, it is much lighter than a dedicated missile launcher. It can fire a variety of rounds, from HEAT to HE to Flare rounds. So, my group and I decided to bring the Carl Gustav into the future as the Man portable Anti Armor Weapon System, or MAAWS. This weapon is intended not to replace the missile launcher, but to serve as an alternative for fast moving, foot mounted forces. The launcher is significantly lighter, but the individual shells are much heavier than those of the missile launcher. So, finally, the weapon profile.

 

MAAWS: ( Heavy, 300m, S/-/-, *, *, Magazine 1, Rld 2 Full, *, 14kg, Rare)

 

Ammunition for the MAAWS: 

Krak: (3d10+8 X, Pen 16, Proven(3) Concussive(2), 3.5kg, Scarce)

Frag: (2d10+5 X, Pen 3, Blast(4), 3.5kg, Average)

Airburst: (1d10+8 X, Pen 2, Blast(10), 3.5kg, Rare)

Flare: (1d5+3 I, Pen 0, Flame, 3.0kg, Rare, Illuminates 500m diameter circle centered within weapon's range for 60 seconds when fired into the air)

 

Now, a weapon with these advantages must have a disadvantage, right? Well it does. This weapon cannot be fired indoors, or the backblast will kill anyone in the room (and probably light the building on fire as well), and even when used outside, anyone standing in a 30 degree cone up to 50m behind the weapon will take 1d10+5 E damage with the flame quality, as well as pass a (-10)agility test or be knocked down.

 

This weapon allows a squad of light infantry to carry an effective, dangerous, anti-tank weapon and several rounds with out weighing down any one member too greatly. It also means that when drop troopers are inserted into enemy territory, for a measly 3.5kg of extra weight, each man can carry a round capable of killing a tank once united with the squad's heavy weapons.

 

 

I promised two weapons, and I will deliver. Similarly to when the tank was introduced, the advent of aircraft on the battlefield soon required that soldiers be able to defend themselves from the predations of attack craft and helicopters. In the universe of warhammer 40k, valkyries, ork choppas, and dark eldar pleasure(torture?) barges make the skies just as dangerous as the ground, and even more so for Imperial Guard soldiers. With things as they are, players cannot engage enemy aircraft until they are essentially right on top of them, while those selfsame aircraft can float overhead, dropping bombs, missiles, and burning promethium at their leisure. Again, my group and I looked to the solutions developed in the real world to solve our problems in the game. The 9K338 Igla/SA-24 is a man portable air defense system developed in Russia for use against airborne threats to their soldiers in the field. It, like most MANPADS, is guided by infared to its target, up to 6km away from the launcher. Here is the adapted weapon profile.

 

MANPADS: (Heavy, 2,000m, S/-/-, *, *, Magazine 1, Rld 2 Full, *, 19kg, Very Rare) Note that the weapon must be held on target for 1 full turn so that the missile may acquire lock and fire. This gives it a passive +20 to hit airborne targets.

 

Ammuntion for the MANPADS:

Missile: (3d10+8 X; Pen 8; 12 kg, Very Rare)

 

As you can see, the launcher and missile are both heavy objects; the launcher due to the targeting computer, and the missile due to the large amount of fuel required to get the warhead to the target.

 

So, there you have it. Our solution to the fact that my group was party wiped twice by a Chimera and a third time by a Leman Russ simply because the weapons they had at the time couldn't so much as scratch the paint, even from the sides. I hope that you and your players can find a place for these new weapons in your games; the MANPADS especially has many uses for wreaking havoc on Drop Infantry Regiments.

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With the MAWS you have basically buffed a Missile Launcher, don't you?

 

I don't understand why krak missiles are better when you use a MAWS than when you use a MLauncher.

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The Krak rounds fired from the MAAWS are not missiles, they are essentially small artillery shells. They are traveling at a higher velocity than the rounds fired from the missile launcher, as well as delivering a much larger payload on target. In the rulebook the weight of an entire missile is listed as .5kg, including propellant and warhead; the weight of an individual shell fired from the MAAWS is 3.5kg. So going by size alone, the MAAWS fires a round with a mass 7x greater than that of the standard krak missile, leaving a lot more room for the payload.

 

And yes, it is basically a buffed Missile Launcher with a smaller selection of ammunition lol  :)

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This post confuses me somewhat, because I play a Drop Troops Stormtrooper that totes a Lascannon into battle as his signature item, complete with a 25kg backpack ammo pack.

Rather than creating cheese weapons out of thin air, your players could alternatively build their characters accordingly, or, to suggest a novelty aspect of roleplay, they could approach the problem with intelligent alternatives. Most Airborne (Drop Troops) Regiments contain a core Air-To-Ground Assault Squadron of Vulture class gunships. The players could either attempt to board the vehicle and attack the crew manning it, as we often do in our squad of drop troops, or call in an airstrike to destroy the hostile Armour so that they can proceed onto their objective.

While enemy Aircraft are a slightly more difficult proposition to destroy (though usually lighter armoured than their land counterparts) due to the inability to board them with any degree of convenience, it should again be noted that this is why Anti-Air equipment like Hydras are fielded in the Imperial Guard. Your players are part of an army and have a myriad of allies to call on in the field, not to mention relatively leisurely access to weapons reliably capable of killing both tanks and aircraft.

Not normally me to discourage creativity, but, I'm inclined to believe that this is creativity for the wrong reasons.

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So if I understand you correctly, you are saying that one man is carrying a 55kg weapon, a 25kg backpack, 15kg armor, and all of his other equipment such as rations, blankets and sleeping bags, etc. and he can still walk beyond about 2m per round of combat, even if he manages to ditch his backpack beforehand? Additionally, you have to have a combined toughness and strength bonus of 12 for that weight to not slow your character and potentially exhaust them on the march, which is very hard to do, if not impossible even with almost perfect starting rolls. I understand that the rules do technically allow for players to carry weight like that, but when my guys are also carrying everything else they need for survival on their backs and rucking it 12 hours a day through enemy territory they don't get very far. Not to mention that a character built to be able to carry that much weight is going to be of limited use in many other situations, because they will need such a significant exp investment into toughness and strength. Lastly, drop troopers often can not call on extra assistance once they are on the ground; they can't very well infiltrate a hydra around in the enemy's backfield. I did state at the beginning of the post that the slightly toned down grim-derp was a thing in my games, as it is fairly safe to assume that the IG is at least reasonably competent after 10,000 years of warfare.

 

Also, how are these weapons cheese?

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I'm the squad's command character as well. It just so happens that I had the sense to get Suspensors to halve the weight of the Lascannon and remove the need to brace it, meaning that given my 5 TB and 5 AgB, my 3 SB is less of a concern, given I can still hoof it around as if I was AgB 4. Again, there're ways and means to make it happen.

As is, lower base weight (which is meant to be a balancing factor), the heightened damages of the assorted payloads, though I did notice the increased rarity, I would be comfortable in making the leap of logic to assume that these are Regimental Favoured Weapons and thus not actually all that difficult to acquire.

If the Drop Troops can get there, so can their Vulture air support.

If Creed was in play, well....

And the inflexibility of the guard, and the difficulties faced with tech, are a fairly intrinsic part of the setting, though as we all know already, I suppose, "there is no canon".

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If Creed was in play, the enemy base would stand up, reveal itself to be an Emperor-class Titan, and kill the enemy forces, who would still be in shock. Then, game won, the Titan would place a hand on the ground, near the player command character, and upon opening it, they would find a bottle of the enemy commander's amasec, which he had hidden in his office (actually part of the Titan's left shoulder), with a note tied to it, saying "just as planned."

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First, the problem with using suspensors as a solution is that is nearly impossible for a beginner squad, or even one with a few missions under their belt to get a set of them out of the Quartermaster due to the rarity of such an item. And even so, 22.5kg for a las cannon or 14kg for a missile launcher (which is really not a threat to anything bigger than a Chimera) is nothing to turn your nose at when planning out a multi day trip on foot. With weight issues like that it's likely that the HW guy is going to have to leave their rifle at base or take a carbine, limiting their effectiveness in an ambush or other firefight.

 

Secondly, you yourself stated in your post that your character is still encumbered even in combat, and I'm willing to bet that you ditch your ruck when you get in a gunfight. With the MAAWS a trooper can still remain light on his feet and maintain his most critical edge in a fight against armor, his superior mobility.

 

Thirdly, the vehicles they are using this against will usually have weapons with a range equal to that of the MAAWS, if not significantly greater (looking at you Leman Russ with your 2100m range), meaning that it still requires the troopers to be at significant personal risk to employ the device.

 

Fourth, and most importantly, Vultures and other support simply cannot always be there to provide support. A Vulture, even though it is fairly advanced, will still reach bingo fuel at some point and have to turn around and refuel, which could easily take 15 minutes at the least, leaving them diminished or completely lacking air cover for a quarter of an hour. They could also have been inserted into an area with significant low level AAA assets, making assistance from Vultures or other vehicles impossible. It gets even worse if they are mountain troops, light infantry, or guerrilla troopers very deep in enemy territory out of the range of friendly air support.

 

Fifth, I would just like to state that if you are regularly counteracting enemy armor by climbing on the vehicle, your GM is doing something very wrong. All but the most unprofessional military forces send infantry cover along with armored vehicles to prevent exactly that, and even when tanks race ahead of the main infantry force they will often take along riders or "scratch eachother's backs" with MG fire in the event of an attempted boarding. Also, hatches have locks from the inside. I'm not saying it's impossible, but outside of an urban environment it would be an absolute miracle to successfully disable an enemy tank this way.

 

I understand your complaints, but believe me, after several sessions of playtesting these weapons are still incapable of giving the PC's a leg up in every situation.

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I echo the sentiment about the lascannon - it is a great weapon if you have access to it and the means to acquire suspensors. It is great for your character that you are able to lug it around and are allowed to keep it. However, that doesn't help anyone who isn't playing in your game. I agree that a proper anti-armor weapon is sorely lacking for the average squad, though I am loathe to add a weapon that isn't found anywhere else in 40k. 

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Rocket launchers are basically recoilless rifles that are not rifled. They also have the backblast you mentioned, although whether you can fire them indoors or not depends on how far away the back is pointed to a surface like a wall, floor or ceiling. I don't really see the need for these extra rules, you could buff the rocket launcher or just make two different versions for AV and AA, but overall the weapon in the book is designed for what you describe already.  

 

To make it more WH40k like you could make unique version that fits your profile coming from some sort of world that needs this kind of specialization. 

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use an autocannon on semi-auto: when you fire at these kinda vehicles you're getting +30 to hit from size mod so you're likely to get 1-3 hits, each one does an average of about 25 with a pen of 6. sure you can't smash a chimera from the front but you're guard, you shouldn't be able to do that anyway. a chimera has side armour 22, so you'd do on average 9 hull points per hit, of which you may well get 2 or 3 per volley. Against side armour a chimera will last 3 turns MAX, rear armour about 2.

 

also if you wanna go after tanks then take the tank hunter talent that allows you to add BSB to pen, thats like an extra 4 pen!

 

I think your rocket launcher is way OP, your squad should not be able to take down a tank just by one guy shooting it in the front, something your krak rockets (with an average damage of 25 pen 16) could easily do.

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Also, a melta gun is very viable to hunt tanks even when you aren't point blank: it has a 20 meter range, and again remember you get that +30 to hit a decent sized vehicle so even long range wont be a problem, heck the -30 for extreme range doesnt make it impossible to hit something if its chimera sized or bigger if your PC has a decent BS or gets the chance to aim. i know using a melta gun at extreme range is arguably not in the spirit of the game but you see what i mean.

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I think the biggest reason I designed this, and the reason you guys all seem to be missing is that tanks have two massive advantages and one lesser advantage over infantry. I get the impression you guys have never properly utilized these advantages in game or you wouldn't be saying that an autocannon or a melta gun were a good choice. We decided to create this weapon for these two reasons:

 

1) Tanks have a massive range advantage over infantry. They can effectively engage troops out to 2100m with their main gun, and they will often have their front armor pointed in that direction. This weapon was built with the intention of allowing them to engage such threats from the front.

 

2) They are still pretty much indestructible to small weapons fire apart from heavier equipment.

 

3) The lesser advantage is not inherent to the vehicle, but instead to the operators. A tank properly utilized by its operators is going to have infantry protection, meaning that you are going to have to kill quite a few troops to get even something as portable as a meltagun into position. That will be difficult, even without the crew of the tank actively trying to kill you.

 

Tanks aren't meant to be invincible killing machines like so many people seem to believe. The armor protects them from enemy infantry and allows them to deliver larger weapons to where they are needed. I understand that if you don't want these in your game, but I did state that they were designed for a more realistic game at the beginning of my post.

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tanks have two massive advantages and one lesser advantage over infantry.

 

Yes, and this is the reason why the tanks still exist.

Edited by Jargal

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I agree about the advantages, and I don't see a problem with it, it fits the fluff well. Tanks have some weaknesses though to compensate. First of all is vision: If you let characters in a tank have the same battlefield awareness of infantry then they are unrealistically good. At the very least they should suffer a penalty on awareness checks, and might in addition have several blind spots unless one of them is standing in the open hatch, in which case it's an easy sniper target. WW2 tanks were notoriously bad when it came to vision, and even modern tanks with cameras and vision systems needs infantry support to operate well, especially in urban or rough terrain. Second is size, being easy to hit as someone mentioned. 

 

If you are expecting a IG infantry squad to be able to deal with a tank in the open at 2 km range then your expectations are wrong, in this case infantry either hide or they are dead. 

 

Besides, a real life Carl Gustav probably can't take on an M1A2 abrams tank from the front either. 

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Rocket launchers are basically recoilless rifles that are not rifled. They also have the backblast you mentioned, although whether you can fire them indoors or not depends on how far away the back is pointed to a surface like a wall, floor or ceiling. I don't really see the need for these extra rules, you could buff the rocket launcher or just make two different versions for AV and AA, but overall the weapon in the book is designed for what you describe already.  

 

To make it more WH40k like you could make unique version that fits your profile coming from some sort of world that needs this kind of specialization. 

Well it also depends on the Launcher,

M-72 LAWS, you fire from enclosed space and you be a toasty critter

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hBssszRwwsE

 

AT-4 CS on the hand, has a saltwater counter mass in the rear of launcher, so safe from virtually any enclosed area

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OJRrrCBjj_M

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While I find the 'improved' krak rounds still highly anemic.

 

Using anydice to calculate the average damage,

 

example for front of a baneblade:

 

output [highest of 0 and 3d{3,3,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10} + 8 + 16 - 45]

 

vehicle data

           Front   Side  Rear  Struct
Baneblade    45    38    30    120
Leman Russ   40    32    20     55
Chimera      30    22    16     35
warbuggy     22    20    18     23

 

Using those numbers, here's how many times you'd have to hit that vehicle with the improved krak to bring it to zero structure:

 

             Front    Side    Rear
Baneblade    230.77   30.77   10.53
Leman Russ    21.91    5.85    2.57
Chimera        3.07    1.80    1.38
warbuggy       1.19    1.07    0.98

 

So, if you shoot a warbuggy in the ass, you have roughly a 50% chance of destroying it (i.e. you need to roll average damage or better to do the job) .  And if you and your mates want to take a Chimera from the front, you'd better have a team of 4 or more guys with the launchers to volley fire them.

 

Assuming you are expecting a hit rate of 75%, you'd need around 8 shots to take out a Leman Russ from the side.

 

But really,the vehicle damage rules are pretty badly written, and if you want to interact with vehicles in only war, you are better off re-writing them from the ground up, or just going completely to magic tea party to resolve the effects of anti-armor weapons on them.

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https://community.fantasyflightgames.com/index.php?/topic/121396-hardcore-mod/

Hardcore mode - all armor values for vehicles are halfed, all hull integrity values are halved (except for PC's own vehicle), autocannon, lascannon and multilased damage is lowered by 1d10+5, d10+4 and d10+5 respectively. Id give the lascannon a recharge quality as well - compared to tank battle cannon, even the reduced 4d10+5 Pen10 is too good.

There. Now tank gun one-shots APCs, krak grenades are useful antitank weapons, and heavy machine gun or sniper rifle can be actually used against light armor.

Edited by Chaplain

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Tanks aren't meant to be invincible killing machines like so many people seem to believe. The armor protects them from enemy infantry and allows them to deliver larger weapons to where they are needed. I understand that if you don't want these in your game, but I did state that they were designed for a more realistic game at the beginning of my post.

 

tbf i don't understand why you see a squad of guardsmen taking on an armoured tank at range on its front armour and winning is 'a more realistic game' 

 

I mean, does your PC squad fight on its own or does it have any support? an IG squad is never alone, because thats how the guard work, if the enemy tank has accompanying infantry then you get another squad to distract them or help you take them out.

 

Also, autocannon totally works, trust XD

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Been GMing a game for an Armoured Regiment recently. Krak Missiles OP. Seriously. Combo one of these with a ballsy Meltagunner or a melee specced guardsman and let the lols begin as he one-mans the tank full of stunned enemies.

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The Tread Fether in Hammer of the Emperor provides a lighter alternative to the Missile Launcher.  Clever guardsman may be able to attach a Melta Bomb utilizing stealth or superior positioning.

 

It is not likely for infantry guardsman to survive conflict with a Lemann Russ unless provided strongly superior positioning such as raised gunning platforms with Heavy Mortars & Lascannons.  In many cases, Guardsmen will find themselves using Kraks to fish for that expanded righteous fury range - a krak grenade will have a 40% chance of inflicting 1 structural damage on any enemy armor.

 

I'll reiterate.  Infantry will lose to a Lemann Russ unless highly specialized and well equipped.  If command wants them to take down a tank, mission requisition should include stealth gear, melta bombs/meltaguns, grenade/missile launchers/mortars, krak grenades/missiles/rounds, and a Lascannon with a Bipod.

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Taking on a tank is incredibly easy in Only War provided you have either a weapon with the concussive property, or are able to approach the situation intelligently. Lascannons are great, but less effective compared to using a Krak Missile and then proceeding to board the offending vehicle.

Even with the standard equipment available in the game, my Stormtrooper has proven time and again to be a ridiculously good armour cracker through a combination of gutsy tactics and being hard as nails. A dedicated Heavy would be much more capable of performing the role, however.

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