Rocketlauncher Question

Discuss the Traveller RPG and its many settings
Settembrini
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Rocketlauncher Question

Postby Settembrini » Mon Feb 04, 2008 6:34 am

The Rocketlauncher has a recoil of 6.

In fact it should have a recoil of 0, for obvious reasons.

But recoil, what does it ACTUALLY model in MGT?
Is recoil including handling and set up time?
Deniable
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Postby Deniable » Mon Feb 04, 2008 7:00 am

Newton's Third Law says it's obvious there is a kick from a rocket launcher. Some of this can be eliminated by burning propellant outside the launcher but this can be riskier for the firer.

MGT Recoil is designed to do the following (from v3.2 page 71):
... suffer from recoil, which makes them harder to aim and increases the time between
effective attacks. Subtract the weapon's Recoil score minus the character's Strength DM from the character's Initiative after firing.
In this case it's the shock / flash / smoke of firing a big rocket from the shoulder. This will put you off balance and lower your initiative / timing.
SableWyvern
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Postby SableWyvern » Mon Feb 04, 2008 7:09 am

Deniable wrote:Newton's Third Law says it's obvious there is a kick from a rocket launcher. Some of this can be eliminated by burning propellant outside the launcher but this can be riskier for the firer1
Pretty much all man-portable rocket and missile systems eject a mass rearward with equal force on launch, and thus have large back-blast danger areas, but no recoil
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Postby Settembrini » Mon Feb 04, 2008 9:21 pm

...Mmm...SableWyvern is correct, that´s what I meant by "obvious reasons".

It´s a pity that it needs to be pointed out, though.


But: I´m not totally sure as to what "recoil" is supposed to model. Because actual recoil and handling efforts only come into play when trying to make consecutive attacks. But the rules say otherwise, which confuses me.
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Postby -Daniel- » Mon Feb 04, 2008 9:53 pm

I believe that if you speak to those who have fired a real RL (AT-4 for example) and not some Airsoft thing, you will find there is a recoil effect regardless of the backblast.

Daniel
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Postby AKAramis » Mon Feb 04, 2008 9:54 pm

SableWyvern wrote:
Deniable wrote:Newton's Third Law says it's obvious there is a kick from a rocket launcher. Some of this can be eliminated by burning propellant outside the launcher but this can be riskier for the firer1
Pretty much all man-portable rocket and missile systems eject a mass rearward with equal force on launch, and thus have large back-blast danger areas, but no recoil
The two I fired had a noticeable lurch, due to friction with the launcher unit. They both pulled forward on the launch unit.
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SableWyvern
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Postby SableWyvern » Tue Feb 05, 2008 2:06 am

AKAramis wrote:
SableWyvern wrote:
Deniable wrote:Newton's Third Law says it's obvious there is a kick from a rocket launcher. Some of this can be eliminated by burning propellant outside the launcher but this can be riskier for the firer1
Pretty much all man-portable rocket and missile systems eject a mass rearward with equal force on launch, and thus have large back-blast danger areas, but no recoil
The two I fired had a noticeable lurch, due to friction with the launcher unit. They both pulled forward on the launch unit.
I noticed no recoil firing the Carl Gustav 84mm RCL (technically a recoilless rifle, rather than rocket launcher, but identical for game purposes). Admitedly the noise and wave of concussion that washes over you is a tad distracting, and the weapon was firmly braced. I have only fired the subcal version of the 66 (Vietnam era LAW), which doesn't give any indication of actual recoil.
Settembrini
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Postby Settembrini » Tue Feb 05, 2008 6:58 am

People, don´t be inane.

I´ve fired several myself, BTW. The "recoil" is negligible, especially if compared to the Mongoose value. But depending on the weapon, you need to pack your stuff and get ready to run, which takes some time.

Just look at the recoil value of "6"!
That´s a lot!

When you fire a rocket launcher, why would my initiative go down?
That doesn´t make sense.

Recoil is only relevant for consecutive attacks. Not what most personal Rocket Launchers are capable of, no?


The question is: If handling time IS part of "recoil", does this include getting up and running? Or reloading?
SableWyvern
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Postby SableWyvern » Tue Feb 05, 2008 7:40 am

Settembrini wrote:People, don´t be inane.
Who's being inane?

I have agreed with you, and AKAramis seems to have agreed as well (a "noticeable lurch", to me, doesn't seem to imply "lots of recoil").
Settembrini
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Postby Settembrini » Tue Feb 05, 2008 8:10 am

Yeah sorry, I was unclear.

Nobody is inane, and I apologize.

So, what´s your understanding of what "recoil" is supposed to model in MongTrav?

How does Strength help me with firing a Rocket Launcher?
SableWyvern
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Postby SableWyvern » Tue Feb 05, 2008 8:16 am

Personally, I'm disregarding the recoil on rocket launchers altogether. I was planning to keep a small recoil value to represent shock/concusion and the time to actually drop the tube, but realised that would raise inconsistencies (mainly, use of strength, as you point out), so decided it would be simpler just to drop recoil to zero.

As far as I can tell, officially recoil is meant to represent literal recoil, and the high rocket recoil value is probably due to a misconception. Not being a mind-reader, however, I'm not sure what Gar's actual reasoning was.
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Postby Settembrini » Tue Feb 05, 2008 1:49 pm

So the problem is that recoil is tied to timing?

Because I can´t wrap my head around why it takes longer to fire a .50 caliber than an M16. The shooting takes the same amount of time!
Accuracy for all shots AFTER the first, I can see that.


I just want to be sure I´m not misunderstanding recoil as presented in MongTrav.
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Postby SableWyvern » Tue Feb 05, 2008 2:06 pm

Settembrini wrote:So the problem is that recoil is tied to timing?

Because I can´t wrap my head around why it takes longer to fire a .50 caliber than an M16. The shooting takes the same amount of time!
Accuracy for all shots AFTER the first, I can see that.


I just want to be sure I´m not misunderstanding recoil as presented in MongTrav.
It doesn't take any longer to fire. However, if you don't handle the recoil well, it may take you a second or two longer to recover from the shot and adjust your sight picture for the follow-up shot.

Keep in mind that a Timing result of 4-6 (after adjustments) means you can act again in the next action phase. In fact, with a result of six, you start the next turn on overwatch. Even a terrible Timing result of 1 means you can be firing again in five or six seconds (less if you rush the next shot).
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Postby Settembrini » Tue Feb 05, 2008 3:00 pm

Handle the recoil well?

I mean honestly, the impact of recoil is not that I´m flying through the room.
It´s about some milimeters or centimeters that my hand and gun is somwhere else, and I´m thrown off aim. It´s mostly hand-eye-coordination. But I´m sure you know what I mean.

But that doesn´t matter UNLESS I want to shoot again.
I can move a hex per round. That alone does more against keeping the crosshairs/irons on target, than all the recoil in the world would.

But as far as I´ve understood it, firing a high-recoil weopon prevents/hinders me from/while taking ANY combat action
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Postby SableWyvern » Tue Feb 05, 2008 3:17 pm

Settembrini wrote:Handle the recoil well?

I mean honestly, the impact of recoil is not that I´m flying through the room.

It´s about some milimeters or centimeters that my hand and gun is somwhere else, and I´m thrown off aim. It´s mostly hand-eye-coordination. But I´m sure you know what I mean.
Hold an M79 (grenade launcher) incorrectly when firing, and you'll know about it, believe me.

I can assure you that firing a 0.50cal rifle will disturb your position significantly unless you know exactly what you're doing, and strength will come into it. This is especially true if you are firing from an unsupported position. Experience will mitigate this effect (starting with the fact you would likely be firing from a supported or prone position in the first place), but the rule as it stands isn't nearly as bad as you're making it out to be.

As to "mostly hand-eye coordination": actually, there's a lot more to recovery from recoil than that. Establishing a firing position from which your body naturally brings the weapon back on target is at least as important.
But that doesn´t matter UNLESS I want to shoot again.
I can move a hex per round. That alone does more against keeping the crosshairs/irons on target, than all the recoil in the world would.
Given the granularity of the system and the fact that it's not trying to be 100% accurate (in reality, it typically takes 2-4 seconds just to take a sight picture in the first place) I don't think allowing a one hex move without penalty is a big deal.
But as far as I´ve understood it, firing a high-recoil weopon prevents/hinders me from/while taking ANY combat action
Yes, it potentially slows you by a second or two (on a final result of 2-3). It delays you by up to four seconds on a terrible Timing result of 1. That isn't anywhere near "flying across the room".

Combat actions include: attacking, moving at high speed and crossing significant obstacles. The former is likely to be the most common, since you can still move without using combat actions. And, if recoil occasionally disrupts your balance enough that it takes you an extra couple of seconds to start sprinting, I don't think that's a cataclysmic failure of the system.

By no means does the system perfectly model reality. Nor do I have any desire that it should. I'll play a decent tactical skirmish game for that. It does a pretty good job, though, and I do not believe that the flaws you're seeing are nearly as significant as you're making them out to be.
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Postby Settembrini » Tue Feb 05, 2008 3:46 pm

I beg to differ.

Almost all games ignore recoil, because it actually doesn´t matter much in the confines of a combat round. All the things you said AREN´T modelled (firing positions, bracing etc.), but recoil is. That´s stupid.

And your .50 caliber example actually underlines my point: I can shoot as much as I want, the "recoil" is not making me inactive or rub my shoulder or stand still or whatever.

Again, I understood recoil in MongTrav to be like this:

A Rocket Laucher reduces me to 1 Tick, UNLESS I´m very strong.

What´s that supposed to model?

Surely nothing resembling anything I can rationalize.

Because of the "recoil" of recoilless rifles I must sit tight for up to three rounds?

Huh?

:shock:

Having a heavy machine gun lets me shoot LESS often?

Huh?
:?: :?: :?:
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Postby SableWyvern » Tue Feb 05, 2008 4:03 pm

Throughout this thread, I have agreed with you that the recoil value of rocket launchers is too high. I have, in fact, stated that I believe they should have a recoil value of 0. So, pointing out the effects of high recoil on rocket launchers isn't exactly a good counter to the points I've raised.

To your other points:

1. I doubt very much you could find many people capable of putting as many accurate rounds down-range with a .50cal as they could a 5.56 assault rifle (semi-auto shots) in any given time period.

2. Given that we have no stats for machineguns, I have no idea where you got your info on heavy machineguns in MGT.

3. Adding modifiers for bipods, tripods, braced positions etc... is very easy if you want the extra detail (I have done so for my own game). If you don't care about that sort of stuff, I don't see why you'd object so strongly to the recoil rules generally as they stand in the first place. Objections to specific recoil values (such as the rocket launcher's), I can understand.

Beyond that, clearly we're coming at this from completely different perspectives. My experience indicates that the recoil rules generally are perfectly fine, but some weapons need their recoil values adjusted. Your opinion/experience differs, and it doesn't look like we're going to reach any agreement on the matter.
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Postby Settembrini » Tue Feb 05, 2008 4:25 pm

Actually I think we mostly agree.

There are some things we could clear up, but that´s not really improtant.

Rocket Launchers shouldn´t have a recoil of six.

My basic point besides that:

I don´t understand why recoil prevents me from doing stuff that´s not shooting.

And you and I agreee that the current solutions need revisions one way or the other.
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Postby SableWyvern » Tue Feb 05, 2008 4:49 pm

I don´t understand why recoil prevents me from doing stuff that´s not shooting.
Ok. I can see your issue here.

I personally don't think it's a big issue for the following reasons:

1. There's actually very little it effects apart from shooting.

2. Except in the case of very high recoil weapons (and, I don't believe there are many weapons that should have really high recoil), the effect is real, but not terribly dramatic.

3. Having recoil is cool because it lets players trick out their weapons with gyrostabilisers (who doesn't love a gyrostabiliser?), and reducing recoil is probably the most significant use of strength in the game apart from its role as a hitpoint stat.

4. Increasing recoil is an easy penalty to apply to balance out the benefits of automatic fire.

5. Introducing a rule that allows you to ignore recoil if your next combat action is a move is more trouble than it's worth.

So, I suppose it comes down to a taste issue really. I see benefits and tiny drawbacks, you obviously consider the drawbacks more significant.
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Postby Sturn » Tue Feb 05, 2008 9:37 pm

dafrca wrote:I believe that if you speak to those who have fired a real RL (AT-4 for example) and not some Airsoft thing, you will find there is a recoil effect regardless of the backblast.

Daniel
I've fired only an AT-4, but it seems a classic example. Not recoil like a rifle (backward pressure), but it gives more of a jerk, the "lurch" described above is probably the best way to describe it. Not true recoil, bu it would have the same effect (delaying your next shot to re-aim if you happened to have an automatic rocket launcher :) )

In MGT rules, I would agree with having some recoil points, just not necessarily as high as 6.

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