HMG on Sherman Tanks

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Munin
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Re: HMG on Sherman Tanks

Post by Munin » Sun Feb 25, 2018 6:13 pm

Truscott Trotter wrote:
Sun Feb 25, 2018 2:24 am
A bunch of pictures of MGs on tanks
You know, in the first picture the pintle is behind the driver, which is exactly what people were talking about with the AA mounts and needing to stand on the back deck to fire them. The second photo is better, but that TC looks pretty goddamned cramped, doesn't he? I'd hate to have to un-ass that tank if it were on fire. The next is a 0.30 cal. And in the next, it's not immediately clear to me that the TC can actually fire that gun effectively, because the guy who is in the best position to do so is...wait for it...standing on the back deck.

If you want to use a top-mount MG on your tank, pay your two Support Points for the additional firepower and expose your TC to fire (although I think the benefit of hard cover is fair).

There was a reason guys didn't ride into the heat of battle this way, especially at close range.

JimLeCat
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Re: HMG on Sherman Tanks

Post by JimLeCat » Sun Feb 25, 2018 6:49 pm

Hi,

My reading is:-

(i) a lot of the accounts cover fire at ranges greater than the size of a CoC table.
(ii) firing a top mounted AAMG like this is a lot more exposed than using an MG with a gunshield (hence the one reference to sandbagging the top of the turret by a unit that routinely used the AAMG).
(iii) if the TC is doing it he's paying attention to what he's shooting at, not what else is going on around the tank (many if not most of the photos show someone other than the TC manning the weapon).

So, I would give whoever is manning the weapon Hard Cover, but no better, and if it is the TC then I would not allow him to issue any other orders that phase (he might be talking to the crew but anything he said would lack the clarity of orders given when he is concentrating on commanding the tank). I would say you could still use a 1 to activate another crew position, to represent a crew member acting without clear orders.

On top of that, I would agree that the support unit costing should reflect the presence of the extra MG, if it is considered to be present.

Hope that helps.

Cheers,
Jim

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Arlequín
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Re: HMG on Sherman Tanks

Post by Arlequín » Sun Feb 25, 2018 7:08 pm

The other turret hatch when there was one was the loader's; who obviously can't load the main gun if he's operating a MG. That on some tanks the MG was at the position of the loader's hatch, or that the bow MG has sometimes been removed to put it up top, does imply that it wasn't always the commander who shot those weapons.

Peter
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Re: HMG on Sherman Tanks

Post by Peter » Sun Feb 25, 2018 9:23 pm

I'll ask again, if the top mounted MG is being fired, would you expect that the main gun could fire as well?

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Arlequín
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Re: HMG on Sherman Tanks

Post by Arlequín » Sun Feb 25, 2018 9:26 pm

Essentially yes Peter, the TC can activate gunner and loader for a CI each, while he uses the top MG.

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Truscott Trotter
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Re: HMG on Sherman Tanks

Post by Truscott Trotter » Sun Feb 25, 2018 9:48 pm

The TC only has 2 CI so he can activate 2 crew positions inc himself.

For the last 3 years we have played it RAW ROF 10 and a sniper to kill and not had a problem with monster tanks dominating the game. Most tanks do not last till the end of the game if the opponent has any AT assets at all.

You are talking about an increase of ROF 4 over firing one of the interal MGs max you can fire 2 weapons on a tank..

From a game balance pov making the TC vulnerable to small arms makes the tanks worthless as Rich has already decided. If you don't think so after trying it out fine play it that way.

Personally under that rule I would just shoot at the tank until the TC was dead or ko on the first 6 even if it took everyones shooting for a phase- they are all in range if in LOS

Peter
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Re: HMG on Sherman Tanks

Post by Peter » Mon Feb 26, 2018 6:37 am

Arlequin, I realize that the rules allow it. I just don't know if it would be practical in real life.

Peter

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Arlequín
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Re: HMG on Sherman Tanks

Post by Arlequín » Mon Feb 26, 2018 7:31 am

Peter wrote:
Mon Feb 26, 2018 6:37 am
Arlequin, I realize that the rules allow it. I just don't know if it would be practical in real life.

Peter
Ah, I see. It would be possible and indeed tanks fought on without a commander. The gunner could look for his own targets if instructed to do so. It's just far more efficient if the TC is spotting for him and is not distracted by using the MG.
Truscott Trotter wrote:
Sun Feb 25, 2018 9:48 pm
From a game balance pov making the TC vulnerable to small arms makes the tanks worthless as Rich has already decided. If you don't think so after trying it out fine play it that way.

Personally under that rule I would just shoot at the tank until the TC was dead or ko on the first 6 even if it took everyones shooting for a phase- they are all in range if in LOS
Which is pretty much what infantry did and was why attrition amongst TCs was high.

Game balance is also about risk/reward - if the TC exposes himself to shoot the MG, then he risks a higher chance of getting hit, or he can hunker down and only a sniper can get him.

Making armoured vehicles less vulnerable at CoC ranges than in reality should not really be a thing.

andysyk
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Re: HMG on Sherman Tanks

Post by andysyk » Tue Feb 27, 2018 9:08 pm

How much of the man using the MG was exposed depended on the mount used. Even if you just speak about the Sherman it differs. If you do away with the pintle and mount it directly on the ring as per previous photos in earlier posts little of you needs to be exposed to fire it. Of course it depends how near your target is. But firing it with the turret covers up or angled your not that big a target. Also it was often used in close conjunction with supporting infantry. Ive three photographs in books of Bren in use from the turret in two cases infantry are also on the tank. The chap firing the MG isn't the only target, hes head out of the turret and using the MG because it gives him better communication with the Infantry and makes it easier for him to spot close in threats to the tank. Two of the tanks are engaged in FIBUA. Yes if you've got your head out your more vulnerable but not that much more in many cases than if your just heads up and observing. Also you can hunker down until you see something and then fire.
In close country/urban environments tankers were justifiably afraid of IAT and it would seem that the ability to deliver close in MG fire from the turret top justified the risk to the firer. US records indicate most hits from such weapons were generally within 50 yards rarely was the tank destroyed only disabled but the crews often killed by German Infantry fire when they bailed out. At that range your going to need to be head up to observe and your going to want to have that MG manned so you can instantly engage a seen threat. Unfortunately I cant find any records of casualties to turret top MG users. Or how many tanks were saved with such a tactic.

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Tom Ballou
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Re: HMG on Sherman Tanks

Post by Tom Ballou » Tue Feb 27, 2018 9:26 pm

FWIW if I had to deal with a pintle mount AA MG, I would give it 6 dice (as its not crew served, so the firer is required to clear jams, and change belts) and it would take one of the CI of the commander to fire it.

Any fire at the commander would be my guess Heavy Cover (he is about 25% exposed, you could argue light cover). Hits are obviously on him, just treat as standard leader hit rules. If he gets bagged the tank loses it commander.

Never mind the possible fun of dropping a grenade down the open hatch.

I have always assumed the tanks were buttoned up, but if you want to unbutton that close to the enemy, it seems fair.

Or is this discussion more about the points that a HMG/MMG would add to the cost of the tank?

--Tom
--Tom

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