HMGs and how they work

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Maraviglia
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue Aug 06, 2019 5:20 pm

HMGs and how they work

Post by Maraviglia »

Hi all,
About HMGs and a couple of their rules - section 8.2.1 (p17) there's an apparent clash of rules. The sustained fire explanation includes an entire paragraph about what happens if two targets enter a sustained fire lane at the same time and how to apply stoppages but the next part (8.2.2) says sustained fire HMGs don't suffer stoppages. Obviously the last part would be easiest to play but the fact there was such a detailed explanation of multiple units and how to apply stoppages makes me wonder if that was the correct rule. Any ideas?

Also on sustained fire it says a HMG may choose to go on sustained fire at any time but then remains in that mode for the rest of the game unless an enemy comes within 12 where it can switch back to direct fire. My first question is simply - why? I can see needing a suitable big man to change the mode but not why it's either "on or off".
Additional to that would they change on their own card or will it require and officer to change their fire mode? Thinking about that does their card even need to be in the deck while firing sustained? Either way I can't see the change to direct fire being automatic.

Jumping on a bit to section 10.5 (p25) and MG barrages, when and how do they work? I assume they'll be scenario specific but I can't remember ever reading of one in a pre-written scenario and they don't appear in the support generator (even as an unusual British only one).

And finally section 10.6 and off table sustained fire - I understand these being in a fixed role the entire game (with or without stoppages) but I'm a bit confused on their set up. It says "... mark two points on the table edge, one of which must be within 6" of their own front line." So is it two different table edges and the fire lane is drawn between the two? That seems to make sense to me but in that case what is the "within 6" of their own front line" part for? Is it you choose a part of your "home" edge and another edge to aim towards but the fire terminates 6" in front of your front line? I really don't understand this part as any marker placed within 6" of your front line won't be on a table edge and the two edges seem vital to planning the fire lane.

Any help or thoughts much appreciated.

MortuusSum
Posts: 16
Joined: Wed Mar 01, 2017 3:14 pm
Location: Ontario

Re: HMGs and how they work

Post by MortuusSum »

I don't have my copy of the rules handy and so can't speak to the others, but regarding your final point RE: section 10.6, I suspect the bit about "within 6" of their own front line" is to represent enfilading fires coming from an off-board section of your own lines to the left or right of your starting positions; if I read it right from your quote, you could therefore select the "starting" position for the sustained fire to be on the left or right side of the board up to 6" forward of your own front trenches, with the fires "terminating" from a Doylist perspective (or being aimed at, from a Watsonian one) on a point behind your opponent's trenches, on the other player's board edge. This would bisect their positions and limit your opponent's ability to manoeuvre while not crossing your own starting positions.

Maraviglia
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue Aug 06, 2019 5:20 pm

Re: HMGs and how they work

Post by Maraviglia »

That sounds reasonable and would explain quite a bit. To be honest just somewhat confirming that the line of fire does go from one edge to another is very helpful so ta.

Maraviglia
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue Aug 06, 2019 5:20 pm

Re: HMGs and how they work

Post by Maraviglia »

In the absence of any more definite answers these are my house I'll be using for now. I'm sharing them here in case anybody else reading this thread finds them useful -

HMGs in an off table support role can choose a position on a "side" table edge up to 6 inches ahead of your front line and across to any other edge as representative of enfilading fire from supporting friendly positions forward of your own.

Off table HMGs can only fire sustained on a predetermined path.

When on sustained fire remove the HMG's card from the deck. The card is unnecessary while firing sustained.

Ignore the line that says "HMGs on sustained fire do not suffer stoppages"
Where appropriate, say off table HMGs represent multiple guns firing, stoppages can automatically unjam on the snifter card.
Other sustained fire HMGs can attempt to unjam on the snifter card with 2 action dice. If it unjams on the first dice then it may fire on all units in its path as it normally would.

A HMG that wants to change from direct to sustained or vice versa can only do so on the orders of a big man at the cost of one initiative.
A HMG that has enemy within 12 inches or has been ordered onto direct fire has it's card added into the discard pile ready to be shuffled in next turn. When it's drawn it can change to direct fire without the need of a big man if it wasn't already ordered to do so.

HMGs should be considered to have AP ammo as appropriate for the year and supply of each army. They will only use AP ammo in direct fire.
Changing the belt from one type to another takes two actions - one to remove the current belt and one to load in the new one.

HMG barrages can be largely ignored as they would affect an area as large or bigger than a M&B gaming table. They could be integrated into a series of games or a multi table set up where the barrage can be used to effectively "cancel" one game/table by denial.

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