The Fallschirmjäger's FG42 selective-fire automatic rifle.

Moderators: Laffe, Vis Bellica

Post Reply
User avatar
Another_Gamer
Posts: 109
Joined: Tue May 02, 2017 3:19 pm

The Fallschirmjäger's FG42 selective-fire automatic rifle.

Post by Another_Gamer »

I'm getting ready to paint some Fallschirmjäger for my CoC games. I'm using the Fallschirmjäger Platoon information on page 84 to setup my units for the game.

I noticed that there is no mention of the FG42, much less rules for the FG42. Some of my figures have the FG42, and it was definitely used by the Fallschirmjäger. Not in great numbers, but a squad might have one or two.

We (my gaming group) are debating as to how to use the FG42 in CoC. I did a quick search on this form and found a couple of discussions about this topic.
viewtopic.php?f=35&t=401&p=3731
viewtopic.php?f=35&t=360&p=3316
There are several good thoughts and ideas for the FG42 in CoC, but has the designer ever voiced an opinion on how the FG42 should be used in the game?

There is also a very good book on the FG42 called, Death From Above: The German FG42 Paratrooper Rifle

The FG42 combines the characteristics and firepower of a light machine gun and the portability of a semi-automatic rifle. We are thinking that at the very least the FG42 should be put in the Semi-Automatic Rile category, but we think that maybe it should fit better in the Automatic Rile category. The automatic rifle category is intended to cover the BAR, but the FG42 has the same characteristics as the BAR and should be included. Like the BAR, the FG42 is a one-man automatic rifle that can be semi-auto or full-auto, uses detachable box magazines, and fires a full power rifle cartridge. Not only is the FG42 a selective-fire automatic rifle like the BAR, but many experts claim that the FG42 is in some ways better than the BAR.

Follow up question:
Why does the BAR list a crew of two in the Rifle Platoon list? Wasn't the BAR supposed to be a one-man weapon. Now, I do recall reading that sometimes a second soldier would help with the reloading of the BAR by having the mags ready for the gunner. If this was actual practice and is reflected in the CoC rules, then maybe the FG42 should be like the Automatic Rifle (BAR) but with a firepower of 2 instead of 3.

So, has the designer ever voiced an opinion on how the FG42 should be used in the game? I looked but could not find anything. Richard, how would you categorize the FG42 in your CoC game?

User avatar
Seret
Posts: 4106
Joined: Sat Jul 05, 2014 7:45 pm
Location: Kent UK
Contact:

Re: The Fallschirmjäger's FG42 selective-fire automatic rifl

Post by Seret »

Another_Gamer wrote:has the designer ever voiced an opinion on how the FG42 should be used in the game?
He has. The reason you couldn't find it is that the thread is titled "FJ42" instead of FG42.

sackatatties
Posts: 456
Joined: Sun Nov 16, 2014 9:50 am
Location: Dunfermline, Scotland

Re: The Fallschirmjäger's FG42 selective-fire automatic rifl

Post by sackatatties »

This has been discussed extensively here and on the FB group.

Essentially there are 2 FG42s you need to consider.

The early types A-E available from September 1943, which were too light in construction to make automatic fire effective. The barrel would distort and the full power KAR98 cartridges would be too much for the rifleman on full auto.
The type G available from early '44 which was remodelled and had a heavier more solid construction and the rate of fire reduced from 900RPM to 600RPM. The type G's were effective automatic weapons albeit with a 20 round magazine.

The problem was that the FG42 was far more expensive to produce than the StG44 so only 2000 type A-E models and ~5000 type F/Gs were produced in comparison to quarter of a million StG44s and variants.

I'd use the early A-Es as a semiautomatic rifle (reroll 1s) and the later versions as a standard AR. Let's face it the StG44 was available to FJ far more readily than the FG42 in 1944 so just treat the actual weapon on the figure as cosmetic (and as an AR).

Some have suggested using it as a full on BAR but bear in mind that the FG42 was a personal weapon where the BAR was supposed to have a 2-3 man crew according to the US infantry manuals.
COMPOSITION.--The rifle squad consists of a sergeant (squad leader), a corporal (assistant squad leader and antitank rifle grenadier), an automatic rifle team (automatic rifleman, assistant automatic rifleman, and ammunition bearer), and seven riflemen, two of whom are designated as scouts.
Using it as a full on BAR would be ignoring the ammo monkeys needed to keep the rate of fire up.

User avatar
Another_Gamer
Posts: 109
Joined: Tue May 02, 2017 3:19 pm

Re: The Fallschirmjäger's FG42 selective-fire automatic rifl

Post by Another_Gamer »

Seret wrote:
Another_Gamer wrote:has the designer ever voiced an opinion on how the FG42 should be used in the game?
He has. The reason you couldn't find it is that the thread is titled "FJ42" instead of FG42.
Thanks Seret.

Richard says, "I'm inclined to go with assault rifle, so not as good as the BAR."

After reading his comment, I'm inclined to think that maybe he is not familiar with the FG42.

I agree with andysyk, jdg, and your notes Seret.

Using these comments and what sackatatties said above, I think I made a decision. This is based on what I have researched on the topic and some hands on experience. BTW, I do recommend the book Death From Above: The German FG42 Paratrooper Rifle by Thomas B Dugelby and R Blake Stevens, but try and find the second edition because they have added a bit more information to the book.

For the early models of the FG42, the simplest way is to just treat them as Semi-Automatic Rifles (FP 1, Close 0-18, Effective 18+, Re-roll 1's). For the more improved and robust later models of the FG42, a fair way is to treat them as modified Automatic Rifles (FP 2 (not 3), Close 0-18, Effective 18+, Re-roll 1's).

As for the number of FG42s in a squad, I would say no more than one or two. Of course the total point cost for Fallschirmjäger squads with FG42s would need to be adjusted. An infantryman with the later model FG42 would be 2 points. As for those infantrymen with the early models, I would say +1 for every 8 men in the squad just like the semi-automatic rifle, but there should only one or two FG42s per squad, so this is impossible to achieve.

How does that sound?

User avatar
Truscott Trotter
Posts: 7577
Joined: Mon Sep 09, 2013 11:11 pm
Location: Tasmania the Southernmost CoC in the world

Re: The Fallschirmjäger's FG42 selective-fire automatic rifl

Post by Truscott Trotter »

Sounds more reasonable than the proposals on the BA forum currently :D
What about crew 1 or 2?

sackatatties
Posts: 456
Joined: Sun Nov 16, 2014 9:50 am
Location: Dunfermline, Scotland

Re: The Fallschirmjäger's FG42 selective-fire automatic rifl

Post by sackatatties »

Another_Gamer wrote: For the early models of the FG42, the simplest way is to just treat them as Semi-Automatic Rifles (FP 1, Close 0-18, Effective 18+, Re-roll 1's). For the more improved and robust later models of the FG42, a fair way is to treat them as modified Automatic Rifles (FP 2 (not 3), Close 0-18, Effective 18+, Re-roll 1's).
I think your interpretation is good and worthy of note :).

I thought I had 'Death from Above' but I cant find it. I'll hunt it down and see if I can get it on Kindle. Another book I'd recommend would be 'Hunters from the Sky - The German Parachute Corps 1940-1945' by Charles Whiting.

User avatar
Another_Gamer
Posts: 109
Joined: Tue May 02, 2017 3:19 pm

Re: The Fallschirmjäger's FG42 selective-fire automatic rifl

Post by Another_Gamer »

Thanks sackatatties, I think it will work out great. Looking forward to trying it in CoC. After testing, I wonder if Richard will make it official.

TT, the FP of 2 reflects that it is a single man weapon even though the later versions of the FG42 are superior to the BAR.

Post Reply