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[GZG] [SG] PA & Shotguns

From: "Thomas Barclay" <kaladorn@m...>
Date: Mon, 3 Oct 2005 19:31:09 -0400
Subject: [GZG] [SG] PA & Shotguns

To reply to what Ryan said, some of which I agree with, some of which I
do not. 

It is very likely in the near future (say 20 years), we'll have
manufactured man-portable
ballistic armour that will render conventional rounds, even improved
ones, night on to
useless vs. the covered areas. That's just the way that modern armours
are going - getting
lighter and stronger faster than the rounds are gaining penetration. 

Now, some encouraging work has been done with flechettes (I'm not
talking about from
shotguns, in this instance, but from purpose built extremely high
velocity weapons), which
can, if designed correctly, give a combination of armour penetration and
then deformation
of the flechette leading to a very long and tumbling wound channel. This
might be the
generation of small arms 2-3 cycles down the road, if we haven't
switched to laser or
gauss or something. But I think anything of that sort is further out. 

Nowadays, even shotgun slugs won't successfully take on modern
man-portable body armour.
They might sting, but they aren't doing much worse than maybe cracking a
rib at best. And
saboted slugs? I've heard this bandied about a number of times, but have
yet to see an
implementation that is worthwhile, halfway because most shotguns can't
handle the same
chamber pressures as a rifle. If I can fire a saboted slug from a rifle,
I can probably
get greater zing out of an actual rifle with the same projectile. But
see the above issue
about conventional ammunition versus armour, period. That covers slugs
of all varieties.

You make a good point about body armour coverage. I'm not saying you
*can't* wound a guy
without full armour, but it gets harder to do as his armour protection
goes up. And if you
might wound him a few times and his five-shot plasma rifle or his one
shot AP disposable
GL punches you PA to hell and gone, then wounding him isn't much

The reality is that shotguns have some flexibility due to the ability to
load shotgun
flechette, buckshot, birdshot, slug, sabots, stingball, dragonsbreath,
explosive, beanbag,
and chemical sorts of rounds. But if the logic says an 8 gauge shotgun
is good, a 30-40mm
grenade cannister round is just as good and an AGL has probably most of
the same
advantages with larger payloads (which, if you have to go HEAP or HEDP
is probably a good

You can take your saboted slug, but for the same weight of weapon and
ammo, I'll have far
more of the same caliber of round in my caseless AR. The AR will also be
more controllable
generally than the shotgun. 

And shotgun kick, if you are in zero G, will be a non-starter. There
will be times you
*aren't* maglocked down, and that's when it will be a problem. 

And I don't know what your 'verse is like, but in the notional time
frames of the actual
GZGverse, you'd rarely get a boarding action launched when the marines
won't be fully
broken out and in their defensive positions. DamCon and Engineering
crews will be
hardsuited as well. And even the navy will be in tough, ballistically
resistant vacc
suits. In 5 or 10 or 15 or 20 minute turns, you just won't be able to
board an enemy
combat vessel fast enough to gain the kind of surprise you suggest.
Space is big - talk to
Douglas Adams. YMMV, but that's my observation.

So, you'll be going in against other guys in PA and some guys in heavily
protected military vacc suits. Expect shotguns to be less than fully
effective against the
latter and useless against the former. 

For game balance, Jon has made PA pretty brittle. The whole point of
most armoured
vehicles is the ability to sustain anything up to a .50 BMG. If your PA
can't wander
through normal AR, shotgun, grenade fragment, and SAW fire, then it is a
pretty poor
design for the real world. If you treated PA as armour level 1, you'd
probably have a more
realistic model of the combat augmentation systems we'll see in play on
Earth in the next
30 years. So, assuming for a moment that I step into a more realistic
world and say that
the PA can walk through most small arms fire, which would really be its
purpose, then
suddenly you start needing plasma guns, RPGs, heavy lasers, EMP mines,
microwave guns, and
all sorts of fun stuff like that to take out PA. So this is what PA
carry, because other
PA will be your worst enemy. In the GZGverse, where a light pistol can
(argh) take out PA,
then any weapon will do, just have lots of them and throw lots of dice.
The heavy armour
will inevitably fail. 

If you like shotguns, use them. Imagine their sabots can penetrate
layered hardened
composite armour with built in destructible layers if you want, without
it having
detrimental effects on the shotgun firing them. I don't think that's
going to be how it
is, or how military tech of the moment suggests it will be, but it is a
game to be made
your own, so fill your boots. 

My PA will be carrying ARs with recoil compensation, GLs and plasma
guns. Or automatic
laser rifles with said GLs and plasma guns. Shotguns we'll bring some
along (just like the
Flamers) for special occasions, but it won't be attacking other hostile
military shipping
by boarding. Maybe for boarding merchies or raiding ground bases. 

Have fun with it though. :) 

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