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RE: 25mm Grav Bikes and Rules

From: Adrian Johnson <ajohnson@i...>
Date: Thu, 19 Nov 1998 11:10:20 -0500
Subject: RE: 25mm Grav Bikes and Rules

>> Both valid but a courier wouldn't be a really useful role on a SG2
>> battlefield.  Unless it was a special senario game of course.
>Well, they had radios in WW2, but they still used motorcycles to 
>courier some orders around. Some stuff is just so sensitive you can't 
>trust crypto to do the job - you need a guy to deliver it. And on low 
>tech worlds, this may be more common. And on some worlds, comms may 
>not work due to ionization... then orders must be distributed by 
>runners - imagine a modern force operation with runners, motorcycle 
>couriers, and some sealed orders.... could be interesting.....

Heck, the Iraqi army used motorcycle dispatch riders during the Gulf War
send orders to the dispursed and hidden scud missile launchers.  It was
supposed to have worked pretty well.  I remember one interview with an
officer type who said they were having problems interdicting the
communications between scuds and their HQ's, 'cause they weren't
transmitting them (so they couldn't be jammed).  

If a high-tech force in SG were to be fighting a lower-tech force, you'd
assume the high-tech one would have electronic warfare supremacy and
therefore the low-tech one would be jammed.  I can see several
possibilities for scenarios making use of dispatch riders on motorbikes.

As to actually arming a motorcycle itself - speaking as someone who owns
and rides one myself, I think the idea doesn't have a lot of merit -
particularly for wheeled bikes.  At best, you would have a small weapon
firing straight ahead - so you'd have to aim the bike at your target.
Putting aiming equipment (servos, hydraulics, etc) over the front wheel
would be unbalancing, etc.  With grav bikes, of course, its a whole
different story - I see no reason why a skimmer couldn't have a SAW or
slightly heavier weapon.  I know the SAS uses bikes for recce work (they
did in the Gulf, anyway) as outriders for their Land Rover patrols.  The
Canadian forces was playing around with the idea of motorbike equipped
recce troops a few years back - I don't know if they ever adopted it,
but I
had a friend who at the time was in a recce regiment who was pretty keen
the idea.  We were going to get specially adapted off-road bikes with an
automatic clutch, so the rider could fire a weapon with his left hand
change gears at the same time (the clutch being on the left handlebar
normally).  The weapon would be a standard SMG (Sterlings in the CF at
time), and carried in a sheath over the handlebars or in a mount clipped
the handlebars.  There was never any question of arming the bikes
themselves, and to my knowledge, the only time that's been done was
sidecars (al la the WWII German army).	Trying to fire a weapon
while moving cross country would be nearly impossible - at best, firing
full-auto to try and supress the other guy.  This would be only at close
range.	For a SAW on a bike to hit anything other than sky and the dirt
front of the bike, you'd need to stop.	This is not taking into account
effect of recoil if you were firing and turning, while going cross

I'd be very reluctant to allow SAWs or any other weapons to be mounted
wheeled bikes - and at best they could fire straight ahead with little
chance of hitting (unless the bike was stopped).  Riders on the move
only be able to shoot in the first rangeband.  Grav-bikes are a totally
different story, though for balance reasons I don't like the idea of a
squad of bikes with SAWs.  On the other hand, if you had armed bikes,
wouldn't be using them in big squads, they'd probably be used in pairs
recce / light attack VEHICLES.	If you are using the bikes to transport
troops, then they would be treated like a horse (not separate from the
rider) and just give a movement bonus.	The troops would fight on foot,
squads would be ok.  Squads of heavily armed bikes is just WAY too 40k.

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