MG-42 Range discrepancy

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steppewolf
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Re: MG-42 Range discrepancy

Postby steppewolf » Mon 22 Jul 2019 10:34

praslovan wrote:You guys are still stuck on the range. If I throw an apple at you from 100m away, there is a good chance I will miss. If I can throw 20 in a second suddenly the chance that I hit is greater. If you are throwing apples back at me with 8 apples per second and you are about as good at throwing as I am... Who is a more effective apple thrower? And mind you... 100m is a very long range for throwing an apple.


One of my points as well and I'd add to this is even the US reports linked by Grabbed_by_the_Spets say: " they agree that the gun's dispersion is very small—so small in fact, that they have frequently been able to make successful dashes out of the field of fire."

praslovan wrote:One thing that annoys me about the MG43/Maxim in SD2 situation is not the range but the fact that Maxim has a potential to keep shooting longer than MG42 since it is water cooled.
Before anyone jumps at the opportunity... Picture a situation when you have a Maxim in a church and there are infantry squads advancing towards that church from an open field. Meaning they are exposed for long periods of time. IMO in that case Maxim should be able to suppress those squads,slower than MG42 because of ROF, but keep them suppressed for longer periods of time. To me it feels that Maxim goes into a cool-down too quickly.


I agree that water-cooled ones should have longer burst and be capable to fire for considerable more time. Romanian Army reports from WW2 were pointing that although the ZB27 (air cooled 30s Czech design comparable with SG-43) was a reliable weapon (but somehow too heavy), the second line Schwarzlose (re-barreled for 7.92 mm) were very useful due to water cooling system against human wave tactics of Red Army because they could fire much longer.

I think range wise, Eugen did very good and I also think they looked into the reports about each gun's range and halve it.

- MG34/M42 is reported 3000 m direct fire -> in game: 1500 m

- Vickers/Maxim/M1919/Schwarzlose (all water cooled and very similar design) around 2000 m effective range(in fact 1900 as it was stated here) -> in game: 1000 m

- SG-43 is reported to have range of 2500 m -> in game 1200 m. In fact other comparable weapons like ZB-37 (not in game, I hope not yet :D ) had a similar effective range.

This is for all in HMG mount, tripod or wheeled carriage of comparable caliber (7.92, 7.62), I am not counting the 50. cal

Grabbed_by_the_Spets wrote:It's how I view machineguns though their calibers. There is too little of a difference between the ballistics of the two to mean one has more stopping power at a higher range, which means shouldn't they have the same(ish) max range, with the MG-42 simply being better at max range. Which is why I belive that only larger caliber guns like the 13mm hotchkiss and M2 should really have a bigger max range than small arm fire.


50. cal or 13 mm hotchkiss 1500 m range is fine as it is, realistic (as much as a game can be), balanced, it's really fine. As much as I'd love to buff the 13 mm one (because this way I'd buff Romania before being added, if this will ever happen :) ) I think in fact its range may be a bit shorter than 50. cal in direct fire against ground targets.

Grabbed_by_the_Spets wrote:Now, rather than salivating over semantics and arguing over which youtube gun vibrates more, I spent my lunch break looking up MG-34/42 standards and doctrines to see how the German forces treated it and found several sources or posts containing better information.

- Although it could achieve a RoF of 1200RPM, the MG-42 was restricted to a more realistic RoF of 1000RPM or less. This wasn't only restricted to Germans, the American M1919 could be modified to fire up to 1800RPM, but was mechanically limited to 600RPM.

- Fully automatic, sustained RoF is strongly discouraged due to chewing though ammunition and barrels. Instead they were restricted to bursts of 5 to 20 rounds. It's practical rate of fire was around 154 RPM compared to the MG-34's practical RoF of 150RPM

- The tripods came semi-standard with scopes, called the MGZ32 or MGZ40 scopes, which were attached to the tripod and had a 2 to 4 times zoom. The scope was not a precision scope but had a 'V' style crosshair much like tank machinegun scopes.

- While more accurate than water cooled machine guns, it actually wasn't the most accurate of the machine guns. Which online seems to be universally agreed to be the British Bren gun, which in game only has a range of 750m.


First you need to stop making confusion between LMGs (which Bren is and also MG-34/42 on bipode mount) and HMGs (on tripod or wheeled carriage).

All LMGs in game, Bren, MG34/42, ZB30, M1919 LMG, Degtyarev DP28, Solothurn, MG 08/15, MG15, FM24/29 have the same range which is 750 m. This is probably due to limitation of the gunner who manned it without a tripod and I think is also a good decision.

So you can't compare Bren (which was indeed very accurate and an excellent weapon) with a tripod mounted which falls in a different category. In fact, in game MG34 / MG42 (5%) have less accuracy as LMG compared with Bren (10%). Probably this is due to the fact that a belt feed MG with high ROF was harder to control compared with a Bren because were heavier, more recoil, more ROF which made for the job harder for the gunner etc. Same for M1919 LMG (5%) due to its belt feed and weight. It appears that mag feed LMGs have a 5% accuracy advantage over the belt feed ones which is well thought imo due to easier handling.

Grabbed_by_the_Spets wrote:However, I think the most telling piece of evidence is it's older brother, the MG-34 (Which I've noticed has been tip-toed around whenever I brought it up). Both effectively had the same practical RoF (154 vs 150). Both handled the same, both came in the same tripod, with the same scope, both had the same doctrine. So why does the MG-42 have a 300m range over it's older brother?


Please check in game before posting, MG34 HMG and MG42 HMG have the same range.

Now, when you compared MG42 with Bren (two very different weapons even if they served for the same purpose as LMG) I hope you weren't inspired by this video:



Please take some time and read the comments, there are so many wehraboos there to fight with :oops: Bren was a fine weapon but comparing MG42 HMG tripod with it it's like comparing apples with pears.

Grabbed_by_the_Spets wrote:Probably because of the high mobility of the modern day battlefield and the higher proficiency of motorized, mechanized and amoured vehicles, made slower, heavier machineguns such as water cooled ones obsolete. I think it's largely the same with Tripoded machine-guns at least with infantry sized calibres.

I don't know much about the Soviet Maxim, you'd probably be able to sort it's history out better than me. But the Vickers was used up until the late 1960's by the commonwealth until they basically broke apart. Wikipedia states that South Africa use them up until the 1980's, but that's a book source and I can't check on that.

On a really interesting note, I found a neat little website that details pretty much everything about the vickers, including ranges and instructions on long range firing up to 3000 yards.


MG3 was excellent suited for mechanized forces because ammo was easier to carry.

the fact that Soviet Maxim and Vickers were kept in some armies doesn't mean much, they keep it there just to have reserve in case of a prolonged war. But MG42 was re-made entirely and transformed in MG3.

About that 3000 yards it is probably achievable with plunging fire but I suspect Eugen didn't took into consideration this type of shooting.
Last edited by steppewolf on Mon 22 Jul 2019 10:37, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: MG-42 Range discrepancy

Postby Mike » Wed 24 Jul 2019 07:58

Imagine if all mounted (on vehicles or tripod) had 3km range with 5% accuracy :lol:
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Re: MG-42 Range discrepancy

Postby steppewolf » Wed 24 Jul 2019 08:19

Mike wrote:Imagine if all mounted (on vehicles or tripod) had 3km range with 5% accuracy :lol:


how valued the smoke would be :lol:

actually I think a reduction of range with 200 m for all HMGs would be more realistic.

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Re: MG-42 Range discrepancy

Postby IronHat » Mon 29 Jul 2019 06:57

while the German one 372 r/minute. Take into consideration the inherent dispersion due to low accuracy and you'll see why German MGs are more effective at range.


the Mg34 and mg42 are both air cooled machine gun with an insane amount of cyclic rate. This demand excellent fire discipline on the gunner to fire in very short burst.

Meanwhile the maxim is water cooled, with a much lower rate of fire. You can literally just continuously fire the gun and not worry about over heating the barrel (for hours on end, if you have a condenser and steady source of water). This is physically impossible with the mg42/34 as you will melt the barrel.

here's a some footage of a vickers firing long burst
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ptLxXVBEmQY
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xEvA8dmkXs8
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZZQHtHMOm0c

(that last one might have been staged, since it was period propaganda)

The belts on both guns are usually fitted with tracer, allow the gunner or spotter to observe the fall of the bullet.

so the german mg get a burst of tracer indicating where he's landing. While a maxim or vicker get a continuous stream of tracer to correct his fire. A steady stream of tracer is hardly difficult to spot for.


Firing a water cooled mg the same way as a air cool mg is under-utilizing the water cooled mg's greatest strength, which is being able to fire continuously.

lastly, the mg42/34 were revolutionary because it combine all the following feature:
quick change barrel
belt fed,
light weight (~25 lb)

basically every mg used by other country lacked at least one of those feature. the mg34/42 was the only design to combine all of them together.

none of those feature magically give it 500+ meter range bonus over other mg.

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Re: MG-42 Range discrepancy

Postby steppewolf » Mon 29 Jul 2019 08:48

I explained why I think Eugen gave it 1500 range. It took all RL reported ranges and simply halve it, for all MGs. Do you have some source to counter the RL range as reported? Because every allied post war publication as I quoted here seems to agree MGs range was 3000 meters +.

Also in game MGs fire short bursts and not continously as water cooled MGs

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Re: MG-42 Range discrepancy

Postby IronHat » Tue 30 Jul 2019 07:00

steppewolf wrote:I explained why I think Eugen gave it 1500 range. It took all RL reported ranges and simply halve it, for all MGs. Do you have some source to counter the RL range as reported? Because every allied post war publication as I quoted here seems to agree MGs range was 3000 meters +.

Also in game MGs fire short bursts and not continously as water cooled MGs


Mg firing "short burst" in game is a limitation of the engine. In SD44 (and SD2, most likely), the game engine implement every weapon in this game as single shot weapon. All those burst of machine gun fire is just graphical tricks over a single bullet/shot/shell. tanks gun are much better representation of how every weapon in the game act underneath the graphic. The damage stats you see in game is actually how much damage a shot deal. A good number of N/A damage value are actually just <1.

Would it make sense that a mg42 be firing on a single shot? no. In fact the mg42 lacked a single shot setting. That's why a shots from a mg42 in this game represent a typical "burst" from a mg42.

would it make sense that a cooled mg be firing on a mini burst like the mg34/mg42? no, that's why a shots from a maxim/vicker needs to represent a longer burst typical from a water cooled mg.

and 1500m for mg42 and mg34 are actually fine. I wouldn't want to nerf their current range. It's the shorter range for water cooled guns (maxim, m1917, vicker) I have problem with.

I would argue that the m1919a4 and the sg-43 should be 1000m but be made 5-6 men squad. They act as short range mg support while the water cooled mg get the longer range.

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Re: MG-42 Range discrepancy

Postby steppewolf » Tue 30 Jul 2019 12:09

IronHat wrote:and 1500m for mg42 and mg34 are actually fine. I wouldn't want to nerf their current range. It's the shorter range for water cooled guns (maxim, m1917, vicker) I have problem with.

I would argue that the m1919a4 and the sg-43 should be 1000m but be made 5-6 men squad. They act as short range mg support while the water cooled mg get the longer range.


Except the quoted part, I agree with you.

I think if we add men to MG squads these will be way more powerful and hard to destroy. I feel this would be a design feature to be applied by all MG teams.

As for a bigger range for other machine-guns, the range of these MGs is lower than range of German MGs hence I don't see why they should be buffed. I am a fan of dissimilar stats based on RL reports and I hope it will be kept this way and not equalize all MGs range just for the sake having all equal. There isn't a gameplay issue with these teams to justify such buff.

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Re: MG-42 Range discrepancy

Postby IronHat » Fri 2 Aug 2019 08:46

steppewolf wrote:
Except the quoted part, I agree with you.

I think if we add men to MG squads these will be way more powerful and hard to destroy. I feel this would be a design feature to be applied by all MG teams.

As for a bigger range for other machine-guns, the range of these MGs is lower than range of German MGs hence I don't see why they should be buffed. I am a fan of dissimilar stats based on RL reports and I hope it will be kept this way and not equalize all MGs range just for the sake having all equal. There isn't a gameplay issue with these teams to justify such buff.


1500m mean even artillery have trouble reaching you as the radio radius is also 1500m. You need to have a spotter within shooting distance of the mg.

1000m range put you in danger more often. You're closer to the 750m range on line infantry LMG, and more likely to be within spotter radius.

it's a basic trade of range and durability.

There's no real good reason why the HMG42/34 should have better range than the water cool mg. the HMG42 might have better ROF but they need to fire in very short burst. Water Cooled mg can sustain a longer burst. It's just a trade off.

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