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- Augment: Fire Power -

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Modern weapons

This augment deals with the basics of modern warfare, as developed in response to automatic weapons. One thing that all humans learnt during WWI is that you do not charge a machine gun without taking horrific looses. Automatic weapons are lethal, and the only effective defence is (passive) cover or (dynamic) suppression fire. Of the two suppression fire wins. The effective use of 'fire-power' to destroy the enemy is based around the principles of suppression fire. It is the use of suppression fire combined with firearms lethality that changed the way war was waged forever.



All automatic weapons are able to fire more than one round in a burst. it is the ability to lay down a high volume of fire that can suppress the enemy as it greatly increases the chance of being struck. It is this base fear of being hit, combine with the high probability of being hit that, that convinces many to stay in cover. It is not so much 'fear' as 'common sense' to stay in cover. Winning fire-fights is not about reckless attacks but instead it is all about risk management, and good tactics. Courage is derived from knowing what you are doing, concentrating on your tasks and having confidence in your skills and tactics means you do not have time for fear. Fear is what happens when things go wrong, though often instincts will kick in. Panic only happens when you don't have a clue and no experience in any way, shape, or from of such stressful situations.


Suppression fire

The first squad uses suppression fire to pin the enemy allowing the second squad to move up. If a lot of ground has to be covered the two squads can leapfrog towards the enemy, alternating roles. Once within range one squad can use grenades to destroy the enemy in cover, or outflank the enemies position and come up on eh same side of the cover (where the enemy is exposed).


Types of skill

There are two types of shooting skill covered here; 'Reflex Shooting' and 'Marksmanship'. Under Reflex Shooting will be the various subsets such as Quick Fire and Point Shooting.



A prime requisite of good marksmanship is a stable base, and so when using Marksmanship the Trooper must to stationary and not moving. This often rules out Marksmanship in close firefights, where 'reflex shooting/ quick fire' are used instead.


More on Marksmanship



When discussing firearms in this section the 'target' is the centre of mass, a circle of about 8" over the chest and upper abdomen (not so much the shoulders, more the rib cage and gut), where the most vital organs are located. Any projectile piecing this vital area is likely to inflict a debilitating if not lethal injury unless very well protected. The human body is not good at resisting piecing impacts, especially bullets, and virtually all 'hits' (to this area) on unprotected humans will result in casualties.


Example: Unloading a .45 pistol at close range into the area marked 5X in the diagram opposite (a police paper target) into a person will most likely kill the person or at the very least disable them.


The same holds true for an arrow or crossbow. A human will be seriously harmed if the 5X target area is struck. Most weapons we use in conflict are so powerful that there is no need for specific rules to calculate damage if this area is pieced; as it is a forgone conclusion that is will be so serious that the Trooper will not longer take part in the conflict whether this is through death or disablement.


All 'Rolls to Hit' relate to the 5X target area, and a successful hit roll places the shot in the 5X area. A successful hit (in basic terms) is rolling under the Trooper's Marksmanship. A roll that exactly equals the Trooper's Marksmanship is considered to hit the target but to have landed outside the 5X area. Hitting any area other than the 5X is considered a 'stun'.


Stun: The Trooper is temporarily immobilized. They may not move or fire for the rest of the turn. For the sake of simplicity you may assumed that no permanent damage is done. If you prefer you may instead assume the stunned Trooper is injured and incapable of movement but is not actually dead. This will force the other Troopers in the unit to stay close and attempt to rescue them.


Armour: In theory placing armour of the 5X area (bullet proof vest) will effectively protect the area, and only 'Stuns' will have an effect. However bullet proof vests are not invincible and injury can occur. The main difference is that it is not a 'piecing' impact, and the human body is far better at resisting the force applied.


Point Blank: At point blank range the shooter hits automatically and can shoot any location, this includes vulnerable areas (note: Only 'dodge' can save the Trooper, and this is 'dodge the line of sight before fired upon' not 'dodge the bullet'). If the dodge fails and the shot is taken at point blank the target is dropped (head shot etc).




Firearms come in all shapes and sizes and each design has its own characteristics, strength and weaknesses. Many arms manufactures release figures that detail specifics of the firearm and where possible these are what I have decided to use to describe these weapons. the following stats are used to describe firearms: Firing Rate, Precision, Range



This stat denotes the firearm's effective range and maximum range.




Firing Rate

All weapons have a rate of fire which determines how fast the reload. The faster the reload the more shots that can be put into the target. With modern ware fare a new dynamic is introduced with automatic (machine assisted) weapons as they can reload much faster than a manual weapon. This gives modern firearms the ability to lay down a huge volume of fire. This fundamentally changes the dynamic of war fare as 'directly charging the enemy' goes out of the window. It is this volume of fire, or 'fire-power' element that is the basis of the suppression concept and the Warspike rules.


The M1 Garand Rifle is a semi-automatic rifle and the first to be issued to any nation's military. It has an effective fire rate of 16-24 rounds per minute, which works out to an average of '20' or 10 rounds per 30 second turn. This means that the M1 can fire once per increment, and is used in examples of semi-automatic weapons fire.


The AK-47 (AKM) is a fully automatic assault rifle and the most popular used, with over 100 million being built. It has a high rate fire of 600 rounds per minute. This works out at 300 rounds per 30 second turn, or 30 rounds per increment. The standard box magazine of an AKM holds 30 rounds. This means the wielder can empty the entire magazine in one increment. The AKM is used in examples of fully automatic weapons fire.


Trench War Fare

Trench Gun (first Combat Shotgun)


Precision (MOA)

The intrinsic precision of the firearm and ammunition is measured in MOA (Minute Of Angle). In WARSPIKE the MOA affects the 'hit roll' when using Marksmanship (less so with Reflex Shooting).


MOA stands for Minute Of Angle and is a unit of angular measurement, equal to one sixtieth (1/60) of one degree. It is used in the firearms industry as a measure of accuracy.


1 MOA subtends approximately one inch at 100 yards, a traditional distance on target ranges


The diagram opposite graphically illustrates the limits of a given MOA to group all shots fired (under ideal conditions) with an 8" diameter circle.


At MOA 1 (the centre most lines in the diagram) we can see that the limit of grouping the shots is reached at 800 yards. The 8" target is marked at the 800 yard line with a faint circle (the inner circle) This means that, theoretically, under ideal conditions all shots fired from an MOA 1 rifle with all strike within the 8" circle, or land within the circle 100% of the time.


At the same range of 800 yards we can see that an MOA 2 rifle will group within a 16" circle.


The area of an 8" target is 50.24 in² while the area of a 16" circle is 200.96 in². If we assume that the shots are, on average, evenly distributed over the entire area: then the 8" target has a quarter of the area of the 16" target.


If the MOA 1 hits the 8" target 100% (and this is the limit) then MOA 2 will hit the target 25% of the time (one quarter).


Similarly at 800 yards, MOA 4 group within a 32" circle. A 32" circle has an area of 803.84 in², four times greater than MOA 2 and eight times greater than MOA 1. This means that MOA 4 will land hits within an 8" circle a mere 6.25% of the time.


Basics of the hit roll for marksmanship.

The Marksmanship skills are are follows

  • A shooter with an MOA 1 will theoretically hit a 8" target at 800 yards 100% of the time, and be marked as having a Marksmanship skill of 100%. In tactical this is '10'.
  • A Shooter with MOA 2 will theoretically hit a 8" target at 800 yards 25% of the time. In tactical this is '2'.
  • A Shooter with MOA 3 will theoretically hit a 8" target at 800 yards 6.25% of the time. In tactical this is '0'.

Example: MOA:4 is accurate up to 200 yards at hitting an 8" diameter target. Therefore; a sniper with a Marksmanship skill of 100% will hit 100% of the time. However, at a range of 400 yards MOA:4 will only put 25% of perfectly aimed bullets on target, so the MS:100 is reduced to 25%. At 300 yards it would be 50%. As a base, the chance to hit is reduced by half when the range is increased by half.


As a quick run through of the guesstimate process, MS:80 with an assault rifle of MOA:4 would hit 80% of the time at 200 yards, 40% of the time at 300 yards and 20% of the time at 400 yards. This is for aimed shots vs a stationary target of 8" in diameter.


MS:33 with an assault rifle of MOA:4 would hit 33% of the time at 200 yards, 16% of the time at 300 yards and 8% of the time at 400 yards. This is for aimed shots vs a stationary target of 8" in diameter.


Notes: In tactical, as units are rounded down, only the first number (the 'tens') is used. So MS:33 would become MS:3 @ 200, MS:1 @ 300 and MS:0 at 400.


All these score are theoretical maximums, without adverse conditions or psychological pressures. Environmental effect will have a negative effect. Wind can have a huge effect at long range.



  • Marksmanship is calibrated to the maximum range for an auto hit (100%). This is written as MS:[email protected]# where '#' is the range. Example: MS:[email protected] means an 'auto hit' at '200 yards'.
  • Each increase of range by half again halves the chance to hit. MS:[email protected] will drop to MS:[email protected] and MS:[email protected]
  • Environmental modifiers are applied per 100 yards. A -10% modifier will cause -50% at 500 yards. This is for the first shot only, as corrective fire removes the penalty after the first shot.

Source materials

Wiki Notes: "This unit is commonly found in the firearms industry and literature, particularly that concerning the accuracy of rifles . The industry tends to refer to it as minute of angle rather than minute of arc . It is popular because 1 MOA subtends approximately one inch at 100 yards , a traditional distance on target ranges . A shooter can easily readjust his rifle scope by measuring the distance in inches the bullet hole is from the desired impact point, and adjusting the scope that many MOA in the same direction. Most target scopes designed for long distances are adjustable in quarter (¼) or eighth (?) MOA "clicks". One eighth MOA is equal to approximately an eighth of an inch at 100 yards or one inch at 800 yards".


"The M16 came from the factory capable of 3-4 MOA accuracy, allowing reliable hits on targets at up to 550 meters."


AK 3-5 MOA


Wiki notes: "Contrary to popular belief, sniper rifles are not necessarily characterised by exceptional accuracy, especially when compared to civilian sporting rifles, though they nearly always match or exceed the capabilities of other rifles in the military and police categories. A military-issue battle rifle or assault rifle is usually capable of between 3 and 6 minute of arc (MOA) accuracy. A standard-issue military sniper rifle is typically capable of 0.5 to 2 MOA accuracy, with a police sniper rifle capable of 0.25 to 1.5 MOA accuracy. For comparison, a competition target rifle may be capable of accuracy levels up to 0.1 MOA.[citation needed].


The United States military standards call for 1 MOA accuracy from a standard issue sniper rifle[citation needed] since accuracy is sacrificed in favour of low cost and reliability in harsh environments, as well as ease of operation and maintenance. This level of accuracy roughly translates into a variance in the bullet's point of impact of 8 inches at 800 yards, which is considered sufficient to ensure a high probability of hitting a human shape at that distance."


Heckler-Koch HK417 with "accurized barrels provide 1 MOA accuracy (with proper ammunition)".


Sniper rifles have a minimum of 1MOA for the US military, often 0.5MOA or 0.3MOA with the correct ammunition.


MOA and Target Size: The size of the Target area on a human being is equal to a circle in the middle of their chest with a radius equal to their Stature in inches. A Trooper of Stature:6 has a target with a radius of 6 (12 inches across). This matches a weapon with MOA:6 at 100 yards. A prone Trooper counts as Stature:1 (and often the head is protected with a helmet).


Discrepancy in MOA vs Target; If the weapon has a higher MOA than needed for the target, deduct the amount from Marksmanship as a penalty. If the weapon's MOA is equal or lower than that needed for the target, no modifier is applied.


Note: Most Troopers are Stature:6 and will be hit with MOA:6 weapons of less at 100 yards with no modifier. A 200yard the target area is half the size, shrinking to '3' and needing MOA:3 to avoid a penalty. A trooper dropping prone is a target size of 1 which need MOA:1 to hit without penalty. Dropping prone is not good cover at closer ranges.


Stopping Power (Option)

This is a measure of the weapons ability to stop a person dead in their tracks and totally incapacitate them. This weapon stat is abbreviated to 'SP' for 'Stopping Power' (obviously ;-) ). The SP of the weapon is related to the Trooper's Stature stat. The maximum Stature Trooper a weapon can 'stop' is equal to SP. So a weapon with SP:7 can stop and Trooper with Stature:7 or less dead in their tracks, dropping them with the shot.


Most modern weapons have an SP far higher than any human can match in Stature.


Notes: Rubber bullets have high SP, they will stop a person, but as they are 'blunt force trauma' the effect is similar to having normal bullets and full body armour. Therefore a Rubber Bullet hit is automatically converted into a 'stun'.



Firepower TActics

Fully automatic weapons profoundly affect the way combat is waged. the strict formations of yesteryear fell away under the volume of fire, to be replaced with fast moving, flexible formations that make damn good use of cover. In the modern age being out in the open is often a instant death sentence. The world leant one very important lesson from WWI - do not charge machine guns, as even a single machine gun can mow down scores of Troops. In the modern age all Troops have automatic weapons. So how do modern Troops operate under automatic fire, and how do they utilise their firearms to the greatest effect, and what tactics developed in the wake of this terrifying weapon?


Suppression Fire [Action]

This tactic uses a lot of ammo and relies on the high fire rates of modern automatic weapons to lay down a hail of fire to scare the enemy into ducking for cover and hence not shoot back, move about or even poke their heads up to see what is happening around them.


Temp (I will fill this in later): Suppressive fire


Pop-up vs Open: A Trooper can pop-up from hard cover to fire on an unsuspecting enemy. The pop-up takes one increment. If the target of pop-up fire makes an Acuity test they can return fire or dive for cover (often diving for cover is the better option vs modern firearms, but standing in the open may work when facing muskets).


Notes: A Trooper who is performing a pop-up from cover can only do so with reasonable safety if they know here the target is and the target is in the open and easy to hit. Otherwise a pop-up is dangerous; if the Trooper does not know where the enemy is exactly, and they are hard to spot, they may make a pop-up and be unable to acquire a target right away and may only do so when fired upon. This is situation turns up if the enemy is in overwatch and often results in the unit becoming 'pinned'.


Rules (Rough outline of rules)

  • Performing a pop-up takes one increment. During this increment any overwatchers (see below) may fire at those performing the pop-up.
  • Pop-up fire against Troops in the open is without penalty.
  • Pop-up fire against hidden Troops can only be done if the hidden Troops fire. Otherwise shots count as wildfire (will hit nothing but will stop any advance).
  • If pop-up fire is successful at suppressing the enemy, the pop-up may switch to Overwatch.

Hidden vs Open: If well hidden, a Trooper can fire and it can be very hard for their target to accurately locate their position. This is the basis of sniping. It's much the same as a pop-up from hard cover, except there is no need to 'pop-up' and the shooter can remain stationary. By remaining stationary the enemy can have trouble locking on as movement is easily seen. If in soft cover (vegetation) or shooting from the back of a room with suppressors is may be very difficult to see the sniper. Special rules needed to 'spot location' - pop-up decoys to lure and mirrors to spot


Overwatch: This is similar to the above and is used to suppress a target area. The overwatch area is variable is size with bonuses for smaller areas. Any enemy Troops who enter the Overwatch area my be fired upon (first). As the Overwatchers will be in good cover, and hard to target, this will tend to make those fired upon dive for cover or be mown down. Once in cover the enemy are forces to use pop-up fire (which is inaccurate and one step behind the Overwatcher's fire). This often results in the player refusing to engage on such unfavourable terms, and this simulates the effect of a unit being pinned. Units which are 'pinned' are highly vulnerable as they have to keep their heads down or suffer heavy looses. It is possible to shot your way out of being pinned if you have a SAW (squad automatic weapon), but a better bet is to have another unit perform a flanking manoeuvre and for this pinned to 'overwatch' the opposite flank (if possible).


Overwatch zones are also called 'kill zones'.


Cover: When fired upon the enemy may react by diving for cover. After the first increment of fire, all survivor enemy Troops that dive for cover may make a dodge roll using Acuity to do so. The maximum dive range is one increment of movement, or failing that dropping to the floor prone. A successful Acuity test means the Trooper is in cover, a failed test means they can be fired upon as normal. This dodge roll is not 'dodging bullets' instead it is a reflex Reaction at the sound of the first shot.


Most Troops with automatic weapons like to fire from some form of cover. Firing from cover protect the body (the main target area) and shift the target to the head - counting as half size. Once in cover and being fired at the enemy is said to be pinned.


To continue use suppressive fire: Simply target the cover the enemy is using. Aiming for windows, doorways and the top of banks and trenches to deny them a safe 'Pop-Up' (see below). Any 'hits' to the target cover area means that section of cover is suppressed and any Trooper popping up from cover to return fire is shot - automatically. The number of hits are used up as Troopers pop up, the actual number of hits can be hidden form the enemy by leaving them under a cup once rolled (so no one knows how it will turn out!).

"The USMC Rifle manual suggests that each rifleman laying down suppressive fire should only expend 12-15 rounds per minute. The current US Army manual suggests one round every 3-10 seconds ."

The area of suppression defined by fire arcs and any target popping up in the target area can be hit, but only one target can be fired upon per increment. At longer ranges it is better to focus in on areas in order to gain bonuses.


SAW: Squad Automatic Weapons (Light machine gun) greatly benefit from focusing fire on smaller areas (rule prototypes to come later). This greatly increases the chance of a hit and off multiple hits. Assault weapons can also be used to focus fire, but run out of ammo very quickly.


Focus Fire: Text


Pop-Up under Fire [reaction]: This is very risky and involved popping up from cover to return fire. If can be used by the enemy when you are attempting to suppress them. However any 'hits' from suppressive fire will be applied before the pop-up shooters get to fire. This can lead to a massacre if facing assault rifles.


Pop-up fire is always a 'Reaction' as it requires someone to be shooting at the Trooper before it can be used. It just returning fire it is not considered a 'pop-up' though it occupies much the same space rule wise.



This tactics is used to take positions held by the enemy using automatic weapons. Usually a unit splits into two squads (or a squad into fire teams) . these two squads work together (and must maintain squad coherency). One unit puts down suppression fire (basically goes into overwatch) while the other squad moves one increment forward and dives for cover. The squad in cover then pops up and takes over the suppression fire (overwatch) role while the partner squad makes it's move and rushes forward one increment to take up cover closer to the enemy. They alternate their roles, where one unit is always on the move and one is suppressing the enemy (it also allows for the units to reload while moving and slap in a new magazine ready for the next suppression fire. An AK47 has a 30 round magazine that will last 1 increment, and that is about as long as they can suppress before reloading.) This tactic is also called bounding overwatch.


Leapfrogging/ BOunding Overwatch is a brilliant tactic for taking on enemies armed with automatic weapons but is does go through the ammo like no tomorrow. It is also used to advance through enemy territory, even if the enemy can not be seen. Bounding overwatch is a core tactic used in modern armed conflict and is vital to effective use of units (otherwise you be be suppressed and overrun).


Leapfrogging Wikipedia article


In modern militaries this tactic is often used by the smallest military units such as the Section (British Army) or 'squad' (US Army) which is devided into two 4 man fireteams. Leapfrogging allows movement in areas where the enemy has automatic weapons and kill zones. It is the basis of the effective use of this 'Firepower' Augment.



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This file last modified 06/25/16