6/26/12

SMG Archetypes (with nWOD stats handout)

In an age when a sniper with a .50 caliber rifle can turn an enemy into pink mist from over a mile away, some of the best weapons for door-kicking and room-clearing are still compact, low caliber automatic weapons.* Submachineguns are the quintessential short-range firearms - compact for easy handling in close quarters, but still capable of automatic fire.

(*To be fair, the M4 and other assault carbines are arguably better, but I'll talk about those later).

This is a followup to an earlier post describing handguns. The idea is to break down firearms into categories that are still fairly general, but offer more variety than the barebones groups you might find in nWOD or d6 lite. Below the cut you'll find a statted handout (based on these nWOD houserules) and my ramblings about submachineguns.

The handout is here.


SMGs are fully automatic weapons that fire handgun caliber ammunition. Damage should be similar to that of handguns ('light pistol' for 9mm, 'heavy pistol' for .45 ACP). Technically, the longer barrel on an SMG translates into higher muzzle velocity than can be achieved with most handguns, but the difference is more granular than most RPG mechanics. Also, I find it easier to make damage a function of caliber than to have it vary from gun to gun.


Machine Pistols
These are often exactly what they sound like - a handgun that is capable of automatic fire. The upside is that they spit out a whole lot of lead in a short period of time, and are still somewhat concealable. The downside is that they usually aren't accurate or controllable. In general, these tend to be novelties more than practical weapons, but they are sometimes used for VIP protection or other situations where supression fire may be helpful, but a larger firearm is impractical.

Mechanical Notes: How these are handled will depend on what rules exist for automatic fire. An easy way to deal with them is just to treat them like handguns that can be switched to automatic fire, but I would attenuate the benefits from doing this to reinforce the difference between machine pistols are 'real' SMGs. Alternatively, the reliability of these guns can just be brought down to the edge of usability. They are not known for holding up well in combat.


Examples:
Glock 18 - select fire variant of the Glock 17. (9mm)
Tec-9 - a low end automatic pistol that was the iconic inner-city gangster weapon during the 90s. (9mm)
Steyr TMP  - an expensive, but relatively functional machine pistol. (9mm)

Steyr TMP with 30 round mag. The foregrip helps a little bit with muzzle control during automatic fire.


Compact SMGs
Unlike machine pistols, these can be fairly effective close range automatic weapons. They are a little larger than most handguns, and won't conceal well under everyday clothing. They work well as personal defense weapons for tank crews, airmen, and other soldiers who need a compact but effective firearm. A compact SMG with a silencer and subsonic ammunition is probably the iconic weapon for infiltration and other covert assaults.  

Mechanical Notes: They are more difficult to conceal and still have accuracy and damage that are comparable to handguns. But, compact SMGs should benefit fully from rules that govern automatic fire. 
Examples:
Mac-10  - An aging design that is effective, if not particularly accuracte. (9mm or .45 ACP, the latter will be difficult to control in full auto)
Uzi - Perhaps the best known submachinegun. A durable and well-balanced weapon. (9mm)
HK MP5K - Compact version of the widely used MP5. Accurate for its size, and very reliable. (9mm)
HK MP7 - Modern personal defense weapon, accurate and easy to control when firing in full-auto. (4.6mm)

HK MP5K. The stats in the handout (size 2) assume a folded stock. In this configuration, I'd rule that the the gun would be statistically equivalent to a full-sized MP5. Yes the barrel is still a little shorter, but . . . *shrug*


Full sized SMGs
In many ways these firearms are more like handgun caliber machineguns or carbines than oversized automatic pistols. Generally, a full sized SMG will be too large to conceal but still small and light enough to handle well in close range firefights. They will be more accurate than handguns because of their longer sight radius (the distance between the front and rear sights), have large magazines (30-50+ rounds) and generally provide very controllable automatic fire. 

Mechanical Notes: Full sized SMGs are almost more like scaled down carbines or machineguns than scaled-up handguns. They still don't have the long range accuracy of a good rifle, or the awesome suppressive capability of a belt-fed machinegun, but they are a lot lighter and easier to use close up than either.

Examples:
HK MP5 - Widely used for its reliability and accuracy. (9mm)
HK UMP45 - A higher powered successor to the MP5. (.45 ACP)
FN P90 - An accurate, high capacity firearm with very controllable recoil. (5.7mm)


FN P90 - a very interesting design. It's a bullpup configuration (trigger in front of the mag and action) which gives it a relatively long barrel in a compact frame. The 50 round mags (empty shown beneath the gun) are pretty cool too. 

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