Loader Issue

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    Got a major issue and I am having a hard time diverging reality from the game. Why the hell do BARs, Bren guns and Japanese light machine guns have loaders? When I was in the army I carried a M249 squad automatic machine gun. So did everyone in my squad actually because we had a surplus in the armory and everyone wants more firepower. Its lightweight, 22 pounds fully loaded with a box of 200 belted rounds. We carried 6 boxes of ammo when loaded up plus our normal gear. It was not by any means a crew served weapon. One dude carries it and its ammo and you can easily shoulder fire it and treat it like a standard rifle. I also carried a Javelin back when they were new and cool(2nd unit to get them) and m203 on my m16a2 along with those rounds. I did have a KATUSA carrying an extra missile for me, but he also carried a m203 on his M16a2 and those rounds, and guess what? When we were fired at, we both shot back.

    I say this because now I own a Type 99 Nambu Light machine gun(demiled 🙁 ) that my grandfather captured in Guadal canal. Its a one man weapon. It has a 30 round magazine and weighs 22 pounds just like a SAW. Also just like the SAW, its a shoulder fired weapon, and you can literally mount a bayonet on it(which I think I might do on my models). The gunner carries and loads his own ammo. Another dude might get detailed to carry some extra magazines but it was not a crew served weapon. There were three guys in the fighting position that my grandfather took out, one NCO with a pistol and a saber(not a katana), another dude with an Arisaka rifle, and the dude running the 99,(he was awarded for this and got a non-battlefield commission and went to flight school, and ask me how I know the exact weapons each person was carrying lol). He somehow managed to get into hand to hand and still won and took some hits from the saber as well just to complete the story. Pretty good for a marine aircraft mechanic. The 99 failed because someone shot the magazine and jammed it and the gunner couldn’t figure out why it wasn’t feeding before he was assualted. There’s also a hole in the bipod and in the wood stock.

    To my point though, there is zero reason to add the tax of a loader who cant do anything on such light weapons. I see the use on a crew served weapon like a medium machine gun or a medium mortar. Light weapons like light machine guns(German MG might be a different story since its more of a medium gun and is belt fed and not easily reloaded like magazine fed weapons) light mortars, your bazooka and AT teams, should all be allowed to let their loaders fire their rifles. Its what happens in real life and isn’t game changing except that in our extremely gamey system it streamlines things and does away with the loader tax of a useless dude in a squad. Add a bit more realism to the game which is important since this is a historical war game.

    Eric T Holmes


    I like the way you think. I like a bit more historic realism in the game play. I’m ex-USAF (Missile Puke/Conehead) with a bit of Air Force Security training (Had to have it so I could evaluate security of special weapons as part of my Weapons Safety job). Any way, the Air Force had the same load out for the SAW, when they had them. Most M60’s were vehicle mounted, but the gunners had all the responsibility for the weapon and loading. That also brings me to the other “team” weapons…the bazooka, the sniper (sharp shooter), the rifle grenade launcher, and flame thrower. By the end of WW2, and probably from the beginning, as these weapons teams became more frequently used, they became part of the squad. If you look specifically at the US squads, everyone by the end of the war was trained to operate the bazooka and grenade launcher. It makes sense that in an “assault” everyone fights. It makes sense that when attacked, everyone fires in defense and fights.

    In game terms, I think you and I need to suggest “Haus Rules” for our analysis. Tournament play would not allow us to use realistically or historically analyzed rules, even if they are non-game changers.


    Roll sixes!


    invisible officer

    The Bren had a second man in WW II. He carried a spare Barrel and and MG tools in a special webbing pouch. No, 1 just a Bren wallet with Basic Tools. Barrel change was to be done often in WW II, in that a No. 2 with asbestos glove is a big help.

    In British army the section was made of the rifle group and the Bren group.
    Lance corporal leader, Bren No. 1 and 2. They carried 4 / 4 / 5 Bren magazines. The leader had the smatchet to clear the field of fire and the No. 2 a pick axe. Leader and No. 2 each had a SMLE and a Hand grenade.

    The rifle Group six riflemen had 2 additional Bren magazines each, the section Commander 5 SMG magazines for his weapon.

    The Japanese had a similar MG group.

    With the small 30 round magazines it was great help to have one with the next ready for the change. Not having to leave the aiming position for reload. Often No. 2 even did the change.

    The tactical doctrine was small aimed burst, not modern spraying the area.

    You can also fire the German LMG with belt alone. I did so with MG 3 at Bundeswehr range.(Similar to MG 42) But for Barrel Change and good belt feeding a second is of great help. And he carries spare Barrel, amo and tools too.

    Stuart Harrison

    1. The BAR does not have a loader.

    2. While the Bren can be used and fired by one man, it is employed to it’s best with a practiced team operating it – a well drilled number one and number two do their mag changes in little more than the normal pause between bursts, the number one also doesn’t have to worry about getting magazines out of his pouches or putting them away and can be ready to re-position without leaving all his empties behind. With a crew, the Bren could even by tripod mounted and maintain a respectable rate of fire.

    If you want to house rule something, why not just give the option to field the Bren and similar weapons as automatic rifles, like the BAR, or as LMGs with the current rules/cost and requirement for a loader?

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