Same old topic again, although Stuart and Goblin made some excellent points and examples! I oftenly muttered in the past about the ineffectiveness (lethality) of a 30cal MMG firing at the enemy and to be honest when designing scenarios, I crank their FC (fire control) up a little bit to achieve more "effect" on enemy infantry, in particular when the 30cal is set up for defense.
Generally the modelling of machine guns in SPWAW is quite sound if you consider the game mechanics (IGOUGO play system) and time/space involved. First of all, I switch unit icons size to smallest possible (=3) to remind myself that the hex you see filled with your digital grunts in reality is as good as empty! Even with with icon size set to 3 you still see the single trooper icons beeing 4x as large as they would be compared to real size. Hex scale is limited to 1pixel=1m, so a real scale soldier simply would not be bigger than a simple single pixel! Now visualize yourself 10 pixels (=10 men) distributed in the hex with certain state of development (german=Entwicklung) which could either be a singlr file, some sort of battle line or small 2-3 men teams spread around. An experienced infantry squad now most likely is spreading more within the 50m size hex, while low experience units troopers might bunch up around their NCO´s, making them better targets!
Now back to machine guns. SPWAW machine guns fire in burst and a burst is probably something like between 5-10 bullets per "shot" fired against those tiny 10 men (pixels) all spread in our 50m size hex. A high rate of fire MG like the MG42 certainly gets a few more bullets in shorter time towards the target than a "slow" ROF Maxim/Vickers, thus the difference of HE kill in the OOB. In general the final "effect" on the target is not that large as one would expect. But that depends on other circumstances too! As said unit experience (of target, as well as shooter) counts much, as well as the target is "assault moving" (=1 hex/turn) or "charging" (more than 1 hex/turn). Experienced units can "anticipate" shots and go to ground before effective fire might hit them. All that is actually modelled in the game, although with lots of abstraction. Goblins WW1 example I think shows quite well the differences between "assault moving" and "charging" the enemy lines.
Open (mixed) terrain in SPWAW. It ain´t. A 50m SPWAW open/mixed hex is full of spots where a squad of infantry can take cover,...when they´re quick enough. Here again comes unit (target) experience and movement speed into play again, but it also must be stressed that those 10 men in the target squad are still more or less widely spread (or not if inexperienced) within the target hex! Now a single HMG shooting at enemy infantry 1 hex away does not shoot its full firepower at a single big 10 men target, it rather needs to "sweep" its fire at 10 different single targets in about a 120° fire arc! If you really want those deadly "mow down" effects so oftenly reported from the eastern front to be seen in the game, then you need to increase the unit "density" in a hex considerably! If you take 10 men in a 50 meter size hex as a guideline, then to achieve the "human wave" effect in SPWAW, you need to have ~30-50 soldiers (~3-5 squads) in a single SPWAW hex! Now have that 3-5 squads all moving/charging toward a MG42 HMG (a situation that might occur mostly in an enemy half turn, since you can´t "group" move so many units at once and bunched up units in the enemy player half turn are still considered all moving!) and now watch your kill rate! Other effects that make a HMG more deadly is a possible height advantage ( +30m?).
If you also play latest version of SP2WW2 (V7.01) then you see that "open" terrain looks much more varied, giving a better imagination that a clear terrain hex is anything but a patch of grass on a golf course! An "open/mixed" hex has many folds, small depressions ect. where single men can take effectively cover from same level direct fire. (Hint: You can use SP2WW2 clear terrain graphics in SPWAW too! Just renaming of files is required.)
HMG units shoot and scoot: It´s forgotten with frequency that a single SPWAW game turn is made of 2 seperate player turns and that a full game turn is modelled to represent a time frame of between 2 to 5 minutes each. If you take a closer look, while you only can move your HMG in your half of the game turn, you can (OP fire) shoot the same HMG in the enemy half of the whole game turn. I imagine (as Wild Bill stated lately) that moving AND shooting a HMG all in the friendly half of the game turn is nothing but shooting a tripod "MG anything" from the hip! Welcome in Rambo land!
I recommend to have some fun playing a 3D game like Combat Mission which gives great lessons to understand time and space issues on battlefields much better!
Arty fire delays in SPWAW: same issue. Consider a full game turn to be abstracted 2 to 5 minutes and you´ll notice that a ROF of 0.1 in fact means between 12 and 30 seconds delay! That a full game turn is actually divided (time warp wise) into a friendly and enemy half can also be observed by the 0.4 Arty. delay example! A 0.4 delay fire for effect always starts in the enemy half of the full game turn (0.4 x game turn = between 48 to 120 seconds from start) When compared to Arty. fire delays in the Combat Mission game (which has a very high reputation for its realism and accuracy), I don´t see anything grossly off in the SPWAW game, the more as SPWAW uses a play system (IGOUGO) that requires a high level of abstraction to get to work. Also the game manual explains the issue on page 63 quite well.
General ROF ratings in SPWAW: Count friendly half turn and enemy half turn OP fire opportunities and you have the approximated real game turn ROF/Shots for a particular weapon! The game manual explains it as follows:
ROF - The maximum number of shots a unit can have in a turn. Based on experience
and movement it gets degraded.(game manual page 109)
Shots by units typically represent individual rounds or
small shot groups for tanks and artillery, and bursts of 5-10 rounds for small arms and automatic
heavy weapons. (game manual page2)
Note: I would be interested to know when "shot groups" apply to tanks or guns, rather than single shots!??
I have the impression that "shot groups" are rather used for indirekt artillery, while "single shots" count for direkt fire guns?! (except small arms and auto guns)
Remember that shots are the number of times that a unit can fire during its turn. This varies
according to unit type (big guns take longer to load), number of men in the unit (if an anti-tank gun
loses one or two of its crew members, then they are unable to load the gun as quickly), status of
the unit (pinned units get less shots), experience level of the crew and the leadership value of the
unit leader. Elite units can actually receive more shots than inexperienced units. You usually
receive at least one or two shots per turn unless the unit is in bad shape. (game manual page 61)
Note: When speaking of "turns", most likely a player "half turn" is actually meant!