06 January 2019

GURPS By Request

Lets take the average infantryman from Die Duetsches Heer and the US Army.

WW1 German grunt: DX 11, Guns/TL6 - Rifle 13.

Modern US 11B: DX 11, Guns/TL8 - Rifle 13.

That's an even match, no?

Comparing the guns.

The Gew.98 does 7d+1 pi with an Acc of 5 with ranges of 1,100/4,600.  It carries 5(3) shots with a RoF of 1.  it needs a ST of 11 to operate without penalty, which our Soldat has.  Rcl is 4 which shouldn't matter because of the low RoF.

An M4A1 does 4d+1 pi with an Acc of 4, but the Aimpoint gives a +1 to Guns/TL8 skill.  Range is 750/2,900 and needs a ST of 9.  There are 30+1(3) shots with a RoF of 15.  Rcl is 2, which is going to come up.

Now... what range do we put the fight?

How about the 200m "typical" engagement in a rural European setting?

218 yards is a -13 penalty.  Nobody is hitting anything without aiming.

If they spot each other at the same time and go prone...  -2 to hit, but you get to brace if you aim for a +1.

Aiming for one round, German:  13 - 13 + 5 - 2 + 1.  4 to hit.
Aiming for one round, American: 14 - 13 + 4 - 2 + 1.  4 to hit with a single shot.  7 to hit by dumping 15 rounds at the German.

The German would need to roll a 4 for a single hit.  The American, firing semi-auto and three shots still needs a 4, and a 3 would still give a single hit.  In full auto a 7 lands 1, a 5 lands 2 and a 3 lands 3.  The chance of rolling a 7 or less is just 16.2%, but better than 1.85% for the 4 or less.

Aiming longer can give up to +2 more.  Still not great.

How about 50m then?  -9 for range now.  Effectively a +4 to the 200m engagement.  8 to hit with single shots and 11 with the full-auto (on average the American can hit every time now).

The German has a 25.92% chance of scoring one hit.

The American in semi-auto has the same 25.92% chance with one hit, 9.25% for two hits and 1.85% for three.  In full-braaap the odds of a single hit are 62.5%, two hits is 37.50%, three hits are 16.2%, four hits are 4.62% and five hits are 0.46%.

You might notice there's a lot of missing in combat.

Let's say they finally connect!

7d+1 pi to the torso is 8-43 points of damage with an average roll of 25.  The American will be wearing the Improved Outer Tactical Vest with E-SAPI plates.  DR 12/5 +35; which will be DR 47 against the Mauser.  Ping.  The plate is ablative so it will lose 2-14 (avg 8) points of protection per hit here.

4d+1 pi to the torso is 5-25 points of damage with an average roll of 15.  On average the aimed full auto burst at 50m is going to knock our HT 11 German to conscious rolls.

How about urban combat where 25 yards is long range?  The 2-gun example seems to be shot at about this distance.  Nobody goes prone and nobody is aiming in GURPS terms.  Using the sights and aiming aren't the same in game terms.

We're now -7 for range.  No bonus for aiming or bracing, no penalty for target posture.

7 or less for one hit for the German.  8 or less for one hit for the American in semi and 11 or less in full-auto.  The M4A1 is about a third more likely to get a single hit in semi and better than 2/3 as likely to score two hits than the Mauser can score one.

There's still going to be a lot of missing.

But what the American can do that the German cannot is flip the switch to full and let the RoF bonus be cancelled by the penalty to go for vitals.  That triples the damage done to 15-75 (avg. 45).

To do damage at all the German must either whittle down the frangible ESAPI plates or aim for something unarmored.  The Skull is protected by a DR 20 Enhanced Combat Helmet and DR 2 of bone.  And it's -7 to hit.  The Face is less protected and -5 to hit.  He'd need to aim for a full second every shot to have a chance at 25 yards!

The German could also not bother calling their shot and let the dice decide where the hits fall.  Odds are you hit the torso, but you might also get a crippling injury to a limb that takes the American out of the fight.


  1. Thanks. Very interesting, of course. And the Ami carries many much more rounds than the Kraut. Which in a world of many misses, does increase overall the number of hits.

  2. Hey Angus;

    Couple of minor points, the armor or uniform will be better for the later 11B, the old WWI uniforms were made more for looks than utility so there would be less of an encumbrance during movement also the American will be in better shape, with all the steroids and other stuff in our foods,

    1. Better than this? "The American will be wearing the Improved Outer Tactical Vest with E-SAPI plates. DR 12/5 +35; which will be DR 47 against the Mauser. Ping. The plate is ablative so it will lose 2-14 (avg 8) points of protection per hit here."


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