02 February 2023

When Pi Equals Three

The MGM-51 Shillelagh is a viable weapon system in GURPS because all the flaws aren't in the rules.

It's something you, as the GM, have to tweak to make realistic.

Gun launchers are neat!

I am noticing a lack of reporting on the gun launched missiles the Russians were touting so loudly not that long ago.


  1. Did you ever have to deal with them when you were in? I remember briefly seeing a few in SWA in 90/91 but then I was TC on an ancient M-113 so same era... I remember my dad talking about them and how poorly they worked in Vietnam... I do not really remember them doing much in SWA... But yeah, the 1960's era wonder weapons that just never really worked...

    1. One REFORGER I saw some of the 82nd's Sheridans. At Knox, on a detail, we helped the museum people with the MBT-70. I built a model of an M60A2.

      That's my total experience with the Shilleagh.

      I understand that the MGM-51 worked amazingly well all things considered, but was too advanced for its day. Had the MBT-70 been fielded, I'll bet improvements in electronics would have made it a very viable system. I make this bet because those improvements worked to make the Sidewinder and Sparrow reliable weapons. That same tech made the TOW the terror it is as well.

  2. Not an expert but I don't recall any Gun Missile system to work well in Real Life(tm).

    Have you found any in your research?

    An interesting solution to give a light vehicle, heavy firepower. But the light vehicle seems always not up to the level of armor needed to be carrying a "bad ass" weapon and in the case of the M551 Sheridan not even enough ammo to do much more than a Calvary shoot and scoot.

    1. What I've found is the Sheridan was good as an either-or vehicle. The Shillelagh was fine if everything was aligned, calibrated and zeroed. If you only fired missiles, it would stay that way.

      If you fired normal ammo, the optics and electronics became misaligned and uncalibrated. But the gun worked just fine.

      As I say above, the round was on the cusp of realizing its potential when the funding for the entire idea got nuked.

      I think the 82nd was able to hang on to theirs as long as they did because there was a LOT of 152mm ammo made for the system which was supposed to go to support it being our main tank gun. MBT-70 was cancelled and the gun/launcher became a footnote in US armor history.

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