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American MilSim
AMS Forums set to ARCHIVE MODE (POSTING DISABLED). These forums will be used for historical reference, otherwise you can find the AMS event pages located on Facebook.
Kolt1911

Artillery Battery?

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3yc3fAC5vOI

Most of you have seen this. I want to build at least two and use them to launch nerf rockets at people. 
I'm still unclear on how this would fit into the rule-set, let alone its practicality, but the immersion factor itself would make it worth spending the time, money, and effort building, transporting and using them. 

So, let's discuss what is required to build, maintain, and operate a battery. I really want to run with this idea. 

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Several issues with a design like this stand out to me. Merely playing devil's advocate here. ;)

 

1. This is designed to be pulled as a trailer by a vehicle. If you are planning on having two of these, that will take up presumably 2 pov slots for your faction (one truck per launcher). Not sure if that will fly with command.

 

2. Filling the tank. If you make it able to be moved by manpower and not a vehicle, then you now have to have a portable compressor to fill the tank. One per battery, presumably. 

 

3. Rockets. These rockets are sick. The whistle noise would be great to hear in combat. The problem lies in the cost of the rockets. Cheapest I could find for them was $12.33 a piece. Assuming these were used at an AMS 2 day event, firing 10 shots every hour each, you are looking at a cost of roughly $1440 in rockets (assuming 12hrs of play). Lets say that you can recycle half your rockets. That brings cost down to $720. Then lets say that the launchers only fire 5 shots per hour. That brings your cost down to $360, which may finally be reasonable. Just something to consider. 

 

4. Safety. How hot are these things coming down out of the sky? Just because they are foam footballs doesn't mean that they won't do significant damage to a human if it hits face, sternum, spine, etc. Plus the angle at which they fall is a big deal. Safety is the MAIN issue with a design like this. 

 

5. Reload speed. By the time you get this thing set up, calibrated, aimed, fired, refilled with air, reloaded a rocket, calibrated, aimed, fired, is it even worth it? Might be a factor in cost/gain decision making.

 

6. Hit calling. Lets be real, getting players to call hits from rockets falling from the sky is a unicorn hunt. Players either don't see them, don't realize they are hit, or simply don't care enough to be honest. 

 

7. Manpower. Don't know what your milsim situation is, but most people wouldn't want to be put on artillery duty for an entire op. That brings in logistics of coordinating shift changes, training workers, etc. Or you simply run them yourself, and don't get to run and gun. Or a balance of both. Use them half the day, play the other half. If you don't have a team of guys ready to support you in building these, you may run into complications come game day. 

 

ALL THIS WITHSTANDING: These are fucking bad ass, and I would love to see some on the field one of these days. They add elements to the game that I desperately want, and I'm sure there is a way of finding a balance between the bad and good when it comes to fake artillery. 

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1. I was thinking about the transportation problems. If I had the vehicles I would haul them in place and have the QRF/FO team that would be working in conjunction with the battery take them to go do POV things. Unfortunately, I'm trying to get a daily-driver myself right now so even a couple technicals is out of the question (unless something changes in the next year). I could probably build them to be man-transportable if need be, and maybe have someone in a POV nice enough to haul them into position and move us around if we have to, as much as I hate to take up their time. I'm going to look into that, though, I know some people. 

2. I've got a pretty sizable industrial compressor that could be hauled around and dropped off with the battery. Plug in, fill, unplug, plug in, fill, now both are good to go. Unfortunately it's very heavy, and I would need a generator to run it. I may be able to acquire a small gas-powered portable that will do the same thing. 

3. The whistling is probably one of the most appealing factors. Another problem that presents is that if these are considered HWS then we can only have 12 rockets per howitzer, which means they will only be marginally useful because we can either only fire a certain amount of rockets until we can rearm, or we run out early on and now have some nice props (which is OK too, but not desirable). Someone suggested launching bread, so that is, erm, "on the table"  ;) 

4. Yes, safety is a priority. I'm thinking there has to be a way to determine what PSI will make it fly at what velocity and what angle. Obviously depressing to minimum elevation and popping off a nerf football at 130 PSI into someone's face at point blank is going to hurt someone, but if this was done right and with a mind towards doing it safely, I think a system could be worked out. I now realize why I should have paid attention in Calculus.

5. The ones I've seen using a regulator and a ball valve are breechloaded and fire from an air tank that is capable of supplying five or six shots before having to refill. If need be you could run the air compressor to the tank directly and fire while it compresses, although it seems like that might hurt performance a bit without a full tank. An alternative idea is to have the air compressor itself work as the air tank. 

6. Shrugging hits, even from artillery, is on the player. It's a really shitty thing to do, and I agree that would be a problem, but the ambience of having artillery does make it worth it IMO. Okay, so they don't call their hits - some will, and the others need a father figure in their life to teach them about respect. 

7. I'm looking for interested people. That's also kind of why I posted. 
I need at least five people manning the guns. That's two to aim/fire per gun, and one or two guys to coordinate fire and talk to the Forward Observers/QRF. I would also need 3-4 guys to provide security for the battery so we don't get overrun. Then I'll need guys that can go do mostly regular infantry stuff and mark targets for us (hopefully using those nifty taginn smoke rounds everyone talks about). 

The long and short of it is that I think this would be awesome and I am batshit insane enough to do it. I just have to make it happen. 

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Sounds like you've got it figured out. If you decide to proceed you should post a topic in the General Milsim thread that follows your progress. Update it as you go. I'm sure there are more than one of us that would like to watch as it happens. 

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Hey absolutely, man. I appreciate you asking these questions, there were a few things I hadn't yet considered. 

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We have looked at building one of these and Sheepdog hit on most of the reason we didn't do it other than the price to build and haul the darn thing. The major reason we turned our nose up to it is a safety issue. I don't know what the terminal velocity of the projectile is nor what it is going to return to earth with but I can promise that it will hurt if you get nailed with it. I don't want to be responsible for being the guy that broke a nose or a collar bone with a nerf football.
 

The hit calling can be an issue but one of my guys got killed by a rocket over the weekend at BH4 but he never heard the round land behind him. Another team mate had to tell him that he had been killed and they both accepted the kill and returned to fighting 5 minutes later.

 

We have mortars that we used Sunday from the church in Colleville and they were fun but not to effective because of the wind and they don't seem to want to fall from the tree's. We dialed it in on 5 cost guys standing in the tree line but I never saw the round fall through the trees and they remained there for a long period of time lol.

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With your kind indulgences and permission, I have several thoughts on the subject that I might offer,

 

 A big-bore howitzer to lob screaming NERF-oids at the enemy is very  cool, but can be pricey. If one was going to build a battery of pneumatic field pieces, the caliber could be decreased in order to use less-expensive tennis balls as ammo.

 

Apply the rules for a 'rocket-launcher' when said field pieces are used against buildings, emplacements and vehicles. Maybe a 20 foot 'kill radius' when used against troops in the open.

 

Attach a 3-4 ft long orange ribbon to the tennis ball for visibility.

 

To save cost in construction, Harbor Freight has 600lb capacity trailer dollys ($60) which are nearly perfect as  ready-made chassis for a light field piece. A 5-6 man section could crew 2 guns.  A pic of the devise is in my gallery.

 

Depending on your build, a tank of compressed air may be enough for multiple shots. Possibly having a compressor run off a power inverter or generator carried by  the battery support vehicle would be an option.

 

As I stated. these are just a few random thoughts.

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Is there a way to make the shell explode in the air making a showering effect?

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Yeah, if you're rich and don't mind dumping money.

Doc: that 4' ribbon would be a great help with visibility.

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Imagine this:

 

A camoflagued gun fires a neon yellow tennis ball trailing a blaze orange ribbon to send it bouncing off the hood of a guntruck. BOOYAH!

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Tag rounds my friends, think of a possible use for them in this just on a smaller Bore. You'd lose the whistling effect but the bb shower, explody effects, and imagine raining smoke screen. 

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howl_zpsgne1mltz.jpg

 

At work so used Photoshop to mock an idea. If you drill a hole through the tennis balls as well you can pass streamer/fabric through to make a trailing tail for visibility. Maybe AMS should build something an who owns the checkpoint get to play with said artilliry at the checkpoint. Plus with the foam wad anything that can fit in barrel an light enough is said projectile. Tennis balls, Foam balls, etc.

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With a little bit of work with some PVC pipe you could probably turn that into a pretty convincing RPG replica.  Well as convincing as PVC pipe can get anyway lol.

 

After discussing this with my buddy at work we're currently drawing plans to build a simple nerf launcher for vehicle take downs and general camp site fun out in the desert.  

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This is kinda in the Artillery type weapon. This the the air version of a Nerf type mortar in testing. The original mortar is launched with model rocket engines that propel the football down range and the parachute charge blows bb's out as the mortar falls towards the intended target. Being pyro, we can't use them. Now i am working on an air powered version. Right now we are getting about 65 yards at 140 psi in a 11 x 2.5 inch air chamber. I want to get it out past 100 yards and add TAGGIN rounds to it for more effect. I think the Reaper and smoke rounds would add some usability to the mortar. What do ya'll think.

 

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