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T20 LAG is underpowered.


SOC-14 1K
Hello again.

I've mentioned this before, a long time ago, about how the 2d10 damage an LAG does doesn't seem to compare against an assault rifle (1d12) or an ACR (1d12+2).

The problem being that the LAG does less damage than these against armour, and has less chance of actually scoring damage.

Someone (sorry, forgotten who) said that because you pick the highest die to keep when discarding dice due to armour rating, that it should still work.

Well, a while ago I worked out all the probabilities keeping in mind the you keep the highest dice. Well, the LAG still comes off poorly, less damaging than an AR.

Now since the LAG is based on something like a Barret .50, or other rifle designed to penetrate tank armour, this seems wrong.

The LAG should shoot through unarmoured vehicles like paper, and still have a chance of defeating vehicle armour type 6 or more.

So, suggested fix. An LAG should have a damge die of d20, instead of 2d10.

I have since mislaid the notes I made when working out the various probabilites, but I could redo it if someone wants to see a thorough breakdown.

BTW: this problem will also affect the heavy ACR and hunting/sniper rifle that's in the Traveller's Guidebook playtest.
Why not just make it a vehicle scale weapon?

Then it will get 7d10 against personal armour.

Alternatively give it a hefty armour piercing rating.
I thought built in AP penetration was a little inelegant.

7d10 vs personal armour could work, but it still makes it low damaging against lightly armoured craft like Gcarriers. Admittedly, 1d20 does give it a good chance of damaging a starship too.....
Isn't a LAG similar to an ATR?


I don't know about damaging even lightly armored vehicles.

On the plus side the LAG can take explosive rounds (+1 die) and AP rounds (-5 AR). It might be worth kludging the AP with scaling, but even without that d10 -3 AP5 will happily ping light vehicles quite quickly.

An AR5 (or less) vehicle takes on average 2.5 SI per hit.

AR7 (front armor of an Abrams tank) starts having a hard time except on criticals.
That's what I thought veltyen, they'd be similar to the old Antitank Rifles from like WW2, .50 caliber sniper rifles used today, or those weird "Anti-Material" rifles that were in some huge craze for a while but never got past the prototype stage.

Except the performance of LAGs never bear this out. They're short ranged, low velocity weapons, like some hunting rifle designer was ordered to make a grenade launcher. They fire some ridiculous round in TNE like 20 x 30mm or something similar.

LAGs have always been a bit odd as far as weapons go in almost any version of Traveller, it's not just T20. Their performance isn't really that constant across Traveller versions, varying even more wildly than most other weapons.

I've never played with the T20 version myself, but I found the LAG to be underwhelming even in MT and utterly pointless in TNE. I'm pretty sure there's a LAG in 2300 (called a "Storm Gun") and it's a pretty questionable weapon as well.

They're huge, heavy, and often have stats that I'd call ... baffling. Heavier than a grenade launcher, bulkier than big sniper rifles. Yet their damage is poor and their accuracy is worse. Everyone gets one because, hell, who's going to pass up a weapon called a "Light Assault Gun"? After some sessions on worlds with high Law Levels, eventually the players end up on some lawless backwater and with a sh*t-eating grin, the LAG user fires...

...and everyone, including the Referee stares at the stats and a 5-10 minute discussion ensues about "are those stats right? They seem really low." then "Oookay, I guess your shell just bounces off."

Shortly afterwards, everyone with a LAG ends up getting grenade launchers (in TNE) or ACRs and Plasma Rifles in MT.

I've always been curious where the weapon came from - can one of those Old Men of Traveller fill me in on the history of this strange weapon? Who's idea was it? What inspired it? And why is this tepid weapon still in successive Traveller versions?
Epicenter, your description reminded me of a rifle, the Vychlop

Of course the Vychlop (Vik-lop I think, any russian speakers please correct me) is silenced, and built wih a single special purpose.
I have always thought the LAG was underpowered myself.

IMTU the LAG is considred a vehical weapon Damage 1D12 (6D12 personal scale)

It is basically a 20MM antitank gun.

It is also illegal to use in all bur LL 0. Don't get caught with one by the local cops.

Originally posted by veltyen:
Epicenter, your description reminded me of a rifle, the Vychlop
Now, if the LAG was a silenced (or at least supressed) weapon meant for dealing with armored foes at close range with a minimum of noise, I could understand that. There's a weapon like that for use against "Autonomous Domestics" (Virus infected household robots) in my TNE campaign.
Originally posted by epicenter00:
That's what I thought veltyen, they'd be similar to the old Antitank Rifles from like WW2, .50 caliber sniper rifles used today, or those weird "Anti-Material" rifles that were in some huge craze for a while but never got past the prototype stage.
There are quite a number of antimaterial rifles that are in use throughout the world. The Barrett M82 is probably the most prolific western design and is currently in service wpth US forces. While most are around .50 caliber, there are a number of larger variants, from Barret's own 25mm payload rifle, to the South African 20mm NTW-20 and on down to a number of easter European and Russian AMRs.

None of these are prototypes. Some have been in service for more than 20 years.

I suspect that the LAG was inspired by the Lahti L-39 20mm antitank rifle, which was becoming available to US title II collectors in the 1970s - about the same time that Traveller was written - and was seen at many gun shows.