MA5B ASSAULT RIFLE
"Hey, soldier, is that an assault rifle in your hands or are you just happy to see me?"
The MA5B Individual Combat Weapon System (MA5B ICWS or MA5B Assault Rifle) is a standard-issue service rifle of the United Nations Space Command.
NOTE!: The rules given below for Autofire may seem long and complicated at first. But after a quick read, you may find that the rules are very much worth it! There are summaries after each explanation to help simplify how it all works.
Model: UNSC MA5B Assault Rifle
Type: Assault rifle (ballistic, bullpup)
Skill: Firearms: Assault Rifle
Rate of Fire: Fully Automatic (see Autofire below)
Ammo: 60 rounds (7.62mm Full Metal Jacket)
-Weapon: 1,500 cR
-Magazine: 90 cR
Availability: 2, R
-Single Round: 4D
-Automatic: 5D+ (See Autofire below)
-Melee: Str+1D Physical (Blunt)
-ATTACHMENTS: See 'Design Details', below for more details.
--Sound/Flash Suppressors: Difficulty to Perception rolls to hear/see the weapon being used dropped by -2 Levels.
--Grenade Launcher: Ammo 1; Range 3-6/12/24 (Easy/Moderate/Difficult); Damage 5D/4D/3D.
--Flashlight: Visibility Range 1-3/12/24; Visual Difficulty Easy/Moderate/Difficult.
--Laser Site: Fire Control +1.
-HUD: When using a Heads Up Display (HUD) or Command Neural Interface (CNI) to work with the weapon's electronics suite, the user gains a +1 to their skill when using the weapon. This stacks with any other bonuses, such as modifications to the weapon to increase Fire Control, other equipment, etc. These also display various information on the weapon, such as ammo count, targeting reticule, overheating and other general relevant information.
-VS ENERGY SHIELDS: When used against energy shields, such as those used by the Covenant, the Damage of most UNSC firearms is reduced by -1D in Semiautomatic, and automatic fire (below) only gets half the stacking pip bonus from all bullets spent in Ammo Depletion (either 'Sustained Fire' or 'Short, Controlled Bursts'). Specifically, Autofire will grant the +1D for the first extra bullet (as the Fire-linking rules from Star Wars RPG Revised Edition), but then every TWO(2) bullets fired grants +1 pips. This can still be damaging at close range, but beyond this, energy shields become a problem. Stronger weapons may be required!
-AUTOFIRE: This weapon is designed for a fully automatic rate of fire, able to fire multiple shots by holding the trigger when operated and deliver more damage than a single round would produce. There are two methods of using Autofire ("Sustained Fire" and "Short, Controlled Bursts", below), both of which require making ranged attack skill rolls at higher-than-normal range Difficulties than normally used for firing single rounds. The result is more damage at the expense of ammunition and accuracy...
--SUSTAINED FIRE: This is when the user is trying to unleash as many bullets as possible for maximum possible damage against the target. Make the skill roll for the ranged attack (Firearms skill); any Difficulty Level rolled above the set Range Difficulty level (easy for short/moderate for medium/difficult for long) causes Ammo Depletion of 1D rounds per +1 Difficulty rolled (+1 Difficulty = -1D Ammo Depletion from magazine). EVERY extra bullet is used as per the Weapon Fire-Linking rules (as in Star Wars RPG Revised Edition by West End Games), with the first extra bullet adding +1D to Damage (making the Damage 5D before adding more), and every extra bullet after that adding +1 pips (with ever 3 pips combining as 1D; for example, +6 pips equals +2D). The cost of this is that while it is very effective in close quarters (no penalties at short range), it is less so at further ranges due to the weapon shaking itself from the recoil of firing multiple successive rounds (-2D at Medium Range, -4D at Long Range, but Ammo Depletion still adds 2D and 4D, respectively, for making the attempt).
-Weapon skill roll at +1 Range Difficulty or more.
-Ammo Depletion of 1, +1D rounds per +1 Range Difficulty rolled.
-Damage is +1D (5D), +1 pip for every extra bullet used in Ammo Depletion (Fire-Linking rules).
-Skill roll is -2D at Medium range/-4D at Long range; Ammo Depletion still +2D/+4D, respectively.
--SHORT, CONTROLLED BURSTS: Where sustained fire has less accuracy, firing in short, controlled bursts maintains some accuracy while still doing some extra damage than a single round would produce. The user holds the weapon with both hands tightly against their shoulder, aligning their site along the body of the weapon for better 'line-of-sight' targeting, and squeeze the trigger to release limited bursts of rounds from the magazine. The result is having more control over where the bullets go, without the extreme penalties at further ranges as with "Sustained Fire". When making the weapon skill roll for a ranged attack, the Range Difficulty is increased by +1, and every shot has Ammo Depletion of 1+1D rounds (this ensures that at least two rounds will always be fired, "1" plus whatever is rolled on the "+1D"). The damage is figured as per the Weapon Fire-Linking rules (again, in Star Wars RPG Revised Edition), with the first extra bullet adding +1D to Damage (making the Damage 5D), and every extra bullet after that adding +1 pips (with ever 3 pips combining as 1D; for example, +6 pips equals +2D). While this will cause less extra damage than Sustained Fire, it does grant a better chance to cause more damage at all ranges. The extra damage will always be between 5D to 6D+2 when using this rule.
BUT, if the user CANNOT roll the +1 Range Difficulty needed to hit a target at the given range with the burst, they either cause normal damage (if they rolled the normal Range Difficulty but no higher, with one bullet hitting out of the whole burst), or miss entirely (if they did not roll either Range Difficulty needed), but in any case, the Ammo Depletion remains the same at 1D+1 rounds from the weapon's magazine.
-Skill roll as normal for attacks.
-Range Difficulties are +1 Level.
-Ammo Depletion is 1+1D per attack (burst).
-Damage is +1D (5D), +1 pip for every extra bullet used in Ammo Depletion (Fire-Linking rules).
-No other penalties/bonuses except those from other sources (such as HUD, other equipment or situational modifiers).
- - - - - - - - - -
The MA5B Assault Rifle is an air-cooled, gas-operated, magazine-fed weapon designed for automatic fire. The MA5 series rifle is the workhorse of the UNSC Marine Corps and has been in service for more than fifty years. The MA5B has an attached electronics suite that provides information on rounds remaining in magazine, compass heading, as well as several other "housekeeping" functions. The rifle performs well in a variety of environments especially given the perceived delicacy of the attached electronics suite. The MA5 rifle can be outfitted with a number of modifications including sound suppressors (Difficulty to hear the weapon being used dropped by -2 Levels), a grenade launcher (Range: 3-6/12/24, Damage: 6D/5D/4D) or a standard issue flashlight (Visibility: 1-3/12/24, Visual Difficulty: Easy/Moderate/Difficult) and more “exotic” ammunition types like Shredder Rounds (Damage +2D when used against light or unarmored opponents with no more than +1D physical protection, but -2D when used against energy shields such as those used by Covenant forces); however, these modifications are only available by Mission Conditional Requisition (MCR). The MA5B Assault Rifle is easily one of the most versatile weapons in the UNSC’s arsenal. Due to this versatility, the MA5B is complimented by many of the UNSC's other weapons as either the primary means to a kill or in a secondary role as the fallback weapon.
The MA5B rifle is a bullpup rifle and is made of Titanium Alloy and Polymer - the rifle is a gas-operated weapon with a rotating-bolt and therefore must be cocked before the first shot can be fired. The charging handle used to chamber the round is situated on the left side of the rifle and moves during operation. Once the first round is fired, the gases from that round and those to follow impinge upon a gas piston, which pushes back the bolt carrier, rotating the bolt inside and continuing to chamber rounds until the magazine is empty. Once the magazine is empty, the charging handle must both be pulled back and locked or, must be fully cycled after a fresh magazine is inserted to load the next round. The magazine itself is located at the butt of the rifle and the magazine release button is located above the magazine housing and has an arrow pointing down toward the housing. The electronics suite is integrated along the top rail guard of the weapon. The MA5B is designed for the toughest of situations, able to be subjected to elements that would otherwise jam and render a weapon inoperable. The MA5B has concealed iron sights, although not seen in gameplay. It is used by Marines and other personnel with improper equipment to uploading a targeting reticule to the user's Heads Up Display or Neural Interface.
The MA5B Assault Rifle uses M118 7.62x51mm Armor Piercing, Full Metal Jacket rounds. These rounds are designed to pierce body armor (NOT hindered by the Star Wars rule of Damage -1D to Slugthrowers against body armor), so the rounds are reasonably large, and are surrounded by a molded jacket of either steel or titanium, which enhances its armor-piercing capabilities. The round might also have a carbide or similar hardened tip, and might also be coated in copper or another metal over the steel, titanium, etc. shell.
However, despite these advanced rounds, the damage done by a single round is very limited, made even worse by the Assault Rifle's low accuracy at long ranges. Although performing poorly against Covenant shields, the AP-FMJ round can easily penetrate the lightly armored Grunts and Jackals and finish unshielded Elites very quickly. The AP-FMJ round is especially effective against all manners of Flood as they are not well armored. This is somewhat paradoxical, since the AP-FMJ round is traditionally less effective against flesh and unarmored targets due to its tendency to overpenetrate tissue.
The most pressing negative aspect of the MA5B is its inconsistent accuracy. Firing the weapon in short bursts will allow much higher accuracy, as opposed to holding down the trigger. Most of the bullets will stay within the reticule. One round fired may produce a perfect bull's-eye, but the next may fly out of the targeting reticule and slam into the dirt a dozen meters from the same target. This has lead to the belief that the rifle is very incapable of hitting targets greater than close-range; this is untrue. If attacking targets at surprisingly long-ranges, one can effectively wound or kill that target by firing in single shots or bursts. Unfortunately, this lack of consistent accuracy has tarnished the image of the rifle, and the problem has kept the MA5B out of the hands of those who prefer less spontaneous weapons.
The MA5B in both offensive and suppressive situations remains the Marine Corps most reliable weapon. When fired in short bursts, or even single shots, there is a significant increase in accuracy, and the rifle's armor penetrating ability makes it key for handling even the toughest of infantry, having the ability to kill an Elite in about 45 rounds in close quarters. The MA5B rifle is effective at killing light armored infantry at close-to-medium range, and the high rate of fire combined with the high ammunition capacity allows its user to spray the whole area with suppressing fire. The MA5B also gives the user an ammo count on its digital readout, as well a compass pointing toward the arbitrary magnetic "north" position. In the hands of someone who can control their trigger finger, the MA5B becomes a deadly weapon in CQB situations.
The MA5B is not without disadvantages, its main disadvantage being its horrible accuracy when fired at a range of more than forty meters. At that range, enemy infantry may be hit by a few bullets, or not be hit by any bullets at all. The MA5B Assault Rifle performs poorly against energy shields unless firing on full automatic at close range without giving a shielded infantry time to cover. In comparison to modern assault rifles it can be more related to an oversized sub-machine gun, as it is underpowered and lacks the ability to select a fire mode.
TACTICS (Game info from Halo: Combat Evolved)
The MA5B Assault Rifle is one of the weapons which players will love and loathe in equal measures. The rifle's rate of fire makes it a devastatingly powerful weapon in close range combats, and its melee attack usually ensures victory over close quarter battles. The only disadvantage is it's reloading time, takes about 1.5 seconds, which gives your opponent enough time to put you down with a hail of plasma bolts. In a skilled player's hand, the assault rifle can easily put down 2-4 opponents per magazine.
-Size: 87.6cm (shoulder-fired)
-Damage Per Hit: Low
-Maximum Ammunition: 660 rounds (60 in loaded magazine, 600 carried on person)
-Fire Mode: Automatic (In Halo: Combat Evolved for XBOX); Automatic or Semiautomatic (for this write-up)
-Operation: Gas-operated, rotating bolt.
-Rate of Fire: 900 rounds per minute, 15 rounds per second.
-Accuracy: Low to Moderate.
-Range: Short to Medium (300m)
-Eras: Human-Covenant War (2525-2553)
-Affiliation: United Nations Space Command.
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