Friday, March 18, 2022

GURPS Vehicle Stat Line: M2 Bradley

Over on the GURPS Discord, Kalzazz said:
I admit I always want to use military things which for some reason lack stats

I think a Iowa Class Battleship, Bradley IFV or M1 Abrams are all cool things My urban fantasy suffers greatly from 'all tanks are T72s' I sorta justify that as possibly the US has rules saying street gangs and dark cults of Great C'thulhu should not buy Abrams tanks


Which is a common sort of complaint in GURPS 4e, especially from players used to 3e's GURPS Vehicles. A new Vehicle Design System book, while constantly in demand by a vocal section of the community, has never been published by SJGames despite David Pulver apparently having a complete (or maybe mostly complete?) manuscript. While SJGames (justifiably) keeps business strategy close, the general consensus seems to be that a highly technical system like that would require so much editing that it wouldn't be profitable.

However, what's not often understood, is that for real world vehicles, a vehicle design system isn't needed or even desirable. A playable game system isn't going to be able to do more than approximate real world performance data; even very expensive engineering software doesn't always predict what the real final product is going to do! Instead the vehicle rules (pp. B462-B470) in the fourth edition Basic Set were designed intentionally to make it very easy to translate easily researched data into the format of GURPS vehicles table. So today we are going to help Kalazz out and make an entry for the M2 Bradley APC. Note that we aren't going to do the weapons, or list any equipment, although I may complete this at a later time

The Format

GURPS vehicle table use the following format:
TL Vehicle ST/HP Hnd/SR HT Move Lwt. Load SM Occ. DR Range Cost Locations Notes
[Operation Skill]

We'll now fill this in using data from publicly accessible sources for the US Army's M2 Bradley infantry fighting vehicle.

Operation Skill: Bradley's are tracked IFVs and use Driving/TL (Tracked)

TL: The Bradley was first deployed in 1980. This makes it TL8.

Vehicle: We're generating statistics for the M2A0 Bradley IFV

ST/HP: In GURPS HP for vehicles is based on empty weight. For powered vehicles ST and HP are equal. Vehicles are machines and therefore have Injury Tolerance: Unliving, so ST/HP is equal to 4x(cube root of empty weight) (B558). According to this the empty weight is 40,775 lbs (20.4t). 4x(cube root of 40,775)=138.

Hnd/Sr: Handling and Stability Rating are game mechanical statistics that don't correspond directly to any real world statistics. Generally, unless the vehicle has a marked reputation for especially good or poor maneuverability or stability this is going to be the same at GURPS granularity as other vehicles in it's class. Since the M2 had a reputation for excellent handling when it was introduced we'll give it +1 Hnd compared to the APC from the Basic Set for Hnd/SR: -2/5.

HT: For military vehicles this will be 9-12. We'll give the Brad HT 11f because it's neither known for extreme good or poor reliability, and due to it's diesel engine and electronic components it's flammable.

Move: The Bradley reaches it's top speed of 41 mph in about 4 seconds. Move is in yards/sec which is half of mph giving us 5/20

Lwt.: 50,261 lbs (25.1t)

Load: 25.1t-20.4t= 4.7t

SM: At seven yards long it has SM 3, +1 for an elongated box for a total SM +4.

Occ. With three crew, six grunts and NBC sealed this is 3+6S

DR: The M2A0 was rated for 360° protection against 14.5mm API (GURPS High-Tech p. 137) which does 56 (2) damage on average. Therefore DR was 112.

Range: 300 miles

Cost: $3.2M

Locations: Because the Bradley had two treads and a main turret this is 2CT

Notes: The original Brad was fully amphibious with a water speed of 4.5 mph. It was armed with the M242 25mm Bushmaster (stabilized with a integrated laser rangefinder and targeting computer), a coaxial M240 7.6mm MG, two TOW missile launchers and six firing ports for the infantry small arms. It had a 4 tube smoke grenade launcher. All of these will be noted.

Putting it Together

TL8M2A0 Bradley IFV138-2/511f4/2025.14.7t+43+6S112300$3.2M2CT[1][2][3]

[1] Amphibious with the inflatable water barrier. Water Move: 1/2 [2] The turret mounts the stabilized M242 Bushmaster 25mm autocannon with targeting computer and laser rangefinder, a coaxial M240 7.62mm MMG, two TOW missile tubes, and a four tube smoke grenade launcher. [3] The hull has firing ports for the six infantrymen's small arms; two in the each side and two in the ramp.

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