Home Forums Ambush Alley Games Force on Force SAW Confusion

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    Don King

    First of all, I am new to these rules. But I have been playing wargames and miniatures for decades.

    After reading the Ambush Valley suppliment, I’m a little confused over the concept of a SAW within a fire team. Specifically when the entire team is armed the same weapon. How is it that 1 man of the fire team qualifies as having extra firepower when the entire team is armed with M16A1 rifles? Yet, an opposing fire team armed with AK-47s doesn’t have this benefit.

    Please enlighten me.

    Shawn Carpenter

    If the entire team is armed with the same weapon, they don’t get a SAW bonus (unless they’re all armed with SAWs ).

    I believe you may be referring to the practice of using an M16 as a “SAW” during the early days of its deployment in Vietnam, though (riflemen would fire the M16 in semi-auto mode while the “automatic rifleman” would use full-automatic fire to provide suppression. We tried to keep things simple and used the SAW rule to cover this. If it you don’t care for this interpretation, feel free to ignore it!


    Shawn Carpenter
    [email protected]


    From memory didn’t the SAW M-16s have a heavier barrel than a standard one too?


    For what I know, no. M16 in SAW use was only indicated with a man that use his weapon in sustained automatic fire. But often overheated or jammed and the 20, or 30, rounds magazine was not effective.


    G’day all

    Relatively new player, and this is something that I have been thinking about too…

    The M249/Minimi series weapons (and similar like the Ameli and MG4), other than caliber, are essentially LMG’s, and are distinctly different in effect to BAR/L4 Bren/FN FALO type weapons.

    With the recent announcement that every marine will be armed with an M27 IAR, you have to question whether these weapons should be treated the same as a belt fed weapon with QCB capability – it is of note that even with the introduction of the M27 the USMC maintained stocks of M249 for issue as required – An obvious hypothetical example would be having one FT in each squad running with the M249 and a DMR as a ‘depth’ team for the other two ‘manoeuvre’ teams

    I believe that in reality, the ‘Automatic’ M16 would most likely not have been used any differently from the ‘Rifle’ M16s.  It is my impression (not backed up by anything in the way of research) that in Vietnam, US infantry formations would usually be without weapons squads, and the personnel would be folded into the rifle squads, which would each run with an M-60.

    I’m inclined to rate the ‘Belt fed SAW’ the same as light role GPMG’s like M60 & MAG-58, possibly with a -ve modifier for targets in any kind of cover to reflect the lack of penetration of 5.56mm which led the Australian and UK forces to move 7.62mm back down to the fire team level.


    I think that we not must confuse a belt fed MG with MG with a 100 loader.

    The second one is a SAW and includes the M249. Then you can use it like a LMG with a belt fed, but it’s not the same, because a MG for a squad must be user friendly, not a clunky weapon with a lot of belt fed box.

    Robert Foran
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