Getting into the mindset...

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Getting into the mindset...

Post by Piero on Sun 29 Nov 2009 - 0:46

I figure one of the most important factors in choosing an appropriate weapon for a character is getting inside that character's head. What's their background? What have they used before? What do they value in a weapon? How do they think?

Personal preferences play a role of course, but I figure the point should be to choose the weapons that seem right for the character, not the ones the author would necessarily choose for themselves.

Anyhow, at one point in the past I'd chosen a selection of weapons for the Alessia/Andrei fratello. Recently however, I've been questioning how appropriate some of those selections have been. And me being who I am, I hate leaving these kinds of things vague. Besides which, I figured it would be fun to see what people say to this one.

So basically, I want to get some opinions from the board members about what they think someone with Andrei's mindset would select. I've got a few things I'm considering myself already, but I want to get unbiased opinions first.

So basically, a quick overview of Andrei. Andrei is in his late thirties. He served a very brief time in the Soviet Army as well as some time in the Russian army that suceeded it, until he left because of how poor conditions in the Russian Army were during the 1990s. He gained employment in the French Foreign Legion for a time before returning home in more recent years. He ended up getting a job with the SWA because of a extremely sick relative who he wanted to try to get medical care in Italy for. He contacted an old acquintance of his who had been involved with the operations of an embassy in Italy (take a wild guess who that is) and the rest... is history.

So basically, Andrei has a pretty broad range of experience. The French Foreign Legion uses standard French Army equipment but has a lot of opportunities to try out other stuff when on deployment or training with troops from other countries, and he also has experience with some older Soviet weapons that were in use during the late 80s/early 90s. Given that range of experience, what do you think he would choose for himself and his cyborg?

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Re: Getting into the mindset...

Post by ElfenMagix on Sun 29 Nov 2009 - 13:19

First off, not every mission is going to be with long arms. These with be for missions that has had some planning for them along with some preparations. The majority of firefights are going to be with smaller handguns, usually in close quarter combat situations. Also the handgun is always the back up to the long arms.

With that in mind, that handgun would you want your team to have. This is a primary and personal choice. Long arms are basically set aside as per mission use; sniping, room clearing, door busting, etc. So such a team would have more than one set of long arms as determined by their mission specifications.

With so many handguns, you can pick and choose to your liking. I'd take the 1911, for it comes in many options, including sizes and caliber ranges, including 9mm. Parts are readably available and interchangeable on most models. Even SiG makes one. In a worst case scenero, you can custom built your own 1911 to fit your needs accordingly from parts stock alone.

But not everyone is a fan of the 1911 like I am. So there are other options available.

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Re: Getting into the mindset...

Post by rusty-spring on Sun 29 Nov 2009 - 14:43

I'd say go with what your gut instinct is telling you to choose. Since as it is an OC we aren't privy to the ideas/concepts that you have, what you have already thought of is probably the best choice.

My characters use whatever gun they find or have handy, so I guess I'm not a good example. If it shoots and can kill people, it'll do. I don't like being constrained to only one or a few options.

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Re: Getting into the mindset...

Post by Kiskaloo on Sun 29 Nov 2009 - 15:01

I'd be inclined to think he'd prefer Western over Soviet weaponry since he's now in the West, but...

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Re: Getting into the mindset...

Post by SPARTAN 119 on Sun 29 Nov 2009 - 15:53

Another factor to take into account would be any weaponry preferences Andrei might have: Would you say he prefer SMGs? shotguns? assault rifles? sniper rifles? light machine guns? grenade/rocket launchers? Does have a preference for either 5.56mm or 7.62mm, or, for sniper rifles, 7.62mm, .308 Winchester Magnum, or .50 BMG? And as for handguns, does he prefer standard 9mm, .45, 5.7mm, or some other caliber?
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Re: Getting into the mindset...

Post by LoC978 on Sun 29 Nov 2009 - 16:19

another thing to consider: is he the type of guy who prefers to use the latest, cutting edge tech for everything, or does he go by the maxim "If it ain't broke, don't fix it", and use older stuff that he knows works?
(if option one, new western guns. if option two, older soviet guns)

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Re: Getting into the mindset...

Post by maverick375 on Sun 29 Nov 2009 - 19:48

An option, given the Soviet/Russian experience, is the CZ-75. Colonel Jeff Cooper took a liking to it back before the wall fell and the curtain lifted, declaring it an improvement on Browning's own 1911 design. Sure, it's more of an Eastern Bloc weapon, but the Sovs were probably trained on it some. 1911 styling with a 9mm capacity.

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Re: Getting into the mindset...

Post by Piero on Mon 30 Nov 2009 - 0:58

Sidearms is actually one of the easier areas for Andrei and Alessia. Partly that's because of Andrei's perspective on handguns. Yes, I know they're quite valuable in the environment the GSGs operate in, but you have to remember, Andrei's background is primarily military, unlike say Piero, who has worked in law enforcement, or Norina, who has worked in intelligence. Basically, you could sum up his view of handguns as follows:

handgun -An small, underpowered firearm that you use when you don't have a working rifle handy. Laughing

Which isn't to say he doesn't value pistols at al, but he expects his cyborg to keep her viola case gun around and doesn't get really fancy with his handguns.

I figure sidearms he would have experience with are the Makarov and PAMAS (Beretta 92G), though there are plenty of others that he might have encountered on deployment or when training with other troops. The M1911 and CZ-75 are pistols he might have experience with, but it would likely not be extensive given their user bases.

Generally speaking I've been thinking the Beretta PX4 Storm would be an appropriate choice for these two. Controls and maintenance procedures are almost identical to those of the 92 series, but in a smaller, lighter, and more modern pistol that is better suited to concealed carry (and has a higher standard magazine capacity to boot). I imagine the PX4 might be quite popular with SWA personnel for these reasons, so I think it might be something Andrei might choose (though he might go for a decocker only G model rather than the F model with decocker/safety -the French Army favors the former, the Italian the latter). It also has interchangeable grip back straps so that it can easily be adapted to different hand sizes. Only problem is that I'm getting some indications that the French Army might use the SiG Sauer P220 as well as the PAMAS/Beretta 92G, though for some reason I'm now having trouble tracking down where I got that from.

Heavier weaponry is where things get really complicated though. Laughing

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Re: Getting into the mindset...

Post by Nachtsider on Mon 30 Nov 2009 - 1:25

5.56 Galil. Perfect combination of Soviet and Western weapons engineering.

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Re: Getting into the mindset...

Post by maverick375 on Mon 30 Nov 2009 - 6:34

Generally speaking I've been thinking the Beretta PX4 Storm would be an appropriate choice for these two.

As long as you're not worried about the fact that the canon takes place before the PX4 was released to the public in late '07.

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Re: Getting into the mindset...

Post by Piero on Mon 30 Nov 2009 - 13:09

Are you thinking of the subcompact model? The standard one has been around since '04. Besides, I'm not as convinced as some of the rest of you that GSG takes place in '04. Razz I tend to view the timeline as a bit more vague (and have tended to treat it as kind of 'present day/near future' as far as my OC stuff is concerned, though that's arguably starting to change a little.)

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Re: Getting into the mindset...

Post by Kiskaloo on Mon 30 Nov 2009 - 13:27

@Piero wrote:Besides, I'm not as convinced as some of the rest of you that GSG takes place in '04. Razz

Clearly, as an author you're welcome to place your stories whenever and whereever you want.

For me, the most definitive aspect placing the bulk of GSG in 2005 is the view of the bell tower of the Benedictine monastery on Isla San Giorgio Maggiore in Chapter 28 and -IL TEATRINO- Episode 14. The scaffolding present in the panel was only on the tower after January 2005 and before July 2005 when some restoration work was performed on the tower.

Now, Volume 6 was released in December 2005 so it is possible, if not probable, Yu wrote that Chapter during the time the tower was being restored and he either visited Venice or was using pictures taken at that time, but even if that was the case, for someone who seems to care about details, I personally find it unlikely that he just assumed the scaffolding was present for years and am inclined to believe that it was a conscious decision on his part to incorporate it and tie the timeline to it. Especially with all the other decisions he's made that seem to support a story timeline starting in late 2004 and currently in early 2006.

Maybe Dante will make a play for the Turin Olympics, which would make it official. Smile

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Re: Getting into the mindset...

Post by Piero on Mon 30 Nov 2009 - 22:55

Well, the scaffolding is perhaps a bit more solid a piece of evidence than going on about the model years of cars in the series, but I don't know. Honestly, I don't know if Yu does care about those details that much.

Also, setting the series in 2004 might cause some issues for the backgrounds of a couple of my female OCs (since the Italian armed forces didn't allow women to serve until what, 1999 or so?). Plus, while I don't tend to give the details on cars a lot of weight, when people try to peg the series as a specific year I tend to like to point out that Mario Bossi's Alfa 156 in that flashback scene from six years prior had a front end style that didn't appear on the 156 until late 2003. Yes, some of the other details are more in line with the previous gen 156, but I think the front end is one of the most distinctive features between early and late 156s. Plus, wasn't that BMW X5 that gave Sandro and Petra trouble have front end styling in line with the second gen model that came out in 2006? (My memory could be faulty here.)

Wondering if I should start chiming in a bit on the rifles discussion soon. Although truth be told, I'm looking at a fairly broad arsenal here for Andrei and Alessia. Alessia is kind of like Rico -her training is pretty versatile, where some of my other cyborgs are more specialised in terms of specific roles. But then again, maybe it's best to deal with the basics before moving onto anything too special...

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Re: Getting into the mindset...

Post by maverick375 on Mon 30 Nov 2009 - 23:26

Are you thinking of the subcompact model? The standard one has been around since '04

I stand corrected. The full-size was indeed a 2004 release. I initially started looking at it for the sub-compact model in early 2008, and never really remember seeing the full-size before that, so I figured that it had come out in '07.

BTW, if I was really all that worried about the specific year your story took place, I'd have to go back and change both or my characters' weapons, as Michael's M&P40 didn't release until late '05 and Jamie's PPS hit shelves in early '08.

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Re: Getting into the mindset...

Post by Piero on Tue 1 Dec 2009 - 0:50

Don't worry about it. Laughing

While I'm at it, I thought I should respond to a few of the issues that people raised earlier regarding Andrei's views on reliability, technology, and calibre. As far as reliability standards goes, Andrei certainly likes weapons that are durable. On the other hand however, he's disciplined enough to take proper care of his weapons and he expects his cyborg to do the same. So basically he expects his weapons to be dependable, but is also willing to take the time to make sure the'll meet that standard (assuming the weapon in question isn't ungodly maintenance intensive for it's purpose). As far as technology level goes, I'd say he's not set on being on the bleeding edge, and might have been out of the loop for a couple years or so, but he's also the sort who would be willing to use new weapons technologies he saw as having practical usefuless. I think he figures that if a technology has reached a reasonable level of issue, it's worth considering. Calibre wise, he wouldn't give a damn whether his pistol is a 9mm or a .45 because he considers pistols in both calibres weak. He'd go with a 9mm because that seems to be the agency standard. Rifle wise, he might well like heavy calibres due to some of the places he's served in where longer ranges could be encountered, but would probably lean towards 5.56mm over some of the heavier stuff for general SWA use due to the nature of the types of operations he'll usually be conducting in Italy.

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Re: Getting into the mindset...

Post by LoC978 on Tue 1 Dec 2009 - 1:36

@Piero wrote:Rifle wise, he might well like heavy calibres due to some of the places he's served in where longer ranges could be encountered, but would probably lean towards 5.56mm over some of the heavier stuff for general SWA use due to the nature of the types of operations he'll usually be conducting in Italy.
...if I may make a suggestion, then...

the PGM Mini-Hecate .338


...and if he doesn't give a damn about handguns, considering their calibers too weak to be terribly useful... may I suggest Five-seveNs loaded with SS190? Excellent penetration, very concealable and high capacity... not much stopping power, but it sounds like he doesn't think much of any autoloader's stopping power anyway. Also, the agency seems to issue them on request (to Giuseppe and Ferro, at the very least).

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Re: Getting into the mindset...

Post by Kiskaloo on Tue 1 Dec 2009 - 10:40

Yeah I'm going with Five-seveN's for Michele and Kara in the reboot - they're actually an all FN fratello now (Five-seveN, P90, F2000 and Special Police Rifle).

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Re: Getting into the mindset...

Post by Piero on Tue 1 Dec 2009 - 22:52

@LoC978 wrote:
@Piero wrote:Rifle wise, he might well like heavy calibres due to some of the places he's served in where longer ranges could be encountered, but would probably lean towards 5.56mm over some of the heavier stuff for general SWA use due to the nature of the types of operations he'll usually be conducting in Italy.
...if I may make a suggestion, then...

the PGM Mini-Hecate .338


...and if he doesn't give a damn about handguns, considering their calibers too weak to be terribly useful... may I suggest Five-seveNs loaded with SS190? Excellent penetration, very concealable and high capacity... not much stopping power, but it sounds like he doesn't think much of any autoloader's stopping power anyway. Also, the agency seems to issue them on request (to Giuseppe and Ferro, at the very least).

Laughing Dude, I was thinking more along the lines of 7.62mm battle rifles. Laughing I'm not sure Andrei has the training necessary to shoot well at the sort of ranges that rifle is capable of shooting out to. Though he might be more likely to have it than some of my other handlers (gotta admit, that's one thing that makes me leery of issuing .338 and/or .50 rifles to some of my OCs -how many of them would actually have the background necessary to make good use of them?).

Course, the problem with a 7.62mm battle rifle is whether it had a truly distinct niche among everything else. One of the problems with Andrei and Alessia's arsenal is not creating too much overlap -I want to show that Andrei has taught Alessia to be versatile (much like Rico is in canon) but I don't want to carve out such niche roles that it's open to question whether having a specialised tool for a role has much point.

As far as the Five-SeveN goes... well, I'd kind of like to go with the PX4. It gives my fratello something that is practical yet hasn't yet been used in canon. Besides which, it's a touch hard for me to shake my bias against the Five-SeveN even though I tend to treat it's 'GSG verse' terminal ballistics as being better than it's real life ones. Which, if some of the gel test results that have been published are to be believed, is absolutely abysmally bad. (It's unstable and tends to tumble, which, combined with low energy, makes for very poor penetration, to the point where there are serious concerns about it's ability to reach a target's vitals. Yet even with the tumbling, it can't match the amount of damage a 9mm fmj round can do. Note that's a fmj round, not a hollowpoint.)

Basically actually, there are two weapons I'm kind of set on for Andrei and Alessia. On the low end of the scale, you have the PX4s. On the high end, you have this, which is only ever actually deployed under very specific circumstances. (I should actually probably give it up due to it's very limited practical applications, but I just can't bring myself to.) Everything else kind of falls in between the two. Laughing

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Re: Getting into the mindset...

Post by rusty-spring on Tue 1 Dec 2009 - 23:14

Well it sounds like you've mostly got it figured out then. And if it's down to two choices, may I suggest the tried and true "coin flip?"

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Re: Getting into the mindset...

Post by Piero on Tue 1 Dec 2009 - 23:29

I think you misunderstood, Rusty. I have two choices that are more or less guaranteed to be part of the arsenal. The PX4 for the sidearm role and the Kord for 'really freaking huge special applications BFG.' I've got some ideas for the stuff that falls in between those two, but stuff is still up in the air as to what exactly will fil in that in between range.

In the very important 'viola case gun' role, I'm kind of tempted to go FAMAS, but aside from the shoulder swap issue how the hell is anyone outside France supposed to get a hold of one considering how few countries use it? Not saying it couldn't be done, but I have to seriously question whether it would be worth the trouble.

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Re: Getting into the mindset...

Post by Kiskaloo on Wed 2 Dec 2009 - 0:03

I would not be surprised if the SWA doesn't on occasion work with other country's military intelligence and counter-terrorist groups that could get stuff. In my OC universe, Michele knows folks in DGSE/GIGN, GSG9, SIS/MI6, OMON, etc. With the XM8 defunct, Michele gets his ammo and parts direct from H&K via the Germans. Wink

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Re: Getting into the mindset...

Post by rusty-spring on Wed 2 Dec 2009 - 0:16

@Kiskaloo wrote:With the XM8 defunct, Michele gets his ammo and parts direct from H&K via the Germans. Wink
Always pays to have someone on the inside.

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Re: Getting into the mindset...

Post by Piero on Sun 6 Dec 2009 - 0:03

@Kiskaloo wrote:With the XM8 defunct, Michele gets his ammo and parts direct from H&K via the Germans. Wink

Why would he need to get ammo from them? Does H&K even manufacture 5.56mm ammo?

Anyhow, might just go with the FAMAS F1 for Alessia's viola case gun. I like the G2 variant for it's STANAG capability (meaning it could share magazines with other weapons the SWA is likely to have, such as the Beretta AR-70/90) but it's difficult to verify it having been used by anyone other than the French Navy. GIGN's an offshoot of the Gendarmie, not the Navy.

So now I've got a FAMAS F1 viola case gun, PX-4s for the sidearm role, and the Kord as a special purpose BFG. The issue here becomes how to fill in the gaps without excessive overlap. LOC's .338 is nice, though it's a bit funny that a long range rifle like that would actually be firing a less powerful cartridge than the Kord (which has a level of firepower more comparable with a Browning M-2 -there's a reason I referred to it as a BFG above).

Anyway, I'm getting the impression this topic may be running out of steam, but if any of you have anything to add, feel free to do so. I'm still hoping to equip Alessia with an extensive, highly versatile arsenal sort of like Rico's, so if any of you have ideas for new categories to add, by all means state them. I've been toying with the idea of a lighter machine gun (one that can actually be used on the move effectively, the Kord is kind of big for mobile use) and possibly a rifle mid way between the FAMAS and Mini-Hecate that could be useful if one ever had to operate in the open parts of the countryside or something (though that might be getting awfully niche-ish).

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