Thursday, January 09, 2014

Building the Sniper

1 shot 1 kill

No other phrase inspires more fear. No other element on the battlefield sends a bigger chill than a sniper. No other threat on the battlefield is so technologically unsophisticated and yet so deadly. A man and his rifle. The purest expression of skill and determination.

The thought of a single man pinning down a whole platoon. Taking man after man down, one after the other without being detected, without being stopped. Such a fear inspiring power is something many players seek to have in a modern warfare game. So what does it take to make your character a sniper. Let us take a look at building the sniper in Weapons Free.

Many of you will probably have Vasily Zaytsev in mind when talking about snipers. Made famous by the movie "Enemy At The Gates", Zaytsev had 242 confirmed kills with an estimated real kill count of 500+. He dueled for three days against Erwin Kónig and won (obviously). Keeping the Wehrmacht sniper's scope as trophy, btw.

I must add that sniping is not a realm exclusively for men. Lyudmila Pavlichenko was a sniper during the second world war. She had 309 confirmed kills, scoring 187 kills in the two months in Odessa and 257 in the eight months in Sevastopol. Of her 309 kills, 36 were snipers.

The longest recorded sniper shot in history is credited to Canadian Forces corporal Rob Furlong with an amazing 2430m (1.5 miles). Using a .50-caliber McMillan Brothers Tac-50 Rifle he scored a hit on an enemy machine gun position. Flight time for the bullet: about 3 seconds.

But sniping isn't only about killing a lot of enemies and not getting shot, nor is it only about hitting something halfway across continental USA. It's also about getting into the enemy's territory, operating there for days on end, getting your kill and getting out. This requires skill, endurance and above all determination. I hate to break it to you, but snipers are not going to be rolled up during character generation. You might get a good marksman, but not a sniper.

To have a sniper, you'll probably want to start your character in the infantry branch then get some marksmanship badges and some special training badges (parachuting, diving, navigation, etc.). Round your character out and then take him to the next level: special forces. A level that grants your character access to a whole new set of badges and improvements.

Such a training will take your character through a training 9 to 12 months long that will enhance the character's training in weapon skills, navigation, tactics, camouflage, survival, evasion, tracking, resistance, unconventional warfare and air operations. After this the sniper will be able to operate behind enemy lines, stalk the target, take it out and return home. He or she will stand above the other elements of the unit as one of the deadliest pieces on the battlefield.

What will this require? For starters good attributes, and attributes can be improved through training in Weapons Free, so don't worry if you didn't roll all of them high enough. Secondly, a good field record, being good and gaining experience during the missions. Finally, determination and endurance, that means not only stamina points, but mental strength in the form of mental endurance and mental affinity power points. The job will drain the character, is yours up to the task?

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