Chinese People’s Volunteer Army Machine Guns


Having gotten Forgotten Wars : Korea 1950-1953, I asked about the machine guns I see in the Chinese People’s Volunteer Army’s (“CPVA”) OB.  The following is Mr Paul M. Weir’s response, reprinted with his permission.  I researched and inserted the illustrations – so any errors are also mine.

(By Mr Paul M. Weir)

There are 2 sets each of LMG/MMG/HMG as well as 1 0.50″.

One set is Soviet LMG, MMG and HMG in CPVA colours, the other set are the MGs from the GMD/NRA in CPVA colours, the .50″ being common to both Soviet and GMD in values.

Czech ZB vz 26

Czech ZB vs 26


Denmark Madsens

The 2-7 LMG represents Czech ZB vz 26/30 (the Bren’s predecessor), a widely exported weapon, also locally manufactured versions, as well as odds and sods like Madsens.


Soviet DP28

The 2-6 LMG(r) represents the DP aka DP-28 or DPM Soviet LMG.


From both text and photos the Chinese, all sides, had very few air cooled MMG/HMG until either supplied in WW2 by the US with M1919 or captured Japanese MMG/HMG. Most seem to have been versions of the classic Maxim design, the German MG08 being the commonest but you would also see Schwarzlose, Browning M1919, Vickers and even some Italian (possibly part of the shipment that brought the L3/35 tankettes) MG. If a MG ever saw production, it is likely at least a few saw service in Chinese hands.

Now that I think of it, the PLA had large number of Japanese MG, the 2-6(r) being closest match to the Japanese LMG., the non-(r) MMG/HMG to the Japanese MMG/HMG. Note that the Japanese 50mm mortar comes in CPVA and ROK/KMC colours.



The multitude of Chinese factions prior to 1949 got whatever they could whenever they could and the PLA inherited that mix. The eventually standardised on Soviet pattern stuff but that took time. So apart from the non-dm Soviet MMG/HMG ‘feature’, you could use whatever mix you want and you would not go too far wrong. The potential mix of weapons was really that bad.

Soviet 12.7mm DShK (


French 13.2 Hotchkiss (

As for 0.50 cal type MG, there were really only 3 moderately common designs; the US 0.50 cal Browning, the Soviet 12.7mm DShK and the French 13.2 Hotchkiss. The British had their own lower powered Vickers .50″ round that was also used by the Italians but their guns were mainly used in aircraft (Italians), multi-gun AA mounts and in tanks (mainly British). The Brownings and DShK have seen use everywhere since WW2, but in WW2 were really only issued to US+US Lend Leased forces and Soviet forces respectively only. The Hotchkiss was used by French, Belgian and Greek forces and license built by the Japanese. Unlike the Browning and DShK and while the bare gun was about the same weight as those two, the Hotchkiss mainly saw use in weighty AA mounts and AFV, plain infantry style ground mounts seem to be rare.

The CPVA had anything and everything that was left over from the Chinese Civil War period. German, Italian, Czech, US, Soviet and Japanese as well as locally manufactured rifles, MG and mortars. A very common rifle was the German Gewehr 1888, locally manufactured as the Hanyang 88. Ditto the German MG 08 was locally manufactured in Hanyang as the Type 24 and the Czech ZB-26 done in Gongxian Arsenal. Of course as the 2nd Sino-Japanese War (’37-’45) dragged on, increasing number of Japanese weapons of all types were in use and likely copied. The Japanese 50mm MTR seems to be one weapon copied, though I could not swear on that. The Chinese seemed to really like the US 60mm MTR and various RR and eventually produced their own clones as well as using captured stocks.

Counter Art : Hong Kong Wargamer
Photos : 抗战机密档(中日军队轻武器史料)

Kenneth Katz, chief designer of Forgotten War: Korean 1950-1953, gave us more details here … CPVA Machine Guns in Forgotten War – the Designer’s Supplement


Why can’t MMP use Kickstarter? Why can’t MMP keep everything in print? And other everyday questions.

MMPA lot of us has been frustrated with chasing after out of print ASL modules at some point in our ASL’ing lives:

Why can’t MMP use Kickstarter?  

Why can’t MMP keep everything in print?

Some of us asked publicly and have gotten our answers at some point.  At one such occasion, I asked MMP’s Brian Youse for his permission to post his answers on my blog for reference.  Here’s what he said ..

I don’t believe we have any intention of kickstarting every, or even many, OOP game we have any time soon. 🙂

Why don’t we use Kickstarter – they take 8-10% the day your met campaign ends and everyone is billed.

A big game like Yanks/FKAC/Rising Sun/BV/etc. guesstimated costs us about 60-80k for the print runs we do, say 60k. Now we need a goal of 66k. Most Kickstarters have stretch goals (someone mentioned dice), add another few thousand. So I’m up to 70k easily as a funding point. How many games hit that dollar figure, when its a well established game (and most KS that are super successful have new minis – seems to us anyways and we’ve been watching for quite some time).

The problem is printers want to be paid in 30 days. A game like BV won’t sell -nearly- 60k in 30 days until some demand is generated. So RS, for example, has to be out of stock for a bit to build up demand.

The third real problem is we’ve had about six die-cutters in our existence. Each time requires the job be re-laid out to a die and that means proofing, because if you grab a layer badly, or something imports wrong, or any one of another issues then you’re missing the front AF or white turret ring. Our goal, of course, is to have things in a pick up the phone and say “print x thousand more” mode. Right now, I think only a few of our modules are like that. The French and the Italians need to be redone from scratch. So its not always -quite- so easy to just say “reprint AOO” – there’s some work involved and that work is just as easily spent on a new game which will sell more copies than a reprint of AOO – thus generating more income to keep doing things like paying employees, paying rent, keeping the shrink-wrapping machines repaired and well maintained, etc.

As someone said above, its a real balancing act on our end (in our opinion) to juggle new product, reprinting old product, determining what people may want next, won’t want next, etc.

It keeps Chas and Perry very busy, and me nagging them for “what’s next to keep enough rent in the bank.”

Kickstarter is very cool. It isn’t the cure-all a lot of people seem to believe it is, however. Again, in our opinion.

BTW – re: die cutting – getting an existing product ready for a new die-cutter is much, much easier than a new project (like Italians/French). We love our guy now, hope he’s in business forever, and doesn’t go nuts on price or product delay – I like our counters as much as any in the hobby, the die-cutting has been dead on balls accurate. Its an industry term. 🙂

BTW2 – while being OOP may seem like a constant state, its really a weird time-warp thing (IMO) because Rising Sun (for example) was in stock for like 3+ to 4 years. Took me by surprise, it -felt- like it was available for about 9 months. Chas had to pick me up off the floor when he said it was 4 years. Its not like some games i’ve seen / heard (Nintendo classic) which sold out in a month and is OOP for a decade.

We get occasional letters to reprint BRT (for example). That game was in stock for maybe 10 years, and we had to GIVE away the last 200 copies for what, maybe 10 or 15 bucks each? Pegasus Bridge was available for probably 15+ years and I know the last handful were sold for maybe 5 bucks at a show.

Its really tough to justify printing something that we had in stock for what seemed like forever and we couldn’t give away.

One more quick example – DAK. Reprint reprint reprint, so we did. Not a very large print run. Sold 500 of them fast. I think we sold most of the rest at a Black Friday sale over a few years for what was probably 20 cents on the dollar. 😦

We intend to reprint core modules. We will reprint starter kit “core” modules. We may reprint choice OCS and GTS. And the rest are way down the priority list…

Hong Kong Wargamer : Thank you Brian!

Haakka Päälle! The Unboxing

Notes from fellow gamers ..

  • Robin Reeve : There are actually 17 scenarios
  • “Srynerson” on GS : The Hungarian counters you noticed are errata counters for AoO apparently:…ight=hungarian
  • Chas Argent : Yes, the box says 4 (ASLRB chapter dividers) as well, but we added one more divider after the box went into production (and a 17th scenario). ‘Cuz we love you.Well, most of you.

Unboxing the “RISING SUN”!!

The Rising Sun is the latest reprint module from Multi-Man Publishing.  It’s an impressive combination of the out-of-print modules Code of Bushido and Gung Ho!.  The counter artwork was redone, the rules updated and the scenarios rebalanced, giving ASL‘rs everything he/she needs to get into the Pacific Theater of Operations (PTO).  While a lot of our American compatriots have gotten their copies already, I suspect the rest of the world is only starting to get theirs.

Here’s the unboxing of a copy that hit the PTO today!



Resources :


Protecting Your New Advanced Squad Leader Rulebook

IMG_6108The Advanced Squad Leader Rulebook 2nd edition (“ASLRB”) is finally in print again!

I got mine from a tiny store in Mongkok two months ago.  The Advanced Squad Leader Rulebook is massive: it’s a big box-file full of instructions to the best simulation in the history of board wargaming.

I have been working hard at learning it.  The punch holes in some of the pages are already showing tear.

To protect my ASL bible, I have two options:

  • Plastic punch hole ring reinforcement stickers
  • Plastic page protectors

Plastic punch hole ring reinforcement stickers

Unfortunately, the punch holes on the pages are too big.  I can’t find ring stickers that are the proper size.

Plastic page protectors

This is the pricier option but this is what I ended up doing.  Not only are the holes protected from frequent reference, entire pages are now protected from food stains and beer spills!

Since each page is thicker with the plastic page protectors, I split the rulebook into two box-files.  (I found a problem: I couldn’t get the holes in the plastic page protectors to work with the 3 rings in the original Advanced Squad Leader Rulebook binder.)

There are less than 250 pages in the rulebook – the standard set of rulebook sections plus sections F, G, Solitaire and a couple of Zs from ASL Journals.  I bought 5 packs of A4-s size Kokuyo”Clear Book” refills that has 50 plastic page protectors each and I got two double ring box files.  I put sections A to E in one box file and the rest in the second one.

Now I feel a lot more comfortable flipping through the protected pages in the less congested box-files!

To make the box-files look more authoritative,  I scanned the Rulebook cover and spine.  I want to get the images printed on A4 size stickers and put them on the front and spine of my box-files.  They will look pretty nice when I’m done.

What do you do to protect your Advanced Squad Leader Rulebook?

Recommended Links:


Which Advanced Squad Leader Module Is Which And Which To Get Before Which

English: Signpost.

English: Signpost. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There’s a particular “dependency” between the Advanced Squad Leader Core Modules that dictates the order in which you acquire them.

Firstly, it’s important to know that most of the rules are in the Advanced Squad Leader Rulebook (2nd ed).  The reason I said “most” is that some of the chapters are contained in the modules.  There are also updates and corrections (errata) published periodically.  That’s why the Rulebook is not bound but housed in a 3 ring binder.

Secondly, the Core Modules do NOT standalone like the Advanced Squad Leader Starter Kits.  They each contain:

  • Counter sheets that pertains to combatant countries in the Second World War.
  • Numbered maps depicting playable terrain that can be freely combined as each game scenario dictates.
  • Scenarios – situational setups with historical background, maps and counters involved, game turn limits that gives you three-hour games to campaigns that goes for days plus victory conditions. Quality of scenario design is a key element that makes Advanced Squad Leader fun.

Thirdly, this is where core module dependency comes in :

Scenarios contained in the modules, ASL magazines and 3rd party companies call for map combinations and combatant country counters that are sold in different modules.  

For example : You need at least the Japanese counters plus the US Marines and/or the British to play any PTO (Pacific theater of operations) scenarios.  That requires the ownership of a number of modules to play.

So here’s a brief description of the orders of battle provided by each Advanced Squad Leader Core Module:

  1. Beyond Valor : Russian & German units (“order of battle“) plus some Finnish units.  This is the first core module that anyone should get.  
  2. Yanks : US order of battle (European theater of operations)
  3. For King & Country : British order of battle.  This replaced West of Alamein as the provider of the British order of battle.
  4. Rising Sun (coming soon) : Japanese, Chinese and the US Marines.  This is the relaunched combination of Code of Bushido and Gung Ho.
  5. Croix de Guerre : French order of battle

Others :

  1. Doomed Battalions : Allied Minors
  2. Hollow Legions : Italian order of battle
  3. Armies of Oblivion : Axis Minors
  4. Partisans : well, partisans of various European countries

Top notched resources:

I hope this gives you a better idea of how to acquire your Advanced Squad Leader modules!  Please let me know if you have any questions!

How about coming home everyday to 30 mins of PBeM game over VASL?

Whether you are a fellow newbie who would like to learn together or an experienced ASLer who don’t mind helping me up the curve. I play to enjoy and to learn. Please message me at jackson-dot-kwan-at-gmail-dot-com!!