Flamethrowers

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Addendum_Forthcoming:

Seth Carter:

Well yes, on a tank or napalm dropped in via bombs is a more practical way to use it.

The infantry trying to lug that thing around (nevermind the singular character in most games) are just sitting ducks to be shot though.

Well ... flamethrower teams were still effective. It just came with a ridiculously high casualty rate. There's still jobs in the military that are high danger (beyond the norm). Artillery observer comes to mind ... but even FOs during WW2 still had a safer job than a flamethrower combat engineer. And FOs are quite honestly theclosest thing that comes to my mind of literally 'sitting duck' ... Some of the most famous imagery of the job comes from jungle warzones where Australian and U.S. soldiers would climb trees to co-ordinate firepower on positions sometimes less than a kilometre away. And effectively you're up 30 metres in a tree, and basically the first soldier that is liable to be shot at by a combat patrol... and not only that, but your job detail makes you quite a popular targetto shoot at on top of that...

It's hard to imagine a job that was more dangerous, and yet flamethrower combat engineer was still higher. But they never had a shortage of flamethrower teams.

The argument of man-portable flamethrowers was more so an argument about just how highly do you value the lives of soldiers outfitted with them. But even still, there were still people taking on the job and they were still mass producing the propane-napalm rigs to basically bring instant, glass-warping heat at a moment's notice.

To put it plainly ... it was a death sentence for the soldiers, but commanders still kept using them and they generated what I would argue is a rightful baseline level of hatred and fear in the enemy because of what they could do.

Ok then, since your knowledge of "useless" information seems as good if not greater than mine, can you come up with a plausible reason for there to be a flamethrower at an Antarctic research base?

Specter Von Baren:

Addendum_Forthcoming:

Seth Carter:

Well yes, on a tank or napalm dropped in via bombs is a more practical way to use it.

The infantry trying to lug that thing around (nevermind the singular character in most games) are just sitting ducks to be shot though.

Well ... flamethrower teams were still effective. It just came with a ridiculously high casualty rate. There's still jobs in the military that are high danger (beyond the norm). Artillery observer comes to mind ... but even FOs during WW2 still had a safer job than a flamethrower combat engineer. And FOs are quite honestly theclosest thing that comes to my mind of literally 'sitting duck' ... Some of the most famous imagery of the job comes from jungle warzones where Australian and U.S. soldiers would climb trees to co-ordinate firepower on positions sometimes less than a kilometre away. And effectively you're up 30 metres in a tree, and basically the first soldier that is liable to be shot at by a combat patrol... and not only that, but your job detail makes you quite a popular targetto shoot at on top of that...

It's hard to imagine a job that was more dangerous, and yet flamethrower combat engineer was still higher. But they never had a shortage of flamethrower teams.

The argument of man-portable flamethrowers was more so an argument about just how highly do you value the lives of soldiers outfitted with them. But even still, there were still people taking on the job and they were still mass producing the propane-napalm rigs to basically bring instant, glass-warping heat at a moment's notice.

To put it plainly ... it was a death sentence for the soldiers, but commanders still kept using them and they generated what I would argue is a rightful baseline level of hatred and fear in the enemy because of what they could do.

Ok then, since your knowledge of "useless" information seems as good if not greater than mine, can you come up with a plausible reason for there to be a flamethrower at an Antarctic research base?

Melt ice, clear snowy obstacles?

In my limited experience, flamethrowers (and flamethrower-styled attacks) are exceptionally useful in niche categories.

In the Pokemon series, the move Flamethrower can be a milestone for your fire-type starter and it sweeps most of the in-game competition, but in competitive play, it's seen in less than 50% of the movesets for pokemon which have access to it.

I love Dead Space 3, haters gonna hate; and sometimes, I just want to waste a swarm of little necromorphic weenies with my extra-strength flamethrower! DS1 and 2 also apply, but honestly, the weapon customization options in DS3 just can't be beat.

Dungeons and Dragons. It's my latest and most long-lasting addiction. There's a flavor of flamethrower for every situation in D&D, but they're all best in just a few select moments. Firebolt for focus-fire (heh) moments; Aganazzar's Scorcher when some fools have lined up foolishly; Burning Hands for when some fools are just too close for comfort; Scorching Ray for when one guy absolutely MUST die horribly; and the list goes on. In this list, Aganazzar's might be the most flamethrower-y; I may be awful at the Icewind Dale EE game, but I can always count on a well-placed Aganazzar's Scorcher to even the playing field.

Flame Mammoth. Mega Man X, the one game every SNES owner would trip over themselves to praise, has the quintessential flamethrower, and it's useful against a boss and some explosive fuel tanks. Again, situational.

Elder Scrolls, the series. I confess, I have only played Oblivion and Skyrim, and the only time I used fire magic, it was to hurl fire at some distant target so they would be in horrible pain before I made their day even worse with some up-close-and-personal sword damage. In Skyrim, throw in the right SHOUT and this strategy works 95% of the time. Argue with the results, I dare you.

I think the lesson here is clear as crystal: fire does not solve all your problems. It can, however, solve some problems with absolute certainty.

Specter Von Baren:

Ok then, since your knowledge of "useless" information seems as good if not greater than mine, can you come up with a plausible reason for there to be a flamethrower at an Antarctic research base?

You could use it to help instantly thaw exceedingly cold engine blocks. Assuming you don't mind the damages it would inflict. That being said you wouldn't use a WW2 military grade flamethrower for that, but using a heat source can help engines tick over when it gets too cold.

Arguably the most conventional use for'flamethrowers' are for back burning operations in places like rural eastern state locations of Australia. Back burning eucalyptus tree litter so that you don't get summer firestorms and exploding trees.

Even then it's a 'flamethrower' in the loosest possible description. It's more like a squirt gun with petrol and a flame. You don't need pressurized napalm tanks for backburning.

Somebody's already covered Rising Storm, so I'll call up my other favourite flamethrower moment: Metro 2033 Redux, when you're first heading into D6. The base version had the memorable sequence with the player running a mounted flamethrower on the back of the Ranger train going in, but Redux adds a portable one you can grab on the way out (along with a Heavy Automatic Shotgun, IIRC). There's just something incredibly satisfying about storming a secret bunker, burning out hordes of mutants in close combat, even if the flamethrower is just an overgrown propane torch.

Which leads to my main complaint about flame weapons in games, very few devs actually know how real flamethrowers perform. TF2, Fallout, Metro 2033, just about every game I can think of (with the exception of Rising Storm and the first Killing Floor) uses the "Hollywood" flamethrower that runs on gas fuel and therefore handles like a leaf blower with fire or an oversized lighter. The classic US Army flamethrower series (M1, M2, M9A1-7) used from WWII through Vietnam, by contrast, is fuelled from a 5-gallon backpack tank of thickened gasoline or napalm, weighs 70 pounds loaded and has a range of up to 40 meters thanks to a pressurized nitrogen propellant system. That shit doesn't just woosh over a target and lightly sear it, napalm sticks as it's burning, which is what makes it so horrible to deal with. You torch a pack of zombies with a real flamethrower, and they're gonna stay burning for a while.

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