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Glossary of Terms
By Thomas Barclay and Adrian Johnson


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A    B    C    G    I    M    O    P    R    S    T    W    Z



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AA: Anti-Aircraft. Generally refers to AAA ("triple A").

AAA: Anti-Aircraft Artillery. This refers to weapons systems used specifically for anti-air operations. Generally, this will be projectile-firing weapons systems capable of very high cyclic rates coupled to very advanced high-speed target acquisition sensors. As technology progresses, the move to lightspeed weapons will make directed-energy based "triple-A" very popular - combining the best of range and accuracy.

AAGM: Anti-Aircraft Guided Missile. See GMS.

AAGM: Air-to-Air Guided Missile. See GMS.

AAR: After Action Report. This is effectively a post-battle post-mortem covering who did what and when. The military and government authorities use real AARs to assess their performance (or figure out what went wrong) in a military operation, historians use them to peice together details of historically significant conflicts, and wargamers use them to recall fondly their brilliance, their abject incompetence, or just good times spent gaming with friends.

AAR: Advanced Assault Rifle. See AR.

Alpha: First Greek Letter. Often used to designate the first element in a combat formation.

Alpha: First Letter of the Phonetic Alphabet used for Radio Communications. Alpha is used when spelling out words or giving map references (such as "I say again, I need some fire support on grid Alpha One Six!"). See "Phonetic Alphabet".

AP: Anti-Personel. A general descriptor applied to weapons designed to be used against infantry.

AT: Anti-Tank. A general descriptor applied to weapons designed to be used against armoured vehicles.

ATGM: Anti-Tank Guided Missile. See GMS.

AIFV: Armoured Infantry Fighting Vehicle. Similar to an APC, the AIFV is a form of "battle-taxi" but is also very often an able combatant (unlike many APCs). AIFVs often come armed with single or multiple machine guns, an autocannon, and perhaps other weaponry including guided missile systems or low velocity gun capable of deploying high-explosive or other anti-bunker and anti-infantry munitions. The AIFV differs from the APC in that it has sufficient weaponry to engage directly in battle. The infantry may be expected to fight mounted from aboard an IFV using its various pintle-mounted machine guns and firing ports for rifles. Most infantrymen still feel more comfortable outside the vehicle once real shooting starts, but the AIFV is still generally prefered to the APC.

APC: Armoured Personel Carrier. The APC, or "battle-taxi" as it is known, is a lightly armoured (sufficient to protect from small-arms fire and shell fragments) battle transport. It exists to provide rapid mobility to combat personel in areas where unarmoured vehicles would not be sufficient protection. It is differentiated from MICVs and AIFVs by the fact that infantry generally want to get as far from one of these vehicles as they can before combat starts and doctrine does not involve infantry fighting while mounted in APCs. The APC may act as a mobile firebase to support the infantry, but it is not a battle platform for those infantry.

AR: Assault Rifle. A "long-arm" (not necessarily terribly long if it comes in a bullpup configuration, but long as compared to sidearms such as pistols) capable of firing a high-velocity round which may be able to defeat most normal infantry body armour. Often these weapons have selective fire and automatic fire capability and may have add-on systems such as underbarrel grenade launchers, sighting systems, silencers, flash suppressors, gyrostabilization, etc. "Assault Rifle" is a generalized term, but is generally considered to refer to bullet-firing weapons such as our modern M-16A2, C-7, SA-80 or slightly more advanced versions that may even fire caseless ammunition such as the G-11. By 2180+ in the GZGverse setting, most infantry weapons are small calibre (5.5mm or less), use caseless rounds, have advanced (by today's standards) optics and perhaps impact-placement aides. Most of these weapons are bullpup (the magazine is fed in behind the trigger grip and that is where the weapons action resides). The term "Battle Rifle" is sometimes used to describe older non-bullpup rifles firing heavy (7mm+) cartridges (often with only semi-automatic or limited automatic fire capabilites. "Advanced Assault Rifle" is the term which described "the latest and greatest" in Assault Rifles, which of course moves with the time period. What constitues an advanced AR in 1980 certainly will not in 2180.

Arty: Colloquial form of "Artillery".

Artillery: Heavy munitions (explosive, generally) launched from platforms such as tube-artillery (howitzers, cannons, mortars, rocket assisted mortars) or from other types (mass driver artillery, rocket artillery, etc). Artillery is also a description of one of the military combat arms (Artillerists being the troops who operate artillery pieces of various descriptions). Artillery generally represents medium to long range support weaponry, often firing indirectly (therefore requiring a spotter or map reference to fire accurately). Artillery can be used for tasks other than direct target engagement with explosive warheads, such as scattering minefields, deploying smoke or incediary rounds, and even include biochemical or nuclear weapons deployment.

ARV: Armoured Reconnaisance Vehicle.

ARV: Armour(ed) Recovery Vehicle. Engineering support vehicles used to recover damaged vehicles from the battlefield.

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Battle-Taxi: Colloquial term for either APC/AIFV/MICV (or sometimes an unarmoured personel carrier). See APC and AIFV for more detailed descriptions.

Black Skull: A "dead" counter for Stargrunt. Such a counter is placed on a resolved casualty that is incapacitated or dead. See StargruntII rules, pg 36.

BN: Battalion. A military organizational level usually found above the Company but below the Regiment, Brigade, or Division (depending on your military institution). Typically a Battalion will include somewhere between 400 and 800 men (for an infantry formation) although if the battalion is required to conduct independent deployments and operations it may be reinforced by as much as a further 50-75%.

BR: Broken. A confidence level which is sometimes held by troops. See StargruntII rules on morale, pg. 21

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CDM: Command Detonated Mine. See Claymore.

Cheese: A product which is a result of fermentation of milk (usually cow's milk, but not always). But more specifically, it is included here to cover a range of "munchkin-esque" or "power gamer" manouvres in which a player intent on securing the utmost advantage for himself an his forces applies the abstraction of the rules (which always have inherent mathematical loopholes) to grant himself an advantage legal within the written rules but patently ridiculous in real life. This we refer to a Cheese. With the higher grades of Cheese spawning higher rankings, with the Lord of Limburger perhaps being the top of the heap. Most gamers seek advantage and victory, but those who are unwilling to allow common sense to overrule their instinct to win should be avoided like a Smallpox Epidemic if they cannot be convinced to abandon their Cheesy ways.

Claymore: A Scottish bastard or great sword, the claidheamhor (sp?) was about 5-6' in size, and was either a hand-and-a-half or a full two-handed sword. It was about as sharp as an iron bar, but you could get a lot of force behind the swing. Not the thing for fighting lightly-armoured rapier duellists (see the movie "Rob Roy") nor for fighting musket-armed British Redcoats (same source). But if it hits you, you will not enjoy the experience.

Claymore: A specific name for the US M-82 directional anti-personel mine, and a generic name for any kind of CDM (Command Detonated Mine) which is directional and serves in the anti-infantry role. The Claymore (M-82) consisted of a backing plate, explosive, and ball bearings such that detonating the mine (often accomplished by 2, 3 or 7 squeezes ('klicks') on a detonator, or by tripwire) would send the ball bearings hurling out in a 60 degree arc (the arc determined by where the mine was planted). A nasty trick of guerilla forces was to sneak in and reverse these mines' facing. The mines could be lethal out past 50m (150'). The CDM is the GZGverse equivalent of the Claymore, only it is a tad smarter - it is directional, but it will rotate to engage its target and thus is far more dangerous. The US Claymore was named after the Scottish greatsword probably because the name sounded cool. (And everyone knows Scots have invented half the stuff in the world... and deep fried the other half).

CO: Commanding Officer. Also OIC or OC depending on the particular military institution.

CO: Confident. A confidence level which is commonly held by troops. See StargruntII rules on morale, pg. 21.

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Golf: Seventh Letter of the Phonetic Alphabet used for Radio Communications. This has lead to a rather unsavory policy employed by infantry soldiers cruising for "companionship" in bars known as Golf Uniform Echo (GUE) which is short for "Go Ugly Early".

GZGverse: Term coined to refer to the setting provided by Ground Zero Games in Stargrunt II, Dirtside and Full Thrust. The three games are set in the same "universe", otherwise referred to as the GZG "Canon" setting. GZG created this setting to provide a context in which to have battles, but they in no way force players to stick within this setting. In fact, GZG encourages players to modify the setting to suit themselves, or to create their own.

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IP: In-Position. A way of describing troops having taken cover, see Stargrunt II rules, pg. 13.

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MICV: Mobile Infantry Combat Vehicle. An armed "battle-taxi" - see AIFV.

Mike-Mike: Military argot for "millimeter". Heard in conversation or over the radio, where a soldier will say something like "I'm taking twenty mike-mike from the hilltop!". Usually describing ordinance being fired at the speaker (or by the speaker). Origination lies in the phonetic alphabet where Mike is the assigned form for the letter 'M'.

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Overwatch: A term used to describe troops who are actively surveilling a limited area (usually an area in front of the troop unit in question) while being ready to engage any opposition which might suddenly appear with weapon fire. It involves the troops being stationary and ready to shoot at the first sign of a target.

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Phonetic Alphabet: The Phonetic Alphabet is used during radio communications when spelling out words, giving map or other data references, and so on. It is designed to allow clearer understanding and comprehension when radio signals are weak or suffering from interference. For example, "I say again, I need some fire support on grid Alpha One Six!" is easier to understand than "I say again,I need some fire support on grid Ay One Six!".

The complete Phonetic Alphabet:
Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, Delta, Echo, Foxtrot, Golf, Hotel, India, Juliet, Kilo, Lima, Mike, November, Oscar, Poppa, Quebec, Romeo, Sierra, Tango, Uniform, Victor, Whiskey, X-Ray, Yankee, Zulu.

Numbers are spoken slightly differently also:
One, Two, Tree, Fow-ah, Fiver, Six, Sev-en, Eight, Niner, Zee-row.

And for those who are interested, a bit of radio trivia:
You never, ever say "Over and out". This is pure Hollywood, and does not make any sense. "Over" means "I have finished transmitting and am waiting for a response" and "Out" means "I have finished my transmission, I am not waiting for a response, this call is concluded." So, saying "Over and out" is actually saying "I have finished my transmission, I'm waiting for a response and I'm all done and signing off now, you don't have to respond."

Another bit of trivia:
You almost never say the word "repeat" - it is a reserved word used in artillery requests. So, if you want the person on the other end to repeat something, you say "Please say again your last transmission." The phrase "say again" is used in place of "repeat that".

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RAW: Rules As Written. A short-form used to describe something which focuses on the letter of the law or (in this case) the rules as they are set out in some canonical source.

RO: Routed. A confidence level which is sometimes held by troops. See StargruntII rules on morale, pg. 21.

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SAW: Squad Automatic Weapon. Generally, a SAW (or "light machine gun" used in the squad support role) is an infantry-carried support weapon designed to provide sustained fire support to an infantry squad. Generally, these are deployed one to a squad, although sometimes two appear in a modern squad TO&E. A SAW is capable of firing in burst or in a sustained fire mode, generally from belts of ammunition or ammunition cassettes, although many are also capable of using rifle magazines in a pinch. Many are not (on a per-shot basis) terribly accurate, as they are designed for area suppressive fire, but their volume of fire can often make up for that and a skillful SAW gunner can often score hits with short bursts out to 500m or further. The tactical doctrine governing the use of SAW's in combat differs from army to army. Some see the SAW as the main fighting weapon in a squad while others see their primary purpose as laying down fire to pin an enemy in place, allowing manouvering elements to either bypass or destroy that enemy in close assault.

SG: Stargrunt II, by Ground Zero Games. See Stargrunt

SG2: Stargrunt II, by Ground Zero Games. See Stargrunt

SH: Shaken. A confidence level which is held by troops. See StargruntII rules on morale, pg. 21.

Stargrunt: Stargrunt II, by Ground Zero Games. A generic set of rules for squad-level infantry combat in modern, post-modern, and science-fiction settings. The game is easy to learn and features some clever-but-simple game mechanics like using Opposed Rolls to determine success. Probably one of the more fun games we've ever played (hence, perhaps, the name for the website!).

ST: Steady. A confidence level which is commonly held by troops. See StargruntII rules on morale, pg. 21.

Suppression: A term used to describe troops "hunkered down" for fear of being hit by incoming fire. Suppression can pin troops in place very effectively despite the best efforts of squad leaders and other commanding presences if the volume of incoming fire is sufficient.

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Tango: Military argot for "Terrorist". Used especially by CT (Counter-Terrorist) operators. During CT operations, the phrase "Tango Down!" is used to indicate a terrorist has been taken out.

TL: Threat Level. Used in confidence and reaction tests. See Stargrunt II rules, pg. 21.

TDX: A gravitationally-polarized explosive. This fictional explosive was invented by James Blish, (first appearing in "Cities in Flight", which is a collection of four novels from the 1950s and 1960s, and later adopted into the Traveller universe, appearing in an early issue of the Journal of the Traveller's Aid Society from sometime in the late 1970's or early 1980's... reference thanks to Glenn M. Goffin) and featured an explosion that, instead of expanding in a spherical wave of force, expanded in a thin plane perpendicular to the local gravitational field. Excellent for felling trees to create an LZ in a forest or for creating Abatis. Very sci-fi.

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White Skull: An "unresolved casualty" counter for Stargrunt. Such a counter is placed on a casualty whose actual wounds are as yet unknown. See StargruntII rules, pg 36.

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Zulu: A term used to describe a military time reference (aka "Zulu Time"). Corresponds to Greenwich Mean Time.

Zulu Time: Military time system based on GMT.



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