Light Machine Guns, or LMG for short, are heavy, full-automatic weapons, being fed from either a high-capacity magazine or a belt. LMGs are exclusively available to the Support Class.
During World War I, the most common form of warfare practiced was trench warfare, which involved both sides digging trenches in order to provide cover and protection against the enemy. Machine guns prospered during this time, delivering substantial and powerful fire against enemy trenches or advancing lines, and all the while providing support for allied troops. However, a big inconvenience with the machine gun was its bulky size and nature, making difficult to transport or control. In order to combat this situation, the Madsen Machine Gun, the first true light machine gun, was deployed, and was specifically designed to be much easier to control and move around than the basic machine gun, and could support advancing infantry.
In World War II, trench warfare had been mostly disregarded due to the rise of tanks, which were invulnerable to rifle and machine fire. Although this hampered with the usage of basic machine guns, LMGs were still commonly used as a way to suppress enemy infantry, as they were more convenient and controllable than their larger cousins. LMGs would see further action during the Vietnam War, where the M60, issued by the U.S., would become a common staple for any battle where extreme suppression was needed. As of now, LMG production and improvement are slowing, considering how basic LMGs are listed as "adequate" for basic military needs.
Light Machine Guns are a powerful weapons which have a large capacity of ammunition, both in the magazine and in reserve. LMGs also sport very high suppression, which can aid in suppressing an enemy. As a counterbalance, LMGs have a terribly long reload and very high recoil, which can hinder enemy engagements. It is recommended to use LMGs alongside other teammates, where the LMG's high damage and suppression will help your teammates advance safely, and they in turn, can cover for you during your lengthy reload.
While equipped with an LMG, one can press the T button to switch to an alternate aiming mode, in which the LMG is held as if it where held by the hip, but still retains the tight spread offered while in Aim Down Sights (ADS). This is especially useful for LMGs with higher recoil, such as the M60.
Usage & Tactics
The first and foremost important rule to apply with LMGs is that there must never be more than two or three LMGs on a single team. LMGs are bulky, slow and heavy, and are meant to be used with allies using other weapons such as Assault Rifles or Shotguns, where the LMG can provide support and suppression. Having too many LMGs on a single team can hinder the usage of the LMGs and can often leave the team lacking in many necessities, such as a need for weapons specialized in long ranged combat, or a weapon that can fire and reload quickly. Instead, it is best to have a limited number of LMGs on a single team, as mentioned beforehand.
An important aspect of an LMG is their ability to effectively suppress the enemy. Traits that help them achieve that goal includes their large ammo capacity, which allow them to continually fire at the enemy without the need to reload, and their high damage and effective range, which severely punishes enemies that go into the fray. Where they excel in area control, however, they are weak in accuracy. This is mostly due to their high recoil and flash, which can tamper with accurately engaging with an enemy. Using the alternate aiming mode, via pressing T will assist in accurately fighting in Close Quarters Combat (CQC). Still, they're especially weak in long range combat compared to most other weapons.
LMGs are, as their Class name suggests, support weapons. LMGs, at their best, are to be used in strategic areas or chokepoints, where the LMG can eliminate a large number of hostiles and cover any advancing infantry against enemy fire. Even though they may lack in long range, and most often close range combat, they possess high damage and a convenient alternate aiming mode that can help them stand their own on most cases. Still, it is best to limit how many LMGs are on a team, so as not to neglect any necessities.