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Arty Questions (long)

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Arty Questions (long) - 5/31/2012 8:17:24 AM   

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Would any experts care to comment on my ideas about use of cannon bombardment? I want to know if I am on the right track, or on crack. (Sorry for the long post, but I have a lot of questions!)

1. Instead of an 11-minute bombard @ normal ROF, I usually bombard for 3-4 min @ MAX ROF.

Especially in situations where the enemy is not dug in, I assume that the they have less opportunity to be in cover for the first part of a bombardment, so rounds in that time should have more effect than rounds that hit, say 7-11 minutes (or more) into the bombardment.

Am I really better bang per shell by bombarding at MAX rate for a shorter time?

2. The manual sez that bombarding is good for breaking up attacks. I've seen it work on both regular infantry and armored infantry. For armored infantry, I don't know if that's because the vehicles are open top or if the riflemen have dismounted, but a shelling is effective on armored infantry, to some extent. (They do have open-topped vehicles, after all.)

I can't tell with certainty how it compares to a shelling of a regular rifle company, but it seems to be a little less effective.

3. Will a bombardment break up an all-tank attack? As far as I recall, I have only seen mixed attacks, and I speculate that the tanks break off because they don't have the support of infantry.

4. What is the purpose of AP (armor piercing) rounds for FA units? Are they only used when the FA unit has a LOS to an enemy tank, or can a forward unit call for fire support? In a HE bombardment, tanks should not be affected much it at all, right?

5. One last thing... it would be really cool if you could shrink the bombardment area of an FA unit. Sometimes the area is just too spread out, and it would be useful to attack a smaller area. If this is NOT in keeping with WWII abilities and practices, we should not have it. On the other hand, if it was done, I'd like to see it modeled.
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RE: Arty Questions (long) - 5/31/2012 10:20:35 AM   


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1. Possibly... however as the primary effect of artillery is to suppress and neutralise, rather than kill, a longer duration has more long-term effect - I prefer bombardments of up to 1 hour at low rate. Reducing his ROF and accuracy for a long time may allow an attack to succeed and many prisoners to be taken, greatly exceeding any probable losses actually from the fire. It is a good idea to fire shorter bombardments against movers though, but against these it can be hard to 'hit' so wastage is lower for low/standard ROF than max.

2. For armoured infantry - during an assault they are modelled as being on foot with the H/T providing support by fire from the second line. Fatigue is generally lower, and movements faster. This tends to give Amd Inf an advantage at the commencement of bombardment, so all else being equal they do tend to come out of it in slightly better condition too. With enough artillery you can shatter anything though. As attacking units are not "deployed" in cover, dug-in or fortified, they are much more vulnerable to artillery that hits them - they might also be under direct fires from defending positions, and if a counter-attack hits them as the artillery lifts you might even remove the unit permanently...

3. Yes. Definitely. Even if the attack isn't halted, the increased suppression makes it easier to survive the assault and kill tanks with RPG or AT guns.

4. Direct fire self protection - or assault artillery direct fires. All indirect fire is currently HE quick. Most artillery uses HEAT type shell as it's anti-armour round, but a few use AP or APC. Given sufficient fires a tank unit will lose vehicles - I think most are lost due to a steady reduction in crew strength, but a few 'bombardment' losses are reported in the AAR from time to time. I've seen PzVI Ausf B lose vehicles to massed artillery, so it can be worth the expenditure if supply is generally good. Otherwise, a low rate from mortars will be enough to reduce the effectiveness and improve friendly success rates.

5. Not possible, though 3 battery targets can be superimposed to obtain a smaller footprint than a single Bn... if the artillery is broken down in the Scenario. I use artillery mainly on concentrations of troops... so the additional size is usually an advantage (on roads I spread the footprints along a 1-2km length, rather than concentrating it and risking missing the target if I can). Generally you want to suppress a whole town/village including HQ, mortar and reserves, rather than 'just' kill 2-3 men from the lead company... for that you need lots of tubes, and to cover as much ground with each as reasonable..

(in reply to rfrizz)
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