Artillery Questions

Discussion in 'World At War 85 Series' started by jdyoungca, Mar 2, 2020.

  1. jdyoungca

    jdyoungca Member

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    Hi all,

    New member here. I got the game via the kickstarter and am working my way through the rules. I had a couple of questions regarding Artillery.

    1 - Artillery is said to attack all units in the target hex. Does this mean if I score 2 hits:
    - each unit in the target hex receives two hits?, or
    - the unit I chose in the hex receives two hits, and if any are left after the unit is eliminated the remaining hits are applied to the second unit

    2 - Can an HQ stacked with a unit where the HQ applied its bonus to the units fire also spot for artillery in the same formation step?

    As a side note, artillery seems awfully deadly to tanks. I was playing through scenario 2 and the M113 mounted mortar was taking out T-62s, which seems unlikely. I'm used to playing Team Yankee where a mortar would have no chance of taking out a tank.

    Jeff
     
  2. Keith Tracton

    Keith Tracton Member
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    Hi Jeff, welcome aboard!

    My answers below yours:

    1 - Artillery is said to attack all units in the target hex. Does this mean if I score 2 hits:
    - each unit in the target hex receives two hits?, or
    - the unit I chose in the hex receives two hits, and if any are left after the unit is eliminated the remaining hits are applied to the second unit

    It means your artillery makes an attack with its firepower dice against each unit in the hex. So, if you are rolling 3 dice, you roll three dice for the first unit to determine hits against it, and then three more dice for the second.

    Now your second point applies: if you get more than enough hits to eliminate the first unit, any excess hits are applied to the second unit. Then the second attack is rolled... :)

    2 - Can an HQ stacked with a unit where the HQ applied its bonus to the units fire also spot for artillery in the same formation step?

    If the HQ applied its bonus to the units fire, it would have been marked Ops Complete and so, because of that, no, it may not spot for indirect fire.

    - As a side note, artillery seems awfully deadly to tanks. I was playing through scenario 2 and the M113 mounted mortar was taking out T-62s, which seems unlikely. I'm used to playing Team Yankee where a mortar would have no chance of taking out a tank.

    Remember: the M106 SPM may not use Direct FIre on Heavy Armor, it has only a HE Firepower. But since your questions are about Indirect fire: The absolute weakest armor on any tank is its bottom and top armor. Significantly thinner than any other armor on the tank. So in cases where the mortar fires an indirect fire barrage directed by a spotter, the concussive force of a series of 4.2" shells can strip antennas, sights, machineguns, etc., off of the target tanks, rendering them hors de combat, and so "killed" for game purposes, if not really wrecked. And a direct hit by a 4.2-inch shell, even though made for shrapnel, may even penetrate and make a K-Kill as there is little top armor, as I mentioned. The combination of effects is what makes it so effective in Indirect mode. Certainly, an off-board 155mm shell will ruin a crew's day with a direct hit. :)
     
  3. jdyoungca

    jdyoungca Member

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    Thanks for the responses and clarification. I had just been rolling once and applying the results to each unit. I had also been a bit fuzzy about HQs and Ops Complete, so your response clears things up.

    As for the deadliness of artillery discussion, I take your point about soft kills. The rules as you describe them do create a bit of an anomaly though. If my mortar is sitting 20 hexes away from the T-62 with a direct line of sight it is considered direct fire and I cannot shoot because I only have HE attack values. If you put a bush in the way and give me an HQ spotter it is now considered indirect and I can shoot the tank. The arc of the mortar shells would be the same in either case. The way around that might be to give separate direct fire and indirect fire ranges. A mortar would not be direct fire capable but something like an M109 would have a short direct fire range and a long indirect fire range. This might over-complicate things though.
     
  4. Starman

    Starman Member

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    I have pondered over this and asked about it before.

    14.0 Indirect Fire
    Yellow call out box is not ruling out the use of a spotter it just does need to use one if it does it uses the indirect fire procedure.
    "To be clear: If a unit which is capable of Indirect Fire has a clear LOS to its target, it does not need a Spotter, and so uses Direct Fire to attack that target.

    Even if the Mortar has a direct LoS there is no reason it can not be called in by an eligible spotting unit, I have no idea on which units are eligible to spot besides HQs and Recon units as they are on the Nationality tables and sadly my game has not arrived and no shipping notice :(

    That brings me to self spotting, Mortar units have specialist training and certainly should be able to self spot for it's own fire and if it is eligible in the units nationality tables then it should be able to and automatically succeed without a roll but this is then classed as Direct fire but ironically cannot be fired at heavily armoured vehicles. Light mortars are unlikely to do more than disrupt armour and these are basically those without minimum range restrictions so maybe they should be restricted to disruption on non disrupted units even when firing indirect. Tactically I don't plan to expose mortars or artillery, Self propelled or not to Direct fire.



    Nowhere in the rules does it state that being marked ops complete makes it ineligible to spot
    (I may have missed it but Imcannot see it and I even resorted to a search on eligible , ops complete and spotter, in case my memory failed me)

    In any event as per 14.3 Spotters it will not be marked ops complete so they could spot for multiple units even if rules thatbops complete units are ineligible as spotters.
     
    #4 Starman, Mar 3, 2020
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2020
  5. Keith Tracton

    Keith Tracton Member
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    Ops Complete units are prohibited from doing ANYTHING, including Spotting or executing Spotter Checks. We will have a clarification that covers this. By way of example, if an HQ uses its Command Bonus to assist in a Direct Fire attack, it is marked Ops Complete along with the unit that fired. The HQ is therefore ineligible to Spot for Indirect Fire later in the Action step.

    Let me clarify the functional uses of Indirect Fire for units with only HE FP (I am too tired to go into the design notes right now, it's late, sorry...):

    1. Target selection for Direct Fire by such units is restricted by their HE FP, like any other HE FP. However, it has the advantage of any Direct FIre attack, in that it does not scatter.
    2. Target selection for (On-board) Indirect Fire allows any target type to be attacked as it is a focused barrage, however, it needs an eligible Spotter, and can scatter. (FYI, eligible Spotters for On-Board Artillery Actions are always: HQs, Activated Recon units, and Activated units who pass a Spotter Check.)
    3. These units can self-spot if their National Unit Table allows (and most do) but, as indicated on those tables, it is still subject to a Spotter Check. (Why? They are not an HQ or an Activated Recon.) And to explicitly spell out the consequences of that, if they are self-spotting and fail the Spotter Check, then, as the attempted Spotter, they are not Ops Complete for that. BUT (and a big one it is) since they are ALSO the unit attempting to FIRE they ARE marked Ops Complete for that condition. If you do both things you must apply both rules. When self-spotting, you can't be one (Spotter) without being the other (the Firer).

    And just as a reminder, and in contrast: there are no Spotter Checks permitted during the Off-Board Artillery STEP - only during On-Board Artillery ACTIONS. (My CAPS.)

    I hope this helps! :)
     
  6. Starman

    Starman Member

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    Thanks , that is how I read it anyway the self spot was asked before but the answer wasn't as clear as this one, just needed clarifying as the rules do not state spotting , regardless of requiring a check may not be carried out by Ops Complete units.

    I think it will be useful to clarify that and what doesn't result in Ops Complete e.g. HQ/Recon spotting , HQ/Leader transfer... and of course spotter checks as already noted.

    Hopefully we can make the next update to FAQ/Clarifications the last one .
     
  7. jdyoungca

    jdyoungca Member

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    Ah - so you are saying that the mortar in my example, if he has LOS to the target, can choose whether to use direct or indirect fire. If he was firing at an eligible target for his HE attack such as infantry, he would choose to use direct fire and there would be no spotter check or scatter. If he was firing at a tank he would have to choose indirect fire since he cannot fire HE at a tank, and would be subject to a spotter check (he can spot for himself since he has line of sight) and scatter.

    OK - I can work with that. Thanks for the clarification.
     
  8. Starman

    Starman Member

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    Almost totally correct except he can only spot for himself if he eligible according to Nationality tables.
    Probably best to use a HQ or assign a leader to eligible spitter(to use leaders morale /Training value for checko) but remember if you can see them they can see you though they may not have range to do anything about it.
     
    #8 Starman, Mar 4, 2020
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2020
  9. Starman

    Starman Member

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    From Keith Tracton on using Indirect fire when in LoS of target.

    Design Note: During an indirect fire, Spotters (Forward Observers and other trained personnel) are not dialing up the mortar or gun battery directly, they are calling the Fire Direction Center (or, I assume, the PACT equivalent). The latter do the calculations and then provide azimuth, elevation, powder charge, etc to the guns themselves, allowing for a concentrated, coordinated barrage, which can have a terrible effect on Heavy Armor, according to supporting studies. However, Direct fire is every gun for itself firing either over open or iron sites (or mortars, making their own calculations on the fly), looking to obtain direct hits - much harder! - and which mitigates scatter somewhat yet loses its concentrated barrage ability to be able to affect Heavy Armor at the platoon level. So, in the game, the same unit firing Directly is less effective but more accurate (it has a LOS) than the same unit used as an Indirect Fire battery.
     

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