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"Firepower Part 1" Topic

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Areas of Interest


531 hits since 17 May 2018
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP18 May 2018 10:26 a.m. PST

Of possible interest?



Walking Sailor19 May 2018 5:50 a.m. PST

You did it to me again. Another day lost grinding through numbers and linked references. This should be required reading for everyone trying to design tactical level games.
Thank you

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP19 May 2018 10:20 a.m. PST

A votre service mon cher ami!. (smile)


UshCha19 May 2018 12:44 p.m. PST

Now I am not disputing the figures directly but my understanding for artillery that in wargames terms it needs to be very carefully interpreted. Read any account and artillery are killing folk most days. They are not at that point "in combat" as would be defined by a war gamer. So the question is how many of those casualties were caused on "non combat days"?

If you read the current published US artillery effects planning, in some cases in good defenses the impact in terms of casualties is minimal.

What the casualty rate won't tell you was who was getting hit and where.

Legion 420 May 2018 6:52 a.m. PST

Worth a look … link

Wolfhag21 May 2018 9:27 a.m. PST

These are great links and David Rowland is a great source for WWII small arms suppression and causality info. The problem is that there is so much info it's difficult to decide which aspects to integrate into a war game.

I think an artillery "destruction barrage" takes up so much ammo that it is not normally used against troops underground with good top protection. You pretty much need a direct hit with a 155mm HE delay to take out an underground bunker.

Catching troops in the open is different. A friend of mine was a 155mm battery commander in the Gulf War. A grunt unit was about to be overrun and called for support. With the advanced GPS targeting system, they performed an immediate fire for effect / FPF on the enemy troops in the open with HE quick and VT rounds and broke the assault. The grunts were so excited and thankful they took him to the battlefield to see the effects. He said there was nothing but shredded body parts for 300 yards. He still gets nightmares from it.

In WWI my grandfather survived in his underground bunker a four-hour German barrage from 100mm and 150mm guns. The next day he lost 3 guys to H&I fire while bringing up hot food from the rear.


Lion in the Stars21 May 2018 9:19 p.m. PST

This actually gets back into the British lesson of WW1: It's impractical to actually destroy trenches and emplacements via artillery bombardment (you need to directly hit each one), but a quick suppression barrage (that could be fired by lighter tubes) would generally allow an assault to close home. So while everyone else was going to 10cm guns (105mm), the Brits went with the 25pdr (88mm bore). Because the lighter ammo could be loaded and fired faster, getting rounds on target more quickly.

These days, with GPS-guided ammo, you can put a single round exactly where you want it (within ~5m). Up to and including coming in from behind a position or hitting a reverse slope.

Wolfhag22 May 2018 7:11 a.m. PST

From what I've read on suppression and artillery it's the number and frequency of the "bangs" that will keep the defenders head down so the 25lb was ideal.

In a prep barrage when the attackers get close (100m-300m) the artillery fire is lifted but the mortars take over because the attackers can continue to get closer during the barrage.

Ideally, the attackers arrive as the defenders are recovering and emerging from their shelters and trenches. In a prep barrage the timing of the barrage lifting and the defenders getting as close as they can is missed in most games.


UshCha22 May 2018 7:41 a.m. PST

The US manual is specific in that it defines the general role of artillery to Supress and fix in place.

Now targets in the open can be damaged, anything from folks having a crap outside the trench to rear area bombardment which is typicaly the role of longer ranged guns.

howevver I think ist was wireless ridge the Observer screwed up and called fire on thir own troops not the enemy, the brits were forming up at the time. They took a while to get back but they did continue on with the attack.

Counter battery fire does damage but generallymuch more dense fires are required and so its very expensive in ammunition terms. Again if you have Air burst fuse you can give trouble to folks not in trenches but it still needs quite a lot of ammo.

Our own game really sticks with the sort of levels the US define as nutralisation, suppression and a few casualties. However SP guns soon run out of ammo even at that rate. Its no wounder in WWII that batteries run out of ammo. In small modern wars, ammo is proably not such an issue as you are not providing lots of fire all the time, so you can use a lot and safely then wait a while for some more, proably without too much risk of counterbattery fire or another call.

Lion in the Stars22 May 2018 9:49 a.m. PST

Ideally, the attackers arrive as the defenders are recovering and emerging from their shelters and trenches. In a prep barrage the timing of the barrage lifting and the defenders getting as close as they can is missed in most games.

Ironically, given the hate towards Flames of War here, FoW does a really good job of modeling the effect of a quick suppressing barrage. Any unit under the template is automatically "pinned", which means it fires at significantly reduced rate.

If you are aggressive with your infantry and choose your artillery impact point well, it's pretty east to pin one or two platoons right before your assault rolls in.

I haven't tried this with the V4 longer Defensive Fire ranges, though.

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