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"Fire combat and making table top simulation more real" Topic


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Aldroud20 Mar 2021 2:19 p.m. PST

I've been knocking around ideas for how to make modern combat simulations a bit more realistic. Here's my idea for how fire combat should go.

As with many game systems nowadays, troop quality is more important than the particular weapon system – in general. Each level of quality gets a special dice. Here's a twist, the better the troop quality, the smaller the fire dice. So elite warriors get a d4, trained get a d6, and untrained get a d8.

The attacking player rolls a number of appropriate dice corresponding to the firepower of his unit. A 1 results in a "knockdown" of an opponent's unit. A 2 or 3 results in a "flinch".

Neither figures knocked down nor flinched can activate on the opposing players round unless one of two things happen.

For knocked down figures, they cannot return to action until checked by another figure or unit. Here's where body armor comes into play. No body armor rates a d4, flack jacked a d6, modern level IV body armor a d8. The owning payer rolls the appropriate die for each figure. On a 1 or 2, that figure is removed from play. On a 3, that figure is considered wounded and unable to contribute to the unit and becomes a hinderance. A 4 or better, the figure is returned to play.

For flinched figures, in order to return them to play, the owning player must have each pass an individual morale check. This morale check is modified by several factors – if half or more of the unit is currently flinched or knocked down, if the fire is coming from the rear 180 degrees of the unit facing, proximity of leadership, and type of cover.

Let's talk about automatic weapons and all the fun one can have with belt fed, air cooled. When a unit is in position and in support by fire mode, the unit designates a direction of fire. If an opposing unit passes through the direction of fire of an automatic weapon, EVERY model in the unit gets fired upon. Flinched models remain at their start point. Knocked down models remain at the half way point of travel. The rest arrive at their destination. Think a squad dashing across the street.

That's what I have so far.

79thPA Supporting Member of TMP20 Mar 2021 2:28 p.m. PST

I don't know why a knocked down figure would need someone else to check on them.

olicana20 Mar 2021 3:07 p.m. PST

Piquet uses dice of differing sizes. You might consider the Piquet system of modifiers and opposed dice.

Modifiers: changes dice size rather than adding subtracting to it. A D6 modified up 2 becomes a D10 (two die bigger), a D12 modified down 3 becomes a D6 (three die smaller). No die is ever reduced below D4, positive additions never take a die above D12 but add to the result – e.g. A D10 modified up 3
becomes D12+2, but the result cannot be greater than 12 because that is the die you are throwing.

Opposed dice: That is, when resolving combat both sides roll their dice, the result is compared and the positive difference (if there is one) determines the effect.

Just a thought.

Oberlindes Sol LIC Supporting Member of TMP20 Mar 2021 3:34 p.m. PST

It's a bit of an inverse of StarGrunt, and without opposed dice rolls.

Aldroud20 Mar 2021 4:16 p.m. PST

I kicked around the idea of opposed rolls, but trying to account for all variables would get tedious. There are two basic rules of modern war.
1-If you can see it, you can hit it
2-If you can hit it, you can kill it

As for why models can't self check. Call it a game mechanic. Honestly, though, it doesn't matter how good the body armor is. You take a 7.62 to the chest, even if the plate holds, you're going to be on your ass gasping for breath.

Played Star Grunt years ago. One of my favorite systems. I thought it could use some improvement.

Wolfhag20 Mar 2021 4:32 p.m. PST

I don't know why a knocked down figure would need someone else to check on them.

To see if you have a sucking chest wound or are bleeding out and take your ammo if you won't be needing it any longer.

Wolfhag

Col Durnford20 Mar 2021 6:10 p.m. PST

I believe it is to keep the players off guard. Is the figure actually wounded or only hugging the ground until he knows he is not alone.

I actually like the aspect that you don't know until someone checks.

One of my personal favorite rules with that unknown factor is One Hour Skirmish. It is card based and you can draw extra cards for a figure depending on the situation (in cover, rapid fire weapon, and such).

My one house rules allow one custom card deck per side. The test action involved 3 sticks of Rhodesia Light Infantry (ace thru 10) vs. about 50 ZANLA terrs (ace thru 6). The outcome over dozens of games was quite historical with ZANLA being able to claim victory if they ever took out more than 2 RLI.

Just Jack Supporting Member of TMP20 Mar 2021 6:44 p.m. PST

Your 'flinch' and 'knocked down' concepts are almost straight out of the Five Men in Normandy/Five Men at Kursk rules. I've played hundreds of games using them and they work very well, in my opinion.

I really like your troop quality concept of using different dice and going 'down' in die type in order to 'shrink' the first and last, that's very clever.

V/R,
Jack

Aldroud20 Mar 2021 7:22 p.m. PST

Never heard of Five Men. I will be sure to check it out. Thanks!

79thPA Supporting Member of TMP20 Mar 2021 8:22 p.m. PST

But the figure is going to have a sucking chest wound whether someone checks on him or not. If he is out of the fight, he us out of the fight. If he is not, he is not. Another figure is not going to have any impact on that.

UshCha21 Mar 2021 1:30 a.m. PST

To be honest this looks like putting the cart before the horse. You seem to be setting the mechanism before deciding on the answer you want. I suggest you go back to square one and set out in detail exactly what you want to happen and the ideal proabilities. Then look at what mechanism gets to there in the least amount of time wasting.

I would suggest you read some infantry manuals. If you are going for simulation they have approprate terms. Suppression, is the real term and has a proper description, the reluctance to return fire. Your checking fallen comrades does not seem to fall into a real situation. Certainly troops were told to ignore fallen comrades, they had folk to go out to them most certainly in an attack, so that seems to be a bit uneccessary for realism.

As to swapping die, Stargrunt 2 had that but in the end it just became tedious and in some ways seemed very limiting.

The fewer die rolls and certainly only one type keeps the game moving much faster and the table clear of clutter. Personnaly we use a D20 as if its simple 1 die roll can replace 2 say D6 and so make everthing quicker.

Andy ONeill21 Mar 2021 6:59 a.m. PST

I modified sg2 for ww2.
Dice shifting, opposed rolls, suppression effects and quality based range bands are great mechanisms.

My version plays quickly enough imo. At one stage i considered deferring resolution of casualties from shooting. You don't need to know if anyone was hit until you try and do something like remove suppression.

Wolfhag21 Mar 2021 7:59 a.m. PST

But the figure is going to have a sucking chest wound whether someone checks on him or not. If he is out of the fight, he us out of the fight. If he is not, he is not. Another figure is not going to have any impact on that.

You can't change what happened but you can apply first aid and get him to a Causality Collection Point to save his life.

When one of your buddies is hit people will shout "Man down" so someone that may not be engaged can check his status. Normally you would not need to go check him out if he's just taking cover or hunkering down.

If you have a 6 man unit with no Corpsman and two are wounded (arterial bleeding, chest puncture, gutshot, bone shattered, etc) you are going to have 2 more non-WIA attempting to stabilize them by applying tourniquets, bandages, coagulating agents, etc. You can bleed out from arterial bleeding in minutes or go into shock and die later. Applying a tourniquet may stabilize you and save your life. The new coagulating agents are lifesavers too.

A rule where when a guy is hit someone must go to check him out and then roll the dice to determine how serious he is would work for me.

Most of the time getting hit in the body armor by a 7.62 will slow you down or knock you down but I know guys hit almost point-blank in the SAPI chest plate that were just stunned for a moment.

His rule does make combat "a bit more realistic". Which at the level Aldroud seems to playing would matter.

I use a hit can be NE, light (walking wounded not life-threatening, WIA (needs to be evacuated). A Corpsman has a chance to change a WIA to a Light or stabilize a WIA. A WIA needs to be evacuated or may die. It's "realistic" to care for your guys and attempt to keep them alive.

There are numerous accounts of guys carrying their wounded buddies to safety while under fire. I think recreating that in a squad or platoon-sized game would make things very interesting.

WIA's in combat are important parts of friction that can slow a unit down without suffering any KIA's. In large engagements, you probably would not go to that level of detail.

Wolfhag

Legion 421 Mar 2021 9:13 a.m. PST

It comes down to IMO, with gaming. You are either WIA enough to no longer be able to fight, etc. Or the wound(s) are not serious enough/you are one tough Bleeped text to Not stop you from fighting unimpaired.

K.I.S.S.

To be honest this looks like putting the cart before the horse. You seem to be setting the mechanism before deciding on the answer you want. I suggest you go back to square one and set out in detail exactly what you want to happen and the ideal proabilities. Then look at what mechanism gets to there in the least amount of time wasting.

I would suggest you read some infantry manuals. If you are going for simulation they have approprate terms. Suppression, is the real term and has a proper description, the reluctance to return fire. Your checking fallen comrades does not seem to fall into a real situation. Certainly troops were told to ignore fallen comrades, they had folk to go out to them most certainly in an attack, so that seems to be a bit uneccessary for realism.

BINGO !!!! K.I.S.S. again …

BTW, I was an Infantry Officer for 10+ years.'79-'90 and medevac'd guys with holes in them a few times.

Again K.I.S.S.

Aldroud21 Mar 2021 9:18 a.m. PST

I would suggest you read some infantry manuals. If you are going for simulation they have approprate terms. Suppression, is the real term and has a proper description, the reluctance to return fire.

Sorry, I'm a little amused. Thirteen years experience as an Infantry officer, seven years in the Middle East, and 25+ years working in the defense community. I've read a manual or two.

I'm trying to avoid using terms that have been, in my opinion, well over used. Suppressed being one of them. Suppression is an effect. In small unit tactics, it occurs when the members of a unit are no longer able to able to freely maneuver or engage in effective fire. Hence the "flinch" effect.

As for why someone down needs to be checked, I wanted to get away from the "roll to hit", "roll to wound", "roll to save" dynamic. As I said earlier, if you can see it, you can hit it. If you can hit it, you can kill it. And I personally know folks smacked with 7.62 in the chest who (eventually) walked away. Neither of whom I'd have called combat effective for a few minutes after being knocked down.

Legion 421 Mar 2021 9:27 a.m. PST

Well in that case … you may not want to K.I.S.S. … I've found it useful to let some know your "pedigree", pre se. So it's "easier" to answer a question or comment knowing where your starting point is/your experience, etc.

Plus something as we know when gaming, we have to look at how long a turn is, game scale etc. E.g. We game with the smallest unit is a 3-5 Fire Tm vs. e.g. one figure is one soldier, etc.

The old SPI game "Sniper" vs. AH's "Squad Leader", both interesting, etc., but different unit sizes, etc. … e.g. one troop vs a Fire Tm, etc.

Thank you for your service too ! 👍👍

45thdiv Supporting Member of TMP21 Mar 2021 10:23 a.m. PST

Force on Force has something similar to your different dice for training.

79thPA Supporting Member of TMP21 Mar 2021 12:12 p.m. PST

Aldroud, I don't want to get into a peeing contest with you, but your mechanism is simply the opposite of realistic.

Say I have a 3 man team and they are all knocked down on turn 1. All of these men will lay down -- neither dead nor alive -- for the entire game unless another soldier stops by to tell them they are dead, or that they are actually ok, and they can return to the fight. Is that correct?

Wolfhag21 Mar 2021 2:26 p.m. PST

Aldroud,
I like your description of suppression except that technically (according to the experts) suppression is not an absolute. Suppression "degrades" a unit's ability to shoot, move, observe, and communicate. They might be spending more time ducking than shooting but they may still be shooting or they could be completely hunkered down and not shooting back. How you want to represent it in your game is up to you.

I'm not sure if the term "flinch" describes it best for me. It seems like it describes a certain level of being lightly incapacitated to being dead. Sometimes you can tell just by looking at the guy as it can be very messy or he could be calling out for help or saying he's OK too but that's a whole level of additional detail but the use of cards could cover all of the situations without a die roll.

When a guy goes down a card could be drawn describing what the closest person observes. It could be definitely dead, no movement (unconscious, serious wound or dead – needs to be checked), rolling around (dazed or lightly wounded), serious or light wound definitely in pain and yelling for a Corpsman, etc. You may or may not send a guy to help.

79thPA does bring up a good point. A lightly wounded person could continue with the unit for a period of time, including his momentum carrying him across the street. If knocked down a person could revive himself in seconds or minutes. But if the rule reflects only people hit bad enough to go down it works for me. It would also allow the "flinched" person to be carried to safety which is absolutely realistic.

Wolfhag

Zephyr121 Mar 2021 2:58 p.m. PST

Well, not trying to be nitpicky, but… "flinch" means to wince or recoil from something (like from pain.) An out-of-play (incapacitated) figure hardly seems to be "flinching".
I'd suggest a different term, such as "checked" (as in stopped or delayed.) Just a thought… ;-)

UshCha22 Mar 2021 2:22 a.m. PST

Zephyt1=1. Obviously it a personal thing but using the military term speeds understanding. If you do use a term such as Flinch you then need to define it as being effectively a suppression, perhaps wil bells on. This to me increases the complexity of the system to anyone interested in understanding what is being modelled compared to the real world which is your declared aim. Now I agree in some cases it is unavoidable but I doo think where possible KISS is the best strategy.

Just Jack Supporting Member of TMP22 Mar 2021 8:40 a.m. PST

My experience was that sometimes there are men who get hit and are unable or unwilling to get back into the fight unless and until someone else comes over and assists them in getting back in the fight.

Hell, sometimes there are men that WEREN'T hit and are unable or unwilling to get back into the fight unless and until someone else comes over and assists them in getting back in the fight.

With that in mind, and hopefully moving closer towards Aldroud's objective, I really recommend 5 Men at Kursk. I think if you strip away the clutter and add in your ideas on troop quality it will probably get you right where you want to be.

At its heart is an activation system that constricts what you're able to do but always allows you to do something, and it's very dynamic, with troops in good order able to act and react in each turn. The results of taking fire tie directly into that, where the possible outcomes are:

-no effect
-pinned (may fire when active but not move, may not react, penalty in close combat)
-suppressed (may attempt self rally when active but not shoot or move, may not react, heavy penalty in close combat)
-man down (may not act or react until a comrade moves into base contact, at which time a dice roll is made, the possibilities being: okay, remain down, or out of fight. Severe penalty in close combat.
-out of fight

V/R,
Jack

79thPA Supporting Member of TMP22 Mar 2021 8:53 a.m. PST

Just Jack, I get what you are saying, but I consider that to be more of a morale issue than a "we don't know what's gonna happen until someone checks on him" issue. As you note, there is a better and cleaner way to randomly determine effect. As you describe, the trooper has a personal morale failure, so sgt. rallies him and gets him back into the fight.

Legion 422 Mar 2021 9:26 a.m. PST

When it comes to gaming … always do what what works for you … not me or others …


Now I agree in some cases it is unavoidable but I doo think where possible KISS is the best strategy.
As I have said before. Sometimes you can only get so complex before it becomes ungainly.

Wolfhag22 Mar 2021 9:57 a.m. PST

I think what Jack's talking about is the duties a Squad Leader performs while in combat and a firefight. He defines the zone of fire for each team, points out priority targets, shifts fire, ensures the proper rate of fire needed, and makes sure everyone is participating. That means hands-on supervision and not taking part in the shooting unless he really needs to.

The Squad Leader may be the first guy to notice someone not doing their job or who is hit. A Rifleman may shout "Johnson is down" and the Squad Leader goes to Johnson to check him out or someone may shout "Corpsman" if it's evident the guy is hit and the Corpsman/Squad Leader may respond. The first thing would be to drag him out of the LOS of the enemy.

I think Aldroud's idea is valid. How you determine what is going on with the individual will depend on game mechanics, personal taste, and how he wants to portray it within the rest of the game. I like it because it reflects how a squad would react to one of their mates being hit. Ensuring everyone makes it out alive is the main objective of the Squad Leader and he'll make the sacrifice to ensure it happens. That factor seems to be missing in most games.

Wolfhag

Just Jack Supporting Member of TMP22 Mar 2021 12:17 p.m. PST

79th – I think we're probably pretty close on this, but rather than "we don't know what's gonna happen until someone checks on him," it's "we don't know what happened until someone checks on him."

Legion – Indeed. Somewhere here on TMP you can find where I once had the gall to say we can never make a set of realistic wargame rules, and furthermore there is no ground truth to the matter, that we are only building rules mechanisms that support our own biases and desires. Even those of us that have done it, or maybe especially those of us who have done it ;)

Wolf – I am definitely a fan of what I call ‘perspective-based gaming,' I.e., the player only having the info available, and making the level of decisions, appropriate to that level of command. It's never 100% possible, but it's my desire and I do my best to take that approach.

V/R,
Jack

Wolfhag22 Mar 2021 2:34 p.m. PST

Jack,
Good comments. Regarding war game rules: Reality sucks!

Why? Because most players would be intimidated by so many of the unknowns on the battlefield and unable to carry out real tactics. They'd take forever to make a decision and combat would not be "bloody" enough. It seems players are expecting the losing side to take 60%+ causalities. A tactical withdraw to draw the enemy into an ambush is rarely portrayed. Real battles are not "balanced", try fighting outnumbered 3+ to 1.

Maybe someday before I die technology (nanotechnology, 3D printing, augmented reality, and Bluetooth) will enable us to portray the fog of war, uncertainties, and hidden movement on tabletop games without needing an umpire.

In my game, certain units will have blind spots not able to detect enemy units and at certain times a unit can make a "6th Sense Check" (go with your gut feeling) to potentially detect a nearby unit that is not in his LOS or concealed. Units have standing orders and objectives they'll attempt to carry out unless interrupted by the enemy or changed by command. Players can't just move around wherever they want.

I'm also working on some playable/abstracted Recon by Fire rules because it was so often used by the Allies and gives Sherman tanks a historical edge they don't have in other games.

Your Marine VN campaign really puts you there in the "nitty-gritty" persepctive.

Good discussion.

Wolfhag

Legion 422 Mar 2021 4:18 p.m. PST

Legion – Indeed. Somewhere here on TMP you can find where I once had the gall to say we can never make a set of realistic wargame rules, and furthermore there is no ground truth to the matter, that we are only building rules mechanisms that support our own biases and desires. Even those of us that have done it, or maybe especially those of us who have done it ;)
👍👍

Just Jack Supporting Member of TMP24 Mar 2021 9:05 a.m. PST

"Reality sucks!"
Indeed it does, and modeling it sucks even more. I liken it to baseball: an all-star hitter steps to the plate, but strikes out. Why did that happen? Was it a lack of his skills? Was it an abundance of skill on the part of the pitcher? Was it the pitch type, or the combination of pitches, or those combined with the situation (outs, runners on base), and/or what the coach was asking him to do? Was it a lack of focus because he wasn't hydrated, or didn't eat enough prior to the game, or ate too much, or maybe his mind was preoccupied with a family issue, or contract negotiations, or thinking about the next game? Maybe the pitcher isn't normally that great, but today he's really got his best stuff? But why did that happen?

So there is a million things to take into account, but the easiest thing is to abstract it out by saying the batter has a lifetime .300 average and the pitcher has a lifetime 3.00 ERA, assign those ratings, and roll dice. We do our best, but my feeling is that we can never replicate the fear, the stress, the hesitancy that comes with not knowing what's out there. I think that without that… feeling (?) you can't really get into what it's like to lead troops, so I think your concepts for dealing with that are cool and hope they come to fruition as technology advances. The issue there is, computer games are already able to do this, but we're still missing the fear and tension of loss.

My Vietnam campaign is fun, and I throw in plenty of ‘background' to (hopefully) make it seem somewhat realistic, but I have no better idea on how to handle the issues outlined above better than anyone else, I'm just putting the troops on an arbitrary path until the enemy decides to make an appearance at an arbitrary time and location (as determined by card draws). It's as good as it gets for me, and in plenty of other games I ignore the issue altogether by starting the game once the first rounds have already been fired, or just setting everybody up on the table and having at it (I.e., everyone is already spotted) in a good old-fashioned toy soldier manner ;)

Regarding recon by fire, it's always an interesting wargame concept. On the one hand, it can be very effective when judiciously used, but on the other hand, it's a big world out there and you don't have ammo to shoot up every potential enemy position.

In any case, unfortunately it looks like we've succeeded in driving off the OP ;)

V/R,
Jack

Aldroud27 Mar 2021 6:37 a.m. PST

Hey all, sorry for the radio silence. Being a cog in the military-industrial complex sometimes means little free time to contemplate the more important things in life.

79thPA – no worries, I didn't think it was being peeing contest. What I'm hearing from you is there needs to be a function for a unit that is entirely knocked down to be able to auto re-generate. Okay, I get that. Perhaps the next full round, units that have been completely knocked down conduct a self-check and continue appropriately.

So the flinch vs suppression thing. Suppression is an effect on the unit whereas flinch is aimed at individuals. Assume a nine-man squad takes fire. Five individuals are flinching. The squad's effectiveness is reduced because they're not going to be contributing in the next round. The squad is effectively suppressed.

Why am I asking for check on knocked down models to determine their status? In my mind, a turn of fire combat is almost simultaneous, taking only a few tens of seconds in real time. You combat vets here will understand when I say bullet time is both incredibly fast and seems like everything is slowed down at the same time. So when someone's knocked down they enter a Schrödinger's Cat status for a few seconds. Some can be grabbed by their harness and hauled back up to get back in the fight, some are laid out for eternity.

Terminology wise, I'm just sick of every game system having Roll to Hit, Roll to Wound, Saving Throw. A bullet smacking into the sandbag next to your face will make you momentarily duck and remove you from combat for a few. A bullet into your chest is going to knock you down. Whether you get back up is a function of luck and body armor.

Wolfhag27 Mar 2021 8:52 a.m. PST

Aldroud,
Is this what you mean by a "flinch"?

It looks as if he's flinching to me.

I check on the results of a firefight every 10 second turn too which gives simultaneous fire determined by the "volume" of fire from a unit, not rolling to hit by each individual. So with a 5 man team each member has a 20% chance to hit I can determine how many causalities are generated with one die roll, not 5.

With a simultaneous fire system and no activations or initiative die rolls you can fit in a lot of action and get to the real results quickly.

Wolfhag

Aldroud27 Mar 2021 11:27 a.m. PST

Precisely!

Great depiction

Legion 427 Mar 2021 4:35 p.m. PST

"That was a close one !" … 😨

Last Hussar12 Apr 2021 2:12 p.m. PST

I'm in agreement rules are like scenarios; there's no such thing as an historically accurate one!

I'm in favour of the 'black box' approach; the player doesn't need to know the mechanics, just the 'feel' of the result should be right. If they mimic what we see in history (though that can be relative!) then the 'box' works.

As to the multiple dice, its a pain. I'm in the few as possible camp, but a certain level of detail is needed. Plus its the feel of the game as a player.

In Blood Sweat and Tears I added a roll for the first, because the purely mathematical Fire Points felt wrong as a player – "at range x, y FP are marked". The difference is minor. 6 dice give an average of 7, but that variability "feels" better. It also allowed a place for all the modifiers, simplifying the "delayed resolution"

Cover modifiers are applied to the modified number of FP.

FP are resolved only when the base activates. The to hit number is fixed (depending on declared action), just roll 1d per Fire Point, and all Hits are rerolled for result. Again no modifiers on these – a roll of 4 is always a suppress.

Even 24 FP are resolved very quickly, mainly because nobody orders anything other than Hunker Down (to hit of 6) if a base has more than about 4 or 5 FP on it, so its easy to pick out the hits.

UshCha14 Apr 2021 12:04 p.m. PST

Recon by fire is an interesting one. I think it's in the book Tank commander a book about his time as a Sherman Co commander. He goes from using recon by fire to not using it and then using it again. Some of his reasoning is given but not all.

Quality of troops on the receiving end may in my opinion be an issue. Well trained troops my be less likely to betray themselves with little hope of a positive outcome. In the end it may be about the effect on the shooter irrespective of its actual effect. One serving soldier not in the US forces noted it was a good way of keeping guys on their feet who otherwise may be ducking, irrespective of its effect on the enemy.

Legion 414 Apr 2021 7:37 p.m. PST

Recon by fire you are basically firing blind per se. But sometimes you may hit something or cause something to move, etc.

Blutarski14 Apr 2021 8:09 p.m. PST

My understanding of "recon by fire" is that, in general, it was conducted by MG fire which, rather then being indiscriminately sprayed about the landscape, was directed upon positions/areas – a building, a copse of woods, etc – that might pose a threat to the tank(s) if occupied by the enemy (hard to see infantry or AT gun for example).

Thinking about it, the value of this sort of fire tactic is that any enemy occupant was forced to decide upon a response, since he could not know whether or not they had actually been detected:

Case 1 – Those tanks don't really see us, they are just guessing.

Case 2 – Those tanks have spotted us, the MG fire is marking us for a couple of HE shells coming at us very shortly.

The enemy therefore have two choices:
either hide, which implies a form of "self-suppression"; or reveal themselves by opening fire (perhaps prematurely), which will definitely reveal them and earn them a immediate counter-fire fire.

In terms of game mechanics, recon fire by fire should arguably require any hidden enemy under such fire to randomly determine their reaction or test to see if they disobey a standing order.

FWIW,

B

UshCha15 Apr 2021 12:09 a.m. PST

Bultarski I agree with your definition except in tank commander, he was in Normadie, he said they sprayed the hedge in front for 15 minutes, I assume this was an exaggeration for dramatic effect or very intermittent fire. So finely balanced is it for the benefit of the at takers or the detriment of the defenders.

In our researches for moderns there was much made of Sagger guided missile drill, shooting back and swerving at the last minute. In practice it had minimal to no effect. What was effective was standard combined arms drill. Again it was proably more of a phycological prop than an effective measure.

Legion 415 Apr 2021 11:49 a.m. PST

sprayed about the landscape, was directed upon positions/areas – a building, a copse of woods, etc
Yes, that is a given. You would fire at likely/possible enemy positions/locations. Otherwise you really are just wasting MG ammo.

In our researches for moderns there was much made of Sagger guided missile drill, shooting back and swerving at the last minute.
"Sagger Watch", the IDF really started using this, but others adopted it in some cases.

I.e. At least one of AFVs in your Plt would be on Sagger Watch. When the firing signature of the Sagger(s) was observed, MGs etc. would start firing on the signature(s) location(s). Hoping to cause the Sagger Gunner to flinch and the missile is then no longer on target. May ground out, etc.

And at the same time the AFVs would zig-zig, etc., to make them harder to hit.

Wolfhag16 Apr 2021 8:58 a.m. PST

I'd agree with Blutarski. If under fire you are going to do something, normally at least hit the deck or already on the deck hunker down.

When tracers are hitting something solid they'll ricochet and potentially identify an anti-tank gun or armored vehicle that the rest of the unit can gang up on with HE, WP or smoke. At 500 yards or less small arms AP round starts to penetrate armored shields on guns and lightly armored tank destroyers and .50cal AP out to about 1000 yards.

When you recon fire into a position it's going to be hard to tell the results. The shooter may not see a result but if an enemy unit was under fire they may have withdrawn without being noticed. The Japs always probed and recon by fire Marine positions at night to get the LMG's to shoot and locate their position.

Recon vehicles used this tactic often with a radio vehicle observing and ideally with an arty/mortar battery ready to fire if an enemy unit gives away his position. They might also have a light vehicle equipped with a 75mm howitzer to take care of enemy units spotted.

Firing on the move and recon by fire would definitely make the attackers feel more aggressive and safe.

According to the US Army TRADOC on the Swatter and Sagger it had at best a 66% chance to hit an M60 fully exposed moving at 12 mph and 31% stationery hull down. If you want to start on the topic on that I'd be glad to discuss it further as It seems to me a combination of MG fire, HE, WP, Smoke and Beehive rounds from a tank platoon in Sagger Overwatch would be effective. Targets can have 10-20 seconds to react and move up to 100m before the missile reaches them.
PDF link

Wolfhag

Aldroud16 Apr 2021 1:15 p.m. PST

That's some fascinating information. I recall back in my enlisted days our Dragon gunners were practicing popping smoke after launch

Zephyr116 Apr 2021 2:50 p.m. PST

I like the artwork in that pdf… ;-)

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