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Jaeger Jonzo

Allied arty not represented well enough in cmbn?

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Forgive me if this has been brought up before, but has the response time to arty requests been delayed in later versions of Cmbn? Seems that way to me in the last few scenarios I have fought.

It's probably a scen designers choice but the allied arty never seems flexible, quick enough or plentiful enough in the majority of them. As a result, the poor tommies get outgunned and cut to bits in most fights as they have lost their natural strongest arm during ww2...the arty!

I read countless accounts of the fighting in Normandy via a constant flow of company, battalion/divisional accounts and they regularly praise the guns for being constantly on call and short request times, aka 2 minutes! They regularly had divisional assets assigned in addition to their own mortar units as well as extra batteries or group assets for any kind of advance as well as very heavy DF fire.

Yet in Cm I am constantly at a halt waiting for 10+ mins even with a Foo, upto 18mins if another officer calling it in. And the most support I get will be one battery of bigger guns or a couple of mortar batteries. There's never scope for proper battery barrages, creeping barrages etc. even on bigger set piece assaults.

Just seems a bit weak to me for this very important aspect. Without such great arty support I think the allied forces would have had many more tactical disasters befall them on the field.

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Arty response times without TRPs have never been as low as 2 minutes. Even with TRPs they're more usually 3 or more.

 

However, what you get handed to play with in a scenario is determined more by the narrative the scenario designer wants to create. It's not often considered fun to have "plentiful arty" just pulverise the enemy setup zone and then have the dogfaces mop up the shattered remnants. Or it's controlled in a QB for "balance" and "gameplay" reasons, similarly.

 

You can arrange a creeping barrage with TRPs and preplanned arty, and that's probably adequate; such fireplans were part of the preplanned use of guns, rather than created ad hoc and reactively.

 

But the fact remains: if you had historical "schwerpunkt" levels of arty in a CM game, the defending player at the CM scale pretty much might as well not turn up; it was the second lines that held, in the face of that sort of fire superiority, where overwhelming indirect fires couldn't be preplanned.

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I've concocted a couple 'demonstration battles' in my day to simulate the full might of a pre-planned corps artillery barrage on enemy positions. I can't say they were playable scenarios, just instructive to witness. A lot of CM players have a bit of a fetish for 'play balance' in the scenarios. Play balance goes out the window when half your on-map forces die in the opening barrage.

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It seems to me the problem is that you know where the opponent's exact "setup zone" is. You would rarely have such accurate information in a real life WW2 situation.

 

I often wonder about that myself.  Wonder how much empty terrain would be available or would friendly units be within site distance of each other (shoulder to shoulder) along the front.

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or would friendly units be within site distance of each other (shoulder to shoulder) along the front.

Nope, this wasn't WWI*. There were discrete defended localities, generally of company size, with the gaps in between covered by observation, fires, and patrols.

 

Jon

 

* even WWI wasn't "WWI", if you catch my drift. There wasn't one continuous trench from the Swiss border to the English Channel.

Edited by JonS

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It seems to me the problem is that you know where the opponent's exact "setup zone" is. You would rarely have such accurate information in a real life WW2 situation.

It's also that the attacker's setup zone is quite a lot smaller than necessary to be able to muster out of LOS of the enemy; it's all very well having an in media res setup where you start under fire from the enemy because part of the conceit of the story is that "something has gone wrong", but it's more conventional for the scenario to begin at the point "just before" the attacker exposes himself to enemy fires.

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Nope, this wasn't WWI*. There were discrete defended localities, generally of company size, with the gaps in between covered by observation, fires, and patrols.

 

Hmmm.  If that were true then it might be more interesting to play on huge maps ... to allow for more flexibility.  And have very large set up zones.  Allow more time for enroute stage.

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for the fighting in Normandy I wouldn't say you should know the enemys setup zones (and I always think its a bit poor to target them in a pbem unless your the attacker in a set-piece assault) but places like crossroads, towns or likely assembly areas were usually all pre-targeted before advances, as well as the expected enemy MLR. Most of the arguments presented here seem to be that the arty might wipe out half the other sides forces (unlikely in the terrain and if dug in well) but then is it right that you lose half your attacking forces as the enemy is not supressed or pre-bombarded enough to give you any chance of attacking success?  German forces are tough sods to break anyway and especially so if he's got full squads and MG/ATG/mortar nests all the time that are at full strength and no supression (something that was probably pretty rare in Normandy). The allies relied hugely on overwhelming firepower to make any kind of gain and it often tipped the balance for an offensive or defensive success.  I just find the allies paltry Arty assets un-realistic in the majority of scenarios, likewise lack of TRP's. But my real surprise (or maybe just bad luck with a recent few pbems) was the delays to any fireplans, as I don't remember them being that lengthy a while back....though my memory is rubbish ;-)

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