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I've been using a lot more artillery since you explained that modern FISTers strive to deliver first round FFOs. The idea of keeping a running plot of an up-to-date overlay ready to go makes perfect sense to me.

But after throwing 30 or 35 TRPs out on a huge map, it occurs to me to ask why a grid? Surely there's a more efficient form than a rectangle.

Dazzle us with your wisdom, FO, and we will lift your heavy **** for you.

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There is. Instead of just a grid all those TRPs go on buildings, hedgerows, clumps of forest, hills, likely fallback routes, and most of all... shrubbery. Damned dangerous stuff that shrubbery is. If your map looks like a teenagers acne ridden face you.re doing it right.

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"Are you suggesting coconuts migrate?"

I hear you.  Laying the TRPs out in a grid can be tedious, and depending on the size of the map, you may find it more beneficial/economical to have a higher concentration of them in likely avenues of approach, and locations where you want to hit isolated point targets.  Even when I lay a grid out on a map, I tend to ignore the map edges and any battlespace where I don't expect the enemy will go.  

The reason I use a grid is because I bring a lot of them (50+), and the spacing between them ends up being reasonable enough where if a target isn't close to 1 TRP, I can lay a linear or area barrage from 1 TRP to another, with options for attitutde as there are adjacent TRPs in each cardinal direction.  The enemy under these conditions has very few places where they can go to avoid persistent accurate fires.  I don't bring UAVs, so for me this is particularly important for area denial, and fire missions on suspected positions.

I think you'll notice the benefits of a grid, as opposed to paying more attention to particular spots, most tangibly against a clever human opponent that avoids the paths of least resistance, seeking safety in swamps other discreet locations that aren't typically arty magnets.  

It's all for the glory of The Queen though.  I get attached to my grunts, I don't like them getting killed.  If my infantry are being asked to fight under unreasonable conditions, it's because my artillery has failed them, and I know how they like a good gunfight that concludes with them moving completely through the enemy.  

Edited by TheForwardObserver

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Attitude?

[Jammer stuffs a finger up his nose, pulls it out and studies the results carefully.]

What has attitude got to do with it? Isn't your attitude The Spirit Of The Bayonet? At all times?

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It's true.  Before an FO gets to his infantry platoon he receives his copy of "my big little book of war poems" for reading aloud at night to his comrades as they sit in their foxholes, motionless, unable to read, smoking Gauloise cigarettes beneath the moonlight.  

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An FO who smoked under light discipline would be torn apart (silently) by his platoon.

I used to wonder what the FO was blathering on about at night in perimeters... Meeting you has been a most educational experience.

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Balderdash and hogwashery Jammer!  You know full well the infantry is the birthplace of the tactics techniques and procedures for stealthily breaking rules and amongst those masking cigarettes at night so as to not violate light discipline.  The three most important things I've picked up from prolonged over-exposure to the proles;  a tobacco habit, rock throwing, and how to make para-chord jewlery bracelets.  As Westmoreland famously quipped in his memoirs .. "give an infantryman a string and he will build you a highly complex... string."

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I was taught to mask smokes under a poncho. While that may date me, it also led to one of the funniest things I've ever seen, a lieutenant dancing around trying to get a burning nylon poncho off his back.

Edited by Jammersix

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I think he was trying to "bridge the gap" between officer and enlisted. It was all the rage in the early 70s. Although I've always wondered if one of those sneaky bastards in second squad invited him in, then lit the poncho on purpose.

Edited by Jammersix

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I personally bracket objective, bridge or suspicious looking shrubbery (leave the laurels alone please) with a square of 4 TRPs, with a tiny over-lap in the middle. 

This allows me to nabble approaching and retreating (from my glorious NATO TShirt wearing Ukrainians) enemy forces. 

When I have a chance I'm going to see if I can increase the size of the TRP in-game icon - it's vexing to use the fibre command to try and identify the edges of the TRP circle. Ideally the icon would be set transparent,  or just a circular border, and at the right radius (100m?). 

But it's doubtful - that would be a big,  fat inefficient BMP file to render.  

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FO you do have a good point. I do the same thing just with my system of likely targets. I still will place the odd trp somewere to effectively bridge a gap so i can "web" together trps with linear target lines in all sorts of directions. Another fav is doing an area target on the extreme edge of a trps effective radius and getting it to hit a blob thats more adjacent than arnd the trp by zooming the circle out as far as it goes and clicking on an empty spot on the other side of the trp (away from where im firing imagine 2 boobs with the trp being the valley tween em. Ill use area target to make the shape of the left breast and click on the edge of the right to effectively shell an area thats actually out of the trp zone. Only issue of course is bigger circle more rounds hitting what you dont want. Linear is my goto almost always)

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I fully support any measures which help provide fast and accurate supporting fires.  I don't lay my 'FIST grid' (really like that name by the way Jammer) down every game, but when I do, it's awesome.  If I'm recovering from a draw against my battle buddy I'll throw out all the stops.  In real time play (as in reality) anything that requires spotting rounds destroys the element of surprise, and instigates an exfil from non fixed-positions in the the target area.  Over the span of a 2 hour battle (or longer if we set up a game with the editor) this can mean loads of bad arty missions.  I think it was (actually) Machiavelli that wrote that no enterprise is better suited for success than one concealed from the enemy till the moment it is ripe for execution.  

Kino, question; At the top of the screen, there is a grey translucent band with red and green spotting markers. You don't happen to know if there is a .bmp associated with this band eh?  I know where the green and red markers files are, but not the band.  Also, when resizing things, are you doing trial and error and hitting limits, or are you able to freely re-size things?  I made loads of mods for FI, BN and BS without knowing how to get translucense into .bmps but I have photoshop as of last month and the right knowledge, so I'm re-working everything.  Also I don't know what shaders are, so if shaders are in the answers use small words and speak slowly, I have zero training on this stuff.  

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Re the band at top,  I'm not sure,  I think that's game engine, so it's probably hard-coded.  I dont believe there's a separate .bmp file for it.

I haven't had a chance yet to work on the TRP files (tomorrow evening). I'll post my results immediately. 

My first test will be to see how large does the engine allow me to make the TRP. Some image  files are simply anchored at one corner (eg the Pause,  Stop,  Evade buttons) where as others are strictly defined in size (eg the Front end map images). 

I Hope the size is not defined -  if it is limited strictly to two dimensions then game over. 

Also, I think the TRP is actually a 3D object, I'm not sure. It probably is though,  as it works with the in-game 3D terrain mesh. So,  it might have a defined 3D bounding box. I don't know much about 3D modelling,  so it would be a whole different ballgame to reduce that bounding box. 

Ideally, I hope to leave any 3D aspects alone and mess with the 2D BMPs associated with the TRP until I absolutely cannot but work on a 3D model. 

Sublime,  I'll never think of TRPs again in the same way. 

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TheForwardObserver,

Did I understand you to say you buy 50 or more TRPs for your battles? That's so astounding I briefly stopped breathing. Just how big are your battles? Are you playing on maximum map size? In the biggest battle I've played (Sublime may remember map dimensions), I believe I had 5 TRPs, but I also bought a lot of wire and mines since I was defending with a Tiny US Cav force containing only a platoon of dismounts.  And in an example I saw in FM 6-20 in the early 80s, there were, I recall, 4 TRPs in a diagram showing fire planning for a potential meeting engagement. It's certainly possible that current artillery targeting allows dozens of TRPs in, say, a battalion sized fight, but I'd think the artillery fire planners would gag if forced to handle so many. The TRP planning back then had to do with placing them on prominent terrain features, key approaches and the like, with them essentially strung along the axis of advance. Please explain how this stuff is handled now.

Regards,

John Kettler

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@John Kettler Good questions. Regarding the battle size, H2H RT Blue vs Blue.  2km by 2km maps minimally.  Both sides field no less than two full maneuver companies.  I've listed the full rules my battle buddy and I play by on the thread; javelin vs laser designator, page one, if you'd like more context.  

TRPs in real life and the impact of TRPs in-game are so different it's tough to even compare and contrast them as the same animal-- and as a result, prepare yourself for unavoidable verbosity;

On the molecular or philosophical level a TRP is just a symbol with information scrawled next to it about a given point in time and space.  Sitting idle in the hands of it's collector it is mostly relevant to him/her.  As an infantryman, staring into my sector, I can draw a sketch, marking the exact location of each shrub or tree, and give them names TRP JK0001 through JK9999.  That information can save me personally seconds or minutes. A sniper appears just behind JK0003 (a small bush, at 2300 mils, and 550 meters), without thinking I know where that sniper is relative to me in time and space; I can now change my sights, or provide to higher a grid of the enemy as necessary without performing hasty estimation or complex maths.  The quality of the TRP is based upon my equipment and the preparation and care I took in developing the information associated with that TRP.  Did I approximate the distance to the bush that I named JK0001 or did I lase the distance with a laser rangefinder.  Did I develop the grids associated with my TRPs using polar information without maps?  How were my azimuths acquired, did I double check them with maps, and with other soldiers?

That information, if accurate can be deadly, but when shared with your neighbors begins to form the basis of a plan, the building blocks of a collective consciousness whose relevance in space doesn't necessarily diminish in worth with time.  A German machine gunner's sector sketch and TRPs on Omaha beach would likely still retain information relevant to a gunner manning a bunker on Omaha today.  

The role of each graduating echelon will be to assemble these points in time in space and the associated targeting information, in the most relevant manner.  For example; A Brigade effects cell will work with it's partners to develop physical plans that incorporates targeting information from all subordinate units within the Brigade as well as information passed from adjacent units and higher commands, but it is not creating Private Snuffy's, or B COs, or 1st BTLN's plans or sector sketch and locally developed TRPs.    Private Snuffy may, at some point be made aware of TRPs assigned from higher, and he may choose to incorporate those into his own sketch, but how many of a brigade's TRPs will be neccessary to his plan?  Probably few.  Now his Platoon leader may carry maps and plans that have information from higher echelon's plans,  TRPs and other information, but he may also choose to incorporate some of Private Snuffy's information.  If he does, he must ask himself what the proper use of this information would be.  Should he pass this information to his support by fire position, in order that they incorporate the information into their own understanding of the plan, or should he call the mortar platoon HQ and provide them with this information, so that a fire mission can be devised and associated for the future, with this point in time and space.  Each course of action entails different responses from the units that information has been shared with and different degrees of coordination.  Giving this information to your support by fire team, may be as simple as saying, private, write this down.  Whereas the battalion mortars, via radio, may choose then to inform you that Private Snuffy's TRP is now called AR0005.  To initiate the relevant actions on Private Snuffy's TRP, you must refer to that point as AR0005.  The mortars renaming your information, is the acknowledgement that the information passed to them by you is being incorporated into their targeting database.

Which brings us to the question of volume of data;  In field artillery, the amount of targeting data that can be stored is extremely large, as it is stored on computers. The speed of support will not be affected negatively by the volume of information a system retains.  That information can be shared, passed, incorporated, standardized, etc, instantly between formations, via digital link or voice if necessary.  Existing targets can be modified through time, to retain relevance.  For example, AR0005 may have been an enemy bunker that was subsequently destroyed.  The old TRP does not necessarily cease to exist, or get deleted, but rather can be modified to create a new TRP with updated relevance reflecting the changes to that point in space through time, or left alone.  At the conclusion of an operation existing targeting data that is no longer relevant may be cleared from local machines and processed further elsewhere, allowing the circle of life to begin anew locally.

Now an FO will not have access to the volume of common TRPs that will be stored in the guts of the BFIST, or at BTLN or at Brigade, but he will be briefed on existing pertinent targeting information, and will be in contact with his supporting units, and therefore be capable of generating TRPs which can be quickly made common.  For example, an FO behaving properly, and not being assigned parallel tasks, while moving, will be constantly updating a running list of information, coordinates, azimuths etc, based upon the information he can acquire and surmise about his environment and the equipment available to him/her.  Likewise, a Company FSO not tasked out elsewhere will be doing the same, on a macro level with information provided by the line Observers.  Good practices involve constantly updating supporting units with your location, to avoid the need for sweeping changes to the guns which would slow down response times.  The need for this level of coordination may diminish based upon the circumstances of the unit's mission.  Under "meeting engagement" circumstances, against a proper army, the need to conduct yourself with this level of discipline would be greater than against insurgents or militias.  If the Artillery battery is assigned to the maneuver unit in a direct support capacity, they have no responsibility to any unit but you, and their effects will greatly depend on how well informed you keep them.  Over the past 15 years the most common form of artillery support people will have dealt with is General Support, where a battery has responsibility to multiple units, and coordination under those circumstances begins often at the point of need, rather than well before, as is seen when a direct support relationship exists.  But we are talking about Black Sea, not Iraq or Afghanistan.

My use of TRPs in-game is in the pursuit of first round FFE, which is possible without guided or smart munitions, and indeed in some units demanded.  To achieve this, three elements are needed;  The guns must be accurately self located, the circumstances of the weather must be known and accounted for, and the grid of the target location must be accurate.  When this triad is not satisfied, the need for the adjustment of fire, or spotting rounds becomes necessary.  The figure most responsible for this triad not being satisfied will ALWAYS be the Observer, regardless of what that Observer believes.  Of all points a commander reading this could take, this would be the most important.

Does the Observer at platoon level have the equipment or knowledge to deliver first round FFE every time in a modern army?  He certainly does have the equipment, if he lacks anything it will be the training and experience, but platoon FOs are not always Sergeants either or in a two man team.  Often a platoon level FO will be a PFC or SPC, acting as both Observer and Radio Operator, as were the circumstances on my first deployment.  The inherent lack of experience you might find with a PFC or SPC means an increase in the likelihood that a lack of confidence in there target grids will necessitate spotting rounds, rather than first round fire for effect.  That means that at the point of contact the Observer will submit a request for an Adjust Fire mission, instead of making his initial request FFE.  Contrary to the way the game depicts the adjustment of fire, namely as a method of moving an FFE to another location, the adjustment of fire is actually a specific fire mission request, where spotting rounds will be fired and adjustments passed until the target can be properly engaged.  There are mathematical formulas for the adjustment of spotting rounds, taught to ensure the least number of rounds are required.  Stories of the adjustment of fire gone bad rest squarely upon the Observer, and most often is the result of the Observer submitting a faulty azimuth to the target (OT Direction), and never correcting this mistake.  With a bad OT direction, all subsequent adjustments to correct spotting rounds are invalid as they relate to the Observer's perspective.  You will see erratic behavior in the falling of the spotting rounds under these conditions.  

In short, TRPs in-game, and TRPs in reality, are apples to oranges.  Apologies for spelling and grammar, sometimes rather than proofread, I just let the thoughts flow, hit submit and let the cards fall where they may.  
  

 




 

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Sexual innuendo, left-field humour, and solid, interesting & real-world technical info; this thread just keeps on deliverin!

I think the closest I've come to a FIST grid was using 9 TRP's in an urban PBEM meeting engagement; those babies allowed me to pretty much use my arty as sniper rounds; dropping tight 3 round bursts with zero warning (from 3 guns) every time that most thoroughly interdicted my opponents efforts, and incapacitated a significant number of his AFV's. Back then, I almost felt like I was cheating.... Now - I will continue with such practices!

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Private Snuffy is never taught any of that.

In the U.S., Private Snuffy is taught one of two things: "mark center sector", which only works if 1) the center of the sector isn't occupied by friendly forces, and 2) Private Snuffy can actually see the center of the sector. If the center of the sector is occupied by friendly troops, in theory, the artillery won't deliver a spotting round. It takes quite a while (say, three minutes, maybe four) for the battery to receive Private Snuffy's call for fire, work out which sector he's asking for, work out that there are friendly forces in that sector, work out that the center of the sector can't be fired on, confirm all of it, ask the battery commander for a denial and finally deny the mission.

The other way that Private Snuffy is taught is a bearing to the target and an estimation of the range. This method has to go up through platoon and company, with both those echelons verifying both Private Snuffy's position and that no friendly forces are present at the other end of Private Snuffy's bearing and range. That takes even longer, and is subject to more error at each echelon.

The bottom line is that Private Snuffy (in the U.S.) doesn't spend any time working out TRPs. A range card is about as far as I would ever have gone, but range cards are estimates, unless you go out and wander around downrange. And no one I knew ever left a perimeter to walk around and draw a range card.

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@Jammersix  Now who is undermining the infantry!  I will give you that I may have painted a picture of Pvt Snuffy as an above average output soldier, but Pretend for a moment that Private Snuffy has been renamed Strategic Corporal, and is serving in a modern army in the age of GPS, instant messaging, rugged tablets, prolific laser range finders that provide distance and azimuth, and operating in a world that has been well mapped and fought over for centuries, maybe longer.   

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Oh, you mean my grandson.

I served in an army that issued one map and compass to each squad leader. Private Snuffy didn't really need to know how to make a call for fire because there was only one radio per squad, too.

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@Jammersix Now you bring up a good point, and it is one of language.  One of the reasons this topic is difficult to negotiate, is language.  Talking about lots of different things and the only common denominator is that everyone is aware of what a TRP in game does.  The range cards you used when the dinosaurs roamed, did they resemble this one, with TRPs marked?  
range card.png

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