Jump to content

Recommended Posts

I'm curious to know what people like to bring for fire support against the computer and against humans, why you bring it, how you use it,  what effects you expect to achieve, what are all the factors you consider in making your choices, SOPs.

IRL one of the chief responsibilities of a FISTER is advising on the capabilities and limitations of fire support as it relates to a particular mission, and it's always interesting to learn folks' expectations.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I use artillery for three main missions: obscuring vision (smoke), destruction of infantry who are too stupid to be in a building, (airburst) and destruction of specific buildings (155 point attack, general).

I use any indirect fire for smoke or infantry, and 155s to destroy buildings.

I almost never plan any artillery strikes before the game starts, and I never plan airstrikes before the game starts.

Given contact from an enemy in anything but a building, I call in smoke and airburst from different tubes, given infantry in a building, I call in smoke from any tube and a general, point attack from a 155 on the building. If possible, I limit all indirect fire to either a point, a short line or a very small area, and I hit the same target with a mortar, a smoke mission and a 155 mission.

The mortar hits first, and serves to make them re-evaluate their decision to fire at me, then the smoke hits and makes it hard for them to shoot at me, and finally the 155 comes in to kill them. A mortar that fires in 30 or 40 seconds changes everything, instantly.

I call in indirect fire first, because when the clock is running, time is on my side. Artillery missions can always be cancelled.

I bring all indirect fire in platoons. It's better to have two platoons of 155s rather than one battery, because they can target different places or types of missions at the same time. And you can still stack them up if you really need to. I buy mortars in platoons because a section always seems anemic to me.

81s and 120s don't kill AFVs very often, although it does happen. But not often enough for it to be a tactic. Generally speaking, I use all mortars either as smoke tubes or against infantry. 155s on general will kill anything up to and including T-72s. Everything except Javelins and M1A2s struggle against T-90s, not even smoke is very effective.

I make a specific decision when buying forces: direct fire or indirect fire. It's on the checklist. If I go with direct fire, I cut all FOs and FIST vehicles out to spend the money other places. If I go indirect, I make sure my indirect fire is effective indirect fire. ("Effective" being defined as fast enough to matter, big enough and numerous enough to hurt and accurate enough to hit.) Elite FISTers, elite batteries, and plenty of TRPs after our discussion on TRPs. I've actually come to prefer TRPs over UAVs, something I never thought I'd say.

I prefer arty and mortars to tac air, because of the cost. I only bring that stuck up airdale if I have an extra six thousand points to spend on air. Apaches are great on paper, but they get shot down too easily to bring unless you have an airtight plan to get the enemy AA before you bring in the Apaches. I will admit that if you have two or more Apaches and the enemy has lost all his AA, you will win. But that's not an easy condition to guarantee, and it's really easy to miss one or two tiny Iglas. Besides, if you can get all his AA, you're probably going to win anyway.

I prefer howitzers to Paladins because of the ammo. I prefer 155s to any mortar, and I only bring 81s if it's all I can afford.

And finally, if you might be my opponent someday, remember that I could be lying just to look good.

Edited by Jammersix

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

TheForwardObserver,

Easy. Kill things. On a more serious note, let me first observe that I've played with only relatively small forces, and that the heaviest FS I've had has been US 120 mm mortars with drone recon support. Yes, I know this completely conflicts with the usual cataclysm of US FS, but the reality is that after doing some pretty extreme things to make point limit for a weak Armored Cav Troop, there wasn't much left for FS. In fact, you could say my starting force was, compared to normal TO&E, badly mauled out of the gate. Worse, intel said I was getting the full panoply of a Russian CA attack, so I had to cover a lot of bases using a force badly suited to the job. This was an own goal born of force selection incompetence!

Consequently, I was looking for strong FS that was also affordable. With two BFIST to run that side of the show, I had 2 x 81 mm mortar, 2 x 120 mm mortar and 2 x Raven. That was it. Essentially, FS tasking was 81s to suppress, wound and kill infantry, damage or kill softskins, and screen as needed, while employing the 120s as warhammers; smiting things in a single stroke or two. To do that, I bought as many TRPs as I could after executing my extensive barrier plan of wire and mines to keep REDFOR's infantry at bay so I could pare it down using integrated fires. I TRPed not just my barriers and blind spots, but within limits, every militarily useful place I could ID on REDFOR's side of the map, and my smart rounds were reserved for AFV and other important targets not near TRPs. In TRPing REDFOR's side, I made sure I could put down linear fires (since we still can't do fire concentrations of the real world variety) across approaches and tree lines, greatly leveraging the value of the TRPs I had. The Ravens were there to show me what REDFOR was doing and to enable me to bring down terrible blows on important REDFOR assets.

As I continue to rebuild my brain, I will eventually get back to battles of this size and go from there, eventually getting to the point levels where I'll have tacair and Paladin fires at my disposal. Philosophically speaking, my FS approach is about tailored responsive fires. If I'm in a rapidly developing situation with the world exploding around me, I'd rather have modest smaller caliber fires now than heavier larger caliber fires later, for time is my enemy. Since CMBS models the various subsystems on AFVs in particular, we can therefore do what we couldn't in CMx1 games--eat the elephant one bite at a time by degrading optics or destroying optics, vulnerable missiles, radars; cutting up radio, data link and wind sensors: damaging mobility, especially for wheeled AFVs--in addition to the classic FS capabilities modeled in CMx1 and which had no granularity of effects vs AFVs. M-Kill, F-Kill or K-Kill. Those were the only possible positive outcomes. 

The absence of DPICM, FASCAM and similar is galling, but neither do I get why Grad isn't in the game, since similar MRLs of that variety were in CMx1's entire family of games! Mind, I'm not talking obliterate a grid square HIMARS, MLRS, BM-27 or BM-30 here, just the workaday, cheap powerful stuff we've seen for many decades in seemingly unending conflicts all over the world. 

Regards,

John Kettler

 

Edited by John Kettler

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Before assaulting a city I will use heavy artillery to destroy buildings and the like so my troops advance without Javelins or TOWs hitting them, and no unneeded drama from any infantry sitting in ambush positions.

When I'm advancing over long fields I set up recon units in tree lines with FOs attached so I can destroy areas where ATGMs will pose a threat even if I dont have visual contact. 

Artillery is a tool of any offensive operation, I use it with the idea of inflicting maximum casualties and morale drop of the enemy. I like to tie in artillery with also a follow up shock assault with AFVs. Basically the goal is to shock your opponent with accurate heavy firepower and speed in order to crush their defense.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

VladimirTarasov,

A Russian artillery tactic not modeled in the game but actually used employs Krasnopol projectiles delivered in timed sequence on a common code setting. This allows the Russian FO to successively designate and hit a series of aimpoints in rapid sequence, walking a wall of shell bursts across the target while using only a single gun. This is especially good for things like a row of buildings. Also, I have previously pointed out to BFC the enormous scales of issue for Krasnopol, using a US Army Foreign Military Studies report. 200 rounds per battalion, 140 in the dedicated Krasnopol platoon of the  special weapons Krasnopol battery and the rest parceled out evenly to the other batteries. Nor can offset laser designation techniques be employed.

Regards,

John Kettler

Edited by John Kettler

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As Russians/UKR,  in a hurry,  I'll often useprolonged Arty barrages as an access/area denial tactic. That is, prevent hostile use of a route, or movement within or through an area, often with no exact data on enemy positions. 

This is best effective against UKR but it does also make US players think twice. But Brad's are often tough enough to get through a heavy barrage (with damage,  but often still Combat effective.). So I'm always watching the impact zone. I don't assume it's a forcefield or anything. 

I've regularly used this as a flank guarding tactic,  rarely as a rolling barrage ahead of an advance.

I recently played v UKR and used an extended heavy barrage to separate/split my OpFors forces then pushed my full weight against one flank. The barrage prevented/slowed his lateral reinforcement. I only dropped it once I knew  where his main force was. I also used a reserve platoon to intensify areas of the denial zone where he was trying to cross. 

I've also been know to race my own forces through their own friendly barrage,  as a SURPRISE MOFOS! tactic. It can fail hilariously but it can be worth it. 

 I use point or short lines in urban and countryside. Area in an open field. 

I'm pretty Arty heavy,  it's always the first thing I buy (along with TRPs,  drones. And always good quality.

Russian/UKR tac air leaves a lot to be desired,  and as noted above,  all air is expensively vulnerable. 

 

Edited by kinophile

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very interesting philosophies and focuses.  Generally speaking what casualty rates do ya'll estimate you achieve for a given battle?  How about ammunition expenditure, do you find yourselves bringing more batteries/platoons for the sake of ammo or no? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I tend to take:

1 Platoon M109A6

If I've got more points:

1 Battery M109A6

Occasionally I'll toss in a mortar section or platoon (120 MM).

Basically I usually fight with ABCT type forces, so I'll provide it with ABCT type fires.  If I do aviation I'll usually prefer AH-64s of whatever I can afford, or the fixed wing loadouts with mostly bombs.

As far as effects, I tend to use the 155 MM to suppress enemy positions or AoAs, or for precision fires on select AFVs or strongpoints.  I'll occasionally mass fires on small units, especially mech infantry or other targets that react poorly to artillery strikes.  

For mortars mostly it's rapid smoke, or for beating down infantry positons.

For aviation, I use it so infrequently, but I usually hold it back until I've identified the enemy main effort, then I'll do some SEAD type fires with my 155s before using CCA/CAS. 

For fixed wing I really prefer the bombs simply because they're great at making select locations go quite.  Even if it's only fairly modest actual damage, the absolute destruction of a building, massive crater etc is great at giving me space to do other things.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, TheForwardObserver said:

Very interesting philosophies and focuses.  Generally speaking what casualty rates do ya'll estimate you achieve for a given battle?  How about ammunition expenditure, do you find yourselves bringing more batteries/platoons for the sake of ammo or no? 

I have no idea what the casualties are, I've never tracked them. Against the computer, the only way you could track them would be to take enemy casualties, track and subtract individual casualties inflicted by each friendly unit, and assume that indirect fire killed the remainder. Even then, you would have no breakdown between different kinds of artillery, or even between artillery and tac air. For that reason, I've never bothered. Although, now that I put it in words, it means adding two data cells and two simple calculations to my ammo spreadsheet...

Yes, if I'm going indirect, I bring as many platoons of indirect fire as I can afford because of ammo. Units on the board can get crowded, there can even be genuine traffic jams at choke points, particularly once the first vehicle is hit. Putting an entire armored task force across one small bridge or driving them down two or three specific streets can create kill zones filled with burning vehicles. For that reason, I tend to limit forces on the board to a specific echelon, usually either a reinforced platoon, a team, or a team reinforced with HHC, and spend my remaining money on support for that maneuver element. Deciding what echelon my maneuver element will be is the first choice I make, and is dictated by the size of the engagement (money available.) Deciding the type of maneuver element is the second choice I make, and I decide based on terrain. I almost never pick pure infantry, because in all terrain, infantry backed up by some kind of vehicle is more gooder.

I frequently run indirect fire platoons empty. I believe there is only one rate of fire, "heavy". For that reason, I try to use smoke first out of each platoon, but if I lose the smoke, I lose the smoke.

Edited by Jammersix

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

VladimirTarasov,

Correction. That should've read: "This allows the Russian FO to successively designate and hit a series of aimpoints in rapid sequence, walking a wall of shell bursts across the target while using only a single platoon." With Msta-S and Koalitsya, the erroneous original version I wrote may now be true if they can do the same MRSI (Multipe Round Simultanteous Impact) technique the German PzH 2000 can. Further, I note with keen interest the statement made by the German officer about firing smoke which blocks thermal imaging systems! This is at ~7:00. Since the German guns fire NATO standard 155 mm shells, this makes me wonder why the US doesn't have IR obscurant smoke in CMBS. 

Regards,

John Kettler

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by John Kettler

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Im pretty sure the US DOES have IR blocking smoke in game - however for whatever reason the only IR.blocking smoke I see is the vehicular dispensers. The artillery seems hit and miss with it sometimes tanks cant see through it other times they can.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are better IR and Near IR obscuring agents irl than Arty smoke (WP/HC/IS) generally duration and volume of fire are your friends on this matter.

Regarding laser designation (John) COLTs use similar techniques when lasing multiple targets for Hellfires.  The technique is called Rapid Fire and requires at least 8 seconds suggested between launch of each missile in order for the laser designator operator to adjust onto the new target.  A single bird with Hellfires programmed for multiple PRFs can conduct the same process for multiple LDOs, this variation is called Ripple Fire.  The Apache can provide this support in indirect fire mode, hidden from behind masking terrain as the missile is default LOAL when fired indirectly.  

Jams I keep a running estimation of casualties for my fire missions in game.  Not 100 percent but ends up being pretty accurate at the end of the game.

Surprising information about the force size totals folks use.  For H2H I like an on-map population cap between 200 and 300 and against the computer I'll field 400 to 500.  I've got some big maps.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Agree that there's heavy fire or none. My variation is time and area (short,  medium, extended/point or line). 

And there is NEVER enough Arty ammo for me. I empty the can every time. 

Also yes re platoons for flexibility,  and at least two of them.

I rarely use mortars,and usually just as filler suppression while shifting/adjusting. They're just too weak. 

Edited by kinophile

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd be curious to know how often the typical player is compelled to purchase beyond reasonable numbers of tubes in order to compensate for ammo.  It'd be nice to be able to purchase what we'll call "re-supplied" fire support platoons and batteries that might have additional ammo and be more expensive.  There are other mechanisms that could probably be deployed to solve the problem too.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I suggest we incorporate a mini pokemon like game where users who want additional ammunition need to go outside and using an app find weird shell creatures flying about and take a pic of them to " capture " them and thus resupply your arty tubes on the next turn. There could be smoke sgells with legs and wings. Air burst with wings legs and maybe a scorpion tail and regular with wings legs and a dirty linus like frag cloud around them ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
32 minutes ago, TheForwardObserver said:

I'd be curious to know how often the typical player is compelled to purchase beyond reasonable numbers of tubes in order to compensate for ammo.  It'd be nice to be able to purchase what we'll call "re-supplied" fire support platoons and batteries that might have additional ammo and be more expensive.  There are other mechanisms that could probably be deployed to solve the problem too.  

Is the ammo stock per platoon/battery provided in game realistic? I assume there's some heavy variation the closer to the front you are. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Totally agree being able to buy tube with more ammo per gun would be great.  I think the main thing I buy more tubes for is more ammo.  I like to use very long harrass or light missions with 105mm+  and I often dont put all of the guns on the mission, because I want the ammo to really last.  It's kind of like comfort on the attack, its out there and you hear it disrupting, and you know its ready to be adjusted to wherever it might be needed.  I always try to get a rough idea o what my indirect fires did by looking through my unit kills and then end game kill total, but i dont commit it to memory so I have pretty much no idea what my average might be.  And sometimes I go pure direct fire.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh and Ill add that the 210 mm or the ruskies is a great deal, and would be even more so if it had guided rounds available.  I like the USA 155s a lot more than the ruskie version because I think the guided rounds penetrate better ( probably because of the glass seeker head on the krasnopol"  Plus the USA 155 are just insanely fast and accurate, almost the only weapon youd ever really need.

 

Most of my arty testing stuff has just been against the AI (for some reason most people like to fight against soldiers and tanks vs the sky is falling),  and those 155s with a BFIST are pretty amazing at holing tanks with a short unguided burst of 155.  Seem like they dont even have to do spotting round but just dump a big enough handful right over the tank that they get it.

Edited by cool breeze

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@kinophile A Paladin carries an internal load of 36 rounds, and a battery will have 6 Paladins.  A CATV/FAASV is the ammunition carrier vehicle that a battery's ammo section uses, and depending on the type carries 80-95 rounds.  A battery will have one of these per section optimally, one section corresponding to one gun.  So that is the amount of ammo you can carry with you on the go, without logistical support, attachments or re-supply.    

Edited by TheForwardObserver

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, TheForwardObserver said:

I'd be curious to know how often the typical player is compelled to purchase beyond reasonable numbers of tubes in order to compensate for ammo.

Every time I choose indirect fire.

What other mechanisms are there in the game to compensate for artillery ammo?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Jammersix Nothing currently in-game that doesn't involve bringing more tubes-- with the exception being mortars-- you can supply on-map mortars with tons of ammo by bringing loads of humvees, and for scenario games they can all be dismounted and turned into one ammo dump.  I just meant as alternatives to my suggestion of having purchasable platoons/batteries with greater ammunition supplies.  I think a better solution would involve the supply adjustment drop down menu in the Editor.  Right now you can diminish supplies below 100 percent, I think it'd be nice to be able to increase supplies beyond 100 percent, would also bring that button and some of the other Editor options into QBs.  Actually, it's un-related but I'd bring the point values from QBs into the editor too.  Would make setting up H2H scenario games easier.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some excellent posts here providing some very good food for thought around effective arty employment on the modern CM battlefield. Thanks for the detailed explanations all!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...