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BlackMoria

Stuff that happens in game that makes you go "WTF?"

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We all had those "WTF?" moments.  Some are comical.  Some are rage inducing 'want to punch your fist through the screen of the computer" moments.   Let's hear your favorite 'WTF?" moments.

This is the most recent one for me.   Scenario is First Clash - I am playing blue against the AI.  It is 3/4 way through the scenario.  For 20 minutes, I am looking at a T-90 with two Bradleys which are in a treeline, but the T-90 is out of range of the TOW-2 according to the Target line of sight.  Range is about 3800 m.  Which explains why the Bradleys don't fire at the T-90.  And the T-90 doesn't appear to have spotted the two Bradleys as he isn't firing at them.

I am out of precision rounds so I opt for a point attack artillery mission with 3 tubes of 155 on the T-90 to take him out or force him to move.  The T-90 sits unconcerned through an artillery adjustment.  Now comes Fire for Effect.  The first salvo of three rounds are very close but you would imagine some supression is going on.  There is now smoke from the HE going off around the T-90.  So reduced visibility is coming into play.   On the second salvo, I get a direct hit on the T-90 with one round, a second round right beside the tank.  Seconds later, the T-90 fires at one of the two spotting Bradleys and kills it.  After not seeing this Bradley the entire 20 minutes, suddenly the tank sees and fires and kills at Bradley in a treeline at 3.8 km, while obscured by dust and smoke from two salvos of artillery on it position and after taking a 155 round to turret, whichi is certain to put heavy suppression on the crew.   WTF?  Seriously?

And to add insult to injury, the T-90 just sits there (it may have been immoblized).  The third salvo of 155 rounds comes in and the tank gets hit again.  Again, no kill on the tank.  And the T-90 seconds later fires and kills the second Bradley.  WTF!!??  SERIOUSLY??

At this point, I want to put my fist through my computer screen.  Regrettably, this was being played in RT mode, not WEGO, so I have no game save of the turn to examine.

Bug?  Possibly.   The T-90 didn't see the Bradleys for 20 minutes as he didn't fire yet he responded with a shot at each just after being hit by an artillery round, which as a minimum, should have put some serious suppression on the gunner.  And the tank was very hard to see due to smoke effects from the HE rounds going off around the tank, so spotting should have been degraded as well.  

So, it was a major WTF moment for me.  I can laugh about it now as the circumstances are so ridiculous one can't help laugh of the absurdity of the event.

So, what is your WTF moment?

 

 

 

Edited by BlackMoria

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1 hour ago, BlackMoria said:

And to add insult to injury, the T-90 just sits there (it may have been immoblized).  The third salvo of 155 rounds comes in and the tank gets hit again.  Again, no kill on the tank.  And the T-90 seconds later fires and kills the second Bradley.  WTF!!??  SERIOUSLY??

Actually that might be a feature. I have a similar thing going on now in a game. I have called three separate three round precision arty calls on a T90 - multiple hits. Thing still shows as operational. Mind you it has not moved in 10+ minutes. Finally I remember that you only know the disposition of the enemy based on what your units know. I my self called BUG when a Sherman pumped 7 rounds at close range into a PzIV and is still showed as fine. This was in a heavy forest so visibility was crap. It turns out my second shot killed it and the Sherman crew had no idea so kept pumping round after round into the enemy tank. Since it happened to not catch fire as far as the Sherman crew knew it was fine.

With the T90 being spotted from 3.8km away in your case and in mine the T90 was spotted from a drone our units think they tanks are fine. My $ is on not fine. I have stopped wasting my artillery on it.

Not only is this a feature - it's a pretty damn good one.

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As to the spotting issue; if you leave friendly assets out in the open (edge of a forest or whatever) the enemy will eventually see them. The T-90 is capable of engaging targets out to around 4000m as well, so its not that the T-90 made an impossible shot or anything like that. 

As to the effects of artillery on modern battle tanks, there was a rather long thread on this very issue in this forum not long ago. Essentially, if you are using HE artillery against tanks, you're doing it wrong. 

If HE artillery is the only asset you have, then I can understand it out of desperation, but otherwise all you're doing is wasting ammo. Is it possible to kill a tank with HE artillery in real life and in game? Yes. Is it plausible/practical? No. 

Try not to fall into the trap of 'just because you can see an enemy asset means I have to kill it right now as soon as possible hurry up aaahhhh.' If all the T-90 was doing was sitting there and it wasn't bothering anyone, then let it sit. If you needed it dead in order to to something, then you could have hit it with smoke then maneuvered your Brads against it, or called up another asset better suited to taking out a tank to kill it. 

To me, it sounds like you used the wrong tool for the job, then got unlucky and lost your spotters. 

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A precision arty strike has no spotting rounds. What you are describing sounds like a point target mission.

IIRC T-90As have a thermal gunners sight and T-90AMs have a thermal commander's sight in addition which are unaffected by dust and normal smoke in the game.

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3 hours ago, IICptMillerII said:

As to the effects of artillery on modern battle tanks, there was a rather long thread on this very issue in this forum not long ago. Essentially, if you are using HE artillery against tanks, you're doing it wrong. 

You may be doing it wrong, but it's far from ineffective.

For anyone curious, here is the thread.  The impression I got was that vehicles, including tanks, are a little bit too... tanky?

 

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14 minutes ago, HerrTom said:

You may be doing it wrong, but it's far from ineffective.

True. Let me clarify. By ineffective I mean that you are not very likely to kill the tank. If you want to immobilize it or damage sub-systems, then using a precision artillery strike against a tank can be effective. Generally though, trying to kill a tank with HE is ineffective and a waste of ammo. 

Thanks for linking the thread! Lots of good info in there from both sides of the argument. 

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8 hours ago, Vanir Ausf B said:

IIRC T-90As have a thermal gunners sight and T-90AMs have a thermal commander's sight in addition which are unaffected by dust and normal smoke in the game.

Fair enough. However, I have witnessed a number of occasions when a Russian tank picked up a target at long range instantly, even when that target was in obscuring terrain. I expect somewhat the same is true for US tanks as well. I'm not saying that the target should be invisible, just that I would expect that there would be more of a random time lag due to the gunner and commander looking in some other direction or distracted in some way.

Michael

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1 hour ago, Michael Emrys said:

I would expect that there would be more of a random time lag due to the gunner and commander looking in some other direction or distracted in some way.

There actually is a large amount of randomness in spotting times.

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3 hours ago, Vanir Ausf B said:

There actually is a large amount of randomness in spotting times.

That's reassuring to hear. I wasn't seeing it, but I suppose it could just come down to the luck of the draw.

Michael

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On 1/31/2017 at 4:41 PM, IICptMillerII said:

Essentially, if you are using HE artillery against tanks, you're doing it wrong. 

That's not true in real life or in the game either.  95 percent of a COLT's job is destroying formations of tanks and armored vehicles-- that's done two ways, air and ground-based fires.  The US doesn't use ICM/DPICM artillery shells and hasn't for a decade so HE (guided or unguided) is standard for engaging armor and will remain standard unless the guidance is changed and DPICM stockpiles are replenished.

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1 hour ago, TheForwardObserver said:

That's not true in real life or in the game either.  95 percent of a COLT's job is destroying formations of tanks and armored vehicles-- that's done two ways, air and ground-based fires.  The US doesn't use ICM/DPICM artillery shells and hasn't for a decade so HE (guided or unguided) is standard for engaging armor and will remain standard unless the guidance is changed and DPICM stockpiles are replenished.

Air based fires makes total sense. A COLT's job of destroying enemy armored formations also makes total sense, as in a conventional war this is what he will most likely be arrayed against. I know that we are steadily getting rid of our DPICM artillery as well. (Isn't there some type of replacement in the works though, involving a type of airburst tungsten ball type munition?) I don't doubt you personally, I just find it hard to believe that HE artillery by itself can cause massive damage to tanks. Armored vehicles, soft skinned, support, etc etc are obviously quite vulnerable. But if tanks are so vulnerable to HE artillery, why even bother with your own tanks? Why not just use infantry with organic anti-tank assets and artillery to destroy enemy tanks? Seems like that would be a much more effective route to go than building up and training/equipping the entire armored branch. 

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25 minutes ago, IICptMillerII said:

 I just find it hard to believe that HE artillery by itself can cause massive damage to tanks. Armored vehicles, soft skinned, support, etc etc are obviously quite vulnerable. But if tanks are so vulnerable to HE artillery, why even bother with your own tanks? Why not just use infantry with organic anti-tank assets and artillery to destroy enemy tanks? Seems like that would be a much more effective route to go than building up and training/equipping the entire armored branch. 

For one I find it absolutely mind blowing that a decade and a half into an era of combat in which the primary casualty producing weapon of the enemy has been placed artillery shells that I even have to engage in a discussion about whether HE is effective against armor.

Are you really asking why have tanks if artillery can kill them?  How is this even a real question?



 

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31 minutes ago, TheForwardObserver said:

For one I find it absolutely mind blowing that a decade and a half into an era of combat in which the primary casualty producing weapon of the enemy has been placed artillery shells that I even have to engage in a discussion about whether HE is effective against armor.

For many decades (since at least WWI, but likely before) artillery has been the number one casualty causing asset on the battlefield. That trend has continued in our most recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. However, I don't know of any insurgent attacks that involved tank formations, so all of those casualties FA is causing are against the insurgent equivalent of light infantry. So just because for the last decade and a half of warfare artillery has inflicted the most amount of casualties against enemy personnel, does not mean that HE is effective against armor. 

HE is effective against armor if you are firing disruptive fires, which according to FM 3-09 are designed to disrupt enemy planning and logistics, time tables, assembly, repair/refit, etc. Disrupted tanks in an assembly area might have a harder time going on the attack, or getting properly organized, or end up attacking piecemeal because being shelled is a chaotic event. The fires aren't designed to destroy every tank in the assembly area, just disrupt whats happening in the assembly area in whatever capacity it can.

I understand that artillery has many different uses that are all valuable. Destructive fires, disruptive fires, delay, suppress, etc. Artillery can be effective against armor without having to kill all the enemy tanks dead. Hell, 3-09 considers destructive fires to be effective if only 30% casualties are inflicted on the target. 

43 minutes ago, TheForwardObserver said:

Are you really asking why have tanks if artillery can kill them?  How is this even a real question?

I was merely trying to point out that if it was so easy to kill tanks with artillery, then you could simply rely on artillery to do most of the tank killing. For many reasons, it is easier to mass fires against a target than it is to mass tanks against an enemy attack/defense/whatever. 

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2 minutes ago, IICptMillerII said:

For many decades (since at least WWI, but likely before) artillery has been the number one casualty causing asset on the battlefield. That trend has continued in our most recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. However, I don't know of any insurgent attacks that involved tank formations, so all of those casualties FA is causing are against the insurgent equivalent of light infantry. So just because for the last decade and a half of warfare artillery has inflicted the most amount of casualties against enemy personnel, does not mean that HE is effective against armor. 

HE is effective against armor if you are firing disruptive fires, which according to FM 3-09 are designed to disrupt enemy planning and logistics, time tables, assembly, repair/refit, etc. Disrupted tanks in an assembly area might have a harder time going on the attack, or getting properly organized, or end up attacking piecemeal because being shelled is a chaotic event. The fires aren't designed to destroy every tank in the assembly area, just disrupt whats happening in the assembly area in whatever capacity it can.

I understand that artillery has many different uses that are all valuable. Destructive fires, disruptive fires, delay, suppress, etc. Artillery can be effective against armor without having to kill all the enemy tanks dead. Hell, 3-09 considers destructive fires to be effective if only 30% casualties are inflicted on the target. 

I was merely trying to point out that if it was so easy to kill tanks with artillery, then you could simply rely on artillery to do most of the tank killing. For many reasons, it is easier to mass fires against a target than it is to mass tanks against an enemy attack/defense/whatever. 

You need to read what I wrote more closely and frankly stop trying to explain field artillery to me.  I wrote; "the primary casualty producing weapon of the enemy."  That means the enemy's most effective weapon against us, not our most effective weapon against them.

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1 minute ago, TheForwardObserver said:

You need to read what I wrote more closely and frankly stop trying to explain field artillery to me.  I wrote; "the primary casualty producing weapon of the enemy."  That means the enemy's most effective weapon against us, not our most effective weapon against them.

Ahh I misunderstood you. My bad. I thought you meant that artillery has caused the most casualties to the enemy using precision fires. (placed artillery shells) I didn't know you meant the enemy literally placing artillery shells as IEDs. My bad. 

I am not trying to be patronizing at all, and I apologize if I have come off that way. I just mean to explain my reasoning thoroughly. Again my apologies. 

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Paraphrasing some bits of the article TFO posted in the other thread, since I love numbers:

They ran 3 tests on artillery effectiveness in the late 80s

  1. 56x 155mm shells with VT and PD fuses were fired at a simulated entrenched position with M113s, M557s, and M-48s.  Effectiveness on trucks and infantry were close to their predictions, but armoured vehicles and tanks suffered 67% damage. Fragments were able to penetrate into the fighting compartments and caused damage to road wheels, tracks, and sights.  They determined that current US army models for armour and artillery were inadequate, meaning more tests.
  2. 155mm shells were fired one at a time on different targets to get a detailed analysis on the effects of  a direct hit or nearby detonation of each round.  Direct PD hits consistently destroyed vehicles, near hits damaged components significantly, and airbursts took out sights, gun barrels, vision blocks and engines
  3. A simulated mechachanised infantry team was bombarded according to Soviet battalion sheafs. (As far as I can tell, this represented a fairly significant plot of land).  2,600 shells were fired, causing 50% casualties in manpower, fighting positions, and 50% of IFVs and tanks suffered damage preventing them from moving or firing.

Hope this helps!

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Obviously, a shrubbery near the T90 was blocking a critical sight. It left the T90 blind to the Bradleys. The 155mm artillery stripped the foliage. The T90, now no longer blind, finally spotted the Bradleys. ;)

Seriously, if you play with trees off or partially off, a LOT of puzzling LOS events seem to occur. Turn 'em back on, and you see what's happening. (Or not, due to the leaves. ;) )

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23 hours ago, c3k said:

Obviously, a shrubbery near the T90 was blocking a critical sight. It left the T90 blind to the Bradleys. The 155mm artillery stripped the foliage. The T90, now no longer blind, finally spotted the Bradleys. ;)

Seriously, if you play with trees off or partially off, a LOT of puzzling LOS events seem to occur. Turn 'em back on, and you see what's happening. (Or not, due to the leaves. ;) )

This is logical explanation +1

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Here's one that really does my head in.....Why is it whenever I get the drop on a US MBT with a Kornet (and need a first round kill), the expensive and state of the art Russian missile always flies directly into the ground in the way Javelins NEVER seem to do?  :unsure:

I'm not saying it doesn't happen with Javelins, but in all the time I've played CMSF & CMBS I've never noticed it happen.....If those things get so much as a glimpse of an opposing AFV it's pretty much toast in my experience.  :rolleyes:

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32 minutes ago, Sgt.Squarehead said:

Here's one that really does my head in.....Why is it whenever I get the drop on a US MBT with a Kornet (and need a first round kill), the expensive and state of the art Russian missile always flies directly into the ground in the way Javelins NEVER seem to do?  :unsure:

I'm not saying it doesn't happen with Javelins, but in all the time I've played CMSF & CMBS I've never noticed it happen.....If those things get so much as a glimpse of an opposing AFV it's pretty much toast in my experience.  :rolleyes:

I have a feeling it may be (partly) to do with the Kornet's flight path compared to the Javelin.  The Javelin flies up into the air and does fancy loop-de-loops and stuff while the Kornet just flies straight at the target.  A little too low or to the side and the Kornet eats dirt.  The Javelin, on the other hand, is happy as can be.

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11 hours ago, HerrTom said:

The Javelin flies up into the air and does fancy loop-de-loops...

Really? Or are you just being hyperbolic? I have never seen one fly a loop, although they do indeed fly a high arc, which is handy if trees are in the way but you can still see and take aim at a target on the other side.

Michael

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