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Attilaforfun

Calling for fire assistance from the experts

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Situation: Infantry platoon defending a crossroad in rough terrain and about to be attacked with over whelming force. The platoon is toast, if they delay the attackers for 5 min after contact I will be happy. However their real task is to call a harassment mortar mission on the crossroads. My infantry are currently occupying the ground and there is an arty TRP in their midst.

So my question: When is the best time to call for fire(on your own position w a TRP...don't ask how the situation came about)? Call early and delay until you think the position is going to be overrun? Wait till the last minute? Does the spotter have to be alive during the entire fire mission?  As there is already a TRP is it better to have someone elsewhere call it in?

Commander's intent is for the Inf to fight as long as they can and then have the survivors bail while a harassing mortar fire makes the enemies necessary travel through the area annoying for as long as possible. The mortar mission is the priority.

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A mission in the firing phase will continue regardless of the spotter. What's lost is the ability to manage it should the spotter become incapacitated. In that case - it will simply run to it's conclusion or until the ammo is exhausted. Where possible - assign a spotter most likely to manage it. With a TRP - that can be anyone else not about to be pummeled as LOS is not required.

You state that the mission is the priority, so err on the side of too early rather than too late.

Note: the TRP has no spotting phase and minimal prep time (preparation phase) before becoming an FFE (firing phase). You'd need to test this based on the type of mortars you intend to assign.

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Wot Howler sed...   You definitely don't want to use a spotter who is at risk to call for HE as if he gets hit you lose the fire mission.  But, once FFE has started, the spotter is no longer needed (unless you want to adjust fire).

Also note that a low rate of fire or HARASS can be effective in forcing an enemy to go to ground without it being too deadly to your own guys.

Edited by Erwin

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13 hours ago, Attilaforfun said:

So my question: When is the best time to call for fire(on your own position w a TRP...don't ask how the situation came about)? Call early and delay until you think the position is going to be overrun? Wait till the last minute? Does the spotter have to be alive during the entire fire mission?  As there is already a TRP is it better to have someone elsewhere call it in?

Since you have a TRP I would use a spotter that is not at the crossroads.  I generally have an HQ team in the TOC that handles all TRP fire missions.  IIRC 81mm mortar FFE with TRP is two to three minutes.    

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While a TRP speeds things up, soft factors come into play as well such as observer experience and firing unit experience.  Otherwise a lot will depend on whether your opponent is AI or human controlled and the distance between the direct fire engagement area and your indirect fire engagement area.  Ideally they should be one and the same because that enables you to concentrate the effects of your firepower.  In planning terms you would have a Decision Point (DP) that would trigger those fires so that when the enemy met the DP conditions you know to execute the fire order (or whatever other action you planned to take) which would ensure that the rounds landed in the engagement area or Target Area of Interest (TAI).

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Nuke the bastards with a preliminary bombardment, then use the TRP to nuke them again!

PS - Maybe place it just in front of your infantry screen, as opposed to actually on them.....Pretty sure their morale would benefit.  ;)

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5 hours ago, Sgt.Squarehead said:

PS - Maybe place it just in front of your infantry screen, as opposed to actually on them.....Pretty sure their morale would benefit.  ;)

I most certainly would apprisiate such an initiative from my commander 😎

(but maybe the TRP is 'locked in place'...not in a set-up zone)

 

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As for when to pull back..and call in the barrage...

A few things to considder.

- Are the enemy likely to capture the crossroad and stop there (an objective)...or will they keep on going an just move through the possition as fast as possible.

- Are the enemy under any kind of time preasure...Or will he have an oppertunity to try and trick you to call in the barrage prematurely.

- Will your platoon be able to disengage from an intense fire-fight at the crossroad easily enough...Will the terrain etc allow your troops to break LOS/LOF quickly when pulling back.

- Is the enemy attacking from the front only or will he be able to/ have already been able to outflank the crossroad..

- Do you require your platoon to be...an effective force...after having pulled back. Will they be asigned a ne task that they need to be able to carry out.

 

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Sgt.Squarehead said:

Can TRPs be locked in the current engine?

They can only be moved during the setup turn but can be moved anywhere.  To include anywhere inside or outside your setup zone.

@RepsolCBR knows that.  He probably just didn't have his morning coffee yet.  :D  :lol:

Edited by MOS:96B2P

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I'm affraid i can't blame this on the coffe...or lack off it...🙃

I've had 3 coups already...

Not even old age is the problem...i'm still a 'youngster' ...god damn it 😁...(2 weeks away from 50 !!!...oouuchh).

I had it in my mind that TRPs worked in a simular fashion as regular units...

That is...

If a scenariodesigner places the TRP outside of any set-up zone when he designs the scenario then the player will not be able to move it during his set-up face when starting the scenario...

My bad...

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wouldn't call myseld an expert, but have some experience with CM. i would try to lure in the enemy with token resistance inside your trp zone. have the rest of your infantry setup outside, in cover, hiding. When the enemy is almost where you want it to be call in the fires. Unhide just before FFE to pin the enemy infantry in the firefight and enjoy the FFE together with your infantry fire. The TRP will also aid MG fire.

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Posted (edited)

I guess as a career artilleryman I should chip in. What I would say is that our OP detachments always attempted to call for fire well away from our own position and that of friendly forces. Final Protective Fire is usually planned when a position is established, and danger close calls for fire do happen. Usually those calls come from the maneuver elements and not our own OPs. The preference is always to call for fire before the enemy is on top of you.

Put another way, just as artillery conquers and infantry occupies, when I meet infantrymen from my tour who excitedly tell me about calling down 155mm fire 100m out from their own position, I always think that artillerymen would have placed fire on the enemy while they were 500m away. 😂

Edited by DougPhresh

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I will frequently place TRPs on top of my defenders. I let them know that they're present. They know that if their defense flags, I will rain artillery down on them. I find it motivates them to fight a bit harder, don't you?

 

;)

 

Seriously, I have placed TRPs on top of my own positions...IF that position is key terrain for an attacker. Nothing like letting the enemy take some trench/foxholes/a small copse, and then bring a devastating arty stonk down on them. After a few of those, he's less likely to try to close with my defenders. 

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