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ricochet-tracer

Once again into indirect fire - C2 issues

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Hi, everybody.

First-time-poster here, so a brief introduction of myself for a start:

I am from Germany (the "Ruhr-pocket-area", according to grog-geography) and have been into the series since CMBO. I omitted CMSF and now returned to see the glory of CMx2 in my favourite wargaming-era.

I've become an enthusiastic reader and "refresh-monkey" of this forum since I heard of the nearing release of Battle for Normany, as late as March this year.

I decided to end my lurking days at the prospect of even making the tiniest of contributions on the way to perfection for a game I already grew very fond of.

My observations are based on the full-game version of the demo-scenario "Closing the pocket" (downloaded from the Repository).

I was trying to find a decent defensive layout for the US and encountered some problems in placing my mortar teams. I got curious and played around a bit in setup-phase on both sides.

I did learn quite a few things about how the game handles C2 and spotting for onboard artillery and now want to share my lessons learned.

In the process I also encountered some rather strange aspects of the game mechanics, which are by no means gamebreaking, but kind of inconsistent and maybe worthwhile looking into them.

For further reference, here are the german units I did most of the testing with and will use in examples later on:

CoC-Level 1 - 3. Kompanie HQ (CHQ)

CoC-Level 2 - 3. Kompanie / 4. Zug HQ (PHQ)

CoC-Level 3 - 3. Kompanie / 4. Zug / 3rd Section HQ (SHQ)

CoC-Level 4 - 3. Kompanie / 4. Zug / 3rd Section / 1st Squad / A Team - Medium Mortar (MS-A)

CoC Level 4 - 3. Kompanie / 4. Zug / 3rd Section / 1st Squad / B Team - Mortar Ammo Bearer (MS-B)

C2-Basics

The C2 network can be visualized as a tree. In the example above, CHQ is the trunk, PHQ is a branch, SHQ is a twig and MS-A and MS-B are leaves.

There is only one way from any given "leave" to the "trunk"; known as the chain of command.

A unit can establish C2 contact only with a superior HQ within its own specific chain of command.

Missing links can be compensated by HQ units higher up in the same chain of command.

Means of C2-Contact

  • Voice C2 contact between HQs and subordinate units can be established up to 50m, regardless of LOS.
  • Voice C2 contact between HQs and subordinate units cannot be established if one of them is inside a vehicle.
  • Close C2 visual contact between HQs and subordinate units can be established up to 100m, LOS provided.
  • Distant visual C2 contact can only be established between HQs and DIRECTLY subordinate units (next in the chain of command) and seems to be limited only by LOS.
  • Radio C2 contact between HQs and subordinate units seems not to be limited at all; integral radios or radio equipped vehicles provided.

Artillery Spotting - Special Rules

  • SR-1: Any HQ or FO unit is able to call in indirect fire from any onboard artillery unit inside a radius of 50m, regardless of LOS or C2 contact.
  • SR-2: Any operational, radio equipped vehicle, whether it is dismounted or occupied, in a radius up to 20m to an onboard artillery unit will enable all HQ or FO units to call in indirect fire from that artillery unit, regardless of LOS or C2 contact.
  • SR-3: No call for indirect fire will be processed by means of distant visual contact (LOS, +100m), even though it is a viable C2 link.

Additional Test Results

  • Setup 1: SHQ without integral radio and with no active C2 link is able to call for indirect fire in an radius up to 50M from MS-A.
  • Setup 2: SHQ inside a radio equipped vehicle is able to call for indirect fire in an radius up to 100M from MS-A (MS-A is available for the whole C2 network).
  • Setup 3: SHQ without integral radio but in voice (up to 50m) or close visual C2 contact (up to 100m) to PHQ is able to call for indirect fire as long as in close visual C2 contact (up to 100M) to MS-A (MS-A is available for the whole C2 network).
  • Setup 4: SHQ without integral radio but in voice (up to 50m) or close visual C2 contact (up to 100m) to CHQ is able to call for indirect fire as long as in close visual C2 contact (up to 100M) to MS-A (MS-A is available for the whole C2 network).
  • Setup 5: PHQ is able to call for indirect fire as long as in close visual C2 contact (up to 100M) to MS-A AND SHQ is integrated in the C2 network by any means except distant visual contact (MS-A is available for the whole C2 network).
  • Setup 6: CHQ is able to call for indirect fire as long as in close visual C2 contact (up to 100M) to MS-A AND SHQ is integrated in the C2 network by any means except distant visual contact (MS-A is available for the whole C2 network).
  • Setup 7: When distant visual C2 contact (LOS, +100m) is established between SHQ and MS-A (directly superior), neither SHQ nor any higher HQ will be able to call for indirect fire from MS-A (see SR-3), except SR-1 or SR-2 are in effect.

Test Summary: As long as C2 contact between all links is established by any means except distant visual contact, all onboard artillery units within that chain of command will be available to every HQ or FO unit on the map.

Possible room for improvement - Inconsistencies (imho)

  • Offboard artillery is available to all FO and HQ units regardless of their C2 status.
  • When SR-2 is in effect, onboard artillery is available to all FO and HQ units regardless of their C2 status.
  • HQ or FO units out of C2 contact still have access to onboard artillery which is part of another, unbroken chain of command.
  • The directly superior HQ of an onboard artillery unit, which has no further C2 contact, can only spot for his subordinate unit within a radius of 50m. The moment it establishes C2 contact, this radius is doubled to 100m (Setup 1, 3, 4.)
  • SR-3 can prohibit indirect fire which would otherwise be legit (Setup 7).

Other lessons learned during testing

  • There is a short delay in the visual represantation of newly established C2 links (gave me some WTF-moments before I realized that).
  • Clicking on the icons for the C2 links will bring up the directly superior HQ, even though the represented C2 contact might have been established with an HQ higher up in the chain of command.
  • Clicking on the unit names in the chain of command (part of the unit info panel) or in the unit/formation report (part of the team info panel for HQs) will bring up that unit or the formations HQ.
  • While in the support roster, any selected onboard artillery unit and the designated spotter will have their unit icons highlighted and blinking for easy identification.

Sorry for the wall of text (I dropped the idea of adding images), but it is a rather complex matter. Hope it will be of any worth for the greater good. Any feedback or question is highly welcome.

Best regards,

RT.

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Thank you for this information as it is very useful. C2 seems to be hard to grasp sometimes. There is a good use for the target arc circular command. Just give 50m circular arc to your HQ unit and see if your units are inside it for voice C2.

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R-T, Welcome.

Many thanks for your effort. Yes, we agree that C2 and its combinations and how it impact on the game could always be further clarified. Your post hopefully will kick-start the "C2pedia" :)

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Great first post!! Inspired my first reply:)

Can I understand it as follow, the best way to setup on board mortar, given current system, is to put SHQ within 100m from the mortar, either ensure the SHQ is in a radio enabled vehicle or within 100m from radio enabled PHQ or CHQ, so that all hq unit can call them?

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And SR-2 even works for spotting HQs w/o radios????

I couldn't believe it, but:

Put some A/C along MS-A, place SHQ away from any radio and still SHQ can spot for MS-A. SHQ has no C2 to PHQ, but C2 to CHQ, which is 300m away and out of LOS.

So SR-2 holds for spotters w/o radio.

Looks a bit buggy to me. BFC, fix it or sumfink

Well done, R-T.

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Great post...love it when someone new comes out with a constructive helpful post...thankyou...I'm sure you will become a valued member of this forum\community.

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Excellent Post and really helps explain why I was not able to call in 60mm Mortars. I think there is a bug with losing a unit while it calls in Arty you then lose all access to the battery. This for me needs improving. Bumping thread for others to find..

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