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Linear Area Fire


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For artillery we have the option of linear targeting, which sometimes proves extremely useful. It occurs to me that it would be equally useful as a suppressive option for Area fire for armor and infantry.

The idea occurred to me while watching a Barkmann's Corner video AAR from the Axis point of view and considering how the Allies might with their bevy of tanks move forward into terrain that is perfect for infantry antitank ambush.

The judicious use of linear MG fire by tanks into suspect areas of hedgerow would go a long way to suppressing antitank teams, wouldn't it? What I have in mind is not sustained fire along full stretches of hedgerow, just a burst raked across short stretches.

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Something like this has been requested previously, and it's not at all a bad idea. Depending on how hard it is to implement, it may turn up down the road at some point. Soon would of course be nice, but I have no idea how high it is on BFC's priority list, or even if it has made it onto the list yet.

Michael

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Can this be replicated now by giving a series of Short Tgt orders for one turn? I've never tried it.

For vehicles, yes -- you can give a tank multiple waypoints with short pause orders very close together and shift the target point at each waypoint. A bit clunky, but it works.

This doesn't work for e.g., infantry HMGs, though.

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What I have in mind is not sustained fire along full stretches of hedgerow, just a burst raked across short stretches.

It's worth pointing out, apparently, that this is already how area fire already works. If there's no specific spotted target selected, the fire is directed at the AS selected, and at the AS either side of it. Suppression effects also apply to the AS adjacent to impacting fire, so the total width of suppression from any one target order is 5 whole AS, or 40m. Nearly half the length of a football pitch. Given that I'd be surprised if a single MG achieved meaningful suppression of a shielded ATG not in the directly targeted AS (because the fire is concentrated in the middle of the zone) in a single minute, spreading the fires out from a single machine gun even further would simply dilute the suppression effects to uselessness, as suppression rate tended (downwards) towards equivalence to rally speed. Even spreading the fire more evenly across the 40m zone would tend to mean a gun in the middle of the zone, which might even have ended up pinned with the situation as it stands, would tend to need more than a minute's fire for suppression to have its full effects.

Overlapping (alternate AS, or every third) fire by a "bevy" of advancing tanks will already achieve the effect you're looking for.

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It's worth pointing out, apparently, that this is already how area fire already works. If there's no specific spotted target selected, the fire is directed at the AS selected, and at the AS either side of it. Suppression effects also apply to the AS adjacent to impacting fire, so the total width of suppression from any one target order is 5 whole AS, or 40m. Nearly half the length of a football pitch. Given that I'd be surprised if a single MG achieved meaningful suppression of a shielded ATG not in the directly targeted AS (because the fire is concentrated in the middle of the zone) in a single minute, spreading the fires out from a single machine gun even further would simply dilute the suppression effects to uselessness, as suppression rate tended (downwards) towards equivalence to rally speed. Even spreading the fire more evenly across the 40m zone would tend to mean a gun in the middle of the zone, which might even have ended up pinned with the situation as it stands, would tend to need more than a minute's fire for suppression to have its full effects.

Overlapping (alternate AS, or every third) fire by a "bevy" of advancing tanks will already achieve the effect you're looking for.

Thanks Wombie, I was not aware that the existing command works in the way you describe. That helps provide some of what I want. What I had in mind was sweeping fire, where the concentration moves along, say three action squares, enough to put heads down for infantry antitank weapons (bazookas, panzerfausts and 'shreks, antitank grenades, hand grenades, etc.). This could last more than a minute if need be. But I'll take what I can get, and this is better than I though it was.

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I was not aware that the existing command works in the way you describe

I think the way it has been described here may exaggerate the amount of spread. While there is some leakage of fire into adjacent action spots -- and I suspect this is just from weapon dispersion and random aiming errors rather than deliberate targeting -- the vast majority of it goes into the one action spot targeted.

However, your idea -- and one or two other similar concepts -- have been proposed before and discussed at length. The good news is BFC wants to do it. The bad new is they've been wanting to do it for years now. :P

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I think the way it has been described here may exaggerate the amount of spread. While there is some leakage of fire into adjacent action spots -- and I suspect this is just from weapon dispersion and random aiming errors rather than deliberate targeting -- the vast majority of it goes into the one action spot targeted.

I'd say it's about half into the centre AS, and 1/4 into each of the adjacent ones. My recollection is that BFC have confirmed that it's a deliberate targeting choice, rather than just random spread. My own testing suggests that the suppression effect in AS adjacent to where bullets hit is about half that of being in the same AS. Yes, the suppression certainly peaks in the centre (especially because it is subject to the "splash" suppression from the shots to both sides).

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The "official" comments that I have seen from Steve have been to the effect that the area fire is spread out only within the targeted AS. But I also have probably not read every comment ever written on the subject.

I did a quick and dirty test to satisfy my own curiosity. It's just a Sherman 76 on a hill shooting down into an action spot about 100 meters away for 3 or 4 turns. I made each surrounding AS a different terrain.

Something I hadn't realized before this test is that when you target an AS with area fire the targeting line does not snap to the center of the AS. It snaps to the lower left corner. Odd.

jgnt.jpg

51no.jpg

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Having been prompted to check what I "knew", it also occurred to me that I'd not done any detailed looking at MGs since the rebalancing. Looks like they've tightened up a lot, but the overall effect remains almost as broad.

MG fire is now rather more tightly focused (not just better aimed, but the aim is more concentrated), but create so much suppression that even the leakover into adjacent AS is enough to suppress elements there. Firing a single US HMG blind (I had to make it midnight) at 300 or so metre at a row of PaK40 on "Hide" orders behind a low rustic stone wall, three guns around the aim point were Pinned by the end of the first minute (the first gun was pinned around the 30s mark) and the two guns either side had 1/3-1/2 their suppression meter filled. All units Regular, Normal, 0. The stone wall appeared to make casualties unlikely when the gun crews were belly-down.

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