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A Lesson in Using Mortars: spotting IS important


apoll
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So..here I am, armed with hours of watching YouTube vids on CM still tactics, reading manuals, and practice. I have a Bn of infantry, supported by heavy mortars and 2 x half tracks fwd observers. I push fwd a coy into a treeline, and I push out some enemy recon. One of my squads, however, runs into an anti-aircraft gun, and gets wiped out. Right! I know how to deal with it: mortars at a thousand yards! I push forward the Coy comd to spot and call in heavy mortars. I fill out the order template: point attack, medium etc. This should really sort him out, and I have eyes on. The long wait, a few spotting rounds, and then.... nothing. There is a barrage, but it has gotta be enemy, because it is nowhere near the target. In fact, a few stray rounds hit my own troops. Thus can't be right! But utterly is; my spotter sucks, the enemy gun remains in action, and my mortar barrage is over. Crap! How can a spotter get it so wrong??? A good lesson to make sure the spotter really has a good sight on the tgt!

Apoll

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The spotter has to see the spotting rounds well enough to gauge their exact location in order to correct fire. Just hearing a bang and getting a vague glimpse of some smoke somewhere off in the woods isn't good enough.

The way the game simulates this is that if you try to call in fire with a spotter who has only marginal LOS (i.e., can see the target point, but does not have LOS to a broad area around the target point), you're asking for trouble and the strike may go off target. Strikes under these conditions will come in on target sometimes, but not always.

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To be honest it sounds like a problem that's been discussed here before.. barrage wildly off tagert even after spotting rounds etc. People seem unsure if it's a bug or working as designed. I'm personally with the first group.

Been there, done that, have the T-shirt ...!

I'm not sure either whether it's a bug, or intended to represent the vagaries of WWII comms etc. It has certainly happened to me with perfect spotter LOS; I wouldn't call the mission otherwise ...

What irritates me most, though, is that it still happens AFTER the spotter calls FFE. If he cannot see well enough to gauge the accuracy of the spotting round(s), then surely the FFE call shouldn't be made?

Not calling FFE would start another issue of having to re-site the spotter and call the mission all over again: but isn't that what you would expect if the spotter could not, for whatever reason, actually spot?

All in all, I lean towards it being intended: but no less frustrating for that!

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Yeah, if the spotting round is not on target, or if the spotter can't see the spotting round, then he should not call fire for effect. I don't think that's how it was done in the war either. Unless in desperate situations, and that's when you would use 'emergency' in the game. Pretty sure it's a bug.

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You're assuming he just outright doesn't see it. Maybe he sees it, but he only sees the smoke plume above the bushes and so mis-gauges the distance. Or, maybe he sees the spotting rounds(s) but since he has poor visibility to the surrounding terrain, he mis-reads his location the map and so calls in an incorrect correction.

Basically, humans are fallible. Maybe the FO thinks all is good and he's got the fire correctly dialed in, so he calls for FFE, but he's wrong.

Even today with GPS and laser rangefinder whiz-bangs accurate down to single meters, fire missions still come in off target occasionally. That it happens sometimes in a WWII game is entirely realistic.

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