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Question about artillery spotters


Gollum
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Ive ordered an off board artillery strike with my spotter team. the delay is 2 minutes after the order was issued. if my spotter is killed during this waiting time, is the strike cancelled, or is the accuracy just diminished?

Also, if my spotter team issues a strike for a part of the board they cant see with their LOS, will it work better as a TARGET WIDE order, or does it matter if they use a normal TARGET order?

Gollum

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Ive ordered an off board artillery strike with my spotter team. the delay is 2 minutes after the order was issued. if my spotter is killed during this waiting time, is the strike cancelled, or is the accuracy just diminished?
If the spotter is killed the barrage will stop. The only exception is when the spotter is killed and a salvo is already enroute to the target. Otherwise all fire support from the battery the spotter controlled is lost for the duration of the game.
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How do I know if the salvo is already on route to the target? Like I said, I ordered the artillery strike and it gave me a waiting time of 2 minutes next to the ammo display. Does this mean the attack will be guaranteed for one turn at least?

So does this mean a spotter can target something and then run away to avoid being killed, and the attack will work? Or does he have to remain in the same place?

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Gollum,

Watch your ammo counter. If you see it start to drop, it means firing is taking place. As I recall,

you should also see a "Firing" message appear. Should your FO come to an untimely end once the shoot begins, the fire support you get will equal

initial allocation minus quantity listed when your FO is killed. If he buys it before this, you're out of luck. The time given is an approximation and is modified by things like experience level and morale state. There is also an interval between volleys, which is a function of the weapon type and size. Moving the FO will delay the countdown, and you need to make sure the FO has LOS to the target, or at least close enough that the pattern will cover said target. In CMBO rounds will land E-W.

Regards,

John Kettler

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How do I know if the salvo is already on route to the target?
You watch the ammo loadout of the spotter for a reduction. As soon as the number of availible rounds drops that means a salvo is enroute. In CMBO offboard artillery always fires in 4-round salvos, unless of course the remaining ammo is less than 4 rounds. An exception to this is hte spotter rounds, which precede the main barrage by 30 seconds and is always a one round shot.

Like I said, I ordered the artillery strike and it gave me a waiting time of 2 minutes next to the ammo display. Does this mean the attack will be guaranteed for one turn at least?
If the spotter is killed with the timer still counting down then you lose contact with the offboard artillery, and thus all fire support from said battery. The exception I mentioned earlier occurs very rarely, and only when the actual barrage is well underway. In your example you were still waiting for the first rounds to fall, so the exception wouldn't apply.

So does this mean a spotter can target something and then run away to avoid being killed, and the attack will work? Or does he have to remain in the same place?
This I am not sure of. Your barrage may suffer an accuracy and/or response penalty if the spotter loses LOS at any time during the barrage (like running away after calling in the barrage). I've always kept my spotter in LOS to the target so it could re-adjust to a new target with minimal delay.
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Ok, thanks. My spotter is caught in an ambush and has ordered an artillery strike. He is currently being barraged by tank and infantry machine gun fire. The artiilery has one minute to go before it arrives. Im trying to decide if he should stay under fire, or flee. If he flees, it sounds like my attack will fail. If he stays put and the attack works, it will route the enemy from his position. Tough dilemma eh?

Gollum

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Originally posted by Gollum:

Ok, thanks. My spotter is caught in an ambush and has ordered an artillery strike. He is currently being barraged by tank and infantry machine gun fire. The artiilery has one minute to go before it arrives. Im trying to decide if he should stay under fire, or flee. If he flees, it sounds like my attack will fail. If he stays put and the attack works, it will route the enemy from his position. Tough dilemma eh?

Gollum

Unless they are right on top of him, try and hide. I think that you can still call in arty while hiding. If they ARE right on top of him you can start filling out the KIA report now. Anyway, more importantly I think you messed up somewhere along the way if your spotter is getting ambushed. You got him way to close to the front line action. If done right, your spotter won't be spotted until your side is being routed, and at that point it won't matter anyhow.
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I guess youre right, but my spotter had no LOS at all unless I pushed him to the front so he could see over barriers.

Anyhow, it appears any artillery fire near the spotter cancels the strike. He was forced to take cover when an explosion landed nearby, and the strike I waited 2 turns for got cancelled immediately. Is that realistic? Surely a unit changing posture shouldnt rule out an airstrike! I challenge the designers of the game to defend the realism of that! If I give coordinates and then crouch down, why should anything change?

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I challenge the designers of the game to defend the realism of that!
Well, I ain't no designer, but I'll take that challenge. . .

The last communication before the shells begin to come down between an FO and a battery is usually either "Fire For Effect" or something like "X rounds, HE quick", where X is the number of shell/tube, and "HE quick" is the shell type and fuze setting (could also be somehing else).

Without this final communication to commence fire, the battery does NOT fire. We're talking about a fluid battle situation where forces, friend and foe, are frequently changing position. Since the battery has no way of seeing what's happening along the line of engagement itself, it has to rely on communications from an FO to know where and when to fire.

Put yourself in the place of a battery commander: You receive an order to fire on a certain map coordinate. You fire a spotting round from your #2 gun, and get a correction from the spotter. You correct aim and fire one final shell to make sure you're on target. Then your connection with your spotter goes dead. No confirmation that you're on target, no order of any kind to commence fire.

For all you know, the enemy is no longer at the targeted location, or perhaps the enemy has retreated and the area is now being occupied by friendly forces. For all these reasons and more, you do not fire without the specific order to do so.

So, no, I don't think losing an arty plot when the FO has to go find cover is necessarily realistic. If incoming fire is intense enough, it will likely temporarily force the FO to cease communication with the battery while he's avoiding an unplanned meeting with a bullet or piece of shrapnel. So long as the FO is off the phone, that fire ain't coming in.

Now, there are many ways that the CM artillery model could be improved. Relevant to this specific topic, the battery wouldn't totally lose the firing solution for a given location if it lost communication with the FO after the solution had already been plotted; it would hold fire, but it would still have the gun lay setting (in fact, the guns would probably still be laid on those coordinates). It would simply be in a holding pattern, waiting for a confirmation order.

Assuming your FO is able to get himself out of danger, get back to his radio and re-establish communication with the battery, he could more or less pick up where he left off and call in fire on the same location quite quickly. Note, however, that we're usually talking about communications through vacuum-tube WWII-era radio sets here, not modern electronics; even if the radio isn't damaged in the course of the FO's scramble for cover, it may take a while to re-establish the link with the battery. So it's not necessarily unrealistic in CM to force the player to start over again with the Arty plot procedure.

IRL, this ability to call in fire again on recently used coordinates actually holds for *any* location where a firing solution has been plotted recently -- i.e., every time you plot an artillery strike in CM, you should end up with a TRP (for arty only) at the location of that strike, which you could use to call in fire there again very quickly.

OTOH, CM in general is pretty generous to the player when it comes to the amount of time it takes to call in an arty strike, so to an extent it kind of comes out in the wash. Starting from scratch, the CM player can probably call in arty faster than in RL. RL spotters probably often had more flexibility to do things like call in fire again on a previous solution, "walk" fire to a location out of LOS, establish a solution and then hold fire, etc.

Cheers,

YD

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