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Why Only One Parameter For Adjusting Indirect Fire Missions?


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I'm curious what people think about the limit of a single parameter, Fire Location, to the adjustment of indirect fire missions. (Of course, there are multiple parameters available as to target location and pattern.)

 

Specifically, I wonder why we don't have an option to extend the duration of a fire mission. If the spotter sees the target and sees that the mission is effective, why can he not radio the mortar(s)/gun(s) and say, "We're blasting them to hell, Harry! Keep it going another minute or until you run out of ammo!" ???

 

The question is prompted by a situation in a game I'm playing (vs AI) where a fire mission has less than a minute remaining, but the remaining mortar shells in inventory are such that it makes sense to just expend all remaining rounds. What rounds that remain would not even allow for decent spotting on any subsequent fire mission.

 

I'm not complaining, just curious if there is some rationale for this limitation.

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Yep, I've wondered about this too.  There's obviously nothing technically complex about "Keep doing what you're doing."  Indeed, it's notably less complex than a pattern and location change.

On the other hand (for the WWII timeframe anyways), I wonder if we have more options/flexibility than the real deal.  I know some people use house rules where anything other than a point target must be pre-planned, etc...

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I think it would make sense for offmap arty to add any "tag ends" of the ammo allocation to a mission if there won't be enough rounds to zero in and executte a 1-tube Quick mission, and there are no smoke rounds available. Those 3 remaining rounds are, as you say, pretty close to wasted.

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It seems that the best way to do an arty mission is to set the duration for Maximum. If you don't need to use all the arty, then just kill the mission.

 

What purpose does it serve to order a mission that's smaller than the Max when there's no penalty for calling in a Max strike and then ending it short?

 

A good point.

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It seems that the best way to do an arty mission is to set the duration for Maximum. If you don't need to use all the arty, then just kill the mission.

 

What purpose does it serve to order a mission that's smaller than the Max when there's no penalty for calling in a Max strike and then ending it short?

 

That restricts you to very slow rate of fire. If you have plenty of time, that's a great choice, just order a slow barrage with one gun, maximum duration, then shift aim point as needed and finally call off the mission.

 

But if you have less time, you often need to saturate a target quickly to ensure effect, then move on to another target if you have more shells. That means higher rate of fire/more guns in action, which means a lot of shells wasted while you radio in the cancel order.

 

If you play real time, I guess it makes more sense to order maximum barrages and cancel them, but still there's a delay.

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It seems that the best way to do an arty mission is to set the duration for Maximum. If you don't need to use all the arty, then just kill the mission.

 

What purpose does it serve to order a mission that's smaller than the Max when there's no penalty for calling in a Max strike and then ending it short?

While curtailed/adjusted "Maximum duration" missions have their place (a large place, IMO; I use them all the time at reduced RoFs and tubes-firing counts), there is a penalty for ending a strike short: it takes time for the message to get through and be acted upon, and in that time you will use more shells than you had decided you "need"; if your fire rate was high, this could be a lot of shells. The art of judging exactly how much early to end a strike is probably at least as arcane as the art of judging which preset mission duration to choose for a given target.
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What purpose does it serve to order a mission that's smaller than the Max when there's no penalty for calling in a Max strike and then ending it short?

@womble makes a good point but you can mitigate that with some experience. The other downside risk is that your calling FO will be KIA/WIA and then you are stuck with the mission as is.

Having said that I do this too quite a lot. If I feel I cannot guess what preset length I want I go with maximum and cancel it. I think probably about three quarters of my calls are maximum and then I cancel them or adjust them. It is a very helpful technique.

That restricts you to very slow rate of fire.

No, I can make maximum call with any of the choices for rate of fire and number of tubes.

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No, I can make maximum call with any of the choices for rate of fire and number of tubes.

Indeed, but the rate of fire with a max rate max tubes mission can, with many arty modules, or if it's not at full ammo, mean that you have to cancel them the turn after they start falling in order to have any rounds left for other missions. Sometimes, even then, you end up with not enough rounds for an effective mission. In other words, the faster the mission, the harder it is to control, and the higher the price for having it set to max duration.
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No, I can make maximum call with any of the choices for rate of fire and number of tubes.

 

I'm afraid of running out of shells using any rate of fire greater than light or harass.  I normally use two tubes of arty (105mm preferred) with a light rate of fire, point target, maximum duration.  When the rounds start to impact the first target I then adjust to the next target.  A few more shells will fall on the original target and then the fire will start to shift.  I don't remember the exact amount of time but I think many four tube arty batteries firing only two tubes on light will provide over 30 minutes of indirect support when used with these parameters.  Usually enough time and HE to greatly assist with the breakthrough.

 

Edit: Womble beat me to most of it.

Edited by MOS:96B2P
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Indeed, but the rate of fire with a max rate max tubes mission can, with many arty modules, or if it's not at full ammo, mean that you have to cancel them the turn after they start falling in order to have any rounds left for other missions. Sometimes, even then, you end up with not enough rounds for an effective mission. In other words, the faster the mission, the harder it is to control, and the higher the price for having it set to max duration.

Ah, I see. It is true it makes it harder to control. I still do it a lot of the time. But really a lot of the time you don't need a Heavy barrage to get the job done. Going with Medium give you more control and still pretty good results.

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