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What's the point of on map self propelled howtizers?


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With the WW2 titles I can't seem to use indirect fire from my on map Priest's, Hummels and Wespes via a forward observer. Oddly the only self-propelled arty that I can use as its role is the "Grille" in CMBN. What's the point of bringing these? Tanks, tank destroyers and assault guns seem to be far more effective in every way. They aren't particularly well armored, so you can't get them anywhere close enough. Are they more accurate? I suppose just park them on a hill and use direct fire? 

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Use them as assault guns in the area of operations on a typical map the enemy is 'under the guns' so to speak. I could use the German 75mm light field gun in an indirect fire role. On the maximum elevation of 45⁰ behind a single-story building. Here is where mortars come in. 

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They are pretty flat trajectory, and I've endured that same frustration in Lonsdale's Block with the British Airborne howitzers. It does seem like they're best suited for direct fire roles unless you can get them in a very wide open space where they're not going to just blast off the treetops or buildings around them if employed in indirect role. That said, if you start out thinking in terms of direct fire, they can really be pretty devastating and reach out from a long range

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12 hours ago, Anonymous_Jonze said:

With the WW2 titles I can't seem to use indirect fire from my on map Priest's, Hummels and Wespes via a forward observer. Oddly the only self-propelled arty that I can use as its role is the "Grille" in CMBN. What's the point of bringing these? Tanks, tank destroyers and assault guns seem to be far more effective in every way. They aren't particularly well armored, so you can't get them anywhere close enough. Are they more accurate? I suppose just park them on a hill and use direct fire? 

A whole class of guns existed during and before the war you know that had big guns but lacked the benefit of things like protection and self propulsion. They were known as "infantry guns" and they were designed entirely for direct fire on positions they had line of sight toward. That sounds pretty silly at first-but at the ranges of intended use, such as a kilometer or more-most infantry weapons had great difficulty hitting you and you could just bombard them. Infantry guns were slowly being supplanted by mortars as the war went on, but stuck around for a bit when the tank began to appear on the battlefield because anti-tank guns were always in short supply and the infantry needed absolutely anything that could sling a respectable AP or HEAT round into a Panzer. 

But regular field artillery often had substantial mechanisms for direct fire built in as well, and were given that job frequently in some armies in spite of the risk. Because in fact as long as the gun was kept a safe distance from the enemy (or in defilade) the advantage rested with the big gun chucking 15lb high explosive rounds. So with that in mind, it's not that extreme to see something like the Hummel or Priest-which at least had the benefit of armor and mobility-pressed into infantry support. You're right, they're not tanks, but there should still be a lot of work a self propelled 105mm gun in 1944 can do. 

Edited by SimpleSimon
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We don't have scenarios that we attack the fire bases for artillery. I wonder why for this for example the 25 pounder had an effective HEAT round to protect himself against tanks. Then there was the Battle of Mirbat 1972 in which a 25 pounder was operated single handedly in the direct fire mode. I would like to see scenarios in which artillery can be attacked. 

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HEAT rounds weren't provided for the 25 pounder until 1944, and not many were made because by then the 17 pounder was available. An AP round was provided instead-in theory for self defense-but in North Africa guns and sometimes whole batteries had to be set aside as anti-tank guns for a while until the 6 pounder became more widely available. 

In general it wasn't preferred to use the guns that way-it removed them from the overall fire control network they were a part of-but necessity often required the guns be employed in forward positions. Then of course there was doctrinal stuff like the Wehrmacht who would actually set aside individual "wandering" guns to mislead sound ranging and confuse or decoy counter-battery fire. Frequently though, the positions were just overrun when the enemy got too close. Especially in the Eastern Front where a frontline rarely existed at all and movers were either immobilized by mud or out of gas the positions had to just fight it out. This could be a problem since when deployed for support fire batteries would usually be in low ground and in the edge of readily "flankable" terrain like forests. On the other hand, there was more expectation that the guns and crews would have to fight than is often understood-because US Army practice was to do everything possible to prevent batteries from being enveloped-while in the Wehrmacht gun crews typically had priority for allowances of machine guns for instance. Whether this was a circumstance of the Eastern Front or just tradition 🤷‍♂️

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On 2/27/2021 at 5:17 PM, Anonymous_Jonze said:

With the WW2 titles I can't seem to use indirect fire from my on map Priest's, Hummels and Wespes via a forward observer. Oddly the only self-propelled arty that I can use as its role is the "Grille" in CMBN. What's the point of bringing these? Tanks, tank destroyers and assault guns seem to be far more effective in every way. They aren't particularly well armored, so you can't get them anywhere close enough. Are they more accurate? I suppose just park them on a hill and use direct fire? 

I don't know about historicity of these things, but as far as effectiveness is concerned I did have an entire American squad get deleted when it took a hit from German self-propelled arty. They seem pretty jank and easily destroyed, but they do put very explosive and deadly rounds down the range for whatever time they still live.

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3 hours ago, Freyberg said:

There was a fun scenario in CMBB based on the idea of Soviet tanks attacking a battery of howitzers.

I just wonder why in CM the indirect fire assets are immune. We can always make our own, there could be a map with hexagons so there is room to maneuver. Just use CM to the areas where the close action is. MBT can engage now at ranges where the sky meets the earth and beyond. It is only tactics and no strategy. Yes, even MBT's could be off map. Challenges of the game. They could make a strategic game which can generate QB's. Not all of us are expert on the editor. 

Edited by chuckdyke
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17 hours ago, chuckdyke said:

I just wonder why in CM the indirect fire assets are immune.

CMBB (and the other v.1 titles) had a lot more models and were great games for the time, but the models, game mechanics and TOEs were much much simpler - I prefer the current game by far.

It would still be possible to set up a similar scenario with some of the field guns the game does model - like the German infantry guns...

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3 hours ago, Freyberg said:

CMBB (and the other v.1 titles) had a lot more models and were great games for the time, but the models, game mechanics and TOEs were much much simpler - I prefer the current game by far.

It would still be possible to set up a similar scenario with some of the field guns the game does model - like the German infantry guns...

In Battle for Normandy the normal field guns are available. As a suggestion we can do Maneuver Warfare in which every kilometer becomes 10 kilometers. Buildings and Icons become symbolic, and we create smaller maps to do battles the usual way. Here is a screenshot of Silence the Guns.

fieldgun.png

 

 

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On 2/28/2021 at 12:17 AM, Anonymous_Jonze said:

With the WW2 titles I can't seem to use indirect fire from my on map Priest's, Hummels and Wespes via a forward observer. Oddly the only self-propelled arty that I can use as its role is the "Grille" in CMBN. What's the point of bringing these? Tanks, tank destroyers and assault guns seem to be far more effective in every way. They aren't particularly well armored, so you can't get them anywhere close enough. Are they more accurate? I suppose just park them on a hill and use direct fire? 

For historical scenarios, I would say they are there, because they were „there“.  You fight with what you have, though it may not always the best suited.

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4 hours ago, Bulletpoint said:

I tried, but unfortunately they are pretty bugged.

I did a quick test in a scenario am playing where I used an FO to order an on map (German 75mm inf) gun to fire on its own location via indirect fire during the set-up turn.  It the next turns the gun did so and damaged and killed the gun and surrounding units.

In addition, it seems like the game system calculates that - when using the gun for indirect fire - the on-map gun seems to be calculated to be several hundred meters offmap - in the example I tried hundreds of meters offmap to the NE.  

Am adding this to the weird and oddities list.

 

 

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