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I'm not being mean I hope ;)

You need to start playing with the editor. Besides being a fun break from playing CM, you can learn a few things.

Go to the units menu and pick 10 120s and a T34. Go preview the map. Set the T34 in the middle. Set your mortars around behind the T34 at least 100m away. Save as T34test. Exit and start the battle. Fire away and let me know the answer.

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YES - Potentially, a direct hit by a 120mm round (or similar caliber) can kill a tank with a "top penetration" or if the round falls close enough,it can cause an immobilization and the crew may bail out (e.g. In a PBEM, a 105mm round exploded about 10m. away from my T34: the engine just died, and the crew abandoned the tank).

My 2(euro)cents...

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Der Kunstler.. I think what they are saying is that, it is possible. Even a 50 mm mortar can take out a King Tiger qith a very luck track or gun hit, but how likely is that? By trying things like this out by yourself you get an understanding of how effective different weapon systems can be vs others.

You see my point here? You could have asked if the T34 was vurnable to 50 mm mortars and I could say yes. Would that in ANY way helped you? No.

As a general rule, do not waste arty vs tanks.

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Ok I just wanted to know if it was possible - I was in the middle of a raging PBEM game and didn't want the sideshow of doing all the experimenting myself at that time - and didn't want to waste my ammo on something with no chance. I respect you guys and your answers and feel that this forum is a good place to pool our knowledge so we each don't have to re-invent the wheel. Otherwise, why have a forum? We could all just figure it out ourselves. Sorry if I irritated somebody but no one is forced to click on my posts or answer my questions. Thanks to everyone for the good answers.

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My recommendation is save your ammo.

I've tried heavy arty against real armor, and what I found was the heaviest stuff, 203mm, 210mm, can get a significant number of gun damage, immobilization, and a few full KO results. To hit tank targets, they generally need TRPs, because the delay is so long otherwise. You also want a platoon sized target, not a single vehicle. For the cost of the big modules, you really want infantry around the aim point, too. Big arty is much more effective against those, and firing a full 203mm module to immobilize one tank isn't a bargain.

150mm and 152mm calibers are already getting marginal. They do get immobilizations from near misses, and cap TCs with the first flight sometimes, while the target is still unbuttoned. But full KOs are rare, and the overall cost for the damage inflicted is higher than with 203s and 210s. They are somewhat more responsive - the German divisional 150s in particular.

Anything lighter than that is a desperation type of thing.

Light armor is somewhat easier, open topped things. With those, you still need to be very close with big stuff, or to get direct hits. The caliber doesn't matter so much if you do get a direct hit. As a result, lots of ammo matters a bit more. 81mm and 82mm mortars can shell halftracks, Marders, SU-76s. Only hits inside do anything, but those do happen with so many cheap shells. They are still quite rare compared to aimed fire. But open topped vehicles are well advised to get out of any barrage area ASAP.

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Originally posted by Der Kuenstler:

Ok I just wanted to know if it was possible - I was in the middle of a raging PBEM game and didn't want the sideshow of doing all the experimenting myself at that time

That's easy--ask your opponent, then do the opposite. Unless you think he anticipates your doing that, in which case you take his advice. Unless you think he anticipates that, in which case... ;)
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Originally posted by JasonC:

My recommendation is save your ammo.

150mm and 152mm calibers are already getting marginal.

Amen.

Recent anecdotes that come to mind:

1. [CMAK] plastering 2 or 3 full platoons of Pz IV Hs and a single Pz V G platoon with about five 105 mm OBA modules - end result was "lucky to immobilise one of them"...not sure how many unbuttoned crew got dinged

2. [CMAK & CMBB] a buttoned Sherman and SU-85 each taking a direct Top Hit from 81 mm OBA/on-board mortar fire - end result "diddly & squat"...not even a crimp in morale level

3. [CMAK] Italian 149 mm OBA immobilising and forcing a bail out on a Matilda II

4. [CMBB] getting really lucky and immobilising a Pz IV with a 50 mm mortar near miss

5. [CMBO] a King Tiger shrugging off three or four near misses from 155 mm OBA

6. [CMBB] TRP'd bend in the road receiving 1 x 120 mm & 1 x 152 mm OBA. Bombardment caught 1 x Pz III platoon & 2 x Pz IV platoons. I think one or two were immobilised. More damage was inflicted by them being buttoned when some T-34s played peek-a-boo from reverse slope. Same game, different TRP - 82 mm OBA catches 2 x SPW 251 platoons on the move - only one KOd.

[ April 20, 2005, 12:04 PM: Message edited by: Brent Pollock ]

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Please note again there is quite a difference with this sort of thing between BB and AK (I don't even count BO). In AK, firing 81mm mortars at a tank, for example, has a much better chance of knocking a track out or gun damage than BB. It's a big enough difference that in BB I wouldn't waste the ammo in the above example, while in AK I might very well give it a go (if someone was parked for a few turns with one of their tanks).

Note also another example that is likely lesser known, and interesting. If you area fire 75mm HE at the front of a bunker in BB, you will not cause any casualties. In AK, the splash will kill a random crew member. After you whack enough crew members the pillbox bails. This allows you to take out those nasty AT pillboxes from the safety of a nice keyhole :D You're welcome.

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Originally posted by junk2drive:

Since 3/4 hour had passed I thought I would post something for you. You checked back in an hour.

Some questions are hard to test, some are easy, some are fun to test.

Hey no problem junk2drive - I think all of you guys are cool - I've got no problem with any of you. Sometimes communication is hard in this medium. Thanks for taking the time, everybody. (group hug) he he
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The typical set up is between two houses or something similar. If you go forward between two houses, you reach a point where you have 180 degrees LOS forward - you are ahead of both, front to back. OK, now pull back slightly. The edges of the houses start to eat into the field of view on each side. Keep backing up, and the field of view gets narrower and narrower. By the time you are well behind the two houses, you are looking down the "alley" between them, and only see a thin pencil of ground beyond the line of the houses.

Effectively, you are using the houses as cover against most of the map.

Then the thing is, you pick the enemy you want to fight. You are selecting that one enemy out of the whole enemy force. The idea is to isolate him, so none of his friends can help him. Maybe the enemy has 4 tanks side by side 100m apart. If you pulled all the way forward, you'd be seen by all 4. To fire at one, you'd take fire from all four.

Instead you pick a keyhole the isolates your chosen target. You pull forward enough, and shift a little to one side occasionally, so you see him and him only.

In game mechanics, put a hunt or fast move waypoint slightly ahead along the axis between the houses. Now add a "rotate to" command at the end. Put the end of that "rotate to" on your target. Now, pick up the hunt or fast move waypoint. Drag it forward slowly, until the purple line from the "rotate to" clears the houses on either side. You can add a vehicle covered arc in the direction of the target and just a bit wider than the keyhole, to ensure your turret is already right on him the instant you pull into LOS.

See the idea? Then, since you only have one gun, you only fight one enemy at a time. When you want to fight another, you pick a new keyhole that isolates just him. Obviously you also try to pick targets that you can kill, that aren't looking, that can't get through your front armor at that range, (some or all of the above).

The view from one keyhole can be avoided and lets the enemy move around, compared to wide LOS from a position far forward, clear of the houses. But you can stop movement with two keyholes by two guns or tanks, if the lines cross. They either cross the line from shooter A or from shooter B, or stay far away.

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There's one to burn into the ol' memory box :cool:

Originally posted by JasonC:

In game mechanics, put a hunt or fast move waypoint slightly ahead along the axis between the houses. Now add a "rotate to" command at the end. Put the end of that "rotate to" on your target. Now, pick up the hunt or fast move waypoint. Drag it forward slowly, until the purple line from the "rotate to" clears the houses on either side.

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Originally posted by JasonC:

lol. Well, you have time while the smoke of the falling building clears to get out of dodge. For guns, your comment can stand.

If there is no other cover readily available close by, it doesn't really matter that you MAY have time to drive the tank somewhere else as you will be a nice juicy target as you do so.
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Going back to the original question.IMHO,the two most important factors to consider are:

1)The concentration of enemy armor(how many will be in the arty's area of effect)

2)what the terrain type is under them.

I do not waste time doing scenario editor test's,I wait until I experience these things in-game.And based on experience(though limited experience),81/82mm FO with like 6-9 tubes,firing on armor that is on road,pavement,and possible even rocky,will be significantly more damaging.NOT to kill,but to immobilize,gun damage,dead TC.The short delays mean no need for a TRP,and it is no where near as expensive as the big stuff.Plus the much more concentrated spread,means more of the good stuff falling where you need it.

To the contrary,I would imagine that if the terrain type were mud,deep mud,snow,deep snow,and maybe other's,the arty will be less effective.It's all about the splash damage with the lighter stuff.

I would never,unless completely desperate,waste big arty on armor.Nor would I try and setup the little "trap" necessary to use the whole TRP idea.Not to mention the "needle in the hay-stack" chance you have that they will stop close enough to the TRP.

Everyone is more than welcome to test it and prove me wrong.But based on experience,or just really bad luck,I had two PzIII's all but instanly immobilzed/gun-damaged.One had both,and the other I managed to back out of the area of effect with only a damaged gun in the following turn.

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