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Blast it. Rocky.


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1. Does the "blast" effect from a gun have the same effect as adding an equivalent amount of small arms fire? In other words, if I have an Infantry Gun with a blast of 27, does that do the same potential damage firing at an infantry unit or gun as an MG, at long range, with a fire-power of 27? Or is there something about "blast" (other than area effects) which would make that IG blast number more effective?

2. More of an observation, but I would be interested in any comment: When going from CMBO to CMAK I was prepared for many of the changes--more fragile infantry, cover arcs, etc. But what I was not prepared for was the, it seems to me, tremendous effects of having rocky terrain. It almost seems like a magic carpet to me with regard to infantry movement (I am exagerating, of course)--excellent cover and concealment, but seems to have little effect on my units LOS. Instead of moving my infantry across the "green" highways of woods/brush, I now find myself studiously avoiding brush, and zooming in to look for those tell-tale rocks to guide me forward.

I was interested that the addition of a type of terrain could change decades of my play style (going back to "Panzerbush" of AH Panzerblitz).

Anyone else notice such a change?

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1. -- Yes, my hazy recollection is that many moons ago, in the days when there was only CMBO, someone from BFC confirmed that the "Blast" rating for HE weapons is in the same units as small arms fp.

But keep in mind that this is to some extent comparing apples to oranges. Especially with small HE, a lot depends on how close the shell lands to the unit's centerpoint. HE can even miss a target entirely, especially if the target is on a crest. Not so with small arms fire, which is always assumed to be "on target", though there is obviously variation in the results calculation.

Remember that ROF is a factor, too. Some small HE weapons, like 50mm mortars and 20mm autocannons, have a much higher supression effect than their low blast rating might make you think, because they have a very high ROF.

Also, IIRC, BFC also stated that this blast rating is an abstraction, meant to give the player a rough idea of the shell's power, and that the game engine actually models both the density and velocity of the shrapnel field a given shell creates.

What all this means is that you can have two shells of more-or-less the same "Blast Rating", but different lethality characteristics.

For example, one shell might have a lot of frangible casing, and so produce more dangrous shrapnel, but a comparatively low HE-load. This kind of shell would tend to be very lethal up close, but the lethality would fall off quickly the farther you got from the detonation point.

Another shell with the same blast rating could be just the opposite -- not as many shell fragments, but lots of HE, so its fragments are still dangerous very far away from the impact point, but less actual fragments means any one object or soldier is less likely to get hit.

As to (2), yes, Rocky ground is surprisingly useful. It can be hard to spot sometimes in among regular open ground; there are some mods out there to help with this.

Cheers,

YD

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Thank you. A very clear and cogent response!

(And it confirms my sense that those little infantry guns the Germans sent into Crete are no infantry-killer monsters. So, since their blast does not drop off with distance--unlike machine guns--it would seem that the best tactic would be to keep them well behind the forward line, so as to minimize counter-fire, and to use them for long-range, albeit inaccurate at distance, suppression.)

[ September 20, 2006, 11:57 AM: Message edited by: Rankorian ]

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The main effect of blast comes from the fact that it ignores concealment, whereas small arms fire does not. The percent exposure numbers displayed are a combination of 2 separate types of protection modeled internally - cover and concealment. Concealment helps only against aimed infantry type fire, not against the 25m radius suppression effects of area fire, nor against blast.

Rocky and rough have some cover component, whereas brush and wheat are all concealment. Foxholes are pure cover. Trenches are some of each but heavy on the cover, unless the round lands physically within the trench icon. Buildings mix both but the heavy ones in particular have a large cover component. As do stone walls.

The upshot is that the small arms should do open and the HE should do cover - pretty much. I find blast is up to 5 times more effective than fp, in practice, when cover effects are ignored. A single 75mm HE chucker will pin or break a target in woods or tree cover in a minute flat, despite having only 200-250 blast (counting all shells sent). It takes up to 1000 cumulative infantry fp to get the same result, in my experience. 30-40 fp delivered 6 times in a minute may send a unit in open ground into sideways sneaking, but it is unlikely to do anything serious to a squad in actual cover.

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Very interesting, JasonC. I did not realize blast ignores concealment.

But then I trip over what looks like what would be the consequence: It would seem that HE would then be particularly good at blasting wheat/bush, while, given the same firepower, both would be the same when firing at someone in a foxhole.

This goes against my usual practice, I think, of trying to "hit" those troups/guns in foxholes with HE. Perhaps I am still affected by the idea, as I noted above, that "blast" is not target-distance affected--many prepared defensive positions are not going be designed so as to let me wander easily toward them with small-arms units, so I consider direct and indirect HE the usual countermeasure to such positions.

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Good point. I have trouble using smoke effectively. But the current operation I am playing is on open map, and gives me little smoke.

As a post-script to my initial question: After pouring 100s of small arm points into flak-in-foxhole positions, only to have the guns be suppressed, I had an infantry gun fire from around 1500 meters (blast 47? 27?), score what seemed to be a direct hit on a different flak unit, and KOed it. Quite impressive to see that fired round fly across the map to its successful impact point.

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Yes smoke can be tricky at times. Just recently I had occasion to use an infantry gun against a pillbox, and because the kill probability was rare, decided to fire smoke instead to cover assault by my infantry. Well the d**n gun would not fire smoke, but kept chucking HE, even after several turns of my pleading. Perhaps the fact that the pillbox was raking the gun with MG fire had something to do with it.

Usually though, it ( smoke ) is very effective for me in that rush over the last 100-200+ m. of open ground.

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