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Tac-AI Area Fires and...?

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I just finished a TCP/IP game, and I don't have the save for the following... but this is what the Stug Tac-AI did.

(The following took place with the smoke grapics turned off, without my realizing it... Duh)

A Stug-G (not 100% sure on the "G") is lined up (Key-holed, but no cover-arc) with the anticipated approach of the enemy (both enemy armor at distance and infantry near).

Ememy tanks at distance (approx 500 yd) do not show, so Stug targets enemy Inf near (250 yd).

When enemy infantry are driven to ground (and disappear in rough... or is it smoke?) the Stug proceeds to area fire into the rough!!... Cool, that's great...but,

Next turn I order Stug to rotate more to distant armor (it's already facing the correct way, I just want to get it perfect). I also order Cover/Armor arc, but... I don't realize there is a smoke screen immediately to my Stug's front, so...

The Stug deletes the Cover/Armor arc and rotates away from the direction I orderd!

Distant armor shows up and picks off Stug, now turned away from key-hole. I would have been better off leaving the Stug with the area fire target line on (since he was facing the threat with it on).

I am guessing that the Stug switched to area fire because of the smoke (which I was unable to see, because I had somehow turned off the smoke grapics).

I'm not sure why the Stug ignored the rotate order and cover/armor arc.

Has anybody else seen an AFV ignore an order (possibly caused by smoke)?

Thanks in advance,


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Ok, I've never witnessed a tank area fire on its own accord, nor have I seen it cancel a fire arc by itself.

Tanks can make stupid maneuvers if they are bombarded by off-board artillery though; the scurry away from even the (relatively) tiny 81mm mortar shells.

The phenomena you described is hard to believe without screenshots.

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So when it did the 'area fire', was it firing HE or smoke? Smoke is normally fired as area fire, and it is possible that you didn't realize this because your smoke graphics were turned off... just a guess.

Units can ignore arcs and hide orders if being fired at from outside the arc or otherwise feel themselves threatened.

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i've had units ignore cover arcs, Russian SMG squads in woods overrode them to get an 88 + tractor going past. that was sweet.

so maybe there was a high value unit it was shooting at. there is a bug..ummm..feature where a unit will shoot at the most expensive unit it can see. so maybe what you thought was infantry was the battalion commander or an FO.

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I know that units can shoot outside their cover arc; according to the manual, this behavior decreases as the observed unit's experience level increases.

Perhaps I mistakenly understood from the original post that the unit actually "cancelled" the cover arc, meaning that it removed it completely, instead of just shooting momentarily outside of it.

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There are several tricks to enforce a unit does not rotate in the wrong direction. I usually use them when a tank is behind a house and I want to bring him back to cover without rotating.

a) set covered arc with the center of the arc facing the right direction. Does not need a rotate if turretless. Cancel any targets and make sure it is an armor covered arc. Not 100% reliable - see above :(

B) rotate. Least reliable

c) Issue a covered arc as above and give some reverse or move command (perfectly aligned with the center of the covered arc). Make sure the pause is above 60secs (pause command, several waypoints etc). Still not reliable 100%, but better than a).

d) hide can help the process - doesn't work with c).

e) Incoming small arms vs the TC might persuade the TC to rotate - button up will reduce this but might result in slower spotting. Use what you deem appropriate for the moment. You might have moved the StuG bringing the smoke between you and the inf.

f) Once the inf found the StuG you'll loose surprise anyway. Move the StuG somewhere else.


c) Works great for turreted vehicles when you don't want your tank hull to face the enemy cause it peeks out behind a house and has to retreat fast without rotating. For turretless vehicles you can use it, too - but the gun traverse limits it to about 15°. Still 15° less to rotate when reversing out of danger.



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