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Effectiveness of Artillery and Air Support Against Armour

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I ran some tests this morning that I thought might be helpful to the community. Usually, in cases where I'm fighting enemy armour, I've had enough big guns or Javs to deal with them. But this morning I was reading about CAS and artillery and I decided to see how effective they are against tanks. I lined up a Syrian T-62 company in the middle of the desert with no AI plans, opposing was an FO with the following support:

2x120mm mortar

2x155mm Howitzer




I started with the mortars, point-target on a single tank. They got a top hit after about a minute of firing, which K-Killed the tank.

I then opened with the howitzers on another tank, point-target as well. They missed every single shot, even after four minutes of firing, but managed to take out its tracks. I tried to see if the mortars would K-Kill it again, but they missed all their shots as well.

I next tried point targets with all the CAS options. All three hit their targets and K-Killed them the first time around.

Then I tried Area Targets for all three CAS options, where the area contained two T-62s but that was not centered on them. The aircraft picked out the tanks and shot at them, rather than scattering ammunition all over the area. The A-10 hit both targets the first time around. The AH-64 missed the second tank on its first shot, but then killed it as well. The F-16 hit with its first shot, but its second shot missed the second tank. Its strafing run hit though, and this caused a Syrian surrender.

Second test:

Same as above, but I had one tank move around constantly. I tried first targeting it with mortars. They tracked it and started shooting near it at one point on its route, but when it moved away the rounds continued to hit the same spot. Then I tried with the F-16, the least accurate aircraft according to my last test. The F-16 followed it and hit it with a precision missile dead on.

Conclusion: Artillery is very poor at hitting tanks, let alone killing them, and should be used, if at all, only on static tanks. Aircraft, on the other hand, are excellent tank-killers, even if the tank is on the move.

[ December 27, 2007, 04:16 PM: Message edited by: Field Marshal Blücher ]

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Artillery's effectivity against all kinds of armored vehicles is bad, i know that.

From what i tested: Basically several hits near vehicle (distance less than 2 meters between crater and vehicle) is needed to cut BMP's track... and even then there is luck involved.

At that point BMP as well as every other vehicle should be in state that it can't fight. Optics busted, armor torned and twisted etc...

I'm bit sad as arty should be reqularry used to damage vehicles during barrage so that AT's job gets bit more easier when enemy begins it assault... If enemy is still willing to assault.

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well the russians were pretty good at taking out enemy tank formations during WWII... but they did that by funneling the enemy into a tight area and then hitting that spot with all the arty they had... even the light stuff (since that could well damage optics and such on even the heaviest tanks)...

combined with at-guns of varying sizes this was very very effective...

would be kinda fun trying this out in the game...

it would have to be massive ammounts of arty tho... but that wasnt really a problem for the russians hehe...

but in modern days i think the arty is too pinpoint to be effective (sounds wierd but ill explain)

since you only have like 1 or 2 tubes (cannons) they cant really saturate an area as much as arty of old did... however its much more readily available... and accurate (although not accurate enough for anti-tank purposes)

i know sweden (and therefore probarbly other countries) have developed laser guided artillery specifically designed to take out tanks and such but its not represented in the game... probarbly because its not represented on the battlefield... possibly deemed too expensive.

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There should be damages in vehicles. i used 12-16 tubes of 155mm paladin's fire for 4 minutes to mechaniced syrian company, which was standing in about 300x100 squaremeters area (they were indeed a thight mass). They all were 100% capable of attacking, only few tracks were damages but not enough to cause mobility kill. Can someone say how big amount of vehicles damaged/destroyed (beyoynd fit to fight) would we be talking about in reality. I'm not expert (=trained FO) in this field but i'd expect about 6 or even more, cheer amount of artyshells divided to that area is huge!

I've talked to FOs and from what they are saying, conserning smaller caliber and fewer rounds (about 100) should cause few damaged/knockedout vehicles... If my memory serves me right.

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During testing of a scenario I am working on I have had extremely good results with arty against armor.

US 82mm:

Against single BMP scored top hit and kill with point target, heavy barrage, medium length. Kill came after 1 minute.

US 120mm:

Scored some track damage against BMPs but otherwise totally ineffective against any armor regardless of type or length of barrage. (I will have to run some actual test on the 120s as this seems rather strange)

US 155mm:

1 minute heavy barrage, point target was an almost guaranteed kill. A 2 minute barrage fired into a cluster of 2 T72's and 3 BMP's resulted in the destruction of both tanks and one BMP.

Results with Syrian artillery is almost a mirror image of those with U.S. including the ineffectiveness of the 120mm (at least for me). During one run through the Americans blundered into a minefield that left a cluster of 1 M1 and 5 Bradleys immobile. 1 Heavy barrage of 122mm of medium length, point targetted on the M1, who was at the edge of the group (the group covered about 75m from edge to edge), resulted in the destruction of the entire group. Quite a day.

I am going to conduct some tests with the 120. Maybe I have just been unlucky.

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Just recently i understood that it has to be point target if i want to damage or destroy vehicle. 'Area fire' or 'line fire' isn't nearly enough, i don't know have i ever taken out vehicle with those two. Can there be some bonus to arty's effectivity if one is using point target?

Or have i had truly bad luck.

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Originally posted by Webwing:

That's interesting!

Did you see significant variations when you changed Experience, Motivation and Leadership?

This things affect infantry and vehicles so they should have a big effect here too.


I didn't see any real difference. I had the US FO's set to green, low motivation when they got the big kill on the T72s and BMPS. This same FO also managed got a kill on a single T72 with a 130mm barrage. The Syrian FO's were veteran.

I don't know if there is supposed to be a difference, maybe the less the troop quality the longer it takes to zero, but the results seemed entirely dependent on the gun type.


I think you are right about needing point target. I don't think I have ever had area or linear fire result in a vehicle kill other than Hummers or UAZs.

By the way, has anyone noticed that an arty barrage will clear trees? I fired a 130mm barrage at a bunch of M1's in a woodline and when the barrage was done it looked like someone had taken a big bite out of the woodline. Neat.

[ January 07, 2008, 07:36 AM: Message edited by: SgtMuhammed ]

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