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Old November 19th, 2008, 03:57 PM
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Confused Realistic Artillery Management by a FOO

I started this thread as a result of a post on another thread, and didn’t want to divert that thread.

Here’s the post that caught my attention:

Originally Posted by RERomine View Post
Here's the link to the Blitz site if anyone wants to see what's out there:


I know Cross knows where the site is and I agree about the FOO guidelines. They went from no guidelines allowing things to be too gamey to too restrictive eliminating things that could really be done.
This got me thinking about realistic WW2 artillery management by a FOO. I’m no expert, but I’ll try to share my understanding.

I think the "gamey" concern is the apparent control, by the FOO, of individual guns; which appears to allow him to plot each gun at individual targets all over the map. I agree this is somewhat gamey.

The optional FOO rule at the Blitz (in a nut shell) only allows a FOO to plot artillery on one hex. So you have to buy multiple FOOs to have even slight control of artillery on the battlefield.

IMHO this option essentially uses a 1000Kg bomb to KO a pesky jeep.

My understanding of reality, is that a FOO would normally control a minimum of a troop of guns or platoon of mortars (about 4 tubes), rather than individual guns.

However, and this is important, the FOO would give directions to the troop/battery commander who would control the individual guns. And this control could be precise and varied. Artillery was the most sophisticated arm of the army.

The FOO could order all sorts of different types of barrages, which effectively controlled the targeting of individual guns.


* * * *

The FOO would choose the spacing, the troop or battery commander would make it happen.

A troop of 4 guns would space their shells apart in a line. The spacing would depend on the target, terrain, size of the round and desired effect. A 200 yard line for a troop of guns wouldn’t be uncommon, but then the FOO could diverge the barrage for a less concentrated effect.

* - - * - - * - - *

Gun troops usually sited their guns in a line to help facilitate this.

This sort of barrage was often advanced ahead of attacking infantry. The infantry would ‘lean into the barrage’; which means 4.5 inch (115mm) field guns may be targeted in a line only 150 yards ahead of friendly infantry. FOOs could even change the angle of the line as it moved!

I often use this pattern in SP myself; it’s also useful against an attacking enemy line.

It was also used to lay down curtains of smoke.


--- *
--- *

A FOO may choose to bracket a target. Individual guns will fire slightly longer or shorter to achieve this.


Another pattern was linear:


FOO’s could even lay down two parallel lines of smoke (wind permitting) - several hundred yards apart – so tanks could advance between them protected from ATG flank shots.

*s*m*o*k *e*





All guns would stonk a target at a specific point. Map coordinates accurate to 10M would be used. Adjustments would be in 25M increments.

Diverged Concentration

Undo or diverge concentrations

--- * -- *

* - Target - *

--- * -- *

The FOO can then chose to spread the concentration, perhaps as the enemy target is dispersed. Again, the FOO doesn’t plot individual guns, but the troop/battery commander follows a practiced procedure to achieve the desired result.

The FOO would usually handle the batteries troops independently. He could target one troop out ahead and another on a flank. Not only would he handle troops independently, but he would also adjust each troop’s pattern in the target area as described above. He had a whole toolbox of options at his disposal; his only option wasn’t to stonk one target. But neither could he target individual guns all over the map.

I doubt there’s a coding solution, and besides the current situation is fine; in fact we have the best artillery routine in any game I’ve come across.

If I were to suggest optional restrictions for SP they might include some of the following:

1. FOO can only target two areas at a time.

This would cut back on individual guns plotted all over the map.
I know for a fact that FOOs could handle more than one target area, but not sure if they could handle more than two. If anyone has any info, I’d love to hear it.

2. Guns within the same section/troop/battery must target the same target area.

This means a FOO must plot all the guns from a unit in the same general area.
A target area for a section could be 150M, a troop 300M and a battery 600M.

Therefore, if a FOO had a Battery and an additional troop on call, he must plot all of the battery guns within 600M of each other; and all the troop’s guns must be plotted within 300M of each other.

3. Only Battalion or Company commanders may target battalion or company mortars.

I’d be interested to hear if anyone could correct me, or educate me further regarding WW2 artillery management.

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