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  #1  
Old January 23rd, 2016, 03:27 PM

Lose Cannon Lose Cannon is offline
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Default Z Fire

Can anyone please explain how exactly Z fire works.
I know you can fire into some hexes which you have no line of sight in an attempt to suppress any useen enemy there.
Sometimes though you cannot fire into an hex and I imagine this is because there is some obstruction in the way which you cannot fire through.
How far can you fire into the unknown and how does this effect ammo supply in large scenario's.
I ask this as those I play by email, Z fire always causes some controversy, some even think it gamey and I can never explain it properly.
The AI never seems to use Z fire when I play solo so I assume Z fire is only for human play.
If this has been brought up before I am sorry to bring it up again but I think a refresher course would not go amiss for some of us.
Thanks in anticipation of your replies
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  #2  
Old January 23rd, 2016, 04:26 PM
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scorpio_rocks scorpio_rocks is offline
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Default Re: Z Fire

Area fire is, as you rightly say, not used by the AI.

AFAIK it uses the same ammo as firing the weapon in direct fire. ANY weapon may fire at a hex they can see. Some weapons (tripod HMGs, MMGs, etc) can create a beaten zone and fire to area outside their line of site but reachable by a bullet - ie to the range of the weapon through smoke or light cover but not through hills, buildings, etc.

Area fire is a valid real world tactic, but can become overused and "gamey" in PBEM so is often limited by "house" rules.
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  #3  
Old January 23rd, 2016, 08:11 PM

Gelainey Gelainey is offline
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Default Re: Z Fire

"Z" fire seems to be only HE. This makes sense as just blazing away with AP into a 50 metre area and expecting a useful result is really beyond it. I find Z fire to be most useful when one of my armoured units has been assaulted (hopefully unsuccessfully!) yet the enemy infantry remains unseen. I simply blast away at a few likely spots and hope for the best. I don't find Z fire to be especially more effective than ordinary unobserved fire in this scenario.
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Old January 23rd, 2016, 09:39 PM

jivemi jivemi is offline
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Default Re: Z Fire

Quote:
Originally Posted by scorpio_rocks View Post
ANY weapon may fire at a hex they can see. Some weapons (tripod HMGs, MMGs, etc) can create a beaten zone and fire to area outside their line of site but reachable by a bullet - ie to the range of the weapon through smoke or light cover but not through hills, buildings, etc.

Area fire is a valid real world tactic, but can become overused and "gamey" in PBEM so is often limited by "house" rules.
If I'm not mistaken you can z-fire through one hex of smoke or a building into the hex beyond. Please correct me if I'm wrong. Thanks.
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  #5  
Old January 23rd, 2016, 10:49 PM
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Mobhack Mobhack is offline
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Default Re: Z Fire

In the original game, you had to have LOS to a hex to do direct area fire (Z fire). It included actual visibility in that computation, which of course is nonsensical. If you can brass up a particular corner of the field in front of you with your machine gun in daylight, then in night time it is simply a case of dialling in the appropriate elevation and azimuth off your range card and pulling the trigger.

We changed that so that the LOS is the absolute one, as if any smoke, night or other obstructions to vision weren't present. As it should be. Thus its the weapons arc that is used, with a little bit of scatter added allowing penetration of cover.

Direct area fires are a standard military tactic, with the Americans in WW2 having been noted for the vast amount of ammo they used up in blazing away at anything that might give cover (Reconnaissance firing I think they called it?)https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reconnaissance_by_fire. But the British soon were using as liberal an amount of such fires when advancing down bocaged hedgerow roads. The Russians would do this with unlimbered field guns firing over open sights, or SP guns. Firing direct HE like that removed the delays of indirect fire calculations. I too like to use my SU-152 firing direct area HE at points my main force is advancing against, on the attack, as speculative fire.

And it also serves for the usual laying of machine guns on fixed lines in the defence - another standard tactic. When you thought you were under attack (usually at night) then you would hose down known avenues of advance. So in the defence in low visibility, I often fire tripod MG in out front of my defence line just beyond the vision level to break up potential attacks once I suspect he is close.

It uses up ammo somewhat, and has less than half the effect of an aimed shot at a detected unit, but is valuable in certain circumstances. Also if you do not have sight to the target hex, there is more chance of scatter for firing blind.

Against a human opponent though another reason not to do it is that the firers ID and location will be given away, so tagging those for retaliatory arty barrages. Or simply telling me that a whole company is at that point that I had not known about - thank you very much for the free intel, mate!.

The AI also treats Z-fire as an "item of interest", just as with manual smoke popping or regular aimed fire events and thus it will tag the launching hexes for arty stonks on occasion.

However some players take it too far - hence the house rules found in some PBEM games limiting its use.
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Old January 24th, 2016, 11:26 AM

Lose Cannon Lose Cannon is offline
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Fallout Re: Z Fire

Thank you all for replies and explanations, it all makes perfect sense now to me
Especially the bit about some players can easily over use it in PBEM games.
As an example of this I am playing 2 games at the moment both in heavily wooded terrain. One player or other starts using Z fire without sighting the enemy, thereby giving away his positon and the other player responds knowing roughly where the enemy is now.

It is laughable but we have ended up in both these games with what I can only decribe as a Z feast of a game and it is like we are both firing at ghosts, each trying to suppress one another before we advance.

OK then I have seen some house rules on Z fire, but is there anyone here who uses them and swears by them so much so that they will improve situations like this.

Thank you
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Old January 25th, 2016, 11:59 PM
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Default Re: Z Fire

With that situation I would have most likely just pulled out & left him to it, let him shoot at ghosts.
Look for a good place to take him on or especially if you have mobility while those units are advancing slowly & out of the the battle for a while go attack something else with your superior numbers.

If the situation permitted I might have tried flanking round behind him & plotting all spare artillery on his position. I would then just shoot the runners.

Generally I z fire with support equipment MGs etc rather than squads as it gives away so much info.
Squads may do the odd z fire in woods as back up to artillery but not much its pretty inaccurate in this situation.
Only other time I tend to z fire squads is to suppress a hex if I know the fire came from there but I cant see the unit.
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Old January 26th, 2016, 10:02 PM
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Default Re: Z Fire

Using Z-fire is often a way to reveal an unspotted opponent.

Regards, Warwick
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  #9  
Old January 31st, 2016, 07:11 AM

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Default Re: Z Fire

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lose Cannon View Post
Thank you all for replies and explanations, it all makes perfect sense now to me
Especially the bit about some players can easily over use it in PBEM games.
As an example of this I am playing 2 games at the moment both in heavily wooded terrain. One player or other starts using Z fire without sighting the enemy, thereby giving away his positon and the other player responds knowing roughly where the enemy is now.

It is laughable but we have ended up in both these games with what I can only decribe as a Z feast of a game and it is like we are both firing at ghosts, each trying to suppress one another before we advance.

OK then I have seen some house rules on Z fire, but is there anyone here who uses them and swears by them so much so that they will improve situations like this.

Thank you

Quote:
Originally Posted by Imp View Post
With that situation I would have most likely just pulled out & left him to it, let him shoot at ghosts.
Look for a good place to take him on or especially if you have mobility while those units are advancing slowly & out of the the battle for a while go attack something else with your superior numbers.

If the situation permitted I might have tried flanking round behind him & plotting all spare artillery on his position. I would then just shoot the runners.

Generally I z fire with support equipment MGs etc rather than squads as it gives away so much info.
Squads may do the odd z fire in woods as back up to artillery but not much its pretty inaccurate in this situation.
Only other time I tend to z fire squads is to suppress a hex if I know the fire came from there but I cant see the unit.
Z-fire for squads is very useful when you're playing with an army filled with lots and lots of low-quality infantry (Russia, China), especially if your enemy is significantly better than you (Finland, Japan; who themselves like Z-fire as a means of breaking up the oncoming hordes). You probably won't have much mobility in a situation like that, if fact your units will be "pinned" even before their first casualties and will stay that way until the shooting's over, and the geography often makes flanking difficult, so the only option left is to bury your enemy under volley after volley of bullets.
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  #10  
Old January 31st, 2016, 12:13 PM
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Default Re: Z Fire

Quote:
You probably won't have much mobility in a situation like that, if fact your units will be "pinned" even before their first casualties and will stay that way until the shooting's over, and the geography often makes flanking difficult, so the only option left is to bury your enemy under volley after volley of bullets.
Not the only option the better option is to use artillery, then your MGs to cover any holes, maybe if needs be the odd squad.
As arty & MGs cover multiple hexes you get more bang for your points & a higher chance of killing something to.
Use 50-81mm mortars as they have a high rate of fire if suppression is what your after.
Now your squads can actually take aimed shots & kill something
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