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Old August 18th, 2011, 09:22 PM

drez drez is offline
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Default FOOs

Can someone explain to me the benefits of an FOO... I always use just the headquarters unit to call in artillery indirectly, and that seems to work just fine. Why bother with a dedicated observer? What about mobile FOO? Are they any better calling in indirectly? Wouldn't a mobile FOO just be seen and destroyed if it tried to observe directly and call in fire?
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Old August 18th, 2011, 11:56 PM
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Skirmisher Skirmisher is offline
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Default Re: FOOs

The more artillery observers and FOO vehicles you have the more pre game
artillery target hexes you get.

Thats a hex where artillery can be called in fast,and you dont' have to wait 1.5 turns or whatever.
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Old August 19th, 2011, 03:45 AM
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Mobhack Mobhack is offline
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Default Re: FOOs

Quote:
Originally Posted by drez View Post
Can someone explain to me the benefits of an FOO... I always use just the headquarters unit to call in artillery indirectly, and that seems to work just fine. Why bother with a dedicated observer? What about mobile FOO? Are they any better calling in indirectly? Wouldn't a mobile FOO just be seen and destroyed if it tried to observe directly and call in fire?
The HQ is an "almost FOO" - it has speed of fire calling in between a line HQ and a proper FOO. (FOO includes observation helos - they are trained in calling for fire).

Your HQ is important - it is a rear link for comms, and ketting it killed is a morale blow for the entire army, plus in most long campaigns, dead HQ = you are dead, campaign over. - so its job is to "hide with pride" somewhere safe in the rear.

FOOs call fires faster, and adjust fire better than non-FOs. They can be moved about and get into more risky situations than the HQ, to get "eyes on" target for more accurate shifting of fire. Losing an FOO does not end your campaign, or provide a morale and off-map comms penalty as with an HQ kill.

A proper FOO is more accurate when plotting fires with no LOS (map fires). Map fires plotted by an FOO are that bit more likely not to wander, or not wander as far. HQ is again better than an average line leader at map fire, but FO is the best boy there.

A core FOO in a long campaign will get art experience gain, which applied to his already high art command means very snappy arty response times. (For any support arty - core arty art command also increases, and is added to the FOO art command for call of fire delay, to a certain minimum).

So the fastest calls for fire are experienced core FO + experienced core arty element.

Getting an experienced core FOO killed is therefore bad news, as to a latter extent is losing the crew of an experienced mortar section say.

When pre-plotted fire points (gold spots) are allocated then more are added for the number of FOOs present, and also some of the kit does so too (GPS?). FOs with laser range-finders aid accuracy of observed fires. See the bullet points in the appropriate release history of the Game Guide.

In a long campaign, I usually only buy the one FOO in the core. They are not that cheap (especially if they have the later Gucci kit). It is my immediately first purchase. Thus it is B0 and easy to find on the roster (right after the A0). Saves looking all over the map for it - just open roster, select off page #1 and close roster. That gives me one mobile FOO if needed, and the HQ can occasionally call area fire on out of LOS targets etc.

What I hardly ever buy is FOO vehicles, though. They are too obvious a target, especially versus AI planes, or a human opponent. I stick to foot elements. However, in the 70s or so, the vehicle ones may be the only ones with enhanced vision (TI or GSR) able to see through smoke, which is a very nice ability to have. From the 90s on you tend to have foot teams with radar or TI available.

Observation helos are extremely good arty spotting platforms if the enemy has limited or no anti-air capability (against the VC or NVA say, where you can stay out of AAAMG range easily). Then you can perch it up at high altitude with impunity and not have to move it. (Moving while servicing a fire mission can break LOS and so make adjusting fire less accurate. Applies to non-helos too to a lesser extent. Basically unless you have to, FO should remain in place while servicing a call for fire if it is in LOS. Unobserved map fire has no LOS keeping problems of course). But any credible enemy AAA threat, and they have to play peek-a-boo with the enemy ADA. So then in a LC, they usually go "boom" every few battles and lose any accumulated experience gain.

Plotting arty is always my last event before I hit "end turn". I do not faff around with opening the arty menu every so often during a turn as things appear willy-nilly.

I often use the FOO to call in a task (for speed of response) out of LOS to him. Once that task has landed and expired then I can use a line HQ with LOS to the target to pick up that task and adjust fire. (One reason I usually only bother with the one professional FOO).

Cheers
Andy
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Old August 19th, 2011, 11:25 AM

drez drez is offline
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Default Re: FOOs

Wow, that was some extraordinarily useful information. From top to bottom. I'm disappointed now that I haven't had an FOO in any of my PBEM campaigns!! That will change for the next one!
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