Fire from open-topped vehicles

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John Thomas8
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Re: Fire from open-topped vehicles

Post by John Thomas8 » Fri Jun 09, 2017 12:27 am

And sorry if I sounded a bit harsh. I understand they're all games, but I dislike "gameyness" in a game. I like how TFL rules reward actual manual tactics and don't cotton to much to rules-lawyering them to unbalancing a game.

kula66
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Re: Fire from open-topped vehicles

Post by kula66 » Fri Jun 09, 2017 7:53 am

No problem John. I'm still learning IABSM, but they are indeed a great set of rules.
Rgds, James

Wien1938
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Re: Fire from open-topped vehicles

Post by Wien1938 » Wed Jul 19, 2017 10:53 pm

I recall reading that Sd.251s were used in a Das Reich account in a mobile assault, just as the poster described trying to use his. It was a risky move but allowed a PzGr unit to cross open ground fast.

So, I think it is possible but it's up to the player's sense of risk.

siggian
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Re: Fire from open-topped vehicles

Post by siggian » Thu Jul 20, 2017 3:32 am

I don't think too many people have a problem with keeping your troops in a 251 in CoC if you want to. If it gets torched, you'll pay a heavy price (support wiped out, 1 or 2D6 hits on troops with a good likelihood of a JL hit as well).

I think people object to troops firing their weapons while on board and the vehicle is moving (MGs attached to the vehicle excluded). I certainly think it would be hard enough to stand and see targets, let alone shoot at them using a weapon that takes two hands to use.

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Sadurian
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Re: Fire from open-topped vehicles

Post by Sadurian » Thu Aug 31, 2017 10:58 am

Interestingly enough, a similar debate is ongoing about modern troop-carrying AFVs.

I'm sure most of you know that an IFV (Infantry Fighting Vehicle) is an armoured infantry carrier designed to directly support the infantry it carries, and is generally armed with a medium-calibre autocannon to provide fire support. An APC (Armoured Personnel Carrier), by contrast, is designed to carry troops to the forward battle area and then stand back as it is neither armed not armoured sufficiently to engage anything but the lightest and least prepared enemy.

The debate surrounds whether the IFV or APC provide the better option. An IFV is better armed, certainly, but carries less infantry and so either more IFVs are required or the number of infantry deployed is reduced. An APC, by contrast, carries more infantry but cannot provide the same fire support as the IFV and a specialised fire-support vehicle would be required.

To bring the post back to the topic in question, the Sd.Kfz 251/1 was an APC and the Sd.Kfz 251/10 (and other gun-armed variants) were the fire-support vehicles. No country during the Second World War produced an IFV so the tactic of driving righting up to the enemy and using your armoured transport in the fight was risky if any sort of anti-armour weapons were expected.

The Germans (and later the Russians) used assault guns as direct infantry support, and other countries had Infantry tanks which were intended to be used the same way. That Infantry tanks were rarely used as originally intended (i.e. split up as fire support amongst the infantry like the First World War tanks) should not be seen as meaning that the idea didn't exist.

APCs ought to bring the infantry as close as is safe, this distance being dependent on what the opposition is likely to be. If we are talking a few shaken survivors armed with small-arms then driving into their midst whilst firing the MGs wildly is possibly a valid tactic. Against steady infantry with ATRs and grenades the tactic is risky in the extreme. Against supported anti-tank guns or other artillery, charging forwards mounted in lightly-armoured transports is pretty much suicidal (both for the transports and the infantry in them).

kula66
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Re: Fire from open-topped vehicles

Post by kula66 » Thu Aug 31, 2017 1:58 pm

My understanding is that's what the old argument in the British army about the 432 revolved around for a long while - if you stick a decent cannon or ATGW on it, people will think its a tank and start using it as such which is dangerous.

The allies had the M3 half-track, but my understanding is that it wasn't even bullet proof, so best kept out of combat. The 251 however had sloped armour specifically to give it protection against rifle bullets ... still not much use against any sort of ATG or ATR!

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Sadurian
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Re: Fire from open-topped vehicles

Post by Sadurian » Thu Aug 31, 2017 2:30 pm

The current debate is basically on those lines - if you arm an IFV with a cannon then you create a light tank, and a light tank is not best used in amongst the infantry. On the other hand, the infantry might require close-in fire support which can only really be supplied by an attached AFV using a weapon larger than a HMG. Is this best mounted on the transport itself or supplied by a purpose-built vehicle? 'Jack-of-all-trades' or specialist? That's essentially the debate.

The 251 was relatively well-protected but, like the Universal Carrier and M3 Half-track, was only intended to provide protection as it traversed a potential battlefield being peppered with small-arms fire and shell splinters. Remember that most combatants envisaged a battlefield similar to the Western Front from 1918. The Germans were determined not to repeat the war of attrition (and hence they pushed forward with the armoured thrust doctrine), but still required an APC that could keep up with tanks in what was expected to be ground covered by MGs and artillery.

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TroubleAtTheMill
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Re: Fire from open-topped vehicles

Post by TroubleAtTheMill » Fri Sep 01, 2017 8:42 pm

kula66 wrote:Plus, given that suppressed states get changed to pinned at the end of the previous turn, you need to get lucky and have another unit activate prior to close assault to hopefully suppress the target squad. Synchronising units seems really tricky - as I'm sure it is in RL :)
Backtracking a mile, because I just spotted this...

That's what Big Men are for.

See Rich's piece from about 8 years ago but still relevant: http://toofatlardies.co.uk/blog/?p=46

kula66
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Re: Fire from open-topped vehicles

Post by kula66 » Sat Sep 02, 2017 12:06 pm

Thanks Mike, interesting read.

The tricky bit is synchronising your different arms in a game where turns are completely random and you can't use BM ... say you want your artillery and MGs to fire and suppress the target, as you tanks lead the infantry in an attack. Difficult if your support weapons never seem to get to go.

Wargame rules aim for a balance between little control/'friction' and too much order and obedience by our toy soldiers ... I'm only a beginner with IABSM, but am certainly enjoying them! However, I like the idea of adding in a few wildcard cards/tokens ... see how that works.

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Derek H
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Re: Fire from open-topped vehicles

Post by Derek H » Sat Sep 02, 2017 1:12 pm

I use a variant with command cards which gives players a bit more control. Take a look at my article in the 2017 Summer Special.

Other people use two Tea Break cards and only end the turn when the second one is drawn.
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