Possible Barrage House Rules

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Truscott Trotter
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Re: Possible Barrage House Rules

Post by Truscott Trotter » Mon Nov 19, 2018 7:02 am

In some psc or scanrio games I woild use pack 75's instead of mortars.
However there are morw e amples in thw zsame book of the co 81mm foo being in the thick of the action too.
Sniper fifles are also mentioned as being used but not in thw sense of the long range Soviet teams but more in the sharpshooter role.
They also describe attacking German 'snipers' so again they are just lone guys with rifle maybe scoped shooting from a ruined house or ko'd afv
Still think both should be in CoC although with different rules than present.

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Arlequín
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Re: Possible Barrage House Rules

Post by Arlequín » Mon Nov 19, 2018 8:12 am

For me the sniper rules are fine, a 50/50 chance of hitting your target pretty much reflects the bulk of 'sniper fire' happening at 200 yards and under. You don't even need a scope at that distance, unless all you can see is a head. Our guys are indeed unit sharpshooters/marksmen at best though, rather than the guys shooting at about 500 yards or more.

There was no 'FOO' in the mortar platoons of either a British or U.S. infantry battalion, there was only one officer; the platoon commander. Each section set-up its own nearby observation post, manned by men from that section and in visual/voice range of the mortars. They did not have roving Forward Observers. The German account you posted earlier says pretty much the same for them and demonstrates how they dispersed their mortars, and used landline phones to connect the mortar teams.

British and U.S. Artillery units did have formal observer teams/sections for each battery, they are listed in their W/Es, with the OC, their staff, equipment and vehicles. They did move around and could communicate by radio, or establish an OP. What they could not do was call in a mortar barrage.

75mm howitzer shells are slightly more powerful in terms of blast than an 81mm mortar bomb, but near enough to make no difference in CoC, all things considered. If you can use one in-game, there's no reason you can't use the other. I have been saying that you should use neither and that medium mortar barrages should be abstracted into the pre-game barrage.

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Re: Possible Barrage House Rules

Post by Truscott Trotter » Mon Nov 19, 2018 10:37 am

Russian mortar units used exactly the same set up as you described.....just sayin :D
and yes I agree you could just have pre game barrage type rules for them - but if you do have an in game effect the concept of pinning people in the open with mortars is not what actually seemed to happen. Nor were they very effective against dug in troops.
Also if you are going to say snipers are just sharpshooters (that is randomly hitting a bloke rather than picking a target like a real sniper) - fine also - but they should be activated by SL just like any other unit then?

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Seret
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Re: Possible Barrage House Rules

Post by Seret » Mon Nov 19, 2018 12:33 pm

Truscott Trotter wrote:
Mon Nov 19, 2018 10:37 am
Nor were they very effective against dug in troops.
Depends what you call effective. The effect of indirect fire is usually broke down into three areas:
  1. Casualties and destruction of equipment
  2. Neutralisation = Temporary loss of effectiveness due to things like damaged sights, collapsed fighting positions, etc. Neutralised troops would be expected to return to full combat effectiveness within a short time.
  3. Suppression = Keeping their heads down, ceases when the bangs stop.
Against dug-in troops you expect to still get plenty of 2 and 3, even if the amount of 1 is greatly reduced. So stonking them before an attack goes in will still be very effective. Mortars are also favoured for smacking dug in troops, as they arrive at the near-vertical so have a better chance of getting a direct hit. There were airburst mortars around, too. The Germans had bouncing ones that worked well on the right type of ground, and if you've skimped on your overhead when digging in those will shred you in your foxhole.

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Re: Possible Barrage House Rules

Post by Arlequín » Mon Nov 19, 2018 1:25 pm

An in-game effect for anything bigger than a 60mm mortar attached to the platoon, whether on-table or off, is a moot point to me. Other than troops in bunkers and solid buildings, a typical medium mortar barrage would nuke a 6'x4' table.

Certainly dug-in (foxholes & slit trenches) troops would be suppressed, rather than neutralised, but the mortar guy's solution would be to throw more rounds at the target to neutralise it. A single impact mortar round is effective over an area 700 square metres if the target is in the open, sort of half that if the target has hit the dirt. It's just five square metres if the target is crouching down in a foxhole. A barrage for target type 'dug-in' is going to feature a lot of rounds fired so as to provide enough coverage over the target, or it will be passed up to artillery.

Sharpshooters, marksmen, or a bloke with a gun, will do what they've always done; shoot at whatever they can see. At 200 yards a standing man is pretty much the size of a 28mm figure (tip of thumb to first joint). You can make out what weapon he carries, whether he's pointing and giving orders, or in a common rookie mistake, if he's being saluted. That sort of detail makes target selection easy if you have more than one target to choose from. Otherwise whatever guy you see.

I don't see they need to be activated by a leader, it's not like he's going to walk right out there and tell him what to shoot at. They will probably have been told what to do beforehand, whether it's; kill their leaders, keep their heads down, buy us some time, or even that they're just some Hitler kid gone postal with a rifle they picked up.

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Arlequín
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Re: Possible Barrage House Rules

Post by Arlequín » Mon Nov 19, 2018 1:53 pm

Seret wrote:
Mon Nov 19, 2018 12:33 pm
Truscott Trotter wrote:
Mon Nov 19, 2018 10:37 am
Nor were they very effective against dug in troops.
Depends what you call effective.
There's morale effect...

Ambling through a meadow and then being on the receiving end of '6 rounds rapid' per tube, that arrive without warning, is over in about twenty seconds. Then if you were quick enough to hit the dirt and lucky enough to benefit from that, you can help pick up the bits of those that weren't.

Making yourself as small as you can in a foxhole and receiving 8 rounds 'standard rate' per tube per minute, for several minutes (that seem to last forever), would be hard to take. Our analytical minds would be tempted to register each miss as just increasing the odds that the next one would be right on target. Each man has his breaking point and some rounds will indeed land right on the money on other holes, just to bolster your fears.

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Chasseur
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Re: Possible Barrage House Rules

Post by Chasseur » Mon Feb 11, 2019 9:50 pm

Hi,
Iorwerth wrote

Anyway, in terms of the game rules, I wonder if rather than randomly determining the movement of the aim point which I proposed earlier, you have the center point of each barrage activation being a random distance from the barrage aim point (MPI), so the boundary of what is safe and what is not can vary from activation to activation. So, you could say that with every new activation of an existing barrage the actual center point of the mortar barrage is 2d6" from where the MPI is located, in a random direction. The MPI stays the same from activation to activation (unless the player moves it) but the actual boundary of the barrage varies from activation to activation. The area the barrage is covering at any one time is determined by its position on its last activation, but on a new activation its new position is based upon 2d6" from actual aim point/MPI.
I really like this idea and will try it out. Over a number of phases it will still give the main strikes around the aiming point, but spread some of the love around. It may allow a fleeting opportunity for pinned troops to move out. It also puts an aggressive attacker at some risk, rather than them having god-like control over the movement of the barrage area.

For example, on Guadalcanal at “Edson’s Ridge”, Edson brought his artillery closer and closer during the Japanese attacks, taking some own casualties in the process. Under current rules this would not happen - he could bring a barrage to within a mm of his own troops without actually touching them.

And from a game point of view, this is more consistent with not knowing exactly how far troops will move whilst having some idea how far they will move on average (3.5” per dice rolled for movement).

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Truscott Trotter
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Re: Possible Barrage House Rules

Post by Truscott Trotter » Tue Feb 12, 2019 10:57 pm

I like thus idea too. ...consider it stolen! :D
For awhile I have been working on my barrage houserules but could not find an elegant way of stopping the edge of barrage problem.

Will try the variable sized barrage template alongside my other rules.

@Arlequin I take your point and Serets but the whole point of us houseruling the barrage is to avoid a game if endless bombardment Vs men in trenches, we find it boring and like seige games if its your cup of tea great go for it its not for me tho.

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Re: Possible Barrage House Rules

Post by andysyk » Wed Feb 13, 2019 4:49 pm

The boundry of a barrage is factored into the fireplan, DEP/CEP is calculated in. That's why there is a safety distance. As long as its aimed at the same point the centre of the barrage remains constant- it doesn't float around the battlefield! It wouldn't be much use if youre barrage drifted constantly.
The barrage area in COC whilst abstract represents the area of the barrage.

As noted above realistically you shouldn't be dropping a medium mortar barrage within 90" of your own troops but a randomly moving barrage is not a realistic fix, if every time your mortars fired the centre of the barrage moved about there would be no point registering the fire in the first place.

Have to say Im in agreement with Arlequin that realistically they shouldnt be on table and have said in response to earlier suggestions on FB that if you really don't like the Barrage rules don't use them, which is the easiest fix and given the level of the game quite realistic, or count them as pre game barrage.

If we do use them there should also be rules for WP purposefully used against open topped entrenchments because it was more effective against them than HE and a MM barrage will chew up youre wire entanglements pretty quick.

However its everyones own game of toy soldiers.

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Re: Possible Barrage House Rules

Post by Truscott Trotter » Wed Feb 13, 2019 10:47 pm

@ Arlequin For me the sniper rules are fine, a 50/50 chance of hitting your target pretty much reflects the bulk of 'sniper fire' happening at 200 yards and under.
That would be fine if it were 50% chance of killing your target but it isn't

What it is as follows:
3+ to hit so 2/3 chance then you roll one hit as in the open - so 5,6 a kill ie 1/3, then you have 2 in 6 chance of it being the officer you are aiming at. If you hit the officer you then roll to see the effect 1 in 6 chance of a kill.

So the overall chance of aiming at an officer and killing him with a sniper is:
2/3 x 1/3 x 2/3 x 1/6 =4/162 = 0.024 = 2.4%

Even if you add in leader wounds its still only approx 10% chance

Now do you see why we ignore then if someone wants to waste the points on one?

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