Covering fire and infantry anti tank weapons

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MLB
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Covering fire and infantry anti tank weapons

Post by MLB » Fri Dec 07, 2018 3:23 am

Covering fire is defined as having the following effect:

Any enemy forces moving, deploying or already in that area will fire with a ‐1 on dice rolled to hit due to the suppressing effect of this fire

I believe this is intended for infantry fire, so that a target of regular troops will only take hits on a 6 at effective range and 5,6 at close.

In the case of an infantry unit firing a panzerfaust this seems to imply -1 on the ‘to hit’ roll, which is a much less severe effect. If the same unit fires its small arms it reduces its chance to hit at close range by 33% and at effective by 50%. Yet if the same unit fires a panzerfaust at a target in the open its chance of a hit is only reduced by 12% and partly obscured by 15%.

One reason I raise this is that a tank or supporting infantry would very likely use covering fire to suppress potential ambush points, but as the rules stand this really is not very useful if trying to suppress infantry anti tank weapons, only their small arms fire.

If you look at a PSC like Road to Bremen the British are often approaching across open ground, as it’s 1945 the Germans are groaning under the weight of panzerfaust and yet unless you can interrupt, chances are the PF will fire and very likely take out a tank before you can respond. As a result tanks are unattractive as supports as are the Kangaroo APCs.

If covering fire was as effective at suppressing infantry anti tank fire as it is at suppressing small arms fire then there’s the possibility that infantry support for armour in this situation becomes much more feasible. It won’t guarantee immunity but it’s suppressive effect would be closer to the equivalent of its impact on small arms.

I can’t see anything in the FAQ and I can’t find any previous discussion, but does this argument make any sense?
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Re: Covering fire and infantry anti tank weapons

Post by Truscott Trotter » Fri Dec 07, 2018 4:13 am

Kinda
I always try and use a combination of overwatch and covering fire to protect my precioussss tanks. :roll:

I had not thought of the figures compared to infantry - just glad to get any reduction in effectiveness at all as tanks are extremely vulnerable to infantry fired AT weapons at this range - as they should be.

When it came to attacking Germany on German soil the ratio of tank kills by inf AT went up to near the top of the list

Mind you try using a PIAT with a -1 its really a BOING moment :lol:

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Re: Covering fire and infantry anti tank weapons

Post by MLB » Fri Dec 07, 2018 5:52 am

I agree, tanks should be very vulnerable at this range and they are, a hit almost guarantees destruction. Which is why laying down covering fire would/could be a viable tactic to attempt to suppress suitably armed enemy. I would have thought a tank crew that detects infantry in terrain close by would pour MG fire in that direction. I guess my point is, why should covering fire have any less suppressive power just because the infantry are trying to fire a Panzerschreck rather than a MG42?
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Re: Covering fire and infantry anti tank weapons

Post by Truscott Trotter » Fri Dec 07, 2018 6:07 am

The two mechanisms are quite different
With AT weapons you can miss entirely whereas that rarely happens with small arms fire.

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Re: Covering fire and infantry anti tank weapons

Post by OldNick » Fri Dec 07, 2018 6:32 am

For covering fire to be useful it has to harass its target whenever the troops being protected are active. This doesn’t mean there is a continuous screen of lead flying out, but there has to be a degree to which it continues. That works fine against an LMG - enough fire coming its way that it can’t fire for effect continuously against the advancing infantry. It won’t stop the LMG from getting shots off, but will reduce its effectiveness.
In the case of Panzerfaust, there’s no need for it to fire continuously for effect. Its shot is its shot. Once fired it is done. The firer can then move, rearm , and select a new target. This is much harder for covering fire to deal with. Reactive covering fire is less effective against someone who once it has got its shot off has no interest in sending more shots immediately following it.

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Re: Covering fire and infantry anti tank weapons

Post by Seret » Fri Dec 07, 2018 7:20 am

It is a bit of a gap in the rules, yes. If you wanted you could apply a larger penalty to infantry AT fire, say -2? It's a bit tricky to do a straight comparison because the probability of a hit with small arms is flat, but for AT fire it's on a curve.

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