On table medium mortars in IABSM

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Jimbo
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On table medium mortars in IABSM

Post by Jimbo » Sun Oct 06, 2013 1:27 pm

Hi all...

This is my first posting on the new forum, so here goes...

I am sure I have seen the answer on the old group but I cannot find it regarding medium mortars firing on table. I have read the national characteristics in the new supplements and understand that the indirect fire support is ignored if the observer/big man is on table in terms of calling in fire.

For opportunity fire is it still necessary to use a ranging shot as in off table fire?
Moreover are the deviation distances (number of dice) the same for on table as off table fire?

Apologies, but I have always been confused on the differences between on table and off table mortars! :D


Jimbo

Thanks

Jimbo

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Vis Bellica
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Re: On table medium mortars in IABSM

Post by Vis Bellica » Tue Oct 08, 2013 12:55 pm

Hi Jimbo

I think it depends on whether the mortars can actually see their target or not, or are having their fire called in by a Big Man or FO.

If the mortars can see their target (i.e. their is a direct line of sight between the battery and the target) then I would use the Area Fire rules on page 45 of the IABSMv3 rulebook.

When their card appears, the mortars fire once, using all their actions to lay down HE fire on their target. They are medium mortars, so do 3d6 damage adjusted for the density of their target and their own Shock, but miss if two or more 1's are rolled.

Nasty, but don't forget their minimum ranges (differs for each weapon) and the fact that it's quite difficult to stay very prone when feeling a shell into a medium mortar i.e. no saying that the firing mortars are a poor target due to the fact their crews are hugging the ground!

If their fire is indirect i.e. the battery is on the table but cannot see the target (no direct line of sight) and its fire is being called in by an FO or Big Man, then the Indirect Fire rules are used, but without the delay in calling them in.

So, the FO or Big Man uses Actions to call the fire in. Although it is not absolutely proscribed within the rules, I would have a Big Man use one Action to call in fire if the mortar battery is within his command radius, or two Actions if outside the command radius and using the radio net. If outside his command radius AND not on the radio net, then I would rule that the Big Man cannot call the fire in, but invite the player to suggest ways in which the battery could be contacted (a chain of messages, all using Actions of those involved; a runner moving across the tabletop at 3d6 etc...remember that that sort of thing was quite common: in North Africa just before Compass, IIRC, there's an account of a tank column having no radios in their tanks, but being accompanied by a motorcyclist and sidecar who did have one!).

Anyway, so the mortar battery have their instructions to fire. Next time their card appears, they may fire. They first fire a ranging shot, rolling for deviation on the table on page 57. If the ranging shot hits the target, the battery immediately fires for effect, with a killzone of 3-5" (table page 58) and bombardment effect of 1D6 (table page 59) to any section, weapons team or crewed weapon within the killzone. Cover is reduced by one level, being in woods makes things even worse, and the target is automatically pinned anyway.

If the ranging shot misses, then it's your choice about whether to fire anyway or not i.e. you might have missed, but be close enough to catch the target unit in the killzone anyway. Or you might have hit something else juicy! If you choose to fire, then see above. If not, then ignore what just happened, and start the process again next time the battery's card comes up, but with one less deviation dice used.

Hope that helps

R

Jimbo
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Re: On table medium mortars in IABSM

Post by Jimbo » Tue Oct 15, 2013 5:15 pm

Hi Robert

Thanks very much for your steer on this subject.It may be a good idea using the ontable Area fire rules for on table mortars but they do look a bit too powerful for me for mortars. The other option I am thinking of is using the standard off table rules but reducing the deviation by 1 D6, the rationale being that the mortar team are probably going to have a clearer picture of what is going on in the vicinity than an off table team.

What do you think?

Cheers

Jim

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Vis Bellica
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Re: On table medium mortars in IABSM

Post by Vis Bellica » Wed Oct 16, 2013 6:50 am

Hi Jim

Up to you, but would you quibble about the powerfulness if it was an 81mm tank gun or artillery piece direct firing? As, to my mind, a mortar that can see you directly is direct firing...just from a down-on-your-head direction!

Anyway, glad my initial answer helped crystallise your thoughts.

Cheers

R

Jimbo
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Re: On table medium mortars in IABSM

Post by Jimbo » Fri Oct 18, 2013 6:41 pm

Hi Robert

I take you point on this but I think a four mortar battery on table would be absolutely devestating on table. Maybe it should be! :)

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Vis Bellica
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Re: On table medium mortars in IABSM

Post by Vis Bellica » Sat Oct 19, 2013 2:01 pm

Well, yes!

But only if it can see its target directly. Which means its target can see it...and you can't hug the ground when firing a medium mortar...which makes you very vulnerable to being shot at.

R

NTM
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Re: On table medium mortars in IABSM

Post by NTM » Sat Oct 19, 2013 2:23 pm

Vis Bellica wrote: ...and you can't hug the ground when firing a medium mortar...which makes you very vulnerable to being shot at.
Which is probably why in many photos of them in action they are dug in.

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Re: On table medium mortars in IABSM

Post by JimLeCat » Sat Oct 19, 2013 4:14 pm

And they not only have to be able to see the target, but it must be far enough away that they can fire on it. Medium or larger mortars always have a minimum range.

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