Heavy guns, ambush and BUAs

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Heavy guns, ambush and BUAs

Post by MLB »

If I’ve got this right a heavy gun may set up in ambush as a ‘free’ ambush option for the defender. It can set up in a BUA but cannot be in the building (ie in a garden etc).

If that’s correct I have a couple of questions:

How literally do we interpret this set up to define firing arc etc? If my BUA model doesn’t feature a garden or similar how do I interpret this rule, or is it abstracted to assume the crew are able to find an appropriate spot (much as we assume the infantry platoon does the same)?

I assume it would not benefit from the -2 modifier for firing at a target in a building, or the -1 for defending a building in close combat, correct?

If so do I just treat it as being in cover and subject to the spotting die?

What happens if it is struck by an artillery barrage, as it’s not in the buildings would it still be subject to the retreat or take shock rule (David has previously said units in BUA are not subject to this, but is it in the BUA for this purpose, or not)?
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Re: Heavy guns, ambush and BUAs

Post by siggian »

At the level of O Group, the gun crew would be trusted to find the best tactical position in the BUA. I'd give them some protection as that would be a consideration that they would make in choosing their position.

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Re: Heavy guns, ambush and BUAs

Post by siggian »

So I would give them concealment and not require them to retreat.

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Re: Heavy guns, ambush and BUAs

Post by Forst »

I tend to treat BUA and buildings as the same entity, (see cover table p48), so any factors for one apply to all.

The only difference with guns/vehicles is they don't get elevation bonus!.

So get all defence factors for buildings/bua, not required to retreat etc!

Note wooden buildings only -1 ( too p 47)

I rationalise this by saying any crews of guns can fall back to buildings/hard cover if shelled/melee or have appropriate materials readily available in the bua area to improvise defences!

Even for vehicles the cover options are more significant than other terrain types justifying bonuses.

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Re: Heavy guns, ambush and BUAs

Post by Mike H »

This seems to me to be one of those simulation versus game conundrums where the classification and treatment of a piece as a " heavy gun" as opposed to some other kind of artillery piece and its crew, in buildings leads to some slightly weird debates. It puts game before simulation,

What is a BUA with a garden or or equivalent once there has been a barrage on it -partly or even mostly rubble - or was it rubble from start ? If you are wanting to simulate a lower level style of skirmish then all sorts of detailed variables can and should be brought to account but in the more generic and generalised way that O Group operates so long as in any given game there is an agreed treatment it hardly matters .

There seems to be a felt need to have a similar degree of of precision in classification and treatment in WW2 that exists in many ancient and medieval game systems .I am not sure I share than aim. A rule set sought to give you a framework to choose from according to where the battle is taking place and its terrain characteristics. War happens in time and space and the nature of the space is not easily standardised. Look at woods, Where ever you go in Europe go some are open ,even cultivated or managed, with little undergrowth others overgrown and heavily shrubbed at the edges and others are very dense and others not. All material to the movement , good order, and visibility of troops inside them. in any era.

How you treat units in BUAs in say Western European urban areas eg the outskirts of Caen or somewhere like Stalingrad or the ruins of Monte Cassino is different from how you treat a modest sized Easter European, largely wooden, village. That is where to start I suggest not what type of gun.

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Re: Heavy guns, ambush and BUAs

Post by MLB »

Mike H wrote:
Thu Nov 25, 2021 5:26 pm
How you treat units in BUAs in say Western European urban areas eg the outskirts of Caen or somewhere like Stalingrad or the ruins of Monte Cassino is different from how you treat a modest sized Easter European, largely wooden, village. That is where to start I suggest not what type of gun.
Yeah, very nice for the theory, but the reality is you try to teach the game on a club night, you don’t want a philosophical discussion about simulation vs game or the varying nature of urban development across Europe. Instead you have a player who wants to know what the rules allow in terms of gun placement in a BUA. Rules for infantry placement, arc of fire, cover benefits and level of occupancy are all clear. The implicit suggestion in the rules that say the gun is not in a ‘building’ implies a slightly different treatment. In practical terms this matters - what are the implications if I bring a barrage down on said BUA? Am I better off sending in infantry to root them out house by house (garden by garden?)?

All I’m looking for is clarity along the lines of ‘heavy guns may set up in a BUA with all the same requirements and benefits as infantry except they are always considered at ground level ie no elevated range’. However the reference to them not occupying buildings suggests there could be a different interpretation (see posts above to see that different players do in fact interpret it differently).

I have a bunch of players who are very close to embracing the rules, I want to get them over the line with a simple interpretation of the rules that ensures we focus on the game and don’t bog down in a rules discussion.
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Re: Heavy guns, ambush and BUAs

Post by Mike H »

Maybe we need to ask a different question?

"Are or were there operational circumstances where it was possible to deploy large heavy guns in a built up area?,"

The space required including prime movers and ammunition supply may actually mean you cannot most of the time, so in O Group it does not get any benefits from that - treat like AFVs. And if it cannot be manhandled it is too big. It gets a bit sticky if a heavy gun is defined primarily by the shell size - barrel length and physical size is more material as well as carriage weight,

Does anyone know of any Napoleonic rules that would allow the Brits to put field guns into La Haye Sainte? If you wanted cover for guns you dug it. Not so very different in WW2 with gun pits and camo netting.

Any gunners out there?

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Re: Heavy guns, ambush and BUAs

Post by DCRBrown »

Indeed, guns cannot be sited directly in buildings.

As pointed out above, it's not just a single gun, but several guns plus all the ammo and potentially the tows as well. Frankly it would be a nightmare trying to place a gun in such a position, unless you have plenty of time to do so. But how do you get it out? An artillery commander is unlikely to permit a gunner to set up a gun that has no ability for egress when needed, as that means you've lost all your guns!

I know that occasionally guns were placed in buildings; I think the paras did this at Arnhem; however these were single isolated guns and is not representative of the scale of an O Group game.

So, you can deploy in the immediate vicinity of a BUA, such as a garden or yard, if you have that detail in your game, however this does not bring any BUA benefits other than the spotting dice. If you don't have the detail of gardens/yards with your BUAs then it's a no-go and as Mike H says, dig it in instead.

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Re: Heavy guns, ambush and BUAs

Post by MLB »

Great, thank you. My first interpretation was just that, but talk of gardens and not being in ‘buildings’ was confusing. That’s clear.
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