Rolling Barrage

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bhall389
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Joined: Mon Jan 20, 2014 2:35 am

Rolling Barrage

Post by bhall389 »

Much of the Normandy campaign for the the Canadian Army was battalion level attacks, or multi battalion attacks. Many of these were preceded and accompanied by rolling barrages that walked the infantry right onto the objective.

For example, the Canadian Scottish Regiment put in a battalion attack to retake Putot en Bessin after the Royal Winnipeg Rifles were pushed out on June 7th D+1. They were following a rolling barrage for a 1000m advance.

My question: how would you replicate a rolling barrage in this type of action?

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IanKH
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Re: Rolling Barrage

Post by IanKH »

I think that the pre-game command dice are an abstract method of covering this with rolling of 1's leading to the possible loss of units, Battalion Orders and/or Interdiction being the result of the barrage rolling over the area. Maybe specific rules will be forthcoming in later supplements for this and other battlefield situations/tactical options.

bhall389
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Re: Rolling Barrage

Post by bhall389 »

I'm not sure the existing pre game barrage mechanic accurately reflects a rolling barrage.

Once a unit is deployed on the table, the pregame effects of a barrage are eliminated.

The existing artillery fire mechanic can be very hit or miss depending on the die roll, and really simulates opportunity fire by the FOO or Bn HQ (really well IMO). A rolling barrage is a scheduled fire plan, which the existing rules don't seem to allow for...

Just throwing more fire missions at the disposal of the attacking player doesn't sort it out either.

In the case of the CanScots, 2 Field Regiments and a 4.2" Mortar platoon from the division MG Bn were involved in the fire plan, firing both HE and smoke.

I'm not sure how to replicate this tactic, which was very common for Commonwealth attacks.

Any thoughts?

B

Forst
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Re: Rolling Barrage

Post by Forst »

Some variant of the pre registered rules may be relevant?

Attacker nominates one or more of his artillery strikes in advance at 1 hq order each, the nomination being ammo type and by location and turn? ie crossroads smoke, turn 3

Could order a cancellation as one order 4 to 6 successful if not required?

Presumably the barrage type would be defined in the scenario?

gbaylis1957
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Re: Rolling Barrage

Post by gbaylis1957 »

These might imbalance the game if not carefully done. How would you compensate the German side to make it a 'fair fight?'

Peter
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Re: Rolling Barrage

Post by Peter »

Rolling barrages worked well sometimes, when the infantry 'leaned into' the barrage and advanced before the defenders could react. On other occasions, the barrage move on before the attack went in and the general effect of the barrage was limited. Allied troops tended to to better later in the invasion of Europe than earlier, but it was never a guaranteed tactic, and if it were, would tend to unbalance any games in which the tactic was used. I think the random nature of the initial die rolls works well, whilst still providing a decent game for both sides.
Peter

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Capt Fortier
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Re: Rolling Barrage

Post by Capt Fortier »

I agree with Peter and IanKH - the success and impact of this kind of creeping barrage is adequately reflected in the abstraction of the likelihood and consequences of the pregame barrage via a defender impact of both attacker and defender deployment rolls. By my calculations, there is a near certainty that there will be some impact of the pregame barrage (96% probability of at least one "1" between 18-19 dice), and a fair chance that this will last for more than one turn (a 45% of the defender rolling at least two "1s" and a 17% of at least three "1s").

If you did want to have a moving barrage in your game, then I think Forst's suggestion of building it into your scenario is the way to go, and again I liked Forst's proposal of setting pregame the turns, the type, and progressive coordinates for the artillery strike at cost of 1 HQ order per strike with similar cost and risk of cancellation. I think you would also want to reduce the on-call artillery availability accordingly. I would still keep the artillery accuracy rules in place, but perhaps without the minimum safe distance restriction - I'm sure there were occasions where those "leaning in" lent too far! This could give a nice tempo and tension to the game: if the attacker's advance is too slow, they may lose the opportunity to capitalise on a strike; too fast, and they might be scrambling to call it off.
Capt Fortier

“Frapper l'ennemi, c'est bien. Frapper l'imagination, c'est mieux.” - Jean de Lattre de Tassigny

Forst
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Re: Rolling Barrage

Post by Forst »

I suspect a rolling barrage would be used against mainly dug in defenders, so the presence of fixed trenches/ bunkers act is a balance.

Nothing to say if those defences are manned though!I

Even more planned shots can fail or fall short so the +1 on accuracy for pre planning may not guarantee success!

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