Use of artillery on defense

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Use of artillery on defense

Postby jjdenver » Wed Jul 29, 2009 2:21 am

Hi,

When on the strategic defensive, and not planning any counterattacks, how can artillery be used? Is there any defensive fire mechanic that I'm missing out on? Do they have any special defensive abilities?

Artillery is hugely useful on offense to raise odds but on defense my artillery seems to just hang out behind the lines w/o contributing anything to the fighting. I just save it all up in case I get a chance to counteratack. Is that the only use for it?

Thx
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Postby Abwehr » Wed Jul 29, 2009 4:06 am

Most artillery also provides a defensive shift, indicated by the artillery icon next to the defensive strength. More artillery icons means more defensive shifts (in some scenarios, units can give 2 defensive shifts). Even though you can't add more than one artillery piece to a defensive action, the artillery thus isn't quite as useless as you might think on first sight.

Some artillery pieces, usually heavier ones, can also interdict/barrage. The interdiction is useful for slowing down units in bottlenecks. Even in scenarios where artillery interdiction is "(target) hex only" (the options in the editor are: target hex only, one hex radius and two hex radius) it can be used to interdict bridge crossings (the penalty is especially brutal if you've blown up the bridge), crucial road junctions or in the path of enemy units you want to put out of supply/slow down.

The enemy will usually be able to bring more than one artillery piece into a fight, but that doesn't mean the defensive shift of an artillery piece has no uses! Every shift in your favour is a shift in your favour, after all. Entrenching usually gives a -1 shift penalty to the attacker, so if you have an artillery unit backing the entrenched unit up, you give the attacker a -2 shift penalty by default, without having to do anything special for it.

If your defensive position is built as a line, thus making sure the enemy doesn't get good tactical shifts, a -2 shift penalty can be a killer, especially if the enemy is attacking from hexes with a detachment or a minefield, or across a river.

On the defense, artillery is as much your friend as on the offense.
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Postby jjdenver » Wed Jul 29, 2009 7:30 am

Ah good points. Thanks. I had read the manual a few weeks ago but must have missed this. I went back and re-read it and found this:

"Most artillery units can contribute a defensive odds shift to any
friendly unit being attacked. The number of shifts is shown by
the number of gun silhouettes in their defence bar. Artillery units
do have Defence Strength, and this is also shown in the defence
bar, along with any anti-shock value they may have."
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Postby Abwehr » Wed Jul 29, 2009 9:11 am

I would suggest not placing artillery units with poor mobility, such as horsedrawn units, in a stack at the frontline, as they might not be able to get out if interdicted/next to multiple enemy units.

The artillery pieces that are likely to have an anti-tank value are self propelled pieces or multifunctional pieces with specialized anti-tank ammo available to them.
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More than once

Postby critter » Wed Jul 29, 2009 10:52 am

The computer will seek the best Def Arty ( 1 per hex attacked) to use in each attack and will use the best gun more than once. So place the -2 shift Arty in the hexes that will reach more of your front line units... Spread them out..Those self propelled guns are great to back up you lines.
Also they will add their benifits to the defense. Even if you use them in your turn to attack or intradict.
Guns should never be in the front line... AA guns only in emergency's
Its to easy to make a low odds attack on their hex, then use air int to put them out of supply.
Try and keep at least 3-4 hexes...Or the attacker will push recon units thru a break thru and kill them off.
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Postby Carl Myers » Wed Jul 29, 2009 12:34 pm

Cover your units with TWO artillery units in case of an enemy attack that generates a TWO die roll.
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Postby Strax » Wed Jul 29, 2009 7:14 pm

You learn something new everyday. I presumed that if I had 4 arty units covering an attacked stack then I would get a -4 shift in my favour. :oops:
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Postby Abwehr » Wed Jul 29, 2009 8:23 pm

Wow, that is quite the thing to miss, Strax.

It has been years since I read the manual in full, so I had forgotten about how double dice odds allow the defender to apply one more artillery piece . The manual is very, very vague on this in any case, it states the defender is "eligible" to use another defensive artillery piece, as if there's a choice, as the game automatically picks artillery pieces to defend if available. What I'm now wondering about: as the manual doesn't state that the attacker's shifts somehow double or get altered at double dice odds, it would suddenly be possible to nullify four 1 shift artillery unit with two 2 shift artillery units on the defence.

That's odd: just because more people are attacking/defending, the defender magically gets to attach another artillery piece to the defense, no matter how many may be in the area? Some rules still puzzle me.
Last edited by Abwehr on Thu Jul 30, 2009 2:25 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby Strax » Wed Jul 29, 2009 9:17 pm

Wow, that is quite the thing to miss, Strax.

Yes, Thank you :lol:



What I'm now wondering about: as the manual doesn't state that the attacker's shifs somehow double or get altered at double dice odds, it would suddenly be possible to nullify four 1 shift artillery unit with two 2 step artillery units on defends.

Good question.
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Postby Carl Myers » Wed Jul 29, 2009 10:26 pm

What I'm now wondering about: as the manual doesn't state that the attacker's shifs somehow double or get altered at double dice odds, it would suddenly be possible to nullify four 1 shift artillery unit with two 2 step artillery units on defends.

Yes.

That's odd: just because more people are attacking/defending, the defender magically gets to attach another artillery piece to the defense, no matter how many may be in the area?

Nope, one would only get two defensive artillery in a 2 die roll attack if there are 2 artillery units in range.
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Postby Noakesy » Wed Jul 29, 2009 10:33 pm

Sadly I'm in this camp too, often find with Carl's notes (and Abwehr's now) that there are various points I've missed. Makes you wonder how I ever win any games...........and probably explains those that I don't. :roll:
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Postby Abwehr » Thu Jul 30, 2009 2:24 am

That's odd: just because more people are attacking/defending, the defender magically gets to attach another artillery piece to the defense, no matter how many may be in the area?

Nope, one would only get two defensive artillery in a 2 die roll attack if there are 2 artillery units in range.


I should've phrased my comment differently, I wasn't 100% awake yet at the time of my post. I meant that the defender gets to attach another artillery piece, no matter how many artillery pieces not already included in the artillery shift defensive bonus are in the area.

As in: normally the defender can only use 1 artillery piece even if there are more, with a two dice roll the defender can use 2 artillery pieces, even if there are more.

I would say it's quite gamey if four 1 step artillery shifts can suddenly be nullified at 2 dice rolls, as the attacker is not able to attach extra artillery in the process.

I think it's somewhat odd that the attacker can add up to 4 (depends on country limit as specified in the editor) artillery pieces to an attack, whilst the defender will mostly have to defend with one, but I'm used to that and can live with it. What is less nice is if the defender could nullify four 1 shift artillery units as specified above, as that adds even more extra calculations to BiI.

Of course, it still isn't the dice roll mania of Kharkov, but more complexity isn't always a good thing.
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