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Battlefront WWII
Battalion Fire Missions


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Battalion Fire

Just as several sections of artillery can combine to form battery fire missions, multiple batteries can combine to form even larger missions that can increase the size of the beaten zone, the modifiers to the die roll, or both. We start by looking at the mechanics of battalion fire.

We are going to examine the German FS-02 Mixed Artillery Battalion because all of the batteries are at the same support level (Direct), but it has mixed weapon types.

The 105mm howitzers have a basic strength of -1 vs V and 0 vs T, G, sV (-1/0). The heavier 150mm have a strength of (+1/+2). Because of the mixed weapon types, part of the pattern will have a different die roll modifier. In the examples below we will show the pattern and mission modifiers on the left, and the final modifiers adjusted by weapon type on the right.
German FS-02 Organization

Battalion Random Shelling and Shelling Patterns - Scenario specified

A key rule for battalion fire is found on p.39, where it says "a battalion is reduced to one battery when firing a shelling mission". This also applies to random shelling missions. As the batteries in the battalion are of different types, you thus have a choice of firing a battery shelling pattern with one of the two 105mm batteries, or using the heaver 150mm. Which would you choose? :-)

Obviously, if given the choice, the wargamer will ALWAYS use the heavier battery. In reality, as shelling missions are usually called on speculative targets, the army would probably use the lighter battery.

Given that the rules also imply that you can split up battalion fire (see the third paragraph of "firing by battery" on p.37), why would any wargamer decide to fire by battery and lose potential fire missions? In fact, national doctrine often forced fire by battalion and/or breaking up a battalion would cause later control problems.

Both of these situations require the intervention of the scenario designer. Where you want to force rational behavior, or resolve ambiguous situations, feel free to impose scenario rules. For example, it is perfectly reasonable to restrict the gamer to using the lighter 105mm pattern or force battalion fire. We are going to examine National Doctrine later in the tutorial to give guidelines for imposing scenario rules.
German FS-02 Shelling by 105mm
German FS-02 Shelling by 150mm

Concentrations

Battalion Concentrations can be fired at spotted and suspected targets and allow the full weight of the battalion to be used. You essentially have 3 battery concentrations that are used together as a single mission. Each battery concentration has a beaten zone of one template.
The simplest method is to lay the three beaten zones side-by-side. With the German FS-02, you must specify which of the 3 templates represents the heavier battery. The figure shows the 150s in the middle, but they could just as easily be to one side.
German FS-02 Battery Concentration

Thickened Concentrations

By stacking two of the 3 battery patterns 2 deep, it is possible to get an extra +1 modifier for a "thickened" concentration. Where you have two battery patterns overlapping, the die roll modifier of the strongest artillery is used as a base. In this diagram the 150mm pattern thickens the center of the two 105mm patterns. With the basic concentration mission, you get no extra thickening benefit for stacking 3 instead of 2 batteries deep.
German FS-02 Battery Concentration

Calling for Battalion Missions

With the notable exception of the Americans, most nations limit who can call for battalion fire missions to forward observers and officers. It sometimes reasonable for a scenario to limit battalion fire to specific observers as well.
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This page was last updated on 10/28/2013 at 11:57AM

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