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Battlefront WWII
Artillery Optional Rules

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Optional Rules

The following rules are suggestions on how to make artillery usage more realistic. Feel free to tailor them to your use.

The "Cry Wolf" Modifier

Artillery was an important asset that was not to be wasted, especially if there was an ammunition shortage such as that which afflicted the Western Allies in late 1944. In the book "Payoff-Artillery-WWII" by Frank Armstrong, (a unit history of an independent US field artillery battalion), the author describes how some observers became trusted by the FDCs to call only valid targets. When they called for a fire mission, they almost always received the support they needed, even when supply shortages had severely limited the ammo supply. Other observers were known to exaggerate and their calls did not receive priority.
The British primarily used long-service professionals as forward observers, and trusted their judgment to call missions that were appropriate to their targets. The Americans allowed almost anybody to request missions, but relied on experienced personnel at the Fire Direction Center to decide the type of mission and assets to be used. However, wargamers being what they are, you can expect them to attempt to call all of their artillery on every possible target. If the referee finds a player routinely calling in major artillery assets on technically legal but frivolous targets, (such as a corps level Time-on-Target mission on a SPOTTED horse-drawn limber), the referee can feel free to award him a "cry-wolf" modifier of -1 to his call-for-fire die rolls for the duration of the game.
The Cry-wolf modifier:

Target Priority Modifier for General Support

This is similar to the previous modifier in that it attempts to limit the use of General Support artillery against unknown or frivolous targets. It is probably more applicable to the U.S., where the FDC controlled the assets based on the observers reports. Place the templates, including the call for General Support. When resolving the call-for-fire, add the following modifiers to the die roll when resolving General Support only:
Target TypeDie Roll Modifier
Suspected Target Only-1
Single spotted Troop or unarmored vehicle-2
More than 4 targets in beaten zone (including passengers and towed guns).+1
Another option would be to not allow calling General support against beaten zones with no spotted units.

Hard-to-contact Elements

Certain Fire Support Elements can be made harder to contact by applying a -1 modifier to calls for their fire. For example, independent U.S. general support elements might be harder to use than the 155mm General Support battery that is a dedicated part of a US FS-01.

Ammo Shortages

You can count missions, or to avoid paperwork you can apply a negative modifier to the call-for-fire roll.

Artillery vs Fortifications

BF artillery rules are designed to simulate the fire against troops in the open or in light field fortifications. As it is possible to get very large modifiers, especially with the TOT mission of the U.S., this system doesn't work that well in simulating attacks on fortifications and bunkers. Concrete fortifications provided protection against almost anything except a direct hit, although the occupants could be made extremely uncomfortable. To simulate this, you might limit the final attack with IDF against units within concrete fortifications to a maximum of -1, no matter what the nominal attack value would be for the mission. Similarly, limit attacks on non-concrete bunkers to 0. There are several ideas discussed on the Engineering Playtest Page, and a referee should feel free to impose scenario specific limitations on the effectiveness of IDF against fortifications.

White Phosphorous

WP was a special kind of ammo that combines the effects of a smokescreen with an attack. When using WP, apply a -1 modifier to the attack factor and resolve the attack normally. Then place a "dissipating" smoke screen in the area of the attack (only lasts for one turn and only effects spotting by -1 level and attacks through it by -1).

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This page was last updated on 01/05/2020 at 07:07AM

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