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Artillery Ingame (A serious recommendation)

Friedrich Werner

FNG / Fresh Meat
Jan 29, 2009
42
5
0
Dear RO fans and Tripwire,
I am Novak from the 369th and I thought it would be of benefit to post a suggestion in regards to the Artillery System currently present within RO. Let me tell you where I am coming from first off; I am a Fire Support Officer attached to an infantry battalion in the US Army. As the leader of a 4 man Fire Support Team (FIST Team) and as I am qualified as a JFO (Joint Fires Observer) it is my job to plan/ coordinate, give targeting data and adjust Mortars, FA, Rocket Artillery, Naval Gun Fire (NGF), Close Combat Attack (Rotary wing), and Close Air Support (Fxed Wing). My Fire Support NCO as well plays this game and we both discussed the Artillery System currently present (the best in any game imho) and what we know would make the system more proficent and historically accurate.

My only hate: Get rid of Recon Planes... These would be used before a battle, not during a firefight in Stalingrad. Too COD.

Now let me reiterate that TW's artillery system is better then any game I know of for what is being attempted here (so ARMA fans just sit back down and take a breather). Here is what needs to be available to a Co. and his SL's...


- Available Ordinance and Assets -

This time limit between fire missions needs to vanish. Why would I not be able to call in Mortar support on a TGT when FA is busy at work??? Thank goodness this isn't the case in real life because I'd be in a mess lol. No this is what you need instead...

At the right hand side of Co. and SL's maps you would have an ongoing counter which would say the following:

German side I.E.
Indirect Assets
- 8 cm Granatwerfer 34 Mortar (15 HE / 4 Smoke)
- 105mm Howitzer (20 HE / 0 Smoke)
- 28/32cm Nebelwerfer Section (Not Available)

Russian side I.E.
Indirect Assets
- 82mm pm-41 Mortar (20 HE / 0 Smoke)
- 122 mm corps gun M1931/37 (15 HE/ 4 Smoke)
- Katyusha x4 Section (2 Salvos)

It would be the job of the Co. to keep track of how many rounds he had available and to allow for good conservation, the following Options laid out below would allow the Co. to dictate how many rounds and salvos he requires for a TGT.


- Marking Artillery Targets -

1) Co. or SL pulls up binoculars and marks TGT (keep this method)

2) Co. needs to be able to pull up his map and be able to click on the map. This action on his part will bring up a menu which will have 3 options for him to click. 1. mark enemy position, 2. mark a rally point, 3. mark a target for indirect fire. If he clicks the 3rd option, the Co. would simply go to the radio and call in that TGT. It is absurd to me that I can't call in a Grid Artillery Mission in this game (which is the most used mission type of any in the world). A good SL would be able to help with this one by bringing up his map and calling in the information to his Co. i.e. "Hey Skoko, I have spotted at least 6 enemy infantry and a T34 in F5 keypad 7, request Artillery on that location."

The Co. would now be able to do one of two things. He can (A) simply click the icon on the right hand side of the screen that will fire a standard mission of 3 rounds, 2 salvos. Or (B) he clicks the TGT on his map and begins to go through 4 Menus that will simultaneously appear.... Option (A) would be a must for immediate suppression of a TGT when time is unavailable because your position is being over run or a TGT of opportunity might dissapear. Option (B) is a must for accurate fire support and to ensure your supply of Ordinance isn't wasted needlessly. Option (B) is laid out below....

- Artillery Menu #1 -

When the Co. brings up his map and a TGT has been marked (by either of the options described above) he must next click that tgt to bring up Artillery Menu #1. AM#1 allows the Co. to decide what type of Indirect to use on a TGT. Mortars for Personnel and Positions, FA for area TGTs or for enemy Armor, Rocket Artillery for making people **** their pants...

AM#1 Options
1) Mortars
2) Field Artillery
3) Rocket Artillery


- Artillery Menu #2 -

After selecting what indirect asset the TGT needs, the Co. will have AM#2 pop up. This menu will ask what type of ordinance the Co. wishes to use for the TGT. This I bring up as a must because Artillery doesn't just blow **** up, it can be extremely valuable at laying down smoke screening a group of friendly's advance, or place it near the baddies to obscure their vision.

AM#2 Options for Mortars and FA
1) Smoke
2) High Explosive

p.s. Rocet Artillery just fires HE, so if selected in AM#1 you would skip AM#2 and go directly to AM#3.

p.s.s. I would have also added illumination here, but TW will not make maps that are that dark so I don't see it necessary to add.


- Artillery Menu #3 -

After selecting which ordinance would be used for this Fire Mission, the Co. would see a third menu appear. AM#3 would allow the Co. to pick how many rounds he wants to fire.

AM#3 Options for Mortars and FA
1) 1 round per salvo
2) 2 round per salvo
3) 3 round per salvo
4) 4 round per salvo

This Menu option needs to be added because sometimes you don't want to wipe out a grid square (1 km by 1 km) because you have an accurate TGT location on one enemy position and you have friendlies nearby. Other times you need that area remodeled and you'll request that 4 guns fire (the average size of a FA or Mortar Platoon).


- Artillery Menu #4 -

After selecting how many guns he wants firing at once (aka how many rounds will be in each salvo) the Co. will have one last menu appear that asks how many salvos of the given # of rounds he desires to be fired. Sometimes you want only 1 round/ 1 salvo for knocking out an enemy mg nest, other times you might want continuous smoke in an area so you'd set 3 rounds/ 4 salvos.

AM#4 Options for Mortars and FA
1) 1 Salvo
2) 2 Salvos
3) 3 Salvos
4) 4 Salvos

If you need more Salvos just refire that same Artillery TGT


...After AM#4 was selected by the Co., the radio would begin its transmission like we heaenow with our friendly Fire Direction Center sending us information about the rounds flying in. While one TGT is being fired the option for other TGTs to be fired at the same time I understand might be difficult, but as soon as the last rounds of a Fire Mission hit the ground, put that Indirect Asset (i.e. Rockets) on a 1 minute breather, but allow the Co. to call in his other assets for a new TGT (i.e. Mortars or Field Artillery). With rank comes responsibility so the Co. would be responsible for doing all the above and ensuring all his FA wasn't wasted in the first 5 minutes. If he is jacked up, that is why you have the "kick from position" vote system.

Now I know some of you are thinking "AHHHHH wtf is this guy talking about!" I will reply with understanding to this reaction by telling you that right now the FA system needs to be upgaded because If you ever find yourself knwoning enemies are in an area, but being unable to mark with with binocs then you'll want the map option. If you don't want 3000 rounds firing downrange then you'll want the option to specify # of rounds. If you don't want to wait 3 hours for the next barrage because apparently the Artillery Battery takes a 10 minute Schnapps break after every Fire mission then you'll want the availability of different assets. The game should also mae it clear that a lot of times a Company sized Action would only have mortars available so for smaller maps make this the only available asset. Also create a Radioman class who has the option of spawning in next to the Co. Then place the onfield radios back in each sides respective spawns, except for larger maps. On larger maps radios inside Observation Post/ HQ dugouts or houses would be acceptable. but give us a radio man class pronto.

Hope people will take this post seriously because this accuracy in using Fire Support will set this game apart from all others and will keep the regular RO and the realism RO communities both happy.

Thanks for your time

Happy Hunting
 

Jorg Biermann1

FNG / Fresh Meat
Feb 8, 2011
1,031
632
0
Buckinghamshire, UK
Yeh I prefer this idea a lot more. I like the idea of actually having limits instead of just a countdown timer. This is more realistic and actually makes the commander try to save and not waste his arty.
 

Zehtuka

FNG / Fresh Meat
Aug 22, 2011
25
2
0
Good suggestion, it would be a small but useful addition to the current system.
 

Vinko Knezevic

FNG / Fresh Meat
Sep 24, 2011
1
0
0
Ingame Artillery

Ingame Artillery

I also think you have a brilliant idea ;)

This not only would make the system more realistic but it would teach the commander the importance of preserving ammunition.

I believe this and the being able to click on the map would be best for the game. Being a FSNCO (Fire Support NCO) and a Foward Observer myself i can tell you first hand that you will not always need to see the target to kill it. Say for example you are watching an enemy tank move and you want to destroy it with indirect fire, however your target moves behind a building. With the current system you would not be able to mark behind the building without moving and exposing yourself. If we impliment this new system the CO. would only have to pull his map up and find that building on his map and place a TGT point behind where the tank is.

I think you have an outstanding system idea here Novak
 

Sufyan

FNG / Fresh Meat
Sep 15, 2011
301
270
0
Sweden
I don't want to dis the idea, the OP is great, but not historically accurate. Your experience with modern artillery is a bit different from WWII German and Soviet artillery doctrine.

With the Germans, the call for artillery was done by direct radio communication between the observer and the battery that is being ranged in. This is fairly close to how it works in game. I don't think the platoon commander (The commander class in the game) would act as an artillery observer, but this game class should be seen as an abstraction of several roles.

Soviet doctrine is far less flexible and does not actually fit the scope of this game. While they massed huge artillery battalions for preliminary bombardments, the doctrine didn't allow for on-the-fly indirect artillery requests. If you were recieving artillery support as a Soviet infantryman it was probably guns firing over open sights, and not because you asked for it. There is a reason the Soviets called their de facto assault guns "self-propelled artillery", they never fired indirectly but rather followed the infantry into battle to pound enemy positions directly. Realistically speaking Soviet bombardments within the scope of the game would be limited to mortars only as they were native to the infantry battalions, and for most of the war there was a shortage of trained observers and so they would be operating alongside the rifle companies.

I don't think much should be changed to the current system as any attempt at making it more realistic would only create balancing issues and limit it's functionality. At most I would like to see that artillery needs ranging in, meaning the first few rounds will be fired in singles and be widely inaccurate before the full bombardment begins. This would be fairly realistic and alleviate the frustration of having accurate artillery barrages digging down the length of your body without any kind of warning, ie the modest amount of shells ranging in before the barrage commences would provide ample warning that hell is about to break loose.
 
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Nenjin

Grizzled Veteran
Apr 30, 2009
3,879
480
83
Sub-Level 12
+1 for actual limits rather than timers (although the cool down timers are necessary.)

The recon plane I'm fine with.
 

jergul

FNG / Fresh Meat
Sep 19, 2009
522
10
0
My personal thoughts relate mostly to how artillery could be modified to decrease impact on hardware, how it can seem realistic as an abstraction working within the framework of abstractions, how it might gain national variations, and how it might continue to foster immersion as stalingrad battles need arty less they become too clinical.

All this with a headnod to above - which I agree with in principle (though as a footnote - both germans and russians depended heavily of field-telephones, not radios).

How about.

Soviet Arty
3 Modes - Interdiction, harassment and counter-battery.

Interdiction hits troop assemblies before they deploy to battle. As was Soviet doctrine in both defence and offense. Abstracted by decreasing re-enforcements when this mode is chosen.

Harassment is similar in terms of actually being interdiction too. Commander requests harassment fire in a certain grid. Single or 3 gun salvoes fall into that general area at a slow pace over an extended time frame.

Counter-battery means exactly that. Friendly artillery fires on hostile batteries. Degrading the effects of future enemy fire missions.

Germans have the interdiction and counter battery + point fire. Point fire being similar to what is in game now (or fixed according to suggestion - or parts of suggestion). Though heavily weighted towards 80mm mortars.

You see what I mean eh? Two of the mission types take place off-board, so have little impact on the game itself. The third variant is in the Russian case meant to avoid peak use. Tweaking Germans towards lighter arty should have some positive load effect.

Additionally - 50/51 mm mortars would be great to have ingame as future DLC. Replacing or supplementing fire missions currently used. I can see how that could be done in a manner decreasing peaks in load.
 

Deist

FNG / Fresh Meat
Sep 12, 2011
56
21
0
Greetings Novak,

I like your enthusiasm and your knowledge of artillery but im still not sold. I am sticking to my guns that Artillery has no place on these small maps we currently have.

I cant say that I fought in WW2 but danger close artillery seems gimmicky to me. Im sure some armchair WW2 historian will tell me im wrong but seriously how often was artillery really used in CQB?

It makes sense in ARMA with maps that are the size of small countries but in maps that are less than 1sq. kilometer blue-on-blue would be inevitable.

A nebelwerfer group would level city blocks in a single barrage.
 

Friedrich Werner

FNG / Fresh Meat
Jan 29, 2009
42
5
0
Greetings Novak,

I like your enthusiasm and your knowledge of artillery but im still not sold. I am sticking to my guns that Artillery has no place on these small maps we currently have.

I cant say that I fought in WW2 but danger close artillery seems gimmicky to me. Im sure some armchair WW2 historian will tell me im wrong but seriously how often was artillery really used in CQB?

It makes sense in ARMA with maps that are the size of small countries but in maps that are less than 1sq. kilometer blue-on-blue would be inevitable.

A nebelwerfer group would level city blocks in a single barrage.

I agree, I think, as I put at the end of my post, that mortars should be the primary indirect asset ingame... Now when RO:HOS makes maps the size of RO1's Orel and Arad Nebels or Stalin organs would seem to fit the bill as would FA. I still think the option to call in smoke as well as decide how many rounds and salvos would be of great benefit.

Sufyan thos are some great points you make. I have a better understanding of German aretillery then Russian, but I know that maps with constant katyusha barrages would probably have even me signing off. The map/ Grid method had to exist though and i am already tired of risking my life again and again because my binoculars are unable to properly mark a TGt unless i'm in the wide open standing up and looking like Patton with binoculars drawn. A very easy TGT for anybody that looks in my vicinity.
 

jergul

FNG / Fresh Meat
Sep 19, 2009
522
10
0
Yah, I tried covering use of heavy arty and national variations by simply assuming heavy stuff hits troop assembly (re-enforcement count), or acts as counter battery. While the Soviet ability to direct fire is in practice removed by giving them an area fire mode.

Mappers (levelers) wanting on board soviet assets would do well by giving soviets 2:1 amour superiority or better.

I would like to see the click to place arty marker reduced to a crutch giving players the coordinates of the arty they want to place. But that actual call is done with grid coordinates.

Edit (add on)
The suggestion is actually mildly elegant.

Mortars (company) hit on board with national specific characteristics
Batalion arty hits off board and targets enemy batteries
Regimental hits off board and targets troop assembly points (re-enforcement pool)

The two off board modes could have sound effects and perhaps a light screen shake to indicate fire is taking place.

It actually does enhance the commander role somewhat. What is more likely to give you a win? Cap pounding, or are you likely to win on re-enforcements, or will enemy likely win on re-enforcements, or is his arty likely to cause more havoc than yours - so should be targeted and degraded?
 
Last edited:

rpxy24

FNG / Fresh Meat
Sep 16, 2011
141
88
0
Ability to choose the number of salvo / rounds per salvo sounds very nice, especially when put like you did.

I can see map marking being a pain to balance, and i'd think it'd be too easy to use given the power it has.
 

jergul

FNG / Fresh Meat
Sep 19, 2009
522
10
0
I like the original suggestion - but it sort of turns the game into RO-FO.

Arty ingame should be an abstraction attempting to achieve well something. Its main importance is how it is seen on the receiving end and not so much how the the Commander might view the nuances of fire control.

Arty would have 3 functions realism wise. 1 battlefield support (as per now for Germany, with a wide area, low density Soviet variant), 2 counter battery (getting rid of enemy arty vital for attacker), 3 troop assembly/interdiction (hitting re-enforcements). With introduction of 50/51 mm mortar for onboard ambiance.

In my opinion. But obviously no one died and made me god.
 

CaptHawkeye

FNG / Fresh Meat
Jun 23, 2009
131
93
0
I don't want to dis the idea, the OP is great, but not historically accurate. Your experience with modern artillery is a bit different from WWII German and Soviet artillery doctrine.
This is all true. What the OP seems to want could be described as modern precision artillery. Better yet, would all this be really necessary in a shooter? A strategy game like Combat Mission I can see but an FPS? At this time anyway we seem to lack map scale for artillery barrages of different size and type to be relevant.

On the subject of artillery: The Germans did have better contact between front line units and artillery batteries. Their were plenty of weaknesses in their own doctrine though. For one the Germans had the opposite problem of the Russians as you state in that they didn't seem to appreciate the value of a preliminary bombardment. The Heer rarely grouped artillery units together into anything larger than a single battery. Since they viewed artillery as supportive of an operation.

On top of that they were limited by the 10.5cm leFH and 15cm sFH. Neither of which were particularly impressive designs.