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Mortier Brandt 60 mm
 
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Post subject: Mortier Brandt 60 mm  Reply with quote   (Liked by:0)  Like this post
French light mortar.  

    Suggested SAs:

Extended range: 10 hexes
Minimum range:  1 hex (center to center is 100m) (can't fire on
            enemy units in own hex)
Indirect fire:  this unit can fire without line of sight to the target as
            long as friendly units do have a line of sight.

     Specs:  

Crew : 1 NCO + 4 men (+ 1 driver)
Caliber : 60 mm
Barrel length : 725 mm
Weight in action : 19.7 kg  (cf U.S. M2 = 42 pounds)
Elevation : 45° - 83°
Rate of fire : 20-25 rpm
Ammunition : FA Mle1935 HE/fragmentation (with V8-I or 21/28B Mle1935 fuze)

Maximum range : 1000 m (the army manual mentions use up to 1000m but some sources indicate 1700 m.

Minimum range:  100 m
Source:  http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?f=70&p=1255709  (David Lehmann)
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PostSat Mar 07, 2009 11:41 pm
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RAEVSKI

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This is the same mortar that Romanian, US and many other nations used so is extremely usefull
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PostThu Apr 02, 2009 6:38 am
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Quote:
Indirect fire:  this unit can fire without line of sight to the target as
           long as friendly units do have a line of sight.


Welcome back 'omniscient mortar'. My opponent used to hate these things, for good reason. I massacred all his commanders and MG's (and whatever else I could find) with mortars. Are you sure that -any- friendly unit (including tanks and aircraft) can 'spot' for this unit ? I'd personally reduce the range to spotters and soldier-commanders.


But anyways, that unit would be great to have. Is there any data on how efficient this weapon was in actually killing soldiers , in different kinds of terrain ? That would be great.
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PostThu Apr 02, 2009 12:00 pm
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RAEVSKI

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I agree with AoD on this Smile
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PostThu Apr 02, 2009 10:41 pm
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AOD and Raevski,
    Quite right.  I borrowed the wording of the SA from another source, but did not intend that passing fighters could magically transport the mortar to the 21st century for fire control.  Perhaps the following could be the basis of better wording:

                 This unit can fire indirectly without line of sight to the target as long as a friendly
                 __________[forward observer?  soldier unit?]  within ___ [3? 5?] hexes of this
                 unit has a line of sight.  

Does anyone have suggestions on how the blanks should be filled in?
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PostSun Apr 05, 2009 1:54 pm
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Angel of Death

 

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first blank : Soldier-Spotter or Soldier-commander
second blank : 8

At least if we want to conform somewhat to the revised edition
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PostMon Apr 06, 2009 12:29 am
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Zeus

 

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You could also just state in the indirect fire description that "this unit can attack spotted enemies within range even if it has no LoS to it", and give spotters an ability to confer the "spotted" state to enemies, ie "Spotting X - during the assault phase, instead of moving or attacking normally, this unit can spot all units in a single hex within X hexes."

The advantages are that the spotting range depends on the actual spotting unit, and thus can vary based on equipment etc, and that spotting becomes an actual assault phase activity for spotters (which makes it clear they can't do anything else that turn without giving them an extra SA for that, ie Chatting on the Radio). The Spotted state can be indicated with a marker/counter, which is removed during the casualty phase. Also, you can differentiate between commander units that can and cannot spot (NCO's wouldn't usually be able to call down artillery strikes).

You could also allow indirect fire always at -1 to each attack die (with the basic -1 for Inaccurate, this makes scoring hits quite hard already, but not impossible - kinda like in real life  Smile ), and not having this penalty apply when attacking Spotted units.
PostMon Apr 06, 2009 5:45 am
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Thanks, AOD and Zeus.  I will try to work on the language and post a further suggestion.  

I like the idea of marking spotted units.  This is a game mechanic that Look Sarge No Charts uses quite successfully.  I had thought that FA did not contemplate using a spotted marker, but would be happy to hear otherwise.

Back soon.
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PostTue Apr 07, 2009 12:54 am
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How about the following for an edit to the proposed unit description above:

This unit can fire indirectly on a target outside the unit's line of  sight so long as the target has previously been spotted and a friendly soldier-spotter or soldier-commander within 8 hexes of this unit has a line of sight.  

By the way, has everyone but me given up on the FA subforum?

Wake up, boards!  You have nothing to lose but your chains!
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PostFri Apr 17, 2009 1:44 am
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Zeus

 

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Isn't the second part of this description unnecessary if you use the "spotted" state? Or conversely, if you insist on the second part, the whole "spotted" state thingie can be removed again  Smile .

An enemy being "spotted" already means that a friendly unit capable of spotting used its assault phase to spot the enemy unit for your indirect fire units, and that the enemy unit was within spotting range of the spotting unit (and this range might very well be different for different units - maybe non-specialized spotters like commanders or scout-type units can spot up to 4 or 6 hexes, while an artillery spotter might spot up to 10 or 12 hexes etc etc).
PostFri Apr 17, 2009 5:10 am
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RAEVSKI

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I think the the spotter to see range 8, Standard officer range 4, infantry 1.
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PostFri Apr 17, 2009 6:33 am
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Thanks!  The "spotted" section of the SA is not redundant if one is playing with a rule that all targets, whether within line of sight or not, must have been "spotted" before they can be fired on.  Many miniatures rules require that one roll a die "to spot" enemy units that are within line of sight but beyond a given distance.  Such units remain in a "spotted" state until they move back out of line of sight (e.g., behind a hill, or into a forest).  

A different description is needed if one assumes that FA--ANH rules will not use this mechanic, but will instead treat all targets within line of sight as eligible to be fired on. In this case, "spotting" is something that is only required for indirect fire weapons to fire on a target.  Thus the SA might be written as follows:

             This unit can fire indirectly on a target outside the unit's
             line of  sight so long as one of the following friendly units
             has a line of sight and is within the specified range of the
             target:  forward observer/artillery spotter (12 hexes),
             soldier-spotter/recon unit (8 hexes), soldier-commander
             (4 hexes), or soldier unit (1 hex).

A separate question I have is whether the rule should specify a maximum distance from the spotting unit to the firing unit.  Not all combatants were equally effective in communicating fire control information.  For example, early war Germans generally communicated much more effectively than early war French.     Likewise, not all combatants were equally effective in using alternative means of communication such as motorcycle couriers, flag signals, runners, (or passenger pigeons?). Finally, it seems likely that the effectiveness of all means of communication (including radio at game scale ranges?) decreases incrementally as the distance increases. Doing a graduated scale involving different probabilities of effective communication using different means at different distances would violate the KISS (Keep it Simple Stupid) principle.  However, should the rules incorporate a maximum permissible distance between  spotting and firing units that would differ among nationalities or types of units?  

What say you all (vosotros) (or y'all)?
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PostSat Apr 18, 2009 1:43 pm
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Zeus

 

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Quote:
A separate question I have is whether the rule should specify a maximum distance from the spotting unit to the firing unit.  Not all combatants were equally effective in communicating fire control information.  For example, early war Germans generally communicated much more effectively than early war French.     Likewise, not all combatants were equally effective in using alternative means of communication such as motorcycle couriers, flag signals, runners, (or passenger pigeons?). Finally, it seems likely that the effectiveness of all means of communication (including radio at game scale ranges?) decreases incrementally as the distance increases. Doing a graduated scale involving different probabilities of effective communication using different means at different distances would violate the KISS (Keep it Simple Stupid) principle.  However, should the rules incorporate a maximum permissible distance between  spotting and firing units that would differ among nationalities or types of units?


This is exactly why you should not mention who does the spotting at what distances etc in the Indirect Fire SA, but in a separate Spotter SA. if Indirect Fire just states that a unit can attack any Spotted unit within range, irrespective of LoS, then the mechanic of actually spotting a unit (giving it the Spotted state) is separated from what the Spotted state means.

In your Indirect Fire description you lump all forward observer units together, irrespective of whether they're using efficient German optics and radios or a pre-WW1 set of binoculars and a bicycle with wooden wheels  Wink . And what if a new unit type needs to be able to spot? The SA would need to change again.

Also, making Spotting a conscious action (because a unit needs to use its Spotting SA for it) means that a single unit or hex of units has to be chosen rather than anything on the map within a certain number of hexes automatically being spotted and you having to keep track of what spotter unit already moved/attacked/implicitly spotted.

BTW I see you would want to allow spotting (even if only at distance 1) by all Soldiers... if you want spotting by units not trained and equipped for it, you should also use rules for deviation (they have a big chance of using the wrong coordinates and distances), so they have a big chance of getting hit themselves. But personally I think you should keep spotting a specialist SA thing.
PostMon Apr 20, 2009 5:36 am
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Zeus,
   How about a nearsighted soldier riding a bicycle with wooden wheels which is carrying a handlebar-mounted bird cage?  Once the goofball on the bicycle spots the enemy, he writes a message on a slip of paper, slides the paper into a tube on the foot of the passenger pigeon that sits in the cage, opens the cage door, watches the bird take wing, and pedals like crazy toward the rear.  With a system like that, who needs any fancy optics?
   Seriously, I will have to analyze your response and think about it, preferably not after a full day at work.  Thanks.
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PostTue Apr 21, 2009 1:54 am
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Zeus,
  Are you saying that the only the targets of indirect fire attacks need to be spotted?  This is a different concept of spotting from the one I am used to, but it may be a good approach for FA.  

   Once I know your view on this, I should be able to respond to your comments.  Thanks.
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Zeus

 

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So just to see if I understand you correctly: you are proposing that a unit needs to be spotted for ANY unit to attack it? This would mean that a regular Soldier unit (spotting range 1) cannot attack an enemy two hexes away even if a LoS exists if that unit is not otherwise spotted?

I understand the concept, but that was indeed not what I meant  Smile . In my scenario, attacking directly is not changed - if you can see it, and it's within range and (in the case of No Turret units) within your fire arc, you can attack it.

So my suggestions are all aimed at indirect fire. In my rules I allow indirect fire units to attack targets they can't see, but with an additional -1 to each attack die (which because of Inaccurate and an extra penalty when attacking a target over 8 hexes away usually means only 6's score successes). This additional -1 is not applied when the target is Spotted. During the assault phase, a unit with the Spotter X ability can spot (confer the Spotted state on) all units in a single hex within X hexes instead of attacking or moving.

Of course, rather than allowing indirect fire always but with a penalty, and not applying the penalty when attacking Spotted units, you can simply say that indirectly attacking a unit is only possible if it's Spotted, without any hassle about penalties etc. I'm not entirely certain yet whether I will go that road myself.

BTW in my case the Spotted state also affects the way Aircraft can attack units. I think in my rules Aircraft get -1 to each attack die when attacking an enemy in cover unless that enemy is Spotted.

I think that a unit needing to be Spotted even for direct attacks might slow the game down too much, but i never tried that so I can't be sure  Smile . If this tries to represent what I think it does, maybe this could be attained by forcing a certain "target priority" - ie you can only attack a target 4 hexes away if there's no eligible target 1 hex away?
PostWed Apr 22, 2009 6:26 am
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Zeus,
   In other rules systems it is common to require that a unit be spotted before it can be fired on.  In such systems, spotting attempts are usually allowed against any target within the firing unit's range.  The greater the distance, the lower the chances of spotting the target.  If this system were to be applied to FA, a soldier unit would be able to attempt to spot a target up to 8 hexes away, not just 1 hex.  

    Unlike this system, Sharpe's proposed rules for FA require spotting only for targets of indirect fire:  

Quote:
 Soldiers and vehicles with the Special Ability “Indirect Fire” may make attacks even though they do not have a Line of Sight to the target.  This kind of attack targets hexes, not units.
Procedure
1.  Select a hex within range of the firing unit and within LOS of an eligible spotter.
2.  Each unit in the hex, friendly and enemy, makes a Cover Roll.
3.  Attacks from the firing unit are resolved against all units that fail the Cover Roll.  Targets do not get a Cover Roll after the attack.

Quote:
 Spotters
   1.  A Soldier-Spotter may not move in the same phase that it spots.


Using Sharpe's proposed spotting rules, how about the following wording for the mortar's indirect fire Special Ability:  "This unit can fire indirectly on a target outside the unit's line of sight so long as the target has been spotted by a friendly unit."

I agree with you that the friendly unit's spotting ability will depend on the type of unit, including its equipment and training, as well as the distance from the target.  I further agree that such information should go in the soldier-spotter unit's SAs, not in the mortar's SA.  Perhaps someone will take the trouble to open new threads in FA general proposing nation and period-specific units with IDF spotting abilities (e.g., German forward observer/artillery spotter to spot at 12 hexes, soldier/recon units at 8 hexes, soldier-commanders at 4 hexes).

As for allowing indirect fire on unspotted units, even with the -1 penalty you propose, I think this is unrealistic.  Sharpe's proposal that all targets of indirect fire must be spotted is a good one.

Allowing ground spotters to assist friendly aircraft attacking enemy ground units also seems a bit unrealistic for World War II. For example, David Lehmann comments, with regard to French spotters in 1940, "[t]here is an air to ground radio link (R11 radio sets in the infantry) but the ground to air radio link is often lacking." http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?t=127260, "French interwar and WW2 artillery - books and web sites" (Sept. 7, 2007).  If there is historical evidence of effective spotting by ground personnel for friendly aircraft attacking enemy ground units, especially in the early stages of the war, I'd be interested to know about it.

As for target priority, I think this should apply to defensive fire, which is always direct, but not to indirect fire. Indirect fire quite often goes over the heads of enemy units that are closer to the firing unit than the target is.  
           
I still want to know what you think of the near-sighted soldier and passenger pigeon I mounted on your wooden-wheeled bicycle.
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PostThu Apr 23, 2009 2:43 am
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Well, we seem to be pretty much in agreement then  Smile  - except for the pigeon, which still depends on whether it's a white or grey one.

I also agree on the unrealism of spotting for aircraft and will remove this from my rules. Based on your quote about the air-to-ground transmissions, do you think it would be too unrealistic to allow certain aircraft to act as spotters for indirect fire units?

I'm still having mixed feelings about indirect fire being possible even without spotter; in real life you can always attack a certain location with indirect fire, even though chances of seriously hitting anything are slim (other than massed artillery fire of course). I think more often than not indirect fire was poured onto a target without spotters, but the location would either be unmovable (fortifications, towns etc) or sighted (ie the units know exactly how to aim their weapon to hit a certain spot).

This could be represented by some fun abilities, ie "Presighted X - when placed on the map, this unit can indicate X hexes within range. As long as this unit doesn't move, it can attack enemies in those hexes even if it has no LoS to them and they are not Spotted." This could even be kept secret from the other player, so you can spring a nasty surprise on him. However, this is all probably outside the realm of KISS  Rolling Eyes .

Or are hidden setup-type rules a possibility? Because then you could do some fun stuff with AT guns, minefields etc  Very Happy .

PostThu Apr 23, 2009 5:49 am
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