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Breakout: Normandy» Forums » Strategy

Subject: Artillery: supporting or bombardment? rss

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Why would you spend an artillery unit as a supporting unit to get a measly +1 DRM when you can get much more by bombarding solo during a following impulse? Am I missing something?
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Jason Albert
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chokin wrote:
Why would you spend an artillery unit as a supporting unit to get a measly +1 DRM when you can get much more by bombarding solo during a following impulse? Am I missing something?


Time. Against even a merely competent German opponent, the Allies are racing the clock. If you bombarded with all your FA, then assaulted, every turn, you’d never have a prayer of getting to 9.6 VP. Also, an FA counts for divisional integrity –- upping an attack two pips can be a big deal.
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Jason Albert
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And if I’m misinterpreting the way you wrote your question, my apologies. But it’s important to note a bombardment can only take a unit down one level with each bombardment. If you do 6 Attrition Points, but only 2 AP can be soaked, the others go to waste. That's different than Casualty Points.

That said, particularly as the Germans, FA can be wildly economical. If you can bombard a spent stack in a 1-TEM area, think of the supply costs for you as the shooter vs. taking a whole stack D1. It’s a good deal.
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AlbertaClipper wrote:
And if I’m misinterpreting the way you wrote your question, my apologies. But it’s important to note a bombardment can only take a unit down one level with each bombardment. If you do 6 Attrition Points, but only 2 AP can be soaked, the others go to waste. That's different than Casualty Points.

That said, particularly as the Germans, FA can be wildly economical. If you can bombard a spent stack in a 1-TEM area, think of the supply costs for you as the shooter vs. taking a whole stack D1. It’s a good deal.


Yes you read it correctly and thanks for the info. I was guessing this myself but just wanted to double check.
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Eric Brosius
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Also, artillery bombardment can't hurt D2 units.
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Yes, I was aware of the rules you guys mention and thank you all for all the kind responses. It was more of a strategy question that I can see more clearly now.
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Jason Albert
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Since Breakout has been objectively proven as the most fun wargame ever, and playing it over and over is a blast, try an experiment. For kicks and learning purposes, play out two or three turns in a row bombarding first with all your FA before you assault. What you’ll find is that the forest in front of you gets thicker even as you’re chopping down trees.

As the Allies you want to drive the tempo as much as possible, forcing the Germans to run interdiction, and/or fling their reinforcements into the line filling holes, and/or covering lynchpins like Caen and Carentan. If you go at a slower, bombard-then-assault pace, the Germans can move at their leisure. (More or less.)

But it’s also important to note this isn’t an always/never decision. There are times when you need to bombard first to get units flipped so you have the MF to get into an area. Or beat down an area so you have a better shot of clearing it –- particularly in the mid- and late game when it’s more attritional and you’re attacking bocage. (And always at Caen and Carentan.) There are times when your army is banged up and needs to rest, and spending a cloudy day mostly bombarding could allow you to freshen, build up supply, and have a big push the following day. Bombarding is cheap. Or there are times your artillery is out of position for exploitation work, you’ve taken care of your chores for the day, and there’s no downside to banging away to try cost your opponent supply and steps.

And that’s just from the Allied side. Typically –- but not always –- the Germans bombard far more than they use their arty for the +1s or divisional integrity. But that certainly happens, too. Especially on the 10th/11th/12th when they can put together some monster counterattacks.

This is the game, really: The art and creativity in all those decisions. (And all the other ones that don’t even involve FA.)
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AlbertaClipper wrote:
Since Breakout has been objectively proven as the most fun wargame ever, and playing it over and over is a blast, try an experiment. For kicks and learning purposes, play out two or three turns in a row bombarding first with all your FA before you assault. What you’ll find is that the forest in front of you gets thicker even as you’re chopping down trees.

As the Allies you want to drive the tempo as much as possible, forcing the Germans to run interdiction, and/or fling their reinforcements into the line filling holes, and/or covering lynchpins like Caen and Carentan. If you go at a slower, bombard-then-assault pace, the Germans can move at their leisure. (More or less.)

But it’s also important to note this isn’t an always/never decision. There are times when you need to bombard first to get units flipped so you have the MF to get into an area. Or beat down an area so you have a better shot of clearing it –- particularly in the mid- and late game when it’s more attritional and you’re attacking bocage. (And always at Caen and Carentan.) There are times when your army is banged up and needs to rest, and spending a cloudy day mostly bombarding could allow you to freshen, build up supply, and have a big push the following day. Bombarding is cheap. Or there are times your artillery is out of position for exploitation work, you’ve taken care of your chores for the day, and there’s no downside to banging away to try cost your opponent supply and steps.

And that’s just from the Allied side. Typically –- but not always –- the Germans bombard far more than they use their arty for the +1s or divisional integrity. But that certainly happens, too. Especially on the 10th/11th/12th when they can put together some monster counterattacks.

This is the game, really: The art and creativity in all those decisions. (And all the other ones that don’t even involve FA.)


Very helpful info, many thanks!
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