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Memoir '44» Forums » Variants

Subject: Artillery fire sequence rss

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Robert Taylor-Smith
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Okotoks
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Variant:

Artillery units must fire, ie. target and roll dice, before Armour and Infantry units fire.


Rationale:

I've noticed that in many games players tend to fire Artillery to finish off units weakened by earlier fire from infantry and/or armour units. This isn't always the case but it seems a pretty general tactic to delay artillery unit fire until the results of other combat is known. This is a result of the longer range and indirect fire ability of artillery allowing a broad range of potential targets.

My research is that WWII artillery, esp. in the early war years, was used before attacks by ground units to soften up the enemy and not as a 'pursuit and destroy' weapon. Hence the variant rule change. I understand that FOO's called in artillery to blast areas of enemy resistance after a ground attack repulse but I feel that can be simulated by fire in other/later turns. This variant rule has the added effect of very slightly reducing the game value of artillery units, something I feel is a good thing. I've tried to keep this easy to remember variant in the spirit of Memoir'44's clean and simple rule system.

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Stig Morten
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Kvernaland
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A nice idea.

In Bastogne: Screaming Eagles under Siege the Amricans fire artillery during the German turn to reflect the American strategy of using their artillery defensively.
The Germans fire their Artillery during their turn to reflect their strategy of using artillery offensively
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Keegan Fink
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While this makes for a fine house rule, I generally follow this method of attacking with artillery first — generally for strategic reasons (just as a personal decision).

Think of it this way: If you fire off your artillery into an enemy unit, you not only soften them up, but you ALSO increase the likelyood that another, secondary unit can finish the job and either "Take Ground" or perform an "Armor Overrun".

EX:

• Order 2 units (let's say artillery and 1 of our tank units)
• Move the tanks into close assault range against infantry
• Artillery fires, dropping the infantry to a manageable level
• Tanks finish the job, and overrun for another potential attack

That's where good tactics can come into play with Memoir '44.
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Robert Taylor-Smith
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Okotoks
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Lugburz wrote:
While this makes for a fine house rule, I generally follow this method of attacking with artillery first — generally for strategic reasons (just as a personal decision).

Think of it this way: If you fire off your artillery into an enemy unit, you not only soften them up, but you ALSO increase the likelyood that another, secondary unit can finish the job and either "Take Ground" or perform an "Armor Overrun".

EX:

• Order 2 units (let's say artillery and 1 of our tank units)
• Move the tanks into close assault range against infantry
• Artillery fires, dropping the infantry to a manageable level
• Tanks finish the job, and overrun for another potential attack

That's where good tactics can come into play with Memoir '44.


'Good tactics', hmm..not sure.

Armour has a roughly 50% chance in the open of forcing any size/strength infantry to retreat and thus enabling an armour overrun. Artillery firing first doesn't affect the retreat odds on the armour attack. In fact artillery firing first, say at two dice, has a roughly 33% chance of getting a flag result, and possibly even a double flag result, which might remove the infantry from being adjacent to the armour and any chance of an armour overrun. Shooting artillery first against weak, one or two figure, infantry units might just eliminate the infantry and again prevent the armour from getting it's double dice, ie. overrun, against other units.

Two dice firing artillery against infantry has a 50% chance of getting one hit and roughly 25% of two hits, ie. the odds are at best getting one hit. The following up armour unit would have to get 3 hits, ie. perfect kill dice or roughly 13% chance, to wipe out a infantry unit and get a overrun on kills alone. Firing artillery first does slightly help the odds of getting a overrun by kills alone but that assumes the overrunning armour has the benefit of a potential other target, ie. a target better attacked by the armour than artillery. Usually the artillery has a better potential secondary target because of it's range and terrain attack advantage.

Again, to restate, the odds of retreating the infantry, and getting a armour overrun, isn't helped by firing the artillery first. Flag results are the best odds of getting armour overruns rather than purely unit destruction. Depending on the unit position geometry and figure strength, flags from firing artillery first would actually hurt the chance of getting an armour overrun. It's better to wait and use the artillery to finish off the infantry or if already destroyed to use the artillery's greater range and terrain effect advantage to attack other units.

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Clexton27
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Yep, that's how I would play it too!

Save that Artillery until the end, unless a unit is adjacent or at 3 dice range. Dice numbers are what you always need to consider. Don't reduce your dice attacks, maximize them!
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