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Heavy (now renamed Anti-Tank) Artillery against Mechanized artillery and Tanks


  • 2017 2016

    Hello people,
    I Wonder if you could find this concept of heavy artillery interesting in play?

    Heavy Artillery
    Attack 2
    Defense 3
    Move 1
    Cost 5
    Gives +1A to 1 Infantry or 1 Mechanized Infantry
    Gives +1D to 1 Artillery unit.

    Artillery becomes:
    Attack 2
    Defense 2-3
    Move 1
    Cost 4
    Gives +1A to 1 Infantry or 1 Mechanized Infantry
    Gets +1D when paired 1:1 with Heavy Artillery unit.

    The combined arms with Artillery could figure a kind of fortified defensive position with layers of trenchs and many hardpoints with campaign guns. (I’m thinking here about WWI and Battle of Kursk  for the russian defensive warfare.)

    So, for 9 IPCs you get a higher number for offense and defense  A4 (+2A bonus) 2D@3= D6 and 2 hits.
    It is a bit weaker on defense than 3 Infantries which gives A3  D6 and 3 hits.
    But still less costlier than 2 Tanks A6 D6 for 12 IPCs.

    That way you get a slow offensive units (better than Infantry) with a good defense factor, just slightly below Infs.

    Do you think this could work as a kind of counter-weapon to this fast moving Mechanized Artillery unit?

    Mechanized Artillery:
    Attack 2-3
    Defense 2-3
    Move 2
    Cost 5
    Gives +1A to 1 Infantry or 1 Mechanized Infantry
    Gets +1A/D when paired 1:1 with Tank unit.



  • Hey BM, I admit that I didn’t comprehend everything in your post, like when you say Attack 2-3 Defense 2-3 do you mean @3 or less, or are you asking us what we think between a choice of 2 or 3?

    Also, as much as I understand your desire to give defense bonuses as part of combined arms, I can’t imagine in my mind heavy artillery having a definitive advantage when defending (I understand they were primarily used to hammer defensive positions before attacking). I also don’t see how a big gun gives a little gun a better defense, I’m not a historian by any means, so if there are examples in the war that support your house rule idea than I apologize.


  • 2017 2016

    Hi YG,
    When it is written D2-3, it means the base value is 2 and can get a bonus to reach 3.
    I know that at first glance a gun is a gun and there is no reason for combined arms.

    My starting point is that heavy artillery should get a specific ability.
    So is it possible to imagine how light artillery and heavy can works in the field?
    Artillery can be more direct fire and mobile while heavy can be indirect fire mainly and need bigger fixed position. That’s why I asked.
    Is there any kind of historical reinforced defensive position which could be abstractly given to this combination?

    Giving the +1A bonus to two infantries has too many side effect, such as create an optimal with 2 Inf, 1 tank and 1 Heavy for all amphibious assault. And it doesn’t seems right that amphibious would be done with Heavy Artillery most of the time.
    That is why I came with this unusual combined arms.
    Hope you can provides suggestions and historical background to improve the Heavy Art.

    I have in mind the first day of Operation Zitadelle.
    Russia bombard with heavy guns  Germans units when they were about to launch the assault.



  • I like the idea of Heavy Artillery for G40 2ndE because I would just use the AAA units each nation has as HA and I would go back to using the universal gray AA Guns or those dreadful cardboard counters. I suppose off the top of my head, this is what my unit profiles might look like…

    Heavy Artillery:
    Attack 2
    Defense 2
    Move 1
    Cost 5
    Gives a +1 Attack to 1 Infantry or 1 Mechanized Infantry
    Delivers a critical hit (no casualty roll) @2 or less during first combat round, regular attack roll afterwards

    Regular Artillery:
    Attack 2
    Defense 2
    Move 1
    Cost 4
    May be towed up to 2 spaced by a mechanized infantry



  • In case you ask me, I don’t love it when you change the values of the OOB units. That just makes confusion.
    If you add a new HR unit, that new unit has to adapt.

    If we want a strong defensive unit our game, the Blockhouse from HBG is the best choice.

    Blockhouse, cost 8, no movement, zero attack, defend at 4 or less and take two hits to kill (it absorb one hit)

    P1010163.JPG



  • How about instead of taking to hits, we have them absorb one hit like the tanks in ww1.


  • '14

    @Baron:

    Hello people,
    I Wonder if you could find this concept of heavy artillery interesting in play?

    Heavy Artillery
    Attack 2
    Defense 3
    Move 1
    Cost 5
    Gives +1A to 1 Infantry or 1 Mechanized Infantry
    Gives +1D to 1 Artillery unit.

    Artillery becomes:
    Attack 2
    Defense 2-3
    Move 1
    Cost 4
    Gives +1A to 1 Infantry or 1 Mechanized Infantry
    Gets +1D when paired 1:1 with Heavy Artillery unit.

    The combined arms with Artillery could figure a kind of fortified defensive position with layers of trenchs and many hardpoints with campaign guns. (I’m thinking here about WWI and Battle of Kursk  for the russian defensive warfare.)

    So, for 9 IPCs you get a higher number for offense and defense  A4 (+2A bonus) 2D@3= D6 and 2 hits.
    It is a bit weaker on defense than 3 Infantries which gives A3  D6 and 3 hits.
    But still less costlier than 2 Tanks A6 D6 for 12 IPCs.

    That way you get a slow offensive units (better than Infantry) with a good defense factor, just slightly below Infs.

    Do you think this could work as a kind of counter-weapon to this fast moving Mechanized Artillery unit?

    Mechanized Artillery:
    Attack 2-3
    Defense 2-3
    Move 2
    Cost 5
    Gives +1A to 1 Infantry or 1 Mechanized Infantry
    Gets +1A/D when paired 1:1 with Tank unit.

    are talking about introducing a brand new piece to the game? (heavy artillery) or are we talking about renaming the AAA to heavy artillery and giving it different values?


  • Customizer

    Didn’t the war show that “blockhouses” were in fact pretty much redundant by WWII?

    In what example did they prove effective; certainly not defending France or Fortress Europe.

    Armies of this war were mobile enough to bypass static defences.

    In contrast artillery fire accounted for over 50% of total military casualties.



  • @DessertFox599:

    How about instead of taking to hits, we have them absorb one hit like the tanks in ww1.

    Yes, agree, they absorb one hit



  • @Flashman:

    Didn’t the war show that “blockhouses” were in fact pretty much redundant by WWII?

    In what example did they prove effective; certainly not defending France or Fortress Europe.

    Of course the Blockhouse was potent when used correct. The Germans used 6 months to break down the Blockhouses at Crimea, and the Russians used 6 months to break through the Blockhouses in the Mannerheim line in Finland. The Germans never dared a frontal attack against the Maginot line, so they went trough Belgium. That’s another territory. In that case the Maginot line was a rational investment, it made sure that an isolated attack on France only was impossible. During D-day in Normandy, heavy bombing from planes and shore bombardment from ships did not destroy the German blockhouses. It was poor German leadership that allowed the Allies to come ashore.



  • @Young:

    I can’t imagine in my mind heavy artillery having a definitive advantage when defending

    Both infantry and artillery is stronger when defending. Attacking infantry is walking or running on the ground and very vulnerable to fire from the defender. Defending infantry is dug in and protected from enemy fire. That is why the attacker need to be 3 times as many as the defender to win, and 10 times as many to do a run over.


  • 2017 2016

    Is that true ? Artillery was more useful on defense than offense?


  • 2017 2016

    I’m looking for a substantial unit at 5 IPCs which can be a counter measure for Russia against Germans Tanks.


  • 2017 2016 2015

    Hi Baron

    Maybe some sort of anti tank gun? A1 D3? Maybe pair it with a mech?
    IDK much about Russian AT guns. The Germans put theirs’ to good use.


  • Customizer

    Baron, I am considering using HBG units SPA and TD Like this:

    SPA C5 M2 A2 D2 gives +1 to infantry or mechs.

    TD C5 M2 A2 D2 +1 when paired 1:1 with tank.

    I use AAA guns as Heavy Artillery C6 M1 A2 D2 supports 2 infantry or mechs.



  • I say we should  have an artillery for defense. Like a unit that can pair with an infantry or artillery that give them a +1 on defense.


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    @Baron:

    Is that true ? Artillery was more useful on defense than offense?

    The use to which a particular piece of artillery is put is a function of several factors, notably what kind of trajectory the shell travels, what kind of aiming mechanism the gun has, and whether the target is static or moving (and if so at what speed).  Broadly speaking, tube artillery can be classed as either direct-fire weapons (“guns” in the strict sense of the term) or indirect-fire weapons (howitzers) or as hybrids (gun-howitzers).  In very general terms, direct-fire weapons shoot a projectile straight (meaning at an elevation of below 45 degres) at a specific target such as a tank, while indirect-fire weapons fire a projectile on a high-arc trajectory (meaning at an elevation of over 45 degrees) at area-sized enemy positions rather than at specific targets.

    The classic role of howitzers is to support offensive actions (an example being the massive Russian artillery bombardment which opened the Battle of the Oder-Neisse in 1945), and they’re also handy when conducting sieges (an example being the 1941-1942 German siege of Sevastopol, which was heavily bombarded).  This is because howitzers are designed to hit general target areas, and thus are best used against static positions that don’t require precise aiming.  They’re not really designed to repel fast-moving forces that are heading towards them (in other words, not designed for use as defensive weapons which protect their own position) because they’re not accurate enough.  I assume that a howitzer battery could, in a pinch, try to defend against advancing tanks by laying down a barrage on the intervening ground area being crossed by the tanks, in the hope of hitting some of them by chance, but most of the shots would be wasted unless the tank formation was huge and dense.  Furthermore, the howitzers in this situation would have to constantly readjust their aim, something for which they’re not suited.  (Modern practice for howitzer use is basically to “shoot and scoot” – set up the weapon at a  particular location, aim for the general target area, fire several shells in quick succession, then stand down and move the weapon to a new location before it attracts counter-battery fire).

    Generally speaking (since there are always exceptions), direct-fire guns are better suited to defending a fixed position.  Fixed anti-tank guns (which are direct-fire weapons) are a good example of this type of application.  Their high muzzle velocity is a great advantage in this role: their shells have a very flat trajectory (which makes it easier to hit a moving target like an approaching tank) and their speed gives them excellent penetrating power against armour.  WWII tank destroyers (like the Jagdpanther) and heavy tanks (like the Tiger) were also good at this type of defensive work, in which their slow speed wasn’t too much of a problem and their powerful guns and heavy armour were a definite advantage.

    Anti-aircraft guns are in a bit of a special category.  They’re direct-fire weapons (they fire high-velocity shells on a flat trajectory against specific targets), but they way they’re used nevertheless has some resemblances to an artillery barrage.  This is because the targets at which they’re aimed (aircraft) are so small, so fast-moving and so far away that, at the time of WWII, it was virtually impossible to get the kind of “one shot, one hit” results that were achievable against tanks (and that are achievable today with surface-to-air missiles).  To hit the target, you had to combine the high-accuracy shooting capabilities of direct-fire guns with the large volumes of shellfire usually associated with howitzer barrages.


  • 2017 2016

    Thanks everybody,
    very helpful things to think about and compare units on their combat values, historical depiction and balance.
    I’ll meditate on this and come back later.
    Have fun playing A&A!


  • 2017 2016

    A question for you Marc,
    do you think that Katyusha Rocket should be considered in the howitzer category, since it is indirect fire?


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    @Baron:

    A question for you Marc,
    do you think that Katyusha Rocket should be considered in the howitzer category, since it is indirect fire?

    It was certainly an indirect-fire weapon (used to shoot at targets you can’t see directly, with the projectile travelling on a long curve rather than a straight line), and it was certainly only suitable for use against area targets because it had poor accuracy.  (Case in point: defective Russian artillery shells which got rejected at the factory for their intended use were recycled as Katyusha rocket warheads, because their faulty shape would be less of an issue there than in an artillery piece.)  So in terms of its role, it was very similar to a howitzer…but from a strictly technical point of view the Katyusha wasn’t an actual howitzer because it was a mutiple-launch rocket system rather than a tube artillery piece.  (It’s kind of like the argument made by purists who say that, strictly speaking, a vodka martini isn’t a real martini because it contains no gin.)  Katyushas were, I think, less accurate than howitzers, but they had a much more rapid rate of fire – though this would be followed by the necessary time it took to reload the launcher tubes.  They also made a loud shrieking sound when they were fired, which added to the unpleasantness of being on the receiving end of a Katyusha barrage – in the same way that the scream of the Stuka’s famous siren added to the impact of its bombs.


  • 2017 2016

    @toblerone77:

    Baron, I am considering using HBG units SPA and TD Like this:

    SPA C5 M2 A2 D2 gives +1 to infantry or mechs.

    TD C5 M2 A2 D2 +1 when paired 1:1 with tank.

    I use AAA guns as Heavy Artillery C6 M1 A2 D2 supports 2 infantry or mechs.

    I’m thinking to use similar values as your TD for my mechanized artillery which combined both SPA & TD.
    Mech Artillery C5 M2 A2 D2 +1A/D when paired 1:1 with tank and gives +1 to infantry or mechs

    However, I think this Heavy Artillery at 6 is not enough powerful.
    And I can’t put an heavy artillery which gives bonus to two infantry (because it make it the most interesting unit in amphibious assault when bringing 2 INFs, 1 Tank and 1 Heavy) and I’m really looking for a 5 IPCs unit.
    I want to keep Tank the sole unit at 6 IPCs.

    Any idea about a 5 IPCs Heavy Art which can be a counter-weapon to match against your TD or my Mech Art?



  • We have a nice precedent for introducing mechanized artillery in G40- the inclusion of mechanized infantry. The mechanic upgrade was simple and elegant - for an extra IPC, you get an extra movement for infantry, and it can also pair 1:1 with armor during a blitz.

    Why not handle artillery the same way? If you want to spend 5 IPCs, you get a normal artillery unit in every way, with the exception that it moves 2. It can pair 1:1 with armor during a blitz, or move as independently as it would like otherwise.

    The historical precedent is clear - the best example is the German production of self-propelled artillery/assault guns at a high volume as the war progressed. The evidence is easy to find on Wikipedia. The basic difference comes down to how you define ‘tank’ vs ‘mobile artillery’, ‘assault gun’, and ‘tank destroyer’. Typically it has to do with the type of armament and the presence or absence of a traversing turret, as well as the way the vehicle is used in combat (i.e. a tank destroyer is a tank killer with limited ability as an infantry support vehicle).

    A counter argument can be made that in A&A, all mechanized (non infantry) vehicles are subsumed under the name ‘armor’. I can buy that.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_armored_fighting_vehicle_production_during_World_War_II

    It would be a separate unit, rather than a technology upgrade. It is a logical mate to mechanized infantry from a game mechanic perspective, and is in my opinion a missing link in the game.

    But I haven’t play tested it yet  🙂


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    Lots of good points, Stalingradski.  The introduction of mech infantry in Global 1940 is indeed a good precedent, and another one would be the introduction in Battle of the Bulge of the (so far, one-time) truck unit, which could transport not just infantry but artillery too.  This truck application wasn’t, of course, the same thing as the creation of a self-propelled artillery unit, but it did reflect the fact that artillery pieces which don’t have their own integral means of propulsion do need to be transported to wherever they’re needed – by ship or railroad over long distances, and by road locally.  The smallest guns can be carried aboard a truck, but most artillery pieces are towed, either by a dedicated vehicle or by a more general-purpose one like a truck or a jeep.

    So in the same way that the mech infantry unit in G40 combined some elements of the infantry and tank units, a new mech artillery unit could combine some elements of the artillery and tank units.  Self-propelled artillery (in its various forms) was a very important development in warfare, and it was one of the reasons that WWII was so different from the trench warfare of WWI.  On the Western Front in WWI, major offensives – no matter how many troops they used, and no matter how huge was the artillery barrage that preceded their advance – tended to get bogged down when the advancing infantry (who were mobile) got beyond the range of their artillery support (which was static or had limited mobility, and hence had trouble keeping up with the advance).  By contrast, WWII saw the gradual perfection of the concept of the fully motorized / mechanized army, in which troops and artillery had the ability to move at the speed of tanks (and cross similar terrain, if their vehicles were tracked rather than simply wheeled), and the development of combined-arms tactics which could exploit these capabilities to full advantage.

    You’re quite right that the distinctions between WWII self-propelled guns, tank destroyers, assault guns and so forth can get a bit messy.  Perhaps the solution is to remember that in A&A, the OOB sculpts are used to depict very general categories of weapon systems, even though the sculpts themselves are very specific models and classes (some of which don’t even fit very well the unit type they’re used to represent).  Take the G40/2 mech infantry sculpts for example: they range from fully-tracked armoured personnel carriers to half-track vehicles to four-wheeled trucks, and therefore (arguably) ranging from mechanized infantry to infantry who are simply motorized.  So the new unit could be thought of as “self-propelled artillery” in a very general sense.  At its broadest, it could include pretty much everything that isn’t a true tank.  Dividing the concept more finely, you could have two or even three categories:

    • Self-propelled artillery, in the sense of a weapon with its own integral propulsion system (usually tracks) which is primarily intended to engage non-vehicular land targets.  As noted above, this would be a hybrid of the artillery and tank units.

    • Tank destroyers, in the sense of a weapon with its own integral propulsion system (usually tracks) which is primarily intended to engage enemy heavy vehicles (tanks, self-propelled artillery, tank destroyers).  This would basically be a variant of the tank unit rather than a hybrid.

    • Mobile AAA, in the sense of an anti-aircraft gun with its own integral propulsion system.  This would be a hybrid of the anti-aircraft artillery and tank units.



  • Great stuff Marc. I think you hit it on the head when talking about how the mechanized infantry sculpts show a broad definition of mobile infantry, from troops on trucks (the hobilars of their day, with the vehicle being just a conveyance) to tracked fighting vehicles with highly trained infantry contained within.

    I like your split into three units, but I don’t know how, using the existing combat system, to create a mechanic for tank destroyers to target certain units. The system is a little too abstracted to make it work, methinks. But it sure would be fun to try.

    However, the mobile AAA would be great, and combined with self propelled artillery would make a perfect combined force - armor, artillery, infantry, and air defense, all able to move as one. That would be fun! My only concern is that historically these sorts of devices numbered in the hundreds, whereas a tracked self propelled artillery piece like the StuG III pushed 10,000 produced. So it’s a minor scale problem, but hey, if someone wants to buy a fleet of shiny new mobile AAA units at 6 IPCs a pop, more power to them  😄  I know I’d buy at least one - couldn’t help myself.


  • 2017 2016

    Interesting points.
    For what it worth, I can say that my playing group accept quite easily a Mechanized Artillery unit but it would have been a tough one to make them accept 2 similar kinds as sub-type unit SPA and Assault Gun/Anti-Tank Gun, even when I had the HBG units.

    So we agree on a 5 IPCs units including both sculpts which have tracks and gun but no turret.
    With Mech Inf and TcB it complete our roster. Hence, my opening question on finding a value for Heavy Artillery acting like the responding units against such Mech Art.

    I believe that the rotating turret is the most proeminent aspect which makes the distinctive feature of Tank unit. So, Tank Destroyer with turret should considered bigger Tank while Assault Gun with no turret used as Tank killer should be part of the Mechanized Artillery and any sub-type.


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