Artillery



  • I asked the same question on an other forum, and I just might ask here as well:

    Does anyone of you ever build artillery? Me and my big-stacking-friends only build them if for example UK is lacking 1 IPC to buy a tank. I think that infantry + panzer is worth so much better in the long run, than infantry + artillery. Not only are panzer more flexible, but they also get more hits per IPC in bigger battles (both when attacking and defending).

    As I see it, the only time artillery could be useful, is in small front-line battles (2inf vs 1inf+1art) but then we rather support our offensives with air power (2inf vs 2inf+1ftr).

    Do you ever build artillery? And the ones who do: In what situations do you build them and how do you use them?

    (We actually had to introduced a house rule to boost the artillery.)



  • Art should be purchased in those cases:

    1. USSR needs having a couple just in case they have not enough aircraft to trade
    2. Germany takes Caucasus and prepares the final assault on Moscow (build 4 art in that IC)
    3. You receive improved artillery tech and you have many land fronts

  • 2018 2017 2016 '11 Moderator

    Russia never has enough aircraft to use for trading, Func.  Especially in 1941 when they start with ZERO!

    Anyway, yes, Russia NEEDS artillery.  They’re good for trading since you have no fighters or bombers. (Inf/Art vs Inf is pretty good odds really. 87% chances to win anyway and only +1 IPC for the Artillery instead of Infantry.  This is vs 2 Inf vs Inf which is only 67% odds.)

    Other than that, I’m not a big artillery builder.  I’ll do it if cash is tight and I’m a round or two from taking out Russia (as Func said) because building 4 Artillery in Caucasus to up your attack strength by 3 punch per unit is only 16 IPC, tanks for the same bonus in attacking strength is 20 IPC.

    Though, if I have the cash, and am in the same situation, I would rather have the tanks since they can race out of Russia and back to Europe faster if I need them.


    Edit:  Almost forgot.  England, when cash is tight, can use Artillery as well since they may not be able to afford tanks and use all 8 production capacity back home.



  • Tanks have two big advantages over artillery to justify their increased cost.

    1. Mobility
    2. Defense



  • @Cmdr:

    Russia never has enough aircraft to use for trading, Func.  Especially in 1941 when they start with ZERO!

    Well, I bought 4 figs in my game against TCnance and even that is not enough sometimes  😄 So I must agree with you, soviets never have enough aircraft  😐



  • Thanks for all comments.

    @Funcioneta:

    Art should be purchased in those cases:

    1. USSR needs having a couple just in case they have not enough aircraft to trade
    2. Germany takes Caucasus and prepares the final assault on Moscow (build 4 art in that IC)
    3. You receive improved artillery tech and you have many land fronts

    Yes, this is also under this premisses I should build. And yes Jennifer, I agree that now when USSR don’t start with any fighter, there is a much stronger reason for Russia to have a couple of artillery! (However, last game I actually got a fighter quite early for trade off.)

    But… Isn’t it possible to somehow calculate this a little bit? Let’s say, for example, that you will attack a territory with 30 inf (90 IPC). At what “stack cost” do you have to beat this stack 70% of the times?

    a) 46 inf (138 IPC)
    b) 26 arm (130 IPC)
    c) 32 art (128 IPC)
    d) 26 inf + 8 arm (118 IPC)
    e) 16 inf + 16 art (112 IPC)

    Surly, the cheapest stack is inf+art in different combination, but it’s not that big difference if you compare it to the inf+arm stack. And with panzer you have the flexibility. So, I don’t know. It’s quite even steven…

    I used to think that a sound combination would be some 70% infantry and 30% panzer, but I might start buying a few artillery after all. Perhaps a combo with inf+art+arm is the best after all?


  • 2018 2017 2016 '11 Moderator

    Thing is, it’s easier and cheaper for Russia to just buff a couple infantry into Artillery when they are purchased and use that for trading until they get the big whopper (the 10 IPC NO) and then they can get a fighter or two from there. (Actually, bombers, I don’t buy fighters anymore, why bother if you are not dumping them on Carriers?)

    Anyway, my house rule for Artillery is that they fire from the territory they are in during Opening Fire and don’t fire again.  That way you can use the same one over and over again for trading without losing it. (Likewise they cannot be hit by defenders and they cannot move if they bombard the enemy….in NCM, if they did not attack, they still move one.)



  • @Nickiow:

    In a straight combat the 6 Tanks lose between 2-3 and inflict 3 in return, you can argue the maths if you like! 😄 but the principle point is that the Armour losses Armour while the INF/ART combination losses expendable INF on rnd 1, if it goes to another round you get 3@3 vs 6@2.

    Your example is deeply flawed.  Armor should always be deployed with Infantry if possible.

    1 Tank, 1 Infantry loses 25% of its offense and 40% of its defense when it takes a hit
    1 Artillery, 1 Infantry loses 50% of its offense and 50% of its defense when it takes a hit

    Combined with the 2 movement, the blitzing, and limited IC production Tanks are clearly worth the extra IPC.



  • @hakan:

    I used to think that a sound combination would be some 70% infantry and 30% panzer, but I might start buying a few artillery after all. Perhaps a combo with inf+art+arm is the best after all?

    You can only place 10 new units in Germany.

    If you have 42 IPC to spend, you can buy 6 tanks and 4 infantry.
    If you buy 4 tanks and 6 infantry, because that is your theoretical ideal, then you spend 38 IPC and save 4 IPC. In next round the Allies bomb your factory so much, you decide to not recover it, and you are now 2 tanks down because you were stingy. Churchill said in a debate, that you should always spend the extra money and get what you really want. Now this is how we do it in Norway.



  • I think Artillery is probably this most over looked pieces in Axis and Allies. I also think its value is rather hard to quantify.

    While artillery can be used as a cheap trade piece, I think this destroys its main utility. While there are times that due to lack of other offensive pieces this is necessary or merely desirable, I think this is a waste of arty units.

    Artillery really comes alive in larger stacks where its force multiplication can start to swing the outcomes. Also it does not take a large amount of artillery to realize this. Once you have about 3 or 4 there is enough weight of artillery to be felt. This is probably because 3 infantry have a 50% chance of a hit. Supported by 3 artillery those 3 infantry now should hit and coupled with the 3 artillery providing the support that expected hit should be 2 hits. Look at it this way, start with 3 infantry now for 12 IPCs 3 arty can be added or 4 infantry. Look at which will generate better expected results.

    I also think too many people try to look at artillery as a cheap tank or an over priced infantry. It is really neither. While tanks are one of the bigger offensive ground pieces where they are really needed is as a defensive piece in land that was just captured. While an infantry and artillery can trade a 1 infantry garrisoned country better than just 2 infantry it defends the same as 2 infantry and cost more. This means that adequate tanks must be purchased for defensive needs. 2 artillery instead of 1 infantry and 1 tank can be a good purchase as long as there is enough armor to satisfy the defensive needs for the ground situation.

    On the flip side I think a lot of people see artillery as a slightly upgraded infantry and something to buy instead of an infantry to use up all of your IPCs on that turn. This is not a bad purchase. The utilization of this artillery is however generally poor. I tend to see these players just spend the artillery in trade battles as if it was an infantry piece. This tends to lead to a one time boost to an infantry in a battle that many times would be won by 2 infantry anyway and a disenchantment with artillery since it was used as a 4 IPC grunt.

    Dedicated artillery purchases are tricky to manage but they can be rewarding. One of the biggest problems with this I think is that dedicated artillery purchases need to be made relatively early so that they can reach areas where they are needed in a timely manner. However early purchase tend to need to be either infantry (disposable fodder) or armor (ground getters and holders). That said there are generally opportunities to make some dedicated artillery purchases instead of the old, “I got a dollar left” routine. It is also a balancing act to purchase enough artillery to provide a benefit while not neglecting critical must have land units (chunkers and getters). Artillery is best in the big stacks that threaten trade territories and should be treated just like armor in these stacks. Its job is to threaten action and only move forward  when either unlikely to be attacked or expensive to be attacked. If you are finding yourself sending out artillery from these stacks to do an infantry’s job you have too many artillery and not enough infantry.


  • 2018 2017 2016 '11 Moderator

    Artillery’s real blessing is it’s ability to magnify the combat power of your attacking units while still being a “throwaway” unit.


  • Liaison TripleA '11 '10

    I believe a mixed bag of units either on the ground, in the air, or at sea, its always the best.

    There is much more to A&A then just straight number crunching.  Its better to keep your own units in positions and compositions where they have the most options, and can support each other the best.  This forces your opponent to play more cautiously, and honestly, to protect themselves from attacks where they will lose significant IPC’S in unit value.

    Think of it like chess, where controlling the centre of the board provides significant advantages because of unit mobility, and how controlling the check and pressure  gives you the initiative.  you almost force your opponent into moves they dont like, as oppossed to giving them free range.

    anything you can do to make more oppurtunites, will make more headaches for your opponent.  This alone provides them more oppurtunities to make mistakes you can capitalize on.

    Artillery are part of a mixed unit game, because they provide oppurtunites to attack where you otherwise wouldn’t have any ( just consider china without thier fgt, and how useful art would be) the trick is to make sure you use your artillery as much as possible on the attack.  because there is absolutely no point in having them as part of a defensive position.


  • 2018 2017 2016 '11 Moderator

    I do have to admit, a couple of Russian bombers actually gives your submarine a fighting chance to do something other than exist.



  • There are only 2 times when I buy Art.

    1. Russia, they add a punch to their inf stacks

    2. My generic two transport task force of 2inf 1art and 1armr



  • @Adlertag:

    You can only place 10 new units in Germany.

    Yes, for sure. And this is a very good modification from earlier versions. I remember playing A&A original, where we only bougt infantry for hours and hours, stacking them in Karelia and Ukraine SSR, if I remember the territories correctly, until one side decided that it was time for supper, and then attacking! 🙂

    My “2/3 infantry + 1/3 panzer strategy” is what I “aim for” in general, and for sure you have to plan your purchase depending of how it looks on the battlefield, if you are on the offensive or not, distances etc. And also, we have not been playing with the NO, hence we have some what less IPC.

    However, my question was not primarily regarding if you should buy 2/3 inf and 1/3 tanks, but rather if you ever should buy artillery rather than only tanks? In my groups, we NEVER purchase them - and it seems as we are not alone in our thinking?



  • Amphibious assaulters whose life expectancy isn’t long after they land, or island hoppers.  2@2 is nearly the same as 1@1 1@3 and is 1 IPC cheaper.  When I have a factory in saf and a trn in sz 23.  When I have a complex that I expect to be on the front lines by the time I take my next turn.  If I produce max units, have more than 1 inf purchased, and have only 1 IPC remaining.  Other than that, no.  Least popular land unit (other than AA gun)?  Yes.  Useless or rarely purchased?  Not by a long shot.



  • artillery is very important for attacking opponents, 6 infantry attack at 6@1 at a cost of 18, while 3 artillery, 3 infantry attack at 6@2 at a cost of 21,
    for defensive reinforcement infantry are the obvious choice, i always build artillery and infantry at a 50/50 ratio, when attacking with 10 infantry, 4 artillery is a great back up, because the attack would be 6@1 8@2, and when casualties are counted the 4 artillery still increases the infantry attack to the last unit, for large scale attacks a ratio of 33% is a good build to attack land units, if there are fighters defending, armor would be needed to increse the overall attack strenght,
    building too much artillery is counter productive, I.P.C. could be used to build armor and fighters when too much artillery are purchased,
    a player needs just 50% infantry, 50% artillery to get the highest attack values,
    and if a player has advanced artillery the need for artillery decreases to 33% to get the highest attack values,


  • Moderator

    @hakan:

    Thanks for all comments.

    @Funcioneta:

    Art should be purchased in those cases:

    1. USSR needs having a couple just in case they have not enough aircraft to trade
    2. Germany takes Caucasus and prepares the final assault on Moscow (build 4 art in that IC)
    3. You receive improved artillery tech and you have many land fronts

    Yes, this is also under this premisses I should build. And yes Jennifer, I agree that now when USSR don’t start with any fighter, there is a much stronger reason for Russia to have a couple of artillery! (However, last game I actually got a fighter quite early for trade off.)

    But… Isn’t it possible to somehow calculate this a little bit? Let’s say, for example, that you will attack a territory with 30 inf (90 IPC). At what “stack cost” do you have to beat this stack 70% of the times?

    a) 46 inf (138 IPC)
    b) 26 arm (130 IPC)
    c) 32 art (128 IPC)
    d) 26 inf + 8 arm (118 IPC)
    e) 16 inf + 16 art (112 IPC)

    Surly, the cheapest stack is inf+art in different combination, but it’s not that big difference if you compare it to the inf+arm stack. And with panzer you have the flexibility. So, I don’t know. It’s quite even steven…

    I used to think that a sound combination would be some 70% infantry and 30% panzer, but I might start buying a few artillery after all. Perhaps a combo with inf+art+arm is the best after all?

    I did this for Revised a while ago but it still holds for AA50, so with all things being equal the cheapest most effective and versatile army is somewhere between a 3/1/1 ratio and a 4/1/1 where it is inf/rt/arm.

    This is obviously not perfect b/c ignored ftrs, bombers, your starting units, and your opponents ability to counter or strafe stacks prior to getting to the front lines etc.

    But as a simple guideline, if you’re looking to build a versatile army that is good on Off and Def go with a 3/1/1 or 4/1/1.  I tend to skew a bit higher b/c real game conditions aren’t the same so I tend to buy in a 5/1/1 ratio or higher since you of course already have planes on the board and other starting units.



  • If I’m going to be using Infantry on the attack I like to have 1 Artillery for every 3 Infantry.  But this also goes along with 1 or 2 armour for each 3 infantry as well.  The infantry to soak up hits but not be completely worthless on the attack with the artillery support.  1-2 tanks for each stack of 3 Infantry as well.  Of course I’ll have some air power as well to really give some punch to the attack.

    Thats the thing I like about artillery.  For a small extra you give your cannon fodder a lot more bite.
    Diversified armys have served me best in most situations but then again with the distance it needs to cover, Japan seems best suited to pick up armor.



  • @d142:

    artillery is very important for attacking opponents, 6 infantry attack at 6@1 at a cost of 18, while 3 artillery, 3 infantry attack at 6@2 at a cost of 21,
    for defensive reinforcement infantry are the obvious choice, i always build artillery and infantry at a 50/50 ratio, when attacking with 10 infantry, 4 artillery is a great back up, because the attack would be 6@1 8@2, and when casualties are counted the 4 artillery still increases the infantry attack to the last unit, for large scale attacks a ratio of 33% is a good build to attack land units, if there are fighters defending, armor would be needed to increse the overall attack strenght,
    building too much artillery is counter productive, I.P.C. could be used to build armor and fighters when too much artillery are purchased,
    a player needs just 50% infantry, 50% artillery to get the highest attack values,
    and if a player has advanced artillery the need for artillery decreases to 33% to get the highest attack values,

    You only build art/inf in a 50/50 split?  You’re out of your mind.  Sure if you only use those artillery in large attacks where you over power your opponent, the 50/50 split is the best bet.  However, that build is horrible for trading territories or building in a battle that will last many rounds, as infantry heavy battles tend to do.



  • true, but the 50-50 is great for the 1 round strafe 😃 (please note i’m not advocating it)



  • i would use the 50/50 split for small scale attacks, or to pick off territories along the way, for large scale attacks i would use 20% - 40% artillery, if i had a lot of hit at 3 or 4 units artillery would be less used,

    building 1 infantry, 1 artillery is as good as 2 artillery, for 1 I.P.C. less, and if advanced artillery has been achieved, 2 infantry, 1 artillery is as good a s 3 artillery for 2 I.P.C. less



  • @DarthMaximus:

    But as a simple guideline, if you’re looking to build a versatile army that is good on Off and Def go with a 3/1/1 or 4/1/1.  I tend to skew a bit higher b/c real game conditions aren’t the same so I tend to buy in a 5/1/1 ratio or higher since you of course already have planes on the board and other starting units.

    Hmmm, yes… This strategy seem to be very balanced and sound in the long run. I just might use that one my next game. Thanx for the tip!

    Regards,
    Håkan


  • 2018 2017 2016 '11 Moderator

    DM’s got a point.

    Just because the ratio is good, does not mean you’ll actually have the ratio by the time you get to battle unless you distort the ratio to account for losses along the way. (ie 5/1/1 if you want 3/1/1 at the end, or even 4/2/1 if you think you might have to divert an artillery to trading and want 3/1/1 at the end.)

    The amphibious point raised by someone else is also appropriate.  2@2 = 4 punch; 1@1 + 1@3 = 4 Punch.  However, there are times that the armor is a better choice.

    If you have Infantry + Artillery vs 2 Defending Infantry, you have a 45% chance of getting one hit, or 10% chance of getting two hits in one round of battle. (Average over 10,000 games.)  This translates to a chance to win the battle of only 45% over 2.6 rounds.

    If you have Infantry + Armor vs 2 Defending Infantry, you have a 50% chance of getting one hit, or 9% chance of getting two hits in one round of battle. (again, average over 10,000 games.)  This translates to a chance to win the battle of only 51% over 2.5 rounds.

    So the odds are slightly better that your Infantry + Armor will win than your Infantry + Artillery will win.


    Obviously you normally bring more to the mix if the defender has two infantry, so we can run it again with only one defender:

    Infantry + Artillery (10,000 games, to the death) = 87% odds (with 52% chance of having no losses.)

    Infantry + Armor (10,000 games, to the death) = 91% odds (with 55% chance of having no losses.)

    These differences might seem negligent to some, but they do add up over time.  Furthermore, the armor defending against the counter attack is significantly more powerful than the artillery.


    As for me, I find Russia generally has more artillery than 3/1/1.  It’s closer to 9/6/2 because I need that artillery to tade territories.

    Likewise, because of their massive income; Japan and Germany skew differently with something like 9/1/4.  (Germany can only build 10 units guys, 5 Infantry + 5 Armor = 40 IPC.  Even that isn’t enough to use up all the cash most of the time!)


  • Moderator

    I finally found my analysis for “best army” for Revised:

    @DarthMaximus:

    Okay, I ran some analysis and I used a LL system for hits (and simplicity), both attacker and defender hit on 3 and above.

    Also I used 60 IPC for total IPC to spend b/c it is easily divisible by 3, 4, and 5 and allows enough units for a couple rds of battle but not too many.

    I did three groupings:
    #1 -  Inf/Rt/Arm
    #2 -  Inf/Rt
    #3 -  Inf/Arm

    And tried to find the optimum buy for each grouping.
    For #1, I started with 20 inf (60) then moved down in the following increments:
    20/0/0
    17/1/1
    14/2/2
    11/3/3
    8/4/4
    5/5/5
    2/6/6

    And I had each category attack all the other categories.  So for example, I did 20 inf attack 20 inf, then 20 inf attack 17/1/1, then 20 inf attack 14/2/2…etc.  then I did the same for 17/1/1 and 14/2/2…etc.

    The combo that did the most damage to the most categories was the grouping of:  11/3/3.
    It did the most damgae but tied with the 5/5/5 in the category of attacking 20 inf and 17/1/1.  Both left 8 inf and 7/1/1 behind in each respective category.
    but the 11/3/3 eeked out slight wins in the other 5 categories for this group.

    Now for the Inf/Rt groupings using the same method I tried:

    20/0/0
    16/3/0
    12/6/0
    8/9/0
    4/12/0
    0/15/0

    And here I came out with both the 12/6/0 and 8/9/0 grouping each winning 3 categories, with the 12/6/0 doing the most damage (or taking with the most units) against 20/0/0, 12/6/0, and 0/15/0 and the 8/9/0 grouping doing better against 16/3/0, 8/9/0, and 4/12/0.

    Now for the Inf/Arm groupings I used:
    20/0/0
    15/0/3
    10/0/6
    5/0/9
    0/0/12

    And this was pretty clear cut as the 10/0/6 grouping did slightly more damage to each category.

    Now finally I took the best from each category to squared off, so I had:

    11/3/3
    12/6/0
    8/9/0
    10/0/6

    And did the same thing and found that:
    The 11/3/3 won 2 and tied in 1
    The 12/6/0 tied in 2
    The 8/9/0 tied in 1
    The 10/0/6 performed the weakest against the others.

    So what does this all mean?

    I think certainly in could be used to back up the idea of keeping the 3/1/1 to 4/1/1 ratio for land units as both being good offensively to take on almost any style of army and being pretty good on defense too.
    Although, the mostly inf breakdowns whether it was 20/0/0, 17/1/1, or another mix with a high % of Inf dominated the defensive aspect.  You really can’t beat Inf for defense at the cost of 3 IPC.

    I was kind of surprised by the 8/9/0 one, but I guess it makes sense since you instantly double the power of inf, but I still think the 1-1 is not the way to go, but the 12/6/0 also did pretty good.  I’ve never really given rt a fair chance but I may consider it more in the future if I don’t need the rapid movement.  Maybe load up on rt in the early rds and save armor for the mid to late rds when you may need quick movement.


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