23 February 2010

Artillery and other unwanted effects

Artillery was a potent force in WWII, supposedly the #1 source of casualties.  I have never been able to track down the source of that statistic, but it is repeated so often it has become commonly accepted knowledge.  In wargames, however, no one really wants fire from the sky in anything like historical terms.  Looking at historical OoB's, AT guns, mortars, and artillery assets were very common.  Why is it then that players so resent mortars and off-board artillery in their games.  Maybe because it is out of the player's control as they maneuver their infantry and armor around the board.  For the U.S. forces it makes up for untrained infantry and deficient armor.  One U.S. army officer in Europe said once that he moved about five to ten miles each bound.  Then he would call down the artillery on the enemy position, and advance another five to ten miles.  So you can see playing without the artillery for any of the western Allies hamstrings them unfairly.

The new playtest rules have significant changes to the artillery, which make it quite a force to be reckoned with.

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