Add Mortars to PG/AG

Fix Soviet artillery

The WWII Red Army fielded a massive, layered array of artillery that is missing from PG/AG. The 76mm field gun became AG’s direct-fire anti-tank gun so the early Soviets unrealistically lack affordable light artillery. In reality, the Soviets made great use of mortars, Red Army doctrine authorized massing mortars from many units under a central command, and the Soviet 120mm mortar was so good that the Germans copied it.

A mortar unit would have:

  • “Artillery” classification (for support fire)
  • 1-hex ranged attack (like the StuG IIIb)
  • Infantry ground defense numbers (so it can survive next to the enemy if used offensively)
  • 2 “leg” movement points (2MP like Heavy Weapons (HW) infantry)

I’ve experimented with the mortar unit and the results are interesting :

  • It works like a hybrid infantry-StuG
  • Its movement is like motorized infantry/artillery with 8MP in trucks and a dismount—but dismounted it’s like HW infantry so it can be tactically more mobile/flexible than a howitzer
  • It does not get an infantry-class bonus in woods and cannot capture a city but its infantry-type ground defense numbers make it tougher to uproot than a howitzer battery
  • You can keep it behind your units where (like the StuG) it cannot be used offensively but a good mortar unit can break up many an attack
  • You also can put it in the frontline where (like the StuG or other artillery) it cannot fire after moving but it can fire offensively at an adjacent enemy with the benefit of a ranged attack and still provide defensive fire support to adjacent friendly units

The Red Army’s potent but affordable 2MP 120mm mortar certainly would add a new dimension to the Ostfront.

Add 80-82mm Mortars to Most Nations

The HW infantry seem like another in a long list of small-arms infantry but a HW unit’s 80-82mm mortars provided its main punch and greatest range (to over 3,000yds). The medium mortars could be made similar to the 120mm to give supporting artillery fire but then the artillery-class mortar HW unit should be supplementary to the standard infantry-class machine-gun HW so that you have enough city-capturing infantry.The other option to represent HW’s mortars would be to leave all HW as infantry-class (which means woods bonus and capturing cities but no support fire for other units) but give all HW infantry a 1-hex ranged attack to indicate the indirect fire of the HW units' mortars.

I gave mortars an infantry-type 2-hex spot range for now but that and other numbers (attack, ammunition, cost, etc.) are provisional.

Vote on these ideas


Anonymous EF Stats said...

I agree w/you 100%. It was ridiculous that in the original P/AG efiles that the "lightest"
arty for the SU (except for those
weak Katy's) was the 12.2cm Gun?!

In my subsequent efiles I made the
Katy's more powerful (more $ too)
and added a 7.6cm Gun.

Mortars will also be present in an
EF campaign I'm working on.

Blogger General SNAFU said...

Hello. Yes, and please see what you think of HE and Radios for the Red Army.

Also, feel free to let us know where we can get your campaigns, efiles, and news about your current project.

Thank you.

Anonymous EF Stats said...

Nite owler here. The idea behind
the US HW Mtr unit is one of your
best in that it is easily
implemented; and has some solid
military grounding as a unit different from a "MG" HW Inf.

Based on the specs of the US HW Mtr
unit you showed and my cost model (& intuition, w/o crunching any #s), that unit is a bit cheap,
i.e. it's too good a value at
CO=10. Then again it might fit in
w/what you're doing. Well whada ya
know, I ran the specs thru my model and it came out to 126p or
CO=10.5; unless I didn't get all
the specs down correctly, that was closer than I intuited.

Anonymous EF Stats said...

Opps just noticed that this unit was Arty classed, not Inf. My model now says 112p, or CO=9.33.
Still close & my "feel" for the cost of the Inf classed HW Mtr unit was close. Time to hit the sack.

Anonymous General SNAFU said...

Thank you. Strictly, there shouldn't be any HW at AG's battalion scale (they would be part of regular infantry's data) but I'm going with AG's theme of allowing separate units for HW, Fireflies, etc. to avoid the less interesting, generic "tank battalion" alternative.

I eyeballed the mortar cost and data relative to other units. I based the US HA on the US heavy anti-emplacement round but different nations, mortars, and times could have different data.