Arty's Anti-Tank, Initiative Penalty

PG/AG often discounts artillery's anti-armor Hard Attack (HA) and Initiative

Artillery has the great advantage of indirect-fire, i.e. ranged-fire where range (RA) > 0. Non-artillery units have RA=0 and use direct-fire attacks that are subject to return fire/counter-attacks in the same combat resolution. In contrast, RA=1 means that the unit still must be adjacent to attack (1 hex away) but the attack is indirect fire and immune to counter-attack. In other words, attacking artillery gets "automatic initiative" and always fires "first and last" because its victim never gets to shoot back but the trade-off is that defending artillery rarely shoots first.
  • HA= PG/AG assumes that artillery-class units always fire in indirect-fire mode and never shoot direct-fire ammunition directly. The US 105mm howitzer’s HA and US 75mm howitzer’s HA ignore the potent, direct-fire High-Explosive Anti-Tank (HEAT) rounds that the Army issued. In contrast, the German direct-fire RA=0 SdKfz 251/9 75mm’s HA=12 appears to give the HEAT round for that low-velocity support gun.
  • Initiative= PG/AG uses Initiative generally to represent each weapon's maximum effective range (See Initiative post). However, PG/AG makes an exception for artillery by giving relatively low Initiative to those long-range weapons. Compare the same or similar weapon when placed in different categories (i.e., tank/recon/AT-class v. artillery-class).

These patterns possibly reflect play balance so that "King Artillery" has a paper-rock-scissors Achilles Heel: A Tiger attack on a 155mm Long Tom would be suicidal if PG/AG went strictly by maximum range for Initiative and best armor-piercing round for HA.

Remember these HA and Initiative "rules" for ranged-fire units if you alter units such as discussed in Add Fast Artillery and SP Mortars.