I have posted elsewhere about SWA and other units, but now I have decided to focus a bit more on specific weapons.
The base game has rather unimaginative artillery pieces. Aliies and Axis both get what looks like German Pak 40s or Pak 38s.
If you are interested in an element of realism, then the immediate problem is that these are anti-tank guns, not field artillery or infantry support guns.
The Mediterranean Theatre includes British 25-pounders, an outstanding field gun, while Eastern Front includes ZiS 3 guns, a Soviet field gun.
The Equipment Pack has German Flak 88s (which, as the name suggests, were originally anti-aircraft weapons, but turned out to be devastaing anti-tank guns) and US Long Toms (155mm field guns). Mobile artillery are represented by US M7 Priest (Priest was actually the British Army name for them; the American name was 105mm M7), with multiple rocket launchers (’‘screaming meemies’’) represented by the German Nebelwerfer 42.
The Equipment Pack also has Italian Obice da 75/18 field guns (’‘minor nations’’)
So, in the beginning, artillery was artillery - in the early scenarios it could hit infantry or tanks. In reality this was not the case; a 25-pounder is not an anti-tank weapon (although a direct hit might cause some damage).
Later scenarios and Troops cards brought in the various newer weapons, especially Big Guns, Mobile Artillery, Heavy Anti-tank Guns, and Screaming Meemies.
Ultimately, for me, there still remain two issuse - not enough variety in the guns available, and the question of wether they can be anti-tank as well as field/infantry support.
The second point is one for another day and another place.
I want to look at the variety of guns (you know I love collecting and painting figures and pieces!).
First of all, my Zvezda 1/72 pieces. They all fit inside a MM44 hex, but you only have one piece.
British anti-tank 2-pounder:
German 75mm Infantry Gun:
Soviet 76mm Infantry Gun
These were all common weapons during WWII. The latter two would have little or no effect on armour. The British gun is early war and was soon obsolete against better tanks.
Another source is Pendraken Miniatures, who produce a variety of 10 mm metal models. They are generally too big to have three pieces in a hex, so I often use one of their tanks at the start of a scenario, changing them to three when they are targetted by the enemy. This saves set up time and looks great!
The artillery works - two pieces fit nicely onto a hex:
(88s and 25-pounders)
Finally, I have recently started buying Heroics and Ros pieces. These are 6 mm, so three tanks fit perfectly onto a hex, but the artillery can look a bit lost:
Left to right: British BL 5.5-inch gun, German 17 cm Kanone, German 88 on carriage. German Pak 40s (with a MM44 gun for comparison).
I really want to expand my range of artillery weapons, so any suggestions are very welcome.