Why is artillery so difficult to hit?!

The more I play, the more I wonder if there has been a mistake in only allowing artillery to be hit by grenades.
Tanks and infantry both have two chances of being hit (grenade and own symbol[amended: of course, infantry have two dice symbols!]) but artillery has only the grenade.
Surely, in reality, an infantry or armour unit would quickly overpower artillery? Yet I have often had such units attack artillery and be unable to beat them.
Has anyone made house rules that allow, for example, a star to hit artillery?
I am thinking of using it as a rule in some of my next scenarios.
Your thoughts and ideas, please.
Regards

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If an Artillery is on the back line and you play a BARRAGE card a “flag” result as well as a “grenade” result will destroy a figure. In the same situation, if you play an AIRPOWER card, a “flag”, “star”, or “grenade” result will cause a hit (50% chance). They are not overpowering, but focusing on them rather than avoiding them may be an issue.

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At first I thought the same, and often new players ask me if I think if artillery is overpowered.

I just accepted it as a part of the game. But if I were to house rule arty, I would make it so it would fire only one dice against units at close combat. This would represent the crew of the arty fighting in close range with their personal weapons and give the advantange to the guys who made it to their position as weapon crews were not prepared to fight in close range as regular infantry is.

Or something like that, give or take.

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I had the same thought process and acceptance. Perhaps in close combat attackers should have an advantage. Perhaps kills on grenades and flags in close combat, as artillery would be slow to retreat from immediate threat, and would encourage artillery to stay back.
I’m reluctant to house rules as I struggle to un-learn them in more official games.
Good thought though.

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Just a thought about this.
Is it an abstract way of indicating the fact that artillery would normally be deployed further back from the main battle line, and therefore more difficult to target?
I guess that only Richard Borg can provide the answer.

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Thanks for your thoughts.
Last weekend I played a few scenarios, two of which brought up the issue of stubborn artillery.
Parkers Crossroads (Baraque de Fraiture):


So, my artillery (circled, right) is in woods, behind sandbags. This meant my opponent could only use 1 dice for tanks and 2 for infantry, both ignoring first flag. The artillery was surrounded very quickly, but survived the battle! In reality, the position was quickly overrun.

Death Valley, Slovakia:

This time I was on the receiving end. My Russian tanks quickly closed in on the 88s (cirlced, left) but could not move or kill them - again only 1 dice was available.

In both scenarios, we felt that this (unfair?) advantage was what decided the games. And both results went against what happened in reality.

But maybe that is why we love the game!
Regards

The guys who manned those guns were pretty quick to limber them and move out of danger if threatened with being overrun.
Not to say there shouldn’t be something like hitting on a Star if attacking adjacent. If it bothers you enough, that might be a good compromise.
Or maybe make Behind Enemy Lines capable of hitting artillery on a Star result. That’s really the kind of attack that would threaten the guns.

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That’s why I thought, if rules were to be changed, only an advantage to attackers against artillery when in close combat. To reward managing to break through

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Depends on the gun and its use.
Anti-tank guns had a range of 1 to 1.5 km, so could be overrun relatively quickly in an assault (as in the second example I show below).
Smaller field artillery had a range of up to 1km.
It would only be the big guns that go over 2km.
I think most MM44 scenarios use field artillery with relatively limited range.

I have had another thought on this:

Infantry can be hit THREE times by a dice throw (there are two infantry figures on a dice, plus one grenade)
Tanks can be hit TWO times (one tank, one grenade).
Artillery can only be hit ONCE (grenade).

So why are the infantry at such a disadvantage?
Infantry in a close assault on artillery have a 1 in 6 (17%) chance of success.
The artillery firing back has a 50% chance.

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This is whatI thought aswell! The game is more balanced and more realistic as one might think at first hand.

I’m not a great fan of house rules as it comes to M44. If you don’t like the outcome of your actions, rules and dice luck try harder next time! :slight_smile:

I guess also in WW2 one didn’t had luck all the time and the axis didn’t always play by the rules of war…

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Artillery on the defender’s side works to prevent the attacker from waiting until they get the perfect cards to make their move. In an abstracted game, it also creates tension about entering certain danger zones.

Having only two figures makes it brittle and subject to the attacks mentioned above. If you want to go beyond the play tested scenarios and house rule artillery units to be much weaker, you could not count them as a medal, like snipers.

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Thanks everyone. All comments much appreciated.

I have thrown together this House Rules card - I will try it out this weekend and see how it works out.!
Regards

Artillery

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I like it, especially how the house rules only apply to close combat, and the retreat rules for motorised artillery.

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This is counterbalanced by the amount of figures. Yes, you have more chance of removing an infantry figure than an armored unit and the same comparing armored units against artillery. But it’s no coincidence that the game uses 4-figure infantry units, 3-figure armored units and 2-figure artillery units. :slight_smile:

I say this having been plagued by artillery which just refuses to die. Like @mzungu said, you can wait and hope for a Barrage or Airpower card and it’ll increase your chances of taking down artillery. House rules are a matter of personal taste, but I think for my games increasing the chances of hitting an artillery would make them almost the first enemy units to take down.

If this house rule makes your games more fun then by all means, go for it! :smiley:

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The game is overall superbly balanced.
This is a very wise (if obvious) observation regarding unit sizes.
Like I mentioned earlier house rules are fine, but becoming too accustomed to your own rules can be problematic unless you only ever play at home on your table.
I think praugeimps house rules are fair overall, and would be happy to play at his table.

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'Cause guns rule, baby! Seriously, artillery and mortars did more damage (casualties) than any other type of fire.

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I like these house rules! They look realistic and not unbalancing. Frankly, I seldom get close assaults against guns anyway, because my opponents tend to defend them fiercely.

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I just use:
Artillery are hit on stars in close assault.

Artillery are the toughest basic unit in the game, even with only 2 figures.

8 average dice to destroy infantry.
9 to destroy tanks.
12 to destroy artillery.
But 6 to destroy in close assault if they’re hit on stars.

This means they’re the best unit to hold an objective or block a choke point. They’re still far from impossible to remove, but this is still not the most flavourful!

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