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Old 07-12-2014, 12:04 PM   #11
johndallman
 
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Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Artillery (and Forward Observer)

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Originally Posted by Not View Post
I really missed having this skill (i.e., I didn't have it, but needed it) during a Weird War II game, playing a commando in Pas de Calais.
That's why artillery forces (and air forces, and navies) are always keen to provide fire-controllers to other arms of service. What happened?
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Old 07-12-2014, 12:42 PM   #12
sir_pudding
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Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Artillery (and Forward Observer)

You may be interested in this thread I started awhile back. There's some interesting Kromm stuff towards the end.
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Old 07-12-2014, 01:07 PM   #13
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Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Artillery (and Forward Observer)

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That's why artillery forces (and air forces, and navies) are always keen to provide fire-controllers to other arms of service. What happened?
Shells came over the Channel and created chaos but targets had to be eliminated with cordite planted with timers. A good forward spotter might have saved us the trouble. Then the U.F.O.s, and then the zombies.
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Old 07-12-2014, 01:40 PM   #14
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Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Artillery (and Forward Observer)

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You may be interested in this thread I started awhile back. There's some interesting Kromm stuff towards the end.
I was hoping you'd weigh in. That's a good thread; I'm going to try to summarise it into a post in this one, once I've read it a couple more times.

Edit: Might as well do that here.

If a weapon can be used in both direct and indirect fire, you need appropriate Artillery for indirect fire and Gunner for direct fire. Those skills don't have mutual defaults, but there's a case to be made that they should, especially for weapons such as light mortars where training in both modes is provided as part of the same course.

GURPS is mostly interested in what happens to a party calling for fire (or having it called on them). So it doesn't directly represent the work of a Fire Direction Centre or other fire-control organisation, rolling into the communication between a Forward Observer and the guns. If the actions of a fire-control organisation are important, they use Forward Observer skill. It's plausible to give the quality of the fire control influence over the coordination of batteries and so on, but we don't have rules for that.

Last edited by johndallman; 07-13-2014 at 09:43 AM.
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Old 07-13-2014, 09:47 AM   #15
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Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Artillery (and Forward Observer)

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... Artillery for indirect fire and Gunner for direct fire. Those skills don't have mutual defaults, but there's a case to be made that they should, especially for weapons such as light mortars where training in both modes is provided as part of the same course.
Adding a bit that isn't from that thread, the British Army used to train the crews of Vickers machine guns to do indirect fire, and it looks as if the US Army did the same for crews of Browning M1917 and M1921 machine guns.

All of these were tripod-mounted water-cooled guns, and could fire for long periods as barrages. Doing this with air-cooled machine guns uses up the barrel life rather fast, so it probably isn't common at TL7+.
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Old 07-13-2014, 09:55 AM   #16
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Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Artillery (and Forward Observer)

There could probably be superpowers for which Artilllery is the relevant skill. One might even imagine a telepathic scout spotting targets for a blaster whose attacks can go over the horizon or even shortcut through hyperspace.

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Old 07-13-2014, 06:18 PM   #17
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Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Artillery (and Forward Observer)

You know, I have a setting in which massive long range magic is a fairly common weapon of war (things like making it rain fire on opposing capitals or setting off volcano's prematurely). I hadn't thought about it before, but it'd be fun to require artillary to aim instead of using the ritual magic skill thats really about pulling off the massive power expenditure. And I just might be able to work forward observer in there... leading to a great escape scene for the heroes.
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Old 07-14-2014, 09:36 AM   #18
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Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Artillery (and Forward Observer)

In my previous campaign, which was TL2-3 fantasy, the leading military power was modeled on the Roman Empire. They made heavy use of siege engines, and the PCs found Artillery (Catapult) valuable for their more daring raids – especially ones where they captured loaded machines of war. The artificer found it useful for his one-off death machines. See GURPS Low-Tech, pp. 78-83 for the kinds of weapons that turned up.

In my current campaign, Artillery (Cannon) has seen a lot of use for infantry mortars (GURPS High-Tech, pp. 145-147), while Artillery (Guided Missile) has seen modest use for MANPADS such as the Stinger (GURPS High-Tech, pp. 152-153).

I've yet to use Artillery (Beams), Artillery (Bombs), or Artillery (Torpedoes).

Forward Observer has seen use in many of my higher-tech campaigns since it was introduced in the first edition of GURPS High-Tech years ago. I consider calling in fires to be a great task for small groups of PCs. That said, PCs have also used it to direct mortar fire from their own team just over the hill . . . having a camouflaged observer prone with field glasses on the hilltop while the mortar team is barely out of sight just behind him is plenty useful.
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Old 07-14-2014, 09:45 AM   #19
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Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Artillery (and Forward Observer)

Don't forget that an onager is quite useful for launching adventurers over the keep walls. You need Artillery (Catapult) to make sure they're not going to go too far and miss the hay bales set up to feed the keep's horses and livestock.
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Old 07-14-2014, 10:03 AM   #20
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Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Artillery (and Forward Observer)

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In my previous campaign, which was TL2-3 fantasy, the leading military power was modeled on the Roman Empire. They made heavy use of siege engines, and the PCs found Artillery (Catapult) valuable for their more daring raids – especially ones where they captured loaded machines of war. The artificer found it useful for his one-off death machines. See GURPS Low-Tech, pp. 78-83 for the kinds of weapons that turned up.

In my current campaign, Artillery (Cannon) has seen a lot of use for infantry mortars (GURPS High-Tech, pp. 145-147), while Artillery (Guided Missile) has seen modest use for MANPADS such as the Stinger (GURPS High-Tech, pp. 152-153).

I've yet to use Artillery (Beams), Artillery (Bombs), or Artillery (Torpedoes).

Forward Observer has seen use in many of my higher-tech campaigns since it was introduced in the first edition of GURPS High-Tech years ago. I consider calling in fires to be a great task for small groups of PCs. That said, PCs have also used it to direct mortar fire from their own team just over the hill . . . having a camouflaged observer prone with field glasses on the hilltop while the mortar team is barely out of sight just behind him is plenty useful.

How did you handle the FDC?
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