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Smoke "spotting"
#1
The optional rule for smoke says "Unless forbidden by scenario special rules, all mortars, on-board artillery units and off-board artillery increments conducting bombardment attacks have a limited ability to fire smoke or illumination rounds instead of causing damage."  Note it says "fire" and not "bombard" or "bombardment."    In the procedure it says: " For each unit or artillery increment firing, the active player designates a spotted target hex within range and rolls two dice."  Note the term "spotted hex."    And no where does this say it is technically "indirect fire."   So "spotted hex" seems generic enough to me to mean any hex spotted by a any friendly unit although one could assume a leader is needed as only a leader can direct indirect bombardment fires.  But the smoke rules do not specify so am I correct to safely assume that the spotted hex be designated as long as any friendly unit can spot it?
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#2
From a technical perspective, I'd say you are correct. I went back through the 2nd & 3rd edition rules too. The basic premise holds true, placing smoke displaces bombardment fire, but does not specify any requirement beyond the target hex being spotted.

Illuminations rounds appeared with Beyond Normandy, which is a 2nd edition game. In the 4th edition optional rules, I suspect they are unlikely to be used as the target hex needs to be spotted. In BN they were more numerous than the 4th Ed, and were placed anywhere the British player desired.

I don't know if either technically is in accordance with the intended spirit of the rule. It may be just a 3 generation oversight. I also noted that smoke became more probable rising from 72% to 83% placement probability.
... actually you Americans are probably the most dangerous people in the world. This is because you treat war as a job, and your culture has an excellent work ethic.
-- paraphrased from John Keegan's Fields of Battle

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#3
(01-06-2018, 07:36 AM)plloyd1010 Wrote: From a technical perspective, I'd say you are correct. I went back through the 2nd & 3rd edition rules too. The basic premise holds true, placing smoke displaces bombardment fire, but does not specify any requirement beyond the target hex being spotted.

Illuminations rounds appeared with Beyond Normandy, which is a 2nd edition game. In the 4th edition optional rules, I suspect they are unlikely to be used as the target hex needs to be spotted. In BN they were more numerous than the 4th Ed, and were placed anywhere the British player desired.

I don't know if either technically is in accordance with the intended spirit of the rule. It may be just a 3 generation oversight. I also noted that smoke became more probable rising from 72% to 83% placement probability.

I guess then to play "rules as written."    It could be the intent is to allow anyone to be able to call in smoke for all we know.
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#4
(01-06-2018, 07:52 AM)Blackcloud6 Wrote: I guess then to play "rules as written."    It could be the intent is to allow anyone to be able to call in smoke for all we know.
Could be, but it goes against the grain of leaders calling upon off-board artillery batteries. If anyone can tell artillery to put a smoke round somewhere, why couldn't they put an HE in almost the same place?

If star shells can only be placed in spotted target hexes, aren't you just giving your opponent a target?
... actually you Americans are probably the most dangerous people in the world. This is because you treat war as a job, and your culture has an excellent work ethic.
-- paraphrased from John Keegan's Fields of Battle

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#5
I've learned playing ASL that realism debates don't always jive with the intent of the rules. I agree, maybe it should only be leaders calling in the smoke, but they didn't write the rules that way.
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#6
I've always treated it as indirect fire that needs a leader. Somebody has to communicate with the battery.
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#7
Concur with J6A
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#8
Agreed a leader is needed.
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#9
(01-06-2018, 06:16 PM)J6A Wrote: I've always treated it as indirect fire that needs a leader.  Somebody has to communicate with the battery.

Precisely... and that someone was me!!!  As the Platoon Radioman (or company, or BTN, or BCT), I was attached at the hip to the 'leader' whether he was an LT, LTC/CDR, or COL/CAPT.  (Remember, I am Navy, but I worked with Army or Marines). He would tell me what he wanted (CS, HE, etc.), WHERE he wanted (the 'spotted hex' i.e) and I would call it in.  Our guys were pretty good at it too... 9 out 10 times it was on time and on target!!! 
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#10
Should I bite and ask what about the other 1 time?
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