We need to talk about Artillery

  • Hello all,


    If were going to be talking WW1, we need to start discussing Arty. Many changes happened with artillery over the course of the war...I would love to see a multi part kit that can create at least 3, maybe up to 5 different guns. Maybe do something along the lines of Light, Medium, Heavy boxes. At the very least, a box of Mortars. I am aware that people have been discussing support weapons...could toss it in that box which would be awesome, similar to Support weapons for Bolt Action. This may create a larger discussion on history and im sorry if that happens. Going to re-state, I would love to see boxes of Artillery haha.



  • In most 28mm games artelliry would be offboard or mostly just terrain. mortars and machine guns would be good for emplacements and heavy weapon units, but larger guns wouldn't see much use on the frontlines.

  • I do agree with you about being offboard, but the great war was the evolution of arty. The weapons used from start to finish changed greatly. Early war arty would be great to see, could still be on the board, end war guns offboard.

    I hate using this as an example but...Lets take 40k as an example - the Basilisk. 96 inches range, with a minimum of what, 24 or 48? (Havent touched it since 5th edition) . Its one of the largest guns the guard have..and still sees action on the board and lets not forget the medusa. A clever rule set could totally include the arty in all shapes and sizes...the big stuff would be on the long ends, but could still be used. Besides, it was the best defense against tanks. Need field guns at a minimum.

  • @Michael Scott 

    Great name, by the way. I can see pieces like the French 75, the British 18 pounder and the German 77, but not much bigger than that. I think that the French 37mm infantry gun and the German 37mm anti-tank gun would be a good choice,being small enough, and these were used in the front lines as well

  • Only the smaller end of field artillery would make sense. Heavy guns were positioned well back from the front lines and only vulnerable to other off-map artillery and planes. You need *rules* about the effect of heavy gun bombardment, but not tabletop models. WW1 had no SPGs - the 40K examples cited are analogues for *WW2* mobile artillery vehicles.

  • As a further point... the allies had little to no need to develop anti tank guns in WW1, and so effectively didn't. The Germans only built 20 rather crap tanks, alongside some use of captured Allied tanks. At no point were they a concern - and the best counter to those that did pop up were Allied tanks with guns, such as the "Male" versions of the British designs, or the Renault FT with 37mm gun. 

    The smaller field guns were intended for shooting infantry; only the Germans designed a specialist anti-tank gun (the 37mm one that  Mark Hoffman mentioned).

  • I would tend to agree that mortars and heavy machine guns would be much more prevalent (and therefore sell more) and that large artillery is best used via off board game mechanics but there may be a place for large artillery as terrain and/or objective markers. 

    Part of wargaming is “What If....” scenarios. I can see a WW1 version of The Guns of Navaronne being a fun scenario. 

  • My logic was that most WW1 games would be trench warfare, with small groups of soldiers, and thus falling into the skirmish/man on man game size. But I guess some people would play larger games with 28mm models.

  • There are also various things like Back of Beyond style interwar pulp setting games. Dieselpunk. 40k kitbashing. Lots more possibilities than just trenches.

  • The United States Army did experiment with the concept of a single supporting gun to accompany a battalion on the attack. It was not a successful tactic because of the difficulty moving it forward. They used the horse-drawn French 75mm, which was designed to be a light, direct fire weapon. There was an article published about it by a friend of mine about a decade ago but it looks like it has dropped off the internet so I cant link you to it.

    The intention was to have a gun available to fire directly at pillboxes or other hard points of resistance. 

    It is more effective to work around obstaces like that and use grenades.

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