Artillery are mortars, howitzers, guns, or rockets capable of firing indirectly so as to hit any location on a battlefield. In CMx2, some types of artillery may be represented as units on the battlefield. All kinds may be offboard and represented only as a silhouette on the artillery interface.

Air support are airplanes carrying ordinance of various kinds. Their fire is direct, but because they are elevated airplanes, like artillery, can strike any point on the battlefield. Although very different in reality, in CM they are similar in effect and use the same user interface, so air support is described here. A general term encompassing both kinds of fire is support fire.

Sometimes lots of support is available, at other times none. The availability of support is always force wide and determined by the designer of the Battle.

Seeing Support Edit

To see if support is available, and what types, all the player has to do is select any one of his units, and then look at the Support buttons in the Unit Info Panel, just above the Special Equipment area. If a button is lit up, then Support available; otherwise the button is dimmed and there is no support available for that type (air or artillery). This can be done any time in realtime mode, but only during the command phase for turn-based play.

These buttons not only inform the player about availability, but also act as the means of creating new requests (the act of requesting fire support) or viewing existing missions (a support request put into action). A button will also blink when any of its mission starts to deliver fire, thereby giving the player some warning that something is going to go "boom" very soon.

Requesting Support Edit

The first step in making a Support Request is to select a unit to be a Spotter, then clicking on either the Air or Artillery Support button in the Unit Info Panel (keep in mind that if a button is dim, Support is not available). Instantly, the user interface changes to include two new elements; the Support Roster and Support Panel. The Support Roster shows all available Assets while the Support Panel presents options for making a support fire request.

The following sections explain how to use this new interface to create a Support Request and turn it into a Support Mission.

Selecting a Spotter Edit

The player’s first task is to identify which unit to give responsibility to for both creating a Support Request, and managing the resulting Support Mission. Since not all units are equal in this regard, here are some things to keep in mind when selecting a Spotter:

  • Line of Sight - good line of sight to the target area makes for more accurate and effective results, except for pre-planned strikes (any mission called during the setup phase of a battle) and strikes on known pre-registered TRPs which do not require LOS
  • Unit Type - specialized forward observer teams are better (trained & equipped) than formation HQs, for example. Many of the less common types of support (heavier guns, naval fire, and air support) may only be called by specific types of units (such as only by dedicated FOs), and may be completely out of bounds for others.
  • C2 Links - ideally the Spotter should show green connections to all superior units. The spotter also needs a connection to the firing unit in order to be able to call on it to fire. Units without a communication link to the spotter are shown as “out of contact” in the Support Roster.
  • Stress Level - suppressed or shaky units don’t make the best Spotters
  • Matchup rating - Depending on how urgently Support is needed, the Matchup rating (see next section “Support Roster”) may be critically important. The Matchup value reflects the difficulty a specific Spotter has in getting in touch with a specific asset and securing permission to use it. A Platoon HQ will have difficulties reaching a Regimental howitzer battery, for example. In fact, in some cases, such requests may be outright denied. If this is the case, then “Denied” is shown in the Support Roster on the affected asset.

Remember, if the Spotter doesn’t appear to be up to the task, another Spotter can be selected. To do this, either deselect the current unit or click on the “X” in the upper left hand corner of the Support Roster. There are no game penalties for checking out how various units pair up with different Assets.

Support Roster Edit

The Support Roster displays all Support Assets available for the current Battle, though only one type (Air or Artillery) at a time. Each Asset is represented by a colored square with these pieces of information: Both off-map and on-map assets (capable of providing indirect fire support) are displayed. Each displayed asset has the following information:

  • Silhouette - an image of the piece of equipment
  • Number of Tubes - count of how many guns are assigned (aircraft are always

“1” per Asset)

  • Matchup - in the upper right hand corner is a symbol representing how well

the Spotter and Support Asset are matched for each other. There are five states, color coded as follows: Excellent (green circle), Good (green triangle), average (yellow square) , poor (red triangle) , and bad (-). The better the match the more efficient and effective the results will be.

  • Barrel Heat - green/red dots indicate how hot the artillery barrels are getting. When all dots go red, the battery has to hold down its rate of fire to no greater than its "sustainable" ROF. Otherwise it is free to use "maximum" ROF (if the mission wants it).
  • Designation - military designation, two lines
  • Main Weapon - primary weapons, two lines
  • Mission Status - when an Asset is being used or is not ready to be used, a line

of text appears at the bottom of the Asset display. “Receiving” and “Preparing” indicate the Asset is receiving the details of the requested support mission and is setting up to carry it out. Artillery show “Spotting” when firing spotting rounds, “Firing” when firing for effect, and “Empty” when all ammo has been expended.

Additionally, on-map assets may show “not positioned” if they are not set up to deliver fire support.

Aircraft display “Attacking” when actively engaging targets, “Can’t Locate” when it has failed to find the target, “Coming Around” when it is preparing for another run, and “Landed” when it is no longer available.

If you see “Busy”, the asset is being used by another Spotter and can’t be called by the current unit. Use the “Go To Spotter” button to switch to the unit directing that Asset to make changes to the Mission.

“Denied” is shown if the spotter is not allowed to use the Asset for some permanent reason. (e.g. a platoon HQ trying to call regimental artillery).

“Out of contact” is shown if the spotter has no C2 link to that asset.

Up to 5 Support Assets can be shown at one time. If more than five Assets are available in the Battle, then Left and Right “shuffle” buttons are displayed to shuffle between the previous or next batch of 1-5 Assets. Clicking on an Asset in the Roster selects it and makes it activate the Support Panel where some additional information about the Asset is shown. To see another Asset, simply click on it and it will swap in for the previous one. At this point the player is not committed to do anything with the Asset, thereby allowing “browsing” without any sort of penalty.

Support Panel Edit

Once a Spotter and an Asset are selected, the Support Panel is activated and ready to turn a request for Support into reality.

The selected Asset is shown on the right side of the Support Panel and contains the same information as in the Support Roster. Below it, however, is new information which shows the munition types and quantities available to that particular Asset. The combination of the Asset Panel and the Ammo Panel represents all the information there is to see for that particular Asset.

The column of labeled buttons in the middle part of the Support Panel are the means of communicating with the Asset. From top to bottom the player clicks on a button, follows the instructions to make a selection, then moves on to the next button. As Parameters are chosen they are displayed to the left in the Parameters Screen. When the last Parameter is set, the player is prompted to “Confirm” the Support Request. This is the player’s last chance to back out of a Request without penalty, for once Confirmed the Request is off to the Asset for processing.

Note: in general, artillery support ranges for most assets available in the game are more than sufficient to ensure that any target on a given battle map can be reached, regardless of where it is. However, it IS possible for off-map artillery to be “out of range”, if it is something very small like a light mortar and the target is far away from the friendly map edge!

Depending on conditions, it can take a few minutes or many minutes for the resulting Support Mission to commence. If the C2 link is broken at the wrong time during this process it can temporarily delay the Mission from continuing. If there is an extended lack of communication between Spotter and Asset the Mission will probably be cancelled.

The estimated delivery time in the Fire Support Mission Request display initially shows the best possible time (usually what you'd get with a “standard” mission). If a mission type other than "standard" is selected, the estimated delivery changes accordingly.

Once a support mission is activated, its estimated time of arrival continues to be updated in the Support View as time passes. Note this this is only an estimated time, and the actual arrival can come sooner or later.

Starting from the point of Confirmation, the Spotter and Asset communicate with each other to keep the mission on track. These communications are heard by the player in the form of radio traffic between the two. The exact things said depend on whether the Support Mission involves an Air or Artillery Asset, the type of Mission, and what point the Mission is at.

Adjusting and Cancelling Support Edit

Sometimes it is necessary to change a Support Mission’s target or to cancel it entirely. All modifications to a Support mission must be made via the Spotting unit, since Spotter and Asset are linked until the Mission is over. The easiest way to find the Spotter is to select any unit, click the Support Button for the type of Asset you’re looking for, then select the Asset of interest. Assets which are engaged in a support mission are listed as “Busy”. In the Support Panel, the top Parameter button for a busy asset says “Go to Spotter”. Click on that button and the Spotter instantly becomes the currently selected unit, complete with the Target line/s shown.

Now that the Spotter is selected, the Mission can be Adjusted or Cancelled in the Support Panel as long as the C2 link to the Asset is still intact! Yes, that’s correct... if you have artillery raining down on your own troops and you want to cancel the mission, but suddenly find the Spotter has no C2, you’re in trouble. There is no way to manually Adjust or Cancel the mission at this point. This is yet another example of why it is so very important to select a good Spotter!

Note: Support units (not only artillery but also air and other assets) in the process of receiving a cease fire command cannot be given further orders until the cease fire occurs. Also, note that missions cannot be “adjusted” while they are still being “received”!

It may turn out to be too little too late, but there are two reasons that CM will abort a Support mission on its own. The first happens if friendly fire is encountered and the friendlies have good C2 to the Asset doing the firing.

Basically, they will try to get the Asset to cease fire even if the Spotter can not. The second reason is if the Spotter is out of C2 long enough that the Asset wonders if the Spotter is still able to direct fire. In that case it might cease fire on its own simply because it’s a bad idea to fire blind with no feedback. However, in both cases the player is at the mercy of variables falling into place, so neither should be counted on in place of using a Spotter to cease fire when possible.

Clicking on the Adjust button allows the player to redesignate the Target portion of the Support Mission while leaving the rest of the Mission as originally specified. Shifting fire like this is very useful if the target units have moved or more important targets have presented themselves within close proximity to the original Target area.

Observed fire should not require Adjustment to stay on Target. That is handled automatically by the Spotter to the degree it can see the Target and has C2 to the Asset.

Artillery Mission Parameters Edit

These are the Parameters for Artillery Missions. Which Parameters are shown for a specific request depends on the chosen support asset (for example, Smoke Missions are only available for assets that actually have smoke ammunition available):

  • Target - sets the size and shape of the area to hit:
Point Fire - focuses on a single Action Spot or specific enemy unit
Area - one click for the center and one for the perimeter
Line - requires two clicks, one for each end of the line
  • Number - sets the portion of the asset to use, from 1 to the total number in asset (usually 2, 3, or 4)
  • Mission - responsible for establishing initial Rate of Fire (ROF) and sustained ROF:
Emergency - no spotting rounds, otherwise like Heavy (not available for pre-planned artillery strikes)
Harrass - very slow ROF to conserve ammunition
Light - slow ROF, remaining at slow ROF
Medium - medium ROF, then going to sustained ROF
Heavy - max ROF, then going to heavy sustained ROF
Smoke - medium ROF, firing smoke ammunition to create a smoke screen rather than explosive ammo to damage or destroy the target
  • Duration - determines number of rounds to use per mission:
Quick - 2-4 rounds
Short - 6-12 rounds
Medium - 12-18 rounds
Long - 20-28 rounds
Maximum - exhausts ammo supply
  • Type - sets the munition mix based on the target type:
General - generic setting
Personnel - weights in favor of airburst antipersonnel rounds. Note: Planned artillery strikes as well as strikes ordered on a TRP can airburst if set to a “personnel” target. Not all shells will airburst. This simulates the use of timed fuses.
  • Delay - establishes when to start the support, prep time inclusive. The options are:
Immediate - no extra delay
5 Min - sets for 5 minutes min
10 Min - sets for 10 minutes min
15 Min - sets for 15 minutes min

Air Mission Parameters Edit

These are the Parameters for Air Missions (which Parameters are actually shown depends on the selected Air asset):

  • Target - sets the size and shape of the area to hit:
Point - focuses on a single Action Spot or unit
Area - one click for center and another click for perimeter
  • Mission - responsible for establishing the scope of the attack:
Light - lighter Munitions
Medium - mix of lighter and medium Munitions
Heavy - medium Munitions with a smattering of lighter
  • Type - sets the munition mix based on the target type:
General - favors unguided HE munitions
Personnel - favors HE munitions
  • Delay - establishes when to start the support, prep time inclusive. The options are:
None - no extra delay
5 Min - sets for 5 minutes min
10 Min - sets for 10 minutes min
15 Min - sets for 15 minutes min
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