Shooting Questions

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    Larger caliber guns produce plumes that can aid in targeting.

    Can you fire those weapons first, so the rest of the weapons on the same boat can potentially benefit? Or is all shooting simultaneous?

    On a separate question, if you are shooting and your vessel is at Full Speed (a -1 modifier) and it’s over 30cm (a -2 modifier), do both modifiers apply? Or only just one? I’ve heard arguments both ways.

    Paul G. Overend

    Regarding modifiers it is my understanding that all would apply.
    Range, speed and size being separate concerns.

    Dr Dave

    “Can you fire those weapons first, so the rest of the weapons on the same boat can potentially benefit? Or is all shooting simultaneous?”

    But the smaller weapons would never have access to the range settings of the larger one surely. The 4” crew wouldn’t announce it before firinmg for the benefit of the Bofors crew. Besides, which weapons make a big enough plume to see atvwhat range in what sea state?

    Accounts often mention the problems caused when other vessels fire since you can’t tell your fall of shot from anyone else’s. So if anything, firing too many guns at an enemy is a bad thing to do!

    invisible officer

    Exactly. That splash thing was more for duels between bigger ships in daylight. The effect was small. A moving target and a moving firing position and waves that move the barrel up and down……..

    With most S-Boot fights being in moonless nights it would be impossible to see the splashes. Especially against the tracer lights from your target’s automatic arms. Even the small .500 blinded the gun crews.

    Before becoming CO of a MBT flotilla Peter Dickens was on a destroyer. Never hitting S-Boote with the main guns.


    Dr Dave and Invisible Officer, your questions are fidelity of simulation questions.

    I’m asking a rules question.

    Paul G Overend, one argument against your position is that the rest of the modifiers are either/or. You are either slow or stationary. You either are a veteran or inexperienced crew.

    The one example I cited is, I think, the only one where two separate conditions can exist at the same time.

    From a logic standpoint, I find it hard to believe my full speed tramp steamer moving at 12CM is a -2 while my nippy torpedo boat hauls ass at 24CM, while in Combat speed, has no modifiers.

    This may be intentional to keep vessels from moving at full speed all the time or just to give the torpedo boats a chance to avoid being hit by bigger, slower, vessels.

    Troy Hill

    Can you fire those weapons first, so the rest of the weapons on the same boat can potentially benefit? Or is all shooting simultaneous?

    Back to the original question:
    I believe the answer is No.
    take a look at the revised (from errata) table for “Firing Guns” (for pg 102 of the rulebook)
    A reading of the order of shooting shows that placing plumes happens after “Roll to hit: 1d10 per weapon system firing” followed by rolling damage – then placing plumes.

    Also, since the target for each weapon has to be declared before any firing – page 10 – I’d say that the spirit of the rule is weapons on a boat fire simultaneously, not giving plume benefits to the other weapons on the same boat.

    invisible officer

    I ever thought Wargaming is about simulation, not obeying rules.

    I own some last century rule sets with a first rule on page one: If something is impossible in real world it is impossible in game too, even if the rules seem to state something different.

    Great, my friends and I use that in all wargames.

    But we are no competition players.

    Dr Dave

    Agreed. It’s only ever a simulation. Everything else is just a “game”. The problem comes to keeping the simulation playable.

    Weapons on real boats all fired simultaneously. They didn’t take it in turns to get clues as to what the range might be. There’s playing the game and then there’s playing the rules! 🙁

    Troy Hill

    The idea I worry about is being portable.

    Not the smoke, but the ability to pick up from Southern California, and pop into a shop in Edinburg or Nottingham or Cardiff when I finally get to the UK.

    Or to Melbourne, or even to Indianapolis…

    and know that we’re at least beginning on the same page in the book. That there is an understanding that – here’s the system. This is how THIS game works.

    You can then say “here are our house rules…” But, is the starting point the same?


    Troy Hill, your argument makes sense except shooting isn’t actually simultaneous as you can shoot at each point you can turn.

    So you can move, have the opportunity to turn, fire, then continue moving and have the opportunity to fire. Now, you can only fire each weapon once per activation but firing isn’t simultaneous. While this does allow weapons to fire when that battery is with arc, it changes the dynamic.

    So your 37mm with a 360 degree arc fires first, missed, thus adding a plume marker, and you then move, now unmasking your 270 degree arc 20mm, can it now benefit from the plume marker? By your definition it can’t. But by the rules clearly allow weapons to fire in turn as the guns come into a firing position.

    “In the real world” arguments don’t translate well to games. You give up degrees of authenticity depending on the level of detail you want. Too many plume markers become a negative negative, a point not addressed as the maximum number of plumes is 3. Beaufighters armed with torpedoes? No.

    Troy Hill, your point about portability is spot on. I played with two different groups in the same weekend and got two different arguments. Each argument on its own was sound, hence my questions.

    invisible officer

    Dr. Dave pointed in the right direction: “smaller weapons would never have access to the range settings of the larger one”.

    The S-Boot 2cm was used against boats without rangefinder or range setting with direct aiming.
    Same with 3,7 and 4 cm cm. The aiming aid was the tracer, that showed where the first rounds went, for correction.

    The portable 1 m Langbasis stereoscopic rangefinder was used if the light AA Crew had a stable base. Like on land. Impossible on a moving MTB. And unlike the Minensucher etc. Schnellboote had no fixed rangefinder.

    No rangefinder – no splash viewing effect.

    Easy to represent in game by not using any splash on MTB.
    “In the real world” arguments translate well to games.


    I can’t answer to the technical issues, I lack that level of knowledge. I know that range finding via observing splashes was done for the bigger ships. And I know machine gunners walk their rounds up onto a target to range in. But neither answers the rules question.

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