How to Use Artillery Spotting in WB III
(and actually hit something)

by -hero-

With the advent of user-targeted artillery in WBIII, a single Dweeb can deliver devastating firepower to targets on the ground from either a ground vehicle or from the air where Dweebs really shine (as much as Dweebs can anyway).  Unfortunately, it's not as easy as pointing your vehicle at the target area and pulling the trigger; there is some orientation, calculation and estimation required to use artillery effectively.

In the photo below, we start by parking our ground vehicle outside the target area and calling in a spotting round of fire by typing the .spot command, which will bring an artillery shell down in our vicinity (sometimes right on top of you--so get out of the way if you're in a ground vehicle).  You can see the spotting round crater in the fenceline.

In this example above, we're parked pretty close to the target area--much closer than we might otherwise be able to under hostile fire.  Artillery has a range of about 30 kilometers but you need to be close enough to see what you want to hit, and to be able to correct the artillery fire--a maximum correction of 1000 meters from your spotting location.  Our vehicle is heading almost in a direct north heading.  When correcting artillery fire, you adjust the firing aim by using the .correct xxx yyyy command, where xxx is the compass bearing from the previous impact in degrees from north (not your heading).  yyyy is the range from the previous impact in meters up to a maximum of 1000.  In this case, our spotting round landed short of the fuel tanks by probably 200-300 meters, and the round landed almost directly south of where we want it to be.  So in our example here, we want to type .correct 010 250 , where 010 represents 10 degrees on the compass and 250 is the distance in meters for the range adjustment.

In the picture above, we can see that our spotting round hit the outer edge of the tank farm, taking out the fence.  So we want to correct our fire again, to get the spotting round to land in the middle of the tank farm.  So now we adjust from the most recent impact point, and we type .correct 075 50 -- this will land the spotting round in the middle of the farm (we hope).  After seeing the spotting round land in the center of the farm (hidden behind the southern most tank in the picture), we're ready to drop the hammer down on the target in earnest, and we do this with the .barrage command.

HUZZAH!  The next step in the process is to watch the fireworks and perform the necessary damage assessment for the next barrage, or select the next target and spot the initial round, letting the destruction begin anew.

Artillery spotting requires considerable practice, because it's easy to get confused regarding one's heading versus the orientation of the artillery fire.  But there's a real satisfaction in watching the shells slam into buildings, so it's worth the effort.

The current spread or radius of artillery fire is disappointingly (and ahistorically?) tight (as of beta build 070301), considering the distance between buildings, but this is subject to change with the development of WBIII.

 

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