Ballistics Calculator for Self Propelled Howitzers

Would you like to see this in-game?
  • Yes
  • Yes but in a different way
  • No

0 voters

Currently in game we have a wide variety of Self-Propelled howitzers, each having their own pros and cons. However they are primarily used in a direct fire role, something they were not designed to do.

This is where a Ballistics Calculator would come into play. There are many ways to implement this mechanic in order to maintain balance and effectiveness in the matchmaker, allowing it to be adjusted and tweaked if it is underperforming or overperforming.

The way a mechanic like this would work is simple, the player can use their map to place an “Artillery Marker” in a similar way to the “Attention to the Map” mechanic. Then the system will begin rangefinding and calculating the elevation and azimuth required in order to hit the target.
image
Depending on the installed modifications as well as the characteristings of the vehicle, the targeting circle will become larger or smaller, showing the area where your shells will impact in the current state of your vehicle if aimed perfectly on the calculated trajectory.

This mechanic would give SPH a purpose in battle, instead of just being used as “Meme vehicles” with low effectiveness but also allowing for more team-play and giving a team the ability to fight back against a very powerful enemy that is camping in a spot that makes them very difficult to counter.

Regarding balancing, the main factor would be your reload speed, round flight time which will force players to pick stationary targets as well as your accuracy since you need to get a direct hit to kill most vehicles in the game with some open topped ones giving you a very small margin of error.

An example of an Artillery Firing Calculator from 1944:

Spoiler

As well as a more modern digital variant

Spoiler

14 Likes

This is actually a really good way of adding an indirect fire function for artillery pieces. I fully support this!

8 Likes

having thing that one shot everything in 6.0 is really bad imo so this would be really cool (if they raise their br of course)
I just think they should cost more spawn points , so you won’t be able to just fire on the ennemy spawn at the begining of the game
And they won’t be op since they will be focused by plane if you take a position and fire nonstop

3 Likes

in realistic pov this is fantastic idea i been thinking about it too, but in gameplay wise i think it can make howitzers OP especially against light tanks. so it’s double edge sword

1 Like

Accuracy and bullet travel time will be the biggest problem.
Accuracy not only with the low quality calculations on lower br howitzers but also the guns themselves having some amount of shell deviation
It will be pretty similar to how you can use the BMP-3 or BMD-4 in an indirect fire role using your scout drone with much slower reload time

1 Like

I could see this working for lower BRs or for vehicles with low enough projectile velocities, but there would be some issues with other SPGs. Any of the artillery vehicles with higher velocities would likely not be able to use this feature due to travel time and traverse limits. Something like M109A1 can only aim up to 75 degrees which would mean most if not all ground maps would be too small to use indirect fire. Even for the vehicles with projectiles slow enough to fire indirectly, hitting something behind cover is often not possible due to trajectory.

Range Chart (Dead space is larger with higher velocities)

Another issue I see is designation, how would this work? If your teammates are spotting the enemies they will likely be shot or move before your round arrives. Artillery vehicles could be given drones to supplement this but it would prove useless to many since only some could fire indirectly. Accuracy is another question since the automatic artillery feature we already see in game represents an artillery battery, not just one vehicle. Clicking on the map isn’t a very accurate mode of aiming and markers are often not in the exact spot an enemy resides.

It is definitely something that some vehicles could do, but for many others it would be something that would only see use on very large maps or custom servers. Also with most engagements in WT being in the visual range I think this feature wouldn’t see much use as aiming visually can ensure a direct hit reliably.

2 Likes

Actually
https://community.gaijin.net/issues/p/warthunder/i/n8X6AJZ6bIAR

That’s just part of the game, learning to pick your targets will be a pretty important thing

You just select a part of the map to calculate your azimuth and elevation

would do great when paired with the report above

Like WOT?
NO!

Never said anything about WOT, in that game you can just see exactly where your shell will hit while this you will be stuck in your gunner sights relying on your map

Also for context, this shot travels at 355m/s (similar to a low power m109 charge), this is the altitude it started curving downwards
image

Okay I found a slight issue… the shells disappear mid air on their way down to the ground

My original comment was if teammates were spotting the targets they would likely be shot or move before your rounds arrived. If you remove the teammate factor, then yes, firing on a target who isn’t moving for a long period works as expected.

Also with what I said before, this method of aiming is pretty inaccurate as many times the location shown on the map at first is not true to where the enemy actually resides. This is probably how it would be implemented though so I’m sure Gaijin would figure something out since a few changes would need to happen if this feature were to come. If the artillery reload feature was changed so we could select the amount of charges used I think this would be much more useful.

1 Like

Believe it or not, I had this exact idea in mind too! I just never got around to suggesting it. XD I fully support this, and I think it is a much-needed mechanic.

Pros:

  • This will finally give “HE slingers” like the M109 Paladin and 2S3M their proper place. In real life, these artillery pieces are almost never used in line-of-sight confrontations. (Hence their deplorable armor and low speed, both of which are acceptable trade-offs in a support role, but not on the tip of the spear.)

  • It is balanced by the fact that only scouted or marked target(s) could be easily fired upon. (And only accurately when said target[s] are not moving.)

  • It would encourage teamwork, even accidentally, with light tanks, aircraft, and drone operators scouting for targets, which artillery would then be able to zero in on. This is especially useful if, for example, said light tanks get in a tight place and need support, when their allies are much too far away to assist, or if an attack aircraft runs out of ordinance right as they find a clump of armor converging on an unsuspecting and undersized or repairing/reloading allied position.

  • Artillery would become useful over all BRs, not just up to Tier IV and then they disappear. The more modern systems, like the M109 Paladin, would be able to be used effectively even at top-tier battles, removing the need for having a quite modern SPG at as low of a BR of 6.0, where it is currently fighting late-WWII tanks in line-of-sight confrontations. This would also solve the VIDAR infestation, since it could be moved up without making its capabilities worthless.

Note that reload times and perhaps even some deliberately introduced inaccuracy when firing past a certain distance would help balance it further, (though the inaccurate scouted positioning information on the minimap already contributes to that) preventing a small team of light tanks paired with artillery from wiping out the enemy team single-handedly.

Cons:

  • It would only be usable fairly in Ground RB, since in AB, you would have most of the enemy team on the map for you to bombard with near impunity, and with SB, scouting a target does not mark it on the minimap.

  • Firing accurately with less HE-oriented platforms, like the Waffenträger or CT-CV 105HP, would be challenging, if not impossible, with further balancing ideas put into place, like the ones I mentioned above.

  • “Spawn-camping” might reach new heights, with light tanks sneaking behind enemy lines just to scout sedentary SPAAs in their natural habitat (their spawn) from a distance, which can then be bombarded. This is not impossible to fix, such as by making scouted markings in the enemy spawn extremely inaccurate, (which seems quite fair; besides, they are already quite inaccurate) or by disallowing shelling in that area altogether, (which would be unrealistic and terrible in the endgame) but it will affect other mechanics and gameplay as a result.

  • Teamwork, as we all know, is not quite WT’s strong suit. It is rarely reciprocated by the complete strangers that you play with, and I suspect the same would apply here. You might say, “but General, what about squads and squadrons?” and that is a valid point, but they can still be tough to coordinate with.

There are probably other aspects I did not mention, but these are the major ones that I can think of.

1 Like

It could maybe be implemented such as the marker (or marker area) that you place on the map as it is suggested, will be shown like the squad makers currently are, where they are placed on the ground in the marked location. After that, the distance will be a rough estimate, by the marker, and then maybe they could implemented that the artillery can change their sight to be inverse, such that the rangeing starts from the bottom, and the minimum firing distance is the zero for the sight.

Example of the inverse sight could look like.

1 Like

Ideally you would get a sight that shows Azimuth and Mils and not the regular optic since it would be useless when pointing at such high elevations (70+ degrees)

3 Likes

Great post on reddit demonstrating how the system could look (minus the drone)
Notice the really long delay between shooting and the shell impacting

https://www.reddit.com/r/Warthunder/comments/18wixeo/high_angle_shot_with_100m_he_it_took_35_second_in/

1 Like

They could simply deny use of indirect fire for the first 30s of the game, just have the utility on an auto cooldown until the time elapses. Very easy

1 Like

I like the idea of tackling the problem, and it would be fun to use it, but for something that would be more balanced, I’d want to rely on scouted vehicle markers or something like that, so there needs to be line of sight first, and not your random guesstimation at the beginning of the match where players will go.

If this is added remove planes from ground RB or at least add a gamemode where they dont exist so that we can properly play a tank.Because if we have both planes and arty to worry about (2 things you cant directly do much) then tank rb will become a literal nightmare.

Also add smoke shell for artys that can have them

Finally for modern arty you could also add some gps guided munitions

Either would be acceptable, but yes, for accurate fire, scouting would be a necessity. If they happen to hit something while firing blindly, nice, but that will likely rarely happen. (Except maybe when there is significant clumping on a point or other extremely obvious points of interest, for example, but CAS would target the same thing, as would light and medium tanks with researchable artillery, so that would be nothing special.)