Home Forums Nordic Weasel Games Historical Hammer of Democracy- Smoke use by infantry squads

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    Avatar photoTim Snoddy

    I don’t have much understanding how infantry smoke was used historically (my biggest impression is from Band of Brothers so may not be accurate) so I am not arguing a point just trying to understand the rationale and how best to use in game.  So on P64 an infantry squad can lay smoke adjacent to it’s current position but can’t receive orders in the same turn.  I am thinking of infantry trying to cross open ground.  The intuitive thing to do would be to redeploy and then drop smoke between the moving squad and an enemy but that is not allowed.  I thought smoke was thrown towards the enemy position rather than around the squad’s own position.  So I can see how laying smoke would give a squad a breather, possibly time to withdraw to a position out of line of sight.  That seems a defensive use though and I thought smoke was used offensively to cover an advance, am I wrong?  Does that kind of offensive use rely on delivery by bigger weapons on or off table?  How do you envisage infantry squad smoke being used?

    Avatar photoIvan Sorensen

    Right, so I think “smoke” is something most games do kind of abstractly because it’s not that easy to piece together.
    Even reading period infantry manuals, its not that clear.
    (pun somewhat intended?)

    Infantry smoke is limited in real life by: Range (as far as you can throw the grenade, which on a gaming table isnt far), the fact that it takes a while to build up, limited ammo (1 smoke grenade per soldier seems typical) and the fact they don’t really produce that much smoke per grenade.

    I also noticed that soldiers accounts dont talk about smoke all that much, but I don’t know if that’s because they just take its use for granted and dont bother or because it wasn’t as useful as we tend to assume it must have been ?

    With those limits in mind, I felt that relying on mortars for smoke for a big advance seemed more realistic, while infantry can use their smoke capacity defensively.
    It also goes to emphasize the need for combined arms in the game.

    Of course all of this may well be wrong!

    Avatar photoTim Snoddy

    Cheers, really useful to get that insight.

    Avatar photoMartinR

    Infantry smoke grenades are more used in urban combat, they aren’t a huge amount of use in open warfare as you can’t throw them very far and they only burn for a couple minutes. They are very handy for smoking a street though (or any other restricted gap, so they can be used in other dense environments like woodland, if you don’t mind setting the woods on fire from time to time).

    So, chuck smoke, let it build up, then dash across the now covered gap. Of course wily enemies may well be firing into the smoke by now.

    "Mistakes in the initial deployment cannot be rectified" - Helmuth von Moltke

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