How Often Do You Intensive Fire?

witchbottles

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#1
We all know the ultimate "Hail Mary" for a Gun in ASL is in the Holy Tome. My question is: How often do you resort to using IF? Is it an overused event in ASL among experienced players? (much like ESB tends to be overused?)

Yes, it is typically something situationally dependent. That said there are times it just makes sense to squeeze off an extra round, even if it means the guys manning the Gun might load the shell in backward and blow the breech block. (Malfing the Gun).

Here's where I see it makes absolutely no sense to NOT IF a Gun:

1. The last fire phase of the scenario. At this point, even the luckiest "god hit" improbable hit IF shot has the potential for either snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, or crossing the finish line by nose in the photo finish to the VCs. There are no more Rally phases to fix it, so who cares if it malfs now? (unless having a good order Gun is part of the VC's that is.)

2. When the chances of an IF hit are well higher than the chances of a malf'd Gun, and getting that killing blow in now could well turn the tide of the game in your favor. The old axiom of "playing to the odds" of ASL is what this is. You take the shot because EX: You hit on a DR of 7 or lower, and score at least an automatic shock (not a "possible shock") on a 7 or lower (or an automatic immobilize if the VCs require the vehicle to be mobile) - whereas the Gun will only malf on a Dr of 10 or 11 and X on a DR of 12. Taking the IF shot here is again, rarely something one is inclined to decline.

3. When it's to the line and you got exactly one (and no other) chance left, to avoid a loss, you IF the Gun. Even if the odds of hitting or killing the target are equal to (or even lower than) the odds of malfing the Gun, at this point, there is literally nothing left ot lose, so almost everyone IF's the Gun here.

4. The morale loss of the vehicle should deal a crippling blow to the enemy. EX, the only Tiger I with a bunch of light AFVs (Pz IIs and IIIs in say Tunisia 1943), presents your 25 pounder a rear IF shot at 2 hexes. (silly, but it has and will happen). your odds of a killing hit are not 100% by far, and you do face a serious risk with malfing a 25 pounder in the DTO. ( They are so much firepower to lose to a malf). but the loss of this major AFV is easily worth killing 3 or 4 of the little guys - it can really cause a PMC to your opponent. Taking this IF shot is not so clear, and often times, it gets passed up. But it does occur with some regularity here.

5. The enemy has your Gun crew encircled and outnumbered, and they are going to die in the AFPh anyway. So you IF the Gun in the hope of either taking somebody with you, or at least malfing the Gun so the enemy can't turn it on you later. This one also happens nearly 100% of the time as an IF shot.

So looking at your ASL play, Do you IF more often than you might otherwise consider prudent in a scenario?

One corollary here is that most(but not all) HASL CGs with multiple scenarios to play - you will find IF is used MUCH less often, as having that Gun around for the next scenario often outweighs 1,2 and even 3 above.

KRL, Jon H
 

aiabx

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#2
If I have 4 or more tanks, I'll use IF a lot until I've lost a couple to malfing (subject to circumstances of course, all disclaimers apply).
 

von Marwitz

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#3
I do use IF regularly but in a considerate way - and, of course, dependent on the situation. Same is true for ESB or low odds shots in the face of a Sniper.

As has been said, ASL is a game of chances and you have to weigh them. Humans tend to overrate and overremember extreme outcomes (I think it was Kahn's "Fast Thinking, Slow Thinking" or so that was quite illuminating on the issue). So I believe that ASLers tend to overrate the risks in relation to the benefits for IF, ESB, low odds rolls.

von Marwitz
 

Martin Mayers

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#4
Statistically I bet it's better to use IF 100% of the time but people aren't quite brave enough to do so.

An interesting thing I now do, which time has taught me, is to have tanks unbuttoned almost all of the time (except restricted ones it goes without saying). The chances of something bad happening them is far outweighed by the number of hits I achieve which would have missed had they been BU. Although, in fairness it's gut feeling rather than statistically measured.
 

aiabx

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#5
Statistically I bet it's better to use IF 100% of the time but people aren't quite brave enough to do so.

An interesting thing I now do, which time has taught me, is to have tanks unbuttoned almost all of the time (except restricted ones it goes without saying). The chances of something bad happening them is far outweighed by the number of hits I achieve which would have missed had they been BU. Although, in fairness it's gut feeling rather than statistically measured.
Definitely a tactic that depends on the opponent's SAN.
 

jrv

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#6
I find the decision to BU/CE complicated. SAN is one aspect. The importance of the vehicle (is it the only one, or one of a dozen?) also. Will the vehicle be facing lots of IFT attacks? Etc.

As for IF, I find I IF more after a meal that includes beans. Is it just me?

JR
 

zgrose

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#7
Not sure it is solely a function of SAN. A German AFV unbuttoning against Americans at Normal Range is going to take a lot of 6+2 shots (or worse).
 

aiabx

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#8
Not sure it is solely a function of SAN. A German AFV unbuttoning against Americans at Normal Range is going to take a lot of 6+2 shots (or worse).
The reason I worry more about SAN than other factors is that SAN is out of my control. I can sit hull down at 7 hexes with obstacles all around me and smoke all over my target and the sniper is still going to see my tank commander and pop him in the head.
 

bendizoid

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#9
We all know the ultimate "Hail Mary" for a Gun in ASL is in the Holy Tome. My question is: How often do you resort to using IF? Is it an overused event in ASL among experienced players? (much like ESB tends to be overused?)

Yes, it is typically something situationally dependent. That said there are times it just makes sense to squeeze off an extra round, even if it means the guys manning the Gun might load the shell in backward and blow the breech block. (Malfing the Gun).

Here's where I see it makes absolutely no sense to NOT IF a Gun:

1. The last fire phase of the scenario. At this point, even the luckiest "god hit" improbable hit IF shot has the potential for either snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, or crossing the finish line by nose in the photo finish to the VCs. There are no more Rally phases to fix it, so who cares if it malfs now? (unless having a good order Gun is part of the VC's that is.)

2. When the chances of an IF hit are well higher than the chances of a malf'd Gun, and getting that killing blow in now could well turn the tide of the game in your favor. The old axiom of "playing to the odds" of ASL is what this is. You take the shot because EX: You hit on a DR of 7 or lower, and score at least an automatic shock (not a "possible shock") on a 7 or lower (or an automatic immobilize if the VCs require the vehicle to be mobile) - whereas the Gun will only malf on a Dr of 10 or 11 and X on a DR of 12. Taking the IF shot here is again, rarely something one is inclined to decline.

3. When it's to the line and you got exactly one (and no other) chance left, to avoid a loss, you IF the Gun. Even if the odds of hitting or killing the target are equal to (or even lower than) the odds of malfing the Gun, at this point, there is literally nothing left ot lose, so almost everyone IF's the Gun here.

4. The morale loss of the vehicle should deal a crippling blow to the enemy. EX, the only Tiger I with a bunch of light AFVs (Pz IIs and IIIs in say Tunisia 1943), presents your 25 pounder a rear IF shot at 2 hexes. (silly, but it has and will happen). your odds of a killing hit are not 100% by far, and you do face a serious risk with malfing a 25 pounder in the DTO. ( They are so much firepower to lose to a malf). but the loss of this major AFV is easily worth killing 3 or 4 of the little guys - it can really cause a PMC to your opponent. Taking this IF shot is not so clear, and often times, it gets passed up. But it does occur with some regularity here.

5. The enemy has your Gun crew encircled and outnumbered, and they are going to die in the AFPh anyway. So you IF the Gun in the hope of either taking somebody with you, or at least malfing the Gun so the enemy can't turn it on you later. This one also happens nearly 100% of the time as an IF shot.

So looking at your ASL play, Do you IF more often than you might otherwise consider prudent in a scenario?

One corollary here is that most(but not all) HASL CGs with multiple scenarios to play - you will find IF is used MUCH less often, as having that Gun around for the next scenario often outweighs 1,2 and even 3 above.

KRL, Jon H
In a nutshell, the more losing the more likely to IF than if winning and even then will probably want at least a '5-6' TH.
 
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hayman

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#11
Not nearly enough times as I should: I sometimes forget to IF (my old age), or wish to not break the weapon (for possible future use).
 

volgaG68

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#12
Probably my most 'go to' IF shot is when I have a Gun in woods/building, and an enemy AFV goes cruising by outside my CA. 10 [+8] (+2 Motion, +3 CA change x2) needs snakes on the first shot, but only a '7' on the IF shot (+2 Motion, +2 IF, -1 Acq). Of course this becomes more problematic with Limited target sighting/small targets, but against a standard/large AFV with no Limited sighting modifiers, it is almost a knee-jerk reaction for me. [with the usual situational/tactical caveat of course]

I've also always felt that if you roll a 1,1 on an IF shot, the Gun tube should 'Battle Harden'; say from a 75* to a 76L. ;)
 

Martin Mayers

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#15
Not sure it is solely a function of SAN. A German AFV unbuttoning against Americans at Normal Range is going to take a lot of 6+2 shots (or worse).
The point I was making is that ultimately if you ignore these possibilities completely, ignore the SAN number, ignore the specific situation and go CE all the time when firing and moving, and Intensive Fire EVERY time you are able to, then over a certain period of time you will come out winning more games as a result than those you have lost.

Impossible to measure, but I think we get too wedded to the idea that breaking a MA, getting hit by a Sniper, getting Stunned by that 12+2 shot is catastrophic, and forget that it is still unlikely. The odds still favour you to roll 9 or less, the Sniper to miss, the 12+2 to break our morale 8 crew. Whereas the long term benefits of doing so probably represent better odds.

Again, over the long game.

I'm not brave enough to always Intensive Fire.....but I do IF regularly and do consider it an integral part of any plan I have in almost all circumstances. And I go CE almost all of the time. Probably 80-85%. If a scenario where my infantry need to get through I'll regularly move tanks first. If units fire at them, good. It means they're not firing at the infantry. If I break a gun, meh I just don't repair the weapon and use it as a mobile MG, rout path interdictor, and unit freezer. I'm winning far more games these days since I grew a pair :) :)
 

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#16
I think it is situational.

In a playing of Clash Along the Psel as the Russians I was using IF without fail as lots of the Russian OoB did not have rof against a German force with 1 or 2 rof and there was plenty of PB BFF shots. The Su-122s where CE and firing in overwatch positions as there were no snipers around whilst the rest had to be BU being RST or 1MT.

In a current playing of Super Bazooka, I'm keeping my T-34s BU and not risking IF for fear of a cheap Stun followed by a Bazooka kill and need the MA operational to keep those Bazooka teams at distance and under fire.
 

Martin Mayers

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#17
I think it is situational.

In a playing of Clash Along the Psel as the Russians I was using IF without fail as lots of the Russian OoB did not have rof against a German force with 1 or 2 rof and there was plenty of PB BFF shots. The Su-122s where CE and firing in overwatch positions as there were no snipers around whilst the rest had to be BU being RST or 1MT.

In a current playing of Super Bazooka, I'm keeping my T-34s BU and not risking IF for fear of a cheap Stun followed by a Bazooka kill and need the MA operational to keep those Bazooka teams at distance and under fire.
T34s can't fire unless BU so I'd keep those BU it goes without saying.

Otherwise, it's situational because we think too much and are paranoid about unlikely events actually occurring.

I'm not arguing by the way as I agree with you to a large extent. I'm just sharing the view of one particular guy I used to play fairly regularly which I always thought was interesting and probably quite correct.
 

WuWei

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#18
One corollary here is that most(but not all) HASL CGs with multiple scenarios to play - you will find IF is used MUCH less often, as having that Gun around for the next scenario often outweighs 1,2 and even 3 above.
A counterexample is Operation Veritable's Riley's Road Campaign Date 1. The Germans have 4 88LL AT guns but have to set them up pretty far forward. Those guns will most likely be overrun by the end of the campaign date not matter what the Germans do, and there are lots of Canadian AFVs rolling onto the map. Using IF is a win-win: You kill more AFVs, then your guns breaks, so the Canadians can't conquer them and use them against you.