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ART (Artillery Resolution Tracker)

ART (or ARTy to his friends) is a much more advanced, but still FREE, program that allows you to plan artillery strikes, based on the standard BattleTech artillery rules. (ART uses a subset of the runtime files used for the HeavyMetal programs, so if you have any of them installed, all you need is this one executable to run ART.)

You can place up to 100 "targets" on two map sheet areas, then after setting the gunnery skill, ART randomly rolls for hits, scattering those that miss according to the established BattleTech rules, and applying damage to those hexes affected. You can choose from many Level 2 and 3 ammo types for all the artillery weapons. The screen below shows a targeting array set on the left hand map sheet, and Long Tom HE (High Explosive, Level 3) ammo being chosen.

How Can I Use It?

ART can be used a number of ways:

  • Plan Artillery firing and targets for an upcoming game. By examining the random scatter and damage pattern, you can adjust the targets to help damage the enemy, while keeping it away from your own units.
  • Help determine, for a given situation, what ammo and weapon would work out best for the intended purpose. There are a lot of choices there, especially with Level 3 rules, and ART can help you choose the best combination.
  • Print out the targets listing, then use the printout for your games. Space on the printout is provided for what round the artillery arrives.
  • If you really trust your buddies, you can print out the damage, and use that during the game. Even print out a separate sheet for each round and/or type of weapon. As before the game, you won't know the location of the enemy units, even that much trust is not required.
  • Take a laptop to your games, or use one there if available, and do your targeting and artillery fire resolution real-time, as each salve is fired. This speeds up play, and results in truly random results.

You can download ART here, and read and learn more about it below. Please note that the download size is approximately 7 MB, as it includes 36 map sheet backgrounds, and that the program requires the basic runtime files used by the HeavyMetal programs (so having any of the HM programs means you already have the runtime files).

ART Features:

The screen below shows ART as it looks when you first start up, select a weapon and ammo type and begin locating your targets:

You will probably want to change the target locations, and maybe the type of artillery being used. Use the Weapon menu selection to change the type of weapon and ammo being used, then set the desired targets by clicking the Set Targets button. This clears the screen, so just click wherever you want to set your targets. Note that multiple clicks on the same hex targets it multiple times. The number of rounds being targeted are shown at the top of the screen, covered up in the screenshot below:

Naturally, the skill level of the artillery unit affects the outcome. With a very good gunnery skill, like skill 0, you will find many or most of your shots hitting the desired hex. Those that don't, scatter according to the normal rules. Hexes that are hit display the total damage to that hex, along with a color to represent the damage. A key at the left of the screen helps understand the colors and damage. Note that target locations are shown by Blue circles, while the hexes actually hit have stars locating them:

Notice the high concentration of damage round the targets. This naturally concentrates the damage in that area, achieving a maximum of 55 points damage in a single hex for this Long Tom HE ammo. By switching to a worse gunnery skill, you will find the damage being distributed over a much larger area, with less damage per hex. You can also clearly see the damage reducing with each hex away from the hex hit, per the standard rules.

Optional Map Sheet Backgrounds:

Something new and special with ART is the ability to overlay (okay, actually underlay) standard BattleTech map sheets on the targeting area, so you can more accurately and easily plan your salvos for the game. A selection of 36 map sheets are included with the program for your use, and you can always make more if you like. You can choose which map you want on each side, and the maps print out with the grid, too. While working on targeting hexes, you can choose to hide the map backgrounds, if that makes it clearer, or show them. Likewise, the previous damage can be kept visible to help better plan the next strike, or the damage can be hidden.

The screen shot below shows two standard map sheets used as background, with the same damage pattern as above:

Printouts:

You get to do more than just plan and fire with ART; you can actually print out the results to take to a game. You can include the map sheets, if you like, which will print in color on color printers, and you have the option of including the hex numbers and other options (the map backgrounds all have hex numbers on them, although they are not very high resolution). Below is an example of the printout; click on it to see an actual PDF file made while using ART (ART doesn't make PDFs, unless you have PDF creation software, but you can view and print the PDF to see the quality and features of ART's printouts):

A second page can be added to the printout, giving the coordinates for each target on the map sheets, handy to take to the game when you want to use real dice to determine hits and scatter.

You can download ART, and begin planning an artillery barrage for your next game, by setting the target locations, as well as weapon and ammo types, and skills, to find a good pattern, in order to surprise your opponent! 

Additional Map Sheets

As noted above, you can use map sheets as backgrounds for ART, in order to help locate artillery damage on standard map sheets. Lee "T-Bolt" Smith has taken the time to make GIF images of 98 map sheets, basically all the map sheets from six different map sheet sets. And he's been nice enough to share them with all of you, for use with ART or whatever. As the files are in a 30 MB zip file (organized by map sheet set), I've kept them separate from the normal ART download. To get them simply download Maps here.

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