This "bug" is just a UI thing that also happens to the Lefh. After the barrage is over the UI goes to 1 second cool down and it looks like it's bugged but barrage is available again once the actual cool down is over so no actual harm is done and the only issue is that it's confusing to the user.
Maybe this is another bug, but after reloading the howitzer, the "fire" button is not active and it lasts in different ways for 10 seconds, 30, minutes .... This makes the howitzer unplayable.
The ml20 hs a higher base damage but its mid aoe damage is the worse out of the lot by a long shot.
AOE distance (close,mid,far)
AOE dmg (close,mid,far)
total aoe dmg
Fow angle/distance multiplier
Number of shells
8+1 with vet 1
250-vet 3 around 305
250-vet 3 around 305
Lefh counter barrage is 200 dmg and dosnt change the aoe dmg (making aoe mid a whopping 70 dmg). Im going to make an assumption here but because the scatter dosnt get changed, this means counter barrage shots rain everywhere which is could be a problem for larger more dense team game maps. To be frank, its a absolute overkill of aoe dmg towards anything that's not a vehicle or motor pit.
looking into counter barrage again, the fow multiplier matches the ML20s.
The priest is almost the same as the ml20 (even dmg wise) except with lower range and a mid dmg multiplier of 0.28 making sure its mid aoe dmg stays at 56 but with 7 shots per salvo in total. It has a aoe radius of 7 and a range of 180, at vet 3 240.
The sexton is just weird. More deadly against infantry (160 dmg with a mid aeo dmg of 80 but only in a radius of 2.5 and with a far aoe dmg of 32 with a aoe distance of 6 also being its total aoe radius) but less range than the priest with 160 range and at vet 3 around 210. It has 8 shots per salvo.
Obviously the biggest advantage of the priest and sexton is not being stationary artillery.
Its giving me too much of a head ache to do all of them. This is considering OP is only taking about counter barrage on the LEFH. Hope this gives a better picture.
Add here that the ML-20 also has a bug that prevents you from shooting after the shooting has reloading. This makes the ML-20 completely useless, I recently built the ML-20 and I wish I hadn't done it, very bad characteristics combined with a bug is a waste of resources.
Since It seems you are new to the game I will explain.
1) You soft lock yourself out of MGs, Mortars and most important ATGs.
2) Penals bleed very easy due to their RA and they cost a lot to reinforce specially early on.
3) They have 0 utility. They are either decent AI or Shitty AT atm.
4) Building T1 for sniper means that you basically pay 500 mp and 10 fuel just to get a single unit and if you get something else from T1 then you lose all early map presence and will struggle to get any ground.
5) No snares meaning that since you don't have any AT measures you will struggle to fight vehicles.
Clown car + Penals against OKW is the only semi-viable thing in T1 atm. Or if you are for example VonIvan\Kimbo you might pull off T1 against anyone.
All of this for 1v1 and most of this for team modes.
Add to this that T1 + Penals or Sniper is a huge waste of resources and at the same time a terrible presence on the map, the enemy dominates from the start: in the number of units, in the capture of points and resources. Somewhere in 3 vs 3 it can be neutralized because of allies, but 1 vs 1 or 2 vs 2 is in most cases you will guarantee yourself a loss.