Keeping squad leaders alive

Discuss Mongoose miniatures game here, including Mighty Armies, Gangs of Mega-City One, and Battlefield Evolution.
Konrad von Richtmark
Shrew
Posts: 21
Joined: Tue Oct 02, 2007 8:01 pm

Keeping squad leaders alive

Postby Konrad von Richtmark » Fri Oct 05, 2007 7:14 pm

I just played my first game with the MEA. I kept the leaders and the specialists of my squads further back than the rifle grunts, thinking they weren't going to be the first models to be hit. But my savvy opponent, at a few times, placed the fire zone to the side of or behind my unit, so that despite there being several riflemen between the leader and the enemy, the leader was still the target within the fire zone closest to the shooters, and died first.

Is this somehow avoidable, or is it just a flaw in the system? Or, to make a more acute point, fire zones are supposedly threedimensional, so what's there to stop you from declaring a fire zone exactly 6'' above a model you want to assassinate?
darklord4
Banded Mongoose
Posts: 300
Joined: Wed Jul 05, 2006 7:45 pm
Location: Chandler, AZ

Re: Keeping squad leaders alive

Postby darklord4 » Fri Oct 05, 2007 8:17 pm

Konrad von Richtmark wrote:I just played my first game with the MEA. I kept the leaders and the specialists of my squads further back than the rifle grunts, thinking they weren't going to be the first models to be hit. But my savvy opponent, at a few times, placed the fire zone to the side of or behind my unit, so that despite there being several riflemen between the leader and the enemy, the leader was still the target within the fire zone closest to the shooters, and died first.

Is this somehow avoidable, or is it just a flaw in the system?
You need to make sure that the firers can draw a LOS to the fire zone center AND the affected models(models in the target squad block LOS to either). The back-end snipping works only if the target guys spread far enough apart to allow LOS to them and behind them. Saying that, keeping your important guys in back is decent but not fully recommended as a flank attack easily isolates your choice models by attacking the rear, which for the attackers is either the right or left where there is no chance of target models blocking LOS.
Konrad von Richtmark wrote:Or, to make a more acute point, fire zones are supposedly threedimensional, so what's there to stop you from declaring a fire zone exactly 6'' above a model you want to assassinate?
While the rules do not exclude making such a fire zone, the fire zone should be on the table. Don't think of it as a sphere of radius 6", but rather as a cylinder. If you picture it as a sphere, the FZ is smaller than 6" as targets at the edge would not be included in the fire zone as they would stick out of the rounding of the sphere :P

The free placement of the FZ is kind of interesting. In SSTV1, you had to center it on a model. Placing it freely allows for a little better fire efficiency. However, give a player an inch, and he'll take the table length. I'm not sure if FZ sniping was intended by free FZ placement.
Konrad von Richtmark
Shrew
Posts: 21
Joined: Tue Oct 02, 2007 8:01 pm

Re: Keeping squad leaders alive

Postby Konrad von Richtmark » Fri Oct 05, 2007 9:51 pm

darklord4 wrote: While the rules do not exclude making such a fire zone, the fire zone should be on the table. Don't think of it as a sphere of radius 6", but rather as a cylinder. If you picture it as a sphere, the FZ is smaller than 6" as targets at the edge would not be included in the fire zone as they would stick out of the rounding of the sphere :P
Well, that's exactly the point: When the fire zone is exactly 6'' above the target, no other models get into the fire zone, and the one guy gets all the fire. Which is a terribly convenient way of sniping terribly inconvenient people.
The Rulebook, page 15 wrote:A Fire Zone is simply a 6'' radius. This radius originates from a central point and extends in all directions, including upwards.
A volume extending from a central point in all directions is a sphere, not a cylinder. A cylinder is a volume extending in all perpendicular directions from a central axis, not a central point.
hithero
Banded Mongoose
Posts: 299
Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2007 6:37 am

Postby hithero » Sat Oct 06, 2007 8:51 am

I'm finding that the rules are too short and not enough description or gaming situations are included and believe that the zone should be centred on the gaming table and not air-bursting. It is also illogical (but not neccessarily against the rules) that you can target models to the rear of a unit and we have a 'gentleman's' agreement that the whole unit is targeted rather than selected parts of it as we prefere to play each other rather than play against the rules.
darth_azabrush
Banded Mongoose
Posts: 360
Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2005 10:38 pm
Location: UK
Contact:

Postby darth_azabrush » Sat Oct 06, 2007 11:52 am

Ah the silliness of having the Squad leader in front. In a PLA versus MEA demo I played in I hit the sheik with and anti tank rocket. Talk about martyrdom!
darklord4
Banded Mongoose
Posts: 300
Joined: Wed Jul 05, 2006 7:45 pm
Location: Chandler, AZ

Re: Keeping squad leaders alive

Postby darklord4 » Sat Oct 06, 2007 5:59 pm

Konrad von Richtmark wrote:
The Rulebook, page 15 wrote:A Fire Zone is simply a 6'' radius. This radius originates from a central point and extends in all directions, including upwards.

A volume extending from a central point in all directions is a sphere, not a cylinder. A cylinder is a volume extending in all perpendicular directions from a central axis, not a central point.
I agree it is described as such, but it is a lot faster and easier(IMO, the main point behind the EVO rules over the SSTV1 rules) to just measure 2D fashion from the FZ center.

I would think air-bursting a FZ like you describe will not be beneficial in the long run. Whereas you eliminate a squad leader and force a regroup ready action, you probably also eliminated the opportunity to play against that opponent again by abusing the rules. We have only misaligned FZs when presented with an obvious flanking fire where the leader is obviously exposed(though the FZ was centered on the trailing leader) and when putting RPGs into vehicles(by the dice allocation rules, you have to misalign otherwise the high RPG attack rolls usually get assigned to troopers, not the intended vehicle target, this is not viewed as cheesy as both players realize it is working the mechanic so you can shoot something both players agree should be able to be shot)

The free placement of the FZ is a quirky bit that should probably get a clarification or limitation on its placement, e.g. you can place it only within the target unit or it works as a cylinder.
JayRaider
Duck-Billed Mongoose
Posts: 1747
Joined: Tue Jun 07, 2005 9:41 pm
Location: Dublin Ireland

Postby JayRaider » Sat Oct 06, 2007 7:23 pm

Rules can be bent, people always do.
But we all know that whats happening is against the spirit of the rules.
I wouldn't play them again.
The Old Soldier
Duck-Billed Mongoose
Posts: 2110
Joined: Sat May 21, 2005 3:02 am
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio. Where pigs fly but turkeys don't

Postby The Old Soldier » Sat Oct 06, 2007 7:29 pm

Okay, I love the BFE rules, but there are some points that doesn't work real well. Targeting certain type of troops are one of them. (Disclaimer: This is my opinion based on a many games of BFE, don't go fanboy on me, because I don't give a damn)

BFE is a game that falls between a tactical squad base game, and a Platoon action game. As such there are things that will not satisify many gamers from either end of the spectrum. (I'm more of a Platoon base gamer). Casualities in BFE is one of them. Here are my suggestion for gamers with like minds.

As written ALL models that fall under the FZ and can be seen are potental casualities for direct fire. I allow the owner of the miniatures to CHOOSE which model that has DD assigned to them are removed.

Example: A group of 8 Militia come under fire by a group of Marines. The marines lay down a FZ that has 6 of the Militia under it. The Marines have 5 dice of fire available. Rolls are 1,2,3,4,5,6. The closest five are given one DD each. The Militia Player CHOOSES which DD is assigned to which figure for those 5 dice, instead of the Highest going to the closest first.
"On the Bounce"
Mr Evil
Chief Mongoose
Posts: 6993
Joined: Tue Apr 05, 2005 9:28 am
Location: To Close to Wales for comfort
Contact:

Postby Mr Evil » Sun Oct 07, 2007 12:03 pm

i never thought about putting the center of the fire zone mid air, thats rather naughty !!!!!
<iframe src="http://gamercard.xbox.com/cygnarsghost.card" scrolling="no" frameBorder="0" height="140" width="204"></iframe>
Image

http://splargoth.blogspot.com/
Konrad von Richtmark
Shrew
Posts: 21
Joined: Tue Oct 02, 2007 8:01 pm

Re: Keeping squad leaders alive

Postby Konrad von Richtmark » Sun Oct 07, 2007 2:01 pm

darklord4 wrote:I would think air-bursting a FZ like you describe will not be beneficial in the long run. Whereas you eliminate a squad leader and force a regroup ready action, you probably also eliminated the opportunity to play against that opponent again by abusing the rules.
Yeah, that was what I kind of was wondering, whether the possibility of this kind of targeting was a real flaw in the rules, or if I just had missed something.
The Old Soldier
Duck-Billed Mongoose
Posts: 2110
Joined: Sat May 21, 2005 3:02 am
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio. Where pigs fly but turkeys don't

Postby The Old Soldier » Sun Oct 07, 2007 4:48 pm

Well the airburst idea sounds good on paper, but doesn't work while gaming. You still remove from the closest point of the firers back. Example in a building with troops at different levels. The closest would be the troops on the lower levels. So they would be removed first.

The only way I can see the abuse stopped is your opponent assigns the DD, as I described in the early post.
"On the Bounce"
darklord4
Banded Mongoose
Posts: 300
Joined: Wed Jul 05, 2006 7:45 pm
Location: Chandler, AZ

Postby darklord4 » Sun Oct 07, 2007 8:40 pm

The Old Soldier wrote:Well the airburst idea sounds good on paper, but doesn't work while gaming. You still remove from the closest point of the firers back. Example in a building with troops at different levels. The closest would be the troops on the lower levels. So they would be removed first.

The only way I can see the abuse stopped is your opponent assigns the DD, as I described in the early post.
The trick is that the FZ has only the leader and maybe 1 other guy, if there is 1 nearby. So, even if you allocate the DD, you have only a couple of models to allocate DD to, so your leader will take a few hits. Even in a building, a cheese player could center the FZ UNDER the table to single-out the leader. I guess the firers in this case would be bouncing their shots off the ground?

Having your opponent allocate damage dice takes out the random factor of damage. I think that random factor was intended by the FZ mechanics.

I think an easier solution is to force the center to be within the area of the target unit, i.e. you cannot shoot above, below or to the sides of a unit. This still allows the placement of the FZ to maximize your fire, which I believe was also the intent of the FZ placement, while eliminating singling out any particular models. That is what snipers are for ;)

I find it interesting that this FZ discussion is changing what is meant by the term "volume of fire" :P
Konrad von Richtmark
Shrew
Posts: 21
Joined: Tue Oct 02, 2007 8:01 pm

Postby Konrad von Richtmark » Sun Oct 07, 2007 9:06 pm

Actually, you'll have to have LOS to the centre of the fire zone, so putting it below the surface of the table isn't possible. A squad in a house with several floors would be protected from the FZ-above-your-head trick, but that's about the only situation I can think of short of keeping the leader entirely out of LOS.

Having the opponent allocate the damage dice won't help when there's only one guy in the FZ. Also, it makes it possible to minimize the effects of splash damage by deliberately allocating the relevant die to a model as isolated as possible. What more, in a situation where a few guys are in cover and a few are not, one could use the guys in cover to soak up 4s and 5s which would kill the guys in the open. Also, if the unit gets more than one hit per guy, one could minimize damage by dealing an outrageous overkill to a particular model, such as by letting him catch several RPG shots.

***

How about a house-rule saying that a FZ cannot be placed in a way where models are targeted without other, closer models of the same unit being targeted as well, UNLESS one by doing so can fit a larger number of models into the fire zone.

to illustrate:

oooooooooo


x
x



x x
x x x
x x

The o:s are your models about to shoot. The x:es are enemy models all of the same squad. Now, if it is possible to place a FZ in between the 2 close and the 7 faraway enemies in a way such that at least 7 (2+5) models end under the FZ, one cannot place it farther back and ignore the two close guys. However, if the distance between the 2 and the 7 is too long for that (such as could happen for 12'' command range units), it is permissible to ignore the two guys in front to get as many as possible of the behind models into the FZ.
The Old Soldier
Duck-Billed Mongoose
Posts: 2110
Joined: Sat May 21, 2005 3:02 am
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio. Where pigs fly but turkeys don't

Postby The Old Soldier » Sun Oct 07, 2007 11:54 pm

If there is only one guy in the FZ, then either the player was extremely wiley, or the other player did a good job of keeping is men out of the FZ. Either way that seems good game play to me.

Meh, I rather play another game.
"On the Bounce"

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 16 guests