A Question of Cover

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A Question of Cover

Postby msprange » Fri Nov 30, 2007 4:56 pm

Hi guys,

Just something that has been thrown up in SST v2's development. . .

There was never much discussion about the cover rules that SST Evo used. Plenty about those in the original game, and we knew they needed a tweak, but the lack of talk about them in Evo means they were either very good or very bland :)

So, which was it? How do _you_ want cover to work in SST?
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Postby Lieutenant Rasczak » Fri Nov 30, 2007 5:02 pm

It should make models harder to spot, and harder to target.

Basically, a reason for it being present on the battlefield and using it!


NO COVER SAVES -

Oh look, that IMPOSSIBLY powerful weapon is shooting at me.

No matter, for I am hiding behind this leafy bush . . . . .


LMAO!
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Postby Goldwyrm » Fri Nov 30, 2007 5:25 pm

I'd like to see something like this:

1) Models in cover are -1 to ranged damage rolls from all cover** and only +1 to their save if the cover itself is considered "hardened" i.e.- rocks or structures that take damage.

**The problem with subtracting from damage rolls is that with the d6 and d10 balance of what unit can hit what unit in the game changes. I think rather than reinvent all the weapon dice or target number stats, a quick solution could be to allow a +1 not moving shoot action to cancel out the cover modifier. So MI firing on the bounce don't get the +1 but those standing ground for two shoot actions would.

2)Weapons with the accurate trait count the difference between the target size and intervening terrain. A Size 5 bug behind a size 3 rock are only +2 to the damage roll, not +5.

I'd like to share my opinion on terrain since it ties into cover a little. I really like the terrain sizes vs. model size in the game. I use lots of different terrain and like being able to represent the difficulty of different size models moving in various terrain types like cliffs, rock fields, spires, crevasses, and other formations.
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Postby Lorcan Nagle » Fri Nov 30, 2007 5:28 pm

Certianly the cover rule sin the evo set are far superior to SST v1, I don't think they need much changing, but if they do, it should be an expansion of the Evo ones.
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Postby Lieutenant Rasczak » Fri Nov 30, 2007 5:31 pm

Damage Reduction would only work for certain types of cover, and if some did and others didn't it would bag things down a lot.
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Postby Hiromoon » Fri Nov 30, 2007 5:48 pm

I sort of enjoy how AT-43's cover works. If a model is in Cover, there's a 50% chance the cover takes the hit. Unless it's a vehicle weapon (easily solved with saying weapons using a D10 as the base damage die ignore cover).
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Postby darklord4 » Fri Nov 30, 2007 5:50 pm

Lorcan Nagle wrote:Certianly the cover rule sin the evo set are far superior to SST v1
I disagree here. A Morita should still have a chance to kill a warrior in cover. With the +2 to target, a morita has NO chance to kill a warrior(7 target with cover bonus).

Offering a cover save or cover bonus to a save offers an abstraction to the idea that a target is harder to take out by increasing the 'armor' value of not being seen clearly, without making it impossible.

In my experience, a better solution is usually a combination of solutions, and in this case, combining V1 with EVO. I would propose a +2 cover save bonus(+1 for obstructed fire), and a +2 bonus(+1 for obstruction) to the kill score(leaving Target alone). I think this allows for keeping the capability of taking out a bug or two from a distance(hard with a 2+ save still) and still making a direct hit kill with a missile harder.
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Postby darklord4 » Fri Nov 30, 2007 5:51 pm

Hiromoon wrote:I sort of enjoy how AT-43's cover works. If a model is in Cover, there's a 50% chance the cover takes the hit. Unless it's a vehicle weapon (easily solved with saying weapons using a D10 as the base damage die ignore cover).
Adding +2 to a save usually means there is a 33% chance the attack hit cover instead ;)
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Postby Galatea » Fri Nov 30, 2007 11:30 pm

I like the cover rules as they are in SST 1.

Why? Because:

- You can still shot models out of cover with big weapons (kill), so cover won't make models "indestructible".
- The Evo method has a BIG problem with models that have target 5 or 6, as these immediately get invulnerable to most basic weapons when in cover.
It also makes some models almost indestructible (Tanker with 9/14), so have to create rules like "this model does never benefit from cover" what is a really crappy things as you can't tell me that a Tanker from which you can only see the top of his Torso doesn't get cover bonus.
- It makes sense to add cover to the armour save because effectively it IS additional armour. Weapons with a piercing/x Trait tend to break through cover as they do though normal armour.
- Some models do effectively not benefit from cover when hit by basic weapons. This is completely right because I don't think you can improve the armour of an Exo significantly by placing it behind some trees.
It also makes sense in terms of game balance. An Exo with 7/10/2+ would be almost invulnerable to anything except Plasma or Nukes.

Cover Saves - I don't like them.
It's one roll more that isn't necessary. Also what do you want to do with weapons with piercing - they should be able to pierce through a concrete wall.

Another way to describe cover would be to reduce the attack dice. But then you'd need a calculator to play SST and you get in problems if you use different weapon in one shoot action.
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Postby Goldwyrm » Sat Dec 01, 2007 2:14 am

Galatea wrote:I like the cover rules as they are in SST 1.

Why? Because. <<snipped- the reasons >>
I have to say I agree with your points. There are so many overlapping rules factors like the piercing trait which you bring up well.

I withdraw my compromised version part which mostly waters down the modifiers. It was suggested without thinking of all the weapon traits beyond Accurate. :lol:
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Postby ScipioAmericanus » Sat Dec 01, 2007 4:40 am

The term "Cover" is over-used...and often mis-used.

"Cover" implies shielding behind a piece of something...most often a piece of terrain. Cover can also provide concealment.

"Concealment" makes a unit harder to aquire, but does not provide any defensive benefits.

If I'm in a stand of bushes, then I'm likely "concealed" but not necessarily "covered." If I'm dug in in a fighting position, then I'm probably "covered" but not necessarily"concealed" if I haven't taken steps to camoflage my position. If I'm in the fighting position with a sh*t-pot full of trees and branches all around me, then I'm "covered and concealed."

Hmmm...did I just let a hint out? Woops.
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Postby darklord4 » Sat Dec 01, 2007 7:02 am

ScipioAmericanus wrote: "Cover" implies shielding behind a piece of something...most often a piece of terrain. Cover can also provide concealment.

"Concealment" makes a unit harder to aquire, but does not provide any defensive benefits.
I hope neither of these terms add to the Target value. That mechanic from BFE is short sighted(when everything that can benefit from cover has a target of only 4, it worked out to have the to-hit roll accommodate for the cover) and will end up causing issues in the future when crossing future units with a target of 5 or 6. And also don't cop out and declare bugs are stupid and can't benefit from cover.

I would rather not draw a distinction between cover and concealment. While they function differently in reality, in the end they accomplish the same thing, fewer casualties. Let the game rules abstract them together into one save bonus. If you want to say concealment offers only a +1 'not behind that branch' save bonus and cover gives a +2 'I'm behind something hard' save bonus, that is OK, but please please please do not make one thing offer a target bonus and another a save bonus.

Currently, Grizzly Exos cannot gain a save bonus(they are already at the 2+ max), however, I would argue that a Grizzly in woods should be a real bear to destroy. That is why I suggested keeping the save bonus, but allowing an increase in the Kill stat. Call the bonus concealment or cover, it still makes the target harder to blast outright.
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Postby Galatea » Sat Dec 01, 2007 10:42 am

I think putting up the Kill Value by one could be an interesting thing, but I wouldn't ever increase by more than one.
And even then it tends to make the game more static.

I wouldn't differ between cover and concealment because after all it is an abstract system (I am still glad we don't have the to-hit-roll + to-wound-roll system) that should be fast and easy to play.
And even with that you get problems to decide what cover is and what concealment is. I don't believe a concrete wall gives cover against a Morita - after all it's a **** gauss weapon!

Well, yes, putting up the kill by one if you stand behind something truly massive could be an idea, but it has to be tested whether it makes sense in gameplay or not.
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Postby Soulmage » Sat Dec 01, 2007 6:52 pm

Never played SST v1, so can't tell you what the cover rules are currently. Here's an idea though. . .

Successful attack dice against models in cover must be re-rolled.

This rule applies equally well both to models in concelment, vs those in hard cover.

The extra failures generated by this approach can be asssumed as misses against models in concealment, and as striking the cover vs. models behind hard cover.

These are just some ideas. . . but here are some other possible additions to the cover rules:

- Creatures/vehicles larger than man sized can never gain the cover re-roll benefit, but may still use appropriately sized cover to block LOS completely.

(It would be very difficult for these creatures to conceal themselves, and its assumed that even if there was hard cover of an appropriate size to block them, they would have to stick out enough to make their own attacks that the effects of the cover would be negated.

Thus large creatures can only use cover effectively to completely block LOS and have no ability to "snipe" from cover.)

- Certain weapons such as flamers, or extremely powerful weapons that would make a mockery of even hard cover, ignore the cover re-roll bonus.

Anyway. . . just some ideas.
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Postby Paladin » Sat Dec 01, 2007 7:24 pm

-Concealment/Obscured = +1 to Target
-Cover = +1 to Target/Kill (not stackable with Concealment/Obscured)
-Prepared Defensive Cover = +2 to Target/Kill (not stackable with Concealment/Obscured)
-Cover also needs to be defined as equal in height to half your model Size score and covering at least 50% of your base horizontally. No more of the 1mm in cover non-sense.
-Cover also needs to have "ranks" and be "degradable". A box of crates can't take as much damage as a concrete wall. Cover can be targetted over a mini and suffers the effects of AoE weapons.
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Postby Galatea » Sat Dec 01, 2007 9:22 pm

Paladin wrote:-Concealment/Obscured = +1 to Target
As being sad you get a hell of problems with this.
Hoppers obscured -> Target 7.
Ripplers obscured -> Target 7.
Mantis obscured -> Target 7.
Infiltrator obscured -> Target 7.
Burrower obscured -> Target 7.
Guard Bugs obscured -> Target 7.
Not to mention that half of the Arachnid units have target 5+.

It really screws up game balance (especially if you use cheap fast units like ripplers).
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Postby Paladin » Sun Dec 02, 2007 2:23 am

Galatea wrote:
Paladin wrote:-Concealment/Obscured = +1 to Target
As being sad you get a hell of problems with this.
Hoppers obscured -> Target 7.
Ripplers obscured -> Target 7.
Mantis obscured -> Target 7.
Infiltrator obscured -> Target 7.
Burrower obscured -> Target 7.
Guard Bugs obscured -> Target 7.
Not to mention that half of the Arachnid units have target 5+.

It really screws up game balance (especially if you use cheap fast units like ripplers).
Multiple solution possibilities:
1. Jumping units would measure LOS at 6" above the table and in almost every case avoid the Obscurement penalty.
2. Allow an AIM ready action to offer a +1 to attacks.
3. My limits on cover based on size would apply with this as well. That does prevent the bonus from occuring as often.
4. AoE weapons placed in a proper fire zone deny cover.
5. Up Frag Grenades to D6+1 and shrink the AoE to 2"
6. Extend the range of UGLs to 16" like in BF:Evo or at least 14" to be able to hit them at least once with grenades before they close.
7. Give an ability similar to BF:Evo Land Warrior that only affects obscurement to appropriate units.
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Postby darklord4 » Sun Dec 02, 2007 3:21 am

Paladin wrote:-Concealment/Obscured = +1 to Target
-Cover = +1 to Target/Kill (not stackable with Concealment/Obscured)
-Prepared Defensive Cover = +2 to Target/Kill (not stackable with Concealment/Obscured)
-Cover also needs to be defined as equal in height to half your model Size score and covering at least 50% of your base horizontally. No more of the 1mm in cover non-sense.
-Cover also needs to have "ranks" and be "degradable". A box of crates can't take as much damage as a concrete wall. Cover can be targetted over a mini and suffers the effects of AoE weapons.
Horrible
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Postby Paladin » Sun Dec 02, 2007 3:54 am

darklord4 wrote:
Paladin wrote:-Concealment/Obscured = +1 to Target
-Cover = +1 to Target/Kill (not stackable with Concealment/Obscured)
-Prepared Defensive Cover = +2 to Target/Kill (not stackable with Concealment/Obscured)
-Cover also needs to be defined as equal in height to half your model Size score and covering at least 50% of your base horizontally. No more of the 1mm in cover non-sense.
-Cover also needs to have "ranks" and be "degradable". A box of crates can't take as much damage as a concrete wall. Cover can be targetted over a mini and suffers the effects of AoE weapons.
Horrible
Thank you for your constructive criticism.
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Postby Rabidchild » Sun Dec 02, 2007 6:05 am

As much as I love BF:Evo and want to seed it applied to every game out there, its cover system won't work as well as it should for SST. Here's some food for thought:

Using the BF:Evo cover system: As Galatea and I discussed on our "what we want to see" thread, it makes too many units invulnerable to a basic attack (D6). Without changing their target and making them weaker out of cover/concealment or making special rules such as tankers/warriors not benefiting from cover.

Using the Bonus to armor save: This would mesh well with all available rules, but would give no advantage for suppression, something I think cover should really do.

My proposed solution: Cover and concealment add to the armor save, but saved hits do not count towards suppression. This has the benefits of both, with an acceptably small increase in record keeping: "Okay, 10 hits. So... 3 saves, that's 7 for suppression. My unit of 6 PAMI are suppressed." It also makes Grizzlies very hard to suppress without needing to tack on a rule that makes them immune to it and gives them cause to fear weapons that reduce their saves (well, more than they already do).

Would this work in BF:Evo? No, since there aren't as many dice tossed about. It will work in SST because the basic weapons are either 2D6 for the MI and Forth or 1D6 with a -2 to armor saves for the Skinnies.
Will it work for SST? Yes, because people like throwing buckets of dice when they play SST! Comments, suggestions and conversations longer than one word welcome! ;) :lol:

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