A Question of Cover

Discuss Mongoose miniatures game here, including Mighty Armies, Gangs of Mega-City One, and Battlefield Evolution.
darklord4
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Postby darklord4 » Sun Dec 02, 2007 6:25 am

Paladin wrote:Thank you for your constructive criticism.
I already stated what a better alternative is and I and others have stated why this is a bad mechanic. I think stating that an idea is not good is appropriate feedback, topped with a movie quote link seemed humorous.

In response to Rabidchild...

I do not think suppression is a good idea for SST either, for that exact reason about dice. The SST V1 rules describe how/why they purposely modeled any kind of morale rules into the leadership and flinch rules. I think the BFE ruleset works well for what it is, a modern-era wargame. I do not think several of the mechanics, cover and suppression in particular, translate into SST.
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Postby Maelmordha » Sun Dec 02, 2007 10:51 am

Hi All,

A couple of points...

Firstly - how do you propose to treat a unit that's partially in cover (some figures in and some out)? Allocate the dice to the closest figures first; or to the ones not in cover; or to whichever the firer likes? For me the ones outside cover are usually the ones I would see being 'done in' first unless the unit was being shot at from within the same cover.

Secondly - Cover in modern day combat is effective primarily through concealment and not really through physical protection. In general (please note - I said in general) a concrete wall isn't going to save you from a direct hit - even a modern day SLR will punch through 7" of brick wall and still plug whatever is behind it. Most hard cover is only effective against shrapnel and associated effects of a hit (as is body armour). Some cover actually makes the effect of a hit worse, being in a building or a bunker when hit by a Hollow Charge weapon (explosives in enclosed spaces), or in woods when hit by artillery (splintering) is NOT good. It's also easier to suppress a unit in cover.

This complicates the issue lots, so how to deal with it? Two things really need to be taken into account. Direct fire and Area fire.

Direct fire should be handled by a cover save. I don't like cover saves either but the alternative would be to introduce a spotting system.

Area fire should handled by adding to the Target/Kill scores with some exceptions. A cover save is probably just as effective here though.

The bonus for both should depend more on the type/calibre of the firing weapon than the value of the cover. In any case SciFi weaponry makes a mockery of most cover unless it's manmade.

Suppression should also be more effective - add 1 dice for suppression purposes for fire versus those targets in cover or something similar.
Whether suppression has a place in SST is another point. Bugs don't suffer from suppression - they don't have a sense of self preservation - although thay can be blown back by pure firepower. SST CAP troopers have better armour than most cover so they shouldn't be affected by suppression either.


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Lieutenant Rasczak
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Postby Lieutenant Rasczak » Sun Dec 02, 2007 12:08 pm

Grade it . . . . .

If they are in cover they are allocated hits last, with those in Hard Cover being 'further at the back of the que' than those in light cover!
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darklord4
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Postby darklord4 » Sun Dec 02, 2007 10:01 pm

Just as some sort of grounding for thought, why are the V1 cover rules being tweaked?
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Postby Lieutenant Rasczak » Sun Dec 02, 2007 10:11 pm

darklord4 wrote:Just as some sort of grounding for thought, why are the V1 cover rules being tweaked?
A lot of this is discussed on Planet Mongoose.
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Goldwyrm
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Postby Goldwyrm » Sun Dec 02, 2007 11:14 pm

Lieutenant Rasczak wrote:
darklord4 wrote:Just as some sort of grounding for thought, why are the V1 cover rules being tweaked?
A lot of this is discussed on Planet Mongoose.
Here's the link:
http://blog.mongoosepublishing.co.uk/

Excerpt I thought aplies since it is from today:
Going back to the core rules, there are all sorts of bits and pieces already written that make the game far easier and smoother to play, beyond the basic clarity we have worked on with regards presentation. There are no longer weapon Types, for example, these being integrated into Traits such as Auto and Slow (to replace Squad and Pack). Reactions now also take place when a unit gets shot at (direct from the Evolution rules). Models can be forced back in close combat, but there is no such thing as flinching, which has effectively become an Arachnid special rule. Suppression did not make it through from Evolution, and we are still toying about with Cover, listening to the comments made on our forums. A unit will no longer hang around in the wilderness when it loses it leader, unless it has already taken a serious battering. You can only use a special movement type once in a turn, stopping the double move of Arachnid flying units entering the table with a Brain Bug in tow.
I've put the most pertinent part for this discussion in bold. Along with Darklord I'd also have to ask what really needs changing from V1, given all the cascading repercussions that Galatea has pointed out very well, which would require even more changes.

I'm not convinced that cover needs changing. The explanation for the Damage roll on page 25 and the designer notes on page 135 of the original rules make clear that accuracy of fire is not focus of the rules due to the higher level of technology, training, etc. So cover is not intended in the game as a challenge to weapon accuracy, where it might be more appropriate in a modern setting game such as BF:Evo. Cover rules are only included in SSTv1 to model extra protection in the form of the armor save modifier.

After reading the designer notes and the fact that there can be a different suggestion or opinion for each and every person playing the game, I'm fully happy if it is left as it has been. I'd hate to see all the stats and other rules change just to accomodate having cover affect the damage roll in the game.
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Postby Paladin » Mon Dec 03, 2007 4:30 am

Maelmordha wrote: Firstly - how do you propose to treat a unit that's partially in cover (some figures in and some out)? Allocate the dice to the closest figures first; or to the ones not in cover; or to whichever the firer likes? For me the ones outside cover are usually the ones I would see being 'done in' first unless the unit was being shot at from within the same cover.
Yo u don't do anything to change the rules. You leave it to the shooting player to designate their firezone wisely and apply damage from front to back as normal. If you want to shoot those out of cover you set the center of the FZ appropriately.
Last edited by Paladin on Mon Dec 03, 2007 4:33 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Paladin » Mon Dec 03, 2007 4:33 am

darklord4 wrote:I do not think suppression is a good idea for SST either, for that exact reason about dice.
Having just finished the novel and watched a few of the CGI videos, I have changed my mind and agree that suppression should be left out of SST. The bugs are almost all immune to the idea, beyond the current flinching rules. The MI are drilled mentally to the point that they have extremely high morale, stacked with the hypnotic influence I can't see them being suppressed in all but extreme circumstances.
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Postby Paladin » Mon Dec 03, 2007 4:36 am

darklord4 wrote:
Paladin wrote:Thank you for your constructive criticism.
I already stated what a better alternative is and I and others have stated why this is a bad mechanic. I think stating that an idea is not good is appropriate feedback, topped with a movie quote link seemed humorous.
I took it as a rude and sarcastic insult.

oh the joys of online communication...
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Postby shotgun-toting chipmunk » Mon Dec 03, 2007 8:07 am

I think the BF:Evo rules for cover work fine (assuming the bonuses apply to both target and kill, seems odd to do one but not the other). They are simple yet effective; there really aren't questions regarding what is and isn't cover in BF:Evo. I understand the concerns about game balance with so many bugs having a hard enough target to reach with basic weapons. My suggestion would be along what Paladin(?) mentioned: Give the MI a bonus similar to FIST/Land Warrior. After all, there's a reason those troopers have snoopers!
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ScipioAmericanus
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Postby ScipioAmericanus » Thu Dec 06, 2007 6:34 am

Guys:

There has been CONSIDERABLE discussion on the cover issue already.

Trust me, if I get my way, you all just might end up hating me. :-) Mwahahah!

Flat thinkers may disembark the tram now... and please exit to the right of the tram's forward motion. Thank you.

Regards.
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Postby Paladin » Thu Dec 06, 2007 1:31 pm

ScipioAmericanus wrote:Guys:

There has been CONSIDERABLE discussion on the cover issue already.

Trust me, if I get my way, you all just might end up hating me. :-) Mwahahah!

Flat thinkers may disembark the tram now... and please exit to the right of the tram's forward motion. Thank you.

Regards.
Any chance you want to enlighten us so you can soften the blow and we can make suggestions? :wink:
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Postby cOwgummi » Thu Dec 06, 2007 1:53 pm

Yeah seriously scipio, to be honest, I personally am getting a bit annoyed by the whole "duuuuuuuuuuuuuuudes its a shame you don't know whats in store for you, but I've seen the light so don't worry about a thing" posts of yours...

please stop with the sermons and give us something we can work with, and if you can't, stop making promises without any substance to them, please...
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Postby Goldwyrm » Thu Dec 06, 2007 2:27 pm

I enjoy the cryptic clues. :lol:

I'm guessing I won't be disappointed since I'm pretty sure I'm not a "flat thinker" as referenced.

It's not an SST game table if it doesn't have alien terrain in all sizes and shapes. :wink:
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Postby Lieutenant Rasczak » Thu Dec 06, 2007 4:47 pm

Goldwyrm wrote:I enjoy the cryptic clues. :lol:

I'm guessing I won't be disappointed since I'm pretty sure I'm not a "flat thinker" as referenced.

It's not an SST game table if it doesn't have alien terrain in all sizes and shapes. :wink:
So long as its not bloody cover saves ala 40k!
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Postby Paladin » Thu Dec 06, 2007 5:23 pm

Goldwyrm wrote:I enjoy the cryptic clues. :lol:
As long as it's not every post, I do too. Nothing like building the suspense before unwrapping the gifts under the tree. But getting let down after your expectations are set to high can hurt.
Goldwyrm wrote:I'm guessing I won't be disappointed since I'm pretty sure I'm not a "flat thinker" as referenced.
So long as it's semi-simple and easily defined prior to game start and can "degrade" in some capacity, I'm good with most anything. Static, immortal terrain bugs me a bit. Occassionally, that can't be avoided, but I like my game boards to the "interactive".
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Postby Goldwyrm » Thu Dec 06, 2007 7:40 pm

Lieutenant Rasczak wrote: So long as its not bloody cover saves ala 40k!
First edition already has the armor save.

At its simplest I see the damage roll as the shooters capacity to inflict damage and the armor save (and related modifiers) as the ability to avoid damage. I've been working on WWII rules for the last 5 years that work a similar way- roll shooter's ability to threaten a target/area, roll the target's ability to avoid being hit. It's an abstract way of dealing with lethality and effect without getting bogged down.

In SST, the ability to avoid damage (save) can occur from several separate or compounded factors- having a thick chitinous shell, being shielded from the fire by a rock, dodging a laser beam, etc. So I see armor, cover, and dodge as being related enough to be included together.

At the most basic level in SST the shooter gets a roll and the target gets a roll. I like that. Where the modifiers park themselves really shouldn't matter if it keeps a consistent result in expected matchups. A Morita should be able to at least wound most things. A Nuke should take stuff out. First edition has for the most part set my expectation for how the existing weapons and creatures match up. That's why I'm in agreement with Galatea's earlier statements and to keep as close to 1st edition as possible.
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Postby darklord4 » Fri Dec 07, 2007 9:32 pm

Models have stats so that we know their game effects. I would propose doing the same for terrain. Here is my suggestion for putting attributes/stats onto terrain: (this covers movement as well as cover. I also used a lot of SSTV1 ideas)

Terrain pieces can have 3 different effects. The effects are Movement, LOS, and Protection. Each effect has a size value associated with it.
Terrain effects stack.
A model may gain only 1 form of save bonus.
Players should agree on terrain effects before the game starts.

Movement
Difficult
The distance to move through Difficult terrain counts double.
Models of size greater than the Movement effect Size ignore the effect.

Impassible
Impassible terrain cannot be occupied or moved through by models.
Models of size greater than the Movement effect Size ignore the effect.
Impassible becomes Clear with the Climb special Movement

Water
Water terrain counts as Impassible, though it can be overcome by abilities, e.g. Flying, Water movement, etc.
Models of size greater than the Movement effect Size count the terrain as Difficult.
Models of size twice the Movement effect Size ignore the effect.

LOS
LOS is determined by tracing model center dots.
Model location is determined by the model center dot.

Obscuring
Obscuring terrain takes effect when a LOS traces through or into obscuring terrain.
Targets of an attack affected by Obscuring terrain enjoy a +1 Obscurement bonus to their Save.
Models IN Obscuring terrain do not get a save bonus if their Size value is greater than the Obscurement effect Size.
Example, a Marauder(Size 3) is not obscured in Size 2 or Size 1 Obscuring terrain.
Intervening Obscuring terrain (where the LOS goes through Obscuring terrain, but the target is not in Obscuring terrain) does not take effect if the Size difference between the models tracing LOS is greater than the Size of the Obscuring effect.
Example, LOS between a Warrior(Size 2) and an LAMI trooper(Size 1) is obscured by Size 1 or bigger Obscuring terrain, giving the Warrior a +1 Obscurement save bonus.
Models may trace a LOS into and through obscuring terrain up to the twice the size of the target model. Remember that the size difference may cause the Obscuring terrain to not have any effect, see above.
Example, LOS from an LAMI trooper(Size 1) may cross 4 inches of Obscuring terrain to a Warrior(Size 2).
For an acting model in Obscuring terrain, the Obscuring terrain does not take effect for distances from the acting model up to twice the Size of the acting model.
Example, an LAMI trooper(Size 1) may Shoot up to 2 inches out of obscuring terrain with no Obscurement effect.
Example, a Warrior(Size 2) being shot by an LAMI trooper(Size 1) 2 inches away in the same Obscuring terrain does not get an Obscurement save bonus, since 2 inches is within twice the size of the LAMI trooper.

Blocking
A LOS may not be traced through Blocking terrain.
Blocking terrain does not take effect if the Size difference between the models tracing LOS is greater than the Size of the Blocking effect.
Example, LOS between a Warrior(Size 2) and an LAMI trooper(Size 1) is blocked by Size 1 or bigger Blocking terrain.
Example, LOS between a Warrior(Size 2) and a Grizzly Exosuit(Size 2) is NOT blocked by Size 1 Blocking terrain.
If the size difference of the target and attacker is only 1 greater than the terrain size, the target enjoys a +1 Obscurement save bonus.
Example, Size 1 blocking terrain between a Warrior(Size 2) and a Grizzly Exosuit(Size 2), allows the Warrior a +1 Obscurement save bonus.

Protection
Model location is determined by the model center dot.
Protection has facings, e.g. protection may be all around(like in a fort) or from 1 direction(like a wall)
The effect takes place when a LOS traces from outside the terrain into the terrain in the direction of the protection.
If the size difference between models is greater than the size of the Protection, the Target gets a Protection bonus only if the Protection protects the top.

Light Protection
Models in the terrain get a +1 Protection save bonus to their saves.

Heavy Protection
Models in the terrain get a +2 Protection save bonus to their saves.


Terrain examples:

Light Wooded Area
Size 2 Obscuring LOS

Muddy Terrain
Size 2 Difficult Movement

Smoke
Size 3 Obscuring LOS

Smoke on top of Muddy Terrain
Size 2 Difficult Movement
Size 3 Obscuring LOS

Large Stone Structure
Size 4 Impassible
Size 4 Blocking LOS

Water
Size 2 Water

Foggy Lake
Size 3 Water
Size 2 Obscurement

Heavy Wooded area
Size 3 Difficult Movement
Size 4 Obscuring LOS
Size 3 Light Protection

Fortification
Size 4 Difficult Movement
Size 4 Obscuring
Size 3 Heavy Protection

Bunker
Size 2 Difficult Movement
Size 2 Blocking LOS
Size 2 Heavy Protection All Around and Top

Simple wall
Size 1 Obscuring LOS

Size 1 Heavy wall (The definition is complicated, but players will easily understand what the effects are)
A Heavy wall would be 2 overlapping terrain areas.
Size 1 Heavy Protection in the wall direction in a 1 inch area on one side of the wall
Size 1 Heavy Protection in the other wall direction in a 1 inch area on the other side of the wall
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Postby ScipioAmericanus » Sat Dec 08, 2007 6:52 pm

cOwgummi wrote:Yeah seriously scipio, to be honest, I personally am getting a bit annoyed by the whole "duuuuuuuuuuuuuuudes its a shame you don't know whats in store for you, but I've seen the light so don't worry about a thing" posts of yours...

please stop with the sermons and give us something we can work with, and if you can't, stop making promises without any substance to them, please...
If my enthusiasm is annoying, then I apologize. It is not my place to release any concrete information about what is in progress...it is Matt's. Still, I have tried to drop a few hints here and there (as much as I can) to hopefully help people stay excited and maybe give them at least an inkling about what is coming.

This is incredibly hard and time-consuming work for me...and I haven't worked a tenth as hard as Matt and others. It is also VERY MUCH a labor of love. The feeling that I have is that the game I have always loved is literally back from the brink of extinction...so if I seem overly-enthusiastic to the point of being annoying, then please consider that my enthusiasm (and yes, joy) is sincere...and that to the extent that I am allowed, I want other fans to share in that enthusiasm.

Regards.
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Postby Lieutenant Rasczak » Sat Dec 08, 2007 6:56 pm

ScipioAmericanus wrote:The feeling that I have is that the game I have always loved is literally back from the brink of extinction...
Think back to the PM's we shared ALL that time ago.

I did tell you so . . . . .


:lol:
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