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Boarding shield's armour bonus

Posted: Thu May 28, 2020 1:14 pm
by Carolus
I was talking about the boarding shield with one of my players and something came up. We were'nt completely sure wheter or not the shield's rather large armour bonus can be gained while still attacking. I would like to hear some more opinions on this, since I can see the logic in both sides.

The boarding shield has this text:
CSC p.106 wrote:Used by shipboard security personnel and law enforcement special-response teams, the boarding shield is a large movable obstacle. It cannot be used to parry but instead provides the Traveller with cover (Armour +8, see page 74 of the Traveller Core Rulebook for the effects of cover). Most boarding shields have a vision slit or firing port in the front surface. A boarding shield completely protects anyone hiding behind it and is large enough for two people to benefit from it simultaneously or move it forward while remaining covered.
Cover gives DM-2 on ranged attacks, that much is clear and not in dispute. The "Armour +8" part of the text however, seems to refer to the "Hiding" section on page 74, which would put the shield on par with a stone wall. That seems reasonable. The part that sparked conversation was the first part of the rules for hiding:
CRB p. 74 wrote:If a Traveller is able to position himself completely in cover so the enemy cannot see him and chooses not to make any attacks, he can hide.
Now, this clearly states that you cannot gain the benefit of hiding (and thus the armour bonus) while still attacking in the same round, yet the boarding shield that it has a firing port. This gives 2 options:
1. The boarding shield provides cover (and therefore DM-2 against ranged attacks) and you can use firing ports to attack while still in cover. If you want a bonus to armour you need to hide behind it and give up any attacks as normal.
2. The boarding shield provides both cover and a bonus to armour, while the firing ports still allow you to attack from behind it.

I myself am leaning towards option 1, but I cannot deny that there is some merrit in the second reading.

Re: Boarding shield's armour bonus

Posted: Thu May 28, 2020 2:18 pm
by AnotherDilbert
Carolus wrote: 1. The boarding shield provides cover (and therefore DM-2 against ranged attacks) and you can use firing ports to attack while still in cover. If you want a bonus to armour you need to hide behind it and give up any attacks as normal.
I would basically go with this, but with a choice up to the enemy.

You can either take Cover (and attack) or Hide behind the shield.

If you take Cover, the enemy can either shoot centre mass (through the shield) giving you an armour bonus, or shoot at exposed parts of you (through the firing port) giving him an attack malus. It's not like an enemy with an FGMP will worry much about the shield...

If you Hide, you can't attack and the enemy can only attack you through the shield giving you an armour bonus.

Re: Boarding shield's armour bonus

Posted: Thu May 28, 2020 3:08 pm
by Carolus
AnotherDilbert wrote:
Thu May 28, 2020 2:18 pm
It's not like an enemy with an FGMP will worry much about the shield...
Nor anything else besides battledress. :P

But I like your suggestion. It makes a lot of sense.

Re: Boarding shield's armour bonus

Posted: Thu May 28, 2020 9:49 pm
by Condottiere
Hide implies a break with line of sight, whether this adds a protective factor or not.

Re: Boarding shield's armour bonus

Posted: Mon Jun 01, 2020 6:07 am
by DickTurpin
It seems clear from the description that the Boarding Shield provides cover (DM-2 against ranged attacks) while the attacking by leaning out from behind the shield to shoot, just like being behind a wall.

The 2nd paragraph of the Hiding rules states: ". . . if an enemy is aware of the Traveller’s presence, he can still be attacked. The Traveller gains all the benefits of cover, but also gains a bonus to his Armour protection . . ." (Bold added for emphasis). Opponents can see the shield so they are well aware of the Travellers' presence. So if the shield user(s) remain behind the shield they get both the DM -2 to ranged attacks and +8 to their Armour Bonus.

The presence of a vision slit and/or firing port makes the shield significantly different from a wall in that the Traveller can see and/or shoot without leaving the cover of the shield. I believe that Boarding Shields with these options are designed to allow the users' to fight while maintaining the advantages of hiding. If the GM does not want players to be able to attack from hiding, he can rule that civilian versions of Boarding Shields do not have viewports and firing slits. Security versions could have viewports but not firing slits but not firing ports while military versions have both. Price, availability, and permit requirements may differ based on which options the Travellers' want to buy as described in Chapter One of the Central Supply Catalogue.

Re: Boarding shield's armour bonus

Posted: Mon Jun 01, 2020 9:31 am
by CaladanGuard
I personally never ruled that you can keep the armour bonus and still fire. Getting your gun or eyes, or whatever out there to line up and take a shot is still giving your enemy the opportunity to hit you at that point, a hard shot (The -2) but with no shield between you.

Combat is a fluid and simultaneous beast after all. And even with a firing slit or view-ports, something is being made available to shoot, and that is when they're taking that opportunity. I believe that is rules as written, but whatever works in your own game. All about keeping players playing.