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Full Metal AAR and more FMA thoughts

From: "Thomas Barclay" <Thomas.Barclay@s...>
Date: Wed, 4 Aug 1999 09:43:13 -0400
Subject: Full Metal AAR and more FMA thoughts

And the esteemed list-ite wrote:

The games went well, although were a bit simplistic as I didn't even
try to fudge autofire rules for the repeaters; action was pretty much
potshots back and forth. The second time through we added grenades
(made up some damage rules on the spot) and discovered that grenades
indoors are nasty. The grenade targeting rules seem a bit off... the
way the rules read now, missing one's target number by one produces
greater deviations that simply rolling way low! Nevertheless, game two
was largely an excercise in grenade lobbing which produced near total
casualties on both sides and nearly every activation figures were
suppressed. Niceties like overwatch, reaction fire, etc. were ignored;
I plan to use them next time, however.

Note that the grenade targeting mechanic is similar to that in SG2 for
arty. Though it seems counterintuitive to just miss by one and have a
wide miss, it isn't. Think of it this way: you miss or you hit. If you
don't hit, you could have huge deviation rolls and complex tables, or
you could use the original roll in part to resolve the deviation. To
prevent you having to do inverted math (take the number you needed,
and for every one you missed by, you deviate further), Jon just took
the number you rolled. This also means that if you needed an 8 to hit
and you ended up rolling d8, your odds of deviating are good, and
you'll probably deviate a fair distance. If you needed (OTOH) a 3 to
hit, not only will you not deviate most-likely, but if you do, it
won't be by much. This adequately models hard shots and easy shots.

And if the targeting roll being close to the to-hit # bothers you, you
can set yourself up for the inverse math. That is to say you can
calculate deviation by saying "Missed by 1" or "Missed by 6" and use
that for your deviation distances instead.

On another front:
I loved Los' piece the other day. Especially your truck driver story.
Man, trying out for SF with no desire to get up and participate....
wow.... out of touch or what? No one wants to get slotted, but
something tells me that if you are the type willing and able to move,
think, and act with initiative in firefight situations, you have
better odds of coming out alive.

The A2C rhyme as we were taught it was (say as one breath)
"Up-He-Sees-Me-Down". I'd say 3-4 seconds would be our likely bounds -
maybe half a dozen (plus or minus three) strides.

About combat moves:
1) I do recomend at least trying the 2dX method as opposed to the 1dX
x 2 method. Try it, see what you think. (For combat moves).
2) Are combat moves for an individual deterministic? I think not. But
they should probably be moreso than that for an entire squad, because
coordinating one is easier than coordinating more than one.

An interesting rule in Charlie Company (as I see it) is that when you
are fired upon, your move type is important. If you are moving in a
"combat move" fashion, you're guys hit dirt faster and take less
casulaties when shot at. If you are moving in march mode, you die like
a dog. Perhaps a good way to convince SG2 players and skirmish players
to use the combat move with all its variability (I know people who
march everywhere like 1812 foot brigades... for fear of randomness) is
by saying anyone attacked while marching (by snap fire or overwatch
fire) is attacked with a +1DS for the attacker FP. This makes a combat
move not only more random, with a slightly higher mean move, but it
makes it more defensive in nature - which it is. This would make
people want to use combat manoevres with all the risks.

And for an individual game, you need the "wind sprint" to run between
buildings in a city (like Los says, you go hell bent for leather and
you make it or you die trying).

FMA Skirmish must also model multiple kinds of movement/morale:
Individual, manoevre element, and organizational element.

In this case, the first is obvious. One figure. The second refers to
the one to three man bounding elements that move and fight together.
The third refers to the units like squads of 6-10 guys. At various
times, figures could move individually, or a whole squad could try to
move. Some things like protestors or rebels might not even really be
disciplined squads. Whereas SOF would have a high level of discipline
(though even they might screw up once and a while and not move as a

Charlie Company uses another interesting mechanic. When close combat
is initiated, the officer/NCO makes his check and if he fails, he
might leave some of the squad behind (the sgt. gets up and goes, the
green guys who are supposed to follow are busy untangling their
bootlaces...). In FMA Skirmish, this mechanic could be represented by
something as part of the close assault check. Like if you roll 1 less
than your target #, you can still close assault, but every squad
member rolls versus that target # with his quality die, and if he
succeeds, he gets to go with the assault. If not, he stays in place
(hesitates, is lost to that move). I think if the target roll succeeds
for a unit to initiate close assault (be it a manoevre element or an
organizational element), everyone should go with the same combat move
roll. In the even you miss, and some are left behind, the simple
solution is to move the unit on one roll. The more real solution would
be to represent the haggard and lagging attack by making every soldier
that tested successfully roll his own move die. Thus you'd get a
staggard and haphazard attack.

In general, the player/referee should designate if buddy pairs or
small fireteams or squads exist, and anytime a body of men (more than
one) want to move together, some kind of reaction test would be made
to activate all of them at once.

In a snap fire sense, the same is true, anytime a squad sees a target,
everyone may want to activate and shoot, and all should test
individually or at least the officer should test to make this happen.
(If on OW, the test should be simple with small chance of failure).

This concept of a "squad action" intitiated by a squad leader would
add a lot. My 0.04 (I ramble...)

Thomas Barclay
Software UberMensch
xwave solutions
(613) 831-2018 x 3008

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