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Spotting in FMA and SG2 and some words on prone/kneeling for FMA

From: "Thomas Barclay" <Thomas.Barclay@s...>
Date: Thu, 19 Aug 1999 20:52:28 -0400
Subject: Spotting in FMA and SG2 and some words on prone/kneeling for FMA

Brain running in OT again...

I found spotting (in my last battle) rather easy, to the point where a
unit in light woods at about 300m was spottable. I found that spotting
as a rule was rather simple (quality vs. range die).

I think I might be re-commenting on something I should re-read from
the SG2 rules, but I'll run that small risk. It might apply to FMA


To spot a unit:
1 action per spotting attempt. Maximum 1 attempt per target unit by a
given nominated unit each activation of that nominated unit. If you
miss this, you miss it. You can spot (or attempt to) another unit, but
not the target unit you missed. Spotting is conducted by rolling a
quality die for the spotter. The defender rolls a modifed range die.
(must obviously be in LoS). The range die is modified by 1 type up for
light woods or scrub and 2 for heavy woods. If it is night time, and
the unit is poorly equipped (without night gear), shift up 1. IP
target shift up another 1. IP/camouflaged target (ie they didn't just
go in position, they've spent a while making their position
invisible), make an opposed quality roll before the spotting roll. If
the defender wins, 1 positive shift. If the spotter wins, the camo
wasn't enough to fool their experienced eye, so no extra shifts. Fog
or rain could substitue for an extra shift, and spotting through
smoke/fire in Los could count as 1 or 2 shifts up. The quality die of
the spotter is modified if he has enhanced sensors by 1 ds. If he has
superior sensors, 2 ds. The big give away in any of these situations
is movement. A stationary unit (that did not move in its last
activation and did not otherwise draw attention to itself by firing or
something) is 1 ds harder to spot. Any spot roll easier than d4 for is
automatic, any harder than d12 cannot be done. In sg2, spotting an
individual should be 1 ds harder than spotting a squad.

This can apply basically the same in FMA. RB are different, targets
are individuals, but otherwise this applies.

Situations under which an automatic spot roll is allowed: A previously
unseen unit moves inside LoS of a unit. A previously undetected unit
opens fire using unsuppressed weapons (this spot check is made at +2
ds). There may be others.

So, let's put this in an example.

Billy Bob's Local Militia (a Reg squad) are being ambushed by enemy
regulars who've snuck in, set up camouflaged positions in light woods
where the Militia troop are passing by. Billy Bob is a cautious squad
leader though, so he executes a spot action on the suspect woodsline
from 200m away just to make sure it is safe before he moves closer.
His first spot attempt then puts it in the 3 RB (17-24" for a reg),
therefore he normally rolls d8 (reg) vs. the defenders d8 (RB3 die).
However, the defender is in light woods (1 die shift). The defender is
IP and camouflaged (2 more ds - a contested roll is made, Billy Bob
rolls 3, the defender a 6 so their camo is good). They are stationary,
which translates to 1 ds harder to see. So we have RB3 upshifted 4 to
RB7. Even Bob's fancy off-world enhanced binocs which give him 1 shift
leave it at RB6, so it is an impossible spot. The setup is just too
good. Billy Bob's squad closes to 100m and tries another spot (he has
a bad feeling about that forest patch). He is in RB2, and this time
his opposed roll is better than the defenders camo (B Bob rolls a 4,
the defnder a 1). So the defender is RB2, upshifted 1 for being
stationary, 1 for being IP, and 1 for being in the light. That makes
RB5, but Billy Bob's sensors shift to RB 4. So B Bob rolls a d8 for a
3, and the defender rolling a d10 rolls a 10. Billy Bob is still SOL.
Billy Bob moves another 60m closer. At 40m, Billy Bob will try again
to spot the defenders. He is RB1, his quality roll is an 8, versus the
defenders 3 for camo, so they get 1 for being IP, 1 for being in
woods, 1 for being stationary. So Billy Bob is targeting RB4, and his
sensors reduce this to RB3. B Bob rolls d8 versus his opponents d8. He
rolls a 5, they roll a 7. Yet again, despite his bad feelings, he
fails to spot the ambush. At this point, the hidden defenders open up
in RB1 and cut up his unit.

An SAS team is moving through the woods trying to remain undetected
and to spot any enemy. They are veterans, and have superior sensors to
aide them. They are being sought by squads of regular troops with
standard basic sensors.
Their are two nearby enemy squads, one 150m out, the other 75m away
through the darkness. Both of these forces have good enough vision
that darkness isn't an issue. All are moving, 1 ds easier to spot. It
is raining, but the ref rules SAS gear is good enough to ignore the
rain, but local gear is degraded by it - so the locals suffer a 1
shift penalty. They are in open terrain. The SAS unit attempts to spot
the nearest enemy squad: 75m is inside RB1 for the SAS team. The
defender is moving and the SAS have superior sensors. The spot is
automatic. They then attempt to spot the other enemy squad - they are
in RB2, but are moving and the sensors combine to make this spot also
automatic. (These are the elite forces with top notch equipment!). The
locals try to spot the SAS. The nearer squad is in RB1, but the rain
penalizes them 1 RB. The SAS were moving, which is a 1 RB benefit. The
SAS are (unfortunately) wearing photoblending cammie jammies so they
are 1 shift harder to spot. So the locals must try a d8 versus a d6
for the SAS (who should probably have spotted the enemy further out
and used more cover). This local squad spots them. The other local
squad, in their second RB, must roll d8 vs. SAS d8. They too spot the
SAS. (Motto: To not be seen, distance, cover, and immobility are the

Prone and Kneeling in FMA:
I've already mentioned the fire benefits I think these should give
Kneeling or Standing with Rest: +1"/2"/4"/8"/16"
Kneeling with Rest or Prone: +2"/4"/8"/16"/32"

Defensively, what is the effect? Well, going IP in SG2 would assume
getting into cover and getting down. In FMA, we can give a bit more
description to it - let the owner of the figure choose if the figure
is going to enter a kneeling or prone posture.

Kneeling or going prone is an action.

Kneeling, if in a place with something to rest on and something solid
to hide behind, gives the prone firing benefit, and the 2 die shift
benefit of hard cover. There isn't a significantly greater benefit to
being prone behind hard cover than their is kneeling for defensive
reasons, but it may offer you more protection from any enfilading fire
which might rob you of your cover.

If there isn't a lot to get behind, entering a kneeling posture should
give 1 die shift of cover (it does present a much smaller target
area). It does make it slightly easier to shoot. One may also go
prone, to get the 2 die shift cover modifier. (Prone, and prone behind
cover aren't that much different to shoot at - both are real hard to
hit targets). This also conveys the prone benefits for shooting. The
penalty is you have to spend one action regaining your feet from prone
(automatic from kneeling). This can be short-circuited if the figure
is in a hurry - roll a reaction test at +1. If you fail it, it takes
you the action to get up. If you fail by less than half the needed
number, it takes you both actions to get up (you stumble getting up,
you're slow off the mark, whatever). So you may elect to attempt to
jump to your feet and race away, but it might be hazardous whereas a
slower stand takes some precious time, but may let you avoid stumbling
or falling.

So we have two classes of stance in FMA other than standing - kneeling
or prone. These sort of replace IP. If you are kneeling behind cover,
you are assumed to be using that cover for attacks that would be
blocked by it. If fired on where the cover does not protect, you are
considered kneeling in the open. The same is true for prone. A good
reason to get prone when firing around a streetcorner is that you
might get flanked, and then you prevent a good shot at your side.

Note: elevated targets may engage prone targets in the open wrt
themselves as if they were merely kneeling. The angle should negate
many of the prone benefits. Motto: Don't get into a situation where
you are being fired on from above...

In FMA, with the right weapon, you could elect to fire AT the cover
someone is using in the hope of penetrating it, but that's a whole
other discussion.

<Comments? Criticisms? Suggestions for me needing Therapy?>

<Returns to well dug bunker and loads his last rounds into his last
mag and prepares for the charge of the frothing hordes of critics...
he's saving the last one for himself....>

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

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