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Re: [SG2] simplified rough-cut overwatch/snap-fire rules

From: agoodall@c...
Date: 2 Jan 2001 11:26:26 -0800
Subject: Re: [SG2] simplified rough-cut overwatch/snap-fire rules

On Tue, 02 January 2001, "Barclay, Tom" wrote:

> So, here we go, Overwatch II, by Me. 

First off, it looks not bad! And it's not unlike my Overwatch rules on
my web site.
> A unit (or detachment or single figure for that matter) may enter
> at the cost of 1 action. It must be the last action of the elements
> activation. It is considered a firing action and therefore one cannot
> fired beforehand. 

Personally, I think 1 action isn't enough. I see what you're doing, but
with what you have later you run the risk of having a lot of fire
pouring down for what's essentially a single action. 

My own Overwatch rules allow the overwatching squads allow over watch at
the cost of 2 actions, though mine don't require a Reaction Test (that's
what Reaction Fire is for).  
> A unit in overwatch that wishes to react to an action in front of it
> (generally moves or fire combat, other actions not being obvious
enough to
> spark a fire attack) may attempt to do so. Roll a TL0 reaction test to
> engage the target. You could penalize this test to TL+1 if the target
> element moved less than 2" in view of the overwatching unit. 

I wouldn't use the penalty if movement is over 2", just because it adds
difficulty to the rules. I can see some players getting into arguments
as to how far they moved, and when a player must declare Overwatch fire.
And is this 2" of physical movement on the board, of 2" of movement

Worse, you're essentially making it HARDER to hit a target that moves
slowly. That is, if I move a unit 12" across your front, it's easier to
hit than if I move 1". A fast moving unit is easier to hit one
sauntering along.

I think I know what you're getting at. I suggest a simpler method. Make
it a TL+1 test if the unit conducts a Combat Move! That is what Combat
Movement is supposed to be in SG2, a unit moving while hugging the
ground. It could be a quick unexpected dash for cover, or a ponderous
move from rock-to-rock.

Make the TL+1 test for Combat Moving troops and you have a reason for
units making Combat Moves across open terrain even when the distance is
6" or less.

Hmmm. I like that. I think I'll add that to my OWN Reaction Fire rules!

> Optional add ons:
> 1) SAWs, APSWs, etc - sustained fire weapons may stay on overwatch
where the
> rifles in the squad, having fired, are considered to be taken off of
> overwatch. This gives some of the advantage such weapons were designed
> have. 

I don't like this. You're essentially allowing split fire, albeit with a
Reaction Test, for the cost of one action, not two. In fact, you are
also breaking the "can only fire once per activation" rule, even with
the drop in TL per new target.

You also need counters to indicate the number of Overwatch firings they
have done, so you can tell what the TL modifier is for the test. 

What about squads with multiple SAWs? Are all SAWs required to fire at
the same target? Or can they be put on Overwatch as a "split fire" unit
and fire independently? For that matter, can a SAW or other support
weapon be put on overwatch separate from the rest of the squad? I mean,
they can fire separate from the rest of the squad, why not go on
Overwatch separately?

I personally think this shouldn't happen. I suspect you'll see a LOT
more suppressions with this, especially in squads with two or more
support weapons. I think you'll see scenarios bog down and be less
mobile than SG2 is right now. That may be what you're after, though.

I think this should be more for an FMA game, where the scale is a bit
different. With turns representing 1 to several minutes in SG2, I think
allowing multiple fire from support weapons is too unbalancing. 

> 3) If you are particular, you may want to get a small counter with an
> shaped 90 degree indication on it and place it so as to indicate the
> degree area your unit wishes to overwatch. I don't bother, I just let
a unit
> react to anything it could reasonably be considered to see and make it
> a spot roll if I have any doubts.

I would scrap this idea, too. I came up with an enfilade rule, but one
thing that was pointed out is that squads in SG2 don't have a facing.
The figures do not face in any particular direction. This was, in fact,
one of the things people liked about it. You didn't have to be that
particular. For the reason I had people show me that an enfilade rule
isn't very practical in SG2, I don't think this is either. It would be
practical in FMA, though.

> 4) Involuntary triggering: Green or Untrained units, fatigued units,
> units on ambush for a protracted period that see something happen
(move or
> fire) MUST roll a TL1 test NOT to fire if they don't wish to react.
> get jumpy if they are poorly trained or are tired. 

How many times do they test, and when? I'm assuming they test once per
movement of a potentially triggering unit, but when is it tested? The
moment they first move, or some other point?

I would require the units test in the order of "target priority" given
in the rulebooks, if I used this at all. It has neat potential, but I'd
make it a part of ambush rules or scenario specific rules.

> Reaction Fire
> Reaction or Snap Fire occurs when a unit sees something in front of it
> wants to react, even though it is not their turn to move. In order to
do so,
> the unit must not have acted yet this turn and must indicate it wishes
> initiate snap fire. Then a TL2 reaction test is made to attempt the
> fire (which can be modified by TL+1 if the target exposure is less
than 2"
> of movement in view). 

Obviously I differ with your opinion here, as this is essentially my own
Reaction Fire rule, but I do it at a TL0 and don't require a TL test for

Once again, I suggest an increase in TL if the target is using a combat

> Whether this test is passed or failed, that unit is
> considered to have used its entire activation. 

I don't agree with this. I think that if they fail the test, they should
not be activated. 

Allan Goodall -
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