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Overwatch, the next chapter...

From: "Barclay, Tom" <tomb@b...>
Date: Tue, 2 Jan 2001 15:08:58 -0500
Subject: Overwatch, the next chapter...

Allan say:

> 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
what you have later you run the risk of having a lot of fire pouring
for what's essentially a single action. 

[Tomb] It really is one fire action, especially if you don't allow
weapons extra shots. Therefore penalizing a unit doubly is overharsh

My own Overwatch rules allow the overwatching squads allow over watch at
cost of 2 actions, though mine don't require a Reaction Test (that's
Reaction Fire is for).	

[Tomb] It is an easy test, I just dislike the fact that once a unit has
area under surveillance, it ALWAYS fires first. I know from RL
in paintball and other training, sometimes a surprise sally can catch
prepared opponent napping. It isn't safe, but sometimes it is your only
option and sometimes it works... (Ideally, you just shouldn't walk into
fire zones....)

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
than if I move 1". A fast moving unit is easier to hit one sauntering

[Tomb] Yes! This was a rough cut from memory. I think I modified this to
a penalty if you moved less than 25% of your total movement potential in

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
is supposed to be in SG2, a unit moving while hugging the ground. It
be a quick unexpected dash for cover, or a ponderous move from

[Tomb] My own preference for combat movement, that applies in all
situations: Combat moving troops (as opposed to normal "patrol"
are fired at as if 1 RB further away. This makes combat moving a must
engaged. Although I think your suggestion has merit here also.

> Optional add ons:
> 1) SAWs, APSWs, etc - sustained fire weapons may stay on overwatch
> 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
breaking the "can only fire once per activation" rule, even with the
drop in
TL per new target.

[Tomb] Yep. That is why it is listed as an option. The SAW and GPMG are
meant to throw quite a bit of fire out. My interpretation of this is
in static positions, they can just churn out the rounds. In this case, I
the declining firepower version, and have found it works. But, if you
like that part, ignore it! 

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

[Tomb] ? Nope. I usually mentally keep track of how many shots fired
it doesn't come up all that often. And it doesn't affect the test level
fire (or I never thought of that....). The only reason to keep track is
you use declining FP with repeated shots. 

What about squads with multiple SAWs? Are all SAWs required to fire at
same target? Or can they be put on Overwatch as a "split fire" unit and
independently? For that matter, can a SAW or other support weapon be put
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?

[Tomb] I suppose the answer is do you play the rules or the game? Do you
allow squads to split fire? I don't...usually. It isn't illegal, but my
knowledge tells me this is a rare case. The SAW might be assigned a
different overwatch zone conceivably, but not all that often. 

I personally think this shouldn't happen. I suspect you'll see a LOT
suppressions with this, especially in squads with two or more support

[Tomb] Probably. Rarely do I bring that much FP to the table. Obviously
you do this, you get suppressions through lots of support weapons. I get
mine through efficacy of fewer weapons. Combined, the effects could be

 I think you'll see scenarios bog down and be less mobile than SG2 is
now. That may be what you're after, though.

[Tomb] If you even use overwatch/snap fire, you don't mind more bogging.
myself am a simulations gamer. I like elegant and easy to remember, but
also like the feel of what I think of as real. I've seen section
firings. I
don't EVER want to be downrange of one. Not without a concrete berm. 

I think this should be more for an FMA game, where the scale is a bit

[Tomb]Probably fits well there, along with the firelanes rules. 

With turns representing 1 to several minutes in SG2, I think allowing
multiple fire from support weapons is too unbalancing. 

[Tomb] Guess it depends on force compositions. I've used it in a number
games fairly successfully. It changes the balance and does make support
weapons more fearsome, perhaps unjustly so. But then, I also tend to
the SAW (as I think of it) as overrated with D10 FP. D6 seems more
appropriate. GPMGs/LMGs probably merit D10. Totally IMO, mind you.
others have tried SAWs with lower FP and had good results. 

> 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
> 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.

[Tomb] It is an option. Some people like enforcing unit facing. Some
like to know where the unit is supposed to be watching. I don't use it

> 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?

[Tomb] I'm thinking this will come up in the "prematurely sprung

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

[Tomb] I'd say test when unit first enters LoS (assuming it is within RB
1-3). Maybe test each movement or fire action thereafter, after the move
fire is conducted. 

I would require the units test in the order of "target priority" given
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.

[Tomb] This is the primary place I'd expect it used. The other being
where a
green unit is being attacked by unit A, but wants to shoot at
unit B when it activates. A is in their face and shooting at them. It
take a good effort to not have them return fire at unit A and to hold
to shoot at unit B. 

> 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
> 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

[Tomb] I find TL0 to easy for a sudden engagement. But, this is a matter
degree you are arguing... ;) 

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

[Tomb] It was a good idea, so I shall probably steal it. ;) 

> 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
be activated. 

[Tomb] I don't recall what happened when you blew this reaction fire
roll in
the rules Jon T posted to the net (conjectural though they were). Your
interpretation may be more homogenous. 

Allan Goodall -
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