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2 questions after games

 Post subject: 2 questions after games
PostPosted: Fri Apr 21, 2017 2:34 am 
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Templates always seem to cause troubles! :P I think part of the conceptual problem with the way the EA rules are written is what a blast template actually represents: in EA, for example (but not for direct blasts in WH40K 7E), the template actually tells you which units are hit by the barrage (quote: 'Roll to hit all units... under the template...').

With this paradigm in mind, it makes sense (rules-wise) that units out of range and line of fire would still be hit so long as the initial one unit is within range and LoF. I would also venture to say that the cover penalty is applied per unit because the hit allocation is on a per unit basis.

Of course, another way to think about barrage templates (and the way that I personally prefer) is to think of them as just a way to determine how many units are hit (representing area of affect).

This is what WH40K 7E does for direct blasts (but not indirect ones—the centre of the template determines the direction of fire for indirect blasts). If you did it this way, only units that are in range and LoF could be hit, and cover modifiers would be determined from the LoF rather than from the template position. You would then allocate hits and cover modifiers as per normal shooting. I prefer this option for direct blasts because it eliminates the 'blast sniping' effect (since hits are allocated as normal) and treads water with the conceptual issues of 'how does that blast go around corners?!/it's a massive explosion, why are the guys at the back not hit?!'. Also, I think it works better for those batteries that aren't really lobbing shells indirectly, and it works well with the 'hit as many units as possible' restriction.

Further, if you took that second way of doing things (which is not the EA way in the book), indirect blasts could be further differentiated, as in WH40K, by measuring LoF from the centre of the blast template (which is what you have to do anyway when targeting units out of range and LoF). This would make direct barrages and indirect barrages distinct and still different from other weapons.

Sorry for the digression, I just got excited about having a chance to properly think through the barrage rules :$

Back to the OP, I think there are only two ambiguities from the rules. (1) how LoF for Cover modifiers is calculated: since it's not mentioned in the rules or in the FAQs, I think it must be the same as for normal fire (i.e. if in cover from the direction of the firing unit). Cover modifiers would then be applied on an individual basis, as noted. (2) how hits are allocated: it seems like, as written, each unit needs to be rolled for separately, but the FAQ suggests a 'fast-rolling' method. I suppose if you did use that suggested way, you'd allocate from front to back based on LoF, as normal?


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 Post subject: Re: 2 questions after games
PostPosted: Fri Apr 21, 2017 9:24 am 
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So you play it with hull down modifiers for units that are out of line of sight? It's not clear from your post. I don't think the issue is whether cover modifiers are worked out per unit or not (they are) it's when a unit actually counts as qualifying for a cover modifier (which is different from being IN cover).

The other ambiguity then being the way the placement rule is written, i.e. you can read it that you can only place a template over units that are in line of fire.

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 Post subject: Re: 2 questions after games
PostPosted: Fri Apr 21, 2017 7:02 pm 
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I have always been extremely generous with cover. Kind of like the tie goes to the runner in baseball.

Also being a force on force player I tend to state my intent for my units as they move.

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 Post subject: 2 questions after games
PostPosted: Mon Apr 24, 2017 12:57 pm 
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Kyrt wrote:
So you play it with hull down modifiers for units that are out of line of sight? It's not clear from your post. I don't think the issue is whether cover modifiers are worked out per unit or not (they are) it's when a unit actually counts as qualifying for a cover modifier (which is different from being IN cover).

The other ambiguity then being the way the placement rule is written, i.e. you can read it that you can only place a template over units that are in line of fire.


From the FAQs in the tournament pack rulebook, there are no placement restrictions for the additional templates (the original one must be in LoF and range, of course). To me, that contradicts what the 'Extra Barrage Templates' explanation states: in that part, because there is no other mention of LoF or range restrictions, it seems that sentence must be talking about the most recently mentioned LoF and range rules (i.e. must place the first template with at least one unit in LoF and range, therefore additional templates would have followed the same rule).

My long-winded point before was that, conceptually, there are two different ideas at play—maximising the number of units hit conflicts a bit with resolving hits on the units actually under the templates (and was only put in there, apparently, to stop 'barrage snipers').

For cover, there's nothing there that says you need to do anything special for determining modifiers, so for direct barrages, cover is presumably worked out from LoF (which contradicts with being able to hit units you can't see... but the next best thing would be applying the cover modifier, I suppose). For indirect barrages, the FAQ says that any intervening cover is ignored (which I think is extending the sentence about LoF too far, but one could go either way).

I think the only real way to fix these problems is to remove the contradicting ideas driving the rules, which is why I would personally prefer that the templates are only used for determining number of units hit and not which units are hit. With that simple change, as far as I can see, all the other problems are solved without any contradictions (and for indirect barrages, simply let them continue to ignore intervening cover to represent the vertical aspect).

Anyways, they're just some thoughts on the matter. Maybe they can help others work out a satisfactory solution! :)

PS: I finally found the sentence that says you allocate hits from front to back (of those units under the template)! Not so relevant, but it was a small victory for me :P

PPS: I forgot one thing for my proposed rule: the silly situation where you could kill a very distant unit from a different formation from the first because how close units in that second formation are to the firer. To get rid of that kind of 'spooky action at a distance', you could just make the LoF for secondary formations under the barrage come from the primary target unit rather than the firer, for all shooting purposes.


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