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Subject: Loadsa questions rss

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Tony Cutcliffe
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Sorry this is such a stack of questions but the rules are really unclear in this game. I'd be interested to hear how others play these points. A Silver Star for anyone who has the courage to tackle this little lot

Loading the Ready Rack: Can the loader restock the Ready Rack between battles?

Flanking Fire: How long does this effect last? For one round? The rest of the Battle? All day?

Recording VPs for Tank and Friendly forces: As far as I can see the only distinction is that VPs scored by the Tank are counted towards promotions and decorations. Or is it just decorations? Anyway how do other players
differentiate between the different VPs earned; there's only one table on the AAR for the tallies and it's not differentiated Tank/Friendlies.

Hatches, spotting and movement: In the Battle sequence, spotting occurs before the hatches segment. If entering a Battle with hatches open, does this mean that we can have the bonus for hatches open for the spotting round that occurs before the first Hatches segment? And the modifier 'Target fired weapons last turn', then doesn't apply until next round? Finally do we assume that the Sherman is moving at the beginning of the Battle and therefore suffers a +1 spotting DRM, at least in an Advance or Counterattack scenario?

I really don't understand Gun Loads, Ammo Reload, Ready Rack Reload. The rules are simply not clear. What is each counter for? Can a Loader who is changing the gun Load, load as normal as well? How does this affect Rate of Fire? Does the Loader's rating still get subtracted from the to-hit roll? Can the gun fire the new shell this turn? When loading from Ready Rack, do you mark off the ammo from the ready Rack or from the main gun stock on the AAR? Or do you mark off rounds fired from the RR, but only mark from stock when ammo is fired from stock or the RR is reloaded from stock? That's how I've been playing it. But the things about changing loads, Rate of Fire, reloading....it's just so unclear to me.

German counters: Does a letter 'A' mean 'Already identified'?

Using the Blue tables card, there's an 'Enemy AP to hit' table and a 'Hit Location Table'. Now, if my Sherman is hull-down and receives incoming AP fire, the 'AP to hit' table says that Hull and Track hit = miss. So far, so good. But the Hit Location Table has a special table for Hull Down targets, giving a roll of 1-5 Turret, 6-10 miss, presumably simulating the Hull/Track hit thing (these can't be hit) but weirdly it gives a higher chance of hitting the turret than it would have if the tank was 'Normal Target' - in that case, it would have been 1-4 Turret hit. So which is right? Why not roll for a hit and then if the hit was on Hull or Track, it misses. Surely the Turret by itself is harder to hit anyway? Most odd. What do others think?

Thanks!
 
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Tony Cutcliffe
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Brilliant, thanks Joe - look forward to it! Useful already, too
 
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Tony Cutcliffe
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And another question! On the After-Action Report, it mentions a VP multiplier for areas 'lost'; I take it this means areas on the Movement Board?

And what does it mean by 'lost'? Obviously captured by the enemy, but how? Is it when you recce the next zone, find it to be Heavy resistance, so decide to recce another zone and take the easier route?

Or is it when you enter an area, find it packed with King Tigers, and retreat, leaving it in German control?

Or both?

Thanks!
 
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Jeffrey W
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King_Drax_I wrote:
I really don't understand Gun Loads, Ammo Reload, Ready Rack Reload. The rules are simply not clear. What is each counter for? Can a Loader who is changing the gun Load, load as normal as well? How does this affect Rate of Fire? Does the Loader's rating still get subtracted from the to-hit roll? Can the gun fire the new shell this turn? When loading from Ready Rack, do you mark off the ammo from the ready Rack or from the main gun stock on the AAR? Or do you mark off rounds fired from the RR, but only mark from stock when ammo is fired from stock or the RR is reloaded from stock? That's how I've been playing it. But the things about changing loads, Rate of Fire, reloading....it's just so unclear to me.


I'll give this one a shot, and I'm sure someone will correct my errors/omissions.

The "Gun Load" marker signifies what type of round is currently in the main gun. It can only be changed by firing the main gun or ordering the loader to change rounds.

The "Ammo Reloaded" marker signifies what round the loader should reload after the main gun is fired. This doesn't need to be declared until after you know what shot you are taking, so it's not an action you ever have to worry about changing/undoing, as there isn't a "default" or starting type for this, the same way there is for a gun load. If you think about it as you, the commander, shouting to a crewman a couple feet away this make sense why the order can be made & executed almost instantaneously. By default, the "Ammo Reloaded" counter pulls the next round from the tank stocks. If you instead use the "Ready Rack Ammo Reloaded", the round is taken from the ready rack. For game purposes the only differences between these two actions is a roll modifier on the Rate of Fire table on the green chart (-10 modifier for the ready rack plus the crew rating or just the crew rating otherwise...note that an assistant driver with a skill of 10 is just as efficient as the ready rack, but this means this crewman can't be doing another task) and whether or not you need to adjust the rounds left markers in your ready rack load on the tank card (you only touch that if you use your ready rack, but that part's probably obvious).

If the loader is changing the gun load, he is able to unload the current gun load & load a new round in the same phase, but it also means that the gunner cannot fire the main gun during this phase (the coaxial machine gun, however, can be fired & the turret can be rotated) After this action, you have a new gun load and no rounds are expended, meaning the previous gun load has returned to your tank's stocks (I've always assumed this could be added to an empty ready rack stock or returned to the general tank stocks, but this is not clearly stated anywhere in the rules that I am aware of).

For the purposes of marking off ammunition expenditures, the ready rack is just a subset of your tank's total available rounds. It shouldn't be treated any differently. Again, the only purpose of the ready rack is for quick access when you need to try and kill something as quickly as possible, such as that King Tiger you happen to stumble upon the rear of when you only have a 75mm...or, I guess, any non-17 pounder for that matter. Otherwise the ready rack rounds are no different than any other 75/76mm rounds on the tank.

Hopefully this makes some sense. I'll try to clarify anything that doesn't. I'm glad you are asking all these questions. It's inspiring me to take this game with my on my next business trip
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Tony Cutcliffe
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Jeffrey, thanks for that. I will sit by my board this evening and try to make sense of it - with optimism!

If you're taking this game with you on your business trip, and in case you don't want to risk your hard copy on the road, have you considered using the free Vassal module on your laptop? It's pretty well useable imo....

Edit: I have looked in a little more detail; I have a problem with the gunner not being able to fire if the load is changed. It doesn't actually way that anywhere, and indeed if that is the case then you might as well enter combat with the gun unloaded, because you ain't gonna be shooting in the first round anyway.

For myself, I have started to play the 'Change Load' as being htat the gun may fire as normal but the Loader's crew bonus is not subtracted. He can reload, but there's less chance of achieving rate of fire and like I said his bonus does not apply to the shooting. This is because the gunner has less time to aim his shots if the gunner had been tied up doing something else. If the Loader's efficiency does not have the effect of speed on the gunner's aiming, then what else is it for, in fact?

Incorrect, perhaps, but still another take on what's a pretty unclear ruleset!
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Tony Cutcliffe
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And another question - what's all this about every time someone wants to get out of the tank he has to roll for a wound?

If the tank has been knocked out, and you've already rolled for a wound - fair enough; you have just had a piece of tungsten move into your vehicle at some speed - if you wanna bail out, you roll for a wound.

If the tank has thrown a track, and you wanna get out - roll for a wound.

Bogged down, abandon vehicle - roll for a wound.

If the tank has been knocked out and you want to go back in to rescue your buddy - guess what, you roll for a wound.

You want to make some coffee - you roll for a wound. I jest.

But why all this about rolling for a wound? How often do people really get knocked unconscious or killed while climbing out of a tank?

Now I apreciate that the tank *may* be under fire. But you can't assume that it is under fire all the time. Indeed, it's not; otherwise why is there 'harassing fire' and why don't crewmen who are simply poking their noddles up out of an open hatch have to - oh let's see now - 'roll for a wound'?

What do others think?

(PS - Added to that, the Loader, if he has no hatch, gets a +1 (worse) bailout modifier; why not the Gunner? He never has a hatch!)

 
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maddogwood wood
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A good rule of thumb to follow when bailing out of your Sherman which has just been immobilized but NOT KO'd: - Don't do it! Don't bail out of a merely bogged down or 'thrown track' tank except as a last resort - You might get picked off by that unseen (never appeared on the Battle Board) MG-42, a couple of infantrymen, a sniper, or that errant piece of shrapnel from your own friendly artillery. Any tank crew bailing out of their tank during the heat of battle (ie: while on the Battle Board) can easily become a prime target.
If a crewman successfully bailed from your KO'd tank and wants to go back to rescue an incapacitated crewman, he's taking a chance. In war men win medals simply for rescuing wounded comrades while under fire. He's putting his life on the line to save his fellow crewman. If your rescuer is wounded, hey, he gets a Purple Heart just like the fellow he's attempting to rescue. If your rescuer is incapacitated in the attempt, hey, other crewmen may attempt the rescue of these comrades-in-arms. Consider a crewman that is returning to his KO'd tank to be "under fire" every time he goes in. However, I've had times in which my tank was knocked out and every crewman got out without a scratch. This can be considered as one of those times when your crew is simply not under fire. The power of one's imagination can be used in a quite positive manner in Patton's Best.
By the way, British and Canadian Sherman crews were known to heat up their tea kettles on their M4A4-Sherman's diesel exhausts. You just know that some American tank crews must have had that little campfire style coffee percolator rattling around somewhere in that tank. ENJOY PATTON,S BEST.
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Nick Bolton
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King_Drax_I wrote:
Jeffrey, thanks for that. I will sit by my board this evening and try to make sense of it - with optimism!

If you're taking this game with you on your business trip, and in case you don't want to risk your hard copy on the road, have you considered using the free Vassal module on your laptop? It's pretty well useable imo....

Edit: I have looked in a little more detail; I have a problem with the gunner not being able to fire if the load is changed. It doesn't actually way that anywhere, and indeed if that is the case then you might as well enter combat with the gun unloaded, because you ain't gonna be shooting in the first round anyway.

For myself, I have started to play the 'Change Load' as being htat the gun may fire as normal but the Loader's crew bonus is not subtracted. He can reload, but there's less chance of achieving rate of fire and like I said his bonus does not apply to the shooting. This is because the gunner has less time to aim his shots if the gunner had been tied up doing something else. If the Loader's efficiency does not have the effect of speed on the gunner's aiming, then what else is it for, in fact?

Incorrect, perhaps, but still another take on what's a pretty unclear ruleset!


You may find some clarification of use of ready rack here:

http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/updatesub/bookmark/600216/1
 
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Edwin David Bliss
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Re those unanswered questions :

King_Drax_I wrote:
Loading the Ready Rack: Can the loader restock the Ready Rack between battles?


It can done during any battle round at 4.74 ; but is best done between battles, as a restock crew action bars your loader from loading the Main Gun after it Fires , therefore you can only fire one shot in the round max..

Quote:
Flanking Fire: How long does this effect last? For one round? The rest of the Battle? All day?


One round ( at 4.77.1 ).

Quote:
Recording VPs for Tank and Friendly forces: As far as I can see the only distinction is that VPs scored by the Tank are counted towards promotions and decorations. Or is it just decorations?


Promotions and Decorations.

Quote:
And the modifier 'Target fired weapons last turn', then doesn't apply until next round?


Applies current round only.

Quote:
When loading from Ready Rack, do you mark off the ammo from the ready Rack or from the main gun stock on the AAR? Or do you mark off rounds fired from the RR, but only mark from stock when ammo is fired from stock or the RR is reloaded from stock?


Mark it off from the Main Gun Stock and the Ready Rack. N/A.

Quote:
German counters: Does a letter 'A' mean 'Already identified'?


The letters represent the approximate size of the Enemy unit as a Target. S = Small, A = Average, L = Large and VL = Very Large.
Small, Large and Very Large targets each have Die Roll modifiers on the Shermans "To Hit Target" Table.

Quote:
But the Hit Location Table has a special table for Hull Down targets, giving a roll of 1-5 Turret, 6-10 miss, presumably simulating the Hull/Track hit thing (these can't be hit) but weirdly it gives a higher chance of hitting the turret than it would have if the tank was 'Normal Target' - in that case, it would have been 1-4 Turret hit. So which is right?


Both. On the Hull Down part of the table the chance of hitting the Turret is a set amount. On the Normal part of the table the chance of hitting the Turret is lower because you can see the Hull too and it's bigger and more likely to be both aimed at and hit!!

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Edwin David Bliss
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King_Drax_I wrote:
On the After-Action Report, it mentions a VP multiplier for areas 'lost'; I take it this means areas on the Movement Board?


Yes.

Quote:
And what does it mean by 'lost'? Obviously captured by the enemy, but how? Is it when you recce the next zone, find it to be Heavy resistance, so decide to recce another zone and take the easier route?

Or is it when you enter an area, find it packed with King Tigers, and retreat, leaving it in German control?

Or both?


This means any US Controlled area that you lose, be it one you started with and lost or captured at some point and then lost later.

Area's that you decide to not attack or choose to retreat from are never lost, as they were never gained ( captured ) in the first place.

To capture an area you must enter it and destroy all of the Enemy units in it or force them to vacate the area. I.E. an area is captured when no enemy unit remains on the Battle board ( see 4.77.2 ).
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Edwin David Bliss
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King_Drax_I wrote:
Edit: I have looked in a little more detail; I have a problem with the gunner not being able to fire if the load is changed. It doesn't actually way that anywhere, and indeed if that is the case then you might as well enter combat with the gun unloaded, because you ain't gonna be shooting in the first round anyway.


Each Crew action takes up a battle round ( at 4.74 ). If the loader is taking out the shell and replacing it with another, that takes up time and that time equates to a battle round in game terms ( as I understand the Rules ). As the Main Gun starts loaded you can always fire at least one shot in the first battle round ( unless of course you choose to reload it ); I really can't follow your logic here.

Quote:
For myself, I have started to play the 'Change Load' as being htat the gun may fire as normal but the Loader's crew bonus is not subtracted. He can reload, but there's less chance of achieving rate of fire and like I said his bonus does not apply to the shooting. This is because the gunner has less time to aim his shots if the gunner had been tied up doing something else. If the Loader's efficiency does not have the effect of speed on the gunner's aiming, then what else is it for, in fact?

Incorrect, perhaps, but still another take on what's a pretty unclear ruleset!


A rather odd take, but it's up to you. Loading 1+ rounds in a short space of time is reasonable. Unloading, reloading and firing may be possible, but the rate of fire would most likely be limited to 1 round only. You should consider a very heavy Rate of Fire penalty if you want to fire more than 1 round with this interpretation of the Rules...
 
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Edwin David Bliss
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King_Drax_I wrote:
- if you wanna bail out, you roll for a wound.


You are exiting a Tank that has been hit / killed ; the Enemy knows that a Tank's Crew will bail out rather than risk being burnt, so the Crew are a prime target at this point ( especially from an Enemy Tanks MG's ).

Quote:
If the tank has thrown a track, and you wanna get out - roll for a wound.


No need to abandon the tank unless there is a risk of it being fired at ( and Killed ) by an Enemy unit. If that risk exists, then the same risk as noted above occurs, as you are a prime ( and stationary ) target.

Quote:
Bogged down, abandon vehicle - roll for a wound.


No need to abandon the vehicle unless attempts to "free" it cause a "Thrown Track" ( see above ). 11.12 does not even suggest you might consider abandoning the Tank ( unlike 11.11 : Throwing a Track ).

Quote:
If the tank has been knocked out and you want to go back in to rescue your buddy - guess what, you roll for a wound.


You are have just exited a Tank that has been hit / killed ; the Enemy are shooting at you as you get out, why would they stop shooting if you go back ? Again, the Crew remain a prime target at this point.

Quote:
But why all this about rolling for a wound? How often do people really get knocked unconscious or killed while climbing out of a tank?


Wounds cause various problems and may limit a Tank Crews possible future actions. Unconscious only applies to wounds caused by Gun Fire knocking out your Tank or "Minefield" attacks, see note 1 of the Wounds Table ; not to climbing out of the Tank.
Killed equates to 1-3% risk when climbing out.

Quote:
and why don't crewmen who are simply poking their noddles up out of an open hatch have to - oh let's see now - 'roll for a wound'?


I think this is due to the difficulty of hitting a rather smaller target. Exiting / exited Crew are a much bigger Target. There is of course some risk re "Harrassing Fire" though...

Quote:
(PS - Added to that, the Loader, if he has no hatch, gets a +1 (worse) bailout modifier; why not the Gunner? He never has a hatch!)


Thats down to their relative positions inside the Tank, and the ease ( or otherwise ) of their exit. I believe the Loader is lower down inside the Tank than the Gunner and has further to move. Note that as the Gunner is sited very near the Commander, it is rather straightforward for him to use the Commanders Hatch to exit.
 
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