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Band of Brothers: Ghost Panzer» Forums » Rules

Subject: SATW fire against vehicles behind hedgerows rss

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Brendan Clark
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If a squad equipped with a Special Anti-Tank Weapon fires it's SATW at a tank, for example, behind a hedgerow there is no terrain modifier that applies for the hedgrow. The SATW attack is resolved using the 'Gun and Vehicle Hit and Kill Against Vehicles' section of the 'Gun and Vehicles Player Aid Card'. This section of the aid card includes the statement that:'None of the modifiers from the Infantry Player Aid Card apply'.

Now hedgerows, or bocage, offered a fair level of protection to infantry behind it due not just to the thick vegetation but more to the raised bank along which the hedgerow grew. Hence the -2 effect of hedgerows in BoB, for direct fire attacks against infantry.

You can imagine that a hedgerow 'bank' would provide some cover for a tank, akin to the tank being in a 'hull down' position. In some tactical games this is modelled by only allowing hits against the tank's turret.

Part of the streamlined beauty of BoB is that it's not necessary to establish which part of a tank is hit. What matters is whether the attack, which represents a number of shots, is ultimately successful or not, and that's achieved with one die roll.

So when I first attempted to have a squad fire it's bazooka at a German tank behind a hedgerow, I mistakenly assumed there would be some modifier to reduce the attack value of the SATW, such as a -1 or -2, but there wasn't.

Knowing how Jim has invested a lot of thought in the elegant rules and game mechanics of BoB, I reckon he's got a good reason why the rule works the way it does in the case above.

I know Jim sets out his reasons why the rules for BoB do what they do in his fine design notes. However, I've not been able to find anything on why hedgerows have no effect on fire against vehicles behind hedgerows.

I'm still curious to know. I half-guess that the answer may be that while some hedgerows grew on banks as high as a man, others grew on banks just a couple of feet high. While an infantry squad would adopt positions to make best use of the available cover, a tank can't do that so much. In game terms, the effect of a low bank would be negligible in providing cover for a tank. And we don't want rules stipulating high or low hedgerow banks...no!

Seems like I may have rambled on into an answer of sorts ...
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Mike Hoyt

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I think terrain does apply to SATW vs Vehicles.

I can't find that explicitly, but check

17.8 Infantry vs Guns "Fire at Guns is impacted by terrain"
17.5 Guns&Vehicles vs Infantry or Guns - the terrain modifers apply but the Modifers Other do not.

I think that is generally true, terrain counts, it's the Fire Modifers Other" (like moving in the open) that do not.

However, I will agree that
17.6 Guns&Vehicles vs Vehicles says "Terrain other than hills does not impact this die roll in any way" referring to the actual attack roll not the proficiency check.



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Jim Krohn
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You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.
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I appreciate your faith in me.

You are correct in that terrain does not impact the SATW check. A lot of thought was put into the modifiers and a lot of qualitative judgments had to be made. For example, using a SATW is harder during Op Fire because the target is moving, but it is not impacted by a Move marker like a Vehicle would be. A squad of men are much more easily able to adapt to finding and targeting a Vehicle that has recently moved than a buttoned up tank would be.

Hedgerows are a little wonky. In order for everything to work, you have to assume that whatever is on the other side of the hedgerow is right against or in the hedgerow. If a Squad was even 10 yards on the other side of the hedgerow and on the ground, it would be impossible to target them by direct fire. In effect, we really treat the hexes on the other side of a hedgerow as representing being in the hedgerow. Having them a hex away from the hedgerow is used to represent units not in/on the hedgerow.

So, I am assuming that the tank is poking thru the hedgerow, as it were. At least that is the convention. Now, add to that that SATW checks are already pretty hard. Say a Squad needs a 4 to pass the check - well, now even one modifier impacts the chance of success by 25%! 10% maybe I could see, but I was sure I wanted to go 25%. Say a 3 was needed - now you are talking a 33% impact. So, I eventually made the call not to have the hedgerow have a modifier. It could have gone either way, and in those cases I tend to favor the side that eliminates exceptions to the rules and the hedgerow would have been another exception.

In a way it is like wrecks. I don't use them in the game, not because I felt like they would have no impact, but because I didn't feel like they would have had enough of an impact to warrant a modifier.

If you feel strongly about it, you can always house rule it.

Excellent question BTW.
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Brendan Clark
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Thanks Jim.

This helps me appreciate a bit more one of the difficulties of designing a tactical level game. Players often come up with questions like mine as we imagine a 'high fidelity' (or detailed) image of a situation. The problem is, I guess, that to have high fidelity, you've got to have a smaller game scale, so instead of 40 metre hexes, 10 metre or 20 metre hexes, and the time scale would have to shift to, sinking a game into detail and making it unplayable. If you want a playable game, many compromises have to be made.

Your explanation of how hedgerows are 'wonky' also helps. (Why am I asking about hedgerows and bocagage on the Ghost Panzer BGG site?!) I see it like this: an infantryman can literally adapt his shape, his posture, to make best use of terrain for protection. A tank can't do that. Not only is it obviously a much bigger target, but if the tank commander wants a field of fire for his tank, he's going to have to poke his gun through that hedgerow and probably part of the tank too. It might be a bit different if the tank started in a prepared position and was covered with camo netting (and we have concealed markers for such a situation). So his tank is going to get less protection from that hedgerow.

Just to clarify, I didn't see the hedgerow acting as a modifier on the squad's SATW check. It was about reducing the attack value of the bazooka. It came up in a scenario where an American paratroop squad is being used to attempt a SATW attack on a Stug IIIG behind a hedgerow. The paratroop squad passed its SATW check and fired its bazooka, which has an attack value of 11 vs the Stug's frontal armour of 6, so normally the bazooka would destroy the Stug on a die roll of 5 or less.

In play, not being sure of the answer, we mistakenly deducted -2 from the bazooka's attack value for the hedgerow, reducing its final attack value to 3. In the event, the die roll was low and the Stug was knocked out. Given how you've explained it, I guess we could have agreed a house rule for deducting -1 from the bazooka's attack value if the target vehicle is in the hex behind the hedgerow, though I'm always wary about departing from a designer's standard rules and applying a house rule.

But there was something else we missed. We were using the Screaming Eagles counters. The SE American paratroop squads with bazookas don't have a SATW value on the counter, like the squads with SATW in Ghost Panzer. So the SATW check for the paratrooper squad didn't factor in a squad SATW value. Is there some counter errata for this? ....very probably on the BGG Screaming Eagles BGG forum, I guess. blush

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Jim Krohn
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You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.
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Quote:
Just to clarify, I didn't see the hedgerow acting as a modifier on the squad's SATW check. It was about reducing the attack value of the bazooka. It came up in a scenario where an American paratroop squad is being used to attempt a SATW attack on a Stug IIIG behind a hedgerow. The paratroop squad passed its SATW check and fired its bazooka, which has an attack value of 11 vs the Stug's frontal armour of 6, so normally the bazooka would destroy the Stug on a die roll of 5 or less.


Yeah, if adding a modifier, that is not where I would put it. The Firepower really represents the penetrating ability of the weapon. If you put it there, a panzerfaust with its huge penetrating ability would be mostly unaffected by the modifier, while a bazooka would be greatly affected.

No, in this case, you are really thinking in terms of hitting the vehicle and that puts it in the realm of the Proficiency Check (for Vehicles and Guns) and the SATW check for Bazookas. Of course, this is not a pure to hit roll as this really takes into account even recognizing and responding to the threat, but that is where the modifier would go.

Quote:
But there was something else we missed. We were using the Screaming Eagles counters. The SE American paratroop squads with bazookas don't have a SATW value on the counter, like the squads with SATW in Ghost Panzer. So the SATW check for the paratrooper squad didn't factor in a squad SATW value. Is there some counter errata for this? ....very probably on the BGG Screaming Eagles BGG forum, I guess.


In the old version of SE, the Proficiency number doubled as the SATW number.
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