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Subject: Cannon and Independent Weapons? rss

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Ed
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I've seen several answers about which/how many hexes Independent Weapons can attack, but I haven't yet seen a conclusive answer to whether they can be used in conjunction with a Cannon attack.

Could I fire into one hex with the Cannon and launch a GBU into another hex? The same hex?

Or does choosing to use the Cannon preclude me from using Independent Weapons (as it does with all the other Weapons)?
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Andrew Walters
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according to http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/977675/gbu-12-i-weapons your "I" weapons can attack any number of targets in *one* hex, which doesn't have to be the hex you're attacking with your cannon or missiles.
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Ed
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My question is more about whether the "I" Weapons can be used with the Cannon at all.

The game makes the distinction between "Cannons" and "Weapons." I've seen it clarified many times that you choose to attack with either the Cannon or Weapons, but not both. Given that the "I" Weapons are indeed Weapons, I'm wondering if that applies to them as well, or if they are excepted from that rule like they are from the "all targets must be in one hex" rule.
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michal
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Rulebook does not include exception in this case.

You either have a choice of an attack with cannon or an attack with weapon counters. Never both.
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Barry Miller
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iWannaBeAMongoose wrote:
The game makes the distinction between "Cannons" and "Weapons." I've seen it clarified many times that you choose to attack with either the Cannon or Weapons, but not both.

Really, it looks like you answered your own question. Immediately above, Michal provided the correct answer in a very succinct way. I'll go ahead and provide the justification from the rulebook to present the "Rules Lawyer" case to "prove" this answer.

Look at pg 15, right column (and it sounds like you already have)... It seems clear enough that it is indeed an "either, or, but not both" choice.

(all of the following bold facing is mine)
Under the paragraph heading, "Attack Choices", the text clearly says, "...declare...Hex targeted for Attack and the Weapon Counters to be expended, or declare if the attack will be made with cannons".
That "or" is a pretty big "or"!
And as you already pointed out, the Independent weapons are represented with counters. The cannons are not!

Here's more:
That same column lays-out four attack choices. YOU CAN CHOOSE ONLY ONE ATACK OPTION per attack. Each choice is separated with the word, "OR". Thusly it's clear you can choose ONLY ONE of the attack choices.
From the rules, they are:

"Attack the enemy units in your same hex with any and all Weapon Counters..."
OR
"Attack the enemy units in a different Terrain Hex with any and all Weapon Counters..."
OR
"Attack one Enemy Unit with Cannons, if it is in your same Terrain Hex". (This choice is meant for moving aircraft)
OR
"Attack all the enemy units with your Cannon if your aircraft is in the same Terrain Hex as the Enemy Unit Counters, and your aircraft is Hovering".

Note how each of the four attack options is separated by the word, "OR". So that seems clear enough.
Also note that the first two choices specify attacking with weapons counters only (they don't mention cannons), and that again, the cannon isn't represented by a counter. And finally note that the last two choices don't mention weapons counters, which thusly means that an Independent weapon (which is only represented by a counter) isn't eligible to be used.

OK, I hope I've presented my "Rules Lawyer" case sufficiently enough to "prove" that the weapons which are represented by counters cannot be used with cannons during the same attack!

Bottom Line: No, you can't use your cannon and drop an independent weapon at the same time. This is my opinion only, as I'm not the game designer!

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Ed
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Alright, it looks like opinion is swaying toward no Independent Weapons with Cannons, so I'll keep on playing it that way.

What made me question it was wondering whether the restriction is realistic, but also what the Attack Choices section doesn't say as opposed to what it does. Independent Weapons aren't mentioned at all there and I think they should be; it might be a little redundant but the clarity would be worth it.

And then there's the fact that the current wording in that section isn't actually that great. The phrase "any and all" seems troublesome to me. Without the "and all" there'd be no question of what it means, but those two words make it sound like you have to use every single one of your Weapons at once.

In the end I suppose it gave me enough pause to ask for clarification.

For what it's worth, if I were to rewrite the "Attack Choices" section it would look something like this (plus examples):

Quote:
Attack Choices
On its turn an Aircraft may attack with either Cannons or Weapon Counters, but not both. When an Aircraft is ready to attack, declare the Enemy Unit(s) being targeted and (if using Weapons) the Counter(s) to be expended.

Cannon Attacks:

An Aircraft that is not Hovering may Attack one Enemy Unit in its current Terrain Hex with its Cannon.

OR

A Hovering Aircraft may Attack all Enemy Units in its current Terrain Hex with its Cannon.

Note: The Cannons on the AC-130 follow different rules; see page 24.

Weapon Attacks:

Strike - Use Weapon Counters to Attack one or more Enemy Units in the Aircraft's current Terrain Hex, provided the Enemy Units are in range of the Weapons and the Aircraft is at the proper Altitude.

OR

Stand-Off - Use Weapon Counters to Attack one or more Enemy Units in one separate Terrain Hex from the Aircraft, provided the Enemy Units are not in Cover, the target Hex is in the Aircraft's Attack Angle, the Hex is in range of the Weapons, and the Aircraft is at the proper Altitude.

Note: During Weapon Attacks, Independent Weapons may be used to Attack one extra Terrain Hex, provided the extra targeted Hex and its Units meet all the requirements of a Strike or Stand-off (as applicable) listed above.
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Barry Miller
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iWannaBeAMongoose wrote:
What made me question it was wondering whether the restriction is realistic, but also what the Attack Choices section doesn't say as opposed to what it does. Independent Weapons aren't mentioned at all there and I think they should be;...
And then there's the fact that the current wording in that section isn't actually that great. The phrase "any and all" seems troublesome to me.

Well first off, you definitely got it. Your proposed re-write of the attack rules goes to prove that! Your proposed re-write does a good job of presenting the attack options in a way that may be more helpful to some.

I admit to re-reading that section in the rules several times. It's funny - when I first skimmed the rulebook I was really impressed. I'm a stickler for 100% clarity and sensible organization in a rule book (which is very difficult to achieve BTW). My initial review of this rulebook led me to believe that Dan had nailed it and so it got me excited to play. But that was before I played. It wasn't until I was working through my first game that I realized the rules have some shortcomings (but what good game doesn't suffer this)?

And one of those shortcomings is the lack of a consolidated explanation of the independent weapon. It's odd that I say this, as my post above demonstrates that everything you need to know about "I" weapons is in the rulebook - the problem being that you have to refer to different parts of the book to piece it all together. So I agree that the Attack Choices section on page 15 could've done a better job of discussing the role of independent weapons in your choice matrix. I handwrote an annotation in that section so I would remind myself when I come back to the game three years from now. (I also annotated the first attack option as being a, "Strike", and the 2nd option as being a, "Stand-Off". Yes, this info is gleaned elsewhere in the rules, but it would've been nice to include it on pg 17, as you did in your re-write).

But anyway, it's a hard to complain! It's such a great game, and after all, everything is in the rulebook - you just have to do a lot of piecing together.

About the, "any and all"... I agree the wording is confusing. But seeing it from Dan's POV (and of his two editors), it's a succinct phrase that captures the intent. As I like clarity, I would've preferred that they used more words instead of going the "succinct" route. But many gamers hate extra words in their rules, so I get where they were coming from with the decision to use, "Any or all".
I always read it to mean, "Use as much as whatever you got so to achieve your objectives, as long as each weapon used is legal for the application." Obviously, Dan's way of wording it is a lot shorter!

And finally, your question about whether or not the restriction is realistic... It is, mostly. While it is possible for an A-10 to expend a weapons store and shoot its gun on the same loiter run, it's certainly not typical, nor easily manageable, nor desired (based on my limited operational knowledge - I could be wrong). The A-10's strengths are its 30mm cannon, first and foremost, and it's ability to employ AGM-65s. Of course it has the ability for other weapons, but they're not as common. It's use of PGMs (precision guided munitions) grew with the A-10C and its upgraded weapons package.

But getting back to the point, when the A-10 makes a strafing run, the pilot's alignment with the target is carefully plotted. Also, while shooting the gun, the aircraft is usually in a 30 degree down angle. These two factors make it unfavorable to also be targeting a different target for a weapons release at the same time.

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Michael Andersch
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bgm1961 wrote:
when I first skimmed the rulebook I was really impressed. I'm a stickler for 100% clarity and sensible organization in a rule book (which is very difficult to achieve BTW). My initial review of this rulebook led me to believe that Dan had nailed it and so it got me excited to play. But that was before I played. It wasn't until I was working through my first game that I realized the rules have some shortcomings.


It's the same with all of DVG's rulebooks: When reading, everything seems clear. When playing (not only for the first time) you discover lots of things
- that are unclear or
- that have to be puzzled together from different paragraphs or
- that are unconsitent (independant weapons break up the rule of only firing on one target - so why not use them together with a cannon, too?) or
- that are not mentioned at all, since it's a kind of "Special Situation" (which to me is a hint of a lack of playtesting, or better said: possible results of playtesting didn't make their way back into the rules). This is mainly the case if any Action Cards, Events and so on come into play, as they often break normal rules.
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Michael Becker
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Another question regarding cannons - can cannons be used to engage helicopters? In Hornet Leader, cannons can engage enemy aircraft, and the AV-8B is even there in both games. But then, it feels kind of strange attacking a helicopter with a A-130's 105mm howitzer...

How do you play it?
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michal
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rulebook wrote:
AC-130s cannot Attack Helicopters or Units
in Cover.


All planes other than AC-130 can make AtA cannon attack.
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Moe45673
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Where does it say an AC-130 cannot?
 
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John Brown
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Last sentence of the AC-130 Special Rules:

Quote:
AC-130s cannot Attack Helicopters or Units in Cover.
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