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Subject: Snipers? rss

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Hilary Hartman
United States
GLENNALLEN
Alaska
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Any rules governing snipers in ASL? If so, how do they work?
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Peter Vrabel
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Yes there are, but they're very abstracted.

Basically each side has a sniper counter that goes somewhere on the map, then whenever the opposing player rolls a certain number (Determined by the scenario) whenever they're rolling the dice, there's a possibility that the sniper will be triggered. So if the German's SAN (Sniper Activation Number) is a 4, whenever the British player rolls a 4 when resolving fire attacks or morale checks, the sniper could be activated.

If it is, two dice are rolled to move it around, where it then attacks the nearest enemy. Depending on the number rolled to activate it, it will either kill or wound and SMC, or pin or break a squad.

There are rules for snipers shooting each other, or squads trying to shoot the sniper, but these hardly ever come up.

The main thing is that a sniper isn't a unit, and cannot really be controlled by the player. It's main purpose is to cut down the number of dice rolled, if one player has a high SAN, then the other player may want to reduce the number of low odds attacks he makes, because he's more likely to trigger the sniper than damage the enemy.
 
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Jason Johns
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Snipers are abstracted, but they work well. Each side has a sniper number (SAN) 2 to 7. This is a type of scenario balance, since the closer to 7 the number is the more likely a result will be. Basically, as stated before if your opponent rolls that magic "Sniper number", then the sniper may be activated (subsequent 1 or 2, so 1/3 chance).

People can discount the Sniper, until he kills your 10-3 leader or breaks the squad guarding prisoners or manning that critical MG. The cool thing about it is that you don't control him. So, it can have an effect from nada to full blown chaos. If the number is high, it can limit the amount of extraneous 2 +1 shots taken.

In my opinion, as with most of the ASL rules, they really come into play during a Campaign Game (CG). Sometimes you get two snipers and adjustable SANs. In CGs and some scenarios, sniper hunting (as opposed to snipe hunting...surprise ) is worth doing. Basically, use an attacked stack who hasn't done anything to do a sniper check. This can "pin" the sniper for the turn or reduce it's number. Get it below 2 and it's gone. (A big deal for a CG.)

So, it is an elegant and fun system.
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Isley
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Lawrence
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Do snipers target prisoners in random selection?
 
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James Lowry
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A14.22 NON-TARGETS: Only [...] prisoners [...] are ineligible Sniper targets.
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Robin REEVE
Switzerland
St-L├ęgier
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The ASL Sniper rule is an improvement over the original SL SMC sniper counters.
You don't control when those guys fire - which is exactly what happens on the field.
As you don't need to hide them (they are simulated by a marker that moves on the board), and as they work "by themselves", they are also well adapted to solitaire play.

I have lost some nice leaders, who were hiding from all enemy units (e.g. crawling up a hill via a gully) to sniper fire.

There are sniper check mechanics and snipers can attack one another (thus reducing the sniper activation number or 'pinning' a sniper during a Player Turn).

Sniper activation numbers (SAN) do play a role in balancing a scenario - typically a defender has a higher SAN than the attacker.

Note, too, that Sniper rules 'simulate' more than Sniper fire : they can also be considered as simulating other elements of fate on the battle field (including friendly fire - especially at night, where SAN are automatically increased to depict that type of misfortune).

When I started to play ASL, I shied away from the Sniper rules... But when I did try them, I never more refrained from using them : they add to the numerous "surprises" that an ASL play offers.
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