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Subject: Thoughts on Sniper Ability rss

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Marwan Marwan مروان مروان
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What are people's thoughts on units using cover (or infantry saves) when a sniper ability is used against them?

I think negating cover saves for the sniper ability makes it too powerful, but allowing for cover saves makes the sniper ability not so special. I do understand that part of the sniper ability is to specify the target.

I have often rolled one die per sniper shot, only to have it cancelled by cover...<sigh>...

What are your thoughts on this?
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Marwan Marwan مروان مروان
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Just a quick follow up on this topic...According to the new rule book for the new version of Dust Tactics (now known as Dust 1947), the sniper ability negates both cover and infantry saves!

Yay!

You can find a reference to this on page 144 as follows...

Dust 1947 Rule Book - Page 144 wrote:

SNIPER WEAPONS

In the hands of a trained sniper, Sniper Weapons can be used to selectively target officers or other individuals in a unit. When declaring the target of a Sniper Weapon's attack or sustained attack action, the player my specify a miniature in the target unit. All unsaved hits from this attack are assigned to the specified miniature. Sniper Weapon negate cover and infantry saves.



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Dust 1947 Rule Book - Page 144 wrote:

All unsaved hits from this attack are assigned to the specified miniature. Sniper Weapon negate cover and infantry saves.


I wonder how you can save without Cover or Infantry Saves. The only case I can think of is Damage Resilience which isn't a save (though it acts like one).
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Marwan Marwan مروان مروان
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Having played the new rules which incorporate this change, I'm finding the snipers extremely powerful. Maybe a bit too powerful.

I was able to knock out a couple of heroes before my friend sent in his airforce to clean out my snipers.

Maybe artillery and smoke is a good counter for the snipers. It will allow other units to get close to them before they get a change to snip them.

What are your thoughts?
 
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Magnus G
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marwan_marwan wrote:
Having played the new rules which incorporate this change, I'm finding the snipers extremely powerful. Maybe a bit too powerful.

I was able to knock out a couple of heroes before my friend sent in his airforce to clean out my snipers.

Maybe artillery and smoke is a good counter for the snipers. It will allow other units to get close to them before they get a change to snip them.

What are your thoughts?
Yes, I think Snipers are too powerful now. My fix would have been to change the Sniper rule to read along the lines of:

"Saves against Sniper Weapons are only successful on a roll of [Symbol]. This includes Cover Saves, Infantry Saves and Saves from abilites like Zombie or Steel Guard."

That would still make them good and fearsome, but not OP.


On the topic of Artillery vs Snipers: Many Sniper units have the Camouflage skill, which states that the unit cannot be attacked by anyone that is at range 3 or more from the Camouflaged unit. Can Artillery attack a Camouflaged unit (Artillery usually have minimum range 4)?

Cheers,

/M
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Marwan Marwan مروان مروان
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I like your suggestion for addressing the OP ability of snipers. I would also offer that it could be changed to say:

"All successful saves must be re-rolled"

As for artillery VS snipers, I think it's pretty easy to target snipers as they lose their camouflage as soon as they shoot. Also, keep in mind that spotters can direct artillery fire onto snipers. So if the snipers are within range 3, they can shell the snipers but I'm not sure how useful that would be when you can machine gun them with another infantry unit.

Even if the sniper rule stays the same, I think artillery units and smoke are going to be edge that armies will need to dislodge or eliminate snipers.
 
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Magnus G
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marwan_marwan wrote:
I like your suggestion for addressing the OP ability of snipers. I would also offer that it could be changed to say:

"All successful saves must be re-rolled"
This is how I would change the new Height Advantage rule.

So, against a Sniper Hit you would only ever Save on a [Symbol], and if the Sniper had Height Advantage you'd have to re-roll successes. As the rules are now HA does nothing for a Sniper Attack (it's only a defensive buff to the Sniper if he is Attacked himself) which seems not very fitting. When we see a Sniper in a movie, isn't he almost always lying on a roof or perhaps sitting in the top stories of a building?

marwan_marwan wrote:
As for artillery VS snipers, I think it's pretty easy to target snipers as they lose their camouflage as soon as they shoot. Also, keep in mind that spotters can direct artillery fire onto snipers. So if the snipers are within range 3, they can shell the snipers but I'm not sure how useful that would be when you can machine gun them with another infantry unit.

Even if the sniper rule stays the same, I think artillery units and smoke are going to be edge that armies will need to dislodge or eliminate snipers.
If a Sniper makes an Attack he loses Camouflage, but if he isn't performing a Sustained Attack he can Attack + Camouflage to shoot and then hide again.

Observers within range 2 can possibly see a Camouflaged unit and call down Artillery on it, but this isn't stated in the rules. If it is played Rules as Written it's litterally impossible for Artillery Weapons to Attack a Camouflaged unit.

And even if it is possible to Attack via Observers within range 2, that's still a lot of resources needed to remove just a small infantry squad.

My fix for this would be to let Artillery attack units in Camouflage like any other unit, but that a Camouflaged unit is always considered to be in Cover from Artillery (even if it is in the open and even if an Observer is close).

Cheers,

/M
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Marwan Marwan مروان مروان
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I like your suggestions except for the artillery and camouflage. Sniper units are at the most made up of two soldiers. They are pretty powerful but are fragile at the same time. Think of them as a glass-canon.

I personally don't think a modifier is needed for artillery to deal with snipers. I like the way they are now except for the OP ability which was addressed above.

I would still be happy with leaving snipers as they are right now, and just have walkers deal with them. I like the asymmetrical part of this game. Not everything needs to be balance perfectly. This will force players to try different units and tactics to deal with the situations they face.

I have to think a bit more about the new sniper ability, and if it's really OP (over powered) or not. I think a few more games with it will give me a better feel for it.

Sniper shots without sustained attack are mostly ineffective in my experience. I always rely on sustained attack to do any damage with my snipers.

Have seen the new SSU sniper hero? I think her name is Rosa <3
 
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Johannes Haglund
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marwan_marwan wrote:
I like your suggestions except for the artillery and camouflage. Sniper units are at the most made up of two soldiers.

That's actually not true. There's the SSU Red Hunters, a 5 man unit with 2 snipers.
 
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Magnus G
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marwan_marwan wrote:
I like your suggestions except for the artillery and camouflage. Sniper units are at the most made up of two soldiers. They are pretty powerful but are fragile at the same time. Think of them as a glass-canon.

I personally don't think a modifier is needed for artillery to deal with snipers. I like the way they are now except for the OP ability which was addressed above.
The "Desert Scorpions" for example is a unit of 5 (1 Sniper, 1 Observer, 3 other guys). And the thing is, Rules as Written (RAW) Artillery cannot attack a unit in Camouflage at all (they litterally cannot Hit, Damage or Suppress them). So, they are not fragile but rather extremely resilient since they are immune to all attacks that come from range 3 or more.

To me it feels weird that Artillery can't bomb out Snipers or Observers (who should almost always be in Camouflage). That was historically a common way of dealing with units if you didn't know their exact position.

But if the "normal" rules for Artillery is used (negate all Saves for Infantry in the open) then it would be too easy to kill them. I believe the fix I posted above is a nice middle ground.

marwan_marwan wrote:
I would still be happy with leaving snipers as they are right now, and just have walkers deal with them. I like the asymmetrical part of this game. Not everything needs to be balance perfectly. This will force players to try different units and tactics to deal with the situations they face.
What do you mean by "have walkers deal with them"? Walkers aren't better than other units at taking out Snipers. Sure, Snipers don't do much against Walkers, but that's a completely different story.

marwan_marwan wrote:
Sniper shots without sustained attack are mostly ineffective in my experience. I always rely on sustained attack to do any damage with my snipers.

Have seen the new SSU sniper hero? I think her name is Rosa <3
I strongly suggest you start using Attack + Camouflage more with your Snipers. If the unit has a Spotter I can understand the temptation to do Sustained Attacks. But if you do, it's very likely that the opponent will kill your Snipers asap.

On the other hand, if you stay in Camouflage, even if you miss their attack, you will keep the pressure and the threat of the Snipers. That will force your opponent to send something close to the Snipers to deal with them, and you can use that to your advantage. Or he will move the sniper Targets to a safer place. Either way, your small and cheap Sniper unit can be a very effective way to waste opponent's actions (or even units) without ever hitting a single shot.

And yes, I have seen and played against Roza. Her Platoon is terrifying if you don't have the exact tools to deal with it...gulp

Cheers,

/M
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Marwan Marwan مروان مروان
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Hmmmm...Are you saying this because of camouflage? I'm not sure what part of RAW would not allow artillery to hit snipers? My understanding is that line of sight is drawn from the spotter unit instead of the artillery itself. As long as a unit with spotter is within range 3, the snipers are pretty much dead.

MagWiz wrote:
And the thing is, Rules as Written (RAW) Artillery cannot attack a unit in Camouflage at all (they litterally cannot Hit, Damage or Suppress them). So, they are not fragile but rather extremely resilient since they are immune to all attacks that come from range 3 or more.


--

What I mean by "have walkers deal with them" is that walkers are pretty much immune to sniper fire. So they can just walk up to range 3 of snipers then finish them off.

MagWiz wrote:
What do you mean by "have walkers deal with them"? Walkers aren't better than other units at taking out Snipers. Sure, Snipers don't do much against Walkers, but that's a completely different story.


--

I like this. Thanks for the suggestion, I will definitely try that against my friends next time we play

MagWiz wrote:
On the other hand, if you stay in Camouflage, even if you miss their attack, you will keep the pressure and the threat of the Snipers. That will force your opponent to send something close to the Snipers to deal with them, and you can use that to your advantage. Or he will move the sniper Targets to a safer place. Either way, your small and cheap Sniper unit can be a very effective way to waste opponent's actions (or even units) without ever hitting a single shot.
 
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Marwan Marwan مروان مروان
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You're correct, but they don't have the camouflage ability so they could be targeted by anyone within range.

Frankysan wrote:
That's actually not true. There's the SSU Red Hunters, a 5 man unit with 2 snipers.


On the other hand, the SSU Heavies have the camouflage ability and they would cause the same problem as the snipers we're talking about, especially if they're joined by Roza (I spelled her name correctly this time).

Interestingly, the camouflage ability is not shared by units joined. So Roza can't share her camouflage with Heavies if they didn't already have it.

I put Roza in a snipers only squad, and they were picking off all my opponent's commanders. He ended up pulling his infantry units back, and sending in his air force to deal with Roza and her snipers. Good times.

 
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JEFF MEDIUM_Vegan
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Can I get an audit on Mr Marwan's dice rolling.
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Magnus G
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marwan_marwan wrote:
Hmmmm...Are you saying this because of camouflage? I'm not sure what part of RAW would not allow artillery to hit snipers? My understanding is that line of sight is drawn from the spotter unit instead of the artillery itself. As long as a unit with spotter is within range 3, the snipers are pretty much dead.
Yes, it's the wording of Camouflage that makes them immune to Artillery. The rule for Camouflage reads:

"A Unit with the Camouflage Skill may take a Camouflage Special Action. Once it has done so, it cannot be Attacked at Range 3 (3 squares, 30om, or 12") or higher."

You only check LoS from the Observer. Range is still checked from the Artillery unit. And at the end of the Artillery rule it says:

"The player rolls separate Attacks or Sustained Attacks against every Unit in the Artillery Area (both enemy and ally)."

But how can you roll attacks against something you cannot attack? I'm not sure if this is the intention of the game designers, but that's how the rules are written.

marwan_marwan wrote:
What I mean by "have walkers deal with them" is that walkers are pretty much immune to sniper fire. So they can just walk up to range 3 of snipers then finish them off.
Yeah that's one way of dealing with Snipers. Just make sure you are closer than range 3 (within range 2 if you play on grids).

But that's also exactly what I said towards the end in my last post: The player needs to really commit something to eliminate the Snipers. Something that is probably a lot more expensive than the Snipers, and something that will likely be exposed or in a bad position even if the Snipers are eliminated.

So, often it's a lose/lose situation for the player without Snipers. In V2 this did not exist because Sniper weren't a big enough threat. I like that they got better in V3, but now that they ignore all saves they are a too big threat in my opinion and should be toned down.

Cheers,

/M
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Marwan Marwan مروان مروان
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Good and informative response Magnus

I don't think I can play snipers as they are written in the rules. I will continue to them as they could be targeted for attack by any unit that sees them. So spotters at range less than 3 can definitely call artillery shots at them camouflaged units.

The other huge benefit for artillery is the smoke. Firing smoke in the new rule set is going to be amazing. We can now cover the advance of units in open terrain, and block LOS from snipers which renders them useless.

I think there are a lot of options and tactics out there to deal with each and every complication that an opponent my throw our way.
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Magnus G
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marwan_marwan wrote:
I don't think I can play snipers as they are written in the rules. I will continue to them as they could be targeted for attack by any unit that sees them. So spotters at range less than 3 can definitely call artillery shots at them camouflaged units.
I agree that RAW the Sniper/Artillery interaction is kind of silly and I understand your idea to use the Range from Observers to let Artillery "see" a Camouflaged unit.

But consider the following:

Two friendly Infantry units are in adjacent Open squares, and one of them is Camouflaged while the other is "normal". The enemy has no Observer, but he has an Artillery unit at Range 6 that has LoS to both of the squares with the Infantry units.

The Artillery attacks and both Infantry units are in the Artillery Area. He rolls a Blast attack against the "normal" unit, but will he roll any dice against the Camouflaged unit?

If yes, why would he do that since the Camouflaged unit "cannot be attacked"? If no, why not? Since the area is shelled by artillery and soldiers in the adjacent square is likely to be killed, shouldn't there at least be a chance that the Camouflaged unit is also hit?


Now do the exact same scenario, but with an Observer within range 2 of the Camouflaged unit. Will the situation be different? If yes, why would the exact same attack in the exact same Artillery Area now suddenly be able to hit the Camouflaged unit, while before it was immune?


So, my opinion is that Artillery should be able to damage a Camouflaged unit because of the sheer power of high explosives. It simply feels right and logical.

Though, one of the best and most useful things about Camouflage now, compared to V2, is that you can hide in Open terrain. But if you are in the open and gets hit by Artillery, you get no saves at all. So if Artilley could shoot normally at a Camouflaged unit, and Camouflage doesn't give the unit some protection, then Artillery becomes way too good against those units.

Like I posted above, my solution for both problems would be to let Artillery attack units in Camouflage like any others, but a Camouflaged unit is always in cover against such attacks.

marwan_marwan wrote:
The other huge benefit for artillery is the smoke. Firing smoke in the new rule set is going to be amazing. We can now cover the advance of units in open terrain, and block LOS from snipers which renders them useless.

I think there are a lot of options and tactics out there to deal with each and every complication that an opponent my throw our way.
Yes, smoke screens are good. But it's also very likely that you will block your own LoS every now and then (unless you're playing mostly Close-Combat units of course ).
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Marwan Marwan مروان مروان
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Hey Magnus, I really like what you had to say especially your second example.

An easy way to incorporate what you said without changing changes across multiple rules, is to change the word "attack" to "LOS". The rule would then read something like this:

"A Unit with the Camouflage Skill may take a Camouflage Special Action. Once it has done so, Line Of Sight (LOS) cannot be drawn to it from Range 3 (3 squares, 30cm, or 12") or higher."

If this change was made then your artillery example would still work by hitting targeted units, and all other units that fall under the template even if they have camouflage.

This will teach everyone to keep their sniper units off on their own

Thoughts?
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Magnus G
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marwan_marwan wrote:
"A Unit with the Camouflage Skill may take a Camouflage Special Action. Once it has done so, Line Of Sight (LOS) cannot be drawn to it from Range 3 (3 squares, 30cm, or 12") or higher."
That is pretty much how it was worded in V2 (except the unit also needed to be in Cover) which solves a lot of problems. But with that wording my concern is that Artillery (that are really good in V3 in general) will be too good against Camouflage units, since they don't need LoS to a unit or the whole artillery area. They need LoS to one square and can then choose the rest of the area freely.

One of the "problems" with Camouflage in V2 was that you needed to be in Cover to use it, which made the skill a lot less useful. In V3 they made it better by letting units hide anywhere. Those units can now have a real impact on the game and will hopefully see more table time.

But Artillery is also a lot better and will be used a lot more. And if Artillery can shoot at Camouflaged units normally (no Saves for Infantry while in the open) then it will "force" those units to stay in Cover, almost exactly like they had to i V2, but for a different reason.

I want Artillery to be good, but I also want Snipers/Observers to be good. I believe there needs to be a balance between them, otherwise a lot of games will all come down to who's Artillery destroys the opponent's Observers first (i.e. the player who wins the Initiative of the second turn).

Cheers,

/M
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Marwan Marwan مروان مروان
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I personally don't see this as a problem since it's always a bad idea to run units close to each other with artillery around. I think it's good as it makes artillery useful (read: I love smoke), and keeps people on their toes when it comes to moving units in clumps.

Keep in mind that not everyone will be deploying artillery as, from my experience, they're pretty useless again walkers and aircraft.

MagWiz wrote:
But with that wording my concern is that Artillery (that are really good in V3 in general) will be too good against Camouflage units, since they don't need LoS to a unit or the whole artillery area. They need LoS to one square and can then choose the rest of the area freely.


 
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Magnus G
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I got an official answer from Olivier (the lead game designer) on this: Camouflage does nothing against Artillery. Artillery affects 4 squares and any unit, even if in Camouflage, will get hit and damaged normally. An Observer does not have to be within Range 2 for the Artillery to "see" a unit in Camouflage.

I guess I will not have much problems next time I face Roza and her boys...


I also got a lot of other answers and I will put everything into the list of questions/answers I made. When it's ready I will put the list up in the forum of Dust 1947 here on BGG.

Cheers,

/M
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Marwan Marwan مروان مروان
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Thanks for keeping us updated
 
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