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Subject: Sniper/other Special unit possibilities? rss

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Erik Stonemark
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My apologies in advance if I have missed this. I am just starting to get into some more scenarios, and have perused briefly through all of them. But I am curious as to if some types of special units were ever considered or will be in the future. In particular I am wondering about snipers? It seems intuitive that a lot of other special units(rangers, engineers, sappers, etc) can be represented by existing counters, but snipers seem to be a case unto themselves. They are not a full size squad, but usually an individual or perhaps a team of 2 or 3(spotter and support). Their effect though is enormous and could often tie up enemy units for an extended period of time. Sniping officers and leaders also disrupt the effective command chain.
Perhaps some type of hidden setup(decoys and concealment, or some mechanism having to identify where the sniper fire is coming from)

Very much enjoying the game so far, almost done organizing and clipping all the counters. Will no doubt get more time in on scenarios once I'm all done organizing my trays just the way I like them.

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Christopher O
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redblackmonkey wrote:
My apologies in advance if I have missed this. I am just starting to get into some more scenarios, and have perused briefly through all of them. But I am curious as to if some types of special units were ever considered or will be in the future. In particular I am wondering about snipers? It seems intuitive that a lot of other special units(rangers, engineers, sappers, etc) can be represented by existing counters, but snipers seem to be a case unto themselves. They are not a full size squad, but usually an individual or perhaps a team of 2 or 3(spotter and support). Their effect though is enormous and could often tie up enemy units for an extended period of time. Sniping officers and leaders also disrupt the effective command chain.
Perhaps some type of hidden setup(decoys and concealment, or some mechanism having to identify where the sniper fire is coming from)

Very much enjoying the game so far, almost done organizing and clipping all the counters. Will no doubt get more time in on scenarios once I'm all done organizing my trays just the way I like them.



Hi Erik - I'm sure Jim Krohn will be in shortly to address this, but his general philosophy with this game is to keep it simple and playable while preserving the correct feel and tactics of the time.

I'm not sure if he has snipers in mind for future development, but I'd say offhand that it's probably unlikely.

Snipers in other tactical game systems often add a lot of rules overhead and complexity (ASL, LnL), or require special rules mechanics that are "baked into the system" (Combat Commander).

That said, snipers had a significant effect on the battlefield at times and it would be interesting to see if Jim has any intent of adding them at a later date.

Just thinking about it, I have some ideas for how snipers might work. I may post some ideas if you're interested.
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Christopher O
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Here's my first shot at depicting snipers in the BoB system:

Sample Sniper Unit (Standard Soviet sniper)

Firepower 9* subscript 1

Range 2-12

Morale 10-7-3

Crosshairs icon in upper left (indicating sniper unit)

Sniper firepower ranges from 7 (inexpert shooters, inexperienced partisans) to 11 (best of the best) with 9 being more typical. Similarly, morale is generally higher than other units, but variable from partisan (9-5-2) to trained professional (10-7-3).

Independent

A sniper unit cannot be stacked with any other unit except a decoy. If circumstances require that a sniper move so that it would stack with a unit other than a decoy, eliminate the sniper.

Move and Stay in the Shadows

A sniper is always set up under a concealment marker when included as part of the starting forces. If a sniper moves onto the board as part of attacking forces or a reinforcement, it must enter with a concealed marker. When a sniper moves, it must move so as to remain concealed at all times. If a sniper is not under a concealment marker at the beginning of the rout phase, the sniper MUST rout during the following standard rout rules, regardless of whether it is currently in cover or in the proximity of nearby enemy units. If a player accidentally moves a concealed sniper in such a way that it would be revealed, reveal it; it must end movement immediately.

Single Shooter

If a sniper receives a casualty result, it is immediately eliminated (it only has a single step). Snipers also usually have a subscript firepower of 1 in melee combat. Snipers may not initiate melee combat by moving into a hex containing enemy unit(s) and may not "control" a hex for purposes of victory determination.

Sniper teams were typically two man affairs (shooter and spotter) and were not equipped for or typically expert in assault combat.


Special Operators

Snipers requires three operations to activate, like a gun or a vehicle.

Concealed Attack

A sniper unit does not remove its concealment marker when it makes a fire attack. If there are more than one units which are concealed which have line of sight to the target, the player does not even reveal which concealed stack made the attack. If this is the case, the player indicates all of the various concealed stacks which may have made the fire attack.

Note: As this requires honesty on the part of the owning player, the use of snipers in game requires a certain amount of trust between players.

One shot, One kill.


Snipers have firepower which, at first glance, appears to be far out of proportion for a single man using a bolt action rifle (7 to 11 FP). When a sniper attacks, roll its attack normally. However, the asterisk next to the firepower is a reminder that a sniper cannot cause casualties on squad markers, only suppression. When firing on a squad (only), if a fire attack would normally be a casualty or elimination result, the enemy squad is marked as Fully Suppressed normally but it is not reduced. Additionally, if an elimination result is achieved, the controlling player permanently loses one command point for the remainder of the game. All other effects of fire are normal.

Weapons teams are not subject to this restriction and may be reduced or eliminated by sniper fire.

[snipers are especially useful for taking out operators of heavy machine guns, mortars and the like]

Careful Shooter

A sniper may not conduct a fire attack or be marked "Op Fire" if it is not under a concealment marker. If a sniper unit is activated and it does not have a concealment marker, it must attempt to move so that it ends its movement out of LOS of an enemy unit.

The range of a sniper is noted as being 2-X (where X is the maximum range and varies) - snipers cannot engage targets in adjacent hexes.

[Snipers will always try to set up shots so that it does not put their position in danger.]

Leader Decapitation

If a sniper successfully hits a squad causing suppression or full suppression, the squad must make a morale check based on its final suppression level. If the check is successful, there is no additional effect. If the check is unsuccessful, the owning player loses one of its command points for the turn. If the owning player has no unspent command points left that turn, there is no additional effect.

If the owning player rolls a 10 during this morale check, the player permanently loses one command point for the remainder of the game.

If a sniper fire attack on a squad results in an elimination result, the controlling player automatically loses one command point - no morale check is necessary.

[Snipers were trained to pick off officers, NCOs and other soldiers who took initiative to move the unit forward. This became such an issue as the war progressed that experienced officers and NCOs began removing easily visible signs of rank and carrying standard squad weapons so as not to distinguish themselves from the men they lead]
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Jim Krohn
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This is a really great start on sniper rules. I like how they are incorporated into the normal flow of the game.

I have no plans for including them at the moment - this is the first I have really considered them since about 2009 (?) when I fiddled with them in development - so don't misconstrue this to mean that you will see them in the Battle Pack.
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Erik Stonemark
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Wow! That is a lot of cool ideas for snipers! I agree with your earlier statement of trying to keep it simple and utilizing the existing rules, having it baked in, so to speak.
I was actually thinking along the same lines on some sniper rules. Though it is just my own untrained and untested thoughts here.
It is Jim's sandbox here after all, and he has been good enough to let us play in it.

I like the suppression idea and not step loss for squads under sniper fire.
Given that some scenarios have limited numbers of command points, I am initially thinking that loosing a command point to sniper fire the rest of the game is a little too much(squads did have some depth of leadership), so once the initial shock of a sniper attack is over, or once the unit passes a morale check, the command chain would be somewhat re-established. Loosing a point for the rest of the turn-definitely.
Routing for loosing conceal- yes, snipers had to relocate often, just so the enemy couldn't zero in on them.
Melee should inflict a loss on sniper regardless(their advantage was in stealth) once in hand to hand, they would be at a disadvantage to any other other unit once they are located and in melee)
Their range of movement should be limited in trying to maintain concealment, they often moved slower in order to not be detected. Perhaps snipers movement range is 3 but can ignore certain terrain(it is probably easier for one or two man sniper team to move into difficult terrain than a whole squad.)

Snipers if eventually utilized officially in Bob or not, should be kept as simplistic as possible. Perhaps an extra chrome rule(s) being kept to that specific scenario.

Thanks for your guys response and input, good ideas to ponder!
 
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Sean McCormick
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Strikes me as needless complexity creep that I wouldn't want to see make its way into the official rules, but people should certainly experiment with whatever house rules work for them.
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Scott Smith
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seanmac wrote:
Strikes me as needless complexity creep that I wouldn't want to see make its way into the official rules, but people should certainly experiment with whatever house rules work for them.

I appreciate the work you did there Kozure but I agree with Sean. Are the combat events still in the rules? (I've not received my KS pledge yet... yep I'm one of the nimrods that didn't see the survey email), we just assumed some of the negative entries there were the result of sniper activity. Perhaps just leave it at that or fill in the combat events table with a bit of chrome?
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Nathan James
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Off the top of my head, I wouldn't think the normal modifiers should apply to snipers. Best example of this would probably the cumulative +7 when a squad moves adjacent. That drastic increase in effectiveness is based on a much larger volume of fire than one rifle can produce.

The big question is how much does the relationship between suppression and casualties change when you're dealing with sniper fire as opposed to squad and WTs. Snipers fire much less, but with more lethality. It's not enough lead down range to cause suppression in the usual way. The suppression happens when men realize that the relatively sparse fire is coming from a deadly sniper and they become more cautious.

...

Just for the discussion, here's an entirely different take on sniper fire:

Firepower 5/4 - subscript 1 for melee
Range 6*

Just one - All modifiers become +/-1, e.g., moving in the open is +1, adjacent is +1, foxholes is -1. Additionally, Snipers do not half their FP at range, instead, reduce it by 1.

Lethal - Snipers marked for Op Fire are not marked used unless they inflict casualties.

Command decision - When a unit is suppressed by a sniper, the owner may spend a command point to change the suppression to casualty reduction. In this case, the casualty reduction does not add suppression. If the sniper was marked Op Fire, they become used.

Mobility - Snipers may not use Final Op Fire, instead they may Rout when an enemy moves adjacent. Players may spend a Command Point to Rout when an enemy moves within LOS of the Sniper. When a Sniper Routs, if it can not end its move in defensive terrain or out of LOS of all enemy, it is removed from the game.

Versus WT - Snipers add +2 to their firepower when firing against a Weapons Team.

*This still gives a sniper a tremendous amount of firepower, including the ability to shut down enemy movement in an area, unless the enemy is willing to accept casualties.

*If the sniper is firing against stationary squads in cover, it will not inflict casualties unless firing from an elevated position.

*The sniper will never inflict more than 1 casualty reduction in a single round.
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Mark S
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I don't see it as rules creep as long as they are optional rules. BoB with the standard rule set has replaced all my other tactical games. But sometimes I want to play something with a little more chrome and BoB with the optional rules and a handful of house rules are what keep me from breaking out the other tacticals. (I also use my CoH maps when I want a larger scenario).

The house rule I used for a sniper was a little more basic, but I like these better, thank you for sharing.
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Andy Skinner
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I like these rules, particularly the first set. But I'd suggest trimming any rules you can. For example, why the Independent rule? Why would you disallow stacking with a non-decoy?

I think the leadership decapitation may have a rule or two too many, too.

It is odd that most units fire and lose concealment, but the sniper can only fire while concealed. This makes sense, but it means you have to remember the firepower or look at it while covering with your hand or something. It won't be visible. You could just replace the concealment marker after firing. But I see your current system can give the players the mystery of not knowing where the fire came from.

andy
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Christopher O
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I'm designing counters for the Battlepack this evening. I'll take 10 minutes and whip up a quick version of my sniper and some of the other versions/suggestions and people can playtest a few options.
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Erik Stonemark
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Kozure wrote:
I'm designing counters for the Battlepack this evening. I'll take 10 minutes and whip up a quick version of my sniper and some of the other versions/suggestions ons and people can playtest a few options.


Awesome!

Very interested in seeing what you design! I think for some players it will definitely add an appealing aspect to the game.
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Christopher O
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On sober second thought, a little tweaking of firepower for my version is in order.

Standard casualty numbers are 4/7. Some are 3/7 or 3/6.

A standard unit, stationary, in light cover, will take a (yellow) suppression result on a roll of 6 to 8 with a FP 9 sniper. They will take a (red) suppression result with a roll of 2-5 and will kill an officer (loss of command point) on a 1.

These numbers go up or down one point with an increase of firepower or change of casualty numbers.

So, when you have FP 9, units will be suppressed in some manner 80% of the time by a sniper, and fully suppressed 50% of the time. 10% of the time, it is a command point loss.

When you make a unit moving in the open at relatively close ranges, the +4 firepower modifier jumps this likelihood up to 100% chance of some sort of suppression, 90% chance of full suppression and 50% chance of a loss of command point.

That's too high - both for permanent loss of command point and full suppression. Snipers were good but I don't think they were 90% likely to completely stop a moving standard WW2 squad dead in its tracks.

Let's tweak the sniper FP down to 7 and make it so that a double casualty result means that there is an automatic loss of command point for a turn.

Now, a sniper will suppress a stationary squad in cover 60% of the time, and fully suppress 20% of the time, with no chance of automatic command point loss.

A sniper will then (lightly) suppress a moving squad in the open 100% of the time, fully suppress 70% of the time, and inflict a temporary command point loss 40% of the time.

This sounds more reasonable.

A more expert sniper is FP 8, a novice/inexpert sniper is FP: 6.

Standard sniper:

FP: 7* - Range: 2-8 Casualty: 4 -- Morale 10-6-2

Experten sniper:

FP: 8* - Range 2-10 Casualty 5 -- Morale 10-7-3

Novice sniper

FP: 6* - Range 2-6 Casualty 3 -- Morale 9-5-2


Revised/Pared Down Sniper Rules


A crosshairs icon in upper left of a unit indicates that it is a sniper unit, with the following rules covering their use and operation.

Move and Stay in the Shadows

A sniper is always set up under a concealment marker when included as part of the starting forces. If a sniper moves onto the board as part of attacking forces or a reinforcement, it enters with a concealed marker.

If a sniper is not under a concealment marker at the beginning of the rout phase, the sniper MUST rout during the rout phase following standard rout rules, regardless of whether it is currently in cover or in the proximity of nearby enemy units.

Single Shooter

If a sniper receives a casualty result, it is immediately eliminated (it only has a single step). Snipers also usually have a subscript firepower of 1 in melee combat. Snipers may not initiate melee combat by moving into a hex containing enemy unit(s) and may not "control" a hex for purposes of victory determination.

Sniper teams were typically two man affairs (shooter and spotter) and were not equipped for or typically expert in assault combat.


Special Operators

Snipers requires three operations to activate, like a gun or a vehicle.

Sniper teams took considerable time and effort to set up the best possible shot. This preparation is "baked into" their firepower and this requirement for three operations to activate.

Concealed Attack

A sniper unit does not remove its concealment marker when it makes a fire attack. If there are more than one units which are concealed which have line of sight to the target, the player does not even reveal which concealed stack made the attack. If this is the case, the player indicates all of the various concealed stacks which may have made the fire attack.

Note: As this requires honesty on the part of the owning player, the use of snipers in game requires a certain amount of trust between players.

One shot, One kill.


Snipers have firepower which, at first glance, appears to be far out of proportion for a single man using a bolt action rifle (6 to 8 FP). When a sniper attacks, roll its attack normally. However, the asterisk next to the firepower is a reminder that a sniper cannot cause casualties on squad markers, only suppression. When firing on a squad (only), if a fire attack would normally be a casualty or elimination result, the enemy squad is marked as Fully Suppressed normally but it is not reduced. An elimination casualty result has the effect listed below under command decapitation.

Weapons teams are not subject to this restriction and may be reduced or eliminated by sniper fire. All other effects of fire are normal.

[snipers are especially useful for taking out operators of heavy machine guns, mortars and the like]

Careful Shooter

A sniper may not conduct a fire attack or be marked "Op Fire" if it is not under a concealment marker. If a sniper unit is activated and it does not have a concealment marker, it must attempt to move so that it ends its movement out of LOS of an enemy unit.

The range of a sniper is noted as being 2-X (where X is the maximum range and varies) - snipers cannot engage targets in adjacent hexes.

[Snipers will always try to set up shots so that it does not put their position in danger.]

Command Decapitation

If a sniper successfully hits a squad causing suppression or full suppression, the squad must make a morale check based on its final suppression level. If the check is successful, there is no additional effect. If the check is unsuccessful, the owning player loses one of its command points for the turn. If the owning player has no unspent command points left that turn, there is no additional effect.

If the owning player rolls a 10 during this morale check, the player permanently loses one command point for the remainder of the game. This command point is lost even if it has already been spent.

If a sniper fire attack on a squad results in an elimination result, the controlling player automatically fails this check, but still rolls one die to see if there is a permanent loss of a command point (a roll of "10" is a CP loss).

[Snipers were trained to pick off officers, NCOs and other soldiers who took initiative to move the unit forward. This became such an issue as the war progressed that experienced officers and NCOs began removing easily visible signs of rank and carrying standard squad weapons so as not to distinguish themselves from the men they lead]

Requirement to always move while concealed removed. Inability to stack with other units removed. Command decapitation rules tweaked. I will re-order these rules for future playtesting, this was more so that I got the thematic reasons for each rule laid out in order.
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Christopher O
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A draft layout/concept drawing:



Note, this is not at all final figure artwork - it's a placeholder.

I'll do up alternate counters for the other proposed versions when I'm able. I ran out of steam last night.
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Andy Skinner
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A bit bolder on the crosshairs, maybe?

How attached are you to the roll of 10 making you lose a command point permanently? I think you'd want to lose as many rules as possible, and that one would get rid of two. Is that central to your vision of how this should work? Any others that don't _really_ need to be there? Abstractions to make? This is all from my personal perspective of having trouble keeping track when there are a number of rules/exceptions.

andy
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andyskinner wrote:
A bit bolder on the crosshairs, maybe?

How attached are you to the roll of 10 making you lose a command point permanently? I think you'd want to lose as many rules as possible, and that one would get rid of two. Is that central to your vision of how this should work? Any others that don't _really_ need to be there? Abstractions to make? This is all from my personal perspective of having trouble keeping track when there are a number of rules/exceptions.

andy


Antoine de St-Exupery said that perfection is achieved not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing to take away.

I'm not married to the command point loss.

In that vein - what can I strip away to minimize the number of exceptions?


Revised/Pared Down Sniper Rules


A crosshairs icon in upper left of a unit indicates that it is a sniper unit, with the following rules covering their use and operation.

Move and Stay in the Shadows

A sniper is always set up under a concealment marker when included as part of the starting forces. If a sniper moves onto the board as part of attacking forces or a reinforcement, it enters with a concealed marker.

[This can be safely removed. Snipers which enter a board can be moved by the player so that they "pick up" concealment at the conclusion of their move.]

If a sniper is not under a concealment marker at the beginning of the rout phase, the sniper MUST rout during the rout phase following standard rout rules, regardless of whether it is currently in cover or in the proximity of nearby enemy units.

[I think this is thematic and representative of how a sniper team operates. If a sniper team's cover is blown, they booked it out of there. I don't think I shall remove this]


Single Shooter

If a sniper receives a casualty result, it is immediately eliminated (it only has a single step). Snipers also usually have a subscript firepower of 1 in melee combat. Snipers may not initiate melee combat by moving into a hex containing enemy unit(s) and may not "control" a hex for purposes of victory determination.


Sniper teams were typically two man affairs (shooter and spotter) and were not equipped for or typically expert in assault combat.


[None of these are particularly exceptions. If there is no "reduced" side, the unit is eliminated. The subscript is on the counter, so there is no need to clarify that with a separate rule. The inability of a sniper team to control a hex... well, I'd rather that still be the case, but for the purposes of simplicity - removed.]


Special Operators

Snipers requires three operations to activate, like a gun or a vehicle.


Sniper teams took considerable time and effort to set up the best possible shot. This preparation is "baked into" their firepower and this requirement for three operations to activate.

[This isn't a particularly necessary exception. Let's remove it.]


Concealed Attack

A sniper unit does not remove its concealment marker when it makes a fire attack. If there are more than one units which are concealed which have line of sight to the target, the player does not even reveal which concealed stack made the attack. If this is the case, the player indicates all of the various concealed stacks which may have made the fire attack.

Note: As this requires honesty on the part of the owning player, the use of snipers in game requires a certain amount of trust between players.

[This I think is pretty important and works hand in hand with the concealment rule. I'm leaving this as is.]

One shot, One kill.

Snipers have firepower which, at first glance, appears to be far out of proportion for a single man using a bolt action rifle (6 to 8 FP). When a sniper attacks, roll its attack normally. However, the asterisk next to the firepower is a reminder that a sniper cannot cause casualties on squad markers, only suppression. When firing on a squad (only), if a fire attack would normally be a casualty or elimination result, the enemy squad is marked as Fully Suppressed normally but it is not reduced. An elimination casualty result has the effect listed below under command decapitation.

Weapons teams are not subject to this restriction and may be reduced or eliminated by sniper fire. All other effects of fire are normal.

[snipers are especially useful for taking out operators of heavy machine guns, mortars and the like]

[This, to me, is also thematic. I am inclined to keep the exception for WTs. Thoughts?]


Careful Shooter

A sniper may not conduct a fire attack or be marked "Op Fire" if it is not under a concealment marker. If a sniper unit is activated and it does not have a concealment marker, it must attempt to move so that it ends its movement out of LOS of an enemy unit.

The range of a sniper is noted as being 2-X (where X is the maximum range and varies) - snipers cannot engage targets in adjacent hexes.

[Snipers will always try to set up shots so that it does not put their position in danger.]

[Would also prefer to keep

Command Decapitation

If a sniper successfully hits a squad causing suppression or full suppression, the squad must make a morale check based on its final suppression level. If the check is successful, there is no additional effect. If the check is unsuccessful, the owning player loses one of its command points for the turn. If the owning player has no unspent command points left that turn, there is no additional effect.

If the owning player rolls a 10 during this morale check, the player permanently loses one command point for the remainder of the game. This command point is lost even if it has already been spent.

If a sniper fire attack on a squad results in an elimination result, the controlling player automatically fails this check, but still rolls one die to see if there is a permanent loss of a command point (a roll of "10" is a CP loss).

[Snipers were trained to pick off officers, NCOs and other soldiers who took initiative to move the unit forward. This became such an issue as the war progressed that experienced officers and NCOs began removing easily visible signs of rank and carrying standard squad weapons so as not to distinguish themselves from the men they lead]

[This I think should stay... but how about this - if a sniper inflicts an elimination result, the CP is lost for the turn. No morale check required.]

Condensed, re-ordered version:

A crosshairs icon in upper left of a unit indicates that it is a sniper unit, with the following rules covering their use and operation.

A sniper may not conduct a fire attack or be marked "Op Fire" if it is not under a concealment marker. If a sniper unit is activated and it does not have a concealment marker, it must attempt to move so that it ends its movement out of LOS of an enemy unit and in terrain with a beneficial FP modifier.

A sniper unit does not remove its concealment marker when it makes a fire attack. If there are more than one concealed units friendly to the sniper unit which have line of sight to the enemy target, the player does not even reveal which concealed stack made the attack. If this is the case, the player indicates all of the various concealed stacks which may have made the fire attack.

When a sniper attacks, roll its attack normally. However, the asterisk next to the firepower is a reminder that a sniper cannot cause casualties on squad markers, only suppression. When firing on a squad (only), if a fire attack would normally be a casualty or elimination result, the enemy squad is marked as Fully Suppressed normally but it is not reduced. If a sniper unit inflicts an elimination result on a squad, the controlling player loses one command point until the end of the turn. If the owning player has no unspent command points left that turn, there is no additional effect. Fire attacks on guns and WTs are resolved normally.

If a sniper unit is not under a concealment marker at the beginning of the rout phase, the sniper unit MUST rout during the rout phase following standard rout rules, regardless of whether it is currently in cover or in the proximity of nearby enemy units.
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J Emmett
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thumbsup That condensed version is a huge improvement. Regardless of how good those rules are in play, it's a good example of a pretty manageable number of exceptions, and relatively intuitive after reading (especially the conceal and routing rules).

BoB's strength is its short rulebook, ruthless efficiency, and an almost fanatical devotion to the Pope, so all that sniper chrome was starting to worry me. But four exceptions is moving in the right direction. Can you fit them on a summary card?

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Erik Stonemark
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I am initially thinking this is a very workable condensed rule set for the sniper unit itself. I will try to do an improve scenario this weekend and see how it works out.

Any thoughts as to sniper unit limits(I am initially thinking that in most scenarios there should be no more than 1 per side.) If adjusting a scenario to include a sniper, any thoughts on how to balance the adjustment? Does the side that gets a sniper loose some other unit in a type of force exchange, or should the opposing non-sniper side get an extra unit for balance. Obviously if both sides get a sniper then play is theoretically balanced(both sides force exchange could also work).

May I submit a possible scenario name? In that I have seen from some of your other scenarios that some puns or dry humor is used.
My suggestion is "SNIPE-HUNT"

Thanks for putting in the thought and work on this, I am already looking forward to trying snipers, counter looks good, hope to see more?
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Jim Krohn
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Quote:
Does the side that gets a sniper loose some other unit in a type of force exchange, or should the opposing non-sniper side get an extra unit for balance.


This is actually what I was going to suggest - the idea of a force exchange. My first guess would be to substitute for a WT.

Quote:
Obviously if both sides get a sniper then play is theoretically balanced.


Not necessarily.



Remember that this could have a big impact on game play. In certain situations being able to remove a command point from the defense can really make a difference when you are storming their position. This is all very theoretical right now, you will have to playtest and see.
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Erik Stonemark
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Jim Krohn wrote:
Quote:


[q]Obviously if both sides get a sniper then play is theoretically balanced.


Not necessarily.



Remember that this could have a big impact on game play. In certain situations being able to remove a command point from the defense can really make a difference when you are storming their position. This is all very theoretical right now, you will have to playtest and see.


Thanks for the input Jim, it is much appreciated. I am still a little green when it comes to tactical style games, and have been making progress into your games, and I'm very eager and enthusiastic to try this out and will keep an eye out for balance when I play test.
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Ron A
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Quote:
Remember that this could have a big impact on game play.


Exactly. My thoughts are that snipers are way overpowered units that are going to be used as Rambos, leading the attack on the battlefield, picking off WTs willy nilly while remaining virtually invulnerable.

I really like the elegant rules system of BoB. There is a very subtle tension when you play the game. At what point does a player trade concealment for the chance to fire? It is not a decision made lightly, on offense or defense. You get to fire, but at the cost of +10% chance of a bad result to your firing units.

There is no downside to owning a sniper. It has the FP and range of a MG, but because they don't lose concealment when they fire there is no cost to firing. The tension is gone.

Snipers open the way to gamey tactics. Snipers will shoot first and shoot often to remove opposing concealment and add suppression. Then the regular squads will have a path to melee the suppressed defenders with greatly reduced risk.

Do what Jim suggests: trade a WT for a Russian sniper in the Infantry Training Scenario. The sniper is the obvious unit to soften up the Germans. How realistic is that? How prevalent was it?

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Andy Skinner
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Nice job condensing. I haven't digested, but it is much less intimidating.

andy
 
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Christopher O
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I am working on a test scenario using a situation typically encountered in Normandy. I will post it, along with the additional sniper counters, when it is complete, to let people test.
 
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Christopher O
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SBGrad wrote:
There is no downside to owning a sniper. It has the FP and range of a MG, but because they don't lose concealment when they fire there is no cost to firing. The tension is gone.


That is a very good point. How about this:

If there are more than one concealed units friendly to the sniper unit which have line of sight to the enemy target, the player does not reveal which concealed stack made the attack and the sniper unit does not lose its concealment marker. If this is the case, the player indicates all of the various concealed stacks which may have made the fire attack. In all other cases, the sniper unit loses its concealment marker when firing and moving like standard units.
 
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Erik Stonemark
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Jim also made a good point in that this is in the theoretical stages yet. Thorough playtesting will hopefully help iron out some kinks or gamey situations. No, snipers should not be"Rambo"s. However in this condensed iteration of rules, they cant inflict casualty/step loss, and rout/displace when loose conceal. The opposing player needs to find them quickly and get the concealed counter off at the least, snipers are subject to enemy fire(perhaps being only one or two man units their casualty #'s could vary, but I think once located they are likely nullified There should be max 1 per side.
Perhaps a prof check to maintain conceal after firing, getting more difficult to complete a prof check each shot from same hex(though I think this might risk adding rules back in the mix that was just stripped down)
Let's play test some and see what everyone comes up with. I am perfectly happy if this only winds up being hypothetical scenarios and not in the official rules, my initial intent was purely curiosity, it has led to a lot of interesting discussion, and it has given me a glimpse of the creative process when it comes to game design.

Thanks again to everyone for their input and work, kudos to all.


 
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