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Subject: Must "Out of the Sun" Bandits intercept Fighter Escorts? rss

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Barry Miller
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Hi,

Still loving this game... Anyway, must Bandits with the 'Out of the Sun' (OS) tactic be placed so to intercept a (low or sweeping) Fighter Escort?

To clarify:
As I read the rules, if a Fighter Escort is on the mission, placing bandits to intercept the Escort is totally optional. I.e., if the Escort is able to intercept two bandits, the player can decided to do that, or have the Escort intercept only one bandit, or none*. Any bandits not intercepted by the Escort would thusly have to be assigned to the bombers. If I've misinterpreted the rules concerning this aspect, then we can stop right here!

Question:
Assuming it is optional to place bandits against the Fighter Escort, I could choose to have the "OS" bandit intercept a Bomber Group instead of the (low or sweeping) Escort. So then wouldn't this be a "gamey" way to totally negate the bandit's OS tactic, as the OS tactic only works against Fighter Escorts? IOW, so to avoid this "gamesmanship", must a OS bandit be placed to intercept a (low or sweeping) Fighter Escort?

Also, it goes without saying that a German Defense Commander with the OS tactic is in play. So no reminders on that are necessary!

And for those who may wonder why this is even a question... This is a question only in that it seems "gamey" to be able to choose to have an OS bandit intercept the bombers instead of the Escort. I get that there may be situations when choosing to intercept the Escort is still the best option and thusly everything works as intended, but still, the "gameyness" aspect is why this sits in my head as a question. Otherwise, the rules seem pretty straight forward in this regard.

Thanks!


* Some may ask, "Why?": Let's say the mission has three strong bombers and the Fighter Escort is already at 5 losses. Only two bandits intercept the mission. It would then make sense to have the Escort intercept only one of the bandits while letting the bombers take on the other.


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Dean Brown
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Barry,
You pretty much have it correct. For high escorts, you need to roll a 5+ to choose the bandits and a 3+ for low escorts. For fighter sweeps, you cannot choose which bandits to intercept.

In hindsight, I might have made the escort rolls to choose bandits a little higher. But if you can choose, then you would let the OS bandits attack bombers.

Dean
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Barry Miller
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Dean,

Thank you for another quick reply. As such, it looks like I'm far from having it correct!

Based on the below excerpt from your reply, I've totally misunderstood the rules and have been playing this aspect incorrectly whenever the situation has arisen.

GrumpyOldGamer wrote:
But if you can choose, then you would let the OS bandits attack bombers.


I tried to be precise with my OP, but sometimes my added words for clarity sake only serves to muddy-up the waters. As I tried to convey in my OP, I assumed from some wording in rule 8.5.2, that having the bandits intercept the fighters is always optional. Further, I thought that needing to roll the 5+ was merely to see if you get to choose which bandits the Escort will intercept, but only after you've decided if bandits are going to intercept the Escort!

So obviously, I've misinterpreted this rule, big time. I'll be happy to share WHY I misinterpreted the wording, but won't waste people's time doing that with this post incase I'm the only dunderhead to have played this rule wrong. Simply that sometimes a sentence can be read two opposite ways, and I read two sentences in rule 8.5.2 opposite of what you intended!

Your excerpt above now makes everything crystal clear for me. You know how you can see something only one way, then someone points out a different way which causes you to wonder just how you ever saw it differently in the first place? Well, that's what that excerpt of yours did for me tonight! As I re-read 8.5.2 now, it's so obvious, what you're saying. And although I can still see how I arrived at my misinterpretation, it's very clear now how I did!
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Dean Brown
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Hi Barry...

Let's make sure we are saying the same thing...

If you are being attacked by 2 bandits (in spot 1 and 2), and your escort has 6 or less points of damage, you can choose to intercept both bandits, one bandit (the bandit in spot 1 if you can't choose), or no bandits. Any bandits not intercepted by the escorts attack the bombers.

If you are being attacked by 3+ bandits, then some of the bandits are going to intercept bombers. Lets say 4 bandits, on spots 1, 2, 3, and 4. You have a High Escort. You need to roll a 5 or better to choose which two of the four bandits you want to intercept. Otherwise, the bandits in spots 1 and 2 are intercepted by the Escort IF you want to intercept 2 bandits.

Let's say that bandit 2 has the OS tactic, and it's active. You roll to see if you can choose which bandits to intercept, and you roll a 6 (you can choose). Therefore, you can choose to intercept bandits 1 and 3, and let bandit 2 attack a bomber where the tactic isn't valid.

Let's say that when you rolled to choose, you rolled a 1. Then if you intercept any bandits with your escort, it must be bandit 1 and then bandit 2.

I think you had it right the first time... maybe I didn't understand exactly what you were asking then. You don't have to intercept any bandits, and then they attack the bombers. Because the escorts are there to prevent that, maybe I was assuming that you would always want to anyway. The escorts are never forced to fight any bandits.

Sorry if I caused any confusion.

Dean
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Barry Miller
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Dean, thanks again for working to clarify things! It looks like I've been playing correctly per the rules all along... I feel better! But to do your thorough reply some justice, I don't want to leave it at that. So indulge me one last time as I try to confirm below that I'm getting what you're saying!

First, I think the hang-up here is the way we're using the word, "choose", which applies to two separate contexts throughout this discussion. I think both contexts have been conflated, leading to confusion at least on my part... One "choose" is the choice we enjoy, regarding whether or not the Escorts will intercept any bandits. The other "choose" is the choice we make when deciding (if able) which bandits to intercept.

The only thing you wrote that raised an eyebrow was when you said if your Escort has "6 or less points of damage"... (The rulebook (8.5.2) says losses of 5 or less = 2 bandits). I assume the rulebook is correct, here?

Anyway, on to the meat of the conversation...

So to be sure I'm getting it all correct,, this is how I read things, based on your reply. Please confirm or correct where necessary!:

- Using your example, let's say I'm attacked by 2 bandits (in spots 1 and 2)
- My escort has 5 pts or less of damage, so it can intercept up to two (both in this case) bandits. I choose whether or not I want the Escort to intercept any of the bandits.
- Thusly, I can choose to intercept either zero, one, or two of the two bandits with my Escort, as follows:
-- If I choose to intercept both bandits, then both are intercepted by the Escort.
-- If I choose to intercept only one bandit, then I roll a die. If I roll a 3+ (low escort), or a 5+ (high escort), then I get to choose which of the two bandits I want the Escort to intercept. (If I had NOT rolled a 3+/5+, then I would NOT be able to choose which bandit, and instead, would be forced to intercept the first bandit (farthest to the right in spot 1)). Regardless, the 2nd bandit would have to be handled by the bombers.
-- If I choose to intercept NONE of the bandits with my Escort, then both bandits are assigned to the bomber groups, per the instructions at the bottom of 8.5.2.

NOW, if my Escort had 6+ points of damage (again, per 8.5.2), then I would be able to intercept only ONE bandit with my Escort, if I choose to. If I do choose so, then I follow the same procedures as above, rolling for a 3+/5+ to see if I can choose which of the bandits is the one that my Escort can intercept. If I fail the roll, then I'm stuck intercepting the bandit in Spot #1.

And essentially, the same procedure holds true for 3 or more bandits. So using your example of four bandits, in spots 1-4, if my Escort qualifies for being able to intercept two bandits (vice only one bandit due to 6+ losses)), then I can choose to have my Escort intercept either 0, 1, or 2 of the four bandits.
From this point, the procedure would be exactly as I described above, except that if I choose to intercept 2 bandits with the Escort, AND if I FAIL the 3+/5+ test, then I'm forced to automatically intercept only the bandits in spots 1 and 2. Whereas if I had succeeded at the +3/+5 test, then I would get to choose which two of the four bandits I want the Escort to intercept.

Or, I could choose to intercept only one, or none of the four bandits with my Escort! IOW, I don't need to roll any dice in order to enjoy this decision. Let's say for argument's sake that all four bandits have the OS tactic (work with me here)... I could then choose to have the Escort intercept NONE of the bandits, thereby sending them all to the bombers and in turn negating their OS advantage. (I'm not saying that's a smart or desirable play, but just for the purpose of this post...).

Whew! I think that's it. Do I have that all correct?

Again, I appreciate your patience!
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Barry Miller
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Dean,

Also, you mentioned at the end of your reply that you read my OP assuming I would [naturally] want the Escorts to intercept as many bandits as possible. Well, I can think of several reasons why this might not be the case... am I out in left field in reasoning that sometimes I don't want the Escorts to intercept?

For instance:
- If my Escort took enough damage in the first hex to become severely shaken, I might want to weigh my options in the 2nd hex and have the Escort not engage. Perhaps I have a greater need for the Escort on a mission coming up, and now that he's shaken, it changes things.

Or, considering that one of the goals is to diminish the Luftwaffe (i.e., shoot down as many bandits as possible), then:
- If my Escort is a Recruit and my Bombers are Veteran, considering the situation, the bombers may have a better chance of ripping the bandits to shreds than the Escort would. In this situation, being a recruit, the Escort is on the mission only to get the experience points.

(As I'm in the fourth month of my current game, I'm seeing this happening more and more, where the bombers are getting better at shooting down the bandits! So sometimes I decide to have the bombers engage the bandits instead of having the Escort engage. Of course, it's all situational... a lot depends on the AtA strength and health of the bombers, how much damage the target already has on it, the Target Bound Event, the AtA of the Escort, etc, etc... a lot of factors always have to be weighed when making the decision, which is one of the reasons I love this game)!

- Or, as raised in the OP, perhaps due to enemy tactics, I'd rather have the bombers engage a particular bandit than the Escort (if able to choose, or course)!

Bottom Line: Yes! The number one goal is to get the bombers to the target, which means keeping the bandits OFF their backs! Thusly it's almost always a good idea to have the Escort engage as many bandits as possible. BUT, there may be times when the better option is to have the Escort intercept less bandits than able, as described above. And this sort of decison gets to what I was driving at, with my OP. That such decisions (especially the last one, about combating enemy tactics), are not very thematic or realistic, leading to some of these decisions having a "gamey" feeling to them.

Thoughts?

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Dean Brown
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Barry,
I am going to be out all day (Hershey Park!), so I will respond to this later tonight or tomorrow.
Dean
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Dean Brown
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Yes, everything below looks correct (including the 5 or less damage points).

bgm1961 wrote:

Dean, thanks again for working to clarify things! It looks like I've been playing correctly per the rules all along... I feel better! But to do your thorough reply some justice, I don't want to leave it at that. So indulge me one last time as I try to confirm below that I'm getting what you're saying!

First, I think the hang-up here is the way we're using the word, "choose", which applies to two separate contexts throughout this discussion. I think both contexts have been conflated, leading to confusion at least on my part... One "choose" is the choice we enjoy, regarding whether or not the Escorts will intercept any bandits. The other "choose" is the choice we make when deciding (if able) which bandits to intercept.

The only thing you wrote that raised an eyebrow was when you said if your Escort has "6 or less points of damage"... (The rulebook (8.5.2) says losses of 5 or less = 2 bandits). I assume the rulebook is correct, here?

Anyway, on to the meat of the conversation...

So to be sure I'm getting it all correct,, this is how I read things, based on your reply. Please confirm or correct where necessary!:

- Using your example, let's say I'm attacked by 2 bandits (in spots 1 and 2)
- My escort has 5 pts or less of damage, so it can intercept up to two (both in this case) bandits. I choose whether or not I want the Escort to intercept any of the bandits.
- Thusly, I can choose to intercept either zero, one, or two of the two bandits with my Escort, as follows:
-- If I choose to intercept both bandits, then both are intercepted by the Escort.
-- If I choose to intercept only one bandit, then I roll a die. If I roll a 3+ (low escort), or a 5+ (high escort), then I get to choose which of the two bandits I want the Escort to intercept. (If I had NOT rolled a 3+/5+, then I would NOT be able to choose which bandit, and instead, would be forced to intercept the first bandit (farthest to the right in spot 1)). Regardless, the 2nd bandit would have to be handled by the bombers.
-- If I choose to intercept NONE of the bandits with my Escort, then both bandits are assigned to the bomber groups, per the instructions at the bottom of 8.5.2.

NOW, if my Escort had 6+ points of damage (again, per 8.5.2), then I would be able to intercept only ONE bandit with my Escort, if I choose to. If I do choose so, then I follow the same procedures as above, rolling for a 3+/5+ to see if I can choose which of the bandits is the one that my Escort can intercept. If I fail the roll, then I'm stuck intercepting the bandit in Spot #1.

And essentially, the same procedure holds true for 3 or more bandits. So using your example of four bandits, in spots 1-4, if my Escort qualifies for being able to intercept two bandits (vice only one bandit due to 6+ losses)), then I can choose to have my Escort intercept either 0, 1, or 2 of the four bandits.
From this point, the procedure would be exactly as I described above, except that if I choose to intercept 2 bandits with the Escort, AND if I FAIL the 3+/5+ test, then I'm forced to automatically intercept only the bandits in spots 1 and 2. Whereas if I had succeeded at the +3/+5 test, then I would get to choose which two of the four bandits I want the Escort to intercept.

Or, I could choose to intercept only one, or none of the four bandits with my Escort! IOW, I don't need to roll any dice in order to enjoy this decision. Let's say for argument's sake that all four bandits have the OS tactic (work with me here)... I could then choose to have the Escort intercept NONE of the bandits, thereby sending them all to the bombers and in turn negating their OS advantage. (I'm not saying that's a smart or desirable play, but just for the purpose of this post...).

Whew! I think that's it. Do I have that all correct?

Again, I appreciate your patience!
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Dean Brown
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I agree with your logic below. It isn't something that I regularly think about, which obviously doesn't make it wrong. It's always interesting to see how others play the game, especially when it's different from the way I usually think about it.

I usually only have 1 Fighter Group, so when I run two missions, I have to choose which mission to send the Fighter Group with. So part of the decision is the capabilities of the Bomber Groups to handle Bandits, as you hint at below.

Dean

bgm1961 wrote:
Dean,

Also, you mentioned at the end of your reply that you read my OP assuming I would [naturally] want the Escorts to intercept as many bandits as possible. Well, I can think of several reasons why this might not be the case... am I out in left field in reasoning that sometimes I don't want the Escorts to intercept?

For instance:
- If my Escort took enough damage in the first hex to become severely shaken, I might want to weigh my options in the 2nd hex and have the Escort not engage. Perhaps I have a greater need for the Escort on a mission coming up, and now that he's shaken, it changes things.

Or, considering that one of the goals is to diminish the Luftwaffe (i.e., shoot down as many bandits as possible), then:
- If my Escort is a Recruit and my Bombers are Veteran, considering the situation, the bombers may have a better chance of ripping the bandits to shreds than the Escort would. In this situation, being a recruit, the Escort is on the mission only to get the experience points.

(As I'm in the fourth month of my current game, I'm seeing this happening more and more, where the bombers are getting better at shooting down the bandits! So sometimes I decide to have the bombers engage the bandits instead of having the Escort engage. Of course, it's all situational... a lot depends on the AtA strength and health of the bombers, how much damage the target already has on it, the Target Bound Event, the AtA of the Escort, etc, etc... a lot of factors always have to be weighed when making the decision, which is one of the reasons I love this game)!

- Or, as raised in the OP, perhaps due to enemy tactics, I'd rather have the bombers engage a particular bandit than the Escort (if able to choose, or course)!

Bottom Line: Yes! The number one goal is to get the bombers to the target, which means keeping the bandits OFF their backs! Thusly it's almost always a good idea to have the Escort engage as many bandits as possible. BUT, there may be times when the better option is to have the Escort intercept less bandits than able, as described above. And this sort of decison gets to what I was driving at, with my OP. That such decisions (especially the last one, about combating enemy tactics), are not very thematic or realistic, leading to some of these decisions having a "gamey" feeling to them.

Thoughts?

 
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Barry Miller
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Dean,

Much obliged!

I appreciate the time you took to review my posts.

 
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