Andrew Gregory
Australia
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If an unarmoured vehicle is fired at as part of return fire or reaction fire and the firer uses a Direct Ranged Attack then it HAS to be treated as AT fire on the AT table, correct?

If it's not return fire or reaction fire, say during the action phase as a regular ranged attack, is it a choice of using the RAT table as normal or treating it as an AT attack on the AT table?

If you return fire or reaction fire using a Direct Ranged Attack against the actions of a moving or firing AFV (for example) then you would use the RAT as normal (for possible suppression in the hex), but what happens if there is an unarmoured vehicle in the hex as well? Is it just affected with the result on the RAT or is it susceptible to some sort of AT attack roll?

Lastly, it doesn't say anything about attacking with your RAS during reaction fire (it does for return fire) but I assume there's nothing from stopping you if it's advantageous - if a AFV moves into a hex with multiple infantry units the reaction fire might suppress the infantry prior to an anticipated combat. If it's an unarmoured vehicle then I assume you couldn't use that tactic?
 
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Bryan Felsher
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ARC fire of any type ALWAYS uses the AT fire table.

You just get the OPTION to use the Ranged Attack Strength if you're firing at an unarmored vehicle. You simply replace the AT strength with your RAS value.

Basically, you're saving your cannon ammo and using your cheaper machine gun ammo because the vehicle is unarmored.

In practice, I think you'll find it's nearly always better to use AT fire. But some of the half-tracks have pretty good RAS and you might get into a position where that's all you've got available...and you're willing to risk them getting shot right back at.

Hope that helps.
 
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Andrew Gregory
Australia
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Thanks Bryan,

I think what was confusing me was whether you had to fire specifically AT fire as reaction fire or return fire at a vehicle that initiated the trigger. Obviously there could be benefits to spraying a hex with MG fire as reaction fire to the move of a vehicle into a hex full of other units vulnerable to a ranged attack. You could suppress those other units or force step reduction.

Looking at the ARC flowchart it looks like that isn't an option. Your choice of fire (AT or Ranged Attack) is dictated by the type of unit that caused the trigger - either a vehicle or non-vehicle.

So getting back go my unarmoured vehicle thing: if a truck wandered into a hex with infantry in it and got shot at, it would always be attacked on the AT table and the infantry would be fine. Conversely if the infantry got shot at as part of the ARC (return fire) and there just happened to be a truck and an AT gun in the hex any step reduction would only affect the infantry and the whole hex may be suppressed.

If that's not right then I really need to get back to basics 101.
 
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Kenneth Lury
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Bryan,
nice clear answer !
 
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Mark Mokszycki
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ARC fire could also be a Return Fire Ranged Attack in which case it uses the RAT. So it's not always AT Fire (but it usually is).
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Bryan Felsher
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Oh yeah...Forgot about that exception. If I'm not mistaken, I only use it against Big Guns...and I do use that one quite often because of the +3 modifier. But you can't get a suppression result- only a step reduction. Somehow, it doesn't feel like the ARC, since it isn't a vehicle.


 
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Bryan Felsher
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Hey Andrew,

Just remember that AT fire is ALWAYS against a SINGLE vehicle whether it is armored or not. Therefore, you must be able to see the UNIT (not just the hex). In most cases, RANGED attacks are against a HEX (with the exception of using RAS on the AT fire table against an unarmored vehicle or Return Fire Ranged Attack), so you just need LOS to the hex. The unit itself can be concealed (though you will suffer a negative DRM). Here is the exception to these two statements:

(First off, you can Return Fire Ranged attack against any unit that just AT fired, but the thing to remember in Op D is that AFV's will not suffer a step reduction from anything but AT fire. Because of this, Return fire Ranged Attacks will nearly always be against an AT gun like a 6 PDR or a 17 PDR)

If an Anti-tank gun (like a 6 PDR, for instance) fires at a vehicle, this is also an ARC trigger. Any unit with a ranged attack strength, and range and LOS to the unit (LOS must be traced thru a frontal hex side if the 6 PDR is in any terrain but field), can do a Return Fire Ranged attack. The reasoning behind this is that you can't do an AT attack since it is not a vehicle. You will get that really nice +3 modifier and use the Ranged Attack Table. You need to get a modified die result of at least 17 using 2D6, or nothing happens, since you cannot suppress. You either kill or you don't kill.

Infantry are completely unaffected by the ARC. ARC is strictly vehicles, with the exception of Return Fire Ranged Attack against an AT gun.
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Andrew Gregory
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Thanks for that. It seems very elegant and simple once you get your head around it but I've found it takes a couple reads through the rulebook to square things away. I'm very thankful for the tutorial scenarios which are a fabulous inclusion and a great way of putting the pieces together slowly.
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Mark Mokszycki
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Thanks for the excellent summary, Bryan.
 
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Mark Mokszycki
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fwiw the +3 DRM vs. big guns was a latecomer. It was incorporated in the final ~9 months before publication. One of the biggest faults with the game at that time imo was the relative invulnerability of dug-in guns and mortars. You had to assault them to dislodge them. There was practically no other way, excepting an incredibly lucky roll on the RAT.

We experimented with different DRMs for return fire against these units and found that the +3 felt "just right" to cancel out the Dug-In markers that were usually present, and grant the firing tank or vehicle a significant chance of getting past that "Suppressed" result and achieving a step reduction. At first, I was very hesitant to add another exception or modifier to the rules. In this case, it was ultimately judged worth the weight of inclusion.

Now, hidden AT guns typically remain unharmed for as long as they remain concealed and don't fire. Once they fire, they become relatively vulnerable to return fire from vehicles' shells and anti-personnel MGs. And the targeted player is presented with an interesting risk vs. reward decision: Return fire, or Pass (since failure to deal a step reduction to the AT gun means it can fire again--and surely will, now that it's position has been revealed).
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