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Subject: Can you shift fire to an unoccupied card? rss

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Yani
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The new edition rules make it clear in the action menu that this is the case. I believe this was not the case before, and would like confirmation, as this seems a bit overpowering as you can game the placement of enemy packages (they do not place in VOF or PDF-direction cards).

Can you really shift fire to any unoccupied card you want?
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AGUSTI BARRIO RUIZ
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Yes, you can. For example, you are expecting than an enemy unit will fall back to an empty card without VOF. For example, a german sniper spotted in this turn (snipers will fall back if they're spotted). Then you shift fire to that empty card because you know that the sniper will fall back there (-2 for being EXPOSED).

In military terms you're supressing any possible enemy movement in that target card.

However, remember you're tracking ammo and could be wasting LMG o HMG ammo shifting fire to an empty card. This wouldn't be a clever decision if you're running short of ammo but if your troops are shooting with S or A VOF then could be a good command.


Also remember that your troops never will cease fire merely because there are no more enemies in the target card, you need to give that command if you want to stop it.

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The other Euro guy
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Is it also legal to shift fire to a card containing unspotted units?
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AGUSTI BARRIO RUIZ
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Good question, that's why this game needs a better manual and better examples, and better explanations. It deserves more love. There are "holes" in the rules and a lot of "if" situations.
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César Moreno
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ReggieMcFly wrote:
Is it also legal to shift fire to a card containing unspotted units?


I will quote the rulebook, point 9.3:

Quote:
An unspotted enemy cannot be purposely targeted. There are only two cases where an unspotted enemy unit can be affected by a friendly VOF
• If you receive a Battalion Fire Mission and one or both of the adjacent cards you choose has unspotted enemies present.
• If an unspotted enemy unit ends up on a card that already has a friendly VOF on it (one example of this would be if US units are firing into an empty card and a PC placement result puts an enemy on that card)


Now, there might be a third case (regarding grazing fire) in which unspotted units would be affected by Vof, as suggested in this thread:

https://www.boardgamegeek.com/article/19042800#19042800

I haven't seen this third case confirmed or denied by the powers that be.
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Ricky Gray
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Quote:
Is it also legal to shift fire to a card containing unspotted units?


No. As Cesar rightly points out, that is not allowed per 9.3.

Best,
Ricky
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Andy B
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Preacher wrote:
Quote:
Is it also legal to shift fire to a card containing unspotted units?


No. As Cesar rightly points out, that is not allowed per 9.3.

Best,
Ricky


So, in summary, it is legal to switch fire to a card with no unspotted enemy but illegal to shift fire to a card containing an unspotted enemy. This makes no sense to me. An empty card is equivalent to a card containing an unspotted enemy that is otherwise empty, is it not?

Should not this be simplified to a rule saying that one may only shift fire to a card that contains a spotted enemy, or, the other way, one may shift fire to an empty card or one containing an unspotted enemy but that enemy is unaffected by the vof?
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Yani
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Haplo_Patryn wrote:
In military terms you're supressing any possible enemy movement in that target card.


It's been a long time since I was in the army, but I've heard only about suppressing the enemy, not a potential enemy's destination.

Regardless, seems a bit gamey to me, I won't play with that rule. I will simply allow to shift fire to other spotted units only, not unoccupied or unspotted units.

---

Btw, got back into the game recently after a few years, with the new edition. Although I love the game, and appreciate that the new rules are better than the old ones and of course the community here, the rulebook is still a mess, sorry to say. Full of holes, bits and pieces of rules on the same topic all over the place, and in general, not up to the game standard.

Not a criticism for those who contributed to it, I salute you and appreciate your work, just a matter of fact opinion from a gamer that has played over 1000 different games in the last years.

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William Jason Raynovich
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coralsaw wrote:
Haplo_Patryn wrote:
In military terms you're supressing any possible enemy movement in that target card.


It's been a long time since I was in the army, but I've heard only about suppressing the enemy, not a potential enemy's destination.

Regardless, seems a bit gamey to me, I won't play with that rule. I will simply allow to shift fire to other spotted units only, not unoccupied or unspotted units.

---

Btw, got back into the game recently after a few years, with the new edition. Although I love the game, and appreciate that the new rules are better than the old ones and of course the community here, the rulebook is still a mess, sorry to say. Full of holes, bits and pieces of rules on the same topic all over the place, and in general, not up to the game standard.

Not a criticism for those who contributed to it, I salute you and appreciate your work, just a matter of fact opinion from a gamer that has played over 1000 different games in the last years.



Here is the problem with your house rule: If you use a pyrotechnic as a shift fire order and a card with US units is firing at only ONE card that it could possibly fire at, then you are in a situation where there is NO legal choice. This can very well happen and is part of the chaos of battle, I am guessing. The unit sees the pyrotechnic, shifts fire to an empty card. This can be undesirable for one card, but you might want another card to shift fire.
 
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Jerry Tresman
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I agree with Yani but it is down to the man on the ground to make the decision.
Friendly Fire Choice
benhull wrote:
coralsaw wrote:
Despite looking at the rules and forum, I haven't got a complete view of the subject.

1. Can a friendy unit fire on a mutually occupied card with a spotted enemy?

Yes, but they will not automatically do so if they were not already firing on that card.
Quote:

2. Can a mortar indirect fire on a mutually occupied card with a spotted enemy?

Yes
Quote:

3. Can a FO bring down smoke on a mutually occupied card with a spotted enemy?

Yes
Quote:

4. Can a FO bring down HE on a mutually occupied card with a spotted enemy?

Yes
Quote:

5. Can a grenade be fired on a mutually occupied card with a spotted enemy, targeting the enemy cover only?

Yes, if they miss the Grenade Miss will affect all occupants.
In this game you may target mutually occupied cards and it will affect all occupants, this happens frequently in actual combat especially if your friendly units have more advantageous cover.

benhull wrote:
The bazooka firing on the card will place a PDF to that card from the bazooka's card, so that anyone else there would also fire there as well. If the bazooka's card already has a pdf in a different direction, it would need to have a shift fire command to the LMG card to fire on it. As the rules 6.2.3 Pg 31 Paragraph 4 clearly state that ranged Grenade attacks must be along the PDF.

Some folks get confused on firing on friendly occupied cards, units do not automatically open fire on friendly occupied cards, but you can order then to shift fire onto an friendly occupied card. A successful bazooka attack would be useful, but a miss (-1) would apply to all occupants friendly and enemy.


Occupied and Unspotted covered by the Rules my Bold

4.2.4.l Shift Fire: Move the VOF/PDF in any desired direction, engaging any other card in the originator’s LOS, including an unoccupied card (4.3.1, 6.1.2,
6.2.3).

With each on-map activity, all friendly units must be checked to see if they are eligible to open fire.

You do not Shift fire for Indirect Fire/Indirect Lay each new attack is essentially another call for fire even those targeting the same terrain.

6.7.1 Call for Fire Prerequisites
Target
You may only attempt a Call for Fire Action on a valid target.
For most Fire Missions a card with a spotted enemy unit is a
valid target. For Smoke/White Phosphorus intended to conceal
or screen movement, however, it may target any unoccupied card,
or a card containing unspotted enemy units (6.7.2C).

6.7.2 C. Smoke / White Phosphorous (WP)


9.3
An unspotted enemy cannot be purposely targeted. There are
only two cases where an unspotted enemy unit can be affected
by a friendly VOF:
• If you receive a Battalion Fire Mission and one or both of the
adjacent cards you choose has unspotted enemies present.
• If an unspotted enemy unit ends up on a card that already
has a friendly VOF on it (one example of this would be if
US units are firing into an empty card and a PC placement
result puts an enemy on that card)
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Ricky Gray
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Quote:
This makes no sense to me. An empty card is equivalent to a card containing an unspotted enemy that is otherwise empty, is it not?


No, it is not. One you know has no enemy; one you know does. And by "you" I mean the player.

Best,
Ricky
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Andy B
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Preacher wrote:
Quote:
This makes no sense to me. An empty card is equivalent to a card containing an unspotted enemy that is otherwise empty, is it not?


No, it is not. One you know has no enemy; one you know does. And by "you" I mean the player.

Best,
Ricky


Good point! But why is the player relevant? I’m assuming there is no difference to the troops and commanders in the game.

So, the troops either suspect a card is empty or they suspect there exist an enemy that is as yet unspotted. If the commander may order troops to fire at a suspected empty card then doesn’t it make even more sense for a commander to order troops to fire at a suspected but unseen enemy?

Edit—-> Even though as per game rules an unspotted enemy is unaffected by vof...

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Ricky Gray
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Quote:
Good point! But why is the player relevant? I’m assuming there is no difference to the troops and commanders in the game.


The player is relevant in the rules consideration here primarily because it prevents gamey tactics.

Best,
Ricky
 
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Andy B
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Preacher wrote:
Quote:
Good point! But why is the player relevant? I’m assuming there is no difference to the troops and commanders in the game.


The player is relevant in the rules consideration here primarily because it prevents gamey tactics.

Best,
Ricky


Okay, fair enough. Though I don’t immediately see how the player could exploit the game by shifting fire to a card containing an unspotted enemy when said enemy is uneffected by vof due to being unspotted. But my mind remains open to the possibility

Then, in summary, are the following true:

1. A player may shift fire to an empty card or card containing a spotted enemy.

2. A player may not shift fire to a card containing only an unspotted enemy.


 
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Ricky Gray
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Quote:
Then, in summary, are the following true:

1. A player may shift fire to an empty card or card containing a spotted enemy.

2. A player may not shift fire to a card containing only an unspotted enemy.


Yes, sir. Good luck!

Best,
Ricky
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Ricky Gray
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Quote:
Even though as per game rules an unspotted enemy is unaffected by vof...


Would you give me a rules quote on this? I am trying to find it myself (yes, even me! :-)).

Thanks,
Ricky
 
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Jerry Tresman
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It is to do with limiting the gamer knowledge being omni present, the player knows when for sure whereas if he was boots on the ground he wouldn't, so it helps to limit this knowledge.
 
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Andy B
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Preacher wrote:
Quote:
Even though as per game rules an unspotted enemy is unaffected by vof...


Would you give me a rules quote on this? I am trying to find it myself (yes, even me! :-)).

Thanks,
Ricky



I’m afraid that I can not. I was just going with the flow and I assumed it was true.

 
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Ricky Gray
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Quote:
I was just going with the flow and I assumed it was true.


Ok, then I'm not crazy .

There is no rule that says VOF does not affect unspotted units.

Best,
Ricky
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Ron Lacock
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Preacher wrote:
Quote:
I was just going with the flow and I assumed it was true.


Ok, then I'm not crazy .

There is no rule that says VOF does not affect unspotted units.

Best,
Ricky


And that is the entire reason you cannot shift fire to a card with an unspotted unit.

What is amazing about this game is that most rules and processes follow what would normally happen in combat. This and a couple of other rules are simply in place to avoid gaming the system.
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Yani
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Insightful comments, guys, that help delve into the "why"s of the design.

Here is a cease/shift fire house rule set which I will test in my games.

1. Cease fire
All units on the card where the recipient unit of the order is, cease fire indefinitely. Mark the card with a red cube or token. No future direct fire VOF ever can originate from this card, unless: a) the cards gets vacated by all units, or b) a unit on the card is given a "Shift fire" order, or c) a VOF is placed on the card (by friendlies or enemies, choose own card VOF first, otherwise randomly which incoming PDF to return). In all 3 cases, remove the cube/token.

2. Shift fire
All units on the card start to or shift fire to a specified target card. The target card must contain spotted enemies and be within LOS of both the originator and at least 1 unit on the card. If there is a red cube/token on the card, remove it.

The above set seems to be simple and realistic enough. If you can spot unintended consequences, I would appreciate your input. If this variant rule set stands my tests, I will post it in the Variants forum.


 
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Jerry Tresman
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coralsaw wrote:
Insightful comments, guys, that help delve into the "why"s of the design.

Here is a cease/shift fire house rule set which I will test in my games.

1. Cease fire
All units on the card where the recipient unit of the order is, cease fire indefinitely. Mark the card with a red cube or token. No future direct fire VOF ever can originate from this card, unless: a) the cards gets vacated by all units, or b) a unit on the card is given a "Shift fire" order, or c) a VOF is placed on the card (by friendlies or enemies, choose own card VOF first, otherwise randomly which incoming PDF to return). In all 3 cases, remove the cube/token.

2. Shift fire
All units on the card start to or shift fire to a specified target card. The target card must contain spotted enemies and be within LOS of both the originator and at least 1 unit on the card. If there is a red cube/token on the card, remove it.

The above set seems to be simple and realistic enough. If you can spot unintended consequences, I would appreciate your input. If this variant rule set stands my tests, I will post it in the Variants forum.




Good luck with that , if ordered to cease fire soldiers will stop and take stock of the situation, if they see a threat or come under fire and someone fires(panic,survival instinct, training it will happen) they all will. The only way to stop firing is to issue a cease fire when there are no targets. In films it is different but not by much ambushing units generally hold fire until contact and even in fiction the odd soldier opens fire when told not to.



Shift Fire

How is your Shift fire different from the original ,apart from red cube , which you wouldn't need if you issued a shift fire because it doesn't need a cease fire first or has to be occupied.
The latter represents suppressing fire and creating a killing zone for channelling enemies into, as well as ensuring you do not friendly fire on moving units, soldiers will fire and normally maintain fire ,direction and volume, while they can,until ordered otherwise. :-

Move the VOF/PDF in any desired direction, engaging any other card in the originator’s LOS, including an unoccupied card (4.3.1, 6.1.2, 6.2.3).


Most games have this hold fire or choose the best shot option which is at best unrealistic. Maybe LNL , CC and SL / ASL should make the fire automatic with a priority list plus some margin for target choice if in a leader's sphere of influence.

Instead of making FoF like other tactical games maybe we should make them like FoF.whistle
 
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Yani
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Starman54 wrote:


Good luck with that , if ordered to cease fire soldiers will stop and take stock of the situation, if they see a threat or come under fire and someone fires(panic,survival instinct, training it will happen) they all will. The only way to stop firing is to issue a cease fire when there are no targets. In films it is different but not by much ambushing units generally hold fire until contact and even in fiction the odd soldier opens fire when told not to.


The abstraction for me works. I agree it is not realistic, but then FoF has similar abstractions in its rules. The benefit is that the rule is concise, has no ambiguities, and no apparent gamey or playability side-effects.

Starman54 wrote:

Shift Fire

How is your Shift fire different from the original ,apart from red cube , which you wouldn't need if you issued a shift fire because it doesn't need a cease fire first or has to be occupied.
The latter represents suppressing fire and creating a killing zone for channelling enemies into, as well as ensuring you do not friendly fire on moving units, soldiers will fire and normally maintain fire ,direction and volume, while they can,until ordered otherwise. :-

Move the VOF/PDF in any desired direction, engaging any other card in the originator’s LOS, including an unoccupied card (4.3.1, 6.1.2, 6.2.3).


Most games have this hold fire or choose the best shot option which is at best unrealistic. Maybe LNL , CC and SL / ASL should make the fire automatic with a priority list plus some margin for target choice if in a leader's sphere of influence.

Instead of making FoF like other tactical games maybe we should make them like FoF.whistle


The difference is: "The target card must contain spotted enemies". Regarding the creation of a kill zone, iirc firing happens when the enemy is channeled to the kill zone, not by excluding him with fire on unoccupied space... Perhaps I haven't understood you. Basically I feel that shifting fire to empty cards is gamey, and shifting cards to non-spotted enemies has, as discussed above, playability issues. The cube is needed to reverse the game state change of "Cease fire" and is not fiddly at all.
 
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Jerry Tresman
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coralsaw wrote:
Starman54 wrote:


Good luck with that , if ordered to cease fire soldiers will stop and take stock of the situation, if they see a threat or come under fire and someone fires(panic,survival instinct, training it will happen) they all will. The only way to stop firing is to issue a cease fire when there are no targets. In films it is different but not by much ambushing units generally hold fire until contact and even in fiction the odd soldier opens fire when told not to.


The abstraction for me works. I agree it is not realistic, but then FoF has similar abstractions in its rules. The benefit is that the rule is concise, has no ambiguities, and no apparent gamey or playability side-effects.

Starman54 wrote:

Shift Fire

How is your Shift fire different from the original ,apart from red cube , which you wouldn't need if you issued a shift fire because it doesn't need a cease fire first or has to be occupied.
The latter represents suppressing fire and creating a killing zone for channelling enemies into, as well as ensuring you do not friendly fire on moving units, soldiers will fire and normally maintain fire ,direction and volume, while they can,until ordered otherwise. :-

Move the VOF/PDF in any desired direction, engaging any other card in the originator’s LOS, including an unoccupied card (4.3.1, 6.1.2, 6.2.3).


Most games have this hold fire or choose the best shot option which is at best unrealistic. Maybe LNL , CC and SL / ASL should make the fire automatic with a priority list plus some margin for target choice if in a leader's sphere of influence.

Instead of making FoF like other tactical games maybe we should make them like FoF.whistle


The difference is: "The target card must contain spotted enemies". Regarding the creation of a kill zone, iirc firing happens when the enemy is channeled to the kill zone, not by excluding him with fire on unoccupied space... Perhaps I haven't understood you. Basically I feel that shifting fire to empty cards is gamey, and shifting cards to non-spotted enemies has, as discussed above, playability issues. The cube is needed to reverse the game state change of "Cease fire" and is not fiddly at all.


Fine as a house rule but the cube is not needed as fire is automatic , unoccupied vs unspotted is a deliberate design decision. It is to mitigate the knowledge you have from an unspotted.


Not every game mechanic has to be related to pure logic sometimes it is a device to enforce the design precepts. Ignoring tactical valid options e.g. shift fire direction to unoccupied or not to unspotted. Ignoring these rukes may upset the play balance and limit your gaming experience.

It is gamey as in a deliberate design choice to exclude terrain with unspotted units present but it is not gamey as in the accepted term, to abuse the system, by exploiting loopholes in the rules in the face of what the game intends.

I have played this game (occasionally missing a rule or playing a rule in a pre development way) for over a decade and would reccomend you get a few campaigns behind you before you house rule to much. All these edge case rules were discussed and sometimes agonised over.Ben has always given his reasons for any final decisions and they are on here or CSW. He has also been clear on what he hopes the player will experience/learn from the game, he is an experienced Marine Officer and specialises in Command and control. He knows his stuff and many involved in its development have served in various roles and armed forces , US, UK etc. throughout the 70s, 80' and beyond as Ben has.

Ben Hull :-Infantry unit leader, performing leadership, planning and coordinating training, logistics, and combat operations. Served as Platoon Commander, Company Executive Officer, Company Commander, Staff Officer (Operations and Intelligence), and Foreign Military Advisor. Active Duty from 1987-1991, 2007-2009, and 2010-2014. Retired as a Lieutenant Colonel on November 1, 2016.


I say this because you clearly do not accept the answer to your original post based on the rules as they are and I feel you are focussing on a very small part of the game and if you house rule it without experiencing the whole game you may miss out quite a lot.
 
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Yani
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I am familiar with design for effect (and FoF practices that). I also know who Ben Hull is. It's good to repeat those things though, so thanks.

I very rarely house rule, I just drop the game instead. But in this case I am continuing to be fascinated by the design, so I have to grin and bear it.

In FoF, find 2 sets of rules inelegant (except vehicles with which I have zero experience):

1. The cease / shift fire rule set. Not sure why, but the OP rule change tickled my OCD. I see why you don't want players to micromanage fires, for many reasons, but I feel that with this rule change, the design model for this kind of paints itself in the corner.

2. The radio communication / multiple cover leader hop-around. I will wait and see how this develops, and if the tactics I am deriving from it are ok. Jury is still out, but hopeful.

Regarding missing out and play balance, I hear you, but then that's exactly what I asked for: does anyone foresee any downsides to this houserule set. I will try and see how this works when I bring the game back to the table, a bit burned down from my session last night...

Anyway, thanks for taking the time to respond, Jerry. Well appreciated.
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