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Subject: Moving into friendly PDF rss

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Roger Grossman
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Okay, guys, please bear with me on this. It's a very simple question but takes a little explaining:

A U.S. unit is on card A. It is engaged with an enemy unit on card C, two spaces away. Another friendly unit wants to move onto card B, along the PDF between cards A and C. This move, according to clarifications recently posted here and on CSW, is not legal, since a friendly unit cannot enter a card along the PDF of another friendly unit (unless, of course, it's the target card).

So, it seems to me there are two ways around this:

1. Issue a cease fire order to card A, and then move the other unit into card B.

2. Move the unit into card B, and then issue a cease fire order to the units on card A.

The problem is, both of these options seem technically illegal (although maybe I'm missing something really obvious).

The cease fire rules say that units ordered to cease fire must automatically re-open fire on any spotted units in their range and LOS. "Automatically" implies you check right away; there is certainly nothing in the rules that says you check, "after other friendly units have moved," or, "at the end of the command phase," or anything like that. Indeed, in all other situations, you open fire immediately upon acquiring a target. So to use option 1, you'd have to essentially issue a "temporary" cease fire order to the units on card A to allow the other friendly unit to move into card B before the units on card A have to check for opening fire, and there are no provisions for that in the rules.

As for option 2, the clarifications posted on CSW just say it is illegal to move into a card along an enemy PDF; they don't say you can do so as long as the firing units cease fire afterwards.

Just to be clear, I'm cool with either of these options; I'm just pointing out that the rules, as I understand them, seem like they could prohibit both of them, depending on how the sequence of events are supposed to unfold. And I can understand why it might be unrealistic to pull off this fire and movement tactic. Ben's design, after all, emphasizes the difficulty of coordination under fire.

So I am trying to figure out the intention of the rules. Is the intention to prevent this kind of move/cease fire coordination? Or are you allowed to us either of the options above? This situation has come up a bunch of times. How are others playing this?

BTW, I know one easy solution would be to have the firing units shift fire instead of cease firing. That works with Small Arms fire. But you don't want an MG to burn ammo shifting fire to, say, an empty card, or a card already under A VOF, just to allow other units to move into the card that MG was just firing at.

Thanks in advance for any help, and once again, apologies for the length of the post.

Roger
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Andreas Krüger
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I don't think you can shift fire to an empty card. So this is another illegal option :-).
 
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Roger Grossman
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Hey, Andreas.

Quote:
I don't think you can shift fire to an empty card. So this is another illegal option :-).

Actually, this option is legal. It's covered in the rules and CSW.

Roger
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Michael Taylor
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I think POF's get placed just before actual combat. I can't think of the name of the phase right now, but it is in the Combat Phase, after all movement.

Yes, they automatically place a new POF, but it is automatic, not instantly. It is automatic in the sense that you can't not place a POF, but the actual counter is placed later in the turn.

Mike
 
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Roger Grossman
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Quote:
it is automatic, not instantly.

Thanks for the feedback Mike, but check this out (Rulebook, 6.1.1):

"If not already engaged, your units with a clear LOS and within range of spotted enemy units automatically and immediately open fire."

That sounds pretty "instantly" to me. And here are the sitautions that trigger PDF placement:

• Movement can bring a friendly unit into view (clear LOS) of a spotted enemy unit.
• Spotting can reveal a previously unspotted enemy unit.
• Enemy Activity checks may move an enemy unit into a unit’s LOS.
• Resolving Potential Contact may place spotted enemy units into play

Note that only the last happens just before combat.

Believe me, your analysis sounds very logical, and were it so, it would certainly resolve the issue. But as far as I can tell, that's not what the rules say.

It seems to me if the action I'm asking about is to be legal, a rule has to be written to cover it. Something along the lines of "When ordered to cease fire, the cease firing units do not need to check for a new target until all friendly units have moved in the Command Phase." The thing is, I don't know if that what the designer intended.

Roger

 
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Pablo Klinkisch
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moosepuppy wrote:
It seems to me if the action I'm asking about is to be legal, a rule has to be written to cover it. Something along the lines of "When ordered to cease fire, the cease firing units do not need to check for a new target until all friendly units have moved in the Command Phase." The thing is, I don't know if that what the designer intended.

If you allow taht, you could manipulate the cease fire action to "play the system" and target the units you want, and not the ones your men would fire at on spotting.
If you wanted to go for a change like the one you propose, I'd rather say "When ordered to cease fire, the cease firing units do not need to check for a new target until one friendly unit has moved in the Command Phase." (emphasis mine).
Now you could make the move you want without changing the game too much.
 
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Andreas Krüger
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moosepuppy wrote:
Hey, Andreas.

Quote:
I don't think you can shift fire to an empty card. So this is another illegal option :-).

Actually, this option is legal. It's covered in the rules and CSW.

Roger


Are you sure? Because, this would be an opportunity to fire at unspotted enemies or place a VOF before an enemy appears.
 
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Pablo Klinkisch
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Thamos von Nostria wrote:
Are you sure? Because, this would be an opportunity to fire at unspotted enemies or place a VOF before an enemy appears.

Look in the Combat Actions Table:

4.2.4.j Shift Fire: Move the VOF/PDF in any desired direction, engaging any other card in the originator's LOS, including an unoccupied card. (see 6.4.) [emphasis mine]

I didn't thought that was legal either, thanks for pointing it out, Roger!
 
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Pablo Klinkisch
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BTW, the shift fire is not an exception to the rule prohibiting you from engaging unspotted units. You may end up engaging an unspotted unit if:

"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)
" [Errata 9.3]

So maybe the Shift fire order should read:

4.2.4.j Shift Fire: Move the VOF/PDF in any desired direction, engaging any other card in the originator's LOS, including an unoccupied card with no unspotted enemy units on it. (see 6.4.)
 
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James Warren
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Considering Ben's intent to have us deal with the problems of small unit command in combat, consider what is being asked with regard to this suggestion. You're asking one unit that is trading fire with the enemy to lift fires so another unit can move directly between the first friendly unit and the enemy unit. That's a pretty complicated thing when under fire, and in the Fields of Fire world would be command-intensive. It would also not be terribly realistic in most situations at the scale being simulated. Units would usually advance under covering fire of another unit, which in the Fields of Fire world would be via an adjacent card. It would be very dangerous and require precise coordination to do what you suggest. So back to the original post, I think there is an intent to prevent just such a move. Ben or someone else who has the rules figured out of course can correct me on that. I'm still learning.
 
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Roger Grossman
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Hey, James.

I totally understand your reasoning. The whole point of Ben's design seems to be to point out the difficulty of coordinating small unit movement and fire, and the maneuver I'm describing would, as you say, take a lot of coordination from troops engaged in combat. So maybe the answer is that the move is simply not allowed. As I said, the rules say nothing about temporarily holding fire so you can execute such a move.

It sounds like the only way to pull this maneuver off would be to move into the the target card in such a way that doesn't involve moving through a friendly PDF, and then, once the moving unit is in the target card, order the friendly units firing to cease fire. Since you can move into a card into which friendly are firing (as opposed to through which they are firing), and since units ordered to cease fire will not open fire on cards occupied by friendly units, that would be a legal move. Although why it involves less coordination than the other moves I was asking about is not immediately clear to me.

I may post this question on CSW and see if Ben or some other expert weighs in.

Roger
 
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