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Subject: Fire on Unspotted Units rss

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Brent Carter
United States
Longwood
Florida
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First a few comments. Mr. Hull, what a great game system. I love mental puzzles so I spend most of my waking hours thinking (obsessing) about it. I really look forward to the time when the rules and turn sequence disappear into the background. Any chance you could give the US a Sniper in the future? That would seem to have a lot of fun options. I been mulling it over in my mind...

I'm trying to carry on where the excellent example of play left off. So far I've made it in fits and starts through two turns. Will there ever be a time when I'll feel like my company is kicking tail and taking names? So far I am getting spanked. Spotting attempts keep failing, call's for fire don't get through, units refuse to rally...very frustrating for the CO let me tell you.

I apologize if this is old ground.

1) Can you ever fire on an unspotted unit? If so under what circumstance(s)? Please cover any type of fire.

I have two primary reasons for asking.
First rules indicate you can shift fire to any card. Could this card contain an unspotted unit? I thought it might make sense to be able to shift fire to this card but not resolve combat against the unspotted unit.
Second the Spotting Attempt Draw Modifiers show +1 if the Target card is under A VOF and +2 if under H or G! VOF. I'm assuming this is to account for recon by fire.

Sorry for the long post and thanks for any help. I have about twenty more questions of all types but I'm trying to exercise some restraint and look up as much as I can from various online resources. I also realize some of them will come to me the more I push the counters around. I also posted this at CSW as I wasn;t sure the best place to get answers.

Take care,

Brent
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Andreas Krüger
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Krefeld
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One possibility to fire at unspotted units is getting a battalion fire mission from your artillery. The rules say this is the only option. But it is true, the rules also allow shifting fire "anywhere" so it may also be a possibility. A third option may be an enemy unit which retreats or otherwise moves and gets into your line of fire.

The spotting modifier for H and G! fire refers to the fire type of the enemy unit you want to spot. A heavy MG is easier to spot than a sniper. I think this is corrected/ clarified in the errata.
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Matt R
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Keller
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So far, from what I've seen posted by Ben Hull in the BGG forums here and on CSW, my understanding is that the *only* way of firing on a card with unspotted enemy units is with a battalion fire mission as Andreas states above. Fire can only be shifted to cards containing spotted enemy units.

The reasons for not being able to normally fire upon a card containing unspotted enemy units is due to your company knowing that they're being fired upon but they don't know exactly where to fire at. Another reason I think I remember reading is that because most missions involve advancing or patrolling into enemy-held territory, it is assumed that many of the enemy units being encountered (especially the "unspotted" ones) are already in both cover and camouflage. That makes it even harder to detect exactly where enemy fire is coming from.

I never served in the military (thankfully, although I have a lot of respect for those who have made the decision to serve) but my understanding in modern warfare is that it is darn tough to figure out exactly from which bush, tree, patch of grass, or building a well-concealed enemy unit is firing from. So I don't feel that the way that concealment functions in this game is overly "unrealistic" or anything. Especially due to the fact that you can encounter enemy units which start on the board "unspotted".

As far as difficulty in making successful actions goes, all of the starting missions in each campaign really penalize you for having a (mostly) green officer staff. Once you've (successfully) made it through the first mission with a good amount of experience points you'll want to use those to boost up your CO HQ, his staff, and his PLT HQ's before spreading the remainder between your company. Green officers really hurt!

The WWII and Korean campaigns are additionally hampered with difficult communications and control from the PLT HQ down to his squads - the Vietnam era communications allow much better command and control.

One more thing - there is a single Vietnam mission that has the US Sniper unit as an attachment. I agree that too bad there aren't more missions with US Snipers, but there actually is one...
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Roger Grossman
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The issue of firing on unspotted units is addressed in detail in the errata file posted here. The relevant passages are: 6.3, 6.7.1, and 9.3. It's all laid out there.

Also, there was an error in the Spotting Attempt Draw Modifiers chart. The VOF modifiers relate to the VOF rating of the unit you are trying to spot, not the VOF marker on the target card. So it goes like this:

If the unspotted unit has an A VOF rating, the spotting modifier is +1

If the unspotted unit has an H or G! VOF rating, the spotting modifier is +2

In other words, the more fire an unspotted unit is generating, the more likely it is to be spotted (how much fire is directed at the target card is irrelevant). This is also in the Errata file, on the last page. Check it out for more details.

Hope this helps,

Roger
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Anders Gabrielsson
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What about grazing fire?

We had the following situation come up when trying to learn the game:

We had maneuvered the .50 onto the top of a hill in the first row. In the second row was a spotted enemy unit, and in the third row (all in the same column) was an unspotted enemy artillery spotter.

If the artillery spotter hadn't been unspotted he would have been hit by grazing fire, right? So does that still happen when he's unspotted?

We assumed yes, thinking there should be enough lead flying his way for him to be at risk, but we're not sure if that's correct.

Actually, re-reading the section I'm not sure grazing fire applies when the HMG is on a higher elevation. The last sentence is ambiguous: "all the cards" can refer to the "multiple cards" mentioned earlier in the same sentence (in which case a tripod MG on a hill will get grazing fire into multiple lower-level cards) or it can include the card the MG is on (in which case it won't).

Whatever the case for that may be, a similar situation not involving a hill would lead to the same question: will grazing fire affect unspotted units?
 
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Roger Grossman
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Hey, Anders.

The errata does NOT list Grazing Fire as an exception to the rule that you can't fire on unspotted units. So I'm guessing the answer to your question is that if the artillery spotter is spotted then he is affected by the Grazing Fire; if he is unspotted, he isn't. If you want positive confirmation, you can post your question directly on the CSW forum and see what Ben says.

And you're right: Grazing Fire only occurs when all the cards are on the same elevation level, so in this particular case there wouldn't be any Grazing Fire in the first place (since your MG is on a hill and the other cards aren't).

Hope this helps,

Roger
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Anders Gabrielsson
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That does seem odd, but it's a rare enough occurrance that it doesn't matter that much one way or the other. Thanks for the help!
 
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