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Subject: Clarification re: Repeated Actions in Separate Impulses + Overhead Fire rss

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Christopher O
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I had a situation in my first game where I really wanted some units to get into cover but they just weren't drawing the cards.

The rulebook states:

Quote:
A unit may perform more than one action in a given impulse, but it may perform only one (1) action of any named type in that impulse. For instance, a unit could be ordered to Repair a Cut Phone Line and Create a Runner in the same impulse, but could not Create a Runner another time.


Could my PLT HQ in visual/verbal contact (on the same card, in this case) order a unit to take cover in the PLT HQ / CO Staff Impulse, and, if the ordered squad failed in that attempt, could the squad later use one command to attempt to take cover (again) during the General Initiative Impulse?

My reading is "yes", since these are in different Impulses, but I'd like to be sure.

I know that in most cases this is inefficient use of commands, but in this specific case, I really wanted the LMG unit attached to the platoon to get into cover so as to be better protected against the VoF that was going to be placed on the card.

[edit: I have one additional question re: overhead fire following the answer given below]
 
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Matt R
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Re: Clarification re: Repeated Actions in Separate Impulses
You are correct - if a unit fails an action in one of the command phases impulse, then they could try again in the general initiative phase impulse.

EDIT: I meant "impulse" and not "phase".
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Christopher O
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Thanks for the quick response.

One other question:

Say I have a situation like this (or similar)

+-------+
| Fields|
| |
| GER |
| SQD |
| |
+-------+

+-------+
| Bocage|
| |
| US |
| SQD |
| |
+-------+

+-------+
| Hill+1|
+-------+
| Woods |
| |
| US |
| LMG |
| |
+-------+

(This situation came up my first game)

Now, I think the US LMG on the wooded hill would be able to fire over the heads of the squad in the bocage at the German squad in fields with no penalty. In addition, normally I would expect that regular troops (i.e. rifle squads) on the wooded hill would be able to do the same thing.

However, reading 6.4.3 carefully:

Quote:
Tripod-mounted machineguns and heavy weapons may fire over the heads of intervening friendly troops. Machineguns and other units with a heavy weapons VOF Rating can fire over a friendly unit that is at least one level lower than the firing unit. Do not place a VOF Marker on the card being fired over. For example, if a tripod mounted machinegun is on a hill at level 2 and a friendly unit is adjacent at level 1 and an enemy unit at long range is also on leve1 1 or 2, the machinegun can fire on the enemy unit and no VOF is placed on the friendly occupied card. Mortars have no restrictions on firing over the heads of friendly troops.


Is this rule 6.4.3 just in relation to the effects of grazing fire from Machine Guns?

One would think that if you had this situation:

+-------+
| Woods |
| |
| GER |
| SQD |
| |
+-------+

+-------+
| Bocage|
| |
| US |
| SQD |
| (pin) |
+-------+

+-------+
| Hill+1|
+-------+
| Bocage|
| |
| US |
| SQD |
| |
+-------+

(Which I had happening right next to the example shown above)

...that the unpinned US rifle squad on the bocage hill would be able to fire at the German squad in the village and exert its "+0" VoF instead of the "All Pinned" +2 fire of the US squad in between the US and German units.

This seems to be supported by this section from 9.2.2:

Quote:
Enemy units placed that are firing through intervening cards
through any PC Markers along the line of fire are removed if
at the same level, because the enemy will not intentionally fire
through its own troops. The enemy will fire over the heads of
its own troops that are at a lower elevation.


Which seems to indicates that units (non-specifically machineguns or not) may fire over the heads of other units, unless it implies (unexplicitly) that this only occurs with machine guns or the like.

Incidentally, this game, being illustrated above, had what has to be about the best starting row you can hope for... wooded, well covered hills, overlooking good cover terrain, onto enemy positions. The situation was a little more complicated than I'm indicating above, but that's the gist of it.
 
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Matt R
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I'll wait and see what others more experienced with the game have to say, but my understanding is that while MG's are allowed to fire over the heads of friendly troops, the same doesn't apply to other types of troops - including when you have the U.S. Sniper in one of the Vietnam missions.

I remember reading a comment from Ben Hull explaining something to the effect of allowing fire to go over other soldiers' heads is not a particularly morale-inducing and risk-free endeavor, and that doing so is avoided as often as possible even today.

I think part of the reason for allowing the MG to fire over the heads of other troops is that typically there was more fire discipline and control for machine gunners, and even then, platoon or squad leaders didn't particularly "like" to let MGs open up and fire over their other soldier's heads - for the most part, MGs were still mostly used in an established firing lane where they would usually try *not* to be firing over other soldiers' heads...

However, I could be completely wrong, and I've wondered about the ramifications of implementing a "house rule" to also allow non-MG troops to fire over other soldiers' heads so long they are at least TWO levels above the other soldiers. That way, guys located in a double hill card or in an upper-story building or church tower located on a single hill card might still have a chance at firing over another card.
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Roger Grossman
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As far as I know the only units capable of using overhead fire are H VOF units and tripod mounted HMGs (i.e., those with a yellow arrow symbol on the front of the counter). That means that LMGs do NOT qualify. Nor do any other small arms units.

As for your two-level house rule, Matt, that sounds interesting. Why don't you run it by Ben over on CSW and get his point of view?

Roger



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Matt R
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I might do that if he ends up not responding here. However, I question the frequency with which such a situation would develop anyway so it might not really be "worth" it in practice or for the rules.
 
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Christopher O
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Designer Ben Hull posted this answer at CSW, for general info:

Ben Hull wrote:
Kozure wrote:
Is this rule 6.4.3 just in relation to the effects of grazing fire from Machine Guns?


No, it concerns overhead fire.

Kozure wrote:
Now, I think the US LMG on the wooded hill would be able to fire over the heads of the squad in the bocage at the German squad in fields with no penalty. In addition, normally I would expect that regular troops (i.e. rifle squads) on the wooded hill would be able to do the same thing.


Only tripod mounted machineguns (having the arrow symbol with the A VOF rating) and heavy weapons may use overhead fire. The rifle squad may not fire over the heads of friendly troops. Such fire is detrimental to the safety and morale of those you are firing over and is avoided in training and practice.
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