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Lock 'n Load: Band of Heroes» Forums » Rules

Subject: Two for the Mortars (Problems/Typos) rss

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Mark Walker
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Reason: Degrading terrain modifiers affect the DFT on the latter, but not the former.


Not quite true. Degrading terrain affects the accuracy of the offboard spotting round.

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The rules for placing Starshells via onboard mortars are nonsensical.


Yes, you are correct. I screwed the pooch on that one. What do you think of this...this pertains to night rules. only.

Both onboard and off-board mortars may fire star shells (20.1). Star shells count as a fire mission (you can either fire HE or star shells). Whether placing a star shell or a HE spotting round, if the unit placing the Spotting Round marker (18.2) cannot see the target hex—for example, if the hex is not within two hexes of the spotting Leader or illuminated by fire or star shell—add one to the amount of drift. Hence, the drift equation becomes (white die number + degrading terrain - Leadership) +1.

If the onboard mortar, or the officer directing an onboard mortar’s fire, cannot see the target hex (as described above) they must conduct the attack as if calling an off board fire mission. If the hex can be seen, conduct the mortar’s attack normally, substituting a starshell for the HE attack. A hex marked with a Fired marker is not "seen" as described in the paragraph above, unless it meets the aforementioned requirements (within two hexes, illuminated by star shell or fire).
 
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Mark L
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Just received my pre-ordered BoH Friday. Sure is purty! It was definitely begging to be played, too, since a few dozen counters were knocked loose during shipping. I played "Flash...Thunder" a few times and had some mortar questions as well. (that scenario sure seems a bit tough for the Yanks)

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1. As the V3 rulebook is written, indirect fire from onboard mortars is slightly more accurate than direct fire from onboard mortars.

Reason: Degrading terrain modifiers affect the DFT on the latter, but not the former.

I've been playing it that for called onboard mortar fire, degrading terrain between the calling unit and the target hex applies (even though the rules don't specifically say so).

Also, does onboard mortar fire (either direct or called fire) leave an FFE marker? At the end of the onboard mortar rules, there's this reference to an FFE marker, but the rules never really mention actually placing an FFE marker: ("The FFE marker stays on the board until the Admin Phase and attacks any unit that enters its hex.")

Re. the proposed mortar star shell rules:

Mark Holt Walker wrote:
Both onboard and off-board mortars may fire star shells (20.1).

Perhaps just onboard mortars. Any off-board capability should be specified by SSR, IMO. "off-board mortars"? v3 rules only refer to off-board artillery generically.

Quote:
Whether placing a star shell or a HE spotting round, if the unit placing the Spotting Round marker (18.2) cannot see the target hex—for example, if the hex is not within two hexes of the spotting Leader or illuminated by fire or star shell—add one to the amount of drift. Hence, the drift equation becomes (white die number + degrading terrain - Leadership) +1.

After "for example...star shell", you may want to add further clarification: "(an unblocked LOS is still required)".

For star shells, I think the rules are mostly OK. However, perhaps OBA HE missions should be more restricted, so they can't be fired completely blind. At night, perhaps only allow the initial spotting round for an HE mission to be placed in a hex within visual range (2 hexes) of the calling unit, or within an illuminated hex, or a hex containing an enemy unit marked with a Fired marker. (and in all cases, the LOS from the calling unit must be otherwise unblocked, of course)

If an HE spotting round drifts out of visual range or illuminated hexes, can it still be adjusted or converted to an FFE (LOS otherwise permitting)?

Quote:
If the onboard mortar, or the officer directing an onboard mortar’s fire, cannot see the target hex (as described above) they must conduct the attack as if calling an off board fire mission.

The v3 rules mention using a star shell marker in lieu of the spotting round. After rolling to determine drift, can the star shell be adjusted? If it drifts to a hex that's out of LOS, is it removed? IMO, you should just roll for drift and leave the star shell wherever it ends up, no adjustment possible, tho perhaps some clarification is needed.


 
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zhredder wrote:
Just received my pre-ordered BoH Friday. Sure is purty! It was definitely begging to be played, too, since a few dozen counters were knocked loose during shipping.


And I thought that only happened to my copy. When I opened it last night, I thought, "Whoa! The counters are punched? Is this used or what?"

The story I made up was that some kid helping with the packing thought he was supposed to punch out the counters, and partway through Mark said, "Stop! We ship them unpunched."

Doesn't look like any harm was done, though.
 
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Mark L
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SJBenoist wrote:
18.1 reads, "Leadership does NOT affect the mortar's FP when firing indirectly, nor does degrading terrain reduce it, ...

Yeah, I saw that - I just chose to interpret the part about degrading terrain to be referring to terrain between the mortar and the target, then added my own rule about terrain between the spotter and target.
 
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Lawrence Hung
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It was definitely begging to be played, too, since a few dozen counters were knocked loose during shipping.


It seems that it is a common problem with LnL games...the same happened to me with the first edition. The die-cutting process may need to be improved to avoid the falling off of counters from the trees. Usually I don't punch all the counters out if only several counters are required in a particular scenario.
 
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Lawrence Hung wrote:
Quote:
It was definitely begging to be played, too, since a few dozen counters were knocked loose during shipping.


It seems that it is a common problem with LnL games...the same happened to me with the first edition. The die-cutting process may need to be improved to avoid the falling off of counters from the trees. Usually I don't punch all the counters out if only several counters are required in a particular scenario.


Nope the two things have nothing to do with each other. First edition (which we didn't publish) didn't use enough gutters, and the counters were 12 points thinner. They fell off the sheet.

Second edition (kids don't pack these they come assembled to the warehouse), uses the proper number of gutters and thicker counters, but the printer assembled the games with the counters on top of the maps. This has caused counters to come off sprues in some cases. Sorry about that, we will do better in the next one, but there is nothing we can do.
 
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Mark Holt Walker wrote:
Nope the two things have nothing to do with each other. First edition (which we didn't publish) didn't use enough gutters, and the counters were 12 points thinner. They fell off the sheet.
I did wonder about that - entire pages worth of counters with no gutters! I picked one sheet up, my hand went straight through it, and all the counters fell away (into the box, luckily)! This is great from my point of view, as I always break out whole games worth of counters at a time
 
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Wulf Corbett wrote:
Mark Holt Walker wrote:
Nope the two things have nothing to do with each other. First edition (which we didn't publish) didn't use enough gutters, and the counters were 12 points thinner. They fell off the sheet.
I did wonder about that - entire pages worth of counters with no gutters! I picked one sheet up, my hand went straight through it, and all the counters fell away (into the box, luckily)! This is great from my point of view, as I always break out whole games worth of counters at a time


LOL...I hear you. I never collect myself, I'm a player, but I understand those who do collect.
 
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Lawrence Hung
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I think 1.6.22 describes the spotting rules for onboard mortars very well:

The mortar may only fire at spotted hexes, but may attack in one of two ways: 1) The mortar may fire directly at spotted units in its LOS. Roll 2D6, choose the higher of the dice, and add it to the TOTAL Firepower of the attack the mortar is participating in, apply all DFT modifications, and resolve the attack normally. For example, if a 1-6-4 British Paratroop Squad with a 51mm mortar fires at a target six (6) hexes away, the British players rolls 2D6, selects the higher die, adds it to three (3) (3= the Firepower of the British Squad + Firepower of the mortar), and resolves the attack normally. 2) The mortar may fire indirectly, and does not need not have a LOS to the spotted target hex, if the unit crewing the mortar is adjacent to a friendly unit that does.
 
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Lawrence...I really like that avatar.

But he is right...you need not place a spotting round for onboard mortar fire. Do you all perceive this as a problem? I'm asking sincerely.
 
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SJBenoist wrote:


When a WT has LOS to a target through a single hex of degrading terrain, he actually has better odds firing on a unit he can't see at all (as opposed to the unit he can see albeit somewhat difficultly).



How so? I'm not sure I follow you.
 
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Rule 18.1 says leaders/heroes can call onboard mortar fire onto hexes they have spotted that impulse.

In that case, degrading terrain would affect the spotting roll. Hence, it does figure in, though not during DFT resolution.

The question is, Can leaders/heroes also call onboard mortar fire onto other spotted hexes (i.e., hexes the leader/hero did not personally spot that impulse)? I didn't see that specifically covered in the rules.

One possibility would be to rule that a leader/hero must personally spot a hex in a given impulse (and of course that can be the only spotting attempt by any unit that impulse) in order to call onboard mortar fire there.

The remaining problem is--what about enemy units that would not normally need to be spotted at all (e.g., units in open terrain, adjacent units, units with Spotted or Fired markers)? Would the leader still have to use up a spotting action to call onboard mortar fire onto those units?

I don't know which way it ought to go, but the question does point out a little glitch or anomaly in the current rules. I have a hunch it ties in with the Spotting rules; they may need to be tweaked. (Either that or the Degrading Terrain rules.)
 
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Lawrence Hung
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Well, the rules explicitly state that spotting is a status driven thing. I don't find any reason why the onboard mortars would need to have the leader spotting for them again. They can simply fire on the target, Captain!
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Lawrence Hung wrote:
Well, the rules explicitly state that spotting is a status driven thing. I don't find any reason why the onboard mortars would need to have the leader spotting for them again. They can simply fire on the target, Captain!


They can, if they fire directly, in which case that fire attack is affected by any degrading terrain in their LOS.

But if they fire indirectly, by definition they need a leader to spot for them. If that leader's LOS passes through degrading terrain, shouldn't that affect the mortar attack somehow?

The degrading terrain is doing one (or both) of two things: (1) interfering with a unit's view of the target or (2) blocking some of the missiles being thrown at the target, thus reducing overall firepower.

If degrading terrain is doing the first thing (1), a leader spotting for onboard mortar fire ought to be affected by it, just as the mortar WT itself would be affected if firing directly.

But if degrading terrain is doing the second thing (2), then it should not affect either direct or indirect mortar fire--because the shells are being lobbed over the terrain anyhow. A bush or boulder or gravestone that might stop or deflect a bullet would not stop a mortar round.

Since degrading terrain does evidently affect direct onboard mortar attacks, I would assume the first thing (1) is being simulated: the crew's view of the target is somewhat obscured. So, in a case of indirect fire, it ought to make a difference if the spotting leader's LOS passes through degrading terrain.

It will make a difference if the leader has to actually conduct a spotting check; then the degrading terrain will modify his die roll.

But if no spotting check is needed, then the situation can get weird. The player can choose to use indirect fire just to avoid the degrading-terrain modifier. The spotting leader's LOS won't be affected even by two degrading-terrain hexes, whereas just one degrading-terrain hex would affect the mortar's direct-fire attack.

One possible fix would be to simply introduce a new DRM: 2 in the defender's favor if onboard mortar fire is indirect instead of direct. That would encourage and reward direct mortar fire (which is realistic), except in cases where there's a lot of degrading terrain in the mortar WT's LOS.

Another possibility would be to treat indirect onboard artillery just like offboard artillery--spotting round and all.
 
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Rule 18.1 says leaders/heroes can call onboard mortar fire onto hexes they have spotted that impulse.

Patrick,

I think the rule you are referring to is this (second paragraph 18.1):

"They can also fire indirectly at targets to which a friendly, Good Order, Leader/Advisor/Scout has a LOS. Leader/Advisor/Scouts can call onboard mortar fire against a hex they spotted during the current impulse. When doing so, they are not marked Ops Complete until after they call the mortar fire..."

Here is how I parse it:

First sentence: Observer must have LOS (duh ). Furthermore, 5.0 Fire Combat requires that:

"To fire on enemy units, they must be within the range of the firing weapon(s), within the firing unit’s Line of Sight (LOS), and spotted."

In this case the LOS requirement for the firing unit is superseded by 18.1, but everything else applies, IMO. "Spotted" is by any method described in 10.1.

Second and third sentences:
Taken together, I think this is merely saying that an observer can call onboard mortar fire at a unit that it just made a successful spotting attempt against. Otherwise, I think no spotting attempt is necessary if the target is spotted for other reasons (10.1).

Quote:
But if they fire indirectly, by definition they need a leader to spot for them. If that leader's LOS passes through degrading terrain, shouldn't that affect the mortar attack somehow?

I agree, so I just use a HR that degrading terrain between observer and target does apply (which admittedly seems to contradict the rules as written).

Quote:
One possible fix would be to simply introduce a new DRM: 2 in the defender's favor if onboard mortar fire is indirect instead of direct.

I'm not sure I'd go that far. Mortar fire should by scary whether direct or observed. Mark Walker once posted somewhere that the onboard mortar rules are intended to reflect that effect on the target. IRW, the guys on the receiving probably have a tough time identifying the source of the mortar fire - they have no idea if it's "direct" or "indirect", they just know that shells are falling around them and it's not fun [/understatement]. So, if the mechanics/TM are handled similarly for both cases, that works for me.

Other indirect fire musings:

IMO, for observed fire by onboard mortars, it's the mortar unit that is being activated. Neither the fire direction or any spotting attempt by the observer counts as activation, but either/both makes the observer Ops Complete, with everything that implies (4.1). If the mortar is adjacent to a leader doing the observing, I think the leader could still allow for multi-hex activation - the adjacent mortar unit being one of the activated hexes (but leadership wouldn't apply to any fire, since he's busy directing the mortar).

Calling OBA, OTOH, uses an impulse (second sentence 18.2) which, IMO, means the entire impulse, so you can't activate anything else (and the observer is Ops Complete, of course).

On-board mortar fire, whether direct or observed, requires a spotted target, IMO (possible exception: starshells). OBA, OTOH, does not require a spotted target - but does need to use the spotting round procedure.

Lock 'n Load: Swift and Bold has special rules for the British 2" knee-mortar, which is a SW, not a WT. If this mortar SW fires directly, the mortar FP can be added to the DFT attack of other units in it's hex and the combined attack is resolved with the attacker rolling 2D6 and taking the higher die. This could probably apply to mortar WTs as well.

S&B also allows the mortar SW to use an observer, but the observing unit must be adjacent. OTOH, the observing unit is not restricted to Leader/Adviser/Scout (tho Medics, Chaplains, WTs are excluded). Personally, I like the adjacency requirement for observed fire by any on-board mortars. For mortar WTs, I think I'd still only allow Leader/Adviser/Scout units as observers.
 
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zhredder wrote:
Quote:
Rule 18.1 says leaders/heroes can call onboard mortar fire onto hexes they have spotted that impulse.

Patrick,

I think the rule you are referring to is this (second paragraph 18.1):

"They can also fire indirectly at targets to which a friendly, Good Order, Leader/Advisor/Scout has a LOS. Leader/Advisor/Scouts can call onboard mortar fire against a hex they spotted during the current impulse. When doing so, they are not marked Ops Complete until after they call the mortar fire..."

Here is how I parse it:

First sentence: Observer must have LOS (duh ). Furthermore, 5.0 Fire Combat requires that:

"To fire on enemy units, they must be within the range of the firing weapon(s), within the firing unit’s Line of Sight (LOS), and spotted."

In this case the LOS requirement for the firing unit is superseded by 18.1, but everything else applies, IMO. "Spotted" is by any method described in 10.1.

Second and third sentences:
Taken together, I think this is merely saying that an observer can call onboard mortar fire at a unit that it just made a successful spotting attempt against. Otherwise, I think no spotting attempt is necessary if the target is spotted for other reasons (10.1).


That's the way I normally read it too. But this morning, I was exploring what would happen if I read more into the "they spotted" part. (It started to work for me, but then it broke down.)

Anyhow, I do read the rules the same way you explain above.


Quote:
Quote:
But if they fire indirectly, by definition they need a leader to spot for them. If that leader's LOS passes through degrading terrain, shouldn't that affect the mortar attack somehow?

I agree, so I just use a HR that degrading terrain between observer and target does apply (which admittedly seems to contradict the rules as written).


Yep. That's where I jumped in with alternate suggestions. If the observer did have to spot the target that impulse, the degrading terrain would have already factored in once. Your HR would, in that particular case, make it factor in twice.

I have a perfectionist streak, and I'm always annoyed by little incongruencies. I'd still like to find a nice, clean fix for the problem you've brought up.


Quote:
Quote:
One possible fix would be to simply introduce a new DRM: 2 in the defender's favor if onboard mortar fire is indirect instead of direct.

I'm not sure I'd go that far. Mortar fire should by scary whether direct or observed. Mark Walker once posted somewhere that the onboard mortar rules are intended to reflect that effect on the target. IRW, the guys on the receiving probably have a tough time identifying the source of the mortar fire - they have no idea if it's "direct" or "indirect", they just know that shells are falling around them and it's not fun [/understatement]. So, if the mechanics/TM are handled similarly for both cases, that works for me.


Yeah, it should be scary either way. But if the observer is hundreds of yards away and possibly trying to direct the fire by radio, the mortar fire is likely to be less accurate than if the mortar team is firing at a target they can see. I think accurate fire is scarier than inaccurate fire. I once saw lightning strike just a few yards away from me, and that was a lot scarier than seeing it in the distance.


Quote:
Other indirect fire musings:

IMO, for observed fire by onboard mortars, it's the mortar unit that is being activated. Neither the fire direction or any spotting attempt by the observer counts as activation, but either/both makes the observer Ops Complete, with everything that implies (4.1). If the mortar is adjacent to a leader doing the observing, I think the leader could still allow for multi-hex activation - the adjacent mortar unit being one of the activated hexes (but leadership wouldn't apply to any fire, since he's busy directing the mortar).

Calling OBA, OTOH, uses an impulse (second sentence 18.2) which, IMO, means the entire impulse, so you can't activate anything else (and the observer is Ops Complete, of course).

On-board mortar fire, whether direct or observed, requires a spotted target, IMO (possible exception: starshells). OBA, OTOH, does not require a spotted target - but does need to use the spotting round procedure.


All sounds reasonable and correct to me.

Quote:
Lock 'n Load: Swift and Bold has special rules for the British 2" knee-mortar, which is a SW, not a WT. If this mortar SW fires directly, the mortar FP can be added to the DFT attack of other units in it's hex and the combined attack is resolved with the attacker rolling 2D6 and taking the higher die. This could probably apply to mortar WTs as well.

S&B also allows the mortar SW to use an observer, but the observing unit must be adjacent. OTOH, the observing unit is not restricted to Leader/Adviser/Scout (tho Medics, Chaplains, WTs are excluded). Personally, I like the adjacency requirement for observed fire by any on-board mortars. For mortar WTs, I think I'd still only allow Leader/Adviser/Scout units as observers.


There is some weirdness about current onboard mortar rules. Is the observer supposed to be directing fire by radio, or by hand signals and such? If by radio, it seems there ought to be the same kind of delay and such as with off-board artillery. Otherwise, the observer would have to have an LOS to the mortar team as well as the target; and it'd kinda make sense for him to be adjacent to the mortar team.

Right now, the rules seem to allow for a leader a mile away from the mortar team and out of its LOS to "telepathically" direct the WT's fire. Not sure I like that much.

Just thinking out loud, though.
 
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zhredder wrote:

Quote:
But if they fire indirectly, by definition they need a leader to spot for them. If that leader's LOS passes through degrading terrain, shouldn't that affect the mortar attack somehow?

I agree, so I just use a HR that degrading terrain between observer and target does apply (which admittedly seems to contradict the rules as written).


I'm thinking of trying a different house rule:

If an onboard WT has a direct LOS to its target, it must fire directly. Only if it does not have a direct LOS can a leader spot and enable it to fire indirectly.

(Come to think of it, I guess this has about the same net effect as your house rule anyway.)

The only downside I can think of is that it might encourage the player to move his mortar WT to where its LOS will definitely be blocked, just so he'll be able to use indirect fire (and avoid degrading-terrain penalties). If that starts to be a problem for me, I may yet have to penalize indirect fire somehow--or else require a special spotting attempt for indirect fire. But at the moment, it seems reasonable to want to keep the mortar out of enemy LOS if you're planning to use indirect fire--so I can see it as realistic to station the mortar behind a building or something.
 
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Patrick Carroll wrote:
I have a perfectionist streak, and I'm always annoyed by little incongruencies.

Yep, me too. So I'm always interested in how others interpret things, to find out if I'm playing the same way!

Quote:
All sounds reasonable and correct to me.

Thanks for the feedback.

Quote:
Yeah, it should be scary either way. But if the observer is hundreds of yards away and possibly trying to direct the fire by radio, the mortar fire is likely to be less accurate than if the mortar team is firing at a target they can see. I think accurate fire is scarier than inaccurate fire.

Obligatory disclaimer: I have no actual military experience, so my references are limited mostly to what I read and games. Hence I'm always quite interested in what folks with RW experience have say.

My impression is that a trained mortar crew can put rounds on target pretty quickly, given just range and bearing. With LOS, I think one member of the crew would be doing the spotting and providing the range/bearing, while others load and fire. Without LOS, some other observer would be providing the range/bearing info, so not much difference except for the communications issue. Strictly in terms of ballistics, I don't think accuracy would be degraded much, especially for a light mortar directly attached to a platoon and fairly close to the enemy. At longer ranges, initial accuracy might degrade due to dispersion and atmospheric conditions (air density, wind, etc.). This would be OBA, which uses the spotting round/FFE mechanics.

Quote:
Right now, the rules seem to allow for a leader a mile away from the mortar team and out of its LOS to "telepathically" direct the WT's fire. Not sure I like that much.

Indeed, as I surmised, the main problem for observed fire is communications. Two potential issues, as I see it:

1. contacting the mortar crew

2. providing range/bearing relative to the mortar's position

With an adjacent observer, I think both are easily handled. But, particularly in a WWII environment, both would be a problem with a more distant observer. Maybe a radio would help with the first, but how do you provide accurate range/bearing to an out-of-LOS mortar that's located "somewhere over there behind those woods"?

In a prepared defense, I can see how radios, land-lines, registration points, etc. could allow for called fire from an out-of-LOS mortar hundreds of yards away. And I suppose a pre-planned assault might take advantage of similar techniques. But is this how light mortars were/are actually employed? Maybe more likely for 80mm+ mortars? Don't really know.

MHW's take appears to be that light mortars represented as WTs were employed like that, and the general rule allows for it. Personally, I'd prefer an adjacency requirement for the observer as the general rule, with longer distances allowed by SSR. But it's not my game. If I come across a scenario where it seems completely unreasonable to allow distant observation, maybe I'd consider a HR.

Another consideration is technology. I imagine a vehicle-mounted mortar with a modern nav/fire-control system could respond quite quickly, from anywhere in range. Maybe even a light mortar WT with GPS, given target grid coordinates? But save that for Heroes of the Gap!

But, in general, I think I'm OK with the on-board mortar rules as they are, with my HR that degrading terrain does apply to the observer. If the enemy has a distant mortar that could plink at you and you're not in good cover, it might be best to "learn how not to be seen." Or get rid of the observer - there usually aren't that many observer-capable units. (and knowing exactly where the observer is located is quite a gift, too!)

Quote:
Just thinking out loud, though.

Yep, same. Some other thoughts, mostly my own rationalizations in defense of MHWs rules. The rules as written provide for indirect mortar fire using a distant observer, with good comms assumed (however managed). Cumbersome details like pre-recording registration points, pre-plotting fires, remembering if a mortar has left it's set-up hex, etc. are omitted in the interest of simplicity. If indirect mortar fire hammers your kill-stack, just assume they walked into a pre-registered hex. If you set up a mortar with the intent to use indirect fire, chances are you won't be moving it out of the hex anyway, so you don't really need a rule for that. It's an interesting design approach, IMO, and something I frequently need to remind myself of.

An example: While playing Flash...Thunder, it did seem odd to me that a German mortar team could appear and be able to fire indirectly wherever a leader could observe. But perhaps the paratroopers are landing - in darkness - amidst enemy positions and the mortar was always there (hidden unit), with a good comm link and every hedgerow pre-registered. And if the WT moved a hex or two to be in better terrain, the paratroops probably just caught a fleeting glimpse of shadowy figures running to man the pre-positioned mortar. The details and minutiae aren't really relevant in game terms. What is important is that the paratroopers landed and they started taking mortar fire.
 
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An anecdote that ties in with this topic:

My dad was a sergeant in the 101st Airborne in WWII. He didn't talk a lot about his war experiences when I was a kid, but he told a few stories that I can recall. And one of them was about mortars.

He was in a front-line position, and a mortar team behind him was lobbing shells toward the Germans. But my dad could see most of the shots were missing. There were woods (or some obstacle) blocking the mortar team's view of their target (which means they must've had an observer of some kind). So my dad ran back and asked, "Could you guys do better if you could see what you were shooting at?" They said yes, so he ordered them to move up. They followed him up to his line, opened fire, and quickly started hitting their target.

Afterward, his outfit dubbed the tactic "Carroll's front-line artillery." My dad was laughing when he recalled this in the 1960s. I was just a kid, and he had to explain to me that artillery is typically deployed behind the lines; but in that situation, he saw a good expedient and made good use of it.
 
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zhredder wrote:

Lock 'n Load: Swift and Bold has special rules for the British 2" knee-mortar, which is a SW, not a WT. If this mortar SW fires directly, the mortar FP can be added to the DFT attack of other units in it's hex and the combined attack is resolved with the attacker rolling 2D6 and taking the higher die. This could probably apply to mortar WTs as well.

S&B also allows the mortar SW to use an observer, but the observing unit must be adjacent. OTOH, the observing unit is not restricted to Leader/Adviser/Scout (tho Medics, Chaplains, WTs are excluded). Personally, I like the adjacency requirement for observed fire by any on-board mortars. For mortar WTs, I think I'd still only allow Leader/Adviser/Scout units as observers.

I'm starting to like that too. For now, I'm applying it in all my LnL scenarios.

For one thing, it solves the question of which hex is activated when onboard mortar fire happens. According to the basic rules for activation, the only way a spotter and mortar could be activated at the same time (and thus perform a fire mission together) is if they're in the same hex or adjacent (or connected via a chain of leaders activating each other).

 
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Quote:
For one thing, it solves the question of which hex is activated when onboard mortar fire happens. According to the basic rules for activation, the only way a spotter and mortar could be activated at the same time (and thus perform a fire mission together) is if they're in the same hex or adjacent (or connected via a chain of leaders activating each other).


Patrick,

You are over-thinking that. Observer and mortar are both activated to call onboard mortar fire.
 
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Mark Holt Walker wrote:
Quote:
For one thing, it solves the question of which hex is activated when onboard mortar fire happens. According to the basic rules for activation, the only way a spotter and mortar could be activated at the same time (and thus perform a fire mission together) is if they're in the same hex or adjacent (or connected via a chain of leaders activating each other).


Patrick,

You are over-thinking that. Observer and mortar are both activated to call onboard mortar fire.

OK. What about other units in the observer's and/or mortar's hex? Are they activated too, since normally entire hexes are activated?

And then what about hexes adjacent to the leader/observer's hex? Can they also be activated that impulse?


 
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SJBenoist wrote:
Whole hexes never have to be activated.

You can always choose to activate one, some, or all of the units in a hex.

Yes, that's clear.

But suppose you have a leader in one hex, stacked with two squads, and another friendly squad in an adjacent hex. You also have a distant mortar WT in another hex, stacked with a leader and a squad, and maybe more squads in adjacent hexes.

Now it's your impulse, and (among other things) you want to use the leader in the first hex to observe indirect fire for the mortar in a distant hex. Obviously, both the observing leader and the mortar are activated (and Mark confirms that above).

So, after you've resolved the mortar fire, the impulse continues. Can the squads in the observer's hex move/fire? The squad adjacent to the observer? The squad in the mortar's hex? The units adjacent to the mortar (since there's a leader in the mortar's hex capable of activating adjacent units)?

I'm thinking the leader/observer is the primary activation for this impulse. So the squads in and adjacent to his hex can conduct actions (but the leader cannot assist them in DFT attacks; there's a rule against that). I would think the other units in and adjacent to the mortar WT's hex cannot perform any actions and must wait for another impulse.

IOW, when a leader calls for indirect onboard mortar fire, he incidentally activates the mortar in a distant hex--but only the mortar, nothing else there.

That's one take on it. But it could be the other way around: maybe the mortar WT is the primary activation--in which case the leader and units in its hex and adjacent hexes can move or fire, but the squads in and adjacent to the leader/observer's hex cannot.

I think the rules need to spell out just what the activation limits are in a case of indirect onboard mortar fire--because two hexes (which could be widely separated) are involved. And the player is going to wonder what else he can do with the units in and around those hexes that impulse.
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Patrick Carroll wrote:

...
So, after you've resolved the mortar fire, the impulse continues. Can the squads in the observer's hex move/fire?


Yes.

Quote:
The squad adjacent to the observer?


Yes.

Quote:
The squad in the mortar's hex?


No.

Quote:
The units adjacent to the mortar (since there's a leader in the mortar's hex capable of activating adjacent units)?
...


No.

Think of it this way. The leader calling the mortar fire is activated, the mortar is only firing, gets marked Fired when done, and not activated.
Later in turn, it can't activate as it's already got a Fired marker.
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SJBenoist wrote:
Patrick Carroll wrote:

OK. What about other units in the observer's and/or mortar's hex? Are they activated too, since normally entire hexes are activated?


This part made it seem unclear.

Oh, sorry. I should have said "can be activated."

Quote:
But since we have covered that, I would say the Leader is being activated, and the activation would be subject to all normal restrictions.
IOW, if other units in his hex do fire, in the same impulse, it must be at the same target the leader observed.

Uh oh. Now it sounds like you've introduced something else that I hadn't even thought of.

Since there's a rule that says the leader/observer cannot apply his leadership modifier to DFT attacks that impulse, I would think his observation has nothing to do with DFT attacks by other squads in his hex (or in adjacent hexes). Hence, I would think the leader could observe fire for a mortar, another squad in his hex could move, and yet another squad could fire at any target (but without the leader's modifier).

 
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