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

Subject: Seeking Opinions on House Rules - Spotting rss

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Brett Pierotte
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I've been playing BoH and the entire LnL series for awhile now and am generally very happy with the game. The rules that I really don't like are the ones regarding spotting. Having to re-spot a unit in a blocking/degrading hex each turn(especially when said hex had been firing at your unit just the turn before) is really quite annoying. Given the time scalce (which I believe is suppose to represent maybe 2 minutes per round) it seems unlikely that a unit could become so hidden that you wouldn't even risk firing at the same general area. Are soldiers in this game paying for their own ammunition out of their own pockets or something? I've had entire turns pass in which no units fired because they were all marked ops-complete after failing spotting rolls. Again, it just doesn't make sense. So this is my proposed house rule:

- Units (and the hexes they occupy) which begin a scenario in a blocking or degrading hex are marked with a 'spotted' counter (In this case, the counter reminds the players that this hex must be SPOTTED per the existing spotting rules before being fired upon)
- Units (and the hexes they occupy) which were spotted using a spotting roll, moved, fired, assault moved, meleed, or ADJACENT to an enemy unit during the previous TURN are considered SPOTTED during the subsequent TURN and may be fired upon without having to be SPOTTED again
- If the units in a given hex spend their entire turn WITHOUT being spotted via a spotting roll, moving, firing, assault moving, meleeing,or becoming adjacent to an enemy unit, then during the administration phase they are once again marked with a SPOTTED counter to indicate that they would need to be SPOTTED before being fired upon.

I think this would speed up the game and make more tactical sense. Opinions or suggestions?
 
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Vance Strickland
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SJBenoist wrote:
A turn is approximately 2-4 minutes.

I've never had a problem with spotting units, and have never experienced a single turn where no units fired due to spotting issues. It is possible you are misinterpreting a rule if this a problem.
What scenario are you having this problem with?


FWIW, I think the spotting rules are a strength of the LnL system, introducing a form of Fog-of-War that other systems struggle mightily to include with far more complexity for equivalent (or even inferior!) results.

Your house rule seems awfully similar to Squad Leader's concealment rules ... I prefer the system as it stands.


+1. Good post.
 
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Brett Pierotte
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SJBenoist wrote:
A turn is approximately 2-4 minutes.

I've never had a problem with spotting units, and have never experienced a single turn where no units fired due to spotting issues. It is possible you are misinterpreting a rule if this a problem.
What scenario are you having this problem with?


FWIW, I think the spotting rules are a strength of the LnL system, introducing a form of Fog-of-War that other systems struggle mightily to include with far more complexity for equivalent (or even inferior!) results.

Your house rule seems awfully similar to Squad Leader's concealment rules ... I prefer the system as it stands.


Yes, I understand the need for modeling fog of war, but how foggy does it need to be? At the tactical level I assume you have some idea of the enemy that is directly in front of you, especially if you had been taking fire fromt that hex just the turn before. The specific scenario I was refering to was 'Le Manoir'. In this scenario, the Americans must take a certain number of building hexes within a specific number of turns. The German player, since his units became 'unspotted' at the end of every turn, had no incentive to fire and reveal his position. He would simply pass every impulse. Meanwhile, my Americans had to try to spot his units in order to fire, even thought they had been taking fire from the very same building the turn before and the building was their mission objective! Inevitably, I would miss my spotting roll with whatever leader I was using. And, if I read the rules correctly, even though spotting does not 'cost' an impulse, there is still only one spotting attempt 'per impulse'. Therefore, I either had to pass on that impulse, or use the impulse to move one of my units, thus exposing it to oppurtunity fire at a significant penalty. Now, I realize that by firing, the Germans had now exposed their position and became 'spotted', but again, by the beginning of the very next turn they would once again become 'unspotted', forcing me to repeat the process. Was I doing something wrong or is this the way the game was intended to be played?
 
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Vance Strickland
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korangar wrote:

.... or use the impulse to move one of my units, thus exposing it to oppurtunity fire at a significant penalty. Now, I realize that by firing, the Germans had now exposed their position and became 'spotted', but again, by the beginning of the very next turn they would once again become 'unspotted', forcing me to repeat the process. Was I doing something wrong or is this the way the game was intended to be played?


This is indeed the way the game is meant to be played. It's about maneuver not just sitting and blasting away at each other.

Use some squads as an"overwatch" and move other squads... one at a time.

Force the defender to expose himself for opportunity fire OR risk having sqquads move adjacent, which means he's auto-spotted.
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p55carroll
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korangar wrote:

Yes, I understand the need for modeling fog of war, but how foggy does it need to be? At the tactical level I assume you have some idea of the enemy that is directly in front of you, especially if you had been taking fire fromt that hex just the turn before.

Not necessarily. Soldiers have legs as well as weapons: they may have fired from one spot a minute ago, but right now they may be located elsewhere. You can't be sure, unless they're in plain sight.

I myself have been amazed, in training situations, at how well concealed a handful of men can be. Or how easy it is to lose track of them. Especially when there's a lot going on all at once, as there often is.
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SJBenoist wrote:

A lot of people have the exact same issues you raise when they first see the game, your not alone at all.

True. The spotting rules were a hurdle for me at first.
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Brett Pierotte
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Thanks for the replies and advice. I will continue playing with the current spotting rules until it becomes more intuitive. But if I understand your strategy suggestions correctly...Is it even worth it to attempt a spotting roll? You have at best a coin-flip's chance and the penalty for failure is that your unit or leader is marked 'ops-complete' and taken out of the game for the rest of that turn. Any thoughts?
 
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