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Subject: Overhead Fire rss

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Roger Grossman
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Non-tripod, non-H units cannot fire over the heads of friendly units. But I assume they can fire over the heads of enemy units (and vice-versa), since they're not exactly worried about hitting them (to put it mildly). Sound right?

Thanks,

RG
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Jayson Ng
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You mean exert VOF on a card behind enemy units? I don't think it happens. Units engage what's in front of them and can hit units behind only if they can do grazing fire if I'm not mistaken.
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Mark L
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The rules for MG Grazing Fire (see 6.4), say:

"Normally, when firing along a PDF into another card, the VOF is exerted into the closest enemy occupied card along the PDF and within LOS."

So I'm inclined to say no, and that even units capable of over-head fire will only engage the closest enemy along the PDF.

However, perhaps you could shift fire and engage more distant units along the same PDF? Description of the Shift Fire action says:

"Move the VOF/PDF in any desired direction, engaging any other card in the originator’s LOS..." (emphasis added)

So I suppose that would allow you to fire through enemy units, whether you used overhead fire or not. I don't think I've had a case where I needed/wanted to do that. It might make PDFs/VOFs a bit more awkward to keep track of, tho

In order to keep things simple, I'd lean toward only firing at the closest enemy units along the PDF. This also makes precise control and coordination of your units more difficult, which is perhaps appropriate for the games's company commander perspective. Might need to make a judgement call depending on the circumstances.
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Roger Grossman
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Hey, Gents.

Quote:
You mean exert VOF on a card behind enemy units? I don't think it happens. Units engage what's in front of them and can hit units behind only if they can do.

Not just behind; above and behind. Aside from Grazing Fire, no units ever fire through enemy units on the same level.

Quote:
So I suppose that would allow you to fire through enemy units, whether you used overhead fire or not.

Again, I don't think so. AFAIK, the only way to fire through a card containing enemy units is a) Grazing Fire or b) overhead fire, in which case you are not really firing through the card, you are firing over it (see 5.1.2).

Quote:
In order to keep things simple, I'd lean toward only firing at the closest enemy units along the PDF.

AFAIK, you are under no such restriction. The rules seem to me very clear on this: yes, you open fire on the nearest target, but after that you are free to shift fire to any enemy unit within range and LOS, whether it's the closest enemy or not. That's even true for the enemy; when an enemy unit receives a Shift Fire on the activity chart, it shifts to the incoming PDF regardless whether the firing unit producing that PDF is the closest unit or not.

So, given that units a) open fire on the nearest enemy unit and b) are indeed allowed to shift fire to enemy units that are not the closest to the firing unit, let me restate my original question: can non-tripod and non-H VOF units shift fire over the heads enemy units (since they would not be able to do so were the intervening units friendly)?

As always, if my premises are wrong, please set me straight.

RG


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Roger Grossman
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Here's an example of what I'm talking about (and the situation that prompted the question):

A (German squad placed by contact on C)
B (US unit)
C (US unit that triggered German placement on A)

Assume A was the only possible location the contact could be placed. The German unit cannot open fire on B, even though its the nearest friendly unit, because the rules clearly state that the enemy must open up on the unit that triggered its placement; if it can't do that it can't be placed. So the question is, is the German squad placed in this situation or not?

It seems to me it should be, and should open fire on A. The only reason units are prevented from firing over the heads of friendlies unless stabilized is the fear of hitting your own guys, which clearly isn't operative here.

Now, it's true you're are not allowed to fire through enemy cards, but is firing over a card the same as firing through it? I don't think so.

I do see one problem here, and that is that the German unit will never be able to shift fire to B, since all fire is coming along the same PDF. The way I would handle that is to treat fire from B as "Under fire from a different direction than its own PDF," which at least gives the enemy the same chance of shifting fire to B as it would if B were off to the left or right. Yes, technically, the fire is coming along the same PDF, but I think the effect is the same, which is to give the enemy the chance to switch fire between targets firing at it (for better or worse). And it seems just as reasonable to me that an enemy unit would shift its fire from a unit on a hill in the distance to one closer along the same LOS as it is that it would shift its fire laterally from one direction to another. In other words, it seems to me in the spirit of the rules (although what the hell do I know).

Anyway, just blabbing out loud here. Any feedback or suggestions welcome.

RG
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