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Subject: sighting and firing arch ? rss

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Jay Duval
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If I give a sighting command to one of my guys can he attempt to spot an enemy on the board even if he is not in his firing arch. I do not see anything in the rules that says a person cannot spot an enemy who is outside his firing arch. So does the firing arch only apply to shooting or to both shooting and sighting ?


Also does that apply to hiding ? If one of my guys attempts to hide, and none of the enemy have him in their firing arch does my guy automatically hide even if the enemy is close enough to prevent the hide if I was in there firing arch ?
 
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Ubergeek
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You're right, it's not in the rules anywhere but should be. I think "Sighting" should be in the following rules paragraph.

Quote:
This part of the base is the “Shooting Arc.” All Shooting, Tossing, and Fighting occur only through this arc. When moving the Soldier, it is important to position the arc in the direction you wish him to face, as you cannot change this direction until another Move action happens.


I've taught and played it that sighting is also done through the soldier's arc. So, you can't sight or shoot anything outside that arc.

The same would apply to hiding. If there are no target units which have you within their arc, it's an instant hide.

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The first step in checking to see if your Soldier is able to Take Cover is to simply ask your opponent if your Soldier can Take Cover. (It may be obvious.) If he agrees, then the Soldier can Take Cover and remove the Spotted Marker.


Hopefully Jeff will address this one directly and clear it up or at least get it into the FAQ for now.
 
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Mark Kwasny
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This part of the base is the “Shooting Arc.” All Shooting, Tossing, and Fighting occur only through this arc. When moving the Soldier, it is important to position the arc in the direction you wish him to face, as you cannot change this direction until another Move action happens.


The way I have been playing it is to follow this rule exactly. It refers to the arc affecting Shooting, Tossing, and Fighting - but it does not mention Sighting or Cover checks. So I took this to mean that a figure can Sight and block a Hide attempt in any direction, but can only bring his weapons to bear through his arc.
 
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Kevin Duke
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I'm afraid I have to disagree with Walt, which seldom happens. Back in the early days I thought you could only sight thru your arc (play test version) but Jeff changed that.

And the part about "ask your opponent" is not related to arc but to distance. I'm certainly not the official rules person but I know there is no such thing as "instant hide," which could be construed to mean at any time as well. you can only remove a spotted marker in the Hide action by giving a soldier the order to hide. If something has changed since you were spotted, often something like the nearest enemy soldiers aren't there (alive) any more, then it may be a short check, but it's still a check.
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Wow, I've been schooled. And I've been teaching it wrong. And, I'm totally put off by the idea of being able to sight in any direction. It completely blasts mini gaming tactics out of the water. It's been my whole purpose for having a rear guard or overlapping cover arcs, especially if someone gets around the side or back of you that hasn't been sighted yet. Sure the head swivels, but we're not talking The Exorcist here. If you can turn your head around 180 degrees, you might as well let someone shoot 180 degrees out as well. And the way I've been playing it, the frontal arc is where I consider the soldier's attention to be focused. If you can look anywhere, then just let everyone look with a LOOK card. I've always thought the beauty of pulling a card like "Three soldiers may sight" was to allow for better sight in different directions. This is especially true since once you sight, everyone can see the spotted target.

For example: Say I've got three guys spread out and get a chance to sight with one. Maybe he's got facing on the target but doesn't have the LOOK modifiers to sight. But wait, I've got another guy over here facing the other direction preparing to shoot at someone but he's got great sight modifiers on the target so I'll just use him. Maybe under the right conditions it might be believable, but in terms of game play it just doesn't work for me. Your mileage may vary.

If Jeff changed it, I hope he changes it back. I'm anxious to hear his explanation for it if that's the way it works. If that's the case, I'll teach the official rules, but locally will offer up my option to only sight through the front arc just like using it for other stuff. IMHO, it makes for a more tactical gaming experience.
 
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Jerry Tresman
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Walt may be a bit of ovethinking there. Shooting is about focus and position, spotting is about awareness and communication e.g. something moved behind me or a noise. Someone with a clearer view will get to take a shot etc.

It works as is for me and most importantly keeps the game flowing. The main defence is pinning someone so their stats are halved and you can hide, move and attack.
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Jay Duval
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So who is the more definitive rules question answerer, Duke or Walt ?

I kind of like the idea of everything hinging on thru the front firing arc since it becomes possible to surround and surpress a unit or flank a unit forcing them to split their fire or risk losing track of a flanking unit. I understand Duke's view also, since once someone is sighted wether it was by a soldier or not he becomes sighted for everyone since if I was part of a squad and saw a german moving in the woods I surely would let the rest of my squad know that I saw someone.

It seems to be one of those grey areas where reality and game mechanic don't quite meet.

I feel that sighting and shooting are two parts of the same game mechanic. Since sighting doesn't have anything to do with fighting or any other aspect of the game. So I can see how you can argue that sighting should be thru the shooting arc as well. I don't see how this would slow the game down any more then having to determine if someone is within the shooting arc to shoot.

I would like to get an official ruling on this but if it turns out that Jeff B chose not to use the firing arcs for shooting I may have to house rule it like Walt did. He is right there is alot of strategy removed from the game when you don't have to use firing arcs for sighting.
 
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Barry Kendall
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I agree with Jerry on this one. As a hunter I've often become aware of movement in my peripheral vision, and of sounds even some distance behind me. With a bit of turning at the waist one has 360-degree vision with no sound and minimal movement.

This is quite different from shifting position enough to bring one's rifle to a firing posture and being able to aim at the target.

Although I hadn't noticed this gap in the explicit rules text, we've been playing with all-around sighting capability and it works fine.

I have a friend who's a WW II re-enactor and he has also shared stories of being in a position where he absolutely knew Germans were to his rear but he couldn't shift position at the moment to do anything about it.

 
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Greg
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If a soldier beomes "sighted" when he shoots, then if that soldier is not in the firing arc of any of the enemy figures, then how would he be "sighted" if you played it where you can only sight using the firing arcs? It would seem inconsistent that you can only "sight" a figure that's in your firing arc, but an attacking figure not in your firing arc automatically becomes "sighted" when it shoots your figure.
 
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Andrew DiGregorio
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i cant seem to find it right now, but there was DEFINITELY a thread here some months back that referred to this.

the official answer was that it was always to be assumed that a soldier could look anywhere for sighting purposes, effectively being able to turn his head/look behind him, etc....
 
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Chris Colapietro
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The official rule is that sighting is 360 degrees - I guess to make things 'simple'.

I am in full agreement with Walt - we play that sighting is only from the firing arc. Without that house rule, there is little point to flanking, and it is virtually impossible to stay hidden.

A couple of other quick house rules we use - we play that the buildings block LOS, and that the target only gets the shoot modifier for his square if he is in cover. We have never been comfortable with the whole "cover is abstract but it's not" aspect of SMG, and prefer to lean towards traditional miniatures rules where it makes sense to us.

Unless you are playing tournaments, it's your game - play it as you see fit.
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Jay Duval
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Good set of house rules Chris, I think I will use them with my gaming group thanks for the input.
 
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Kevin Duke
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For the record, sighting outside the covered arc is not "duke's view."

I'm just reporting the designer's choice, which I'm glad to see Jerry also remembered. (I went looking for the FAQ thinking it must be on there but we must have had it resolved before Jerry started the epic.)
 
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Todd
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Ok, so I don't have as much experience as the rest of you fine folks, but I thought I might just throw this out there as an idea...

On page 12 of the 1.72 rulebook, it says in red: "(excluding the
square that the sighting Soldier is in.)" when it talks about which square modifiers to use when determining spotting. What if you used the value of the modifier of the square containing the sighting soldier when spotting outside your covered arc?

For example, in most woods tiles there is a -2 Look modifier. If your sighting soldier is in a woods tile and attempting to spot a soldier outside the firing arc, you would take an additional -2 penalty.

This allows the terrain to play an additional role to determine penalties, makes flanking more desirable but possibly stays within the intent of fast play and rules interaction.

Thanks for your time and comments,

Maus
 
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Quote:
Walt may be a bit of ovethinking there.


Well maybe a bit, but even more now

Here's my train of thought, even if it's off the rails. I have issues with sighting. I think it's way to easy. So much so that I came up with my own 3D terrain rules to make it more difficult. But even that aside, I averaged the sighting distance on all my troops (32 of them) both German and US. The average sight distance is 17 squares. And I stress "average". I usually have a guy in the squad that has a 20+ sighting capability. There's hardly an instance where sighting is unsuccessful, so why bother even having it. Granted if someone is pinned that's a different story but irrelevant to my argument. So sighting only in the direction a guy is facing just makes sense to me. It imposes a restriction or requirement that validates the need to even have a LOOK action other than to draw cards. And of course there is the whole flanking thing that is the heart of war gaming in all forms.
 
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Mark Kwasny
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Flanking seems unhindered by this rule. You can still only shoot in the direction of the arc, so unless you have soldiers facing in all directions, it won't matter if those approaching enemy soldiers are sighted or not - no one will be able to fire at them. You still need soldiers providing all-round coverage.

Plus, this is no more abstract than the whole underpowered grenade issue, which I find more difficult to accept than the idea of a soldier being able to turn his head to see an enemy soldier moving around.
 
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Greg
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Walt Mulder wrote:
Quote:
Walt may be a bit of ovethinking there.


Well maybe a bit, but even more now

Here's my train of thought, even if it's off the rails. I have issues with sighting. I think it's way to easy. So much so that I came up with my own 3D terrain rules to make it more difficult. But even that aside, I averaged the sighting distance on all my troops (32 of them) both German and US. The average sight distance is 17 squares. And I stress "average". I usually have a guy in the squad that has a 20+ sighting capability. There's hardly an instance where sighting is unsuccessful, so why bother even having it. Granted if someone is pinned that's a different story but irrelevant to my argument. So sighting only in the direction a guy is facing just makes sense to me. It imposes a restriction or requirement that validates the need to even have a LOOK action other than to draw cards. And of course there is the whole flanking thing that is the heart of war gaming in all forms.


I guess a reason to have it is to force the player to play a Look action to sight the enemy. Even if you can sight them from far out, it might be out of range of your weapons, but then it might force the opponent to have to play a Hide action to take cover in the square they are at or move to a square with cover. I don't really know though as I'm just kind of speculating some of the affects of needing to use sight even if it seems it is always possible.
 
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I'm not buying the "head swivel" and the HIDE action brings up entirely new issues that refute the fact that someone is focused on doing something else.

Another example: Say the story card shows "SHOOT" then "HIDE". My opponent plays a shoot action and shoots at something in his arc. I play a hide action, but the unit my opponent uses to determine my HIDE success turns out to be a soldier who just took the shoot action outside the arc of my guy trying to hide. But for argument sake I'll make it even more difficult. Say the story cards are "LOOK" the "SHOOT". You could make the argument that your time to LOOK is done looking everywhere. But follow that story card with a "SHOOT" then "MOVE" and I'll argue that the time you spent sighting was to target someone in your arc that you could shoot at during the next action. I'll make one further argument related to Combat Contact. Say two opposing units are both spotted. I rush your guy from behind and get into CC. You can't turn around to face my guy unless you play a move card. But hey, my guy was sighted right? So why isn't he paying attention and be able to turn to face his opponent? I'm sure someone will think up a reason. Maybe the guy I rushed from behind was taking a dump and couldn't get his pants up. My point is the arc should be consistent across the rules for all actions through it.

So AFAIC the whole look/hide to and from any direction does jumble up the rules and makes them inconsistent. So the more I think about it, the more likely it is that I will only play using sighting through the front arc.
 
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Jay Duval
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Walt Mulder wrote:
Quote:
Walt may be a bit of ovethinking there.


Well maybe a bit, but even more now

Here's my train of thought, even if it's off the rails. I have issues with sighting. I think it's way to easy. So much so that I came up with my own 3D terrain rules to make it more difficult. But even that aside, I averaged the sighting distance on all my troops (32 of them) both German and US. The average sight distance is 17 squares. And I stress "average". I usually have a guy in the squad that has a 20+ sighting capability. There's hardly an instance where sighting is unsuccessful, so why bother even having it. Granted if someone is pinned that's a different story but irrelevant to my argument. So sighting only in the direction a guy is facing just makes sense to me. It imposes a restriction or requirement that validates the need to even have a LOOK action other than to draw cards. And of course there is the whole flanking thing that is the heart of war gaming in all forms.


I wouldn't go as far as saying that sighting is unnecessary. It adds an additional choice in the game that can alter the outcome of shooting. Example I don't have initiative, my guy is spotted and so isn't the enemy, In a Hide/move phase followed by a move/shoot I hide my guy in the first phase and then shoot in the second this allows me to circum navigate your initiative advantage and shoot your guy first. If it wasn't for sighting it would be just a shoot fest. The look command actually adds alot of options to the game.
 
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Greg
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@ Walt

So would you be using the sighting via arc only when you are trying to sight with your figure, or would you also not automatically sight (put a spotted marker on) an enemy that shoots at your figure and is not in any of your figure's arc?
 
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So is it an honest question or are you baiting me for an argument? "Just because I'm paranoid doesn't mean there isn't someone out to get me". shake

No change to rules for shooting. A shooting figure is spotted. If someone shoots at me they'd get my full attention. Granted we're not dealing with hidden sniper issues (yet). You might argue over whether I might turn around to see where a shot is coming from without turning my figure, but I'd say I'm more concerned about keeping my head down. Shooting inherently exposes the shooter to everyone. So maybe the guy who was shot at isn't facing the shooter, someone else may be. And, you'll still need to change your facing with MOVE action to get a shot on them anyway if you weren't facing them.

So no change to any rules. Just my justification for amending the arc to include sighting issues. A total of one word added to the rules would be all that's required. Granted it may change the way some folks have been playing. But either way, it needs to be cleared up in writing with the next rules update.
 
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Thomas Kazmierczak
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I think once Causeways is released and we begin to see massive boards having sighting distances of greater than 15 squares (and soldiers armed with scoped weapons to take advantage of this distance) will begin to make more sense. As it is I have no problem with sighting in any direction, as I can imagine the soldier twisting his head to spot an enemy but still needing to turn his body in order to line up a shot (represented by taking a MOVE action). Flanking is still important as not only does it force the enemy to choose which direction to face thereby limiting his firing options, but if the enemy doesn't react then you have an opportunity to engage in melee combat from the rear (especially if you are flanking to the left side of a formation).
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Chris Ganshaw
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In addition to Causeways, I think the upcoming terrain packs will have additional modifers, which will effect sighting. This was mentioned with the Hasty Fighting Positions. I think we all have a psychological issue with being able to Look through building at this point. My guess is that once the terrain pack with buildings come into play, some of that will be "fixed". The same may hold true with the long sight distances, once the entire base game is on the table.
I'm pretty sure that Jeff has a few things that he is not tipping his hand at just yet. So as for myself, I;m not going to second guess the rules as they were written. Even when a degree of logic says, hmm why?
Chris
 
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Greg
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Walt Mulder wrote:
So is it an honest question or are you baiting me for an argument? "Just because I'm paranoid doesn't mean there isn't someone out to get me". shake

No change to rules for shooting. A shooting figure is spotted. If someone shoots at me they'd get my full attention. Granted we're not dealing with hidden sniper issues (yet). You might argue over whether I might turn around to see where a shot is coming from without turning my figure, but I'd say I'm more concerned about keeping my head down. Shooting inherently exposes the shooter to everyone. So maybe the guy who was shot at isn't facing the shooter, someone else may be. And, you'll still need to change your facing with MOVE action to get a shot on them anyway if you weren't facing them.

So no change to any rules. Just my justification for amending the arc to include sighting issues. A total of one word added to the rules would be all that's required. Granted it may change the way some folks have been playing. But either way, it needs to be cleared up in writing with the next rules update.


No baiting. I was just wondering how you would rule that based on the firing arch restrictions you would employ for sighting. I didn't know if you would consider them one and the same or just for when your figures are sighting. It could certainly be differentiated in that someone shooting at you is going to give up their position and thus be spotted.
 
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Brian
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Johnny hastily dug a foxhole, careful not to damage the sticky bomb detonator. The tank rumbled nearer. Fear of being crushed or spotted consumed him; yet seconds later, he deftly slapped the bomb onto a greasy gear and spun for cover, snap-firing...
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These type of recent debates just further underline the necessity for another rules revision. I hope the rules do get again reprinted and included in The Causeway including better clarifying sections on playing with multiple players and how to properly interpret all orders cards, as well as corrections presented for any previously misprinted scenario books or orders cards since discovered.

However, it seems to me Kevin is right that this subject was covered some time before Jerry started the FAQ but I can not find Jeff's relevant comment despite an exhaustive search tonight. It was most likely covered in a thread that does not have a corresponding title, a frequent problem in the early days when threads were highjacked and rambled into off topic directions. (Also a reminder for us to stick to the original topic or start new threads.)

Currently based on my memory alone, I recall and accept that 360 sighting is correct and elegantly abstracted in SMG. Trying to layer finer detail onto it or attempting to force it to conform to some other preconceived miniature game notions I might have would only breed the desire to reject it as unacceptably illogical. LOS is abstract and illogical as well, but so what, right? It just is what it is.

Walt, you are already happily playing some variant hybrid that is not officially SMG anyway, so accepting that yet another way you might prefer to play the game is not the official way shouldn't really matter, right? The only need for absolute clarity anyway resides in the tournament aspect and within official online registration.

Besides that however, it actually does make sense to me that sighting includes all the senses of perception and that full range of motion with sight may be achieved much easier than the body mechanics required to get a good shot off. I can be focused 360 on my hearing at all times, with my field of vision being slightly more restricted than that, and with my actual weapon range of motion and accuracy being the most restricted which is modeled in the actual firing arc. For me, the sighting rules are simple and they simply work.
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