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Panzer (second edition)» Forums » Rules

Subject: Limited Spotting and Fire Priority Optional Rules rss

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Christian Knudsen
Canada
Dundurn
Saskatchewan
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Hi all! I have been trying out the optional rules, and am trying to get my head wrapped around the limited spotting rules, especially when used with the fire priority rule.

Question 1: If a unit spotting at close range has enough spotting help to bring its target roll to 00 or less, is it an automatic spot?

Question 2: Does the max spotting rule also limit the number of spots that a unit can assist with? Otherwise a seasoned formation of 4 vehicles will pretty much auto spot any V unit within 10 hexes in the open, more if they are actually doing anything. The max spotting rule is a huge limiter, especially when combined with the fact that only one spotting roll can be made per enemy unit. This has led to some weird situations where some very short range enemy vehicles are not spotted.

Question 3: How does this fit in with the fire priority rule? I agree with other posters that this needs to be interpreted to mean closest most threatening vehicle in order to avoid people leading their KV-1s with T-38s and such. But with the max spotting limitation, how does one choose which of several vehicles (or leg troops) that a particular unit spots? Does it only spot the three (or two, four, or whatever) units that are a) actually spotted by it's side, and b) closest? Or does it get to choose which ones to "spot", (ie the biggest threats) and just loses track of the other vehicles that it's side has spotted? Again this can lead to some weird situations where a vehicle becomes spotted by a side, but is then un-spotted because there are higher priority targets that are loading up friendly max spotting limitations.

Of course if one uses the early war radio-less rules, this becomes even more complicated, as spotting goes from a formation to a command radius issue.

Am I over complicating things here? How do all of you interpret these issues?

 
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Brent Pollock
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Saskatoon
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A1 - that is how we have been playing it.

A2 - this does seem a tad ambiguous. I would certainly count 'assissting' against the max limit. So far we have not encountered this as a problem other than in the 1941 time when lousy Soviet radioless platoons can only really hold one or two spots.

A3 - You're on your own here. We have been following the rule strictly, but remember that all members of a platoon can spread their fire so long as someone from that platoon is engaging the closest(and then next closest, et cetera) unit. Also remember that (for reasons that are unclear to me) this ony applies to vehicles; leg/towed are not rstricted this way which makes ATGs a tad more flexible.
 
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Christian Knudsen
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Dundurn
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Ok, rereading the relevant rules (hell, why not?), I think I have puzzled this one out.

7.7 states that "players must attempt to spot units when the spotting range is greater than 1;". Then 7.7.1 states that "each unit attempting to spot the same target unit" adds a plus 10 to the roll. It therefore seems to me that a side must attempt to spot every unit it possibly can, regardless of max spotting limits; nor is there a limit to how many spotting assists a single unit may give.

So consider the following situation. A group of 3 seasoned tanks (T34-85) in command radius comes around a hill and in the next spotting phase can spot a group of five seasoned enemy tanks (Pz IV/H) moving in the open at a range of 8-10 hexes. The larger group auto spots all 3 tanks, as each spot has a base 70, plus 4x +10 assists. The smaller group gets 5 chances at 90 or less - base seventy plus 2x +10 assists - to spot the enemy group. Any failed rolls mean totally unspotted vehicles and thus non-eligible targets.

Now consider the following situation using the max spots rule. Here, each unit could only "hold" three spots. Without the fire priority rule, all five Pz IV/H are potentially spotted; the spots are simply spread out between the enemy vehicles, and (assuming the smaller group fires first) the player may choose to fire zero, one, two, or three shots at any of the five enemy vehicles up to three shots, assuming all spot rolls are made and there are no Q or R firers.

Now let's add the fire priority rule. However, I am going to interpret it thusly: Each vehicle must spot and fire at the closest opposing vehicle that can possibly penetrate any of its defensive armour values at the current height differential, even if the enemy vehicle would have to move to bring the weaker armour facing into play. Do not take variable AP penetration into account. If more than one opposing vehicle meets these requirements, the closest must be spotted first, followed by the next closest, until the maximum spotting limit is reached, if this rule is in use. This means that a combat vehicle mounting only small arms or very light AP weaponry can be ignored in favour of a more distant vehicle that is more dangerous. For lone vehicles, this would be it; a single tank facing five "dangerous" enemy vehicles would be forced to spot and shoot at the closest spotted one, regardless of cover.

For a group of vehicles in command radius, however, the shots may be spread out so long as the closest spotted vehicles are fired upon at least once. So in the above example, each T-34 would have to spot the closest three spottable (ie the spotting rolls were made) Pz IV. The furthest two Pz IV are now considered to be not spotted at all. In the command phase, the T-34s can spread fire between the three spotted Pz IV in the following manner: One shot each, or two at the closest then one at the second closest, or all three at the closest. Should the T-34s KO one or more of the PZ IV, (and survive the return fire), then in the next spotting phase they would have to roll to spot the more distant ones, however only the closest three would retain spotting, as all three T-34s are forced to concentrate their individual max spotting limits on the most dangerous (ie closest) priority targets.

Clear as mud? Basically I am saying that if all three ORs are used, then things happen in the following order:

1. Spotting rolls are made for all eligible enemy units. All eligible friendly units may assist.

2. All "spotted" enemy units (ie successful spotting rolls) are then vetted for max spotting in order of fire priority by each friendly vehicle. This means that each friendly vehicle will spot only the closest dangerous enemy vehicles (or towed/leg units if less dangerous vehicles than the spotting limit) up to its max spotting limit. Enemy units that are not spotted by any friendly vehicle become unspotted again.

3. Fires are assigned in such a way that targets are engaged on priority basis. However units in friendly command range are able to split fires so long as the group engages targets on a priority basis.

Does this make sense as both an interpretation of existing rules and as a house rule?

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