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Change to Core Rules: Allow the possibility of friendly fire

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Ljevid

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Change to Core Rules: Allow the possibility of friendly fire

PostMon Mar 06, 2017 11:01 am

Bombardment

What do you think about dropping (or changing) this rule:

Pg. 56 Main Rulebook
You may only target a sector with weapon systems if it doesn’t contain any friendly Ground Assets

I really don’t like this rule. It is shallow and makes only superficial sense to me.

Fluff:
It has been said that orbital bombardment is precise enough that individual city blocks can be targeted by all factions. Why not flatten the enemy stronghold at the end of the street with close fire support?

Scourge: Don’t tell me they give a sh**. On the contrary I believe Scourge would love to bind a superior force and then drop a bomb on everybody.
UCM: Earth military – “We don’t like to fire on friendlies” – I get it. But every second war movie has a “danger close” scene with superior enemy forces about to overwhelm the defenders who call in fire support close to or even on their position. + if it happens in real life why forbid it here?
PHR: We are superhumans with super precise weaponry, but we are unable to pick out specific city blocks or enemy advance routes? Really?
Shaltari: I get that they like living – but why not drop the hurt on the squishy guys, while I sit safe and sound in a heavily armored suit? If you really don't like that argument you could give the Shaltari a fluffy disadvantage (for once) - no shooting on sectors your units occupy- everybody else is allowed to.

What about the rules
I tried a little battle against PHR and won by moving my units into the sectors he occupied, which made my units unassailable from orbit as long as a single unit of his was still alive + I still win the sector if I have the numbers…
That is just bad!

I think it would be much more fun if you had a rule that says: “You may target a sector with weapon systems if it contains friendly Ground Assets. BUT on a roll of 1-2 you hit your own troops
You could change that to: “On a roll of one you hit your own troops on a roll of two you have to evenly distribute the damage – starting with your own units

This rule makes no sense to me, but to force people to apply to your ethical guidelines - even if they want to play hardcore crusaders/fanatics or monsters.
I think you shouldn’t stop people from making difficult choices that might lead to cinematic moments.

So, what do You think? :D
Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man ON fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life...
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Bistromatic

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Re: Change to Core Rules: Allow the possibility of friendly

PostMon Mar 06, 2017 4:04 pm

I share concern of players using enemy units to hide from bombardment. A smaller ground force should be able to beat a larger ground force when supported from orbit. At the moment your own ground forces do nothing but hind bombardment however. Especially since deployment happens after combat, if at all possible your opponent should deploy any new troops onto any of yours that survived the combat step to completely shield them from bombardment.

I'm not entirely convinced friendly fire is the solution, so here's a few other possibilities:
1.) Friendly troops don't affect bombardment "Surface to orbit signal coming in. IFF link established." - Probably the simplest and blandest solution.
2.) You can bombard enemies in sectors that contain friendly troops but if you do your ground troops won't attack this round. "Bombardment incoming, stay inside the designated area." - Forces you to decide between ground and orbital attack.
3.) You can bombard enemies in sectors that contain friendly troops but you take an Accuracy penalty of +1. "Location confirmed. Relaying exclusion zones to gunnery command." - Ground and orbital forces work in concert but your fleet errs on the side of caution and suffers reduced accuracy.
4.) You can bombard enemies in sectors that contain friendly troops but if you do your ground forces hit on 5+ instead of 4+. "It's gonna rain! Keep your distance, lads!" - Ground and orbital forces work in concert but your ground forces err on the side of caution and suffer reduced accuracy.
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J.D. Welch

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Re: Change to Core Rules: Allow the possibility of friendly

PostSun Mar 12, 2017 1:22 am

These are all good ideas.

Probably the reasons for the rule are "balance" and "abstraction". Not saying that to do so is correct, for the reasons you've both pointed out, just that those could be where this came from. Or, a strict, personal moral code by the Designers, maybe. Who knows. I know from talking to Dave that Andy imposed a number of things on the game, and even had some other things overruled by Dave and Simon, so it could be someone's strict moral compass (maybe Dave's), but, dunno.

The only problem I could see with all of these suggestions is the extra bookkeeping involved. You bombard during a battlegroup's activation, then you have to remember when Ground Combat comes around that you need to impose the "penalty" on your Ground Assets, which could be easily forgotten by the time you get around to the Roundup Phase.

Not saying it's insurmountable, but I can see the Designers' reluctance to introduce that kind of bookkeeping requirement across so many different events and time taking place in the game...

Worth playtesting, though, I think.
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Re: Change to Core Rules: Allow the possibility of friendly

PostTue Apr 11, 2017 10:19 am

You could use something as simple as a "go to ground" token to indicate that your troops are finding the best defensive position outside of the target area. If they do this there is no offensive combat and they are it by friendly fire on a 6, just thoughts.
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Re: Change to Core Rules: Allow the possibility of friendly

PostTue Apr 11, 2017 11:16 am

Another condition could be a single command card called "go to ground",makes it a rare event that could have the signal blocked by an espionage card to cancel.
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Re: Change to Core Rules: Allow the possibility of friendly

PostTue Apr 11, 2017 12:41 pm

Except...........

Moving close to an opponent with superior supporting firepower IS a legitimate tactic both today and in the past. It was the standard tactic of the Red Army in Stalingrad when the Germans held air superiority, and again in Normandy when the Germans were told to get close enough to hang on the belts of Allied soldiers to prevent support hitting them. Today we have exactly the same problem, yes a weapon may be 90-95% accurate (or whatever the figure claimed is) but you still need to be sure what you are hitting is the enemy, and we seem as woefully incapable of making that differentiation in combat. Remember as recently as the Gulf War more UK casualties were caused by US friendly fire than by the Iraqis, and UK Blue on Blues was significant too.

The attacks we are simulating in DFC are capable of taking down whole sectors, not just a few buildings. I'm more than happy with the rules as is
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Cry of the Wind

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Re: Change to Core Rules: Allow the possibility of friendly

PostTue Apr 11, 2017 3:16 pm

We see tactical orbital strikes in the Dropzone game already now. Kodiaks are calling in orbital bombardments as are all forces when playing with the Campaign Day rules.

I'd keep it simple by simply giving bombardment weapons a +1 Lck penalty if friendlies are on the sector and friendlies will takes hits if there are leftovers after all hits have been assigned to enemy ground assets.
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Ljevid

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Re: Change to Core Rules: Allow the possibility of friendly

PostThu Apr 13, 2017 9:50 am

Cry of the Wind wrote:We see tactical orbital strikes in the Dropzone game already now. Kodiaks are calling in orbital bombardments as are all forces when playing with the Campaign Day rules.

I'd keep it simple by simply giving bombardment weapons a +1 Lck penalty if friendlies are on the sector and friendlies will takes hits if there are leftovers after all hits have been assigned to enemy ground assets.


+1

@pilgrim
I like that you argue from a fluff perspective - but I don't agree with your points.

Dropzone/ -fleet facts.
As Cry of the Wind already stated - you already use Kodiaks for orbital strikes with pinpoint precision. Other sources talk about the bombardment of single buildings/city blocks or whole sectors with sustained bombardment or nukes.

This shows that orbital bombardment doesn't mean - firing blindly into a sector, but is rather a term that encompasses a wide range of options/weaponry. The option of close fire support therefore seems logical.


Comparing WWII field artillery with the orbital weaponry of a Sci Fi game seems a little far fetched and superficial at best - even back then curtains of fire and close fire support were a thing.
The experiences during the 2nd gulf war led to a better coordination between armed forces and the introduction of an improved IFF system.
And again - comparing 20th century artillery with 27th century orbital bombardment seems far fetched.

All in all and with the Kodiak example in mind I believe that close fire support from orbit should be a thing and would stop enemy units from hiding behind friendly troops.
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Re: Change to Core Rules: Allow the possibility of friendly

PostSun Apr 16, 2017 11:38 am

I would disagree. The Kodiak is a single attack weapon - we don't know what it is but we can be sure it isn't a sector flattening orbital bombardment attack which is exactly what we are talking about if DFC. There is already a disconnect in we don't have any interface weapon systems that are cross both DFC and DZC, as I said, the Kodiak clearly isn't directing the same weapon system that we see attacking in DFC, and the fighters attacking in DZC are not the fighters we see in DFC, so comparisons are not really valid. I would also add that is the ONLY system that can call the orbital fire - no other vehicle or command unit can do it, which suggests its damned specialised.

Confidence in IFF systems, both today and in the future, is misplaced. The system is only as good as the operator.

There is another important consideration - KISS. The simple restriction prevents another sequence of dice rolls, so prevents the game play lagging.

As I said, I don't think there is any need to change. OK its not something to build barricades over, but there are many more important system issues that need addressing even if you think this is a problem
Razorworms are just Mother Natures way of reminding you why it is important to man the walls.

Ferrums are the UCM's way of reminding you to take enough AA
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Cry of the Wind

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Re: Change to Core Rules: Allow the possibility of friendly

PostSun Apr 16, 2017 6:48 pm

The Kodiak is an example of the kind of prescion they are capable of though. UCM and PHR are describe as fairly precise in the rulebook, leveling a tower block as described in the UCM section is a single large building/building complex. That would suggest they are more than capable of handling a danger close situation in something the size of a DFC sector.

I like the KISS method of just allowing it at a reduced lock value and allow friendlies to be hit if you are changing anything.
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