Saturday, January 8, 2011
Flames of War: A Primer for the Conscript Pt 3
THE SHOOTING PHASE:
Now that you have made it through the Starting Step and the Movement Step, it's time to get down to the nitty-gritty... the Shooting Step.
In Flames of War, since things are done by platoon, the first thing to do is choose the platoon you wish to fire with. Once you have selected the firing platoon, you then select a target platoon. This platoon must be within the Range characteristic for the team or weapon being fired, as listed in the Arsenal.
The amount of dice you roll is dependant on the ROF (rate of fire) characteristic for the team/weapon. Moving usually reduces this to a value of 1, though there are exceptions to this. The number you need to roll on each die to hit the target relies on a few factors: the targets skill rating, the distance to the target, whether the target is concealed or gone-to-ground (more on that in a bit), ect. For each die that rolls above the modified number you need to hit, you score a hit. Now, the player owning the target platoon can "allocate" which teams take the hits and make the saves.
Unlike WH40k, where the player that owns the target unit can allocate hits to whatever he pleases within the unit, in Flames of War there are some restrictions on which teams can have hits allocated to.
First off, to allocate a hit to a team, it must be a Valid Target. This means it must be in view (LOS) and within range. Furthermore, if there are any Gun teams in the platoon (such as heavy machine guns, anti-tank guns, etc) they can have the most powerful hits allocated to them first. There are more rules on this, but I'll leave them for you to find on your own!
Once hits have been allocated to teams, it is time for the target platoon's player to roll their saves. Infantry are horrendously durable, and always get a good save. Vehicles are a bit more complicated, as you have compare the vehicle's armor value to the shooter's Anti Tank (AT) rating to see if the round has any effect. Gun teams are more fragile, since the team has to stay with their gun to be combat-effective. For each hit, the target rolls a single save. If the rolled die is above the unit's save (for infantry, guns, and unarmored vehicles), then the save was successful and the unit takes no damage. For vehicles, you add the armor value of the facing taking the hit to the die roll. If it is more than the AT value of the shooter's weapon, then the vehicle make's it save.
Being Concealed and Gone-to-Ground make it more difficult for the unit to hit the target in the first place, but what really adds the extra oomph is Bulletproof Cover.
Bulletproof Cover adds ANOTHER roll to be made by the attacking platoon, after the saves are rolled. The attacking platoon must roll equal to or higher than their weapon's Firepower rating to destroy a unit in Bulletproof cover. That goes back to the Digging In of units that we discussed in the previous part of this primer.
But those are mostly just the boring mechanics. You'll have to read the rules to get more into the crunchy bits. What I want to do now is introduce a bit of the rules that go beyond normal shooting that can become your best friend: the smoke rules.
Certain weapons can fire specialized smoke rounds, if it is listed in the weapon's notes in the Arsenal.
You can only fire smoke at enemy units, but you'll rarely regret it. For things you know you likely will not kill in a single round of shooting, smoking it instead reduces the amount of fire you will receive from that unit in the next turn. Smoke conceals all targets that need to draw LOS through it, making it harder for a unit to hit you. If they want to hit you without a modifier to their roll, they'll need to move, reducing their ROF. Oftentimes, my Sherman Tanks (AT 10) will do this against heavy German tanks they don't have much chance of damaging (Such as Tigers facing the platoon, AV 9). It forces the enemy to make a choice: stay in place, and miss more shots, or move, and make less shots to begin with.
So, now you know the basics of scoot, shoot, and boogie. Next part, we'll get into another major step: the Assault Step.
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