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(Firefight) Shooting with / at models not present on the table

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  • (Firefight) Shooting with / at models not present on the table

    The proper title should have been: (Firefight) Shooting with / at models not present on the table but in play*

    (*other than non-opened transports)

    With the arrival of the new Mules on my doorstep, I noticed an issue related to the one with about Radius Effects while embarked. Meaning Warpath Firefight lacks an explicit way how to handle situations where a model is in play but not on the table, as ranges for weapons and special rules are measured from individual models on the tabletop.

    "I shot a man who wasn't there..."
    The main problem here is actually that in Firefight's rules for shoot actions (pg 42f), Step 2: Check for Eligible Models explicitly refers to models on the table for LoS and ranges.
    So, in order to shoot with or at models in open topped transports, they would have to placed on the transport or else they can't shoot or targeted - see pg 43 WP:FF.

    To use the Mule as an example: 10 Marines (more like 5) or just even one GCPS weapon team with its 60 mm base won't fit easily onto a Mule, and there is usually 2 of them in a Heavy Weapons Squad. And while models on the transport count as in cover, Checking for eligible models specifies that models firing or being fired at must be visible.
    Strictly speaking, this means that only the models present on the vehicle can shoot or be shot at. Does that mean that the rest of the squad's attacks are forfeit or are not eligible targets?

    In a hole in the ground there once lived...
    A similar issue is using non-battlezone terrain where you would place the models off the table instead of inside the Battlezone terrain. Now, the models could fire through openings in the buildings, which would count as partial tiles, but FF has no way to handle positioning and movement that does not happen on the battlefield.

    The Solution
    I think that this problem could be easily solved by using the approach from WP proper, where units can enter transports like they would a piece of defensible terrain (pg 64). And for open topped (pg 65), they can make attacks and charge reactions from the "back of the transport". The later part is a bit imprecise,so I understood it as the edge of the transport compartment counting as an equivalent to the edge of defensible terrain piece (pg 51), in regards to shooting and all other ranges (e.g. Inspiring).
    - For open topped transports it would be best to refer to the transport compartment whether transported models can be targetted or shoot, even if they are not physically present on the table - all models in the open-topped Transport count as visible, but in cover.
    - For fully enclosed buildings, the best solution would be to measure all ranges from openings akin to open tiles (doors) or partial tiles (windows). If the building is small (up to 4-5'' max per side), you can pick any opening. For larger buildings (e.g. 6-7''' per side), the player controlling the unit(s) inside it would have to decide which side of the building their unit is guarding, and a move action allows you to change sides. Leaving such a large building would only be possible from the side that the unit is currently guarding.

  • #2
    I think you raise some great points. For me, the easiest way to deal with several aspects of what you brought up regarding the Open-Topped Transports would be to just use the vehicle itself for all measurements and LOS determinations to and from the embarked unit. Not just the "back" of the Transport. Heaven help us if they release a Transport where the troop compartment is in the front or center. Looking at you, Rai'mega.


    • #3

      Also, I am inclined to agree with you there, given that some Plague players already modelled their Mules with Stg 3 Ghouls firing from open hatches and doors.