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Entrenching Skill


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#1 Magnus Grendel

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 10:44 AM

With what skill checks, and for how long, do a siege regiment 'dig in' - with the issue of the entrenching tool and sandbags they're clearly intended to do so.

Equally, should there be some sort of 'bolster defences' type talent? Something Sarge can do to direct a squad digging in and earn them an extra armour point or two?

Suggest a possible specialisation of Trade (Pioneer) to cover digging trenchworks, laying razorwire, etc, etc.



#2 KommissarK

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 11:00 AM

Honestly, there is no set way to handle this in the book. Obviously a distinct skill/test would be preferred, but I would say handle the creation of entrenchements like this:

Sandbags: Takes 10 minutes for 1 man to create a 2m long barrier which they could duck behind (I am pulling this out of thin air, so anyone with experience doing this, feel free to berate me and come up with a better time/length), assuming they have the needed components in hand (workable soil, sandbags, entrenching tool). Have an optional strength test (+20) to reduce the amount of time it takes by each degree of success, no penalty if failed. If trying to speed it up, make a toughness +30 check. If failed, suffer one degree of fatigue.

If digging a proper trench/foxhole, I would say it takes 2 people 20 minutes (similar strength/toughness test as above) to dig a 1.5 m deep, 1.5m wide, 2 m long trench/foxhole, for armour 12 base. Similar restrictions as above (need tool, somewhere to dig, etc.).

Allow a common lore(war) or Scholastic Lore(Tacita Imperialis) check, made by anyone, to help guide the construction of the barrier, thus adding those DoSs to the effective AP provided by the cover, 8 in the case of sandbags, 12 for trenches (calling them standard barricades).

At least, this is how I would rule it on the fly.

 



#3 Cifer

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 03:31 AM

If digging a proper trench/foxhole, I would say it takes 2 people 20 minutes (similar strength/toughness test as above) to dig a 1.5 m deep, 1.5m wide, 2 m long trench/foxhole, for armour 12 base. Similar restrictions as above (need tool, somewhere to dig, etc.).

Unless you go for the Valhallan solution (take an ice planet and use meltaguns for 'digging'), I'd say you seriously underestimate the time here.



#4 KommissarK

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 03:46 AM

As I said, pulling it out of thin air so what would be appropriate? 45 minutes, an hour?



#5 MorioMortis

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 04:44 AM

 Depending on the soil, I'd say anywhere from 2 to 8 hours to dig a full 2 man foxhole. Of course, for battle conditions, you could probably build something decent in 45 minutes to an hour.



#6 Lurker1187

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 08:04 AM

Yeah, I'm not sure you'd need a new skill to cover that, but they definitely need to address that sort of thing with rules.



#7 Darklordofbunnies

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Posted 12 July 2012 - 02:16 PM

My preferred solution is to "lose" a few mortar or tank shells, bury them in the ground quickly, and set it off with  few las-shots. Near instant foxhole!!



#8 MorioMortis

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Posted 13 July 2012 - 03:37 AM

Darklordofbunnies said:

My preferred solution is to "lose" a few mortar or tank shells, bury them in the ground quickly, and set it off with  few las-shots. Near instant foxhole!!

You just have to manage to hide the explosions from anybody else, or they'll think it's an attack. Also, the best case scenario for "loosing" ammunition is being sent to a penal battalion. You better hope your C.O. or the Commissar don't think it's Neglect of Accoutrement, punishable by death.

There is also the problem that if you can see them and shoot them with a lasgun, the shrapnel can probably reach you.



#9 Magnus Grendel

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Posted 13 July 2012 - 12:03 PM

"yeah, I'm not sure you'd need a new skill to cover that, but they definitely need to address that sort of thing with rules."

 

Hence Trade (Pioneer) - if only to have an example difficulty table….

 

1 man Hasty fighting position - I can believe about 10-15 mins - less for someone used to it. The Death Korps essentialy dig these under fire at the start of Vraks, then link up with their squad and dig down for a proper trench, then platoon, then company and so on.

Proper 2-man foxhole with a grenade sump - going to depend on the ground but that's got to be a couple of man-hours work. Plus, extra skill or time might net you a bonus to concealment tests, or some extra armour over and above the 8 for sandbags.
 

 



#10 Varn

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Posted 13 July 2012 - 01:26 PM

As someone who was trained in the US Army as a Combat Engineer, you need to be very careful about introducing a Pioneer/Sapper skill. Training as a Sapper/Pioneer/Engineer covers a wide range of skills, fortifications and demolitions being chief among them. We're trained in dozens of different ways of arming and setting explosives, how to build effective fortifications and most importantly, how to make the battlefield a living hell for our enemies. Mines, earthworks, traps of every shape and form are our stock and trade. In game, these sorts of things overlap with several other skills, primarily Tech Use, so making it as a skill could make a lot of things a lot less useful or redundant.

Then you need to deal with players who spend a lot of points into it and suddenly have an urged to erect an Abatis or tank ditch every hundred meters or dig a trench and bunker network every time combat lasts past a few rounds just for the lulz.

EVERY soldier (at least in the US Army) is given at least rudimentary training in building a personal or buddy fighting position. It's a simple and important skill for every soldier. It really just boils down to "dig a hole that you can fit in". If you really need to implement some sort of rules for it, a skill is the wrong way to go about doing it. It should be based more on a combinations of the soldiers Srt/Tou bonuses, the terrain and whatever tool he has on hand. Make an equation for that to figure out how long it takes them to make X number of foxholes or move X amount of dirt.



#11 Musclewizard

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Posted 13 July 2012 - 01:54 PM

@Varn

As seemingly the only person with some expertise in here how long would you say does it take for X soldiers to construct typical fortifications such as sandbags or a foxhole?



#12 Varn

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Posted 13 July 2012 - 02:47 PM

It all depends on the terrain, tools at hand, and if you're being shot at or not.

E-Tools are adequate, but full sized shovels make things a lot easier, especially for getting started and making larger holes.

A single man with an E-Tool can easily prepare a hasty slit trench (6-12 inches deep and the length of his body) in 15-20 minutes in most conditions. A full on chest deep foxhole with all the bells and whistles can take an hour or two, and that's with constant work and no breaks. A four man team working in two shifts can dig a pretty good position in an hour or two though. Also, just becasue you have more men, doesn't mean things will go quicker; you can only fit so many guys in a hole before they start getting in each others way. In all cases, however; things tend to go a little faster when you're getting shot at.

To be honest, I think this sort of things should really be up to the GM. Like I said, there are a LOT of variables. Some soil types are easy to dig in, others are a complete nightmare, not to mention how weather can effect things. To come up with a complete system would take a fair amount of work and take up several pages me thinks. It would be a lot easier for the G to jsut use some common sense and say "Alright guys, make a Tactics or War or IG test." then depending on how well they roll say "From what you remember in training you think it would take you X hours to dig in here" and if they rolled bad they might think it'll only take a few hours but it ends up taking a lot longer or their position isn't a sturdy as they thought it was.

Once I'm done with all my vehicle testing I might try and figure out something more, crunchy.



#13 Magnus Grendel

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Posted 14 July 2012 - 03:41 AM

Varn said:

 

In game, these sorts of things overlap with several other skills, primarily Tech Use, so making it as a skill could make a lot of things a lot less useful or redundant.

 

 

Might explain why siege regiments have tech-use as a standard skill… although (a) I'd make that explicit, and (b) a lot of what you're talking about is demolitions rather than earth-moving.

 

Varn said:

 

Then you need to deal with players who spend a lot of points into it and suddenly have an urged to erect an Abatis or tank ditch every hundred meters or dig a trench and bunker network every time combat lasts past a few rounds just for the lulz.

 

 

Oh, yes. This is for 'you've got a couple of hours to prepare, how well do you do?' tests, not Deathwatch Imperial Fist Techmarine Combat Feng Shui that somehow magically makes antique furniture immune to bolter fire.

 

Varn said:

 

If you really need to implement some sort of rules for it, a skill is the wrong way to go about doing it. It should be based more on a combinations of the soldiers Srt/Tou bonuses, the terrain and whatever tool he has on hand. Make an equation for that to figure out how long it takes them to make X number of foxholes or move X amount of dirt.

 

 

Fair point. The main driver for a decent trench (i.e. more than shell scrape) is going to be 'hours of labour', which, I'd imagine, works kind of like the rules for double-time marching (just on the grounds that it's the only rules in the book for how long a player can keep at a strenuous activity).

 

The only reason I said Trade skill was that trade skill is used for crafting…

Poor Quality Entrenchment: Shell Scrape (Cover vs 1 direction, prone only)

Common Quality Entrenchment: Foxhole (Cover vs front and sides, not necessarily prone)

Good Quality Entrenchment: Trench (Cover vs front, sides, rear, better than normal armour)

 

Grenade sump: Per test for cover to count against grenades thrown into the trench?

Camo: Bonus to concealment checks?

etc, etc.

 

 

 






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