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Pinning, Overwatch, and Reactions


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#1 The_Grey

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Posted 05 March 2013 - 01:29 PM

I have some technical questions about combat that are mostly unrelated, but I figured it's better to get them all out of the way in one topic.

My first question, and probably my biggest concern with the system taking a look at it in depth, are the rules for Suppressive Fire and Pinning.  The Deathwatch rules don't seem to make mention of a range limit, but reading around these forums, I've seen people mention the difference in Suppressive Fire's wording in other games, which include a limit of 1/2 the weapon's listed range.  Is this official errata, or at least is that the consensus for how it's to be played?  Also, how does recovery from pinning work?  It says that it's a +30 to the Willpower test, assuming no one's tried shooting the character "since his last turn", but assuming this has happened (at least by whoever pinned the character since the character's last turn), what is the test?  Still +30?  

How does Overwatch and Pinning work?  The text for Overwatch say that targets in the Kill Zone make the usual Willpower (-20) test to see if they're pinned, but does it apply to every character in the Kill Zone?  If so, this raises the question of why Suppressive Fire is one of the three possible Overwatch choices.  If a character could call a Full-Auto under the condition "as soon as X targets are inside the Kill Zone", blast the hell out of at least 1 of them, and still have the same odds of Pinning the others, why ever use Suppressive Fire?  I took the various wordings to mean that the actual targets of the attack should check to see if they're Pinned (assuming they survive the attack), and because Suppressive Fire technically targets everything in the designated area, only then would every target in the Kill Zone have to pass the test.  (Well, I guess a full auto burst could sweep everyone in the area if each was no more than 2 meters away from the next, but still much less likely!)

And my question on Reactions was prompted by other things I've read on these forums.  Do people play them such that they can only be used on other characters' turns exclusively?  Or more to the point, if a character is attacked during their own turn (such as from Overwatch), do they get to Dodge or Parry?  If not, doesn't that kinda break the game with respect to these defenses?

Thanks for reading, and for any help you can give.

 



#2 KommissarK

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Posted 06 March 2013 - 05:49 AM

Sadly, of all the books I don't have with me, DW is the one. I'll try to assist as I can though.

I see the DH range limit, and OW's lack of a range limit. Personally, I would use up to the weapons maximum range (listed range X 3 if I recall). I would say its GM ruling. Most sensibly though, intervening terrain is the most likely reason for blocking the effect of Supressive Fire; stuff just gets in the way.

For recovery: OW says basic recovery is a +0 Willpower Test by default (i.e. if still being shot at), and an easy (+30) Willpower test if not shot at.

If in Deathwatch it does say Overwatch and Supressing Fire trigger the same difficulty Pinning test, that is problematic. I see in Only War that it lists Supressive Fire as a -10 on a Semi Auto, -20 on a FA, but that Overwatch only triggers a +0 pinning test.

As far as dodging goes: that varies from game to game. A lot, and I mean a lot of people don't really pay much attention to the "reactions only outside your turn" wording (I think it irks Tech Priests a bit much). I mention it whenever it comes up. Personally I rule that as written, Reactions are out of turn only, and therefore Overwatch/Counter Attacks cannot be evaded.

There is a reason we have an action called Tactical Advance. Personally I don't think its game breaking.

I will say though, that with Overwatch at least, if they're aware the enemy exists somehow, then its obvious they're in "overwatch." Certainly blindly walking around a corner will get you shot, but if they somehow succeed at an attempt to know where the enemy is they are aware Overwatch is in play and therefore that they need to be careful.



#3 The_Grey

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Posted 06 March 2013 - 07:14 AM

 

Thanks for the reply.  I didn't realize the rules had been revised in more recent games, as the changes don't appear in the DW errata.  But I'm not surprised to see that the authors recognized the flaws in the older rules.

KommissarK said:

 

I see the DH range limit, and OW's lack of a range limit. Personally, I would use up to the weapons maximum range (listed range X 3 if I recall). I would say its GM ruling. Most sensibly though, intervening terrain is the most likely reason for blocking the effect of Supressive Fire; stuff just gets in the way.

 

 

Max range is anything less than 4x listed weapon range.  Somehow, I think forcing players to endure a combat session of half-move turns starting at ~400 meters out would quickly turn the group off of Deathwatch entirely.  I think it's sensible to go with the full listed weapon's range, given the other changes they made to the system.

"For recovery: OW says basic recovery is a +0 Willpower Test by default (i.e. if still being shot at), and an easy (+30) Willpower test if not shot at…I see in Only War that it lists Supressive Fire as a -10 on a Semi Auto, -20 on a FA, but that Overwatch only triggers a +0 pinning test."

Thanks for pointing this out, these newer rules makes sense.  Having every Pinning test always be a -20 Will check would be broken.  Even with Nerves of Steel, given that Astartes are almost always outnumbered, it's a statistical inevitability that they would be constantly Pinned, and that's not very fun (or fluffy).  The newer rules give different Pinning test difficulties depending, and also say that the Will test to recover from Pinning is +30 so long as the character is ending his turn in cover.  Plus, they made almost all the old Full Combat Actions (except Suppression and Overwatch) 1/2 actions, so Pinning is nowhere's near as effective/crippling as it was according to the old Deathwatch rules and easier to manage, too.

"As far as dodging goes: that varies from game to game. A lot, and I mean a lot of people don't really pay much attention to the "reactions only outside your turn" wording (I think it irks Tech Priests a bit much). I mention it whenever it comes up. Personally I rule that as written, Reactions are out of turn only, and therefore Overwatch/Counter Attacks cannot be evaded."

The problem I have with this is the game clearly assigns a premium to the ability to make attacks that cannot be Dodged/Parried.  It usually takes a Fate point or some kind of Talent and special circumstance.

That premium disappears when you allow Overwatch or Delay Actions to be unavoidable simply as a matter of course.  Why would I ever use a normal attack when I can simply Delay and make the condition "the second Target X moves, or attempts to line up a shot with his weapon" and ensure that the attack won't be Evaded?  Moreover, any Kill Team that didn't swear an Oath which provides Fire for Effect would effectively be committing an act of treason (think about it).

I don't think Eversor Assassins were meant to be chumped like a lowly Bomb Squig by Astartes, and that's exactly what would happen if you disallowed Evasions in this way.  

"There is a reason we have an action called Tactical Advance. Personally I don't think its game breaking."

You cannot use a Tactical Advance if you are Pinned.  It's a Full Action, and you're only allowed to take Half Actions (and in any case, the newer rules say nothing about Tactical Advance's effect on Overwatch or Suppressive Fire).  You might want to reconsider that thought, if you're using DW's RAW.  complice



#4 herichimo

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Posted 06 March 2013 - 12:09 PM

Suppresive Fire:

There are no limits based upon range for suppresive fire, you may fire out to maximum range.
Range penalties are cumulative to the BS test to determine if anyone is hit with the attack.
Normal recovery is a challenging(+0) test, which becomes Easy(+30) if no one shot at you for a full turn since your last turn (the person using suppresive fire counts as someone shooting at you).

Overwatch and Suppresive Fire:
Use the common sense rule (pgs 208, 237, & 245). Only the targets affected by the fire need take a pinning test. If suppressing fire then everyone in the kill zone is affected, but a single shot at one guy should not cause everyone nearby to be pinned.

Reactions:
The whole "reactions during your own turn" thing is taken way out of perportion by limited minded players.
You cannot take reactions (not use up a reaction, described later) when its your turn. This means you cannot shoot a blast 5 weapon at a target 4m away and then dodge your own attack and be safe.
When an enemy uses an ability or talent to interrupt your character's turn, then your character's turn is interrupted until whatever action the enemy is taking is complete. During this interruption it is no longer your character's turn, it is the enemy's turn (albiet a limited one where only the action allowable from the ability or talent may be performed). In this case using a reaction is permissable.

In the case of overwatch though, further considerations must be made. If a character is following an enemy then rounds the corner into a planned ambush then that character should be suprised with relation to the overwatch shot he's about to take. Being unaware and then suprised of the overwatching enemy means the character may not react to the attack. If the character was aware of the overwatching enemy before entering the kill zone, then he won't be suprised and can react.

There are many talents which allow an action at the expense of one or more reactions (such as servo-arm or furious attack). These actions are not themselves reactions, they simply use up the character's reaction for the turn. Therefore these actions may be done in your own turn.

Essentially the no "reactions during your own turn" mainly means you may not take reactions against your own personal actions. Anyone elses actions is allowed, but you can't dodge the jammed grenade detonating in your hand and cannot parry your own sword when an enemy psyker compels you to stab yourself.



#5 Peem

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 12:52 AM

Some more questions about reactions.
When does a character gain/regain his reactions for the turn? At the start of the turn or atthe start of his initiative?

Example:
Characters A,B and C is starting a combat, neither is suprised. They roll for Initiative. A gets a total of 10, B gets 5 and C gets 3.
A attacks B and hits. Does B have a reaction to use to avoid this hit since he hasn't had his turn yet?

Assuming so we move on.
B then has his turn and we move on to C who also attacks B, Will B have gained a new reaction at his own initiative and can thus avoid C's attack as well?






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