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KommissarK

Overwatch - better than the normal attacks?

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Maybe rule that Overwatch can only be used as a surprise action? As in can only be used if the player is not already (directly) involved in combat, or if someone separates from combat to set up an overwatch. 

I would also rule that it MUST be used on the first viable target to enter the kill-zone, no waiting for 1,2,3 people to enter then blasting crap out of the special weapon guy.

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I have always interpreted the rule as meaning that someone in the kill zone must make some sort of move action. Thus, a target popping up from cover and firing a weapon would not trigger over watch. The same target moving from that cover to another would. (although tactical advance gives it's own defense for that.)

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I have always interpreted the rule as meaning that someone in the kill zone must make some sort of move action. Thus, a target popping up from cover and firing a weapon would not trigger over watch. The same target moving from that cover to another would. (although tactical advance gives it's own defense for that.)

 

This doesn't make sense at all. Why would someone setting up a killzone not shoot at someone shooting at them or their allies but shoot at someone running from cover to cover?

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Wouldn't the most elegant solution be to leave Overwatch as is, and remove the restriction on not being allowed to Evade during your own turn?

 

Why is that restriction there in the first place? Why can I dodge when it's NOT my turn, but not on my active turn? What's that supposed to represent? Likewise, why can I Parry before leaving melee, or after, but not at the moment I'm actively doing my best to disengage?

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I have always interpreted the rule as meaning that someone in the kill zone must make some sort of move action. Thus, a target popping up from cover and firing a weapon would not trigger over watch. The same target moving from that cover to another would. (although tactical advance gives it's own defense for that.)

 

This doesn't make sense at all. Why would someone setting up a killzone not shoot at someone shooting at them or their allies but shoot at someone running from cover to cover?

 

 

Personally i would limit the condition to ''an enemy entering the kill zone'', or something like that. It would be stupid to declare a condition like, ''if someone breath i shoot''

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Wouldn't the most elegant solution be to leave Overwatch as is, and remove the restriction on not being allowed to Evade during your own turn?

 

Why is that restriction there in the first place? Why can I dodge when it's NOT my turn, but not on my active turn? What's that supposed to represent? Likewise, why can I Parry before leaving melee, or after, but not at the moment I'm actively doing my best to disengage?

I guess because you can't do 2 things at once. 

 

During your Turn, you take your Actions, and then you're done. Overwatch and Counter Attacks happen simultaneously to your Actions, and as such you're already busy moving or Attacking, and can't Dodge or Parry at the same time.

 

As for Counter-attacks specifically, I guess the Devs didn't want an endless back-and-forth with countered-counterattacks :)

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Wouldn't the most elegant solution be to leave Overwatch as is, and remove the restriction on not being allowed to Evade during your own turn?

 

Why is that restriction there in the first place? Why can I dodge when it's NOT my turn, but not on my active turn? What's that supposed to represent? Likewise, why can I Parry before leaving melee, or after, but not at the moment I'm actively doing my best to disengage?

I guess because you can't do 2 things at once. 

 

During your Turn, you take your Actions, and then you're done. Overwatch and Counter Attacks happen simultaneously to your Actions, and as such you're already busy moving or Attacking, and can't Dodge or Parry at the same time.

 

As for Counter-attacks specifically, I guess the Devs didn't want an endless back-and-forth with countered-counterattacks :)

Except it leads to a lot of sillyness, like:

-If you spend your turn doing nothing, you still can't Dodge.

- If you attempt to do something that takes multiple rounds to complete, like reloading some guns, there are completely arbitray moments when you can't Dodge and moments when you can.

-You can totally Dodge a guy coming round the corner with weapon drawn, but not a guy that stands right in front of you and threatens to shoot you if you don't surrender.

Allowing reactions on your turn would limit a lot of silly stuff, not only overwatch

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Here's where I'm looking at going with for Overwatch in my game.

 

As a GM, what do I like about Overwatch?

  1. I like the flexibility it gives players to name most any condition & fire if the condition triggers.
  2. I find Overwatch interesting; I think the Overwatch Action adds to the tactics and complexity of combat.
  3. Associated with #1 above, it addresses some glaring holes that exist whenever any system uses a "Initiative" structure, whereby one has to wait until another character's turn is completely finished before you act.  So even though he left cover and you were ready, he's now back behind cover because you can't fire until his action is complete.  Also, without Overwatch, you can't effectively guard anyone in Structured Time - by the time they finish their Action running, they're probably out of sight by the time you get to fire...even though you were aiming at them.
  4. I think getting shot at should be a "gut-check experience", so I am happy to have this additional opportunity to have the Pinning rules brought into play.

The benefits to the Shooter with Overwatch:

  1. The attack occurs on target's turn when conditions, set by the shooter, are met
  2. Precludes target from Dodging
  3. Triggers a Pinning Test for target
  4. Allows you to potentially attack multiple targets (I guess not everyone agrees with this, but it's at least strongly implied by, "Each any (sic) time the specified conditions are met before the start of the character's next turn, he can perform that attack....)

I want to retain players' ability to fire on just about any condition they come up with.  At the same time, I want to limit the Action's biggest benefits to it's primary purpose, which I would offer is given to us in Table 7-1 on page 219, "Shoot targets coming into a set kill zone."

 

  • So Overwatch would always provide shooters benefit #1 above, name your condition and fire when the condition is triggered.
  • For benefits #2-4, a target needs to make an Action with the Movement sub-type that takes them into the set kill zone.  When this occurs, the target is precluded from Dodging, they must make a Pin Test & the shooter may similarly attack any other target that similarly make an Action with the Movement sub-type that takes them into the set kill zone.
  • The one exception to the Movement requirement above, would be for guarding someone, or "having the drop on someone".  Narratively I would argue, that if someone has the drop on someone, they should be in a very bad situation.  I'd suggest that the shooter in that case should get some very strong advantages.  If someone with a gun trained on them tries to either go for a weapon or try to bolt, they're simply too busy to Dodge.  Regarding the Pinning Test, if the captive is trying to run then the effect of being potentially Pinned is fairly moot.  Only if the captive is doing something other than escaping, such as attacking, does the Pinning become an issue.  I feel like one could reasonably go in different directions on requiring a Pinning Test with an attacking captive, but here's where I'm looking at drawing the line.  If the captive, who was going to attack, is hit by the shooter's Overwatch attack, then the captive must make a Pinning Test to continue their plan of attack rather than flee after being hit.  If the captive is not hit by shooter's Overwatch attack, then I'm not going to have the captive make a Pinning Test.

This breakdown for Overwatch I think will provide my game with what I want from the Action.  YMMV

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I have always interpreted the rule as meaning that someone in the kill zone must make some sort of move action. Thus, a target popping up from cover and firing a weapon would not trigger over watch. The same target moving from that cover to another would. (although tactical advance gives it's own defense for that.)

 

This doesn't make sense at all. Why would someone setting up a killzone not shoot at someone shooting at them or their allies but shoot at someone running from cover to cover?

 

If you read a little bit more carefully, You would realise that I was saying you would fire on someone moving from cover to cover! My comment about tactical advance was referring to the character's ability to maintain the benefits of said cover (Armor points). This is a HUGE advantage when you can't dodge! BUT, since leaning out of cover or popping up over a rocky wall does not require a move action, You could not use that as an excuse for overwatch. Nor could use a ridiculous condition like "If he continues breathing".

 

In practice I apply this much like seanpp does. My definition is just a little bit simpler. If you want a looser interpretation, than it would be if the target performs any action as defined by the game rules as an allowable action during a round. In this case you could set up your kill zone  on that guy behind the wall saying, "If he attempts to move or attack I will fire". Still no blinking or breathing nonsense allowed. This would also allow for seanpp's condition of "having the drop on somebody". 

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I have always interpreted the rule as meaning that someone in the kill zone must make some sort of move action. Thus, a target popping up from cover and firing a weapon would not trigger over watch. The same target moving from that cover to another would. (although tactical advance gives it's own defense for that.)

 

This doesn't make sense at all. Why would someone setting up a killzone not shoot at someone shooting at them or their allies but shoot at someone running from cover to cover?

 

If you read a little bit more carefully, You would realise that I was saying you would fire on someone moving from cover to cover! My comment about tactical advance was referring to the character's ability to maintain the benefits of said cover (Armor points). This is a HUGE advantage when you can't dodge! BUT, since leaning out of cover or popping up over a rocky wall does not require a move action, You could not use that as an excuse for overwatch. Nor could use a ridiculous condition like "If he continues breathing".

 

In practice I apply this much like seanpp does. My definition is just a little bit simpler. If you want a looser interpretation, than it would be if the target performs any action as defined by the game rules as an allowable action during a round. In this case you could set up your kill zone  on that guy behind the wall saying, "If he attempts to move or attack I will fire". Still no blinking or breathing nonsense allowed. This would also allow for seanpp's condition of "having the drop on somebody". 

 

 

I think you're the one misreading my sentence. I said it didn't make sense that someone on overwatch would not shoot at someone shooting at them, but [would] shoot at someone just moving from cover to cover.

 

I don't agree with you that someone firing from cover is not a valid target for overwatch - the only thing needed for overwatch to trigger is the player's condition is met ("I can shoot a guy") and the target is otherwise a valid target - which an attacker firing certainly is.  And if you're going to reference rules you should name them because I don't think I was alone in having no idea you were referring to a specific combat action.

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Except it leads to a lot of sillyness, like:

-If you spend your turn doing nothing, you still can't Dodge.

- If you attempt to do something that takes multiple rounds to complete, like reloading some guns, there are completely arbitray moments when you can't Dodge and moments when you can.

-You can totally Dodge a guy coming round the corner with weapon drawn, but not a guy that stands right in front of you and threatens to shoot you if you don't surrender.

Allowing reactions on your turn would limit a lot of silly stuff, not only overwatch

 

If you do not take any actions, there will be no events for you to react to. The only things happening on your turn that are not your own actions, are other characters Overwatch or Counterattacks.

I can't recall any other stuff that can be done on other characters turns at the moment. And so, unless you do something to trigger these special actions, there will be nothing to dodge.

 

While engaged in an extended action, you can react at any time other people might try to do stuff. On your own turn, nobody will be able to do stuff to you, so there is no sillyness.

 

As for the last example, that's already been discussed in this thread.

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Except it leads to a lot of sillyness, like:

-If you spend your turn doing nothing, you still can't Dodge.

- If you attempt to do something that takes multiple rounds to complete, like reloading some guns, there are completely arbitray moments when you can't Dodge and moments when you can.

-You can totally Dodge a guy coming round the corner with weapon drawn, but not a guy that stands right in front of you and threatens to shoot you if you don't surrender.

Allowing reactions on your turn would limit a lot of silly stuff, not only overwatch

 

If you do not take any actions, there will be no events for you to react to. The only things happening on your turn that are not your own actions, are other characters Overwatch or Counterattacks.

I can't recall any other stuff that can be done on other characters turns at the moment. And so, unless you do something to trigger these special actions, there will be nothing to dodge.

 

While engaged in an extended action, you can react at any time other people might try to do stuff. On your own turn, nobody will be able to do stuff to you, so there is no sillyness.

 

As for the last example, that's already been discussed in this thread.

As far as I know (don't have book on hand atm) doing nothing can trigger overwatch, since you can specify any condition you want. Even without going into RAW silliness like using 'when the enemy draws his next breath' or the like as Overwatch trigger, asking somebody tolay down their weapons and the using them not complying on their next turn as Overwatch trigeer condition tesults in target being Overwatched for doing nothing.

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In which case I think it is completely fair to not be able to dodge, as argued in post 17 of this thread.

 

Consider that if someone has already established their killzone with the full-action Overwatch acton, they are already pointing the gun aimed at you. The only remaining action is to pull the trigger. If this is done on your turn or not, it's not really an attack you can be said to be aware of, which is a requirement to be able to dodge anyway. In the situation you describe, I would not allow a Dodge test in any case. 

 

You don't dodge bullets, you dodge the "set-up", that is, you dive out of the way when you see a weapon being brought to bear upon you. When you're looking down the barrel of a gun, it's already too late.

 

I DO agree that is it silly that you are unable to react to the Overwatch Action itself, that is when the person is setting up his kill zone. As this would involve aiming the gun in your general direction and then waiting to see what happens, it makes sense that it is not instant (it's a Full Action after all), and that you should be able to react. As written, it appears as it if's intended to be used before the enemy is in sight, and so the situations described in this thread are somewhat abusive.

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I have always interpreted the rule as meaning that someone in the kill zone must make some sort of move action. Thus, a target popping up from cover and firing a weapon would not trigger over watch. The same target moving from that cover to another would. (although tactical advance gives it's own defense for that.)

 

This doesn't make sense at all. Why would someone setting up a killzone not shoot at someone shooting at them or their allies but shoot at someone running from cover to cover?

 

If you read a little bit more carefully, You would realise that I was saying you would fire on someone moving from cover to cover! My comment about tactical advance was referring to the character's ability to maintain the benefits of said cover (Armor points). This is a HUGE advantage when you can't dodge! BUT, since leaning out of cover or popping up over a rocky wall does not require a move action, You could not use that as an excuse for overwatch. Nor could use a ridiculous condition like "If he continues breathing".

 

In practice I apply this much like seanpp does. My definition is just a little bit simpler. If you want a looser interpretation, than it would be if the target performs any action as defined by the game rules as an allowable action during a round. In this case you could set up your kill zone  on that guy behind the wall saying, "If he attempts to move or attack I will fire". Still no blinking or breathing nonsense allowed. This would also allow for seanpp's condition of "having the drop on somebody". 

 

 

I think you're the one misreading my sentence. I said it didn't make sense that someone on overwatch would not shoot at someone shooting at them, but [would] shoot at someone just moving from cover to cover.

 

I don't agree with you that someone firing from cover is not a valid target for overwatch - the only thing needed for overwatch to trigger is the player's condition is met ("I can shoot a guy") and the target is otherwise a valid target - which an attacker firing certainly is.  And if you're going to reference rules you should name them because I don't think I was alone in having no idea you were referring to a specific combat action.

 

Did you read the second paragraph here? I think I was saying that your interpretation is also a possibly valid one. I haven't yet had any player try to set one of the more ridiculous (If he blinks/breaths) conditions mentioned. I'm trying to puzzle out how I would interpret it if they did. I know I would probably not allow it in the manner mentioned. I would require that the action would be one of those allowed by Table 7-1 pg. 219 of the DH2e rulebook. Is that specific enough?

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My gaming party and I sent much of our session last night on this topic. Here is how we broke it down and how it was resolved.

1) "The active character guards a specific area or target, poised to shoot at an opportune moment. When Overwatch is declared, the active character establishes a kill zone consisting of any general area, such as a corridor or tree line, which encompasses a 45 [degree] arc in the direction that the active character is facing."

Strait forward

2) "The active character then specifies Standard Attack, Full Auto Burst, or Semi-Auto Burst, along with the conditions under which he will perform the chosen attack. Each any [sic] time the specified conditions are met before the start of the character's next turn, he can perform that attack (so long as he is otherwise eligible to do so)."

This is where wording is important. Each time the condition is met...he "CAN" perform that "ATTACK". This is an attack and does end the overwatch. However you can choose to not fire when the first enemy enters the kill zone. Waiting for more enemies to enter the zone. You can then spread your semi or auto-fire rounds among all enimes in the zone. All of them are still subject to the pinning for being in the 45 degree kill zone.

3) This attack occurs the moment the condition is met, such as an enemy entering the kill zone. If it occurs at the same time as another character's action, the character with the higher Agility acts first. If both characters have the same Agility, they make an Opposed Agility test to see who acts first. After the attack is resolved, even if it does not succeed, targets must immediately make a Challenging(+0) Pinning test or become pinned (see page 230) where they entered the kill zone.

fairly strait forward if multiple people have overwatces or other actions higher agil goes first. After attack is resolved all targets (anyone hit by the attack/ in the kill zone GM discression) are then subject to a pinning test.

4) If a character on Overwatch performs any actions or Reactions, such as Evasion, his Overwatch immediately ends. Note this does not include Free Actions, such as speech.

Strait forward and since overwatch allows an attack out of initative it is stil an attack so cancels overwatch after attack is resolved.

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You guys are missing something fundamental here:

 

Overwatch is all about pinning.

 

Pinning.  Pinning.  Pinning.

 

The key thing here is that for an opponent to be pinned, they must be attacked/fired upon.

So yes, Overwatch should and DOES trigger/enable an attack on ANYONE in the area performing the action (of the type specified).

The Pinning check is the point. 

 

That no-dodging bit...that reads to me as an attempt to make the action better, and thus encourage more of it in play.

It can be dropped in all but a surprise situation, I think, with no harm to the basic rule.

 

Check pgs 223 + 230 2E DH Core

Compare & Contrast w/ 1st Ed. : pg. 196 + 190-191 (Overwatch and Suppressing Fire)

 

 

The difference between Overwatch and Suppressing fire is that Suppressing Fire attempts to immediately Pin all opponents within the area on the character's turn.

Overwatch affects all characters moving into or acting within the area, outside of the character's turn.

 

Also, lets say the condition specified is "anyone within the Kill Zone fires at me":

If someone pops up to shoot, and has a higher Agility than the Overwatcher, that combatant fires first (and could take out the overwatcher before he has a chance to fire back - if the Overwatcher would be hit and dodges, he is forced out of Overwatch).  The fact that it covers only a 45 deg. angle at 1/2 range is another piece of it.  It is intended to force opponents to take out the overwatcher by 1) going around or 2) popping up and firing before the Overwatcher can fire.  Grenades can work too.

 

In all, it is intended to generate more true to life play on the tabletop.

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FYI, I just noticed the wording on the GM-screen for Overwatch to be slightly different:

 

"Spend Full Action to establish a kill zone 45° wide and up to the range of the weapon. Character specifies Standard Attack, Full Auto Burst, or Semi-Auto Burst and triggering conditions to shoot any targets entering the zone. Targets must make a Challenging (+0) Pinning Test or become Pinned. Overwatch may be maintained up to a character's WP Bonus in hours, or until making another action or reaction."

 

In the book itself, entering the zone is suggested as a triggering condition. The wording on the GM-screen  suggests that the player determines any triggering conditions that goes alongside with the entering of a foe in the kill zone. Pretty big difference. Overwatch would only apply to new targets entering that zone, alongside with whether or not to shoot right away.

 

Also, if Overwatch gets triggered and you fire at a foe, Overwatch doesn't end, the text states "another action" which I interprete as some action other than Overwatch.

 

Okay, granted they had to conserve space on the GM-screen so maybe the wording of the attack is now more prone to different interpretations, although the wording in the book isn't that much better.  :P I still think the literal interpration of the GM-screen overwatch version is better than the one in the book. If you want to shoot at a target already in the kill-zone, you'll have to spend another action thus ending Overwatch.

 

Also the maintaining of Overwatch upto a character's WP Bonus seems to be missing in the book.

Edited by Gridash

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Pretty sure the intention is to allow multiple attacks, but the silly triggers like "he breathes" are much better reserved for a Ready (or Delay?) action instead.

 

The triggering condition IS a target entering your kill zone PLUS some other (optional) conditions that you specify. But you can wait until something else happens. Like an npc moves into your killzone and your triggering condition is to fire when he attacks. That's valid, as the faq mentioned, it doesn't have to be a move action.

 

What's not valid are multiple attacks against the same target if he's already in the kill zone.

 

What IS valid is attacking any target entering the kill zone, so usually just once. Multiple attacks are thus possible, just against different targets.

 

Imagine being a sniper on some rooftop that focuses on some door/path and attempt to pick off any hostile targets moving through there, all without or barely any corrections made to your aim. Just let them come into the crosshair and pull the trigger.

 

You focus on 1 point and direct you fire there. Once you start focusing on targets already past the boundary of your kill zone, you'll lose overwatch since you're focusing on THEM rather than anybody new entering your kill zone. 

Edited by Gridash

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You need to break this all down into more bitesize chunks, instead of looking at the whole overwatch rules as a whole you just want a quick Q and A on the overwatch rules.

 

Q.  Can you shoot more than once in overwatch?

A.  Yes you can these are all special actions, that continue to be granted until you use a reaction or an action to do something.  (we can deduce this because there are rules for running out of ammo, which would be a complete waste of space if you weren't going to fire more than once).

 

Q.  What triggers can you use for overwatch?

A.  Anything sensible that should be based around the actions people take.  Delay covers almost all circumstances of the "if he does X then i do Y" like reaching for his gun, or trying to scream.       Overwatch should trigger only on people moving around, for example if they just stand there and shoot you, well tough, you had every opportunity to just shoot them when it was your turn.   The rules are to replicate "a see movement, check if enemy,  fire" situation.  if you allow overwatch against other actions, you get in one turn kill situations, when each character repeatedly sets off the others overwatch,  If your players think this is the way it should be simply tell them "the guy sets overwatch on if a raindrop hits you and continues to hold his breath".  It will quickly become apparent to said player that perhaps the decision he made is not the wisest.  Any situation that would mean two characters on opposite sides would shoot each other repeatedly until they ran out of ammo or died is a no go as a condition.

 

Q. If my enemy starts in full cover and ends his move in full cover do i get to shoot him?

A. Yes, you are likely as not going to miss and he will still have to check for pinning, but you get to fire.

 

Q.  If an enemy has enough movement to engage me in melee and I have lower agility do I still get to shoot?

A.  No.  Stand further away next time or set overwatch with a pistol.

 

Q.  Can i dual wield?

A.  No.

 

Q.  Can i shoot the same person twice?

A.  Yes, the most obvious way this can happen is if your initative order changes someone may well act twice before you get your next action.  less obvious circumstances can occur with forced movement and displacer fields.  terrain may force a person to enter and exit your kill zone several times, in which case pity them, but only for as long as it takes you to pull the trigger.

 

Q.  is it fair?

A.  yes.  It is the application of a lot of military training brought to bare againt 9:10 inadequately educated morons.  A bunch of hive gangers is meant to get cut down if they decide to charge an emplaced poition.

 

Q. What can i do to counter my players doing it all the time.

A. Smarten up your bad guys, smoke grenade their killzone then run through it, if you can't limit visibility,  make short runs between large pieces of cover, they will almost certainly not hit and if they do, then the cover will absorb a lot of the damage.  If player X always sets up in overwatch and sends in the rest of his team, wait til they are seperated and drop and assasin/thief melee thing on them from stealth, -30 awareness for being on overwatch is not unfair.  (note this should be -30 for stuff out the killzone, prolly a bonus to notice stuff in it).

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The multiple attacks thing seems fishy to me, I'd like to see that in some official errata or some such.  I was under the expectation that after attacking, you are no longer Overwatching.

 

The most elegant solution is to state that you must respond to 'an action' - overwatch cannot be triggered by non-actions.  This means that if you overwatch a target and they beat you on contested Agi, they can shoot at you or potentially leave your kill zone.  If you overwatch a target who is unreadied, they won't have the option to shoot.

 

If a target ends movement within your overwatch area, you'll get an undodgeable shot without contest.

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From the Faq:

Question: Does the condition set for the Overwatch action (page 223) have to be a movement? Answer: It does not need to be a movement and can indeed be things such as an enemy firing. Note that it is triggered each time the condition is met, so if the condition is an enemy moving into the kill zone, the character will perform his set Overwatch response each time an enemy enters the zone. Depending on the condition, the GM might call for the Overwatching character to succeed on an Awareness test to detect this, such as when an enemy carefully sneaking across the kill zone in heavy fog or darkness.

 

https://images-cdn.fantasyflightgames.com/filer_public/42/0d/420d9706-fc74-4c33-8f7d-d72041c970e8/dark_heresy_2nd_ed_faq_v10_web.pdf

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Oh, I know what the FAQ says. I still utterly disagree with the conclusion it arrives at. It should not require a use of Rule 0 to not be broken. What should happen in a situation where it is indeed a brightly lit room, with no dust clouds, no obstructions?

 

It fully claims that it can trigger a undodgeable attack, multiple times, that causes pinning, and can be done with as useful a trigger as "an enemy does anything."

Edited by KommissarK

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Actually, The FAQ agrees with one of my earlier conclusions. IE: It must be an ACTION as defined in the combat rules. So in theory, Your target could be behind cover and your condition could be "if they attack" ("Attack" being an action). However, in such a case I would rule this to be a simultaneous attack with no dodge option. If my players insisted on abusing this they would start finding themselves outnumbered and ambushed using the same rules all to often! What's good for the goose after all...

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