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Commediante

Snipers: are they really the death dealers that OW makes them?

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I mean: in real world, are snipers really so op that they can kill entire platoons of enemies before they reach em?

 

I'm not a proffesional soldier, but I play TF2, first person shooter from Valve, a lot. I'm not bad at playing sniper. I've got good reflexes, can aim under pressure and even while moving slowly - it saves me from other sniper's bullets and gives a chance even against charging groups of enemies. But here are couple things that seem to be impossible when playing sniper:

 

- sniper's aim becomes very bad at about <10m range. While you can shoot from the hip, you can't really aim with a scope. Considering that most of sniper firepower comes from careful aminig, that should significantly lower the damage.

 

- At the point blank range using his firearm is almost impossible. Enemy can make a step to the left and he's way off your scope view. Besides, sniper rifles are long and cumbersome, unsuited to wave them like a flag.

 

- while aiming and focusing on enemy in the other end of the map, you can't really see what's going around you, especially behind your back. You may notice enemy crawling 200m away, but you'll miss spy that will sneak and stab you when you'll be hunting.

 

I think that OW doesn't reflect those flaws that snipers bear. There are no penalties for shooting at close targets. On the contrary - there are bonuses! Besides snipers, according to RAW, can make awareness tests while aiming and shooting, regardless of their sight being obscured to a point on their enemy's forehead.

 

Do you have any ideas on how to make snipers more realistic in OW? How to make those flaws count? I'd like to come up with something that wouldn't break the game and be simple enough to not become a problem.

 

EDIT: Oh, and if there are any snipers among you guys, please write about how your service differs from that from OW.

Edited by Commediante

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I haven't served in the military, but I have read some on the subject.

 

I'll just point out that TF2 is aggressively unrealistic.

 

 

- sniper's aim becomes very bad at about <10m range. While you can shoot from the hip, you can't really aim with a scope. Considering that most of sniper firepower comes from careful aminig, that should significantly lower the damage.

Very much not so. If the shot hits, it hits. The idea of damage being reduced at close range is silly. Chance to hit, though? Given that the long-las/sniper rifle have low rate of fire, not getting time to take aim will damage your chances of getting it to connect.

 

 

 

- At the point blank range using his firearm is almost impossible. Enemy can make a step to the left and he's way off your scope view. Besides, sniper rifles are long and cumbersome, unsuited to wave them like a flag.

I'd like to point that you're not a lone gunman, you're meant to be part of a squad, who are responsible for covering you...

 

 

 

- while aiming and focusing on enemy in the other end of the map, you can't really see what's going around you, especially behind your back. You may notice enemy crawling 200m away, but you'll miss spy that will sneak and stab you when you'll be hunting.

Which is what the rest of your squad is for, because you are not a lone gunman.

 

While OW has some problems with realism (the short ranges for some weapons come to mind), I wouldn't say its portrayal of Sharpshooters is that far off from, say, designated marksmen attached to infantry elements. They're not meant to be accurate 360 noscoping MLG headshotters picking off entire platoons, their role is to extend the range of the fireteam and neutralize valuable enemy targets.

Edited by ExoSaeptus

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I don't see anything wrong with using an Awareness test to hear someone sneaking up on you. If you have time to aim and shoot, you're still more likely to hit. But it's true, if anyone gets near your Sniper, your team done messed up. Our Sniper is also our Medic in our Only War game. Our team will happily sacrifice ourselves, throwing ourselves at Orks head on in order to buy our marksman more time to take out HVTs.

Co-operative gameplay. =P

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When I think of it, teamwork failure may not be the only reason of why sniper got to cc. If sniper doesn't change his favourite hunting spot after couple shots, if the enemy has good intelligence and can monitor his moves, the enemy may know his position and plan the attack accordingly - attack from the air or send stealthy assassin after him.

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When I think of it, teamwork failure may not be the only reason of why sniper got to cc. If sniper doesn't change his favourite hunting spot after couple shots, if the enemy has good intelligence and can monitor his moves, the enemy may know his position and plan the attack accordingly - attack from the air or send stealthy assassin after him.

 

Designated marksmen (which are the kind of snipers you'd see in Only War, most likely) don't really operate like that. They are basically riflemen in a normal squad, given marksman training and a more accurate weapon to provide longer reach and accurate fire at HVT's, not the kind who are focused heavily on fieldcraft, concealment, and solitary deployments.

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Firstly, remember that video games are NOT accurate representations of military life and to an extent (but less so) nor are RPG's like Only War (trust me). A bullet is a bullet, as was earlier pointed out, and it doesn't randomly lose 'damage'. The main way for this would be to have an innacurate shot barely scrape an opponent due to the panic that comes with having five enemies bearing down on you, and knowing you don't have time to kill them all. However, these guys are more like marksmen than actual snipers. They are to provide extra long range fire power and accuracy to the soldiers they operate with. If you're a real sniper, you're often taking out targets from a far greater distance than the furthest reach of a long las!

(Edit: Not a sniper, but I did serve a long while back before I became an old man, so this is just my memory. Times have probably changed since the Falkland War or Northern Ireland struggles.) :P

Edited by Drath

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First of all, TF2 is an arcade shooter, so it has nothing at all to do with the reality of actually shooting at people. Neither does Only War, but it tries for a little more realistic representation of combat than TF2.

 

If a platoon (I'll use this as the example because you mentioned it in the OP) comes into contact with a sniper/marksman who is dug in where they cannot find him, there are a few ways they can react. The first is simply to pop smoke, grab the wounded or dead (if possible), lay down some fire where they think he might be, and fall back. Usually they'll just fall back long enough to bring up a tank or something similar so that they can flush the sniper out. Sometimes, if they have the option and they just can't be bothered, they'll just shell the offending sector and then come back afterwards.

 

If they can't leave the area for whatever reason, or they know approximately where he is, they'll usually do the following. They will first lay down an absolute boatload of fire to suppress the sniper while they retrieve the wounded or dead (again, not a concern for all the IG's enemies), and then respond in a few different ways. If they can, they'll bring up a tank or something similar to blast him out of his hole. If that's not available, they will continue to have some soldiers lay down suppressing fire with MG's and the like while about 2/3rds of the men move out in an attempt to flank the sniper or get a clear shot on his position. If there is no cover to advance on the sniper, they may opt to charge across open ground towards his position if they believe their covering fire is good enough, but that wouldn't be very likely.

 

I'm sure by now you can see the theme. From ambush a sniper/marksman can do a lot of damage by picking off a radio operator, medic, or officer before anyone knows they're there, but after that a lone sniper will have a hard time doing anything to 30+ angry guys with rifles, machine guns, and grenades. I would bet the reason snipers are so dangerous in your games is that the enemy isn't reacting properly to their presence. Here's the simple checklist for an enemy unit of squad to platoon size I use when my players are laying down sniper fire.

 

1. Do we know where the sniper is, or where he might be?

  • If Yes, proceed to Step #2
  • If No, pop smoke, recover wounded, and retreat if possible.
  • If No and retreat is impossible, pop smoke and seek better cover.

2. We know where he is or where he might be, and we have started laying down suppressing fire on his position. Is there good cover between us and him?

  • If Yes, Proceed to Step #3
  • If No, increase volume of fire and attempt to secure additional fire support
  • If No and no additional Fire Support, increase volume of fire and attempt to charge his position.

3. We have suppressed the sniper and flanked his position with infantry. How should we dislodge him?

  • If close enough/clear enough sightline, shoot him.
  • If close but no sightline, use grenades, flamers, or attempt to engage in hand to hand.
  • If distant and no clear sightline, use grenade launcher or attempt to get closer.

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Simple answer is yes , a skilled sniper team can hold up hole platoons of men and reduce moral hugely, video games are not accurate representations of combat, one would suggest reading books written by snipers and studying military history this would give you a better idea of how deadly they really are, and what a sniper is, they are not just killing machines. 

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Mechanically, a lone sniper in OW can only do so much with 30 troops bearing down on him. There aren't really morale checks when PCs are involved, so if two people suppress from cover while three flank the sniper or toss grenades, he is going to have a bad time. 

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It's questionable as to what a sniper could accomplish against a foe like massed Orks or Tyranids who just DGAF about their attempts to pin them down. If they can't freak out their opponents with the fear of death they lose most of their effectiveness and will just be drowned in bodies.

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It's questionable as to what a sniper could accomplish against a foe like massed Orks or Tyranids who just DGAF about their attempts to pin them down. If they can't freak out their opponents with the fear of death they lose most of their effectiveness and will just be drowned in bodies.

 

Pick off valuable targets while everyone else focuses on the rest of the enemies.

 

In the case of Orks, any bigger ones in the horde.

 

For Tyranids... largely the same, because synapse beasts are usually the biggest ones in a given horde.

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