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"Sniper" re-write and "Assassin"

 Post subject: "Sniper" re-write and "Assassin"
PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2013 9:05 pm 
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There have bee a number of people including Neal who have suggested a re-write of 'Sniper' to clarify how it works, and especially regarding the potential use in FF. I would also like to take the opportunity to add "Assassin".

As a guide, I believe we ought to adopt the following principles;
  1. When shooting, 'Sniper' represents greater accuracy, so the attacker places each Sniper hit and it also has a -1 effect on the defender's armour save. As such the ability can be applied to Vehicles as well as Infantry, 'Sniper' vehicles representing anti-tank capabilities.
  2. Infantry in FF may also use sniper to attack enemy infantry units using the same process; the attacker places the hit on the enemy infantry which has a -1 effect on the defender's armour save.
  3. "Assassin" is similar to 'Sniper', except that it may only be used by Infantry in CC to attack enemy infantry. It represents the ability of specialist troops to get into close proximity to enemy infantry when using close combat weaponry. As before, the attacker places the hit on any enemy infantry unit in the assault, which also has a -1 effect on the defender's armour save.

The reasoning behind these principles is that while "Sniper" is understood and balanced for shooting, it can produce some undesirable effects in assault when vehicles are involved (either as the sniper or target), mainly because of the rule mechanics which make no distinction between unit types in assault. It also seems unreasonable for vehicles to be able to react quickly enough to class as snipers in FF - but your views may differ . . . .:)

"Assassin" has similar problems as it is intended to represent the attackers passing between enemy troops (constrained by figures being mounted on bases etc) so it becomes necessary to allow the attacker to place the hit away from the enemy base that is actually in B-B. As it is intended as an Infantry capability, this can become too powerfull when used against enemy vehicles, turning the unit into an anti-armour specialist which would un-balance things (and yes I am thinking about Eldar Howling Banshees).

There are some alternative approaches to the wording, which would allow flexibity, though possibly at the cost of additional complexity:-
  • Define 'Sniper' as being unit type specific, so Infantry 'Snipers' can only attack enemy infantry and Vehicle 'Snipers' can only impact enemy vehicles. This is already handled in shooting, so this would carry the principle over into assault and would therefore allow anti-tank capability at close range.
  • Define "Assassin" as having to place hits on enemy units in B-B unless the unit also has "Infiltrate" which would allow the "Assassin" to place hits on any enemy in the assault. This adds further colour and might also possibly allow the constraint over targeting enemy infantry to be lifted, but would need very carefull consideration.

Thoughts?


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 Post subject: Re: "Sniper" re-write and "Assassin"
PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2013 4:42 am 
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If we're going to re-write special rules to allow for abstraction versus common sense issues then the rules could do with a few tweaks as well.... ;)

But in regards to the proposal... no for me. I don't see shooting with a highly accurate weapon to pick off a target who isn't expecting it being the same thing as close combat. It's a whirling melee and getting to a specific target would be particularly difficult for many reasons e.g. the target may be at the back, troops get in the way etc.

I think it also starts to make sniping targets more prevalent and sort of starts to effect the game too much. In the end, I'm not sure more "sniping" in the game would be too much fun really. Think it's about right as is.


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 Post subject: Re: "Sniper" re-write and "Assassin"
PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2013 3:20 pm 
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This was already something that Neal was intending to review, see here

The point is that an assault takes place in quite a large area several hundred meters in depth, so there is plenty of scope for markmen to operate as well as for the 'whirling melee' envisaged. However the shooting and assault mechanics operate differently and if used unamended, "Sniper" would boost the ability of a rifle armed marksman to pick off an enemy tank, and that is unreasonable.

I am also using this opportunity to enhancing CC anti-infantry abilities, "Assassin" and potentially "Inf-MW", both of which must exclude armour from their definitions.


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 Post subject: Re: "Sniper" re-write and "Assassin"
PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2013 2:18 am 
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Seems like a lot of effort to make Banshees usable to me (I understand it can be used elsewhere though).


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 Post subject: Re: "Sniper" re-write and "Assassin"
PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2013 3:12 am 
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Dobbsy wrote:
Seems like a lot of effort to make Banshees usable to me (I understand it can be used elsewhere though).


Lictors being a candidate.


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 Post subject: Re: "Sniper" re-write and "Assassin"
PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2013 11:00 am 
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I think it is a bit wider than just Banshees and Lictors ;)
This will clear up the use of "Sniper" in general, introduce other abilities and even presents the possibility of re-balancing CC units that are considered slightly over or under-powered.

For example the Rough Rider debate and whether they were over-powered or over-priced - If "Assassin" is adopted by the community, it would provide the possibility of reducing Rough Riders to CC5+ and adding "Assassin", which would maintain their effectiveness against infantry while reducing their impact on Vehicles. Note, this is just a hypothetical example


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 Post subject: Re: "Sniper" re-write and "Assassin"
PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2013 12:50 pm 
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I'd be rather against this, the less sniper style attacks the better. It starts being put on Banshees and Lictors then it becomes common in new lists which results in characters that offer bonuses like inspiring ceasing to be worth their points and thus no longer taken. All in all further degrading any flavour in army lists.


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 Post subject: Re: "Sniper" re-write and "Assassin"
PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2013 7:37 pm 
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I understand the concern about 'power creep' but that is really a criticism of the list rather than the rule. The intention here is to make the "Sniper" ability clearer and more appropriate, while it also opens the possibility for "Assassin" and "Inf-MW", both of which would be beneficial in describing some of the W40K weaponry.

Furthermore, "Sniper" is rarely used and absent in many lists altogether. So allowing "sniper" to be used in assault is very unlikely to have such a disasterous effect as you suggest.


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 Post subject: Re: "Sniper" re-write and "Assassin"
PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2013 8:45 pm 
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I think it makes a lot of sense.

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 Post subject: Re: "Sniper" re-write and "Assassin"
PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2013 9:12 pm 
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Ginger wrote:
Define 'Sniper' as being unit type specific, so Infantry 'Snipers' can only attack enemy infantry and Vehicle 'Snipers' can only impact enemy vehicles. This is already handled in shooting, so this would carry the principle over into assault and would therefore allow anti-tank capability at close range.


I feel this is something that makes sense but feels like an inelegant rule adjustment (smacks of the same debate over at our sister site Specialist-Arms regarding AC rules with the endless Fighter urret Suppression vs Escort/Hv Escort discussions). It's more realistic (or at least logically consistent) but feels like it pulls down the pace of the game. While imperfect I'd prefer to go for the more straight forward rules as is.

HOWEVER, if we go forward with this then I'd state the above quoted part need adjustment. INF Sniper only affecting INF stands; AV only AV isn't right in my opinion. It should be based on the the weapon shooting attacks the unit has. basically: If the unit can AP snipe, it can snipe any INF unit in FF. If it can AT snipe, it can snipe any AV unit in FF. It it can bot both, they can pick either.

Now there's no case of an INF unit with sniper that has an AT attack, AFAIK, but if we do this, go the full horse and base FF sniper use on the weapons stats themselves. So if we ever get into a future list where this does come up then we're not back to square one with the rules adjustment AGAIN. This has the benefit of in practice with current lists being INF vs INF; Av vs AV only but also provides the future proofing we should ask ourselves about.

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 Post subject: Re: "Sniper" re-write and "Assassin"
PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2013 9:29 pm 
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Meer wrote:
I'd be rather against this, the less sniper style attacks the better. It starts being put on Banshees and Lictors then it becomes common in new lists which results in characters that offer bonuses like inspiring ceasing to be worth their points and thus no longer taken. All in all further degrading any flavour in army lists.

Well put. +1


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 Post subject: Re: "Sniper" re-write and "Assassin"
PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2013 10:31 pm 
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Ginger wrote:
I understand the concern about 'power creep' but that is really a criticism of the list rather than the rule. The intention here is to make the "Sniper" ability clearer and more appropriate, while it also opens the possibility for "Assassin" and "Inf-MW", both of which would be beneficial in describing some of the W40K weaponry.

Furthermore, "Sniper" is rarely used and absent in many lists altogether. So allowing "sniper" to be used in assault is very unlikely to have such a disasterous effect as you suggest.


Whatever happened to KISS. Abstracting to avoid going into the minute detail of 40k abilities was always a core element of the rule design.

As to the specific 'assassin' rule dedicated CC troops who this change is geared to typically have a higher hit value 2/3+ as opposed to units which typically get the sniper rule being a fairly short range (say 30cm) AP 5+ or so. Raising the likelyhood of it hitting as is the case with the units likely to be fielding this make this proposed rule significantly better than sniper.

Sure it can be said that's a 'list design' issue but the rule is designed for specialist CC troops and if not used on those it's redundant and may as well not be written.


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 Post subject: Re: "Sniper" re-write and "Assassin"
PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2013 2:38 am 
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Has a discussion on whether banshees actually need stats in epic ever been had? I mean, if Orks have Nobz and Scar Boyz both represented by Nobz, and space marines have things like sternguard, veteran marines and bog standard assault marines are all represented by assault marines, do howling banshees and striking scorpions really need separate unit datafaxs?


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 Post subject: Re: "Sniper" re-write and "Assassin"
PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2013 9:40 am 
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The army champion has said that he wants options explored which make banshees a valid choice... this is all discussion at this stage....

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 Post subject: Re: "Sniper" re-write and "Assassin"
PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2013 11:37 am 
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I still think that first strike on the exarch attack would make them good enough to be taken sometimes...


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