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"Sniper" re-write and "Assassin"

 Post subject: Re: "Sniper" re-write and "Assassin"
PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2013 11:55 am 
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Agreed, bumping them to CC2+ (if they aren't already) as well should be done

was there ever a community poll? I think that many of those who are satisfied with the status quo or in favour of simple boosts have stopped participating in the discussion, which makes it seem much more like something is going to happen..... there also appears to be precious little playtesting going on at the moment too.....

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 Post subject: Re: "Sniper" re-write and "Assassin"
PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2013 12:47 pm 
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Personally I think this is just one of those things that can't be done in the rules due to their design, like barrage weapons with good to-hit values and hit allocation oddities. Unfortunate and frustrating as they are, such flaws in the game are few. Whilst I understand the desire to fix them, I think it ends up causing more trouble than it is worth and divides opinion too widely.

I think just leave it as it is: sniper can't be used in assaults (to define otherwise means changing the rulebook), and assaults stay abstracted "unit X is in a firefight" rather than "unit X hits unit Y".

Take sniper for example. If it only applies to a handful of units then it's not really worth doing, whereas if it applies to a wider range of units then it will have consequences on the value of characters across all lists. There isn't really a clear win IMHO.

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 Post subject: Re: "Sniper" re-write and "Assassin"
PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2013 7:11 pm 
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jimmyzimms wrote:
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.

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.
Thanks Jimmy, a point well made. And although I was talking of 'principles' we will obviously need to consider how this would work in practice. Firstly, there is an inconsistency between the definition in 2.1.14 and its application in the lists. Although "sniper" is defined as a unit ability, there are quite a lot of lists where it is used as a weapon note. So the definition would need to be revised to take this into account.

More importantly "Sniper" is already applied outside Infantry units and AP shooting, and we would need to consider the impacts to the various lists. From the current Compendium:-
  • The Black Templars 'Emperors Champion' weapon confers "Assault Weapon - EA+1 sniper"
    (this another candidate for "Assassin" as it is the apparent intention.)

  • The Grey Knights 'Brotherhood Champion' unit notes confers "Sniper" with an extra "First Strike" attack.
    (This needs to be reviewed as to whether it is intended to be a Sniper or Assassin in assault.)

  • The Grey Knights 'Vindicare Assassin' Weapon is 30cm MW5 "Sniper" AND small arms EA MW "Sniper".
    (Although it follows Jimmy's suggestion tying the ability to the weapon, it would be equally good against all target types.)

  • The Tyranids 'Lictor' has "Lictor Talons (base contact) (Assault Weapons), Sniper"
    (As noted this would potentially convert to "Assassin".)

  • In the E-UK Ulani list, the ‘Leman Russ Tank Destroyer’ has a weapon with 75cm AT2+ “Sniper”
    (This also follows Jimmy's suggestion tying the ability to the weapon.)

  • There is also the current suggestion for the Eldar 'Howling Banshees' to add "Assassin" or Inf-MW - to improve it to the point where it might become viable.
    Here I suggest we use "Assassin" because it is following a trend that has already been set by other units, but YVMV.

So, if we are to follow the suggestion of making "Sniper" follow the shooting capabilities of a unit, does it matter where this ability is noted? Put another way, how should we treat units that have "Sniper" as a unit ability? While this only applies to infantry at the moment does this mean we need to re-write the stats of the relevant units, or can we leave them alone and cover this aspect in the definition of the ability?

And the same question would also apply to "Assassin", should this be a unit ability or a Weapon note?


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 Post subject: Re: "Sniper" re-write and "Assassin"
PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2013 7:30 pm 
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And to the others, I hope the above list shows that the 'genie' is already out of the bottle, albeit for a relatively limited number of units.

Guys, I am not trying to start up something new, rather that we need to tidy up something which already exists, though I freely admit that using this opportunity to sort out "Assassin" will also provide a potential option for the Eldar Banshees.


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 Post subject: Re: "Sniper" re-write and "Assassin"
PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2013 9:26 pm 
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From that list I do have to admit that we have to tidy up Sniper.

Either that, or go back to all the lists and remove it since it's not a weapon ability.


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 Post subject: Re: "Sniper" re-write and "Assassin"
PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2013 9:48 pm 
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Ulrik wrote:
Either that, or go back to all the lists and remove it since it's not a weapon ability.


I'm pretty sure everyone is playing it as a weapon ability already. Just no units had more than that one weapon so... :D

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 Post subject: Re: "Sniper" re-write and "Assassin"
PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2013 4:10 pm 
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So, 4 units in total using sniper in assault. Are any of those 4 Approved?

From what I recall, the sniper on lictors was added in expectation of stirring up such a discussion of this, rather than being based on something that is already defined.

IMO the easiest "clean up" is to remove it from those 4 units. :)

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 Post subject: Re: "Sniper" re-write and "Assassin"
PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2013 4:59 pm 
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being primarily an EUK players, I've only come across the tank destroyer and various sniper infantry, I wasn't aware of any problems until now.... why not (for simplicity's sake) just remove it from FF attacks? surely the rule could be worded as 'when shooting units with the sniper ability may specifically target any unit within a formation, and that unit recieves a -1 armour save penalty'

the fringe cases (vindicare and whatnot) should have some other existing rule, first strike perhaps, to represent their crack-shottedness in an engagement....

that's my opinion on how to 'clean up' sniper

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 Post subject: Re: "Sniper" re-write and "Assassin"
PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 12:51 am 
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Are there any other views?


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 Post subject: Re: "Sniper" re-write and "Assassin"
PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 8:56 pm 
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Guys, have you noted the FAQ on the subject in the Compendium and elsewhere?
Quote:
45 2.1.14 Sniper
Q: Can the Sniper ability be used in an assault?
A: Unless specifically noted on the datasheet (for example, by addition to a small arms weapon), Sniper ability does not apply to attacks in assaults.
This seems a usefull guide on how to apply 'sniper' in an assault, and could also suggest a very simple set of changes to the definition . . . .


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 Post subject: Re: "Sniper" re-write and "Assassin"
PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2013 6:18 pm 
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Ok guys, as there have been no more comments recently, here is my suggested ammendment to the wording of “Sniper” to define it's use in Assault with the minimum of impact to existing units. I have highlighted the proposed alterations for clarity
Quote:
2.1.14Sniper
Some infantry units are noted as being snipers and having greater shooting accuracy. Where “sniper” is noted on the weapon, this ability also applies in assault against Infantry or the target type for that weapon. Roll separately when attacking with a sniper unit. If they hit, the attacker can choose which enemy unit is hit from those within range and in the line of fire of the sniper unit. In addition the target suffers a -1 save modifier.


Edited :-
- To highlight original intention for this to apply to shooting


Last edited by Ginger on Sat Mar 02, 2013 5:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: "Sniper" re-write and "Assassin"
PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2013 6:53 pm 
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Nothing in the way the rules are written makes Sniper (or Disrupt, for that matter) impossible to use during assaults. Indeed, it should be downright simple. You allocate hits like you're shooting, thus you use Sniper in the same way. I don't think THAT bit needs clarification.

And at that point, I honestly think the best course of action may be to leave it alone - the FAQ should maybe be expanded to include Assault Weapons, but I think the current rules work well enough. The difficulty lies with the fact that FF and CC are equally effective against everything, and I don't think the game system's up to changing THAT.

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 Post subject: Re: "Sniper" re-write and "Assassin"
PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2013 6:05 pm 
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We certainly could amend or add FAQ to present the required approach, but this is clumsy, potentially misleading, and does not seem to be sufficient. Consider the implications within your comment which though unintentional, seem contrary to the current FAQ:-
Quote:
Q: Can the Sniper ability be used in an assault?
A: Unless specifically noted on the datasheet (for example, by addition to a small arms weapon), Sniper ability does not apply to attacks in assaults.

I also disagree with the assertion that it is not possible to get this to work correctly in assault – though that may require a FAQ to explain that ‘small arms fire’ denotes that the ability only applies when in FF (‘base contact’ is self-explanatory). As the term “Sniper” usually applies to infantry weapons, we simply declare that in assault the term only applies to infantry targets. If the weapon is considered very powerfull or highly effective, we simply need to declare it a “MW” (like the Grey Knights 'Vindicare Assassin').

In fact I suggest that the difficulty lies in preventing AT weaponry from being too effective against infantry targets; is the suggested wording sufficient in that respect?

Note, I have amended the proposed wording to clarify that the original intention was for the ability to apply only to shooting.


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 Post subject: Re: "Sniper" re-write and "Assassin"
PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2013 10:20 pm 
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Quote:
We certainly could amend or add FAQ to present the required approach, but this is clumsy, potentially misleading, and does not seem to be sufficient.


Sufficient to what? The major issue you seem to see is that Snipers can be good at killing tanks in assaults. Except that's just a symptom of the fact that if you're good at killing one kind of unit in assaults in Epic, you're good at killing the other kind, too.

As far as I can tell, you've got two goals.
1) Distinguish between sniping vehicles and infantry
2) Distinguish between sniping in assaults and in shooting.
The rules currently do the latter, and the former is an artifact of the way assaults are abstracted in Epic. It's a larger problem than Sniper, and "fixing" Sniper won't fix that.

It works well enough as it is. If reproducing anti-infantry units is so difficult, maybe we need some kind of anti-infantry ability. But the existing abilities are OK.

Quote:
Consider the implications within your comment which though unintentional, seem contrary to the current FAQ:-
Quote:
Q: Can the Sniper ability be used in an assault?
A: Unless specifically noted on the datasheet (for example, by addition to a small arms weapon), Sniper ability does not apply to attacks in assaults.


I think the current FAQ is probably wrong based on the RAW (FF (and CC) attacks are still attacks. Sniper applies to attacks, not to shooting. You can use Sniper in assaults. Done). That said, I think the rules work better with this interpretation, and so I don't really mind that much (though adding "assault weapons" in next to Small Arms would be good). If giving a unit Sniper made it snipe everything all the time, that would be bad, and it's easier to require new lists to be explicit about their intentions than to patch a whole bunch of extant lists.

Under the current system, you can create units that can snipe with particular weapons, that can snipe in CC, that can snipe in FF, or that can snipe with all their shooting. Or any combination of the previous. That's pretty good.

Quote:
though that may require a FAQ to explain that ‘small arms fire’ denotes that the ability only applies when in FF (‘base contact’ is self-explanatory)


There are already too many FAQs that explain the blindingly obvious. If you have Sniper on a weapon that is Small Arms only, then yeah, it's only for FF. That's the only time you can use the damn weapon. People shouldn't need to be told that specifically.

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 Post subject: Re: "Sniper" re-write and "Assassin"
PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 12:02 pm 
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SN, let me try to expand a little to answer your points.

IIRC the original intention was for “Sniper” to be purely a shooting ability; the current wording makes much more sense in that context. However, as lists were developed, a significant number of people wanted to use “Sniper” during assault to provide other weapons and skills, which is where the difficulties start to arise. Meanwhile, certain key interpretations evolved and people joined and left the community. Consequently, the discussions around “Sniper” have rumbled on for many years, not least because people still have different opinions over points that would seem to be ‘blindingly obvious’.

Leaving the text alone has resulted in many different interpretations over time, so IMO does not fully support our needs and is thus not sufficient in isolation. We also know that Neal Hunt was considering some revision to the rule, which in itself ought to speak volumes. I agree that the current FAQ are inadequate, and so while we need to keep the FAQ to a minimum, we may yet need to resort to other FAQ after these.

In proposing the amendment, I was trying to meet a number of objects, some of which may need further clarification including
  • Minimising the amount of re-work to existing Unit stats and army lists
  • Trying to keep as close to the intentions both for shooting (easy) and for units in assault while working within the rules as they are currently understood (much harder).
  • Considerations over defining the use of the weapon under the different circumstances (shooting, FF and CC).
  • Considerations over hit allocation under the different circumstances.
  • And finally, making the minimum change to the text of “Sniper” to accomplish the above.

Assuming that the effects in shooting are understood and accepted, the main issues are how Sniper should work in assault, how hits should be allocated and what limitations should apply. It is over the limitations that I think our views diverge most, as you seem happy to have none, while others (myself included) would prefer to restrict the ability to appropriate targets – if practical.

The key to this is applying the ability to the weapon notes. This allows us to specify the range of the ability, thus distinguishing between FF (Small arms) and CC (Base contact). It is a small step to apply the ability to the target type of that weapon as well. I went one step further in trying to simplify things, because the ability is applied almost exclusively to AP weapons. Would you prefer to remove the word 'Infantry'? If so, the revised wording would read
Quote:
2.1.14Sniper
Some units are noted as being snipers and having greater shooting accuracy. Where “sniper” is noted on the weapon, this ability also applies in assault against the target type for that weapon. Roll separately when attacking with a sniper unit. If they hit, the attacker can choose which enemy unit is hit from those within range and in the line of fire of the sniper unit. In addition the target suffers a -1 save modifier.


Hit allocation has proved contentious in the past, especially in CC. The problem being that applying hits to targets "in range" can be defined both as 'in base contact' and also 'in the assault' because the actual combat is fluid with troops from both sides being intermingled. Here I suspect we will need a new FAQ to define what is meant. My preference would be to allow units with both "Infiltrate" and "Sniper" to allocate hits within the assault as they could move through enemy troops to attack the desired target. Otherwise, IMO CC Sniper hits should be restricted to enemy in Base Contact - but YVMV.

Note this is runs contrary to the current views on MW hit allocation which allows the 'flying fist' approach, allocating hits to enemy not in Base contact, though this was adopted because MW hits are now allocated after normal hits have been resolved


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