Morticanis
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Re: Ammo Dice...why?

Sat 05 Dec 2020, 15:57

1: Credit where it is due, I do not recall another game that I have played with a suppression feature. This does change the nature of combat in this game significantly, and may allay many of my concerns once fully embraced/understood.

2: I get that there is no "Hollywood Style" slaughterfest of 38 kills on a 20 round magazine...nor would I want one. That isn't really what I'm advocating for...

3: My main concern is the lack of any mechanism for situations where absolute trigger/round control would be in evidence. A single sniper shot on a HVT for example. Hunting is another. Will these be the majority of the engagements? Likely not. But they WILL come up and my player group WILL complain about it (They already have)...and I agree that a single shot mechanism should be added.

4: I get that 1E bundled shots - but, again, the perception in doing so was that there was control over rounds expended. And there was. Ammo dice removes that control...completely. Even a single die can result in up to 6 rounds expended...if I rolled 4 of them and got lucky, I would darn near drain a magazine...and no Moose hunter in the world would drop 24 rounds on a single moose.

5: Yes, I get that the shooter never knows where the shot lands in RL. I understand the protocols of "Shoot until the threat stops". That doesn't address the specific elements that have been brought up.

6: I like this game. I like this game a lot. I want Frie Ligan to make a boat load of expansions so I can give them my money and my game group can relive our glory days in an alt history setting. If I criticize a mechanic, it is only for that reason.

7: I am hoping to get a session in next weekend. We will push a few combat scenarios around and will track shots taken, conditions in effect, and rounds expended. This should help either prove points or allay fears.

M.
 
welsh
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Re: Ammo Dice...why?

Sat 05 Dec 2020, 17:45

If you miss what you where aiming for because the target moved in a certain way or you just lost focus for a second (or some other narrative why you missed) why would the extra bullets fired at the same missed target(s) hit.
You may be firing at a moving target and adjusting your lead. You may miss on the first shot but the target's own movement results in a hit on the second. And so on.

It is completely plausible that you can aim, miss, and then hit on an immediate followup shot, because the target is moving (even if not running crawling) and you are under stress.

Also, I think it's erroneous to think of actions in a round as being necessarily sequential. What I mean is, if you do a quick aim (fast action) followed by a shot (slow action) with one ammo die, I think it's an error to see that as aim - fire aimed shot - fire series of snap shots. It's more accurate imo to interpret that as firing a series of shots more deliberately than you would if you spent part of the round doing something else. That is, the action of quick aiming is interleaved with the action of firing rather than being sequential with the action of firing.

Again, we get into gameplay thinking, where we consider everything that happens as a series of sequential actions because the rules break it down that way, rather than considering what kinds of actions the rules are attempting to model.

(This leads to a question: should you be able to do quick aim when throwing three or four ammo dice? Thinking of an assault rifle, it's tempting to say no, but thinking of a machine gun, I would say yes.)
 
welsh
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Re: Ammo Dice...why?

Sat 05 Dec 2020, 17:56

1: Credit where it is due, I do not recall another game that I have played with a suppression feature. This does change the nature of combat in this game significantly, and may allay many of my concerns once fully embraced/understood.
This is a huge plus of the system. RPGs don't model fire and movement combat well because characters can behave in superhuman ways by ignoring the fact that they're under fire and calmly targeting the most important threat based on an overhead view of a map. So yay suppression. :)
3: My main concern is the lack of any mechanism for situations where absolute trigger/round control would be in evidence. A single sniper shot on a HVT for example. Hunting is another. Will these be the majority of the engagements? Likely not. But they WILL come up and my player group WILL complain about it (They already have)...and I agree that a single shot mechanism should be added.
I think there's broad agreement on this, and I hope FL will change it because I think we can guarantee everyone would just houserule it anyway.

Hunting is another good case, although in this case you will generally get slow aim so it could be covered by the same rule as the sniper.

Re hunting, there is another bit of the rules I don't like: if you shoot and wound an animal, it is gone and you can't track it. You ought to be able to track it by its blood trail as a Survival roll. Failure represents an indistinct blood trail left by a superficial wound; success gives you a followup opportunity.
 
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Vader
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Re: Ammo Dice...why?

Sat 05 Dec 2020, 20:15

If the system assumes that you are fluent in reading the ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs (where the order in which individual characters are meant to be read is neither sequential, linear, nor unidirectional; but will vary depending sometimes on context, but also e.g. on aesthetics), then I think it would be beneficial if there were two or three examples of how these utterly counterintuitive mechanical results should be interpreted narratively in a way that explains how you shot a two-round burst, hit with both rounds, but then followed up with two more bursts “just in case” ... and why no-one ever can drop that nervous tick of shooting three double-taps in a row, etc.

No ... rather in that case, I’ll reiterate my earlier suggestion: give a few ready-made tweak suggestions in the rules.
“If you want to reflect tightly controlled bursts in a more intuitive way, do this ... if you want more Ammo Dice to increase hit probability, do that ... but be aware that this unbalances the system in such and such a way...”
Then leave it up to the GM to decide what he or she likes best.
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welsh
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Re: Ammo Dice...why?

Sat 05 Dec 2020, 20:34

I think it would be beneficial if there were two or three examples of how these utterly counterintuitive mechanical results should be interpreted narratively in a way that explains how you shot a two-round burst, hit with both rounds, but then followed up with two more bursts “just in case”
This is already a case of you imposing a narrative on the result: this happened, and then that happened.

The result of the dice mechanic is that a number of shots are fired, say seven, and two hits are achieved. The narrative interpretation is this: you fired seven shots and he went down. There is no need to know which rounds hit, and a soldier would not actually know this in reality. It's not like the soldier sees sixes on a die and knows how many times he hit, where he hit, and how much damage each hit did. You fired seven shots and he went down.

RPGs inherently have things happen in an apparently sequential way when in fact they should be seen as simultaneous. Everyone who acts in one combat round is acting at the same time, not sequentially; initiative only exists to resolve the question of who shoots whom first. But inevitably, people start to interpret initiative as sequential: that character did this, so my character will do that. You rarely see anyone attack the artificiality of that kind of thinking. The desire to impose a sequential narrative on events is strong.
 
omnipus
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Re: Ammo Dice...why?

Sat 05 Dec 2020, 23:08

welsh, can we be best friends? :D

I think we're in pretty much total alignment on everything regarding the rules. I understand it's natural for people to want to prescribe sequence to things, but the tabletop is only meant as a representation of any number of possible happenings. The system allows for more narrative expanse, and I think that's great. I do think it would be nice if the book included an example/tip or two on this to get it into peoples' heads. But there's nothing about the base die that says they are your "first" shot, and that ammo dice come after. There are plenty of stories to tell. For instance, I'm in a city fight. I sprint across the street, tumbling from car to car for cover. Just as I leave cover I see an enemy, just feet away. I roll 9,3 to hit and 5,5,6,3 on ammo. Simmons is a good soldier and normally calm and controlled, but in the shock of the moment, an enemy close enough to see the pimples on his face, he just holds the trigger down in a panic. The first shots go wide, terrifying the enemy soldier. He leaps for cover -- but just as he gets behind the car a lucky round goes through the window and strikes him head-on. Simmons keeps firing even after that, shredding metal, unsure of whether he got him or not.

I mean, if you prefer to just mechanically go through the motions of "I roll, I hit, check morale, etc..." fair enough. It's certainly faster and I expect many players will default to that. But tabletop skirmish games do that well enough. The point of roleplaying games is to inject personality and story into it. A system that gives everyone the agency to do that, and build their character with every moment, is off to a good start.

The ammo dice also already perfectly well represent the intended design advantage of compensating for skill with more bullets: through suppression. I know we've already discussed it but it was the entire design and doctrine of the Soviet infantry and its tools, and not for no reason!

Lots of players may be coming to this game not really understanding the concepts of fire and maneuver. It may be rough for them. But lots of others are going to have real life military backgrounds and I expect they'll quickly see how to use the system to advantage. I'm expecting to have a mixed group of active duty/veterans/civvies myself. I expect the civvies will learn quick and their characters will too.
 
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Vader
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Re: Ammo Dice...why?

Sun 06 Dec 2020, 03:32

But there's nothing about the base die that says they are your "first" shot, and that ammo dice come after.

Actually, yes there is. Not sequentially perhaps, but logically.

If your Base Dice don’t register a success — a hit — then none of the Ammo Dice can, either, completely regardless how many you use.

If your “first” shot — the one given by the Base Dice, wherever you choose to interpret its place in some kind of a sequential narrative — doesn't hit, then nothing does!

But if the Narrative Die “first” shot hits, then — but only then — your Ammo Dice successes will hit, too.
Meaning that then, all of a sudden, more dice — more shots fired — mean an increased chance of bullets hitting! Which really throws the weirdness of more bullets not increasing the chance of scoring a hit, singular, into sharp relief.

Again: unless your specific intent is to suppress, then the whole point of throwing more lead at the enemy is to increase the chance of hitting him!
And the system in its current form reflects that in exactly no way, shape, form, or fashion whatsoever of any kind.

If that works for you — well, good for you!
There seems to be a few of us who’d really prefer to see these wee wonkinesses fixed, though.
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omnipus
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Re: Ammo Dice...why?

Sun 06 Dec 2020, 04:31

No, it still really does not.

Stop thinking about it as shots, in any kind of order, and start thinking in terms of "here are the attacks I made in a 5-10 second period." That could be a couple shots, it could be a lot of shots, it could be a full auto Rambo rampage, it could be a snapshot here and another one a second later and so on and so on.

Your attempt at hitting the enemy either generally succeeds, or it does not. If it doesn't, it might still be close to enough to suppress through firepower alone -- that's what ammo dice represent, among other things. But there is no "shot" separate from ammo dice, just as there is no ammo dice separate from the overall attack. Thinking of them separately does no good, because they are inseparable. There is certainly no Narrative Die because they are all "narrative dice." Whether or not your attack -- consisting of whatever number of bullets -- is able to actually find flesh is still skill-based. As it should be. The weapon just gives you a better chance to inflict effect in general.

There are a limited number of circumstances where a bullet storm, independent of skill, might produce increased hits. Mostly in a CQB scenario. To solve the complaint, I suggest either a special rule for shooting at an enemy unopposed (not in Close Combat) at 1 hex range or the same hex... or simply what I mentioned somewhere else probably in this eternal thread: anyone (or PCs, at least) can convert any two Ammo Die successes to one Attack success whenever they want. I think the latter probably gets the job done, is easy to remember, and doesn't have any unintended consequences that I can think of.
 
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Ser Stevos
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Re: Ammo Dice...why?

Sun 06 Dec 2020, 10:39

I understand it's natural for people to want to prescribe sequence to things, but the tabletop is only meant as a representation of any number of possible happenings. The system allows for more narrative expanse, and I think that's great. I do think it would be nice if the book included an example/tip or two on this to get it into peoples' heads. But there's nothing about the base die that says they are your "first" shot, and that ammo dice come after.

I think this really sums up my feelings too and I'll add a bit to it. At minimum to roll an attack you use the two attack dice and one ammo dice. That one ammo dice is to represent the ammo you used in that attack. You are fully capable of killing an enemy soldier with those three dice. If you add more ammo dice, I think the idea is to do suppression because you're firing more bullets down range and get a little bit extra damage. Allowing ammo dice to give an extra chance to hit would be a total upset of how the system was created. I'm someone who agrees on getting "single shot rules" for sniper rifles but I think it gets into the weeds when we want it for ARs and the like. It's not a hill I'll die on though.

At the end of the day, this game is a table top role playing game, not a table top war game. Narrative is very important to the story and relies on the referee for what happens if a character misses. I also believe that FL tried to make the game deadly but not too deadly. I think they walked a fine line and they succeeded. If rule changes allow ammo dice to help score hits then the game becomes considerably more deadly. I'm not opposed or against making the game deadlier but I'm just using this as an example that every rule suggestion needs to be seen both ways: player and NPC effects.

Lastly, and this is not attacking anyone directly more so for someone reading this thread, it's best to play a session first and get a firefight under your belt at the least before thinking of how the rules work in a "real" situation. I read this thread before my group played our first session and then after we played our first session. We played with RAW rules to see for ourselves. Some arguments made a lot of sense (begone with ammo dice allowed to roll mishaps!) and others... did not after having that practical play. I think my second session next week will give an even better understanding of the rules presented by FL!
 
AEB
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Re: Ammo Dice...why?

Sun 06 Dec 2020, 13:36

If I am reading the rules right ammo dice are the only way to hit more than one target with an attack, including friendlies in the same 10m hex as the target.

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