THW NUTS! In Sight Discussion — 2017 01 15
This article is written in response to a post on the THW forums where there are some questions about In Sight Tests which demand an ongoing illustration. Doing that, however … That’s a longer piece.
Okay, let’s rebuild your example a bit so that I have some bits to move around. (Sure I could have done it in 2D with PhotoShop or something, but I’m an utter show-off and I’ve been spending a lot of time in Fusion 360 lately.)
Hmmm. Too far, but it gives us the general form of things. Let’s try closer.
Much better. We have two groups of BLUFOR lurking further than 1" away from the edge of the woods to the northwest and northeast. How do we know they’re further than 1" away from the edge of the woods? Closer than 1" and the REDFOR guys in the farmhouse would have line of sight on them already and there’d be no In Sight Test coming. Ergo, definitely not in line of sight yet.
Also note that I’m absolutely going to be referencing the NUTS! update from 2016–02–13 which brings the “Final Version” up to date with the latest releases of the THW lines. It’s in the free update on the THW file repository, if you’re looking for it.
Let’s get right down on the table for a second.
So, right nobody can see nothin’ in either direction. We already know the REDFOR guys have made a fatal miscalculation: their LMG is facing south. Every bit of the action is about to happen on the north side of the farmhouse, and unless something amazing happens, they’re going to miss it.
Also, there’s this little joy from NUTS! FV p58:
COVER OR CONCEALMENT
Buildings provide cover and concealment to those inside. Unless specified as being at a window or door, figures inside buildings cannot be seen.
We’ll go ahead and assume the guys are all at windows at the sides of the house they’re facing. As an extension of this text, we’ll assume that guys not at a “window” facing the enemy can’t be seen, thus saving the REDFOR LMG from being shot at by every BLUFOR that gets in range. Not at a window visible from that side, not in line of sight.
While we’re assuming, let’s also assume everyone on the table is REP 4. No incredible badasses, but no suckasses, either. This is good, because it makes figuring out dice pools much easier.
Right, so no line of sight, in the trees, ready to rock.
Let’s activate something.
REDFOR and BLUFOR roll respectively coloured dice for Activation. REDFOR really wants to win here, because BLUFOR has clearly outmaneuvered him in an ugly way. For some reason he was expecting assault from the south and the LMG is way out of position. BLUFOR has put his fireteams in good positions to put heavy fire on two sides of the farmhouse and he has a lot of firepower. The SMG only has a 24" range, though the front of the tree line is well within that. A better solution would have had the Bren setup beyond 24" and only worry about fire from a rifle or other LMG but — what y’gonna do?
REDFOR has a truly crappy day and rolls a 5 while BLUFOR drops a fat 2. BLUFOR goes and REDFOR doesn’t even get an Activation this turn (because their REP 4 leader is less than the rolled 5).
BLUFOR is smart and pushes forward with a pincer move. Since both groups are REP 4, either could go first but since the SMG is the real threat, BLUFOR pushes the east group up first. Why? The Bren team on the west can either move or shoot on activation and they’ll need to move to get into LoS. More fire on the east team for the push means the SMG will probably be pushed off the window and not be able to IST when the west group pushes.
So, right, Fireteam East pushes up to the edge of the woods — and stops, because if they go beyond it, they lose both concealment and cover, and REDFOR has both in the farmhouse. Running out into the open is how you get murdered.
Fireteam East, let’s take a look.
All of FT East stays within 4" of each other to maintain command distance, so would activate together next turn as a single group. Even if they split up, they’d still all activate as one this turn because they started together.
LoS was established the moment they broke the 1" border within the wood. They could have all moved a further 2", but there’s no good reason to. They break into sight and trigger the In Sight Test.
REDFOR and BLUFOR both roll 4d6 because both sides have REP 4 leaders for their groups. BLUFOR needs more successes (1–3) than REDFOR to pop off first. This is dicey, to drop a pun. Both sides are Concealed (one in a farmhouse and the other in the woodline) so it bumps both pools down to 3d6. 50/50 chance BLUFOR can go first and maybe dislodge the enemy from that window.
(Let me find my real dice …)
REDFOR: 3, 3, 1 — three successes.
BLUFOR: 4, 4, 1 — one success.
Ouch, the gamble didn’t really pay off. REDFOR gets to blast away.
But look at the LoS. REDFOR’s east Rifleman only has LoS to two guys, the southernmost of FT East. The northern two are outside his LoS because they’re in his rear arc. He can only select one of those two to fire at because he has a Target 1 BA Rifle. (He picks the southern one.) Now look at the SMG. It can only target the northern two of FT East because the southern two are behind the back of his arc. The SMG has Target 3, so he can (and must, in In Sight reaction) fire at both of them and then randomly select one of the two to get the magic third round (the northmost guy, in this case). If one of those two were the squad leader or NCO, that could be ugly. We’ll arbitrarily say that’s the eastmost guy in the group just for spite.
REDFOR Rifleman East takes his shot at the NCO (eastmost bluefor). REDFOR SMG puts two rounds into northmost BLUFOR rifleman and one into the guy next to him.
SMG rolls 3d6: 6, 5, 3. Dayum. He really is a threat. That’s a 10, 9, and 7. The 10 is absolutely a hit on north guy. The 9 is a hit because BLUFOR is moving, so woods only count as concealment, not cover. The third round is just a miss. Damage results? Let’s find out. Northmost BLUFOR rolls a 3, which is higher than the SMG’s Impact 1, so he Ducks Back into the safety of the tree line he just left. The other guy gets a 2, so he too goes into Duck Back in the tree line.
REDFOR East Rifleman pops his cap: 2. That’s just a 6, so absolutely misses.
Shooting’s done, damage is done, so it’s time for the Crisis Test. The NCO’s leading, so we’ll see if he gets Leader Die. A 2, so he adds that 1d6 to the 2d6 we’re throwing for the group. 6, 4, 4, so everyone passes the Crisis Test Unfortunately, three of the four guys are in Duck Back and that’s the best they can do. The next-to-eastmost guy though — he could Return Fire because the SMG didn’t shoot at him and he’s not Outgunned by some piddly other Rifleman, if he’d actually taken fire personally. No bullets zinged his way, though, so he’s not actually subject to the Crisis Test. Just standing out there in the wood line, looking around with concern.
Which brings us over to BLUFOR Fireteam West, pushing their assault up in much the same way. Go to the tree line, pour on the fire, hope for the best. REDFOR is, however, in the same shitty position they were in the first place — or are they?
BLUFOR learned from that last push, but maybe the wrong lesson. They have three Riflemen pushing up on the REDFOR Rifleman West, being very, very careful to not be in the SMG arc of fire. Well, all except the Bren team, which has been left to the tender mercies of Impact 1 love. If the Bren gets set up, it’ll be a whole different universe for the REDFOR in the farmhouse.
So, into LoS they trooped, and In Sight is triggered once again. 3d6 on both sides for the same bad situation, and BLUFOR needs more successes than REDFOR.
REDFOR: 6, 5, 4.
BLUFOR: 5, 3, 2.
Thank the Gods of Tea! BLUFOR gets 2 successes and REDFOR only gets 1. BLUFOR wins the In Sight and gets to fire.
Squad leader is Westmost Rifleman, in this case. We’ll allocate firing from south to north for simplicity. Only REDFOR Rifleman West and the SMG are in LoS from the BLUFOR FT West; both the LMG and REDFOR Rifleman East are out of LoS on the other side of the farmhouse.
SL targets RRW. Guy next to him targets the SMG. BLUFOR three targets the RRW again.
The Bren would normally need to stop and setup, but p23 has this tasty nugget:
LMGFIRE AND MOVE
A LMG team can fire on the move. Here’s how we do it:
* Cannot Fast Move.
* Out of Ammo when two “ones” are rolled assistant cannot load while on the move.
This might hurt a bit. The Bren has LoS to both RRW and SMG, has Target 4, but they’re separated by some space. Let’s say 3" so the Bren can only put one round onto each of them, starting with the SMG, thanks to the swath. It’s still ugly.
SL: 1. That guy sucks with a rifle.
B2: 3. He likewise sucks.
B3: 6. He’s going in for sharpshooter training after this.
BR: 6, 3, 1, 1. Someone has a bad day coming, but — that Bren’s out of ammo, as above. That could suck next turn.
SL whiffs a shot on RRW. B2 likewise whiffs the round on the SMG. Well, at least they’ve both taken fire, right?
B3 plugs RRW like a guy who knows how to kill and likes it. A 4 for damage is sadly over the Impact 3 of the BA Rifle, but he’ll be Ducked Back, probably just dropping down behind the cover of the windowsill, looking pale.
The Bren spits lead like the worst curry of the Raj. The side of the farmhouse gets bloody riddled. The SMG guy takes a heavy-duty 48" range round and it rolls a 1. Fittingly so. The SMG gunner sprays bullets from a spasmotic finger on the trigger as he spins to the side, face erased like the memory of his mother’s teats. REDFOR Rifleman West feels blood splattered from the corner and stares in horror at his downed buddy.
Though thankfully, RRW doesn’t have to make a Crisis Test. Why? Man Down only counts if it happens within his LoS. During this little nightmare, he’s facing away from that corner. Now, my personal feeling is that it should only matter if a friendly goes down within 4" because screams and blood are omniversal, but the rules are the rules. If this was within the rules for a CT, there being no Leader in this farmhouse (because, c’mon, what kind of Leader’d put his LMG where there are no lines of approach?), it’s a straight 2d6+1d6 for being in cover, so 6, 5, 3 — so he’ll do the worse of Duck Back and Return Fire. Ducking back is a good plan, even as the Bren gunner’s cursing and beating the gun because of an ammo break. The guys in the farmhouse are safe from the Bren for at least one turn. After that …
And that’s it for the turn. FT West is intact and has taken out the worst part of the visible enemy force. FT East has largely ducked back into the woods and would trigger another new In Sight when they come out if anyone is there looking. If the REDFOR LMG can activate and turn around before BLUFOR can get up to the house and target it, many men might die for the Empire this day. If BLUFOR gets lucky and goes first again, well …
Figures, ties. Again.
BLUFOR’s Activation, but REDFOR gets to go actively once BLUFOR is done, so — whoever survives that initial assault will be there to actively choose targets on the surviving BLUFOR.
Take Away Knowledge:
Simultaneous assaults are about controlling the facing and movement of your enemy up to the point of engagement. Split their attentions in the turns up to the engagement you pick. When you hit, do your best to be out of the arc of the high Target weapons in the mix. Deploy your own guns outside the range of theirs whenever possible. And remember, last turn and next turn may be more important than this turn.
There is no REDFOR defense facing the shared corner. The BLUFOR groups can coalesce and push hard right up to the walls and use them for cover. The defense, given that it has to activate to reorient, is going to be pressed, hard, soon.
Confuse your enemy. Cut off his ability to harm you fastest. War, war never changes.