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Author Topic: Opportunity fire in Alpha Strike?  (Read 813 times)

saab14

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Opportunity fire in Alpha Strike?
« on: 04 September 2022, 10:01:58 »
Has anyone tried adapting Opportunity Fire optional rules from Tac Ops to Alpha Strike?

It would fit well into some of the defensive scenarios I play, from a thematic and tactical perspective, but I wonder how it would play...

Failure16

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Re: Opportunity fire in Alpha Strike?
« Reply #1 on: 04 September 2022, 13:19:27 »
The easiest way to do it without having to delve too deeply into the turn-mechanics is simply to declare any Element that declines movement during its Turn enters Overwatch Status and can immediately fire into its Front/Primary Firing Arc on any other Element at any time during the turn (thus becoming a ranged Point Blank shot but with appropriate Range Modifiers for game-mechanic purposes).

Next, we can talk about Reaction Fire, but that's when the turn-mechanics really start to have to be looked at.
Thought I might get a rocket ride when I was a child.          We are the wild youth, 
But it was a lie, that I told myself                                          Chasing visions of our futures.
When I needed something good.                                            One day we'll reveal the truth,
At 17, I had a better dream; now I'm 33, and it isn't me.        That one will die before he gets there.

But I'd think of something better if I could
                           --E. Tonra
--A. Duritz

saab14

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Re: Opportunity fire in Alpha Strike?
« Reply #2 on: 05 September 2022, 13:27:33 »
The easiest way to do it without having to delve too deeply into the turn-mechanics is simply to declare any Element that declines movement during its Turn enters Overwatch Status and can immediately fire into its Front/Primary Firing Arc on any other Element at any time during the turn (thus becoming a ranged Point Blank shot but with appropriate Range Modifiers for game-mechanic purposes).

That is a straightforward way of doing it. I think a +1 attack modifier (like in Tac Ops) might be needed to make players think before choosing this. I'll try it at the next game and let you know how it went!
« Last Edit: 05 September 2022, 13:48:35 by saab14 »

Cat

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Re: Opportunity fire in Alpha Strike?
« Reply #3 on: 05 September 2022, 17:12:35 »
Ooh, I'm looking forward to the reports on this in action.

Failure16

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Re: Opportunity fire in Alpha Strike?
« Reply #4 on: 05 September 2022, 17:21:03 »
Playtesting is king, of course.

I would counter that the +1 THM is counterintuitive: the Element on the board and the controlling player in a broader sense is choosing to forgo their movement and wait, looking over their gunsight(s), in order to line up a shot when it presents itself. You could counterargue that the shot is by definition a snapshot, but that is not how overwatch works in the real world, nor should it on the gameboard. It may make Forces on the defense more powerful because they can injure attackers more readily--which is the point, and one more reason that Attackers should need more forces than Defenders (the old famous 3/1 ratio). You are simply encouraging universe-realistic tactics on the gameboard through game design.

I deliberately included the reference to Point-Blank Shots as they occur immediately, thus sides-stepping the confusion of during which Phase the attack happens.

One common refrain against Overwatch or Opportunity Fire is that it rewards or otherwise encourages "turret tech", or a tendency of players to hunker down and end maneuver because it is too overpowering. In reality, what they are bemoaning is a lack of proper scenario design that encourages movement to achieve objectives--or the desired end states of the player(s)' higher or offboard headquarters or commander's intent.

I look forward to your AAR/battle report! I hope you have fun regardless, and don't forget to do a hotwash after the game with all the players involved so everyone can weigh in.
Thought I might get a rocket ride when I was a child.          We are the wild youth, 
But it was a lie, that I told myself                                          Chasing visions of our futures.
When I needed something good.                                            One day we'll reveal the truth,
At 17, I had a better dream; now I'm 33, and it isn't me.        That one will die before he gets there.

But I'd think of something better if I could
                           --E. Tonra
--A. Duritz

saab14

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Re: Opportunity fire in Alpha Strike?
« Reply #5 on: 17 September 2022, 20:01:22 »
I look forward to your AAR/battle report! I hope you have fun regardless, and don't forget to do a hotwash after the game with all the players involved so everyone can weigh in.

We gave it a quick test this afternoon. Overall, we really liked it and it'll probably become a standard house rule with a bit more playtesting.

The defender was heavily outnumbered but in a strong defensive position overlooking a natural kill zone. Using overwatch, the defender attrited the enemy force as it entered the area. It gave the defender the extra oomph I felt they need thematically and mechanically. It wasn't an ideal test, since the enemy managed a through-armour "unit killed" crit on my anchor unit on turn 1...

It does add a little complexity to the game, with shooting happening in both movement and shooting phases, and requires players to keep track of which units have shot out of order.

There is a risk of a game getting bogged down in an overwatch v overwatch battle, but scenario design takes care of that, for example, by requiring one or both sides to accomplish some goal by turn X.

Units with low mobility and high damage output really shine (Schrek PPC Carrier or SRM Carrier come to mind). Naturally, in overwatch they can be countered by artillery and other indirect fire.

I would word it as:
Any unit that declines movement during its movement phase enters overwatch and can fire on any other unit, anytime during movement or shooting. After shooting, the unit must immediately declare whether it remains in overwatch.

The last sentence is needed because of the way it interacts with initiative on the next turn.

One way to moderate its use would be:
A unit may enter overwatch by declining movement; it forfeits the opportunity to fire that turn. During the following turns, the unit may fire on any other unit, at any point during the turn. After firing, the unit must immediately declare whether it remains in overwatch.
« Last Edit: 17 September 2022, 21:15:38 by saab14 »

Failure16

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Re: Opportunity fire in Alpha Strike?
« Reply #6 on: 18 September 2022, 03:32:04 »
Cheers.  Glad it worked out, and I like your verbiage. I am pondering the second/moderation caveat. I like it because it will encourage the use of maneuver and the 'pulsation' of modern warfare.

Consider that players on the move will have to think ahead and plan where--and more importantly when!--they will set their overwatch/SBF lines and when their maneuver forces will become engaged. Players on a static defense will have to consider defensive siting, fire lanes, and engagement areas/kill-sacks more carefully because if they move they will lose their OW benefits...

As an aside, some games thrive on the dynamic interaction between overwatch and reaction fire (such as AAG's Force-on-Force and related stable of games, for a notable example). The addition of an OW mechanic to the game should not make BT/AS turn into that (which is fun, but not a core BT/AS experience), but it should add some depth to the game as a wargame.
Thought I might get a rocket ride when I was a child.          We are the wild youth, 
But it was a lie, that I told myself                                          Chasing visions of our futures.
When I needed something good.                                            One day we'll reveal the truth,
At 17, I had a better dream; now I'm 33, and it isn't me.        That one will die before he gets there.

But I'd think of something better if I could
                           --E. Tonra
--A. Duritz

 

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