Author Topic: Recon Camera Use for Indirect Fire  (Read 758 times)

abou

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Recon Camera Use for Indirect Fire
« on: 22 February 2024, 08:45:37 »
Questions on recon camera use by ground units spotting for indirect fire. I wanted to ask here before I go to the writers.

1. If a hidden unit uses the recon camera to spot for indirect fire, would that reveal its position?

2. The roll for the recon camera to "hit" follows the same rules as TAG, which takes place between movement and firing; however, it doesn't seem as though it acts fully like TAG either. The rules state it can spot and make a weapon's attack without additional penalty, but I am not clear on what that means:

To-hit with the recon camera was made, but in the weapon attack phase for the LRM unit it is just attacker movement and range to the modifier? What about target movement if the recon camera attack was successful? Still a +1 for indirect fire, but not the +1 for spotting AND firing? Spotter movement is included or not?

PuppyLikesLaserPointers

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Re: Recon Camera Use for Indirect Fire
« Reply #1 on: 22 February 2024, 13:23:51 »
1: As I read nothing gives any exceptions to the recon camera to allows to attack with this while keep hidden. The last errata of TW what I remember says it only allows to spot for indirect fire(which always does if you declare to do so and also if it is a valid spotter), but it does not allows to use TAG/recon camera. So unless I have missed some points(or recent changes, for I didn't fully checked for the errata and TW/TO what I have is the old book), the unit must be out of hidden after then the unit is allowed to use the recon camera. Still, if there is any changes on the recent book it could be wrong.


2: TAG says it does not cause any spotting to hit modifier for designate the target(that is on the errata), and recon camera follows the rules of TAG for spotting, therefore the unit making indirect fire only suffers 1+ penalty for making indirect fire, but no penalty for spotter have attacked the same turn. The unit uses TAG/recon camera does not suffers any penalty on their attacks for spotting for indirect fire either.

For the spotter movement, it seems that it does counted for TAG/recon camera unless the unit 'firing' those is the infantry, for indirect fire rules says the infantry spotter causes no penalty on their own movement. I have seen the errata for TAG but nothing says it removes the movement penalty of the unit firing TAG when the unit making indirect fire targets the unit hit by that unit's TAG, only no attack penalty for the unit with TAG making an attack. I could be wrong and it could be changed on the recent book but that's what I read, at least for now.

abou

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Re: Recon Camera Use for Indirect Fire
« Reply #2 on: 22 February 2024, 14:47:36 »
OK... so that is my confusion: it is just as bad as it seems.

Recon Camera feels relatively useless then because you are basically adding another potentially high to-hit roll to mess up on. What I am understanding is that using the camera is the same as normal indirect fire, except if you do hit with it you don't have the penalty for the spotter firing in the weapon attack phase.

Essentially, there is no real benefit because so few units carry a recon camera. And the few units that do don't really have any weaponry to risk getting in to use at all. Why even spend the BV on the unit? Especially if you have to expose yourself to use it like a TAG, but may end up causing a to-hit number so high that you have a high number to achieve with two rolls in a row.

So much for adding more depth to a 3025-era game.

Lanceman

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Re: Recon Camera Use for Indirect Fire
« Reply #3 on: 22 February 2024, 16:29:22 »
I think you are confusing something. Spotting with a Recon Camera is always going to be better than generic spotting, because it acts like TAG except it can't guide in homing rounds. So during the off-board phase, you'd roll like TAG, if you hit, the target is spotted and the recon camera equipped unit can go on to fire its weapons without incurring a penalty or causing the indirect firing unit an additional penalty for having fired a weapon. If it misses, it doesn't count as an "attack", and you can go on to spot normally during the combat phase as normal if you so choose.

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Daryk

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Re: Recon Camera Use for Indirect Fire
« Reply #4 on: 22 February 2024, 17:44:08 »
I see no mechanism that would cause a unit spotting with a Recon Camera to be revealed.  Recon Cameras are passive systems, not active ones like TAG.  And as Lanceman points out, the other advantage is allowing a unit to spot without having to give up (or impose penalties with) other attacks.  If you stick to canon designs, you're not adding any depth to games anyway.  Recon Cameras are there to mod your 3025 'mechs with... ;)

Lanceman

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Re: Recon Camera Use for Indirect Fire
« Reply #5 on: 22 February 2024, 18:30:14 »
I see no mechanism that would cause a unit spotting with a Recon Camera to be revealed.  Recon Cameras are passive systems, not active ones like TAG.

That one might actually need a rules forum question. I think it's reasonable that a camera wouldn't reveal a hidden unit. RAW, however, TAG does require the unit to reveal itself, and if it's treated like TAG in most other respects it might be the same in that regard.
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Daryk

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Re: Recon Camera Use for Indirect Fire
« Reply #6 on: 22 February 2024, 18:52:33 »
I think the key is in the "spotting" language... Spotting doesn't reveal you.

PuppyLikesLaserPointers

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Re: Recon Camera Use for Indirect Fire
« Reply #7 on: 23 February 2024, 10:43:10 »
The point is, it does requires to making an attack roll, and is NOT the act of spotting by itself, but is an attack - the attack that the target is counted for spotted, rather than suffers any damage. Yes it is totally ridiculous that nothing but eyeballing the enemy makes you reveal your position, and I don't think that anyone with at least some degree of common sense will says it's makes sense on the reality, but RAW nothing says any exception for this and using recon camera is an attack. So if we don't find anything that says otherwise, it is still an attack therefore the unit needs to be reveal itself before attempt to do that.

That said, even if it is possible to do without reveal itself by either the other rules that I didn't found or an errata that may/may not come true, but the act itself noting the presense of the hidden unit at least, and with the range bracket issue the opponent may guess the possible location of the hidden unit as well. So even if they may use those equipments while hidden their presence and possible location are more obvious.

Hellraiser

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Re: Recon Camera Use for Indirect Fire
« Reply #8 on: 23 February 2024, 12:02:22 »
1: As I read nothing gives any exceptions to the recon camera to allows to attack with this while keep hidden. The last errata of TW what I remember says it only allows to spot for indirect fire(which always does if you declare to do so and also if it is a valid spotter), but it does not allows to use TAG/recon camera. So unless I have missed some points(or recent changes, for I didn't fully checked for the errata and TW/TO what I have is the old book), the unit must be out of hidden after then the unit is allowed to use the recon camera. Still, if there is any changes on the recent book it could be wrong.

I think the key is in the "spotting" language... Spotting doesn't reveal you.

Did I miss something or is there a disconnect here?

Where does it say that Spotting doesn't expose a hidden unit the way Movement & Shooting do?
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PuppyLikesLaserPointers

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Re: Recon Camera Use for Indirect Fire
« Reply #9 on: 23 February 2024, 12:23:37 »
Did I miss something or is there a disconnect here?

Where does it say that Spotting doesn't expose a hidden unit the way Movement & Shooting do?


A hidden unit can spot for indirect fire while it is hidden. But the unit must out of hidden first in order to make an attack. And both tag and recon camera requires the unit to attack, rather than spot for indirect fire.

edit: the errata does says a hidden unit can spot for indirect fire while hidden.
« Last Edit: 23 February 2024, 13:04:54 by PuppyLikesLaserPointers »

Daryk

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Re: Recon Camera Use for Indirect Fire
« Reply #10 on: 23 February 2024, 18:13:54 »
Has anyone hit the rules forum with this yet? ???

Weirdo

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Re: Recon Camera Use for Indirect Fire
« Reply #11 on: 23 February 2024, 18:59:57 »
Recon cameras have two real benefits:

The first is the ability to spot and fire at the same time without hindering either. I don't know of any published units that really take advantage of that.

The second is the ability for an aero to spot at all, without using a TAG. This is definitely utilized, in the form of the Boomerang. Can't remember offhand but there are probably at least a couple things in Vehicle Annex that also use this.
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Daryk

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Re: Recon Camera Use for Indirect Fire
« Reply #12 on: 23 February 2024, 20:30:15 »
Agreed on both of those points... it's the "does spotting with a Recon Camera reveal a unit that is hidden?" at issue at the moment...

abou

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Re: Recon Camera Use for Indirect Fire
« Reply #13 on: 23 February 2024, 22:02:34 »
While yes the Boomerang Spotter Plane has significantly more utility now, a unit such as the variant of the Wheeled Scout has to put itself at significant risk. I understand that on a 2D6 bell curve, reducing a die roll by 1 is appreciable. However, considering how quickly modifiers can stack up is it worth it? And all for an extra medium laser to throw into the fight? I think at that point, I would rather just have some hidden infantry.

In terms of revealing a hidden unit, I would probably just house rule that the recon camera would not... but it doesn't matter because the only reason to use the recon camera would be if you could fire a weapon in the same turn anyway. And since the modifiers aren't different, you could just spot for indirect fire anyway without the camera. In fact, it probably is better just to spot normally because it would be one less die roll to make.
« Last Edit: 23 February 2024, 22:04:09 by abou »

Daryk

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Re: Recon Camera Use for Indirect Fire
« Reply #14 on: 24 February 2024, 03:48:10 »
It would only be a Small Laser, not a Medium.  Recon Cameras are 0.5 ton...

abou

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Re: Recon Camera Use for Indirect Fire
« Reply #15 on: 24 February 2024, 08:04:26 »
It still has the medium laser. The variant removes the cargo space for it.

abou

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Re: Recon Camera Use for Indirect Fire
« Reply #16 on: 25 February 2024, 09:35:39 »
Quick follow-up:

In TO, it states that the spotting by aero units with the recon camera is gunnery +2. That seems low, but I am guessing it is more like this:

Boomerang Spotter with a gunnery of 4 spots a unit that moved 3 hexes. This is during the phase between movement and weapon attack. The target number is then 6. It is successful.

During the weapon attack phase, stationary LRM carriers at medium range without line of sight fire at the target. Their gunnery skill is 4 as well. Therefore the to-hit is 4 (base) + 1 (indirect fire and successful spot by Boomerang; no movement modifier) + 2 (medium range) + 1 (target movement) + 0 (attacker stationary) = 8

Weirdo

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Re: Recon Camera Use for Indirect Fire
« Reply #17 on: 26 February 2024, 10:50:20 »
I don't see how the Boomerang gets to ignore TMM, but aside from that you are 100% correct.
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abou

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Re: Recon Camera Use for Indirect Fire
« Reply #18 on: 28 February 2024, 21:22:25 »
I don't see how the Boomerang gets to ignore TMM, but aside from that you are 100% correct.
Fair enough. I guess the confusion just comes from the text itself:

Quote from: TacOps, p.152
... the base to-hit number to designate a target is the pilot's Gunnery Skill +2

I should recognize that the base to-hit is just that: the lowest possible number. But sometimes the wordings in the rules are so obtuse that you just shrug your shoulders. I suppose if I would have written it, it would have been something along the lines of normal to-hit rules with a +2 for spotting: essentially a strike attack.

DevianID

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Re: Recon Camera Use for Indirect Fire
« Reply #19 on: 29 February 2024, 01:58:54 »
So as has been covered, the recon camera is good for planes to spot and fly overhead.

It is also good to let you shoot and still spot, without giving the 'spotter made an attack' penalty.  This, of course, is only useful on units out of hiding that want to make attacks.  So in the example of recon camera + medium laser, if the recon camera is successful you get to shoot the medium laser.  If not, you have to decide if you still want to spot or shoot, due to the penalties of both.  On a unit with more then a single medium laser, the recon camera becomes more useful.  I do this with my tag units a lot--there is a DI multipurpose with a light PPC and tag, and I use it to spot for LRM carriers.  If the tag hits, then I get to shoot the PPC.  If not, then the LPPC doesnt shoot and I just spot.  No guided munitions in that force, so a recon camera and TAG function identically and its a piece of gear I use every turn cause I have that turret LPPC.

Hidden units requires a scenario special rule, and of course make fantastic spotters.  You dont need recon cameras on hidden units.

If you are using the optional LOS maximums in tac ops, the normal limit for LOS with no overriding conditions is 60 hexes.  The description of a recon camera is, what, 5 KM visual range instead of 1800 meters for 60 hexes?  So if you have very far away spotters, or even snipers if you use LOS tac ops ranges, then the recon camera is supposed to see farther then units without a recon camera.  And a medium laser does have a LOS range, so if you play with lots of Tac ops rules you can snipe from really far with recon cameras plus medium lasers.  I have no idea what a game using ALL the tac ops rules would look like, but you'd need a LOT of maps to represent more then 60 hexes per normal limited LOS.
« Last Edit: 29 February 2024, 02:01:23 by DevianID »

Col Toda

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Re: Recon Camera Use for Indirect Fire
« Reply #20 on: 15 March 2024, 18:42:39 »
A hidden unit doesn't require a recon camera to spot .

A Boomerang spotting plane has a 9+ check to find any particular hidden unit it flys by . It can also spot for Artillary against any grounded Dropship.  This is why dropships are put down considerably further away from Fire bases and Field Warehouses as the Battery present could open fire very quickly indeed. 

The trick to most successful objective raids is for the raider to have more combat firepower at the point of contact than the defenders.  A dropship parks equidistant from 3 likely objectives that moves fast enough only has to deal with the assigned militia garrison.  If it is spotted soon enough fast reponse units at a fire base might be able to augment the garrison or failing that try to intercept retreating force that already succeeded in destroying or taking the objective. Planetary militia has to spread itself thin over all the likely targets. A union with 12 moderate speed mechs can achieve the objective as the most likely oppostion is a lance of tanks or mechs and a reinforced company of infantry supported with a Boomerang spotting plane and field works with 3 long toms and 15 AC/2 s defending a position of a field warehouses or mining or factory  site. Recon camera equipped units is the Only chance of determining the actual target of an objective raid before it gets into the 4 KM remote sensor network perimeter that any such target should
 have .  Alot ( if important enough ) have a big enough network that the can shoot Long Toms to any dropship that lands within 30 mapboards immediately . Tanks with LRM  support trailers need spotters of every kind .

The biggest nice thing about recon cameras is that it is available in every ERA.
« Last Edit: 15 March 2024, 19:13:13 by Col Toda »