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Old 10-02-2014, 07:44 AM   #1
Magesmiley
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Snohomish, WA
Default Sustained Fire Bonus

This was one of the questions that I asked Scott that he answered in the "Talking Car Wars Classic Live!" thread. Scott indicated that if we had further questions to spin off another thread to hash things out. So here we are.

This subject is relevant still, as CWC doesn't spell it out very well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Magesmiley View Post
Sustained Fire Bonus. The last guy who put answers up made a mess of this. For the record, what is a target for the purposes of gaining a sustained fire bonus? The same vehicle/building/pedestrian/whatever as outlined in the original Pocket Box edition (the section for which is not present in CWC or the Compendium) or is it the specific armor facing/component (i.e. tire, turret, etc.) being shot at ugliness as described here? (This disagreement has come up numerous times at conventions I've been at where Car Wars was played.)
Quote:
Originally Posted by sdharing View Post
I think we should keep this as simple as possible. As long as you're shooting at the same general target, you get the sustained fire bonus. Examples:
  • You fire at a vehicle's front. Next turn, it swerves and you can only get line-of-sight on the vehicle's side. You still get the bonus.
  • You fire at a vehicle's front. Next turn, you have LOS on both the front and side of the target, and you decide to go for the side. Still the same car and general target, so you still get the bonus.
  • You fire at a vehicle's front. Next turn, you try to target the tire. That's a shift in targets, no bonus.
Quote:
Originally Posted by kjamma4 View Post
This is one that always has bothered me. In my mind, you start by firing at the general to establish a target, see where the rounds hit, and then start "walking them in" to get to the specific target.
I'm going to ask some follow up questions to Scott's answer.

1. What about switching between side (1st turn) and front (2nd turn) of a vehicle? The front is a smaller target (-1 more to hit). Or is this still the same general size?

2. How about tire (1st turn) and switching to side (2nd turn)?

3. What about switching from side (turn 1) to the front (turn 2) when the out of arc of fire penalty applies? Keep in mind that the front when out of arc is -3 to hit worse than the side (which is the same as a tire shot)?

4. Or we could go from the front (turn 1) to an out of arc side (turn 2). This is clearly in the ones that were outlined in the answer, but does the additional -2 to hit for being out of arc of fire mean that you don't get the sustained fire bonus?

The ruling gets kind of ugly when you have to start delving into the various details. With the game back in print, people are going to run into these cases. I would strongly advocate for either picking the exact same target (period with no special cases) or that it means same vehicle (per kjamma4's comment).

This is why I asked the question - I'm a big fan of very clear rulings on when things do and don't apply. :)

A Bit of History on the Sustained Fire Bonus:

Way back in the days of the pocket box there was a section in the rules (on page 14) that clearly spelled out when you got the sustained fire bonus. And it uses the word "vehicle" rather than target when describing sustained fire.

The rules sheet in the Pocket Box, in the list of to hit modifiers, used the word target and explicitly referred back to the rulebook. So it seems pretty clear that, at least originally, in this context target was intended to mean vehicle.

The entry in the to hit chart made it into the Deluxe Car Wars rulebook, but the sustained fire section originally referenced didn't. Which left us with the phrase "same target" as being the only condition. The groups I played in back in the day started on the Pocket Box, so we always stuck with the vehicle (/pedestrian/building) interpretation of target as it seemed obvious that was the intention (and TBH, we never even considered that it might mean something else).

I don't know if this was intended to be a deliberate change when DCW was released, or just an editing oversight. ADQ never made any mention of a change and no questions were asked on this. (Scott you might know, being the editor of DCW, but since it has been about 30 years since it was released, I'm not holding my breath.)

And the to hit chart entry from DCW seems to be how the rule was carried forward to later editions, including CWC.

So, go with the same general size and continue to clarify cases, go with the same exact target, or go with the same vehicle?
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Old 10-02-2014, 11:37 AM   #2
swordtart
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Default Re: Sustained Fire Bonus

We've discussed this before (and not come to a conclusion). I prefer it to mean vehicle as I can't see any good reason for it not to - and even the opinion of SDH won't change my mind ;).
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Old 10-14-2014, 10:40 AM   #3
J. Roberts
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Default Re: Sustained Fire Bonus

What happens to game balance if I can shoot at your side for three turns, then keep the sustained fire bonus when I switch to your tire? (Although, really, if you let me shoot at your side for three straight turns, you probably deserve to have your tires shot out.)
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Old 10-14-2014, 11:47 AM   #4
juris
 
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Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: CA
Default Re: Sustained Fire Bonus

I think discouraging tire shots is a worthy goal, although personally I think you could do it with just increasing the penalty to -4.

Quote:
Originally Posted by J. Roberts View Post
What happens to game balance if I can shoot at your side for three turns, then keep the sustained fire bonus when I switch to your tire? (Although, really, if you let me shoot at your side for three straight turns, you probably deserve to have your tires shot out.)
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Old 10-14-2014, 12:32 PM   #5
Magesmiley
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Snohomish, WA
Default Re: Sustained Fire Bonus

Quote:
Originally Posted by J. Roberts View Post
What happens to game balance if I can shoot at your side for three turns, then keep the sustained fire bonus when I switch to your tire? (Although, really, if you let me shoot at your side for three straight turns, you probably deserve to have your tires shot out.)
From my observations, very little.

Most of the groups that I gamed with played that way and TBH, it didn't seem to make much of a difference. Usually after taking a few hits on a side, shooting at the side ends up being more fatal than shooting at their tire. Go ahead and shift to my tire. I'll keep pounding on the same side.

And people compensate too. Tire shots would go in and out of being in vogue as a popular tactic. Uparmoring wheels would happen and then ratchet back as well.

Losing a wheel is one of the worst penalties you can be hit with in Car Wars, but it is often survivable. I've finished (and won) more than a few battles with one (or more) wheels missing.
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Old 10-14-2014, 04:23 PM   #6
ElLoboGordo
 
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Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Central Oklahoma
Default Re: Sustained Fire Bonus

Regarding using the sustained fire bonus to ease into tire shots, switching from a vehicle side to a turret or tire eliminates the sustained fire bonus with the penalty for shooting at such a specific component. You don't need to lose the sustained fire bonus, because the penalty wipes it out anyway. And if you're firehosing a target like that, it makes fine sense to start walking your fire around on said target (and as has been said, if somebody can't get you off him in three turns, he's effectively a goner anyway).

Same gun shooting at same enemy unit (a whole car) = sustained fire bonus turn over turn. It's simple and easy, and needs no exceptions.
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