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Old 09-26-2012, 10:24 AM   #11
Fred Brackin
 
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Default Re: What use is Suppression Fire?

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Originally Posted by joncarryer View Post
I
So, is there some crucial aspect of these rules that we're missing, or do we need extensive house-ruling to make covering and suppression fire have the desired effect (i.e. keeping the enemy's head down)?
I believe this actually wasn't that good a situation for Suppression Fire. That's primarily for discouraging the enemy from making his own Pop-Up Attacks of intiating Movement.

I'd guess your snipers weren't behind Cover but rather had only Concealment (or use of Camoflage Skill). If they don't have any Cover they can't drop back down behind it.

By doctrine many snipers would move to a new postion when taking fire but that's a long-term thing and if preventing the opponents from recovering theri supplies (or whatever was in the trailer) before they get out of Dodge in their APC was important enough the snipers might have kept on shooting.

The Cool under Fire rules are no panacea in thsi situation. The +5 to Fright Checks for heat of battle would apply and probably another +1 for being beyond 100 yards. Even with a -2 for probable ROF and maybe another -2 for near miss that's still a positive bonus.

It also might be important if these were "real" snipers rather than just grunts taking semi-auto fire from Concealment. A fully trained sniper is a higher pt character than a basic soldier and the more training and/or base cp the less Fright Checks should be expected to affect the target.

I might criticize the GM for not havng the snipers switrch targets to the new shooters but that's about it.
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Old 09-26-2012, 10:28 AM   #12
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Default Re: What use is Suppression Fire?

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Originally Posted by Fez View Post
And depending on the situation, those snipers may have been emplaced well, so that they didn't have to expose themselves, and only things like muzzle flash would give them away. If you're already prone behind a rifle scope, behind the best cover you can manage while still able to get off a shot, you're not exactly disposed to do much more than maybe lower your face to the ground to reduce the exposure of the top of your head.
That is a valid point, in that both snipers were prone with only their head and one arm exposed, behinds some light foliage cover. And the desired effect was to have them lower their faces to the ground, to prevent them from shooting at me. That aspect of the rules is fine by me, in that suppression fire's main purpose isn't to cause injury, it's to keep the enemy's head down. However, they completely ignored the suppression fire and kept shooting, until I was out of action, at which point, as I said, my companion basically said "$(#@& this" and switched to aimed fire, subsequently taking off one guy's head and the other guy's arm.

Who knows, maybe the snipers were fearless fanatics with no sense of self preservation (kind of like many PC's).

The rules that have been pointed out in TS were, in fact what I was looking for, as they add some way of having suppression fire achieve what it's supposed to, which is a psychological disincentive. My point was that with just what's in the Basic Set, it has no use whatsoever, without the GM making some kind of additional, subjective, common-sense ruling.
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Old 09-26-2012, 10:34 AM   #13
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Default Re: What use is Suppression Fire?

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Originally Posted by Gigermann View Post
In TS, you're wanting to look at "Cool Under Fire" (p. 34)
You also want Fire and Maneuver, page 21.

With both those rules you need to to make a Will-2 roll to expose yourself to fire (PCs can still do so but now have -MoF to all rolls) and then make a Fright Check (penalized by the suppression RoF) for exposing yourself. It's fairly likely you'll spend a few turns confused and in the open searching for cover and exposing yourself to sighted shooting by the suppression element. Which is a pretty good model to how suppression actually works. And there's still the 9 or less that you get hit in the first place (even if it doesn't penetrate your body armor it's another -2 to that Fright Check).
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Old 09-26-2012, 10:37 AM   #14
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Default Re: What use is Suppression Fire?

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Originally Posted by joncarryer View Post
The rules that have been pointed out in TS were, in fact what I was looking for, as they add some way of having suppression fire achieve what it's supposed to, which is a psychological disincentive. My point was that with just what's in the Basic Set, it has no use whatsoever, without the GM making some kind of additional, subjective, common-sense ruling.
Yeah. This is one of the points that can be downplayed as just pointing out how you should use existing rules to cover this situation...but I really don't find that to diminish the importance at all, or the novelty overmuch.
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Old 09-26-2012, 10:37 AM   #15
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Default Re: What use is Suppression Fire?

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Originally Posted by sir_pudding View Post
And there's still the 9 or less that you get hit in the first place (even if it doesn't penetrate your body armor it's another -2 to that Fright Check).
Well, they were hand-held weapons, using just ROF 5, so 7 or less, but yes, those two pages together are exactly what I was looking for.
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Old 09-26-2012, 10:38 AM   #16
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Default Re: What use is Suppression Fire?

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Originally Posted by joncarryer View Post
That is a valid point, in that both snipers were prone with only their head and one arm exposed, behinds some light foliage cover. And the desired effect was to have them lower their faces to the ground, to prevent them from shooting at me. That aspect of the rules is fine by me, in that suppression fire's main purpose isn't to cause injury, it's to keep the enemy's head down. However, they completely ignored the suppression fire and kept shooting, until I was out of action, at which point, as I said, my companion basically said "$(#@& this" and switched to aimed fire, subsequently taking off one guy's head and the other guy's arm.
If you are in a position where you can use aimed fire, that's usually the best method for suppressing an enemy.
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Old 09-26-2012, 10:42 AM   #17
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Default Re: What use is Suppression Fire?

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Originally Posted by joncarryer View Post
The rules that have been pointed out in TS were, in fact what I was looking for, as they add some way of having suppression fire achieve what it's supposed to, which is a psychological disincentive. My point was that with just what's in the Basic Set, it has no use whatsoever, without the GM making some kind of additional, subjective, common-sense ruling.
That was something that HANS was aware of when he wrote Tactical Shooting, and something that we heavily pursued in the play test.

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Originally Posted by joncarryer View Post
Well, they were hand-held weapons, using just ROF 5, so 7 or less, but yes, those two pages together are exactly what I was looking for.
What kind of LMG doesn't have a high enough RoF for suppression?
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Old 09-26-2012, 10:47 AM   #18
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Default Re: What use is Suppression Fire?

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Originally Posted by sir_pudding View Post
What kind of LMG doesn't have a high enough RoF for suppression?
Oh, it does. ROF 5+ is all that's needed for suppression fire, and he decided to keep it at that to conserve ammo (post-apocalyptic setting). My point was just that the effective skill cap is 8 + ROF bonus for vehicle mounted or emplaced weapons, but only 6 + ROF bonus for hand-held.
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Old 09-26-2012, 11:22 AM   #19
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Default Re: What use is Suppression Fire?

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Originally Posted by cmdicely View Post
If you are in a position where you can use aimed fire, that's usually the best method for suppressing an enemy.
Depends on your effective skill level. Suppression fire suppresses regardless of how you roll. Attempting aimed fire under bad circumstances may mean missing by too high a margin to spook the target at all.

Also, of course, aimed fire only happens every other turn at most, giving the target more opportunity to take action.

Shooting somebody suppresses somebody a lot better than shooting near them, but there are times when it's more practical to not even try for the former.
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Old 09-26-2012, 03:33 PM   #20
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Default Re: What use is Suppression Fire?

I have played several game where automatic fire, including suppressive fire have been attempted use more or less successfully and have come into play and reached a few conclusions.

There are basically 3 ways to use a full auto weapon.

1: Normal attacks.
2: Spraying fire
3: Suppressive Fire.

Normal Attack fully automatic
This will almost always be the best option. Even against multiple foes. Depending on how you interpret the strayshot/overshot and overpenetration rules it is even a far better option against a group of tightly packed enemies (such as a horde of zombies coming down a hallway). I say "depending on how you interpret, but unless all the examples I have seen still leave a normal attack better.
  • Allow aiming and high effective skill.
  • Allow multiple hits against a target.
  • Still fills an area with bullets for stray shot/overshot/hitting the wrong target.
  • Still allows the option of multiple targets using Ranged Rapid Strike (or at least two).

Spraying Fire
Is also a very good manoeuvre, especially against a line of enemies close by (as the name also suggest). But at medium or long range or if needing to hit target more than once to ensure a kill a normal attack is usually better. Also, again depending on how you read the strayshot rules, a normal attakc will likely be better against a line of enemies (such as the aforementioned "shooting down a corridor").
  • Really good if having high effective skill (having a high base skill or standing really close to the enemies).
  • Allow you to hit many enemies with a single shot.

Suppressive fire
Only really good for two things.
  • One is to fire into an area where an enemy might appear. But as soon as any target is visible then switch to one of the others.
  • Or if you are suffering from heavy visibility bonuses (which suppressive fire ignores).

--------------

So in the actual situation of the OP I would say Suppressive fire was indeed the right choice against the two snipers out of sight. But as soon as they came into view you should switch to normal attacks (as you also did).

Last edited by Maz; 09-26-2012 at 04:06 PM.
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