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Old 02-21-2014, 10:23 AM   #1
Phex
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Default Breaking Cover for Ranged Attacks

How would you handle the following situations in which a character hides behind cover and comes out to make a ranged attack?

1. An attacker hides behind cover. In his turn, he chooses to Move in order to leave the cover. While making the first step, he becomes aware of an enemy in his line of sight. Can he change from Move to Attack or Move & Attack and what is the attack modifier (except from size/range/speed of the target)? Does he suffer some kind of surprise?

2. An attacker hides behind cover and is aware of the rough location of an enemy (a particular area or direction). He chooses to Attack the enemy, makes a step to leave the cover and shoots. What is the attack modifier (except from size/range/speed of the target)? What happens if the enemy is not at the expected spot, but somwhere else or even completely gone?

I ran into such situations quite a few times, but I am unsure how to solve them with RAW. I am aware of Pop-Up Attacks (B390), however, in such a case, the attacker returns to cover in his turn, which seems to be something different.
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Old 02-21-2014, 10:41 AM   #2
Varyon
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Default Re: Breaking Cover for Ranged Attacks

Do you have Tactical Shooting? On page 11, under Situational Awareness, are the guidelines you would want to use. In situation 1, I'd allow the character the switch to Move and Attack or All Out Attack only if he succeeded at the Per/skill roll. He'd only have time for a glance, for a -4 to this roll. For situation 2, the character would first need to peek out (probably a glance again, which he could technically pull off while jumping out from cover); assuming he succeeds, he'd then be able to act normally. If he fails, or opts not to check, he'd probably only have the option of attacking where he [/i]thinks[/i] the enemy is - resolve as an attack on an invisible enemy.

Note I'm being rather lenient in situation 1; by RAW, once you choose a maneuver you're stuck with it. For fairness, I'd say that an additional -2 (to both the check and the attack) for doing two things at once to be able to switch mid-maneuver would be alright. The character would be better served peeking out from behind cover to assess the situation before running out. Note also I'm assuming the character is in the middle of a firefight - if he pops out from behind cover while simply heading through enemy territory, I'd say you should apply Partial Surprise.
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Old 02-21-2014, 02:14 PM   #3
Phoenix_Dragon
 
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Default Re: Breaking Cover for Ranged Attacks

For 1, no, you can't change a maneuver after you've selected it. You could possibly change what you do with the maneuver, when you realize that the situation is different than you thought (A good place for Tactical Shooting's Situational Awareness rules), so you could then spend the rest of your move scrambling back into cover or something. In either case, he wouldn't suffer surprise if he's already in combat.

For 2, you don't actually specify what you're attacking until you make the attack, so with the basic set, I don't think there would be a penalty (Pop-up gets a penalty because you're quickly popping up, shooting, and then dropping behind cover again, making it closer to Move and Attack than just Attack). Using just the basic set, you'd be able to attack unpenalized. If using the Situational Awareness rules, and you expect your target to be at a location that he isn't, I'd have a roll to see if you notice that the situation has changed; if it fails, you think he's still where you expected him and just haven't caught sight of him again (Probably attacking an empty hex). Success tells you he's not there, and may reveal where he currently is, allowing you to change targets.
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Old 02-21-2014, 02:59 PM   #4
Varyon
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Default Re: Breaking Cover for Ranged Attacks

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phoenix_Dragon View Post
For 1, no, you can't change a maneuver after you've selected it. You could possibly change what you do with the maneuver, when you realize that the situation is different than you thought (A good place for Tactical Shooting's Situational Awareness rules), so you could then spend the rest of your move scrambling back into cover or something.
While it typically takes place outside of combat, and would thus not be on a second-by-second basis but likely follow something like "Who Draws First?", it's not uncommon in fiction for an armed character to move around a corner, suddenly see a foe, and gun him down immediately. I think the additional -2 I suggested is relatively fair, as it essentially just serves as a "tactical stupidity tax" - you look before you leave cover during a firefight, not just blindly jump out and hope nobody's waiting for you. That said, there are other ways to recreate the situation I outlined above - namely, anytime you decide to leave cover without looking, you use Move and Attack, with all the problems that entails. If an enemy's out there, you blast them; if not, I don't think the GM is going to require you to squeeze a round off (in this case, Move and Attack is more "I get out from behind cover with my weapon ready to blast anything that moves and make a beeline for that other piece of cover over there").
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Old 02-21-2014, 03:39 PM   #5
Anthony
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
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Default Re: Breaking Cover for Ranged Attacks

Quote:
Originally Posted by Varyon View Post
While it typically takes place outside of combat, and would thus not be on a second-by-second basis but likely follow something like "Who Draws First?", it's not uncommon in fiction for an armed character to move around a corner, suddenly see a foe, and gun him down immediately.
Bear in mind, one step every turn is 2 mph; those characters probably aren't taking Move actions in the first place, they're taking Step and Wait (wait trigger: I see a target).
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Old 02-21-2014, 04:03 PM   #6
Varyon
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Default Re: Breaking Cover for Ranged Attacks

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
Bear in mind, one step every turn is 2 mph; those characters probably aren't taking Move actions in the first place, they're taking Step and Wait (wait trigger: I see a target).
I think I've seen (and/or read) characters doing this at at least a "combat jog," if not a run, which is more what I was referring to - when the characters are walking, they usually aren't in combat, and such instances are examples of things like "Who Draws First?" rather than a situation like this. As I said, however, using Move and Attack (and not shooting anything if nothing shows up) is probably more accurate, although the -2 to switch mid-maneuver isn't too terrible of a middle ground.
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Old 02-21-2014, 04:27 PM   #7
cmdicely
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Default Re: Breaking Cover for Ranged Attacks

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
Bear in mind, one step every turn is 2 mph; those characters probably aren't taking Move actions in the first place, they're taking Step and Wait (wait trigger: I see a target).
"Turning Corners ('Slicing the Pie')" on p. 23 of Tactical Shooting agrees with this as the norm, though it discusses Move and Attack as an option (though one with penalties, some of which can be reduced with the Close Quarters Battle technique).
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Old 02-23-2014, 02:04 AM   #8
Phex
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Default Re: Breaking Cover for Ranged Attacks

Thanks! Tactical Shooting was a good hint!

I briefly summarize the answers, maybe somebody else is also searching for this:
  • A chosen maneuver can not be changed.
  • Basic rules usually assume that everyone is aware of everything during combat. Firing from cover is ruled via Pop-Up Attacks (B, p. 390).
  • Tactical Shooting contains more advanced rules for firing from cover, especially see
    • Who Draws First? (Tactical Shooting, p. 10)
    • Situational Awareness (Tactical Shooting, p. 11)
    • Tactics in Action (Tactical Shooting, p. 21)
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