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Offline Clark

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Pinning
« on: April 28, 2011, 08:55:11 PM »
I wanted to discuss this because it seems to annoy many players but it is, in my opinion the heart of the Planetstorm rules as an analogy to present day warfare.

The following is taken from the Canadian infantry handbook:
------------------
The section commander gives the fire control order to engage the enemy
or to conduct searching fire. He retains the initiative by continuing to bring effective
fire on the enemy while his section closes for the assault. An example of an order
to win the fire fight follows.

ORDER GIVEN BY ACTION
(a) (b) (c)
TWO
SECTION, 150
METRES, RED
HOUSE - GO
RIGHT FIFTY
FALLEN
TREESNIPER
AT
BASE, RAPID
FIRE
Section
Commander
The section must first win the fire fight.
When the enemy is neutralized, the
section commander may order one of
the groups to maintain suppressive fire
on the enemy while the other group
observes arcs and prepares for
possible assault or fire task.

25. The section commander should remember the following points:
a. Win the fire fight and continue to suppress the enemy.

c. If there is a lull in the fight, the enemy will resume his fire and movement.
This must be avoided.
d. To advance or attack before the fire fight is won is dangerous.
e. Control fire to neutralize the enemy but also to conserve ammunition for
the assault and consolidation.

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

Translated into game terms, "winning the firefight" means pinning an enemy unit.  Then you advance and kill them. 

I am thinking of some rules modifications like pinned figures are automatically exposed at 5" range and that - in some cases - AOE weapons don't pin at all.

Anyways, I think it is a very, very important rule that we have to finese.

Offline Dave Chase

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Re: Pinning
« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2011, 09:39:05 PM »
Any pin figure that attempts to move does not gain any movement modifiers to avoid being hit.
(Might not be worded very well, sorry, another long day. )


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Offline YojimboUsaka

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Re: Pinning
« Reply #2 on: April 29, 2011, 08:27:24 AM »
My humble thoughts on pinning/suppression (2 cents worth, non-refundable)

The reason you suppress someone is to keep their heads down and keep them from being able to react to what you are about to do to them, most likely run up/flank them and shoot them dead. 

The mechanic as is kind of does this but in a back end kind of way.  It makes the model more susceptible to being killed but if the player doesnt care or 'knows' that the other player has no more shots it doesnt work.  You get a lot more 'hero' actions as models ignore the pinning penalty and die like lemmings IF they happen to get shot.

Also guys who are 'pinned' are usually harder to kill as they are spending all their effort 'not getting shot', not easier to kill.  It just seemd a little backwards to me the way it worked in Planetstorm but I do understand the intent of the rule.

I would prefer a mechanic that enforces the pinning effect instead of suggesting it. "You shouldnt step out and take a shot but if you want to, go right ahead."  Maybe saying a figure can't fire unless the pinning is removed by either a fire action or a ldr/hero/command point spent?  This way suppressing a unit will take  away their option of reacting to you unless they have some extra help from a leader/hero/etc. 

I think AoE should be able to suppress/pin.  Grenades and such should have as much if not more pinning effect than other weapons.  Nothing tells a guy to keep his head down and take cover like some High Explosive Counseling.

Charles

Offline SgtHulka

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Re: Pinning
« Reply #3 on: April 29, 2011, 09:32:58 AM »
Well, in real life pinning the enemy down is a good thing. That's the point you're trying to make, I think.

In Planetstorm, pinning is a bad thing. The boardgame is a brilliant game of maneuver. Whoever maneuvers to get that good first shot will win. In Planetstorm, because of the pin rule, as often as not that good first shot just leaves you exposed to even better return fire.

Despite the wording of the rules, in practicality you (the one pinning down the enemy) are the one being exposed. Even if the enemy fears getting "exposed" counters, all the enemy has to do is spend a single leadership point to allow the entire unit to act independently. Each pinned figure can then spend its fire action to become un-pinned, while the rest of the enemy unit has an advantage over you and smokes you. Why the advantage? If you had a good enough shot to pin them, they still have that same shot coming right back at you. And what's worse, they can take that shot stationary at a +1 advantage, meaning they're more likely to kill then to pin. If you're Fantasian and hindered with a bunch of high ROF 5+ kill weapons, you're even worse off. Because they (UNE, Machine for the most part) have low ROF 4+ weapons, that become 3+ when they're stationary, and 2+ against your crap armor. In that instance, it's even worth it for them to blow off spending the leadership, and just expose themselves. They have no fire penatly, and they're gonna kill enough of you (not pin you) that they don't really have to fear becoming exposed. Against non-Fantasians, the effects are similar, but to a less obvious degree.

Bottom line: Becoming pinned isn't enough of a penalty. When a figure is pinned, the whole unit needs to suffer. Otherwise payback is worse than the initial pinning.


Offline SgtHulka

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Re: Pinning
« Reply #4 on: April 29, 2011, 09:37:13 AM »
You should check out the CROSSFIRE rules for an effective use of pinning, though in those rules they call it being "suppressed". Like Planetstorm, it's a damage effect. Unlike Planetstorm, it causes you to lose the initiative both literally and figuritively.

Offline Clark

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Re: Pinning
« Reply #5 on: April 29, 2011, 09:13:30 PM »
Any pin figure that attempts to move does not gain any movement modifiers to avoid being hit.
(Might not be worded very well, sorry, another long day. )


Dave Chase

Movement modifiers (defensive that is) only cut in if you are moving more than 16" or 8" perpendicular to the attacker.  So it doesn't really matter anyways.

Offline Clark

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Re: Pinning
« Reply #6 on: April 29, 2011, 09:29:50 PM »
It makes the model more susceptible to being killed but if the player doesnt care or 'knows' that the other player has no more shots it doesnt work.  You get a lot more 'hero' actions as models ignore the pinning penalty and die like lemmings IF they happen to get shot.

Your criticisms are valid but I am proposing two fixes that indirectly address them.

First is a rework of the morale system so that you need to pass a morale check to become unpinned or exposed.  The second is that any figure that exposes themselves can be targetted by suppression.  In other words, you suppress a target and score a pin; if they try to move or fire you get another shot to kill them.

Other than that, I don't know what to do about the circumstances where you shoot at them. . . miss. . .and then they get to run away or shoot back.


Quote
Also guys who are 'pinned' are usually harder to kill as they are spending all their effort 'not getting shot', not easier to kill.  It just seemd a little backwards to me the way it worked in Planetstorm but I do understand the intent of the rule.

A pinned guy is no harder or easier to score a kill on unless they expose themselves.  I didn't want to make a pinned figure even harder to kill.

Quote
I would prefer a mechanic that enforces the pinning effect instead of suggesting it. "You shouldnt step out and take a shot but if you want to, go right ahead."  Maybe saying a figure can't fire unless the pinning is removed by either a fire action or a ldr/hero/command point spent?  This way suppressing a unit will take  away their option of reacting to you unless they have some extra help from a leader/hero/etc.

I'm not 100% sure of what you are getting at but I think that requing a morale check to unpin or expose solves that problem.

Quote
I think AoE should be able to suppress/pin.  Grenades and such should have as much if not more pinning effect than other weapons.  Nothing tells a guy to keep his head down and take cover like some High Explosive Counseling.

Charles


I'm trying to wrap my head around it but yes, an actual barrage should be pinning guys left, right and centre.  Interdiction by artillery is quite standard: you hose the area so no one can move through it.  However, non-artillery AOE attacks create no end of frustrations among players when they don't actually kill anyone.  The Plas-G is a classic example.

And some AOE weapons simply don't pin.  The blast from an SS-2000 either frys you or not.  There is no way to "go to ground" or dodge it.

Much of this is reflected in the draft rules I put in the media gallery.

You can't hide from Napalm-X or the spray from a Plasma Projector.  These weapons don't tend to pin.

Similarly, an anti-tank rocket won't pin either: it either misses or blows you into little bits.

Offline SgtHulka

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Re: Pinning
« Reply #7 on: April 30, 2011, 08:24:50 AM »
I always played that area of effect weapons also pinned. Was I playing incorrectly?*

*that was actually one of the saving graces of Fantasia in our games, since EMP effects didn't pin. A "daze" was generally a more favorable result than a pin.

Offline Clark

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Re: Pinning
« Reply #8 on: April 30, 2011, 10:53:23 AM »
As written, AOE weapons will pin just like DF weapons.

Offline sergeant_hastp

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Re: Pinning
« Reply #9 on: May 05, 2011, 07:17:13 AM »
A few points, Clark, that you may recall from RCR Battleschool;

A section's task, ideally, will be to assault nothing larger than a single enemy or two, so it may take several soldiers firing on an individual for a truly 'win the firefight'=effective 'pin'.

A section reacts to 'effective' enemy fire, and is trained to NOT be pinned; to ignore or shake off the effects.  That means that as dangerous as it might be, you have to return fire and win back the firefight if you've lost it.  If you don't they WILL do what you intended to do to them...close with and destroy.

The only thing that will get in the way of this is a soldiers instinct to stay alive, which will be at odds with his training.

When Ross and I were developing our 'War Game' we had this debate;  His point was always along the lines of: 'I will never allow my troops to  -insert our term for being pinned-  they will be better trained than that...why would they choose to lay down and wait to die?...we don't train to do that.'

My point was usually 'They don't always have a choice when their instincts kick in...sometimes they will get down and become one with mother earth, even if it's not tactically correct.  We don't train to do it, but we train with the assumption that our enemies will do it.'

Another point was that winning the firefight is often about perception.  An anti-tank rocket should certainly be able to pin.  An M-72 fired at an enemy trench and hits close by, even if it doesn't kill is going to have a shock-effect and will likely result in keeping their heads down for a couple breaths.  We have already established that suffering from a pin effect is not necessarily a logical reaction, it is a gut reaction.

Taking cover is logical.  Getting yourself 'pinned' is not.

Another point is Initiative!  How many times did I harp at young section-commanders-in-training that you have to 'seize and maintain the initiative!'  It is probably the most vital aspect in a firefight, and fairly easy to model in the game.


----------

In respect with the above, I suggest:

Every weapon be given a pin rating.  If another weapon stat is truly undesired, then perhaps go with the weapon's ROF (Though in many cases it would be better to customize the weapon's capability to pin).

When you shoot at an enemy figure and 'miss' within the pin rating  (if the pin rating is 2 and you need a roll of 5 to kill, a 3 or higher will pin.)  The pin effect is simply making that figure 'fired'.  He loses any unused movement and attacks.

When you kill an enemy figure...actually kill him, you will have an automatic pin effect on other figures around him.  You can also have this effect if you wound a figure, if you are also using some kind of wound system)

So if you had a weapon with a pin stat of 2 then all figures within 2" of that figure automatically become 'fired'.  They lose any movement and fire actions that haven't been taken yet.  This is the 'pin' effect. 

If the attackers keep winning initiative they can use their superior fire to keep the enemy from doing anything.  You are not getting cheated out of kills if you have good, accurate weapons.  However if you have lots of firepower heading in the general direction of an enemy, you will likely pin him, if not kill him outright.

If the pinned defenders manage to win initiative, then they have a chance of winning back the firefight, so having unused leadership and command points become vitally important to seizing and maintaining the initiative.

Another plus is that the pin effect is not a suggestion that a soldier can choose to ignore and keep fighting.  It is, for that moment, something imperative. Strong leadership however can get troops to recover and potentially turn the tables.

Submitted for evisceration by the gallery.




Offline grendeljd

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Re: Pinning
« Reply #10 on: May 05, 2011, 09:02:06 AM »
Every weapon be given a pin rating.  If another weapon stat is truly undesired, then perhaps go with the weapon's ROF (Though in many cases it would be better to customize the weapon's capability to pin).

When you shoot at an enemy figure and 'miss' within the pin rating  (if the pin rating is 2 and you need a roll of 5 to kill, a 3 or higher will pin.)  The pin effect is simply making that figure 'fired'.  He loses any unused movement and attacks.

When you kill an enemy figure...actually kill him, you will have an automatic pin effect on other figures around him.  You can also have this effect if you wound a figure, if you are also using some kind of wound system)

So if you had a weapon with a pin stat of 2 then all figures within 2" of that figure automatically become 'fired'.  They lose any movement and fire actions that haven't been taken yet.  This is the 'pin' effect.

I like the sound of this whole mechanic - it definitely deserves some playtesting, I think.

Personally, I don't see an issue with adding another stat to the line for weapons to encompass a 'pin rating'.
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Offline Clark

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Re: Pinning
« Reply #11 on: May 05, 2011, 05:56:16 PM »
There is a distinction between morale effects and physical effects.  I viewed pinning as being a physical effect.  That is, the bullets are raining down around you but you manage to scramble to some notional cover  that keeps you from getting killed. However, if you tried to move or fire, those same bullets would likely cut you to ribbons.  By spending a fire action you can wiggle youself around to prepare to move or fire without being a sitting duck (getting unpinned).  Again, that is all physical.

On the morale side, you have to make a morale check to  get unpinned or expose yourself.  If you go back to the morale rules from Planetstorm (page177), if you blow a morale check you can flinch or hold, which blows your fire actions.  As written, you only check morale when the unit takes a kill.  However, a pin could trigger a morale check for the pinned figure and others nearby.

Increasing the pin numbers while leaving kills unaffected would have a pronounced effect on how often guys are getting pinned.  As written you basically have a 1 in 6 chance of scoring a pin for each die rolled.  Increasing that by a single point doubles your odds of pinning on any given roll, which is a pretty big jump in my mind.  A flechette gunner walking and firing at medium range  has a 42% chance to kill, 28% to pin and 30% of missing completely.  Increasing the pin number by one leaves only 13% to miss and 45% to pin. (Actually, the chance of scoring a pin is 42% and then 70%, but if you score a kill the pin is irrelevant.) That's firing on one target.  If you are able to spread fire you score an average of 0.5 kills and 0.5 pins.  With +1 that doubles to an average of 1 pin.  Autofire and you still average half a kill but 1.5 pins.

The actual battle drill is:

1. Double Tap. Fire two rounds in direction of
enemy to force him to react to your fire,
disrupting his fire or make him take cover.
2. Dash. Get out of enemy's view or enemy's
fire to a position of cover.
3. Down. Dive for cover.
4: Crawl. Move out of enemy fire and aiming
point based on your down-point. Crawl to point
of observation or fire.
5. Observe. Locate the enemy and friendly
troops.
6. Fire. Adopt a fire position and change
position if necessary. Return fire to win the fire
fight and to indicate the enemy.
7. Communicate. Pass information on
enemy strength and location to the rest of the
section. Keep your team mate informed of your
actions.
8. Move. On order to regroup or assault.

"Pinning" is just an abstraction of dash-down-crawl (you blow your fire action) if you are the one being shot at. Your section mates are going to use their full movement to take up a firing position behind cover (if available) and then return fire to win the firefight.

The big difference is that you generally know where the enemy is so you don't double tap in his general direction on the off chance that you will spook him, and your section mates are not going to go through the whole drill because they know where he is and who he is shooting at.

The blast of an m72 could certainly pin.  Having the rocket whiz by you might if you had to dive for cover, or it might force a morale check. When I mention AOE weapons not pinning I was thinking of, say, the ss-2000.  There really isn't anywhere to hide from a flamethrower.    Similarly, if you look at the draft rules, direct fire flame weapons like the Napalm-X and the plasma projector don't tend to pin either and are good at killing guys who are entrenched or otherwise under cover.

Offline sergeant_hastp

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Re: Pinning
« Reply #12 on: May 05, 2011, 07:47:12 PM »


The actual battle drill is:

1. Double Tap. Fire two rounds in direction of
enemy to force him to react to your fire,
disrupting his fire or make him take cover.
2. Dash. Get out of enemy's view or enemy's
fire to a position of cover.
3. Down. Dive for cover.
4: Crawl. Move out of enemy fire and aiming
point based on your down-point. Crawl to point
of observation or fire.
5. Observe. Locate the enemy and friendly
troops.
6. Fire. Adopt a fire position and change
position if necessary. Return fire to win the fire
fight and to indicate the enemy.
7. Communicate. Pass information on
enemy strength and location to the rest of the
section. Keep your team mate informed of your
actions.
8. Move. On order to regroup or assault.



Is this meant to be patronizing? I can't see it serving any other purpose to the discussion.  I can recite it in my sleep.  Is it for the benefit of others who may not know this drill?  Again, I don't see how it has any relevance to being 'pinning'. The react to effective enemy fire drill is not 'being pinned.'  It just starts the game called winning the firefight.

If you don't want to use my suggestions, then that's fine; you don't like them.  That's cool, they are only suggestions.  I'd appreciate a 'no thanks' or 'I'll think about it', but not a lesson in what I used to teach for over a decade.

I thought you were looking for a new system to deal with this stuff, which is why it's strange that you are using the parts of Planetstorm that you say people don't use to put down this new suggestion. 

For example:
Quote
As written you basically have a 1 in 6 chance of scoring a pin for each die rolled.  Increasing that by a single point doubles your odds of pinning on any given roll, which is a pretty big jump in my mind.

I know this, which is why I said it.  I believe that if you are going to accurately model people shooting at each other from across a football field-sized area or smaller, then people should be getting 'pinned' a lot more than 1 in 6.  But that's just an opinion.  People react all kinds of ways to getting shot at.  God only knows how machines would react...or wouldn't.

Anyways, forget it.  I already have.


Offline Dave Chase

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Re: Pinning
« Reply #13 on: May 05, 2011, 09:21:55 PM »
I figures that Clark put the 8 rules up so that everyone who reads this thread will have a common background/reference point in the discussion.

Please remember that what is common sense to you might not be common sense to the next individual.

Dave Chase
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It is also the right to walk away from those you don't want to listen to.

Offline Clark

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Re: Pinning
« Reply #14 on: May 05, 2011, 11:39:51 PM »
Is this meant to be patronizing? I can't see it serving any other purpose to the discussion.  I can recite it in my sleep.

Most people can't. Heck, I had to look it up again.

Quote
Again, I don't see how it has any relevance to being 'pinning'.


Quote
"Pinning" is just an abstraction of dash-down-crawl (you blow your fire action) if you are the one being shot at.

It takes you a few seconds to get out of harm's way after almost getting killed. If we change it such that you have to make a morale check to get unpinned then that reflects the level of training to be able to move to cover on your next phase and then return fire on the one following that.


Quote
I thought you were looking for a new system to deal with this stuff, which is why it's strange that you are using the parts of Planetstorm that you say people don't use to put down this new suggestion. 

For example:
Quote
As written you basically have a 1 in 6 chance of scoring a pin for each die rolled.  Increasing that by a single point doubles your odds of pinning on any given roll, which is a pretty big jump in my mind.

I know this, which is why I said it.  I believe that if you are going to accurately model people shooting at each other from across a football field-sized area or smaller, then people should be getting 'pinned' a lot more than 1 in 6.  But that's just an opinion.  People react all kinds of ways to getting shot at.  God only knows how machines would react...or wouldn't.

I meant to critique the idea, not toss out a 'put down'.  What made 40k so laughable was that you could have two guys firing bolters from less than a hundred feet away and have only an 11% chance of killing your target. Planetstorm ranges are relatively far, but yes, short range is typically only 50 metres.  However, with stationary autofire against your typical target in the open you have 56% to kill and another 19% to pin.  My concern goes the other way in making ranges too long and kill/pin chances too high because it almost becomes unplayable unless you have lots of cover or terrain (like being in an underground complex) to make things more interesting.