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Offline smokingwreckage

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Re: Pinning
« Reply #30 on: May 11, 2011, 06:40:29 AM »
What if, on an exact kill, a player had the option of "pinning" instead of taking a casualty? It's player choice to invoke gut-reaction.

Clearly it would need to be close to as bad as a kill. What if a squad could instantly each move two inches, blow their fire action, and "go prone" or similar? In essence, cede the firefight for a moment to avoid taking kills? Can anyone see a way that such a rule could be balanced?

Offline SgtHulka

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Re: Pinning
« Reply #31 on: May 11, 2011, 11:56:26 AM »
To once again be clear, our group's complaint with pinning had nothing to do with realism or lack thereof or whether it's psychological or physical. Our issues were purely gameplay issues. In its most basic form, the issue was as follows. It is easier to score one 5+ on two dice than it is to score one 4+ on one die. But it's harder to score one 6+ on two dice than it is one 5+ on one die. I think that point is made in either the Advanced Rules or the Scenario Pack, when advice is given on when to autofire. In short, if you need a 4+, the advice is to autofire, and if  you need a 5+, the advice is to not autofire.

In a Legions of Steel, an AK Rifle and a Deadbolt Launcher are quite similar weapons, with the AK Rifle given a slight edge due to the flexibility of a higher rate of fire. In normal circumstances, a Deadbolt Launcher requires a 4+ on one die, or a 5+ on two die, to score a kill. In those same circumstances, an AK Rifle requires a 5+ on two die, or a 6+ on four die, to score a kill. The net result for both weapons is that the 5+ on two die is the preferred attack. Where the AK starts to gain an advantage is in specialized circumstances, where spreadfire maikes the ROF 4 6+ kill more attractive, or where standing still makes a 5+ on four die an option, and so forth. Where the Deadbolt Launcher gains an advantage is at medium range or covering -1, where a single 5+ is better than the two 6+ of the AK Rifle. And so forth. Bottom line: you can make an argument that the weapons are equally powerful, though they demand slightly different tactics.

Now look at Planetstorm. In order to score a kill in normal circumstances, the AK Rifle now requires a 6+ on two dice, while the Deadbolt Launcher requires a 5+ on one die. this is where the "equality" of the weapons starts to break down. the Deadbolt Launcher gains a clear advantage. Additionally, the -1 GM of the T70 armor is no longer balanced with the +1 Move score for a typical Fantasian. Again, this is due to the skewing effects pinning has on kill numbers. However, if you look at the UPV of a AK Rifleman versus a G1 Nightmare, the AK Rifleman costs 3 points more. Yes, Gauss Grenades are better than nachtmachers, but that only counteracts the armor disadvantage (the +3 modifier helping counteract the -1 armor modifier), not the weapon one, and that's only two charges while the units are closing on each other. And yes, the AK Rifleman has a MASLAW, but he'll have to be extremely lucky to get close enough to use it. Bottom line: in most circumstances in Planetstorm the G1 will have an advantage over the AK Rifleman, specifically due to the pinning rule, and yet the AK Rifleman costs more.

You can look at the other high rate of fire weapons and come to the exact same conclusion. Two Flechette Gunners...6 ROF at 5+...versus an AutoRAM gunner and e-loader...3 ROF at 4+...and yet the flechette gunners cost a few points more. Basically any weapon that requires a 5+ kill is a weapon to be avoided.


Offline Clark

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Re: Pinning
« Reply #32 on: May 11, 2011, 07:28:25 PM »
If you take a look at the UPV calculator spreadsheet I posted in the media gallery, you can see that, given my assumptions, the AK end up being an exra UPV indoors and basically the same outdoors as the DBL.  That had to do with the assumptions about how often you might be shooting at different modifiers as well as the relative value of a pin compared to a kill.  If you assume fewer negatives and more more +1 shots, then the value of the AK creeps up.  If you value pins more than the 0.25 kills currently, then the value of the AK goes up a little as well, relative to the DBL (which is pegged as the base weapon worth 20 UPV).

The AK is basically a DBL that always autofires but has the option of double-autofiring. It gets deadlier with stationary fire but worse whenever you kill number goes to 7+ because of the way roll enhancements work.  In general, your average number of kills is the same, but your chance of missing goes up as you also have a chance at scoring multiple kills, which is only good if you have adjacent targets or a fiend.

(+1 modifier)
1d6@3+    17% to pin  50% to kill
2d6@4+    19% to pin  56% to kill
4d6@5+    28% to pin  52% to kill

(+0 modifier)
1d6@4+    17% to pin  33% to kill
2d6@5+    25% to pin  31% to kill
4d6@6+    23% to pin  29% to kill

(-1 modifier)
1d6@5+     17% to pin  17% to kill
2d6@6+     15% to pin  16% to kill
4d6@7+     18% to pin  11% to kill

(-2 modifier)
1d6@6+      8% to pin    8% to kill
2d6@7+      11% to pin  5% to kill
4d6@8+      11% to pin  0% to kill

The DBL can choose the first or second option, the AK can choose the second or third (a Lance would have to choose the third, or go nutz with 8d6).  For Fantasians troopers vs Nightmares, the problem isn't so much the weapon as it is the armour.  They have to get to cover first using their superior speed and gauss grenades to cover their advance or to stun the Machines.  They can't trade stationary fire at 55" in the open because fig-for-fig a Nighmare can dish out more than 3 times as many kills (not counting leadership which would put three troopers from a section on par).

In general, the weapons don't vary all that much, although with lots of weapons firing, the difference between 5% and 8% kills is huge, proportionately speaking.

The flechette gunners actually have the advantage at longer ranges (41"-45" and 51"+) which might be why the computed UPV ended up 9 point higher for two of them compared to an AutoRam team but I think that should be revisited.
« Last Edit: May 11, 2011, 07:37:56 PM by Clark »

Offline Clark

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Re: Pinning
« Reply #33 on: May 11, 2011, 08:55:22 PM »
Tp summarize Sgt_Hasp's recommendations and make some observations:

A pin forces a figure to become fired and halt its movement.  If it is already fired, a pin will still stop additional movement if the pin was due to cover fire, but if you score a pin on your turn on an enemy that is already fired, there is no effect because they have already finished moving anyways.  If you cover and wait for them to go, then you take a -1 penalty, so for the same roll to pin the guy, you could have killed him on your own turn, so you take the shot, or pick a target that isn’t fired if one is available. However, you won’t be encouraged to cover 0 rather than stationary fire at +1.

You might suppress if the rules were modified so that a suppressed figure that tries to become “un-fired” can’t without a morale check, or you get an extra attack in if they try to move or fire.

It might be worth your while if you pin on one or two less than a kill, for all weapons and not just support weapons, which comes back to your other suggestion.

You can’t effectively pepper pot unless you have a numerical advantage, or at least weapons that allow one attacker to pin two targets.

You are probably right about breaks and rallies being a hold-over from medieval games, although I recall ASL used break and rally rules.  I really don’t know of any real world examples off hand from the 20th or 21st century where troops broke and ran and then rallied, rather than simply surrendering as the enemy approached or simply keep running.

Keeping only the “flinch” result from the moral rules, then you take a kill, and your unit has to pass a morale check or be fired (pinned).

The flip side of the buddy effect is that having guys close tends to increase morale, and when guys get scared, they tend to bunch up (which makes them fodder for automatic fire). Not sure how that would be reflected.

There should be some sort of pinning effect for Machines, if nothing else but play balance, but also so that you can use the same basic tactics against them as well.

There were actually two reasons for putting pinning into the game.  First was to reflect the whole “winning the firefight” but secondly was to cut down on the lethality of the game, which is why you pin on an exact roll and not a near miss.  FIBUA is a meat grinder, and indoors you have walls blocking your fire, and you are walking or running to get into firing positions while using grenades and stuff to impede fire.  Occasionally you have a bunch or guys all in a room rolling initiative to see which side gets to stationary fire at the other first, but generally you keep moving which keeps the lethality in check.

Outdoors there isn’t as much blocking terrain but there tends to be more places to hide than in a tunnel; even flat terrain isn’t and has dips and such that can prevent a clear shot or allow the target to get some sort of cover (ie. pinned) rather than getting killed outright.

The ranges are still short compared to the actual effective ranges due to the assumption of instinctive shooting rather than aimed fire.  Whether that should be changed or modified is another story, but look at a battle in the open.  With your typical weapons at under 25”, 12 Nightmares will score 7 kills and 2 pins.  That’s all she wrote for a UNE section.  The UNE section (one leadership to each flechette gunner plus one other RAM laser fire) will score 5 or 6 kills plus 1 or 2 pins if they fire on separate targets, but if they are able to spreadfire the average for the section is 7 kills and 4 pins, which basically takes out a horde.  Keeping the same kill numbers and making a pin on a near miss would keep the same average number of pins but increase the kills by the number of pins.  Basically, at short range, a stationary unit will take out another similar unit if it is standing in the open, which is the way it should be.  But how much more lethal do we want to make it? And how much more lethal at longer ranges?

Offline Clark

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Re: Pinning
« Reply #34 on: May 11, 2011, 09:18:53 PM »
I always used both the pinning and the decimation rules in Planetstorm. My own, merely anecdotal experience is as follows:

I'm still reading and digesting sergeant_hastp's post/essay, but I think I disagree on some of his points (forgive me if I'm not understanding them correctly yet):
  • I really don't see Pinning as a purely psychological effect, I see it as trying to avoid getting perforated - which has a significant, detrimental impact on one's combat effectiveness (Machine or otherwise).

By the current rules it doesn't really have a strong detrimental effect. A minor inconvenience.

I think he meant that getting dead was detrimental, which makes you think twice about exposing yourself even if you have unshakeable morale like a machine.

Quote
The radical effect the current rules have on gameplay is to re-design your forces so that they have a better chance of killing than pinning. As you play more and more planetstorm, you inevitably begin to optimize your force just like any other game. You avoid weapons like the flechette gun, if possible, in favor of weapons like the autoram laser. You avoid weapons like the AK Rifle in favor of the PKM. You avoid any armor that gives your opponent a kill bonus, with the possible exception of sprint-capable or jump-capable troops. Entire units go out the window, like Fantasian Powered Infantry Squads. Fantasia as a whole, by way of example, only remains competitive with T85-heavy units once you're playing against someone who understands how to properly optimize a force.

You bastard, the whole point of the UPV system was so you couldn't optimize! ;D ;D

If you look at the other post, there isn't a significant difference between DBLs and AKs, although the point is taken that the Flechette gunner is a bit overpriced compared to the AutoRAM team (the latter should be about 109 less a discount for needing the e-loader and operating as a team and such).

The armour thing is more problematic.  It just might be that the Fantasian gausss weapons are overpriced.  If I recall, the base for the armour was 10 UPV, +2 for the 5 movement, 20 UPV for the AK, and then 4 points a piece for the gauss weapons for a total of 44 UPV.  Additionally, the Fantasians are overgunned for the strength of their armour since the UPV is calculated as Offence+Defence rather than OffenceXDefence, the optimal is to have a weapon UPV equal to the UPV of your armour.  Not sure what to do about that without  making the UPV system more complicated and less grounded.

Offline Clark

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Re: Pinning
« Reply #35 on: May 11, 2011, 09:59:01 PM »
Okay,

Just to make sure I understand it right;

The classic pinning rules look and behave like this: . . . . .

Okay, so as I see it:. . . . .

That's pretty much it.

Quote
When he does start moving, he passes through a Gremlin’s arc of fire.  (shudder).  That little bugger needs a 5 or better with his carbine, and has been sitting there, just waiting for this opportunity (covering-0)

He gets exactly what he needs, and Pte Bloggins again finds himself courting disaster. He dives for available cover, for the alternative is certain death.  But…now he still has his fire action which is converted to Covering….

(This is a bit confusing. (rule 4.326).  Does this mean he is pinned, and thus ‘fired’…or is he pinned…and still has a Covering 0, -1 or -2?)

4.326 involves a suppressing figure, which becomes fired.  4.325 involves a moving figure which has not fired that becomes pinned; it ends its movement and covers at -1 if walking or -2 if running (and theoretically 0 if it was stationary and was about to fire or suppress when it got pinned by covering fire).

Quote
So hopefully, I’m getting your intent that the Pinning effect is the actual action...the physical response of realizing you nearly died…and thus taking a dash and getting to cover, or just plain ducking if you are near cover or in a fighting trench.

The question remains for me…what makes him go to cover?  Is it a training drill?  Is it fear of almost dying? Is it just good sense?  A bit of all of the above?

You have the morale-factor for getting back up…but what MAKES him dive for cover, without any choice?

Good sense/survival instinct.  But you do have a choice, which is what 4.325 is all about.  Perhaps you need to make a morale (ie. training/discipline check) to ignore a pin result, but it goes like this:

Suppose you come under fire while advancing at a walk, and take a pin.  But wait, since it was their covering fire during your phase (they were lying in wait), you have a choice: you can take the pin, stop moving and cover -1; or you can ignore the pin, expose yourself, finish your movment, and take a normal shot.  If the enemy has blown its wad, then there is no one left to shoot at you this turn then, depending on the range and such, it might make more sense to charge them (finish your move) and fire to kill or pin them in return. Does that sound a bit more like how you would win the fire fight?

If you have already fired, then nothing happens until you decide what to do about being pinned.  At that point you can expose yourself, cover, or come un-pinned.  But in the meantime we assume that you have your head down rather than being exposed until you make that decision.

For an immobile target like a forcewall: you can't pin or expose it, you just kill it as you walk your fire on to it because it can't react. To keep the rules unnecessarily consistent, your near miss would expose it and then you would probably kill it the next turn, but why bother with that hassle?
« Last Edit: May 11, 2011, 10:41:00 PM by Clark »

Offline Clark

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Re: Pinning
« Reply #36 on: May 11, 2011, 10:09:08 PM »
I think my concern is with just how real do you want the combat and pinning to be?

What if there is not cover with in the figures allowance of movement in one turn?
What if there is no cover available for the weapon type that just pinned the figure?

I don't mind the pinning rule desire for the game. But just how realistic are you attempting to be?

And how simple are the desired pinning rules?

Dave Chase

It's a bit abstract in that you can't represent every nook and cranny on a battlefield so even "flat" and "open" terrain provides some modicum of cover. So the what if question is answered in a sort of anthropic manner: if there was no cover available when he was pinned, he would have been killed instead of pinned, so obviously there was cover available.   ;D 

In the Draft rules there are allowances for different types of terrain.  If you tried to go to ground in the middle of an empty parking lot, it wouldn't help much so you tend to get killed instead of pinned.  At the other end, if you are in a fortification and you start taking fire, you just duck down so the chances of pinning are a lot higher, and the pinned guys are harder to kill so you generally have to advance and grenade them, or flame them to finish them off.

Offline Clark

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Re: Pinning
« Reply #37 on: May 11, 2011, 10:26:40 PM »
Dending on the FPS game, you can get different reactions.  Counterstrike isn't particularly realistic as you can run, leap through the air, and shoot the other guy in the head.  Or you can take a full mag of 9mm to the chest and still return fire.  But if you are at any sort of range - particularly if you don't know where the fire is coming from - then you find some cover, move about and then pop out from the cover at a different point to engage the enemy.  Ghost Recon is a different story because one hit usually kills.  Again, if you don't know where the fire is coming from, you take cover, acquire your target and return fire.  If you are already in a firing position then you ignore the near misses and line the bastard up in your sights.  If there are multiple opponents then odds are one of those near misses will find you, so maybe discretion is the better part of valour.

I've only played paintball once way back in the day, but if you are under cover and rounds are landing all about you, I would think that you would try to shift position a couple of metres, pop up where they don't expect you, and return fire. 

I see the paradox in the training because you expect them to be pinned but expect our guys not to fall for that.

Due to the way turns go, it seems that simply making a covering/moving target fired (and no effect on one that is already fired) isn't a big enough penalty.

Offline SgtHulka

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Re: Pinning
« Reply #38 on: May 11, 2011, 11:08:56 PM »
Wow, dude, I concede based on the completeness of your response alone! How the heck did you follow and respond to three different arguments at once?

I am convinced. Planetstorm by the rules as written or bust! =)

Offline sergeant_hastp

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Re: Pinning
« Reply #39 on: May 13, 2011, 12:39:00 AM »
I remain unconvinced.   8)

But I think I've made my views as plain as I can.  Obviously there will be the official version, and then the version used in my house.  (I've never been much for playing by the rules for very long anyway.  ;D )

Offline Clark

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Re: Pinning
« Reply #40 on: May 13, 2011, 02:09:02 PM »
People often make the mistake of thinking that soldiers (and lawyers) actually follow the rules.