Spotters

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  • #189727
    HellRaiser 7
    Participant

    If  a spotter has a pin, (say for your medium Howitzer) and your Howitzer does not have LOS on the target, but that spotter does. Isn’t the spotter required to take an order check before (calling in the targets coordinates) for the Howitzer? Of course of the Howitzer can see the target they don’t need to use their spotter.

    #189728
    Stuart Harrison
    Participant

    No. The indirect fire unit is firing and using the spotter’s line of sight. The spotter is passive and not receiving an order, so no requirement for the spotter to test. It’s no different to a pinned officer or medic passively providing a benefit to a unit within their area of effect.

    #189729
    HellRaiser 7
    Participant

    If the spotter wants to run or advance move, and he has a pin, you have to give him an order check, why wouldn’t you give an order check if you use the spotter to spot the target?

    #189730
    Stuart Harrison
    Participant

    Because the spotter doesn’t act. The interaction for a spotter is “If an indirect fire weapon is fired by veteran or regular crew, and it has a spotter, then the crew is assumed to be able to see whatever the spotter can see.” For spotting purposes, he is literally just another point the crew of the firing weapon can see from. It is not a ‘call for fire’ mechanism like the observer units, where the observer is issued an order to call in fire from somewhere else. It’s an entirely passive ability, like benefitting from an officer within 6 or 12 inches, or from a medic.

    The weapon team acts, and they will need to test if THEY have pins. If you move the spotter, He is acting and he will need to test if HE has pins. He won’t need to test if the unit he spots for has pins and he doesn’t.

    #189731
    HellRaiser 7
    Participant

    I think you’re misreading it. And you left out a key sentence following the statement the crew sees what’s he sees. The next sentence explains the spotter is enabling the crew to see a target that is invisible to them . If the spotter is pinned down by machinegun fire (for example), how can he relay coordinates and direct fire if he has a pin? So if the spotter has a pin on him (someone shot at him, hit the spotter, but didn’t kill/wound him, he receives a pin) if you use the spotter for a target that is invisible to the weapon, first you have to take an order check on the spotter if he has a pin (not talking about if the weapon/crew has a pin, we’re talking the spotter has a pin) . The rules state the weapon crew and the spotter share the same order dice. Just like if you want to move the spotter, and he has a pin, you have to do an order check on the spotter which whether it passes or fails the order check, the weapon can’t be used cause the spotter and weapon share the same order dice.

    #189732
    Nat
    Participant

    nope… spotters are their own unit with the following exceptions

    they dont generate a order die – they have to BORROW the weapon teams order die to act… this is why they are removed when the weapon team is..
    they always count has being down, unless they have the borrowed order die next to them
    the weapon team with which they are purchased can use their (the spotters) Line of sight as if it was their (the weapon teams) own

    Now the important part: the weapon team is the unit that is receiving the order, not the spotter.  As the spotter is not receiving an order there is nothing to check for them.

    Unfortunately WL have a tendency to put fluff /history within the rules… I’ve split the rule down above.

    • This reply was modified 3 months, 2 weeks ago by Nat.
    #189734
    HellRaiser 7
    Participant

    Thank you for you input Nat, I didn’t disagree with anything you said above (except the actual spotting)  . I know they don’t have their own order dice. They do share it was the weapon team. The Spotter uses the “order” dice when they go to move and weapon team does nothing that turn. If the spotter needs to move, and it(the spotter not the weapons team) has a pin he needs an order check. If the weapon crew cannot see the target , and uses the spotter line of site (spotter is actually calling in grid coordinates) , and the spotter has pins, he has to use an order test just as if he wants move (advance/run). If the spotter fails the order test, then he has unsuccessfully coordinated the target for the weapon crew (cause he for example has the opponent’s 12 rifles and a LMG keeping him pinned down which they do put a pin on him earlier) . Why would Warlord come out with the rule a spotter is always automatically in the “Down” posistion (and gets the -2 on dice rolls to hit) if we weren’t allowed to shoot at the spotter. If I shoot at the spotter, and you happen to hit him he gets a pin. But if unfortunately you don’t wound him (cause he’s a Regular /4 or Veteran/ 5 to wound which is always based on the weapon crews moral) and let’s say you roll a “2” when you tried to wound the spotter, he is  is still in the game , but he now has one pin. The next turn the weapon crew cannot see the target they want to shoot at it with indirect fire, but the spotter has the only LOS on the target. But before the weapon crew fires you have to do an order check on the spotter(cause he has hundreds of bullets zinging all around him keeping his face buried in the dirt so he doesn’t get killed) to see if he has the nerve to look up at get the much need coordinates to the weapon team. (Spotter must see the target just like the weapon crew but he can’t do it if he’s pinned down just like every other unit in the game when their pinned down). So you roll the order check on the spotter (say he is “Regular” ) and with that 1 pin he will need to roll a “8” or less for the order check. You roll and he gets a total of “11” . He failed the check , which means he unsuccessfully didn’t spot that turn for the weapon team , the weapon team has no coordinates for the target (they can’t see anything) so the weapon crew can’t fire and the order dice is placed on “Down” by the weapon team for that turn. Better luck next turn. Please show me in a rule book or the Erratta/FAQ where it says different please. I have players and T/Os all over the Internet telling me that this is the correct way to play the spotter. I’m just trying to verify in writing something I believe and being told I’m 100% correct on. Even though I disagree with you’ll , I truly appreciate your input (Nat & Stuart) as you’ve always done in the past here on the forum .
    V/R Ed

    #189735
    Nat
    Participant

    please dont take this the wrong way…. but you are falling in to a common pit-fall… (took me a couple of years, and playing around with house rules /interpretations for VaS to realise it )

    Bolt Action is not a historical simulation game but a beer & pretzel game based on the Hollywood vision of ww2.  What this means is that some things make no sense in the real world BUT if you try and implement the real world mechanics in to the game 3 things happen.  It stops being the beer & pretzel game BA is written as, it increases the conflict / contradictions within the rules, and you end up with even more of a problem of points /balance.

    Basically what I understand you want is for the spotter to have to take an order check in order to provide LoS to their parent unit…..

    So now you have added a none activating unit taking an order check (which is a contradiction to the rest of the core rules), which increases the likely hood of it not happening (and now its less of a decision to shoot / assault the spotter by the opposition) it also decreases the number of times an indirect unit will fire.  This with the rules about losing ranging in markers if you dont shoot every turn (ok this is not clear in the rulebook but mentioned by the author in a couple of places online) means that they are now worth less points than you currently pay…. both the spotter & the indirect weapons team.

    ps: pg 71 of the printed rule book is clear that the weapons team “are able to see whatever the spotter can see” so it IS a change of the written rule… one which frankly I dont see any point or need for.

    #189736
    Nat
    Participant

    Ok a couple of other points (its hard to follow a wall of text)

    Theres no rules stopping you from targeting the spotter … except most of the time they are at a -3 mod… which is understandable as its one guy trying very hard not to be seen :p
    Nor is there any rules saying you cant charge the spotter (but there is the otherway round).. I’ve used this a few times to get a little further forward… charge, rolling 11 dice to kill one model then moving D6 consolidation :p

    pins on a spotter … they still have the same ‘pin out’ rule where number of pins is greater than Ld they run off the table.  Not to mention if the spotter wants to move they still have to take an order check.

    Its only drawing Line of Sight from the spotter where the spotter is used in an order and doesnt require an order check.

    #189737
    HellRaiser 7
    Participant

    No Nat, I’m not going into the “Historical Trap” of trying to put historical realism in the game. (I’ve been playing historical Wargames for almost 45 years, (I’m 59) I know the difference) I was only try to explain why a spotter could not get his coordinates and send them to the rear if he was pinned down. Back to the Gaming part of the game, when it comes to pinning, you said the spotter can get pins from being shot at and hit, he has to do an order check to move if he has any pins, he can be killed by close assault, he can be pinned out, etc. So if he follows the basic rules just like  all the other units, HQs, vehicles, etc, why shouldn’t he have to take an order check when he is pinned when it tries to get coordinates (call for fire). How come a FAO can’t call for fire if he has a pin and must take an order check but a spotter doesn’t? Same game. Yes a FAO has his own order dice, but the spotter “shares “ the weapon team order dice (like when he wants to move) so why does a spotter doing the exact same thing as a FAO not take an order check but the FAO has to take one? The FAO has his own order dice cause the weapon crew he is calling in for is off the table (7 miles away or on a battleship).

    #189738
    Nat
    Participant

    So … a spotter costs 10 points reg or 13 points vet irrespective of the weapon they are purchased with.

    For a model that cant take objectives, cant man a weapon on a transport, cant shoot, cant initiate an assault … all it can do is stop the weapon team firing or moving to move themselves & give line of sight to a specific weapon team while being able to forward deploy.

    Going on from that … the same pints (10/13) get you another model in a rifle squad who can do so much more…

    Comparing him to an FAO doesnt work.. the FAO costs 100 points at regular with 10 points giving him an ablative wound + extra shooting dice / assault rolls…. also the off table weapon strike IS HIS one shot attack weapon there is no weapon team attached to him….so its not the same thing – similar in concept/ real life but not on the table top.

    As to why the spotter doesnt have to take an order check, its simple they’re not doing anything, so therefore they dont test

    The (RW) argument for them to take the order check is ducking away from bullets… thats what the always DOWN shows as well… they are in a shell scrape trying not to be seen.

    #189739
    HellRaiser 7
    Participant

    I’m not going to debate with you any longer. I gave my take, so now it’s just beating a dead horse. I found today posts and forums around that say I’m correct and a found a couple that states they use your interpretation. Something Version 3 down the road will hopefully clarify better. All the games I’ve played and T/O , Bolt Action has the least amount of rules (very few) that could be interpreted two different ways. (That’s one of the main reasons I like the game so much).
    Thanks again for your input, Ed 🤘😎

    #189740
    Stuart Harrison
    Participant

    “And you left out a key sentence following the statement the crew sees what’s he sees. The next sentence explains the spotter is enabling the crew to see a target that is invisible to them .” The sentence you are referring to doesn’t introduce anything new to the rule, all it does is point out how you can benefit from being able to draw your LOS from a different point on the table. In what way is it a key sentence? “This can potentially enable a mortar or artillery piece to shoot at targets that lie on the other side of a hill, woods, or in some other position that is invisible to the crew itself.”

    “If the spotter is pinned down by machinegun fire (for example), how can he relay coordinates and direct fire if he has a pin? So if the spotter has a pin on him (someone shot at him, hit the spotter, but didn’t kill/wound him, he receives a pin) if you use the spotter for a target that is invisible to the weapon, first you have to take an order check on the spotter if he has a pin (not talking about if the weapon/crew has a pin, we’re talking the spotter has a pin) .” Does your officer take an order test when a unit near a pinned officer uses his morale bonus to pass their order test or a morale check? No, you don’t. It is a passive ability, the same as a medic and the same as a spotter. Units take an order test when THEY are issued an order and one of the triggers applies (usually pins), not when an active unit benefits from them.

    Yes, it’s counter-intuitive to have totally different rules for observers and spotters when their real-life roles were so similar, but that’s the game designer’s choice. Observers are active and have a ‘call for fire’ mechanism requiring them to receive an order to ‘do their thing’. Spotters are a passive point that an active indirect fire unit can use to draw LOS from when they fire.

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