Shooting at Extended Line from a Building???

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Shooting at Extended Line from a Building???

Post by Blathergut » Sun May 11, 2014 8:15 pm

A unit is defending a building.

An enemy unit forms up in extended line outside to double their dice shooting at the building from close range.

The enemy now shoots 4 + 4 dice at the building.

Do the defenders just get 4 dice at the enemy unit? Or 4 dice at each half of the enemy unit?

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Re: Shooting at Extended Line from a Building???

Post by Saxonian » Mon May 12, 2014 3:58 am

We have been playing that the unit in line only cops a single load of 4 dice from the building.
The Building FAQ states that the defenders get four dice against each unit capable of firing at them.
It is a good way to force an enemy out of a building, especially when combined with a unit of heavy artillery at long range when the line is at close
- 12 dice hitting on 5's!!

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Re: Shooting at Extended Line from a Building???

Post by SirGarnet » Tue May 13, 2014 12:33 am

The Extended Line rules on p51 provide for firing as half-units each calculating its target and own number of dice as if it was a complete unit. Also, p49 says "Targets in Extended Line count each half as a separate unit when measuring ranges." Thus they are each effectively a unit shooting at the building.

Given that it is twice the frontage and firing as two units, it seems clear to me obvious that the defenders fire at each half as a unit as well. Otherwise, a double frontage in in extended line would suffer half the shooting of two units each on normal frontage occupying the same space. It would be anomalous.

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Re: Shooting at Extended Line from a Building???

Post by Blathergut » Tue May 13, 2014 12:37 am

I would think defender should get 4 against each half, but that's why the question, for clarification! :)

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Re: Shooting at Extended Line from a Building???

Post by SirGarnet » Tue May 13, 2014 1:29 am

I am arguing that the rules can be read only one way. Since two half units are firing as "units" and are by the rules separate targets, the building can fire back once at each of those two units.

But it is not an easy answer without checking multiple rule locations, and I agree it is the sort of thing worth going in the Building FAQ.

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Re: Shooting at Extended Line from a Building???

Post by Saxonian » Tue May 13, 2014 3:35 am

MikeK wrote:Given that it is twice the frontage and firing as two units, it seems clear to me obvious that the defenders fire at each half as a unit as well.
This would be the only occasion on which the frontage of the target unit affects the amount of incoming fire, and as such I agree with Mike.
I realise that buildings are an exception (in almost every respect) to the normal rules, but the Building FAQ is quite specific that each unit is a target. It makes no mention of formation, frontage or 'half-units'.

A large unit is 50% wider than a small, but does not attract 50% more shooting dice.
A unit in march column is 50% narrower than a small unit in tactical, but does not attract 50% less dice.

If an exception to this is intended, I think it needs to be explicitly stated in the FAQ.

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Re: Shooting at Extended Line from a Building???

Post by Saxonian » Tue May 13, 2014 11:44 pm

MikeK wrote: Given that it is twice the frontage and firing as two units, it seems clear to me obvious that the defenders fire at each half as a unit as well. Otherwise, a double frontage in in extended line would suffer half the shooting of two units each on normal frontage occupying the same space. It would be anomalous.
If this argument is correct, you could argue that the defenders could get double dice against a line in an assault as well.
The rules say that you "count each half as a separate unit" - they do not become separate units.
The issue with measuring range from/to a line only affects outgoing fire. Incoming fire is not affected because it is still a single unit.

IMHO the concept that the amount of fire produced by a unit in a building is somehow dependant upon the number of available targets is somewhat anomalous.
Under the RAW a unit that is defending a building has a potentially unlimited number of dice.
If you assume two units per face in Tactical as a maximum surrounding the building, the defender would produce an amazing 32 shooting dice! :shock:
I realise that is the absolute extreme that would (probably) never happen - but I'd love to hear the story if it ever did! :wink:

I think my point is that the whole system is a mechanism, and that it seems to work reasonably well. Units defending a building have plenty of benefits, and I don't think double shots at a line need be one more.

There has been a suggestion in our group that it is too easy to shoot defenders out of buildings, rather than assault them out as feels more historical.
I agree with this to some extent, and there may be a tweak needed here. Maybe that a defender will only break from shooting if some of the incoming fire is from artillery. Otherwise defenders only break from assault. This is another issue though.

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Re: Shooting at Extended Line from a Building???

Post by Carriage » Wed May 14, 2014 2:16 am

I don't think it's that unreasonable according to the rules. You wouldn't double your dice when charged, you'd split them but they all get amalgamated on the same unit.

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Re: Shooting at Extended Line from a Building???

Post by Saxonian » Wed May 14, 2014 3:22 am

Carriage wrote:You wouldn't double your dice when charged, you'd split them but they all get amalgamated on the same unit.
Don't forget that the defender gets four combat dice per attacking unit, not a set number that is split.

One thing that has not been mentioned is defensive fire in an assault. A unit defending a building gets four dice per attacking unit.
Is a line shooting at close range two units, but only one if it is assaulting for defensive fire?
If you start considering each half of a line as a separate unit, I feel it starts to skew things in favour of the defender too far.

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Re: Shooting at Extended Line from a Building???

Post by deadtorius » Wed May 14, 2014 10:14 am

In an assault an extended line is a single target/unit. It's only for close range shooting that it counts as 2 units. It would defensive fire as 2 units, or one unit with support shooting dice from its other half.
For all other purposes it counts as a single unit. If it was being shot at by an enemy in tactical in open, it still counts as a single target for being shot at so only 4 enemy dice + attachments.

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Re: Shooting at Extended Line from a Building???

Post by Saxonian » Wed May 14, 2014 11:52 pm

deadtorius wrote:In an assault an extended line is a single target/unit. It's only for close range shooting that it counts as 2 units. It would defensive fire as 2 units, or one unit with support shooting dice from its other half.
For all other purposes it counts as a single unit. If it was being shot at by an enemy in tactical in open, it still counts as a single target for being shot at so only 4 enemy dice + attachments.
I understand all this.
What I was trying to point out (poorly) was the anomaly this would create when a line is the charger rather than the target.
A line is stationary at close range, it gets a double dose of shooting, 8 dice.
As soon as it starts to move forwards (assault) this suddenly is dropped to a single dose of 4 dice for defensive fire.

If the argument is made that a unit's frontage determines the amount of incoming fire it receives from a building, why would it change for defensive fire?
Surely that is a time when, if anything, the defenders would be trying to intensify their fire.

Mike spoke about an anomaly where a line, which is double the frontage of two units in tactical, receives half the dice of those two units.
The point I am trying to make is that the change suggested doesn't just address that one issue, it creates another anomaly.
You then have frontage determining the amount of incoming fire, but only for a line and only in the shooting phase.
And do you then start arguing for a further change if it is a large unit in line - three times the frontage for three times the dice - 12?! - erk.
The rules make no reference to the frontage of a target when determining incoming fire, that is done per unit.
And the two halves of a line are still a single unit.

Being in a line has its own inherent risks, the two main ones being reduced manoeverability, and one less dice for cohesion tests (the big one!).
There are few uses for a line as it stands, and defenders of buildings have plenty of benefits.
I still feel this change would skew things too far in favour of the defenders.
My preference would be to see a change where the defenders of a building can only be ejected at the point of a bayonet, and not just shot out as it is at the moment.

Maybe some input from Terry??

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Re: Shooting at Extended Line from a Building???

Post by deadtorius » Thu May 15, 2014 2:10 am

I see your point. I had pondered the whole extended line thing vs building myself a while ago, but never tried it as my brain got stuck pondering this very issue.
My thought is give 4 dice and allow the other half support dice only. Seems to cut down slightly the attacking dice.

I think you have a point about only forcing enemy out by assault. I would suggest looking at aspern-essling since it was mainly about street fighting and trying to force the enemy out of a built up area to see if shooting alone was effective or if you had to still force the defenders out by bayonet,

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Re: Shooting at Extended Line from a Building???

Post by deadtorius » Thu May 15, 2014 2:13 am

In our last game I had a unit of Conde allies in a building that took about 14 dice of shooting. To put it mildly the building did not stay occupied for long, and it was at the beginning of the game too.

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Re: Shooting at Extended Line from a Building???

Post by Saxonian » Thu May 15, 2014 3:25 am

deadtorius wrote:I would suggest looking at aspern-essling since it was mainly about street fighting and trying to force the enemy out of a built up area to see if shooting alone was effective or if you had to still force the defenders out by bayonet,
Couldn't agree more.
Ownership of both villages at Aspern-Essling was decided by close combat, and the accounts of the fighting at La Haye and Hougoumont at Waterloo are all about hand-to-hand fighting.
I am unaware of any occasion where shooting alone forced the defenders to vacate a built-up area, though I admit my knowledge of many battles is far from complete! :)

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Re: Shooting at Extended Line from a Building???

Post by joaquin9 » Sat May 17, 2014 7:39 pm

I also agree about having a strange feeling about troops being able to eject defenders from villages merely by firing.

Related to the above, I have one question about melees in buildings. The rules as written seem to imply that the attackers only get 4 dice, no matter how many units they put into the assault. Am I reading this wrong?

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Re: Shooting at Extended Line from a Building???

Post by deadtorius » Sat May 17, 2014 9:45 pm

I believe it's like shooting, 4 dice per unit. Now if the guys inside are only occupying then you can only send in a single unit to attack.

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Re: Shooting at Extended Line from a Building???

Post by SirGarnet » Sun May 18, 2014 8:27 am

Building FAQ 1.4-Occupied Buildings-Bullet 4 says "Infantry in Tactical are assaulted using the same rules as for a unit defending a building, except that they do not fire defensively . . . ." so much worse for the defender losing the prep shooting opportunity against an assault.

I don't see a limit of one assaulting unit (just the limit on having one friendly unit actually IN the building). It says at the start of 1.4 "moving the assaulting unit(s) into contact" and there is no mention of limits under "OCCUPIED".

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Firing causing fires in buildings could force out the defenders, and conflagrations could be deliberately set by the defenders or attempted by attackers. That's not in the game.

Building Defenders need to be broken to be forced out, so a minimum of 3 cohesion drops are needed to be forced out by shooting. The CT is going to be 2 dice for drilled or conscript defenders with a 5 to pass, so 44% odds of failure each test. To drop cohesion by 2 OR get a Broken result requires close-range shooting. There is a 17% chance of passing 3 CTs in a row - so compared with the normal number of turns of a game it will be a long time before the isolated garrison can be broken by fire.

I think that if I want a building I am going to have to assault it hard to try to get the triple-drop from combat or avoid it, rather than burning up inadequate forces and time on a weak attempt. This is my take on the math and based on little experience with buildings (a terrain piece that brings it's own complexity with it - luckily we have a FAQ) what does your experience say?

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Re: Shooting at Extended Line from a Building???

Post by Blathergut » Sun May 18, 2014 12:02 pm

It all depends on luck as well.

>IF the attacker can hit the defender at medium range AND defender doesn't recover cohesion...
>IF the defender hits each of the attackers at medium range AND they struggle to recover cohesion...

Buildings with a large unit defending are especially difficult to crack (since the -1 hit effect) unless you get lucky and drop/no recover happens.

We've seen buildings hold out forever and be cleared out quickly as well as completely ignored. You can manage a little trick against them:

>Move one unit (preferably large) to just outside 2MU, facing the building. This unit will now draw the defenders' fire. Other units can move past without placing the buildings in their arc of fire and thus move past unscathed.

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Re: Shooting at Extended Line from a Building???

Post by deadtorius » Sun May 18, 2014 12:30 pm

Terry pointed out a while ago that you can only have 1 unit in a building. When assaulting a unit occupying you have to "enter" the building to get at them so only 1 unit can be used. It was a recent forum post.

As for fires, this has been brought up in the past, I believe it was considered too local for game scale to bother with, authors suggestion of why it's not in the rules.

personal experiences with buildings, well it all depends how lucky you are with the dice, and how much strength you put into it. In a recent game I had a building that landed right on the edge of my deployment, so moved in on turn 1 with a veteran unit. French rolled up with 3 or 4 units, 1 was artillery and fired off about 14 dice or something like that. My shooting at them was minimal, think I knocked down 1 unit to disordered, they knocked me to wavering. Vets failed to rally, even with attached officer. Next turn they were shot to rout and that left the building vacant for the French to take it over.
Same game another building that landed in my deployment area, about 12" away, occupied by large veteran unit. 2 French units brought it under fire. Several turns of shooting were ineffective, so French move up to close range. 1 unit is broken by fire other ended wavering and backed off during French move. Veterans get to shoot other enemy within 6 Mu in the flank for 2 turns until large French unit moves within range and forces vets to shoot at them. Remainder of game is ineffective exchange of fire between these units, but it keeps the vets from shooting towards Austrian left which was being hard pressed.
Other game, unit of French conscripts defends building. I try to bring 4 units to bear fire on the building, it takes time as half the units have to wheel far out to get around their own lines out of deployment area, and unreformed Austrians are so slow. My units that initiate fire are forced back and drop morale, even though hit numbers are 6 and it's conscripts shooting. This pattern of not being able to bring fire upon the building continues until the French start managing to move against part of my shooting force. I am forced to abandon the whole attack as my flank starts to fail. Conscripts never dropped cohesion.
So as you can see luck plays a role in building attack and defense
It helps if you can mass your shooting, more dice more chances of something going your way. Buildings can also just be ignored, and sometimes your troops inside don't want to leave, which has also happened to us in many cases.

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Re: Shooting at Extended Line from a Building???

Post by deadtorius » Sun May 18, 2014 4:21 pm

Move one unit (preferably large) to just outside 2MU, facing the building. This unit will now draw the defenders' fire. Other units can move past without placing the buildings in their arc of fire and thus move past unscathed.
This of course raises another question about buildings, rules state you have to shoot at all units within 2 MU. Building rules say you can only shoot at units able to shoot at you or one unit of your choice if no one is or can shoot at you in the building. So what takes precedence?

In our last game I said that the French could march by crying "Vive le Revolution!" and it looks like my large unit of Hungarians would ignore them to continue shooting ineffectively at that large unit of Frogs further out.
So does the 2MU mandatory shooting take precedence or is there a way to sneak by unscathed by just having a unit of something out there that can draw enemy fire?

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