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Author Topic: Why 'shoot-at-the-closest/easiest-target'?  (Read 8299 times)

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Offline FreeHansje

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Why 'shoot-at-the-closest/easiest-target'?
« on: May 10, 2009, 09:05:42 AM »
Somewhere elswe I admitted that when I started playing Necromuna way-back-when for the first year we did not realize there was this rule to shoot at the nearest target, or the easiest to hit, if a further target had less modifiers to hit. When some1 found out about this rule we where wondering why this rule existed. We decided not to incorporate it in our gameplay, since we were fine the way we played it.
Since this recent discussion on this rule I kept wondering what the reasoning could be to put in this rule. Does it change the game? Obviously, nobody is save, you need to change the tactics of using cheap cannonfodder(Juves) to protect your valuable models. No more safety for your Heavy far between the frontline, and now being a Leader just behind your frontline brings certain risks. But would the game be different, unplayable, or such? Not to my experience, it's more interesting IMO.

So I wonder if ABG or any1 could think of a reason why this rule was incorporated in the first place?
« Last Edit: May 18, 2009, 07:27:52 PM by The Arbitrator General »

Offline Ant

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Re: Why 'shoot-at-the-closest/easiest-target'?
« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2009, 10:33:16 AM »
First and foremost I imagine it's a reflection of reality, since if you've got a fighter 5 metres away pointing a gun at you then you're really not going to be spending your time eyeing up the horizon looking for a heavy.

Secondly, doesn't it make template weapons really good? If you're firing a frag round or something similar then you'd be able to aim exactly for the fighter right in the middle of a pack where as currently you have to aim for the front fighter.

Thirdly, personally I do find the game more tactically interesting knowing that most of the time I'm required to shoot the closest target (we don't allow the loop hole where you can move your fighter in such a way that any opposing fighters you don't want to shoot are just outside your firing arc). I find it makes the positioning of your fighters within their little groups more interesting and makes outflanking manoeuvres more rewarding. 

//edit
Btw, shouldn't this be in General Discussion since it's not exactly a rules question as such? Unless I'm confused about the point of this forum.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2009, 10:35:01 AM by Ant »

Offline FreeHansje

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Re: Why 'shoot-at-the-closest/easiest-target'?
« Reply #2 on: May 12, 2009, 12:53:15 PM »
First and foremost I imagine it's a reflection of reality, since if you've got a fighter 5 metres away pointing a gun at you then you're really not going to be spending your time eyeing up the horizon looking for a heavy.

Could be, if so I think it's a bad choice. Consider, this might be true for starting gangers, Juves, but at some point they are not that in-experienced anymore; at least, that is what I choose to believe The progress table exists and is already used to indicate differences in level. This could easily be used to decide when you shoot at anything near you, dangerous or not, or to show some experience in combat and aim for a real target.

Secondly, doesn't it make template weapons really good? If you're firing a frag round or something similar then you'd be able to aim exactly for the fighter right in the middle of a pack where as currently you have to aim for the front fighter.

Hm, I would not know, we rarely use template weapons. A grenadelauncher, or thrown grenades occasionally pop up, but then this is mostly used for trying to aim at gangers behind a wall or such. I believe that's not allowed either, I'm not sure. But yes, grouping fighters would be even more dangerous to do; that is not a gamekiller, IMO. Again, this would make things more interesting.

Thirdly, personally I do find the game more tactically interesting knowing that most of the time I'm required to shoot the closest target (we don't allow the loop hole where you can move your fighter in such a way that any opposing fighters you don't want to shoot are just outside your firing arc). I find it makes the positioning of your fighters within their little groups more interesting and makes outflanking manoeuvres more rewarding.

I disagree. With the rule shooting at the nearest/easiest target you hardly have to think who to shoot at. It makes loopholes as you describe, and others I know of, immaterial. Positioning of your fighters is always important, with or without this rule. I dunno if outflanking would be more interesting. In our games outflanking is often an important part of the game: to outflank an opponent you have to divide your forces, which holds dangers of its own...

But thank you for answering.

Offline Ravendas

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Re: Why 'shoot-at-the-closest/easiest-target'?
« Reply #3 on: May 12, 2009, 01:33:08 PM »
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Hm, I would not know, we rarely use template weapons. A grenadelauncher, or thrown grenades occasionally pop up, but then this is mostly used for trying to aim at gangers behind a wall or such. I believe that's not allowed either, I'm not sure. But yes, grouping fighters would be even more dangerous to do; that is not a gamekiller, IMO. Again, this would make things more interesting.

Yeah that is another thing against the rules. You can only target models, or specific mission related targets (gateways or water stills or whatever). The only things you can nominate a point to shoot at are smoke grenades and grapnels, if I remember right.

You mention it would be 'a bad choice' for a ganger to shoot at someone 5 meters away instead of a heavy far off. The thing is, it's not a choice. In a real situation, spotting someone poking their head over a wall in lowlight areas far off in the distance will come a far 2nd to seeing the angry person with a gun close to you. If that person wasn't there, then your eyes would be more able to scan the area and see the person farther off. That's the idea behind it. Remember, these are unruly gang members fighting in chaotic situations, not drilled soldiers.

This is also why marksman grants this ability. Marksman gives a model a cooler head to scan the area more carefully.

Offline Martini Henrie

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Re: Why 'shoot-at-the-closest/easiest-target'?
« Reply #4 on: May 12, 2009, 02:42:50 PM »
Yup, this is the same argument as on the other forum.  You need to remember that these rules are in place as they are because the members of your gang are not trained soldiers, but enthusiastic amatures with no formal training.  The gangers will also not have the tactical overview and situational awareness that you as the gamer will have. 

This means that you've got to think out your strategy to pick out or protect your valuable assets, so it's an in game way of limitation.  There is a skill that allows you to pick targets freely (I can't remember which one), which will give you access to that which you desire in this case.
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Offline FreeHansje

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Re: Why 'shoot-at-the-closest/easiest-target'?
« Reply #5 on: May 12, 2009, 05:52:57 PM »
Tnx for answering all.
Rules change, as we sparred about on EF, I think about OW. The ORB is straightforward, the clarification in Errata suddenly changes the whole gamut. Some rules are weird, if you think about it. Take this grenade limitation:

'Lob in a grenade!'
'Nope, can't see him!'
'What! We saw 'im go in 3 secs ago! Lob!'
'Well, it's 9 sec now, but we can't see him, so no! We are inexperienced enthusiastics, can't do it.'
'There is no exit! Ofcourse, if we wait longer he might have dug a tunnel! LOB!'

I exagerate, but not by much. Isn't the whole idea of grenades not mostly about throwing it into a place where you know hostiles are?
Back to the shoot-at-nearest rule: I have pointed out how it could have been solved and what the drawbacks are of the current rules. The advantage of Marksman, which Martini probly means is in my view the extended range. Ofcourse, since I don't play the shoot-at-nearest rule I do not apreciate Marksman for the free targeting.

I also disagree with this view, that these gangers are amateurs. If you live to fight several fights, I think you will gain enough experience not to shoot without thinking. And yes, if from 5 meters a Juve appears with a pistil blazing, I believe you would shoot at her and not at some more important target. On the other hand, if this same youth stand 10 meters from you, and right behind her this Heavy Stubber toting Heavy, would you really not target the Heavy? If you have survived several battles and know how bad Juves are at shooting? And know how painful this Heavy Stubber can be?

So let's change some rules? ;D

Offline Martini Henrie

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Re: Why 'shoot-at-the-closest/easiest-target'?
« Reply #6 on: May 15, 2009, 10:30:56 PM »
In a word.  No.  If you want to house rule it then that's up to you.  Like I said before, these rules are in place to provide tactical challenge.  The simple idea of being able to pick and chose what your gangers shoot at changes the game entirely, and takes too much of the challenge away. 

To the point:  Where your ganger is really experienced, and has gained the relavant skill (I'm too far away from my book to refer) then you can achieve what you want.  This system allows you to protect (should you wish or be able to) your more important gang members.
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Offline FreeHansje

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Re: Why 'shoot-at-the-closest/easiest-target'?
« Reply #7 on: May 16, 2009, 07:30:40 AM »
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..and takes too much of the challenge away.

I have asked before: what challence? In the shootingphase you hardly have to think, you just HAVE to shoot at the closest/easiest target. Again, what is the challence here?
In the movementphase, sure, you have to see to it that your valuable characters are behind  a less valuable character; that may require some thought. Is this challence? Don't you agree it's far more of a challence when your Leader, who is standing behind a Juve directing the battle, CAN be shot at? That your Heavy far behind the frontline is NOT save?
Ofcourse a change like I propose changes the game. I give reasons why I think this is a good thing. I don't hear reasons why this is NOT so, other then: it changes the game. I have already pointed out that the game DOES change, regularly, when an Errata is published, so change on its own can hardly be bad. What else is bad?

Offline Chaos_Rabbit619

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Re: Why 'shoot-at-the-closest/easiest-target'?
« Reply #8 on: May 16, 2009, 06:36:02 PM »
ok here is my .o2 cents on it.....

Why shoot the person closer to me the the one farther away?

well lets see well there might be the fact that by getting the guy closing in on you it avoids hand to hand which i believe in some ways can be worse  for you ( even if more people manage to join in the fray, or if they have certain weapons that also add a +1 or more...) and in H2H you dont get pinned and more chance for you to be down or even killed ( which can lead to you being forced to do a bottle check)

also keep in mind that while you might be able to SEE the  Heavy or the Leader with the special weapon, odds are the range of his weapon is greater than yours, so if you DO have that rule about ignoring whats closer to you, then the same would go for him and he can shoot past all those guys and take you out before you would be in range to take him out.  So you see, while that rule might hinder you, it also in some ways protects you too.

next,  in reality it would be kind of hard to shoot at someone far away when u have some guy getting a severe beating to the bottom of his shoes with you using your face as a weapon....



Offline Ravendas

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Re: Why 'shoot-at-the-closest/easiest-target'?
« Reply #9 on: May 16, 2009, 07:59:38 PM »
I don't hear reasons why this is NOT so, other then: it changes the game. I have already pointed out that the game DOES change, regularly, when an Errata is published, so change on its own can hardly be bad. What else is bad?

Errata doesn't do away with rules, it merely clarifies rules or fixes errors in the book. The 'shoot at the closest target' rule is one of the core rules of the game. It's like apples to oranges, or maybe like apples to crabapples.

Anyways, it's vital in the game because it makes maneuvering more important. If your entire force is in one main area, then the opponent knows from which direction 100% of your shooting is going to come from, so can set up his gang in a way to protect the more valuable members. However if you manage to split your gang into smaller pieces and shoot from many angles, then he will be much more vulnerable, and you will have a greater number of choices of targets.

If there is no targeting rule, like in your case, then there is no real point to splitting up your force, besides to avoid (rarely used) templates. If you can shoot their entire force from your one single position, why move? Why flank? If they can shoot at you, then you can shoot at them, so what's the point of moving? Without the targeting rule, the game would seem to make each player turtle more, and not split up their force, and not move around the board as much. That sounds pretty boring and less tactical. Why move if you know that any single model that can shoot at you, you can also return fire to? What's the point of maneuvering?

It also gives your gang more style. When I play, the first ganger that gets to 4 toughness, or extra wounds becomes my leader's bodyguard. If he is still standing, then my leader is as well. Also, my heavy just took a shot to the chest, leaving him with a gaping -1 toughness wound. He now has a juve aid at his side, helping him about and covering him as he moves around. This closest target rule helps give models roles, and makes you think about how you split your force and where they should go, and what firing positions they should take up.

I've already expressed my real world reasons as to why it makes sense in a post farther up, these are my tactical/in-game reasons now.

Offline FreeHansje

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Re: Why 'shoot-at-the-closest/easiest-target'?
« Reply #10 on: May 17, 2009, 01:33:54 PM »
Rabit,
You give a very good example of a tactical situation, where it is common sense to shoot the nearest target, and you are not the first to do this. I can give you very valid tactical situations where it is NOT common sense to shoot at the nearest, but at a more dangerous target. I hope we can agree there are situation both for and against it.
On your second remark: yes, you are absolutely right, it's even likely this Heavy has more chance of hitting you then the other way around, forgetting the nearest-target rule. It is not about hindering or benefitting, it's about WHY such a rule exists. An answer given is as a way to resemble 'real life', where you would be more inclined to shoot at the nearest target. I have given my reasons why I feel this is not a very good reason and how this can be done in other ways using rules already in existence.
I'm not sure what you are telling with yiour last remark. If you mean that it is difficult to shoot at somebody else when another person is beating the sh!t out of you, ofcourse. This has little to do with the shoot-at-nearest rule per se, but more with what action you take when.

In short, you have not given me a compelling reason to change my view.

Ravenda,
You give a good argument for implentation of the shoot-at-nearest rule. Having said that, I also think you should take a step back and look at a larger picture. Also, I am not sure what you mean with the orange-apples comparison. If you recall this discussion about the Overwatch rule you agree with me, that the errata completely changes the original rule, correct?
You claim this rule forces you to be creative in the movementphase, and I agree with that. You say there is no reason to manoeuvre if this rule should not exists, and there you go wrong IMO. I assume you play other TT wargames beside Necromunda, I do, many of us do. I cannot think of any other game I play where there is such an artificial limitation on chosing your target. And believe me, manoeuvring does occur is those games.
Back to Necromunda: there are many reasons why manoeuvring is a winning action. You yourself already state, that you manoeuvre to get into a better position. I think this is not dependant on this shoot-at-nearest rule; if you are in the open and an opponents model is in +2 cover, I think you will move your model into cover or out of range. Possibly you will move another model(or more) to be in a position to take away this +2 cover on said model. This has nothing to do with this shoot-at-nearest rule, but everything with improving your tactical situation or position. The same goes for positioning to get into HtH combat.
In a gangfight you are moving from the table edge towards buildings and other positions to get your models in a good tactical position: you manoeuvre. Now, it may be that as soon as you are in such position you choose the waiting game, since you can choose at any1 if the shoot-at-nearest rule would not exist. I believe that in general that doctrine looses you the game since you give the initiative to your opponent, never a good thing.
Furthermore, whether you manoeuvre or not is more dependant on the player. I myself prefer a fluid battle, in which I move my models across the table. Usually this works well for me, since I play mostly agile Houses(Escher, Ratskins). Sometimes it works against me, because our group consists of 5 players max, and they know my playingstyle.

So, I hope you agree with me that manoeuvring is not dependant on this shoot-at-nearest rule. It would change the game, we all agree on that. So are there other reasons why the game would suffer if this rule was left out?

Offline Ravendas

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Re: Why 'shoot-at-the-closest/easiest-target'?
« Reply #11 on: May 17, 2009, 02:21:30 PM »
Yeah you are right, there are still reasons to move around on the board. Your main strategy would be to find cover, and to limit the lanes of fire against your gang. I mean if you want to shoot target A, but there are groups of enemies B and C, you would want to find a solid wall between you and B and C, while having clear sight of A.

It's just that with the 'shoot at closest' rule, you are given yet another reason to move around, to hit the sides of their force where you can more easily hit the more dangerous enemy models, or to surround them so that no one is protecting anyone really.

So while there are still reasons to move around without the rule, there are even more reasons with the rule. You have to admit this is one of the bigger rules in the game to just drop, or not notice.

Offline FreeHansje

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Re: Why 'shoot-at-the-closest/easiest-target'?
« Reply #12 on: May 17, 2009, 09:48:14 PM »
Quote
So while there are still reasons to move around without the rule, there are even more reasons with the rule. You have to admit this is one of the bigger rules in the game to just drop, or not notice.

You are absolutely right. This rule forces upon you an extra variable in the movementphase, but at a cost: you hardly have to think at all in the shootingphase... And yes, this shoot-at-nearest rule is a rule with a big impact, so dropping it would have a tremendous impact on the game as it is. But you gain something as well, both in the movementphase and in the shootingphase. In the movingphase you can never think your important character is save because you carefully positioned her behind a meatshield. You have to take into account the possibility she can be shot at, nomatter what. This influences your decisions during movement.
At the same time you have more decisions in the shootingphase: not brainlessly targeting the nearest enemy, but considering if this 5+ shot at the leader is preferable over the 3+ shot at the ganger in front of him, because next turn this leader is in range with his meltagun... Another decision can be to use your Heavy Bolter to take a shot, but thereby revealing your Heavy out of hiding, which makes him a target for the grenadelauncher, although he is far behind the frontline.

So yes, dropping this rule, or modifying it would change the game in a rather big way, but it opens up a range of more interesting options. Agree?

Offline Martini Henrie

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Re: Why 'shoot-at-the-closest/easiest-target'?
« Reply #13 on: May 17, 2009, 10:10:09 PM »
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So while there are still reasons to move around without the rule, there are even more reasons with the rule. You have to admit this is one of the bigger rules in the game to just drop, or not notice.

You are absolutely right. This rule forces upon you an extra variable in the movementphase, but at a cost: you hardly have to think at all in the shootingphase... And yes, this shoot-at-nearest rule is a rule with a big impact, so dropping it would have a tremendous impact on the game as it is. But you gain something as well, both in the movementphase and in the shootingphase. In the movingphase you can never think your important character is save because you carefully positioned her behind a meatshield. You have to take into account the possibility she can be shot at, nomatter what. This influences your decisions during movement.
At the same time you have more decisions in the shootingphase: not brainlessly targeting the nearest enemy, but considering if this 5+ shot at the leader is preferable over the 3+ shot at the ganger in front of him, because next turn this leader is in range with his meltagun... Another decision can be to use your Heavy Bolter to take a shot, but thereby revealing your Heavy out of hiding, which makes him a target for the grenadelauncher, although he is far behind the frontline.

So yes, dropping this rule, or modifying it would change the game in a rather big way, but it opens up a range of more interesting options. Agree?

I can see you are quite determined, and that you are making some fair points.  The thing is, the shooting phase isn't really a thinking phase.  You're positioning and movement dictates what you are going to fire at, for instance a flanking move that exposes their heavy is far more satisfying than just getting a LOS on it and plinking. 

The rule brings in team dynamics as well as luck, for example how many gangers am I going to need to shoot at the juve to pin it before I can take on the heavy?  Due to the amount of models on the table and the fluid nature of the game it should be possible to isolate or split gangs to your advantage, if your opponant doesn't catch on.

I still am not seeing any valid reason to remove what is a core rule of the game, despite you protests.  As I've said before, if you want to take it out as a 'House rule' in your group that's fine (and this flexibility is also part of the appeal of the game).  Don't expect the wider community to accept it without good reason.
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Offline Ravendas

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Re: Why 'shoot-at-the-closest/easiest-target'?
« Reply #14 on: May 18, 2009, 03:59:17 AM »
Just like Henrie says, the shooting phase isn't supposed to be the thinking phase really.

I keep re-writing that start of a paragraph, but just keep rephrasing what Henrie is saying. Just pretend I'm nodding at everything he is saying.