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Aircraft Mechanics?
Attacking from the rear (Heavy Vehicles) & Airplanes posté le [23/01/2019] à 10:48

Hi all,


Sometime ago my buddy Eclo and I had a game where I wondered about the +2 bonus when attacking from the rear in the case of Heavy Vehicles.


Now, does this apply to attacks by Aircraft too?


For example, an aircraft could perfectly choose to shoot at the rear edge of a heavy vehicle. I'm guessing it doesn't get the bonus though; aircraft are already very powerful.


☠Heroes System Belgium Represent ☠

Attacking from the rear (Heavy Vehicles) & Airplanes posté le [23/01/2019] à 11:35

I don't have the HoBR rulebook with me right now, so I cannot say if the rules say anything about it. And I haven't yet used the HoBR aircraft rules in a game, so I don't actually remember if I have even read them propely.


But other rules systems consider the aircraft attacking the Top armour of the tank, which is thinner than Front or Side armour, so I could see the +2 modifier to apply.


But that is just a common sense. Tanks are vulnerable against attacks from air.


This is supposed to be a joyful occasion. Lets not bicker and argue about who killed who.

Attacking from the rear (Heavy Vehicles) & Airplanes posté le [23/01/2019] à 12:01

Quote from bartdevuyst on [23/01/2019] à 10:48

Now, does this apply to attacks by Aircraft too?


Does this mean you are bringing an aircraft to tonight's game ? 😉


Attacking from the rear (Heavy Vehicles) & Airplanes posté le [23/01/2019] à 12:05

Quote from Eclo on [23/01/2019] à 12:01

Does this mean you are bringing an aircraft to tonight's game ? 😉


I won't. I promise. 😎


☠Heroes System Belgium Represent ☠

Attacking from the rear (Heavy Vehicles) & Airplanes posté le [23/01/2019] à 12:55

Quote from bartdevuyst on [23/01/2019] à 12:05

I won't. I promise. 😎


And I promise not to bring Heavy Vehicles 😉


Attacking from the rear (Heavy Vehicles) & Airplanes posté le [23/01/2019] à 19:08

I now had time to check the rulebook and this is my take of the aircraft rules:


– Aircraft always have Clear LOS to everything on the battlefield that is not inside a building.

– Enemy units that do not have limited range can always target the aircraft and have Clear LOS to it.

– Aircraft can only fire its weapon when given order.

– Aircraft does not exist on the map at any specific point, thus:

— it doesn't draw LOS from specific direction. No direction dependent modifiers apply (Strong front armour or weak rear armour do not apply)

— it doesn't count squares for range, thus it cannot be in short range (within 7 squares). So Long Range modifier of -2 always apply unless the Firing unit has Hawkeye ability.


This is supposed to be a joyful occasion. Lets not bicker and argue about who killed who.

Attacking from the rear (Heavy Vehicles) & Airplanes posté le [24/01/2019] à 08:24

Quote from Colhammer on [23/01/2019] à 19:08

— it doesn't draw LOS from specific direction. No direction dependent modifiers apply (Strong front armour or weak rear armour do not apply)


One can argue (and the rules don't say otherwise) that a plane can choose his angle of attack before making an attack run (just because they are not represented on the board). I would say that they can profit from the +2 for rear armour.


Quote from Colhammer on [23/01/2019] à 19:08

— it doesn't count squares for range, thus it cannot be in short range (within 7 squares). So Long Range modifier of -2 always apply unless the Firing unit has Hawkeye ability.


Planes make strafing attacks, they fly over the board shooting at a target before disappearing. So why the long distance penalty ? There's nothing in the rules to about that. I would say they always shoot at short range (no penalty)


One thing about airplanes I always wondered : Can a unit on the battlefield shoot at an airplane when that airplane has no order token this round. The idea is that the airplane is so far away units cannot see or shoot at it, until it makes an attack run (has an order token). Would seem logical, no ?


Attacking from the rear (Heavy Vehicles) & Airplanes posté le [24/01/2019] à 09:17

There are very little rules in the rulebook about the aircraft.


There is no rules saying from which direction the aircraft attack. I take that to mean they don't attack from any spesific direction. Thus they do not get bonuses from attacking from particular direction (rear).


The aircraft does not exist in the map at any point of the game. So you cannot count the range from firing unit to the target (wether the aircraft is the attacker or the target). This means you cannot count the squares if the aircraft is within 7 squares (the short range). Thus it is outside of 7 squares. And that means it is in long range.


Remember, troopers with Limited range cannot fire at the aircraft at all. Thus, the aircraft is never in Limited range as far as counting the squares in concerned.


Your interpretation is that the aircraft is always out of Limited range, but still withing short range?


The opposing troops can always fire at the aircraft if they have order token and they choose to use the order to fire at the aircraft. They always have a clear LOS to it as long as they are not inside a building. The only thing that stops them from firing at the aircraft is if they have a Limited range.

What is the range to the aircraft in case of ground fire towards it?

You cannot count the squares as the aircraft is not in the map, but it still is in LOS.

Again my interpretation is that since you cannot count the squares to see if the aircraft is within 7 squares, the aircraft cannot be within 7 squares. Thus, it is in Long range.


There is no point talking about strafing when there is no rules for strafing in the rulebook.


The only thing the rulebook tells us is that the aircraft exists in the battle, but not on the map (i.e. it is somewhere over the map.

The aircraft ALWAYS has Clear LOS to targets not inside buildings and the enemy ALWAYS has Clear LOS to the aircraft if it is not inside a building.

The only mention of the range is that the enemy with a Limited range weapon cannot shoot at the aircraft.


This is supposed to be a joyful occasion. Lets not bicker and argue about who killed who.

Attacking from the rear (Heavy Vehicles) & Airplanes posté le [24/01/2019] à 09:27

Quote from Colhammer on [24/01/2019] à 09:17

There are very little rules in the rulebook about the aircraft.


Exactly… So all the things you say, just like all the things I say are just assumptions about how we interpret the few rules there are about aircraft.


So let's agree to disagree until we get an official ruling.


Attacking from the rear (Heavy Vehicles) & Airplanes posté le [24/01/2019] à 09:29

I went through the counters and found the SM psychic power Smite has Limited range of 8. All the various weapons with Limited range had range 4 or 6 limit.


Since the Smite CANNOT hit the aircraft because of the Limited range, the aircraft HAS TO be at undefined range that is BEYOND range 8. Thus Long range.


This is supposed to be a joyful occasion. Lets not bicker and argue about who killed who.

Attacking from the rear (Heavy Vehicles) & Airplanes posté le [24/01/2019] à 09:44

Perhaps this picture explains a bit more what I mean


The dive and attack happens when the airplanes order token is activated.

(picture is a Stuka diving run)


Attacking from the rear (Heavy Vehicles) & Airplanes posté le [24/01/2019] à 09:57

I know what strafing or dive bombing is.


There are no rules about those. The attacks the aircraft do are made exactly the same way as any other attacks in the game:


Check LOS: Aircraft has Clear LOS to ground target and ground target has Clear LOS to aircraft (as long as the ground unit is not inside a building)


Check Range: Since the aircraft does not exist on the map as a counter, this is impossible to determine. The only rule pertaining this is that ground unit with Limited range cannot attack the aircraft.

This is where your imagined Strafing/dive bombing would happen. But since the aircraft counter never enters the map (there is no aircraft counter!), we still cannot determine the range (other than it is not inside the Limited range of 8 squares).


Check target orientation: Heavy vehicles and some support weapons have orientation that matters (strong front armour, weak rear armour or suppression if support weapon team is attacked from behind). Since the aircraft counter does not exist in the map, we cannot determine from which side of the Heavy vehicle the attack occurs. Thus I wouldn't use either the Strong front armour bonus nor the weak rear armour penalty to this attack. This is simply an attack from undetermined direction.


Roll the dice and assign any damage: This part works as normal


This is supposed to be a joyful occasion. Lets not bicker and argue about who killed who.

Attacking from the rear (Heavy Vehicles) & Airplanes posté le [24/01/2019] à 10:32

Quote from Colhammer on [24/01/2019] à 09:57

I know what strafing or dive bombing is.


There are no rules about those. The attacks the aircraft do are made exactly the same way as any other attacks in the game:


okay… there clearly is a miscommunication… I am not inventing rules for dive bombing and stuff like that or saying you don't know what dive bombing is. Please, I never said that or want to do that.


the ONLY thing I wanted to point out is that airplanes are flying high (out of limited range) and swoop in to make an attack (similar to the picture) before flying high again.

So the attack can (according to me) happen from any side and from close range with the current, few aircraft rules still valid.


So let's again agree to disagree and wait for the official ruling and until then let's all play with aircraft the way we think is correct. 🙂


Attacking from the rear (Heavy Vehicles) & Airplanes posté le [24/01/2019] à 10:40

So what are your feelings about ground forces attacking the aircraft? Short range or Long range?


You want the aircraft always attack in Short range and choose the side of the vehicle they want to attack? I can get behind that, I just don't think the Rules As Written (RAW) support that, but it is "logical" to how the aircrafts operate.


This is supposed to be a joyful occasion. Lets not bicker and argue about who killed who.

Attacking from the rear (Heavy Vehicles) & Airplanes posté le [24/01/2019] à 10:52

Quote from Colhammer on [24/01/2019] à 10:40

So what are your feelings about ground forces attacking the aircraft? Short range or Long range?


same as the aircraft… both short or both long, just to even things out


Quote from Colhammer on [24/01/2019] à 10:40

You want the aircraft always attack in Short range and choose the side of the vehicle they want to attack? I can get behind that, I just don't think the Rules As Written (RAW) support that, but it is "logical" to how the aircrafts operate.


The RAW may not support that, but they also don't contradict it according to me. It all boils down to the fact there aren't many RAW for airplanes.


I'm anxious to find out about the airplane rules from HoS, maybe they will clear things up.


Attacking from the rear (Heavy Vehicles) & Airplanes posté le [24/01/2019] à 11:02

Yes, I feel the HoS rules will greatly expand upon the HoBR aircraft rules.


Hope we will be seeing them soonish.


This is supposed to be a joyful occasion. Lets not bicker and argue about who killed who.

Attacking from the rear (Heavy Vehicles) & Airplanes posté le [24/01/2019] à 11:11

Come to think about the range, I feel the ground fire against the aircraft should be done at Long range.


Standard Light vehicle has to try to put LOS obscuring/blocking terrain between it and the opponents units to stay alive.


Aircrafts (light vehicles also) do not have any opportunity to remain hidden behind terrain (the LOS is always considered Clear), so their only defence is being at Long range.


If every shot against aircraft is taken at Short range, the Aircraft won't stay up in the air for long… They are too fragile for that.


This is supposed to be a joyful occasion. Lets not bicker and argue about who killed who.

Attacking from the rear (Heavy Vehicles) & Airplanes posté le [24/01/2019] à 19:40

Quote from Eclo on [24/01/2019] à 08:24


Quote from Colhammer on [23/01/2019] à 19:08

— it doesn't draw LOS from specific direction. No direction dependent modifiers apply (Strong front armour or weak rear armour do not apply)


One can argue (and the rules don't say otherwise) that a plane can choose his angle of attack before making an attack run (just because they are not represented on the board). I would say that they can profit from the +2 for rear armour.


You should never justify anything based on what the rules do not restrict you from doing. The rules don't specifically exclude you from simply declaring "I automatically win because it is Thursday".


The rules give you the mechanics that you can do. You can try and understand how they interact in various corner cases like Aircraft.


Let's try this:

– Aircraft are "off board", they do not have a token physically on the board.

– Aircraft always have Clear LoS to EVERY unit except those inside a building.

– Heavy Vehicles block LoS to anything trying to shoot past them.


Now, to me this means that the aircraft is nowhere at ground level — they are off the board. Given how Dominant Position works with regard to LoS and the fact that aircraft are off board (and that they are aircraft since words have meaning) it would be easy to extrapolate they are above the board. That is why any unit that does not have Limited Range can shoot at them… from anywhere on the board.


Now let's cover the bit about attacking a Heavy Vehicles (HV) from the rear. Since HV's block LoS, if the Aircraft can shoot at any one of 4 infantry to the left, right, front, and back of an HV with Clear LoS, then the Aircraft is neither behind the HV, in front of the HV, or on any particular side. Since it is not behind the HV because it can shoot at things in front of the HV, then its LoS does not cross the HV's rear.


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Remember: If you are not willing to shell your own position you are not willing to win!

Attacking from the rear (Heavy Vehicles) & Airplanes posté le [24/01/2019] à 19:41

Quote from Eclo on [24/01/2019] à 09:44

The dive and attack happens when the airplanes order token is activated.

(picture is a Stuka diving run)



That looks to me like the bomb is hitting the top of the tank.


Edit to add: Is that inverse loop really how a Stuka attacks? I always figured they just started high, and as they approached the target just dove and released the bomb. The inverted loop seems needlessly complicated.


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Remember: If you are not willing to shell your own position you are not willing to win!

Attacking from the rear (Heavy Vehicles) & Airplanes posté le [24/01/2019] à 20:27

I have absolutely no idea how WW2 dive-bombers behave IRL, but that loop seems like an effective way to keep your eyes on the target the whole way in. When you are upside down, you can look "up" and see the tank you are targeting. Then follow it with your eyes during the whole dive.


But as I said, I know nothing about WW2 plane tactics.


This is supposed to be a joyful occasion. Lets not bicker and argue about who killed who.

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