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Suppressive fire


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How do you handle it? Autofire rules mention it, but it's not defined as such. We can assume a contemporary or future setting. Here's how my group is handling it:

Mooks under suppressive fire (SF) must go prone/take cover or take damage. Uses a full clip, can cover a large area of map with no chance to hit unless mooks don't dive. Anybody who doesn't have a name dies if hit. Only usable by weapons capable of burst fire.

 

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here is how I plan to use it (we shall see how it goes) if one is doing suppressive fire. It should have been declared in an earlier round. The first round it's like normal fire.
whoeer is doing suppressive fire is targeting a zone (where suspected enemy might be behind cover) and roll their attack (and spend their ammo) normally, maybe using burst fire if they have it...

If anyone is in the zone and leave cover, they are automatically subject of the attack

I guess they should be able to peek.. mm.. not sure.. .maybe it's a hard combine evade and perception or attack roll... mmm....

Edited by Lloyd Dupont
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Suppressive fire is one of those things I have absolutely no idea how to handle well, sincerely. Something I strongly dislike but can't ignore.

To me, it sounds like a modern-day Fireball, an area of effect attack that deals lots of damage to anyone that doesn't make its saving throw Dodge roll for cover.

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Revolution handles it super easy... :)

The concept about suppressive fire is that it forces you to stay down rather than killing you. It is NOT necessarily an area fire, although it can be. In short, its goal is to prevent the target from firing at all while someone else closes in. In a game with action points (Mythras or RD100) it should burn out the target actions. In standard BRP it is not so easy to emulate it. Perhaps a cumulative penalty to the target to hit chance per successful attack. Or a Damage vs POW resistance roll to make attacks impossible.

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My house rule is some variation of  "volume of fire in to interdicted space" vs POW of each individual in the interdicted volume: if the suppression fire wins, the individual MUST duck / remain  behind available cover until the shooters next action.  Depending on genre / setting / style may be different details, but that's the core principle. Any weapon capable of multiple (3+ shots) per round can be used.

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42 minutes ago, Lloyd Dupont said:

I dont like the *must duck* I rather say, if you leave cover you are automatically hit.... (before you can do anything!)

The effect is psychological, Lloyd (hence the POW). Suppressive fire scares you, it does not paint a target on your chest. Think of it as a failed SAN roll: it does not make the Mythos more likely to hit you, it just freezes you in place, unable to throw your dynamite stick.

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The primary goal of suppressive fire is to allow move-and-fire actions like bounding overwatch or initial troop placement. Suppressive fire forces the enemy to take cover from the fire of group 1 while group 2 moves on the battlefield. How do you determine how much area a SF attack can cover? my rule of thumb for burst fire is that the targets must be within 3 hexes (~10m). SF doesn't require (much) aiming, and thus should be able to cover a larger area.

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5 hours ago, NickMiddleton said:

My house rule is some variation of  "volume of fire in to interdicted space" vs POW of each individual in the interdicted volume: if the suppression fire wins, the individual MUST duck / remain  behind available cover until the shooters next action.  Depending on genre / setting / style may be different details, but that's the core principle. Any weapon capable of multiple (3+ shots) per round can be used.

How are you determining "volume of fire..."? Number of rounds... rolled damage... vs POW on the resistance table or somehow an opposed roll?

SDLeary

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3 hours ago, SDLeary said:

How are you determining "volume of fire..."? Number of rounds... rolled damage... vs POW on the resistance table or somehow an opposed roll?

SDLeary

Depends on how crunchy / specific I’m dialling the rules (which in turn is a function of genre / feel I am trying to evoke).  I think an early version is up at basicroleplaying.net...

This is how I ran in in the late 1990’s, early ‘00’s with Elric!/CoC 5e:

Self-loading weapons (those that reload themselves after discharging, so all automatic weapons and revolvers) are capable of Area Fire. This has little to do with the firer’s skill per se as it involves simply filling a volume of space with shots, rather than aiming at specific targets. The intent is keep opponents behind cover and thus unable to shoot either at the firer or her comrades. Single shot weapons with at least 5 rounds in the magazine can be used by an expert character to perform area fire but doing so expends ten rounds (or empties the weapon if it contains less than ten rounds). Fully automatic weapons can be used by any character to perform Area Fire, expending as many rounds as the GM deems appropriate to the weapon within reason: for most weapons from WWI machine guns to modern assault weapons I’d suggest between 15 and 30 rounds, with up to another five deducted from the magazine as additional “wasted” shots for a typical combat rounds Area Fire. As with burst fire, wasted shots are lost from the magazine, but are not considered in factoring chances of hitting targets etc, they are simply an overhead on the rounds expended caused by the firing technique. Any character in the area fired upon must overcome the number of rounds fired (halve the number of shots if the firer is moving) with their POW or immediately (on the DEX rank the Area Fire occurred) duck behind cover and remain there for the rest of the round, losing their actions (PC’s may move behind cover at the GM’s discretion). GM’s should allow a small bonus to this LUCK roll for characters with firearms combat experience. Characters subjected to Area Fire can CHOOSE to duck behind cover, even if they win the resistance roll; either  way, such characters may still act normally in the round, but are penalised in DEX rank by -5 (possible 10, depending on the GM’s ruling on the circumstances e.g. how far/dramatically they have to dive to reach cover). Any character NOT behind hard cover must make a Luck roll for every group of five rounds or fraction thereof (per TEN rounds or fraction thereof if the firer has moved this round) fired: success indicates they have not been hit at all; a failure indicates a single hit and a fumble a hit by 1d5 rounds.”

Taken from: https://basicroleplaying.net/basic-roleplaying-workshop/basic-roleplaying-additions-supplements/rules-law-two/ - these days I’d probably simplify things further.

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M-Space has this Special Effect, which is basically suppressive fire:

Quote

Pin Down. This firearm special effect forces the target to make an Opposed Test of their Willpower* against the attacker's hit roll. Failure means that the target hunkers down behind whatever cover is available and cannot return fire on their next Turn. Note that Pin Down works even if no actual damage is inflicted on the target (perhaps due to a successful evasion or shots striking their cover instead), as it relies on the intimidation effect of gunfire passing very close by. Although a pinned victim is unable to fire back for the requisite time, they can perform other actions provided they don't expose themselves to fire in the process, such as crawling away to new cover, communicating with others, reloading a weapon and so on.

--M-Space, p.65

 

* in M-Space Willpower is a skill which begins at POWx2

BRP doesn't have Special Effects, which you gain from a difference in success levels between attacker and defender. However you could have a BRP attacker announce a Pin Down attack in their declaration. For each defender with lower DEX rank in the attacker's line of fire, make a check as described above. This costs one clip of ammunition, regardless of the outcome for regular firearms. For weapons designed for this kind of thing like rapid fire miniguns etc, you could have the attacker make a Luck roll to avoid running out of ammunition for each round of 'Pin Down' fire.

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20 hours ago, NickMiddleton said:

This is how I ran in in the late 1990’s, early ‘00’s with Elric!/CoC 5e:

Self-loading weapons (those that reload themselves after discharging, so all automatic weapons and revolvers) are capable of Area Fire.

That is a very strange definition of "self-loading weapons". No body that I know of considers common* revolvers to be "self-loading". They require either manual cocking of the hammer -- which also rotates the cylinder bringing the next chamber into alignment with the barrel (single-action mode), or cocking/rotation as an effect of pulling the trigger (double-action mode).

Semi-auto weapons are those in which, from whatever is considered the "ready" stage (minimum requirement for those that fire from a closed bolt is that a round is in the chamber -- may be single-action [hammer cocked by action that also loaded initial round in chamber], striker-fired [trigger needed to operated spring-loaded firing pin], double-action [typically first shot-only, and usually after having decocked the hammer for safety]; the rare "fire from open bolt" requires the bolt to be, well, open -- pulling the trigger releases the bolt to close, whereupon it picks up/loads a round, slams shut firing the round, then recoils back to open). Fully auto weapons are those which repeat the cycle so long as the trigger is held down (semi-auto have a trigger disconnector, requiring one to release the trigger to reconnect to the rest of the firing mechanism).

 

* Webley did make a semi-auto revolver in the early 1900s. The barrel and cylinder assembly slid back&forth, cocking the hammer, while pin(s) on the non-moving frame ride in grooves in the cylinder to rotate it to the next position.

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