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Cover for friendly Trooper vs BS Attack into CC

Discussion in 'Rules' started by Teslarod, Feb 23, 2021 at 11:49 AM.

  1. Teslarod

    Teslarod The Squeeze has not been Sqouze

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    Stumbled across this interaction last week and while it seems solvable I'd still assume it sparks some opinions.

    If you hit your own Trooper with a BS Attack into CC, is the DAM modified by Partial Cover?

    This is going to be a tad bit complex so bear with me.
    • Nothing prevents the target of a BS Attack into CC from claiming Cover. On the contrary - BS Attack into Close Combat explicitly mentions Cover still works for the enemy.

      "BS Attack Into a Close Combat

      If a BS Attack is declared against an enemy Trooper that is engaged in CC Combat a -6 MOD must be applied for each Allied Trooper engaged in the CC (in addition to any MODs for Range, Cover, Mimetism... for the target)."

    • In comes the second N4 change, all misses hit the friendly trooper, rather than just all misses caused by the -6 MOD as in N3.

      "Every failed BS Attack Roll will hit the Allied Trooper, forcing them to perform a Saving Roll. If there are several Allied Troopers locked in that Close Combat, then the Trooper’s player chooses which one of them receives each hit."

    • On to Partial Cover Rules:
      "If the target is in Partial Cover, the attacker will apply a -3 MOD to their BS Attack Roll and the target of the BS Attack reduces the Attack Damage by 3 for Saving Roll purposes, if the Roll was necessary."

    RAW the answer is no.
    BS Attacks can inherently only be declared on enemies "The user employs his BS Attribute (or Attribute specified by the weapon) to fire upon one or more enemies."
    BS Attack Into Close Combat doesn't change the target, it just forces your friendly trooper to make a Saving Roll.
    The important part - Partial Cover only reduces the Attack Damage against the target of the BS Attack and we haven't made the friendly trooper the target anywhere.


    I'm not arguing if this makes sense.
    It likely doesn't have to. After all your friendly trooper could be in Total Cover relative to the shooter and still get hit. Not applying any Cover at all makes sense in that regard.
    Anything I'm missing here?
     
    #1 Teslarod, Feb 23, 2021 at 11:49 AM
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2021 at 11:59 AM
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  2. Mahtamori

    Mahtamori Well-Known Member

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    Being the target of an attack seems consistently used throughout the rules to be decided by one simple thing - whether you're affected by an attack or not. Being the intended target doesn't actually seem to matter. I think when taken as a whole it's perfectly reasonable interpretation, and in fact highly likely it's also the intended interpretation, for the friendly trooper to apply Cover in this case. However, I'd say it's less clear whether it is cover gained from their own position or that of their opponent.
     
  3. Teslarod

    Teslarod The Squeeze has not been Sqouze

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    I checked that angle.
    Doesn't hold up.
    a) You can't purposefully target a friendly on purpose anywhere involving BS Attacks. BS Attacks straight up only allow enemies.
    b) when i.e. a template hits an ally, the wording is always "cannot affect" not target.
    c) if you allow Partial Cover to work, why would Total Cover not work?
    d) There are several ways the rules could have been written to make Partial Cover apply, including outright stating so.
    Instead we got this:
    "Every failed BS Attack Roll will hit the Allied Trooper, forcing them to perform a Saving Roll."
    It's as simple a fix as calling it "the Saving Roll" rather than "a Saving Roll" (which would have kept the enemy trooper the "owner", and keeps all MODs related to him).
    But that simply isn't there.
    e) We could potentially claim "lost in translation". Don't know, thought we got rid of referencing Spanish rules with.

    It's not tidy, that's for sure. And I'd like an answer no matter which way it goes based on actual rules, or in lieu of that the rules team. This came up in a discussion, not on the game table, so I don't have any skin in the game. Both cases are fine by me, it's the "which one and why?" that concerns me, not "which one do you like best".
     
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  4. Mahtamori

    Mahtamori Well-Known Member

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    No, I disagree with that. Both your interpretation and that you actually checked my angle. You seem to have checked if it is possible to attack a friendly trooper and then draw an equivalence to targeting them, my angle is that the rules use the word "target" in equal measure as "being affected by". Regardless of which, here's a more complete walk through of my angle that doesn't rely on what words the rules seem to accidentally swap:

    1.
    A target is defined as "Game element capable of being targeted by Attacks, and effects from Skills or Equipment. "
    As such, a target is not determined by whether someone is actively performing an action on the game element or not. Thus when an attack has a target, it is sufficient that the attack has an affect on something that is a target.

    2.
    The rules against attacking friendly or neutral troopers do not rely on the word "target", they rely on that an attack is "affecting" them and interacting with a melee combat is already puncturing a hole in that rule.


    3.
    Even when an effect actually does affect a friendly or neutral target, there are still examples where the effect is allowed to go through even if the target is not an enemy, such as MediKits and Smoke Grenades.

    4.
    And at this point I know I'm relying on MediKits a lot to provide examples, but consider also that even though the MediKit is a BS Attack targeting (bold emphasis from the rules) a friendly trooper, you still apply Partial Cover.

    In conclusion.
    (Adding this post script) Whether an attack is capable of affecting a target, you need to check whether the attack has a negative effect such as damage and whether there is a rule that would allow the effect to go through regardless. If it does, then the target is also a target of the attack and as such apply all conditions, protections, and consequences of being the target of that attack.
    Since interacting with a melee in this case allows the effect of the attack to be passed on to a friendly trooper, that means the friendly trooper is a target affected by an attack and would gain the protections that cover would grant them.

    So, I think the only real controversy is whether the friendly trooper's cover is decided by the intended target's cover status versus the shooting trooper or their own. I'm inclined to say that it is the intended target's cover which dictates the attack's DAM, (further post script edit:) but only because Cover seems determined once and I could be off on this one.

    (Post script edit number 2:) I can see a small sliver of a chance that cover is denied on the grounds that the attack when passed on does not require LOF, but I think that's a very weak argument since the attack does in fact require LOF to the initial intended target.
     
    #4 Mahtamori, Feb 23, 2021 at 1:36 PM
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2021 at 1:44 PM
  5. QueensGambit

    QueensGambit SecUnit

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    That's debatable, I think.

    The general rule comes from the BS Attack skill which states that it's used "to fire upon one or more enemies." No mention of either "target" or "affect," and the wording is generally vague and unhelpful here.

    There is also the Attack label rule which states ""Remember that you cannot declare attacks against allies or Neutral elements." Despite the word "remember," this seems to be the clearest statement of the general rule, but again, it doesn't use either the words "target" or "affect."

    The rules for "Template Weapons, and Allied and Neutral Troopers" state "Declaring Attacks against Allied or Neutral Troopers is not allowed, nor is it allowed to perform Attacks that may affect them, unless the Template lacks a Damage Attribute value and does not inflict States." This imposes a second restriction - in addition to not being allowed to declare attacks against allies, you're also not allowed to perform attacks which "may affect" allies. However, it's not clear whether the second restriction applies to all attacks, or only to attacks with template weapons. Arguably, if it applied to all attacks, it would prohibit shooting into cc entirely. (The counterargument would be that the specific rule allowing shooting into cc overrides the general rule prohibiting attacks that might affect allies).

    The template weapons rules consistently refer to a Main Target and to other affected troopers. It's been consistently ruled that the other affected troopers are also targets, although the rules don't explicitly say that. It's not clear whether those rulings would also apply to an allied trooper that is hit by friendly fire due to a failed shot into cc.

    I think it's an Unanswered Question.
     
  6. Mahtamori

    Mahtamori Well-Known Member

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    Well, if the hit causes a saving roll and the saving roll fails, then "the most common consequence is the loss of one point from the target's Wounds/STR," (emphasis added). There's more places in the rules that rely on the word "target" than just Cover, and if a trooper is determined to not have Cover because they are not a target, that also can potentially have further consequences.

    As such I think it's safe enough to conclude that you either have to determine that the unit hit by the attack is a target, or you need to show a rule that allows a non-target to be affected in ways that only targets are affected in.

    The fact that the rules don't explicitly state that friendly or neutral units can't be intentionally targeted (except in the case of templates) is a bit of an upsetting discovery, though...
     
  7. Teslarod

    Teslarod The Squeeze has not been Sqouze

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    For context:

    Target is mainly a LoF related term.
    https://infinitythewiki.com/Line_of_Fire

    but also used when LoF can be avoided by Traits, Skills etc

    Targetless
    This weapon utilizes a Special Ammunition capable of firing without designating an enemy as a target.

    Speculative Fire:
    The user may make a single BS Attack against a target outside their LoF.

    BS Attack:
    Be able to draw Line of Fire (LoF) to the target of the BS Attack, unless the BS Weapon, Skill or piece of Equipment used doesn't require LoF.
    ...
    The user employs his BS Attribute (or Attribute specified by the weapon) to fire upon one or more enemies.


    I'm well aware a Medikit can target a friendly trooper (it in fact can not target enemy troopers at all).
    A Medikit is however unrelated und not affliated in any form with BS Attacks and its own Skill. What it is is a BS Weapon, which is why it has rangebands.

    BS Attacks always require a target, which can be something that's not an enemy via Spec Fire or Targetless. However friendly templates get cancelled automatically if you hit your buddies, including N4 Explode.

    The only types of BS Attacks that can potentially hit your own troopers in a CC are exclusively non templates and require a clear target that can't be anything else than an enemy.

    /edit: this brings up the interesting question if you can shoot use a Medikit as a BS Weapon into a CC. It's a separate Skill.
    This only comes up on NWI troops in N4, since Unconscious models can no longer trigger Engaged.
    Would be interesting if you could shoot in a CC with 2 troopers in NWI and upon missing heal or kill the enemy.

    I don't think that's how it works though. Since it's not a BS Attack targeting an enemy it neither suffers the -6 for Engaged, nor does it hit the enemy on a miss.
     
    #7 Teslarod, Feb 23, 2021 at 2:49 PM
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2021 at 4:31 PM
  8. QueensGambit

    QueensGambit SecUnit

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    That's a good point. And specific ammo rules refer to what happens when the target fails its saving roll(s). Arguably this means that any time an attack causes a trooper to make a saving roll, that trooper is a target of the attack.

    I think this is the best argument so far, and will adopt the provisional opinion that the cover rules do apply to the friendly in cc :-)

    I think it would follow that you determine partial cover based on the friendly trooper, not the enemy who was fired at. The rule is "a target is in Partial Cover when they are in contact with a piece of scenery that partially obscures their Silhouette." If we're reasoning that the friendly trooper is a "target" then it should also be the "target" which we check whether its silhouette is partially obscured.

    It does create a weird situation where the friendly could be in total cover but not partial cover. If the trooper is fully hidden behind a piece of scenery, but not in s contact with that piece of scenery. Seems a little counter-intuitive, but consistent with the wording of the rules. In fact troopers very often have total cover but not partial cover from one another - it just never matters because if you're in total cover, the enemy can't shoot at you so it doesn't matter that you don't have partial cover. The shooting-into-cc scenario is the only one I can think of where a trooper can hit an enemy who is in total cover without using a template.
     
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  9. Teslarod

    Teslarod The Squeeze has not been Sqouze

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    Counter argument:


    EXPLOSIVE (EXP) AMMUNITION
    Roll
    • After a successful attack using Explosive (EXP) Ammunition, the target must make three Saving Rolls per impact suffered.
    Friendly Fire from shooting into a CC is explicitly not a successful attack.

    Every failed BS Attack Roll will hit the Allied Trooper, forcing them to perform a Saving Roll. If there are several Allied Troopers locked in that Close Combat, then the Trooper’s player chooses which one of them receives each hit.

    The reference to ammunition does not hold up.
    On the contrary, it affirms that the BS Attack did not hit the target.
     
  10. Mahtamori

    Mahtamori Well-Known Member

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    Did you just counter-argue yourself? You were the one who brought up ammo as an argument after all...

    It's a BS Attack. All MODs and rules applicable to BS Attacks are applicable to MediKits since it states that "If the user passes a BS Attack Roll, applying the corresponding MODs". From the FAQ:

    Do Skills that let you perform a 'BS Attack Roll' (for example Intuitive Attack and Speculative Attack), or have the BS Attack Label, count as a BS Attack for MODs? For example if the Trooper has 'BS Attack (+1 Damage)' or 'BS Attack (AP)'. Yes.
     
  11. Mahtamori

    Mahtamori Well-Known Member

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    Aye, I agree, but the wording for Total Cover has changed cleverly to simply disallow you from declaring that unit as a target if you use an attack that requires LOF. (At least my memory tells me it was less clever in N3 in that way)

    Incidental damage like this will still be perfectly fine mechanically :)
     
  12. Teslarod

    Teslarod The Squeeze has not been Sqouze

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    You brought up a correllation in between getting hit causing the target to suffer the effects of ammunition.
    Your interpretation hinges on
    missing the actual target,
    called target in this precise interaction in the rules,
    somehow making the target not the target, but turning your own trooper into the target.

    I find that hard to follow, sorry.
    Again this is about what the rules say, not about what I think makes sense or not.
    Did you miss the "count as BS Attack for MODs" or what's the issue here?
    Medkits obviously aren't literally BS Attacks in every way. BS Attacks can't shoot allied troopers and can shoot enemies.

    Turns out it wouldn't matter for the case at hand anyway - shooting into CC.
    Similar to how Mimetism only works on enemies, the -6 MOD for shooting into CC only works if you're targeting enemies. Shooting Medkits at your own guys doesn't qualify for either (Edited the relevant part in my last post to avoid confusion).
     
    #12 Teslarod, Feb 23, 2021 at 4:35 PM
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2021 at 4:47 PM
  13. QueensGambit

    QueensGambit SecUnit

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    Huh, interesting. Normal ammo doesn't use the "successful attack" language, but the other ammos do.

    Of course, if a miss on the intended target/hit on friendly troop doesn't count as a "successful attack," then we wouldn't apply the special ammo effects at all. So if you have a Morlock locked in CC with my TAG, I can shoot at the Morlock with a missile launcher. If I hit, your Morlock takes three AP saves, but if I miss, my TAG only takes "a Saving Roll" per the BS Attack Into a Close Combat rule. The TAG won't suffer the effects of EXP ammo since those effects are only applied "after a successful attack."

    Assuming the intention is in fact that the friendly trooper suffers the effects of the ammo he's hit with, I'd say we have to consider the hit to be a "successful attack" against the friendly even though I failed to hit my hoped-for target,
     
  14. Mahtamori

    Mahtamori Well-Known Member

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    I'm sorry, but that seems to be you attempting to interpret what I write around your own interpretation. I'm simply saying that hitting* a target makes it the target of the BS Attack, and since shooting into CC attack makes you hit your own trooper you make it the target of the BS Attack - simple as that.

    * I'm actually really annoyed that they use this particular word in a rare few cases as it is poorly defined what it actually means in the context of the rules rules
     
  15. Teslarod

    Teslarod The Squeeze has not been Sqouze

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    You're referencing template interactions where everyone affected by the template is a target.
    Or splitting Burst where everyone being on the receiving end of a BS Attack declaration is a target.

    Area of Effect rules explicitly mentions you are a target if you get hit by a template (in addition to making a distinction for the Main Target)

    Area of Effect
    The Area of Effect of a Template is the area it covers with a single declaration of use. For example, if you declare an Attack using a Template Weapon, all Troopers or targets in Silhouette contact or inside the Area of Effect of the Template are affected by the Attack.


    This isn't either of those, this is a missed BS Attack that can't be a template, entirely capable of causing damage despite affecting a friendly trooper that could be in Total Cover relative to the Attacker.
    On basis of what rule do you assume getting hit by friendly fire after missing an enemy would turn your own trooper into the target on basis of taking a hit?
    Everywhere else in the game you are a target first and that might result in taking a hit later.
    This is distinctly different.

    The whole thing isn't nice and clean.
    The second reference to roll seems to be related to the first reference of "Every failed BS Attack Roll"
    Every failed BS Attack Roll will hit the Allied Trooper, forcing them to perform a Saving Roll.

    While it doesn't go on to specify which kind of Saving Roll, it's somewhat safe to assume it's going to be the Saving Roll(s) associated with the BS Attack Roll's ammunition. Don't think the prospect of friendly fire MLs only hitting for 1 AP ARM roll is really worth getting into.

    Target
    Game element capable of being targeted by Attacks, and effects from Skills or Equipment.

    RAW friendly troopers can not be targeted with your own BS Attacks, you can't declare Attacks against them (not to confuse with Medikits and other gear utilizing BS Attack Rolls). And disregarding that you also can't be a Target without LOF in case of a Combi Rifle BS Attack.
     
  16. Mahtamori

    Mahtamori Well-Known Member

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    Because among other things, otherwise the saving roll you're forced to make doesn't have any effect...
     
  17. Teslarod

    Teslarod The Squeeze has not been Sqouze

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    Which is redundant since Ammunition requires a successful Attack anyway outside of Normal Ammunition...

    Attacks can't be declared against friendly troopers so there's no ground to stand on to claim the attack was successful against a friendly trooper. Agreed though, there is technically no way to make DA/EXP/AP... Ammunition work against an ally.

    Except normal Ammunition
    • Normal (N) Ammunition forces its target to make one Saving Roll per impact suffered.
    Effects
    • Each Saving Roll failed against Normal (N) Ammunition causes the target to lose one point from his Wounds/STR Attribute.
    • Critical hits with Normal (N) Ammunition cause the target to make an additional Saving Roll.
    Where we would end up make the saving rolls on the friendly trooper because BS Attack into CC says so, not because he is the target.
     
  18. QueensGambit

    QueensGambit SecUnit

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    Well, RAW you can't declare an attack "against" a friendly trooper. You explicitly can declare a template attack that "may effect" a friendly. We know that you can declare it because if you do, the attack gets cancelled. I think the only way those two provisions can be read together is: the Main Target of a template attack can't be a friendly. Additional targets (i.e. anyone else affected by the template) can be, but cancel the attack.

    When shooting into cc with a non-template weapon, the cancellation clause for templates obviously doesn't apply. There's no general cancellation clause for attacks that may affect friendlies - only for templates that may affect friendlies. So you get to perform the shot even though it "may affect" a friendly in the sense that if you fail your roll, they will get hit.

    I don't see any rule that would prevent the friendly trooper being considered the "target" of the Saving Roll in that scenario. You didn't declare the friendly as the target of your attack. I don't see a rule that prevents the friendly from now becoming a target when you fail your attack roll.
     
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  19. Teslarod

    Teslarod The Squeeze has not been Sqouze

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    Templates are irrelevant to the discussion.
    a) they don't allow Partial Cover anyway
    b) they get cancelled if you fire them into CC
    Main Target is a disctinction unique to templates not used anywhere else.

    Template Weapons, and Allied and Neutral Troopers
    Declaring Attacks against Allied or Neutral Troopers is not allowed, nor is it allowed to perform Attacks that may affect them, unless the Template lacks a Damage Attribute value and does not inflict States. Therefore, if when declaring an Attack with a Template Weapon, an Allied or Neutral Trooper would be affected by the Template, that shot is cancelled

    You can declare Attacks that may hit allies, and the shot gets cancelled if it does.
    That's different for shooting into CC with non template BS Attacks. You can definitely perform BS Attacks into a CC with a Combi Rifle that may affect your allied trooper in that same CC.

    Saving Rolls don't have targets, BS Attacks require targets to declare them to begin with.
    Still waiting on a rule reference on where you get a target change during later steps in the Order sequence.
    So far it seems to be locked in at declaration (which also is when Templates go down on the table).

    Rules don't work that way... figure out where the ally becomes the target, burden of proof is on your side claiming that is what happens.
    If I shoot a target miss and hit a tree the tree was not the target just because I hit the tree. Are we really going to discuss what the work target means and how much intent the word contains?
    BS Attacks call the trooper in LOF I declare the BS Attack against the target.
    Where do you change that?
     
  20. Mahtamori

    Mahtamori Well-Known Member

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    Target has already been defined, it doesn't have the meaning you say it does. When the trooper becomes a target has also been shown, you just don't want to discuss this nor the further complications of not having the trooper be a target. Simply saying "nuh huh" doesn't pass the burden of proof around, it's either in your corner at the moment or you need to communicate that you don't agree with the interpretation being possible and that we'll have to agree to disagree.

    I'll jot this down in the unanswered questions as soon as I can get hold of a proper computer.