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Having FO actually Observe?

Discussion in 'Access Guide to the Human Sphere' started by RogueJello, Jan 7, 2019.

  1. solkan

    solkan Well-Known Member

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    FO's in a tough spot because
    - Even if the skill didn't generate an ARO, the trooper's activation did.
    - The survivability of FO would be horrible if it wasn't face-to-face with the target shooting back.
    - If you improve it in the face-to-face roll too much, then it's going to be used just to win face-to-face rolls.

    It's a bit of a tangent, but this thread's got me wondering what the results on "How often do you use Doctor?" and "How often do you use Engineer?" would look like in comparison. Because it's also a situational skill that you've got to spend orders to put a model in position to use.
     
  2. Pen-dragon

    Pen-dragon Deva

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    That is an interesting question, and I think, somewhat like the FO, it is faction dependent. One of my factions is Aleph, we have available some truly awesome doctors, but we lack any real good targets to use it on. Most of our models are NWI or REM. Doctor is useless on REM, and is a risky move to use on NWI. I also play PanO. PanO has much more limited doctor choices, but so many more models that are worth the order to heal. When I play Aleph, I ignore doctor except as a specialist. When I play PanO I usually try to put one in, with some palbots. A cheerleader, upgraded to a doctor with palbot, has won me games before, because of their ability to put a main attack piece back on their feet. There is a cost, but there is also a reward

    I think some of it comes down to play style, different tactics appeal to different people. I like forward observer where it is at. It is not an obvious choice, it is not always going to be a correct choice, but it is a low-cost option to put into your list. It will cost some orders to use, and it risks a piece on a mediocre attack roll, but if successful adds modifiers to shooting at a target. Those modifiers might just save you some orders when you go to clear a target, and provide a little face-to-face protection to your main or secondary attack piece. I am by no means a top player, but I have used Observe in games, and it has served me well.

    Low-cost, situational reward. I think it is in a good place. Your Mileage May Vary.
     
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  3. MikeTheScrivener

    MikeTheScrivener O-12 Peace Kepper

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    You're right – no one ever might have 2 troopers standing near one another, in the deployment zone or otherwise. You have a very narrow view on this piece, and regardless of what I say you're not going to listen to me. I suggest you actually put one in your list sometime and think about how to use it. Don't just play theory-finite online where HMG is the only viable weapon.

    This all defines on where we draw the line on "tax" on what is "cheap". You call a hacker or a dozer something you have to buy all for the sake of the guided missile. I usually find myself taking these things anyway, as they can score cards, push buttons, or play a critical support role for my other pieces.
    Lets say for example I've taken out an enemy attack piece or specialist who was on the roof of a building, but with a doctor nearby. Wait, I don't have enough orders in my main group to maneuver my HMG into a position where I can shoot this critical piece to death. Why don't I just launch a pitcher or lay a repeater or move up a forward deployed hacker and spotlight him? Now I can ensure his death without committing any of my key pieces too far up the board. oh wait, whats that? I scored a card while doing it? what a waste of my orders!
    Wait, hold on, It's the bottom of turn 2, I have 3-4 orders left and I've killed my opponents HI HMG. They have a Spitfire on an elite light infantry ready to move up and counter attack. Hmm, I really need ARO in a pinch. Oh I know, I'll put enhanced reaction or Marksmanship onto my guided missile bot who is still in my deployment zone and cover a lane of approach, I'm glad I have a nice reserve piece that doesn't need to commit himself to danger to be effective, now I can outrange and outshoot the opponent. Surely that isn't better than leaving out Mr.HMG to receive the enemy.

    Once again, you have a very narrow view of these pieces and how they go together in the puzzle of list building. You're viewing this unit and thinking to yourself "Why should I be B1 when I can be B4?". You're not thinking about the deeper aspects of strategy outside of "Me shoot enemy with big number of dice instead of small number of dice".
     
  4. Nenyx

    Nenyx Well-Known Member

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    So your opponent is moving a spitfire, that is, a medium range weapon, into a lane that is more than 60 cm long and ca be covered from your deployment zone, and that on turn 3 ? I'm not sure it does happens that often. Remember that SML has a +0 range modifier till 60 cm, that's quite long. And you need to have either a repeater or a hacker in range of it to buff it to begin with.

    And by the way, even then the numbers are quite bad for a trade, given it took you at least 2 orders (1 to move the SML 1 to buff it) to prepare that ARO. The SML can have either reactive B2 or assisted fire. A standard BS 12 spitfire troop vs a buffed B2 SML is at 62% vs 16% under 60 cm. If you still have your camo FO, he will be a far better speedbump with just a suppressive fire (1 order) or flashpulse (0 order)

    The problem i have with your strategies is not that they can't work, it's that they are so damn situationnals ! When you build your list, especially when you know you will be facing several opponents in a row, you focus first on things that will work most of the times. Any high burst weapon for example. Camo things. Infiltrators. Specialists if there are specialist duties to be done. Of course, you can take some FO and a SML, i'm pretty sure that about everyone has at least one FO in his list anyway, and if you have them, there may be some situationnal tricks to do. But don't expect them to work if they are inefficient to begin with.
     
  5. MikeTheScrivener

    MikeTheScrivener O-12 Peace Kepper

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    Once again – this being theory-finity, anything and everything is both possible and impossible. One example is just that – one example. IT's really not that uncommon to outrange a spitfire but sure, you're right, if a spitfire can catch you in bad range it will outshoot you – but you're neglecting to mention any orders spent maneuvering said spitfire around your SML road block. or closing the gap by taking the long way around terrain. There are also many instances when you don't want to throw your infiltrator away, if theres buttons to be pressed on turn 3, mid-field zones to score, ect. There are also many instances where you do want to drop that camo guy into suppressive and hope for the best.

    Well I'm happy I've at least budged you from "SMLs never work and should never be taken!" to "Situational". That's kind of been my point this whole time – they are situational, but not as narrow as you might think. I encourage you, seriously, write one into your list. I'm not saying "Take it instead of an HMG". I'm saying take it along side an HMG. These pieces don't exist in a vacuum and we shouldn't talk about them as if they did. I'm going to say though, It's usually a lot more useful than a second or third HMG, especially if you don't end up using that piece anyway. Having a different method or vector of attack is infinitely more useful than having the same type of piece over and over again.
     
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  6. Pen-dragon

    Pen-dragon Deva

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    Well something very similar happened to me just last month, Buckle up! its Story time!

    JSA vs Nomads, I am JSA. Objective room game, I forget which one, but big points for holding the objective room at the end of the game. Game starts with Kriza Borac HMG on a rooftop in hardcover (assymetric deployment zones to make turn/deployment a real choice) Playing JSA I don't get a ton of long range options, and I dumped most of my points into other in your face options. (mistake in list building? or play choice? your call) The opponent made the mistake of placing a remote (i forget which one) a little too close to the Borac. One order for a Kiesotsu Butai FO to move up and Forward Observe the exposed remote. Smart-missile launcher rains down death unopposed. Thanks to the REM's two states of Unconscious, just enough missiles can be unloaded to down the Borac. (yaay for FO!) The path is now clear to the Objective room for my Domaru/Karkuri link.

    Following turns are brutal, as the opposing player pushes hard for his revenge, but I hold the objective room, even though I loose a lot of troops. Top of turn 3, I am in a position of having every piece in position, and six orders left. No need to move out of the Objective room, and not much else on the board. Not having much left to do, I use the orders to bring the Smart-missile launcher around to cover one of the approaches to the objective room. (no buffs, no hackers left) The opponent is out of long range weaponry that can be brought into position. Ranges favor the Smart-missile launchers. The opponent loses two troopers (yaay explosions!) and four orders removing the Smart-missile launcher. He doesn't have enough left in the tank to threaten the Objective room. JSA wins.

    TLDR: FO and direct-fire Smart-missile launcher wins me a game.

    Turn 3 you use whatever you have left to get the job done. Some very unique situations can arise in such scenario. The player with more tools left have the advantage of more options.
     
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  7. DFW Ike

    DFW Ike Well-Known Member

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    Wow, someone is being very snippy today: this question is about the usefulness SPECIFICALLY of the Forward Observer skill in relation to using guided missiles. You are bringing up the uses of hackers, which are very useful, but unless I'm missing something, they are not forward observers. Please stick on topic or make a new thread.

    I provided the average number for success against a TAG as 1 wound / 6 orders for Ariadna. I view this as bad, and worse than just using a tank hunter, spetznas or troop-who-is-equipped-with-a-good-Anti-Tank-weapon to drop the target.

    For dropping clusters of troops, I like the LGL for that, since you can still use it if you fail the FO roll. I don't expect it to actually kill anything except that one fusilier LT who is prone inside a building. Mostly the value I get is just to force my opponent to deploy and maneuver fireteams smartly. Maybe you can get a similar effect on your opponents, but requiring a FO to get los and succeed first limits where you can put your guided missiles (which is something you can sort of ignore in another faction with pitchers and a HD at the cost of more orders). This means you can only threaten models who are sticking their head out with an FO/guided missile.

    I think there are better engineers in Ariadna than the Dozer/tractor mul device, but YMMV, and also something that isn't related to this topic: if you want to discuss that, again, make a new thread.
     
  8. MikeTheScrivener

    MikeTheScrivener O-12 Peace Kepper

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    you don't think that the topic is able to evolve? or that the "Targeted" state in general is the much larger gameplay concept in discussion? You don't think the viability of FO, outside of being a a specialist, inherently and totally relies on what the targeted state actually does?

    Great. You're fixating on a point or argument I literally never made.

    Wait. you're not allowed to discuss that. LGL aren't FOs. That's off-topic.

    If you're going to go through the trouble of targeting something just to launch an LGL at it, why wouldn't you just opt for the slightly more expensive guided remote? its usually ~ the same points cost and only .5 SWC more expensive. for this small increase of resources you get double the rangeband and a more dangerous damage/ammo type. You also get a buffable 6-4 mov unit with 2 unconscious levels. But I've already explained all the benefits of this and created made-up scenarios where this might be useful, but alas, you either didn't read it or aren't interested in it. Why don't you try writing a list with one in it instead of plugging your ears? If it doesn't work for you, it doesn't work for you. But chances are there might be some merits that you can take out of a strategy like that and either adopt it into your usual lists or at the very least razzle your regular opponents and keep them guessing to what you might bring next game.
     
  9. Nenyx

    Nenyx Well-Known Member

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    At the cost of losing the ability to do a speculative fire without any prior targeting and on the target you want
     
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  10. MikeTheScrivener

    MikeTheScrivener O-12 Peace Kepper

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    you're right, you certainly lose that ability. It's a rather powerful one too. But under the scope of targeting something first, unequivocally, the guided missile is almost always better.
     
  11. RobertShepherd

    RobertShepherd Brisk antipodean

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    It depends. Remember that unlike every other guided missile option, the Katyusha can spend a full ten orders if it really wants to thanks to also being able to spec fire. A Katyusha Kuryer has pretty good odds of killing a Guija if it has a full order pool to spend, although in practice you're more likely to stop after you've done a bit of damage to it but also bombed out every model within 5" of it by angling your spec fire targets.

    This ability to angle the template and the deadliness of the template relative to generic grenade launchers is what makes the Katyusha the best spec fire platform even if it's the worst guided fire one. I've had rooftops and alleyways cleared by the damn thing with no possibility of reprisal on the regular by ariadna players who couldn't reasonably contest sniper or TAG suppressing fire overwatch.

    Edit: and to tie this back to the actual topic, this utility is enabled in the first instance by Ariadna's traditionally high order count and cheap, efficient forward observers (foxtrots especially and now strelok forward observers as well) who have good odds at success thanks to the combination of camo and surprise.
     
    #31 RobertShepherd, Jan 8, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2019
  12. emperorsaistone

    emperorsaistone Well-Known Member

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    One instance where FOing can make sense is, if you want a higher crit chance. Imagine Deadly Dance and you need to take that Tag down, but all you have left is small arms.
    This isnt universally applicable, but if FOing takes you over 20 it might be worth it.
     
  13. TheDiceAbide

    TheDiceAbide Thank you for your compliance.
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    I think I've only ever had a FO forward observe something, outside of classified objectives, with my USAriadna... shortly after followed by Katyusha bombardment. If Targeted was +6 that would be more tempting, but the risk of using a FO, and the order expenditure, currently doesn't usually seem to outweigh the +3 bonus for shooting.
     
  14. DFW Ike

    DFW Ike Well-Known Member

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    here's the full sentence:
    Look, I'm actually discussing the FO trying to target things.

    I forgot that Katyusha has speculative fire, which fixes the issue I have with [most] guided missile bots (see above whinging from Mike): you can use them even if you don't have a targeted state.
     
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  15. Hecaton

    Hecaton EI Anger Translator

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    It's good against durable targets, because then that +3 over the course of multiple orders really adds up. I've used it with the Airborne FO; walk on behind a TAG, out of flamethrower range. Hit it with an FO and then kill it with AP bullets. Submachine guns being way too good is part of that though.
     
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  16. coleslaw

    coleslaw Veteran
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    I never observe things if not setting up for LGL/SML or for classifieds. I think that the niche that would make FO valuable would be if it ignored defensive to-hit modifiers.
    Example: My BS 13 HI with HMG has optimal range to a TO-camo sniper in cover, 30" away. I will hit on 7's. If my FO nearby (optimal range, WIP 13) could FO on 2 dice hitting on 16's it might be worth spending 1 order, making the HMG hit on 10's.
    But right now my FO would hit on 7's with burst 2. Chances are the FO will just die and I have wasted one order and lost 1 model. I know I can probably move my FO to a better position so I can ignore the cover and MAYBE hit the target in the back. But that will cost multiple orders, so I probably wouldn't do it. Might spend those orders getting the HMG to a better position or just throw a smoke and ignore the sniper.

    Make FO ignore negative modifiers and make the modifier for SML max out at +3 or 0 (instead of +6), maybe increase the cost. Then you have a useful ability
     
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  17. tox

    tox SorriBarai
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    Change the Targeted State to a flat +6 MOD to BS and watch how many times it would be used...
     
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  18. theradrussian

    theradrussian Well-Known Member

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    Sure, because the X visor linked EM LGL of StarCo and DBS needed to get even more evil.

    I mean, I would use it, but I'd also feel like I may as well play 40k at that stage...
     
  19. tox

    tox SorriBarai
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    And Ikari...

    Anyway, a Speculative fire could remain as +3 instead of -6
     
  20. emperorsaistone

    emperorsaistone Well-Known Member

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    With +6 you would get far to easy above 20 BS. Infiltrators with a BSG reach BS 23/24 if they catch them out of cover. A bit to good imho.