Rule Clarification and Suggestions

Discuss the mechanics of Dark Potential here.
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Rule Clarification and Suggestions

Post by Golradaer » Thu Dec 13, 2012 1:30 pm

On p.16 under "Spray Weapons" the text states: "After you have placed the spray template, count the total number of models from the target unit." Reading further down, I assume this is meant to say "count the total number of models from the target unit under the template." Minor clarification, but important. Also: fully under/partially under?

I'd recommend including more examples for differentiating between the three types of cover, given that most systems only use two (soft/hard) and this could provoke disagreements very easily.

For close combat: if you're going to limit the number of attacks a unit can make by the number of models in base contact with the enemy, why not limit the number of wounds suffered by the enemy in the same manner? If you're prioritizing gameplay over realism in this situation, then why not allow all members of an attacking unit to contribute regardless of base contact? I have the same question regarding normal shooting (i.e., only models with sight to the enemy can shoot, but enemy models completely out of sight can be killed?).

If you want to change the above, all you'd need to do is reword the "Removing Casualties from Squads" section such that eligible models are wounded and removed, and excess wounds are wasted rather than carrying over to ineligible models.

Alternatively, you might consider having units "form up" when they're in close combat. Once one model from the attacking unit makes contact with the nearest model in the defending unit, the rest of the models from both units can be moved into contact (assuming terrain allows it), reflecting what would likely happen in an actual combat situation. As units cannot fire at units in close combat, it's rather odd to have situations when only one model from a unit of six is fighting another model from a unit of six. Overrun does address this to some extent, but it's still worth considering further.

Isn't it rather odd that squads cannot go on Overwatch?

Isn't it also odd that Combat Ready (which strikes me as the melee version of Overwatch) allows a unit to move? Hasn't the unit already moved normally? If I move a model into base contact with an enemy by using its Combat Ready move, do I get to make a close combat attack and then lose Combat Ready (thereby using it fully offensively)? The rule states "if any enemy models move into base contact with a unit in the Combat Ready state," but I would explicitly state "next turn" to clarify (assuming you're not meant to use Combat Ready in an offensive manner) -- the movement portion of the action is what makes it confusing.

Why make it so easy to counter Overwatch by using Tactical Manoeuver? Presently, if I'm in a situation where using the latter would be helpful, it completely nullifies the former. Either make Overwatch free or reduce the effectiveness of Tactical Maneouver (perhaps an accuracy penalty for the Overwatch unit if it wishes to do interrupt-shooting).

For Broken, you might want to specify that a unit's Movement is unaffected apart from "cannot voluntarily move closer to enemies."
Last edited by Golradaer on Fri Dec 14, 2012 12:05 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Rule Clarification and Suggestions

Post by cymruvoodoo » Thu Dec 13, 2012 11:00 pm

I think with the spray weapons thing, as it's a relatively new addition to the rule set - good catch! I think that the idea is that there is no "fully/partially under" consideration in Dark Potential. Touching or touched by counts as interacting with a template for game purposes.

I do not know if more examples are useful since the primary point is that unless the cover is particularly solid (an intact window frame) or particularly ephemeral (a chicken-wire fence), it's going to be in the -2 category. I am afraid that if the rulebook offers too many examples then players will spend time rules-lawyering which examples apply. Terrain is so specific to the actual tabletop environment I believe a note to the effect that "not only is the onus on the players to make decisions about how to treat terrain before the game but in Dark Potential wasting time on those discussions during the game is counter to the experience. If there is a dispute, apply a -2 penalty to the shot for cover and move on." In the end, this is not and should not be a prefabricated game where the designer has to go so far as to lay out each engagement's landscape in order for it to be considered truly balanced and authentic to the spirit of the experience.

As to your point about wounding, I would say that Dark Potential is a reasonably cinematic and fast paced experience and as a result, wounds should be able to spill over among models within a unit even if they were not originally eligible targets of the attack. We do not assume that the game is modeling each moment in total and that the exact location of each piece is its real position at an instant. You might say, in other words, that in Dark Potential the game world does not fast forward between freeze frames. Our imaginations should provide a more smoothly animated experience with the pauses during the opponent's turn being more like keyframes than freeze frames.

I do not think it is odd that squads cannot go on overwatch - we've had a number of discussions about the mechanics of that and the justifications for that. The solutions proposed thus far (sergeant gets the arc marker, etc.) all feel very artificial and nullify the real advantages of the squad in Dark Potential, which is weight of fire at the cost of multiple potential lines of sight. I think perhaps the way to look at overwatch is as a very singular expression of hunting - it's an individual acting on instinct and skill combined within a very narrow window of opportunity to make a snap shot. The length of time it takes a member of a squad to spot, then call a target, and then for the squad to put a significant volume of fire on that location is simply much better represented with a squad's normal shooting as that cannot be shoehorned into those slivers of moment that single individuals can use.

There have also been a number of discussions about overwatch, its cost of a CP, and the ability of Tactical Manoeuver to completely avoid overwatch. I think that I have come to terms with the current setup by dint of repeated playtests and found that while Tactical Manoeuver can technically be a hard counter, using it as such is more difficult than it looks. It requires, essentially, that the unit so moving be avoiding any kind of aggressive positioning. That, in and of itself, I think is a good payout for a model on overwatch. You have still dictated to your opponent how he or she will play.


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