You can only take the fixed 3″ move when you are “safe”.
So troops advancing out of sight? Can use it.
Troops moving up to the corner or a building? Can use it.
Troops in the open? Have to rush.
Now troops advancing on, say, a stone fence? I’d be tempted to say they are “safe” unless the enemy have troops on a roof top (for example).
They’d still be visible to fire upon normally but would not take reactions.
The way I view fire in the game is like this:
Ordered fire (You spend activations to shoot) is the troops concentrating their efforts on something that is important to the mission, pointed out by their leader etc.)
Reaction fire is spontaneous fire that happens to an obvious target.
So a grunt rushes from cover to cover? Clear target, so someone is going to take some shots at him = Reaction fire.
The same grunt in the open but stationary? Would be on the ground and hard to see. You can shoot at him in your turn (ordered fire) but he isn’t subject to reaction fire until he moves again.
Hope thats clearer as far as the intentions?
So in the example from the game we played if my troops who started out of sight behind, and not near the corner, of the building just moved 3″ (or less) and hugged the corner they would not be subject to reaction fire but only two of them would be likely able to fire on their activation.
If they were to round the corner moving at the 3″ (or less) rate but ended their movement about an inch away from the corner, in order for say 4 to 6 of them to fire, they could not but would have to make a rush roll with the chance of being pinned and possibly not making the 1″ to 2″ of movement required They would also be subject to reaction fire before their fire.
Seems odd there is no ability to move in LOS. Even if the figures were to move 1″ beyond the corner of building they still have a 1 in 6 chance of both being subject to reaction fire and being pinned. Again this assumes no cover within the 1″.
I was on the short end of that stick in our game so I admit I have a bit of an issue, but looking at the above description now I tend to agree. It is just keeping any form of advancement from happening unless under cover.
Machine gun talk
For me, the FG42 or BAR would be “light automatics” due to lack of easy-swap barrels and frequent reloading.
The BAR was operated by a crew, though since you have to shift or lift the gun to reload, that’s less useful than for the Bren (f.x.).
As fr as I know (which may well be wrong) the FG42 was operated mostly as a rifle, but since it has superior firepower to other WW2 weapons, it would get the LA designation.
For game purposes, we do add the firepower of any crew figures, since it ended up being much easier in play (just count the number of men, then add any machine gun bonus for the squad).
A more realistic / simulation option would be to increase the machine gun bonus but not allow the crew to fire.
That’s easily done, the problem we ran into originally is that a lot of miniatures packs don’t give you proper loader/assistant figures for SAWs 🙁
That’s a lot of imperfect answers but I hope it gives a bit of light into the muddy realm of game design compromises 🙂
I actually like the idea that non gunners still provide their dice to the pool even though they should not be actually firing. It is their support to the attack which allows the machine gun to operate more effectively.
Comparing real world weapons always has the potential for players to either asses their favorite better and their opponents’ worse. Nobody wins. I was just looking at potential “real world” examples as starting points. I do like your take on BAR vs Bren and I have to say I think I have no money in that game.