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"Turret Down" Topic

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UshCha15 Dec 2017 1:54 a.m. PST

We had a very small game last night we were both a bit tired. A simple cat and mouse game with the task being to find the enemy and determine the size and get out if not capable of eliminating them with minimal casualties.

Sucess went to my opponent the key was using turret down positions. from there the commander of the APC could see, but was hidden and the vehicle was immune to easy RPG shots. This ment the dismounts could do there job but have an extra pair of eyes and possibly fire support. The issue was the enemy was on a fmall flat topped ridge which was narrower than RPG effective range so driving up cpuld have been bad news.

So do your rules allow it and do you use Turret down?

Schogun15 Dec 2017 4:52 a.m. PST

Yes. Both hull down and turret down. The problem is modeling the terrain features to allow this.

Legion 415 Dec 2017 6:46 a.m. PST

Turret Down makes the target harder to hit … So I'd think the rules should reflect that. As it does with Hull Down … It depends how much detail you want to do into of course

E.g. :

-1 to hit roll for Hull Down

-2 to hit roll for Turret Down

UshCha15 Dec 2017 7:36 a.m. PST

Legion 4as I see it described the only part visible is the commander (possibly even standing on the turret) At that point the tank can neither be hit nor shoot at a target using flat trajectory weapons. On that basis not sure how it can have a to hit value. Perhaps if uniquely the commander was spotted he could be engahed with small arms.

Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP15 Dec 2017 9:12 a.m. PST

My rules use hull down but not turret down. With the size of games I run such minutiae just slows the game far too much. Even with just hull down, it adds a lot of required time to terrain set up or modelling.

One thing I am thinking about trying next time is to declare how "rolling" all the flat terrain on the table is. A player "looks" for a hull down position. Roll 2 dice one red one white. White is inches forward, red is inches rearward. Measure and allow them to "find" a hull down position there. On pretty rolling terrain roll a d6, on flatter terrain roll a bigger die (d8/10/12/20).

UshCha16 Dec 2017 6:26 a.m. PST

I have looked at the rolling of die for randomly finding hull down positions. I even have it in our rules. However I was never happy with it. Like all random rolls it can end very easily with results that are just not plausible. We would rather put in credible terrain. As to Turret down being a minutiae, it is as fundamental to tank tactics as hull down is. It allows situational awareness to be gained at minimal risk, not the case with hull down. Again if the aim is just a game it makes no matter what you do, but its not how we play.

Legion 416 Dec 2017 8:01 a.m. PST

Well Ushcha yes, only the Cdr/turret top weapon e.g. .50cal, can be visible. When in a Turret Down position. But that does not mean another tank, etc., won't fire at it. Or someone won't call in FA, CAS, etc.

Note: There is Cover … And Concealment. i.e. :

Cover is something solid between the target and the firer that will/could stop projectiles from hitting the target. E.g. a berm, thick wall, etc.

Concealment is something that blocks LOS at least partially from the firer to the target. E.g. bushes, tall crops, hedges, etc. But those won't stop the projectiles from hitting the target.

The way we see it, and I've experienced, at least in training. You generally have to see the target before you can effectively engage it directly. Whether the target is in cover OR concealment. At least initially in some situations … And in many cases again cover not only blocks LOS but can stop incoming projectiles.

E.g. when we play, a vehicle or Infantry stand on Fallback orders gets a cover bonus of -1 to the hit from enemy units' fires. Because when Falling Back. Either can use smoke from the vehicles' Launchers or thrown by hand. To provide cover & concealment to cover their retreat. Using techniques to Not make themselves "targets" … Hence making them harder to hit, so in turn the -1 cover bonus. It's harder to hit something you can't see clearly …

And for gaming … we generally only give a -1 cover bonus … K.I.S.S.

Joe Legan Supporting Member of TMP16 Dec 2017 11:38 a.m. PST

My question is, " How often are you able to find something that is the perfect height to cover all your vehicle yet allow you to see over it?" Love the concept but don't know how often you would find it. Those with real world experience please chime in.
I have not read first hand accounts of this. Normally they mention "hull down".


Legion 416 Dec 2017 4:03 p.m. PST

Well in US Military, many tanks have dozer blades. One per Platoon in the US Army, back in my day, '79-'90. And that Dozer Tank can dig a position that a Tank can go from Turret Down to Hull Down. And back. If need be …

With a "deeper" part in the rear and higher part in the front of the position. The tank can drive from one level to the other and back. Reminded me of a big swimming pool with a sloping bottom from one depth to another. But a only Hull Down was usually dug in most situations, IIRC … old fart

Also at times units get Combat Engineer support and they have a number of vehicles that can dig in MBTS, APCs, SPFAs, etc. Or even two man or individual fighting positions[a lot quicker than you can dig them by hand !]

As far as how often can you find a Turret Down position basically depends on the type of terrain you are operating in. Maybe in urban or even desert. But generally is rarer than Hull Down.

But, e.g. an AFV, etc. can be Turret or Hull Down behind a wall or other structure, etc. Or in a ravine/wadi/arroyo. Depending on the height or depth of the wall or wadi, etc.

A bad thing that could occur about Turret Down positions is if dug in. You are as the TC, etc., at ground level basically … Your LOS generally may be less.

UshCha17 Dec 2017 2:25 a.m. PST

If neccessary you can stand on the top of a tank and just move up untill you can eee over. The possibility of seeing just a head (if not skylined) is very low. Certainly where I live in the UK there are lots of places that have folds in the ground over 8ft. The requirenet to see over does not require the gun to depress to shoot so you can fined it on slopes that are unuseable for hull down.

Admittedly it is generaly used for reconnisance groups but our own rules show the Hide, Turret Down and hull down illustration from the US M1 Manual on public release.

While our own rules are by no means perfect, most rules do not have any real attempt to model awareness as much as is possible on a gaming table. Yet even rudimentary systems enhance the correlation to the avaiable information during play.

Legion 417 Dec 2017 6:57 a.m. PST

As I said, how often can you find a Turret Down position basically depends on the type of terrain you are operating in.

There certainly are a number places in a temperate clime to find Turret Down as well. There are always low ridges, etc. Again, an AFV, etc., can be Turret or Hull Down behind a wall or other structure, etc. Or in a ravine/wadi/arroyo.

Gentle rolling terrain could have a number of locations. But as in as most terrain, you just have to find them. Which may or may not be difficult depending on the terrain, light and weather conditions.

E.g. in the ROK along the DMZ, our patrols would run recons in the daylight. To find good ambush/NDPs location for the night. And set up just after dark …

Of course standing on top of turret or hull will give you better LOS. But the caveat obviously is you should try to stay undercover. As yes, a head is a small target whether skylining or otherwise. But as we all know snipers don't care … they get paid to hit small targets. Or even anyone can call-in FA or CAS on a suspected location too. There is no 100% solution as in most cases.

And as always for gaming you have to balance complexity with "playabilty" … And that always comes down to what ones wants out of a set of game rules. And what considers complexity and playablitly … And/or just fun … of course …

Walking Sailor18 Dec 2017 9:32 a.m. PST

The scraps left over from cutting rigid foam into large pieces of terrain can be carefully cut into smaller pieces, chips little bigger than stand size. In dessert or rolling terrain they are placed when a unit "rolls" into a hull down position and taken up when the unit moves away. 28mm hull downs can be reused as small hills in 6mm.

Lion in the Stars18 Dec 2017 5:30 p.m. PST

No rules I've played went to the level of detail of turret down.

If you want to include it, at 1"=100 yards ground scale, it's easy enough to assume that there is something around to hide in. Spend 1" of movement to get into hull or turret down.

Use @Walking Sailor's foam leftovers to indicate hull down.

JARROVIAN Supporting Member of TMP19 Dec 2017 3:25 a.m. PST

We use hull down and turret down (with an observer standing on top) all the time in our home brew micro armour rules. It's not a problem, you just need to nominate which mode for vehicles at turns' end for each unit. We are currently playing a game with approx. 100+ vehicle per side in the Golan on a 8 x 5 table.
Spotting is key; if you can't spot it, you can't shoot at it. We don't allow 'if it's in line of sight, you can see it' everything has to be spotted before fire takes place.

Legion 419 Dec 2017 6:33 a.m. PST

Spotting is key; if you can't spot it, you can't shoot at it.
Makes sense …

Lion in the Stars19 Dec 2017 1:54 p.m. PST

Spotting is key; if you can't spot it, you can't shoot at it. We don't allow 'if it's in line of sight, you can see it' everything has to be spotted before fire takes place.

Generally makes sense, it's one of the features I like in Battlegroup rules. Gotta make a spotting roll before shooting, even though the player can see the model on the table.

But in a sufficiently-networked scifi setting like Infinity (or Hammer's Slammers), there are enough drones and everything else around to give you pretty good position information on the opponent.

Legion 419 Dec 2017 3:39 p.m. PST

If you can be seen you can be hit … if you can be hit you can be killed, we were told.

And yes, with more & more drones being on the battlefield somethings, as with all advances in Tech, will change/be modified, etc.

We think drones on the battlefield for gaming, will not only have to be on station. But in commo with Caller, Higher, etc., not be jammed/ECM-ECCM or shot down, etc.

All those actions can probably be accomplished with simple die rolls. E.g. :

After spending the points to get drones for your forces. Before the game when selecting forces.

Roll to see if the Drone(s) is available, i.e. has not been seen/targeted/shot down.

Roll for commo to Caller, Higher, etc. If Drone has survived …

ECM/ECCM modifiers to rolls to see if commo will get thru to Caller, etc.

Call for Fire on target spotted by Drone if call is successful …

Call for Fire as stated in the rules …

Or something like that …

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