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"False results for spotting" Topic

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Last Hussar Supporting Member of TMP27 Apr 2021 2:36 p.m. PST

Im trying to come up with a system for spotting at section level that will generate false positives and negatives. Any way to do it that isn't open to abuse by the hidden player?

Last Hussar Supporting Member of TMP27 Apr 2021 2:37 p.m. PST

Im trying to come up with a system for spotting at section level that will generate false positives and negatives. Any way to do it that isn't open to abuse by the hidden player?

Levi the Ox27 Apr 2021 3:15 p.m. PST

My suggestion would be to use a couple of notecards with different potential results written on one side. When the active player declares the target of the observation, the hidden player shuffles a card representing the real target with two other random cards, without looking at them.

Then the active player draws one of the three cards, representing the sighting report, and returns it once they are done, mixing up the cards again.

This way the active player has a report which they are uncertain of the accuracy of, but the hidden player also doesn't know if their unit has been identified.

You'll also need a way to resolve speculative fire, since that's the logical next action of a player in this situation.

3rd5ODeuce Supporting Member of TMP27 Apr 2021 3:33 p.m. PST

Yes, this would certainly liven things up a bit.

After all in 1944 and on into 1945 every German tank was a Tiger to the Allies on the Western Front.

Wolfhag27 Apr 2021 7:43 p.m. PST

Leopard II had rules for that: link

I think it went along the lines of the success would be spotting a bogie/unknown contact, unit type (wheeled or tracked vehicle, leg unit), and then model type which would have a chance of being wrong.

If you are going to do that you should let each side use captured vehicles.


Thresher0127 Apr 2021 8:05 p.m. PST

Don't forget to add in an "indeterminate" option too, requiring another round or two of observation to make sure, and/or allowing for "friendly fire" (which isn't) if the player decides to fire on the target anyway, without making sure what the target is.

Some have itchy trigger fingers.

Wolfhag27 Apr 2021 9:20 p.m. PST

Don't forget to add in an "indeterminate" option too, requiring another round or two of observation to make sure, and/or allowing for "friendly fire" (which isn't) if the player decides to fire on the target anyway, without making sure what the target is.

Absolutely. However, it depends on the timeframe/scale of the game.

In my system when a new Mutual LOS or action like shooting/moving occurs, involved units take a Situational Awareness Check (combines spotting and reaction). The units can go into action/issue an order without a delay or have a variable-length delay of 1 to 20 seconds. Better crews and unbuttoned are quicker and poor crews and buttoned up take longer. I don't break it down to classifying potential targets as it just takes too much time in a Battalion size game. Seconds count.


Oberlindes Sol LIC Supporting Member of TMP28 Apr 2021 8:33 p.m. PST

I like the simple, elegant, idea expressed by Levi the Ox.

Wolfhag29 Apr 2021 10:24 a.m. PST

This way the active player has a report which they are uncertain of the accuracy of, but the hidden player also doesn't know if their unit has been identified.

Unless the spotter traverses his turret on you and opens fire.

When using a time delay it allows moving units to move into and out of the LOS without one or both units being spotted. Sort of like two ships passing in the dark. It's all about timing and Situational Awareness.

So if an attacker unit surprised a defender in the flank and spotted him right away and the defender had a 10-12 second delay before noticing the threat because of poor Situational Awareness (TC busy, suppressed, buttoned up, poor crew, flanked, etc) his first clue of the attacker might be an AP round bouncing around the inside of his tank.

I do agree about the FOW on identifying a threat. That famous Panther and Pershing engagement in Koln the Panther had his gun aimed down the street when the Pershing moved into the intersection. The German TC said he held fire because he had never seen a Pershing before and it might be a new German tank. A hesitation of a few seconds doomed him.


Last Hussar Supporting Member of TMP29 Apr 2021 12:31 p.m. PST

So here is my thinking with this idea.

Up to now I've been using rifle scores to generate dice for me as an umpire (because I trust me). I'm going to try to modify it into this idea.

Rifles roll 1-3 dice (depending on range) to generate Fire Points – 1=none, 2-4=One, 5-6=Two. Cover scores range from 0 to 3.

The Pack consists of 7 'Nul' cards, 1 'Definitely empty', and 1 'Something in there'

Spotter rolls fire dice as though they were a rifle base. This will generate 0-6 spotting points.

For each Spotting Point rolled the spotter removes 1 'Nul' card.

Put one Nul card back in for every level of cover

The defending player then take the card representing the 'Correct' result – either Something in there OR Definitely Empty – and adds it to the pack of Nul cards, he then shuffles.

The spotting player takes a card. He may IF HE WISHES show it to the defender. If he does and it is a 'Something' card, the defender deploys all troops.

Defender then shuffles the pack (to disguise which card he took) and hands it back to the defender to retrieve his 'correct' card.

Obviously this can still be abused by the defender 'accidentally' putting the wrong card in. If you really want to stop that, use counters, each area has a 'Yes' or No counter in at the defender set up. and you put that in a cup with the Nul counters, replacing it after the chit is drawn.

Recce by fire – same method, but they are actual fire points. If there is anything in there, they all activate immediately and fire back. This does not count as their activation (though in the rules there is no limit to number of activations allowed if the correct activation card comes out.)

CeruLucifus02 May 2021 1:32 p.m. PST

Each player gets a marker for every unit that can be hidden. Opposing player has various unit actions that result in a spotting check (reconnaissance, recon by fire, hold and observe, etc.). Successful check means the marker is replaced with a unit or model. Spotting check should improve with troop quality. Veterans are better at spotting real threats, and elites have had enemy orientation training.

False positive – the model isn't actually a unit. It doesn't move or fire, and an additional spotting success replaces it with a wrecked model or removes it. E.g. that Tank Destroyer's actually been knocked out.

False negatives – some wrecked models are replaced by a live unit at the owning player's discretion or after additional spotting success. E.g., on that wrecked Tank Destroyer, Lieutenant Murphy with a field phone climbed up to man the machine gun. Or that Tiger isn't on fire, it's just a smoke grenade.

False identification – the marker is replaced with the most dangerous possible model. The owning player uses its correct specs. Additional spotting success replaces it with the right unit or model.

The markers should have colors or numbers underneath keyed to the player's army list. This is revealed when counting victory points and any cheating/mistakes score points to the other player.

How many false positives/false negatives/false IDs is up to the scenario, but maybe 1 each per 3 real units?

In point-build scenarios, one or both players could buy them at a fractional cost of actual units. Good for defensive scenarios, partisans, etc.

Last Hussar Supporting Member of TMP02 May 2021 4:08 p.m. PST

Its not about the contents of the area, its about disguising the result to the spotting player – "ive rolled a 6, so I know there is definately nothing in there"

UshCha03 May 2021 1:14 a.m. PST

CeruLucifus I think has it. Certainly even in our games, where small games can go for 10 to 15 bounds checking spot after spot seems to me to take too long. We have always used Real and Dummy markers anyway. With spotting scores varying with troop quality and target situation. To be honest if it's deployed before the game it's impossible to spot if it has not moved and shot, we have some evidence of this from WW2. With any spot roll there can be a tendency of players to keep rolling till they inevitably get to see the object. This is both unrealistic and wastes good gaming time. Giving the enemy some alternatives to reveal stuff hidden during game seems to have merit.

It has never occurred to me before that you could deploy a model that was not real, instead of a dummy marker, that an interesting twist and CeruLucifus you get the credit for that idea inspired. Again as CeruLucifus says not too many alternatives.

One of the tricks we have learned is that a good players will often not bother with some dummy markers as they are in positions that are either not a threat currently or are so poorly deployed that if real, easily dealt with. So too many decoy markers could result in a farce rather than an interesting game.

Dick Burnett07 May 2021 2:05 p.m. PST

Some opening comments. First,this is a hobby really for the miniatures, less for the so called realism or simulation. I am reminded that regarding the games themselves that this is a way to display the well painted (or not so well painted) figures and models. A rule set that has these off the table, hidden, for most of the game, is not tolerated, as I know from my wargaming.
Lets be clear. In any game involving hidden units, umpired, with gamers used to chess style games, where all or most units are clearly identified albeit they are in heavy concealment, will become uneasy, tending to panic ("Mr Rico, Mr Rico, there's a million of them!") In Michael Korns Small Unit Tactical Combat skirmish game(SUTC; double blind, umpired, of individual soldiers in squads or sections or platoons, of individual vehicles or sections, WW2 , without much scenario info, or points, markers or other, and above all, dice results, sightings, fire effects and othere done by the umpire based on what decisions or actions to be taken by the players. Also the use of percentile dice.
So, do I need a complex system for false sighting? No. What I have is a witness, one of the non playing human players to backup me on certain results that I know the gamers will eel cheated. Indeed, in one case, I allowed the gamer to roll the percentile dice as his squad encountered one of the village dogs. His squad leader figure was killed by the dog, the first roll was a one percent chance the dog would break its fetters and attack, the second a four percent chance of the dog killing the leader,which lost the game. As to sightings and fire results, well the players, represented on the table by the leader or officer figure, are told only what the figure could see or hear and will not necessarily know much of anything. As umpire I will tell them about what they see and hear, even to include those atnospherics (see Keegan, Face of Battle) but there will be no figures or models on the table unless actually "seen"
And so two things happen. Some gamers hide or suffer terminal confusion and others lament the lack of figures on the table in plain view.
As I began, this is a hobby for the miniature and not about the real uncertainty of battle.

UshCha08 May 2021 1:46 p.m. PST

Dick Burnett, clearly you play different folk to me. Our lot cannot see any point in the games you describe. Unrealistic behavior, everything seen, our lot would see that as a waste of time that we would never get back. Different strokes etc.

Andy ONeill09 May 2021 4:20 a.m. PST

Double blind games are excellent. They're a lot of work to set up and referee but the added suspense is a huge plus.

Dick Burnett10 May 2021 8:44 p.m. PST

Yes, double blind umpired miniatures are hard to umpire (that is why I usually have a non playing person as "witness" so when the loser hits me up for either "running" the game or some form of "cheating, I can have the witness to back me up; gamers do not like this) and for gamers who, like Frank Chadwick, like the "middle" game, who want to see the figures on the table as art work, or as a "crutch", and do not like the uncertainty in the game (after all, this is more like poker than chess and the traditions of the hobby are for chess style games, which isn't the lying, stealing or cheating found in actual combat)
Indeed, Korns original SUTC hardly used miniatures, like Paddy Griffith's wargaming without miniatures.
And part of the point of the SUTC game is to get a lot more "realism" into the games , which are sometimes called simulations, without the need for some very complex rules used in two player games to try to come up with the uncertainties of combat (which the players really don't want anyway)

UshCha11 May 2021 7:31 a.m. PST

To be honest from what I have read of him I would be no fan of Frank Chadwick, he was not really interested in the history. No simulation to me makes the whole enterprise not worth the effort. I use miniatures as I find the 3D representation on 3D representative terrain helps to understand the terrain and what it is telling me. I do color my miniatures as it does to some extent helps them to be overlooked, better game, no extra rules. Again we come at the hobby from diametrically opposite directions. I was happy playing Napoleonic with painted 1/4" screws as a young man.

I do relate to the topic but I am just aware it can take too much of the precious gaming commodity time.

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