Flamethrowers, TEM, and FFMO

GamerKirk

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OK, not really satisfied with responses on BGG about this topic, someone suggested posting here. I hope someone can set me straight with a complete and rules-based response after reading thoroughly my two original posts. Thanks in advance.

I'm going to repost two of my posts from my original query in BGG, but in summary it seems players are using TEM against FT attacks (which seems to violate the rules) to avoid FFMO (such as moving through a building), but then abandon TEM as non-applicable to the attack. I really would like a rules-based reason on where my reading of the rules is incorrect, as stated below:

*
Please, instead of just saying 10 something, quote directly the definition you feel interrupts my understanding of open ground. If there are multiple definitions of open ground that conflict with each other, then the rules need to state which "definition" of open ground is to be applied in any given situation.

It seems that some here are using "common sense" in place of a rules-based answer, which is fine, but shouldn't be represented as evident in the rules.

So again, please point directly to where the following steps fail with rules quotes, I would like to see where my "misunderstanding" is about the way this matter is handled in the rules.

1) TEM does not apply to FT attacks. A22.2

2) Open ground is where there is "no effective protective TEM." A4.6

3) Since TEM does not apply to FT attacks, there is no "effective protective TEM" for a moving unit facing a FT attack.

4) Therefore a hex, such as a building, is considered open ground for FT attacks, resulting in a -1 FFMO and no TEM offset.

****
OK, to address your points, though you haven't gone completely point to point to show where any of my 1-4 steps is incorrect
...

Rule 10.531 fails on two accounts, one is that it is circularly defined, being effectively wherever one could apply the -1 FFMO is considered open ground, and wherever there is open ground is where we apply the -1 FFMO, which is actually the crux of what we are trying to determine and so therefore of no help.

Secondly, this rule applies to "rout determination, Dash, concealment gain/loss, and Interdiction", no mention of attacks on the IFT and certainly not helpful specifically for FT attacks.

I have two rulebooks, the "latest" being the pocketbook 2nd edition purchased less than one year ago with no errata indicated for Index item Open Ground which references A4.6 which states:

"A further -1 First Fire DRM applies to units moving in the open (FFMO), but whenever such movement is combined with another effective protective TEM or LOS hindrance feature (such as SMOKE or an AFV/wreck) between the target and firer or in the target Location itself, the -1 FFMO DRM does not apply."

So, points 1-4 still hold, being rephrased as...

Against FT attacks a unit moving does not have access to a TEM modifier A22.2, a lack of "effective protective" TEM defines the movement to be in open ground as per A4.6, without such TEM, the open ground FFMO modifier is applied and there is no TEM as per the A22.2 aforementioned:

"DRM: FT attacks vs. non-Armored units are resolved on the IFT but receive no DRM due to leadership/heroism or defender's TEM except for non-CA attacks on a pillbox (B30.113), LOS hindrances and the +1 DRM for CX usage apply to IFT attacks."

So I am becoming more convinced that players are applying TEM to FT attacks, as respondents hint that they are presently doing (such as moving through a building), to avoid applying the -1 FFMO, but then somehow at that point forward deciding not to apply it any more to the attack, effectively deciding on their own that the TEM does apply to prevent FFMO, but doesn't apply to enable the moving unit to benefit from the TEM due to the terrain.

I have yet to see any answer be able to justify the use of the rules in this way and so suspect that I am correct in my reading, but it goes against current accepted play for some reason.
 

jrv

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If you look at the A10.531 EX, "A grain, brush, or orchard hex is not Open Ground because the -1 FFMO DRM does not apply." This tells you that just having a TEM of zero applying to the attack is not sufficient to make a hex subject to FFMO. Per the index, FFMO is "First Fire Movement in Open Ground; a -1 DRM vs moving Infantry in Open Ground, but it does not apply if it is combined with another effective protective TEM or LOS Hindrance". The confusion comes I think from having two definitions for Open Ground. The first is per B1, and the second is per A10.31. The definition applied in the Index is B1 IMHO and not A10.531, i.e. a unit has to be moving in an Open Ground hex as depicted in B1. The other "effective protective TEM" mentioned might come from a wall, hedge, bocage, or height advantage. It does not refer to any in-hex TEM because if once there is in-hex TEM, the hex is not Open Ground (in the B1 sense). Thus inherent FP shooting at a moving unit in a grain hex is not eligible for FFMO as per the A10.531 EX even though there is no TEM, and a FT shooting at a moving unit in a grain hex is not eligible for FFMO for exactly the same reason, again even though there is no TEM. Inherent FP does not use FFMO against a building—in this case there is applicable TEM and also it is not Open Ground in the B1 sense—and a FT does not use FFMO against a building, because even though there is no TEM, it is not B1 Open Ground.

This does lead to the observation that Infantry moving in otherwise Open Ground but eligible for TEM from wall, hedge, bocage or height advantage would have FFMO applied if attacked by a FT. In particular in bocage this would lead to one of the unusual situations where a concealed unit would be eligible for FFMO. But I think that is a point of trivia and not very pertinent to your question.

JR
 
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Honosbinda

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I found this QA here -- not sure of the origin:

A22.2 - Does the -1 FFMO apply to a Flamethrower attack?, As a follow-on, does the -1 Runway TEM [B7.3] apply to a FT attack?
A. Yes. No.

This can be found in the latest version of combined 'Perry Sez' stuff.
 

jrv

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I found this QA here -- not sure of the origin:

A22.2 - Does the -1 FFMO apply to a Flamethrower attack?, As a follow-on, does the -1 Runway TEM [B7.3] apply to a FT attack?
A. Yes. No.

This can be found in the latest version of combined 'Perry Sez' stuff.
FFMO applies to a FT attack in the appropriate circumstances.

JR
 

GamerKirk

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If you look at the A10.531 EX, "A grain, brush, or orchard hex is not Open Ground because the -1 FFMO DRM does not apply." This tells you that just having a TEM of zero applying to the attack is not sufficient to make a hex subject to FFMO. Per the index, FFMO is "First Fire Movement in Open Ground; a -1 DRM vs moving Infantry in Open Ground, but it does not apply if it is combined with another effective protective TEM or LOS Hindrance". The confusion comes I think from having two definitions for Open Ground. The first is per B1, and the second is per A10.31. The definition applied in the Index is B1 IMHO and not A10.531, i.e. a unit has to be moving in an Open Ground hex as depicted in B1. The other "effective protective TEM" mentioned might come from a wall, hedge, bocage, or height advantage. It does not refer to any in-hex TEM because if once there is in-hex TEM, the hex is not Open Ground (in the B1 sense). Thus inherent FP shooting at a moving unit in a grain hex is not eligible for FFMO as per the A10.531 EX even though there is no TEM, and a FT shooting at a moving unit in a grain hex is not eligible for FFMO for exactly the same reason, again even though there is no TEM. Inherent FP does not use FFMO against a building—in this case there is applicable TEM and also it is not Open Ground in the B1 sense—and a FT does not use FFMO against a building, because even though there is no TEM, it is not B1 Open Ground.

This does lead to the observation that Infantry moving in otherwise Open Ground but eligible for TEM from wall, hedge, bocage or height advantage would have FFMO applied if attacked by a FT. In particular in bocage this would lead to one of the unusual situations where a concealed unit would be eligible for FFMO. But I think that is a point of trivia and not very pertinent to your question.

JR
I think your conclusion that A10.531 that specifically mentions grain, brush, or orchard not being Open Ground because the -1 FFMO DRM does not apply is part of the circular reasoning trap that exists in the rules. Why doesn't the FFMO DRM apply? Because it isn't OG. Why isn't it OG? Because the FFMO DRM doesn't apply. Beyond that, I agree that OG has multiple definitions in the rules, again very confusing. I also, with my first pass, don't see how you conclude that infantry moving in OG but eligible for TEM from wall, hedge, bocage, or height advantage would still be considered OG, since it isn't OG if using the "effective protective" OG definition, thus no FFMO penalty, but it would ignore the TEM DRM afforded by the wall, hedge, bocage, or height advantage.

Here's also a reply from BGG which might help promote my understanding that the rules are truly not that clear:

Subject: Re: Flamethrowers and FFMO
russ wrote:
GamerKirk wrote:
A4.6 which states:

"A further -1 First Fire DRM applies to units moving in the open (FFMO), but whenever such movement is combined with another effective protective TEM or LOS hindrance feature (such as SMOKE or an AFV/wreck) between the target and firer or in the target Location itself, the -1 FFMO DRM does not apply."

Interesting; I can see your point; the disagreement seems to boild down to the intention of that word "effective".

I.e. is "open ground" supposed to be an intrinsic property of the target hex (and the LOS to it from a given other hex)? Or is "open ground" supposed to depend also on the type of weapon firing it (so that the target hex might be "open ground" for a FT attack but not for other attacks).

Does that word "effective" mean "effective generally" or "effective in the specific case of an attack by a specific weapon which might ignore certain types of TEM"?

(Sadly "effective" does not seem to be defined in the ASL index...) :/

---

FWLIW: I hesitantly note that in ASLSK the rules seem clearer: "open ground" is explicitly defined as "any hex devoid of other printed terrain features... Open Ground presents no obstruction or Hindrance to LOS". Thus there is no doubt that a hex with printed terrain like woods/orchard/etc (the TEM of which a FT might ignore) is nonetheless not "open ground" in ASLSK. And since ASLSK is intended to give the same effect as full ASL in this kind of basic notion, this arguably gives at least some evidence that whether a hex is "open ground" is intended to be independent of the specific type of attacking weapon.

GamerKirk replied:
Yes, exactly. There seem to be multiple definitions of Open Ground, and the word "effective" IMO means in the specific case of an attack by a specific weapon which might ignore certain types of TEM", I can't think of why the rules would be so specific about the phrase "effective protective TEM" instead of just saying TEM or listing what is and what isn't Open Ground for all attacks. Having multiple definitions of OG is poor rules writing, convoluted, and difficult to understand, regardless of what others think.
 

Honosbinda

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GamerKirk replied:
Yes, exactly. There seem to be multiple definitions of Open Ground, and the word "effective" IMO means in the specific case of an attack by a specific weapon which might ignore certain types of TEM", I can't think of why the rules would be so specific about the phrase "effective protective TEM" instead of just saying TEM or listing what is and what isn't Open Ground for all attacks. Having multiple definitions of OG is poor rules writing, convoluted, and difficult to understand, regardless of what others think.
[/QUOTE]

You dare criticize the sacred tome?

It's not that difficult to understand per rule B1.1.

In none of your repostings, do you discuss rule B1.1. Why not? That's the best rule for open ground, right there, in the 'terrain rules.'

Here it is: Open Ground is any hex devoid of other printed terrain features which would affect fire or LOS into that hex. The most common form is any hex covered uniformly in light green such as 2B1. However, there are many other types of Open Ground hexes.

That means -- brush is not OG. Grain is not OG. Orchard is not OG. Why? because they have other terrain symbols printed.

Hence, there is no need to write down every terrain feature that is not. All one has to do is read rule B1.1.

The 'other effective TEM' in A4.6 that so bothers you is simply referring to, as an example, a wreck in the hex. Why? Because a wreck is not a printed terrain feature.

One can certainly get muddled trying to find perfect logic in the rules. Heck, I even complained that the rules writers don't know the difference between the verb 'is' and 'becomes' so I get your drift.

But there are more evident problems with the rules than this issue of open ground. Besides, there is a Q/A with your answer about FFMO applying.

I think we're done here :) cheers!
 

jrv

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I think your conclusion that A10.531 that specifically mentions grain, brush, or orchard not being Open Ground because the -1 FFMO DRM does not apply is part of the circular reasoning trap that exists in the rules. Why doesn't the FFMO DRM apply? Because it isn't OG. Why isn't it OG? Because the FFMO DRM doesn't apply. Beyond that, I agree that OG has multiple definitions in the rules, again very confusing. I also, with my first pass, don't see how you conclude that infantry moving in OG but eligible for TEM from wall, hedge, bocage, or height advantage would still be considered OG, since it isn't OG if using the "effective protective" OG definition, thus no FFMO penalty, but it would ignore the TEM DRM afforded by the wall, hedge, bocage, or height advantage.
The definition for FFMO in the Index is not circular if the Index is referring to B1 and not A10.531. I think the definition in the Index is referring to B1. You can appeal for a PerrySez from MMP if you think it refers to A10.531 and feel it is therefore circular.

If—as I think—the definition for FFMO in the Index refers to the B1 terrain type, an attack against a unit in an Open Ground hex (B1) that was also affected by a wall/hedge/bocage/height advantage would not meet the definition for FFMO for most attacks because, despite the hex being Open Ground in a B1 sense, there is another effective TEM. For a FT attack there is no effective TEM, so FFMO would apply to a unit moving in a Open Ground (B1) hex with wall/bocage/hedge/height advantage.

JR
 

Vinnie

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22.2 DRM: FT attacks vs non-Armored units are resolved on the IFT but receive no DRM due to leadership/heroism or defender's TEM
A4.6 ...A further -1 First Fire DRM applies to units moving in the open (FFMO), but whenever such movement is combined with another effective protective TEM or LOS Hindrance feature (such as SMOKE or an AFV/wreck) between the target and firer or in the target Location itself, the -1 FFMO DRM does not apply.

I do not think the FT attack removes the tem. It merely removes the DRM caused by that TEM. I unit moving behind a hedge in otherwise open ground would not recieve the -1 FFMO versus a flame thrower, IMHO. The tem is still effective, it just does not give a DRM versus the FT.
 

jrv

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I do not think the FT attack removes the tem. It merely removes the DRM caused by that TEM. I unit moving behind a hedge in otherwise open ground would not recieve the -1 FFMO versus a flame thrower, IMHO. The tem is still effective, it just does not give a DRM versus the FT.
If a hedge ordinarily gives a TEM of +1, but in the case of a FT it does not, the hedge has no effect in that case. I would say the hedge TEM is not effective because it has no effect. I could perhaps see this being overruled by a PerrySez, but as I read it as long as the unit is moving in an Open Ground (B1) hex, any other TEM does not cancel FFMO (also including wreck, entrenchment and pillbox through CA, for that matter). A PerrySez would be an erratum as far as I am concerned.

JR
 

Vinnie

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The use of effective is unfortunate but I believe the tem still applies but the DRM it gives is zero. TEM exists so FFMO would not apply. Given the fact we have a disagreement with reasons for both sides, imthink a Perry Sez is worthwhile.
Your interpretation would have unfortunate consequences of impacting routing as well.
Height advantage does not apply to mortar hits. Can you interdict a unit with height advantage if you have a mortar? I don't think so.
 

klasmalmstrom

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Height advantage does not apply to mortar hits. Can you interdict a unit with height advantage if you have a mortar? I don't think so.
It won't strip "?" - so odds are it won't cause Interdictin either (but I haven't checked for any Q&A on that).

A10.531
A concealed unit advances into an OG hill hex that is devoid of cover or SMOKE/smoke. The only opposing unit that can see that
movement is at a lower location and is armed with a mortar and within the effective range of the mortar and < 16 hex range. Does
the advancing unit lose concealment? Is the answer different if the unit at lower level is inside or outside of the effective range of
the mortar?
A. No. (The mortar is immaterial.)
 

Vinnie

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This suggests mire and more that ffmo woukd not apply to a FT shot against a moving unit behind a wall or hedge. If he's assault moving he would not lose concealment would he?
 

jrv

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This suggests mire and more that ffmo woukd not apply to a FT shot against a moving unit behind a wall or hedge. If he's assault moving he would not lose concealment would he?
The difference for concealment loss (and interdiction) is that concealment loss specifically references A10.531 rather than B1 [A12.14]. No matter what attacks a unit does (or does not) make, if during a hypothetical attack the unit could claim an effective TEM , then per A10.531 the hex is not Open Ground (in the A10.531 sense) and the unit does not lose concealment [A12.14]. The fact that a unit can make an attack where FFMO might apply does not make an Open Ground [B1] hex Open Ground in the A10.531 sense. Only if there are no hypothetical attacks where a TEM applies does it become Open Ground in the A10.531 sense.

JR
 

Robert Fabbro

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Here's a reply I got from Perry at MMP:

A Flamethrower attacks an Assault moving unit in a wooden building hex. Is the final IFT DRM +0 or -1?

In other words, does the FT's reduction of the building TEM to 0 as per A22.2 also convert the building hex to OG, thus qualifying the FT for FFMO?

Thanks in advance,

Rob

0 TEM.

No conversion.

....Perry
 

Eagle4ty

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It won't strip "?" - so odds are it won't cause Interdictin either (but I haven't checked for any Q&A on that).

A10.531
A concealed unit advances into an OG hill hex that is devoid of cover or SMOKE/smoke. The only opposing unit that can see that
movement is at a lower location and is armed with a mortar and within the effective range of the mortar and < 16 hex range. Does
the advancing unit lose concealment? Is the answer different if the unit at lower level is inside or outside of the effective range of
the mortar?
A. No. (The mortar is immaterial.)
Interdiction has always been possible for a MTR at a lower elevation trying to interdict a unit at a higher elevation receiving only the HA TEM modifier [EXC: Spotted Fire]. As Case Q (TEM) does not apply to an ATT TH and as long as the hex would otherwise be recognized as Open Ground, A10.53 would indicate that a possible fire at such a target would be considered eligible for interdiction [EXC: of course if hindrance or other modifiers could modify the TH DR].
 

Ric of The LBC

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Here's a reply I got from Perry at MMP:

A Flamethrower attacks an Assault moving unit in a wooden building hex. Is the final IFT DRM +0 or -1?

In other words, does the FT's reduction of the building TEM to 0 as per A22.2 also convert the building hex to OG, thus qualifying the FT for FFMO?

Thanks in advance,

Rob

0 TEM.

No conversion.

....Perry
Whew, I can now sleep at night.
 
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