SFF and Area Fire

_Fury_

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Hi All,

Quick question about SFF my opponent and I are discussing in a current pbem game.

Situation:
  • Enemy unit moves ADJACENT to stack: 9-1, 6fp hmg and 457 squad. They fire, and mg keeps rate.
  • Later, another enemy unit enters the same ADJACENT hex, and survives the residual.
  • The stack now declares all-in fire: sff for squad.
  • Q: is the fp of this shot 16 (full strength hmg, area fire for squad) or 10 (area fire for both, and sustained penalty for mg)?
Thanks!
 

PabloGS

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The HMG would fire at full firepower if it fires alone, because by keeping rate it is not marked with a First Fire counter. Now the trick is that if the squad subsequent first fires and wants to use the HMG then it is considered sustained fire and has the penalties of being area fire and the +2 for malfunction. A8.3.

But I could be perfectly wrong on this!
 

jrv

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If the squad fires as SFF, its MGs fire as SFF as well even if they are not marked with a First Fire counter. A8.3 "Whenever a unit uses Subsequent First Fire, it must use all MG/IFE in its possession … as Subsequent First Fire". Given that it would probably be better to use the MG alone.

The mixing of first fire and subsequent first fire is not symmetrical. A MG is always converted to SFF if the inherent is SFF. The inherent is *not* converted to SFF if the squad is not marked with a first fire counter even if the MG is using SFF. What is symmetrical is that in both cases both the squad and MG are marked with a final fire counter, i.e. if the inherent is not marked with a first fire but the unit uses a MG that is, the squad loses its ability to SFF with the inherent.

JR
 
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Philippe D.

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There's a very helpful "First Fire flowchart" on the Texas ASL website that is extremely useful for this (attributed to Bill Kohler, but the file says "visual update by Andrew Highley, based on work of Tom Repetti and Ole Boe", so I guess we have lots of people to thank for it).

It shows that, barring Cowering, the way to get the most uses of your squad and MG without risking Sustained Fire breakdown penalties would be to initially fire the squad and MG separately, then, if the MG keeps ROF, fire only the MG until it loses ROF, at which point you'll have a First Fire on the whole stack; then, use SFF with the Inherent FP only. This gets you a minimum of 3 shots, assuming the opponent keeps offering you valid targets. Also lets you lay Residual FP in up to 3 hexes without need for Spraying Fire, for when the opponent is pressing you extra hard.
 

_Fury_

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OK...thanks for the above. Now trying to square this with the following Perry Sez. Is the reason the ATR is not area fire in this example because it is neither an MG nor an IFE? Any other weapons which are exceptions?

A8.3
May an unmarked ATR fire as Defensive First Fire firegrouped with its manning squad who is firing as Subsequent First Fire?
For example, if a 6-2-8 marked with First Fire with an unmarked ATR fires at a target 2 hexes away with no closer targets, which is true: 1) 6-2-8 ONLY may fire for 2 FP; 2) 6-2-8 may fire with its ATR for 4 FP
A. Yes, 4 FP.
 

jrv

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It shows that, barring Cowering, the way to get the most uses of your squad and MG without risking Sustained Fire breakdown penalties would be to initially fire the squad and MG separately, then, if the MG keeps ROF, fire only the MG until it loses ROF, at which point you'll have a First Fire on the whole stack; then, use SFF with the Inherent FP only
More than that, I suggest firing the MG first until it loses ROF, then the inherent, then SFF (either with or without the MG). The advantage of firing the MG first is that if it is marked with first fire and a really, really great target shows up and you want to give everything you have, if the MG has lost ROF it won't convert the inherent to SFF, whereas if the inherent is marked, it will convert the MG.

This is not the best choice in all circumstances, of course. If you have a short-range squad (e.g. 5-2-7) and your opponent moves a unit close to you, hoping to draw fire so he can move other units that are farther away, you might fire the inherent first anyway. Also if your opponent offers a really great shot, all in.

JR
 
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jrv

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OK...thanks for the above. Now trying to square this with the following Perry Sez. Is the reason the ATR is not area fire in this example because it is neither an MG nor an IFE? Any other weapons which are exceptions?

A8.3
May an unmarked ATR fire as Defensive First Fire firegrouped with its manning squad who is firing as Subsequent First Fire?
For example, if a 6-2-8 marked with First Fire with an unmarked ATR fires at a target 2 hexes away with no closer targets, which is true: 1) 6-2-8 ONLY may fire for 2 FP; 2) 6-2-8 may fire with its ATR for 4 FP
A. Yes, 4 FP.
I believe because ATR is neither MG nor IFE is correct. I can't think of any other SW that can firegroup with inherent FP used as SFF besides MGs & ATRs. MOL can if the attack is not SFF.

JR
 
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