SSR for Streetlights?

Srynerson

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I'm reading a book on the "Shanghai War" of 1932. The Japanese launched their first major incursion into the Chapei/Zhabei neighborhood at night, but they hadn't cut power to the neighborhood, so the main streets were still illuminated. This caused the Japanese to have significantly more problems with sniper fire than they otherwise anticipated. Japanese troops eventually began shooting out the streetlights and/or cutting power lines on a block-by-block basis to black out the combat zone. Any thoughts on ways to represent this sort of illumination situation by SSR?
 

Vinnie

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If it was sniper fire then either make the Chinese SAN higher or have it activate on a 1,2 or 3. I like the latter more.
 

hayman

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You could also treat all city road hexes as Boulevards to represent the added danger of the lit streets.
 

jwb3

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Vinnie and hayman have given some good design-for-effect answers. I'll give a more literal, representational one:

It kind of depends on how bright the lights were. I realize that's probably not something you're going to be able to know, which means it would really come down to what plays best.

Dim lights would produce an effect similar to E1.942, Illuminating their own Location.

Brighter lights tend to make it easier to see the faces of the nearby buildings. This might produce an effect similar to an E1.94 Illuminated Zone from each (paved) road hex (as if from a one-level Blaze at ground level).

But figuring these zones out is likely to really slow the game, or greatly lengthen the setup process. Depending on the boards it might be easier to just declare the whole map Illuminated.

An in-between version would be to SSR that the (paved) road hexes and the ground levels (only) of all adjacent hexes are Illuminated. I'm guessing that would not slow things much.

In all cases, it would probably be too much to try to model the gradual "blacking out", unless you want that to be the major feature of the scenario (in which case, some version of Clearance and TI would be called for). Otherwise, either have the effects end scenario-wide on turn x, or have them end based on a dr/DR, or have them stay on the whole game, depending on what feels best.


John
 

Vinnie

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One possibility would be to place IR counters at regular intervals. These represent street lights. As suggested these illuminate only the ground level and are subject to the shadow rules (blocked by obstacles). They may be removed by any unit which chooses to fire at them automatically.

I'm not so keen on this as the night rules make illumination a very powerful weapon and I could see the Japanese player simply spending his first few fire phases clearing the roads.
 

ecz

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I would start with a light darkneess LV hindrance (+1) automatically increasing each turn (+2, then +3) to complete darkness in turn 4 or something like this. At the same time the Chinese SAN decreases every turn by one from 7 to 3...

This simulates the progressive destruction of street lights during the battle ( malfunction, direct fire, short circuits). As a touch of color I would add a low chance at the end of each Japanese ADfire ph a flame appears in a randomly chosen building location (you can easily use the sniper/mechanic to decide which one).
 
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klasmalmstrom

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You could also treat all city road hexes as Boulevards to represent the added danger of the lit streets.
But Street Fighting and Dash should probably still be allowed.

Seems to me that the easiest way to simulate this is to just give the Chinese side a high SAN, perhaps lowered by 1 or 2 after a couple of turns to simulate the Japanese shooting out the lights. Especially if the main problem for the Japanese due to the lights was in fact more Sniper fire that anticipated.
 

Perry

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But Street Fighting and Dash should probably still be allowed.

Seems to me that the easiest way to simulate this is to just give the Chinese side a high SAN, perhaps lowered by 1 or 2 after a couple of turns to simulate the Japanese shooting out the lights. Especially if the main problem for the Japanese due to the lights was in fact more Sniper fire that anticipated.

And if you want to chrome it up a bit, only reduce the SAN after the Japanese control certain Locations.
 

Srynerson

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Thank you all for the suggestions. I can see advantages and disadvantages to each of these, so I'll need to play around with them to see what might work.
 

jwb3

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I'm not so keen on this as the night rules make illumination a very powerful weapon and I could see the Japanese player simply spending his first few fire phases clearing the roads.
Not sure which way Vinnie meant it, but illumination can be a very powerful weapon for the attacker, in a way which might impact your choice. I'm talking here about the fact that a unit in an Illuminated Location can't see non-Illuminated ones, even if they're right next door. If a defender is in such a zone, attackers may be able to waltz right by without being seen. If in an edge hex of such a zone, attackers might even be able to move up next to him cloaked and advance in to ambush.

Another thought; if you decide not to use the Illumination concept, you should probably give the scenario an unusually high NVR to start, but modify the NVR change mechanic so it's much more likely to drop and has no chance of going up. This would be a design-for-effect way of showing the greater visibility and also representing the Japanese attempts to solve the problem.

Perhaps you could even link the NVR and the SAN, such that they move in sync. Then Sniper Checks would abstractly represent the Japanese activities. (You'd need to have a minimum allowable number, though, or the Japanese player could try to deliberately reduce the NVR to zero.)



John
 
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