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Sniper Rules

 Post subject: Sniper Rules
PostPosted: Sat May 26, 2007 8:03 pm 
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When me and a buddy of mine used to play, we had a special set of house rules for snipers. We found nothing in the 2E rulebook on the use of snipers, so we made up our own.

It was fairly simple, really:

1. Any character with a BS of 5 or greater can become a sniper.

2. If the model used is capable of infiltration, the sniper can infiltrate into enemy territory.

3. Any number of snipers can be utilized.

4. The sniper would be deployed as usual, BUT, the model would not be placed on the table. The player fielding the sniper would have to remember location of the sniper. This only applies if the sniper is placed in cover, if he isn't, then this rule and the others that follow are void. (I mean, what worth is a sniper if you don't place him in cover?)

5. If a squad or model equipped with a scanner is within scanning range of the sniper is detected.

6. Whenever the sniper preforms an action (i.e. move, shoot, whatever) and the opposing player is within 30" of the sniper and te opposing player some line of sight to the general vicinity of the sniper the player fielding the sniper will secretly roll to see if the sniper was detected. 1-3 on a D6 and the sniper is detected and the model is placed on the table. On a 3-4, the sniper is outright detected and the model is placed on the table and can be fired upon as usual. On a 6, the attacking soldiers know the general vicinity of the sniper and the player fielding the sniper has to tell the general location of the sniper. (This is done very loosely; i.e. the player fielding the sniper points to a large pile of rubble and ruined buildings and says "he's somewhere around there") If the sniper is already outright detected this roll ceases.

7. If an enemy squad or model is within 15" of the sniper, the player fielding the sniper secretly rolls to see if the sniper does some small, innocuous thing to give him away. On a roll of 1-4 on a D6 the sniper remains hidden. On a 5 the sniper the enemy know the general vicinity of the enemy sniper: "'ey, boss, I think I saw an humie move over there in that pile o' junk!" (Again, done loosely.) On a roll of 6 the sniper does something really stupid, or the enemy is particularly attentive and the sniper is outright detected.

8. If an enemy squad or model is within 10" of the sniper the player using the sniper secretly rolls again: on a 1-3 he remains hidden. 4-5 the enemy knosw the general vicinity. On a 6 he is outright detected.


9. If an enemy squad or model is within 7" of the sniper the player using the sniper secretly rolls again: on a 1-3 he remains hidden. On a 3-6 he is outright detected.

10. If a an enemy squad is within 5" of the sniper the player using the sniper secretly rolls again: 1-4 he is outright detected, 5 or 6 he remains hidden.

11. If a sniper choses to fire he does not have to fire upon the nearest unit. He may fire upon any unit within range of his weapon.

12. A sniper may attempt to target a specific unit out of a squad. (i.e. a nob or similar leading unit or a soldier equipped with a flamer, rocket launcher or similar special weapon.) But, when you're looking at a mass of moving enemy soldiers it may be difficult to determine who's who and who's wielding what, so a roll is made after the sniper hits to determine if the sniper hits the right guy. On a roll of 1-4 the sniper hits the right guy. On a roll of 5 or 6 the sniper makes a critical error and shoots a regular soldier instead.
____________________________________________________

That's about it, although I am nursing a bottle and it's been quite a while since I've played, so I may have forgotten something here or there. And they can be improved in any number of ways. (i.e. maybe having initiative or something involved in the detection process)

While these rules were made for 2E I'm sure they can be made applicable to 3E or whatever ruleset it is that you gamers are using now. Of course, a certain degree of trust in the opposing player is required with these rules, so they may not be useful if you don't know that you're opposing player is a gaming gentleman. Whatever the case may be, this adds an interesting aspect to the game.

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PostPosted: Sun May 27, 2007 9:08 am 
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Vaguely realistic sniper rules are unfortunately lacking from modern 40k as well. Space Marine snipers normally run around in large squads, often with one of them carrying a missile launcher. Eldar snipers aren't much better.

I think the 3rd Edition Codex: Catachans (now obsolete) had the best of the published sniper rules:
- Up to three Deathworld Veteran Snipers could be taken as an Elites choice, but they deployed separately and never acted as a unit. (This was an unlimited Elites choice so you could have up to 9 snipers if desired.)
- They could reroll their to-wound check, making them 75% likely to wound any target, regardless of Toughness.
- They could set up using the ambush rules (you secretly write down what terrain piece they are hiding in when they deploy, but do not put the model on the table until it attacks).
- Due to their camoflage and careful setup, the snipers enjoyed a 3+ cover save in woods/jungle.
- Snipers were not allowed to move from their starting position, but you could have them "vanish". This removed the model from the game but it was still treated as alive for victory conditions.

There are still a few special rules for snipers in the game:
- The Vindicare Assassin is still around of course. Unfortunately he's a super-sniper and not really representative of a normal trooper with a good eye and a powerful rifle.
- Ratling Snipers become pinned instead of running away when they fail a morale test. This seems to me like realistic sniper behavior, not just Ratling cowardice, as they retain their covered position and can fire again when the coast is clear.
- Depending on what sort of doctrines an Imperial Guard army has, you can use a sniper as the heavy weapon gunning in a Light Infantry squad. You can also have 6-man Special Weapons Squads that include upto three snipers.
- Another options for making realistic snipers for the Imperial Guard is to use Last Chancers (elite penal troops). Although they don't have any special sniper rules, Last Chances can split up and freely violate the normally strict squad coherency rules. They can be armed with virtually anything, so you can make them all snipers.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2007 8:30 am 
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In the Assassins Codex, there was a suggested scenario in which you set up a Vindicare, and have the enemy army move normally, but any measurement/movement the Assassin makes is done in secret, with only dice rolls being viewed by the enemy.

The problem with secret sniper rules is that they require the opposite player to be kept unawares, and also to exereicse a level of trust to the opponent. Whilst I'm not saying anybody is going to outright lie, the sniper owner has to be very aware of the exact position of his model, so as to be able to use him fairly, which is difficult without a model representing it on the table. In order to make realistic sniper models more viable, you'd need to have rules which allow you to affect terrain through weapons fire.

My favourites are the Catachan rules used above. I think a modification to them could make it quite effective. Maybe using the spooked rules from the first Chapter Approved compendium, and maybe introducing rules as to whether squads with scanners remember to use them, as they're running around trying to find their way, keep their heads down, and felling either terrified or overly-confident.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2007 9:47 am 
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...Either they have to be completely hidden in which case rules could easily be exploited by untrustworthy people, ie. "roll a dice in secret" -'oh look, I get a 1 every time, lucky me...' would be a common thing without a marshal. Alternatively they are on the table once they move but not before. They can however stay "hidden" to the enemy as long as it is behind some cover from the enemies within 30" but the model stays on the board even though they cannot be shot. This could represent the fact that they havnt had hours to set up so will not be as well hidden and someone noticed some movement so the enemy is allowed to move towards it but not attack it until within initiative number of inches or perhaps they take an initiative test when fired upon, if passed, they spot the sniper if the sniper is on the table as the snipers muzzle flash or was seen or heard, but if still hidden, they couldnt work out where it was from...

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2007 10:32 am 
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I like the idea of snipers, but you'd need to either have a Referee to keep track of the sniper's detected status, or be playing with a good friend you know you can trust. I would certainly require the location written down on a sheet of paper placed face-down on the side of the board.

One problem is how to determine if your opponent's troops are in range to detect you, without giving away the location of your sniper? (Okay, I need you to leave the room while I measure to see if you're close enough to see my sniper).

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Last edited by Adoni-Zedek on Tue Aug 14, 2007 10:01 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2007 7:21 am 
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Adoni-Zedek wrote:
(Okay, I need you to leave the room while I measure to see if you're close enough to see my sniper).


That's exactly the problem. How do you do keep something secret, yet have an open game, if you either need to be totally aware of the situation on both sides, or push one player out of the area to use the secret troops.

I'd be more inclined to split the table up, per Catachan rules, and give a sniper a free, non-model based shot, with the potential to pin, against any unit entering his 'zone', i.e. foot square section of table), and then reveal him during the sniper controlling players turn, at some point.

:

jlmb's sketchy sniper rules:

The table is split into squares of 1'. The player with the sniper chooses a piece of terrain in which the sniper is hidden, and notes this down on a piece of paper, as well as the name of the square th terrain is located within. Should an enemy unit enter a square, the player can either choose to take a single shot, with no measurements, using the models weapon, at a the unit, the casualty being determined by the owning player (as long as the miniature is within the 'square'), or to not reveal it. If the sniper owning player chooses to take the shot, he has to reveal his piece of paper to his opponent, and place the model anywhere he chooses, on the spceified piece of terrain at before his own next shooting phase.

However, if a unit with a scanner/auspex/whatever (but not psychic powers, unless they 'count as'/operate as scanners) may ask the opponent if there is a sniper within a square as they move into it, after the moving units movement phase, but before any shooting is declared. Only infantry units (not tanks or individual models) may do this. If so, the sniper owning player must reveal that there is, but does not reveal where the sniper is hidden. At the beginning of the sniper owning players next movement phase, the piece of paper is revealed, and the sniper placed anywhere within the piece of terrain specified by the owning player.

Any good? Feedback, please.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2007 10:05 am 
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Not bad, though dividing the table into a 1' grid has issues with range finding. It makes it much easier to determine if you are in charge range/weapons range of your opponent's troops.

Still, 12" is a pretty short range, not exactly the range I'd select for my sniper. Snipers usually have long-range, high-powered rifles, able to reach out and smack someone from far away. When was the last time you saw a sniper pistol? Now, admittedly, your sniper could have a range of 16" (12" x square root of 2) if shooting from one corner to its opposite. But that's still not your dream rifle. :-(

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2008 11:01 am 
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The way I had snipers work was inspired by Space Hulk. We used tokens that marked possible locations of the sniper, 1 was legit the rest were bogus. The sniper player would move all tokens as normal and reveal if it was legit or bogus if the token was spotted by an enemy (using standard rules for spotting hidden enemies). When it came to shooting we'd quickly measure distances from all tokens to a target, we agreed that any token that had a wall between him and the target was still able to shoot as long as the token was right next to the wall. Assuming that the sniper would find a hole or crack in the wall that he can poke the rifle through. The amount of tokens used was 4+1 for every level on the xp table. Once the sniper is spotted all tokens are taken off the table, and later placed at the snipers location if he manages to get into hiding again , the tokens can then brake off in different directions to cover the snipers tracks. Everytime the sniper is spotted, the total amount of tokens available to play with is reduced by 2.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2008 12:22 pm 
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I like that idea. It's pretty much how we handle infiltrating units. You each get some many counters, some or all of which are fakes. Then, as soon as someone moves within spotting distance (or otherwise is in a position to detect/spot them for whatever reason) of a 'blip,' you flip it over and reveal what it is.

If you measure distance for the sniper blips, and one is out of range (or doesn't have line of sight) of the target, is that one revealed as a false reading?

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2008 3:30 pm 
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Yep, tokens out of range are revealed and were placed next to unrevealed tokens. But that didnt happen very often. We used a seperate Sniper Rifle instead of the needle one.

Stats for our SR is:
SR: 0-20
LR: 20-50
SRMod: +1
LRMod: +1
STR: 5
Dam: 1
ASMod: -2
Ammo: 5+ (we didn't understand why all test had to be 2,4,6+ and not 3 or 5+)
Special Rule:
Move Or Fire rule.
Every time the SR is fired without a silencer, one token is revealed and permanently removed.
If any target that is shot at is not taken down or out of action the snipers position is revealed on a successful Ini test.


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PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2011 7:24 am 
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It takes snipers a long time to 'settle in' and get their shot lined up. For realism I'd say it'd take several turns of doing nothing and not being shot at to get all his long range bonuses. Maybe +1 to hit per turn or something like that?


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PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2011 8:04 am 
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How about this:

-A player with snipers will get Hidden counters that must be placed in cover in any area the sniper can legally be deployed. The number of counters will be 4 dummies plus 2 dummies and 1 real for each sniper they deploy (making lots of snipers less effective).

-A Hidden counter is treated as a normal model and can be shot at. It is assumed to be 1" tall for LOS purposes. The Hidden counter has the same stats as the sniper but with an additional +1 cover save bonus. Since most snipers also have the Stealth USR that will give them a 2+ cover save. If the Hidden counter takes enough wounds to kill a sniper model, it is removed without revealing whether or not it was the real one. A Hidden counter is revealed as soon as any enemy model approaches within 6" of it.

-When the sniper fires, the target unit can make an Initiative test. On a successful test (rolling less than or equal to the target's Initiative score), the shooting player must remove a number of Hidden counters equal to the score on the die. If you don't think Initiative is the best stat, use a Leadership test and remove a number of counters equal to the smaller of the two dice.

-If the sniper is actually a two man sniper team, the Hidden counters will take two wounds to revove. If the spotter fires his weapon, that sniper team is automatically revealed.


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