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Poll
Question: Change Infantry and Infantry Support back to Low Profile or not?  (Voting closed: 12 February 2020, 11:01:53 AM)
Keep Infantry and Infantry Support as Average profile - 6 (40%)
Change Infantry and Infantry Support back to Low Profile - 7 (46.7%)
No idea what you are talking about & don't care either way - 2 (13.3%)
Total Voters: 14

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Author Topic: Infantry & Infantry Support Profiles  (Read 1013 times)
Big Insect
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« on: 05 February 2020, 11:01:53 AM »

I was playing in a LaDG competition down at PAWS in Plymouth last weekend and got 'collared' by some local BCKIV players.
Nice to know I have a few fans that far south in the UK.
Generally they were a very happy bunch - Flames of War 4 refugees - getting to grips with BCKIv and Commander rules mechanisms pretty well.
Their one (small) gripe was around the recent change in the errata that took away the Low Profile status from Infantry and Infantry Support units.
This has also come up a couple of times on the forum as well, and so rather than take an 'executive' decision I/we thoughts we'd ask the Forum for your thoughts.

For context, the change away from Low Profile was initiated by observations that, especially for Recce, Low Profile status made Infantry and Infantry Support a lot harder to spot.

Personally I am ambivalent to a change. We have resolved the Recce issue with another errata change and logically Infantry and Infantry Support are lower in profile than most vehicles on the battlefield so it makes sense purely from a realism perspective.

I am sure this forum will have a view ....which will be gratefully received.

Many thanks
Mark
« Last Edit: 05 February 2020, 01:30:51 PM by Leon » Logged
ianrs54
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« Reply #1 on: 05 February 2020, 12:08:29 PM »

Mark - mortars are very hard to find, as are SF MG's till they open fire 4B1T makes their position very obvious. Since firing elements become visible anyway low profile looks right.
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Steve J
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« Reply #2 on: 05 February 2020, 12:48:15 PM »

IIRC you shoot with one less die at Low Profile units, so I found that it was even harder for infantry to hit infantry, which slowed the game down. As I don't the book to hand I can't be certain.
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Big Insect
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« Reply #3 on: 05 February 2020, 02:31:53 PM »

Good point Steve.

We might be able to adjust that. I'll take a look. Although I am not a fan of rules exceptions personally - it all starts to sound a bit WRG/DB.

I do understand the position that an MBT is bigger than an Infantry man or MG or mortar - so having an assault gun like a STug low profile but an infantry unit not, seems counter intuitive.
Hence why the consultation.

All input gratefully received.
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T13A
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« Reply #4 on: 05 February 2020, 04:51:36 PM »

Hi

As you might be aware from my previous posts  Wink I think not having infantry as 'low profile' is bizarre. The problem is that having changed one thing from BKC-II (i.e. shooting with one less die at low profile units and please someone correct me if I am wrong on this, I couldn't find it in BKC-II), changing something else impacts on other changes (and so on).

Anyway I have voted to make infantry low profile.

Cheers Paul
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Prophaniti
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« Reply #5 on: 05 February 2020, 05:10:09 PM »

My view, as stated before, is that having all infantry with low profile effectively makes all the AP stats in the game look a bit silly, because everything they will be used against, except trucks and some large guns, will attract the -1 die modifier (and those targets aren't that common in my experience).

I feel that the recent rules for digging in give infantry sufficient extra durability, where needed, without having the low profile bonus too.

If there's  a spotting or recce issue, it would be more elegant to add special cases to those rules.

Edit: To clarify, it's not that I don't agree that infantry are physically low profile, but that the BKC rules, as developed to date, read and play better if they are considered average profile.
« Last Edit: 05 February 2020, 05:14:19 PM by Prophaniti » Logged
Big Insect
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« Reply #6 on: 05 February 2020, 06:28:02 PM »

My view, as stated before, is that having all infantry with low profile effectively makes all the AP stats in the game look a bit silly, because everything they will be used against, except trucks and some large guns, will attract the -1 die modifier (and those targets aren't that common in my experience).

I feel that the recent rules for digging in give infantry sufficient extra durability, where needed, without having the low profile bonus too.

If there's  a spotting or recce issue, it would be more elegant to add special cases to those rules.

Edit: To clarify, it's not that I don't agree that infantry are physically low profile, but that the BKC rules, as developed to date, read and play better if they are considered average profile.

Very elegantly put Prophaniti - in a funny way if I'd been able to come up with an alternative descriptor to Low Profile, for Infantry, that might have been better - but the profile mechanism in Commander is carried across all 3 current sets and in FWC is actually quite important, and it will be more important in another set under development.

Thanks for the input
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Dr Dave
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« Reply #7 on: 05 February 2020, 09:45:00 PM »

We’ve played BKC and CWC for years and never though low profile was missing from anything. Several players are ex-military from the infantry end of things. Even if an infantryman is “low” I think it’s questionable whether 30-40 of them are - assuming the game is being played at the originally designed platoon per base level. Our feeling was that the low profile felt like part of a general drift into a more skirmish type game.

However, if it is decided that infantry are NOT low profile then I can’t see how anything is. As Mark has already stated in his original post an infantryman is lower profile than a vehicle. But as already stated, we play with a base representing a platoon sized unit, so we don’t use low profile.
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Prophaniti
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« Reply #8 on: 06 February 2020, 12:30:56 AM »

After reading Dr Dave's post another thought has struck me.

There are two firing factors in the game AP and AT, each with a particular type of target.  I wonder if "low profile" as a special rule, would be better if it were treated entirely separately from "low/average profile" as a LOS determining trait.  Maybe using a different term for the special rule?

LOS, line of fire and related terrain interactions are then only based on the absolute physical size of the unit concerned.

Then, for shooting, (where the AP or AT factor already takes into account the general effectiveness against the target type) the special rule represents a relatively difficult target.

(To come back to my point about large guns and trucks, which already have low hits and no save.  I feel they are already vulnerable enough, without gaining a bonus die when shooting at them.)
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Big Insect
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« Reply #9 on: 06 February 2020, 04:30:50 PM »

All going points chaps

Some of the original thinking behind this was to differentiate between lower profile AFVs/assault guns or SP guns - such as Semovente and STugs (for example) which were designed to have a lower profile (but were also turret-less). Thus being a harder target to hit. (NB: the Semovente is only 72.8 inches high)
In CWC for example Swedish S-Tanks have a -1 d:6 effect when shot at by other armour and ATW.

Having a low profile - even if we are talking about a platoon of STugs in ambush still matters. It's how we work this into the rules.

Dr Dave's point is also very valid though - this is not a skirmish game.

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Ithoriel
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« Reply #10 on: 06 February 2020, 04:59:12 PM »

I get that the Semovente is only 72.8 inches high and a Tiger II is 122" but is that really more significant than the fact that a prone infantryman is a matter of a few inches high? A Semovente or Hetzer can't throw themselves flat or dive into the nearest ditch.

Hiding a Semovente is presumably easier than hiding a Tiger but once spotted is it substantially easier to get a significant hit on a Tiger?

Having never shot at, or been shot at by, either infantry or tanks (for which I am duly grateful!) I've no idea of the answer to either of those questions but the thought does lead me to suppose that Prophaniti has a point.
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fred.
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« Reply #11 on: 06 February 2020, 08:04:17 PM »

My view, as stated before, is that having all infantry with low profile effectively makes all the AP stats in the game look a bit silly, because everything they will be used against, except trucks and some large guns, will attract the -1 die modifier (and those targets aren't that common in my experience).

I feel that the recent rules for digging in give infantry sufficient extra durability, where needed, without having the low profile bonus too.

If there's  a spotting or recce issue, it would be more elegant to add special cases to those rules.

Edit: To clarify, it's not that I don't agree that infantry are physically low profile, but that the BKC rules, as developed to date, read and play better if they are considered average profile.

I think this is a very good point.

The problems at the minute seem to stem from having a rule that seems to be written for the lower height AFVs which were used in certain tactical situations, then being applied to infantry as well. As shooting is already split into AP and AT, then I think it is fine to have the Low Profile rule only apply to AT shooting. Also limiting just to shooting resolution (not spotting) is a good thing.

The ‘Low Profile’ name is probably rather generic, and that doesn't help. Nor did the rather sporadic application of the rule in the 1st print of the army lists.

The hard bit is to quantify this within the scale of the rules, and the other modifiers already in the rules.

Infantry don’t really need the Low Profile rule, they have a lot of hits, which I always understood was at least in part to represent their smallness and dispersal.
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Dr Dave
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« Reply #12 on: 07 February 2020, 08:09:04 AM »

Infantry don’t really need the Low Profile rule, they have a lot of hits, which I always understood was at least in part to represent their smallness and dispersal.

Exactly. If folks think something is genuinely harder to hit, give it an extra hit.
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T-Square
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« Reply #13 on: 07 February 2020, 11:33:25 PM »

Exactly. If folks think something is genuinely harder to hit, give it an extra hit.

Or a save roll.
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Big Insect
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« Reply #14 on: 08 February 2020, 07:01:57 PM »

I think the extra save roll for 'low silhouette' AFVs might be an answer.

As to the observation that this special characteristic was sparsely distributed in the army list, I would agree that it was, partly because it is actually a fairly rare characteristic.

I'm open to suggestions for inclusion in this category for AFVs?

Cheers
Mark
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