Just played Firefight 3 for the first time last night. I was Germans, my opponent the Soviets (duh). He went off to plan his hidden placements, leaving me to stare at the map in some dismay. Then I look at the two possible locations of the wounded Soviet general (the key victory condition), 4F10 or 4G09, and I start to ponder my mortar ranges and my setup boundary well to the south, across forest and three hills. I pull out a mapboard to use as a straight edge, and I start to check things. To me it looks like, according to the LOS and hills rules that something on 3F14 or maybe 3E13 can see both the buildings, way way away. So I set up my two 8cm mortar units just behind the hill crest (I think it was 3D13 and 3D15, with a space in between in case he could ever bring down off-board on me).

He comes to the board and goes "Huh" -- my units mostly in a neat line on the reverse slope, spaced against arty fire. We roll for initiative, I win. I activate one of the 8cm mortars, say I'm going to indirect fire on the house at 4F10, spend CAP to improve my chances, roll... and score a +4 above required to hit, resulting in an instant kill. "That's it, I win" I announce, to the shock of by my opponent and I. We spend the next 30-45 minutes researching online to see if we're interpreting the rules, but can't find anything that says no, and find an example on Boardgamegeek of someone who's done a similar positioning and it was ruled legal.

So, my question to the group: was this an unlikely victory, or an impossible (read: we messed up rules) one?

(I really hope it is the former--it makes a great story to tell that I won a wargame on the first move of the game.) :)

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This move is possible only if you set up your mortar on hex D14, which gets your spotter in a position with a clear LOS. The only hexes that can see house 4-G09 are 3-F14 and 3-G15.
So the odds of you rolling for first initiative and then getting a kill on the first shot are really low. Even using all of your possible CAP modifiers, etc. you would need a 7 to hit and an 11 to kill. Rolling an 11 is pretty tough odds on a one shot deal, since the Soviets could immediately respond with a smoke screen to cut your LOS. But kudos to you for seeing this tactic. Most players do not.
By the way, E13 cannot see house G09 because of hill 3-K11.
Thanks, Uwe! I figured it was something of a long shot. I had drawn the card that lets you skip right to another activation, so I was going to try firing my first mortar twice (spending CAP to get the AP to do it), play the card, then repeat for the second mortar. I thought that would at least let me "flush out" the general by (hopefully) getting one hit. I didn't think about my opponent getting to try to "pop smoke" after my first action.
Uwe, a question: for the Soviets to immediately respond with a smoke screen, the player would have to have units in the hexes just south of the farmstead, right? They can't drop an artillery-delivered screen on the first turn, right? And don't have any mortars of the right size, or pioneer units? I suppose the general could pop smoke, but that wouldn't block mortar fire into his hex (and would give away his position!).
You are so correct Scott. My mistake. The 50mm Soviet mortar has no smoke and it takes a one turn delay to fire the artillery. The first 4 firefights are really training games. The really goods ones start later on, so keep it up! :)
PS - remind me never to play you at a con!
Thanks, Uwe! If only I could ever get to a con, you'd see how unusual me stumbling upon this was--I usually lose my games! :)
Scott come on out to Consimworld Expo this year in Tempe...I'll have my copy of COH and will be looking for a pickup game or two...
Alas, I'll just be coming off of supporting a round-the-clock test exercise at work--no Expo for me. :(
Oh gawd that is funny!


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