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Hit Locations (p. 190 AToW) are an optional rule in A Time of War [Mechwarrior 4th Ed RPG] which alter some of the normal combat rules when in place, such as the effects of injury.

When a players wants their character to target a specific location on the opponent, the rules for applying modifiers is clear. What is not clear is how the angle of attack rules apply, if at all, to shots with a declared location that has been rolled for, and successfully hit.

Example 1:

An attacker, declared to be firing on a target from above and choosing to target the legs, will have to first beat the modified difficulty of the roll in order to hit their chosen location. According to the angle of attack rules, however, they will then need to reroll the location on the chart due to the interaction between that chosen hit location and the angle of attack.

This means that it is harder to hit, and if that threshold is met the attack will hit somewhere on the body, but that location is more likely to be different than the one chosen.

Example 2:

An attacker, declared to be firing on a target from above and choosing to target the legs, will have to first beat the modified difficulty of the roll in order to hit their chosen location. This means that it is harder to hit, but if that threshold is met, the attack will hit the chosen location. Effects of that hit are determined from the hit locations chart, but the angle of attack rules are ignored.

Example 3:

An attacker, declared to be firing on a target from above and choosing to target the legs, will have to first beat the modified difficulty of the roll in order to hit their chosen location, the GM is to add in additional modifiers above and beyond those for the chosen location to reflect the added difficulty/ease brought on by the angle of the attack. This means that it may be easier or harder to hit in general - depending on the modifiers given for the angle, but if that threshold is met, the attack will hit the chosen location. Damage effects will be taken from the hit locations chart.

Question: Which, if any, of these interpretations of the rules is correct? Please include page references, errata, or official responses from the developers in your response.

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I normally would ask such a pointed question directly to the developers or on a Forum specific to the game in question, but in this case, the entire Catalyst website has been blocked here for weeks. –  Runeslinger May 2 '12 at 8:00
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2 Answers

up vote 1 down vote accepted

The response from Catalyst Game Labs on their Rules Questions forum clarifies that the aimed shot rules do not interact with the Angle of Attack rules, thus validating Example number 2 in the original question.

  • This means that a player declaring their character will aim at a specific body location will either hit that location or miss the body completely.
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Whatever caused the site to be blocked has been addressed, and I was able to get my answer today. –  Runeslinger May 2 '12 at 8:01
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Given my experience with gaming and called shots, I would have to side with the rules in example 3. It's the GM's perogative to add miscellaneous modifiers to a situation.

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I am specifically looking for rules rather than opinions for this question. Direct experience with the game, this problem, and its resolution are required. If you can edit your response with support from the game itself or errata, I will be happy to vote on your entry. –  Runeslinger Apr 22 '12 at 6:12
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