In a few days I will master my first Round of Shadowrun and I talked with my players about specifics of their roles. During that I stumbled across the problems of deckers in combat. To me the rulebook suggests the idea of hacking guns in combat. But if I read the rules correctly then this is not a very viable course of action.
In my understanding most opposition would have their devices on running silent since there is no disadvantage to it for most devices. So the decker would have to make a matrix perception check and would generate lets say 4 Hits. Then he would use his first hit to make sure there are devices running silent in 100m. Then he could use the remaining 3 hits to spot devices if he knows a feature that they possess. Here is where my problems arise. (This interpretation of the rules is based a lot on the example on page 271.)
- The Decker would know that he has spotted a gun but would not know which one. Unless the Opposition is a lot about Gun diversity it would be impossible for the decker to know who he is attacking. Which becomes a big problem when a few enemies are dead and he is possibly hacking the guns of dead enemies.
- In skyscrapers the problem is even bigger since 100m in every direction are a lot of floors with a lot of guards with weapons. So the spoting and identifying the right one becomes even harder and comes with the possiblity of alerting more guards.
The decker and I came to the conclusion that combat decking is pretty useless and we are wondering if we missed or misunderstood something. We are willing to make adjustments to the rules if necessary.