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I'm confused about searching fire. The written description from Cannon Companion says:

"Searching fire must be declared prior to the attack and dice roll. Rather than increasing the Damage Level, every 3 rounds add an additional die to the Attack Test. The weapon must be fired for a minimum of six rounds to use searching fire. All standard combat modifiers and Combat Pool apply."

Now it seems to me that adding recoil modifiers just rips this rule up. At the target numbers you usually see in combat (8 and up) extra dice rolled are usually just wasted. This is especially true if you add 5 or 6 points for uncompensated recoil. If you have a massive gyromount and gas vent, of course, you can just rack the damage way up. You might get a ton of dice with a supermachine gun class weapon (HVAR, SuperMach), but the recoil penalty means you will NEVER hit. Suppressing fire has a better chance.

Since it seems to me that they wouldn't toss in a useless rule I have to think that they meant for recoil modifiers to be inapplicable to searching fire. BUT, as written it sure heck looks like they do. And we all know that FASA could come up with real gems in the firearms department for rules.

So how do you run it? Anybody use it? (I used searching fire once in game, since the GM applied recoil rules it was utterly worthless). Is this just something for the gyromount using heavy machine gunners out there?
Er the rule is fine, because it's not really hard to eliminate 10 points of recoil.
Necro Tech
Especially if you are using a vehicle mount. On the flip side, if you have very little skill (1 or 2) then your odds might actually go up, especially if you are only firing 3 or 6 rnds.
Ol' Scratch
It's pretty pointless.

Why? Because you're basically giving up the equivalence of two successes (one Damage Level) in exchange for a single attack die which has no change of staging damage up on its own. Since the Power of the attack is still staged up per round, that's the only real change I can think of between the two options.

Unless you have a low to average skill rating or a high target number (where any hit is better than no hit at all), I don't see much point in using it. Of course that would be the point of the rule -- it is called Searching Fire for a reason. I'd rather use Suppressive Fire in those situations anyway... force the opposition to keep their head down until a more competent gunman shows up to pick them off.
The only time I've seen people use this rule is on fully compensated weapons or vehicle weapons. I guess that's what it's for.
Well everybody's cleared my basic question up: we all think recoil modifiers apply to it. In that case, it really does only make sense with a fully compensated heavy weapon and low skill. So, my skill 4 gunner with his tripod mounted HMG now has something to do with his life.
Ol' Scratch
Recoil is a moot point with those rules. If it affects your Searching Fire attack, it's going to affect your standard attack, too. So if you wouldn't be able to make a standard attack count due to it, Searching Fire's not going to help either.

If you have a weapon with no or limited recoil compensation, Suppressive Fire is what you want to do. I had a combat mage that carried a pair of a machine pistols for that very reason. He could empty both of them into an area, despite no RC whatsoever and no ambidexterity, and not suffer any penalties for those two facts beyond the flat +2 penalty for Suppressive Fire. It's the better option for anyone who's not a hardcore gunbunny, with or without RC.
or a high target number (where any hit is better than no hit at all)

Pretty useful in this situation.

I had a combat mage that carried a pair of a machine pistols for that very reason.

Me too. Unmodified Steyr TMP's - suppressing while sprinting for cover is a good tactic. Her theme song is Red Tape (from Underworld). love.gif
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