There needs to be some stipulation on it that makes it inferior to attacking in your turn, or you run into the 2E issue of high-noon stand-offs where both armies just wait for the other one to walk into range.
If there was either a reduced range, facing limitation (as in SW
) and/or BS
penalty (and Tau couldn't negate it with marker lights), it's be a mechanic I'd be happy to see return to the game.
In 2nd, the main restriction was -1 BS
but it let you interrupt your foe anytime during movement (including when your opponent was moving from one cover piece to another). Thus, Overwatch really wasn't a drawback except on the most crowded of maps! Add to the fact that you had facings, could target multiple units, etc, and the mechanic was both a bit clunky *and* it did promote said standoffs.
I kept the BS
penalty bit but even for stuff that ignores this, I feel the proposal I wrote should work for several reasons:
-Overwatch triggers off attacks, rather than movement. Thus, you can still advance from cover to cover as needed and you don't have to pause the game to discuss "middle of movement" overwatch.
-The rules are for 3rd/7th, where "one unit shoots at one unit". I might contemplate a "cannot overwatch" clause for Super-heavies though, due to their cumbersome nature.
-If the enemy isn't attempting to Overwatch within 12", you can only cover friendly units within 6" of your Overwatching unit. While you "can" theoretically game the system by running a lot of small artillery pieces in support of Guardblob or a Green Tide, those armies could use the help. More MSU
-ish armies won't benefit as much by contrast (though running a few Hellhounds/Banewolves alongside your Russes may have a practical purpose now).
-You may still be able to "beat" overwatch with the right timing of orders. As an (admittedly abstract example), say you have a unit full of Meltavets that wants to unload and deal with an enemy Russ, but there's an enemy Hellhound on Overwatch within 6" of it. If you can "shake it" first with the Chimera (or another vehicle), you're in business. Alternately, you can still attempt to overwhelm a defensive setup.
-It potentially levels the playing field against Tau and Eldar. Not only would Overwatch protect against move-attack-move shenanigans but the rules as worded prevent units from doing ANY other actions for the turn once they enter Overwatch (aka, no "move-overwatch-move" shenanigans).
There are certain aspects of the rule that do bother me, that I imagine a few tweaks can sort out:
-The rules benefit all large units equally no matter what, due to the ability to daisy-chain nearby overwatchers. While this is fluffy for Guardblobs/etc, it's less so for a Barkbarkstar. (Solition: Put the Barkbarkstar to sleep).
-Defender Fires First may be a bit too good in some situations, especially when it comes to shooting without LOS
. One thing I've contemplated is a "counter-battery clause", which states "Defender Fires first if it can trace Line of Sight to its target" or so.
-"No overwatch" should be case by case. I imagine most "no overwatch" effects in the game now should translate to "cannot overwatch vs charging enemies" or so. While driving up to a Guard gunline with a Dirge Caster Rhino is funny, plopping a Darkshroud next to a bunch of artillery would be less so. If any units should be immune to "return fire" Overwatch, it should be the really sneaky stuff, like Stealth Suits, Rangers, etc.