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#41 Errant Knight

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Posted 13 June 2014 - 08:41 AM

Having reread the entirety of Mathhammer, I do think the idea was NOT to count each hit against armor separately, but to possibly decrease the damage done by each hit, it's not quite clear.

 

It's an interesting dilemma.  Supposing that carrier battles are trying to recreate some Pacific conflict, circa '42-'43, then bombers should be taking considerable casualties, but a single well-placed hit can inflict catastrophic damage while every hit does significant damage.



#42 Annaamarth

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Posted 13 June 2014 - 09:37 AM

 

Having reread the entirety of Mathhammer, I do think the idea was NOT to count each hit against armor separately, but to possibly decrease the damage done by each hit, it's not quite clear.

 

It's an interesting dilemma.  Supposing that carrier battles are trying to recreate some Pacific conflict, circa '42-'43, then bombers should be taking considerable casualties, but a single well-placed hit can inflict catastrophic damage while every hit does significant damage.

For macrocannon, the point is very much to reduce the damage of each hit by armour- which makes sense from a simulationist perspective.  This is why armour is reduced (or macrocannon damage increased)- to ensure that macrocannon damage is reduced, not eliminated entirely.  Storm improves Broadside effectiveness, some people recommend giving lances tearing, but from what I recall of the thread, torpedoes and small craft were glossed over.

 

 

 

 

And no, the idea was to flush all small craft simultaneously

Then your first problem is right there: you're launching 20 squadrons of small craft in a single round from 10 points of launch capaciy.

 

For some reason I thought you could launch 2 squadrons per point of Hanger Bay Str.  Anyhooot, it's a moot point because whether he launches the bombers first and then the fighter escorts, he still has 4 rounds to get to the target (at a speed of the bombers, with the target coming to them), and attack.  So say the bombers and escorts get there in three rounds because the target stops.  Well, that is still a attack with 10 bombers and 10 escorts that can negate Turret Rating's. 

 

If he happens to launch the fighter escorts first, then it's possibly 3 rounds to get to the target, with maybe a attack with fighter escorts as the turn ends and they have to return.

 

Note:  I can't remember if the escorts can return on their own after their fuel/ammo runs out, while the bombers still stay and fight, or if they both have to return together.  Can't remember if I made a GM call and allowed it, or if it wasn't specified in the books as not being allowed.  So you might be able to add about 3 more attacks (to both above examples) with just the bombers.

 

 

This is where splitting up into multiple squadrons becomes better. Each Squadron can hit up to 3 times, plus one per bonus squadron. In squadrons of 3, you could get +10 to hit and be able to deal 5 x 1d10+4.

 

Even with Mathhammer, and resolving each of those hits as 1d10+16, you'll do a respectable amount of damage. And if you get 4 hits you will crit as well, which is nice.

 

Mathhammer really just incentivizes you to use more squadrons. Yes, you don't combine the damage but the first squadron can still make 3 hits.

 

See, you've both improved the situation from the Conquest's perspective already.  The Mathhammer damage change seems to turn the carrier concept into a crit-seeker which... can be useful.  I still feel that the damage of bombers should be increased slightly, or that some other benefit should be given to them in order to ensure they aren't just still worse than macrocannon against battlewagons.

 

The problem is that bombers are speed 6, which means that they should be most effective against big ships.  Mathhammer, conversely, incentivizes attacking relatively lightly armoured ships.

 

I suppose you could just turn your conquest into a commerce raider, but that just seems underwhelming.


RIP AND TEAR THROUGH THE TIDE OF BLOOD WITH BATTLESUIT PILOT. SUPLEX HIVE TYRANTS. DO WHATEVER, YOU'RE PILOTING A HUGE-ASS MECHA.

 -Errant, on how Rogue Trader ought to be played


#43 Errant Knight

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Posted 13 June 2014 - 02:56 PM

I was addressing bomber squadrons specifically, Annamaarth.  Sorry for not being clearer.  The effects on macrocannon are well-detailed in that thread.

 

The problem with splitting the squadrons is that you'll take atrocious casualties in your bomber squadrons.  Take that Dictator example.  It has a very good turret rating of 3.  With a competent crew each incoming attack will face 30 + 15 = 45% casualties before delivering their eggs.  That casualty rate goes up with better crews.  Sending a fighter along with each bomber will decrease those losses but also incur heavier casualties in your overall air arm.

 

I don't have a huge issue with heavy casualties, after all they aren't a total loss, but that means the remaining squadrons will have to be really effective, wreaking havoc with even capital ships, in a single attack run.

 

I certainly wish they'd put a little more effort into torpedo bombers, just for some flavor.  What they did is obviously an afterthought.  The differences of space torpedoes and terrestrial water-delivered torpedoes is doctrinal and I thought they did a decent job there.  The advantage of 40k torpedo bombers is that they avoid combat void patrol.  The disadvantages outweigh this.  Their ammo can be shot down in its turn and they can still be intercepted.  That problem is the sickly 3-plane squadrons.  That simply doesn't make sense.  And then they go on to say that you need extra space on your ship devoted to storing those torpedoes.  Why?  You've got plenty of space where those 7 other bombers currently are not.

 

All that brings up the question of magazines anyway.  Whether it's macrocannon, torpedoes, or plasma bombs, 40k weaponry is still very kinetic-centered.  Ammunition should take up a lot of space.  Terrestrial ships carry a very limited amount of ammunition and can fire it up in a very short amount of time.  40k ships seem to carry unlimited amounts (which is fine since I don't care for that type of record-keeping) but it takes up no space.  40k ships, being somewhat primitive, should probably dedicate more space proportionately to armament and munitions than it does.

 

And now I'm going way off-topic, so I'll stop there.



#44 Annaamarth

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Posted 13 June 2014 - 03:15 PM

Basic munitions storage is considered part of the basic hull design, along with basic provisions storage. Torpedoes are special, because they're each the size of office blocks.  There is also some accomodation for crew quarters and other critical systems, which is why crew spaces take up so little room compared to the gundecks (at least on the big ships) for example.

 

The squadron size and ammunition limitation on Torpedo bombers is pretty much garbage, but the damage potentional of ten squadrons of torpedo bombers (that's thirty incoming torpedoes) is frightening to consider. It'll be reduced by turrets and could be reduced by interceptors, though I see no reason for a GM not to allow fighters to escort them just like bombers.

 

Edit: Re: Mathhammer bombers, if you're trying to reduce bomber damage without using the Mathhammer-macrocannon armour-per-hit rule, maybe just reduce all bomber damage from 1d10+4 per hit to 1d5+4.  You still have good minimum damage, it's still likely to penetrate armour, but your max damage is reduced greatly. ~67% of attacks with 10 hits of the d10+4 will deal 86 to 104 damage before armour, while a similar percentage of the d5+4 hits will average 65.5 to 74.5 damage before armour- a fairly solid reduction.  1d5+3 would probably do just as well- it would mean that a Grand Cruiser would shrug off hits from one or two bombers, but that a pocket carrier Conquest sending in ten-squadron waves will still be a worrisome prospect.


Edited by Annaamarth, 13 June 2014 - 03:24 PM.

RIP AND TEAR THROUGH THE TIDE OF BLOOD WITH BATTLESUIT PILOT. SUPLEX HIVE TYRANTS. DO WHATEVER, YOU'RE PILOTING A HUGE-ASS MECHA.

 -Errant, on how Rogue Trader ought to be played


#45 Errant Knight

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Posted 13 June 2014 - 10:05 PM

Okay now, this is the kind of discussion I like.

 

Now while the ship-to-ship torpedoes are a couple hundred feet in length and thick enough to carry space marines in power armor by the dozen, those launched from bombers are smaller.  It's mentioned in the text and follows terrestrial counterparts.  U.S. torpedoes are probably a bad example because the USN didn't appreciably develop these in the pre-war era, but the IJN long lance was considerably different than the IJN aerial torpedo.  Most significantly different in both navies was the warhead size, which was in all cases around 50% larger in the surface torpedo, and had a much longer range to boot.

 

So how does that transfer to 40k?  The same principles apply.  Bombers should deliver smaller torpedoes with shorter range (already accounted for RAW) and with less damage (not accounted for).  And yes, the ammunition limitations in the rules are total garbage and need to be disregarded.  We don't count macrocannon ammo and there should be no exception made for other types of ammo, short of nova cannon and the like.

 

You bring up up the point of sheer numbers, but I don't think this is accurate from an operational standpoint.  Yes, 10 squadrons of a mere 3 bombers each can conceivably launch 30 torpedoes, but torpedoes launched from bombers are launched at the beginning of the turn, with no aim adjustment allowed.  Probably a third of those will outright miss, and another third of them will probably not even launch their torpedoes because of bad alignment, hoping instead (if they have the endurance) to realign, set up again, and attempt another launch, leaving a third to actually even get as BS roll to hit.  And by the way, I hate the geometry of miniature games, so that should all be a function of crew rating and NOT a function of bomber facing at the beginning of the turn.  So it comes down to a percentage chance for each torpedo to hit.

 

So what is more important when it comes to eliminating the incoming torpedo threat?  Is it weapons or crew skill?  Should it be turret rating modified by crew rating or crew rating modified by turret rating?  And what should be the baseline % of eliminated torpedoes?

 

And off the subject of attack craft-launched torpedoes and back onto the bombing runs, I have to say I don't like the idea of stacking damage any more than I ever liked it with macrocannon.  It just feels wrong.  Armor should count against each and every hit.  It's not like every plasma bomb hits the exact same spot, each adding to the armor penetration of the previous bomb.  RAW each bomber carries like 40 plasma bombs.  That's a considerable bombing run.

 

I don't like that each escorting fighter squadron reduces turret firing -10, especially when using large combined groups.  It results in turrets becoming completely ineffective.  I like the idea that fighters reduce it, but even -5 becomes huge when waves of 10 of them are incoming.  I think that those fighters being able to absorb the casualties, allowing the bombers to deliver their eggs, is a big enough advantage.

 

Okay, I'll check back tomorrow.  I'm tired tonight.



#46 Annaamarth

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Posted 14 June 2014 - 10:35 AM

40 plasma bombs.  I freaking hate the idea of free-fall explosive weapons in microgravity combat. I just assume they've been swapped out for rockets or at least something that has some kind of propulsion.

 

If you don't like stacking bomber damage, assuming they aren't lining up to strike the same locations over and over, then I would recommend either having each one deal 1d5 damage ignoring armour entirely (this presupposes some kind of armour piercing ammunition, possibly one-shot lance-packs or something), or 1d10+18 if you're using damage-boost Mathhammer or 1d10+6 if you're using armour-reduction Mathhammer. With that damage profile against a Dictator, 66% of the time your damage with ten hits should be 27.4 to 44.6- good but not crippling. That damage profile gets slightly worse against, say, an Avenger grand cruiser.  To illustrate why I dislike this pattern, 4 hits against an Iconoclast with this damage profile will usually to 32.3 to 43.7 points of hull damage- that's achievable with two or three squadrons, and they have a turret rating of 1 to defend with and only 28 hull integrity to begin with- you'll be sinking Iconoclasts left, right and center.

 

The reason to ignore armour and reduce attack damage across the board in the case of bombers is specifically to incentivize attacking the big ships. It's balance and function over simulationism.  Also consider- how much did hull armour matter in the case of dive bombers attacking a carrier or cruiser in WWII?  Not at all- the ship's upper surfaces aren't armoured in the same way the sides are.  By the same token, the bombers of 40k can look for those unprotected crevices.  Or just use armour piercing ammunition- whichever.

 

Anyway, that 1d5 armour piercing damage profile is stupid-easy to model.  10 hits on a Dictator? 25.5 to 34.5 damage on average.  4 hits on an Iconoclast? 9.2-14.8 damage on average.  This makes carriers much less likely to rack up escort kills in job lots.

 

Edit: **** yeah, modelling with statistics.


Edited by Annaamarth, 14 June 2014 - 10:35 AM.

RIP AND TEAR THROUGH THE TIDE OF BLOOD WITH BATTLESUIT PILOT. SUPLEX HIVE TYRANTS. DO WHATEVER, YOU'RE PILOTING A HUGE-ASS MECHA.

 -Errant, on how Rogue Trader ought to be played


#47 Marwynn

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Posted 14 June 2014 - 03:49 PM

That sounds good, but the whole point of Mathhammer is to make ship armour count and that turns each bomber squadron into a lance.

 

I don't like the fact that I have trouble damaging cruisers with my bomber squadrons under Mathhammer, but the damage still adds up. And I can leave escorts "rekt" as the kids say with just one or two bombers.


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#48 Errant Knight

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Posted 14 June 2014 - 09:05 PM

Yeah, we call them bombs, but they have some sort of propulsion, which technically makes them a rocket, maybe even a missile. And I suppose it isn't unreasonable that they strike close to the same spot.  After all, they'd be launched in salvos.  Each bird carries 40.

 

Carrier armor in WWII varied.  Some ships had an armor belt for torpedo defense.  Some had armored decks.  Few had both.  Offhand, I can think of 1 (Shinano) and it never saw action as an operational vessel.  I like your idea now that you've explained its purpose.  Yes, in a fleet action the attack craft should be ignoring the escorts in favor of targeting the capital ships, which the armor rules discourage.  Escorts should be the vessels specialized at shooting down attack craft.  I can't believe they never put "fleet defense turrets" in any of the supplements.






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