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Making the Viper Scout Sloop viable


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#21 Lady Kataline Jianwei

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Posted 29 May 2014 - 05:37 PM

For reference, you can't use the Hydraphur Jamming system while on Silent Running, as they work by blinding/dazzling sensor looking at them. Hard to lock on and hit you, yes, but it's fairly obvious there's something there.
Of course, there are a number of things which will cancel your Silent Running- including Active Augury and Focused Augury, unless you fit the ship with the Passive Detection Arrays from Hostile Acquisitions. Admittedly, those do not provide a bonus to Detection, but it does potentially let you get in closer without being spotted.

As an option to keep your ship unholed having been spotted, though, the Jammers are a pretty good trick as you speed off.

 

Good to know thanks. But I like the idea of having the Jammers on a small fast ship. I think it adds to the mystique and gives the vessel a smugglers feel to it. Also it only costs power and boy does the Viper have lots of that to spare, at least compared to its space.


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#22 Errant Knight

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Posted 29 May 2014 - 07:17 PM

While the rules never mention it, the Passive Detection Array shouldn't ever. be allowed to perform an Active Augury or Focused Augury.



#23 Annaamarth

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Posted 30 May 2014 - 12:59 AM

I would allow Focused Augury, as it says you can take augury actions at no penalty. I would not allow an Active Augury, because the Passive Array is not ever active, by definition.  But I would also allow my players to take multiple Augur Arrays, so that they can decide which set to power and which set not to use at any given time- each one past the first costs +1 Ship Point, though.  RAW, however, the passive array allows all detection actions, including Active and Focused.

 

I am a huge fan of the unarmed 'Stealth' Viper as a support ship.  Equipped with Cypra, Mantle, Passive Array and the Really Noisy Array whose name I cannot recall, you have a tremendously capable scout.  I'd even spring for the Repulsor voids, so that it can navigate realspace more comfortably, and hide in a nebula or something.

 

If you give it the Miloslav, Warpsbane and other fast/safe Warp Travel gear, it also becomes a fantastic courier boat... just in case you don't trust your astropath to be able to keep things private, or you need something delivered.


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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


#24 Tenebrae

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Posted 30 May 2014 - 02:36 AM

While the rules never mention it, the Passive Detection Array shouldn't ever. be allowed to perform an Active Augury or Focused Augury.

That is their entire purpose. They have no other reason to exist.


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#25 Errant Knight

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Posted 30 May 2014 - 07:44 AM

I only allow the passive arrays to pick up emanations, but yes, I do allow the players to mount them in tandem with other arrays.

 

The players in my game discovered a system with a huge amount of Yu-Vath ruins (going from memory I'm thinking about 1400 pts of xenos-ruins, as generated by the Stars of Iniquity system.  They found an angry and powerful Immaterium Arc and mounted that on their Viper.  It shoots at every ship within range, but can only hit a single ship once.  Their usual tactic is to use a larger ship to screen the Viper and when it gets close to move in and spray every opponent within range.  If the ship (or maybe it's just the weapon) takes a hit it goes crazy and kills some of the crew.  As a result, noone wants to serve aboard that ship (the morale of the ship is lowered).  Otherwise, the Viper acts as recon vessel, sometimes performing independent missions.

 

You sound like your game is going to have large battles.  We stick with BFG when it comes to shields.  Shields don't go back up every time a new ship fires on it.  When shields go down they stay down till the round is over (sans overload capacitors).  It helps the game speed when we are playing with 10-15 ships out there, which has gotten more often.  I think our largest battle had 24 ships in it.  This game is nearing its end; the players have almost topped out their ranks.  I have to come up with a bang-up ending.


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#26 Chopper Greg

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Posted 31 May 2014 - 01:58 PM

 

........ They found an angry and powerful Immaterium Arc and mounted that on their Viper.  It shoots at every ship within range, but can only hit a single ship once.

 

What book is this in?



#27 BaronIveagh

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Posted 31 May 2014 - 06:58 PM

I would allow Focused Augury, as it says you can take augury actions at no penalty. I would not allow an Active Augury, because the Passive Array is not ever active, by definition.  But I would also allow my players to take multiple Augur Arrays, so that they can decide which set to power and which set not to use at any given time- each one past the first costs +1 Ship Point, though.  RAW, however, the passive array allows all detection actions, including Active and Focused.

 

Which makes sense as 'active' augery is not a 'ping' per se, but activly scanning everything in range.  Rememeber the passive array is just that, an array.  One would assume where other sensors would activly ping, this one builds a composite image based on dozens of different types of sensor, including gravity, which would give away another ship on silent running as it can't hide it's own mass.  The end effect is the same.

 

 

 

What book is this in?

 

The Whisperer, a Yuvath battleship, uses them in Whispers on the storm, IIRC.


Edited by BaronIveagh, 31 May 2014 - 07:02 PM.


#28 Vandegraffe

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Posted 01 June 2014 - 01:14 AM

 

 

........ They found an angry and powerful Immaterium Arc and mounted that on their Viper.  It shoots at every ship within range, but can only hit a single ship once.

 

What book is this in?

 

The short adventure packaged in the GM's screen has it.  It is a horribly blasphemous Yu'Vath lance weapon...  Not sure I'd allow my players to install one on their ship since the technology base is so different.

 

Cheers,

- V.



#29 Erathia

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Posted 01 June 2014 - 10:42 AM

 

 

 

........ They found an angry and powerful Immaterium Arc and mounted that on their Viper.  It shoots at every ship within range, but can only hit a single ship once.

 

What book is this in?

 

The short adventure packaged in the GM's screen has it.  It is a horribly blasphemous Yu'Vath lance weapon...  Not sure I'd allow my players to install one on their ship since the technology base is so different.

 

 

I absolutely would. It's a warp-powered Xenos weapon made by a race that brainwashed an entire planet into serving them whenever they went to sleep.

 

I could justify so many horrible things happening to my players if they were reckless enough to install one.


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#30 Marwynn

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Posted 01 June 2014 - 01:08 PM

This is why I can't have nice, heretical things.

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#31 Errant Knight

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Posted 01 June 2014 - 09:17 PM

Yeah, Immaterium Arc comes from one of the free download scenarios.  The Angry modifier came from Stars of Inequity, which I used to randomly modify anything they decided to play with.



#32 Lady Kataline Jianwei

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Posted 01 June 2014 - 10:11 PM

Yeah, Immaterium Arc comes from one of the free download scenarios.  The Angry modifier came from Stars of Inequity, which I used to randomly modify anything they decided to play with.

 Where might we find said free things? I'd like to take a look this Immaterium Arc.


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#33 Erathia

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Posted 01 June 2014 - 10:28 PM

 

Yeah, Immaterium Arc comes from one of the free download scenarios.  The Angry modifier came from Stars of Inequity, which I used to randomly modify anything they decided to play with.

 Where might we find said free things? I'd like to take a look this Immaterium Arc.

 

 

It's not free, but it's the adventure from the Game Master's kit that is actually quite enjoyable. The Immaterium Arcs are Xenos weapons that were installed in Imperial vessels, so no doubt you COULD get it to work.


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#34 Errant Knight

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Posted 02 June 2014 - 08:07 AM

I stand corrected.  The Immaterium Arc first appears in the GMs Kit, but I can't help but think it's further fleshed out in another book somewhere.  The stats I have on it (in the PCs ship) appear too "finished" for something I'd do.  I guess I should keep better notes in my campaign log (like I don't have enough notes in the campaign log - still, page numbers would be nice).

 

And Heck Yes!  I'll let the players go with anything Yu'Vash!  If the Psycharus Worm didn't teach them to let that dog lie then that's just more fun for me!

 

Here we go (looking stuff up).  I rolled Cursed Artefact, but since it's xeno-tech I applied both results (well, at least the bad parts).  So it has the Death-Dream's Fragment, Bloodlust, Unpredictable, and Dogged properties, which I interpeted as...

1) reduces morale by 3 (DDF)

2) blasts 2 other ship's components any time it gets hit (remaining unaffected itself - DDF)

3) lowers ship pop by 1 and morale by 3 if item is hit with a crit (bloodlust)

4) as #3 anytime a BS test to use the weapon fails as it throws out bolts of warp lightning (Unpredictable)

5) can't be removed from the ship (well, it can, but it appears right back there - can you say Psycharus Worm? - Dogged)

6) shoots at everything in range (max. 4 targets), including friends, but can only score 1 hit per target (don't know where this came from - lack of notes)

 

Angry.  I like my descriptor.  Plus there's the added advantage of the players having to keep the ship under quarantine anytime they're in port, for fear of the Inquisition hearing about the thing.  Fun fun.  In all honesty, #'s 2 and 3 have only happened once, but 4 happens all the time, and it often gets in shots at friendly ships.  None of the PCs want to be on that ship and it's run by a crew that's being constantly replaced, so its crew rating is the worst in their fleet.  Heh.



#35 Annaamarth

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Posted 04 June 2014 - 12:59 AM

So, I know this is a bit of a backtrack, and for that I apologize.

 

This is my favorite Viper build- it does exactly what it is meant to. It's originally designed as a Deathwatch Kill-team support ship, but could serve equally well as a Rogue Trader vessel with minimal tweaking.  It has two Archeotech components, which maybe makes it a non-ideal starting vessel- that and the total lack of armament. There is also a slight departure from RAW in this build, because the ship mounts two sets of Augur arrays- the second one cost an additional ship point to make up for it.  This means that it has the W-240 passive arrays for stealthy operations, and when the ship wants to be noisy it can deactivate the W-240 array and energize the X-470 Ultimo array, which makes active auguries stupidly effective, particularly in conjunction with the Exploration Bridge.  It has slave quarters, because originally chapter serfs, but the quality of components negates the morale penalty and I saw no reason to try to change it for the Rogue Trader.

 

A Miloslav drive, Warp Sextant and a Warpsbane Hull allow for fast, relatively safe warp transit.

 

A brig allows for captured targets, perhaps even a recovered carnifex or gnarloc.  An Astropathic choir chamber allows the Astropath to do his thing.  A Librarium Vault provides lore and research capabilities.  Any of these could be swapped out for something else.

 

The crew quality is upgraded (because, again, originally Deathwatch), but you could save 5 points on that upgrade and install some extra components.  You'd need to install more high-quality components to reduce power draw, unless you wanted to yank the Ultimo array, but hey- that's up to you.  Depending on GM, you might be able to do something truly psychotic, like mount torpedo tubes (converting the dorsal slot to prow) with Guided torpedoes- with the Detection on this thing, you could probably do some nasty things with that.

 

All this in one, relatively inexpensive 49 ship-point package.

 

 The stat block follows.

 

Speed 11    Man +30
Det +25/35  Hull 25
Armour 14   Turret 1
Space 29    SP 49
Mounts: Dor 1
 
Crew rating: Crack (40)
Morale 100
Crew 100
 
+5 to Active Auguries
 
+15 bonus to Silent Running manoeuvre
Any attempts to detect Viper suffer a -15 penalty at all times.
Additional -20 to detection attempts to detect Viper when silent running
 
No penalty to detection or detection-based actions when silent running OR +10 to detection, +15 to detect vessels with active augury, and +5 to enemy BS tests to hit this ship.
 
+10 to Focus Power for Astrotelepathy
+5 VU range to all psychic powers in space combat
 
Halve duration of warp travel, but events occur every 3 days instead of every 5.
When rolling for warp travel events, roll twice and let the Navigator choose.
+20 to all Perception tests to steer the vessel through the warp.
+30 to all Navigate (Warp) tests to steer the vessel through the warp.
 
+5 to any Intimidate tests as part of shipboard extended actions
+10 to any shipboard Investigation skill tests
 
Endeavour point boni
Criminal 50; Exploration +50; any objective where hauling prisoners could be useful +25
 
Build worksheet (I apologize for any column issues, I think I got it to behave, but I don't really trust it).
 
Component                         Power --    Space 29   SP  27
Cypra pattern drive (Archeo)       +40  40      -12 17   +2  29 (BFK)
Good Miloslav Warp Drive            -8  32        9  8    1  30 (BFK)
Warpsbane Hull                       2  30        0  8    1  31 (core)
Repulsor Shield                      6  24        1  7    0  31 (ItS)
Exploration Bridge                   4  20        1  6    1  32 (ItS)
Slave Quarters                       1  19        1  5    0  32 (HosAcq)
Good Vitae Life Sustainer            4  15        1  4    1  33 (Core)
W-240 Passive Detection Array        3  12        0  4    1  34 (HosAcq)
Good X-470 Ultimo Array            5(0) 12        0  4    2  36 (BFK)
Warp Sextant (Archeo)                4   8        1  3    2  38 (BFK)
Good Empyrean Mantle                 2   6        0  3    3  41 (ItS)
Astropathic Choir Chamber            1   5        1  2    1  42 (core)
Librarium Vault                                                  1     4        1    1    1  43 (core)
Brig                                 1   3        1  0    1  44 (BFK) 
Crew to Crack                                                       -     3                 -   0         5  49 (core)

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


#36 Errant Knight

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Posted 04 June 2014 - 07:31 AM

That's an excellent ship for Deathwatch, though I'd find a way to put at least an oversized BB gun on it.  Honestily, though, I think any Rogue Trader capturing this vessel would pull that Warp Sextant and put it on one of their bigger, more expensive ships.  Those things are hard to come by.


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#37 kobrain

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Posted 04 June 2014 - 04:44 PM

Well for deathwatch, it's amazing. And for rogue trader, depends on how extravagant and rich he is.

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#38 Errant Knight

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Posted 04 June 2014 - 06:33 PM

I'd expect Deathwatch vessels to be crammed full of good and best-craftsmanship components.  The description of the Dark Hunters in one of the Deathwatch books mentions them being faster than any such ship should be (and they should be about speed 10) and carrying twice the firepower of usual (and that would probably be a dorsal macrocannon and Voss tubes).  Now that's amazing.  I've always wanted to stat out a Hunter-class Destroyer.



#39 Bladehate

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Posted 06 June 2014 - 07:01 PM

One of the things that smaller ships in RT suffer from is that there is no real upkeep, making bigger almost invariably better.  That's a fairly universal 40k theme though, so its not unexpected.  But yeah, that means as far as players are concerned, smaller is worse.

 

People have already mentioned many of the options for a Viper.  But one of the main reasons I can think of isn't really linked to any mechanical systems in the ruleset:  Frugality.

 

Simply put, the amount of fuel and resources it takes to fly the Viper (or an Iconoclast) to a location, scout it out, or just pass along information/setup a trade deal/press the flesh/etc is a fraction of the cost of moving your flotilla of four clippers around.  For just running around, its hard to beat a Viper in terms of resources required to operate the thing.  Even with a specialist/highly trained crew its gotta be tiny compared to a Cruiser.

 

PF is such an abstract concept though, and you have to take the good with the bad.

 

If you wanted to really see a ship like the Viper fill its niche, introducing some kind of bonus to Profit Factor gained in certain endeavors might be one way to go about it.  For example, your crew COULD go about doing some kind of Exploration endeavor in their cruiser...but if they did their planet/system mapping in the Viper they would gain a +1 (or more) PF for a successful endeavor due to savings in both resources and time.

 

At least it could be one way you (or your GM) could justify ownership and use of a scout ship.  It would also make for some interesting story options involving chases and discoveries, with last minute escapes back to their primary warships for epic showdowns...a nice change of pace basically.

 

Just a thought.


Edited by Bladehate, 06 June 2014 - 07:06 PM.

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