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sRepel Boarders! - Need ideas for an encounter as PCs board an enemy ship


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#21 Adeptus-B

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 06:04 PM

My old GM used to insist that we took nothing onto a void ship, that could puncture the plating of the ship, for fear of a breach.

 

I wanted to work a slight chance of hull breaches into a mission I ran on a space station a while back. The normal rules for penetrating walls wouldn't allow much chance of that happening, so I 'house ruled' that missed shots while adjacent to the outer hull have a 1% chance per point of AP of triggering a hull breach.



#22 Gregorius21778

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 10:55 PM

About the "oh-it-could-pierce-the-hull" fear:
I really don´t see reason why there even should be fear of hull penetration.

Ruleswise:  We are talking about something like AP:32 here AT THE LEAST (see DHcr p.199; rules for cover and damaging cover); realistically, the hull should have oh so much more then this! Just because....

Fluff wise: ...a hull that could be penetrated by hand weapons would not have the most flimsy of a chance against ship-to-ship weaponary. Thereby, a naval battle would be over after one salvo. An afffair between literal glas cannons, so to speak.

I do understand a fear for penetrating interior walls or platings that might cover this or that system that is important for reason X. But even then, we are talking about said plating and walls having an AP between 16 and 32 (again; based on the material list in DHcr p.199).

Things like "Bolter and up" will penetrate the lower end of that scale, but even a heavy bolter will not blast through a Armaplas wall. Personally, I would assume that everything that is important to anything but the immediate area (like "that corridor / this hall") will be behind something with an AP.20. This ratio would mean that blasting away with anything up to a Heavy Bolter would only lead to "local colletaral damage" and make it acceptable.

Of course, "Grav Plating" might fit into the lower end of things (AP:16) which gives an excuse to have all sorts of nice effects after a missed volley of Bolter fire (with AP:4, 1d10+5 TEARING, they have a fine chance of punching through). 

 


Edited by Gregorius21778, 29 July 2014 - 10:56 PM.


#23 Gregorius21778

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 11:54 PM

The planned route of the characters leads them through section VII-A12. During pre-assault briefing this inward section of the ship was seen as “most likely to contain quarters for ratings or voidsmen. That means a lot of smaller rooms, to many to clear or secure each and every of them. Move with caution, but with speed. Resistance should be expected, but minor. Do NOT get bogged down there!”
 

However, this is not the first time that this ship has seen an attempt at boarding and the section has seen heavy fighting, about two generations ago. So heavy that the collateral damage to local systems was so heavy that the section was given up and sealed in the aftermath, creating a “Black Hold”, an unused and unpowered part of the ship likely to be found on most of the ancient warpvessels of mankind.

 

The characters will notice the difference only after they breached the bulkhead leading in. There will be utter darkness instead of dimmed alert lights, the air while stale and thick due to the lack of ventilation and all their light sources reveal has the derelict look of old battle damages and the neglect of decades. And as the sight of random debris floating in the light breaking in through the open bulkhead will tell them, there is not a single powered gravity plating in that section.

 

While the acolytes might fear some hullghast charging them or something, in fact that section is much to small and “inward”, the time much to short to have it developed into its own eco system with marauding mutants and the like. It does feature some problems for the characters, so.

 

Void mold: Since the “outside” is warmer then the non-heated interior, the outer  walls “sweat”. As there is no running ventilation, the humidity builds up. Over the years, a form of mold common on most void ships has formed. Void mold looks like clusters of grey, somewhat “slimy” material. It looks much like carpet of small “bumps” with “pseudopodi”. The bumps are rather flat and the largest are the size of a finger tip, the smallest barely seen. They stick to surfaces and float through the air if disturbed, then gluing to the nearest surface if not squished before. As the characters move through, describe to them how the stuff clings to them. It is harmless, but dirty. Before they are through, their visors get a smeary film onto them that would need sorrow cleaning. Simply wiping them will not remove the smears (-5 BS and all sight based test). And if the characters do not clean their mechanical weapons (Bolter, SP) afterwards, their reliability drops by two steps (by one if they undergo a quick, 5 minute “field clearing”. The weapons need serious cleaning now).

Zero-G: Ask the characters for three difficult (-10) tests for Acrobatics or Agility (+10 if the characters are voidborn). A character can “assist” another, increasing his own difficulty by one step while decreasing that of his comrade. If anyone of them fails in more then one of the tests, they lose time as they try to cross the corridors and halls. Feel free to hamper up the number of enemies in their next combat encounter since the defenders used the time to amass more force. Or, throw at them some armsmen following them from behind.


Edited by Gregorius21778, 29 July 2014 - 11:55 PM.


#24 Adeptus-B

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Posted 30 July 2014 - 09:33 AM

About the "oh-it-could-pierce-the-hull" fear:
I really don´t see reason why there even should be fear of hull penetration.

Ruleswise:  We are talking about something like AP:32 here AT THE LEAST (see DHcr p.199; rules for cover and damaging cover); realistically, the hull should have oh so much more then this! Just because....

Fluff wise: ...a hull that could be penetrated by hand weapons would not have the most flimsy of a chance against ship-to-ship weaponary. Thereby, a naval battle would be over after one salvo. An afffair between literal glas cannons, so to speak.

 

That's completely logical, but the fact remains that it has been a consistent part of 40K lore that Naval Armsmen use shotguns as their primary weapons because of fear that more powerful weapons might cause a hull breach. I agree that it's silly, but it's 'canon'...



#25 Gregorius21778

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Posted 30 July 2014 - 02:32 PM


That's completely logical, but the fact remains that it has been a consistent part of 40K lore that Naval Armsmen use shotguns as their primary weapons because of fear that more powerful weapons might cause a hull breach. I agree that it's silly, but it's 'canon'...

 

Yes I know *sighs*....the best thing? This MOST SILLY OF LOGIC is even written down in IH p.160 in the opening paragraph to the ranged weapons section "...most, however, can easily puncture hull plating...". While that MIGHT be true for a shuttle or something, I really wonder what the BlackIndustry Writer who has put this down was thinking...or lacking in information about the ships in 40k.

And here we go... this "canon" roots in an assumption ("the hand weapons can pierce the hull of a voidship") that is contradicted by "canon" ("void ship have hulls that are stronge enough that torpedos, Lances batteries and macro-cannon shells are the tools of war needed in ship battle") AND by "DH/RT RAW" (see the AP vs. Penetration example above).

*sighs again* I see why people stick to it, but based on the dilemma given above, I started handling it the way I explained.

@Mica
Choose which way to go...but if you stick to Shotguns alone you will have a hard time challenging your Servo-Armour-Acolytes


 


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#26 Secutor 00K

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Posted 30 July 2014 - 04:27 PM

I do understand that the AP of a ship's hull would be far greater than the penetration of any commonly available weapon, from the outside, also I believe the ship's void shields take the brunt of the incoming fire not the hull itself. After the voids are down, most ship to ship battles end rather quickly.  Anyways, my belief was that the reason hull breaches are a commonly supported fear, is because of the pressure differential on the hull, on the outside is the vacuum of space, on the inside is an atmosphere desperate to escape, causing pressure to be applied to the inside of the hull pushing outward, and increasing the likelihood of a breach. 

 

@Gregorious

I hope that you do not think of me as a pest, I really enjoy being able to discuss these types of things with people who actually understand the universe of 40K, unlike my coworkers, or my wife  
 



#27 Gregorius21778

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Posted 30 July 2014 - 11:20 PM

@Gregorious

I hope that you do not think of me as a pest, I really enjoy being able to discuss these types of things with people who actually understand the universe of 40K, unlike my coworkers, or my wife  
 

Don´t worry :)  If there is anything special, feel free to give me a line via private message. We should just be cautious not to "derail" the topic with the discussion (that would be unpolite).

 

@Mica
If you feel that there is to much "non topic banter" going on, please give us a hint and we will move it somewhere else.

But talking about pressure: the airpressure (in this scenario) isn´t really making a projectile more likely to penetrate "higher" then it does. That is because of that air pressure being "contained" inside the ship and thereby not "pushing behind the bullet" more then it is "pushing on the bullet" form any other direction. True, once it would be directed into one certain direction and FOCUSED, you would have a lot of support for penetration...but that is just not the case with an unpenetrated wall.

And in regard to the void shields: it is true that they are meant to keep damage away from the ship and that once they are gone, there is MASSIVE damage. But if the void ship outer walls (and most of the "inner supporting walls") would be so "thin" that a hand help, solid projectile weapon with armour piercing rounds could actually be penetrating one of it...well, the first marco canon shell would simply RIP THROUGH it. Those shells are called "macro shells" for a reason. They are nothing more then the "macro version" of a regular bullet!

To argue it the other way: If of course all the interior plating would be considered AP:16 and there would be something behind the plating that is NECESSARY TO THE SHIP...well, then there is a reason for "1d10+4 only".. ...But even then, an assaultgun with manstopper bullets (1d10+3/ AP:3) would be unlikely to penetrate.

 



#28 Jargal

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Posted 31 July 2014 - 08:01 AM

To argue it the other way: If of course all the interior plating would be considered AP:16 and there would be something behind the plating that is NECESSARY TO THE SHIP...well, then there is a reason for "1d10+4 only".. ...But even then, an assaultgun with manstopper bullets (1d10+3/ AP:3) would be unlikely to penetrate.

 

Or, it may be some vital systems are located not inside the bulkheads but outside. Look at the photos from inside the ISS and think about what will happen if there is a shot with a shotgun. M41 is, of course, not the M3, but...



#29 Gregorius21778

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Posted 31 July 2014 - 10:57 AM


 

Or, it may be some vital systems are located not inside the bulkheads but outside. Look at the photos from inside the ISS and think about what will happen if there is a shot with a shotgun. M41 is, of course, not the M3, but...

 

Yes, if the interior of a 40K voidship is anything like the interior of the ISS even boarding shotguns are suicidal to use during boarding / during the attempt to repel boarding. :)

EDIT: damn..my gramma...wish I would be native speaker


Edited by Gregorius21778, 31 July 2014 - 10:58 AM.


#30 Gregorius21778

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Posted 31 July 2014 - 11:54 AM

A thing on the side, guys. The topic was made to request Encounters & Happenings, so please let us not derail it completely but provide some of such while we discuss related-but-different topics in here ;)

[Haste, delay and storming through hundreds meters of corridors and stairs]
In order to have something else to it then just fighting, you couple every “Encounter” the characters have while boarding with a condition that might cause “delay” if something isn´t handled “right” (decision made, test past, enemy beaten in time, etc.)

Each time the “delay condition” is met, the charge of the characters gets “one delay”. After all encounters are handled, the resistance they meet on the bridge (or in an encounter just before the bridge) is higher because of the defenders had having “to see them coming that way” and re-deploying troops into their path. Alternately, you could just throw another batch of “Elite Troops” against them if they had two or three delays.

Here are some examples of “delay conditions”:

Lost: The characters storm an unfamiliar ship. They will most likely know their general direction based on basic layouts of ship of that type... but even ships based on the same pattern might be unique in some way due to changes during the construction (or afterward). At some point during the boarding, ask the character the players decided to provide directions for an Intelligence(+0) test. Someone from a hive world could gain a +10 bonus, somebody who is voidborn should gain a +20. If the test is failed, the characters get delayed.
 

Navigating the battlefield: Getting to the bridge as quick as possible has something to do with out-guessing the enemy. It is about avoiding larger numbers of armsmen while not allowing the enemy to pushed one to far off the right route and into some detour that will only allow the enemy to corner one with even more troops. This  could be simulated with a challenging(+0) Scholastic Lore(Tactica Imperialis) test. A failure means a delay. A certain numbers of success means that the characters can get rid of an delay. Or you can allow the character get rid of any delay if they pass such a test. Or simply for cutting through another defense line willingly (yet another battle encounter). But this would be useless if the point was not chosen wisely (again, said test).

That damn bulkheads: Giving the characters two or three delays simply for having to cut through all that metal is fine. In turn, the number can be lessened if they can force the machine-spirits of the door looks to submit to their will. Ask for a number of Tech-Use tests)+0) equal to the number of “door delays”. Each passed tests means a couple of doors and bulkheads bypasses much quicker and one less delay. Any test with three or more levels of failures means an additional delay, so.

Delays aside, you are in any right to ask for a Toughness test after they made about 2/3 of their way. If they fail it, given them one level of fatigue from literally fighting their way through hundreds of meters of ship (perhaps even up or down a deck or two).



#31 Jargal

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Posted 01 August 2014 - 04:42 AM

A thing on the side, guys. The topic was made to request Encounters & Happenings, so please let us not derail it completely but provide some of such while we discuss related-but-different topics in here ;)

 

O-key, let's try.

 

Thought of the day: sometimes even lower is capable of the feat.

 

Players move to the bridge, crushing resistance. Another group of the ship defenders is ready to die for the glory of the God-Emperor. In the midst of fight PCs are attacked from the territory which they have already secured - from the rear.

Using long-forgotten technical manholes and inside-bulkhead space, horde of Hullghasts comes into play. They are hated, they are hunted, they hate the crew, hate the ship, which has never been a good home for them - but it is the only home they have.

In the middle of the mutated, deformed wave of rage, some (just as much as PCs) of the strongest and fastest (give them a lot of useful Mutations - Aberration, Vile Alacrity, Malleable etc) Hullghast carry their improvised "secret weapon", for many years served as the key to their survival - attached to the chest tubes of Melta Gel, equipped with "death hand" triggers. Even the power armor can't withstand such "hot embrace"!



#32 micahwedemeyer

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Posted 05 August 2014 - 03:27 PM

Thanks for all the ideas, everyone. The first boarding session went very well, with the PCs slaughtering there way through a cargo bay they breached. As expected, they were nigh unstoppable, but even still they had to roll well since I gave their enemies chain swords and a handful of bolters. Plus, as soon as they breached the bulkhead, there were 4 flamers waiting for them. That got a good reaction from the players.

 

Thanks for the tips about ratings and the general size and crew complement of the ship. I'm going to try to have some kind of RP / non-combat encounter for them as they try to get to the bridge. The PCs tend to respect non-combatants and would engage with NPCs.

 

Anyways, I just wanted to thank everyone for their input!






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