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Why use the BC/OW combat update?


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#1 GhanjRho

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Posted 03 January 2014 - 02:39 PM

While it looks like much of the system has been upgraded, I have to question why they made the adjustments they did to ranged attacks. In the old system, Full Auto Bursts provided a large bonus to hit, in addition to having the option of hitting with multiple rounds. In the new system, you take a penalty to hit, and add damage no quicker than before. I don't understand the reasoning behind the change.



#2 Kshatriya

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Posted 03 January 2014 - 03:36 PM

I would bet because of how extremely easy it was to stack positive ranged attack mods to +60.



#3 GhanjRho

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Posted 03 January 2014 - 04:24 PM

I would bet because of how extremely easy it was to stack positive ranged attack mods to +60.

 

How so? I haven't spent much time exploring the system.



#4 Lynata

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Posted 03 January 2014 - 05:07 PM

On a hunch I could think of the following to get to +50:

 

Full Auto +20

Aim +10

Targeter +10

Short Range +10

 

With all the supplements and the power creep, I'm sure somewhere there's gotta be something to cover the remaining +10, too. What I'm not sure about is whether or not to call it "extremely easy" - at the very least the targeter is rather costly at 2.500 Thrones.

 

Personally, I'm not a fan of the penalty. Though I do recognise the mechanical issue, the very first bullet of a full auto burst having less of a chance to hit its target than if it was fired as a single shot is just a bit too weird for me.

Technically, the first bullet also should not have more of a chance to hit, but as the only way for a "proper" calculation would involve resolving every single bullet individually (which, whilst still okay'ish for bolters or lasguns, would become utterly horrible for high-RoF weapons like the heavy stubber), I'm favouring the option that feels more realistic for me. Yes, this increases lethalty and makes burst- or autofire weapons superior to single shots. Welcome to Grimdark.

 

One potential homebrewed alternate rule I've been thinking about, however, is to replace the bonuses for burst and autofire with a more modular +2 or +3 modifier for every single bullet fired after the first, resulting in different bonuses depending on the individual gun's rate of fire. In addition, this modular approach allows for further customisation of weapon traits, such as making some weapons more accurate than others when firing multiple rounds.

A heavy bolter, for example, might only get a +1 bonus for a total of +9 when firing 10 shots in quick succession, whereas a normal boltgun gets a +2 bonus for a total bonus of +6 when firing a four-round burst. A slightly more accurate Necromunda-pattern lasgun, on the other hand, might offer a +3 modifier for each additional shot, for the same total of +6 when firing only a three-round burst.

 

Just something I've been toying with, mind you.


Edited by Lynata, 03 January 2014 - 05:09 PM.

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#5 Brother Orpheo

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Posted 04 January 2014 - 06:00 AM

On a hunch I could think of the following to get to +50:

 

Full Auto +20

Aim +10

Targeter +10

Short Range +10

 

With all the supplements and the power creep, I'm sure somewhere there's gotta be something to cover the remaining +10, too. What I'm not sure about is whether or not to call it "extremely easy" - at the very least the targeter is rather costly at 2.500 Thrones.

 

Personally, I'm not a fan of the penalty. Though I do recognise the mechanical issue, the very first bullet of a full auto burst having less of a chance to hit its target than if it was fired as a single shot is just a bit too weird for me.

Technically, the first bullet also should not have more of a chance to hit, but as the only way for a "proper" calculation would involve resolving every single bullet individually (which, whilst still okay'ish for bolters or lasguns, would become utterly horrible for high-RoF weapons like the heavy stubber), I'm favouring the option that feels more realistic for me. Yes, this increases lethalty and makes burst- or autofire weapons superior to single shots. Welcome to Grimdark.

 

One potential homebrewed alternate rule I've been thinking about, however, is to replace the bonuses for burst and autofire with a more modular +2 or +3 modifier for every single bullet fired after the first, resulting in different bonuses depending on the individual gun's rate of fire. In addition, this modular approach allows for further customisation of weapon traits, such as making some weapons more accurate than others when firing multiple rounds.

A heavy bolter, for example, might only get a +1 bonus for a total of +9 when firing 10 shots in quick succession, whereas a normal boltgun gets a +2 bonus for a total bonus of +6 when firing a four-round burst. A slightly more accurate Necromunda-pattern lasgun, on the other hand, might offer a +3 modifier for each additional shot, for the same total of +6 when firing only a three-round burst.

 

Just something I've been toying with, mind you.

I like the look of this, but as ammo tracking (in the words of so many others) is "dull, detracts from fun factor, and is needlessly complex/too much realism" I can see it going no further than House Ruling. 

 

I've been looking at the possibility of reducing RoF to one number instead of the X/X/X it is now, incorporating Recoil (X) as a standard weapon statistic, and instead of the Weapon's RoF setting the limit it would allow the player to decide how many shots will be fired. Your proposal looks good for a starting point, though I was looking at it from the opposite direction- each shot fired imposing a negative modifier to account for Recoil. To use your example of a more accurate Necromunda-pattern lasgun from above, it's RoF might be 3, Recoil (1)- the player decides before rolling to hit how many shot he/she will fire, with the total number of shots multiplied by Recoil to determine the total negative modifier to hit. Aiming offsets Recoil, as does firing a single shot, Bracing/Mounted weapons...I'm sure you see the general direction I'm taking. 

 

However, either way, there are so many weapons, meaning starting with the absolute basics to set the standards, and ponderously including additional weapons and their variants as time permits.

 

Some people want a simple game with tactical flexibility, some people want a comprehensive game with tactical flexibility, some people want MOAR FUNN!!!!11! instead of realism/fluff representation, vice versa for others. All of which means at least two types of players are going to be unhappy. You and I seem to prefer comprehensive (referred to by some as "needlessly complex") games.


Edited by Brother Orpheo, 04 January 2014 - 06:01 AM.

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#6 Darth Smeg

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Posted 04 January 2014 - 11:50 AM

Well, i DH1 Full Auto adds chance to hit, as well as increasing your average number of DoS which translate directly to more hits. Full Auto was really the only choice, making Finesse type snipers unviable (unless you have accurate rifles). 

 

In real life full-auto fire isn't very accurate, but I think the real reason is for gameplay balance. In BC they made melee attacks follow the same rules as mutli-hit ranged attacks, and unless the "old way" of doing them changed it would really be unviable to play a melee specialist. A gunslinger with auto-pistols would happily beat you in "melee" with his +20 bonus to his auto-blasts.


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#7 Kshatriya

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Posted 04 January 2014 - 03:23 PM

"Yes, this increases lethalty and makes burst- or autofire weapons superior to single shots. Welcome to Grimdark."

 

That's not grimdark, that's just shoddy game design. It's a no-brainer to do autofire if your weapon has it: bonus to hit AND able to score multiple hits with one roll, increased likelihood that hits will still land even if the target succeeds at a Dodge test. There's no reward for going single shot unless you have an Accurate Basic weapon.

 

The OW rules present a better risk/reward mechanic and make single-shot-mode actually worthwhile in more instances.



#8 Lynata

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Posted 04 January 2014 - 05:42 PM

I like the look of this, but as ammo tracking (in the words of so many others) is "dull, detracts from fun factor, and is needlessly complex/too much realism" I can see it going no further than House Ruling.

 

Probably... Personally, I consider ammo tracking a critical component here, because wasted ammo is one of the few downsides that burst and especially autofire should really have. Otherwise it becomes a no-brainer in any situation, as Kshatriya said, whereas I would aim to make any type of weapon viable under specific circumstances.

 

Leaving ammo tracking out of the rules is imho similar to just discarding the Jam rules - it makes reliable las weapons crappy.

(also, another advantage of las weapons happens to be their larger shot capacity .. take it away and you may as well just go directly for autoguns)

 

 

I've been looking at the possibility of reducing RoF to one number instead of the X/X/X it is now, incorporating Recoil (X) as a standard weapon statistic, and instead of the Weapon's RoF setting the limit it would allow the player to decide how many shots will be fired. Your proposal looks good for a starting point, though I was looking at it from the opposite direction- each shot fired imposing a negative modifier to account for Recoil. To use your example of a more accurate Necromunda-pattern lasgun from above, it's RoF might be 3, Recoil (1)- the player decides before rolling to hit how many shot he/she will fire, with the total number of shots multiplied by Recoil to determine the total negative modifier to hit. Aiming offsets Recoil, as does firing a single shot, Bracing/Mounted weapons...I'm sure you see the general direction I'm taking. 

 

That's a neat idea, too, even if it takes the opposite direction and assigns a penalty. But I think that's really a matter of preferences - I can appreciate the system behind it either way. :)

 

It reminds me a bit of Inquisitor, where (iirc) every additional shot was resolved individually, but had a stacking -10 Recoil modifier attached to it.

 

Some people want a simple game with tactical flexibility, some people want a comprehensive game with tactical flexibility, some people want MOAR FUNN!!!!11! instead of realism/fluff representation, vice versa for others. All of which means at least two types of players are going to be unhappy. You and I seem to prefer comprehensive (referred to by some as "needlessly complex") games.

 

:D I guess I'm somewhere in the middle! Actually, I've come to very much appreciate the more basic rules ever since having played the "back to the roots" Dragon Age RPG, just because it's much faster to learn (and thus to start playing), and it is much easier to modify because there isn't much attached to any mechanic, as opposed to a system like DH with a several hundred pages book of interlinked rules.

 

That being said, I also appreciate the realism/fluff representation you mentioned, and thus would aim for something in the middle - as uncluttered as possible, but without sacrificing aspects important to the nature of the game! Compromises would have to be made somewhere, but I'm sure we all draw our own lines in that regard...

 

 

That's not grimdark, that's just shoddy game design. It's a no-brainer to do autofire if your weapon has it: bonus to hit AND able to score multiple hits with one roll, increased likelihood that hits will still land even if the target succeeds at a Dodge test. There's no reward for going single shot unless you have an Accurate Basic weapon.

 

So get an Accurate basic weapon. :) I'm sorry, but here I just don't see the problem. If you want to play a Sniper, what kind of Sniper does not get him- or herself an Accurate rifle? Likewise, special weapons such as meltas and flamers remain valuable due to their own special traits, most notably the high damage output.

 

As mentioned above, I regard ammunition waste as the primary drawback and a successful balancing factor here, because that +10 bonus of a heavy bolter on autofire is purchased by expending 10 rounds that you cannot easily replenish in the field, with a high chance that a lot of those rounds will not strike (and thus be wasted), or even the entire attack still failing to hit anything.

 

I mean, realistically, the very first shot of a full-auto burst should have the exact same chance to hit a target as if you'd fire a single shot, with only the following shots even having a chance to be negatively affected by barrel drift. Yet, since we cannot resolve all those shots individually, we have to decide on whether we want or don't want to attach a modifier to a single BS test.

You say that not penalising the weapon makes single shot guns useless. I don't agree there, and to me it's just too weird if a gun fired with the same time spent on aiming has a smaller chance to hit its target even once just because there's multiple little chances to hit flying out of that barrel. It's the exact opposite of what common sense would dictate!

 

 

If the GM doesn't construct the scenario in a way where ammunition would ever be a problem, then this is not the fault of the rules. The same applies to players who think a single-shot rifle that does not have any special traits should be just as dangerous as a fully automatic rifle because the latter gets arbitrarily penalised to hit anything even once whenever it fires more than a single round.

 

Imho, all weapons deserve to be superior in specific circumstances. Pistols can still be used in melee, sniper rifles ought to be able to dish out high damage with extremely accurate single shots - and assault rifles ought to have a better chance of hitting their target at least once with less damage, and a small chance of hitting multiple times.

I mean, by your logic, there's also no reward for ever getting a full-auto weapon unless you use it Point Blank or for suppressive fire, which just doesn't happen as often as the other aforementioned situations.

 

 

On a sidenote, though - I did actually consider resolving multiple hits from burst- and autofire as a simple damage bonus instead of applying full damage. Kind of how FFG wrote the dual wield rules for the Seraphim pistols.

It's not as realistic, but under the guidance of abstraction it could be fluffed as the additional shots just not hitting as well, just as if you'd roll low on that d10. Makes for improved balancing, and saves you time when rolling damage.


Edited by Lynata, 04 January 2014 - 05:52 PM.


#9 Kshatriya

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Posted 04 January 2014 - 05:58 PM

"I mean, by your logic, there's also no reward for ever getting a full-auto weapon unless you use it Point Blank or for suppressive fire, which just doesn't happen as often as the other aforementioned situations."

 

That's not 'by my logic' at all (whatever that means, but in any case that phrase just comes across as incredibly condescending). Full-auto weapons are still extremely viable versus enemies likely to dodge a single shot but not 5 shots. the same cannot be said of a sniper rifle, no matter the fact that the sniper rifle will generally out-damage a single full-auto hit…but probably not 3-4 full-auto hits.

 

It's easier to stack bonus-to-hit mods and difficult to stack bonus-to-dodge mods besides just having high Agi and +10/+20; there are simply a ton of environmental modifiers to positively benefit BS that don't exist to help Dodge. And -10 to base BS is hardly crippling given other mods - or the potential for BS-devoted characters. Full-auto is still generally superior. Just not as overwhelmingly obviously superior in all non-melee-range situations.

 

And ammunition waste is only a true drawback if you take it to the illogical extreme of a heavy bolter with expensive costs per-shell. Normal bullets are cheap and readily available in most places, to say nothing of recharging laspacks.

 

 

"The same applies to players who think a single-shot rifle that does not have any special traits should be just as dangerous as a fully automatic rifle because the latter gets arbitrarily penalised to hit anything even once whenever it fires more than a single round."

 

I'm not interested in discussing why "first shot is worse at hitting" isn't realistic. We're playing good-guy racist space fascists in the 41st millennium after all. I'm interested in discussing mechanical balance and how the base DH system failed to balance, well, much of anything against each other. Full-auto, psykers, and Storm are the worst offenders.

 

For that matter, how is "first shot is better at hitting" realistic under the base DH rules? This is why I don't find discussions of realism particularly relevant. Realism is not always the goal of game mechanics, nor should it be.


Edited by Kshatriya, 04 January 2014 - 06:00 PM.


#10 Lynata

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Posted 04 January 2014 - 06:20 PM

That's not 'by my logic' at all (whatever that means, but in any case that phrase just comes across as incredibly condescending). Full-auto weapons are still extremely viable versus enemies likely to dodge a single shot but not 5 shots. the same cannot be said of a sniper rifle, no matter the fact that the sniper rifle will generally out-damage a single full-auto hit…but probably not 3-4 full-auto hits.

 

Surely not any more condescending than your judgement of my ideas being shoddy. "By your logic" simply refers to your approach to the issue, which differs from mine - in that I feel multiple shots being fired must be reflected in a greater chance to hit at least once, at the cost of wasted ammunition.

 

The problem with using Dodge as an advantage for full-auto weapons is that this only applies if the gun actually manages to hit, with, if applying negative modifiers, is not as safe to assume as with single shot weapons. Especially if we really are to assume 5 Degrees of Success in spite of said negative modifier.

 

Provided we actually do use the OW version of Dodge, as in DH RAW it did not have this additional effect.

 

And ammunition waste is only a true drawback if you take it to the illogical extreme of a heavy bolter with expensive costs per-shell. Normal bullets are cheap and readily available in most places, to say nothing of recharging laspacks.

 

I'm not even talking about cost. Having a weapon that depends on ammunition means it may run out of it in the midst of combat, or between multiple encounters where the group has no chance to resupply. And if each attack consumes multiple rounds, it will run out even faster. It is up to the GM and the entire party to enforce sensible carrying limitations ("no, you can't fit 30 clips on your belt"), to say nothing of applying a bit of background knowledge whenever people go shopping ("what calibre are you looking for? sir, nobody here uses a weapon like that").

 

Realism is not always the goal of game mechanics, nor should it be.

 

Agreed, though I'd say it is preferrable to merge realism and balancing, because ultimately this makes for superior immersion, which - depending on the player type - can directly affect the fun they're having.

 

I guess we just have to agree to disagree if you just don't perceive that as an issue, just like I don't see it as a problem when burst and full-auto make single-shot attacks a less dangerous option - provided that single-shot weapon has no particular advantages of its own that would actually warrant it being the better choice.

I guess you could say I see a weapon's rate of fire as a trait like Accurate or Reliable.


Edited by Lynata, 04 January 2014 - 06:21 PM.


#11 Kshatriya

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Posted 04 January 2014 - 06:35 PM

My comment on shoddy game design was directed at the game developer, not you. Frankly I think Black Industries messed up many of DH's core game mechanics something awful, which FFG has been very slow to fix and has never truly bothered with the original game line, to its detriment.

 

However, I see why some of the rules for DH modifiers are written as they are. DH characters have low starting characteristics and sometimes even 4 advances don't push BS that high (assuming the character can afford them). Background stuff generally will not boost this more than a maximum of +8 or so. Compared to characters from Rogue Trader (whose base stats and origin paths can result in much higher BS) or Deathwatch (start 10 points higher as a baseline, with lots of gear that benefits to-hit stats). Without the +20 mod in DH, characters would hit far less often, resulting in issues, among them simply less fun for the players in fights. (I don't see that issue as prevalent in other systems, with the adoption of the DH rules being more along the lines of a GM-side challenge difficulty increase, all things considered).

 

Anyway, I still see the potential to hit multiple times, even if the base mod makes it less likely, as a huge advantage over the chance to hit once and only once, especially with the number of environmental positive modifiers shooters can rack up that don't directly apply to dodging in most circumstances.

 

DH Dodge RAW dodges an auto fire hit per DoS, I'm not sure what you mean by the OW version in this instance. I'm not sure what you mean by "the OW version" in this instance.

 

Apologies for not multi quoting you as you've done me - never seem to be able to get it quite right.



#12 Lynata

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Posted 04 January 2014 - 07:45 PM

My comment on shoddy game design was directed at the game developer, not you. Frankly I think Black Industries messed up many of DH's core game mechanics something awful, which FFG has been very slow to fix and has never truly bothered with the original game line, to its detriment.

 

Looking at Unnatural Characteristics and TB, I'm certainly prone to agree. :P I'd even go as far as FFG introducing new issues or exacerbating existing ones, but I guess all of that comes down to personal preferences also, given the discussions this forum has seen on such things in the past.

 

Anyway, I still see the potential to hit multiple times, even if the base mod makes it less likely, as a huge advantage over the chance to hit once and only once, especially with the number of environmental positive modifiers shooters can rack up that don't directly apply to dodging in most circumstances.

 

DH Dodge RAW dodges an auto fire hit per DoS, I'm not sure what you mean by the OW version in this instance. I'm not sure what you mean by "the OW version" in this instance.

 

My main issue here is that it also makes it less likely to hit even once - that's just something I cannot come to terms with. And maybe this is just my bad dice luck speaking, but I've had a ridiculous amount of missed shots in my games, and ammo has always been something I had to keep in mind (limiting how often I'd use bursts in DH), so my preferences here are certainly coloured by subjective personal experiences.

 

As for the Dodge ... okay, this is quite embarrassing. All those years, and nobody in the groups I've played with caught that one...  -_-

 

Apologies for not multi quoting you as you've done me - never seem to be able to get it quite right.

 

No worries! The Machine Spirit of this forum can be .. fickle. ;)

Could be that it reacts differently depending on the browser you use? I still remember the times when quoting did not work at all for me, too.



#13 bogi_khaosa

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Posted 07 January 2014 - 11:04 AM

The point is that high-damage single-shot weapons like hand cannons are supposed to be a viable alternative to say autopistols. The autogun is not supposed to be heads and shoulders over the lasgun.*

 

BTW making this change removes the "pistols imbalanced in melee" issue that creates DH's rule against semi and full auto fire in melee.

 

*I think BC/OW got this balance perfect.


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#14 Lynata

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Posted 07 January 2014 - 11:18 AM

Hand cannons are viable in combat if they do a sufficiently higher amount of damage to the autopistol. It isn't? Get a better gun.

 

As for lasguns, one of their few advantages over the autogun is their higher ammunition capacity and the ability to recharge packs in the field. If you remove ammo being a problem because you're never going to use full-auto anyways, then it's no wonder the lasgun is perceived as the superior choice.


Edited by Lynata, 07 January 2014 - 11:19 AM.


#15 bogi_khaosa

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Posted 07 January 2014 - 12:38 PM

Hand cannons do not, however, do significantly higher amount of damage in combat. (If they DID no more damage, they would turn into bolters.)

 

"Get a better gun" = "get an autopistol," which will give you a +20 to hit and an extra two hits with the same roll, at 2 points lower damage and higher Pen if it has manstoppers.

 

Different weapons exist -- both in the game and in reality -- because they are good at different things (or because one is much cheaper/easier to use). If the hand cannon is not good at something that the autopistol is not (and it isn't), then no one would ever use it, unless it's dirt cheap comparatively (and it isn't).


Edited by bogi_khaosa, 07 January 2014 - 12:41 PM.


#16 Lynata

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Posted 07 January 2014 - 12:48 PM

If you use manstoppers in both weapons, the hand cannon does 4 points of damage more than the autopistol. With DH's injury system, which places greater emphasis on Armour+Toughness than Wounds, this could easily make the difference between "not injured at all" and stripping 1/3 of an enemy's hitpoints with a single blow.

 

Multiple bullet hits only help if they actually cause damage.

 

Additionally, an autopistol can be fired three times until you need to reload. A hand cannon is good for five attacks.


Edited by Lynata, 07 January 2014 - 12:48 PM.





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