Jump to content



Photo

Equipment imbalance


  • Please log in to reply
134 replies to this topic

#121 bogi_khaosa

bogi_khaosa

    Member

  • Members
  • 2,064 posts

Posted 03 March 2014 - 10:38 PM

Melee combat is always relevant, especially as warfare moves increasingly to urban zones. The gun never replaced melee weapons in it's whole history. From Medieval times to napoleonic, from WW1 to modern. With quick reloads and minimal jamming of modern guns, melee weapons are at their weakest, but the techniques are still taught, why?
 

 

Do you see a whole lot of modern soldiers running around carrying swords?

 

The point is noit that melee weapons are completely useless, Obviously, a sword with cut someone's head off as well as it could 1000 years ago. That's not the point. Bows will still kill people. So will thrown rocks. None of this is the point.

 

The point is that they are unviable as anything byt a backup weapon in modern warfare, and moreover unviable as anything but a backup weapon with the Dark Heresy rules set unless you limit pistol shots to 1 in close combat.

 

You cannot have, at the same time,realistic rules for melee combat, realistic rules for ranged combat, and  a universe in which melee combat (or bows, or rock throwing) are a common theme, Melee combat will happen, occasionally. But you will NOT have guys with swords charging at guys with autopistols. They will die. There will be no Moritat death cult assassins, because an Adept with an autopistol is better than he is.

 

If you DO want this, you need some way in which melee weapons are in common circumstances (not fringe circumstances, common circumstances) superior to pistols; and in Dark Heresy, with its rules for semi and full auto, pistols (with such firing modes) are demonstrably and vastly superior to melee weapons, WHEN IN MELEE. Such as, by limiting the number of shots fired in close combat, Which is exactly what Dark Heresy does.

 

Similarly, if for some reason you want rock throwing warriors to be a common thing, you had better do something unrealistic with rocks other than saying, "well there really are no ammo issues with rocks. There will always be a place for rocks."


Edited by bogi_khaosa, 03 March 2014 - 10:43 PM.

  • Tenebrae likes this

#122 Cymbel

Cymbel

    Member

  • Members
  • 734 posts

Posted 04 March 2014 - 02:24 AM

Yessss, because the military STILL teaches it's soldiers to throw rocks. I mean, look at rocks as always being important to militaries throughout history.

 

Greek States: Armed phalanxes destroyed their enemies by using rocks in their tight shield and rock formations

Romans: The Roman legions were unmatched for chucking rocks at the barbaric tribes

 

Medieval: Indeed, the rock wielding knights on horseback were a most FEARSOME foe!

Napoleonic: After firing volleys, the troops drew their rocks and tossed them at the foe, causing many to rout with the skill of a final rock volley

 

WW1: Trench Warfare was no match for....I can't do this anymore.

 

 

There is a reason why other technologies fell out of use, why the gun supplanted them or prevented them (Bows, Plate/Chain Armor, etc.), but melee weapons never stopped being useful. Their role diminished, but bayonets turned the musket into a powerful weapon even after being fired. Cavalry used swords for a devastating charge for a fairly long time too.

 

You can keep harping on about how the "DH Semi/Full Auto rules are so overpowering" which is why they stopped being used. Which is why the system switched over to more realistic AND balanced modifiers and let the other modes be used in melee too.

 

To finish off, Dude 1 with Melee Weapon and Dude 2 with Basic Ranged Weapon. They are currently engaged in melee, who wins?


  • Covered in Weasels likes this

#123 segara82

segara82

    Member

  • Members
  • 495 posts

Posted 04 March 2014 - 02:49 AM

Thanks for laugh guy, i needed that. We have so far listed several reasons why cc-weapons are used in both reality and WH40k. We can bicker about some of them but please not about the realism in the DH rules. If i wanted realism i would not play.

Courage is the mastery of fear - not the absence of fear


#124 Magnus Grendel

Magnus Grendel

    Member

  • Members
  • 1,215 posts

Posted 04 March 2014 - 03:04 AM

The only reason you would - 'rule of cool' aside - need a sword is if there are situations where a gun is not useable.

 

...I can't help but think of the Dune series at this point. The effectiveness of Personal Shields depended on the speed of the incoming attack - so shields would stop bullets, but cheap shields could be defeated by...essentially 'spring-crossbows'? and really good shields (the kind the nobility would wear) would ultimately require a blade.



#125 Librarian Astelan

Librarian Astelan

    Member

  • Members
  • 150 posts

Posted 04 March 2014 - 03:07 AM

If i wanted realism i would not play.

 

It's not about realism an sich, but realism in the WH40k universe. The rules off the game should be in concert with the background you use. Nobody is advocating abandoning the melee weapons. What we do ask is that in a world where melee weapons are widespread and are pictured as a good alternative for ranged weapons in about every fictional work we've read, seen or experienced, the rules of the roleplaying game reflect this quality.

 

Therefore the somewhat absurd example about rockthrowing  :P

 

As far as I understand the meaning of Bogi's post, it's not so far off Cymbel's message. The example Symbel gives (basic weapon vs. melee weapon) is exactly the kind of thing that makes sense (substantial advantage for the melee weapon). I suppose you could move this threat to the houserule forum to find the ideal adaptation of the rules that tailors tho the WH40k preference for melee weapons.


Edited by Librarian Astelan, 04 March 2014 - 03:08 AM.


#126 Cymbel

Cymbel

    Member

  • Members
  • 734 posts

Posted 04 March 2014 - 03:18 AM

Just to  make sure a main point isn't lost. Armor is MUCH better against small arms fire than modern times. Melee weapons are much more dangerous than modern times. Personal Mobility is better and faster (see marine jetpack troops). Yet still ranged weapons are surpreme, but the changing technology brought melee up from it's "side role" in warfare back to the forefront, to the point where specialized troops can use it very effectively. A death cult assassin for example is all about extreme speed and rushing in before they can fire, slicing at them with power weapons and cutting


  • ColArana likes this

#127 bogi_khaosa

bogi_khaosa

    Member

  • Members
  • 2,064 posts

Posted 04 March 2014 - 03:20 AM


 

You can keep harping on about how the "DH Semi/Full Auto rules are so overpowering" which is why they stopped being used. Which is why the system switched over to more realistic AND balanced modifiers and let the other modes be used in melee too.

 

 

 

Then what are we arguing about?

 

My whole point was that, in DH RAW, melee is most circumstances unviable. Therefore, the rules were changed in the errata, and were further changed in BC/OW, to make it viable.

 

BC/OW full auto penalties are not realistic at all BTW; they are purely a balance issue. They did not "make it more realistic"; they made it more balanced.



#128 bogi_khaosa

bogi_khaosa

    Member

  • Members
  • 2,064 posts

Posted 04 March 2014 - 03:27 AM


 

To finish off, Dude 1 with Melee Weapon and Dude 2 with Basic Ranged Weapon. They are currently engaged in melee, who wins?

 

Since they will both logically have a pistol, this question is irrelevant, :)

 

If you want someone to fight in close quarters, realistically, you will give him a pistol. Or a shotgun, really, with a pistol as a sidearm, And a knife ot bayonet just in case. In no case wiil you give him an axe. Because it's just taking up space. The pistol does the exact same thing, only better, until it runs out of ammo, at which point you either reload or pul;l out your knife, your weapon of last resort.

 

You might as well just equip him with a bag of rocks. :)


Edited by bogi_khaosa, 04 March 2014 - 03:29 AM.


#129 borithan

borithan

    Member

  • Members
  • 1,183 posts

Posted 04 March 2014 - 05:14 AM

Of course one of the things that isn't really accounted for in 40k is that the normal response to better protection against ranged weapons is to make better ranged weapons, not to turn to "uber" melee weapons. Range is such a massive advantage that no military will give it up if they can avoid it. Your enemy has better armour? Solution: make a better gun. Process repeats until technology limits mean the mobility lost to increased protection outweighs the advantage of greater protection, and the weapons involved become impractical. Then an equilibrium is reached for a while until some technological advance suddenly tips the balance one way or the other.

 

Of course, with the fragmented way technology is represented and treated in 40k, it could be argued this normal balance does not exist. While there may have been portable power armour destroying weapons in the Dark age of Technology, that has been forgotten while power swords have not (for example).



#130 Lynata

Lynata

    Member

  • Members
  • 2,754 posts

Posted 04 March 2014 - 07:50 AM

To be fair, melta weapons destroy power armour just fine, and seem to be more widely available than power swords. In GW's rules, even las pistols can punch through the armoured plating and injure the person beneath.
 
Personally, I've always regarded 40k as a setting where, in the ongoing "arms race" between firepower and protection, the weapons are currently superior to the armour - a factor that, coincidentally, also serves as a great equalising factor between the various armies, as even a lowly Guardsman can kill a foe that is technically much more dangerous.
 
On the other hand, there is still a chance that a very resilient creature might break through that hail of fire - be it because it is not hit at all, or not hit with a sufficient amount of damage - and engage the shooter in close combat, where their ability to properly use their guns would be impaired. This is where the aforementioned chain and power swords (which, with a good strike, might even "disable" the enemy's gun permanently) come into play as a last resort the owner would not like to miss in such a situation.
After all, 40k is a setting that has stuff like daemons, 'nids and Space Marines, and these types of enemies usually need more than just one shot to take down - at least with the guns that seem to be carried by most warriors (las and bolt).
 
Now, the problem here seems to be that this careful role balancing between advanced range and close combat weaponry and high-tech armour breaks down a bit when you look at the lower range of "street level" melee equipment available in Dark Heresy, because a strong focus on bringing the proverbial knife to a gun fight does not seem like a very good idea, except as backup or a simple matter of tradition (humanity in 40k is famous for gimping itself), and wielding a normal club or sword against any of the aforementioned foes or even an Ork should be a recipe for suicide even for an Astartes - he'd probably be better off just grabbing the Ork's skull and crunching it.
 
Or, to make it short: someone who can afford carapace or powered armour and who plans to go into melee is not going to be satisfied with an off-the-rack sword but will instead get a chain or power weapon, whereas everyone else would be well advised to opt for focusing on guns instead of the seemingly useless primitive weapons .. or become a ninja and kill the enemy without getting shot at.
 
This is not necessarily a must in Dark Heresy, because the combat mechanics may allow even ill-protected people to suffer considerable punishment before even taking an actual injury, which, combined with the ability to "lock down" enemy ranged weapons in melee, can make close combat with lesser weapons much, much more viable than it perhaps should be.
 
Whether that's a good or a bad thing depends entirely on whether you prefer movie-like action over gritty pseudo-realism or the other way around. Either way, it fortunately stops feeling "out of place" once you progress to melee weapons that actually have a reputation for being gruesomely efficient even against resilient targets.

Edited by Lynata, 04 March 2014 - 07:54 AM.

  • segara82 likes this
current 40k RPG character: Aura Vashaan, Astromancer Witch-Priestess
previous characters: Captain Elias (Celestial Lions Chapter), Comrade-Trooper Dasha Malenko (1207th Valhallan Ice Warriors), Sister Elana (Order of the Sacred Rose), Leftenant Darion Baylesworth (Rogue Trader Artemisia)

#131 Adeptus-B

Adeptus-B

    Part-Time Super Villian

  • Members
  • 1,833 posts

Posted 04 March 2014 - 07:30 PM

In GW's rules, even las pistols can punch through the armoured plating and injure the person beneath.

 

One minor quibble: lasguns/pistols don't 'punch through' power armour. The occasional missed armour save represents a 'lucky hit'- the shot goes in through the eye lens, the rubberized arm pit, or other vulnerable point.

 

In one of the early Gaunt's Ghosts novels, Dan Abnett made this mistake, describing some Chaos Space Marines being perforated by lasgun fire. I assume Abnett caught an earful from 40K fans at book signings, because in a later GG novel he went too far the other way, and depicted CSM armour as being 100% immune to las fire...



#132 Lynata

Lynata

    Member

  • Members
  • 2,754 posts

Posted 04 March 2014 - 08:32 PM

One minor quibble: lasguns/pistols don't 'punch through' power armour. The occasional missed armour save represents a 'lucky hit'- the shot goes in through the eye lens, the rubberized arm pit, or other vulnerable point.

 

Not in their d100 Inquisitor game, which I assume is a continuation of the d6 tabletop's representation of the setting. A las weapon's maximum damage is greater than the maximum protection of powered armour, which means that there is a low (~16% iirc) chance that the shot might indeed "punch through" - or, more accurately, the blast ablating the armour with sufficient force to cause notable injury to the flesh below.

 

Admittedly, it is somewhat more ambiguous in the d6 tabletop - but even there an interpretation of the Armour Save that includes weak points next to simple damage overkill does not really make sense, given the limited application (only some types of weapons, only some types of armour, and not modifying the To Wound test at all for the others).

 

Besides, why should there be such a huge gap from "cannot penetrate at all, needs a lucky hit to exposed section" to "penetrates at all times, no Armour Save possible", if you compare the lasgun to its AP3 hot-shot variant? There needs to be something in-between.

 

GW's fluff is quite clear on power armour being incapable of providing full protection against small arms fire - as per the Codex Angels of Death, it merely "reduces the chance of injury by between 50-85%" ... coincidentally, the latter number fits nicely to the chance of a lasgun to drop a Marine in Inquisitor or the tabletop.

 

In short: I am not sure where exactly the idea that las weapons are only dangerous if they score "lucky hits" comes from, but from what I've seen in terms of community behaviour, it seems to be a fan speculation supposed to rationalise a supposedly puny weapon like a lasgun being able to drop a supposedly invincible warrior like a Space Marine. In short, a case of potentially misplaced expectations.

 

Not that anyone needs to adopt this into their own interpretation of 40k, mind you. A lot (most?) of novels certainly don't, if that means anything to you. ;)


Edited by Lynata, 04 March 2014 - 08:38 PM.

current 40k RPG character: Aura Vashaan, Astromancer Witch-Priestess
previous characters: Captain Elias (Celestial Lions Chapter), Comrade-Trooper Dasha Malenko (1207th Valhallan Ice Warriors), Sister Elana (Order of the Sacred Rose), Leftenant Darion Baylesworth (Rogue Trader Artemisia)

#133 Visitor Q

Visitor Q

    Member

  • Members
  • 389 posts

Posted 05 March 2014 - 04:25 AM

With regard to autofire and the question of ammo do you guys ever find this to actually be a problem for the PCs?  I have basically stopped recording ammo usage for all but specialist weapons like melta or plasma guns when I found that gunfights were never protracted enough for the PCs to get through significant amounts of ammo.  Often a fight would finish before an entire clip was used let alone the PCs getting through several.  Autogun and lasgun ammo is so common that the PCs can often get more and it seems rediculous for their Inquisitor to limit the ammo of these weapons out of spite.

 

That said I never had an issue with autogun fire being super powerful.  Most of the (important) enemies they fought brought similar weapons or better to the fight or were tough or smart enough not to get taken down out of hand.

 

And by the way how your NPC bad guys react kind of depends on the feel of the game you are trying to go for.  My Dark Heresy campaign was equal parts 'Predator', 'The Thing' and 'The Departed' so having the odd group of generic bad guys getting mown down wasn't really a big deal.

 

It is essential though that NPC organisations learn.  If there is a death dealing auto-gun wielding assassin slaughtering a cult leaders minions, he will respond.  The obvious response would be to equip his cult with comparable weaponry but this might get boring and turn the game into a *** for tat arms race.  I would instead recommend the cult leader (or whoever) using asymetric tactics such as psychic powers, snipers or bombs and other traps. 

 

With regard to lasguns; the strength of lasguns especially vs power armour has always been somewhat variable.  I remember 2nd edition short stories indicating that a continued volly of fire could effectively burn through powered armour while other stories had the las shots not doing much at all.

 

FFG has quite nicely described this by giving us a range of different las weaponry some of which, such as the M36, can actually up its power setting by a few points. 

 

I guess when you look at the different varients of power armour, all the different varients of las guns, account for anomolies and  armour not being well maintained (always a problem for Chaos Marines at least in the background), you can have the odd instance of las gun fire 'punching through' powered armour.  For the most part though I think power armour is meant to be 'immune' to las fire other than shots to weak points.  Although it does occur to me that the weak points generally are around to vital area of the body even for a marine, eye socket, under the arm pit (and into the heart).  '

 

Perhaps they would be better off sealing the armour completly and having cameras that....'HERESY'...BLAM headshot... 


  • Lynata and Alrik Vas like this

#134 Lynata

Lynata

    Member

  • Members
  • 2,754 posts

Posted 05 March 2014 - 07:29 AM

With regard to autofire and the question of ammo do you guys ever find this to actually be a problem for the PCs?  I have basically stopped recording ammo usage for all but specialist weapons like melta or plasma guns when I found that gunfights were never protracted enough for the PCs to get through significant amounts of ammo.  Often a fight would finish before an entire clip was used let alone the PCs getting through several.  Autogun and lasgun ammo is so common that the PCs can often get more and it seems rediculous for their Inquisitor to limit the ammo of these weapons out of spite.

 

I always thought ammo consumption was an important part for the game, especially as a balancing factor for autofire or lasguns - few things are worse than being left in a confrontation with a weapon running dry! In spite of my oft-spouted preference for a degree of realism, I think I could actually get behind games not counting ammo usage, like videogames such as Shadowrun Returns or the new X-Com do it, but for Dark Heresy ... I dunno. The idea to limit this to non-special weapons might work, but I still feel skeptical in regards to stuff like autoguns with burst fire.
 
How many rounds of ammo are PCs schlepping around in your games? If they somehow manage to always have enough rounds in spite of weight carry limitations, then of course it makes little sense to count them beyond the loaded clip.
 
On a sidenote, I do like how you make your campaign sound with those movie references. :D
 
Also, I fully agree on NPCs learning, especially as a group. That is, if it's feasible for them (were there any survivors that could report back? did they have any watchers/witnesses in the area? are they actively spying against the PCs and do they have the means to do so? etc).
 

 

With regard to lasguns; the strength of lasguns especially vs power armour has always been somewhat variable.  I remember 2nd edition short stories indicating that a continued volly of fire could effectively burn through powered armour while other stories had the las shots not doing much at all.

 

Oh, almost anything is variable in 40k - that's the downside of a franchise with such a high amount of artistic license. That's the main cause of what I meant with the expectations: someone who knows the Adeptus Astartes mainly from Black Library novels like the Horus Heresy series or the Space Marine video game will be disappointed by how "vulnerable" they tend to be portrayed in studio fluff and rules.

 

 

FFG has quite nicely described this by giving us a range of different las weaponry some of which, such as the M36, can actually up its power setting by a few points. 

 

This actually is not a new idea and has been present in GW fluff and rules for years - with the difference that only the Triplex-pattern was famous (and popular amongst Guardsmen) for having a charge slider. This is actually how it was in the first beta of Only War as well, but the fans here lobbied so much that FFG later gave this feature to every las weapon.
As I said, artistic license. And this time, the fans are the direct cause for the deviation from previously established material.  :rolleyes:
 
Either way, my comment about lasgun firepower in d100 Inquisitor was referring to the standard setting. In that game, having a Triplex on the highest setting actually increases the chance to punch through Marine PA and cause injury or death to the wearer to a nice 35%...
 
871b.jpg
 
And the AoD Codex fluff about power armour protection against small arms fire that I mentioned in my last post was referring specifically to Marine PA.
 
It is important to note that Space Marines still don't die easily in that game simply because they can suffer a lot more injuries than a normal human. Toughness in Inquisitor does not serve as "skin armour" superior to what you wear on your body, but more like a buffer between your crit levels - so in comparison to DH, you end up being easier to injure, but somewhat harder to move from injured to kill. I feel this also makes Space Marines feel a lot more heroic ... few things are more epic than a bleeding, wounded warrior soldiering through their injuries with gritted teeth and still getting the mission done.
 
Mind you, I am not trying to dictate how you should handle it in your games or stories, I'm just here to point out that GW apparently had a different idea, because I feel that such reminders are necessary to prevent an atmosphere where "Marine supremacy" is taken for granted (with utter conviction that "it's canon!") and ends up casting a shadow over any other element of the setting, for I am convinced that such a focus would take an important inter-faction dynamic out of the universe and make it a blander place.
 
We as players have to live with 40k as an IP allowing so many different and conflicting interpretatoins of the setting - but simultaneously, we also need to be (and should make others) aware of what this actually means for the supposed weight and importance of our own opinion and preferences, rather than allowing one specific idea to push away the others. A casual balance with maximum awareness of the deviating visions should be the ideal, under these circumstances.

Edited by Lynata, 05 March 2014 - 07:44 AM.

  • Visitor Q likes this
current 40k RPG character: Aura Vashaan, Astromancer Witch-Priestess
previous characters: Captain Elias (Celestial Lions Chapter), Comrade-Trooper Dasha Malenko (1207th Valhallan Ice Warriors), Sister Elana (Order of the Sacred Rose), Leftenant Darion Baylesworth (Rogue Trader Artemisia)

#135 Visitor Q

Visitor Q

    Member

  • Members
  • 389 posts

Posted 05 March 2014 - 08:40 AM

Yes.  I've sometimes felt that toughness bonus should be capped by species.  So humans regardless of type, Ogryn, Space Marine or regular guardsmen etc all have roughly the same organs (yes Space Marines have a few extra!).  Even an Ogryn or Marine's skin can't literally stop a bullit.  So maybe there could be a cap at toughness bonus 5 for humans.  Wounds as well might be set at 20 max. 

 

I'm just spitballing here, but what I would change would be critical and injury tables which would probably be expanded (The old 1st edition WFRP had 16 critical hit entries per location). 

 

Things like Unnatural Toughness, True Grit and surplus Sound Constitution would mitigate injuries.  For example Unnatural Toughness might give a flat reduction in critical level depending on levels.  True Grit still halves damage and Sound Constitution over and above maximum wounds maybe cancels out levels of fatigue, blood loss and stunning.  Sound Constitution could even be spent like fate points to reduce these things, with points being recovered per game session.   

 

On the basis that there could be 16 or 20 critical hit entries with 14+ represening the most serious injuries or death, then perhaps criticals could be more bit more fluid as well. 

 

For example if a PC is suffering from a very minor critical (+1) but they subsequently take no damage for a few rounds then that PC returns to 0 or 1 wound.  At heavier critical damage say +7 or +9 this takes a few minutes and the player goes down to a lesser critical or some other effect.  At +10 and above then PC needs medical assistance to reduce critical levels.

 

Your right about there being many different versions of the WH40K universe though.  I personally have a view of it that I know isn't the same as others and is heavily influenced by my first exposure to WH40K which was Rogue Trader.   When I GM I take into account my players view but I also do explicitly explain that my default position is my interpretation of the background.   

 

With regard to ammo consumption, don't get me wrong I make sure PCs say how many clips they have, and where they are stored.  In certain circumstances such as being stranded on a medieval world I make sure they count out the shots.  But the truth is that most of the time the PCs (my PCs anyway) fought on Civilised or Hive Worlds where they can get autogun and lasgun ammo pretty easily.  They generally carried three clips each (one loaded two stored).  Fire fights just didn't seem to go on long enough for it to be an issue. 

 

I am reasonably strict with weight limit.  Though more than weight limit, how PCs are carrying items is important.  You can be the strongest man in the world but you still only have two hands.  Putting everything on your back is all well and good but it is probably going to be tightly paced away in a rucksack not easily produced at a moments notice.

 

Only time ammo became an issue was during a very large seige encounter.  Here we actually used 28mm models and a whole school hall to represent the battle (scale was pretty accurate as well!)  PC were hold up in a castle monastry with Imperial Guard pouring up a hill.  Beneath them was the 'Witch Vault' a large cavern where a Radical Inquisitor had hidden literally dozens of power psykers.  That was fun.

 

Our Dark Heresy campaign was pretty legendary actually.  As a GM it was split over two different groups over about at least a four/five year real time period with at least 14 different players dropping in and out at different times (regular 'cast' of about 8 with the rest being cameos!).

 

Finally ended with the PCs blasting the mysterious rogue Inquisitor bad guy whose been plauging them for literally years has killed numerous beloved NPC characters and cost them their reputations, sanity and very nearly their lives

 

Acolyte Adept [to dying bad guy]: We know you faked the identification of the Inquisitor and even your 'real' identity is a forgery.  Who are you? 

 

Big Bad: I am Alpharius.  [dies]

 

PCs shake fists at GM for opening more questions than are answered.  GM laughs manically.


Edited by Visitor Q, 05 March 2014 - 10:17 AM.

  • Magnus Grendel, Lynata and Librarian Astelan like this




© 2013 Fantasy Flight Publishing, Inc. Fantasy Flight Games and the FFG logo are ® of Fantasy Flight Publishing, Inc.  All rights reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Use | Contact | User Support | Rules Questions | Help | RSS