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Questions about shooting/devastators being overpowered


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#1 Private Jackson

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Posted 26 February 2011 - 07:45 AM

Some feedback from my gaming group is that they are a bit put off by Deathwatch due some balance issues, specifically the damage potential difference between their classes, which primarily focus on melee damage, and me, as a devastator. Me, being desperately obsessed with the 40K universe, want to try to determine if perhaps I’m applying any of the rules incorrectly, to see if I should be toned down a bit from how we have been playing, as I don’t want everyone to switch to a different game system.  I know that the concept of devastators being OP'ed has been discussed here, I'm just wanting to make sure I'm playing it RAW first, then maybe nerf myself later if I am.

 

Please look over the combat below and see if I’m applying everything correctly. My target is a Daemon Prince, about 40 meters away, with no intervening cover.

My ballistic skill is 53, I’m using a Heavy Bolter and I roll a 22. I am using regular ammo and I have the Mighty Shot talent.

I get +20 for shooting an Enormous target, +20 for shooting full auto, and +10 for shooting a target at short range, for bonuses up to +50. That bumps my BS to 93. According to my figures, I hit him with 7 degrees of success, meaning 8 hits. I roll for damage. (2d10 plus 10, tearing)
I roll 4, 6, and 9 and discard the 4 for a total of 15. I add 10 and add 2 for Mighty Shot. Total damage is 27 Pen 6. Daemon Prince’s armor is 12 and TB is 12, meaning I do 9 damage.

I roll 3, 4, and 6 and discard the 3 for a total of 10. I add 10 and add 2 for Mighty Shot. Total damage is 22 Pen 6. Daemon Prince’s armor is 12 and TB is 12, meaning I do 4 damage.

I roll 4, 5, and 7 and discard the 4 for a total of 13. I add 10 and add 2 for Mighty Shot. Total damage is 25 Pen 6. Daemon Prince’s armor is 12 and TB is 12, meaning I do 7 damage.

I roll 7, 8, and 9 and discard the 7 for a total of 17. I add 10 and add 2 for Mighty Shot. Total damage is 29 Pen 6. Daemon Prince’s armor is 12 and TB is 12, meaning I do 11 damage.

I roll 5, 5, and 8 and discard the 5 for a total of 13. I add 10 and add 2 for Mighty Shot. Total damage is 25 Pen 6. Daemon Prince’s armor is 12 and TB is 12, meaning I do 7 damage.

I roll 2, 5, and 9 and discard the 2 for a total of 14. I add 10 and add 2 for Mighty Shot. Total damage is 26 Pen 6. Daemon Prince’s armor is 12 and TB is 12, meaning I do 8 damage.

I roll 3, 7, and (1)0 and discard the 3 for a total of 17. I add 10 and add 2 for Mighty Shot. I roll an extra d10 for Righteous Fury and get a 4. Total damage is 33 Pen 6. Daemon Prince’s armor is 12 and TB is 12, meaning I do 15 damage.

I roll 1, 9, and (1)0 and discard the 1 for a total of 19. I roll an extra d10 for Righteous Fury and get a (1)0. I roll an extra d10 for another Righteous Fury and get 6. I add 10 and add 2 for Mighty Shot. Total damage is 47 Pen 6. Daemon Prince’s armor is 12 and TB is 12, meaning I do 29 damage.

Assume that the Daemon Prince has already dodged this round and has previously used/burned all of his Fate Points. He has 80 wounds. I did 90 damage (9+4+7+11+7+8+15+29=90). Did my level 1 devastator just “one-shot” a Daemon Prince?



#2 nolsutt

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Posted 26 February 2011 - 08:16 AM

Everything looks correct to me. The Devastator is a powerful specialty, no one shoots as good as him and heavy bolter is a strong weapon.

The Dev isnt invincible though, he can be tied up in melee, targeted by heavy weapons etc. If you ever played dow games, its kinda like that. If I let my opponents heavy bolter squads just sit there and shoot at me, I will lose. You have to tie them up in melee with jump pack troops or whatever.

Against hordes, the dev can clean house compared to an assault marine. The dev can shoot singles and elites pretty well too, but the assault marine has good survivability against elites and such. Multiple reactions, attacks, counter attack etc.

An assault marine is not that threatened by a genestealer in melee, a dev will need help and hope he can survive until then.

I would ask your GM to vary up how he approaches the combat encounters. If you set up the fights where the kill-team cant always just stand still and full auto, it's alot more intense.



#3 KommissarK

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Posted 26 February 2011 - 08:26 AM

Possibly, but there are alot of other factors in a fight with a daemon prince. They won't just wink into existence right there. Did you pass the fear test (not that it seriously matters, but it is fear 4, with a -10 to WP, I possibly read that as meaning that a failure on the test out of squad mode could mean that the marine is at -50 WP, in some strict rulings, if the devs WP is < 50, you might be comatose). Does it have a mark of any chaos god? Nurgle, Slaanesh, or Tzeeentch would actually work well in their favour (a mark of nurgle would mean that it would have about 38 wounds left, slaanesh would offer a better result on a dodge test, and Tzeenetch followers would user possibility shield, or attempt to dominate the devastator). Also, given that you've proven just how scary heavy weapons can be, why would a daemon prince dodge anything other than your attack? It could just choose to not dodge previous attacks and dodge the devastators (being that it is the highest threat). It should be assumed that there are other daemons, why haven't they locked you in melee? And 40m, with no intervening cover, sounds like a bit of a vacuum. If in a wide open area, I would expect alof of other crap going on (raining blood, that sort of thing), that would generally penalize BS tests.

Point is, stop it with the math, and just play the game. The GM should realize that there are quite a few good tools at their disposal. Also, spending/burning 3 fate points is a whole freaking lot.

Also, a daemon prince should be at the pinnacle of the game session. Do you still have ammo left? Do you have more than 5 wounds remaining? Some senible players may attempt to focus on surviving first, rather than recklessly shooting (although you did prove that with a few decent rolls, the fight isn't that terrible).

But yes, stand along, with the limits you placed on this, you would have "one shoted" the daemon prince. Your math is (or at least looks) correct. There are simply other factors. Also, I wouldn't put it past the GM to give a DP something on the order of an iron halo or rosarius.



#4 Direach

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Posted 26 February 2011 - 08:32 AM

A couple of minor things: your effective BS would be 103, not 93 (53 +50). Also, Righteous Fury is only automatic vs. xenos, not Chaos/Demons/Heretics etc. There is also the 'Stuff of Nightmares' trait, which makes such creatures very survivable.

That said, assuming you got an additional damaging hit and confirmed at least one RF attack, you may very well have badly damaged a Daemon Prince in one round of combat (if not killed outright due to Stuff of Nightmares). Does this mean you're overpowered? No.

Imagine the same Daemon Prince, but this time it has engaged the kill-team in melee (Unnatural Speed, Thunder Charge, Brutal Charge, Swift Attack, Two Weapon Wielder, Hatred: Loyalist Marines, Chaos-forged sword... why wouldn't it?). It singles out the Devastator for its initial attack. Your Devastator gamely tries to defend himself with his combat knife, trying to haul his heavy bolter out of the way to get his bolt pistol on the target.

Without going through all the math (and even leaving out the psychological effects like Fear 4 and Aura of Despair and Death), I think it's obvious that your devastator is at a huge disadvantage against what is essentially a Warp-powered high Rank assault marine. Is he now underpowered? Do you need to write a lengthy complaint letter to Ross? Nope.

If the encounter consists solely of a Daemon Prince within short range, with no minions or cover, and for some reason has not attempted to close to melee range, the fault is in the encounter, not in you doing your job very well. Devastators are meant to provide very effective fire support, and they do. But the responsibility for a balanced encounter lies with the GM, not with the players.

I don't know what specific situation came up in your game, but I would talk with your GM about making sure that in your future missions there are encounters that allow everyone on the kill-team to shine. If all the encounters are short or mid-range firefights, the devastator will dominate. In melee or mixed melee and ranged combats, the devastator's advantage is not as pronounced.

Short version: you're not overpowered. :)



#5 Private Jackson

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Posted 26 February 2011 - 10:05 AM

Thank you all for your feedback.  This specific scenario was chose just to demonstrate whether or not I'm applying everything correctly, not that we're fighting in a sterile ampitheater. ;)

 

The GM is still learning, but now knowing what the abilities of my character are, I think he'll be better able to adjust future encounters so that I don't just have to "point-and-click", as it were.  This was our third session or so, so we're still all trying to get the hang of everything.

 

I did mis-add the modifiers, so that should have given me another shot, but I also did forget that I don't auto confirm Righteous Fury on non-xenos.

 

This thread leaves me to wonder if perhaps the assault marine is not utilizing his character to its fullest extent, since he (again, still level 1 Blood Angel, but dual-wielding chainswords) rarely seems to do anything more than a hit, perhaps two, and each of those doing less damage than just one of my bolt shells.  Note that I rarely ever have had to actually engage in melee, so I my understanding of what he's actually doing isn't what it could be.



#6 Direach

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Posted 26 February 2011 - 12:08 PM

He almost certainly is. I was doing some number-crunching on assault marines (dual wielding chainswords), and even at Rank 1 they have the potential to deal out some hideous damage (especially once they pick up Two Weapon Wielder). I was working up a Black Templar, I'm pretty sure Blood Angel has even better Chapter advances at Rank 1 for assault.



#7 H.B.M.C.

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Posted 26 February 2011 - 01:39 PM

I watched a Heavy Bolter Devastator tear through a Hive Tyrant in a single turn, and a Daemon Prince in two turns yesterday with no trouble at all. There is virtually no reason to take any other heavy weapon unless I start throwing Land Raiders and things that a HB can't scratch at them.

1D10+12, Pen 6, Tearing would be good enough.

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#8 Cynical Cat

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Posted 27 February 2011 - 12:12 AM

A Daemon Prince showed up in one session due to a really bad psychic phenomena roll.  To add insult to injury the power use was fairly useless  (GM hint:  Pushing a Divination Power that's unlikely to tell you anything you don't already know is not the best idea.)

The Daemon Prince immediately got into melee and starting beating the unholy hell out of the PCs.  Fortunately it's first target was the Librarian who accidently summoned it so he wasn't immediately destroyed in melee, but the Devastator never got a good shot at it.    The few shots it did eat didn't do much.  Later he did lay down the hurt against a Hive Tyrant, but he wasn't alone in that. 

The Devastator plus heavy bolter combo is evil, but it should be. 



#9 Siranui

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Posted 27 February 2011 - 01:22 AM

 Stop press: Mankind's finest warriors are equipped with the best all-round heavy weapon as standard.

I really don't have much of a problem with that. Devestators have excellent weapons and do horrific damage. The downside is that it invariably ends up as a melee fight; for which they are relatively ill-equipped to survive, with only one hand realistically free to fight, and only ever one dodge/reaction. GM's tend to kill players up close and personal, and although the Dev does a lot of damage, it's not as good at surviving. Also: This is not 4e: Not every class needs to be perfectly balanced in every situation.



#10 Octus

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Posted 27 February 2011 - 02:12 AM

I do not think any of the characters is specifically overpowered. the reason is that each has their own speciality (thats why its called that way). The devastator is deadly if he can shoot. An assault marine is deadly if he can get into melee.

By the way: any marine equipped with a heavy bolter is deadly if it can shoot. Getting a bonus is very helpful in that (+10 for range, +20 for full auto, +10 thro +30 for size). In my group the techmarine is the one carrying the heavy bolter and he is deadly if he can shoot.



#11 H.B.M.C.

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Posted 27 February 2011 - 07:29 AM

Siranui said:

Also: This is not 4e: Not every class needs to be perfectly balanced in every situation.


But when every situation can be solved by 10 2D10+10 Tearing shots, why even bother with anything else? All firing into close-combat is is a -20, and most of the really dangerous things in HTH are big enough to negate that penalty.

We played four missions over the weekend and in each and every single combat situation the Heavy Bolter dominated and made doing anything else virtually pointless. He tore through every single thing I put in front of it, from a Magnitude 25 Horde to a 150-wound Nurgle Daemon Prince. In each combat the only question became "How many turns will it take the Heavy Bolter to utterly **** this unit?".

It was a novelty at first, but by the last mission we just stopped caring and abandoned the game. When a single character can eviscerate entire groups of Chaos Marines one turn and then fell a DP in two shots - why even bother playing?

BYE


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The views expressed in this post are my own. I do not speak for or on behalf of Fantasy Flight Games.


#12 nolsutt

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Posted 27 February 2011 - 08:15 AM

A really nasty combo I just realized would be a techmarine/forgemaster with weapon tech. Give that Multi Melta from rites of battle and use his ability to supress that recharge.



#13 Umbranus

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Posted 27 February 2011 - 08:41 AM

H.B.M.C. said:



  All firing into close-combat is is a -20, and most of the really dangerous things in HTH are big enough to negate that penalty.

 

 

 

 

"The GM might also rule that anyone shooting into melee with a semi-automatic or full automatic burst must allocate at least one of their hits against the target's opponent." (DH page 196)

Just use that optional rule and shooting into melee with a heavy bolter will suddenly not feel like such a good idea anymore.



#14 Siranui

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Posted 27 February 2011 - 10:56 PM

H.B.M.C. said:

But when every situation can be solved by 10 2D10+10 Tearing shots, why even bother with anything else? All firing into close-combat is is a -20, and most of the really dangerous things in HTH are big enough to negate that penalty.

And machineguns dominated trench warfare, too. But you couldn't justify writing them out of a WWI game just because they rock. Wizards utterly dominate high level D&D 3.5, but again: You don't ban them. What you do is control the number of them (limit the number of heavy weapons in a kill-team to -say- 2. And box clever to reduce their effects. And you also have to get past the notion that it's 'bad' that they do the job they are good at, and accept it. It's not like a little bit of you dies whenever a horde or elite is mowed down by one: Just add more bad guys!

Heavy weapons are reduced in effect by tactics: Enclosed passages so narrow that the point-man cannot safely be fired past, multiple small hordes from different angles, prolonged missions where ammo count becomes crucial. Multiple elites, ambushes where the heavy weapons guy is attacked in hand to hand, etc etc.

Devestators do damage: It's what they are good for. But get them in melee and suddenly they aren't doing the damage (because they are engaged and can't shoot) and they are horribly vulnerable because they only have one hand to hold a weapon, and they are the weakest melee class in the game, bar none. It's the job of the assault marines and pretty much everyone else in the party to keep the heavy weapon guy screened and essentially 'tank' for them, to allow them to do their job. If the party are doing that: Great. Don't punish them for it.



#15 Banjulhu

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Posted 28 February 2011 - 02:36 AM

Direach said:

He almost certainly is. I was doing some number-crunching on assault marines (dual wielding chainswords), and even at Rank 1 they have the potential to deal out some hideous damage (especially once they pick up Two Weapon Wielder). I was working up a Black Templar, I'm pretty sure Blood Angel has even better Chapter advances at Rank 1 for assault.

I dont know. At rank one an assault marine gets two if he stands still or three if he takes a -10 to hitn (assuming he has Two weapon wielder (melee)), any movement takes him down to a single attack roll which will only result in a single damage roll (ignoring righteous fury). Typically a starting assault marine will have a WS of 50 so he can make 1 attack at WS 60, 2 at WS 50 or three at WS 40

Now a heavy weapon wielder will only ever make a single attack every round, but he can pile on so many bonuses its unlikely that he will miss. BS 50 + 10 for close range + 20 for Semi + 10 for aiming (it's unwise to not take the upgrade that turns FA and SA into half turn actions) so comes out with a BS of 90, and he gets extra hits for each degree of sucess assuming 50 is the average roll on a d100 roll  thats 5 hits per round on average each of which does more damage than the typical melee attack roll.

Your melee warrior is lucky to to make 2 damage rolls per round your Dev is unlucky if he does not get 5.



#16 Siranui

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Posted 28 February 2011 - 03:27 AM

 You forget hatreds, hunter of aliens, and the slew of other melee bonuses available...



#17 KommissarK

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Posted 28 February 2011 - 06:25 AM

Banjulhu said:

Direach said:

 

He almost certainly is. I was doing some number-crunching on assault marines (dual wielding chainswords), and even at Rank 1 they have the potential to deal out some hideous damage (especially once they pick up Two Weapon Wielder). I was working up a Black Templar, I'm pretty sure Blood Angel has even better Chapter advances at Rank 1 for assault.

 

 

I dont know. At rank one an assault marine gets two if he stands still or three if he takes a -10 to hitn (assuming he has Two weapon wielder (melee)), any movement takes him down to a single attack roll which will only result in a single damage roll (ignoring righteous fury). Typically a starting assault marine will have a WS of 50 so he can make 1 attack at WS 60, 2 at WS 50 or three at WS 40

Now a heavy weapon wielder will only ever make a single attack every round, but he can pile on so many bonuses its unlikely that he will miss. BS 50 + 10 for close range + 20 for Semi + 10 for aiming (it's unwise to not take the upgrade that turns FA and SA into half turn actions) so comes out with a BS of 90, and he gets extra hits for each degree of sucess assuming 50 is the average roll on a d100 roll  thats 5 hits per round on average each of which does more damage than the typical melee attack roll.

Your melee warrior is lucky to to make 2 damage rolls per round your Dev is unlucky if he does not get 5.

If you're using rank one stats, its doubtful a devastator has access to suspensors. To make a fair comparison, any assault marines should considered to have 2 power swords.



#18 ak-73

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Posted 28 February 2011 - 07:39 AM

KommissarK said:

Possibly, but there are alot of other factors in a fight with a daemon prince. They won't just wink into existence right there. Did you pass the fear test (not that it seriously matters, but it is fear 4, with a -10 to WP, I possibly read that as meaning that a failure on the test out of squad mode could mean that the marine is at -50 WP, in some strict rulings, if the devs WP is < 50, you might be comatose). Does it have a mark of any chaos god? Nurgle, Slaanesh, or Tzeeentch would actually work well in their favour (a mark of nurgle would mean that it would have about 38 wounds left, slaanesh would offer a better result on a dodge test, and Tzeenetch followers would user possibility shield, or attempt to dominate the devastator). Also, given that you've proven just how scary heavy weapons can be, why would a daemon prince dodge anything other than your attack? It could just choose to not dodge previous attacks and dodge the devastators (being that it is the highest threat). It should be assumed that there are other daemons, why haven't they locked you in melee? And 40m, with no intervening cover, sounds like a bit of a vacuum. If in a wide open area, I would expect alof of other crap going on (raining blood, that sort of thing), that would generally penalize BS tests.

Point is, stop it with the math, and just play the game. The GM should realize that there are quite a few good tools at their disposal. Also, spending/burning 3 fate points is a whole freaking lot.

Also, a daemon prince should be at the pinnacle of the game session. Do you still have ammo left? Do you have more than 5 wounds remaining? Some senible players may attempt to focus on surviving first, rather than recklessly shooting (although you did prove that with a few decent rolls, the fight isn't that terrible).

But yes, stand along, with the limits you placed on this, you would have "one shoted" the daemon prince. Your math is (or at least looks) correct. There are simply other factors. Also, I wouldn't put it past the GM to give a DP something on the order of an iron halo or rosarius.


Yeah but otoh we're talking about a fairly unbuffed Devastator here. Only BS 53, only mighty ****, no weapon upgrades, no wargear, no special ammo, no bonuses from Squad Mode abilities figured in.

It's not the Devastator who is overpowered but the Heavy Bolter. There has been much debate about it here. Consider it this way: if you hit 9 times with your HB and you house rule that the damage of bolt weapons is 2 lower than RAW, the DP gets 18 points less damage. ROF acts as damage multiplier which is why HB and Storm Bolter are supreme weapon choices. You probably won't one-shot your DP with a Multi-Melta or Lascannon.

Melee Combat gets really painful on the higher ranks, when you got much better gear and more attacks, more abilities that increase your damage output, etc.

Picking the HB and Unrelenting Devastation and Mighty Shot so that you can eradicate hordes and master-tier enemies is the obvious choice but I find it too obvious and too boring.

 

Alex

 

 

 


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#19 Banjulhu

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Posted 28 February 2011 - 11:33 AM

KommissarK said:

  

If you're using rank one stats, its doubtful a devastator has access to suspensors. To make a fair comparison, any assault marines should considered to have 2 power swords.

 

 

Power swords wont increase the number of damage rolls you make nor improve the chance you hit in the first place and their 1d10+6+SB at Pen 6 is only on par with 2d10+10 Pen 6 of a heavy bolter, however the tearing quality of the HB means its damge distribution is shifted in favour of higher damage and



#20 KommissarK

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Posted 28 February 2011 - 11:41 AM

@ak-73

Certainly, I see what you mean, the heavy bolter is exceedingly powerful. I personally, am not ready to declare it "overpowered," but respect that other people see it as such.

My point earlier was simply that while, yes, in a vacuum, a heavy bolter could "one shot" a daemon prince, that is not the point, and that there are quite a few other factors to consider. Any GM worth his salt can engineer a situation where the devastator will face great risk to bring his guns to bear against such an enemy.

 

@Banjulhu

My point there was simply that if you're going to give devastators suspensors, you can't fairly compare them to assault marines with standard loadout. I was not actually trying to imply that they are equal, just that not giving assault marines just makes the difference even wider.






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