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Man Vs. Vehicle - Surviving the Gauntlet


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#1 venkelos

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 09:38 AM

So, let's forget for a minute that some of us (me, for instance) are desperately hoping that the general vehicles of the Imperial Guard make it into the first book, while several others are hoping they skip it; how might the book deal with human fragility vs big guns? What mechanics might be employed to save the PC Guardsman from meeting the messy fate his nameless colleagues next to him will? I've never played Deathwatch, which is the set that seems to most incorporate ground vehicles on a scale with infantry objectives. I wrote a thread on DW for how might one destroy a tank, without getting killed, but now I am just wondering what will save the PCs from a single shot of the looted Leman Russ battle cannon? Whether a party of Space Marines can take a Defiler or not, they aren't Guardsmen, so I am wondering how Humans might fare when the "best tank in the Guard" rolls in.

Looking at many of the vehicles, their weapons seem to be mostly infantry-scale, mounted on an armored vehicle, protecting the operator from return fire. A person could survive a hit from a multi-laser, maybe, or a lascannon, and certainly some of the pintle-bolter/stubbers, but even Space Marines, with their excessive durability, excellent armor, and such would be hard-pressed to survive a hit from a battle cannon, or heaven help them, a Basilisk's earthshaker. I don't think Fate recharges faster than Earthakers are loaded, so I'm not sure how much help that will be. My guess is that the Guardsmen are going to be around the power level of a Dark Heresy character, or maybe between that and a RT character, at best. This means that, as soon as the vehicle rolls into range, the player might need to dig into their folder for the third backup character that they made for the night.

So, some of this might just be me over-elaborating, but what are some ideas that might save the PCs, leaving the vehicles the efficient asset that they are, but not at the expense of players having to hide from the enemy's vehicles the whole encounter? I assume Size might help, with an Enormous vehicle trying to fire with a penalty at a regular sized person, and if the game gives the character the protection of another vehicle, or maybe a Magnitude, for being in a horde, they might be able to survive, but a small group, say a Vet squad, might not have any of these to fall back on. What are people's thoughts, and some other ideas, for surviving the gauntlet?

 

As an unrelated second, does Only War have an official release date, yet? I went to Amazon, and it said a date for preorder, but it also still lists it as a DH supplement, so some updating might not hurt. I know there's a Con involved, I think GenCon, but I don't know when that is.



#2 Ravager

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 01:59 PM

 Not getting spotted is more than likely what your average guardsmen would hope for, but I think you could rule that with some added difficulty modifiers one of your accurate or lucky players can put a missile through a hatch or viewing port.  Have to remember that even on a modern battlefield armored vehicles that wander into an urban area with out infantry support are in a lot of danger from guys with cheap rockets and bombs.  You can get very creative with how to take them out.  Maybe collapse a building on one of them, or possibly a bridge they are driving over.  Honestly avoiding fighting vehicles in a straight fight should be a primary goal for any grunt on the ground.  Even the smaller(that being a relative term) weapons mounted on a tank or apc are deadly to them.

Could also have a group of secondary characters who just so happen to be crew members of a Leman Russ Vanquisher or even some pilots flying Thunderbolts to come in and strike the offending enemy armor.



#3 Santiago

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 08:29 PM

 I think that is mainly up to the GM. If your GM sends out a wing of Eldar Grav Tanks you are screwed anyway.
I think such games should be about tactics (and drama). Sneak in, get a locater beacon on them and hope that you are gone before the orbital laser strikes. Or like in Saving Private Ryan, hide until they pass, quickly attach a melta charge and run for cover.
Surviving an artillery barrage should be about either: "Damn I was lucky" or "Why my best friend and not me"
I also hope they cover derangements such as shellshock and survivors guilt.



#4 Radwraith

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 09:05 PM

Using the current RT or DW veh. rules you are quite capable of putting sizable holes in armored vehicles w/ Lascannons, Krak missiles or Melta weapons. The their is always the cliche (but still possible) idea of popping the top hatch and dropping a frag grenade into the nice tight quarters of a tank! The rules for vehicles already exist in the 40k rpg so I hope OW fleshes them out and includes the classics (Leman Russ, Chimera, Thunderbolt fighters etc.).



#5 Kasatka

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Posted 28 April 2012 - 01:33 AM

venkelos said:

A person could survive a hit from a multi-laser, maybe, or a lascannon, and certainly some of the pintle-bolter/stubbers, but even Space Marines, with their excessive durability, excellent armor, and such would be hard-pressed to survive a hit from a battle cannon, or heaven help them, a Basilisk's earthshaker. I don't think Fate recharges faster than Earthakers are loaded, so I'm not sure how much help that will be. My guess is that the Guardsmen are going to be around the power level of a Dark Heresy character, or maybe between that and a RT character, at best. This means that, as soon as the vehicle rolls into range, the player might need to dig into their folder for the third backup character that they made for the night.

Well if you think it's okay for an average human, even one in the guard, to survive a lascannon blast then you may need to re-read the fluff behind and some of the stats on them. The latest stats for a lascannon, as seen in Black Crusade (won't post the whole stats, but basically with the Proven trait which gives each d10 for damage a minimum roll of 3, the minimum damage is 25 pen 10 with a max of 65 pen 10) will instantly melt a human, and take a marine potentially into crit as well.

In comparison, the heavy weapons published to date (vehicle weapons from Rogue Trader and Deathwatch) seem to hint that battle-cannon will be more about range and Blast, but not have much in the way of penetration. As such, flak armour will benefit from +2 AP versus weapons with the Blast trait, which will help the player characters survive stray shots. Utilizing cover and terrain vehicles cannot get into, ambushes and of course your own armour support will all contribute to survival.

As such i don't really see it as some major issue that player characters will get constantly wiped by a single tank. I mean if your GM is forcing you to fight a tank on unfavourable terms with no chance of victory then they are the problem with your game, not the rules!

 

 


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#6 H.B.M.C.

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Posted 28 April 2012 - 05:45 AM

venkelos said:

As an unrelated second, does Only War have an official release date, yet? I went to Amazon, and it said a date for preorder, but it also still lists it as a DH supplement, so some updating might not hurt. I know there's a Con involved, I think GenCon, but I don't know when that is.


Don't trust Amazon when it comes to release date. I got a reminder from them that Only War was due out in 9 days time… and we were still writing the rules! Their release dates are wishful thinking at best.

But going off previous track records (DW and BC), I think that we'll see it around Gen-Con.

BYE


Matt Eustace. Contributing Author Credits: Church of the Damned, The Lathe Worlds, The Lathe Worlds - The Lost Dataslate, Only War Core Rulebook, Hammer of the Emperor, Shield of Humanity, Tome of Fate, Tome of Blood, Tome of Excess and Tome of Decay.

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


#7 Guest_Not In Sample_*

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Posted 28 April 2012 - 10:47 AM

Perhaps borrow the Imperal Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy rule from GURPS - the bad guys always miss with their first shot.

Although I guess if they are in the Imperial Guard that should mean the PCs always miss with their first shot.



#8 venkelos

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 06:14 AM

Kasatka said:

venkelos said:

 

A person could survive a hit from a multi-laser, maybe, or a lascannon, and certainly some of the pintle-bolter/stubbers, but even Space Marines, with their excessive durability, excellent armor, and such would be hard-pressed to survive a hit from a battle cannon, or heaven help them, a Basilisk's earthshaker. I don't think Fate recharges faster than Earthakers are loaded, so I'm not sure how much help that will be. My guess is that the Guardsmen are going to be around the power level of a Dark Heresy character, or maybe between that and a RT character, at best. This means that, as soon as the vehicle rolls into range, the player might need to dig into their folder for the third backup character that they made for the night.

 

 

Well if you think it's okay for an average human, even one in the guard, to survive a lascannon blast then you may need to re-read the fluff behind and some of the stats on them. The latest stats for a lascannon, as seen in Black Crusade (won't post the whole stats, but basically with the Proven trait which gives each d10 for damage a minimum roll of 3, the minimum damage is 25 pen 10 with a max of 65 pen 10) will instantly melt a human, and take a marine potentially into crit as well.

In comparison, the heavy weapons published to date (vehicle weapons from Rogue Trader and Deathwatch) seem to hint that battle-cannon will be more about range and Blast, but not have much in the way of penetration. As such, flak armour will benefit from +2 AP versus weapons with the Blast trait, which will help the player characters survive stray shots. Utilizing cover and terrain vehicles cannot get into, ambushes and of course your own armour support will all contribute to survival.

As such i don't really see it as some major issue that player characters will get constantly wiped by a single tank. I mean if your GM is forcing you to fight a tank on unfavourable terms with no chance of victory then they are the problem with your game, not the rules!

 

 

Please note, I said COULD survive, though it isn't likely. I don't think it's normal for a lone Guardsman to survive the hit of a big gun, and that's why I asked this question; because eventually, they will have to face one. Whether a Chaos Guard Leman, a looted Ork Leman, or even just another Leman of the IG, if two groups are forced into conflict, it could happen, and if I use the Battle Cannon from Deathwatch (I figure the one mounted on the Defiler should be a close approximation to the Guard-variant gun) it would be a bit messy. I also won't put it up here (DW: RoB, p.192) it hits with multiple dice, high Pen, over a rather large zone. With such a setup, even a group of players, if in the same unit, could be wiped, with just a stray shot. I was trying to see if there were any good Talents to assist, or if we might expect some new options. Yeah, I like the idea of cover, and as long as the battlefield supports it (and how often is there really a big, flat, cleared area of battle?) it seems like a good plan. I didn't notice the rule for flak armor, so that's my own oops. Can always hope that allied armor makes for better targets, but I believe battle cannons are more designed to wreck infantry groups, and ping tanks if necessary (hull-mounted lascannon, or sponson multi-meltas/plasma cannons seem better for armor-cracking).

I was just curious. As with so many things here, my question is motivated by a lack of knowledge concerning game-scale; will most encounters be warring armies, or actions by smaller groups, on the edges of overarching big battles? Will infantry be hiding in hordes, or will the whole party be in one squad? How important, in game terms, will vehicles, such as the aforementioned Leman Russ, be overall? When the book finally gets here, whenever Gen-Con is, then I'll have a better idea, and know how survivable the game is to an "average" Guardsman, people known to die all  the time. I don't expect a GM to just willy nilly toss a tank squad at infantry; I am just trying to get a grasp on how this all might flow.



#9 SomVone

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 04:33 PM

 I'd think this would go the same way as any other soft target in combat with a tank. Don't get shot by something intended to kill other tanks.

Fighting armor as unsupported infantry should be tense and deadly, and your best bet is probably to hide and radio in a Lightning Strike wing or somesuch. Otherwise it's going to be messy, and require a few tense ambushes with anti-tank weaponry.

I haven't actually run a pure tank vs infantry fight yet, but the closest my group got was a fight between a DW predator and LasBack with the PC kill team fighting a LRBT platoon and company of infantry. The battlezone was a mostly open ash waste, with little cover. The dismounted group of marines kept well away from the tanks while the vehicles and a marine with a missile launcher at long range bombarded them.

I'd imagine this would be similar in OW, though without a company vs squad engagement being fair.



#10 Guest_Not In Sample_*

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 05:28 PM

Or there are the grenade rules from… either Feng Shui or Hong Kong Action Theatre! (I forget which) whereby the amount of damage you took from grenades and similar weapons depended on how important you were to the story. So mooks took lots of damage, henchmen took a little damage and characters with names took no damage at all.



#11 Zakalwe

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 06:28 PM

AluminiumWolf said:

Or there are the grenade rules from… either Feng Shui or Hong Kong Action Theatre! (I forget which) whereby the amount of damage you took from grenades and similar weapons depended on how important you were to the story. So mooks took lots of damage, henchmen took a little damage and characters with names took no damage at all.

I really like this idea.  I've seen similar things in other games, such as the way various incarnations of the Fate3.0 rules handle it where mooks die really easily.

However PCs should be hiding from armour and not trying to fight it directly.  If by some horrible stroke of bad luck the PC's position takes a hit from something big, well, that is what fate points are for.



#12 Cifer

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 06:11 AM

Since OW probably has a very different theme from Feng Shui and its kind, I don't think we're going to see too many "PCs are better" rules apart from Fate Points. This of course suggests SomVone's strategy: Either call in a strike or fight as dirty as you can.

 

That being said, the description of the system on its page states that we'll be mostly acting behind enemy lines, skipping the whole "Send in the next wave!" business. That means we have the element of surprise or at least the initiative reasonably often.



#13 venkelos

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 09:33 AM

The idea of focusing on small groups of covert operatives, behind enemy lines, when "normal" IG are vast armies of endless men and munitions, seems interesting; at least not the same thing the Guard always do.

Wish that the game would come out. already, so I can look it over, and decide if I am really into it.



#14 Bassemandrh

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 10:10 AM

Sounds familiar to me.. oh yeah isn't that what DW is about just on a more epic scale



#15 Bassemandrh

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 10:12 AM

Sounds familiar to me.. oh yeah isn't that what DW is about just on a more epic scale



#16 Cifer

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 11:23 AM

Yeah - I really wonder why they even bothered to make Saving Private Ryan when Rambo was already out…



#17 Kasatka

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 01:41 AM

 Maybe because Saving Private Ryan was a better film, which had a good cast and array of characters to empathise and asociate with.

Rambo, while fun. is really nothing to write home about unless you are into the "hurr durr i did da mostest damage with ma gun!" kind of game.


Only the insane have strength enough to prosper.

Only those that prosper may truly judge what is sane.


#18 Cifer

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 11:01 PM

 Someone's sarcasm detector needs a recalibration… 



#19 Kasatka

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 01:34 AM

Cifer said:

 Someone's sarcasm detector needs a recalibration… 

Well the use of sarcasm (which largely depends on inflection and mannerisms in its successful delivery) is so useful in text format on the intertubes… oh whoops.


Only the insane have strength enough to prosper.

Only those that prosper may truly judge what is sane.


#20 Sister Callidia

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 07:50 AM

Back to the OP instead of talking about some movies.Taking out an enemy vehicle could indeed make a very nice mission or part of one. Though going head to head against one is a folly. Most vehicle mountd weaponry will make mincemeat of any pc and you only have so much fatepoints to cheat death. To take one out, would require the use of intelligence. Setting an ambush, a trap or a sabotage mission could win you the day instead. 






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