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My Hopes for Vehicles Revamped


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#1 venkelos

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 06:42 AM

So, as everyone has noticed, the page I originally did for this is acting dumb, and so I will restart this thread, both to share my ideas, and to do so in a way that invites intelligent reply, without the need to copy, paste, and read the comments of myself and others in Notepad, or Word. Sorry for the double-post, as it were, but this one should be legible. So, here we go again.

I strongly hope that the OW core rulebook does NOT overlook vehicles for an expansion book; I feel that the tanks are an integral part of the Imperial Guard, at least as much as the Guardsmen, themselves. While having thousands of soldiers at one's command is a valuable asset, it is often the heavy hitters of the IG's armored companies that spearhead movements, and win battles. To that end, even if it could prove difficult to balance the two (weapons that can bother tanks can do a lot more than bother a Guardsman, who happens to be a Player Character), I strongly hope that they are included.

While waiting for the book to finally debut (and it's weird how no one will tell a date, beyond "it's GenCon"), I decided to sit down and stat out what I might hope some of my favorites might look like. Here they are, the Leman Russ Battle Tank, and the Basilisk Mobile Artillery Piece:

Leman Russ Battle Tank
Type: Ground Vehicle
Tactical Speed: 12m
Cruising Speed: 50 kph
Maneuverability: +0
Structural Integrity: 45
Size: Enormous
Armor: Front 42, Side 31, Rear 20
Crew: Driver, Gunner, 2 Sponson Gunners, Two Additional Guardsmen
Carrying Capacity: None

Weapons
Battle Cannon (Range 300m, Heavy, S/-/-, 3d10+5 X, Pen 8, Clip 50, Blast (8), Devastating (4))

Hull-mounted weapons (choose one of the following three options):

    Heavy Bolter (Range 150m, Heavy, -/-/10, 2d10+10 X, Pen 6, Clip 400, Tearing)
    Heavy Flamer (Range 30m, Heavy, S/-/-, 2d10+6 E, Pen 6, Clip 20, Flame)
    Lascannon (Range 300m, Heavy, S/-/-, 6d10+10 E, Pen 10, Clip 30)

Sponson weapons (choose one of the following four options):

    Two Heavy Bolters (Range 150m, Heavy, -/-/10, 2d10+10 X, Pen 6, Clip 400, Tearing)
    Two Heavy Flamers (Range 30m, Heavy, S/-/-, 2d10+6 E, Pen 6, Clip 20, Flame)
    Two Multi-meltas (Range 60m, Heavy, S/-/-, 4d10+6 E, Pen 10, Clip 30)
    Two Plasma Cannons (Range 150m, Heavy, S/-/-, 2d10+11 E, Pen 13, Clip 30, Blast (1))


Basilisk
Type: Ground Vehicle
Tactical Speed: 15m
Cruising Speed: 70 kph
Maneuverability: +0
Structural Integrity: 25
Size: Enormous
Armor: Front 31, Side 31, Rear 20
Crew: Driver, 2 Artillery Gunners
Carrying Capacity: None

Weapons
Earthshaker Artillery Cannon (Range 100m-3360m, Heavy, S/-/-, 6d10+10 X, Pen 8, Clip 1, Blast (8), Devastating (4))

Hull-mounted weapons (choose one of the following two options):

    Heavy Bolter (Range 150m, Heavy, -/-/10, 2d10+10 X, Pen 6, Clip 400, Tearing)
    Heavy Flamer (Range 30m, Heavy, S/-/-, 2d10+6 E, Pen 6, Clip 20, Flame)


(Variant #2) Earthshaker Artillery Cannon (Range 100m-3360m, Heavy, S/-/-, 6d10+10 X, Pen 8, Clip 1, Blast (8), Concussive, Devastating (4))
(Variant #3) Earthshaker Artillery Cannon (Range 100m-3360m, Heavy, S/-/-, 6d10+10 X, Pen 8, Clip 1, Blast (8), Concussive, Devastating (4)), Felling (1)

Also, I wasn’t certain how to reflect the Earthshaker’s indirect fire option, so I am leaving it out, for a more talented game mechanic to figure out. Perhaps use something similar to the Artillery Support Asset from Rites of Battle (p.217)

Kasatka wrote:

I can't read the entirety of your stats s the thread isn't displaying properly but it seems to me that you have the toughness (structure and armour) of the Leman Russ far too high, and the rate of fire on things like the heavy bolter too high and some damages are off.

The latter books in the 40k RP line have moved away from having huge dice pools for weapons, be it from a high rate of fire or lots of damage dice. Best example is the heavy bolter having its ROF reduced from 10 to 6 but having it's damage increased to balance it. The Proven-X trait (X is the minimum number each damage can roll, so a lascannon with Proven 3 is actually rolling 15 on 5d10, not a normal minimum of 5).

The source books for Deathwatch cover some Astartes vehicles in depth and your statted Leman Russ seems tougher than a Land Raider which doesn't make sense.

So, this was the last entry, the one that finally hit the point home for me to restart this thread, in a visible way. Thanks for that. As to your comments, I did base the bulk of my tanks off of those found in Deathwatch (the only books willing to cover real vehicles in depth; I have Into the Storm, too, and that's a good one, but for dedicated war machines, the DW books seemed a better guide), specifically the Rites of Battle entries. I figured that the Guard tanks were comparable to those of the Space Marines, seeing as the Leman Russ is, in many respects, a Predator tank, but with a less-experienced crew and a different gun set. Similar for the Basilisk, but it's a bit weaker, being an open-topped, lighter armored artillery piece. I don't much care for Black Crusade, so I decided to stick with DW until I know what base set OW chooses to follow. In that case, every gun except the Earthshaker was pulled right out of the book; vehicle-mounted heavy bolter equals DW's vehicle-mounted heavy bolter. They gave me v-m lascannons, h. bolters, battle cannons, everything but the earthshaker, which I made. I could go back, dig up the errata for Deathwatch, and see if they tweaked too many other tanks, besides the Land Raider, but I don't remember the Predator, Rhino, or much of anything else getting changed; just the big tank's SR and various stuff with the flyers. I'd argue that the two (SMLR and LRBT) are about the same strength; the Land Raider simply has much better armor everyplace, which is still reflected. Even if the Land Raider IS significantly tougher than a Battle Tank, I'd argue that a Predator isn't, and they nw have both tanks with the same health. The Basilisk is no where near a Land Raider, so that should be good; it's basically like a Rhino, if a Rhino had a removable top. I'm not good enough at all of this to start guessing Provens, and I rather like what I got out of this. In the end, I can just wait for the book, HOPE they include tanks, and see how close I made it. If you are more familiar with the weakened-more-balanced BC weapons, and would care to make some suggestions, I would gladly like to hear them. If they seem better, I could even modify the blocks; as said, I haven't had an opportunity to field test these, and see if they are balanced or broken.

 

Anyone with comments or suggestions, please feel free to toss them out; I like constructive criticism, especially from seasoned gamers of the set, and eagerly anticipate hearing thoughts, suggestions, and the like.



#2 DJSunhammer

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 03:17 PM

I'm disappointed, this really doesn't have anything to do with revamping vehicles.

 

Why are there two variants of the Earthshaker Cannon that are exactly the same? Why is there a third variant that is basically the same, but with Felling added? Better yet, why are there any variants of the Earthshaker at all?

A simple, easy way to do indirect fire is this: The target does not need to be in line of sight, but the attack always scatters in the same way that a thrown grenade does [ie, on misses.] If the BS test is a failure, the attack doubles the distance it scatters.

That may or may not accurately represent the rules from TT, I've never actually used or seen a basilisk used.



#3 venkelos

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Posted 12 May 2012 - 04:37 AM

DJSunhammer said:

I'm disappointed, this really doesn't have anything to do with revamping vehicles.

 

Why are there two variants of the Earthshaker Cannon that are exactly the same? Why is there a third variant that is basically the same, but with Felling added? Better yet, why are there any variants of the Earthshaker at all?

A simple, easy way to do indirect fire is this: The target does not need to be in line of sight, but the attack always scatters in the same way that a thrown grenade does [ie, on misses.] If the BS test is a failure, the attack doubles the distance it scatters.

That may or may not accurately represent the rules from TT, I've never actually used or seen a basilisk used.

  1. If it was misleading, I apologize; "revamp" sort of meant "repost", as the original thread was broken/offset, and each post was either incomplete or very hard to read.
  2. There are 3 variants of the Earthshaker because I wasn't sure exactly how hard-hitting I wanted/needed it to be. V1 is the "regular" idea I originally had. V2 adds the Concussive trait to it. V3 keeps that, and adds Felling (1). It sort of boiled down to how much crap could it get away with having, so I listed variants to suit the options people might want to use, as well as sort of guessing what the official one might look like, if it is in the book.
  3. Thank you for the thoughts on indirect fire. It is sort of how it works in TT, but I have a wonder; could the grenade scatter work, or would one need a considerably inflated one, to reflect that you are launching a small car at a target a mile away. Grenades might miss by feet; artillery might miss by yards. Still, I like it, and may have to look in the book, to read up on the thought.


#4 DJSunhammer

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Posted 12 May 2012 - 10:08 PM

Oh ya, you might want to increase the range on the scatter, totally forgot to mention that. Maybe roll a d10 and multiply it by 2 or 3, depending on what you want.

I would just go with V2 as standard. Felling doesn't make much sense on a weapon that can one shot, or nearly so, anything but a daemon prince.



#5 venkelos

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 04:56 AM

DJSunhammer said:

Oh ya, you might want to increase the range on the scatter, totally forgot to mention that. Maybe roll a d10 and multiply it by 2 or 3, depending on what you want.

I would just go with V2 as standard. Felling doesn't make much sense on a weapon that can one shot, or nearly so, anything but a daemon prince.

I think I like V3 best. While it could, indeed, one shot many things, it's those brutes who have Unn Toughness that can be a big problem, the Carnifexes, Hive Tyrants and Daemon Princes who might open a Basilisk like a soup can, if they get close enough to it (and a feasible way to make critters kill tanks happens), and Felling can cover most of those.

FOr indirect fire, I think my biggest quirk was targeting. The trick with indirect fire, in the tabletop, is that you are cheating; you DO know there is something over there to shoot at, you just DON'T know exactly where to aim at, so it scatters, after you guess a distance, and hope your eye of measure on the table is good (sometimes a good reason some people shoot measured shots, first, if you don't agree all guess range weapons must fire first, regardless of the tactical strength of it). In game, though, you can only see as far as you can see, and you can't see over the great walls of a city, but you might have a spotter, and they might be able to transmit coordinates. That aside, it would be a true shot in the dark, which is the hard part for me to work into a rule here.

I think what I would say for now is, when firing indirectly, the opponent/target has total cover, making it a Very Difficult (-30) Ballistic Attack. Figure out what is and isn't behind Cover, if feasible, and roll damage against them and it. If you miss the target (likely), treat it as a lobbed grenade, rolling 1d10 for direction, and 1d5 x Degrees of Failure for drift. If you have an active spotter radioing you trajectory, negate the difficulty change, but keep the drift.

Example: A Basilisk from the 1st Lokarin 1st Artillery Battery fires its Earthshaker Cannon at a unit of Orks in the forests beyond Titan's Rest. This is treated as a Very Hard (-30) Ballistics test. The weapon's gunner (BS 40) rolls a 68, achieving six degrees of failure. He rolls 1d10, resulting in an 8, meaning his shot fell short of its target. Rolling the drift results in 4X6=24 meters of drift, meaning it fell short by 24 meters (a bit of a bad shot!). As the weapon is reloaded, the voice of one Battery Command Captain Anton Zimmern (he's one of my fanfic characters) is heard crackling over the vox. Chastising the men, he relays proper coordinates for the next shot. This shot is only a Challenging (-0) Ballistics test. Rolling a 51, the gunner still misses, but when he rolls a 9 on the direction, and a 2 on the drift, he only missed by 2 meters.

With the size of the Blast radius an Earthshaker has, some of this might seem inconsequential, but it can matter. (In table top, I actually did kill a Commissar, and only the Commissar, with a shot from a Inq orbital lance strike; missed the whole Guard squad, except for the Commissar; obviously aimed for the hat, all the way from space.)

People let me know what you think, please, before I take the time to repost the entry?



#6 Warboss Krag

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 08:29 PM

I am surprised that the war-gaming vets from the Dust sites haven't been here and weighed in on this subject. I find it inconceivable that everyone here is ignorant of the indirect fire task, meaning that I'll assume knowledge has been put aside in favor of trying to recreate the nonsense of Warhammer 40K. The trick to hitting someone you can't see, at ranges where the environment can cause shell drift (gravity, wind - the big one - slight inaccuracies in the weapon and its aim that multiply over distance), is to have someone who can see where your shots land, and can tell you how far and what direction to adjust your aim. Warhammer 40K over-simplifies this by not requiring spotters; I assume that Only War can, and indeed must, include them.

Game mechanics: Once a spotter finds a target, the artiillery director roll against Artillery skill (or some such), based on Int, and modified by equipment. The base test is at -30, and will miss by 10m x  levels of failure, direction like grenade scatter. If the spotter can see the shells hit, then he rolls against Artillery, modified by equipment, and each level of success adds +10 to the artillery director's skill for the next Artillery test (starting at -30, of course). If the target moves, add -10 to the Artillery score for every 20m of movement (good luck hitting those quick-moving vehicles). Repeat as necessary until the artillery director either scores a success on an Artillery test, or the spotter can't see the target any more. If the director scores a success, and the target doesn't move in subsequent rounds, then the director doesn't need to test any more, pouring it on to the hapless targets. Of course, if the director can actually see the target, then standard direct-fire rules, with range modifiers, et al, apply.



#7 Kasatka

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Posted 15 May 2012 - 02:42 AM

 And what about battery fire such as, preliminary, concentrated, creeping, standing and box fire? What about counter-battery fire? And due to the high-tech/mystical nature of some enemies of the imperium, what about remote targetting systems such as markerlites or synapse creatures? :P


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#8 Warboss Krag

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Posted 15 May 2012 - 09:30 AM

All variations on the basic skill system. It could be handled in the same way that pinning, automatic fire, holding fire, and overwatch are already handled: Additional rolls against the appropriate skill with modifiers applied according to the situation.

Nice selection of artillery situations, though.



#9 mrady

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Posted 24 May 2012 - 06:33 AM

If there is any negatives for artillery fire i should be based on skill level and experiance of both the spotter and the gun crew(from here out called the team). a well trained and experiaced team would be able to relay the coordinates and put a shell with in a dime of said coordinates. now a lesser gun crew might forget to input wind etc… or a green spotter might relay bad coordinats, in which i can see the need of negatives.






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