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Needing help balancing the Storm Bolter


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#1 LuciusMacharius

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Posted 18 July 2012 - 05:55 PM

 Obviously, it has been a huge debate about the storm bolter and how overpowered it can be in DW.  I am in a worst case situation where one of my players is an infamous power gamer who relishes in using his storm bolter.  I am a pretty lenient GM, but I am beginning to notice everything becomes relatively once that player fires full auto into an enemy.  Part of this has to do with the level of hits he gets during horde.  It has even gotten to the point where he can deal as much damage as a heavy bolter.  What sort of rules can I implement to sort of balance it out?  Even my heavy bolter character is getting a little pissed.



#2 professor_kylan

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Posted 18 July 2012 - 06:04 PM

First and most important question - are you using the Errata? If you use the errata Storm Bolter and drop the semi-auto rate to 3, it balances a lot better. Just a Bolter with the Storm property.

 



#3 LuciusMacharius

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Posted 18 July 2012 - 06:18 PM

 I may sound noob at this, but what is a Errata?



#4 bogi_khaosa

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Posted 18 July 2012 - 06:39 PM

LuciusMacharius said:

 I may sound noob at this, but what is a Errata?

Changes to the rules that were made after publication of the book.

FFG products have lots of them.



#5 HappyDaze

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Posted 18 July 2012 - 06:55 PM

professor_kylan said:

First and most important question - are you using the Errata? If you use the errata Storm Bolter and drop the semi-auto rate to 3, it balances a lot better. Just a Bolter with the Storm property.

 

What he's referring to is Appendix I of the Errata v1.1 which introduces optional rules that rework the majority of the weapons in Deathwatch. Later supplements vary between the original and Appendix I statistics, but later games like Black Crusade and the Only War Beta seem to follow much more closely to Appendix I.

Under Appendix I, the Astartes Storm Bolter has a RoF of S/4/- (the regular Astartes Bolter has a RoF of S/3/-).


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#6 HappyDaze

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Posted 18 July 2012 - 06:58 PM

bogi_khaosa said:

LuciusMacharius said:

 

 I may sound noob at this, but what is a Errata?

 

 

Changes to the rules that were made after publication of the book.

FFG products have lots of them.

Technically, errata are intended to be corrections/clarifications rather than changes, but in many cases it's become the latter.


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#7 professor_kylan

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Posted 18 July 2012 - 09:02 PM

LuciusMacharius said:

 I may sound noob at this, but what is a Errata?

Don't worry mate - we're all noobs once! Here's the Errata we're talking about. It's generally agreed on the forums (and, from personal experience, my gaming group) that they make the game much better.

http://www.fantasyflightgames.com/ffg_content/deathwatch/news/faq/Deathwatch%20Living%20Errata%20v1-1.pdf

 



#8 Kshatriya

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Posted 19 July 2012 - 05:42 AM

professor_kylan said:

First and most important question - are you using the Errata? If you use the errata Storm Bolter and drop the semi-auto rate to 3, it balances a lot better. Just a Bolter with the Storm property.

 

IMO it doesn't really help that much. It can still get more shots (and more damage output) than a heavy bolter for equal amounts of DoS required for maximum hits.



#9 LuciusMacharius

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Posted 19 July 2012 - 07:19 AM

 Should I reduce the weapon's range if it's a close quarters assault weapon?



#10 Gaire

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Posted 19 July 2012 - 07:27 AM

You mentioned hits on Hordes. A house rule that I find mitigates the Storm Bolter's dominance in this area is to remove the extra hits against Hordes, as there's no way to hit two separate targets with one shot (the barrels are synchronized, so it would be nigh-impossible to hit multiple targets with a single shot, for example). That leaves the Heavy Bolter its dominance against Hordes, and it shouldn't really tweak your players too much.

I ended up rewriting Storm for my campaign, starting from the errata stats. Before going into it, I should say that I gave bolters back their full-auto fire rates, as this better simulates the fluff- a four round burst is fully automatic, not semi-auto. The Storm Bolter loses its semi-auto and simply has full-auto. Storm Bolters in particular have their range reduced to 50m. A Space Marine can move while firing the weapon on full-auto without incurring penalties to BS. The extra hits are allocated as such: one hit for hitting, of course, then one hit for the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd degrees of success with an extra hit hitting on the 2nd, 4th, 6th, and 8th degrees. This way, a player can still really nail a target to the wall with a good roll, but it takes more than 4 degrees to hit with 8 bolts. I did this because I prefer the Storm Bolter as a shorter-range assault weapon that is not a straight-up improvement on the Godwyn Bolter. So far, my players have been fine with this modification.



#11 herichimo

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Posted 19 July 2012 - 09:04 AM

Your kill-teams enemies have brains don't they?

Have them use cover (even hordes can benefit from cover if you want them to, and can explain it well enough).

Also remember hordes aren't 1 for 1. 1 guardsman shouldn't equal 1 magnitude. More like 5, or even more if you like. Hordes are essentially a 'squad' of dudes the GM can use and roll as a single unit. 10 guardsman as a 50 mag horde is a little harder to snuff out than a 10 mag one. It all makes more sense like this as well, essentially you are taking all the wounds of all the characters in a horde and combining them into one cohesive unit. It makes a lot more sense as well, dealing 8 mag damage is a huge deal if your attack just killed 8 dudes, but killing 1 dude and wounding another is a different story. It also means smaller units pose a greater threat, meaning the squads in that chimera can actually hurt your players without needing 5 deuce and a halves behind them chock full of enemy soldiers. Don't go overboard, a guardsman shouldn't be 10 mag by himself, 3 to 5 is about right. Experiment, see what you feel is a good narrative amount.

Or of course play it 1 for 1 if you want, just saying the above would be a little more fun, dynamic, and exiting.



#12 Gaire

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Posted 19 July 2012 - 10:44 AM

 I find it more interesting to mix and match. Your bog-standard Hormagaunt or Heretic will typically run one or two mag in my game, whereas I've run Fire Warriors at 5 or 7. Different units call for different amounts of mag.



#13 Kshatriya

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Posted 19 July 2012 - 04:15 PM

Lots of good ideas for the storm bolter here



#14 Kshatriya

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Posted 19 July 2012 - 04:16 PM

Gaire said:

 

I ended up rewriting Storm for my campaign, starting from the errata stats. Before going into it, I should say that I gave bolters back their full-auto fire rates, as this better simulates the fluff- a four round burst is fully automatic, not semi-auto. The Storm Bolter loses its semi-auto and simply has full-auto.

 

 

I sorta did this but also adopted BC autofire rules, meaning you get a penalty for full-auto fire, not a significant bonus. I feel like that's both more realistic and doesn't make full-auto the automatic option (pardon the pun) and actually makes semi-auto attacks with a full-auto weapon worth it if the penalties are stacking up.

Here is what I did. I added the BC Twin-Linked quality and rewrote the Storm quality thusly:

Storm Quality - replace the text entirely with the following: Storm weapons are designed with battlefield mobility, close-quarters fighting, and boarding actions in mind. A character wielding a weapon with the Storm Quality who makes a Full Action Move action may make any kind of attack with the weapon possessing the Quality as a Free Action either before or after the move. This free attack may not be made if the character does not perform a Full Move. A character is still subject to the restriction of only making one action with the Attack Subtype per turn.

A range adjustment is also a good idea.



#15 Gaire

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Posted 19 July 2012 - 04:22 PM

 I would adapt the BC rules for autofire and swift/lightning attacks, but I'm far and away more than halfway through my plot, and I'm afraid my players might riot if I threw more rules changes at them.



#16 bogi_khaosa

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 03:37 PM

I've aopted the BC rules pretty much straight for combat, except for mulriple attacks and dodging because it seems like it mucks up the Reaction system. Am I missing something?



#17 Kshatriya

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Posted 27 July 2012 - 04:09 AM

 In BC, multiple melee attacks from Swift/Lightning attack work exactly the same as auto fire - they're based on DoS for a single attack roll, they're not distinct individual swings (as they are in DH/RT/DW). Meaning you dodge it just like autofire. A single LA can no longer burn through 2-3 reactions. 



#18 Nathiel

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Posted 27 July 2012 - 07:30 AM

 At the same time, it is harder to get additional reactions as Step Aside and Wall of steel are now one talent that gives a parry or dodge, instead of getting one of each.   I think the change balances out in the end with less attack rolls and less evasion rolls.  We did have to house rule lower caps on maximum hits for melee so it wasn't as overpowered.  



#19 Kshatriya

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Posted 27 July 2012 - 07:56 AM

 You found the WS bonus as "RoF" to be overpowered?



#20 Nathiel

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Posted 27 July 2012 - 05:44 PM

With the AM having a WS of 70 and a pair of lightning claws there was virtualy nothing that could even remotely stand up to him.  A single well rolled swift attack on a charge killed a hive tyrant from full life. (This is using the toned down Zealous hatred rules instead of Righteous Fury as well so no added damage from that.)  Granted, this was before the BC Errata came out and said no multiple attacks on charge, but that's a completely different discussion. We decided to limit LA to 4 and SA to 3.  He still destroys hordes, just a little more than anyone else, instead of nearly twice as much as anyone else.






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