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Wilbry's Thoughts on Bullpups and Carbines


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#1 Wilbry

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Posted 14 August 2012 - 06:23 PM

Below are my suggestions for how bullpups and carbines could be successfully implemented in ONLY WAR.

This assumes that carbines are simply a varient pattern of the parent weapon (in this case the lasgun), and that bullpups are a more advanced carbine.

Carbines are shortened versions of the parent weapon designed to reduce the footprint of the weapon upon the soldier - making it lighter, easier to carry and manoeuvre in confined areas.

Bullpups are a further development of the carbine where the benefits of the weight and manoeuvrability are retained but without the loss of range and accuracy that a carbine suffers.

With all that in mind here is how we utilise the idea of these weapons to enable more variety and viable options to the player while still holding true to the imagery and conceptualisation of what the average gamer considers a "carbine" or "bullpup":

Bullpup

  1. reduce the weight of the weapon by 10%,
  2. give the weapon the close combat quality,
  3. give the weapon the unusual layout quality.

Carbine

  1. reduce the weight of the weapon by 20%,
  2. give the weapon the close combat quality,
  3. reduce the range of the weapon by 50%.

 

Close Combat

The weapon is designed for use in confined spaces and thus can be more easily and quickly  brought to bare on a target. The character receives a +5% bonus to BS when making a Standard Attack with this weapon.

Unusual Layout

The weapon has a configuration uncommon within the Imperium and those unfamiliar with it find it awkward to operate. If the character does not have this weapon as part the character's Regimental Kit the reload time for this weapon is increased by a Half Action.

 

Design Notes

These observations and ideas are the result of playtesting ONLY WAR within our gaming group of 20+ years gaming experience, with the additional input of an Australian Army rifleman with 5+ years experience.

We have found weight considerations to be a legitimate issue for an Imperial Guardsman so every 0.5kg counts, as it can mean carrying that extra clip or grenade in your Assault Kit.

Also, in-line with these standardisations of the carbine, consider a shoulder-stock upgrade for pistols:

 

Collapsible Stock

The weapon has been fitted with a folding stock so as a Half Action it can be turned from a Pistol into a Basic weapon (or vice versa). When acting as a Basic Weapon the weapon gains the close combat quality. Increase the weight of this weapon by 0.5kg.

Applies to: Any pistol.

 

 

 



#2 Musclewizard

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Posted 14 August 2012 - 10:25 PM

Interesting changes but not exactly my cup of tea.

While I like the idea I do not like the execution. +5 bonuses in a D100 system are equivalent to a +1 bonus in a D20 System and I've always felt like those are really annoying to keep track of. (I'm looking at you Comrades).
This is in my opinion exactly the kind of stuff that houserules are perfect for. If you want your game to be a bit more realistic (in this case when it comes to Bullpups and Carbines) you could add these rules in without it interferring with any other rules.



#3 Andor

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Posted 17 August 2012 - 04:43 AM

I would be very leery of adding additional qualities into the game. And frankly given the broad nature of OW weapon training talents (SP covers everything from fully automatic rifles to matchlocks, Melee covers everything from knives to the power-chain-lajatang.) Unusual Layout seems really to be a bit of a stretch.

Also if I were naming a ranged weapon trait "Close Combat" it would have some relationship to close combat such as "+5 to BS test within the 1st range increment" or "This basic weapon may be fired while in melee combat."

And I'll note that in reality some weapons are strictly better than others. In the stricture of an RPG you want there to be some give and take, otherwise gamers will whine that weapon B sucks and no one would choose it and why is it even in the book? You've been gaming for 20 years, search your feelings, you know this to be true.



#4 Santiago

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Posted 17 August 2012 - 08:39 AM

 Perhaps you should approach it differently. Give larger weapons a sort of unwieldy trait.



#5 Woodclaw

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Posted 17 August 2012 - 08:56 PM

I think that close Combat doesn't work well too, the mchanics doesn't fit the description at all. Maybe something like this will be better.

Close Combat: this weapon is project to be easier to wield in confined spaces, you can consider it a Pistol instead of a Basic weapon for the purpose of calculating the penalties from confinement.

I know that thsi version might be pretty powerful, but I couldn't think of anything else at the moment.



#6 Kasatka

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Posted 18 August 2012 - 01:49 AM

 I'd suggest the following:

Carbine variants get -1damage, -20% weight, -20% range and can be fired one handed at only a -10% penalty.

Bullpup variants get -10% weight, reduce reload time by a half action (minimum one half action) and cannot be fitted with any melee attachments.

This shouldn't be a new trait but instead factored into the weapon's profile and flavour text.


Only the insane have strength enough to prosper.

Only those that prosper may truly judge what is sane.


#7 Wilbry

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Posted 18 August 2012 - 02:47 AM

@Musclewizard - This line of games has several 2% and 3% bonuses from things like trappings in Deathwatch, and weapon customisation in Only War (modified stock). I agree there are a lot of modifiers in a Warhammer RPG but I am not adding to the mess as my proposal replaces the otherwise esoteric bonus of the carbine - and frankly, 10% bonuses are just a +2 on your D20 system, how is that less annoying?

I am merely offering a different interpretation on how to represent bullpups and carbines. There is no interfering with any rules (I'm not redefining suppression fire for instance), simply a redesign (standardisation) of the stats and two additional, very simple, qualities (which could as easily have just been notes on the weapon itself, just like carbines currently are).

In reality its a very minor difference and doesn't have a big effect on real-lie "to hit bonuses", but since FFG put them in the game I thought they should reflect their essential nature. Currently, they look more like earlier lasgun models, with less range and lower rate of fire, so would be better described as such. If you want bullpups and carbines, then make them act as carbines, not cheap rouge trader ripoffs bought from the back of a valkyrie.

 

@Andor - thanks for the input, I think additional qualities and similar variations are one of the staples of FFG design - look at weapon customisation, which is just adding minor qualities of the players choice. It is one of the ways to bring new content and keep things "fresh" - and what about how many squad modes they brought for Deathwatch! I wasn't looking for an excuse to add qualities, but I felt a quality was the best method of spelling out game-mechanic details that are sometimes put in the equipment notes (i.e. carbines).  Unusual Layout was really just a minor quality meant to provide a natural feeling restriction that encouraged bullpups not to be the weapon of choice in all regards and reflected that most guardsmen would be unfamiliar with them.

Regarding "Close Combat", you are right, it is the wrong name. I really just wanted to emphasize the primary benefit, and I obviously have a different interpretation of the meaning. Perhaps "Carbine" might be a better overall name for the quality. Your (and Woodclaws) suggestion is easier to understand but I thought it took away from the benefit of the pistol which is why I went with expressing it differently. The logic being that carbines are quicker to bring to a firing position than rifles so you get a free "micro-aim" with every standard attack.

Yes, I know in reality some weapons are better than others, and the idea presented here was meant to provide that exact balance you mentioned. I think the bullpup design superior in real-life, but it is uncommon and unfamiliar to most people, so I attempted to balance the benefit with the negative in a meaningful way - apparently I missed the mark though…

 

@Santiago - I like your lateral thinking, but If I did that, then I would be changing the "standard". I think game design is best approached from the traditional "humans are normal and everyone else has stats changed accordingly" theory. In this case, M36 lasguns are the standard, so it is variations that should have the change. It keeps things simple for all concerned and gives that verisimilitude between what people see as normal (the everyday lasgun) and thus regard as less complex (minimal additional notes).

 

@Woodclaw - Perhaps it might be better to have "carbines" be a basic weapon that can be used in melee? That way the pistol still retains the benefit of being one-handed, and carbines get their place in the world.

 

@Kasatka - A main reason for starting on this idea was to ditch the one-handed penalty modifier!

On the whole I like your suggestions in making the guns both playable options compared to the lasgun. If we were just doing a general redesign of those two weapons to make them both viable (and not worrying about the names and their meanings) I would agree with what you put forward.

Yes I agree, putting those differences in the flavour text is in line with FFG procedure - I just find it messy when combined with qualities.

NOTE - Implementing the above changes would still not solve the problem for me as the guns, while now viable choices, are still not carbines and bullpups. Bullpups are not faster to reload, they are slower to reload IF you are unfamiliar with them, and they can still have melee attachments. Carbines may be easier to use one-handed, but really? that is NOT the benefit they bring to the table, surely we as gamers can come up with a more intuitive solutions?



#8 Kasatka

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Posted 20 August 2012 - 10:46 PM

Wilbry said:

@Kasatka - A main reason for starting on this idea was to ditch the one-handed penalty modifier!

On the whole I like your suggestions in making the guns both playable options compared to the lasgun. If we were just doing a general redesign of those two weapons to make them both viable (and not worrying about the names and their meanings) I would agree with what you put forward.

Yes I agree, putting those differences in the flavour text is in line with FFG procedure - I just find it messy when combined with qualities.

NOTE - Implementing the above changes would still not solve the problem for me as the guns, while now viable choices, are still not carbines and bullpups. Bullpups are not faster to reload, they are slower to reload IF you are unfamiliar with them, and they can still have melee attachments. Carbines may be easier to use one-handed, but really? that is NOT the benefit they bring to the table, surely we as gamers can come up with a more intuitive solutions?

Well to me as someone who has some limited first hand knowledge of firearms and extensive gaming and research knowledge, i have zero issue with the weapons as i suggested. Carbines are lighter and easier to one hand, and so you are trading off a point of damage for the ability to potentially keep your other hand free - such as when doing CQC and needing to open doors etc. Bullpups are 'exotic' even in real life, so keeping them as a fancy weapon in game is perfectly okay to my mind.

Remember that not only is this sci-fi so you need to ignore all your real life prejudices, but it is also the grim dark 41st millenium where countless things we take for granted are lost to mankind, yet there are planets full of cyborgs devoted to technology, starships that can cross lightyears in a matter of minutes and advanced laser, plasma and microwave technologies. Just because a fancy laser rifle doesn't line up with people's personal feelings on modern, 21st century firearms doesn't mean the book has it wrong per se…


Only the insane have strength enough to prosper.

Only those that prosper may truly judge what is sane.


#9 Wilbry

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Posted 21 August 2012 - 09:00 PM

Kasatka said:

Remember that not only is this sci-fi so you need to ignore all your real life prejudices, but it is also the grim dark 41st millenium where countless things we take for granted are lost to mankind, yet there are planets full of cyborgs devoted to technology, starships that can cross lightyears in a matter of minutes and advanced laser, plasma and microwave technologies. Just because a fancy laser rifle doesn't line up with people's personal feelings on modern, 21st century firearms doesn't mean the book has it wrong per se…

Yeah I get all that. But the bullpup is a modern aspect that has been introduced in recent times and it was introduced as a bullpup, drawing upon popular conceptions of the weapon in modern media. In that regard it is perfectly fine for me to draw on modern comparison.

Also the branding as a bullpup signifys it's that aspect that defines the weapon. That aspect is not realised by the stats. 

So it's not that I'm hanging to real life perspectives and 40K is fantasy, I just want the weapon to reflect its name. 

 

Having said all that I really the idea of making both guns usable in melee. I think perhaps that a carbine quality which says "this basic weapon can be used in melee". This reflects the compact nature, doesn't tread on pistol territory, and satisfies my need to define the guns as something different. 

 






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