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Not lethal enough?


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#1 Plushy

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Posted 24 August 2012 - 11:36 PM

 I'm not really sure how to put this… but am I alone in feeling like the weapons aren't lethal enough?

 

The average bloke in his pajamas can soak 3 damage. He takes a shot in the chest from our old friend, the M36 Lasgun. He is awesome enough by virtue of having an average Toughness score to completely soak the +3 damage modifier, leaving the rest of the damage up to a single d10 roll. Unless the attacker scores Righteous Fury, it's impossible for him to take any Critical Damage (assuming he has the simple 10 wounds like an NPC Guardsman.) Another shot catches this poor bastard; another d10 roll, with only the top two rolls killing him.

Knowing that shooting a guy with no armor will take at minimum three hits to kill just doesn't sound right to me. Even with more powerful weapons, the problem is still there; our Commissar's got quite a keen eye, but his bolt pistol needed help killing mutants. Once you add in armor, things just get worse. Basic enemies take a couple of turns of concentrated fire to take down. Things like Frag Grenades are just about useless (2d10 damage with no damage modifier or penetration?) against anything considered a threat. While the Explosive and Rending critical charts are both deadly and amusing, getting to that point is very difficult.

For all the Grim Darkness that the 41st Millenium is supposed to offer, Imperial Guardsman are tough SOBs (A typical Guardsman in flak armor is soaking 7 damage, and therefore ignoring the bottom half of the probability range for a lasgun!) The Star Wars movies are more lethal. The tougher beasties only make this more apparent; it's the same issue we had with vehicles again, just on a smaller scale. 

Maybe I'm missing something, or maybe the sleep deprivation is catching up with me… but in the three sessions I've played so far, combat has been several long slogs where being able to hit still does not guarantee dealing any kind of damage far too often. Every weapon we used - M36 Lasgun, Bolt Pistol, and Grenade Launcher - succeeded at doing very little until we got those magic 10s.

Any thoughts?


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#2 JuankiMan

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Posted 24 August 2012 - 11:58 PM

Does this complaint apply to NPCs, players or both?

If it's about players, I don't think anyone finds fun spending half an afternoon rolling a char just to have him die to a lucky shot, and Guardsmen have a lot fewer FP than other chars in the WH40K universe. Also, you're using in the example one of the weakest guns in the game. It gets exponentially more lethal the better equipped the enemy is.

If it is a complaint that mooks are too resilient, remember than a Righteous Fury kills them outright and so does critical damage. And no one is gonna remember a boss that keels over in one shot.

And Star Wars movies were downright murderous to anyone without a name, but main characters had plasteel reinforced plot armours. 



#3 Plushy

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Posted 25 August 2012 - 12:02 AM

JuankiMan said:

Does this complaint apply to NPCs, players or both?

If it's about players, I don't think anyone finds fun spending half an afternoon rolling a char just to have him die to a lucky shot, and Guardsmen have a lot fewer FP than other chars in the WH40K universe. Also, you're using in the example one of the weakest guns in the game. It gets exponentially more lethal the better equipped the enemy is.

If it is a complaint that mooks are too resilient, remember than a Righteous Fury kills them outright and so do critical hits. And no one is gonna remember a boss that keels over in one shot.

One of the things Star Wars Saga changed over its predecessor was having starting characters get a large vitality buffer cause in the old edition, with most weapons doing 3d6 or 3d8 damage, starting chars could be easily killed with just one or two solid hits.

It applies to both, really. Our unlucky Medic took more than a few shots from a stubber that plinked off of his armor before being attacked by a mutant in melee and then finally going into the unconscious end of things when friendly fire from the Commissar hit him in the head. Mooks were enjoying around three or four overloaded lasgun shots before going down. We had three separate Frags hit clusters of mutants without taking any wounds off. It's starting to look like the key to victory is stealing a Chainsword and taking lots of combat drugs.


My apologies to anyone I offend; FFG staff, playtesters, and forum users alike. 

 

Please check out my Dark Heresy to Only War conversion! You can find it on the main Only War forum. I'm always looking for more people to playtest it!


#4 Plushy

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Posted 25 August 2012 - 12:07 AM

 And in regards to the weak weapons thing, that doesn't make much sense for the party. The bulk of Las and SP weapons fall within a pretty close range, and the odds of a squad of Guardsman running about with Bolt, Plasma, or Anti-Tank weapons is just kind of silly. The exception is Hot-Shot weapons and the Long-Las, which I imagine will be seeing a lot of use. There's just not much practical gear to throw into the mix that makes things right.


My apologies to anyone I offend; FFG staff, playtesters, and forum users alike. 

 

Please check out my Dark Heresy to Only War conversion! You can find it on the main Only War forum. I'm always looking for more people to playtest it!


#5 JuankiMan

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Posted 25 August 2012 - 12:19 AM

Plushy said:

 

It applies to both, really. Our unlucky Medic took more than a few shots from a stubber that plinked off of his armor before being attacked by a mutant in melee and then finally going into the unconscious end of things when friendly fire from the Commissar hit him in the head. Mooks were enjoying around three or four overloaded lasgun shots before going down. We had three separate Frags hit clusters of mutants without taking any wounds off. It's starting to look like the key to victory is stealing a Chainsword and taking lots of combat drugs.

 

 

Wow. I would seriously recomend replacing or properly disciplining your dice. At 1d10+4 Pen3 your "unlucky" Medic should have been torn to shreds by that Stubber. Assuming a soak of 4 or 5 from his T and what's left of his armor, shots should only have "plinked" on straight rolls of 1. Also impressive that he survived a bolt round to the noggin' after all that, taking into acount that it punches through flak like paper and does 1d10+5 with Tearing.

And Guardsmen running around with plasma, melta or heavy weaponry is almost a given, actually. That's what the WS and the Heavy are for, and an Autocannon pretty much pulverizes anything on two legs in a single shot.



#6 Santiago

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Posted 25 August 2012 - 01:14 AM

 I prefer to throw more mooks at my pc's and just give the mooks 1 wounds and have any damaging hit kill them. Sure it is the dark dystopian 41st millenium but still its isalso an RPG and the players are the heroes.



#7 Musclewizard

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Posted 25 August 2012 - 03:30 AM

Plushy said:

We had three separate Frags hit clusters of mutants without taking any wounds off.

That's an interesting example. I've had pretty much the opposite results with my players, two frag granades and a bunch of Ork Boys.

Just how tough were those mutants? A frag granade has an average damage of 11 points and a 19% chance (compared to 10%) to get an RF which is usually pretty deadly



#8 Chastity

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Posted 25 August 2012 - 07:40 AM

For comparison with Tabletop, the average Imperial Guardsman has Toughness 3, and the average Lasgun is Strength 3, and a lasgun has a 50/50 chance of taking out the average guardsman, so this actually gets represented relatively well in the RPG.

I think a big part of the problem is one of contextualisation. The system is designed with the assumption that most hits in combat will be glancing, because people will be trying hard not to get hit. If you imagine RPG combat as people standing at point blank range and firing into each other's chests, it isn't going to make any sense.

I think there's also a scenario design issue going on here. It's very easy to overestimate the effect that a point of Toughness or Armour will have on combat balance and I imagine it's very easy to do things like giving mutants +2 Unnatural Toughness and a couple of points of Natural Armour just for flavour, without realising that you've made the average lasgun bounce harmlessly off the enemy nearly half the time.



#9 JuankiMan

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Posted 25 August 2012 - 01:28 PM

Chastity said:

For comparison with Tabletop, the average Imperial Guardsman has Toughness 3, and the average Lasgun is Strength 3, and a lasgun has a 50/50 chance of taking out the average guardsman, so this actually gets represented relatively well in the RPG.

You forget armour. With a 5+ save, a lasbolt will only kill a guardsman 1/3 of the time.



#10 Kiton

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Posted 25 August 2012 - 03:50 PM

Toughness really gets nasty as it gets higher. A lot of weapons that in the TT function [if not all that well] against a target outright bounce off, always, here. Just try using the OW regular plasmagun against a Greater Daemon of Nurgle: 2d10+7 on maximal vs TB22? You need to roll a 16 to even cause one wound. Autocannons [supposedly the same power] are a little better, but you'll need the entire regiment firing those "S7 weapons" if you want to maybe take it down [if its alone]



#11 JuankiMan

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Posted 25 August 2012 - 06:06 PM

Kiton said:

 

Toughness really gets nasty as it gets higher. A lot of weapons that in the TT function [if not all that well] against a target outright bounce off, always, here. Just try using the OW regular plasmagun against a Greater Daemon of Nurgle: 2d10+7 on maximal vs TB22? You need to roll a 16 to even cause one wound. Autocannons [supposedly the same power] are a little better, but you'll need the entire regiment firing those "S7 weapons" if you want to maybe take it down [if its alone]

 

 

The tabletop isn't an accurate portrayal of the fluff because it has to bother with things like 'game balance' and 'sporting chances'. In the fluff, a Greater Daemon is nothing short of a demi-god, capable of threating entire sectors with its very presence and quite able of drowning whole planets in a tidal wave of blood, violence, madness and dispair. In the TT it's nothing you can't fix with a dozen lascannon shots.

However it is true that plasma is horribly underpowered in the RPG compared to the TT while the autocannon is insane.



#12 Chastity

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Posted 26 August 2012 - 12:00 AM

JuankiMan said:

Chastity said:

 

For comparison with Tabletop, the average Imperial Guardsman has Toughness 3, and the average Lasgun is Strength 3, and a lasgun has a 50/50 chance of taking out the average guardsman, so this actually gets represented relatively well in the RPG.

 

 

You forget armour. With a 5+ save, a lasbolt will only kill a guardsman 1/3 of the time.

I thought Flak was a 6+? Then again I'm a couple of editions behind. I didn't make it clear in the original post, but I was specifically thinking about a guardsman out of armour - there's a peculiar bit of mental gymnastics to jump through here in that it's a lot easier to accept a 2/3 chance of an armoured character surviving a lasbolt than a 1/2 chance of an unarmoured character surviving it. I think it's because you naturally imagine an attack against an armoured character as hitting an armoured location whereas you tend to think of an attack against an unarmoured character as striking somewhere vital (not unreasonably, since you tend to put armour over vital locations anyway).



#13 Droma

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Posted 26 August 2012 - 01:19 AM

If the hit isn't actually killing them then you just have to imagine them taking a glancing hit. In other words "flesh wounds" and not in the monty python sense of the term. It's a cut/scratch/minor burn/heavy impact. It hurts but they got lucky and it wasn't a clean hit.

If you are imagining lasgun shots pinging off unprotected humans like in a superman cartoon then you need to readjust your thinking.



#14 Kasatka

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Posted 28 August 2012 - 10:44 PM

 I think that a lot of the weapon stats in OW were just copied from DH, and pre-errata DH at that. It just doesnt make sense that weapon lines got tweaked over subsequent releases untill the point of DW where they changed all multiple d10 pistol and basic weapons to just be d10+ large bonus, getting rid of those situations where plasma, melta, bolt and other supposedly advanced weapons were just doing no damage from bad rolls. 

I honestly feel that things like frag grenades should not be 2d10 pen 0, but instead 1d10+5 or something like that. If someone drops a grenade next to a man, it doesnt matter how 'hard' he is, it'll tear him to shreds.


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#15 Kiton

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Posted 30 August 2012 - 05:22 AM

That's probably it. Its why Plasma has returned to "marginally stronger than basic bolter shells except it tends to kill you" DH levels. Plasma is supposed to be making a Terminator rely on its bloody force-field to avoid some serious damage with each of those two hits, and hunting of light vehicle armour in the sides and back.

1d10+6 Pen 6 is what you'd want on an anti-carapace horde-killer with high RoF; like an upgraded heavy-stubber. For a two-shot termie-killer, you can't really go under 1d10+10 Pen 10, and that's when it has maximal to help. That +10 is getting eaten up by the marine's TB anyways.

Frag Grenades themselves are pretty much "you can ignore this". Crippling might be a good idea for all the shrapnel too.

Having multiple dice again isn't necessarily a bad idea: The main thing they were removing wasn't "rolling snakeeyes" so much as "oh gods the dice they keep exploding make it stop". You know, like when you get 80 damage with a power fist.



#16 Nameless2all

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Posted 30 August 2012 - 04:06 PM

I haven't played OW, but I did run a DH campaign on a war torn world with the PC's getting into massive fights.  If the mooks took less then a half dam from a normal weapon, then they were wounded but still in the fight so I put a - beside them on the graph paper.  If they took more than half dam, then they went down.  Might not be dead, but then again they might be severally wounded enough to want to be dead.  Full damage, killed in a gory mess.

Vet soldiers or storm troopers I had the regular listed wounds and kept track of it.  Usually because there was less soldiers to deal with than a platoon of regular mooks.  Whatever fits the style of the game though is okay too.  Just like someone mentioned, a person isn't going to stand there and let you shoot him.  Unless your fighting people from the Civil War era, then they might be.  And those guys had to have some guts too.  Or nuts loose.  One of the two.


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#17 Kiton

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Posted 30 August 2012 - 06:51 PM

Still: you had to houserule to make things work again. That means something was missing.



#18 Kasatka

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Posted 31 August 2012 - 01:15 AM

Kiton said:

Still: you had to houserule to make things work again. That means something was missing.

Well no, Dark Heresy was never meant to include mass combat - it's an investigative sci-fi/horror game with skirmish level tactical combat and potentially vehicle scale narrative combat.


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#19 JuankiMan

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Posted 31 August 2012 - 02:50 AM

Kiton said:

Still: you had to houserule to make things work again. That means something was missing.

Of course it was. Space combat was also missing, and so was aerial dogfighting rules, or rules for piloting war titans, or playing with everyone being Tau. That's simply because no rulebook with a finite number of pages can cater to absolutely everything so it has to limit itself to its main focus. If you want to go outside that then more power to you, but you're gonna have to work it out yourself. That's why you're the GM in the first place.



#20 Kiton

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Posted 31 August 2012 - 06:56 AM

I don't think we're looking at the same angle here, given the sarcasm.

What I saw, looking at Nameless2all's post, wasn't "we were lacking a horde system", but rather, "because things like lasguns can't reliably take a normal man down in one or two hits like they're supposed to and get shrugged off almost half the time entirely if he's got Flak, I had to invent mooks."

In other words, the weapons involved were so unimpressive he felt the need to *upgrade* killing weaker targets into a coin-flip, just so they'd go down reliably.






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