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Heavy Gunners with Autocannons


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#1 Plushy

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 08:55 PM

 So, by RAW, a regiment can have Autocannons as their Favored Heavy Weapon. Heavy Gunners can choose to start with a Favored Heavy Weapon. While I'm sure the party isn't complaining (3d10+8 I Pen 6, fired at 3 round Semi-Auto is nothing to sniff at), I'm not entirely sure this should be possible. The autocannon blows the HG's other weapon choices (heavy stubber or missile launcher with frag missiles) out of the water.

Hell, the "super awesome" choice every group I've seen use so far has been the Heavy Bolter, with a respectable 1d10+8 X Pen 5 six round Full Auto and Tearing, but this still trumps it by a long shot. The only choice I see competing with the Autocannon would be the Multi-laser (2d10+10 E, Pen 2) but even that falls behind a little.

 

Thoughts?


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#2 Kasatka

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 09:39 PM

 Your regiment creation points must be spent to select special and heavy weapon favourites, and so your group of players need to decide whether to spend these crucial points on buffing just the HG or to use them on equipment everyone can benefit thing - things like carapace armour, comm beads, weapon upgrades etc. Also the extra weight and cost of maintaining an autocannon may put some people off their use.


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#3 Plushy

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 09:52 PM

Kasatka said:

 

 Your regiment creation points must be spent to select special and heavy weapon favourites, and so your group of players need to decide whether to spend these crucial points on buffing just the HG or to use them on equipment everyone can benefit thing - things like carapace armour, comm beads, weapon upgrades etc. Also the extra weight and cost of maintaining an autocannon may put some people off their use.

 

 

 

Deciding what the regiment's Favored Weapons are costs no points, and the Heavy Gunner can nab the Regiment Favored Heavy Weapon as part of his starting equipment.

 

Come to think of it…

"Basic Weapon: Meltagun or Bolter

Heavy Weapon: Autocannon"

 

Is a pretty tasty combination plate. If you have a Weapon Specialist and a Heavy Gunner in the party, then you're set. I want to try this…


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#4 Musclewizard

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Posted 15 September 2012 - 12:51 AM

Plushy said:

Thoughts?

You seem to be correct. I thought that the Autocannon might have a heigher weight than a Multilaser,  or fewer range than a Heavy Bolter but it trumps all other heavy weapons in every regard except RoF, Clip Size and Reload Time.

It does seem as if the M34 is the weapon of choice for a powergaming heavy gunner. There's only two things that it can't really do all to well, giving supressing fire and killing a lot of dudes at the same time. It is however very good at killing a few dudes, with a few stops every 6-7 rounds to reload.

In fact I think its so good that I'll probably disallow my players from taking an Autocannon as a starting weapons (though so far none of my players are interested in Heavy Gunners in the first place).



#5 Droma

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Posted 15 September 2012 - 03:34 AM

The autocannon is a pretty awesome weapon. Instead of limiting my players though I think I'd give them some opportunities to completely wreck face with it and then throw some really nasty things at them. Or occassionly put them into situations where the autocannon just isn't practical. Stealth missions, insertion by grav chute, etc. Sometimes you're going to want to use a different gun or be ordered to use a different gun.

Overall though I don't think only war is the type of game where I want to encourage low power. Lets go high power and see if my players can survive lol.



#6 Musclewizard

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Posted 15 September 2012 - 03:51 AM

Droma said:

The autocannon is a pretty awesome weapon. Instead of limiting my players though I think I'd give them some opportunities to completely wreck face with it and then throw some really nasty things at them. Or occassionly put them into situations where the autocannon just isn't practical. Stealth missions, insertion by grav chute, etc. Sometimes you're going to want to use a different gun or be ordered to use a different gun.

Overall though I don't think only war is the type of game where I want to encourage low power. Lets go high power and see if my players can survive lol.

It's not that I really want to take something away from the players but I don't want the Heavy Gunner to outshine everyone else in combat simply because he has easy access to an Autocannon.



#7 Kasatka

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Posted 15 September 2012 - 04:36 AM

 The thing is that the HG that chooses an Autocannon is making a statement - he wants to bring heavy firepower in a whithering deluge on a single or select few targets. He doesn't want to blow up vehicles except the lightest ones, and he doesn't want to deal with hordes of infantry. He is a middle ground kind of guy, who wants an adaptable heavy weapon.


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#8 Musclewizard

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Posted 15 September 2012 - 06:46 AM

Kasatka said:

 

 The thing is that the HG that chooses an Autocannon is making a statement - he wants to bring heavy firepower in a whithering deluge on a single or select few targets. He doesn't want to blow up vehicles except the lightest ones, and he doesn't want to deal with hordes of infantry. He is a middle ground kind of guy, who wants an adaptable heavy weapon.

 

 

The thing is without horde rules a HG can still blow up one or two targets per round. A single hit is usually enough with those damage values.
Furthermore he's fully capable of blowing up Basilisks and Chimeras in a relatively short time (about 2-3 rounds on semi-auto) and he's even capable of hurting a Baneblade (though only when attacking the rear side). The only two weapons that are significantly better at destroying armoured vehicles are the multi-melta and the lascannon.

The multi-melta has a significantly lower range by a factor of 5 and a factor of 10 if you want to use it to full effect.

The lascannon's a lascannon, there's not a lot to say about it imo.

The biggest weakness to the M34 is probably the clip size but with 20 shots and 2 replacement magazines you're still capable of killing a lot of really tough enemies. This weakness becomes more problematic when you're fighting larger numbers of weaker enemies but often times those are lead by some stronger enemy that the Autocannon works very well against while your allies can take on "the small fry".

I really dislike removing gear but I still think that there should be some sort of change to the Autocannon from a balance standpoint, not a huge one mind you and said change would certainly be a houserule.
Maybe increase the reload time to 3 Full and / or decrease Clip to 15.

 

Edit: There's also the Missile Launcher with Krak Missile for fighting Vehicles but it's only moderately better against those in terms of killing power. Two additional points of damage, slightly higher average damage due to Proven(2), thou that's hardly relevant when fighting vehicles and an increased chance to score a critical hit (that's actually kind of important against vehicles).
At the same time you can only fire a Krak Missile every other round (unless someone else reloads your Missile Launcher for you).

 



#9 Plushy

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Posted 15 September 2012 - 09:02 AM

Hmm. You could arm your Heavy Gunner with an Autocannon, and then give the Weapon Specialist a Bolter or a Meltagun. I don't think that was supposed to be possible.


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#10 Kasatka

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 11:13 PM

Musclewizard said:

Kasatka said:

 

 The thing is that the HG that chooses an Autocannon is making a statement - he wants to bring heavy firepower in a whithering deluge on a single or select few targets. He doesn't want to blow up vehicles except the lightest ones, and he doesn't want to deal with hordes of infantry. He is a middle ground kind of guy, who wants an adaptable heavy weapon.

 

 

The thing is without horde rules a HG can still blow up one or two targets per round. A single hit is usually enough with those damage values.
Furthermore he's fully capable of blowing up Basilisks and Chimeras in a relatively short time (about 2-3 rounds on semi-auto) and he's even capable of hurting a Baneblade (though only when attacking the rear side). The only two weapons that are significantly better at destroying armoured vehicles are the multi-melta and the lascannon.

The multi-melta has a significantly lower range by a factor of 5 and a factor of 10 if you want to use it to full effect.

The lascannon's a lascannon, there's not a lot to say about it imo.

The biggest weakness to the M34 is probably the clip size but with 20 shots and 2 replacement magazines you're still capable of killing a lot of really tough enemies. This weakness becomes more problematic when you're fighting larger numbers of weaker enemies but often times those are lead by some stronger enemy that the Autocannon works very well against while your allies can take on "the small fry".

I really dislike removing gear but I still think that there should be some sort of change to the Autocannon from a balance standpoint, not a huge one mind you and said change would certainly be a houserule.
Maybe increase the reload time to 3 Full and / or decrease Clip to 15.

 

Edit: There's also the Missile Launcher with Krak Missile for fighting Vehicles but it's only moderately better against those in terms of killing power. Two additional points of damage, slightly higher average damage due to Proven(2), thou that's hardly relevant when fighting vehicles and an increased chance to score a critical hit (that's actually kind of important against vehicles).
At the same time you can only fire a Krak Missile every other round (unless someone else reloads your Missile Launcher for you).

 

The issue does not lie with how powerful the autocannon is, it lies with how heavy weapons are handled. 

Ever since someone decided to introduce the Bulging Biceps talent, we've had people running around toting heavy weaponry all on their own and it kind of breaks the balance  between sizes and types of weapons. 


I feel all heavy weapons should require a crew to operate, with a minimum number of turns to deploy or pack up. Certain weapons could then have upgrades to make them easier to move about (wheeled or tracked platforms, suspensor bolts, lightweight components, cut down barrels etc.), or reduce deployment time (pop-out bi and tri pods, wheeled or tracked platforms again). This system would allow for the more powerful weapons to be balanced by taking longer to bring to bear on the enemy. For example, the autocannon and lascannon both have massive long barrels and chunky ammo canisters and so should require two guardsmen to move them, and then at least 1.5 full actions to deploy/undeploy. Bulging Biceps could be changed to reduce this time by a half action, and then modifications to the weapon by a further half action or more - potentially bringing it back round to being a free action like it currently is, though with some investment of experience and resources.

The autocannon is as powerful as it should be, and quite versatile - there is a reason the Astartes used them as their squad support weapons of choice during the crusades, and it was only the introduction of the assault cannon and man-portable multi-meltas, lascannon etc that saw their decline.


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#11 Musclewizard

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Posted 18 September 2012 - 12:24 AM

Kasatka said:

 

 

The issue does not lie with how powerful the autocannon is, it lies with how heavy weapons are handled. 

Ever since someone decided to introduce the Bulging Biceps talent, we've had people running around toting heavy weaponry all on their own and it kind of breaks the balance  between sizes and types of weapons. 


I feel all heavy weapons should require a crew to operate, with a minimum number of turns to deploy or pack up.

That's actually a pretty good point. I really like this solution. It makes heavy weapons far more diverse by adding the time they take to set up with versatile and shorter weapons like the heavy stubber and the heavy bolter being fast to step up compared to the lascannon and the autocannon which take quite some time.

I think some houserules are in order.



#12 Kasatka

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Posted 18 September 2012 - 01:32 AM

Okay so from the top of my head, the heavy weapons in 40k are as follows:
SP - Heavy Stubber, Autocannon, Assault Cannon

Las - Multilaser, Lascannon

Bolt - Heavy Bolter

Plasma - Plasma Cannon

Melta - Multi-melta

Launcher - Mortar, Missile Launcher

Now i'd split the weapons into 3 tiers of how easy it is to setup/deploy/move them. For simplicity's sake lets call them easy/average/hard.

Easy weapons - Heavy Stubber, Heavy Bolter, Mortar, Missile Launcher. These should all take no more than a half action to deploy/undeploy.

Average weapons - Multilaser, Plasma Cannon, Multi-melta. These have bulkier ammo and more advanced firing mechanisms so should take 1 full action to deploy/undeploy.

Hard weapons - Autocannon, Assault Cannon, Lascannon. These weapons have very bulky ammo and long barrels and weigh a lot, so should take 1.5 full actions or even 2 full actions to deploy/undeploy.

 

Bulging biceps should be modified so that rather than removing the bracing requirement, it reduces the setup time on heavy weapons by a half action.

 

Weapon upgrades should include:

Suspensors (Extremely Rare, reduces setup time by 1 full action and weapon weight by half)

Gun Carriages (Average, +1000kg to weapon weight, but zero setup time and can be pushed/pulled by two guardsmen at 1/2 Agility speed or towed by a tractor or drey animal(stats for these would be needed))

 

Those are just my initial thoughts on the matter. It's kind of telling that we got hunting lances but no mount options, yet the latest release for Black Crusade includes bike and riding animals, so we're likely to see them come up in an expansion for OW.


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#13 Musclewizard

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Posted 18 September 2012 - 02:54 AM

You missed the Heavy Flamer and the Mole Mortar (though that one obviously works like the Mortar).

That's pretty much how I would have handled it as well.
I think the "hard" weapons should take two full actions to set up but allow for someone else that can also operate the weapon to help (like a Comrade with the "Loader" advance) setting up.

Furthermore the Bulging Biceps talent should be changed for this houserule in one of three ways.

  1. Leaving it as it is - This would make most of the houserules here null and void since everyone would just get Bulging Biceps and thats it.
  2. Bulging Biceps works as is but only applies to bracing the weapon on yourself allowing for a 45° firing angle. Setting up the weapon elsewhere, like with a bipod or tripod to give it a 90° or 180° field of fire would still require the number of actions determined by the type of weapon
  3. Bulging Biceps reduces the Setup time for the weapon by half an action. This would allow for characters to fight without bracing if they use "small" heavy weapons like the heavy stubber retraining that rambo quality this weapon can offer.

I don't think that suspensors really need changing. I've always imagined suspensor mounted heavy weapons to be braced at all times so I'd leave them as is.

I'm not quire sure what the deal with gun carriages is, a quick google search only revealed gun carragies for cannons as well a very nice miniature for Warmachine that is literally a horse drawn carriage armourplated and full of guns.

 



#14 Kasatka

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Posted 18 September 2012 - 05:19 AM

 Gun carriages are exactly what the old metal Imp guard models used - you know the cadian guys who would be sat on a heavy weapon carriage? 

I was trying to think of a way to make them work for OW. They basically make the weapon impossible to 'carry' but make it far more manouverable for the 2 man team, and can be fired immediately without deployment.

As for the Heavy flamer, i'd say that doesn't need deploying per se, especially if you have your comrade carrying the fuel tank for you. If it had any deployment time it would be a half action, so that Bulging Biceps as i proposed reduces it to nothing. The mole mortar i imagine being a lot more complex than a traditional mortar so i'd maybe put it in the Hard category.


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#15 N0-1_H3r3

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Posted 18 September 2012 - 12:09 PM

Kasatka said:

Ever since someone decided to introduce the Bulging Biceps talent, we've had people running around toting heavy weaponry all on their own and it kind of breaks the balance  between sizes and types of weapons.

Blame Andy Chambers and Jervis Johnson.

Bulging Biceps originally appeared in Necromunda, as a Strength skill allowing characters to move and fire Heavy Weaponry. All Heavies in Necromunda carried those heavy weapons (and demonstrably, ammunition for them) by themselves - the heavy stubber was the common starting option, but lascannons, heavy plasma guns, heavy bolters and autocannons were all available, and were all treated identically in regards to how they were carried.

Being a part of 40k tradition, the talent made its way into Dark Heresy, as a way for strong characters to employ heavy weaponry without bracing. This covers characters like those Necromunda Heavies, like "Try-Again" Bragg from the Gaunt's Ghosts novels, Ox from the Last Chancers, Gunnery Sergeant Harker of the Catachan Devils… the list goes on. The talent's innate prerequisites are such that an average starting human (Str31) needs three Strength advances to meet the prerequisites for it - even for characters with cheap strength, that's still 850xp. That shifts with characters that start out strong - Feral Worlders, lucky rolls, etc, but that's not without justification.

If anything, the factor that has made the talent too easy to obtain is point-buy characteristic generation - being able to freely pick and choose your starting characteristics can (and often does) make a mockery of the normal talent prerequisites.

Bulging Biceps exists to model a particular kind of character that has long existed in 40k. Its absence would make creating those sorts of characters impossible.

Weapon teams in the Imperial Guard (which are, aside from Eldar Guardian squads, the only instance of weapon teams in 40k), from the perspective of the RPG, are a matter of convenience - one guy carries the gun, the other carries the ammo (and loads the gun - cuts down on reload times) - and they aren't assumed to be sufficiently brawny to have Bulging Biceps (hence the tripods - they need to Brace).

[/QUOTE efidm=718754]The autocannon is as powerful as it should be, and quite versatile - there is a reason the Astartes used them as their squad support weapons of choice during the crusades, and it was only the introduction of the assault cannon and man-portable multi-meltas, lascannon etc that saw their decline.

One thing worth noting - the Assault Cannon in Deathwatch is a "Mounted" weapon, and thus can only be used on vehicles or Terminator Armour.

 

Personally, my preference when it comes to sorting out the matter of bracing and heavy weapons is the following (and I've suggested it to no avail during work on the BC and OW rules): Bracing a weapon adds +20 to hit when firing it. A character with Bulging Biceps can (RAW) fire a heavy weapon without the normal penalties for not bracing, while Suspensors count a weapon as Braced… which is an important difference when Bracing does more than remove penalties. At this point, characters using heavy weapons are encouraged to Brace when possible, as it makes them more accurate, but characters with Bulging Biceps can still hip-fire heavy bolters if the situation demands it. It also makes the difference between Bulging Biceps and Autostabilised matter again.


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#16 Unholy_Ravager

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Posted 18 September 2012 - 02:26 PM

 I've been toying with the idea that heavy weapons require a combined strength and toughness bonus to brace without aid and the bulging biceps talent means you are braced for any heavy weapon whose requirements you meet.



#17 Darth Smeg

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Posted 18 September 2012 - 07:37 PM

N0-1_H3r3 said:

Personally, my preference when it comes to sorting out the matter of bracing and heavy weapons is the following (and I've suggested it to no avail during work on the BC and OW rules): Bracing a weapon adds +20 to hit when firing it. A character with Bulging Biceps can (RAW) fire a heavy weapon without the normal penalties for not bracing, while Suspensors count a weapon as Braced… which is an important difference when Bracing does more than remove penalties. At this point, characters using heavy weapons are encouraged to Brace when possible, as it makes them more accurate, but characters with Bulging Biceps can still hip-fire heavy bolters if the situation demands it. It also makes the difference between Bulging Biceps and Autostabilised matter again.

How does this balance out with Accurate weapons? With a +20 to my braced Lascannon, it becomes the sniping tool of choice, no?

+20 Braced, +10 Aim, +10 Single Shot, +10 Short Range (most likely) hits the +60 Cap.

An Accurate Basic weapon might get

+10 Accurate, +10 Aim, +10 Single Shot, +10 Short Range (most likely) "only" reaches +50. 

Did I miss something?


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#18 Kasatka

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Posted 18 September 2012 - 11:17 PM

N0-1_H3r3 said:

Blame Andy Chambers and Jervis Johnson.

Bulging Biceps originally appeared in Necromunda, as a Strength skill allowing characters to move and fire Heavy Weaponry. All Heavies in Necromunda carried those heavy weapons (and demonstrably, ammunition for them) by themselves - the heavy stubber was the common starting option, but lascannons, heavy plasma guns, heavy bolters and autocannons were all available, and were all treated identically in regards to how they were carried.

Being a part of 40k tradition, the talent made its way into Dark Heresy, as a way for strong characters to employ heavy weaponry without bracing. This covers characters like those Necromunda Heavies, like "Try-Again" Bragg from the Gaunt's Ghosts novels, Ox from the Last Chancers, Gunnery Sergeant Harker of the Catachan Devils… the list goes on. The talent's innate prerequisites are such that an average starting human (Str31) needs three Strength advances to meet the prerequisites for it - even for characters with cheap strength, that's still 850xp. That shifts with characters that start out strong - Feral Worlders, lucky rolls, etc, but that's not without justification.

If anything, the factor that has made the talent too easy to obtain is point-buy characteristic generation - being able to freely pick and choose your starting characteristics can (and often does) make a mockery of the normal talent prerequisites.

Bulging Biceps exists to model a particular kind of character that has long existed in 40k. Its absence would make creating those sorts of characters impossible.

Weapon teams in the Imperial Guard (which are, aside from Eldar Guardian squads, the only instance of weapon teams in 40k), from the perspective of the RPG, are a matter of convenience - one guy carries the gun, the other carries the ammo (and loads the gun - cuts down on reload times) - and they aren't assumed to be sufficiently brawny to have Bulging Biceps (hence the tripods - they need to Brace).

Personally, my preference when it comes to sorting out the matter of bracing and heavy weapons is the following (and I've suggested it to no avail during work on the BC and OW rules): Bracing a weapon adds +20 to hit when firing it. A character with Bulging Biceps can (RAW) fire a heavy weapon without the normal penalties for not bracing, while Suspensors count a weapon as Braced… which is an important difference when Bracing does more than remove penalties. At this point, characters using heavy weapons are encouraged to Brace when possible, as it makes them more accurate, but characters with Bulging Biceps can still hip-fire heavy bolters if the situation demands it. It also makes the difference between Bulging Biceps and Autostabilised matter again.

I completely agree that there should be an archetype of character that can tote heavy weapons around without a need for a loader/spotter and hip fire on the move, but i feel currently it is far too easy. As you say, points buy is the bane of a well balanced RP system and leads to unnecessarily broken mechanics. 

My suggestion of changing Bulging Biceps doesn't completely remove that archetype but it does limit the weapons that those archetypal characters can solo operate. This then reserves the truly powerful weapons for co-op use. I mean keep the Strength requirement at 45 so that only really strong characters can use it but change it to reduce setup-times as i suggested earlier.  

Then add in a higher tier talent that further reduces setup times so that more weapons can be solo operated and have a rule under heavy weapons that states that if their setup time is ever reduced to a Free Action through talents or weapon upgrades, then the weapon can be fired from the hip without bracing.

Introducing your +10 from being properly braced (windowsill, low wall, bipod, tripod, comrades back!) would be a further incentive to use heavy weapons tactically and with some further thought than "hey look guys, i'm rolling so many D10s!" like they currently seem to be.


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#19 Solarisjock

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 04:03 AM

Darth Smeg said:

 

 

 

 

 

How does this balance out with Accurate weapons? With a +20 to my braced Lascannon, it becomes the sniping tool of choice, no?

+20 Braced, +10 Aim, +10 Single Shot, +10 Short Range (most likely) hits the +60 Cap.

An Accurate Basic weapon might get

+10 Accurate, +10 Aim, +10 Single Shot, +10 Short Range (most likely) "only" reaches +50. 

Did I miss something?

 

 

Little thing, your math only adds up to +50 for the lascannon and +40 for the basic….  your statment stands though

 

If you go with this change, I would say you can brace any weapon.  Which is rather true to real life, in your example of your accurate weapon that could easily be a guardsmen standing up which is a much more inaccurate shooting postion then what the lascannon would be in with it braced on a bipod/tripod/wall/corpse.  Now, if the guardsmen with the accurate rifle took a moment to brace his rifle against a fence post or something, he actually would hit his +60 cap

 

In your example you are also assuming that the heavy was already in a prepared position, in that he was already braced.  if he had to take a half action to brace he would lose the +10 from aiming as he had to brace.  so it would +40/+40

 

 

*edit, I too are goods at maths*



#20 N0-1_H3r3

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 08:05 AM

Darth Smeg said:

How does this balance out with Accurate weapons? With a +20 to my braced Lascannon, it becomes the sniping tool of choice, no?

+20 Braced, +10 Aim, +10 Single Shot, +10 Short Range (most likely) hits the +60 Cap.

An Accurate Basic weapon might get

+10 Accurate, +10 Aim, +10 Single Shot, +10 Short Range (most likely) "only" reaches +50. 

Did I miss something?

You didn't, though I did - a careless omission in my previous post. The intent is that any Basic or Heavy weapon can be braced (and by extension, all such weapons on vehicles are inherently braced - they are, afterall, affixed to the vehicle) - pistols are excluded, as it doesn't feel quite right, IMO. Part of it is to encourage Bracing weapons where the situation allows. Part of it is to show a flip-side to auto-fire - normally, autofire is inaccurate, but from a static, supported position it can put down a withering hail of fire (compare and contrast: a burst of fire from an autopistol to a burst of fire from an emplaced heavy stubber on a tripod). Part of it is to make the bipod a valid addition to a sniper's arsenal (and really, if you're a decent shot, have time to set up the weapon properly [brace], and line up the shot just right [aim], then you deserve to hit, as you've probably spent a turn or two preparing for that shot).


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