Jump to content



Photo

Forcefields and hordes


  • Please log in to reply
10 replies to this topic

#1 Xeldrakka

Xeldrakka

    Member

  • Members
  • 13 posts

Posted 20 September 2012 - 08:26 PM

Recently in a game I help coach, one of our players running an Assault Marine turned Chaplain waded into a horde of xeno-barbarians and slaughtered them. While the fight was supposed to be fairly one sided, the issue of his Rosarius came up. Namely, can a force field defense be used against the relentless and massed attacks of a furious mob of pole arms, flintlock pistols and natural fire breath? To keep things smooth we simply opted for a literal translation of the shield rules: Make a check for every attack made.

Has this issue come up in other campaigns you guys have run and.. if so.. what were the rulings you made?


He conqueres twice, who conqueres himself first.


#2 DJSunhammer

DJSunhammer

    Member

  • Members
  • 603 posts

Posted 20 September 2012 - 09:36 PM

Well, a Horde makes one attack against any target in range per turn, so yes, a force field should affect it.



#3 Decessor

Decessor

    Member

  • Members
  • 976 posts

Posted 21 September 2012 - 06:46 AM

I go with the rule as written. Hordes aren't anything special in that regard.



#4 Baron Throatpunch

Baron Throatpunch

    Member

  • Members
  • 86 posts

Posted 23 September 2012 - 10:13 AM

Each attack from a horde is supposed to represent several individual attacks from different members of the horde. That's why dodging and parrying aren't as useful as they normally are; those Reactions protect from individual attacks, and you only get so many Reactions in a turn.

While force fields don't run out of uses unless you blow a roll, they aren't guaranteed to protect against dozens of attacks in a row.

I'm not sure how I'd run it. Maybe some kind of damage mitigation, based on the percentage of protection granted by the field.


I'm gonna start burning heretics now. I'll stop when we're out of prometheum.


#5 DJSunhammer

DJSunhammer

    Member

  • Members
  • 603 posts

Posted 23 September 2012 - 11:14 AM

Baron Throatpunch said:

Each attack from a horde is supposed to represent several individual attacks from different members of the horde. That's why dodging and parrying aren't as useful as they normally are; those Reactions protect from individual attacks, and you only get so many Reactions in a turn.

While force fields don't run out of uses unless you blow a roll, they aren't guaranteed to protect against dozens of attacks in a row.

I'm not sure how I'd run it. Maybe some kind of damage mitigation, based on the percentage of protection granted by the field.

Except they are guaranteed to protect against dozens of attacks in a row, up to and until they overload. An overload is represented in the rules in a very specific way. The attack a horde makes is also very specific, in relation to the rules, no matter when it might represent in the narrative. In this case, one attack represents the multiple blows a horde could make in narrative time. If there is one attack, you roll once to negate that attack with a force field. Interpreting the rules the way you are is just overcomplicating the game. At that point you have to ask yourself, does adding more complexity to the game serve a purpose other than realism? In this case, not really. And realism isn't a valid reason to add complexity.



#6 Decessor

Decessor

    Member

  • Members
  • 976 posts

Posted 24 September 2012 - 12:57 AM

I considered making a change to forcefield rules to represent a higher chance of them burning out. But you know what? It would have added nothing to the game. Besides, the hordes of faceless mooks that comprise hordes should only have a chance in massed ranks to harm marines or even effect their equipment.



#7 Baron Throatpunch

Baron Throatpunch

    Member

  • Members
  • 86 posts

Posted 24 September 2012 - 09:21 PM

DJSunhammer said:

 

Except they are guaranteed to protect against dozens of attacks in a row, up to and until they overload. An overload is represented in the rules in a very specific way. The attack a horde makes is also very specific, in relation to the rules, no matter when it might represent in the narrative. In this case, one attack represents the multiple blows a horde could make in narrative time. If there is one attack, you roll once to negate that attack with a force field. Interpreting the rules the way you are is just overcomplicating the game. At that point you have to ask yourself, does adding more complexity to the game serve a purpose other than realism? In this case, not really. And realism isn't a valid reason to add complexity.

 

Fields don't only either work or overload. The majority of fields are most likely to just not protect against a given attack.

Also, from a game theory perspective (and to wander off on a tangent, carrying a bull-whip, looking for a dead horse) realism is the main reason to add mechanical complexity. In Deathwatch, there are rules for difficult terrain. There are rules for standing versus running vertical jump distance. There's an encumbrance chart with separate columns for carrying, lifting, and pushing. There are rules for thrown weapons scattering on a missed attack roll.

Deathwatch is a Roleplaying Game, not a board game. So why have those rules in the book at all? These rules add complexity as a byproduct of making the game more realistic. The more realistic any RPG is, the more rules it requires. Compare and contrast BESM (the multi-genre anime RPG) or AFMBE (the multi-genre zombie RPG) with GURPS (the multi-genre comparatively sane RPG). The more actions your game isn't willing to hand-wave, the more rules you need in order to portray characters taking those actions without GM/player joint adjudication in every instance.


I'm gonna start burning heretics now. I'll stop when we're out of prometheum.


#8 DJSunhammer

DJSunhammer

    Member

  • Members
  • 603 posts

Posted 25 September 2012 - 02:33 AM

That gameplay represents reality is true, but my point is, adding more complexity to represent a reality that is already represented in the rules is pointless.



#9 Baron Throatpunch

Baron Throatpunch

    Member

  • Members
  • 86 posts

Posted 25 September 2012 - 07:01 AM

This thread exists because force fields interacting with Hordes is not expressly covered in Da Roolz.


I'm gonna start burning heretics now. I'll stop when we're out of prometheum.


#10 Charmander

Charmander

    Member

  • Members
  • 1,491 posts

Posted 25 September 2012 - 01:23 PM

I'm with DJ and Decessor here- each attack from the horde is a single attack.  They are not dodgeable or parryable except under special circumstances.  Force Fields protect against attacks.  Those are the rules as written.  

Thematically a horde is described as making 101 attacks in order to explain the reason that you cannot dodge them (you dodge some but not enough) and the reason you have to worry about lasguns rather than just standing there laughing.  Those aren't the rules though, that's the flavor text. 

The issue I have with 'adding realism' is the whole section of horde rules wasn't done for realism, but to speed the game up.  Lasguns don't magically increase in penetrating capacity when 30 men shoot with them, but for purposes of the game it works- it speeds the game up, it keeps individual chumps from threatening the life of a Mighty Astartes, and it makes masses of troops an actual threat to life and limb.

My only issue with the field rules is if you are running a game with fewer enemies (and thus fewer attacks on your PCs), sometimes the fields can get a bit over powered.  As a GM you can suddenly be faced with an increase to the already unpredictable damage rates of your NPC forces, which makes it harder to cook up challenging but reasonable encounters for your players to beat.  Some possible houserules, should you need them, could be:

  • Fields, when sucessfully acitvated, only reduce damage incoming from a horde by 50% to represent it not absorbing all the hits.  Alternate bits to that could be that you don't need to roll- they always work- that they can't overload while being used on a horde.
  • Fields must be activated against each hit rather than each attack, so a burst from an assault cannon (or full auto salvo from a horde) can be more harmful to your shield than a precise blow from a lascannon.

But if you're not having a balance headache, I would honestly leave the rules as is - it's more streamlined that way and will keep combat (which is slow to begin with) moving quickly.



#11 Xeldrakka

Xeldrakka

    Member

  • Members
  • 13 posts

Posted 27 September 2012 - 02:48 PM

Thanks for the input everyone. As it stands, I've come to the decision to leave the rule alone as is. As I see it, the weight of a horde's attack is represented by sheer numbers of firepower simply overwhelming defenses. A force field is simply not going to negate 100 lasguns all firing at once. But on the same token, it's going to negate a whole damn bunch of those attacks, or very few of them depending on the Emprah's favor. So rolling a successful defense with your forcefield doesn't mean your local Storm Warden with Storm Shield just ate 697 bullets, it means that he deflected enough shots with his field that the remainder that got through simply weren't enough to overwhelm him.


He conqueres twice, who conqueres himself first.





© 2013 Fantasy Flight Publishing, Inc. Fantasy Flight Games and the FFG logo are ® of Fantasy Flight Publishing, Inc.  All rights reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Use | Contact | User Support | Rules Questions | Help | RSS