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  1. Yes, but do they outperform Lances against low-armor targets still? (I have no clue, I'm on temporary math hiatus while I focus on other subjects. Although I bet if I just dug out that weapon DPS spreadsheet that was made a few weeks ago, I could just equip one battery at a time and let the program do the work for me...) I also like the compromise of deciding which volley does the shield negating after you roll the dice. So even though you can't combine, it's like you get the better of two rolls (most of the time, assuming at least one of those volleys hits once or twice).
  2. I really like this idea. I'm a little afraid it is a bit heavy on the nerfstick towards macrobatteries... but it is definitely going in the right direction. I'm not sure if there is a middle ground possible with this change... maybe the second volley gets gets some kind of bonus? That's probably going to cause a lot of fiddly problems. Still: like the idea, let me know how it works out. Is there still a role for batteries?
  3. Karoline: I like your math. Good extrapolation. However, I think there's a few assumptions there that just may not be true. The reason I had assumed macrocannon warheads were atomics or some other kind of explosive was that would increase the kill-radius of each projectile. Instead of having a 5km square silhouette to target, if each warhead did some damage in, say, a 1km radius, and was armed with some kind of proximity detonator, you would have a 21km square target to fire at. This would allow you to increase the spread of the volley and create a wider net. Also, you're assuming a simple volley-dodge-volley-dodge scenario, where each volley is centered on the target, and the target has to course-correct in response to each one, but not in response to any previous ones. Should the battery be able to fire multiple times a strategic turn, you could play cat and mouse with your target. By slightly staggering the volley and firing subsequent volleys based on your target's movement, you could create a game of option reduction, that with each volley slowly closes the net. The first volley may be easily dodged, but the second volley has already seen the beginning of your turn and has lined up with your intended destination. As the target focuses on weaving between shells (much like a boss fight in a side-scroller like Ikaruga) the gunnery-captain thinks two steps ahead. Another comparison to this style of stellar warfare would be the endgame in chess. At the end of the series of volleys, if the gunnery-captain plotted his vectors correctly, the target is forced to make a choice that will result in it being struck by a projectile or two. A high DoS means the target has worse "best of bad options" to choose between. An evasive maneuvers roll by the target means they are also thinking a step or two ahead, at the cost of being able to present their own batteries in the most efficient manner. Yes, I know, my concept of stellar warfare doesn't stand the rasor test compared to yours, but I like it.
  4. I agree, lances are better against targets with more armor and in the hands of less skilled pilots. I agree that, as they stand, they are weapons for NPCs only. However: 1. If they were really intended as NPC-weapons, they would be balanced by a lower SP cost. NPCs don't spend SP, PCs do. As it stands their SP cost is actually higher than most batteries. Also, the accuracy only has to get to 50 for the scales to tip in the battery's favor (which can be accomplished by extended actions). 2. There isn't an officially published ship (outside of some weird Orkish deathstar I haven't bothered to read about) that the lances outdamage the batteries. Will the problem possibly be fixed by Battlefleet? Sure, but any ship released in a supplement is a niche target for a weapon in the core book. Also, you're talking about ships bigger and tougher than a cruiser (a big, mean, scary, rare outside of military forces ship) with better shields than a ship with an archaotech (ultra-rare) component. Ultra-niche market for a commonly mounted weapon. 3. Yes, I know damage isn't everything, but: a. Planetary bombardment isn't handled by any crunchy means (and lances aren't billed as the "anti-planet" weapon). b. They may be fluffy-cool, but that doesn't mean they can't be stat-cool as well. I know we aren't playing a dungeon crawler here, but we also aren't playing an indie game where the usefulness of two differen't abilities truly can not be compared (which I actually consider a design strength of many of those games, because they are rich in interesting choices) c. Yes, crits are difficulty to quantify. Karoline is working on that. In fact we aren't really trying to quantify them so much as getting a feeling for how useful they are. I've got this terrible feeling though that the ability of NPCs to make emergency repairs is going to negate some of the Lance's advantage in this arena. d. Yes, someone might think Sunsears are the best, of course the best is better than all the rest. However, having an item that is the best in a system is not a good thing, because it means people can make wrong choices. I don't think non-competitive games should have wrong choices hidden by drawn-out math frontloaded into character creation. I think what makes the battery selections so cool, is that the Sunsears aren't the best. They might be the best for some people, but they aren't inherently better than meltas or plasmas, they just support a different playstyle. In fact, due to the differences in resource costs, some would even say mars-patterns are "better". After all, why spend all that money/power/space on big guns when you can buy other cool things. However, unless this crit thing works out, no-one has been able to point out a reason that lances would be better under the current rules. I'm afraid some people may have taken this thread the wrong way. I titled it Mathhammer as a nod to a tradition in the tabletop game. I'm not trying to character optimize here, or suggest anyone else charop. I'm saying: This is what I see in the system. Prove me (using actual facts/numbers/reasons that are currently in the system) wrong. If you can't do that, help prove me right. If you think that's been done sufficiently, help me find a way to edit the system so the facts match the fluff. Remember, a game system is there to guide the games that use it (and the people that play it). No matter how much you say a game is about petting fluffy kittens, if the only reward you dole out is xp for killing puppies, and the means by which you kill puppies is not by petting fluffy kittens, then the game isn't really about petting fluffy kittens. Lances don't appear to be about killing big heavily armored ships. I want lances to be about killing big heavily armored ships. The solution may be simply that cruisers don't have enough armor. Will you help me pet fluffy kittens? Please?
  5. Karoline said: Where in the world are you getting your number for fissionable material? Because I can tell you it is entirely wrong. And I thought that starships ran on that promethium stuff. Regardless, I'm sure there are good reasons out there for nukes to be rare, but I'm quite sure that it isn't 'because they are weak and no one wants to use them'. Incidentally, I kind of thought the standard macrocannon ammo was small nukes too Boy this thread is off-topic. Not saying the discussion isn't fun, just madly divergent. Anyway, my data is from a Nova documentary about alternative fuels from ~8 years ago. The person who stated these facts was playing a kind of "voice of reason" role on the show, shooting down various ideas (his opinion of biofuel: fine, as long as you didn't mind the entire biomass of the earth to consist entirely of two species: humans and corn). I studied documentaries for a semester, so I know how misleading/false their data can be. To tell the truth, I had assumed that would have been a hard figure to miss, but looking back on it, I remember now that data was a lead-in to the idea of mining the moon for Helium-3, which was not shot down at all on that show. It's pretty obvious how biased Nova is towards space travel, and I should have caught that, but I'm also biased towards space travel, and that's probably why I stayed willfully ignorant. However you've provoked me to go and investigate that claim. Interestingly enough, I found a site which appears to discuss the very same claim I'm quoting. www.azimuthproject.org/asimuth/show/peak+uranium/ The part I'm referring to is quickly referenced in the top, then a couple of other estimates reputing it are discussed in the article. As this is even more off-topic for the forum, I'd be happy to discuss this further off-forum. My field isn't math or science, but I made sure to supplement my soft-science education with a very solid grounding in the hard sciences (how else am I going to write convincing sci-fi?) As it stands now I'm happy to cede that I was incorrect, although likely it's not absurd to consider the lifespan of nuclear fuel reserves as comparable to the history of fossil fuel reserves. Oh, and about the accuracy of projectiles which take 3 or more minutes to reach their target: remember, batteries work by enormous salvos that bracket their targets, and these ships are pretty massive and have a lot of inertia behind them (and there is some lag between orders executed and orders carried out). Plus, my assumption that the warheads were atomics was actually because I had always pictured a kind of flak-gun (or depth charge) effect. The chance of achieving a direct hit was basically nil, but you might hit close enough to shake the ship up a bit. On the other hand, the weapons are targeted and fired manually too. The fluff has sometimes described the gunnery crews as hopped up on stimulants in order to have even the chance of firing in the incredibly small windows of opportunity that exist in combat at this scale.
  6. Karoline said: MILLANDSON said: Karoline said: I agree, they are seriously outdated in regards to planets, but in regards to starships and such, they are vastly superior to any other armament currently available. I've a strong belief that we'll see new options with the new source books, but they've made nukes quite powerful, and it might be hard to make something that beats them and yet isn't even rarer without messing with game balance. I obviously can't talk about what is or isn't in Battlefleet Koronus, since I've seen it's contents, but nukes are meant to be powerful, hence why they are so incredibly rare. They don't get to have the modifiers for quantity, since you can only ever acquire 1 at a time, so you are always at a -50 modifier to get hold of a single atomic, and once that atomic is used, it's gone. I find that fairly balanced, all in all. But that's my point. I don't like the fluff because it doesn't say "They are powerful, therefore they are rare." it says "They are weak, therefore they are rare." The fact that it's original purpose was for planatary assault has nothing at all to do with the fact that they are exceedingly good in ship to ship combat. Thus their assertion that they are rare because noone makes/wants/uses them is entirely illogical. It'd be like saying guns should be rare in modern times because no one makes/wants/uses them because there are nukes. Yes, nukes are better than guns for destroying a large area, but they are far more effective than a sword in personal combat. And because of that, guns are quite common. Therefore you would think that nukes would be quite common (relatively speaking of course), because everyone would want to use them in ship to ship combat. Well, I think part of the reasoning for the fluff, is that it's always been a sci-fi trope to say "The most powerful weapon of our age is dwarfed by the incalculable power of the most basic weapon in the setting!" and also remember that 40k fluff has always talked more swagger than it brings in fact. It's part of the holdover from the over-the-top tongue-in-cheek days which I actually kind of prefer to the modern fluff, because it helped to hide a lot of bad writing. In fact, before reading the supplement for the nuke, I had always assumed that the standard, low-grade, macrocannon batteries used nukes as their munitions. Now, for an explanation of why nukes are "weak" according to the rules as they stand... I dunno. The closest I can see would be a sort of compromise between strength and logistics. If the ship were loaded to the gills with nukes, there not only would be containment issues, but also it would increase the chances that a heretic on the ship would find a way to push the button before the munition was chambered. So you can only carry a few at a time, and that's just not practical in "modern" space warfare, where you could be away from a naval facility for a century, or at least decades. Also, I'm not sure if it is ever stated what fuel the starships run on. Maybe there is competition for a scarce resource. Remember, in our modern times, there's only enough fissionable materials on earth to run our power supply for about ten years, I know the Empire of Man has more than a few mining planets than we have mines, but they also have a lot of energy demands. Also, in the Empire quantity IS a quality. Macrobatteries deal with the vastness of space, and resultant difficulty of hitting something that's moving relative to you, by bracketing the target with massive quantities of munitions. I'd imagine a standard macrocannon battery to consist of at least a dozen cannons (maybe two) firing around once every three or so minutes (or maybe unleashing a salvo of 10 shots each within the first two minutes, then taking 30 minutes to reload). In that case, I'm not sure how a single nuclear warhead has a chance of connecting, under normal (non-PC) circumstances. I know all those reasons don't really make them "weak", but they sure do make them "antiquated" and "not practical in standard void engagements". Possibly also, their rareness would still exist if they were "stronger" but the fact that they are rarely used magnifies their rarity.
  7. Brother Praetus said: Etheric said: 4. You can't crit more than once. I presume this is "per weapon component," and not "per round." With the exception being the special case rule for combined salvos from multiple Macrobatteries which states "only one critical." -=Brother Praetus=- Yes. I should have quoted my question from my OP, but the lack of copy-paste made me lazy. That answer is in direct response to my question, which asks if you roll double the successes, if you crit twice. gomme: Yeah, I see your point. Crits normally advantage NPCs. Which is ironic, since it is usually PCs who clamor for spectacular crits and critfails. That's a major reason why most NPCs in rogue trader can't righteous fire. I think this is less of a problem with the ship combat though, since you can repair damaged systems mid-fight. In a way, it gives the non-pilots something to do.
  8. I think you're misreading that section. The NPC ships get as many extended actions as the PCs get NPC actions (page 214, sidebar). So it's like non-PC piloted ships get two free actions (shooting and piloting).
  9. Karoline said: I do have one question that I want to confirm the answer to. Does a critical strike bypass void shields? And if so, does it simply ignore them, or does it take them down in the process of the strike? And what happens in the case of a ship with 2 void shields? Besides being potentially very important for damage output, it also strongly affects the validity of a ship that uses only lances. And since fire will come up, what spread order should I assume? And how many firefighting attempts a turn? For data output I'll be setting it up to run through each simulation a few million times to get accurate numbers, so I can give you: 'Average number of turns to destroy the target' fairly easily 'Average damage sustained by raider' is also easy to manage. Turns to reach X damage on the raider could be more difficult though because it is possible that X damage will never be reached depending on how quickly weapons are taken out, which would throw out any attempts to make a good average. I suppose for the information I can figure out the % of times that X damage is reached, and on the times it is reached, how quickly it happens on average. This will take me a while to put together as I'm busy with some other work at the moment, but I will work on it as time permits. No problem no the "turn til x" issue. I thought that'd be a hard thing to program for. My spare time has been a bit busy as well. Toying around with a few Dogs in the Vineyard one-shots and stuff. Criticals, as ruled by FF work as follows: treat the hit as normal, if the attack does no damage for ANY reason (including voidshields) do 1 damage and 1d5 crit. The shields are just as intact for follow-up attacks as they were if the attack had just been a hit. The crit is just an application of the "always do a minimum of one damage" rule. Example: A ship with two lances targets a 2 voidshield cruiser. The attacker crits on the first hit, but doesn't manage to take out the shield generator. Because the lance is strength one, it only takes down one of the shields. The second lance will also be negated by the attack (unless it too can crit). Although I do like your idea that a crit with a lance might take down all of the voidshields for a round. That would improve the damage of gothic-style cruisers, although it doesn't much fix the situation with raiders. Let's stick to the official ruling though. Fire spread: hrm, this one is tricky, because it is both random and DM adjudicated. How does a 50% chance of spreading to a weapon + 5% chance of spreading to voidshield generator sound? Firefighting (and repairs): Just re-read the book. The NPCs get as many extended actions as the PCs get NPC actions for their ship. The two choices are a flat 3 or 1 per 10 rating of the crew. As we are treating the NPC ship as skill 40, I'm fine with either 3 or 4 actions, split between repairs and firefighting. Say firefighting as priority, and any left go to repairs. There is something I forgot to consider before. Since this is an escort vs cruiser scenario, that cruiser really has more than 3 weapons, it actually has 5. I think the only way we'll be able to keep the programming simple though is to assume the escort can stay in the crippled arc. That sounds pretty reasonable, even though on the table, not all battles are 1v1, and the cruiser might be able to pull some tricks to get its good side in play for a round or two.
  10. Alright Karoline, I'l take you up on your offer. Thanks much. Everyone please critique the scenario I'm proposing, I'd like Karoline to only have to do this work once for a pretty good answer. First off, let's assume the target ship is the same throughout all the scenarios. 20 armor, 70 hull, 2 shields. I really have no idea what it should be armed with. I'll propose giving it a titanforge lance battery and a mars macrocannon battery broadside on each side with a sunsear laser battery on the prow. The target ship's armament doesn't really matter except as a pacing instrument. If someone else has a better "standard cruiser" payload, please suggest it. As for our escort protagonist, let's say she has 16 armor, 1 shield, and "unlimited" hull. Please include in the data the amount of damage the raider would have received if the cruiser managed a side arc shot on it EVERY round, as well as the round the damage exceeds 30. Why not stop the sim at 30? I'm presuming it's the pilot's job to mitigate damage from the cruiser, and since we aren't tracking maneuverability, we can't compensate for the rounds the raider is in the aft or fore arcs. Let's assume the target ship is an NPC with a 40 in everything. I'm not sure a legitimate number of times a round the target ship should be able to make an emergency repairs roll. I'd say no more than twice in a round, but I could see a lot of GMs only doing it 1/round. The payload for the raider will come in two varieties: Payload BL will consist of a titanforge lance and a mars pattern macrocannon battery. Payload BB will consist of a pair of sunsear laser batteries. This keeps the cost of both payloads close to the same. I'm open for someone disputing the validity of the BL payload as being unrealistic, saying if someone is going to go with a raider, they're going to go with big weapons. That's fine, but if you're going to suggest titanforge and ryza combo, remember that the BB payload could buy two ryzas for the same price. A more valid concern might be the incompatible ranges of these two payloads. For the sake of this scenario, I'm fine with ignoring the range difference, but two solutions might be: 1) grant the BB payload +10% attack compared to the BL payload, 2) change the BB payload to Mezoa macrocannons and a Ryza (this would also even the SP cost). Again, I'm fine going with the double sunsears and ignoring the range difference. Lets assume both raider payloads have the same crew, giving it a 70 to attack (already including the bonuses the other PCs give the gunner) and a 60 to perform emergency repairs. The data output needed is 1) number of turns needed to destroy the target ship, 2) damage sustained by the attacker, 3) what round the attacker was dealt the 30th point of damage (and if that comes up really quickly, go ahead and add a "what round the attacker was dealt the 60th point of damage" datapoint) Each payload of the raider needs two sets of simulations (for a total of 4 sets of sims). The first time through, the attacker focuses their crits on the target's weapons, then the voidshields. The second time through, the attacker focuses crits on the voidshields, then on the weapons. I almost want to run another pair of sims too, where the BB attacker chooses not to salvo her weapons until the target receives a couple of crits, but I think that might be overcomplicating things. Alright, am I missing anything? Did I overlook a intrinsically valuable piece of data that needs to be reported? Are my comparable payloads/skills set at ridiculous numbers? Should the raiders that target weapons, only care about taking down the two batteries, and leave the lance by itself before targeting the voidshields? P.S. Wouldn't a ship with a pair of melta-cannons just be the sickest knife-fighter ever? That is against targets that couldn't outmaneuver it... and the DPR would probably be a bit lower... oh but the burninating....
  11. Karoline said: Etheric said: Now I still think armor values of the ships of the line should be higher. I'm not entirely certain +1 crit rating warrants the loss in the damage department. However, the math to simulate is a bit more involved than I'm willing to set up at this moment. Especially since it would involve quantifying the value of a critical hit itself. Just how valuable is a 1 in 5 chance of setting the enemy ship on fire? Or disabling a component? Quite valuable actually. Since you can always an enemies weapons for the targetted crits, you can effectively decrease their offensive ability. And the shot that hits the Auger array gives them a -30 to their attacks, which is hugely valuable. I'd have to say that crits are exceedingly valuable in combat situations, and the increased chance at a crit may well be worth the decreased overall damage. And I agree entirely that crits are incredibly valuable. However, how much added crit percentage (remember, although you get a chance of two crits, to achieve a comparable power/space usage you usually have take a weapon that has -1 crit rating to compliment that +1 crit rating lance) makes up for how much damage lost? And remember, those batteries are still criting on a regular basis as well. I dunno. It's like you said. Now it's apples to oranges and hard to quantify. My gut still says lances should outdamage batteries vs larger ships, but now the only way to prove that is to run a multi-round simulation with a ton of variables. Thanks guys for bearing with me through the course of this thought experiment, but I'm kind of out of steam on this. If anyone has any new ideas to bring up (or reasons why I shouldn't give cruisers a point or two of extra armor in my games), let me know.
  12. Got my reply, I'd post it here in its entirety, but I can't get copy-paste to work. Here goes: 1. Yes you can fish for crits. Crits ignore voidshields. "...a crit is a good enough hit that it causes a localized burnthrough." 2. They do mean degrees of success when they say successes. 3. You aren't penalized by rolling higher than the number. 4. You can't crit more than once. Which are exactly the answers I was looking for.
  13. MILLANDSON said: I've just got a reply re: my assertion that the Strength stat rule in the book, despite the wording using "macrocannon", applies in the same way to lances as they do to macrocannons. It follows thus: > Rule Question: > Hey, > > In the rules for starship weapons on page 219, it states that > Strength is "the maximum number of hits a macrobattery can land on > an enemy ship". > > Some people have stated that this means that Strength, and the rules > relating to that, therefore don't work for lances in the same way as > macrobatteries. > > Should the mention of "the maximum number of hits a macrobattery can > land on an enemy ship" instead read "the maximum number of hit the > weapon can land on an enemy ship", therefore removing the mention of > solely macrobatteries and meaning that Strength applies equally to > macrobatteries and lances, and that they both work in the same way > in relation to the total number of hits they can make? > > Thanks, > > Jordan Hey Jordan, Yeah, Lances follow the same rule as Macrobatteries. Hope that helps! Sam Sam Stewart RPG Designer Fantasy Flight Games As such, this confirmation of many people's reading of the rules shows that Lances aren't as weak as some have asserted. I assume that's a typo on your part. Not sure how confirmation that lances are LIMITED (like they should be) in the amount of hits they can achieve makes them not as weak as some (I) have asserted. I'm glad they went with that ruling. The extra hits from the lance really didn't make up for enough when I recalculated the math. However, the response I received about how voidshields and crits interact does give a bit of a boost to lances. They still don't compete in the damage department. A cruiser fully loaded with batteries does inflict severe damage, and I still have suspicions that a double-battery escort would be better off in th long run against a cruiser. However the strict "batteries are better in every sense" math has been nullified. Why? Because crits ignore voidshields. The math swings back (properly) to lances critting more. This even validates the "gothic" cruiser build. Never again should the advice be given "you shouldn't even bother firing the lance", because you can always crit with it. Now I still think armor values of the ships of the line should be higher. I'm not entirely certain +1 crit rating warrants the loss in the damage department. However, the math to simulate is a bit more involved than I'm willing to set up at this moment.
  14. On the other hand, it's a lot easier to build something large that you know will never be subject to high accelleration gravity, or gravity+acceleration coming from two different angles. It's also easier to build something so huge you can just have 20k+ people man it instead of have it automated. That's the hidden costs in Titan construction. Titan weapons are also more expensive in a per-pound-of-damage sense for the same reasons. They just can't afford a quarter-kilometre barrel to send a projectile down most of the time. There are many reasons a titan would be more effective than a starship in a particular instance, especially in situations where space superiority isn't guaranteed or when you are unwilling to fire at the planet. Actually, I think titans make the most sense in defensive deployments to withstand seiges, not to enact them. Of course I also don't believe giving PCs a titan is either overpowered or underpowered. It, like every other trinket you give players (even the lowliest las-pistol) is just a plot device. This one sounds like there's lots of places it could be fun to play with. You could set up scenarios that ask your players "is it worth sacrificing this?" or "how much would you give up to protect this?" or "is this a crutch?"
  15. Brother Praetus said: First - Given that you can still inflict a critical with a macrobattery salvo which somehow fails to penetrate a ships armor, I could see an argument for allowing an otherwise absorbed hit on the Void Shields being able to Critical. After all, on page 220 it states "If the Shot does not do any damage to Hull Integrity, inflict 1 automatic point of damage. Then roll 1d5 on the Critical Hit chart and apply the result to the target." Second - RAW states that "if the character rolls a number of successes equal to the weapons's Crit Rating, the shot has caused a Critical Hit." Therefore, presumably you may only score a Critical when that specific number of DoS are scored. Prior to Table 8-12 the Critical Hits section on page 221 it states the table "should be used when a weapon's attack roll has met its Critical Rating." Nothing about exceeding it at all in either area. Clarifications: ¶ In the Damage and Defences section it states "Void Shields work by absorbing incoming hits before they can be resolved against their target." So, a Weapon strike that would have been a Critical, if absorbed entirely by the Void Shield is completely negated, including the Critical. ¶ I do kind of like the idea of "Leaky Shields", like in Star Fleet Battles, but it doesn't seem intended to work that way Rogue Trader. ¶ As far as the Critical Rating of a Weapon Component goes, it can be intended to be interpreted "you must score X DoS exactly" or "when you score X DoS or more." Personally, I think it is intended to be X or more, otherwise Broadsides can't Critical (5) if they hit with a full Strength (6) salvo. Also pretty sure that it's meant to be a limit of 1 Critical per individual Weapon Component, with combined Salvos still only able to score 1 critical no matter how many Components are combined. Pages 220 and ¶ Remember, Prow Mounts on Light Cruisers and larger warships can also fire into the Port or Starboard, so a Lunar or Tyrant with a Strength 4 Prow Battery and two Strength 6 Broadsides could potentially combine for a maximum of 16 hits. This massive salvo would only be able to score a grand total of 1 critical. Whereas not combining them would allow each Component a chance to score their own Critical, but may otherwise not cause as much damage to Hull Integrity over all. There was something else I wanted to add, but I've decided to play nice today. -=Brother Praetus=- I like your logic, and I agree with it entirely. However the exact rules here are figity. I think they are a bit too vague to be able to come to an exact conclusion based on close reading and, as they stand now, must be interpreted by each GM. I sent a request to FF per the suggestion by MILLANDSON a few days ago. Hopefully they'll be able to clear this up.
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