Having some troubles with apparently overpowered weapons in the campaign I'm running.
My warband includes a number of regular acolytes, in addition to a couple who drop in whenever they can make it. In particular, I'm having troubles with:
- A pyromaniac sanctioned psyker with a flamer.
- An adeptus administratum sage with a hot-shot lasgun
The sage in this case, I'm not too worried about; the relatively expensive ballistics advances will cut down on her long term effectiveness. However, the 7 pen and 5 minimum damage per shot basically means that most characters hit by a semi-auto burst of a hot-shot lasgun is insta'd. So with that in mind, I would appreciate suggestions to counteract this.
The psyker, however, is wreaking havock with my battle difficulties. It seems to me that flamers are incredibly overpowered.
A standard flamer with a 20m range can effectively do damage to as many opponents as it could cram into its 30 degree firing arc. At the end of that arc, it's about 10m wide, which is essentially enough to murderkill half a room, most if not all of a street, or an entire corridor. There's typically well under a 50% chance for any of the targets to dodge this. Any targets that get hit are basically instakilled; if the initial damage doesn't get them, they're most likely going to be helpless/burning to death for the rest of the encounter. If the character using the flamer apparently doesn't give two ***** about citizen casualties or property damage, they're basically unstoppable.
In anything but the most extremely rural of environments, you would have to go out of your way to engineer situations that would counter a flamer.
In my last session, the player called to attention a detail about the spray quality. Namely, a target that isn't in full cover doesn't benefit from it at all. This brings to question what full cover is; a full body shield with firing slits? A chest high wall the target is shooting back from while crouched? From the description, it made it sound like anything that isn't a brick will gets bypassed by this quality... Cue a short argument that led to a compromise where both parties were left unhappy. So are flamers actually overpowered, or am I just missing something? I appreciate that they're arguably *meant* to be overpowered, but I feel that this is a situation where the overpoweredness is overdone; it's just not balanced.
I attempted to add some light balancing of my own that didn't go over so well; owing to the fact that they're currently on a feudal medium-tech world, I said that heaver flamers and ammuntion wouldn't be readily available. The player didn't appreciate that I was 'limiting his playstyle' as opposed to designing encounters to compensate... And I can concur to a certain degree, but this weapon just looks ridiculous to me.
The only solutions I can think of is some incredibly contrived flanking, or endless long ranged sniping encounters. Alternatively, I could perhaps have their inquisitor order them to cut future civilian casualties to zero... which would help, but not suffice on its own.