Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
venkelos

Gonna Need a Bigger Boat

Recommended Posts

So, Battlefleet Koronus is still one of my favorite RT books (along with Lure, Edge, and Storm), and one of the nice things they gave us is bigger hulls; if you somehow don't think that a Cruiser is doing you justice, two more hulls between that and Battleship (which you still can't have, bar rebuilding a salvaged one) are available. So, here's a little question; what's a good way to actually GET one? Say I want a Repulsive Grand Cruiser. Their SP is the lowest of that size, but still high. If you aren't Aspyce Chorda or Calligos Winterscale, that roll might be pretty tough, even if you perma-burn some PF to up your chances. I'm not sure what you can do to a ship to get that SP 69 to go down, if anything, even though, fluff-wise, most people don't like the Repulsive. Even if you find an empty, stripped hull, it could take years to wait for it to be refitted, just because everything in the Imperium is BIG and SLOW.

 

Getting it through other means probably means relieving it from a Chaos fleet, and then waiting years for the hull to be purified, the profaned parts removed (because Chaos CAN'T not taint things) and replaced, and the rest of the repairs to be made.

 

I don't want to seem like I'm trying to get too big a ship for fair; the GM might have to up all the threats if the crew has a Grand Cruiser, and that may be why the only printed RT with one is Winterscale, who is the richest man on the block, but how might a crew get one, without having to have the PF 80+ it almost seems to require to make the check? The hull is there to be used, so how might one? If I really wanted a hull just to be broken, I'd try to reclaim the Light, and dump endless wealth into that hole, watching it never fill. If it doesn't take forever to fix a stripped Grand Cruiser, a Battleship CAN'T really take a ridiculously longer time; you just have to fend off more thieves, and find battleship-class parts, but that is a sort of different problem.

 

****

 

On a separate thought, so I don't have to start a new thread for this equally meh question, what's to like about some of the smaller hulls? At the beginning, you get a scale of PF vs. SP. If you start with a bit less, you get a bigger ship, and vice versa, but almost everything you do increases you Profit Factor, if you do well, so I can see justifying starting with a light cruiser, having a bit lower PF, and expecting to go do a few +3-6 PF missions, making some good money. Bigger ships can carry more, have more guns, et al, so why, other than getting to make Acquisition rolls near the beginning for silly gear, would I want a smaller, more fragile transport, over say a frigate or cruiser? Make me like a smaller craft, when space combat makes me think bigger is better.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, Grand Cruisers are usually kept in reserve fleets of the Imperial Navy. Battlefleet Calixis would have several still, and you can journey farther and deeper into Imperial space to secure one.

 

That's actually my plan, a long term plan. Butter up the Navy some, come to their aid a few times, and you may be able to negotiate for an outright acquisition.

 

They don't want these ships. If you can offer a viable (read: Lunar) alternative then you can probably exchange it for one. Though asking for a Repulsive might just make more than a few people curious.

 

All the Grand Cruisers are considered second line, reserve fleet ships. Some are relegated to lonely patrols as well. 

 

------

 

EDIT:

I had the same questions myself. Though with player characters in command of a ship, you can make a Frigate or a Transport do some crazy stuff. Starting out with a Cruiser still seems to be 'optimal'. 

Edited by Marwynn

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To answer questions in reverse order- Hold Landing Bays can only be fitted to an integral Main Cargo Bay, and unless you want to sacrifice broadside firepower, that's really the only way to get attack craft in useful numbers. Stand-off/ordnance warfare is awesomes, yo.

And, if you're going for the Orion- keel weapons systems. It's faster than most ships as stock, can be maneuverable as hell, and unless you use that keel slot for torps (which would be understandable), you can fit something decent so that after your firing pass puts you and the enemy in each other's rear arcs, you can still shoot them.

As to the first- if memory serves the Repulsive class had a disproportionately high number of ships lost to "Causes Unknown". While that might cover "defected to Archenemy", or "Lost in the Warp", or a variety of flavours of destroyed, it leaves room for a Marie Celeste style situation*. For that matter, it's entirely possible for a ship to be lost because its crew all died while leaving the ship intact (plague- physical or spiritual; subjectively delayed long enough for all aboard to have died of old age). There's also the option of finding a cache of some stupendous treasure and selling one off- a Halo Device, for example, tends to change hands for prices on the order of entire star systems.

*My current group of players found their flagship in just such a situation- an intact Repulsive class grand cruiser, in an eccentric and not wholly stable orbit around a gas giant in an uninhabited star system. No crew aboard, no corpses, and no atmosphere. And while I should note that they have been curbstomping everything they came across, they were doing that before, when all they had was an itty-bitty Viper-class sloop: mostly thanks to the Arch-Militant being disturbingly good at boarding actions.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My group built up their PF and reputation before going to Calaxis Fleet Command and offering several munitions plants they had built in the sector, rare mineral supplies necessary for warp drive construction, an Archeotech component they had salvaged, and some pretty baubles for the Admirals.  (In game terms 6PF burned, an Archeotech component they didn't want, and some good role playing)  They got the 'Revelation of Glory', a Repulsive class grand cruiser that had suffered severe damage and been mothballed rather than repaired.  The took the ship to their contact on Opus Machina, where they had been stockpiling components for years in preparation for getting a grand cruiser.  After starting work and getting their contacts there set up with the necessary parts and resources, they went back to expanding their house. 

 

14 years have passed, and the 'Revelation of Glory' is nearing completion of its refit.  They are then planning on flying it to their own shipyard for fitting of the Xenotech and Brewery.  The players have been looking forward to it for more than a dozen gaming sessions.  They didn't really have a problem with the wait, as 15 years isn't that long when you travel in the warp a lot.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Even if you find an empty, stripped hull, it could take years to wait for it to be refitted, just because everything in the Imperium is BIG and SLOW.

I've always imagined that, given the "fun" of off-route/exploratory Warp travel, and the sheer scale of even the smallest Rogue Trader game, that the passage of time is a trivial thing, with campaigns spanning years or decades without a second thought (compared to the typically shorter timescale of, say, a Dark Heresy campaign). IMO, many 40k campaigns are well-suited to expanded timescales in this way, with Rogue Trader, Black Crusade and possibly Deathwatch (and maybe Ascension-style Dark Heresy) being most appropriate for this sort of approach.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Side note, I'd always imagined that "Repulsive" has come to refer to those particular cruisers of that class that have fallen to Chaos, with most people in the Imperium not even being aware that it is an Imperial-designed ship. In my campaign, the class was originally called the Repulse class.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

****

 

On a separate thought, so I don't have to start a new thread for this equally meh question, what's to like about some of the smaller hulls? At the beginning, you get a scale of PF vs. SP. If you start with a bit less, you get a bigger ship, and vice versa, but almost everything you do increases you Profit Factor, if you do well, so I can see justifying starting with a light cruiser, having a bit lower PF, and expecting to go do a few +3-6 PF missions, making some good money. Bigger ships can carry more, have more guns, et al, so why, other than getting to make Acquisition rolls near the beginning for silly gear, would I want a smaller, more fragile transport, over say a frigate or cruiser? Make me like a smaller craft, when space combat makes me think bigger is better.

 

 

Actually, as far as space combat goes, for player ships smaller is actually better.

 

Smaller usually means faster and more maneuverable, and PCs usually have skills way higher than NPC crews. It's not hard to have PCs with 80-90 BS to shoot ship guns, 130-140 pilot+maneuverability, and really high Tech Use. This allows several fun tactics than NPCs have trouble countering:

 

Combine Flank Speed with Adjust Speed and Bearing, both with many degrees of success to move 20+ VUs per turn and perform an 180 degrees turn. This pretty much allows you to engage on your own terms at all times.

 

(Ab)use Evasive Maneuvers. You can easily get 4-5 guaranteed degrees of success on it which literally puts your ship into 'can't touch this' area for NPC gunners (doubly so if you manage to get an Eldar Holofield). Meanwhile, your 80-90 BS gunner (with a RT lord captain giving another +15) can still hit NPC ships reasonably well.

 

It's really hard to challenge a well-built frigate or raider with a competent crew. For that reason my group traded their Firestorm frigate for a Mars battlecruiser with 2 escorts, so we can finally have some space battles. We had a range 9 lance, range 10 macrobattery, Energistic Conversion Matrix, Eldar Solar Sails and Eldar Holo Field. This allowed us to move about 25-30 VUs per turn, swoop in from outside enemy range, unload guns (2-3 macrocannon hits+1 lance hit=guaranteed damage on pretty much anything) and then go back out enemy range on the same turn.

 

The 2nd main drawback of small ships is lack of room to grow: you can easily fill it with everything you want at creation, and never need to touch it afterward.

Edited by LordBlades

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One reason to go for a high profit factor and small ship is that you can outfit a raider or frigate to insane degrees. We started with a Frigate ( i think it was a firestorm) and gave it a pair of good-quality turbo-pyros melta-cannons. We were getting crits so often it meant we were generating FOUR Fire! criticals a turn and reducing enemy vessels to burning shells in short order. Oh and we had 20 armour... on a frigate... so it took larger vessels or lances to threaten us, and we could outrun/range those.

The other reason is to get a transport ship, kit it out with maximum transport capacity and run a handful of Trade or similar Endeavours. This will allow you to get so much overkill with achievement points that you'll be generating a lot of Profit Factor, which can then be used to purchase more ships for your (soon to be quite big) fleet.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had a campaign go more than 30 sessions, and at the end my players were still flying around in a frigate.  They were doing very, very well for themselves.  Rules as written, a frigate plus 2 sunsears plus PC skill levels is a game-breakingly good combo.  (This was before I saw the Mathhammer rules on the forums.) 

 

The real way to cripple a party is low profit factor.  A big ship with low PF means you can't afford to repair your ship or buy another boat.  Best way to scare the players is a repair bill...

 

Cheers,

- V.   

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

The real way to cripple a party is low profit factor.  A big ship with low PF means you can't afford to repair your ship or buy another boat.  Best way to scare the players is a repair bill...

 

Cheers,

- V.   

 

On the other hand, a small ship has trouble generating PF quickly (you have a hard time performing planetary invasions, bulk trading, colony establishment etc. which cuts you off from quite a few easy PF options) so you might have your growth potential somewhat limited in that drection.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Also nothing ruins a groups plans faster than when their tricked out frigate gets one shoted by the cloaked cruiser w/ shadow field hiding in a nebula armed with a nova cannon.  

 

Of course, the odds of that actually succeeding are another matter altogether.

Even the best possible NPC crew (rating 60) has less than average odds to hit what they're aiming at with a Nova Cannon, and even if they do, most likely  they won't get the 2 DoS required for 1d5+2 hits, so it's going to be 1d5.

1 hit goes into the Void Shield, which leaves 1-2 hits on average, not enough to one-shot a frigate.

 

Honestly, I think you stand better chance of one-shotting a frigate with another frigate combining 2 macrobatteries than with a nova cannon.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, if the GM's going to be that evil he'd have a character with an actual Ballistics Skill to do the shooting. Perhaps even a captain/rogue trader stand-in to shout at that NPC to shoot better.

 

I mean, if you're already giving NPCs shadow fields and nova cannon... 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, if the GM's going to be that evil he'd have a character with an actual Ballistics Skill to do the shooting. Perhaps even a captain/rogue trader stand-in to shout at that NPC to shoot better.

 

I mean, if you're already giving NPCs shadow fields and nova cannon...

Even then, it's more effectuve to use a pair of mqcrobatteries than a nova cannon. A cruider can IIRC bring 1 broadside + 2 batteries (prow+dorsal) to bear on an ambush target.

Nova cannons are fun (my group has a Mars Battlecruiser) but they're gimmick weapons. The situations where I go like 'gee, I'm sure glad we have a macrocannon and Godsbane lance battery instead of a pair of Hecutors' are few and far between

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just throw eldar frigates with pulsar lances against players - couple of those will shred a player ship :)

 

This.  Not only will small Eldar ships shred much larger Imperial vessels with those Pulsars, they will be nigh impossible for the average player to hit.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As Eldar should be. :D

 

Guess there just a number of angles I haven't looked at, as closely as I should; good thing no acting game was harmed by this fact. For fluff/story/NPC use (if that last were ever to happen), I'd probably put the Qel-Drake Dynasty at around mid to high 60s PF. While I want his "pirate ship" to be big and cool, so long as it is, and neither Rogue Traders, nor the Imperium would usually say these words, "big enough" to house him, his personal loot and treasures, his Dragon Maidens, and some decent guns, I'd be happy. One of my usual loves of the Cruiser hulls is just that they get a nice assortment of weapons, while many others are just 2 slots, or something. When I have the freedom of being the Storyteller (whether I would be, or am writing), it's easy to say "The Korvallus Dynasty is one of the great movers and shakers of the Expanse, and just a few of their fleet's vessels include its flagship, the Hammerfall, a Dictator-class Cruiser, the Silver Raven, a Conquest-class Star Galleon (the "original" ship of the aged Dynasty, almost never seen), and the Passage of Judgment, an as of yet undetermined Cruiser", and not bat an eyelash. For Qel-Drake, even though he's so much an anime Rogue Trader, with his Eldar sword, his guardian harem, and what have you, a small bit of "realism" :lol:  might not hurt him, so a more practical, but still fitting choice of ship could be good. I'm still just not sure what.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If your group is full of bastards who board and take as a prize every ship they encounter, I think it wouldn't be that hard.   I cringe when I see stories about that around here though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd like to think that Qel-Drake isn't that bad a guy, but I do tend to describe him in the "dashing pirate philanderer" light, so I can't say no. More likely, he'll do something showy, piss someone else off, and when they come get him, or they later cross paths, then this happens. Otherwise, he's more a pirate-busting swashbuckler, most of the time. For good or ill, I don't have the drive to make the central characters of my stories cold-hearted ****** bags; I don't have the grimdark enough in me. Mostly, they are more silly or tough, but with a heart of gold; sort of like anime 40K. I can give them evil, terrible opposition, but not the central character.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not read whole thread yet... Not that its overly long, but the bed beckons...

 

I've not yet seen a reason to not go for the 22 PF, 70+SP at start... We made 7 PF of the core book adventure without really trying very hard. 5 or so Endeavors along and the group is probably at 70+ PF easy.

 

If a group is really going all out munchkin they can all start as Child of Dynasty and get +3 SP per character... This would even let em start with a Grand Cruiser and soon stomp everything flat and get rich very quick. Although I do believe that any sane GM would try to curb stomp this idea in their players before it gets a good hold.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've not yet seen a reason to not go for the 22 PF, 70+SP at start... We made 7 PF of the core book adventure without really trying very hard. 5 or so Endeavors along and the group is probably at 70+ PF easy.

As discussed elsewhere, the intro scenario is very easy and gives out pointless amounts of wealth.

Fair warning given. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...