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Chaplain

Supercarrier rules

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Oddly, my estimations (I haven't used it yet) for Mathhammer show the opposite.  Two unskilled ships (with macrocannons) will almost never hurt each-other under RAW.  A Sword's 15 armor is guaranteed to ignore the first macrocannon round that hits it (which still requires one to take out the shields prior), and there's a 50% chance it will completely absorb the first two after shields.  Assuming you only have one Macrocannon that can fire (not uncommon for transports) you have literally no chance unless you get two additional hits, and don't have a good chance unless you get three (four hits total).  This is essentially impossible with a rating 30 crew. (you would need 6 degrees of success)

 

With Mathhammer, every (after shield) attack has some chance of doing hull damage.  This means our single-battery transport only needs 2 hits (1 for the shield, one to impact) to have a chance to do damage.  Two transports slugging it out might take all day (literally, given 48 half-hour turns) but at least they can hurt each other.

 

Otherwise, your summary above is essentially correct - you appear not to have missed anything RAW that would prevent the attack craft from being as powerful as they currently are in your game.

Edited by Quicksilver

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For low-skilled players a mix of macrocannons (which are good at overwhelming shields) and lances which ignore armor after shields are down IS a good option, and macrocannons aren't OP that way, therefore the main reason MH rules were created (macros are so OP they don't need anything else) becomes completely invalid.

 

Another thing MH rules are missing is crit rating, which is both significantly lower on lances and allows for multiple crits without losing salvo strength. Yes, if you look at the average damage spreadsheets lances might look ineffective compared to all-macro fits, but critical hits from 3 to 5 on 1d5 roll may well decide the whole outcome of the combat.

 

So, mathhammer "deals" with what I percieve as minor and questionable issue, while doing close to nothing with really OP weapon systems.

Edited by Chaplain

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Mathhammer does not allow for multiple crits on lances.  You never get multiple crits.  Each battery firing can only score a single crit, never more.

 

Well, if your players have characters with low skills, then their carrier shouldn't be a problem since their low command skill isn't scoring very many hits.  It doesn't sound to me as though that's the problem.

 

I'm afraid I don't have enough information to help you further.

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Several macrocannon batteries need to combine their power to become deadly, but they can only score 1 hit. Lances don't do that, and can score a crit on every lance without losing damage output and with far better chances due to low crit rating.

Problem is, even for low-skilled characters, sheer number of squadrons in wing (+5 per squad on command roll) makes it hard to miss, without needing a few extra DoS to drop the shields, and d10+4 damage per bomb means armor will fall after a hit or two.

I have actually gathered a lot of ideas for challenging the dictator, but I also figured out it is indeed imbalanced no matter what rules you use.

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I say, as a captain of a Dictator, this sounds rather fun!

 

How are they in boarding actions? Because that'd be the thing I'd fear the most, even with storm troopers and a barracks and some murderous officers on board.

 

There's nothing quite so frightening as several Brute Ram Ships coming your way. Have a few Ork escorts launch boarding torpedoes too, just for fun.

 

Also, how's their upkeep for this? We track fuel and munitions for the Blessed Enterprise's squadrons, and their spare parts and spare crews as well. Surely that's another way to denude their attack craft strength.

 

Terrain's another way too. In Svard, the "Storm" or "Cloud" as called it interfered with augurs. We had it interfere with vox, halving the effective range of our craft too. Can't tell them what to attack, and how, if... you can't tell them what to attack and how.

 

But, yes, as you've discovered, carriers and supercarriers truly are monsters on the field. With or without Mathhammer.

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There are few orks in screaming vortex where they operate, and a single boarding action from hellbringer teleporting a squad of traitor marines was indeed devastating.

Upkeep is punishing, but boy do they earn every point of PF they get plundering the warpstorm.

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Upkeep isn't difficult when you never lose anything, and I suspect that's the case of this Dictator.  What is this group's PF?  What is the average rank of the party?  How many sessions have been played?  What is the crew rating of the Dictator?  There's just too much unsaid to form a reasonable picture of what's gone on before that led to this situation for our unfortunate GM.

 

I've been considering this problem, knowing that when we run another campaign this monster is going to surface early.  As a quick fix, these are my thoughts.

 

There isn't enough attrition of the air wings.  Fighter escorts bork the turret rating of defending ships.  Turret rating is completely ineffective.  When losses do occur the owning player always loses the fighters so the bombers get through.

 

Solutions?

 

Let the defender choose which craft to shoot?  Nah.  Let the fighters take the losses first.  Changing that will only mean the bombers don't get escorts unless CVP is up.

 

Don't degrade the turret rating for escorting fighters?  The players will still send fighter escorts.  Turrets will hit more often, creating a base of attrition.  Assuming averages, then a competent crew with a turret rating of 2 will drive off one squadron per attacking wave.  30% of the time they will drive off 2 squadrons, and 10% of the time they will drive off 3 squadrons.

 

That still leaves the problem of low internal losses within the squadrons.  Assuming the detailed method of losses a competent crew of Furies or Starhawks will only permanently lose 1.5 craft per squadron driven off and the explorator is going to repair/replace those most of the time with a Tech Use roll given a small craft repair deck.  There's some attrition here but it's still very very low.

 

 

Find a way to limit the size of attacking waves?  Two solutions come to mind there.  First, don't add to the maximum number of hits allowed for larger attack waves.  Three is the maximum number of hits no matter the number of bombers.  This encourages the players to split their forces by limiting the potential damage a single attack wave can inflict.

 

Secondly, instead of encouraging the splitting of attack waves, force it?  Limit attack waves to the tens digit of the crew rating and say that they can't manage larger formations than this.  So CR 30 means that only 3 squadrons can attack together, CR 40 means only 4 squadrons can attack together, etc.  This will increase the base attrition level by breaking the attackers into more wings and permitting the defenders more defensive rolls.

 

These seem like solutions going in the right direction.  In the end, I think the damage that bombers do probably needs to be nerfed.  They are always going against the target's weakest armor and ignoring shields anyway.  There's probably no need for them to inflict damage like a lance.

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Several macrocannon batteries need to combine their power to become deadly, but they can only score 1 hit. Lances don't do that, and can score a crit on every lance without losing damage output and with far better chances due to low crit rating.

Problem is, even for low-skilled characters, sheer number of squadrons in wing (+5 per squad on command roll) makes it hard to miss, without needing a few extra DoS to drop the shields, and d10+4 damage per bomb means armor will fall after a hit or two.

I have actually gathered a lot of ideas for challenging the dictator, but I also figured out it is indeed imbalanced no matter what rules you use.

RAW - You combine your macrocannon into a single volley. Yes you are limited to a single crit, but you are dishing out so much damage and potentially instantly destroying ships in the opening round of combat that crits don't matter.

 

MH - Each macrocannon can score its own crits which helps. Each hit may do only a bit of damage but you are more likely to do damage than you would with a single hit under RAW.

 

The problem with RAW was that if you DIDN'T use combined fire rules, you were gimping yourself as all other options were inferior. Best-craftsmanship Turbo-upgraded Laser Broadsides = pwn everything under RAW as they outrange almost everything and do insane damage when combined... No thankyou :)

Lances were alright under RAW, but they are even better under MH. It becomes a no brainer to do a macrocannon/lance split under MH whereas under RAW its sub-optimal.

Edited by Kasatka

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I must of missed the part about MH changing crits. Never heard of that before, so news to me.

As for the bomber issue, I noticed the damage output and fighter cover problem before, but oddly have not had any experience with it. My simple solution was to have the damage be individual, like in MH house rules, and the bombers could only combine so many squadrons.

Errant Knight mentioned the crew rating signifies the max squadrons combined for a bombing salvo, which is a great idea in my opinion.

Someone else mentioned overlaying Turret fire. I second that idea, and also recommend that certain ships can be fighter screening ships. Maybe they have more Turrets installed, or maybe the macrocannon can explode after traveling a certain distance like the Flak Turret component.

I do not have my notes in front me me, but I believe I gave turrets +10 per rating, while fighter escort for bombers caused only -5 per squadron. And this can be maxed too, with the crew rating. So max of -20 with crew rating 40.

The damage I had for the bombers, I think, were an additional d10 and each hit calculated individually. I had the concept to implement additional bombs, like melta, super frag, pulse, filament, etc, but never worked around to it.

Anyhoot, just using the crew rating for max squadron use is your best bet, and would solve most your problems there. Maybe even the Pilot Chamber can increase this by +1, to make it worthwhile too.

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Macrocannon fire was actually one of the old BFG deterrents against supermassive squadrons.  You didn't have a very good chance of hitting attack craft with a Macrocannon barrage, and it meant you weren't shooting at something more valuable, but if you scored even a single hit, the entire squadron was destroyed regardless of size.  

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If I wasn't clear, then yes, the carrier seems overloaded.  Your people have 4 bays at STR 2 each, meaning STR 8.  Their capacity is 24 squadrons.  You said they run 14 fighters and 10 bombers.  That's 24 squadrons.  There is no more room for aeronautica.

 

 

They shouldn't be available for combat, but in theory it wouldn't be impossible to house additional craft.

 

I asked my GM about this for a current idea. And he was fine with me using my cargo hold to keep extra attack craft, just that they'd take a at least a day to move up from the hold and into the launch bays, each. Which is fine when you're keeping them for spares and replacements.

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Oh, and I don't like the idea of ships firing their turrets in defense of one another for one specific reason...Fleet Defense Turrets.  While Rogue Trader doesn't have them listed, I'd add them to the list of ship ugrades.  They were available in Ships of Mars in BFG.  I'd give them a range of 3 VUs and let them fire in defense of other ships.

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Errant Knight you are right about Fleet Defence Turrets, but those have better range than standard ones.

 

That being said in BFG rules compendium by Andy chambers there were rules for massed turret fire, basically each ship in base contact got +1 turret value (so if you had two ships in contact each one would get +1. If you had three then the one in the centre would get +2 and ones on the sides +1). The downside was that any fire against the group placed blast markers that took the shields down, making them more vulnerable.

 

Apart from beefing up turrets value, I`d suggest making new maneuver or extended action, maybe something like:

Close in support   test: pilot (space)- 10 + manoeuvrability   Succes (and every degree after first) allow you to stay in close proximity to ship (or ships ) you wish to form support squadron for one combat turn. During that time each ship gets additional half (minimum 1) of turret value for each ship in group, to defend against attack craft and torpedoes. (or anything else that may be affected by AA fire). But such close proximity is dangerous, failure of three degrees means "light" bump, four means collision (yes you managed to ram someone from your team).

 

What do you think? By no means I claim it`s the best option, and I`d like your feedback, also maybe clustered ships should be easier to fire at since they are so close to one another?

 

Also we definetly need option to pound attack craft with macro batteries and lances, maybe -20 or -30 to hit, with every degree smashing additional craft?

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RakGol? they have wonderful turret ratings and a can do attitude, turret rating 5 is no slouch.

 

Also bombers are speed 6, so they can be kited by a high mobility ship right?, a circle strafing heavy raider perhaps, if you out-turn them, they cant move fast at you and cant get the bombers in range reliably to do anything, they could also break-off at any point and be untouchable, but of course PC's are clever but its a valid if simple tactic, sadly the minutia of space combat is alittle beyond me without too much practice.

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The ability of raiders and other high speed ships to outrun small craft is a bit odd.  I don't like it.  At all.

 

I do like the idea of massed turret fire, though.  I still don't think the escorting fighters should reduce that turret fire.  The fighters will still get sent along to soak up the losses anyway.

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One question, you said that they are in the screaming vortex? Where are they getting replacement fighters from? 

 

Other than that one trick i used once was to have one of the players nemesis set a trap for the bombers, basically they had rigged a light cruiser to automatically suffer a warp core explosion once they attack run started. Between the turret fire and the warp rift ( i had increased the difficulty by 2 or 3 steps to represent the small craft engines being unable to generate enough thrust to escape)   the players lost half there bombers and all of there fighter escorts.   

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Yeah, 12 bomber squadrons with a mediocre Command skill of 70 means 2 attacks at Command 95 with a damage range of 30-90 and an average damage of 58.5, with virtually no losses to the incoming bombers, and all before the enemy can bring their guns into range.  Somebody really didn't think this one out well.

 

I don't know why you love that, though.  Why don't you just give your PCs an archeotech mega-blaster whoopee cannon with a range of 120 and damage of 10d100, but that causes structural integrity to the firing ship of 2d10 every time it's fired?  Don't let the cheese of the cannon deter you if the results will be exactly the same.

 

We ran a carrier in the one game I played in.  It was fun in the first major battle we fought.  After we saw what it could do it made following battles less challenging, and less fun.

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Funny how, in the main book, the fluff argues that the Imperial Navy frowns on carriers, seeing their lack of raw firepower (read: macrocannons) as inefficient, and overpriced (as if the Imperium of Man is ever in any position to describe something else thus) , when compared to a "real warship". While I suppose part of it was that they were just trying to prevent bloat of the core book, at that time, I like to imagine that, in fluff, the Navy just said "you know, I believe in the God-Emperor of All Mankind, and wholly enjoy eradicating His enemies, wherever they are, but these carriers; have they ever just felt completely unsportsmanlike to you? Maybe we should hold back, just focus on guns, and actually give the enemy a chance."

 

On the threads where people discussed  Orks' weakness in space battles, I can only imagine how the supercarrier would make an already "wtf? Where did the challenge go?" moment even more clown face + pie, and just say "this. This is how the Uplifting Primer got away with saying Orks (and probably most other alien races, too) are harmless, and not to be feared." ;)

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Yeah, 12 bomber squadrons with a mediocre Command skill of 70 means 2 attacks at Command 95 with a damage range of 30-90 and an average damage of 58.5, with virtually no losses to the incoming bombers, and all before the enemy can bring their guns into range.  Somebody really didn't think this one out well.

 

I don't know why you love that, though.  Why don't you just give your PCs an archeotech mega-blaster whoopee cannon with a range of 120 and damage of 10d100, but that causes structural integrity to the firing ship of 2d10 every time it's fired?  Don't let the cheese of the cannon deter you if the results will be exactly the same.

 

We ran a carrier in the one game I played in.  It was fun in the first major battle we fought.  After we saw what it could do it made following battles less challenging, and less fun.

 

Problem with carriers is:

1) Replacement fighters/bombers

2) Burning of Fate points if players are in the fighters

3) Eldars interceptors (these things are insane with an upped command skill on the other side).

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While those are the major issues, I still think there's more.

  1. The damage of groups, RAW, is too high.  Break up the groups.
  2. Turrets are really pretty useless in the primary mission.
  3. The same issue of macrocannons with armor presents itself here, though the Math-Hammer approach solves this one, too
  4. Small craft should really be faster than they are RAW

I could probably think of more if I were home with all my notes.

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