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Leogun_91

Problem: Orks are weak in the Void

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Hi

So I'm leading a group through the Frozen Reaches campaign and today they fought the first battle with a pair of roks and four raiders. There I started to note problems, the orks where pretty much useless.

Ballistic Skill is extremely important in void battles with the RT system (either to cause critical hits with lances or to score plenty of hits with macro batteries) since a mere success without degrees often does nothing. Since Orks have terrible BS their weapons become mostly useless. In that battle (where the players, with a bit of aid and by expanding most of their torpedo stock) destroyed two roks they only took damage when one of the roks blew up next to them (that damage was not to scoff at but can hardly be attributed to the orks being good). 

Does anyone else have the same experience? Have I missed something? Has anyone solved this in their campaigns?

 

I'm thinking of house ruling in a rule for the orks (Lotsa Dakka) that give them one additional degree of success each time they hit (to keep low BS without making them completely useless).

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I ran into the same thing, especially since our ship has a Ghost Field. I believe the Ork ships are mainly for ramming and boarding, though. It kind of makes sense that they aren't the best at making shooty spaceships. Maybe giving each one some torpedo would fit theme but buff their damage potential.

Edited by Utherix

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Ork Roks take a lot of hits.  That helps them get to their target and land...erm...crash.  Raiders and other ships are designed to ram and board.  That they get to shoot at all is a bonus.  Even so, you'll find that Ork ships aren't all that good at boarding in the later stages of your game, simply because your PCs are so tough.  You'll need to develop some house rules on Orks and Rak'Gol.

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Why does this sound like a problem more for OW? "What? The rules seem to fall off a bit at higher levels? W-well, you see,um, the thing is...we never actually expected your characters to live that long; dying is what IG do, and all. We assumed, during the rules-setting stage, that any and all PCs would either die, as they do, or reach a cut-off point, and decide to roll up new grunts. We had no way of knowing, or certainly reason to expect, that your characters would survive all the way till the end, rendering our stat blocks for "regular" baddies useless. Umm, c-can you please go away, now? We need some time to think."

 

Still, I suppose it is a risk in RPGs. I LOATHE 1st-level games, and many low-level ones, at that, partly because I am a victim of special-snowflake syndrome, and like to use cool abilities, and partly because it is my experience that many of my games flop, due to scheduling conflicts, a lack of maintained interest, or people just being crap, sometimes, and so many of those games flop before I can see cool. That said, I have found it tough, at times, even with d20, and books of pre-generated level-as-they-go NPCs to find "regular" stuff to throw at them. Wolves? Carpets with feet. Bandits? Against 9th-level fighters and wizards? Um, that's funny. Why haven't they taken a town, yet? There aren't that many dragons in the world, and giants top being cool when you see convoys worth of them, in the span of a few days, unless you are in territory with communities of giants.

 

I'd think that if Roks are set up to be filled with Boyz, the boarding torpedoes would be a nice touch, and beyond that, I'm not coming up well with anything to make them "miraculously" better against powerful PCs and shenanigans. Problem being, I don't think it's the Orks, but the players, and the system, meaning no disrespect to either. I could say make a house rule for them, saying Ork ships are heavily armored, and mostly unnecessary parts. Thus, they receive a field rating, equal to their current hull points. If they succeed, the hit glances off the plates, or maybe the damage is halved. Maybe lances go through it." This does seem like a pretty big advantage, though, and irritatingly one seemingly reserved for Orks, only.

Edited by venkelos

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Why does this sound like a problem more for OW? "What? The rules seem to fall off a bit at higher levels? W-well, you see,um, the thing is...we never actually expected your characters to live that long; dying is what IG do, and all. We assumed, during the rules-setting stage, that any and all PCs would either die, as they do, or reach a cut-off point, and decide to roll up new grunts. We had no way of knowing, or certainly reason to expect, that your characters would survive all the way till the end, rendering our stat blocks for "regular" baddies useless. Umm, c-can you please go away, now? We need some time to think."

 

Still, I suppose it is a risk in RPGs. I LOATHE 1st-level games, and many low-level ones, at that, partly because I am a victim of special-snowflake syndrome, and like to use cool abilities, and partly because it is my experience that many of my games flop, due to scheduling conflicts, a lack of maintained interest, or people just being crap, sometimes, and so many of those games flop before I can see cool. That said, I have found it tough, at times, even with d20, and books of pre-generated level-as-they-go NPCs to find "regular" stuff to throw at them. Wolves? Carpets with feet. Bandits? Against 9th-level fighters and wizards? Um, that's funny. Why haven't they taken a town, yet? There aren't that many dragons in the world, and giants top being cool when you see convoys worth of them, in the span of a few days, unless you are in territory with communities of giants.

 

I'd think that if Roks are set up to be filled with Boyz, the boarding torpedoes would be a nice touch, and beyond that, I'm not coming up well with anything to make them "miraculously" better against powerful PCs and shenanigans. Problem being, I don't think it's the Orks, but the players, and the system, meaning no disrespect to either. I could say make a house rule for them, saying Ork ships are heavily armored, and mostly unnecessary parts. Thus, they receive a field rating, equal to their current hull points. If they succeed, the hit glances off the plates, or maybe the damage is halved. Maybe lances go through it." This does seem like a pretty big advantage, though, and irritatingly one seemingly reserved for Orks, only.

Well the crew is still 1st rank in the game and on ground the full-auto rules makes orks dangerous enough while keeping the orky theme. Ork ships are already pretty resilient, it is their offensive capabilities that are lacking due to Ballistic skill being as important as it is in void combat. The orks will not get enough hits to actually do anything other than in very extreme circumstances meaning that the players frigate only took damage from a rok when it exploded despite having several ork ships shoot at them. It took the players several turns and plenty of expensive missiles to destroy the roks so the defences of the foes where adequate, they just had the offensive capabilities of cotton hankerchiefs to go along with them.

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I like the idea of More Dakka but rather than just granting the Orks additional degrees of success I'd say that you pick one (or more) weapons to fire at the target and then designate all other weapons systems as backup guns.

 

Don't roll to hit or for damage for the backup guns but for every backup gun in range of the target the main weapon gets +1 degree of success if it hits.

 

This simulates Orks unleashing massive fusillades at a target in an attempt to achieve something while they're closing to ram.

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Someone once posted a "Size Does Matter" link somewhere around here.  It gives ships modifiers for the size of their crews.  It makes little sense that a raider can initiate a boarding action with a cruiser and expect to win.  H&R raids are one thing, but an action to take control of a ship is another thing entirely.

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Hmmmm I can find a post that references the original post (here: https://community.fantasyflightgames.com/index.php?/topic/131991-hit-and-run-and-boarding-actions-oh-my/) but not the original post.

 

I do recall a website that actually estimated how many crew a ship had in real numbers and I think it mentioned that Orks tend to have a much higher crew density than Imperial ships but I assumed that would already be factored into their boarding/hit and run bonuses.

 

Aha and here it is here:

Instead of making up numbers out of thin air, why not go to the creator of Battlefleet Gothic, Andy Chambers? He made a post on this same subject on the old BFG list, and this post has been archived at 


http://www.wolfedengames.com/battlefleetgothic/crew.htm

The relevant paragraph is below:

 
My two pennyworth on crew sizes was around 1500-2000 per damage point for Imperial and Chaos capital ships (adjust down a bit for Eldar and up a bit for Orks), but only around 2-500 total for escorts. Space Marine ships, as had been mooted, I would imagine to benefit from a lot of automated systems and wired in servitors to reduce their crew requirements to a minimum and increase their state of readiness in comparison with Navy ships. I would imagine that most Imperial and Chaos capital ships could find transport capacity for troops equal to about 1/3 to 1/2 their crew compliment. Tanks, artillery, Titans etc would need specialist transports to carry in any significant numbers.A far more interesting way of looking at crew numbers is summed up in this excerpt from a short story I've been writing for my own amusement.
Since an Ork Kill Kroozer is 10 damage points, that is greater than 15,000-20,000 Orks. 

The generally accepted BFG list scale for BFG cruisers is about 3km long, using Imperial cruisers as scale. This is consistent with the BFG BL novels, which was written by Gordon Rennie, one of the BFG list members.
Edited by WeedyGrot

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The population of ships has always been a sticky wicket with me.  Fluff seems to indicate that ships are more a community than a barracks.  There are veritable towns dotting the inside of ships, probably distributed similarly to terrestiral towns, though a bit closer.  There are guilds and associations, lines of transportation, goods and services, and probably commerce.  Of course, your RTs government structure will vary on their mileage, and I make mine "hold court."

 

The listed crew of a light cruiser hovers around 60,000.  Do Mom and Dad both work?  How do the children learn to perform their duties, since it's explicitly stated that succeeding generations inherit their positions aboard ship?  What is the "average" family structure?  A developing world construct would suggest a typical family might consist on one surviving grandparent, 2 parents, and 4 children.  The youngest are still in "school."  Someone is probably acting as homemaker.

 

These all pose interesting problems and questions regarding those problems.  I've just gone the simple route and stated that a crew of 60,000 means a population of 360,000, which is quite easy to accomodate in ships these size.  Given that some modern carriers have crews in excess of 5,000, and hundreds of them will fit into the cargo component of an RT capital ship, it's easy to handwave away a crew of even 1 million.

 

Of course, that means some players will want to take advantage of all that space and carry a barracks-full of troops without paying for the actual barracks, which is where you just have to put your foot down and say, "No."

 

But to return to the OP, I've gone the route of giving larger ships modifiers in boarding actions (not H&R), and I'd go even further with an Ork Rok, since they are jam-packed.  Weedy gave you the link to those modifiers.

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But to return to the OP, I've gone the route of giving larger ships modifiers in boarding actions (not H&R), and I'd go even further with an Ork Rok, since they are jam-packed.  Weedy gave you the link to those modifiers.

 

Plus there is no such thing as an Orkish non-combatant. They don't have children or elderly, they have basic fighting skills and the knowledge on how to use weapons genetically programmed into them from 'birth' and they genuinely enjoy fighting.

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Orks are not inherently very good ANYWHERE. Individual ork stats suck in just about every game they appear in. But they are such a threat because there are so **** many of them! Whenever I use orks, they almost always have a massive numbers advantage.

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Orks are not inherently very good ANYWHERE. Individual ork stats suck in just about every game they appear in. But they are such a threat because there are so **** many of them! Whenever I use orks, they almost always have a massive numbers advantage.

Yes their numbers is one of their main assets (though in Only War meeting orks in equal numbers to your squad is a scary experience) but in void combat that is explained partly due to their large ships and then partly through outnumbering. However the number of orks hardly matter, with a BS 20 as standard, which is orky, they need to roll ten to get two hits (which will then cause one hit since the void shield blocks one), that one hit then on an onslaught raider will be unable to cause damage on most ships, especially on frigates (as my group uses) or bigger. The same problem will then be true for the next ship and the ship after that, and after that all the way to infinity.  If more than one weapon hits then it could do more (and most have two or more they can fire) but their chance of getting more than one hit actually affecting the ship is then dropped to 2% (and that is not even guaranteed to have any effect at all). 

If it is a special ork ship then it can have enough special crew to make some "Put your Backs into it" actions or similar but letting all ships have that both takes long time and removes the feeling of a crew fighting against a horde on a beset ship that would be desirable. 

 

However the discussions here of basically using boarding and hit-and-run instead makes them dangerous enough. I was a bit too stuck in the weapons being the main way to fight to think that perhaps they needed widely different tactics. Still they do need something to make their guns more than decoration.

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So i might have missed something because i just skimmed the thread, but the solution i use i saw only once. NUMBERS, yes one or two ork ships will be beaten off even in a well done boarding action fairly easily but always reserving the right to call in reinforcements has been helpful to me. I *think* it was in the 5thed Ork codex i read it "There is never a single ork, they are always in groups."

 

IDK if it solves your problems but its really made it easier for me to use orks to have wave after wave hear the fight and show up. (when there are enough numbers around, i dont magic orks into being like some jerk GMs) Even in space ill bring in like 2-5 more med classed ork ships that were further away or drawn by the conflict. It really makes my party consider if its worth tangling with the orks or not THIS time.

 

 

Edit: I had time to re read the thread and saw OPs last post. That was how i solved it, only stated much clearer. sorry for rambling.

Edited by SlurpeeKing

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Numbers MIGHT work, but depending on dice to roll well once, out of a dozen times, just because statistics say they probably will, isn't so great, and while Orks DO travel in groups, often large ones, I'm not sure how much I want the fight with them to take that much longer, with them still rarely connecting ballistics-wise, with me just having to blow up that many more durable ships. Granted, I've not done this, so maybe I'm just whining, but I do remember a number of people here complaining that ship combat can be one of the system's biggest weaknesses, being long, tedious, and sometimes boring, in addition to victim to the twinking and min-maxing of parties.

 

Something I might do, or at least experiment with, once or twice, were it me, is to take into account the tinkering, and love of dakka, that many Orks, and their Mekboyz, emphasize. Where the Ork ships turrets are a bit bad on accuracy, on account of Orks have always been bad at shooting, maybe have a mechanic where the stupid ship has even more guns on it, and as they all fire, in one big boom, the larger concentration of ordnance might increase the effective Ballistic Skill; again, statistics say some of those do have to hit, eventually. Perhaps have the Orks do a thing where, on the first round, they shoot as normal, and then, the next round, add +5 or +10. Each round, as they focus firing on the same target, and throwing everything they have at it, their chances increase, and the fusillade will, eventually, connect. In the meantime, you get the regular opportunities to attack, and try to scrap the craft before it does connect. If they change targets, or maybe even if they hit, the bonus goes away, and they start adding it up, again. While this happens, they might also try to ram you, or launch boarding torpedoes at you, trying to initiate a hit and run, or a boarding action, which are their shine points.

 

Either idea has its problems, granted, buteither might works, some of the time. Orks SHOULD have shite Ballistic Skill, but that problem does make them harder to have be challenging, in my mind's run of the mechanics, in space. I'd be upset if the GM unveiled some Ork Kill Kroozer with a BS equivalent of 50+, or something, as it would be un-Orky, to me, but maybe something that lets it steadily increase, and then start over, again, would work. If they are as durable as I often imagine an Ork ship should be (they are made of junk, so damaging it isn't as effective, it only works because they think it does, and they still think it does when it breaks, plus they are ALL armor plating, and used as rams), they should survive for a while, and this should allow their BS to catch up, maybe even two or three times, to get in some good hits, while they hopefully move in for boarding attempts, or what have you. Otherwise, here's hoping something above works well, so that the green Cockneys don't stop being a challenge when not on the ground. Of course, I'm sure part of it is also the players' skill as the PCs. If you look at a "regular" ship of the Imperial Navy, their Crew Rating, and thus their effective BS, is much lower, I'd wager, than a player-led craft with cherry-picked components, that is being piloted by a Void Master who has been able to allot maximum XP into piloting, while the Arms Militant has done the same with shooting, and even the huge batteries of the ship count as a "gun" to them. That 30-50 is much less likely to repeatedly hit, and also dodge, the Ork's efforts, as much as the party ship is. I'm whining there, I grant, but it might have some bearing, too.

Edited by venkelos

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There's a lot to be said for narrative ship combat as opposed to miniatures-style, and this is coming from an old-timer miniatures player.  I use a combination of the two, give the players a chance or three to guess what their opponents are up to in the next movement phase, state what maneuvers they are going to make, then placing the ships at the movement end and the firing begins.  This doesn't work so good in fleet battles, but squadron rules and other short-cuts can help there.  Even 20-ship battles shouldn't take more than a single sessions to adjudicate.

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For prolonged void battles you almost need a simplified NPC system where you just roll a D10 for each weapon system targeting the players.

 

1 = 5 degrees of failure

2 = 4 degrees of failure

3 = 3 degrees of failure

4 = 2 degrees of failure

5 = 1 degree of failure

6 = success

7 = 1 degree of success

8 = 2 degrees of success

9 = 3 degrees of success

10 = 4 degrees of success

 

This scale could be adjusted for Orks (so perhaps start at six degrees of failure for a one to represent sub-standard ballistic skills) but enough guns would still make them a credible threat in the void without just being far too much dice rolling.

 

It does make pronounced successes more easy to achieve but things like players maneuvers could potentially apply modifiers to the enemy rolls.

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I strongly recommend the BFK squadron rules and NPC ship rules. Makes NPC vessels much more useful. You should look up the mathhammer threads on this forum. Combining macrobatteries is too strong and lances are too weak in the rules as written.

 

 

Also, the more Ork vessels there are, the harder it is to flank them.

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