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Kepora

How to balance vehicles?

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So this is actually a house rule we implemented after playing the rules wrong for years and things working smoothly enough to never know anything was off.

 

Only planetary scale armour counts as x10 personal scale, not the wounds themselves. This allows things like missile launchers and lightsabers to be actually decent at fighting off Imperial walkers and lightly armoured aircraft like TIE Fighters. 

 

The only noticeable downside is it makes civilian vehicles and speederbikes super fragile. If this is an issue just set everything to have minimum armour of 1 and you've solved that issue completely. It allows things like a blaster rifle to do enough to destroy it if you're a good shot/modded it/rolled well but still is having its damaged reduced by 10.

Edited by kingcom

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One of the things I do is to let players use a destiny point aim and raise the difficulty to hit a specific ship component to its critical hit repair difficulty (max 3) +3 difficulty on a 3-4 sil ship.

 

Thus if you want to stop an outbound ship with the engines down critical You must spend a destiny point spend a manuver to aim and roll against 6 difficulty and

roll enough advantage to activate a critical hit.  This does not damage the ship but forces them to suffer the effects.  When dealing with armor 3-4 ships which are usually beyond PC firepower this gives experienced or lucky characters a chance.

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I came up with this rule actually when they were fighting a giant beast with a soak of like, 12 or something; by the time the battle was won, they had only done about 5 or 10 points of damage, but whittled it down with crits, which I thought was really cool.

 

You created a beast with substantially more armor than a 6-8 km battlecruiser, pitted it against your players with hand-held weapons, and then came up with a 'cool rule' to accommodate the situation that you think should be broadly applicable?  :blink:

 

Uh... 12 soak is  substantially more than a battlecruser? Anything with an armor of 2 has quite a bit more than that. And it might have even been like, 9 or something, I don't remember. The creature was in one of the published adventures, I forget which one, and the players wanted to fight it. They had fighter types with big weapons who kept missing, basically the non-combat guys were the ones who took it down by whittling it to death with Easy crits. I just don't think it was that big a deal, it still took them several rounds to take the beast down, with everyone being on death's door.

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I haven't had opportunity to try it, but I think its possible that the real way characters can, and were intended to, deal damage to vehicles is via critical hits. Cinematically, I think this works. If a group is being chased in an open speeder by enemies in another speeder, they don't have to *destroy* the pursuing vehicle, just disable it (damage to steering, disabled repulsor, etc). A trooper firing at the PCs' speeder just needs a lucky hit to disable a repulsor coil. Maybe they break away to end the encounter, but the vehicle can't make it to the final destination.

 

The tweak that may allow this to work is that *any* damage that gets through armor can trigger a crit. For example, suppose an attack with a blaster rifle (damage 9, crit 3) hits a Skyhopper (Armor 1).  The roll produces 2 successes (11 damage) and 3 advantage. Since 1 damage (1/10 of a vehicle scale damage) would surpass armor, damage is technically done even though it's not a full point, and the adv can be used to activate a critical hit. Track the fractional damage or not, it's not really a big deal.

 

The rules regarding critical hits that could allow this under some interpretations are:

 

"Remember, and attack's damage must also has to exceed a target's armor to deal a critical hit, which is important when firing small arms at something using armor instead of soak."

 

To trigger a critical hit, damage has to exceed armor, not necessarily deal a full point of damage. It's a little nitpicky, but so are so many other rules in this game.

 

 

In my experience this is indeed how it works.

 

After a long slug with a lot of people vs. vehicles action my experience showed that in most cases after just a few critical hits most vehicles with either be neutered, or will have suffered sufficient damage that only a suicidal vehicle crew would continue to fight on.

 

The only exception was vehicles that were both tough with a high SS and had multiple weapons. So an AT-ST is a beast becasue it's tough, with a high SST and multiple weapons on a "turret." Most other vehicles will either have their engine knocked out, the weapons knocked out, or the SST exceeded after only a handful of crits though.

 

Also if you're talking minion piloted vehicle a crit can = a kill. So one-shotting a TIE fighter with a missile tube is doable.

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Oh, I should also mention, when fighting a vehicle, don't forget you can target the pilot. We've fought dudes on speeder bikes several times, we basically don't bother with the bike, but the pilot. How exactly you handle that is up to the GM, I don't think there's an explicit rule for it, but here's what we do:

 

You have to take an Aim maneuver to even attempt it, using the usual rules when aiming for something specific (2 setbacks with one aim, 1 with 2). The pilot must actually be vulnerable in some way (so no ATATs). Extra setbacks would be thrown in depending on how much cover the pilot would have from the vehicle (so, nothing really on a Speeder bike, maybe 1 on something like Luke's Speeder for the windshield, stuff like that). We also give a setback for each speed rating the target is moving faster than the attacker 9personal scale equaling speed 0), so basically altogether, it would be 3 setbacks in order to shoot a dude, if taking 1 aim, 2 setbacks if taking 2.

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I came up with this rule actually when they were fighting a giant beast with a soak of like, 12 or something; by the time the battle was won, they had only done about 5 or 10 points of damage, but whittled it down with crits, which I thought was really cool.

 

You created a beast with substantially more armor than a 6-8 km battlecruiser, pitted it against your players with hand-held weapons, and then came up with a 'cool rule' to accommodate the situation that you think should be broadly applicable?  :blink:

 

Uh... 12 soak is  substantially more than a battlecruser? Anything with an armor of 2 has quite a bit more than that. And it might have even been like, 9 or something, I don't remember. The creature was in one of the published adventures, I forget which one, and the players wanted to fight it. They had fighter types with big weapons who kept missing, basically the non-combat guys were the ones who took it down by whittling it to death with Easy crits. I just don't think it was that big a deal, it still took them several rounds to take the beast down, with everyone being on death's door.

 

 

Crap. Really sorry. My misread. Fixed above.

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I came up with this rule actually when they were fighting a giant beast with a soak of like, 12 or something; by the time the battle was won, they had only done about 5 or 10 points of damage, but whittled it down with crits, which I thought was really cool.

 

You created a beast with substantially more armor than a 6-8 km battlecruiser, pitted it against your players with hand-held weapons, and then came up with a 'cool rule' to accommodate the situation that you think should be broadly applicable?  :blink:

 

Yeah that's my idiotic fault. I misread 'soak' as 'armor' with the page context.

 

It's cool.

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Personal scale vs vehicles is hard.....and its honestly supposed to be. If your fighting vehicles on foot it should be extremely hard and if you don't have the right equipment you just shouldn't try it. Most groups I've played with tend to have vehicles deal damage x silhouette to characters not x5 or x10 (unless the vehicle damage is already set to be a personal scale weapon) but it has always been hard for us to balance goin the other way. The 0-1 armor scale isn't much of an issue. 2-4 armor / 2-4 silhouette is the sweet zone for any house rules you might want to add. Anything smaller you can already hurt just fine. Anything bigger you shouldn't be able to hit. One of my groups does the previously mentioned changing rocket launchers etc to be ÷10 damage vehicle scale weapons where you add +1 vehicle damage every 2 successes but they only work against things up to silhouette 4. This let's a good roll hurt vehicles but not one shot them and avoids having a rocket launcher takeout a silhouette 5 frigate with 2 armor. Idk... it's hard.... I don't think a standardization rule set will solve all the problems. Have the GM bring lots of story "duct tape "

Edited by fasteraubert

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