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Levyten

Your methods to solve normal Combat and Mass combat quickly?

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Hi there,

Whenever my group encouters a combat, in takes at least one hour to solve the fight...(We are still new to RT and dont know every rule and table by heart)

I just wantet to ask if you have found some efficient ways to shorten fights? And how do you solve mass battles? Especially since a RT could easily take 20 men with him to cover his actions...rolling for each of them takes days...and even rolling only one 1d10 (to their skill rounded up or down) takes quite a while...

I thought about many ways to solve those problems, but kind of none of my ideas was good enaugh to even try it :( (I even thought about about writing a total combat simulation program...)

Even something that saves 3 seconds every time you have to do something is helpful :)

Please dont post answers like "Its a PnP Rpg, it has to take hours to fight 10 goblins...", please only post something constructive :) Thx

Levyten

 

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For hordes of mooks (shipboard armsmen) just give them an effective 'point value' (depending on training, gear, morale, etc. - look to H40K for a guideline) and do the same for enemy mooks.  Assume that an equal point value of each is lost every so often, but let PC actions/commands adjust this (a bonus or penalty to the effective point value is the best way to factor it) - a good plan may help out and underdog force and a bad call may loose a few more men.  Keep all of this running in the background and only use the full combat rules for situations directly involving the PCs.

As an example, consider a group of armsmen going against some fanatical but poorly equipped pirates.  You determine that the average armsman is worth 10 points.  You determine that the pirates are worth 7 points.  There are 25 armsmen (250 points) and 50 pirates (350 points).  We want this to be a short skirmish instead of a protracted battle, so every few minutes will result in 20% or so damage inflicted.  This means that the armsmen wil loose 7 men during the first time increment and the pirates will loose 7 too. 

With no help from the PCs, the armsmen are in trouble.  If the PCs find some good cover and firing positions for their men to take advantage of their superior weaponry, it might up their value by a few points each, but if the PC makes a bad call - like trying to intimidate the fanatical pirates with a charge, it might actually reduce the value of each of the armsmen by a few points.  PCs can also directly kill off the opposition if they are personally involved in the battle.

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Ya, combat in the DH/RT system is one of it's weak points IMHO -too many numbers and too much dice rolling can really add up. A few tweaks and approaches I've made to speed combat up (my goal is to have no combat take more then 10 minuets of real time):

  • No maps or minis: The added tactical complexity of who's exactly standing where and where to move to do X will add a LOT of time to a combat.
  • PEN effects TB: this makes the system a little more lethal but that extra lethality helps to speed fights up a bit. Sure, the PC's can die easer but so dose the enemy and if people die quicker, then combat will take less time.
  • Critical Wounds Inflicted throughout the Wound Track: instead of backloading criticals, I overhauled the system into a form where they will occur throughout the characters normal wound track. This has the benefit of more gory combats as well as combatants dropping due to wounds, stun effects, fatigue, missing legs, etc a lot sooner then having to wait 'till the wounds are completely whittled away and that, of course, leads to faster combats. The rules revamp is a bit lengthy, but if you want it, I can post it.

I still don't have combat streamlined to my likening, but I have it down to a manageable level now.

As for mass combat, RT has some rules and suggestions for it on pg 292

If neither of those are to your likeing, I made a system a while back for my DH game for mass combatants or anything involving groups of mostly nameless NPC's.  It's what I term the Mob Rules.

  1. I lump all like NPC's who are in the same general area/squad/what-ever into a single mob.
  2. The mob uses one statline, the statline of the majority of it's members. If a mob is composed of 3 bounty hunters and 26 dregs, I use the dreg statline.
  3. The mob must have 4 or more members.
  4. The mob receives a +30 to it's WS and BS characteristics to represent it's ability to gang up and to help it use Mass Attacks.
  5. The mob uses what I call Mass Attack. Mass Attack means that I simply roll one attack roll for the mob as if it were a single entity.  It receives the standard benefits that would be applied to the majority of it's attacks that would be preformed that round. Each DoS that is scored from that one roll represents a successfully attack from one of its members beyond the innitial attack landed just for succceding at the roll.  These successfull attacks can be applied to any combatant that the mob could conceivably hit. The combatant can then defend as normal if they have the reactions to do such. So, if a mob has an adjusted BS chance to hit of 65 and I roll a 42, they will score 3 hit's (1 for the initial successful roll plus 2 for the 2 degrees of success). These three hits can then be delegated out to any three combatants (or one unlucky combatant) within range of the mobs guns. The only limit on the number of hit's it can score per Mass Attack is it can never be higher the the total number of members in the mob.
  6. A mob's wounds are equal to the total number of members it has. A mob of 20 dregs would have a max wound of 20 as would a mob of 20 space marines.
  7. A mob has a soak number: the soak number is equal to the mobs TB+majority AP+(Max Wounds of typical member /3 rounded down). So, a mob of 15 Renegades and 3 Naval Offices would have a soak of 11 (renegade is the majority so, TB 4, AP 3, and 4 for 1/3rd their wounds). Pen effects soak as if it were strait armour. Damage in excess of soak will inflict the remaining in wounds (dead or criticaly wounded mob members) up a maximum of what is logically feasible based on the attack. For instance, a character snipping at mob members with a long las will only ever be able to inflict 1 wound on the mob per attack were-as a character attacking a mob with a flammer could inflict massive casualties (and, thus, more then one wound) with one attack.
  8. Mobs never defend. They don't parry or dodge. A successful attack that gets through their soak will inflict casualties.
  9. A mob can only ever hit another mob once no matter how many DoS it scored.  If mob a is only attacking mob b, then no matter how many DoS it scores on it's attack, only one attack lands and one damage roll is made.  However, no matter the nature of the attack (swords or grenaids) any excess damage left over after soak will inflict that manny wounds (and causlties) on the other mob.  The multiple attacks of Mass Attack is more for when a mob is attacking PCs, inportant NPCs, and/or more then one mob.  Even in such circumstances, only one of the mob's Mass Attack hits can be allocated to any one mob.  Any attacks left over and not allocated are lost.

This system is by far not perfect, but it dose speed things up in situations where you want some detail on what those 10 bodyguards the PC's have are doing without tracking their stats independently or rolling for each one separately but don't want to fall back of pure GM fiat.

 

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You could try using "mook" rules for large combats, with several potential grades of mook

 

trashy cannonfodder: Dies instantly from a successful attack (typically reserved for laughable enemies, like a mangy hiver in a riot or a grot)

Cannonfodder: Dies if hit by an attack that succeeds in beating their armor/Toughness bonus (essentially they have 1 wound and die when they lose it)

Quality Cannonfodder: Has wounds and fights like a normal character, dies when they reach 0 wounds, no criticals.

 

This gives you easily dispatched enemies that are still a threat.

 

 

Another idea might be, instead of tracking wounds for mooks, just instantly go to the critical charts. Effectively they have 0 wounds and any damage they receive instantly goes to the critical charts.

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Because the OP asked for it...

My modifications to the damage system is something I call Critical Force. Under the Critical Force system, critical wound points are not tracked. Instead, all PCs receive an additional 7 wound points added to their total to make up for the removal of the critical wound category. I chose 7 as it is the low end mean amount of critical wounds a character can suffer before receiving an instant death critical effect. NPC's receive a variable amount of additional wounds depending on their role in the story.

  • Nameless NPC's or those who you wouldn't bother tracking critical wounds on initially do not receive any additional wound points.
  • Named NPC's who are important to the story though not necessarily as the Big Bad or as a tough opponent receive 5 additional wounds to their total.
  • Named NPC's who are very important to the story, are in the role of the Big Bad, or are otherwise meant to be on par or above the PC's receive 10 additional wounds.

With the critical wound distinction removed, wound effects are determined by the severity of the wound which is, in turn, determined by the amount of damage inflicted by the weapon (after armour and TB) compared to the victims total maximum wounds. There are five wound seventies: Superficial, Serious, Mortal, Over-Kill, and Chunky Salsa.

  • Superficial: an attack that inflicts damage equal to 0-25% of a characters maximum wounds or is equal to or less then the characters TB, which ever is lower.
  • Serious: an attack that inflicts damage equal to 25.01%-50% of a characters maximum wounds.
  • Mortal: an attack that inflicts damage equal to 50.01%-75% of a characters maximum wounds.
  • Over-Kill: an attack that inflicts damage equal to 75.01%-100% of a characters maximum wounds.
  • Chunky Salsa: an attack that inflicts damage in excess of 100% of a characters maximum wounds.

The percentages should be worked out before the game and recorded on the character's sheet or by the GM in his or her notes in a manner similar to the movement rate listing ( superficial max/ serious max/ mortal max/ over-kill max ). When dividing the characters maximum wounds to determine their thresholds, always round down. As an example, a character with 20 maximum wounds and a Toughness of 35 would have the following thresholds: 3/10/15/20 or, if you prefer, 0-3/4-10/11-15/16-20 (if an attack dose 3 or less points of damage, the attack inflicts a superficial wound; if it dose 18 points of damage, the wound would be a messy Over-Kill, etc). A character with 17 wounds and a TB of 5 would have the following thresholds: 4/8/12/17. For NPC's, I usually make sure their wounds are divisible by 5 (10, 15, 20, 25, etc) and have a quick chart in the back of my notebook with the thresholds of 10,15,20,25,30, and 35 already written out for quick on-the-spot reference for NPC's wounds that I hadn't planed on.

Wound Effects
When a character is damaged by an attack, the wound they suffered could have additional effects beyond the loss of wound points depending on the severity of the wound. All additional effects except for Blood Loss are cumulative -if a character receives a serious injury from one attacker and a serious injury from a second attacker, they will suffer 2 points of fatigue and the Special Damage Effects of each attack will go into effect. The additional effects are as fallows:

  • Superficial: no additional effects. Cinematic effects are equivalent to a critical levels 1-3.
  • Serious: Hit location is Broke or something small (finger, eye, intestinal sack) is Severed, 1 Fatigue point, and Special Damage Effects. Cinematic effects are equivalent to critical levels 4-6
  • Mortal: Hit location is Destroyed or Lopped Off, Stunned for 1 round, 2 Fatigue points, Blood Loss, Special Damage Effects. If a mortal wound is inflicted on the Chest, the character must pass an immediate toughness test or die. A mortal wound to the head is instantly fatal. Cinematic effects are equal to critical levels 7-8.
  • Over-Kill: Target instantly dies in a terribly messy and Hollywood-esc manner. Cinematic Effects are equal to critical effects 9.
  • Chunky Salsa: Target instantly dies in a terribly messy and completely over the top manner effectively getting turned into something that resembles extra chunky salsa. All characters within 5m of the Chunky Salsa will either take 1d10 points of damage (exploding ammo, flying skull fragments, burning bits of flesh that somehow now has the properties of napalm, etc), suffer a -10 to a certain set of actions (agl not to bust one's ass on the slick salsa; per, bs, ws, because their salsa in your eyes or covering your visor, etc), or forces the Salsa's comrades to make a fear 1 or maybe 2 test. The exact nature and ingredients of the salsa is up to the GM and should be based on what attack was used, what weapon was used, and what would be too sick to pass up no matter how unrealistic. Cinematic Effects are equal to critical effects 10+.

Special Damage Effects.
Whenever a wound of Serious grade or higher is inflicted on a character, a special effect determined by the damage type will also be applied. The Special Damage Effects for the four damage types are:

  • (E) Energy: if an 8, 9, or 0 is rolled for damage, the an additional 1d10 points of damage that bypasses armour will be inflicted on the target simulating flesh continuing to burn, corrosive acids eating away at it, or such effects that might come with an energy weapon. The effect is typically fire but can be acid eating away at the location, some radiation continually burning, an alien ice substance clinging to the area freezing it, or what ever else makes pseudo-sense for the energy weapon used.
  • ® Rending: Blood Loss. When suffering Blood Loss, instead of having a 10% chance of dying every round (too much rolling), the character, instead, takes 1 point of unsoakable damage until the bleeding is stanched.
  • (X) Explosive: Wound effects inflicted by the attack are one level higher then the Wound severity inflicted. If an (X) damage weapon dose enough damage to only inflict a Superficial Wound, it is just that, superficial, but if it dose enough damage to inflict a Serious Wound, it's Special Damage effect comes into play and the character suffers the effects of a Mortal Wound instead. The effects for the actual wound severity are ignored and effects of the next severity up are applied to the character. In effect, Explosive damage doesn't inflict serious wounds -the character is either mostly unscathed by the blast with a Superficial Wound or they are in a whole mangled world of hurt suffering from a Mortal Wound or are pasted all over the walls due to Over-Kill and Chunky Salsa.
  • (I) Impact: +1 round Stunned (2 rounds if they are struck in the head) on top of however many rounds they are already stunned.

The Walking Dead
When a character's wounds are reduced below 0, they don't die strait out but are most definitely living on borrowed time. Their bodies have taken all they can and are about to give out and give up. If a character's wound points are in the negative at the end of his or her turn in combat or at the end of a minute outside of combat, the character must pass a toughness test (+0) or die. Beyond being on death's doorstep, being at negative wounds also confers a -10 penalty to all actions in addition to any other penalties that the character may be suffering due to their wounds. Once a character's wounds have dropped below 0, the only hope for them is immediate medical attention or psychic healing before they fail their toughness test.

To save someone who is at negative wounds, the character must be stabilized with a Medicae check made at a -30 plus the character's current wound total. If a patient is reduced to -12 wounds, then the difficulty to stabilize him will be -42 (-20 + -12 = -42). This modifier is in addition to any other environmental modifiers that might be in effect such as trying to stabilize the poor fella while knee deep in sewage with bullets flying over your head, an additional -30 at the least. If the Medicae check is successful, the patent will be brought to 0 wounds and no longer has to make a toughness test at the end of every turn/minute, but their position is a precarious one at best -if they suffer any damage at all, they'll be back to starring death in the face. If the check fails by less the 3 degrees of failure, the patent isn't stabilized just yet but the medicae can try again after the patent passes their next toughness test. If the medicae test fails by three or more degrees, then the patents is killed by the attempts to save his or her life.

If psychic powers are used to heal a character who is at negative wounds, the healing of the wounds is done the same as if the character were still at positive wounds. For instance, if a psyker used Healer on a character who was at -3 wounds, they would heal 1d5 wounds as per normal. If a 2 is rolled, then they would then be at -1 wounds; not out of the woods, but a bit easier for a medicae to stabilize. If, the psychic power brings the character to 0 or more wounds, then they are stabilized and no longer need to test their toughness to stay alive. It should also be noted that stabilizing a character through the use of Medicae or psychic powers will automatically staunch any bleeding the character is suffering from.

Talents and Critical Force
There are several talents that, under this method of tracking damage, behave slightly differently then they do in the book. First, any talent that adds to an attackers critical damage output (such as Street Fighting) will simply add the critical damage bonus to any damage they do. So, for instance, with Street Fighting, a character will gain a +2 to damage whenever he inflicts damage with a knife or his fists.

True Grit will reduce the severity of wounds they receive by one level. For instance, if the character were to receive a Mortal Wound, it would be reduced to a Severe Wound and affect them as such. It should be noted that this dose not lessen the amount of wound points that the attack removes from them, just the additional negative effects of the attack. If they are hit with an Over-Kill in the arm, then all their wound points and then some will still be gone as would their arm, but it wouldn't instantly kill them as, for them, loosing all their wound points in such a manner would only be a Mortal Wound, not an Over-Kill.  The astute among you will notice that such a gritty character can not be used to make salsa -there's just too much grit in them.

Under this system, Die-Hard's re-roll is extended from just blood-loss to all Toughness Tests to live made after a character's wounds are dropped below 0.

Critical Force and Stimm
Beyond Stimm's uses in removing the negative effects suffered from wounds and pain, it also helps keep death at bay just a little bit longer and keeps the user's body functioning a bit past when it ought to just fall over and die. If a character is on Stimm when they need to make a Toughness Test to live after their wounds below 0, they will receive a +10 for the check. It's not much, but when your life is on the line, every little bit helps.
 

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Graver said:

  1. The mob uses what I call Mass Attack. Mass Attack means that I simply roll one attack roll for the mob as if it were a single entity.  It receives the standard benefits that would be applied to the majority of it's attacks that would be preformed that round. Each DoS that is scored from that one roll represents a successfully attack from one of its members beyond the innitial attack landed just for succceding at the roll.  These successfull attacks can be applied to any combatant that the mob could conceivably hit. The combatant can then defend as normal if they have the reactions to do such. So, if a mob has an adjusted BS chance to hit of 65 and I roll a 42, they will score 3 hit's (1 for the initial successful roll plus 2 for the 2 degrees of success). These three hits can then be delegated out to any three combatants (or one unlucky combatant) within range of the mobs guns. The only limit on the number of hit's it can score per Mass Attack is it can never be higher the the total number of members in the mob.

 

Just a question: how do you handle these mobs shooting on full-auto? I mean concievably, one NPC could inflict several hits (and even hit several PC's) with an autogun, but it would all depend on that mook's individual BS and DoS in relation to it. How do you handle that if you just roll one d100 for the entire mob?

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Varnias Tybalt said:

 

Graver said:

 

  1. The mob uses what I call Mass Attack. Mass Attack means that I simply roll one attack roll for the mob as if it were a single entity.  It receives the standard benefits that would be applied to the majority of it's attacks that would be preformed that round. Each DoS that is scored from that one roll represents a successfully attack from one of its members beyond the innitial attack landed just for succceding at the roll.  These successfull attacks can be applied to any combatant that the mob could conceivably hit. The combatant can then defend as normal if they have the reactions to do such. So, if a mob has an adjusted BS chance to hit of 65 and I roll a 42, they will score 3 hit's (1 for the initial successful roll plus 2 for the 2 degrees of success). These three hits can then be delegated out to any three combatants (or one unlucky combatant) within range of the mobs guns. The only limit on the number of hit's it can score per Mass Attack is it can never be higher the the total number of members in the mob.

 

 

 

Just a question: how do you handle these mobs shooting on full-auto? I mean concievably, one NPC could inflict several hits (and even hit several PC's) with an autogun, but it would all depend on that mook's individual BS and DoS in relation to it. How do you handle that if you just roll one d100 for the entire mob?

 

 

 

If a mob member is using full auto, then then they score a number of hits equal to the DoS of the mob's attack roll. If everyone in the mob is firing on full auto and the mob's attack roll scores 3 DoS, then four attacks will land from the mob and each attack will score 4 hits. Granted, it's not terribly detailed nor "realistic" but it is fast. When I use mobs, I do so for simplicity and speed, not to get exact and statistically believable details but then such doesn't matter much in times when mobs would be called for. heck, with mobs, they all miraculously hit the same body part as well unless I feel it's a bit silly and alter some based on circumstances of the narration and what not. One roll for the bulk of the attackers dose speed things up a LOT... not quite enough, but it's a lot better then rolling for every bloody one of them in a lot of cases. One roll to resolve multiple attacks from multiple opponents is the reason i came up with the Mob idea, though I was inspiered by the Flock trait of the shale crows. If it could be done for a flock of birds, why not for an angry mob, a mess of orks, or a horde of zombies? 

When a mob is made, I treat it as one creature with a mob mentality.  There are no individuals with individual stats.  All parts of a mob are functioning to further the mobs goals and desires, contributing what they can, but, from an outside persective, their individual contrabution really can't be picked out of the over all effect of the mobs actions.  As such, individal BS dosn't matter, only mob BS.  Individual siccess don't matter, only mob successes for each individual success is mearly a small part of the over all successes of the mob, and that's all that matters in such situations.

An example of a mob blazing away at a group of characters on full auto and scoring 3 DoS would simply be summed up by me as "the zealots scream obscenities to you and the God-Emperor as they blaze away, their weapons spitting leaded death in all directions." Then I'd decide that 2 players get one attack with 3 hits against them wile the big scary guy gets two attacks directed at him with three hits each. "Now, you guys might wanna dodge it you don't want to get ventilated" I would mention as a segue to some dice rolling on their part. they roll the dice, call out numbers, successes and failures while I take note of the DoS of the doge and inform the big guy that if he has Step Aside, he might wanna consider making a second dodge. Once the totals are in, I roll the damage for the sots tat hit, call out wounds and get back into narration with viscerally describing the hits they take and the frothing full-auto zealots. I don't tell them the one-eyes cultist hit you twice, the guy on the right hit you three times, etc. I just narrate the end results of being in the way of a bunch of nutters slinging led in all directions... that being a lot of hits ;-)

 

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Graver said:

 

If a mob member is using full auto, then then they score a number of hits equal to the DoS of the mob's attack roll. If everyone in the mob is firing on full auto and the mob's attack roll scores 3 DoS, then four attacks will land from the mob and each attack will score 4 hits. Granted, it's not terribly detailed nor "realistic" but it is fast. When I use mobs, I do so for simplicity and speed, not to get exact and statistically believable details but then such doesn't matter much in times when mobs would be called for. heck, with mobs, they all miraculously hit the same body part as well unless I feel it's a bit silly and alter some based on circumstances of the narration and what not. One roll for the bulk of the attackers dose speed things up a LOT... not quite enough, but it's a lot better then rolling for every bloody one of them in a lot of cases. One roll to resolve multiple attacks from multiple opponents is the reason i came up with the Mob idea, though I was inspiered by the Flock trait of the shale crows. If it could be done for a flock of birds, why not for an angry mob, a mess of orks, or a horde of zombies? 

When a mob is made, I treat it as one creature with a mob mentality.  There are no individuals with individual stats.  All parts of a mob are functioning to further the mobs goals and desires, contributing what they can, but, from an outside persective, their individual contrabution really can't be picked out of the over all effect of the mobs actions.  As such, individal BS dosn't matter, only mob BS.  Individual siccess don't matter, only mob successes for each individual success is mearly a small part of the over all successes of the mob, and that's all that matters in such situations.

An example of a mob blazing away at a group of characters on full auto and scoring 3 DoS would simply be summed up by me as "the zealots scream obscenities to you and the God-Emperor as they blaze away, their weapons spitting leaded death in all directions." Then I'd decide that 2 players get one attack with 3 hits against them wile the big scary guy gets two attacks directed at him with three hits each. "Now, you guys might wanna dodge it you don't want to get ventilated" I would mention as a segue to some dice rolling on their part. they roll the dice, call out numbers, successes and failures while I take note of the DoS of the doge and inform the big guy that if he has Step Aside, he might wanna consider making a second dodge. Once the totals are in, I roll the damage for the sots tat hit, call out wounds and get back into narration with viscerally describing the hits they take and the frothing full-auto zealots. I don't tell them the one-eyes cultist hit you twice, the guy on the right hit you three times, etc. I just narrate the end results of being in the way of a bunch of nutters slinging led in all directions... that being a lot of hits ;-) 

 

 

Well, the issue I have with that is the fact that your simplified mob will statistically hit the PC's a lot less than they would normally. If you roll BS for ten people firing autoguns on full auto, then you should on average cause A LOT more hits than four or five as they would with your method. Sure most mob members tend to have pretty low BS, but if you roll ten rolls with a d100 chances are that you are gonna roll the odd low results of 01-09, and if that members has the average of 30 BS and get the +20 bonus for full-auto, then that guy alone will cause a lot of hits without regard for the hits that the other guys in the mob cause.

So to summarize: the issue im having is that your method makes mobs armed with full-auto weapons less intimidating if all they can achieve is between 1-5 hits each round.

Of course it might be fitting for some types of mobs (like a mob of zealot redemptionists who use their firerarms to cause a lot of noise as well as shooting people in equal measure), but what if the acolytes find themselves on the wrong end of an elite crack-team of 10 Imperial Guard Stormtroopers? These guys are the elite of the elite in the Imperial Guard and they wouldn't do stupid things like shooting their guns in the air and such, they would place their full-auto barrage on their targets, and most likely cause way more hits each round than just between 1-5.

Still, I like the simplicity of your mob rules when it comes to keeping track of wounds for the mob and such (instead of keeping track of ten individual guys with 10 wounds each, you can just smack it all up to a mob with 100 wounds and a community Armour Points and Toughness Bonus), but I feel that their offensive capabilities become a little too docked when you just roll 1d100 for all of them and the amount of hits they cause are equal to just one full-auto action.

Perhaps it would be worth considering to double or triple the amount of hits they cause per DoS depending on if they use semi-auto or full-auto weapons? That way, the players would have to think twice before going up against a mob of 10-20-ish people armed with autoguns.

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Varnias Tybalt said:

 

Well, the issue I have with that is the fact that your simplified mob will statistically hit the PC's a lot less than they would normally. If you roll BS for ten people firing autoguns on full auto, then you should on average cause A LOT more hits than four or five as they would with your method. Sure most mob members tend to have pretty low BS, but if you roll ten rolls with a d100 chances are that you are gonna roll the odd low results of 01-09, and if that members has the average of 30 BS and get the +20 bonus for full-auto, then that guy alone will cause a lot of hits without regard for the hits that the other guys in the mob cause.

So to summarize: the issue im having is that your method makes mobs armed with full-auto weapons less intimidating if all they can achieve is between 1-5 hits each round.

Of course it might be fitting for some types of mobs (like a mob of zealot redemptionists who use their firerarms to cause a lot of noise as well as shooting people in equal measure), but what if the acolytes find themselves on the wrong end of an elite crack-team of 10 Imperial Guard Stormtroopers? These guys are the elite of the elite in the Imperial Guard and they wouldn't do stupid things like shooting their guns in the air and such, they would place their full-auto barrage on their targets, and most likely cause way more hits each round than just between 1-5.

Still, I like the simplicity of your mob rules when it comes to keeping track of wounds for the mob and such (instead of keeping track of ten individual guys with 10 wounds each, you can just smack it all up to a mob with 100 wounds and a community Armour Points and Toughness Bonus), but I feel that their offensive capabilities become a little too docked when you just roll 1d100 for all of them and the amount of hits they cause are equal to just one full-auto action.

Perhaps it would be worth considering to double or triple the amount of hits they cause per DoS depending on if they use semi-auto or full-auto weapons? That way, the players would have to think twice before going up against a mob of 10-20-ish people armed with autoguns.

 

 

 

That's a possibility i will ponder a bit. It dose use less math (hey, carrying over a DoS can be considered math to some of us!), and that's a definite mark in it's favor.

One thing you might have missed with mobs, however, is their boost to BS and WS. A mob of Kill Squad Troopers (from dh) would have a BS of 65 (35 base +30 for being in a mob) which would potentially up the amount of DoS that the mob can score (because there's more then just one individual shooting). So, this mob blazing away at some targets at close range would have a 65+10+20= 95 to land an attack with each attack landing a number of hit's equal to the DoS scored by the mob. If it rolled a 42, that would be five successfully attacks each hitting 5 times for a total of 25 bullets finding their way home. If the mob were instead 10 individuals, then each of them would have a 65% chance of landing a hit with three hits average. That would work out to 6 guys hitting with three hats each for a total of 18 bullets finding their way home. There'd be greater verity, yes, but more dice rolling ans, as such, a slower combat.

In the end, though, I will sacrifice individual lethality and the chances for more divergent numbers for speed of use and, if there's a mob. In my experience, such small things rarely make that great of an impact on the story the characters whiteness and are a part of. Guys shooting at them is guys shooting at them and, if narrated right, is quite tense. That's my goal, in the end, is to maintain tension that tends to get lost if too many dice are rolled and too many calculations have to be made.

 

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I have a point system that boils down to 2 d20 rolls to determine the fates of Riff Raff.  Essentially, the main factors deciding how good they are offensively and defensively equate to bonuses/penalties to the two rolls.

The PC's and whoever is in direct combat with them, fight using the normal rules.  All others fall under the "Riff Raff Rules".  I also just flat out decide what happens if it's related to the plot (or particularly irrelevant...).  I try to remember the "fake die rolls".  It makes my players feel that I'm being objective.

We do use minis.  I'm not making judgements here, just saying that my players like using minis and we happen to have a huge collection.  We've even busted out the Epic minis for the REALLY REALLY big battles. 

I'm thinking of getting Planetary Empires and seeing how they resolve abstract battles between super big 40k technology armies.

But the "Riff Raff" rules are a game convention we picked up playing Bushido and now apply to all our games.  Basically, there are 4 levels of Bad Guys.  Riff Raff, Rabble, NPC's and Bosses.  Riff Raff die on the first hit.  Rabble have whatever the game's equivalent of a 1st level character assuming the maximum level is 6, so just scale accordingly.  NPC's have stats and may or may not be intended to challenge the PC's.  Bosses are well...bosses.  Hard to kill.

So how does this speed up play?  Well, players find it fun and feel powerful if you occasionally let them wade through waves of Riff Raff and Rabble.  Rarely do I even make up stats for them.  They get hit, they either die, go unconsious or whatever I feel like.  Saves a lot of rolling.  In this way I save the more detailed combat for the NPC's and Boss mobs, of which at that point the battle should be down to just them and the PC's, which is more managable.

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I like the riff raff, rabble, npc and boss system.  We used a similar system (also from when I played Bushido). 

1 - for PCs to feel good and have a lot of fun, I use the 1 hit point mook system and let the PCs roll through them in any fashion that works

2 - for mass combats I use a percentile system (effectively a d20) modified by appropriate skills of the PCs (such as knowledge of tactics or Imperial Creed to motivate the troops or whatever) or position (fox holes or trenches w/ heavy stubbers vs. an open field charge).  If a PC is involved in leading, or motivating or supporting, that is mostly what they do - and they gain by getting their mob to increase it's lethal force.  Anyway, a roll for the PCs and a roll for the bad guys and the difference is the death total (as a percentage for really big fights or as individuals for smaller fights).   The time scale of the "round" is adjusted to make sense for the scale of the fight.

 

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nick012000 said:

Umm, I'll point out the Mass Combat rules on p. 292 of the Rogue Trader corebook. House rules are all well and good, but why reinvent the wheel, you know? gui%C3%B1o.gif

Thank you for repointing that one out.  As to your question, perhaps because they gave us a wagon wheel but we really needed a new wheel for our bike?  At least tat the case for me... that and I made my rules before they ever thought of making theirs ;-p. 

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