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fog1234

Overwatch Issues

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The logic to disallow is a bit convoluted so I'll concede the point. MijRaj is right though, I don't think overwatch is overpowered. 

 

It's not overpowered when both sides are using it.  It's just a big change to the game.  We all have a checklist when GM-ing that we do when setting up an encounter.  I try to give my groups approximately three different ways to solve a problem.  The use of RAW overwatch just means that I would have to create 'triggers' in my maps to make sure that large groups couldn't often be overwatch-ed to death.  I'd have to do better work to restrict sight-lines and keyholes.  I don't always plan out covered pathways, like in Gears of War or XCOM, in the maps I make.  It would require big changes.

 

There are already a lot of layers in setting up Dark Heresy encounters.  Modifier stacks.  Destructible terrain.  Continuing effects.  Lots of other stuff.  It's one of the roughest combat systems I've dealt with.  I look at what a lot of other GM's do and I don't think they are designing around overwatch either.                  

Edited by fog1234

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Here's the relevant bit from Overwatch: "If a character on Overwatch performs any actions or Reactions, such as Evasion, his Overwatch immediately ends.  Note this does not include Free Actions, such as speech."  Free Actions are explicitly said to be allowed in Overwatch.  

 

You shouldn't have to design your scenarios around one encounter-breaking rule, in my opinion.  Which is why I've explicitly house-ruled a cap on attacks being 1/2 of your Ballistic Skill.  It still gives you more attacks, sure.  The concept is solid.  You're sitting in a position, waiting to shoot your targets.  When you're prepared like that, you can generally pull off another shot or two.  Given how the system caps out currently, that is three attacks, up to more if someone gives you Warp Speed.  But putting your cone out there while wielding a pump-action shotgun and miraculously being able to fire everything in the span of a couple seconds when your weapon's rate of fire couldn't even support that?  No thanks.  It's mechanically and thematically wrong to me, and still overpowered regardless of which side is using it.  It gives one person the ability to shoot a hundred with a bolt action rifle if he's got the ammo in his firearm in the course of a few seconds.  If you want to spray down an area, use Suppressing Fire.  

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  But putting your cone out there while wielding a pump-action shotgun and miraculously being able to fire everything in the span of a couple seconds when your weapon's rate of fire couldn't even support that?  No thanks.  

 

Don't forget the +30 surprise bonus.  

 

I did talk to Tim about the use of grids and he said that they aren't always used in prototyping/playtesting Dark Heresy.  I'll let that sink for a while.  

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The logic to disallow is a bit convoluted so I'll concede the point. MijRaj is right though, I don't think overwatch is overpowered. 

 

It's not overpowered when both sides are using it.  It's just a big change to the game.  We all have a checklist when GM-ing that we do when setting up an encounter.  I try to give my groups approximately three different ways to solve a problem.  The use of RAW overwatch just means that I would have to create 'triggers' in my maps to make sure that large groups couldn't often be overwatch-ed to death.  I'd have to do better work to restrict sight-lines and keyholes.  I don't always plan out covered pathways, like in Gears of War or XCOM, in the maps I make.  It would require big changes.

 

There are already a lot of layers in setting up Dark Heresy encounters.  Modifier stacks.  Destructible terrain.  Continuing effects.  Lots of other stuff.  It's one of the roughest combat systems I've dealt with.  I look at what a lot of other GM's do and I don't think they are designing around overwatch either.                  

 

 

This Is what i'm referring to when I say to think tactically. Certainly not every encounter should be designed to where overwatch is ineffective. But some will! And certainly, different opponents will have different opinions on how to counter overwatch. A Mob of Orks for example; might charge right at your position! They actually expect to lose a few on the way in but when they get to you...Well, payback's a b*tch!

Here's the relevant bit from Overwatch: "If a character on Overwatch performs any actions or Reactions, such as Evasion, his Overwatch immediately ends.  Note this does not include Free Actions, such as speech."  Free Actions are explicitly said to be allowed in Overwatch.  

 

You shouldn't have to design your scenarios around one encounter-breaking rule, in my opinion.  Which is why I've explicitly house-ruled a cap on attacks being 1/2 of your Ballistic Skill.  It still gives you more attacks, sure.  The concept is solid.  You're sitting in a position, waiting to shoot your targets.  When you're prepared like that, you can generally pull off another shot or two.  Given how the system caps out currently, that is three attacks, up to more if someone gives you Warp Speed.  But putting your cone out there while wielding a pump-action shotgun and miraculously being able to fire everything in the span of a couple seconds when your weapon's rate of fire couldn't even support that?  No thanks.  It's mechanically and thematically wrong to me, and still overpowered regardless of which side is using it.  It gives one person the ability to shoot a hundred with a bolt action rifle if he's got the ammo in his firearm in the course of a few seconds.  If you want to spray down an area, use Suppressing Fire.  

Now this I actually like! It doesn't change how the rule works but does apply a reasonable limit to how much you can get out of it. May I suggest a small modification? Use the entire stat Bonus but use perception instead of Ballistic skill. The reasons? There are two:

 

1.) Perception represents your ability to rapidly perceive and act on a given situation. so Perception bonus could be a good governor as to how many shots you might actually get off in a given round. Sort of a "It's more about your limitations then the weapon's" kind of thing.

 

2.) By using a separate Stat it makes it more difficult (or at least more expensive) to make a purpose-built overwatch munchkin!

 

Hope this helps!

Edited by Radwraith

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My only issue with Overwatch is the # of rounds weapons can now put out compare to what the rate of fire is.  I get you should be able to trap people in your Killzone.  Just not seeing how the weapon with a S/3/8 rate of fire if set on Full Auto, can fire multiple 8 round burst in a single turn.

 

And as for using grenades, well just full auto you are trying to throw enough lead downrange to pin the enemy in place.  Throwing multiple grenades into the killzone seems as valid as the gun that fires multiple burst in the same turn.

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Here's the relevant bit from Overwatch: "If a character on Overwatch performs any actions or Reactions, such as Evasion, his Overwatch immediately ends.  Note this does not include Free Actions, such as speech."  Free Actions are explicitly said to be allowed in Overwatch.  

 

I managed to overlook that part of Overwatch so my bad. Quick drawing grenades seems to be perfectly fine as part of Overwatch. Heck, if you had Rapid Reload you could Overwatch with a bow and become Legolas of the 41st millenium.

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My only issue with Overwatch is the # of rounds weapons can now put out compare to what the rate of fire is.  I get you should be able to trap people in your Killzone.  Just not seeing how the weapon with a S/3/8 rate of fire if set on Full Auto, can fire multiple 8 round burst in a single turn.

 

And as for using grenades, well just full auto you are trying to throw enough lead downrange to pin the enemy in place.  Throwing multiple grenades into the killzone seems as valid as the gun that fires multiple burst in the same turn.

IRL, an AK-47 assault rifle (A good analogy for an autogun) has a cyclic rate of fire of 600 rds/min. That means it can empty a 30 rd. magazine in 3 seconds! That's half a standard DH2 round! The ROF given in the book assumes some fire dicipline but is hardly the limit of the weapon!

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For one kind of weapon out there, Rad.  And if you do the three round semi-automatic burst (a relatively controlled method) and ten people trigger it, you've fired thirty aimed shots.  It isn't feasible, and firing at that speed should be the domain of Suppressing Fire.  But still, how about that pump action shotgun, or a bolt action rifle?  And every other slow firing, single-shot weapons that can fire repeatedly?  Or meltaguns, or webbers?  

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My only issue with Overwatch is the # of rounds weapons can now put out compare to what the rate of fire is.  I get you should be able to trap people in your Killzone.  Just not seeing how the weapon with a S/3/8 rate of fire if set on Full Auto, can fire multiple 8 round burst in a single turn.

 

And as for using grenades, well just full auto you are trying to throw enough lead downrange to pin the enemy in place.  Throwing multiple grenades into the killzone seems as valid as the gun that fires multiple burst in the same turn.

IRL, an AK-47 assault rifle (A good analogy for an autogun) has a cyclic rate of fire of 600 rds/min. That means it can empty a 30 rd. magazine in 3 seconds! That's half a standard DH2 round! The ROF given in the book assumes some fire dicipline but is hardly the limit of the weapon!

 

Yep I get that, but why can't I access that ROF, in something other Overwatch?  

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Yep I get that, but why can't I access that ROF, in something other Overwatch?  

 

 

This is obviously also my response when the realistic ROF argument comes up.  Why am I dumping ammo slower than I was when I was practicing suppression fire, which is, by default, holding the trigger and spraying a position to such an extent that it increases your odds of a jam ? 

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Yep I get that, but why can't I access that ROF, in something other Overwatch?

 

This is obviously also my response when the realistic ROF argument comes up.  Why am I dumping ammo slower than I was when I was practicing suppression fire, which is, by default, holding the trigger and spraying a position to such an extent that it increases your odds of a jam ?

Oddly enough, I agree. I have always felt that suppressing fire should double ammo expenditure!

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I may be engaging in a bit of necromancy here but I wanted to put in my two cents on this topic.... I had a thought to implement Overwatch RAW (allowing multiple attacks), but adding a cumulative penalty to each extra attack taken in a single turn. 

I'm thinking either a cumulative -10 or -20 per extra shot. My thinking on this is that in the span of a turn you can really only feasibly change targets and remain accurate so many times. Sure, you can change targets and pull the trigger 10 times in the span of ten seconds, but how accurate is that 10th shot gonna be? The Pinning functionality would remain the same.

 

I think that's a solution that makes sense realistically, and also curbs the overwhelming power of Overwatch without defeating its intended purpose.

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