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pendrake71

"Rule of Three" and Ammunition

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(initial post)...

As listed in the DW books (and the other WH40K RPG series), it says to follow the general "Rule of Three" for consumable things, notably ammunition, when the characters are out in the field and away from easy re-supply.

However, it lacks clarity.

 

1. Deathwatch bolt-pistols and bolters automatically come with a Fire Selector, expanding their ammunition capacity to x3 clips, respectively.

So the question is this: Does the "Rule of Three" for reloads mean carrying +3 clips (for standard weapon clip size)?  Or carrying +9 clips (with Fire Selector)?

While I am inclined to believe +9 clips, it does stretch that belief for Deathwatch Space Marine carrying +9 clips on his person, +10 for Tactical Marines' default bonus bolter clip.  This number goes to +18 (+19 for Tactical Marines) for both bolt-pistol and bolter.

We do not see many Space Marine figurines carrying +9 to +18 clips on their person  :rolleyes: .

 

2. This query also applies to Heavy Weapons users.

For example...  A Devastator with his default Heavy Bolter, also automatically comes with a Backpack Ammo Supply for 250 shots.

But does the Devastator wielding the Heavy Bolter also come with +3 (smaller) ammunition boxes (60 shots per box)?

{I am assuming the Devastator does not come with, and carry, +3 Backpack Ammo Supply "reloads" unless the Player specifically purchases them.  ;) }

 

3. I understand that they do not want ammunition-counting to be an issue (like most RPGs); however, my overall campaign will eventually lead to the Ark of Lost Souls' "Space Hulk" adventure, where there will specifically be no re-supply.  This is to reinforce the themes of "sinking ship", "desperate conditions", and "scarce resources", of being marooned upon (and within) the Mortis Thule Space Hulk.

Likewise, I also figure I should be prepared for a GM Ruling over ammunition issues before then, should the Players favor firing Full Auto for each and every encounter &/or combat Round <_< .

 

~~~~~ ~~~~~ ~~~~~ ~~~~~ ~~~~~

[EDITED] (08-29-2016)...

 I have revised my overall GM ruling on the "Rule of Three" Reloads.  It is now:

 

1. Pistols, Basic, Exotic Weapons = +3 clip Reloads.  

Weapons with Fire Selector option come with x3 clips pre-loaded, but it does NOT give a multiplier to Reloads (+3 [reloads] x 3 [fire selector] = +9 [reloads]).

So a Deathwatch boltgun (w/Fire Selector) comes with x3 clips pre-loaded, but only +3 clip Reloads (not +9)

 

2. Devastators (or Heavy Weapon carrying) players may choose between:

 - a. 1x Backpack Ammo Supply, +0 (zero) Reloads

 - b. 1x box-ammo (clip) loaded, +3 box-ammo (clip) Reloads

 

3. If a Player wants more "free" (zero cost) ammunition, I will begin to penalize them.  For example: they must calculate for me (meaning they do the math work, not me the GM) the extra carrying weight.

If they get excessive, such as carrying their weight in extra "free" ammunition, they I (GM) will severely penalize them, such as having any hit on them possibly detonating their extra ammo (in addition to encumbered penalties).  And if the excessive ammo Player thinks to make themselves into a walking ammo dump explosion, then I will consider that an ignoble and wasteful death for a Space Marine and also penalize their XP/Rank for their next character.

Atop of that, any other of his fellow Kill Team who dies as a result of getting caught in said ammo dump explosion also suffers the same XP/Rank penalty.  Even if they do not die, they will suffer an XP reduction to Mission Complete and Renown penalty (taint by association).

Bluntly put: I will come down hard on such poor-judgement abusive Players; and "encourage" his fellows to help me enforce that ruling, because if they stand by and allow their fellow (poor-judgement) Player to be excessive, then they must suffer with him.

 

4. The (non-penalizing) counter-balance is that if the Players pay out the Requisition for extra ammunition clips, notably Special Ammunition clips, then I will not penalize anything (not even carrying weight).  As long as the Players pay for their extra ammunition (requisition, XP, Signature Wargear, etc.), then I will not penalize any of it.

So for example: if a Tactical Marine spends 200 Requisition on +8 Hellfire clips for his Deathwatch (Fire Selector) Boltgun, he gets:

 ~ x3 regular bolter clips for his Deathwatch (Fire Selector) Boltgun

 ~ +3 regular bolter clip Reloads

 ~ +1 [special ammunition] clip, from being a Tactical Marine

 ~ +8 Hellfire clips, from spending (200) Requisition

 

And ZERO penalties for carrying all that extra ammunition, not even weight.

Edited by pendrake71

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I'd say 3 of each clip, but you can req standard bolt ammo without much problem unloess you get ridiculous. I'd say you could ask for 3 regular clips no cost.

If you req special clips those are 1 per req, so you're limited on them, Remember a tac marine only gets o0ne spe3cial clip free and it has to be under like 25 req.

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By RAW "The Fire Selector holds 3 standard size clips for the weapon it is used with, including a Storm Bolter" Errata, p.9, so yes, with "rule of three" you have 9 standard size clips for every weapon with Fire Selector.

Backpack ammo isn't a stadnard ammunition according to p.3 of Errata: “Special issue ammunition for Heavy Bolters adds +5 to the Requisition for a regular clip or +15 if an Astartes Backpack Ammo supply is used.”

Edited by Jargal

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@Jargal...

 

1. Correct on the Heavy Weapons' Backpack Ammo Supply.  As said, I do not imagine a Devastator dragging along +3 backpacks of ammo :wacko: .

However, the question was not having +3 Backpack Ammo Supply, but whether if there would be +3 ammo boxes/clips for "Rule of Three" reloads if the Heavy Weapon wielder (somehow) managed to expend his Backpack Ammo Supply.

 

2. As I also said, I am inclined to believe that it is +9 clips (+10 for Tactical Marines) for a standard carry for "Rule of Three" reloads due to the Fire Selector aspect.

For Real Life modern military of full-gear, it is generally 6-8 magazines' worth for rifles, and 2-4 clips for pistols.

But carrying +9 per bolt-[weapon], to +18 for bolt-pistol and bolter, seems excessive even for the superhuman Space Marines in Power Armor.

 

If there were a miniature depicting a Space Marine with extra clips, it certainly would have helped in this decision-making :unsure: .

Edited by pendrake71

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The astartes forces have a tactical web vest I think that allows more stuff to be carried. Again tho as huge as bolter clips are you have a **** good point I have thought of at times. Also notice we've never seen an illo of a bolter with fire selector? Imagine how big that thing has to be... A combi weapon with a fire selector...You want a wheelbarrow to help you carry that, brother?

You really have to take your suspension of disbelief out and toss a vortex grenade on it to enjoy 40k, you know. It ain't Traveller... ^_^

Edited by Professor Tanhauser

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For Real Life modern military of full-gear, it is generally 6-8 magazines' worth for rifles, and 2-4 clips for pistols.

 

RL modern military in actual action prefer to wear at least 1.5 of standart ammunition load meaning 450 (15x30) for AK-74, and AFAIK our colleagues from NATO have the same habits.

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@Jargal...

A fair point, it does depend upon the particular military and the particular gun(s) being carried.

But back on subject, +9 bolter clips and +9 bolt-pistol clips still seems excessive, given the shape of Space Marine Power Armors.

 

~~~~~ ~~~~~ ~~~~~ ~~~~~ ~~~~~

 

@Professor Tanhauser...

In regards to the Astartes Combat Webbing (pg. 144, DW: Rites of Battle), that is intended for Space Marine Scouts wearing Scout Armor or Carapace Armor.  And it only holds +2 bolt ammo clips among the various other gear.

You are also correct in having to severely bend Suspension of Disbelief.  The 'trick' is also balancing gameplay and GM Rulings.  Thus the purpose of this query-thread.

Edited by pendrake71

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Well, let's face it. The bolters and their clips are pretty oversized in order to look "cool". They're as big as you can make a miniature hold to make the minis look more impressive. If they had to put extra clips on the minis people might say "that looks kinda....silly."

So we have to assume bolter clips are not as big as they look in the artwork and on the miniatures.

Speaking of ridiculously huge ammo that wouldn't work, anyone see the barrel of a leman russ tank? My god that barrel would scale out to be like 3' across in relation to a standard figure! The tank could hold like maybe 2-3 of them, and it's take a 5 man crew and half a day to load one! Obviously the barrel on a leman russ tank is absolutely ridiculously out of scale to look awesome and scary but  all it looks is kinda silly.

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Having re-reviewed the books and their respective Adventures, it seems to lean towards the lesser amount for number of Reloads.

This means:

 - a. Basic and Pistol Weapons, such as bolt-pistols and bolters, only receive +3 reload clips per weapon, based upon their un-modified clip value.  This does not factor in the Fire Selector(s), even if it automatically comes with them (Fire Selector).

 - b. Heavy Weapons, not terribly surprisingly, only have the Backpack Ammo Supply.  They do not come with +3 reload ammo boxes to their (non-Backpack) clip value.

 

While I have little care either way over this, it does appear that the FFG game developers wanted to both go the opposite route of the WH40K miniature war-games' "limitless" ammo, as well as being "miniature accurate" in how none of them (visibly) carry any extra ammunition clips, and to make ammunition a Player side-concern.

Or perhaps a "subtle" method for making the Players favor melee combat(?).

Edited by pendrake71

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I'm of pendrake's mind here. Conservation of ammo can easily be made into a tactical/gameplay element all by itself, and it can be a balancing element for excessive use of full auto attacks.

 

The fire selector also does not technically increase the weapon's ammo capacity (as represented by clip size), but only allows you to load several reloads at once. When you reload, you still only swap one single magazine, not all three, so three reloads still means three mags.

 

Part of the confusion here might be the result of FFG's implementation of the fire selector as accepting three full-sized clips (which ought to look somewhat weird), when in Games Workshop's original model, the Deathwatch fire selector actually accepted two "miniature" clips with special ammunition in addition to a primary magazine with conventional rounds.

 

See Captain Artemis' boltgun here, and note the "auxiliary" clips with their numerical markings (I + II):

 

brother-artemis-deathwatch.jpg

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I'm with Lynata here.  Side note: The Bolter used by Artemis (above) actually has 4 x small/short magazines with two on each side of the weapon numbered I - IV.  :)

 

Forgive me for blurring into "house-rules" territory, but I had the same problem with clarity and satisfaction on "rule of three" and I thought this expansion would help the OP.

 

I solved this by house-ruling that our Marines can carry 5 magazines (140 rounds) for a Boltgun if they are Specialists and 7 magazines (196 rounds) if they are Tacticals.  Our Marines are also automatically issued with Astartes Combat Webbing as the Req cost is so low as to be marginal - and it looks as if the new Deathwatch 40K models have it as standard too!  :)

 

Each "Short" magazine (as shown in the pic above) carries 7 rounds of either Standard or Special ammunition chosen at will before an attack roll is made (via the shot selector).  The main magazine has of course a capacity of 28 rounds.  These magazines must be filled from the allowance for each Marine (140 or 196) and any Special ammo is swapped for a Standard round.  In effect this means they carry two mags in the weapon and 3 - 5 spares.  All special ammo is requisitioned in packs of 7.

 

Our Bolt Pistols do not have shot selectors, but each Marine equipped with a Bolt Pistol may carry 3 x magazines - 1 in the weapon and 2 spare.  Our grenades adhere to the "rule of three".  Our Heavy Bolters are fed as normal, with the exception that if they feed from a 60 rounds "box", the Devastator can load 1 and take 2 extras.

 

On the Heavy Bolter special ammo question, I think that a backpack feed isn't determined as special ammunition, but that if you put special ammunition in it, it costs +15 Requistion for the ammo itself - maybe because it's bigger!  :P

 

I hope this helps,

 

MR.

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Side note: The Bolter used by Artemis (above) actually has 4 x small/short magazines with two on each side of the weapon numbered I - IV.  :)

 

This is good info! I've only ever seen this mini from one side, so thanks for the addition. :)

 

Also, I like how you've resolved the requisition of special ammo and the short mags!

Edited by Lynata

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Yes, you know I like this idea as I considered the whole "3 full clips stuck in something stuck in the regular magazine" to be impractical. looking at capt. Arty's bolter there that looks more practical. Also you could still add a grenade launcher or even make it a combi bolter. maybe.

I could see this and each subclip having 6 rounds, so you could have 24 rounds of special ammo in addition to the regular clip.

As to reloads, one req gets you a full load of 4 sub clips. How's that? The sub clips might be small enough to carry on a tactical vest too.

for multiple types of ammo, if special ammos have the same cost,you can mix them up with say 2 kraken and 2 metalstorm rounds for one req. I think I may go with this idea, and wasn't good ol' Arty the first DW marine anyway?

Also, as to requisition issues, I think some of it could be solved with a spoonful of "PROFESSOR TANHAUSER BRAND GM JUDGEMENT. The wonder cure for all manner of game problems! ©"

I mean, say your KT is assigned a mission that will most certainly have them fighting 'nids. As a GM I may very well rule that in this case for this mission you man choose one appropriate type of special ammo as standard issue and get like 3 clips of it for no req cost so long as you meet the renown requirement. "So, brother,  you're mostly like to be facing tyranids and you wish for blessed hellfire rounds to deal with them? Sensible! Take these with the emperor's blessing!" The guy might also req  some metalstorm rounds as normal due to their effectiveness vs hordes.

likewise, if an encounter with the thrice cursed and damned traitor legions (SPIT!) is quite probable, you may be issued kraken rounds to penetrate their foul armor for the asking. Again, if in the GM's judgement the ammo you want is reasonable to the mission parameters you may get it sans req points. If you req a full cllip you may get one free, others you may have to pay for. Again, GM judgement is essential.

I may go with this type of fire select bolter and appreciate the ref to old Arty as a pointer to get me thinking in the right direction. My thanks, Brother Lynata!

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First off, a shout-out to Lynata; it was a very constructive and useful post, and miniature image.   :)

 

Second, it looks like my GM Ruling, at least for starting Space Marines, will be:

 - a. Bolt Pistols ~ 1 clip loaded, +3 clip Reloads.

 - b. Deathwatch Boltguns ~ 3 clips loaded (counting Fire Selector), +3 clip Reloads (not counting Fire Selector); +1 Special Ammunition clip for Tactical Marines.

 - c. Heavy Bolter ~ 1 Backpack Ammo Supply, +0 (zero) ammo box Reloads; however... the Player may alternatively choose 1 ammo box loaded and +3 ammo box Reloads, if they so wish.  The reason(s) for doing so, do not matter; but the option between Backpack Ammo Supply or ammo boxes will be there.

 

If the Players wish to load-up upon extra Reloads past the "Rule of Three", then they must calculate for me (the GM) the extra weight incurred.  This is meant as a mild deterrent, most Players hate having to do extra math.  ;)

If they insist upon carrying their weight (or more) in Reloads, then I will incur the possibility of having their excessive Reloads getting hit and detonating.

I do not know what I will do if they insist in bringing a cargo crate &/or shipping container of ammunition and repeatedly returning to it to restock.  "Theoretically" it should not be an issue as most Deathwatch (book) Adventures are mobile stories.

Edited by pendrake71

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Uh, just so it's out there, if a marine feels he night need more that obe type of special ammo abd you use full clips instead if arty's mini clips, he might be willing to leave off some regular ammo to lighten his load.

So brother bubba thinks he might need several clips of hellfire and metalstorm to deal with anticipated heavy tyranid resistance. He might buy 2x hellfire and metalstorm clips but leave behind 2 clips of standard ammo. So 3 clips in the gun and maybe 3 on his belt or webbing.

I might be nice and rule that if you need special ammo and leave off regular clips you might get a 5 req point break for every regular clip you leave off.

But i still think i'll retrofit the regular fire select with the kind of bolter good ol' arty has. Yeah. I might make each miniclip hold 7 just to make them equal to a regular clip upon reflection.

This is one great board for intelligent solutions to questions.

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Btw, thanks to my bing fu here's another pic of arty showing he does indeed have 4 miniclips in his deathwach bolter.

http://www.letrocdugeek.com/wp-content/uploads/bfi_thumb/Deathwatch-06-2z0eucp3gn3l0juqeu3qq2.jpg

It also shows why marines have those big wide backpacks. It's mostly to make their asses look smaller.

Edited by Professor Tanhauser

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@Professor Tanhauser...

If a Player spends the Requisition for a clip (or box) of Special Ammunition, then that is considered a +1 clip in addition to the regular bolt ammo clip Reloads, and I (GM) will not penalize for anything.

For example: a Tactical Marine uses his status as a Tactical Marine to acquire +1 bolter clip of Hellfire Rounds for free.  He then spends 25 Requisition for +1 additional bolter clip of Hellfire Rounds.  So overall...

 - a. Bolt Pistol = 1 clip loaded, +3 pistol clip Reloads

 - b. Deathwatch Boltgun = 3 (regular bolt shells) clips loaded, +3 (regular bolt shells) clips Reloads, +2 clips Hellfire Rounds.  In what order they are loaded or in-reserve upon Mission-start, does not matter.

 

The point is: If the Player(s) spend the Requisition for extra &/or special ammunition, then I will not inflict any penalties.

The counter-balance, and core topic, to this is how much of the "free" (zero Requisition cost) ammunition the Player Characters can, &/or should, be allowed to carry.

Edited by pendrake71

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I do not know what I will do if they insist in bringing a cargo crate &/or shipping container of ammunition and repeatedly returning to it to restock.  "Theoretically" it should not be an issue as most Deathwatch (book) Adventures are mobile stories.

 

I have actually landed supplies for the Kill team, deep into enemy territory.  If they are on a stealth mission it gives them both an objective and possible compromise by enemy forces, but either way it gives you flexibility if you think they have had it too hard or too easy with Horde sizes etc.  Just like modern militaries, throw your resupply off the back of a Hercules (Stormraven etc) and follow it out Marine!

 

The point is: If the Player(s) spend the Requisition for extra &/or special ammunition, then I will not inflict any penalties.

 

The counter-balance, and core topic, to this is how much of the "free" (zero Requisition cost) ammunition the Player Characters can, &/or should, be allowed to carry.

 

And that's absolutely fine.  I personally warn my players of encumbrance, which gives penalties to Agility - so if you want extra magazines, you give up a Grenade, your Combat Knife etc etc or you get loaded down, maybe too wide for narrow corridors, maybe your gear hangs you up in a doorway - and that's lethal even for a Marine. In the end "how much is too much" essentially, as Prof Tanhauser has eloquently put - is up to GM discretion.

 

Decide where you want your fine line and then modify on the fly if it doesn't work, maybe on a Space Hulk there will be an armoury, or centuries old fallen Marines.  Boltgun ammo keeps really well. :)

 

MR.

Edited by Mazer Rackham

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@H.B.M.C....

Another useful post & miniature image.  :)

 

1. This reinforces my (revised) GM position for only +3 clip Reloads for Deathwatch boltguns.  The Deathwatch miniatures show grenades, show combat knives, show backup weaponry, shows utility pouches (for example, carrying Repair Cement), and of course, show the extra clips function of a Deathwatch boltgun Fire Selector.

What is not shown?   +9 (or even +3) extra clips.

So again, I (GM) am inclined to only give +3 clip Reloads for Pistol, Basic, &/or Exotic Weapons.  A Fire Selector will add x3 clips pre-loaded, but does not give a multiplier (+3 x 3) to the Reloads' "Rule of Three".

 

2. On a parallel track, the Deathwatch Devastator in the miniature-set link is wielding a Heavy Bolter with box-ammo (clip) rather than a Backpack Ammo Supply.  This also reinforces my GM position to allow a Devastator (or any Heavy Weapon carrying) player the option for either:

 - a. 1x Backpack Ammo Supply, +0 (zero) Reloads

 - b. 1x box-ammo (clip) loaded, +3 box-ammo (clip) Reloads

Edited by pendrake71

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I have revised my overall GM ruling on the "Rule of Three" Reloads.  It is now...

 

1. Pistols, Basic, Exotic Weapons = +3 clip Reloads.

Weapons with Fire Selector option come with x3 clips pre-loaded, but it does NOT give a multiplier to Reloads (+3 [reloads] x 3 [fire selector] = +9 [reloads]).

So a Deathwatch boltgun (w/Fire Selector) comes with x3 clips pre-loaded, but only +3 clip Reloads (not +9)

 

2. Devastators (or Heavy Weapon carrying) players may choose between:

 - a. 1x Backpack Ammo Supply, +0 (zero) Reloads

 - b. 1x box-ammo (clip) loaded, +3 box-ammo (clip) Reloads

 

3. If a Player wants more "free" (zero cost) ammunition, I will begin to penalize them.  For example: they must calculate for me (meaning they do the math work, not me the GM) the extra carrying weight, and suffer corresponding encumbrance problems.

If they get excessive, such as carrying their power armored weight in extra "free" ammunition, they I (GM) will severely penalize them, such as having any hit on them possibly detonating their extra ammo (in addition to encumbered penalties).  And if the excessive ammo Player thinks to make themselves into a walking ammo dump explosion, then I will consider that an ignoble and wasteful death for a Space Marine and also penalize their XP/Rank for their next character.

Atop of that, any other of his fellow Kill Team who dies as a result of getting caught in said ammo dump explosion also suffers the same XP/Rank penalty.  Even if they do not die, they will suffer an XP reduction to Mission Complete and Renown penalty (taint by association).

Bluntly put: I will come down hard on such poor-judgement abusive Players; and "encourage" his fellows to help me enforce that ruling, because if they stand by and allow their fellow (poor-judgement) Player to be excessive, then they must suffer with him.

 

4. The (non-penalizing) counter-balance is that if the Players pay the Requisition for extra ammunition clips, notably Special Ammunition clips, then I will not penalize anything (not even carrying weight).  As long as the Players pay for their extra ammunition (requisition, XP, Signature Wargear, etc.), then I will not penalize any of it.

 

So for example: If a Tactical Marine spends 200 Requisition on +8 Hellfire clips for his Deathwatch (Fire Selector) Boltgun, he gets:

 ~ x3 regular bolter clips for his Deathwatch (Fire Selector) Boltgun

 ~ +3 regular bolter clip Reloads

 ~ +1 [special ammunition] clip, from the Tactical Marine's Standard Wargear feature

 ~ +8 Hellfire clips, from spending (200) Requisition

 

And ZERO penalties for carrying all that extra ammunition, not even weight.

There is one exception-factor, that of simple Common Sense.  For example: If a Player buys up multiple Backpack Ammo Supply, I will allow it.  But then Common Sense applies in that I will have to impose encumbrance upon that Player.  It is not because I want to penalize, it is just Common Sense at that point.

Edited by pendrake71

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3. If a Player wants more "free" (zero cost) ammunition, I will begin to penalize them.  For example: they must calculate for me (meaning they do the math work, not me the GM) the extra carrying weight, and suffer corresponding encumbrance problems.

 

But PC in power armor has TB+SB=8 at minimum - it gives him 56 kg of Max Carrying Weight. Encumbrance is unlikely.

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But PC in power armor has TB+SB=8 at minimum - it gives him 56 kg of Max Carrying Weight. Encumbrance is unlikely.

 

 

I think you may have gotten that wrong, the absolute weakest DW character has 7 SB and 7 TB for a combined total of 14 for the purposes of Carrying Weight. That translates to 337kg at complete minimum, with your average 40+ Str and T marine in Power Armor having a Carrying Weight of 1350kg.

 

Encumbrance in DW is not just unlikely, its almost impossible from just standard weapons and gear.

Edited by SCKoNi

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