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Abwehrschlacht

Long Range Rules Suggestion

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We homebrewed some rules for firing beyond the ranges printed on the unit cards as they always seem way too short for energy weapons to me.

Most weapons now have two ranges, (don't include grenades, other hand thrown or obvious weapons in this mix though!) Effective and Extreme. Effective is as written on the cards, Extreme is anything over that, so a Stormtrooper blaster is 1 - 3 effective, 4+ extreme. At Effective range, all weapons fire as printed on the cards. At Extreme range all weapons that roll a number of Red or Black dice drop down to the next dice in this sequence: Red - Black - White. So, the Stormtrooper DLT-19 fires at Effective range at 2 Red dice, so at Extreme range this drops to 2 Black dice. Simple enough. 

The difference is weapons that fire with a White dice and these are handled in one of two ways: In the case of troopers (such as the Stormtroopers with their one white dice each), take the number of dice normally used and half it at Extreme range (rounding down). So a Stormtrooper unit of five troopers firing at Extreme range would roll two White dice (half of 5 is 2.5, rounded down to 2). For heavy weapons (the AT-ST laser cannons for example), a single White dice roll is ignored, or if multiple White dice are used, half it. So, the AT-ST main laser cannon firing at Extreme range would fire: 2 Black, 3 White dice. This is achieved by taking the effect Effective range dice: 2 Red, 2 Black, 2 White. The Red drop to Black, the Black drops to White and the two Whites are halved. The smaller laser cannon on the AT-ST fires 1 Red, 1 Black and 1 White at Effective range, at Extreme range this drops to 1 Black and 1 White (the single White dice is ignored). 

Armour rolls and dodges remains the same and this stops the game turning into a long range slug fest. Obviously this is not for tournament games or rules lawyers, but they add a bit of realism to a game that sees blasters firing at about 30m range... 

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It would definitely turn into a long-range slugfest and would make the game worse. You would just be constantly pinging each other with suppression and some damage instead of getting in there and playing the game as it's meant to be played. The ranges are abstract to make the game manageable. If you want anything close to "realistic" you definitely should not be playing a Star Wars game. Realistic ranges would be silly, and the use of energy weapons doesn't give them longer range (if anything the sources I'm seeing seem to show they have LESS range than modern weapons). If you had "realistic" ranges and they used conventional weapons, things like pistols, flamethrowers, and shotguns loaded with buckshot would probably be range 1-3 or 4. A soldier with a modern rifle would have an effective range of more than 3 full table lengths (over 6 meters in real distance). It's abstract for a reason. I'd recommend leaving it that way.

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16 minutes ago, arnoldrew said:

It would definitely turn into a long-range slugfest and would make the game worse. 

We used these rules yesterday and that didn't happen. It made us use cover more and close to actually cause higher damage. In six turns you are not going to inflict enough damage to destroy a unit when you're average kill ratio is one figure per turn at the extreme range... Wookiepedia tells me an E-11 has a range of 300 metres, similar to modern bolt action rifle effective ranges.Use them or not, don't be instantly dismissive until you've actually tried something. 

Edited by Abwehrschlacht

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6 minutes ago, Abwehrschlacht said:

We used these rules yesterday and that didn't happen. It made us use cover more and close to actually cause higher damage. In six turns you are not going to inflict enough damage to destroy a unit when you're average kill ratio is one figure per turn at the extreme range... Wookiepedia tells me an E-11 has a range of 300 metres, similar to modern bolt action rifle effective ranges.Use them or not, don't be instantly dismissive until you've actually tried something. 

300m is the distance I used as the effective range of a modern military rifle since that's the furthest distance on a rifle qualification in the US Army and I routinely shoot further than that with privately owned "military style" weapons. If you're going for realism, you're going to need to stretch everything out much further. Grenades can be thrown to about range 3 or 4, as well. 

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3 hours ago, Abwehrschlacht said:

don't be instantly dismissive until you've actually tried something. 

Don't take it personally, nowadays everyone acts like any house rule is tantamount to just smashing action figures against each other in the backyard. People really crave the approval of corporate employees they'll never meet. There's been a real culture shift from collaboration to consumption. I'd experiment with such rules myself but I doubt I can remember anything long enough to have it amount to anything!

Edited by TauntaunScout

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LOL, whilst we were formulating these rules, I actually discussed putting them up here on the forum then joked about what the reaction would be and it was exactly as we said! 

They are easy enough to remember, remembering the sequence of the dice is the tricky bit. We came up with these as the game was on a 6 x 4 foot table and we were playing longways, so it would have been about turn three before any firing would have occurred. Playing the across the short axis reduces the need for an extreme range anyway, but there will still be occasions where the rules won't allow for an opportunity shot due to range. 

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30 minutes ago, Abwehrschlacht said:

LOL, whilst we were formulating these rules, I actually discussed putting them up here on the forum then joked about what the reaction would be and it was exactly as we said! 

They are easy enough to remember, remembering the sequence of the dice is the tricky bit. We came up with these as the game was on a 6 x 4 foot table and we were playing longways, so it would have been about turn three before any firing would have occurred. Playing the across the short axis reduces the need for an extreme range anyway, but there will still be occasions where the rules won't allow for an opportunity shot due to range. 

To be honest we used to have rules where, if I recall correctly, the suggested table size was 3 to 4 feet wide by 5 to 6 feet long, and blaster pistols were 60" range. It was balanced out by using a lot of scenery. So it's all relative.

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6 x 4 is my standard size table, I think the Legion rules say a 3 x 6 foot, which makes sense for the ranges, but it doesn't give you much tactical flexibility as you are straight on top of each other and then it DOES become a slug-fest.  

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6 hours ago, Abwehrschlacht said:

Use them or not, don't be instantly dismissive until you've actually tried something. 

You don't always have to try a rule to spot problems with it. Playtesting is important, but when numbers are involved you can often spot the problem with math. Comparison to previous experiences can also be valid.

So, my thoughts; This is a pretty radical buff to range 2 weapons. The typical fleet troopers unit now outshoots everything except in the narrow range 3 band where other troops are still getting their full dice allotment... Unless you let them keep weapon keywords, in which case Pierce 1 means they blow absolutely everybody out of the water at all ranges. Scout Troopers are also horrifying, especially since there's no way to keep them from getting pierce 1 since the sniper rifle has infinite range. Most rebel commanders also get pretty significant buffs- Han in particular gets disgusting if he can fire at 2 different targets each turn as long as he can see them. Boba Fett also gets much more obnoxious when he can fire at long ranges. Conversely, Veers ends up looking absolutely pathetic, rolling Leia's long range dice at range 1-3, and only a single white die at range 4+.

Given that, if you do want to keep using the rule, I'd say extreme range cuts out at twice of effective range, and weapon keywords (and perhaps sharpshooter) are lost at extreme range. In general, though, I don't think Legion is the right game for this sort of rule. Wargames like Legion or 40k limit the range of most infantry weapons in order to force people out from entrenched positions, balancing what models do get access to exceptionally long range weapons with specific weaknesses.

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As I said, you can decide which weapons get the extra range bonus, it may not work for pistols, but for rifles it certainly makes sense. Also, this was done quickly on the hoof, so it has yet to be refined (hence the keyword: suggestion). Dropping off weapon keywords is a good idea, which still means you have the chance for a long range kill.

As I mentioned, we used the rules in Saturday's game and although there were a few casualties at long range, it was not enough to tip the game. And those that were caused were because I wasn't using cover effectively and advancing over open ground. 

It's a standing joke with us about the ranges in 40K, interstellar drive but weapons that only fire 24". 

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If these (or any) changes help you enjoy the game more, please go ahead, do anything you like with it 🙂. I know, that custimizing the game by itself can be great fun and fills the gap between the times where you actually get together to play.

In my opinion, the game doesn't need it. It is polished out really well and (almost) all units are really well balanced. If you are a beer and pretzels player and just enjoy throwing some dice and mashing some figures together, everything's fine. But I am always concerned with balance and having equal chances. Just changing a small thing can snowball very quickly (long range pierce for example) and you'll be doing a lot of rebalancing constantly. This can be great fun too and as long as everybody agrees on the changes, it's fine. But as soon as you play with different people, don't expect them to share your opinion and enthusiasm on those changes. For me, those changes don't improve the game and I wouldn't want to try it any time soon.

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7 hours ago, SailorMeni said:


If you are a beer and pretzels player and just enjoy throwing some dice and mashing some figures together, everything's fine

....and there it is. What'd I say?

9 hours ago, Abwehrschlacht said:

It's a standing joke with us about the ranges in 40K, interstellar drive but weapons that only fire 24". 

Warhammer Fantasy Battles actually did a pretty good job balancing the ground scale which is something you might want to consider too. So, in WFB, the weapons also seemed to have a pathetic range, but that's because the figures were bigger scale than the ground scale.

For example of how the groundscale was realistic: a unit of archers in that game got a realistic number of shots at a unit of charging knights, if you divided the bow range by the knights movement, and then compared the range of real bows to the speed of real horses.

So you might want to consider for Legion, the range of weapons compared to movement of units. Not the range of weapons compared to the size of the model battlefield. How many times could you expect to take a good shot (not wild suppressive fire) in the amount of time it takes someone to move a certain distance? It gets pretty "angels on the head of a pin" pretty fast, but, it would seem to me, that blasters have a slower rate of fire than most guns. They have seem to have traded speed for stopping power. And also economics: energy seems to be super cheap in Star Wars.

Edited by TauntaunScout

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On 12/9/2018 at 11:05 AM, Abwehrschlacht said:

In six turns you are not going to inflict enough damage to destroy a unit when you're average kill ratio is one figure per turn at the extreme range

Then what's the point? I mean, you and your friends should have fun playing however you agree to...but in my opinion, if you're going to change the rules of a game, it should have a strategic effect on the game. If you're saying your house rules don't have a strategic effect and you're closing in to the printed ranges anyway, then you're mostly not even using those rules after the first round of the game. So why bother?

If it's because you feel it adds realism, there's no place in the movies where we see these weapons being effective at those ranges. In fact, a number of out-of-movie sources state the blaster bolts lose cohesion and damaging power over distance.

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43 minutes ago, Turan said:

 

If it's because you feel it adds realism, there's no place in the movies where we see these weapons being effective at those ranges. In fact, a number of out-of-movie sources state the blaster bolts lose cohesion and damaging power over distance.

I kind of suspect blasters are in a phase of technology similar to early firearms. Up until the late 1800's, guns were actually worse than bows and crossbows by most performance metrics. But by pretty much all economic metrics, they were better. Cheaper to make, easier to maintain, cheaper ammo, less skill invested in learning to use them, less skill required to learn to make them... I personally like to think of blasters as a similar bottleneck in technology: They are shorter ranged and slower rate of fire than our military weapons. But up close they are much more deadly, they hold more rounds, are cheaper, easier to use, less likely to malfunction, etc. etc. This helps me to explain the usefulness of lightsabers too.

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