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MikeEvans

Improving Cannons

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Let's face it, most of the cannons suck.  Jamming beam is particularly awful (as its range is 1-2).  I'd love to see these upgrades a little more useful, without being too powerful.  I had the idea for possible upgrade cards that might allow you to get some benefit from the cannons without sacrificing your ability to deal damage.  I'd appreciate any (constructive) criticism.  Apologies if suggestions like this have already been suggested and discussed.  I'd probably make these upgrades modifications, as making them something else (cannon/sensor) would limit which ships could take them.

Linked (Ion/Tractor/Jam) Cannon:  When you perform a primary <forward arc> attack, if the attack hits, you may cancel remaining <hit> or <crit> results.  For each result canceled, the defender gains 1 ion/tractor/jam token.  The idea here is that if you nail the defender with a good hit you can decide whether to sacrifice some of your damage for control effects.  I would suggest variable pricing based on primary weapon value, to make it a worthwhile option for ships with weaker primary weapons, like the Scyk.  

Dual Targeting System:  After you perform a primary attack, you may immediately perform a bonus attack with one of your cannon upgrades that does not have a <bullseye arc> requirement.  This is the stronger option because it lets you have your cake and eat it too.    Unsure whether this should be limited to attacking the same ship, or whether you should be able to split your shots.  The no-bullseye bit is to prevent abusing this with Heavy Laser Cannon, which would be pretty OP.

Thoughts?

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Variable pricing based on primary weapon would actually hurt scyks, since they’d have to be priced lower on 3-die ships to be any sort of worthwhile.

I do not like removing attacks from weapons, but jamming Beam would actually be playable if it just gave the jam action.

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Jamming beam would be playable if it we're range 1-3 and automatically shot at I 7

Giving up an attack ain't worth diddly in any other circumstance save the odd opportunity to tractorbeam someone on to a rock before they shoot 

The ion cannon is basically fine, it just isn't worth 5 points and its best platform, ze Gunboat, is tragically overcosted

Edited by ficklegreendice

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50 minutes ago, Matanui3 said:

Variable pricing based on primary weapon would actually hurt scyks, since they’d have to be priced lower on 3-die ships to be any sort of worthwhile.

I do not like removing attacks from weapons, but jamming Beam would actually be playable if it just gave the jam action.

I think @MikeEvans means that the Scyk would be paying less than a 3 die primary ship since it could convert at max, unless Sunny, 2 hits or crit in range 2-3 and 3 at range 1 to a token. Sunny has the potential, if you get lucky on your rolls, to change that to 4 dice range 2-3 and 5 at range 1 (she can add up to 2 results if you roll all blanks or focuses on the first roll, add a matching result, burn a target lock and get all hits or crits and add a matching result, or all focuses and then convert with a focus after adding the extra result from her reroll trigger).

1 hour ago, MikeEvans said:

Dual Targeting System:  After you perform a primary attack, you may immediately perform a bonus attack with one of your cannon upgrades that does not have a <bullseye arc> requirement.  This is the stronger option because it lets you have your cake and eat it too.    Unsure whether this should be limited to attacking the same ship, or whether you should be able to split your shots.  The no-bullseye bit is to prevent abusing this with Heavy Laser Cannon, which would be pretty OP.

Hmm, maybe still permit the HLC but limit the entire ability to bullseye only, but the ability would have 1 non recurring charge that you would regen when you reveal a blue maneuver and are not stressed?

I.E. Focused Fire: After you perform a primary attack against a ship in your bullseye arc, you may spend 1 charge from this card to perform a bonus attack against the same ship with 1 of your cannon upgrades. If you reveal a blue maneuver and are not stressed, recharge this card.

Potent but takes some work to line up, and some risk to keep the ability chugging if you are aiming to use it every chance you can. It also fits the B-Wing's original role as a capital ship hunter. :)

I'd see something like that as 8 points for the upgrade since you still have to buy a cannon to use with it.

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@Hiemfire is correct, I meant that Scyks would pay less for the upgrade, because they don't generally have as much potential as ships with a higher primary attack.  I like your idea, btw.

4 hours ago, Greebwahn said:

I like the Linked idea, but it seems to me that it just invalidates all normal cannons rather than fixing them.

No, you would need to purchase a cannon and its corresponding linked cannon upgrade to make everything work.  So you'd buy a jamming beam cannon, then buy a linked jamming beam modification.  If this is on a B-Wing, if you performed an attack and scored 2 hits and a crit with your primary weapon, you could spend one hit to deal a jam token, and do one regular and one critical damage.  Or spend two hit results to deal 2 jam tokens and do one critical damage.

I agree that a better way to make the jamming beam cannon work would be to make it grant a jam action.  Same for the tractor beam, honestly.  Make it work like the tractor beam on the quadjumper... extra tokens in bullseye.  Edit:  Though I do suppose that giving any ship with a cannon slot the ability to work exactly like a quadjumper might be problematic, as well as steal the QJ's thunder a little.  
 

Edited by MikeEvans

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7 minutes ago, MikeEvans said:

No, you would need to purchase a cannon and its corresponding linked cannon upgrade to make everything work.  So you'd buy a jamming beam cannon, then buy a linked jamming beam modification.  If this is on a B-Wing, if you performed an attack and scored 2 hits and a crit with your primary weapon, you could spend one hit to deal a jam token, and do one regular and one critical damage.  Or spend two hit results to deal 2 jam tokens and do one critical damage.

Maybe a general Fire Linked Cannon Mod slot upgrade that costs based on primary attack value and is limited to those mounting a Jamming beam, Tractor beam or Ion cannon. Same effect but wouldn't require 3 separate upgrade cards to gain the effect. Could even adjust the price based on the linked effect as well. As in it could cost x based on the attack value (so maybe in the case of the Scyk x=2, and a B-Wing x=3) + y based on the effect that the attack could generate (Jam could be +1, Tractor +2 and Ion +3, just filler values really) + z for any additional effects inherent to the ship that could boost the effectiveness (nothing comes to mind that currently exists, but something might pop up).

IE:

Tractor B-Wing would pay 8 pts total (Tractor beam + Fire Linked cannon Mod) for the effect. While a Scyk would pay 7. Might be a bit steep though.

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Rather than introducing more upgrades as fixes, a better solution might be to adjust the functionality of cannons in the general rules to make them distinct from other weapons and to provide a unique benefit over primary lasers, bombs or ordnance.

My suggestion would be something along the lines of allowing cannons to penetrate shields and cause damage directly to hull. Something like: 

If the defender is in your bullseye arc and your <cannon> attack hits, you may cancel one hit or crit result to deal one facedown damage card to the defender. All remaining hits are applied as normal (shields first, then hull).

This would need to be a rules update that would effect all cannon upgrades and would provide them with a capability that is different from other weapons out there. It's limited to a single penetrating hit per attack so it's not game breaking, but it's enough to shake things up a little bit.

Edited by Unit34

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The only improvement I want for cannons is range 1-3 on Jamming.  At Range 1-2, it can't really function, but if it had Range 3, it'd have a niche role.

I kind of like the direction they went with Cannons in 2e, as tools of damage substitution.  I don't want cannons to be weapons you use for more damage, like Torpedoes or Missiles.  I like that they're tools that can be used to obtain effects.  Those effects generally aren't better than damage, in a game where the objective is to destroy your opponent's ships.  But I don't think that's a fundamental flaw that needs to be fixed.  In the words of Miles Morales, it's a choice.

//

I really don't want cannon & primary dual attacks to come back, I'm glad it was left behind in 1e, like easy token stacking for most ships.

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7 minutes ago, theBitterFig said:

The only improvement I want for cannons is range 1-3 on Jamming.  At Range 1-2, it can't really function, but if it had Range 3, it'd have a niche role.

I kind of like the direction they went with Cannons in 2e, as tools of damage substitution.  I don't want cannons to be weapons you use for more damage, like Torpedoes or Missiles.  I like that they're tools that can be used to obtain effects.  Those effects generally aren't better than damage, in a game where the objective is to destroy your opponent's ships.  But I don't think that's a fundamental flaw that needs to be fixed.  In the words of Miles Morales, it's a choice.

//

I really don't want cannon & primary dual attacks to come back, I'm glad it was left behind in 1e, like easy token stacking for most ships.

I agree about range 3 for jamming. Even at range 3 though, it just feels like it's lacking something to make it worth giving up an attack to use it. 

My suggestion of having one hit bypass shields is more for the damage type cannons, which we only have one of right now. So maybe it's not a great idea after all.... I haven't played for a bit and don't use cannons much so I forgot most of the cannons in second are less about damage and more about applying effects. Hopefully they find a way to introduce a few more options - I'd like to see Mangler and Flechette come back in some way.

 

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I think a useful trait for both Tractor and Jamming cannons is that they function like Ion- they inflict 1 damage and then any additional hit/crit results will inflict the status effects. Right now there is no real value in taking them, I'd rather have a 2 dice primary that will possibly inflict 1-2 damage than a weapon that will inflict no damage. 

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The “Linked Cannon” idea is interesting but I’ve come around to the idea that cannons should remain limited in use as they currently are except on a few specific ships. On those platforms (namely the B-wing) they could have an upgrade (probably config) where equipped cannons are buffed or limitations removed. Something like:-

Gryoscopic S-foils -

(Closed) Reduce the difficulty of all your straight maneuvers

(Open) When attacking with a <cannon> you may treat it’s <bullseye arc> requirement as a <primary arc>.

 

Tie Defenders could use a cannon buff too but probably more along the lines of the OP’s “Linked Cannon” idea.

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I agree with the new feel of cannons, Ion and HLC, but the other are so... meh.  Bring back the others with new 2.0 feel ....

 

-Jamming beam- require lock, range 1-3, and add a red dice if in bullseye. 

-Tractor Beam-... add auto change blanks to focus?

-Mangler Cannon- range 1-2, 3 dice.  If hit, cancel remaining and apply 1 crit+stress.  

-Flechette Cannon- range 1-2, 3 dice. If hit, after dmg, skip action next round

-HLC: I said I like this one, but for bullseye only I think it should include range 1-4!  (I know... gotta further out range 4)

-Auto cannon:2 or 3 dice, no range bonus.  If Target is range 1 AND primary hits, attack. (Snap shot+autoblaster)

-Arc beam: Requires focus: Range 1: 4 dice but causes 1 dmg to you; Range 2- 3 dice; Range 3 -2 dice.   All ranges have effect of selecting another ship at range 1 of target to cause 1 dmg except range 1.  That must do dmg to you. 

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They should have been like the Cannon upgrades in Armada. The attack doesn't change too much but the "critical effect" does. Mind you that would have likely required them to make a different dice system, which they didn't do. Oh well. Here's to third edition in five years? If there's still a planet Earth? With humans?

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I think cannon upgrades are one of the big missed opportunities of second edition.

Rather than being a separate secondary weapon, it would have made more sense to make them act as upgrades to the primary weapon which provide two effects;

While you have a cannon upgrade equipped, if the target is in your bullseye arc, roll one additional attack die.

While you attack, you may cancel any number of uncancelled hit/crit results to apply an equal number of {effect} tokens (where the effect depends on the cannon type)

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4 hours ago, Ccwebb said:

I agree with the new feel of cannons, Ion and HLC, but the other are so... meh.  Bring back the others with new 2.0 feel ....

 

-Jamming beam- require lock, range 1-3, and add a red dice if in bullseye. 

-Tractor Beam-... add auto change blanks to focus?

-Mangler Cannon- range 1-2, 3 dice.  If hit, cancel remaining and apply 1 crit+stress.  

-Flechette Cannon- range 1-2, 3 dice. If hit, after dmg, skip action next round

-HLC: I said I like this one, but for bullseye only I think it should include range 1-4!  (I know... gotta further out range 4)

-Auto cannon:2 or 3 dice, no range bonus.  If Target is range 1 AND primary hits, attack. (Snap shot+autoblaster)

-Arc beam: Requires focus: Range 1: 4 dice but causes 1 dmg to you; Range 2- 3 dice; Range 3 -2 dice.   All ranges have effect of selecting another ship at range 1 of target to cause 1 dmg except range 1.  That must do dmg to you. 

Gonna play off your post because I like your outline.

-Jamming Beam- adds jam action to your ship. is there any reason a weapon slot can’t add an action? This also avoids the loss in damage for the turn.

-Tractor Beam- adds a Tractor beam action, only range 1(it’s already stepping on my quadjumpers heels, any better and a scyk would be a better quadjumper.

-Mangler Cannon- I have 2 ideas, but not sure which is better. Range-1 only  3-die attack change a hit to a crit(basically the old Mangler but now its basically a shotgun) Or Range1-2 only 2-die attack on a successful hit cause 1 crit ignoring shields.

-Flechette Cannon- Range 2-3 and 3-dice attack, 1st hit causes stress, subsequent hits cause damage(lack of range 1 prevents range advantage, and prevents stressing a ship and then passing them to try and block.

-HLC- honestly feels fine, and needs no buffs on high initiative ships, if any buffs, I would like to remove the inability to crit as landing a bullseye at range 2-3 deserves high damage, especially since other than the T-70 there are very few high initiative pilots who would even think of trying it.

-Auto Cannon(I like your idea a lot, but maybe more risk?) Range 1-2 with 2 dice attack, no range bonus, if this attack hits you may spend 1 charge to attack again 3/4 charges recurring. Potential massive damage but highly unlikely and will be rather weak afterwards until charges build up.

-Arc Beam- 2 charges recurring, use 2 charges to make a 4-dice range-1 attack you must pick another target at range 0-1 for a 1-dice attack(including yourself or a ship you are touching) if that feels a bit strong maybe you are ioned next turn?

 

I am especially curious what everyone thinks of the mangler and autocannon ideas thanks @Ccwebb for the inspiration.

Edited by DakkaDakka12

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6 hours ago, DakkaDakka12 said:

-Jamming Beam- adds jam action to your ship.

-Tractor Beam- adds a Tractor beam action limited to range 1

-Mangler Cannon- Range-1 only  3-die attack change a hit to a crit

-Flechette Cannon- Range 2-3 and 3-dice attack, 1st hit causes stress, subsequent hits cause damage

-HLC- honestly feels fine

-Auto Cannon Range 1-2 with 2 dice attack, no range bonus, if this attack hits you may spend 1 charge to attack again 3 recurring charges.

-Arc Beam- 2 charges recurring, use 2 charges to make a 4-dice range-1, you are ioned next turn.

Thought I'd get in on this conversation. My take on cannons is this.

 

-Jamming Beam- adds RED jam action to your ship OR turns a RED Jam action WHITE. R1-3, 3 dice, apply Jam tokens for each hit after defending.

-Tractor Beam- adds a Tractor beam action. R1-3, 3 dice, apply Tractor tokens for each hit after defending

-Mangler Cannon- Range 1-2,  2-dice, change ALL hits to crits

-Flechette Cannon- Range 2-3 and 4-dice, 1st hit causes damage, subsequent hits cause stress

-HLC- honestly feels fine (Agreed)

-Auto Cannon- Range 1-2, 2 dice, if this attack hits you may spend 2 charge to attack again, 2 recurring charges.

-Arc Beam- Range 1, 5 Dice, Take 2 ion tokens after firing.

Edited by Scum4Life
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@DakkaDakka -ooooo... I love the adding action idea.  That makes it better and no so costly (ie: not doing damage) but giving up and action is brilliant.  

 

Mangler as a shot gun feels right: range 1-2 changing all hits to crit.  Nice!

 

@Scum4Life good idea for Arc.  Ion yourself for using, but 4 dice attacknis good trade off 

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2 hours ago, Scum4Life said:

Thought I'd get in on this conversation. My take on cannons is this.

 

-Jamming Beam- adds RED jam action to your ship OR turns a RED Jam action WHITE. R1-3, 3 dice, apply Jam tokens for each hit after defending.

-Tractor Beam- adds a Tractor beam action. R1-3, 3 dice, apply Tractor tokens for each hit after defending

-Mangler Cannon- Range 1-2,  2-dice, change ALL hits to crits

-Flechette Cannon- Range 2-3 and 4-dice, 1st hit causes damage, subsequent hits cause stress

-HLC- honestly feels fine (Agreed)

-Auto Cannon- Range 1-2, 2 dice, if this attack hits you may spend 2 charge to attack again, 2 recurring charges.

-Arc Beam- Range 1, 5 Dice, Take 2 ion tokens after firing.

I could agree to most of this, but your tractor beam idea is far stronger than the quadjumper’s tractor beam as the quad is range 1 only and applies 1 tractor token with the potential for a 2nd tractor token if the target is also in bullseye arc.

your tractor beam idea has the potential to make scyks and gunboats nastier than quadjumpers.

your flechette is also pretty potent, if it causes 3 stress, however unlikely that is, whatever ship is triple stressed will probably have no actions for the entire battle(tournament time limit)

Edited by DakkaDakka12

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TBH, I don't think a cannon fix is warranted. We're barely two waves into second edition and already there's talk of power creep. We don't know what else is going to be available past wave three as far as platforms and upgrades is concerned. This need to fix things so early in the game feels like a head long rush back to first edition with a lot of its problems.

Patience is required along with the hope the Devs go easy with the nerf bat when the new points adjustments come out.

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1 hour ago, Stoneface said:

TBH, I don't think a cannon fix is warranted. We're barely two waves into second edition and already there's talk of power creep. We don't know what else is going to be available past wave three as far as platforms and upgrades is concerned. This need to fix things so early in the game feels like a head long rush back to first edition with a lot of its problems.

Patience is required along with the hope the Devs go easy with the nerf bat when the new points adjustments come out.

I agree for the most part and this thread has kinda gone from a fix thread to a wishlist thread as half the cannons listed haven’t been released in 2.0 yet.

As far as 2.0 cannons are concerned

-HLC needs no immediate changes because it is so cheap.

-Ion Cannon could use a points decrease because Ion turrets are a strictly superior option for the price.

-Tractor Beam might be really powerful on a scyk or gunboat , I will have to try it, as you could potentially deny 4 green dice and force a reposition for 3 points on a cheap enough ship it might be worth giving up an attack in a swarm list.

-Jamming Beam needs help though as your benefit is so small for giving up your attack.

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1 hour ago, DakkaDakka12 said:

I agree for the most part and this thread has kinda gone from a fix thread to a wishlist thread as half the cannons listed haven’t been released in 2.0 yet.

As far as 2.0 cannons are concerned

-HLC needs no immediate changes because it is so cheap.

-Ion Cannon could use a points decrease because Ion turrets are a strictly superior option for the price.

-Tractor Beam might be really powerful on a scyk or gunboat , I will have to try it, as you could potentially deny 4 green dice and force a reposition for 3 points on a cheap enough ship it might be worth giving up an attack in a swarm list.

-Jamming Beam needs help though as your benefit is so small for giving up your attack.

Not to mention, jamming beam only works on high initiative ships, or if the target decided not to spend its target lock.

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Plot Device Cannon - 8 dice. You MUST change all HITs to CRITs. Any blank or focus MUST change to HITs. At the compare dice phase, you may then spend as many results as you like up to the defender's evade value to cancel that many defense results.

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