# How big is magnitude

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What do people think the relationship between magnitude and actual number is and is there an official rule in the corebook that I missed? The rule I've been using is this:

Determine the average damage done by a single member of my player party in melee then determine how many guys this blow could kill. that number equals 1 magnitude.

Example: A marine with a chainsword, inflicting a single hit does an average of 20 pen 4. he's fighting a bunch of guardsmen with 10 wounds TB3 and AP4. His pen removes their armour (4-4=0) and his damage will kill almost 2 guardsmen ([10+3=13]x2=26-20=6 1.75ish guardsmen dead) round the result to the nearest whole number gives 2 so magnitude:actual numbers is 2:1.

Thus a magnitude 30 horde is about equal to a full strength infantry platoon. Not a huge threat to a well equipped kill team unless they get close in which case 50-60 guardsmen could probably pull down a handful of space marines by weight of numbers and jam bayonets into the chinks in their armour.

Thoughts?

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Wargamer said:

What do people think the relationship between magnitude and actual number is and is there an official rule in the corebook that I missed? The rule I've been using is this:

Determine the average damage done by a single member of my player party in melee then determine how many guys this blow could kill. that number equals 1 magnitude.

Example: A marine with a chainsword, inflicting a single hit does an average of 20 pen 4. he's fighting a bunch of guardsmen with 10 wounds TB3 and AP4. His pen removes their armour (4-4=0) and his damage will kill almost 2 guardsmen ([10+3=13]x2=26-20=6 1.75ish guardsmen dead) round the result to the nearest whole number gives 2 so magnitude:actual numbers is 2:1.

Thus a magnitude 30 horde is about equal to a full strength infantry platoon. Not a huge threat to a well equipped kill team unless they get close in which case 50-60 guardsmen could probably pull down a handful of space marines by weight of numbers and jam bayonets into the chinks in their armour.

Thoughts?

I wouldn't do it that way. I would simply assign a factor based on intuition. With the Rebel Hordes I might suggest a multiplier of 1D2 or if you want Space Marines to appear even more super-heroic 1D3 (or more).

Alex

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Wargamer said:

What do people think the relationship between magnitude and actual number is and is there an official rule in the corebook that I missed? The rule I've been using is this:

Determine the average damage done by a single member of my player party in melee then determine how many guys this blow could kill. that number equals 1 magnitude.

Example: A marine with a chainsword, inflicting a single hit does an average of 20 pen 4. he's fighting a bunch of guardsmen with 10 wounds TB3 and AP4. His pen removes their armour (4-4=0) and his damage will kill almost 2 guardsmen ([10+3=13]x2=26-20=6 1.75ish guardsmen dead) round the result to the nearest whole number gives 2 so magnitude:actual numbers is 2:1.

Thus a magnitude 30 horde is about equal to a full strength infantry platoon. Not a huge threat to a well equipped kill team unless they get close in which case 50-60 guardsmen could probably pull down a handful of space marines by weight of numbers and jam bayonets into the chinks in their armour.

Thoughts?

Why? The whole point of hordes is to remove the individual battles.

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Wow, this varies immensely depending on whose opinion you get. In previous threads I have seen people postulate that 1 point of Magnitude counts as little as 2:1 and while other estimate as much as 60:1. I believe that it is intentionally intended to be abstract to allow the GM flexibility with his in-game descriptions. Personally I believe that the ratio probably varies depending on just what sort of critters make up the horde.

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Well, if a single bolter round can reduce the magnitude by 1 or 2 it is highly unlikely that the ratio is more than 2:1. Lets think about it for a second... one bolter round hits a guy, kills him and the shrapnel wounds another one. Two other guys, seeing this, put their nuts firmly to the ground and pray. Thats four guys out of action. 2:1.

Now how could you ever explain 60:1? A bolter round hits a guy, kills him, the shrapnel wound one or two others... and 100+ guys just give up? Please, its a **** single bolter round, not a 1000 pound bomb. Considering that a single bolter round isn't artillery shell, I'm going to go with 1:1 or 2:1 depending on the critters.

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I agree that a 60:1 ratio is silly. But I think a single bolter round is capable of taking out several people. If you are shooting into an unarmored, or lightly armored, mob a single bolter round might pass through a couple of people before detonating and wounding several more with the shrapnel. You might kill two or three this way and injure a few more, but even against the least armored, tightly packed and smallest critters I'd say the top end ought to be around 10.

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Except that bolter rounds are mass reactive and thus explode once entering the first body they hit.  So you get one kill per bolter shell and some shrapnel and bone fragments flying everywhere.  This is excluding special ammunition of course.

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Depends on what the mob contains. At least, that's how I always do it. For things like gaunts I do a 1:1 ratio of critter/magnitude. For something like Fire Warriors I may do a 1:2 or something.

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Edsel62 said:

I agree that a 60:1 ratio is silly. But I think a single bolter round is capable of taking out several people. If you are shooting into an unarmored, or lightly armored, mob a single bolter round might pass through a couple of people before detonating and wounding several more with the shrapnel. You might kill two or three this way and injure a few more, but even against the least armored, tightly packed and smallest critters I'd say the top end ought to be around 10.

Think Snotlings Hordes. Gigantic Snotling Hordes.

Alex

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My approach, personally, is to go the other way - individual creatures are represented by (normally) 1-3 points of magnitude, meaning that a single Magnitude 30 horde is somewhere between 10 and 30 people (which fits the size category a horde of that size is given), subject to discipline, individual resilience and so forth. It also means that the number of enemies a character can kill by shooting at a Horde isn't that different to the number he could kill if they were individual targets.

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N0-1_H3r3 said:

My approach, personally, is to go the other way - individual creatures are represented by (normally) 1-3 points of magnitude, meaning that a single Magnitude 30 horde is somewhere between 10 and 30 people (which fits the size category a horde of that size is given), subject to discipline, individual resilience and so forth. It also means that the number of enemies a character can kill by shooting at a Horde isn't that different to the number he could kill if they were individual targets.

You're just applying a lower factor in that case though. But iirc it correctly Marines in novels at times do kill in the 100s so a higher factor might not be totally off-base.

Alex

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You also have to remember that not all Magnitude loss represents people dying. It also covers people pinned down, people retreating, and general loss of combat effectiveness. Actual deaths are just one factor out of about 6-7.

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MILLANDSON said:

You also have to remember that not all Magnitude loss represents people dying. It also covers people pinned down, people retreating, and general loss of combat effectiveness. Actual deaths are just one factor out of about 6-7.

That's a matter of interpretation/handling things. If I remember it right, Marines at times do kill enemies in the hundreds. (Not so much in the tabletop though.)

Alex

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Well yes. I was just reminding people of the rules standpoint, that not all Magnitude loss is caused by death, but also several other reasons.

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MILLANDSON said:

Well yes. I was just reminding people of the rules standpoint, that not all Magnitude loss is caused by death, but also several other reasons.

Fair point.

Alex

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I'm writing the first missions for my campaign and I thought about that, too. I finally decided to use Dire Avengers and Dark Eldar Warriors in hordes of 1:1. They are pretty bad-ass, experienced and usually quite fearless so a single bolter shot might get one or two cover up but would not send dozens of them running to the hills. As for Tau fire-warriors I was inclined to go another way. Tau are notorious for avoiding casualties and especially close-up combat, so I make them break easily in large numbers but have the "already destroyed" hordes regroup and come back again as per typical Tau shoot-and-sneak way of fighting.

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