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MarcusInvictusPretorius

Why use Combi-Weapons? Storm Bolters are da Bom!

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 In the same vain as 'Why use Plasma Guns' thread... 

This is about to come up in our group with marines getting access to respected equipment. On the surface of it the Storm Bolter just kicks Xenos butt - and other than raw game fluff and flavour (which I am all for) why would you take a combi weapon over  storm bolter? The second weapon is single shot only... and the rest of the time the gun is just a standard Bolter - the Storm Bolter is dealing out way more damage on average. Am I missing something?

I read somewhere that the Storm Bolter is going to be 'errata'd' to make it distinguied, or terminator armour only? Or that may have been in the house rules section.. I dont recall.

Its hard to see a good reason to take a combi weapon over a storm bolter....

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MarcusInvictusPretorius said:

 In the same vain as 'Why use Plasma Guns' thread... 

This is about to come up in our group with marines getting access to respected equipment. On the surface of it the Storm Bolter just kicks Xenos butt - and other than raw game fluff and flavour (which I am all for) why would you take a combi weapon over  storm bolter? The second weapon is single shot only... and the rest of the time the gun is just a standard Bolter - the Storm Bolter is dealing out way more damage on average. Am I missing something?

I read somewhere that the Storm Bolter is going to be 'errata'd' to make it distinguied, or terminator armour only? Or that may have been in the house rules section.. I dont recall.

Its hard to see a good reason to take a combi weapon over a storm bolter....

Well, it's cheaper by 5 req and you can get a meltagun with it which will give you a shot with pen 13 out of the deal.  Now, given that the RAW makes meltas and plasmas, well, weak in comparison, there isn't a great deal of reason to take it, but if you use the damage bonuses then there is certainly a reason to pick up a weapon under the barrel of your boltgun.

I do have to say I would support making storm bolters require higher requisition, as I dno't recall seeing them in the fluff outside of terminators or vehicles.

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In the background, you rarely if ever see a Space Marine take more than one basic weapon. So a combi-weapon has its uses for versatility. That said I'm becoming increasingly convinced that plasma and melta weapons need a damage/pen boost to make them a worthwhile option even as part of a combi-weapon.

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There are certain specialized weapons you may not need many shots from, or only an emergency shot from.  Flamer or shotguns being the ones I've mathed as being the best options.  Both have special qualities that may make them a better option in particular circumstances, but those circumstances probably will not come up often enough to make carrying a full weapon around worthwhile.  This is particulary true if your GM enforces some sort of carrying capacity or loadout restrictions which would make carrying a 3rd or 4th weapon hard.  (You probably already have a melee weapon right?  And maybe a sidearm too.)

Grenade launcher is another obvious choice.  So obvious that it is purchased as a 2nd weapon instead of as a combi attachment.

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Brother Praetus said:

Remember, Astartes Melta weapons do an additional d10 of damage when within Short Range.

-=Brother Praetus=-

 

Shouldn't that be +1d10 Pen though? Would of course be less powerful...

 

Alex

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MarcusInvictusPretorius said:

Its hard to see a good reason to take a combi weapon over a storm bolter....

Technically, IIRC, storm bolters are combi-weapons.  Standardized because they're just that good. =P

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Steve-O said:

MarcusInvictusPretorius said:

 

Its hard to see a good reason to take a combi weapon over a storm bolter....

 

 

Technically, IIRC, storm bolters are combi-weapons.  Standardized because they're just that good. =P

 

Close, Stormbolters are not technically combi-weapons... the combi-bolter would have twin-linked rather then storm, if it was going to be something like the table top version.

 

It's one of the few things that make chaos termi's better at closer range then loyal termi's. at 12 or less inches, the combi-bolter is better as you get two shots, re-rolling your misses. At grater then 12 inches out to 24, the storm bolter is better since you get two shots.

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ak-73 said:

Shouldn't that be +1d10 Pen though? Would of course be less powerful...

 

Alex

 

The extra damage makes more sense then the blast be more capable of ignoring armor...  They amount to about the same thing, save you can over penetrate without an increased chance to kill it the way you're thinking.

 

Steve-O said:

Technically, IIRC, storm bolters are combi-weapons. Standardized because they're just that good. =P


More accurately, a Stormbolter is a refinement of the pre-heresy twin-linked bolters. They are not a derivative of the Combi-weapon, as the secondary weapon only gets one shot both in the TT and per 2/3 of the RAW in the RPG sources.  Radical's Handbook is an exception to that, and is also has the first write-up for combi's in the RPG.  Personally, I use my own variation for combi's that utilizes aspects of both variations of the rules.

-=Brother Praetus=-
 

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Brother Praetus said:

ak-73 said:

 

Shouldn't that be +1d10 Pen though? Would of course be less powerful...

 

Alex

 

 

 

The extra damage makes more sense then the blast be more capable of ignoring armor...  They amount to about the same thing, save you can over penetrate without an increased chance to kill it the way you're thinking.

 

But the penetration of a melta is so high out of the box you're ignoring armor on everything but terminators, vehicles, and carnifexes, so adding damage versus pen to them creates a very different feel for the weapon.  If you add damage, it becomes an all around short range bad guy burster; not only do you increase the damage of short range shots by an average of 5 or so (so you'd do average of 24 using the base rules or 30 using Alex's rules), you increase your RF chance by another 8%.  If you add the pen you still do solid damage, but you keep a lid on the damage in 90% of the cases and give a boost in the rare occurence where you're fighting uber armored bad guys (vehicles, terminators, giant monstrosities, bulkheads).

Personally, I've used the added +1d10 from AK's TT modifications to the base profile and given them the +1d10 damge instead of bonus pen for half range- I haven't so far had any problems with it.  When things are that close (within 10m) my group is drawing their close combat weapons anyhow, getting ready to get dirty.  When one player pops off one last shot with damage 30 pen 13 to an elite's face (and sends him running headless 2d10m in a random direction; yes I use, and love, the critical effects table for key NPCs), it adds a bit of drama and so far hasn't ruined the feel or flow of the encounters.

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 One way to improve the combi-weapons would be to have the secondary barrel have a full clip of ammo rather than a single shot.  If most weapons can get a fire selector and have three clips, why can't a combi-weapon have one full clip for each of it's two barrels?

Old TT school combi-weapons had d6 barrels and there wasn't any one shot only restrictions.  I'm pretty sure the one shot only feature came about for balance in the TT game which is understandable.  I was hoping that the RPG would go back to having the secondary barrel be more useful, but I understand the FFG folks wanting it to match the current TT incarnation.  More than two barrels would be a little absurd, but I think the one shot clip for the secondary barrel seems funny when compared with the fire selector upgrade.

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Hereticool - The rules presented in the DH: Radical's Handbook give the secondary weapon half of it's normal magazine capacity.  But, weight (not a big deal with Astartes) is the total combined weight of both weapons, as opposed to half the secondary's weight added to the primary.  That's why I use a variation combining aspects of the different published rules.  I think the things should be more versatile then the more current rules allow, but not as cumbersome as the first rules made them.

-=Brother Praetus=-

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IMO Astartes bolter weapons need a damage REDUCTION rather than plasma/melta needs a boost. When you're toting a weapon that does 3D10+ damage it becomes pretty moot. Not much is going to survive against that anyway.

 

Bolters have too much damage and are too versatile vs plasma guns, their damage output is far too high, making a plasma gun better doesn't really mean much. All it does is try to retain the 'awesomeness' of the marine bolter which requires boosting everything else.

 

IMO.

 

Hellebore

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Hellebore said:

IMO Astartes bolter weapons need a damage REDUCTION rather than plasma/melta needs a boost. When you're toting a weapon that does 3D10+ damage it becomes pretty moot. Not much is going to survive against that anyway.

 

Bolters have too much damage and are too versatile vs plasma guns, their damage output is far too high, making a plasma gun better doesn't really mean much. All it does is try to retain the 'awesomeness' of the marine bolter which requires boosting everything else.

 

IMO.

 

Hellebore

See http://www.fantasyflightgames.com/edge_foros_discusion.asp?efid=179&efcid=3&efidt=417817&efpag=0#418537, deinol is using reduced damage stats:

Bolter (Astartes), Basic, 100 m, S/2/4, 1D10+6 X, Pen 5, Clip 28, Full, Tearing
Storm Bolter (Astartes), Basic, 100 m, S/2/4, 1D10+6 X, Pen 5, 60, 2 Full, Storm, Tearing
Bolt Pistol (Astartes), Pistol, 30 m, S/2/-, 1D10+6 X, Pen 5, Clip 8, Full, Tearing
Heavy Bolter (Astartes), Heavy, 120 m, -/-/10, 2D10+3 X, Pen 6, Clip 60, Full, Tearing

 

Plasma Gun (Astartes), Basic, 100 m, S/2/-, 1D10+7 E, Pen 6, Clip 40, 4 Full, Volatile
Plasma Cannon (Astartes), Heavy, 150 m, S/-/-, 2D10+10 E, Clip Pen 8, Clip 16, 5 Full, Blast (1), Volatile
Plasma Pistol (Astartes), Pistol, 30 m, S/2/-, 1D10+7 E, Clip Pen 7, Clip 12, 3 Full, Volatile

 

That said, as I mention in the other thread, the issue I've found with reducing damage is it will throw off your encounters.  The sudden loss of pen and damage can make what seemed to be an easy encounter insanely difficult, putting more work on the GM to balance encounters (especially those presented in published adventures).  Once you get beyond hordes (which those stats are pretty cleverly made to ensure that hordes can still be dealt with) and we get into elites or masters you're in pretty big trouble.  

That 1d10+6 pen 5 will have a slighly lower than averaage chance (average damage 11-12) of going through a Tyranid warrior's armor 8 toughness 10 (and then the 48 wounds) but will be as useful as a pointy stick against a daemon prince with his armor 12 and toughness 12, right before he does a massive charge and hits you 3 or 4 times for 2d10+25 pen 6 felling 1, killing your PC.  That means you have to modify almost every enemy profile as well if you want to make things challenging yet possible.  If you add damage, worste case is you have to add a couple of armor points or throw more enemies at your party (and the GM never runs out of enemies), and to me that's 100 times easier than trying to re-balance the system.  And as I said in the Tau pulse rifle thread you created, reducing the toughness of the enemies, and then in turn the marines, makes them a lot less epic and a lot less 'emperor's finest' than many of us are going for.

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The problem there is that they scaled all those other things against the damage output. A guardsman will be pasted in one shot from that bolter.

 

I suppose it's just a combination of high TB, AP and Dam conspiring to force everything up and up. Tyranid warriors IMO should have 6 armour max.

There is also a rather large jump from a guardsman to everything else. So when you balance against things like tyranid warriors, you're just ensuring that every weapon just instagibs a guardsman. I don't see how guardsmen can be a viable fighting force when they don't survive even a single volley of enemy fire, because everything has scaled so far beyond their damage reduction that there's really no point in bothering with them.

 

Hellebore

 

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Hellebore said:

I don't see how guardsmen can be a viable fighting force when they don't survive even a single volley of enemy fire, because everything has scaled so far beyond their damage reduction that there's really no point in bothering with them.

   I could not agree more. The problems with scaling ( weapons in general and bolters in particular ) started with RT vs DH and have now reached their logical conclusion. I stopped some time ago to consider the systems of the three games ( DH/RT/DW ) compatible. 

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Hellebore said:

The problem there is that they scaled all those other things against the damage output. A guardsman will be pasted in one shot from that bolter.

 

I suppose it's just a combination of high TB, AP and Dam conspiring to force everything up and up. Tyranid warriors IMO should have 6 armour max.

There is also a rather large jump from a guardsman to everything else. So when you balance against things like tyranid warriors, you're just ensuring that every weapon just instagibs a guardsman. I don't see how guardsmen can be a viable fighting force when they don't survive even a single volley of enemy fire, because everything has scaled so far beyond their damage reduction that there's really no point in bothering with them.

 

Hellebore

 

I agree that there is a feel of power creep here, but shouldn't a shot from a boltgun be able to kill a guardsman?  They die in the novels from single shots, they die in TT (very readily) from bolt shots, why should they be able to take multiple hits in the RPG from a boltgun? 

A guardsman as an individual isn't supposed to survive a single volley of enemy fire, and of course there is a jump between them and everything else- they're not deployed as individuals, they're deployed as regiments and batallions.They're essentially level ONE characters in the RPG, and in TT they're one of the cheapest models to buy.  That Tyrannid warrior is going to eat an individual guardsman for breakfast given his higher WS, S, T, I, and wounds.  The guardsman can start taking care of bigger baddies when they assemble in a horde where they can get multiple, higher damage shots at the enemy.  That's what hordes are there to represent- strength in numbers.

I will say I'm interested to see how the DH Only War expansion takes care of things, it should offer an interesting perspective from the guardsman's side rather than from the Marine's perspective.

Out of curiosity, what would you do to make a marine represent the godlike figures they're written as?  I'm not trying to be facetious here, I'm really curious.

 

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I think that a lot of the problems could be reduced if NPCs could Righteous Fury. A guardsman's damage reduction isn't much, but if their weapons cannot actually hurt their enemies then it becomes farcical. By the current rules a human in power armour with TB5 has 13 damage reduction, which is equal to the maximum output of a lasgun. As only major NPCs or PCs can RF, that human can theoretically plow through an infinite number of enemies without ever being hurt.

The Horde rules IMO are a poor patch for this. A volley of 20 lasguns is reduced to a maximum of 3D10+3 damage, which is unlikely to hurt a space marine.

 

The other problem is that the anti tank weapons guardsmen use can't hurt a marine, let alone a tank.

I don't necessarily disagree that a bolter should be able to instantly kill a basic human, however the game itself does not revolve around the concept that weapons one shot their targets. A human shot in the chest with an autogun should also die pretty much instantly. A space marine shot through the brain will die whether it's a laser beam, bullet or bolt round.

So it's very unbalanced when an astartes bolter can instantly kill a guardsman, but something like the guardsman's plasma gun cannot do the same to the space marine. By your own points, if a guardsman dies from bolter rounds in TT and books, then marines dying from plasma guns in the same circumstances should also be reflected in the RPG. Yet even an astartes plasma gun won't kill a marine in one shot - 2D10+9 Pen10 is at most 29 wounds to the marine, 21 due to TB (or even 19 if their TB is 10). On average it's only 20 wounds, 12 due to TB.

 

If guardsmen actually wielded squad support weapons that could pose a threat to marines, tyranid warriors and all the other deadly things that have been scaled up like this, as they do in the wargame, it wouldn't matter so much that they get one shotted by a bolter. The lasgun guys are just there to catch the bullets until the plasma gunner can shoot the marine.

But even then you're left with the 20 lasguns being incapable of actually hurting a tyranid warrior/space marine/whatever unless you apply the horde rules on top of that, which for me is an unrealistic fix. If that horde was fighting 5 inquisitorial acolytes it would look ridiculous that only one member got hit from 20 shots because there's only 5 of them and a lot of shots being fired. This is ignored with marines due to abstract 'epicness' when in fact those lasguns will be firing continuously at all of them.

RF for NPCs would fix the inadequacies of the system to some extent, it would mean that a guardsman with a lasgun WOULD suck MOST of the time, but put enough shots down range and one will hit the marine's neck/eye/whatever.


The horde rule is really inappropriate for some armies, like the eldar. But without the horde rule Eldar Dire Avengers cannot even scratch marines/tyranid warriors/whatever because they can't RF to produce more damage. So you're stuck using a 'horde' of elite aspect warriors just to provide some kind of credible threat.

 

Hellebore

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20 Guardsmen in my game would be represented by a Magnitute 30 Horde, making three attacks with 3D10 + 3, using Semi-Auto.

Thats not enough to really bother a Deatchwatch Marine, but it can deal some damage. Add a Magnitude 20 Horde for a Heavy Weapons Team with Grenade Launchers to get 2 Attacks with a Krak Grenade Salvo dealing 4D10+4 Pen 6, which is quite substantial.

The Kill-Team better be quick about neutralising that group, or risk being severly injured by a bunch of basic troops.

 

Agreed about the Eldar btw. but according to RAW you could say that a Squad of 4 Eldar Dire Avengers counts as a horde of Magnitude 40, which gives them substantial Boni and makes them pretty hard to kill, considering that they probably got something like AG 50 and Dodge + 10.

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Right, a regular DH human wearing PA with some good toughness can no longer be hurt by simple weapons.  Meaning in this case DH rules are broken with themselves, because you can create a character with high toughness and buy him PA.  Now basic weapons have a hard time hurting them.  But, typically to reach that damage reduction, you have to be a pretty high level.  To me, in a level based/class based RPG, that works and isn't actually broken.  Now autofire...well I've always had a bone to pick with the way that one works, but such is life.

So what you have with Deathwatch is a game where starting characters have those type of stats, it's an epic game.  My point isn't, really, around one shotting guardsman.  My point is that you're playing ascended or equivalent level characters that need to be big and brawny.  Having them not be able to deal with basic threats (freshly trained infantry with lasguns, for example) makes you wonder where your 13k xp went to.  The rank and file, without a clever plan or numbers, shouldn't pose a significant threat.

As for 'unrelasitic' nature of hordes, well, yeah, it makes the game go faster.  If 20 Guardsman attack 5 acolytes, as a GM, I A) Don't want to roll 20 to hits on semi-auto, and B) don't want to sigh every time I don't penetrate an ascended guy's armor and toughness.  The 3 shots from the guardsman 'represent' multiple hits hitting an enemy.  They don't all have to be at the same guy, you could spread those 3 hits on 3 of the 5 acolytes, representing the guard concentrating their fire.  Kill one, move to the next.  Now for a 'special' encounter, make them better than chumps, give them shome added weapons or a special ability or two (basically make them fleshed out NPCs), and surprise your characters by not playing them as a horde.  Then those guys are probably special characters and have a chance to have RF by the book anyhow.

Now that all being said, Hordes aren't always the solution, crafting elites sometimes is the answer.  In the case of Eldar, don't make the whole army a horde, just do that with their guardians.  I haven't read that much fiction on the dire avengers (though I think they're somewhere between guardsman and marine), but make them an elite choice if you want and give him some better weapons.  Or use Whizzer's idea and give each of them more than one mag's representation (horde magnatudes aren't 1:1 remember).  But their weapons presented, at least in ascention, should be buffed even for that game.  By that point many PCs are going to have a ton of wounds, fate points, and the ability to doge 50 times a round, that Eldar is owed a better weapon if he's expected to compete.

Re: NPC's RFing, go for it.  If the occasional massive shot from your enemy NPCs is what you're looking for, based on what you're saying it seems like a good (and very simple) house rule.  Be careful if you do combine that with hordes though, as the extra damage dice will increase your RF chance (but that may be what you're looking for).

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I allow NPCs to get Righteous Fury in my games. I hardly think it's a perfect solution, but it helps bridge the gap somewhat between the "normal guys" like guardsmen and Guardians and "uber-elite" like marines and tyranid warriors.

Like most people I've changed the RF rules to only giving an extra d10 damage instead of the ridiculous DW RF rules.

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Charmander said:

I do have to say I would support making storm bolters require higher requisition, as I dno't recall seeing them in the fluff outside of terminators or vehicles.

In Table-Top fluff you see even Sisters of Battle using Storm bolters out of Terminators and Vehicles...

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Polaria said:

 

Charmander said:

I do have to say I would support making storm bolters require higher requisition, as I dno't recall seeing them in the fluff outside of terminators or vehicles.

 

In Table-Top fluff you see even Sisters of Battle using Storm bolters out of Terminators and Vehicles...

 

 

 

Correct.  There are numerous examples in the fluff of PA equipped SM using Storm Bolters.  Pedro Cantor has Dorn's Arrow, a wrist mounted Storm Bolter; and he's in PA.  Sternguard Veterans may exchange their Boltguns for Storm Bolters, amongst other options, and they're in standard PA.  Wolf Guard and most HQ Choices in the Space Wolves codex can take Storm Bolters without being in Terminator Armor.

In most cases with SMs, a Storm Bolter in TT costs all of 5 points to upgrade to, so their not exactly expensive nor particularly rare.  It's just that most chapters reserve the winnowing firepower that a Storm Bolter is capable of to their Terminator Squads.  As a matter of fact, the only "infantry" weapons which are exclusive to Terminators are the Cyclone Missile Launcher and the Assault Cannon, as there are units in standard PA that can take Heavy Flamers.

-=Brother Praetus=-

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