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Etheric

[Mathhammer] Are lances a trap?

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Moribund, the 2 DoS was my proposal, and I suggested not applying it to broadsides, making the broadside a much more distinct improvement from a regular macrocannon battery. Looking at those numbers, it would, in fact, make the broadside easily the best weapon system available. 

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The statistics provided are impressive, but how do they apply to the characteristics of the weapon in question. The example being how much damage in D10's does it add to the lance, and what strength is it increased to, is the critical requirement still 3, and dose the lance battery recieve a similar improvement or would it be considered over powered. I suppose that the point of all this is to justify the space and power cost of the lance and how do we make it more economically sound for those that wish to field one.

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@Moribund: Thanks for doing the math

 

 

What about if you used 1D5 (or 1D6) instead of 1D10 for damage rolls with macrobatteries (making a sunsear 1D5+2 damage), and at the same time giving lances the tearing quality?

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I did d5 for macros (dual sunsears) and compared them to a Mars+Titanforge (M+T) and a Mars + Titanforge with Tearing (M+TT)

The M+T does better against a frigate than the dual Sunsears, which is a little odd. I don't know about the rule though, with 1d5+2 you don't have a chance to get through armor on two hits through the void shield, and even with three you only have a 42% chance of making it through the armor of a Raider.  This really hurts ships with low BS, such as NPCs.  I'll also need to check the weapons like Pyros or Mezoa with their higher +damage, since this rule doesn't hurt them as much.  It doesn't look like adding the tearing is really necessary, the reduction of macrobattery damage seems to be enough.

Also this system seems to hurt Mars cannons, they deal about half the damage Sunsears do, down from about 2/3.

R d5    RAW M+T M+TT
30 0.23 0.91 0.86 1.00
40 1.15 3.53 1.52 1.78
50 2.43 6.59 2.38 2.79
60 4.07 10.10 3.42 4.01
70 6.05 13.91 4.66 5.46
F d5 RAW M+T M+TT
30 0.15 0.74 0.86 1.00
40 0.85 3.02 1.52 1.78
50 1.90 5.76 2.38 2.79
60 3.29 8.99 3.42 4.01
70 5.03 12.58 4.66 5.46
C d5 RAW M+T M+TT
30 0.01 0.18 0.57 0.67
40 0.24 1.07 1.14 1.34
50 0.66 2.46  1.90 2.23
60 1.28 4.34 2.85 3.35
70 2.11 6.71 3.99 4.68

 

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SableWyvern said:

Moribund, the 2 DoS was my proposal, and I suggested not applying it to broadsides, making the broadside a much more distinct improvement from a regular macrocannon battery. Looking at those numbers, it would, in fact, make the broadside easily the best weapon system available. 

Sorry for not correctly attributing the suggestion Sable.  I really like the idea, but I worry about NPC crews with their low BS.  Maybe if you combine it with a +20% to hit, the reduction in hits is more moderated.  I'll check those numbers, but I'll need to expand some tables to do that.

Also Broadsides are beasts at high BS, so if they still get 1 hit per DoS with the house rule, they will far outstrip any weapon in the game.  Here are the damage calculations for dual Mars Broadsides (MB) (which thankfully require a full Cruiser to mount).  I shudder to think if you add a prow cannon to that.  Also the interesting tidbit that dual Jovians (J) outdamage dual Mars (M) cannons at high BS even though they only fire once every two rounds.

R MB M J
30 0.91 0.91 0.34
40 3.53 2.13 1.31
50 8.08 3.76 3.11
60 14.58 5.81 5.13
70 21.54 8.27 9.11
F MB M J
30 0.74 0.74 0.25
40 3.02 1.80 1.06
50 7.23 3.24 2.70
60 13.44 5.07 4.57
70 20.13 7.28 8.42
C MB M J
30 0.18 0.18 0.05
40 1.07 0.55 0.36
50 3.52 1.13 1.24
60 8.05 1.91 2.41
70 13.28 2.89 5.40

 

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No worries.

I'm not surprised it doesn't quite work out -- I have no actual play experience yet, and it was just a thought that occurred to me while reading the thread.

Another option that has occurred to me recently is to play with the damage results for supporting batteries only. So, the "primary" battery rolls full damage, while the other batteries in the salvo only add a low, fixed damage amount -- say, 1 + damage bonus (so, for example, Mars Macrocannons would do 3 damage per hit).

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Interesting results, Moribund. I agree that the damage for low BS gets a tad on the low side. Would it improve somewhat if 1D6 was used instead of 1D5? All in all I like that the results firsts of all bring the damage result of the macrobattery to about the same level of the lance, and secondly that it appears to be more effective than the lance against less armoured targets, but less against more armoured targets. I am also curious how SableWyvern's new suggestion would work out, with limiting the damage of subsequent macrobatteries.

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 Alternatively you could limit the effect of the BS score instead. Instead of allowing the PC to apply his BS to the entire broadside, restrict him to shooting with only 1 Strength of the battery or lance (representing a single piece of the artillery that the PC is aiming). The rest is fired with the ship's Crew rating. 

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Well what about a defensive (agility) bonus to ships that have high manoeuvrability?  Reduce BS test to hit by the manoeuvrability of the target?  Or reduce damage by the Manoeuvrability bonus (if 30 then -3 damage per hit?

 

 

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so, are lances a trap or what. every one seems to want to pump out statistics, but can you please tell the rest of us slowly how dose any of this translate to something in game terms on how the stats on the weapons themselves are to be re-tuned lances in particular to make them economical and sound choices when building your starting ship or fitting a new one.

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 Red Bart,

A d6 would be a very small increase to damage (0.5 per die), so you would still get very low damage for low BS scores.  Also that is adding another die type to the game.  While most people probably have d6s around, I would be reluctant to make a house rule that requires the players to bring more dice to the table.

Void,

A lance combined with a macrocannon deals less damage than two macrocannons.  They do not achieve their stated effect of dealing more damage to heavily armored foes due to the way void shields and salvos function.  No matter what you are shooting at, statistically you are better off with macrocannons than you would be mounting a lance.  Since the rules as written don't achieve the desired effect, we are trying to come up with rules that do.  It's proving to be a little difficult to find that sweet spot.  Just boosting lance damage doesn't achieve the right effect, nor does dropping macrocannon damage or having fewer hits per success.

For outfitting your ship under the current rules: Ryzas deal the most damage, followed by Mezoas.  Mars and Sunsear Broadsides are up there with Ryzas if your BS is high enough.  Pyros and Sunsear Batteries are about equal if your BS is over 30.  Followed by Mars, Jovians, and Thunderstrikes in that order.

If you combine a Mars or Sunsear with a Titanforge it's slightly better against Cruisers than two Mars cannons, but less effective against everything else.  Two Sunsears is clearly a better choice.

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 I ran the numbers for allowing Lances multiple hits (1 per 3 DoS) as Kasatka suggested.  It actually works pretty nice.  A Mars + Titanforge deals more damage than dual Sunsears against a Cruiser, but less against everything else.  However, dual Mezoas are still better against Cruisers.  I'll see if tweaking the damage of the lances (like adding Tearing) will provide a firmer anti-cruiser advantage, then I'll post some numbers.

Thor,

The Hecutor deals the same damage as a Mars Battery and the Staravar is equivalent to a Sunsear Battery.  The Bombardment cannons deal a little less than a Ryza for high BS, but more for a low BS.  Stygies are a little better than a Mars, but not as good as a Pyros or Sunsear.

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Moribund said:

A d6 would be a very small increase to damage (0.5 per die), so you would still get very low damage for low BS scores. Also that is adding another die type to the game. While most people probably have d6s around, I would be reluctant to make a house rule that requires the players to bring more dice to the table.

It's not a perfect solution, but if D6's would have brought stability, then I personally would have no problem using them (even though they do go against the 'D10's only' design philosophy of RT). But if D6's bring nothing to the table (as apparently they don't) it would be better to forget about them.

Moribund said:

 I ran the numbers for allowing Lances multiple hits (1 per 3 DoS) as Kasatka suggested.  It actually works pretty nice.  A Mars + Titanforge deals more damage than dual Sunsears against a Cruiser, but less against everything else.  However, dual Mezoas are still better against Cruisers.  I'll see if tweaking the damage of the lances (like adding Tearing) will provide a firmer anti-cruiser advantage, then I'll post some numbers.

What about lance batteries? Do they start out with 2 hits +1 additional per 3 DOS, or is that handled differently?

 

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I do not know if this has been discussed, as I wont go through the entire thread to find out, but would stopping macrobatteries from combined salvos help.

Yes/No/Not Enough

If a Lance battery is equal to a Macrobattery (supposition here) and 2 macrobatteries is better than 2 lance batteries.  Then stopping combined batteries might be an idea.

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tygre said:

I do not know if this has been discussed, as I wont go through the entire thread to find out, but would stopping macrobatteries from combined salvos help.

Yes/No/Not Enough

If a Lance battery is equal to a Macrobattery (supposition here) and 2 macrobatteries is better than 2 lance batteries.  Then stopping combined batteries might be an idea.

Eliminating salvos does a decent job, and is the best solution I've looked at so far.  However, Dual Ryzas still destroy lances for DPR, and it reduces damage across the board 30-50% which leads to battles taking a lot longer and being more dependent on critical hits.

Red Bart,

That is what was suggested by Kasatka in his post.  I don't know how well it works yet.  I'll also compare it with reducing the DoS required per hit based on Strength (2 DoS for 2 Strength and 1 DoS for 3).

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Considering fluff has a lance punching a hole straight through a Tau Explorer, why not just allow lances to score as many crits automatically as hits and allow them to hit multiple times up to their strength.  I've suggested something similar before but not the former.  Multiple automatic crits with a lance hit would make them very ugly.

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I ran some numbers for using fixed damage for a secondary salvo, and the results are looking fairly nice. For clarity, the system works like this:

Primary salvo is nominated -- this salvo does full damage. Void shields absorb hits from this salvo first.

Secondary salvo does fixed damage equal to the normal damage bonus, plus one, for each hit (ie, 3 damage per hit for Sunsears)

Cruisers are considered to have dual void shields, frigates and raiders have single. HR & RAW values are for dual sunsears. My numbers will be slightly off, because I assumed all damage rolls are average, however the discrepancy should be minimal (my RAW results were very close to Moribund's, whom I presume calculated them more precisely). M+T values are taken directly from Moribunds earlier post.

R     HR        RAW      M+T
  30   0.20      0.68     0.95
  50   2.87      5.61     2.66
  70   6.50    13.95     5.13

F      HR        RAW    M+T
  30   0.11       0.63   0.92
  50   2.31       5.46   2.57
  70   5.46     12.55   4.98

C      HR       RAW    M+T
  30    0.00     0.15    0.57
  50    0.38     2.35    1.90
  70    1.32     6.55    3.99

 

I would be tempted to increase the fixed damage to bonus +2, which should make macrocannons a bit more attractive vs raiders and frigates, without competing too strongly with lances vs cruisers.

 

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 Any differences between our numbers is probably the result of using the median (middle result) damage rather than the mean (arithmetic average).  Usually there is no difference between the two, but armor reducing damage skews the numbers.  If you are doing 2d10+4 damage against armor 15, the median damage is 0.  But you still have a chance of dealing damage (as long as you roll high), so the mean isn't really zero (it's actually 0.95).

Calculating the mean requires you to work out the probability distribution for each value (your chance of rolling a 0, 1, 2, etc.), and find the weighted average from there.  It's a pain and doesn't change the numbers much, but I'm a stickler for accuracy.

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Yeah ... I used your M+T numbers because taking the average rolled value and then subtracting armour, as I had been doing, meant my calculations resulted in zero macrocannon damage against all hulls regardless of BS, and I couldn't be bothered working out the real values, which would have doubled the size of my already large spreadsheet.

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I made an error in my tables and my last post.  2d10+4 vs armor 15 deals an average of 1.65 damage.  This modifies some of the "vs Raider" numbers.

The correct Mars + Titan should be:

R Mars + Titanforge
30 1.02
40 1.85
50 2.87
60 4.08
70 5.48

 

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 Bombers squadrons are a little difficult to model mathematically.  They can't launch every turn, and they can be eliminated reducing the bay's ability to continue launching.  The way they interact with turrets makes them dependent not only on the Command Skill of the attacking vessel, but also the Crew/Turret Rating of the defending vessel.  Different combinations of attacking Command Skill and defensive Crew/Turret ratings will probably result in a different optimal mix of bombers/escort fighters and how many attack squadrons the force is divided into further complicating the model.

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 Okay, I've got some number for bombers.  They are pretty impressive.  If your Command Skill is 70, a wing of 4 bomber squadrons will do an average of 14.41 damage against a Cruiser with an elite crew.  That's better than a Ballistics Skill of 70 and a pair of Mars broadsides with a DPR of 13.28, but not as good as a pair Lathe Broadsides with a damage of 16.61.  Since you can launch from both sides of your ship, you can deal a lot more damage against a single ship with a huge massed wing.  An eight squadron wing deals 30.95 damage per run to an elite cruiser.

The numbers make it look like it is generally advantageous to group your squadrons in as big a wing as possible, and replacing bomber squadrons with escort fighters is usually a waste in terms of damage since turrets don't make enough of a difference that the -10 is worth it.

I may have to find a way to get some bombers for my rogue trader, since I have a command skill of 103.

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Moribund said:

 Okay, I've got some number for bombers.  They are pretty impressive.  If your Command Skill is 70, a wing of 4 bomber squadrons will do an average of 14.41 damage against a Cruiser with an elite crew.  That's better than a Ballistics Skill of 70 and a pair of Mars broadsides with a DPR of 13.28, but not as good as a pair Lathe Broadsides with a damage of 16.61.  Since you can launch from both sides of your ship, you can deal a lot more damage against a single ship with a huge massed wing.  An eight squadron wing deals 30.95 damage per run to an elite cruiser.

The numbers make it look like it is generally advantageous to group your squadrons in as big a wing as possible, and replacing bomber squadrons with escort fighters is usually a waste in terms of damage since turrets don't make enough of a difference that the -10 is worth it.

I may have to find a way to get some bombers for my rogue trader, since I have a command skill of 103.

This was more or less my conclusion too. Thanks to the ease of getting high command checks (relative to high BS checks), bombers can certainly deal worthwhile damage. Their drawbacks, however, are their expense - you definitely need a light craft repair bay if you want to use attack craft - and their very short range. Honestly, the range is the biggest issue with them. Yes, attack craft can fly for X turns but every turn they're flying they aren't bombing (when a longer range pair of macrobatteries would be causing damage every turn). They're definitely an excellent choice at knife fight ranges though.

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