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Etheric

[Mathhammer] Are lances a trap?

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 A question the mathemagicians in this thread - why are you only comparing lance/macro to dual macro and why am i seeing little mention of broadsides? It just seems like people are only discussing the raider/frigate/light cruiser side of the game, and not the cruiser/battle-cruiser/grand cruiser/stations/fleet combat side of the game, which going on the number of slashes i had to use, is more of it.

I mean, yeah on a frigate you're better off with dual macrocannon as you can hit more reliably and it takes up less power and space on your ship, but when we're talking about cruisers, there's no such limitations on whacking on a pair of lance batteries and shredding targets at range. Just curious as to the limited focus of this thread so far.

Kudos for starting to look at strike craft though!

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How about a different approach?

Most suggestions i have read try to change the rules concerning lances or macrocannons.

How about doubling every single lance strength? While keeping everything else the same.

 

As far as i have read from these statistics, the problem only starts to appear, once high BS is involved. Low BS (read NPCs) ship crews would be unable to get that second hit, but they are already balanced against dual Macrocannons. High BS (read players) would have automatic success with practically doubled damage for a simple lance, and potential WTFdamage if they get 6 or 9 DoS. The Archaeotech lance would peak at Strength 6, but needs 10! DOS to succesfully hit with everything.

 

On the plus side strength scores would be more even. Lances have 2 or 4 for most cases, macrocannons 3/4 or 6.

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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.

How do you increase the command skill? What talents,skills increase the command skill?

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Command is exceedingly easy to boost. Without considering backgrounds, you can start with a 45 in fellowship and boost it up to 65 with advances. WIth backgrounds, you can start with another 13 more just from the core book alone (not counting Into the Storm's additional options and those backgrounds are on the way to being a Rogue Trader via the origin chart). Now, even considering you can improve fellowship at character creation far more easily than you can BS, Command is also a skill: so you can pick up Command +20 and Talented (Command). Peer (Navy or Military) would also apply to Command for Attackcraft I should think. And the Agent of the Throne elite advance could well get you +10 more. Then all you need is a bridge that gives you a Command boost (of which there are several to chose from).

Addmittedly, a lot of that is applicable to more uses of Fellowship than just command - and it's an investment to be sure. But still, the Command score with just what I can think up easily is 138. That's a lot of Command.

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I would like to finally put to rest the issue of "Regardless of Lance strength, every 3 DoS = 1 more lance strike." As many have stated, interpreting the rule that way would be completely wrong going off of RaW. I'd like to cite my proof. Please turn to page 221 and direct your attention to the Example. For those of you without access to books, here is the main part of it:

(After knocking down the void shields with his Macrobattery) ".... The gunner then fires the lance, making a Ballistic Skill test against the total of 58. He rolls an 11. Not only is this a hit, but it is also four degrees of success, enough to meet the lance's Crit Rating. A mighty blow! The unfortunate raider's void shields are already down from the macrobattery, and the lance strikes home unimpeded. The gunner rolls 1d10+4 (the lance's damage) and gets a 9. Because the raider's armor is ignored due to the nature of the lance weapons, the raider will take 9 points of damage to its Hull Integrity. If that wasn't bad enough, the gunner rolls 1d5 for the Critical Hit and gets a 5, lightning the poor raider on fire!"

You'll notice that even though the shipman rolled 4 degrees of success while using a lance (not a lance battery), he only scores 1 hit. This example comes directly from the book. I hope this will settle some arguments.

 

 

But now to add some observations of my own. I ran a couple tests while making a ship of my own for a game I'm about to start playing. I tried 2 different configurations. First off my character has 74 Ballistics Skill since he will be the ship's ordnance master. (Please don't derail this thread to pick apart how I got 74 starting BS.) With a Tyrant class Cruiser, one of my configs was mars broadside + titanforge lance battery. The 2nd configuration was simply dual mars macrocannon broadsides. (The ship has a Munitorum [+1 to MB damage])

MB + Lance max damage per round to a Lunar cruiser
MB: 4 hits (6 - 2 for dual VS array) * 13 damage (1d10+3 maxed) = 42 (-20 from armor) = 22 damage
Lance: 2 hits * 14 damage (1d10+4 maxed) = 28 damage
22 + 28 = 50 damage total

Dual MB Max damage per round to a Lunar cruiser
10 hits (12 - 2 for dual VS array) * 13 damage (1d10+3 maxed) = 130 (-20 from armor) = 110 damage total

I know this is extreme but sometimes that's what it takes to show the major differences.

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 I don't mean to suggest that having lances hit multiple times regardless of strength is the rules as intended, and the game's developers have already chimed in on this.  However, the Examples in the book are notoriously bad.

Check the example on page 111: not only does it reference an Average difficultly which does not exist, it also suggests that the character would not receive a penalty on the test that the table shows would be at a -10.

The first example on page 274 falls to account for Availability in determining the Acquisition modifier.

As a suggestion for fixing lances, it works out okay.  If you have the Strength be the number of hits it achieves on a success, and then allow it additional hits at every 3 DoS, you get the following numbers for Dual Sunsears (DS) as a reference, multi-hit Titanforge Lance (MT), multi-hit Titanforge Lance Battery (MTB), multi-hit Las Burners (MLB), and multi-hit Voidsunder Battery (MVB).  All the lances are combined with a Mars cannon.  This also assumes the Voidsunder is supposed to have a Strength of 3.

 

R DS MT MTB MLB MVB
30 1.02 1.02 1.88 0.80 2.73
40 3.62 2.80 4.89 2.01 6.98
50 6.68 4.77 8.10 3.30 11.42
60 10.17 6.93 11.49 4.65 16.05
70 13.96 10.23 16.03 6.43 21.82
F
30 0.74 0.92 1.775 0.695 2.63
40 3.02 2.60 4.69 1.81 6.78
50 5.76 4.47 7.795 2.995 11.12
60 8.99 6.53 11.09 4.25 15.65
70 12.58 9.73 15.525 5.925 21.32
C
30 0.18 0.57 1.425 0.525 2.28
40 1.07 1.52 3.61 1.33 5.7
50 2.46 2.85 6.175 2.275 9.5
60 4.34 4.56 9.12 3.36 13.68
70 6.71 7.60 13.395 4.935 19.19

It works okay, it fairs relatively better against Cruisers than other vessels.  Strength 3 lances are beasts however.  The Voidsunder does more damage across the board than dual Ryzas, but less than dual Lathe Broadsides at higher Ballistics skill against Raiders and Frigates and uses almost twice the power as a Voidsunder and a Mars cannon.

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WhiteLycan said:

 

I would like to finally put to rest the issue of "Regardless of Lance strength, every 3 DoS = 1 more lance strike."

 

This was settled long ago in different threads and I don't see anyone here laboring under the assumption that RAW allows for more than one hit even if the Strength and Successes would say otherwise.

My proposed solution was to ignore that RAW and allow multiple hits on the same strike (as stated earlier in this thread) among other things to avoid heavily modifying the way Macrobatteries work and to reflect the catastrophic damage a single lance strike can inflict (giant holes all the way through a Tau Explorer from a single strike from a lance).

 

Also, can someone run up the hits vs Orky ships? 

Baseline orky vessels from BFK

Kroozer Prow 23

Attack Ship prow 22

Brute Ramship Raider Prow 23

 

 

 

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I can see one problem with this approach though.

Strength equals initital hit and then you add additional hits.

Star-Flare Archeotech. Considering most Archeotech is good, but i hardly believe that its that much better.

That'd be 3 hits at first and then for 6 DoS you add another 3 hits instead of 2... and you keep going.

Thats 6 instead of 4 Lance hits. All for 1 SP and an archeotech slot, compared against the usual crap archeotech (bridge of antiquity args). Although if you compare it against the good stuff (teleportarium and castellan) it fits right in.

Keep trucking, you just made another piece of archeotech as deadly as it deserves to be.

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Okay, let me see if I've got this straight...  Per the fluff, Lances are supposed to be these rare, scary uber-weapons that can rip a raider in half, but rules-as-written they're far less effective than macrobatteries not to mention costing far more power.  And, any house rule needs to be balanced as well as simple.  If lances are house-ruled to always be better than macrobatteries, then no one will carry macrobatteries and the problem flip-flops instead of going away.

Roight then...

How about simply adding an extra 1d10 damage to each lance hit?  The basic Titanforge lance is then Strength 1, Damage 2d10+4, Crit 3, Range 6.  This is still less powerful than macrobatteries at high ballistic skill or against a soft target.  (This is intentional.)  But, the lance suddenly becomes significant even in moderately skilled hands;  if the macrobatteries knock down the void shields, that could be up to 24 hull integrity lost to the lance.  I haven't run all the numbers yet, but I think that balances reasonably well. 

Cheers,

- V.

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After reading this thread i think i have the elements to house ruling my lances and gives them more attractiveness for my players.

What the thread doesn't solve is the problem of the murdering dommage of a salvo with a high level of ballistic skill.

Has anyone in this thread tried to play with armor values ? Something like a flat increase of the base armor of all models (2, 3, 5 points) ? And what do you think of something like : "in case of a salvo, the target armor is augmented of 1 point per hit". In case of an combined 8 hits salvo, it's 8 more armor, more or less the equivalent to the damage of one hit. Do you see there a means to tone down the high dommage of a salvo by these mean ?

Cheers

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IMO the armour values could well be increased a little bit and/or a substantially more points into their hull's as well as fights can very easily just turn into 2-3 round affairs at the moment. Considering it takes a long time to build some ships with the highest levels of technology of the Imperium in their components, having them trashed in 3hours of enemy fire would mean there really wouldn't be a lot of shipping left!

The run-on effect of that would turn a naval engagement into a suitably epic affair which isnt over in a couple of rounds of some high BS character ripping **** up with macroweapons. A lance in that environment becomes a lot more viable for its ability to put consistant damage on target as well as being greatly feared for its ability to critically damage components and start fires.

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Vandegraffe said:

How about simply adding an extra 1d10 damage to each lance hit?

 

Alas, even an extra 1d10 is not enough to balance lances at high Ballistic Skills, though they do modestly better than the Sunsears at low BS skill vs Cruisers.  Dual Mars (M), dual Sunsears (S), and Mars with a Super (2d10+4) Titanforge Lance (M+ST).

R M S M+ST
30 1.02 1.02 1.45
40 2.31 3.62 2.59
50 3.99 6.68 4.04
60 6.05 10.17 5.78
70 8.49 13.96 7.83
F
30 0.74 0.74 1.42
40 1.80 3.02 2.53
50 3.24 5.76 3.95
60 5.07 8.99 5.66
70 7.28 12.58 7.68
C
30 0.18 0.18 0.90
40 0.55 1.07 1.80
50 1.13 2.46 3.00
60 1.91 4.34 4.50
70 2.89 6.71 6.30

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Moribund said:

Vandegraffe said:

How about simply adding an extra 1d10 damage to each lance hit?
 

Alas, even an extra 1d10 is not enough to balance lances at high Ballistic Skills, though they do modestly better than the Sunsears at low BS skill vs Cruisers.  Dual Mars (M), dual Sunsears (S), and Mars with a Super (2d10+4) Titanforge Lance (M+ST).

Thanks for running the numbers.  ****, it really is that bad.   Syrug is correct:  high ballistic skill plus macrobatteries is overwhelming.  In my group, if the arch-militant's player shows up to session, the ship has a BS of 94.  But, if he can't game that day, then the ship has a BS of 50 or so... big difference.  For faceless NPC's, the crew skill is obviously relevant.  I boost the NPC's in my campaign so they at least make the players break a sweat, but they still aren't as good as the players.  (As it should be.  The players are the heroes, and should have an edge.) 

Unfortunately, if you tone down macrobatteries to where a PC ship is seriously thinking of installing a lance, then that NPC pirate Iconoclast with a 40 - 50 BS is useless.  I once saw a pirate flotilla of 13 NPC raiders & frigates fight one PC Lunar.  The cruiser won, playing with rules as written.  Any change that makes macrobatteries less effective makes things even worse for the NPC's. If macrobatteries cannot salvo, then non-lance equipped frigates have almost no chance to hurt a cruiser.

*sigh*  Okay, here's what I'm going to try:  Lances get an extra d10, so super Titanforge does 2d10+4.  Macrobattery broadsides are rules as written, with salvos allowed.  However, macrobatteries get 1 extra hit per 2 DoS with salvos;  effectively macrobatteries fire on semi-auto while broadsides fire on full auto.  That's not pretty, but I think it'll work.  Here's my reasoning:   

1.  It tones down macrobatteries without making them useless.  A stock Iconoclast with a crew skill of 40, and a +20 bonus from leadership, lock on, put your backs into it, and whatnot, can still hit with all six shots.  (Need to roll 20 or less, twice, at short range.)   That's not terribly likely, mind you, but it means the ship is still a potential threat, especially in groups.

2.  If an escort wants to go cruiser hunting, a lance is now the best choice unless the ship has a VERY high ballistic skill.  This explains why the Imperial navy uses lance armed escorts, and doesn't like other folks to have them.  If a PC frigate with dual sunsears is still better...  that's fine as long as it isn't too much better.  The goal is to give the PC's an edge without them being overwhelming.

3.  Cruiser macrobattery broadsides are suitably horrific.demonio.gif

Just my 2 thrones worth,

- V.

 

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Moribund said:

 What weapons or house rules do you want run against the ork ships bobh?

Well... whatever you feel comfortable with but i'm more interested in seeing the macroweapon effect, macros vs macro/lance against an oncoming ork raider or ramship which will be showing you its prow as much as possible.  RAW.

Then non-RAW,

Case 1 lances with tearing

Case 2 lances that ignore RAW in regards to total number of hits per shot/crits per shot, hitting like a marcoweapon in that regard.

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Right, I've been following this discussion on and off for a while now.

 

We've been brainstorming in our group to see what prevents the 'dual sunsear saws through your armour, you die'. We'll test what happens when:

 

A macrobattery salvo takes -10 on the ballistic test per battery involved if they are combined.

Lances get a straight up +10 to hit because they're awesome lazerpointazhs!

 

Will post the results once we're done.

 

 

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I solved the problem this way. Multiple macro-batteries can not be combined into a single salvo; it’s simple and effective. It doesn’t nerf the batteries so much they are useless just makes them less able to out perform lances. Anything with armor over around 20 becomes a bit problematic for a ship with nothing but macro-cannons as it takes a lot of shots to whittle it down, but then again that’s what the lances are for right? Tearing those ships apart? A good group of smaller ships with just macro-cannons would still pose a treat even to larger ships, kill it with bug bites as it were (and you can’t discount crits and their importance, as not allowing salvoes increases the number of crits the ship has a chance to score), but it makes it so one or two wolf-pack raiders with just a pair of macro-cannons against a light cruiser or so has to be scared. Which I think is as it should be.

Also I am trying a few runs with lances doing an additional 1d10 damage and it made the battle we tried it in very interesting. I can’t say if this makes the damage swing unduly in the lances favor but I know it made for an epic fight. And IMO lances ought to be able to rip a small ship apart in a few clean hits; hence why small ships should try and out maneuver larger ones right? It encouraged my crew to maneuver while in battle and then not just go head long into a debris field where raiders with lances could be waiting. I'm not 100% sure I'll keep this up but it is an interesting idea to say the least.

Both these additions I think make the game flow better and fit the feel also but you should not disagree until you have tried it.

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TCBC Freak said:

I solved the problem this way. Multiple macro-batteries can not be combined into a single salvo; it’s simple and effective. It doesn’t nerf the batteries so much they are useless just makes them less able to out perform lances. Anything with armor over around 20 becomes a bit problematic for a ship with nothing but macro-cannons as it takes a lot of shots to whittle it down, but then again that’s what the lances are for right? Tearing those ships apart? A good group of smaller ships with just macro-cannons would still pose a treat even to larger ships, kill it with bug bites as it were (and you can’t discount crits and their importance, as not allowing salvoes increases the number of crits the ship has a chance to score), but it makes it so one or two wolf-pack raiders with just a pair of macro-cannons against a light cruiser or so has to be scared. Which I think is as it should be.

Agread!  As i stated before, the PROBLEM IS NOT LANCES BEING TO WEAK, IT'S MACRO CANNONS BEING WAY WAY TO POWERFUL.  I do not care what type of crack gunner your frigate has, you should not be abale to waste a light cruiser in one shot (or even a cruiser shudder) wich makes the only viable fix to grealty rudce batteris.  Hence they should not be abale to combine.   As for the squdron rules mearly alowing them to not have to wory about void shields is enough no other bouns or special rule needed.  espesialy not combining damage even more (if you wana be mean give them a command test to see if they can cordinate effectivly)

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guest469 said:

Yet another complaint is that the Imperial Navy regulation Mars pattern macrobatteries need their unnerfed Salvo ability to be viable. 

So say 'broadside' components can't combine?  Or would that leave us with sunsears ruling the day?

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yesmars none broadsides do suck they can hurt a cruiser berly but minimal guns should not be abale to hevaly damage cruisers and what not thats what lances and broadsides or for

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guest469 said:

Yet another complaint is that the Imperial Navy regulation Mars pattern macrobatteries need their unnerfed Salvo ability to be viable. 

If you are talking Imperial Navy regulation Mars macrobatteries with Imperial Navy regulation skill levels, then yes, agree 100%.  The game-breaking combination  is macrobatteries, rules as written, and high ballistic skill

Look at it this way:  1d10 damage averages to 5.5 points.  So, given average damage rolls, Mars macrobatteries (1d10+2) will do 15 points with two hits, 22.5 points with three hits, and 30 points with four hits.  Even a flimsy little raider has 15 armour, so the Mars needs to do at least three hits to consistently score damage... (And don't forget the void shield soaks one hit.)

So, a NPC Imperial frigate, crew skill of 40, needs to roll a 20 or less to do any damage if the other macrobattery knocked down the void shield, and a 10 or less if it didn't.   However, a PC frigate with a BS of 90 needs to roll a 70 or less to get the same result.  Do you see the problem?  If you're going to nerf macrobatteries, then you either need to nerf armour as well, or you need to upgrade crew skill substantially for every NPC in the game.

Personally, I chose to upgrade crew skill, and got good results.  Two sessions ago, a pirate Iconoclast, straight out of the book, did 22 points of damage to the PC's ship with one volley.  (Yes, that's after void shields & armour)  That got their attention, and led to a memorable battle.

Cheers,

- V.

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 Removing Salvos is nice, but lets look at its effects at higher BS.  Even if you take away salvoing, Ryzas and Broadsides are still really powerful.  If you also allow lances to hit multiple times regardless of strength (Mars + Multi-hit Titanforge; M+MT) you start to reach a nice balance.  There is good parity between the Sunsears and Mars Titanforge combo, since Sunsears have better range for the cost, that seems acceptable.

It is somewhat odd that Jovians outdamage Mars Pattern at 50 BS and higher, but voidshields make strength more important than +damage.  Changing the Mars Pattern to Strength 4; 1d10+1 would make it less bad without salvos.

R M+T M+MT Ryza Mars Sun Jovian Mars Broadside
30 1.02 1.02 1.46 0.68 0.68 0.20 0.68
40 1.85 2.80 4.82 1.43 2.72 0.91 2.72
50 2.87 4.77 8.38 2.29 4.91 2.31 6.39
60 4.08 6.93 12.12 3.28 7.24 3.77 11.72
70 5.48 10.23 16.06 4.39 9.73 5.29 17.19
vs Frigate (17)
30 0.92 0.92 1.07 0.41 0.41 0.12 0.41
40 1.65 2.60 4.01 0.90 2.08 0.67 2.08
50 2.57 4.47 7.14 1.50 3.89 1.87 5.35
60 3.68 6.53 10.46 2.20 5.85 3.13 9.68
70 4.98 9.73 13.98 3.00 7.95 4.46 14.46
vs Cruiser (20)
30 0.57 0.57 0.29 0.11 0.11 0.03 0.11
40 1.14 1.52 1.52 0.29 0.71 0.21 0.71
50 1.90 2.85 3.08 0.54 1.51 0.81 2.52
60 2.85 4.56 4.98 0.86 2.50 1.52 6.03
70 3.99 7.60 7.22 1.25 3.70 2.34 9.84

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I'm wondering if the real problem isn't BS scores that are too high?  In our gaming group the BS test of the Master of Ordnance was was +80 to start (with modifiers).  The PC ship is going to, generally, hit what its aiming at excluding the odd Eldar Raider. 

 

The solution seems different depending on what you look at:

  • BS Scores PC vs NPC
  • Lance power/hit/damage capability
  • Macro power/hit/damage capability
  • Salvoes of Macro weapons make them better than lances
  • Combination of Lance/Macro vs Lance/Lance vs Macro/Macro et cetera
  • Size of your ship: More weapons, better chance to target and hit your enemy if u can bring them to bear.

If you have a small ship high BS tests and very effective weapons mean you might live vs more than one other small ship or a big ship.

A big ship with lots of crappy weapons needs a great BS to compensate.

Vs Eldar you need a high BS test with a lance to rock their world, no smegging void shields to get through.

 

Are Lances a Trap?

They can be.  If you can't hit with something to take down a void shield.

Do lances stack up to be all that they can be or should be?

No.  Game RAW Lances are NOT like Warhammer 40k Lances in power or effect.

Should we do anything about this (I think about this a lot)....sad really.

If your GM is keeping your BS test low (can happen many ways), you have crap weapons and your ship is small, be afraid.  Be very afraid.  If you can't upgrade to TURBO on your macro weapons and stay out of range of those baddies, also reason to be afraid.  You have to get your GM to see this issue and find some way to compensate a bit.

Will all ship shave sunsears and 80 BS tests....?

They shouldn't.  Really they shouldn't.  If your encountering high BS test enemies with awesome weapons and you have no way to win thats a wrap.  Games over barring some really interesting and lucky dice rolls.  All of this gets to the part where the Gm is supposed to step in and be reasonabl...right?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Moribund said:

 

 Removing Salvos is nice, but lets look at its effects at higher BS.  Even if you take away salvoing, Ryzas and Broadsides are still really powerful.  If you also allow lances to hit multiple times regardless of strength (Mars + Multi-hit Titanforge; M+MT) you start to reach a nice balance.  There is good parity between the Sunsears and Mars Titanforge combo, since Sunsears have better range for the cost, that seems acceptable.

It is somewhat odd that Jovians outdamage Mars Pattern at 50 BS and higher, but voidshields make strength more important than +damage.  Changing the Mars Pattern to Strength 4; 1d10+1 would make it less bad without salvos.

 

 

 

Thanks for those numbers on the "allow lances to hit multiple times regardless of strength".

Any numbers on prow ork armour?  22+, some 23. and what the damage looks like?

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