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Moribund

[Mathhammer] Making ship armour count

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Nope. Under RAW armour is subtracted once from the total value of a volley that hits the ship, not with every shot. On average you'll fire with Strength 5.5, and each one dealing an average of 7.5 damage. Thus if you can get at least three hits on an enemy Rok you'll start doing damage to it. The trick here is that on average damage would go like this.

 

0=>0=>2.5=>10=>17.5=>21.25 (ha ha! Half a hit)

 

Whereas with Mathhammer damage would go like

 

0=>0=>0=>0=>0=>0

 

But NPCs are probably not going to be scoring a full salvo hit against an enemy vessel, whereas PCs do, which is the original problem.

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If all they have is macrocannons, yes. However this change came up because NPC ships usually suck at everything except dying. Let's say that Ork Rok is crewed by PC characters. It is not hard to score a Ballistic Skill well over 100 with combined actions, fate points and especially one Navigator power which turns the original damage into 11 hits at 7.5 damage per hit for one macrocannon volley doing 62.5 damage using terrible Ork weapons. Lances now are so far inferior to macrocannon stacking, hence the change.

Either NPC ships also get Ballistic Skill tests at 80 or something meaning they can ALSO potentially one shot your PC vessels, or they don't in which case why bother having space combat.

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So the point of this system is to reduce the chances of small ships getting one shotted right?

 

Well... just pointing this out, but doesn't this system make it, in fact, MORE dangerous for small ships due to how reduced the armor is?

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They work fine so long as your ships aren't a) pitifully unskilled [less than 30] or b) super-skilled [over 50].  There is nothing funnier than a system transport (crew 20) with a thunderstrike (1d10+2) fighting a frigate (armor 13) they literally have less than a 0.5% chance to do a point of damage to per round.

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I prefer the idea of applying armour to every single hit unless someone takes the time to attempt to co-ordinate every single gun in the macrocannon battery to aim at a single point on a ship rather than just firing at the ship and having all the shots land in the same general area.

 

I'm not saying there shouldn't be a mechanic for calibrating all your guns to fire at the exact same point on an enemy ship and absolutely wreck it but I think it should be something you have to try to do rather than something that happens if you open fire and just happen to get a lot of successes.

 

Only really tangentially related but has anyone found any rhyme or reason to the weapon component size and power levels?

I know more powerful weapons should take up more space and more power but is there an actual relationship?

 

Is strength 1.5 x power consumption and damage 1d10+space or something simple?

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I've been doing the math myself and reading through this... and I'm getting more on board with it. I was wondering if there's anyone who has a complete, concise, pdf or doc on the mathhammer ruleset? I'm still reading through the full thread, but I want something to pass around to my players.

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No, there isn't a concise, final edition of Mathhammer.  Everybody uses it a bit differently.  I can share our house rules as they will be used in our next campaign, starting in a couple months.

 

  • Macrocannon and bomber damage is calculated per hit.
  • Armor is -12.
  • Torpedo damage is -12.
  • Lances have no range modifications and each strength point fires separately. DoS count only for crits.
  • Broadsides' Strength are halved and fire twice (STR 5 broadsides would fire at STR 3 and STR 2).
  • Shields go down for the entire round.
  • The Abstract Method is used to keep track of small craft losses. Attack craft used in battle always make a maintenance check after that battle.
  • Small craft form Wings made up of squadrons. A Wing can have as many squadrons as Flight Crew Rating/10 (rounded down).
  • The damage of bombers is 1d10 + Flight Crew Rating/10 (rounded down).
  • Ships firing or being fired at are at -10 for augur checks.
  • Light Cruisers have a 90 degree turning rate.
  • Teleportarium – Into the Storm has limiting factors on p. 150. I use all of them.
  • Astropathic Choir Chambers are necessary to gain the effects of the Astropathic Relays found on p. 163 of Rogue Trader. To recap them...
    • Astropathic Choirs - for each Astropath in the Choir, add +1 to Psy Rating (max. +10). If "Pushed" beyond this, weaker members of the choir are in risk.
    • Dispersal Scoop - Psyniscience +10 to detect astropathic signals.
    • Hexagrammatic Warding - all rolls on the Psychic Phenomena and Perils of the Warp tables are at -10.
    • Focus Power tests are +10.
    • Psychic powers have their range increased by 5 VU's.
  • Pilots Chambers add +5 to Flight Crew Rating.
  • Miloslavs no longer have x2 speed
  • Small Craft Repair Decks add +10 to the Acquisition roll for maintenance.
  • Landing Bays hold twice as many squadrons of Aeronautica instead of double-sized squadrons.
  • Nova Cannons have 1.5 listed maximum range (i.e. 60 for a Mars-pattern)

Most of those are probably self-explanatory.  I can answer any questions you might have.

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Has anyone ever tried something like this?

 

Instead of making each hit count against armour and adding +12, add up all the hits from one weapon component. No RAW salvos. 

 

I bring this up because the few times our bombers did not simply mangle or outright destroy a flock of frigates, their attacks did nearly nothing against our Dicator's armour. That's not really in keeping with BFG, and it gives the players a feeling of invincibility that needed to be address with lances or torpedoes. 

 

I agree that lances and torpedoes should be the ship killers in the game (as well as other special weapons). But I've found that with +12 to everything, weapons that dealt say 1d10+4 by default were tearing up escort class ships far too easily.

 

Consider this, using the Average Damage roll as 5.5:

Mars Pattern Macrocannon vs Armour 15

Mathhammer: With three hits it will deal 16.5 damage on average

"One Salvo": With three hits it will deal 10.5 damage on average

 

Sunsear Las-battery vs Armour 15

Mathhammer: 18 damage with 4 hits

"One Salvo": 7.5 damage with 4 hits

 

 

Now, let's try it against a Cruiser:

Mars Pattern Macrocannon vs Armour 20

Mathhammer: 1.5 damage on average with 3 hits

"One Salvo": 5.5 damage on average with 3 hits

 

Sunsear Las-battery vs Armour 20 

Mathhammer: -1.5 damage with 4 hits

"One Salvo": 10 damage with 4 hits

 

 

This is rather simplistic modelling, but this is what I've encountered in 8 months of gaming, say 10-12 space battles in that time. 

 

Perhaps it is good and right for a cruiser to not fear escorts unless they're packing lances and/or torpedoes. But it seems to drain the tension when facing the most common weapons and opponents. A cruiser should be able to slap around 1-2 escorts, but it should still take some hits. 

 

It'll also force my hand, as it did my former GM, to escalate with numbers and weaponry instead of tactics. 

 

This pretty much abandons the need for +/- 12 to anything. Broadsides I haven't thunk through yet. 

I'm a little confused by what you mean by this method, but if your math works out then it sounds like what I'm looking for.

 

 

No, there isn't a concise, final edition of Mathhammer.  Everybody uses it a bit differently.  I can share our house rules as they will be used in our next campaign, starting in a couple months.

 

  • Macrocannon and bomber damage is calculated per hit.
  • Armor is -12.
  • Torpedo damage is -12.
  • Lances have no range modifications and each strength point fires separately. DoS count only for crits.
  • Broadsides' Strength are halved and fire twice (STR 5 broadsides would fire at STR 3 and STR 2).
  • Shields go down for the entire round.
  • The Abstract Method is used to keep track of small craft losses. Attack craft used in battle always make a maintenance check after that battle.
  • Small craft form Wings made up of squadrons. A Wing can have as many squadrons as Flight Crew Rating/10 (rounded down).
  • The damage of bombers is 1d10 + Flight Crew Rating/10 (rounded down).
  • Ships firing or being fired at are at -10 for augur checks.
  • Light Cruisers have a 90 degree turning rate.
  • Teleportarium – Into the Storm has limiting factors on p. 150. I use all of them.
  • Astropathic Choir Chambers are necessary to gain the effects of the Astropathic Relays found on p. 163 of Rogue Trader. To recap them...
    • Astropathic Choirs - for each Astropath in the Choir, add +1 to Psy Rating (max. +10). If "Pushed" beyond this, weaker members of the choir are in risk.
    • Dispersal Scoop - Psyniscience +10 to detect astropathic signals.
    • Hexagrammatic Warding - all rolls on the Psychic Phenomena and Perils of the Warp tables are at -10.
    • Focus Power tests are +10.
    • Psychic powers have their range increased by 5 VU's.
  • Pilots Chambers add +5 to Flight Crew Rating.
  • Miloslavs no longer have x2 speed
  • Small Craft Repair Decks add +10 to the Acquisition roll for maintenance.
  • Landing Bays hold twice as many squadrons of Aeronautica instead of double-sized squadrons.
  • Nova Cannons have 1.5 listed maximum range (i.e. 60 for a Mars-pattern)

Most of those are probably self-explanatory.  I can answer any questions you might have.

I've got one question. Is there a reason not to leave armor the same and just up damage by +12 for macrobatteries without salvo?

Edited by shadowclasper

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uuuh... why? You give them -12 damage when you reduce armor by 12, so it seems by giving them +12 damage it would just increase their damage illogically? Since you're increasing their net damage in the system rather than keeping it on par.

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I think what Erathia meant to say was, "Don't decrease torpedo damage by 12."

 

Some people increase weapon damage by 12.  It's easier to remember.  Some people decrease armor by 12.  It's easier to figure in your head.  It's just a matter of taste.  And that's what I said about Mathhammer.  Everyone does it a bit differently, so you won't find a concise, uniform, finalized version of it.  If someone went to the trouble of creating that, someone (everyone?) else would just change it to fit, so why bother?

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Errant Knight is correct in figuring out my cryptic and arcane ramblings, I had misunderstood what you had said in your post. My modified version is every shot comes off damage armour individually, and macrobattery/torpedo damage is raised by 12. Makes for easier calculations, although my players seem less impressed when I tell them to add 14 to their shots.

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I request some feedback on these, an attempt to get the most out of the Mathhammer alternate rules with less reworking of the system. I have little interest in wading through any more math than the combat system already provides, slowing down the game further. My aim is to reduce the overwhelming power of macrobatteries compared to all other attack types, and overall have the ship combat feel a bit more like BFG.

 

 

* Only allow macrobattery hits from a given component to stack with other hits from that component. Prevents macrobatteries being the automatic choice of weapon type.

 

* Broadsides have half the strength but are given storm (maximum hits equal to the original Strength). Normal crews can do some damage with these.

 

* Lances require one fewer DoS for extra hits. Lances need a boost.

 

* Sunsear macrobatteries and broadsides do D10+1 damage per hit (-1 from normal) to prevent them being the only macrobattery most parties will consider taking.

 

* Eldar pulsar lances get +10 to hit after the first hit, to make them more competitive since DoS don't matter to them.

 

* Eldar torpedoes can reroll once to hit if they miss a target. As per Battlefleet Gothic rules.

 

* Rak'gol howler cannons can combine with other howler cannon components to ensure they can actually cause some damage.

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Just getting started with these mods, but I wanted to clarify on the subject of broadsides... Using Storm and reducing strength to 3... Does this mean only three hits or three hits which count as six (each hit counts as two)? I.e. If the PCs get one degree of success, they get four hits (two for the hit, two more for the DoS), but is that capped at just three?

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I would imagine that it works like Storm on a weapon. A Base success = 2 hits. One Degree of Success = 4 hits. Two or more Degrees of Success = 6 Hits. You still can't exceed a weapon's maximum Strength.

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I would imagine that it works like Storm on a weapon. A Base success = 2 hits. One Degree of Success = 4 hits. Two or more Degrees of Success = 6 Hits. You still can't exceed a weapon's maximum Strength.

Ok so the purpose is to increase the likelihood of the broadside hitting it's strength value (since a single DoS would enable 3 hits) relative to a battery (which would need two DoS to get 3 hits)?

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One Degree of Success = 4 hits

...(since a single DoS would enable 3 hits)...

 

Four hits.

 

And I follow ErrantKnight in making broadsides Str 3 but firing twice.

Yeeesssss... That's what I was trying to clarify. Does "hit" actually mean hit or applicable DoS. If the former, the second hit from your first DoS is ignored because you've already scored as many hits as Str (3) allows (hence why I said three hits for 1 DoS). Under the Storm descriptor, each success counts as two "hits", but if you are capped at three then the only point I could see to the rule is ensuring that you are more likely to score the maximum your Str allows. In the latter case, you could score a bit plus two DoS for a total of six "hits" (damage rolls).

Assuming I've understood correctly, you and ErrantKnight propose a different system (allowing two separate attack rolls each at Str 3)? This seems a bit better as it doesn't ensure automatic extra damage on a hit, but does give a ship with broadsides an extra chance to hit.

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Does "hit" actually mean hit or applicable DoS.

 

....What? Hit means hit.

 

You are capped at 6 hits because they are Strength 3 and have the Storm quality.

 

To reiterate: a basic success = two hits. 1 DoS = 4 hits. 2+ DoS = 6 hits.

 

To illustrate: if a VM with a BS of 65 rolls 56-65 they score two hits. If they roll 46-55 they score four hits. If they roll 45 or below they score six hits.

 

EK proposed (and I adopted) 'Str 3, fire twice' because that allows for 1, 3 and 5 hits, which Storm doesn't.

 

The "point" of these adaptations is to make Broadsides worthwhile; scoring 5 DoS is next to impossible for most crews out there.

Edited by LoneKharnivore

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....What? You are capped at 6 hits because they are Strength 3 and have the Storm quality.

 

To reiterate: a basic success = two hits. 1 DoS = 4 hits. 2+ DoS = 6 hits.

 

To illustrate: if a VM with a BS of 65 rolls 56-65 they score two hits. If they roll 46-55 they score four hits. If they roll 45 or below they score six hits.

 

EK proposed (and I adopted) 'Str 3, fire twice' because that allows for 1, 3 and 5 hits, which Storm doesn't.

If you were to interpret Strength literally, you are capped at 3 hits. Storm quality inflicts an extra hit per success. Not "an extra damage roll", an extra hit. So, read literally, you can still only score three hits at Str 3.

It appears people are ruling Storm in this case deals an extra damage roll per hit (though you may argue the semantics, but it's those that were confusing me). This answers my question, but it does show the issue of trying to adapt ground weapon qualities for space weapons which have limits like Str that ground weapons don't.

That said, I do prefer EKs rule.

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