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Peacekeeper_b

Hero Walker/Command Walker

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As the topic name suggests, do you think we will see eventually rules for Walkers that are heroes/Command units?

Such as a walker that has the "Move you Monkeys!" command ability? Or is a unique walker that may be of a pre-released model but is in itself special (Sigrids Luthor or whatever, Koshka's walker) or is just special "Sarge, is that the Phantom Walker over there?"

A Hero Walker would pretty much just be a walker that has an extra wound or a bonus skill or a additional weapon. A Command Walker, again, would have the Command Squad skill (of the officer, not medic, mechanic, maybe radioman).

And how would you write up the rules for a walker driven by a hero?

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I would just give a medium another wound and command abilities which target walkers. So you could repair another one, bring another one back to the game. I would also let this command walker do the monkey command on any type of unit. Let it keep the artillery strike ability. Not sure what else, maybe give it superior reactive fire or some other skill.

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Don't think "command squad", think "fighter ace".  Add a hero pilot to your walker and gain something like "Fast", "Self Repair", add some dice to the combat rolls, etc.

Sigrid in a Luther might add +1 die to the 5cm and +2 dice to the claw (her nasty HTH ability) plus have the ability to do Berserk. 

Maybe give all walker heroes upgraded Reactive Fire, either easier to trigger or maybe as a free action once.

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  In my small game group, we have made a few house ruled hero walkers.

  we give all Hero walkers 1 extra health, 1 extra attack die on the Main weapon line only ( 5 cm on the Luther, 88 on the ludwig, etc.) and 1 special skill, in addition to any skills the walker comes with. If the walker is supposed to be an existing hero but in a walker, then the skill must be one that his Troop card has. for points cost we added 50% of the LOWEST points rating, either the Hero or the Walker, wichever is lower, to the higher points cost. ( ie Sigrid in a Lugwig would cost 50 points, 50% of Sigrids 20, added to the 40 pts of the Ludwig ) I might have Sigrids points cost remembered wrong? but you get the idea!

   If its a new made up Hero Walker, they still only get ONE skill added to the walkers skills, but you get to chose any one you want, and the cost is the chosen walker type x 150% ( ie a hero Allied Pounder would cost 60 points, its more expensive because you get to pick the skill)

  Each army can only have 1 Hero Walker, and they dont automaticaly get Command Squad skills. Heros are not Command squads, they are powerfull fighters but not always the best leaders!

  They have been great fun for us, the extra Heath and Attack die realy makes a difference without making them un-beatable, and the chance to model and paint a "Manfred Von Stompsalot" Walker Ace is just to much fun!

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I'd suggest putting some limits on the skills they could take.  While some groups would police their members, as an open idea, it could lead to problems.

Any walker with Damage Resilient could be a problem, as well as not making much sense unless it was a prototype soom to replace all others of its class. 

Jump would be the same for Axis walkers, as none of them have that technology yet.  If they did, all of the current Axis walker would be obsolete.

Agile would be another one that didn't really fit, since walkers can't shift past the edge of a building, and have to spend two actions to get around them, making them really mobile eveywhere else wouldn't make sense.

All in One is currently available on a light walker with limited range.  Giving it to a Steel Rain would be a much more serious proposition.  12 attack dice once per game is nasty, but 24 would be ridiculous.  You'd also have to house rule how it would work for something like the Lothar's Nebelwerfer, where four dice per squad member would be a statistical nightmare, or  something like the Hot Dog's Napalm Thrower against vehicles, where the chance of a vehicle instant kill would increase from 17% to over 31%.

Since I mentioned the Steel Rain, imagine someone taking Badass to gain an unlimited number of 12 attack dice spreads with their rockets.  They don't come with a listed reload time, so it could be argued to be allowed every turn, as no other limited use weapons add a cool down between extra shots.

Since many people have read extra fluff bits, and many walkers are noted as having a multi-member crew, what about a walker with a spotter built in, so it's hitting twice as often with every shot.

Heroic Attack is scary for a turn, but it has to be used on a unit that is up close to enemy fire for later retaliation.  Using it on a walker with unlimited range is another situation that a 50% increase in cost might not cover.

A good group could work with all of the abilities, and have a great time creating heroes.  As a general rule, however, people would need to watch what people are doing with them, and may want to add additional restrictions, or additional costs.

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Can't see a problem with damage resistance, could eaily be represented extra armour added or skirts etc

Don't agree with the view of axis having jump it certainly wouldn't mean others were obsolete and we have allied walkers without Jump.  Mind you, Jump would be my last ability I would choose.

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Major Mishap said:

Can't see a problem with damage resistance, could eaily be represented extra armour added or skirts etc

Don't agree with the view of axis having jump it certainly wouldn't mean others were obsolete and we have allied walkers without Jump.  Mind you, Jump would be my last ability I would choose.

Damage Resistance is partly a fluff issue, but if it were available, it would be added to all walkers of the class, and not just one.  It would be ridiculous not to.  As walkers get larger in size, it becomes more of an issue, as they have more damage to begin with.  Self Repair falls into that category, as well.

Jump is also partly fluff based.  Walkers have movement issues, and Jump is one of the ways the Allies have overcome it.  Some designs are probably considered too light to be worth the effort, and some have acknowledged balance and weight issues that preclude it.  Opening it as something any walker can have negates the advantage the Allies have on movement, and creates the same issue for obsolescence within a class I mentioned for Damage Resistance.  If a walker can have Jump just because a character is riding in it, why wouldn't they be giving Jump to the entire class?  Mobility is key for armored warfare, and whether gamers realize it, or not, the fictional world commanders know it, and wouldn't give up the option if it were available.

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  Yes, in our group, we do try to use SOME common sense.

  we always discuss the skill chosen, and agree on its use in a walker. some skills just dont make sense to use in a walker from a realism stand point let alone game balance wise! " I want my Luther to have the Medic skill!"??????

   As for skills like Jump, and Damage Resliance, and other movement or combat damage skill, they can be explained as vehicle upgrades ( wich can be very fun to model on the walker-Axis w/ jump could be a Herman with detachable rocket boosters on the legs and back!), or exceptionaly skilled pilots, getting more out of a souped-up, customized walker.

  No one in our group has thought of Badass + Steal Rain, so it hasnt come up yet. Actualy, in the games we've played, there hasnt been one Hero skill issue that was over powering YET!!

  Have fun blow'n stuff up!

 Gimp, you can be amazingly condisending! Its a game.

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Major Headcase said:

 Gimp, you can be amazingly condisending! Its a game.

No condescension was intended.  I tend to be blunt when discussing ideas online, which makes what I write come across more harshly than intended to some people. 

I assumed your group had not encountered problems, or you would have mentioned them.  Your group's use of discussion to approve skill ideas is an excellent way to forestall any problems, but it hadn't been mentioned. 

Opening the concepts up for the general gaming population means more people are likely to come across gamers who like to play the rules instead of their opponent to try and win.  I've had to deal with those types several times through a lot of years gaming running organized play, so I like to bring up possible problems.  I prefer people point out issues with ideas I post for the same reason. 

Someone playing devil's advocate now can save someone else a lot of grief down the road.

People should have fun blowin' stuff up, and shouldn't have to deal with idiocy getting there.  As noted, this is a game, but some people forget the point of gaming is for everyone to have fun.

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Gimp said:

Major Mishap said:

 

Can't see a problem with damage resistance, could eaily be represented extra armour added or skirts etc

Don't agree with the view of axis having jump it certainly wouldn't mean others were obsolete and we have allied walkers without Jump.  Mind you, Jump would be my last ability I would choose.

 

 

Damage Resistance is partly a fluff issue, but if it were available, it would be added to all walkers of the class, and not just one.  It would be ridiculous not to.  As walkers get larger in size, it becomes more of an issue, as they have more damage to begin with.  Self Repair falls into that category, as well.

Jump is also partly fluff based.  Walkers have movement issues, and Jump is one of the ways the Allies have overcome it.  Some designs are probably considered too light to be worth the effort, and some have acknowledged balance and weight issues that preclude it.  Opening it as something any walker can have negates the advantage the Allies have on movement, and creates the same issue for obsolescence within a class I mentioned for Damage Resistance.  If a walker can have Jump just because a character is riding in it, why wouldn't they be giving Jump to the entire class?  Mobility is key for armored warfare, and whether gamers realize it, or not, the fictional world commanders know it, and wouldn't give up the option if it were available.

I think you are getting confused with new production vehicles and not customised by the crew or hero on the battlefield.  Sure any good mod will be applied to any new vehicles on the production line and possibly retro-fitted to others, but thats not going to happen to every vehicle at the same time.  So, no, not all vehicles of the same class need be exactly the same.

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Major Mishap said:

Gimp said:

 

Major Mishap said:

 

Can't see a problem with damage resistance, could eaily be represented extra armour added or skirts etc

Don't agree with the view of axis having jump it certainly wouldn't mean others were obsolete and we have allied walkers without Jump.  Mind you, Jump would be my last ability I would choose.

 

 

Damage Resistance is partly a fluff issue, but if it were available, it would be added to all walkers of the class, and not just one.  It would be ridiculous not to.  As walkers get larger in size, it becomes more of an issue, as they have more damage to begin with.  Self Repair falls into that category, as well.

Jump is also partly fluff based.  Walkers have movement issues, and Jump is one of the ways the Allies have overcome it.  Some designs are probably considered too light to be worth the effort, and some have acknowledged balance and weight issues that preclude it.  Opening it as something any walker can have negates the advantage the Allies have on movement, and creates the same issue for obsolescence within a class I mentioned for Damage Resistance.  If a walker can have Jump just because a character is riding in it, why wouldn't they be giving Jump to the entire class?  Mobility is key for armored warfare, and whether gamers realize it, or not, the fictional world commanders know it, and wouldn't give up the option if it were available.

 

 

I think you are getting confused with new production vehicles and not customised by the crew or hero on the battlefield.  Sure any good mod will be applied to any new vehicles on the production line and possibly retro-fitted to others, but thats not going to happen to every vehicle at the same time.  So, no, not all vehicles of the same class need be exactly the same.

No, I think Gimp is dead on for this.  "Damage Resistant" doesn't make much sense, if for no other reason that it is an infantry only skill, but if it could be found on a walker, then it would be across all walkers.  I simply consider DR to be "+" armor to represent something tougher than IA-X but not quite at the level of IA-X+1.  Which IMO fits the fluff of the Axis fielding heavy and the Allies fielding fast.

Now what would fit in here would be Self Repair.  That is a vehicle skill plus it has several factors, the oldest ones have it because of crew familiarity with the design and its faults, but it also works as an individual crew member ("the hero") knowing walkers so well that they have the chance to fix damage that regular crew don't.

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Major Mishap said:

 

I think you are getting confused with new production vehicles and not customised by the crew or hero on the battlefield.  Sure any good mod will be applied to any new vehicles on the production line and possibly retro-fitted to others, but thats not going to happen to every vehicle at the same time.  So, no, not all vehicles of the same class need be exactly the same.

Not all vehicles will have all the options available, but the good ones tended to get added as soon as possible to as many as possible. 

Something a vehicle crew can cobble together on the battlefield, that adds very much to vehicle capability, is something that is going to be added to other vehicles as quickly as possible.  The hedgerow device from the Boccage in WW2 is a good example, a mechanic designed it, the brass were shown, and they labored through the night to get as many as possible retrofitted by the next day.  That device was not something a vehicle crew could have cobbled together, because it took a full machine shop to make, but it was very simple in concept. 

Adding jump capability is easy on a gamer's table, but the actual design requirements would normally mean it was a massive redesign, because the vehicle would not be balanced for it, the leg supports would not easily be able to take the strain of landing without buckling, and the vehicle would need a crew with time to train to be able to jump something weighing several tons accurately and effectively.  If it was doable, however, like the hedgerow device, the added effectiveness would mean it was added to as many vehicles as possible as soon as possible.  As I noted before, maneuver is king for armored warfare, and WW2 is where they proved that.

Damage Resiliance sounds nice, and could be explained as adding extra armor wherever possible on the outside of the vehicle, except that makes little sense from an engineering standpoint.  They did that with a lot of tanks during WW2, but it was also something everybody was doing, because it was easy to do.  It was also not nearly as effective as might have been nice, though it made crews feel better.  The entire concept was more for morale than effectiveness.  Enough extra armor ro stop a third of the damage caused by any weapon is a huge improvement in efficiency, and wouldn't come from strapping on a spare tank tread here and there.  Vehicle armor is hardened, and massive.  Extra armor also causes design issues for a vehicle, again because the vehicle may not be designed to be able to carry the extra weight without causing failures in various systems.

Armored skirts were more effective, but only within the narrow range they were designed for.  They were designed to help reduce the effectiveness of shaped charge warheads, and that was it.  To be effective, they had to have enough spacing from the hull to allow them to work, and they were a major refit for any vehicle so equipped.

Any vehicle upgrade was tested on a few vehicles before it was put into full production, though sometimes that testing was very limited (ex: the hedgerow device).  Any upgrade that was worthwhile was added as soon as possible to as many vehicles as possible, because improved survivability is a big thing for combat vehicle crews, and the generals that command them. 

Saying Panzer Bob has a specific upgrade for his walker that helps a lot, but that no other crew in other walkers working with him would be able to add through the course of a long campaign, doesn't make sense.  If it works, replacement or repaired vehicles would come with it, and if it was an easy retrofit a crew could add, they'd all be copying it.

I don't have any problem with someone wanting to add special character crews, but I would prefer any special abilities make sense within the context of the world and its technologies.  Other groups are welcome to add whatever they want, but I find little interest in adding things that I don't see as making sense.

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I would think you could use damage resilience on a walker by walker basis.  Let's say the walker's crew added rails with sandbags to the front and sides of the walker.  This is something that a fair amount of Allied crews did towards the end of the war.  The Germans used steel plates (skirts) set away from the unit by about a foot.  It worked well for added protection on somethings and not so much for others.  This could be abstracted to rolling a die (i.e. Damage Resilient).

 

Weather that would be game breaking is another debate, but it would make some cool looking walkers.

 

-Jeff

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Hanomag said:

I would think you could use damage resilience on a walker by walker basis.  Let's say the walker's crew added rails with sandbags to the front and sides of the walker.  This is something that a fair amount of Allied crews did towards the end of the war.  The Germans used steel plates (skirts) set away from the unit by about a foot.  It worked well for added protection on somethings and not so much for others.  This could be abstracted to rolling a die (i.e. Damage Resilient).

 Weather that would be game breaking is another debate, but it would make some cool looking walkers.

 -Jeff

I'd mentioned both these concepts.  Neither one really works.

Sandbags, extra tank treads, or other things hooked to the outside of the armor did not help against penetrating rounds.  Big bundles of logs could help against shaped charges, but caused problems with visibility.  They made the crew feel a little better, but offered little actual additional protection.  The ability to stop 33% of the damage a given attack causes is a huge increase in armor effectiveness.  A morale boosting placebo is not the same thing.

Side skirts were offset plates that were only there to reduce the effectiveness of shaped charges.  Against other anti-tank weapons, they were basically useless.  That's why you see a lot of modern vehicles effectively using chicken wire instead of plates for the same effect.

Using skirts to give Damage Resiliance against shaped charge weapons, I could understand, but the ability as written works against everything.

Giving Damage Resiliance against shaped charges adds the issue of figuring out which weapons that would be.  Bazookas, Panzerfausts, and Panzerschrecks are obvious, but what does a short barreled 75mm gun fire: a shaped charge (HEAT), or something new from the DUST world?  Does a laser diffuse through a skirt, or ignore it like an 88mm AP round would?  For that matter, does the DUST bazooka, etc, fire a traditional shaped charge a skirt would work against?  Since none of the models have them, while they are trying to stay with a WW2 theme, it would suggest skirting has become a non-viable addition for walkers.

Since the skirts would be effective against so few weapons, they could look cool for modeling, but really should have no significant game effect.  They also add the issue of where to put them on a walker, and when they would be effective.  Offset skirting would be a major hassle on legs, yet legs would be a tempting target to topple the walker.

A limited use force field falls under the issue of being tech that would be easy to add to  walkers, and so be something that would be added as quickly as possible to as many as possible, rather than to only one in a force.

Damage Resiliance on a vehicle is a huge boost in effectiveness.  Self Repair, especially with the big walkers coming that will be very hard for most units to one shot, is even moreso.

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Gimp said:

Damage Resiliance on a vehicle is a huge boost in effectiveness.  Self Repair, especially with the big walkers coming that will be very hard for most units to one shot, is even moreso.

But in this particular case, for a hero driving/commanding a walker, Self Repair would make sense in some cases.  It would simulate a specific individual who was intimately familiar with the workings of walkers and therefore only available to the one specific walker as opposed to a crew with training in an older walker whose specific characteristics are well known and therefore easier to troubleshoot and repair. 

A real world example is the older (and probably now obsolete) vehicle mounted FM radio sets I worked with.  There were certain fault correction steps that could be taken on a non functioning set that did not require a radio technician.  When I was serving as commo for a battalion, I made the vehicle operator sit with me when doing the troubleshooting and showed the the basic steps for a malfunctioning set.  It cut down my time fiddling with radios and vehicle downtime for a nonfunctional radio.  Oh, my MOS wasn't for the FM radios, but I'd learned the tricks in crosstraining at my initial unit when I was part of a commo platoon from the FM guys.  Old equipment, well known, broad troop base for fault correction.

OTOH, I built field expedient antennas for practice and fun that ended up increasing the range of a wide variety of radios.  This wasn't any kind of "magic touch" I had, it was simply that I got interested in the subject and studied antenna theory more than any strictly duty requirement called for.  I built enough during section work time to blunder and figure out what worked.  So I learned tricks about antennas and radios to give me extra ability there that wouldn't be widespread.

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I hadn't memtioned Self Repair much, because it does become a grey area.  The ability to keep the vehicle running becomes dependent in large part on the crew.  Of course, the other issue becomes: how easy are the issues for Self Repair?  A Sherman tank would be a lot easier to jury rig to keep running than an Abrams.  The ease of repair for the Sherman and T34 compared to a Panther or Tiger was a major factor during WW2.

Self Repair concerns me more for what it does for the larger walkers.  The Fireball will be a tough nut to crack for a lot of armies, and adding Self Repair to it makes it much harder than having the skill on a light or medium walker.  There are a lot of attacks that will take out a Mickey in one shot, and not allow Self Repair to come into play.  There are no current Axis attacks that will take out the Fireball in one shot other than lucky multiple hits with the Hermann's Laser Kanone, the Heavy Laser Grenadiers, the Gorillas with Markus, or the Zombies.  None of those are going to happen even 5% of the time, and none of those have more than a 6 space range.  The Mickey can be taken out by numerous single attacks from across the table.

That makes Self Repair much more powerful on the Fireball than on the Mickey.  The rule suggested would increas the point value by 40 points for the Fireball, but the statistics would still leave it much more survivable than an extra Pounder or Mickey on the table.

This is not to suggest I think the Fireball is overpowered, as I look forward to facing and fielding them when they are available.  It's only to point out where some of the skills are much more dangerous if given open access for assignment.

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Its a sci fi setting with technology based on alien science. End of story IMHO. They can very well be different stats and ability to similar chasis walkers and tanks based on experiments and limited availability of items/devices/technology. To paraphrase Howard Stark in Captain America The First Avenger "Vibranium is the rarest metal on the earth, that my friend is all we have".

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Peacekeeper_b said:

Its a sci fi setting with technology based on alien science. End of story IMHO. They can very well be different stats and ability to similar chasis walkers and tanks based on experiments and limited availability of items/devices/technology. To paraphrase Howard Stark in Captain America The First Avenger "Vibranium is the rarest metal on the earth, that my friend is all we have".

If any of this was official rules, I could accept that.  As fan created options, they face the harsh reality of fitting a fluff we do not fully know, and more importantly fitting into the game in a balanced way.  Both concepts are important, because the fluff builds the world the official rules are designed to be balanced for.  We don't have any vibranium, we're just imagining what we might do with it if we did, and if it could do the things we're imagining.  We don't know enough of the story to end any part of it.

They could annouce Rosie was a special experiment, with the ability to repair walkers simply by thinking about it.  It might turn off some players, and excite others, but it would part of the universe's canon.  That would just be fluff, because it wouldn't change Tank Head.  They could have decided the command squads could use Makeshift Repair to repair a vehicle anywhere so long as the radioman was alive.  That would be an impressive set of mechanics, so they didn't.  That would be a significant rule change, and suggest a lot more about the technology they might have available.

The Sherman tank was a very easy vehicle to keep going.  The Panther was very troublesome.  The early Tiger was so troublesome Rommel didn't like them when they were sent to Africa, and wanted replacements.  Both German vehicles would be very hard to explain as having Self Repair, because they were a complete pit for a good mechanic to keep running.  The Sherman would make it easy.

The Mickey has Self Repair, perhaps for the same reasons the Sherman did.  To decide any walker can have Self Repair walks into areas that become questionable from a designer fluff standpoint.  We don't fully know what Self Repair entails, and we certainly don't know what vehicles it might be completely inappropriate for.  From a purely fluff standpoint, we can assume Self Repair would fit other vehicles, or not.  If it fit easily, however, there would probably be more vehicles with the skill already.

After the fluff discussion, you have to face the rule balance discussion.  There, Self Repair for any vehicle becomes much more problematic. 

The Mickey is a medium walker with short ranged weaponry.  It's great against infantry, but caps out at range 6.  It has to be in the thick of things, or it can't do anything, so Self Repair might let it keep going a little longer.  The Pounder is built on the same chasis, but has an unlimted range weapon.  Historically, a weapon change could cause a vehicle problems, but from a game perspective, a vehicle that can cause havoc from beyond the range of many of the game's units didn't need Self Repair to make it hardier.  Self Repair for a Pounder may or may not be worth 20 extra points from a balance perspective.

The Fireball faces a different issue, because, while it has short ranged weapons, even up close many units cannot damage it, and those that can, cannot destroy it quickly.  Self Repair for a Fireball would be ridiculously cheap at 40 extra points unless piloted by a foolish commander.  Have your long ranged weapons concentrate to take out long range threats to the Fireball.  Carry three Crack Shot squads on the Fireball, and have them dismount and eliminate the specific weapons that can be a close range threat after moving close in safety.  Between them, and the Fireball's own firepower, the Fireball would be a very hard nut to crack without Self Repair.

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   I am so tired of long-winded speaches about how everyone elses idea suck. And how only YOU have the fortitude of mind and knowledge to keep us all on the  path of Dust-dom. You really rob this forum of the child-like joy the game brings!

   I guess every forum has a few of you....... We just need to pray to Parente for patients!

   Have fun blow'n stuff up!...... If Gimp says its ok first.

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Of course you have the option of not reading.  It goes right along with the option to not learn anything.  Gimp provides information that can be checked, not just hand-waving.  Certainly, if you aren't interested in topics like historical background or game design and simply just want to munch pretzels, swill beer, push toy soldiers around and roll dice, then by all means, have at it.  That is a whole lot of fun too.

@Gimp

From the RC rules for Self Repair: "A vehicle with this skill contains a skilled crew who can perform makeshift repairs while on the battlefield."

Since the crew is one or two so far, that is why I think it would fit for a hero driving a walker.

As far as the Fireball slogging across the field shrugging off massive amounts of fire while Self Repairing.  There is probably a counter available to the other player.  At least there has been so far for every supposed uber unit so far.  It's still a sick idea, but...

Seriously, I don't see DT lasting as a nice little 9x9 or 9x12 grid for much longer.  Way too much nastiness building up.  5x8 tiles anyone?  500 point armies?

 

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