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ShadowFighter88

Deathwatch's 'unlimited basic ammo' and Backpack Ammo Supplies

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It's been bugging me for a while, but since Deathwatch (according to the FAQ bit of the Errata) basically runs on 'infinite normal ammo w/reloads', what happens when a Devastator's fired the 200 rounds in a backpack ammo supply?  Do they have to spend time reloading it somehow or do you just consider it to not need reloading?  And if you have to reload it, how do you fluff it?  The inside of the backpack having multiple chambers for ammo to ensure a smooth feed and the reload is just shifting the hose from one plug on the backpack to another?

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Once he has used all the ammo in the pack its gone.  Unless he has access to more ammo (by requisition) he needs to switch weapons.  Carrying an extra backpack is not happening unless he has another arm or a trolly or some sort of servitor helper, that is a possibility.  He can requisition extra magazines of ammo and use them after detaching the feed mechanism from his bolter to the backpack.  Using a diepole maglock to anchor the belt to his armor ins a good idea to keep it from flopping about.

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Heavy bolter back packs use a pair of 125 bolt canisters slotted into the back pack, side by side. There aren't any rules for this, its just an assumption I'm making based on what is found in the Devastator kit from GW.

You could let players requisition these large clips to use on long missions. They are huge though, more than a quarter the size of a power armor back pack, so someone other than the dev would have to carry one. I imagine they are loaded like the ammo canisters on the open cockpit mechs from the Matrix Revolutions.

Here is a link to what they look like. They are upside down in the pic, and the surface you can see goes on the outer surface of the backpack. There is a slot that feeds ammo into the pack, ultimately leading into the ammo feed line.

 javascript:void(0);/*1319903412477*/

 

 

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ShadowFighter88 said:

It's been bugging me for a while, but since Deathwatch (according to the FAQ bit of the Errata) basically runs on 'infinite normal ammo w/reloads', what happens when a Devastator's fired the 200 rounds in a backpack ammo supply?  Do they have to spend time reloading it somehow or do you just consider it to not need reloading?  And if you have to reload it, how do you fluff it?  The inside of the backpack having multiple chambers for ammo to ensure a smooth feed and the reload is just shifting the hose from one plug on the backpack to another?

Yes they would have to reload. Having infinite access to ammo does not mean that the particular clip or backpack contains infinite ammo. Not only that a player, while perfectly able to take infinite ammo as an option, can not logically carry all of this ammunition (not just weight wise but simply bulk wise where would they put it?).

As a GM just think up a reasonable number of clips and where they can place them (1 backpack unless they requisition someone to just walk around and carry another), and that's how much ammo they have for a mission. As for what happens once a backpack runs out of ammo they just disconnect whatever is feeding the ammo in and replace it with a normal clip they have on them. The backpack isn't, after all, permanently welded on or anything (lest jams would be impossible to clear).

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Thanks for that, guys.  Didn't think of detaching the feed for some reason - seems stupidly obvious in hindsight (and having played both Portal games, it's a feeling I'm well-aquainted withlengua.gif)

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I was thinking of buffing the starting dev backpack to 500 bullets for the case of the heavy bolter, is this too much even if it fires at a rate of --10 wich i thought with the original stash of 250 would give 25 shots total?

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The official ruling (I can't remember where from... a question online somewhere, or maybe the errata if your lucky) is that the Devastator has the backpack ammo pack for as many shots as it says. After it has run out they have to reload, but they are now limited the normal clip size of the weapon (ie, for a heavy bolter that would be 60) between reloads. Truthfully I have yet to see the Devastator run out of ammo, especially with the errataed weapons with a RoF of 6 for the heavy bolter.

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Rakados said:

I was thinking of buffing the starting dev backpack to 500 bullets for the case of the heavy bolter, is this too much even if it fires at a rate of --10 wich i thought with the original stash of 250 would give 25 shots total?

Aren't Astartes heavy bolter bolts "fist-sized"? 500 fists takes up a lot of space.

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In my games I do rule that the backpack ammo supply is the only source of ammo for the heavy bolter (barring taking one without a backpack, in which case it does have the stated ammo profile from the weapon's description). Once it runs out, the character is out until they can locate ammo for the HB itself. I don't allow the notion of having the backpack, and then carrying "reloads" for the backpack, or extra belts of ammo for the HB for when the backpack is empty. I do allow non heavy weapon uses to requisition a ammo backpack, and to trade those out in the field (but it still is a bit bulky).

One thing I added in (not sure if RoB covers this though), is the requisition option of a resupply drop-pod. For 5 req points, I allow players to take extra gear beyond what they can carry, and allow it to be loaded onto a drop pod. This drop pod's machine spirit has been instructed to remain in orbit around a body in space, and to respond to a signal by the kill-team, and homes in on a nearby location to drop properly. After which, the team can change out their gear. Obviously, this is not possible on every mission (stealth, ship boarding actions, discretion for collateral damage), but it still useful.

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DarknessEternal said:

borithan said:

Truthfully I have yet to see the Devastator run out of ammo,

 

You've never seen one jam?  It's out of ammo as soon as that happens.

And thats where the other house rule comes in. When a HB jams, it only loses its current feed (block of 60 shots) worth of ammo. Otherwise Devastator becomes a sad panda real quick.

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KommissarK said:

And thats where the other house rule comes in. When a HB jams, it only loses its current feed (block of 60 shots) worth of ammo. Otherwise Devastator becomes a sad panda real quick.

Personally I HR'd that the jam simply requires the clearing of the single shell, but that's me.  Losing 60 shots of ammo because a single shell  misfired seems a little out there.  That portion of the jam rule added nothing to the game for me, and simply meant players spent their fate points re-rolling jammed shot rolls more to avoid losing out on a whole clip of ammo.

As far as ammo goes, I give my parties 6 clips of ammo for their standard weapons and if they have a heavy weapon, the backpack is all the ammo they have.  Even in extended deployments the team has yet to run out of ammunition.  If you're using the Errate'd weapon stats, even the heavy bolter will last for FORTY ONE combat turns, which is an eternity in any RPG.

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 I'm with Charmander on the issue of jams. Even for energy based weaponry, I think a jam destroying the ammunition or draining the power of the entire clip is ridiculous. They still have to take a reload action to clear the jam, but they only lose one shot.

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DarknessEternal said:

borithan said:

Truthfully I have yet to see the Devastator run out of ammo,

 

You've never seen one jam?  It's out of ammo as soon as that happens.

Actually no, I haven't. Or if we have it has changed due to Fate Point Re-rolls. But I get your point. Aside from the possibility of jamming, the ammunition load in the backpack is massive.

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I usually rule that by clearing a jam some ammo just drops down but can be picked up again later.
So as long as the kill team wins the fight and has the time to spare they can reload the ammo into a empty or half empty clip. At least for SP or Bolt weapons.

Another HR I have is that a SM can reload his bolter with civilian ammo (giving it the civilian stats) if need be.
As long as it's not done too often the weapon might be slightly offended but will not hold a grudge.

 

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 Wow, I was a real evil GM then.  I limited my Devistator to her character's backpack load of 250 and a single 60 round clip.  I also limited everyone to a 3 clips worth of ammo for their weapons, including the Devistator's bolt pistol.  I honestly think "Unlimited Basic Ammo" is too powerful, and takes away some of the fight for your life drama involved in a fire fight, even a fire fight vs. a horde of enemies one should always feel a sense of oppertunity cost.  "Do we engage in this fight now, and use ammo we may need later, or do we wait and mop up later, or do we engage with melee weapons and save our ammo for larger more important enemies.

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 Wow, I was a real evil GM then.  I limited my Devistator to her character's backpack load of 250 and a single 60 round clip.  I also limited everyone to a 3 clips worth of ammo for their weapons, including the Devistator's bolt pistol.  I honestly think "Unlimited Basic Ammo" is too powerful, and takes away some of the fight for your life drama involved in a fire fight, even a fire fight vs. a horde of enemies one should always feel a sense of oppertunity cost.  "Do we engage in this fight now, and use ammo we may need later, or do we wait and mop up later, or do we engage with melee weapons and save our ammo for larger more important enemies.

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HaplessOne said:

 Wow, I was a real evil GM then.  I limited my Devistator to her character's backpack load of 250 and a single 60 round clip.  I also limited everyone to a 3 clips worth of ammo for their weapons, including the Devistator's bolt pistol.  I honestly think "Unlimited Basic Ammo" is too powerful, and takes away some of the fight for your life drama involved in a fire fight, even a fire fight vs. a horde of enemies one should always feel a sense of oppertunity cost.  "Do we engage in this fight now, and use ammo we may need later, or do we wait and mop up later, or do we engage with melee weapons and save our ammo for larger more important enemies.

It's not evil, it's just a different theme.  Many of us find 'unlimited' a bit too over the top, but then again we are playing Space Marines, and to some being over the top is just what they're looking for.

But to be honest, a devestator with 250 rounds will either have 25 shots using the old rules, or 41+ shots with the errata'd rate of fire.  I've only seen my group's backpack run dry a single time, and that was on a very long deployment and the adventure took the better part of 5 sessions to play out.  In order to create that tension, I've found I either have to have those very long deployments or some kind of mission complication.

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DarknessEternal said:

 

borithan said:

Truthfully I have yet to see the Devastator run out of ammo,

 

You've never seen one jam?  It's out of ammo as soon as that happens.

 

 

And thats where the other house rule comes in. When a HB jams, it only loses its current feed (block of 60 shots) worth of ammo. Otherwise Devastator becomes a sad panda real quick.

With this in mind, wouldnt it make more sense for the pack to have 300 bolter rounds as opposed to 250? 300 would equal 5 exact 60 round reloads,

 

Here is where I struggle. So, the backpack has 250 rounds of bolter ammo in it. But the bolter`s magazine capacity is 60 rounds. Is the 60 a reference to non-backpack Heavy Bolter Box Magazines? For instance, something you would use on a stealthy mission when you cannot have a backpack? Or does it mean that after 10 shots (errata rules), the Dev has to `reload,` but continues using ammunition from his backpack? I am confused. Why wouldn`t he be able to fire continuously until all 250 rounds are depleted - are they not all connected to the same belt within the backpack?

 

I feel like this has been answered, but I missed it. I apologize and thanks in advance for the help.

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 But the bolter`s magazine capacity is 60 rounds. Is the 60 a reference to non-backpack Heavy Bolter Box Magazines? For instance, something you would use on a stealthy mission when you cannot have a backpack?

Correct. Just as with any energy weapon, a backpack ammo supply replaces the weapon's actual ammo capacity.

The backpack would not, for example, be worn with scout armour, though, so you would be limited to 60-shell boxes.

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Ah, ok this makes much more sense. For extended missions without a weapon cache or resupply, I am thinking the backpack and perhaps have the tech marine carry a couple boxes for my dev. Just in case. And also because he would probably get a boner from it. Outstanding.

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Make sure your devestator reads the errata concerning the costs of special issue ammo for the ammunition backpack. (I'll give you a hint, they are supposed to cost a LOT more than the book says.) That being said, standard Heavy Bolter special issue magazines (the M1 Garand used clips, the heavy bolter uses either a belt-feeder, box-magazine (not in DH), or normal magazines) cost the same points as a normal bolter mag. Also, the Devestator's free magazine of special issue ammo is NOT a backpack, it is a standard magazine.

 

Also, be sure to let your players come up with their workarounds. As long as you understand the basics and the "thou shalt nots", enjoy sitting back and watch them smoosh their brains against the wall figuring this stuff out.

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 I'm with Charmander on the issue of jams. Even for energy based weaponry, I think a jam destroying the ammunition or draining the power of the entire clip is ridiculous. They still have to take a reload action to clear the jam, but they only lose one shot.

 

For me, a "jam" on an energy weapon has been the power cell burning out/fusing, so it makes sense to me.

 

In fact it's pretty much obligatory in Only War/Back Crusade to avoid overload lasweapon abuse.

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Are there any rules banning how many Missile Launchers can be in a squad? Other than Requisition limits, of course.

 

For instance, if I had a PC running a devestator, then spending req to get a missile launcher but still wanting to lug around his heavy bolter, is it feasible for him to mag lock that ***** to his backpack ammo supply (this seems a bit much), or if he isn`t rocking a backpack ammo supply, but using box magazines with his heavy bolter, to mag lock the missile launcher to his back?

 

What about if he spent the req to buy it, and then had one of his brothers carry it on their back, either strapped or mag locked? What if multiple brothers had the same idea?

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If his brothers carry it on their back, they will have no place to put their own weapons.

 

General rule is one (1) basic or heavy weapon on back/always in hands + 2 (2) one handed weapons.at sides + combat knife presumably on thigh.

 

That means you cannot carry a heavy bolter and a missle launcher at the same time, especially because heavy weapons are always carried in hands, I believe. That is one of their drawbacks.

 

EDIT: maglocking something that weighs 40kg sounds a little absurd.

Edited by bogi_khaosa

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