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The Chaos

Help dealing with Terminator Armour

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One of my PC's has got hold of a set of Terminator Armour. Im starting to regret my decision to let him have a suit as it has become even harder balancing combat for all the PC's. He is a walking tank and little of what I throw at him actually does any damage or even threaten him in any way.

Im wondering if anyone else had got any experience with PC's walking around in Terminator Armour. Im finding it difficult to balance things and could do with some advice.

 

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Have the treasure/target/objective be in a tight space that terminator armor wont fit in. Have fast enemies doing hit and run attacks that the players cant catch if they dont run. Have doom timers that have to be run to to be stopped. Have a horde drag them down in a grapple and pull thier armor off. Have snipers using accurate weapons. Have people armed with haywire grenades. Melta weapons are a good choice. Have traps the are dodge vs imobbilized till someone frees them. Lucky rolls with a harpoon launcher firing mono-harpoons could give them a bad day. Vehicular collisions could do the trick. Melta weapons do a decent job too. Anything that sets someone on fire like flamers, incindiary grenades, or a q'sal soulcannon might work too, especially if you apply the manual dexterity penalty to the attempt to put it out. Thats all I can that I can think of off the top of my head.

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Let's look at disadvantages of Terminator Armor, which means that the character in it is a sitting duck. +10 to hit, a -20 to agility and no dodges and only 14 armor if I remember it right. First off anything with High Pen to eat up a lot of that soak is good, second are other high damage multiple dice weapons which can with sheer force overwhelm the armor. Then weapons with a high rate of fire for increases 10's (and the minimum 1 damage), with sound constitution being 200 for Nurgles dudes, 250 for Unaligned and Khorne and 500 for Slaanesh/Tzeentch, extra wounds eat up a lot of XP.

Best weapons:

High RoF

High Pen

High Damage

Multiple Dice (for ZH)

Multiple Weaker Shots (Mass ZH = 1 damage minimum)

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In my groups experience, running around in Terminator armour against other Space Marines isn't actually that good of an idea generally speaking, since most of the kind of bad guys you should be running against while slogging in Terminator armour should have relatively high damage and penetration so you are going to go down regardless in a prolonged fight since you can't dodge.

If thats not the case there are many ways of dealing with Termie armor: Haywire, melta, flames, psychic powers, small places and so on. Also intelligent encounter design can be easily used to challenge the players. Afterall, if one of the players has gotten their hands on Terminator, its very likely that their enemies are aware of that fact and should prepare for it. Im talking about long distance fights against fortified baddies, big hordes of easily expendable henchmen and all that sort of stuff. Throwing numberless amounts of henchmen against them also has the added effect of making your players feel like total bosses, mowing down enemies by the hundreds.

Over all: get creative.

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One of my ways of dealing with them is to have encounters that the party needs to run to. Often times this leads to the termie being rather late the the fight, and pretty quickly deciding that terminator armor is only situationally useful. I did have one player overcome many of its weaknesses though. It was an idolitrex magos who combined maglev transendence, precognitive dodge, and flicker to, at least in bursts, overcome most of a terminators weaknesses. So watch out for those abilities as they make it harder to hit the terminator where it hurts.

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Acrobatic cultists with Krak grenades? Quick distract him while someone runs round the back and plants a couple of grenades on his back :D

 

In all seriousness, TA should be a big deal for the player, he has given up other options to take it. Make him feel awesome as he walks into a hail of lasgun fire, combat knives bounce off him and the extra strength lets him tip over tanks and rip through doors. It's awesome, it's epic and its why we play.

Remember though, those 20 cultists might only have autoguns, but their buddy has a melta gun….or a couple of them have a missile launcher with a Krak rocket or two. If they see a pack of guys and a massive armoured giant in the middle, guess who is going to get the rocket to the face.

 

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TA is designed for a limited set of circumstances, and walking in weakened/combat damaged buildings isn't one of them.  Just a thought.

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See pg 274 of the Black Crusade Core Rules for Balance in the Game: Using Hordes. See also pg 348 for Hordes.

I would also refer you to pg 237 for the Attack Action, Grapple, and pg 243 for Unarmed Combat: Grappling.

A Chaos Space Marine (or anyone, for that matter) in Terminator Armour should expect his (un)fair share of overwhelming odds, and the rules on pg 274 balance Horde mechanics against CSMs and human Heretics.

If you feel Melta weapons are too cliche, have him attacked by three or four Necron Scarab Swarms (Troop). Not Hordes, just individual Swarms. It'll take him a while to nick through 120-160 Wounds, leaving you to hit the remainder of the PCs with the Tomb Stalker…

 

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Alekzanter said:

See pg 274 of the Black Crusade Core Rules for Balance in the Game: Using Hordes. See also pg 348 for Hordes.

I would also refer you to pg 237 for the Attack Action, Grapple, and pg 243 for Unarmed Combat: Grappling.

A Chaos Space Marine (or anyone, for that matter) in Terminator Armour should expect his (un)fair share of overwhelming odds, and the rules on pg 274 balance Horde mechanics against CSMs and human Heretics.

If you feel Melta weapons are too cliche, have him attacked by three or four Necron Scarab Swarms (Troop). Not Hordes, just individual Swarms. It'll take him a while to nick through 120-160 Wounds, leaving you to hit the remainder of the PCs with the Tomb Stalker…

 

Until the termie decides to simply take the free hit and walk out of close combat without Disengaging. As a GM, I wouldn't even call that meta-gaming, as termie armour takes naturally to bulldozing through the opposition. Rather than simply trying to kill off or decant the termie player, I'd suggest you get behind the Tanking and push: set up Compacts where the survival of certain NPCs or other mcguffins are paramount - the termie player might be virtually indestructible, but they can still be made to rush about trying to save others (until it's time for the ritual at least).

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Here's a simple solution, and quite common in the vortex - Autocannons.

3d10+8, Pen 6. That's effectively 3d10 less his Toughness mod, worse if the attacker has Mighty Shot.

Set up a horde or two of traitor guard (or loyalist guard, as needed), where the guardsmen are in cover and at long distance with an elevated position (elevated positions are often chosen for heavy weapons for just this purpose). Arm the troops with lasguns or whatever, they're mostly there for soaking up bullets anyway, plus it takes more bullets when you put them behind sand bags. Then give several guys autocannons instead…

Terminators cannot dodge, but the daemonic wards will block one in three hits. Have the gunners aim even if the rest of the horde normally cannot (since they're in a stationary, braced position with a loader there to help), then put a few hits onto the terminator. He'll feel the hits when he starts losing wounds. Even a 14 TB is worried by 3d10 coming straight through the armour.

For that matter, any combination of hordes with heavies - rank and file to soak casualties and put fire downrange, heavy weapons to hit high value targets. This is a bread & butter tactic in tabletop - Loyalist Devastator squads are often inflated with several bolter carriers who are there for no other purpose than to soak fire.

Additionally, that terminator is going to be even more worried when the heretics get to face a guard detachment with several platoons of regular troops, plus a few sentinels, a few chimera, and a Leman Russ tank…

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or have him run into a a big bad tachyon arrow 10d10 pen 20 proven 3 an concusive 6 

in tome of fate best weapon my mechanicus ever got only prob is its one shot an takes 2 long to reload

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Do you feel the player is abusing the terminatior armour?

 

Or is it 'just' unsettling your game?

 

If the former, then slightly beardy tactics are permissable for a GM.

 

If the latter, I'd shy away from that. As said, a terminator should be able to wade through a lot of firepower. That's what they are meant to do. Allow the player to feel the awesome. Have lesser opponents freak out and flee at the sight of him. Have aspiring champions challenge him (and often get crushed for their efforts). And have the baddies return later with the appropriate weapons to take on a terminator if they have them.

 

Which means initial encounters will be easy for the terminator. But perhaps not for the other group members as the enemy focuses their fire on them. Now the terminator has to kill/drive off the enemy before his allies succumb or act as their shield. Encounters against poorly equipped opponents will be easy as well. But encounters against well equipped opponents should be a challenge. Once they realize what they are facing, specialized tank hunters (e.g. terminatior hunters) will be sent against the terminator. Its what any smart warband or tribe would do.

 

I'd be careful with timed missions etc. While nice once in a while, not every mission entails running around. A spot of acrobatics (scaling a cliff, walking on top of a roof, jumping over a crevasse) however could all be part of many missions. This forces the player to think about the advantages and disadvantages and how to overcome them while wearing the terminator armour.

 

If all fails, explain the situation to the player. Most players are more than reasonable when it comes to game balance IMO. If that fails, send some CSM who want their relic terminator armour back….

 

 

 

 

 

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There's the armour, but there's also the force field too.

 

Pretty much as noted above - firstly, he is a big, scary target and will draw lots of fire. Assuming he doesn't have toughness stupid, he's going to tank about 22 damage before any reaches him, and about 1/3 of incoming fire bounces straight off regardless.

 

That said, a big horde (big enough to get +2D10 damage with ranged attacks) will cause a couple of wounds to this guy with an average roll.

 

 

My suggestions are as follows:

 

1) See the guidance for marines amongst humans and repeat for a terminator amongst marines.

2) Bring in the odd heavy weapon.

3) Daemons. Nothing scares the pants off terminators like the phrase 'warp weapon'

4) Every so often, use his size and speed against him in the scenario

 

That said, give the man a chance to enjoy his prize. He should feel freakin' badass in the terminator plate, but every so often give him a reason to not want to wear it (infiltration, etc).

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These are all good suggestions for damaging a character in Terminator armour, but if you don't want to have to build every encounter around gimmicks to threaten a single PC (gimmicks that are likely to one-shot-kill the other PCs without Terminator armour) from now on, I recommend reading the description of the Daemonic Ammunition monster from the 'Eye of the Abyss' entry in the Dark Heresy sourcebook Creatures Anathema. It has a special attack that destroys armour. They are intended to be fielded singly in DH, but in your situation I would suggest a ship the PCs are travelling on be hit by a whole salvo of the things; then, let the Termie's overconfidence in being able to 'repel the boarders' set him up for a fall...

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A limited/damaged power supply for the termie suit, Impaired autosenses or some other limited function would reduce the utility of the suit making it the "hulkbusker" suit for use when high intensity combat is expected rather than one for general-use.

 

Have the armour of all the players degrade due to constant use and no maintainence. Then make power armour easier to repair due to the relative ease of finding replacement parts and materials comparded to TDA.

 

My group talked about using a system of degradation in DH and OW where there was a 20% chance a location`s armour was degraded by 1 point every time it took damage more than twice it`s AP value and a 40% it was destroyed utterly if a weapon`s pen bypassed it completely.

Edited by Askil
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Two words: wooden stairs. That should keep those pesky Terminators out of your bad guys hair.

 

You can also apply major social penalities to the group. "You say you come to discuss our deal but you come armed for WAR!"

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