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Rikoshi

Pierce/Breach and the Application of Damage

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As a GM, I look at soak values the same way I look at door locks.  If I present an enemy with heavy armor, or a door with a strong locking mechanism, I expect a smart player to pause and consider other options instead of automatically pulling out a knife and chipping away at it.  It doesn't mean that combat is impossible, but it may make combat so uncertain that other options start to look good (running away, negotiating, triggering a blast door closure, etc.).  Fight after fight after fight can get boring, and will quickly be forgotten... but, in my experience, players will remember that time they thought their way out of a sticky situation.

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Here is the response they sent me

 

 

Hello Mr. X,
 
Pierce and Breach reduce the soak of a target for the purposes of that attack only, but do not allow for guaranteed damage. You simply count the soak of the target that much lower when calculating damage for that attack.
 
Hope this helps,
 
Sam Stewart
Senior RPG Producer
Fantasy Flight Games

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Huh, so lightsabers can't damage anything with Armor 2. That includes walkers. 

 

I find it odd, and still the wording is very weird ("ignore" = "reduce by" instead of "bypass"), but good to have a definitive answer.

 

 

Oh look, it means what it says.

 

 

"Ignore" has different possible meanings, despite the snark of forum posters. 

Edited by awayputurwpn

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Well, glad that there's an official ruling to put this innate debate to rest once and for all.

 

I'm going to have a fun time never taking damage now haha.

At least until somebody points the twin heavy blaster cannons from an Alliance T-47 airspeeder at you.  Damage 5 at vehicle scale = 50 damage at character scale = greasy spot where your character used to be.  And it's Silhouette 2, so real increase in attack difficulty either (just the standard 2 Difficulty for vehicle combat)

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I'm going to have a fun time never taking damage now haha.

a) nobdy is stiopping you to houseroule if you don't like it

b) didn't youself say, that damage is easily beyond any soak?

Rifle+spinbarrel+talents?

 

I'm glad that the official answer is there, yo we now know the Intentions, and can say Who is palying according to book, and who Housruled it, because they saw issues, and we don't have to point fingers at each other anymore, and sa "No! Myy interpretation is the right one!"

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+1 Pierce = +1 Damage until Pierce > Soak, When Pierce > Soak , +1 Pierce = 0. AKA: Pierce is kind of lame.

it's a Passive weapon quality, not an "I win the fight automatically" quality.

 

Against most combat-centric enemies, Pierce is going to equate to that "+2 damage" since they rarely have a Soak Value lower than 3 (Brawn 2 + heavy clothing), with tougher foes are going to be closer to a 5 for Soak Value (higher Brawn, better armor).  Highest you can get a Pierce rating is 4 with the mono-molecular weapon attachment (only for melee weapons with a cutting edge) that's been upgraded twice, while ranged weapons are capped at 2 (only one ranged weapon comes with Pierce 2 as a default, and none of the existing weapon upgrades that add Pierce to the weapon can be used on it).

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+1 Pierce = +1 Damage until Pierce > Soak, When Pierce > Soak , +1 Pierce = 0. AKA: Pierce is kind of lame.

it's a Passive weapon quality, not an "I win the fight automatically" quality.

 

Against most combat-centric enemies, Pierce is going to equate to that "+2 damage" since they rarely have a Soak Value lower than 3 (Brawn 2 + heavy clothing), with tougher foes are going to be closer to a 5 for Soak Value (higher Brawn, better armor).  Highest you can get a Pierce rating is 4 with the mono-molecular weapon attachment (only for melee weapons with a cutting edge) that's been upgraded twice, while ranged weapons are capped at 2 (only one ranged weapon comes with Pierce 2 as a default, and none of the existing weapon upgrades that add Pierce to the weapon can be used on it).

 

Thanks for using all those words to say what I said in a single line structure, but it doesn't change the fact Pierce could be changed to simple Damage and do the exact same effect 99% of the time. This is what makes pierce lame.

Edited by JaWaMike

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Yeah, even with an official writer ruling, I defer to the first part of the book where it says to have fun and do whatever you want.  So that's just what I'll do :P.  

I understand why people wit sit with the RAW, but I don't like that rule so I'm going to change it to better fit my interpretation of Star Wars, and everyone else is free to do the same.

Freedom!

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+1 Pierce = +1 Damage until Pierce > Soak, When Pierce > Soak , +1 Pierce = 0. AKA: Pierce is kind of lame.

it's a Passive weapon quality, not an "I win the fight automatically" quality.

 

Against most combat-centric enemies, Pierce is going to equate to that "+2 damage" since they rarely have a Soak Value lower than 3 (Brawn 2 + heavy clothing), with tougher foes are going to be closer to a 5 for Soak Value (higher Brawn, better armor).  Highest you can get a Pierce rating is 4 with the mono-molecular weapon attachment (only for melee weapons with a cutting edge) that's been upgraded twice, while ranged weapons are capped at 2 (only one ranged weapon comes with Pierce 2 as a default, and none of the existing weapon upgrades that add Pierce to the weapon can be used on it).

 

Thanks for using all those words to say what I said in a single line structure, but it doesn't change the fact Pierce could be changed to simple Damage and do the exact same effect 99% of the time. This is what makes pierce lame.

 

Isince a lot of rules are wirtten 2ith "forward compability" this might also be the case, that a lot of pierce may come in the futore.

Actually I'm very surprised that Flameprojectors don't have a ton of pierce.

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There is one other difference between Pierce and Damage: when used against Armor. Pierce means nothing in those situations, where Damage is 1/10 a Damage point towards vehicles.

 

It's a very narrow application here, but it's something.

A minor distinction, but an important one, particularly when it comes to modifications that add or increase the Pierce rating of a weapon.  Even more so when combined/stacked with the various talents and other modifications that do directly increase damage.

 

A heavy blaster pistol does a base of 7 damage.  Add on a fully modified Blaster Actuating Module (+3 damage, Pierce 2), and if you simply replace Pierce's "reduce Soak Value" with "just deals more damage," then you've got a literal hand cannon that does 13 damage on just a single success.  Add a Superior Weapon Customization, and that's 14 damage on just that one success.  It won't matter either way to the NPC that's got a Soak Value of 4 or better, but it will matter for those NPCs and PCs that only have a Soak Value of (due to low Brawn and refusal to wear any sort of armor.

 

But let's also consider the Bowcaster, which starts at 10 damage, though it has a Cumbersome 3 quality (which isn't that much of an issue since Wookiees have a minimum Brawn of 3).  Tack both of its dedicated attachments and fully modify them, and you've got a weapon with a base damage of 13, Pierce 2, and Autofire.  If you simply treat Pierce as being "extra damage," you've now got a personal weapon that has a very real chance of breaking through light vehicle armor (1 point) and damaging the vehicle itself.  Combine this with various talents (such as Deadly Accuracy, but also those that allow you to add a Characteristic to damage as well as Point Blank and Barrage), and you get even closer to having a weapon that can damage an Armor 1 vehicle.  Get a really good attack roll using Autofire, and you can deal multiple points of damage on the attack to a target that's generally immune to small-arms fire (and I don't consider the Heavy Repeating Blaster to be small-arms since that's pretty much a squad weapon).

 

Maybe for JaWaMike it's not a big issue, but it's something that Jay and Sam have to consider in the system as a whole.  Maybe he thinks Pierce sucks, but I'd wager there's enough other people playing the game that like the fact that there are weapons that are "armor piercing," something that a few whom I game with personally lamented was missing in prior Star Wars games as the only option there was "just deal more damage," particularly in D6 where a strong enough Wookiee was nearly immune to Stormtrooper attacks based on how damage was dealt and resisted in that game.

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Also consider the following; in the real world, weapons that are designed to pierce armor are often *less* lethal to unarmored targets than they are to armored ones.  With rifles for example, it's because the rounds punch straight through the unarmored target, rather than tumbling or expanding on their way through.  On the other hand, rounds that *do* tumble or expand on their way through an unarmored target have a *much* harder time penetrating armor.

 

The fact that a weapon with Pierce is no *less* deadly against the unarmored folks is a bonus from that perspective.

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Also consider the following; in the real world, weapons that are designed to pierce armor are often *less* lethal to unarmored targets than they are to armored ones.  With rifles for example, it's because the rounds punch straight through the unarmored target, rather than tumbling or expanding on their way through.  On the other hand, rounds that *do* tumble or expand on their way through an unarmored target have a *much* harder time penetrating armor.

 

The fact that a weapon with Pierce is no *less* deadly against the unarmored folks is a bonus from that perspective.

Not to nit pick, but, in many respects you are right...

 

Real AP weapons tend to be less damaging (as in non-lethal) because they go right through.  That's better than a shattered non-AP bullet tumbling around inside someone's body.  Both are hurt less but about the same amount.

 

But Anti vehicle is totally different.  Almost all special rounds (HE HEAP AP APFSDU...etc.) are trying to bounce something around the inside. i.e. HE rounds cause the inner hull to spald and spray shrapnel all over the inside of a tank.  APFSDU bounce a depleted uranium tip around the inside of the tank.

 

The point is that they are trying to kill the crew, and it rarely has a disastrous effect on the tank.

 

Rail guns are useless... they go right through a target, and unless you get lucky and hit something critical... its business as usual.

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Also consider the following; in the real world, weapons that are designed to pierce armor are often *less* lethal to unarmored targets than they are to armored ones.  With rifles for example, it's because the rounds punch straight through the unarmored target, rather than tumbling or expanding on their way through.  On the other hand, rounds that *do* tumble or expand on their way through an unarmored target have a *much* harder time penetrating armor.

 

The fact that a weapon with Pierce is no *less* deadly against the unarmored folks is a bonus from that perspective.

Not to nit pick, but, in many respects you are right...

 

Real AP weapons tend to be less damaging (as in non-lethal) because they go right through.  That's better than a shattered non-AP bullet tumbling around inside someone's body.  Both are hurt less but about the same amount.

 

But Anti vehicle is totally different.  Almost all special rounds (HE HEAP AP APFSDU...etc.) are trying to bounce something around the inside. i.e. HE rounds cause the inner hull to spald and spray shrapnel all over the inside of a tank.  APFSDU bounce a depleted uranium tip around the inside of the tank.

 

The point is that they are trying to kill the crew, and it rarely has a disastrous effect on the tank.

 

Rail guns are useless... they go right through a target, and unless you get lucky and hit something critical... its business as usual.

 

 

I was talking about personnel grade, armor piercing weapons.

 

If you hit a person (armored or not) with an anti-vehicle weapon, the result is usually pretty danged severe regardless of the particular method the anti-vehicle weapon uses to do it's job.  The flak cannon scene from Saving Private Ryan, for example.  You might just lose a limb to a direct hit if you're *very* lucky.

 

Now, anti-vehicle armor-piercing vs. a vehicle, you're certainly right, but it's also about the least fun scenario I can imagine from the stand point of running or playing a game.  "Your tank got hit.  Roll up a new character.  Remember, he'll probably be assigned to drive the same tank once it's patched up."

Edited by Voice

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