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Myrion

Suppressing Fire, Suppressing Gameplay

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So we've had two ~4 hour sessions now, with our newly formed group.
We're slowly getting the hang of both the rules and playing online and we've noticed that fighting is incredibly slow.

We've determined that this is because of Suppressive Fire and Pinning and are now trying to figure out how to fix this, whether we don't get something or whether this needs at least a houserule or even Errata.

What we've had happen is that the players basically get pinned immediately and then lose all semblance of effectiveness and mobility. Could we aim and shoot, or get to better positions, we would take our enemies out rather faster, as we saw towards the end of the first fight, when there were fewer enemies left.

Currently, we are outnumbered and couldn't suppress all enemies from the start, giving them the chance to suppress us, from which we haven't been able to escape since, partly due to the fact that it always lasts at least one round, stopping us from moving out of their firing arc.

Our current idea on how to fix this would be to apply the bonus (+30) that one gets from being in cover to the pinning test, giving us a 40-50% chance to resist pinning in the first place, instead of 10-20%.

Additionally, we want to limit pinning from semi-auto, so that it can only pin as many targets as shots fired, while full-auto keeps everyone pinned.

To us, this seems like it would speed the game up A LOT, which is a good thing.
What are your thoughts?

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Suppressing Fire can pin a maximum number of characters equal to the rounds of ammunition shot. The shooter nominates the primary target he wishes to suppress, the additional targets suppressed are the ones closest to the primary target (considering line of sight, friendly-fire does apply).
The limitations of a maximum 45° cone of suppression applies to normal range, long range limits the cone to 30° while extreme range limits it to 15°.

 

this is copied from our houserules, it limits suppressing fire

also we automatically included the +30 bonus from being in cover to the initial pinning test (making a semi suppression +20 and a full supression +10)

 

hope that give some inspiration

pearldrum1 likes this

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Do I know you?

Because that's exactly our rules XD

 

bogu_khaosa, sure, but even if Nerves of Steel fully doubles my chances, I still end up with an 80 or 60 percent chance of being pinned down.

And that's even if you can get the talent easily. 

 

If I get the rules right, then Pinning is a different effect from Fear and then there are almost no effects, barring some rare equipment that you can't requisition normally, to improve your rolls. That leaves you with improving WP being the only thing possible, since Resistance (Fear) and Radiant Presence wouldn't work and Iron Discipline and Into the Jaws of Hell only work on comrades. Which is useful, since their Pinning only ends when the sarge issues an order, so preventing them from being pinned at all is good, but leaves the players still vulnerable. 

Which leads to the slightly weird situation that the Psyker is most resistant to Pinning. I see why and see no better solution, so I'm fine with it, although it is weird :-) 

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Well if you can get to cover you should recover from it pretty quickly, assuming the enemy isn't doing suppressing fire every round.

 

I have thought that the chance to do it with semi-auto should be much less, or taken out entirely, as in previous WH40KRP lines. Two shots with a laspistol isn't really a "hail of fire."

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Well, given that they outnumber us, at least one guy is always available for suppressing fire.

So, sure, I get out of pinning at the end of my turn or after two turns, but they can just keep on pinning me, and I have no way of countering that.
Yeah, that could be another option: Leave it really powerful, but only for full auto weaponry. That would make Heavy Gunners more important and give guys with auto-guns a big advantage... For three turns, when they have to reload, and most of them won't carry that many clips. That could work too, thanks for the tip!

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i thinks its viable for a semi-auto weapon to suppress but a very limited number of people

supressive fire is not only hail of bullets in a general direction but can also be a series of quick semi-accurate shots (which would in reality frighten me much more) thats why we have the rule that limits the number of suppressed targets by RoF

 

i think its not so bad really, you can still shot back with half-actions even if you are being pinned while in cover

sure its not as accurate but if your squad is outnumberen but still better skill-wise you will turn tables relativly quick and can then suppress them

 

its actually pretty realistic this way, but i agree it streches combats a bit (especially against a good tactician on the player side, last combat was really intense in my group, the sarge and i, as GM, litterally played a tactical game :P)

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Without aiming? They have cover too, and if we can't make called shots to the not-covered areas we're not gonna hurt them. We don't outdo them by that much, skillwise...

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if the range is close enough use grenades, if not frag missiles or frag grenades from a grenadelauncher or even mortars really help

my players use grenades extensivly (they have 4 frags as standard issue) and they actually requisitioned auxiliary grenadelaunchers for a few soldiers because they work so well (random scatter ftw :))

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Yeah, that -20 is also there, true. And applies to grenades, too!
We've used grenades too, but gotten relatively unlucky with the damage rolls...

Still, unless the grenades kill them or stun them, it doesn't diminish their effectiveness at suppressing us. And we can't throw grenades for that long.

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try a smoke grenade and create some obfuscation between you and them, cant really shoot accuratly at you if the cant see you, also its not really dependend on rolls, even if you screw up the to-hit roll there is still smoke somewhere

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That's the thing though, they don't have to shoot accurately (except to kill us, but even a quick death would be better) to suppress us. Sure, even less chance to actually take damage, but playing grenadiers, this is already pretty low against guardsmen, what with the carapace armour...

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what happens after the suppression? do the enemies charge for melee or what?

just suppressing an enemy in cover is not doing much besides wasting ammo so even if the squad is suppress they can stick to cover and wait out the soon to be reload or out of ammo from most weapons (especially SP ones)

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No, it's just an excruciatingly slow combat.

Basically trench warfare: Sitting around, taking potshots, boring and slow as hell.

They can't damage us because we've got armor and cover, we can't damage them because we can't aim and they've got cover too.

 

It's supposed to be a training combat, so it's against fellow guardsmen (with lasguns set to "laser-tag"): They're many, and they're reasonably smart. So, they keep us suppressed and keep shooting. One of them can essentially keep us suppressed for 20 turns, which might not be enough to kill us, given our armour, but that doesn't matter because we sure as hell won't be having fun during those 20 rounds.

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if its a training there is a superior officer watching i guess
i bet he is not to fond of how that firefight went, maybe solve it with roleplay and storytell the fight

like i said its no use to them if they suppress you and cant damage you and dont charge you for melee or grenades so its a useless fight and the officer might want to set an objective (e.g. capture the flag in given time)

else its bound to be a stalemate anyways :P

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They do come close and use grenades, but my char has survived two grenades without a scratch. They're not too powerful versus 6AP and 4 TB...
Also, since they're Guardsmen, they don't try to melee us, not least because we'd certainly have the upper hand there.

Yes, it's a shame there's no time limit. That would probably help. But against an enemy that just wants to kill us, to, idk, prevent us from reporting their position? There's no time limit either, and It's no fun this way. Also, were we the ones with the time limit, we'd be screwed because we can't act.
 

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well if delaying your enemy is enough to complete an objective thats fine i guess

do the enemy guardsman use overcharge? even if its lasertag mode they should have the option, the M36 is based on the idea that you can use the settings to adapt to different enemies and +2 dmg +2 pen should be enough to get to you even wearing carapace and 4 TB (6-14 dmg vs an effective soak of 8)

also since you are suppressed why dont the enemy guardsman use called shots to target bodyparts not behind cover since they have the time to aim for 1 full round and than use called shot yielding a +0 to hit role with the usual BS 35 (and maybe even a +10 for short range) thats a 28% (36%) chance to inflict at least 1 wound considering their numerical superiority they should waste you pretty easy :)

 

Also dont they use any heavy weapons or special weapons to take you down while you are pinned or dont you have them to retaliate?

Edited by Nightcloak

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Yeah, they don't seem to be using overcharge, I don't know why, and yeah, they have no time limit.
Both of those are a shame and would force a more active game.

Still, even if they did use overcharge, it would take them several rounds to kill even one of us and we'd still be unable to really do much.
Yes, strategy and situation should make it more interesting than a deathmatch, but as it stands, if we're attacking or the enemy is just trying to kill us all, the game is screwed. We can't go on the offensive effectively as long as one enemy manages to use suppressive fire, nor can we run or even stand and fight, because suppressive fire just stops us and the game dead.

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I admit I would be doing this differently in my game.

 

Even if combat is taking place, I would only use the rules if something dramatic and entertaining is taking place.

 

So in your case all the suppressive fire and covering would occur in narrative time. Ie. no rounds, just describing the withering fire forcing people into cover. Maybe a non-comrade NPC or two getting hit and screaming. Let the players describe their reaction to being under intense fire.

Rounds and rolls would only be used from the moment the enemy comes in, bayonets fixed, grenades in hand and fire in their eyes. Or when the training officer gets properly disgusted, jumps into the players trench and orders them over the top at full whistle.

 

In the last case I would give good bonuses to WP rolls for the charging heroes to see them through the fire. Or perhaps just let them get in to range for proper dramatic action without any rolls.

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Correct, bogi_khaosa (once again :) ).

On rolls vs roleplay:
Rolls and rules for combat, because otherwise it pretty much instantly turns into the GM telling a story while the players listen or the (some) of the players trying to be the epicest badass of them all.
I'm glad you guys seem to play with groups where you can roleplay your way through a big fight without any reference to rules or dice, but I can't imagine that working out in anything larger than a 1-2 player game and even then, it'd be hard.

On Training vs. 'real' combat:
That wouldn't make a difference, unless the enemy had a time limit, which they could've had in the training session too. We can't "play to win", we're pinned down! In training, sure the officer in charge could come and give us WP bonuses, but that means that training combat should work even better than actual combat. Which I suspect was not your point.
Also, I'm supposed to be the NCO in charge (the Sarge) and my buff abilities rely on me taking full actions, which I can't take. Nor can I charge.
Or move in range for melee, since I can't leave cover except to retreat.
Or aim. 
Or take called shots around their cover.
I had 1 grenade (since this is round 2, simulating holding a position after taking it), which is already used up.

So what am I supposed to do?

And that is why we came up with the houserule. Suppressive Fire just stopped anything resembling play, and this hopefully reins it in, to being a valuable tactic that doesn't stop us from having fun.

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well the point is not that you are doing something wrong but your GM is :)
he created a situation in which he effectivly pinned you but doesnt finish you off (which he can with specialist weapons, heavy, weapons, overcharge so on)

if this was a fight against enemies of the imperium they should fight to kill you using any means

thats the reason why i suggested the objectiv/timelimit for the training so it ends faster (in this case propably with you losing)

 

most groups use rules (mine does too for combat) but in this situation where you practically have a stalemate that would last until someones ammo runs out its quite handy to switch to narrativ time for a bit to speed things up
you bunker down and take potshots that miss mostly and the enemy suppresses you and lacks ways to finish you of so after a while they would run out of ammo to suppress you as this takes quite a bit of ammo and the tide turn and you switch back to structured time

 

the houserules are a good thing and make it more playable and a bit more realistic too

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