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Kirdan Kenobi

E-Web vs. YT-1300

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I was thinking about that scene from The Empire Strikes Back, where The Falcon is trying desperately to take off while being surrounded by snowtroopers, some of whom are setting up a gigantic blaster. Clearly the idea in the movie is that this artillery weapon is capable of doing some serious damage to The Falcon, but fortunately Han has a trick up his sleeve in the form of a concealed automated repeating blaster that shoots down the snowtroopers as they set up the gun, buying enough time to get away.

It'd be awfully cinematic to repeat such a scenario, forcing the PCs to fend off waves of stormtroopers, including some manning a E-Web (Heavy Repeating Blaster) while the engines are warming up. Yet the rules don't support such a scenario.

 

The Heavy Repeating Blaster can easily do 20 points of damage, counting in the pierce properties. But a YT-1300 has 3 Armor, which equals 30 Soak!

 

Perhaps the E-Web should be counted as an Auto-Blaster rather than a Heavy Repeating Blaster? (Suggested rules: Encumbrance 10, Cannot be fired without a tripod [Encumbrance 4], requires generator [Encumbrance 6], 2nd crewmember required to monitor generator or the weapon gains the Slow Firing 1 quality, 8000 credits [Restricted], Rarity: 8, Counts as a Sillouette 2 vehicle. Inaccurate 2 due to massive recoil.)

Thoughts?

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It's up to you. Not sure about the exact Enc rates you give...

 

The big ;problem I really see though is what happens when your players are on foot and one of those things shows up? With auto-fire and vehicle scale damage it's entirely possible to get a "TPK" in a single attack...

 

This scale adjustment is a challenge. I was chatting about the Vulture Droid on another board and there you had the reverse problem of a vehicle that was totally encounterable on foot, so you either had to make the torpedo launcher near-worthless against other vehicles or make the torpedoes able to TPK.

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I wouldn't even stat the giant blaster. Just tell the PCs that it's a portable military turret that could do serious damage to their ship and that the bad guys are aiming it into the engine ports, meaning that they don't necessarily have to pierce the ship's armor. Give the PCs the option to slow the bad guys down by taking out the techs setting it up or making mechanics checks to speed up the takeoff sequence, or whatever other crazy stunt they come up with. The failure state is that the engines are disabled and now the PCs are FORCED to take out the enemies or disable the turret before it can power up to fire again.

With the vulture droid, that would be best used as a 'boss fight', altering the droid's tactics to use its blasters against the PCs or try to smash them rather than the (presumably valuable) torpedoes. Also with the vulture droid, don't have it directly target the PCs, instead blasting the environment around them to bits and the debris/explosions are the main source of damage, substituting Coordination/Resilience checks by the players instead of attack rolls by the droid. Then have them able to find a rocket launcher or antivehicle mines to take it out or grappling hooks or something to get up inside it and shut it off/disable it. Or better yet, a small scale version of the A-Wings vs the imperial walkers, letting the PCs use a temporary jet pack and grappling hook setup to trip the droid fighter.

Edited by drbraininajar
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The reason for the encumbrance rates I suggested is that you see 4 or 5 guys bringing in the E-Web in the movie.

Low silhouette vehicles ignoring range vs. personnel is absolutely devastating I agree. That's partly why I threw in the 'inaccurate 2.' But on the other hand, an E-Web should be devastating. On the bright side, if the PCs ever encountered one, it would be stormtroopers shooting it, and they don't have ranks in gunnery, and they're still minions, so they go down easy. Unlike a real vehicle, there is no protection from the crew against small arms, so if the PCs were able to keep shooting the gunner, the imps might not get a shot off. (I figure one maneuver to stow their regular blaster--too disciplined to drop it, and one maneuver to engage with the E-Web)

On the other hand, it may just be a situation though where the PCs can't win if they're fighting a readied E-Web unless the circumstances are highly in their favor, such as if they can attack from stealth.

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Don't try to apply the game's mechanics to the movie scene, I would say. Doesn't matter that in the game, the E-Web can't reasonably hurt the Falcon.

 

I wouldn't alter the E-Web directly. It has its role as the in-setting equivalent to the trench machine gun and performs admirably in that role. If anything I'd do as you said and create a man-portable antivehicle/antiship gatling gun, without worrying about whether the movie depicted a statted E-Web or something totally different.

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Perhaps the E-Web should be counted as an Auto-Blaster rather than a Heavy Repeating Blaster? (Suggested rules: Encumbrance 10, Cannot be fired without a tripod [Encumbrance 4], requires generator [Encumbrance 6], 2nd crewmember required to monitor generator or the weapon gains the Slow Firing 1 quality, 8000 credits [Restricted], Rarity: 8, Counts as a Sillouette 2 vehicle. Inaccurate 2 due to massive recoil.)

Thoughts?

 

A while back I decided to use a x5 ratio instead of a x10 ratio. That makes the Autoblaster (vehicle damage 3) equal to the Heavy Repeating Blaster (damage 15). They seem to be the same weapon anyway. The x5 ratio also improves some of the issues for me of lighter blasters being unable to do much to even the common Star Wars, "car", and Star Wars, "tanks", being nearly invulnerable to personal missile launchers.

Edited by Sturn
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Split Light is right.

 

Keep in mind that in ESB, the troops were bringing in that weapon not to take down ships, but to take out ground troops before they could board the ship. Whether or not Solo or the Snowtroopers knew that the Falcon's armour could fend off blasts from the E-Web, Solo and Chewbacca had just spent a lot of time repairing the ship, and the repairs were not complete. As such, the E-Web could have harmed the Falcon or the environment around it enough so that it could not have taken off (a triumph roll), which is all that was necessary. Needless to say, Han shot first ;)

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But with an RPG you aren't just telling a story with plot, you are playing a game that includes mechanics simulating the universe you are running around in. So, some of us want those mechanics to simulate what we saw happening in the movies. We want the E-Web to be a threat to a YT-1300 just like we want Snowspeeder blasters to bounce off of an Imperial Walkers.

 

The more the mechanics of the game system deviate from what we see in the movies, the less it is a Star Wars RPG.

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But we don't know if the E-web really was a threat to the Falcon herself or just to anyone in the landing bay as Han took it out before it could be setup. So, you're speculating on the mechanics without any information from the canon as to what it could do.

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But we don't know if the E-web really was a threat to the Falcon herself or just to anyone in the landing bay as Han took it out before it could be setup. So, you're speculating on the mechanics without any information from the canon as to what it could do.

 

I'm pretty sure that was the intention of the story writer and what most thought when watching the scene for the first time.  That's not speculation. When you sat down and watched ESB for the first time, you thought that big tripod mounted laser the Falcon took out was being set up to take out a snowspeeder? Such a later retcon is just to make the later weak RPG version of the E-web still make sense against what we saw in the movie. It really should be vice versa. The novelization of ESB from the same year the movie released agrees:

 

Han knew that the Falcon's dented hull might resist the force of those hand weapons, but would be destroyed by the more powerful bazooka-shaped weapon that two of the Imperial troopers were hurriedly setting up.

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Is the bazooka supposed to be the E-WEB, because...descriptions don't match up there.

 

And I think the Missile Tube, or an upgraded one designed for damaging vehicles (SMH that they AREN'T at a baseline) should be a threat to a ship like the Falcon.

 

Also, what hand weapons are referenced? If it's talking about just handheld blaster rifles, that's clearly wrong in-setting. If handheld blasters can damage a ship, the Falcon should have been destroyed immediately by being hit with TIE laser cannons.

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One thing I've seen done to address personal vs. vehicle interactions in another game (Cthulutech) was giving weapons a property that allowed their damage to convert between the two categories. The same shot that did ten damage on the ship scale would do ten damage on the personal scale. IIRC, it was mostly used on beam type attacks that, while devastating, didn't actually affect a huge area at a time (ie, it could take off your arm without killing you outright). That way you could have the E-Web pose a threat to the ship without having to change too much. Maybe reduce it's damage against vehicles a bit to compensate. Haven't really looked too deep into vehicle mechanics though, so I might be talking crazy talk.

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Is the bazooka supposed to be the E-WEB, because...descriptions don't match up there.

 

And I think the Missile Tube, or an upgraded one designed for damaging vehicles (SMH that they AREN'T at a baseline) should be a threat to a ship like the Falcon.

 

Also, what hand weapons are referenced? If it's talking about just handheld blaster rifles, that's clearly wrong in-setting. If handheld blasters can damage a ship, the Falcon should have been destroyed immediately by being hit with TIE laser cannons.

 

Yes, if you read the book it's the same scene. It describes them putting it up on a tripod and being destroyed by the Falcon's weaponry.

 

I agree the blaster rifles having a chance at harming the Falcon is bad for an RPG, but not wrong in-setting. Chewie shot at Slave I with his bowcaster, for example. Is your answer he was just enraged and knew he had no chance to harm it? A sensible answer for both was the shields were not up yet while docked or just taking off. The TIE couldn't destroy the Falcon in one hit while out in space due to shields. Listen to the conversations in the movies and the crew specifically talks about the shields holding up. The text from the ESB above actually mentions the ship's "dented hull", without mentioning shields at all (as if they were down).

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Is the bazooka supposed to be the E-WEB, because...descriptions don't match up there.

 

And I think the Missile Tube, or an upgraded one designed for damaging vehicles (SMH that they AREN'T at a baseline) should be a threat to a ship like the Falcon.

 

Also, what hand weapons are referenced? If it's talking about just handheld blaster rifles, that's clearly wrong in-setting. If handheld blasters can damage a ship, the Falcon should have been destroyed immediately by being hit with TIE laser cannons.

 

Yes, if you read the book it's the same scene. It describes them putting it up on a tripod and being destroyed by the Falcon's weaponry.

 

I agree the blaster rifles having a chance at harming the Falcon is bad for an RPG, but not wrong in-setting. Chewie shot at Slave I with his bowcaster, for example. Is your answer he was just enraged and knew he had no chance to harm it? A sensible answer for both was the shields were not up yet while docked or just taking off. The TIE couldn't destroy the Falcon in one hit while out in space due to shields. Listen to the conversations in the movies and the crew specifically talks about the shields holding up. The text from the ESB above actually mentions the ship's "dented hull", without mentioning shields at all (as if they were down).

 

Shields in Star Wars aren't like shields in Star Trek. They are right at or near the surface of the vessel and don't absorb the damage, but ablate it. Chewie shooting at Slave I was like the Stormtroopers shooting at the Falcon in the first movie. In both cases you can see that the energy bolts hit the hull and just, nothing. Same with the scene just before the Falcon blasts off. Hits strike the hull and parts of the ramp to no real effect.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nwevTdKL-tk&feature=player_detailpage#t=59

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Shields in Star Wars aren't like shields in Star Trek. They are right at or near the surface of the vessel and don't absorb the damage, but ablate it. Chewie shooting at Slave I was like the Stormtroopers shooting at the Falcon in the first movie. In both cases you can see that the energy bolts hit the hull and just, nothing. Same with the scene just before the Falcon blasts off. Hits strike the hull and parts of the ramp to no real effect.

 

If you look closely at the video, you DO actually see sparks fly as if a blaster hit something. You could either argue that was it hitting the form fitting shields or the hull itself. But, the sparks do seem to be a, "hit". Watch it closely on take off towards the bottom right. Plus add that the highly trained Stormtroopers keep firing at a ship they know they can't affect at all? It makes more sense and is another plausible explanation of what we see in the movies that personal blasters can affect a smaller ship with shields down, even if the affect is very minor with little chance of doing any real harm.

 

While it's still docked and they are firing at Han, you do some blasters hit and leave what appears to be marks even with some smoke. So I think that makes it obvious the hull is being hit and shields are down. It's nothing like what we see with blaster hits against the shields of the Gungan army. So the blasters can hit the hull of a freighter when it's shields are down but typically have little chance of penetrating the hull plating. I like "little chance" instead of "no chance at all" in my RPG.

Edited by Sturn

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"Is your answer he was just enraged and knew he had no chance to harm it?"

 

That's not a bad answer!

 

Or, perhaps the solution is some kind of sensitive systems that are more easily harmed with personal-scale gear. Or even a result of 2-3 Triumph allowing for a "lucky shot" to score a basic critical hit against a ship. E.g. Chewie knew he couldn't shoot through Slave I's armor, but a good hit on a maneuvering fin might make it impossible to take off, allowing them to try and board it somehow.

Edited by Kshatriya
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"Is your answer he was just enraged and knew he had no chance to harm it?"

 

That's not a bad answer!

 

Or, perhaps the solution is some kind of sensitive systems that are more easily harmed with personal-scale gear. Or even a result of 2-3 Triumph allowing for a "lucky shot" to score a basic critical hit against a ship. E.g. Chewie knew he couldn't shoot through Slave I's armor, but a good hit on a maneuvering fin might make it impossible to take off, allowing them to try and board it somehow.

Similar to what was known as the Golden Bullet phenomenon of the Vietnam War. Basically farmers with rifles would take pop shots at American aircraft that were flying low. On very rare occasions they'd manage to hit something really vital, like the pilot and bring the craft down.

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Shields in Star Wars aren't like shields in Star Trek. They are right at or near the surface of the vessel and don't absorb the damage, but ablate it. Chewie shooting at Slave I was like the Stormtroopers shooting at the Falcon in the first movie. In both cases you can see that the energy bolts hit the hull and just, nothing. Same with the scene just before the Falcon blasts off. Hits strike the hull and parts of the ramp to no real effect.

If you look closely at the video, you DO actually see sparks fly as if a blaster hit something. You could either argue that was it hitting the form fitting shields or the hull itself. But, the sparks do seem to be a, "hit". Watch it closely on take off towards the bottom right. Plus add that the highly trained Stormtroopers keep firing at a ship they know they can't affect at all? It makes more sense and is another plausible explanation of what we see in the movies that personal blasters can affect a smaller ship with shields down, even if the affect is very minor with little chance of doing any real harm.

 

While it's still docked and they are firing at Han, you do some blasters hit and leave what appears to be marks even with some smoke. So I think that makes it obvious the hull is being hit and shields are down. It's nothing like what we see with blaster hits against the shields of the Gungan army. So the blasters can hit the hull of a freighter when it's shields are down but typically have little chance of penetrating the hull plating. I like "little chance" instead of "no chance at all" in my RPG.

 

I never said they weren't hitting the hull. I said they hit to no real effect. It was like shooting at a brick wall. Recolors it a little, but the wall is still there and standing even after a few hundred rounds slam home. Sparks and discoloration don't mean the ship took any real damage, just cosmetic.

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I never said they weren't hitting the hull. I said they hit to no real effect. It was like shooting at a brick wall. Recolors it a little, but the wall is still there and standing even after a few hundred rounds slam home. Sparks and discoloration don't mean the ship took any real damage, just cosmetic.

 

So then you agree the hull was hit and the shields were not up?

 

Edit: Not trying to convince anyone not to use the rules as written. I'm just arguing for my own personal house rule of a x5 vehicle scale ratio (instead of x10) having some clout with what we see in the movies.

Edited by Sturn

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I never said they weren't hitting the hull. I said they hit to no real effect. It was like shooting at a brick wall. Recolors it a little, but the wall is still there and standing even after a few hundred rounds slam home. Sparks and discoloration don't mean the ship took any real damage, just cosmetic.

 

So then you agree the hull was hit and the shields were not up?

 

Edit: Not trying to convince anyone not to use the rules as written. I'm just arguing for my own personal house rule of a x5 vehicle scale ratio (instead of x10) having some clout with what we see in the movies.

 

Those aren't mutually exclusive. The shields are ablative, not absorptive. So, they can be up and the hull still hit. Only in the Star Wars video games were shields on vehicles shown to be absorptive.

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Similar to what was known as the Golden Bullet phenomenon of the Vietnam War. Basically farmers with rifles would take pop shots at American aircraft that were flying low. On very rare occasions they'd manage to hit something really vital, like the pilot and bring the craft down.

 

 

Except rifle rounds are perfectly capable of bringing down aircraft. A rifle round will go straight through a plane made of aluminum or thin steel. The primary armament of most fighters in WWII were rifle-caliber machine guns. Bigger rounds have a greater chance of hitting something important, as well as simply doing more damage, which is why we use 20 and 30 mm rounds today, but even so, a simple infantry operated machine gun hitting a modern aircraft might well bring it down.

 

 

I never said they weren't hitting the hull. I said they hit to no real effect. It was like shooting at a brick wall. Recolors it a little, but the wall is still there and standing even after a few hundred rounds slam home. Sparks and discoloration don't mean the ship took any real damage, just cosmetic.

 

 

Rifle caliber rounds (anything bigger than a 5.56) will destroy a brick wall and kill anyone behind it.

Should personal weapons, like blaster rifles, be able to harm a starship? I think that's up the GM. I do agree you'd be looking at 2 or 3 triumphs to do so.

The point of this thread though, is whether a large crew-served weapon like an E-Web, aught to be able to harm a starship. Including blaster rifles in the discussion obfuscates the matter.

 

I think we could also include the missile tube in this discussion though, as I think that that weapon aught to be perfectly capable of bringing down a Tie fighter on hit.

 

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There's some tricky territory in moving it to X5, namely personal weapons too easily affecting vehicles designed to counter infantry, like walkers.

 

I'm inclined to agree, yet on the other hand, stuff that seems to be anti-vehicle weaponry won't bring down an airspeeder.

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I think part of the problem was using the same scale system and armor rules for speeders and swoops as for capital ships.

 

To me the Missile Tube and mines are the biggest offenders of "things that reasonably make sense to be anti-vehicle, but still suck at it."

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