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Boss Gitsmasha

Power armor issues

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A couple issues I have with the power armor in DH beta.

 

First of all, there is only Light Power Armor, there are no options for regular power armor (like in Dark Heresy 1) or Heavy Power Armor (from Rogue Trader: Into the Storm). A little more variety would be nice, please.

 

Secondly, Light power armor increases the wearer's size, which it did not do previously. I thought that was the entire point of it being light power armor; it's not as protective, but also doesn't bulk up the wearer as much.

 

Thirdly, the power supply. It only lasts 1d5 hours until it needs to be recharged, which seems inconsistent and silly. It would absolutely suck to go through the effort to get your armor charged up only to roll a 1 on that d5. If it was a consistent 5 hours, I'd be fine with that. Personally, I liked how the heavy power armor (from RT:ITS) did it; it lasted for 12 hours of continuous operation, but required two hours of charging for every hour of operation.

 

I think the primary weakness of power armor is probably gonna be the Agility cap, even though power armor is supposed to work with the wearer to improve their mobility. I guess those servo-motors and fibre bundles can only do so much, unless you happen to be a Space Marine.

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I have a feeling that other (heavier) models of power armour would be something that gets released with the inevitable supplements.

 

As for the battery duration, I've already mentioned my thoughts in the other thread, but I'll add that I agree with you on the bit from RT - with the caveat that more modern/advanced patterns of PA should be more efficient and at least allow for a 1:1 conversion (though this is based on my own understanding of Marine and SoB PA as described by GW fluff ... and that it'd suck if their armour would deplete its batteries even whilst they sit in a Rhino having them recharged just because they move a little  :lol: then again, I recall those having an unlimited duration anyways in DH/DW rules).

 

I think the primary weakness of power armor is probably gonna be the Agility cap, even though power armor is supposed to work with the wearer to improve their mobility. I guess those servo-motors and fibre bundles can only do so much, unless you happen to be a Space Marine.

 

Depends on what fluff you read. Realistically, the only limiting factors should be the electric motors, the onboard cogitator's processing power when interpreting input from the wearer, and the speed with which this input is transferred from the wearer to the machine.

 

Marines have the Black Carapace, but in the Index Astartes its chief advantage seems to have been not offer faster input, but more input, in that it transmits information that does not directly concern mobility but rather the status of the wearer (like his health, to trigger the built-in medical equipment and drug dispensers). Which fits to the setting knowing non-Marine power armoured close combat specialist, I suppose, who would otherwise suffer from any Agility caps that may exist.

That being said, this is not how the Black Carapace was ruled to work in the Deathwatch RPG, so it seems the designers may simply have a different idea on how PA works, which would likely translate over into DH2.

 

Alternatively, it could simply be that this first pattern of Light Power Armour is simply crap, possibly having less efficient machinery that just fails to keep up with the wearer's own mobility, and that we will see more advanced models (with less/no Agility cap and no size increase) in future supplements.

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I always thought that the reason behind the weird time limit on the PA was the technological level. Or, to better say, the complete lack of it. You have your shiny power armor but since you have absolutely no idea how it works, you can't use it properly. Like, you charge its batteries through a data plug and such. 

 

If you happen to be an initiate of the AM then you will have the wrong idea how your power armor works and while it is still better than no idea at all, it won't help much. 

 

it is like the case of the plasma guns: you could get rid of that pesky chance to overheat using some basic tools, widely available materials and a few hours of tinkering but since nobody knows this neither they bother to learn the "secret" you are stuck with overheating whether you want it or not. 

Edited by AtoMaki

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The Sisters of Battle and the Space Marines don't have to worry about their power armor running out of power; it explicitly says their backpack fusion reactors will last forever unless they are damaged.

 

Their power armour (and other equipment) is specifically stated to be of a superior quality to that which is availible outside of the Adeptus orders though, so this isn't really irrelevant.

I don't get why people don't get that. The power armour availible to regular humans/inquisitors/rogue traders is just not the same that used by Space Marines. It doesn't matter on specfically how its different (barring that we acknowledge having the Black Carapace is a prequisite for using SM power armour) so long as we know that it is.

A huge part of the setting is that there are many, many, many different patterns of equipment that all work in slightly different ways (I can name 5 different patterns of SM boltgun off the top of my head). Fluff wise this more than accounts for the varying interpretations on how a particular item works.

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I don't get why people don't get that.

 

Well, for some people, it may not really be intuitive that the Inquisition(!) is unable to procure the same kind of equipment as that used by the Space Marines. Or the Battle Sisters, apparently.  :lol:

 

This is something unique to these games, and someone who has read other 40k stuff so far may just expect differently (for example, Games Workshop itself publishes material that says the Inquisition is equipping multiple Marine Chapters, amongst them the Grey Knights, the Deathwatch, or the Flame Falcons). I for one remember my own confusion that I experienced here before getting a better understanding of how the IP truly works in terms of consistency. And still I get irritated at some of the more significant deviations..

 

But as theorised above, I'd expect to see armour patterns with greater duration at a later point in time. The one from DH1 Ascension lasted for 5 days, for example. I don't see why we should not see similar equipment in DH2 ... or why it should be difficult to just adapt and houserule it from existing DH1 books.

Edited by Lynata

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The big issue with no alternatives for power sources, is that there are a lot of BY THE BOOK literal GMs who scoff at any creative fixes to issues or even go as far as calling you powergaming for "trying to have better than the book" or "taking stuff from another book" in the case of listing the 12 hours run time, 24 hours recharge or the 5 days for Inquisition grade power armor (who don't want the risk of an exploding fusion pack on their back) to the military packs (instability risk in return for endless power)

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I thought that once too, but in the original DH you weren't being given it, but buying it yourself and had no other options.

 

And to make matters worse, a ROGUE TRADER, has to deal with the same quality for armor.

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Well, you could have it being given to you, depending on your GM and the campaign. In fact, this would probably be the only way to bring Inquisitorial connections into the equation in the first place.

 

However, even the Ascension version still has a limit. It's 5 days flat, rather than up to 5 hours, but it still makes you think, considering that the Dark Heresy Imperium apparently has little problem mass-producing backpacks with unlimited supply.

 

And it gets more ironical if you consider that, in Dark Heresy, the Sisters of Battle are way more numerous than in the original material to boot. In the Calixis sector alone you have several thousand fusion-powered backpacks running around. Hardly what I'd call an ancient relic. :)

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Let's be clear: the 1d5 hour power limit is a game balance tool, and is not intended to be a strictly realistic depiction of the fluff. It's the same concept behind Full Auto now having a penalty to hit rather than a bonus, despite the fact that automatic weapons were invented specifically to increase the odds of hitting multiple targets in combat. This used to irritate me, but I've come around to game design philosophy trumping 'realism': big advantages in a game need to come with balancing draw-backs that force players to make tough decisions, or all variety will eventually be lost to the one 'right' combo.

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Full auto does have a mechanic for getting more hits. +1 per extra DoS. That is a very good mechanic. However, in firing an automatic weapon, you have to deal with the recoil, which throws off your aim. So in order to mitigate that inaccuracy, you should use an autogun in how it works best: close range (can't miss easily), giant beasties (again) and suppressing fire (don't need to hit). In fact, full auto is mainly used to suppress, because it isn't accurate at all, while 3 round semi auto bursts are (the principle is that they fire within such a short time, that by the time the 3rd bullet leaves, the larger effects of recoil and the barrel moving are minimized).

 

Because of this greater change, full auto stopped being the broken instant win button of making you more accurate and hitting more.

 

Now, on to power armor. I am fine with cheap batteries being more common and problematic to use, this is after all 40k, where your plasma weapons explode in your face and firing off a boltgun would beggar any man.

 

The issue is that In the fluff AND in the game, there are better batteries for power armor. Ones that Inquisitors, RTs and military organizations would be using. Yet we are given NO option for them, besides one that makes power armor effectively useless.

 

Not to mention, the 1d5 is completely random, having a larger base (let's say 3 hours) and then roll 1d5-2 for how long it keeps operating. So acolytes using the cheap stuff can plan out, "Well, I know the batteries hold a decent charge but can fizzle out after that." but that isn't an option. There are no rules for changing out batteries, for charging batteries, for anything really except a holdover from the first 40k RPG made by Black Industries. For this and only this to be the option in this brand new edition is a bit insulting to some. Not to mention the removal of "heavy power armor" and making LIGHT power armor (aka the sororitas style) make you easier to hit, when in fact it is about as bulky as carapace or feudal plate, though less so in how it effectively carries itself.

 

THAT is the issue with the 1d5 hours runtime. It isn't just because it is a balance tool, it is because it is an actual step backwards, when a new edition should be bringing new ideas to the table and fixing old issues. No sidebar or options!

 

Something like this:

 

"Acolytes with more pull can request better power sources, lasting from 12 hours to almost a week, this however takes time and influence to accomplish and isn't as easy as buying a battery pack off a merchant. The difficulty should run in hand with what quality they are looking for, the military grade fusion packs requiring a favor from the Mechanicus"

 

Would be what most folks are asking for. some guideline (like how lasgun charge packs never had rules on to refill them for the longest time) for a question that has been a real annoyance in the past and not just a copy paste job off of the original Black Industry work.

 

I know that the new edition was a bit of a rush job as they had to scrap it all and mesh classic DH with the improvements in the line and in a lot of areas they are doing a great job (besides some gear issues, I love the new character creation system), the issue is the areas where nothing changed and fans have been asking for clarifications and changes.

 

 

Edit: One last little note on Inquisition with 5 day packs, when they could get military. Most Inquisitors don't plan on long combat without a chance to break off and if they are going into combat, they wouldn't want a potentially dangerous pack on their back. Much better to have a long duration battery holding more charge then they need (just in case) and no weak spot on your armor. While Marines and Sororitas can be in much longer term conflicts and the weak spot is balanced out by having greater numbers to protect your back and the risks of your power armor shutting down in conflict.

Edited by Cymbel

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However, in firing an automatic weapon, you have to deal with the recoil, which throws off your aim.

 

Starting with the very first bullet or las shot? ;)

 

But, I suppose that is just a sacrifice made in the name of abstraction.

 

Anyways, the idea about swappable batteries is an interesting one, though this depends on whether or not we think that such modifications are even possible, given how technology works in the setting. Either way, I'm sure we will see more armour models in the future.

 

The main problem I see here isn't even the low duration, but that it's so incredibly random. Something that potentially lasts merely for a single hour may not even suffice to get to the place where you want to use it, much less survive the actual combat encounter! I'd rather see something like "3+1d5 hours" or something like that. Still a bit too random for my taste, but since Dark Heresy does not use d3s ... otherwise I would have made it so that the randomness is not larger than the minimal duration.

 

While Marines and Sororitas can be in much longer term conflicts and the weak spot is balanced out by having greater numbers to protect your back and the risks of your power armor shutting down in conflict.

 

I'd say Marines and Sisters being "in the field" for longer than 5 days have been doing something seriously wrong, though I may be mistaken and their role as highly mobile shock troops has taken a back seat in this RPG. In GW's own background, both forces use battery backpacks also, but recharge them when riding in their vehicles.

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Cymbel, I'm sorry to say it but I kinda feel like you're making the same mistake on of my players often makes regarding power armour. The distinction is not Civilian/Military, its Adeptus/Non augmented human.

The armour of the Adeptus (either Astartes or Sororitas) IS a holy relic. They don't actually know how to make it any more. They can only produce it because they have construction yards that were set up to produce it back when people understood how things things were made. Because no one understands how its made, it can't be replicated by other construction methods and everything that is made from the availing processing plants is sent to the organisations in question. Any other power armour is an inferior attempt to replicate this kind of technology using sub-standard parts and a poor understanding of how the original functions in the first place, and I think the current rules do a good job of reflecting that (but then I'm the guy who was disappointed they removed 'Literacy' as a skill because it reflected the feudal nature of the setting really well).

As for the inquisition acquiring it, well there are a number of problems. In terms of the SM power armour it requires the Black Carapace implant to function properly (although the fluff is a bit sketchy on the why, its pretty clear it is needed) which is a procedure that can only be done during puberty and is part of an extensive set of genetic modifications (also no longer understood properly) with a high chance of killing the patient. Also its not compatible with female physiology, so from a mechanical perspective it would cause a gender imbalance. Plus, given that the armour is produced from standard templates in ancient machines that no one dares change in case they lose the technology forever, thus dooming the species, the power armour of this type is produced with a 8 foot tall super soldier's physiology in mind. Simply put, its not going to fit.

To me this has always been the rationale for why the big I can equip a space marine chapter without being able to give its agents the same level of gear, like Lynata said.

As for the Sororitas power armour, well it doesn't require the Black Carapace, but it IS still made from a standard construction template, which means it only comes in female (or transvestite if your players are open minded) so again, gender imbalance. It was also specifically made for the order by the Ecclesiarchy, like the specific boltguns they carry (Godwyn De'az pattern) so each one is quite literally a holy relic. The Inquisition and the Ecclesiarchy are separate organisations.

All you have to accept is that the battery packs aren't cross compatible between marks of armour (which is supported by the models, every mark of power armour utilises a different power pack, with the exception of MK IX Aegis and MK VIII Errant, which are really just modifications on MK VII Aquilla) . You just can't take a power pack from a SM suit and slap it on 'human' power armour any more than you can take the battery out of your samsung galaxy and put it in an iPhone.

Edited by Cail

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Here I would have to come to Cymbel's defence. It's not exactly a mistake - it is a simple matter of contradicting interpretations, as well as contradicting expectations born from contradicting sources.

 

The Adeptus Mechanicus keeps churning out new models of power armour, so they would still know how to create and modify based on this ancient technique. The Angel-armour of the Adepta Sororitas was commissioned in M36, and the Mark VIII Errant of the Space Marines is so new that it hasn't even seen full distribution by the end of M41. Furthermore, if the Imperium would be unable to recreate the machinery necessary to produce new suits of power armour, it would have long stopped the founding of new Space Marine Chapters, given that they need to be self-sufficient and expected to maintain their own forges after initial deployment.

 

Furthermore I propose that the form and shape of power armour has nothing whatsoever to do with the technology that enables its motion. The "powered" bit in the armour is nothing but a series of electrically motivated fibre-cables - the armour takes its shape all depending on the plates of ceramite you slap onto this construct, and personally I would not expect the shaping of ceramit to have become lostech for the IoM.

 

And then, there may still be some people who may simply be used to the old idea that the Inquisition can, in theory at least, get its hands on anything it wants. Hell, in GW's own material, it is the Inquisition that is responsible for the creation and outfitting of several Marine Chapters, and the likeness of this miniature to SoB power armour is probably not accidental, given the Fleur-de-Lys.

The Inquisition in DH/DW seems to be quite a bit less powerful and influential, but that doesn't necessarily mean that it would be right to call it a mistake when it is more akin to confusion stemming from contradictory sources.

 

Finally, the Black Carapace has nothing to do with gender - it is not geneseed, after all - and even in FFG's RPGs, Space Marines are "only" 7 feet tall.

I do see 8 feet (or even larger!) popping up all the time, however, which is an amusing hint at a certain tendendy for exaggerated memory that the Legiones Astartes enjoy in the hearts and minds of many gamers and readers.  :P

 

(for what it's worth, though, the 8 feet are not "wrong" either, just yet another preference, so keep sticking to that if you want to - I'd not be surprised if it's even supported by some Black Library novel)

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. Furthermore, if the Imperium would be unable to recreate the machinery necessary to produce new suits of power armour, it would have long stopped the founding of new Space Marine Chapters, given that they need to be self-sufficient and expected to maintain their own forges after initial deployment.

 

 

I didn't say they couldn't make it any more, I said they don't understand how its made. That's the point of STC's in the fiction. Terminator armour has been stated as being lost technology for decades worth of fluff, yet new chapters are given it (for example). The idea is they have a machine that can build it, and they know how to keep the machine working, but they don't know how to make the armour without the machine.

 

Its sketchy I know, but that's the way its usually portrayed.

 

 

And then, there may still be some people who may simply be used to the old idea that the Inquisition can, in theory at least, get its hands on anything it wants. Hell, in GW's own material, it is the Inquisition that is responsible for the creation and outfitting of several Marine Chapters, and the likeness of this miniature to SoB power armour is probably not accidental, given the Fleur-de-Lys.

 

That supports my 'standard construction' argument, rather than refuting it :P

 

 

Finally, the Black Carapace has nothing to do with gender - it is not geneseed, after all - and even in FFG's RPGs, Space Marines are "only" 7 feet tall.

 

Still too big for an average human. I didn't mean to imply the Carapace itself was only X-Y compatible, but that its part of a larger procedure that is normally only performed on adolescent men.

 

However: "The Black Carapace, also known as the Interface, is the last and one of the most important of all the 19 gene-seed organ implants a Neophyte will receive as he is transformed from a normal, adolescent human male into a superhuman Astartes.".. *ahem*. So err, yes it is. White Dwarf 98, start on page 13 "origins of a space marine" by Rick Priestly. http://www.lski.org/pictures/tabletopgaming/gw/wd%20magazine/White%20Dwarf%2098.pdf

I agree with the fibre bundling of cables, but one has to remember the dogma that now surrounds the use of technology. We can argue about theoretical 'whys' all day but I think analysing the fluff on that level is counter-productive. The fluff isn't clear on what exactly the black Carapace does other than that it's required to use the SM power armour. All you need is that its a perquisite, and its a perquisite that is not available to all people.

Again, I'm not saying the Inquisition can't get hold of the adeptus classes of weapons or armour. I'm saying there's good reasons those things can't be used by normal people (firing an Astartes weapon should run a high chance of breaking ones arm from the recoil), and they probably aren't compatible with the thing that are.

Edited by Cail

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Aegis armour really does put a hole in the poorly understood tech argument.

 

Agreed. I'm sure there's a million hand-wave theories for it. It's worth noting that Grey Knight's didn't get the ability to field power armour until much later in the games development though, so it's existence is kind of a retcon.

Edited by Cail

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I would reckon power armour is rather well understood by certain people within the Imperium. It's not lost, just heavily locked down. All Tech marines surely know how to make Astartes Armour, and Masters of the Forge even construct their own Artificier armour. Nearly all Imperial Technology is understood by SOMEONE somewhere. You don't spend 400 years to become a Magos, and only learn how to press ON on the 3D printer. Mechanicus know this stuff, but it's buried within mountains of rituals and taboos.

Black Carapace appears to be a neural connector that transmits signals to the suit instantly, making it essentially a second skin, letting you use it without any delay

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 You don't spend 400 years to become a Magos, and only learn how to press ON on the 3D printer.

 

 

There used to be loads of stuff in White Dwarf that said thats exactly what they do on some level. But I admit its a matter of taste

Edited by Cail

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But the lore moves on. 40k is rather inconsistent, but new takes precedence over old. And the current direction has them making a bit more sense of what goes on. Just a little bit.

Honestly, if I could, I would just replace GW with FFG fluff writers. In my opinion they've done far more enjoyable and immersive lore then GW ever has. And I feel like FFG actually cares about their customers.

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I don't think thats always true. FFG do a better job than GW have done for some time. But I remember a lot of early stuff that was packed with extra fluff that was a pleasure to read. Personally I like the tone of the early GW stuff more (with some exceptions) but whichever one you pick its not incompatible with FFGs work.

GW are doing a shockingly bad job now, but to quote the original designer of 40k on his departure from the company: "It's just the marketing arm of a toy shop now..."

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I prefer the current fluff, it just seems more like a cohesive universe. But being saddled with that money grubbing joke of a company is just awful. And it's not getting any better, since little kids keep convincing their parents to buy them those battle forces.

On the bright side, GW also seems more willing to farm out their license. New 40k deathwing game, Eternal Crusade, possible Fantasy RTS

...35$ for a Salamander hunting pack... It's ok I didn't even want to play Fantasy anymore...

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