Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Covered in Weasels

A couple notes from combat testing

Recommended Posts

  1. The listed encounter points for a combat servitor are 4, though after tonight's game I feel this does not reflect how dangerous they are. They have a total of 10 damage reduction on all body locations, have an implanted chainaxe (1d10+11 Tearing damage with 2 Pen) and respectable weapon skill, and are armed with a heavy stubber for ranged attacks. They also ignore darkness and gain all the immunities provided by the Machine trait. Four Acolytes of ~2500xp (Chirurgeon, Assassin, Warrior, and Mystic -- not slouches in combat) fought three of them and two servitor drones; according to Encounter Points this should be an easy fight. Two characters ended the fight in Critical damage while a third had only five Wounds remaining. I suggest raising the EP of Combat Servitors to reflect their deadliness.
  2. We came upon a really confusing rules interaction between the Delay action and Pinning. Pinning lets the character test WP "when their turn ends" to remove the Pinned condition, and when the Delay action is used it causes the character's turn to immediately end. RAW, this would let a Pinned character use their single Half Action to Delay and pass their WP test to un-pin, then soon afterwards take their Delayed Half Action and not count as being Pinned. This should be explained more clearly in the rules; during the game session I ruled that the player would only become Unpinned after their Delayed action was resolved, but the actual wording of the rules suggests that Delay can be exploited to remove Pinning before taking an action.
  3. We tested out a proposed change to Accurate weapons from the forums: a player could only gain bonus dice from extra DoS if they took a Full Action to aim before firing. I felt that the Accurate weapons performed very well despite this limitation, though the servitors faced in this encounter were admittedly very vulnerable to high-damage, single shot weapons. More testing is required before I can give a definite impression on this change.
  4. We had one particularly hilarious moment where a servitor's gun jammed three turns in a row. Because of the backpack ammo supply rules, the ammo feed mulched through dozens upon dozens of bullets to no effect as its gun jammed repeatedly. Not much to say here other than to highlight how dangerous the combat servitors are -- they managed to maul most of the party even though one of them did literally nothing but eject jammed cartridges for three whole rounds.

Thoughts/comments?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've always felt that the rules for Jam were, and still are, really strange. There is no logical reason that someone with a jam in their weapon would just drop an entire clip and consider it unusable just because one round jammed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The IRL gun fan said for most guns you would lose a round or at worst the rounds may fall out of the gun (spring in the magazine getting loose), the ammo is still salvageable though. One annoying thing about this mechanic is that different talents and backgrounds pop up to "fix" it, by not allowing you to waste the ammo, which I find just makes it worse.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Also, not all failures don't accomplish the action, several DoF could clear the jam, just have a negative effect, like all your ammo falling on the ground or the gun misfires and hits someone in a 90 degree cone in front of you, lots of ways to have fun.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've always felt that the rules for Jam were, and still are, really strange. There is no logical reason that someone with a jam in their weapon would just drop an entire clip and consider it unusable just because one round jammed.

Does it say you loose the ammo? I thought, and always played with, you having to remove the cartridge in order to unjam the weapon. Then simply reload it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If the Test is successful then the jam has been cleared,

though the weapon needs to be reloaded and any ammo in it

is lost.

The book says you lose the ammo.

One bullet jams? Entire magazine is worthless.

I can sorta make something up for lasguns: After all, they use batteries/accumulators, if that fouls, then it is useless.

But then, jams for lasweapons don't really make sense in the first place.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Of course it does! The machinespirit of the weapon rejects the magazine and demands it be removed before it will function again D:

I'll concede to the dumb rule as written, but just houserule it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I always ruled a lasweapon jam as meaning that the power cell had overloaded and fused into a big solid base, or otherwise broke.

Yes, that's one way to look at it. I think it's easier for people to imagine losing a clip of las/plasma/melta weaponry to a jam because we don't have any modern comparison to that kind of advanced weaponry. We can speculate on how they work based on our relatively primitive analougues, but we really have no idea how those weapons function. By contrast, it's harder to imagine losing a whole clip of bullets because we know exactly how modern firearms operate. We can hop on Google and pull up a step-by step diagram explaining the process by which an assault rifle fires and ejects cartridges in rapid succession.

Most people in the 40k universe don't have that kind of knowledge about ANY of their weapons. They are surrounded by assault rifles that shoot rockets, caseless machine pistols, and guns that harness the incandescent heat of a sun, but they don't understand any of the physics behind them. They literally pray for their weapons to work properly. For all they know, the machine spirit of their pistol is displeased because they fumbled verse twelve of the Litany Of Ammunition Stacking when they were refilling their magazines last night. Better toss that mag and hope the next one is adequately blessed!

I think the whole "losing a clip when your weapon jams" thing is intended to make jamming more meaningful. We've had multiple situations where an NPC's gun jammed at a hilariously inopportune time (usually while at point-blank range of a PC). These instances typically result in a quick and brutal death beneath the chainswords of the party Assassin. On the other hand, there are times where Jamming does absolutely nothing but force someone to spend a turn (or Half Action with Technical Knock) to clear the jam.

Yes, it does seem silly to lose a whole clip of ammo because of a gun jam; however, I think it makes for better game play. It doesn't change the situations where your gun jams during a critical round and you get murdered by a Genestealer, but it makes Jamming in less desperate situations an actual hindrance. It might make people value Reliable weapons more (they seem to be valued very little by my players) and use sacred machine oil once in a while. Becoming immune to Jamming for one clip is a lot more enticing when you could lose an entire clip of inferno shells because of a gun jam. In DH1, I never saw my players even consider using the oil.

Edited by Covered in Weasels

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The sacred machine oil is either Rare or Very Rare, so it was probably a case of "too awesome to use". In many cases it might just be more cost effective to buy a Good or Best craftsmanship weapon in the first place.

 

And honestly, there are plenty of ways to cause a misfire, many of which involve the gun rather than the magazine. Stovepiping, failure to cycle, double feed, et cetera. For a lasgun, it might be fouling in the battery port or muzzle, which might require partial disassembly (or at least removal of the mag) to clean. Plasma guns are also unique in that they never Jam- they Overheat instead, which is almost certainly even worse. I dunno about meltaguns, though- maybe it springs a leak?

 

On a related note, Reliable does nothing to solve the problem of Overheating, which under RaW makes Good-craftsmanship plasma weapons pointless (and it makes Poor-craftsmanship ones better, since plasma weapons never jam in the first place and overheat on a 91-00 by default). Perhaps they should only make Reliable so the gun Overheats on a 95-00, or even just 00?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Except they lack the Tearing and specialty ammunition that bolters possess. The damage difference is negligible, so bolters are better against lightly-armored targets, and plasma guns are better suited for heavily armored targets.

 

Which is strange, because in tabletop terms, they should be doing as much damage as an autocannon, but 3d10+8 seems absurdly powerful for a man-portable weapon.

Edited by Boss Gitsmasha

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, Overheating on plasma weapons is a balance mechanism (just like it is in TT by the way). Without a serious chance of overheating they are bolters +1.

 

I think most plasma weapons would be Unreliable in addition to having the Overheats quality (or at least would become Unreliable when fired on Maximal mode). In this situation, Good plasma guns would actually be quite useful. This would mean that Best quality plasma guns would never overheat, but seeing how such a weapon would have an Availability of Unique this doesn't seem like a pressing balance issue.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Except they lack the Tearing and specialty ammunition that bolters possess. The damage difference is negligible, so bolters are better against lightly-armored targets, and plasma guns are better suited for heavily armored targets.

 

Which is strange, because in tabletop terms, they should be doing as much damage as an autocannon, but 3d10+8 seems absurdly powerful for a man-portable weapon.

 

Do Beta plasma weapons now not have a maximal mode, or has their damage dropped?

 

A plasma gun on maximal does 19 damage average in BC (as opposed to a bolter's 12.5), which is not hugely far from an autocannon's of 24.5.

 

I think that we should be clear on what maximal is -- it's an inherited cludge.

 

In DH1 plasma guns do 1d10+6 Pen 6. Not only does this not perform like plasma weapons in TT, once bolters were given Tearing, the average damage of a bolter actually became higher than the average damage of a plasma gun.

 

So, rather than do what FFG did later with Deathwatch and errata a whole new set of weapon stats, BI introduced plasma weapons with an alternative "maximal" setting in the Inquisitor's Handbook.

 

I suspect that if plasma weapons were being designed today, they would have no standard/maximal distinction but would simply use the maximal stats.

Edited by bogi_khaosa

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One thing Covered in Weasels forgot to mention was that we replaced the heavy stubbers with shotcannons, which are arguably less dangerous. I also want to touch on accurate weapons, as trying to imagine what a character would do in the way rules are written you can literally 360 no scope atm which is silly. The snipers are better at CQB then the shotguns ffs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One thing Covered in Weasels forgot to mention was that we replaced the heavy stubbers with shotcannons, which are arguably less dangerous. I also want to touch on accurate weapons, as trying to imagine what a character would do in the way rules are written you can literally 360 no scope atm which is silly. The snipers are better at CQB then the shotguns ffs.

 

The stats for a shot cannon are:

40m range, 2d10 damage, 0 Pen, S/3/-, Clip 24 (x5 for backpack ammo clip), Scatter, Unreliable. (These stats were taken from the Inquisitor's Handbook)

 

The servitors were sometimes in short range, but made a significant number of attacks from beyond 20 meters -- shot cannon are good at close range but their effectiveness drops off considerably at longer range. Overall I think the heavy stubbers would have performed better since they would have always been in short range, and the party was wearing enough armor that the stubbers' penetration of 3 was relevant.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Shotcannons in Dark Heresy actually kind of suck. Only War's Ripper Gun is probably a better representative of what they should be. (1d10+8 rather than 2d10 and S/-/6 instead of S/3/-) The problem with both weapons is that they are short-ranged Heavy weapons, which means that unless the wielder has Bulging Biceps/Auto-Stabilized, attached Suspensors, or an enemy that likes standing suicidally close without charging into melee, they're extremely inflexible and are generally outclassed by conventional shotguns.

 

Accurate weapons have flitted in and out of "overpowered", and I honestly can't think of any ways to really solve this problem.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ripper guns are broken in the hands of smart and resourceful players (so the ones who take Bulging Biceps). I have some experience with them, and all i can say is that the ripper gun hard-counters every opponent sans the high-end Elites and Masters.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The ripper gun is considerably better against Hordes (assuming those are being used; I realize that they are not in RAW Only War).

 

And also doubles as a melee combat weapon.

Edited by bogi_khaosa

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...