Citizens of the Imperium

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-   -   General Armor and Weapons As Mustering Out Benefits (http://www.travellerrpg.com/CotI/Discuss/showthread.php?t=39978)

nobby-w September 26th, 2019 02:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by AnotherDilbert (Post 607028)
[ . . . ]
Gauss rifles are meant to fight combat armour and battle dress:


ACRs are meant to fight cloth-type armour:

Are you trying to argue that gauss rifles are not overpowered because they're intended to be used against armoured targets?

In both CT and Striker, weapons intended for use against armoured targets tend to be insta-kill against targets not wearing heavy armour. The RAW for both systems largely conflate armour penetration ability with damage and don't really accommodate armour piercing rounds that don't necessarily do lots of damage when they hit. This is one of the key balance issues with the systems.

Here are some probabilities - Assume a protagonist armed with a gauss rifle firing at a target wearing cloth armour. Skill 2, no dex mods, effective range. Death=9D house rule.
RollHitsAv. Dam
200
3119.8 (5.67D)
4119.8 (5.67D)
5239.7 (11.33D)
6239.7 (11.33D)
7359.5 (17D)
8359.5 (17D)
9479.3 (22.6D)
10479.3 (22.6D)
11599.1 (28.33D)
12599.1 (28.33D)

The average is 54.8 damage and a near 100% chance of at least one hit. The average damage is about 2.5x the hit points of an average traveller character and the defender would need defensive DMS of -4 or better from cover or evasion for the average outcome to be less than a 1-shot kill. The effective range for a Gauss rifle under the Striker RAW is 600m. The stats for book 1/4 are just as bad if not worse.

I'm not making any arguments about in-game concepts or who might use what weapons in what context. This is purely a critique of the mechanics taken from the POV of a typical campaign based around a bunch of yobs in a scout ship. There are significant balance issues in the RAW and I don't see that the argument you've put forward refutes this.

AnotherDilbert September 26th, 2019 03:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by nobby-w (Post 607044)
Quote:

Originally Posted by AnotherDilbert (Post 607028)
Gauss rifles are meant to fight combat armour and battle dress:

ACRs are meant to fight cloth-type armour:

Are you trying to argue that gauss rifles are not overpowered because they're intended to be used against armoured targets?

Yes.

As I tried to point out the Gauss rifle is used on the battlefield together with and against combat armour and battle dress.

The ACR is used together with and against CES.

Evaluating a TL-12 Gauss rifle based on its performance against TL-6 cloth armour isn't relevant.

So the relevant comparison is an ACR vs. CES compared with a Gauss rifle vs. Combat Armour. I haven't bothered doing the calculations.

I did similar calculations for the humble auto-rifle and promptly abandoned the LBB2 combat system as unworkable.

AnotherDilbert September 26th, 2019 06:53 PM

Sorry, I missed the most important part of your post.

Quote:

Originally Posted by nobby-w (Post 607044)
I'm not making any arguments about in-game concepts or who might use what weapons in what context. This is purely a critique of the mechanics taken from the POV of a typical campaign based around a bunch of yobs in a scout ship. There are significant balance issues in the RAW and I don't see that the argument you've put forward refutes this.

I quite agree, but that is already true for an auto-rifle, or basically any other automatic weapon.

That is why I abandoned the LBB2 system and used Striker instead.

nobby-w September 26th, 2019 09:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by AnotherDilbert (Post 607050)
[ . . . ]
That is why I abandoned the LBB2 system and used Striker instead.

Striker still has balance issues of this sort - the example above was from Striker. I used Striker for much the same reasons as you describe, but the Integration with Traveller RAW still need quite a bit of nerfing. Combinations like gauss rifles and cloth armour are much more typical of adventurers than (say) combat armour and I've seen loads of attacks doing 24, 30, 36D of damage without the player necessarily rolling outlandishly high. Even the humble shotgun is pretty frightening under Striker RAW, not to mention the autoshotgun.

In practice, I did a fair bit of nerfing to re-balance - trimming dex mods to +1, trimming autofire bonuses a bit, capping positive DMs on the personal wound table to half the weapon's penetration for armour piercing rounds, enhancing evasion and cover bonuses and so forth. I also added a richer set of rules for getting surprise and using tactics and recon skill to improve the effects of evasion, cover and initiative.

The resulting balance, although an improvement, is still pretty lethal. The ability to score multiple hits and wide variation in the possible damage makes even the lowliest of small arms a potential one-shot kill. One still has to be circumspect about what you equip antagonists with unless you want your party to spend a lot of time rolling new characters.

AnotherDilbert September 26th, 2019 10:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by nobby-w (Post 607051)
Striker still has balance issues of this sort - the example above was from Striker. I used Striker for much the same reasons as you describe, but the Integration with Traveller RAW still need quite a bit of nerfing.

I was quite liberal with cover and concealment DMs. I reckoned anyone standing around in the open in a firefight deserved whatever they got.

Keeping the fire out of effective range decreases lethality. If the players like gauss rifles too much engage them from extended range with lasers.

The occasional enemy with better combat armour (hence more or less immune to gauss rifles) can also make the players look for diversified weapons capabilities.

But, yes, combat tended to be quite dangerous, so was something to be avoided...

Condottiere September 28th, 2019 04:26 AM

At default, gauss rifles are meant as solutions to what current personnel protective gear then available.

You could use cheaper darts to deal with anticipated unarmoured opposition, which includes the benefit of being lighter and smaller.

whartung September 30th, 2019 01:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by AnotherDilbert (Post 607028)
Why would anyone bother to use hi-tech gauss weapons to mow down unarmoured troops (or more likely civilians?) when low tech machine guns are much more effective?

Run what you brung.

As they say, "if you're expecting trouble, bring a rifle". Why would you not want the most effective tool available in a situation like this.

I just don't see folks saying "I don't expect THAT much trouble" to bring something less, when all things considered, it's ergonomically not that much different from the lesser rifles. It's not like deciding to take a common rifle vs a belt fed machine gun.

Plus there's simply manual of arms, familiarity, etc. Use what you know.

By this time, there are billions of GRs scattered hither and yon across the imperium. Unless the local infrastructure simply can't support them (magazines break, can't be recharged, ammo is only made on that ONE world that's the Imperial Armory), I'd expect to find them everywhere that has contact with Imperial travelers.

AnotherDilbert September 30th, 2019 05:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by whartung (Post 607139)
Run what you brung.

As they say, "if you're expecting trouble, bring a rifle". Why would you not want the most effective tool available in a situation like this.

Even easier to mount a MG on your vehicle.

A rifle is a good compromise, but only really optimal at medium range. Indoors you probably want a shorter weapon. In space you want a recoilless weapon.

Since a gauss rifle would be banned more or less anywhere with a measurable law level, you can't expect to be able to carry them outside of wilderness, or possibly the starport. A hunting rifle or shotgun is much more likely to be legal, if perhaps a bit conspicuous in startown...

An SMG is more convenient to carry, and a handgun much more convenient. A weapon you actually brought is much better than an inconvenient weapon you didn't bring.

If you really expect trouble you may want heavier weapons...


Quote:

Originally Posted by whartung (Post 607139)
By this time, there are billions of GRs scattered hither and yon across the imperium. Unless the local infrastructure simply can't support them (magazines break, can't be recharged, ammo is only made on that ONE world that's the Imperial Armory), I'd expect to find them everywhere that has contact with Imperial travelers.

Agreed, there will be piles of surplus gauss rifles available, just as there will be piles of surplus laser rifles, ACRs, and assault rifles from lower tech worlds.

And Travellers will probably prefer gauss weapons since they are measurably (slightly) better. Unless they expect to use them in space.

But that also means that they and their enemies really will want to find some reasonable armour. Running around naked in a high-tech firefight is not advisable. I expect there will be reasonably armoured surplus high-tech vacc suits available from the same Imperial sources.

And when everyone has armour you haven't changed much except created a little bit of power inflation in the game.

But if the players insist on carrying gauss rifles everywhere they can, I wouldn't try to stop them, just make sure the opposition is also reasonably armed.

CaptRet October 3rd, 2019 11:23 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by AnotherDilbert (Post 607150)
Even easier to mount a MG on your vehicle.

A rifle is a good compromise, but only really optimal at medium range. Indoors you probably want a shorter weapon. In space you want a recoilless weapon.

Since a gauss rifle would be banned more or less anywhere with a measurable law level, you can't expect to be able to carry them outside of wilderness, or possibly the starport. A hunting rifle or shotgun is much more likely to be legal, if perhaps a bit conspicuous in startown...

An SMG is more convenient to carry, and a handgun much more convenient. A weapon you actually brought is much better than an inconvenient weapon you didn't bring.

If you really expect trouble you may want heavier weapons...



Agreed, there will be piles of surplus gauss rifles available, just as there will be piles of surplus laser rifles, ACRs, and assault rifles from lower tech worlds.

And Travellers will probably prefer gauss weapons since they are measurably (slightly) better. Unless they expect to use them in space.

But that also means that they and their enemies really will want to find some reasonable armour. Running around naked in a high-tech firefight is not advisable. I expect there will be reasonably armoured surplus high-tech vacc suits available from the same Imperial sources.

And when everyone has armour you haven't changed much except created a little bit of power inflation in the game.

But if the players insist on carrying gauss rifles everywhere they can, I wouldn't try to stop them, just make sure the opposition is also reasonably armed.

The heavier vacc suit is a good way around armor restrictions and law levels - while combat armor is definitely military in nature and you could fall afoul of the local gendarmerie, even a boarding vacc suit is ultimately a vacc suit (just happens to have armor that puts it in the class of lower tech level combat armor). "This officer ? Why it's my vacc suit - very protective from radiation, don't you know." Of course, there will be many situations where a vacc suit would be inappropriate (can't really see one strolling down the high street in a highly popluated, strict law level metropolis). But out in boonies ...


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