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MegaTraveller Discuss of the MegaTraveller ruleset and the Rebellion Milieu

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  #1  
Old March 17th, 2012, 02:45 AM
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Default Gunnery skill in Space Combat (probable errata)

McPerth posted this question quite a while back, and it fell between the cracks.

Quote:
In MT RM (p 95) says: 'Gunnery skill (turret/bay, spinal or screens) may be used in place of computer DM or weapon table DM on the to hit and defensive tasks'.

Following this, some questions arise:

- So, if you have gunnery 4 and are on a ship with computer 1, you can use 4 as computer DM. If you're on a ship with computer 6, difference between a gunner with gunnery 0 and one with gunnery 6 is null.

- If your character with gunnery skill 1 is firing a factor 3 missile battery against a repulsor 5 equipped ship, can you use your skill 1 in place of the repulsor table DM (-6)? It seems me quite a powerful use of the skill...

- If your character with skill 3 fires a factor 5 meson bay against a meson screen 4 equipped ship whose operator has skill 5, what's the DM? +3 (firer's skill)? -4 (table's DM)? -5 (defender’s skill)?, -2 (firer's skill - defender’s skill)? (after all, it's a confrontation task, but in this case, even having a defender more skilled than the firers, it's easier to penetrate it). Also, in this last case, having a factor T meson spinal or having a factor 5 meson bay makes no difference on its ability to penetrate screens...
Seems overpowered to me... thoughts?
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Old March 17th, 2012, 11:37 AM
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Well, part of the problem is simply that realistically, it's hard to have gunnery skill matter much. You could try adding the gunnery skill as an additional DM, but then you'd need to have another to counter it. (The defender's pilot's pilot skill?) Replacing the penetration DM is obviously not good, but maybe they mean the DM to hit from the weapon's factor? That might work, although it makes gunnery skill unimportant for ships with good computers and powerful batteries.
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Old March 18th, 2012, 06:27 AM
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I can agree that with good computers most of the weapon firing in starships would be mainly by computer work, but that would make Gunnery skill nearly useless, and, frankly, as skills are the greatest asset characters have, I hate useless skills. In this sense, you could as well put an untrained guy to work your turret in your free trader, and he will do as good as one with turret gunnery skill 1 (I guess he wouldn't use its skill -4 instead of the computer modifier).

Even so, if you pitch your untrained gunner (so -4, or raising difficult level by one grade), with a single missile turret (factor 2) in a computer 6 equiped ship against a ship equiped with a repulsor 6 equiped ship, it would be worth to use your -4 skill instead of the -8 DM in the table, as rules are written. I guess we all agree this is not the spirit of the rules...

I guess Aramis has resumed all this in another thread about other aspects of MT starship combat:

Quote:
Originally Posted by aramis View Post
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Old March 18th, 2012, 10:10 PM
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Ok, if that sensor thread answers your question, I'll close out the Gunnery skill issue.
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Old March 19th, 2012, 05:22 AM
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No, it doesn't answer my question, only that I see the same problem Aramis said there, bad editing.

Anyway, I guess some way to use the skill should be defined, as the way it's written in the rules gives way to much abuse (as told above) or to usefulness of the skill.
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Old March 20th, 2012, 02:00 AM
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My preference would be to first remove the problem, and then after a discussion come up with a better rule. But first, we should all agree on the problem and what needs to be removed.
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Old March 20th, 2012, 02:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DonM View Post
My preference would be to first remove the problem, and then after a discussion come up with a better rule. But first, we should all agree on the problem and what needs to be removed.
The whole chapter is a problem... But that particular rule really isn't, tho' it probably should be (Int+Gunnery) or Computer.

After all, most gunners will be int 7, gunner 1, and be outclassed by a Model 2... the battery PO's are likely to be Gunnery 2 and int 10... and outclassed by the Model 4. The gunnery chiefs are usually going to be in the skill 4 range, and outclassed by the Model 6...

And most military ships carry Model 7+ computers.

The Gunnery skill isn't useless, tho'. It's also used for maintenance and repair tasks. Hence why those guys actually have the skill in the first place.
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Old March 20th, 2012, 07:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aramis View Post
The whole chapter is a problem... But that particular rule really isn't, tho' it probably should be (Int+Gunnery) or Computer.
I agree the whole chapter is a problem. As you will remember, I asked also about the general use of skills in space combat, as I also see Ship's Tactics use as abusive, given the size of the crews, Pilot use as problematic, etc... But I guess that's for other threads

Quote:
Originally Posted by aramis View Post
After all, most gunners will be int 7, gunner 1, and be outclassed by a Model 2... the battery PO's are likely to be Gunnery 2 and int 10... and outclassed by the Model 4. The gunnery chiefs are usually going to be in the skill 4 range, and outclassed by the Model 6...
As I see the rule Gunnery skill (turret/bay, spinal or screens) may be used in place of computer DM or weapon table DM on the to hit and defensive tasks, I always understood it as Gunnery skill, not modifier, so I never featured int modifier into it. I guess that's a matter of interpretation.

As you say, its use in place of computer DM is not problematic, though, as it's plain and clear, if your computer is superior, let it do the work.

The main problem is when its used Gunnery skill (turret/bay, spinal or screens) may be used in place of (...)or weapon table DM on the to hit and defensive tasks. Here, moslty on the latter part (defensive tasks) is where I see the main problem, as points 2 and 3 of the quote DonM gives us in its initial post show.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aramis View Post
The Gunnery skill isn't useless, tho'. It's also used for maintenance and repair tasks. Hence why those guys actually have the skill in the first place.
While I see logic in what you say here, I don't see that reflected in the rules:

PM page35:

Gunnery is a specific naval skill in the operation and use of one of the several types of starship armament.

I see no reference here to maintenance and repair. As skills are described, this will be handled by mechanics (non energy weapons, so missiles and sancasters) or electronics (lasers and energy weapons). As I read it, nowhere says those uses of Mechanic or Electronics are limited to personal weapons, so I understand it also referes to vehicle/starship weaponry
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Last edited by McPerth; February 19th, 2013 at 12:42 PM.. Reason: typos
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  #9  
Old March 20th, 2012, 08:28 PM
E.D.Quibell E.D.Quibell is offline
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Use Gunnery in place of Computer DM, and dump the "or weapon table DM".

That way skilled gunners in PC type ships can have an affect on play, but it makes no difference to fleet actions.

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Old March 24th, 2012, 06:12 AM
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Of course smaller ships will usually have smaller computers, and ships computer capability can be degraded by combat (in most versions of the rules), so Gunnery skill will be more useful on smaller and combat damaged ships.

It seems to me that Gunnery skill models a reality in which Merchant ships need good gunners more than Naval ships do, because the Naval ships have such good computers.

It reminds me of how Thorby Baslim went from a firecontrolman on the merchant ship Sisu, to a gunnery crewman on the the Hegemonic Naval ship in Heinlein's 'Citizen of the Galaxy.'

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