Butschi
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Vulcan Carbine vs Accelerator Rifle and normal + quick vs automatic fire

Thu 17 Sep 2020, 13:45

Hi fellow GMs,

in my group I have one of the pesky Power Gamers / Min-Maxers / whatever you like to call them. If possible he uses accelerator weapons and always does a normal plus a quick shot during combat. That makes for rather boring combat. Thing is, after having done the calculations myself I can't really blame him.

Accelerator weapons are always better than Vulcan weapons. Compare the Accelerator Rifle to ubiquitous Vulcan Carbine. For the same price you get Crit 1 instead of 2 (huge!!), armor piercing and extreme range (vs short range). There is no downside to it. Vulcan Carbines have Automatic Fire. But since they are only effective at short range it is always better to do a normal plus a quick shot instead of automatic fire which is a slow action and usually ends with having to reload. If you want to attack multiple targets, yes, normal + quick only lets you attack two enemies. But for that you get much increased changes to roll a crit on both (because, of course Crit 1). And there is always the possibility to do 3 quick shots (reload, too). You can't do normal + quick on long range but then again, a Vulcan Carbine gets -3 for outside weapon range, anyway.

Btw. even with Vulcan Carbine normal + quick is usually better than automatic fire...

Am I missing something here? Lore-wise, a carbine should be better on short range and also the rulebook says accelerator weapons are not really suitable for military uses. But that is simply not true. I find it kind of said that there are so many options in combat of which one is the go-to option that is always better than the others...
 
Konungr
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Re: Vulcan Carbine vs Accelerator Rifle and normal + quick vs automatic fire

Sat 19 Sep 2020, 14:05

If you check out the art Accelerator weapons are much larger and thus much harder to conceal on your person. Many areas don't allow people to walk around fully armed. Maybe allowing a side arm? And even then maybe you need to conceal your weapons. Accel Weapons are almost impossible to conceal.

Beyond that, ammunition for Accel weapons can be harder to get a hold of. The maintenance on them more difficult. Accel weapons require power cells. Vulcan do not.

Yes, they out perform vulcans. But that doesn't make them the best weapon for every situation and it doesn't mean your players should be slinging them around at all time.
 
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Rymdhamster
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Re: Vulcan Carbine vs Accelerator Rifle and normal + quick vs automatic fire

Sat 19 Sep 2020, 15:11

Also remember the special ammunition options for vulcans. The pure rules for them aren't super sexy, but as a GM I'd deffinatly allow creative use of those types of ammo based on their descriptions.

And just the basic vulcan ammo is still explosive, which I'd deffinatley take in to account. Excellent for destroying "stuff" where an acc-gun would just poke a tiny hole.

But I guess the main problem will all these things is that they are almost "pure lore" with very little represantion in the rules. So for a power gamer, they might as well not exist unless the GM acctually makes them part of the game.
Last edited by Rymdhamster on Mon 21 Sep 2020, 18:19, edited 1 time in total.
 
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jerichojeudy
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Re: Vulcan Carbine vs Accelerator Rifle and normal + quick vs automatic fire

Mon 21 Sep 2020, 14:38

True, the explosive effect of Vulcan rounds could be HR to damage cover (and armour?)
I'd have to think about that mechanically, but tone wise, it would allow for those scenes where walls are being shredded, and even cement columns get eaten away by gunfire.
 
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Rymdhamster
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Re: Vulcan Carbine vs Accelerator Rifle and normal + quick vs automatic fire

Mon 21 Sep 2020, 18:24

True, the explosive effect of Vulcan rounds could be HR to damage cover (and armour?)
And also stuff like computers maybe. Shoot a computer with an acc-rifle and it might stop working, but the actual damage will be very limited and quickly repaired. Shoot it with a Vulcan and there will only be debrie left afterwards.

Acutally, shooting some one in a space suit would be a very relevant situation. With an acc-rifle, the target could probably just squeeze the hole shut with the fingers (assuming they are still alive an concsious). But if they are shot by a vuclan there's not much suit left.
 
Crone
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Re: Vulcan Carbine vs Accelerator Rifle and normal + quick vs automatic fire

Wed 23 Sep 2020, 09:40

We use a houserule to make a bigger difference between Acc and Vulcan weapons. As someone said, Acc weapon are Cell-based and Vulcans are not so we decided to make a rule that Vulcans can have different types of ammo like "homing ammo" which the Martyr Commandos use in Emissary Lost which gives you a +2. Acc-weapons can not.

Also I made several changes to the talent system (and skills, cybernetics etc) to match the mystic powers presented in Emissary Lost. They all come in levels as in Forbiddenlands and I added a few, like "Automatic fire" which makes it more interesting using that ability of a weapon.

If im not mistaken i think the rules says vulcan weapons damage dark matter due to its explosive ammo and acc doesnt.
 
Butschi
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Re: Vulcan Carbine vs Accelerator Rifle and normal + quick vs automatic fire

Tue 29 Sep 2020, 21:17

so we decided to make a rule that Vulcans can have different types of ammo like "homing ammo" which the Martyr Commandos use in Emissary Lost which gives you a +2. Acc-weapons can not.
Ammo options for Vulcan weapons are an interesting point I hadn't really considered. The thing is: even +2 on RC are not really enough. Assuming I did the calculations correctly (which is by no means guaranteed...):

Let's say a character has Ranged Combat of 8 (AGI + Skill) and does a normal plus a quick attack, the probability to get a Crit with an Acc. Rifle is 64%. A Crit has a very high chance of removing the target from the battle, at least for a turn or two, which is often enough. So as long as the target doesn't have enough armor to reliably reduce the damage to zero, weapon damage doesn't really matter - even AC 10 only reduces the Crit probability only to 55%.

With a Vulcan Carbine (same price as the Acc. Rifle...) your Crit chance (normal + quick) is only 26%. Getting +2 from ammo increases the Crit chance to 40% but that's it.

The way I see it, the Acc. Rifle alone is not the problem. The main problem is the ability to do two attacks in one turn. This also makes other attack modes irrelevant: Within Short Range (and even the offical scenarios usually have combat at short range or close enough to be within short range in one or two movement actions) there is absolutely zero point in doing an aimed shot. With the example above, your chance to crit with an Acc. Rifle is only 57% with an aimed shot (and btw. only 86% to hit vs 94% with normal+quick). Automatic fire, too, is rougly on par with normal + quick (although for a Crit 2 weapon it improves the chances to Crit somewhat) but at the price of probably having to reload next turn.

So I currently think it might be best to just make a house rule that says only one attack per weapon per turn. Lore-wise this would make sense for acc. weapons: They are supposed to have a low rate of fire. So why not have acc. weapons needing to reload the accelerator coils or whatever which only allows the to shoot once per turn. aimed, normal or quick is a matter of aiming so it doesn't matter which attack mode to use but you only get one. That still makes acc. weapons specialized Crit weapons but they are not the go-to weapon in each and every situation and an aimed shot is suddenly a sensible option.
 
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Rymdhamster
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Re: Vulcan Carbine vs Accelerator Rifle and normal + quick vs automatic fire

Tue 29 Sep 2020, 21:39

Feels like many games do the "only one attack action per turn" thing, so it feels like it should work fine.
 
Crone
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Re: Vulcan Carbine vs Accelerator Rifle and normal + quick vs automatic fire

Wed 30 Sep 2020, 19:21

I think I will add "Only one attack/round for rifles" to the house rules. Acc-pistols i think should be able to fire more than once/round.
I have addes the talent Ambidextrious so you can wield to guns or swords for example. At hight lvls of the talen you get extra AP for the secondary weapon you have which means you can have to acc-pistols and do two normal attack or four fast attacks (Costs 4 AP, two for each weapon).

Two other experiences we have made is that even if you have around 10 dice to roll for an attack or skill the PC:s pretty often fail. Thats why we also think that armor is underpowered. So one sollution to the acc-problem could be to make armors better... dont know,.
 
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jerichojeudy
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Re: Vulcan Carbine vs Accelerator Rifle and normal + quick vs automatic fire

Thu 01 Oct 2020, 15:47

So I currently think it might be best to just make a house rule that says only one attack per weapon per turn. Lore-wise this would make sense for acc. weapons: They are supposed to have a low rate of fire. So why not have acc. weapons needing to reload the accelerator coils or whatever which only allows the to shoot once per turn. aimed, normal or quick is a matter of aiming so it doesn't matter which attack mode to use but you only get one. That still makes acc. weapons specialized Crit weapons but they are not the go-to weapon in each and every situation and an aimed shot is suddenly a sensible option.
I think I would allow multiple shots, since the only problem here is the Acc. Weapons, not the combat system as a whole.
Hear me out on this. :)

1- To fix Acc. Weapon imbalance, I really like the idea of making them Single shot, because of a delay time of energy building up between shots or something. An alternative solution would be to make Vulcan Weapons deliver 1 more point of base Damage across the board. Also, we must remember that many Acc. are armour piercing, which causes less damage againts unarmored targets, if I remember correctly.

2- To fix the Normal shot - Quick shot combo, the first solution is really on the GM - make enemies mobile, don't let them get pummeled by enemy fire and just stand there. Have them at minimum drop prone, making them harder to hit, and typically, they would drop prone behind cover. This, combined with a HR that lets Vulcan rounds possibly destroy cover, could really even the field between Acc and Vulcan. Maybe let extra successes be used to destroy cover? Or even give the choice to apply damage to the cover instead of the target?

Since your problem here is only this one player spamming the Normal-Quick combo, that's what you need to adress directly, and maybe you don't need that much of a rules change after all. Your power player is really predictable. Have enemies outwit him. And I don't know how your firefights go, but at short range, either you have really good cover, or you flee, or you rush the shooter and engage in close combat. You never stand there and just shoot back.

Lastly, use the assist rules to have groups of enemies pick off the power player, since he really is the main threat. Or maybe use extra successes to disarm him, then when he picks up the weapon, use a few DP to make the weapon malfunction for the rest of the fight. You can also have enemies use suppressive fire on him to make his MP go down. Its a "safe" way of making the player stress out without actually beating his character to pulp. Because remember, always root for your players! We GMs are there to give them challenges that they can overcome with gusto, or not. We're here for the drama and the suspense before anything else.

In conclusion though, the most important part is have a chat with the player out of game about this. Tell him you've thought about how enemies should react to firepower, and that you were playing them not as tactical as you should have, and that he should expect the next fights to be much tougher, with enemies being much more tactical. He needs to know that you're not suddenly picking on him for no good reason.

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