omnipus
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Re: Ammo Dice...why?

Fri 04 Dec 2020, 22:16

The core problem rears itself again.

1) some people (a fairly large group, it seems) want every individual bullet to count and be counted.
2) doing that means that now any other value that is not strictly realistic ("why can't I fire the true mechanical ROF of my weapon??") is now subject to scrutiny.
3) it's also an extremely literalist approach, which means people are inclined to see hit results as literalist as well ("only one bullet hit") rather than trying to interpret the results in a storyful way.

I don't really have solutions to this. It's always going to present a mismatch for some peoples' minds.
 
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Vader
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Re: Ammo Dice...why?

Fri 04 Dec 2020, 22:41

I think your analysis is correct. I believe part of the reason why this is causing a disconnect in some people's minds (mine, among them) is that the ammo capacity of the weapons listed in the game is their true ammo capacity, not an abstract representation of it.

Which means that if I in a tactical situation need or want to fire a single shot out of a 10-round magazine, my intuitive expectation is that the system should allow me to do so, and leave me with 9 rounds afterwards.
Likewise, if I fire three-round bursts from a 30-round magazine, I would expect to be able to do that about ten times before the magazine runs out.
Not to mention, if I fire a single three-round burst, I'd expect to be able to land anywhere between zero and three solid hits with it!

If the effect, and therefore the bullets spent, in reality are a slightly amorphous abstraction, then it makes no sense for the weapon listings to show actual magazine capacities.

The corollary being, if the weapon stats show actual magazine capacities, it makes no sense for the system to not allow tracking individual rounds when doing so is called for. Which it might not always be ... but sometimes will.
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Vader
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Re: Ammo Dice...why?

Fri 04 Dec 2020, 22:55

I think the idea is that if your attack missed (because target moved slightly or something), your extra burst (i.e. ammo dice) will go the same way and also miss because those bulles go the same way as the first aimed bullets did or even a little bit more off due to some loss of the aim when shooting more bullets (because of many reasons, recoil perhaps).

The problem with that is that since the bullets aren't going "hole-in-hole", but will spread — due to recoil and whatnot — so if the first bullets miss because the target moved, sending more bullets in that general direction will increase the probability of at least one bullet hitting.

The "off" may be even more off from the target, certainly — but it may also be "off" in the same direction the target moved!
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omnipus
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Re: Ammo Dice...why?

Sat 05 Dec 2020, 00:49

Again, thinking in terms of individual bullets is going to continue to frustrate you. Free yourself from that limitation and it seems to work out.

I expect a single-shot rule will be coming. Other than that omission, I find this system is much more straightforward and playable than that of past Twilight editions, by a mile. In all mentions of desirable realism, everyone seems to have forgotten that T2K 1E used artificially compressed ammo capacities and had weapons with only *5* stats. (I can imagine the uproar today! How ludicrous that I don't have the freedom to track exactly 30 rounds, and 1 in the chamber!)

Meanwhile every vehicle in the game had its own hit fairly opaque location chart, 8 armor facings, you were expected to track damage for each limb of a body individually (even for NPCs, IIRC), damage points always soaked up crits until the same exact point every time, etc.

Games have in general come a long way since then, but owing largely to carefully honed abstraction. Start messing with it too much and you defeat the point, which is a faster-moving and more enjoyable game.
 
Morticanis
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Re: Ammo Dice...why?

Sat 05 Dec 2020, 01:19


The M16 had a ROF of 4 "shots." Each "shot" was actually 3 rounds, and the magazine capacity was correspondingly reduced to 10 instead of 30. There was no option to fire just one round from that weapon, or from many others. See: "a shot is usually a burst of 3 rounds." Neither is this related to the 3-round burst setting on the M16A2; you get the same thing with e.g. the Sterling SMG, which had no 3-round burst setting. The authors decided that on average you would squeeze out a 3-round burst and made the chart accordingly.

In the ammo dice model, you have a mag capacity of 30 and you throw an ammo die, which on average equates to bursts of 3 - 4 rounds. It's more or less the same thing, but with an element of randomness that reflects the idea that you are throwing dice not only to hit but also to determine how many rounds it took you to get the result.


That's true, but everything was scaled to the 3-rounds-per-shot model. The perception was that a single "shot" created a single hit. When I reloaded a 10 "shot" magazine, I only used 10 rounds...because even the ammo was "sold" in "shots".



That left players with a "one for one" feeling. I take one shot - regardless of how many rounds it actually was - and I get one hit (or the opportunity for one hit). My RoF allowed me to fire up to four "shots" for up to four hits...

This system doesn't do that. As Vader correctly points out, we have half of the system being literal, and half of it being figurative. Your one shot MIGHT be one shot (Which may cause a mishap)...or it might be 6 shots..which means you hit twice...maybe.

In all mentions of desirable realism, everyone seems to have forgotten that T2K 1E used artificially compressed ammo capacities and had weapons with only *5* stats.

There were other stats in the descriptions...


I don't need every bullet counted. I don't imagine for one second that in a firefight most people have great trigger discipline...

That said, we're not dealing with green "boots"...these are now hardened combat vets who have seen active conflict for over a year (since late 1998). They understand their supply problem, and they are not going to be operating under the impression that unlimited ammunition is available. Trigger discipline will be higher...

...except that the system doesn't allow for it.

This isn't really a war game...it's a survival game. The infrastructure required to prosecute a war is gone. the command and control elements are gone. The supply lines are gone. The country is picked over, and post-apocalypse scenarios are now being played out. Anyone who has survived until now is either really lucky, or a hardened veteran who is probably capable a taking a single shot with his rifle without the need to expend up to 6 rounds to do so...

Our players are going to be miserly counting ammo for the foreseeable future...why is there a mechanic that almost forces excessive ammo use?
 
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Re: Ammo Dice...why?

Sat 05 Dec 2020, 02:06

That said, we're not dealing with green "boots"...these are now hardened combat vets who have seen active conflict for over a year (since late 1998). They understand their supply problem, and they are not going to be operating under the impression that unlimited ammunition is available. Trigger discipline will be higher...

...except that the system doesn't allow for it.
Using one ammo die is trigger discipline. Soldiers are not trained to take a single shot and then wait. They are trained to shoot at the target until it goes down: double-tap - pause - double tap - pause - etc. If you have a ten-second combat round you will be firing more than one shot.

Now might be a good time to point out that a player using one ammo die is actually using less ammo than a player firing one "shot" per round in 1E. Firing one shot per combat round in 1E expends 3 rounds of ammunition for each 5-second combat round. A player using one ammo die in this system expends a maximum of 6 rounds of ammunition in one ten-second combat round. So most of the time, you are actually using less ammunition per unit time in this system.

What people are complaining about, profligate ammo use and a lack of trigger discipline, is actually a complaint about the loss of control over exactly how much ammunition is expended. You are rolling not only to hit but also for how much ammo was consumed achieving that hit. This offends people because standard RPG mechanics have a certain roll to hit, which is a function of character skill, and therefore the amount of ammo consumed per hit is also a function of skill. When you achieve a hit, your character magically knows this to be so and stops firing, so you have efficient use of ammo.

But in the real world, you may hit without knowing you have hit, and fire again. You may mentally commit to a shot that's unnecessary and take the shot even as the target is falling. You may fire at a falling person thinking he is diving for cover. You don't have efficient use of ammunition. You don't commit to firing exactly three shots; you commit to a rate of fire. So in a sense, the ammo dice concept in some ways may more accurately model ammo expenditure.

The idea of firing exactly three shots is game thinking, not real-world thinking: an attempt to balance resource expenditure with goals within a system of precisely delineated probabilities. The complaint about ammo dice, stripped to its core, is a complaint that the system has randomized that expenditure and robbed the player of that control and precision.

This system has a lot going for it. Suppression works very well. It models suppressive fire in a way that supports fire and movement, which other games do not. It is quick and simple. Certainly, it has flaws: mishaps are too common and serious, to choose the most obvious example. But the rate of ammo expenditure really is not one of those flaws.
 
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Re: Ammo Dice...why?

Sat 05 Dec 2020, 02:07

Can't really see the point of changing the system from one abstract to another. The average number of bullets you shoot in a burst is 3.5 (so that would be on par with 1e then i guess). To have a random number of shots per burst, will also give a little bit of a thrill. FL have other games (more abstract) where there is a thrill when you shoot if you need to reload after the fire or not. A little bit cinematic I know (I don't mind that). I really hope they don't change it.

Regarding the single shot rule. We don't actually know what that would be like (or even if), just some loose words that the idea that they had was connected to aiming, sniping or something like that. I do think they will add such a rule again and it will be quite a straight-forward one. Personally it would be ok to connect it with slow action aiming (regardless if using telescoping sight or just iron sight). Doing it that way, the bonus would be that you only use one bullet, the bonus with using ROF instead (and thus using 3.5 bullets on the average) is that the aim is faster.

They could add an extra rule that those weapons that have a 3-bullet burst fire mode, can, if using it, use that instead of looking at the ammo dice number. That could be a thing.
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omnipus
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Re: Ammo Dice...why?

Sat 05 Dec 2020, 02:39

I don't like that, either. It once again goes back to this idea that characters have perfect control, which is a totally false conception. If you have a burst weapon and can otherwise satisfy whatever the requirements of the single-shot rule are, then sure, maybe - 3 bullets and 3 bullets only. Otherwise, no. A burst weapon is effectively just a semi-auto weapon that happens to fire more bullets.
 
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Vader
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Re: Ammo Dice...why?

Sat 05 Dec 2020, 03:06

I actually agree with pretty much everything you fellows are saying.
It just that while there are situations where control of ammo expenditure is far from perfect even for someone with skills and experience, there are also situations where it is close to it, and specific ones where it is absolute.
I feel that optimally, the game should reflect this dynamic.

But I agree with fenhorn in that given that FL re-introduce a single-shot rule in some reasonably easy and straightforward form, the system should be okay. Anything (if anything) I still might find lacking should be possible to house-rule or otherwise fix at the table.

The present system is far from broken in my opinion, it’s just slightly wonky. Nothing that can’t be fixed.
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omnipus
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Re: Ammo Dice...why?

Sat 05 Dec 2020, 03:41

Here is my big issue with the ammo dice as currently implemented: the only way to get a positive result from an ammo die also, by definition, expends 6 bullets.

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