welsh
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Re: Ammo Dice...why?

Sun 06 Dec 2020, 16:30

welsh, can we be best friends? :D
Well, okay, but I'm not accepting any marriage proposals....
 
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Vader
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Re: Ammo Dice...why?

Sun 06 Dec 2020, 19:09

No, it still really does not.

Stop thinking about it as shots, in any kind of order, and start thinking in terms of "here are the attacks I made in a 5-10 second period." That could be a couple shots, it could be a lot of shots, it could be a full auto Rambo rampage, it could be a snapshot here and another one a second later and so on and so on.

Your attempt at hitting the enemy either generally succeeds, or it does not. If it doesn't, it might still be close to enough to suppress through firepower alone -- that's what ammo dice represent, among other things. But there is no "shot" separate from ammo dice, just as there is no ammo dice separate from the overall attack. Thinking of them separately does no good, because they are inseparable.

But that's just my point — they should be inseparable. It should just be a single integrated attack resolution, albeit with a variety of dice, where you also decide upon your volume of fire in order to optimise your potential effect, not one roll to say if you hit or not, and then another totally separate one that determines how many bullets hit, irrespective of everything else. But that's the way it works now. The Ammo Dice are separate from the overall attack, because they affect no other part of it than how many rounds hit!
Them not being integrated shows in that you can, as we've noted, lay down any amount of fire you like without it having the slightest effect on whether or not you hit your target, and conversely, that the only way you could ever hit a target with two bullets in a 5-10 period is if you come out of it with at least six rounds less in your magazine.

The suppression part of the mechanic works the a dream, but the hit part of it, is ... wonky, to me. Obviously fixable I'm sure, but currently ... wonky.


But let's think about it for a sec: what concrete factors affect hit probability?

Shooter skill. The purely physical accuracy of the system used (weapon, ammunition, sights). Range. Target size. Target movement. Ambient conditions (light, visibility). Etcetera — the list can be made much longer.
Out of all these factors though, if you let the others remain constant, and just alter a single one of them, then that will in itself also affect hit probability — it'll make it easier or more difficult to hit the target. Shorten the range, and hit probability will increase. Make the target smaller, and hit probability will decrease. So on, so forth.
I hope we can all agree so far?

The question then becomes — should volume of fire be on the list?

If everything else is constant, and I fire three shots towards a target instead of one — or a single one instead of ten — will this affect my chances of scoring at least one hit?
In my world, there is no way this could not have an effect.


Or imagine this: I'm shooting towards a target with the aforementioned M61. It probably has twenty Ammo Dice... But even if I use every single one of them, it will not make one iota of a difference to my chances of hitting anything I shoot at with a single shell. To me, this is very ... counterintuitive.

Plus, I feel it removes player agency. I see the "here are the attacks you made in this 5-10s period" rationale, to my mind, inevitably having a number of potential adverse reactions ... "hey waitaminute — I said I wanted to do one double tap and then duck behind the cover again ... why did I spend six rounds?" Sure, it can be rationalised in a number of different ways; it's just that I see most of those ways coming across as various degrees of contrived. And they all come down to that it isn't the player deciding what his or her character does; it's the system, or in the best case, the GM.


And I might agree — I still wouldn't like it, but I could perhaps twist my head around enough to agree — if, if, the the magazine capacities all this counts against didn't list the actual, real-life number of shots that those weapons carry in their magazines.

But since they do, I really have problems counting off an abstract ammo consumption in concrete bullets.


But I still believe you and I do have a bit of common ground somewhere, omnipus.

The idea I had about allowing "two successes on the Ammo Dice count as one success on the Base Dice" on p.10 of this thread and yours about "after rolling all dice, the firing player may convert any TWO {bullet symbol} into ONE {target symbol} on their original target" on p.11 sound like they could do just about the same job.
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omnipus
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Re: Ammo Dice...why?

Mon 07 Dec 2020, 01:07

You're still thinking about it in terms of individual bullets hitting or not hitting, as literally described by the dice.

I'll just point out again that that's not the only way to think of it, and in my opinion, it is not the correct way. The narrative does need to reflect what is rolled on the dice (this is where your story of player agency falls short, because you came up with the story before rather than after seeing the dice!). The dice do not have to be strictly literal in that way. They do not prescribe one and only one way of telling a story.

Anyway, I end up landing where Ser Stevos is on this. Putting it to the test in a real-world setting (one that affects characters in a story, and isn't just a skirmish for the sake of it) is the most important.
 
XD229
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Re: Ammo Dice...why?

Mon 07 Dec 2020, 04:39

My current planned house rules to address some of these issues:
  1. Allow single shot, for any weapon with single or semi-auto mode, at - 1 to attack.
  2. For any weapon with 3-round burst mode, halve the number of expended rounds indicated on any ammo die.
  3. Give +1 to attack for every two ammo dice rolled.
Number 3 may be overkill, but I will have to try it and see how it goes.
 
omnipus
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Re: Ammo Dice...why?

Mon 07 Dec 2020, 07:08

Yeah, sounds pretty extreme. But test it, I guess!
 
welsh
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Re: Ammo Dice...why?

Mon 07 Dec 2020, 07:16

[*] For any weapon with 3-round burst mode, halve the number of expended rounds indicated on any ammo die.
This is already reflected in the max ROF.

A player who uses three ammo dice with an M16A1 is exercising discipline by using less than the full ROF of his weapon; a player who uses three ammo dice with an M16A2 is dumping out rounds as fast as he can. By halving his ammo expenditure, you make the M16A2 fire a maximum of 9 rounds in 10 seconds. A semi-auto can fire faster (see M9). You also privilege the second player by giving him an equal chance to suppress / score additional hits while using half the ammo. Is the M16A2 inherently twice as effective as the M16A1?

This will unbalance the game.
Give +1 to attack for every two ammo dice rolled.
More than one ammo die represents either (a) very quick fire from a semi-auto, or (b) bursts of automatic fire. Both are inherently inaccurate, yet you are giving a bonus to hit. Many people would like that house rule; people like getting hits. But I'm not sure it's really a good rule, in that it gives a bonus to hit to people who are doing a thing that makes them less likely to hit.
 
paladin2019
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Re: Ammo Dice...why?

Mon 07 Dec 2020, 09:33

Late to the party....

I like the ammo dice mechanic. Comments in no specific order.
  • A Rifleman shooting an M4 gets a +1 to the dice used in the attack. Does this affect the ammo count? A 5 gets pushed to bang, but is it 5 rounds or 6?
  • What is the so what of treating a sniper rifle or hunting rifle like a heavy weapon? Its ammo goes boom? It's generally the same stuff in a gimpy and that's unequivocally a heavy weapon.
  • The ammo dice mechanic represents small arms design for the last 80 years: volume of fire is king when attempting to score hits in combat. This is borne out by studies of engagements. Would you prefer 1e's shots=3 bullets mechanic?
  • Hunting is not combat. Ammo dice shouldn't apply and, arguably, neither should Ranged Combat. Survival should be the skill used. You still only get one shot, so either use enough gun or make sure you can get enough bangs to drop it.
 
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Re: Ammo Dice...why?

Mon 07 Dec 2020, 09:53

A Rifleman shooting an M4 gets a +1 to the dice used in the attack. Does this affect the ammo count? A 5 gets pushed to bang, but is it 5 rounds or 6?
All modifications are applied to the base dice by increasing or decreasing dice steps. The dice itself when rolled are never modified.

Hunting is not combat. Ammo dice shouldn't apply and, arguably, neither should Ranged Combat. Survival should be the skill used. You still only get one shot, so either use enough gun or make sure you can get enough bangs to drop it.
FL may add (hearsay) a single shot option in the rules. If so that would be what you use when hunting, unless you are some sort of nutty hillbilly and are hunting from the back of a pickup truck.
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paladin2019
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Re: Ammo Dice...why?

Mon 07 Dec 2020, 10:04

A Rifleman shooting an M4 gets a +1 to the dice used in the attack. Does this affect the ammo count? A 5 gets pushed to bang, but is it 5 rounds or 6?
All modifications are applied to the base dice by increasing or decreasing dice steps. The dice itself when rolled are never modified.
I must have missed this in the rules....
 
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Vader
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Re: Ammo Dice...why?

Mon 07 Dec 2020, 10:11

You're still thinking about it in terms of individual bullets hitting or not hitting, as literally described by the dice.

I can't argue with that — you're entirely correct; I do. And I'm not even arguing that there might not be alternative, and possibly even more appropriate, ways of thinking about it.

But for me, it comes down to what I said late on in my previous (hopefully not TL;DR) post: since the weapons' ammo capacities are the actual, real-world numbers, I have difficulty interpreting rounds counted off from them as anything else than the concrete, individual bullets as literally described by the dice.

But I also have a sneaking suspicion that given a tweak or two to the system, it should actually be possible to reconcile these views — to find a system that allows both perspectives.


  • Give +1 to attack for every two ammo dice rolled.

Agreed; this is probably too extreme, but as omnipus said: test it and see.
But if it indeed turns out to be overkill, you might test out my earlier idea: let two successes on Ammo Dice equal one success to Attack.


  • The ammo dice mechanic represents small arms design for the last 80 years: volume of fire is king when attempting to score hits in combat. This is borne out by studies of engagements.

Couldn't have said this better!
And to underscore: my beef with the system in its current form is that it doesn't reflect this. Currently, volume of fire affects the chance of scoring a hit in exactly no way whatsoever.

And no — the old "shot" mechanic drove me crazy back then. I've grown no fonder of it since.


But as Ser Stevos and omnipus already have said: let's continue testing — test the system as is, expose it to situations also a bit off the beaten path, try out our own hacks, and see how everything holds up.
I can't help but feel that while current Ammo Die system is great in many ways, bits of it are wonky. But clearly fixable, IMO.
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