joaoperru
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Xenomorph and Pulse Rifles

Mon 19 Oct 2020, 15:10

Good day to all of you!
I was wondering about the overrall real effectiveness of a badass weapon as a M41 Pulse Rifle against an Adult Xenomorph (Soldier for example) of 8 Hit Points and Armor 10.
Alien is a spectacular horror franchise, but especially in the second movie it has its badass moments with the characters everyone knows firing their signature weapons... Vasquez and her smartguin killing 3-4 aliens in a row before splashing good Drake with alien acid, or killing xenomorphs in the air ducts with the pulse rifle just before running dry of ammo... Hudson going rampage killing some aliens before being dragged through the floor etc.
The pulse rifle and smart gun seem effective weapons against the xenomorph. They fire big caliber armor piercing ammo. They halve alien armor and that's ok. From 10 to 5.
Now, let's take the pulse rifle.
I consider the character CARVALHO from destroyer of worlds. He has a Pulse rifle (+1), agility 4, ranged combat 3. Weapon specialist (+2) for a total of 10 dice. As an everage shot he hits, and does 2+1 damage in one round (with a little luck). The Alien rolls 5 dice for armor, with the average of 1 success, so it's hit for 2 damage. It takes 4 rounds to kill it. With full auto maybe one round less? mmm with the second success you can pin the bastard, and continue firing next round.... but hey...
Anyway a lot of time more than eveyone of us was used to watching the movie. A LOT more.
So please, help me to find where and if you can be more effective with serious ranged weapon fire, from a movie weapon in the hands of a professional soldier we can find as a premade character similar to those in the Aliens movie.
Or we have to consider that xenomorph are a bit different and even serious weapons are ineffective against them?
 
decanox
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Re: Xenomorph and Pulse Rifles

Mon 19 Oct 2020, 19:54

Hi Joao...

I think it's not impossible if we compare with the movies.

But first of all, I don't know if Vasquez and company are killing Alien soldiers or they are weaker drone or scouts. In my case, I don't know the physical difference between them, but I see in several games to kill a drone or a scout with a good shot (or two, maybe).

In any case, and since you talk about Destroyer of the Worlds, I can tell that the characters included are really badass-es. All of them have two talents instead of the typical one. Hammer, for example has 9 base dice for shooting (5 Agility + 4 ranged combat). Dante, who has a pulse rifle, has 8 base dice; if you apply the "weapon specialist" talent it would be 10 base dice. Then you can add +1 Pulse Rifle, +2 Autofire and +2 Aim... for 15 dice total.

So it's not so difficult to see a 7 hit result (of course with a bit of luck).

But anyway, I think it's not so difficult to leave an alien with 0 health but to really kill him. It's not strange to see a good hit that reduce an alien to 0 health, then roll in the alien critical injuries table and get only 1 or 2... That's the problem.
 
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Pandora Panorama
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Re: Xenomorph and Pulse Rifles

Mon 19 Oct 2020, 22:16

Exactly that - and you haven‘t even started to add Stress yet, so this would add another 5 dice or so.
Freedom sold us...
 
decanox
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Re: Xenomorph and Pulse Rifles

Tue 20 Oct 2020, 00:15

Yes! You can always repeat the roll if you don't like to improve damage (unless you rolled a 1 in a stress die).

And I forgot to tell another question:

I think Alien rpg is set more in the Alien background rather than Aliens background since you can play with roughnecks, scientists, kids... which are not focused in combat and xenomorphs and neomorphs are really tough in this context. Since the rules are the same for all the characters, a xenomorph can challenge a marine squad more in the way of "Alien".

Another question is making another game system inside the game like the pulp-action "Achtung Cthulhu" inside the defiant "The Call of Cthulhu". But, in my case, I like the way it is.

Finally, we can't forget armor in the case of marines. The M3 can stand against a xenomorph critical hit (in the Aliens movie, the characters are not so well defended).
 
joaoperru
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Re: Xenomorph and Pulse Rifles

Tue 20 Oct 2020, 01:37

According to the canon, the xenomorph encountered by the marines in the Reactor Room are Soldiers... which is the way James Cameron called "his" creature in the movie. They have the look and size of Tier 5 Aliens (ovomorph-facehugger-chestbuster-drone-soldier).
The movie "Aliens", even with its differences from the others in mood, scope and overall feeling, is obviosly 100% canon as we all know very well. And in my opinion is a very welcome canon, because it can sometimes shift the style of a campaign or story from a pure science fiction horror to an "action horror", changing the pace of the experience. And in that regard i dont really like much the "3 trained marines with serious weapons have chances vs a single Xenomorph soldier", compared to "a trained marine with serious weapon can kill 2 aliens and soccumb to the third" as it would be.
We're talking about killing a xeno before he can reach you with a pulse rifle. And i think it's quite impossible. 15vs5 dice are not enough, you can't hope to have a lot of luck all the times.
I will see how it is on my table... thanks to everyone involved!
 
Konungr
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Re: Xenomorph and Pulse Rifles

Tue 20 Oct 2020, 03:18

The Marines in alien are very rarely doing anything but pulse (3-5 round bursts) shots if not full auto as well. As you said that can trim a round or 2 of combat off trying to kill an alien and pin them. Plus as others have pointed out stress dice can work in your favor.

That being said, the marines never hold their ground against the aliens. In every single situation where the marines are faced off against a wave of xenomorph soliders/warriors not only do they have to retreat they also suffer losses. In the room with Hudson it's trying to cut through the door so they can run. In the hive it's massive losses before they jump into the ATV and run. In the hallway with the higher caliber, more accurate, and faster shooting sentry guns the aliens keep advancing.

You SHOULDN'T be killing an alien in a single round of combat. The guns, despite how good they are, are not good enough. The Xenomorph really is that tough.
 
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Vader
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Re: Xenomorph and Pulse Rifles

Tue 20 Oct 2020, 09:10

You SHOULDN'T be killing an alien in a single round of combat. The guns, despite how good they are, are not good enough. The Xenomorph really is that tough.

It is not — at least, not if we allow the movies to inform the game balance. The subtype of the Alien seen in ALIEN might be, but certainly not the subtype seen in ALIENS.

The Marines never hold their own against the Aliens, true ... but they also never encounter them under any odds other than being overwhelmingly out-"manned" at ambush ranges. We never see single Marine vs. single Alien, or one-to-two/three/four engagements at range; it's always odds of one Marine to every dozen or more Aliens, at point-blank or hand-to-hand ranges.

Except when we see Vasquez alone holding off the Aliens in the ventilation ducts — which she is able to do, and keep doing, as long as she (a) is able to keep the range, and (b) has ammunition left.

In the ambush in the Atmosphere Processor we also see several examples of how bursts from the Smart Guns shred Aliens to pieces in very short time.

So, there can be no doubt that military-grade firearms are quite able to dispose of multiple Aliens in the space of a single turn — if we let the movies guide the game.
And what else would we go by, if not the movies?
Before clicking that response button — are you sure you actually read it?
 
Theaghan
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Re: Xenomorph and Pulse Rifles

Tue 20 Oct 2020, 10:19

You SHOULDN'T be killing an alien in a single round of combat. The guns, despite how good they are, are not good enough. The Xenomorph really is that tough.

It is not — at least, not if we allow the movies inform the game balance. The subtype of the Alien seen in ALIEN might be, but certainly not the subtype seen in ALIENS.

The Marines never hold their own against the Aliens, true ... but they also never encounter them under any odds other than being overwhelmingly out-"manned" at ambush ranges. We never see single Marine vs. single Alien, or one-to-two/three/four engagements at range; it's always odds of one Marine to every dozen or more Aliens, at point-blank or hand-to-hand ranges.

Except when we see Vasquez alone holding off the Aliens in the ventilation ducts — which she is able to do, and keep doing, as long as she (a) is able to keep the range, and (b) has ammunition left.

In the ambush in the Atmosphere Processor we also see several examples of how bursts from the Smart Guns shred Aliens to pieces in very short time.

So, there can be no doubt that military-grade firearms are quite able to dispose of multiple Aliens in the space of a single turn — if we let the movies guide the game.
And what else would we go by, if not the movies?

I totally agree. Xenomorphs get the kill by ambushing the prey and planning coordinated attacks: when they attack in straight line they die.

In the game we can play with stunts, above all the pinning and the pushing back ones: but Soldiers have Speed 2, so at the end they will reach the Marine, also thanks to their high health stat. It seems to me military firearms are really underpowered and the game is not doing a good job in managing them: we miss a critical table for firearms damage and the ammo rule in case of a failed stress dice roll is not helping. About the latter, from day one i do not like this rule and I'm thinking to use a resource dice for each weapon (as for Power, rolling dice each time the weapon is fired and for every failed stress die). Or maybe I can just replace an entry in the panic roll table with a "out of ammo" one.
 
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Vader
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Re: Xenomorph and Pulse Rifles

Tue 20 Oct 2020, 11:07

A recollection just struck me: even Gorman's pistol seems perfectly able to kill the Aliens effectively enough to keep them at bay.

It is only once it runs dry that they actually are able to reach his and Vasquez's position ... by crawling over the bodies of those that Gorman disposed of.
Before clicking that response button — are you sure you actually read it?
 
joaoperru
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Re: Xenomorph and Pulse Rifles

Tue 20 Oct 2020, 12:14

Is the pin stunt really viable? Isn't it only available if the target fails a panic roll? I don't think at the end that you can pin the aliens. They actually dont react to being shot, it's clearly portraited in the movie.
Like some of you said, a single alien has killed almost the entire crew of a civilian vessel (Nostromo), but against tranied soldiers they won with sheer number. The movie clearly explains that a Pulse rifle is the way to go, i mean 10mm explosive-tipped armor piercing rounds. It's stats in the game are ridicolous compared to those of a sidearm. One point of damage more? Range here doesnt really matter.... armor piericing does its job, ok... but it's not enough in my humble opinion.
And in the reactor room they flee like that because they are cought in a trap, outnumbered by enemies all around them, almost invisible, quick and deadly, but NOT resistent at being shot by their weapons...
and REMEMBER, they had pistols... apart from the 2 smart guns and 2 flamers no pulse rifles... come on!

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