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Bazlord

Pointless Particle Ponderings...

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I know the v2.5 Particle Accelerator changes aren't going to change, and what I'm about to write is really just a cathartic ranting about an idea that came to me last night in bed, and hasn't even been thought through all that well, let alone playtested, BUT!! What else is the internet for, right?

Oh yeah. Porn. 

Leaving that aside though, because the PAs look as though they're being morphed into RB1 Heavy Energy Blasts, and because I really liked the mental picture of a tightly focused beam of energy precisely drilling through multiple hulls as and when the opportunity arose - I came up with the following "Dream PA". For what it's worth :-)

- PAs have both Piercing & Pinpoint MARs (by dint of being tightly focused beams of ionised plasma, or w.h.y.)

- The PA draws line of fire in a straight, fore fixed channel, through the stern & bow of the firing model out to RB4. All models that line passes through are potential targets of the shot. The line is no longer as wide as the Energy Template - it's just a line.

- The PA has one AD stat, which is the same at all Range Bands. But...

- The first model to be hit by the PA has the listed number of AD rolled against it. Hits are on 4, 5, 6 (RED).

- Shields function against the PA at 4, 5, 6 (BLUE). (Because the shield energy absorbs some of the PA energy).

- If the attack damages the first target (which will be a Crit resulting from equalling or passing the target's DR due to Piercing), remove from the hit dice pool those dice used to achieve that damage. (And under v2.5, the crit would only do 1 Damage, the effect being rolled on that new, pared-down "Focused Crit Chart").

- Now use the remaining hits to damage the next target in line (ie, don't roll the dice again - just use up those remaining hits on each successive target until no more DR can be equalled or passed, no more targets remain, or a piece of terrain gets in the way). To my thinking, this really represents the PA beam punching a tiny, precise hole straight through the target(s), but having it's strength diminished by the length of time the beam takes to get through armour, bulkheads, frying pans, ship's mascots, etc. The firing model can only supply the immense amount of power required by the PA for a few milliseconds at a time, after all.

So! 

What do you think? Like i said, I'm just so into the idea of the Particle Accelerator, that I'd love to see it live on in the way that it was originally conceived.

For that matter, I'd also love to see the Fresnel go back to what it was in v1.1 (IIRC) - a focusing/magnifying lens for other ship's energy weapons. Such a cool idea!

Anyway, i think the above idea for PAs would make them usable, not OP (as it uses the Focused Crit Chart & can only do 1 Damage at a time), and would be quick to use - just roll one bunch of AD dice, then subtract each target's DR-worth of hits until you run out of oomph (Shield dice for each target having to be rolled, though).

The idea is that the weapon becomes a surgical pin-prick attack that is capable of causing multiple crits, without nailing the targets damage-wise, softening them up for the rest of the fleet (or finishing off wounded stragglers ;-)

What say you?!?

(And apologies for the length of the post. Bad Baz...)

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@Bazlord so if I'm reading this "idea" right, it's roll once, apply total hit value to all units in line until first target in that line beats it?

So far sounds like v1.1.

Just make it a same height weapon, and I don't really mind the v2.0 small template, gives more forgiving line of fire.

Not fond of no range limit from v1.1, badly misused at my game table during that time, especially when it was width of model. Spider airfield sniping at start from 52 inches away against three squads.  It was diagonal fire across the board.

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@hyde1352

Nope! I mean, roll dice and establish how many hits you get. Subtract the DR value of the first model in the line of fire from that total, and apply the remainder of the hits to the next model in the line of fire. Subtract that next model's DR from the remaining hit dice, and apply the new total to the third target in line, and so on.

As an example, let's say a PA fires with 14AD, and gets 9 hits, the first target being a Cruiser with DR 5, the second target a Corvette with DR 3, the third target another Corvette with DR 3.

The 9 hits will achieve a Piercing critical against the DR 5 Cruiser, so then we remove 5 hits from the dice pool. That leaves 4 hits that pass out of the far side of the punctured Cruiser, and go onto the first Corvette.

DR 3 gets a Piercing critical on that, so subtract 3 more dice from the remaining pool of 4, leaving 1 hit to go onto the second Corvette.

One hit is not enough to damage that third target, so that's the end of the PA. 

How does that sound?

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1 hour ago, hyde1352 said:

@Bazlord

Just make it a same height weapon, and I don't really mind the v2.0 small template, gives more forgiving line of fire.

Not fond of no range limit from v1.1, badly misused at my game table during that time, especially when it was width of model. Spider airfield sniping at start from 52 inches away against three squads.  It was diagonal fire across the board.

I'd imagine that trying to use the energy template properly gets a bit unwieldy, and since you need to draw a straight line for the template to follow anyway, why not just stop at using the straight line - will save time. The thin line still gives a lot of leeway for targeting, in that it's indiscriminate in nature: never being Partially Blocked by line of sight, and not suffering the penalties for shooting at Smalls. 

I agree that the PAs should still only target their own height level.

I also agree that unlimited range would be a no-no. Max range RB4, although I would think that the Telescopic Zoom MAR could be considered for the PAs on some of the Massive/Dreadnought models. (That's if Telescopic Zoom survives into v2.5 in some form).

I would like to see them being weapons that require some manoeuvring to get into the optimum firing position, that are super-accurate (ie, always 4+ to hit), but don't do a lot of damage on any one target (so as to prevent them becoming OP Death Rays of Doom...)

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6 minutes ago, hyde1352 said:

Reads pretty much the same as v1.1.

Didn't you say v1.1 was roll AD and apply total hits to each target"? What I'm thinking is only similar to that concept in that I'm trying to retain the idea of the PA going through multiple targets.

I haven't got the v1.1 ruleset to hand, so can't check what you mean.

Ah well, even so - good to know that I'm only ~6 years behind the times!  ;-)

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If I'm remembering correctly, V1.1 PA was use model width,(so image land spider), roll AD value against first target, any misses were saved for the next target, and repeat until no more dice, or board edge.  Any misses saved were from initial roll plus after all rerolls.

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10 minutes ago, Bazlord said:

Ouch - the width of the Herodotus?? That's ludicrous...

Yup. It used to be Fixed Channel. That wasn't rectified, for a while due to land games not being common. It was both the 'nax and Coeus having "turreted" PAs that forced the change to the 2" templates.

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Best defence I've had against v1.1 PA, the Aristotle had all but one die hit the first Corvette, and that die was one hit on the next, so wasted shot on the next ten models behind them.  Talk about pissed CoA player, while I was laughing hysterically cause I boarded next and won.

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CoA player didn't study his science manuals enough! The 1.1 PA only hit corvettes on a 6, which would explode and cause either another 6 (which would then explode) or a miss to carry on to the next vessel. It was impossible for the old PA to lose dice when shooting at corvettes.

It also wasn't stopped by terrain, so you could use it to blast through mountains and get the juicy targets on the other side if you had the right positioning or models and targets.

It was... not the most elegant of weapons.

When it changed to the 2.0 PA I was very very happy with the change, it still fit the idea behind the weapon very nicely yet was much much cleaner and simpler. The 2.5 version remains to be proven, but I don't think it fits the idea of a beam of particles spearing across the battlefield.

I was happy with 2.0 PA, I am not convinced it should have been changed :( Its main purpose as a weapon in our arsenal was as an anti-small weapon (since corvettes posed a horrific threat to us, even more than most other nations) that could wipe out multiple ships at once before they got to us. The new version, with its rb1 range, will not be able to do this.

As a side note, with the new template being the large blast template, the weapon being mostly available on large or massive vessels with poor maneuverability, and the weapon being fixed fore arc... How hard is it going to be to fire the weapon and not hit out own ships?

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Exactly. I'm not sure how big the radius of the Large Template is, but you only get 8" grace (or slightly less), before you PA your own face. So, with minimum movement, and awkward large turning arcs... Yeah. Good luck getting that thing off as and when you want to. 

Then again, I suppose that targets just within RB2 can be hit, as long as the centre of the template resides within RB1, right? Or does the centre of the template have to be targeted over a model?

Dare i say it would almost be better/more usable to keep it as the regular Energy Template? And then just rename it the "Baby Energy Blast"?

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Quote

the Large
Blast Template centred on an enemy Model within
Range and Line of Sight.

There is nothing about RB or fire arcs in the main rules...

It's a pity the weapon loses it's "beam flavour" through  the use of the template...but with the improvements on the teleport gen - I couldn't resist to order a second squad of Zenos ;)

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On 2017-6-4 at 7:09 PM, Phant Mastik said:

There is nothing about RB or fire arcs in the main rules...

It's a pity the weapon loses it's "beam flavour" through  the use of the template...but with the improvements on the teleport gen - I couldn't resist to order a second squad of Zenos ;)

So now we know! The ORBAT is out, and they're indeed all RB1 Particle Accelerators, still Fore Fixed Channel.

Hmmm...

Could the firing ship perhaps be immune to its own template?? That'd help, right?  ;-)

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Okay, strong candidate for model hit hardest with the Loser Stick:

The Herodotus.

A 6" move model, with Turn Limit 3" using the Large Template, has its Particle Accelerator dropped from 14/14/7/-  to 12/-/-/-. 

How the hell is it supposed to align to shoot anything when it can only change direction 40° per move?!

Edited by Bazlord

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Herodotus makes a strong case for itself as the biggest loser, but spare a thought for the Coeus, whose entire point was its massive particle accelerator reaching far far far away.

Dreadnought robot with a 380 point cost that boasts a catastrophically powerful 13 AD main weapon. Well, I say main weapon. It really isn't anymore. Its rockets far out do the once magnificent particle accelerator. So really you are paying 380 points for an 18AD rocket attack each turn, with a possible PA blast on turn three. But wait! What about its abilities? like PA blasting a flier? It can still do that... hitting on a 5+... and still only in rb1... Ah, but its boarding! Gotta admit its boarding is as powerful as ever! Yes... on a 6 inch move model. Anything meaningful that gets caught by the Coeus' jaws in an average 3 turn game is very badly positioned. 

The herodotus at least still has its carrier abilities, the Coeus has lost its reason to live.

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1 hour ago, Thamoz said:

Herodotus makes a strong case for itself as the biggest loser, but spare a thought for the Coeus, whose entire point was its massive particle accelerator reaching far far far away.

Dreadnought robot with a 380 point cost that boasts a catastrophically powerful 13 AD main weapon. Well, I say main weapon. It really isn't anymore. Its rockets far out do the once magnificent particle accelerator. So really you are paying 380 points for an 18AD rocket attack each turn, with a possible PA blast on turn three. But wait! What about its abilities? like PA blasting a flier? It can still do that... hitting on a 5+... and still only in rb1... Ah, but its boarding! Gotta admit its boarding is as powerful as ever! Yes... on a 6 inch move model. Anything meaningful that gets caught by the Coeus' jaws in an average 3 turn game is very badly positioned. 

The herodotus at least still has its carrier abilities, the Coeus has lost its reason to live.

The longer I look, the more annoyed I get. We've had these issues for years. Finally new ORBATS, and they have more issues, failures and mistakes than ever before!

2.5 looks like a much less interesting game, and I don't see why I'd play it over 2.0. At the very least most of the issues with 2.0 had been ruled out by house rules and gentlemen's agreements. And how am I meant to encourage anyone to play versus my CoA? "Oh, all the interesting stuff got removed or nerfed. Now it's e-turret gunline only, sorry. I hope you like slogging through 4 range bands to get to my static fleet. Did I mention e-turrets get piercing now?"

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15 hours ago, Thamoz said:

Herodotus makes a strong case for itself as the biggest loser, but spare a thought for the Coeus, whose entire point was its massive particle accelerator reaching far far far away

The herodotus at least still has its carrier abilities, the Coeus has lost its reason to live.

You may just have a point there, sir. Well played.

I can see the Coeus retiring to extended sessions of therapeutic care, while it watched through the office window, the Windsor from Britannia happily shelling fools from RB5, laying down Large templates and shrugging off all the Rockets and Torpedoes in the world with a cavernous laugh while the Sturginium Knights lining its battlements taunt the enemy by showing them their sweat-stained britches.

Poor Coeus.

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3 hours ago, Sky Captain said:

I loved the PA as it was under the 2.0 rules. No idea why they changed it (again). Looks pretty useless now and doesn't feel right. 

 

Sky Captain 

I would dearly love to know the rational behind the change. I'll even promise (for my part, anyway!) no silly judgemental responses afterward. I'm just really keen to know why the PA was changed at all, and why then it was made to be so similar to the Energy Blast.

PLEEEEZ, @Spartan Mike :-)

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The comparison!!

Especially if the Energy Blast does lose its IDF ability (which it could) - the two weapons become noticeably non-unique (which is weird for "Special Weapons"):

- both are Indiscriminate, are Energy Weapons (Redoubtable & Piercing), use the Large Template, hit on 3+ regardless of height level, and both effectivelyfairly can only target models on the same height band.

Where they differ is:

- PAs can only target RB1, and have a fixed number of AD;

- EBs also have Barrage munitions, shut off the generators after firing, can target >RB1, and have a random # of AD.

Soooo... I'd rather have Energy Blasts? Especially while they still have IDF capability, and the new Commodore Trait to allow the re-roll of the XD6 on an Energy Blast once per turn. 

Compare the Callimachus-Beta (EB) to the Zeno (PA): 

Both are about the same cost, and have similar stats. The Zeno is faster, sure - but has lower CR and HP, while the Calli had Vulnerable, and yes - the Zeno has brutal broadsides.

All that aside, the Zeno PA can only shoot forward, at RB1, with 7AD. The Calli has 360° EB fire, out to RB3, with an average AD spread of 10.5 / 7 / 3.5 / -. As well as Barrage, and the possibility of a Commodore's re-roll.

Better, right?

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I played a game the other day against the Ottomans to try out the Covenant in this new 2.5 landscape. And while I did lose, I certainly learned a fair bit.

For starters, I like the Descartes, and energy blasts in general. They performed very well for me this game, and I'm pleased to have it in our box o' tricks. However, I am not fond of the changes to the particle accelerators. The feel of them has been lost. Where they used to be this awesomely unique and really useful tool in the Covenant arsenal, now they just feel like a more stable but overall worse energy blast. I liked the way particle accelerators functioned before, and there didn't seem to be many complaints. I am also very keen to know why our lovely green ray of death was changed.

On a separate note, @Bazlord I know what your signature is referencing, and I love it.

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16 hours ago, Der Hochmeister said:

On a separate note, @Bazlord I know what your signature is referencing, and I love it.

It's a way of life, my friend! I'm so indoctrinated now, just the smell of a good brew can bring about the effect...

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On 26/06/2017 at 8:28 AM, Bazlord said:

 

- PAs can only target RB1, and have a fixed number of AD;

- EBs also have Barrage munitions, shut off the generators after firing, can target >RB1, and have a random # of AD

From page 100 on the book, indiscriminate attacks all ignore defensive generators and MARs, not that I know why the EBs have Barrage, but yea.

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