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S..Mike

3rd Edition Weapons Systems

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So time will tell (and arguments will rage :) ) on what are the most sweeping changes coming in from 3rd Edition.  Personally, I don't think this is it, but there are some new ways at dealing with weapons in 3E.

Here goes:

  • The Fixed firing arc restriction has been removed.
  • There are now three different types of weapons systems: Primary, Secondary, and Tertiary.
  • In 2nd Edition, weapons were classed as ‘Primary’, ‘Beam’, ‘Kinetic’, etc.  These types have been moved into a category of Weapon Assigned Rules (or WAR, which are the same idea as a MAR) which modify the action of the weapon system.  Biohazard, Corrosive, Kinetic, Beam, and Gravitational are all examples of WARs.
  • Range bands have been renamed:  RB1=Point Blank; RB2=Short; RB3=Medium; RB4=Long.  They function the same as in 2nd Edition.  The range distances have not changed.
  • Attack dice (for weapons and PD) now have an additional number in parentheses listed, i.e., 4 (2).   The first number is the Leading Fire dice rating, the number in the parentheses is the Supporting Fire value.  Generally, the Supporting number is half of the Lead value.  This may not always be the case (it isn't for Escorts), but certain races and/or ships may have better or worse linking capability.  Providing these two values gives an additional tool for making the races different.
  • Linking and Combining are the same...sort of.   Instead of compiling a linked pool of dice, the method is this:
    • Select the model to act as the Lead for the attack.  Start with the Leading Fire dice rating for that model.
    • For every other model in the squadron, add the Supporting Fire value to the attack.
    • Roll the dice, modifying results based on MAR's, WAR's, damage, etc.
    • Note that for Escorts (which normally would be able to Combine, the values are listed as the same, ie, 2 (2), so there is less confusion about which ships combine and which do not.  Add the Leading Fire and Supporting Fire values together and away you go.
  • Damage reduction has changed.  Once dice are rolled, and successes are counted, reduce the number of successed generated based on the class of weapon being fired (Primary, Secondary, or Tertiary):
    • If a Primary weapon, reduce the number of successes by the accumulated damage present on all ships that participated in the attack
    • If a Secondary weapon, reduce the number of successes by half of the accumulated damage on all ships that participated in the attack
    • Tertiary weapons are not affected by accumulated damage.  No reduction is made.

So, you could have a Primary weapon with the Biohazard and Beam WARs.   Or and upgrade that added Corrosive to Secondary weapons.

Here is a list of the WAR's currently available.  Again, please remember the disclaimer: I'm giving the most up-to-date information available to me.  It's unlikely at this point, but things may change from the final mark-up version of the rules.

WEAPON ASSIGNED RULES (WARs) 
1. Beam Weapons – Coherence Effect 
All Beam Weapons are always considered to be Direct Weapons. If ALL weapons involved in an attack are Beam Weapons and the target is within Point-Blank Range of all attacking models, any rolls of 1 in the Initial roll may be re-rolled. 

2. Biohazard– Coherence Effect 
If ALL Weapons contributing to an Attack have Biohazard, and the number of hits equals or exceeds the Damage Rating (DR) of the target model, the target model loses 1 Crew Point, in addition to any other effects. If the model cannot take a point of Crew Loss because it has 0 CP remaining, apply a Disorder Marker instead. 

3. Corrosive – Coherence Effect 
If ALL weapons contributing to an attack are Corrosive and the Attack equals or exceeds the target’s Critical Rating, the target model gains a Corroded Marker. 

4. Cyberwarfare – Coherence Effect 
All Cyberwarfare Weapons are considered to be Indirect Weapons. They ignore all Shield and Cloaking defences but often do not cause Hull Damage or Critical Hits directly, and instead use the Debilitating Effects Table on PageXXX. 

5. Decimator - Coherence Effect 
If all Weapons contributing to an Attack have the Decimator MAR and the Attack causes a Critical Hit (or better), the firer may forgo rolling on the Standard Critical Hit Table and roll twice on the Sub-Systems Critical Table – Once to apply the Damage and Effect and then once more applying only the Effect. 

6. Gravitational Weapons – Coherence Effect 
All Gravitational Weapons are considered to be Direct Weapons. They ignore all Shield and Cloaking defences but often do not cause Hull Damage or Critical Hits directly, and instead use the Debilitating Effects Table on PageXXX. 

7. Gun Rack 
All weapons with this MAR are restricted to firing in ONE of their listed Fire Arcs during the Firing Phase.  

8. Infection – Coherency Effect 
All Infection Weapons are considered to be Indirect Weapons and are subject to Defensive Fire responses (see PAGEXXX). Infection Weapons may only be fired in conjunction with other Infection Weapon and so may not perform any firing solutions with other weapons. In addition, Infection weapons ignore enemy Shield and Cloaking Systems. 

9. Kinetic – Coherency Effect 
All Kinetic Weapons are considered to be Direct Weapons. If ALL Weapons contributing to an Attack are Kinetic Weapons, and the Attack forces enemy vessels equipped with Shields to roll using the BLUE Dice Mechanic to defend themselves rather than the RED Dice Mechanic. 

10. Maximised Firepower – Coherence Effect 
If all Weapons contributing to an Attack have Maximised Firepower WAR and the attack equals or exceeds the target’s Critical Rating, the target gains a Disorder Marker in addition to any other effects. 

11. Nuclear Munitions – Coherency Effect 
All Nuclear Munitions are considered to be Direct Weapons unless applied to Torpedo Ordnance in which case they become Indirect Weapons. If ALL weapons involved in an attack are Nuclear Munitions and the attack causes an enemy vessel to be removed from play, the target squadron gains D3-1 Disorder Markers immediately – this has a cumulative effect with any other Disorder Markers applied to the Squadron. 

12. Pinpoint [Weapon, Value] - Coherency Effect  
Prior to firing a Weapon with the Pinpoint (Value) MAR, roll a number of basic D6 equal to the Value listed in the brackets. For each roll of a [BLACK] 6 the target suffers a -1 to their DR and CR in the upcoming attack. Should multiple 6s be rolled, these are cumulative, as are any other modifiers to the DR and CR that might be in play (Vulnerable Sectors, Terrain Effects, etc). In instances where multiple Pinpoint Values exist roll the highest Value present in the attack. For Example: An Aquan squadron rolls a Laser Attack with one weapon with Pinpoint 3, and two weapons 
with Pinpoint 1. In this instance, the player would roll 3x BLACK D6, looking for 6s to reduce the target’s DR and CR! 

13. Scatter – Coherency Effect 
All Scatter Weapons ignore the effects of Difficult Target and Elusive Target MARS when fired at Point Blank Range. Scatter Weapons may never attempt a Targeted Strike Order. 

14. Torpedo Spook – Coherence Effect 
If ALL models contributing to a Torpedo Attack have the Torpedo Spook MAR, all successful Initial Point Defence rolls against this attack MUST be re-rolled. The second result must be accepted. 

15. Torpedo Weaponry – Coherency Effect 
All Torpedo Weapons are considered to be Indirect Weapons and are subject to Defensive Fire responses (see PAGEXXX). Torpedoes may only be fired in conjunction with other torpedoes and so may not perform any firing solutions with other weapons.

Okay, this is a lot to digest.  Thanks for staying to the end of the post. :)

Mike

 

 

Edited by Spartan_FA_Mike
Grav are Direct weapons; Correction to Nuclear and Decimator

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First thought, Why the Lingo? 

Why not keep it to the numbers? Are you deliberately trying to make this harder for new players? Are you trying to make it messier for the sake of word count? I really can't grok what you're trying to do here on that level. It achieves nothing other than exactly that, lingo. 

Second part, Leading versus Supporting fire, not a bad idea. In theory, seeing the total damage done by a squadron taking off from the total pool isn't that bad either. I question and seriously question is the use of the rolled total of successes. That just feels wrong to me on some level and my gut feel on probabilities is kicking up a serious fuss. You don't penalise the player for trying to play the game, which is what this does. At its core, this says to me, don't let your ships take damage, otherwise your start being able to not do any damage and you're back at zombie ships. 

As for the Primary, Secondary, Tertiary weapon systems, seriously? Shouldn't that be the other way round. Primary weapons retain their full effect, despite damage, Secondary weapons can take a bit of a beating, but not much of one and tertiary, ie the least important weapons, are the ones most affected by incoming fire? Shouldn't the primary means of engagement be the most protected on a ship? That way you've explained it is counter productive and bluntly speaking illogical at best. Stupidity at worst. 

 

Also the creation of weapon specific MARS and also having ship assigned MARS? Really? See the point about making this unfriendly to new players. Why separate them out other than for word count? Padding things out. It doesn't make sense. Why not have a single table of such items? Why not try to clean up the system. All I can see is more complexity added, with no framework to support it. 

Finally, the WARs, gods I hate that term already, as presented. Last time I checked, when did Firestorm pick up a pro Dindrenzi bias? I mean it. Why is it that now Kinetic weapons are just going round and breaking shields left, right and centre? What defence do I have against anything with a rail gun, Kinetic other than not to play the damned game? When did you guys sell out to Dramos and co? 

I'll admit I tend to think on the other side of the border, but when the stink is this bad, are you trying to rig games? Are you openly favouring Dindrenzi, RSN forces? I highly doubt we're going to see a buff to Nuclear to match the new power of Kinetic. Nor as we going to see the appropriate hardening, buffs, to the factions which have shields as they stand in 2.0. 

I really don't know what to make of this other than someone hasn't gone through good process and detachment from the project.

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If Kinetics get their shield downgrades at any range, I hope the testers are paying attention to this.  This is a brutal effect against factions that rely on shields to provide their ship protection (ow, my Kedorians!) and effective against pretty much every faction.  

On the plus side, Corrosive is actually useful now!  I have zero luck (or my opponents have it all, depending on your perspective) with getting extra damage off of corrosive.  Still not a super-awesome effect except on T1's, but at least it has a defined purpose instead of being a total luck-based addition.

I see there are still references to Direct and Indirect weapons.  I assume from the listed rules that these now only refer to LOS requirements (since you have tertiary which covers the other aspect of no dice loss)?

Decimator has me curious to see these effect tables.  I wonder what they look like such that the choice between a roll on a crit table or two rolls on a different crit table are roughly balanced. Also, as an extension, I want to see the debilitating effects  chart for Cyber and see how it compares to the other two.  I thought these were supposed to be simplified down to reduce rules clutter (unless debilitating effects is a sub-section of the critical chart with just the effect applied)?

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@Paladin21  I'll post the critical hit charts in a future post.  And yes, Direct and Indirect references are there for the LOS and PD effects.  The Tertiary 'no dice loss' is actually covered under a MAR, Encased Weapon Systems (System), so it is possible that Primary and/or Secondary weapons could have this bonus as well.

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My biggest immediate beef with the info presented is that Kinetics now have greater fire arcs combined with blunting shield potency, that's a double whammy.

It also creates a situation where one faction has a differing effect against it's opponents, Kinetics go up in stock against shields (all 3 Kurak core, and quite a number of alliances) but nothing against non shield users. It is a case of the ability of a ship/faction can alter noticeably based on guns opposite them, where ships are fine/strong against one enemy but weak/mediocre against another, which is just a balance mess.

A notable example of this was the Directorate vs Terran issue in 2.0 regarding Bio and Weapon Shielding, that was a very contentious interaction and received a number of complaints about one faction essentially negating a core strength of another for minimal investment. This has risk of doing the same.

I will say the Leading value and Supporting value numbers have good merit and giving the linking/combining attack system extra design options. For example maybe Terrans have above average Supporting values because of their predilection for turrets.

 

There is a lot more to digest and potentially pick at, but some of it hinges on the more overall picture, such as how general faction AD and DR/CR curves sit.

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The Fixed firing arc restriction has been removed.

Kinetic': 'All Kinetic Weapons are Direct Weapons. If ALL Weapons contributing to an Attack are Kinetic Weapons, and the Attack forces enemy vessels equipped with Shields to roll using the [BLUE] Dice Mechanic to defend themselves rather than the [RED] Dice Mechanic.

See this is why you don't let Dindrezni players be involved in development.

:ph34r:

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32 minutes ago, shinzuer said:

The Fixed firing arc restriction has been removed.

Kinetic': 'All Kinetic Weapons are Direct Weapons. If ALL Weapons contributing to an Attack are Kinetic Weapons, and the Attack forces enemy vessels equipped with Shields to roll using the [BLUE] Dice Mechanic to defend themselves rather than the [RED] Dice Mechanic.

See this is why you don't let Dindrezni players be involved in development.

:ph34r:

I am a bit on the fence here. On one hand, I am happy the Fixed arc is gone. As one of the very few rules that used the base size instead of the flight peg, it never sat well with me and I have been advocating they use of EITHER pegs OR bases, but not both, for years. Especially with the MK1 models having different base sizes. Also, with Dindrenzi ships having the turning circle of an oil tanker in the middle of the desert, no other rule has frustrated me more over the years. However, fair is fair, at least some of the AD values for railguns (and other races with fixed weapons like the Xelocians) need to be adjusted now they will have an easier time in actually hitting something.

In regards to the Kinetic MAR, I agree it will be devastating to races who rely on shields (disregarding the Terrans here, because Dramos), and it will be useless against anyone else. Without making them too OP, and keeping them in line with other weapon effects, the effect should be applicable vs every enemy and not just shield users. As Kinetic weapons rely on impact to do damage, I always envisioned them as huge shells battering against defenses at hyper velocity.So how about duplicating the effect of Beam weapons, but in RB 3 or 4 instead of RB 1? Combined with the movement challenges the Dindrenzi face, keeping the enemy at this range is going to be hard enough anyway. And for the RSN, their Kinetics are generally weaker than the Dindrenzi anyway, so I feel this would not be too overpowered.

Regarding shields, shooting at large vessels with 3-4 shields is no fun either, as they are hard to penetrate and even bypass the DR with most weapons, let alone scoring a critical hit. Maybe something that is worth looking into too...

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2 hours ago, shinzuer said:

The Fixed firing arc restriction has been removed.

Kinetic': 'All Kinetic Weapons are Direct Weapons. If ALL Weapons contributing to an Attack are Kinetic Weapons, and the Attack forces enemy vessels equipped with Shields to roll using the [BLUE] Dice Mechanic to defend themselves rather than the [RED] Dice Mechanic.

See this is why you don't let Dindrezni players be involved in development.

:ph34r:

I guess my 99 AD Frigates won't go over very well then.  :huh:

 

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I like the idea of just tallying the support fire numbers to calculate link fire, and taking successes off at the end is a much better system.  Damaged ships can still throw enough dice to spike up and deal a nice contribution in the late game, whereas in the current system they wait for the rare multitude of sixes on a few dice.  Far too many 2.0 games in my experience where near-crippled capital ships on both sides ineffectually slap at each other for several turns. 

I also like special rules clearly being separated between weapons and models; follows suit with a lot of the other wargames I play.  Is there any equivalent to High-Energy or things that cause Hazard effects?

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As long as the AD pools for Kinetics have been adjusted to not be too OTT, this shouldn't be too much of an unbalance. We'll have to wait and see.

The Primary/Secondary/Tertiary Success reduction sounds weird as is. I'm assuming that AD pools are higher for Primary and then scale down, meaning a severely damaged ship has to rely on it's other weapons, not the big one.

Cyber/Grav- Same thing? or is there some other stuff not posted as of yet?

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4 hours ago, tansalus said:

I really like the leading and supporting values for each race/ship. I do think that will speed up the process for attacks. 

Makes math easier without changing the mechanics 

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49 minutes ago, Bessemer said:

As long as the AD pools for Kinetics have been adjusted to not be too OTT, this shouldn't be too much of an unbalance. We'll have to wait and see.

The Primary/Secondary/Tertiary Success reduction sounds weird as is. I'm assuming that AD pools are higher for Primary and then scale down, meaning a severely damaged ship has to rely on it's other weapons, not the big one.

Cyber/Grav- Same thing? or is there some other stuff not posted as of yet?

Generally the Primary is the higher AD, then Secondary, and then Tertiary.  But not always.  I may have gone with different terms that these if I were to go back in time.  Not being a Primary weapon makes it sound like a weakened version, when in reality some ships have higher Secondary AD than Primary AD.  The difference comes in the damage reduction MARs that are by default attached to the Secondary and Tertiary systems.   They also have different command point orders that can be used on them.

Cyberwarfare and Gravitational weapons are their own WAR's...different effects.   I'll post about those next.

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Have to say I am a bit disappointed by two things:

  1. Kinetic: Porting over the Planetfall rule to FSA is rather disappointing to see. Unless Kinetic weapons are properly costed and their AD properly moderated, fleets playing good points for Shields will find themselves outclassed by Kinetic weapons. Rules designers really should avoid Rock/Paper/Scissors rules when possible. Paying points for an ability that is Awesome, Meh, or Useless based on what your opponent decides to play is not good.
  2. Nuclear: Keeping the 4" Explosion for Nuclear weapons is also disappointing. Once again, we have RPS now based on how good your opponents CR is and whether your opponent takes the time to keep his ships spread out on the board. Add in the strangeness of how a weapon aimed at one ship suddenly damages ships over a wide area and you have to wonder what is going on.

I am so concerned about Supporting Fire values for attacks. Aren't the ships stat blocks crowded enough without even more numbers needing to be added to them?

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That looks like a far more complicated way of working out linking......and taking successes away from only hits is crazy, it should be from shots before you roll to hit, unless I'm misreading it:)

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I'm curious to see how the reduction of successes rather then dice out, but it may prove balanced, taking from success hurts, but when you have more dice in the initial pool, you have more chances for exploding dice, which then may be reduced, but I think it may actually prove to throw more successes statistically then 2.0s dice reduction...we'll see

though I guess that's exactly what the beta group is for :D

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1 hour ago, alextroy said:

Kinetic: Porting over the Planetfall rule to FSA is rather disappointing to see. Unless Kinetic weapons are properly costed and their AD properly moderated, fleets playing good points for Shields will find themselves outclassed by Kinetic weapons. Rules designers really should avoid Rock/Paper/Scissors rules when possible. Paying points for an ability that is Awesome, Meh, or Useless based on what your opponent decides to play is not good.

don't get me wrong i've never liked staring down the barrels of dindrenzi railguns, but I'm alright with them getting some love, espeacially with how easy they were to out-maneuver or shut down in 2.0

but rock paper scissors has and always will be a part of these games, or we get death balls

3.0 is different then 2.0, but lets look at 2.0 rock paper scissors

corrosion, biohazard, and cyber- support shuttles (without these support shuttles are a waist of points)

shields-gravity (kinetic is the new gravity)

weapon shielding-biohazard (I know there have been complaints, but terran are far from the worst faction in success rates)

bombers, torpedoes-interceptors

interceptors- gunships shooting the parent carriers (PD can't kill you, if you use direct weapons you go around the mountain)

capital AD- elusive/difficult targets

elusive/difficult targets-scatter

high AD direct- cloaks

cloaks-indirect

I know that's not all that well thought out, but certain fleet comps will stomp others, thus half the battle is knowing, or at least guessing what your opponent brings to the table :)

 the dindrenzi have a tool to use against high shields, the question then is what counter tactics can the terran use? if they know they are fighting dindrenzi, they can allocate their points to other tools (hopefully effective ones, until we see model stats I don't know, and we may very well have a balance issue, so hope the beta testers are doing well :)), rather then upgrading their shields

 

 

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Yeah, we had several spirited discussions on where damage reduction should take place.  At one point I suggested that maybe we don't do reduction at all...that didn't go over well. :blink:

To me, this system has been the easiest to explain to others.  Lead Fire dice + Supporting Fire dice; Roll; Count hits and subtract damage.  Easy.

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So you're basically porting over a modified version of the Dystopian Wars firing solutions.   Ok, makes it easy to pick up the sysrem but i rather liked the weapon classification that 2.0 had.  The WARs smack a little too much like the MAR bloat DW used to have. 

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To be fair, WAR's are just a re-name of V2's Coherence Effects. Some even do the same thing.

Pretty sure that Maximum Firepower  is the new High Energy, and Pin-Point replaced Prescision Shot.

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Uh... Well. My only beef is with successes removed at the end. 

 

I think I like the MAR and WAR breakdown. It adds a lot of wordage, BUT it does let you isolate abilities and mix them up in new ways if need be, whereas a few effects were stacked on single rules in 2.0. I'm also glad to see Primary, Secondary, and Tertiary actually meaning something. 

 

Fixed arcs, I will miss them. I had an idea for making fixed arcs a little more managable, but it would require additional marks on the bases. If I were to guess, Dindrenzi ships will probably lose AD to compensate... In the side arcs! While I'm sure the railguns will be brutal and need some balance-testing love, I cannot imagine that the Rensi's mainstay weapon shouldn't be notably powerful.

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Regarding fixed arcs, when all is said and done, the end result will not be as powerful as we might initially believe.  Think about it.  If you're a Dindrenzi player, you spend a lot of your time during the turn making sure that you can line up on a target.  Perhaps moving a ship more than once so that you can get into position.  For squadrons, you have to be careful about getting each ship lined up to hit the target.  But most of the time, you get lined up and shoot.  Now with fixed arcs gone, you don't have to spend that much time.  Some shots will get into the prime range easier, but the end effect (being able to put fire on a target) is the same.  It just takes less time now.  

I know that this is a simplification, but it's better to keep the game moving, than having the Dindrenzi need to plot out several paths to figure how to get turned around just right.

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Regarding the success removal. 

I actually think that it will be better than dice removal. Allow me to explain my thinking here.

Lets say you have a ship with 4 hp and 6 Attack dice.  In 2.0 if said ship takes 2 damage it would lose 2 attack dice. That means you lose ALL the successes that those two dice could have given you, no sixes no nothing for the rest of the game. With success removal you lose 2 successes but retain ALL your dice. Those 2 dice can still have an impact on the game. Think of it as the dice being damaged rather than destroyed.

Please note this example is hypothetical but I think it gets my point across.

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Statically speaking, it depends on how much damage you have taken. An Exploding d6 against target 4+ yields 0.8 Hits on average. This means after two points of damage, you start to lose a lot more Average Hits removing Hits rather than dice. However, you have a much higher variable to the damage the more dice you roll, even with the negative to your Hits.

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