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Re: [FT] Railguns

From: Thomas Anderson <thomas.anderson@u...>
Date: Wed, 25 Nov 1998 13:37:52 +0000 (GMT)
Subject: Re: [FT] Railguns

On Tue, 24 Nov 1998, John Crimmins wrote:
>	Okay, here's a thought...let's make Railguns completely

good thinking.

>	To hit, RGs must roll HIGHER than the distance to the targer (in
> centimeters, or whatever scale you are using) on 3d6.

nice one! this really is different, and quite fun.

>  In other words, in
> order to hit a ship 12" away, the Kra'vak player must roll 13 or
higher on
> 3d6.	A roll of "3" is always a miss, and a roll of "18" is always a

problems that i can see are:
- weapon's effective range is only about 15; beyond this, hit
drops too low. this is very, very short compared to beams and missiles
- weapon's actual range is unlimited - 18 is a hit at any range
- rate at which hitting gets easier falls of at very close range - not
much difference between 5, 4 and 3 inches, and no difference between 1,
and 3. not that much fire combat occurs here, of course.

>	Damage is equal to the roll 1d6 per class of the weapon (2d6 for
class 2,
> 4d6 for class 4, etc.), with no rerolls; half of the damage (rounded
> is applied to armor, and the rest to the target's hull.

i think rerolls should be allowed; they just reflect the chance of a
hit, not some special property of beam weapons.

>	Option the First: When firing, the to-hit dice (for lack of a
> phrase) are equal to the class of the RG.  I.e., a class 2 RG must
> higher than the range on 2d6, a class 4 must roll higher on 4d6, etc. 
> don't think I care for this idea, but it is an option.

this is nice as it extends the range of larger weapons. larger weapons
not necessarily firing larger rounds - they could well just be firing
same-size rounds at higher speed. this would justify a greater range, as
longer distancs could be traversed in the same time, and time (due to
ping-echo lag in firecon radars etc) is the limiting factor in shooting.

>	Option the Second: Allow the firer to reroll sixes on his to-hit
> This extend the maximum range of RGs to, in theory, infinity and

i quite like this idea. take out the 18 is auto hit rule, and it

> but I don't really see a problem with this.  After all, in space a
shot is
> going to travel until it hits something...

or until the universe ends, which may be more likely. space is biig and
empty. what we thought were leonid meteorites are in fact salvoes from
space war fought by the venusians billions of years ago ...

> and the chances of anyone rolling
> enough sixes to hit a target on the other side of the table are slim
> indeed.

unless he is aaron teske, i understand.

>  The only problem that I can see with this is that it may cause
> overzealous players to attempt a shot every single turn, but a stout
> would remedy this pretty easily.

maybe this would be a reasonable strategy for a fleet with massdrivers:
your ammo is unlimited (as it might well be if you use small
you just keep blasting away. a rule might be introduced to counter this;
how about saying that firing your railgun emits an electromagnetic
and gives away your identity, much like using active sensors. this would
discourage long shots early in the game if you use sensor rules. i can't
think of anything that works mid-game and which is not too severe.

>	Option the Third: If the damage seems to high, allow screens to
> one point/level from the damage dice.  I don't see a need for it, but
> whatever works for you.

sort of goes against what vanilla ft screens are supposed to be, though.
of course, if you use, say, a star trek background, then your screens
against massdrivers anyway.

>	Railguns should be one-arc weapons, I feel, but how should the
> manuever?  I think that they should use the Vector system, with all of
> their Thrust points, as the best adaptation from MT.

if using cinematic movement, use the rules in MT: they can use all their
thrust to turn. in vector, what advantage should they have ... i don't
know vector well enough to say.

>	Anyway, this would give the humans a definate range advantage,
but would
> allow the Kra'Vak to go through them like a hot knife through butter
> close range.	Plus, it is different enough from beam fire to provide a
> nicely "alien feel", and it does not require any tables or charts.

overall, this is a nice system. i haven't looked at the statistics in
detail, but it seems alright. 18 inches as a max range still feels a bit
steep, though. how about making the target number half the range? they
then shoot to 36" in principle, although it would be very hard. i think
your "number of to-hit dice = railgun class" is a good modification.

> thankyouverymuch.

no, thank you.


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