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# Re: [FT] Railguns

From: Thomas Barclay <Thomas.Barclay@s...>
Date: Wed, 25 Nov 1998 11:15:55 -0500
Subject: Re: [FT] Railguns
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Thomas spake thusly upon matters weighty:

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

A neat idea.

> 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
hit.

Why not make the number of dice you need to roll vary with size
class. Therefore perhaps a class 1 RG gets 2 dice, a class two gets
three dice, and a class three gets 4 dice. The only hard and fast
rule is you need to exceed the range. That way big RGs have long
range (sometimes) and a decent mean range. Now, the # of dice may be
subject to debate, but this would be an interesting way to give class
4 or 5 RG long range.... but not 'always'. I like the idea!

> problems that i can see are:
> - weapon's effective range is only about 15; beyond this, hit
probability
> drops too low. this is very, very short compared to beams and missiles
> - weapon's actual range is unlimited

Well, if you gave an extra die (4 die) for a class three, the mean
range would be 14", but max would be 24. If you upped that to 5 dice,
the mean would be 17.5, and the max would be thirty, and so on.

- 18 is a hit at any range

yeah, if you used the variable dice scheme, then their is no magic
hit number.

> - rate at which hitting gets easier falls of at very close range

Well, OTOH, your gain going from moderately long to moderately short
range is pretty good!

- not
> much difference between 5, 4 and 3 inches, and no difference between
1, 2
> and 3. not that much fire combat occurs here, of course.

And if 1 on all dice is an automatic miss, if you were using (say) a
five dice railgun, the only way you would miss at 0-6" would be
rolling all ones - pretty unlikely. But then, that close, the railgun
may have shifted to rapid fire mode or something.

> >	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
down)
> > 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
lucky
> hit, not some special property of beam weapons.

I concur. Rerolls should be allowed.

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

Sorry.... RTFM.... my aplogies.

> this is nice as it extends the range of larger weapons. larger weapons
are
> 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
the
> ping-echo lag in firecon radars etc) is the limiting factor in
shooting.

Range should always be the limiter.

> >	Option the Second: Allow the firer to reroll sixes on his to-hit
dice.
> > This extend the maximum range of RGs to, in theory, infinity and
beyond,
>
> i quite like this idea. take out the 18 is auto hit rule, and it
balances.

I'd let your reroll on damage dice, not firing dice. If you use a
multi-dice railgun based on size class, then this is a bad idea...
(of course, depends on # of dice rolled - with lots of dice, you end
up getting lots of re-rolls).

> > 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.

%\$##@!!!. And the odds of some of us hitting at 10" with a class 8
railgun would be pretty low..... (I have clearly been victimized by
Indy's Probability Skew Demon).

> >  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
hammer
> > would remedy this pretty easily.
>
> maybe this would be a reasonable strategy for a fleet with
massdrivers: if
> your ammo is unlimited (as it might well be if you use small
projectiles),
> you just keep blasting away. a rule might be introduced to counter
this;
pulse,
> and gives away your identity, much like using active sensors.

Good rule!

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.

How about large (class 4+) RGs can only fire every second round?

> >	Option the Third: If the damage seems to high, allow screens to
subtract
> > 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
work
> against massdrivers anyway.

If the screens protect against explosions (missiles) then they should
probably apply here. If not... not.  (I can't recall).

> >	Railguns should be one-arc weapons, I feel, but how should the
KV
> > 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.

If you use vector, you may want to limit their thrust... otherwise
its a pretty big capability to be able to pivot a class 3 or larger
RG on a dime...

> >	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
at
> > 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
can
> 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.

Yep. Or number of dice +1 or whatever. Or # of dice with sixes
rerolled. You want to give them a 'chance' at long range hits, but
make them tough close in.

/************************************************
Thomas Barclay
Voice: (613) 831-2018 x 4009
Fax: (613) 831-8255

"C makes it easy to shoot yourself in the foot.  C++ makes
it harder, but when you do, it blows away your whole leg."
-Bjarne Stroustrup
**************************************************/

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