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> Naval weaponry and autocannons., Am I insane or are they absurdly good?
Smobey
post May 16 2012, 11:40 PM
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I'm trying to run a naval-focused Shadowrun campaign about piracy and smuggling, and running some numbers against a hypothetical 20 armour / 14 body ship, checking out how much damage they would do. So here's what I figured out.

A heavy machine gun wouldn't really penetrate the armour, it'd only be effective against really light boats.
a LAW would do 3.67 damage on average. Makes sense, nice disposable weapons to give to mooks, low threat but still capable of doing damage.
A torpedo would do 7 damage. Two of them would sink the vessel, very reasonable.
Mercury Ship Laser would do 9 damage. They're one million nuyen beasts, so they should be good.
Vanquisher heavy autocannon: 16.67 damage. Whoa, whoa, what?

The 11P base damage, -6 AP would mean that any decently anti-armour shells would pretty much automatically penetrate the armour, and the insane +14 DV from the full autofire means that the vanquisher should sink every single other naval vessel (except the ones that use structure instead of body) from a single hit, easily.

I understand that it's 20F, but that's still gettable with the Restricted Gear quality. And torpedoes and ship lasers and such are far harder to get than that. In fact, anything that IS within the normal 12F restriction range would be completely ineffective against even moderately armoured boats, completely incapable of piercing through the armour. So giving them an access to restricted gear is a must.

To make matters worse, we've already played a few sessions, and it's a little too late to simply forbid them from taking it. So it sort of looks like I'm going to have to nerf it hard, or every single naval battle ever will end instantly someone hits the other with a narrow burst. Unless I'm misunderstanding something horribly wrong.

Should the naval combat in Shadowrun between smaller vehicles really be that deadly? It seems like it'd make the multi-million corvette class vehicles completely worthless, since any old boat capable of fitting a heavy autocannon (or hell, a helicopter) would automatically blow it to bits from the first hit. Though sure, the corvette could have a dozen such guns, being capable of blowing up twelve other corvettes within the first few seconds of combat...

I do realise that the autocannon has a far inferior range compared to torpedoes and such, and if the players really start abusing the fact they can automatically destroy any non-structure vehicle in the game with a single burst, I can start abusing the fact that I can attack them from twenty kilometres outside their range. And I get the weird feeling that that's when the game stops being fun.

So, am I being reasonable in wanting to tone the autocannons down? If so, by how much? Does anyone have any effective houserules for smaller-scale naval combat?
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kzt
post May 16 2012, 11:51 PM
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Armored vehicle combat simply doesn't work in SR4.

Don't even try to use the RAW, the rules just don't support it. In particular, a one point difference in armor or damage is the difference between the vehicle needing some touch up paint on the armor and the entire vehicle completely destroyed.

You have to house rule it to make it work in any logical way.
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Falconer
post May 17 2012, 12:03 AM
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Take a look at the ammunition costs for that heavy autocannon... (you're using assault cannon rounds for ammunition)... so it's something like 2000 per 10 or so. That's 3000 each time you fire one burst. (I dislike AC's because they're such ammo hogs personally). IIRC anti-vehicle rounds for an assault cannon are even more expensive and only net you an extra -3 AP IIRC. The round needed to spin up the gun to speed isn't a big thing either.


Also you still need 4 net hits to do damage to a 20 armor vessel. I didn't crunch your numbers so don't know if that's for 'when the shots do damage' or the average including ineffective shots.


Your numbers for the LAWs are a little fubar... LAWs as done in the books are worse than useless due to their massive damage falloff with scatter... and the 4d6 scatter they get. The only way I've seen scatter as being workable against large vehicles is to go with... okay it scattered 5m... well the side of the ship is say 20m long and 10m high... so yeah you still hit, just not where you aimed. This same scatter also tends to mean that called shots don't work well.. (since you need every success possible to reduce scatter).


Best case ammo for the HMG is firing -6AP anti-vehicle rounds and yeah it still comes up pretty short as you need a lot more net successes.


Anti-ship laser... you can actually get it up a little higher using called shots... by about +3 damage. (-4 dice attack -1.333 hits... for +4 damage).

You might want to look at limiting to light autocannon, or going back to the old standby naval guns... the semi-auto and single shot cannon aren't too shabby. Ammo is cheap... and they have a nice blast radius.
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Falconer
post May 17 2012, 12:10 AM
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QUOTE (kzt @ May 16 2012, 06:51 PM) *
Armored vehicle combat simply doesn't work in SR4.

Don't even try to use the RAW, the rules just don't support it. In particular, a one point difference in armor or damage is the difference between the vehicle needing some touch up paint on the armor and the entire vehicle completely destroyed.

You have to house rule it to make it work in any logical way.


You mean a lot like modern combat where... most guns are either completely ineffective or the wreck the target. It's not often to get things in that middle range since most normal armor.

Against a heavy armored vehicle like a AFV or tank... that's the norm. Unless you get lucky and damage something external like pop a tread which really only limits it's movement.

More ablative armors like in battletech are actually the unrealistic one. And in my experience actually make for a worse game than say something like heavy gear. (heavy gear basically you could hit and do nothing... hit and do light damage reducing, hit and do serious damage, or just outright destory the vehicle). It really comes down to what kind of game you like.
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Smobey
post May 17 2012, 12:11 AM
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Autocannons use Assault Cannon rounds? Where does it say that? That'd be a saving grace. I always figured they used normal ammo, so I was taking into account they could use explosive or anti-vehicle rounds or such, and...

But yeah, that'd mostly solve my issues.

EDIT: Even assault cannon rounds are only 450 nuyen per 10 shots, so it'd "only" be about 700 nuyen per burst. But since they're 16F, they would be hard to come by...

This post has been edited by Smobey: May 17 2012, 12:16 AM
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Falconer
post May 17 2012, 12:23 AM
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Arsenal Errata: (applied to both the light and heavy)
"To the end of the weapon description add: “Though more
powerful Light Cannon ammo has the same availability and
cost as Assault Cannon rounds (p. 314, SR4)”"


Right... but again it's the quantity of the 16F item you need... and the heftier stuff like the AV Assault Cannon Rounds (-1/-3*vehicles). is 20F and 2500 per 10 rounds... so now you're looking at 3750 per shot. (as much as many missiles).


War also added bits about large vessels like ships so they weren't quite so silly... though IMO the game does a very poor job with them. (they'd be far better off with say a structure/body score in the 50's and lighter armor... lots of soak dice but not a lot of armor). Then toss in some rules to reflect localized damage for things like breaching (using say the barrier rules to punch a hole in the side of a ship) nasty to that one area... but not to the ships structural integrity as a whole.
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Smobey
post May 17 2012, 12:37 AM
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Right, thanks. It's gonna be a costly if they want to fire that autocannon and they'll be bled dry if they want to use the AV rounds. Plus, they can't use stuff like tracer rounds and such they've been using, which also helps.

EDIT: Actually, while we're on the topic of naval stuff, does anyone have an approximation of fuel costs? If something like a Seacop wants to travel, say, 1000 kilometres, how expensive would it be for it? I haven't an inkling about 2070's fuel prices.

This post has been edited by Smobey: May 17 2012, 12:41 AM
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CanRay
post May 17 2012, 12:42 AM
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QUOTE (Smobey @ May 16 2012, 07:37 PM) *
Right, thanks. It's gonna be a costly if they want to fire that autocannon and they'll be bled dry if they want to use the AV rounds. Plus, they can't use stuff like tracer rounds and such they've been using, which also helps.

EDIT: Actually, while we're on the topic of naval stuff, does anyone have an approximation of fuel costs? If something like a Seacop wants to travel, say, 1000 kilometres, how expensive would it be for it? I haven't an inkling about 2070's fuel prices.
If you have to ask. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/wink.gif)
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Halinn
post May 17 2012, 01:10 AM
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Either fold it into being part of lifestyle costs (either under entertainment or necessities, probably the former), or use current gas prices and do some guesstimates on what the fuel economy is for a ship (quick google search indicates this is mostly measured in fuel per hour, something between 20-40 liters per hour for smaller boats)
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Neraph
post May 17 2012, 01:19 AM
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Also don't forget that the increased DV of burst fire doesn't factor into whether or not armor makes it stun or physical, so that Autocannon needs 9+ net successes to damage that Armor 20 boat. The +14 doesn't factor until after base damage is calculated.
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KarmaInferno
post May 17 2012, 01:31 AM
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Get a big ol vehicle and ram the sucker.

(IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)






-k
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Falconer
post May 17 2012, 02:19 AM
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QUOTE (Neraph @ May 16 2012, 08:19 PM) *
Also don't forget that the increased DV of burst fire doesn't factor into whether or not armor makes it stun or physical, so that Autocannon needs 9+ net successes to damage that Armor 20 boat. The +14 doesn't factor until after base damage is calculated.


The heavy autocannon has a damage of 11P... but a base AP of -6....

That's why I said it needed 4. (3 to match hardened... 1 more to beat).

Toss in the anti-vehicle assault cannon rounds... and now first net success is enough... so narrow is +14 on top... suddenly soaking 26 damage with -9 armor is not a fun prospect....
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Shortstraw
post May 17 2012, 02:24 AM
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Use a howitzer with AT rounds.
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Grinchy McScroog...
post May 17 2012, 02:50 AM
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QUOTE (Smobey @ May 16 2012, 07:40 PM) *
...
Vanquisher heavy autocannon: 16.67 damage. Whoa, whoa, what?
...


"I told you I'd make them see reason." -Snow Crash (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smokin.gif)
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_Pax._
post May 17 2012, 10:45 AM
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QUOTE (Smobey @ May 16 2012, 08:11 PM) *
Autocannons use Assault Cannon rounds? Where does it say that?

I dunno about an actual rules quote ... but did you seriously think that ammunition for a "naval weapon" - something designed to take on targets at least as heavily armored as a TANK - woulc cost the sme as ammunition for pistols and rifles???
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Shortstraw
post May 17 2012, 12:11 PM
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QUOTE (_Pax._ @ May 17 2012, 08:45 PM) *
I dunno about an actual rules quote ... but did you seriously think that ammunition for a "naval weapon" - something designed to take on targets at least as heavily armored as a TANK - woulc cost the sme as ammunition for pistols and rifles???

Should the ammo for sniper rifles cost the same as light pistols? It's a model not a system.
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_Pax._
post May 17 2012, 12:38 PM
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QUOTE (Shortstraw @ May 17 2012, 07:11 AM) *
Should the ammo for sniper rifles cost the same as light pistols? It's a model not a system.


There is a much, much, much smaller difference between (say) a box of .40 S&W pistol ammunition, and a box of .308 (that's 7.62x51 NATO) ... compared to the difference between either of those, and the 30mm ammunition used by weapon systems such as the American Bushmaster II or the 27mm ammunition used by the German Mauser BK-27.

http://sub-silentsuppressors.com/wp-conten...-Comparisom.jpg

Your typical Heavy Pistol is going to be using things like #44 or maybe #84, from the lower row.

A sniper rifle is going to fire ammunition along the lines of #56 in the upper row, or smaller. (In fact, #56 is precisely what the Barret sniper rifle shoots: .50BMG).

...

Even the LARGEST round on the upper row, #58? Is about the smallest you're going to see a Naval Autocannon firing. It's a wee bit smaller than what the Mauser BK-27 fires, and significantly smaller than the rounds fired by the Bushmaster II.

Now I'll grant you this: ammunition should have differing costs based on type of weapon, even at the "small arms" end of the scale. But while it's a bit of a stretch to think you can buy .50 BMG rounds for the same price as .40 S&W ... it would be patently ludicrous to think the same 10 (IMG:style_emoticons/default/nuyen.gif) will buy you a round for a 30mm "cannon".
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Shortstraw
post May 17 2012, 12:43 PM
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Oh I agree it is ridiculous but the whole idea is to oversimplify everything because in the end it just isn't important.
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Yerameyahu
post May 17 2012, 01:01 PM
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It is important for autocannons. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)

We've been over the vehicle damage issues before. I still haven't tried it, but I still think a lot of it can be quick-and-dirty fixed by increasing any weapon's AP a lot (that is, better AP, more negative) and decreasing DV a lot. That way, it should be possible to 'hurt but not obliterate' a vehicle with an AV weapon. (In theory, this should work for small arms, too, and for the same reason.) You can still manipulate DV (as normal) to vary the actual killing power of things.

The alternative would be some kind of throwback to SR3's 'Naval' codes (yuck), and that still wouldn't solve the basic armored-vehicle effect. :/
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fistandantilus4....
post May 17 2012, 01:35 PM
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Ease up Pax.
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Grinchy McScroog...
post May 17 2012, 03:42 PM
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30mm Bushmaster training rounds (because I was curious to see just how large they are):

(IMG:http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/5/52/US_Navy_090129-N-4774B-008_Gunner)
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_Pax._
post May 17 2012, 03:59 PM
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Thanks, Grinchy. I tried to find a good image, with something other than teh rounds themselves in-frame to show scale ... but my Google-fu was not strong enough.

Now, just picture: your Panther Autocannon? Fires rounds not a whole lot smaller than those suckers. O_o (Say, #57 on the upper row of the image I linked to above.)

And yes: what Yeremeyahu said: it counts for autocannon rounds, because they are seriously large things.
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kzt
post May 17 2012, 11:22 PM
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QUOTE (Falconer @ May 16 2012, 06:10 PM) *
You mean a lot like modern combat where... most guns are either completely ineffective or the wreck the target. It's not often to get things in that middle range since most normal armor.

Against a heavy armored vehicle like a AFV or tank... that's the norm. Unless you get lucky and damage something external like pop a tread which really only limits it's movement.

Nope. AFVs are actually fairly hard to kill even if you penetrate the armor.

For example, it took an average of seven RPG hits to kill an M113 in Vietnam. An RPG is an overmatch to the armor of an M113 too. Sheridans, well not so much. But that was apparently due to the loose propellant grains in the vehicle because of the crappy ammo design.
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HeavyJosh
post May 18 2012, 02:19 AM
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QUOTE (Yerameyahu @ May 17 2012, 08:01 AM) *
We've been over the vehicle damage issues before. I still haven't tried it, but I still think a lot of it can be quick-and-dirty fixed by increasing any weapon's AP a lot (that is, better AP, more negative) and decreasing DV a lot. That way, it should be possible to 'hurt but not obliterate' a vehicle with an AV weapon. (In theory, this should work for small arms, too, and for the same reason.) You can still manipulate DV (as normal) to vary the actual killing power of things.


I was thinking that this would be a good solution to the problem of vehicle damage, but I think I might have found something a little simpler. Just cap the DV that can be inflicted by the weapon, before adding damage for bursts or called shots, at the DV of the weapon. So the margin of success that you got in order to hit the vehicle and penetrate its armour doesn't add to the DV for the soak roll. Only the bonus DV from called shots and burst fire would.

I'm looking forward to everyone's thoughts on this.
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Yerameyahu
post May 18 2012, 04:46 AM
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Well. That's kind of solving the wrong problem (and creating a minor new one). The issue is that the transition goes from 'scratches the paint' to 'destroys', and that happens because the DV of the attack (let's use the autocannon example) goes from 11P up, but the armor check is a binary (pierce or not). This means you can never do less than (11 boxes – soak).

So, removing net hits from DV (which is essentially your suggestion?) definitely reduces the overall power, yes, but you're still having that binary transition, and you're still having pretty hefty minimum damage (Called Shots and Bursts only make it much worse). The minor new problem is simply messing with the core mechanic (no net hits to DV), which people tend to have pretty mixed feelings about.

Obviously, another way to get the desired effect (more variation in the *low* end of successful vehicle attacks) is to shift more of the soaking ability away from armor and into Body (or, sure, just increase Body's soak contribution). This is a bit pain, because Body is also used for mod slots, weapon mounts, certain size/weight calculations, ramming, etc. Until we have a separate Toughness stat, that's kind of more trouble than it's worth. You could experiment with changing the soak pool (Armor + Body*2, or *1.5, etc.), but I dunno how that would pan out. Vehicles are pretty tough as it is, and we only want to smooth out that transition a little, not buff them overall.
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