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Dentris
Ok, i'm about to make a little bit of math here. First, there are regular ammo. They deal Ballistic damage. Nothing to say about them.

Second, APDS ammo. Hey, -4 to armor, that's a lot of damage, no? Well, not really, considering it is only 1.3333 hits less than with regular ammo. It is worth it, but noras uber as it used to be.

And now, you have flechette ammunition. They increase a gun's damage by 2, but increases an existing armor by the same amount. It is still more powerful than APDS IMO, and way more powerful than regular ammo. Flechette ammunition's damage are soaked with Impact armor, which is already (on average) 2 points lower than ballistic armor. It means the increase in armor only puts the Impact armor value back to normal ballistic value. Add to this the fact that you have just increased the damage by 2, and you have ammunitions more powerful than what is supposed to be the strongest ammo in the game.
Glyph
You need to remember, though, that the main function of APDS isn't to do damage, but to penetrate armor. In SR4, if your modified DV isn't higher than the AP-modified armor rating, the attack only does stun damage. Flechette is more damaging - that's what it's designed for - but APDS is more likely to do physical, rather than stun, damage against a decently-armored target.

So APDS fits its role as a specialized armor-penetrating round well. Flechette is designed to be more damaging, but less effective against armor. To me, the true "most powerful" ammo in the game would be EX Explosive, which has the improved damage of flechette, combined with decreasing, rather than increasing, a target's armor.

At the same cost, EX Explosive is usually the better buy. But one of the things making flechette ammo attractive is the Viper Slivergun, with its high ammo capacity, burst-fire capability in a heavy pistol, and integral sound suppression. Plus 8P damage. cool.gif
Jaid
yeah, as far as reasons not to use flechette i have only one:

ex-ex ammo. cheaper, and better in every way than flechette.

otherwise your post is right on target. of course, at this point your question would become "why not use ex-ex ammo all the time.", to which i have no real answer.

as far as using normal ammo over flechette ammo, well... normall ammo is a ton cheaper.

and as far as using APDS ammo over flechette, anything with hardened armor makes APDS look really appealing.
KeyMasterOfGozer
Well, you've always got at least one reason not to use any of those ammo types.... Murder is a lot higher penalty crime than Assault and Battery. That means the authorities are more likely to put more resources towards tracking you down if you kill people.

Another reason not to use Double X is because it is Illegal (Forbidden).
ShadowDragon8685
None of us give a flying frag that it's illeagal. Crime is our stock in trade.

The reason not to use Ex-Ex all the time? This is the only one that comes to mind. smile.gif
Squinky
The only reason to use flechette over Exex is when using shotgun spread rules. Sometimes that can be pretty wicked when taking out big groups of gangers etc. But otherwise, exex is the way to go.

On the subject, in the game I run I chuckle a little at the gun bunny. She has silenced predators that she shoots exex through, kinda contradicts itself.
Crusher Bob
The ammo rules in SR4 are a mess, check out Serbitars house rules for them or come up with your own.
hyzmarca
The best reason to use flechette is the Ares Viper Slivergun.
Squinky
That gun is pretty sweet.
ShadowDragon8685
QUOTE (Squinky)
The only reason to use flechette over Exex is when using shotgun spread rules. Sometimes that can be pretty wicked when taking out big groups of gangers etc. But otherwise, exex is the way to go.

On the subject, in the game I run I chuckle a little at the gun bunny. She has silenced predators that she shoots exex through, kinda contradicts itself.

Not really.

It's true that the bullets are quiet coming out of the barrel, so even if the target is dieing amidst a hail of micro-grenades, the shooter is not immideately obvious.

It's a great way to get attention away from you.
Squinky
I hear that arguement all the time. And I agree, although most of the time people being shot see her shooting in the first place. It still will bring unwanted attention.
Clyde
Stick-n-Shock has its place, too! In fact, in anything smaller than an SMG (i.e. 4P damage code or less) Stick-n-shock is more effective than EX EX. It's at a tie at 5P. Gel is nice for that knockdown effect, and cheap enough to lay down suppressing fire with.

Ultimately, though, ammo choice is dependant upon style. The extra point of damage that EX EX promises doesn't make it that much more effective than standard explosive - especially if you've got a gas vented assualt rifle/smg full of the stuff that you're spraying out in nice, narrow bursts. Regular ammo can be plenty deadly, and at 1/5th the cost of the good stuff it's certainly got its place. If you absolutely, positively need to have the most damaging ammo/gun combination, you probably haven't planned your tactics right!

Aaron
APDS is very useful for taking on materialized spirits.
James McMurray
QUOTE (Aaron)
APDS is very useful for taking on materialized spirits.

But not as useful as Ex-Ex for the same purpose.
Nim
What's really odd about flechette ammo is that it's actually BETTER against an armored target than standard ammo would be.

Consider a pistol with a 6P DV, versus a target in a suit of 6/4 armor and 6 Body. Let's assume 1 single net hit for the attacker in both cases:

Standard ammo: 6P + 1 = 7P versus Ballistic 6. This attack beats the armor rating and does physical damage. The target resists with Body 6 + Ballistic 6 = 12 dice, averaging 4 hits. Target takes a 3P wound.

Flechette ammo: 8P + 1 = 9P versus Impact 4 + AP 2 = Impact 6. This attack beats the armor rating and does physical damage. The target resists with Body 6 + Impact 6 = 12 dice, averaging 4 hits. Target takes a 5P wound.

This totally fails to model the expected 'flechette is great against unarmored targets but sucks against armor' behavior.

As an afterthought....

APDS ammo: 6P +1 = 7P versus Ballistic 6 - AP 4 = Ballistic 2. Does physical damage. Target resists with Body 6 + Ballistic 2 = 8 dice, averaging 2 hits. Target takes a 4P wound.

>> Edit: Whoops. Make that 5P. Math is hard!

Ex-EX ammo: 8P + 1 = 9P versus Ballistic 6 - AP 2 = Ballistic 4. Does physical damage. Target resists with Body 6+ Ballistic 4 = 10 dice, averaging 3 hits. Target takes a 6P wound.
James McMurray
Gel rounds have the same oddity in that they're better than normal ammunition.

The APDS vs. Ex-ex is intentional. It's why Ex-ex costs more than APDS.
Nim
Yeah. But my memory (posting from work, so no book) is that APDS has a harsher availability rating than Ex-ex, which doesn't make much sense.
James McMurray
APDS is military grade ammunition. Ex-ex is civilian grade. IIRC Ex-ex has a different legality factor, but they might both be F.
Red
One missing factor in leveling the field between ammunition is the lack of finesse in the way different ammo penetrate cover. Consider the following examples. Should stick-n-shock penetrate even a decent sofa? Should Ex-Ex prematuraly detonate once it impacts cover with sufficient force? I've always thought that if APDS or regular rounds were given an advantage when penetrating cover help migitate some of the imbalances.

Disclaimer: I'm using cover within the context of a non-trivial obstruction that isn't immediately adjacent to the target.
ShadowDragon8685
Well, if you want to do the "Flechettes are good against unarmed targets but suck against armor" would be to have it rolled against double any armor's ballistic rating.
James McMurray
I believe SR3 was double impact for gel and flechette. In most cases that would make for some much less powerful ammo in SR4 (at least compared to normal ammo). It would still be stronger than default ammo against most armor types, but if you get an armor whose double impact is more than 6 points higher than ballistic you'll be at a point where you want regular armor instead.
Nim
The SR4 approach for AP values has some pros and cons. In the case of flechettes, 'double Impact' might actually work better than a flat increase in the armor rating. If you wanted flechette stats that made it dangerous to unarmored targets, but merely equal to regular ammo against someone who was wearing any armor at all, you'd have to go with something like DV +2, AP +6. And the problem with THAT is that the difference between armor with a Impact rating of 0 and one with a rating of just 1 becomes very abrupt.
Moon-Hawk
I've been using double impact. It seems to work well. It still tears up unarmored and very lightly armored people, but fares poorly against heavier armors.
Shrike30
I flat-out removed EX-EX from the game. It makes choosing ammo types a lot more interesting.
Moon-Hawk
I think a lot of people have removed EX-EX from their games. I have.
James McMurray
We didn't, but it doesn't get removed much. While the explosion might not be tracable to the shooter, it is a heck of a lot louder than a silenced round and will alert anyone near enough to hear it that something is going on.
Shrike30
As a corrolary to the removal of EX-EX, I also made APDS avail 12 (that is, you can get it at character creation).
Kyoto Kid
QUOTE (Clyde)
Stick-n-Shock has its place, too!  In fact, in anything smaller than an SMG (i.e. 4P damage code or less) Stick-n-shock is more effective than EX EX.  It's at a tie at 5P.  Gel is nice for that knockdown effect, and cheap enough to lay down suppressing fire with.

Ultimately, though, ammo choice is dependant upon style.  The extra point of damage that EX EX promises doesn't make it that much more effective than standard explosive - especially if you've got a gas vented assualt rifle/smg full of the stuff that you're spraying out in nice, narrow bursts.  Regular ammo can be plenty deadly, and at 1/5th the cost of the good stuff it's certainly got its place.  If you absolutely, positively need to have the most damaging ammo/gun combination, you probably haven't planned your tactics right!

...makes perfect sense to me.

My hacker Violet usually packs an Ares Viper along with a Fichetti Security (loaded with S & S rounds). For those "formal occasions she pockets a Racor Sting. In a recent mission that involved going against ghouls, the Viper proved itself as a potent weapon indeed. (10P burst vs. little or no armour, chews em up real good.)

KK only uses Gel Rounds in her dual Warhawks. Definitely a lot of bang for the nuyen given that she usually knocks her targets over each time she hits (and wound modifiers do affect the DP to stand back up).

Bekka, my ex Israeli commando/sniper uses standard rounds in her Walther 2100 for that clean quick and quiet kill.

Samaels Ghost
QUOTE (Nim)
APDS ammo: 6P +1 = 7P versus Ballistic 6 - AP 4 = Ballistic 2. Does physical damage. Target resists with Body 6 + Ballistic 2 = 8 dice, averaging 2 hits. Target takes a 4P wound.

7P - 2 average hits = 5P wound
Nikoli
EX and EX-EX >< Miniature, bulltet sized grenade
From the SR4 PDF:
Explosive rounds are solid slugs designed to fragment and explode on impact.

They are designed to fly apart, they don't make a separate bang after penetrating target in SR4. I recall an ammo type that would truly explode shortly after penetrating anything my resistant than 1/4" plywood, useful for nasty shocks against opponents with cover.
Nim
QUOTE (Samaels Ghost)
QUOTE (Nim @ Jun 26 2006, 10:46 AM)
APDS ammo: 6P +1 = 7P versus Ballistic 6 - AP 4 = Ballistic 2. Does physical damage. Target resists with Body 6 + Ballistic 2 = 8 dice, averaging 2 hits. Target takes a 4P wound.

7P - 2 average hits = 5P wound

Oops. Fixed smile.gif
Shrike30
Admittedly, 8 dice usually "averages" 3 hits in my mind, but hey smile.gif
Kyoto Kid
QUOTE (Nikoli)
EX and EX-EX >< Miniature, bulltet sized grenade
From the SR4 PDF:
Explosive rounds are solid slugs designed to fragment and explode on impact.

They are designed to fly apart, they don't make a separate bang after penetrating target in SR4.  I recall an ammo type that would truly explode shortly after penetrating anything my resistant than 1/4" plywood, useful for nasty shocks against opponents with cover.

...so if EX EX is a fragmentary round, it shouldn't be any more susceptible to "cook off" or misfires than regular ammo. This has been the main reason I have avoided having my characters use it.
Glorian
QUOTE (Kyoto Kid)
...so if EX EX is a fragmentary round, it shouldn't be any more susceptible to "cook off" or misfires than regular ammo.† This has been the main reason I have avoided having my characters use it.

The SR4 description of Explosive and Ex-Explosive makes them sounds like a frangible round, not mini-grenades. The slug comes apart of its own accord, not because of the impetus of any explosive. It's not subject to cook-offs or misfires more than any other round. Maybe a slight increased chance of misfeed depending on the ogive of the bullet, the chamber, etc. However, that's fool-hardy to apply real-life to game mechanics. Besides, frangible rounds seem to be replicated by flechette ammunition. Increased power, but stopped easily by armor.

However, whether or not it sounds like there should be an increased chance, the rules as written do say there is an increased chance
QUOTE (SR4 @ p. 312)

Explosive rounds will misfire whenever a critical glitch is rolled. When this occurs, the character firing the weapon is struck by one "attack," with a Damage Code equal to the normal damage done by the weapon. The character may make a damage resistance test as normal. Any attack the affected character is making at the time misses.


The SR3 description of explosive rounds said, "They are standard issue with some military units, though unpopular because of their high misfire rate. Exposure to intense heat such as flames or fireballs can also cook the touchy things." The shadowtalk in Fields of Fire in the ExExplosive entry said there was an actual detonation, but extremely minor, and only helped to aid fragmentation.

In real life, there are "small arms" explosive ammunition. The most famous example is the .50 Mk 211 Mod 0 Raufoss round.
Austere Emancipator
Again, SR4 says "Explosive rounds are solid slugs designed to fragment and explode on impact." If you want to ignore the latter part of that description that's your choice, but there's nothing ambiguous about "explode on impact".

The cook-off thing is silly. Explosive small arms ammunition exists today (in the form of multi-purpose pyrotechnically initiated HE rounds in .50 BMG) and is no more susceptible to misfires, cook-off, etc. than standard FMJ ammunition. Considering that small arms cartridges are, in normal use, inserted into extremely hot metal chambers quite violently prior to being fired, creating ammunition that goes up in flames at the slightest excuse would not be wise. [Edit]Which you apparently know well enough.[/Edit]
James McMurray
Nooooo!!!! Not another Ex-ex explosion thread!!!!

This was a flechette ammo thread, it was supposed to degenerate into a Dikoted Flechette thread, not an Ex-ex thread. I'm really disappointed in all of you. frown.gif
Shrike30
I'm pretty sure if you were to dikote an EXEX round and pop someone with it, when the explosive went off it'd turn INTO a dikoted flechette round, if only at the very last microsecond...
Dr. Dodge
QUOTE (James McMurray)
Nooooo!!!! Not another Ex-ex explosion thread!!!!

This was a flechette ammo thread, it was supposed to degenerate into a Dikoted Flechette thread, not an Ex-ex thread. I'm really disappointed in all of you. frown.gif

hold on hold on...mages are too powerful!!!
Glyph
QUOTE (James McMurray)
Nooooo!!!! Not another Ex-ex explosion thread!!!!

This was a flechette ammo thread, it was supposed to degenerate into a Dikoted Flechette thread, not an Ex-ex thread. I'm really disappointed in all of you. frown.gif

Well, it's been derailed again already, so I guess now it's an ex-Ex-ex explosion thread. nyahnyah.gif
Cleremond
QUOTE (ShadowDragon8685)
None of us give a flying frag that it's illeagal. Crime is our stock in trade.

The reason not to use Ex-Ex all the time? This is the only one that comes to mind. smile.gif

I nearly snarfed hot coffee all over my keyboard when i read this.

Funny stuff! Thanks for posting it.
Shrike30
A decent reason not to use flechette is trying to shoot through things like armored glass. Standard and APDS are really the only types of ammunition listed in the book that don't do something like go "squish," "bang," or "spall" when they hit hard things.
Wizard
Have been thinking about this for a bit and I am going to try the following:

For each range increment beyond short, decrease the DV of fletchette ammunition by -1 and increase itís AP modifier by +1.

This follows a model that flechette ammo tends to quickly lose momentum and tends to spread out over distance. Of course I could be totally wrong in this assumption smile.gif.
Shrike30
It kinda depends on who's definition of flechette ammunition you're looking at. Flechette ammunition intended to be fired from large-bore weapons like shotguns or the "beehive" shells used in Vietnam tend to be dozens or hundreds of flechettes packed into a single round of ammunition. On the other hand, the Steyr ACR (which never entered mass production, as the M16A2 was picked over it) was designed to fire a single flechette from each round.

SR fluff tends towards the "multi-flechette" idea, although how you accomplish fitting that many flechettes into something the size of a round for a Streetline Special has always been beyond me...
Phobos
Sometime you probably stop to worry HOW things work but instead look for a description that makes sense with the setting.

I've always described the Ares Slivergun and anything smaller firing Flechette as a Needler (SciFi)-type gun firing simple metal or plastic shards, not regular large-caliber Flechette.

The most intersting thing about the whole ammunition rules is that they look pretty much broken, but actually do work in play - 'still no clue why ... probably because every single type of ammo is broken.

Still, every tipe of ammuntion has some kind of use :
  • APDS - sniping. sniping only, in fact. sniping through fortified glass in buildings and armored vihicles, in fact. EX or EX≤ would explode on or shortly behind the window.
  • EX, EX≤ - all-out-shootouts. anytime sublety is no longer an option and it comes down to pure firepower.
  • Flechette - best choice to go with a silencer as even impact sounds will be minimized.
  • Gel Rounds - non-lethal measures. 'should be standart issue of any 'runner since SR3 anyway.
  • Stick-n-Shock - making or preventing a getaway. think 'automatic tasers' biggrin.gif
  • Regular Ammo - cheap. very cheap. and not as illegal as APDS.

They all shine in some way - to ignore that by saying 'use that particular type' means sacrificing options - stealth, firepower, shock, non-leathal measures - the GM only has to make sure that that the characters' choices and actions have consequences.
James McMurray
QUOTE (Phobos)
Still, every tipe of ammuntion has some kind of use :
  • Flechette - best choice to go with a silencer as even impact sounds will be minimized.
  • Gel Rounds - non-lethal measures. 'should be standart issue of any 'runner since SR3 anyway.
  • Stick-n-Shock - making or preventing a getaway. think 'automatic tasers' biggrin.gif

Flecheete: there are no rules to support that stance.

Gel: these are great, but usually pale in comparison to Stick-n-shock except in larger weapons. A heavy pistol with gel does 7 DV with +2 impact armor (usually equal to ballistic). Stick-n-shock does only 5 DV, but at half armor (usually worth at least one DV not being soaked, for an effective base 6 DV) and gaurantees dice penalties no matter what.
Phobos
Well, there's no rule either to support 'Player characters cannot normally fly' or 'electronic devices will stop working when you pull the plug' either - some people substitute 'Common Sense' for such problems wink.gif

And, as you said yourself, S'n'S and Gel have different applications wink.gif
Just give Gel Round with ... say, an Ares Alpha or a Mossberg CDMT - you'll see their effect. Gel rounds with high-powered attacks for single-shot takedown, S'n'S for low-damage slowdown effects.
Austere Emancipator
You say flechette ammunition uses "plastic shards" as projectiles, and then talk about common sense?!
Moon-Hawk
No no, see, it's maaaaagic plastic. Commonly handwaved as "densiplast" or "plasteel". It's common sense that you'd have to use maaaaaagic platic.
I'm surprised you didn't know that. wink.gif
James McMurray
QUOTE (Phobos)
Well, there's no rule either to support 'Player characters cannot normally fly' or 'electronic devices will stop working when you pull the plug' either - some people substitute 'Common Sense' for such problems wink.gif

Uh oh. Someone mentioned using common sense with SR ammunition. Hit the deck!!!!
Austere Emancipator
*facepalm* Maaaaagic, but of course! So I take it the impact silencing is effected by nuclear space monkeys?
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