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GlassJaw
I'll be starting an actual SR campaign soon and I'm just looking for some general strategies when going into combat. I've never played SR3 before )I've only dabbled in SR1 and SR2) but I have heard about its lethality.

So are there any general guidelines to increase your survivability in combat? What are some of the better weapons to use? Any tactics or combat options? What about allocating Combat Pool dice? What success tests are the most important during combat?
Backgammon
1) You don't talk about fight club
2) You don't talk about fight club
3) Geek the mage first
4) Cover = friend
5) Guns are nice, but to win you'll have to have a clever ace up your sleeve like a flash grenade or something like that.
6) Dodge over Resist test.
Firewall
7) If your weapon has a 2km range and a scope, 2km is a good distance to keep between you and the target.
8) Silencers are your friend.
9) Fast put-down is good in the short-term. Non-lethal is good in the long-term.
Kagetenshi
If you start killing people, make sure the people left alive canít find you. If that means killing everyone, so be it.

Cover is your friend, but your opponents will often have better opportunities to make use of it. Learn to know when charging straight in is better.

Against large numbers of targets, use suppressive fire rather than tagging them each with separate bursts.

You should be on your way out by the time an unsilenced gunshot goes off, but on your way out, if autofire gets you out faster, go for it. Response time is generally higher than escape time.

On a related note, donít use unsilenced weapons before youíve achieved your objective. Preferably donít use firearms at all.

If youíre not a melee specialist, itís not worth it.

Learn when soaking is better than dodging. Itís rare, but it happens.

More when I think of them.

~J
Lindt
11.) Always carry a backup. Always.
12.) Beware of extra thick doorways.
13.) Never use a kilo of c12 if 20 grams will do.
14.) If something goes dreck wrong, don't be afraid to bail.
Correlation to 14.) Always leave yourself a way to bail when it goes wrong.
15.) Light Pistols are cheap for a reason. Launder cold, tumble dry.
Chance359
"BLAM! A single gunshot and another all-to-wise razorboy gets geeked. Why? Because he refused to listen. Because he thought he knew best. Because he refused to listen.

Every punker that hits the streets thinks he knows best. He thinks he's got the ultimate edge and that everybody else will just fild up when he pops those long chromuim carbide blades. Wrong. They're going to laugh instead.

The moment you step on the streets, you must immediately assume that you are in a war zone and that you are a target. On the streets, paranoia is a way of life. Without it youre pizza. Assume that every situation, every deal is potentially life-threatening and you just might live to see the morning.

There is no clean and fast way to work the streets. Nobody has a patented method of survival, but keeping certain things in mind just might make life a little safer.

Assume that everything you do is part of your own personal little war. All this drek about "Zenning" through life is garbage. might as well put a bag over your head and dance in traffic.

Think about what you are doing. Plan ahead. Study your options. Try to out-think your opponent. Consider what he's going to do next, and what you can do to be ready for it.

Know you enemy. By learing all you can about him, you can begin to understand how he thinks and is likely to react. Knowledge is power.

Aleasy check with your caontacts. Even if it's your big-buddy older-brother sliding it to you, check it out. I'm not saying you should always believe everything you hear, but put your ear to the pavement and listen anyway.

Pay attention yo your surroundings. Know your territory. Too many young razorboys assume that they can get away with carrying their Kingslayer Assault Cannons casually over one shoulder while windor-shopping along Money Street.

Laws and enforcement vary, depending where you are. Procedures can change from block to block and from cop to cop. If you're in a neighborhood that the cops like, play it safe, take it easy and keep it concealed. The worse the neighborhood, the more the cops are going to let things slide. A heave weapon of any kind is an excuse to call out the riot squad, and an assault rifle is worth atleast three carloads of backup, and maybe even a light chopper.

Carrying big guns and obvious armor is just asking for trouble, in any neighborhood. In many places, an obvious weapon or obvious armor make you and immediate target.

Understand how this war of yours is going to be fought. It servers no purpose to have your H&K 227 in perfect working order if your enemy is going to shut you down with long range magic. Study the options, consider the possibilities.

It also serves no purpose to take on an obviously superior for head-on. Use hit-and-run tactics whenever possible. Keep your engagements short and sharp. Use the shock of violence to your advantage and be gone before that shock wears off. Leave the protracted open-field fighting to the military idoiots who have the manpower to soak up the casualties.

If you do get into combat, try to get out of it as fast as you can. There is too much uncertainty in the chaos of battle to guarantee any result. If you must fight, control it. Choose the terrain, choose the weaponry, choose the participants.

Don't let your opponent set the pace. Be active, not reactive. Force his hand, rather than letting him force yours. Gain and holding the initiative.

Harass your opponent. Anger may lead to error.

The only thing you can be certain of is what you can do. Everything else is suspect.

And never, ever, be dumb enough to think you've won."
Modesitt
How often you'll see the gun skills -
1. Pistols - Because they're concealable.
2. SMGs - Because they're concealable.
3. ARs - Because they're portable.
4. Shotguns - Because sometimes you need to blow shit up.
5. Rifles - I R TEH ELEET SNIPR! PHEAR MY SKILLZ!!!!!!!!!111111ONE
6. Heavy Weapons - Because sometimes everyone needs to die RIGHT NOW
7. Everything else.

In Melee combat, use the Knockdown option listed in CC's advanced combat. It's very difficult to avoid getting knocked flat on your ass if someone uses that. You may not get them this pass, but coupled with a friend and/or having a higher init than they do, you'll pulverize them quickly. Or just knock them down and run.

When allocating combat pool dice for dodging, ask yourself "What will my soak TN be?" If your dodge TN is lower than your soak TN, throw a number of dice equal to (TN+# of successes he rolled) at the dodge test. If he only has one success, always try to dodge. If he has more than that or if your dodge TN is higher than your soak TN, you'll often be better off just sucking it up and soaking it. This isn't an iron clad rule, in some cases(Such as a body of 2) you dodge or die.

If you need to pick up a melee skill...Pick clubs. Absolutely any blunt object that doesn't count as a polearm counts as a club. You're much more likely to find a useful blunt object in an emergency than a useful sharp object. Also, stun batons are Good.

Smoke + thermal vision. Good. Use it. Use it often.
RangerJoe
Just a quick note: not all GMs *whistles* allow players (or NPCs) to know the number of successes an attacker has generated against them, making it more of an art, and less of a science, to allocate combat pool dice for dodge tests.
FSBO
2nd edition Call of Chathulu had a cartoon that was also pretty good for SR, it involves a lot of running. Remember when doing the mish if things go south you will be out gunned! have a solid extraction plan. Don't be afraid of getting arrested. I have had characters survive because they get arrested by the right police, not corps cops you just did a run against. Jail time can help your resume. Make sure every one knows there job and sticks to the plan, that is why you have a plan for things goings south they all ways do.
Brazila
Cover is always good and necessary

remember not to use all your combat pool, the first time someone shoots, SA and BF get 2 shots, and there could be others.

In melee combat, always go all out the first round, if you don't and get wounded, your fragged.

Kagetenshi
QUOTE (FSBO)
Jail time can help your resume.

Help it right into the nearest trash bin.

~J
FSBO
it's a crediblity thing. When you work the wrong side of the law people won't trust you if you have never seen the inside of the joint.
Kagetenshi
The gangers maybe. The corp-types wonít like a record one bit.

~J
FSBO
True, but they come to you for a reason, same reason that in todays world a lott of Corp IM security are ex hackers and why a lot of pyhsical security are x-military, suits don't really like them much either, when playing in the shadows you have to go w/ who works the shadows. Also company credibilty is usually protected by Mr Johnson and every one knows that ACME Corps doesn't associate with criminals, who are you going to believe officer, ACME who provides donations to the Policemans benevolant society or that neardowell.
Wounded Ronin
Everyone has already covered the major points here. So, I'll just add this: suppressive fire!


Suppressive fire is pretty powerful in Shadowrun, and based on how the rules are written it seems like it effectively "steals" combat pool from your enemies since if they are in the area of suppressive fire they must make a dodge test. Stealing 1 CP dice is a pretty nifty trick.

Recoil dosen't affect suppressive fire, so there are a lot of ways to make it very powerful, especially if you set your suppressive fire area very small.

1.) Use an HVAR and spew out 18 rounds instead of 10, thus making it very hard to avoid the fire.

2.) Use a big machine gun with a base damage code of S, and then concentrate your fire. It's like using a shotgun but has better range and possibly a much better chance of hitting multiple enemies.

3.) Dual wield machine pistols or SMGs. I don't remember if there are high-velocity SMGs or not, but if there are, you could try for those. With two FA weapons and recoil not applying, you could blanket your area with 20 rounds per complex action instead of 10.

Suppressive fire is cool! Suppressive fire is fun! And it allows you to leave the whole area littered with casings and gives you many chances for panache-filled tactical reloads in the middle of combat, which you normally don't actually often get a chance to do.
FSBO
I concur, suppressive fire is good. Just make sure that your lingo works across the whole team. A storey about differences of lingo, During the LA riots in '92-'93(sorry its been awhile) 3rd battalion 1st Marines was activated to help squash the riots. There was a building that had shot at several passing fire trucks so the Police got back up from a squad of marines, the police went to go in to the building and asked the marines to cover them, the Marine proceeded to put down a base of fire(suppressive fire) so the police could maneuver. The police had it in there head that the marines would only fire if they got fired on. It did have the affect of getting the opposition to surrender.
blakkie
QUOTE
Smoke + thermal vision. Good. Use it. Use it often.

....and Smoke IR + ultrasound vision trumps thermal vision.

P.S. Personally i always found it scientifically bizzare that therma vision doesn't get a penalty for smoke (therma radiation is an EM just like light, so can be absorbed and difused just like light), and that ultrasound vision doesn't get a penalty for Smoke IR (those bits of hot embers in the air distorting sound). At least I don't see it in the rules, unless you just call GM disgression
The Question Man
The few times I have played <sighs deeply>

Avoid Combat if at all possible. Move constantly from cover to cover and use Surpession and Overwatch maneuvers. Used Unarmed Combat, Athletics, and Stealth. Also using cinematic schticks to distract, confuse and generally cause havok with my opponents. Above all RUN!!!

I also relied on a series of Grenades.

Offensive Grenade (distraction, misdirection and suppression)
Defensive Grenade (distraction, misdirection and suppression)
IR Smoke Grenade (Concealment and Blind Fire benefits) If the mage cannot see you he cannot effect you.
Neuro Stun Gas Grenade (Non Lethal) combined with the Antidote Patch you could saturate the entire area and be unaffected while your opponents struggle against it's effects.
Freeze Foam Barrier Grenade (distraction, misdirection and suppression)
Flash-Bang Grenade (distraction, misdirection and suppression)
Ultra-Sound Counter-Measures Grenade (a Screamer)
Slick Grenades (Anti-Friction Counter-Pursuit/Grease)
White Phosphorus Grenade (fire, distraction, misdirection and suppression)

Command Detonate Grenade Option (Radio/Timer/Motion Sensor w/IFF)
Hermetically Sealed (Counter Chemical, Metal, and other Weapon detectors)


Neuro-Stun Antidote (take before run's jump off point for everyone)
Air-Timed Grenade (counter cover, distraction, misdirection and suppression)
Tranq Patch[es] Hermetically sealed. Great for non-lethal subduals.
Take chances and spend KARMA

Pistols (lots of Pistols and extra Clips and Ammunitions)

Cheers

QM
BitBasher
Chance359... If you're going to quote verbatim an entire chapter (albeit a small chapter) from a SR sourcebook like you did above at least be nice enough to post credit for it instead od making it look like your own.
AIM-54
QUOTE (GlassJaw)
I'll be starting an actual SR campaign soon and I'm just looking for some general strategies when going into combat. I've never played SR3 before )I've only dabbled in SR1 and SR2) but I have heard about its lethality.

So are there any general guidelines to increase your survivability in combat? What are some of the better weapons to use? Any tactics or combat options? What about allocating Combat Pool dice? What success tests are the most important during combat?

Hey GlassJaw, Glad to see you found a game! Good luck with it!

As for the topic at hand, I think most of the key points have been covered. Don't shoot if you don't have to, remember invisibility in SR is not like invisibility in D&D...A force 2 Invis spell ain't gonna do much (had a friend try that one once...), holsters are your friend, so is armor, the dodge/resist dilemma has been mentioned...

Keep your plans relatively simple. The more complex they are the more dangerous they are. But don't be afraid to be creative, either.

If you get hit, remember Biotech, then magical healing, if possible. biggrin.gif
Kagetenshi
F2 Invis is going to stop anyone but an Otaku or the like, if cast by a proficient mage.

~J
Clyde
Perception. And stealth. In Shadowrun, it takes a simple action to be able to make a perception test. If you don't do this every once in a while, the enemy will slip around behind you and shoot you in the back. Believe me, they should be trying.

Stealth is the flip side of perception. As a Shadowrunner, you will likely have some kind of night vision or perception enhancements. As cheap grunts, your enemies likely won't. It doesn't take an Invisible Way adept with 12 dice to do it in the middle of all the chaos of a gunfight: muzzle flashes, grenades and gunshots, people yelling for help or backup. In those conditions, the other guy is so distracted he probably won't even look. Even if he does, 3 or 4 dice will get you by. Stealth can let you creep around for a rear or flanking shot that will guarantee one or more kills. Stealth also puts you in reach of surprise attacks. Surprised people can't use combat pool to dodge or soak, so they tend to go down. Hard.

Teamwork!!! Everything people said about suppressing fire is true, but let somebody else do it for you. Your local mage or decker spray bullets indiscriminately almost as well as you can. That leaves you free to go ahead and go for the win.
Kagetenshi
Simple action is ďobserve in detailĒ, not just a perception test. Youíre going to miss details if you arenít taking the time, but you arenít going to miss the three Trolls lining up Take Aim actions with PACs from three meters.

~J
Tanka
General combat strategies: Don't.

Why? No combat is better than any combat. Especially in a "Kill this guy but leave these guys alive" scenario. Nab the guy, then overdose him on something like Novacoke. Bing! News says he OD'd on 'Coke, not got shot to death by Joe Shmoe.

Combat tends to bring more combat, especially more difficult combat (especially so if you took damage). I don't even want to think about healing time and what that'll do to your run-free time. Not to mention damage to cyberware, weapons, armor, vehicles, that new focus you just bought, Fluffy, your apartment... You get the picture, I'm sure.

Combat is costly. Avoid it at all costs.
UpSyndrome
I've found it necessary to cast invisibility at times late in a run when wound modifiers have already piled up. In these circumstances, it's very advantageous to have a high force invisibility spell since casting successes will be much fewer in number than with an unwounded cast.

-Joe
Kagetenshi
A valid point, but itís still several cuts above ďwonít do muchĒ.

~J
GenoSicK
"Communication. Communication. Communication."
Edward
Another reason to use dodge over soak.

If your opponent has a big gun

You only need to mach his successes to avoid all damage. If you try to soak you will need to counter his successes and then stage the damage down. A 3 round burst from a heavy pistol that hit with 1 net success needs 6 successes on the soak test to achieve no damage. One success on the dodge test and it is a miss.

Edward
toturi
QUOTE (Edward)
One success on the dodge test and it is a miss.

Edward

One net success. If the mofo shooting at you has a bucketload of successes, you might want to soak.
toturi
QUOTE (Kagetenshi)
QUOTE (FSBO @ Sep 23 2004, 12:46 PM)
Jail time can help your resume.

Help it right into the nearest trash bin.

~J

Try telling that to a Vory (Red or otherwise). On second thought, better not. If you do, it'll help you right into the closest coffin. Maybe there'll be precious little to bury you with when they are done.
Arz
Do not engage the enemy unless you have three of the following:

1-Cover
2-Superior numbers
3-Surprise
4-Superior speed
5-Superior weapons

If you have two of the above you will be hurt.
If you have only one of the above you or an ally will die.
If you have none of the above the GM is starting a new campaign.
Apathy
QUOTE
Do not engage the enemy unless you have three of the following:

1-Cover
2-Superior numbers
3-Surprise
4-Superior speed
5-Superior weapons

If you have two of the above you will be hurt.
If you have only one of the above you or an ally will die.
If you have none of the above the GM is starting a new campaign.

I like that, mind if I add it to my Shadowrun FAQ?
Clyde
Yeah, that's the best statement of it I've ever seen. I'm gonna' tell that to my new players!
Kagetenshi
It's simplistic. Massively superior speed, weapons, numbers, cover, or surprise can win the battle alone. Massively superior speed and weapons, speed and numbers, weapons and surprise, or cover can win the battle with minimal to no damage.

Edit: and really, for Weapons in combination with Speed or Surprise they don't even have to be superior, just powerful enough to take multiple people down per character per pass.

~J
RangerJoe
If playing in a less serious game, never go into combat unless you can confidently state the following:

"NOBODY expects the Spanish Inquisition! Our chief weapon is surprise...surprise and fear...fear and surprise.... Our two weapons are fear and surprise...and ruthless efficiency.... Our *three* weapons are fear, surprise, and ruthless efficiency...and an almost fanatical devotion to the Pope.... Our *four*...no... *Amongst* our weapons.... Amongst our weaponry...are such elements as fear, surprise...."

Then again, I suppose fear, surprise, ruthless efficiency, and almost fanatical devotion are useful to some runner groups....
Edward
QUOTE (toturi)
QUOTE (Edward @ Sep 24 2004, 08:03 PM)
One success on the dodge test and it is a miss.

Edward

One net success. If the mofo shooting at you has a bucketload of successes, you might want to soak.

I did say if the guy shooting you had only one success. Then you only need one success and he has no net successes and mises.

The list by Arz.
I notice skill is not on the list. With surprise equal numbers good weapons and much skill I can kill (or disable) the enemy before his superior weapons, speed and cover come into play.

Edward
Kanada Ten
QUOTE
I did say if the guy shooting you had only one success. Then you only need one success and he has no net successes and mises.

You would need two successes. A dodge roll must generate more successes than the attacker to be considered a miss.
Young Freud
QUOTE (toturi)
QUOTE (Kagetenshi @ Sep 24 2004, 01:52 AM)
QUOTE (FSBO @ Sep 23 2004, 12:46 PM)
Jail time can help your resume.

Help it right into the nearest trash bin.

~J

Try telling that to a Vory (Red or otherwise). On second thought, better not. If you do, it'll help you right into the closest coffin. Maybe there'll be precious little to bury you with when they are done.

Yakuza, too. You might have the tats, but even Yakuza wives and mistresses can get those. You ain't nothing in the Yakuza unless you got the pearls in your penis from spending some time in the joint.
Kanada Ten
Considering the types of brain modification prisons can inflict on its occupents, and the general state of SINless existance, jail time is less likely to be a positive mark. Combined with magic, both ritual links and truth detections, and technological feats even more so, prison is not a bonus in 2060. YMMV
FlakJacket
I'll just do my usual trick of pointing people towards these two very useful pages when threads like these crop up. smile.gif
blinkin
All of the stratagies stated so far are quite applicable. I have also found that, if you have a large enough group, having a back-up team. Close but off-site. 2 or 3 unexpected people can really mess with a security force, even if they aren't able to link up with the rest of the group.
toturi
What I do not really understand is the fact that when a runner fails his Stealth test, the whole team gets spotted. If sensors tell the sec rigger/decker(for those older systems) that there's an(only 1) intruder, the GM usually sends enough guys to take down the whole team.

Now if that isn't GM metagaming, I do not know what is. 4 guys to take down 1 runner is reasonable, but 8?
BitBasher
QUOTE (toturi)
What I do not really understand is the fact that when a runner fails his Stealth test, the whole team gets spotted. If sensors tell the sec rigger/decker(for those older systems) that there's an(only 1) intruder, the GM usually sends enough guys to take down the whole team.

Now if that isn't GM metagaming, I do not know what is. 4 guys to take down 1 runner is reasonable, but 8?

Actually based on the way current law enforcement works that's VERY reasonable. You want as many people helping as you can get, as that's less of a chance one of your compatriots gets injured.

In the jail where I work, when they call a code 99 when an inmate starts a fight EVERY single officer that is free sprints there, that can be upwards of 40 people for a two man fight.

You dont send a number of people that you think can do the job, you send a number that can absolutely without do the job without breaking a sweat. That's why distractions work so well.
Edward
QUOTE (Kanada Ten)
QUOTE
I did say if the guy shooting you had only one success. Then you only need one success and he has no net successes and mises.

You would need two successes. A dodge roll must generate more successes than the attacker to be considered a miss.

I will have to reed the combat section again.

2 successes needed is still a lot better than 6. (Subject to your body score. The bulletproof orc/troll builds are probably better of not moving).

Security will send 1 response teem regardless of the number of opponents (unless it is big enough to warrant 2 or 3 but usually means more than a runner team).

Edward

FSBO
QUOTE
Considering the types of brain modification prisons can inflict on its occupents, and the general state of SINless existance, jail time is less likely to be a positive mark. Combined with magic, both ritual links and truth detections, and technological feats even more so, prison is not a bonus in 2060. YMMV


I would believe prisons still come down to what is economical. and locking people down with guards even after keeping them healthy is cheaper then medicating and modifing everyone. Governments and or government contracts are responsible for prisons and their care, which means limited funds. After all the basics of prisons(guards, cell, perimeter, and escape deterrents) haven't changed a whole lot in history.
FlakJacket
So renting out a few inmates no questions asked could become a nice little revenue stream.
FSBO
so long as the paper work is in order.
Icarus
QUOTE (Arz)
Do not engage the enemy unless you have three of the following:

1-Cover
2-Superior numbers
3-Surprise
4-Superior speed
5-Superior weapons

If you have two of the above you will be hurt.
If you have only one of the above you or an ally will die.
If you have none of the above the GM is starting a new campaign.

Arz, it ain't a science, if you gotta, biff that guard, you do, or you die

-Icarus
GenoSicK
I think Arz was thinking of those times when you CAN choose weither to engage a fight or not. nyahnyah.gif
Ed Simons
QUOTE (toturi)
If sensors tell the sec rigger/decker(for those older systems) that there's an(only 1) intruder, the GM usually sends enough guys to take down the whole team.

Most runners do not run by themselves. If security has spotted one, they can be almost certain there are several more runners that they haven't spotted.

Plus the corps probably have standard response teams designed to deal with a full runner group. They won't send only part of that team and leave the others sitting around in the break room.
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