Steve Jackson Games - Site Navigation
Home General Info Follow Us Search Illuminator Store Forums What's New Other Games Ogre GURPS Munchkin Our Games: Home

Go Back   Steve Jackson Games Forums > Board and Card Games > Car Wars > Car Wars Old Editions

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 06-14-2020, 10:31 AM   #21
Wanderhoof
 
Join Date: Jun 2020
Default Re: Anti-power plant rockets

If approached with a min/max mindset (especially towards simple damage potential), the APPR really is not the most efficient nor effective weapon choice. There are, as several people noted, many weapons that could fall into this less than optimal weapon choice category.

But, again, this is talking about a min/max approach to building and arming your vehicle. This approach is, of course, probably incredibly important and useful when building for arena style events.

However, I can see story-based games where these weapons could make a great deal of sense or find important uses. RP sessions/campaigns can have other goals and priorities besides just being able to blow everything up better than anyone else. And, yes, we did do Car Wars RP campaigns back in the day.

One idea that comes to mind as a possible example is this:

You have to disable a convoy truck carrying Le MacGuffin Item of Something Something Important and yet Also Maybe Delicate/Volatile. And, because of the Something Something MacGuffin, you cannot just pow pow the convoy rig into oblivion (possibly damaging or destroying the Something Something MacGuffin)... or even just disable it (by shooting out its tires, for example) and leaving it with power, because if the vehicle becomes disabled by still with power, they will just Activate the Something Something (oooo, scary!).

So, you and your ice-in-your-veins cohorts take turns chipping away at the armor around the power plant while your vehicles come under withering amounts of fire from the convoy truck and also fighting off escort vehicles (which you can totally destroy; suck snot to be the people carrying the Something Something). Finally, with the power plant exposed, you take suspenseful shot after suspenseful shot at it with your appr's until - voila! - the convoy rig is disabled and also has no power to activate the Something Something MacGuffin, and you can swoop in to extract the thingy you were hired to retrieve.

OK, that was a longer example than I meant it to be, but I get carried away sometimes. The point being, in story contexts something can be made useful that may appear relatively useless in a min/max context. So, even if their implementation is rare or situational at best, it is still cool to have them around.
Wanderhoof is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-14-2020, 11:33 AM   #22
swordtart
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Default Re: Anti-power plant rockets

Wanderhoof:

Sorry, I have to disagree.

Your idea of a truck based opponent is more credible than most arguments for the APPR, as normally the APPR has a significant chance of destroying the plant from the d6-1 damage done regardless of the special effect (and against bike plants it is almost guaranteed). However any side breach that exceeds the exact amount required has a 1/3 chance of damaging the plant in the process (damage allocation among internal compartments). To stand a chance of knocking a hole in a truck before it kills you, you are probably needing to use a high damage weapon and that usually means quite a bit of collateral damage. Truck plants plants are the one few that can probably suck it up.

However that 1/3 chance to accidentally hit the plant when you don't want to is exactly the same chance to hit it when you do want to. So 2 in 3 rockets that hit the rig just end up damaging the other internal components instead (including your MacGuffin) and once you breach even d6-1 is plenty to wreck components. In addition even if you do hit the plant, the damage required to activate the special effect has a 1/3 chance of setting the rig on fire.

The scenario you put forward and its MacGuffin has been entirely engineered to justify the existence of what is in essence the APPR MacGuffin. It would be easier all round to just re-frame the scenario to use more conventional equipment or just have a bespoke one-off item of equipment to resolve this one-off requirement but that could do so effectively in the scenario but didn't require incorporation into the more general game.

Requiring significant specialist equipment to resolve a specific mission requirement is that it rail roads players into a particular course of action. If that course of action runs contrary to their character development (and in CW their cars are characters) to date then you have negated their creative input. Realistically if anyone gave you that mission you would refuse it unless forced as it is so dependent on pure luck to succeed.

Anything in the catalogue needs to be generally useful or we have equipment bloat, too many one-trick ponies that start raising questions about the normal rules and can often raise unintended consequences. Bouncing bombs were invented to resolve a specific problem, they then didn't enter the general inventory.

Sometimes less is more.

Last edited by swordtart; 06-14-2020 at 12:06 PM.
swordtart is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-14-2020, 12:38 PM   #23
Parody
 
Parody's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Twin Cities, MN
Default Re: Anti-power plant rockets

The only time I've used an APPR is when we altered it to work like its CW5 counterpart: hitting any part of a vehicle knocked out that vehicle's electronics for a short amount of game time. It's terrible otherwise.
__________________
Parody is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-14-2020, 02:58 PM   #24
kjamma4
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Chicagoland Area, Illinois
Default Re: Anti-power plant rockets

Quote:
Originally Posted by Parody View Post
The only time I've used an APPR is when we altered it to work like its CW5 counterpart: hitting any part of a vehicle knocked out that vehicle's electronics for a short amount of game time. It's terrible otherwise.
Where do you find the 5e rules for the APPR?
kjamma4 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-14-2020, 03:31 PM   #25
Wanderhoof
 
Join Date: Jun 2020
Default Re: Anti-power plant rockets

Allo Swordtart!

I want to try and respond to your response as best I can, so I am going to try and go bit by bit without losing the overall context of what you have written. Please, bear with me as I muddle through.

Quote:
Originally Posted by swordtart View Post
Wanderhoof:

Sorry, I have to disagree.

Your idea of a truck based opponent is more credible than most arguments for the APPR, as normally the APPR has a significant chance of destroying the plant from the d6-1 damage done regardless of the special effect (and against bike plants it is almost guaranteed). However any side breach that exceeds the exact amount required has a 1/3 chance of damaging the plant in the process (damage allocation among internal compartments). To stand a chance of knocking a hole in a truck before it kills you, you are probably needing to use a high damage weapon and that usually means quite a bit of collateral damage. Truck plants plants are the one few that can probably suck it up.
This was just a rough example I thought off in the spur of the moment to try and illustrate my point. So, I unfortunately did not go super deep into thinking about the maths of it.

I think the short version of it is that I was trying to say players and Ref-GM's could find potential use for this item in a more RP, story-based session. Many things that are not obviously powerful or efficacious may be found to be useful through various creative thinking.

None of that is a statement against how underwhelming the APPR as a combat weapon. And, unfortunately I did not also get around to following up with my opinion that I do think it could use a major overhaul to broaden its usefulness. I would agree that it is not in a great place as it stands.


Quote:
Originally Posted by swordtart View Post
However that 1/3 chance to accidentally hit the plant when you don't want to is exactly the same chance to hit it when you do want to. So 2 in 3 rockets that hit the rig just end up damaging the other internal components instead (including your MacGuffin) and once you breach even d6-1 is plenty to wreck components. In addition even if you do hit the plant, the damage required to activate the special effect has a 1/3 chance of setting the rig on fire.

The scenario you put forward and its MacGuffin has been entirely engineered to justify the existence of what is in essence the APPR MacGuffin. It would be easier all round to just re-frame the scenario to use more conventional equipment or just have a bespoke one-off item of equipment to resolve this one-off requirement but that could do so effectively in the scenario but didn't require incorporation into the more general game.

Requiring significant specialist equipment to resolve a specific mission requirement is that it rail roads players into a particular course of action. If that course of action runs contrary to their character development (and in CW their cars are characters) to date then you have negated their creative input. Realistically if anyone gave you that mission you would refuse it unless forced as it is so dependent on pure luck to succeed.
Again, my example - rough edges and all - was just something I thought of spur of the moment to illustrate a point. However (and this is less about the APPR...):

- I did not mean to imply that there could be only one way to address an challenge, and that one way should be a specific item so that that specific item has justification for its entire existence. I just wanted to say, "Hey, the players might use this as an idea to tackle the mission." Any good RP campaign should allow for multiple avenues of problem solving and decision making. I did not mean to make it seem otherwise simply to say, "Hey, we HAVE to have this one item, because nothing else could possibly ever work ever." I realize that my 'scenario', as presented, lacked nuance and could lead to this misunderstanding. It was written hastily and probably poorly. That said, it was not meant as a endorsement of unduly railroading players with an endless string of MacGuffins.

- Any sane person would probably refuse the majority of missions and just hang out in the Truck Stop lounge, heh heh. Luck, danger, and so on... Every mission is a wild mix of chaos, life, death, and shenanigans. You prepare as best you are able, and then watch all your carefully laid plans fall apart 30 seconds after engaging the enemy. Aside from than, in game after game from fantasy to sci-fi and everything in between, I have seen players willingly, gleefully throw their characters into situations worse than the scenario I presented... *shrugs*

- This is a tangent, but... In Car Wars I always saw the character and the car as two separate characters in a symbiotic relationship, each with their own identities that sometimes melded and sometimes clashed. Sometimes a good story can come out of a player learning to love something they initially hated about a particular vehicle (like an APPR, heh heh).

Quote:
Originally Posted by swordtart View Post
Anything in the catalogue needs to be generally useful or we have equipment bloat, too many one-trick ponies that start raising questions about the normal rules and can often raise unintended consequences. Bouncing bombs were invented to resolve a specific problem, they then didn't enter the general inventory.

Sometimes less is more.
Yeah. I think conceptually the APPR is a clever idea, but as said previously it is not in a great place. But, I would rather see it tweaked a bit before just relegating it to the scrap pile.

Also, because I come from a very oddball-ish RP-frame of mind (versus the min-maxing I mentioned previously), I will admit that I actually like seeing a plethora of different and even oddball items available to characters in a game. I realize that this is possibly a very niche view for an already niche game. I would hazard that many players gravitate towards Car Wars for the vehicular combat and less so for a RP-heavy campaign world.

Before I am misunderstood, I do not think one way is more right than the other. They are simply different ways of playing and enjoying the same game. I do not think you are 'wrong' for not wanting this item in the game, and I do not think min-maxers are wrong for how they approach and enjoy gameplay. What makes you happy or enjoy a game is what makes you happy and enjoy a game. I support that.

Anyway, because I like to see quirky things that may or may not be useful but certainly have some sort of RP potential, I really would like to see the APPR retained. This includes even if it has to be re-worked. Buuut, it is not like it will ruin the game for me if it disappears, either. I mean, I can always make crazy stuff with homebrew with my fellow players. So, this wouldn't be make or break.

I really just was trying to come up with a quick, clever and somewhat light-hearted defense of the poor APPR (and other quirky items like it).

Yes, sometimes less is more. But, many times, more is more.
Wanderhoof is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-14-2020, 10:18 PM   #26
Parody
 
Parody's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Twin Cities, MN
Default Re: Anti-power plant rockets

Quote:
Originally Posted by kjamma4 View Post
Where do you find the 5e rules for the APPR?
The Surge Rocket is in CW5's Arena Book 1, on the Devastator.
__________________
Parody is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-15-2020, 03:25 PM   #27
swordtart
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Default Re: Anti-power plant rockets

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wanderhoof View Post
Allo Swordtart!

I want to try and respond to your response as best I can, so I am going to try and go bit by bit without losing the overall context of what you have written. Please, bear with me as I muddle through.
I don't disagree with making the best of a bad situation as a challenge to role-playing. In the past my players have been forced to choose a ropey pre-made vehicle from the nearest car lot to cover a temporary gap in their fleet due to an encounter gone bad. Going into serious battle with a salvaged Mini-Sherman or the like can be a sobering experience after been spoiled with a top tech custom.

I don't disagree with variety in the game, we have house rules for a grenade dropper to allow the whole variety to be used as DWs. This variety is fine as it provides choice without additional complication.

On the other hand adding pointless items just clutters up the rule set and adds another tedious conversation when a new player finds out that it is literally a waste of a space.

Unfortunately the best thing to do with a APPR is sell it for salvage, but in the spirit of being even handed, perhaps it could be offered to the players by a shady dealer who describes it as something much better (perhaps claiming that it is a Surge Rocket or similar). Unless the players have every bought an APPR they are unlikely to recognise it. Of course when the players use it, they are likely to find out that it is useless.

They will then have to think of something to do with any they have left. Maybe a local boffin can use them as the basis for a more effective weapon. "You see the fools spent too much of the mass budget on the explosive payload. In my design we use less explosive to drive a magnet at high speed through a more substantial induction coil, producing a high energy pulse that will overload any electronic component that it hits or, and this is the key, merely connected to that component". They might also seek redress from their now absconded dealer.

The above scenario would of course work with any other component that was over-sold, without having to spec one out in any detail or publish it. Anti-Laser Foam was a great story item that was used in one scenario without the necessity for it to become part of the catalogue (though it also received a mention in an Uncle Al interview about failed products).
swordtart is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-18-2020, 08:45 PM   #28
sparcipx
 
Join Date: May 2020
Location: Winnipeg, Canada
Default Re: Anti-power plant rockets

Quote:
Originally Posted by swordtart View Post
The above scenario would of course work with any other component that was over-sold, without having to spec one out in any detail or publish it. Anti-Laser Foam was a great story item that was used in one scenario without the necessity for it to become part of the catalogue (though it also received a mention in an Uncle Al interview about failed products).
Ah yes, the "Burma Shave Reject" line... I actually had this running through my head when I first started this thread.
sparcipx is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Fnords are Off
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:40 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.