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Old 12-11-2018, 11:25 PM   #1
Tom H.
 
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Default Applying Linked Weapon Damage

I started studying the 2015 Car Wars Classic rules. I'm considering playing a game after many years away from Car Wars with my nephews to give them perspective in case 6th Ed. becomes a hit.

I wanted to get feedback on a rule that I may have played incorrectly back in the day.

Whenever you attack an enemy and score hits with multiple, identical, aimed, linked weapons; do you combine the total damage into a single application?

Here are some considerations.

1. Attacks produce a hazard.
Combined damage may produce a single D3; whereas, separate damage may produce multiple D1's each requiring a separate control roll.

2. Damage location.
Combined damage may penetrate deeper into a vehicle via a single route. Separate damage may hit different components on a side.

3. Breaching buildings.
Without combining damage, buildings may be difficult to breach for lighter weapons.

4. Metal armor.
Metal armor will be more effective against separate damage from lighter weapons. (This is a case in which I support the separate application of damage.)


For better or worse, I tended to combine my damage from linked weapon hits.* I would be interested in any "official" corrections. However, I'm also interested to know how some of you ended up playing this by default even if it was "incorrect."

* By the way, I was also bad at remembering to apply hazards from attacks and to penalize attacks made in the same phase in which hazards or maneuvers were incurred.

Rules to consider.

On p. 33 under Linked Weapons, it's clear that each weapon uses a separate to-hit roll. There is nothing explicit regarding damage.

On p. 15 under Hazards and Road Conditions, it's pretty explicit that if a vehicle is hit by three weapons in a turn, each hit inflicts a hazard that requires a separate control roll. I still question whether this makes sense when all the hits are from the "same attack" in the same phase.

On p. 25 under General Combat Procedure, "[a]ll damage for the phase is resolved simultaneously at the end of the phase." That seems like a pretty strong clue. Still, what about the metal armor dilemma?

Last edited by Tom H.; 12-11-2018 at 11:32 PM.
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Old 12-12-2018, 02:09 PM   #2
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Default Re: Applying Linked Weapon Damage

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom H. View Post
Whenever you attack an enemy and score hits with multiple, identical, aimed, linked weapons; do you combine the total damage into a single application?
It varies:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom H. View Post
1. Attacks produce a hazard.
Combined damage may produce a single D3; whereas, separate damage may produce multiple D1's each requiring a separate control roll.
Here, the hits are combined.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom H. View Post
2. Damage location.
Combined damage may penetrate deeper into a vehicle via a single route. Separate damage may hit different components on a side.
Here, the hits are separated.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom H. View Post
3. Breaching buildings.
Without combining damage, buildings may be difficult to breach for lighter weapons.
Here, the hits are combined. (Granted, as infrequently as we ever shot at buildings....)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom H. View Post
4. Metal armor.
Metal armor will be more effective against separate damage from lighter weapons. (This is a case in which I support the separate application of damage.)
Here, the hits are separated; in fact, it says so specifically in _Dueltrack_ [p. 10], but that got cut from later editions.

And therein lies the answer to most of this, really: There were a lot of "explanatory" rules in early products which got removed for whatever reason; these then had to be filled-in via "ADQ&A", with varying degrees of clarity....
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Old 12-12-2018, 02:32 PM   #3
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Default Re: Applying Linked Weapon Damage

Perfect explanation 43

Also shows how crazy the original rules were

Oh, and originally you could only link 2 identical weapons and aim and fire them together, but then they allowed you to link as many as you wanted.

Interesting fact: If you want to bring down a chopper don't hit it with linked weapons, fire each weapon individually for separate hazards.

Compare being hit with 3 linked SAMs (D3) vs. 3 individual SAMs (3 D3s=D9) and you'll see what I mean.
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Old 12-13-2018, 02:48 AM   #4
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Default Re: Applying Linked Weapon Damage

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Originally Posted by juris View Post
Interesting fact: If you want to bring down a chopper don't hit it with linked weapons, fire each weapon individually for separate hazards.
Of course this requires multiple separate firing actions.

This is why a 40 ft van trailer with multiple gunners is preferable to multiple weapons linked with a single gunner (plus they can help you unload at the other end). Of course at 10c per mile per gunner that can quickly eat into your profits and the extra seats eat into your cargo capacity (but not much to be fair) and the costs of computers can be prohibitive - but maybe less than having to make more extensive repairs because the fight took longer. Of course you can use computer gunners to save on pay, but then you have to figure in the greater capital cost.

Sometimes it's more spreadsheet than table top ;)

Last edited by swordtart; 12-13-2018 at 11:05 AM.
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Old 12-13-2018, 02:29 PM   #5
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Default Re: Applying Linked Weapon Damage

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Originally Posted by juris View Post
Also shows how crazy the original rules were
Not "crazy" -- just that certain aspects of damage vary with what's being hit.

For ex.: When armor is straight ablative, it doesn't matter whether the hits come individually, or in volleys -- 30 points of damage, is 30 points of damage. When Metal armor came along, one had the problem of it being not straight ablative; what mattered was "how many points of damage each shot did", and "what sort of damage was it" (Burst, or Area, Effect) -- so the hits had to be broken-out individually. (For our part: We totaled up how many points were rolled, then applied it as one lump-sum; one might not penetrate the armor with massed fire, but one *could* shove a target around....)

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Oh, and originally you could only link 2 identical weapons and aim and fire them together, but then they allowed you to link as many as you wanted.
Well, when Links were first written, no one ever thought to try linking 3+ weapons -- usually there wasn't room. Then some lunatic decided to take the _Hotshot_ MG Option to its logical [?] extreme and put *six* MGs on a Lux.... >:)

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Compare being hit with 3 linked SAMs (D3) vs. 3 individual SAMs (3 D3s=D9) and you'll see what I mean.
See above -- it depended on how one handled the D-hazards from weapons hits. For ex.: In my groups, if all three SAMs hit in the same phase, the points were totaled, and applied as a lump-sum. If they hit in different phases (which required each being fired by a separate Gunner with a discrete firing-action), only then would they be broken out separately.
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Old 12-14-2018, 11:21 PM   #6
Tom H.
 
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Default Re: Applying Linked Weapon Damage

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Originally Posted by 43Supporter View Post
And therein lies the answer to most of this, really: There were a lot of "explanatory" rules in early products which got removed for whatever reason; these then had to be filled-in via "ADQ&A", with varying degrees of clarity....
Thank you for your response. I'm glad to have gotten some feedback on the details I brought up.
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Old 12-15-2018, 09:32 AM   #7
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Default Re: Applying Linked Weapon Damage

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom H. View Post
I started studying the 2015 Car Wars Classic rules. I'm considering playing a game after many years away from Car Wars with my nephews to give them perspective in case 6th Ed. becomes a hit.

I wanted to get feedback on a rule that I may have played incorrectly back in the day.

Whenever you attack an enemy and score hits with multiple, identical, aimed, linked weapons; do you combine the total damage into a single application?

Here are some considerations.

1. Attacks produce a hazard.
Combined damage may produce a single D3; whereas, separate damage may produce multiple D1's each requiring a separate control roll.

2. Damage location.
Combined damage may penetrate deeper into a vehicle via a single route. Separate damage may hit different components on a side.

3. Breaching buildings.
Without combining damage, buildings may be difficult to breach for lighter weapons.

4. Metal armor.
Metal armor will be more effective against separate damage from lighter weapons. (This is a case in which I support the separate application of damage.)


For better or worse, I tended to combine my damage from linked weapon hits.* I would be interested in any "official" corrections. However, I'm also interested to know how some of you ended up playing this by default even if it was "incorrect."

* By the way, I was also bad at remembering to apply hazards from attacks and to penalize attacks made in the same phase in which hazards or maneuvers were incurred.

Rules to consider.

On p. 33 under Linked Weapons, it's clear that each weapon uses a separate to-hit roll. There is nothing explicit regarding damage.

On p. 15 under Hazards and Road Conditions, it's pretty explicit that if a vehicle is hit by three weapons in a turn, each hit inflicts a hazard that requires a separate control roll. I still question whether this makes sense when all the hits are from the "same attack" in the same phase.

On p. 25 under General Combat Procedure, "[a]ll damage for the phase is resolved simultaneously at the end of the phase." That seems like a pretty strong clue. Still, what about the metal armor dilemma?
1. You add damage from linked weapons together to determine their hazard. This one was clarified and confirmed by Scott as how it should play.

2. You roll individually for each attack that applies hits past the armor. (And note that there are only 3 possible hit locations on cars: engine/crew/other).

3. You do not add damage together when determining whether or not a building is breached. You'll note that the phrasing on buildings uses the singular "weapon". There's a more tangential argument in the original change to the gas tank rules which cited how buildings work that backs this up too.

4. Metal armor treats each weapon shot separately. Note that if multiple groups of linked weapons or weapons from multiple vehicles hit metal armor in the same phase that the defender would still get to count his/her initial metal armor for the phase when determining the damage from each, as weapons fire is considered simultaneous.
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Old 12-15-2018, 11:53 AM   #8
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Default Re: Applying Linked Weapon Damage

Here is a blast from the past related to this discussion. This optional rule might be considered to include in a future update of Car Wars Fourth Edition, either Car Wars Classic or Car Wars Compendium 2.5.




AADA News: News and Information from the American Autoduel Association. Scott D. Haring. Pyramid Magazine. Number 6. March/April 1994. Steve Jackson Games. pp. 64-65.

Optional Rule

Another regular correspondent, Christopher J. Burke, writes:

Car Wars has ceased to be a game of Demolition Derby with Automated Weapons. In fact, weapons are almost worthless these days. Since cars can mount outrageous amounts of armor, pounding through it can take several well-placed, high-damage shots. (Has this happened to you?: "Ah, HA! I hit. Four dice damage!" Roll, roll . . . "Damn, a lousy eight points!") Either that, or wait for someone else to do the dirty work for you.

Likewise, since handling no longer "maxes out" at HC 3, hitting your opponent with a pair of heavy rockets isn't likely to send him rolling anymore. Now when a vehicle can have HC 6, thanks to active suspension and racing slicks. (Subcompacts get an additional +1 to HC, but if you're spending dough on active suspension and racing slicks, you ain't driving no stinkin' sub.)

The result of all this is that the best ways to achieve a kill are to either ram (whaddya need the guns for?) or use an el cheapo ice-oil combo (why pay more?). Yeah, it can be exciting, but all the big guns fall by the wayside.

I propose extending the hazard table for weapons fire, to make the big guns more competitive again, as follows: Total all damage from each volley (a volley being all incoming weapon fire from one opponent). Damage of 1-5 points would be a D1 hazard; 6-10 points, D2; 11-20 points, D3; 21-30 points, D4; 31-40 points, D5; each additional 10 points, +D1, with no maximum hazard.

The current rules cut hazards dramatically from the old system, but it places an artificial cap at D3, even though there is no longer a cap on handling. My proposal removes this cap. It also changes the start of D3 to 11 from 10, to even out the progression.

This is not a change simply for the sake of change. I want to correct what I think is a major imbalance, and I don't think the fix is a major change, more of an extrapolation of what's already in place. Granted, I don't doubt that it'll have a bog impact on game play and strategy.

There is, of course, another solution to this problem: Don't allow dueling machines to have ridiculously high HC. (Forget race cars, those are a different story.) A driver can recover from a 90 degree bend in one second -- instantaneously if performed in Phase 5! Further, a driver can go from Death's Door (HC -6) to Death's Front Gate (HC 0) and totally bypass Death's Welcome Mat and Death's Front Porch.

There are two big problems with this solution. First, it is a major change to the rules, and it could have serious, unforeseen repercussions throughout the system. Second, people seem to like it the way it is. That being said, I think that extending the hazard table is the right thing to do.


So what do you folks think? I'd like to see some reports from duellists out there who took a few spins around the arena using these rules. Let us know how they worked out.

Scott D. Haring
Pyramid Magazine Editor
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