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Old 07-29-2014, 09:44 AM   #1
Anders
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Default Rocket Artillery (TL 4)

According to Medieval Total War 2, the Chinese had lots of rockets connected to a frame, with the fuses timed so that if you light the master fuse, the rockets will go off at more or less the same time. Or the whole thing explodes.

Regardless of whether this is true or not, TL4 rockets according to Low-Tech are unguided, meaning they function as Wild Swings. They get -5 to hit and can have a max skill of 9. They also get a bonus to hit since they have a RoF of more than 1. Can that bonus raise the skill above 9? It seems a little strange that I can fire 300 rockets at someone 2 yards away and have a less than even probability to hit.

Note: I don't really care about whether the Chinese had such a weapon. This is a question of rules and awesomeness.

ETA: Corrected the details according to Varyon.

Last edited by Anders; 07-29-2014 at 10:18 AM.
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Old 07-29-2014, 10:04 AM   #2
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Default Re: Rocket Artillery (TL 4)

That 9 is more-or-less the same 9 from Hitting the Wrong Target and similar, and it should be modified by RoF. I should also note that it's a -5 penalty, not -4.
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Old 07-29-2014, 10:52 AM   #3
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Default Re: Rocket Artillery (TL 4)

I think 300 rockets aimed at someone 2 yards away is exceptional circumstances. At that distance, you are either in front of the rocket battery (and get hit) or not (and do not). Although I suspect unguided rockets are typically pointed at an upwards angle, to avoid shooting explosives into the ground directly in front of you.

I would just rule an automatic hit unless the victim dodge-and-drops or otherwise accounts for the fact that incoming fire has right of way.

In short, I think the rules are built with the assumption that you are not shooting 300 explosive projectiles at a target 2 yards away. Checking out Low-Tech, apparently a typical rocket explodes after 3 seconds, usually traveling hundreds of yards in that time. On that, it is my guess that a successful 'hit' from a rocket in GURPS terms means the target is struck by the explosion. If the rocket physically strikes the person and then continues past them, it is probably not counted in GURPS terms as a hit.

Those are all guesses, on the basis that the rules assume you are using the weapon in the manner it was intended.
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Old 07-29-2014, 11:01 AM   #4
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Default Re: Rocket Artillery (TL 4)

I think you are missing the question, Railstar. Can a high RoF bring a "wild shot" above skill 9?
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Old 07-29-2014, 11:27 AM   #5
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Default Re: Rocket Artillery (TL 4)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anders View Post
Can a high RoF bring a "wild shot" above skill 9?
Suppression Fire has a similar skill cap. The RoF bonus can raise it above the cap though. I'd treat this rocket fire the same way.
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Old 07-29-2014, 11:31 AM   #6
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Default Re: Rocket Artillery (TL 4)

The rules clearly say that the cap is "after all modifiers", so no.

Modeling a point-blank rocket barrage as opposed to a ranged volley launch as a 'wild shot' would probably not be a good way to do things. The rules given for rockets probably make sense for using them normally, but don't make sense if you are using rocket-propelled explosives at thrown weapon (or melee weapon!) ranges.
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Old 07-29-2014, 11:31 AM   #7
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Default Re: Rocket Artillery (TL 4)

Quote:
Originally Posted by vierasmarius View Post
Suppression Fire has a similar skill cap. The RoF bonus can raise it above the cap though. I'd treat this rocket fire the same way.
In fact, I'd pretty much treat Suppression Fire as the ranged equivalent of a Wild Swing, and judge accordingly.
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Old 07-29-2014, 11:32 AM   #8
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Default Re: Rocket Artillery (TL 4)

In that case, in a general sense, no. Hitting the Wrong Target uses a flat 9 to represent pure chance, and doesn't suggest any modifiers to raise it higher.

But the rules for Suppression Fire might be a better choice for the circumstances you were describing, and under those rules, RoF does make a huge difference.
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Old 07-29-2014, 12:04 PM   #9
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Default Re: Rocket Artillery (TL 4)

This is weird. The skill cap, I mean. Ballista bolts are unguided too, but they aren't capped at 9, nor are larger, actual military rockets, such as those on High-Tech 148-150 or Fantasy 144.
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Old 07-29-2014, 12:12 PM   #10
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Default Re: Rocket Artillery (TL 4)

Ballista bolts gets an initial push and then continue in that direction. Rockets have a continual push, meaning they behave differently. Minute differences in direction are amplified and there's a positive feedback loop there.
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