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Old 11-05-2010, 08:25 AM   #1
Sam Baughn
 
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Default [House Rule] Massed Shooting attacks

It's been mentioned a few times on this forum that the normal rapid fire rules are significantly less effective than making lots of attack rolls. The most notable issue with this is that multiple small turrets on spaceships become a lot more effective if you can find some excuse for them to roll individual attacks, such as by fitting them with a lot of different weapons.

In order to 'fix' this issue, I have come up with the following house rule, which makes massed shooting more effective.

Massed Shooting

If more than one individual is attacking a target with similar weapons, use Rapid Fire rules, but instead of the usual bonus to hit and Rcl, use the ones from the following table instead.

Code:

No. of Attackers	To Hit	Rcl.

2			+2	4
3-4			+3	3	
5-6			+4	3
7-8			+5	2
9-12			+6	2
13-16			+7	1
17-24			+8	1
25-49			+9	1*
50-99			+10	1*
100-199			+11	1**
200-399			+12	1**
400-799			+13	1***
800-1,599		+14	1***
1,600+			+15	1****
Use average attacker skill (including any aiming bonuses), rounded down, and average range to the target for the roll to hit.

If using weapons with RoF 2+, add the RoF bonus from the normal rapid fire rule for one weapon to the hit roll (if weapons are firing at different rates, calculate average RoF and use that).

If using weapons with RoF 2+ use the higher of the Rcl from the table or the weapons' Rcl. If the Rcl in the above table has one or more stars (*) after it, reduce the weapon's recoil by the number of stars.

Examples:

Two bowmen (skill 12), with regular bows, aim (+2 to hit) and then shoot at a normal sized man (SM+0) at a range of 20 yards (-6 to hit). They get +2 to hit from massed fire, for a final roll to hit of 10. Recoil is 4. If they roll 8, they hit once.

Sixty soldiers (Skill 12), with Battle Rifles (RoF 11, Rcl 3), are firing at a giant monster (SM+4) at an average range of 100 yards (-10 to hit). They get +10 to hit from the massed fire table and +2 to hit for their rate of fire. Final roll to hit the creature is 12, +4, -10, +10, +2 or 18. Recoil is 3, -1 because of the massed fire modifer, for a total of 2. If they roll 8, they hit the monster six times.

Ten laser turrets (RoF 10) mounted on a large spaceship (average gunner skill 10) fire at a SM+6 heavy fighter at Close range (-4 to hit). They get +6 to hit from massed fire and +2 from rapid fire, for a total to hit roll of 20. Recoil is 2, due to massed fire rules. If they roll 10, they hit six times.
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Old 11-05-2010, 09:25 AM   #2
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Default Re: [House Rule] Massed Shooting attacks

Looks nice =). This month I rebegin my nordic game. Will try your house rule to see how it function in game.

Thanks for the work.
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Old 11-05-2010, 09:36 AM   #3
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Default Re: [House Rule] Massed Shooting attacks

Looks interesting.
I've been thinking about this issue a bit, since I'm working on a space campaign, and the number of shots fired can quickly climb into the many thousands.
I was thinking about creating a new rapid fire table that is the same as normal up to, say, 1,000 shots, then gives +1 every 1,000 shots, instead of +1 every doubling.
But I'll try your rules out and see how they work. :)
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Old 11-05-2010, 10:35 AM   #4
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Default Re: [House Rule] Massed Shooting attacks

I seem to recall a 3rd Ed. rule that had extremely high rates of fire getting a multiplier after the number of hits were calculated. So each "hit" by a weapon with a high enough RoF was actually hits x 10 or something like that.

It would be severe overkill for personal weapons against person-sized targets, but most very high RoF weapons are vehicle mounted for use against area targets (even if that "area" is a bunch of person-sized targets) or other vehicles where tens or hundreds of hits are more reasonable.

According to current RoF rules a soldier could fire a Gatling gun point-blank at the broadside of a barn and have most of them miss.
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Old 11-05-2010, 11:38 AM   #5
Kromm
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Default Re: [House Rule] Massed Shooting attacks

Massed fire should only use the rapid-fire rules in two situations:

1. When the weapons are "synchronized" or "linked" to let a single gunner discharge them all at a single target as if he were firing a single, high-RoF weapon. Not all of the weapons are in the exact same spot, and a gunner who lacks traits like Compartmentalized Mind and Enhanced Tracking must aim using a single gunsight that won't be zeroed to all of them, so there will perforce be some dispersion.

2. When the weapons are individually fired, but are close enough together that the smoke, flash, recoil, power surge, etc. from one could become an issue for another. In that case, individual gunners work against one another somewhat. Peter's gun disturbs Paul's aim, since Peter and Paul aren't a hive mind and don't fire truly simultaneously.

However, if multiple gunners are aiming and firing weapons expressly set up not to interfere with each other, or if there's a fire-direction system that lets several weapons aim and fire truly simultaneously at a single target point with individual corrections – either option giving the effect of traits like Compartmentalized Mind and Enhanced Tracking – then I'd suggest separate attack rolls for the weapons. If two PCs standing nearby can fire their rifles as separate attacks, then two isolated gun crews, or a single computer that can run two instances of gunnery software to operate two guns, ought to make separate attack rolls for each weapon.
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Old 11-05-2010, 12:02 PM   #6
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Default Re: [House Rule] Massed Shooting attacks

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kromm View Post
I'd suggest separate attack rolls for the weapons. If two PCs standing nearby can fire their rifles as separate attacks, then two isolated gun crews, or a single computer that can run two instances of gunnery software to operate two guns, ought to make separate attack rolls for each weapon.
How would this affect Spaceships where it's reasonable to assume many if not most attacks could fall under this qualifier, but times dozens of shots?

The best argument I've seen to RoF being "broken" is where there are no rules simplifying resolving a barrage of self-guided missiles. I've made battleship designs in Spaceships that could fire hundreds of missiles per turn, each presumably self-guided. I could probably write a program to resolve this, but it would be easier if I could have a game mechanic.
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Old 11-05-2010, 01:21 PM   #7
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Default Re: [House Rule] Massed Shooting attacks

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kromm View Post
Massed fire should only use the rapid-fire rules in two situations:
I've only ever used rapid fire rules in two situations. Both were squads of trained guards who were substantially less powerful than the PCs who were firing under orders. That was really the only way I could hit the PCs with people who weren't more than 75 pts against the PCs' 300+. I guess that would fall under your second situation.

I found it worked out well mainly because it sped up the turn significantly and gave the cocky PCs something to fear.
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Old 11-05-2010, 02:31 PM   #8
Kromm
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Default Re: [House Rule] Massed Shooting attacks

If you want to be harshly realistic, if a large number of weapons are directed by truly isolated "minds" who can pick targets, make small corrections, and fire all at once, then it's probably best to calculate final skill, look up the percentage that equals, and say that percentage of the shots hit. In other words:

If you have 100 cannon that rock the ship, fired not-quite-simultaneously by 100 gun crews, or if you have 100 cannon along the length of the ship which are pointed only by pointing the ship, then treat it as RoF 100. If effective skill is 10 before rapid-fire bonuses, then add +7 for 100-199 shots and use the Rcl of the weapons. For Rcl 1 beam cannon or missile launchers, a roll of 10-11 means 7-8 hits.

If you have 100 cannon that don't produce flash, recoil, etc. and that are fired by a computer that can adjust the aim of each one and then fire them all at once, then don't roll. If effective skill is 10, 50% of them hit, which means 50 hits.

If you dislike the discrepancy . . . well my advice would be to add target SM to the number of hits, even though you've already added it to find effective skill. Against a man, it's laughable that many of those 100 guns would hit if they're all pointed out the side of a vehicle, however good the gunners are. Against some SM +13 battle cruiser, I could accept 20-21 hits vs. 50 hits. However, the latter case should always be better.
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Old 11-05-2010, 03:48 PM   #9
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Default Re: [House Rule] Massed Shooting attacks

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kromm View Post
If you want to be harshly realistic, if a large number of weapons are directed by truly isolated "minds" who can pick targets, make small corrections, and fire all at once, then it's probably best to calculate final skill, look up the percentage that equals, and say that percentage of the shots hit.
I've been thinking along these lines. Why doesn't Spaceships do it this way for large missile volleys in the first place?
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Old 11-05-2010, 04:07 PM   #10
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Default Re: [House Rule] Massed Shooting attacks

Because randomness is fun?
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