Monday, 8 February 2010
Forum Get Away
Over at the usual place there has been an interesting thread on auto-cannons. Unfortunately, as I was checking this post today, gone with the forum crash that CGL had a while back.
On this occasion there has been a lot of useful discussion, even if total consensus has not been reached. One of the problems with designing anything by a committee is that they tend up producing elephants, rather than mice. Forums are like a giant chorus of me too's and squabbling when the toys are taken away. Can't be helped, as it is the nature of the mob, or the psychology of crowds that give anonymity to act out the individuals desires. Being human we all have a lot of desires in common, but I won't go there, as that would be a digression.
A very good point is made in the thread about the damage per ton of ammo being an over looked weakness in the auto-cannon design. Looking at the argument I thought it had considerable merit. For me, one problem with house ruling auto-cannons is that you can so easily end up with things that are a lot better, and that will as a consequence create more problems than they solve. It is the equivalent of an arms race. Improve one thing too much, and the proponents of the energy weapons will want to redress the balance.
My contribution was to posit an AC2 that would have 30 rounds of ammo that would hit twice, each time for 2 points. So still an AC2, but doubly effective. I also suggested making the AC5 into an AC6 and giving it double 3 points of damage, same again for the AC10 as a double 6, while finally making the AC20 a double 12 weapon.
Then the idea gets the mob look over and the feeling is that the AC20 should just remain an AC20, because having two chances of head-capping, or loosing the ability to punch 20 points into one location were deemed as either unbalancing, or weakening this fan favourite. I'm not sure that I would agree with this consensus.
However, one thing I did think of later, which I didn't post is to address the ammo explosion rules for mechs. I'm calling this CASE 0(Zero).
CASE 0 would mean that when an ammo critical hit was made then only one round of the weapon would blow off. So a machine gun round is 2 points, but an LRM20 is 20 points. Since the damage is all internal the attacker gets another chance of a critical, and if they hit the ammo again you get another blast of damage. Therefore it would still be possible for a mech to blow up, just not as likely to do so. Also, I would add that once any ammo blows then the feed mechanism is jammed. Either assume the weapon has one round chambered, or roll on a D6, and on 1 to 3 it doesn't and on a 4 to 6 it does.
I'll have to run the numbers through a 36 round test to see what the average damage looks like, before signing off on this one for my house rules book.
Disclaimer: All posts are condensed & abbreviated summaries of complex arguments posted for discussion on the internet, and not meant to be authoritative in any shape, or form on said subject, T&CA, E&OE & YMMV.