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A different take on Ammo

Discussion in 'Access Guide to the Human Sphere' started by Mahtamori, Mar 26, 2018.

  1. Mahtamori

    Mahtamori Well-Known Member

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    Something that's been floating around at the back of my mind regarding how unsatisfactory special ammo handling is done with the current rules - especially regarding Marksmanship plus Breaker, where the effect of Marksmanship is an order of magnitude higher than what other units get for the same price. Here's a different take on it.

    What it's all about.
    With this alternate handling, each special ammo has an effect. This effect is simply stacked onto all other effects, making it possible to have Explosive + Double Action ammo for a total of 4 ARM rolls. Any saves will be conducted by the ARM/BTS attribute corresponding to the attack's Affinity.

    Critical hits.
    By default, Critical Hits are treated as the base rule as per the rule book. With only some exceptions, ammunitions themselves do not have a clause for critical hits and an attack's Effect is applied in addition to the Critical Hit.

    Affinity.
    One of two cores of this suggestion.
    Each ammo has an Affinity, as expressed by None, ARM, or BTS. Saves against the attack will be taken using the attribute with the lowest value

    Effect.
    This is exactly how the attack is altered or affected. This effect is applied to the entirety of the attack and all damage dealt.

    Example ammunitions

    Shock
    Affinity:
    None
    Effect:
    • Prevents troopers with wound attribute from activating any Unconscious states, other than Unconscious due to failed saves against this special ammunition.
    • Troopers with 1 wound on their troop profile may not activate any Unconscious states due to failed saves against this special ammunition.

    Cascading
    Affinity:
    BTS
    Effect: For each failed save, the affected trooper must attempt another save

    E/M
    Affinity:
    BTS
    Effect:
    • E/M Special Ammunition reduces the BTS value of its target to half of its original value, rounding up.
    • Failing a BTS Roll against E/M Special Ammunition causes the target to enter the Isolated state, preventing it from receiving Orders from the Order Pool. In that case, place an Isolated Marker next to the affected figure.
    • If the target fails the BTS and has one or more pieces of Equipment with the Comms Equipment Trait, then that equipment enters the Disabled state (in addition to the Isolated and Immobilized states, if applicable). In that case, place a Disabled Marker (DISABLED), in base to base contact with it.
    • If the target fails the BTS Roll and is Heavy Infantry (HI), a TAG, a Remote (REM) or a Vehicle, then it is rendered Immobilized-2 in addition to Isolated. In that case, place an Immobilized-2 Marker (IMM-2) next to it in addition to the Isolated Marker.
    • Critical hits with only E/M Special Ammunition applies its effects with no BTS save instead of causing a wound directly. The automatic wound will
    Explosive
    Affinity:
    ARM
    Effect: Causes the target to suffer two additional hits.

    Viral
    Affinity:
    BTS
    Effect: This special ammo combines the effects of Shock and Double Trouble special ammunitions.

    Plasma
    Affinity:
    ARM and BTS
    Effect: This special ammo combines the effects of Normal and Nanotech special ammunitions.

    Flash
    Affinity:
    BTS
    Effect:
    • This special ammo causes the target to enter the Stunned state.
    • This is a non-lethal special ammo, hits and critical hits can not cause the target to take damage.

    Example: E/M CCW and critical hits

    Isobel McGregor has the bad fortune of being on the receiving end of a melee with a Morlock carrying an E/M CCW. The Morlock scores a critical hit while Isobel does not. Due to that E/M special ammunition altering the critical hit effect of the attack, the attack will not automatically cause a wound, but it will automatically Disable Isobel's hacking device and put her in Isolated state without Isobel being allowed a saving throw. Since CCWs also carry a normal component, Isobel will also take a wound, bypassing the BTS save, and also enter Unconscious state.

    Example: E/M CCW and normal hits
    Isobel McGregor has the bad fortune of being on the receiving end of a melee with a Morlock carrying an E/M CCW. The Morlock win the altercation, doing so with a normal hit. Isobel must now take make a single save at half BTS in order to avoid entering Isolated, Disabled and Unconscious states.

    Example: Plasma and Marksmanship L1
    Asura Diana suffers a normal hit from a Q-Drone's Plasma Rifle. Since the Q-Drone has supportware running, it also has Marksmanship L2. Given Diana's 5 ARM and BTS 6 and Plasma's dual-Affinity, Diana would have to make a save using his lower ARM value and should this cause her to be reduced to 0 wounds it would prevent her from activating Valor: No Wound Incapacitation, forcing her to go Unconscious, due to the Shock effect.

    Example: Flash Pulse and Marksmanship L1
    Fusilier Angus suffers a normal hit from a Weibing's Flash Pulse. Since the Weibing has supportware running, it also has Marksmanship L2 which gives it Flash+Shock special ammo. Because Flash has BTS Affinity, Angus must use his BTS of 0 to save against the attack. Failing his save, Angus automatically suffers the effects of the special ammunition and enters the stunned state, however, because Flash is a non-lethal ammunition, the effects of Shock effect can not cause any wounds and Angus does not die from this attack, even if he has only 1 wound.

    Example: Extreme ammunitions
    Should a trooper be hit by the hypothetical Double Trouble Fire+AP ammunition, the trooper would have to make two saves using the lowest of BTS or half their ARM, being Burnt and for each failed save another have to be rolled until a save is successful.

    No special ammo.
    Attacks made without any specified special ammo will default to ARM Affinity for Attacks using CC or BS attributes and BTS Affinity for Attacks using WIP attribute.

    Note: This is somewhat incomplete and probably has a bunch of typos and stuff. Naturally the Biotech, Common and Exotic nature of ammo is still there, so that immunities can function. But you know, proof of concept.
     
    #1 Mahtamori, Mar 26, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2018
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  2. ijw

    ijw Wargaming Trader, Freelance Editor (UK)
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    Without commenting on the rest, the increased effect of Marksmanship + Breaker is already built into the cost of the Zhayedans*, which is why they pay as much for a Breaker Rifle + Shotgun as they do for a Sniper Rifle.

    *Outside of Panoplies, that's the only place Breaker and Marksmanship combines.
     
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  3. Mahtamori

    Mahtamori Well-Known Member

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    Hmm, yeah, that's true. The Zhayedan Breaker profiles are 2 points more expensive than they should be. Not sure I agree that it's quite representative of how potent the combo is, but it actually is more expensive than I expected.
     
  4. DaRedOne

    DaRedOne Morat Warrior Philosopher
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    I actually like your idea a lot, but I think you need to check some details about it. For example:

    the way you wrote plasma makes it seem like you only take 1 save when hit by plasma ammo, while in the current ruling you take 2 saves.

    Also, I don't think combining DA and EXP ammo is a good idea :D
     
  5. Mahtamori

    Mahtamori Well-Known Member

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    Thank you! On Plasma; intentional - it's either a nerf or add DA and thus buff it. On DA+EXP; Nah, that'd be a pretty horrific ammo, but it'd be possible to combine it :p

    This isn't exactly meant to be applied onto the current system as it is, though it can be. Certain units and weapons need to be taken a closer look at with regards to cost; Zhayedan and Plasma being the two most obvious examples. This also increases the potency of E/M CCW quite significantly.
     
  6. eciu

    eciu Easter worshiper

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    Well mayby we should simply delete HI/TAGs alltogether ?
     
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  7. DaRedOne

    DaRedOne Morat Warrior Philosopher
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    Actually, it seems like a nerf to E/M. In the description it's not stated that it causes IMM2 on HI or TAGs.
     
  8. cazboab

    cazboab Member (phrasing)

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    The affinity is basically redundant, ARM is default, anything that goes on BTS should specify BTS, and the line about using the lower of the two would also be specified in the effect of a very rare ammo, or the entire BTS attribute would need to be reworked to accommodate it rather than the fixed blocks of 3 it currently is (or if you're playing Ariadna fixed blocks of 0...)

    DA ammo has always bugged me, because that's not what 'double action' means... Plus with the concern of combining it with EXP, I say kill two birds with one stone, the current DA is renamed EXP and the current EXP is renamed EXP2, making them both levels of the same ammo, which also means that they can't be combined.
    This new nomenclature makes sense since DA does 1 extra hit, and EXP does 2, so it would be right there in the name...
     
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  9. Mahtamori

    Mahtamori Well-Known Member

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    It doesn't disproportionately affect HI, it disproportionately affects Veteran and high-ARM-low-BTS units - Zhayadan and Myrmidons as examples.
    Heh, see the disclaimer at bottom of OP :p
    I believe the immobilization is written elsewhere in the rules.
    Your criticism is welcome, of course, but one of the key aspects I tried to design in was that you coupd slot any ammo in together with any other ammo (Normal+Nanotech included) without unnecessarily having number of saves go through the roof. Affinity is meant to address the awkwardness that two different "affinities" such as Breaker+Shock causes.

    Out of interest, what would you say Double Action would do in-game?
     
  10. eciu

    eciu Easter worshiper

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    Wait so no IMM on E/M ?
     
  11. cazboab

    cazboab Member (phrasing)

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    Double Action is superfluous by making the lower level of Explosive do it's job, so the effect would be kept without the name being needed.
     
  12. Mahtamori

    Mahtamori Well-Known Member

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    Yes, IMM for HI is meant to be there. I just wrote the rules up a bit sloppily. The alteration to how it works for E/M CCW however, doesn't make E/M CCW significantly better against HI (and for other E/M sources this suggestion doesn't change anything at all) since the normal portion of the damage would be included in the ARM or BTS/2 roll (whichever is lowest) that the isolation effect would go on.
    For most HI and TAGs, they typically get slightly higher risk of being wounded as well as made statue, but for softer targets with more lopsided ARM/BTS distribution like Myrmidons (3 ARM, 0 BTS), the risk of being wounded as well as isolated is significantly increased, so it affects them more than HI/TAGs.

    With the exception of the rare few units with just E/M CCW (it is a rare weapon, after all) where a crit will both statue a TAG/HI and cause a wound.
     
  13. TheRedZealot

    TheRedZealot Well-Known Member
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    A couple of small questions maybe. But if you're trying to streamline ammo like this, are you not adding additional complication in the form of affinity and the like?

    Could you not take your Ammunition system and apply it at the start?

    Nanotech
    Take 1 BTS save vs. 1 wound.

    Normal
    Take 1 ARM save vs. 1 wound.

    Plasma is now simplified as being Normal, Nanotech.

    Likewise Why have DA and EXP and Normal ammo? Each one could be a leveled system. Where the level is the number of saves taken.

    Normal (2) = DA, Normal (3) = Exp, Normal (4) = Exp + DA.

    Where is the point of simplicity you're trying to reach is part of the question.
     
  14. Mahtamori

    Mahtamori Well-Known Member

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    Unification and conformity with current set up also gets in the way. There's also something to be said about DA CCW sounding more interesting than N2 CCW (which is anti-materiel when normal is not, something I also forgot to add in OP). I don't think CB's current system of having individual ammunition types that are similar to each other have completely different names. Once they get too many, there might be time to reduce the amount of names and add levelled ammo, but I don't think we are there yet.

    There is one thing I've noticed when trying to construct examples, and that's that the one type of ammo that's actually problematic is Shock. Because Shock is defined as an ARM-affinity ammo in game, but is used in hacking where you roll BTS saves and also is the only ammo type that currently gets added through skills (Marksmanship 1), a suggestion for actual implementation rather than the above brain-child would be to rewrite Shock
     
  15. Sabin76

    Sabin76 Well-Known Member

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    Just as an aside, I've always thought that DA and EXP CCW were really just shorthands for the number of wounds they cause, and not actually "double-action" (whatever that's supposed to mean) or "explosive". I certainly don't picture my Sphinx going around blowing up people it lays into with its claws.

    But then, I'm probably wrong as it's been a while since I've read the rulebook for the fluff.
     
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  16. Barrogh

    Barrogh Well-Known Member

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    I'm all for streamlining Ammo rules.
    Currently we have some minor inconsistencies with them due to how they are presented (have you ever considered that AP+Shock is no different than Breaker+Shock in terms of rule wording? And yet we play them differently).

    Alternatively to your suggestion, we could just have expanded weapon profiles, 40k style (don't look at me funny, their presentation is great in this regard):

    Weapon: Viral Sniper Rifle
    Rangebands: these and those
    Damage: 2 * BTS (15)
    Traits: Shock
     
  17. ijw

    ijw Wargaming Trader, Freelance Editor (UK)
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    Because the rules wording for combining ammo types says to treat them differently. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:
     
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  18. Barrogh

    Barrogh Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, and that rule is only needed because we have that clunky ammo type system :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:

    P.S. Option selects FTW.
     
  19. Section9

    Section9 Well-Known Member

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    I'd kinda been thinking the same thing. Defined ammo characteristics, starting from "hits ARM" or "Hits BTS". From there you can add "Halves" and/or "rolls 2 dice to wound" (or whatever else you're doing). All of the characteristics are defined and always play the same way, regardless of what it hits. There would be two separate characteristics for Mono and K1 ammo: "Ignores and rolls Dam12" is a single characteristic, while "Kills outright if save fails" is a separate characteristic. I'm a bit annoyed that Mono and shock are almost identical, except for the "If target model has 1W" clause.

    So EM2 ammo would read "Halves BTS and Rolls 2 dice to wound," for example.

    (I explain Infinity's armor/BTS save system by telling the new player that they are making the 'to-wound' roll instead of me, so they want it to fail. So roll high in this case!)
     
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  20. inane.imp

    inane.imp Well-Known Member

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    This. I regularly explain ‘Icebreaker’ as K1 Ammo that imposes the IMM-1 effect.

    Equally Maestro makes more sense as ‘Mono’ ammunition that causes Unconciousness than how it was actually implemented.