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Author Topic: Nega Sphere Generators  (Read 1229 times)

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Offline grendeljd

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Nega Sphere Generators
« on: March 23, 2012, 04:51:52 PM »
I played the 'Among The Ruins' scenario from Scenario Pack 1 yesterday with Germanicus as the Machine against a UNE force. I had a G1C NIghtmare as part of the Command Unit within my selected forces. Haven't used the old 'bowling ball of death' in a while... re-reading the rules proved kinda vague for a particular scenario we encountered.

From page 25 of the Advanced rules;

'When fired, a Nega Sphere counter is placed in front of the firing figure. During the end segment, it moves. Roll 2 dice to determine how many squares it moves. If a 9 to 12 is rolled then the sphere dissipates at the end of its move. Any figure struck by the sphere receives a kill on a 3+ [only general modifiers apply]. If the sphere encounters a solid object such as a door, forcewall or wall, it will make a 90 degree turn and continue along an unobstructed path. If the squares to the left and right are both open, the sphere will move randomly [roll one die and on a 1-3 the sphere turns left, 4-6 it turns right]. '

Pretty straightforward rules to this point, but here's where the vague comes in...

'If a dead end is encountered, the sphere will impact with a random square [roll one die and on a 1-2 the left square, 3-4 the square directly ahead and 5-6 the right square]. Impact with a wall disperses a Nega-sphere. If a forcewall or door is not destroyed, the sphere disperses and is removed.'

I'm not sure how to interpret the conflict that arrises when mention of destroying a door or forcewall comes in. Can the nega-sphere thus make a hit roll on a door or forcewall if it encounters it AFTER it has changed direction once already? Would it then continue to move forward with any remaining movement points if it made a successful hit roll?

This seems to contradict the first portion of the rules where it states that it will deflect the first time it hits either of these objects. I would think it should be either one way or the other - doors & forcewalls either deflect the sphere or a hit roll can be made on them at any time they are encountered.

I can't recall exactly what sergeant_hastp & I used to do back in the day, but in yesterdays game a couple of situations came up when I fired the N-S Generator. Have a look at this image from our game;



You can see the red/pink sphere chit in the large copper-walled room, fired from down the hall. The other red chits in that room are EW chits, I used them to represent the low level obstacles that did NOT have any rubble in any surrounding squares for the scenario.

The first situation we debated was if the sphere could pass over the red 'obstacle' chit. There aren't any rules specific to this situation that I could find in a pinch. Being a low level obstacle, we agreed it would be ok to let the sphere pass over it on a die roll of 2-6, to represent the off-chance that the obstacle could have potentially deflected it.

The second situation occurs on the next turn when the sphere encounters the closed door. We decided to go with the first part of the rule and rolled a d6 to see which way it would deflect. It ended up going right and fizzling in the corner.

BUT, we were considering how to work out a rule to allow it to potentially destroy the door in its path. It seems to make sense to allow it a hit roll in this situation... though we were thinking of 2 ways to handle it;

1] Use the same off-chance roll as with the low level obstacle [d6 roll, 2-6 means the sphere isn't deflected by the door]

2] if a door is encountered in this situation, roll the d6 for deflection. On a 1-2, the sphere goes left, 3-4 it moves forward into the door, and on a 5-6 it goes right. If the sphere rolls into the door, make a hit roll and if it doesn't destroy the door it disperses.

Any thoughts?
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Offline Kindred

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Re: Nega Sphere Generators
« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2012, 05:59:46 PM »
as I understand it, the negasphere explodes when it hits a dead end...   thus dissipating but also possibly taking out a door or forcewall. If it is not a dead end, the sphere does not take out the door or forcewall and just bounces down the open angle.

Offline bobloblah

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Re: Nega Sphere Generators
« Reply #2 on: March 27, 2012, 04:07:38 PM »
You're right, in that the RAW is completely contradictory. If I remember right from when we last had to deal with this (and I'm sure this is ultimately wrong; it didn't even conform to what can be parsed from the RAW) we did something like this:
  • The Negasphere moves 2d6 in the End Phase. If a 9-12 is rolled, it disperses.
  • If the Negasphere connects with a figure, forcewall or door, it inflicts a Kill on a 3+ (we decided to roll a second Kill attempt on 2-Kill figures)
  • If the Negasphere inflicts a Kill/destroys the object (figure, door, etc.), it continues on its way
  • If the Negasphere fails to destroy the object, it deflects left (1-3) or right (4-6) with a d6 roll
  • If the Negasphere impacts a wall it disperses
Not sure if this was the original intent, but this resulted in one instance of pinball amongst UNE figures, which was pretty amusing.
Best Regards,
Bobloblah

Offline smokingwreckage

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Re: Nega Sphere Generators
« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2012, 12:44:39 AM »
It seems to me like it normally deflects, but will "attack" a door if that door constitutes a dead end OR if it is deflected into the door BY a dead end (ie, comes down a corridor, is blocked front and left with a door on the right, hence it is a dead end, roll to determine impact, if it is the door, roll to kill door.)

Offline Kindred

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Re: Nega Sphere Generators
« Reply #4 on: March 28, 2012, 08:44:40 PM »
Exactly... That's how I play it

Offline grendeljd

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Re: Nega Sphere Generators
« Reply #5 on: April 02, 2012, 08:59:43 AM »
@Kindred - I agree with the part about it simply deflecting down an open angle if one is present [like a corner], and I would assume if by chance it hit more than one of them within one movement phase it would deflect each time.

I personally think that if it can destroy a door/forcewall on impact, it should be able to do this any time it encounters one rather than in a dead end only. I suppose the physics of a big ball of energy needing to go somewhere in a dead end could result in an explosion capable of taking out the door, but really - if a wall/door/forcewall can deflect it at any time then in a dead end situation wouldn't it simply deflect backwards & keep going back the way it came?

@smokingwreckage - yeah, I think you've interpreted the rules as they are meant to be. I was originally a bit uncertain of the interpretation because I couldn't see where a dead end would truly occur on any part of existing maps, but I just didn't think of a corridor with a closed door in it at the time. Makes more sense now.

@bobloblah - I like your rules interpretation, though I probably wouldn't allow a second hit roll on a 2 kill figure... if the sphere was capable of that, I would think it should have a 2d6 as a standard hit roll, not 1d6.
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Offline bobloblah

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Re: Nega Sphere Generators
« Reply #6 on: April 02, 2012, 10:07:34 AM »
Yeah, you're no doubt right about the effect on 2-Kill figures, and I know we didn't use the RAW. In the end, I don't remember the 2-Kill thing ever actually coming up. However, there's a big difference in actually going to 2 dice, as that significantly alters probability on 1-Kill figures. I think that if the author had wanted my interpretation they would've used Overkill - was that in the Advanced Rules, or was that only a Planetstorm thing?

Smokingwreckage's interpretation looks like it's probably the author's original intent, although it kinda ignores the contradiction surrounding walls, assuming it must be referring to dead ends...or is the exploding in dead ends thing mentioned somewhere?
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Bobloblah