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Author Topic: Racial or Army physiological advantages  (Read 1001 times)

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Offline Dave Chase

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Racial or Army physiological advantages
« on: February 14, 2011, 04:19:13 PM »
Racial or Army physiological advantages (even if they don’t apply directly to the rules for table top).

Should there be some type of issue for races that could have a slight baring on why that race does what it does as an army?

Examples:
Should one race be slightly claustrophobic and so, even if they can and do go into LOS tunnels, they are not the best suited for it?
Should one race be more group orientated (ie they only work very well in groups/numbers) while another race works better with smaller numbers?

An example from the current listing of armies: Infranites like hand to hand combat and so they are equipped more for this than other races.

Just some thoughts in broad general strokes. What are yours?

Dave Chase
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Offline smokingwreckage

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Re: Racial or Army physiological advantages
« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2011, 09:24:59 PM »
I think that already emerges from the army lists. It could get a lot more detailed with additions to the Morale rules.

Offline SgtHulka

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Re: Racial or Army physiological advantages
« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2011, 09:24:04 AM »
I never really cottoned to the morale rules in Legions of Steel or, for that matter, any skirmish-level game.  I preferred to just imagine that a "kill" could represent anything from suit malfunction to incapacitation to obviously dead to cowardice and panic.

I did play a demo game of AE-WWII, though, that had a stand-in statistic for morale called "drive" that was pretty interesting. The rest of the game was sort of bleh, just re-purposed 40K, but I do have to admit the drive rule was kinda cool. My fuzzy memory is that "drive" was a whole other way to essentially kill troops, by lowering their drive to 0. I think drive was a unit-based stat, instead of an individual one, so the advantage was that if you could manage to degrade drive you could take out a whole unit at once.

Offline Clark

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Re: Racial or Army physiological advantages
« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2011, 09:43:13 PM »
The Span of Control from Planetstorm reflect the various racial psychologies.

The morale rules never worked very well because the 3d6 bell curve made it so unlikely that anyone would break.  For 3e I think we should drop the morale numbers by 5 points or so and then make it a straight line card draw  Ace to King (ie. d13).  The other thing I have played with for a long time but never got it into print is "barbarian morale" where the troops break easier, but they also rally (or even self-rally) easier.  That would be reasonably accurate, historically speaking, for, say, the Mongol mounted archers.  The colour fluff for the Oths on page 34 of the Alien Sourcebook illustrates the phenomenon well.

The barbarian morale rule would also apply to the Human Outworlders, Fantasian Privateers and certain Massaar units of the Black Empire.  In theory, a unit of Omega-Machines could also use this rule.

What struck closest to home was the national armies in Planetstorm.  These were a bit tongue in cheek and based on a combination of stereotypes and actual military doctrine.  I can't count the number of US service men who were offended by the the "must always autofire" for American troops.  They took it as an insult to their fire discipline. I diffused the situation by telling the marines that we were talking about the army, and I'd tell the army guys that we were talking about the marines.  On the other hand, no one commented about a corporal commanding 8 other guys including a Behemoth and a Carl-G, a section 20% to 70% more powerful than the other national army sections.

There have been huge changes in the Canadian Forces since 9/11 and the installation of the Conservative government.  JTF2 has emerged as one of the most bad-ass units around, and our snipers have scored 2000 metre kills and received the Bronze Star from the US. The line units have been in the hottest spots in Afghanistan leading up to our pull out this year.

But I digress.

I think that each race should field standard troops that follow the standard rules and then within the race there should be sub-groups who will have nifty features to them.

Machines: Overlord varients
Humans: National armies, special forces (SOG), JEF
Infranite: Tribes and JEF
Fantasian: Army, Security, Kezyrists, Privateers, Spetznas
Black Empire: Krafs, Massakar clans, "ninjas", and such

Offline Dave Chase

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Re: Racial or Army physiological advantages
« Reply #4 on: February 17, 2011, 10:11:24 PM »
Quote
I think that each race should field standard troops that follow the standard rules and then within the race there should be sub-groups who will have nifty features to them.

This sounds cool.

As a slightly different subject on the rules, how about normals.

The only thing that LOS was missing, was being played with civilians or non-combatants.
In the beginning this was not a big thing, since everything took place underground.
Even Planetstorm in the beginning, it was alright because it was reflecting pure military targets.

But, in a later supplement, I would hope to see more about your normal military (militia) with out power armor.

Also, I could see the Machines not killing all the organics and making them live directly above the machine underground complex. It would force the non-machine races to have to fight differently.
Plus, morale would(could) suffer if the race killed its own. Or piss off a race if another race started killing their people.

Plus for ship board fights were the machines boarded a racial ship, that not all those present would always be pure military combat force.

Off topic more.
I figures that
Military non-powered would be a -3 (Planetstorm rules)
Non-military non-powered would be a -4 (Planetstorm rules)

One other reason that I present this is so IF the rules include conversion (build your own) figures/army that non-powered figures could be used.
Sure the machines would just wipe them out. But ...??


Dave Chase
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Offline Clark

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Re: Racial or Army physiological advantages
« Reply #5 on: February 17, 2011, 10:56:17 PM »
First off, you have to understand that Planetstorm soldiers are so far from normal that it is difficult to represent the latter in the game.  Two million powered infantry from a planet of over 6 billion? That is more than one in three thousand.

When I was a teenager, as every teenager does, I thought I was hot ****.  Then I joined the military. Then I was trained by the airborne.  Then I was trained at the RCR Battle School.  And somewhere in there I realized there were 10 layers of soldiers better than me, and that was when I could run 10K without breaking a sweat, do 100 pushups and shoot a loonie out of the bulls eye of a target at 100 metres. Soldiering is not so specialized as Olympic events so you will never see too many soldiers there.  The SSF Ironman Competition blows away anything civilians do.  They do it carying a full battle load and ruck sack!

Having said that, once we cross the border between combatants and non-combatants then the number are close enough to work in game.


I have some non-powered infantry rules that I intend on post here shortly.   Non-powered infantry is a separate class from powereed infantry as light vehicles are to PI.  PI weapons do not use GMs.  NPI can sprint but their weapons usually have half the lethality of PI weapons

"Also, I could see the Machines not killing all the organics and making them live directly above the machine underground complex. It would force the non-machine races to have to fight differently.
Plus, morale would(could) suffer if the race killed its own. Or piss off a race if another race started killing their people."

That came out in the discussion of "why not nuke 'em from space?"  We thought about that from the start.


"I figures that
Military non-powered would be a -3 (Planetstorm rules)
Non-military non-powered would be a -4 (Planetstorm rules)"

The game conception doesn't work that way.

Consider your base kill number 6+
You can get bonuses to hit, up to a maximum of +2
You can get bonuses to  pentrate armour, up to a maximum of +2
You can get penalties to hit or penetration with no limit.

Typically, at long range, you will have +0 to hit and +0 damage so you need a 6+ to kill

At medium range you might have +1 to hit and +1 penetration for +2 which gives you 4+ to kll

It depends on the weapon.

By the basic physics, you are capped at a +2 on either to hit or damage.  Non-powered troops are slightly harder to hit but a lot easier to killl, but +2 or +6 will kill them just as dead if you actually hit them.

So for simplicty we created different classes of targets.


Offline Dave Chase

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Re: Racial or Army physiological advantages
« Reply #6 on: February 17, 2011, 11:22:13 PM »
Pardon me but a question.

I thought that if you got pluses to the target that it made it harder to hit (Planetstorm) which is why the GM for the lighter armoured figures was a -1 (or -2 with the Gremlin being a -3)

Unless you are talking about the original rules where it was - (minus) numbers made it harder to hit and damage.

Sorry, but I got just a little confused when you started talking + (pluses) to hit.
Of course if you are talking about the mods already figured into each weapon listing at range, then that makes more sense to me.

Dave Chase
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Offline smokingwreckage

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Re: Racial or Army physiological advantages
« Reply #7 on: February 18, 2011, 01:21:39 AM »
In LOS the numbers changed the roll: ie you roll a six, then take away 2, you've rolled a 4. In Planetstorm the numbers change the Target Number. -2 reduces the number you need, so if you need a four and then you modify that by -2, now you need a 2+. I'm not sure what the rubric for ranged weapon lethality was, though.

Offline Clark

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Re: Racial or Army physiological advantages
« Reply #8 on: February 18, 2011, 02:09:37 PM »
In LOS, the modifiers are added to the die roll. In Planetstorm, the modifiers are added to the kill number. The latter is easier to explain rationally while the former is more intuitive in a way. When you know you are at short range with a -2 modifier to the die roll, a gamer's brain automatically tells them that they need 6s rather than rolling and actually subtracting 2 from each die and then seeing if the result is 4+

Going way back to 1991 I came up with a system with two rolls: one to-hit and the other for penetration/damage. After showing it to Marco and Derrick we decided that a single die roll would be better, so I went back to the drawing board. The system I came up with became a design tool; you don't see it in the game itself. But the basics were what I mentioned: you need a base 6+ to score a kill and can get up to +2 as a targeting bonus and up to +2 as a damage bonus.  To-hit bonuses over +2 are ignored because at that point it is all but certain that you will hit the target and the assumption is that hitting the target dead centre wont do any more damage. Damage bonuses over +2 are ignored because they only make the difference between scoring a kill with a sucking chest wound and a kill by vapourizing the target. Actually, the bonuses above +2 are overkill, but we never had a satisfactory way of incorporating it into the game.

Targets have a "signature" which is the targeting and damage modifiers. If you add them together you get the game's general modifier. For instance, a Mk I Assault Fiend is +1 to target (due to its size) and -2 damage (due to its armour).   A Nightmare is 0/0. Weapon signatures vary over range. Most will be 0/0 at long range. Weapons with damage modifiers of +3 or more end up with the "no general modifiers" characteristic.

As I said, this is used as a development tool. A figure's GM and a weapon's range brackets are a simplification of all these numbers at the end.