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Handheld weapon against starships
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 13, 2018 2:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think you are reading too much into it. It's not like strafing runs are unheard of even in the real world, and sensor packages in the SWU commonly include electro-photo receptors, which are essentially stabilized macrobinoculars tied into the ship's sensors, so it's not hard to justify a starship being able to pick out targets on the ground. Yes, they should be hard to hit, but that's what the -6D Scale penalty is for.

From there, after chewing on the blast radius question literally for years, this house rule is literally the closest I can come to representing the potential for secondary damage from a nearby impact of a heavy weapon.
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CRMcNeill
Director of Engineering
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Location: Redding System, California Sector, on the I-5 Hyperspace Route.

PostPosted: Tue Feb 13, 2018 2:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As far as the scene in Episode 7, that was just showing that Poe's Starship Gunnery Skill was high enough to overcome a 6D Scale modifier and still get hits. Factoring in fire control and a target that isn't dodging, all that takes is a skill level of 8D or 9D. Rare, but not out of reach.
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"No set of rules can cover every situation. It's expected that you will make up new rules to suit the needs of your game." - The Star Wars Roleplaying Game, 2R&E, pg. 69, WEG, 1996.

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garhkal
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 13, 2018 3:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

CRMcNeill wrote:
As far as the scene in Episode 7, that was just showing that Poe's Starship Gunnery Skill was high enough to overcome a 6D Scale modifier and still get hits. Factoring in fire control and a target that isn't dodging, all that takes is a skill level of 8D or 9D. Rare, but not out of reach.


But its not just poe that straffed.. We saw the empire do it too in that same scene, but prior to the rebels showing up.
We also saw the walkers taking out people left, front and center in the hoth battle.
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Raven Redstar
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 13, 2018 3:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Poe's player might have spent a Force Point to show off as well, I mean, he engages multiple fighters, multiple individual troopers, and makes some crazy maneuvers all in the span of a few combat rounds.
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 13, 2018 6:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

garhkal wrote:
CRMcNeill wrote:
As far as the scene in Episode 7, that was just showing that Poe's Starship Gunnery Skill was high enough to overcome a 6D Scale modifier and still get hits. Factoring in fire control and a target that isn't dodging, all that takes is a skill level of 8D or 9D. Rare, but not out of reach.


But its not just poe that straffed.. We saw the empire do it too in that same scene, but prior to the rebels showing up.
We also saw the walkers taking out people left, front and center in the hoth battle.

The point being made was that Poe actually made a direct hit on a stormtrooper in E7, not just a near miss from a strafing run. Per the RAW, as well as under my blast radius system, that would've required rolling high enough to get a direct hit, even with a -6D modifier to Fire Control. That takes a pretty decent skill level, but only in the high single-digits on dice.
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Naaman
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 13, 2018 6:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

CRMcNeill wrote:
I think you are reading too much into it. It's not like strafing runs are unheard of even in the real world, and sensor packages in the SWU commonly include electro-photo receptors, which are essentially stabilized macrobinoculars tied into the ship's sensors, so it's not hard to justify a starship being able to pick out targets on the ground. Yes, they should be hard to hit, but that's what the -6D Scale penalty is for.

From there, after chewing on the blast radius question literally for years, this house rule is literally the closest I can come to representing the potential for secondary damage from a nearby impact of a heavy weapon.


Yes, but why won't anyone acknowledge that such attack (IRL) are conducted with weapons and fire control systems specifically designed for air-to-ground attacks? Using the fixed guns on an X-wing (for example) hugely limits the angles of approach that might make such an attack theoretically possible, but then, the distance is also restricted. Not to mention the speed, which is also something we seem to be forgetting regarding Po's attack. Also, MAPs for dodging or out maneuvering other pilots, etc...

The walkers on Hoth are specifically designed for ground combat and targeting things smaller/lower than itself. And the have no massive speed differential to overcome.
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 13, 2018 6:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not acknowledging it because it's unnecessary limiting, that's why. You're basically arguing that a highly advanced starfighter is incapable of something a prop-driven plane from the 40's could do (and commonly DID). I see no reason that a flying war machine from a society far more advanced than ours should be arbitrarily rendered incapable of targeting a 100-meter^2 section of ground that just happens to have people in it.
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Naaman
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2018 9:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's not what I've understood you to be saying.

Targeting a 100^2 meter target is perfectly within the capability of a starfighter. Targeting a person is silly, IMO.
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 15, 2018 11:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Naaman wrote:
That's not what I've understood you to be saying.

Targeting a 100^2 meter target is perfectly within the capability of a starfighter. Targeting a person is silly, IMO.

And yet that is exactly what a strafing run is. You point your weapon system as close as possible to where the people are (essentially targeting an area on the ground as close as possible to where they are standing) and saturate that area with as much firepower as you can in the hopes of hitting something.

Are you trying to say that (to use a modern example) an A-10 strafing an enemy position with its 30mm cannon is incapable of doing damage to an unarmed person on the ground, simply because that person is too small to be accurately targeted by a gunsight that is optimized for engaging armored vehicles?

So yes, it is very difficult for a starfighter to target a person standing on the ground, even if that person isn't trying to dodge. That's what the -6D penalty resulting from the Scale modifier is supposed to represent. My added house rule represents the middle ground, in that while a direct hit is unlikely except in the event of a very skilled pilot (whose skill level is capable of overcoming the penalty), a powerful weapon hitting "close enough" can still inflict enough damage to injure or kill someone that he, by the RAW at least, missed.
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Naaman
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 15, 2018 11:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What Im saying is that a pilot should not be able to put crosshairs on a person and shoot them with a blaster cannon whose fire control system relies on intense heat signatures, radio frequencies and other starfighter scale criteria to differentiate between what is an enemy fighter and what is space debris, etc.

A character that happens to get hit bu a starfighter scale weapon is certainly doomed.
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Naaman
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 15, 2018 11:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And yes: I'd rule that a starfighter scale targeting system cannot detect a character scale target, and I would disallow the fire control dice if the gunner said, "I shoot HIM with my blaster cannon!" Instead of, "I strafe the ground with my blaster cannon!"
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Naaman
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 16, 2018 12:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

One last thing: the A10 is an air-to-ground attack plane.
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 16, 2018 1:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Naaman wrote:
What Im saying is that a pilot should not be able to put crosshairs on a person and shoot them with a blaster cannon whose fire control system relies on intense heat signatures, radio frequencies and other starfighter scale criteria to differentiate between what is an enemy fighter and what is space debris, etc.

You are forgetting that pretty much every starship in the SWU comes equipped with LFIs (Life Form Indicators) that process sensor information to differentiate living beings from background noise, and even to determine what kind of living being it is. It's not too much of a stretch to assume that a starfighter's sensor system can identify a living being on the ground and throw a marker up on the pilot's viewscreen / HUD / whatever that will give him a point to aim at.

Naaman wrote:
And yes: I'd rule that a starfighter scale targeting system cannot detect a character scale target, and I would disallow the fire control dice if the gunner said, "I shoot HIM with my blaster cannon!" Instead of, "I strafe the ground with my blaster cannon!"

The problem you're having is trying to make the rule conform to the letter of the law of reality, and not the spirit. You are, essentially, making a blanket prohibition on a certain task in the game, then trying to find a way to allow it to happen anyway, rather than simply letting the dice do the work of making the seemingly impossible just very difficult.

If the starfighter pilot's ultimate goal is to hit the ground as close to the characters as possible in the hopes of inflicting damage, then there is no need to argue the semantics of exactly who or what the pilot is shooting at; his goal is NOT to simply strafe the ground, it is to attack the characters. The idea is to land high-powered energy beams as close to the characters as possible to inflict maximum damage, even if a direct hit is highly improbable.

Per the RAW, a TIE Fighter Pilot is going to be rolling a measly 1D to hit (5D Starship Gunnery + 2D Fire Control - 6D Scale) even before MAPs are calculated; that 1D will be contingent on the TIE flying straight and level at low velocity (no maneuvers or speeds triggering a Piloting roll) to even have a chance of hitting the characters. That 1D only has a 1-in-3 chance of beating the Base Difficulty (Very Easy) at Point Blank Range, never mind beating whatever the characters roll to Dodge.

Bottom line, there is no need to say "you are not allowed to do that" when the dice say it for you.
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garhkal
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 16, 2018 2:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Naaman wrote:
And yes: I'd rule that a starfighter scale targeting system cannot detect a character scale target, and I would disallow the fire control dice if the gunner said, "I shoot HIM with my blaster cannon!" Instead of, "I strafe the ground with my blaster cannon!"


WHich makes things even suckier for strafing, as you'd have to pepper an area with lots of bolts, but with the 6d penalty you are already suffering AND MAPS for shooting multiple bolts, you'd need to have at least a 8d gunner on its own popping a FP to stand a chance of hitting a character..
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Naaman
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 16, 2018 3:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you're shooting directly at a character? Heck yeah!

It's not "impossible." I used to bullseye womprats in my T16 back home. They'er not much bigger than 2m.
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