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Um, does anyone here want to run Marvel Super Heroes?

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Tank armour negates all damage adds, so it's just the dice Vs the base 6 Soak (if the Nova can generate at least 12 damage adds to start with). So a Nova with Mega-Strength 3+ will be doing a standard 1 die of damage with a Strike (if he has normal Strength 5), up to 6 dice with extra attack successes. It takes 7 Structural Levels to reduce a tank to 'broken down', at an average of 1 success per 2.5 dice, that's 18 damage dice, on average, above the tank's Soak to 'kill' the vehicle. So, yeah, a damage-specialised Nova can take a tank out in 3 or so hits, true... but then (as others have noted) a Champs character with the right specialisation (e.g. double Armour Piercing attacks or Find Weakness) can do that too. In both cases 'special targeting or tricks' are going to help the super do the job faster & better, but aren't necessary.
??? How does this work again? Can a tank ignore Pax's strength attack to the same degree it can ignore a mitoid?

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Ping die: I don't see any need for an alternate rule to the 'Puny Human' optional rule from the core book & used by most STs - i.e. you can be bulletproof in Aberrant &, in most situations, pretty easily. Facing a normal bunch of thugs with heavy handguns 10+ Lethal Soak will be fine almost all the time. The 'ping die' only really comes into its own in the whole 'Nova Vs Army' situation - while half a dozen baselines with guns aren't likely to roll more the occassional fluke ping die of damage against a tough Nova, a platoon of army infantry will, as a unit, do so quite a lot. To me that makes some sense: local 'gangstas' shouldn't be much of a direct threat, but the frickin' army should make even a powerful Nova at least pause. Of course, this is also where that powerful Nova is rewarded for taking stuff like Thunderclap & Shockwave (designed to take out large groups of tightly packed baselines).

Honestly, I think ping's potency is exaggerated. Aside from that though, let me mention that neither I, nor anybody else I've ever played with, has ever used the armor add rules. Mostly because they only make the barest sense.

While it's true they're badly written rules, saying that tanks are easier to kill in Aberrant than Champs because you choose to change the rules which make tanks tough in the first place is, IMHO, sort of a self-fulfiling prophecy...

??? How does this work again? Can a tank ignore Pax's strength attack to the same degree it can ignore a mitoid?

Not quite. If we look at both the rules on the Vehicle Chart (p. 278) & the Damage & Armour Adds rules (p. 250-251) we see that an attack's damage adds reduce the target's armour adds, but any damage adds 'left over' are ignored / negated.

So against a tank with 6[12] Armour a Mitoid throws a punch doing 7[5] damage: the tank's armour add is reduced by 5, leaving it with 6[7] Armour Vs the Mitoid's 7 dice damage effect (so, nothing). Against the same tank Pax throws a punch with his Mega-Strength 6 doing 7[30] damage: his damage adds negate the tank's Armour adds, leaving it with 6 Armour Vs Pax's base 7 dice damage effect (so, 1 die).

This is where high damage dice attacks (like Quantum Bolts) finally hold their own against Mega-Strength. A Nova with Quantum Bolt 5, Quantum 4 throws a bashing damage Quantum Bolt at the same tank: his Quantum Bolt does 20[12] damage, negating the tank's Armour adds & pitting its 20 dice damage effect against the tank's base 6 Armour: or 14 dice of damage - on average such an attack (without extra attack successes & the like) is going to score 5 to 6 levels of Structural Damage to the tank - reducing it to 'Breached' or 'Wrecked' in one shot, while our Mega-Strength Nova has to hammer for 14 attacks to get the same result (once more we see he's better off disabling the tank in some alternate manner).

To me this is completely fair - considering the huge advantages Mega-Strength gives as the only Nova thing with damage adds not requiring QP to fuel. It also means that the 'Supercharge' Extra for Quantum Bolt is ideal for characters designed to be 'tank killers'. Hey, in the comics Cyclops can 'kill' a tank with a single optic blast, easy (& has been able to do so since the sixties), while guys like the Hulk tend to go for the rip / swing / throw (applying their huge Might bonuses to rip off the turret, or rip open the hatches, for example) option of anti-tank tactics.

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I'd just like to say say two things right now:

1. This has mutated into a fascinating thread; I've never played Champions, and may never due to the terrifying appearance of the Hero System 5th edition's corebook - has there ever been a more intimidating set of rules for a math-impaired player like myself? I've gotten a nice bit of insight into how both Champs and Abbie handle extreme combat, which actually kinda makes me glad I ended WJ, if only because my puny brain could barely understand the combat examples provided - why did I think I could actually run a war? Yikes!

2. My burning desire to play MSH has been somewhat sated by the creation of Potts T&J game, but I'd still like to play sometime, if only because I like the loose and simple Marvel system and intend to use it to simulate confrontations in my comic book, possibly up to and including using actual dice rolls from time to time to take the action in unexpected directions ::ohmy

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See, thats the big reason none of us ever used the armor add rule. Caestus Pax *should* be able to tear a tank in half. He's Macho Jerk as Superman.

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1. This has mutated into a fascinating thread; I've never played Champions, and may never due to the terrifying appearance of the Hero System 5th edition's corebook - has there ever been a more intimidating set of rules for a math-impaired player like myself?

Ever looked at Rolemaster? ::devil

See, thats the big reason none of us ever used the armor add rule. Caestus Pax *should* be able to tear a tank in half. He's Macho Jerk as Superman.

Nobody's saying he can't 'tear a tank in half' - ripping stuff in half is more a case of Might than it is damage Vs Soak (ripping the turret off, for example, as already mentioned). Besides that, Pax has insane levels of Claws too (most likely with Armour Piercing to screw over that Soak to start with) - so it's only an issue if he's a little tactically impaired & tries to punch the tank to pieces using Mega-Strength alone.

But I feel the point stands that if you start with the notion that Novas should be able to waste tanks easily, then change the rules so that's true, then claiming that the system makes supers more effective against tanks in this game than in another game (where you haven't changed the rules in favour of the supers) then you're basically fulfiling your own prophecy. If I ran Champs with the house rule that superpowers did five times normal Body damage to tanks, then supers in Champs would have an easy time against tanks too... I'm not saying don't use house rules - in fact, I'm all for them - I'm just saying there's something of a difference between the published game system & an individual game played with those house rules - you can't fairly apply the standards of one then claim a deficiency in the other.

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The thing is, the armor add rules make no sense. By them, Caestus Pax has as much ability to kill a tank by punching it ( sans Claws ) as a 20mm cannon does. . . because 5 damage adds negates the 12 armor adds, exactly the same way as 30 damage adds negates the 12 armor adds. Which means that the same rule simultaneously makes the tank too vulnerable and not vulnerable enough ( as 20mm fire really should do all of mess the paint on frontal tank armor, and yet as written, it will plink it to death with a dozen hits ).

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er...maybe *Im* the one who misunderstood the damage adds rule, but it was always my understanding that damage adds were designed to represent the difference in scale between vehicle and human scales...this works really well in Adventure. So things on the same scale ignore the add...vehicle vs. vehicle right? So now that we have Novas in the picture how do we fix it? Novas attacking each other dont ignore the damage adds from their Q-bolts. I dont have the book in front of me right now but I thought that in Aberrant vehicles dont ignore adds either...???

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The thing is, the armor add rules make no sense. By them, Caestus Pax has as much ability to kill a tank by punching it ( sans Claws ) as a 20mm cannon does. . . because 5 damage adds negates the 12 armor adds, exactly the same way as 30 damage adds negates the 12 armor adds.

Nope, you have to read both the bits on armour adds to get the full picture (again, yeah, it's badly written): armour adds negate all damage adds, but damage adds only reduce armour adds by their own amount. So a 30mm cannon which does 8[5] L against a tank with with 6[12] armour ends up as 8L Vs 6[7], or zero damage.

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Which doesn't really help much. This eliminates the "20mm cannon killing tanks", but entirely leaves the "Superman class brick needing multiple hits to kill a tank." Plus, if the whole point is to represent different combat scales, why do only one type of adds get automatically negated?

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Which doesn't really help much. This eliminates the "20mm cannon killing tanks", but entirely leaves the "Superman class brick needing multiple hits to kill a tank." Plus, if the whole point is to represent different combat scales, why do only one type of adds get automatically negated?

At this point I think we're just talking in circles: as mentioned several times before, a Mega-Strong Superman / Pax type Nova can take out tanks with the tiniest bit of tactical thinking - he just has a hard time 'punching it to death'. Of course, he could use a Smackdown attack & 'kill' the tank with punches much quicker, if he really wants to, or pump QP into Crush & finish it with one punch. But the 'rip bits off' option is always going to work much better, as is the 'pick it up & throw it' option...

... A modern US 'main battle tank', the M1A1, weighs in at 57 tons. A Mega-Strength 3 Nova can lift that with 8 successes on his (un-augmented) Might roll - so a reasonable ST will probably allow him to flip the tank for a few successes less. By Mega-Strength 4 the Nova can lift the tank with just 1 success on the basic Might roll, & turn it on its top, ram it gun-first into the ground (or another tank), or swing it at the group of enemy infantry harassing him. At Mega-Strength 5 the Nova can not only lift the tank without a roll, he can (presuming he has Strength 5, Might 5... he seems the type so far...) throw it 50 meters. Once he hits Mega-Strength 6 (Pax-range) he can throw the same tank 1.5 kilometers! Why is he still trying to punch the damn thing?

A Nova with Lifter can increase his base lifting capacity (hitting the magic 'object weighs less than half your base lifting capacity' & getting the big auto-successes multiplyer on throw distance), & a Nova with Thrower can burn QP to exponentially increase his throwing distance. A Nova with both Enhancements is a pretty good anti-tank weapon. A Nova with Mega-Strength 1 & Lifter can burn 6 QP to lift & throw our M1A1... not bad for 3 lousy Nova Points (2 if ya' take 'em Tainted). Punching tanks really is a mug's game.

Of course, our Champs super 'brick' with requisite 55 to 60 starting Strength can also juggle tanks... & is also better off doing so than he is punching the things.

Back to Aberrant: low Mega-Strength & didn't take Lifter (shame on you)? Not to worry - forcing open a 'magnetically locked blast door' takes a measly 10 Might successes, & you get to add your auto-successes to this one. Ripping off a tank hatch should be easier than that, & ripping off the turret won't be any harder. If you have Mega-Strength 2 or more you're laughing, & even with Mega-Strength 1 you only need a few extra Might successes. Then you can hit the guys inside with the Thunderclap you took instead of ponying up for Lifter...

The moral of the tale? Tank armour is really good at stopping direct attacks... hey, it's almost as if that's what it was designed to do! It's not so good at stopping attacks with go round that same armour, instead of trying to go through it. Ripping bits off & throwing tanks are such good tactics for the super-strong, you'd think they'd use them in comics all the time to respresent just how strong the character is... hey, wait... I think they do! ::biggrin

Joking aside - I actually like this about the system: it encourages Mega-Strength characters to think a little, & to use their strength for more than raw damage bonus, & rewards them for doing over-the-top comic-book-style-combat things, instead of the tired old 'punch, punch, punch' routine; all the while still allowing the tank to be bulletproof. Now what could be wrong with that?

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