Armor Issues & House-Rules

Discuss the Traveller RPG and its many settings

What do you want be done about the MGT armor rules?

They're fine as presented in the book - leave them as they are
26
40%
Armor ratings have to be increased
15
23%
Armor should absorb damage dice (as in T4)
7
11%
Armor should provide a DM to hit (as in CT)
1
2%
We should use an armor/penetration system (as in Striker/MT)
16
25%
 
Total votes: 65
justacaveman
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Postby justacaveman » Tue Oct 27, 2009 5:50 pm

My fix for vehicle armour was to simply double the Armour rating vs personal scaled weapons, and halve the damage from personal scaled weapons that penetrates the armour. A personal scaled weapon IMTU is any weapon than can be carried by a character (Battle Dress weapons are just big personal weapons). I also treat Hi-Energy weapons as AP on a direct hit.

For vehicle scaled weapons, I just halve the penetrating damage. For vehicle scaled weapons I also treat Energy weapons as AP on a direct hit. This system works for me, and isn't complicated at all.
Last edited by justacaveman on Wed Oct 28, 2009 2:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Treebore
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Postby Treebore » Tue Oct 27, 2009 7:15 pm

The Chef wrote:we use the rules as written and we find them deadly enough. it forces the players think about their actions
Yep. I don't play Traveller to play D&D in space, I play it because its more realistic, which also means you can die all too quickly. So be smart, and choose your battles as wisely as possible, and be smart, take cover!
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Postby Infojunky » Tue Oct 27, 2009 7:58 pm

Treebore wrote:Yep. I don't play Traveller to play D&D in space, I play it because its more realistic, which also means you can die all too quickly.
Oh so you randomly roll to see if every shot fired to see who drops then?
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Postby justacaveman » Tue Oct 27, 2009 9:17 pm

My fixes are just enough to keep someone from taking out a TL15 G-Carrier with a TL10 Anti-materiel rifle. Or using a TL6 Autorifle to take out a guy in TL13 Battle Dress.

The standard rules allow this to happen. My changes don't eliminate the possibility, just make it less likely to happen. Not changing the rules allows ridiculous, unrealistic results, and leads to poor decisions by players. If your character is carrying an Autorifle and someone comes at them wearing Battle Dress, the only thought your character should have is "Can I get out of this situation alive?", not "I'm gonna get me some Battle Dress!".
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Postby cmdrx » Wed Oct 28, 2009 12:10 am

Went with the 'revised' armour values from this thread until recently. In the games I ran, armour was relatively useless. Realistic as it may be, I still prefer the Classic and Mega feel. So I went back and looked at my old MT. Lo and behold the armour values pretty much matched up between MT and Mongoose. I also looked at the old MGT playtest file and they are the same as well. Weapon damage was also lower in the playtest. So I got thinking... If its using the same values, why not use the same system?

What I devised is basically the same as MT. A weapon's base penetration value is its number of dice. For most small arms that's a 3. If the pen number is at least twice the armour value, full damage. if more than half but no more than equal, half damage. More than equal, effect damage only, unless the armour is enclosed. I decided to make gauss and energy weapons "high penetration", basicaly doubling their penetration values.
Gauss Rifle was pen 8 and a PGMP-12 was 20. This was thought up before CSC came out btw...

So far this is working. When you are hit it is mostly an all-or-nothing affair, with a thin line for those taking half damage. I, as always, have allowed armour stacking within reason. That 1 point from a Jacket(Jack) can make a difference, also those longcoats look cool over your cloth jumpsuit. Also Subdermal is now something worth buying.

I have incorporated CSC into this as well, replacing the previous house rule on doubling pen values above. I still keep my rule on energy weapons being AP. There's a good reason why those lasers and such are illegal at Law 1. Gauss weapons are nasty with their normal shots giving AP and sabots giving Super AP. The ignored points are simply subtracted from the armour value. To a Gauss Rifle, Improved Cloth(AV=5) is treated like Jack(AV=1). Oh yeah, full damage. That's going to hurt...

I've considered combining the MT and T20 systems just a bit. Instead of Full, half or effect damage. Drop a dice for each point the armour soaks, after any AP effects are dealt with. In the above example, the 1 point left from the Cloth would absorb 1 dice, reducing it to 3d6+effect. It's still going to hurt. Makes the armour even more effective. We'll see...
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Postby justacaveman » Wed Oct 28, 2009 4:01 am

I chose the method I use because it doesn't require any changes to weapon or armour stats.

The only major problem I found with combat in MGT is the ineffectiveness of armour.

I always look for the simplest solution to any problems that I find with game rules, and make the least amount of change I can get away with.

I just don't want characters blowing away Battle Dress with handguns. I also don't want bulletproof characters like in CP2020.

If I recall correctly (all my old CT & MT stuff was destroyed in a flood), in MT an assault rifle wasn't so good against Cloth armour. In reality most ballistic weave armour is ineffective against rifles, requiring ceramic plate inserts at ranges under 200m or so, and completely useless under 20m.

I don't want to change much. For me when simplicity and realism collide, simplicity wins out. I want a nice quick-moving game. Traveller tends to have more hard science than most space opera games, but it is still space opera (the father of all space opera RPGs).
Last edited by justacaveman on Wed Oct 28, 2009 9:49 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Treebore
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Postby Treebore » Wed Oct 28, 2009 4:19 am

Infojunky wrote:
Treebore wrote:Yep. I don't play Traveller to play D&D in space, I play it because its more realistic, which also means you can die all too quickly.
Oh so you randomly roll to see if every shot fired to see who drops then?
Not normally. Even though certain weapons could call for such a thing.
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Postby Infojunky » Wed Oct 28, 2009 4:30 am

Treebore wrote:
Infojunky wrote:
Treebore wrote:Yep. I don't play Traveller to play D&D in space, I play it because its more realistic, which also means you can die all too quickly.
Oh so you randomly roll to see if every shot fired to see who drops then?
Not normally. Even though certain weapons could call for such a thing.
Yep like all of them, but who wants to play a game where one badly placed ricochet is all it takes to put your character down, while the slacked jaw thug gets hit 20 times and still staggers off to survive......
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Postby justacaveman » Wed Oct 28, 2009 10:43 am

Using the standard rules (including CSC) an average hit (with Effect: 0)with a burst from a Gauss rifle will do 18 points of damage and ignore 4 points of armour. This is enough to drop your average character wearing a TL7 Flak vest.

If the character firing the Gauss rifle has Dexterity 9 (+1 DM), mounted a TL9 personal HUD on that rifle (+2), has Slugthrower (rifle) 3, and happens to be within short to long range they only need to roll an 8 to get Effect: 6, this gives you an average of 24 points of damage (Maximum of 34 points). If he loads up DSAP ammo in that rifle and shoots a guy in in TL13 Battle Dress he will get an average of 16 points of damage past the armour.

Who in their right mind would would spend Cr 2,000,000+ on a suit of armour that can't withstand a single hit from a rifle? I wouldn't. I'd have a bunch of guys in TL11 Combat Armour (Protection 12), firing Anti-materiel rifles loaded with DSAP ammo (35 points of damage average, ignoring 20 points of armour). Then after the battle was over I'd go and pick up the dead guys in Battle Dress and sell their stuff.
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Postby The Chef » Wed Oct 28, 2009 11:28 am

ahh but who in their right mind would be standing in an open field waiting to be hit...
are you absolutly sure sir it does mean changing the bulb!
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Postby justacaveman » Wed Oct 28, 2009 1:57 pm

Snipers shoot people all the time. An ambush can get you. You can't attack a fortified position without exposing yourself to enemy fire. You can't travel anywhere as a military unit without making yourself a target. Standing out in the open has nothing to do with it.

And more to the point, the shooter with the stats I gave can't miss. And if they're using the Anti-materiel rifle, that means that the target is dead. Even if the target is wearing the heaviest Battle Dress available. 1 shot = 1 kill almost every time.

Battle Dress is big, powerful, expensive, and the epitome of personal protection. It shouldn't be useless.
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Postby tneva82 » Wed Oct 28, 2009 2:37 pm

justacaveman wrote:If your character is carrying an Autorifle and someone comes at them wearing Battle Dress, the only thought your character should have is "Can I get out of this situation alive?", not "I'm gonna get me some Battle Dress!".
Who seriously thinks he can take against battle dress with auto rifle? Maximum roll gets mighty 2 points of damage through. That means that you only need to get something like 10+ hits like that to take them out. And pray like hell battle dress equipped guy doesn't hit you meanwhile with weapon that will likely insta kill you(or by the very least knock you unconcious right away which accomplish the task).

TL11 laser rifle is more like it with 4.5 damage in average through so "only" about 5 hits. Again praying you don't get insta-fried before that happens.

Exaggeration isn't neccessarily best way to convince others to point of view. If you aren't wearing battle dress then one to one even with TL11 laser rifle you would be in deep-doo-doo against battle dress equipped fellow. Even if he's average joe who has somehow got it and not mean nasty elite trooper with high skills and attributes.
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Postby justacaveman » Wed Oct 28, 2009 3:35 pm

A character with Dex 9 (+1), Gun Combat (Slug rifle) 3, And a TL9 Personal HUD (+2), has a total DM of +6. If they fire a burst from an Autorifle the average damage is 3.5 x 3 + 3 + 4 = 17.5 points of damage, an average roll on 2d6 is 7 resulting in Effect:5 (7 + 6 - 8 ) resulting in 22 points of damage total. If the firer is using DSAP ammo, 3 points of armour is ignored. TL13 Battle Dress has protection 16 resulting in 9 points of damage getting through armour on an average hit, with a maximum of 18 points of damage through the armour. This can be done out to a range of 250 metres with no chance of a miss if you're attacking from ambush. You shoot the target, you move to another spot and you shoot the target again, and again, and again. By the time they can close the distance they're dead. And that's only if they spot where you're shooting from.

However I was primarily talking about using Gauss rifles, and Anti-Materiel rifles against Battle Dress. The Gauss rifle will get about 5 more points of damage through the armour per hit (with a maximum of 26 points through the armour), and the Anti-Materiel rifle will do an average of 40 points through the armour, with a maximum of 66 points through the armour.

I wasn't exaggerating, I was adding the numbers up correctly.

I spent 10 years in the Army, and have some experience in the subject. People can take out tanks with the right equipment. They just can't do it with rifles. And Battle Dress is supposed to be as well armored as a WWII Tank (one of the smaller ones).
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Postby tneva82 » Wed Oct 28, 2009 4:41 pm

justacaveman wrote:However I was primarily talking about using Gauss rifles, and Anti-Materiel rifles against Battle Dress. The Gauss rifle will get about 5 more points of damage through the armour per hit (with a maximum of 26 points through the armour), and the Anti-Materiel rifle will do an average of 40 points through the armour, with a maximum of 66 points through the armour.
So the problem might be with CSC which adds such equipment. However how common those are? Anti-material rifle sounds more like high-tech military equipment and rare one at that. Not something you expect to encounter requlary. Your average joe the traveller shouldn't even dream about getting their hands on those.

And it makes sense high-tech stuff is deadly. In the combat between armour and firepower firepower ultimately always prevails.

But reqular auto rifle armed fellow will be running in terror since pretty much only way they can prevail is that battle dress fellow is asleep so that he won't blast you to bits before you manage to cause meaningful damage.
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Postby justacaveman » Wed Oct 28, 2009 5:49 pm

The problem isn't that a person with only an Autorifle should run from Battle Dress, the problem is that the rules show that he doesn't have to. There is a reasonable chance of success in an ambush situation, when the chance should be close to zero. The current rules don't give enough credit to the stopping power of armour, and require a little tweaking.

Mind you, I wouldn't want to attempt such a dangerous thing, but the way armour is depicted in the rules, a person with an Auto-rifle ambushing someone in Battle Dress can succeed (the rules allow it). If the ambusher is properly camouflaged and has pre-positioned fallback positions, the person in Battle Dress will never get a shot at him. It isn't easy to spot a sniper. The person with the Autorifle only has to hit the target 3 or 4 times to take him out.

As for the Anti-Material rifle in the CSC, it's only TL10. There is a similar weapon available now called the Barrett 25mm payload rifle (Not high tech at all). And as far as availability of such a thing, look at Weapon under mustering out benefits and you'll see that it says "Any Weapon"(IMTU I limit equipment to TL12 or less). And Gauss rifles are pretty common. Anti-armour ammo isn't that hard to find either.

Traveller characters end up with all kinds of equipment, some high tech, some low tech, including ships with lasers and missles, powered armour and mean nasty military weapons. This isn't new, it goes all the way back to CT. Many of the weapons in CSC were found in Striker and other supplements.

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Postby tneva82 » Wed Oct 28, 2009 6:38 pm

justacaveman wrote:The problem isn't that a person with only an Autorifle should run from Battle Dress, the problem is that the rules show that he doesn't have to. There is a reasonable chance of success in an ambush situation, when the chance should be close to zero. The current rules don't give enough credit to the stopping power of armour, and require a little tweaking.
Reasonable chance? You shoot, you cause half a dozen damage points through armour which doesn't cause any worry, then you get blasted into pieces. If he miss then you might get second hit which still won't knock him down but battle dress fellow isn't still going down. Second hit isn't likely missing and they are likely be armed with weapon that will make you mincemeat even if you are standing in cover.
but the way armour is depicted in the rules, a person with an Auto-rifle ambushing someone in Battle Dress can succeed (the rules allow it).
Yeah. If you keep rolling 6's and battle dress fellow is asleep or just won't bother to shoot back for several rounds. Assuming you hit him. Slightly above average soldier would be skill 1 + another bonus from ability. That gives him decent chance of missing.
If the ambusher is properly camouflaged and has pre-positioned fallback positions, the person in Battle Dress will never get a shot at him. It isn't easy to spot a sniper. The person with the Autorifle only has to hit the target 3 or 4 times to take him out.
Those battle dresses do have these things called sensors and computer. In otherwords he will almost certainly spot the fire position and then blast you THROUGH cover you stand in. Battle dress equipped fellows aren't carrying mere auto rifles afterall. Plasma rifle minimum. PGMP more likely it. Good luck surviving it. Of course in reality battle dress fellows don't also walk alone so there's FGMP around somewhere to boot.

Good luck. You're dead if they aren't sleeping in their suits.
As for the Anti-Material rifle in the CSC, it's only TL10.
TL10? Not part of traveller 3I therefore. Never heard of antimatter rifles on that TL in traveller universum. Therefore not exactly comparable. Battle dresses are traveler universum thingies. No wonder they might look weak if you bring weapons from other scifi universums into bear. Light sabers would make short work of battle dresses as well.
And as far as availability of such a thing, look at Weapon under mustering out benefits and you'll see that it says "Any Weapon"
Yea right. What GM in his mind wouldn't restrict? Yea right. Everybody would otherwise carry FGMP just as a backup otherwise. And battle dress to boot if they roll armour. Yea right. PLEASE. Some common sense is allowed. Maybe in IMTU antimatter rifles are common world weapons carried around by everybody but even if they would be available in MTU they would be obviously restricted military weapons. Sorry but reqular fellows won't be running around with FGMP or even worse weapons.

Military weapons aren't that common and top of that are going to cause legal hell. You seriously think world police forces are going to ALLOW everybody to run around with ANTI-MATTER WEAPONRY? Sheesh. I can't carry even reqular rifle legally around and assault rifles are big no-no. I seriously doubt in far future they are going to allow everybody to be running around with anti-matter weapons.
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Postby CosmicGamer » Wed Oct 28, 2009 7:29 pm

tneva82 wrote:Military weapons aren't that common
Maybe in your neck of the woods, maybe in most locations and maybe in YTU. In some places they may be common.
tneva82 wrote:I can't carry even reqular rifle legally around and assault rifles are big no-no.
Don't know where you are from, but again, this is not so in all locations. Here is a link to US info http://www.mongoosepublishing.com/phpBB ... e&p=603850

In Switzerland, all men under the age of 30 are part of the reserve militia and issued an assault rifle. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_politi ... witzerland
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Postby justacaveman » Wed Oct 28, 2009 7:50 pm

Not antimatter, Anti-Materiel. It's designed to damage equipment, the military uses them now.

Battle Dress as depicted in the rules doesn't have any sensors. You can tell this because it doesn't provide any bonuses to your rolls. Your argument isn't supported when you just make up stuff. All I'm doing is pointing out deficiencies in the rules (as written), not trying to see who has the most testosterone.

I already showed you the numbers, average hit from an Autorifle firing a 4-round burst causes 9 points of damage through the armor, not 6. The shooter only has to score a 9 point hit twice to put an average character out of action. Example: The target has STR 8, DEX 8, and End 8 (very average). The first 9 point hit reduces END to 0 with 1 point put into DEX or STR (let's say DEX). The second 9 point hit reduces either STR or DEX to 0 (let's say STR) with 1 point put into DEX. The target is now unconcious and severely wounded.

The first shot can't miss. Then you roll for initiative. Target wins initiative and trys to locate the shooter while dodging. The shooter fires and only needs to roll a 3 to hit the dodging target. If the shooter makes an average roll each time (a 7 on 2d6) the target is out of action. Even if he rolls a 6 both times the target is still out.

Trying to locate a camouflaflaged shooter after only 1 burst is nearly impossible in real life, and very difficult according to the rules.
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Postby tneva82 » Wed Oct 28, 2009 8:25 pm

justacaveman wrote:The target is now unconcious and severely wounded.
Fine. First shot does that damage. Then battle dress fires back and obliterates you with one shot with his lot-nastier-than-assault-rifle against your hardly-battle-dress armour. You are dead. Have fun trying to take out battle dress. Have fun being dead.

Better than average soldier has +1DM from abilities and +1DM from skill. Note BETTER than average. So he hits on 6+, hardly automatic hit. Average effect +1. Average assault rifle burst mode result is therefore 10.5+4+1=15.5. Not even enough to penetrate armour.

Again good luck. Your better than average soldier couldn't even penetrate armour for 1 damage point with average roll. Then battle dress fellow obliterates you. Have a nice day.

And that assuming you manage to ambush them every time. What sort of morons you think Imperial recruits for battle dress fellows if they are always quaranteed to be ambushed anyway?

Nevermind that they would be supported likely by stuff like artirelly, intelligence from space and whatnot. How you think to ambush when your actions have likely been monitored for hours from space? Odds are...Your location is already known to them. You are likely going to get your battle started by some long range support fire against your position. Then assault by battle dress equipped troops firing PGMP at rapid rate toward your position. Have fun defeating them when you need to roll better than average to even cause 1 damage point even if you are better than average soldier...
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Postby justacaveman » Wed Oct 28, 2009 11:01 pm

He has to spot the shooter "before" he can fire back. It's not automatic that you see who's shooting at you. Spotting a camouflaged shooter in just a few seconds is not easy. By the time he spots the shooter it's too late. Dead guys "don't" shoot back. That is the whole point of an ambush after all.

Your numbers are wrong. I used the Autorifle on page 76 of the CSC (newer book adds +3 to damage). And I fired a burst which added +4 to the damage. This = 17.5 points of damage before adding effect. The shooter had a +6 DM (easy to do), and I gave an average roll to the hit (7) which would give Effect: 5 to the hit. This = 22 points (rounded down). If you use armor piercing ammo you are left with 13 points to subtract from the damage which = 9 points of damage on a average hit from a reasonally equipped PC.

Better than average is the norm for PCs. Look in the core rule book pages 84-85 to see some NPC examples. PCs tend to be a bit better than NPCs.

You are still missing the point. This discussion isn't about Imperial Marine tactics. It's about whether or not an autorifle can be used to kill someone in Battle Dress (and it can). Anyone can be ambushed. All your training can do is minimize the damage "if" you get the opportunity. This happens all the time in Iraq and Afghanistan. I was postulating a 1-on-1 scenario in order to point out that the rules make armour ineffective against many weapons that the armour should be immune to, and for some reason you feel compelled to defend the honor of the Imperial Marines. I repeat, this is about whether or not you can use an Autorifle to kill someone in Battle Dress. The example character I used wasn't outlandish, there are plenty of ex-soldier characters with Gun Combat (Slug Rifle) 3 skill, and a +1 DEX bonus, the Personal HUD from CSC page 53 isn't a completely new item (similar items have been in previous versions of Traveller), isn't particularly expensive, is only TL9, and is an item that a PC would pick up to give himself an edge.
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