First impressions and thoughts

Annatar Giftbringer

Cosmic Mongoose
Here are some of my first impressions regarding weapons and armor.

Disclaimer: I have not yet done any in-depth analysis of the material, so I won't be commenting much on the finer details of cost, stats and stuff like that. These are merely my first thoughts and impressions.

I like the new layout! I mean, we don't know what the actual catalogue looks like, but having an entry's flavor text and statline together means less fiddling around to find everything relevant to an item. Adding pictures to most (or all ^^) entries makes it even better, everything in one place!

In general, there's fewer entries in this version of CSC but on the other hand everything that's here feels relevant and useable. Sure, for flavor it's always nice with seven kinds of shotgun and a dozen or so handgun models, but it takes up a lot of space too.

You could add a small blurb mentioning that the the GM is free to tweak the stats if a traveller is looking for, let's say, a handgun that packs a heavier punch, but that shouldn't be necessary either...

Hey, gauss pistols have auto rating again, nice!

Are underslung auxiliary RAM grenade launchers no longer a thing? Unless the aux grenade launcher can launch RAM as well as regular grenades? The ACR has an adapter to launch RAM grenades via the regular barrel, but this doesn't seem to be an option for gauss rifles - meaning they'll have to settle for regular grenades through the underslung launcher addon?

Also, why was the heavier magazine-fed auto-RAM launcher removed? Sure, with a larger magazine the regular RAM launcher could fulfill the same role, but in that case it'd be nice to see a support package addon, with dual magazines, ammo selector and tripod or something like that...

High capacity magazine: how much more ammo do they contain, and where can I find the basic ammo weight to multiply?

Moving on to armor, it looks like cloth armor and protec suits have partially switched functions, with the most advanced type of cloth now being the one able to be worn under other armors. Sounds good to me, a reinforced bodyglove fitting underneath clothing or other pieces of armor.

With no general rules for combining armor layers, such as from the current CSC adding half their armor value, perhaps the diplo vest should be noted as wearable under other armor too? If it can be hidden underneath a shirt, a tailored and styled version should be wearable under a protec suit jacket for the really fashion-aware travellers :)

I love the fact that there are standard electronics suites for some categories of armor! Great addition!

Next up: battledress!
This chapter feels much more complete in the new book. By looking only in the CSC I'm able to learn what electronics and sensors I can expect a suit to have installed, how long life support and fuel cells will last, and what manner of upgrade modules are available. All this without cross-referencing the vehicle book!

I'm really looking forward to a picture of the combat pioneer dress, the description or back mounted tools makes me think 40k techmarine, or possibly a transformers constructicon - in a good way :) Its statblock is missing though.

Suggestion: the back-mounted toolkit could become a separate module-addon, with a bit more detail on included tools and how it works and so on. That way other suits could also equip digging tools if required. On the other hand, the difference between combat pioneer and other modules with many slots might become too small, and a single decent picture might tell the players enough about how it works.

There have been talks of civilian battledress models, and I can see several uses for them, such as construction, firefighting/rescue and more. Most of those roles could be filled by the current roster though, especially combat pioneer and logistics. Civilian models should perhaps not be heavily armored, but on the other hand, dangerous work situations require adequate protection.

Two suggestions for battledress:
1) Can the fuel cells be recharged 'on the fly'? If yes, a quick mention of this would be nice.

2) it would be great with an image showing a traveller entering battledress, showing us players how it's done. I've seen a pic where the pilot climbs in from the top, but in mercenary there's this pic of an opened suit sitting on a bench in someone's office. This second image, from an official source, hints that it's as easy to enter/exit battledress as it is for Tony Stark to suit up into Iron Man with the later models.

On to modifications, and I must say right away I love this part! It's a simple and easy to use system, and I think artillery battledress is a perfect example of why it's great. Artillery BD doesn't have several paragraphs dedicated to why and how it's 'artillery' because it doesn't need to. It has extra many slots, enabling it to carry heavy weapons through mods/addons, and that's it - nice and simple!

Regarding the integrated weapon mount options, can each mount point hold up to four weapons, or is the cost per weapon? In other words, does a quad gauss pistol cost 2 or 8 slots?

Another thing, since nothing is said regarding ammo for the integrated weapons, perhaps there should be an option called 'autoloaders and extended ammo' or something like that, costing half as many slots as the weapon type mounted and holding an absurd amount of extra ammo?

Love the way multi-mounts are treated damage-wise btw!

It also pleases me that flight pack and grav assist are both viable options this time around, and jets aren't limited to ultra-light chassis and in every way inferior to grav. Sure, grav takes less space, makes less noise and so on, but jet thrusters are simply cool. Like bow-ties. Bow-ties are cool.

One weird thing though is that several references are made to grav belts, but I can't find the actual belt anywhere within the CSC files? The only place any stats are given are under grav assist for battledress, where it enabled the user to fly at very low speed, compared to main rulebook where grav belt/assist reaches medium speed... Oops?

I see the various anti-projectile options have disappeared... Not sure how often they were used, but I liked them. A flavorful addon that could protect allied vehicles as well as themselves, but hey, one can't have everything!

As noted near the beginning of this post, I haven't looked too deeply into the minute details of everything yet, so I don't know if I feel that the exact ratio between armor or strength increase vs slots required is perfect or not, but the idea itself is a good one! Does look like a disparity between life support and go-juice, since 3 slots can extend life support to 72 hours, but fuel cells for that time would require 12 slots - this may be intentional though, and if the fuel cells are easy to replace or recharge the wearer can just stay inside the suit while filling up, if the local environment is too hostile.

I was about to question the need for both a vehicle and a heavy mount (looked like a doublet) but then I saw that they're intended for different sized vehicular weapons...

Well, that's it for now. Loving it so far, keep up the good work!

Annatar Giftbringer

Cosmic Mongoose
Cool :)

So, ready for round two?

Armor modifications -> Extended life support is called Camoflague in the table.

What's the auto rating supposed to be for gauss rifles? It used to be auto 4 in the old version, which translates to auto 2 with the new rules. In the latest beta rule book it has auto 3, and in the CSC a whooping auto 4! Which one is it? Gauss rifles, as everyone knows, used to hit harder but fire slower than ACRs, and they certainly hit harder now with 4D damage and AP 5. They seem to have lost their built-in underslung RAM launcher though, perhaps that's partially why their RoF got increased?

Speaking of gauss weapons, what happened to the VRF gauss rifle? Useful for both battledress-infantry and vehicles. I miss it :(

Removing all the accelerator weapons makes 40k cosplaying a bit more difficult, though I can see they might become too similar to snub weapons stats-wise, even if they are very different functionally.

Now, ammo options. I see HEAP has become more potent than before (AP 2X vs the old AP X) which is nice, if one is into the art of blowing stuff up - and it will also make my following suggestions a bit more dangerous than originally intended, but here goes:

Grenades should (IMHO) have a HEAP and/or APDS option, obviously only available for launched grenades. Currently there are no single target/high damage options for grenade launchers. A RAM launcher loaded with HEAP grenades (6D AP12 ?) would make an excellent anti-elite infantry and anti-light vehicle weapon, plus we can call it heavy bolter if we wanna go down that road....

I also miss the flechette/canister option for grenade launchers. Who doesn't wanna turn their grenade launcher into a mega-shotgun? There are times when one wants to hurt everyone but not everything, after all. I can however see that it's tricky to make flechette a valid option without becoming simply a worse version of frag, so I can somewhat understand it not being in the book.

Shotguns are interresting weapons, with large caliber and thus ability to be loaded with all kinds of fun. They are also counted as a separate group for ammo compared to other slug throwers, something only taken advantage of for two things: They are unable to load extended range or guided rounds. As for guided rounds, I'm just gonna say Adeptus Arbites, exectutioner rounds. Why not?

And why not turn it around, give shotguns some options that other slugthrowers lack, such as flare, HEAP or even smoke? I noticed while writing this that shotguns can use AP ammo, which is somewhat similar to HEAP, though weaker. HEAP would however turn assault shotguns into bolters, which everyone must agree is awesome! Right? Right?

I also personally use HEAP ammo for Widowmaker shotguns in Judge Dredd, though I keep it reserved for 'special occasions' such as war or other emergencies.

Flare and smoke would simply give shotguns even more versatility, and versatility is always good.

Um, yeah, think that's all for now... Will let you know if I find anything else!