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""Generic" Sci-Fi / Near Future Weapons" Topic


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775 hits since 24 Sep 2012
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Wartopia Inactive Member24 Sep 2012 10:33 a.m. PST

Here are two 40K Weapons:

HELLGUN (Imperial Guard)
Range 24"
S 3
AP 5
Rapid Fire

SPLINTER RIFLE (Dark Eldar)
Range 24"
S 3
AP 5
Rapid Fire

Both are sort of basic small arms for their respective forces (the Hellgun is used by IG storm troopers as their basic small arm). Both function precisely the same way in game terms but have very different "fluff" with one weapon being laser based and the other firing kinetic rounds.

In our home grown rules over time we've developed a sort of database of weapons in various categories, everything from different grenades to small arms to heavy AFV weapons and even off-table fire support.

Here's the question…

One can take two approaches in presenting this information to players as far as a reference sheet goes. One can be very specific and have separate data entries for weapons with the same game data (eg the 40K approach as far as the Hellgun and Splinter Rifle are concerned).

Or one can take a generic approach and provide generic line items and not worry about the fluff name. To continue with the example above, one could have Rifle Type III which would show the information above in a single line item and the individual race fluff would show that the Splinter Rifle is a Type III Rifle and the Hellgun is a Type III Rifle too.

For example…

RIFLE TYPE III
Range 24"
S 3
AP 5
Rapid Fire

IIRC some "generic" oriented rules take this approach.

Another example could be a light, short ranged, anti-tank weapon and whether it fires a bolt of plasma or a super high tech rocket the stats might be the same (eg LAW IV or whatever).

The advantage of the weapon-specific stats is that you have..the…weapon specific stats. The advantage of the generic approach is fewer data points to remember and greater flexibility for "quickie throw-down" games between friends ("Oh, those guys count as being armed with Type III Rifles while the AT figure counts as having a LAW IV weapon.")

Which do you prefer if any or does it not matter?

NOTE: I'm not saying dissolve the differences between various weapon types…I want my SAW to function differently from an AT-4 or their sci-fi versions. But maybe it doesn't matter if my sci-fi automatic weapons fires streams of energy bolts or kinetic rounds if they have the same range and armor penetration capability.

OTOH, some folks might object to generic weapon names and stats (like my kids do!) :-)

Angel Barracks24 Sep 2012 10:47 a.m. PST

Quite happy with the generic sort as used in FUBAR.

I have pretty much the same assault rifle for all my FUBAR forces in terms of stats but they are in my mind very different weapons.

MajorB24 Sep 2012 10:50 a.m. PST

Why give it a different name if it has the same stats?

Ghostrunner24 Sep 2012 10:54 a.m. PST

I'm coming to the conclusion that in skirmish games, the TW folks have it right… most small arms are generally interchangeable at the unit level.

If you have a general damage value/range (TW even does away with these, almost), weapon type (ballistic, energy, etc.), and some kind of armor penetration value, you are probably covered.

When you write up a unit card, then you can call their rather generic slug rifle an AK-47 or M-41A2 Pulse Rifle, or whatever.

Angel Barracks24 Sep 2012 10:56 a.m. PST

Why give it a different name if it has the same stats?

Fluff.

Personal logo Mexican Jack Squint Sponsoring Member of TMP Fezian24 Sep 2012 11:28 a.m. PST

My "Cuddly Bunny Gun" has the same stats as the Hellgun and the Splinter Rifle.

How can this be?

Wartopia Inactive Member24 Sep 2012 11:41 a.m. PST

Forgot about FUBAR. That's definitely the idea.

I'm going to take a stab at this for our home grown rules. There's a finite universe of weapon stats anyway (don't want basic small arms blowing up AFVs from across the table after all!). :-)

ScottWashburn Sponsoring Member of TMP24 Sep 2012 12:26 p.m. PST

I would think that a crossbow and some early muskets probably had very similar characteristics (range, lethality, load time, etc.) and yet are very different weapons.

Lion in the Stars Supporting Member of TMP24 Sep 2012 12:26 p.m. PST

I'd point out that while Infinity has a wide variety of weapons, a PanO combirifle has exactly the same stats as every other combirifle, no matter what 'race' it came from.

Just like how most WW2 GIs referred to the Panzerschreck as a 'bazooka'.

imrael24 Sep 2012 2:12 p.m. PST

I seem to remember one system where weapons had different effects vs different armour. e.g. Normal armour poor against lasers, polished mirror armour poor against conventional AP etc.

Its obviously more complicated and potentially unbalanced, but if you want a small scale high detail game might be interesting.

(Same rules engine could have simple and complex effect rules to switch between I guess)

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