Author Topic: On the dealing with heretics, and those who would utilise power armour  (Read 232 times)

Offline mcjomar

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This topic has come up quite often I'm sure (or at least I'm pretty sure it did back on the old Specialist Games forums before GW shut them down, as I do remember seeing the odd thread there before).
However, it's in the consideration of the methods that others might use to combat heretics (or... colleagues with a difference of opinion) who happen to use power armour, or other assorted items that can often be considered to be (in rules terms) rather strong.

A rather amusing discussion coming from someone who enjoys building space marines in 54mm, no?

But to the topic at hand: how does one deal with such situations when lacking in suitable firepower?
I mean, not all inquisitors will have access to imperil guard armouries with meltaguns, plasma weapons (except maybe the odd heirloom piece) krak grenades, etc etc. And 10 points of powered armour is often quite a lot to deal with given that the average Inquisitor is not necessarily toting around plasma or bolt weaponry unless they happen to spend a lot of time on the battlefield, or have friends in high places.

Most of the time, they're lucky to have shock weapons, swords, las weapons, projectile guns, and maybe one or two other things. And they probably don't have more than flak armour, or maybe carapace armour if they're really prepared (or 'borrowed' it from the arbites).

So what's the solution?
All I can think of off the top of my head at work is to attack any exposed power cables, or to utilise shock weapons to somehow screw up the power source for the armour, as Haywire grenades are going to be even more rare and hard to come by than a plasma weapon or krak grenade.

One assumes this would be represented by allowing the player to make attacks against the opponent that do no damage to the target, but instead are rolled against possible locations of exposed cabling or thinner portions of armour, or against the backpack if they manage to charge in from behind.

What other possibilities are there? Suitably overloading a las-weapon powerpack (as per the short story in the Eisenhorn Omnibus) after sticking it to a weak spot?
Is it possible to drop part of a ruined building on their heads (not sure how to do this without suitable explosive supplies...)?
etc.
Thoughts? (on a postcard to...)
"Heretics are like cockroaches - annoying to find, and even more annoying to kill." - unattrib.

Offline Cortez

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Re: On the dealing with heretics, and those who would utilise power armour
« Reply #1 on: February 24, 2017, 02:48:21 PM »
The thing is, unless they're deep undercover I tend to think that an Inquisitor/Rogue Trader/Tech Priest will have access to most standard Imperial weapons i.e. bolt guns, chain weapons and krak grenades.

Grenades in particular are easily secreted about the inquisitors person and are extremely useful in many circumstances such as forced entry into a building or destruction of a vehicle and so could well be included even while keeping a low profile.

Bolt and Chain weapons, while not common, certainly aren't rare - at least in my mind (influenced by 2nd ed. 40k and Necromunda where most of the guard sergeants had a bolt pistol and chainsword and Bolters were common weapons for gang leaders and were on the standard Necromunda armoury list. Some Adeptus Arbites models also carried bolt weaponry). So I tend to feel that possessing such weaponry wouldn't automatically mark you out as an inquisitor, just as someone not to be trifled with.

Other options could include armour piercing rounds for a shotgun or rifle, if you want to avoid using bolt/chain weaponry (they are quite lethal vs anyone not wearing armour).

As for thinking outside the box, overloading a power pack sounds plausible (either by sticking it to the armoured dude or using it to bring down a building) it is certainly cinematic and definitely fits the rule of cool, although I don't think such things need special rules and are better left to the GM to come up with appropriate modifiers penalties etc. as circumstances require.

One of the things that can be nice to include on the tabletop as a GM is scatter terrain like crates and barrels, which could well have useful things/chemicals etc. and could potentially be used to hinder or kill and otherwise hard to destroy character.

Other methods could well depend on the exact scenario, but could include overloading a substation to fry the armour's servos, jamming on the throttle of a vehicle to use it as a missile or anything you can think of really. As a GM I tend to give such things a good chance of success, the further outside the box the better.
« Last Edit: February 24, 2017, 02:50:08 PM by Cortez »

Offline MarcoSkoll

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Re: On the dealing with heretics, and those who would utilise power armour
« Reply #2 on: February 24, 2017, 03:55:22 PM »
One suggestion from the DM Astartes article is that placed shots can be traded for "aiming for a weak spot". (Something similar may make it into IRE).

That said, to an extent, I think it's the responsibility of the players/characters to be appropriately paranoid.

While an Inquisitor probably isn't going to carry a bulky and temperamental plasma gun with him at all times just in case he runs into a lunatic in power armour and even a boltgun will probably be fairly conspicuous (and excessively lethal against most targets - Inquisitors will often want targets taken in alive), carrying a magazine or two of armour piercing rounds or a couple of krak grenades is probably an entirely reasonable degree of paranoia.

Such things are accessible (certainly to an Inquisitor's resources, anyway), fairly easily concealed, and actually fairly generally useful. Sometimes having a krak grenade to blow a hole in a wall to escape or conclusively wreck some piece of machinery is exactly what you need.
My last Dark Heresy character, despite being a stealthy assassin, by the time she was retired as a character actually made a point of keeping a couple of grenades around because she could put them to so many possible uses when the proverbial had hit the fan.
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Offline greenstuff_gav

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Re: On the dealing with heretics, and those who would utilise power armour
« Reply #3 on: February 24, 2017, 07:40:57 PM »
Machine Empathy; shut down the armour and clamp the helmet shut!
Or drop heavy items off buildings at 'em!
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Offline Lord Borak

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Re: On the dealing with heretics, and those who would utilise power armour
« Reply #4 on: February 24, 2017, 10:56:43 PM »
Flame weapons.. Power Armour doesn't make people immune to being set on fire and they have to spend their actions putting themselves out when on fire so a handy digi-weapon with a hand flamer can do in a pinch. Set the git on fire and then leg it as he wastes time putting himself out :D

As Cortez said. The GM, if he sees one side is going to struggle he can strategically place certain items around. Explosive barrels (see fire, above), a stash of grenades, Crate full of weapons? Hell, even grabbing stealing a car/truck and ramming them can do the trick (and be fairly epic in the process).

Think of Terminator 1. How did a squishy human kill the Terminator? Fire arms did nothing. Blowing him up in a truck did nothing. Planting an explosive charge on him did some damage.  Crushing him in a press? Yeah, that'll finish him off.

Offline mcjomar

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Re: On the dealing with heretics, and those who would utilise power armour
« Reply #5 on: February 27, 2017, 01:12:38 PM »
Most of my warbands keep some sort of plasma or bolt based weapon on hand, as a general "can opener" weapon.
Grenades are slowly beginning to sneak in - although my "hot potato" last year is still fresh in my memory!
I'm suddenly tempted to model up some molotovs though!

Still, these are some good ideas, thanks! :)
"Heretics are like cockroaches - annoying to find, and even more annoying to kill." - unattrib.

Offline Cortez

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Re: On the dealing with heretics, and those who would utilise power armour
« Reply #6 on: February 27, 2017, 01:28:51 PM »
Most of my warbands keep some sort of plasma or bolt based weapon on hand, as a general "can opener" weapon.
Grenades are slowly beginning to sneak in - although my "hot potato" last year is still fresh in my memory!
I'm suddenly tempted to model up some molotovs though!

Still, these are some good ideas, thanks! :)

Well, the 'hot potato' was rather funny, which is a definite plus for using grenades.

It should also be noted that Gav's 'Kommisork' (with his hat) killed my Power Armoured Heretic with a Krak grenade that hit him in the head! 
« Last Edit: February 27, 2017, 01:30:56 PM by Cortez »

Offline mcjomar

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Re: On the dealing with heretics, and those who would utilise power armour
« Reply #7 on: February 27, 2017, 01:34:46 PM »
And promptly followed that up with scaring Mordecai's ganger girl quite thoroughly while asking about hedges.
I think that while imperial citizens hate aliens on general principle, she now hates orks very specifically (while Mordecai has some rather pointy questions to ask a certain pair of chaotically powered individuals).
"Heretics are like cockroaches - annoying to find, and even more annoying to kill." - unattrib.

Offline Lord Borak

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Re: On the dealing with heretics, and those who would utilise power armour
« Reply #8 on: February 27, 2017, 10:51:02 PM »
although my "hot potato" last year is still fresh in my memory!

 ;D I had completely forgotten about that. Now I can't stop smiling to myself (wife thinks I've gone a bit strange).

I've always found Plasma Weapons to be a bit 'meh'. The Recharge thing basically makes them a 'one shot all game' weapon. So I prefer things like Melta Guns for cracking open Heavy armour. It's a bit OTT but when you know there's going to be a Marine then you through caution to the wind and pack the big guns :D Plus, a Melta gun on an NPC suddenly makes NPCs scary as hell.