Author Topic: Power Armour  (Read 3065 times)

Offline Aleosvance

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Power Armour
« on: June 08, 2011, 06:26:41 PM »
Hey all

A member of my small group has an Inquisitor (28mm Daemonhunter) in power armour who tends to dominate the game. The last time I tried to fix this we ended up with an arms race which spoiled the game a tad.

Is reducing his speed by 1 a fair way to solve this, and otherwise kit him out similar to any other character?

Thanks :)

Aleosvance

Offline Kaled

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Re: Power Armour
« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2011, 06:55:25 PM »
I'd say a better idea is to work with your friend to create a version of his character not wearing power armour - the Inquisitor must have some other clothes for when he's not on the front lines of a war zone.
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Offline Ulgavitch

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Re: Power Armour
« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2011, 07:05:09 PM »
Ahh, power armour.... a cause of great troubles. Does this character have a bolt-gun as well?

The short answer - and I dare say Marco will correct me if I get this wrong - is to say: It depends. The rules on powered armour would changed depending on the suit. Is it a true powered armour, with a black carapace or similar neuro-connection? If so, then there would be no speed disadvantage. If it is not so, then there would be, because the armour is heavier to move in.

But, the Conclave has been playing with rules here for Soritias powered armour which is lighter than Space Marine powered armour. It is only value 8 rather than 10. It also lacks the ablative elements and the neuro-connection which is why is must be less protective because it is lighter.

There are a few things which you could try if you are struggling to have a fun game. First, explain to the player that they are all looking for a cool, fun game, not just to 'win.' They might be willing to alter their character to make the game more fun for everyone.

Second, you can make someone wearing powered armour, especially if it is of the Space Marine type, a large target. This will turn the character into a bullet magnet, which will make your player perhaps a little more reluctant to wear powered armour (increased protection vs. higher chance of being hit). It's also quite in keeping with the game that someone wearing these suits is scary and intimidating, and therefore will draw more fire.

The final thing to suggest is to play Inquisitor in 54mm. The danger with 28mm is that you will get more situations like this, because the models are designed for a war game rather than inquisitor. At 28mm, you'll hear something like 'And the Grey Knights turn up'. That is definitely not the point of the game! 54mm will make powered armour much rarer and show it for what it is - ornate, terrifying and certainly not subtle.




Offline greenstuff_gav

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Re: Power Armour
« Reply #3 on: June 08, 2011, 07:31:27 PM »
for The GT2011, my main character was in Power Armour, i managed to score 23 points for Characters, exactly average, i hope because i played to the character and the Power Armour wasn't a big issue; especially as he was Stunned and Run away from! :)

either adjusting scenarios to be about stealth to encourage not using power armour, or providing reinforcements or cheap throw-away grunts to hold up that player, while the others have fun may help change his attitude (assuming simply speaking to him about the game doesn't!)

of course, as playing at 28mm it could be the limitation of the miniatures.. in which case, why not count it as Carapace? or if parts aren't visable (such as this acolyte) there's alot not covered by armour (arms, abdomen and legs from that pic) :)

when i had a player at GW Bath who refused to play nice (full armoured marine with heavy bolter :P ) i simply placed the familiar on the table.
I 99, Wyrd: Machine Empathy. turns' off the power armour, the marine can't move; if has an enclosed helmet.. suffocates :D
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Offline MarcoSkoll

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Re: Power Armour
« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2011, 08:15:04 PM »
There are quite a lot of ways to make power armour a hindrance.

Firstly, in a campaign setting, penalise them on investigation, because anyone who chooses to walk around in heavy armour like that would be seen a mile off, and basically screw any chance of covert investigation.

They also have to track down power cells for it, because those suits eat batteries like chocolate buttons - and if you run out of juice, you're down to your skivvies. So, they lose time they could be using to do other things.
I'm assuming this is the Coteaz model, but if his suit has a backpack, then write "Weak spot" rules for it. Damaged power supplies don't work very well...

Even without campaign rules, it can still be done just in game. Choose locations or scenarios where light armour is an advantage.

Locations:
Swamp - Bulky characters in heavy armour sink into the boggy ground and have to trudge along.
Rules could be something like all movement faster than a walk for characters with a total Strength, Toughness and Armour (counting all locations!) over 140 is a risky action. If failed, they faceplant.
But over 180 total, and all movement distances are reduced by a yard.

Rusting Hive - Similar to above, but if they fail, they go through the floor instead! Perhaps several floors. Big falling damage (and my house rules are that armour counts for squat against falling damage.)

Manufactorum with heavy electromagnetic interference - bionics, lasguns and power armour frequently blip and cut out.

Rivers and streams - No swimming in that armour. He'll have to take the long way around, over the very inconveniently spaced bridges.

Narrow tunnels - similar to above. That inflexible armour won't get through every gap, so he'll either have to force through (A "simple" S test - but if he fails, he gets jammed in the gap!) or find another route.

Hot weather - It's going to be stifling in one of those suits. He'll overheat, particularly if doing anything strenuous.

Scenario types:
Stealth - BIGGGGG negative modifier for the noise of all those plates moving over each other and the whine of the servos.

Capture - Their target sees them... and he's not going to believe that pizza guys have power armour. He's legging it the moment he sees them.

Daemon summoning - oh look, it's attacking what it thinks is the greatest threat first.

~~~~~

Other rules (like Ulgavitch talks about) can be used too. A hit modifier to represent his extra bulk (probably +10%). Those bulky gauntlets are a negative modifier for doing any fine work too, of course.

I wouldn't make every scenario an anti-power armour game (as you don't want to piss the guy off enough he leaves the group) nor stack every penalty going on him, but in moderation it's quite easy to start making that very heavy armour look like it might not always be the best idea...
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Offline Inquisitor Goldeneye

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Re: Power Armour
« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2011, 08:45:18 PM »
Way back when I used to actually still play Inquisitor (before I lost contact with my old gaming buddies), we used to operate a 'slots' system for games.

How this worked was that each player was allocated four 'slots' to fill to create his side for the game. One 'slot' represented one 'balanced' (as decided by G.M.) character, a more powerfull character would take up two, three or (in the case of really powerful characters) four slots.

This meant that powerful characters (such as those with power-armour) could still be used, but they would have less back-up than others, which made it more difficult for them to accomplish objectives or to prevent the opposing side form accomplishing them.
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Offline Aleosvance

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Re: Power Armour
« Reply #6 on: June 09, 2011, 11:28:46 AM »
Thank you all :) really helpful as always

To clarify it's this gentleman http://www.games-workshop.com/gws/catalog/productDetail.jsp?catId=cat1140003&prodId=prod1140029a and he's probably gonna use a large autopistol of some kind and a sword (tried power sword, issues there - nobody could stop him, not even my at that stage equally mean psyker inquisitor).

We can't really afford new figures very often, so the suggestions with regard to balancing him are really helpful.

Thanks again :)

Aleosvance

Offline Shannow

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Re: Power Armour
« Reply #7 on: June 09, 2011, 11:50:56 AM »
Huh, to be honest, I've never thought of that as power armour myself, just heavy armour. Perhaps advcanced carapace 7 AV? Just a thought.

Hope to hear of/see some of your adventures though :)
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Offline MarcoSkoll

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Re: Power Armour
« Reply #8 on: June 09, 2011, 01:11:45 PM »
To clarify it's  this gentleman
That's not power armour. (I certainly hope he wasn't expecting a strength bonus or a full AV 10 for those exposed arms.)

Carapace, maybe Heavy Carapace. It might just about count as a 3+ save in 40k (with quite a bit of imagination), but in Inquisitor armour isn't abstracted down into one vague stat with very little granularity.
So I'd probably count that as AV 6 or 7 on most locations, but the half exposed arms would only get AV 3 or 4. Still very impressive armour, but not the gamebreaker power armour can be.

If he wants power armour, then he should use a model which actually looks like it's wearing the fully armoured sealed suit that power armour is. (Of the Inquisitors in the stock DH/GK model range, I'd only count Coteaz as having power armour. The females might be negotiable as "Light power armour" for AV 8.)
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Offline InquisitorHeidfeld

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Re: Power Armour
« Reply #9 on: June 09, 2011, 01:37:08 PM »
Agreed, that is Carapace armour, not Power Armour.
Full Face Helm with Autosenses, Carapace on Torso, Abdomen, groin and legs. (Heavy cloth vs attacks from the rear potentially (GM's discretion)).
Carapace is not to be underestimated though - it still drastically increases the survivability of the character so perhaps the suggestions offered won't be entirely wasted.

However...
If it were Power Armour then there are a couple of questions you need to ask yourself before attempting to balance things.

  • When you talk of an 'arms race' is the game tending towards competition rather than storytelling? If so then why?
  • Why is the Power Armoured Inquisitor so overpowering? Is he decimating the opposition in the first turn or is he just shrugging off shots which would drop an Ambull?
  • Is he overpowered because the player is clever or the other players... too willing to play the game to his strengths?
  • Why does the campaign suit his wearing power armour at all times?

More later...

<Edit>
If the game is tending towards competition then the first step is to encourage cooperation. Rather than one on one games where the two warbands have opposed goals put two warbands up against each other, give them secret objectives, and set the objectives up in such a way that the two warbands cannot succeed unless they work together. Let them shoot each other silly and then fail and then (most importantly) paint them the consequences of their failure.
The important thing is that when the players are kill-whoring they aren’t helping to tell a story and telling a story is the whole point of Inquisitor.

If the Power Armoured Inquisitor is too deadly then work with the player to tail him back – maybe that bolt weapon is shorter ranged or uses a lighter munition, allowing for its one handed operation.
If he’s shrugging off heavy fire then perhaps other ways to incapacitate him can be found (immediately those exposed arms spring to mind – explosives hit multiple locations after all).
With actual power armour, particularly all enclosing Astartes Power Armour then there are all manner of traps and deadfalls which might be viable – and as any Agincourt archer might tell you, once they’re down and you can place your knife rather than having to fight the best armour money can buy is no match for a few inches of good steel.
(I’m not a fan of weak spots, particularly in relation to Astartes Power Armour, all of the potential weakspots are armoured after all and the Astartes are well aware of the performance and limitations of their equipment so weak spots are going to be so much more difficult to attack in general that it negates their weakness).

If you have one player who plays the game particularly well – or several who play it particularly badly then you could give the good player jockey shorts and a rock and the question would be how to overcome overpowered rocks, it is the worst position you could be in, particularly as the better player will often end up vilified by the rest of the group.
Your best approach is probably to bring that player into the writing side of things, turn them from a problem into an asset.
Involving them in the storytelling doesn’t mean they have to stop playing the game of course – but they suddenly have a motive other than the development of their own character.

The final question is often going to be the most difficult to answer.
Some options include attacks on the characters’ base of operations, the characters woken from sleep by the sounds of combat and unable to fully arm up. A heavy trench coat or a Flak vest is not going to cause a problem but much heavier may well see them sitting out the entire operation while a rival steals back what they had previously stolen. Treachery or corruption among the authorities; hostile environments or places where ‘traps’ do not require presetting (A loading bay at a spaceport for example with suspended loads and cargo nets all over the place for an enterprising player to simply shoot through the ropes at the right time). Even a firehose in the right place can be a potent incapacitating weapon.
« Last Edit: June 09, 2011, 04:41:56 PM by InquisitorHeidfeld »

Offline Molotov

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Re: Power Armour
« Reply #10 on: June 09, 2011, 04:52:30 PM »
At 28mm, you'll hear something like 'And the Grey Knights turn up'. That is definitely not the point of the game!

 ::)

One of my players uses that model as his Inquisitor, though with the pistol replaced for a pointing hand from an old Ratskin. We don't count it as power armour. As Marco says, 40k tends to abstract these stat-lines.
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Offline Aleosvance

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Re: Power Armour
« Reply #11 on: June 09, 2011, 05:01:47 PM »
Again, thank you all, this is wonderful  :D

We are all in my group 40k players who really enjoy Inquisitor but haven't been playing for that long, and I GM and play due to numbers (there's only 3 of us, and i've got most of the stuff!)

I am trying to work on getting the story rather than the deathmatch, for example my missions are getting much more deep.

The arms on that guy were always how we stopped him, but good to know that it's carapace - should solve a lot.

This is going to be our first campaign and i'm running it, (been in planning for about a year, exams) so any advice (I know i've already asked a lot, sorry) would be much appreciated.

Thanks again

Aleosvance

Offline Molotov

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Re: Power Armour
« Reply #12 on: June 09, 2011, 05:04:26 PM »
Perhaps put up a thread in the "In the Field" sub-forum, and we can provide you with targeted advice there.
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