N18 Merging excess melee weapons

JawRippa

Gang Hero
Mar 31, 2017
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Traditionally, in games, 2-handed weapons tend to be slow but strong while dual-wielding tend to be fast but weak. Giving +1A to 2-handers would feel very wrong imo.
I do remember reading here that Massive weapons were bad in NCE and actually it was more profitable to have dual shanks rather than 1 unwieldy weapon. Although I suspect that having 1 less attack is not as critical in new system.
 

almic85

Gang Hero
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Oct 30, 2014
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The reason why no one will take a -1 to hit is because it feels significantly worse than +1 or +2 strength as to hit rolls are based on the fighters statistics while to wound rolls are an opposed roll that only gets better if you double the opponents toughness.

Statistically though it’s the opposite for most fighters.

It’s really that missing a hit feels really bad and getting the chance to roll another dice is a nice little endorphin rush for the players.

It’s also that any weapon that only buffs either WS or Strength is going to be much better AND they are significantly cheaper than two handed weapons for some reason.

Basically a weapon that has any negative modifier needs to be cheaper than any weapon that doesn’t and it will feel really odd if two handed weapons are cheaper than single handed ones.
 

JawRippa

Gang Hero
Mar 31, 2017
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Basically a weapon that has any negative modifier needs to be cheaper than any weapon that doesn’t and it will feel really odd if two handed weapons are cheaper than single handed ones.
I've played roughly 4 games using alternating attack system - basically you exchange attacks with an opponent one at a time, until one of you runs out and the other person strikes remaining all at once. Attacker always starts first and defender may only strike attacker. Whoever had more attacks does 2 attacks instead of 1 for the first time in a fight sequence. Heavy hitters actually have a lot of merits because that single attack matters a lot more, although -1 to hit in that case is an even bigger downside.
The reason why no one will take a -1 to hit is because it feels significantly worse than +1 or +2 strength as to hit rolls are based on the fighters statistics while to wound rolls are an opposed roll that only gets better if you double the opponents toughness.
Pulverise is a big deal breaker - you are pretty much never guaranteed to end up just fleshwounding the opponent, which is one of the worst things to experience in close combat.
 

ntw3001

Gang Hero
Feb 17, 2011
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Sure, some may be better against armour, or against multi-wound fighters, but S, AP and D tend to scale alongside each other anyway.
This leads to a situation where all weapons are a variant of 'small stick, medium stick, big stick, bigger stick' (with Versatile as a notable exception).
In my endless state of mulling over a Borderlands skirmish game, I would run into the issue of how to represent the elemental weapons. Fire weapons were effective against flesh, shock against energy shields and corrosion against armour. Kind of tough to represent in a way that works smoothly. Then I realised GW games aready use three separate axis of power vs resilience, but it's for no real reason because they represent the same thing. Armour vs AP is conceptually different, and very occasionally diverges from the other stats, but S/T and W/D just seem to mean the same thing. Srub cannons have high S, but low D and AP. What does that mean? It's interesting to have these systems present, but it's a shame they're not built into the themes of the game at all.
 
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Jayward

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Aug 4, 2020
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One issue with -1 to hit - have you ever seen anyone take a two-handed hammer or axe?
I've done it in a skirmish, but that's mostly because I thought the models looked cool.

It's not specifically the -1 that puts me off taking them more frequently; I'm perfectly happy to trade -1 to hit for +2S and 2D... But for 35 credits I can get a Servo Claw or almost any TP Power weapon, which will be just as good whilst not having the malus or requiring two hands.
 

MrAndersson

Gang Hero
Sep 18, 2018
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Halmstad, Sweden
I must ask - what is the end goal here?

Don't get me wrong, I enjoy nerdy discussions. But if we are looking to accomplish a change, we must set goals, or at least define the problem that is to be solved.


If someone has a problem with the number of close combat weapons that exist in the Necromunda books, then why doesn't that person just make a shorter list for themselves to choose from, so that they don't need to sift through the long list in the books every time. You would only have to do that once, then the problem is solved.


If the goal is to create better balance between weapons, so to reduce the (currently vast) number of weapons that are not viable from a gameplay perspective, then a simple re-pricing of the the weapon list would be in order. Ok, it's a little more than a "simple" operation. But changing the cost of things is a lot less time consuming than juggling around with stat lines and weapon traits.


If someone has another goal, or another perceived problem they are looking to solve, please say so.
 

TopsyKretts

Hive Guilder
Tribe Council
Dec 29, 2017
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It's not necessarily one OR the other. Could be both: Limit excess number of weapons + improve balance (could also include rewriting stats and costs).

I think the problem is defined clearly: There are way too many weapons available (for no added value) and the weapons are unbalanced.
 

MrAndersson

Gang Hero
Sep 18, 2018
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I don't see how the number of weapons, by itself, could be a problem. Just use the ones you like and disregard the rest.

Balance, on the other hand, is a legitimate issue. But as I stated, reexamining the costs would be the easiest way to fix that. If one would want to go further, the cost of ranged weapons could also be on the table, with the goal of improving overall balance between different styles of play.

In the current state of the game, balance between cc weapons is so incredibly poor that only a handful of weapons are viable. Assuming one is looking to play the game well, of course. Thus, you could make the argument that we only need five different cc weapons. But I don't think that that is what anyone is proposing. And that's the source of my confusion over the issue. If sub-optimal weapons should be allowed to exist, why not just keep the current system and use the ones you like (whether that be for thematic or for gameplay reasons)? No need to deny other players the option of taking a cool but overpriced piece of hardware. If all weapons should be at a (reasonably) similar power level, just re-price the ones that fall outside the curve.
 

ntw3001

Gang Hero
Feb 17, 2011
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Having an excessive number of pointless options is absolutely a cost. You *could* give a gang a thousand different choices of ganger type, each with a slightly differernt stat line, then say 'well ignore most of them'. But why would you fill your game with fake choices that don't actually represent anything in particular? Why isn't a Goliath-brand club a club? What's the difference between a sword and a sword? There doesn't seem to be any point or benefit, and adding more stuff doesn't automatically improve the game (despite what the peple who sell said stuff may say). There's needless bloat made up of items that don't represent anything distinct. Van Saar having a near-duplicate of every common ballistic weapon just so they can have more lasers is another offender.

To the idea of paring down ther list for oneself alone: Necromunda isn't a single-player game. It never has been. If a whole group doesn't agree to remove something, it stays for everyone. You still have to care whether it's an XG700 series rock drill or the older XG600 series with the Perserverance-brand safety latch on the side, because if you roll a 6 to hit and then pass two consecutive Intelligence tests, you can hit the switch and power down the drill for a round. If it's the XG700 series, though, you need to stun or blind the user then charge from behind with a fighter whose Initiative is 3+ or better, then pass a Strength test in order to yank at the loose wires leading to the motor.

Personally, I don't like brutes. I don't want them in my gang, so I don't use them (well, I don't play at all any more). But the other players in my group did, so I still had to deal with them. My choice didn't make the bloat go away,
 

TopsyKretts

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I don't see how the number of weapons, by itself, could be a problem. Just use the ones you like and disregard the rest.
Have you seen my rules compilation? Too much profiles to handle, 8 pages packed full! 50 pistol, 68 basic, 48 special, 41 heavy, 21 nades, 100 close combat. If you accept that some are traps, then surely new players will fall in that? Experienced players read closely and pick the best ones. I have to spend too much time looking up weapon profiles because all of them have tiny variations. In old necromunda, I could memorize stuff like lasgun, autogun, boltgun, chainsword and laspistol. Then you only had to look up profiles once in a while.

Having 400 weapon profiles doesn't make the game better than if we only had 200. Same with tactics cards. It's bloated, out of control, and new releases doesn't add anything because we already got too much. What if we had 1000 weapon profiles, you still wouldn't consider it an issue?
 
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MrAndersson

Gang Hero
Sep 18, 2018
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Trimming down weapon list to remove "traps" and make it possible to play with any melee weapon and not feel bummed out about its cost to power ratio.
I'm planning to incorporate suggested changes into my homebrew campaign. Perhaps they could even be of use in YCE later.
Again, it looks like re-balancing is what is needed.

If you were to correct the current system by trimming alone, only about half a dozen weapons would remain in the list. Every cc weapon except boning sword, heavy chain cleaver (and a handful others) is a trap.
 
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MrAndersson

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What if we had 1000 weapon profiles, you still wouldn't consider it an issue?
No. Maybe if we get to a really ridiculous number, like 10,000. But even then, if they had a digital list that was searchable by filters, I would have no problem with it.

I have no problem with trimming per see. But if you are going to solve the current situation by cutting the fat off the list, there would be less than 10 weapons left in it. And that is too few, in my opinion.
 

Kiro The Avenger

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Apr 4, 2018
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This discussion hasn't been about just trimming the bad weapons though.
It's been about rebalancing weapons, and trimming the unnecessary weapons. Do we really need a boning sword? What even is a boning sword, if not a fancy sword?
 
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MrAndersson

Gang Hero
Sep 18, 2018
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...and trimming the unnecessary weapons. Do we really need a boning sword? What even is a boning sword, if not a fancy sword?
That's a good point. I smell a third goal - removing stuff because they don't make any sense. A certain puzzle box comes to mind. The only problem is that it's kind of hard to settle on a target, since it's so theme driven. Everyone has their own opinion of what the Necromunda universe should be.
 

KA7777

Gang Champion
Jan 19, 2018
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Canada
I actually agree with MrAndersson, despite good faith participation with the thread's objective in earlier posts.

It's pretty easy to say, "There's bloat, and there shouldn't be" but I don't see people actually defending that position very often with a convincing "and here's why".

"Traps" isn't a definitive argument. If a player is concerned about that it's incumbent on them to read discussions or run the numbers to select equipment that suits their objectives.

"Optimization" isn't a definitive argument. As MrAndersson implied, even if the armoury was pared down to three weapon options, there would still be one that was optimal.

"Realism" isn't a definitive argument. Realistically, the difference between the kinetic properties of a knife, a sword, an axe and a club is not relevant in a system that uses the characteristics and tables used in Necromunda. The granularity just isn't there.

So it essentially comes down to an aesthetic preference. My aesthetic preference is for a huge armoury; it deepens my immersion, and I like being overwhelmed with options. So my personal interest in frigging around with the details comes down to a) improving the very worst options, b) downgrading the very best options, and c) contracting the gap in price between different options so that players can experiment with different weapons without feeling like they've overspent.
 
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Thorgor

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I can give you a few reasons why bloat such sucks from a design stand point:
  • it creates analysis paralysis as your players will spend more time trying to determine what they should use and navigate around all those non-options you added
  • it creates extra complexity when learning the game as players now have more weapon profiles to understand and memorize
  • it wastes time when playing the game as players need to look up what each exotic weapon does and adapt their strategy to it (should I shoot the guy with the transmembranic eviscerator, or is the guy with a brute chain penetrator more dangerous?)
  • it limits modelling opportunities. When a chain axe and a chain cleaver are two different weapons, it limiits what can be used to represent either of them
in short, it makes the game inelegant, harder to grok, and unnecessarily complex.
 

KA7777

Gang Champion
Jan 19, 2018
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I think I'd disagree with every point you made. ;)

Bullets 1+2 only apply to an idealized conception of games/playerbases that usually won't match our actual experiences. A lot of players I've played with throughout the years don't devote time to analyzing things like weapon selection -- they use what came in the box, or what they think is cool. By the same token, I've gamed with people who don't bother to memorize the stats/abilities of the iconic faction-specific unit they use every single game, let alone memorizing entire rosters and armouries.

Those bullets are legitimate things to think about, as you put it, "from a design standpoint," but that's verging close to an aesthetics issue once more -- are you more satisfied by an elegant game or a sprawling game?

Bullet 3 is a legitimate concern, but it obscures/omits the reality that in a game of 10-15 models versus 10-15 models you're probably not going to be dealing with that many uncommon profiles, so looking things up isn't going to eat up a significant amount of time. Also, if you're using fighter cards and/or a printed roster the act of "looking something up" entails, like, leaning forward and opening your eyes, rather than thumbing through a book. So this bullet is less applicable to Necromunda, specifically, than it is to games, generally, and is inextricably tied to game-size and an individual games' tools/culture re: tracking & logging units and rules on paper.

Your fourth bullet is just completely nuts.
 
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Thorgor

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Your fourth bullet is just completely nuts.
Is it? When the CGC kit was released, some players asked what part they should use to represent the Chain Cleaver and the Heavy Chain Cleaver because they didn't want to 'get it wrong' (like the official book did, incidently). Some players just need everything to be strictly WYSIWYG and it's easier in a game like Frostgrave where an 'man-at-arms' is carrying a 'hand weapon' than in Necromunda where what looks like a Chain axe can actually be one of three different weapons.

I'll admit that some of my points may ultimately come down to personal preference. 'Sprawling' really does nothing for me.
 
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