Semi-automatic guns

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    Bill McGill

    Am I missing something?

    Upgrading a gun to Semi-automatic gives a single +2 damage when you hit. For this upgrade, you pay 10 points.

    Increasing the number of damage dice by 2 or more, for 3 or more barrels, will increase the points cost by 5 points at most. But it will give a damage increase that is at least as good as the semi-automatic upgrade and potentially 6 times as good (for an extra 2D6).

    Is there something else about the semi-automatic upgrade that I don’t understand or have missed?

    William Sheil

    This was also my interpretation. Curious to know whether this needs a clarification.

    Wayne Walton

    In another coastal forces ruleset I’ve used, a semiautomatic or automatic loading cannon roles two dice to hit and takes the best result. This is to reflect the increased efficiency of the gun team, but it does no additional damage. Multibarreled weapons role one dice to hit, and on a success another dice is rolled for additional hits depending on the number of barrels.
    I’ve only played a couple of games of Cruel Seas, and found it hard to hit anything unless I’m at stone throwing range. None of the quad 20mm hit anything, but I imagine they’ll be devastating to an MTB.

    Bill McGill

    I did wonder if the intention was that the +2 for semi-automatic was to apply to any one the damage dice rolled, thereby making a critical hit 6 more likely, but the wording seems to state the +2 only applies to the damage inflicted by that single dice rolled.

    William Sheil

    IIRC the section on critical hits also specifies they occur on “natural sixes”.

    Was hoping to see a “To Hit” modifier pop up in the QRF but no such luck.

    Big Al

    Well, historically some of the weapons were not multi barrelled, but were semi automatic. It reflects that, though some multi barrelled weapons were semi automatic, too and listed in the lists at the back of the book.

    If you’re going to go down the non historical route and upgrade to multiple barrels (3+) on any weapon, you can also upgrade those to semi automatic. So each damage die would benefit from the +2, making them even more lethal.

    Big Al

    Why would you expect a “to hit” modifier for a semi automatic gun? The mechanic is that the system hits or misses. All additional shells follow the same path. Additional damage makes much more sense.

    William Sheil

    There’s a common convention in wargames to model higher rates of fire as improved hit chance rather than damage although statistically one equals the other in the long run. Although the shells approximately follow the same path they are not wholly simultaneous so there is still a level of fine resolution that makes more shots in the same period more likely to hit when trying to track a target in non-ideal circumstances.

    In any case though the discussion is that the +2 modifier appears paltry for the points cost when applied to (for example) a 4D6 weapon – and in this game absolute damage is the factor rather than there being any non-linear damage factors that would make small increases significant. If the shots were truly following the same path then it would be expected that there should be a substantial multiplier to the hit damage values.

    Big Al

    I don’t agree that a higher rate of fire giving an improved chance to it is a common convention. I haven’t noticed that in over 40 years of playing. In my experience it is always the other way around and it increases the chance of damage. If the convention was to improve accuracy, players would arm snipers with machine guns!

    There is another thread that mentions the +2 damage. It is down to interpretation and needs clarification. I pointed out there that the rule is to apply the modifier to a single damage roll. That implies that you roll all of the damage dice and then add two to the result. But it could be interpreted that the +2 is added to each die rolled. That would make it very effective indeed. So it does need clarifying.

    William Sheil

    I think stretching “+2 points of damage to a single damage roll” to apply to every dice in the roll is a bit much. It may be intended but it’s not at all obvious.

    Although snipers have their own extreme range/accuracy factors to consider, the entire existence of machineguns in modern warfare, from their very inception, is precisely to increase the likelihood of hitting targets not to hit the same targets with multiple rounds (which is usually fairly pointless).

    For an obvious wargame example Bolt Action increases accuracy by increasing the number of hit dice rolled with high RoF weapons and then distributing the hits amongst target models. Models don’t get multiple hits, the hits are distributed so effectively high RoF -> more models affected which is (statistically) increased accuracy.

    For Cruel Seas firing is single model to single model without a multiple roll RoF mechanic so it could be interpreted either way (increase accuracy or increase damage). But with multiple barrels already adding damage then an accuracy bonus for autofire could have provided a complementary mechanism.

    Big Al

    Unfortunately, Bolt Action is one of the few systems that I don’t play. I can’t stand them. I don’t rate them at all. However, just because one set uses a particular way of deciding hits does not make it a Wargame Convention!

    Multiple shots will only increase your chance of hitting if you roll individual dice for each shot. When you are rolling to hit from a system, like you do in Cruel Seas, you only make one target roll and then work out how much damage is caused.

    Anyway, we aren’t going to agree on this. Personally, I have no problem with it as it stands and quite happy with it as is.


    … but what “IS” it?


    Hi William:

    A standard 6 pdr = 5D6 damage – 10 points
    upgrade to semi-auto = +2 damage to the 5D6 result – pay additional 10 points (20 points for the weapon system)

    A single 20mm = 3D6 damage – 5 points
    upgrade with 1 extra barrel (twin) = 4D6 damage
    additional 5 points (10 points for the weapon system)
    upgrade with 3 more barrels (quad) = 6D6 damage
    additional 10 points (15 points for the weapon system)

    So effectively you’re paying an extra 5 points on the Semi-auto 6pdr to guarantee +2 points of damage to your dice roll total from 5D6 (the +2 does not get added to a single dice roll, only to the total. Only natural 6’s cause critical hits)

    I guess you could say then that the Quad 20mm will have a chance of doing 4 more points of damage if it got 6x 6’s (36) compared to the 5x 6’s +2 (32) from the 6pdr.

    For us it is about representing the weight of lead, so to speak, going down range. And it felt right to us as a differentiation between the weaponry 🙂

    Hope that helps

    Andrew Tanner

    Thanks Richard. That makes it very clear how this rule works.

    Unfortunately, from a strictly gaming point of view, I cannot imagine a situation when I would want to pay 10 points to give +2 damage to a 6 pounder when I could instead pay 5 points to give +1d6 damage (average 3.5 – just under twice as much) to a different gun.

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