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View Full Version : Poisoned shooting - should it work differently?



warplock
27-05-2011, 16:56
Currently poisoned weapons automatically wound on a roll of '6' to hit. This works fine for close combat as for most attacks it means 1/3 of the hits benefit from the poisoned rule. However, when shooting poisoned weapons it often leads to the bizarre situation of every single successful hit poisoning the target. If I move my Gutter Runners and shoot at something over half range, I get -3 to hit (over half range, multiple shots, moving and shooting) which with BS4 means I need 6 to hit. The shooting rules adequately modify the chance of hitting the target, but for every hit to automatically wound seems far too unlikely. I think something like +1 to wound would be more appropriate. That way you would be wounding T5 or greater on a 5+, which although not as powerful would be very useful if accompanied by a significant points drop.
Of course it means masses of skinks and gutter runners would no longer be as useful, but then again they would be cheaper.

eron12
27-05-2011, 17:22
I understand where you are coming from, but I don't see that as a problem. I've always looked at Poison compared to attacks, not hits. While 100% of hits being poison may seem unlikely (then again, do the people who get non posion hits at range forget to put the venom on the weapon?) it is still only about 17% of attacks made. It doesn't seem like an overpowered special rule to me. My regular opponent plays Lizardmen, and I have yet to see poison have a huge effect on the game.

drear
27-05-2011, 17:26
it works fine, if you go over the 6 to hit, poison fails anway.
it just gives us somthing to deal with t6+ stuff .

vcassano
27-05-2011, 18:05
it works fine, if you go over the 6 to hit, poison fails anway.
it just gives us somthing to deal with t6+ stuff .


T6+ stuff is easy to deal with nowadays. Well, much easier anyway...

magicmonkey
27-05-2011, 18:28
i find its fine. otherwise it would be quite useless. the problem is if you added+1 to wound instead, it would roughly half the effectiveness of shooting for gutter runners and skinks and the like. also it would then mean the points would go down as well.

ooglatjama
27-05-2011, 20:05
It is funky, but it is really just a game mechanic.

enygma7
27-05-2011, 20:13
As a representation of how poisoned shooting weapons could work I'd agree the current implementation makes little sense, which seems to be what your getting at. Or to put it differently, the way things currently work is not "realistic" (for a given value of realism that allows for fire breathing dragons, magic and goblins riding space hoppers with big teeth).

As a rules mechanic its totally fine. It works well, does what it's supposed to do and isn't overpowered.

So the answer is I wouldn't mind seeing a change as I like my rules to represent what's going on but I won't lose any sleep over it.

GodlessM
27-05-2011, 21:11
I think you are disillusioning yourself here; just because when you need 6's to hit anyway thus meaning all hits are poisoned, it doesn't mean they are more likely to poison; the chance of rolling a 6 is still the same. There's nothing wrong with the current system and thus no need of a fix.

The bearded one
27-05-2011, 23:28
That'd be a gigantinormous (love saying that) nerf for poison. Monsters and laserguided warmachines need their own nemisis, poisoned ranged attacks can provide that. Besides, they're not all that prevalent. Skinks, gutter runners.. who else?

bluemage
28-05-2011, 01:15
Meh. I find it irritating because it limits my ability to take monsters, but its not really over-powered.

Also keep in mind, every army has atleast one unit that will prove difficult to deal with and will be very effective against your list, regardless of what it is.

Leggo1927
28-05-2011, 20:30
Idd Godless got it right. If you have twenty shots and need 6 to hit you get all your hits wound. If your in close combat with twenty attacks you get all your 6's to hit wound plus the potential for your 3's 4's and 5's (depending on the to hit roll,) to also wound. Yes it's not 100% of hits but it's still much better wound chance, as the statistical chance to roll a poison attack, is the same whatever.

russellmoo
29-05-2011, 15:24
The problem isn't with how poison works but how available poison attacks are- and for some units the cost of their poison- really I doubt there would be any issue here if chamo skinks and gutter runners weren't so maneuverable and hence hard to kill, no one would complain about poison- but for their points (17 18 with slings) gutter runners should be awesome- now whether DE or Lizards pay the appropriate price for their poison should be the debate-

Von Wibble
29-05-2011, 15:27
The irony though is that poison should be weaker against high T models, not stronger. They have a much better constitution and can handle it.

If it were me, I would have various differing toxins with different effects for each army (a little like the dark elf ones). Yuo could have units hit by poison haivng their stats (eg WS, S, T) reduced for a period of time, or suffering stupidity, or even having to move in a random direction. There is a lot of potential for more interesting rules.

That said, if you are looking purely from a game balance perspective and not from any other view, poison is fine as is.

Balerion
29-05-2011, 18:20
The irony though is that poison should be weaker against high T models, not stronger. They have a much better constitution and can handle it.

Sorry, but this is close to nonsense. There are many kinds of poisons, that work in many ways, and there is no such thing as a generalized, across-the-board "constitution".

It's not difficult to imagine a Skink having access to some kind of poison dart frog whose secretions produce a relatively benign reaction in the Skink, but would paralyze an eastern Giant in seconds. Or a Skaven concoction laced with wyrdstone dust and designed to quickly asphyxiate anyone who has not built up a tolerance. etc. ad infinitum.

Haravikk
29-05-2011, 20:51
Toughness represents natural resistance to damage such as thick skin, bony ridges, and such, doesn't say anything about the quality of their immune system, though why poison is so unrestricted in its victims (undead, stone statues etc.) is beyond me.

I think personally that poison is fine, the main problem is when it's just being spammed like nobody's business, with opportunity to counter. Immune to Poison should really be in the core rules and available where it makes sense for particularly hideous monsters or things that simply can't be poisoned.

sroblin
29-05-2011, 21:52
Wibble's preference is precisely how DND handles it- high Toughness (Constituion) models are more likely to resist poison, so poison is most useful against low toughness opponents.

While I think this is more realistic, I think the way Warhammer handles it is much more interesting and fun as a game mechanic.

In D&D, poison is most effective against opponents that are already physically weak- it's likely to have no effect against tough fighters, dragons, ogres etc- and so it isn't a very compelling option (hurting those wimpy low level monsters and unarmored mages isn't something you need help with). By comparison, poison in Warhammer is a useful item in your toolkit specialized in hurting high-toughness, low armor opponents.

Going briefly on topic, I don't feel poison is particularly broken. It useful offensive upgrade on some models that would otherwise be ineffective, and even then, it's easily mitigated by pitting its scissors with your rock- high armor units. It improves the game by allowing certain generally low strength models to pose an assymetric threat against more powerful opponents without overpowering them against everything.

Balerion
29-05-2011, 22:08
In D&D, poison is most effective against opponents that are already physically weak- it's likely to have no effect against tough fighters, dragons, ogres etc- and so it isn't a very compelling option (hurting those wimpy low level monsters and unarmored mages isn't something you need help with). By comparison, poison in Warhammer is a useful item in your toolkit specialized in hurting high-toughness, low armor opponents.

I can't comment on how effective that system is for fun and balance, but it's worth noting that it flies in the face of historical usage of poison. Poison has always been the weapon of the weak, to be used against the strong (who cannot be faced and beaten directly).

theunwantedbeing
29-05-2011, 22:25
Going briefly on topic, I don't feel poison is particularly broken.

While it's not broken it's somewhat unusual really.

You could have all manner of things instead as a poison mechanic.
eg.
...Models wounded by posioned attacks must pass a strength/toughness test or suffer a further wound
...+1 to wound
...6's to hit poison the enemy, these wound on a set value rather than the standard strength vs toughness value

Certain models could easily be poison resistant, or even immune completely.
Getting a ward save vs poisoned attacks of varying amounts (similar to how immunity to fire ended out).
You could extend this idea to immunity to killing blow as well of course.

So there's scope to alter the way poison works or other special rules within the game but...it's not really needed as the mechanic itself works just fine(unlike immunity to fire that was rather crippling to some creatures that were stuck with flaming attacks and incapable of harming certain things).

Korraz
29-05-2011, 22:49
Option 1 of theunwantedbeings seems the most logical, but option 3 the one that makes most sense from a game design point.
Poison Resistance is something I really miss. I might be wrong, but weren't Undead immune in 6th edition?

Skywave
30-05-2011, 03:19
...6's to hit poison the enemy, these wound on a set value rather than the standard strength vs toughness value


That something that could work. All natural 6's to hit cause poison, poison wounds on a set number (or use normal strenght if it's better).

Regular poison could be 4+.
Could have more potent poison wounding on 3+ and weaker one at 5+ for exemple.
Add the rule "Poison resistant" with a similar mechanic to Magic Resist, where the number in bracket gives a modifier to the poison roll. So poison wound on 4+, target is Poison Resistant(1), making the poison roll wounding on 5+ instead.

friendsofrhomb
30-05-2011, 04:42
That something that could work. All natural 6's to hit cause poison, poison wounds on a set number (or use normal strenght if it's better).

Regular poison could be 4+.
Could have more potent poison wounding on 3+ and weaker one at 5+ for exemple.
Add the rule "Poison resistant" with a similar mechanic to Magic Resist, where the number in bracket gives a modifier to the poison roll. So poison wound on 4+, target is Poison Resistant(1), making the poison roll wounding on 5+ instead.

i like that rule, with poisoned attacks wounding on a set value it would still give those units a place in regards to monster killing etc. (and also remove the problem a model has when it has poisoned attacks AND killing blow....i think its stupid that it still cant roll for killing blow....)

i dont like the resistance to poison thing though, it would over complicate things in my opinion. I'd just have straight out immune to poison

Scythe
30-05-2011, 06:01
I don't see much added value of that rule, other than making poison weaker. You still have the 6 to hit (which is a bit weird, but it an elegant game solution), so you won't address the original posters issues.

For me, the poison mechanic is fine as it is. It offers a nice way to get around high toughness for some races, even though that makes little sense against things like sphinxes (but then, those really deserved an armor save of 4+ or 3+).

sroblin
30-05-2011, 08:24
I would still consider it desirable that poisoned attacks be slightly more effective against weak models too- the wounding on a 4+ is how 40k handles it, though they don't require you to hit on a 6 as well to get that wounding condition! The rule would be kind of underwhelming if you needed a 1/6 chance to have a 50% chance of wounding.

I think the 'pass a Toughness test or take another wound' would model how D&D handles it taking physical toughness into account, but such a rule would just give poison a 'the weak-get-weaker and strong are largely immune' dynamic, and worst of all, would make it useless against all single wound models.

Korraz
30-05-2011, 08:30
I don't see much added value of that rule, other than making poison weaker. You still have the 6 to hit (which is a bit weird, but it an elegant game solution), so you won't address the original posters issues.

For me, the poison mechanic is fine as it is. It offers a nice way to get around high toughness for some races, even though that makes little sense against things like sphinxes (but then, those really deserved an armor save of 4+ or 3+).

As it is, poison is simply too good. A small unit of skinks can take down a giant with a single salvo. A monster, of all things, should be able to take a few more punches of poison.

"Poison Resistant" makes immun to poison or confers a 2+ save against it. No modifiers. The WHFB rules are a horrible, ugly moloch that oozes terrible game design frome very hole already. Skirmish rules have no place in FB any more. The goal should be to make the rule quick and sleek while still symbolizing the mechanics of poison.

Scythe
30-05-2011, 10:00
As it is, poison is simply too good. A small unit of skinks can take down a giant with a single salvo. A monster, of all things, should be able to take a few more punches of poison.


That problem lies more with the overpriced, underpowered giant as with the skinks.

Besides, the chances of a small unit of skinks actually killing a giant with a single salvo are rather small. Better than crossbows, but small nonetheless.

decker_cky
31-05-2011, 21:27
Poison allowing a reroll to wound seems like it would make sense and be a simple mechanic (not just on 6's to hit).

Toe Cutter
01-06-2011, 10:50
I'm really not getting this 'big things are more resistant to poision' theory thats going around.

Big things may be more resistant to kinetic damage but when a poison shuts down your nervous system, it really doesn't matter how big your skeleton or muscles are, you're still just as dead.

Poison is a method of overriding the need for large amounts of energy being needed to kill big things. Works like that in real life. Works like that in game. I'm happy with the rule myself.

Balerion
01-06-2011, 19:41
I'm really not getting this 'big things are more resistant to poision' theory thats going around.

Big things may be more resistant to kinetic damage but when a poison shuts down your nervous system, it really doesn't matter how big your skeleton or muscles are, you're still just as dead.

Poison is a method of overriding the need for large amounts of energy being needed to kill big things. Works like that in real life. Works like that in game. I'm happy with the rule myself.
Not only that, but I've always approached poison as "that rule that lets low S units hurt high T units"

Like, I've always felt that the designers probably went, "OK, let's make a rule that helps weaklings hurt super tough stuff and call it poison" as opposed to going, "OK, let's make a rule that represents what poison would do".

ie. it seems they probably crafted the rule with the specific game effects as a priority ahead of the mere need to make a representational mechanic for poison.

Korraz
01-06-2011, 20:07
I'm really not getting this 'big things are more resistant to poision' theory thats going around.

Big things may be more resistant to kinetic damage but when a poison shuts down your nervous system, it really doesn't matter how big your skeleton or muscles are, you're still just as dead.


A harvestman's poison is capable of killing bugs, but you won't even feel it. One size does NOT fit them all.

Toe Cutter
01-06-2011, 20:17
This is true. Poisons can be diluted if you want them to be. That doesn't mean that the right poison wont drop big things and small things alike. It just means that the insecticide they're using on your crops is specifically tailored to kill insects. If and when it starts killing bigger stuff, people start getting upset. Thats why you don't use agent orange anymore.

hlaine larkin
02-06-2011, 10:11
Same poison, same rules :) simple

the only thing i would modify is that the last dice used to wound would need a 6-i.e if you need a 7 (6/4) then poison should happen on a 6/6.

the other thing i would like to see however is the introduction of the 40k poison rule, which i think works well- just a constant wouding value, so say a skink had poison (5+) would be epic :)

eron12
02-06-2011, 18:32
As it is, poison is simply too good. A small unit of skinks can take down a giant with a single salvo. A monster, of all things, should be able to take a few more punches of poison.

I'm not familiar with the giant rules, so I don't know how many wounds it has or why it doesn't have a save, but even with multiple shots, a unit of 10 skinks should get an average of 3 poisons (3.33), with 5 chamelion skinks getting 1-2 (1.67) each salvo. Yes they could get much more but I don't think it's reasonable to argue rules from unlikely outcomes.

hlaine larkin
02-06-2011, 18:37
yes, but imagine its 2 units of 15 as i used to run :D that is an average of 9 :P