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Andy_The_Nerd
27-10-2006, 13:49
I am soon to be running a BFG campain at my gaming club. Lots of people have been complaining about beardy 6+ novacannon lists so i wrote this;

Nova Cannons
To fire a nova cannon you must guess the range and roll a artillery die(cm). add the number rolled to the range of the shot. If a misfire is rolled roll on the table below.


Roll 2d6
2 The Nova shell explodes whilst still within your ship. The firing ship counts as taking a direct hit from the nova blast.

3 The plasma containment systems fail, causing a large plasma fire to break out aboard the ship. The ship count as being on fire as per the main rules. Also the Nova cannon is heavily damaged in the fire and cannot fire again during this engagement.

4 The nova cannon causes a ship wide power serge. All lances and shields become inoperable until a successful leadership test is passed, then they come back online. The ship also cannot use special orders until it is repaired.

5 The Nova Cannon malfunctions and will take time to repair. The nova cannon cannot be fired again during this engagement.

6 The Nova Cannon malfunctions badly. The firing ship takes d3 critical hits.

7 The Nova Cannon malfunctions. It cannot be fired next turn.

8 The Nova Cannon malfunctions badly. The firing ship takes d3 critical hits.

9 The Nova Cannon malfunctions and will take time to repair. The nova cannon cannot be fired again during this engagement.

10 The nova cannon causes a ship wide power serge. All lances and shields become inoperable until a successful leadership test is passed, then they come back online. The ship also cannot use special orders until it is repaired.

11 The nova cannon causes a ship wide power serge. All lances and shields become inoperable until a successful leadership test is passed, then they come back online. The ship also cannot use special orders until it is repaired.

12 The nova cannon realises a huge burst of plasma. Fire the nova cannon normally, except any damage it dose doses double damage. This HUGE blast causes your ship to go haywire, roll d3 more times on this table, re-rolling any results you roll twice.

So what do you think?

orangesm
27-10-2006, 16:09
Do not - do not allow players to guess - even if you are rolling a die to change it by a few cm. After not guessing ranges since Early 3rd Ed 40k I demostrated a fair amount of accuracy to prove that guessing here is a bad idea. The Scatter Die is a good way to do it.

If you want you could have a much simplier 'Fire' table for the Nova Cannons - Roll a d6 before firing - on 3-6 operates normally, 2 will not be able to fire next turn, 1 roll again on 1-2 nova cannon becomes damaged. To make it 2d6
2 Nova Cannon Damaged
3-5 Cannot Fire This Turn
6-12 Operates Normally

Or tell them to deal with it - lets list things that are beardy about various fleets:
Eldar
Chaos - WB ranges
Space Marine - Boarding Actions & T-Hawks (if some how used in large quantities)
Necrons
Tau - Turning Torpedoes

People will disagree with parts of this list - notice I left the Orks out.

So what do I think - do not change the rules of the game because people are afraid of an Imperial Fleet with lots of Nova Cannons. Its a campaign right? They can target those ships and take them out of the campaign.
How they may ask? Eldar fleet slips out side the arc of fire and then goes in picking off each ship one at a time. A faster Chaos fleet comes in close (10cm where the Nova Cannons can not fire) and Crosses the T right in front of them - very scary actually - the Imperial Player will have nothing to attack back with if the opposing side crosses the T of Nova Cannon ships within 30 cm.

So I would not change it. It sounds like the players are trying to get a tactical victory early on by curtailing the Imperial Players' long range ability before the campaign even beginnings.

NakedFisherman
27-10-2006, 16:10
I just think the Nova Cannon's rules need to be totally revamped. It is entirely way too powerful.

Just point a few at the enemy commander's ship and let loose. Really lame.

Jouen
27-10-2006, 19:33
it makes a fun addition to the game, but organesm is right. there are plenty of other cheesed up elements, and games designers and rules testers (should) know their stuff. why not just limit how many can be had in your fleet instead of a rules overhall?

FuriosoShadow
28-10-2006, 02:13
Way too powerful my ass...

It's now almost impossible to get the d6 hits on a cruiser. 1 hit isn't worth anything. Yeah, it's a great weapon, but as orangesm said, it's not the cheapest thing out there by a long shot. Having a misfire table makes it an entirely useless weapon, since on one would fire it for fear of their ship going BOOM.

Shinnentai
28-10-2006, 11:27
Almost impossible? I think that's a bit of an exageration eh Shadow? A NovaCannon has a 55% chance of getting D6 hits on a single small based vessel, and 66.5% on a large based model. This doesn't even factor in occasions where groups of models present better targets.

Whilst I certainly don't agree with the malfunction chart, I feel that a Nova Cannon heavy fleet does detract from the game since it becomes less about manouvering. A limit to the number of Nova Cannon seems reasonably practical.

I would also like to see a change in the Nova Cannon rules so that they may only be fired by a ship on lock-on orders - I think that this would represent the unwieldiness of the weapon quite well, also requiring more thought from the player when using them since they wouldn't be able to manouvre on the turn of firing. This might even abbrogate the need for the limitation - although I think the Dominator really needs to be increased in points.

NakedFisherman
28-10-2006, 13:01
Almost impossible? I think that's a bit of an exageration eh Shadow? A NovaCannon has a 55% chance of getting D6 hits on a single small based vessel, and 66.5% on a large based model. This doesn't even factor in occasions where groups of models present better targets.

It's 83% on large vessels.

orangesm
28-10-2006, 14:57
I would also like to see a change in the Nova Cannon rules so that they may only be fired by a ship on lock-on orders - I think that this would represent the unwieldiness of the weapon quite well, also requiring more thought from the player when using them since they wouldn't be able to manouvre on the turn of firing.

Now this is something that I can agree with. it does not change the direct mechanic of the game, while still limiting the use of the Nova Cannon. In this instantance it becomes as easy to use as a full broadside from a Carnage, the range it occurs at is different.

I like it - in order to fire a Nova Cannon the ship in question must first take on the Lock-On special order. Remember that the order applies to the whole ship - so getting close to a Dominator that keeps Locking-On is probably not the wisest of ideas.

Shinnentai
28-10-2006, 17:06
It's 83% on large vessels.
I don't believe it is :

Chance of rolling a hit = 2/6 or a third.

Chance of deviating = 4/6 or two thirds
Now multiply that by the chance such a deviation will still hit the target vessel (50% - or 1-3cm for a large base ) : half or two thirds is a third.

Now add together these two possibilities to get the overall chance of the large based model getting hit : 2 thirds or 66.67% ( yeah OK so I was rounding on my first post ^^ ).

Looks like you just added the 33% chance of rolling a hit to the 50% chance of still hitting on deviation, whereas of course there is not 100% chance of deviation so you must reduce the 50%.

FuriosoShadow
28-10-2006, 17:44
I will admit that a limitation is a good idea. The BFG group I'm in right now has a fairly strict "1 Nova Cannon per 500 points" rule (e.g., in a 1500 point game you could take 3 ships with Nova Cannons, 2000, 4, etc.) which keeps things balanced and stops Nova heavy fleets from just owning the board.

Sureshot05
28-10-2006, 18:33
I would have thought personally to double or triple the range of scatter if not on lock-on orders would be a good system to balance out the Nova, still very powerful on the hit, far less likely to hit on a scatter.

NakedFisherman
28-10-2006, 18:37
I don't believe it is :

Chance of rolling a hit = 2/6 or a third.

Chance of deviating = 4/6 or two thirds
Now multiply that by the chance such a deviation will still hit the target vessel (50% - or 1-3cm for a large base ) : half or two thirds is a third.

Now add together these two possibilities to get the overall chance of the large based model getting hit : 2 thirds or 66.67% ( yeah OK so I was rounding on my first post ^^ ).

Looks like you just added the 33% chance of rolling a hit to the 50% chance of still hitting on deviation, whereas of course there is not 100% chance of deviation so you must reduce the 50%.

No, the only time it doesn't hit a large base is when a 6 is rolled.

Shinnentai
28-10-2006, 23:20
No, the only time it doesn't hit a large base is when a 6 is rolled.
Ah, I see the confusion. I clearly state in my first post that I'm referring to the possibilities involved in a Nova Cannon getting the full D6 hits. In any event 83% would still be incorrect, since the chance of gaining any hit on a large based vessel is 88.89%.

FuriosoShadow
29-10-2006, 02:50
Do remember that at over 60 cm, the range where the Nova Cannon is the best because it's the only non-ordnance weapon that can hit at that range, scatter is 2d6, not 1d6, so you can completely miss a battleship at that range.

MegaPope
09-11-2006, 22:26
Not every game is a cruiser clash or fleet engagement, especially in a campaign. In my last campaign, out of the 4 games I played when I could actually use cruiser-weight ships, I got to fire my Nova Cannons...

In ONE game.

Nova Cannons are the weapons of fleet engagements, not small patrols. In setpiece fleet engagements, they are terrifying.,which is just as it should be! But if your opponent is clever with his angles of attack, in most of the smaller scenarios, you may not get to fire more than twice.

Nova Cannons are the IN fleet's trump weapon. Just like all those long range lances/WBs are for the Chaos Fleet. Or the Eldar fleet's movement rules, super-efficient ordnance and near immunity to many forms of attack. Or the Tau fleet's vast numbers of variable move, seeking torps and resilient bombers. Or the Marine fleet's bombardent cannons and escort-eating T-Hawks.Or...you get the idea.

Imperial cruisers are slow, ponderous, and have short range weaponry and little in the way of non-torpedo ordnance. Practically every ship has some form of weaponry that takes a Special Order (Reload Ordnance) to use after the first firing, which will prevent said ship from using any other useful orders, and is also dependent upon a Ld test to succeed.

The Nova Cannon is the counterfoil to all of these inbuilt limiting factors. Remember that all but two SO's will prevent it from being used, and you only have to cripple (rather than totally destroy) a NC armed ship to silence the gun. And bear in mind that taking too many will leave you short on torps, which are useful to deliver ship-killing strikes at close range.

I consider 2-3 NCs in my fleet at 1500pts the practical minimum necessary to ensure at least one hit on anything smaller than battleship-sized. That's a lot of points. In smaller games, I don't bother with them at all- you generally can't afford to take enough to make them worth it, unless you have a Mars as your flagship for the Ordnance and precious long range lances. In which case, the NC is a weapon of opportunity (read:noisemaker).

Think about these thing before arbitarily shafting the NC. Or have your IN players use Battlefleet Cadia/Armageddon, which do not have direct access to the Dominator.

But I suppose someone will get upset over Marine contingents or Imperial Grand Cruisers...;)