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Author Topic: Ultra and Rotary AC use question  (Read 1171 times)

513-Osiris

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Ultra and Rotary AC use question
« on: 07 September 2021, 19:42:58 »
so.. when ultra ac's first came out, we always played when you fired you rolled to hit with the weapon, then, if the weapon hit, you then rolled on the cluster hits table under 2 to see if the weapon "ultra'd" or not.  if you got a 2, you got double heat and marked off two shots of ammo, but if you only got a 1, you only took normal heat and one shot of ammo....
Is this not how it's supposed to be?
seems like now you always get the double heat and lose two shots of ammo, but even after a successful tohit roll, half your shots may have (and actually are likely to have) missed anyway?  Is this right? If so, it seems UAC's are poor weapons...

Ruger

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Re: Ultra and Rotary AC use question
« Reply #1 on: 07 September 2021, 20:42:47 »
With ultras, you can fire either at the standard rate or at the double rate. At standard rate, you consume “one shot” and generate the weapon’s standard heat. At the double rate of fire, you consume “two shots”, generate double the heat, and, if you hit with your doubled shot, you have to roll of the two column of the missile hit table to see if both shots hit or not.

That’s the standard rule, and to my knowledge, always has been. You do the same thing with RAC’s, except you declare your rate of fire, generating heat times that many shots, consuming that many “shots” of ammo, and rolling on that missile hit table to determine how many shots actually hit if you make the original to hit roll.

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Re: Ultra and Rotary AC use question
« Reply #2 on: 07 September 2021, 22:23:48 »
If so, it seems UAC's are poor weapons...

You're talking about an extra one ton of fitting for a weapon that can potentially double its damage. I'm pretty naff on UACs under rules as written but even then that's an acceptable tradeoff to me. It isn't required that every shot be in Ultra mode after all and sometimes you really, really want to potentially slap someone with 40 points of damage from a single weapon.

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Re: Ultra and Rotary AC use question
« Reply #3 on: 07 September 2021, 22:33:44 »
FWIW when I started ~ '94 it was as Ruger describes*. So if it changed it had to have been before then.

*To add to that though there's also the possibility — when firing at double rate — of jamming the weapon on a roll of 2. Just mentioning because it wasn't included in your or Ruger's initial description of the behavior.

garhkal

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Re: Ultra and Rotary AC use question
« Reply #4 on: 08 September 2021, 01:50:08 »
so.. when ultra ac's first came out, we always played when you fired you rolled to hit with the weapon, then, if the weapon hit, you then rolled on the cluster hits table under 2 to see if the weapon "ultra'd" or not.  if you got a 2, you got double heat and marked off two shots of ammo, but if you only got a 1, you only took normal heat and one shot of ammo....
Is this not how it's supposed to be?
seems like now you always get the double heat and lose two shots of ammo, but even after a successful tohit roll, half your shots may have (and actually are likely to have) missed anyway?  Is this right? If so, it seems UAC's are poor weapons...

Yes, it does seem like that's how it was initially.  AND they jam on a snake eyes.

However, even with that, i've seen quite a few folk who still LOVE ultras.
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Re: Ultra and Rotary AC use question
« Reply #5 on: 08 September 2021, 07:36:41 »
And the 9-hex Bubble of DoomTM becomes the 10-hex BoD.
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Re: Ultra and Rotary AC use question
« Reply #6 on: 08 September 2021, 11:51:34 »
*To add to that though there's also the possibility — when firing at double rate — of jamming the weapon on a roll of 2. Just mentioning because it wasn't included in your or Ruger's initial description of the behavior.

RACs have that, too, and it gets easier to jam the more you fire it.  The RACs have the advantage of being able to unjam, and Ultras do not.
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Re: Ultra and Rotary AC use question
« Reply #7 on: 12 September 2021, 00:16:12 »
And you have to declare which mode you're using the RAC in when you announce you're firing the weapon, before any attacks start getting made.
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Re: Ultra and Rotary AC use question
« Reply #8 on: 12 September 2021, 13:48:33 »
And you have to declare which mode you're using the RAC in when you announce you're firing the weapon, before any attacks start getting made.

To be fair, Ultras have that, too, though with them it's an "either/or" rather than "how much".
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Wolf72

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Re: Ultra and Rotary AC use question
« Reply #9 on: 12 September 2021, 13:58:50 »
so.. when ultra ac's first came out, we always played when you fired you rolled to hit with the weapon, then, if the weapon hit, you then rolled on the cluster hits table under 2 to see if the weapon "ultra'd" or not.  if you got a 2, you got double heat and marked off two shots of ammo, but if you only got a 1, you only took normal heat and one shot of ammo....
Is this not how it's supposed to be?


TBH, I do not un-like your way of using UACs.  Toss in an un-jam option and I like that.  On the downside you wouldn't be able to select single or double fire.
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Re: Ultra and Rotary AC use question
« Reply #10 on: 12 September 2021, 15:17:47 »
I think the OP has been doing it wrong.

Ruger described the way its always been.

You fire 2 shots, use 2 ammo, take 2 heat, and then pray you roll to actually double tap instead of single tap.

Its not ideal, but as pointed out, its a extra ton of weight to potentially double damage, which is a fair trade off.

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Wolf72

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Re: Ultra and Rotary AC use question
« Reply #11 on: 12 September 2021, 16:45:16 »
Right, I don't think it was correct, ... just a unique way of working with it.
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Re: Ultra and Rotary AC use question
« Reply #12 on: 12 September 2021, 20:06:00 »
TBH, I do not un-like your way of using UACs.  Toss in an un-jam option and I like that.  On the downside you wouldn't be able to select single or double fire.

Eh, without straying too far into Fan Rules territory, I think that would be a bit much in the case of Ultra 10s and 20s. It would be Streak-lite without the tradeoff of sometimes wasting a second shot on a very limited ammo bin.

Charistoph

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Re: Ultra and Rotary AC use question
« Reply #13 on: 12 September 2021, 20:09:43 »
Eh, without straying too far into Fan Rules territory, I think that would be a bit much in the case of Ultra 10s and 20s. It would be Streak-lite without the tradeoff of sometimes wasting a second shot on a very limited ammo bin.

Pretty much.  What I've often seen it confused as, and I'm including myself in this, is that you choose to make two shots and you roll 2 To-Hit rolls (1 for for each shot) so long as the first one hit (with the 2nd shot auto-missing if the first misses).  A bit more practical and balanced, but not how the rules work.
« Last Edit: 12 September 2021, 21:37:27 by Charistoph »
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Re: Ultra and Rotary AC use question
« Reply #14 on: 12 September 2021, 21:08:55 »
is that you choose to make two shots and you roll 2 To-Hit rolls for each shot so long as the first one hit (with the 2nd shot auto-missing if the first misses).
THIS - Or at least I think what your saying is you declare 2 shots & roll first, if hits, roll 2nd....... your wording isn't exactly saying that, almost sounds like 4 shots.
I would love if the rules worked this way.
I'm not at all a fan of the SRM-2 table & how its the only table that hits with LESS than 50% of the shots, compared to all the other missile tables.
This would, to me, be a great way to still have all the same effect on heat/ammo etc etc,  but would be more focused on the Base To-Hit # instead of the raw 21/15 split of the missile table.
The other great thing is this does not increase rolls at all, its just To Hit #1, then, To Hit #2 instead of cluster.
Makes the Ultra sort of feel like a HAG in the probabilities of more damage at close range & less at long range.
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Charistoph

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Re: Ultra and Rotary AC use question
« Reply #15 on: 12 September 2021, 21:43:47 »
THIS - Or at least I think what your saying is you declare 2 shots & roll first, if hits, roll 2nd....... your wording isn't exactly saying that, almost sounds like 4 shots.

Yeah, announce double shot, roll 1st To-Hit, and if it hits, roll the 2nd as a To-Hit. 

Corrected, sort of.
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Re: Ultra and Rotary AC use question
« Reply #16 on: 26 September 2021, 02:02:11 »
Its not ideal, but as pointed out, its a extra ton of weight to potentially double damage, which is a fair trade off.

It also decreased minimum range by one and increased medium range by one. That's also a moderate deal. Still not enough to dig the gun out of bottom tier however.

DevianID

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Re: Ultra and Rotary AC use question
« Reply #17 on: 26 September 2021, 18:46:34 »
The ultra autocannon has that 'feel bad' when you spend resources but dont get 100% efficiency out of it.  Somehow I dont notice it as much on missile weapons, as im used to them not connecting at 100% efficiency.  The 2 chart for ultra mode is also the most efficient chart to roll on btw--but it feels like the worst for some reason which has nothing to do with math.

Ultra and regular autocannons have some interaction with lance/pilot special skills from campaign ops that make them better--a heavy battle lance that grants 6 reroll to-hits across the lance, when used to fix snake eyes results on ultra auto cannons, has more value than just rerolling a missed PPC.  Likewise cluster hitter type SPAs helps smooth the rough edges on the ultra cluster chart.

Charistoph

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Re: Ultra and Rotary AC use question
« Reply #18 on: 26 September 2021, 18:58:11 »
The ultra autocannon has that 'feel bad' when you spend resources but dont get 100% efficiency out of it.  Somehow I dont notice it as much on missile weapons, as im used to them not connecting at 100% efficiency.  The 2 chart for ultra mode is also the most efficient chart to roll on btw--but it feels like the worst for some reason which has nothing to do with math.

Ultra and regular autocannons have some interaction with lance/pilot special skills from campaign ops that make them better--a heavy battle lance that grants 6 reroll to-hits across the lance, when used to fix snake eyes results on ultra auto cannons, has more value than just rerolling a missed PPC.  Likewise cluster hitter type SPAs helps smooth the rough edges on the ultra cluster chart.

To be fair, the IS SRM-2 is only a ton while the IS UAC/2 is 7 tons.  While the UAC/2 is much much greater in range, it still feels bad when that 7 tons hits like a 1 ton weapon.  At 7 tons, one can get an LRM-15, which will usually provide more damage than that UAC will... once it's in a good range, at least.

And that is still only a 5/11 chance of getting both rounds to hit.  While it may seem more "efficient" when compared to some, it still requires an 8+ for it to feel good.  When you compare that to an initial To-Hit being lower than an 8, it does feel like being cheated.
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Re: Ultra and Rotary AC use question
« Reply #19 on: 26 September 2021, 19:01:40 »
With the SRM 2, you also don't have the concern of the weapon being rendered useless just because you had a bad attack roll.
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Wolf72

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Re: Ultra and Rotary AC use question
« Reply #20 on: 26 September 2021, 19:04:35 »
the 2 hits column has is the most efficient? Not in a math-guy mode (and even then, not the sharpest).  2 shots is only on an 8 or better.  Sure, it is now at the 100% hit mode, but it's on a 2 shot cluster.

I don't think it would be unreasonable to bring it down to 7 (fan rules territory).  Then I think "uh, oh ... x-20 people (whether UAC or double-tap rule for standard) might be grinning extra wide".

Is there a quirk that gives a bonus on the cluster table? (or for that matter a negative quirk, too)
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Re: Ultra and Rotary AC use question
« Reply #21 on: 26 September 2021, 19:18:22 »
IIRC, the rules for direct hits in Tac Ops give a bonus to cluster rolls based on the MoS of the attack roll.
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Re: Ultra and Rotary AC use question
« Reply #22 on: 27 September 2021, 00:15:33 »
If you play with SPAs, I believe Cluster Hitter and/or Sandblaster are the ones you want for getting the most of of Ultras.
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Re: Ultra and Rotary AC use question
« Reply #23 on: 27 September 2021, 03:48:00 »
If you play with SPAs, I believe Cluster Hitter and/or Sandblaster are the ones you want for getting the most of of Ultras.
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Re: Ultra and Rotary AC use question
« Reply #24 on: 27 September 2021, 11:06:06 »
the 2 hits column has is the most efficient? Not in a math-guy mode (and even then, not the sharpest).  2 shots is only on an 8 or better.  Sure, it is now at the 100% hit mode, but it's on a 2 shot cluster.

I don't think it would be unreasonable to bring it down to 7 (fan rules territory).  Then I think "uh, oh ... x-20 people (whether UAC or double-tap rule for standard) might be grinning extra wide".

Is there a quirk that gives a bonus on the cluster table? (or for that matter a negative quirk, too)

The 2 column is a weird one for sure because it is both the best odds of getting maximum results and the most likely odds of getting worst results.  This does combine to give it a weird sort of efficiency in terms of how much ammo actually connects(assuming the to hit roll succeeds) that surpasses any other column on the table.

There should be plenty of locked threads around here with the math on how that works out to be true but I think for the sake of this thread it is best to just accept those three facts as true but a bit weird.

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Re: Ultra and Rotary AC use question
« Reply #25 on: 27 September 2021, 11:55:28 »
I can see that.

But to me that is less to do w/ the table & more to do with the fact that its only 2 shots.

So the "Bad" roll is still 50% of the salvo hitting.

Compared to say a 2 on an LRM20 that hits for 5ish damage.

The real issue with SRM2 that everyone sees is that the "average" roll of 7, gives you a 50% hit where every other launcher size has you hitting with over 50% on the 7 slot.
Makes it feel like a let down.

A full spread of 36 shots will hit with 51/72 missiles which is pretty good as noted.
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Re: Ultra and Rotary AC use question
« Reply #26 on: 27 September 2021, 12:11:19 »
I can see that.

But to me that is less to do w/ the table & more to do with the fact that its only 2 shots.

So the "Bad" roll is still 50% of the salvo hitting.

Compared to say a 2 on an LRM20 that hits for 5ish damage.

The real issue with SRM2 that everyone sees is that the "average" roll of 7, gives you a 50% hit where every other launcher size has you hitting with over 50% on the 7 slot.
Makes it feel like a let down.

A full spread of 36 shots will hit with 51/72 missiles which is pretty good as noted.

*nod*

The human mind is geared to remember poor results over exceptional results so yeah that it has such an objectively high probability of getting the worst possible result is just going to reinforce the subjective perspective of it being "bad" even more.

Overall it is something I just find fascinating but have few ideas how to fix with that inherent duality of being both best and worst at the same time.

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Re: Ultra and Rotary AC use question
« Reply #27 on: 27 September 2021, 15:20:15 »
*nod*

The human mind is geared to remember poor results over exceptional results so yeah that it has such an objectively high probability of getting the worst possible result is just going to reinforce the subjective perspective of it being "bad" even more.

Overall it is something I just find fascinating but have few ideas how to fix with that inherent duality of being both best and worst at the same time.

I've seen people propose to ditch the low-to-high ordering of the results and instead put the max hits in the middle, decreasing as you get further from 7. I think the main goal was equalizing the average number of missiles hit (I think on the existing table it varies from ~70% to like, 60% depending on the number of missiles fired), but it might also make the results feel better as the "average" roll is the full salvo, even you only have a 1/6th chance of rolling a 7.

Of course, this causes a lot of havoc with modifiers to cluster hit rolls, so it's unlikely to work without major reworks in other areas, and probably causes more problems than it solves (notably, you're going to have a lot more low results on the table than high ones, so it might look worse despite the probabilities being similar).

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Re: Ultra and Rotary AC use question
« Reply #28 on: 27 September 2021, 18:46:13 »
Interesting.

A 10-12 result is 1-6, and a 7 is 1-6 as well.

The real problem is how things like Artemis or Narc with a +2 would not make things "better in many cases.
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Re: Ultra and Rotary AC use question
« Reply #29 on: 27 September 2021, 20:28:16 »
Interesting.

A 10-12 result is 1-6, and a 7 is 1-6 as well.

The real problem is how things like Artemis or Narc with a +2 would not make things "better in many cases.

It would need to be something like "shift by 2 in your preferred direction" after the roll.
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