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 Fluff wise: Rifle or SMG/Carbine?

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FuelDrop
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PostSubject: Fluff wise: Rifle or SMG/Carbine?   Wed Aug 23 2017, 13:31

I have been thinking.

from a purely fluff point of view... why are the Dark Eldar using longarms?

Dark Eldar learn to fight in Commorragh, a crowded city full of impossible geometry. On top of that, their favored prey (civilians) tend to also live in cities.

Now I'm no military expert, but it seems to me that the full sized rifles used by Kabalite Warriors and Trueborn are a bit bulky and awkward for room-to-room fighting, and cannot be easily handled with one hand while restraining a prisoner with the other.

Even moreso when one remembers how the True Kin prefer tight quarters and short range fighting to better experience first hand the agony they are causing, it causes me to wonder: Why is our primary weapon a rifle rather than a more compact assault weapon, such as an automatic carbine or a submachine gun?
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PostSubject: Re: Fluff wise: Rifle or SMG/Carbine?   Wed Aug 23 2017, 13:49

Those attempts of answering your questions are of course purely hypothetical.
- First part of the question, the one concerning Commorragh :
I don't know if you're familiar with Terry Pratchett, but the Unseen University of Wizards of Ankh-Morporkh feels a lot like Commorragh for me. The wizards gain ranks and power through the assassination of their superiors, but there is one rule : you cannot use magic to kill a "colleague". Which then creates an absurd situation where the most powerful wizards in the world try to kill each others with boobytraps.
It might be the same with Commorragh : Rifles and cannons are for the raids (where you cannot betray your colleagues), and in Commorragh it's more a matter of knifes, poisons, strangling and pushing from balconies.
- While it's a good point that shotguns and short weapons are more appropriate for city fighting, that standard comes from the fact that city fighting is done on ground, which makes you very close to your target. I think Splinter riffles are designed to be fired from above, from the flying raiders. The Kabalites only get in melee when the enemy is almost routing, and at that point you don't really need a gun anymore.

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PostSubject: Re: Fluff wise: Rifle or SMG/Carbine?   Wed Aug 23 2017, 13:58

@Mppqlmd wrote:
Those attempts of answering your questions are of course purely hypothetical.
- First part of the question, the one concerning Commorragh :
I don't know if you're familiar with Terry Pratchett, but the Unseen University of Wizards of Ankh-Morporkh feels a lot like Commorragh for me. The wizards gain ranks and power through the assassination of their superiors, but there is one rule : you cannot use magic to kill a "colleague". Which then creates an absurd situation where the most powerful wizards in the world try to kill each others with boobytraps.
It might be the same with Commorragh : Rifles and cannons are for the raids (where you cannot betray your colleagues), and in Commorragh it's more a matter of knifes, poisons, strangling and pushing from balconies.
- While it's a good point that shotguns and short weapons are more appropriate for city fighting, that standard comes from the fact that city fighting is done on ground, which makes you very close to your target. I think Splinter riffles are designed to be fired from above, from the flying raiders. The Kabalites only get in melee when the enemy is almost routing, and at that point you don't really need a gun anymore.

1) That is SIR Terry Pratchett, thank you so very much. Show respect for genius.

While it is a stretch to imagine that firearms are banned in Commorragh, it might explain it a bit... I'm not sure I buy it though.

2) While I agree that it would make some sense for a death from above type thing, our Scourges use Shardcarbines and they are all about death from above...

As I understand it, DE do not want a stand up fight with another army. They want to go tent to tent and murder guardsmen in their sleep. House to house kidnapping citizens, shooting any that resist with an agonizing but nonlethal toxin then dragging them off to the slave pits.

Edit: I don't know. It just struck me as odd given the lore that we're using full sized rifles as standard infantry weapons (something that modern armies stopped doing after world war 2). Longarms just don't really seem like a very Dark Eldar solution to conflict to me, and it seems silly to train all the time for fighting in Commorragh with one weapon then switching to a different loadout entirely when out raiding, rather than sticking with your familiar weapon.

If Explaination 1 is correct it begs the question of why Warriors don't come stock with some kind of CCW.
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PostSubject: Re: Fluff wise: Rifle or SMG/Carbine?   Wed Aug 23 2017, 14:13

I guess I'll say that its an evolution of old Eldar technology.


If you look at the Craftworld cousins and their weaponry, its based on the premise of hurling metal shards at people. Both our weapon types do that, they just hurl different things.
So the OLD Eldar likely used some kind of rail driver/mass driver/rail gun technology, which the Craftworlders took to fire Shuriken, and we took to hurl needles (coated in acids and poisons).
So from an social evolution standpoint, the fact that we use such weapons are a reflection of the stagnation of the race, and how we still use the same basic technology the Eldar empire had at the time of the fall.

As for why we didn't change, I'd say thats part of the social stagnation, but also on the fact that the technology was more abundants.
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PostSubject: Re: Fluff wise: Rifle or SMG/Carbine?   Wed Aug 23 2017, 15:36

@Mppqlmd has some good points.
Rifles are designed to be used from a moving raider in the first phases of the raid.
You take down the first defences of the city you are raiding than you close in to take unarmed civilians that will not put up too much of a fight.
The basic kabalite is as skilled in a fight as the standard space marine, so it would not take much to overpower a regular hive citizen.
Also consider that crunch-side every model is considered armed with a cc basic weapon.
As for the carabines, scourges are equipped with them because they are shock troops trained to sweep in and fight in close range, only 2 of the possible 6 weapons available are long range, and the sc may be considered mid range anyway.
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PostSubject: Re: Fluff wise: Rifle or SMG/Carbine?   Wed Aug 23 2017, 16:48

Not just crunch. Your Kabalite warriors have knives modeled on them. Which unfortunately are just CCW. Rifles would be for shooting from transports as noted. Why they don't carry pistol sidearms and grenades is anyone's guess.

What's really puzzling is how after millions of years of tech. development with admittedly some millennia of stagnation after, we only have poison and railguns which exist in the year 2000 as well, as opposed to nano-sized star-killing antimatter lasers that explode into tiny black holes. Or culture-style effector beams.
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PostSubject: Re: Fluff wise: Rifle or SMG/Carbine?   Wed Aug 23 2017, 16:56

@Lord Johan wrote:

What's really puzzling is how after millions of years of tech. development with admittedly some millennia of stagnation after, we only have poison and railguns which exist in the year 2000 as well, as opposed to nano-sized star-killing antimatter lasers that explode into tiny black holes.

Decadence ! Lost technology ! Brink of oblivion ! Muhahaha !
Is it grimdark enough, or should be add some Chaos Vortex, destroy one or two Craftworld, and publish an edition that resolves entirely around the fact that Chaos is going to be overpowered ?

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PostSubject: Re: Fluff wise: Rifle or SMG/Carbine?   Wed Aug 23 2017, 17:05

Well I personally believe that if we are supposedly hyper-intelligent, are aware of science and have developed weaponry that is incomprehensible to lesser races, and have owned the galaxy for a million years, we should have built about a billion Dyson spheres by now and also be shooting beams that manipulate the target to do whatever we want from our teeth if we choose to. 10,000 years of stagnation seems totally irrelevant if you consider all that even less intelligent humanity could achieve given a million worlds and a million years. Yet we are stuck with mon-keigh 2000s tech.

It's even more puzzling since Commorragh has no ethics, so what's to prevent an Archon from just building a supereldarly intelligent AI to self-improve and design better weapons and/or torture instruments. It shouldn't even be hard considering you can harness energy from black holes and steal suns already.

But the less you analyze the fluff the better generally
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PostSubject: Re: Fluff wise: Rifle or SMG/Carbine?   Wed Aug 23 2017, 17:08

That's because of
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/SpaceAgeStasis
Is stupid as hell, but looks cool and is grimdark.
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PostSubject: Re: Fluff wise: Rifle or SMG/Carbine?   Wed Aug 23 2017, 21:30

Leverage. A lot of your older Dark Eldar models (and some of the newer ones, too) have blades modeled right on the rifles, not unlike kroot rifles. The longer frame of the rifle gives you some extra wellie for those times you have to use it as a melee weapon (which, for DE raiding slaves, is quite a bit).

As to AI, it's because true AI tends to work out really poorly in the 40k universe. Humanity can still dimly remember its own disastrous forays into true AI. While the Eldar race's own experiments are buried in the ancient past, the impression it left on their culture was strong enough that even now, millenia in the future, the folly of AI is something that's taken by Eldar as a given.

(At least that's my take on it. But what do I know?)
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PostSubject: Re: Fluff wise: Rifle or SMG/Carbine?   Wed Aug 23 2017, 21:50

Well, but they could just as well have genetically engineered and cybernetically enhanced themselves to be smarter over the aeons, which it seems like a species with rhe tech would.do, and works fine in the 40k universe. But even without such, the point is our race is supposedly ancient and has dominated the galaxy forever and is naturally smarter and longer living and psychic to boot - yet is basically at the same tech-level as mon'keigh with some token differences (we shoot "darklight" but we still just have regular cannons of same efficiency as las).
It's neccessary for the universe to be balanced - if we had guns that caused a localized surge of gravitons and collapsed spacetime of the target or sent parts of target into the past or flaying nanites, armored humans standing a chance wouls seem silly. But it's really more silly how primitive the Eldar are when you think about it. And one catastrophe can't account for such a loss of knowledge when there are many survivors and surviving tech.
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PostSubject: Re: Fluff wise: Rifle or SMG/Carbine?   Wed Aug 23 2017, 21:51

You don't need to enhance yourself if you're already the best, or if you believe so.

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PostSubject: Re: Fluff wise: Rifle or SMG/Carbine?   Wed Aug 23 2017, 22:32

One point ... Exactly how big do you think a "standard sized" rifle is? ... And why it wouldn't be an effective weapon for CQC ... As pretty much every military in the world has a standard sized rifle that is given to every trooper in their army, with exceptions of specialized equipment as you climb the leadership ladder or are the equivalent of a heavy weapon s team. But for the most part ... Every standard guy is equiped with the same thing ... The U.S. army has the M-16 or now the M-4 rifle ... And that is all they are assigned, it's pretty rare for yer standard Infantry man to be sent into the field with any other weapon than that and an occasional combat knife (if they bring their own) ... And they go through extensive training of both open field and clearing buildings using the same rifle ... in buildings you learn to clear everything from a large open room to a single bedroom all with that same rifle ... Unless you managed to get into an area that literally has your shoulders pressed against a wall on either side of you (a dumb move) that rifle isn't a hindrance ... As they are roughly there length of your arm in the case of the M-16 and about 2/3rd the length in the case of the M-4 ... So easily manageable in a standard hallway, street, alleyway ... Pretty much anything but the smallest of closets. While I do agree you'd think it would be a bit more advanced then it is ... If our army was true to the fluff in every possible way all we would have to do is walk up to the table announce we play dark eldar and walk away with maxed out victory points before the game even starts as "the strikes come so fast and finish so swiftly the poor victims of the assault are dragged back to the pits of Commorragh before they know what happened" ... Just saying ... So if GW didn't make the space Marines (who actually do have gravity manipulation weapons so why we don't is a mystery) look rediculously amazing and gimp the true kins potential power ... the table top game of 40k would not exist with DE as a playable army ...
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PostSubject: Re: Fluff wise: Rifle or SMG/Carbine?   Wed Aug 23 2017, 22:45

@Lord Johan wrote:
Well, but they could just as well have genetically engineered and cybernetically enhanced themselves to be smarter over the aeons, which it seems like a species with rhe tech would.do, and works fine in the 40k universe. But even without such, the point is our race is supposedly ancient and has dominated the galaxy forever and is naturally smarter and longer living and psychic to boot - yet is basically at the same tech-level as mon'keigh with some token differences (we shoot "darklight" but we still just have regular cannons of same efficiency as las).
It's neccessary for the universe to be balanced - if we had guns that caused a localized surge of gravitons and collapsed spacetime of the target or sent parts of target into the past or flaying nanites, armored humans standing a chance wouls seem silly. But it's really more silly how primitive the Eldar are when you think about it. And one catastrophe can't account for such a loss of knowledge when there are many survivors and surviving tech.

Cybernetics as wargear is actually a really awesome idea! It'd allow us options to pimp out characters without GW having to release new models, too!

And yeah, Dark Eldar consistently feel primitive compared to the Imperium. I mean, Space Marines have Grav Weapons. We, the masters of anti-grav technology, have dart guns. Really fancy ones.


Quote :
One point ... Exactly how big do you think a "standard sized" rifle is? ... And why it wouldn't be an effective weapon for CQC ... As pretty much every military in the world has a standard sized rifle that is given to every trooper in their army, with exceptions of specialized equipment as you climb the leadership ladder or are the equivalent of a heavy weapon s team. But for the most part ... Every standard guy is equiped with the same thing ... The U.S. army has the M-16 or now the M-4 rifle ... And that is all they are assigned, it's pretty rare for yer standard Infantry man to be sent into the field with any other weapon than that and an occasional combat knife (if they bring their own) ... And they go through extensive training of both open field and clearing buildings using the same rifle ... in buildings you learn to clear everything from a large open room to a single bedroom all with that same rifle ... Unless you managed to get into an area that literally has your shoulders pressed against a wall on either side of you (a dumb move) that rifle isn't a hindrance ... As they are roughly there length of your arm in the case of the M-16 and about 2/3rd the length in the case of the M-4 ... So easily manageable in a standard hallway, street, alleyway ... Pretty much anything but the smallest of closets. While I do agree you'd think it would be a bit more advanced then it is ... If our army was true to the fluff in every possible way all we would have to do is walk up to the table announce we play dark eldar and walk away with maxed out victory points before the game even starts as "the strikes come so fast and finish so swiftly the poor victims of the assault are dragged back to the pits of Commorragh before they know what happened" ... Just saying ... So if GW didn't make the space Marines (who actually do have gravity manipulation weapons so why we don't is a mystery) look rediculously amazing and gimp the true kins potential power ... the table top game of 40k would not exist with DE as a playable army ...

Okay, on the whole "Rifle" thing.
Modern armies use so called "Assault" rifles. Automatic long arms that evolved out of the battlefields of world war 2, such as the Sturmgewehr-44. These guns were a hybrid of SMG and full rifle (it's a bit more complex than that).

Prior to this your standard issue infantry weapons were rifles like the M1 Garand, a semi-automatic rifle that came in at around 43 inches long, or a bit over a meter. With the realization that battles were no longer taking place with formations of troops forming up and shooting volleys at each other like in the American Civil War, weapons designers started moving away from such weapons as primary infantry weapons, due to accuracy at extreme range being less of a factor in modern war than tracking fast moving targets closer to the shooter.
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PostSubject: Re: Fluff wise: Rifle or SMG/Carbine?   Thu Aug 24 2017, 06:58

Did you guys forget we cannot play Vect anymore?
Any archon you play might be smart and good and but he is not without mistakes.
So yes we fight in city's and lightning raids and such, and possibly without a rifle. So 9 times out of 10 you raid a place and there are a lot of slaves, but no real battle.
Unfortunately once in a while it goes bad, someone in commoragh closed the webgate for you so you cannot instantly jumb back. You fell into a trap. Someone backstabbed you and lied about the lokation/ number or some other intel. So you have to fight a reasonably even matched fight (aka a normal game).

Fortunately you are still a dark eldar archon and smart enough to have planned for this eventuality. So all your kabalites take the rifles and fight like lesser men. All because you frak up your duty as a leader. There is a large chance there will be one or more attempts at your life when you are back at commoragh since you have shown you are not infallible, even if you prepared enough to win the trap the others have laid for you. You still made the mistake which made it into an actual fight instead of a slaughter.
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PostSubject: Re: Fluff wise: Rifle or SMG/Carbine?   Thu Aug 24 2017, 13:25

So, I've just pulled out a few of my Kabalites...

The rifles come in at around 3.5cm (1.25") whilst most Warriors stand at around 4cm (1.4"), roughly.  

For the guns, I'm measuring stock to the end of the barrel (the thin tube poking out the front that's at a sawn-off slant).  For the models I'm starting at the top of the base.  And most of them are crouching/ bent-legged in some form or other, but it's not as though we teeter around with ramrod-straight legs all day, so call it what you may.

Fluff wise, Eldar range from about 2-2.5 metres tall (6'7"-8'2").

That means that the guns are around (200/4)*3.5= 175cm long... 1.75 metres, 5'8" long at a low estimate.

Which is ridiculous.

I've done a fair amount of Martial Arts, including some swordplay, spear work and general hand to hand, though I've never handled a gun before...

The best I could suggest for something of that sort of size, is to use it as a spear/ stave.  It's not quite polearm length (thank Cegorach), though it starts inching towards that when you factor in the spikes on some of them...

Archon_91 and FuelDrop's comments on rifle styles/ sizes/ purposes has lead me to consider that these are far, far longer than is practical in close quarters.  Closer to a marksman's rifle than that of a foot soldier, which lends credence to Mppqlmd (the Wizard more powerful than the DM)'s theory that Splinter Rifles are meant specifically to be fired from Raiders, Venoms and Tantali, and not intended for ground combat.

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PostSubject: Re: Fluff wise: Rifle or SMG/Carbine?   Thu Aug 24 2017, 13:32

Actually, Path of the Dark Eldar also despicts the use of use Splinter Rifles within Commorragh. The difference is that they fill their weapons with different toxins that are actually meant to kill instead of just inflicting pain and paralyze their victims.

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PostSubject: Re: Fluff wise: Rifle or SMG/Carbine?   Thu Aug 24 2017, 13:33

Very nice observations !
Since our weapons are often equipped with blades near the top, it feels like Kabalites fight a lot like Napoleonian soldiers : firing at distance, using the bayonets in CC. Since they don't want to kill, those bayonets are closer to the medieval "Man catcher", used by police forces to capture criminals (read slaves, in this case).

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PostSubject: Re: Fluff wise: Rifle or SMG/Carbine?   Thu Aug 24 2017, 14:13

Is the size not just from the oversized weapon syndrome?
A normal pistol is about the size of an arm, which is more in line with normal gun sizes in our world.
And yes we are related to elves so we all know we actually want to fight with spears, by making our guns long enough and putting a blade at the top we get a slightly shorter heavier spear.
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PostSubject: Re: Fluff wise: Rifle or SMG/Carbine?   Thu Aug 24 2017, 15:07

@Mppqlmd wrote:
Very nice observations !
Why thank you.
Quote :
Since our weapons are often equipped with blades near the top, it feels like Kabalites fight a lot like Napoleonian soldiers : firing at distance, using the bayonets in CC. Since they don't want to kill, those bayonets are closer to the medieval "Man catcher", used by police forces to capture criminals (read slaves, in this case).
This makes sense, though I'd still question the mechanics of close quarters combat with a spear.

iMeaver wrote:
.
And yes we are related to elves so we all know we actually want to fight with spears, by making our guns long enough and putting a blade at the top we get a slightly shorter heavier spear.

As a general rule of spear-play, a group of spear men are safe against an equally sized group of sword men.  Unless it's a 3v3 or less.  In which case, pass the tip of the spear with your sword, keep it away from you until you're past the head of it, and thus inside their effective range.  Run straight for them and hope the guy to your left is keeping their counterpart's spear busy, otherwise you'll be skewered.

Once a swordsman gets in that close, the spear man's best bet is to ditch their spear and go for a smaller weapon, one they can actually bring to bear.  Long knives like those depicted on our Kabalite's belts would be perfect for this.

I can see Mppqlmd's described method working against already routing opponents, or unarmed cattle, but against a weapon-wielding opponent or someone in armour?  Expect a face-smacking if you try for the spear-approach.


iMeaver wrote:
Is the size not just from the oversized weapon syndrome?
A normal pistol is about the size of an arm, which is more in line with normal gun sizes in our world.

Admittedly, oversized weapon syndrome probably plays a part in this, but our power swords (tip to pommel) come in at about 1"-1.2", which would come in to around 1.37 metres in length.  Which is getting a bit on the long side, though still manageable, for a one handed sabre.  For a human.  Eldar are on a different scale, a 2.25 metre human (that fits Davinci's "perfect proportions" sketch) could probably handle a sabre of that length without difficulty.

So, seeing as the swords are a reasonable size, I'll continue operating under the assumption that we have the best models and everything is to scale against itself.

And as for pistols, do you refer to splinter pistols?  Because they're pretty close to forearm length (longer, but not by much), which is still pretty close to IRL-scaling.

Heck, we're probably the only army (Harlies included) that could actually fit the transport capacity of our vehicles IN OUR VEHICLES.  Admittedly due to our tendencies to hang over the side like madmen.

But back to the topic of oversized weapons; I understand that it's done because anything less would snap like a solid held together only by dispersion forces under a heat lamp, but there is no excuse I can think of for the cross sectional area of our (or any other race's) swords. They're basically clubs!

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PostSubject: Re: Fluff wise: Rifle or SMG/Carbine?   Thu Aug 24 2017, 15:15

Do we even take slaves anymore? It used to be a big part of our fluff and crunch, but now it almost feels like we're raiding just for the sake of it.

Anyway, I think long rifles are reasonable (though ours do seem to tend towards the impractical side) for units planning to just stay aboard Raiders and shoot, though it does make me question why they'd have bayonets for them.

However, what does bug me is:

- No alternative weapons. You'd think that Warriors might at least have the option to swap their weapons for SMG-equivalents or such (for ones planning to get into the thick of it, rather than staying in their Raiders).

- No sidearms. Really? No pistols at all? And these murder-hungry warriors who love the thrill of combat don't carry anything more than the most basic (read: useless) of knives?

I don't know, it just seems strange that they only carry one, rather specific weapon each.  

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PostSubject: Re: Fluff wise: Rifle or SMG/Carbine?   Thu Aug 24 2017, 15:34

A response to @TheShredder

Indeed.

On the slave front... My gaming friends and I have a habit of 'forging the narrative'. The Dannan Becareth has an awfully devious habit of offering the T'au nigh eternal lives in exchange for a surrender that avoids further 'unnecessary' bloodshed. (Such a naive race, can they not tell that all bloodshed is merely for our enjoyment?)
The T'au almost always miss the fine print regarding our immortality treatment. In that they're being tortured for the entirety of it.



That annoying mono-weapon-ism is the very reason my homebrew codex (which I'll get around to posting someday in the evening years of my life, I'm sure) has a distinction between "shard" and "splinter Weaponry. Same types (pistol, rifle, carbine, pods...) and same ranges, but whereas Splinter is S3 Poison (4+) with the option for specific poisons and such, Shard is S3 with double the fire-rate (Rapid Fire 1= Rapid Fire 2).

Trueborn at least should be carrying pistols.

As for knives, I'd consider giving all Kabal units (scourges included) "Commorite Blades". Poison (5+).
It's not insanely strong, but it gives us a fighting chance against MEQ. Rerolling 5+ to wound against their 3+, as opposed to a flat 5+.
Helps a lot against GEQ though. Rerolling 4+'s. And against T2 Hordes (brimstones, Birbs) Rerolling 3+'s.


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PostSubject: Re: Fluff wise: Rifle or SMG/Carbine?   Thu Aug 24 2017, 17:39

Why would you reroll 5+ ? Poison no longer grants rerolls if your basic result is better...
That's the very reason why Grots are bad in this edition, IMO.

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PostSubject: Re: Fluff wise: Rifle or SMG/Carbine?   Thu Aug 24 2017, 17:52

@Mppqlmd wrote:
Why would you reroll 5+ ? Poison no longer grants rerolls if your basic result is better...

It also doesn't allow for a basic to-wound roll. So if you have 5+ poison, but would normally wound your opponent on 4s, you still need 5s to wound.

@Mppqlmd wrote:
That's the very reason why Grots are bad in this edition, IMO.

I don't think it's the only reason but it's definitely the reason why their offence sucks.
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PostSubject: Re: Fluff wise: Rifle or SMG/Carbine?   Fri Aug 25 2017, 02:53

@Mppqlmd wrote:
Why would you reroll 5+ ? Poison no longer grants rerolls if your basic result is better...
That's the very reason why Grots are bad in this edition, IMO.

Did you not notice "Homebrew"?

There is no more "Poison(x+)" in 8th.

I'm restoring it in the Homebrew, with rerolls.  Gaming friends are strangely okay with it.  (Our Nids player is working through his own Homebrew, we're balancing against the currently released Codices and ourselves).

That, +1 Wound and a Coven-specific PfP table is all I'm doing to Grots and they become awesome.

TheShredder wrote:
It also doesn't allow for a basic to-wound roll. So if you have 5+ poison, but would normally wound your opponent on 4s, you still need 5s to wound.

Did 7th ed poison not do this?

I was of the impression that if an equal or better Wound roll was available through other means, the Poison(x+) rule allowed you to reroll.
Am I incorrect?

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