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Burnthrough Question

Stuck on a rules interpretation, get it answered here!
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Lordprinceps

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Burnthrough Question

PostTue Dec 19, 2017 7:32 am

While playing a game against a friend, we came to a disagreement over how burnthrough weapons work in cases where the damage done by an iteration is greater than its beam cap. After pouring through the rulebook, FAQ, and errata, I couldn't find anything definitive.

In particular, the situation is this: an Avalon has just fired its Viper; on the first set of rolls it gets 4 hits, and on the second set it gets 3 hits and 1 miss.

It has done 7 damage thus far (before armor saves);there's three interpretations that have come up on how this proceeds, and I'm wondering what the forums think.

1) it rolls the remaining 3 dice, and if its total damage is greater than the cap, damage done is pruned before armor saves and the like are taken
1a) excess damage has non-crits pruned first, and then crits
Example; of those remaining 3 dice, 1 is a crit, and 2 are non-crits. That's 10 total damage, so the 2 non-crits are discarded so that only 8 damage is done before armor-saves.

2) it rolls the remaining 3 dice, does its damage, enemy ship takes armor saves, and then excess damage is pruned after the saves
Example; of those remaining 3 dice, 1 is a crit, and 2 are non-crits; a total of 9 total damage is done after armor saves, so 1 point of that damage is ignored for a max of only 8 damage.

3) the number of attacks that can be made that iteration are pruned until the weapon cannot exceed its cap
Example; even though the laser had 3 hits during its previous firing, it only rolls a single die this iteration so that its maximum damage cannot exceed 8.

I'm personally of the opinion that it's option number one, and my friend thinks its option number three, but neither of us can find anything to definitively settle the matter. It's not all that huge of a deal, but it's not statistically insignificant either, so I'm curious if anyone has any hard answers as to which is this case, or even if it's something totally different.
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Tim

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Re: Burnthrough Question

PostTue Dec 19, 2017 8:27 am

#3 is how we've always played it.
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Shikatanai

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Re: Burnthrough Question

PostTue Dec 19, 2017 9:07 am

There is no clear answer to that.

Imho 1 is the right way to do it (if I understood correctly: It would be 7 hits and the 1 Crit, so 7 armorsaves?!) as you shouldn't give the UCM player the disadvantage when still has the dice advantage.
But the rule as it is written is open for interpretation...

The only option that is definetly not working out is 2. The BTL is capped at 8, the maximum number of armor saves thus can not exceed 8.
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Lordprinceps

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Re: Burnthrough Question

PostTue Dec 19, 2017 9:42 am

On closer inspection of the rules, I have to agree that two can't be a valid interpretation. Simply for the fact that armor saves don't prevent damage, but rather, they "undo" it.

As for number 1; pruning damage done before armor saves still requires some thought. Since each iteration of dice for BTLs are rolled simultaneously, as per the rules, it wouldn't be right to just roll them one at a time and stop rolling once you hit the damage cap. Likewise, since there's no easy, quick way to randomly decide which excess damage is culled (if there's a mixture of crit and non-crit in the excess damage), it's safe to assume that non-crits are dropped first.

For the viper superheavy laser in particular, the difference between option 1 and option 3 (with 3 hurting the laser the most, obviously) is something like, at most, 0.2 points of average damage. It's almost-marginal in the grand scheme of things, so I don't think it really matters which of the two is decided on, but I'm still hoping there's an actual definite answer somewhere.

Now that I think about it, option 3 is probably the more reasonable option; the beam-cap being an abstraction of how long the laser can fire, and so it would be strange for the game to retroactively negate some damage it did, but I'm hoping that someone at Hawk said something about this issue in the past.
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Cry of the Wind

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Re: Burnthrough Question

PostTue Dec 19, 2017 11:26 pm

Don't recall this coming up before. Since the dice are rolled at the same time Option 1 is the only logical one that takes that into account. As for how you pick which dice are ignored (the crits vs non crits) I would allow the firing player to choose based on the precedent that a point defence die rolling player gets to choose how their dice are counted.
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Scoundrel13

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Re: Burnthrough Question

PostWed Dec 20, 2017 9:39 pm

I’d vote for Option 3, with an addendum. In the proffered scenario, there should be three dice rolling. Roll them one at a time. If that first dice is a miss, roll the second dice. If that’s a miss, roll the third dice. Going back to the first roll, as soon as you get a hit, that is the result and the other potential dice are lost, and the cap is not exceeded.
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Re: Burnthrough Question

PostFri Dec 22, 2017 5:31 am

I think the big problem with options 1 and 1a is the assumption that the shooting player gets to keep a crit (assuming it's rolled) and not normal hits. The rules do not support an assumption either way and it's open to argument, as there's no rules to support that the crit stays and not one of the hits.

I'm inclined to agree with Scoundrel13's modification of option 3 as the most fair method of handling it.

As for simultaneous dice rolls, I'm checking through the rulebook now, on pg 46 it only indicates that all dice are allocated at the same time. Nothing indicates that all dice rolls must be made at the same time, so the "rolling one dice at a time" method does indeed appear to be legal.
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Lordprinceps

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Re: Burnthrough Question

PostFri Dec 22, 2017 6:07 am

While you're right that nothing explicitly says "all dice have to simultaneously rolled", I think it's safe to assume that, on a weapon system to weapon system basis, all attack dice from that weapon system are rolled simultaneously. Firstly, there's no advantage or disadvantage for rolling all the attack dice of that particular weapon system (or of any weapon system, since all dice have been allocated) simultaneously or not, and because of the fact that all of them necessarily can't be rolled all simultaneously in actual action, they're considered to have been rolled simultaneously by the game.

In short, there's no "state change" that occurs between rolling the dice of one weapon system, or rolling the dice one at a time of a weapon system. The "state change" only occurs once all allocated dice have been rolled and damage is resolved, in which case the next available group is activated, or the next battlegroup is activate, or whatever. In terms of the actual turn structure, the game doesn't progress until all allocated dice have been rolled, meaning that they're all, effectively, rolled simultaneously from the game's perspective.

Secondly, on page 67; on the Burnthrough Example inset, the first two dice are referred to as the "first roll", the second two dice as the "second roll", and so forth. This implies that each iteration of dice are rolled simultaneously.
Additionally, the actual rules text for Burnthrough says, in regards to crits, "Any subsequent huts rolled by this weapon are automatically critical"; if the dice rolled each iteration were not simultaneous, and were instead successive, it'd be possible for, say, a Viper to roll a critical on its first die, making the remaining three dice of its first attack automatically crits if they hit.

Thus, each iteration of attack dice on a Burnthrough have to be rolled simultaneously, at least in terms of the game state.

As for which method is the most fair, I would agree with Scoundrel's modification of #3 except that it conflicts with existing rules. Likewise though, I can't find any precedent that would make #1 the proper choice, and the reasoning for #3 is only based on Burnthrough's ambiguous wording.

EDIT: Alternately, a simple but subtle modification of the Burnthrough rules itself would deal with this problem entirely.
Rather than saying "(X) is the maximum total hull damage points that this weapon can do in one activation", simply say "Once the total damage done by this weapon on this activation is equal to or greater than (X), successful hits may no longer be rerolled". This would make the absolute max damage the Viper could do, for example, to be 10 damage, assuming it rolled 4 hits, then 3 hits, and then a final 3 hits.
This would obviously be up to Hawk/TT of course, but barring any official word on how exactly overflow damage is to be handled, it's a suitable solution that doesn't make Burrnthrough weapons all that much better.
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Re: Burnthrough Question

PostFri Dec 22, 2017 6:06 pm

For the sake of simplicity I would choose the following ruling in that case:
- if all damage in the last roll would crit (due to previous crit), discard the damage from the last roll in excess of Burnthrough value (so non-crit hits from previuos rolls are retained);
- if no crits were scored before, roll dice one at a time, until you reach the Burnthrough value of damage.

Keep in mind that things that count as simultanious can be done at different times, e.g. many people roll damage from each weapon separatly, even if these count as simultanious. This is needed if one does not have the dice in many colours.
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Re: Burnthrough Question

PostSat Dec 23, 2017 3:31 am

Lordprinceps wrote:While you're right that nothing explicitly says "all dice have to simultaneously rolled", I think it's safe to assume that, on a weapon system to weapon system basis, all attack dice from that weapon system are rolled simultaneously. Firstly, there's no advantage or disadvantage for rolling all the attack dice of that particular weapon system (or of any weapon system, since all dice have been allocated) simultaneously or not, and because of the fact that all of them necessarily can't be rolled all simultaneously in actual action, they're considered to have been rolled simultaneously by the game.

In short, there's no "state change" that occurs between rolling the dice of one weapon system, or rolling the dice one at a time of a weapon system. The "state change" only occurs once all allocated dice have been rolled and damage is resolved, in which case the next available group is activated, or the next battlegroup is activate, or whatever. In terms of the actual turn structure, the game doesn't progress until all allocated dice have been rolled, meaning that they're all, effectively, rolled simultaneously from the game's perspective.


We are actually in agreement here.

Secondly, on page 67; on the Burnthrough Example inset, the first two dice are referred to as the "first roll", the second two dice as the "second roll", and so forth. This implies that each iteration of dice are rolled simultaneously.
Additionally, the actual rules text for Burnthrough says, in regards to crits, "Any subsequent huts rolled by this weapon are automatically critical"; if the dice rolled each iteration were not simultaneous, and were instead successive, it'd be possible for, say, a Viper to roll a critical on its first die, making the remaining three dice of its first attack automatically crits if they hit.

Thus, each iteration of attack dice on a Burnthrough have to be rolled simultaneously, at least in terms of the game state.

As for which method is the most fair, I would agree with Scoundrel's modification of #3 except that it conflicts with existing rules. Likewise though, I can't find any precedent that would make #1 the proper choice, and the reasoning for #3 is only based on Burnthrough's ambiguous wording.


You are referring to the example provided, which is not necessarily the same as a statement that the dice must be rolled at the same time, only that in this particular example the player rolled both dice at the same time. The actual rules provided mirror the regular shooting rules, only it provides a mechanism for rolling again if you continue to hit. The example would still work with sequentially rolled dice.

The way I look at it with Scoundrel's method, it's not that different from option #1, the difference is rather than rolling all the dice at once and then fighting over whether you should count any crits over any hits, rolling that grouping sequentially allows for RNG to make the determination for you. You can still choose to roll the other 2 dice if the first roll is a hit, they just automatically get discarded even if they're crits.


EDIT: Alternately, a simple but subtle modification of the Burnthrough rules itself would deal with this problem entirely.
Rather than saying "(X) is the maximum total hull damage points that this weapon can do in one activation", simply say "Once the total damage done by this weapon on this activation is equal to or greater than (X), successful hits may no longer be rerolled". This would make the absolute max damage the Viper could do, for example, to be 10 damage, assuming it rolled 4 hits, then 3 hits, and then a final 3 hits.
This would obviously be up to Hawk/TT of course, but barring any official word on how exactly overflow damage is to be handled, it's a suitable solution that doesn't make Burrnthrough weapons all that much better.


Not quite sure if they want to buff the Avalon any more, it's already become the command ship of choice in UCM fleets, but otherwise I agree with you.
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