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Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Thinking of IU rules changes.... Range and weapon skills

The range mechanics have never quite sat right with me...  For IU I have already made minor alterations, but I am thinking something more drastic is needed.

The idea that when using a non-scoped rifle, it is as difficult to hit a target at 500m as it is to hit a target a 50 meters with a pistol.  Now having shot before, I can tell you, this isn't really accurate.  In fact with a non-scoped rifle, it is only slightly less difficult to hit a target at 50 meters than it is with a handgun.  That's about half a football field.  This is a pretty significant distance. 

Now its true completely that a rifle will generally have a longer reliable range than a handgun.  But just because the bullet travels farther does not mean you are going to be significantly more accurate with it. 

I am thinking all firearms should operate at the range difficulties of the handgun.  With scopes allowing that range to be increased out to rifle ranges in varying degrees depending on the scope. 

I need to giver it a bit more thought though before I make the changes... tweak it until it sits right with me. 

Another thing I have been wrestling with for a loooooooooong time are the gun skills themselves.  Why is there a submachinegun skill?  What purpose does it actually serve.  If I am Shoulder firing an mp5 with a stock, or even an Ingram Mac 10 with a stock, is that really any different than firing an AK-47 or an M-16 from a practical standpoint?  If I am shooting a micro uzi without a stock, how much different is that really from shooting a Baretta... If you say because its fully auto, then what about when I am firing that micro-uzi on single shot setting, or firing a Handgun with a 3-round burst setting?  Does the micro Uzi suddenly use the handgun skill?  Does the Handgun suddenly require the submachinegun skill?  Why does the full-auto and burst difference not translate to rifles?  Firing a lever action Winchester uses the same skill as firing an M-16.

I am thinking of dropping the smg skill altogether.  And thinking of changing the rules for full auto.burst fire to incur addition penalties on top of the standard modifiers.  -4 with no skill, -3 with a 1, -2 with a 2, -1 with a 3, skill level 4 on receives no additional penalties. 

I will probably have to word it a bit better, but I think the idea is solid enough.  I understand they spread the skills out to prevent people from becoming overpowered in combat too quickly, but I don't think it really works. 

Any ideas on this?

I am cross posting this across several forums, to get the broadest collaboration possible.    I have other small changes to make to the IU core rules, but these 2 bits have been eating at me for a couple of years now, and I am finally getting something worked out in my head to correct the issues I have.

As always anyone with a suggestion that makes the final cut will be credited in the core rules.

Oh, and the Datafortress 2020 File Project and Forums are back up, doubtful they will stay up long, but if you are looking for files I would grab them now.


  1. Deric, I really have to take issue with your second paragraph. There is a substantial difference in difficulty between using a pistol at 50 yards vs. using a rifle (with iron sights) at 50 yards. I learned this growing up, and have had it reinforced again and again since (first by the Marine Corps and then by years of competition shooting.) I have to really slow way down if I want to hit a dinner plate-sized target at 50 yards with, say, a Glock handgun. OTOH, I can go all day long with a Garand, an AR, or pretty much any centerfire bolt gun you choose. All other factors being equal, the increase in sight radius makes all the difference in the world. If this is not also true for you, than you, my friend, are the exception rather than the rule.

    As for a separate submachine gun skill, it it only matters when firing full-auto. An SMG (for example, an HK MP5) on semi-auto is no different than any other carbine (M1 carbine, Keltec SUB-2000, etc.) However, once you go to burst or full-on rock&roll, its a whole different animal and definitely handles differently from both handguns and any kind of rifle (full-auto or otherwise.) I know it clutters up the game mechanics to have a separate skill, but there really IS a difference in RL.

    Unfortunately, I don't immediately have any suggestions on how to resolve the issues. I wish I could help.

  2. Okay, apparently enough people think that hitting something with a rifle at 80's yards is every bit as easy as hitting something with a pistol at 15 yards (Difficulty 15)... And that hitting something with a rifle at 250 yards, without a scope or bipod, from a standing position, is every bit as easy as hitting a target from 25 yards with a pistol (difficulty 20).

    Seems fishy to me, but then I have much less experience with a rifle than I do a handgun admittedly. I was basing it off of my limited experience, and more importantly, how well I can see something... at 25 yards, regardless of what I am shooting, I can see the target just fine. Hell I can read the the slogan on their t-shirt. At 250 yards, the target is a dot on the horizon, I am lucky if I can tell if they are even wearing a shirt.

    But as utterly wrong as it sounds to me, the feedback has been pretty much Unanimous. So I guess range modifiers stay the same.

    I haven't heard any real justification for why SMG's should be kept. However Mark, you do make a compelling, if unintended, argument that submachineguns should suffer less of a penalty for being fired full auto, because of lesser recoil, so I will give that some thought.

  3. I always tough it was strange to be able to have +0 on submachineguns and +10 in handguns or rifles.

    I understand they can have some differences ... but I see it as someone who is a wine connoisseur and someone who simply likes wine, both will know what is a bad wine and what is a good wine ... but only the expert can appreciate the fine details.

    I mean, someone who knows little of firearms, will not appreciate the subtle differences between them, but someone with more mileage will do.

    What I would do (but I reckon it isn't exactly a clean rule) is to separate firearms skills between two skills "General firearm use" and the more specialized ones (handguns, submachineguns, etc). With a max cap of +5.

    Maybe that could be extended to other skills ... something like Categories and Skills. (Like general knowledge as a category for knowledge skills, etc ... or Basic Tech as a category for hardware skills).

    Well ... I digress ...