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Split Fire (Titans)

 Post subject: Split Fire (Titans)
PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2018 2:06 am 
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So some of us have been playing AT for a few months now. I have been playing it since the demo kit arrived at my LGS. Having a few games under my belt now, I see the Split Fire rule being something of interest to me since I have played Titan lists in the past and currently play a Bigmob on the rare occasion that I get a game of Epic in.

For those who are unaware, AT has an order that allows a Titan to split fire amongst it's weapon groups. As I play more AT I wonder about split fire in Epic. I know this topic has been talked about before, but I feel it at least merits a revisit given how AT has drawn some people back to smaller scale combat.


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 Post subject: Re: Split Fire (Titans)
PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2018 7:08 am 
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I like that idea.

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 Post subject: Re: Split Fire (Titans)
PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2018 8:15 am 
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There was some guys wanting to do it here in aus. But it would require a full rework of titans all around for every list. It would be a cool idea adopting something also with crippling damage.

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 Post subject: Re: Split Fire (Titans)
PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2018 8:23 am 
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Locally we've been letting anything bigger than a Warhound split fire as much as they like, but only one of the target formations takes a Blast Marker for coming under fire. It seems to work pretty well.

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 Post subject: Re: Split Fire (Titans)
PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2018 10:21 am 
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I like the idea of it being an order, like sustain but instead of +1 get to choose to split between 2 (DC5+) or 3 (DC8+) formations.

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 Post subject: Re: Split Fire (Titans)
PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2018 12:47 pm 
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Kyrt wrote:
I like the idea of it being an order, like sustain but instead of +1 get to choose to split between 2 (DC5+) or 3 (DC8+) formations.


I think two targets for all WE over DC6+ would be enough. And linking it to an order like Sustain Fire is a really good idea. Sustain Fire is already a "special order" for Indirect Fire for example, so making it "Split Fire" seems intuitive.

Maybe with a -1 to hit penalty? I'd rather have something like that than no blast markers, which seems a bit odd given that you can get BMs from being fired at by weapons that can't even hurt you.

And like Norto says, a buff like that should probably be balanced with something like the Crippling Damage rule I've been looking at, preferrably bundled with worse crits for some titans. Exactly how it should be formulated is very much up for debate... The few playtests I've done indicate that the way it is formulated right now might still be too weak.

Additionaly, if we're looking at reforming the WE rules, I'd like to make a case for making the rules for DC2 War Engine formations (i.e. Knights) a bit more sane. It's quite obvious that the original rules hadn't really thought about these. Playing them RAW is a massive pain (so no-one actually does it), so I would rather make them something in between WE and AV...

The easiest way to do these kind of changes might be to introduce them on a list-by-list basis at first, and if they become established it would be easy to migrate them to more lists. I don't think all lists should have Split Fire or Crippling Damage for example (E.g. Tyranids or Eldar would be fine without them I think), but AMTL and Traitor Titan Legion might work great with them.

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 Post subject: Re: Split Fire (Titans)
PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2018 2:24 pm 
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I like the idea of each weapon system being a separate activation for he titan. I also think it should be for larger titans only, in this case lets say battle titans only. Activations have always been the bane of a titan list, and one will struggle to get 8-9 in a 3000 point list.

lets say a Reaver is carrying an Apocalypse Missile Launcher, and Volcano Cannon and a Laser Blaster. I propose that the titan is carrying three separate activations. The titan gets its standard move and fires a single weapon under one activation, later in the turn the player elects to activate another weapon from the titan and fires, same for the third. I feel this shores up some of the issues with titans being large point sinks without being able to make their points back. In the fluff, each weapon system of a titan is controlled by a crew of men and servitors, so it makes sense from that angle as well. Making it an order is also plausible, with a penalty or something. At the end of the day I would just like my titans to be seen more on the table, and being able to split fire will help that.


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 Post subject: Re: Split Fire (Titans)
PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2018 5:17 pm 
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Quote:
I like the idea of each weapon system being a separate activation for he titan.


When I first got into epic myself I wanted titans to split fire and there's been lengthy debates about it in the past. It's even covered in the Designer's Notes at the back of the Epic rules and specifically stated that it was an intentional decision to not allow units to split fire. Here's the relevant bits:

Not allowing formations to split fire makes for a more skillful game. One of the key decisions you will face during a game of Epic is picking the right target to shoot at; you have to be able to evaluate the effectiveness of the fire against the different targets and decide where it will be best used. Allowing players to split fire turns this prettymuch into a no-brainer, and this is the primary reason I have not allowed it in Epic. It may seem cruel, but I like this kind of thing because it forces players to make tough choices, and rewards good play.

At this juncture, I'm entirely against split fire. I don't feel it functions well under Epic's rules and I think it's exploitable.

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 Post subject: Re: Split Fire (Titans)
PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2018 5:51 pm 
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I value all of the opinions. Vaaish is certainly an authority on this, but I think the discussion bears worth. I realize the everyone will not be on board with the idea but I think split fire has merit. Allotting 600+ points for a required titan to open up support formations means the battle titan needs to perform to be considered for a list. The current titan list is quite restrictive in that light. Perhaps I'm over thinking it, but if a battle titan could even just split fire once could open up the list a bit more offering more activations and maybe allow for more warlords or even imperators.


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 Post subject: Re: Split Fire (Titans)
PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2018 6:19 pm 
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I don't disagree titan need to perform and the current list is a bit restrictive but past adjustments have show that people WANT titans to underperform. It's just not fun when a titan wipes a formation off the table each turn even if it's balanced.

Personally I don't think split fire is really the way to go. There's too many loopholes and oddities. For example, how much of a split do you allow? Can a titan fire every weapon at a different target? If so, how will that affect the balance with 3 reavers potentially dropping 9 BM just for coming under fire? Probably what makes sense here is select two targets and choose which weapons targets them. Still that gives my previous example the ability to drop 6 coming under fire BM per turn which is a significant boost.

If we go with your suggestion, split fire becomes the norm rather than the exception. Why would a Reaver need to take three activations to fire all of the weapons into a single target? It seems that splitting fire is the exception rather than the norm. Further, it seems to tilt activation advantage to Titans with lists hovering around 7-9 activations already. Three reavers gives you 9 activations and there's enough points for two warhounds, two crusader dets, and a tbolt. That nets you 14 activations and removes one advantage armies have vs titans.

There are some other routes we could go with this, but I think they also have issues under the Epic system. I believe a limiting/ deterioration mechanism with maybe cheaper titans is a better option for Epic. Once we get the Skitarii approved I'm planning to revisit the AMTL list and test out the plasma generation rules I tinkered with ages ago.

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 Post subject: Re: Split Fire (Titans)
PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2018 6:45 pm 
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Yup. Vaaish pretty much nails it.
Smaller (scout) titans are already (too?) good for their points,
Most battle titans work well for their points.
Only the larger (emperor level or equivalent) Titan class just possibly might work better using split fire giving two shots, but these only appear in fan lists rather than approved ones, so not part of the official game.

People have tried to make house rules for this dim and distant past, though I cannot remember the user name.


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 Post subject: Re: Split Fire (Titans)
PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2018 1:00 am 
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One idea I had a while back was to allow emperor titans and mega gargants to activate twice. You have to reduce their firepower and movement by about half, but letting them activate twice would eliminate the need for special rules for splitting fire.

It would also help with the low activation count problem.


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 Post subject: Re: Split Fire (Titans)
PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2018 1:48 am 
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i hope when the AMTL list is reviewed that something happens, at least.


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 Post subject: Re: Split Fire (Titans)
PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2018 4:40 am 
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One target per 3 full DC (current), and only on sustain orders in place of the +1 to-hit. No maneuverability means they are severely hampered in other ways and the rule still has a restriction as they get worn down by fire. I feel it's a reasonable compromise that can be simply ignored if you still mono-build titan weapons.

Of course, I know my not-tournament, not-competitive, easy going point of view is largely irrelevant to the powers-that-be managing the rules, so do what you want with your own game time, really. I'm inclined to try variant things out as soon as the AT18 titans that just arrived are built. Fun times ahead!


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 Post subject: Re: Split Fire (Titans)
PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2018 9:54 am 
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I'm not keen on the idea myself.

Fine as a house rule only? I'd still want there to be a reasonable penalty for it too then though. Only DC6+ and the titan can't move at all this turn and can fire at two targets (with no +1 unlike sustained fire).


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