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Lightning Fighter Stats

 Post subject: Lightning Fighter Stats
PostPosted: Sun Nov 27, 2011 3:22 pm 
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There's a bit of a discrepancy with the stats of Lightnings. They're used in a couple of lists, with different stats, but no official or approved list, and as there's no AC for the Navy I thought it best to discuss it openly to come to an agreement.

First, what do we know about the Lightnings. They're a faster, lighter plane than Thunderbolts, with less thick armour. There are two varients:

The Lightning Attack Fighter, armed with a twin lascannon and long barrelled autocannon, is designed as an interceptor, intended to be the best anti air plane the Imperium has.

The Lightning Strike Fighter swaps the autocannon for a pair of Hellstrike missiles, and is much more intended as a ground attack specialist.

Although the background says they are less well-armoured, the 40k rules for them have the same armour profile as the Thunderbolt. The long barreled autocannon has a significantly longer range than a normal autocannon (72"). Hellstrike missiles are basically one-shot battle cannon shots.

My Adeptus Ministorum list has:

Code:
Lightning Fighter                   AC   Fighter   -    n/a    n/a    
                                    Long-barrel Autocannon   45cm     AP5+/AT6+/AA6+  FxF
                                     Twin Lascannons       30cm     AT4+/AA4+       FxF


The Elysians have:

Code:
Lightning Fighter                   AC   Fighter   6+    n/a    n/a    
                                    Lightning Autocannon   30cm     AA5+       FxF
                                     Wingtip Lascannons     30cm     AT6+/AA5+  FxF

Lightning Strike Fighter            AC    Fighter   6+    n/a    n/a       
                                     Wingtip Lascannons    30cm      AT6+/AA5+  FxF
                                    2x Underwing Rockets  30cm      AT4+       FxF


I think that our aim should be to get something on par with a Thunderbolt in terms of cost.

Let's start with the areas we can definitely agree on:

Speed: Fighter - It's a pure fighter, faster than a thunderbolt.

Can we agree on the naming? It should be "Lightning Attack Fighter" and "Lightning Strike Fighter", as seen on this blurb from the FW webstore:

"The kit comes with the option of a centreline Autocannon for its 'Attack' variant or an additional two Hellstrike Missiles on a centreline mount for its 'Strike' variant."

Weapon naming:

The correct names for the weapons are:

Long Barreled Autocannon
Twin Lascannons
Hellstrike Missiles

Given that the "one weapon>one profile" rule doesn't apply to aircraft, I think we can agree to stick with these names, whatever the stats.

A direct conversion of Hellstrike Missile stats from 40k gives AP4+AT4+, but I can understand hesitation about giving two of those to a plane every turn!

Armour: There are two options here: 6+ or no armour. The background suggests the plane is more lightly armoured than the Thunderbolt (30mm hull armour compared to 45mm), and it is described as being less robust. However, the 40k and AI rules for them have the same armour. Basically, this one can go either way.

Autocannon: The weapon in 40k is specifically a Long Barreled Autocannon, and I believe that additional range needs to be represented in epic, so it should be 45cm compared to the usual 30cm that a plane mounted autocannon would have. The other argument is whether it needs to be able to ground attack with it. Personally I can swing either way on this one.

Lascannons: 40k treats these as a twinned, and I think that's fine since they're fixed forward on each wingtip. I believe AA4+ is the correct stat for them, as air based lascannons are normally AA5+, and it really helps hammer home the air to air speciality.

Thoughts?

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 Post subject: Re: Lightning Fighter Stats
PostPosted: Sun Nov 27, 2011 6:33 pm 
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Quote:
Speed: Fighter - It's a pure fighter, faster than a thunderbolt.


Agreed. No brainer.

Quote:
Can we agree on the naming? It should be "Lightning Attack Fighter" and "Lightning Strike Fighter", as seen on this blurb from the FW webstore:

"The kit comes with the option of a centreline Autocannon for its 'Attack' variant or an additional two Hellstrike Missiles on a centreline mount for its 'Strike' variant."

Weapon naming:

The correct names for the weapons are:

Long Barreled Autocannon
Twin Lascannons
Hellstrike Missiles

Given that the "one weapon>one profile" rule doesn't apply to aircraft, I think we can agree to stick with these names, whatever the stats.

Armour: There are two options here: 6+ or no armour. The background suggests the plane is more lightly armoured than the Thunderbolt (30mm hull armour compared to 45mm), and it is described as being less robust. However, the 40k and AI rules for them have the same armour. Basically, this one can go either way.


Again, agree on all the above. I think we need to move the armor to NO ARMOR, but for reasons I will clarify below.

Quote:
A direct conversion of Hellstrike Missile stats from 40k gives AP4+AT4+, but I can understand hesitation about giving two of those to a plane every turn!


I'm curious what kind of range you would put on these things. Hellstrikes have a range of 90cm on the Vultures, so even with the standard convention of reducing range on planes by 15cm, we're looking at a 75cm range. Can you also clarify how Hellstrikes on Vultures are AT2+ but would be AP4+/AT4+ on the Lightning Strike Fighters?

Quote:
Autocannon: The weapon in 40k is specifically a Long Barreled Autocannon, and I believe that additional range needs to be represented in epic, so it should be 45cm compared to the usual 30cm that a plane mounted autocannon would have. The other argument is whether it needs to be able to ground attack with it. Personally I can swing either way on this one.


The Elysians have them as AA only and that may be the better way to run it. Even with AA only, they are going to have the longest AA shot in the game (mounted on an aircraft) and that means intercepting on AA5+ (+1 intercept rule) at 45cm, not to mention their own AA bubble is now that much better. If you start adding weapons to them they are going to be scoring many more hits without a chance for ground flak to strike them, at least until the end phase maneuver.

Quote:
Lascannons: 40k treats these as a twinned, and I think that's fine since they're fixed forward on each wingtip. I believe AA4+ is the correct stat for them, as air based lascannons are normally AA5+, and it really helps hammer home the air to air speciality.


This will bump their 30cm intercept to AA3+ plus AA5+ per plane. If that is the stat that we go with, I don't know how you put these "on par" with Thunderbolts.

I am open to a stat change, but I don't believe you can pull off the stats you are using without a price bump, and a significant one at that. If it is a superior fighter, then it will be a superior cost.

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 Post subject: Re: Lightning Fighter Stats
PostPosted: Sun Nov 27, 2011 6:39 pm 
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Let`s compare the Lightning to the Thunderbolt.

The Thunderbolt in Wh40k is armed with a Twin Lascannon and two Twin Autocannons with AA-Mounts as well as four optional Hellstrike Missiles or four Bombs.

The Epic version has a Storm Bolter, a Multilaser and one Underwing Rockets attack.

So we can assume:
WH40k = Epic
2 x Twin Autocannons = 1 x Storm Bolters 15cm AP4+/AA5+
1 x Twin Lascannon = 1 x Multilaser 30cm AP5+/AT6+/AA5+
4 x Hellstrike Missiles = 1 x Underwing Rockets 30cm AT4+

Now translate this comparison to the Lightning Attack Fighter:
1 x Longbarelled Autocannon = ? perhabs 1 x Heavy Bolter 30cm AP5+/AA6+
1 x Twin Lascannon = 1 x Multilaser 30cm AP5+/AT6+/AA5+
4 x Hellstrike Missiles = 1 x Underwing Rockets 30cm AT4+

And to the Lightning Strike Fighter:
1 x Twin Lascannon = 1 x Multilaser 30cm AP5+/AT6+/AA5+
6 x Hellstrike Missiles = 2 x Underwing Rockets 30cm AT4+

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 Post subject: Re: Lightning Fighter Stats
PostPosted: Sun Nov 27, 2011 6:47 pm 
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zombocom wrote:
Although the background says they are less well-armoured, the 40k rules for them have the same armour profile as the Thunderbolt.

Just a quick mention on this as I have stuff to do - in AI the Thunderbolt may have the same armour value, but it has a special rule called Durable giving it effectively a 6+ invulnerable save against loosing it's second and last hit point. Personally I'd go with armour nothing for the Lightnings to fit this and the background.


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 Post subject: Re: Lightning Fighter Stats
PostPosted: Sun Nov 27, 2011 7:00 pm 
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Quote:
I'm curious what kind of range you would put on these things. Hellstrikes have a range of 90cm on the Vultures, so even with the standard convention of reducing range on planes by 15cm, we're looking at a 75cm range. Can you also clarify how Hellstrikes on Vultures are AT2+ but would be AP4+/AT4+ on the Lightning Strike Fighters?


Shrug. The strike fighter isn't in my list so I'm not that bothered, but the Hellstrike's 40k stats are identical to Battle Cannons.

Quote:
The Elysians have them as AA only and that may be the better way to run it. Even with AA only, they are going to have the longest AA shot in the game (mounted on an aircraft) and that means intercepting on AA5+ (+1 intercept rule) at 45cm, not to mention their own AA bubble is now that much better. If you start adding weapons to them they are going to be scoring many more hits without a chance for ground flak to strike them, at least until the end phase maneuver.


If they choose to stay at 45cm, they'll be sacrificing their close ranged shot for a single AA5+. That seems fine to me.

I'm ok with losing the ground shot on the autocannon if you're willing to go to 45cm.

Quote:
This will bump their 30cm intercept to AA3+ plus AA5+ per plane. If that is the stat that we go with, I don't know how you put these "on par" with Thunderbolts.


It's exactly on par with Thunderbolts. On intercept, Lightnings get 1x AA3+ 1xAA5+ each, average one hit. Thunderbolts get 2xAA4+ each, average one hit.

How is that not on par? The only bonus the lightnings get is range, which is fitting given their dedicated AA role, and much worse ground attack.

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Last edited by zombocom on Sun Nov 27, 2011 7:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Lightning Fighter Stats
PostPosted: Sun Nov 27, 2011 7:02 pm 
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BL: Just because GW screwed up the Thunderbolt WYSIWYG, that doesn't mean we need to do the same with the Lightning.

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 Post subject: Re: Lightning Fighter Stats
PostPosted: Sun Nov 27, 2011 7:13 pm 
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Zombcom: The range difference is significant and worthy of a price bump. That price bump can be mitigated by the autocannon being AA only (which it seems you are open to) and the armor being nixed (which you are also open to), so with those agreed upon changes I could see them close in price. However, then we get to the Lightning Strike Fighters. How do you feel about BL's weapon stats, no armor, 200 points for two?

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 Post subject: Re: Lightning Fighter Stats
PostPosted: Sun Nov 27, 2011 7:22 pm 
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zombocom wrote:
BL: Just because GW screwed up the Thunderbolt WYSIWYG, that doesn't mean we need to do the same with the Lightning.


Then please change the Thunderbolt to it's proper stats too:

2 x Twin Autocannons 30cm AP4+/AT5+/AA4+
1 x Twin Lascannon 45cm AT4+/AA4+
4 x Hellstrike Missiles 90cm AT2+

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 Post subject: Re: Lightning Fighter Stats
PostPosted: Sun Nov 27, 2011 8:05 pm 
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Moscovian wrote:
Zombcom: The range difference is significant and worthy of a price bump. That price bump can be mitigated by the autocannon being AA only (which it seems you are open to) and the armor being nixed (which you are also open to), so with those agreed upon changes I could see them close in price. However, then we get to the Lightning Strike Fighters. How do you feel about BL's weapon stats, no armor, 200 points for two?


If we get rid of the autocannon ground attack, we end up with a solitary AT4+ for ground attack, and I think that's enough to keep at the same price as thunderbolts. Sure they're better at AA due to the longer range, but at the cost of a lot of ground fire.

So are we agreed on this?

Code:
Lightning Attack Fighter

AC   Fighter     -      N/a      N/a
Long Barrelled Autocannon   45cm    AA6+
Twin Lascannons             30cm    AT4+/AA4+


For the strike fighter, something like:

Code:
Lightning Strike Fighter

AC   Fighter     -      N/a      N/a
Twin Lascannons             30cm    AT4+/AA4+
2x Hellstrike Missiles      30cm    AT4+


Giving 3xAT4+, compared to the thunderbolt's AP4+ AP5+ AT4+. That's definitely better at ground attack, but has half the AA ability, so I'm not sure 200 points is neccessary.

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 Post subject: Re: Lightning Fighter Stats
PostPosted: Sun Nov 27, 2011 8:07 pm 
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I retract my earlier support for WYSIWYG Lightning stats, I was stupidly forgetting the epic aircraft stat translations being worse. The same should obviously apply to the Lightnings too.

zombocom wrote:
It's exactly on par with Thunderbolts. On intercept, Lightnings get 1x AA3+ 1xAA5+ each, average one hit. Thunderbolts get 2xAA4+ each, average one hit.

How is that not on par? The only bonus the lightnings get is range, which is fitting given their dedicated AA role, and much worse ground attack.

This is a significant problem because no way in hell should a Lightning have equivalent offensive AA as a Thunderbolt!

It should be better at longer ranges, but a fair bit less effective overall. In AI both the Thunderbolt and Lightning have 0-1-1 Lascanon shots but the Thunderbolt has 4-6-0 compared to 2-2-1 for the Lightning.

I suggest the below stats – note split fire long-barrelled autocannon, giving the Lightning a longer ranged AA sniping role, though at the trade-off of reduced firepower. I reduced the Wingtip Lascanon stats also – they're not used on other aircraft so can be adjusted and at least they have stats for them unlike the Wingtip Lascannons on the Thunderhawk. I then boosted the missiles on the Strike to be 1 x AT3+ rather than 2 shots as it would be odd for going from 4 missiles to 6 to double the firepower - by calling them 'Underwing Missiles' rather than 'Underwing Rockets' they can have a different stat. It could then have the specific anti-tank role but still stay 150 points.

Code:
Lightning Fighter                   AC   Fighter   -    n/a    n/a    
                                    Long-barrel Autocannon   45cm     AA6+       FxF
                                                                           OR
                                                             30cm     AP5+/AT6+  FxF
                                     Wingtip Lascannons       30cm     AT6+/AA6+  FxF


Code:
Lightning Strike Fighter            AC   Fighter   -    n/a    n/a    
                                    Wingtip Lascannons       30cm     AT6+/AA6+  FxF
                                    Underwing Missiles       30cm     AT3+       FxF


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 Post subject: Re: Lightning Fighter Stats
PostPosted: Sun Nov 27, 2011 8:08 pm 
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BlackLegion wrote:
zombocom wrote:
BL: Just because GW screwed up the Thunderbolt WYSIWYG, that doesn't mean we need to do the same with the Lightning.


Then please change the Thunderbolt to it's proper stats too:

2 x Twin Autocannons 30cm AP4+/AT5+/AA4+
1 x Twin Lascannon 45cm AT4+/AA4+
4 x Hellstrike Missiles 90cm AT2+


Not even remotely in my remit. The Thunderbolt affects a LOT more lists than the three affected by the Lightning, so good luck getting all the ACs to agree to that.

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 Post subject: Re: Lightning Fighter Stats
PostPosted: Sun Nov 27, 2011 8:09 pm 
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Glyn: In the background the Lightning is a much better interceptor than the Thunderbolt.

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 Post subject: Re: Lightning Fighter Stats
PostPosted: Sun Nov 27, 2011 8:20 pm 
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zombocom wrote:
Glyn: In the background the Lightning is a much better interceptor than the Thunderbolt.

I’m well aware of the background for both and to some extent it is – the Lightning is a lighter fighter with manoeuvrability Very High rather than High, but this doesn’t come into play in epic.

The Lightning's main weapon is also longer ranged than the Thunderbolt, but it is most definitely has a less powerful attack, it’s a trade-off.

The Lightning has a fair bit less offensive capabilities in the background and both the AI and W40k rules, so should in epic too. My proposed stats would give it a longer AA reach compared to a Thunderbolt, but less power overall - matching AI and giving both their advantages and place.


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 Post subject: Re: Lightning Fighter Stats
PostPosted: Sun Nov 27, 2011 8:24 pm 
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The stats you've posted for the attack fighter are frankly completely useless, and they'd need to be about 3 for 100 points for me to consider taking them.

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 Post subject: Re: Lightning Fighter Stats
PostPosted: Sun Nov 27, 2011 8:25 pm 
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Quote:
Speed: Fighter - It's a pure fighter, faster than a thunderbolt.

Totally agreed, no problem.

Quote:
"Lightning Attack Fighter" and "Lightning Strike Fighter"
The correct names for the weapons are:

Long Barreled Autocannon
Twin Lascannons
Hellstrike Missiles

Again, like Mosc, no problem.


Where this really breaks down is that there is little reason to be trying to do direct 40k -> Epic conversions here. Their equipment should be representative of what the model has, but trying to do direct conversions is largely pointless, as the intent is to have them fulfill a role on the Epic battlefield, not just mimic the Aeronautica or 40k stats.

For Armor: I feel the 6+ is appropriate due to its increased maneuverability (and thus capability to avoid shots, as opposed to simply surviving them.) This doesn't really matter too much though, and is definitely something that could be dropped to compensate the price.

The real argument obviously centers around the weapons themselves.
I'd prefer to see the Autocannon be a 30cm AP5+/AT6+/AA5+, exactly the same as the Multilaser on the Thunderbolt. Jumping the range up to 45cm is a huge step, which has a big impact elsewhere on the battlefield. Keep in mind zombo, that we already have stats for the "Long-Barreled Autocannon." The Hydra AA vehicle uses the supposed "Long-Barreled" variant, which still has just 45cm range. Giving it the standard 15cm range reduction for being aircraft mounted, and it becomes 30cm.

The Lascannons are the real damage dealers, in both AI and in Double-Eagle. I'd like to see them have 30cm AT4+/AA4+, I think. This does give them pretty potent AA capability (appropriate for a dedicated interceptor) but keeps them from having that extremely potent 45cm AA shot. AT5+ would be better, balance-wise, but would also make it different from every other TL Lascannon in the game.

How does this sound:
Fighter, Armor -
Autocannon 30cm AP5+/AT6+/AA5+
TL Lascannons 30cm AT4+/AA4+


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