Thursday, February 18, 2016

No More Damage by Weapon?

I'm seriously considering dropping weapon damage entirely. Weapons determine the range, and armor penetration, but do not change the damage. A table knife can kill you just as quick as a machinegun after all. Reactions?

1 comment:

  1. If you were going to attack me, I’d prefer you used a table knife and not a machinegun. Some of that is range. But a lot is that I don’t think a single cut or stab from a table knife and a bullet from a machine gun are equally likely to incapacitate, cripple, or kill a me. Since I don’t wear armor at the dinner table, penetration separate from increased damage, is irrelevant.

    A shotgun and a 9mm pistol have about the same range and I believe the pistol has the same or better penetration against armor. But shotguns are a lot more intimidating. Partly this is due to the greater likelihood of hitting someone with a shotgun blast, but some of it is because a shotgun blast blows a big whole in things and is perceived to be more likely to incapacitate, cripple, or kill the target than is a single bullet – maybe even two. This difference in the probability of a more severe wound (rather than more damage per se) is how I seem to recall the old James Bond 007 game from Mayfair treated differences in getting hit by a Walther PPK, an AK-47, and an RPG (the weapon RPG, not the game one).

    Obviously whether or not real world feel matters and how it matters will depend on what the game is about. If we are simulating an episode of Murder She Wrote (which happens to be on TV in the background as I type) amount of damage probably is irrelevant. Typically only victims are struck and victims end up as corpses.

    On the other hand, if you are simulating a military TV show like the 1960s series COMBAT! You need to differentiate between the weapons we see in use on the show, e.g. the BAR, M1 rifle, M1 carbine, Tommygun, and M1911A pistol for the US and the MG42, Karabiner 98k rifle, MP38/MP40 SMGs, and the Luger P08 and P38 pistols. Is range, penetration, rate of fire (I presume you will include that), and ammo capacity (assuming you keep that) enough to distinguish all those weapons from each other? Let’s set aside multiple hits as a source of greater lethality and just look at single hits. The Tommygun and the M1911A pistol use the same ammo so they probably do the same damage per hit. The BAR and the M1 rifle use the 30-06 round so they do the same damage per bullet. And the
    For the US: the BAR and the M1 Garand rifle use the 30-06 round so they probably do the same damage. The M1 Carbine uses a .30 carbine round so it would do less damage, and the Tommygun and the M1911A pistol use the same .45 caliber ammunition so they do the same damage per shot. I’ll set the carbine damage in between the rifle and the pistol rounds. So there are three categories of damage for the US weapons: rifle, carbine, and pistol.

    For Germany: the MG42 and Karabiner 98k use the 7.92×57mm Mauser round and the MP38/MP40, Luger P08 and P38 all use the 9×19mm Parabellum round. So there seem to be 2 damage classes for the German weapons. From the perspective of the TV Show we can treat the Rifles from both countries as doing equivalent damage and the probably can assign the pistols the same damage as well. That would give us a maximum of three damage classifications in descending order of damage: Rifle, Carbine, and Pistol.

    Can we collapse those three damage classifications to a single classification and still distinguish between the weapons. Range, penetration, rate of fire, and ammo capacity are sufficient to make the weapons different. So does it matter if the weapons do the same damage? Probably not for the TV show. The difference in damage on the show seems to be between series regulars, who are grazed (mostly), wounded (fairly often), or incapacitated (rarely) but don’t ever die and minor characters who may get any result from a minor wound to death. I haven’t noticed any difference based on the type of gun used that can’t be accounted for by penetration (shooting through doors and such) and rate of fire Saunders’ Tommygun and Kirby’s BAR seem more deadly than the rifles, carbines, or pistols but ROF and penetration could cover that.

    For a more realistic game, I still want damage varied by weapon type (or cartridge type).