I was thinking about critical hits in the game and wondering if it could change gameplay for the better. A weapon would have a small percent chance to crit on hit. A successful crit would give that weapon's hit extra damage (x2 probably) and would guarantee atleast 1 damage. Crits would vary by weapon for what is appropriate, most weapons would probably be in the 2-5 percent range depending on balancing issues. Some weapons like rockets would deserve a much higher crit chance, closer to 15-25 percent due to its volatility.
I have mixed feelings on whether this would help or hurt the game. In multi I think it could help make battles more dramatic and end long drawn out slugfests faster. Would give players another interesting tool to tinker and test around with.
On the other hand it would require balancing all of the weapons again. Make another feature for newbies to grasp. As well as potentially just having a negative effect on overall gameplay.
What do you guys think?
The beauty of ACTS is that you make the crits yourself. Ammo, coal, weapon, and lift tiles are the places that the enemy "crits" you if they hit it. Not only does it often catch fire, if it explodes. Your ship is over and done with. Crits are an aspect of an rpg, usually, that is explained by "hitting a vital spot." This, in the case of airships, would be the specific rooms that are destroyed easily,. I hope I answered your question!
There are a few ways to look at a crit, for a human you could say a crit is hitting the brain or the heart. You could also say a crit would be slipping a dagger through a slit in plate mail or disarming an opponent. Even if the hit isn't lethal it can still be a game changer. The act was a critical success defying the odds. Simply targeting a coal or ammo room isn't much about defying the odds.
These crits aren't about hitting the coal or ammo room, those are weak rooms and major weaknesses and that is very important but it is entirely different than a crit. The crits are another aspect to add damage and increase weapon viability. A crit would be a rifle shot chipping heavy steel armor or a cannon shot flying through the perfect sized hole in a ships armor and smashing through the module behind it.
I've been involved with this game for awhile. I like looking at new angles and wondering if it could improve gameplay. I like pushing a ships limits. I like changing the meta. This is what my idea for crits is about, changing things up.
*I also look at crits from a Dungeon and Dragons perspective. You can crit with climbing a wall, picking a lock, bartering, and fighting. It's a critical success regardless of the activity!
That could work.
For most intents and purposes the game already has critical hits. They are called misfires.
Mind you, I am ambivalent about what misfires add to the game because there is very little feedback to the other player they have happened. All your opponent sees is your ship mysteriously explode. All they can think is "must have scored a critical hit".
I have sometimes wondering if misfire explosions should be a different colour or something to signal the event. Maybe armour panels could fly off the ship to signify the explosion originated internally.
More general blather on critical hits:
While I am a big fan of critical hits in D&D style games they are more appropriate there due 1) the fact that combat is very generalised (unlike some roleplaying games where section of body/armour is targeted/assessed) and 2) they sort of model the moral/willpower element of hand to hand combat.
While I like the idea in "realistic" games where armoured ships or vehicles fight, the unromantic truth is that inadequete calibre weapons will bounce off stronger armour all day.
Some critical hits in history:
The sinking of the Hood was a critical hit, but also because a shell went through a lightly armoured section.
The sinking of the Bismark was due to a critical hit (its rudder being damaged, but that's a lightly armoured sections.
The killing of Smaug was a critical hit due to Brand's skill in hitting an unarmoured section with a magic arrow capable of killing a mighty beast if shot by a man of great willpower an excellent conjunction of factors :-)
Hmm... can't think of any misfires blowing up ships in history, the only one that comes to mind is the tragic torpedo accident in the Kursk (Russian submarine).
So overall, I would guess the ship & armour design already covers criticality.
Maybe critical hits could apply to human casualties, ie shrapnel sometimes knocks out the captain or chief engineer if it hits the control room or engine room, and hence the ship loses command / engines for a time period.
... isnt that what i said. Just shorter.
You omitted the first sentence.
Misfires are critical failures, why I was thinking more of critical successes.
I think better examples of critical successes in history are looking at tanks. Tanks have a lot in common with the concept of airships. Tanks have lots of incidents of little lucky things/crazy lucky things taking them out, damaging them, disabling them, or crippling them.
"During an early attack on Baghdad, one M1A1 was disabled by a recoilless rifle round that had penetrated the rear engine housing, and punctured a hole in the right rear fuel cell, causing fuel to leak onto the hot turbine engine. After repeated attempts to extinguish the fire, the decision was made to destroy or remove any sensitive equipment. Oil and .50 caliber rounds were scattered in the interior, the ammunition doors were opened and several thermite grenades ignited inside. Another M1 then fired a HEAT round in order to ensure the destruction of the disabled tank. Unfortunately, the tank was completely disabled but still intact. Later, an AGM-65 Maverick was fired into the tank to finish its destruction. Ironically the tank still appeared to be intact from the exterior. (took a lot of ammo to destroy this M1) "
A single recoilless rifle shot severely damaged one of the most advanced tanks in the modern world. Didn't destroy it but it crippled the tank, even more than depleted uranium rounds did in most cases.
You say "While I like the idea in "realistic" games where armoured ships or vehicles fight, the unromantic truth is that inadequete calibre weapons will bounce off stronger armour all day."
Bounce off armor all day yes, but they can damage or destroy the weaknesses in that armor.
Here is a story about a German Tiger tank against a bunch of anti tank rifles. Anti tank rifles were known to be pretty outdated at this time and Tiger armor was too thick for them to penetrate. Although they were still able to disable and damage tanks with lucky accurate shots.
"Another Tiger tanker noted that when engaged by multiple Soviet antitank riflemen at close range, most of the tanks’ vision blocks had been shot out in a matter of minutes. The commander and gunner searched in vain to locate and engage the riflemen with their cannon and machine guns but, “[The antitank rifle teams] always went to other positions and then disappeared again as quick as lightning.”
Also WW2 tanks shooting down aircraft using their main gun. Rare but happened on multiple occassions. Otto Carius a famous tiger commander and his crew successfully shot down a Russian plane with their main gun.
Not as relevant but stupid crazy lucky "Daring Hungarians would jump onto a Soviet tank, put a Hungarian flag on its antenna, and then either shoot crewmen trying to remove it, or wait for other Soviets to turn heavy fire on what they believed to a tank captured by the rebels."
Not as relevant either but there is a video of a Syrian rebel throwing a grenade down a tank's barrel and destroying the tank.
I can go on for days with examples if you want. You use examples of critical hits that destroy big ships, I am thinking of critical successes. Even a rifle round can damage a heavy tank if it hits just right. A rifle round can still hit an exposed gun barrel or aiming slit on a airship with heavy steel armor. A rifleman isn't obligated to shoot at only the strong armored parts of the enemy.
This idea is more about making some weapons like the rocket more viable and adding a new aspect to the game. It is a realistic feature and would change the game up. Right now it is kinda stale and I want more weapons and tactics to be viable. I'm tired of my year old designs crushing multi. A change in the meta wouldn't be a bad thing, this probably isn't a solution but it's an idea atleast.
Adding more chance. I feel getting a hit is critical seeing as how any number of attached occurrences could unfold.
But the idea of weaknesstocritical and chancesforcritical is interesting. If both stats existed you could make certain modules invulnerable to critical hits and find a way to keep them interesting on others.
If the the combat is one against one a one shot kill crit would be a verry lousy experience i think. in groups it could somewhat ballance out.
Maybe a small aiming computer (1x1) can initiate possible crits on certain procentage.. so it becomes something used in a battle where a lot is going down rather than one agianst one and done :(
:D more modules!
Well small battles are more based around luck and skill and large battles are more design and placement. A shot to coal or ammo can easily end a small battle quickly even if your design and tactics are superior. I had a cheap 1 vs 1 battle where I was flying my bomber towards the enemy and lightning struck and destroyed my compressed suspendium. Instantly lost the battle.
These crits are not likely to deal massive killer blows, unless if they strike the ammo or coal compartments. Otherwise they just do extra damage. A rifle crit isn't going to 1 shot any ship.
Heavy cannon crit would one shot? Heard somewhere that the Heavy was one of strongest vanilla weapons.
With such a low crit chance and a good chance of missing the heavy cannon would have to fire a low of rounds (8 second reload) to crit. Also it is just doubling damage, chances are 1 heavy cannon shot will shred a light ship whether it crits or not. A heavy ship can handle that damage and it would most likely just destroy or heavily damage the module it hit.
There would be some one shot kills but I think they would be rather occasional. Only working on small ships with compressed suspedium or something like that.
I have four telescopes and three target comps on my ship and 14 heavy cannons is that good xD
Critical hits are great in singleplayer modes, but I think it would be unfair in multiplayer. Ship battles should not be won based on luck (crit hit on your powder magazine...ouch).
This is assuming criticals are doubles.
I imagine a critical to be it's effectiveness. So percentage of the original shot. Original shot does 3 damage; only 25% effective; +1 damage type of deal rounding downwards.
As I said, for all intents and purposes critical hits are already there, in the form of critical misfires.
I lose about 10% of my battles due to critical misfires of heavy cannons, 25% when using torpedo armed ships. Do I enjoy losing from factors beyond my control? No. Does my opponent get extra enjoyment from their sudden victory? Maybe (sometimes they have complained the game ended prematurely).
Possibly I am winning 10% or more of my battles due to enemy misfires, but I have no idea whether that is happening, as they are poorly communicated.
This is exactly what critical hits would do, end the game arbitarily, randomly and prematurely.
So do I think misfires add or subtract from the game, for me, probably a small negative. I agree with Caesar they are probably better in single player.
Maybe misfires should jam a weapon for a lengthy period of time (say 10 times reload time) instead of exploding so the player has to figure out how to nurse their ship while it recovers.
To this day every misfire marks the day i die
Misfires are a little ridiculous as you can't really counter them. You scoring a critical success is more fun than the enemy critically failing in my opinion.
I think misfires jamming would be more appropriate. Would be kinda complicated but perhaps the first misfire would jam the gun for x10 reload time and the second misfire would destroy the gun.
@Pompeii Zark has confirmed multiple targeting computers and multiple telescopes don't stack accuracy. Only 1 of each. Unless if you use a mod to work around that.
"This is exactly what critical hits would do, end the game arbitrarily, randomly and prematurely."
Not necessarily, honestly with how I have talked about implementing it I doubt a lot of people would even notice the difference. x2 damage on 3% of shots. Would be difficult to notice a cannon scoring a crit unless if you were looking for them specifically. Crits would help close out long slugfest games faster. Bunker on bunker fights can go on for like 15 minutes. I have had a fair share of those and it is kinda silly how long you just sit there and wait. Also this would be a way to make rockets and other weapons viable. Maybe only specific weapons like the rocket could crit and standard weapons would be left alone.
You keep saying ship battles shouldn't be won on luck. Well luck is a major factor in this game. Luck is a major factor in any war. $200 ship battles are often decided on luck alone since both sides use a very similar ship and the game is decided on whose 2 rifles destroy the other ones suspendium balloon first. I'm not saying luck should be a major factor in winning in Airships but you can't ignore the fact that luck is already a factor and the smaller the battle the bigger a role it has.
so i can only have one of each? Jeez thanks that makes my lift so much higher!
Wen ithe weapon is stuck it could go "Its jammed cease firing!" "its STUCK! dont let it explode!" ... than the player needs to stop firing wich would trigger the reset of the weapon, unblocking it.
That would be difficult in large battles or in battles with bunkers with no command center :P. RIP commandless bunkers. Would be kinda cool in smaller scale battles.
I think that's contrary to the point of the simulation. There's no point in abridging combat with RNG in that way- Any weaknesses in a ship will be made when it's designed, like those real life examples you listed of lightly armored portions of a craft being hit. Exploiting an actual weakness is one thing, arbitrarily doubling damage for no conceivable reason is another.
You are doubling damage because you are assuming you hit a weak or vulnerable position. A rifle could shoot at an exposed cannon even though the ship is made of heavy steel. I can only assume where many of these weaknesses are cause these pixels don't give me a lot of details :p A rifleman would be exploiting any weaknesses on a craft they could see. So weapon modules/cockpits/propellors would be vulnerable. I don't know how this armor is put together but with specific details could probably find what would be immune to what weapons and what would be vulnerable to crits. Although that would make this a lot more complicated than need be.
This idea is supposed to show an exploitation of actual weaknesses without making it overly complicated. We can dive into the nitty gritty stuff if we want.
A weakness on a craft is made when it's built. You can't say "there's a weak spot in the armor" on a craft that's entirely homogeneous heavy steel. That's not an ACTUAL weakness. If a ship was designed with different kinds of armor on different modules, THEN there's an actual weakness in the armor that may be appropriately exploited. A ship with limited lanes of fire or not enough guards with cargo bays right next to a command center or low service ceiling or not enough crew or not enough fire points- or yes, not enough armor- has an actual weakness. There's no assumptions in any of this- these theoretical ships have very real shortcomings in design. An artillery piece is just as dead if you hit it in the barrel or the carriage or the recuperator or the crew- or any part that's in what we call a cannon module-, and a bomb or shell doesn't DOUBLE it's payload because it it one of these parts and not another.
i dont believe that they make these ships with complete steel frame. It will have to be nailed together, yes? a bullet can go through a chink in the armor like a sword goes through a chink in the helmet and stabs the shit outta the other guys eyes aaahhhhh the blood the beauty ahem excuse me i need my medicine