Part 2 - Personal Combat
I think the best way to grasp the beautiful insanity of Space Opera combat is to go through a single attack step by step. Our subject is Trooper Borman of the Terran Union Guard. Trooper Borman is armed with a 7mm blaster rifle, the standard weapon of Terran light infantry. A platoon of Azuriach CAP (combat armour, powered) troopers is approaching across the scarred battlefield. The Azzies are equipped with jump belts and are moving quickly. Trooper Borman has to make every shot count.
Trooper Borman sights up an approaching Azzie and at about a half a klick, he fires off a burst. He’s prone and the target is at medium range, so his base chance to hit is 60%. He and his company are under fire from enemy mortars, however, which gives a -10% penalty. Borman has blaster rifle/5 skill, which gives a +10% modifier. The target is moving fast, which gives a modifier of -25%. Therefore, his hit % is 35%, but he fired a burst, so he gets three attack rolls and hits on one.
Next, hit location is determined. The roll indicates a lower abdomen/groin hit. Ouch! That could hurt. However, he still has to penetrate. The Azuriach Imperium believes in the power of heavy infantry and its troopers are among the most heavily-armoured to be found anywhere in explored space. Borman’s target is wearing a Marauder-class PAPA (power-assisted, personal armour) unit, so he needs a 7+ on a d10 to penetrate. He rolls an 8, his lucky day.
Having successfully wounded his enemy, Borman now has to determine how severely. He rolls a d20 with a +2 wound factor modifier for his weapon. He gets a 15, a critical wound for a lower abdomen shot. The damage is 2d6+13 pts., but there is also a 12% chance of an instant kill. He fails on the instant kill check, but still does a lot of damage. The Azzie CAP trooper fails his Shock CR and goes down. The impact of the crash probably finishes him off.
So, to summarize, a successful attack in Space Opera will require, a hit roll, a hit location roll, a penetration roll, a wound severity roll and a damage roll, with an instant kill roll being a possibility as well, a minimum of five rolls. Needless to say, on the GNS plot, Space Opera is firmly entrenched in the simulationist corner
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