Suggestion - a 'repel boarders' stance for capital ships, and lowered scuttle damage

I have seen several players in discussion about the very high level of scuttle damage applied when a drifting hulk explodes, and how this is unduly punishing for fleets that rely heavily on boarding like Space Marines and Tyranids, and at the same time I have seen other players talking about how boarding and other assault attacks, especially from Tyranids, can extremely quickly wipe out the crew of even a battleship and leave it drifting. Both sides of this debate feel the situiation is unfair, and I have seen for myself that both sides have a point, and after some thought I have lit upon what I think might be a solution.

I would suggest that all capital ships (escorts have crews too small to effectively fight off a concerted boarding action from a larger ship) should get access to a dedicated 'repel boarders' stance, which reflects the general crew being armed and rushed to improvised barricades, bulkheads being locked down, power being diverted to internal defence networks and force fields, and similar such measures.

The effect in game might be a reduced risk of suffering critical damage from assault boats, lightning strikes, boarding actions and other assault options like Lictor Infestations, along with increased resistance to troop losses caused by such attacks. Using the stance would also have negative effects, possibly reducing fire rate, ship manouverability and the cooldown rate of ship abilities while in the stance, since the crew are at the barricades and armed to fight boarders instead of being at their posts, making using the stance a trade off for the player.

At the same time, since boarding is less of an overwhelming threat in all instances with such a stance available, scuttle damage could be reduced to a more reasonable level, perhaps something like 100 damage to all ships within its area of effect absorbed by shields, or possibly the chance of successfully scuttling the ship is not certain, with the greater the forces committed to the boarding of a ship by an attacker, the lesser the odds that it can be successfully scuttled before the crew are all killed, making borading a real all or nothing manoeuver.

I would further suggest that recrewing a ship with a skeleton crew should also carry greater penalties (the original crew being all dead and the replacement crew being heavily understrength and not familiar with the ship). Reduced fire rate is a good start, but I would also say that the recrewed ship can no longer perform assault actions of any kind of its own (it has too few personnel aboard to attempt such a feat) and all ability cooldowns should be extended by 50% for the remainder of the battle. That seems like a reasonable consequence for the loss of an entire ship's crew strength.

last edited by Greg_G

I agree with the scuttle damage being lowered but both SM and Tyranids have massive drawbacks in return for their enhanced boarding ability. I don't mean to be rude but the beta has only been out for a bit and lots of people don't know how to play very well and as such the more direct factions have advantages where they wouldn't against more experienced players. I haven't lost to nids at all yet as IN and I have played quite a few games against them.

A 'repel boarders' stance has the advantage of also being fairly fluffy with regard to the lore of the setting and the kind of historical naval battles that inspired the tabletop version of the game. I am sure Tindalos and Focus Home Interactive could deal with any balance issues a stance like this might bring about, most obviously by tweaking the level of penalty inflicted for employing the stance in the first place.

We do already have the call to arms order too that fulfils a similar role.

@brohanbroski But all the Call to Arms (and similar such orders in other fleets) do is restore a measure of lost troop strength for a vessel as a battle goes on - it doesn't help you resist boarding at the time, so to speak, reflecting a redployment of forces to repel boarders in the act of breachintg your ship's hull. Those players who are worried about the effects of boarding are concerned about ships at full troop strength getting boarded and overrun instantly, reducing even battleships to drifting hulk status on the spot. A repel boarders stance would specifically address that situation, while including debuffs as a price for using it makes it a tradeoff and forces the player to think whetehr or not they wish to employ it. With such a system in place, mitigating scuttle damage becomes a fair balancing method, leaving everyone on a reasonably equal footing. I still think the idea has merit.

Upon further thought, it also occurs to me that a recrewed ship should genuinely have no more than a skeleton crew, meaning a low troop value (maybe a third to half of the ship's starting troop value, rounding fractions up? Exact figures would require playtesting) and with all orders that boost that low troop value disabled, leaving such a ship vulnerable to further assault type actions as it should be, given that it has only a minimal crew aboard to fight them off.

Does call to arms not provide a protective 'layer' anymore?

@brohanbroski None of the standard troop replenshment skills (like Call to Arms) of the various fleets state that they provide any protective layer, all they do is replace lost troop value for the ship, and can't be used if the ship is already at its full troop complement. The Necron Resurection Orb skill states that resurrected troops act as a troop shield, but it can only resurrecrt 1 troop strength, so its value in countering really effective boarding is minimal, and again the ship has to have lost troop strength for it to be used - it can't fortify a ship beyond its usual max troop strength, which means that it doesn't help with boarding actions that can take out a ship at full troop strength at a stroke.

So far as I can tell, none of these skills would help much when dealing with the kind of scenario we are discussing.

last edited by Greg_G

call to arms just raises troops, no more purple troops
but the result is the same, troops go up so technically its the same as a protective layer
weather those fully armed babies you just had the onboard women push out count as a separate layer or are just added to the layer you have doesnt change that its just extra crew you need to kill that came out of nowhere
because imperials need their own spawning pools and can put themselves back together like necrons as there is no difference in the orders
tho i have only seen people use the completely broken call to arms once, so cant really call boarding op

@ashardalon So far as I can see none of the tool tip text states that a troop shield type extra layer effect is in place or that the troop value goes up beyond the max total for the ship, and since people are complaining about even battleship class vessels getting instantly reduced to drifting hulk status, even when at full troop strength when the engagement begins, isn't this still an issue? Am I missing something, or somehow misreading the tool tip text?

you cant go over max, but how would you do that anyway?
how many newly born people do you expect instantly on a ship thats fully crewed
you can protect vs scuttling, cant protect first layer

also about people complaining about ships getting hulked instantly
thats either a bug
or people being idiots that have no clue what they are talking about
most battleships have 20+ crew, thats 60+ in total, thats 4 boardings by tyranid hive ships the best boarders in the game
a force you can barely field and would leave those ships worthless for the next 30+ seconds for the cooldown
it simply mathematically doesnt happen, the people are either lying or stupid
so ill be nice and assume they are stupid

call to arms would still be more effective if people actually used it, no reason to buff something because "its not powerful enough" when its not used
nova cannons also dont do much if you dont use them
all your systems will be constantly broken if you never use repair
so if i see a person call to arms several times and still stand no chanse i might reconsider

but there is a really good reason nobody wastes their time with call to arms, its because low crew is meaningless
it does nothing, its a waste of time
a crit, thats it

but yes call to arms should be changed, the entire boarding system should be changed
but in no way should humans have the same way to counter boarders as tyranids
its massively broken

@ashardalon I think the idea of going over max troop strength is that the value is troop strength, not crew strength - troops normally reflect ship board security forces, marine (not astartes, marine as in its original seaborne naval meaning), and other dedicated direct ship board combat personnel, whereas Call to Arms reflects pressing ordinary crew members into the same role, essentially shoving a shot gun/whatever weapon is nearest into the hands of a rating and pushing them in the general direction of the fight.

What if Call to Arms was a one use or charge type ability which increased troop value but had negative effects on other ship functions, since crew pressed into service as counter boarding personnel aren't available for their usual role and are likley to get themselves killed quickly, being neither trained nor equipped propeprly to act as counter boarding forces?

Tyranids and Necrons might get an advantage in this situation, since their troop replenishment skill reflects the use of spawning pools to literally breed more trops on the spot/teleport more warrirors direct from the Tomb World respectively. On that topic, I also think Tyranids should have an ability that allows them to spawn more ordinace to replace lost charges, since in the tabletop game Tyranids weren't subject to ordinace limits specifically because launch bay equipped ships could spawn more Tyranid ordinance mid-battle.

Perhaps a separate ability that shares a cool down with this one (so you can only ever employ one at a time) might allow them to recover boarding charges, for the same reason of being able to mass produce more bioconstructs on the fly. It would make the Tyranids much more effective when it comes to assault actions once the issues with boarding are fixed, but they were always the most dangerous boarding force in the tabletop game as well, and it fits their lore exactly - having your ship invaded by engineered killers that outnumber your forces many, many times over would be a dire propect for any warship.

@greg_g said in Suggestion - a 'repel boarders' stance for capital ships, and lowered scuttle damage:

@ashardalon I think the idea of going over max troop strength is that the value is troop strength, not crew strength - troops normally reflect ship board security forces, marine (not astartes, marine as in its original seaborne naval meaning), and other dedicated direct ship board combat personnel, whereas Call to Arms reflects pressing ordinary crew members into the same role, essentially shoving a shot gun/whatever weapon is nearest into the hands of a rating and pushing them in the general direction of the fight.

What if Call to Arms was a one use or charge type ability which increased troop value but had negative effects on other ship functions, since crew pressed into service as counter boarding personnel aren't available for their usual role and are likley to get themselves killed quickly, being neither trained nor equipped propeprly to act as counter boarding forces?

some way to reduce boarding for a duration, and during that time have reduced ship effectiveness would be cool
tho with the way its currently balanced, people would just ignore it and recrew the ship for less penalty's
currently having a skeleton crew has barely any effect
but yes a suggestion like that i would prefer for non nid and necron factions
but first crew needs to be relevant, a recrewed ship is as good as a new one, that makes any counter to boarding affecting things negatively a waste of time because it will never be used
instead of -20% firerate it needs to be -80% then marines could be good and people would use call to arms

last edited by Ashardalon

@greg_g

I agree top to bottom, only thing I would add is that the Tyranid ability that drains troops needs a fairly massive nerf. You can pretty much just select whatever ship you don't like and remove them from the battle. Assume we keep your permanent nerfs for running a skeleton crew (Which is a fantastic idea in my opinion), that would leave the Tyranids a little too powerful, even with a boarding defense.

@romeo
you have no idea what you are talking about
not only do you need 4 devourers or hive ships to hulk a battleship, once its scuttled you are basically dead because of scuttle damage
nids dont need any nerfs
maybe learn the mechanics and check the numbers before making ridiculous claims
especially with nid ship costs as they are now

last edited by Ashardalon

@ashardalon said in Suggestion - a 'repel boarders' stance for capital ships, and lowered scuttle damage:

@romeo
you have no idea what you are talking about
not only do you need 4 devourers or hive ships to hulk a battleship, once its scuttled you are basically dead because of scuttle damage
nids dont need any nerfs
maybe learn the mechanics and check the numbers before making ridiculous claims
especially with nid ship costs as they are now

You might want to recheck your claims, because I played with the Tyranids as of yesterday, and I can tell you it doesn't take four ships to hulk a battleship, you can do it with one ship and in pretty short order at that by abusing the tongue.

And yeah, scuttle damage needs a nerf... Which was already addressed in the original post, which I said I support. Maybe learn to read the damn thread?

@romeo
a battleship has 63 crew (using cairn example)
a tongue deals 6 troop damage over 18 seconds, 1 per 3 seconds
a hive ship or devourer deals 18 troop damage

i trust you can find the calculator on your pc

last edited by Ashardalon

@ashardalon said in Suggestion - a 'repel boarders' stance for capital ships, and lowered scuttle damage:

@romeo
a battleship has 63 crew (using cairn example)
a tongue deals 6 troop damage over 18 seconds, 1 per 3 seconds
a hive ship or devourer deals 18 troop damage

i trust you can find the calculator on your pc

That might be what the tooptip says, but go and use it in game. Watch what happens. I trust you can find Steam on your PC.

@romeo
just admit you are wrong
and meanwhile document the bug with feeding tentacle and report it
it clearly shows "1 crew lost" above the ship you attach it to
show me where it says "60 crew lost" instead, then show it to the devs as a bugreport

will try and reproduce it tonight because you cant be trusted

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