+ inload: Engine War – Gargants for Adeptus Titanicus I +

+ Orks in Adeptus Titanicus +

+ I'll preface this by saying that these rules are only intended to tide players over until we get some official rules. With that said, it's a great opportunity to do some fun stuff, and have a practise at writing rules. +



+ Theoretical +

+ General design principles +

  1. Being orky, Gargants should be tough, and kick out a lot of firepower. 
  2. Unsubtle but entertaining, they should be generally less reliable than their Imperial equivalent, but have the potential – with luck and good planning – to outshine their opponents' equivalent War Engines.
  3. Playing a mob of Gargants should feel like you are an ork Kaptin managing his krew, and reward aggressive play.
  4. Playing a mob of Gargants should not be a frustrating experience.
  5. Using Gargants must abide to the core rules as seamlessly as possible while maintaining character.

+ Inspiration +

The gigantic Titans known as Gargants stride at the core of the Waa-Ork. Each Gargant is a huge towering war machine of awesome destructive power. It is also a mechanical, fighting, firebelching idol in the image of the Ork war gods. The machines are served by a living crew of Orks and Gretchin, stoking the boilers and loading the guns in the Gargant’s turrets. The construction of a Gargant is in itself an act of god worship, and stands for all that is Orkish.
+ Codex Titanicus, 1st edition +

+++

Like many products of Orkoid military engineering, the Gargant relies on comparatively simple technology and devastatingly heavy firepower, an attitude summed up by Boss-Mek Badlug One-Leg in his oft-quoted dictum “S’gorra be dead shooty, wiv loadza gunz all over.”
 
Orks do not rely on auto-systems to the same extent as other races, and Gargants carry a large crew of both Orks and Gretchins. The crew is led by a Kaptin, who relays orders through a body of officers. A speaking-tube is the preferred method of communication within a Gargant. Each officer is in charge of one section of the Gargant, be it a weapon, the magazine, the engine room, or whatever.
Under the officer is a crew of Orks and Gretchins who carry out the orders passed down to them. Repair crews are composed of Gretchins, whose smaller build suits them to crawling through cramped spaces armed with wrenches and oily rags. 
Gargants are protected by up to eight banks of power fields. In practical terms, a power field is very similar to a void shield, but cannot be repaired - when a hit is absorbed, one field generator is permanently destroyed. 
+ ibid. +

+ Resource management +

+ Gargants don't have plasma reactors (well, I'm sure one or two do, but in general, they're 'comparatively simple technology'), so I don't think it's appropriate to use the plasma reactor mechanics. On the other hand, it'd be a shame for ork players to miss out on the resource management side of the game; particularly if they're not going to have the balance of shields (since Power Fields just burn out, and can't be repaired). In addition, design principle 5 (above) means I want to stick with the core rules if possible, so we need some sort of resource generation and management that's equivalent to the plasma reactor table. +

+ Officers and crew +

+ Looking over the rules from Codex Titanicus (CT) and Titan Legions (TL), the main things ork players had to manage was the krew, which fits in nicely with design principle 3. With this in mind, I'd like to look at the plasma reactor and servitor clade mechanics, to see if we can find some fun interactions. + 

+ Both CT and TL had lots of different types of krew – riggers to repair, stokers to keep the engine room going, boyz who were being transported etc. Choices had to be made to take lots of riggers to keep your Gargant functioning, bosses to make sure it did what it was meant to, and so forth. It might be fun to have this level of granularity – make the ork player find the balance that works for them, and give a lot of customisation options. On the other hand, it's also quite complex; perhaps over-complicated. +

+ There's a middle ground – having some krew represented by counters; others by rules; similar to the Imperials: servitor clades, Princeps etc. are fixed statistics/rules; and the plasma generator is a movable counter. +

+ Dwindling resources +

+ A potential problem of having krew as your resource is that unlike plasma, they're irreplaceable. Once an ork is dead, he's dead. This ties in with the Power Fields, which also can't be brought back up. That could be bad, or it could be good. On the one hand, it means that orks have to be aggressive: their forces only get degraded, so they need to close and keep pressure up on their opponents. On the other hand, there's not much management to do beyond pre-game selection, which is a shame. What other management could there be? +

+ Power +

+ Gargants do have engine rooms. 'Power' is a catch-all term for steam, coal, solar, plasma and however else the individual Gargant is made to do stuff. This is a good chance to have a manageable resource. I'd like it to work like a plasma reactor, but for both ends to be bad – if you use too much, the engine goes out and has to be re-lit. If you don't use enough, it overheats and starts fires. +

+ This mechanic would interact nicely with the krew – do you drag your gunners away to stoke the boiler, or do you have to move faster than you wanted to burn off some excess? +

+ It might also be a place to introduce fires, which I fondly remember as one of my favourite mechanics from previous editions. Fires would be a great way to represent Devastating Hits – rather than taking two structure points, Gargants might take one SP and a fire is started. +

If any fires are still burning at the end of the repair phase, roll a D6. If the result is more than the number of fires still burning, the crew have at least managed to prevent them from spreading. If not, the fires have spread with disastrous results – roll a D6 on the Gargant Catastrophic Damage Table.
ibid. +


+++

+ Practical +

The following notes are essentially here for discussion. I'll start with the Great Gargant, as that's the Warlord equivalent.

Stats
Command: 5+
Speed: 4in/6in
Manoeuvre: 1/2
Ballistic Skill: 4+
Weapon Skill: 3+
Riggers [Servitor clades equivalent]: See above

Gun decks: As an equivalent to the Ardex-Defensor cannon, I thought it'd be fun if unassigned krew could shoot out of portholes etc. The 'bucket o' dice' is an ork hallmark, which'd go some way to making things feel orky. The strength of shot would have to be determined; probably S3 or S4. I guess it'll depend on how many krew are likely to be 'free' every turn. This would be a nice way to get some rear defence and make the Gargant feel like a naval vessel – if your Gargant is immobilised with no targets in arc, for example, all hands can start shooting from the back.

Engine Room: Pip starts in the centre (green), with two yellow, one orange, and one red space on either side.

Stoking (Pushing the reactor) – can be used for:
  • Shields up! – Voids to Full equivalent (perhaps allows rerolls to all saves, but one Power field burns out? Too complex?).
  • Full Steam Ahead – Power to Locomotors equivalent.
  • Hard to – Power to Stabilisers equivalent.
  • Perhaps boosting power to weapons – more shots for Rapid/Ordnance? Additional Strength for some guns? 

+++

Here's the outline for the Command Terminal (Kaptin's Klipboard?)

Head (Head) – (360°) – 8 SP
13–14 Direct Hit
15–16 Devastating Hit
17+ Critical hit

Body (Body) – 10 SP 
13–14 Direct Hit
15–16 Devastating Hit
17+ Critical hit

Belly (Legs) (Fixed forward) – 10SP
13–14 Direct Hit
15–16 Devastating Hit
17+ Critical hit


Upper turrets – Weapons (equivalent to Carapace) – Secondary weapons (90°)
Lower turrets – Primary Weapons (90°)

+++

Power Fields: 
  • Act as Void Shields, but can't be brought back online. 
    • As a result, these are effectively like a structural section of the Gargant; a 'shell' that has to be broken before you can start adding damage to the Gargant. 
  • 1st ed. had a random mechanic for the number of Power Fields. Something to include, or frustrating?


8 comments:

  1. so the Warlords have a Machine Spirit Mechanics would the Orks have something similiar liek "dont push that" and would it go off more often?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Love it! Yes, I think the critical table is a good place to add some orky flavour. Gargants might not have machine spirits to threaten their Princeps' sanity, but doubtless ork crews are suitably maddening for things to happen...

      Delete
  2. I do not know anything about AT rules, but maybe another thing to think about is how does this work when you have a full battleforce? Managing a couple of Great Gargants, and two to three smaller ones, and stompas etc, might be a bit much if you have to worry about the crew too.

    If you were running just the one, then you could have the crew move about the diagram like meeples in a Euro worker placement game. At the start of each turn, the Kaptin has to reallocate the workers to each zone. Maybe instead of differentiating the types, just make them generic, which would be faster to handle, and then have the zone officer be of more relative importance. (and thus when he dies it is important).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I think there's a sweet spot to find with this mechanic. Anything smaller than a 'normal' Gargant (e.g. supa-stompas/mekboy gargants for example) is small enough for the Kaptin to just yell, so they won't need krew.

      I'm leaning towards the generic krew idea.

      Delete
  3. Orks being orks perhaps a bonus to command checks for charge and 1st fire? The two things they like best chopping and shooting. Also a great gargants always felt like it would take 1 and help (a slash or stomp a mob etc or even possibly another great gargant) to go equal with one warlord in a shooting match. Cc was more even but that's the rough power equivalent I'd aim for. Certainly could outshoot a reaver on the basis of being much, much tougher.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hadn't considered orders in any detail yet, but the bonus you suggest is a great one – it turns up in most editions :)

      Delete
  4. What I really liked in times of old was the specialized ammunition for the belly gun. This needs some Orky mechanics.
    The gun could be steam powered and benefit from stoking the boilers?
    Power fields could work as Voids, but just cannot be brought back when they reach the bottom. To compensate for that they could have one or two extra holes: power fields were more numerous than voids, anyway :)

    ReplyDelete

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