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On weapons: Conversion Beamer and Auto-Cannon

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On weapons: Conversion Beamer and Auto-Cannon

Postby Maurice76 » Thursday March 15th, 2018 10:06am

I've recently done a playthrough of Space Crusade and the only expansion we own, Mission Dreadnought. The playthrough before that must have been at least 2 decades ago ;).

That being said, one thing I am wondering about is how other people regard two of the weapons in the game. Whenever we consider Marine Squad weapon loadout, the weapons chosen least are the Auto-Cannon (which is called a Grenade Launcher in Dutch, by the way) and the Conversion Beamer. We consider the Auto-Cannon less powerful than the Rocket Launcher (a no-brainer, even the Blood Angel player usually takes this as the mandatory Heavy Weapon) and the Plasma Cannon. The Conversion Beamer is way too situational, in our opinion. We find that this consideration hasn't changed much in the decades since we last played it.

But ... is that a correct evaluation? Are these weapons indeed sub-par with respect to the rest, or have we always missed the actual shine they bring to the Space Marine player?


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Re: On weapons: Conversion Beamer and Auto-Cannon

Postby Anderas » Thursday March 15th, 2018 1:33pm

The Auto-Cannon, the one where you roll the dice first and then you distribute the damage? I like that a lot because other than the weapon with the straight line you don't need to "pay" the movement before you shoot.
Just choose an empty field as first target so that won't cost any points then freely distribute. That's in the grey area between legal and illegal for sure but at least that weapon becomes equal to the others.

The conversion beamer, you are right. I don't understand that one either.

By the way I think that the game is too easy with three spaces and too difficult with one spacie group. Do you share that one?


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Re: On weapons: Conversion Beamer and Auto-Cannon

Postby Maurice76 » Friday March 16th, 2018 7:30am

Yup, that Auto-Cannon. The reason we don't really like it is because its benefit (distribute the damage over any visible targets) doesn't weigh up to the damage potential of both the Rocket Launcher or the Plasma Cannon. With those latter two, you can potentially toast a lot more enemies than the Auto-Cannon. The Auto-Cannon is more of a clean-up weapon, if you ask me: it can help to eradicate a number of disjoint Orcs and Mutants that are otherwise a waste for a single rocket or plasma beam. But in that sense, it's only a slightly glorified Bolter, if you ask me. That being said, we usually just roll the damage first and then distribute it over visible targets, maximizing its potential that way.

Initially, I think 3 Space Marine squads mean the mission is over that much sooner. Most mission, each team enters its own board section. The few missions where more teams enter the same area, we've felt that the team to conclude the round is somewhat starving for Aliens to kill. That, or overloading that boardsection with blips, which in turn means you can't really flood players once they break the final board section. Usually I distribute about 25% of the available blips per board section. In a recent game, I ended up having to place about 7 blips in a single room since the Space Marine players had already seen just about everything else of that particular board section without actually entering it. As a house rule, whenever a Space Marine player looks into a corridor or room of an as of yet unscanned board section, I sometimes randomly place a few blips within sight, which are by definition immediately identified. My players have appreciated that approach, as it makes visibility lines more important - especially when they cross into other board sections. While it allows a cheap snipe on aliens on other board sections that way, those aliens can also go into hiding behind corners and such, forcing the players to advance and take risks. I forgot to do that random placing in that particular mission, though, forcing me to cluster them in a single room :P.

Later on, it equalizes. There have been a few games where I as the Chaos Player actually won the mission because I slaughtered so many Space Marines - and yet, the Space Marines managed to at least accomplish the main goal and score enough points to actually get promoted and such. I guess that's what I like most about Star Quest / Space Crusade: even if it's the Space Marines Players vs. the Chaos Player, everyone can advance and gain something after a mission. No one really loses, so to speak. I am a kind and generous Chaos Player though, I guess; I don't try my best to kill off admirals. We played the first Mission Dreadnought mission and I ended up sinking 7 Dreadnoughts on the Space Marine players and since one of the Dreadnoughts (4 weapons) only saw the Imperial Fist Admiral in sight, he opened full fire on him - and I nearly killed him :P. That player then proceeded very carefully with his Admiral for the rest of the mission, but I decided not to stick it to him in an attempt to really kill him off as that would really be a big setback for him for the remaining missions. I even skipped passed a Genestealer chance card at the end, when they only had 3 Admirals and 2 Space Marines left, since in that mission I'd have to place 3 Genestealers at the same time. While fully legitimate to kill them all, if would also kill the fun for the group as a whole.


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Re: On weapons: Conversion Beamer and Auto-Cannon

Postby Anderas » Saturday March 24th, 2018 5:00am

Maybe introducing some fun between them: wasn't there a mission with a virus, and the spacies had to kill each other because there was not enough antidote for all of them? Or was it only in that computer game?


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Re: On weapons: Conversion Beamer and Auto-Cannon

Postby Maurice76 » Saturday March 24th, 2018 10:51am

Lol, that does sound like a fun mission :P. But it's not in the board game; so it has to be in the computer game then, since I never played that one.

Ah well. We have 2 more missions to finish the Dreadnought expansion and I do plan to grind them through the mill on the minicampaign and its rules and extra Space Marine options as printed in White Dwarf 134 and 145. After that, we have a HeroQuest refresher on the menu, where we plan to use Slev's Advanced ruleset. Looking forward to that! :)


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Re: On weapons: Conversion Beamer and Auto-Cannon

Postby Gold Bearer » Sunday May 13th, 2018 2:39pm

Maurice76 wrote:I've recently done a playthrough of Space Crusade and the only expansion we own, Mission Dreadnought. The playthrough before that must have been at least 2 decades ago ;).

That being said, one thing I am wondering about is how other people regard two of the weapons in the game. Whenever we consider Marine Squad weapon loadout, the weapons chosen least are the Auto-Cannon (which is called a Grenade Launcher in Dutch, by the way) and the Conversion Beamer. We consider the Auto-Cannon less powerful than the Rocket Launcher (a no-brainer, even the Blood Angel player usually takes this as the mandatory Heavy Weapon) and the Plasma Cannon. The Conversion Beamer is way too situational, in our opinion. We find that this consideration hasn't changed much in the decades since we last played it.

But ... is that a correct evaluation? Are these weapons indeed sub-par with respect to the rest, or have we always missed the actual shine they bring to the Space Marine player?
The auto cannon is actually called tha assault cannon. It's called a grenade launcher in Dutch? Wtf? Tiny radid fire grenades?

The assault cannon is good for the BAs with three bolters as I said in the other topic because you can mop up with it and never have to consider friendly fire like you do with the other two. Also the IFs should be taking all the heavy weapons.

The conversion beamer should definitely be taken by the UMs because there's no reason for them not to take every MD weapon (unless you want more bolters). I also use it as the manditory extra heavy weapon (unless you want a second bolter) for the IFs because it's the only weapon that allows you to safely shoot through your marines. With the IFs the extra heavy weapon is the only marine that moves four squares so being able to shoot through allies can be very handy, especially in corridors.

The conversion beamer is definitely the weaker of the three though and I probably would've have used the las cannon for the IFs with the standard rules, we had a house rule for the conversion beamer. We only used two house rules in SC, both for MD. The conversion beamer could target any square in sight (sight only blocked by walls and closed doors) that had a wall or closed door. The total of the dice on that square and -1 on the squares around it as normal and the beam moved at a 90 degree angle to the wall or if it was a corner square, a 45 degree angle to both walls. This made the conversion beamer a much more usable weapon.

The other house rule was that turning the tarantula 90 degrees costs one movement but it can still turn and shoot.

Maurice76 wrote:Initially, I think 3 Space Marine squads mean the mission is over that much sooner. Most mission, each team enters its own board section. The few missions where more teams enter the same area, we've felt that the team to conclude the round is somewhat starving for Aliens to kill. That, or overloading that boardsection with blips, which in turn means you can't really flood players once they break the final board section. Usually I distribute about 25% of the available blips per board section. In a recent game, I ended up having to place about 7 blips in a single room since the Space Marine players had already seen just about everything else of that particular board section without actually entering it. As a house rule, whenever a Space Marine player looks into a corridor or room of an as of yet unscanned board section, I sometimes randomly place a few blips within sight, which are by definition immediately identified. My players have appreciated that approach, as it makes visibility lines more important - especially when they cross into other board sections. While it allows a cheap snipe on aliens on other board sections that way, those aliens can also go into hiding behind corners and such, forcing the players to advance and take risks. I forgot to do that random placing in that particular mission, though, forcing me to cluster them in a single room :P.

Later on, it equalizes. There have been a few games where I as the Chaos Player actually won the mission because I slaughtered so many Space Marines - and yet, the Space Marines managed to at least accomplish the main goal and score enough points to actually get promoted and such. I guess that's what I like most about Star Quest / Space Crusade: even if it's the Space Marines Players vs. the Chaos Player, everyone can advance and gain something after a mission. No one really loses, so to speak. I am a kind and generous Chaos Player though, I guess; I don't try my best to kill off admirals. We played the first Mission Dreadnought mission and I ended up sinking 7 Dreadnoughts on the Space Marine players and since one of the Dreadnoughts (4 weapons) only saw the Imperial Fist Admiral in sight, he opened full fire on him - and I nearly killed him :P. That player then proceeded very carefully with his Admiral for the rest of the mission, but I decided not to stick it to him in an attempt to really kill him off as that would really be a big setback for him for the remaining missions. I even skipped passed a Genestealer chance card at the end, when they only had 3 Admirals and 2 Space Marines left, since in that mission I'd have to place 3 Genestealers at the same time. While fully legitimate to kill them all, if would also kill the fun for the group as a whole.
What would kill the fun more than anything else for me would be playing against an alien player who wasn't doing everything they could to win, it makes the whole thing a total waste of time.

I think if I were to play the board game now as the alien player I'd go through the mission maps and mark all the squares that have blips, doing it on the fly isn't really fair on the marine players. That way there would be times where blips are instantly revealed before they actually move onto that board section.

Maurice76 wrote:Lol, that does sound like a fun mission :P. But it's not in the board game; so it has to be in the computer game then, since I never played that one.
It's the second mission in the computer game.
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