An interesting discussion started last week as a result of the GU6 release that gave me some fresh ideas on how to approach further changes.
The first is regarding indirect fire. I've always found it odd that mortars that can actually shoot almost straight up vertically had a minimum range requirement but artillery pieces that have a much lower max angle of elevation didn't. The recent changes in minimum range got me thinking about that and I've decided to extend the minmum range restriction to all indirect firing weapons. This means that most rocket pods, field guns, and other IF capable weapons will now no longer be able to fire INDIRECTLY within half their short range (remember that I've change the terms for range and "optimal" is now short). The weapons will still however be able to fire directly within that range though. Weapons with the actual MR trait will still not be able to fire directly and have no firing option within half short range (unchanged from Blitz! and GU).
Indirect Fire: Add "Weapons choosing to use the indirect fire option may not fire at targets within half their short range. The may still fire at targets at under half short range if the weapon does not have the MR trait and therefore can use the direct fire rules."
The other interesting part of the discussion was regarding how to make the linked fire rules make a bit more sense conceptually. Right now, firing two MRP9s at full ROF plays completely differently than firing a MRP18 at full ROF despite the RPG tech explaination (and rules) of them having the exact same number of rockets firing. In addition, firing linked weapons and rolling well is like winning the lottery as a single 6 die roll means that the rocket will do alot of damage, be either on target or deviate only a little, AND not get you an Out of Ammo result on either pod. Feral on the DP9 forums came up with the good idea of using all the dice rolls for the results similar to how combined models work. I really like this idea and will expand on it with the rules below.
Linked Weapons: Weapons that have this option may be fired together as part of the same action using one of the two options below.
-For each linked weapon fired, assign one of your rolled attack dice results to it; this result counts as the result for the attack as well as for determining out of ammo results for that weapon. If the weapons were fired indirectly, use the highest dice roll for determining scatter for all linked weapons fired. The defender rolls his defense dice once and applies it to each individual weapon attack roll. Any extra attack dice results are discarded and any weapons having no available attack dice to be assigned are considered to have rolled one lower than the lowest attack die result for all purposes including both OOA and damage.
-Designate one weapon in the link as the primary weapon. For each additional identical linked weapon fired, you may add half the ROF (round off) to the ROF of the primary weapon. You may then use the modified ROF for the purposes off the attack roll that the target or targets will defend against once only for the linked attack. Add +1 per linked weapon after the primary to the target number for OOA checks and use the highest die rolled for OOA checks for all the linked weapons fired.
For example, a grizzly with att2 rolls a 5 and a 3 for his linked MRP attack with full ROF using the first option above. The defender must then roll once and determine the damage versus the 5 and 3 individually using the normal modifiers and the 3 result causes an OOA result for that one MRP.
If the same grizzly instead had two targets 5 inches apart that it wished to attack, it could use the second option to make a singe combined ROF attack versus both models (not normally possible with the standard MRP). Using the same dice results as above, scatter would be deternined by and the target would roll versus the single result of 5 for the linked attack. The 5 would also be used for determining OOA for both pods which in this case would mean that they're both out of ammo (due to the +1 modifier for the check for two linked weapons). The grizzly fired its full payload on the gamble of damaging both models.
While the above is not perfect and does still have a bit of a lottery win feel for linked weapons (a single 6 using the second option is accurate, damaging, and has no OOA result), I think it portrays the feel of firing linked weapons on the scifi battlefield a bit more accurately as well as more in line with firing those same weapons separately using two actions. I'll be testing the above out hopefully in the next game (and will likely use that as the primary flash! variable instead of the larger game size I was planning).