(Renegade Legion) damage template / armour penetration combat systems
- Barry HarveyUnited Kingdom
This is a GeekList for games that use the Renegade Legion damage template system or similar.Recommend
Playing early sf combat games, such as Car Wars and Battletech, I sometimes felt fustrated when armour was shown as being some form of hit points with every bit of armour having to be shot off before any internal damage could be done. Was armour in thin layers that evaporated when hit? Was each piece magnetic and attracted hits until it was completely destroyed?
FASA's Renegade Legion came along and offered a different interpretation. (I don't know if this was the first implementation of this sort of system but it was my first encounter with the basic idea).
Armour was represented by a block of boxes 10 wide by X thick. One face represented the outside, the other led into the internal workings of the vehicle in question. A vehicle would have a separate armour block for each side, and an extra one if a turret was included.
When hit with a weapon, instead of applying an amount of damage, the weapon produced a template. The column of the armour block was selected at random and the template set at the first undamaged box in that column, with every box under the template marked as destroyed. This led to a difference between armour-piercing shots, which would produce long, thin templates, and high explosive shots, which would be wider, more spread out but flatter templates. This was combined with the idea called 'widowing', which meant that armour boxes that were no longer connected to other armour boxes would fall out, i.e., the armour had been undercut.
The result was that sometimes, if multiple shots hit the same column, a vehicle would take internal damage with very little armour damage. On other occasions you would find yourself having to destroy virtually every piece of armour on the side of a vehicle to get anywhere. All this produced a visually appealing representation of damaged armour.
Note that this list is about the use of templates in the penetration of armour; there are many other games that use some form of template purely for damage allocation.
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