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In the films and series we have repeated situations where characters shoot at vehicles (like the stormtroopers at the falcon, Leia at slave one, rebels at AT-ST, ...). They do this not only with just heavy weapons but also with blasters.

Now my question here is easy: In the rules do they even have ANY chance of accomplishing anything (aside from the occasional black dice to the pilot)?

From what I can see normal weapons could theoretically get up to 15 or max. 20 damage....which would be lower than the soak of even a TIE fighter or the falcon. And for a critical you need to do damage at least.

Or am I overlooking something?

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Well, think about it like this, they are running away, and you wish someone on your troop had bought heavy weapons, but they didnt, at least we can try to score a huge success on our attacks and maybe hit some critical component on their ship, right?

Yes, the rules assume that the scale between personal and vehicle is 1:10, each 1 point of hull is about 10 wounds on personal scale, and 1 point of armor on a vehicle is about 10 points on personal scale. That is an optional rule that your table can ignore if you want to. But assuming the falcon is a regular corellian cruiser (which it isn't), they would have to hit it for about 31 points of damage to be able to even scratch it.

This conversion works fine if you are shooting at speeders or other vehicles with armor 1 or 2, otherwise it becomes almost impossible to damage the vehicle using simple blasters.

Playing on a smugglers game, we had our armor 3 customized yt1000 be damaged for 29 points of damage from a heavy repeating blaster (base 15 damage) operated by a rival trooper. Had he another point of armor piercing or two and extra successes he could have scratched it. But otherwise, you need weapons with the breach quality, like missiles and rockets.

Keep in mind that even if he did a single point of damage, it would be on personal scale, not vehicle, and would represent 1/10 of a hull threshold damage (or hull trauma), but already enough to trigger a critical component failure on a critical hit.

The strongest personal scale weapon i know of is the Verpine Heavy Shatter Rifle, that has 15 base damage and pierce 6, with accurate 2 on top of it, with enough hard points to add an augmented spin barrel. A character with 6 agility and 6 gunnery can easily hit for 12+ successes regularly using it. Having critical 2, it means it only needs 2 advantages to cause a critical hit, which can be reduced to a single advantage with the superior quality.

The Missile Tube has the breach 1 quality (ignoring 1 point of armor) and hits for at least 20 damage (plus successes). While the Flechette Launcher has breach 2 (ignoring 2 points of vehicle armor) and deals 10 damage. But these are explosives and designed to be used against structures or vehicles.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ a normal yt1300 has armour 3 ;). So there is nothing personalweapon wise that could damage (according to just rules) a starship or other vehicle with 3+ armor (2+ even) at least in terms of normal non anti vehicle weapons? \$\endgroup\$
    – Thomas E.
    Jul 25, 2016 at 11:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thats not entirely true, i will explain on the main post. \$\endgroup\$
    – ShadowKras
    Jul 26, 2016 at 11:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ I would also add that if the player rolls a triumph and they hit that you could have them damage a delicate system on the ship. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 14, 2016 at 20:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ @JoshuaAslanSmith Raw: No. But a lot of people rule it that way for the rule of fun. That's better covered on Runeslinger's answer. \$\endgroup\$
    – ShadowKras
    Sep 15, 2016 at 11:38
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Personal Scale Attacks have a chance that improves with Skill

In the rules, the ratio for damage for Personal scale vs Personal scale is 1 potential wound for every success rolled. This shifts to 1 potential Hull Trauma for every 10 successes rolled in Personal vs Planetary scale (vehicles).

With straight damage (and any relevant Ammunition, Talents, and Weapon Qualities), in Personal Scale vs Planetary scale, there is a possibility to overcome Armor and inflict an amount of Hull Trauma. Sufficient Advantages or a Triumph can activate a Critical roll if Hull Trauma is inflicted. If the Hull Trauma Threshold is or has already been exceeded, this also leads to a Critical.

It is via Criticals that the most significant effects can be gained versus a target at Planetary scale with personal weapons. Heavy Weapons by design have access to Item Qualities which significantly increase their damage potential vesus vehicles and starfighters. These include Autofire, Breach, Blast, Burn, and so on.

For an attack such as Leia's against Slave 1 with her blaster pistol, if she is not just firing in outrage, but actually seeking an effect, it will more likely be through scoring a small amount of damage, activating a critical, and ramping up the level of that critical. The Critical roll can be made more damaging by +10 for every spend of the weapon's Critical Rating in Advantages, or the use of multiple Triumphs. Weapon Qualities such as Breach will also factor into this as might specific Talents. A popular mod for weapons is to reduce the crit rating so that small numbers of advantages can be use to activate and improve the critical.

How can this be done with personal weapons like blasters?

High ranks in relevant characteristics and skills are necessary in order to generate significant double Success and Advantage results, and/or opportunities for Triumphs. The player will want access to as many Proficiency Dice as possible to improve access to Triumphs and increase the possibility of double success or success+advantage icons.

Ranks in, and synergy between, Talents like True Aim, Point Blank, and Targeted Blow, and by gaining the assistance from an allied character with Talents like Coordinated Assault work to boost the base level of damage. Talents, and their interactions are extremely important in determining the effectiveness of a group, and the effectiveness of its single members with the group's support.

Mods and the Black Market

Finally, modding the weapon to up base damage and decrease its critical activation rating drastically affects capabilities of Personal scale weapons. The Customization and Modifications section of Chapter 5: Gear and Equipment can often be overlooked. With

Illicit weapons, such as Disruptors, also improve the chance to damage targets at this scale due to their inherent lethality, represented by a high base damage from which to build on.

Heavy Weapons

If firing on Planetary Scale targets will be a constant in the scenario or campaign, access to heavy weapons, personnel-fired missiles and grenades, and specialized ammunition will be a must.

Breach 1 is fairly common in this class of weapon and each level of that Quality significantly boosts damage potential versus vehicular armor. Grenades and missiles tend to have lower Breach values than something like a mine, but do the job that they were designed to do.

Boost Dice and Upgrades and Downgrades Matter

There is no cap on Boost Dice which can be passed between a character finishing a Turn, and the next Active character. As characters gain experience, the number of Boost dice which can be passed on can significantly affect the upper end of effectiveness.

Upgrades have less of an effect than a mass of Boost Dice, but every opportunity to roll a Triumph opens the possibility of affecting the Narrative directly, allowing for a damaging effect where one might not normally be possible or important enough. Likewise, the ability to decrease the Difficulty, and/or reduce the likelihood of a Despair directly impacts damage potential.

Use the Spending Advantage/Triumph in Vehicle Combat Charts as a Guide

A roll with Planetary scale weapons that includes one or two Triumphs can be used to damage, disable, or destroy a component of a Vehicle or Ship (in context with the scene, with or without damage, and with the approval of the GM).

It is in the nature of the game to use these roll outcomes to influence the scene as befits the scene. This is a vague option to be sure, but a satisfying description, an appropriate weapon, proper context, and a sufficient roll result that lends itself to this interpretation could lead to a narrative condition being applied by a Personal Scale attack to a Planetary Scale target in some scenes. This does not necessarily require having rolled damage exceed Armor, but typically does. The GM has discretion in this area to enable the use of Triumph(s) to 'turn the tide of battle' for example, and to affect gear and equipment to varying degrees.

It should be noted, that the results in the Chapter 7: Starships and Vehicles charts 'Spending Advantages, Triumphs, Threats and Despair in Combat' (Table 7-6 and 7-7 in all three Core Books) are for Planetary Scale attacks vs Planetary Scale Targets, and those in the comparable tables for Personal Scale (6-2 and 6-3) do not include effects which consider Planetary Scale.

As a result, the GM will need to consider the tone of the campaign and the conditions of the scene carefully when determining the chance that Triumphs or Advantages can be spent this way.

An important consideration over time will be the increasing ability of characters to generate Triumphs and Advantages. What is an amazing and lifesaving outcome as beginner characters runs the risk of becoming commonplace if too liberal an interpretation of Triumphs is established. Too strict, and some of the wonder of Star Wars may be lost.

On this point the group's preferences for play will need to be the primary consideration. The needs of a one-shot game, a limited-run game, or an open-ended campaign will require different handling and interpretations.

Considering Campaign Play

A simple answer for campaign play is to allow the use of Personal Scale weapons to affect Planetary scale targets with a larger requirement of Triumphs or Advantages. Similarly, the effect or the duration of the effect earned from the use of a Triumph might be limited in some additional fashion or decreased. There is a lot of freedom, and genre-appropriate interpretation is not only encouraged in the rules it is mandated.

The rules suggest that Personal scale weapons will have little to no effect in normal use versus Planetary scale targets such as Speeders and Starfighters once they exceed an Armor value of 3. This makes sense. At the same time, characters in the Star Wars universe have been known to fire such weapons at such targets anyway. Perhaps they are foolish, perhaps they are overly optimistic or emotional. Perhaps, however, they know that there is a chance, no matter how slim, and are willing to take it.

Up to and including an Armor value of 3 (and sometimes beyond that), with skill and/or with the right conditions, the right Talents, and the right roll, and the help of your friends, much is possible in the Galaxy far, far away~

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  • \$\begingroup\$ There is something that can beat 30 armour (in essence) with a blaster rifle? \$\endgroup\$
    – Thomas E.
    Jul 25, 2016 at 15:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thomas E. Within certain combinations or situations, yes. High ranks in relevant characteristics and skills are necessary in order to generate significant double results, and/or opportunities for Triumphs. Ranks in and synergy between Talents like True Aim, Point Blank, and Targeted Blow, and by gaining the assistance from a character with Talents like Coordinated Assault works to boost the base level of damage. Finally, modding the weapon to up base damage and decrease crit rating drastically affects capabilities. Few characters can do it or do it often. As use of Triumphs may vary. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 25, 2016 at 22:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ Our bounty hunter droid can hit people for 20-24 damage regularly (spending destiny tokens to add agility to damage), with 3 points of armor piercing. \$\endgroup\$
    – ShadowKras
    Jul 26, 2016 at 11:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ShadowKras still though notihing in the size of 30+ (damage+penetration)? \$\endgroup\$
    – Thomas E.
    Jul 26, 2016 at 12:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ThomasE. I have updated the answer. In our campaign, our Smuggler, with time in Sharpshooter can do upwards of 20 damage without much effort using a modified heavy blaster pistol, and regularly hits for 27-30. This is without assistance or additional Boost Dice, Upgrades/Downgrades. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 26, 2016 at 14:54
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Aside from the weapons with Breach Quality, there is a Signature Ability, named "The Bigger they are..." that allow attacks (yours and other allies) for 3 rounds ignoring Armor or Soak of one target. You may see this in Forge in Battle (for the Age of Rebellion line) page 38.

This Signature Ability might be used with non-vehicle/starship weapons. And yes, this includes blaster pistols

The base silhouette of the target (2), may be increased by expending XP in the associated upgrades, up to silhouette 4.

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