# Autofire rolling multiple times

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So, something bothers me with Autofire : using autofire against a single target very much does not increase hit chances, despite the increased volume of fire...

So I was wondering, what would break if, let's say... Autofire on a single target gave you a flat -2 OCV for the shots included in the attack but you rolled once for each shot? Instead of the "for each 2 above the enemy's DCV you hit with one more shot", obviously...

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I think that would actually lower your number of hits.

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Let's look at a three shot autofire.  With a 11 or less chance to hit.

In the current system you have a 62.5% chance to hit once, 37.5% of hitting twice and 16.2% chance to hit three times.

With yours, you have a 37.5% chance to hit with each of your shots.  That means, if my dodgy high school probability works right you have a 43.5% chance to hit once with your three shots, a 27% chance to hit twice and a 5% chance to hit three times.

I prefer the current system! 🙂

Doc

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The real problem is that the Autofire advantage is not a good simulation of machine gun fire.  Machine guns are intended to make it more likely to hit a target by putting more bullets in the air (or to hit multiple targets rapidly), not to hit a single target more than once.  Usually, IRL, hitting a target with one bullet is enough.

A better simulation of RL autofire weapons is (IMO) AOE Accurate, or even just bonuses to OCV.  If all you want is to be more likely to hit your target once, Autofire is not the way to go.

However, I seem to remember an option somewhere of using Autofire to increase hit probability.  Something like each additional shot can be used to gain +1 OCV, instead of a potential extra hit.  So with that 3-shot Autofire, you could use one or two shots to increase OCV, declared when making the attack, before the roll, so with an 11- to hit, for example, you could three shots to get:

a) One hit on 11-, two hits on 9-, three hits on 7-;

b) One hit on 12-, two hits on 10-, and no chance of three hits; or

c) One hit on 13-, and no chance of more than one hit.

Am I remembering that correctly?  Or did I make that up?  IDHMBIFOM.

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So what about with no malus?

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My early memory of autofire was gaining +4 to hit once or hot multiple targets with increasing penalties to hit.

Can't remember when that changed.

Doc

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24 minutes ago, Doc Democracy said:

My early memory of autofire was gaining +4 to hit once or hot multiple targets with increasing penalties to hit.

Can't remember when that changed.

Doc

If I remember correctly from my Danger International days it was a flat +4 OCV against single targets for a 10 round autofire.

Once you started trying to hit multiple targets or cover an area the penalties accrued rapidly though the specifics are lost to me.

You had to take cover or you were going to get hit when the bullets were spraying.  It made autofire weapons properly terrifying and you stuck to cover or died almost immediately.

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6 hours ago, Doc Democracy said:

My early memory of autofire was gaining +4 to hit once or hot multiple targets with increasing penalties to hit.

Can't remember when that changed.

Doc

I’m thinking it changed in fourth edition.

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Phil I like your idea of sacrificing one hit to gain +1 OCV. Or perhaps it should be +2?

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10 hours ago, Ninja-Bear said:

Phil I like your idea of sacrificing one hit to gain +1 OCV. Or perhaps it should be +2?

+14 OCV to hit 3x out of 10 shot autofire?  Or would it be per hit?

Like +2 OCV on 3 shots (sacrificing 2x3=6 shots) with the last shot being a flat roll?

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I was thinking on a x3 Autofire, +2 to hit (sacrifice two hits) for a +2 for the last hit. I saw somewhere that they did come up with a 5 shot autofire back in the day and it only granted a +2 OCV.

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38 minutes ago, Ninja-Bear said:

I was thinking on a x3 Autofire, +2 to hit (sacrifice two hits) for a +2 for the last hit. I saw somewhere that they did come up with a 5 shot autofire back in the day and it only granted a +2 OCV.

It's an interesting line of thought.  Even the original +4 OCV for 10 shots is sacrificing many shots since you can't realistically expect to make the attack roll by 18 or more on a 3d6 unless you have a great OCV and the opponent is DCV 0.

So basically you're wasting several shots (typically 5-7 of them) to have an average chance of getting 3+ shots into your opponent.

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40 minutes ago, ScottishFox said:

So basically you're wasting several shots (typically 5-7 of them) to have an average chance of getting 3+ shots into your opponent.

To be clearer you are spending END or charges to have an average chance of getting 3+ shot into your opponent, it does not waste actions (unless of course you have no charges or END left!!)  🙂

Doc

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1 hour ago, Doc Democracy said:

To be clearer you are spending END or charges to have an average chance of getting 3+ shot into your opponent, it does not waste actions (unless of course you have no charges or END left!!)  🙂

Doc

Sure, you're not wasting actions, in fact you're getting more hits in quickly at the cost of a LOT of end/charges.

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14 hours ago, Ninja-Bear said:

Phil I like your idea of sacrificing one hit to gain +1 OCV. Or perhaps it should be +2?

That seems a little too much.  +2 for a "sacrificed" shot means that two hits is as likely as one hit without sacrificing the shot.

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I'm pretty sure 1e was +4 OCV and you hit again for every 2 you succeeded by, with 10 shots fired.

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On January 28, 2020 at 4:22 PM, Doc Democracy said:

My early memory of autofire was gaining +4 to hit once or hot multiple targets with increasing penalties to hit.

Can't remember when that changed.

Doc

On January 28, 2020 at 4:49 PM, ScottishFox said:

If I remember correctly from my Danger International days it was a flat +4 OCV against single targets for a 10 round autofire.

Once you started trying to hit multiple targets or cover an area the penalties accrued rapidly though the specifics are lost to me.

You had to take cover or you were going to get hit when the bullets were spraying.  It made autofire weapons properly terrifying and you stuck to cover or died almost immediately.

1 hour ago, Hugh Neilson said:

I'm pretty sure 1e was +4 OCV and you hit again for every 2 you succeeded by, with 10 shots fired.

All of these comments kept ticking something in my brain, but it wouldn't quite come out, so I sat down to do a little reading...

1e:  Finding auto fire in Champions (1e) takes forever if you haven't played the early editions.  It's buried, after the combat section, and listed as an advantage for weapons, and the text specifically suggested that this advantage wasn't for characters.  Anyway, how did it work?

weapon may Autofire: Autofire allows a weapon to hit a target more than once in a single round. Autofire weapons give +4 OCV. The range modifier of an autofiring weapon is halved (xl/2), rounding up. If the character makes a normal Attack Roll, he hits the target once. The character hits the target again for every 2 points he makes his Attack Roll by.
Example: After all modifiers, a villain needs a 9 or less to hit our hero. He gets lucky and rolls a 6. He hits the hero twice, once for rolling 9 or less, and again for rolling (9-2=7) 7 or less. The villain then rolls damage for the two attacks. Each attack is applied to the hero's defenses separately. Each Autofire shot takes 10 uses or normal shots from a weapon.
Multiple = +1/4.

it goes on to discuss Selective Autofire, but that did little except let me know where I got the inspiration to tack an additional +1/4 onto any Advantage to make it "selective" (you can turn it on or off).

So off to 2e Champions, which also has Autofire buried in the combat section, because this edition was still thinking "it's a gun thing."  It works essentially the same, except for this little addition:

A character may also choose to fire Autofire at multiple targets. When doing this, the character doesn't get the +4 OCV, but takes a -1 OCV per target hex, and still has xl Range Modifier. So if the character fires at targets in 5 continuous hexes, he takes a -5 OCV on each target. \./hen firing at multiple targets, each target can only take one hit.

To be clear, it really isn't, as it never specifies if that -1 per additional target penalty starts from the +4 for the first target, or if you skip the plus 4 and just start right in with the penalties.  I've always played it that you start with the +4, then subtract penalties.  Why?  Because as Phil noted, machine guns aren't really meant to kill ten people per second; they are meant to increase your ability to hit one guy.  The rest is realizing that you can just hold down the trigger and wiggle until your target can't.

It also added the option to have a 5-shot autofire, which puts you at a +2 instead of a +4.

Now these old versions mention taking the penalty per _hex_, and not per target.  My assumption is this is part of that hold the trigger and wiggle philosophy: you have to track linear hexes, expending at least one shot into empty hexes as you spray for goons.  2e expressly states that you take the total penalty against all hexes you are aiming at, which 1e left blank.

Now 2e HERO System (though it wasn't called that yet) had two more books,  including a second game:  Espionage

So I took a look at that, too.

For the first time in print, we get two very specific rulings:

A character may spray Autofire at several targets. He does not get the +4 OCV; rather, for each hex fired into, he takes a -1 OCV. Each target can only get hit once. The attacker declares his targets and counts the number of continuous target hexes. If he fired at two characters 4 hexes apart, he wou1d take a -5 on his OCV for firing at each target (-1 for the hex of the first target and -4 for the other hexes).

So we can see that I was "wrong" letting the +4 come into play (don't expect me to change that), but I was right that empty hexes along the way added to your range penalty.

This book renames the 5-shot auto fire as "burst fire."

Champions II was a 2e publication as well,but, for the record, it doesn't mention Auto Fire at all.

So 3e.....

For the first time, Autofire is just a Power Advantage; no special preference for guns is noted.  In fact, it even mentions Energy Blasts as one of the things Autofire works well with.:

Autofire applied to Ego Attack, Power Drain, Power Transfer, or any No Normal Defense attack costs + 1 for Autofire.+ H-4 for Selective Fire. Powers with no
Range Modifier (like Ego Attack, or Killing Attack (hand-to-hand)) get no +4 OCV bonus for Autofire (see Autofire). For Entangles, just add the BODY together from all attacks that hit. For Mental Illusions or Mind Control, just take the largest roll out of all that hit. Telekinesis doesn't work with Autofire.

And the rules get a bit more complicated:

Reducing the END co.st of Autofire is somewhat more complicated than usual. Calculate the active cost of the attack with Autofire or Selective Fire; one- fourth of that amount will enable you to reduce the END cost in half.

All that stuff above with per-power changes in pricing.

We do see our first _change_ though (as opposed to a clarification):  the option to shoot at more than one target seems to be gone!  There's also some pricing changes: Autofire costs less, but Selective costs more.....

Now the option to use Auto Fire against multiple targets is  a _huge_ change, so let's be certain.  If we skip down toward the end of Combat, we can see the remainder of Autofire buried deeply within.  You can still target multiple opponents, and the rules seem unchanged on how to do that.

Okay, I'm going to bed.  If I get inspired, I may take up more of this tomorrow.

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Stuck in the rain on the equipment; took a minute to pull up Justice Inc and this was auto fire then:

Autofire Some of the guns on the gun chart are capable of Autofire. Autofire weapons shoot a stream of bullets with one pull of the trigger. Autofire weapons can hit one target several times, or several targets with one attack. Just to simplify matters for game terms, each autofire attack uses up 10 rounds from the magazine of the gun. If a character autofires at one target, he gets +4 to his OCV but has the Range Modifier of the weapon halved, rounding up. For every 2 pts. the character makes his Attack Roll by, he hits the target one time. A single target can never be hit more than 10 times, since only 10 bullets are fired from the gun in any phase.

So thus far, we haven't seen any real change.

If the rain keeps up, I may be able to check another Fantasy HERO (the stand-alone 3e-derived one) , if the battery holds out.

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FH 1e standalone didn't have Autofire, though The Spell Book introduced it and a few other Champions powers and modifiers as spells.

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1 hour ago, Duke Bushido said:

If a character autofires at one target, he gets +4 to his OCV but has the Range Modifier of the weapon halved, rounding up.

Remember that Range Modifiers worked differently back then.  A Range Modifier being halved was a BAD thing.  RMod was a specific distance in hexes, and every multiple of that distance the target was away, was a -1 to the to-hit.  So if a weapon had a Range Modifier of 5", a target 6-10 hexes away was -1.  A target 11-15 hexes away was -2.  A target 16-20 hexes away was -3.  etc.

2 hours ago, Duke Bushido said:

For every 2 pts. the character makes his Attack Roll by, he hits the target one time. A single target can never be hit more than 10 times, since only 10 bullets are fired from the gun in any phase.

It's pretty much impossible to hit a target 10 times anyway.  Even if you hit on 18-, and you roll a 3, that's only 8 hits: 18, 16, 14, 12, 10, 8, 6, 4.

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31 minutes ago, PhilFleischmann said:

Remember that Range Modifiers worked differently back then.  A Range Modifier being halved was a BAD thing.  RMod was a specific distance in hexes, and every multiple of that distance the target was away, was a -1 to the to-hit.  So if a weapon had a Range Modifier of 5", a target 6-10 hexes away was -1.  A target 11-15 hexes away was -2.  A target 16-20 hexes away was -3.  etc.

It wasn't that bad... your base -1/3" halved but rounded in your favor, to -1/2".  Usually you'd also Brace and/or Set, each of which gave you a doubling, one of which canceled out the halving.

"Half" Range Modifier in second-gen translates to -2 to RMod, and the default Autofire being 5 shots, the +2 OCV you used to get for that cancels out the -2.  It was probably decided from there that Autofire didn't need an OCV bonus after all; if you wanted one you'd buy it.

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1 hour ago, Chris Goodwin said:

Just finished checking FH and, as expected, there was no mention of autofire: the 2-shot arrow ability was purely skill-based, though it used similar terminology to auto fire.

Anyway, no autofire in FH.

1 hour ago, Chris Goodwin said:

Autofire didn't need an OCV bonus after all; if you wanted one you'd buy it.

Yep.  But I think, what with Skill Levels, that's pretty much always been and will have been true.

And remember that the halving was significant, since you would add your skill levels in before the halving.

At least, that's how we always read it (and still do)

More books to go.

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2 hours ago, PhilFleischmann said:

Remember that Range Modifiers worked differently back then.  A Range Modifier being halved was a BAD thing.  RMod was a specific distance in hexes, and every multiple of that distance the target was away, was a -1 to the to-hit.  So if a weapon had a Range Modifier of 5", a target 6-10 hexes away was -1.  A target 11-15 hexes away was -2.  A target 16-20 hexes away was -3.  etc.

It's easy to remember; recall that I never left 2e.  This weekend's game will be in 2e.  It's why I have all the old books to look through:  I'm still using them.

2 hours ago, PhilFleischmann said:

It's pretty much impossible to hit a target 10 times anyway.  Even if you hit on 18-, and you roll a 3, that's only 8 hits: 18, 16, 14, 12, 10, 8, 6, 4.

Absolutely right.  But if you have the skill levels to hit on a 24 or less and roll a 3....

Youre really good with a machine gun.

Anyway, break's over.  Back to work.

More books when I get home

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The rain picked up again, and I'm nowhere near done.  Looks like it's just me and  King Raoh until I can get finished.

Took a moment to look through Danger International.  Autofire can be found under "combat modifiers."

The rules are still unchanged, _depending on how you feel about the two new inclusions_: this is the first specification I have run across that says a target cannot be hit more than once by spread autofire, and there is now a statement that sums up into "5-shot autofire cannot be spread across multiple targets."

On the plus side, there is, for the first time, an extremely clear example of using autofire and skill levels /bonuses / range mods against a single target.

I won't bore you with a lengthy excerpt.

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I've always considered Autofire to be an inefficient mode of attack because of the reduction of OCV.  This makes it problematic in using it as a machine gun which in ground combat as an area denial weapon.  Here is a write up for a machine gun using Area Effect, the special effect is so many bullets are being fired anyone in a certain area will be hit multiple time.

RKA  1d6=1, AE  'r (+1), Autofire [2-3 Shots] (+1/4), [32c] (+1/4), OAF: Heavy Machine Gun (-1)

Cost 50 Points

This is a low cost design and meant for NPC soldiers who would be using it on other NPC built on 100 Points or less.

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