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Automatic Weapons Question

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To my knowledge, Star Wars D6 never officially deals with automatic weapon fire. There are a few attempts in some of the peripheral products (I believe Galladinium's Tech book had some rules for some of their weapons). I have long been struggling with how to handle this in my own games. Up until a few weeks ago, I thought that I had finally figured it out. But then I got to thinking more about it and grew dis-satisfied with what I had come up with as being too complex for the fast flow of Star Wars D6. This is the system I had been using up until now:


Controlled Burst Fire: This represents firing a burst of 5 rounds (bullets or blaster bolts) at a single target. Under my system, this gives you a +1D to hit. You roll your Blaster (Marksmanship) skill, add 1D, then compare the result as normal to the target's dodge (+cover or other modifiers).


If the to-hit roll < defense roll, the burst misses

If the to-hit roll >= defense roll, the target is hit with one round

If the to-hit roll >= defense roll +5, the target is hit with two rounds

If the to-hit roll >= defense roll +10, the target is hit with three rounds

etc., up to a maximum of all five rounds hitting the target.


You would then roll damage individually for each round that hit.


In theory, it seems sound enough, but in practice, it makes for a whole lot of rolling, which is why I am slowly growing disenchanted with it.


What I have been considering lately is a modification of it that would go like this:

A character firing a burst from a weapon (5-rounds standard) would be allowed to choose whether or not it gives a +1D to hit or +1D to damage. i.e., Were you 'spraying and praying', trying to put a spread of bullets out there in the hopes of hitting with at least one; or were you firing a concentrated burst, trying to hit the target with as many rounds as possible. In general, these are the two reasons people utilize automatic weapons- increasing chances of hitting and/or number of rounds you hit with.


To me, this is starting to make more sense in the abstract damage system already in place for Star Wars D6. If you roll well on the damage roll, it means you hit with more rounds. If you roll crappy, it means you hit with less. It is also more streamlined and means only one damage roll.


I'm starting to lean more towards this second system than the first- but I wonder now if the Damage bonus of +1D is enough of an advantage for players to ever want to use it in place of the +1D to-hit. Or 'realistically' should it be more like a +2D damage bonus for firing a 'concentrated' burst.


The +1D to-hit works for me, as relatively 'realistic'- mostly because automatic weapons (even blasters) tend to jolt off target due to recoil. So there is a balance- yes, you're putting out more bullets, but EACH ONE is not as accurate as a single shot. Thus, the bonus to hit is kept in check by the mechanics of firing a burst itself.


So what do you guys think? Which (if either) of these makes more sense to you? And keep in mind I'm only talking about 'controlled bursts' here, not extended bursts/suppressive fire from machineguns/repeating blasters and the like.

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Ill admit I dislike the first due to excess number of damage rolls, I would suggest replacing with +1d instead of +1 damage roll. The second one is less detailed, but is quick and simple and thus fitting for Star Wars


My own rules for comparison sake are:


Autofire Rules (which really need better names). For all techniques,

the make by X over numbers can be decreased by whatever nifty widgets

reduce recoil in the setting of choice


Standard Autofire Attack - A normal attack to increase damage, uses 1 action

Declare how much ammo will use before rolling. If make attack by 0-4,

nothing special occurs, normal damage.

If make attack by 5 over, and fired at least 3 rounds, +1d damage

By 10 over, and at least 6, +2d

By 15 over, and at least 9, +3d and so on. This assumes a full auto

capable weapon


For semiautomatic and double-action and whatnot, see above but replace

5, 10, 15 and so on by 10, 20, 30 and so on. Note, there are no

penalties (beyond the ammo consumption).


Spray Attack - a normal attack to boost accuracy

Declare how much ammo you intend to use, then get +1d for every 3

rounds sent downrange, 1 action. Requires an automatic weapon


Sweep Attack - an attack to sweep across a group of enemies in

sequence, uses 1 action

Declare how many enemies attacking, all enemies must be in a row more

or less, though vacant hexes are acceptable. Ammo cost is 3 rounds

per enemy and vacant hex between enemies

Attacks are rolled against each target, damage is base damage. First

target needs 5 over to hit, 2nd target needs 10 over, 3rd target needs

15 over and so on. Requires an automatic weapon


Area Saturation Attack - This attack requires 1 action and an

automatic weapon, and comes in three levels

Light - requires 3 rounds per hex, mininum of 5 hexes, which must be

contiguous. A single attack roll is made, any target is hit if attack

roll is 10 over, and damage is base damage -1d (since this is firing

into the general area, less likely to hit individual targets and

damage is less as may not be square hits or flying debris)

Moderate - requires 6 rounds per hex, mininum of 5 hexes, which must

be contiguous. A single attack roll is made, requiring 5 over, and

damage is base damage

Heavy - requires 9 rounds per hex, mininum of 5 hexes, which must be

contiguous. A single attack roll is made, requiring 0 over, and

damage is base damage. Also, if attack roll is 10 over, damage is

base +1d

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Borrowing from the rules for combined actions, if four combine that's a +2D bonus so maybe the auto-fire provides a +2D bonus that they can apply as they want, either all on attack or damage or split it for +1D each?

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I've done it both ways.


A couple of methods I used (which may give you some ideas or may not):


Automatic weapons need a Rate of Fire. So for blasters you'd need to make one up for things like the Light Repeating Blaster and such since they just boosted the damage to account for the repeating ability.

Every 3 points above the difficulty/target's dodge results in +1D in damage up to an amount equal to weapon's ROF. So if ROF was 3, maximum bonus would be +3D.


Another method:

Every 3 points above difficulty/target's dodge results in additional hit and a bonus to damage. Bonus is a number of pips equal to the dice for damage of the weapon. So if weapon did 3D damage, bonus to damage would be +3. Maximum number of hits allowed equal to ROF.


I had some rules for fire against multiple targets, but they don't have an "easy flow" like what you are looking for so I'll not post those.


Your idea of doing either bonus to hit or bonus to damage is akin to the method that was used in the 3 D6 Core books. Have you looked at those?

They have "Full Auto" listed as -2D to the difficulty to hit and +2D to the damage when it hits a target (accounting for the quantity of bullets)

They have "Sweep" listed as -2D to the difficulty to hit but a -3D to the damage because you're spreading it over a wider area just hoping to put a round somewhere in the vicinity of multiple targets.

Finally they have a "Single Fire as Multi" which allows for non-automatic weapons to fire multiple shots at the SAME target and get a -1D to the difficulty and +1D to the damage for each additional shot fired. It also mentions that it doesn't count as a multiple action to fire a weapon this way. So by the rules in D6 Adventure, you could fire a 9mm Beretta multiple times at the same target using "Single Fire as Multi) get an easier to hit and more damage with no MAPs (multiple action penalties).


So there are some ideas...hopefully something of them fits what you're looking for or gives you some ideas on what you could do.

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According to the 3 Core books (D6 Fantasy, D6 Adventure, D6 Space) there IS a couple of methods to handle what they considered "automatic" fire. They are "Full Auto", "Sweep", and "Single Fire as Multi".


According to Star Wars, there was never a direct ruling to handle automatic fire. They simply raised the damage to reflect firing more shots (similar to how they handled fire-linking weapons, like on the X-Wing).

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