AdEva Potential Change Page

Purpose

This page exists to list a series of mechanical changes that could be employed to improve how the game runs. These changes have been drafted in response to perceived problems and feedback regarding how the game runs now.

Presenting Problem

E-Scale combat (at both tactical and strategic scale) is rather wonky. This isn't exactly surprising considering that E-Scale combat was created for AdEva from basically scratch, and then I've proceeded to add more crap to it over the years. Here are some of the elements in play that are worth noting:

The Passive and Active Defense Problem
Defenses in this system can be divided into two categories: Passive Defenses and Active Defenses.
Passive Defenses are elements which are, outside of interference, always functioning. So for example, wounds, TB, AP and Deflection are all Passive Defenses. So to are Cover, Line of Sight obstacles, kiting weapon ranges and to-hit penalties.
Active Defenses are elements which are triggered in some way and are often limited resources. Reactions are the obvious example of Active Defenses. So are Ablatives.
The general rule of thumb is that you use Active Defenses to negate threats that your Passive Defenses can't handle. If there's an attack that does 1 damage after soak and an attack that does 10, and you can only dodge one, you'll prioritise dodging the latter attack, obviously. In P-Scale Dark Heresy, you jump into cover and rely on cover AP to negate damage; you dodge the attacks that don't hit cover, not the ones that do.
The Problem with Active and Passive Defenses in E-Scale
The Problem is that in E-Scale, several Passive Defenses are nullified. Line of Sight is almost never a problem in E-Scale combat; there's no walls or obstacles there to block Line of Sight. Cover is almost functionally pointless for an Evangelion to use- +3 AP for mountains is alright, but taking -20 penalties to WS and Agility isn't worth the trade off for many players. However, if cover AP is too high here, then it interferes with Small Hordes in Strat combat. Furthermore, most maps are not that large, so most units with average E-Scale ranged weapons are likely to be in range most of the time.
Deflection doesn't exactly well either with Strategic Scale. Deflection's purpose in AdEva's core system is to ensure that an Eva almost certainly cannot handle an Angel singlehandedly; that they have to work together with other Evas to make the Angel vulnerable in the first place. However, most units that use Deflection nowadays tend to have AT Fields at levels that are on par with a Season 2 Angel- between 10 to 15 ATS. This is pretty easily negated by even a single Eva and furthermore, it just simply isn't that useful in a world where pulse guns and positron weapons are pretty easily available.
Furthermore, many characters are now quite powerful and sport many upgrades to make their job easier. Some builds specialise in maximising to-hit penalties against them, but most don't. For many characters, chances are they're always going to land a hit unless they're rolling -40 penalties or more and even then, they're likely to have decent odds. And modern Strategic Battlefields tend to have a fair few Independent characters on them.
As a result, Independent Characters have to rely more on their Active Defenses. However, considering how open the maps are and how many units are on them, for awhile the norm has been for one unit to have to weather three to seven attacks a turn, and hoping their Actives can take the edge off.
However, the 'quite powerful' effect applies here as well. Most Independent Characters are sporting +20 or +30 modifiers to Parry and Dodge from skill training, and have naturally high characteristics that mean they're likely to always pass a reaction test unless they're rolling penalties… However, reaction penalties are rarer than attack penalties.
The end result is that once an Independent Character's Active Defenses are spent, then they're almost guaranteed to take some very painful hits because they can't rely on Passive Defense to thin the threats.
What Haplo Did in the Past
The standard pattern of the Metatron Egg Battles was having Evangelions brutalised by massed attacks from hordes, leaving them open to being slammed by Metatron. Of course, Hordes have changed a lot since then- the age of a character taking 20 or so Horde attacks is long gone. However, the similar -shape- of problem still persists.
My response was to begin redesigning the system to increase Active Defenses, specifically reactions, to make up for the weakness in Passive Defenses. For example, Mesh Plating granted an extra dodge. The 'Danger Sense' Evangelion feature grants an Eva an extra dodge as well, as does the Lightweight Chassis. Defensive Stance is much more valid an action with a shield, because it's a half action to generate an extra reaction. Great for Pointmen. Ablatives also become somewhat more ubiquitous as well with the proliferation of things such as the ESV Unit.
Some of these came with tradeoffs. Mesh Plating offers an extra dodge but drops your AP by -3. Lightweight Chassis drops your AP by -2 and makes your unit easier to stun or knock down. Danger Sense causes direct damage to the pilot, meaning that in an intense battle your Eva might be fine, but your pilot will be torn to ribbons. Defensive Stance requires you to take a half action, so it has some level of commitment on your side.
Some of these do not. Ablatives are an option to always take if you can afford them. And the Angelic Silk upgrade, which is now basically standard for many UN units, increases AP by +3 and grants an extra dodge reaction. This is definitely handy in helping them survive and be imposing foes, but I concede it'd be a little tiresome if the entirety of a Superheavy Squad were outfitted in the same way.
The Issue Now
Dark Heresy's combat typically revolves around working around Passive Defenses. If a target's behind cover, you try to destroy or maneuver around it, or you set up Overwatch to catch them when they move. If there's too many penalties to hit them, then you begin trying to stack bonuses on to negate that- can you get higher ground bonuses? What about range bonuses? If you delay until your ally gets out of melee, that'll remove that pesky melee penalty too.
However, E-Scale AdEva tends to revolve strongly around negating Active Defenses instead. The end result is that most strategies for dealing with a single target tend to revolve around one of two options: Grappling them or brute forcing their reactions away. Instead of it becoming a game of tricky working, it becomes a game of superior firepower.
Certain units now, in the right configuration, can be quite tiresome to chew through. ESV-wielding Pointmen with double TB can already be a chore to chew through. With Angelic Silk and Defensive Stance, a single Pointman can have up to four reactions- five if their unit has Danger Sense, and that's not including certain AT Field abilities.
Unfortunately, many units simply require these defenses to last at all. The toughest Dysangelion the UN has, Agatha, is a Pointlady; ultimately, however, she barely managed to avoid being scratched in a single turn thanks to Pointman talents keeping her alive.
Without Passive Defenses whittling down the attack opportunities, most Independent Characters who are under attack can face up to 6-8 Eva-scale attacks a turn. Typically, many of those attacks tend to come from Superheavies or very powerful Hordes rather than other Evangelions.
Some of the tankiest units in the UN side, benefiting from advanced technology, have trouble handling this. Their less tanky units are going to have a great deal more.
UEF Evangelions are much more fragile; pound for pound, they're the most vulnerable Independent Characters available. UEF Evangelions, on the whole, are more fragile than the Superheavy auxiliaries. This makes all of Asuka's 'Deathtrap Titan' jokes completely inappropriate for someone with all of 4 AP, which is a catastrophe.
In all seriousness, however, what this means is UEF Evangelions' survivability will drastically drop in any battle featuring UN Superheavy Squads. And leaving out UN Superheavy Squads isn't much of an option either; the UN finds it very hard to compete on the battlefield without that firepower edge.
The Players are likely to be alright with losing a few Superheavies in the course of a battle. Superheavies are relatively cheap to repair, after all, and their pilots often have enough wounds to ensure a cockpit breach rarely deals critical damage to them.
Evangelions are not cheap and their mechanics mean a plug breach can be completely disastrous.
In Summary
The Mechanics of E-Scale Combat reduce access reliable Passive Defenses such as ranges, hit penalties, cover etc. This has led to Haplo bolstering Active Defenses in an effort to keep Independent Characters more competitive.
This has led to what amounts to a Firepower Competition- fewer Passive Defenses allow for easier concentration of firepower with relatively little effort. With characteristics and abilities as high as they are, attacks are almost always going to hit and there's usually a support mechanic (ODs, Fates, etc) to take care of an aberration here and there.
Furthermore, this isn't always a fun way to resolve combats, and it can become tiresome and boring for people, including the GM.
The UN Evangelions are having trouble handling this as it is, even their tankiest units. And so far it's usually been to the UEF's advantage due to their Superheavy squads.
The Federation Evangelions, which are much more fragile, are going to have a worse time of it by far as we see UN Superheavy Squads appear.

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Potential Fixes

Hereon in is a list of potential fixes that could be applied to alleviate or reduce this effect, to make combat more engaging and more involved. None of these are mandatory and depend on what players think, but players' opinions on all of them are welcome. It may be that players like some of the elements of a fix, but not the rest; either way, words will be spoken.

The Big Fat Fix #1: Evangelion Fix

This fix is designed to alter a lot of the mechanics with how Evas operate.

One of the problems in balancing combat for E-Scale is the disparity between units. A standard bolter might shred a Federation Evangelion but it won't do much against 01 or, say, a Dysangelion of any stripe. Although there's certainly something to be said for having your tanky units shrug off basic arms, it's worth noting that generally, Superheavy and Eva defenses in the long run tend to move closer to the 01/Dysangelion model. The Big Fat Indie Fix is designed to close the gap and begin making your standard Eva less weak.

The Big Fat Eva Fix Overview
Increasing Federation Eva Reliability
The Basic Characteristics of Eva Generation would be changed.
Evangelions would start with 7 AP to the body and 5 to the rest. In the current generation scheme, Evangelions begin with 4 AP to the body and 2 to the limbs. This upgrade thus works out to giving Evangelions the effect of +3 AP.
Evangelions would start with TB+5 Head Wounds, TB+7 Limb Wounds and (TB*2)+10 Body Wounds. In the current generation scheme, Evangelions begin with TB head wounds, TB+2 Limb Wounds and (TB*2)+3 body wounds. This upgrade thus works out to give them between 5-7 more wounds to each location.
This would make Evangelions more durable and tough, and reduce the chances of nasty plug breaches.
The important thing to highlight here is that the Dysangelions and Divine Evangelions already use this formula or one similar to it. As a result, they will not see any appreciable improvement from this change; only Federation Evangelions would benefit.
Changing Critical Damage Results
Critical Damage results would be edited and expanded.
Evangelion Critical Damage tables would be expanded to -10, and Plug Breach damage changed from being a 1d100 to a 1d10 with modifiers depending on how severe the critical damage result is.
The 'Surefire Ejection' talent would receive a clarifying edit allowing it to be used just before a Breach.
Altering Biological Upgrades
Certain Evangelion Biological Upgrades would be altered.
S2 Organs, which are standard at this point in every Federation Evangelion, will now provide Unnatural Toughness (+2). This would increase the durability of all Federation Evangelions.
Unlimited S2 Organs will now provide Unnatural Toughness (+4 or +5). Unlimited Organs are used in 01, 03, 04, and the Dysangelions/Devas so far. They provide Unnatural Toughness*2 currently, adding on average between 6 to 8 TB to anyone who uses them. This would thus reduce the durability of late-tech Evangelions, Dysses and Devas, reducing the gap between them.
The Carapace and Ossified Plate Natural Weapon Upgrades would be expanded to the Talons, allowing full coverage for particularly wealthy Evangelions. However, their AP bonuses would drop to +1 each.

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Snapshot: What would a standard Eva Look Like after these upgrades?
Let's use Go's unit as an example, as she doesn't have any innate mods to her toughness, wounds or AP.
What Go does have is 60 Toughness, an S2 Organ (for a total TB of 8), Redundant Organs (5), Dense Surovite Plating and Armor Enhancement (5).
Body Part AP Wounds
Head 13 18
Left Arm 13 20
Right Arm 13 20
Body 15 26
Left Leg 13 20
Right Right 13 20
The end result is that Go ultimate gains 4 AP to all areas and between 6-9 wounds on all areas. Thus in total, Go has a total soak of 23 to the body and 21 to the limbs, an increase of 6 from before (17 and 15).

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Snapshot: What would a Pointman Eva Look Like after these upgrades?
Let's use Rei's unit as an example. Rei has every scrap of AP-boosting gear she can find, as every good pointman does.
Rei has 60 Toughness, an S2 Organ (for a total TB of 8), Redundant Organs (5), Armor Enhancement (5), Heavy Armour+Dense Surovite, the Armor Master talent and carapace+ossified plate on her head, body and limbs.
Body Part AP Wounds
Head 17 18
Left Arm 17 20
Right Arm 17 20
Body 19 26
Left Leg 15 20
Right Right 15 20
The end result is that Rei has gained about 1 AP to the head, arms and body and 3 AP to the legs. Her wounds have increased by 6-9 on all areas.Thus, Rei has a total soak of 27 to the body, 25 to the arms/head and 23 to the legs; an increase of 3 in the head, body and arms and 5 in the legs. (24, 22, 18).

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Snapshot: What would a generic Dysangelion Look Like after these upgrades?
This Dysangelion is based broadly off Joan's design: a fast, dodgy melee murderer.
it has 60 Toughness, an Unlimited S2 Organ (for a total TB of 10), Redundant Organs (6), Armor Enhancement (6) and Angelic Silk.
Body Part AP Wounds
Head 14 21
Left Arm 14 23
Right Arm 14 23
Body 16 36
Left Leg 14 23
Right Right 14 23
Compared to Joan, this Dys has gained about 2 AP to the head and arms and 1 AP to the body. Her wounds have dropped by 1-2 on all areas apart from the body, which has increased by 2. This Dysangelion has a soak of 26 to the body and 24 to the limbs; a reduction of 1 point of soak from the body.

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CONCLUSION
From the Snapshots, we can see that these changes tend to mostly benefit Federation Evangelions who aren't Pointmen; rather, they have the most to gain. The gains tend to taper off the more powerful you are before the change- a standard Dysangelion, for example, has really not improved its defenses at all.

The Big Fat Fix #2: Weapon Rebalance

This fix is designed to rebalance E-Scale weaponry to factor in the reality from Strategic Combat or any changes from above.

Note that some of the entries in here should be read in conjunction with the Big Fat S-Scale Fix for best results.

The Big Fat Weapon Fix Overview
Range Analysis
Most characters use, as a main weapon, a Basic Weapon from one of these classes: Bolter, Maser, Positron, Pulse, Rail.
The average range of the most ubiquitous weapons in these categories (Mk3 Railrifle, Mk2 Bolter, Masgun, Mk3 Positron Rifle, MP Pulse Carbine) is 108dm. Rounding up to 110dm, this gives a Strategic Range of 11km average.
The Average perimeter of every strategic map between Turn 1 and Turn 3 is 25.78. Long Range with an 11km weapon is 16km: that is, a unit on one edge of the map is capable of targeting anything within 16km of it- over 60% of the map- with nothing but a -10 penalty. This makes it easy for ranged units to bombard just about any target on the map with minimal effort on their part.
Range Alterations
Ranged Weapons will have their ranges condensed into one of six categories. Assault, Close, Medium, Long, Very Long and Longshot.
Assault would have a range of 10dm/1km. It would mostly encapsulate pistols.
Close would have a range of 30dm/3km. This would include shotguns, the more reliable kind of pistols and most fusion weaponry.
Medium would have a range of 60dm/6km. This would encapsulate most basic weapons- regular bolters, for example.
Long would have a range of 100dm/10km. This would encapsulate sniper rifles and most heavy weapons.
Very Long would have a range of 150dm/15km. This would encapsulate the heaviest weaponry available.
Longshot would have unlimited range, but take penalties for targets at close range. This would encapsulate rare weapons such as the GPC.
On average, Bolters, Positrons and General Weapons would sit on the Medium line, Fusion Weapons on the Close line, whilst Masers and Pulse Weapons would sit on the Long line.
S-Scale Range Penalty/Bonuses
For the purposes of bonuses, Point Blank is 1km; Short Range is 1/2 weapon KM; Long Range would be the anything above the weapon's range, and Extreme Range would be either 1.5 times the weapon's range or +5km, whichever is shorter. Weapons would be unable to fire at targets more than 6km above their weapon range.
**Furthermore, it is possible that the penalties for Long and Extreme Range might be increased, to -20 for Long Range and -40 for Extreme, with the Marksman talent mitigating these penalties to a degree but not entirely cancelling them out.
Weapon Damage, Penetration and RoF Alterations
Weapon Damage, Penetration and Rate of Fire would be configured to be tighter and more reliable. This is valid with or without the Big Fat Eva Fix.
By collecting data on the average soak values of each type of Independent Character, weapons can be reconfigured so that the damage they deal is appropriate to the weapon's role and power.
Weapon Clips could be reduced in capacity.
In general, this fix would probably increase the outputs of basic and pistol weapons, and decrease the output of heavy weapons.
Attack Action Alterations
This fix would focus on tweaking attack actions in order to improve weapon play.
Burst attacks (semi and full) could be made Half Actions.
Semi-Auto attacks would have a -10 penalty to hit instead of a +10 bonus, whilst Full-Auto would have a -20 penalty to hit.
Twin-Linked Weapons would become a Full Action to fire. Furthermore, they would either retain the +20 to hit bonus, but not score any extra hits; or they would deal an extra hit, but have no to-hit bonus.

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The Big Fat Fix #3: E-Scale and Strategic Combat

This fix revolves around altering how the fundamentals of E-Scale and Strategic Combat work to improve their flow.

The Big Fat S-Scale Fix Overview
Map Size
This would entail Haplo making for larger maps, but actually making sure those maps are interesting and utilised properly. Most maps at the current are not that large, and many units can cross them quite quickly.
This would be tricky of course, but a range of 40-50 might be a good start.
This would also mean avoiding situations where the core enemy force starts off within 10-15km of the UEF forces (Lily, Rose…).
Movement
This would entail altering how movement works in E-Scale Combat.
For both Tactical and Strategic Maps, this means making everyone slower. The main reason for this is that, apart from reinforcing the scale of maps and requiring some units to move more than they do, it wouldn't make sense to reduce weapon ranges, yet still permit a unit to charge everything within 13km (source: Joan).
Strategic Movement could have the following array: AB/3 for Half Move, AB/2 for Full Move, AB/2 for Charge, and AB*1.5 for Run.
Many abilities or upgrades which grant the Flight (AB*2) or (10) bonus would be cut back to just AB, or at best, (5).
Cover and Terrain
This would entail strongly changing how cover and the like works in E-Scale Combat.
Firstly, terrain would be more common.
Secondly, the way it interacts with Independent Characters would change. Instead of providing extra AP, an Indie in terrain cover could instead inflict a penalty to hit on enemies at range instead.
Alternatively, ranged attacks whose path intersects with terrain could take penalties to hit instead, the same way attacks through storms do now.
Alternatively, the AP provided by Cover could be greatly increased, with the caveat that the AP provided can't be more than your own AP. To prevent Invincible Tiny Hordes.

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AT Field Mechanics

A list of various changes to do with AT Fields.

AT Field Mechanics Overview
ATS and ATP Redefinition
This is not so much a change as it is a previous mechanical change that has been forgotten about, like Ozymandias, King of Kings.
Simply put, the rule is this: when you spread an AT Field, you generate SR amount of ATS. You also generate an equivalent pool of ATP.
Your Deflection Rating is based off your ATS. Some powers also treat your ATS as a resistance value. Spread Patterns have been rewritten so that all of their abilities trigger off Deflection. As a result, Neutralise no longer reduces ATS. It only reduces Deflection.
As a result, if you are neutralised, your ability to use your ATP to activate Powers is undiminished.
Whenever you spend ATP, however, your ATS drops by an equivalent amount. This doesn't include expending bonus ATP from upgrades for example.
Deflection Enhancement
This would be a simple change to make Deflection more reliable and powerful- increasing it by 5% per ATS across the board.

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The Deeply Unpopular Ablative Change

A list of potential changes to be made to Ablatives.

Pitchforks! Getcher Pitchforks!
Ablative Base Mechanics, v.1
This would change the basic way Ablatives function.
Ablatives would have their own separate values. The TB or AP of the wielder is not important. For this example, we'll use '10'.
Ablatives ignore the Penetration value of the weapon; pure damage is all that's important.
The Damage would be reduced by the Ablative Value. Any remaining damage left over here reduces the Ablative Value on a 1:1 point basis. if the AV is reduced to zero, then any excess damage (with Penetration now playing a value) is transferred to the target.
So if an Ablative with AV 10 takes 12 damage, the damage is reduced by 10; 2 damage is left over, which reduces the AV by 2 (to 8).
The idea of Ablative 'Layers' would be a thing of the past; you could purchase multiple ablatives for an area, but they would only increase the AV by an amount instead of providing a whole new layer of Ablative.
This change could be quite fiddly, but it would, on the other hand, prevent Ablatives from treating a single bolt shell the same way one treats a massive positron cannon.
Ablative Base Mechanics, v.2
In this mode, Ablatives provide AP upgrades.
However, whenever an Ablative-covered location takes damage, the Ablative AP drops by 1, and Critical Damage destroys it immediately.
Multiple Ablative Layers would, of course, just be merged.
Ablative Base Mechanics, v.3
In this mode, Ablatives have their own separate values. For example, 5.
Any weapon with Penetration below the Ablative Value is negated. Any weapon with Penetration above the Value is also negated, but destroys the Ablative in the process.
Weapons with a Penetration value more than double the Ablative Value destroys the Ablative and is not negated.
General Ablative Changes
Reducing layers of Ablative, i.e. the ESV Unit.
Altering where the Ablatives protect. For example, the Ablative Carapace might be expanded to cover the body and the head.

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The Highly Questionable Reaction Changes

A list of potential changes to be made to Reactions.

Burn the Witch!
Reaction Access
This would try to cut back on the availability of extra Reactions.
Wall of Steel and Step Aside would be unaffected.
Reactions gained beyond your base Reaction and a WoS/Step Aside Reaction, however, would be limited. If they are available, then they would carry a penalty to balance them out, like Danger Sense hurting the pilot.
The really unpopular Reaction Change
When you make a Reaction test, you then incur a stacking -10 or -15 penalty to any other Reactions made during your turn.

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Formation Changes

This would alter how Formations work, making them less ambiguous and somewhat harder to activate or easier to break.

Formation Changes Overview
Cohesion, Clarified
Every Squad has a pool of Cohesion. They are gained by adding your Operations Director's Intelligence or Fellowship Bonus together with the Intelligence or Fellowship Bonus of your Team Leader.
Cohesion is spent to activate Formations.
Sometimes, a Cohesion Test is called. Cohesion Tests require a 1d10 roll; if the result is equal to or below your Cohesion, the Challenge passes.
If a member of the Team in Formation Mode (see below) takes 10 or more damage from a Basic Accurate attack, a Blast attack or a Devastating attack, Cohesion is reduced by 1 unless the Team Leader or Commander makes a -30 Command test for free. Cohesion may only drop by 1 point per turn.
Cohesion is replenished by 1 in the following circumstances: if a Teammate in Formation Mode spends a Fate Point, if the Team achieves or plays a strong role in achieving a Turning Point, or by their Commander making a Full Action Command or Tactics test.
Solo Mode, Formation Mode
Independent Characters are either in Solo Mode, or in Formation Mode. An Indie may only benefit from Formations if they're in Formation Mode.
to enter Formation Mode, an Indie must be within Formation Range of their Team Leader, which is 1km per Team Leader's FB or IB. The Formation must have at least 1 Cohesion.
If in range, the Indie may enter Formation Mode as a Free Action by making a Cohesion Test. Otherwise they may enter Formation Mode as a Full Action.
Once in Formation Mode, an Indie may benefit from any Formations that Team triggers.
An Indie leaves Formation Mode if they are knocked unconscious or killed; if they are stunned; if, at the end of the round, they are outside of Formation Range; or if they choose to leave it.
If a Team Leader is disabled or killed, then another member of the Team may make a free Command test on their turns; on a success, they may become the new Team Leader for the rest of the battle.

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