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Experiencing a problem with Takedown

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  • Experiencing a problem with Takedown

    Ultramarine suddenly comes face to face with N PL 5 goons who are armed with shotguns.
    The relevant portion of Ultramarine’s statline: Dodge 10, Toughness 10, +10 to-hit, Damage 10.
    The goon statline: Dodge 5, Toughness 5, +5 to-hit, Damage 5.
    Ultramarine’s tactics are to fire as a routine check every turn, increasing her Power Attack by one each time until she misses, then use the highest value she hit with for the rest of the fight. The goons just shoot.
    Assumptions: No relevant terrain, Ultramarine’s turn is after half (round down) the goons and before the rest. Ultramarine does not kite. Nobody uses Extra Effort. Goons do not provide cover.
    (In a more detailed analysis, Takedown-Ultramarine's ability to deal with large goon-groups is ENTIRELY dependent on her initiative roll.)

    The question: For what value of N is Ultramarine roughly 50% likely to win?

    Ultramarine’s goon-busting: 100% chance to hit, even at full Power Attack. 95% chance to incapacitate a goon on turn 1, 100% thereafter. One attack per turn. So, effectively N turns until victory.
    Question therefore becomes how many attacks Ultramarine can take.

    The goon’s Ultramarine-busting: 30% chance to hit. One attack per remaining goon per turn. Since N goons means N turns for Ultramarine, (N*(N-1)/2+Floor(N/2)) attacks. So 0.3*(N*(N-1)/2+Floor(N/2)) hits.
    Question therefore becomes how many hits Ultramarine can take.

    I ran a simulation a hundred-thousand times, and the median number of Damage 5 hits required to incapacitate Ultramarine was 17.
    The smallest integer for which 0.3*(N*(N-1)/2+Floor(N/2)) is greater than or equal to 17 is 11.
    So Ultramarine has a >50% chance of beating 10 or fewer goons, and a <50% chance of beating 11 or more goons. So Ultramarine is a roughly even match for 10-11 goons.

    But wait, what if Ultramarine had Takedown 2?
    In that case, Ultramarine can expect to defeat 20 goons on the first turn, and the rest on the second.
    So the goons will get Floor(N/2)+(N-20) attacks. The smallest integer for which 0.3*(Floor(N/2)+(N-20)) is greater than or equal to 17 is 52.
    So a Ultramarine with Takedown 2 has a >50% chance of beating 51 or fewer goons, and a <50% chance of beating 52 or more goons. So Ultramarine with Takedown 2 is a roughly even match for 51-52 goons.

    That’s a two power-point difference, but about five times as many goons. A 2 PP difference is as good has having four allies. This indicates a major systemic issue, which echoes my in-game experiences. A hero with Takedown 2 is capable of comparatively insane minion-fighting stunts. This would be fine if everyone, or noone, had Takedown 2. But is that usually the case? Not in my experience.

    How have the GMs and players here dealt with this?

  • #2
    Re: Experiencing a problem with Takedown

    Honestly? Fighting goons shouldn't really be a difficult thing for most builds. So give Ultramarine, or the other goon-sweeper, their due as they clear out isolated packs of goons. As long as the entirety of the goon squad isn't sitting out in the open, you'll only be taking out one group at a time. And if you find your players are a bit too trigger-happy about shooting on sight, the goons are going to try to take more tactical positions (shooting from cover, taking hostages) or the mastermind is going to take advantage of players shooting first and doing something like dressing the hostages up as goons, or rigging thugs with deadman switches so that when they're taken down (unless done in a particular manner), the switch in their hand falls open and something bad happens.
    [url=http://roninarmy.com/threads/996]My Builds[/url]

    [b]Current games:[/b]
    [url=http://www.echoesofthemultiverse.com/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=839]The J.V. Team (GM)[/URL]

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    • #3
      Re: Experiencing a problem with Takedown

      It seems I communicated poorly, my apologies.

      I don't particularly mind a Takedown hero being good at sweeping minions.

      What I mind are:
      A: The massive disparity in anti-minion effectiveness between a hero with Takedown and a hero without.
      B: The volatility in combat that Takedown causes: A Takedown hero can wipe giant groups if they win initiative, or lose to much smaller groups if they botch the initiative roll.

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      • #4
        Re: Experiencing a problem with Takedown

        I've always felt that Takedown should have some kind of trait-related limit tied to it, like you can only take down your FGT rank in close combat targets or your DEX rank in ranged targets per round, with an option to break that limit for one combat scene by spending HP. I think this gives a good balance of having smaller groups still be a threat (or at least a delay) with the occasional massive takedown to really showcase the PC's fighting prowess.

        Some might think that's too restrictive, so tying to something like PL or Attack bonus for whatever attack mode you're using might also work. My thinking is that if you really want to take out more than a dozen goons every round, you should be using Area Attacks.
        My old [URL="http://www.atomicthinktank.com/viewtopic.php?p=743877#p743877"]Atomic Think Tank[/URL] thread
        My current character thread: [URL="https://roninarmy.com/threads/6194-The-Sound-of-My-Eyebeams-JDRook-s-builds-and-blather?p=233536&viewfull=1#post233536"]The Sound of my Eyebeams[/URL][URL="http://www.atomicthinktank.com/viewtopic.php?p=743877#p743877"]
        [/URL]
        I will build characters in HeroLab for you! Send me [URL="https://www.fiverr.com/jdrook/transcribe-a-mutants-and-masterminds-pc-in-herolab?funnel=6e71f15f-207e-49f4-bf35-9ceb23b979a7"]your finished design[/URL] or even [URL="https://www.fiverr.com/jdrook/create-a-mutants-and-masterminds-pc-in-herolab?context=advanced_search&context_type=rating&funnel=2014103117123522519608360"]your original concept[/URL]!

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        • #5
          Re: Experiencing a problem with Takedown

          Honestly, if you're using a bunch of SWAT officers/goons, getting completely trashed is their job. If you want minions to be a threat, don't make them power level 5 against PL 10s. Being one shot by any number of failure is more than enough to afford boosting the threat level up a bit.

          As for the advantage takedown wielders have to those that don't, well...if they didn't have some sort of advantage, why call it an advantage? And those that have the advantage can only take out as many minions as they can manage to hit AND make them fail their toughness checks.

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          • #6
            Re: Experiencing a problem with Takedown

            I do find myself agreeing with JDRook that a trait-based cap on the total number of successful takedowns is very reasonable. I'll probably go with FGT/DEX plus ranks of physical Quickness, myself. Any character taking out 50 goons (edit: in one round) without an Area attack without breaking a sweat seems fairly sketchy.

            Beyond that though, I don't have issues with the Advantage conceptually. More pointedly: if someone is playing a PL 10 Batman or a close combat speedster, then they should be taking Takedown 2. That's the role the character is supposed to fill, after all.
            Last edited by Rush; 6th February 2018, 10:21 AM.
            My builds can be found in the Roll Call forum [url=http://roninarmy.com/threads/1719-Rush-s-Characters-(new-Mr-Smooth)?p=68608&viewfull=1#post68608]here[/url]. And, here's the latest version of [url=https://roninarmy.com/threads/1719-Rush-s-Characters-(new-Edge)?p=256421&viewfull=1#post256421]The Cast[/url].
            Currently playing in: [url=https://roninarmy.com/threads/6868-Xenoforce-Earth-s-Strangest-Heroes-Recruiting-2-more-players][color=#d7af50]Xenoforce: Earth's Strangest Heroes[/color][/url].

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            • #7
              Re: Experiencing a problem with Takedown

              Honestly, the whole point in Takedown is to be a minion-sweeper as far as I can tell. That doesn't mean you have to like it, but it appears to be the Advantage working as intended.

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              • #8
                Re: Experiencing a problem with Takedown

                Tying it to to-hit seems like it'd work well, thank you.

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