We converted from SR5 to Anarchy a while back and have really been enjoying the new system, but I'm starting to wonder about combat balance as the game progresses. What really got me thinking was last night when we went against an opposing team of an equally high level, and our team was getting pummeled. Looking at the system as designed, there are a lot of ways to contribute to damage, but very few ways to contribute to mitigation. I'm still trying to solidify my ideas, and so an an exercise I took some mooks from the "Anarchy Threats" document and pitted them against themselves.
Corporate Security vs. himself. Go!
AGI 4, LOG 3, Firearms 8, Armor 9, 10P boxes, +1 attack reroll
That gives an average 2 defense hits, 4 attack hits. First round knocks the opponent to 1 armor, second round to 3P boxes, third round kills.
Corporate Security (Elite) vs. himself. Go!
AGI 5, LOG 4, Firearms 10, Armor 12, 11P boxes, +2 attack rerolls, +1 attack
That gives an average 3 defense hits, 5 attack hits. First round (2 attacks) wipes armor and leaves the defender with 4P remaining, first attack in the second round kills.
So at least if characters are leveled in a reasonable manner, things seem pretty linear in terms of the number of attacks required to kill someone. But Amps granting multiple attacks per round dramatically shortens time-to-kill. I'm wondering if part of this is because of the simplified armor model in Anarchy, where instead of acting as a form of DR applied to every attack, it simply increases the hit point pool. The impetus with this new system is to have combat be as short as possible, because armor is an incredibly limited resource, and spending a plot point to reclaim one armor point is really insignificant.
Has anyone else run into this issue? And if so, how did you address it? I'm wondering if something like hard armor with its own DR might help, or simply building out defense-releated amps a bit more would instead. Obviously, the trick is making players feel awesome while also making things feel challenging (mechanically as well as narratively). As soon as NPCs get multiple attacks per round, single target damage vs. PCs necessarily spikes, and I'm not sure how players should mitigate it. Spend the heck out of plot points to obtain narrative advantage?