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I write this post to highlight the things I find good, or bad about Apocalypse battles. I do this for two reasons. First I would like to illustrate how I think that some of the bad things in Apocalypse can be mitigated, and secondly I am hoping for input from other players, that might help improve my experience with the game. The post will use my gaming group as a point of reference.
I will assume that the readers are familiar with the Apocalypse rules (but do note that I still find myself misinterpreting certain rules from time to time), and the point cost of the models (as I will not post unit stats here).
I have played some twelve apocalypse games, ranging from 3.000 points per side, to 14.000 per side. The next game I am setting up is going to be a 17.500 points game. Most of our games see two to four super heavies, and our current pool consist of a thunderhawk, a warhound, a big mek stompa, two baneblades, a shadowsword, and a stormlord. On top of that we have two thunderbolts. I personally play ultramarines (yes, yes I know they are just smurfs, but they bring a lot of special characters to the Apocalypse table).
In ordinary games of warhammer 40k, I always advocate playing without house rules, and I never argue against playing RAW instead of RAI. However, I take Apocalypse far less serious in that regard, and encourage house rules that make the game more fun and/or fast paced. I have nothing against modifying formations, or considering custom made data sheets.
This is my first post of this sort, so you will have me excused if it is not perfectly written. And on that note, my main language is not English, so I am bound to fail at spelling.
The larger the battle, the better it gets in my opinion. However, to do the battles justice, I think that playing only three or four turns is a waste. When we decide to throw a game of Apocalypse, we always make sure that we have time to play a game of six turns. The past two games were played with random game length, between 5 to 7 turns. At least half our games have been decided on the final turn, and so it would have been a shame not to take the time finish the games.
A few models are able to wield these all-powerful weapons. In our group, the warhound wields a single double-barreled turbo laser destructor (together with the plasma blast gun), while both the thunderhawk and the shadow sword have the single-barreled version.
I have read a lot of posts that state that Apocalypse games are being dominated by these weapons, and that may armies attempt to field as many as possible. So fare, while the weapons have had great impact in most of the games played, they have not been the all dominating force. If they would start to appear in larger numbers, I do fear that they would be too dominating.
To take steps against this, without limiting the freedom of army creation, or changing point costs or statistics, a rule for our next game has been proposed:
[Cost of Destruction]
The team that fields the fewest destroyer shots/turn, is granted an additional strategic asset.
Looking at the cost of the different flyers, I cannot see how these are balanced, but I do think that it is doable in Apocalypse, where the larger point games, somewhat makes up for lesser imbalances in point cost.
However, as one of the IA updates suggest, granting the valkyrie and vendetta (V&V) the flyer rule, is simply too much of an imbalance. The V&V only cost about 70 % of a thunderbolt fighter, but still outgun it, while having superior armor, transport capacity and hover mode. The only disadvantages that the V&V have is the lack of AA weapons. My suggestion for a fix, that (once again) do not modify point cost or statistics, is the following rule:
While the vessel is able to fly at high speed, its weapons are not made to track targets while doing so. V&Vs gain the Gunship special rule in games of apocalypse. A gunship may choose to act as a flyer at the beginning of the movement phase, and benefit from being a flyer until the beginning of the next movement phase. However, a gunship that act as a flyer, may not fire any weapons that turn.
The gunship rule could apply to other fast skimmers as well (first though being the stormraven). The rule is inspired by the elder falcon formation.
While the normal codex do not indicate any weapons as being AA mounted, the IG codex does include the Hydra Flak Tank and the Manticore Multiple Missile Launcher. IA has rules for fielding the Manticores with surface to air missiles, which do have the AA special rule. However, the Hydras rule of ignoring cover save granted by speed does not translate directly to attacking flyers, and it does not have the AA rule. Furthermore, the Apocalypse rulebook has an expensive version of the Hydra, that does have AA mounted auto cannons. As I don’t like the variation in point cost, for a vehicle that is actually the same, we play with the following rule:
The hydra is always bough as indicated in the current IG codex. While it do not get AA mounts, it does ignore the cover save of flyers, in the same way as it ignores cover save of fast moving skimmers and (jet)bikes. The result as a vehicle that is a bit better than the apocalypse version, mainly do to it being twin-linked and ignoring cover.
When the Apocalypse rule book came out, almost all units were able to score objectives. Some formations and assets take advantages of these older rules, allowing for example an immobilized vehicle to count as scoring.
With the 5th edition of the rules, only troops are scoring in normal games. Because of the formations and assets that would be nullified by this rule, we have chosen to stick with the old rules for scoring units, when we play Apocalypse. However, we do agree that it is cool to field a lot of troops, as it would be silly to fight large battles with only tanks and elite units (well not silly, but just not as interesting). Because of that, we sometimes play with the following rule:
Troop choices are worth twice as much when determining who controls an objective.
TO BE CONTINUED…
If you check out the Forgeworld IA#1 pdf update the Hydra still costs 75 and has an AA mount. Since aircraft are not in the normal 40k game it would be confusing for GW to include the AA rule on certain weapons and confuse the kiddies.
We have tried both old and new verrsions in apocalypse missions. The 5th edition method is fun but can lead to a lot of firepower being pumped into the tactical squads by both sides to guarantee a draw. A good compromise is to give non vehicle troop choices the hold at all costs asset for free. That way a tac squad can hold an objective with only 1 surviving menber but a devastator squad would need to be 50% strength to count.
Quorn! - Protein for the Protein God.
@Hydras: Your right on the rules for the hydra, just found em my self. I do think that it is a very cheap way to effectivly deal with flyers. Maybe too effective, considering its original cost was more than twice that, and that flyers are very expensive (except for V&Vs).
@Scoring: By granting all troops the Hold at all Cost, the asset in it self becomes less important, reducing the value of formations granting the asset. Besides that, it is actually a good fix, now we just need to fix another problem.
Sorry for not having continued this, but the hollidays took up alot of my time, and I just had to finish my DIY thunderhawk.
reg D class weapons. Only a couple of people at our club have any Super-Heavies (my Scorpion tank is greatly feared) and so we often play Apoc with 'no-super heavies' or 'no class D weapons (as Eldar have a few formations that allow Fire Prisms to get D).
I do like your add that the team with fewer D class gets 1 extra Strategim.
At the beginning of turn 1, I spray my opponent's army with the bacon flavored spray. Then I unleash my Boston Terrier Squiggoth who then devours their entire bacon flavored army! There is no defense against her cuteness! All are doomed!
lol.. we're sort of the other way around regarding superheavies
My regular opponent (Eldar) has 7 D weapons throwing out 12 templates (1 Phantom titan (heat lance & phantom pulsar), 2 Revenant titans (pulsars) and a Cobra)
It's d-weapon tastic
Current Army Status - Chaos - 15000 points, Orks (BadMoonz) - 3000 Points - Space Wolves - 4000 Points, Necrons - 2000 Points.
I love a good, large, apoc game. But, one thing I detest is when people proxy a lot of high price models. Guys bring in terrible models and say they are warhound titans, when they have done no work to make it look like a warhound, haven't modeled the weapons, no paint job, etc... In order to keep the game fun, and cool, I prefer to play with GW regulation paint required plus what you see is what you get modeling. The models don't have to be forge world titans, but need to have each weapon modeled and easily recognizable.
The only rule that we have is that scratch built stuff has to look good. And no proxies, meaning no taking a Chimera and saying it's a hydra flak tank. Things should be modelled properly. Other than that, no holds barred.
I love Apocalypse, and, really, have no real issue with the rules. The way I see it... EVERYTHING in APOC is broken, therefore nothing is broken. And it just ends up being a lot of fun. I also find no issue with destroyer weapons and find that they are mainly used for what they were meant for... killing titans and other super-heavies. I have found in our games that infantry seems to rule the games more than super-heavies, but the super-heavies per side have always been pretty even in our games, and we don't allow vehicles to score in our games so the thing that my opponents always try to gun down is my stormlord, both to get at the 35-40 guys inside, and to stop the 15-20 guys (including heavy weapons teams) from blasting away from the platform. Which of course, keeps a little heat off my baneblade, which ends up doing damage from range.
We haven't had too many flyers in our games, and no thunderhawks unfortunately, although a ton of skimmers make their appearance. But infantry and more infantry always seem to decide our games more than the big boys. A ton of them die to giant pie-plates and barrages, but there always seem to be more, lol.
Right now, I'm converting IG super-heavy tanks to be pressed into service with the Grey Knights for home gamesw so friends can come by, choose my IGs or (soon to be Grey Knights as they're only at 2200 pts), or even put together my Blood Angels and White Scars although they have no super-heavies and it might be tough for them, but we can give them some vortex nades or something, lol.
Either way, bottom line, I love APOC, and hope to have a simple 3000 pt game this weekend. Like I said before, because everything is broken, it just works, but thats just my opinion.
I wish I could get a 3k+ game in every now and then, but the GW store in Springfield recently changed the rules to limit Apoc games to 2,000 pts per person. That, imho, removes the main reason for playing apoc.
Luckily, I'm playing at home and just 2 players, 3000 pts per side. Quick, easy and fun, and then the table gets broken back down after its done. Easy way to have a game, although its no 10000pt multi-player brawl, its still fun to pull out the super-heavies for a couple hours (or as many as you can reasonable have at 3k points, lol)
I'm playing at 6 tonight. I'm playing Imperial Guard, my brother is coming by and will use a combined force of Grey Knights and either white scars in support or Blood Angels in support. He's going to choose his list when he gets to my place. And I've agreed to give him one additional asset as he won't have any super-heavies in play and I'll be using a baneblade and a stormlord, for a third of my points. Super-heavies and guardsmen VS similar numbers of infantry but wearing Terminator armour. There are obviously normal vehicles on both sides as well, but you get the idea. It should be interesting
apoc is good, in fact i've had many multiplayer games where we have used for example 1500pts per player without superheavies. When we did have one big game it was fantastic, another at warhammer world turned into farce as we outflanked an entire ork army LOL that was fun. We do want another one, the problem is sorting out the teams and ensuring NO ONE can blow up the main objective with a titan (i think its banned now...), other than that it just takes time to organise. I did hear of one game where somone killed a socut titan with nobz biker on turn two...