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Warhammer 40k: Checkmate is a rule system developed as a small fast paced version of Warhammer 40k. It is a combination of Cityfight, Kill Team, and Combat Patrol. It uses Combat Patrol-esque teams in a Cityfight setting and strives to achieve the elite fighting force feel of Kill Team, all while taking advantage of the tactical movement potential of Loose Formations.
It was developed not only as a means of playing small, quick 40k matches, but also as a means to dip into another army's models without having to build a full force. Checkmate provides an opportunity to purchase and model a variety of figures while remaining light on the pocketbook.
You'll find only a single mission written here for the system. This mission should be a starting point as the game is designed to be used with any number of special force type missions of your own design. The sky is the limit in creating your own missions which should consist of rescuing captured comrades, destroying stolen ammo dumps, assassinating an enemy character, etc.
Though it has not been developed as of yet, we hope to build an experience system to accompany Checkmate. This system would allow for the playing of campaigns and would allow models to grow stronger and gain equipment over time. If you have thoughts on this I would love to hear them.
Checkmate has thus far been playtested with Space Marines, Space Wolves, Orcs, Chaos, Tau, Necrons, Imperial Guard, and Deamonhunters. Some armies, such as Necrons, will find their available selections more limited than others due to the composition rules. Feel free to bend these rules with your opponent's consent, though it is not recommended while playing the standard mission provided.
I would very much appreciate any feedback and/or playtesting on the system. As I said, we have playtested the game moderately and almost every game has been fun, fast paced, and close. There are two keys to enjoying a Checkmate match. One is the terrain setup. As you will see in the Setup section a very dense Cityfight sort of board is highly recommended as you want the game to be a chess match of sorts with your models working together to outmaneuver your opponent. For our games we used the custom board seen here: http://www.librarium-online.com/foru...pic-heavy.html You'll see in the most recent pictures Checkmate games in progress.
The other key to the game is an open mind. Checkmate was designed in the same vein as the Kill-Team section of the 4th edition Warhammer 40k codex. In that system there were many mutable laws that allowed you to customize the game to your own wants and desires. Checkmate is the same. If you feel that one of the custom rules is too strict or can be taken advantage of we encourage you to change it for your own needs and have fun with the game. Though I would love to hear about any changes to the system either here in this thread or in a personal message.
Thank you and I hope you enjoy the system as much as we do...
Armies are no more than 300 points.
Your entire force must come from a single codex (no allies.)
No special characters.
No Psykers. *
No 2+ saves.
No model may have more than 2 wounds.
No vehicles with a total armor value 33 or more.
No model may have an ordinance weapon.
No bikes, jetbikes, skimmers, or grav platforms.
*Models may be taken that have psychic abilities, but they may not use them in game. If a model is normally required to purchase a psychic ability, he may be fielded without doing so.
After purchasing at least one troop choice, you purchase individual models, disregarding their normal unit makeup. These models use the options they normally have from the unit selections they are from. Use digression when figuring points cost and clear all values with your opponent.
Units that have prerequisites may ignore them if it remains true to the game as per the 4th edition combat patrol rules. For instance, an Imperial Guard force may select an armored fist squad as a troop choice without the presence of an infantry platoon.
When selecting your force each model taken uses a slot in your organization chart. Checkmate uses the following composition:
Elite: Any number
Troop: Any number
Fast Attack: 5
In a case where a model may be taken from two separate sources it counts against both organization slots. For instance, a space marine tactical squad counts as a troop choice and may include a model with a missile launcher. Because you could take the same model as a devastator he counts against both your Troop and Heavy limits. (This rule should be applied within the spirit of the game. There are obvious instances where a model should or should not take up multiple slots and if there is any question you are encouraged to discuss the situation with your opponent.)
Checkmate uses the Loose Formation system, thus all normal cohesion rules may be ignored. Any number of non-vehicle models form a unit by purposefully moving within 2” of each other and break away by purposefully moving out of 2” coherency. This means it is not possible to have two separate units within 2" of each other as the proximity automatically joins them into a single unit. Involuntary movement can not combine or break up units. Solitary models should be considered as single model units. Vehicles may form squadrons just as infantry form units with the exception that they must maintain 4" coherency.
The game turn proceeds as in a normal game with one exception. Each player has an additional shooting phase at the beginning of his turn. Any model which fires or runs during this phase may not perform any action during the normal shooting phase and may not move if it fired weapons that would not normally be able to be fired if the unit had moved.
For the purpose of shooting, movement is checked on a model by model basis and vice verse. This is different than the standard game, which checks on a unit basis.
For the purpose of taking morale checks a unit must lose 66% or more of it's models during a single phase rather than the normal 25%.
Units may not perform any ability that allows them to leave the table and then come back into play in another location. Any and all forms of teleportation are prohibited.
Rather than performing its normal actions a unit may perform a single maneuver. Units performing a maneuver do not move, shoot, and assault as normal, instead they may only take the actions outlined in the maneuver for the duration of the maneuver. Furthermore, units may not perform more than one maneuver at any given time. For instance, a unit that wishes to perform a shooting maneuver may not move in the movement phase unless specified in the maneuver.
Aimed Shot: This may only be used by a unit that was not fired upon in the previous enemy turn. All models equipped with rapid fire, assault, pistol, or sniper weapons may target individual models rather than units, provided that those models did not move during the previous turn. Models using aimed shot may only fire once.
Blindside Attack: The unit assaults this turn at +2 initiative. May only be used against enemies that fired weapons at targets other than the assaulting unit in the previous turn. Assaulting units may not shoot this turn.
Careful advance: The unit may move 4” ignoring difficult and dangerous terrain. It may shoot as normal, but may not run or assault.
Charge!: The unit gains the Fleet USR, but must make it’s move, run, and assault moves in a straight line and may not move through difficult terrain.
Crossfire: This maneuver requires two or more units that must be more than 18” apart. All units participating must fire on a single target, which receives -2 to any cover save for the turn.
Overwatch: The unit may make its normal shooting attack during the opponent’s turn instead of its own. At any time during the following player turn declare that you are firing and the opponent must immediately pause his turn and resolve your shooting attack. For instance, Overwatch allows you to shoot at a unit that has just moved, but has yet to make its own shooting or assault actions. You may not fire at a unit which has begun, but not completed, it's movement.
Surprise Attack: May only be used by a unit whose members all have the infiltrate ability. The unit must begin the turn without line of sight to their target(s) and may not shoot this turn. If the unit makes a successful assault move the target unit automatically takes x wounds, where x = twice the number of models assaulting. Saves may be taken as normal. These wounds take the place of the unit’s normal attacks, but the targeted unit makes it’s attacks as normal during the assault resolution.
Checkmate is designed to be played on a standard 6x4' table using 12" short edge deployment areas. There should be roughly 75% terrain coverage with ample buildings or other line of sight blocking pieces. While you may need a good deal of area terrain to provide the necessary coverage, it is important to include pieces that units may use to hide themselves wholly from enemy fire. We find that having multiple levels through trenches, canals, catwalks, platforms, balconies, rooftops, etc. help in providing cover as well as make the game more cinematic.
Ten objectives are placed on the table outside of the deployment areas. These objectives are claimed by having one of your models in base contact with the objective at the beginning of your turn. Once claimed, objectives stay in your control until claimed by another player. The game lasts an unlimited number of turns and the first player to collect seven of the objectives is immediately the victor.
Models may not deep strike unless otherwise specified in the mission. Any models that normally must arrive via deep strike ability may replace their deep strike ability with the Scout USR.
Models may not infiltrate unless otherwise specified in the mission.
Models may not be held in reserve. All models that normally begin the game in reserve are instead set up in your deployment zone with the rest of your force.
Models with the Scout USR may make a move as per the scout rule prior to the beginning of turn one. Models with the Infiltrate USR may make two moves as per the scout rule before the beginning of turn one. Models with both abilities may only make two moves. If both players have models with these abilities roll to see who goes first then alternate moving models starting with infiltrators.
-Army Specific Changes-
There are certain rules and restrictions that either do not fit the Checkmate theme or disrupt the balance of the game. This section provides specific rule changes.
We'll be back. Players may ignore the need to have a model of the same type within 6".
Phase Out. Necrons do not phase out.
Synapse. Players may use Hive Mind as normal. It is not restricted as other psychic abilities are.
Sniper Drones. Sniper drones may operate independently and do not require the use of a drone controller. They move and fire as infantry.
Faith Points. Each Faithful model contributes a single Faith Point to a Witch Hunters army as per normal, with the exception of Celestians and Seraphim who contribute a single Faith Point (each) regardless of how many models are present. Each Faithful model contributes a single Faith Point by Martyrdom as per normal, with the exception of Celestians and Seraphim who only contribute a single Faith Point (each) once all Celestian or Seraphim models are slain. Sisterhood units eligible to use Faith Points to perform Acts of Faith as normal may do so (the unit must contain a Faithful model and must make a Test of Faith). Additionally, individual Sisterhood models may use Faith Points to perform Acts of Faith regardless of whether they are Faithful or not, and are assumed to automatically pass their Tests of Faith. Sisterhood units that perform an Act of Faith must remain in the same unit during the duration that the Act is in effect.
nice rule set.
sound like a great way to play some smaller games where the tides turn multiple times in a battle.
im gonna try this out
(just for the chance to use overwatch on someone again)
doesnt the list options leave a bit too much for cheese?
any number of elites?
maxing out Sternguard + vanguard vets would make for a unreasonably tough opponent.
but that comes down to the players and the scenario.
#25 - Relation to the original topic decreases with every single post.
Cheese is a factor that we toiled over for some time, but in the end we decided that the openness was worthwhile and that there will always be people that will take advantage of the system to make godly lists. Because this is a system that you should be playing among friends it shouldn't be too much of an issue.
Here are the lists I made for my existing armies (They are listed by the model, but there is a normal troop choice in there in each of them):
13x Slugga Boy 
2x Rokkit Boy 
2x Burna Boy 
4x Loota 
2x Nob w/ Big Choppa, Eavy Armor 
1x Nob w/ Power Klaw, Eavy Armor 
10x Firewarrior 
7x Kroot Carnivore 
3x XV25 Stealth Suit 
3x Sniper Drone 
5x Grey Hunter w/ Bolter 
4x Blood Claw 
1x Grey Hunter w/ Plasma Gun 
2x Scout w/ Sniper Rifle 
1x Long Fang w/ Missile Launcher 
1x Wolf Guard w/ Power Fist, Wolf Pelt 
Wow this looks really cool, I want to try this out! Alas I'm away at school right now, but if you don't mind, may I save this rule set and mission to my computer for later playing?
Also, *rep* for a well thought out idea!
It's almost well thought out. Good effort, though.
What's with the eldar hate? No jetbikes, no skimmers, no antigrav, no psykers? Kinda take out quite a bit of the options, what troops are left? Dire Avengers?
You say you tested with Daemonhunters, I am wondering how. You sure didn't use Grey Knights, because every justicar is a psyker, and those aren't allowed in your rules.
Your restrictions on what units to take are pretty much the same as the 4th ed 40k in 40 minutes, with extra arbitrary restrictions that I don't see much of a reason for.\
Your maneuvers are interesting, but they favor certain armies WAY more than they favor others. Also, with being able to break off models from units crossfire becomes insane. You could break off a single model from a normal units and have it and it's original unit fire at the same thing for a -2 cover save. Is this what you intended? Seems wrong to me.
Shooting before moving might make sense at first, but the game is balanced that way for a reason, especially with how much better shooting is than CC in the new edition with the loss of sweeping advance. On that note what is stopping someone from breaking off a single model from their unit to be a sacrifice? This like your other rules favors certain armies over others.
Darkspawn327, you are more than welcome to save the ruleset. I'm that glad you like it. Once any flaws and typos have been ironed out I plan to produce a clean pdf version, so stay tuned for that.
Frozencore,First, I addressed this issue in the introduction. Some armies are going to have issues building a well rounded list and I encourage you to make any changes you feel necessary to enjoy the game. That said, with the setup, units that move more than 12" per turn can easily break the feel of the game and thus they are restricted for the same reason that they are restricted in the Kill Team rules.What's with the eldar hate? No jetbikes, no skimmers, no antigrav, no psykers? Kinda take out quite a bit of the options, what troops are left? Dire Avengers?
Second, though we have yet to playtest Eldar, they do have an ample amount of options and units that should make them more than viable in the environment. In fact, by my count, Eldar have more options availible to them than the majority of armies. (Dire Avengers, Rangers, Guardians, Swooping Hawks, Striking Scorpions, Fire Dragons, Howling Banshies, Harlequins, Dark Reapers, and Warwalkers.)The Deamonhunter force took a squad of inquisitorial stormtroopers as it's troop choice and then purchased Grey Knights individually.You say you tested with Daemonhunters, I am wondering how. You sure didn't use Grey Knights, because every justicar is a psyker, and those aren't allowed in your rules.I already stated that it used the composition rules of the Combat Patrol system combined with Kill Teams. The point is to create a game that is based on tactical movement.Your restrictions on what units to take are pretty much the same as the 4th ed 40k in 40 minutes, with extra arbitrary restrictions that I don't see much of a reason for.Every army we have played with used approximately the same amount of maneuvers per game. I'm curious to know which armies you feel benefit the most and why. As for crossfire, in most instances it would take more than two turns to move that broken off model more than 18" and with 75% terrain coverage it is harder than you think to draw los to a single target from multiple locations. In the dozen or so games of unlimited turn matches I have played crossfire has only been used a few times.Your maneuvers are interesting, but they favor certain armies WAY more than they favor others. Also, with being able to break off models from units crossfire becomes insane. You could break off a single model from a normal units and have it and it's original unit fire at the same thing for a -2 cover save. Is this what you intended? Seems wrong to me.I would argue that close combat is much more brutal in 5th and that it is the close combat armies such as Orks that have been boosted heavily with the advent of the newest addition. Again, with 75% or heavier terrain coverage shooting is generally watered down and in our testing we did not find being able to shoot, then move, to be problematic. All armies benefit from Rapid Fire and Assault weapons. Remember that you can not shoot a rapid fire weapon it's maximum distance and then move, nor can you move after firing a heavy weapon. Lastly, sweeping advance is very much alive and can be found on page 40 of the rulebook.Shooting before moving might make sense at first, but the game is balanced that way for a reason, especially with how much better shooting is than CC in the new edition with the loss of sweeping advance. On that note what is stopping someone from breaking off a single model from their unit to be a sacrifice? This like your other rules favors certain armies over others.
Nothing stops you from breaking off a single model to be sacrificed. The flip side is that nothing stops me from breaking off a single model to assault your sacrifice and the rest of my unit assaults your unit.
You would do well to go back and carefully reread my introduction, particularly the final paragraph. In that introduction I admit that it is not a perfect system and was not designed to be such. It is designed to fill the gap left by the exclusion of kill teams in the rulebook. This is not an in-your-face-tournament-style-who-rules-supreme system. It is a system where you and your buddies can enjoy playing a small, fast paced game in under an hour or spend countless turns attempting to maneuver your sniper up to the belltower for the perfect shot on the turncoat who is in league with the enemy in a story driven campaign.
We have been playing Checkmate and enjoying it a great deal as a change of pace from the existing game, so please do not tell me that it is a system that does not work. I've played it, and though it very well may have some hidden flaws that need sorting out, the game as a whole is working as intended.
I do enjoy constructive criticism, but the key word is constructive. Please do not post that something is unbalanced without taking the time to explain the stance and provide examples. It does nothing to further the ruleset.
Along that same line, do not post items that you think break the system without thinking them through first. This is not a ruleset that I singlehandedly came up with this morning in a drunken stupor. We have had a half dozen people picking the entire thing over from top to bottom for more than a month. Chances are, any knee jerk item you can come up with has been thought over already or came up during play. However, if you do see an issue, and after careful thought do not see a solution, I implore you to ask me about it.
I did give reasons to my objections to your rules, and you chose to dismiss them. I play both Eldar and GKs, and I wouldn't be able to play either of my armies with your rule set. Isn't that something to take into account? I informed you that it might be an error that you needed to address. Is there a reason why you chose to exclude this units? You still haven't explained, and it seems arbitrary to me.
The restrictions on certain unit types over others also seems arbitrary. I agree with shotgun that unlimited elites is a bit much. Why don't you have unlimited fast attack or heavy support? Why 5 of one but only 3 of the other?
If you think it is fun, then go for it. You posted your rules here so people could comment on them, and I did. If you can't take any criticism then don't post that you want to hear any critiques. Just because my comments don't say "this is the best thing ever" doesn't mean they are attacking you, and it doesn't make them any less valid.
Getting 18" away is something that can be done in two rounds, and faster if the single model runs. This isn't that big of a downside when only a single model isn't shooting for 1 round to give a -2 coversave on the next. With a large board this could be done fairly easily.
The loss of sweeping advance really hurts CC based armies in the new rules and really helps shooty armies(there were huge discussions on this at the start of 5th edition). Sure you can get into combat faster with running, but once you win you are left high and dry. If someone uses your split off rules to create a single sacrifice unit, that model will be easily lost, and the rest of the unit can fire on the attacker next round because of no sweeping advance. This is something you didn't comment on in your post, and it is something that could easily be abused.
In fact I don't see any real downside to breaking your units apart at all, since they can reform at any time. Perhaps if the orders had minimum model requirements or could only be performed if the unit had a leader (like in warmachine/hordes). This could prevent abuse and be fluffy as the unit leaders are the ones giving the special orders. Maybe Ld checks required, who knows.
I have played Necromunda and city fight quite a bit, and the 75% terrain isn't as limiting once you get a hang of things and are canny with your movement and lanes of fire. Often it is worth it to give your opponent that 4+ cover just because they have to roll to move trough difficult terrain which slows them down and assault at init 1 against your shooty troops.
As I said before this is almost really cool. If you tweak some stuff and think a few more things through I think you will get more people involved rather than just your gaming group. As it stands there are some issues, and people my play it once or twice, and be turned off with it.
Checkmate strives to be a game of tactical movement much like it's namesake Chess. Units that are able to move more than 12" per turn take away greatly from the feel of the game and are restricted, just as they are restricted in Kill Teams, which is the system that this replaces.
Some existing 40k armies can not be translated into Checkmate teams. This was done on purpose. Again, a speedy army that ignores terrain will engage the enemy on turn 2-3 and is able to ignore tactical movement, thus such armies are forbidden. Checkmate is not standard 40k. It is it's own game with it's own feel and different armies will strive than in the standard environment.
Checkmate teams are meant to be elite forces. Think of them as the Navy Seals of warhammer. Thus, you are given free reign to include as many elite choices as possible after fulfilling your troop selection. Fast attack was given five slots in an effort to allow a fast paced feeling army to exist without overdoing it. Heavy support was restricted to three models to encourage players to not field an overly defensive gunline army that just sits backs and fires long range weaponry. The idea is that both armies should be moving forward tactically.
With ample area terrain and models that may not move more than 12" you can not move more than 18" in a single turn. Your opponent also is able to see what you are doing and react to it by moving out of line of sight to prevent the crossfire from occurring. The game is reactionary, just as chess is.
I certainly did comment on the ability to break off a single model as a sacrifice. The assaulting unit is able to break off a single model of it's own and assault your two units.
There should not be any penalty for breaking models off. In fact, in a perfect game, both players are using a large number of individual models running around solo. We purposefully attempted to hinder large units from being successful with rules such as crossfire.
It certainly does feel like an attack when you begin with "It's almost well thought out. Good effort, though." and then proceed to go through a laundry list of items (most of which I addressed in the introduction) without providing any thoughtful solutions. I appreciate your critiques, but ask you to please ignore the thread altogether if you are not able to provide suggestions that address the items that you perceive as problematic.
If all the models are running around by themselves in a perfect game, then why not just play Necromunda? It would be easier and better to just put Orks in Nec than build a system from the start and take out all the flaws.
So in your opinion tactical movement is everyone moving the same? Part of the tactics of 40k (and even chess which you say you are emulating) are that things are different. The fact that assault marines move farther than a tac squad influences how people move, just as a pawn only move one space but a bishop can move any number diagonally.
While I am not going to spend time writing up a diagram a single sac unit could be used and thereby deny you the charge due to range, even if you could break someone off. This is something you didn't address, as I said. If this is your intention, then fine, but it seems gamey.
I keep posting suggestions, but you keep ignoring them. Not every issue needs to be fixed by me, certain thing can be taken out or changed by you, the game designer. Once again, if your intention is to show us what you think is a perfect system so that we might play it as well, don't post that you want critiques.
Last edited by frozencore; March 31st, 2009 at 07:20.
If both units are running then neither is shooting for the turn in an attempt to set up a situation that your opponent may be able to easily circumvent by moving the model or unit in question out of line of sight. This situation is just the sort of thing the ruleset hopes to accomplish.
Necromunda diverges more from Standard 40k than Checkmate does. The effort is to create a more dynamic Kill Team system for fifth edition where neither player is stuck using brute squads.
I apologize that the system is not one where your ultra fast eldar will be able to pwn any army that they come across. It is designed to be a fast paced game with slow moving units. Now, I have spent the better part of the past two hours systematically addressing your concerns, only for you to say that I am ignoring them and then you bombard me again. I suggested it before, but now I will politely ask that you refrain from posting further in this thread. This is clearly a system that has does not suit your playstyle and we'll both be happier if you would kindly move on and allow others to comment in an effort for the thread to move back on track. If you feel we must continue our dialogue I would be happy to indulge your thoughts via pm.
Thank you sincerely,