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I've had this idea for quite some time, but it wasn't untill a few minutes ago that I decided to make up some rules for it. I'm looking for suggestions, critisism or even spelling, wording and grammar corrections... I'm also taking suggestions for a name, preferably something that fits the mythological beast theme that IG vehicles seem to follow. (Basilisk, Hellhound, Chimera, Griffon, Hydra etc. etc.)
Imperial Hovercraft, requires doctrine Restricted Troops: Hovercraft Squadrons
Doctrine Hovercraft Squadrons
Hovercraft Squadrons: This doctrine replaces Sentinels with Imperial Hovercraft as a Fast Attack option in a Imperial Guard Army. Imperial Hovercraft may not be placed in Command Platoon Support Squads.
*insert fluffy explanation as to why this regiment use hovercraft instead sentinels*
x Hovercraft Squadron xPts... Front Armour...Side Armour...Rear Armour...BS60......11...................10.................10.................3Type: Fast, Open topped.
Crew: Two Guardsmen
Squadron: A Hovercraft squadron consists of 2-3 Hovercraft.
Weapons:The Imperial Hovercraft is armed with a twin-linked Heavy stubber but may be upgraded to carry one of the following weapons: twin-linked Multilaser at +20 points or a twin-linked Autocannon at +25 points. The Imperial Hovercraft comes with a Hunter-Killer Missile like the one described in the Vehicle Upgrades section of Codex: Imperial Guard. (One shot Krak missile with unlimited range)Options:Imperial Hovercraft may not be given the following upgrades: Armoured Crew Compartment, Smoke Launchers, Camo Netting, Extra armour, Mine Sweeper, Pintle Storm bolter, Pintle Heavy Stubber or Track Guards.Special Rule: HovercraftHovercraft are designed to hunt enemy guerilla and provide protection for Imperial supply convoys and as such are rarely seen on the frontlines. However in times of need they are sometimes called in to provide reinforcements on the main battlefield.Special Rule: Amphibious
To represent this all Hovercraft must start in reserves if the scenario permits. However, because of their speed, Hovercraft get +1 to their reserves roll.
Manuevering a hovercraft at high speed is a tricky buisness. Therefore in order to represent this a Hovercraft that has moved 12" or more are limited to 45 degree turns untill they have slowed down.Hovercraft treat all water features as clear terrain when they move.EDIT1:
The idea behind the Imperial Hovercraft was to make a veichle about the strenght of an Imperial Guard Sentinel, but more foruced on the role of a light tankhunter. Thats why it's fot fewer weapon options than the original sentinel in exchange for superior movement and frontal armour. I belive however that these advantages are canceled out by the penalties in the Hovercraft rule and the increased number of points used to field the darned thing.
If you think something is to cheap or to expensive pointwise just say so. Though I would appreciate it if you said more than 'X is to expensive your idea sucks.'
EDIT2: Formating and spelling errors.
EDIT3: Added the Amphibious special rule as suggested by MikeTehFox over MSN. Makes sense, it's a hovercraft after all.
EDIT4: After talking to Mike a bit more, I think I should explain the reasoning behind the points costs. First, lets take a squad of three Cadian Pattern sentinels, like my Hovercraft the Sentinels are equipped with Autocannons. These three sentinels are 150 points and on average will hit with three shots. For 150 points you can get two hovercraft with twin-linked autocannons, who like the sentinels will hit with three shots on average. So the autocannon accuracy is the same, but the hovercraft has better armour and speed, but there is three sentinels and only two hovercraft.
Secondly, I belive that the custom rules that I made up aswell as the pointcost makes up for the increase in firepower(Hunter killer missiles). The hovercrafts have more penalties and cost more and come in lower numbers. They do not posses the Sentinels ability to split into squads of 1, so pointwise I think they're okay.
EDIT5: Changed the hovercraft rule so that the hovercraft must now move in a straight line after having gone at high spreeds. In addition, I also lowered the side armour to 10(from 11) to further the penalty of being able to move fast. Now after a fast move it will be easier for the opponent to get a shot at the hovercraft's side armour because the player owning the hovercraft cannot turn the side with the highest armour value against whatever gun that he deems to be the biggest threat.
And now that the side armour value has been lowered there isn't really a need for the 'fragile parts' part of the hovercraft rule since str 4 weapons can glance on sixes anyway. Thanks to MiketehFox for these suggestions.
EDIT6: Increased both autocannon and multilaser costs by five points.(From 20p --> 25p and 25 -- > 30p)
EDIT7: Wording corrections.
EDIT8: As a compromise between MiketehFox's and closet_anarchist's(Now Forger of Civilization) suggestions the hovercraft no longer has to fly in a straight line. It is now allowed to make turns of 45 degrees after having completed a move of 12" or longer.
EDIT9: Added Smoke Launchers to the restricted vehicle upgrades. I just thought that the powerful fans that drive the hovercraft would disperse the smoke to quickly for it to be of any use, since hovercraft are required to maintain a cushion of air under them else they land.
EDIT10: Added 30p lascannon as a weapon option. Changed some fluff in the hovercraft rule.
EDIT11: Lascannon removed. Added a twin linked heavy stubber as the standard weapon and increased the base pointcost to 60 points to compensate. Lowered the cost of remaining weapons by 5 because I thought the entire craft was becoming to expensive.
I believe hovercrafts run counter to IG fluff. On page four of the IG codex it says grav-vehicles were outlawed after the Horus Heresy according to the earliest volumes of the Tactica Imperium.
"Official! The graves of warriors who have given thier lives for the Emperor now outnumber the stars themselves."
The Imperial Hovercraft utilises the same principles as the Space Marine Land Speeder. A huge fan blow air under the vehicle and creates a cushion of air that the chassis "glides" upon. SoI wouldn't call it anti-grav. Far from it.
Unlike Eldar and Tau veichles who are held up by somehow negating gravity(atleast that is what anti-grav technology sounds like it does to me.) instead hovercraft are heal above ground by a stream of air.
Forumula 1 cars are given their small "wings" at the front and back of the to prevent them from flying when the air is rushing under it.
EDIT: Tried to clear things up a bit. My first explanation wasn't that good. A couple of typoes fixed.
A) Land Speeders DO NOT work like today's hovercrafts, A SM LS uses an anti grav dive to keep it off the ground and jets to make it move forward.
I think your dealing too much with custum special rules, you should try this:
Type:Fast, Open Topped, Tank
a) TL Multilaser
b) TL Autocannon
--Hunter Killer Missile
Front Armor: 11
Side Armor: 11
Rear Armor: 10
x Hovercraft Squadron x
Pts.....Front Armour.....Side Armour...Rear Armour...BS
Type: Fast, Open topped.
Crew: Two Guardsmen
Squadron: A Hovercraft squadron consists of 2-3 Hovercraft.
The Imperial Hovercraft must have one of the following weapons: Twin linked Multilaser at +30 points or a twin-linked Autocannon at +35 points. The Imperial Hovercraft comes with a Hunter-Killer Missile just like the one described in the Vehicle Upgrades section of Codex: Imperial Guard. (One shot Krak missile, unlimited range)
Imperial Hovercrafts may not be given the following upgrades: Armoured Crew Compartmen, Cemo Netting, Extra armour, Mine Sweeper, Pintle Storm bolter, Pintle Heavy Stubber and Track Guards.
Special Rule: Weak Belly
The Hovercraft takes dangerous terrain test instead of it immobilizing on only a 1, it now becomes immobalized on 1 or 2.
Special Rule: Amphibious
Hovercraft treat all water features as clear terrain when they move.
There, thats my take on you HoverCraft Squadrons.
Suggestions from Mike's post and from talking to him on MSN have been added. Each edit on the list has been documented at the end of my first post. I appreciate your help on this.
I dont get why there is the 11 on frontal armour. It isn't open topped like the land speeder (which is 10 all around, mind you) and is quoted as being fragile.
I know in game terms something 'amphibious' can't actually go underwater but isn't that what the word means? What I'm trying to get at here is that if it's opened topped, how would it go under? The crew would be drowned. :p Perhaps removing the open-topped rule would make it better/more realistic. (Omg I can't believe I just said that while talking about 40k :huh: .)
I gave it armour 11 at the front for two reasons, the first one was to make it a bit different from the space marine land speeder, even though there are several differences already I can't shake the idea of my hovercraft getting compared to the SM landspeeder.
I also, with all the disadvantages I've given it I thought it best to give it something on the plus side, which is why I gave it a front armour of 11 to make it immune against bolter fire against the front. If there is anything i've learned to hate as a Imperial Guard player, it is bolterfire against the side armour of my chimeras who glance it on an armour penetration roll of 6. By giving in front armour 11 the player will not have to worry about str4 weapons aslong as the front it turned against the enemy.
And as said by Mike, amphibious vehicles can move over land and water with little to no speed reduction(particulary in case of hovecraft who aren't affected at all since they do not accually touch the water but fly above it on the cushion of air generated by the fans.