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    Senior Member Valerian's Avatar
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    40K House Rules

    Hi folks, this is my first post, and I hope you all enjoy. The purpose of this post is two-fold, first, I just felt like sharing the few things that I've brewed up that I think are improvements on the game. These House Rules might be used when y'all play in friendly games, and might even increase the fun you have. Second, I really think the evolution of Warhammer 40K through the years since its origin in Rogue Trader (back when I joined the hobby in 87-8 has been tremendous. The rules and game mechanics are so much improved; I am really impressed with this newest version. However, the rules still have room for improvement, and I'd like to offer some suggestions.

    As a note before I begin, I'm using an Issue, Discussion, Recommendation format that I am familiar with, and believe is useful for these types of postings. Also, I am foremost a Space Marine player (Space Wolves, Blood Angels, and Grey Knights), but also have a sizeable Ork contingent. My recommendations are in no way intended to advantage either of these, or any other, Army. Inadvertant game imbalances my result from implementation, but those should be rectified in various codex adjustments, as necessary (if GW were to actually take my advice, which is unlikely).

    Let's begin with the House Rules:

    1. Issue: the ‘Gets Hot’ rule (BBB, pg. 30).

    Discussion: Plasma weapons have the potential to overheat and wound the firer; additionally, the likelihood increases when multiple shots are fired (e.g. rapid firing). This adds a negative feature to a few weapons that is completely unnecessary. Most weapons with the ‘Gets Hot’ rule are already appropriately priced, and their selection is appropriately limited in the army lists (Ork blastas, and Space Marine plasma weapons).

    Recommendation: No more ‘Gets Hot’ rule.

    2. Issue: Rapid Fire Weapons and Assault (BBB, pg. 29/36).

    Discussion: The current version of the rules does not allow any model that fires a Rapid Fire weapon to assault that turn. This severely limits the flexibility of most armies’ tactical troops, for no apparent game balance benefit.

    Recommendation: Models with Rapid Fire weapons that shoot may still assault that turn, but get no charge bonus to attacks (just like ‘True Grit’).

    3. Issue: Rapid Fire Weapons Range (BBB, pg. 29)

    Discussion: When a unit moves, the range of its rapid-fire weapons is reduced to 12 inches, the same as a pistols range. This degradation of range severely limits the tactical mobility of most armies’ tactical troops, and provides an excessive advantage to models with Assault weapons.

    Recommendation: Models with Rapid Fire weapons may fire twice up to 12 inches, or once up to their maximum range, regardless of their movement that turn.

    4. Issue: Firing Weapons (BBB, pg. 18/63)

    Discussion: A unit (Independent Character, large creature, squad, vehicle, etc.) may target a single enemy unit in the Shooting phase. This rule was implemented to speed up the game (which used to go model-by-model when shooting). Under the current rules, shots are wasted by the either the special/heavy weapon trooper or the remainder of the unit. However, this restriction runs completely counter to the tactical purposes for integrating special and heavy weapons into squads. Troops with small arms and machine guns will continue to destroy or suppress enemy infantry or light vehicles while troops with anti-tank weapon systems focus on destroying enemy armored vehicles, bunkers, or likewise hardened targets. Similarly, tank and infantry fighting vehicle machine gunners will search for ‘soft’ targets (enemy infantry, rocket-propelled grenade and anti-tank guided missile teams), while the gunner of the primary weapon system searches for enemy armored vehicles.

    Recommendation: Allow any unit (including vehicles) to split its fires between the nearest troop unit and the nearest Large Target (vehicles, artillery, or monstrous creatures); a Leadership test is still required to target anything other than the closest Large Target.

    5. Issue: Firing Vehicle Weapons (BGB, pg. 63).

    Discussion: The vehicle rules includes an unnecessary matrix to determine which weapons vehicles may fire, which depends on both vehicle type, and distance traveled in the movement phase. This table is unnecessary, and slows down game play by adding an additional process to the Shooting phase. Moving a tactical vehicle at combat speeds should not drastically reduce platform lethality.

    Recommendation: Allow all vehicles to fire all of their weapon systems regardless of movement, up to 12 inches (walkers, of course, are still limited to 6 inches of movement).

    6. Issue: Vehicle Damage Tables (BGB, pg. 67)

    Discussion: The vehicle damage process is cumbersome; three separate damage tables are unnecessary. Simplification would help speed up the game.

    Recommendation: The Ordnance table is not used. When rolling for armour penetration, the total must exceed the vehicle’s Armour Value to score a penetrating hit. A total that is equal to the vehicle’s Armour Value will no longer cause a glancing hit. The Glancing Hit table will only be used when a Penetrating Hit is scored on an Obscured target, on a skimmer moving over 6 inches in its previous movement phase, or when the weapon used to score the hit is classified as an AP–
    weapon, which can only ever score glancing hits.


    That's it for now. Your comments are welcome.

    Regards,
    Valerian


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  3. #2
    Senior Member TzarNikolai's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Valerian
    1. Issue: the ‘Gets Hot’ rule (BBB, pg. 30).
    Recommendation: No more ‘Gets Hot’ rule.
    this means that certain armies get a lot of benefits: guard, SM, CSM now don't have any risks associated with them. w00t. although no one else really gets a boost...

    Quote Originally Posted by Valerian
    2. Issue: Rapid Fire Weapons and Assault (BBB, pg. 29/36).
    Recommendation: Models with Rapid Fire weapons that shoot may still assault that turn, but get no charge bonus to attacks (just like ‘True Grit’).
    this means that certain armies yet again get a tremendous boost: SM can fire twice with their very decent bolters then charge into cc and get their very decent statline attacks. just wait till a grey slayer squad rapid fires then hits you in assault. this yet again screws over the eldar guardian who already has this rule and GK, who already have the rule. tau and static rapid fire armies get no benefit.

    Quote Originally Posted by Valerian
    3. Issue: Rapid Fire Weapons Range (BBB, pg. 29)
    Recommendation: Models with Rapid Fire weapons may fire twice up to 12 inches, or once up to their maximum range, regardless of their movement that turn.
    now there's decision making to be done. do i move or do i shoot? what are the pro's and cons of each, what am i actually sacrificing? crunch time!
    ...However with your rule every squad has the same threat range whether they move or not. why would you stay still, whats the point of weighing the options?

    Quote Originally Posted by Valerian
    4. Issue: Firing Weapons (BBB, pg. 18/63)
    Recommendation: Allow any unit (including vehicles) to split its fires between the nearest troop unit and the nearest Large Target (vehicles, artillery, or monstrous creatures); a Leadership test is still required to target anything other than the closest Large Target.
    this gives certain armies a huge bonus and gets rid of the balance penalty of having eg. bolters firing at a tank if you want to lascannon it. so any army with a heavy weapon upgrade in a squad gets a boost, certain armies lose out: necrons, tau, aspect warriors.

    Quote Originally Posted by Valerian
    5. Issue: Firing Vehicle Weapons (BGB, pg. 63).
    Recommendation: Allow all vehicles to fire all of their weapon systems regardless of movement, up to 12 inches (walkers, of course, are still limited to 6 inches of movement).
    it made perfect sense before. again you chose between reducing your shooting and getting into a better position or letting everything fly (at your second choice of target)
    the table isn't really that much of a handicap, i've got it memorised for the vehicles i use (fast skimmers) and i don't need a whole lot else. this just seems like an excuse to field 3 lascannons on a pred and be able to move and fire them all you want. also, it again screws over certain armies and certain vehicles. eg. fast skimmers but gives huge bonuses to the slower vehicles such as preds and leman russes. (12" move ordnance?)

    Quote Originally Posted by Valerian
    6. Issue: Vehicle Damage Tables (BGB, pg. 67)
    Recommendation: The Ordnance table is not used. When rolling for armour penetration, the total must exceed the vehicle’s Armour Value to score a penetrating hit. A total that is equal to the vehicle’s Armour Value will no longer cause a glancing hit. The Glancing Hit table will only be used when a Penetrating Hit is scored on an Obscured target, on a skimmer moving over 6 inches in its previous movement phase, or when the weapon used to score the hit is classified as an AP–
    weapon, which can only ever score glancing hits.
    so now DE shooting is absolutely incapable of taking down a monolith or a blessed hull land raider? no glancing hits, no chance of damaging.
    currently its not too cumbersome, it gives you various grades of damage and makes shooting at a vehicle worthwile even if you don't damage it because you can at least stop it firing for a turn.


    while your ideas do make a lot of sense, the whole game will need to be hugely rebalanced. every army will have to be carefully considered and revised so no particular army gets a huge benefit from any of these changes. if you play with these rules without considering other armies then there will be serious balance issues. they also seem to be removing a lot of the tactics from the game

    sorry to say but i wrote all this up and assumed you played SM or CSM. then i re-read the first paragraph and realised you did in fact play SM, and that it was your first post. making this in retrospect seem a little harsh. your ideas do make a lot of sense and are real fluffy, they're just not what 40k needs. which is more balancing
    Last edited by TzarNikolai; January 24th, 2006 at 00:31.

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    Senior Member Valerian's Avatar
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    I'm going to respond to TzarNikolai's points, since he is the only one to respond so far. Perhaps some degree of explanation will help on these.

    Regarding Recommendation 1:
    Quote Originally Posted by TzarNikolai
    this means that certain armies get a lot of benefits: guard, SM, CSM now don't have any risks associated with them. w00t. although no one else really gets a boost...
    The point of changing the rule is not, necessarily, that all armies will get an equivilant "boost", obviously only the armies with weapon systems that currently 'Get Hot' will. Additionally, the recommendation is not made to gain a huge advantage, just to get rid of something that doesn't need to be in the game. IMHO the 'Gets Hot' rule is rather pointless; if GW wants to limit the number of plasma weapons a SM player runs, then simply limit availability and/or increase points cost. I am humored at the thought of all those poor SM initiates that draw straws to see which poor git has to report to the armoury to draw the squad's plasma gun for the upcoming battle.

    Regarding Recommendation 2:
    Quote Originally Posted by TzarNikolai
    this means that certain armies yet again get a tremendous boost: SM can fire twice with their very decent bolters then charge into cc and get their very decent statline attacks. just wait till a grey slayer squad rapid fires then hits you in assault. this yet again screws over the eldar guardian who already has this rule and GK, who already have the rule. tau and static rapid fire armies get no benefit.
    Again, it is noted that this change would have a different effect for different types of armies; that is expected, and shouldn't be taken for granted to be a negative outcome. What is relevant is that almost all armies' basic tactical troopers use rapid fire weapons. Changing this rule would benefit, therefore, almost all of the armies (although to varying degrees, perhaps). Yes, it would be a nasty blow if an attacking Grey Slayer squad advanced to within 6", rapid fires, then assaults, but shouldn't an attacking Grey Slayer squad be significant? Conversely, what if those Grey Slayers only advance to within 12" of the defending squad with rapid fire weapons? Now the defenders can move forward, rapid fire, and launch a preemptive assault, thus denying the Grey Slayers a charge bonus in the next round, and allowing their fellows to readjust positions to better prepare for the Slayers' continued advance once they conclude close combat.

    Regarding Recommendation 3:
    Quote Originally Posted by TzarNikolai
    now there's decision making to be done. do i move or do i shoot? what are the pro's and cons of each, what am i actually sacrificing? crunch time!
    ...However with your rule every squad has the same threat range whether they move or not. why would you stay still, whats the point of weighing the options?
    In this case, those choices are still the same ones that have to be made by any units with a Heavy Weapon. "Do I move now to a better position, or should I stick it out and see if the Lascannon can destroy the approaching tank"? Again IMHO, I don't think your basic tactical trooper model should have such limited mobility. A 12" range limitation when moving is pretty tight. In this case, if you move at all, then any unit you could shoot can assault you in the next turn.

    Regarding Recommendation 4:
    Quote Originally Posted by TzarNikolai
    this gives certain armies a huge bonus and gets rid of the balance penalty of having eg. bolters firing at a tank if you want to lascannon it. so any army with a heavy weapon upgrade in a squad gets a boost, certain armies lose out: necrons, tau, aspect warriors.
    Admittedly this one will definitely affect different armies in different ways. Any models that don't have heavy or special weapon options in squads would gain no advantage for their squads, but would gain an equal advantage with their vehicles.

    Honestly, I'm pretty confident that the rules were not written as they are for any game balance reason; it was formulated to increase game-speed. In the old-days shooting was done model by model and it took all night just to play one side's turn. My proposal will only slow the game minimally. My biggest issue with the current rule is that it forces an entire squad to shoot at the same enemy unit or vehicle without consideration for their equipment and the intended uses for that equipment that the squad has. This simply isn't how soldiers do business; there are different purposes for those weapons, and their effects are complimentary when applied correctly. Anyway, I'm rambling. On to the next point...

    Regarding Recommendation 5:
    Quote Originally Posted by TzarNikolai
    it made perfect sense before. again you chose between reducing your shooting and getting into a better position or letting everything fly (at your second choice of target)
    I understand that the rules were written, in this case, to force a vehicle commander to choose between movement and shooting. However, this is a choice that in my opinion shouldn't be required. At combat speeds, this is a choice that most armored vehicles don't have to make; the advantage of real armored vehicles is in their firepower and mobility; they are nearly as effective rolling across the plains as they are stationary in a vehicle fighting position.

    This change would make most vehicles much more effective and lethal. The game balance is restored, however, in implementing the previous rule that allows opponents to target these vehicles with any/all available heavy/special weapons within range without sacrificing shots that could be directed toward troops. I believe that the combination of this rule with the previous one more accurately reflects how battles are fought (not just 40K here folks).


    Quote Originally Posted by TzarNikolai
    the table isn't really that much of a handicap, i've got it memorised for the vehicles i use (fast skimmers) and i don't need a whole lot else. this just seems like an excuse to field 3 lascannons on a pred and be able to move and fire them all you want. also, it again screws over certain armies and certain vehicles. eg. fast skimmers but gives huge bonuses to the slower vehicles such as preds and leman russes. (12" move ordnance?)
    Yes, the table isn't too hard to memorize, it just isn't necessary. And yes, by implementing this rule one would be able to field 3 lascannon on a predator and move 12" and fire them all; a predator is afterall an extremely lethal system. This rule doesn't screw over any vehicles, the skimmers are just as mobile and effective as ever. Yes, it does increase the effectiveness of tanks, infantry fighting vehicles, and armored personnel carriers, so some points adjustment may be necessary. Also, these vehicles will also be slightly more vulnerable to Heavy/Special weapons, as noted above. The thing to remember is that vehicles on the battlefield do not fight at the same speed and pace as the supporting infantry.

    Regarding Recommendation 6:
    Quote Originally Posted by TzarNikolai
    so now DE shooting is absolutely incapable of taking down a monolith or a blessed hull land raider? no glancing hits, no chance of damaging.
    currently its not too cumbersome, it gives you various grades of damage and makes shooting at a vehicle worthwile even if you don't damage it because you can at least stop it firing for a turn.
    I haven't played any DE, so didn't realize that they don't have an anti-tank weapon with a 9 or 10 strength. I just checked my Wargear book and every other army has at least one weapon with STR 9 or 10. Simple fix for that is to give one to the DE. This rule change recommendation was not done because I see a distinct problem (as I have with some of the others, above), but rather to simplify the system. In my system you either penetrate, or you don't. If you penetrate with an AP - weapon, against a fast moving skimmer, or obscured vehicle, then your effectiveness will be reduced. This will also have the effect of increasing vehicle survivability a little, but this will be offset with all of those Special/Heavy weapons that are now free to target the vehicle, without their squad having to sacrifice a rounds worth of shooting troops (see Recommendation # 4 above).

    Quote Originally Posted by TzarNikolai
    while your ideas do make a lot of sense, the whole game will need to be hugely rebalanced. every army will have to be carefully considered and revised so no particular army gets a huge benefit from any of these changes. if you play with these rules without considering other armies then there will be serious balance issues. they also seem to be removing a lot of the tactics from the game
    Perhaps, but when taken all together, some of the rules provide counter-balance to any harsh imbalances that might occur when taken singly.

    I did some limited playtesting (one game of my Grey Knights vs. a buddy's Orks), which actually went very well. The game was just as fast and there were no huge issues. He won, but it was very closely fought, and quite fair. Most importantly we had a good time. I am looking forward to further playtesting, when I get the opportunity.

    Quote Originally Posted by TzarNikolai
    sorry to say but i wrote all this up and assumed you played SM or CSM. then i re-read the first paragraph and realised you did in fact play SM, and that it was your first post. making this in retrospect seem a little harsh. your ideas do make a lot of sense and are real fluffy, they're just not what 40k needs. which is more balancing
    No problems mate. I do play SM, but intended the House Rules/recommended game changes to be fair to all armies when taken together (I do have some issues with SM rules/army lists, but will post them on the SM forum at some future date). And yes, this is my first post, but I've been playing the game off and on for about 15 years, so don't worry too much about being harsh. I just ask that respondents be polite, as is appropriate.

    Thanks again for your input Tzar Nikolai,

    I am hoping to garner more responses. Even better would be some folks to try them out in a game or two and let us know how it turns out.

    Best Regards,
    Valerian

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    Junior Member Farseer Wraith's Avatar
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    The rapid fire rule really screws over the eldar. We have little rapid fire weapons (one in fact) and are standard weapon has range 12, the 2 inch rule would hurt us. And while the vehicle movement rule doesn't affect fast skimmers, it makes them worse compared to the others. Again eldar are screwed. Eldar plasma weapons don't overheat but they have one less stregth and no blast template. Eldar are screwed again. A better change for that rule would be an alternate firing form that was less powerul but did not overheat.

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    Valerian, it seems like all your house rules are designed to help out Space Marines, Chaos Space Marines, and Imperial Guard (to a lesser extent) to the exclusion of all other armies. In other words, you're giving SMs a big boost vs. everyone else. I wasn't aware these armies need to be boosted.

    You're welcome to throw out any rule you want in your own house, but I just don't see the point. I'd certainly never agree to play with these rules.

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    Someone plays Marines I guess.

    I would never accept those rules, they are very unbalanced in favor of Space Marines IMO.
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    Tyranid Warrior Fanatic Phalanx's Avatar
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    Ehhh... With me its not that I care that SM or Guard or anyone gets overpowered, but guys like my poor little nids really get the short end of the stick. I mean, they have no tanks, no rapid fire, and except for the horribly unreliable zoanthropes, we can only glance out of close combat. Plus it means you can sluaghter our hordes with you little peashooters and kill the big ones with the heavy weapons, and they're already tough enough to defend against a lascannon based army- and in your rules every squad can use their basic weapons on the guants, and then the lascannons and plasma (which no longer even has the chance of killing the user, making it pretty under-priced IMHO, especially with those new rapid fire rules) can shoot at the fex unhindered? I'm sorry, but those rules pretty much makes nids worthless. Also, there are races like Tau whose plasma doesn't over-heat, but still pretty much costs the same and is weaker. However "realistic" these rules are, they kill pretty much every non-imperial, non-csm army.

    As for the 12" thing, 12" is the max speed of a vehicle. Combat speed for them would be 6". At 12" they would be going too fast to get a reliable lock on enemies/ the recoil on ordinance would pretty much ruin any chances of hitting (so the scatter would be like 4d6 or something). Besides, having a tank going at max speed all the time isn't very fuel efficient, either- it'd be like driving a car at over 200 Km/h all the time. You;d run out of fuel on like turn 3.

    Besides, when you think about it, 40K isn't very realistic, anyways. I mean, 99% of the intelligent speicies in the galaxy are bipedal? Most races look like humans? Doesn't make much sense from a realist point of veiw. Besides, I'd say balance is more important then realism. They are good ideas, but they don't work out too well for the most part.

    (here's an idea for the vehicle damage table thing, though- instead of making a glancing hits table, just subtract 2 from whatever you roll on the penentrating hit table and if you get under 1, it counts as crew shaken? Then its pretty much the same thing as now, but one less table)
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    Senior Member Lady Bastet's Avatar
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    This is the problem with arbitrarily changing rules and not test playing extensively with all the options. Games Workshop seems to do this often at the moment when more widespread changes may be necessary.

    Personally I think they should have waited on 4th edition and wiped the army slate clean before re-releasing new books that take the new rules into account during creation and provided players with “back of the rulebook? lists until their army is re-released.

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    Heh - these rules suggestions would *significantly* increase the power-level of your army (Marines) and hammer others (my 'Nids).

    You would get significant benefit from each rules change, and I would get basically none. I imagine that might be a fun way to play if it was only Marines vs. Marines - but in any other scenario your rules suggestions are just nuts. No offense meant......

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    Again, full agreement with the Tzar.

    Most of what you're proposing makes certina things cheesy, unbalances others, and takes the whole point away from still more.

    If these were implemented, the game would be lot more boring, partially because you're taking away the very chacter and imagination of it (plasmas getting hot, for example, and the fact that you can't annihilate vehicles any more with a vast exploding cannon as two tanks face off against each other), and because everyone would play the same thing in the same way because that's good, and nothing else is.
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