Welcome to Librarium Online!
Okay folks, I'm back again with a revision to the Alternate Rules Sytem (ARS) for Warhammer 40K that I had proposed a few weeks ago. First, I'll explain a few things in a short introduction, then on to the new version of the rules.
To start with, although I still think the core game mechanic for 40K should move to a d10 based system, for this version I stuck with the d6 based method that everyone is already used to. If you want to read about the d10 proposal, just go down a few threads to my previous rules submission and you'll find it all there. Despite the fact that the core mechanic should be changed, and made consistent for all characteristics and for defining success for all attempted actions/events, I'm leaving that for now.
The primary reason that I'm abandoning this aspect of my proposed changes for now is that I want potential playtesters (you lot) to be able to use the ARS without much revision to your current army lists or needing to relearn all of the basic statistics and characteristics of units, vehicles, equipment and weapons. With my earlier proposal, a lot of translating was required to ensure that success rates (percentage chances) for events and the likelihood of outcomes stayed about the same as they had in the past. With this version no changes to the data are required.
Fixing problems. One thing I kept in mind while developing these rules, are two recent threads in the Warhammer 40K Rules Questions forum on LO about which rules players dislike, for whatever reason, and the thread on overlooked rules. If I agreed that a current 40K rule brought up in either of those discussions didn't work the way it should, then I fixed the problem in the ARS.
What will be required from you, prior to playtesting, is a 'function check' to ensure all special rules in a given Codex for various units and equipment still make sense. Because I have changed how the game is played, some rules in the Codexes just won't function right anymore. The easiest thing to do if one of these 'faulty rules' is found, is to figure out a fair way to implement it in the new system. If this simply can't be done, then you might want to just forget the rule or special ability and ignore it. For examples of how I would do this, just look through the final section of the ARS, the Universal Special Rules, to see how I ensured that the rules that didn't pass the function check were adjusted to fit, or removed, if necessary.
One other important aspect of this version of the rules is the inclusion of Designer's Notes. Helpful designers notes allow you, the player, to understand why a given rule is made the way it is. This gives you my intent for the rule. Thus, in the event of an unforseen rules conflict, or an opportunity for multiple interpretations, you will be able to quickly resolve the issue, because you will have the game designer's intent at your disposal. The BGB includes only one Designer's Note, which is on page 43, which notes why Initiative, rather than Movement is used for Sweeping Advances. This perhaps is why there are so many rules disputes, and why we've had to put up with RAW interpretations of rules, despite the fact that they often fly in the face of common sense.
What I need from you:
1. I need gamers dedicated to making the game we love better to go through my proposal and make sure it is a coherent and consistent system. Please point out to me any rules conflicts that you may see, that I have missed, and if a Designer's Note is called for but absent, let me know and I'll insert it. Also, if a section without an Example needs one of those, let me know, and I'll come up with one.
2. I also need some folks willing to give it an honest try and playtest a game or two, and provide the results back to the forum. I'll do the same and provide updates to you all as I complete them in seperate Playtest Reports.
One final note:
Before I post the new ARS, I'll leave you with one final note. Several posters who commented on the previous version didn't like the idea of using the Initiative Score for determining when each unit takes its actions. Although I think its a great change, and loved how this feature worked during playtesting, you can feel free to use the "my army goes, your army goes" turn-based sequence that 40K has always used, if you that is your preference, and still use the rest of the ARS.
Now on to the Rules. Warning, this is very long.
Section 1. Characteristics and Determining Success
I. The Movement Characteristic:
Due to changes in how combat is fought, all models will require a Movement characteristic. For most models this will continue to be a 6, which describes the distance in inches the model can travel as a move action in a Combat Round. Most vehicles would be assigned a Movement characteristic of 8, while fast vehicles and jump infantry would be given a movement rating of 12. Faster infantry models, that are currently described as having the Fleet USR, would instead be given an increased Movement rating, such as a 8. Beasts would get a 10, to account for the combination of Fleet with the extended charge range they have in the current rules. Designerâ€™s Note: The Movement ratings for some vehicles have been increased to better reflect the advantage in mobility that armored vehicles have over infantry.
II. Weapon Skill:
Changes to how close combat (melee combat) is executed (see below) warrant a change in how a modelâ€™s Weapon Skill is used to determine successful hits. Instead of comparing Weapon Skills to determine the roll required to successfully hit in close combat, the attacker simply must roll equal to or under its Weapon Skill characteristic on a d6 (or subtract the WS from 7, and roll equal to or above that on the d6; itâ€™s the same thing). When using this method, a roll of a 1 always hits, and a roll of 6 always misses, regardless of the WS of the attacker (or BS of the shooter when using this method for ranged attacks).
Section 2. Conducting the Battle
Prior the game, the board is setup, missions determined, table sides picked, and forces are deployed in the same way as described in the BGB. There are no issues with the methods for game preparation, so no changes are required.
Prior to deployment and picking which table sides the players will deploy from, but after terrain has been placed on the table, both players must determine the affects of all terrain pieces. Specifically, players must determine which terrain will provide cover, or total cover, which terrain will provide concealment, and how the terrain will affect line of sight and movement, for both infantry and vehicles (e.g. some terrain might be considered difficult terrain for vehicles, but not for infantry, or vice-versa, or might provide cover to infantry but only concealment to vehicles, etc.). To ensure there are no misunderstandings during the battle, all features of the terrain should be determined at this point.
For example, players should agree on the â€˜heightâ€™ of a copse of trees, that may be represented by an irregularly shaped cutout of felt. This height could be important later in the game when determining whether the vehicle on a hill on one side of the trees has line of sight to an enemy unit on the far side. Additionally, the players must agree whether the wooded area provides cover, or just concealment, and how far models may see into or out of (through) the wooded area.
The results of the designation of terrain factors should be recorded in a manner that is easy for both players to check during the battle.
III. The Combat Round:
Combat is played in rounds, with each round representing approximately 6 seconds in the game, regardless of how long it takes to play out the round (which is likely to be significantly greater than 6 seconds!). Combat starts by rolling to determine the Order of Battle for each unit for the entire game.
A. Determining Order of Battle:
Both players roll a d20 and add their Initiative value (characteristic) to determine their Initiative score (vehicles and other models without an Initiative characteristic are assumed to have an Initiative value of 0, and thus roll a d20 only). Starting with the unit that has rolled the highest Initiative score, each unit acts in Initiative score order (highest to lowest) for each combat round. When every unit has had a turn, the unit with the highest Initiative goes again and the process repeats until the game is ended. In the event of a tie (multiple units have the same Initiative score (d20 + I)), the unit with the higher Initiative characteristic goes first. It the tied units both have the same Initiative characteristic, then roll-off for a tiebreaker to determine which unit goes first within each Initiative step. If there are models with different Initiative characteristics within a unit, for simplicity, the majority Initiative is used when determining Order of Battle. Designerâ€™s Note: The method for determining order could easily be accomplished with any other method for random number generation. What is important is that each unit be assigned a fixed number that determines the sequence for action within a combat round. Additionally, a higher Initiative characteristic should give the unit or model an advantage in determining its order.
Each unit acts in turn, from highest Initiative score to lowest, completing all of their available actions for that combat round (game turn) before the next unit acts.
Any unit may choose to Delay its actions during a combat round, and can act later (at a lower Initiative score). This is often done when the desired conditions for an action have not yet been met. The new Initiative score lasts until the end of the game.
For example, a Space Marine tactical squad acting at Initiative score 12 delays its turn until a Rhino transport vehicle, acting at Initiative score 9 moves over to the squad. The Space Marine player chooses to have the squad begin its actions at Initiative score 8, and it embarks on the transport. The squad acts at Initiative score 8, for the remainder of the battle.
III. Actions in Combat:
Every combat round, each unit may do one of these four things: 1) take a standard action then a move action, 2) take a move action then a standard action, 3) take two move actions, or 4) perform a full-round action.
Each model/unit now has a Movement characteristic, which describes how far the unit can travel in inches as a move action. A unit can take a move action before or after a standard action during its turn in the combat round. Alternately, a unit can instead forego a standard action and take two move actions in a round, which effectively doubles the unitâ€™s movement rate. Other move actions include embarking onto or debarking from transport vehicles.
1. Difficult Terrain:
Every inch moved through difficult terrain (e.g. rubble, or thick undergrowth) counts as two inches of normal movement. Additionally, units may not Charge (see below) across difficult terrain.
Crossing obstacles, such as a low-wall, fence, or stream, cost two (2) inches of movement.
Any units that begin their turn in the combat round with models already in base contact with the enemy may 'Pile-In', whereby they may move unengaged models (up to their Movement distance) to contact the enemy. Note that the 'Pile-In' move is optional, and can only be made to engage enemy models or regain unit coherency. Consider the Pile-In move to be a â€˜freeâ€™ action that does not otherwise affect play.
4. Reserve Deployment/Deep Strikes:
The deployment of reserves and/or deep striking units onto the table count as a single Move action.
B. Standard Actions:
The most prevalent standard action is an attack (either ranged or melee). You can move once and still make an attack in a combat round. Other standard actions include the activation of most psychic powers and special abilities. Each model in the unit can make a number of shooting attacks according to the profile of its ranged weapon (e.g. a model with a Storm Bolter may make two ranged attacks), or may take its full compliment of melee attacks (i.e. the number of the modelâ€™s attack characteristic plus 1 for an off-hand weapon, if applicable) as a standard action.
C. Full-round Actions:
As the name implies, full-round actions consume all of a unitâ€™s effort during a round to complete, and prevent the unit from conducting any other types of actions. Full-round actions include firing Heavy Weapons for standard infantry models, and charging into, or withdrawing from close combat (see below).
A charge is a full-round action that allows all models to move up to twice the distance of their Movement rating and conduct close combat against one (or more) enemy units. When charging, each model may take its full compliment of attacks (the number of the modelâ€™s attack characteristic plus 1 for an off-hand weapon, if applicable), plus an additional attack for the charge. In order to charge, the unit must move directly to the target and must have a clear path (e.g. there can be no intervening obstacles or difficult terrain between the attacking unit and the target of itâ€™s charge).
Withdrawing from combat is a full-round action. When you withdraw, you can move up to twice your Movement rating. Enemy models in base-to-base contact with withdrawing models do not get Attacks of Opportunity (see below).
IV. Ranged Attacks:
As a standard action, all models may make ranged attacks with a ranged weapon that they are armed with up to the number of attacks on the weaponâ€™s profile (As a change to current classifications, Rapid Fire weapons are considered to allow 2 attacks per round). Rolling equal to or below each modelâ€™s Ballistic Skill determines a successful ranged attack.
For example, a Kroot must roll a 3 or less, while a Space Marine Captain need only roll at 5 or less to hit itâ€™s target with a ranged attack.
A. Range Increments:
The current maximum range of the weapon is now considered the Range Increment. A model may fire at targets within one range increment with no modifier to the attack role. (Rapid Fire weapons have a range of 12â€?, if not otherwise specified ((rumor has it that Shuriken Catapults will have a range of 18â€?))). For each range increment beyond the first, the Ballistic Skill of each firing model is reduced by 2 points for the attack roll checks.
For example, a Space Marine (BS 4) armed with a Bolt Pistol will hit a target up to 12â€? away on a roll of 4 or less, but will hit a target between 12â€? and 24â€? only on a roll of 2 or less. This Space Marine cannot hit a target beyond 24â€?, but a Space Marine Captain (BS 5) could hit a target between 24â€? and 36â€? on a roll of a 1.
B. Target Priority:
Units must pass a Leadership check to target any unit other than the closest. When it comes to choosing a target you can declare that your unit wishes to target enemy vehicles, artillery and monstrous creatures (â€˜Large Targetsâ€™). If you target Large Targets then other standard units can be ignored for determining the closest target. A Leadership test is still required to target anything other than the closest Large target. Enemy units, including vehicles, with models in base-to-base contact with friendly units cannot be engaged with ranged attacks. Designerâ€™s Note: Target Priority is nearly unchanged from current rules within the BGB. The only difference is that you may shoot into close combat if your unitâ€™s or alliesâ€™ units are not involved (e.g. in a three-way game).
C. Line of Sight:
With most ranged weapons, you can only select an enemy unit as a target if your unit can see it, or at least part of it. A unit canâ€™t engage a target if there is a hill, a building, or some other large and solid object in the way. Most friendly and enemy models do not block line of sight in any way. However, all vehicles, wrecks, monstrous creatures and artillery (friend or foe) block line of sight. Line of sight may still be drawn over or past such models, but not through them. Skimmer vehicles only block line of sight if they become immobilized or wrecked. Designerâ€™s Note: Line of Sight is unchanged from current rules within the BGB.
D. Special Weapon Types:
a. Rapid Fire Weapons â€“ As previously stated, the rules for Rapid Fire Weapons are changed such that the Range Increment is 12â€? (unless specifically stated otherwise), and the number of shots will always be 2.
b. Pistol Weapons â€“ Models may choose to fire pistol weapons as a full-round action, in which case the number of rounds fired will be 2.
c. Heavy Weapons â€“ For most units, firing Heavy Weapons is a full-round action; exceptions to this include all Vehicles and Space Marines in Terminator Tactical Dreadnought Armour, among others.
d. Ordnance Weapons â€“ Ordnance weapons are fired as any other ranged attack, with a hit achieved by rolling equal or under the crewâ€™s BS on a d6. Before rolling to hit, but after measuring to verify that the target is in range and in line of sight, the attacking player must place the appropriate blast marker (usually large) so that one enemy model from the target unit is under the central hole; you cannot place the blast marker over empty space. If a hit is rolled, the blast marker lands on target, and any models fully under the marker are hit. For models only partially under the blast marker a d6 roll of 4+ means they were also caught by the blast. If the shot misses, however, roll the Scatter dice and a d6 to determine where the shot lands. If the shot was fired from a moving vehicle, then roll 2d6 with the Scatter dice to determine where the shot lands. If the ordnance weapon is also a barrage weapon, use the method described under Firing Barrages on page 31 of the BGB to determine hits, rather than the method described in this paragraph.
e. Sniper Weapons â€“ Models firing Sniper Weapons conduct ranged attacks at +2 to their BS. Hits with a Sniper Weapon wound on roll of a 4+ on a d6, regardless of the targetâ€™s Toughness. Designerâ€™s Note: The 2D6 armour penetration against vehicles was intentionally removed.
f. Rending Weapons â€“ Any roll to hit of a 1 with a Rending Weapon automatically causes a wound with no Armor Save possible. Against a vehicle, a penetrations roll of a 6 means an additional D6 is rolled for Armor Penetration.
g. Other â€“ The other Special Weapon types (BGB pgs 30-32) continue to work as currently written.
V. Melee Attacks:
As a standard action, all models in a unit may fight with their full compliment of melee attacks (Attacks characteristic number plus 1 for any off-hand melee weapon or pistol). Rolling equal to or below each modelâ€™s Weapon Skill determines a successful melee attack.
A. Attacks of Opportunity:
If a unit with models in base-to-base contact with enemy models moves out of base-to-base contact during its turn, the movement grants the previously contacted enemy models an Attack of Opportunity. In this event each enemy model makes one free attack against the models attempting to break contact. All survivors may then be moved as normal. Note that the Withdrawal full-round action allows the unit to break contact without provoking Attacks of Opportunity.
B. Special Close Combat Attacks:
a. Heavy Close Combat Weapons â€“ Hits with Heavy Close Combat Weapons reduce the targetâ€™s Armor Save by 1.
b. Rending Weapons â€“ Any roll to hit of a 1 with a Rending Weapon automatically causes a wound with no Armor Save possible. Against a vehicle, a penetrations roll of a 6 means an additional D6 is rolled for Armor Penetration.
c. Power Fist / Claw â€“ This attack doubles the userâ€™s Strength (up to a maximum of 10), ignoring Armour Saves. Designerâ€™s Note: The Initiative reduction is no longer relevant or applicable in this rules system.
d. Thunder Hammer â€“ A thunder hammer counts as a power fist, with the addition that any model wounded but not killed by it is knocked reeling, and is unable to take any action in its next turn. Vehicles struck by a thunder hammer suffer a â€˜Crew Shakenâ€? result in addition to any other results. Designerâ€™s Note: The Initiative reduction is no longer relevant or applicable in this rules system.
e. Other - The other Special Close Combat Attacks (BGB p 46) continue to work as currently written.
a. Fragmentation and Plasma Grenades. Models in units in close combat against enemy units armed with either of these grenade types lose their invulnerable cover save against melee attacks.
b. Photon Grenades. No change to the current rules as described in the BGB (p. 39).
VI. Psychic Powers:
A model with the ability may unleash a Psychic Power as a Standard action. In order to use the power, the model must pass a Psychic test by rolling equal to or under his Leadership on 2d6. A pass means the power may be used as described in the special rules for the Psyker and power in the appropriate Codex.
a. Targeting. Unless specified otherwise, a Psyker must be able to see his target (has line of sight), and must target a unit in the same manner as a Ranged attack (however, no to-hit roll is required) as the Psyker cannot pinpoint the mind of a specific opponent with clarity in the heat of combat.
b. Perils of the Warp. To represent the dangers of drawing power from the Warp, if a Psyker rolls a 2 or a 12 on his Psychic test, he is attacked. The Psyker suffers one automatic Strength 6 attack with no saves (of any sort) allowed. Note that on a Psychic test roll of a 2, the psychic power still works, even though the Psyker has been attacked or killed.
VII. Determining Wounds:
There is no change to the current BGB rules for determining wounding hits; continue to use the Strength versus Toughness chart on page 23 to determine the d6 roll required.
To keep things simple, use the Toughness characteristic that is in the majority in the target unit. If there is no majority, use the lowest.
VIII. Allocating Wounding Hits:
Allocating wounding hits to models within a unit is entirely up to the discretion of the owning player, so long as no more than one wounding hit is allocated to a single model until all other eligible models have been allocated a hit. Designerâ€™s Note: Although this clearly advantages the target player, this avoids issues of conflict that can arise in complicated situations of Mixed Armor types combined with attacks from multiple weapons with varying Strengths and AP values.
1. Ranged Wounding Hits:
Only models in a unit within range and line of sight of the attackers are eligible to be allocated wounding hits.
2. Melee Wounding Hits:
Only models in contact with the attacking unit are eligible to be allocated wounding hits. Models that cannot get into base-to-base contact with opposing models due to outstretched arms, weapons, etc. are still considered to be in contact for these purposes. Continue to use the current convention of keeping opposing models not in contact at least 1â€? apart to clearly delineate which models may participate in the melee. Designerâ€™s Note: Only models in contact with enemy models may participate in melee combat; the models within 2â€? rule has been intentionally removed.
IX. Armor Saves:
Before removing models within a unit as casualties to wounding hits, the owning player can test to determine whether the troops survive being hit because their armor stops or deflects the attack. If the player rolls equal to or greater than a modelâ€™s Save characteristic, then the wounding hit is ignored.
1. Armor Piercing:
Some powerful weapons are quite capable of punching through even the thickest types of armor. This is shown by a weapon having an Armor Piercing value, usually referred to as AP. A weapon shown as â€˜AP â€“â€™ has no Armour Piercing value. Designerâ€™s Note: Armor Piercing is unchanged from current rules within the BGB.
2. Invulnerable Saves:
Some models or units are protected by more than mere physical armor. Models with Invulnerable Saves always get their saving throw, regardless of armor piercing or other special attacks. Only attacks that specifically state that they ignore them (such as the Psycannon) will prevent an Invulnerable save.
3. Cover Saves:
Sometimes troops will find cover from nearby terrain to protect them from attacks. Models in or behind cover are granted an Invulnerable Save. All wrecks, vehicles, walls, buildings, trenches, bunkers and fortified positions provide a cover save of 4+ on a d6. (Note that bushes, high grass, woods and jungle vegetation do not provide Cover, but would provide Concealment instead). If you donâ€™t have line of sight to your target (for instance, the target is on the other side of a building) the target is considered to have total cover from this unit; a unit cannot normally make an attack against a target that has total cover (certain exceptions may apply, for example when using an indirect fire weapon). If there are more models that can be hit in cover than there are outside of it, then the unit may make cover saves for the entire unit. If not, then none of the unit may make cover saves. Note that cover may be applicable to both ranged and melee attacks.
A target unit is considered to be concealed when nothing physically blocks a blow or shot, but something interferes with the attackerâ€™s accuracy (such as smoke, tall grass, or thick foliage, or use of the Stormcaller psychic power). Concealed targets are considered to have an Invulnerable save of 5+ on a d6. Note that concealment may be applicable to both ranged and melee attacks.
5. Fast Moving Targets:
Fast moving targets are more difficult to hit than targets that pick their way carefully across the battlefield. To represent this, all units that move 24â€? or greater during their previous turn are treated as being Concealed, and are thus granted a 5+ Invulnerable Save to both ranged and melee attacks. For fast moving vehicles, this save is taken after hits have been allocated, but prior to rolling for Armor Penetration. Designerâ€™s Note: This rule replaces the previous Skimmers Moving Fast and Turbo Boosting rules. Now the same advantage in protection is granted equally to all fast moving targets, regardless of type.
6. More Than One Save:
A model can only ever take advantage of one form of Invulnerable save, to include cover and concealment. The owning player may select whichever save is most advantageous to his models, if more than one Invulnerable save is available. After any available Invulnerable save attempts are made, Armor saves may be attempted for any remaining wounding hits.
X. Morale Checks.
1. Taking Casualties:
Any unit that loses 25% or more of its remaining strength in a combat round (from any attacks, ranged, melee, or psychic) must take an immediate Morale check to hold their ground. The unit must roll equal to or less than the unitâ€™s Leadership value (the highest Leadership characteristic of any model in the unit) on 2d6 to succeed. If the check fails, the unit will immediately fall back its Movement rating in inches toward its closest deployment zone board edge. A unit that is Pinned does not have to take the Morale test. Note: Only one Morale check will ever be required in a combat round, except in unusual circumstances, such as the use of the Fear of the Darkness psychic power that requires an immediate Leadership check at -2.
The Leadership test is taken at a -1 (to the Ld characteristic) if the unit is below 50% of its starting strength.
For example, a unit of Space Marines inflicts 3 casualties on a unit of 10 Imperial Guardsmen from their rapid firing bolters. The Guardsmen must roll equal to or less than their Leadership (a 7) on 2d6 to hold their ground. In the following combat round, the same Guardsman unit is assaulted by a unit of Space Marine Bikers and 2 more Guardsmen are removed as casualties forcing another Leadership check; this time a roll of 6 or less is required (-1 Ld). The Guardsmen roll an 8, and retreat 6 inches. Any Space Marine bikers still in contact with the Guardsmen when they broke get a free Attack of Opportunity at the fleeing enemy.
2. Falling Back:
A broken unit will continue to fall back at its Movement rate during each of its subsequent turns until it regroups or leaves the table. A broken unit will Fall Back as a move action during its turn, and may take a standard action as normal (such as a ranged attack).
Any broken unit may attempt to regroup at the beginning of its Initiative step by taking a modified Leadership check (-1 for less than 50% strength, +1 if no enemy units are in line of sight). If the unit successfully passes its Leadership test, then it regroups, and is considered to have used a Move action. The unit can then choose to complete its turn with another Move action, or with a Standard action. Designerâ€™s Note: Even units at less than 50% strength can attempt to regroup, although they will not count as scoring units, when that distinction matters.
XI. Unit Type Rules:
1. Bikes. The Movement rate for bikes is 12â€?. Each bike in a unit may fire with one weapon for each rider on the bike, and any heavy weapons may be fired as a standard action (rather than as a full-round action, as is normally required). Bike riders benefit from the protection offered by their bike, and increase their Toughness characteristic by 1.
2. Jetbikes. The Movement rate for jetbikes is 12â€?. Jetbikes may move over enemy and friendly units, as well as difficult terrain. The may even end their move over (on top of) difficult terrain, but may not claim any Cover save, and are considered to be taller than the terrain for line of sight purposes. Alternately, jetbikes may pass through difficult terrain, and may claim a cover save, if applicable, but are then subject to the usual decreased movement for passing through difficult terrain. Each jetbike in a unit may fire with one weapon for each rider on the bike, and any heavy weapons may be fired as a standard action (rather than as a full-round action, as is normally required). Jetbike riders benefit from the protection offered by their bike, and increase their Toughness characteristic by 1.
3. Monstrous Creatures. Monstrous creatures enjoy the advantage of being able to automatically pass the Leadership test required to target enemy units other than the closest. Monstrous creatures can fire up to two weapons as a standard action (rather than one, as is usually the case). Lastly, all wounds inflicted in close combat by a monstrous creature ignore Armour Saves. Designerâ€™s Note: The additional d6 for armour penetration that monstrous creatures previously had has been removed. The benefits of weight and size have already been accounted for in each monstrous creatureâ€™s Strength characteristic, which directly affects its ability to penetrate vehicle armour.
4. Jump Infantry. The Movement rate for jump infantry is 12â€?. Additionally, jump infantry may move over other models or obstacles (including difficult terrain) freely. Designerâ€™s Note: There is no longer any distinction with jump infantry equipped with Jet Packs.
5. Artillery. Gun models are treated as having an Armour Rating of 10. Any penetrating hit will destroy a gun; there is no need to roll on the vehicle damage table. Artillery units move the same way as infantry. There must be at least one crewman per gun to move; if there are fewer crewmen than guns remaining in the unit, then the unit may move, but any excess guns are abandoned, and considered destroyed (and immediately removed from the table). For shooting at, or from, an artillery unit, there are no changes to the rules described on page 56 of the BGB under â€˜Shooting Phaseâ€™.
6. Beasts and Cavalry. Beasts and cavalry have a movement rate of 10â€?; in all other respects they move as infantry.
1. Vehicle Movement:
Vehicles will follow the same guidance as other unit types for movement in combat, although some terrain may be designated as having different affects on vehicle movement than on the movement of standard infantry models. Like all other units, vehicles will be assigned a Movement rating or value that reflects how far it can move in a combat round and still complete a standard action (typically ranged shooting attacks).
a. Walkers. Walkers move as exactly as infantry and have a Movement rating of 6â€?.
b. Armored Vehicles. Armored vehicles such as various tanks, armored personnel carriers (APCs), and infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs), and self-propelled artillery have a Movement rating of 8â€?.
c. Skimmers. Skimmers ignore terrain altogether when they move and can end their move hovering over difficult or impassable terrain, but not over other friendly or enemy models/units. Most, but not all, Skimmers are also considered fast vehicles, and thus have a Movement value of 12â€?.
2. Transport Vehicles:
Some vehicles can carry infantry across the battlefield, and are designated as Transport Vehicles. Each transport vehicle has a maximum passenger capacity, which cannot be exceeded. Only infantry may embark in transports, unless a particular vehicleâ€™s rules specify otherwise. A transport selected as an option for a unit is considered a dedicated transport, and can only be used by that unit, along with any independent characters that may have joined it. Because the transport and the unit it supports often operate independently, Initiative scores for the two should be rolled separately at the beginning of the game.
a. Access Points. Most transport vehicles have access points that depict where models may gain access for embarking or disembarking the vehicle. Open-topped vehicles do not have specific access points, and therefore models can embark or disembark within 2â€? of any point of the vehicle.
b. Embarking. A unit can embark onto a vehicle by moving each model to within 2â€? of its access points. Embarkation is a Move action that may be combined with a Standard action, or another Move action, as described in Actions in Combat, above. The whole unit must be able to embark or none of them can.
c. Disembarking. When the unit disembarks, each model must be deployed within 2â€? of one of the vehicleâ€™s access points, and within unit coherency. If compelled to disembark, any models that cannot because there is no room for them to disembark into are removed from play as casualties.
d. In the Battle. Where this distinction is important, models in transport vehicles are considered â€˜on the tableâ€™. Measure ranges for special equipment or abilities from the center of the vehicle.
3. Vehicles and Shooting:
Vehicles follow the same rules for shooting as other unit types, and may therefore shoot all of their weapon systems as a standard action. Vehicle crew enjoy the advantage of being able to automatically pass the Leadership test required to target enemy units other than the closest.
a. Heavy Weapons. Heavy weapons mounted to a vehicle can be fired as a standard action, rather than as a full-round action.
b. Barrage Weapons. Firing a barrage weapon of any kind, including ordnance barrage weapons, is a full-round action, even when the weapon system is mounted on a vehicle.
c. Vehicle Line of Sight/Range. Vehicles trace their line of sight and range for shooting attacks directly from the weapon. Vehicle weapons have firing arcs that restrict which units may be targeted as per page 64 of the BGB.
d. Infantry Firing from Vehicles. All models aboard an open-topped vehicle can fire. Troops in a closed top vehicle, however, can only fire from designated fire points. Infantry models being transported in vehicles may not fire any weapon system that requires a full-round action to fire, nor may they fire if the vehicle takes a double Move action during its turn in the same combat round. A Psychic model may use a vehicle fire point to gain line of sight to enemy units for use of appropriate Psychic powers (those that act like ranged attacks).
e. Choosing a Vehicle as a Target. Any unit may choose the closest vehicle as a target, but must take a Leadership test to fire at a vehicle further away. Roll to hit against vehicles in the same way as you would against other units. If any hits are scored you then roll for each to see if the penetrate the vehicleâ€™s Armour Value (see below). Remember that enemy units, including vehicles, with models in base-to-base contact with friendly units cannot be engaged with ranged attacks.
f. Vehicle Armor Values. When a vehicle is hit with a non-barrage weapon with a Blast marker or Large Blast marker, the shot is always assumed to strike the vehicle from the direction of the firer, regardless of exactly where the marker is placed or scattered to. In the case of a barrage weapon of any kind, if the hole in the middle of the Blast marker ends up over the vehicle, the shot is assumed to hit the side of the vehicle that faces the firer. Otherwise, the attack is assumed to hit the vehicle from the direction of the hole in the Blast marker.
g. Armor Penetration. Once a hit (either ranged or melee) has been scored on a vehicle, roll a D6 and add the weaponâ€™s Strength characteristic to it, comparing this total against the vehicleâ€™s Armor Value. If the total is greater than the vehicleâ€™s Armor Value for whichever â€˜sideâ€™ of the vehicle was in line of sight, the shot scores a penetrating hit.
For example, a lascannon shot hits the front of a Space Marine Predator with an Armor Value of 13. Rolling a d6, the player scores a 4, and adds this to the lascannonâ€™s Strength of 9, for a total of 13. Because this equals the Armor Value of the Predator, no damage is inflicted.
h. â€˜AP 1â€™ Weapons and Armor Penetration. AP 1 weapons, such as multi-meltas, score penetrating hits even when they equal the targetâ€™s Armor Value.
i. Damage Rolls. A hit on a vehicle can have a variety of results. Roll a d6 for each shot that penetrates the vehicleâ€™s armor and look up the result on the Penetrating Hit damage table on page 67 of the BGB.
j. Wrecks. Note that a vehicle that is destroyed becomes a Wreck, and therefore a new piece of tabletop terrain. Like all terrain, its affects on nearby vehicles and infantry must be determined. Vehicle wrecks will normally grant Cover, and will be difficult terrain for Movement to both infantry and other vehicles. Designerâ€™s Note: The Glancing Hit and Ordnance Penetrating Hit tables are no longer used.
k. Damage to Passengers. Passengers carried aboard a vehicle that is destroyed must make an immediate disembarkation move and are considered Entangled through their next turn (whether it is in the current, or next, combat round). An Entangled unit may take no actions, and miss their next turn.
l. Smoke Launchers. Some vehicles have been equipped with smoke launchers, or a more sophisticated equivalent. Once per game, a vehicle can trigger its smoke launchers as a Standard action. The vehicle should then be appropriately designated (e.g. with a marker, or some cotton) to show that it is now Concealed (see above). The vehicle counts as being Concealed until its next turn, and is thus granted a 5+ Invulnerable save versus all attacks.
4. Vehicles and Assaults:
a. Skimmers. Skimmers can always choose to move over friendly or enemy troops and this neither impedes their movement nor harms the troops below. Enemy troops can still attacks skimmers in close combat, as melee attacks take into account close range shooting and grenade lobbing, as well as actual hand-to-hand combat. Models that are classified as both Skimmers and Armored Vehicles (â€˜tanksâ€™ in the old terminology) can still choose to overrun an enemy unit and inflict a Tank Shock (see below).
b. Tank Shock. If an Armored Vehicle reaches a unitâ€™s position then the unit must take a Morale check (Leadership test), with appropriate modifier, to see whether it breaks and Falls Back. If the unit passes, it simply moves out of the way of the approaching vehicle. Designerâ€™s Note: The Death or Glory rule has been removed.
c. Infantry Assaulting Vehicles. Infantry can pose a grave risk to vehicles if they get close enough and are armed with the right weapons or equipment. Models attack vehicles with the same number of attacks as they would if attacking any other unit. Designerâ€™s Note: The d6 roll needed to hit vehicles that varied depending on their Movement in the last turn is no longer used. Instead, the standard WS based rolls are used for all close combat attacks against vehicles, and appropriate Cover or Concealment saves apply.
d. Grenades. If equipped with them, models may use grenades, rather than their standard weapons or attacks against vehicles in close combat. Grenades have to be clamped or placed so as to inflict enough damage, so each model using them can only make one attack, regardless of the number of attacks they would normally have. Use the Armor Penetration for grenades as listed in the table on page 72 of the BGB.
e. Walkers in Close Combat. Walkers fight in close combat in the same way as infantry. However, any hits scored against them must roll for armor penetration and damage as for a vehicle. Models fighting a walker always fight against its front armor value, as the walker is not a static target and will turn to face its enemies in a melee. Immobilized, shaken, or stunned walkers fight in close combat with one less attack than normal, down to a minimum of 1, but otherwise attack normally. Walkers never have to take Morale checks, and so will never fall back.
f. Using Grenades against Walkers. Infantry may attempt to use grenades and melta bombs against walkers in close combat like any other vehicle. A model will only manage to score a hit on a walker with a roll of a 1 on the d6 attack roll (an automatic hit). If a walker is already stunned or immobilized prior to the attack, however, then the standard attack roll based on the modelâ€™s Weapon Skill is used instead. Remember that models using grenades against vehicles can only ever make one attack.
g. Dreadnought Close Combat Weapons. If a Dreadnought is armed with a close combat weapon, it doubles the modelâ€™s Strength in close combat, up to a maximum of 10, and ignores Armor saving throws. A Dreadnought armed with two close combat weapons gains an extra attack, just like ordinary troops armed with two weapons. Obviously, if one of these weapons is destroyed, the bonus attack is lost. Losing the other close combat weapon will not affect the walkerâ€™s attacks characteristic, but it will lose the benefits of the DCCW (the Dreadnoughtâ€™s base Strength is used for attacks, and wounded enemies will be allowed to take their Armor saves).
5. Vehicle Morale:
Vehicles donâ€™t normally need to take Morale checks for any reason. If, however, it would ever matter, vehicle crewmembers are considered to have a Leadership of 10.
6. Vehicle Squadrons:
Some vehicles often operate in units of more than one vehicle rather like infantry, usually referred to as squadrons. Squadrons may be comprised of up to three vehicles.
a. Squadron Movement. As a unit, vehicle squadrons act together at the same Initiative score. Squadrons move as infantry units, and must maintain coherency, but vehicles within a squadron need only to remain within 4â€? of each other, rather than 2â€?. If any vehicles in the unit are immobilized or stunned, the rest of the unit must remain within coherency (4â€?) or choose to abandon them. Any vehicles that are abandoned are left behind and counted as destroyed.
b. Squadron Shooting. When shooting, a unit of vehicles fires all of its weaponry at a single opposing unit. When a unit of vehicles is fired at, any hits are distributed evenly amongst the vehicles, as any other unit (e.g. no vehicle takes more than one hit until all of the vehicles in the unit have each taken a hit). Once hits have been distributed, rolls to penetrate the vehiclesâ€™ armor and damage rolls are made, as appropriate.
c. Close Combat Attacks against a Squadron. Enemy units must allocate their attacks between the members of a vehicle squadron as if each vehicle was a separate unit.
XIII. Universal Special Rules:
1. And They Shall Know No Fear. Space Marines automatically pass Morale checks (Leadership tests) to Regroup.
2. Counter-Attack. Models with this ability get a single free Attack of Opportunity against models that move into contact with them (either via a Move action or Charge full-round action). Work out defendersâ€™ counter-attack hits and resolve wounds prior to working out the attacking unitâ€™s hits and wounds.
3. Fleet. This USR is removed from the game system. Instead, all models with that had the Fleet ability are given an increased Movement rate. Add two inches to the standard rate of movement for the model type (e.g. infantry with Fleet would have an 8â€? movement rate, while jump infantry with fleet would have an incredible 14â€? movement rate).
4. Furious Charge. Models with this skill add +1 to their attacks when they conduct a Charge move into close combat.
5. Hit and Run. Models with this skill may Break Contact from enemy units without provoking an Attack of Opportunity. Normally a full-round Withdrawal action would be required for this.
6. Move Through Cover. Moving through Difficult Terrain normally consumes 2â€? of available movement for every 1â€? moved (1/2 movement rate). Models with this skill consume 3â€? of movement for every 2â€? moved (2/3 movement rate).
7. Preferred Enemy. In close combat only, models attack their designated preferred enemy at +1 to their Weapon Skill. This skill does not help when attempting to hit vehicles without a Weapon Skill characteristic.
8. Turbo-Boosters. This USR has been removed fro the game system. Designerâ€™s Note: This rule was removed to prevent the logical inconsistencies that currently exist. The advantages previously gained by this USR and in Skimmers Moving Fast have been replaced by the Fast Moving Targets rule in the Armor Saves section above.
9. Other â€“ All other Universal Special Rules (BGB pgs. 74-76) continue to work as currently written.
I hope you like it; please let me know if you see something you especially like, or think could be improved on.
Couple of things. First off is that Power Fists and Thunder Hammers would become way too good for their point costs. You need to nerf them somehow, as hitting last was really the only thing that kept them from beating every single armored foe into the ground, such as Termies, MC, or any number of heavily armored foes. So it needs a new nerf.
Second is that the new CC rules for melee attacks make it so that swarm CC armies like Orks and 'nids, end up not getting ANY of the 24 or 32 size units, simply because they can only attack with about 1/3 of them at a time.
The new deepstrike rules make it so that a deepstriking unit is almost guaranteed to either get into close combat or into cover on the round it deepstrikes, effectively nullifying the tyranid Lictor's ability to get a charge action on the round it deepstrikes. Maybe change that rule so that Deepstriking for the Lictor doesn't count as a move action?
The new Move Through Cover rule lessens the ability in proportion for armies like Tyranids who all have Move Through Cover, to some Chaos armies who can get it on almost every single unit. I would think 3/4 would be a better percentage, as units trained in moving through cover do move considerably faster.
The charging through cover rule makes it so CC armies end up having to move a large number of extra inches, maybe 12 or 24, or spend an additional turn getting through the cover so they can get shot at when they pop out, not able to charge. Heavy terrain goes from the Messiah of the close combat armies, to one of the worst things that can happen to them. While restricting lanes of fire is good, the new rules for cover make it so that not only can't you charge someone 3 inches away from you with a low wall in the way, but you also can't charge someone in a building at all, due to the fact you would always have to go through cover to get to them, as long as they stayed in the building. Part of that was poor wording, but not being able to attack someone 3" away, so about 10 feet or less in game terms, just seems slightly silly. EDIT: Nevermind, didn't realize you could charge into close combat with a normal move or doublemove action. You just lose the extra attack.
Love the new weapon skill rules, makes it so that getting a WS bonus for Hive Tyrants, Genestealers, or any number of other units becomes at all useful. Yay for 5 or less hits with almost every single unit in the Tyranid arsenal, including units you paid 11 points for! Minus the Carnifexes, which hit on a 4 or less. May be a bit overpowered though. The Dark Eldar CC suddenly also gets a giant boost. Also a good idea to make the initiative bonus upgrades cheaper or something, as initiative suddenly got a lot less important.
Overall, like this version much more than your other one. It had too many changed which were nice, but you didn't really need at all.
Scorpii, thanks for the quick feedback on the new rules, and I appreciate the thoughtful consideration to them. Hopefully you will get a chance to try them out.
[QUOTE=Hive Fleet Scorpii;806485]
Second is that the new CC rules for melee attacks make it so that swarm CC armies like Orks and 'nids, end up not getting ANY of the 24 or 32 size units, simply because they can only attack with about 1/3 of them at a time.[/qoute]
The large units will still be valuable, as they'll keep you from having to make the 25% casualty Morale checks as often, and the Mob Rule would still work for Orks in the same way. CC units still need to have the ability to absorb losses as they move forward through the battlefield to get into hand-to-hand. Also, large units will have models that can continue to 'Pile-in' and maintain the assault in subsequent combat rounds.
Absolutely, we'd need to make an adjustment to the Lictor's Secret Deployment special rule, as he still should be able to make some attacks on the round he arrives. I think your recommendation, that his deployment doesn't count as a Move action (he simply appears in cover), so he'd still be able to make a full-round Charge action, or a Move action combined with melee attacks (standard action).
I'm playtesting with Orks (CC focused) and Space Marines, so should get a good feel for equity in balance for Shooty vs. Horde armies.
Just remember that the Eldar, Dark Eldar, and other armies that were very fragile, are suddenly not too much more fragile in comparison to the other armies. Banshee Masks would also probably need to be rewritten. Maybe give them an automatic +5 to the roll? Also, what about the CC Walkers like the Talos which used to always go last in attacks, as was proper for something as nasty as the Talos in CC for so little points? All of the Walkers seem to of gotten a giant bonus, due to the fact they CAN actualy get to the enemy by turn 3 instead of turn 4 or 5. They also now don't necesarilly attack last in CC. Also, I seem to remember you saying that the orcs would of had to stop to shoot in one of your battle reports. Remember they are Assault weapons, and so you should be able to just keep moving and shooting with them. So 12" movement and shooting with infantry with assault weapons.
This past week I conducted my second and third playtest of my proposed Alternate Rules System (ARS) for Warhammer 40K. Once again, I conducted a simple game following standard missions with 1000 points of Orks versus non-Trait Space Marines. The following is a report of my results.
Initiative Scores and the Order of Battle:
1) Prior to the game, but after rolling for the mission (which were both Recon missions), I rolled a d20 and added the Initiative value for each unit to get the Initiative score. For units with mixed Initiative values, I used the majority value. Use of the d20 means less units will tie. When I did get a tie, the unit with the higher I value went first. If the tied units had the same I value, then I rerolled for a tiebreaker, and the winner went first.
2) Throughout the game, each unit acted in turn according to the above Order of Battle, completing all of their actions in turn, as described in Section 2 of my proposed rules. In playtesting, I was extremely satisfied with the results using this method. After making the initial list with the Order of Battle on a piece of notebook paper which was left by the gaming board in view of both sides, there were no issues with knowing whose turn it was. During the games several units chose to Delay their actions, so I erased them and rewrote them in lower on the list into the correct order based on their new Initiative score (itâ€™s essential to leave several lines between each unit, to allow room to insert Delaying units). In addition, to keep track of where we were at in the Order, a tick mark was made beside each unit as it completed itâ€™s actions; this also helped in remembering how many Combat Rounds had been played. It was all very easy and smooth, and gameplay wasnâ€™t slowed excessively.
No further changes or adjustments are needed with this aspect of the ARS.
Actions in Battle:
1) Overall I am pleased with how Movement worked in the test games. In general, there was more movement and maneuver across all units, with the exception of the stationary Devastator squad (as you should expect). The ability for the Orks to take double Move actions to 12", or to Charge 12" every turn was offset by other nuances of the game. The way in which difficult terrain works (taking 2" of Movement for every 1" travelled), ensured that the additional movement didn't grant the Orks an undue advantage over the Space Marines.
2) One thing that I adjusted during the test games was to decrease the Movement rate for jump infantry from 12â€? back down to 9â€?. It seemed that 24â€? Charges for these troop types was slightly excessive. However, 9â€? is still 50% more movement than regular infantry, and thus still worthwhile.
3) My only major concern for Movement was with infantry on transport vehicles. In both test games, the Orks had Trukk Boyz start the game mounted on their wartrukk. The Trukk took a double Move action for 24â€? for its two actions, then the Trukk Boyz Disembarked for their Move action, and could still take a standard action and either shoot, or conduct melee attacks if they disembarked into base contact (which they did).
1) I will go back into the ARS and make slight the adjustment to the Movement rate for jump infantry. All others worked well.
2) Iâ€™m considering counting infantry on transports as a single unit, and thus the double Move action of the Trukk would prevent the Trukk boyz from doing anything that turn. Then in their following they could split apart by Disembarking (a Move action for the boyz) followed by a standard action, and the Trukk would be free to take its two actions for that round. This would work essentially the same as an Independent Character splitting from a squad it had been attached to.
1) I was overall pleased with the Range Increment system used for shooting. Most of the Space Marine units attempted shots between 12" and 24" at the approaching Orks. They needed a roll of 2 or less on the d6 to be successful (an adjustment I made due to my having chosen to fight the battle with d6's rather than d10's). Statistically speaking, firing 20 bolter shots at BS 2 gets the same result as firing 10 shots at BS 4 (which is what happens with current rules when standing still and shooting between 12" and 24" with a bolter). The only advantage was that the Marines could still take a Move action, which they can't do currently, and fire at this distance. However, the Orks also benefited from increased Movement opportunities, so I think this cancelled out.
2) The Orks barely shot at all, as I tried to take advantage of double Move actions, and Charges, to get the Orks into melee combat as quickly as possible. This is where the Orks want to be anyway, so I sacrificed weak shooting opportunities to get into contact. In the test games, I was a little displeased by the fact that only once did an Ork unit have an opportunity in which it made more sense to take a normal movement and shoot, rather than take a double Move action or a Charge action. Iâ€™d like to see the Orks get to fire more often and still get to take advantage of the increased movement, otherwise weapons like the rokkit launcha and big shoota are pointless in a regular mob of boyz.
1). Again, I was pleased with how Shooting worked using the Range Increment system in this battle; decreasing a unit's accuracy over extended distances "just feels right" as opposed to rounds just disappearing when they've travelled 60 feet from the weapon. This area will require additional playtesting, and will likely look a lot different against Tau, or another Space Marine army. For now, I'm recommending this as a keeper. I intend to playtest with different armies (something other than Orks) next.
2). As a solution to the â€˜Ork Dilemmaâ€™ above, I am considering allowing models armed with Assault and/or Pistol weapons to make ranged attacks even after a double Move action. Iâ€™m going to give this a try and see how it works out in future games.
1) I was please with how close combat worked with the ARS. Fighting in close combat as a standard action worked well, as did fighting as a charge action. I also really like how units in contact had to choose between Piling-in and assaulting themselves,
Withdrawing, or simply moving away and suffering potential Attacks of Opportunity.
2) Because only models actually in contact can make melee attacks or be killed by melee in the ARS, close combat could last several rounds between units. However, this worked well in the games played for testing. I might try a test game where everyone within 2â€? of a model in contact fights/can be killed and see how that works. I expect close combat would be exponentially bloodier then.
1) I liked how Fast Moving targets and the 5+ Invulnerable save for Concealment worked. In the first test game, while using 12â€? Movement for jump infantry, the Ork Stormboyz got to take advantage of this while conducting double Moves and charging, and it worked well. In the second test game, when I reduced jump infantry Movement to 9â€?, they lost this advantage. It wonâ€™t help the Orks, but Iâ€™m considering lowering the total movement required to be considered Fast Moving down from 24â€? to 20â€?.
Next in this project, I intend to conduct some more playtesting, using the changes addressed above. Iâ€™ll also change up the armies used in test games, to ensure Iâ€™m seeing different aspects other than the same old Space Marines versus Orks. I'll also select some more varied unit types, especially vehicles, and units with special abilities, to see how those work out.
Thanks again for your interest and comments.
Your humble servant,
While I like these ideas, and respect the immense amount of effort that's gone into making them (especially the designer's notes! That's a cool idea, I'm taking it), I think there are still a few things that need fixing (mainly in the sections I'm working on, which I'm most opinionated on).
Firstly, your morale rules are still the same as in the BGB (will someone please tell me what that actually stands for?!). So sorry, but these are possibly the most shocking morale rules for primarily ranged combat I've come across. Although I like the idea that units can now regroup below half strength, the idea of units getting up and running away under fire just isn't going to happen. You hit the deck and lie there praying/worrying/drooling dependent on race and inclination.
I like the idea of initiave scores - maybe this could be developed further....
I would really appreciate your input on my own attempts to "fix" morale and command in the current system - I currently don't have the option of playtesting stuff, and won't do until next term, so please do give me any feedback you might have.
If it ain't broke, it might need fixing.
The difficult we do immediately. The impossible may take a little longer.US Army Corps of EngineersMember of Advanced 40K development team (self-appointed)