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If you happen to be interested in taking a look, I've developed an alternative to the 4th Edition rules for Warhammer 40K. My proposed system combines what works in the current edition with elements of 2nd Edition, and even the combat system of DnD 3.5, and some of my own ideas. I've completed several playtests, and refinements and am extremely happy with the results.
The project grew from my dissatisfaction with several elements of the game, and I used some threads in the Rules forum to determine which rules cause the most confusion, conflict, and which are just disliked by the players. Then I worked out the most coherent and comprehensive system that I could, while maintaining the use of all of the current 'data'. In other words, I designed the rules system such that players can use their current army lists with little or no modification.
There will sometimes be a piece of equipment, or special rule that doesn't jive, or doesn't make sense, with the ARS, so just make sure you check through your codex to make sure everything works. If something looks like it needs to be tweaked, then please feel free to do so.
If anybody bothers to look it over, then please give it a playtest, and let me know how it worked out for you.
The Alternate Rules System.
I would like to say you have done a great job of clarification and putting back what should never have been removed from 40k.
I have used the 'ARS' and it goes a long way towards 'correcting' the current systems dubiuos areas.
The only thing I found a bit 'strange' was the random initiative method.
It is a bit too random for my liking,but thats just my personal taste I suppose.
The AP system and cover/consealment methods still are in desperate need of a overhaul.
But the parts of the game you have revised are a big improvment .
Just my oppinions for what they are worth.
Thanks for trying it out, and for the comments that you've provided. I've enjoyed the couple of games that I've gotten to playtest with them, and am pretty happy with how everything works. I know it isn't perfect yet, but I think it is pretty good (and a good bit better than 40K 4th Edition).
I like the Initiative method. It was borrowed from DnD's combat system, and simply puts all of the units in the combat in an order, that will be used thoughout the game to determine the sequence for actions. Doing it randomly is the only fair way to do this (i.e. so the "slower" armies aren't unduly punished). This method is influenced by the average initiative score of within each unit, so Eldar Howling Banshees have an advantage over an Ork Boyz Mob, but they just aren't guaranteed to go first.
I haven't decided completely on whether I like the AP system completely (using the same one as 4th Edition 40K), but I have just accepted that I prefer the simplicity of it over the old method of each weapon having a save modifier. I have played under that, and it was much more painful than the current "all or nothing" AP system.
I like what I've done by separating cover (something that physically protects you), from concealment (something that makes you harder to hit). So having cover act like an additional armor save, and concealment providing a negative modifier to the to-hit roll just makes sense to me.
Another idea that I've considered is to have cover and/or concealment work like an automatic filter. This would provide an added degree of protection, regardless of what kind of unit was being targetted. The way it would play would be to give a percentage for different types of cover/concealment that would describe its degree of protection.
As an example, I could say that a a vehicle wreck provides 33% cover, so if a unit shooting at another unit behind this wreck rolled 15 hits on its BS roll, then 5 of those hits (33%) would be discarded prior to rolling to wound. If the shooting unit had a unique weapon type involved in the shooting (say a meltagun), then I'd make a separate roll to check whether that shot was one of the shots deflected by the cover. I could roll a d6 and on a 1-2 it was one of the 5 deflected shots, while on a 3-6 it would be one of the 10 shots that made it through, and I'd roll to wound.
If you have any specific recommendations on how to fix some of the things you didn't like, then please don't hesitate to post them here.
This reminds me of the story of the lost traveller asking for directions.
Traveller..'How do I get to the city.'
Local..'well I wouldnt start from here if I were you..'
You have gone a long way in improving the current version of 40k.IMO.
But there is so much that needs serious attension,that most of the rules set would need re-writing rather than adding lots of extra rules to try and make it work as it 'should'.
If you want to build a fast large passenger airoplane ,you dont get very far using an existing deisel engine ,you have to start by developing a jet engine.
Just my opinnion.
Thoughts on possible improvments ...Armour reduces the strenght of hit.
So all armour has an effect ,and so has a relative worth.(No efficiency jumps.)
Moral should be more detailed than ok OR running away.
OK, shaken ,stunned, and falling back perhaps.
The effects of moral should effect unit performance in a more gradiated way.This could help define the order units 'go' in.
Some method of determining what units can actually 'see' not just LOS.
And what units can actually effect, in more detail perhaps.
Why do we need to use 4 Stats for close combat attacks, when most troops are armed with ranged weapons.Ranged attacks only have BS,(the other stats are per weapon.)
I feel strongly that scifi games of this sort should be all about manouvering and fire power.
Not rushing into close combat to beat your opponent over the head with a boltgun.
But hey 40k is a fun game ,you play it and have fun.(pick your army ,throw some dice and move some models.)
I also play wargames (developed for ballanced competative play),I have fun, and learn alot at the same time.
I fail to see in what way 40k could be considered ballanced?It realy is not.
Apart from if you use the same forces and styles of play the dev teams do.(GW dont actualy list these do they?)
Any way, you are doing a great job of trying to achive improvements.
Personaly I would rather start from scracth, rules wise.At least then I am able to concider all options ,rather than be tied down to the 'limiting factors' of the 'current inapropriate' rules set.
Why flog a dead horse ,when you could be building a jet bike?