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Discussion about everything Warhammer 40000 related, including modelling, painting, collecting, fluff, cheese and the expansions Apocalypse, Cityfight, Planetstrike and Spearhead. Newbie advice on tap too.

40k Rules re write a general discussion. (177 posts)

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  • Avatar Image lanrak415p said 1 year, 2 months ago:

    Hi all.
    I was wondering if anyone was interested in discussing a re write of the 40k rules focusing on intended game play,(eg that is in synergy with the background.)
    As opposed to trying to make WHFB game mechanics and resolution methods, sort of deliver a sort of game that is sort of OK …

    As there was a lot of speculation when the ‘leaked 40k rules’ for 6th ed were discussed on B.O.W.I thought there might be a few people still interested in developing/discussing the alternatives?

    NO ONE seems to be able to objectively defend current 40k rules , when compared to other games rules.(EG As instructions to play the game 6th ed 40k rules are awful in terms of clarity and brevity..)

    So how about discussing ideas for a rule set that MAKES SENSE, is STRAIGHT FORWARD to learn, and LESS COMPLICATED, but delivers MORE GAME PLAY!

    As the types of units used in 40k map easily onto units found in modern warfare.(In terms of function and tactical-strategic interaction.)
    I though using modern warfare as a basis for the game play would be a good start.

    Modern warfare is a EQUAL balance of Mobility to take objectives, Firepower to control enemy Mobility, and Assault to contest objectives.

    Would a rule set where mobility , firepower and assault were equally important and balanced in the game play appeal to you?

    How about a rule set where the unit stats are universal and cover ALL units .
    And Special Rules are restricted to actual units that have Special Abilities .

    Does this sound interesting?

    If you are happy with the 6th ed 40k rules as they are currently, PLEASE do not respond to this thread.

    I would like to gauge interest in developing a COMPLETELY new rule set that can be used for more tactically focused games of 40k.(More in game decisions , less strategic over complication .)

    I am NOT trying to fix/add anything to current 40k rules.(As I think 40k rules are over complicated and bloated enough!)

    But a complete new start from the ground up.Using ideas from popular modern games, released over the last 30 years. (Intelligent game design and intuitive resolution methods seem to have passed the poor old 40k rules by… )

    Please let me know your level of interest Ta!

  • Avatar Image chadeptus224p said 1 year, 2 months ago:

    What exactly is it you don’t like? the entire rulebook or certain parts?

    Relying on luck is foolish – Taking the best chance is wise
    Have Patience – Victory will find you
  • Avatar Image nazghallion240p said 1 year, 2 months ago:

    if you’re looking for a place to begin perhaps the dystopian legion rules may make a good start on it? or something similair alows for different stats on weapons and keeps the rules streamlined as well as from my (admittedly small level) of experience gives a much more interactive feel to the game?

  • Avatar Image lanrak415p said 1 year, 2 months ago:

    @Chadeptus.
    The whole 6th ed 40k rule book is an example of poor game development .(In terms of clarity and brevity.)So I want to completely re write the rules focused on game play .

    @ nazghallion..
    I have heard good things about Dystopian wars too.But there are loads of great games , I would rather use the ideas that are the best fit for 40k from the wide range of great games, rather than modify a particular rule set .(As we have done this for No Limits, Stargrunt II, Tomorrows War, Fast And Dirty, etc at our game club.Although they deliver a better game experience in our opinion.I would like to try to go one better…)

    I would like to go through the development in set stages.
    So we can discuss and exchange ideas on each section before moving on to the next.

    Here is the rough running order I would like to use.(Rough outline that may change and overlap a bit as we go along…)

    Game turn Mechanic.

    Unit Mobility

    Damage resolution , ranged and assault.

    Morale

    Unit characteristics

    Strategic organisation (F.o.C. replacement.)

    Just a quick note on values and characteristics.In the development stage , we will be writing examples to show how the new rules work-interact.These values will be adjusted if/when we get to play testing stage…
    PLEASE do not bog down the discussion of basic rules development with how much damage weapon X should do, or what extra special rules unit y needs…
    This is what play testing is for..
    Thanks in advance…

    THE GAME TURN MECHANIC.
    As a 40k table top is quite crowded nowadays,(Compared to 2nd ed,) and most unit end up in weapons range very quickly.
    I believe it is very important to use a more interactive game turn.
    To reduce the impact of first strike advantage, and player boredom when its not their turn.

    I would like to use interleaved phases,or alternating unit activation.
    Basic forms are ..

    Interleaved phases.
    Player A moves.
    Player B moves
    Player A shoots
    Player B shoots.
    Player A Assaults.
    Player B Assaults.

    Alternating unit activation.
    Player A activates one units and performs all actions with that unit.
    Player B activated one unit and performs all actions with that unit.
    players alternate until all units have been activated.

    I would like to use more tactical control in the game turn.
    This means using ONE counter next to unit, to show its current order/activation status, OR this is replaced with a counter to show if the unit has suffered morale damage.

    EG using counters with alternating unit activation in a similar way to Epic SM.(To reduce numerical advantage to an acceptable degree.)

    Using counters with interleaved phases to get more dynamic, and varied interaction.

    I want each order counter to cover 2 actions.(To keep it fair.)
    Actions available are…
    Move, Attack, Ready.

    Move , move up to the models Speed value in inches.(This can be modified by some types of terrain.)

    Attack, make an attack on enemy model within the attackers effective weapon range.

    Ready, prepare weapon/equipment to make the next action taken more effectively .

    This gives the following order counters..

    Advance,- Move then Attack .(Shoot)
    Charge ,- Move , then Move into Assault.
    Double time , -Move then Move.
    Evade ,-Attack then Move.
    Fire Support ,- Ready then Attack(Fire heavy/ordnance weapons.)
    Infiltrate ,- Ready then Move (unit counts as in cover after moving.)

    I probably did not explain that too well sorry.

    Anyhow, what are your thoughts preferences on alternating unit activation and interleaved phase game turn, for the new 40k rules?

  • Avatar Image nazghallion240p said 1 year, 2 months ago:

    oh i just meant as a system to look at and draw inspiration from looks like the idea i was getting at is one you’ve considered… having recently tried infinity your counter idea may be able to work similair to their orders? also the reaction abilities in infinity would produce more tactical gameplay with simple expedients… maybe see if 40k could benefit from that? personally i’m inclined to make it one unit activates then opponent activates a unit etc. etc.

  • Avatar Image chaingun91p said 1 year, 2 months ago:

    I must admit I think 40k is going down the same slippery path as WHFB with an ever increasing over complicated set of rules that if you have any problems and want advice from games workshop they reply “it’s whatever you and your friend agree”.

    To me I would like to see all the armies in 1 book, after all you can’t keep rewriting the same fluff all the time.

    If you are asking for a core rule mechanic that I would like to see in 40k then it has to be unit activation and reaction.
    1) Unit Activation – I am fed up with the ugo I go system that 40k has, I’ve been playing 40k since Rouge Trader and all that happens is I line my army up, you line your army up, I then knock out all the best things you have in your army Game Over. So to me having first turn is important if you are playing the old style unit kill points.

    I would like to see a more dynamic system like is used in Bolt Action, where each unit on both sides has a counter placed in a pot and on the draw of your counter you get to activate a unit in your army. This will create tension and atmosphere in the game.

    2) Reactions – if an enemy unit has been activated then I would like to see a simple reaction system as used in Force on Force rules. This is where i can react to the enemy unit by either moving or shooting, I must first pass either a leadership or Initiative test to do so and failure would mean i fail and do nothing but at the same time my unit forgoes its turn as it has tried to act but failed.

    these are a couple of things that my group are going to try when we next get together.

  • Avatar Image chadeptus224p said 1 year, 2 months ago:

    @Lanrak what was your favourite edition of 40k rules?

  • Avatar Image lanrak415p said 1 year, 2 months ago:

    Hi folks.
    I am glad you agree about the game turn needing to be more interactive.

    The thing is the game turn should set the level of interaction we want.
    If we have to rely on additional reaction rules, then we have fallen into the same trap as 6th ed 40k with its over complicated and clunky over-watch rules.

    Also you have to consider that what works well in a skirmish game can be less than optimal in a larger battle game like 40k has become..

    One of the main problems is one side having lots of MSU, and the other having a few larger units.The random activation from Bolt Action only works well for up to 10 units a side and reasonably close number of units on each side.

    If we use unit alternating activation, we need another mechanic to reduce the negative effects of imbalanced unit sizes, IMO.

    Either a structured activation sequence based on orders.(Like Epic SM.)

    Command Phase.
    (Place orders counters face down next to units.)

    First fire phase.(Units on first fire orders shoot.)

    Charge Phase(Units on charge orders run or assault.)

    Advance Phase(Units on advance orders move and then shoot.)

    Resolution phase.

    Or a tactical risk management like Warpath II.

    Automatically activate one unit.
    Activate a second unit on the roll of a 3+
    (If you fail the unit does not activate this turn.)
    If you pass the secondary unit activation you may try to activate a third unit on the roll of a 5+.
    (if you fail ALL following friendly units need a 3+ roll to activate.)

    The alternative would be single action interleaved phases with orders..(Use the order counters from my previous post.)

    Command Phase.
    Place order counters face down next to units on good morale.
    Request off table support.(Reserves, Air Artillery Strikes.)

    Primary Activation phase.
    Player A takes the first action of their units orders one at a time, turning the order counters face up as they go.

    Player B takes the first action of their units orders one at a time, turning the order counters face up as they go.

    Secondary activation phase.
    Player A takes the second action of their units orders one at a time , removing the order counters from play as they go.

    Player B takes the second action of their units orders one at a time , removing the order counters from play as they go.

    Resolution Phase.
    Attempt to rally units on poor morale, plot arrivals.

    I will explain these game turns in more detail if needed.

    @Chadeptus, my favorite rules for 40k universe are Epic .(Space Marine and Armageddon are both good games.)

    if I really had to pick an offical GW rules, then 2nd ed 40k.
    Really over complicated and clunky, , but a characterful and fun skirmish game.
    (Loads of fun if you played Orks like I did.)
    3rd ed to 6th ed managed to kill all the character, while adding layers of uneccisary complication.

    As there are loads of much better skirmish game out now , I do not miss 1st or 2d ed 40k.

    As far as Army Composition lists go , I would like to develop ALL factions at the same time .And use something far more intuitive and theme friendly than 40ks current F.O.C.

    Enough rambling off topic.(Slaps self on wrist.)
    Any more thoughts on game turn mechanics ?

  • Avatar Image chaingun91p said 1 year, 2 months ago:

    I disagree with you. I have played bolt action with 2000pts and more each with more units than in most 1500pt 40k armies and the game plays well in around 3hrs. So to me it doesn’t take a long time at all providing as in all wargames each person has a good understanding with the rules.

    What you are suggesting is the same as bolt action written in a different way but with the same results. Also bolt action units vary in size as does 40k units, after all the combat squad for space marines is 5 men and so is a british infantry squad for bolt action.

    If you have ever read bolt action you will see that its roots are from 40k with the added dynamic of its activation system. But what I will say is that both of these sets of rules are written for competition gaming in mind (which is not my cup of tea) as I would like to try and create the ebb and flow of combat on the tabletop like you read in the 40k novels. lol.

    Also if your favorite rules for 40k are Epic then why not comvert those or even still add the command and control into it like is in Warmaster (these ideas are very simple to do and without too much paperwork to remember).

    I have been writing rules now for over 20 years and the piece of advice I will pass on to you is for every 1 thing you change it will 90% of the time have a knock on effect to something else in the rules, so my advice is “if its not broke then dont fix it”. lol.

  • Avatar Image lanrak415p said 1 year, 2 months ago:

    @ Chaingun.
    Bolt Action rules are my favorite skirmish rules for WWII.
    There is nothing wrong with this rule set for its genre, in fact it IS one of our favorites.

    BUT, it is just humans with similar tech level,and usually played with a far less crowded table top than 40k, and with far less devastating weapons.
    40k has to cover Grots with sharp sticks all the way up to Titans.
    (Yes the game should be able to scale up to cover Apoc without extra rules! IMO.)

    B.A game turn would make an improvement to the current 40k game.But it is not the optimum choice IMO.

    I am NOT changing current 40k rules, I am TOTALY re writing them from the ground up..

    Having been tinkering with the 40k rules since 1998, I realized, (as Andy Chambers did,) that the ONLY way to improve the rules for 40k without adding even more over complication , is a complete re write!

    And EVERYTHING IS ‘broken’ in 40k 6th ed rules.
    I can not think of ANYTHING that can not be replaced with a better alternative!

    Anyhow, I agree that a simple single order/status counter next to each unit is a simple way to track current state and actions in battle games.(Some games use order dice,some games use order counters.As order counters can simply be a small piece of paper with a letter on one side. I shall refer to order counters in the rest of the development discussion.)

    Here are the SIX proposed order counters.(These should cover most tactical options, but we can revise them as we go along as required.)

    [A] Advance, Move then Shoot.

    [C] Charge , Move then Assault.
    (THE ONLY order to allow units to engage in close combat.)

    [D] (At the) Double .Move then Move.

    [E] Evade, Shoot then Move.

    [F] Fire support.Ready then Shoot.
    (Fire to full effect, the ONLY way to fire heavy/ordnance type weapons.)

    [I] Infiltrate, Ready then Move.
    (The unit is harder to Target after it has moved,increase stealth value by one.)

    I have used order counters that map easily on to the letters A,C,D,E,F,I. (So making order counters is simply bits of paper with a letter on one side for play testing.)

    Here are the outline for the two game turn mechanic options I want to propose.
    Alternating unit activation.

    Command Phase.
    Place order counters face down next to units on good morale.
    Request off table support.(Reserves roll, Artillery /Air strikes called.)

    Decisive Action Phase.
    Players alternate activating units on Decisive orders.
    Fire Support orders first, then Charge orders ,then Double orders.

    Reaction Phase.
    Players Alternate activating units on Reaction orders.
    Infiltrate orders then Advance orders, then Evade orders

    Resolution Phase.
    Players attempt to rally units on poor morale, and plot off table support arrivals/bombardments.

    Interleaved Phases.

    Command Phase.
    Place order counters face down next to units on good morale.
    Request off table support.(Reserves rolls taken, Artillery/Air strikes called.)

    Primary Action phase.
    Attacker takes the first action of the order counter with his units , one at a time , turning the order counters over as they go along.
    Defender takes the first action of the order counter with his units , one at a time , turning the order counters over as they go along.

    Secondary Action Phase.
    Attacker takes the second action of the order counter, with his units one at a time , removing the order counters as they go along.
    Attacker takes the second action of the order counter, with his units one at a time , removing the order counters as they go along.

    Resolution Phase .
    Players attempt to rally units on poor morale, and plot off table support arrivals/bombardments.

    Quick Note, the player who pick their deployment area is the ‘Defender’.The other player is the ‘Attacker’, and they go first.
    I am intending to use Mission cards, 6 for the Attacker and 6 for the Defender .
    This will give us 36 random senarios .(If we use random the three standard table edge deployments that means 108 game types!
    Mission cards will give a primary objective and a secondary objective. 3 points for a primary objective and 2 points for a secondary objective.
    A more ACTUAL narrative focus, ( not just randomness for the sake of it, ) would be good for 40k IMO.

    (Ill get back to Mission Cards and theme friendly Army Composition a bit later…)

    Any comments questions on the proposed new game turns folks?
    (Deciding what actions your units are going to take before the turn starts and NOT knowing what you opponent is going to do with their units, makes a good simulation of tactical command IMO.)

  • Avatar Image chaingun91p said 1 year, 2 months ago:

    I think we share very similar ideas mate, I do think your approach for orders is a good step as I agree we should try and remove us with the all seeing eye from the battle.

    Talking of various tech levels, I know you want to rewrite 40k and the armies etc, but have you thought if looking at Tomorrows War ?

    These give you the orders and reaction system at the same time it uses troop quality and tech levels of both equipment and armour. They also cover vehicles, flyers, skimmers and droids.

    Just a thought and to try and save you a little time.

  • Avatar Image deathangel252p said 1 year, 2 months ago:

    one time me and some friends modded the warmachine ruleset to play a homebrew zombie survival horror game…it was absolutely awesome. it took a month to get everything to where we all agreed it was fair and balanced, then we built some models and had a game. i wish i could share it will you all, but i don’t wanna get sued by PP…i love PP…wait…that sounded bad XP

    today is tomorrow’s yesterday
  • Avatar Image lanrak415p said 1 year, 2 months ago:

    @ Chaingun .
    We tend to use Tomorrow War rules for our games of 40k.(Its much better game play IMO.)

    However, a rule set conversion for 40k , has been done for most popular rule sets that can be converted at some stage..so I do not want to go over old ground.

    My main point was B.A tends to treat most weapons and equipment quite genericaly.
    Which is fine for fun fast play WWII.
    But 40k needs more variation IMO.(40k players are used to it.)

    Troop quality (morale) is sadly lacking from 40k. And something that needs to be included IMO.

    My plan was to use straight forward resolution methods to start.And add more detail (technology and racial diversity,) later using modifiers and simple P,B.

    Anyway , on with the first of the holy trilogy of modern warfare…
    MOBILITY.

    All units have A speed value,expressed in inches.This the maximum distance in inches the unit moves when it takes a movement action.

    All units have a MOBILTY TYPE.
    [L] legs.
    [W] Wheels
    [T]Tracks
    [H]Hover

    We can express unit mobility as mobility type followed by Speed in Inches.

    Eg
    [L] 6″ the unit walks on legs up to 6″ when taking a movement action.

    [W] 12″ the unit moves along on its wheels up to 12″ when taking a movement action

    [T]6″ the unit moves up to 6″ on its tracks when taking a movement action.

    [H] 12″ the unit moves up to 12″ on its ‘anti-grav’ when taking a movement action.

    Some terrain features effect how units move depending on their Mobility type.
    This increases or decreases the units Speed by 1 or 2 inches.
    (Covered by a simple terrain chart.)

    Movement Special abilities.
    Amphibious.Unit counts water features as Open terrain.

    Difficult Terrain modification ,Unit counts rubble/light woods as open ground.

    Jump Jets, Unit can jump over intervening terrain , maximum jump 8″ total.(Each height band counts as 2″)

    I will leave it there for questions and comments…

  • Avatar Image lanrak415p said 1 year, 2 months ago:

    @ Chaingun .
    We tend to use Tomorrow War rules for our games of 40k.(Its much better game play IMO.)

    However, a rule set conversion for 40k , has been done for most popular rule sets that can be converted at some stage..so I do not want to go over old ground.

    My main point was B.A tends to treat most weapons and equipment quite genericaly.
    Which is fine for fun fast play WWII.
    But 40k needs more variation IMO.(40k players are used to it.)

    Troop quality (morale) is sadly lacking from 40k. And something that needs to be included IMO.

    My plan was to use straight forward resolution methods to start.And add more detail (technology and racial diversity,) later using modifiers and simple P,B.

    Anyway , on with the first of the holy trilogy of modern warfare…
    MOBILITY.

    All units have A speed value,expressed in inches.This the maximum distance in inches the unit moves when it takes a movement action.

    All units have a MOBILTY TYPE.
    [L] legs.
    [W] Wheels
    [T]Tracks
    [H]Hover

    We can express unit mobility as mobility type followed by Speed in Inches.

    Eg
    [L] 6″ the unit walks on legs up to 6″ when taking a movement action.

    [W] 12″ the unit moves along on its wheels up to 12″ when taking a movement action

    [T]6″ the unit moves up to 6″ on its tracks when taking a movement action.

    [H] 12″ the unit moves up to 12″ on its ‘anti-grav’ when taking a movement action.

    Some terrain features effect how units move depending on their Mobility type.
    This increases or decreases the units Speed by 1 or 2 inches.
    (Covered by a simple terrain chart.)

    Movement Special abilities.
    Amphibious.Unit counts water features as Open terrain.

    Difficult Terrain modification ,Unit counts rubble/light woods as open ground.

    Jump Jets, Unit can jump over intervening terrain , maximum jump 8″ total.(Each height band counts as 2″)

    I will leave it there for questions and comments…

  • Avatar Image candykane89p said 1 year, 2 months ago:

    I hate the infinity Reaction System its to unbalanced , to chaotic to use on a large scale. turn based activation no reaction from the others side unless you have an interrupt action

    on an other note
    I have bin thinking about new rules for shooting hitting wounding and armour saves
    its all based on D10 with a natural roll of 6 and + and modifiers that depend on Toughness, armour saves, strength and AP.

    We do away with armour saves and AP value’s and other stuff and roll it all in to 1 stat
    Take an space marine he has T4 and +3 save you combine them to 1 stat
    he has 4 points of armour and T4 that’s 1T more then the avarice 3 so if we combine them 4+1 = 9
    now if we want to damage him we take the strength and the AP value of the attack and combine them.
    Example: a bolter shell S4 + AP5 = 1+2 = 3

    A normal roll a D10 on a 6+ you will do damage this is S3 no AP- vs T3 no save
    but we have to look at the modifiers
    defence-attack = modifier
    5-3= +2
    Space marines are strong and have good armor
    so if we want to kill him we will have to roll 6+2(from the modifier) = 8 so we have to roll a 8 to do damage to the space marine

    Hitting a T4 orc with a 6+ save with a bolter would be like this
    +1 from T +1 from save = defence rating +2
    bolter +1 from S + 2 from AP = attack rating of 3
    deduct them and you get 2 -3 = -1
    so to wound we would need a 6-1=5 on a D10
    its a lot of calculating we have to do but that’s because we do not have statlines yet

    standard marines would have defence rating 5
    standard marines would have attack rating 3

    things i have not figured out yet are the ++ saves like feel no pain should we just ad them to the feel no pain 5+ gives a 2 + and a 4++ will be +3?
    what you get a space marine terminator will get +5 (from amour) +2 (from invul) +1 ( toughness one more then T3) = +8 defence rating

    a lasscannon = 6 (6 points above S3)+5(from the AP2) = -11 attack rating
    Termi VS lascannon = 8 -11 = -3 so 6-3 = 3 on a 3+ you kill a terminator
    also some thing like a power maul becomes good
    +3 (from strength) + (3 from AP) attack rating 6 same as a power axe

    For shooting we can do the same thing drop cover saves make them modifiers
    roll on a D10 @ BS3 a 6 would hit

    BS 1 hits on 8
    BS 2 hits on 7
    BS 3 hits on 6
    BS 4 hits on 5
    BS 5 hits on 4
    BS 6 hits on 3
    BS 7 hits on 2 ect ect
    BS 9 hits on 2 but gets +1
    BS 10 hits on 2 but gets a +2
    natural roles of
    1 always fails
    10 always hits

    - modifiers for shooting and they do stack
    target moved -1
    target moved fast -2
    target is charging you -2
    soft cover -1
    hard cover -2
    tank / building -3
    bunker -4
    stealth -1
    showed-1
    go to ground -2
    large targets tank MC’s buildings are easy to hit so you get a +1 to hit them
    targets at more then 1/2 the range of your weapon should be harder to hit so a -1 penalty
    there are a lot of rules you can make up
    moving in light terrain gives you a -2 on being hit if you have stealth + srowded you get
    -4 penalty.

    Close Combat
    We do the same again for Close combat

    WS 1 -2
    WS 2 -1
    WS 3 0 hits on a 6
    WS 4 +1
    WS 5 +2
    WS 6 +3
    WS 7 +4
    WS 9 +5 +1 on damage rating
    WS 10 +6 +2 on damage rating
    natural roles of
    1 always fails
    10 always hits

    are there any modifiers? yes but they count for both sides
    charging
    high ground
    cover
    grenades
    Close combat weapon
    2 close combat weapons ( for defence you should inc shields!)
    Example thunderhammer storm shield termie would have :
    +1 from WS +1 from CC weapon , charging +1
    total +3

    against a orc WS4 (+1) with CC weapon (+1)=+2
    it would be defence (2) – attacker (3)= -1
    To hit would be 6-1 is a 5 on a D10

    what do you guys think of the system?

    6th edition sucks Come one GW stop making kiddie rules