View Full Version : Alternative to 'BS' and 'to hit' modifiers...

16-08-2008, 12:33
Hi all.
Just had a thought about bringing range effects into the basic to hit mechanic, for a '40k size game' rule set, I am currently developing.
And I would like your oppinon.

If we state 'Ranged Skill' as the range at which the unit will automaticaly hit .(1+)(But dont count this directly , as all hits need a 2+ to hit.)
And then use this as a 'range band' to determine the chance to hit at up to 2x,3x,4x,5x,6x this distance.Which would be hitting on a 2+,3+,4+5+,6+, on a D6 roll.

Eg if we give the best units a 'range band' value of 8"(Ranged skill 8)
Distance to target/to hit roll required.
Up to 16" /2+
Over 16" to 24"/3+
Over 24" to 32"/4+
Over 32" to 40"/5+
Over 40" to 48"/6+

And we could give poor units a 'range band' value of 5"(ranged skill 5)
Up to 10 "/2+
Over 10" to 15"/3+
Over 15" to 20"/4+
Over 20"to 25 "/5+
Over 25"to 30"/6+

Rough ideas for 40k BS conversion rates.
BS 5=RS 8
BS 4=RS 7
BS 3=RS 6
BS 2=RS 5.

This is a simple way to take distance to tareget into account without having to use 'to hit modifiers' for distance .

Any positive modifiers could add to the dice roll value.
(EG Targeter, +1 to the dice roll)

Negative modifiers add to the score required,(count range as being higher by that amount.).
(Eg firing through smoke , add 1 to the score required.So if a target was at range band 3 , it counts as being at range band 4, if a 'smoke screen' is between firer and target.)

Can you see any problems with this basic mechanic?
Any constructive feed back would be appreciated.


16-08-2008, 12:42
I see the problem about range of weapons becoming unnecessary.
But oh well, I'm a fantasy player...
So, the thing I have problems with is someone always hitting on a 2+ with a 8" pistol.

Simon Sez
16-08-2008, 13:16
Well, how can you miss a target so close? Though a 2+ at 16" seems too much.

Perhaps if you had a benchmark 2+ range of 12" or so, then add the range skill to that?

So your crackshot RS8 troops will be capable of hitting anyone upto 54" away on a lucky 6, but even your worst shooters can at least hit the broadside of a barn at 10 paces.

It has some promise I will say. However some modifiers are fully justified, for example Large Targets, they're big, and easy to hit. Any way of reflecting this is a modifier, which defeats the purpose of the Range Skills in the first place.

17-08-2008, 11:50
Hi guys.
Thanks for the feed back.
I intended to use LIMITED modifiers for other situational things, (just not range.)

I think is a bit polorising that BS 5 Always hit on a 2+.
At ANY range.
And BS 2 only hit on a 5+ at ANY range.

If we include the primary concideration for balistic skill (range)into the 'to hit' mechanic.Then this would reduce the amount of modifiers needed in total, and make for more tactical manouvering perhaps?

How about increasing the range at which units start at to 3x and therefore start to hit at 3+.

Distance to target/to hit roll required.
Ranged Skill 8(BS5)
Up to 24"/3+
Over 24" to 32"/4+
Over 32" to 40"/5+
Over 40" to 48"/6+

Ranged Skill 5(BS 2)
Up to 15"/3+
Over 15" to 20"/4+
Over 20"to 25 "/5+
Over 25"to 30"/6+

Would this be better starting point?

Many thanks,

Simon Sez
17-08-2008, 12:22
I thought the point-blank range 2+ was fine, when you have a Waaghing horde of Orcs rushing you the only way to miss is to shoot the ground!

On modifiers maybe if Large Targets just counted as one Range Band nearer then they really are.

18-08-2008, 23:08
Interesting, but you would need five different “measuring sticks”. That could get confusing, finding/using the right stick. But I agree, it should be easier to hit targets at closer range.

I had an idea of using a chart, cross referencing BS skill with Range. I made up the following chart.

Range 2 3 4 5
1-6 3+ 2+ 2+ 1+
6-12 5+ 4+ 3+ 2+
12-18 5+ 5+ 4+ 3+
18-24 6+ 6+ 5+ 4+
24-36 7+ 6+ 6+ 5+
36+ 8+ 8+ 7+ 6+

I want to stay away from charts as much as possible but the 40K engine means your options are very limited. The SST gives more options.

SST uses one “Target” value, but you could use two, one for extreme range and another for mid range. Ex: The Range of a Bolter is 24. The "Target Value" of the target model is 3/5. So firing with the Bolter at range 12-24 you would need a “5” to hit. But if the range was 1-12 you would need a “3” to hit. BS could be handled by a combination of dice types, modifiers and range. Ex: BS2=D6-1, BS3=D6, BS4=D8, BS5=D8+1

19-08-2008, 19:57
Hi Folks.
I said to use measuring sticks OR a tape measure.
Simply measure the distance ot target , and see how many 'range bands' it is away.

EG a target 19" away.
For a RS 8 unit thats less than 3 range bands.(24") so the unit needs a 3+ to hit.

For a RS 5 units thats less than 4 range bands away (20") so the unit needs a 4+ to hit.

If we give modifiers for target size, (the bigger the target the more you add to the dice roll.)
Cover can reduce effective target size OR hide it completley.(Making them harder to hit.)

Eg size 3 unit behind a size 1 wall counts as size 2 target.(3-1=2) +2 to dice roll to hit.

A size 1 target behind a size 1 wall is hidden from view.(1-1=0)

And we could give negative modifiers, Add to the score required to hit(add to number of range bands)for obscured target,(smoke screen- artillery barrage, etc,) , units supressed , neutralised ,running etc.

I think the basic idea is sound, but I need to do more work to get it suitable for integration into a game.

I agree that current 40k rules are very restrictive.And overly complex for the level of gameplay.
SST rules set is more modern and intuitive, but has not got the level of diversity to do the 40k universe justice.IMO.
I would like to take the basic concepts of SST, and other rule sets and use the simplest methods to create these concepts in gameplay.
I prefer 'direct stat comparison' game mechanics.As dice determinism is the real limiting factor in many games .

Because numbers are infinate and logical , they tend to work better than 'literary' rules in wargames.IMO.

Speed given as 0cm to 100cm per turn.(Up to 100 different movment rates available .)
Imobile,very slow,quite slow,slow,moderate, average, good, very good, fast ,very fast....

I know which is easier to comprehend and use!

Happy gaming.

21-08-2008, 09:33
How about increasing the range at which units start at to 3x and therefore start to hit at 3+.

Distance to target/to hit roll required.
Ranged Skill 8(BS5)
Up to 24"/3+
Over 24" to 32"/4+
Over 32" to 40"/5+
Over 40" to 48"/6+

Ranged Skill 5(BS 2)
Up to 15"/3+
Over 15" to 20"/4+
Over 20"to 25 "/5+
Over 25"to 30"/6+

Would this be better starting point?

As I read your ideas, I have to say they have a nice ring to it. I am not sure that it is better that letting the range bands depend on the weapon, rather than the shooter, but at least it is fresh. ;)

Actually, I think the first version (hitting on 2+ at really short range) was good, but maybe starting on 3+ makes it a little bit less dangerous. It is all in the balancing I guess. Both works.

But back to the question about weapons and how they will affect the shooting at range. In other words, how to differentiate between a lascannon and a pistol???

As a knee-jerk reaction, here are a few ideas:
- Range span modifications. Weapons will get positive or negative modifications, a short range weapon, like shotgun or shuriken catapult, could get -1, while long range weapons like lascannons could get +1 or even +2 (of course, you still cant hit better that 3+). Ehrm, actually those modifications should be the other way around, conting the target as beeing closer or further away, but you know what I mean. Trouble with this is that it would mean that some weapons gets harder to use on close range just because you want them harder to use at long range. Maybe not a good idea.

- Maximum and minimum range. The pistol might work just as fine at short ranges as the other weapons, but just "stops working" at their max range.


21-08-2008, 21:06
Hi Bathfinder.
The skill of the shooter has always determined the basic chance to hit in 40k.
I simply expanded this to include natural occuring range modifiers.

Why not just state effective range of the weapons and thier effect?(Follow current ranges and effects?)
Because ranged weapons are inanimate objects.They simply fire a projectile/chemical a set distance along a set tragectory when activated.

Give sniper rifle to a 'numpty' and they struggle to hit a target 300m away.
A veteran sniper can hit targets up to 1500m away!

Things like targeters and scopes should add to the 'range skill' of the firer,and/ or add range bands to the effective range of the weapon.

Target size and units actions could also modify the ' to hit roll' or 'score required to hit'.

Having to hit roll mods for each weapon is a bit OTT imo.
Some weapons could have them , but should be used sparingly.

A weapons effectivness is more dependant on the 'skill-proficiency-training' of the user than anything else, IMO.

Anyhow, I realy I appreciate your feed back.

Ill throw this idea into the mix,along with some other alternative ideas I have been concidering ...
When I get a this new rule set fleshed out Ill post it for your perusal.

Kindest reguards ,