View Full Version : WH40K water movement rules wanted.

08-01-2006, 05:34

I'm developing some scenarios and models for "brown water navy" actions in the WH40K universe. I'm a former Navy man and have done a lot of research on riverine patrol craft and gunboats and would like to utilize them from time to time.

Despite all the flyers and skimmers, it occurs to me that there would still be many opportunities for landing craft, recon and patrol missions, etc, and so I am in need of some ideas for movement, weapns firing, etc.

I've got some of my own ideas about this, but I am interested in seeing what you folks might come up with. In other words, how would you go about developing movement rates, firing, etc based upon the WH40K rules?

I'll be posting some ideas for the boats, small craft and Naval Infantry over on the Painting and Terrain forum later on, but for now, what would you suggest for watercraft operation rules..

Respects to all,


Hoshi No Koe
08-01-2006, 15:21
what do you want to do exactly? Just some rules for playing games with a large percentage of water features, or actually make rules for games that take place on the water completely?

For the former, to deal with games played around a large river or a beach, I think some swimming rules for infantry and a couple of rules for some types of boats would suffice. The swimming rules can be dealt with as easily as applying the rules for very difficult terrain (only 1 dice rolled for movement) and swimming infantry cannot fire but get a light cover save. Boats can be made quite easily with the vdr rules.

Puffin Magician
08-01-2006, 16:07
I don't see any reason for this to be any more complicated than normal movement and vehicle rules.

Shallow water counts as difficult terrain, with a cover save. Aquatic vehicles move on water just like normal vehicles move on land - with different "terrain" types if you wish. Just don't make anything very fast or maneuverable [unless it's a LCAC or Hydrofoil or something], and ships have turning penalties for being the heavy lumbering bastards that they are; say one 45 turn at the end of their movement phase? Landing Craft would be of course Amphibious to allow them to land troops and tanks on the beaches.

08-01-2006, 20:37
I think infantry should be allowed to fire from water. Simply because 40k makes a habit of not discriminating about the physics of a weapon (i.e. wraithguard/wraithlords/necrons can be 'poisoned'). Taken into consideration that weapons like Lasguns, Pulse Rifles and Bolters couls possibly fire while in/under water, I don't see a reason for negating firing from water. However, if we count it as cover, then perhaps there should be a sort of 12" deadzone rule (like the 6" limit for firing into cover terrain), in other words, if you're 12" into water, you can't be shot at and you can't shoot back (same goes for Kroot, since their rule regards arboreal terrain). Vehicles, however, would be another case.

Puffin Magician
08-01-2006, 23:59
Despite the fact that water would mess up a laser [as it works well at dissipating heat and messing around with light] as well as solid projectiles fired from small and medium arms fire, I think that they should be able to fire while standing in it if only for simplicity's sake.

That way we can't have arguments in game of how deep we think the water is and whether the troops would be able to shoot while wading through it. I'm 15m [7"] from the shore; is the water up to my elbows or my ankles? If you can walk in the water you can fire from it; simply disallow foot infantry from entering water x" from shore, or just say all the water on the table can or cannot be traversed by them, and have total clarity.

Hoshi No Koe
09-01-2006, 00:00
Well, the idea is that if they're in deep water swimming to get to shore, the won't exactly be able to take aim and shoot IMO.

09-01-2006, 02:21

Thanks for your replies. My initial interest is in gaming riverine operations or a raid from the sea in the WH40K universe. I've drawn up some plans for gunboats and both landing craft and tracked amphibious vehicles. Naval Infantry will be made up from plastic Cadian and Catachan models, as will the crewmen on the vessels.

The tracked amphibious vehicles will essentially count as open-topped Chimeras. The Landing Craft will probably have a similar movement and armour rating, but with restricted weapons (probably a pair of heavy stubbers and a smoke launcher. I'll develop a rule for running ashore and dropping the ramp, then backing off.

My main concern is with the Gunboat. By it's nature it ought to be weapons heavy in order to both defend itself as well as lay cover fire for the landing force, or at least draw fire away from it. It will probably have a TL LasCannon on the bow mount, a sponson TL Heavy Bolter on each side aft of the wheel house, and a TL Autocannon on a pivot mount aft. Searchlight and smoke mounts will also be added atop the wheel house.
My ideas are very similar to this:

http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.rivervet.com/images/boats/PCFMkII1967.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.rivervet.com/swifts.htm&h=560&w=740&sz=83&tbnid=Xb9m6LiSR9kJ:&tbnh=105&tbnw=139&hl=en&start=1&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dpatrol%2Bcraft%2Bmonitor%26svnum%3D10 %26hl%3Den%26lr%3D%26rls%3DGGLD,GGLD:2004-32,GGLD:en

It would be more "Imperialish" or "Gothik" but you get the general drift.

What my concern for firing rules is, is how to treat them as the vessel moves. I could just use the regular tank rules from the BGB, but I'm still open for ideas.

Anyway, thanks again for the input and I remain,



Puffin Magician
09-01-2006, 09:34
By it's nature it ought to be weapons heavy in order to both defend itself as well as lay cover fire for the landing force, or at least draw fire away from it.I agree with you in principle, but I'd scale the weapons down to a fore Conqueror Cannon and replace the Heavy Bolters with a sprinkling of Heavy Stubbers. Riverboat armament shouldn't be comparable to a Land Raider IMO.

What my concern for firing rules is, is how to treat them as the vessel moves.Since boats are pretty stable platforms to fire from; say Lumbering Vehicles [6" max move, fire all weapons]?

Any thoughts about Torpedoes, Submarines, Depth Charges and Mines? Not exactly riverboat stuff, but gears are turning...

09-01-2006, 11:28
Just a hint: Chimeras are already amphibious, so you don't need to make alternate proxy models for them.

09-01-2006, 13:02

Thanks again for the input. I'm well aware of the Chimera's amphibious capabilities. My main army is an IG Mechanised Infantry company. What I am shooting for is a vehicle similar to the US Marine's LVT1-4 program from WWII. Some images may be found here:


I figure to use a Chimera without the top hull portion, build up the sides slightly, add rudders and prop, and a pair of heavy stubbers for the two front hatches. I'll also build up the sides slightly.

Puffin Magician wrote: "I agree with you in principle, but I'd scale the weapons down to a fore Conqueror Cannon and replace the Heavy Bolters with a sprinkling of Heavy Stubbers. Riverboat armament shouldn't be comparable to a Land Raider IMO"

Probably correct. I was also considering the heavy stubber for the sides. I'm not certain about torpedoes or mines, yet... My idea is not so much to model the PBR's or Patrol Craft, but the monitor version used in Vietnam and for some time afterwards. It had a turret monted weapon on the fore deck. I suppose I could use the LR turret there, but I was kind of looking for a sleeker appearance, thus the TL Razorback-style affair, but I'm still drafting designs at this point.

Again, thanks for everything, folks.



09-01-2006, 13:09
Anyway, to work on those 'gunboats':

I really think they should alternate between having multi-lasers and autocannons , perhaps even inferno cannons (see: Hellhounds, IG Codex)(picture reference:look here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:US_riverboat_using_napalm_in_Vietnam.jpg)). Lascannons is incredibly heavy-duty fire-power, and perhaps even to demanding in terms of maintenance and ammo supplies to keep the gunboats cost-efficient. If you want them there, don't make them twin-linked and let them have a high cost.

09-01-2006, 13:22
We've played a fair few 40k fights involving a large river leading into a lake (that covered about 1/5th of the board, and had a small island in the middle). We treated the river as very difficult terrain and the lake as the same, with the added proviso that any model in the predesignated "deep" areas of the lake had to take a dangerous terrain test.

Dunno about the specs for a landing craft or gunboat, but I would steer clear of the temptation that exists when designing any new vehicle (namely to have it dripping with every kind of anti-personnel gun, no matter how realistic that might be). I'd reckon you'd want something cheap and simple that would weigh in at around 60-70 points?

I'd imagine you could get really creative with an aquatic theme... one man ork attack subs spring to mind straight away....

09-01-2006, 19:41
You could probably use the minefield rules from the BRB for water mines, and for torpedoes I'd say place a model in a manner similar to BFG rules. For depth charges and other underwater explosives, maybe a rule that the blast marker underwater doesn't affect models on the surface?

I'd probably adopt the "woods" rules for submerged craft and infantry (space marines could stroll across the ocean floor in that armor), but tag on a rule that submerged craft may still fire torpedoes (and maybe missile weapons as torpedoes).

Make sure you add a few rules to deal with water depth and vehicle submersion. While a landing craft could cruise up a river without trouble, large vessels that sit deeper into the water shouldn't even consider the same water as a viable position.

Maybe something like all naval vehicles have a value that reflects how deep they sit in the water, and then the water is classed by distance from land (varying the distances for different aquatic conditions). If the vessels size is under the depth zone, it can move freely, if it's equal it takes a slightly dangerous terrain test (1D6), if it's 1 higher it takes a dangerous terrain test (2D6) and if it's more than 1 higher it beaches itself in the low water where it moved in.
This hopefully reflects the fact that boats that are a bit to big might take damage and "scrape through", while large vessels are likely to just get stuck.

On a normal-ish board, rivers would be depth 0-2, with 0 being dangerous for more than hovercraft and 2 being deep enough for small boats. A mojor river could be a 3-5, and 6-10 would be reserved for deep lakes/man-made waterways/deep ocean.

As you near land, these values would decrease, maybe it gets deeper every quarter inch from land for a steep bank or every 2 inches for a slowly sinking shoreline. This might be reserved for deeper water features though.

09-01-2006, 20:36
I like the idea of different depths, but I think a 0-10 scale is probably to complicated. The reverse of the 1-3 height scales would probably do it.

I wonder which existing weaopns would work underwater?