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View Full Version : Re-examining that 40k 2nd Ed to 3rd Ed divide



Zustiur
20-12-2016, 09:58
A long time ago on a hot Australian Christmas day I was in a 3 hour car ride reading my newly acquired copy of the 3rd edition 40k rulebook. The book binding promptly gave way in the heat. Terrible binding and Australian heat are not the point of this thread however.

When I read the book and the white dwarf magazines that came out prior and post release, I had a distinct impression of what the designers were trying to achieve with certain rule changes. In many cases I agreed with and liked their intent but their execution left odd question marks. I'd like to go back to that time and re-examine what could have been done.

Key changes included:
• A halving of unit/model points values (at least for non characters)
• An increase in the cost of special weapons
• A complete re-write of the assault rules
• The movement stat was removed in favour of a general increase and homogenization to 6" movement for all models
• Save modifiers were replaced by the AP system
• High stats were lowered across the board, with WS and BS being capped at 5
• BS modifiers were replaced with cover saves
• Terminator saves changed from 3+ on 2d6 to 2+ on 1d6 (no 5++ initially)
• The ability to run was removed entirely
• Weapon systems changed from basic/move or fire/sustained fire to pistol/rapid fire/assault/heavy/ordnance
• Plasma weapons changed dramatically
• Ranged weapons were diversified by race
• All power weapons were homogenized
• Game turns went from 4 to 6
• Charging was no longer a movement option and became part of the assault phase


The legacy of those changes can still be seen today in 7th edition. Ballistic skill for Marine characters is still oddly capped at 5 even though BS 6-10 is completely workable now. Dreadnoughts suffer along with BS 4. Movement is still homogenized at 6" with an ever increasing list of rules to get around the limitation (fleet being the first). The jink rule exists to cover the old negative to BS from fast moving targets. Power weapon diversity has returned (thankfully). Feel No Pain was introduced, presumably to provide some survivability to units whose armour was next to irrelevant with the AP system. And many more little changes that edge us back closer to how 2nd edition worked, without actually rolling back the initial change.

The impression I had was that the designers were trying to:
• Allow for bigger armies
• Streamline the rules to allow for faster play
• Introduce greater differentiation between the Imperium and Xenos

Many years later we still have those bigger armies, Xenos rules and weapons often have the same stats but different names and any semblance of streamlining is long gone.

Let us collectively go back, re-examine 2nd edition and compare that with both 3rd edition and 7th edition. What are the changes and what way could they have been handled better?

I'll start with Movement
Movement Speed
In 2nd edition, all models had a movement number on their profile. Typically this was 4. Eldar and tyranids had 5 or 6 depending on the model. (Ok and squats had 3, but let's not dredge up that discussion)
This variation was removed, which is good for streamlining but bad for army diversity. It's hard to be the army known for being fast and mobile when everyone moves the same speed. We don't even have to look past the end of 3rd edition before we find a special rule introduced (fleet) to counteract this change. Fleet has changed many times since then, but the point has always been to represent one model being faster than another. So why not scrap fleet and re-introduce different movement speeds for different models? That seems to be the more sensible option to me. If you want to streamline it, consider having fewer variations in speed than 2nd edition had.
I welcomed the increase from 4" to 6" for normal (human) infantry. This made getting somewhere and actually achieving objectives a possibility for all units, not just for those with transports and higher base speed. What speed is best for a re-imagined 3rd edition? I have no idea. My gut instinct tells me that rolling back to 4" is not the answer however.

Run
Run was removed as an option entirely. I recall this being on the premise that the general increase from 4" to 6" was representative of models running from one bit of cover to another. It's a half-run, all the time. Run, shoot, run, shoot. It made sense, but it also lacked tactical flexibility. It has already come back, but now it occurs in the shooting phase. That never made sense, so let's put that back in the movement phase; if only to avoid double handling of models. Remember, streamlining is about speeding up the game. Having to pick up models multiple times in a turn takes more time. Run needs to exist to retain the tactical diversity.

Difficult Terrain
In 2nd edition terrain either halved or quartered your movement. This was replaced with a dice roll. Why? If you want to streamline it, surely just saying your movement is halved is enough. I don't recall ever using the quarter value anyway. I can't think of any reason not to roll this back to 'halves your movement'.

Charging
And here's the killer. As best as I can infer, this change occurred so that assault units with guns could actually make use of their guns. Especially those guns which were not pistols and therefore not usable in hand to hand. I really have no idea what to do with this. I like being able to use my guns and charge. I'm sure I'm not the only one. Perhaps this is a case of 'the change is good, leave it alone'?

Hiding
Hiding was dropped entirely. I approve! Hiding, in my recollection, was merely a way to slow down the game and irritate your opponent. We used to play that you could declare a unit was hiding during deployment. I have no idea if that was an official rule or not, but the result was that every unit always started the game hiding which had a detrimental effect on how the game had to be played (and how you'd pick your army for the next game!).

Vehicle Movement
Vehicles went from all having their own speed, and different speed categories to all having the same speed, fewer categories (although the original number has since returned) and being able to go from stationary to flat-out in a single turn. I can't fault this. Furthermore the restrictions on turning were removed. Again I can't fault this. The wording in more recent editions may lack finesse but the intent is good.

So that's my summary of movement. What are your thoughts? What else changed? What was good, what was bad, and what would you do instead?

The Shooting Phase (http://www.warseer.com/forums/showthread.php?421199-Re-examining-that-40k-2nd-Ed-to-3rd-Ed-divide&p=7649237&viewfull=1#post7649237)

The Assault Phase (http://www.warseer.com/forums/showthread.php?421199-Re-examining-that-40k-2nd-Ed-to-3rd-Ed-divide&p=7652368&viewfull=1#post7652368)

WLBjork
20-12-2016, 18:32
Random movement: It was a nice idea, but a huge PITA to deal with. Couple of variations IIRC, the first simply had a random move value (usually xD6) which wasn't too bad. The other was Scatter+xD6 which did slow things down (not always easy aligning with that scatter die).

I seem to remember Madboyz were either toned down or removed - that could be awkward as it consisted of random behaviour for the turn - jolly larks when they decide to look for a shoe in the middle of the battlefield!

Samsonov
20-12-2016, 20:30
Some interesting and perceptive points, but for me there are two even more important changes, ones which make it very difficult for me to consider playing any edition post 2nd. Firstly, covers provides modifiers when firing. Generally, we used to play with most the table in terrain and most that terrain was hard cover. This meant most firing was taking place hitting on -2. In contrast, a marine standing behind hard cover in 3rd is often no better off than in the open, and when they are better off the different is not particularly great. Secondly, every member of the squad has to fire at the same target, including special and heavy weapons. You literally can't fire bolters at infantry and missile launcher at a tank. Both these changes moved the game from space world war 2 to space napoleonics (or at least this is true for the armies we played, namely guard, marines and orks).

Galadrin
21-12-2016, 01:27
Key changes included:
A halving of unit/model points values (at least for non characters)

And as units were made cheaper, games got much bigger. Third Edition was simpler and faster playing... the lure of bigger and bigger games was supposed to make up for the massive loss in detail. Games in 2e are intimate little skirmishes... a squad or two and a vehicle, where every move felt tactically rich and satisfying. 3e was a big, boring brawl in the center of the table.



An increase in the cost of special weapons
A complete re-write of the assault rules

And a massive reduction in the variety and detail of special weapons. Second Edition was just as rich as Rogue Trader in the amount of detail it put into 41st century wargear. The change in assault rules were a very sad thing, for me. Second Edition melee feels like a roleplaying game. A Genestealer in 2nd was WS 7, S6, I7, 4 attacks and it used all of those stats like a well-oiled machine. Yet, the way the rules worked, a single Genestealer was a good matchup for a hero, just as it was a good matchup for three or four Guardsmen. Three or four Genestealers made an epic match up for a hero, where you would be counting every blow and dice roll. This is because four attacks were not four times better than one attack, and differences in WS were quickly made up by numbers (although you would be suffering a lot of attrition along the way).



The movement stat was removed in favour of a general increase and homogenization to 6" movement for all models
Save modifiers were replaced by the AP system
High stats were lowered across the board, with WS and BS being capped at 5
BS modifiers were replaced with cover saves

These are all related in my mind... 2nd Edition stats scaled beautifully from 2's to 9 or more. 6 was never twice as good as 3 because the rules used the stats differently. 6 was certainly better than 3, but not twice as good. Third Edition collapsed the wide range of scores meant to represent alien diversity to a simple, smaller range and then it used this less detailed range in the least interesting way possible.



Terminator saves changed from 3+ on 2d6 to 2+ on 1d6 (no 5++ initially)

My reaction to this was: "Nooooo, whyyy????"


So that's my summary of movement. What are your thoughts? What else changed? What was good, what was bad, and what would you do instead?

I appreciate your rules recommendations to roll 40k towards 2nd, but in my experience, any edition is always a creature unto itself. It was designed as a whole to work together organically, and once you start changing parts of that, you really end up with a new version altogether. Priestley and Chambers tinkered with 40k until they got it just right. To me it is a complete game and will keep playing exciting games till the end of my days!

Lost Egg
21-12-2016, 08:50
From what I remember of playing 2nd ed 40k it was the codexes that needed to be revised rather than the actual rules, which I still consider to be pretty tight.

But, I can appreciate that a bit of streamlining would help to increase the speed of games to allow for a few more minis; there is, I think, a natural ceiling for how many 28-32mm scale minis you can push around in a regular game, around a platoon I'd say (30ish). I think your points on movement are all well considered.

I think with charging then the trade off for being allowed to fire your guns as you charge in is that your opponent can fire back. While making Overwatch effectively a reaction to being charged rather than as a setting for a unit (like in 2nd ed) does cut down some tactical options it was something that either got forgotten about or abused by some players in 2nd ed.

Great thread idea by the way.

totgeboren
22-12-2016, 07:35
I think the Difficult Terrain roll is a pretty good mechanism. The old 'half-movement' was so severe for assault units that you basically couldn't assault stuff if you had to go through cover (infantry could move+assault a whole 4" if in terrain back in 2ed). The same thing today would mean infantry moving through ruins could at best move a total of 9", average around 6" move+assault.
The worst thing you can do with the half-movement rules is to use terrain to move up on enemy units and attack them. Much much better to just run down the open street where you won't get gunned down.

The current rules makes launching an assault through or out of cover a risk/reward type of deal, you get cover but run the risk of getting tangled or your troops deciding that hugging it out in said cover is a better idea than attacking.

People, me included, complain about randumb GW forcing randumb rules on us, but is some cases that randomness can be really useful for producing more fun rules that also makes sense. Having a risk that your troops hiding in some buildings will hesitate to launch that crucial assault gives the game more of a story element.
It's the same thing as the problems with Ld being such a minor factor.

But there are of course still core issues. Like, why is it often a better idea to not fire the guns of your assault troops than to fire them? Don't know what to do, perhaps for some sort of check for Overwatch if the squad assaulting you shot at you before launching the assault?

But in general I think the 3ed approach, minimizing modifiers and so on is a better idea than the 2ed system. Necromunda still uses the 2ed system, and it kinda breaks down as soon as someones stats go to 5 or above.
I mean, getting your troops into hard cover will double their resilience in current rules (provided the AP is enough).
In the 3ed rules the effect went from marginal to massive. A Terminator with assault cannon and targeter would still hit on a 3+ instead of 2+. An ork or guardsman would go from hitting on a 4+ to a 6.
Perhaps that's more realistic (cover has a larger impact against poor accuracy shooters than elite ones), but having your poor quality troops being unable to hit anything isn't fun, and having situations where getting into cover doesn't do anything isn't fun either.

That problem persists however, with the way the cover and AP system works.
Perhaps allowing cover on top of armour saves could be an idea? However, the designers specifically mentioned that save stacking on resilient troops like Termies was something they wanted to avoid. They want the game to be dynamic, and if the reward for hugging cover is minor compared to the reward of launching an assault, the game will not bog down into dice-rolling contests as much.

Hmmm... good thread. I'll think a bit more on it. :)

Lost Egg
22-12-2016, 08:18
Maybe instead of just half movement or random rolls you give players a choice, move at half speed or pass an Initiative test to move at full speed, but if you fail the test the mini goes down / loses a wound (they trip up and impale themselves or something). Obviously you'd need to roll for each mini but rather than roll separately use coloured dice for particular minis.


For example: 10 Tactical marines charge across difficult terrain, roll 7 white dice for the regular marines, a blue for the flamer guy, a red for the missile launcher guy and a yellow for the sergeant. If one or more of the regular chaps fails their test then the charger simply chooses which ones go down.

That should give options to players, allowing them to play it safe or task the risk.

totgeboren
22-12-2016, 15:14
Wow, that's a harsh suggestion!
Assuming 7ed movement and a 2D6 assault, my mob of Orks in some woods would have the choice of suffering 66% losses but get to move out of the woods at full speed, or only be able to move 3"+(2D6)/2"...
That's just brutal.
Also, bit funny, Eldar would basically not care at all. ;)

Nah, as I see it the current difficult terrain movement roll is probably the best of both worlds. Only thing I would add is that you can always move into base to base contact with whatever terrain you are trying to move into.
But I understand why they have the rules like they are. It's both for simplicity, and just because you know a building is empty and not booby-trapped doesn't mean your troops know that.
Sometimes they will hesitate from running headlong into what is possibly/likely a deadly ambush.

I dunno, I like having the performance of my troops not be entirely predictable.
I generally become much more engaged in games of w40k compared to for example chess, precisely because my models sometimes surprise me and and sometimes disappoint me.
In chess you don't get either of that, and though it can be a fun game too, the predictive behavior of the playing pieces removes a lot of the immersion.

Lost Egg
22-12-2016, 15:44
You'd need to adjust the initiative stat of Orks...no idea what is was back then but I think that sort of agility style test was all it was used for.

totgeboren
22-12-2016, 20:35
Doing a choice situation like that could work if it was something like, either go half speed, or try and pass an I test and got 2D6 pick highest.
Suffering mass casualties from advancing through cover is honestly super-counter-intuitive. Going though cover instead of the open should basically always be a better idea for infantry. A large movement penalty (50% is huge!) more or less removes a squad trying to advance through cover from the game, which isn't a reasonable tradeoff for using your models in a common sense sort of way.

I don't see the point in having cover drastically reduce movement. Dynamic games where people move their models about are more fun than static gunlines, so I don't really see why the rules should punish use of terrain so harshly?

That was honestly a big issue in 2ed. The best tactic was always either herohammer, or heavy weapons in hard cover.
Trying to advance with basic troops was just hopeless, since in the open you got shot down, and in cover you were stuck and couldn't move anywhere. So you just stayed put.

Oh, and Ork Initiative was 2, just like now.

Metal Handkerchief
22-12-2016, 21:49
Best part about 2nd edition was the unique damage charts for each vehicle. Sniping pilots out of Land Speeders and the gunner failing to take the controls... From a single shot from a fleeing grot. Those were the days. And those were the battles you remembered forever.

40K has since lost its capacity for statistical singularities that makes people remember a single battle for years. Yeah I guess you could roll all sixes on 40 dice once, but you'd get over that pretty quickly.

Now a fleeing Grot just barely within range of a Land Speeder before disappearing off the table hitting the land speeder (7+) - then hitting the crew, the only thing he can do damage to with his peashoota, on the damage chart (5+) - then hitting the pilot (4+) - then the pilot fails his 2+ armour save - then the gunner fails to take control (4+)
THAT WAS THE BEST
It's been 20 years and people still bring it up around here.

Galadrin
23-12-2016, 03:57
Best part about 2nd edition was the unique damage charts for each vehicle. Sniping pilots out of Land Speeders and the gunner failing to take the controls... From a single shot from a fleeing grot. Those were the days. And those were the battles you remembered forever.

40K has since lost its capacity for statistical singularities that makes people remember a single battle for years. Yeah I guess you could roll all sixes on 40 dice once, but you'd get over that pretty quickly.

Now a fleeing Grot just barely within range of a Land Speeder before disappearing off the table hitting the land speeder (7+) - then hitting the crew, the only thing he can do damage to with his peashoota, on the damage chart (5+) - then hitting the pilot (4+) - then the pilot fails his 2+ armour save - then the gunner fails to take control (4+)
THAT WAS THE BEST
It's been 20 years and people still bring it up around here.

That's awesome. Yes, stuff actually HAPPENED in 2e games. Modern editions are just a big, boring exercise in putting tons of figures down on the table and removing them from the table as quickly as possible. How uninspiring. 2e actually made stories every single time you played it!

Lost Egg
23-12-2016, 08:04
Doing a choice situation like that could work if it was something like, either go half speed, or try and pass an I test and got 2D6 pick highest.
Suffering mass casualties from advancing through cover is honestly super-counter-intuitive. Going though cover instead of the open should basically always be a better idea for infantry. A large movement penalty (50% is huge!) more or less removes a squad trying to advance through cover from the game, which isn't a reasonable tradeoff for using your models in a common sense sort of way.

I don't see the point in having cover drastically reduce movement. Dynamic games where people move their models about are more fun than static gunlines, so I don't really see why the rules should punish use of terrain so harshly?

That was honestly a big issue in 2ed. The best tactic was always either herohammer, or heavy weapons in hard cover.
Trying to advance with basic troops was just hopeless, since in the open you got shot down, and in cover you were stuck and couldn't move anywhere. So you just stayed put.

Oh, and Ork Initiative was 2, just like now.

But then running through cover isn't advancing. If your charging into combat then you are going at top speed and so much more likely to trip or stumble; you could always roll a single D6 per squad so only one mini has a chance of going down but then this goes easier on large squads than small. As I said before though, you would need to tweak the stats which you'd have to do anyway if your going to alter a rule, stats and rules don't exist in isolation.

The half speed would only be while your in difficult terrain so you could move up to the edge of the terrain in one turn so in the next you move 1/2" out the terrain, using up 1" of movement, then use the remaining 7" of movement to run at the enemy.

As you say though, you could just drop the reduced movement but then its good for players to have to choose to either accept the compromise or take the risk.

Maybe no running in difficult terrain unless if you pass an I test. If you fail then just move the minis as normal, they are assumed to have tried running but gotten bogged down. Then it would be less of a managing risk exercise and more of a hindrance but without the random deaths.

totgeboren
23-12-2016, 09:59
Yeah the second suggestion does sound rather reasonable. I-test to run in terrain.
I mean, things have to be put into perspective. A marine getting shoot at by a boltgun burst from another marine has a ~11% chance of taking a wound. Taking a wound if you charge full-speed through terrain if you fail an I-test would mean a 33% chance for said marine to take a wound. Even if he gets a save, it would then be just as high a chance for a marine to become a casualty by running through a forest as from being shot at by boltguns.
For all rules, especially those that revolve around inflicting damage on models, things needs to be put into perspective. Like, in 4ed when they gave Assault cannons Rending. That little change made assault cannons ~60% better at killing Land Raiders and other heavy tanks than lascannons, which were the primary anti-tank weapon of the day.
A rule like 6ed Dangerous terrain (Take a wound on a 1 no save) means crossing razorwire was just as dangerous for a a marine as getting hit by a boltgun.

As you say, rules don't exist in isolation. But it's important to have some framework values at the back of ones head. Like, how easily should a marine get killed by a boltgun? Soemthing that should be less dangerous than getting hit by a boltgun should also have a lower risk of killing a marine. If you have a anti-tank weapon that has X chance of killing a heavy tank, introducing an anti-infantry weapon that is much better at killing tanks is just bad rules writing and so on (we currently have this issue with Grav being much better than specialist weapons against almost everything).

But sure, a big rework like making a 2/7ed version, picking the best from both would require new codices for everyone anyway.

Zustiur
26-12-2016, 08:49
I like the idea for needing an initiative test to run through terrain. That's a very interesting idea.

Shooting
In hindsight, the changes to shooting were far bigger than they seemed at the time.
Weapons went from single shot, sustained fire, and move-or-shoot or not to: pistol, rapid fire, assault, heavy, ordnance (and eventually salvo). The lack of a way to have a single shot weapon which neither requires standing still nor allows you to charge after firing still seems like a gap today. This is one of those tricky areas where I have no idea what I'd do. I like assault weapons too much to want to scrap the idea of shooting and charging in the same turn. One thing I do know is that I hated rapid fire in 3rd edition for exactly the same reason I hate salvo now. It's the choice between remain stationary and shoot to full range, or move and not shoot at all due to your range being halved. Salvo weapons may as well be heavy in my mind because the half range issue usually results in not getting to shoot anyway. The subsequent changes to rapid fire feel much better to me- they encourage movement around the table which makes objective based missions possible.

Sustained fire went away (for those that don't know, it was roughly a D3, but one side on the die would jam your gun instead of giving 3 shots) and was replaced by assault x and heavy x. This is one of those bits where things went weird for no reason. Replacing the die is fine, getting rid of jam entirely was a relief. It's how they converted from one set of numbers to the other that boggles the mind. Logically (if we ignore jam) a D3 averages out to be 2 shots a round. Looking at shuriken catapults, storm bolters and other 1 sustained fire dice weapons, that converted nicely into assault 2 or heavy 2. All good so far. But then the 2 and 3 sustained fire dice weapons got converted into.... heavy 3. What? A heavy bolter went from an expected 4 shots down to 3 shots. An assault cannon went from 6 down to 3 and eventually got put back to 4. Why? That never sat right with me.

Jam was awful. The game typically lasted 4 turns. If you roll a jam, not only do you not fire this turn, but you have to track that fact and not fire next turn either. Yuck. Don't get me started on needing to hit before you rolled to see if your gun jammed or not. Recharging plasma guns was another 'track it next turn' problem. This got replaced with Gets Hot! Another rule I dislike.

Infantry, and indeed all models, had fire arcs. For a really small scale game this makes sense. For a miniatures game where the models have dynamic poses it makes no sense at all. Which way is the model facing? The way its head is pointing or the way its gun is pointing? What about the other gun in the off-hand? Did I mention that you had to do your pivoting in the movement phase, so not only the position of the model was important but you had to make sure everyone was facing just the right way. I'm so glad this went away.

And firing arcs tied into split fire. Any model could shoot at the closest target (which in my recollection meant the closest enemy model, not closest unit by the way) so you'd often be rolling for every shot individually. This took forever. People complain about to hit modifiers taking time, but if you ask me this is where the real time delay was. Switching to unit-to-unit fire fights was a good move. The lack of ability to split off other weapons remains an issue however. If I were writing 3rd edition now, I'd say 'all weapons of the same type in a unit must fire at the same target unit'. That way you're still ensuring that your 7 bolters will be rolled together without hindering the ability to actually make sensible use of that melta gun or lascannon.

While not part of the shooting phase, the other thing about overwatch which I intensely disliked was just how disruptive it could be. I often fought against Imperial Guard, which meant a lot of units (even back in those days of smaller games). There was more than one occasion where so many models were on overwatch that by the time my opponent finished firing (in my turn) he had convinced himself that it was actually his turn and tried to proceed to hand-to-hand phase before I'd finished moving. From a tactical warfare standpoint, overwatch needs to exist. The way we used to play it was must never return though (and I think was due in part to us forgetting the -1 to hit penalty for overwatch).

Sometime ago I convinced myself that twin linked meant re-roll to wound in 2nd ed. This was wrong. It was double your shots. I like this. I want it to return. It's faster than a reroll and it doesn't stop being useful if you have high ballistic skill.

To Hit modifiers, save modifiers and cover saves. Three separate changes which are so entwined that I feel they must be discussed together. Others have commented up thread how determining to hit modifiers was slow. That's true, but it doesn't have to be. The issue comes back to determining modifiers on a model by model basis, and the plethora of modifiers that existed. Soft cover, hard cover, emerging from cover, speed, size, equipment (targetters). The list seemed endless. In and of themselves to-hit modifiers are not the problem. It's how many there were and the fact you calculated them one model at a time. Shifting towards unit-to-unit determination and culling a lot of the modifiers would speed things up without having the weird dichotomy of cover saves where cover is irrelevant half of the time. Similarly, people often lament how 'power armour was useless' because virtually every weapon had at least a -1 save modifier. To that I say, let's shift all modifiers by one. All those bolters etc. are now save mod 0. Hey presto, power armour is 3+ again.

Wounds. This is a very important point. Weapons did a varying number of wounds. This is what stopped monstrous creatures from being as invisible as they have become in 7th edition. In 2nd the number of wounds was often a polyhedral die. That level of variety and complexity is probably not required, but having some way to deal multiple wounds (other than by instant death) would be welcome. I can think of a number of ways to handle this, but I have no idea which would work best. Perhaps the simplest answer is the best; replace all those die with fixed numbers.

totgeboren
26-12-2016, 09:33
Sometime ago I convinced myself that twin linked meant re-roll to wound in 2nd ed. This was wrong. It was double your shots. I like this. I want it to return. It's faster than a reroll and it doesn't stop being useful if you have high ballistic skill.


Yeah one to-hit roll, two hits. It makes intuitive sense. Imagine a Pradator with a twin-lascannon turret firing. It would not have an easier time landing a hit, but if it hit it would be two hits. Though this is rather interesting.

Why have weapons been twin-linked IRL? The first thing I can think of is anti-air guns and some vehicle-mounted twin-mortars. All instances of twin-linked guns I can think of have actually been to improve accuracy by just putting more lead in the air. So reroll to-hit, to-wound or double the hits if you do hit? I guess the problem is that you wouldn't really twin-link a single shot precision weapon like a lascannon. That's just silly, so whatever rules linked weapons get will be odd given the 40k setting. But reroll to hit makes sense from a IRL pow.

Lost Egg
26-12-2016, 19:33
I like your idea to replace the Sustained Fire dice / Jam, it avoids a bit of annoyance and would greatly speed up the game; it also kinda has a precedence you roll multiple attach dice in combat so why not multiple shot dice.

Plasma guns could be either single shot for maximum power or blast but with less power. That way you retain the player option but get rid of the note keeping.

I'd happily drop fire arcs, it would be a pain in anything other than a very small skirmish game.

I agree with being able to choose different targets with different weapons in the squad. I suppose you'd need to further clarify so a Devastator Squad with 2 heavy bolters and 2 lascannon could say direct the 2LC at a tank and 2HB at a Jetbike. Maybe a maximum of two different targets per squad to prevent slowing down the game. Also, could you blow up a transport with a Tactical squad LC then get the rest of the squad to fire at the minis inside as they bail out? Works cinematically for me though maybe -1 to hit due to smoke etc.

I like the idea that twin-linked means one roll to hit but 2 rolls to damage...but then the re-roll to hit is quicker...maybe...

I'm not sure every weapon needed its own to hit mods.

You could also say that no armour can be modified beyond 6+, I seem to remember that work armour was hardly worth it...though I suppose shifting the modifier by one would kinda prevent the problem.

I think you could easily add a colour system to the wound chart here. So, say the closer you get to the bottom left square the more likely any wound suffered is gunna be multiple wounds, e.g. S6 vs. T6 =4+ (1 wound) but S6 vs. T3or4 =3+ (2 wounds) & S6 vs. T1or2 =2+ (3 wounds).

Zustiur
28-12-2016, 00:55
Personally I think I'd rather stick with 2nd ed's double your shots. Sorry if my sentence read another way. Re-rolls take longer than rolling more dice initially.

Putting an upper limit on the number of targets is a good idea, but I partly wanted to enable the 'classic' devastator squad with 4 different heavy weapons. I'll give it some thought.

I forgot about the range modifiers when I was trying to list off all of the to-hit modifiers the other day. Thanks for the reminder.

I've come up with multiple wound charts over the years. I really don't know what the best solution is. At one time I was looking at a mechanic similar to the BS 6+ in 7th ed mechanic where if you roll a 1 on the first roll you get to roll again. Then I took that idea a different direction where you always had two rolls if the weapon strength was high enough, one would succeed on 2+, the other on 6+ or whatever, thus causing 2 wounds with one shot. Now I'm thinking a simpler solution is to look at the actual dice roll to see how much you exceeded the required number. Say you need a 2 to wound, but you roll a 5. That could count as 2 wounds. A 6 would have caused 3 wounds.

Scaryscarymushroom
28-12-2016, 17:28
There are some interesting perspectives in this thread. As for myself, Third edition is the version of the game I look back on most fondly. I didn't even know this hobby existed until the latter half of 3rd, so it has been the default. I measure other editions of the game against it.

One place where the game has slipped IMO is the less and less important role of the leadership stat. Also, there was a time when being fearless was generally an advantage in the face of ravening hordes, rather than turning combat into a death trap.

But these problems pale in comparison to the rapidly escalating power creep of late 5th, when I finally started experimenting with other games. I haven't played 7th, so I can't say what it's like.



40K has since lost its capacity for statistical singularities that makes people remember a single battle for years. Yeah I guess you could roll all sixes on 40 dice once, but you'd get over that pretty quickly.

I personally haven't had problems remembering my good 3rd-5th edition battles. The bad ones escape me (and there were plenty of them), but I had a game about 11 years ago that will stick with me. My sister of battle canoness and her detachment of seraphim led an ambush gone awry against a tau gun line. With her comrades fallen at the edge of the forest, she made a defiant last stand, darting out from behind a ridge and rushing toward the back of the gun line. Armed with the blade of admonition, but more importantly her faith, she could cut down the entire squad. With her weapon in hand, just moments before she delivered the first of many killing blows, she was shot down.

And another about 6 years ago. There was a chaos space marine predator with its lascannon fixed on my tyranid trygon. It hit squarely, but failed to wound on a 2+. The mental image was something like the trygon rearing up, munching casually on some noise Marines the way a happy pet chews on kibble. Then suddenly it got shot in the back of the head, but the huge slug ricocheted off, "huh?", as if to get the beast's attention or jog its memory. Then the great trygon dug into the soil, and only seconds later, it exploded out from underneath the tank with the force of a land mine. The predator became its prey.

There are others, but I will spare you the details. The narratives are a little more invented (often by my opponent), but they stick with me no less.

EDIT: Reading this thread, I do wish that vehicle damage tables were based on the vehicle themselves. That sounds like a great feature of 2nd.

Lost Egg
29-12-2016, 09:07
It was, you got much more of the feel that your beloved war machine was taking damage and getting more and more rickety...a bit like the scene with the mech suit in District 9.

Such detail only really works in smaller games or it bogs things down. It's a shame 40k went big...sigh...

WLBjork
29-12-2016, 17:01
Why have weapons been twin-linked IRL? The first thing I can think of is anti-air guns and some vehicle-mounted twin-mortars. All instances of twin-linked guns I can think of have actually been to improve accuracy by just putting more lead in the air. So reroll to-hit, to-wound or double the hits if you do hit? I guess the problem is that you wouldn't really twin-link a single shot precision weapon like a lascannon. That's just silly, so whatever rules linked weapons get will be odd given the 40k setting. But reroll to hit makes sense from a IRL pow.

M50 Ontos tank destroyer had a sextuple 106mm recoilless rifle setup - the idea was to hit a tank (T-10 probably) with enough of those to kill it.

Also true for the AA guns - not just to increase the chance of hitting in the first place, but to increase the chance of doing serious or terminal damage. Even the original WW1 Biplanes could take a few rifle-calibre bullet holes in the fuselage, if you didn't hit an engine component or the pilot.

Naval guns on the other hand, were more to increase rate of fire and thus hits by chance. Again though, once you'd ranged and were able to fire for effect, the weight of metal was there for maximum damage in minimum time.

Galadrin
01-01-2017, 03:21
AA guns did not have multiple barrels to "increase accuracy". They had multiple barrels to increase the weapon's firepower (damage). AA guns are already accurate out to the elevations that they are designed to engage.

Moriarty
06-01-2017, 19:59
It occurs to me that you have mechanisms for comparing Strength vs Toughness to give a chance of wounding, and Weapon Skill vs Weapon Skill to give a chance of hitting in melee, yet the chance of hitting for shooting is a bald line based solely on Ballistic Skill.

I would like to suggest that it would be more consistent if the chance of hitting for shooting is based on a comparison of Ballistic Skill and the target situation, so that a large target in the open is easier to hit than a small target behind fortifications, for a given Ballistic Skill.

Not only would this be more consistent, but it would do away with the need for the Cover Save mechanic, and give a smoother game.

Lost Egg
07-01-2017, 07:05
In combat in 2nd ed you don't compare Ws values on a hit chart, each players rolls there attach dice and picks the highest roll then adds +1 for each additional 6 (if they rolled a 6). I can't remember if they roll an extra D6 for charging or get +1 to their total...also if you have a sword you can make your opponent re-roll one die as you parry that attack. If you roll one or more 1s then you fumble and your opponent adds those 1s to their total.

I think thats a bout right though feel free to correct me anyone.

Again in 2nd ed there was no cover save, you got -1 to hit for soft cover (vegetation) and -2 to hit for hard cover (rocks, buildings etc). Much simpler than cover saves and more 'realistic' as even marines used cover.

Spell_of_Destruction
09-01-2017, 01:01
I honestly enjoyed 3rd ed a lot on release. While I missed the depth of 2nd ed, the impact of the changes on speed and the number of games that could be played within a single session was noticeable. I remember that we ran a campaign involving half a dozen players in the early days of 3rd and were discussing that we would not have been able to achieve this in 2nd (I'm not saying that it wasn't possible to streamline 2nd but it wasn't something we had managed to achieve as a group).

Where I feel that GW went wrong was in trying to inject 'flavour' into the system with a plethora of special rules for individual armies and units. Instead they should have focused on improving the system by developing new tactical options - basically increasing the number of things you can do with your units. I think this is why post 2nd ed 40k is often described as being tactically shallow - what you choose is as important if not more so how you use it. Units have a limited number of actions so there is little scope for novel tactical play so the effectiveness of any given unit normally boils down to little more than a handful of traits.

The transition from 2nd to 3rd was intended to shift the focus from platoon level confrontations towards company level confrontations - obviously the average 3rd ed army was smaller than a company but I feel the game was designed to scale upwards whereas 2nd ed was a game that scaled downwards to the level of managing individual models.

In reality, 7th ed doesn't add a great deal of tactical depth to the 3rd ed model. There are far more options and lots of special rules but these are simply addendums to the core system.

In short, GW has never followed through with the original design intent of 3rd edition.


It occurs to me that you have mechanisms for comparing Strength vs Toughness to give a chance of wounding, and Weapon Skill vs Weapon Skill to give a chance of hitting in melee, yet the chance of hitting for shooting is a bald line based solely on Ballistic Skill.

I would like to suggest that it would be more consistent if the chance of hitting for shooting is based on a comparison of Ballistic Skill and the target situation, so that a large target in the open is easier to hit than a small target behind fortifications, for a given Ballistic Skill.

Not only would this be more consistent, but it would do away with the need for the Cover Save mechanic, and give a smoother game.

I seem to remember that a BS to hit table was a feature of the legendary 'pancake' edition. Basically to hit modifiers by another name but sneakily hidden through the use of a quick reference table.

The_Real_Chris
12-01-2017, 15:56
There are lots of solutions to the above problems.

For example movement.

Just copy the Epic system.

Terrain is classed by its effect on vehicles and infantry as open, difficult or impassable.

You can guess two but difficult terrain means you either travel at 5cm per turn or roll a D6. A 1 removes the model as destroyed. The 'walker' ability gives you a re-roll.

Also the effect of terrain on movement is much reduced - woods, buildings and the like do not slow infantry at all.

Overall much faster movement and if you want to charge through the minefield some of you won't make it...

Other areas can be simplified as well. Replacing the jam dice with 2 shots each was pretty universal. I have seen it done with an additional -1 to hit to even things up.

Likewise rolling all movement into the movement phase.

But then of course why stop there? Why not have a unit do all its movement, then shooting, then assault in one go?

And if you are doing that why not have alternating activations of some sort...

And so on...

Ultimately you end up with a different game. In my case I end up playing Epic Armageddon :)

AFnord
12-01-2017, 23:50
But then the 2 and 3 sustained fire dice weapons got converted into.... heavy 3. What? A heavy bolter went from an expected 4 shots down to 3 shots. An assault cannon went from 6 down to 3 and eventually got put back to 4. Why? That never sat right with me.

If I were to make a wild guess on the intent, it was to avoid having a single weapon or model getting to dominant. GW did not want a WW1 situation, where a single HMG would be able to massacre an entire squad in a short timespan, they wanted you to have to use multiple weapons to do that.



I'll start with Movement


While I do think that 3rd edition did improve 40k in many ways, here is where GW dropped the ball. Going from separate movement values to a flat M6 did mean that they could not represent different units being faster or slower. Fleet was not part of the core 3rd edition rulset, and never felt like it fit into the game well. It was a fix slapped on top of an already existing rulset, and it slowed down the game a lot. As for how they could fix this, well, simply re-introducing an M stat would do a lot to speed up the game, and in order to make it so that units can actually move around the battlefield fast if needed, let them run at twice their M value and make it so that they can't shoot if they do. And if they do this, then 4 is not a bad option, as that still means that you can move 8 inches in a turn if you have to.



Save modifiers were replaced by the AP system


This is a system that I hear a lot of people complain about, yet it does make a degree of sense, as penetrating armour can often be a bit of an all or nothing kind of affair. It's not great representation of how it would work, but neither is the save modifier system.





Terminator saves changed from 3+ on 2d6 to 2+ on 1d6 (no 5++ initially)
My reaction to this was: "Nooooo, whyyy????"


Makes it easier to roll for multiple models at once.

Spell_of_Destruction
13-01-2017, 01:58
While I do think that 3rd edition did improve 40k in many ways, here is where GW dropped the ball. Going from separate movement values to a flat M6 did mean that they could not represent different units being faster or slower. Fleet was not part of the core 3rd edition rulset, and never felt like it fit into the game well. It was a fix slapped on top of an already existing rulset, and it slowed down the game a lot. As for how they could fix this, well, simply re-introducing an M stat would do a lot to speed up the game, and in order to make it so that units can actually move around the battlefield fast if needed, let them run at twice their M value and make it so that they can't shoot if they do. And if they do this, then 4 is not a bad option, as that still means that you can move 8 inches in a turn if you have to.

It's interesting to consider the style of game that GW was trying to promote in 2nd vs 3rd and then to look forward to subsequent editions as well.

With an average of 4 turns per game, lower M characteristic, higher weapon ranges and deployment 24" apart, it wasn't necessary or desirable to move your infantry around a lot in 2nd unless they were close combat specialists. Initial placement was therefore very important (little time available to redeploy) and the movements of mobile units required planning turns in advance. 3rd was a conscious move towards a more reactive, mobile game with players expected to manoeuvre their units to get up close and personal with the enemy in order to adopt more advantageous firing positions.

To facilitate this change 3rd made cover relatively less important (especially for units with 3+ armour saves) through the adoption of the AP system and the removal of to hit modifiers. The average number of turns was increased and armies generally deployed closer together. Mission objectives also emphasised movement and claiming portions of the table. I think it's unfortunate that subsequent editions ultimately failed to deliver on this vision. I think that the AP system (but also the shooting system as a whole) is largely responsible for this and also the proliferation of heavy firepower in latter years. Manoeuvring simply isn't highly rewarded in 40k. It's much easier to invest heavily in high strength, high RoF weapons with good range than to manoeuvre infantry into desirable firing positions.



This is a system that I hear a lot of people complain about, yet it does make a degree of sense, as penetrating armour can often be a bit of an all or nothing kind of affair. It's not great representation of how it would work, but neither is the save modifier system.

There was a long and comprehensive discussion of the merits of ASM vs AP in the 2nd edition thread that is worth looking at. I don't have an inherent preference for either system but I am of the view that AP is the wrong system for 40k. The AP system lends itself towards a rock, paper, scissors style which is find if armies are balance accordingly. The problem is that in 40k most factions tend to heavily lean towards only one of either rock, paper or scissors rather than having a smattering of units in all three which creates balance issues.

The whole meta balance of 3rd edition was based on the strength of Rock (3+ saves) and Paper (e.g. starcannon army of doom) and the marginalisation of Scissors (high AP weapons).

blackcherry
13-01-2017, 14:01
Interesting thread. I'll keep my eye on this.

WLBjork
14-01-2017, 18:20
It's interesting to consider the style of game that GW was trying to promote in 2nd vs 3rd and then to look forward to subsequent editions as well.

With an average of 4 turns per game, lower M characteristic, higher weapon ranges and deployment 24" apart, it wasn't necessary or desirable to move your infantry around a lot in 2nd unless they were close combat specialists. Initial placement was therefore very important (little time available to redeploy) and the movements of mobile units required planning turns in advance. 3rd was a conscious move towards a more reactive, mobile game with players expected to manoeuvre their units to get up close and personal with the enemy in order to adopt more advantageous firing positions.

To facilitate this change 3rd made cover relatively less important (especially for units with 3+ armour saves) through the adoption of the AP system and the removal of to hit modifiers. The average number of turns was increased and armies generally deployed closer together. Mission objectives also emphasised movement and claiming portions of the table. I think it's unfortunate that subsequent editions ultimately failed to deliver on this vision. I think that the AP system (but also the shooting system as a whole) is largely responsible for this and also the proliferation of heavy firepower in latter years. Manoeuvring simply isn't highly rewarded in 40k. It's much easier to invest heavily in high strength, high RoF weapons with good range than to manoeuvre infantry into desirable firing positions.

Really? If anything, 2nd encouraged movement more than 3rd. Dawn Raid, Guerrilla Warfare, Take and Hold, Bunker Assault absolutely required movement, whilst Assassin, Witch Hunt and Engage and Destroy could require movement to succeed - especially on the larger tables with higher terrain densities encouraged at the time.

Lost Egg
15-01-2017, 09:34
I'm sure transports were faster back in the day too. I don't think I ever remember games being static.

Spell_of_Destruction
16-01-2017, 01:30
Of course there was plenty of movement in 2nd. I was talking specifically about the general playstyle encouraged in 3rd which focused on close quarters engagement (encapsulated in the 'cleanse' mission). In subsequent editions it has arguably shifted back closer towards the ethos of 2nd.

You could move line infantry in 2nd but having only four turns generally required economical tactics.

Lost Egg
16-01-2017, 08:06
I thought 2nd had the Cleanse mission too.

The_Real_Chris
17-01-2017, 14:26
I would concur with 2nd being more 'fixed'. That is in general you had a plan for an army element and there wasn't much you could do to change it. Your mob of orcs would trundle to the area they were aiming for, they couldn't mess about. Likewise your heavies would hold and fire, repositioning was an admission of problems not generally part of the plan. Transports were critical for elements that were going to move, but also relatively fragile so troops could end up stranded.

I think the spell warp gate was the best in the game - critical extra movement for troops that wanted to close rapidly!

For me Epic A is the best balance between movement systems GW has done. Infantry can 'march' at 45cm a turn if they really have to move, or more commonly 'double' but with a penalty to firing. (Or advance normally at 15cm or remain static with a bonus for firing.)

Keep meaning to set up a 40k scale Epic A game at the wargames club...

lanrak
17-01-2017, 17:15
Hi folks.
As Rick Priestly called 3rd ed 40k '..an 11th hour rush job..'
It is not surprising there were quite a few 'oversights' inflicted on the rules in the rush to simplify the 2nd ed skirmish rules to cover larger model count games requested by GW sales department.

I could get behind the concept of a company level battle game using 28mm minatures.(Most 40k players could.):cool:

However, I do not think the GW dev team really had enough time to develop the best system to bring this expected game play to life.

Things they got right..
Moving to a D6 system from a multiple dice size system.

Unfortunately they seemed to make far to many compromises to accommodate this change ,with the goal of keeping some backward compatibility to WHFB 3rd ed.

If they had made some different choices at this stage they could have arrived at the intended game play without so much over complication in the rules.(Multiple resolution systems and far to many special rules.)

I could give examples if any one is interested?




.

Spell_of_Destruction
19-01-2017, 06:17
I've said it before that it's very silly that 40k has an effective suppression mechanic for vehicles but doesn't have one for infantry (the pinning rule is marginal and always has been).

I would like to see a game in which psychology and morale plays a far bigger role. High RoF shooting weapons should primarily be suppression weapons, not a means of blowing armies off the board by throwing a bucket of dice on the table. This makes close combat more important as a means of clearing heavily entrenched infantry from defensive positions.

One thing I really liked about CC in 2nd edition was that even your basic grunts were useful provided you brought them in sufficient numbers. Supporting a dedicated CC unit such as Scorpions or Banshees with CC armed Guardians was a good tactic as the rules for fighting multiple combatants really allowed you to stack the odds in your favour by bringing extra bodies to the party. 3rd onwards lacks kind of force multiplier. Any given CC unit is more or less only as effective as its damage output.

Lost Egg
19-01-2017, 07:57
There kinda was suppression in 2nd ed because of the to hit modifier when minis were in cover. Rather than a direct suppression mechanic it was more a case of assessing the risk of breaking cover, do I think I can survive the hail of fire if my unit breaks cover thus being easier to hit.

A few years ago I adapted the hit modifiers for cover to 5th ed 40k and it worked really well. I had a unit or marines moving up through a wood to sneek up on a unit of chaos marines, taking no damage due to the cover hit modifier. I readied for the charge but when they did charge out they were cut to ribbons as they ran into a wall of fire. I like this sort of 'discreet mechanic' as it reduces the rules you have to keep in mind, always a good thing for people like me who can have a shocking memory.

lanrak
19-01-2017, 16:51
Hi folks.
I think it would have been a massive improvement if they had used a more interactive game turn.
To accommodate the lower amount of tactical maneuver into weapons range..(Also no need for additional scheduling rules like ''over watch'')

(Alternating phases like A.O.S but with simultaneous resolution .Eg casualties removed at the end of the phase so everyone gets to fight.Would get my vote after several play tests with different game turn mechanics.;))

And they should have used a universal resolution system for all units.(EG vehicles and everything else uses the same stat line and resolution methods.)
(Using a completely separate system for vehicles just adds unnecessary complication to the rules , and a large source of imbalance into the game play.)

Keep the three stage damage resolution but use it in a more intuitive order for modern combat.

Roll to hit
Roll to save.
Roll to wound/damage.

This way we could used failed saves to drive a simple suppression mechanic.(That delivers intuitive and proportional results for all races and units in our play tests!)

All combat resolution uses just one resolution method. Opposed stats on a single table.

All other stats are direct representation.(EG Number of inches for distance moved/ranges.Number of dice rolled.Score required on a D6.)

In this way common sense ideas that work in every other war game I have played, would work in 40k.:biggrin:

With just a few minor tweeks to the core rules , you can cover the intended game play of 40k 4th /5th ed in about 50 pages of well defined intuitive core rules , with about 20 special rules for actual special abilities.

Lost Egg
19-01-2017, 20:34
Thats quite some sweeping changes. Dropping the vehicle rules and using stats like infantry would be a major turn off for me. I rarely used more then 2 or 3 vehicles so the 'complexity' of these rules didn't really slow down the game but it did add a lot of fun, tension and character.

lanrak
20-01-2017, 16:43
@Lost Egg.
Moving from a skirmish game to a large battle game is a sweeping change in the game play.(2nd ed 40k to 3rd ed 40k.)

All other instances of such a massive change in game play require a significant change in the rules used.
(That is why Inquisitor had different rules to Epic.But 40k is still based on 3rd ed WHFB skirmish rules...:rolleyes:)

I was not advocating 40k vehicles get current 40k infantry stats, just all units have the same stat line and similar resolution methods.(As lots of good battle game use.)
EG as the game play is all about detailed unit interaction, why not use stat lines that cover all units in a similar detailed way.So infantry get suppression mechanics as well as vehicles. And M/Cs lose effectiveness slowly over time like other units.

I am not advocating changing the expected game play.Just using a better defined rule set to deliver the game play without 3 times as many resolution methods as necessary, and over 4 times as many special rules as necessary.

EG tactical war game rules for a 40k company level battle game. .
A company level modern land warfare game 40k 3rd /5th ed in about 50 pages of rules.:cool:




Having two models in the game that perform exactly the same function but one is classed as a 'monstrous creature' , and the other as a 'walking vehicle '.With completely different stat lines and resolution methods. (On the whim of the dev team.)
Just makes for over complicated rules and leads to imbalance.

Lots of other war game I play have loads of fun, tension, and character.:cool:

But do not have pointless complication added into the rules to try to hide the lack of game play/tactical complexity like 40k does.

Lost Egg
21-01-2017, 08:41
@Ianrak - True but then 2nd ed wasn't a true skirmish game, it was a platoon scale game with squads. Changing that to a company level game only requires streamlining, shedding a bit of depth to increase the speed of the game. An almost full re-write is a bit overkill.

I'm still not quite getting you with the vehicle thing...so all units (infantry, vehicles etc) would have the same stat line and resolution...no armour penetration or anything? That would speed things up in some ways but would feel very odd. If you went down the line of multiple stat lines (the more damage taken the worse they get) you'd lose weapon destroyed which is very cinematic. I suppose you could just take off a weapon when it got to a certain number of wounds/damage. For my tastes that would feel a bit bolted on.

There weren't that many special rules in 2nd ed 40k, everyone seems to have loads of them now. In AoS they went mad with special rules...I really don't understand GWs fascination with them. Again, I don't think you'd really need to drop the differing methods of resolution for infantry etc and vehicles (as opposed to walkers), they are fundamentally different after all.

I can see your point about Walkers & MCs, it could be argued that walkers are infantry as its just a bigger armoured suit. Bikes & infantry are treated much the same after all. Still, I did like the hit charts for vehicles so at the smaller platoon level game I'd say they work well.

I think the imbalance of 40k stems more from the army books than it does from the core rules. On the whole I still think 2nd ed is pretty good though obviously no rule set is perfect.

For my tastes one of the biggest opponents to tactical choices in 40k in the number of models on the board. One of the main factors in any war-game is movement, there must be the room to move as well as different terrain that blocks lines of sight, offers cover and hinders movement. When I look at the battle reports in WD now almost every time both armies are a nigh solid line of troops, monsters & vehicles that race up the board blasting away at each other then hacking each other to bits. It's almost like movement is designed solely to give a bit of room for some shooting before you get stuck in. But then thats cinematic for some people. I was watching a video by lindybeige (@Ianrak - True but then 2nd ed wasn't a true skirmish game. It was a platoon scale game with squads. Changing that to a company level game only requires streamlining, shedding a bit of depth to increase the speed of the game. An almost full re-write is a bit overkill.) the other day (it was about platoons) and he was lamenting the "charge" seen commonly in movies and TV where scores of people run at each other rather than cunningly make use of lines of fire etc.

Now, I'm not saying I'd like to see suppression rules enter 40k but in Kill Team games where players don't feel the safety of numbers they start hesitating rather than just charge forwards. They carefully move their minis up the board, making use of cover. This sort of discreet mechanic appeals to me, players can either make a bold move and risk coming under fire or sneak about to stay safe(ish). Effectively your getting players to make the same sort of choices that they would have if they were the ones carrying the guns.

lanrak
21-01-2017, 10:53
@Lost Egg.
Well according to the information I have learned from game designers and general game play over the last 20 years or so. 2nd ed 40k was about as large as a skirmish game can get.(Skirmish games are about detailed model interaction.)

Game engines are similar to actual engines in the fact they have very specific uses where they are very efficient.
Eg a two stroke petrol engine is excellent for a motor bike, but unsuitable for a bus/coach.A 6 cylinder 4 stroke diesel is much better for a bus/coach.

When an engine is not the most appropriate you lose efficiency and generate more engine noise.
When a game engine in not the most appropriate, you lose intuitive game play,(more WTF moments. )And generate far more special rules than is good for the game play.(The rules get in the way of playing the game.)

So the skirmish game engine from 2nd ed 40k could just about cope with that size of game.So it did not need that many special rules.

The issues 40k has is the scale of the minatures is seen as skirmish scale, with detailed rules for every slight difference on the minature.

But the game size is that of a large battle game, requiring rules that define detailed unit interaction .

Starting with detailed model interaction from 2nd ed, the game devs had to chop lots out to speed up game play.This meant the rules failed to deliver intuitive proportional results. To over come this the game devs added in special rules to ignore /contradict the core rules.Then had to add more special rules to counter the original special rules .Leading to the current mess that is 40k 7th ed.:rolleyes:

My argument is if 3rd ed 40k battle game , started with straight forward battle game rules, and added detail to improve the detail in the interaction.(Simple model interaction to generate detailed unit interaction.)The intuitive results would remain, but be better defined.:cool:

I am not proposing changing the game play.Just presenting the rules in a slightly different way to let the core rules cover more of the game play.

As GW plc is a minature company first and foremost.Every slight difference on the minature needs a special rules to help sell the model.
This is exclusive rules writing , giving exclusive rules for every slightly different feature of the game play.

However, games companies tend to write rules inclusively.They write rules to cover as much game play as possible.Usually 90% of the game play, with just 10% being left for special abilities/special rules.

So if we look at the the units in 40k from the 'inclusive' rules writing perspective.We can find common values that define all units clearly and comparatively.:cool:

In lots of war game there is a clear distinction between non armored units and armoured units.
This is not really the case in 40k , as some heavy armour infantry suits are closer to tanks than some lighter armoured vehicles!

Example of inclusive rules writing for armour and weapon interaction..

If we gave ALL models an armour value from 1 to 10.(1 being the current 6+ save, and 10 being equal to the current AV 14.)

We could give all weapons a new armour piercing value from 1 to 10 too.

Then ALL models could get a proportional save when these 2 vales are compared on the single resolution table.

Active player stat (A) are the values down the left side.(Armour value in this case.)The Opposed stat (O)are the values along the top.(Thw new weapon AP value in this case.)

A/O 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
1....,4,4,5,5,6,6,n,n.n,n
2.....3.4.4.5.5.6.6.n.n.n.
3.....3.3.4.4.5.5.6.6.n.n.
4.....2.3.3.4.4.5.5.6.6.n.
5.....2.2.3.3.4.4.5.5.6.6.
6.....1.2.2.3.3.4.4.5.5.6.
7.....1.1.2.2.3.3.4.4.5.5.
8.....1.1.1.2.2.3.3.4.4.5
9.....1.1.1.1.2.2.3.3.4.4
10...1.1.1.1.1.2.2.3.3.4.
(n= no effect,)

EG a Space Marine Armour 4, is hit by lasgun new AP 2, gets a 3+ save.The same Marine hit by a Plasma Gun new AP 6 only gets a 5+ save.

A Predator front Armour 9 gets a 2+ save vs a plasma gun hit ,(New AP 6) But only a 4+ save vs a Las Cannon hit (New AP 9)

We can use this table to cover the opposed values for all combat resolution perhaps?
..to generate the score to hit at range.

..to generate the score to hit in assault.

..to generate to save rolls.

.. to determine the D6 score needed to wound damage.

The idea is the stat line shows the way the units interact in the game play in more detail.So only actual special abilities need special rules.

I hope that explains the idea of a common use of stats and a straight forward resolution.

I totally agree that the increase in model count reduced the 'maneuver into effective weapons range' element of the game play.This rendered the alternating game turn mechanic ineffective.

Rather than using a more interactive game turn and focusing on the tactical effect of shooting in a modern battle game.
GW devs simply made units move faster to reduce the amount of shooting assault troops had to face.And removed the negative morale effects from shooting.Sothe casualty removal became higher and faster, to support the increased model count.

But the cost was removing all the tactical depth,(apart from target selection,) from 2nd ed , and just put complication in the rules and hoped no-one would notice/care that much.

Lost Egg
22-01-2017, 08:56
Ai, but most people nowadays describe a skirmish game as one where models act independently of one another.

I agree, different tools for different jobs. In an ideal world a full redesign would be the best bet but a game is not just the rules, people naturally become attached. Such a drastic overhaul would have alienated a lot more of players, including myself. Its worth noting too that a big game then is a lot smaller than a big game now and EPIC was still around for players to get there larger game-on.

For the larger games that I played in 5th I think the rules worked fairly well though obviously a bit of a polish was needed as well as a tweak to game balance. Part of this was due to a return, in some small way, to the feel of 2nd ed. By no means was the game perfect but it worked without breaking that sense of familiarity. The biggest game I played was 1,500pts a side so I can't speak for larger than that.

Lovely idea with your example of an AP system I'd happily see that rolled out as it appeals to my logical nature.

lanrak
22-01-2017, 10:03
@Lost Egg.
As far as I can remember there was a large amount of player outrage and quitting in the 'dumbing down of 40k,' from 2nd ed to 3rd ed.

The main complaint was sucking all the character out of the game.
3rd ed was simple and probably the best balanced out of all the editions. But it got the title 'Blandhammer' for very good reason.

It was when the game devs tried to put the flavor back they realized they had cut too deep in the core rules.And the 'special rule race' and 'codex creep' began..

My point was 3rd edition 40k was the shaky foundation that could not be corrected.(Becasue GW plc refused to let the devs correct it!)
This lead to the inevitable collapse of the 40k game play under the weight of special rules and sales promotion bias.

Analogy alert..:biggrin:
It was a slow listing tower, that developed into an alarming lean then nearly toppled over .No matter how drastic the tower of rules leaned over, GW was ready with another brace of special rules to try to stop it collapsing.

Now 40k rules tower is more a slow rising ramp with a mess of braces under it, that fails to reach the hight of much simpler rules towers with better foundations..

My point was in an ideal world.
3d ed 40k would be the refined large skirmish game the game devs actually worked on for years.(Cleaned up 2nd ed.)

And the new battle game of 40k would have had a separate release later on . (With rules actually developed specifically for its game play.Sort of Andy Chambers 4th ed , or the alternate 5th and 6th ed that never got released.)

I would like to say that I am aware of players expectations from 40k game play.
And the core elements have to remain other wise players dont recognize the rules as '40k'.

Actions phases, three stage damage resolution ,rolling D6 etc.

My preference would be to make the minimum core rule changed to re enforce the foundation of the game , so we do not need to rely on special rules .
(The new armour/weapon AP was just one example of this sort of correction.)

Lost Egg
22-01-2017, 13:00
Sounds good to me mate. As you say it's shame that the muppets in GW never let the games developers do a decent job in the first place.

I wonder of Mantic will stumble into the same hole with Warpath, not that I'd choose it over 40k anyway.

Commissar Vaughn
22-01-2017, 19:21
AA guns did not have multiple barrels to "increase accuracy". They had multiple barrels to increase the weapon's firepower (damage). AA guns are already accurate out to the elevations that they are designed to engage.

Well it was a bit of both really. With most Synchronised weapons you can select how far out you want the streams to converge, thus creating an optimum range to hit things at, and a cone of effectiveness that drops off beyond that. So if you are expecting to normally be shooting at say 200 yards you can make sure your always getting the maximum amount of lead into the smallest possible space. But your shooting is less effective in terms of accuracy and in terms of lead on target at any other range.
Alternatively you can arrange your guns to spread their fire over a particular area. Better if your having trouble hitting the target as something will hit, but not getting as much fire on target quickly, and that can be a crucial difference especially if the target is fast moving and you're not likely to be able to stay on target for a prolonged burst.

Then youve got to consider if the guns are different sizes- like the autocannon/battlecannon arrangment on a Baneblade, or the Machinegun/cannon arrangement on many ww2 fighters. Its entirely possible to sync the guns so they converge at a particular distance but the two guns are firing at different rates, the shot travels at different speeds and over different trajectories, so even at that optimum range theres not a lot of use in trying to guide the big gun with the smaller. At shorter or longer ranges you might be hitting with one consistently , but the other is shooting straight over the targets head...or falling short.

Complicated business really.

lanrak
23-01-2017, 17:04
@Commisar Vaughn.
Having worked for Oerlikon Contraves and Royal Ordnance on medium caliber weapon systems for various roles.

I feel I have a good understanding of the multiple weapon set ups as used by current military forces.

Anti aircraft gun barrels have a straightness tolerance to give a defined spread of shot over the weapons effective range.
The idea is the anti aircraft HE shells fill the sky in front of the aircraft with a cloud of shell fragments that the aircraft has to fly through.
Multiple guns per mount simply provide a higher density of shell fragments making it harder for the aircraft to avoid damage.

(Eg Sea Zenith quad KBB 25mm Cannon mount, GCM twin KCB 30mm Cannon mount.)

Aircraft cannon tend to be of the rotary type nowadays, and have a very high rate of fire.(EG Mauser 30mm.)
They tend to be used for ground attack roles , as air to air attack engagement speeds are too fast for the pilot reactions in a lot of cases.
Most modern Air to air attacks use missiles.

Years ago the air craft machine guns could be set to converge at a specific range to put a higher density of rounds on target at that specific point.

I do not think aircraft cannon were set to converge as they used HE fragmentation to cover a larger area of the target .
(Compared to the solid bullets of the .303" and .5 " MG.)

Commissar Vaughn
23-01-2017, 23:13
@Commisar Vaughn.
Having worked for Oerlikon Contraves and Royal Ordnance on medium caliber weapon systems for various roles.

I feel I have a good understanding of the multiple weapon set ups as used by current military forces.

Anti aircraft gun barrels have a straightness tolerance to give a defined spread of shot over the weapons effective range.
The idea is the anti aircraft HE shells fill the sky in front of the aircraft with a cloud of shell fragments that the aircraft has to fly through.
Multiple guns per mount simply provide a higher density of shell fragments making it harder for the aircraft to avoid damage.

(Eg Sea Zenith quad KBB 25mm Cannon mount, GCM twin KCB 30mm Cannon mount.)

Aircraft cannon tend to be of the rotary type nowadays, and have a very high rate of fire.(EG Mauser 30mm.)
They tend to be used for ground attack roles , as air to air attack engagement speeds are too fast for the pilot reactions in a lot of cases.
Most modern Air to air attacks use missiles.

Years ago the air craft machine guns could be set to converge at a specific range to put a higher density of rounds on target at that specific point.

I do not think aircraft cannon were set to converge as they used HE fragmentation to cover a larger area of the target .
(Compared to the solid bullets of the .303" and .5 " MG.)

I wouldn't dare to question your expertise in this matter then :biggrin: , except to say that Aircraft mounted cannon certainly would be harmonised to converge at a particular point. The deciding factor was not the size or type of gun but its position on the aircraft- Its not such a worry with nose mounted guns or cannon as long as they are shooting in the same direction the gun sight is pointing, but its pretty essential for wing mounted weapons.

Point of interest, ww2 aces mostly preferred their guns converging at very close range, for maximum damage. RAF pilots were initially advised to spread their fire over a huge area on the basis that they were awful shots and wouldn't hit the broad side of a Heinkel otherwise.

And its not say that guns were always harmonised- I recall one anecdote from an RAF memoir that mentioned a pilot in a hurry getting into the air only to discover his guns hadn't been harmonised and his radio hadn't been properly set up (it had only just been delivered or something), leaving him to communicate by hand signals, and shooting in eight different directions at once...

Ironbone
24-01-2017, 10:07
Then youve got to consider if the guns are different sizes- like the autocannon/battlecannon arrangment on a Baneblade, or the Machinegun/cannon arrangement on many ww2 fighters. Its entirely possible to sync the guns so they converge at a particular distance but the two guns are firing at different rates, the shot travels at different speeds and over different trajectories, so even at that optimum range theres not a lot of use in trying to guide the big gun with the smaller. At shorter or longer ranges you might be hitting with one consistently , but the other is shooting straight over the targets head...or falling short.

Complicated business really.
Well, speaking from experience ( sort of experience :P )... In Battlefield 3 one of my favourite tank configurations was to run one with co-axial HMG and use it to range-in with main cannon onto far away targets ( as .50 cal in this game have actually a lot less bullet drop and faster veliocity "because battlefield" :P ). It requaied quite a lot of practice, but in the end, it was perfectly viable tactic.

lanrak
24-01-2017, 17:23
@Commissar Vaughn.
Like I said I am familiar with modern weapon platforms and uses.(Not an expert on historical uses.)
AFAIK, most aircraft with a mix on MG and Cannon could fire them separately.Most wing/pod mounted cannon were used mainly for ground attack.
(Like the Hurricane IID.etc.)

Zustiur
25-01-2017, 09:50
Oh. Warseer is back again. Here is the rest of my analysis.

Assault
It's probably quicker to list the things that didn't change, but I'll try anyway.

Model to model vs unit to unit. This was a good change. It sped things up dramatically. With it WS, I and A all took on new meanings in the mechanics. This was done rather well even if it did take a few editions to get to where we are now. This is one area where I see the rules actually improved as each edition came along. Mechanically 7th edition combat works well, though I think there is still room for improvement, particularly with regard to how WS is utilized.

Pistols no longer use their profile in combat. Odd, but counterbalanced to a degree by the whole move/shoot/charge thing. This issue really needs to be considered in conjunction with that point.

Hand-to-hand was another area where the number of modifiers was too high. There are 6 modifiers to combat score you need to remember before you even throw codex rules into the mix. Too many modifiers means too much time working things out. Again, I prefer the way 3rd-7th handle this.

Swords, lightning claws, shields and a few other things could parry. To my recollection this is why everyone had a sword of some sort and you never saw a power axe. The diversity in the rules was nice, but the end result (at least in my play group) was no diversity on the battle field. Parry was too damn good.

Speaking of diversity, there was a huge amount of it in close combat weapons compared with 3rd edition. 7th has gone a long way to restoring this and I am glad of that fact. I see no reason for melee weapons to be homogenised at the same time as ranged weapons were diversified.

Psychics
Much like close combat the way psykers and psychic powers are handled has changed so many times that it's hard to remember exactly which rule came from which edition. 2nd ed (with the Dark Millennium expansion) had a whole card game going on inside your regular game of 40k. Bad move. Fluffy, but slow and unbalanced. With a lot of armies bringing your own psyker made the enemy psyker more powerful by increasing the number of cards being handed out. 3rd went to the opposite extreme where a psychic power was just a gun which required a leadership test to use. This is fantasy knights, orcs and elves, in space, with magic. Magic needs to be more than just a gun you can't see. I think 2nd and 7th are both 'too far' and both bad in approximately the same way. That problem is that psykers feed off each other. The more psykers you have the more cards (2nd ed) or dice (7th ed) you have and therefore the more you can abuse the system. 6th edition psychics may not have been perfect but they were better than either of these messes.

Recovery
Not much to say here, I just wanted to call out the fact that this was an actual phase rather than 'at the beginning of your turn' or 'before the movement phase'.

Oh wait, morale. Space Marines didn't have And They Shall Know No Fear. They had Shaken instead. Failed 1 morale check? Stand still if you want but you can't approach the enemy. Failed a second? Run away like everyone else.

Army Selection
This may be the elephant in the room. No force org chart to constrain you into choices that don't make sense vs no percentages to ensure that you don't just take 60 points of gretchin. Neither of these sits well with me by itself. In 2nd it was >25% squads, <50% characters, <50% support. That was it. Not very limiting because those squads could be terminators and 50% on characters left too much room for hero-hammer. Whereas in 3rd-6th people could just min-max by taking 2 minimum units of their cheapest troop. Let's not get started on 7th's formations and detachments.
This is one of those areas where I feel both methods have a point but that the best answer is to mix the two together. In my re-write of 7th (Project Zeta) I settled on doing exactly that. The Org chart from 3rd-6th is the primary concept, but it now scales on the number of points you're using, and has the additional restriction of percentages. No more 2x30point gretchin units to have minimum troops, no more ignoring 'troops' in favour of elites by picking terminators without any regular marines. Is it perfect? No, but it's better than what went before if you ask me.

Warhammer Fantasy had an alternate solution of core/heroes/special/rare. This might also be worth consideration for 40k. See, the problem in my mind is that the Force Organisation Chart/Combined Arms Detachment that we all love to hate is perfect... for representing a space marine battle company, but not for much else. 6 troops = 6 tactical squads, 2 HQ = Captain and chaplain, 3 fast attack = 2 assault squads and 1 support unit, 3 heavy support = 2 devastator squads and one tank, 3 elite = 2 company dreadnoughts and 1 support unit. It's the double demi company or the strike force, but with more flexibility. Then we look at Eldar (particularly 3rd edition Eldar) and it makes no sense at all. Guardian's aren't standard soldiers, they're conscripts. Aspect warriors are soldiers, but you're heavily restricted in how many you can take. Ack! Also, what happened to my units of 3-7? They all became 5-10. Why? As far as I can tell it was because 3 units of 3-7 aspect warriors is not enough to be of any real use. 3 elites with most aspect warriors being elite just doesn't make sense.
If anything I feel that to make the FOC work for Eldar, you need to use the Beil-Tan options from the Craftworld Eldar supplement. Treat guardians as elite and all aspects as troops. Far better to come up with a FOC for each codex and not shoehorn everything into hq/troops/elite/fast/heavy. However that takes more time and effort.

lanrak
29-01-2017, 11:26
@Zustiur.
I agree with your assessment of army selection.

I would prefer something that allows stronger narrative themes,wider choice of play styles, and much more balanced lists. But presented in a much more straight forward way.

I was looking at a simple option of letting the HQ choice set the rarity of units in the force.
Every army has the following organization.

Minimum of 1 HQ unit.
2 to 8 Core units, for every HQ unit selected.
Up to 1 Support unit for every 2 Core units taken.
Up to 1 Special unit for every 2 Support units taken.

(A minimum of 6 core units have to betaken before a new HQ can be selected.)

But the HQ unit selected determine which units are Core, Support, or Special for that list selection. (Determines the theme of the force.)

Is this the sort of thing you would support?

Commissar von Toussaint
09-02-2017, 00:02
Wow, I take some time away and this thread pops up!

I learned to play on 2nd and greeted 3rd with tremendous enthusiasm. I got very good at it very fast, and for about a year and a half I was a confirmed devotee of 3rd edition.

Then I cracked the code, and got bored. I quit shortly thereafter and then returned to 2nd and I haven't looked back.

Lots of good points about the changes, here are some points I think need to be highlighted.

Movement

Movement in 2nd was a deliberate decision. Because most troops had a 4" move and games were somewhat shorter (though players could agree to lengthen them) there was a strong line between maneuver elements and mobile ones. What this meant was that players tended to have certain squads/units that were there for fire support while others were there to take the objective.

When building armies, this balance is key. If you are playing marines on the defensive, tactical squads are a great choice, backed up by devastators. On the offensive, however, transports are a must.

And yes, transports could move wickedly-fast in 2nd, with speeds over 20" being common (some went up to 30"!)

Shooting

How could you leave out overwatch, the single most controversial rule EVER. :eek:

Overwatch was widely hated by people with poor tactical skills, but for everyone else, it was a must. If you were covering a key axis of advance, overwatch kept your opponent honest. If you were advancing into danger territory, overwatch allowed covering troops to gun down a potential counterassault.

Worried about troops jumping into your backfield? Put a heavy weapons team on overwatch.

It is a simple mechanic and allowed for a truly interactive turn sequence. It also carried a heavy price - units using it not only have to give up their normal shooting phase, they take a -1 to hit.

Vehicles

I love these rules. They feel like actual tanks roaring across the map. The speed bands (which peg maneuverability to speed) give you a choice between going really fast in a straight line, or slower but with lots of maneuverability.

Oh, and if you never had a tank blow up and drop its turret on a main character, you haven't lived. :evilgrin:

Assault

The system moves a little slow, and I have a fix for it, but the nice thing was that the values from 1 to 10 actually came in to play. In a d6 system, most of the higher numbers don't mean much, but the melee system meant that having WS 10 was actually a big deal.

Army Selection

I loved how open it is. At that scale, there is no reason an 'army' couldn't be all terminators. In a small battle, that's only a couple of squads!

The notion that even platoon-level encounters should be perfectly balanced with combined arms is crap. 2nd ed. allowed a much more narrative feel to the game and players who embrace that approach are richly rewarded.

The_Real_Chris
09-02-2017, 11:53
Vehicles - yes was fun, but ultimately the gain from the targeting table was minimal compared to the flow benefit of using a simpler system.

Another factor with overwatch was the sparseness of terrain. With most having to be hand built there really wasn't much about other than ubiquitous hills. Hell the first two 2nd ed grand tourneys I went to had even less terrain than that!

We found as a rule anything less than 12 pieces of decent sized terrain could overpower overwatch so I would hold that as a minimum.

Lost Egg
10-02-2017, 07:56
For the size of the games I never found the vehicle tables a problem as there was only ever 3 or 4 vehicles at most on the table. But yeah, if you wanted bigger games then it would slow things down.

It's interesting that with all the terrain GW churns out now, very little of it actually blocks lines of sight. In 2nd ed GW used some big piles of rocks in their battle reports and they work really well for blocking lines of sight and are easy to make...plus those now classic Ork buildings were awesome! :D

The_Real_Chris
10-02-2017, 11:40
Ah - we never played 'true line of sight' but used the abstracted area terrain most wargames do...

Sotek
10-02-2017, 13:29
In 3rd edition assaults were too powerful, you had power weapons which ignored armor, and you blended a unit and then swept into a new one, perma-assault.

4E killed that and was blandhammer to me.

5E was really good and 6th wasn't bad - until they added flyers.

Current 40k seems so-so except for the psychic phase and individual codex imbalance.

Perhaps what is needed is a way of buffing higher WS - so if your WS is double the opponent you can re-roll to hit or something?
Standard cover at a 5++ is fine 4++ was too good and nerfed high cost, low AP weapons too much, however I do sometimes wonder if BS should be improved by 1 across the board and bring back to hit modifiers. Marines are supposed to be post human genhanced 100 year experienced vets but they miss 1/3 of the time - so do imperial guard veterans. If vanilla marines were BS 5 but had a -1 penalty for rapid firing they might be more distinguished.

Commissar von Toussaint
10-02-2017, 22:48
In 3rd edition assaults were too powerful, you had power weapons which ignored armor, and you blended a unit and then swept into a new one, perma-assault.

4E killed that and was blandhammer to me.

5E was really good and 6th wasn't bad - until they added flyers.

Current 40k seems so-so except for the psychic phase and individual codex imbalance.

Perhaps what is needed is a way of buffing higher WS - so if your WS is double the opponent you can re-roll to hit or something?
Standard cover at a 5++ is fine 4++ was too good and nerfed high cost, low AP weapons too much, however I do sometimes wonder if BS should be improved by 1 across the board and bring back to hit modifiers. Marines are supposed to be post human genhanced 100 year experienced vets but they miss 1/3 of the time - so do imperial guard veterans. If vanilla marines were BS 5 but had a -1 penalty for rapid firing they might be more distinguished.

One of the biggest divides that Zustiur never brought up is that 2nd is highly consistent with the (updated) fluff.

In Rogue Trader, space marines are barely literate. With the coming of 2nd, they now are genetically-engineers super-soldiers, and they act that way in game play.

Space Marines in 2nd has so many options that one didn't really need much in the way of special rules. The variant chapters were there to show that there was a little diversity and they came with tradeoffs in terms of tactical options.

The same went with all the armies - Orks were crazy and unpredictable. Chaos was chaotic. Eldar had nasty tricks but also glass jaws. The Imperial Guard was a sledgehammer. Tyranids were creepy and unquestioned masters of close combat.

All that went away when the rules changed.

You can argue that the rules were clunky and uneven (both true) and that the game couldn't get too big without bogging down in all the minutae, but if you were interested in the 40k setting, 2nd was the last edition where everything was represented on the tabletop as the (modified) fluff showed it to be.

That also had the effect of making it the most narrative-based of all the editions.

Games in 2nd ed. told a story. It could be about an armored platoon clearing a chaos-infested village or a couple of squads of terminators trying to hold off a tyranid onslaught. You could (and I did) have named characters whose exploits became the stuff of tabletop legends.

The hive tyrant who decided to kill the last surviving terminator who was already surrounded by genestealers with a venom cannon - and who manages to hit everyone but the marine.

The Ork bikers who roar on the battlefield, taking heavy bolter fire and end up crashing into it other and flipping their bikes into an Imperial Guard gun emplacement.

The Bloodthirster who finally got summoned on the second to last turn only to look around, realize the battle was over and left.

These are the things that were lost. The abstraction of subsequent editions speeds game play and allows armies four times as large to play, but it's no longer a story, it's just a game.

Ultimately, that was what I missed and why I came back to it.

Lost Egg
11-02-2017, 09:04
Dude, you are reeeaaallly selling 2nd ed to me right now :D

Out of interest what size of 2nd ed games do you play? I can't remember what a typical sized game was.

Commissar von Toussaint
11-02-2017, 23:11
Dude, you are reeeaaallly selling 2nd ed to me right now :D

Out of interest what size of 2nd ed games do you play? I can't remember what a typical sized game was.

We usually play 2,000 points. We simplify some of the more fiddly rules (persistent weapons, models on fire) that slow game play down and don't use psykers.

I think 2nd ed. was one of those games where 90 percent of it was solid and some fairly simple fixes would have made a huge positive impact in terms of game play. Apparently, that was what was originally supposed to happen, but GW management had other ideas and the result was a very different game.

Lost Egg
12-02-2017, 08:33
Cool thanks. I saw your 2nd ed 40k summary on your website and looks pretty good. I might have to play around with some army lists. Cheers