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View Full Version : Morale and panic in the fourty-first millenium



theJ
24-03-2017, 14:17
So, spoiler warning...

First few hints of 8th 40k has dropped, and word on the street is that we'll be adopting the "battleshock" system from **** of Sigmar.
This has created quite a debate over in the news section, and rather than than clog said section with yet more opinions, I figured I'd do it in 40k general instead...
...
Which, alas, does not exist, so I guess I'm defaulting to this place :p

*ahem*
Morale, classic edition... is a simple test of balls. You roll against your ballsiness, add various modifiers to properly represent how much you'd want to **** yourself in this particular situation, and if your balls are hardy enough, you'll stay in the fight, and suffer no further penalties of any kind... fail and you'll cast any pretense of pride aside, as you run away screaming like a small child.
As a basic system, this works great... unless you are playing an army that is not the Imperial Guard, in which case you will have AT LEAST one rule preventing you from interacting with the system in any way whatsoever.
There are a few justifications for this;
The most sensible one being that your army, being either robots or mindless bugs, do not have the basic self-preservation instinct to get away from the hurty things before it is too late.
For the other non-guard armies, it is instead stated that they are simply too brave(and also AWESOME) to have any intent of staying alive, and as such will gladly continue to mindlessly hack away at the building-sized eldritch monstrosity that has already gobbled up the last three squads sent to put it down.

However you may think of the fluff behind all of this, the effects on the gameplay remains one and the same: morale... is not a rule in warhammer fourty-thousand. Unless you play as the Imperial Guard.

To counteract this, the system GW plans to port over changes the system from "fight or flight" to "how many of your chaps/chapettes will bugger off"; You make more or less the same test, but rather than succeed or fail, you now either succeed or lose as many additional models as you failed the test by.
Simple.

So...
Am I the only one who thinks that this doesn't actually solve anything...?
Sure, this all comes with the caveat that they'll also remove all the morale-immunities from the armies, but... well... that doesn't do anything about the ACTUAL FLAW of the system; that it is based around something none of the armies('cept guard) are actually wont to do? They're still fleeing, where the fluff clearly states they do not, yes?

This is ontop of the fact that, well, in modern warfare, straight-up fleeing from a fight is actually pretty damn rare anyway, as that just makes you a huge damn target for whatever is trying to kill you
What I'm saying is; wouldn't it make far more sense to, well, have the models do what real soldiers do when under heavy fire; drop to the ground, curl up into a ball, and STAY THERE until the mean explosions go away(I believe the military schmuchs refer to is as "being suppressed")...?
Heck, we've already got half the rule written; it is called "go to ground". Why not just have the morale rules say that when a unit comes under a bit too much fire, they're forced to "go to ground" whether they like it or not.
The action itself makes sense; they DO gain additional protection by going to ground(at the cost of not being allowed to retaliate), and unlike running off, it is something that even the fluffiest residents of the fourty-first millenium would actually do.

Admittedly, it doesn't solve the issues with close combat, but it'd be a start, wouldn't it?

I'd like to hear your thoughts on this... just... do it over here, please. The news section should be kept open :)



P.S. Oh, and also... when a fight goes poorly, people generally don't peel off one by one; if a fight goes poorly, and a few people decide it's time to leave, this act itself will harshen the stress on the others, causing more to run, who in turn cause more to run, and so on... this is what is called a "rout"... and it's the main reason why the "battleshock" system is BS. Because once a few people run, most people are going to follow them, leading to, you guessed it, flight being a unit-based action, NOT an individual-based one.

Lars Porsenna
24-03-2017, 17:09
I agree completely with the above. Battleshock whether it is in Fantasy or here in 40K (as threatened) is an unrealistic and gamey solution to the problem. Pretty sure it was done to speed up close combat (thus streamline the game), and have no doubt that it does as intended. But that does not detract from the idea that it is a gamey solution to the issue. While personally I have no problems with streamlining the rules, and think 40K can use the AoSification of the rules (NOT THE SETTING!!!), Battleshock is a big hang-up for me.

Personally the "perfect" AoSification of the rules for me would be AoS mostly as is, but with robust terrain rules built in, morale as it is, vehicle rules mostly as is (AV vs strenght+d6), also would like better Psy rules than the stripped down magic rules of AoS.

Damon.

Rogue Star
24-03-2017, 17:13
P.S. Oh, and also... when a fight goes poorly, people generally don't peel off one by one; if a fight goes poorly, and a few people decide it's time to leave, this act itself will harshen the stress on the others, causing more to run, who in turn cause more to run, and so on... this is what is called a "rout"...

They haven't though. You're separating the turn sequence into a matter that takes minutes. Remember, the 40K factions represented by models aren't actually taking turns, aware of their fate being decided by dice, and find it strange no matter how far they move, a rough circular patch of terrain seems to be set under their feet...

That's why you add the number of models slain in that unit during the turn and add D6; the more of the unit that was wiped out, the more likely a larger amount will flee. Why will Guardsman Ted run away by his lonesome? Because the unit just suffered three casualties, and he just got splattered with the gorey remains of three guys and gals he was eating with in the refectorium this morning - he's dropped his lasgun and is hobbling away, gagging and retching.

I'm not saying it's a superior system to the current, but it's just as thematic to me, and also does away with a silly thing where say, a squad of 10 Guardsman receive 4 casualties, pass their leadership test, but break on the next turn after suffering one more - was that trooper just their favorite or did they not care about the four other guys and gals splattered mere moments ago when they darted to the next bit of cover to hunker down?

That is one benefit to battleshock - it's only the units current casualties plus D6. You only lost one guy? Then at most you're rolling a 6 to get 7, which means they pass, since the score must exceed their Ld value to denote extra casualties from desertion. It's essentially more difficult to break a unit with one or two wounds due to an unlucky leadership roll, especially if it's a large unit or say, Space Marine Tactical Squad - which makes the higher leadership value of squad leaders more important.

jbeil
24-03-2017, 20:15
Morale, as it works at the moment, is a bit gamey; in the real world, units of soldiers do not have an on/off switch. If a unit is confident they will (probably) follow orders and remain organised under fire. If they are suppressed, worried, or are starting to lose men, they may become less brave, and might hunker down and wait for support. There are all sorts of points between completely unshaken and completely demoralised, but WH40k doesn't represent any of them - there's pinned, which is ignored by so many as to be almost meaningless - and other than that morale is either on or off. Some more granularity would help - perhaps an unshaken, engaged, shaken, and finally routed to give a bit more detail to the morale rules.

Unfortunately it seems gaming is going in the direction of less detail these days.

Commissar von Toussaint
25-03-2017, 16:04
When I first saw this thread, I thought it said: "Moral panic in the forty-first millennium."

Which is clearly a problem we need to address. :p

Morale is arguably the most important feature of a fighting force. Without fighting spirit, nothing else matters. Numbers and equipment become moot if the troops run away at first sign of danger.

However, in a far future where armies are made up of genetically-engineered supermen, sentient bugs and robots, it's possible to argue that morale is now a moot point. Even the Imperial Guard could easily be given combat drugs that render them immune to fear.

Typically, GW found the sour spot - they created morale rules and then handed out exemptions like candy on Halloween. At noted above, there's a whole section of the rules that basically applies to a single army. It's a huge waste of design space.

This is one of the reason I like 2nd ed better: Everyone has to deal with morale, even Tyranids. Sure, they get an out with the hive synapse, but that carries a penalty of forcing them to concentrate their forces and pay for the big guys who keep the hordes in line.

I also liked the way they implemented routed - units flee to cover and hide. Makes perfect sense.

One thing I don't like is how a squad has to take a certain percentage of losses in order to test. I think any losses should require a test, and as they take more losses, their morale should go down. Few units can maintain effectiveness at half of their original strength.

To be fair, the loss threshold does address this in that 25 percent gets easier to achieve with each additional casualty. In a ten-model squad, you need three for the first test, two for the second, two for the third and then one. So I guess it works out a little.

I also liked the Marines little shaken rule, that basically let them keep shooting, but pinned them in place. It was a nice way of reflecting their stubborn defensive capability.

Sotek
26-03-2017, 07:18
I agree that morale is essentially pointless in 40k unless you are guard. Guard feel like their LD is balanced. Marines at know no fear but I don't that means they shouldn't Never run away. They typically function on LD9 anyway.
Maybe you could have difficulties of morale test by having a d6+LD to equal or beat a number of difficulty 11 for some sort of pinning.

They also need to make ordinance, barrage and sniper weapons pinning tests. If they keep the current rules then with with a -1 or -2 penalty.
Getting down when Johnny has had his head shot off by a sniper isn't cowardice it's common sense! Even space marines would take cover.

Runesight
27-03-2017, 01:02
I agree with both sides....I wish Morale/Rally...pinning and a whole slew of other little used rules were written to be more than a footnote.

The_Real_Chris
27-03-2017, 13:36
That is one benefit to battleshock - it's only the units current casualties plus D6. You only lost one guy? Then at most you're rolling a 6 to get 7, which means they pass, since the score must exceed their Ld value to denote extra casualties from desertion. It's essentially more difficult to break a unit with one or two wounds due to an unlucky leadership roll, especially if it's a large unit or say, Space Marine Tactical Squad - which makes the higher leadership value of squad leaders more important.
Unless you have a big squad boost that really is an argument for lots of little squads...

Rogue Star
28-03-2017, 15:33
Unless you have a big squad boost that really is an argument for lots of little squads...

Well no more than the current Leadership rules, where more models requires more kills to hit 25% and start forcing leadership tests. I mean after you lose so much of your squad you only have five or so Guardsman or Space Marines left, meaning it's very unlikely they'll suffer enough casualties to boost the roll past the Ld score, the unit has pretty minimal impact on the game and even then, they could roll really poorly, getting that six, etc. This is even assuming GW doesn't start changing stats to lower numbers in 8th edition, like AoS to better work with D6 (one reason people often complain 40K should switch to a D10, is the stat system that works from 1-10).

But the general point I was making is that Battleshock is more "controlled"; you don't lose three or four guys in the first turn, then every turn after this if you take a casualty you take a leadership test with the same arbitrary score, ignoring factors like terrain and objectives. And even if you do fail, you lose a few more wounds/models, compared to the squad just up and running away.

What's the worst case scenario that can happen if a unit of 10 Guardsman take 4 wounds/casualties and fail their leadership test under the Battleshock rules? You roll D6 +4 to get 10, which is three points higher than Ld7, meaning you've lost 7 of the squad this turn.

By comparison, what's the worst case scenario that can happen if a unit of 10 Guardsman take 4 wounds/casualties and fail their leadership test under the current rules? They break and run away out of your control, repeatedly failing their leadership tests until they run off the board. Unlikely to be that unlucky, but which is worse - the one where you lose seven guys but will still get to control the squad or the one where with a few wounds they could potentially just just run off or be wasted for several turns?

theJ
28-03-2017, 18:39
....
Under the current rules, if an Imperial Guard Infantry Squad suffers 4 casualties, they realize their position has become compromised, and execute a tactical withdrawal to a more defensible position, from which they can continue to contribute to the battle.
Under the battleshock rules, if an Imperial Guard Infantry Squad suffers 4 casualties, the survivors split up, half of them hiding under conveniently placed rocks, while the rest stand around to be slaughtered by the melee-only superhuman killingmachines that just offed almost half their squad within a handful of seconds.

Again, I would like to return to what I feel is the key question in the OP; "WHY ARE THE MORALE RULES EVEN HERE?"

They were in fantasy, yes, but that's because they actually made sense in fantasy: mechanically, it primarily served as a means of ridding the battlefield of depleted models, as well as a means of overwhelming and taking out key enemy threats quickly, while also being fully interactible, giving players all the tools they could ever want for keeping their soldiers in the fight, or hastening the retreat of their foe. All this while making perfect sense in terms of fluff, I.E. in battles of the medieval through renaissance eras, this is actually very close to how units acted.

In 40k though, none of this is true.
Not only are the morale rules(largely) incorrect in terms of fluff, when representing either modern warfare its usual fictional equivalents(the main sources of inspiration for 40k), but it also doesn't really help the mechanics at all;
Even when the rules are actually in effect(I.E. when using the Imperial Guard), the lack of ACTIVE countermeasures or "strength-in-numbers" style rules ensure it activates more or less randomly, lack of modifiers outside of melee ensures a still-largely-fresh squad is just as likely to run as a lone schmuck, as well as making it impossible to really pressure key enemy units... at least via the morale rules.

*sigh*
I suppose you could make the argument that the battleshock system could help with the "focus fire" aspect of the rules... but you'd be doing it at the cost of further ******** on the immersion of the game... and again, why are the rules here? 40k already has rules dealing with picking off key enemy units; it's called "SHOOTING".
'tis a fairly key aspect of 40k, I'm told.

Really, the only part of the game where morale even vaguely makes sense is in close combat... and all it does there is ensure elite units get further bonuses over their horde-based counterparts, because again, kills are the only thing that really matters, while strength-in-numbers gives no bonuses whatsoever.
There's a reason fantasy had "steadfast", folks...

*ahem*
So, in conclusion: What are the morale rules supposed to accomplish in 40k, and how does YOUR favourite version help with that?

Rogue Star
28-03-2017, 19:54
....
Under the current rules, if an Imperial Guard Infantry Squad suffers 4 casualties, they realize their position has become compromised, and execute a tactical withdrawal to a more defensible position, from which they can continue to contribute to the battle.

Well actually they turn around and run, because they don't automatically recover from being broken, they take a leadership test at the start of the next turn, which if they fail they keep running until they leave the board's edge (and are lost) or recover each turn before that. That's not moving out of enemy range, regrouping with another unit or seeking cover, that's outright running away!


Again, I would like to return to what I feel is the key question in the OP; "WHY ARE THE MORALE RULES EVEN HERE?"

Well, humans will be human, unless you're suggesting the Imperial Guard should have some sort of special "only human" rule which means they break more easily, since everything else is Space Marines, robots, cyborgs, zealots and other things which aren't so... mundane?

theJ
29-03-2017, 08:20
I'm rather suggesting that on a modern or post-modern battlefield, very few soldiers are ever going to be running away, because unlike fantasy, running does not equal safety anymore.
When people come under threat these days, they creep as deep into their cover as they can get and start refusing orders.
To run away, they would have to get out of cover, which they won't, because that would be suicide.
Hence, the system makes no sense, as it makes "scared" squads take MORE risks than stable ones, rather than less.

The exception again being melee, where flight is a much more sensible choice... whether you do it out of cowardice or tactical understanding I.E. marines should be perfectly capable of buggering off, if the situation demands it I.E. when you lost combat.
..
That's if we're going purely for the fluff.
In terms of gameplay, I have yet to hear a good explanation for why it makes sense. In 40k.

Rogue Star
29-03-2017, 10:29
I'm rather suggesting that on a modern or post-modern battlefield, very few soldiers are ever going to be running away, because unlike fantasy, running does not equal safety anymore.

Well remember 40K is a space fantasy, not a sci-fi universe... a lot of Imperial Guardsman have no more training than a lot of Russian soldiers did in the Battle of Stalingrad; basic marksmanship training, you advance into the enemy and in this case, believe in the God-Emperor to do the rest. If you don't have a lasgun, pick up one from a brave Imperial martyr at the front. Always advance.

I mean, most modern militaries don't require/employ commissars to shoot troopers when it looks like they're thinking about making a " tactical withdrawal to a more defensible position". ;)

The_Real_Chris
29-03-2017, 14:31
I was always under the impression the 'Guard were a planets best troops and tithed to the Imperium on that basis. So not guys with 20 hours training but fully trained (or whatever passes for it on a feral world) with several months of familiarisation in guard weapons and tactics during their journey to the warzone.

barrangas
29-03-2017, 14:37
I mean, most modern militaries don't require/employ commissars to shoot troopers when it looks like they're thinking about making a " tactical withdrawal to a more defensible position". ;)

Most modern armies don't rely on WWI tactics. Tau are the closest thing to that in 40k as they see charging a machine gun nest to bayonet the gunners as ridiculous. Me Lee would not be its own turn if it was, it'd be a footnote . If you want realistic modern warfare, 40k is not your game.

I agree with Rogue Star that the new rules are no more or less gamey than the old. I've had 3 of 5 chosen terms chased off the board after failing a ld role because my opponent kept units too close to regroup though they weren't charged or shot at. I've had numerous squads of Tau wiped out in CC despite bonding and etherials after taking a few casualties. The idea that only IG has to deal with morale is false. Sure they are at the low end for the rule but would you rather have the Tau's CC weakness instead?

I personally have no trouble rationalizing the extra casualties as Steve went berserk and blew through his ammo, Bob is hiding in cover and won't move, Jane got hamstrung by shrapnel and is no longer in shape to fight in the squad, and Timmy got separated from the squad in the confusion.

Rogue Star
29-03-2017, 16:59
I was always under the impression the 'Guard were a planets best troops and tithed to the Imperium on that basis. So not guys with 20 hours training but fully trained (or whatever passes for it on a feral world) with several months of familiarisation in guard weapons and tactics during their journey to the warzone.

Will be taking this way off topic, but generally you are right - however you should consider how the Imperium arms and trains Guardsman, and then how they use them in warfare. The Imperium considers Imperial Guardsman as an expendable currency, because one thing the Imperium isn't lacking in is manpower. They aren't trained like modern soldiers. Anyone that has read the Imperial Infantryman's Uplifting Primer will quickly see its mostly propaganda* and a few very basics of the battlefield, mostly maintaining equipment and order.

Imperial Guard veteran squads, survivors of the gruelling years or decade long wars that decimate Imperial Guard Regiments, have managed in their time to learn how to set booby traps (something entirely left out of their standard training) and procured stuff like shotguns, again something not provided as part of the basic training. Consider that they get Flak armour and a lasgun, when equally human troops like the Adepta Sororita are equipped with power armour, Or Tempestus Scions in their carapace armour and superior wargear, etc. If the Imperial Guard is trained to the highest level, why then are these superior troops, because it can't be just equipment, they have a superior stat-profile, etc.

They might be the best, cream of a Hive World or Feral World's PDF, but in the eyes of Segmentum command, they're a cheap resource where there is always more to draw from, hence why commissars are so prevalent - it's far more important 'cowards' are executed as example, than it is the forces might not carry out the order to make that suicidal charge, or hold the line even without backup, etc. Imperial Command is losing nothing it can't easily replace, lasrifles, flak armour and warm bodies.

Being the best of the best grunts, is still being the poor, bloody infantry.

*Rogue Star was executed after this post for spreading sedition. Ignore and carry onward, brave soldiers of the Imperium, to our inevitable victory!

Geep
30-03-2017, 10:20
I agree current 40k morale rules are pretty terrible, but 'battleshock' is a horrible attempt at a fix.
In current 40k, although it's rare, it makes sense that a unit like Space Marines may break and fall back, to regroup and re-assess a situation. The same is true of most of the super-elite forces- there's a big difference between acknowledging a bad tactical situation and blindly running off screaming.
If battleshock were a thing, we'd have Space Marines, Necrons, even Tyranids all deciding to run off screaming- Or, all of these armies would have rules that mean they almost completely ignore battleshock- leaving us with a situation even worse than the current one.

The Battleshock rules are also much harsher in 40k than they would be in AoS- unless there's pretty drastic changes to weapons and armies in general. Assuming the 'regular' human-level values in AoS are the same bravery level we'd see for Guardsmen, I think that'd make Guard around bravery 5 or so? Then remember that Guard players often play with a shovel- it's nothing for a Guard unit that comes under even basic fire to lose 4-5 guys. Add your D6 and that's ~0-6 guys running off, or a total of ~4-11 casualties, from shooting that's actually not impressive by usual 40k standards. Guard squads will either need to bloat, or you'll need hundreds of them, or they gain special rules to let them join the ranks of ignoring the core rules.
My bet would be model bloat (buy more models!), formations (you'll probably need new models), or do nothing in order to encourage people buying different models (again: buy more models!).

On top of this is the weirdness of units being pseudo-fearless: other than the battleshock casualties, they just keep coming, so as long as the unit is big enough, who cares about morale? You can merrily throw multiple units of 30+ ork boyz across the table, knowing some units will pop while others will reach combat- and your opponent can't do anything tricksy to try and break the charge. It's tactically limiting.

russellmoo
04-04-2017, 16:29
Here is what I would like to see done with 40k morale given that:
1. I agree that the current mess of leadership rules needs some definite tweaks if not an overhaul.
2. Battleshock is not a good fix as it is too simplistic and doesn't really work that well when shooting is involved.

So. . .

Why not use battleshock or something else for close combat results and a different rule when a unit comes under attack from shooting, "such as a unit that fails morale test due to casualties from shooting count as pinned"

Something along these lines would give the game a more dynamic feel. It would also increase the need for armies to have more of a mix of assault units and shooting units. As it would be harder to just shoot a unit off an objective and make it so that charges happen in game for some other reason than close combat being what the unit is good at.

O would also like to see morale be applied universally rather than the current set up where if you play a certain army you have the handicap of dealing with morale, or you cam play these other armies and not have to worry about it.

theJ
04-04-2017, 20:50
...
OPs thoughts are as follows:
morale and leadership should use different rules depending on whether units are in melee or at range.
*In melee, the current rules are fine. special rules that invalidate them are not, unless replacing them with something else that is just as serious(Necrons, 'nids). Battleshock is dumb, and should not be used.
*At range, panic tests should happen every time a unit comes under fire, they should happen BEFORE shots hit their targets, and can be volunteerily failed. Being pinned confers -1 to be hit, rather than cover, to ensure it remains useful even to heavily armoured units. Special rules(old pinning), or especially heavy fire(X+ dice thrown?) can make pinning test harder to pass, but are not required to force tests, nor do they ever guarantee tests are failed.

Is there any situation I am missing, or where these rules would seem odd?

Alternatively, leadership is dropped entirely, and players are simply given the option to "go to ground" or "retreat/fall back" when appropriate.

Rogue Star
05-04-2017, 10:30
*In melee, the current rules are fine. special rules that invalidate them are not, unless replacing them with something else that is just as serious(Necrons, 'nids). Battleshock is dumb, and should not be used.
*At range, panic tests should happen every time a unit comes under fire, they should happen BEFORE shots hit their targets, and can be volunteerily failed. Being pinned confers -1 to be hit, rather than cover, to ensure it remains useful even to heavily armoured units. Special rules(old pinning), or especially heavy fire(X+ dice thrown?) can make pinning test harder to pass, but are not required to force tests, nor do they ever guarantee tests are failed.

Seems a complicated answer to something which shouldn't have such a massive impact on the battle. Even the current rules only have Break Tests when the squad loses 25% of its model count. What about Orks, who have a mob rule which effectively ignores Pinning, they've just lost a benefit as they have to either choose to hit the dirt or take those shots. What about Tyranids? This rule will result in an already heavily penalised army being slowed down even more the moment they take hits. What if I drop-pod a unit of Terminators onto an objective and just go to ground? They're now much harder to move, and most armies don't have weapons that will shift that spread evenly throughout their units.

Sorry to be negative but it sounds like it will increase two things the current 40K ruleset suffers from - A) shooting is too powerful. Tau armies are running amok, Eldar lists are dominated by scatterbikes, etc. It's the reason you never see a Tyranid list without one or two winged Hive Tyrants armed with twin-linked devourers with brain-leech grubs (go check Warseer's 40K army lists, I'll wait) because unless you've geared your army towards throwing out as many shots/dice rolls as possible, in this edition it's effectively worthless. Random charge ranges, initiative based combat turns and power weapons have made close combat a last ditch effort, on top of..

B) Forcing either a Break test or a Pinning test on a unit, every time it is hit, effectively kills mobility for certain factions (Orks/Tyranids mostly) slowing down what is already considered an extremely slow edition. The suggested rules encourage a sit back in cover and overwatch/shoot anything that approaches, but that ignores some armies are designed to run across the table and engage in close combat... which they already don't do because a list of rules have already turned the game into a near dice-rolling contest which which rewards target-selection, rather than maneuverability... which the suggested changes just further encourage.

theJ
08-04-2017, 13:27
@Rogue Star:
Overall?
Yes. At least when taken in isolation.
That said, we're not talking in isolation, we're talking as part of a new edition, which could(and should) have other changes and additions to compensate.

To wit;
What about Orks; Orkz running mindlessly across nomans' land, just like anyone else running mindlessly across nomans' land, deserve to get gunned down. This has always been the case; the key to playing orkz effectively is to figure out how to get your boyz into combat unmolested, whether you choose to rely on transports, screening with tougher units(I.E. kan walls), sniping key threats with faster moving support units, distracting the enemy with faster moving support units, armouring up to better handle the enemy shooting(I.E. 'ard boyz)... or more likely, a combination of the afore and more besides. If charging straight ahead without any further concerns at all worked, Orkz would be a very boring army indeed.
What about Tyranids; What about Tyranids? Their basic troops have always been intended as screens first and foremost; they're SUPPOSED to get gunned down to protect their bigger, pricier, synaptier, and importantier kin, and -1 to hit when going to ground just gives them another tool to do that with.
What about cowering terminators? ...then you've spent 400+ points to lock down ONE objective for a turn, I guess...
Shooting is too powerful; ...if we're working under the assumption that 8th edition will look just like 7th but with different morale rules, then yes... personally, I rather like the idea that accuracy modifiers and flanking as the primary means of mitigating cover could help address this. But... that's a discussion for another thread. I guess.
Army imbalances in general; I thought we already had pretty strong rumours of ALL codices getting replaced at the start of 8th...? That should help deal with the basic imbalances... and also create a whole bunch of new ones. I wonder if it's gonna be Chaos' time to be hated this time around? :P
And the big B) Assuming you keep failing the checks, rely too heavily on the pinned squad(s), make no use of terrain to break line-of-sight... and 8th ed. shooting being just as deadly as 7th ed. shooting.

*ahem*
The point of the change, is to give morale a purpose; that purpose would be to give armies a semi-reliable way of dealing with deathstars, as you can now "simply" pin them down, even if you can't kill them off entirely.
I make no claim these rules would be perfect. Quite the opposite; they're a starting point, as well as a vision of an end-goal, not the exact details of how to get there.

Or, again, another option would be to simply drop the morale rules entirely, as 40k doesn't actually need them the way fantasy did.