PDA

View Full Version : Issues with reserve rolls and Retinue choices



broxus
05-01-2007, 05:59
I posted yesterday about the issues with SM Retinue choices and how they sucked but I think my real issue is how currently the reserve rules currently are.

Currently I think the reserve roll is far too random and is disruptive to a good strategic battle. Iíve seen units never come on the table or most of someoneís army not show up until turn 5 or 6. Iíve also seen the exact opposite, entire armies showing up on turn 2 and the poor player across the table is forced to fight an army 4 times his size for several turns. This of course is a larger issue but would love to hear some ideas on how to improve this and help make games more based on strategy and less on random rolls as possible.

Personally, I think that the current rules are far too restrictive on IC/units/transports. Since I donít have any good CC or mobile retinue choices as SM player I field a chaplain in an assault terminator squad with a Land Raider Crusader transport. I donít think there is anything unreasonable with taking a unit like this but on any Alpha and many normal level missions it just stinks. I have to roll for three separate units before they can come onto the board.

Now before I start seeing flames galore about why or why not thatís fair and balanced. I really think itís simply silly that my units all come in separately. I really feel that if they did something like allow you to roll separately for each unit and bring all 3 on the same turn that would be ok.

Example
Player declares that he wants his Crusader/Assault Terminators/and Chaplain want to come in together before game starts. Player rolls for his Crusader/Assault Terminators/ and Chaplain to come in on turn 2. He rolls a 1/4/4 respectively. Instead of being forced to place his Chaplain and Termies on the table just standing around, he should have the option to still hold them in reserve until the crusader comes into play possibly the next turn. On turn 3 the crusader rolls a 4 and comes into play along with all the other units riding inside it.

If this is declared before the game I feel it canít be abused. Having 3 separate units come in together still creates a huge disadvantage because it could take several turns for them to come onto the table. It also makes sense because well the chaplain isnít going to stand around and wait for his transport and squad he will come into battle with it. This would also still give advantages for taking retinues since the squad and chaplain only require one roll between them.

This should also go for units in drop pods and deep striking.

What do you see as the advantages and disadvantages of a rule like this?

marv335
05-01-2007, 12:32
it's not a problem in alpha, the reserves rules are not in force.
besides, with the "command squad" you've chosen two of the three units always start on the board. (chaplain and assault terminators) they're all infantry, and they don't have a dedicated transport so they can always deploy as a unit and never need to roll for reserves.
anyway reserves only come into play in escalation.
how often do you play escalation?
i know i don't play it very often.
we dice for level
1. alpha
2-5. gamma
6. omega.

besides, there is a good reason for the way the current reserves/retinues rules work.
it's precisely geared to discourage the combo you use. likewise the chaplain led assault squad of doom

bratbag
05-01-2007, 13:20
Currently I think the reserve roll is far too random and is disruptive to a good strategic battle.

I believe the intent of the reserves rule is to mess with your strategy and force you to exercise your turn-to-turn tactical abilities. If the game is won or lost based on your and your opponents pre-game strategy then there wouldn't be much point playing past deployment ;)

Working with limited resources to get the job done during an un-expected situation is the mark of a good general.

Nothing stopping you making the rules less challenging in friendly games though :D

And as the poster above me said, it forces a risky trade off for those 'units of doom' that people use to replace good generalship and a balanced army.

broxus
05-01-2007, 23:25
I believe the intent of the reserves rule is to mess with your strategy and force you to exercise your turn-to-turn tactical abilities. If the game is won or lost based on your and your opponents pre-game strategy then there wouldn't be much point playing past deployment ;)

Working with limited resources to get the job done during an un-expected situation is the mark of a good general.

Nothing stopping you making the rules less challenging in friendly games though :D

And as the poster above me said, it forces a risky trade off for those 'units of doom' that people use to replace good generalship and a balanced army.

I guess this is why I'm just diffrent than many who play this game. I think some chance is ok in a game but in escalation there is really little to no strategy involved in how you get your stuff in. Im all about taking out the "Chance" in 40K games, and making them more strategy and skill because I love the strategy more.

An example of this is why is it that guess weapons no longer guess? If I could change the rules I would leave them Guess and get rid of the scatter effect. Where you guess is where it lands. This tends to lean more towards skill and not chance in the game. It also will teach players to move their units smartly at angles and not always straight ahead to avoid barrages. Also, if a player has that unit ranged in the treeline they will either pray for cover saves or die in place just like it is in the real world. People dont sit around the same area once artillery starts pounding their positions. You simply move or die. I have no idea why the weapons are so innaccurate in 40k but I think our modern military would own them in battles.

marv335
06-01-2007, 12:15
I have no idea why the weapons are so innaccurate in 40k but I think our modern military would own them in battles.

you obviously have no experience of the military then.
IG and their lasguns are far more accurate and lethal towards their opponents than a modern soldier and his rifle.
on a shot for shot basis the average guardsman is a far better shot.
however, this is a discussion better suited to background.

MrBigMr
06-01-2007, 12:21
you obviously have no experience of the military then.
IG and their lasguns are far more accurate and lethal towards their opponents than a modern soldier and his rifle.
on a shot for shot basis the average guardsman is a far better shot.
however, this is a discussion better suited to background.
I agree. Hitting a man sized target from 150m away isn't easy even when given time to aim. Mix in movement, incoming fire and all that, and you'll be sure to miss quite often.
Rifles rarely do the killing these days, especialy as they've been designed to wound rather than kill. Like IG, it's the special and heavy weapons that do the most damage. Machine guns, grenades, launchers and artillery do a good deal of the damage, rifles just mop up.

LeeJerrum
06-01-2007, 17:26
I do agree the rolls are a little to random.

Maybe if you could choose 1 unit automatically on the first turn it wouldn't be a terrible as a DC arriving on turn 4 for example. Although the extended game length can go toward alleviating this problem.

They are a needed element to the game though.

broxus
06-01-2007, 17:42
you obviously have no experience of the military then.
IG and their lasguns are far more accurate and lethal towards their opponents than a modern soldier and his rifle.
on a shot for shot basis the average guardsman is a far better shot.
however, this is a discussion better suited to background.

Actually I'm in the Army and have been in Artillery for 12 years and do know what I'm talking about. Maybe in some armies I agree with you but in any modern army with laser range finders, GPS, and self correcting rounds things die easy even a single man in the woodline. Also, 24" in this game represents approx 75-80 meters. The shortest target I train on with my rifle is 50 meters the longest at 300 meters. Trust me Im far more accurate with my rifle than any guardsmen at that range.

Thanks for trying to hijack the thread it wasnt about military current use of weapons but how to make the game more skill and less random.

Eulenspiegel
06-01-2007, 19:04
As a way to deal with too random reserve rolls, our gaming group has modified an old 3rd edition trial rule (from a White Dwarf I think):

You roll as many dice as you have units in reserve. You donīt roll for units specifically.
Once you have the result and know how many units may be brought into play that turn (by rolling 4+, 3+ or 2+), you yourself decide which units those are.

This method helps Characters getting into play along with squads they are supposed to lead 9 times out of 10.

Lord Malek The Red Knight
06-01-2007, 19:15
i dont think i would have a problem with a houserule allowing units to form groups ("LRC + Termi Squad + IC", for example), and each group treated as a single entity for the purposes of rolling Reserves. of course, the units would have to be able to "join" legally ingame too (you couldnt group 2 units of Infantry, or a non-Transports and an IC, for example)

that way, they dont turn up piecemeal, but you do lose flexibility and have to comit pregame to how they will arrive. sometimes you may wish that at least part of a group would turn up sooner rather than later, for example. and, if they dont turn up by the end of the game, thats a lot of eggs (VPs) in one basket.

in the same vein, i think a houserule causing Vehicles that are off board to give away full VPs just like non-vehicles do would be a good idea...

~ Tim
EDIT:
You roll as many dice as you have units in reserve. You don´t roll for units specifically.
Once you have the result and know how many units may be brought into play that turn (by rolling 4+, 3+ or 2+), you yourself decide which units those are.
oooh, i like that! :)

mattjgilbert
06-01-2007, 19:54
Eulenspiegel - I like that approach too :)
I don't like escalation at all and have very rarely played it. That said, I've tried a few games recently to see if I've changed my mind.
We use somthing similar to marv335's method (when we want a random mission type, default we play is gamma):

1-2 Alpha
3-5 Gamma
6 Omega

DoctorTom
06-01-2007, 21:51
i dont think i would have a problem with a houserule allowing units to form groups ("LRC + Termi Squad + IC", for example), and each group treated as a single entity for the purposes of rolling Reserves. of course, the units would have to be able to "join" legally ingame too (you couldnt group 2 units of Infantry, or a non-Transports and an IC, for example)

that way, they dont turn up piecemeal, but you do lose flexibility and have to comit pregame to how they will arrive. sometimes you may wish that at least part of a group would turn up sooner rather than later, for example. and, if they dont turn up by the end of the game, thats a lot of eggs (VPs) in one basket.

in the same vein, i think a houserule causing Vehicles that are off board to give away full VPs just like non-vehicles do would be a good idea...

~ Tim
EDIT:
oooh, i like that! :)

I like the house rules and wish they'd be implemented in the main book. There should be some rules established for ICs to join other units pre-game for purposes of Deep Striking - they should have ways for, say, a pure Black Templar Drop Pod army to be made (as it is now, the Emperor's Champion is left slogging onto the board on foot).

Gensuke626
06-01-2007, 22:19
as has been said before, Alpha and Gamma basically only let you reserve deep strikers, so your Chap/Term/Raider combo is allowed there from Turn 1 for 2/3 games if level is diced for as the rule book suggests.

I get this problem all the time with a similar squad.

Warboss + 19 Skarboyz In a Battlewagon. (Probably cheaper and deadlier than his, but that's just my oppinion.)

My answer is to ask my opponent if he's willing to just agree to play Gamma level. If he says no, then I just go with it and dice as normal.

Daleran
06-01-2007, 23:35
I've only played one escalation game ever...it seriously turned me off to random missions. I got hammered by an army I usually do fairly well against because I couldn't get any reserves while he got all of his 2nd turn. having 3 units of berserkers, a demon prince, 2 units of bloodletters, and a Bloodthirster hit your whole army of 2 tac squads and then murder the rest of your army as it comes in piecemeal really stinks!

Gensuke626
07-01-2007, 00:15
yes it does. That's why I think Escalation basically screwed the game up for the most part...and so i choose to not use it.

Angelus Mortis
07-01-2007, 02:27
I solved the issue with poor reserve rolls with http://www.forgeworld.co.uk/damocles.htm. Oh yeah, the Orbital Bombardment is pretty nice too. Not to mention re-rolling scatter dice on Teleport attacks. All for a HQ slot and less points than a 5 man Tac Squad. Probably my best buy ever from Forgeworld.

broxus
07-01-2007, 22:20
I solved the issue with poor reserve rolls with http://www.forgeworld.co.uk/damocles.htm. Oh yeah, the Orbital Bombardment is pretty nice too. Not to mention re-rolling scatter dice on Teleport attacks. All for a HQ slot and less points than a 5 man Tac Squad. Probably my best buy ever from Forgeworld.

Wow nice model, and like the ideas for the above rules for sure. Hopefully 5th Edition will change some of these things. More skill less dumb luck I say. The to hit, wound, and armor saves is all the random you need in the game IMHO.

Captain Stuart
08-01-2007, 14:04
I like the way Flames of War does there reserves. They have a few variants, but the basic method is to roll a die for each turn (beginning on turn 1). On a roll of 5+ a unit comes in. For example, on turn 3 the player would roll 3 dice. If he rolled a pair of 5s and a 1, he could bring in any two units.

gitburna
08-01-2007, 14:28
well i think the reserve system works just great.

So what if your units dont turn up in time? Sure, some games it is annoying as hell that your killa kanz etc dont turn up until turn 4/5 making them useless, but this isnt chess, its 40k. The reserves roll adds background to a battle, theres a famous line which is often quoted in 40k games "No plan survives contact with the enemy" so when the "plan" is to have reserves show up on a specific turn expect it to go wrong.
They could have encountered enemy and had to bide their time to go around, been given the wrong co-ordinates by HQ,been unreachable by the comms team, had a break-down or one of any number of things.
As far as the "I wanted my chaplain to turn up with these and these and this" goes, well, im sorry but thats the way it goes! When you choose units seperately in this way despite knowing the way the reserve rules work then you can expect things like this to happen. Thats why chaplains have a terminator retinue and landraider transport available in their own sections

gitburna
08-01-2007, 14:49
I've only played one escalation game ever...it seriously turned me off to random missions. I got hammered by an army I usually do fairly well against because I couldn't get any reserves while he got all of his 2nd turn. having 3 units of berserkers, a demon prince, 2 units of bloodletters, and a Bloodthirster hit your whole army of 2 tac squads and then murder the rest of your army as it comes in piecemeal really stinks!

OK So you got beaten by someone you normally do OK against. So what? Just take it in your stride. Be happy that the guy got a win and it maintained his interest in the army. Theres nothing worse than losing an opponent because he gets disheartened with losing and/or doing badly all the time.

The flipside to this is that maybe your army isnt as flexible as you think.. Sure it does great when everything can deploy together, but rules like these make the game more interesting as a whole, precisely because they throw spanners in the works.

40k doesnt have things like weather, ammunition, "incompetence" or the effects of the larger scale war , so things like the reserve roll can help to replicate the battlefield effects of these.

UncleCrazy
08-01-2007, 15:02
I like Escalation, it adds unreliblity to the game. Such as maybe your drop ship was taking fire and could not make it on time. Maybe the Commanders APC got hit by a mine and now he is on foot. Maybe the Terminator squad had the runs in the morning, and are moving slow now.

Lord Malek The Red Knight
08-01-2007, 18:12
40k doesnt have things like weather, ammunition, "incompetence" or the effects of the larger scale war , so things like the reserve roll can help to replicate the battlefield effects of these.
i must say though, that when most of one army turns up, but very little of the opposing force arrives, it can lead to very one-sided games. and those arent really that much fun, no matter which side you are on (as easy win is almost as boring as an easy defeat).

i dont play Escalation either, to be honest, for this very reason.

~ Tim

bnrweimann
08-01-2007, 23:49
But in warfare, that's how it goes sometimes. There are circumstances beyond the local commander's control that they just have to deal with. Enemy artillery strike has destroyed a bridge, air support had to leave the area to refeul/rearm, etc. Personally, I like having those factors tossed at me. Makes you think more.

It also counterbalances all of those highly mobile Tau, Eldar, Dark Eldar, and Marine mechanized armies with some in-built disadvantages for having all of those vehicles.

For my Eldar army, sometimes it's better to start the vehicles off board anyway. I've played a few games that were, shall we say, terrain-deficient. If you can't find cover to hide behind first turn and your opponent gets first go, Eldar vehicles can have a short lifespan (as can Rhinos).

Sometimes reserve rolls can really hurt, but I know that it's a possibility when I create the army. Like having my Farseer be the ONLY part of my army starting on the board (he normally rode a Falcon). Against an all infantry Ork army.... Three turns of hiding later, most of my Army finally came on. Won the battle in the end, but it was tough and very enjoyable to re-think tactics on the fly based on what I had immediately available.

Sceleris
09-01-2007, 07:30
If reserves are that much of a problem to the OP wouldn't it be possible to take a chaplain, normal termie retinue and a dedicated LR (thus all counting as a single reserves roll)?

bnrweimann
09-01-2007, 22:24
Except I think his original wish was to use an assault terminator squad.

gitburna
10-01-2007, 11:55
Except I think his original wish was to use an assault terminator squad.

He should play dark angels then :P

Seriously though, there is a reason that retinues are available as selections...

luchog
10-01-2007, 17:36
Personally, I think the escalation rule as it stands is complete crap. Like most of 40k, it's simply not realistic. No commander with anything even remotely resembling intelligence is going to stand around letting his unit get shot to hell when it's clear that his support has gone out for coffee and donuts. He's gonna beat feet and regroup somewhere safer. Don't these people have communications? Seriously, if you end up wtih a couple units of Dire avengers facing a Blood Angels force 5 times your size, you're gonna get on the shortwave and find out why your Falcon and Banshee backup appears to have gone out to Slaanesh's Strip Bar for beers, and how to get there from the Interstate. At the very least, you're gonna pull back out of harm's way, and wait for them to drop the last of their singles and finish arguing about the drinks tab before rushing into massed bolter fire.