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carlisimo
07-08-2007, 03:50
Hi Everyone. This weekend I found my 2nd edition Eldar codex in a box I had in storage and started going through it. I couldn't help but think of the numerous comments bemoaning the change away from it, to a simpler 40k, maybe even a dumbed down 40k. And I can only sum up my thoughts as, "but 2nd edition was CRAZY!" Yes, in a fun way, but it certainly wasn't practical...

For those of you who never experienced it, it was (as you've heard) a lot more detailed. I think of early WH40k as an RPG with figures, and the old rules were great for that. But for army vs. army battles, and for balanced tournaments, the old rules were a mess!

It was a game of overpowered supercheese characters. Sure, the rules said at least 25% of your points had to be in units and only up to 50% could be characters, but those characters could easily do half the killing in a game! Anyone remember Assassins??

First, movement. Even that got simplified - units used to have a movement characteristic, usually 4" but 5" or 6" for some of the faster foot units (like Banshees). Vehicles often had three speed ranges, and they could only throttle up or down one notch every turn. The Vyper, for example, had movement ranges of 10", 18", and 35" (my codex is in Spanish, and therefore metric, so distances may vary). And oh what fun to ram people with it - at S6, 1D6 hits, and a -3 armor save modifier. Here's another way 3rd edition simplified things: jetbikes would ram for 1D4 hits, and Eldar dreadnoughts at 1D8 hits!

Speaking of non-D6 dice, plasma cannons on full strength had a vehicle armor penetration value of 1D10+1D6+10. That was after rolling to see what part of the vehicle you hit, and if you penetrated you'd roll again on a vehicle damage chart. But every vehicle had its own chart! I remember my Vyper pilot getting hit and killed, and the gunner had to roll to see if he crawled into the cockpit and took control (he didn't; he fell, survived the fall, and was a Guardian unit of 1 after that).
All of this was fun and characterful, but tedious. An extreme example: the Warp Spider death spinner rules were two pages long, and only 1 of the 12 paragraphs are fluff! Sure you'd get to know them well, but your non-Eldar opponents wouldn't. You'd tell them "I've got your 20 orks under the death spinners' flamer templates, and they all die on a 2+" and of course they'd be all "wtf? let me see those rules!" and you'd wait 5 minutes for them to read them and weep.
For me a normal round of shooting was still pretty complicated. I upgraded my Guardians to shuriken catapults (lasguns were the default). First I'd have to measure if the enemy were within shuricat's short or long range. Short range (12") conferred a +1 to hit. Cover meant -1 or -2 to hit, units/vehicles that moved fast last turn had a -1 to hit... after a few minutes of arguing over exactly what modifiers applied, it'd be shooting time. They were shuricats so I'd roll the sustained fire dice (jam, 1, 1, 2, 2, 3). Few people had more than the two that came with the game, so you'd have to reroll them a few times for a whole unit. Add up the numbers, and roll that many dice to hit. Roll to wound, then to penetrate armor... at a -2, so a marine player would need a 5+ to save against shuriken catapults. I think that change is what caused all the power armor hate when 3rd came around.

Or you could throw grenades instead of using normal weapons. If one of your characters had one of the absolutely ridiculous vortex grenades, you could say goodbye to an entire unit or two...

Anyway assault wasn't too different, except it took forever because you'd roll for every individual battle.

Then you would take a break and play a game of cards... the good old psychic phase. If you were playing Chaos or Eldar, maybe you'd wipe out a few hundred enemy points right then and there!

Turns like that were fun, but they meant that a 1,500 point game could take FOREVER. Necromunda and Gorkamorka are much better battlefields for that rules set. And balance? No such thing, games were so random they were funny. Geez, now I feel old. But let's hear more stories of 2nd edition insanity, or even Rogue Trader!

Grimshawl
07-08-2007, 04:49
complex certainly was, no question. However GW has certainly trimmed the game down far to much. I personally think armour save modifiers and individual movement stats would be a welcome change. as too the size of games, then the system was a skirmish style game, every edition they have tried to increase the size of battle untill todays Apocalipse is so engorged that you may be able to field epic size forces on the tabletop. Bigger is not nesesarily better, especially if the rules become dumber in relation to the games size to afford simplicity and speed up the game.

Azizza
07-08-2007, 05:14
I liked and still play the 2nd edition game. Of course we have adopted a lot of house rules but to be blunt I find the new version far to simplistic. I prefer having every model as an individual. Actually being able to throw grenades and having a weapon mean something. The game was random, it was unsure, and it was more than just charging towards each other and hoping for the best.

Now it had problems sure. Characters were to powerful but that was easily fixable. And the games were long. But I enjoyed that.

sebster
07-08-2007, 06:11
I never found myself making any decisions based on battlefield conditions. Basically each unit I had each turn would try and unleash as much death as possible on the other guy’s army, it didn’t make for particularly subtle games. Mind you, with the special cards one army or both could be pretty much shattered before the game started (Jones is acting strangely… no he isn’t! There’s no-one called Jones and you’re not playing that bloody card again!) It was fun, but it certainly didn’t have some higher level of tactics than the current game.

These days, things are simpler but it only makes for a ‘dumbed down’ game at the model by model level. At the army level, there’s a variety of units that are valuable in different roles, that support each other tactically. It isn’t chess, but there’ll be a few decisions each game that don’t have obvious answers, which I didn’t see too often in the old game.

BDJV
07-08-2007, 07:42
You are right 2nd as a tourney game sucked, but 2nd as a fun game played with reasonable opponents was fantastic! With like minded reasonable opponents 2nd was very tactical and to a level that the current game will never reach.

Range and save modifiers is one place where 2nd was miles better than the AP system we currently use. Vehicles were awesome in second and usually lasted more than just the first 2 turns.

I really need to dig out 2nd and give it a go!

mark.k
07-08-2007, 08:21
i still play 2nd ed and ive only just started to play 4th the 1 thing i dont like is that there are no range mods in the game (the Assassins +3 dodge is alot of fun) and what happen to the psychic phase ! never mind its like shooting hmm when i started playing 40k just before darkmillennium came out at my local shop ppl never play 40k in tournement as for the super chars most will die in multiple combat anyway i do think 2nd ed is a better game for fun

Arcanus
07-08-2007, 08:36
i still play 2nd ed and ive only just started to play 4th the 1 thing i dont like is that there are no range mods in the game (the Assassins +3 dodge is alot of fun) and what happen to the psychic phase ! never mind its like shooting hmm when i started playing 40k just before darkmillennium came out at my local shop ppl never play 40k in tournement as for the super chars most will die in multiple combat anyway i do think 2nd ed is a better game for fun

Well it's all preference, I do agree that 2nd edition was more enjoyable but if you have a job and a life outside of 40k it's really hard to find the time to play games ad that's where 4th edition wins in quick games and by quick I mean under two hours.

sebster
07-08-2007, 09:12
You know, I just don’t get how the old armour modifiers and to hit modifiers made the game deeper than the present system. Really, the entirety of the strategy for ‘to hit’ modifiers amounted to ‘being in cover is good’. The armour save modifiers seemed much the same, with lasguns sporting a -1 modifier and most every gun out there being a whole lot more powerful than that, the strategy basically amounted to ‘you ain’t getting a save’.

The combination of these two rules seemed to result in the strategy ‘stay in cover and don’t move you damn idiot’, unless you had a character so ridiculously powerful he could happily run across the field sporting his stupidly high toughness and 13 different invulnerable saves.

Yeah, it was more complicated, but that’s only a good thing when it results in the player making difficult decisions. With the current system armour system you have a big difference in effectiveness for a given weapon against differing armour types. It’s by no means perfect, but it produces some pretty interesting strategies when my ‘stealers are worried about but not terrified of bolters, terrified of heavy bolters, while my tyrant only gets scared when about the lascannon, which in turn doesn’t scare my ‘stealers, as its only one shot per turn.

This means the ‘nid player has to advance up the board attempting to shield his ‘stealers from the heavy bolter fire and his MCs from the lascannons. Meanwhile the marine player has to deploy his heavy weapons to cover each line of attack with each weapon type, which makes from some interesting strategies.

Carlos
07-08-2007, 09:29
Like many veterans I have some great memories of 2nd edition. Having my warpspiders possessed by a bloodthirster and teleporting things all around the battlefield with a D-cannon (and upturning tanks and boats....) was a great laugh.

BUT it took too long to play large battles and the focus was on trooper level combat, not unit level combat.

3rd and now 4th might have stripped away a lot of the detail but they have lost none of their flexibility for tactics and out-manouvres.

Remember: Easier to play doesnt mean easy to master.

Rick_1138
07-08-2007, 09:32
complex certainly was, no question. However GW has certainly trimmed the game down far to much. I personally think armour save modifiers and individual movement stats would be a welcome change. as too the size of games, then the system was a skirmish style game, every edition they have tried to increase the size of battle untill todays Apocalipse is so engorged that you may be able to field epic size forces on the tabletop. Bigger is not nesesarily better, especially if the rules become dumber in relation to the games size to afford simplicity and speed up the game.

QFT

I have spoken about this at length with my mates. We do not, i repeat not want 40K to become second ed again. This would be far to complicated to climb back to.

The biggest prolem we see is that 40K is becoming a bit of a dice rolling competition. This is obviously to let younger new gamers understand and get to grips with the game easier, thus generating more sales and return gamers etc, which i understand.

However what we can't understand is why 40K can't be a bit more like fantasy in terms of modifiers to hit etc, ranged weapon shooting etc, i.e. + and - effects.

This would make the game a lot more tactical, however this would also mean the entire game would need to be redone, codexes and all, and i dont see that happening!! lol

Lord Solar Plexus
07-08-2007, 09:33
I couldn't imagine ever going back to 2nd. Overwatch, stupid ASM and weak vehicles are my pet peeves. Every man, Ork or Guardian would be nearly guaranteed to destroy them. Especially that squad of BS 5 Orks with five lascannon in mega armour. (Of course vehicles on the offensive were way better than in 3rd.) And no IG doctrine system?!? How bland.


the rules said


I'm not sure you're not violating IP rights there. It may be out of date but still...



First, movement. Even that got simplified -


Only at first glance - some units are still faster/slower than others (Fleet, CAV, Bikes, Jumppacks, Beasts, D. Speed, Scout..).



plasma cannons on full strength


Yea, they got really nerfed big time. I still wonder what am I supposed to do with all my plasma cannon nowadays. They feel a bit like lasguns.



so a marine player would need a 5+ to save against shuriken catapults. I think that change is what caused all the power armor hate when 3rd came around.


Probably, though quite unnecessarily. Power armour now works as designed while in 2nd ed. you could as well be walking naked - and still pay for the save you rarely had. Everything below re-rollable 2+ TA and a displacer field was but an amusing side note. I don't remember actually rolling armour saves for my Wolves in eight years of gaming (I probably did but it wasn't any relevant part of the game).


If one of your characters had one of the absolutely ridiculous vortex grenades, you could say goodbye to an entire unit or two...


Nah, it was a very small template. It was also the Colt for the weak, the big equalizer, the tool of choice against those 300 point characters.



Turns like that were fun, but they meant that a 1,500 point game could take FOREVER.


We were young, we had the time. And we usually played between 3,500 - 5,000 point battles.

WLBjork
07-08-2007, 13:52
I couldn't imagine ever going back to 2nd. Overwatch, stupid ASM and weak vehicles are my pet peeves. Every man, Ork or Guardian would be nearly guaranteed to destroy them. Especially that squad of BS 5 Orks with five lascannon in mega armour. (Of course vehicles on the offensive were way better than in 3rd.) And no IG doctrine system?!? How bland.

Sure, 3rd/4th gave us a few nice toys, but all the coolness from playing was sucked out.


I'm not sure you're not violating IP rights there. It may be out of date but still...

Nope - not giving out actual rules, it's ok.


Only at first glance - some units are still faster/slower than others (Fleet, CAV, Bikes, Jumppacks, Beasts, D. Speed, Scout..).

Sort of, but too many of them are "bolt ons". The reference is to individual movements. Fleet of Foot is a "bolt on", added when it was realised that Eldar were too slow compared to Marines/Humans, then it got added to the 'Nids (Fleet of Claw) so they could have a chance of making it into close combat without being shot to pieces.


Yea, they got really nerfed big time. I still wonder what am I supposed to do with all my plasma cannon nowadays. They feel a bit like lasguns.

At least you can reliably kill termies with them now :D


Probably, though quite unnecessarily. Power armour now works as designed while in 2nd ed. you could as well be walking naked - and still pay for the save you rarely had. Everything below re-rollable 2+ TA and a displacer field was but an amusing side note. I don't remember actually rolling armour saves for my Wolves in eight years of gaming (I probably did but it wasn't any relevant part of the game).

This is awkward, I sort of agree and disagree at the same time.

There were too many save modifiers in the game, they should have been drastically reduced to a smaller number of weapons.

On the other hand, Power Armour went from being slightly more desirable than Carapace Armour to being a lot more desirable then Carapace Armour when AP was introduced, yet the points weren't adjusted that well to deal with it.


Nah, it was a very small template. It was also the Colt for the weak, the big equalizer, the tool of choice against those 300 point characters.

Pretty cool, but ultimately too complex with the rolls. Would've been easy enough to bring it down to an instantaneous effect though.

Grimshawl
07-08-2007, 13:59
You know, I just don’t get how the old armour modifiers and to hit modifiers made the game deeper than the present system. Really, the entirety of the strategy for ‘to hit’ modifiers amounted to ‘being in cover is good’. The armour save modifiers seemed much the same, with lasguns sporting a -1 modifier and most every gun out there being a whole lot more powerful than that, the strategy basically amounted to ‘you ain’t getting a save’.

The combination of these two rules seemed to result in the strategy ‘stay in cover and don’t move you damn idiot’, unless you had a character so ridiculously powerful he could happily run across the field sporting his stupidly high toughness and 13 different invulnerable saves.



Gee this almost sounds like what you really might want to do on an actual battle field :rolleyes: stay in cover so as not to get shot. I can certainly see where game mechanics that encourage this sort of behavior have to go. ;)

gitburna
07-08-2007, 14:19
yes its true that cover is good, but the main army in the game is marines and these guys are supposed to stride fearlessly across the battlefield striking holy terror into the enemy. Back in the day, it used to be complete hell trying to hit with orks against marines hiding in heavy cover, which is why kustom kombiweapons were so good by not requiring 7+ to hit.

Grimshawl
07-08-2007, 14:27
back in those days Orks had bs 3 tho as well so they had just as good a chance as most armies in shooting. Heck to todays bs 2 orks its like everyone is in some cover against them all the time.

Slaaneshi Slave
07-08-2007, 14:27
Oh man, now you have me wanting to play a game of 2nd Ed. :D

Carlos
07-08-2007, 14:36
Gee this almost sounds like what you really might want to do on an actual battle field :rolleyes: stay in cover so as not to get shot. I can certainly see where game mechanics that encourage this sort of behavior have to go. ;)

This still applies to modern-day equivalents like Guard.

But marines are meant to have huge hulking suits of armour to protect them from a lack of cover. GW will never bring back modifiers in a million years as it will make Marines rubbish to play as, thus killing the goose that lays the golden eggs.

Same could be said for bringing back movement rates. There are a lot of players who have never tasted a movement less than 6" and to do this may discourage them from playing.

Lord Solar Plexus
07-08-2007, 14:41
Sure, 3rd/4th gave us a few nice toys, but all the coolness from playing was sucked out.


That was my sentiment back then, and quiet a while after the events. In fact I never played 3rd except for one or two test games.

Today I can't see anything resembling coolness in the race to field the biggest baddest abbadonest Rambos, a race some had already lost at the point when they bought a codex.

Even when players where mature enough not to go down that route, the simple fact that you could have 50 % charas and 25 %+ troops demonstrates that it was intended as a game of heroes with retinues. It felt like Kirk and Scotty beaming down with the unknown guy carrying the equipment, and you already knew which of them was in dire straits.



Nope - not giving out actual rules, it's ok.


Just saying. I know people got a knock for this on other fora. You know GW and IP is a tricky subject.



Sort of, but too many of them are "bolt ons".


Surely this lies in the eye of the beholder. The net effect is that you have faster and slower types. Add in different assault moves and it isn't far removed from 2nd.



On the other hand, Power Armour went from being slightly more desirable than Carapace Armour to being a lot more desirable then Carapace Armour when AP was introduced, yet the points weren't adjusted that well to deal with it.


I can't really see how you could arrive at that conclusion. You never have the option to buy power armour, and rarely carapace. If you buy a unit though you pay for more than an armour save. Look at Stormtroopers - in 2nd, they would cost 11 points, carry bolters (HE-Lasguns) and have +1 Ld over a Guardsman. Bolters weren't good weapons back then. Rapid fire (SM only) was crap. At the same time, a Marine would cost some 30 points, have essentially the same armour and gun...

Nowadays, that ST has not only better armour, gear, LD but also better BS. If equipped with plasma or melta he is on a par with any marine in a shootout.

Of course when it comes to small arms, the Marine has a distinct advantage, and rightly so. You have a noticeable difference between units adequately representing the background but can still tackle anything with the right equipment. How does cost not resemble this?

Slaaneshi Slave
07-08-2007, 14:42
But marines are meant to have huge hulking suits of armour to protect them from a lack of cover.

Considering the fact that Marines are based on Mobile Infantry, who make extensive use of cover, I think this is a fallacy.

Grimshawl
07-08-2007, 14:54
This still applies to modern-day equivalents like Guard.

But marines are meant to have huge hulking suits of armour to protect them from a lack of cover. GW will never bring back modifiers in a million years as it will make Marines rubbish to play as, thus killing the goose that lays the golden eggs.

Same could be said for bringing back movement rates. There are a lot of players who have never tasted a movement less than 6" and to do this may discourage them from playing.

How exactly do you think modifiers would make marine rubish to play as? keeping in mind I am not talking about a direct cut and paste of all the old modifiers.

Lexington
07-08-2007, 14:56
These discussions always go the wrong way. People who were fond of 2nd Edition will point to individual variants like movement values and armor save modifiers, whilst those who weren't will point out the ridiculousness of some of those save modifiers, and the power of some characters or weapons.

2nd Edition had a bunch of great ideas and concepts that, if properly implemented, make it a superior system to the current incarnation. Where the game failed was in power creep and poor use of rules like armor save mods. 3rd/4th stripped those away in favor of a simpler but less tactically-challenging system, which has its own implementation problems.

Lord Solar Plexus
07-08-2007, 15:05
back in those days Orks had bs 3 tho as well so they had just as good a chance as most armies in shooting. Heck to todays bs 2 orks its like everyone is in some cover against them all the time.

He said against SM in hard cover! Your Orks suddenly have a BS of 1. While that is surely appropriate - it makes a lot of noise after all - Marines had only BS 2 in such cases. With self-propelled missiles. Dunno.

Of course Wolf Guard or Long Fangs could get BS 6 but most basic troops were pure rubbish. That's essentially what I always disliked.


Considering the fact that Marines are based on Mobile Infantry, who make extensive use of cover, I think this is a fallacy.

Mobile Infantry isn't the only source for inspiration here. They're just as much the Phalangites of the future.

predatorsown
07-08-2007, 15:35
LSP you seem to have forgotten the guard veteran skills that were in the second edition codex, how the marines complained about that one:). There some good aspects of 2nd edition and some better in 4th.

I prefer the modern close combat system because it takes a lot less time, but if I remember correctly it was in fact a return to the first edition rules from the second edition ones that were stolen from Space Hulk. My guard never really won in either.

I liked the way cover worked as this encouraged tactics that are completely missing from the new editions, like ducking. I'm also fairly sure that most people can reslove the complex maths required to add a -2 modifier to a dice result. At least the movement statistic meant movement didn't require half a dozen special rules that the new simpler system needs to make it work and it wasn't exactly hard to understand.

I'm an old school gamer I've got a game of second edition coming up with a friend soon but I'm willing to play under the new edition as well, even more so when/if my codex is released, grrr.

Lord Darkblade
07-08-2007, 18:20
First off a misconception, as you could only kill what was in BtB contact with you in CC it meant that unless your opponent was nice you were realistically resticted to killing 8 men at most in a game (4 turns, 2 cc phases each turn).

2nd Edition did encourage the use of terrain and armour wasn't bad, remember that the bolt gun is a / was a pretty horrendously powerful weapon, and at close range had bonuses to hit so you could negate cover and suchlike. In the current editions there doesn't really seem to be a place for a close range firefight, or a close range grenade war.

2nd edition wasn't all bad, will try and post more later.

Neilza
07-08-2007, 19:00
Oh i miss 2nd edition

sebster
08-08-2007, 11:10
Gee this almost sounds like what you really might want to do on an actual battle field :rolleyes: stay in cover so as not to get shot. I can certainly see where game mechanics that encourage this sort of behavior have to go. ;)

When it results in supersoldiers that apparently specialise in assault hiding in clumps of cover and taking potshots at each other, it has to go.

When mobility and tactical manouvering (you know, the game) is made irrelevant by the absolute importance of cover, resulting in static snipefest that only feels detailed because you have to keep looking up special rules, then yeah, it has to go.

sebster
08-08-2007, 11:14
Considering the fact that Marines are based on Mobile Infantry, who make extensive use of cover, I think this is a fallacy.

Marines are based on a lot of things. Mostly they're based on the marines in the GW fluff, and given there isn't a single piece of fluff along the lines of 'the battle brothers stayed in their deployment zone and didn't dare stray from cover for the duration of the battle' I'd say the marine playing style under the 2nd ed rules was probably didn't match up.

sebster
08-08-2007, 11:16
I liked the way cover worked as this encouraged tactics that are completely missing from the new editions, like ducking. I'm also fairly sure that most people can reslove the complex maths required to add a -2 modifier to a dice result. At least the movement statistic meant movement didn't require half a dozen special rules that the new simpler system needs to make it work and it wasn't exactly hard to understand.

But what exactly is that tactic, 'ducking'? Sit in cover and snipe away, while the other guy does the same, leaving the tactic as 'try and roll the most sixes to hit'?

Colonel Fitzgerald
08-08-2007, 11:18
Turns like that were fun, but they meant that a 1,500 point game could take FOREVER. Necromunda and Gorkamorka are much better battlefields for that rules set. And balance? No such thing, games were so random they were funny. Geez, now I feel old. But let's hear more stories of 2nd edition insanity, or even Rogue Trader!

I played a game of Rogue Trader (Space Orks vs Army (I was the Orks.)) My troops moved across the ploughed fields to the farmhouse where they were gonna stomp some ass, but then one man on a parawing swept in from the flank and dropped ONE Virus grenade. Then I read the rules for the Virus grenade. Then I removed ALL BUT THREE of my models. Short game, that.:skull: Funny though, wish I could have seen my face!

sebster
08-08-2007, 11:19
2nd Edition did encourage the use of terrain and armour wasn't bad, remember that the bolt gun is a / was a pretty horrendously powerful weapon, and at close range had bonuses to hit so you could negate cover and suchlike. In the current editions there doesn't really seem to be a place for a close range firefight, or a close range grenade war.

Ah, 4th edition is almost entirely about the short range gun fight, almost to the exclusion of everything else. 4th edition was designed to make it a game of getting your rapid fire shots off before the other guy does. If you think you don't get a bonus for being within 12"... you used to get +1 to hit, now you get twice as many shots.

Neknoh
08-08-2007, 11:22
Judging from the original post, I would say the problems lay more in the complication of individual codexes rather than the rulebook, I mean, the Armorusave modifiers, Range modifiers for hitting, Cover modifiers for hitting, individual movement ranges, individual charts, all is there in Fantasy, and that isn't an overtly complicated game.

Of course, some things, like dice, could well have been made simpler, D6 and D3 and D6-1 etc. could all help simplify it, and could have been done, heck, we HAVE IT in Fantasy.

So, there isn't really that much to defend when you think about it, since it is working PERFECTLY WELL for another game system, where the current problem is more in the pricing of units rather than flawed rules.

Colonel Fitzgerald
08-08-2007, 11:40
Judging from the original post, I would say the problems lay more in the complication of individual codexes rather than the rulebook, I mean, the Armorusave modifiers, Range modifiers for hitting, Cover modifiers for hitting, individual movement ranges, individual charts, all is there in Fantasy, and that isn't an overtly complicated game.

Of course, some things, like dice, could well have been made simpler, D6 and D3 and D6-1 etc. could all help simplify it, and could have been done, heck, we HAVE IT in Fantasy.

So, there isn't really that much to defend when you think about it, since it is working PERFECTLY WELL for another game system, where the current problem is more in the pricing of units rather than flawed rules.

I agree! Though I would say that Assault needed cleaning up so that it was more like Fantasy (or 40k as it is now = rolling en masse) - the rules were okay, it was the codexs that messed things up.

Lord Solar Plexus
08-08-2007, 12:37
These discussions always go the wrong way.


Nonono! Don't get me wrong, I loved the game back then. As I said, we even played until 2005 with 2nd rules.



3rd/4th stripped those away in favor of a simpler but less tactically-challenging system, which has its own implementation problems.

Na, I don't think so. That's a web legend, an urban myth. The BGB is probably three times the size of the old rulebook, and double the size of rulebook + wargear book. Some things have been streamlined, especially close combat or vehicle damage. The next second, another layer of complexity has been added, and I'm not only talking about grey rule areas or new races (DE, Necrons, Tau, DH). Look at a melee with mixed armour, IC's, inv saves etc. The whole mission system including levels is innovative. The FOCs are pretty good. The USR add another level.

I can't help it but feel 4th is more tactical exactly because you a) tend to field more basic troops and b) these have greater chance to cause real damage. They're rarely really bad per se.


LSP you seem to have forgotten the guard veteran skills that were in the second edition codex, how the marines complained about that one:). There some good aspects of 2nd edition and some better in 4th.


I remember them well, and some fondly, especially Guerillas for my flamer equipped command squads and whats his face? Ace loaders? Slick crew? The one where you could shoot again when you had hit once? Oh, and only IG had reserves & preliminary bombardment. Yay.

It still feels like Lego and an FW tank in comparison. Yea, it's all subjective, so there.



I prefer the modern close combat system because it takes a lot less time, but if I remember correctly it was in fact a return to the first edition rules from the second edition ones that were stolen from Space Hulk. My guard never really won in either.

[quote]
I liked the way cover worked as this encouraged tactics that are completely missing from the new editions, like ducking.


Ducking? Never heard of that. You could hide troops if they didn't shoot or move.



I'm also fairly sure that most people can reslove the complex maths required to add a -2 modifier to a dice result.


Sure. While not especially difficult what was unnecessarily time-consuming where working out (remembering, re-reading) the scores of modifiers per gun per range per terrain and speed or overwatch or being charged...all that was missing was a TH modifier for wearing pink shirts (Happy Prancer Aspect Warriors).



At least the movement statistic meant movement didn't require half a dozen special rules that the new simpler system needs to make it work and it wasn't exactly hard to understand.


Half a dozen? They all boil down to +1d6 or improved charge range. That's no more difficult to figure out, is it?

Cleutin
08-08-2007, 13:01
Have to admit i'm still hung up on the odd thing I miss about 2nd ed. Overwatch, jamming, modifiers, the vehicle rules the psychic phase. In fact I missed the psychic phase so much I started Eldar in 3rd ed. lol.

It was a perfectly good system though if used right. In fact a few months ago I had a game of 2nd ed. with a fellow veteran because we had both started other armies since and had never played them in 2nd ed. We both agreed to not use special characters and generally not 'be a dick' when it came to the army list. We only played about 3 turns in the space of time it'd take us to play 6 turns of 4th ed, I got to play with the fearsome 2nd ed Shuriken Catapults and Eldar Psykers and my opponent got to play with tougher Sisters and the heruuge Heavy Flamer templates and you know what? we had fun!.

And that ladies and gents is what this game in any edition is meant to be about. :)

carlisimo
08-08-2007, 16:29
You know... I don't know what I meant by my OP. It was the end of a long day at work and I think I just wanted to write about 2nd edition, which I remember is being totally over the top (in the good and bad ways). I got other people to share their stories so I'm happy.

I miss a lot of things about it too, but I do like where 40k has gone as a wargame. Except for 3+ unmodified saves, I still hate those.

Draeven
08-08-2007, 19:53
nothing like painting the new "abbadon" model at the release of the chaos codex with 2nd ed still around. first game out swooping hawks with a vortex grenaded ended him in round 2. I've never been so mad ever lol..3 days painting 2 hours to die before he got to do anything.

Lexington
08-08-2007, 20:34
Na, I don't think so. That's a web legend, an urban myth. The BGB is probably three times the size of the old rulebook, and double the size of rulebook + wargear book...
...but none of the examples you give are actually helpful to the tactical flexibility of the game. The nice thing about 2nd Edition, and other systems that use fixed values with modifiers, is that you can lay down basic rules (movement, target numbers, etc.), and then have specific troops/situations simply modify those numbers for better or worse, rather than writing whole new special rules to cover their particular irregularities.

None of these preclude troops from being taken/doing damage, but they do serve to make the game more tactical and less random. If I wanted to move my Space Marines into a forest back in 2nd Edition, I knew that they'd simply move half-rate, and could compensate and plan for that. Because of the 3rd/4th Ed paradigm of "no modifiers ever for any reason except Heavy Close Combat Weapons which we're ditching now anyway," I don't know what those Marines will do, and, in the particularly idiotic 4th Edition diff. terrain movement system, don't even know if they can get into the forest. What's more is that it necessitates ridiculous rules like Fleet of Foot, which give a completely random bonus to a unit for being faster, whereas in the flexible 2nd Edition system, they just had a higher movement value.

3rd/4th has its advantages, but at the end of the day, it's far less flexible as a system. 2nd Edition's problems had to do with an over-complicated close combat system, and some egregious power creep within Codexes, but as a basic system of rules, it was superior.

MadJackMcJack
08-08-2007, 21:06
I still have nightmares about 2nd edition. Probably because I was an Ork player, and if you weren't Marines, Chaos or Eldar, it was usually pointless unpacking your models. Uber-death characters, an assault phase similar to Necromunda's (look it up, then imagine that system across an entire 40K assault phase :eek:), weapons that could wipe out half an army etc. But by far the 2 most damning thing I can say are 1) games took for-bloody-ever, and 2) half that time was spent figuring out the bloody rules, referencing weapons, and arguing over who was and wasn't in cover.

4th edition may have it's faults, but by god I wouldn't swap it for 2nd.

Helicon_One
08-08-2007, 21:16
2nd Ed was a small scale skirmish / semi-RPG system (Rogue Trader) scaled up beyond its original format to allow larger battles with multiple layers of new and complex additions (vehicles, wargear cards, psychic poker) tagged on. That was where it failed, it was almost like taking Inquisitor, stripping away half of the roleplay elements and then scaling up the system to a platoon or company sized engagement that the original ruleset was never intended for, hence you ended up fighting individual multi-stage combats for every combatant in a 20 vs 20 close combat phase. As a small scale skirmish system 40k 2nd Ed was brilliant - see Necromunda - but when large numbers and powered up hardware were added to the mix the core system didn't cope well with the transition. At least 3rd/4th Ed is designed to fit the platoon-company level it is played at (although GW now seem to be repeating history by scaling the 40K system beyond its original boundaries and calling it Apocalypse).

Tim

Wolfsbane
08-08-2007, 22:04
I find that 3rd/4th are more enjoyable. I think that tactics are more useful and used in the current play style then in 2nd edition (aka Get the better character). I remember from playing 2nd edition, I had an avatar, my buddy had a hive tyrant. That's what our 1500 point games came down too, who's big guy could kill more.

In 3rd/4th edition troops matter. A storm trooper gets an armor save, a space marine wearing 10,000 year old armor gets an armor save, and a IC can die.

I think a lot of people think 2nd edition was more fun because of nostalgia. Its like people that argue that 1st/2nd edition DnD is better than 3rd/3.5, their crazy and in denial.

3rd/4th edition allows you to customize your army and to play a game where the whole army matters, not just characters and heavy weapons. I just think this debate is stupid. 3rd/4th edition is a better system, they have improved upon what made a game fun and took away what made it annoyingly simple.

The_Outsider
08-08-2007, 23:21
Why do we bother with these arguments on Warseer? its a well known fact the forum is pro 2nd ed.

2nd ed was complete garbage as far as a playable game goes, it was a poorly implemented idea that was fun for randomness but was so lopsided and tedious games really weren't worth the time they required.

However 3/4th ed are a properly implemented idea but a comprimise had to be made - they cut out all the random useless garbage to streamline the playability.

People want 40k to have fantasy style modifiers but it doesn't work - fantasy follows a lot of very strict rules to what a unit can and cannot do (reference: movement) while 40k each unit is far, far more under players control and versatile.

Morale modifers should only matter in 40k in CC - the shooting damage is too high for your entire army to run away after a guardsmen unit gets cut down by guardians.

40k these days is written from a playable perspective, not the massively unbalanced fluff perspective.

predatorsown
09-08-2007, 00:22
The two major problems I see in second edition are the overly complex clsoe combat system that really needed fixing and the huge amount of wargear cards that seemed to be the designers poking fun at the players.

As a guard player I didn't see the problem with over powered characters as much in my games, they don't look so meanacing after taking an autocannon round to the head.

Personally I find all the ld modifiers in a modless system a bit ironic, confusing and a tad annoying as everyone seems to ignore them anyway, except my guard of course. :(

All of the editions are workable and fun to play but I like each for different reasons. If I could still find people to play 2nd edition against I would but I like the ease of playing fourth edition.

Sheena Easton
09-08-2007, 00:47
While I did like some of the more complex aspects of 2nd ed (such as the variable damage, overwatch and some of rarer but not massively powerful weapons & wargear cards), it was a bit of a nightmare to play a decent sized game as it took forever, some rules were hideously complex (Swooping Hawks landing, close combat) and with virus grenades and that bloody virus outbreak strategy card that amost everyone I ever played just "happened" to get dealt some games were even over without you having to move if you didn't play Marines. It was a bit of a powergamers paradise...

Small games were fun though.

The thing I miss most about those days is the massive amount of highly detailed background information - every so often I sit down and read the Bestiary because it was so detailed and enjoyable, and gives a real sense of the 40K universe (the 4th ed wh one was excellent for the same reasons, as are the 2nd ed codices and 4th ed wh armies books)

Gutlord Grom
09-08-2007, 00:49
When it results in supersoldiers that apparently specialise in assault hiding in clumps of cover and taking potshots at each other, it has to go.

When mobility and tactical manouvering (you know, the game) is made irrelevant by the absolute importance of cover, resulting in static snipefest that only feels detailed because you have to keep looking up special rules, then yeah, it has to go.

I'm assuming that you've never fought Armoured Company as Marines. Cover becomes incredibly important, when three or more Leman Russes are bearing down on your position 3+ saves are great, but they drop like flys under heavy fire power.

Mobility is great, but tranports are utter coffins. You're better walking in most cases.

sebster
09-08-2007, 04:40
I think a lot of people think 2nd edition was more fun because of nostalgia. Its like people that argue that 1st/2nd edition DnD is better than 3rd/3.5, their crazy and in denial.

I’ve argued for a while now that 2nd ed. nostalgia has taken as long as it had to emerge because it really wasn’t very good. Advanced D&D was a reasonable game at best (there were balance issues and some very strange decisions in terms of areas to focus on) but there was an overriding nostalgia for that system before D&D 3 was even released.

Thing was, the problems with AD&D were mostly peripheral issues, and weren’t encountered in every session. The problems with 40K 2nd ed. were brought up in just about every game (constant unnecessary detail, poorly balanced units, utterly ludicrous character strength, mechanics that encouraged static snipefests over mobile objective grabbing).

There were plenty of people unhappy with the move to 40K 3rd ed., but most of the discussion seemed to be along the lines of accepting the system needed an overhaul, but perhaps this new system wasn’t it. No-one at the time seemed to be saying that 2nd ed. was a good game, it took about 10 years for nostalgia to kick in.

sebster
09-08-2007, 04:45
I'm assuming that you've never fought Armoured Company as Marines. Cover becomes incredibly important, when three or more Leman Russes are bearing down on your position 3+ saves are great, but they drop like flys under heavy fire power.

Mobility is great, but tranports are utter coffins. You're better walking in most cases.

I don’t even play marines :). I’m a tyranid horde player, and against me most marine players have learnt cover is still very important when my ‘stealers are about to charge.

Cover is still important, even for marines and other power armour troops. It just isn’t the all important move into the open and you might as well get straight back into box factor it was in 2nd ed.

Cleutin
09-08-2007, 16:45
I think some folk are getting away form the whole topic which is a nostalgia babble.
You know, like when Eldar had lasguns and Space Marines could take plasma missiles. I do miss a lot of the characterful stuff like all the wacky Ork artillery guns that could lift a tank in the air and drop it, or fire a rokkit that would knock everyone of their feet, Kannons with crazy rubber shells etc. It's nice to see that for 4th ed though they are bringing some character back, like the return of the shokk attack gun. :D
I mind when ripper swarms could eat terrain :confused: (possibly one of the most bizarre ideas). So you could move them forward, eat a forest and give your opponent a clear line of sight to your Genestealers.

I almost cried the other day when talking about apocalypse stuff the vortex template was mentioned and one of the kids ask "whats a vortex grenade?" meanwhile all the veterans where either going "dam i'm i'm getting old" or rocking back and forth in their chairs gibbering. :cries:

That's me babbled out the now, on to someone else...