Last edited by althathir; 15-05-2012 at 20:16.
Ask yourselves exactly what it is you're looking for in an alternative to the Force Organisation chart. Are you looking to open the possibilities to new builds/forces? Are you looking for ways to restrict current armies and stop some being so prevalent? Do you want to stop the same unit being taken multiple times in someone's army, and if so why? Or just simply fed up of running out of slots in a particular category?
If we're talking about a revamp to the system, we shouldn't limit ourselves to making a change here and nowhere else. So no responses of "Yeah, but now this army is allowed it's uber unit of doom ad infinitum..." If a unit is broken or undercosted, then that needs FIXING! Not simply working around it.
Opening up Different Armies:
Many veterans of 2nd Ed remember the sheer number of options that were in the Squads section of an armies codex. Space Marines could take their Tactical, Assault, Devastator, Terminator, Veteran, and Bike Squads as part of their 'minimum' requirements. All Terminator Armies were possible from any chapter, not just Dark Angels. Assault Companies could be fielded by all, not just Blood Angels. The Dark Angels even had their Landspeeders and Attackbikes included as Squads, as (virtually) the only difference between them and Codex: Ultramarines (No need to message me the full list angry readers; I'm aware of it and don't feel the need to show it here). Ork boyz squads from different clans could be equipped differently, giving you Ork Nobz, Goff Scarboyz, Evil Sunz Bikers, Blood Axe Kommandos, Bad Moon Special Weapon Squads, Deffskull Heavy Weapon Squads, Gretchin and Stormboyz. I could go on with Chaos, Tyranids and Sisters of Battle, but won't.
I only ever played against one person in 2nd Ed (My brother), so maybe I was secluded from armies of doom. But a player could build a list however they wanted. The sheer variety of builds that can come out of a single codex really could mean that no two armies are the same.
The Force Organisation chart clearly is designed to provide a 'balanced' army, that is not overbearing in any one area. Many armies only have two choices (maybe less? Don't think so now that Necrons have been remade), and these aren't always the most glamourous of choices. They're not supposed to be the greatest troops in an army, but they certainly shouldn't feel like a tax that a player has to field. I don't feel that way about Ork Boyz squads, and feel that they are a terrific choice in an Ork army, and do make a solid backbone. I don't (personally) feel that way about Tactical squads, as I feel that they are a generic squad in a game designed for specialists.
As well as this, why are some units in the sections that they are? Why are Ork Lootas (ordinary boyz with heavy weapons) in the Elite Section whilst Flash Gitz (Nobs with Assault Weapons) are Heavy Support? Why are Sentinels Fast Attack in an Imperial Guard Army, but War Walkers are Heavy Support for the Eldar? Why are Assault Marines Troops for a Blood Angels army, but Fast Attack for any other Space Marine Chapter?
The ‘Only troops are scoring’ rule should also go. It was attempted as a fix to make Troops doable, but doesn’t make sense. Why can’t a devastator squad, or a Grot Mortar battery hold an objective, but their identical counterparts (but without the guns) can?
Problem is, the game is designed to provide a conflict between vulnerable vehicle squadrons, and taking them separately and losing multiple slots. Without a slot limit (e.g. Apocalypse), there is no point at all taking vehicle squadrons. The game mechanics would need to change (e.g. units splitting fire) to counter this.
Maybe if you are going to keep this type of system, unlocking is a good answer. I’d prefer it if it was through ordinary characters, rather than special characters. I don’t even think it does need to be limited to only 1 in all cases. Maybe there could be a limit on only one ‘unlock’ though. You can make Terminators troops with a terminator captain, or bike squads with a captain on a bike, but not both.
Final point. Why does taking the same unit more than once need to be a bad thing? An Imperial Guard army should be able to be all mechanised, or all airborne without anyone calling foul. A Space Marine army should be able to be deploy exclusively by drop pod, and people be awed by a cohesive theme. If particular units are ‘spammed’ because they are far too cost effective or over powered, then the unit should be changed. There shouldn’t be a stigma that the same unit repeatedly is terrible, or unfluffy.
The problem is this won’t happen. Games Workshops attitude is that fixes to broken units are made in books for future armies though, or future editions.
Any 40k players near Stroud, UK, send me a PM if you fancy a game.
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The following words and phrases should have no place in a wargame: Top Tier; [National/International] Meta; Spam (with the negative connotations); Yeah but when was the last time you saw those?
I feel like GW is using the FOC system (be it slot, percentage or otherwise based) as a prop to avoid the altogether more time/effort consuming (but ultimately most satisfactory) task of designing a game that is inherently balanced yet also reflects the background that they have written for it.