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autarch dsaliuvid
24-12-2010, 05:38
Some times when reading various posts i see a lot of dislike for widespred use of U.S.R's(especaily feel no pain). Is the U not for universal as my interpretation all armys fall into the catigory of universal.So I just don't see the point in complaining that every army is geting these rules. It mostly semes to be F.N.P and furious charge that get the most dislike(i dont see a lot of hate for move through cover or that every army has acess to scout or infiltrate. Now if they started giving we'll be back or decent of angles to other armys i might have something to say about that. To me it just seems to be all about nothing. Its like complaning that armys get access to power weapons or somthing.

Hellebore
24-12-2010, 05:52
That's because 'Universal' simply means 'one entry to refer to for any mention of the rule' not 'add to every unit and its grandma'.

It was a standarisation method, not an excercise in ubiquity.

They're still 'special' rules, not standard rules.

Furious charge and FnP are more useful than infiltrate or move through cover and FnP bypasses the 'one save only' rule and also ignores Penetration values (except when you get to lascannon levels).

I have the same problem with FnP that I do with the ubiquity of Cover Saves - it bypasses a central rule in the form of AP. But rather than fixing AP they just layer other rules on top of it to neuter AP instead. When cover saves and FnP were the exception rather than the rule, they augmented the rules mechanics. Now that they are virtually universal, they simply hinder the game mechanics.

Hellebore

Vedar
24-12-2010, 05:53
Not that I feel this way but I can see how GW likes to make USRs and then sprinkle them into every new codex. You get a rule made for one codex then before you know it The new Space Marine codex has rending, Eternal Warrior, Feel no pain or whatever new toy was put into another codex. It is a pretty lazy way to make a codex and make the codex you took it from less interesting.

solkan
24-12-2010, 06:20
Gaahhh. Kids these days and the feeling that every unit has to have special rules to be interesting. :p

The benefit to having USR's should be that you can set up a core set of special rules that everyone can understand without having to argue about how a slight difference in wording between two codices radically changes the rules. But then they go and wreck it by:

1. Giving fancy names to rules. The Daemon codex got so bad that I ended up having to type up a reference sheet listing the stats and actual special rules for each unit. Quick, in the middle of a game try to remember whether Sopophoric Musk is grenades or Hit and Run. :mad:

2. The "It's just like the USR but cooler" rules.

In a pessimistic mood, I think a person might conclude that the USR's are an attempt to unify the game mechanics that's simply doomed to failure based on the model that each unit must have a quarter page of special rules or it just won't be cool enough for the kids to buy.

Born Again
24-12-2010, 06:35
Yes, U.S.R's are good for their simplification, having a series of rules that can apply to many units that would otherwise have near or exactly identical rules reprinted in every entry. But what people are generally complaining about is the way these rules have become so widespread. When everyone has them, they're not really "special" any more.

Wraith Phoenix
24-12-2010, 11:28
The problem is the term "special", as this means different things to different people.

Some people think it should mean special in that it is something unique and distinct, however, following this would result in the train wreck that was second edition epic, where every unit seemed to have its own special rule, which resulted in very slow games.

The simple fact is, they are called special rules because that is what they have always been called, ask yourself if you would feel the same if they were called "Enhanced Unit Abilities" instead, because it is only semantics.

sigur
24-12-2010, 12:33
In a pessimistic mood, I think a person might conclude that the USR's are an attempt to unify the game mechanics that's simply doomed to failure based on the model that each unit must have a quarter page of special rules or it just won't be cool enough for the kids to buy.

Even though it's christmas and I should be more cheery about things, I agree with you. It's this ill-fated spiral of power creep 40k is doomed to go through. The USRs were made with good intentions in mind (standardization, no more 200 different special rules that are basically the same but work slightly different) but they just didn't stick to it. They do that all the time and my favorite example for that lunacy still is the "venerable dreadnought". They're ALL venerable because they are FEW, hard to replicate and just something holy to these guys.

I think the reason why Feel no Pain (this one especially) and Eternal Warrior are especially discussed is because they are rather blunt ways of making stuff much harder to kill.

But essentially, the problem is power creep (the real one just as much as the perceived one). And this is also what people dislike, not certain USRs per se.

scar face
24-12-2010, 16:53
Unfortunately, because so many squads now have them, they don't feel like 'special' rules- just very dirt common ones.

scar

Lord Inquisitor
24-12-2010, 17:54
I'm all for USRs. I think they could be used a whole lot more to deal with special units. Do Blood Claws really need a special "Bezerk Charge" rule or would Furious Charge show their savagery when they charge? Do gargoyles really need a unique poisoned weapons rule that is different from the Poisoned Weapons rule in the rulebook? (Come to think of it, do they need it at all?)

So I think USRs should be used in preference to unique special rules always, and unique rules should be sparingly used when absolutely necessary to reflect the character of the unit - and most cases, such as techmarines that absolutely need a unique rule, mean there's simply a need for a new USR as most armies have a similar unit that repairs vehicles. USRs are always better even if they are called something else (as in the Daemon book), although I agree that just calling them by their proper names is preferable.

That said, I do agree that overuse of universal special rules can make them rather less "special". These are rules that are universal to all armies, not that all units should have them universally! There was a time when many of these rules were fairly unique. Then they started creeping into every book. At first it was very reasonable - Chaos Daemons and Chaos Marines made good use of USRs. Bezerkers were still fairly special with Furious Charge, Plague Marines certainly became feared with FNP and soforth - clever use of USRs really differentiated the Chaos units nicely without the need for unique special rules. Then 5th edition came along and along with an explosion of unique special rules, the USRs started getting applied as global or area effects. Now you have guard armies with easy access to FNP, furious charge, counter-attack, stubborn and soforth. If a bog standard guardsman can have all of these things at once, how special are the elite cult chaos marines?

Widespread, army-wide use of multiple USRs makes special units seem less special. This then leads to the actual elite units needing "super" special rules, leading to more and more unique special rules because the USRs seem pedestrian.

jt.glass
24-12-2010, 18:05
1. Giving fancy names to rules.This one really bugs me, too. Grabbing the nearest Codex to me, Eldar Rangers have a named Special Rule that does nothing but give three USRs... why not just list the three USRs and save a lookup step, FFS!


In a pessimistic mood, I think a person might conclude that the USR's are an attempt to unify the game mechanics that's simply doomed to failure based on the model that each unit must have a quarter page of special rules or it just won't be cool enough for the kids to buy.I'm not sure blaming every GW mistake or direction we don't like on "the kids" is particularly helpful.

I like USRs too, and I also like unit-specific or army-specific special rules in the right cricumstances. I'd agree that at the moment they are somewhat overused (although not to the extent you'd think think from reading Warseer), but it is a quantatative issue, not a qualatative one IMO.

jt.

Dead7
24-12-2010, 18:18
the big problem i have with USRs is when you can buy an upgrade, say stalker for scorps, then when you go to look it up its just a usr. why cant they just use the name of the usr instead of giving it some stupid name so we can never remember which is which? RAEG!!!!

autarch dsaliuvid
24-12-2010, 18:45
I do have to agree with some its not neccacary to lump several special rules under a new name. It can just confuse people.
And before any one acuse me of being a kid(maybe a little too late:)) I have been playing sence 96.

SgtTaters
24-12-2010, 19:38
It's also annoying to have new rules that an USR or common 40k rule could easily cover, lookin at you Tyranid codex

hormagants: given a super 3dice pick highest fleet... why not just beast movement?
gargoyles: given a strange 3e rending-with-no-armor-pen, why not just poison attack?

carnifex, big nids with regenerate, roll a d6 for every lost wound, on a 6 it's restored... why not just Feel No Pain + an inv sv? The rulebook says "alien metabolisms" can represent an inv sv.

Krovin-Rezh
24-12-2010, 20:00
I think it's more about the quality of the rules. FNP is an amazingly good rule to have on any unit. Furious charge is right up there, too. In fact, they are both better than about 90% of the unique special rules of other units. This makes them a defining trait of any unit that gains FNP or FC, instead of just allowing a unit's own unique strengths and weaknesses to show through.

For the record, I'm not against USRs at all, or their widespread use across codices. That's the whole point. However, I think GW need to take a look at the balancing of those rules so that they don't end up dominating the game. It would also help if they stopped making so many unique special rules so useless.

Lothlanathorian
24-12-2010, 20:19
This:


This one really bugs me, too. Grabbing the nearest Codex to me, Eldar Rangers have a named Special Rule that does nothing but give three USRs... why not just list the three USRs and save a lookup step, FFS!

Isn't as bad as this:


It's also annoying to have new rules that an USR or common 40k rule could easily cover, lookin at you Tyranid codex

hormagants: given a super 3dice pick highest fleet... why not just beast movement?
gargoyles: given a strange 3e rending-with-no-armor-pen, why not just poison attack?

carnifex, big nids with regenerate, roll a d6 for every lost wound, on a 6 it's restored... why not just Feel No Pain + an inv sv? The rulebook says "alien metabolisms" can represent an inv sv.


I think having a rule that is fluffy in name that confers two or three USRs isn't so bad. I mean, really, if you can't remember that this unit in your army has these three USRs because you can't remember what the umbrella rule that gives them to them does, you need to work on your memory. So, as an example, let's say SM Scouts had a 'rule' called 'Scouts' and, under this rule, they were simply given Infiltrate, Move Through Cover and Scout/Outflank, I think that would be fine.

Now, if they were given a 'rule' called 'Scouts' and it was a paragraph of rules that, essentially, gave them those three USRs without actually naming them, that would be stupid.

It is kind of like Heroclix and how each piece now has their basic powers named to give them a more in-depth feel, but they are still the basic powers in the game.

Also, I agree that the proliferation of certain USRs is out of hand and that there are a lot of units with extra rules for the sake of giving them extra rules and this is just not needed.

TheLaughingGod
24-12-2010, 21:39
1. Giving fancy names to rules. The Daemon codex got so bad that I ended up having to type up a reference sheet listing the stats and actual special rules for each unit. Quick, in the middle of a game try to remember whether Sopophoric Musk is grenades or Hit and Run. :mad:


Couldn't disagree more. I hated 3rd Edition's version of this where it simple said "X Unit has Y Special Rule" and you're just left wondering why in the world it has that. At least now they have cool names/descriptions of why they would be able to do that in the lore.

solkan
24-12-2010, 21:52
Couldn't disagree more. I hated 3rd Edition's version of this where it simple said "X Unit has Y Special Rule" and you're just left wondering why in the world it has that. At least now they have cool names/descriptions of why they would be able to do that in the lore.

As counter argument I direct you to the CSM Possessed and their table listing special rules followed by the explanation for why the unit has that special rule.

Compare:
Opponent glances at your army list and wargear and, confused, asks "What does a Hellblade do?" You reply, "Oh, it's just a power weapon."
vs.
Opponent glances at your army list and sees the power weapons on the Bloodletter unit. Surprised, said opponent asks "They have power weapons?" You reply, "Yeah, they're described as these demonic hell blades."

Obfuscated naming of the rules just makes things needlessly confusing for everyone involved.

Lothlanathorian
24-12-2010, 23:59
I must say, I am in agreement with TheLaughingGod on this one. I don't see it as confusing and haven't yet played with anyone in my long history of 40K gaming who would. Granted, people who see that way clearly exist, I've just never come across any.

Hellebore
25-12-2010, 00:11
I'd be ok with the naming more if the standard special rule name was listed FIRST and the description of what this is representing second.

So for Bloodletters:

Power Weapons: The bloodletters wield warp infused hellblades that count as power weapons.

The rule already has a name, it doesn't need a new name. It can get a whole new description, but so long as the rule is listed under the title the rule actually has it doesn't matter how it's described.

Part of the problem here IMO stems from the specificity of the original rule names.

If for example the 'power weapon' rule was 'ignores armour' instead, it would be easier to apply to multiple things without it sounding like it's describing something else. A marine with a power weapon and a bloodletter with a hellblade would be carrying weapons that have the 'ignores armour' special rule, but for very different reasons, reasons that would be illuminated in the fluff description of the rule's APPLICATION rather than its naming.

Hellebore

Seismic
25-12-2010, 01:01
Its great till everyone gets the same ones *cough* FnP & Furious charge *cought* .

Then GW will bring out the nerf bat next core edition and render them useless. And while sphaz mureenz will quickly get updated to circumvent the limitation of FC and FNP . Xeno built around those USR (Necron ,Dark Eldars , Nid) are gonna get the shaft ... yet again. And another decade wait begins.

NixonAsADaemonPrince
25-12-2010, 01:16
I must admit I have no problem with the naming of special rules, either way is fine for me, but it would be nice if Furious Charge and FNP weren't so widespread.

At the moment many assault units are defined by Furious Charge, the same with survivable units and FNP, with quite a bit of overlap in between, and it makes the units all feel boringly similar.

I think that all that is needed to fix this is a few more USRs, of a similar useful quality, to add more combinations so as to give units there own unique feel without over-complex unit specific rules.

autarch dsaliuvid
25-12-2010, 01:37
Im all in favor of more U.S.R's and mabe various levels of ones like f.n.p so its not just a 4+ for everyone. Allthought that really wouldn't really matter till another round of codexes are done anyways in like 8-9 years

Voss
25-12-2010, 01:54
Its great till everyone gets the same ones *cough* FnP & Furious charge *cought* .

Then GW will bring out the nerf bat next core edition and render them useless. And while sphaz mureenz will quickly get updated to circumvent the limitation of FC and FNP . Xeno built around those USR (Necron ,Dark Eldars , Nid) are gonna get the shaft ... yet again. And another decade wait begins.

This is a problem with the way GW updates codexes, not with USRs. Necrons are equally screwed whether they have USRs or Super Special Necron Snowflake rules. It makes no difference in how long they have to wait to be fixed. The way necrons get screwed up by the interaction of WBB and close combat is a perfect example- this isn't a USR, but its still screwed up Necron lists since the edition change.

In some cases the core edition changes help, and in other cases they hurt. Having a unique rule rather than a USR doesn't change that. But the unique rules make the game more unwieldy and add additionally places where it can break... which isn't a benefit. The worst thing that could happen is something like what happened with rending, where a nerf happens, and older books continue to pay a few extra points for it. This isn't really a big deal, however, as most point values are rather vague guesses anyway. A ~10% difference in point costs is very unlikely to have much of an influence on a battle- as people often find when they forget to deep strike or flank a unit, or just plain add up their numbers wrong.

Further, if they stick with the USRs for the SM, rather than going with new unique special rules, then nothing will be 'circumvented'. Everyone will be playing with the same special rules. That is, in fact, the benefit of them.

Seismic
25-12-2010, 02:23
This is a problem with the way GW updates codexes, not with USRs.

If you mean , Its a problem in the frequency at which GW updates each codices, then i agree.

The problem is only exacerbated by the use of USR as army-wide defining traits. No one seems to have a problem with AtsknF, combat tactics or Combat squads, even though they're not USR, why? Well, for the most part they are easy to use and understand even though they lead to some inconsistencies. Which ill point out can easily be fixed with a prompt FaQ (Viva la internetz!). And I'd expect anyone worth playing against capable of understanding 2-3 additional , none USR, rules :

- "They can split squads , choose to fail moral checks, aren't destroyed in SA and pass regroup test automatically. Got it?"

But more to the point , why should Xenos like : Necrons , Dark eldars have defining army traits tied to USR while others aren't ?

Its blatantly obvious to anyone without a bias to see that USR are a liability to an army that is defined by them. You could still make a viable Blood angels force if Feel no pain were to be nerf in 6th edition, not so for Necrons if we'd have trade Wbb for FnP.

Edit: Or to put it an other way : "Heroic intervention" on vanguards I have a problem with, but if it was an army wide speciality , then I'd be fine. ITs a problem having to explain every unit and every rule and every weapons it has , not so for an army as a whole.

Meriwether
25-12-2010, 02:38
It seems to me that there are two problems:

1. Special rule proliferation.
2. Special rule obfuscation.

I have no problem with #1, as different special rules combined with different weapons and statlines can mean very, very different application for units.

I have a big problem with #2, because it's so damn unnecessary and irritating.

Voss
25-12-2010, 03:00
Its blatantly obvious to anyone without a bias to see that USR are a liability to an army that is defined by them. You could still make a viable Blood angels force if Feel no pain were to be nerf in 6th edition, not so for Necrons if we'd have trade Wbb for FnP.

It isn't blatantly obvious to me. In fact I'm really confused as to why BA would be viable with FnP but Necrons wouldn't.

Also, bonus question: which way am I biased and why?

Seismic
25-12-2010, 03:40
It isn't blatantly obvious to me. In fact I'm really confused as to why BA would be viable with FnP but Necrons wouldn't.

Suppose a 6th edition core book came out with a default +6 , "No FnP in Cc", for whatever reason. A blood angels might have to retire his Sanguine Priest, Death company and so on, but could probably salvage his force and turn it into a Jump heavy ,deep strike list as opposed to a rough and tough Melee force. Why ? well you have other options to fall back on thanks to DoA and CS , AtsknF and all the rest of it.

Consider now the Necron, codex except with wbb replace by 6+ FnP , heck imagine the DA with it: This army wouldn't stand 2 turns before being massacred. Perhaps the DA less so but only if FC isn't nerf (But it will , rest assured). Lack of options and poor point costs per unit are the root of the problem ,of course , it changes not the fact that with Wbb , the Necrons would be unaffected by a change to FnP .

Moreover there would be lesser objections for Blood angels to play a Count-as Vanilla than their would be for Necrons. The standard Marine codex being reworked at a much faster pace then others , it would be quickly released. And the revised Vanilla codex would be built with a point cost reduction on FNP units or devised in such a manner as to forgo the thing entirely. Thus circumventing the problem as I talked about earlier.

So xenos are in this case doubly *********.


Also, bonus question: which way am I biased and why?

Most people that I talk to , who are in favor of USR , tend to play , primarily, Space marines or Chaos. It goes without saying that these folks never had much invested in a decade old army . The mere sight of which causes panic. Its not a problem for Xeno players since we tend to use outdated , poorly worded codices.

I'd assume that you're a Marine player of some kind , though its not out of the question that you might be a masochistic xeno player (Or perhaps a Slaaneshii player).

Biased might not have been a good word, perhaps something relating to being blind (Ill look up something more suiting).

Meriwether
25-12-2010, 03:43
I'm in favor of USRs, and I play seven armies...

Associating a person's characteristics with their argument is a classic logical fallacy, called argumentum ad hominem. I suggest, Seismic, that you learn to not do it, as it accomplishes nothing but making you look a bit silly.

Seismic
25-12-2010, 03:51
I'm in favor of USRs, and I play seven armies...

Associating a person's characteristics with their argument is a classic logical fallacy, called argumentum ad hominem. I suggest, Seismic, that you learn to not do it, as it accomplishes nothing but making you look a bit silly.

I thought that was more a Straw man argument. An Ad homien is , from what i understand, calling people names , which I didn't.

Regardless ,the key word was "Primarily". Its great that you have seven armies, i doubt very much that you care for them equally , less you be lying to yourself.

Wait , come to think of it the "biased" part of my post wasn't even part of an argument, how can it be a "Ad homien"?

Meriwether
25-12-2010, 03:59
A straw man is setting up an argument similar to, but not the same as, the argument presented -- one that is easily knocked down -- and then knocking it down.

An 'ad hominem' is bringing the characteristics of the arguer into the argument as if they matter (for good or for ill).

As for "primarily", I look on all adverbs with distrust. They are most often sloppy writing, if not outright hedging in an argument.

-----------------

What you said was Ad Hominem because you were ("primarily") equating Marine Player = not worried about USRs, and Xenos Player = worried about USRs.

autarch dsaliuvid
25-12-2010, 04:51
I play 11 40k armys only one is an imperial marine army(basic vanilla) and usualy i pick a couple of them and roll a d6 or d3 to see which I'll use. i don't care how powerful or nerfed the U.S.R's are.I just like the ease of knowing what somthing is without having to memorize a couple hundred diffrent rules scatered throuh 15 diffrent books all with slightly diffrent rules because a conjunction is diffrent in that book. also if you want to know what armys people play just click on there name and view there profile. Most people are nice enought to publicly display that info. So before you go and say a person really is saying somthing because of there army maybe check.

Voss
25-12-2010, 05:01
Right, first I'm going to ignore your example as a reduction to an absurdity. We both know that isn't going to happen, so there isn't much point. It seems reasonable that they would adapt sane changes to any significant special rules.



Most people that I talk to , who are in favor of USR , tend to play , primarily, Space marines or Chaos. It goes without saying that these folks never had much invested in a decade old army . The mere sight of which causes panic. Its not a problem for Xeno players since we tend to use outdated, poorly worded codices.

This seems contrary to my experience with gamers. As a group, any change they don't like is going to be complained about often, loudly and at length, regardles of how much it actually affects them or how long they'll have to put up with it in a codex.

Personally, I don't think the army played has any bearing on opinions on game design, which is what this is. The short version, as I don't want to bore anyone with a long blather about game design, is that exception based design (which is what special rules in each codex amounts to, at least partially), results in a looser and more problematic rule set. More rules conflicts occur, and the more work has to be done to police the ruleset. It can work- the privateer press games do exception based design fairly well, but they are just finishing year of overhauling their entire ruleset and still have to constantly field rules updates and questions in order to settle all the inevitable conflicts that surface.

GW is unwilling to put that amount of effort into constantly keeping the rules updated, and frankly I don't blame them for that. Its a lot of work, and the alternative solution is a tighter ruleset with less exceptions. It has resulted in a less detailed system, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing. Of course, there is a spectrum here- Mantic put up their ruleset which is even more streamlined and centralized. Its incredibly efficient, but they've sacrificed far too much for my taste.



I'd assume that you're a Marine player of some kind , though its not out of the question that you might be a masochistic xeno player (Or perhaps a Slaaneshii player).

You'd be wrong on both counts.
I'm a xenos player who happens to honestly believes that USRs over special rules is beneficial for the xenos books and for the game as a whole.

My reason for believing this is based on the evidence available: namely, Necrons were hurt terribly by the switch from fourth to fifth edition. Partly its simply due to the fact that the central concept of the codex (a large chunk of hard to kill troops) just isn't terribly functional in execution, but also it is simply that WBB wasn't adaptable to the new edition.

I had the opportunity to regularly play against two very effective Necron players for the last two years, who could often pull out a win despite the condition of the codex. The consensus of both of them and their opponents was similar: the army wasn't absolutely terrible, but it was generally tedious on both sides, and WBB was effectively a lead weight around their necks.

The dark eldar, by contrast, didn't lean on any odd special rules within their old codex, and managed the transition from 4th to 5th (and 3rd to 4th) in much better shape than the Necrons did. Their successful army builds were also limited, but a good dark eldar army was still an absolute terror on the fields of 5th edition.

Seismic
25-12-2010, 05:38
An 'ad hominem' is bringing the characteristics of the arguer into the argument as if they matter (for good or for ill).

Faire enough.

Still ,since I didn't actually used anyone's characteristic as part of my argument, I don't see how it matters. I have explain why its not part of my argument below.


What you said was Ad Hominem because you were ("primarily") equating Marine Player = not worried about USRs, and Xenos Player = worried about USRs.


Perhaps i misunderstood what the point of the thread was: I was under the impression that the topic was on the legitimacy of USR. And i made my arguments accordingly.I never said anything about worrying about USR .Or that, by default ,marines players had specific feelings relating to URS.

All i said was that by default USR are good, but Army wide USR tend to be problematic, then I stated what those problems are. Additionally I illustrated that some unique special rules tend to get a pass, then I provided some examples. Finally I concluded by asking why some should have Army wide unique special rules while others (According to rumours) will not? The purpose of the post was to show that even if USR are a legitimate part of the game, they do so only at a specific place for a specific reason.

Why two equal yet distinct things (Codices, for instance) are treated different, naturally demands some form of bias. Its not directed at anyone or anything, its not part of an argument, it is what it is. And the bias evoked is only valid from certain considerations , expressed in the last question. That is to say that Army wide USR are a liability. And if someone holds that some are to be at a disadvantage while others aren't, then this view is bias. The reasons for the bias is an other question all together.

Note that the "Marine" part only came as a follow up, where Voss asked : "which way am I biased and why?". Moreover the reply was clearly made as an assumption simply because the answer was not relevant to my argument (Hence the Masochistic part ) . Also note that it is Voss who single Himself out as bias.

In retrospect i never answered "Why" Voss would be Biased , well here it is : It doesn't matter why. You could be a Masochistic Necron player who loves to lose. Perhaps you're a DE player that likes to bitch about GW. Or You could also be Vanilla power gamer. Frankly maybe you're not biased at all, however I'd assume that you'll agree that army wide USR are a liability then, yes ?

As of the time, writing this post , I haven't seen anything that provides any counter argument to this point (though i may edit this part). And the fact that recent posts have all been made avoiding it , makes it even more clear that it is. It is a problem having USR as an Army wide trait.

Does it make USR bad by default , no. Does it mean that USR have limits to their uses, yes. Why is this blasphemy to accept ?

Seismic
25-12-2010, 05:52
Right, first I'm going to ignore your example as a reduction to an absurdity. We both know that isn't going to happen, so there isn't much point. It seems reasonable that they would adapt sane changes to any significant special rules.

I think you're avoiding my example because it makes an irrefutable point. The issue isn't if it is or isn't going to happen, the issue is the result.

Make it more "Sane" then if you like: 5+ FnP , No FnP on Ap3, whatever . Doesn't change the fact that its a liability to have an entire army subject to a few USR.


This seems contrary to my experience with gamers.

Perhaps. Since its not relevant to my earlier point its irrelevant.



You'd be wrong on both counts.

What both counts ? I've only given a rough estimate of what you might be playing. Never said anything about "why" you'd be bias t'ill a few seconds ago. In fact i never actually said what you'd be bias for, since its contingent on why you'd be bias in the first place. Obviously a self hating Xeno would be bias for Marines for totally different reasons that Marines would be bias towards Marines. Heck i never even mention that you'd be bias toward Marines. Hell you might think that army wide USR might be better than AtsknF and all the rest of it, which would make you bias toward xenos.

No, you're not reading what writing.

Seismic
25-12-2010, 06:07
.I just like the ease of knowing what somthing is without having to memorize a couple hundred diffrent rules scatered throuh 15 diffrent books all with slightly diffrent rules because a conjunction is diffrent in that book.

You don't even have to remember any if you listen a little.

"They can split squads , choose to fail moral checks, aren't destroyed in SA and pass regroup test automatically. Got it?"

That's essentially SM. Its not an entirely new game. Its barely 10 seconds worth of explaining.

Lord Inquisitor
25-12-2010, 06:40
You don't even have to remember any if you listen a little.

"They can split squads , choose to fail moral checks, aren't destroyed in SA and pass regroup test automatically. Got it?"

That's essentially SM. Its not an entirely new game. Its barely 10 seconds worth of explaining.

That's their army-wide rules. But the majority of characters and units have some form of unique special rule on top of any USRs that they may have. And space marines aren't even the worst. Try explaining to a player that hasn't faced them before all the special rules your average Tyranid army has.

Lothlanathorian
25-12-2010, 22:53
That's their army-wide rules. But the majority of characters and units have some form of unique special rule on top of any USRs that they may have. And space marines aren't even the worst. Try explaining to a player that hasn't faced them before all the special rules your average Tyranid army has.

This. I have a friend who is just beginning 40K. I've been around since the end of 2nd to now and he is building his first army now and it is Tyranids. While playing a small game against a Dark Angels player, it took both of us, each with our own copy of the Nid book, to find and figure out what most of his army does. And it just isn't necessary. You can use USR's and keep the army feeling unique. And, as far as edition changes and armies being neutered, I'd bet less on this having to do with USRs changing than the rules and their effect on the meta-game. Which is exactly what happened to the Necrons.

FnP and Furious Charge have been exactly the same since 3rd Ed. I doubt they'd change in 6th just for s&g's.

insectum7
26-12-2010, 06:38
^Almost, FnP is now negated by high AP. Though agree I with your sentiments.

jt.glass
26-12-2010, 15:08
I think having a rule that is fluffy in name that confers two or three USRs isn't so bad. I mean, really, if you can't remember that this unit in your army has these three USRs because you can't remember what the umbrella rule that gives them to them does, you need to work on your memory.Ah, but it is not my army, I play marines. I happen to have the Codex (and intend to collect some one day), but I need to get more of my marines painted first! And even if it was, it s not about remembering what stuff in your own army does (except perhaps if you're the guy who has 11), but your opponent's army.


Couldn't disagree more. I hated 3rd Edition's version of this where it simple said "X Unit has Y Special Rule" and you're just left wondering why in the world it has that. At least now they have cool names/descriptions of why they would be able to do that in the lore.Fluff descriptions belong in the fluff. The function of rules text is to be as clear and concise as possible!


Still ,since I didn't actually used anyone's characteristic as part of my argument, I don't see how it matters. I have explain why its not part of my argument below.You did exactly that... you said anyone who wasn't biased (or later blind) would agree with you. That is an ad hominem, with a side order of appeal to popularity.


jt.

Omniassiah
26-12-2010, 15:23
This. I have a friend who is just beginning 40K. I've been around since the end of 2nd to now and he is building his first army now and it is Tyranids. While playing a small game against a Dark Angels player, it took both of us, each with our own copy of the Nid book, to find and figure out what most of his army does. And it just isn't necessary. You can use USR's and keep the army feeling unique. And, as far as edition changes and armies being neutered, I'd bet less on this having to do with USRs changing than the rules and their effect on the meta-game. Which is exactly what happened to the Necrons.


The problem with USRs and creating unique units is that they are becoming so ubiquitous now that the devs are creating new Unique special rules to make them seem different. USRs were supposed to make the rules that might have been common across 3 codexs standardized have now seen those rules propagated across ALL the codexs. Fleet used to be in mostly 3 codexs(Eldar,D Eldar, Nids) but now I'm not sure there is a up-to-date codex that doesn't have at least one unit with it or a way to get it for the entire army.

So now because of that propagation we are seeing the exact thing that USRs were supposed to prevent. Lots of special purpose rules that are written slightly different between each codex because the units have to be unique...

Don't think I am entirely disagreeing with the quoted poster but just kind of expanding on the problem that he's seeing as well.

lanrak
26-12-2010, 19:49
Hi all.
Just to point out 'special rules' are NOT necissary to allow special abilities in games.
Plenty of wargames have LOTS of specialised units, and specalised unit intraction without a list of 50+ seperate special rules...

However, some games use LIMITED amounts of special rules to add a bit of depth to the game play.(WHFB used 10 special rules , and ONE army specific rule for each race,simplly to add character to the army.)

40k has the oxymoronic Universal Special Rules...
An idea to extend the basic rules limited game play, in the MOST inefficient way.:rolleyes:

There are 2 seperate ideals at odds here.

1)Straight forward intuitive and well defined rules lead to exelent game play, and long term gamer interest.

2)Cool sounding special rules inspire customers to buy the new models in the short term.

USRs are a set of short term patches , to try to hide the unsuitability of 30 year old napoleonic game mechanics. (STILL used in 40k 12 years after they changed the focus of the game.)

ttfn

Lothlanathorian
26-12-2010, 21:57
Ah, but it is not my army, I play marines. I happen to have the Codex (and intend to collect some one day), but I need to get more of my marines painted first! And even if it was, it s not about remembering what stuff in your own army does (except perhaps if you're the guy who has 11), but your opponent's army.

I only play two armies, but I buy every codex. I know that not everyone can or wants to do this, but I do it so that I can have and read all the fluff and, anytime I need to talk rules, I have the book.


Fluff descriptions belong in the fluff. The function of rules text is to be as clear and concise as possible!

I agree totally. However, I think that having a fluff description and the rules there isn't bad if executed properly. There just needs to be a clear enough distinction, something like, 'The [Unit name] are know for [thing they are known for] and are rightly feared because if this. To represent this, they have the following [Unique Special Rule or USR's]:'

Just something that makes it very clear where the fluff stops and the rules begin.


The problem with USRs and creating unique units is that they are becoming so ubiquitous now that the devs are creating new Unique special rules to make them seem different. USRs were supposed to make the rules that might have been common across 3 codexs standardized have now seen those rules propagated across ALL the codexs. Fleet used to be in mostly 3 codexs(Eldar,D Eldar, Nids) but now I'm not sure there is a up-to-date codex that doesn't have at least one unit with it or a way to get it for the entire army.

So now because of that propagation we are seeing the exact thing that USRs were supposed to prevent. Lots of special purpose rules that are written slightly different between each codex because the units have to be unique...

The USR's being more ubiquitous doesn't reduce the unique nature of any other units in the game. Eldar/DEldar/'Nids still have Fleet army-wide (or close to it) and some armies have a unit or two with Fleet. This doesn't make it any less special for those three armies. And there would be no need to make up a new rule for a single unit that is similar to Fleet, but worded just differently enough that it isn't when Fleet would cover it.

If a rule is 'basically the same thing' as another rule and it serves the same purpose, well, it should have been the same thing as the already existing rule. In this case, we have the USR's to serve that purpose. They are in the Main Rulebook so that, when you show up with Army A and your opponent has new and unfamiliar-to-you Army 7, when he tells you what rules his units have, you already know what those rules are without having to read his codex.

SeaSwift
26-12-2010, 22:23
Hi all.
Just to point out 'special rules' are NOT necissary to allow special abilities in games.

This +infinity (and beyond).

Howling Banshees are one of the most specialised units in the game, but their Special Rules don't really add to this (except the Power Swords, if they count).

Striking Scorpions are also quite specialised - they are good against hordes because of their survivability, strength and number of attacks. But they will fail miserably against, say TEQs.

autarch dsaliuvid
27-12-2010, 04:47
This +infinity (and beyond).

Howling Banshees are one of the most specialised units in the game, but their Special Rules don't really add to this (except the Power Swords, if they count).

Striking Scorpions are also quite specialised - they are good against hordes because of their survivability, strength and number of attacks. But they will fail miserably against, say TEQs.

Except that banshees have the banshee mask (always has I10 the first turn of close combat regard less of cover,grenades or anything except for lash whips which just negates it ) and the exarch can upgrade to have counter charge or warshout (enemy takes a ld check in close combat if they fail their reduced to ws1)

Scorpions are better in that both the pieces equpment are just bonuses to characteristics and the exarch powers are just U.S.R's.

Lothlanathorian
27-12-2010, 22:26
Except that banshees have the banshee mask (always has I10 the first turn of close combat regard less of cover,grenades or anything except for lash whips which just negates it ) and the exarch can upgrade to have counter charge or warshout (enemy takes a ld check in close combat if they fail their reduced to ws1)

Scorpions are better in that both the pieces equpment are just bonuses to characteristics and the exarch powers are just U.S.R's.

Did they FAQ the Banshee Mask? If not, then they don't work like you think they do. Otherwise, I need to have a look at it.

Seismic
27-12-2010, 23:07
That's their army-wide rules. But the majority of characters and units have some form of unique special rule on top of any USRs that they may have. And space marines aren't even the worst. Try explaining to a player that hasn't faced them before all the special rules your average Tyranid army has.

I completely agree.

In my opinion USR should be the default method of creating unit entries (Though HQ , and HQ powers would be a debatable matter), I'm simply opposed to the idea that USR should be the basis for the entirety of a Codex.

The original post was made regarding the dislike of USR especially FNP & Furious charge. What the OP lacks is context, which is what I'm interested in. Some might be opposed to the proliferation of only a few USR (Something i sympathise with) , this could simply be resolved with adding a few more USR to the listing. Other opposes FnP as a army wide representation of Wbb, and that was my point; That even though USR are preferable in most instances, it is required that special rules be given to Armies as a whole. To quote my self: "Heroic intervention" on vanguards I have a problem with, but if it was an army wide speciality , then I'd be fine."

The problem here is that some are opposed to USR in the context of army wide defining traits. If Necrons are to be boiled down to FnP, Relentless and rending guns (If we're to believe the latest rumours) why then shouldn't Marines be Fearless as opposed to "And they shall know no fear" (Incidentally the definition of fearless) ?

Typically the answer is "Its iconic of Marines to have AtsknF" , and i agree. "Wbb" is also iconic of Necrons, "Synaptic creatures" & "Shadow in the warp" of Nid , "Waaagh" of Orks and so on and so forth. The real problem is making these special rules simple enough , and Wbb was a headache since day one.

The solution is to make , rules like those , easier ; Not discard them on a whim.

Lothlanathorian
28-12-2010, 00:22
Well, WBB is FnP with slightly different wording. Making it FnP would be making it clearer and easier to understand, which would fulfill what you are asking for :p. I, personally, think Phase Out was what make Necrons iconic (as it is used in BFG, also), but should be dropped entirely. Necrons need something better than WBB or PO to make them interesting.

autarch dsaliuvid
28-12-2010, 00:28
Did they FAQ the Banshee Mask? If not, then they don't work like you think they do. Otherwise, I need to have a look at it.

Well considering i almost copied the wording word for word from the banshee mask description(pg.31 eldar codex) I'm sure.

Lothlanathorian
28-12-2010, 00:56
Well considering i almost copied the wording word for word from the banshee mask description(pg.31 eldar codex) I'm sure.

I was thinking of these (http://www.warseer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=266438&highlight=banshee+mask) two (http://www.warseer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=237039) threads where an argument, by RaW, could be made in either direction. Nothing I've a vested interest in, either way.

And I've no interest in arguing the point or jacking this thread, just wanted to explain to you what I was thinking. At the end of the day, I am on your side here, anyways. Just have a compulsion to play Devil's Advocate and argue for the sake of it.:angel:

Thylacine
28-12-2010, 01:12
I think the USR's are great, however they are poorly written and allow unscrupulous players to twist the meanings of the rules, look for Easter Eggs or just attempt to interpret them in a way that suites their play.

There is no standardisation in the way the rules are written. Each rule needs a clear Title, all have that now. Then comes the Preamble, which may include some background fluff, this hints at what the writer had in mind and is more storyline than rule. Then comes the body of the rule, concisely written, it is the mechanics of the rule telling players how the rule works. This is followed by the Conditions or ending, telling players how the rule comes into play but not what it does as that would lead to conflict with the mechanics of the rule.

From memory only a couple of the USR's in 5th ed are written this way and one of those was abused because of poor wording at the start of 5th ed.

Seismic
28-12-2010, 01:14
Making it FnP would be making it clearer and easier to understand, which would fulfill what you are asking for :p.

Clearly then , you don't understand what I'm asking for: I do not want USR to be defining army traits.

Fearless would also provide an easier way to define Space marine. Seeing how Marines do not know fear (AtsknF) , they are "Fearless". However since "AtsknF" is an accessible rule, iconic and reasonable in terms of game play, i see no problem in it being an army wide rule. Same goes for all the rest of the army wide traits.

Moreover, having only a few USR as the lynch pin of a book makes it vulnerable to the reformulating of rules in the core edition. I won't go through the details , ill point to my earlier post regarding this if you're interested in that. Its an undeniable fact that a one trick pony will die if its hit over the head with a nerf bat.

What is iconic of Necrons ought to be a matter for an other tread.

Ed the Dead
28-12-2010, 02:00
I hate this trend with universal special rules. It feels like a complete cop out in my opinion. Not only does it strip unit of their individuality, it also allows us as gamers to be lazy. Where I play, everyone is required to know any rule they play. If I use a unique fnp like we'll be back, I am supposed to know how it works in almost all situations.
This way an opponent just has to ask "what does it do" and I can explain it. Because we operate like this, we have almost never had a problem with any unique rules. Even when questions have come up about certain special rules, we know the rules we use well enough to point out where in the type their questions answer lies.
Example: someone tried to say we'll be back was negated by ap 2/1 weapons. I knew exactly where the "what negated we'll be back" part was and simply showed him that it didn't

Lothlanathorian
28-12-2010, 04:33
This way an opponent just has to ask "what does it do" and I can explain it.

And what if you lie? Or try to bend the wording? And your opponent, the poor sap who is foolish to not only not play your army, but to not know your army's rules, is none the wiser? With USR's, the rules are the same, fair and balanced across the board. If you say 'I have FnP', he'll know. If you say, 'I have, "Sorry chum, but we aren't quite dead yet, give a fellow a hand up, would you?,"' then he says, 'Wait, what does that do?,' and then you explain by saying, '[epic, yet believable lie]', well, how's he going to know any better? Now, just to be clear, I am not saying that you would do this, I am saying that [i]someone[i/] would were the potential there for it.

@Seismic: I get what you meant, I was being a bit cheeky.

Seismic
28-12-2010, 04:47
@Seismic: I get what you meant, I was being a bit cheeky.

My apologies.

Lothlanathorian
28-12-2010, 05:39
My apologies.

No worries, this is the internet, it happens lol. We need a 'cheeky git' smilie lol.

Laughingmonk
28-12-2010, 07:40
I have no problems with USR's. I DO however have a problem with adding rules with similar purpose but very different application.

Take blood claws for instance. They have bezerk charge, which gives them +2 bonus attacks, due to their, well, bezerkerness. They also MUST assault when within 6" (as if you wouldn't, as if it is somehow a great and binding disadvantage...).

Why not just give them furious charge? That's what the rule is there for. Instead, we get a unique version essentially of a rule that is already in place.

Why do hormagaunts have a super run ability? Why not just have them move like beasts? Tyranids are actually pretty big offenders in this category. Carnifexes shouldn't have "Living battering ram." Simply giving them a slight initiative boost and furious charge off the bat would've been just fine.

Why do carnifexes even have the option for poison (it's a downgrade)? I know this one's a little OT, but I think literally worthless options should not see print. I always have this vision of a carnifex delivering an apocalyptic charge, flipping over land raiders and demolishing buildings to get at you, and then delicately pricking you with one of it's vast talons and then running off. A waste of ink.

Trygon tunnels and lictor pheromone trails are also fairly worthless, yet they add more needless rules to the game. The pyrovore is the worst, with a half page of one off, fairly insignificant rules and a power weapon on a unit that can't really make use of it.



Of all of the books, I think the Eldar one struck the best balance. It used USR's to give a lot of character to many units in decently logical ways. They added character. Granted, I'm not saying it's perfect, it's not. But the rules that were there were fairly clear, and significantly altered the way a unit is used. More importantly, it used USR's whenever it could.


Really, it's just the addition of odd rules here and there for no real reason, especially when they have little or no effect on the game. Or, when you could easily use a USR instead of making yet another rule.

I take no issue with rules when they significantly alter the way a unit functions. Eldar rangers make use of their special rules. As do SM vets of both types. It makes them an interesting part of the army list. But I see no reason why pyrovores should have a paragraph explaining how they can weakly explode half the time when struck by certain very powerful weapons. Perhaps they should've used the ink clarifying rules that already existed within the codex, like how certain abilities interact with troops in vehicles. Just sayin'...

-Loki-
28-12-2010, 08:48
Why do hormagaunts have a super run ability? Why not just have them move like beasts? Tyranids are actually pretty big offenders in this category. Carnifexes shouldn't have "Living battering ram." Simply giving them a slight initiative boost and furious charge off the bat would've been just fine.

Why do carnifexes even have the option for poison (it's a downgrade)? I know this one's a little OT, but I think literally worthless options should not see print. I always have this vision of a carnifex delivering an apocalyptic charge, flipping over land raiders and demolishing buildings to get at you, and then delicately pricking you with one of it's vast talons and then running off. A waste of ink.

Trygon tunnels and lictor pheromone trails are also fairly worthless, yet they add more needless rules to the game. The pyrovore is the worst, with a half page of one off, fairly insignificant rules and a power weapon on a unit that can't really make use of it.

The Tyranid codex isn't a fair example of this, since it's clearly an unfinished book. Another few passes of editing probably would have ironed a lot of that out.

Aliarzathanil
28-12-2010, 11:36
My problem with the USRs is when they use one instead of something cleaner, like a stat bump. Why can't Death Company be toughness five? It would make them more resistant to small arms but not require a single "special" rule. I don't see the problem. In fact, most FnP units could probably work with a toughness bump instead.

Bunnahabhain
28-12-2010, 12:06
I like USRS.

I like USRS more when they are Formulated something like this:
USRs: Stealth, Move through cover, Infiltrate
The long experience the Catachan rangers have with camouflage and moving through dense terrain from growing up on a death world, and more fighting than most Guardsmen ever see makes them experts at hiding- those that are not are long dead.

so it is clear what USRS the unit has, and the explanatory fluff is clearly separated.

I don't like special rules that are near duplicates of existing USRS.

Any special rules that are simple stat bumps should included in the profile to begin with, i.e
Super Orky Bionics The bionic enhancements make the unit almost impervious to harm. They gain +2 toughness and a 5+ invulnerable save ( already included on profile)

Army wide special rules are fine, so long as they are kept simple and functional. ATSKNF is a fine rule. WBB has always stunk.

Of course, in a better rules system, far fewer special rules would be needed, as you could do more with the stat systems....

Ed the Dead
28-12-2010, 17:32
And what if you lie? Or try to bend the wording? And your opponent, the poor sap who is foolish to not only not play your army, but to not know your army's rules, is none the wiser? With USR's, the rules are the same, fair and balanced across the board. If you say 'I have FnP', he'll know. If you say, 'I have, "Sorry chum, but we aren't quite dead yet, give a fellow a hand up, would you?,"' then he says, 'Wait, what does that do?,' and then you explain by saying, '[epic, yet believable lie]', well, how's he going to know any better? Now, just to be clear, I am not saying that you would do this, I am saying that [i]someone[i/] would were the potential there for it.

No one army is played by one individual. Someone has played almost every army in the past. If anyone tried to pull such things, he would get blacklisted by anyone that won't politely curbstomp them for their indiscretions. Don't mistake this for being a new player. We have done such things in the past and its how we keep problems like this unsportsmenlike act out of our gaming shop.
.

Lothlanathorian
28-12-2010, 21:59
No one army is played by one individual. Someone has played almost every army in the past. If anyone tried to pull such things, he would get blacklisted by anyone that won't politely curbstomp them for their indiscretions. Don't mistake this for being a new player. We have done such things in the past and its how we keep problems like this unsportsmenlike act out of our gaming shop.
.

Well, it's so wonderful then that, as you have clearly shown, every game shop/group is just like yours:rolleyes:

Lord Inquisitor
29-12-2010, 04:32
The original post was made regarding the dislike of USR especially FNP & Furious charge. What the OP lacks is context, which is what I'm interested in. Some might be opposed to the proliferation of only a few USR (Something i sympathise with) , this could simply be resolved with adding a few more USR to the listing. Other opposes FnP as a army wide representation of Wbb, and that was my point; That even though USR are preferable in most instances, it is required that special rules be given to Armies as a whole. To quote my self: "Heroic intervention" on vanguards I have a problem with, but if it was an army wide speciality , then I'd be fine."
I agree with this to an extent. I am okay with necessary army-wide rules, much better than unique unit special rules, which should be done via profiles and USRs unless absolutely necessary. That said, if an army-wide rule can be adequately represented by a USR, then use the USR! WBB can be replaced almost without any change to game mechanics with FnP, then use FnP! Equally, army-wide special rules for the sake of it annoy me too. Why do Space Marines have "combat tactics"? Are Space Marines really epitomised by running away to the point that a unique special rule was needed?

However, the OP was talking about the proliferation of special rules. Now while I would much prefer a simpler set of mechanics and USRs are generally preferable to unique rules, the situation we have now is the majority of units in any of the 5ed codecies have unique special rules AND there is a proliferation of USRs, to the point where terminators can have fleet, guardsmen furious charge, stubborn or counter-attack by being in proximity to an inspiring individual ... thus these abilities just represent trying a bit harder rather than some kind of superhuman reflexes or suchlike. Not to mention the fact that Imperial Guard unaugmented humans can move, shoot, run and assault (providing ordered to do so, of course), really leaves those lightning-quick aliens like genestealers or eldar wondering why they got beaten in the 100-yard dash by a human who can do it while shooting... Fleet doesn't seem that "special" when there is Fleet +1 out there, made even worse by the fact that it's basic humans that get it.

Hellebore
29-12-2010, 05:07
I also find USR proliferation to be somewhat of a lazy solution to game mechanic problems.

The DE are a good example. AP and T3 mean the DE are extremely fragile. However there are no real core rules that advantage fragile units. The background says eldar give up bulky armour to use speed as protection yet the rules provide absolutely NO way for this to happen. So what you end up with is weak and fragile units with.... no upside.

So the DE got an ability that every unit can have, where they ignore 50% of hits AFTER saves are made. So because the core rules don't allow for hard to hit fragile units, they get lumped with a USR and a contrived justification.

When the game starts relying on USR shortcuts to plug holes I think it's lost its way.

Many USRs would be made moot if the core rules were a little more detailed than the current binary yes/no division. USRs in this context are addons to get around a binary condition, rather than simply not using a binary condition in the first place.

If weapons did multiple wounds you do away with Instant Death, Eternal Warrior and special rules that negate EW by 'removing' models instead. Instead a powerful weapon does D3 wounds, so anything with 4+ wounds can't be IDed by it and so on.

USRs should be augmentations to the rules, not replacement for deficiencies within the rules.

Hellebore

Lord Inquisitor
29-12-2010, 05:20
Or, indeed, do away with Instant Death altogether. It serves as an arbitrary weakness for certain units, yet, because it is a weakness, most instant-killable units become liabilities. Therefore, most instant-killable units get Eternal Warrior (daemon prince, most special characters, all daemons, formerly synapse, etc) or have their toughness boosted (e.g. ogryns) to make them workable. It makes costing multi-wound units difficult, as say tyranid warriors are quite resistant to small arms with three wounds apiece, but vanish if a leman russ looks at them funny.

Put simply, Instant Death has always been a wonky mechanic, and it's simply never worked. Multi-wound models are largely immune to ID, either via army wide rules, eternal warrior or simply by virtue of a high toughness.

Take it away and what happens to the game? Nothing. A few HQ unit become more viable in comparison with their special character counterparts and a few under-used units get a bit better. You don't even need to bring back multiple wounds on heavy weapons, it's also clumsy. Just do away with the whole idea altogether and the game gets a bit more streamlined and better balanced for no real loss in detail, just removes a mechanic that never worked in the first place.

Meriwether
29-12-2010, 05:30
I would prefer to see the game keep Instant Death but get rid of Eternal Warrior. (And Fearless. Especially Fearless.)

Hellebore
29-12-2010, 05:33
What it would do is change the effectiveness of high strength weapons. Because the minimum to wound roll is 2+, a powerfist becomes useless compared to a relic blade or similar strength enhancing power weapon as I1 was the 'balance' against its near universal ID ability.

Not that I'm adverse to that.

IMO the relic blade was a dirty way to get most of the bonuses of a powerfist (2+ to wound against virtually everything) without the crippling I1. I would prefer it if ID was dropped and power fists became S+2 power weapons that maybe dropped your I by 1 or 2 (or halved it).

In the current game though, ID has proliferated as a separate special rule, ignoring Strength, which means you don't need a S8 weapon to ID most things.

As for ID vulnerability there are quite a lot of them:

All eldar characters except Phoenix Lords can be IDed
All Guard barring Yarrick
All Inquisitors
All Marine characters except Calgar, Lysander, Grimnar and space wolves with saga of the bear
All Chaos except Abaddon
All large nid creatures can be IDed so long as it isn't reliant on Strength.
All ork characters except thraka
All Tau characters

The biggest proliferation of EW was in special characters but the majority of normal characters are vulnerable to ID. That this encourages people to use special characters is symptomatic of the problems of special characters in the first place IMO.

Hellebore

ForgottenLore
29-12-2010, 05:58
As for ID vulnerability there are quite a lot of them:


You forgot Tau Crisis suits.

TheMav80
29-12-2010, 06:26
Not all Ork characters. Thraka has EW.

lanrak
29-12-2010, 10:00
Hi all.
I agree with Bunnhabinn.
But what he suggests IS special abilities without seperate 'special rules'...

Eg 'Special abilities' can ignore penalties,or allow a reroll, or alter up to 2 characteristics.
(They DO NOT alter the basic interaction of the game like 'lash of torment' and 'Lance weapons' for example.)

For example re introducing a movement stat and a movement type would allow a comparatively massive amount of detail in the units performance on the games table, without ANY special rules.
Maybe just 3 special movement abilities...

1) Amphibiuos,(counts water features as open ground.)
2)Difficult terrain mod,(counts rubble and lt woods as open ground.)
3) Jump Jets, (Allow unit to jump over terrain.With defined restriction.)

And if the rules for special abilities are listed as..

Name -Effect.
Furiuos Charge-The unit adds +1 to Initiative and Strenght when 'Chargeing'.

Infiltrate- The unit ignores restrictions for setting up apart from 'enemy LOS'.

Improved vision/Acute senses - The unit can re roll 'to see' rolls.

Scout- The unit may take an additional 'movement action' 'BEFORE turn 1'.

Stealth - The unit gains + 1 to 'cover saves.'

(Using amore apropriate rules would reduce the number of 'special abilities' required.)

Coupled with a 'glossary'. Would result in better definition.

And why not just list ALL special abilities in the main rule book?

In a similar way to WHFB magic items?

So just rules and special abilities,that dont confuse or conflict.

But that might result in a well defined, balanced tactical wargame.
And no one wants that, do they? :evilgrin:

TTFN

jt.glass
29-12-2010, 11:45
I like USRS.

I like USRS more when they are Formulated something like this:
USRs: Stealth, Move through cover, Infiltrate
The long experience the Catachan rangers have with camouflage and moving through dense terrain from growing up on a death world, and more fighting than most Guardsmen ever see makes them experts at hiding- those that are not are long dead.


I also find USR proliferation to be somewhat of a lazy solution to game mechanic problems.

I agree with almost everything Bunnhabhain and Hellebore have said, including the bits I snipped (except that I don't think WBB is too bad...although I would change it if I were writing the new 'cron 'dex).

EDIT: Re the fast-but-fragile thing, what if shooting was BS vs I, similar to CC being WS vs WS?


jt.

Ivellis
29-12-2010, 14:07
I really dislike how a unit that is good at combat now instantly gets furious charge. Or if it's hard to kill, FNP.

Isn't it strange how WFB has less special rules and less unique weapons, but still feels like it has more flavour to me?

That's one thing nice about WFB, most of this is reflected in the profiles. It would feel a lot more flavourful if some of those FC units had +1WS, or +1S, while others had +1A, or still others had +1I. While those FNP units could get +1T, or +1W or even an invulnerable save.

On a side note, all these movement types are a lot more complicated then just having a movement stat, it's silly.

ForgottenLore
29-12-2010, 17:24
EDIT: Re the fast-but-fragile thing, what if shooting was BS vs I, similar to CC being WS vs WS?

I'm not sure BS vs I would work, maybe but it conveys the feeling of dodging bullets and laser beams.

On the other hand I have suggested in a couple threads that the game needs to add an Evasion stat to be opposed to BS. Such a stat could deal with a target being hard to hit because of cover, stealth and/or speed and basically condense several "special" rules into a single stat.

Seismic
29-12-2010, 21:40
That said, if an army-wide rule can be adequately represented by a USR, then use the USR!

As I've explain earlier , an army who's basis rely heavily on USR is far more susceptible to subsequent readjustment of that USR in the Core edition.

For instance, imagine that GW made a mistake and printed 2 version of the Necron codex; One with FnP , the other with a revised Wbb. They're both identical in every way ,except that where one uses FnP, the other uses Wbb. Gw says both are valid and players should be free to choose either one at their discretion. A few months later the 6th edition comes out with a nerf FnP : 5+. Which of the 2 codices will players use? The Wbb of course, and since the codex was internally balance with a wound negating mechanism giving a 50% chance of survival, the Wbb codex will offer more builds, more strategies and so on.

Now if you want to debate this point further, I'm more than prepared to do so.


Why do Space Marines have "combat tactics"? Are Space Marines really epitomised by running away to the point that a unique special rule was needed?

I'm no fluff centred person by any stretch, however Ultramarines , I've been told, are the best Tactician (Or have in their ranks) than any other founding. The "running away" part is , I find, of great strategic value; It requires some planning and luck of the dice, but the net effect is a more intricate use of AtsknF, SA, movement speeds and penalties , LoS.

It fits my criteria of a needed rule, in the sense that it adds character to a Codex, isn't Op , and easy to understand/communicate. mechanically speaking, it also serves as a mean to add "Sub chapters" in the book through "replacing" combat tactics with something else provided by an HQ.

Though "a needed rule" is a slippery slop since one can create an argument against all rules until a game is own or lost with only 1 die.


However, the OP was talking about the proliferation of special rules.

Proliferation and how people complained about that. I'm simply adding context to the original post.


Now while I would much prefer a simpler set of mechanics and USRs are generally preferable to unique rules, the situation we have now is ... [snip]... Fleet doesn't seem that "special" when there is Fleet +1 out there, made even worse by the fact that it's basic humans that get it.

Yes it can get mechanically silly sometimes. Paradoxically i don't see how you could make the game more "realistic" (If that's what you're aiming for) unless you went with additional , or more complicated rules (I might change my mind on this , I've re-read lanrak's post and I am intrigued) . On the other hand I never thought the tabletop setting was meant to be taken literally.

Edit; As a side note, perhaps to put thing more in perspective, I believe a 2-3 unique rule for a codex is acceptable, as long as it is easy to communicate and aren't op. With probably some additional special rule if we're to consider things like wargear and psychic powers as rules .

lanrak
29-12-2010, 23:01
Hi Seismic.
If you select the game mechanics and resolution methods that are the best fit for the intended game play.
You arrive at far more intiutive and efficient rule sets.

40k is still using WHFB game mechanics that have not been the best for the game since 1998.
And it NEEDS the special rules to cover the game play the basic rules dont cover.
And the basic rules cover so little , 40k needs a lot of special rules!
(It has to include 20 pages of USRs and seperate vehicle rules to make the game worth playing!:eek:)

Most game systems I play have far more detail with far fewer pages of written rules than 40k.
Because they use ONE resolution methods for ALL units.

As an execise I wrote a new rules set suitable for 40k using modern game mechanics.(Not 30 year old Napoleonic ones .The ones Rick Priestly refers to as '...oldfashioned and clunky...':eek:)

Its only 14 pages, but covers all the basic interaction of 40k and allows for more detailed command and control and moral states to be represented.

And not ONE special rule ...:D

TTFN

insectum7
30-12-2010, 00:14
The DE are a good example. AP and T3 mean the DE are extremely fragile. However there are no real core rules that advantage fragile units. The background says eldar give up bulky armour to use speed as protection yet the rules provide absolutely NO way for this to happen. So what you end up with is weak and fragile units with.... no upside.


Without introducing new rules, I think the way to portray the Eldar "philosophy" has correctly been to have lots of fast vehicle and troop options, more assault-type weapons than other races, along with higher initiative. Then balance it out by having a lower point cost for their basic guys, because they're fragile. The existing core rule provide plenty of wiggle-room for diversity. Both Eldar and DE Codexes do a pretty good job at this at their foundation.

I too don't like the overabundance of FnP and other special abilities added on top however.



USRs should be augmentations to the rules, not replacement for deficiencies within the rules.

Yeah I agree, I don't think the rules are particularly deficient though, I think codex writing is more to blame.




If weapons did multiple wounds you do away with Instant Death, Eternal Warrior and special rules that negate EW by 'removing' models instead. Instead a powerful weapon does D3 wounds, so anything with 4+ wounds can't be IDed by it and so on.




Put simply, Instant Death has always been a wonky mechanic, and it's simply never worked. Multi-wound models are largely immune to ID, either via army wide rules, eternal warrior or simply by virtue of a high toughness.


I don't agree, I like the ID rule and I like the fact that a Powerfist or Meltagun retains a serious threat vs. most characters. The threat of ID to a Chaos Lord or other target is plenty useful and a fairly elegant mechanic. There's also not an overabundance of multi-wound squads, except in the Tyranid army. I preferred their old rule where Synapse made them immune to ID as a stopgap to blazing down Warriors as well.

I think the notion of adding a variable number of wounds is unnecessary.

Also, about the Powerfist possibly being S+2, I'm not a big fan. The stats of it now function as a great tradeoff between striking earlier in CC, and straight hitting power. The Marine Powerfist S 8 is a crucial stat for capabilities against Carnifexes, Greater Demons, Avatars, Wraithlords and almost all vehicles, as well as that threat to instant-killable characters.

I admit the Relic Blade is an odd weapon, sitting between Lightning Claws and Powerfists. It's only available to a tiny fraction of units though, so I hardly give it thought.


I would prefer to see the game keep Instant Death but get rid of Eternal Warrior. (And Fearless. Especially Fearless.)



For example re introducing a movement stat and a movement type would allow a comparatively massive amount of detail in the units performance on the games table, without ANY special rules.


I really don't think a move stat is necessary. Fast stuff is Fleet, faster stuff is Beast, Bike, Vehicle or Jump, and each type already has nice rules about how they differ in functionality regarding assaults and terrain. I think it's pretty clean.

Again I fault Codexes rather than core rules. Why do blood Angels have access to so many fast tanks? Who knows. Poor army design in my opinion.



I'm no fluff centred person by any stretch, however Ultramarines , I've been told, are the best Tactician (Or have in their ranks) than any other founding. The "running away" part is , I find, of great strategic value; It requires some planning and luck of the dice, but the net effect is a more intricate use of AtsknF, SA, movement speeds and penalties , LoS.

It fits my criteria of a needed rule, in the sense that it adds character to a Codex, isn't Op , and easy to understand/communicate. mechanically speaking, it also serves as a mean to add "Sub chapters" in the book through "replacing" combat tactics with something else provided by an HQ.


I agree. It's a very cool special rule, and much more about how the army works and much less power-stat-increases. Again, I also preferred 4th ed. Synapse, and when Fleet was a little more special to Eldar. For what it's worth, I really like WBB. It's a bit sticky in places, and it didn't age well in 5th, but it really has an effect on how Necrons are played in ways that I feel are suitably different than FnP, and much in character.

I short, I feel that USRs are great to be able to add to a unit as a bonus to well written one or two Army Special Rules. But it's up to the Codex authors to keep it under control.

Hellebore
30-12-2010, 00:32
I'm not sure BS vs I would work, maybe but it conveys the feeling of dodging bullets and laser beams.

On the other hand I have suggested in a couple threads that the game needs to add an Evasion stat to be opposed to BS. Such a stat could deal with a target being hard to hit because of cover, stealth and/or speed and basically condense several "special" rules into a single stat.


EDIT: Re the fast-but-fragile thing, what if shooting was BS vs I, similar to CC being WS vs WS?

jt.

This is what I've done in my own d10 rules, although the definition of Initiative in the game is changed to avoid producing the image ForgottenLore suggests above.

Initative is your combat awareness and reaction timing. It determines whether you strike first in melee and how difficult it is for your opponent to shoot you. nb, you make an initative test in melee to determine who strikes first - I vs I just like S vs T. Thus being a low initiative creature doesn't produce 100% chance of striking last, just as having a lower strength doesn't produce a 100% failure to wound.

Hellebore

lanrak
30-12-2010, 13:50
Hi Hellebore.
How many special rules do you have in your rule set?
NOT special abilites but special rules 'tagged on' to make the game fun to play?
Not many I bet.;)

insectum 7.
So you prefer memorising 14 pages of rules covering movement , as oposed to just 2 pages of rules?

Why do you prefer reading pages of rules more than playing a game?

Lots of people think USRs are a good thing.
Because without them 40k basic rules would deliver a VERY dull game.

However using a different rule set would allow a MUCH BETTER game without special rules.(In reguards to detailed interaction to pages of rules ratio.)

Special rules (includuing USRs ) are just patches to get WHFB game mechanics to work in the 40k game.
And as there are more patches than rules , perhaps its time to look at changing the core rules?

TTFN

Meriwether
30-12-2010, 14:12
Lanrak, did you ever look at the pre-beta wargame I, Romish, and Wrathmaur came up with?

Universal rules for everyone, very dynamic and interesting game (we thought... It still needs some tweaking.)

Xandros
31-12-2010, 12:25
I also find USR proliferation to be somewhat of a lazy solution to game mechanic problems.

The DE are a good example. AP and T3 mean the DE are extremely fragile. However there are no real core rules that advantage fragile units. The background says eldar give up bulky armour to use speed as protection yet the rules provide absolutely NO way for this to happen. So what you end up with is weak and fragile units with.... no upside.

So the DE got an ability that every unit can have, where they ignore 50% of hits AFTER saves are made. So because the core rules don't allow for hard to hit fragile units, they get lumped with a USR and a contrived justification.

When the game starts relying on USR shortcuts to plug holes I think it's lost its way.

Many USRs would be made moot if the core rules were a little more detailed than the current binary yes/no division. USRs in this context are addons to get around a binary condition, rather than simply not using a binary condition in the first place.

If weapons did multiple wounds you do away with Instant Death, Eternal Warrior and special rules that negate EW by 'removing' models instead. Instead a powerful weapon does D3 wounds, so anything with 4+ wounds can't be IDed by it and so on.

USRs should be augmentations to the rules, not replacement for deficiencies within the rules.

Hellebore

Eldar do have greater survivability through their weapons, mobility et cetera. This is called tactics. Soaring through the skies as opposed to burrowing through the earth. Whether it's perfectly executed in the current codex does not form the basis of an argument.

lanrak
31-12-2010, 15:07
Hi Meriwether,
Universal rules and special abilities are my favorite things in rule sets!
(Universal special rules are the least favorite thing.:evilgrin:)

Have you got a link to your beta wargame? I would like to have a read of it!

Xandros..
'Eldar do have greater survivability through their weapons, mobility et cetera.'

However a slight correction is in order.
This is called 'combat ability'.And a GOOD rules set allows each armies individual combat abilities to be represented in a straight forward and intuitive way.
This allows 'in game tactics' in the game play.

40ks basic rules fails to achive this, and its special rules and USRs only serve to complicate the basic rules and allow an abstract and contrived fraction of the tactical interaction found in other more straight forward rules.

40k is written from the stand point of selling minatures.
Thats why it has so many 'artificual' unit types.Every slight difference promotes a different class of unit.And the special rules are supposed to inspire short term interest-sales of minatures.

From a game play point of view 40k has 2 types of unit.

1)Those that remove minatures to show physical damage.(standard 1 wound models in infantry trype units.)

2)Those that have abilities reduce without models being removed.(Vehicles and multi wound creatures.)

How a unit manouvres across the battle field is ONE of the prime factors of warfare.
Yet 40k has NO characteristic dedicated to this.
But has HALF of its characteristics dedicated to close combat...in a game where 95% of all units carry ranged weapons....:rolleyes:

I like the background and asthetics of the 40k universe.

But the rule set is SO complicated and abstract , for the simple game play it delivers.
I can not understand why so many poeple try to defend it from objective and constructive critique?

An alternative rule set could deliver the depth and variety of interaction that the 40k background indicates.
But the WHFB game mechanics are never going to.

This is what irks me , I suppose.
I see the FULL potential of the 40k universe, and how far short the current 40k rules fall...

TTFN

Meriwether
31-12-2010, 16:27
Here you go!

lanrak
31-12-2010, 21:18
Hi Meriwether.
I do like the basic concepts and the amount of detail.
However , it would benifit from some streamlining perhaps?

It appears to be '...this bit and that bit plus these bits , all put together...'

Perhaps if you sarted with the end game play then worked out the quickest way to ge there?
For example the idea of allowing lots of different actions to be taken by units in a game turn is a very good one.

But why not list the actions ,and allow units to take a set of 2.
If actions are :-

Move , Attack, Ready.
This gives sets of 2 actions ,(or orders.)

Advance.Move then Shoot.

Creep. Ready then Move.(Unit gains stealth bonus.)

Double . Move then Move.

Evade. Attack then Move.

Full support Ready then Attack( Unit gains maximum effect from ALL weapons)

The the players could simply put an order counter next to the unit at the start of the turn.(Face down)

If all weapons have the same profile,(ranged and melee).
And a units weapons profile is specific to that unit.

Effective range,
No of hits/Area of effect,
Damage ,
Bonus damage.

Why do we need to differentiate between range and close combat attacks ?

As the skill of the unit can be DIRECTLY REPRESENTED in the weapon profile, if each unit has its own weapon profile that is .

(A 'unit reference card' would make in game 'checking up ' alot easier IMO.)

I have written a basic outline for a new rule set.It has some newer mechanics and resolution methods.

I have attached the latest copy.It NEEDS refining and detailing.
But maybe some of the basic ideas may be useful to you?


TTFN

Dead7
31-12-2010, 21:29
But why not list the actions ,and allow units to take a set of 2.
If actions are...


sory if im missing stuff cuz i didnt read those pdfs :P, but that system seems like it would really slow the game down. i think our current system has a good premise, but needs a bit of work on the details. stuff like bs vs i for shooting, movement values, and a bs mod cover system.

on the topic of melee vs shooting attacks; i think melee does need to be treated differently, when you are in close combat it is hard to disengage and large weapons become unuseable. i think the system we have now works pretty well for cc, although it could probably use some tweaks.

one big problem with the ideas i stated in the first paragraph is that it would destroy the points balance we currently have in the codexes, and we would be missing parts of the profiles. this means that if 6th changed that everyone would have to deal with rule book 'dexs for a while. although, now that i think about it, at least they would probably be fairly balanced, and hopefully the team could balance new codexes against those to stop power creep. although thats probably not going to happen.

Meriwether
31-12-2010, 21:53
Dead7, we've sort of side-tracked into homebrew systems. We aren't looking at a modification of 40K at this point.

lanrak
01-01-2011, 11:23
Hi again.
Meriwether is right.My outline was for a new rule set to cover a 40k game.
(Assuming the end gameplay is a straightforward modern tactical simulation.)

If we shift the resolution to the unit level we REDUCE the time taken , and can add MORE DETAILED UNIT INTERACTION.
(And allow characters to be come more than 2 dimentional close combat monsters..;))

So the unit stats and special abilities actualy mean something in game!

When Alessio Calvatore freed himself from the sole use of WHFB game mechanics , he managed to write Kings Of War in just 12 pages of rules....Rather than 100 pages+.:eek:

I am confident a 40k re-write from the ground up would result in a similar reduction in 'pages of obscurification'.

EG damage resolution .
All weapons inflict damage.(Damage Rating DR)
All armour-resistance to damage reduces the effects of weapon damage.(AR)

Therfore DR- AR = saving roll required.

If AR is given a range of 1 to 15.
And DR is given a range of 5 to 15.
(Special weapon bonus damage of D'X' for armour pen or supression in some weapons.)

In 40k terms, the armour save -AV-inv save is rolled into ONE scalable value .
And used to modify the weapon str, to give the saving throw required.

One resolution method applied to ALL units.
This way the scalble results NATURALY gives 'invunerablity','Instant death', 'Pinned'etc, results without any special rules required.:eek:

This coupled with movement value and type reduce the need for most USRs and the seperate vehilce rules.

GW look for every slight difference and magnify it with restrictive rules, to make minatures the focus of 40k.(As they are'... in the buisness of selling toy soldiers to kiddies...' Tom Kirby.)

Where as, when you focus on the game play , you look for ways to cover everything in a similar way to get more game play in the rules.

And with more gameplay , you end up with the diversity you need to let individuals shine...
Current 40k makes 'Commisar Yarrick' a close combat thug, the same as all characters tend to be.
Because the rules are too restricted to let him be a tactical genuis:cries:.

Sorry about the over long post.
And the straying into game development.

But I would like to prove USRs and special rules are NOT required if the core rules are good enough.

As many only have experiance of 40k, and without special rules and USRs 40k core rules fail to deliver a good game.
This may be why they belive the abstract and over complication they bring is a good thing?

TTFN

Egaeus
02-01-2011, 08:06
I know that I'm coming late into the discussion, but here is my take:

Back when they redid the game for 3rd edition they created a basic "core" system and then used the Codexes to add nifty special rules as additions to those rules (as this is when I started with the game I can't really comment on the second edition rules). In the beginning each army had its own "special rules" that allowed it to do things other armies couldn't.

But there are a lot of armies and only so much one can do with the limited system that is 40K. So as more and more armies came out some rules got co-opted into other armies, either because it was a decent rule that fit with the army (for example things like "Fleet" that aren't uniquely Eldar) or, possibly that the designers were being lazy and didn't want to come up with something new and different. Of course, being GW they couldn't look at their existing work to see how things were written out and thus had to go on memory of exactly how some rules were worded, and thus we got rules with the same name but slightly different wording. :p

Now since these rules were becoming more and more common among the books they decided to lump them together in the rulebook and call them "Universal Special Rules" and make sure that, mostly, they were worded and worked the same across all armies. Of course there is still the desire to make each army unique from the others so that is no limit on the amount of "Special Rules" that are created. So it won't be until next edition that we find out what other previously-specific rules are now "Universal".

My stance on this is that they really just ought to do away with the whole section and simply include the appropriate rules in their proper sections of the rulebook as "special case" rules. They can still have names, they can still be "special", but they aren't a "seperate" part of the rulebook. For example, "Counterattack", "Furious Charge", "Hit & Run" and "Preferred Enemy" are all detailed as special case rules in the chapter on Assault. Now this does mean that a few rules will show up in multiple places (such as Rage) but I think it would make a much more streamlined book.


Take blood claws for instance. They have bezerk charge, which gives them +2 bonus attacks, due to their, well, bezerkerness. They also MUST assault when within 6" (as if you wouldn't, as if it is somehow a great and binding disadvantage...).

Why not just give them furious charge? That's what the rule is there for. Instead, we get a unique version essentially of a rule that is already in place.

Why do hormagaunts have a super run ability? Why not just have them move like beasts? Tyranids are actually pretty big offenders in this category. Carnifexes shouldn't have "Living battering ram." Simply giving them a slight initiative boost and furious charge off the bat would've been just fine.

Just to address these specifcially:

I would suggest that for Blood Claws it's because they had "Berserk Charge" from when their original 3rd Edition Mini-dex was published (I have no clue about their status in 2nd Edition). To me it's more the fact that "Berserk Charge" wasn't seen as significant enough a rule to merit becoming a USR rather than a proliferation of special rules for special rules' sake. That is, they aren't creating new rules, simply reusing existing rules. Now I would say that it's a very fair question of whether or not they could simply do with "Furious Charge" to streamline them.

For Hormagaunts specifically, the issue is that if they were left as "beasts" they would be prohibited from moving to the upper levels of a ruins. Perhaps a minor quibble for some, for others it is a significant issue because they are otherwise essentially a basic infantry unit. I won't go any further into what I consider a travesty of codex.


I also find USR proliferation to be somewhat of a lazy solution to game mechanic problems.
<snip>
When the game starts relying on USR shortcuts to plug holes I think it's lost its way.
<snip>
USRs should be augmentations to the rules, not replacement for deficiencies within the rules.

Hellebore

I'm not really sure whether I agree or disagree with this sentiment...my thoughts are that there are only so many mechanics tricks you can pull with the limited system. I think it's mostly in presentation that it becomes an issue...as I mentioned, if they weren't listed seperately as "special rules" but were simply "special case" rules that meshed with the core rules rather than appearing to go against them, then it wouldn't be as glaring an issue.

lanrak
02-01-2011, 09:37
Hi Egaeus.
I dont think anyone would disagree with your interpritation of how USRs were introduced into 40k .

Changing the name of USRs to something else is not going to solve the problem just camoflage it a bit.;)

40k would still have 'core rules', 'advanced combat rules', 'vehicle rules' and 'army special ability rules'. (Altering the names of USRs and special rules.)

Eg The core rules are STILL inadiquate to cover the game play, and so rely on THREE other ADDITIONAL sets of rules to get the job done!:eek:

Using a set of '...old fashioned and clunky...' game mechanics to justify using 'special rules' to help sell minatures is still NO justification in my opinion.
When the simpler option would be to use a different set of game mechanics and resolution methods to arrive at more game play with fewer pages of written rules.Which would promote 'soft' sales through 'word of mouth'..

Its down to GW corperate marketing ideals rather than the ability of the game devs.
GW is NOT developing 40k for gamers.But for its new prime demoghraphic.The 'Collectors' and people who think the rules are'... not that important...':mad:

I think the 40k background is inspiring.But the current 40k rules fall far too short on bringing it to the table top.

TTFN

jt.glass
02-01-2011, 11:30
-stuff-Excellent summary of how we got where we are, Egeus, but I'm not sure what scattering USRs throughout the book achieves apart from making them harder to look up.

IMO they should do the opposite, and put all Codex-specific special rules* in a nice simple Special Rules chapter in each codex (ditto army-specific wargear).


jt.

(* There should be fewer of these too, but there are still going to be some whatever chamges - ATSKNF isn't going anywhere).

Egaeus
02-01-2011, 21:49
Well, my take is that we already have plenty of "special rules" in the main rulebook, we just don't perceive them as such because of the way they are presented. For example, look at the chapter on Weapons or the page of rules for Special Close Combat Weapons. In essence each of these sections is an entire list of "special rules" because of the limited nature of the core game mechanics. I suppose in this sense I mean "core game mechanics" to be the d6 roll to determine hits, wounds, and saves...which I don't think anyone could disagree is going to be a very limiting system. So to a point I don't mind using "mechanics tricks" to allow for a wider variety of results in the game. Fixed rolls, re-rolls and ignoring rolls are all some of the basic tricks used in the game.

The fact that the chapter is seperate and titled "Universal Special Rules" just makes them appear that they are disconnected to rest of the system, but in my mind they really aren't. They are just special case rules for specific situations. So if I'm reading the chapter on Assault, why shouldn't the rules for Counterattack be right there in the Number of Attacks section? "+1 Assault Bonus: Engaged models who assaulted [or those who have the Counterattack rule and successfully pass their Leadership Test] get +1 Attack." Of course you have to add a section about how Special Rules are presented in the rules and make sure they are presented consistently, but then they are just "part of the rules".

lanrak
03-01-2011, 08:52
Hi Egaeus.
You are absolutly right.
If you include ALL the rules that go beyond the limited true 'CORE RULES'.
40k game play is made up exclusivley of a bunch of exceptions!:eek:

I misunderstood what you intended sorry.
You proposed lising all the exceptions to the Core rule set, in with the Core rules to make them appear more cohesive.

But this is the worst case senario from both stand pionts!

The rules are still overcomplicated and counterintuitive , delivering comparitivley simple game play.

BUT GW dont have a way to make the latest minature releases seem more 'special' by using the 'obviously added on special' rules.:eek:

The current 40k rule set is what you get when you allow (shortsighted)corperate marketing to lead game development.

'Make the minatures look and sound awsome so the kiddies/kiddies parents will buy them...the 'game play' whats that then?'

As the game mechanics are unsuitable, and the resolution methods too many, and exceptions too excessive.

Why are people so against a re-write of 40k?

I have a theory on this..
GW make 40k so overcomplicated with such simple game play, players get the impression that the same level of over complexity HAS to be used , and would result in having to learn loads more complicated rules before they could play.

And in the same way 40k is so abstract, that any notion of a 'simulation' seems to make players belive this would result in far more complicated and less fun game.

However, the truth is , a re write would allow the current game play of 40k be arrived at in a far more straight forward way.This would allow far more detail interaction and intuitive game play onto the 40k games table.

Liking USRs is similar to saying you like all the RSJs bracing bars and joists holding your shodily built house up.
Without them the house would fall down!:eek:

But I would like to say lots of houses stand fine on thier own ...so why say you like an 'unecissary complication' just because you have grown accustomed to them?

TTFN

insectum7
03-01-2011, 09:52
The rules are still overcomplicated...


Complexity is an illusion caused by lack of clear thinking. --your sig

The core rules, including the USRs (which I consider core) are not that complicated, and if they were more clearly written would be even less so.



Why are people so against a re-write of 40k?


Because we don't think it needs one.

It could be cleaned up in a few places, and some tweaks to balance in others (up for debate), but the foundation works and is pretty easy to understand.

@Egaeus I think that the way it is presented is very specific to the goal of starting games as fast as possible, which is potentially a major reason why they wouldn't include "counter-charge" (or similar) along with the assault rules. Putting the USRs later in the book streamlines the basic understanding of mechanics, before adding the exceptions. First understand the rules, then understand the fancy stuff.

Bunnahabhain
03-01-2011, 12:16
@Egaeus I think that the way it is presented is very specific to the goal of starting games as fast as possible, which is potentially a major reason why they wouldn't include "counter-charge" (or similar) along with the assault rules. Putting the USRs later in the book streamlines the basic understanding of mechanics, before adding the exceptions. First understand the rules, then understand the fancy stuff.

Better written rule, would make this entirely moot though.
Lets say you had a system where some kind of leadership score actually mattered. Say you had to pass a Leadership test:
to run if the enemy are close by, if you want to go on overwatch, if you are unsupported infantry and a tank gets within X ", if you take any casualties when reduced below a critical strength, if you want to try and see a hidden enemey, if you want to call in an artillery strike from an out of LOS battery
ie, it's a test of ability as much as morale.

now if all the special rules around it were very simple, ie
Hardened veterans may re-roll one Ld test a turn
Poorly trained -1 modifier on all Ld tests
Squad leader dead/no squad leader -1 on all ld tests
In hard cover +1 to all ld tests
In command range +1
Out of command range-1
etc
All modifiers cumulative

You can pick up the core rules and the fancy bits in one go. You've learnt how to resolve Ld checks from casualties, and so you know how to deal with them for every other situation where they are called on.

Of course, to make it fit the over the top nature of 40k, you could include a few like.
And they shall know no fear may re-roll any number of Ld tests a turn
Marines are now awesome supermen. With a bit of support, they will do what you want

Hive mind In command range +3, out of command range -3
Little bugs near the hive mind are lethal, but take the big bugs away, and they're far more fragile and less capable bunch...

Even including thing like that, you can still get the whole of the leadership section onto a single page, and all of the special rules can be found in one simple table.

jt.glass
03-01-2011, 16:18
But this is the worst case senario from both stand pionts!

The rules are still overcomplicated and counterintuitive , delivering comparitivley simple game play. BUT GW dont have a way to make the latest minature releases seem more 'special' by using the 'obviously added on special' rules.:eek:Hmmm, I'd have said it is the worst case scenario because the rules are still overcomplicated and counterintuitive, but the special rules you do have are virtually impossible to look up (rather than just very difficult, as GW makes it!)


Complexity is an illusion caused by lack of clear thinking. --your sigComplexity is not the same as complication. Indeed, complexity without complication is a worthy design goal!


Better written rule, would make this entirely moot though.Could make it entirely moot. Personally, I'm not sure I'd want it to.

40k in its current form has terrible game design by any objective standard, but has a certain charm that makes the whole better than the sum of the parts. I'm not sure I'd want to lose that, even with better parts.

Which is to say I think 40k could use a re-write, butwhile I would like both USRs and army-specific special rules to take less of the burden... I do not want them gone alltogether!


jt.

Egaeus
03-01-2011, 22:47
@Egaeus I think that the way it is presented is very specific to the goal of starting games as fast as possible, which is potentially a major reason why they wouldn't include "counter-charge" (or similar) along with the assault rules. Putting the USRs later in the book streamlines the basic understanding of mechanics, before adding the exceptions. First understand the rules, then understand the fancy stuff.

You are probably absolutely correct on the "easy->more adavanced rules", but I find that in many cases this causes the issue to become even more confusing. IIRC in 4th Edition the Saves section was presented horribly and would have been so much cleaner if they had simply said outright that there are Armour, Invulnerable and Cover saves instead of giving the rules for Armour Saves and then basically saying "oh, by the way sometimes you will get a save anyways because...". This was exacerbated by the fact that the rules for wound assignment were found in this section as well and didn't really take into account the other types of saves in the presentation.

I suppose my fundamental issue is still how to designate what exactly gets the "special" tag and which is just a "more advanced" or "special case" rule. And it still feels that fundamentally it is an issue of presentation more than anything else.

If, as Bunnahabhain mentions, the next edition simply rolled all the special case rules into their appropriate sections (as I suggest) would anyone really go "Oh no! There aren't any Special Rules in 40K anymore!?" Or would they read through the rules and see that they are still there, just in a different fashion?

I also want to express that I don't expect each Codex not to have additional special rules for the army contained therein...that is part of the nature of the game that is Warhammer 40,000.

insectum7
04-01-2011, 09:33
Lets say you had a system where some kind of leadership score actually mattered. Say you had to pass a Leadership test: (...)

now if all the special rules around it were very simple, ie
Hardened veterans may re-roll one Ld test a turn
Poorly trained -1 modifier on all Ld tests
Squad leader dead/no squad leader -1 on all ld tests
In hard cover +1 to all ld tests
In command range +1
Out of command range-1
etc
All modifiers cumulative

(...)

Even including thing like that, you can still get the whole of the leadership section onto a single page, and all of the special rules can be found in one simple table.

I think you and I half agree on this actually, and the model you have above is how some of the current USRs work, like Furious Charge gives +1I and +1S. I'ts just not in the "Assault" section. And I do think that modifiers like that are generally a "healthy" way to describe things. Where we disagree is the notion that the core rules have to change in order to do it. Mostly I think the core rules are pretty solid, just presented in a really wonky way.

I think the presentation has reasoning behind it, but it's not consistent, suspiciously like something written by comittee...

For example, to me it's weird to have both a "Unit Type" section, and a USR section. They seem like similar things to me. But I'm torn, because the unit types describe specifics like terrain effects, movement modifiers, the turbo-boost protection stuff etc. (most of which is pretty decent IMO). While USRs are mostly very simple modifications to a unit. But instead there is the Unit Types, then there's a whole section on vehicles, then AFTER that there is a section on USRs, which rarely seem to apply to vehicles, and would seem to go better closer to the infantry rules. This would seem especially awkward since some aspects of Unit Types are described by USRs.

In fact I think the biggest awkward-rules-spot to me is the Unit Types section, although at the same time it does a very good job of defining model identity, which I think is very important for newer players and younger minds.



Complexity is not the same as complication. Indeed, complexity without complication is a worthy design goal!

Well I think that's splitting hairs a bit since were dealing with the perception of complexity, but maybe I deserve it since my original statement was admittedly a crass jibe :)

I'll stand by the idea that 40K core rules are simple though, I just think that the presentation is more complicated than it needs to be.




If, as Bunnahabhain mentions, the next edition simply rolled all the special case rules into their appropriate sections (as I suggest) would anyone really go "Oh no! There aren't any Special Rules in 40K anymore!?" Or would they read through the rules and see that they are still there, just in a different fashion?


I don't know, the biggest hit I can see though has to do with Unit Types, as mentioned above, since Unit Types describe attributed from many different "rules disciplines". The entry for Bikes, for example, describes movement, terrain, shooting, assault behavior and the availability of a special save. I would hesitate to split those attributes up, I would also hesitate to remove the notion of "Bike", because it's a very easy to understand concept and it serves to quick recognition of unit abilities that a new player might be unfamiliar with if the unit identity was merely expressed in stats.

The other hit I would worry about is confronting a new player with too many variables too quickly. I could be wrong about this, but I think it's easy for us old hands to assume that people will pick things up quick and easy. But if you are brand new to wargaming, all the additional language which makes the rulebook very awkward for reference, may make it easier for the curious youngster to read. More words describing attributes, and less charts. The charts come later.

GW, quite wisely, aims young and hooks 'em. I think the rules are laid out accordingly, and I don't really begrudge it because the game is so popular. I can go to nearly any game store with my army and throw down and meet people. That is really, really impressive for a game about little plastic men. I mean, it's crazy if you think about it.

In the end though, I would be surprised if one couldn't condense the existing rules into 10-12 pages of stuff if they were writing for efficiency. It might make for a revealing exercise actually. I just don't think that's the studios aim.


disclaimer: (I'm not sure if I fully believe my argument, or want to, but I think it holds water and I'm going with it for now. Eg. I'm open to solutions, but I have a strong reaction to the notion that "The rules are terrible" and "The core needs a rewrite")

Egaeus
04-01-2011, 17:52
I'll stand by the idea that 40K core rules are simple though, I just think that the presentation is more complicated than it needs to be.

I want to think that this has been my main contention as well.


I don't know, the biggest hit I can see though has to do with Unit Types, as mentioned above, since Unit Types describe attributed from many different "rules disciplines". The entry for Bikes, for example, describes movement, terrain, shooting, assault behavior and the availability of a special save. I would hesitate to split those attributes up, I would also hesitate to remove the notion of "Bike", because it's a very easy to understand concept and it serves to quick recognition of unit abilities that a new player might be unfamiliar with if the unit identity was merely expressed in stats.

I was primarily concerned with the concept of removing the idea of USRs being perceived as something apart from the core rules. I really doubt they would do away with Unit Types, but since you mention it I would point out that Unit Types are covered twice in the rulebook...pages 4-5 give an overview of the unit types, and then their specifc rules are given on pages 51-55...why would it be so difficult to put the different *Movement rates in the Movement section and be done with it? Especially since the basics are all there. Some units move 6", some move 12". As it stands the rules tells you "Infantry move 6"" but you already know there are other things than just Infantry, so you have to go hunting for those rules. There is also the "Difficult Terrain - Effects on Movement" chart on the Quick Reference Sheet on page 109 that could easily be included in the Movement section along with the specific rules for Difficult and Dangerous Terrain. Perhaps an additional sentence or two would be necessary to distinguish how these rules are applied to some units, but it would save quite a bit of space. I am assuming that this is if you are reading the rules for the first time from front-to-back and trying to take it all in.



The other hit I would worry about is confronting a new player with too many variables too quickly.

At the end of the day I don't really think there are "too many" variables...40K isn't that complex...do you honestly believe that it's that much harder to grasp the idea that some units move 6" and others move 12" (I'm going to specfically leave out Vehicles here), or that there are Invulnerable and Cover saves along with Armour Saves (although this is reverting back to 4th Edition :mad:)?



GW, quite wisely, aims young and hooks 'em. I think the rules are laid out accordingly, and I don't really begrudge it because the game is so popular. I can go to nearly any game store with my army and throw down and meet people. That is really, really impressive for a game about little plastic men. I mean, it's crazy if you think about it.

Well I also know from experience that if you aren't really familiar with the rules (and occaisionally even if you are) you can get into arguments very quickly with someone who has a different interpetration of the rules. :p


In the end though, I would be surprised if one couldn't condense the existing rules into 10-12 pages of stuff if they were writing for efficiency. It might make for a revealing exercise actually. I just don't think that's the studios aim.

And you honestly think that a concise 10-12 pages of rules wouldn't be fundamentally easier to understand than a 100+ page rulebook? Even to young starting gamers? :confused:

I just want to stress again that we are primarily concerned with the core rules here, not the Codexes which will still likely add in hosts of wonky "special rules", at least until they are subsumed under the umbrella of "universal rules" in the next edition of the game, at least until GW decides that they have run out of mechanistic tricks they can do with the system.

* Edit - I jumped to Movement here but meant to address placing all the appropriate rules for the various unit types in the proper places in the rules.

lanrak
04-01-2011, 19:06
Hi insectum7.
The current 40k game is best described as a 'fun dice rolling game for ages 10 and up'.
The end game play is fine, the 'simple game play' is very suitable for new-casual players.

The 40k rules are not 'terrible'.
Just more complicated than necissarly required to achive the simple game play.

The WHFB game mechanics are fine for WHFB , but are NOT the best chioce for 40k.

If a car manufacturer sold a car with the same wheel arangement as a locomotive.Multiple sets of wheels which drive but do not steer.

Which allowed the car to move in a straight line backwards or forwards.
However, to turn the car you have to get out and 'bounce the car round' a bit at a time .

And a someone said , why put up with such a poor wheel arangement , they should be intergral to the design of the cars steering and power train.

And the people who bought the car said..
'It goes forwards and backwards alright, and I LIKE stoping the car getting out and 'bouncing the car round' at corners its got to be more fun than just driving round corners.And everyone KNOWs it the amount of wheels you have irrespective of function.'

And many of these people have obviously NEVER driven a car designed to drive round corners as well as in a straight line.:D

How can you convince them a better mechanical arrangment of the road wheels would allow much more driving options ...And they could still get out and 'bounce the car round' if they wanted to...:D

GW likes to show seperate units of,
Infantry,
Jump Infantry.
Beasts and Cavalry,
Monstrous creatures.
Artillery.
Bikes and jet bikes.
Fast Vehicles.
Tanks,
Skimmers.
Opened topped vehicles .
Walkers.

Thats 11 seperate unit types.

From a game play perspective 40k has only 2 types of unit.
Multiple model units , and single model units.

Thats restriciting the game play by artificialy 'pidgeon holeing units' into fixed types .And wasting space stating the obvious.:rolleyes:

Most game developers seem happy to allow the player to make the huge leap of deductive reasoning that a Xenomorf Jet bike is a jet bike , and a Zerk Lobba is a piece of artillery , and a plasma pistol is a pistol type weapon!

This allows them more room for well defined detailed interactions..;)

I dont suggest changing any asthetics , just enhancing the game play , and reducing the amount of written rules.

Why would this be a bad thing?

TTFN

insectum7
04-01-2011, 22:12
I want to think that this has been my main contention as well.

I was primarily concerned with the concept of removing the idea of USRs being perceived as something apart from the core rules. I really doubt they would do away with Unit Types, but since you mention it I would point out that Unit Types are covered twice in the rulebook...pages 4-5 give an overview of the unit types, and then their specifc rules are given on pages 51-55...why would it be so difficult to put the different *Movement rates in the Movement section and be done with it? Especially since the basics are all there. Some units move 6", some move 12". As it stands the rules tells you "Infantry move 6"" but you already know there are other things than just Infantry, so you have to go hunting for those rules. There is also the "Difficult Terrain - Effects on Movement" chart on the Quick Reference Sheet on page 109 that could easily be included in the Movement section along with the specific rules for Difficult and Dangerous Terrain. Perhaps an additional sentence or two would be necessary to distinguish how these rules are applied to some units, but it would save quite a bit of space. I am assuming that this is if you are reading the rules for the first time from front-to-back and trying to take it all in.

You might be right about most of this, and that the Type "caveats" could be expressed along with the general Movement rules (or Assault, or Shooting). But I do think that there is a validity to the ability to look up "Bike" in one spot as well. When a player sees a Bike in an opponents army, for example, he can reference Bike and see that a Bike is +1 toughness, ride 12", turbo-boost 24", fixed save on fast move, and has terrain restrictions. It's very convenient to have all that expressed in one place.



At the end of the day I don't really think there are "too many" variables...40K isn't that complex...do you honestly believe that it's that much harder to grasp the idea that some units move 6" and others move 12" (I'm going to specfically leave out Vehicles here), or that there are Invulnerable and Cover saves along with Armour Saves (although this is reverting back to 4th Edition :mad:)?

No I don't think that it's too complex, but I think that there are other attributes tied to "Type" which make the notion of removing the "Type" section perhaps less than ideal. There's also a sort of tactile/aesthetic nature to it, which I'll try to explain more later in the post (sorry, please bear with me)



Well I also know from experience that if you aren't really familiar with the rules (and occaisionally even if you are) you can get into arguments very quickly with someone who has a different interpetration of the rules. :p


All too true, and maybe having things like Type-related movement described in two places would make things easier to resolve since you can find reference in multiple places. (which can possibly lead to trouble too, if not done carefully. If done poorly it could do more harm than good)



And you honestly think that a concise 10-12 pages of rules wouldn't be fundamentally easier to understand than a 100+ page rulebook? Even to young starting gamers? :confused:


Sorta yes and no. I think that a lot of effort is put into describing the context of the rules, which I think is necessary for something like 40K which has many customizeable and interpretive aspects, as well as potentially be someones first wargame. If it were a game set on a chess board, or hex based, and pieces were not as variable (or whimsical) it would be just fine to express the rules as quickly and efficiently as possible. But since 40K is a relatively open and creative environment, I think that the extra effort to apply additional context for the rules framework is a very practical concern. I mean, stuff like "Close Combat" is still controversial because many don't understand that CC is not just fighting with fists and swords, but involves point blank firefights, close quarter tactics and dirty tricks. It's very important that time be taken to express these concepts, it helps people understand why the rules are written a certain way.

My original point about the 10-12 pages of rules was to illustrate that the actual rules system is pretty simple, and less complicated than people maybe make it out to be. But I think that the "experience of the rulebook" includes attractive pics of aliens fighting it out, dystopian quotes from a future war, along with colorful descriptions of how the rules are intended to operate in regards to "your brand new models". All this stuff will quickly expand the book, and make it less efficient from a pure-game point of view, but I think all that stuff is really important to bringing someone into the hobby of 40K. This is not to say that GW does an efficient job at it, far from it perhaps, but I do think it's a mark against a curt rules manual, the rulebook itself is an important piece of advertising for the hobby.



Hi insectum7.
The current 40k game is best described as a 'fun dice rolling game for ages 10 and up'.
The end game play is fine, the 'simple game play' is very suitable for new-casual players.

The 40k rules are not 'terrible'.
Just more complicated than necissarly required to achive the simple game play.

See, I think I fundamentally disagree with you on this. I don't think that 40K is a simple game, I think that is has relatively simple rules that allow for a potentially very complex game. If the designers really wanted just a "simple game", I don't think they would have written the rules like they are. I think that the designers specifically wanted a system that provided an accessible, yet complex game.



GW likes to show seperate units of,
Infantry,
Jump Infantry.
Beasts and Cavalry,
Monstrous creatures.
Artillery.
Bikes and jet bikes.
Fast Vehicles.
Tanks,
Skimmers.
Opened topped vehicles .
Walkers.

Thats 11 seperate unit types.

From a game play perspective 40k has only 2 types of unit.
Multiple model units , and single model units.

Thats restriciting the game play by artificialy 'pidgeon holeing units' into fixed types .And wasting space stating the obvious.:rolleyes:

What are you arguing here? That 40K should have only 2 unit types? That it should have none?

I see 40K as having two high-level Types; Creatures and Vehicles.

Creatures then have sub categories of infantry/squads, Independent, Montrous Creature, Bikes, Jump, Beasts etc.

Vehicles have Fast, Tank, Skimmer, Open-Topped etc.

Walkers are a combination of Creature/Vehicle



Most game developers seem happy to allow the player to make the huge leap of deductive reasoning that a Xenomorf Jet bike is a jet bike , and a Zerk Lobba is a piece of artillery , and a plasma pistol is a pistol type weapon!

Isn't this what GW does? An Ork on a bike is an ork with the abilities that "Bike" bring to it. This type system is nice because if you see an unfamiliar unit on the field, you can quickly understand how it functions without looking at it's stats. Your opponent can simply say, it's a Farseer on a Jetbike, and you have instant recognition of its abilities. A marine with a Jump Pack is exactly a marine with a Jump Pack. To me, unit types enhance recognition, you don't have to look at their codex to know how they act.



This allows them more room for well defined detailed interactions..;)


Why? Because there's more "rules room" to add additional game mechanics? Do you want to remove rules in order to add other rules? I'm not sure what you're getting at here.



I dont suggest changing any asthetics , just enhancing the game play , and reducing the amount of written rules.

Rules are related to aesthetics, and warhammer at it's heart is an aesthetic game. Types and USRs exist to add identity to the expensive collection of models that you spend hours assembling and painting. When you paint a bike you don't paint a collection of numbers (stats), you paint a Bike, with all the awesomeness that comes with being a Bike. When you assemble your Land Raider, you want that thing to be pretty damn special. In that sense it's good that special exceptions exist. The fact that rules can "recognize" the specialness of certain units adds a certain weight or legitimacy to the units. The way the rules are written is an important reflection of this philosophy, and I think it's more important to the hobby/game than some people give it credit for.

That doesn't mean that I think there is a isn't a proper balance between too many special rules and raw core mechanics. There is certainly a sweet spot between the two extremes, I would be among the first to argue that there are too many units with special rules, but I absolutely can't advocate removing Types, or USRs, or codex speficic special rules altogether for a "cleaner" system. I can only advocate cleaning the presentation (at least hire a better editor :)), tidying up some loose ends (please, clearer writing and FAQs), and exercising more discipline when authoring codexes. (Not every unit needs to have special rules, and the proliferation begins to hurt itself, and has IMO).