View Full Version : Had an insight w/designer direction

09-06-2006, 19:51
Recently, I've been thinking quite a bit about how 4th Ed differs from 3rd, and I'm beginning to realize we're seeing in some respects a return to 2nd.

Anyone else notice that this edition, and its codices, are "annihilation 40K?"

Where're the protacted firefights, the locked close combats? This edition really reminds me of 2nd in that units either demolish or are demolished, and that's why so much of the game is about list, and the rest is terrain/deployment.

Instead of units fighting, which is what 3rd was about, the return of units to the game, instead of devastating special characters and heroes, units either chomp another unit, or get chomped.

It reminds me of chess, in that the game now seems to work that you straightup capture a unit or don't. if you rolled a die when you captured in chess- say, a pawn destroyed the unit capturing it on a 6, but a queen did on a 2+- that would be very much the game today. (Queen captures pawn, pawn rolls a 6, Queen is destroyed instead).

Anyone else notice this? I think this is where the list-emphasis comes from. You want to put in the maximum numbers of units that will totally overwhelm an opposing unit with low risk of dying themselves, rather than units that can absorb damage, etc.

I don't think I expressed the concept well, but it used to be viable to have units get "Stuck in," to grind down, making it to me a better, more realistic game. Now, if a unit's not wiping out other units outright, through shooting or sweeps, it's just not good enough at what it does. The new codices seem to support this.

I know force concentration is a tactical goal, I'm talking about the emphasis of the game mechanics and what emphasis they give the game.

Unseeing Eye
09-06-2006, 20:40
Um...what specific change from 3rd ed created this opinion in your mind?

09-06-2006, 20:48
List emphasis? Hardly.

Just because someone has found a good combo of units for fire sweeping stuff and got them all in the right place at the right time. This is a bad thing how?

40k has always been about the tactics of right gun, right place, right time. 4th ed. emphasised this with the introduction of being able to rapid fire on the move and creating the idea of short range firefights.

Care to explain how this is unhealthy for the game that people now have to use thier heads about where units go? (Or is it just me as I play Tau in this fashion "Oh Noes")

10-06-2006, 00:54
40k is more body-count oriented than fantasy, definitely.

That said, a good amount of the attitude you're talking about comes from mathhammer/theoryhammer players that consider units solely in terms of killing power (often things like cover, mobility, terrain, and the like are ignored entirely), and prefer to play games with no objectives beyond "kill the enemy."

Play missions, they're much more fun. Missions mean sometimes, if you're clever, you can snatch victory from the jaws of defeat: I've won plenty of games by virtue of holding the objective, despite my opponent inflicted higher casualties on me than I on him. I think this is a good thing for the game, it lets you keep trying to win, even if the early turns don't go well for you, and allows the game to remain "in the balance" even if one player is clearly doing more damage than the other.

10-06-2006, 03:17
3rd ed was also annihilation 40K except it was close combat that mattered and not shooting.

The problem with 40K is that it is too simplistic to be anything but a body count. Leadership especially is pretty much not used anymore and they could easily scrap it. Scrap pinning while you're at it too.

The lack of the use of leadership means that you have to kill a unit to stop it as opposed to breaking it's moral, pinning it etc.

I s'pose this is what the ****** at GW define as action-packed.

Smoking Frog
10-06-2006, 04:23
Well, mathhammer and theoryhammer were alive and well in 3rd edition, why would its advocates stop it in 4th?

Simply put, the game is played at its best when there is terrain on the board, at least 25% terrain. This is why I love the ideas tha CoD has brought into the game, because it requires terrain, lots of it. I hate people who are so unimaginative to think that an open field is a realistic battleground, and a fun one at that. For a massive tank skirmish, yes, but that's it.

It's amazing, believe me, what happens when you place terrain on the board, and do a mission that doesn't revolve around smashing stuff. Have objective goals that justify such a skirmish. That will make such a difference.