PDA

View Full Version : Space Marine balancing?



bloodlust
15-06-2006, 04:36
This is just an idea of mine, and I'd like to see what people think of it. I know that this would probably never happen, but it might be interesting to consider.
I think people who believe space marines set a too-high standard would like this.

What if, in the next Space Marines Codex, players were given the options of modifying more than simply what they can and cannot include in their lists, and were capable of modifying the very statline (LIKE the tyranids, but with more mechanical enhancements) The Statline would look like:

Points=11 WS=3 BS=3 S=4 T=4 W=1 I=3 A=1 Ld=7 Sv=3+

Then, for one point apiece, the stats that have been reduced (WS, BS, I, and Ld) could all be technologically improved by one point per model in the whole squad. Then, on top of that, players could select greater or fewer numbers of disadvantages and advantages for their armies, further customizing their forces. The reason I'd like to see this is because it would put a hugely new twist on what many players view as a vanilla army that has literally been done to death.

The stats I chose to modify were ones that I personally thought could realistically fit into the fluff of the space marines- for instance, the initiative and leadership could fit into the homeworld that the chapter is from, and the WS and BS could fit into how new the certain squad is. The stat upgrades could be explained by logical corresponding pieces of wargear/fluff such as:

Battle Experience (+1 WS) + 1 pt
Ocular Implants (+1 BS) + 1 pt
Adrenaline Stimms (+1 I) + 1 pt
Honorary Medals (+1 Ld) + 1 pt

Then, players could opt to make armies that had more interesting overall army list layouts that were directly influenced by the statistics of its soldiers.

I don't know, some people may think this to be a horrid idea, and some might like it. I'm just suggesting it to see what players think.

starlight
15-06-2006, 04:46
I think that it would be a great idea for something on the scale of Necromunda, GorkaMorka or something like Kill Team but I think it would add additional complexity without really adding to the game at the 40K level.

azimaith
15-06-2006, 04:57
This style would make space marines even more powerful than they are now.

By allowing them to customize stats they become even more prone to min maxing.

(6 man las/plas with only Ocular Implants) Besides that, space marines are all held to a high standard and their stats should reflect that.

If you wanted to make marines less powerful you'd have to remove customizability.

bloodlust
15-06-2006, 05:07
Both good points.

I guess I was looking to change too much in order to power them down, and wound up doing the exact opposite. I just hope that GW somehow makes them more infrequent, because I'm sick of my Orks getting plodded by min-maxed vanilla marine armies.

starlight
15-06-2006, 05:32
GW needs to make the other armies equal in power and such to Marines, not the other way around.:D Marines are fine the way they are, where the issues come in are when you try to make the other armies better against Marines without wiping the board against the other armies.

A prime case of this is Orks at S4. At this point they're quite effective against Marines, but they dominate the T3 armies.:( Since GW believes that 40K players can't handle Save modifiers, we get the Choppa Rule to counter Ork vulnerability against Marines.

Smoking Frog
15-06-2006, 05:40
I think SM's are actually quite balanced, and like most armies can also be made into a cheese fest. They are even more balanced considering most SM players can't grasp the concept of cover! :p

I play Eldar mostly, keep that in mind. I haven't used my Dark Angels in the last few months, though I've also been busy consolidating my fortunes...

Voodoo Boyz
15-06-2006, 05:42
Want to Balance Marines?

Easy-Pleasy!

Points Costs: As Now
Stats: As Now
Squad: Sargeant and 4 to 9 Space Marines
Weapons: If the Squad is 5 -9 Marines strong, they may select either a special or heavy weapon (points costs as now). If the Marine squad is at full strength then they may purchase an additional special or heavy weapon. Codex Chapters may only have a maximum of 1 Heavy Weapon and 1 Special Weapon per Tactical Squad.

The problem with Marines is that Min/Maxing squad sizes with both a special and heavy weapon (or two specials via C&P) makes them way too powerful. Remove this ability to be over efficient, and you're set.

starlight
15-06-2006, 05:52
Excellent in theory, but......some questions come up.....

How would you deal with Razorback Squads?

I've used Salamander Rules (now Clense and Purify) and had two Specials in Razorbacks for many years......how would it impact me?

Voodoo Boyz
15-06-2006, 06:23
Excellent in theory, but......some questions come up.....

How would you deal with Razorback Squads?

I've used Salamander Rules (now Clense and Purify) and had two Specials in Razorbacks for many years......how would it impact me?

Simply put, you'd be limited to one weapon if you wanted a Razorback.

Honestly if you're taking a Razorback then you're getting a pretty decent weapon as it is on your transport, so you can have either a special or a heavy.

Also it's more fluffy for loyalist Marines that squads be run in 5 or 10 Man Squads. You can put 6 in a Razorback but that's more because they wanted to be able to have a HQ join a squad and ride in a transport.

Sadly it would reduce the power of your army somewhat, and while I'm sure what you normally run is not cheesy in the slightest but there isn't really any other way around it. The problem is that 5 or 6 Marine Las/Plas tac squads are severely undercosted for what they do, and IMO this really has to be reduced.

I mean, do you have a problem with Las/Plas squads if their minimum cost is upped to 175 Points a squad and is 10 Marines Strong? I'm sure the min/maxers would just run 105 Point 6 Marine Lascannon squads, but at least you wouldn't have to worry about even more AP2 death coming from the squad with an additional high strength-low AP gun.

I should point out that I am a Marine Player and have used the dreaded 5 or 6 Man Las/Plas squads at times (though only in games where it was known that cheese was going to be brought to the table).

Spamus Eatus
15-06-2006, 08:14
I'm sorry, but I can't stand some people insisting that marines MUST be 5-10 marines. It's fluffy in the sense that it's how a chapter is organized, but what about casualties? A squad can't ALWAYS be at full strength, right? Plus, being forced to deploy that way will make it hard to squeeze in your last 30-40 points.

How to keep marines balanced? Leave 'em as is, and be cool.

Call me strange, but I don't see how it's a problem dealing with 6man Las/Plas squads. It's a fairly expensive squad with few models. The trick is numerical superiority. The 6 man squad might kill some of your men, but then move up into double tap range and wipe the squad out. It's not that hard, really. As is said often, play missions, use lots of terrain. Suddenly, minimum squads aren't as effective anymore.

I find the Marine Codex to be quite balanced as a whole. One has to WORK to gouda up a SM army I find. Then it's a one trick pony. And a one trick pony eventually breaks its leg doing the same trick.

Dreadnought6107
15-06-2006, 08:40
Nah, I don't think you should be able to customize the stats. For fluff reasons, The Emporer created the marines in his image, created them to be powerful but not powerful enough to be crazy like, though we do see that in during the Horus Heresy, but thats more of power thinking from the mind, like a man should not be able to command such vast armies. The stats are good like they are, what they should customize is the weapon and vehicle part of it more. Space Marines have great ties with the Adeptus Mechanicus, each scratches each other's backs every once in a while to get better things.

Voodoo Boyz
15-06-2006, 10:28
I'm sorry, but I can't stand some people insisting that marines MUST be 5-10 marines. It's fluffy in the sense that it's how a chapter is organized, but what about casualties? A squad can't ALWAYS be at full strength, right? Plus, being forced to deploy that way will make it hard to squeeze in your last 30-40 points.

How to keep marines balanced? Leave 'em as is, and be cool.

Call me strange, but I don't see how it's a problem dealing with 6man Las/Plas squads. It's a fairly expensive squad with few models. The trick is numerical superiority. The 6 man squad might kill some of your men, but then move up into double tap range and wipe the squad out. It's not that hard, really. As is said often, play missions, use lots of terrain. Suddenly, minimum squads aren't as effective anymore.

I find the Marine Codex to be quite balanced as a whole. One has to WORK to gouda up a SM army I find. Then it's a one trick pony. And a one trick pony eventually breaks its leg doing the same trick.

What I suggested does not stop you from fielding squads that aren't between 5 and 10 Marines strong.

What it does is stop you from fielding a squad that "took casualties" but miraculously every time the casualties were from a bolter marine and not from the special or heavy weapons carriers.

5 or 6 Man Las/Plas squads are very undercosted for what they do. Moving up to double tap range doesn't do jack. Even if somehow 10 Bolter Marines were able to magically get into double tap range without taking casualties footslogging it up the boad, and the unloaded - statistically they'd kill 2.2 Marines from the Minned out Las/Plas squad. That's not enough to even stop the Las/Plas squad from firing their weapons again at whatever target they want assuming the marine player was extremely unlucky and:

1.) Failing a LD test, which could easily be LD9 or LD10 if they have a commander
2.) Had his fall back roll be high enough to take him off the table, otherwise he will rally because of ATSKNF (assuming another enemy model isn't within 6"), and he will be able to get another volley of shots off with that squad.

It doesn't take much to cheese out a Marine army. Lots of small Las/Plas squads, lots of Assault Cannon toting speeders, a Libby with Fury/Fear and Assault Cannon toting Termies, and whatever varient of Predator you want for more firepower.

Take away undercosted Las/Plas squads from Marines and you're suddenly going to make them work harder to kill their most common enemy....other MEQ's.

HeraldoftheGods
15-06-2006, 10:50
What it does is stop you from fielding a squad that "took casualties" but miraculously every time the casualties were from a bolter marine and not from the special or heavy weapons carriers.
Yeah, except now you can field a squad that "took casualties" but miraculously every time the casualties were from a special or heavy weapons carriers not from a bolter marine.

Voodoo Boyz
15-06-2006, 11:15
Yeah, except now you can field a squad that "took casualties" but miraculously every time the casualties were from a special or heavy weapons carriers not from a bolter marine.

Only if you field a tactical squad of 9 Marines.

You want a 6 Man Tactical squad? That means you took 4 Casualties, one of which was the heavy or special weapons guy. 8 Marines? 2 Dead, one was a special or heavy guy.

And honestly if you're getting shot at by the enemy who are they going to aim for? The bolter guys that there are 7 or 8 of, or one of the guys carrying the really big scary gun?

It prevents min/maxing and helps balance Marines who currently are one of the worst min/'max offenders there are.

Skyth
17-06-2006, 01:10
What it does is stop you from fielding a squad that "took casualties" but miraculously every time the casualties were from a bolter marine and not from the special or heavy weapons carriers.


Well, it's realistic that way. 95% of the time, any casaulties to a Tac squad in a game ARE bolter marines. Unless you insist that people take thier heavy/special weapon on the first casaulty to a 10 man squad.

And as for every squad being the same number...Battletech fiction has a term for that...CLG...Combat Loss Grouping. (I think it's what it is). Basically, it's the theory that every 'mech in a unit gets relatively equal damage over time, and they'll all be functional (Barring lucky hits) at about the same level as every other mech in the force in the battle.

Zzarchov
17-06-2006, 02:53
I always thought 40k was missing an element of modern combat. Snipers should be altered to pick out a specific model as a casualty, if they can roll less than the unit size on 2d6.

Snipers are meant not to take out joe grunt, but heavy machine gun nests, enemy snipers,and commanders as a first priority.

Grand Master Raziel
17-06-2006, 06:32
Voodoo Boyz made this suggestion:


Points Costs: As Now
Stats: As Now
Squad: Sargeant and 4 to 9 Space Marines
Weapons: If the Squad is 5 -9 Marines strong, they may select either a special or heavy weapon (points costs as now). If the Marine squad is at full strength then they may purchase an additional special or heavy weapon. Codex Chapters may only have a maximum of 1 Heavy Weapon and 1 Special Weapon per Tactical Squad.


Usually suggestions along this line annoy me, but this one doesn't. It's actually the best "favor 10-man squads" suggestions I've seen. I could totally live with this, assuming that the price for the heavies/specials doesn't go up.

However, this justification...

What it does is stop you from fielding a squad that "took casualties" but miraculously every time the casualties were from a bolter marine and not from the special or heavy weapons carriers.
...doesn't quite work. VB, I can see where you're coming from. However, even assuming that the heavy/special weapon troopers occasionally eat a bullet for the Emperor, their battle brothers are going to at least pick up their fallen gear, especially if their weapon is rare and/or valuable, such as a lascannon or a plasma gun. Full battle brothers are probably trained to use them, too, and I imagine wouldn't hesitate to do so if the need presented itself.

I don't know if other players feel this way, but for my part, one of the reasons I tend to field 5-man lascannon squads is that I want to waste as few bolter shots as possible when I use the lascannon. If the special and heavy weapon troopers of a Tac squad could fire at different targets from the rest of the squad (or even if it was only the heavy weapon trooper), then I don't think I'd mind having heavies in 10-man Tac squads as much. However, if I did stick lascannons in 10-man squads, and I fired the thing at the type of target I typically task lascannons to engage, then the bolters in the squad are probably completely unable to effect the thing I'm shooting at. Hence, I keep my lascannon squads as small as possible.

Voodoo Boyz
17-06-2006, 18:49
The justification fluff wise is rather off since I can see specials getting picked up by other battle brothers, ditto on the heavy weapons, even though on the models it's integrated into their power packs. :p

It was just an idea to help tone the marines down without being a major gimping.

Sekhmet
17-06-2006, 19:14
How about making tactical squad heavy weapons cost as much as devastator squad heavy weapons? That'd be +20 points more for the las cannon. Power fists cost quite a bit already with the vet sgt upgrade, but maybe they should make all marine wargear cost the same (the higher price).



...doesn't quite work. VB, I can see where you're coming from. However, even assuming that the heavy/special weapon troopers occasionally eat a bullet for the Emperor, their battle brothers are going to at least pick up their fallen gear, especially if their weapon is rare and/or valuable, such as a lascannon or a plasma gun. Full battle brothers are probably trained to use them, too, and I imagine wouldn't hesitate to do so if the need presented itself.

That's exactly what happens according to the rulebook's explanation. It however doesn't explain why sgts or characters never die. Marines are trained to use all weapons even if they only actually carry bolters into battle.