Monday, October 18, 2010

My Wishlist For 6th Edition 40K

by SandWyrm


Well, here we are 2 years into 5th Edition. Long enough to know what we do and don't like about the main rules.

It's also about the time that GW will begin deciding on the details of 6th Edition. So in the spirit of getting some ideas out there, I've compiled a list of the changes that I would like to see.

1) Close Combat Changes

I would like to allow a Fleet unit that wins a combat to, instead of running down a fleeing foe, consolidate into a new combat. This would give the controlling player an interesting choice and emphasize the value of supporting a fast uber-unit with other units to help run down fleeing enemies.

2) Wound Allocation Needs To Change

I've never liked the 5th Edition wound allocation rules. Not only is wound allocation quite tedious, but the rules don't accomplish what they're supposed to. Which is to allow important models (Sergeants, special weapon troopers) to have a risk of dying. Instead we get all sorts off illogical (but yes, perfectly legal) shenanigans with differently equipped multi-wound models being uber-suvivable, while identically equipped models die in droves. That makes no sense to me.

So instead, let's just let the owning player roll a big batch of saves and remove whatever models they like. But we should also let the attacking player nominate one model that MUST be wounded unless the squad makes a successful leadership check. Sort of like the "Look Out Sir!" rule from Fantasy.

3A) Vehicles need to be slightly more vulnerable.
3B) The vehicle damage chart needs to be less random.

Have the vehicle damage chart result no longer be a seperate roll. Have it instead be how much you beat the armor value by. Results would stack exactly as they do now.

AP- weapons would get a -1 to this chart (as now).
AP2 weapons would get a +1 to this chart.
AP1 weapons would get a +2 to this chart.
If the target is open-topped, then the shooter gets another +1 to this chart.
Extra Armor would always reduce the roll by one.

0: (Glance) Shaken
1: Stunned
2: Weapon Destroyed
3: Immobilized
4: Wrecked (no passenger wounds)
5: Wrecked (each passenger wounded on 4+)
6: Wrecked (All passengers wounded)
7: Wrecked (All passengers dead)
8+: Explosion (All passengers dead, S4 hit to all models within D6"), leaves a crater.

This would remove much of the weird randomness from vehicle damage, while emphasizing a real difference between various types of weapons and vehicle armor. No longer would a lascannon's damage potential be the same as a penetrating hit from a multi-laser. Instead, strength will matter much more. A single multi-laser hit could only ever hope to Wreck an Ork trukk on a 6. While a Lascannon would always at least blow off a weapon, and have a 66% chance to wreck it.

A Land Raider, on the other hand, need never fear anything worse than a weapon destroyed result from a Lascannon. While if it took extra armor, it could only ever be stunned by one. But a S8 melta weapon would, on average, immobilize it. With a diminishing chance of Wrecking it with various levels of passenger wounds.

4A) Allow wrecks to be shot at, so that an enemy can try and explode them. Give a +2 to all damage rolls.
4B) Allow vehicles to ram wrecks. The strength/distance/armor calculation can be the number of inches moved.

There needs to be a way to clear the burning parking lot in a game. It also introduces another interesting tactical choice.

5) When a tank fails a difficult terrain check, it should only be immobilized for that turn. Only wheeled vehicles should be immobilized for the rest of the game.


It's REALLY annoying that a tracked vehicle is just as liable to be permanently immobilized by a tree stump or fence as a truck. Tracks were invented for a reason!

6) HQs need to matter.


HQ units, and leadership in general, need to be much more important in 40K than they now are.

First, allow any model within 12" of any HQ unit to use that HQ's leadership for all tests.

Second, if an army losses all of it's HQ units, each remaining unit in the army must make a leadership check at the start of every turn or fall back. This would help Guard armies in the early game but hurt them in the late game. While Marines would really shine in the late game, as they could choose to pass or fail the check. Making them more heroic and emphasizing their superior staying power. Plus, HQ-killing/survivability would become another tactical consideration.

And finally...

7) Frag Grenades should HURT things.

I don't really care if frags are changed to a small blast-template attack during the shooting phase, or if they simply cause d6 S3 wounds on the charge (or the reception of a charge). But they need to hurt models, not simply affect who fights first in combat.

21 comments:

  1. Because all these make total sense to me, also guarantees that Jervis40k 6th edition will not have any of these changes.

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  2. And that everything will always have a 4+ cover save even in the open!

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  3. I like the idea of the new vehicle chart, but I think the upper levels are a bit inappropriate.

    Instant Death with no saves overly penalizes certain units which are nominally tough enough to shrug off the weapons that are wrecking the vehicle. Otherwise melta weapons especially become ridiculously powerful. I can kill a Land Raider Crusader and 7 Assault Terminators and a 3 wound character, all of which have 3++ invulnerable saves, with a single good melta shot? That seems excessively powerful.

    Likewise 6 Mega Nobz riding in a Trukk should not be insta-gibbed by a penetrating hit from a lascannon or melta.

    Instead, I'd make the wounds escalate in strength (S4, S6, rather than 4+, 'dead'), and at levels 7 and 8, ignore regular armor. Those meganobz taking 6 S6 hits that ignore armor is fairly reasonable. You'll lose a few, but that's not entirely unrealistic.

    The only other aspect I see is that vehicles as a whole actually get much tougher against most shooting. Currently, S8 weapons can eventually destroy an AV14 vehicle, with enough glancing hits to destroy all the weapons and immobilize it. With this chart, you could only ever shake it, unless you were also AP2 or 1. Missile/Rokkit Launchers become unable to do anything to a Land Raider or Monolith. They can only stun AV13 targets Ironclad/Furioso Dreadnoughts, Predators, Soul Grinders and so forth. And even against Chimeras, Regular Dreads, and Eldar Skimmers, the best they can hope for is weapon destroy results.

    Likewise, Lootas/Missile Pods/Plasma/Autocannons become unable to ever do anything notable to AV13 vehicles, can only Stun AV12, and even the venerable Rhino is at worst getting its stormbolter blown off. Not even that if the Rhino takes extra armor.

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  4. That vehicle damage chart is rather interesting, but I don't know if it is the way to go. I think it would actually make mech even stronger than it is now.

    In the game right now, the premier anti-light-vehicle weapons are S7 and S8. Not counting melta, this means that a lot of these weapons will become less effective at destroying light transports. So the best I can get with a krak missile against a Rhino is immobilized? I don't know about that. Melta and S9+ are great, but some armies just don't have the ability to take very much of either.

    I like the idea of moving away from the current table to something else a bit more meaningful, but I don't know if this is it. Everything else is cool though. Wounds are annoying now, but ultimately I think they're still better than the way they used to be. Ideally they should implement a system just like the 5e one, but without the ability to exploit it. Who knows what that means though.

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  5. All my DE could ever do is Immobilize anything AV14 (counted as 12, AP2, so 3 over being the best). I know Land Raiders are meant to be survivable, but some of the most technologically advanced weaponry can't bust through a few layers of armor simply because it doesn't rely on brute strength?

    Of course, the weapons themselves could change, but it's hard to see the overall changes that would need to be made without ... you know... going through and making them.

    I think it's an interesting idea, and I'm not opposed to it in theory, but I think it would need a lot of tweaking.

    As for wound allocation, I think going back to 4th's version (torrent of fire: shooting/assaulting player that does as many or more wounds than models in enemy unit elects one model that must take at least one save. 2 if twice the wounds are done, etc, add inf.). It did what it was supposed to do, wasn't all that complicated, and helped the person trying to kill you, not the person hiding behind a tree.

    And if I can start consolidating into combat again, I am so starting a Wych Cult.

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  6. Hmmnnn... those are good points. How about this:

    Revised Vehicle Damage Table:

    0: (Glance) Shaken
    1: Stunned
    2: Weapon Destroyed
    3: Immobilized
    4: Wrecked (no passenger wounds)
    5: Wrecked (each passenger takes a S3 hit)
    6: Wrecked (each passenger takes a S4 hit)
    7: Explosion (each passenger takes a S5 hit, S3 hit to all models within D6"), leaves a crater.
    8+: Explosion (each passenger takes a S6 hit, S4 hit to all models within D6"), leaves a crater.

    And this...

    "Weight of Fire" Rule:

    When firing multiple heavy weapons of the same strength against a vehicle, do not roll on the vehicle damage chart separately for each hit. Instead, each hit after the first adds a +1 to the result of a single roll on the vehicle damage chart for all hits of the same strength.

    Thus, a single autocannon's two shots have the potential to at least blow off a Chimera's weapon from the front. While an Autocannon Heavy Weapons squad could wreck a Land Raider on a 5+ if they all hit.

    That same unit would kill an Ork trukk on a 4+ if half of their shots hit.

    A Vendetta hitting with 3 Lascannons would wreck a Land Raider on a 6+.

    5 Long Fangs with Missile Launchers would kill a Land Raider on a 6+ if they all hit. Or on a 4+ if they had lascannons.

    This would make units of 3 Hydras or 15 Lootas pretty darn scary.

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  7. all i want is what i've wanted for years : a well written and expandable rule system. dp9 and privateer have done it, so can you gw.

    my ruminations on your thoughts :

    1 - there's too much fleet on the table for this to be anywhere near fair. that's all the hammer/shrike armies need. this would make ork waagh turns WAY scary.

    the trend in the game of putting more models on the table makes any kind of consolidation like this very sketchy and possibly too powerful.

    2 - wound allocation is only really an issue for complex multi-wound units right now. changing this to simply have the 'float' wounds done per unit instead of by grouping would go a long way to cutting down on that pain and make things a little easier to manage and keep track of.

    maybe even having the wound assignment come after saves are taken could speed things up. avoiding the impossible-to-kill sergeants of yore is a good thing, but we've traded that in for a greater evil. no matter what, this needs to be something very fast and simple.

    3 - vehicles need to go back to being like big models. with a toughness, wound, and save characteristic - even LD! this way there is a single damage system for the whole game. facings can stay the same, with the armor save being what changes. damage charts aren't even technically needed with this system.

    v1.5 of 40k moved us away from this system, and we've had a see-saw relationship with vehicles ever since.

    each wound you take causes an LD check, with a failure being 'shaken'
    if you are already 'shaken', the next wound will 'stun'
    etc for weapon destroyed and immobilized
    once you lose your wounds, you are a wreck
    wrecks burn until they 'cook off' on a D6 of 4+ at the start of each shooting phase (so you have time to run away)
    ...no charts, and the damage system is the same for vehicles and infantry.

    other systems have gone the direction of treating a vehicle like a unit - with each part (track/turret/hull/etc) being a separate target. while neat, i think that adds too much time to the game.

    4 - altering the battlefield, even just wrecks, opens a giant can of worms. that said, having a wreck 'cook off' on a D6 roll every turn could be awesome.

    5 - i only want to point out that wheeled vehicles actually have a better record nowadays for being able to continue once part of their drive system gets gummed up. once you throw a track or jam a tread system, you're boned.

    6 - this should be in army-level rules, not system-level. each army treats its leaders in different ways, and will react in a unique manner. putting too much system-level stress on this makes those of us that prefer grunts in an awkward position. i'm already pissed i have to buy an HQ at all, making me depend on the prima donna is just mean.

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  8. @Steve

    3) Interesting.

    4) A "cook off' roll would be awesome. But I still want the ability to push wrecks around. I want to be able to push that bomb into the enemy's face. :)

    5) Yeah, but we're talking about the likelihood of a tracked vehicle getting hung up on an obstacle. They can get stuck in real life, but are usually able to wiggle free in a way that most wheeled vehicles cannot.

    6) There should be a system-level mechanic for army leadership which is modified on an army-by-army basis. The change I'm suggesting works with the current army books. It can then be written into each new codex as they're updated.

    Moral is a huge issue on the battlefield. But our little toy soldiers don't care how many of their friends die, or whether their dear leader just ran off the table. From my understanding, losing your HQ in Flames of War can be devastating. It should at least matter some in 40K.

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  9. The only other thing that I'd really want to change is the fact that they're invincible in there in the first place, which is even more ridiculous when you consider a fix is already in the current rules, just in a manner that we never see.

    Buildings--not Ruins, actual Buildings, the ones nobody ever uses. Buildings act as Immobilized Transport Vehicles that either team may use--they are identical to every other Transport Vehicle in the entire game from a rules aspect, except for one:

    If you fire a Template weapon at a Building, and the Template weapon falls over a Firing Point on the Building, the occupants of that Building take d6 hits from the Template weapon. They included a way to kill the occupants without necessarily killing the Building.

    You copy/paste that rule to Transport Vehicles and everything changes. Suddenly, Firing Points aren't a no-downside luxury that makes Chimeras the ridiculous death machines they currently are, with T3 4+ yet temporarily invincible Vets pouring BS4 Melta/Plasma shots out the back. You drive up a Redeemer, Speeder, or even TL HF Razorback (a thing we'd never see in the current game) and toast some of the occupants, even if you don't currently have the spare firepower to destroy the vehicle itself. Armies who lack overwhelming anti-tank options, the ones who are suffering from the Transport-heavy game right now, could instead switch their focus to hurting the guys inside the vehicles.

    Similarly, the lack of Firing Points becomes a defensive bonus that certain armies will appreciate. Eldar and Tau might not be so disappointed that their Transports lack the ability for their Transport occupants to contribute fire when that fact is also keeping them safe. It's also a meaningful (and logical) downside to Open Topped vehicles, since the entire vehicle is eligible to draw hits on the occupants.

    The added effect this has is that, once you open up the ability to inflict casualties upon the occupants of a vehicle, they could also become vulnerable to 25% Morale Checks. In the specific instance of Template weapons, it makes perfect sense, as you're effectively filling the vehicle with fire in the first place. Fail a Morale Check in a vehicle, you fall out the rear-most Access Point and start the run toward your board edge just like any other Fall Back. You gain the ability to force occupants out of their Transport, even if you lack the ability to kill the Transport itself--albeit very rarely in most cases.

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  10. Apparently, the blog comments have:

    A). a character cap
    B). a complete inability to deal with one person posting successive comments

    There was originally a first half to my post there, but the board ate it and replaced it with the second one.

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  11. @DodgerJ3

    Sorry about that. Must be a blogger limitation.

    I do like your template weapon idea. I also don't like it, as I'd have to start buying carapace armor for all my Vets. ;)

    But it would suddenly make Burna Boyz very popular amongst Ork Players. Though Land Raiders would still be a huge problem for the greenies.

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  12. I really like the template idea, but I'm going to play both favorites and devil's advocate with things like Dark Eldar. This rule would absolutely bone them, and let's be honest, they don't need it - anyone (and I mean anyone) can open up a Raider already. Bolters can literally wreck them.

    By and large, this rule could be implemented without any severe imbalances... but I think in this case it may go one step too far.

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  13. Ok, reading through it all, I really like the idea of armor counting against the difference. Cause that is why everyone is taking many light transports, when right now a land raider dies almost as easily as a rhino to a meltagun, which are candy.

    But as stated, as the Original post suggestion limits the use of missiles and such against heavy armor making them almost more survivable.

    I suggest a compromise. Have a damage table like what we have now. But how much you beat armor by is how much of a bonus you get on the table. Maybe halve it if that is to powerful. But that still allows for if you decide to use overkill against a truck, you get overkill.

    Maybe something like
    1: Shaken
    2: Stunned
    3: System locked (stunned for D3 turns)
    4: Weapon Destroyed
    5: Immobilized
    6: Wrecked (no passenger wounds)
    7: Explosion (each passenger takes a S4 hit)
    8: Explosion (each passenger takes a S5 hit, S3 hit to all models within 3"), leaves a crater.
    9+: Explosion (each passenger takes a S6 hit, S4 hit to all models within 4"), leaves a crater.

    So there are no longer glances, it is simply hitting the armor, and the higher the modifier the more likely to do damage. Have AP1,2 and - have above mentioned modifiers.

    I do like the idea of using flamers against transports,...but hitting a small opening on a moving vehicles is difficult. Lets tie them in with the want to use frag grenades as damage. Flamers can be used as grenades against vehicles with fire points. And frag grenades work like flamers against fire points. So you roll to hit vs movement. Then you get D6 hits against the squad inside. frags count like the small blast template frag rounds.

    Lastly, Fleet allows you to consolidate using the move through cover rule, so 2D6 take the highest. Giving them a better chance to get into cover if possible. And maybe having "move through cover" or "fleet" work like assault grenades. Maybe then genestealers and hormagaunts and other assault units outside of tyranids that don't have grenades but are fast yet strike last, will work.

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  14. @TheGraveMind
    That is exactly what I was going to say: Still have a roll, but give the roll a bonus based on how hard you blew through the armor. It gives weaker attacks a chance while still benefiting stronger ones.

    Even the combined fire rule suggested above is a problem for the likes of orks, who cannot reasonably expect to hit the same vehicle multiple times with vehicle killing munitions. Let lucky shots happen.

    And oh god yes, have move through cover let you assault through terrain without the initiative penalty.

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  15. …except that penetration and damage are already conceptually confused in 40k, and this won't help at all.

    technically the system should work where you first determine if you can penetrate the vehicle based on AP, and then the damage is determined based on strength. but since the warhammer system is backwards in how it does all this...

    'improving' the current system is just piling bandaids on top of a gaping chest wound.

    most vehicles (AV12 and under) area already plenty vulnerable. there are very few non-vehicle elements in the game that can be destroyed in a single action. if i can't melt a wraithlord's legs off or lascannon a carnifex in the head, then why can i autocannon kill a chimera?

    the damage system in 40k needs to be redone - but it won't be.

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  16. My big want is that, if you assault & trash a transport (forcing its passengers out), you should be engaged with the disembarking passengers.

    It's silly that a Bloodthirster can roll up, chop a chimera in half, and be like, "What's up?" It'd make transports a little less of a no-brainer.

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  17. The multi-wound allocation cheese if fixed easily by requiring wounded models to be allocated hits first. IC's would, of course, be exempt.

    I like Dodger's idea for allowing template weapons to hit vehicle occupants. I'd modify it a bit further though. Have the template only do d3 hits to occupants of true opened topped transports, so that Orks and DE aren't completely boned. Transports that are only opened top due to the fire point rule, would still get d6. Say units that suffer moral effects inside of their transports are pinned down inside. The transport can act normally, but the unit inside cannot get out or fire out. And allow the unit inside to voluntarily pin themselves to close the hatch.

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  18. Number 1 would turn TWC into absolute beasts..

    Actually all Fleet Units would get quite a large bonus without any points costs.

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  19. @CaulynDarr

    Why not make true open-topped D6 and close-topped with fire points D3?

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  20. My reasoning is that closed spaces amplify the effects of a flamer. Game balance wise, most armies that have opponent topped transports have units with poor armor saves to put in them. Meaning that two flamers would have a reasonable chance of wiping out a embarked Ork or DE unit.

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  21. The simpler solution would to be to limit it based on a combination of the Fast and Open-Topped rules, like how Fast and Skimmer combines to allow the 24" Flat Out move and accompanying Cover Save.

    Template hitting a Fire Point or Open-Topped Vehicle results in D6 passenger hits. Template hitting an Open-Topped Vehicle that is also Fast results in D3 passenger hits.

    This weakens it against DE Transports, Trukks, and Storms but not against things like Battlewagons (which have enough Orks inside to weather the hits).

    Or make it even simpler by tying the Flamer effect to the prior turn speed of the vehicle, like Close Combat. Stationary/Combat Speed is D6, Cruising/Flat Out is D3. No Trukk or Raider should ever be going <6" in the first place, and it's a more logical connection to the speed of the vehicle equating to the difficulting of filling it with fiery death.

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