Friday, June 24, 2011

Salt Warnings And All That... But Wow!

by SandWyrm


BoLS has a CRAP TON of additional rumors about 6th Edition up in their lounge (Edit: They're a re-post from Blood of Kittens). TWENTY-ONE PAGES WORTH when pasted into Word! Honestly, I got about half-way through them and skimmed the rest. With this much intricate detail, it's either the real deal or someone's autistic brother has WAY to much time on his hands. Really, it would take weeks to dream this up with the level of consistency that I see here.

Working from an assumption (probably completely wrong) that these rumors are mostly correct, I'll comment on a few specific items.

"As I am done with GW forever. I love the miniatures, I like the new rules (been pretty enthusiastic about it), but I hate the company, that makes them. If you knew what I know you would feel the same. GW doesn’t care for their customers one bit. The whole corporal culture is cynical as hell. The managers despise the hobby and all immatures who play it. There is a huge rift in the management and most of the executives that actually play the game have left or are leaving the company right now."

Well yeah, we knew that. Anyone willing to bet that Privateer Press has hired as many ex-GW guys as Mantic has? They smell blood in the water for a reason, because their new hires have told them all about GW's immediate development plans.

How enthusiastic you are about these (unconfirmed) rules will depend on how competitive you are. Because they're going to add at least 30-50% to your playing time. I can see now why Alessio is going the other way and streamlining Mantic's system as much as he can.

"Layout
Pretty crisp and clean
on odd pages there is the normal rule text with examples, on even pages there are the usual diagrams and charts, and small boxes with definitions

Are these diagrams and charts in full color within a 5 lb rulebook?  Will that book cost $100?

"Lots of rules that were formerly explained within the text, are now only summarized in the text, the full rules are given in these boxes, you can read the rules text very fast without much detail, there are some boxes that have a name of a rule, but are empty otherwise. I guess that there should be page references to later pages, for example in the terrain rules, there is Torrent of Fire mentioned, the rule is explained much later (in a box), there is an empty box in the terrain section that reads Torrent of Fire however
So you have both: clear rules veterans and easy reading for first-timers
But it seems that there is not much space left for pictures, though"

It sounds like a cross-referencing nightmare. I do appreciate GW's desire to clean up it's rules writing and layout design. But if it's not absolutely top-notch, with specific pages listed so that you don't have to consult the index, it's not going to work.

"Keep track on:
wounds
movement distance
morale condition
everything else can be forgotten between actions
"

So we're going to have to start using counters in 40K to keep track of move distance and "morale condition" for each unit? That's going to really irritate me, as I hate counter-clutter. Mantic's systems require you to keep track of damage, but the tradeoff is that the game is much faster to play. While this version of 40K would be more complex and take longer to play. Not good.

"Saves:
4 kind of changes: armour save, cover save, invulnerable save, Feel no Pain
no model can ever make more than two saves or one re-rollable save
normal models can only make one roll or one re-rollable roll
Situation where two rolls are eligible:
- one of the saves is FnP
- model is character
- model is bracing


Feel no Pain (1-3): save on 5+,4+,3+, only negated by AP 1, 2 and wounds that don’t allow armour saves, the only save that every model and not only ICs may take in addition to another save"

Actions
The rules make really clear what an unit can do and what not. There is an own chapter for the basic concepts. Every special rule has only to state: can do x, y, z and it is perfectly clear that the unit can still a, b and c
Actions:
- movement: movement in movement phase, sometimes only special types of movement are allowed: advance, surge, flat out, fleet; charge and disembark have to be rules out explicitly
- consolidate moves: every other move, has to be mentioned explicitly
- psychic powers
- shooting
- Reactions
- residual actions: any other action, for example popping smoke
unit is immobile: abbreviation for cannot move, react, make consolidation moves

(snip)"

Anybody remember the old 2-sided cardboard reference sheets that we used to get in 2nd and 3rd editions? Well, this is going to require a folded, 4-page reference board. I really, really, really, don't want to have to use something like that again.

"vehicles must designate a point where they enter the terrain before the movement, than make the test, if vehicle is stunned, immobilized or destroyed, move it to designated point in a straight line
for every failed test, the unit gets a hit
non-vehicles: failed on 1: auto wound on unit, allocated together as Torrent of Fire
vehicles: roll depends on movement distance: advanced = failed on 1, surged = failed on 1-3, flat out = failed automatically, vehicle gets S8 hit against side armour
walker only ever fail on 1"

So besides being very easy to hit, vehicles are now going to have an even harder time going through terrain? With no difference mentioned between tracked and wheeled vehicles? Ugh.

Forced surge: Units can surge through terrain if they are allowed to go flat out outside terrain this turn. Tanks cannot force surge (except during a ram).
If the unit fails an I-test, terrain is treated as dangerous terrain.
During a charge, every unit can try to surge through. If the I-test is failed, the unit still can only advance. units, that have passed their I-test for the fleet movement, automatically pass this I-test.
Can’t surge if there is another reason for the restriction to advance movement than terrain.
"Unit types:
infantry: 6”
beasts/cavalry: 8”, fleet (1)
jump infantry: 8”, ignore terrain*
jet pack infantry: 6”, ignore terrain*, 6” move in consolidation phase
jetbikes: 10”, ignore terrain*, flat out
(eldar jetbike: jetbike with Fleet (2) )
bikes: 8”, flat out, cannot force surge
vehicles: 6”
fast vehicles: 6”, flat out
fast skimmer: 8”, flat out
walker: 6”, treat terrain like infantry

* as long as they don’t start or end in terrain

Fleet (1): infantry, beasts, monstrous creature, jump infantry, jet pack infantry: I-test, if successful, can perform fleet movement, can always advance during disembarkation;
bikes and jetbikes: I-test successful: can make 6” move in consolidation phase
Fleet (2)/Bounding Leap: as Fleet (1), no I-Test required"

This is so stupid broken that I hope to God it's a bunch of Bull.

The only way I could see this being plausible is through a massive internal restructuring at GW. Wherein Jervis was finally able to get Alessio and his lesser-known executive allies fired. Giving him a free hand to create the JJ-40K that he always wanted to make. Because Jervis honestly thinks that he represents the heart and soul of the average player.

Don't think so? Just look at JJ's Throne of Skulls event and it's convoluted scoring system. Where your score is modified by the average score of everyone else that played your army that day. So he has no problem introducing dodgy complexities for the sake of half-baked nods to the casual crowd.

"Movement distance is important for shooting, only the attempted movement in the movement phase counts (other movements do not count, consolidate moves don’t count, even a vehicle that has movement 1” can claim having moved flat out),
can be ‘overridden’ by three events outside movement phase:
fighting in close combat : stationary
become immobile: stationary
falling back: moving"

You know, there are some rumors that are so bad that they go right past 'wishlisting' and back around to plausible again. A tank that moves 1" can claim a BS reduction for it's intended move? Who the hell would think that's a good idea? This is the sort of idiotic compromise that emerges from committee group-think, not fanboys.

"Wounding:
To wound chart:
wound everything at least on 6+"

Hey! I don't need melta/plasma to kill Trygons and Dreadknights anymore. Just a big blob of IG infantry and a FRFSRF order!

In other news, Tyranid sales go negative.

Wound Allocation (cc and shooting):
hit as normal, wound against majority

mark dice that represent special weapons and attacks or roll separately

1. decide whether to use Torrent of Fire or not
2. target’s player allocate wounds to models, beginning with one chosen armour group, if every model in this group has a wound, start with another armour group and so on, if every model in the unit has a wound, start over
—> multiple wounds: count for allocation as as many models as wounds remain
3. pick an unresolved armour group, determine which wounds are directed
4. directed wounds: roll saves for directed wounds, shooting player removes casualties
5. roll all remaining saves of this armour group, owning player removes casualties
6. goto 3

Directed wounds:

there are directed wounds in close combat and long-range combat, casualties from directed wounds are removed by owning player of the attacking unit
Wounds cannot be directed if targeted unit has Shielded USR, Torrent of Fire is used, vehicle diverts its fire or non-vehicle, non-MC unit is in fire corridor
Number of directed wounds: After allocating wounds to an armour group, it is determined if the how many and which wounds are directed as following:
- every attack from an IC in close combat is a directed wound,
- of the remaining wounds, every second wound, beginning with the first, from a Sniper weapon is directed.
- Of the remaining wounds on-sniper wounds, every fifth wound is directed, owning player of the shooting unit decides which wounds are directed

Torrent of Fire/Blows: if torrent of fire is used, the targeted unit is a single armour group, the owning player can choose one model, the whole unit has the same combination of armour saves

During a Torrent of Fire, no wound is directed

Armour group: number of model that share the same combination of saves, for example: 3+ armour save, Feel no Pain (1), no invulnerable save, 6+ cover save that is re-rollable on 1

So like, we had these two awesome ideas for fixing wound allocation, but the Fairness In Allocation committee was split 6-6 and couldn't decide which one to recommend. So Jervis showed that he's like a total King Soloman and said: "We shall put them both in and let the players pick."

Really GW? Really? You couldn't just let us allocate by AP or nearest/visible models first? You had to go and make the most tedious, convoluted part of the game even more tedious and convoluted?


If this is true, there isn't just blood in the water. There's huge chunks of rotting chum in there too.

To Hit chart:
it is the same chart as the wound chart, but with seven columns from 0 till 6
(evasion value in brackets, abbreviates for small chart)



rows:
buildings (0)
stationary vehicles, MC, bikes (1)
stationary infantry, jet pack infantry, jump infantry, beasts // moving vehicles, monstrous creatures (2)
short distance // moving infantry, jet pack infantry (3)
moving bikes, jump infantry, beasts // swarms // flat out vehicles (4)
flat out bikes (5)
flyers, beacons (some narrative missions use beacons) (6)

columns:

BS 1-10

every column is: …. 6+ 6+ 6+ 5+ 4+ 3+ 2+ 2+ 2+ …. but is shifted up or down
I give you the BS value for every column that hits on 3+: 1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7

if distance from squad leader to target is less than 12”, unit can always change column to short distance column
if a model moves like a different unit type, the initial unit type is still used for the chart

I won't go on, as you get the point.

Please Lord, by all that's holy let this be some sort of Mantic/PP authored disInfo campaign. Or an attempt by someone at GW to force a reality check on management. Because otherwise this really will be the Windows Vista of science fiction war games.

On a logical level, it would be utterly insane for GW to release a version of 40K like this. They would lose at least half of the 40K player base overnight and probably another half over the following year. With a good many refugees going to their new found competition. So you could dismiss these rumors as BS on that basis alone. Logic dictates that they release a minor update to 5th, not a complete overhaul.

But anyone who's been in business long enough knows that businessmen don't always follow logic or reason. Egos can take over and blind them to reality. Making them think that their customers will buy anything they produce forever. So they get lazy/stupid in their decision making.

Just look at Motorola and the Razor. That one single product line floated the entire rotting carcass of a company for 2-3 years, and the executives there developed nothing to replace it. When Razor sales finally dropped off, the end came suddenly. One week the company was there and the next it wasn't. Stupid.

So while I'd like to say "No fraking way!", my gut tells me that these rumors are at least plausible. Particularly given the personnel changes and business decisions that we've seen over the last couple of years. If management is aloof and doesn't care about development details, then they're more likely to just let Jervis run things. If Jervis has complete freedom to do what he wants (after forcing out dissenters), then he could be designing the game he always wanted with little or no regard to the business realities of his decisions. It's happened before at all sorts of companies/industries and would hardly be unique to GW.

We'll see. I have no insider knowledge of GW, and so everything I've said is speculation based on my intuition and knowledge of how people and businesses actually work. Take it all with HUGE helpings of salt.

Thoughts?

19 comments:

  1. Now I can see why there are those guys out there who stick by "their" edition of 40k and will only play 4th ed (or whatever). I can see myself going that route if they do this kind of overhaul.

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  2. Was Jervis Johnson the one responsible for counting a stick of deodorant as a tank in a game of 40K, then taking pictures of it? :(

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  3. I will say, the "keep track of this stuff" list is not the clutter issue you make it out to be. Currently we keep track of...

    wounds: How dead is my multi-wound model, how many casualties has this squad taken since the game started?
    movement distance: Did my vehicle move 0, 6, or 12 inches this turn? Did my heavy weapons units move at all?
    morale condition: Is this unit running away, cowering in a hole, or doing just dandy?

    We already keep track of all of the those, plus a few other things like popped smoke and firing guns that aren't assault weapons. If you don't have a huge pile of markers now, I don't see why you would with this.

    And I could certainly live with smaller movement distances for the stupid-fast assault units. Everything else here though... eeegh. Strikes me as decisions in desperate need of consumer playtesting and feedback.

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  4. There is no way GW makes 40K more complicated. Look at WFB 8th ed - the game plays faster, rolls more dice and requires less thinking. Expect the same for 40K.

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  5. @Greyen

    Hey, that's an option. WinXP still has a market share of 40%. Even 2 years into Win7.

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  6. @Gonewild

    My favorite Jervis moment was the White Dwarf a few years ago that set up a special multi-table battle report.

    They had gone to the huge expense of borrowing some huge mega-detailed tables from a convention, and setting up interlinked missions where the actions on one table would affect the others. Such as whoever controlled the moon defense laser on a given turn being able to bombard other tables with it.

    To cap it all off, they intended there to be an overall general for each side. Who would interact with his forces via simulated satellite photos and written orders. It was an awesome plan.

    So what does General Jervis do? He comes in, starts drinking beer, ignoring the photos, and spitting out nonsensical orders like "Hold the line" and "Purge the Xenos!". With the obvious results.

    I can only imagine the rage of the guys who had set everything up only to have JJ crap all over it.

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  7. I wonder what happens when 6th is released and noone buys it? I seriously have visions of folks clinging to grimy dog eared copies of their 5th codexs.

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  8. If these are true, we now know more about a 6th edition that's 1 year down the line than the Sisters of Battle coming out next month.

    Doesn't add up.

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  9. Official leaks vs. unplanned leaks? Real rumors aren't nice and neat and in chronological order. :)

    I'm told that the entire 5th Edition rulebook was leaked 6 months before release. So it's not unheard of. Unlikely perhaps, but not unheard of.

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  10. Since this still all looks like relatively obvious fan-written stuff, I'll just go ahead and point out that you can already wound everything in the Tyranid Codex (and Dreadknights) with Lasguns.

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  11. I just love the fact that TWC can now fleet 24" and then charge.


    Oh and if you move flat out through terrain, you auto fail your Dangerous Terrain test. Haha

    I'm doubting all these rumors, as the EARLIEST we will be hearing real 6th ed rumors will prolly not be for another 6 months. Remember, the 5th ed rumors and the leaked rulebook came out only 4 or so months before the release (I believe it was around April of 2008....as the Codex and C:SM were release around September). So this is too early to be legit. I'm not worried. Particularly because it's a complete overhaul and over-complication of the game

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  12. The main thing that jumps out at me is how over-complicated most of it is. The same effect could have been achieved using stock GW tropes that they have used for years. The lack of them makes me very suspicious of this thing's authenticity.


    For example the weird columns for "to hit" could have been resolved with modifiers and simplified a great deal (-1 for moving targets +1 for large targets etc.).

    The main thing that makes it implausible is the absurd unbalancing effect it would have on relative unit values.
    For example, jump troops would be far more survivable to shooting making DoA armies near-unkillable. Vendettas would require a 6+ to hit with a BS4 lascannon - that's 4x more survivable!


    Although each rules release does upset the balance somewhat, I just can't see GW making changes that upset the current cost-balance so dramatically. All their current codices would need re-printing. Unkillable Vendettas alone is enough for me to call BS on it.

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  13. To be honest, I've got 4 fantasy armies that are gathering dust in the closet since 8th ed. In my eyes they totally destroyed Warhammer Fantasy and turned it into Magic Hammer.

    They wrote such poor, unbalanced rules that non GW tournaments are altering the rules to make them fair and prevent abuse of the magic system or unit size rules.

    The change from 7th ed to 8th ed was SO drastic as to be a totally different, unfun game.

    It doesn't surprise me that they would change 40k this much to try to make it a better game and fail miserably.

    But I agree with Roland that its still very early to be panicking about the new rules.

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  14. @Korona

    (playing Devil's advocate here)

    The lack of polish could be explained if these are alpha test rules. Consolidation of complexities is a later stage of development.

    Vendettas would only be un-killable if they're not firing and moving flat out. The real thing to fear is unkillable StormRavens full of assault troops and Dreds.

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  15. @SandWyrm - I expect Flyers to be the stars of sixth edition, as the Sexy New Hotness of the last few years, and so borderline-unkillable flying transports would not exactly surprise me, even if I think it's a little unsubtle.

    Also, I thought Blood Bowl was the game Jervo always wanted to design? That's turned out rather well, really, apart from the odd blips like the Vampire team.

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  16. Well, regarding the credibility of the rumors:

    a) Someone with access to alpha/beta-testing phase rules got mightily pissed and leaked it. Which still leaves us with the big question: how many changes did GW make after that trial phase.
    b) Someone from GW itself leaked those stuff with the intention to pull the attention of the internet-crowd towards some ed6 rumors and away from all the "Finecrap-bashing/I will quit 40k and start playing WM/H" topics floating around.
    c) someone really has too much free time and created all that stuff either from scratch or used a very-very alpha stage document for groundwork's.

    I'm not sure if we ever had reliable rumors that early in the past, but I also can't remember s.o putting THAT much effort in a fake document.

    What really makes me disbelieve the credibility of the document are those strange movement values. Unless there are a lot of free extra movements going on for non-infantry units in the first or last phase of each players turn, anything which isn't a infantry model got pretty shafted. 8" move for a FAST skimmer. only +2 compared to vanilla infantry? And -2 inches compared to jetbikes? That can't be true and goes against anything GW have done in the past.

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  17. @ Karnstein

    On the note of movement values, it's kind of hidden in there, but those are the base moves. For example, current vehicles have combat, cruising, and flat out speeds.

    The 8" for Fast Skimmers is their new combat speed. Cruising is still double that, and Flat Out triple... so while it seems a kick in the face at first, it's actually an improvement.

    For the record, I'm voting for alpha-alpha rules. Comprehensive, but unpolished and, in the case of the to-hit chart, overly complicated (+/-1, which it really is already, is just an easier way to read it).

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  18. Some things I know:

    Sounds like the board/CEO of just every company I have ever been in contact with personally. I'm sure there are exceptions, but the most common way companies are ran is this way, for pure profit and without any care for the customers.

    It also sounds like GW is rudderless when it comes to leadership. Let's say these rumors are true, in the sense that they do come from someone with access to some form of 6th ed, why the heck are they changing the rules so drastically? A classic don't know what they are doing company (Motorola for instance) will hold on to what they know (RAZR / 5th ed) rather than move forward. This sounds more like a mad prophet kind of deal.

    We'll see what happens. I'll play if there are others to play with, but bad rules can really quickly hose a game system.

    ReplyDelete

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