Wednesday, July 6, 2011

If 40K Had Better Tank Rules...

by SandWyrm

I've been playing World of Tanks for about a week now. With 364 battles under my belt, or a bit more than double my 5th Edition 40K experience, I'm starting to crave some changes to how vehicles work in 40K. Here's my accumulated thoughts.

1) All 40K Vehicles Should Have A Movement Stat

Why, oh why, does 40K treat every vehicle the same in terms of movement? Why do we only have a couple of ways (Fast Vehicles, Lumbering Behemoth) of differentiating movement? Having a stat would let us have additional tradeoffs when fielding certain units. Want to get there fast? Take a Rhino. Want to stick a weapon on the Rhino (Razorback)? Then you lose 2" of movement.

So something like the following:

10" - Hellhounds, Grot Buggies, Wave Serpents
8" - Ork Trukks, Rhinos, Baal Preds, Fire Prisms, Devilfish
7" - Rhinos, Battle Wagons
6" - Land Raiders, Razorbacks, Vindicators,  Hammerheads
5" - Chimeras, Hydras
4" - Leman Russes, IG Light Artillery (Griffons)
3" - IG Heavy Artillery (Basilisk, Medusa), Baneblades

2) Turning Should Slow You Down - A LOT

If your vehicle doesn't turn, you should be allowed to double your movement. If you do turn, you should have to go your base move and only get one 90º turn at some point during your move. Agile vehicles could be allowed 2 turns. While lumbering vehicles (Russes, Baneblades) could only turn OR move.

3) Terrain Should Affect Vehicles Differently

Tanks should never be permanently immobilized, except by an enemy shot. Instead, a tank that fails a difficult terrain test should only lose one turn of movement.

As for the tests themselves, they should be easier to pass if the tank is going faster, and harder to pass if it's going slower. Say a 6+ if you move 7+", and a 4+ if you went more slowly or started your turn in the terrain.

For light wheeled vehicles like Trukks, it should be a 4+ for going slowly and a 2+ if moving fast.

4) Tanks should be easier (and harder) to hit

For infantry shooting at tanks, it should be a +1 at long range (over half), and a +2 at short range. Immobilized tanks should be a +3.

For tank-on-tank, the bonus should also be +1/+2, with a +0 if you're within 6" of the target. Because when you're bumper to bumper it's pretty hard to hit unless the other guy isn't moving (+3). Tank Destroyers (Vindicator, Medusa), should only hit moving targets within 6" on a 6+. Because if a turreted tank gets that close to you, it's over.

For artillery-on-tank (Basilisk), it should be +0/+1 when firing directly. Because they're designed to hit targets indirectly. Otherwise they would shoot like Tank Destroyers.

5) All Tanks Should Have Ammo Options

Russes, Medusas, and Vindicators shouldn't just throw large blasts, they should also be able to shoot direct-fire armor-piercing rounds instead. It makes no sense that a Russ can't meaningfully hurt another Russ with it's main weapon.

So let's give them all single-shot anti-tank shells that can hurt other armor. A long-barreled tank like the Vanquisher could just be more accurate or have a higher penetrating power.

In addition to this, let's have different classes of AP1-like penetration. There should be shells that offer a +1, +2, or even a +3 to the roll on the vehicle damage table.

6) Damage Should Accumulate

Here's what I'm thinking. Whenever a vehicle is damaged (Stunned, Weapon Destroyed, Immobilized), the next time that it's shot, the damage roll STARTS from there.

So say a Chimera takes a lascannon pen to the front and is stunned (roll of 2). The next time it's penetrated the enemy gets a +2 to it's damage roll. Meaning that it only needs a 3+ to destroy the tank instead of a 5+.

That would go a long way towards making vehicle damage less random.



  1. so you want 1st or 2nd edition vehicles rules? remember that the vehicle rules are grafted onto an infantry based game, so they will always suck in some way.

    that said…

    1. this is a problem with infantry as well, so changing this up just for vehicles isn't really fixing the main problem in that generic 'types' are used instead of unit-specific rules all over the place.

    2. so we get to have more arguments with people about if that turn was actually 90 degrees, or just in the high 80s? better to just make any turn equal to 3" or something like that.

    3. ...except that the faster you go, the worse the damage will be if you do crash.

    4. modifiers are bad (in 40k anyway). maybe allow re-rolls instead if certain conditions are met, and force re-rolls for the harder shots.

    5. or just allow ordnance weapons to always add an additional D3 to the penetration roll instead of the current hight-of-two it has now. or you can trade a small blast for +1D6, and a large blast for +1D6.

    6. instead of basing this modifier on the result rolled, just add +1 for each penetrating hit a vehicle has taken so far. kind of like how war of the ring treats big monsters - each 'wound' markers adds +1 to the table.

  2. I agree that the rules for tanks currently does leave a bit to be desired. Seriously, I'm an inch from an immobilized tank and miss? I think that an increased rule set for shooting at/with tanks and additional modifiers to damage would make for a more "realistic" game (if you can see 40k as realistic). I believe it would force the use of different tactics and all in all add to the enjoyment of the game for most.

    HOWEVER - with any added complication of the rules adds well... complication. The drawback would be what I believe GW saw as the drawback in the glory days of 2nd edition. TIME. I don't think there was a single game I played in under 4 hours. Everything had a movement value, I believe you could only pivot so far, ordinance couldn't be fired on the move. Every vehicle type had it's own datasheet with specific damage results (remember those?). The game had lots of flavor, but at the price of time.

    So personally, I'd play either way. It is just a question of what is more important:
    1.) A realistic game with very realistic gameplay.
    2.) A streamlined game with universal special rules for ease of play (especially to newcomers).

    I may be way off on that thought, but I'm usually a bit 'off' anyway so it's kind of hard to gauge.

  3. Why do we want to make vehicles MORE complicated? This seems silly to me.

    I think they should be simplified further and made more reliable by simply fabricating a wound-equivalent damage system, where upon removal of all "damage points" (or w/e you want to call them), the vehicle either decommissions (1-2, get out safely, impassable terrain), wrecks (3-4, pin test, dangerous terrain), or explodes (5-6, explosion, crater).

    Solves all the variable problems between vehicles with higher points values (i.e. one meltagun can kill my 250 point land raider or my 35 point rhino).

    As far as variable movement and all that ... the problem is that you create complications and game extensions to a full scale wargame on a table with hundreds of models and dozens of tanks already. They're all good IDEAS .... I just don't think they apply as well to this scale and style of game ... games already take at least 2 hours at an intense tournament pace as it is. Adding a need for more markers and identifiers and arguments about "straight lines" vs. turns and all of that ... just sounds like a major delay to an already sluggish system.

    $.02 as always, only

  4. More charts and graphs aren't the solution to making the game better, that is the answer to making it more realistic. Remember that realism doesn’t always equate to better.

    In my humble opinion the way to make the game better is to simplify it, remove the complicated rules and streamline the game play. I have started to paint a few flames of war tanks for fun. But when I went to the local game store and thumbed through the rules I was instantly turned off by all the different ‘unit status’ rules and over complication to increase the ‘realism’ of the system.

    Time is coming when GW will be forced to choose between fast game play and realism, a line they have been trying to tread for sometime now, I am afraid they are going to move towards realism which will move me out of the game faster than increased prices.

  5. What Mike said. Incidentally, it also solves the problem of one-gun-no-transport tanks being the suck.

  6. Sandwyrm,
    I know you play guard, but your tanks are awesome as they are! They don't need more rules. How long does it take you now to move all 7 of your chimeras, 2 vendettas, 3 lemun russ tanks, etc? Maybe just a third speed to speed up the game. Like all light vehicles can move 6" fire all guns, 12" fire 1 gun, and 18" and fire nothing.

    The one thing that bothers me so much about vehicles is the damage table change from last edition. A rhino should not be able to stand up to tons of shots meant to destroy tanks because a person cannot roll a 5 or 6.

  7. And that, as has been said, is the problem - someone said upthread that these are vehicle rules grafted onto an infantry game. 40K is no longer really an infantry game though, because of how much vehicles change things. The real question is whether or not GW feels that vehicle sales vs the cost of vehicles being a barrier to entry is a major enough factor to alter the balance of power again.

  8. The only rules I would like to see are wounds inflicted on foot sloggers wehn you roll over them, not just the ghey tank shock morale. W wound per model hit in the charge. Gives folks more of a reason to death or glory, and makes your tank useful even without a gun.

  9. I agree with Mike, I think a damage point system would work really well. The current system is far too variable.

  10. What Underdoc said.

    We have an infantry-centric game that's suddenly become very vehicle-centric without re-balancing the rules to include them properly. I guess what I'm saying is that we need less detail on the infantry rules and a bit more on the vehicles that are now everywhere.

    A large part of the ire about tank spam comes from the fact that tanks are so agile in the game. If they moved more like actual tanks (and trucks), infantry would have more of an advantage in the close-quarters fighting that is 40K.

    I'm not really advocating all of these items as changes. Just pointing out what a more realistic system would look like. If I had my druthers, I'd include the cumulative damage, +2 to hit at all ranges (auto-hit if immobilized), and the single turn (of any degree) when moving.

    As for infantry simplification: LOS/range from sergeants, simplified wound allocation, and less randomness when moving through terrain would save oodles of time. :)

  11. I'm with steve on #3. After all, odds are the fast ones are also less heavily armored/more rickety/fragile, which means it takes less to damage it. IE, boltguns blowing up my precious DE Raiders. TnT


out dang bot!

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