Thursday, 15 May 2014

Richs Thursday Ramble : Warhammer 40k - Elf Edition?

Good Day Sirs!

The inspiration for this weeks ramble stems from a conversation Will and myself had at the weekend regarding our feelings with 6th edition as is and the trepidation with which we're looking ahead to 7th.

As things stand, I am willing to give 7th a shot (though I'm not particularly willing to drop £50 on the set of books to acquire said rules). Some of the changes sound bad, but some of them definitely less so.

Nevertheless, in our conversation Saturday, it was raised that these days, our Warhammer 40000 experience is limited to the playgroup and very little beyond. I honestly cannot recall the last time i played a pick-up game at a store. It would definitely have been back when GW still actually let people play without feeling like they were less welcome to do so.

As such, what is stopping us from taking more ownership of our hobby? If we aren't enjoying it as much as we once were, what's to stop us making changes to compensate? If we're all on the same page, we can take ownership of our own 'fun' and hopefully get some of the joy back.

The obvious fix to both of us was to go back to 5th, but attempt to incorporate some of the elements of 6th that we felt had added to the game, thus creating a sort of 5.5 edition.

The first 6th rule we both agreed that deserved to be tacked onto 5th was the vehicle damage rules. The hull point system isn't flawless (mostly, i think, because some of the hull point values for certain vehicles don't really make sense when looking at the bigger picture) but it definitely helps combat the 5th edition 'metal bawkses' play style. And those frustrating games where you continually roll 1's on the damage table and that damn tank keeps going all game.

I think its probably worth copying and pasting the 6th edition 'special rules' over the 5th ed USRs. There are a few too many of them for my liking, but i think they've permeated too far throughout the 6th codexes to scrap them.

Flyers. My feeling is that the flyer rules aren't so bad that they're worth cutting and reverting all flyers to fast-skimmers (the problem with flyers generally stems from individual units rules). But by the same token, i don't feel so attached to them that i feel that HAVE to stay, so this one is totally up for discussion for me (not that anything else isn't).

Pre-Measuring, i don't feel pre-measuring breaks the game too much, the only argument to be had is, if you allow pre-measuring, do you therefore also include the random assault distances to mitigate this somewhat?
Honestly, i just don't know. I don't even really know if pre-measuring and fixed assault distances is that broken unless you're trying to game the system to ensure the combat goes in your favour somehow.
My gut feeling would be to go with maybe a D6 + 6" charge, or just stick to a 6" charge. 2D6 just doesn't work.

Overwatch. This is a tricky one for me, I think this ties into several other key areas for the decision making process the starts with the snap-firing rule. Is snap-firing a decent rule? Id say yes, it has added tactical flexibility and isn't that difficult to get your head around. I like that a squad lugging heavy weapons can reposition and still get to at least attempt to shoot. Obviously if the answer was 'no' that would make overwatch kind of difficult to incorporate. But I'll continue on the thinking its worth keeping.
Secondly i think you have to look at assault. I don't think anyone could make the argument that 6th hasn't made assault worse. But it would also be false to suggest it was purely overwatch that was the culprit for this, overwatch combined with totally random charge distances combined with having to take your casualties from the front are basically the main ones though. If you're switching to 6" charges, or 6"+D6, is overwatch as broken? Maybe not.
Now, if you're also already reverting to 5ths wound allocation rules, would that be enough to leave the overwatch & assault system as is otherwise? I think it probably is.
The situation in 6th was at its worst when you lined up a 5 or 6 inch charge, lost an unlikely 2 or 3 guys to overwatch and then ended up needing a 7 or 8 and rolling a 6. If you know 6 inches will get you in regardless and you can allocate the overwatch wounds to the guys at the back, that situation will rarely occur.

Oh, and challenges are a no from me.

This wasn't an attempt to say 'Raagh, this is how we're going to play now!'
Just an attempt to promote some discussion with a view to maybe spending a day or two bouncing ideas around and trying them out on the table to see where we get to. If it doesn't really work or if 7th actually proves to be a decent enough improvement over 6th to stick with, fair dos.

So, any thoughts?

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