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Made in gb
Grim Dark Angels Interrogator-Chaplain





Norwich

Sunny Side Up wrote:
 Formosa wrote:
All universes have rules and anything in those universes need to have rules, this is in universe realism.

Just because you have a sci fi or fantasy setting does not mean the realism and rules go out the window, to anyone that believes otherwise I must ask you, since magic exists in Lord of The Rings, why does Gandalf not summon a Blackhawk helicopter to take him to Mordor? its "made up" and he has magic, so why cant he just ignore the rules of the universe ?


But sticking to established in-universe rules isn't the same as sticking to common experience as the original poster demands.

To use the example above, In an Alien movie, I expect acid blood to adhere to the in-universe rules introduced in the universe. I don't expect it to adhere to the rules governing acid in reality. That'd be absurd.



I agree with you but I am talking specifically about the people that either insist no rules matter at all or that they must always be true to life, you are handling the one and my gandalf example handles the other.

   
Made in us
God-like Imperator Titan Commander






Halifax

I feel like Warhammer 40k shouldn't be realistic, but it should enable the players to tell a story.

Maybe the Squats were all the Space Marines we made along the way.  
   
Made in gb
Mekboy Hammerin' Somethin'





Dorset, England

 Lord Damocles wrote:
 Kroem wrote:
Can you give an example of the type of abstractions in the current rules that you take umbrage at?

Perhaps, for example:

- A model can fire four boltguns and a missile launcher similtaneously, but not a single boltgun and a pistol.
- If a model flees from battle it just vanishes on the spot...
- Vehicles are equally resilient when taking hits from all sides - even those vehicles which are clearly more vulnerable from a particular direction (eg. the Basilisk)
- Models can gain wargear mid-battle by having a command point spent on them. That wargear then evaporates at the end of the phase/turn.
- What even are command points? Why does a certain number of dudes turning up to the fight generate more 'command'? How can Marines, for example, be commanded to have transhuman physiology? And where does it go when they're not being commanded to have it? How come you can spend command points even when you have no commanders?
- How come a Knight can't punch enemies on the first floor of a ruin, but it can punch enemies which stand no taller than its ankles? How is the latter apparently easier to reach than the former?

This is an interesting list to me;

I think these type of things are the ones that you'd expect a fix for, the abstraction isn't there for any good reason and it just results in stupid stuff happening;
- A model can fire four boltguns and a missile launcher similtaneously, but not a single boltgun and a pistol.
- Models can gain wargear mid-battle by having a command point spent on them. That wargear then evaporates at the end of the phase/turn.
- How come a Knight can't punch enemies on the first floor of a ruin, but it can punch enemies which stand no taller than its ankles? How is the latter apparently easier to reach than the former?

These ones though are bigger design decisions which I can understand why you may not like, but the abstraction at least makes sense;
- If a model flees from battle it just vanishes on the spot...
- What even are command points? Why does a certain number of dudes turning up to the fight generate more 'command'? How can Marines, for example, be commanded to have transhuman physiology? And where does it go when they're not being commanded to have it? How come you can spend command points even when you have no commanders?

If a soldier is running for its life, it makes sense to remove it from the board as it will play no more part in the battle.
Command points are an attempt at representing the effect that command and control has on battles, many games try to incorporate this element.

So I don't think the lack of realism or decision to abstract these elements in the game is intrinsically bad, it's just GW has done a poor job making fun game mechanics out of them!



   
Made in au
Longtime Dakkanaut




 Lord Damocles wrote:
 Kroem wrote:
Can you give an example of the type of abstractions in the current rules that you take umbrage at?

Perhaps, for example:

- A model can fire four boltguns and a missile launcher similtaneously, but not a single boltgun and a pistol.
- If a model flees from battle it just vanishes on the spot...
- Vehicles are equally resilient when taking hits from all sides - even those vehicles which are clearly more vulnerable from a particular direction (eg. the Basilisk)
- Models can gain wargear mid-battle by having a command point spent on them. That wargear then evaporates at the end of the phase/turn.
- What even are command points? Why does a certain number of dudes turning up to the fight generate more 'command'? How can Marines, for example, be commanded to have transhuman physiology? And where does it go when they're not being commanded to have it? How come you can spend command points even when you have no commanders?
- How come a Knight can't punch enemies on the first floor of a ruin, but it can punch enemies which stand no taller than its ankles? How is the latter apparently easier to reach than the former?


I view command points as a combination of command and control resources, plot armor, and eye of the gods. It's the fruits of pre-battle planning, a chance for divine intervention or someone's training to all come together and produce unusually powerful effects. It's the finite plot resource allowing a player to wrestle the narrative in their desired direction.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2020/03/16 13:34:53


 
   
Made in gb
Instigating Incubi




The dark behind the eyes.

In terms of wonky rules, Running/Advancing has been consistently nonsensical.

Let's say I have 2 units of Marines, A and B. For simplicity's sake, both squads are identical and are armed just with bolter.

Squad A chooses to spend its turn running, meaning it's unable to shoot or charge. It moves 6+d6". Let's say it gets the best possible result and moves 12".

Squad B chooses not to run, so it moves only 6". It then stops to fire at an enemy unit. After shooting, it decides to charge at an enemy 12" away. Let's assume that it rolls maximum distance for its 2d6 charge move and moves 12". Most of the models now get a pile-in move of up to 3". It then wipes out the unit in melee and consolidates a further 3".

So we have a squad that spent its entire turn running and moved a grand total of 12", yet a squad that stopped to shoot and then stopped again to fight got to move at least 18" (up to 21" for models that got their full pile-in moves).

Now granted, I tool the maximum amounts on the dice, but even with more reasonable numbers we're still looking at 9.5" for a running unit and 16+" for a charging one. This seems absurd from both a realism standpoint *and* a gameplay one.

Akiasura wrote:
I hate to sound like a serial killer, but I'll be reaching for my friend occam's razor yet again.
 Andilus Greatsword wrote:

"Prepare to open fire at that towering Wraithknight!"
"ARE YOU DAFT MAN!?! YOU MIGHT HIT THE MEN WHO COME UP TO ITS ANKLES!!!"



 insaniak wrote:

You're not. If you're worried about your opponent using 'fake' rules, you're having fun the wrong way. This hobby isn't about rules. It's about buying Citadel miniatures.

Please report to your nearest GW store for attitude readjustment. Take your wallet.
 
   
Made in us
Locked in the Tower of Amareo




It is absurd.
   
Made in us
Excellent Exalted Champion of Chaos





Intuition should not be removed. If I move a unit of guardsmen up behind a concrete barrier, I expect to get some cover bonus... because thats "realism".

When I'm told "lolol i can see a guy's helmet, so my whole unit can shoot at your unit with no penalty", thats not realistic. Its also stupid, jarring, and a negative play experience.

Thats what "realism" means to me.

Not that "lolol there are tyranids that spit tank melting acid, anad dragons, and magic, so realism shouldn't be here, gtfo"... more that things should operate in an intuitive sense.

Parabellum Conquest Vanguard and champion of all things Conquest: The Last Argument of Kings

My Conquest youtube content:

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLe9ZjKe25oMNH6q3_XU0QxkBt2mEm_F1y 
   
Made in us
Locked in the Tower of Amareo




 auticus wrote:
Intuition should not be removed. If I move a unit of guardsmen up behind a concrete barrier, I expect to get some cover bonus... because thats "realism".

When I'm told "lolol i can see a guy's helmet, so my whole unit can shoot at your unit with no penalty", thats not realistic. Its also stupid, jarring, and a negative play experience.

Thats what "realism" means to me.

Not that "lolol there are tyranids that spit tank melting acid, anad dragons, and magic, so realism shouldn't be here, gtfo"... more that things should operate in an intuitive sense.


Pretty reasonable, imo.
   
Made in us
Powerful Phoenix Lord






Auticus is on point with the intuition or "feel" of what should work/shouldn't work, etc. That even extends to the fluff. While we realize that novels and fluff/lore cannot be identically replicated on the tabletop, 25+ years of following the 40K fluff and lore gives you an idea of what the pecking order should be with regard to units/game functions.

Look back to the beginning of 8th. If you're a 40K follower, does it make sense that Celestine and Guilliman should be leading an army of Guard conscripts? No. That's immersion breaking because it can't hide its "Meta"gaming roots. Likewise a Space Marine player would assume that an Assault Marine would be a capable close-combat unit? Nope, absolute garbage (buffed recently with some tweaks to Space Marines in general).

Without glancing at a rulebook, even a novice 40K player should "assume" that a Chaos Space Marine would be the better (or at least, stronger) troop choice than cultists...etc. Now GW has slowly remedied some of these, but there are a heap of immersion breaking contradictions in the games design, which all plays into the intuition argument.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2020/03/16 17:57:13


 
   
Made in nl
Veteran Inquisitorial Tyranid Xenokiller






your mind

Sunny Side Up wrote:
Science Fiction is a genre that plays with the speculative impact of future scientific developments, technology, etc.. (and related social, economic, psychological, etc.. consequences). E.g "what if robots were sentinent" or "what if we had interstellar travel" or "what if medicine overcame physical aging", etc..


In contrast, most people would classify 40K (Star Wars, etc..) more in a fantasy genre (if with pseudo-technological tropes and in SPAAAACCE) due to the very obvious fantastical element and/or large disinterest (often on purpose) to ground technology (social structures, etc.. ) in even the most speculative scientific assumptions/projections/theories.


And as mentioned, your example above is rather obvious. The perhaps most famous "sci-fi" acid in the Alien movies works precisely because the writers choose to dump realism in favour of being cinematic.



I disagree that the social structures are not a focal interest in 40k, as well as the for instance important policies regarding the use of AI in the Imperium and so on... the different approaches to technology that characterize each different race (or should, or at least DID) are also important, if not crucial to understanding both the so-called fluffy differences between races as well as how they should perform on the tabletop ... Seems pretty much a what-if and then fast forward 40000 years to me. Sure, some fantasy, but even fantasy demands realism, else it is hallucination at best and escapism at worst.


Automatically Appended Next Post:
Sunny Side Up wrote:
 Formosa wrote:
All universes have rules and anything in those universes need to have rules, this is in universe realism.

Just because you have a sci fi or fantasy setting does not mean the realism and rules go out the window, to anyone that believes otherwise I must ask you, since magic exists in Lord of The Rings, why does Gandalf not summon a Blackhawk helicopter to take him to Mordor? its "made up" and he has magic, so why cant he just ignore the rules of the universe ?


But sticking to established in-universe rules isn't the same as sticking to common experience as the original poster demands.

To use the example above, In an Alien movie, I expect acid blood to adhere to the in-universe rules introduced in the universe. I don't expect it to adhere to the rules governing acid in reality. That'd be absurd.



But, the acid does do what we expect acid to do, it just does it really really well! MOAR ACID!


Automatically Appended Next Post:
Iracundus wrote:
 Lord Damocles wrote:
 Kroem wrote:
Can you give an example of the type of abstractions in the current rules that you take umbrage at?

Perhaps, for example:

- A model can fire four boltguns and a missile launcher similtaneously, but not a single boltgun and a pistol.
- If a model flees from battle it just vanishes on the spot...
- Vehicles are equally resilient when taking hits from all sides - even those vehicles which are clearly more vulnerable from a particular direction (eg. the Basilisk)
- Models can gain wargear mid-battle by having a command point spent on them. That wargear then evaporates at the end of the phase/turn.
- What even are command points? Why does a certain number of dudes turning up to the fight generate more 'command'? How can Marines, for example, be commanded to have transhuman physiology? And where does it go when they're not being commanded to have it? How come you can spend command points even when you have no commanders?
- How come a Knight can't punch enemies on the first floor of a ruin, but it can punch enemies which stand no taller than its ankles? How is the latter apparently easier to reach than the former?


I view command points as a combination of command and control resources, plot armor, and eye of the gods. It's the fruits of pre-battle planning, a chance for divine intervention or someone's training to all come together and produce unusually powerful effects. It's the finite plot resource allowing a player to wrestle the narrative in their desired direction.


I frankly do not like command points at all - once the troops are placed, there should be direct consequences and little opportunity for the chip-stained hand of the godz to swoop down and shuffle resources around...


Automatically Appended Next Post:
 vipoid wrote:
In terms of wonky rules, Running/Advancing has been consistently nonsensical.

This seems absurd from both a realism standpoint *and* a gameplay one.


absolutely.


Automatically Appended Next Post:
 auticus wrote:
Intuition should not be removed. [...] things should operate in an intuitive sense.

My feeling too.


Automatically Appended Next Post:
 Elbows wrote:
Auticus is on point with the intuition or "feel" of what should work/shouldn't work, etc. [...] but there are a heap of immersion breaking contradictions in the games design, which all plays into the intuition argument.

Are we beginning to see a consensus forming here?

This message was edited 8 times. Last update was at 2020/03/16 18:13:33


   
Made in us
Da Head Honcho Boss Grot





Heeeeeeeeeere's where Scotsman gets to talk about simulation wargames vs competitive wargames, wheeee!

Most old-school wargames like the early edition of Warhammer and 40k were based on older historicals, which were all about simulating the conditions of a battlefield as realistically as possible in a board game.

On a battlefield, generally, it is understood that one side nearly always has some sort of in-built advantage over the other, and often historical wargamers will understand this when constructing that scenario. of course the rebels had several major disadvantages in winning the battle of Gettysburg, of course the germans had a disadvantage in the Battle of the Bulge, but would things have gone differently if YOU were the general in command?

As such, wargamers in those days often didn't have this instinctive dislike of any highly random or uncontrollable mechanic. Instead, such moments were generally the highlight of a simulation style wargame - a tank exploding catastrophically or careening out of control, a crucial unit retreating into a rout, or an elephant going berserk into a roman shieldwall are all commonplace mechanics you'll find in various historical games. None of them are particularly fair or balanced, and many of them are the kind of thing that players love to complain about as needlessly random and annoying when it comes to the current edition of 40k.

That's because as tabletop miniature wargames have become more mainstream, so too has come this concept that they should operate like a highly balanced, abstracted board game.

Part of the tension within all games workshop games is this split between the intended audience. Some people might bemoan a mechanic like vehicles not caring about facing or TLOS as unrealistic because they want more of a simulation-style game, while others might consider the slim chance that an opponent's character might pop into a daemon prince for free super obnoxious because they want a more balanced board game style competitive wargame. Other games, like Warmahordes, Xwing, and Infinity, were designed as competitive abstracted wargames from the ground-up, and contain far fewer of these tensions within the community or the design team.

   
Made in ca
Legendary Master of the Chapter





Martel732 wrote:
It is absurd.


it's warhammer 40k of course it's absurd, thats the point.

Opinions are not facts please don't confuse the two 
   
Made in us
Locked in the Tower of Amareo




It can be taken too far. And it does.
   
Made in us
Esteemed Veteran Space Marine




San Jose, CA

the term "too far" in a universe such as 40k, sounds absurd.
   
Made in gb
Instigating Incubi




The dark behind the eyes.

The point I made earlier wasn't a case of 'this has been taken too far!', it was a case if 'this makes no sense even in-universe and is a terrible game mechanic to boot'.

Akiasura wrote:
I hate to sound like a serial killer, but I'll be reaching for my friend occam's razor yet again.
 Andilus Greatsword wrote:

"Prepare to open fire at that towering Wraithknight!"
"ARE YOU DAFT MAN!?! YOU MIGHT HIT THE MEN WHO COME UP TO ITS ANKLES!!!"



 insaniak wrote:

You're not. If you're worried about your opponent using 'fake' rules, you're having fun the wrong way. This hobby isn't about rules. It's about buying Citadel miniatures.

Please report to your nearest GW store for attitude readjustment. Take your wallet.
 
   
Made in us
Locked in the Tower of Amareo




Racerguy180 wrote:
the term "too far" in a universe such as 40k, sounds absurd.


There are always limits.
   
Made in us
Battlewagon Driver with Charged Engine




Between Alpha and Omega, and a little to the left

I can say with certainty that realism is not intuitive. Reality is messy, strange, and often works on concepts that most people only understand at basic levels.

Lets use an example that comes up a lot in in realism discussions: Tank armor. The "common sense" idea of a tank is that if you cannot penetrate through the armor plating of a tank then it should have a 0% chance of doing anything and even medium strength weapons like autocannons and krak grenades should bare little threat to a vehicle (even though both are designed on real life anti-tank weapons, but whatever that's not important to this discussion). If it can't go through the armor, it shouldn't matter and particularly not weapons designed for anti-infantry.

Enter real life, where one of the deadliest things a tank crew could face was napalm. As in, from a flamethrower, a grenade, or airstrike. This is because napalm doesn't give a flying about armor, because most tanks around when flamethrowers were still in use weren't waterproof, the internal components aren't fire proof and the crew still need to breathe even if they don't catch on fire. Under the same mechanics that would makes a flamethrower dangerous to a bunker works the same on a vehicle.

Similarly, a large enough force can dent armor, even if it can't penetrate through. That in itself is not a problem for the tank, but because energy needs to go somewhere, this results in fragments of the armor breaking off at high speeds; which can then injure or kill crew. This is known as spalling and there was anti-tank ammo built on this process. In both cases, the crew is not considered for how weapons effect vehicles. since most people think of crew as inherently save against anything that can't pierce though the armor; The same people only think of things that are clearly anti-tank as something that that should be dangerous to tanks regardless of if that's true. And that includes GW, considering the punisher cannon being str 5 would have rarely been a threat to vehicles other than trukks/raiders, while in real life the M61 Vulcan was made to take down enemy aircraft and the GAU-8 Avenger eats tanks like they're butter.

The OTHER common example, which was brought up in thread, is "why can't I shoot/kill this model with this ranged weapon". The idea being that it's unintuitive when something has special protection against weapons that normally break things considered much tougher or when you can't shoot at them despite being in the open. It logical from our perspective as the players that we can shoot at anything in the board as long as we're in range and can see it, and then do damage. That's intuitive, and anything that prevents that feels arbitrary even when there's an in-universe reason for it. But there's two problems with that:

1) This is a decision being made from the omnipotent prospective of a player, who can see all, knows what's the most optimal targets are, and can control everything to a fine detail. All in the comfort of a garage or FLGS. That's much different from making the same decision when in the battle itself. Soldiers have their own motivations, particularly "living after this", so things that make sense from a game perspective would be Zapp Brannigan levels of suicidal. Or similarly some choices would only make sense due to the existence of game stats, ie firing anti-tank weapons at infantry rather than at tanks because it was more cost effective to do so, or at some infantry but not at others (IE it was more optional to fire your Str 8 weapons an ork nobs because of Instant Death. The justification being there were "big threatening monsters that clearly need bigger weapons to kill", but you wouldn't do that to Ogryns because they were toughness 5 and couldn't be instant death by Str 8 weapons.
2) Gameplay wise there's not really a way to make that actually fun. If everything is targetable and lacking in damage reduction, then that makes boring gunline alpha strikes even more powerful than they are. If a character is important to the enemy army, then without restriction there's 0 reason to not shoot them until dead (See: Synapse in Tyranids). The reason footslogging melee units are nonviable is because there's no way to split that damage across units without bodyguard mechanics, instead getting dismantled piecemeal. Being unable to shoot into melee is often complained about for not being realistic, but then if it existed it'd make the game less tactical and less risky. It feels like the only option to keep something from dying immediately is to keep it off the table, which defeats one of the selling points of the game which is having the models on the table!

I know some people are going to say "Doesn't that just prove the game isn't realistic", but the point I'm trying to make isn't that 40k is and isn't realistic (it isn't), but that realism isn't always intuitive or fun, and when tried to be applied it can be flawed, uneven, or even unfair. And while I'll concede that a game can be fun and realistic, but it should be done from the ground up and not added to a pre existing setting. Especially one that's focused on spectacle and homage to older, goofier sci-fi like 40k.

And to the people saying Sci-fi needs to be realistic, no it doesn't. Science Fiction is a speculative fiction, what scientific or futuristic it explores not necessarily *need* to be possible to pose the question (sometimes science fiction is even done specifically to challenge our current understanding of things). And because science marches on, things that may have been possible at some point are impossible now; that doesn't mean stories based on those ideas stop being science fiction (such as say, Frankenstein, which is the progenitor of science fiction) . So stop calling things "science fantasy" just because it's not Contemporary with shiny baubles.

Want to help support my plastic addiction? I sell stories about humans fighting to survive in a space age frontier.
Lord Harrab wrote:"Gimme back my leg-bone! *wack* Ow, don't hit me with it!" commonly uttered by Guardsman when in close combat with Orks.

Bonespitta's Badmoons 1441 pts.  
   
Made in au
Dakka Veteran




Consistency and verisimilitude are key.

There's nothing wrong with the metaphysics of the setting saying 'orks can do x', so long as everything works around this consistently.

When people discuss 'realism' they generally mean 'basic physics' - things fall from the sky, planets have days and nights due to rotation, air pressure keeps your blood inside you etc.

This kind of realism isn't 'well space marines can't exist so they shouldn't', its 'well a space marine fell off a 1 km high building and hit the ground, physics means they will be paste inside their armour.
`
These are not the same thing.

Illogical systems still have logical consistency within them.

Structure and form.

40k background and fiction used to have a better grasp on its own metaphysics and the 'setting rules' that everything abided by (those setting rules include most basic physics assumptions from our real world).

When GW decided back in 5th ed that adding a character called THE sanguinor to the game was a good idea, they published Ward's story where he carried Ka Banda iirc up into the air. This is a break in those rules for the sake of THE COOLZ.

This has continued as GW has continued pushing a DBZ style of special character centric storyline where characters do inconsistent things in order to make them look cool.


Something that is somewhat unique about 40k though is that the combat prowess of the characters is measured, so you also get conflict between fluff and rules, as they are basically coming from opposed perspectives - super cool pimp my character vs notionally balanced to play a game.


GW has continued to break its verisimilitude because of its focus on special characters and making them seem cool. The game has become a marketing exercise for each character.

The strength of a setting is as much what people CAN do inside it, as what they CAN'T.

Limitations are very important. And not the mary sue 'my weakness is actually a mighty strength' type of limitation.

The consequences of making characters more badass is that they Worf big bad monsters. A hero is only as cool as his enemy is formidable.

Killing avatars or greater daemons left right and centre doesn't make characters look cool, it makes monsters look lame and by extension makes those characters lame.


















   
Made in us
Stealthy Warhound Titan Princeps




Martel732 wrote:
Every genre needs internal consistency in order to tell an effective story. 40K does not have this, and so fails utterly.

40k is a game, not a story. It has different needs.

But internal consistency isn't particularly lacking. Orks do ork things, the warp does warp things, marines do marine things, etc. Nothing really jumps out at me as doing things they aren't capable of, with bizarre bits of novels like backflipping terminators being the sole fault of terrible authors and editors not paying attention.

Efficiency is the highest virtue. 
   
Made in nl
Veteran Inquisitorial Tyranid Xenokiller






your mind

What I am seeing in all of these posts is that realism is a necessity for any game that depends on real world experience to be able to work on the table top. Where rules abstract away from what might be intuitive, the game either loses something ("immersion") or becomes something else (a so-called" competitive boardgame").

What seems most repugnant to most respondents has been internal inconsistencies, ostensibly introduced in the abstraction away from realism and into the realm of the so-called competitive boardgame.

One advantage with the so-called competitive boardgame is that rules can be simplified.

However, in the loss of realism, I would argue that the game is not then easier to learn. Instead, it takes the shape of a set of proprietary ("in universe") constraints that do not leverage common intuitions and in practice go against them.

This results in for one thing the loss of "immersion" and for another the common experience that makes a game accessible to people on the basis of common, real-world experience and intuitions that derive from that.

So far as realism and tanks hit by napalm, there is no reason for us not to have rules which specify that some vehicles are vulnerable to napalm-like weapons, e.g. open topped.

There is also nothing stopping us from having rules that represent the damage that can be done to tanks, or more specifically tank crew - by weapons that fail to penetrate armor but that still hurt the squishy living and piloting critters hiding inside, e.g. crew shaken or worse.

All of this has to do with realism. Where realism goes, so goes the game. When it goes away, we are left with a so-called competitive boardgame. I for one am not interested in playing boardgames.

This message was edited 4 times. Last update was at 2020/03/17 08:39:29


   
Made in ca
Legendary Master of the Chapter





sure but if we had a realistic rules set the warhammer 40k rules would be pretty long and complex. one thing 40k has going for it is it's simplicity. you can sit down and play a largish game in an afternoon. super highly complex but realistic would make this difficult. that said, if there was sufficant demand for it, GW could certainly produce rules supplements allowing people to use more realisim etc in their game, but it's likely only appeal to narrative gamers and sell poorly.

for example, if GW produced a rules option for say... lower or higher gravity worlds, perhaps one that allowed you to move faster on a lower grav world if you make a toughness save how often would people use that ruleset?

Opinions are not facts please don't confuse the two 
   
Made in de
Longtime Dakkanaut





BrianDavion wrote:
sure but if we had a realistic rules set the warhammer 40k rules would be pretty long and complex. one thing 40k has going for it is it's simplicity. you can sit down and play a largish game in an afternoon. super highly complex but realistic would make this difficult. that said, if there was sufficant demand for it, GW could certainly produce rules supplements allowing people to use more realisim etc in their game, but it's likely only appeal to narrative gamers and sell poorly.

for example, if GW produced a rules option for say... lower or higher gravity worlds, perhaps one that allowed you to move faster on a lower grav world if you make a toughness save how often would people use that ruleset?


I'll have to disagree with you on this one. Making 40K rules palatable for vets doesn't need rocket science but common sense.
I play the video game Age of Wonders-Planetfall for a couple of months now and I will just point out three simple things which this game does and which would benefit 8th 40K:

1. Proper Cover system.
2. Flanking.
3. Proper Overwatch.
   
Made in gb
Legendary Dogfighter





england

BrianDavion wrote:
for example, if GW produced a rules option for say... lower or higher gravity worlds, perhaps one that allowed you to move faster on a lower grav world if you make a toughness save how often would people use that ruleset?

Probably never.
But definitely not for the reasons you're thinking.

GW has always bought out new added rules, new ways of playing, new game types etc.
They aren't ignored because they are complicated or add more stuff to remember.
They're ignored because it upsets the META.
They're ignored because all of a sudden the mathematics you used to craft your force of WarmaHorde combos changes.
They're ignored because of the fear it might add a dynamic you were unprepared for in your game winning master plans.

The player base over the years has gotten lazier and lazier despite the complexity and time they put into sifting through rules to break the game.

Look back at when City fight came out and it was impossible NOT to play it.
Now look back on the past 5 to 10 years of people not giving a gak.
   
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We should not view realism and abstraction as diametrically opposed in game design - we aren't taking about art styles. Any wargame will need some level of abstraction to be playable. As a 30-year professional military officer I have participated in many "wargames" over the years and we have computers to handle the simulations that strive for detail at the tactical level. I don't think we want that in a tabletop miniatures game. Even the most "realistic" military wargames I have participated that account for reaction time, spotting factors, ballistics etc can produce unrealistic results because they miss that very important factor that people generally don't want to die. Computer icons do incredibly brave things, as do soldiers who are firing lasers at each other.

For three years I taught wargaming at my Army's Command and Staff College. These wargames are to aid decision making and plan refinement. They are incredibly "abstract" but can produce realistic, credible results. We'll "black box" details of how things happen in an engagement to focus on inputs and outcomes.

The art in wargame design (and I am not a wargame designer!) is determining the right level of abstraction. This will vary with the focus of the game. A game with four or five miniatures per side putting the player in the role of a Sergeant might have more detail and have things like "facings" and firing arcs. A game with one hundred miniatures and the player in the role of Captain or Colonel might choose to abstract things that are not the Captain's business.

For a tabletop wargame I don't want to break my immersion - the less flipping through the rulebook the better. As such I enjoy the design decisions made for 8th edition. As an armour officer I do miss vehicle facings in terms of side armour etc. I do not, however, miss the shenanigans that went with that!

Is it "realistic" that you can shoot a whole squad because of one model's head being in line of sight? Not sure. Is it realistic that we take turns shooting? Is it realistic that we move, confirm that we've all stopped moving and then shoot at exactly one moment in time? I prefer realism in results/effects and not the micro details of the process in obtaining them. When a twin-assault cannon mows down a squad of infantry I am content with the outcome and will overlook/forgive mysterious mechanics that got us there.

I do agree that there should be some consistency in how the game operates. I am happy, though, with 40K having cinematic moments,and I expect the game to have fantastical elements. Its kinda the point. Like art appreciation, though, I am sure that the community will not be in 100% agreement. Sales figure, though, indicate that 8th Ed design decisions are working for the majority.

All you have to do is fire three rounds a minute, and stand 
   
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 Luke_Prowler wrote:
I can say with certainty that realism is not intuitive. Reality is messy, strange, and often works on concepts that most people only understand at basic levels.

Lets use an example that comes up a lot in in realism discussions: Tank armor. The "common sense" idea of a tank is that if you cannot penetrate through the armor plating of a tank then it should have a 0% chance of doing anything and even medium strength weapons like autocannons and krak grenades should bare little threat to a vehicle (even though both are designed on real life anti-tank weapons, but whatever that's not important to this discussion). If it can't go through the armor, it shouldn't matter and particularly not weapons designed for anti-infantry.

Enter real life, where one of the deadliest things a tank crew could face was napalm. As in, from a flamethrower, a grenade, or airstrike. This is because napalm doesn't give a flying about armor, because most tanks around when flamethrowers were still in use weren't waterproof, the internal components aren't fire proof and the crew still need to breathe even if they don't catch on fire. Under the same mechanics that would makes a flamethrower dangerous to a bunker works the same on a vehicle.

Similarly, a large enough force can dent armor, even if it can't penetrate through. That in itself is not a problem for the tank, but because energy needs to go somewhere, this results in fragments of the armor breaking off at high speeds; which can then injure or kill crew. This is known as spalling and there was anti-tank ammo built on this process. In both cases, the crew is not considered for how weapons effect vehicles. since most people think of crew as inherently save against anything that can't pierce though the armor; The same people only think of things that are clearly anti-tank as something that that should be dangerous to tanks regardless of if that's true. And that includes GW, considering the punisher cannon being str 5 would have rarely been a threat to vehicles other than trukks/raiders, while in real life the M61 Vulcan was made to take down enemy aircraft and the GAU-8 Avenger eats tanks like they're butter.

The OTHER common example, which was brought up in thread, is "why can't I shoot/kill this model with this ranged weapon". The idea being that it's unintuitive when something has special protection against weapons that normally break things considered much tougher or when you can't shoot at them despite being in the open. It logical from our perspective as the players that we can shoot at anything in the board as long as we're in range and can see it, and then do damage. That's intuitive, and anything that prevents that feels arbitrary even when there's an in-universe reason for it. But there's two problems with that:

1) This is a decision being made from the omnipotent prospective of a player, who can see all, knows what's the most optimal targets are, and can control everything to a fine detail. All in the comfort of a garage or FLGS. That's much different from making the same decision when in the battle itself. Soldiers have their own motivations, particularly "living after this", so things that make sense from a game perspective would be Zapp Brannigan levels of suicidal. Or similarly some choices would only make sense due to the existence of game stats, ie firing anti-tank weapons at infantry rather than at tanks because it was more cost effective to do so, or at some infantry but not at others (IE it was more optional to fire your Str 8 weapons an ork nobs because of Instant Death. The justification being there were "big threatening monsters that clearly need bigger weapons to kill", but you wouldn't do that to Ogryns because they were toughness 5 and couldn't be instant death by Str 8 weapons.
2) Gameplay wise there's not really a way to make that actually fun. If everything is targetable and lacking in damage reduction, then that makes boring gunline alpha strikes even more powerful than they are. If a character is important to the enemy army, then without restriction there's 0 reason to not shoot them until dead (See: Synapse in Tyranids). The reason footslogging melee units are nonviable is because there's no way to split that damage across units without bodyguard mechanics, instead getting dismantled piecemeal. Being unable to shoot into melee is often complained about for not being realistic, but then if it existed it'd make the game less tactical and less risky. It feels like the only option to keep something from dying immediately is to keep it off the table, which defeats one of the selling points of the game which is having the models on the table!

I know some people are going to say "Doesn't that just prove the game isn't realistic", but the point I'm trying to make isn't that 40k is and isn't realistic (it isn't), but that realism isn't always intuitive or fun, and when tried to be applied it can be flawed, uneven, or even unfair. And while I'll concede that a game can be fun and realistic, but it should be done from the ground up and not added to a pre existing setting. Especially one that's focused on spectacle and homage to older, goofier sci-fi like 40k.

And to the people saying Sci-fi needs to be realistic, no it doesn't. Science Fiction is a speculative fiction, what scientific or futuristic it explores not necessarily *need* to be possible to pose the question (sometimes science fiction is even done specifically to challenge our current understanding of things). And because science marches on, things that may have been possible at some point are impossible now; that doesn't mean stories based on those ideas stop being science fiction (such as say, Frankenstein, which is the progenitor of science fiction) . So stop calling things "science fantasy" just because it's not Contemporary with shiny baubles.

Well said, although given that Fantasy as a genre is, if my Science Fiction professor lo these many years ago was right, about meaning. So when people argue that the Eagles could have just flown the Ring to Mordor, they're missing out on what the meaning of that journey is. Similarly 40k is Science Fantasy because it combines the Science Fiction 'what if...' of taking what we know and extending it (usually past all reason) with the Fantasy 'why' applied to a lack of AI, why the dystopian nature of the future is the will of the gods, and why we should wipe them (the gods) out when we get the chance.

Maybe the Squats were all the Space Marines we made along the way.  
   
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Annandale, VA

TangoTwoBravo wrote:
We should not view realism and abstraction as diametrically opposed in game design - we aren't taking about art styles. Any wargame will need some level of abstraction to be playable. As a 30-year professional military officer I have participated in many "wargames" over the years and we have computers to handle the simulations that strive for detail at the tactical level. I don't think we want that in a tabletop miniatures game. Even the most "realistic" military wargames I have participated that account for reaction time, spotting factors, ballistics etc can produce unrealistic results because they miss that very important factor that people generally don't want to die. Computer icons do incredibly brave things, as do soldiers who are firing lasers at each other.

For three years I taught wargaming at my Army's Command and Staff College. These wargames are to aid decision making and plan refinement. They are incredibly "abstract" but can produce realistic, credible results. We'll "black box" details of how things happen in an engagement to focus on inputs and outcomes.

The art in wargame design (and I am not a wargame designer!) is determining the right level of abstraction. This will vary with the focus of the game. A game with four or five miniatures per side putting the player in the role of a Sergeant might have more detail and have things like "facings" and firing arcs. A game with one hundred miniatures and the player in the role of Captain or Colonel might choose to abstract things that are not the Captain's business.

For a tabletop wargame I don't want to break my immersion - the less flipping through the rulebook the better. As such I enjoy the design decisions made for 8th edition. As an armour officer I do miss vehicle facings in terms of side armour etc. I do not, however, miss the shenanigans that went with that!

Is it "realistic" that you can shoot a whole squad because of one model's head being in line of sight? Not sure. Is it realistic that we take turns shooting? Is it realistic that we move, confirm that we've all stopped moving and then shoot at exactly one moment in time? I prefer realism in results/effects and not the micro details of the process in obtaining them. When a twin-assault cannon mows down a squad of infantry I am content with the outcome and will overlook/forgive mysterious mechanics that got us there.

I do agree that there should be some consistency in how the game operates. I am happy, though, with 40K having cinematic moments,and I expect the game to have fantastical elements. Its kinda the point. Like art appreciation, though, I am sure that the community will not be in 100% agreement. Sales figure, though, indicate that 8th Ed design decisions are working for the majority.


You bring up military wargames, and I think that's a good reference point with respect to level of simulation. As you note, you often get more realistic results from abstract systems than simulationist ones that fail to take into account certain important considerations (fear of death is a big one for IRL simulations, but fog of war/incomplete information is a huge one for recreational gaming).

Strategic military wargames generally represent the player as a single officer: If you are the general, you give orders to your subordinates. You do not steer around individual squads on the simulated battlefield. In a coordinated exercise, you might have other players as your subordinates, and then they'd be the ones actually controlling the troops- but without the bird's-eye view that the general does. These wargames are also typically refereed to facilitate fog of war.

Tabletop games, in the interest of fun, typically let the player wear two 'hats'. In a skirmish game, you might be the platoon commander, and each of the squad leaders. This means you are giving orders to the squads, but then you are also manually controlling the squads. Everything occurring above the platoon commander's level is abstracted out as objectives, off-board support, and scenario conditions.

When a game can't pick what level it works at, though, you start to have problems with realism. A game that lets you play as a battalion commander but also individually manage every single soldier will inevitably lead to soldiers behaving in unrealistic ways, having no fear of death, perfect knowledge of the battlefield, and impossible degrees of coordination.

40K used to be a small-scale skirmish game where its individual representation of troops made sense. As the game has grown, this approach has become cumbersome and continues to drift away from verisimilitude/realism. There have been other side effects of the scale creep as well, like long-range artillery parks deploying a few hundred meters from the enemy lines, and armies starting the game within effective fire range of one another.

Apocalypse uses the same models and the same battlefield scale, but pares back the granularity at the low levels to deliver a more command-oriented and, IMO, more realistic experience. As a commander, you only have to worry about what a unit can do, whether a unit is in cover, whether the unit is still combat effective- not the exact positions, status, and equipment of every soldier in the squad. You also now have to worry about actual command and control, as proximity to formation commanders is a big deal. Your decisions are more oriented around how to coordinate your forces than what special abilities to use.

Epic has the same 'player scale', but puts more complexity into higher-level systems. Now in addition to formation C&C, you also have to worry about army-wide coordination. A horde of Orks is an unwieldy but effective sledgehammer, while a formation of Space Marines is a responsive, reactive, surgical unit. They play very differently from one another, and fit the fluff better than they do in 40K.

To me, that's the 'realism' that 40K lacks. For all the nitty-gritty rules poured into weapons and equipment, endless waves of Chaos Cultists move with the same single-minded coordination as Tyranids, and there's not a huge difference between Terminators and Mega-Armoured Nobz. That feels wrong to me. Then throw in inconsistent levels of abstraction in the rules, like how you can only shoot with individual models that have LOS, but if you can see even one member of the target unit, you can kill all of them. It feels arbitrary, like a set of rules existing for its own sake rather than trying to simulate an imaginary battle.

I don't need to debate RHA values on tanks, I just want to feel like I'm making decisions appropriate to managing an army, and have that army behave in a way that feels plausible. Static Space Marine castle gunlines, hugging officers to make your plasma explode less, and seamlessly falling back an inch out of melee so everyone can blast the stranded suckers who charged you are all things that don't feel 'right'.
   
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Voss wrote:
Martel732 wrote:
Every genre needs internal consistency in order to tell an effective story. 40K does not have this, and so fails utterly.

40k is a game, not a story. It has different needs.

But internal consistency isn't particularly lacking. Orks do ork things, the warp does warp things, marines do marine things, etc. Nothing really jumps out at me as doing things they aren't capable of, with bizarre bits of novels like backflipping terminators being the sole fault of terrible authors and editors not paying attention.


BA holding off a billion bugs for more than 10 minutes?
   
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In a wargame, for me it's a matter of striking an acceptable balance between realism and playable abstraction. This varies greatly from one's tastes to another. To argue that realism isn't critical to a wargame isn't any more accurate than saying that it's required.

For my playing group and me, the current edition is unacceptably abstract to the point that some of the abstractions aren't even attempting to mimic any real tactical effect. It's more of a glorified board game, which can be very engrossing and even challenging but it doesn't have the same appeal for me. If I'm going to paint soldiers and their equipment in a discernible manner and put them on a table depicting possible terrain, no matter how fantastical it may seem, then I want to have rules that reflect proper interaction between all those elements depicted. As others stated, the immersion comes from a common sense approach to how things might interact in a plausible and consistent way. This is not abrogated by the fact that the game has hooligan fungus soccer thugs fighting magical space elves and genetic super soldiers! This is merely the facade of the setting, not a justification for poorly written or incomplete rules.

There is nothing at all wrong with enjoying this edition for what it is, but I'd caution anyone saying that GW's financial success validates the game as a decent wargame. To me it is not, hence we've developed our own ruleset. Not everyone can (nor should) put in that kind of extra work, but for me it justifies all the other effort poured into it.

Neither position is incorrect; it may simply boil down to what you individually want out of this game.
   
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There's a difference between something being 'good' and being 'good enough' and where that 'good enough' applies to lots of people you're going to have a successful product on your hands. GW is about more than a product though, as they're also developing an intellectual property that's still better than Star Wars, etc.

That players can tinker with the rules is part of the design, I think. The original Rogue Trader was less a game than a hodge-podge of notions and numbers crammed into a book with all sorts of art and stuff pointing you in the direction of a game you might make for yourself.

Maybe the Squats were all the Space Marines we made along the way.  
   
Made in ca
Legendary Master of the Chapter





Martel732 wrote:
Voss wrote:
Martel732 wrote:
Every genre needs internal consistency in order to tell an effective story. 40K does not have this, and so fails utterly.

40k is a game, not a story. It has different needs.

But internal consistency isn't particularly lacking. Orks do ork things, the warp does warp things, marines do marine things, etc. Nothing really jumps out at me as doing things they aren't capable of, with bizarre bits of novels like backflipping terminators being the sole fault of terrible authors and editors not paying attention.


BA holding off a billion bugs for more than 10 minutes?


the blood angels and all sucessor chapters. working behind extremely solid fortifications. totally belivable.

it's not like they where rushing out to fight on open terrain

Opinions are not facts please don't confuse the two 
   
 
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