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Regular Dakkanaut





I think the above posts some it up quite well. USRs aren’t the problem, it’s GW’s implementation and unwillingness to stick to the framework as new units/codex releases come along.

As to the problem of nerfing: one unit being overpowered so they adjust a USR but end up making 3 other units so bad they become unusable, perhaps they can remove the USR in question from the OP unit and replace it with a bespoke rule in the errata. As others have said, there’s no need to do away with bespoke rules entirely.

From my perspective if they were to reintroduce USRs I think they should rewrite them from the bottom up. There are a lot of legacy names for USRs like FNP, Poison etc. These might be comfy for existing players but don’t really help new players. I’d prefer if the rules did away with the lore aspect and were named purely based on what the rule does mechanically. Eg. Instead of “FNP (5+)” it would be “ignore damage (5+); instead of “Poison (4+)” it would be “Aways Wounds (4+)” etc. The rule could be constrained with something like “ this weapon Always Wounds (4+) when attacking Infantry” or that it doesn’t work against targets with a specific keyword eg. Vehicle and so on.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2020/04/29 11:32:44


 
   
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USRs are great!
GW, however, is not.

The problem with GW's implementation of USRs is that they weren't universal. A couple people have already mentioned this, but GW's massive problem is they can't keep their design straight for more than a year, and that means that USRs from the year before are inadequate and USRs proliferate. Consider the following example:

Desired Abstraction: "This guy's really nasty and brutal when he charges, alright?"

3rd edition, prior to USRs: Every unit and their mum with that desired abstraction operated slightly differently, like they do today. Berzerk Charge, Furious Charge, etc.
4th Edition, USRs introduced: +1 strength and +1 extra attack on top of the usual charge bonuses.
5th Edition, USRs mostly continued unchanged while GW ruined other stuff like the terrain rules: the same as 4th... except not, because there's now the Rage special rule, which gives you +1 extra attack when you charge but not +1 strength.
6th Edition: Furious Charge loses the extra attack bonus; Rage becomes +2 attacks, and Hammer of Wrath is added because why not.
7th Edition: Rampage is added to the glut of "this guy charges hard guys, mmkay?" rules, adding not +1, nor +2, nor +3 attacks, but +d3. And it didn't add any strength.

Tell me, GW, why "this guy charges hard" needed the following different variations:
Furious Charge
Hammer of Wrath
Rage
Rampage

Of course, in the age of 'bespoke' rules, it's even worse:
'ere we go: you get stuff (I forget what, +1 attack?) if you roll a 10+ on your charge.
Order of the Bloody Rose conviction: you get +1 attack if you charge, period.
Space Marine thingymabobber (the assault one): you get +1 attack if you charge, heroically intervene, or are charged
Astra Militarum stratagem: If you charge, you hit on a 2+, but only if you're a tank.

All of these are essentially "this wotsit charges (or is charged) goodly" but with such inconsistent abstractions that I can't even.

Some people say they know no fear. What they mean is that they have encountered and conquered it. I, on the other hand, truly know no fear. It is as alien to me as doubt, rage, or mercy.

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Don't forget the varieties including heroic Interventions and not including them.

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Orks actually don't get a bonus for charging (yet)

 Daedalus81 wrote:
SemperMortis wrote:
Yes, because everyone lines up on the deployment line when facing off against orkz, especially when said orkz are fielding 3 Bonebreakers...which rely exclusively on getting into CC to inflict any kind of actual harm. All of your arguments rely upon your opponent being a brain dead muppet who just lets you maul him.


Yea...that's called board control.
 
   
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Sister Vastly Superior




 Unit1126PLL wrote:
USRs are great!
GW, however, is not.

The problem with GW's implementation of USRs is that they weren't universal. A couple people have already mentioned this, but GW's massive problem is they can't keep their design straight for more than a year, and that means that USRs from the year before are inadequate and USRs proliferate. Consider the following example:

Desired Abstraction: "This guy's really nasty and brutal when he charges, alright?"

3rd edition, prior to USRs: Every unit and their mum with that desired abstraction operated slightly differently, like they do today. Berzerk Charge, Furious Charge, etc.
4th Edition, USRs introduced: +1 strength and +1 extra attack on top of the usual charge bonuses.
5th Edition, USRs mostly continued unchanged while GW ruined other stuff like the terrain rules: the same as 4th... except not, because there's now the Rage special rule, which gives you +1 extra attack when you charge but not +1 strength.
6th Edition: Furious Charge loses the extra attack bonus; Rage becomes +2 attacks, and Hammer of Wrath is added because why not.
7th Edition: Rampage is added to the glut of "this guy charges hard guys, mmkay?" rules, adding not +1, nor +2, nor +3 attacks, but +d3. And it didn't add any strength.

Tell me, GW, why "this guy charges hard" needed the following different variations:
Furious Charge
Hammer of Wrath
Rage
Rampage

Of course, in the age of 'bespoke' rules, it's even worse:
'ere we go: you get stuff (I forget what, +1 attack?) if you roll a 10+ on your charge.
Order of the Bloody Rose conviction: you get +1 attack if you charge, period.
Space Marine thingymabobber (the assault one): you get +1 attack if you charge, heroically intervene, or are charged
Astra Militarum stratagem: If you charge, you hit on a 2+, but only if you're a tank.

All of these are essentially "this wotsit charges (or is charged) goodly" but with such inconsistent abstractions that I can't even.
Well, Quick to Anger (BR Convinction) works the same as... I want to say Angels of Death...(The SM ability)

But I think you're over simplifing it to say "I charge good" for all of them. They created half a dozen different versions of 'the same thing' because 40K is meant to be an asymmetrical game and one with an eye watering number of options.

Do you know what 40k melee needs? #FreetheFlagellants

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 Jidmah wrote:
Orks actually don't get a bonus for charging (yet)


The roid shrooms of violence , don't get a Charge Bonus yet

If that does not show some wierd reprecussions of the rules as Bespoke then i don't know what else.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2020/04/29 13:42:00


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'Ere We Go is a reroll on the charge rill iirc, which is a pretty default bonus for the actual charging as opposed to the combat bonuses...

Do you know what 40k melee needs? #FreetheFlagellants

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Lammia wrote:
'Ere We Go is a reroll on the charge rill iirc, which is a pretty default bonus for the actual charging as opposed to the combat bonuses...


Ah, I thought they got a bonus for rolling 10 or higher on the charge dice.

This is the problem with bespoke rules, though. In fact this is exactly the problem.

And to the poster who said it's GOOD to have that many different abstractions for 'this guy charges well' - then I don't know what to tell you. That many different abstractions is a huge PITA in balance, barely affects games (woo, rage and rampage are so close to identical it hurts and the differences between them are basically irrelevant! Glad THEY exist!), and doesn't get you any more options (it's not like you could gamble and choose Rampage instead of Rage. You just got what you got, and if the other guy got something crappier (like Hammer of Wrath) then you pitied him).

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2020/04/29 13:53:32


Some people say they know no fear. What they mean is that they have encountered and conquered it. I, on the other hand, truly know no fear. It is as alien to me as doubt, rage, or mercy.

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I think what I find funny is most games moved AWAY from having every rule be independent so it could be changed and moved TO what are basically USRs where Ability X is Ability X no matter what unit it's on so it's consistent and there's a common language with the rules.

Yet 40k did the opposite approach and has a dozen of what is basically the same ability which may or may not work the same.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2020/04/29 13:55:11


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Lammia wrote:
'Ere We Go is a reroll on the charge rill iirc, which is a pretty default bonus for the actual charging as opposed to the combat bonuses...



except it lets you reroll both or any dice, which is different from most other charge rerolls.

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I think the game rules would benefit from maybe a dozen universal rules keywords while keeping bespoke rules. Then the bespoke rules could save space referring back to those rules keywords. Deep Strike, Feel No Pain, and Fly are great examples of nearly universal concepts that are used time and time again and would be great centralized. Any rules that can't be explained in one or two sentences is a good place for a rules keyword.

I don't think the game would benefit from dozens of rules to reflect +1 to this, -1 to that, and re-roll those. Those are best just written on the data sheet.
   
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 alextroy wrote:
I think the game rules would benefit from maybe a dozen universal rules keywords while keeping bespoke rules. Then the bespoke rules could save space referring back to those rules keywords. Deep Strike, Feel No Pain, and Fly are great examples of nearly universal concepts that are used time and time again and would be great centralized. Any rules that can't be explained in one or two sentences is a good place for a rules keyword.

I don't think the game would benefit from dozens of rules to reflect +1 to this, -1 to that, and re-roll those. Those are best just written on the data sheet.
But it already HAS a dozen rules for +1 this, -1 that, and reroll those.

Plus, just because a USR is Universal doesn't mean you can't write it out on the datasheet. I've said it before, but this is how I'd do USRs.

Spoiler:
Rules Name-Fluff Name
Rules text.

Fluff Text.


Such as...

Spoiler:
Ignore Wounds (5+)-Disgustingly Resilient
Roll a die each time this model loses a wound. On a 5+, that wound is not lost.

Bloated by Nurgle's blessings, this model is so fecundly tough that it's capable of shrugging off even mighty blows as they slough off dead and useless flesh.


If GW were to make rules-only datacards, you'd only include the rules name and the rules text, none of the fluff stuff, but in the full-fledged codex, you'd include all the fluff too.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2020/04/29 14:02:36


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Orks get to selectively reroll any or all dice when charging, while Hive Fleet Behemoth has to reroll none or both. Why? Who knows!

Ork plasma overheats on an unmodified 1. Guard plasma overheats on a modified 1, so it's affected by accuracy buffs and penalties. Why? Who knows!

I always hear 'bespoke special rules are best because it gives each army flavor' and I have yet to see a compelling example. Some rules are different for no apparent reason, some are better or worse for no apparent reason. It's just a mess.

alextroy wrote:I don't think the game would benefit from dozens of rules to reflect +1 to this, -1 to that, and re-roll those. Those are best just written on the data sheet.


I'd agree with this if GW hadn't gone and fethed up the simplest buffs by introducing this inconsistency between 're-roll fails' and 're-roll any', which in combination with the unintuitive rerolls-before-modifiers system makes for a material difference resulting from a subtle difference in wording.

It doesn't have to be a USR. It just has to be consistent. The objective of a USR is not 'give every special rule its own name and put it in the rulebook' so much as 'make special rules that do the same thing work the same way'.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2020/04/29 14:05:48


 
   
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1. USRs can still be printed on datasheets for reference just like your precious bespoke rules.
2. Consistent rules with very few exceptions makes for better balance. For example, the only guys without a standard FNP is AdMech Graia.
3. "But GW won't do it right" is not a good argument. You need to hold them to a higher standard and not just accept it the way it is. GW isn't the only part of the problem, you are as well with inaction.

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BTW, I can't wait to run Double-D-thirsters! Man, just thinking about it gets me Khorney.

 vipoid wrote:
Indeed - what sort of bastard would want to use their codex?

 MarsNZ wrote:
ITT: SoB players upset that they're receiving the same condescending treatment that they've doled out in every CSM thread ever.
 
   
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Catbarf nailed it imo.

it's not just an issue of flavour by forced "not really but actually really " difference but rather also of equal long pikes.

If the draw back is "get's hot" then it should apply equally if the weapons costed correctly unless they are priced in with the potential interactions, which they are often not.

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_______________________________

Who would win:
10'000 + years of veterancy, or some raidy Boys?
Trick Question, of course it's the loyalists!

(Not Online in regards to the new Red Corsair battalion CP boost and 8th edition.) 
   
Made in de
Waaagh! Ork Warboss on Warbike






 Unit1126PLL wrote:
Lammia wrote:
'Ere We Go is a reroll on the charge rill iirc, which is a pretty default bonus for the actual charging as opposed to the combat bonuses...


Ah, I thought they got a bonus for rolling 10 or higher on the charge dice.

You are probably remembering 7th edition rules, certain formations and detachments gave orks hammer of wrath if they rolled 10+ on a charge.

 Daedalus81 wrote:
SemperMortis wrote:
Yes, because everyone lines up on the deployment line when facing off against orkz, especially when said orkz are fielding 3 Bonebreakers...which rely exclusively on getting into CC to inflict any kind of actual harm. All of your arguments rely upon your opponent being a brain dead muppet who just lets you maul him.


Yea...that's called board control.
 
   
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Falls Church, VA

 Jidmah wrote:
 Unit1126PLL wrote:
Lammia wrote:
'Ere We Go is a reroll on the charge rill iirc, which is a pretty default bonus for the actual charging as opposed to the combat bonuses...


Ah, I thought they got a bonus for rolling 10 or higher on the charge dice.

You are probably remembering 7th edition rules, certain formations and detachments gave orks hammer of wrath if they rolled 10+ on a charge.


Probably.

Some people say they know no fear. What they mean is that they have encountered and conquered it. I, on the other hand, truly know no fear. It is as alien to me as doubt, rage, or mercy.

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Order of the Luminous Beacon - 2087 points
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A lot of this could be helped if GW really treated their living game system as a living game system, and were more willing to patch existing documents beyond points changes.

Is 'explodes on a natural 1' how all plasma is intended to work going forward? Cool, so make that a game-wide patch, roll it into the digital codices, and let us print and tape it into the physical ones if we want. Or is that only supposed to be for Orks? Well fething why?

The use of USRs just makes these sorts of updates easier. If all plasma weapon still had Gets Hot! as a rule, and GW wanted to go from 'modifiers apply' to 'only rolls of 1', then they would just be altering Gets Hot! rather than needing to call out each weapon by name.

Consistency, quick recognition, and ease of change are the main points of USRs- they can still show up with their text in full on the datasheet if desired, you'll just need to alter that quick reference text if the rule changes. As others have said, the problem isn't USRs, the problem is GW mishandling them.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2020/04/29 14:19:29


 
   
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Yeah, GW simply made the wrong conclusion. Yes, people were arguing about some of the unnecessary USRs in 6th/7th edition. And these rules really were bad. Some people here are saying the base rules of 7th weren't that bad, it was just the formations - no. Just take a look at these pages upon pages of USRs of which one I think has never been used on any model, one was two USRs in one, and others were stuff like Soul blaze which... could have been described as: This USR robs you of 5min of your lifetime in every round with no effect.
But I don't think anyone argued that because of that USRs should be gone completely. And they aren't, there's FLY, which ironically could need a bit of refinement imo, whether you're a tau battlesuit or a heldrake...
And some of the USRs that could/ should come back are obvious - namely the ones' that are still used by older players - deep strike, infiltrate, fnp. Maybe a couple of others. I wouldn't be surprised to even see some USRs return in the next rulebook. If GW is clever they'll work with them exactly as JNA suggests.
   
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 catbarf wrote:
A lot of this could be helped if GW really treated their living game system as a living game system, and were more willing to patch existing documents beyond points changes.

Is 'explodes on a natural 1' how all plasma is intended to work going forward? Cool, so make that a game-wide patch, roll it into the digital codices, and let us print and tape it into the physical ones if we want. Or is that only supposed to be for Orks? Well fething why?

The use of USRs just makes these sorts of updates easier. If all plasma weapon still had Gets Hot! as a rule, and GW wanted to go from 'modifiers apply' to 'only rolls of 1', then they would just be altering Gets Hot! rather than needing to call out each weapon by name.

Consistency, quick recognition, and ease of change are the main points of USRs- they can still show up with their text in full on the datasheet if desired, you'll just need to alter that quick reference text if the rule changes. As others have said, the problem isn't USRs, the problem is GW mishandling them.
Weapon keywords would be nice. But you still get potential issues with 'this thing over needs fixing' "ok, fixed" 'wait now this doesn't work'

Do you know what 40k melee needs? #FreetheFlagellants

Learn all your rules back to front. Stop trying to do the same for every other army. 
   
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Lammia wrote:
 catbarf wrote:
A lot of this could be helped if GW really treated their living game system as a living game system, and were more willing to patch existing documents beyond points changes.

Is 'explodes on a natural 1' how all plasma is intended to work going forward? Cool, so make that a game-wide patch, roll it into the digital codices, and let us print and tape it into the physical ones if we want. Or is that only supposed to be for Orks? Well fething why?

The use of USRs just makes these sorts of updates easier. If all plasma weapon still had Gets Hot! as a rule, and GW wanted to go from 'modifiers apply' to 'only rolls of 1', then they would just be altering Gets Hot! rather than needing to call out each weapon by name.

Consistency, quick recognition, and ease of change are the main points of USRs- they can still show up with their text in full on the datasheet if desired, you'll just need to alter that quick reference text if the rule changes. As others have said, the problem isn't USRs, the problem is GW mishandling them.
Weapon keywords would be nice. But you still get potential issues with 'this thing over needs fixing' "ok, fixed" 'wait now this doesn't work'


what do you mean? if you fix the base USR instead of the weapons profile and theres still something that is OP/UP, just adjust the points of that specific weapon. And if youre talking about generic rules then yeah, thats the thing. to implement USRs, 40k needs a rewrite. Honestly even without USRs it needs a rewrite. I'd be curious to see a fan-made ruleset with simplified rules that use USRs, i'd wager the game would become much more enjoyable if it had a solid ruleset.

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Backfire wrote:
As for 40k RPG's, I wouldn't really use it as a positive example as I thought the system was horribly bloated towards the end, and completely unmanageable.
All of which has zero bearing on what I said.

   
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 VladimirHerzog wrote:
Lammia wrote:
 catbarf wrote:
A lot of this could be helped if GW really treated their living game system as a living game system, and were more willing to patch existing documents beyond points changes.

Is 'explodes on a natural 1' how all plasma is intended to work going forward? Cool, so make that a game-wide patch, roll it into the digital codices, and let us print and tape it into the physical ones if we want. Or is that only supposed to be for Orks? Well fething why?

The use of USRs just makes these sorts of updates easier. If all plasma weapon still had Gets Hot! as a rule, and GW wanted to go from 'modifiers apply' to 'only rolls of 1', then they would just be altering Gets Hot! rather than needing to call out each weapon by name.

Consistency, quick recognition, and ease of change are the main points of USRs- they can still show up with their text in full on the datasheet if desired, you'll just need to alter that quick reference text if the rule changes. As others have said, the problem isn't USRs, the problem is GW mishandling them.
Weapon keywords would be nice. But you still get potential issues with 'this thing over needs fixing' "ok, fixed" 'wait now this doesn't work'


what do you mean? if you fix the base USR instead of the weapons profile and theres still something that is OP/UP, just adjust the points of that specific weapon. And if youre talking about generic rules then yeah, thats the thing. to implement USRs, 40k needs a rewrite. Honestly even without USRs it needs a rewrite. I'd be curious to see a fan-made ruleset with simplified rules that use USRs, i'd wager the game would become much more enjoyable if it had a solid ruleset.
It's not always about points...

Do you know what 40k melee needs? #FreetheFlagellants

Learn all your rules back to front. Stop trying to do the same for every other army. 
   
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Lammia wrote:
 VladimirHerzog wrote:
Lammia wrote:
 catbarf wrote:
A lot of this could be helped if GW really treated their living game system as a living game system, and were more willing to patch existing documents beyond points changes.

Is 'explodes on a natural 1' how all plasma is intended to work going forward? Cool, so make that a game-wide patch, roll it into the digital codices, and let us print and tape it into the physical ones if we want. Or is that only supposed to be for Orks? Well fething why?

The use of USRs just makes these sorts of updates easier. If all plasma weapon still had Gets Hot! as a rule, and GW wanted to go from 'modifiers apply' to 'only rolls of 1', then they would just be altering Gets Hot! rather than needing to call out each weapon by name.

Consistency, quick recognition, and ease of change are the main points of USRs- they can still show up with their text in full on the datasheet if desired, you'll just need to alter that quick reference text if the rule changes. As others have said, the problem isn't USRs, the problem is GW mishandling them.
Weapon keywords would be nice. But you still get potential issues with 'this thing over needs fixing' "ok, fixed" 'wait now this doesn't work'


what do you mean? if you fix the base USR instead of the weapons profile and theres still something that is OP/UP, just adjust the points of that specific weapon. And if youre talking about generic rules then yeah, thats the thing. to implement USRs, 40k needs a rewrite. Honestly even without USRs it needs a rewrite. I'd be curious to see a fan-made ruleset with simplified rules that use USRs, i'd wager the game would become much more enjoyable if it had a solid ruleset.
It's not always about points...


I know, but you havnt provided any example of what you mean.

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I like the rules on units - but not against USRs if they are actaully universal.

So kinda like how Magic has core rules but they then often print them on the card so you don't have to keep looking them up

I want datacards for all armies - but not until the 2 week fix/faq is done

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 JNAProductions wrote:
So, some people really love GW's bespoke rules approach. I'm not one of them, but I'd be curious to hear what the general thoughts are about why USRs are bad. I feel like a decent amount of ill-will towards USRs might be because GW did them pretty poorly in the past. Missile Lock, I'm looking at you!

The simplest answer to understand why a lot of people hated USR's is these people played before 8th edition. Up until now, there hasn't been an edition of the game where all codexes had been updated at the same time in over a decade. There would be times where a codex limped through multiple editions, no updates, no rules changes, no points tweaks, nothing. The poor dark eldar went TWELVE YEARS at one point.

This is important. Because GW was incompetent or just didn't seem to care, USR's would change every single edition, with drastic effects on how an army played because of it. For example, there used to be a rule called Furious Charge. Added 1 to your S and your Initiative stat (who swings first in combat). Blood angels and orks got it across the board for the most part and it was crucial to how they played. Then one edition GW changes it to where it only gives +1 S, but does nothing to change the orks and Blood angels codexes. So now, you have two books built with this key ability in mind suddenly neutered, with 0 compensation. Every new edition, unless you were the standard marines codex, you could go months or even years with completely busted USR's in your army.

This is why people hated USR's and wanted them gone in 8th. We expected GW to just drag it's feet on codexes again and many armies not getting a proper book till 9th or 10th. Having all your special rules and abilities written on your datasheet "future proofs" the unit and ensures it continues to work how it should. So that way if the Guard codex for example wasn't updated for 3 years, all my rules still work regardless of what GW could potentially do to it's USRs. In a world where all codexes actually get updated on an edition, USR's still make sense, but also run into an issue of inflexibility. So you either end up with one USR that may be a bit much on some units and not enough on others, or 3 or 4 similar rules that are all slightly different but essentially do the same thing, like stealth/shrouded, or fearless/stubborn/zealot sometimes/ATSKNF/etc

I think people would be open to USR's, but if we go back, GW HAS to release all codexes simultaneously, or free indexes at the start of each new edition. Otherwise we go right back to our old problem where each edition breaks armies overnight.

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 MrMoustaffa wrote:
 JNAProductions wrote:
So, some people really love GW's bespoke rules approach. I'm not one of them, but I'd be curious to hear what the general thoughts are about why USRs are bad. I feel like a decent amount of ill-will towards USRs might be because GW did them pretty poorly in the past. Missile Lock, I'm looking at you!

The simplest answer to understand why a lot of people hated USR's is these people played before 8th edition. Up until now, there hasn't been an edition of the game where all codexes had been updated at the same time in over a decade. There would be times where a codex limped through multiple editions, no updates, no rules changes, no points tweaks, nothing. The poor dark eldar went TWELVE YEARS at one point.

This is important. Because GW was incompetent or just didn't seem to care, USR's would change every single edition, with drastic effects on how an army played because of it. For example, there used to be a rule called Furious Charge. Added 1 to your S and your Initiative stat (who swings first in combat). Blood angels and orks got it across the board for the most part and it was crucial to how they played. Then one edition GW changes it to where it only gives +1 S, but does nothing to change the orks and Blood angels codexes. So now, you have two books built with this key ability in mind suddenly neutered, with 0 compensation. Every new edition, unless you were the standard marines codex, you could go months or even years with completely busted USR's in your army.

This is why people hated USR's and wanted them gone in 8th. We expected GW to just drag it's feet on codexes again and many armies not getting a proper book till 9th or 10th. Having all your special rules and abilities written on your datasheet "future proofs" the unit and ensures it continues to work how it should. So that way if the Guard codex for example wasn't updated for 3 years, all my rules still work regardless of what GW could potentially do to it's USRs. In a world where all codexes actually get updated on an edition, USR's still make sense, but also run into an issue of inflexibility. So you either end up with one USR that may be a bit much on some units and not enough on others, or 3 or 4 similar rules that are all slightly different but essentially do the same thing, like stealth/shrouded, or fearless/stubborn/zealot sometimes/ATSKNF/etc

I think people would be open to USR's, but if we go back, GW HAS to release all codexes simultaneously, or free indexes at the start of each new edition. Otherwise we go right back to our old problem where each edition breaks armies overnight.
So it's not an inherent issue with USRs, it's GW borking it up?

Because I can definitely see why that's an issue.

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I will offer the advantages of bespoke rules as opposed to USRs. Likely an unpopular point of view in the this thread, but hey.

First, it allows for redistribution of the rules load. This in turn makes the game more accessible. Instead of a large core rule book with the USRs you can have a thin set of core rules that can be downloaded for free or given away in stores. You buy your box of miniatures and with the datasheet included in the assembly instructions you can play the game straight away with the unit(s) that you have. Two players only need to manage/carry the rules that are on their datasheets and not worry about cross-referencing mid-game with USRs in the main book.

Second, it allows the designers greater flexibility when creating units/Codexes and also to fix problems afterwards. I understand that some people only want one rule for a given capability, but it is a valid design method to have a variety of bespoke ways for different units to similar functions. A Company Veteran, for instance, is neither a Shield Drone nor a Grot.

Having been in the 8th Edition era for almost three years, I have to say that I prefer the bespoke method. GW can change editions without having to actually do an edition change with all the associated pain. As Codexes get updated we see new design ideas in the datasheets.

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TangoTwoBravo wrote:
First, it allows for redistribution of the rules load. This in turn makes the game more accessible. Instead of a large core rule book with the USRs you can have a thin set of core rules that can be downloaded for free or given away in stores. You buy your box of miniatures and with the datasheet included in the assembly instructions you can play the game straight away with the unit(s) that you have. Two players only need to manage/carry the rules that are on their datasheets and not worry about cross-referencing mid-game with USRs in the main book.


This isn't an advantage to bespoke rules, it's an advantage to printing rules on the datasheet.

Print the USR on the datasheet and you get the same effect. If the USR is changed, it should be updated automatically for digital copies, and you can manually patch a physical copy. GW does this all the time with FAQs; for example, the significant changes to how Commissars work in the Astra Militarum codex.

Worst case we could just have a USR quick reference sheet. Heck, I could really use some reference sheets even without USRs. Having to go into the rulebook to remember how each piece of terrain is supposed to work or what exactly the Fly keyword does is annoying, let alone having to get into the FAQs to find alterations to mechanics like Deep Strike.

TangoTwoBravo wrote:
Second, it allows the designers greater flexibility when creating units/Codexes and also to fix problems afterwards. I understand that some people only want one rule for a given capability, but it is a valid design method to have a variety of bespoke ways for different units to similar functions. A Company Veteran, for instance, is neither a Shield Drone nor a Grot.


I have still yet to hear an example where this is actually used to good effect. What about the bodyguard rule for Marine bodyguards is more fluffy/fitting than the bodyguard rule for Shield Drones? What does it mean that Ork plasma explodes on an unmodified 1, but all other plasma explodes on a modified 1? Why do some characters allow you to re-roll fails, while others allow you to re-roll any or all dice? Why do Orks re-roll any or all dice when they charge, but Behemoth rerolls all or none? What does any of it mean?

I've played games that use the bespoke rules approach to give factions and units their own distinct flavor. It's not a universally bad piece of game design. But GW is using it in a way that provides none of its benefits and all of its weaknesses, so I'd say it's the wrong approach to 40K.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2020/04/29 16:57:43


 
   
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As others have said, the issue was largely poor implementation.

GW had multiple different USR's which did functionally the same thing but with a different modifier value (i.e. 4+ instead of 5+) - they should have been one USR written as USR(X) where X was the number of the modifier (i.e. "USR(5+)" means that the USR gives you whatever bonus on a 5+ roll).

GW also had USR's which conferred other USRs - this should never have been a thing to begin with and instead let USRs stand alone and call them out individually.

It just ended up with a massive amount of bloat that made it hard to remember what was what, and because they were only listed by name in a codex you had to flip open your core rulebook to find out what they meant. To make things a bit worse, DESPITE how many USRs there were, there still proved to be a lot of very common special rules which were *not* covered by USRs that probably should have been, so it kind of became the case of "what the hell is the point?"

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