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Being new to posting and the forum lingo, what exactly is AA?
I see plenty of highlighted text abbreviations that give you an expanded view with a hover, but no one's done that with the actual thread title. Somebody care to fill me in?
   
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Decrepit Dakkanaut






Falls Church, VA

 DornScorn wrote:
Being new to posting and the forum lingo, what exactly is AA?
I see plenty of highlighted text abbreviations that give you an expanded view with a hover, but no one's done that with the actual thread title. Somebody care to fill me in?


Alternating activation, where the turn operates by moving one element of your army (unit or detachment or however the designer wants to divide it up), then your opponent does one of their elements, then you do one of yours.

It's like Chess. You can move one piece, then your opponent moves one piece, etc.

40k is currently IGOUGO, which is like a chess game where all your pieces and move before all of the enemy pieces move.
   
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Vancouver, BC

 DornScorn wrote:
Being new to posting and the forum lingo, what exactly is AA?
I see plenty of highlighted text abbreviations that give you an expanded view with a hover, but no one's done that with the actual thread title. Somebody care to fill me in?

AA means Alternate Activation. Basically you move a unit or units, and then your opponent does until everything has moved rather than a player moving all their stuff and then the opponent does (IGOUGO), or in the case of 40k, taking a full turn before their opponent does anything (also IGOUGO).
   
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Annandale, VA

 Unit1126PLL wrote:
It's like Chess. You can move one piece, then your opponent moves one piece, etc.


I think chess is a bad example, since chess really isn't AA in the sense people talk about for 40K. There's no requirement in chess that you move all your other pieces before you can activate your queen a second time. If anything, I'd argue that since each activation is wholly independent, rather than a contingent timestep within a framing turn, chess is an IGOUGO system- it's just the variant of IGOUGO where only a certain number of pieces may be activated per turn, like Infinity. In the case of chess, that number happens to be 1.

@DornScorn: Bolt Action is a good modern example of an alternating activation game. It's not strictly alternating like Unit and Canadian described, but demonstrates the idea of having one model or group of models activate at a time until all or most have done so.
   
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Falls Church, VA

 catbarf wrote:
 Unit1126PLL wrote:
It's like Chess. You can move one piece, then your opponent moves one piece, etc.


I think chess is a bad example, since chess really isn't AA in the sense people talk about for 40K. There's no requirement in chess that you move all your other pieces before you can activate your queen a second time. If anything, I'd argue that since each activation is wholly independent, rather than a contingent timestep within a framing turn, chess is an IGOUGO system- it's just the variant of IGOUGO where only a certain number of pieces may be activated per turn, like Infinity. In the case of chess, that number happens to be 1.

@DornScorn: Bolt Action is a good modern example of an alternating activation game. It's not strictly alternating like Unit and Canadian described, but demonstrates the idea of having one model or group of models activate at a time until all or most have done so.


Is the concept of "exhaustion" (i.e. having to wait to move again until all other units have moved) mandatory for an AA system? I don't think so.

Chess is much much closer to AA than IGOUGO, if you drew a spectrum between the two.
   
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Annandale, VA

 Unit1126PLL wrote:
Is the concept of "exhaustion" (i.e. having to wait to move again until all other units have moved) mandatory for an AA system? I don't think so.


Do you have any AA systems in mind that don't have such a mechanic? I think the core of AA is breaking down the activities of a group of actors within a discrete timestep into a series of activations of individuals or sub-groups, which would imply an 'exhaustion' limitation by definition.
   
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We run 40K this way:

- current player chooses to move OR shoot
- other player may React to enemy units in LOS and w/in 12", either by shooting (counting 1/2 its hits) or moving D3"
- current player then either moves or shoots, whichever wasn't performed earlier
- other player may React if hasn't done so previously
- current player may assault

If a unit has sufficient movement to reach an enemy before the enemy Reacts, the units are considered locked until the assault is resolved.

We also use a suppression mechanic that is modified by the number of units shooting at a target. A unit may then pass a leadership test but still be suppressed. Suppressed units may move OR shoot which is determined randomly starting when they are able to function again, but only in increments of D6" for every 6"' of normal activity.
In other words, if a unit could normally shoot 24" and move 8", if suppressed you'd determine which and then roll for the range: 4D6" for shooting or D6+2" for movement.

   
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Falls Church, VA

 catbarf wrote:
 Unit1126PLL wrote:
Is the concept of "exhaustion" (i.e. having to wait to move again until all other units have moved) mandatory for an AA system? I don't think so.


Do you have any AA systems in mind that don't have such a mechanic? I think the core of AA is breaking down the activities of a group of actors within a discrete timestep into a series of activations of individuals or sub-groups, which would imply an 'exhaustion' limitation by definition.


Well, chess, for one. And checkers, though I realize we are getting so abstract it may not count as a wargame anymore.

And it depends on if you have a discrete timestep, or not. I think it is a good idea, but if the game is sufficiently abstract I can conceive of a system that doesn't "exhaust" units.
   
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 catbarf wrote:
 Unit1126PLL wrote:
Is the concept of "exhaustion" (i.e. having to wait to move again until all other units have moved) mandatory for an AA system? I don't think so.


Do you have any AA systems in mind that don't have such a mechanic? I think the core of AA is breaking down the activities of a group of actors within a discrete timestep into a series of activations of individuals or sub-groups, which would imply an 'exhaustion' limitation by definition.


Off the top of my head the only game system I know of that allows you to move activations around freely like that is Infinity, which isn't an AA system. Gates of Antares has units that have multiple actions a turn, but they're still limited in how many they can take.

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Moving to d10 or d12, the trusty d6 just can't cope with the range of units nowadays

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People wanting D10s and AA?

Sounds like they want to play Void. The rules are already there for the 40k you want, folks.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2020/11/14 10:33:31




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The lack of full controll over your troops.
Examples of this could be fall back moves, pinning, lack of complete target controll etc. This would open up for a lot of tactics.

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Oh, maybe exploding damage from AoS?

I know that’s a small difference that requires significant change, but as an Ogre fan, it’s just so cool when you’re buttering enemy units!

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Austria

I say non

because the problem are not the ideas, but the implementation we see

Stratagems was a nice idea copied over from Warpath, but hell how GW implemented it into 40k sucks

same with HQ bubble bonus, Special Rules, Datasheets, Melee, to Wound table and so on

most stuff we have now in 40k are an Idea we have seen in other games, but either because GW did not want a direct copy of that rules or they did not understand why those rules were used in the first place, the "nice idea" turned into a bad one that made things worse over time

so yes, 40k should stick to its very core that is original and works and don't try to add things on top that is not meant to work the way GW wants it to be

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Austria

 Unit1126PLL wrote:
Alternating activation, where the turn operates by moving one element of your army (unit or detachment or however the designer wants to divide it up), then your opponent does one of their elements, then you do one of yours.

It's like Chess. You can move one piece, then your opponent moves one piece, etc.

40k is currently IGOUGO, which is like a chess game where all your pieces and move before all of the enemy pieces move.


I'm going to assume that such a system then requires you to do everything for an activated unit (move, shoot, melee, w/e), before the opponent activates one of his units?

While I see how that might work for a system with a smaller scale, I don't think such a thing would be truly functional for something like 40k, where you regularly have in excess of 10 individual units with multiple models each.

For a bit of background, I only recently came back into 40k after a decade long hiatus and basically skipped Ed. 5 - 8, came right into 9th. Remembering back to what 40k used to be like and what it's like now, I think switching to AA would loose the game a lot of the dynamic that has come into it through the Edition changes. I mean, aside from the fact that swapping the core turn mechanics would pretty much up-end the entire game, you would constantly have to keep track of which unit you've already moved how many times, etc. and that kinda sounds counter intuitive to the potential benefits a switch "might" bring.

I usually wouldn't be one to defend "dynamic" game changes, and I miss a lot of the things from 3rd Edition that I feel gave many of the races more character and individuality, but having actually gotten to play 9th Edition and comparing it to what it used to be, I feel the system is very functional, in spite of some personal gripes.

I noticed OP has already been chewed out for his polarizing language, so I'll leave it here X3
   
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 DornScorn wrote:

I'm going to assume that such a system then requires you to do everything for an activated unit (move, shoot, melee, w/e), before the opponent activates one of his units?

While I see how that might work for a system with a smaller scale, I don't think such a thing would be truly functional for something like 40k, where you regularly have in excess of 10 individual units with multiple models each


why?
doing it with 10 models is the same as doing it with 10 units
other games work very well in 40k scale using any kind of alternating unit activation (although most are in 15mm as size of 40k is considered too large for 28mm most of the time) the amount of models or units is not the problem here (would say the other way around, the more units are on the table, the more problems an Alternating Player Turn system has as waiting time becomes an issue)
   
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Birmingham, UK

 kodos wrote:


so yes, 40k should stick to its very core that is original and works and don't try to add things on top that is not meant to work the way GW wants it to be


The problem with 40k is that its original core is based on a 30+ year old ruleset that had inspiration from D&D.
Every 'new' development is forced on a ruleset that was designed with having DM interaction in mind. That philosophy has infected design decisions from 3rd ed onward when the supposed streamlining coincided with the need to sell more plastic product.

Slapshod rule writing possibly stems from a culture built upon the idea of letting players sort it themselves hence 'roll for it' situations.

The original rules are the problem when trying to bolt on game mechanics which 'should' improve the game.


   
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Austria

 Mr. Burning wrote:
 kodos wrote:


so yes, 40k should stick to its very core that is original and works and don't try to add things on top that is not meant to work the way GW wants it to be


The problem with 40k is that its original core is based on a 30+ year old ruleset that had inspiration from D&D.

this is Warhammer Fantasy, which does not exist any more

40k is based on a 15mm World War 2 game (hence why Bolt Action as "based on 40k" works so well)

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 kodos wrote:
 Mr. Burning wrote:
 kodos wrote:


so yes, 40k should stick to its very core that is original and works and don't try to add things on top that is not meant to work the way GW wants it to be


The problem with 40k is that its original core is based on a 30+ year old ruleset that had inspiration from D&D.

this is Warhammer Fantasy, which does not exist any more

40k is based on a 15mm World War 2 game (hence why Bolt Action as "based on 40k" works so well)



40k is still the same core as it was when I started collecting 'marine' minis when rhinos came in a two pack and Ork mad boyz would stop and try and find a lost boot.

It has mutated but still has a core which struggles to support additional rule updates.

Im still happy playing it btw, getting back into 9th now, but the rules have always been sub optimal.
   
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Shooting ‘to hit’ modifiers based on size - Grots get -1 (small); Dreads get +1 (large); Stompaz get +2 (huge). Why should it not be easier to hit the biggest target on the battlle field?
   
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Moriarty wrote:
Shooting ‘to hit’ modifiers based on size - Grots get -1 (small); Dreads get +1 (large); Stompaz get +2 (huge). Why should it not be easier to hit the biggest target on the battlle field?


No disagreement here. Maybe target priority mods on weapon profiles? still adds a modifier. A krak missile may hit a grot but is wasteful.
   
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Wouldn't an AA system require all codex, which are build around stacking of multiple units doing multiple things or stacking multiple buffs to work, to be rewriten at the basic design level, because they wouldn't be working at all. Same with armies that focus a lot on one phase of the game.

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 Unit1126PLL wrote:
 DornScorn wrote:
Being new to posting and the forum lingo, what exactly is AA?
I see plenty of highlighted text abbreviations that give you an expanded view with a hover, but no one's done that with the actual thread title. Somebody care to fill me in?


Alternating activation, where the turn operates by moving one element of your army (unit or detachment or however the designer wants to divide it up), then your opponent does one of their elements, then you do one of yours.

It's like Chess. You can move one piece, then your opponent moves one piece, etc.

40k is currently IGOUGO, which is like a chess game where all your pieces and move before all of the enemy pieces move.


In my humble opinion a system in which you can move only a unit at time, isn't compatible with a game in which the players can play with different numbers of units; like Warhammer is. This doesn't mean I'm defending the W40k system, because I don't love it. I'm only saying that sistem couldn't be an good option for W40k.

This message was edited 3 times. Last update was at 2020/11/14 17:35:00


If the Imperial Truth were right, the Gods of Chaos shouldn't exist, but this means that they shouldn't had been able to corrupt Horus, so his heresy shouldn't had happened. But because the Horus Heresy happened, the Gods exist, then the Emperor of Mankind is truly our God, so he is infallible and this prove that the Imperial Truth is true. 
   
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Austria

The_Grim_Angel wrote:

In my humble opinion a system in which you can move only a unit at time, isn't compatible with a game in which the players can play with different numbers of units; like Warhammer is

no
I don't know if you ever played such a system but this was never an issue

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 kodos wrote:
The_Grim_Angel wrote:

In my humble opinion a system in which you can move only a unit at time, isn't compatible with a game in which the players can play with different numbers of units; like Warhammer is

no
I don't know if you ever played such a system but this was never an issue

Yes, I played with that system long time ago, but it was a game in which the various players had the same number of models (I don't remember what game was), so I need to understand how it could work with a different number of units. For example let's suppose I play an army with 10 squads, my opponent plays an army with 15 squads and I have the initiative: my first squad performs an action, then the first squad of my opponent perform an action and we continue in this way until all my units have performed their actions, then what happens with the remaining units of my opponent?
I'm asking because I'm really interested in that system; in fact it was the system I was thinking about when I tried to "fix" the Warhammer rules, but I dropped the idea, because I wasn't able to figure out how it could worked with armies with different numbers of units (and because nobody wanted help me to develop my rules).

This message was edited 4 times. Last update was at 2020/11/14 18:22:56


If the Imperial Truth were right, the Gods of Chaos shouldn't exist, but this means that they shouldn't had been able to corrupt Horus, so his heresy shouldn't had happened. But because the Horus Heresy happened, the Gods exist, then the Emperor of Mankind is truly our God, so he is infallible and this prove that the Imperial Truth is true. 
   
Made in fi
Longtime Dakkanaut






The_Grim_Angel wrote:
 kodos wrote:
The_Grim_Angel wrote:

In my humble opinion a system in which you can move only a unit at time, isn't compatible with a game in which the players can play with different numbers of units; like Warhammer is

no
I don't know if you ever played such a system but this was never an issue

Yes, I played with that system long time ago, but it was a game in which the various players had the same number of models (I don't remember what game was), so I need to understand how it could work with a different number of units. For example let's suppose I play an army with 10 squads, my opponent plays an army with 15 squads and I have the initiative: my first squad performs an action, then the first squad of my opponent perform an action and we continue in this way until all my units have performed their actions, then what happens with the remaining units of my opponent?
I'm asking because I'm really interested in that system; in fact it was the system I was thinking about when I tried to "fix" the Warhammer rules, but I dropped the idea, because I wasn't able to figure out how it could worked with armies with different numbers of units (and because nobody wanted help me to develop my rules).


There are numerous ways to address the activation economy problem, it can and has been done multiple times. Straight one to one activation isn't the only nor often even the best way to go about it if the difference in the number of moving parts is meaningfully large.

Activating by detachments allows multiple units to go at once while keeping the activation times roughly equivalent (like Apocalypse). You could also only have a set number of activations per round (some historicals). You could randomise activation sequence and let probability sort out the difference (like Bolt Action). You could have a system where it's possible to keep the initiative and act on more than one unit with increasing difficulties (like Epic Armageddon). You could allow the player with fewer activations to skip every now and then to catch up without being forced to make only bad moves first (like Confrontation). The list goes on.

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Austria

The_Grim_Angel wrote:

I'm asking because I'm really interested in that system; in fact it was the system I was thinking about when I tried to "fix" the Warhammer rules, but I dropped the idea, because I wasn't able to figure out how it could worked with armies with different numbers of units (and because nobody wanted help me to develop my rules).

the one solution that comes up very often is that a player can skip an activation as long as the opponent has more units left to activate
another often used one is that activations are random so that the higher number gives a higher chance to activate more units in a row
others add the possibility of double activation with a dice roll (activate a unit, activate another one on a 4+ if you want)

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Annandale, VA

Mr. Burning wrote:
Moriarty wrote:
Shooting ‘to hit’ modifiers based on size - Grots get -1 (small); Dreads get +1 (large); Stompaz get +2 (huge). Why should it not be easier to hit the biggest target on the battlle field?


No disagreement here. Maybe target priority mods on weapon profiles? still adds a modifier. A krak missile may hit a grot but is wasteful.


I've long felt that 40K needs a defensive hit value, if it really wants to model everything from dog-sized aliens to Titans.

You could lift the S-vs-T comparison wholesale and have BS vs Evasion. It'd even provide a better system for handling to-hit modifiers than straight penalties/bonuses to, since it would extend out the 'range' of 3+ or 5+ values.

The_Grim_Angel wrote:For example let's suppose I play an army with 10 squads, my opponent plays an army with 15 squads and I have the initiative: my first squad performs an action, then the first squad of my opponent perform an action and we continue in this way until all my units have performed their actions, then what happens with the remaining units of my opponent?


Lots of options.

1. They activate their remaining units sequentially. Your advantage is being able to act early (get on objectives, inflict damage, break LOS, etc), while their advantage is being able to react to your actions later.
2. Activation is determined by player-coded tokens in a bag (this is how Bolt Action does it). You have 10 tokens, they have 15, you randomly draw one to see who activates next, then discard the token. This breaks up the back-and-forth nature of pure AA since you never know who's going to get the next activation, and means that an outnumbering player is more likely to draw tokens and thus exhaust their activation pool.
3. Same as #2, except instead of drawing player-colored tokens, you draw chits corresponding to specific units. This adds a strong element of friction/chaos as by default you can't control what sequence your units activate in; you can then add a strong C&C element by having officers/leaders allow for greater control (eg by adding 'command' chits that let you activate any unit under their command).
4. Take any of the above, but activate by formation instead of by unit. So even if your opponent has more units, they may have a similar number of formations. Again, this reinforces C&C since you want units that cooperate to be in the same formation.
5. Use a 'momentum' based system. You can sequentially activate any number of units you want, until you fail in some capacity (fail a difficult terrain test, fail to inflict damage on a target, get hit by reaction fire and suppressed, etc), at which point momentum shifts to your opponent. Continue until all units have activated.
6. Use a hybrid/phased system. Instead of 'true' AA where a unit performs all its activations at once, use an IGOUGO turn structure but with both players acting in each phase, a la Lord of the Rings. Momentum can be represented as a roll-off for Initiative at the start of the turn, with the player who has the initiative moving/shooting/fighting first in each phase.

Alternatively, non-phased IGOUGO with reactions can create a similar dynamism, with the 'active' player resolving the actions of one unit at a time (all movement/shooting/etc) and the 'passive' player able to perform reactions at the cost of later actions. A common implementation gives each unit 2 actions per turn (eg move-move or move-shoot or shoot-charge), with reactions subtracting from the actions available at the unit's next activation. You can get some interesting game flow where one player has the initiative and is pressing offensive actions, while the other player is burning all of their activations to react and is purely on the defensive.

There are tons and tons of ways to implement AA of some flavor, depending on the author's goals and the game scale in question. Pure IGOUGO like 40K uses is really a relic of the 90s; you don't see many games using it nowadays.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2020/11/14 19:27:00


 
   
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Thank to every one for the answers; so I wasn't mad when I thougth to that system.
 catbarf wrote:
[...]
Alternatively, non-phased IGOUGO with reactions can create a similar dynamism, with the 'active' player resolving the actions of one unit at a time (all movement/shooting/etc) and the 'passive' player able to perform reactions at the cost of later actions. A common implementation gives each unit 2 actions per turn (eg move-move or move-shoot or shoot-charge), with reactions subtracting from the actions available at the unit's next activation. You can get some interesting game flow where one player has the initiative and is pressing offensive actions, while the other player is burning all of their activations to react and is purely on the defensive.
[...]

In the end it seems to me I started to think to a system like that, but more radical: every unit could perform only an action in every turn, in order to maximize the dynamics of action-reaction among the players.

P.S. I apologize to the thread's creator, because he has been plain clear: we couldn't dicuss about that!

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2020/11/14 19:37:50


If the Imperial Truth were right, the Gods of Chaos shouldn't exist, but this means that they shouldn't had been able to corrupt Horus, so his heresy shouldn't had happened. But because the Horus Heresy happened, the Gods exist, then the Emperor of Mankind is truly our God, so he is infallible and this prove that the Imperial Truth is true. 
   
 
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