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Hrm, I'd argue the layered rules are an extension of previously existing rules paradigms. We had layered rules in 3E for example, where you wouldnt just play Chaos Marines, but World Eaters or Iron Warriors that got various extra special rules depending on mission and army construction.

We got detachments and formations and all that starting years before the statline adjustments of 8th in 6th edition.

GW has also long used special rules and add ons to cover statline problems, not wanting to change the statline but willing to patch with accessory rules. That's been the story of the Leman Russ for the last 5 editions. This I think is a major culprit.

Scale is also an issue, GW is trying to encompasse ever more stuff intona comoany level wargame and there's just too much going on trying to make a grot and its pistol and a Knight or Titan both meaningful tabletop elements without making thrm cumbersome in one direction or another, particularly when also trying to differentiate black grots from yellow grots and spiky walkers from churchy walkers at the same time.

I think in general this is just GWs design philosophy trying to do too much in the same design space, the statline in and of itself is a tertiary issue.

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 oni wrote:
How exactly does one continue to add to and differentiate between the literally 40+ bolt weapons that are now in the game?

This issue is becoming a problem for all factions.
By not having 40+ bolt weapons? There is absolutely no need for GW giving every single space marine unit 3 different unique weapons. Just give them all a Bolter.
   
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Sometimes I am reminded of the very early days of the Internet, when people would make up every possible site name and register them with the idea of selling them,,, some people made a ton of money selling domain names.

I sometimes wonder if this isn’t what GW are doing, just sharting IP for the sake of saying yeah, this bolter variant is ours, anticipating the day when a competitor will produce a human in power armor with an extra large self propelled burst projectile assault rifle, so that they can say nope, that idea belongs to us, that is a yada bolter and if you want to produce those then you will have to pay for the use of the concept.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/10/19 19:32:13


   
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Current bloat is a result of writers justifying their paycheck.
More rules more often = more frequent FOTM units = more sales.

It works, why change it?
   
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I dunno, AoS has far more simple stat blocks but also does fine in maintaining faction/unit identity without the level of rules bloat 40k has. While I do not discount the point entirely, I would argue there are design factors involved as well; 40k has been written in a manner that is very inefficient.

A great example would be bolter discipline. A relatively long rule defining all the instances in which marines get to rapid-fire a bolter, which adds up to 'almost always'. If the rule was just 'marines always rapid fire with bolters' it would be a great deal simplified and still well within the realm of what can be balanced around.

Or to look at dataslate design, heavy intercessors and eradicators. Two dataslates, nine(!) primary weapon options, a completely unneeded special rule, all for something that really just needs to be one dataslate for gravis heavy support that can take heavy bolters or multi-meltas.

And GW is still advtisting high unit counts as if it is a good thing. When an army hits 50+ dataslates more of them is generally BAD, not good. Though the chapterhousim of needlessly slicing up equipment options into distinct units certainly makes things much worse.

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 jeff white wrote:
Sometimes I am reminded of the very early days of the Internet, when people would make up every possible site name and register them with the idea of selling them,,, some people made a ton of money selling domain names.

I sometimes wonder if this isn’t what GW are doing, just sharting IP for the sake of saying yeah, this bolter variant is ours, anticipating the day when a competitor will produce a human in power armor with an extra large self propelled burst projectile assault rifle, so that they can say nope, that idea belongs to us, that is a yada bolter and if you want to produce those then you will have to pay for the use of the concept.


Definitely not. Domains are still bought and sold though.

GW just likes giving units new weapons when they want a different function or form. Paragon War Blade could just be a MC Power Sword and the model given an extra base attack. Repentia basically have a power fist, but if definitely doesn't look like one. Giving marines a mountain of bolters just defines that faction as being really elite and having a tool for every job.

   
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I feel like layered rules is the result of the bare bones foundation they made for themselves with the over simplification of the core rules. Lack of variety in game mechanics results in little opportunity for gameplay to differ between units and makes it harder for one unit to play different than another. GW set themselves up with very little in the way of tools to balance gameplay or to create variety so they end up layering rules that manipulate the very basic core gameplay mechanics of the game (move, shoot, stab, wound, die). Also the fact that any new mechanics introduced in a codex becomes difficult for other codex armies to interact with so most of these mechanics tend to just interact with units with how they do the very basic core rule mechanics.

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Honestly I don't see the problem with barebones rules. The game is stupid bloated with layers upon layers of rules and none of it is really necessary. What is wrong with a concise, stable core set of rules easy to understand? What, will the tournament players complain that the skill ceiling isn't high enough for them to feel special? feth 'em.

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I dont think people have any problems with easy to use rules that only take up a few pages. As long as they give you meaningful interactions and not only tells you how to resolve the most basics of "move" "shoot" and "fight".

If you had a few simple rules added to the current rules that give you some sort of flanking or maneuver bonus and added a good melee or fallback resolution mechanic with a functional morale system the current rules would be vastly improved. Better written terrain rules and maybe more diverse missions as well could help without taking up more space.

Then you wouldn't need special rules to make meaningful distinction between units or factions but could rely on a models base profile matter more in consideration to the core rules. If your position relative your opponent mattered more than just line of sight then the basic move stat and move related abilities/rules become vastly more relevant. If leadership would affect fallback, melee outnumber or pinning then the core rules would make it feel very different playing low leadership armies compared to high leadership armies.

If you make the core rules more engaging then you can easily remove most pf the bloat but if you have the current core rules and remove all the bloat you aren't left with a good system. It is less bloated but still not good. You would just show to the world that under all the bloat there isn't enough to make a good game. The bloat isn't the sickness, only some very nasty symptoms.

Games like GW's own MESBG or Mantic's Kings of War both have like twice or more the core rules of 9th ed 40k yet they arent harder to play. The big difference there is that most of the rules are in the core rules and then most units survive on their base stats so to play a normal game you need like 60 pages of core rules + 5 pages of army rules for 65 pages total for both players. In 40k its more like 30 pages of core rules but then you need 15-30 pages per player for the rules of the individual armies for a grand total of 80-90 pages you have to learn, Want to play 2 different armies in KoW or mesbg from your last game? Then it is only like 5 pages more you have to learn for the next game involving 2 different armies. For 40k you will need to learn closer to 60pages if you completely swap both armies. That is like learning a completely new game.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/10/24 13:11:17


 
   
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Wayniac wrote:
Honestly I don't see the problem with barebones rules. The game is stupid bloated with layers upon layers of rules and none of it is really necessary. What is wrong with a concise, stable core set of rules easy to understand? What, will the tournament players complain that the skill ceiling isn't high enough for them to feel special? feth 'em.


The problem is that everything feels samey.

Play the game without stratagems, army rules, or anything (just bare datasheets) and you will see very quickly how shallow the game really is.

There are more differences between how the Soviets and the Germans play in Chain of Command than there are between the Tyranids and the Space Marines in 40k (without army special rules, stratagems, bloat).

This is achieved by having deep core rules.
For example, the Soviet infantry do not have teams, as their smallest tactical unit was the squad; meanwhile, German units tend to have fire teams (e.g. a rifle team and an MG team).

That doesn't actually mean much without the context of the core rules, though. Once you layer on the core rules, you see the major play style differences (and the boons and drawbacks of both systems):
- the Soviet units are harder to activate, since you can only activate them as squads (rather than activating them with teams)
- the Soviet units are more unwieldy to command (you can't have the MG stay behind and the riflemen advance without your squad leader taking time to reorganize the squad)
- large-scale muscle movements are easier for the Soviets (it only takes 1 shock to move at the double with a coherent squad; the Germans take 2 to move at speed since both teams have to reorganize)
- large-scale defensive works are easier for the Soviets (buying entrenchments as support is paid for on a per-team basis, so the soviets pay half as much to entrench a squad)
- Soviet squads are more dangerous to tanks than their German counterparts unless the Germans bring Panzerfausts (the Soviets issued their infantry with deliberate anti-tank grenades)

Essentially, this means the Soviet platoon is better than the German platoon at making large movements or large defensive works, but in a squad vs squad small-scale firefight they are at a disadvantage. This encourages the Soviet player to mass his combat power (whether on attack or defense) to ensure it is never 1 vs 1. Meanwhile, the Germans can use the local superiority of their squads to plan around a single point of the battle - either main defensive area or single breakthrough point.

In 40k?
Meh. Take away bloat, and the primary differences between forces are in the statlines, which means if we accept points are balanced (which they ought to be) then... well, you can see it.
   
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Taking the bloat away doesn't mean just using the core rules so each army is the same thing. It means reducing the special rules for each faction and eliminating the redundancy of stuff that has multiple versions of the very same thing.

It's ok to give SM (or any other faction) their own rules, stratagems, etc... it's not ok to give them 50 pages of faction/chapter dedicated rules and to repeat units and wargear into countless slightly different iteration of the same thing.

Core rules for 40k are probably the best 40k rules ever, there's no need of a 300 hundred pages core book for a functioning edition of 40k. Reducing the bloat shouldn't even be hard: just get rid of those rules that are never taken and that's half of each codexes. Then merge of samey stuff into a single datasheet. Job basically done.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/10/24 14:22:47



 
   
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 Vankraken wrote:
I feel like layered rules is the result of the bare bones foundation they made for themselves with the over simplification of the core rules. Lack of variety in game mechanics results in little opportunity for gameplay to differ between units and makes it harder for one unit to play different than another. GW set themselves up with very little in the way of tools to balance gameplay or to create variety so they end up layering rules that manipulate the very basic core gameplay mechanics of the game (move, shoot, stab, wound, die). Also the fact that any new mechanics introduced in a codex becomes difficult for other codex armies to interact with so most of these mechanics tend to just interact with units with how they do the very basic core rule mechanics.
Most of the layers seem to exist to fix core issues rather then to provide diversity.

Go read a 3e edition codex. There wasn't layers and layers to diversify armies. And what simplification ruined unit identities?

Changing Armor facings to Toughness didn't suddenly make all tanks the same unit.
Changing WS didn't make everyone the same.

Heck I could argue in some ways 3e edition was a more simplistic ruleset then 9th is.
This is a Marine. He can shoot once up to 24" if he stood still. Or once up to 12" if he moved.
Its more complicated then that now with Advances.

Probably half the units in the game had a 24" str 4 AP 5+ rapid fire weapon because half the game was some form of marine (as is still the case) and a marine had a boltgun. Not 5 pages full of slightly different boltguns.
But I never heard people complain about diversity.

Once upon a time Tau's 'identity' was that they had a 30" basic gun. Which was huge. The army didn't chapter tactics, bolter drill, combat doctrines and shock assault to have an identiy.

How many layers of rules only exist to make stuff more lethal or more tough?
Properly balance weapons and reduce overall lethality and you can strip all that garbage out.


Automatically Appended Next Post:
 Unit1126PLL wrote:
Wayniac wrote:
Honestly I don't see the problem with barebones rules. The game is stupid bloated with layers upon layers of rules and none of it is really necessary. What is wrong with a concise, stable core set of rules easy to understand? What, will the tournament players complain that the skill ceiling isn't high enough for them to feel special? feth 'em.


The problem is that everything feels samey.

Play the game without stratagems, army rules, or anything (just bare datasheets) and you will see very quickly how shallow the game really is.

There are more differences between how the Soviets and the Germans play in Chain of Command than there are between the Tyranids and the Space Marines in 40k (without army special rules, stratagems, bloat).

This is achieved by having deep core rules.
For example, the Soviet infantry do not have teams, as their smallest tactical unit was the squad; meanwhile, German units tend to have fire teams (e.g. a rifle team and an MG team).

That doesn't actually mean much without the context of the core rules, though. Once you layer on the core rules, you see the major play style differences (and the boons and drawbacks of both systems):
- the Soviet units are harder to activate, since you can only activate them as squads (rather than activating them with teams)
- the Soviet units are more unwieldy to command (you can't have the MG stay behind and the riflemen advance without your squad leader taking time to reorganize the squad)
- large-scale muscle movements are easier for the Soviets (it only takes 1 shock to move at the double with a coherent squad; the Germans take 2 to move at speed since both teams have to reorganize)
- large-scale defensive works are easier for the Soviets (buying entrenchments as support is paid for on a per-team basis, so the soviets pay half as much to entrench a squad)
- Soviet squads are more dangerous to tanks than their German counterparts unless the Germans bring Panzerfausts (the Soviets issued their infantry with deliberate anti-tank grenades)

Essentially, this means the Soviet platoon is better than the German platoon at making large movements or large defensive works, but in a squad vs squad small-scale firefight they are at a disadvantage. This encourages the Soviet player to mass his combat power (whether on attack or defense) to ensure it is never 1 vs 1. Meanwhile, the Germans can use the local superiority of their squads to plan around a single point of the battle - either main defensive area or single breakthrough point.

In 40k?
Meh. Take away bloat, and the primary differences between forces are in the statlines, which means if we accept points are balanced (which they ought to be) then... well, you can see it.
So what is the difference between a 3e edition tactical marine. A chaos space marine, a guardsman, a termagant, a guardian, a kabalite and a fire warrior?

Funny how these arguments of "everything will be to samey" didn't exist before armies had books full of special rules thrown at them.
A loyalist had ATSKNF, chaos had 1 more ld. And no one complained about them being to samey.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/10/24 14:29:41


 
   
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 Unit1126PLL wrote:
The problem is that everything feels samey.

Play the game without stratagems, army rules, or anything (just bare datasheets) and you will see very quickly how shallow the game really is.


So many of the layered army rules, whether as stratagems or traits or tactics or whatever, come down to manipulating the same handful of things. Re-Rolling X under Y condition, +1 to Z under W condition. Etc. and these same basic manipulations get rebranded under different sounding titles for each army, but they are all basically the same mass of modifiers and re-rolls. It's the pretense of differentiation through obscurity.

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 Ordana wrote:
So what is the difference between a 3e edition tactical marine. A chaos space marine, a guardsman, a termagant, a guardian, a kabalite and a fire warrior?

Funny how these arguments of "everything will be to samey" didn't exist before armies had books full of special rules thrown at them.
A loyalist had ATSKNF, chaos had 1 more ld. And no one complained about them being to samey.


3rd Ed created some key differences between those troops through just core rules, and those differences are no longer represented in 9th.

A Marine, CSM, or Guardsman had a Rapid Fire weapon. They were all optimal staying stationary to shoot, since they only got one shot on the move, and couldn't shoot and then charge. You tended to use them defensively, in gunlines, or forgoing shooting to get into melee. Meanwhile a Termagant or Guardian was armed with an Assault weapon. They could move, shoot at full effectiveness, and then charge. So, you used them more offensively. Additionally, Eldar and Tyranids had Fleet, which uniquely let them move faster in lieu of shooting. Admittedly Fleet was a special rule, but a simple and army-wide one with low cognitive burden.

Differentiating Eldar and Tyranids, the Eldar had an Initiative advantage. When Eldar did get into melee, they usually struck first. This meant that their basic troops could get 4 attacks off (two shooting, two in melee with the charge bonus) before something like a Guardsman could react. This let them punch above their weight despite being only S3. Eldar were brutal on the charge, but crumbled quickly in a protracted fight.

ATSKNF versus just 1 more point of leadership made a huge difference in an edition where morale could break your army. CSM weren't likely to break, but they could end up running for it, where Marines were more likely to break but would auto-rally, making for tactical retreats instead of outright routs. Guardsmen frequently ran long before their squads were wiped out. Termagants were fearless in Synapse, but fled quickly if cut off from Synapse Creatures.

The old AP system meant that those Marines could blow through Guardsman or Termagant armor while denying their saves entirely, but Fire Warriors were literally twice as hard to kill. In a Marine-dominated meta, this allowed Tau to slug it out with Marines at distance.

And Tau having 30" meant that they uniquely could fire from their deployment zone into the enemy deployment zone with basic troops. In an edition where Rapid Fire meant you could only fire at full range if you were stationary, this gave them basically a free turn of shooting before Marines or Guard could get in position to return fire.

None of these distinctions exist anymore. Rapid Fire's restrictions have been stripped away so Assault isn't advantageous. Everyone can Advance. Initiative is gone. Morale doesn't matter. Synapse is a joke. AP is irrelevant. Anyone can move normally and shoot Rapid Fire at max range. Weapon Skill is no longer opposed. Lasguns can wound tanks. The core mechanics have been watered down and no longer allow simply having a different weapon type or different stats to meaningfully distinguish units and armies. If you drop special rules and stratagems in 9th, there isn't enough there to differentiate what remains.

'Stat squish' isn't the problem here. Broadening the range of stats wouldn't add depth to the game; just more minutiae. To differentiate armies without using layer upon layer of special rules, it's necessary to do two things:
1. Re-work the core rules to make the stats matter. When being S3 means you can't even wound T7, that matters. When failing a Ld check means your unit is out of action for at least one turn and maybe the rest of the game, that matters. I am not saying things need to work exactly as they did in older editions, but there needs to be more impact to having high or low stats than just meaning you sometimes roll a 5+ instead of a 4+.
2. Embrace restrictions, and use lifting those restrictions as a simple way to make units special. 'Move and shoot Heavy without penalty' was a huge deal in 3rd Ed, where you normally couldn't move and shoot Heavy at all. It was a mediocre rule in 8th, where all you're avoiding is a -1. It's literally worthless for many units in 9th, where that restriction only applies to infantry. It's okay for a unit to not be able to do absolutely everything at once- making a player really consider what they want their unit to do for this turn is a good thing. It creates actual choice and opens up the possibility for real tactics. That's getting both deeper gameplay and a lever for differentiating units/armies in one package.

That's not even getting into what could be added to 40K from scratch. Something like Epic's C&C system would make for better differentiation between armies than any expansion of statlines could.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2021/10/24 23:14:21


   
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 catbarf wrote:
Something like Epic's C&C system would make for better differentiation between armies than any expansion of statlines could.
Could you elaborate on this a bit?

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 H.B.M.C. wrote:
 catbarf wrote:
Something like Epic's C&C system would make for better differentiation between armies than any expansion of statlines could.
Could you elaborate on this a bit?


I can only speak to Epic: Armageddon, but the activation system is an important mechanic.

Players alternate picking a formation (basically a unit at Epic-scale; eg an Imperial Guard platoon) to activate, and an action you want it to perform (eg Advance is move and shoot, Engage is charge, Double is move twice and shoot at a penalty, and so on), and roll against the formation's Initiative value. There's a penalty for the unit having blast markers (meaning it's been shot at; blast markers are used for morale), so units that are under fire are more likely to fail. If you pass, the unit carries out the order you declared. If you fail, the unit receives a blast marker and can only perform a Hold action, which lets them move or shoot. There's an additional wrinkle in that after you successfully activate, you can try to retain the initiative and activate a second formation rather than pass it over to your opponent, but you suffer a -1 to the activation roll.

Marines have an initiative value of 1+. When they're not under fire and you're not trying to retain initiative, they never fail to activate and will always respond to your orders. Even when your units start taking fire (blast markers), it only takes a 2+ followed by a 3+ to pull off a one-two punch.

Meanwhile, Orks have an initiative value of 3+. Even at the best of times, they've got a 1-in-3 chance of just not doing what you want, and when they start taking fire that drops to 50/50; and don't even think about trying to retain the initiative once in a fight. However, there's an exception- if you want to give them an Engage or Double order, ie either charge or move twice with shooting at a penalty, you get a +2 to the roll.

So Marines are extremely reliable, and can perform any order they like with the same reliability. Even when they're in combat, they're still likely to activate and likely to retain initiative, and having two units simultaneously perform sustained fire or redeploy with a triple-move can really shake up the game state.

Meanwhile, Orks are only reliable as long as you're either moving or charging into melee, and if you want to do anything else- triple-move, sustained fire, go onto overwatch, rally- they can still try for it, but their reliability plummets. They're much more predictable, and more prone to failure at inopportune times.

In short: Marines behave like super-coordinated special forces, and Orks behave like uncoordinated bloodthirsty morons that are best handled by pointing them at the enemy and not trying anything too clever. And this is accomplished through a fairly simple mechanic built into the game's core activation structure.

It's such a huge piece of the fluff, and yet 40K's never even tried to model differences in army character like this. I know the possibility of failing an activation roll is the sort of Clausewitzian friction that would have gamers in 2021 gnashing their teeth, but I'm sure similar ideas could be explored with more deterministic mechanics.

This message was edited 3 times. Last update was at 2021/10/25 02:50:52


   
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 catbarf wrote:
Spoiler:
 Ordana wrote:
So what is the difference between a 3e edition tactical marine. A chaos space marine, a guardsman, a termagant, a guardian, a kabalite and a fire warrior?

Funny how these arguments of "everything will be to samey" didn't exist before armies had books full of special rules thrown at them.
A loyalist had ATSKNF, chaos had 1 more ld. And no one complained about them being to samey.


3rd Ed created some key differences between those troops through just core rules, and those differences are no longer represented in 9th.

A Marine, CSM, or Guardsman had a Rapid Fire weapon. They were all optimal staying stationary to shoot, since they only got one shot on the move, and couldn't shoot and then charge. You tended to use them defensively, in gunlines, or forgoing shooting to get into melee. Meanwhile a Termagant or Guardian was armed with an Assault weapon. They could move, shoot at full effectiveness, and then charge. So, you used them more offensively. Additionally, Eldar and Tyranids had Fleet, which uniquely let them move faster in lieu of shooting. Admittedly Fleet was a special rule, but a simple and army-wide one with low cognitive burden.

Differentiating Eldar and Tyranids, the Eldar had an Initiative advantage. When Eldar did get into melee, they usually struck first. This meant that their basic troops could get 4 attacks off (two shooting, two in melee with the charge bonus) before something like a Guardsman could react. This let them punch above their weight despite being only S3. Eldar were brutal on the charge, but crumbled quickly in a protracted fight.

ATSKNF versus just 1 more point of leadership made a huge difference in an edition where morale could break your army. CSM weren't likely to break, but they could end up running for it, where Marines were more likely to break but would auto-rally, making for tactical retreats instead of outright routs. Guardsmen frequently ran long before their squads were wiped out. Termagants were fearless in Synapse, but fled quickly if cut off from Synapse Creatures.

The old AP system meant that those Marines could blow through Guardsman or Termagant armor while denying their saves entirely, but Fire Warriors were literally twice as hard to kill. In a Marine-dominated meta, this allowed Tau to slug it out with Marines at distance.

And Tau having 30" meant that they uniquely could fire from their deployment zone into the enemy deployment zone with basic troops. In an edition where Rapid Fire meant you could only fire at full range if you were stationary, this gave them basically a free turn of shooting before Marines or Guard could get in position to return fire.

None of these distinctions exist anymore. Rapid Fire's restrictions have been stripped away so Assault isn't advantageous. Everyone can Advance. Initiative is gone. Morale doesn't matter. Synapse is a joke. AP is irrelevant. Anyone can move normally and shoot Rapid Fire at max range. Weapon Skill is no longer opposed. Lasguns can wound tanks. The core mechanics have been watered down and no longer allow simply having a different weapon type or different stats to meaningfully distinguish units and armies. If you drop special rules and stratagems in 9th, there isn't enough there to differentiate what remains.

'Stat squish' isn't the problem here. Broadening the range of stats wouldn't add depth to the game; just more minutiae. To differentiate armies without using layer upon layer of special rules, it's necessary to do two things:
1. Re-work the core rules to make the stats matter. When being S3 means you can't even wound T7, that matters. When failing a Ld check means your unit is out of action for at least one turn and maybe the rest of the game, that matters. I am not saying things need to work exactly as they did in older editions, but there needs to be more impact to having high or low stats than just meaning you sometimes roll a 5+ instead of a 4+.
2. Embrace restrictions, and use lifting those restrictions as a simple way to make units special. 'Move and shoot Heavy without penalty' was a huge deal in 3rd Ed, where you normally couldn't move and shoot Heavy at all. It was a mediocre rule in 8th, where all you're avoiding is a -1. It's literally worthless for many units in 9th, where that restriction only applies to infantry. It's okay for a unit to not be able to do absolutely everything at once- making a player really consider what they want their unit to do for this turn is a good thing. It creates actual choice and opens up the possibility for real tactics. That's getting both deeper gameplay and a lever for differentiating units/armies in one package.

That's not even getting into what could be added to 40K from scratch. Something like Epic's C&C system would make for better differentiation between armies than any expansion of statlines could.
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The 3rd ed paradigm did a lot with a pretty lightweight set of faction rules.

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 Insectum7 wrote:
 catbarf wrote:
Spoiler:
 Ordana wrote:
So what is the difference between a 3e edition tactical marine. A chaos space marine, a guardsman, a termagant, a guardian, a kabalite and a fire warrior?

Funny how these arguments of "everything will be to samey" didn't exist before armies had books full of special rules thrown at them.
A loyalist had ATSKNF, chaos had 1 more ld. And no one complained about them being to samey.


3rd Ed created some key differences between those troops through just core rules, and those differences are no longer represented in 9th.

A Marine, CSM, or Guardsman had a Rapid Fire weapon. They were all optimal staying stationary to shoot, since they only got one shot on the move, and couldn't shoot and then charge. You tended to use them defensively, in gunlines, or forgoing shooting to get into melee. Meanwhile a Termagant or Guardian was armed with an Assault weapon. They could move, shoot at full effectiveness, and then charge. So, you used them more offensively. Additionally, Eldar and Tyranids had Fleet, which uniquely let them move faster in lieu of shooting. Admittedly Fleet was a special rule, but a simple and army-wide one with low cognitive burden.

Differentiating Eldar and Tyranids, the Eldar had an Initiative advantage. When Eldar did get into melee, they usually struck first. This meant that their basic troops could get 4 attacks off (two shooting, two in melee with the charge bonus) before something like a Guardsman could react. This let them punch above their weight despite being only S3. Eldar were brutal on the charge, but crumbled quickly in a protracted fight.

ATSKNF versus just 1 more point of leadership made a huge difference in an edition where morale could break your army. CSM weren't likely to break, but they could end up running for it, where Marines were more likely to break but would auto-rally, making for tactical retreats instead of outright routs. Guardsmen frequently ran long before their squads were wiped out. Termagants were fearless in Synapse, but fled quickly if cut off from Synapse Creatures.

The old AP system meant that those Marines could blow through Guardsman or Termagant armor while denying their saves entirely, but Fire Warriors were literally twice as hard to kill. In a Marine-dominated meta, this allowed Tau to slug it out with Marines at distance.

And Tau having 30" meant that they uniquely could fire from their deployment zone into the enemy deployment zone with basic troops. In an edition where Rapid Fire meant you could only fire at full range if you were stationary, this gave them basically a free turn of shooting before Marines or Guard could get in position to return fire.

None of these distinctions exist anymore. Rapid Fire's restrictions have been stripped away so Assault isn't advantageous. Everyone can Advance. Initiative is gone. Morale doesn't matter. Synapse is a joke. AP is irrelevant. Anyone can move normally and shoot Rapid Fire at max range. Weapon Skill is no longer opposed. Lasguns can wound tanks. The core mechanics have been watered down and no longer allow simply having a different weapon type or different stats to meaningfully distinguish units and armies. If you drop special rules and stratagems in 9th, there isn't enough there to differentiate what remains.

'Stat squish' isn't the problem here. Broadening the range of stats wouldn't add depth to the game; just more minutiae. To differentiate armies without using layer upon layer of special rules, it's necessary to do two things:
1. Re-work the core rules to make the stats matter. When being S3 means you can't even wound T7, that matters. When failing a Ld check means your unit is out of action for at least one turn and maybe the rest of the game, that matters. I am not saying things need to work exactly as they did in older editions, but there needs to be more impact to having high or low stats than just meaning you sometimes roll a 5+ instead of a 4+.
2. Embrace restrictions, and use lifting those restrictions as a simple way to make units special. 'Move and shoot Heavy without penalty' was a huge deal in 3rd Ed, where you normally couldn't move and shoot Heavy at all. It was a mediocre rule in 8th, where all you're avoiding is a -1. It's literally worthless for many units in 9th, where that restriction only applies to infantry. It's okay for a unit to not be able to do absolutely everything at once- making a player really consider what they want their unit to do for this turn is a good thing. It creates actual choice and opens up the possibility for real tactics. That's getting both deeper gameplay and a lever for differentiating units/armies in one package.

That's not even getting into what could be added to 40K from scratch. Something like Epic's C&C system would make for better differentiation between armies than any expansion of statlines could.
^Exalted!!!

The 3rd ed paradigm did a lot with a pretty lightweight set of faction rules.


That was a amazing summery and kind of sad to read all in one place, makes it feel even more like now we have a bunch of words to say to the opponent to get largely flavourless rules and it’s pushed as if that is more flavour than ever before.

I wish it was easy to go back. But would require so much work.
   
Made in it
Gargantuan Gargant




Italy

Catbarf, I'm very relieved it's not you who makes the rules for 40k. About orks in particular .

If anything if you really want to stick with fluff make marines average/mediocre at everything. After all they're the jack of trades, master of none, right? Not a super coordinated special forces . Those are something like custodes or aledari elites, and primaris/gravis shouldn't exist.


 
   
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United States

Voss wrote:
Tiberias wrote:
As the title suggests: many people have complained about the extreme quantity of layers upon layers of rules for one unit nowadays. A good example here would be admech and obviously space marines.

In my opinion this trend is an inevitable reaction to the stat squish that happened in the advent of 8th edition (no more WS/BS values, no more initiative, toughness capped at 8...)

Why? Because in a game like 40k you need to have differentiation between the different units and factions. A factions lore has to be, at least in part, represented in the game. It has to play and feel different if a space marine tries to hit an ork or a bloodthirster. It has to play and feel different if a lasgun shot attempts to wound a grot or a tank. Additionally you need this differentiation within a faction: it has to play and feel different if a grot tries to hit a space marine than if a meganob tries to hit a space marine.

Currently this differentiation is difficult to represent primarily within the unit statblock due to the plethora of factions and units. We only have a D6 system and a statblock from 1-10, so there are not a lot of layers to represent the difference in quality and playstyle across units. This was only exacerbated by the stat squish at the beginning of 8th ed.

Nowadays GW tries to represent this differentiation between units and factions not primarily within the units stats (WS/S/T etc.) since those are increasingly limited, but with layers upon layers of special rules.

I understand why GW made that move to squish the statblock. They wanted to streamline the game, but I believe it was short sighted.
My point is that the extreme quantity of layered rules nowadays is partly a reaction to what I have described here and it's only going to get worse...it has to.

The thing is, I am not opposed to all theses layered special rules because GW has to represent differentiation between units and factions somehow and I don't think they have another option now unless they revise the unit statblock again or moves to a D10 system, which is not going to happen. But to me the question remains if we are eventually going to see a revised unit statline again in 10th Ed, because the number of special rules may have reached a quantity that proves to be simply impractical.


Its amazing how many editions of warhammer didn't have the layers and layers of rules or the extreme need to differentiate factions. Its just a bad solution of the current rules writers.

As for the 'stat squish'... I... don't know what you're referring to?
BS and WS still exist. They've just gotten rid of the formula (BS: 7 - 4 = 3+, 7-3 =4+) and the WS comparison (for a value that's basically setting a faction to being equal or better than opponent all the time, depending on how GW feels about how skilled they are)
Toughness isn't any more capped than it was before. In theory they could go higher (but there are a lot of factions that would be terrible at killing things with higher numbers)
If anything, they've been more open to changing stat blocks recently- see DE and Orks.

What they need to do is revist weapon profiles and rein them in. That's where most of the trouble is (in terms of statlines), the extreme number of shots and weapons that are universally better at everything.
They can freely trim special rules without issue, they simply don't want to.


If you take a unit like Space Marine Devestators:

Missile Launchers, Plasma Cannons, Lascannons, Multi-Meltas are all weapons intended to take down Tanks. While each adds flavor to the game they are basically just the same thing.

I'd like to see the game move more into a similar ruleset as to what AoS has. Hit--Wound--Damage and done.
   
Made in ie
Ship's Officer





 Blackie wrote:
Catbarf, I'm very relieved it's not you who makes the rules for 40k. About orks in particular .

If anything if you really want to stick with fluff make marines average/mediocre at everything. After all they're the jack of trades, master of none, right? Not a super coordinated special forces . Those are something like custodes or aledari elites, and primaris/gravis shouldn't exist.


I don't think this post comes across how you intended it to. Or maybe it does and its just that bad.


 
   
Made in us
Ultramarine Librarian with Freaky Familiar






 Blackie wrote:
Catbarf, I'm very relieved it's not you who makes the rules for 40k. About orks in particular .

If anything if you really want to stick with fluff make marines average/mediocre at everything. After all they're the jack of trades, master of none, right? Not a super coordinated special forces . Those are something like custodes or aledari elites, and primaris/gravis shouldn't exist.
Even back in 2nd ed when there was Strategy Rating, Marines rated higher than Eldar.


Automatically Appended Next Post:
 Togusa wrote:


Missile Launchers, Plasma Cannons, Lascannons, Multi-Meltas are all weapons intended to take down Tanks. While each adds flavor to the game they are basically just the same thing.

3rd ed squashed all Devastator weapons to just three. HB, ML and Las. A.k.a. anti-infantry, anti-tank, and a weapon that did both roles but not as well.

Not that I personally want to go that far again, but it was a clean paradigm.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/10/25 08:23:36


And They Shall Not Fit Through Doors!!!

Tyranid Army Progress -- With Classic Warriors!:
https://www.dakkadakka.com/dakkaforum/posts/list/0/743240.page#9671598 
   
Made in no
Huge Bone Giant





Bergen

Spoiler:
 Togusa wrote:
Voss wrote:
Tiberias wrote:
As the title suggests: many people have complained about the extreme quantity of layers upon layers of rules for one unit nowadays. A good example here would be admech and obviously space marines.

In my opinion this trend is an inevitable reaction to the stat squish that happened in the advent of 8th edition (no more WS/BS values, no more initiative, toughness capped at 8...)

Why? Because in a game like 40k you need to have differentiation between the different units and factions. A factions lore has to be, at least in part, represented in the game. It has to play and feel different if a space marine tries to hit an ork or a bloodthirster. It has to play and feel different if a lasgun shot attempts to wound a grot or a tank. Additionally you need this differentiation within a faction: it has to play and feel different if a grot tries to hit a space marine than if a meganob tries to hit a space marine.

Currently this differentiation is difficult to represent primarily within the unit statblock due to the plethora of factions and units. We only have a D6 system and a statblock from 1-10, so there are not a lot of layers to represent the difference in quality and playstyle across units. This was only exacerbated by the stat squish at the beginning of 8th ed.

Nowadays GW tries to represent this differentiation between units and factions not primarily within the units stats (WS/S/T etc.) since those are increasingly limited, but with layers upon layers of special rules.

I understand why GW made that move to squish the statblock. They wanted to streamline the game, but I believe it was short sighted.
My point is that the extreme quantity of layered rules nowadays is partly a reaction to what I have described here and it's only going to get worse...it has to.

The thing is, I am not opposed to all theses layered special rules because GW has to represent differentiation between units and factions somehow and I don't think they have another option now unless they revise the unit statblock again or moves to a D10 system, which is not going to happen. But to me the question remains if we are eventually going to see a revised unit statline again in 10th Ed, because the number of special rules may have reached a quantity that proves to be simply impractical.


Its amazing how many editions of warhammer didn't have the layers and layers of rules or the extreme need to differentiate factions. Its just a bad solution of the current rules writers.

As for the 'stat squish'... I... don't know what you're referring to?
BS and WS still exist. They've just gotten rid of the formula (BS: 7 - 4 = 3+, 7-3 =4+) and the WS comparison (for a value that's basically setting a faction to being equal or better than opponent all the time, depending on how GW feels about how skilled they are)
Toughness isn't any more capped than it was before. In theory they could go higher (but there are a lot of factions that would be terrible at killing things with higher numbers)
If anything, they've been more open to changing stat blocks recently- see DE and Orks.

What they need to do is revist weapon profiles and rein them in. That's where most of the trouble is (in terms of statlines), the extreme number of shots and weapons that are universally better at everything.
They can freely trim special rules without issue, they simply don't want to.



If you take a unit like Space Marine Devestators:

Missile Launchers, Plasma Cannons, Lascannons, Multi-Meltas are all weapons intended to take down Tanks. While each adds flavor to the game they are basically just the same thing.

I'd like to see the game move more into a similar ruleset as to what AoS has. Hit--Wound--Damage and done.



Missile Launchers, Plasma Cannons, Lascannons, Multi-Meltas are not the same things though. Lascannon is long ranged anti tank, multimelta is close ranged anti tank. In previus editions when people stood and gunlined each others lascannons where the meta. Now that you need to get on the table (smaler table mind you) multimelta is the weapon of choise. Likevice the missile launcher isa hybid weapon. Half anti tank, half anti infantery, but not good to od any of them.

Plasma cannon I agree is odd. It is a top down design where it would be fun if you can take the chance to overcharge it. And moving from 7th to 8th edition they moved from blast templates to d3 shots (and then d3 blast in 9th.) It is a very odd gun, but it is more like a hyrbid like the rocketlauncher with the blast and it can overcharge vs though targets and blast vs hordes. It is very complicated, but I find it fun.

Further all of these weapon profiles gives you different playpatterns. These days people try to close in with multimeltas. It makes for a more fun game then lascannons sniping from afar, at least in my opinion.

To be honest, as long as you know the general functions of the different categories I find the game easy enough to play.

   
Made in es
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Vigo. Spain.

 Sim-Life wrote:
 Blackie wrote:
Catbarf, I'm very relieved it's not you who makes the rules for 40k. About orks in particular .

If anything if you really want to stick with fluff make marines average/mediocre at everything. After all they're the jack of trades, master of none, right? Not a super coordinated special forces . Those are something like custodes or aledari elites, and primaris/gravis shouldn't exist.


I don't think this post comes across how you intended it to. Or maybe it does and its just that bad.


I can understand Blackie.

As someone that played greenskins in fantasy, the amount of "But Animosity is just SO orky!" I did get from Imperial or High Elves players was just jarring.

I love me some orcs or orks. But I'm tired of all their faction rules being straight up negative because "lool thats how orks are in the fluff".

LOTR orcs are less reliable than warhammer ones and you don't see them with all that crap bolted into their rules. And still, they play and feel like an orc horde should in MESBG.

Those rules work if they have other stuff that balances it. But in fantasy and 40k they never had it. If you want joke factions bloodbowl is a better game, and even there, with the tier system, they are being honest about what you should expect of any faction you play.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/10/25 11:15:19


 Crimson Devil wrote:

Dakka does have White Knights and is also rather infamous for it's Black Knights. A new edition brings out the passionate and not all of them are good at expressing themselves in written form. There have been plenty of hysterical responses from both sides so far. So we descend into pointless bickering with neither side listening to each other. So posting here becomes more masturbation than conversation.

ERJAK wrote:
Forcing a 40k player to keep playing 7th is basically a hate crime.

 
   
Made in us
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I am scratching my head to understand why someone would play a faction that they don't like the lore for (or rather actively hate the lore for).
   
Made in gb
Longtime Dakkanaut




 Unit1126PLL wrote:
I am scratching my head to understand why someone would play a faction that they don't like the lore for (or rather actively hate the lore for).


I think the issue is that people have very different interpretations of the lore.

Which is sort of why a "lore based ruleset" is unlikely to satisfy.
   
Made in es
Grim Dark Angels Interrogator-Chaplain




Vigo. Spain.

 Unit1126PLL wrote:
I am scratching my head to understand why someone would play a faction that they don't like the lore for (or rather actively hate the lore for).


Less that and more "When you read the lore of a faction and all you can come up with is negative rules screw you"

 Crimson Devil wrote:

Dakka does have White Knights and is also rather infamous for it's Black Knights. A new edition brings out the passionate and not all of them are good at expressing themselves in written form. There have been plenty of hysterical responses from both sides so far. So we descend into pointless bickering with neither side listening to each other. So posting here becomes more masturbation than conversation.

ERJAK wrote:
Forcing a 40k player to keep playing 7th is basically a hate crime.

 
   
Made in ie
Ship's Officer





 Galas wrote:
 Sim-Life wrote:
 Blackie wrote:
Catbarf, I'm very relieved it's not you who makes the rules for 40k. About orks in particular .

If anything if you really want to stick with fluff make marines average/mediocre at everything. After all they're the jack of trades, master of none, right? Not a super coordinated special forces . Those are something like custodes or aledari elites, and primaris/gravis shouldn't exist.


I don't think this post comes across how you intended it to. Or maybe it does and its just that bad.


I can understand Blackie.

As someone that played greenskins in fantasy, the amount of "But Animosity is just SO orky!" I did get from Imperial or High Elves players was just jarring.

I love me some orcs or orks. But I'm tired of all their faction rules being straight up negative because "lool thats how orks are in the fluff".

LOTR orcs are less reliable than warhammer ones and you don't see them with all that crap bolted into their rules. And still, they play and feel like an orc horde should in MESBG.

Those rules work if they have other stuff that balances it. But in fantasy and 40k they never had it. If you want joke factions bloodbowl is a better game, and even there, with the tier system, they are being honest about what you should expect of any faction you play.


But like most suggested changes the defenders of 9th assume the suggestion was "I think we should go back to EXACTLY the way things were with no changes" (the other being "I want to change this one thing with everything else staying exactly the same") because it allows them to side-step the point and argue about a point that was never stated.

No one said Orks should have Animosity or self-destructive rules, it was just an example.of how the game has done a better job of presenting faction differences in previous editions. If your interpretation of Blackie's post is correct at least.


 
   
Made in us
Longtime Dakkanaut




Annandale, VA

Blackie wrote:Catbarf, I'm very relieved it's not you who makes the rules for 40k. About orks in particular .

If anything if you really want to stick with fluff make marines average/mediocre at everything. After all they're the jack of trades, master of none, right? Not a super coordinated special forces . Those are something like custodes or aledari elites, and primaris/gravis shouldn't exist.


Galas wrote:I can understand Blackie.

As someone that played greenskins in fantasy, the amount of "But Animosity is just SO orky!" I did get from Imperial or High Elves players was just jarring.

I love me some orcs or orks. But I'm tired of all their faction rules being straight up negative because "lool thats how orks are in the fluff".

LOTR orcs are less reliable than warhammer ones and you don't see them with all that crap bolted into their rules. And still, they play and feel like an orc horde should in MESBG.

Those rules work if they have other stuff that balances it. But in fantasy and 40k they never had it. If you want joke factions bloodbowl is a better game, and even there, with the tier system, they are being honest about what you should expect of any faction you play.


If you guys are saying that Orks are actually super coordinated in the lore and should never have rules that represent them being less organized than other factions, I would suggest you go re-read your codex. I specifically said that I wouldn't ever expect to see something like activation rolls come back as a means of representing C&C, but I would like to see something that represents the difference between an unruly Ork horde held together by the Warboss versus a Marine force with individual-level comms. I'm about as far from a Marine fanboy as you can get, this is just basic lore.

If you think I'm suggesting Orks should just be plain bad and have no other advantages to offset that lack of coordination, I would respectfully request you stop trying to mind-read. Orks were a devastating sledgehammer in Epic with plenty of firepower to compensate for their poor C&C. Marines were a scalpel that could easily get overwhelmed if not played well. Orks could, pound-for-pound, out-fight Marines- as they should.

Also, on the subject of 'I don't like people who don't play my faction telling me negative rules are good'- I've been playing Tyranids since 3rd Ed, when Tyranids had a special rule that let their opponents ignore target priority tests, and losing Synapse meant losing control of your army as Ld5 critters suddenly stop doing anything useful. I'm very familiar with negative rules, thanks. GW stripping out the consequences of Synapse has turned it from a core mechanic that shapes how the faction plays to a largely ignorable bit of rules detritus that at best exists as a nod to the fluff. Having weaknesses or being bad at certain things is important to characterization, and it's fine as long as they're balanced elsewhere. If you can't tolerate your faction having weaknesses, you're only going to get bland rules.

Poor C&C in Epic is no different from having poor BS in 40K. It's just a low stat, balanced out by advantages elsewhere. Simply not being as good at something as everyone else is a legitimate form of characterization.

This message was edited 5 times. Last update was at 2021/10/25 13:46:38


   
 
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