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Made in us
Fixture of Dakka






Falls Church, VA

So, as a player of other games, I wanted to talk about why elite infantry seem to be struggling to find a space in the current 40k, looking at them through a lens of 'function'. To justify that lens, I will make the base claim that "a unit with a function will have a reason to be taken." We can talk about whether or not that function is large enough as well, which I think is the problem with elite infantry right now. They have no (or not a large enough) functional window. Light infantry (i.e. cultists/imperial guardsmen) have a clear function, as I hope will become clear through this analysis.

Here is a list of functions infantry typically perform in other rules-sets:
1) Dig into terrain and become almost impossible to kill.
2) Go into any terrain, even terrain that other units cannot pass through.
3) Close with and assault the enemy in situations where other unit types are unable or unwilling to go.
4) Have better durability in aggregate (a team of 6 guys is harder to wipe completely out than 1 tank, for example).
These things are what makes them better than, say, tanks, in a given game system.

In 40k, the functional analogues are:
1) Meh, doesn't really exist, except as stratagems. Cover giving +1 to saves works on everyone, not just Infantry, and helps bullet-soaks as much as or more than elite infantry.
2) Units easily ignore terrain in 40k's movement phase. Fly units take this role from infantry and do so better to boot.
3) Elite Infantry are good at this (e.g. Khorne Berzerkers) but so are vehicles/monsters/non-infantry units (Custodes Jetbikes, Defilers, Hive Tyrants).
4) This is only true for bullet-soak guys, and is what makes them bullet soaks.

So in other words, 40k doesn't really have anything that sets infantry apart and gives them their own role that isn't overlapped by something else, except being bullet soaks. Asking for infantry to be relevant in 40k means removing the things that games with "relevant" infantry don't have:
1) If you added a mechanic to dig in and otherwise be tough on objectives, infantry will be relevant for this again, but bullet-soaks will still be better.
2) If you removed units that Fly and reduced the ability for other speedy units to go "around" terrain, than infantry marching on foot through terrain might become relevant again, though this, again, also helps bullet-soaks.
3) If you remove assaulty monsters and vehicles and whatnot, assault will be only open to Infantry, forcing elite infantry into the assault role. You lose a lot of flavour from 40k though (e.g. the iconic Space Marine Dreadnought, Imperial Knights).
4) Elite infantry will always be worse than bullet-soaks at soaking bullets, and rightfully so.

Therefore, I can conclude that in the current system of 40k, without some major changes, elite infantry can only either be utterly ridiculous (by essentially having rules that makes them not infantry, such as ignoring terrain like a Flyer), or simply not be relevant.

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
Nevian Conclave of the Ordo Hereticus - 2002 points 
   
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Very good points and near and dear to my heart.

I think in regards to flying units there was some rule for "boots on ground" for taking objectives.

Many Elite infantry I see in Codex entries can deep-strike / infiltrate / airdrop in usually to take-out artillery or HQ units parked at the back of a force.

I find in any other respect they are good at many things but master of none: multiple models with usually more than one wound, a compromise between a vehicle or grunt troops.

I look at them in a "modern" equivalent of cavalry in the classic: soldier/artillery/cavalry tactics of Napoleonics or Civil War (or like Ninja's in the Shogun boardgame?).
BUT Fast Attack should be playing this role so I can see the dilemma.

I find I dip into that selection for roles the rest of my army cannot do:
- Mainly in "buff" roles like aura, repair, morale, healing, cheaper than HQ units.
- I find they fit the mid-distance role of ourclassing most units at assault ranges (not necessarily to charge).
- More to apply added pressure to a thrust by your forces, a catalyst of sorts.
- Good for "mop-up" detail or even assassination depending on how it enters the battlefield.

I find these guys work their best as you insert them alongside the troops to ensure the "job gets done".

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East Bay, Ca, US

Or just increase the cost of the cheap chaff. This isn't rocket science.

 Galas wrote:
I remember when Marmatag was a nooby, all shiney and full of joy. How playing the unbalanced mess of Warhammer40k in a ultra-competitive meta has changed you

Bharring wrote:
He'll actually *change his mind* in the presence of sufficient/sufficiently defended information. Heretic.
 
   
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Terminator with Assault Cannon






I'll be honest my unpopular opinion when it comes to infentry, when they are in cover, they should get a -1 to hit and then depending on the cover they are in, a cover save that is taken before their armor or invuln save

So say you shoot space marines in cover, there is a -1 to hit them, and if you do score let's say 12 wounds the space marines player first roles their cover saves
Ruins 5+
Buildings 4+
Fortifications 4++

Then the roles not saved, are taken on armor saves as normal.

kill ALL the orks!

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 Backspacehacker wrote:
I'll be honest my unpopular opinion when it comes to infentry, when they are in cover, they should get a -1 to hit and then depending on the cover they are in, a cover save that is taken before their armor or invuln save

So say you shoot space marines in cover, there is a -1 to hit them, and if you do score let's say 12 wounds the space marines player first roles their cover saves
Ruins 5+
Buildings 4+
Fortifications 4++

Then the roles not saved, are taken on armor saves as normal.


The premise of the current system is that it allows units to be partially in cover and still benefit. You've got 7 guys in the unit and 3 out. You take 10 wounds. You can take the "not in cover" armor saves on the guys out of the unit until they die. Lets say its a 5+ unit so 3 of them die after about 4 wounds taken. Now you can roll the remaining 6 wounds against the remaining 7 models with the modified 4+ save for being in cover. That's why they're doing it as an armor check. That's the only part of the combat sequence that can be divided up to differentiate between models in and out of cover in the same unit.
   
Made in us
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Falls Church, VA

Talizvar wrote:Very good points and near and dear to my heart.

I think in regards to flying units there was some rule for "boots on ground" for taking objectives.

Many Elite infantry I see in Codex entries can deep-strike / infiltrate / airdrop in usually to take-out artillery or HQ units parked at the back of a force.

I find in any other respect they are good at many things but master of none: multiple models with usually more than one wound, a compromise between a vehicle or grunt troops.

I look at them in a "modern" equivalent of cavalry in the classic: soldier/artillery/cavalry tactics of Napoleonics or Civil War (or like Ninja's in the Shogun boardgame?).
BUT Fast Attack should be playing this role so I can see the dilemma.

I find I dip into that selection for roles the rest of my army cannot do:
- Mainly in "buff" roles like aura, repair, morale, healing, cheaper than HQ units.
- I find they fit the mid-distance role of ourclassing most units at assault ranges (not necessarily to charge).
- More to apply added pressure to a thrust by your forces, a catalyst of sorts.
- Good for "mop-up" detail or even assassination depending on how it enters the battlefield.

I find these guys work their best as you insert them alongside the troops to ensure the "job gets done".


You've kind of identified some of the ways good elite infantry work, but I'm still not sure it's expanded the niche well enough to make Tactical Marines better than Guardsmen.

Marmatag wrote:Or just increase the cost of the cheap chaff. This isn't rocket science.

The cheaper unit will always be a better bullet soak. You'd have to essentially make Elite Infantry and Infantry damn near the same cost before you got to the point where the functions performed by Infantry can start being taken over by Elite Infantry and at that point you've lost the distinction between elite and not elite.

Part of the point of my post is that better stats don't actually make Elite Infantry useful for anything, because the things they're being asked to do aren't really stat-related.


Automatically Appended Next Post:
Backspacehacker wrote:I'll be honest my unpopular opinion when it comes to infentry, when they are in cover, they should get a -1 to hit and then depending on the cover they are in, a cover save that is taken before their armor or invuln save

So say you shoot space marines in cover, there is a -1 to hit them, and if you do score let's say 12 wounds the space marines player first roles their cover saves
Ruins 5+
Buildings 4+
Fortifications 4++

Then the roles not saved, are taken on armor saves as normal.


LunarSol wrote:
 Backspacehacker wrote:
I'll be honest my unpopular opinion when it comes to infentry, when they are in cover, they should get a -1 to hit and then depending on the cover they are in, a cover save that is taken before their armor or invuln save

So say you shoot space marines in cover, there is a -1 to hit them, and if you do score let's say 12 wounds the space marines player first roles their cover saves
Ruins 5+
Buildings 4+
Fortifications 4++

Then the roles not saved, are taken on armor saves as normal.


The premise of the current system is that it allows units to be partially in cover and still benefit. You've got 7 guys in the unit and 3 out. You take 10 wounds. You can take the "not in cover" armor saves on the guys out of the unit until they die. Lets say its a 5+ unit so 3 of them die after about 4 wounds taken. Now you can roll the remaining 6 wounds against the remaining 7 models with the modified 4+ save for being in cover. That's why they're doing it as an armor check. That's the only part of the combat sequence that can be divided up to differentiate between models in and out of cover in the same unit.


The problem with changing cover-related rules is it helps the bullet-soaks as well as the Elite Infantry. Ultimately, you're not making Elite Infantry useful, you're making Bullet Soaks even better at soaking bullets. So long as the only function of an Infantry unit in 40k is "durability per point" you're going to have the cheapest single-wound model you can buy be the best unit at fulfilling that role.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2018/08/08 18:28:10


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.

2nd Concordian Independent Super Heavy Tank Armoured Regiment - 12,376 points
Order of the Luminous Beacon - 2087 points
Nevian Conclave of the Ordo Hereticus - 2002 points 
   
Made in us
Longtime Dakkanaut






 Marmatag wrote:
Or just increase the cost of the cheap chaff. This isn't rocket science.


Sadly it would be easier to balance to make a 18-20 pt model 16-17pts, or a 16-17pt model down to 14-15pts than a 4-7pt unit up to 5-8pts.

I now it sounds the same, 1 pt up vs 1 pt down, but being 1pt on a larger point model has less weight than a 1pt on lower points model. You can keep changing points by value of 1 till they are about where we need them to be.


I'd rather Marines go down 1pt than Guardsman, Firewarriors, Kabals, etc.. go up by 1pt, and i rather Terminators/Bikers/Other complete crap units get a small rules reword, like Terminators ignore 1st -1 rend, Bikers always have Fallback and shoot.


Automatically Appended Next Post:
Also want to add, if Damage spilled over, that alone "could" solve many of the problems with 40k tho it might make new problems like a full tank meta. You could add the extra wounds that spill over are granted an armor saves as well, making uits like Marines much more durable than Guardsman.

This message was edited 3 times. Last update was at 2018/08/08 18:36:18


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Made in us
Longtime Dakkanaut





I got totally sidetracked there on the cover thing. Onto the main topic:

So, what we're really talking about here is how 40k lacks "design space". There's a bunch of reasons for this, some of which comes down to the narrow viability of the 1D6 dice curve and some of it is just the tendency to use the same statline across an entire army.

Oddly, I find soup really helps with this. GW has long made design space via army wide special rules and soup armies, mixed with the need to fulfill the detachment requirements for each army individually, means there's a need for troops of different types in an army instead of "find the best, take as many as you can".

Ultimately the problem comes down to units designed without a niche. GW needs to find ways to make things like Scouts and Tac marines worth taking in the same army. At the same time, they need to go through and cut some of the redundant unit entries for things that aren't meaningfully different models. This seems to happen more often between the Troop and Elite slot and could really benefit from some Elite's being dropped to Troops with a Scion style limit on how often they could be taken.


Automatically Appended Next Post:
 Amishprn86 wrote:

Automatically Appended Next Post:
Also want to add, if Damage spilled over, that alone "could" solve many of the problems with 40k tho it might make new problems like a full tank meta. You could add the extra wounds that spill over are granted an armor saves as well, making uits like Marines much more durable than Guardsman.


While I wouldn't find it odd for a giant laser cannon to hit more than one guy as the beam tears through the unit, I prefer things that help make target prioritization more important. I really feel like GW mostly just needs to shuffle around the S/T numbers a bit to give elite infantry some significant durability over light infantry. I'd also not at all be sad to see weapons apply Leadership penalties as an effect. Rather than let a Lascannon spill damage over to the rest of the unit, I'd be happy to see it put the unit at -2 Ld to make it more likely that additional models flee.


Automatically Appended Next Post:
 Unit1126PLL wrote:

LunarSol wrote:
 Backspacehacker wrote:
I'll be honest my unpopular opinion when it comes to infentry, when they are in cover, they should get a -1 to hit and then depending on the cover they are in, a cover save that is taken before their armor or invuln save

So say you shoot space marines in cover, there is a -1 to hit them, and if you do score let's say 12 wounds the space marines player first roles their cover saves
Ruins 5+
Buildings 4+
Fortifications 4++

Then the roles not saved, are taken on armor saves as normal.


The premise of the current system is that it allows units to be partially in cover and still benefit. You've got 7 guys in the unit and 3 out. You take 10 wounds. You can take the "not in cover" armor saves on the guys out of the unit until they die. Lets say its a 5+ unit so 3 of them die after about 4 wounds taken. Now you can roll the remaining 6 wounds against the remaining 7 models with the modified 4+ save for being in cover. That's why they're doing it as an armor check. That's the only part of the combat sequence that can be divided up to differentiate between models in and out of cover in the same unit.


The problem with changing cover-related rules is it helps the bullet-soaks as well as the Elite Infantry. Ultimately, you're not making Elite Infantry useful, you're making Bullet Soaks even better at soaking bullets. So long as the only function of an Infantry unit in 40k is "durability per point" you're going to have the cheapest single-wound model you can buy be the best unit at fulfilling that role.


I don't think that's necessarily true. Improving the quality of wounds would go a long way. T5 marines would make the difference between Guard and Marines far more meaningful; T6 would be really substantial.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2018/08/08 18:57:07


 
   
Made in us
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Maybe elite infantry should be worth more than non-elite infantry when contesting an objective? This is especially true with the boots on the ground rule. So maybe scouts are 1 per 1 model but Tacs are 2 for each model. Or, another way would be compare base unit cost to base unit cost (that is the base cost of a model without special equipment). So a scout is 11 pts per model, a Tac is 13 points and intercessors are 18 points (per BA codex). That mean that if 5 scouts try to contest against 5 Tacs they would lose due to their value being 55 vs the Tac's 65 point value.
   
Made in us
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Falls Church, VA

Leo_the_Rat wrote:
Maybe elite infantry should be worth more than non-elite infantry when contesting an objective? This is especially true with the boots on the ground rule. So maybe scouts are 1 per 1 model but Tacs are 2 for each model. Or, another way would be compare base unit cost to base unit cost (that is the base cost of a model without special equipment). So a scout is 11 pts per model, a Tac is 13 points and intercessors are 18 points (per BA codex). That mean that if 5 scouts try to contest against 5 Tacs they would lose due to their value being 55 vs the Tac's 65 point value.


This is a good start, but I'm not sure it goes far enough. Contesting objectives has value, to be sure, but is it high enough that "this unit contests objectives better than this other unit" is really a defining functional niche for a unit to occupy?


Automatically Appended Next Post:
 LunarSol wrote:
I don't think that's necessarily true. Improving the quality of wounds would go a long way. T5 marines would make the difference between Guard and Marines far more meaningful; T6 would be really substantial.


Yes, but at T6 you're talking about Space Marines as tough as Basilisk Artillery Tanks. Is that really what you want? And I'm not even sure that would make Marines good, because durability is of little utility without power, or so the argument goes (I tend to disagree, but 40k's lethality is so high that generally it's impossible to be truly "tough" unless you have more wounds than the enemy has damage).

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2018/08/08 19:04:35


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.

2nd Concordian Independent Super Heavy Tank Armoured Regiment - 12,376 points
Order of the Luminous Beacon - 2087 points
Nevian Conclave of the Ordo Hereticus - 2002 points 
   
Made in us
Hardened Veteran Guardsman




Before it got drowned out by 15 extra pages of bickering, someone noted an interesting idea in the 5 Point Guardsmen thread. It was to give all Infantry models an additional keyword, say "Horde" "Line" and "Shock", and different weapons would interact with them in different ways. Weapons that score randomized hits (1d3, 1d6, etc) would score extra hits vs units with the "Horde" keyword, etc. It would create a situation where specific weapons for anti-horde duty exist that doesn't also hurt more elite units just as much or more. You would have things like flamers that actually function for swarm duty, while Plasma would still work vs more elite units.

It wouldn't solve everything, but it would mean situations will exist where using a Horde would be a bad idea, while a more elite unit could just soak the hits. If a flamer guaranteed 2d6 hits, or 1d6+3 hits, or whatnot vs Horde units, while only dealing 1d3 hits vs Shock units, we'd get the situation where you'd want the right tool for the right job, and cannot overly depend on any one typing.
   
Made in us
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Falls Church, VA

kurhanik wrote:
Before it got drowned out by 15 extra pages of bickering, someone noted an interesting idea in the 5 Point Guardsmen thread. It was to give all Infantry models an additional keyword, say "Horde" "Line" and "Shock", and different weapons would interact with them in different ways. Weapons that score randomized hits (1d3, 1d6, etc) would score extra hits vs units with the "Horde" keyword, etc. It would create a situation where specific weapons for anti-horde duty exist that doesn't also hurt more elite units just as much or more. You would have things like flamers that actually function for swarm duty, while Plasma would still work vs more elite units.

It wouldn't solve everything, but it would mean situations will exist where using a Horde would be a bad idea, while a more elite unit could just soak the hits. If a flamer guaranteed 2d6 hits, or 1d6+3 hits, or whatnot vs Horde units, while only dealing 1d3 hits vs Shock units, we'd get the situation where you'd want the right tool for the right job, and cannot overly depend on any one typing.


This is a fair idea, but is very gamey. You'll end up with new players wondering why a 9-model Guard squad has the "Horde" keyword while a 10-model Scout squad is not. You'd also end up gaming the edge-cases; for example, in such a system, whether or not you gave Skitarii Rangers the "Horde" keyword could either make them amazing (7 pt shock infantry YES!) or absolutely terrible (7 pt horde, what a derp).

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.

2nd Concordian Independent Super Heavy Tank Armoured Regiment - 12,376 points
Order of the Luminous Beacon - 2087 points
Nevian Conclave of the Ordo Hereticus - 2002 points 
   
Made in us
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 Unit1126PLL wrote:

Automatically Appended Next Post:
 LunarSol wrote:
I don't think that's necessarily true. Improving the quality of wounds would go a long way. T5 marines would make the difference between Guard and Marines far more meaningful; T6 would be really substantial.


Yes, but at T6 you're talking about Space Marines as tough as Basilisk Artillery Tanks. Is that really what you want? And I'm not even sure that would make Marines good, because durability is of little utility without power, or so the argument goes (I tend to disagree, but 40k's lethality is so high that generally it's impossible to be truly "tough" unless you have more wounds than the enemy has damage).


Given the premise is that they're supposed to walking tanks.... maybe? T5 tacs and T6 Terms might be more appropriate though.

The other thing that might be helpful is to change the double/half for wounding on 2+/6+ to something like +/-3.

In either case I'd want to map out all the S/T values in the game and really think about how I'd want to make elite infantry stand out durability wise. Even then, Bravery checks feel like an important tool in the conversation the game could really stand to utilize better.
   
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Falls Church, VA

 LunarSol wrote:
 Unit1126PLL wrote:

Automatically Appended Next Post:
 LunarSol wrote:
I don't think that's necessarily true. Improving the quality of wounds would go a long way. T5 marines would make the difference between Guard and Marines far more meaningful; T6 would be really substantial.


Yes, but at T6 you're talking about Space Marines as tough as Basilisk Artillery Tanks. Is that really what you want? And I'm not even sure that would make Marines good, because durability is of little utility without power, or so the argument goes (I tend to disagree, but 40k's lethality is so high that generally it's impossible to be truly "tough" unless you have more wounds than the enemy has damage).


Given the premise is that they're supposed to walking tanks.... maybe? T5 tacs and T6 Terms might be more appropriate though.

The other thing that might be helpful is to change the double/half for wounding on 2+/6+ to something like +/-3.

In either case I'd want to map out all the S/T values in the game and really think about how I'd want to make elite infantry stand out durability wise. Even then, Bravery checks feel like an important tool in the conversation the game could really stand to utilize better.


So you're essentially trying to solve the Elite vs. Non-Elite problem in 40k to figure out how to make Elite infantry better bullet-soaks than the non-elite infantry? 40k's only function for infantry is still bullet-soaks, which is unfortunate.

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.

2nd Concordian Independent Super Heavy Tank Armoured Regiment - 12,376 points
Order of the Luminous Beacon - 2087 points
Nevian Conclave of the Ordo Hereticus - 2002 points 
   
Made in fi
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Return of templates would be better than horde keyword.

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 Draco wrote:
Return of templates would be better than horde keyword.


Templates have a problem though against single units, I think, in that they could only ever do 1 wound. It's the reason Vehicle Damage Chart had to exist, and the reason Monstrous Creatures were so OP. How many Leman Russes did it take to kill a AV10 Sentinel without the Vehicle Damage Chart? 3. How many Leman Russes did it take to kill a T5 unit with 0 saves? How ever many wounds it had.

You could maybe hybridize the current system, keeping a Damage stat or something, idk.

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.

2nd Concordian Independent Super Heavy Tank Armoured Regiment - 12,376 points
Order of the Luminous Beacon - 2087 points
Nevian Conclave of the Ordo Hereticus - 2002 points 
   
Made in us
Hardened Veteran Guardsman




 Unit1126PLL wrote:
kurhanik wrote:
Before it got drowned out by 15 extra pages of bickering, someone noted an interesting idea in the 5 Point Guardsmen thread. It was to give all Infantry models an additional keyword, say "Horde" "Line" and "Shock", and different weapons would interact with them in different ways. Weapons that score randomized hits (1d3, 1d6, etc) would score extra hits vs units with the "Horde" keyword, etc. It would create a situation where specific weapons for anti-horde duty exist that doesn't also hurt more elite units just as much or more. You would have things like flamers that actually function for swarm duty, while Plasma would still work vs more elite units.

It wouldn't solve everything, but it would mean situations will exist where using a Horde would be a bad idea, while a more elite unit could just soak the hits. If a flamer guaranteed 2d6 hits, or 1d6+3 hits, or whatnot vs Horde units, while only dealing 1d3 hits vs Shock units, we'd get the situation where you'd want the right tool for the right job, and cannot overly depend on any one typing.


This is a fair idea, but is very gamey. You'll end up with new players wondering why a 9-model Guard squad has the "Horde" keyword while a 10-model Scout squad is not. You'd also end up gaming the edge-cases; for example, in such a system, whether or not you gave Skitarii Rangers the "Horde" keyword could either make them amazing (7 pt shock infantry YES!) or absolutely terrible (7 pt horde, what a derp).


I would imagine it would depend somewhat on the fluff of the unit plus the mechanics of it. Horde would be more the units you drop down a ton of, like Conscripts (and quite possibly Infantry Squads), Grots, Ork Boyz, Gaunts, etc. Line units would be more disciplined units (Skitarii, Imperial Guard Veterans, Fire Warriors, Space Marine Scouts, etc). Then Shock units would be the sturdier types or highly disciplined types (or both), like most power armored units, Scions, Battlesuits and so on. Yes, there will be some edge cases, and some units thrown under one tag might need to be hit with a faq later changing its typing if it is obvious it was mistyped.

Probably a vague rule of thumb would be - 5 or less points per model = Horde, 6-11/12 Line, and 12/13+ Elite, with maybe a few exceptions along the scale.
   
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 Draco wrote:
Return of templates would be better than horde keyword.

Yup, just what we need is return of slow, gamey, pointless (since most of the time it resulted in less hits than D6 roll does unless your enemy was a potato) mechanic that never made any sense (because concentrating flamer fire on carnifex and dousing it from head to toes in burning napalm equals just a tiny chance to cause a single scratch, eh?), I fully agree

If we do that, we might just grant an auto-win to any army that includes chaff because then one of the few ubiquotuos anti-horde type weapons will go from merely bad to utterly terrible leaving half of the armies in the game with zero answers for them.
   
Made in us
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Templates wont fix it, players will just max measure each model 2" apart like before and make the game worst to play. Large Blasts never got more than 5 models and small blasts you are lucky to get more than 3.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2018/08/09 00:15:24


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Been Around the Block




I always find myself pondering on the role of elite sci-fi infantry because I like to master sci-fi pen&paper games and like to design my worlds to be "realistic" and consistent when it comes to internal rules.

The thing that usually breaks everything is the arms race, which is a serpent eating its own tail. And this mechanics works in real life as much as in a game ruleset enviroment. Normally, infantry is squishy, but can move freely and can employ a variety of weapons to suit a large variety of tactical needs. Then you have heavy supports like Tanks and the likes, which are immune to most infantry weapons, can dish out a lor of dakka and are useful when mounting an assault against fortified position.... but they are usually useless when the enemy has air superiority. So, when something doesn't really works, better to leave it home unless you can get it working again. Think about how armor evolved. From fully plated knights because it kind of worked, to removing it because projectiles made it useless, to reintroducing a form of it in antiprojectiles vests to give a modicum of protection again.

So you have supposed elite infantry that gets munched because weapons are too overwelming, either because they are made to saturate an area with dakka, or because they manage to have at the same time rate of fire, armor penetration and high damage, that makes them work at the same time against tanks and elite infantry.

In game terms you have some possibilities in my opinion to make this work.

1) introduce a rock-paper-scissor mechanic of some sort. This is actually really "simple" and not "rule heavy" but it needs a total rework. In this case weapons should not be balaced against all targets, but will function best against certain targets and worse against others according to their various modifiers. Special abilities can help enrich this system.

2)Increase the numerical range and special rules of the game to create more nuance. Think about Infinity with their d20, their obscene amounts of special rules and about the atcual difference between a line infantry and a powered armored one or a super cyborg and the likes.
40k has an HUGE model range, but rules too simple and low numerical variance to accomodate them all. It's intentional because they want "everybody" to play in an easy manner, but eh, we know the downsides of this.
The D6 is maybe too important to remove it, but they were willing to get to high T and high S in 8th edition, even giving elite infantry light tank resilience could be something. I remember in a 40k book where the T'au said something of the like "if you encounter Space Marines, treat them like thanks, not infantry. Use the appropriate weapon".

3) Actually reduce the numerical and special rules range. By having less, you can concentrate on creating more unique roles. Think about how KIll Team is doing it. The statline of a primaris marine is the same as in 40k, but considering the range of models and weapons avalaible in KT, they feel more durable and "powerful" when in the usual 40k field, because the moment they go out they get trunched by high grade weaponry.

   
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If you gave the big AT weapons a -1 or -2 to hit infantry, that would refocus those weapons on firing at other tanks instead of slaughtering elites. That could give elite infantry a little more breathing room on the battlefield.
   
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I think the best way would be give all Meqs and Teqs, Imperial, Chaos, or Xeno, +1 wound. Primaris too.

Give them more staying power for their current points cost.

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On the Internet

Having read through this, mulled over what was posted then mulled some more I am starting to think it's time GW broke the whole traditional Marine statline. Since we no longer cap at 10 why are tanks limited to being roughly T6-T8? Why are Marines (whose armor and physique is leaps and bounds over a normal human's) only T4? It wouldn't change the way wounding works for most models, but flavor wise I feel like T5 (power armour) or T6 (terminator armour/gravis/bikes) Marines would feel more superhuman than they do at T4. Heck, that'd free up human power armor models (like both flavors of Sisters) to be T4 to make them feel a step apart from regular humans as well.

Sure this would make Plague Marines T6 (T7 in terminator armour, giving the Blightlords Nurgle's sacred number) but then they'd feel like the tanks the lore paints them as (and die to anti-tank fire about as well to boot).

Basically, we can put more granualarity into game and make elite units feel even actually elite against basic infantry weapons while retaining weakness against heavier weapons (which should be able to one-shot a Marine, or at least injure him).

I'm all for the Primaris statline being standard as well with them getting the buff they need on top of it, since the T value only really gives a modicrum of protection against anti-infantry weapons (mostly giving a boost against S5 for most models).

Now to make this work they'd need to also buff anti-tank weapons as well as monsters/vehicles to be in a higher range (say T10-12 for the majority of models). Restricting anti-tank weapons to a single shot to make them effective but not the best choice at killing more elite models/units would be good too.

Alternatively (or perhaps additonally), maybe a rule to make wounds spill over like mortal wounds if the S of a weapon is more than double a target's toughness might give the game a little more balance as well as a Melta or Autocannon punches through multiple GEQ models but only kills a single Marine or Terminator.

Regardless, the solution needs a "from the ground up" approach and a lot of proper playtesting to fix the game. Not every Marine army should look like an outing of the 10th company (10th, 11th, and 12th if you're an Exorcists Chapter player) afterall.
   
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Locked in the Tower of Amareo




Yup, can't argue with the general conclusion here.
   
Made in us
Longtime Dakkanaut






Another way to look at it, dont fix infantry, but make all transport better, making them all have higher toughness and wounds, T8 12 wounds for a Rhino for the same price as now, Veterans in Rhinos might be a real thing.

15k+ 12k+ 5k :Harlequin: 4k

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Made in us
Locked in the Tower of Amareo




No, the rhino is fine, I think. It's just carrying garbage.
   
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[DCM]
Bird from Hell






There are two problems with elite infantry in 40k:

1) GW doesn't want to reduce model counts to the level required to represent true elite infantry. If you make space marines T5 W3 SV2+ you might bring them closer to certain versions of the fluff, but then they can't be 15ppm anymore. That means fewer marines in a given size of army, and fewer sales of marine kits. Unless GW wants to increase the dollar price per model of elite infantry to a point where even the biggest GW apologists would be skeptical that means less revenue from their most important product line. Therefore elite infantry have a limit on how elite they can be.

2) 40k doesn't represent the kind of battle where elite infantry matter most. The advantage of a single elite soldier over a horde of basic conscripts is force concentration. Getting all the power of a whole squad in a single human-size package means a simpler chain of command, easier logistics, lower footprint, etc. On a strategic level it means a couple pods of marines can drop in and annihilate a weak point, effectively fighting a battle at 2000 points vs. 500 points without having to arrange dozens of transports. But those battles are not interesting in a tabletop game. Similarly, elite infantry would be extremely powerful in tight spaces (such as boarding a ship and fighting in tight corridors) where they can bring a lot of combat power into a tight space and the horde of conscripts can't. But, on top of the fun issue, 40k's rules don't really support that kind of game. They're designed for open-field battles where even hordes have few problems getting into combat with their full strength. Footprint is a minor factor, and all that matters is how much total firepower each side has.

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Been Around the Block





 Peregrine wrote:

GW doesn't want to reduce model counts to the level required to represent true elite infantry. If you make space marines T5 W3 SV2+ you might bring them closer to certain versions of the fluff, but then they can't be 15ppm anymore.


I think the solution for elite infantry is not for more toughness or better save, but for more wounds. Due to the nature of D6 dice you cant change the T or Save without dramatically changing the effectiveness of the unit. But wounds aren't impacted by D6 so you could theoretically increase wounds and it could make elite infantry a little better.

If the standard space marine was 2w, he should be a lot more durable and it would take heavier weapons to bring him down or high volume of fire, which fits the narrative. How that would impact other units like Primaris would be another issue.
   
Made in ie
Regular Dakkanaut





Looking at real life 'Elites' you're looking at better training, equipment, mobility and damage output per unit. But usually highly specialised. Weirdly, I think Forge World nailed it with its Elysian army list and rules.

For most armies, the lack of proper terrain and morale rules and the fact that you can just spam effective units means the scope to develop Elite infantry to fill a niche just isn't there.

Stupidly, this is a core rules problem in an era when you can tweak a unit's stats or abilities through its dataslate without throwing other USRs out of whack. Designers now have perfect freedom to allow Elite units do anything they like without impacting on any other unit. The trouble is, the core rules won't give them room to show off Elite abilities.

Bringing in decent terrain rules that actually have an impact on Line of Sight and movement and BS modification in a defined way (not the random 'roll for this tree, oh it eats you' BS) would provide freedom to tinker with Elite abilities.

Take one of the new poster boys, Aggressors. But take the flame Gauntlet dudes, you know, the ones nobody takes. But if you gave them an ability on their dataslate that allowed them to burn down forests or set fire to buildings thereby turning them into dangerous terrain, you've just given them a niche.
   
Made in ca
Chaplain with Hate to Spare





 Peregrine wrote:
Similarly, elite infantry would be extremely powerful in tight spaces (such as boarding a ship and fighting in tight corridors) where they can bring a lot of combat power into a tight space and the horde of conscripts can't. .


So some kind of funky Marine in Space thing then eh?

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