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Made in us
Longtime Dakkanaut




I've been kicking around some ideas for a 40k variant played at smaller game sizes than normal 40k but larger than Kill Team. Something sort of like last edition's Combat Patrol, but with modified rules to combat some of the scaling problems that game had. I was hoping to run the high concept stuff past you guys to see if and how this premise is doomed from the start. So what I"m thinking is...

* Take normal 40k.

* Now play at like, 400ish points.

* Implement Kill Team style alternating activations that work on a unit-by-unit basis rather than a model-by-model basis. So...

--Roll for initiative
--Take turns moving, charging, or readying units
--Take turns casting psychic powers
--Take turns shooting units that are readied
--Take turns shooting unit that aren't readied
--Take turns fighting with units that charged
--Take turns fighting with units that didn't charge


* Get rid of a lot of the bigger, tougher unit options. So nothing T6 or higher, for instance. No Celestine. Vehicles and monsters would be severely limited in number by the detachments available in this game type.

* Ban or rework units that are problematically killy in a smaller game type like this. Dark Reapers, for instance, might lose their "always hit on 3's" rule and/or be limited to a single squad with a max of 3 bodies in it because getting shot off the table while a unit kites you from across the board is lame, and a smaller scale game means you have fewer extra models with which to absorb that damage and retaliate. Similarly, certain force multipliers (Doom and even Troupe Master auras come to mind) might be nerfed in the interest of lowering the overall lethality of the game. Again, every lost model counts for more when you're playing at lower points. Taking away half your opponent's army before he can touch a unit is lame.

* Those last two points mean that you'd end up with a lot of thoroughly overhauled units and a relatively small list of playable units.

* Deepstrike and similar mechanics would generally turn into more of an outflanking mechanic. Because every casualty inflicted matters more, being able to deep strike and sucker punch your opponent could break his back before he has a chance to retaliate.

* Ditch the normal list of available detachments. Instead, use a single Kill Patrol (Combat Team? Battle Buddies? Murder Flock?) detachment. These detachments are pretty limited in nature to prevent players from going crazy with MSU or the spamming of certain units. For instance, a vehicle or monster might only be available in one specific detachment which also limits the number overall units you can field. These detachments would be monofaction (your units would need to share a keyword on the Adeptus Astartes/Tau Empite/Asuryani level).

* Command points get generated at the start of each battle round Kill Team style. Get a point just because. Get a point if your leader is still alive. Get a point if some special mission or unit rule says so.

* Normal 40k stratagems are not usable. Instead, you end up with a list of Combat Team-specific Tactics that you can spend CP on throughout the battle. You'd get a few (4ish) based on your faction plus a couple of extras based on your leader (warlord) and the detachment you're fielding.

* Chapter tactic equivalents wouldn't really be a thing. The normal 40k ones potentially scale poorly in a smaller game, and I'd rather keep the volume of rules for this game variant in check. I might possibly include sub-faction-specific Tactics (aka not-stratagems), but that's something to nail down later.

* Import some of the to-hit penalties from Kill Team. Shooting enemies at over half range, enemies in cover, etc. might all impose to-hit penalties.

* To-hit rolls of 6 always hit.

* Ideally, I'd like to use all these changes to create lower the overall lethality and introduce a few more tactical decisions that could work well in a smaller game but would bog down 40k proper. I'm kicking around replacing morale casualties with the reintroduction of some sort of pinning/disruption mechanic, for instance. Overwatch might become a Tactic or an action that becomes available when a unit Readies itself instead of moving or a rule only available to certain weapons (like flamers).

Kill Team is cool, but your unit options are really limited, and you miss out on multi-squad interactions. 40k is cool but unwieldy enough to make certain "zoomed in" mechanics cumbersome. Plus it can take a long while to play. The intent here is to make a game that can be played in under an hour, that provides enough army customization to represent a theme, and that lets you zoom in on a few squads.

What do you think? Is it conceptually unworkable, or does this seem like a viable way to go?
   
Made in ca
Pyromaniac Hellhound Pilot





London, Ontario

It’s absolutely workable, probably up to 500 points.

You might want to give all units that are 6 models or more the ability to “combat squad” by splitting in half. Not necessarily, but might help some low model-count armies.

I’d say T 7, even 8 is ok, but put a cap on wounds. People will still bring Plasmaguns, and Dreadnought equivalents should be viable, as well as non-Russ, non-Land Raider style tanks. Transports should be available.

I’d suggest that all terrain blocks LOS if it is an appropriate height. Lots of LOS blocking terrain makes for clever movement options.

I wouldn’t worry too much about things being too tough. Anything with S 5 or higher can still wound basically anything on 5’s. Even a 2+ save isn’t that hot these days.
   
Made in nz
Regular Dakkanaut




another aspect of Kill team that makes it interesting is the injury mechanic, implementing a system like that in this combat ruleset would also make it much more intense than your standard 40k game.

A mechanic like, "If the last model of the unit is removed, then roll to see if the squad is taken out of action or has suffered light casualties."

Then you would roll for the injury. adding modifiers if the unit was killed with certain things and whatnot.

Then it would be "If the roll is X then the unit only suffered light casualties. The unit is restored on the table with only half it's original size and applies a -1 modifier to it's To hit, Wounds and Leadership characteristic. A unit that has already suffered a light casualty is instead taken out of Action"

Then you could add certain things to units that would make them feel more like their factions. Like Astartes and Transhuman physiology that is like in Kill team

"Transhuman Physiology: This unit can suffer two light casualties before being taken out of action. In addition, ignore the modifiers of the first light casualty roll on this unit"

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2019/04/14 06:13:19


 
   
Made in us
Longtime Dakkanaut




mchammadad wrote:
another aspect of Kill team that makes it interesting is the injury mechanic, implementing a system like that in this combat ruleset would also make it much more intense than your standard 40k game.

A mechanic like, "If the last model of the unit is removed, then roll to see if the squad is taken out of action or has suffered light casualties."

Then you would roll for the injury. adding modifiers if the unit was killed with certain things and whatnot.

Then it would be "If the roll is X then the unit only suffered light casualties. The unit is restored on the table with only half it's original size and applies a -1 modifier to it's To hit, Wounds and Leadership characteristic. A unit that has already suffered a light casualty is instead taken out of Action"

Then you could add certain things to units that would make them feel more like their factions. Like Astartes and Transhuman physiology that is like in Kill team

"Transhuman Physiology: This unit can suffer two light casualties before being taken out of action. In addition, ignore the modifiers of the first light casualty roll on this unit"


That sounds like a neat feature for a narrative mission or a campaign, but it might be a bit much in a standard game. If my 100 point unit gets to respawn and we're talking about a 400 or 500 point games, that's 20% or 25% of my overall points coming back to life. The injury rules in Kill Team make a bit more sense because the scope of the game zooms in on individual models. It would be a bit odd if an entire squad that was taken out by a combination of bolters, flamers, and psychic powers all happened to be similarly winded but not injured.




Automatically Appended Next Post:
 greatbigtree wrote:
It’s absolutely workable, probably up to 500 points.

You might want to give all units that are 6 models or more the ability to “combat squad” by splitting in half. Not necessarily, but might help some low model-count armies.

There's a thought. I've been kicking around possible limitations on squad size that might play into this. At 400 points, you can probably deal with 30 or 60 termagaunts no problem. Flooding the table with a hundred of them threatens to strain the abilities of a vanilla army and turn it into a game of rock paper scissors though.


I’d say T 7, even 8 is ok, but put a cap on wounds. People will still bring Plasmaguns, and Dreadnought equivalents should be viable, as well as non-Russ, non-Land Raider style tanks. Transports should be available.

You're probably right. The detachments might be a good way to keep this in check too. Anyone can reasonably take on a single dreadnaught or a trio of sentinels. Heck, the latter are probably extremely appropriate for this kind of game. My concern was something like a double wraith lord army or drukhari with a bunch of transports or ravagers. In the same way that a vanilla 400 or 500 point list might not be able to take on 100 models, they also might not be able to take on a couple of especially durable ones. A wound cap is probably a solid starting point.


I’d suggest that all terrain blocks LOS if it is an appropriate height. Lots of LOS blocking terrain makes for clever movement options.

Would this translate into basically counting first floor windows as being boarded up, or would you do something else here? I agree that having plenty of line of sight blocking terrain is important for a game like this, but isn't that mostly a matter of just having/building the right kind of terrain?


I wouldn’t worry too much about things being too tough. Anything with S 5 or higher can still wound basically anything on 5’s. Even a 2+ save isn’t that hot these days.

My concern is that a small force might not have a ton of strength 5 to work with if they're not tau or spamming heavy bolters. Plus, plenty of T6+ platforms tend to carry enough firepower to be really problematic. I'm picturing disintegrator ravagers, fire prisms, maybe even whirlwinds given the nature of this game type. A little durability can go a long way when it's on a platform that can take large chunks out of the enemy force. But as mentioned above, a wound limit is probably a good starting point. Between that and a modest ban list to keep out any edge cases that prove too imbalancing, it will probably be fine.

Thanks for the feedback, you two! Hope I'm not coming across as dismissive. I really appreciate your thoughts.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2019/04/14 07:27:59


 
   
Made in gb
Long-Range Ultramarine Land Speeder Pilot





Leicester

I had a similar concept once; but you appear to have given the idea a good amount of thought...

Keep us posted!

GamerGuy
   
Made in ca
Pyromaniac Hellhound Pilot





London, Ontario

Fair enough points. A T8 model does need 6's from S4, so maybe a cap of T7 would be appropriate. S3 attacks would still need 6's vs T6 and 7, but I think that's reasonable given the scope of the battle.

Keeps marines with S4 quite viable against most targets.

While I can't say that Terminators would be viable in a 4-500 point game, I would still want the option to take them. A fully decked out 10-man squad with a cheap character would be a fun, narrative driven space hulk style mission.
   
Made in gb
Small Wyrm of Slaanesh





I've been working on something similar recently:

250 points (this is current but my club are playing around with higher values at the moment)
1 patrol detachment
no save better than 3+/4++
No vehicle with 11+ wounds
No Flyers

it maxes your cp to 3 and makes you think. I've been struggling with scenarios as Kill em all doesn't really work and tactical objective cards can be rather messy
   
Made in us
Plaguelord Titan Princeps of Nurgle




In My Lab

 Samuhell wrote:
I've been working on something similar recently:

250 points (this is current but my club are playing around with higher values at the moment)
1 patrol detachment
no save better than 3+/4++
No vehicle with 11+ wounds
No Flyers

it maxes your cp to 3 and makes you think. I've been struggling with scenarios as Kill em all doesn't really work and tactical objective cards can be rather messy


Why the save restrictions?

Clocks for the clockmaker! Cogs for the cog throne! 
   
Made in gb
Small Wyrm of Slaanesh





 JNAProductions wrote:
Why the save restrictions?


It's a bit from the old 3rd ed combat patrol rules and it doesn't make 100% sense as to why termos and the like are part of a combat patrol
   
Made in fr
Longtime Dakkanaut




A huge change with KT's alternate activation is that charges are done in the movement phase. So the 40K "move, shoot, charge" sequence is replaced by a simple charge.
It makes melee units overall much weaker, as their threat range is reduced by their movement speed, and they can't use both their shooting weapons and melee attacks in the same turn. In KT, this is balanced by a very small board and the cover system + abundance of terrain, so your units don't get shot nearly as much as in a standard 40K game.
If you want to apply similar rules to standard 40K, you have to make sure that the table works with that, and models that are both good at shooting and melee should get a point reduction.
   
Made in us
Shrieking Traitor Sentinel Pilot




USA

 Samuhell wrote:
 JNAProductions wrote:
Why the save restrictions?


It's a bit from the old 3rd ed combat patrol rules and it doesn't make 100% sense as to why termos and the like are part of a combat patrol


That as is bans marines and tzeentch afaik.

"For the dark gods!" - A traitor guardsmen, probably before being killed. 
   
Made in us
Witch Hunter Undercover in a Cult







 Sir Heckington wrote:
 Samuhell wrote:
 JNAProductions wrote:
Why the save restrictions?


It's a bit from the old 3rd ed combat patrol rules and it doesn't make 100% sense as to why termos and the like are part of a combat patrol


That as is bans marines and tzeentch afaik.


Why? You're allowed 3+ saves (all Marine infantry that aren't Terminators) and Rubrics have a 3+ save with a conditional bonus, not a 2+ save.

Victoria est autem vita.

Stories at https://knightofthegrey.wordpress.com/
Game-related musings at https://thescenicdetour.wordpress.com/
Both updated irregularly 
   
Made in us
Longtime Dakkanaut




fresus wrote:
A huge change with KT's alternate activation is that charges are done in the movement phase. So the 40K "move, shoot, charge" sequence is replaced by a simple charge.
It makes melee units overall much weaker, as their threat range is reduced by their movement speed, and they can't use both their shooting weapons and melee attacks in the same turn. In KT, this is balanced by a very small board and the cover system + abundance of terrain, so your units don't get shot nearly as much as in a standard 40K game.
If you want to apply similar rules to standard 40K, you have to make sure that the table works with that, and models that are both good at shooting and melee should get a point reduction.


That's a good point. I do plan to import some of KT's to-hit penalties. That, combined with limitations on unit selection will hopefully mean that melee units (and units in general) are getting hit less often and are being shot at by relatively tame weaponry. Getting shot at by a trio of disintegrator ravagers is very different from getting shot at by a bunch of splinter weapons and the occassional blaster. Plus, being a unit-by-unit game as opposed to a model-by-model game potentially makes it easier to wrap up a larger portion of your opponent's army in melee at a time.

So the hope is that melee units get killed at a distance more slowly and that their ability to silence enemy guns ends up being more meaningful due to there being less of an enemy gunline waiting for you when your charge target falls back.
   
Made in us
Shrieking Traitor Sentinel Pilot




USA

 AnomanderRake wrote:
 Sir Heckington wrote:
 Samuhell wrote:
 JNAProductions wrote:
Why the save restrictions?


It's a bit from the old 3rd ed combat patrol rules and it doesn't make 100% sense as to why termos and the like are part of a combat patrol


That as is bans marines and tzeentch afaik.


Why? You're allowed 3+ saves (all Marine infantry that aren't Terminators) and Rubrics have a 3+ save with a conditional bonus, not a 2+ save.


oops, misread it. My bad, saw it as just no 3+/4++ or better, yeah that seems fine then.

"For the dark gods!" - A traitor guardsmen, probably before being killed. 
   
Made in us
Fresh-Faced New User




I actually made a rules system to do this. I've played this at 2k points down to 500 and it works fine.

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1shm-n6MxXVEwz8i2kI8VX8gjyUVwT1-e_jiyDnjKybg/edit?usp=sharing

If anyone wants to look it though, let know what you think.
   
 
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