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Made in gb
Princeps of the Emperor's Titan!






How do?

Been reading through my newly acquired Rogue Trader era books (complete set, yes they’re lovely!), and they, for a period at least, recommended hidden deployment.

So rather than taking turns, or one player deploys followed the other, you went at the same time, without being able to see what your opponent was placing. A simple barrier of boxes was recommended.

Of course, this was in a day when armies were perhaps two or three dozen models. So it was rarely a particularly packed field. But if memory serves, and it wasn’t just a house or misread rule, Epic used the same for at least 2nd Ed.

Given a solid deployment can give a strong advantage, is this something people still use, or would be interested in using? Please note I’m not advocating in either direction, just curious!

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Longtime Dakkanaut






Sure. There's space for all sorts of hijinks and more historical styles of gaming. Being in command of a situation given to you instead of having perfect control over everything is fun.

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Made in gb
Furious Raptor




West Yorkshire

It's definitely an interesting concept, and one that is actually used in a Cities of Ruin gametype. One player deploys in secret whilst the other deploys ahead of time. the Idea that one force is charging to break through the weak lines of the other before it can be reinforced. Using 3 mauler-fiends as my main runners really overworked my opponent when it was revealed they were charging straight up one flank where all his vehicles were positioned. One bore the brunt of his overwatch whilst the others tore right through his tank line before he could whittle them down.

I would actually give this deployment method a try as it presents a deployment conundrum, Do you deploy in the obvious vantage point that your opponent will actively try to avoid? or do you deploy on weaker vantage points in an attempt to counter expectation?

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Dakka Veteran





We played a game that way, but it helped having a 3rd party oversee the setup. He arranged the terrain and then let both sides look at the table before sequestering us while he put up a cardboard and sheet barrier. The old 3M/Avalon Hill game of Feudal always used this principle, and that's what gave us the idea.

It made for a very interesting first few turns, since in this scenario only when a unit crossed the middle was that player allowed to view the other side. In the future we'd like to implement at least the hidden deployment aspect during set up more often.
   
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VF-1S Valkyrie Squadron Commander





Mississippi

We use a cardboard screen when we do. The sort of screen you see science projects and other displays done up on. Cheap and easy, but we don’t use it very often.

We also have used blips (ala space hulk) in some games to represent fog of war/ambushes. Attacker has to have LOS and in short range (.e., half range) to reveal.

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Longtime Dakkanaut




Annandale, VA

I really like the idea of double-blind deployment, but getting the first turn is such an advantage at the moment that I think I prefer the system where P1 deploys -> P2 deploys -> P1 gets first turn. Single-blind deployment provides a tangible advantage to going second; where full double-blind deployment can result in very alpha strike-y games.

If 40K were played on a bigger board (or the effective weapon ranges scaled back to 3rd/4th Ed levels), so that nobody was shooting with their entire army out of the deployment zone at maximum effectiveness turn 1, I think double-blind deployment could be really fun and re-emphasize maneuver a bit.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2020/05/19 15:39:14


 
   
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Ambitious Space Wolves Initiate





We used to do hidden deployment quite often in 2nd ed, with box set boxes blocking the view. I'd definitely do it again.
   
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Columbus, OH

Yep, have done it before and it was lots of fun, especially for big apocalypse games.

Thanks,

MegaDave  
   
Made in pl
Longtime Dakkanaut




We used a laminted photo of the table we played on. Everyone would put numbers where his units were hidden. Units that had options to deploy after normal deployment could only deploy half in to the whole table, they would also arrive, but not deep strike) on to the table on their controlers turn 1. So they would be immune to charges, pre game stratagems on turn 1.

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Made in ca
Dakka Veteran




I like it, but the difficulty in bringing this into 8th as a house rule is that some armies or units have abilities that approach this- GSC in particular. Those armies are costed to reflect their deployment shenanigans, so you really shaft those armies and units by giving everyone access to hidden setup.
   
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Regular Dakkanaut




 catbarf wrote:
I really like the idea of double-blind deployment, but getting the first turn is such an advantage at the moment that I think I prefer the system where P1 deploys -> P2 deploys -> P1 gets first turn. Single-blind deployment provides a tangible advantage to going second; where full double-blind deployment can result in very alpha strike-y games.

If 40K were played on a bigger board (or the effective weapon ranges scaled back to 3rd/4th Ed levels), so that nobody was shooting with their entire army out of the deployment zone at maximum effectiveness turn 1, I think double-blind deployment could be really fun and re-emphasize maneuver a bit.


Sort of depends on amount of terrain, right? I find games are a lot more fun if terrain makes it impossible for you to shoot with your whole army at maximum effectiveness on turn 1 out of the DZ, as you say.

Hidden deployment sounds fun, though having it be universal would certainly be a big disadvantage for GSC since that's one of their special rules right now.
   
Made in us
Witch Hunter Undercover in a Cult







If you were going to do it without a third-party adjudicator it might be interesting to try using something like GSC Cult Ambush markers. Both players deploy markers numbered on the underside so they have to commit to which unit goes where but without letting the other person know, and it isn't as much of a logistical issue in trying to build a curtain or hide which models are coming out of the box or whatever.

Balanced Game: Noun. A game in which all options and choices are worth using. 
   
Made in fi
Longtime Dakkanaut






Armies like GSC that rely on deployment shenanigans could be amended by giving them more information about their opposition's plans. Maybe force the enemy to put some markers or revealed units down before the curtain is closed, let them see what some of the enemy markers contain, move their own around a bit after the deployment is done and so on. Lots of possibilities to represent them having the advantage in ambush.

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Witch Hunter Undercover in a Cult







Plus the existing "move unit from ambush into reserves" and "deploy extra decoy ambush markers" mechanics.

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Longtime Dakkanaut




Annandale, VA

Gordoape wrote:
 catbarf wrote:
I really like the idea of double-blind deployment, but getting the first turn is such an advantage at the moment that I think I prefer the system where P1 deploys -> P2 deploys -> P1 gets first turn. Single-blind deployment provides a tangible advantage to going second; where full double-blind deployment can result in very alpha strike-y games.

If 40K were played on a bigger board (or the effective weapon ranges scaled back to 3rd/4th Ed levels), so that nobody was shooting with their entire army out of the deployment zone at maximum effectiveness turn 1, I think double-blind deployment could be really fun and re-emphasize maneuver a bit.


Sort of depends on amount of terrain, right? I find games are a lot more fun if terrain makes it impossible for you to shoot with your whole army at maximum effectiveness on turn 1 out of the DZ, as you say.

Hidden deployment sounds fun, though having it be universal would certainly be a big disadvantage for GSC since that's one of their special rules right now.


Oh absolutely, you can mitigate alpha-striking and punish static gunline armies through terrain- I have found though that a fair bit of house-ruling abstracted LOS is needed to really prevent TLOS from compromising it, but it's a good start and I try to play with heavy terrain for that reason.

A lot of people don't play that way and I don't always get to choose my terrain setup, though, which is where my comment was coming from.
   
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Been Around the Block



South Africa

 AnomanderRake wrote:
If you were going to do it without a third-party adjudicator it might be interesting to try using something like GSC Cult Ambush markers. Both players deploy markers numbered on the underside so they have to commit to which unit goes where but without letting the other person know, and it isn't as much of a logistical issue in trying to build a curtain or hide which models are coming out of the box or whatever.


We did this quite often. We'd also sometimes have a bare bones vehicle for vehicles and a single infantry unit for squads. When you get LOS you put the whole unit or swap the bare bones for a kitted vehicle. This works best with people you can trust to not try take advantage.

Another thing we did was like reverse deep striking. Set up then you roll the artillery scatter dice for each unit and you have to redeploy as shown. Sometimes made for frantic games but admittedly some were "My Broadsides rail gun your 3 Basilisks who are in front of the hill aaaand game I guess".

KBK 
   
Made in gb
Princeps of the Emperor's Titan!






For GSC, the answer could be even simpler - ignore Hidden Deployment entirely for their opponents entirely.

All the effect, minimum of fuss.

Reckon I’d otherwise want to really restrict redeploy options. Leave existing tricks in place, just don’t give out anymore.

For added fun, items such as Auspexes (Auspecies? Auspeesess? Who knows!) could allow a scan of a specific grid reference. This is more getting into ‘rule of cool’ type stuff though. Great for a narrative campaign setting, maybe not so great for inclusion in a Codex.

But. What to do about infiltrators? Whilst not 100% familiar with RT yet (plans are afoot, look for a blog style thing at some point) I’m not sure RT had them as such.

With hidden deployment, it may make Infiltrate too ubiquitous, utterly pointless, or too much book keeping. Yet it doesn’t seem right to just ditch them entirely.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2020/05/19 20:16:30


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Longtime Dakkanaut



NE Ohio, USA

Hidden deployment? Sure! I've also played games with random deployment.
In the past I've had some pretty interesting games using both of those. Sometimes we didn't even reveal what armies were being used until things were placed & the screen lifted.
   
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Decrepit Dakkanaut





In previous editions this was fun. In 8th ed less sure it's feasible.

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Powerful Phoenix Lord






I'm all about any rules which change 40K, as the rules have historically always been the weakest part of the game.

The majority of games of 8th edition that I've played would be borderline unrecognizable to a normal 40K player. I've more or less given up trying to change 40K into something I enjoy though, and have shifted to Oldhammer for the occasional game, and moved on to games with better rules sets.

I do encourage anyone to make changes and try different stuff. There are so many excellent game mechanics out there which you'll never find in a claustrophobic, sales-oriented rules set like 40K. Introducing them is often fairly easy.

 
   
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Longtime Dakkanaut




Any rule that mitigates the option to deploy the same very single game, often with full knowledge of your opponent's deployment would be welcome. Not sure if hidden deployment would work that well on its own as you'd need to combine it with more dense terrain for it to matter enough. I'd prefer something like random deployment, similar to the way 8th edition WHFB did it in one of their rulebook scenarios. Anything to disrupt the traditional perfect bubble of buffs that all armies set up in nowadays.
   
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Esteemed Veteran Space Marine



Sioux Falls, SD

It’s a neat idea but just sounds like it would be a pain to setup and would eat up a lot of time in a real game, in a virtual game where it would be easier to do that could definitely work. Though I might say since the player going second would lose a large chunk of their advantage to counter deploy that you remove seize the initiative and roll for first turn after deployment.

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Longtime Dakkanaut




TheAvengingKnee wrote:
It’s a neat idea but just sounds like it would be a pain to setup and would eat up a lot of time in a real game, in a virtual game where it would be easier to do that could definitely work. Though I might say since the player going second would lose a large chunk of their advantage to counter deploy that you remove seize the initiative and roll for first turn after deployment.


It's not easy to set up, that's for sure. Back in 2nd edition they actually advocated using the lids that came with the box set and Dark Millennium to form a screen, which worked quite well. Rolling for going first would probably be the best way to deal with first turn under such a system, yes.
   
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Regular Dakkanaut



UK

 Mad Doc Grotsnik wrote:


But. What to do about infiltrators? Whilst not 100% familiar with RT yet (plans are afoot, look for a blog style thing at some point) I’m not sure RT had them as such.

With hidden deployment, it may make Infiltrate too ubiquitous, utterly pointless, or too much book keeping. Yet it doesn’t seem right to just ditch them entirely.


Infiltrators are 'hidden' too, but they have to be directed to a particular location (i.e., "Sergeant, go to that church tower and tell me what you see"). If both go to the same place then some sort of firefight breaks out (a separate one-off turn for them, maybe? Any survivors can either fall back to be deployed as a 'regular' unit or they can contest the location remaining locked in combat if necessary).
If they do get into position unopposed, if you're using a referee/GM, I'd suggest that the controlling player gets some limited information on the opposing deployment - like maybe how many units are within 12-18"? Perhaps even broad types (Squad Rheinhart reports 3 infantry squads/a small patrol with tank support closing on their position)? And so can possibly reposition similar to the appropriate stratagems whose names I can't remember just now (you know the ones - pay CP and you can redeploy a number of units), or perhaps limit it to ONE unit (per scout unit? Or would that be too exploitable?). This latter may be the only thing you could do if no GM - maybe allow one use of that stratagem for free.

Just think, we'd actually have scouting units used for scouting.... (sarcasm aside, one concept wargaming often fails to get across is WHY generals loved having those 'crappy' light infantry and cavalry with their 'useless' stats).

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2020/05/21 22:35:47


 
   
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Princeps of the Emperor's Titan!






Pondering further, as part of a Narrative campaign.

What if Scout and similar units (in function as well as rules) were used as a sort of Kill Team precursor game? There’s various options there, which I can’t be bothered to go into right now.

Another alternative would be that each Infiltrate unit allows you to nominate a single enemy unit’s location to be revealed?

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Slipspace wrote:
...Anything to disrupt the traditional perfect bubble of buffs that all armies set up in nowadays.


The perfect bubble of buffs is a necessary consequence of how the dice math works in 8e. When you need to pass three to five dice gates to kill anything (hit/wound/save, sometimes damage/FNP) as opposed to two to four (hit/wound, sometimes save/FNP) the odds of any individual shot doing anything are so low that everyone needs to either roll a bucketload of dice or reroll failures on everything to do anything at all. Interrupting the perfect bubble of buffs just turns the game into a slapfight where nothing really happens.

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Longtime Dakkanaut





I remember it could add a fair bit of luck to games - some times you'd find your anti-tank weapon with a perfect shot on their most important vehicle, other times your squads will be massively out of position.

It penalises or rewards risky deployment at random.

Personally I quite liked the 'half blind' nature of earlier editions - one player had the advantage of the first actions but deployed blind, whereas the opponent could deploy to minimize the first turn strike (especially with far more static heavy weapons).
   
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Regular Dakkanaut



UK

That last one is certainly the more elegant solution for quick games, Doc. No experience with Kill Team so can't comment other than to confess a weakness to the old 'escalating engagement' style of scenario, and to linking as many of the rulesets as possible (the cliché of BFG to Epic to 40k to Fakeromunda... back in the day when we were young and imaginative, my old group even 'hacked' Space Hulk into a 'bunker assault' game; Terminators are VERY scary beasties when they're operating in their native environment...)
   
 
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