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Made in us
Hurr! Ogryn Bone 'Ead!






So in a fit of nostalgia I am tooling around with the old 3rd edition Guard codex (the doctrine one), and while I love the doctrine system, and always knew they were not well balanced with each other, the sheer variance of the good vs the bad is kind of crazy to me. Some of the options were basically clear auto takes or upgrades, while others actively made you worse off, and the cost of making a custom regiment was losing 10 specific units, with probably 6 or 7 of them being the worst units in the codex.

The ones that stand out to me the most are spending a regiment point and 2 points per model to lose your lasguns and get a close combat weapon and laspistol, and the simple fact that you don't actually get enough regiment points to buy back the lost units, meaning you could theoretically make the worst custom regiment ever by picking 5 units and nothing else. Compared to this, another option is giving all of your infantry Deep Strike for free.

Since the codex is no longer a living thing, and I'm only really going to be tooling around with it with one or two friends, I'm just curious what house rules others might have had back in the day (or still use now) to rejigger the balance a bit.

Some that immediately come to mind for me is 1 regiment point = 2 lost units, so that the "generic" regiment is simply one that spent all of its points on units, or reducing the cost of basically all of the equipment doctrines (besides camo cloaks) by 5-10 points per unit (and just making Warrior Weapons free, considering it removes lasguns from your units in exchange for being mildly better at close combat).

So, what are your house rules / edits, and does anyone have any fond memories of the codex? Also what regiments did you roll with back in the day? The little experience I had with the book (back in 4th) I used it solely for inducted units with Daemon Hunters, so I never actually used the doctrines myself (until now).
   
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I remember locally Carapace armor was semi popular because it meant the Guard saved half of the incoming Boltedr fire rather than none. Iirc it was a little expensive per model though.

And They Shall Not Fit Through Doors!!!

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I suspect you could get away with swapping the points cost for some kind of rule disadvantage for the non-equipment choices as well. Having the main cost to getting the extra rules being the...well, cost of the unit just feels dull.
   
Made in nl
Regular Dakkanaut






I remember the Deep Strike one. That one was always taken and without a points cost, it will always be an autotake because it's just so useful to let command squads and the like actually do something with a ton of plasma. Even worse saves wouldn't really do anything because, come on, who needs armour saves when playing guard anyways?

Other than that, things like Close Order Drill always were a lot of fun and I used to take it. It however would only ever be used against enemies without blast weapons. It also didn't have a huge effect, so that could stay.

The ones costing points all ran into the issue that they were too expensive for what they actually got. But that's something you always have when things have to be in whole points to upgrade models like guardsmen.

   
Made in gb
Wrathful Warlord Titan Commander






London

I do miss the Doctrine system, would be nice to see some wargear ones such as CCWs or Carapace Armour.

   
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The equipment ones would be nice to have back, but I'd rather they just added them as wargear options on base squads and kept the Skills and Drills side as the "Doctrines". More meat on the bones that way, I think.
   
Made in de
Longtime Dakkanaut





Doctrines were introduced in 4th alongside the Space Marines traits system.

My Catachans had the following perks:

- access to Veterans
- access to Specialists
- access to Ogryns
- Jungle Fighters
- Close combat specialists

MO would be like this:
Hide in woods and shoot. Nearby enemies would be attacked with the 5 inch template from the Specialists. Power armour could be dealt with plasma guns from the Veteran squad. All in all it was a glorious time to play Imperial Guard.

   
Made in us
Rogue Daemonhunter fueled by Chaos






Macon, GA

Here's a link to a discussion from this era of 40k (looks to be 4th edition, but IG were still using their 3.5 book).

https://www.dakkadakka.com/dakkaforum/posts/list/38775.page

It gives you an idea of the consensus wisdom of the time. The one doctrine to not sleep on is Iron Discipline, as morale was far deadlier to guard back then.

Oh, and a discussion on what doctrines were actually viable:

https://www.dakkadakka.com/dakkaforum/posts/list/165868.page#166112

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/03/28 19:46:34


My Painted Armies
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KOW Ogres: 4500 points
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Made in de
Longtime Dakkanaut





Just read the old thread. According to an old post Jungle Fighter was supposed to be junk. Guess he always played in a city.

Jungle Fighter was indeed one of the best perks, if your terrain collection included lots of large forest terrain pieces.
   
Made in us
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Presuming posting this doesn't break any rules, the AROs are here in case anyone wants a refresher:

https://imgur.com/a/J5eWBpa
   
Made in gb
Wrathful Warlord Titan Commander






London

 waefre_1 wrote:
Presuming posting this doesn't break any rules, the AROs are here in case anyone wants a refresher:

https://imgur.com/a/J5eWBpa


Damn this really takes me back. Why can't we have these back instead of the generic regimental abilities of which only 2 are worth taking?

   
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Versteckt in den Schatten deines Geistes.

I had some things to say about Doctrines back in the day.

Industrial Insanity - My Terrain Blog
"GW really needs to understand 'Less is more' when it comes to AoS." - Wha-Mu-077

 
   
Made in gb
Wrathful Warlord Titan Commander






London

 H.B.M.C. wrote:
I had some things to say about Doctrines back in the day.


Some interesting points you make in that. I wonder if they'll be just as bad if translated into 9th (excluding the "spend a point to take this unit" ones)

   
Made in us
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 Valkyrie wrote:
 waefre_1 wrote:
Presuming posting this doesn't break any rules, the AROs are here in case anyone wants a refresher:

https://imgur.com/a/J5eWBpa


Damn this really takes me back. Why can't we have these back instead of the generic regimental abilities of which only 2 are worth taking?

Well, in GW's defense, it would be difficult to balance. And to GW's discredit, making them would require actual work regardless of balance attempts, and I don't see them caring enough to go that in depth for it (I doubt they'd put any more work in than they already have w/r/t Regimental Traits/Strats/etc).

Edit re: HBMC's tactica:
If, however, you are playing a Guard Doctrine Force, you will get better use from Deep Striking Command Sections w/4 Meltaguns or 4 Plasma Guns

The more things change, the more they stay the same, eh?

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/03/28 23:17:44


 
   
Made in us
Hurr! Ogryn Bone 'Ead!






Wow that is a lot of responses, and some interesting old threads from the time.


Insectum7 wrote:I remember locally Carapace armor was semi popular because it meant the Guard saved half of the incoming Boltedr fire rather than none. Iirc it was a little expensive per model though.


I do like the idea, and the friend I'm planning on playing with (we are gonna be testing out prohammer) is planning on running marines, so I'm debating on going that route or doubling down on Stormtroopers. I know not the most effective use of doctrine points in the world, but I just like having the 4+ save and the look of the old Stormtroopers. Hell, the main reason I dug out the book in the first place was after posting in the "oldest Imperial Guard model" thread and then realizing that including my backlog of things to strip and paint I have about 60 of the old Stormtroopers and 70 Kasrkin.

waefre_1 wrote:The equipment ones would be nice to have back, but I'd rather they just added them as wargear options on base squads and kept the Skills and Drills side as the "Doctrines". More meat on the bones that way, I think.


Yeah, I came back to the game in 7th when Veterans at least still had the wargear options (and were troops), and it was nice to have. I wouldn't mind seeing a return to doctrines like the old ones, though hopefully more balanced.

H.B.M.C. wrote:I had some things to say about Doctrines back in the day.


Wow that is an in depth rundown of the doctrines, and basically cements the feeling I was getting that some were just plain too good to not take while others were...not.

I'm kind of curious what people think would be needed to make some of the bad ones actually viable. A lot of the buying back lost units ones would basically be "rewrite the unit entirely", but I'm sure some of the other ones could be mildly rejiggered / have their points cut down to make them at least so so instead of outright bad. Like if Warrior Weapons were free (besides the regiment point spent), or Carapace Armor were 15/squad instead of 20, etc.
   
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Versteckt in den Schatten deines Geistes.

Warrior Weapons shouldn't cost points. Carapace isn't worth increasing a squads cost by 1/3rd. As I said, specialist equipment should be a per-squad or even just a per-platoon basis. You shouldn't have to give it to everyone in the entire army.

However the biggest failing of the Doctrine system (and this applied to Marine traits and even the FOC substitutions form the 3.5 Chaos Codex) is that the stuff you give up isn't stuff you would take anyway.

I have to give up Priests? Ratlings? Sanctioned Psykers? Ogryn? Storm Troopers? Oh no! *clutches pearls*

Thanks to Veterans, Stormies really didn't serve a purpose, and the only real lost unit was Rough Riders, and they you'd only bring if your army was built around that kind of counter-assault (I preferred the wave of bodies method - oh no, those Striking Scorpions have hit my lines... well have fun getting through 4 cheap-as-chips Heavy Bolter/Flamer squads).

I had a lot of fun with Guard bank in the olden times, before they were given a dumb name and individual squads became entire Troops choices again, whilst our leaders lost their command squads.

Industrial Insanity - My Terrain Blog
"GW really needs to understand 'Less is more' when it comes to AoS." - Wha-Mu-077

 
   
Made in us
Hurr! Ogryn Bone 'Ead!






Interesting points, and I definitely agree with the special equipment doctrine being optional per squad if you take it instead of mandatory.

I kind of wonder how one would go about salvaging some of the real bad ones, or how to make the lost units actually worth buying back. Looking at the sheets, it is hard to see many situations where I'd want to take say a Commissar or a Priest, or a Psyker, etc, especially when I could instead take something that makes the entire army overall better. Then there is Xeno Hunters, which is not that great and very specific, but retuning it too much would then make it far too good vs its specified target.

I could see for some units maybe borrowing slightly from later editions - like giving Ogryn T5 like their modern counterparts at least means they won't be hit by much instant death, but since I honestly don't know the full balance of 3rd/4th codices (I only played a small bit in 4th, and was only into Daemonhunters with inducted Guard at the time), I'm not sure what the knock down effects would be on it. Though considering the oldest book my friend has access to is 5th edition Marines, I'm sure they wouldn't mind small bumps here and there.
   
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Regular Dakkanaut




 Insectum7 wrote:
I remember locally Carapace armor was semi popular because it meant the Guard saved half of the incoming Boltedr fire rather than none. Iirc it was a little expensive per model though.


This, it made an infantry squad 80 points but being immune to the majority of the other factions basic guns was nice. The other free one close order drill was great too. It allowed you to actually hit at the same time as Space Marines and basic Eldar when initiative was still a thing.

Most of them could come back as custom regiment traits. Like:
- Sharpshooters could just be reroll 1's to hit on rapid fire and assault weapons.
- Camo-cloaks could be -1 to hit outside 12 inch range.
- Hardened Fighters reroll 1's to hit in engagement range.

Other things could come back as equipment:
- Warrior weapons should just be an option. It could actually make melee Guard a thing. Imagine Catachans with 2 attacks base, +1 from Straken and +1 from a Priest. Then also able to shoot their (admittedly bad) pistols in close combat.
   
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Longtime Dakkanaut




I think the reason giving guardsmen pistols and swords cost 2 points is that the army was never truly intended as a melee horde backed by heavy tanks. They put the option there because it was cool and then made it cost points despite this breaking the typical pattern of CCW replacements so that most armies wouldn't use it.

It's fluffy for some regiments to have it but it wouldn't be fluffy for most people to feel pressured to use it in case it turned out to be the best thing to do with infantry squads.


You'll note there isn't a doctrine to let infantry squads and armoured fist squads replace their heavy weapon with a special weapon. It'd just be pretty much the most efficient option.
   
Made in us
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Rosebuddy wrote:
I think the reason giving guardsmen pistols and swords cost 2 points is that the army was never truly intended as a melee horde backed by heavy tanks. They put the option there because it was cool and then made it cost points despite this breaking the typical pattern of CCW replacements so that most armies wouldn't use it.

It's fluffy for some regiments to have it but it wouldn't be fluffy for most people to feel pressured to use it in case it turned out to be the best thing to do with infantry squads.


You'll note there isn't a doctrine to let infantry squads and armoured fist squads replace their heavy weapon with a special weapon. It'd just be pretty much the most efficient option.


Yes it changes them up somewhat, but even before upgrades it boosts the cost of the unit for 18 points, and piling on more doctrines to make the unit actually effective in melee will make the unit very expensive very fast. This also all comes with a sacrifice of range and number of shots at range, even though rapid fire was far weaker in 3rd/4th than later editions, it still gave the lasgun some extra oomph compared to a laspistol.

At 0 points it is a tradeoff - you are sacrificing reach and number of shots for slightly better melee capability. Honestly probably makes the Infantry slightly weaker overall, but it gives you something. At 2 points a model though it is a straight up nerf.

Several of the traits are better/worse than others, or slightly off by points, but Warrior Weapons just kind of takes it to a whole new level of "why" to me.
   
Made in fi
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 Strg Alt wrote:
Just read the old thread. According to an old post Jungle Fighter was supposed to be junk. Guess he always played in a city.

Jungle Fighter was indeed one of the best perks, if your terrain collection included lots of large forest terrain pieces.


Think issue was it was trait dependant on terrain and you generally don't know terrain in advance

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London

Plenty of ways of making it work now, probably with 'pick one major and 2 minor' options kind of things, with named regiments breaking the rules and being a bit special. Furhter fiddling is if the traits affect both infantry and vehicles or if you pick one for each.
   
Made in ch
Warped Arch Heretic of Chaos





in lieu of stuff like doctrines, i like the build a trait for some factions themeatically but most of them seem really weak, but a concept of restriction and stipulations works better imo.

IA13 had a decent system with the stipulations it demanded depending upon demagogue, but the overall devotion was less important than some doctrines were...

https://www.dakkadakka.com/dakkaforum/posts/list/0/766717.page
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 Daedalus81 wrote:

In the 41st millennium there is only overpriced hamberders.

 
   
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Annandale, VA

To me, just as important as giving regiments specialties was the fact that they could stack.

Which is to say that instead of just picking a special ability from a list- making all armies special in different ways- you could take cannon fodder basic Guardsmen, or you could take Vostroyans who were 50% more expensive but had 4+ saves, re-rolled 1s to hit, and were better in close combat.

It may not have been optimal from a competitive standpoint, but I liked that there was a difference in troop quality among the regiments, with some being more horde-y than others. Vostroyans were expensive to collect and I appreciated that they were worth more per man.

With Veterans back to Elites, so that taking an army of all Veterans is functionally off the table, that differentiation is pretty much gone- all Guardsmen have the same basic capabilities.
   
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London

Just as a design aside, steer clear of negatives. If there is something you can forget and it benefits you (for example this unit doubles its move but has minus -1 to hit, you might remember the first bit but forget the second), or your opponent has to remember it, leave it out. Too much room for error, innocent or otherwise.

That could mean having to change base stats. For example I might want Catachans to rely on cover, so have base 6+ save but get +2 in cover. I might forget the 6+ save bit so would have to make infantry profiles all be 6+ and make getting to 5+ a buff a regiment can take.
   
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 Valkyrie wrote:
I do miss the Doctrine system, would be nice to see some wargear ones such as CCWs or Carapace Armour.


Yeah, even if they retrned with a bit of a wink and a nudge - "hey GW I won't say say nothing if you replace 'carapace armor' with 'heavily armored fighters, add +1 to non-invulnerable save rolls' nobody needs to know" I would like it.

"I can't believe all these tryhard WAACs out there just care about winning all the time when it's supposed to be a game for fun!!!!!!! Also here's my 27 page essay on why marines are OP and Orkz should get a bunch of OP rules so I can win more games

-the_scotsman"

-ERJAK 
   
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The_Real_Chris wrote:
Just as a design aside, steer clear of negatives. If there is something you can forget and it benefits you (for example this unit doubles its move but has minus -1 to hit, you might remember the first bit but forget the second), or your opponent has to remember it, leave it out. Too much room for error, innocent or otherwise.

That could mean having to change base stats. For example I might want Catachans to rely on cover, so have base 6+ save but get +2 in cover. I might forget the 6+ save bit so would have to make infantry profiles all be 6+ and make getting to 5+ a buff a regiment can take.


That's not a commonly accepted design principle. It's more streamlined to use penalties where appropriate than to establish an edge case as the baseline. If most regiments are 5+ armor, that should be the standard. Regardless of how you write the rules, if 5 out of 6 regiments have that 'buff', then players are just as likely to forget when they play the one that doesn't.

For example, does anyone feel that Synapse- where if you're not in range, you take a penalty when shooting or charging a target other than the closest- represents a problem?
   
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That is a universal rule though explained to the opponent at the start - but even then can be forgotten about. In general the accepted principles of good design is remember things to get a boost, not remember things to get a penalty.
   
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Rules that are a penalty to you get forgotten more than rules that are a benefit.

On the topic of Synapse, I think that the current version is probably the most elegant one that we've had. There's very little to it, meaning that there's less to forget.

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"GW really needs to understand 'Less is more' when it comes to AoS." - Wha-Mu-077

 
   
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In My Lab

The_Real_Chris wrote:
Just as a design aside, steer clear of negatives. If there is something you can forget and it benefits you (for example this unit doubles its move but has minus -1 to hit, you might remember the first bit but forget the second), or your opponent has to remember it, leave it out. Too much room for error, innocent or otherwise.

That could mean having to change base stats. For example I might want Catachans to rely on cover, so have base 6+ save but get +2 in cover. I might forget the 6+ save bit so would have to make infantry profiles all be 6+ and make getting to 5+ a buff a regiment can take.
So Catachans in cover get a 4+, and others in cover get... a 4+? Good plan.

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