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Throughout all the 40k editions I know (5th to 9th), I've hated the game design of troops. Laughably weak infantry that can only really harm other laughably weak infantry, only taken because the game forces you to (compulsory troops and the need to score objectives). But if we come from the fluff perpective, troops are what a faction wages war with, its primary force carrying out the majority of tasks. Space Marines conquer worlds with tactical squads. In 'Astartes' five firstborn guys slaughter an entire ship's worth of heretics and two powerful psykers without any special weapons except for a plasma pistol. Even if we take this piece of narrative for an exaggeration or a rare case, my point still stands. For other factions, too. Eldar lack aspect warriors severely, and usually have to resort to guardians. Imperial Guard drown their enemies with basic bodies.

But okay, even if we don't want our game to be that strict of a fluff representation, we want it to be a good game. The logic is supposed to be that non-troops are the guys you call for to accomplish a specific task. Like a bunch of devs meant to destroy a heavy tank, or a jetbike squad meant to rush forward to distant objectives or to tie the enemy's ranged support in cc. And sometimes the game does something like that. The problems, though, are:

1. Almost always non-troops are better than troops. Not only in their specific roles, but generally.
2. Compulsory troops are only two units, but other slots are so numerous. (with 2 troops you buy yourself nine slots of generally better units, in 5th-7th ed).
3. You know your opponent will bring non-troops in favor of troops and increase your non-troops count to counter that.

The result is frustrating, with troops being neglected and tiresome necessities, and non-troops being the guys you actually fight with. A better game would distribute the power more evenly and wisely. What can be done to rectify this?
So one obvious thing is to limit the non-troops, either by absolute numbers (not three HS, but one, for example) or in proportion to troops. Perhaps a single slot of Elites, Fast Attack and Heavy Support for each Troop choice after the first second. This is, of course, a crude and unexciting way out.
The problem lies more in the overall weakness and uselessness of troops. A more interesting change would be to make them matter. I know at least three wargames that come closest: Warmahordes, Saga and Of Gods and Mortals (an obscure one).
I only played the 2nd ed of Warmahordes, can't speak for the current one, but 2nd edition actually provided many ways to field basic infantry guys and kick ass. So the mechanics that are involved are the ability to buff them to outrageous heights, the existence of powerful synergies (with casters and other units) and things like combined attacks, when several guys make one collective attack but with greater strength, allowing them to harm even the foes they usually struggle against.
Saga is perhaps my favorite game rules wise. In Age of Magic expansion, many units are added in addition to infantry. They cost the same points (mostly), but are balanced to be just as strong. The difference is not in general power, but in what they do best, how fast they move, what they are weak against etc.
Of Gods and Mortals simulates conflicts between gods, who field their best champions, mythical creatures and... mortals who worship them. Guess what, the last guys are not the least. In fact, the god depends upon their worshipping and you instanlty lose the game if all your mortals die.

So, what lessons can 40k learn from these games?
We need troops to be truly the backbone of our forces. If a backbone is broken, it is usually bad news. We have (or had) penalties for losing the warlord, but what about losing all your troops? They are the glue and the mainstay of your army. If a force is reduced to scattered specialed gunners and tanks, it is f-ed.
A great change would be to reduce the difference in stats and overall efficiency (quantitative changes). Some time ago we had terminators with stats of a tactical marine, but with better armor.
A qualitative change is also welcome. We may increase the range of things troops can do (well). Not only score points, but... actually take on other infantry.

I would like to see some other suggestions too. Mine are all very provisional. And of course if you think troops are fine in this game and need no changes, care to explain.

   
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As an AdMech player, the new datasheet for skitarii troops is pretty great (with all of the buffs that you can stack on 20man units - you can shoot out somthing like 80 S5, AP-2 D1 shots within 18" ignoring cover). and Kataphron Breachers still have their places - 35 points for a T5 terminator, with Thunderhammer and a decent anti-vehicle gun. with certain <forge worlds> (i.e. Lucius mainly, but some others as well) they can gain plenty of boosts to durability too, especially with <Lucius> (gain +1 save vs 1 damage weapons is great on a T5, 3W 2+/6++ model - against things like primaris boltguns they still have a 2+ save for instance). you are definatly going to see lists with plenty of AdMech troops in them going forward.

AdMech units such as Pteraxii/Serberys/Sicarians (some of the Elites/Fast Attack units) are all really specialised into doing their specific jobs and really do not want to be sticking around to hold objectives if not necessary.

Admittedly this is 2 units from a brand new codex, but there are other options like 20man necron warrior squads, or DE witches/kabalites/wracks doing plenty of damage, Heavy (or even normal) Intercessors can also do a lot of damage to unsuspecting units too. GW have just announced that Ork Boys are going up to T5 (and probably staying at around 10ppm and 30 in a squad), which is going to be interesting.

My point is, all of these are from 9th ed codexes. (although AdMech Breachers were toned down slightly form the 8th Edition codex ) so GW seem to be moving in the right direction.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/06/01 19:19:39


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I feel like this is just something to do with stuff like marines, where every non troop unit is essentially troops, lookin at you death wing. You should try looking at ork boyz. A blob of em will wipe anything from guardsmen to tanks if ya got the boss nob in there.
   
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Blinkfox wrote:
Throughout all the 40k editions I know (5th to 9th), I've hated the game design of troops. Laughably weak infantry that can only really harm other laughably weak infantry, only taken because the game forces you to (compulsory troops and the need to score objectives).

While it's true that some factions have troops that seem to be defined as simply being weaker/less killy than the more expensive non-troop options, this isn't always the case. It is very frustrating when they seem to go, "Just make this unit a more boring and crappy version of something else; they're forced to field some anyway." It's just also worth acknowledging that some armies have troops that are quite good.


The result is frustrating, with troops being neglected and tiresome necessities, and non-troops being the guys you actually fight with. A better game would distribute the power more evenly and wisely. What can be done to rectify this?
So one obvious thing is to limit the non-troops, either by absolute numbers (not three HS, but one, for example) or in proportion to troops. Perhaps a single slot of Elites, Fast Attack and Heavy Support for each Troop choice after the first second. This is, of course, a crude and unexciting way out.

So a couple things here. First of all, as you pointed out troops are sometims just "the unis in your army that are less good at their job than non-troops." For some armies that is accurate. For others, it is not. Increased compulsory troops basically just creates a bigger gap between those armies that have troops that are efficient and those armies that don't. My craftworlders, for instance, would definitely feel it if they were suddenly forced to take two or three times as many rangers and dire avenger squads instead of spending those points on something more cost effective.

Additionally, you run into the issue that what a "troop" should be for some subfactions varies quite a bit. Using craftworlders as an example again, my Iybraesil army should really be fielding banshees in place of actual troops. Iyanden should probably have a lot more wraith units than rangers and dire avengers. Saim-Hann should maybe be allowed to field wind riders in place of troops. Etc. So as an Iybraesil player, forcing me to take troops when I'd normally be spending those points on banshees is unfluffy, and it doesn't help my struggling army mechanically either.


I only played the 2nd ed of Warmahordes, can't speak for the current one, but 2nd edition actually provided many ways to field basic infantry guys and kick ass. So the mechanics that are involved are the ability to buff them to outrageous heights, the existence of powerful synergies (with casters and other units) and things like combined attacks, when several guys make one collective attack but with greater strength, allowing them to harm even the foes they usually struggle against.

I haven't played warmahordes. However, if the advantage of troops is t hat you can make them more efficient with the right combo, doesn't that risk just swapping which units in your army struggle? Like, if you created a combo that made tacticla marines better at anti-tank than eradicators, eradicators suddenly become "inefficient" and "bad" right?

Alright. So here are my suggestions:
A.) Ideally, we'd probably just get rid of different force org roles; or at least stop distinguishing troops from elites, FA, HS, etc. As discussed above, what gets labeled a "troop" is pretty arbitrary. Sometimes they're just the least lethal thing in your army; sometimes they're not. Sometimes your fluff says that they're the most numerous unit you have, but sometimes your (canon) fluff says that the bulk of your force should be made up of a non-troop. Basically, being a "troop" doesn't consistently mean anything, but does seem to sometimes get used as an excuse to make a unit "worse" than other units. So let's just get rid of mandatory "troops", balance all units for their points costs, and let people field the units that match their fluff.

B.) Acknowledging that abolishing force org roles is a big ask; an arguably more practical suggestion might be to simply make troops into the sort of units that you want to field a lot of, but not for the efficiency of their killing power. Using dire avengers as an example, I'm fine with them not being as good at killing stuff as my other aspects. Instead, I'd love for them to be the unit you want to "buddy up" with other units in your army. Let's say you let dire avengers negate enemy charges by performing a charge themselves (similar to a salamander strat) so that they could keep your dark reapers out of melee and get some use out of their shimmer shields and Defend power. Say you let them (and guardians?) auspex scan against deepstrikers without using a stratagem. Say you gave them strats or special actions or other abilities that let them do things like reducing the enemy's cover or shutting down enemy overwatch or imposing penalties on the enemy if that shoot at something other than the closest eldar unit.

All of those things could add a lot of tactical flexibility to your army and make you want to field the units with those abilities, but none of those abilities directly increase the killing power of the troops themselves. Troops become supports. Enablers. The glue holding the army together (as you mentioned). Not because the army lacks killing power without them but because it has so much better support for its heavy hitters with them.

Again, some possible troop support abilities off the top of my head:
* Intercept/counter charge enemy chargers.
* Overwatch on behalf of allied units for free (sort of like Tau overwatch).
* Auspex scan deepstrikers.
* 12" no-deepstrike bubble ala infiltrators.
* Start the game "infiltrated" onto objectives in no man's land to facilitate scoring.
* Actions to "pin down" enemies to prevent them from overwatching.
* Actions to "flush out" enemies to deny them the benefits of light/dense cover for the rest of the phase.
* Actions to "pin down" a specific enemy model to impose a to-hit penalty to a single model in the enemy unit.
* Flexible "firing modes" with common weapons that other units with those weapons might not possess. I'm picturing somethng like bolter discipline, but as a troops-only thing, or possibly letting troops treat bolters as Assault 2 weapons or letting them ignore the LoSir! rule if t hey hold still similar to how Raptors used to be able to treat their bolters like sniper rifles. Ideally you'd avoid making this a raw lethality boost; the idea is to make the troops in your army feel like they can shift to chip in against a variety of targets based on which firing mode they're using that turn.
* Actions to "dig in" and give the unit the benefits of light and heavy cover until they move.
* Actions to "burn" terrain giving it the dense or maybe even obscuring rules.

Giving troops that aren't already very points-efficient access to a few of these would open up a lot of uses for those units on the table, again hopefully without simply making them more lethal. My wyches are probably killy enough to not really need these, but having my storm guardians with flamers burn a terrain feature to protect their war walker friends? Yes please. Dire Avengers that can use their Defensive Tactics rule to semi-efficiently overwatch the dudes charging my reapers? And then maybe charging the enemy unit before they can charge my reapers? Awesome.
   
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Thanks Wyldhunt for such a generous post!
Your suggestions are interesting and vibrant, but they do require rebuilding the basic rules of the game (if we implement them in the game right now as-is, we run into a greater bloat of unconnected modifiers and rules). Which is, I believe, the way to go if we want a better warhammer.
Trashing battlefield roles is a good idea, but "balance all units for their points costs, and let people field the units that match their fluff" is way too much freedom and reliance on people playing for fluff. The game needs to be strategic, to provide a set of restrictions and guidelines that you navigate across to build an effective force.
What we want to get rid is hypothetical situations of 'I take two squads of cultists just to field three heldrakes'. So if you want to have an aerial force, you have it, without this stupid anchor of cultist fodder. AND on the other sie you can field a horde of cultists supported by dark apostles and it would still see play.
An all-bike marine force? Yes! An all-banshee force for Eldar? Why not!
BUT they should come with their restrictions, not to let players have land raiders (e.g.) in an all-bike force, because if you let players do this, they will.
A model I really like is rites of war from HH. We could implement it in a stricter form, where it is not a modification of FOC but a separate self-sufficient set of rules to assemble a themed army.
That doesn't mean we abolish comined arms, too.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/06/02 16:17:43


 
   
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Blinkfox wrote:
Throughout all the 40k editions I know (5th to 9th), I've hated the game design of troops. Laughably weak infantry that can only really harm other laughably weak infantry, only taken because the game forces you to (compulsory troops and the need to score objectives).
In my experience, untrue for Drukhari, AdMech, Orks, Necrons, Daemons...

I think there are two different elements worth identifying here. First is the split between, uh, "impact" units and "holder" units. Plague Marines, for example, aren't amazing "impact" units for their cost; they don't have a dramatic kill rate or amazing offensive abilities. They're great "holder" units, though, capable of soaking up fire, returning some shots, and holding objectives well for their cost. That doesn't make them less valuable or even less interesting than "impact" units, just less dramatic. They're your bread and butter, just not your jam.

Second is the prevalence in some armies of Troop+ units. There's no replacement for Kabalites, Wracks, or Wyches in Drukhari. There's no "better Hormagaunts" in Tyranids. If you want units that fill these distinct roles, you have to go to the original flavour in Troops. Space Marines, Battle Sisters, Chaos Marines, Militarum, etc, have units that are literally just their core, iconic troops units but Better - whether that's a straight upgrade, with Veterans, or better in specialised ways like Retributors or Special Weapons Squads.
   
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A model I really like is rites of war from HH. We could implement it in a stricter form, where it is not a modification of FOC but a separate self-sufficient set of rules to assemble a themed army.
That doesn't mean we abolish comined arms, too.

I do like the HH approach quite a bit. My only concerns there are:
A.) There's a good chance a given player's army wouldn't get a set of "theme rules." Iybraesil, for instance, is a pretty minor craftworld that didn't get its own chapter tactics in the eldar codex. I wouldn't be surprised if the "all banshees all the time" army theme didn't make it into whatever document contained the theme rules. And then you have the perfectly valid custom subfactions out there. Even if rules for fielding lots of banshees made it into a document, would the guy who loves war walkers be as lucky? Or the guy who wants to field a scourge-themed drukhari army? Obviously this can be mitigated by just having lots of themes or relatively flexible themes, but it's a consideration.

B.) In a GW product, I'd be a little worried that the execution of an army theme wouldn't actually match a given army's fluff. The chapter tactics in the eldar codex actively encourage unfluffy options or better support different craftworlds than the ones they're assigned to, so I worry about something like that continuing on into hypothetical theme rules. But that's also an avoidable issue.

Blinkfox wrote:
Thanks Wyldhunt for such a generous post!
Your suggestions are interesting and vibrant, but they do require rebuilding the basic rules of the game (if we implement them in the game right now as-is, we run into a greater bloat of unconnected modifiers and rules). Which is, I believe, the way to go if we want a better warhammer.

There's probably a healthy middle-ground that could be aimed for. Obviously I wouldn't want all of the items I listed in my post to be applied to avengers, for instance, but you could turn 1 or 2 of them into a special rule and another into a stratagem pretty easily. Or have a list of "common special abilities" in the main rulebook, a couple faction-unique ones listed in your codex, and then list which of those abilities a given troop has access to on its datasheet.

I feel like we could ditch some of the raw power boost strats and some of the hyper-niche strats to make room for something along these lines.


Trashing battlefield roles is a good idea, but "balance all units for their points costs, and let people field the units that match their fluff" is way too much freedom and reliance on people playing for fluff. The game needs to be strategic, to provide a set of restrictions and guidelines that you navigate across to build an effective force.
What we want to get rid is hypothetical situations of 'I take two squads of cultists just to field three heldrakes'. So if you want to have an aerial force, you have it, without this stupid anchor of cultist fodder. AND on the other sie you can field a horde of cultists supported by dark apostles and it would still see play.
An all-bike marine force? Yes! An all-banshee force for Eldar? Why not!
BUT they should come with their restrictions, not to let players have land raiders (e.g.) in an all-bike force, because if you let players do this, they will.

Partially agree. I get, for instance, why you wouldn't want me to field an all-tank force of craftworlders even though I could probably argue that it would be perfectly fluffy for an Il-Kaithe force to do so. However, I believe the reason you wouldn't want to face such a list has to do with the skew nature of such a list rather than which units are considered "troops." And the solution to that is probably some big undertaking (probably outside the scope of this thread) involving a system for measuring and handling the extent to which a list is a "skew" list.

So like, lists that are all bikes, all land raiders, or all bikes + land raiders don't seem like a problem from a fluff angle. It sort of sounds like a Storm Wardens list or a list for a chapter obsessed with mechanized assaults. But mechanically, I don't love the idea of facing a wall of land raiders. But at that point, the problem doesn't involve policing fluff or whether or not some units are "troops." The problem is a lack of ways to handle the skew.

Did I communicate that well? I feel like I'm rambling.



Automatically Appended Next Post:
RevlidRas wrote:
Blinkfox wrote:
Throughout all the 40k editions I know (5th to 9th), I've hated the game design of troops. Laughably weak infantry that can only really harm other laughably weak infantry, only taken because the game forces you to (compulsory troops and the need to score objectives).
In my experience, untrue for Drukhari, AdMech, Orks, Necrons, Daemons...

I think there are two different elements worth identifying here. First is the split between, uh, "impact" units and "holder" units. Plague Marines, for example, aren't amazing "impact" units for their cost; they don't have a dramatic kill rate or amazing offensive abilities. They're great "holder" units, though, capable of soaking up fire, returning some shots, and holding objectives well for their cost. That doesn't make them less valuable or even less interesting than "impact" units, just less dramatic. They're your bread and butter, just not your jam.

I'd argue that some units are neither impact nor holder units though. And further, I'd argue that maybe some of them shouldn't be. Going back to my dire avengers, I don't necessarily want them to be better at killing their preferred target (infantry) than warp spiders and swooping hawks, but I also don't want them to be chunky shield boys that can turtle up on an objective and weather incoming fire as well as marines. Thus why I like the idea of making them "support" units rather than impact or holder units.


Second is the prevalence in some armies of Troop+ units. There's no replacement for Kabalites, Wracks, or Wyches in Drukhari. There's no "better Hormagaunts" in Tyranids. If you want units that fill these distinct roles, you have to go to the original flavour in Troops. Space Marines, Battle Sisters, Chaos Marines, Militarum, etc, have units that are literally just their core, iconic troops units but Better - whether that's a straight upgrade, with Veterans, or better in specialised ways like Retributors or Special Weapons Squads.

Well, there used to be trueborn and blood brides as separate datasheets, but I mostly agree with you here. However, you're kind of just describing units that don't really have competition in their roles or else are better in their roles than non-troop alternatives. When kabalites were mostly just seen as a source of firepower, blasterborn and scourges were absolutely seen as good enough to make kabalites redundant. If raveners got a big buff and suddenly did the "fast melee unit" thing better than genestealers and hormagaunts, you might see those units become redundant. Again, I'm rambling at this point. I just wanted to point out that there's probably merit to finding ways to make units useful without necessarily making them the only unit with a given offensive or defensive profile. Raveners, for instance, could lean into their role as a delivery system for other units, thus giving them a niche even if genestealers or warriors do their offense more efficiently.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/06/02 17:23:07


 
   
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Nothing saying you can't just agree with an opponent to bring particular troop-heavy armies to a game. It's like replaying the Battle of Waterloo, in that you know what the other guy is bringing and you're hoping of doing something interesting in the game rather than playing 'gotcha' with army lists.

   
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I feel that troops/core/whatever the compulsory choice is should never be an excuse to make them less effective. I think the compulsory choices should be generic to create a baseline effect of well rounded forces (given the army's overall theme) that can be subsequently specialized with specialists or just buffed out with more troops to equal effect. The idea is both thematic, as the OP established, and mechanical to restrict/prevent extreme skew lists. Such skew lists tend to be extremely effective or extremely ineffective in any given match which works for a minority but is unhealthy for a wargame overall. If someone does want to run an every specialized list it should come with an appropriate cost.

How much the current reality reflects that, well...

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Back in the old days, Troops units had slightly less expensive upgrades than specialized units. So while a Battle Sister, Retributor, and Dominion all had the same points cost per model, special weapons on Battle Sisters were cheaper than on Dominions. This encouraged the use of Battle Sisters with special weapons while adding cost to the saturation you get from using Dominions.

Done well, such a use of points could help bridge the gap between the unit types.
   
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Honestly, troops ranged often in the don't field if not necessary, because in general certain dexes were utter shitjobs.

Take CSM 4th f.e. why take more than the minimum in CSM, there's no reason too.

Otoh you had armies that acutally wanted to field their troops because they did something particulary well.

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 NinthMusketeer wrote:
I feel that troops/core/whatever the compulsory choice is should never be an excuse to make them less effective. I think the compulsory choices should be generic to create a baseline effect of well rounded forces (given the army's overall theme) that can be subsequently specialized with specialists or just buffed out with more troops to equal effect.


I don't entirely agree. Some units that currently are troops aren't what I would call "generic." Hormagaunts and genestealers are pretty heavily focused on being fast moving melee units, with one being more of a tarpit while the other is more killy. I don't think of them as being generic all-rounders the way tactical marines or guardsmen are. Eldar rangers and tau breachers have some relatively specific targets they want to go after.

You could probably make the argument that this means some troops shouldn't be troops. But I take it to mean that the compulsory choices shouldn't be compulsory. Banshees are specialized. Banshees aren't troops. Iybraesil fluff says banshees do make up the core of that craftworld's forces. Ditto wraithguard for Iyanden. Ditto windriders for Saim-Hann. I'm all for ways to mitigate skew, but I don't think that a system where you're required to take X amount of certain units regardless of your fluff is the ideal way to go. I'd rather see rules that let you field what you want but have something in place to cut down on extreme skew. "Troops" should just be units that you actively want to take a lot of because of their own merits possibly including their ability to boost and support your non-troops.

I should field multiple squads of guardians and avengers because their mechanics make me want to; not because the force org chart says I have to. If the crunch of a given troop unit don't actually incentivize me to make them the backbone of my army, then it could probably be argued that there's some fluff/crunch disparity going on there.

Also, I'd point out that even if a unit is theoretically capable of fulfilling a variety of roles, in practice most "versatile" troops end up being specialized. Tactical marines can take both anti-infantry and anti-tank special weapons, but you usually don't mix and match. If you gave one guy a flamer, you're probably giving the sergeant a combi-flamer rather than a combi-melta. And their heavy weapon gun probably isn't fielding a lascannon unless you intend to combat squad him off into a unit that will remain stationary all game (specializing in a static fire role while the flamers specialize in a more forward ground-taking role.)
   
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Part of the problem is that the "troops should be used to accomplish things" is WWI tactics in space, and those tactics are bad for anyone who would be driven in the setting to use elite strike forces (like the Eldar, or *cough* Space Marines).

The 'objective secured' (or whatever it's called) rule where troop units get priority when claiming an objective is a pretty good mechanic for giving players a good reason to take troop units. But a bunch of units that are supposed to be "these troops have a lot of experience, so they graduated into elites" should really still have that same ability.

But, again, it goes back to the tactics problem. So you've got a Dark Eldar raiding force or a CSM pirate force, which you're going to expect to have a lot of elites and fast attack units in it. That's the sort of force that the background even describes as performing hit-and-run raids where they attack, steal a bunch of supplies and take prisoners, and then leave. Their objectives aren't to take ground, so they don't want to play the WWI "use troops to hold territory" game.

And that's what causes the problem. You're just going to make people unhappy if you try to make the 'elite strike force' players play the 'bring troops to camp objectives' game. The better outcome would be trying to figure out some way of making 'elite strike force' and 'bring troops to camp objectives' equally competing strategies (with various codexes naturally disposed more to one or the other).

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/06/05 09:44:38


 
   
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9th introduced this really interesting concept where only CORE units received bonuses and buffs from other units. And then they completely misused it in implementation by either handing it out to everything or nothing that made any damn sense.

They could have just made all troop core and basically nothing else (with very few exceptions based on sub faction/warlord choices) and then this would have been handled.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/06/07 00:06:54



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 Lance845 wrote:
9th introduced this really interesting concept where only CORE units received bonuses and buffs from other units. And then they completely misused it in implementation by either handing it out to everything or nothing that made any damn sense.

They could have just made all troop core and basically nothing else (with very few exceptions based on sub faction/warlord choices) and then this would have been handled.


This, I'm really hoping when Guards 9th edition codex comes out their core units is incredibly simple. It should be:

- All non-character and non-titanic Regiment units are considered core. That means no more characters ordering themselves. Which GW seems to want to avoid.

It'd be nice if GW allow baneblades to get regiment traits without paying CP, instead they could change that Tank Ace trait to making it core.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/06/07 01:17:04


 
   
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 Lance845 wrote:
9th introduced this really interesting concept where only CORE units received bonuses and buffs from other units. And then they completely misused it in implementation by either handing it out to everything or nothing that made any damn sense.

They could have just made all troop core and basically nothing else (with very few exceptions based on sub faction/warlord choices) and then this would have been handled.


I don't know. Restricting powerful force multipliers to only apply to troop units might solve the problem of troops feeling like less efficient taxes compared to non-troops, but that seems like the only issue it solves. You'd still have problems like...

A.) Players being punished for not fielding certain semi-mandatory units in their army even though their fluff says they shouldn't have to (see: Iyanden, Iybraesil, and Saim-Hann).
B.) Troops that are actually already pretty good (harlequin troupes spring to mind) don't really need this relative boost, and you risk making already less-desirable options even worse. Ex: you could prevent a shadowseer's auras from ever working on a void weaver (the least popular unit in that codex) while still allowing those auras to work on one of the most popular units (the troupes.)
C.) Some units would still lack niches. Say you make it so that the buffs that can be applied to tactical marines functionally make them about as good at clearing infantry as your best non-troop infantry clearers. Tactical marines would not longer be less killy versions of that non-troop unit, but both units would be competing to fill that niche in your army.

Leaning into the core keyword mechanic definitely has merit, but I'm not sure it would address issues A, B, and C. Part of the reason I like the idea of giving more troops support roles is that it theoretically addresses the "tax" issue as well as items A and C and doesn't run into problem B.

Tax Issue. ) Theoretically, troops redesigned to be effeciient supports are no longer a tax because they're efficient at a useful job in your army.
A.) By no longer making troops mandatory to avoid paying CP, you allow players to play flavorful armies without awkwardly shoving a troop unit that doesn't necessarily fit their theme in.
B.) Troops that are already good at a job probably don't need to be redesigned. It's okay to let some troops be relatively specialized and killy instead of being supports (see: genestealers and harlequin troupes). Because we're not removing buffs from other units, we don't have to worry about nerfing units that don't deserve it.
C.) If you're redesigning units to act in a support role, you're probably not stepping on the toes of other units in your faction so long as you don't create redundant forms of support. If I gave dire avengers the ability to shut down overwatch, I'd be stepping on howling banshees' toes.

Not that my approach is flawless. Getting rid of the mandatory troop tax would make skew lists more of a thing unless you implemented some rule to prevent it. Although how much the skew would be exacerbated kind of depends on the faction. The minimum troop tax for a guard batallion is what? 150 points? Or only 50 if you're somehow building your list around a patrol?
   
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the problem with troops is that they dont really get any amazing cover bonuses for being in cover. You should have to use troops to root out troops from buildings and what not.

The counter to troops should be other troops/heavy infantry.

Right now the game is basically just blast each other off the table with volume of dice, and no great advantage given to any strategic use of terrain besides a tiny -1 or some nonsense to hit.
   
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warpedpig wrote:
the problem with troops is that they dont really get any amazing cover bonuses for being in cover. You should have to use troops to root out troops from buildings and what not.

The counter to troops should be other troops/heavy infantry.


I feel like you've got a lot of false assumptions there. Kabalite warriors and blood letters shouldn't be known for hunkering down in cover. An eldar ranger probably shouldn't be better at killing enemy troops than a tank with dedicated anti-infantry firepower. A hell hound should probably be better at clearing ork boys than a squad of meltagun scions.

The term "troop" in 40k is kind of meaningless. What meaning it has is tied to the battlefield role rules/detachment slots. What units are and are not troops is pretty arbitrary. So saying that all troops should be good at X and should counter Y feels really off to me.
   
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Getting into the """realism""" of 40k, eldar don't have unlimited aspect warriors, space marines are a tiny part of the imperium, etc.

So there aren't endless marines, aspect warriors, etc.

Also in real military history, you need troops. "Boots on the ground" is the modern term. Aircraft can't really hold ground, troops do. We dominated the sky at iwo jima and okinowa but troops had to go in to dig the japanese out to take the islands.

So yes, poor blood infantry, the gropos, you still need them in war and 40k goes with that.

Also you could argue that marines troops are just troops in a marine army, in the IG your greenest mariner scout would be elite, and the basic bolter boy would be a fething commando.






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 Matt Swain wrote:
Getting into the """realism""" of 40k,

Uh oh... ;D


... eldar don't have unlimited aspect warriors, space marines are a tiny part of the imperium, etc.

So there aren't endless marines, aspect warriors, etc.

Sounds like a pretty good reason for forces on the scale of a 40k game to sometimes be composed entirely of non-troops. My eldar don't have infinite guardians. So rather than getting thirty of them killed in every skirmish, big chunks of the overall army are composed entirely of aspect warriors and heavy vehicles that can hit hard, suffer minimal casualties, and leave.


Also in real military history, you need troops. "Boots on the ground" is the modern term. Aircraft can't really hold ground, troops do. We dominated the sky at iwo jima and okinowa but troops had to go in to dig the japanese out to take the islands.

Well, sticking to my eldar-centric perspective, eldar generally don't hold ground at all unless it's unavoidable. Sure, we might need to clear some guardsmen out of a structure, but we're just as likely to use scorpions and banshees for that as guardians and avengers. And once we've cleared the building and blown up the big turret on top, we're probably packing up and leaving rather than stationing a static defensive force. That goes double for drukhari and their semi-mandatory pirate boat transports.


Also you could argue that marines troops are just troops in a marine army, in the IG your greenest mariner scout would be elite, and the basic bolter boy would be a fething commando.

To me, this illustrates how arbitrary the designation of troop vs non-troop is. What does it actually mean to be a "troop?" Why is it possible for a custodes to be one? And given that we have examples of some armies using units that aren't "troops" as the core of their army (Death Wing, Iyanden, Saim-Hann, etc.), why should people playing those armies be stuck taking them?

* What is the mechanical purpose of requiring players to field at least one of several specific units to avoid losing CP?
* Why is the minimum troop tax dramatically higher for some factions than others? (Compare a minimum custodes troop unit cost to a bare bones squad of guardsmen or kabalites.)
* If your answer to either of the last two bullet points involved a lore explanation, how well does that explanation fit armies that are known for using non-troops as the heart of their army rather than troops?
   
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Wyldhunt wrote:
 Matt Swain wrote:
Getting into the """realism""" of 40k,

Uh oh... ;D


... eldar don't have unlimited aspect warriors, space marines are a tiny part of the imperium, etc.

So there aren't endless marines, aspect warriors, etc.

Sounds like a pretty good reason for forces on the scale of a 40k game to sometimes be composed entirely of non-troops. My eldar don't have infinite guardians. So rather than getting thirty of them killed in every skirmish, big chunks of the overall army are composed entirely of aspect warriors and heavy vehicles that can hit hard, suffer minimal casualties, and leave.


Also in real military history, you need troops. "Boots on the ground" is the modern term. Aircraft can't really hold ground, troops do. We dominated the sky at iwo jima and okinowa but troops had to go in to dig the japanese out to take the islands.

Well, sticking to my eldar-centric perspective, eldar generally don't hold ground at all unless it's unavoidable. Sure, we might need to clear some guardsmen out of a structure, but we're just as likely to use scorpions and banshees for that as guardians and avengers. And once we've cleared the building and blown up the big turret on top, we're probably packing up and leaving rather than stationing a static defensive force. That goes double for drukhari and their semi-mandatory pirate boat transports.


Also you could argue that marines troops are just troops in a marine army, in the IG your greenest mariner scout would be elite, and the basic bolter boy would be a fething commando.

To me, this illustrates how arbitrary the designation of troop vs non-troop is. What does it actually mean to be a "troop?" Why is it possible for a custodes to be one? And given that we have examples of some armies using units that aren't "troops" as the core of their army (Death Wing, Iyanden, Saim-Hann, etc.), why should people playing those armies be stuck taking them?

* What is the mechanical purpose of requiring players to field at least one of several specific units to avoid losing CP?
* Why is the minimum troop tax dramatically higher for some factions than others? (Compare a minimum custodes troop unit cost to a bare bones squad of guardsmen or kabalites.)
* If your answer to either of the last two bullet points involved a lore explanation, how well does that explanation fit armies that are known for using non-troops as the heart of their army rather than troops?


Well, again, the game is a game and gw tries to keep the WAACoffs from making ridiculous lists just to WAAC. Also let's face it gw's rules are written to sell more models, not be balanced and playable, let alone sensible.

As to in game justification or necessity for troops, there are some good and bad ones. The imperium probably uses troops like the romans used legionnaires. When they're not fighting, they're garrisoning or building.

Also, some races may have non game and to us nonsensical reasons for troops.

Let's start with your eldar. Why do they have guardian squads? Because the ancient eldar let machines do all their work for them and became decadent, hedonistic, worthless and finally a big bowl of frosted soul flakes for slaanesh to pig out on, that's why. Eldar could field drone armies like the tau, they don't because they believe they must do things for themselves to make their lives matter to them and avoid becoming like their ancestor who created slaanesh. Guardins "die", (but remember a casualty in 40k does not mean dead, just out of the fight.) but the race goes on.

imperial guard: Humans are cheap, dirt cheap, mass produced by unpaid labor, and sometimes you just need some population control. Gotta keep them numbers manageable! A few hundred million guardsmen a year acts as a population control system. Also, to get grim dark i could see a planet being taken that was habitable but needed some fertilizer to make farming viable, so send in a few million guardsmen to be killed and their bodies make the cheapest most economical and effective fertilizer available! An otherwise habitable world with poor soil could be made to blossom with as few as a couple hundred million guardsmen corpses, and it's cheaper that any other source of soil enrichment material! Hell, maybe they're all gassed or suffocated in transit, the bodies dumped in a fertilizer processor and their homeworlds hear of how they valiantly fought and died saving humanity from orks, tyranids, etc. Yay guardsmen! (Wow, that was so cynical it's almost too much even for me... )

Orks; orks luvs a fight, so send in as many as yer can! Fightin' makes da ladz 'appy, and makes 'em git bigga an' stronga too! Da best way ta fight is to ship in as many o' da ladz as yer can, gives 'em a proppa chance ta get bigga ans stronga, gets rid o da weak gitz what needz to go back ta gork n mork and keepz em all 'appy! Mind yer, da only 'appy ork iz a fightin' ork!

Dark Eldar: It weeds out the weak, gives the strong a chance to prove themselves and advance, and gives them all pleasure in killing and inflicting pain on lesser races. Not too unlike the orks perhaps. Just a lot more pretentious.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2021/06/11 06:02:14


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the ancient eldar let machines do all their work for them and became decadent, hedonistic, worthless and finally a big bowl of frosted soul flakes for slaanesh to pig out on, that's why. Eldar could field drone armies like the tau, they don't because they believe they must do things for themselves to make their lives matter to them and avoid becoming like their ancestor who created slaanesh. Guardins "die", (but remember a casualty in 40k does not mean dead, just out of the fight.) but the race goes on.


This is the smart thing that’s been said in this thread.

I think it’s really relevant to the topic and that it describes how infantry type troops have to have enough agency to do their jobs.
   
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@Matt Swain:
Apologies, but I'm not clear on what point you're trying to make. I don't think anyone is saying that guardians and guardsmen don't exist in the lore or that they shouldn't have rules on the tabletop. What I'm trying to say is:

* Classifying some units as "troops" in game terms is pointless because what is and isn't a troop is so arbitrary.
* Being a "troop" shouldn't be an excuse to give a unit inefficient (read: low-powered) rules. All units should be able to fill a niche even if that niche isn't being lethal for your points.
* Forcing players to take a troop tax doesn't really improve game balance because the cost, efficiency, and nature of troops varies so much between factions.
* Forcing players to take a troop tax can actively make it more difficult to field certain thematic armies. A Saim-Hann player that wants to field jetbikers instead of dire avengers/guardians/rangers has to either pay CP for an Outrider detachment or else spend points on avengers/guardians/rangers that don't necessarily support his army theme and may be considered slightly underpowered. And he has to pay a few points more to do so than a guard player in a similar situation would have to because the minimum cost of craftworld troops is higher than the minimum cost for IG troops (albeit only slightly now that guardsmen are 5 points each.)
   
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I should caveat my earlier statement; I feel that certain things should change what is considered troops in order to open up fluffy lists (and because what's generic/common for one army mat be different from others). The Craftworld which runs lots of banshees should have banshee troops, and so on. Terminators may be far from a generic baseline, but if the army is a Deathwing strike force they absolutely are. And there should of course be costs associated. It is something we lost in 8th edition and I wish they would bring it back.

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 Matt Swain wrote:
Getting into the """realism""" of 40k, eldar don't have unlimited aspect warriors, space marines are a tiny part of the imperium, etc.

So there aren't endless marines, aspect warriors, etc.

Also in real military history, you need troops. "Boots on the ground" is the modern term. Aircraft can't really hold ground, troops do. We dominated the sky at iwo jima and okinowa but troops had to go in to dig the japanese out to take the islands.

So yes, poor blood infantry, the gropos, you still need them in war and 40k goes with that.

Also you could argue that marines troops are just troops in a marine army, in the IG your greenest mariner scout would be elite, and the basic bolter boy would be a fething commando.


If we go by this then 99% of all players should be playing factions like the Astra Militarum, Orks, Tyranids/GSC, and Renegades & Heretics (who no longer exist as a playable army).

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/06/14 01:41:47


 
   
 
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