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Made in us
Regular Dakkanaut





Beaverton OR


Greetings everyone,

So I have something of a rules challenge for everyone here. I want to strip down 9th ed as much as possible while keeping the "flavor" of 40k. This idea started with my reading of some of the threads about rules bloat, excessive rolling, and the "simpler" design philosophy of 9th as opposed to 8th. Eventually, I started to wonder: what CAN we get rid of to smooth things along and keep the core experience mostly the same?

So, some criteria:

1) Please don't abuse others ideas or their posts. Please, just don't do it. Disagreeing is fine, but keep it civil.

2) Let's keep it simple! Radical changes are great, but lets not try to introduce: "If your T value is a quarter of the combined S hits divided by the average roll of your armor saves you remove X wounds +/-1 if your leadership is either above or below 8"... That sort of thing just gets too confusing too quickly, and even if it's a great idea, it's not the spirit of this little challenge.

3) Try to keep the "flavor" and try to keep SOME nuance. I'm talking about things that most people think are cool or interesting, like "Deathwatch" and their special ammo types or plasma overheating (obviously you can disagree with these particulars, but hopefully you get the idea). Basically, If we simplify too much we risk becoming a very generic wargame, and not the interesting and varied experience we all love. That would probably be more balanced, but in my opinion: just not as much fun.

Aside from that: go nuts!

(I will probably add some of my own ideas later if others seem interested in this thread.)
   
Made in us
Longtime Dakkanaut




leerm02 wrote:

...and the "simpler" design philosophy of 9th as opposed to 8th.

Wait, 9th is considered simpler than 8th? 9th has plenty of things going for it, but I tend to think of it as slightly more complicated than 8th. A lot of its advantages over 8th involve expanding on things that were slightly too simplified from 7th to 8th (like cover.)

Sticking to the main rulebook and factions I sort of kind of know...
GENERAL
* More or less ditch detachments. There are several ideas in the detachment thread that are simpler than and preferable to the current system.
* Maybe turn advancing into a flat movement boost rather than a die roll. Rolling a 1 on an advance roll sucks. If automatically adding 6 to movement is too much, make it a flat bonus value like 4". You could even give each unit an "Advance" stat, but that's probably not necessary.
* The secondary objective system is a neat idea, but not a perfect one. Some armies can score certain objectives way easier than others. Some armies give up certain objectives really easily. Deciding your objectives before the game creates bookkeeping. You could probably consolidate the concept down to having a single (possibly multi-part) secondary objective so that players aren't deciding on and tracking three secondaries each game.
* Sort of kind of get rid of warlord traits. I actually love these as a way to give some character to HQs, but only having 1 unless you jump through hoops seems like an awkward way to achieve the desired outcome. Just turn these into upgrades you can choose to put on any number of characters, or turn them into alternative abilities ala harlequin characters/exarchs.
* Relics could just be normal wargear that cost points and that you can't take more than one of each kind in your army. This would actually probably result in all those relic pistols seeing more use than they do now.

MARINES
* Ditch doctrines. They made sense when they acted as a bribe to not take a loyal 32 detachment. Now they're just unnecessary, slightly book-keepy bonuses that generally up the lethality of an arguably too-lethal game. Same goes for all the similar mechanics currently possessed by other factions. I wouldn't mind seeing some of them streamlined into stratagems or simpler army-wide rules, but they just feel like bloat at the moment.
* Ditch combat squads. Purely because I've almost never seen the rule used.
* Maybe consolidate a bunch of datasheets. Like, assault and shooty terminators can probably both just be "terminators." Vanguard vets can probably be turned into a CP upgrade for assault marines (who would probably not be broken if they gained vanguard vet weapon options.) Etc.
* Maybe consolidate down a bunch of weapon profiles while we're at it. I know that some people go nuts over having every bit of bolter and armour customization represented mechanically, but the sheer number of bolter types out there is a real eye-roller for those who don't play marines.

DRUKHARI
* Basically remove Power From Pain. No 'dex has recaptured the visceral feel it had when introduced in 5th edition. Its current version does almost nothing for kabal units, and losing it by taking non-drukhari allies causes serious design problems for coven units (and milder problems for other units). Instead, just break up the more useful abilities into army-wide rules akin to Blade Artists and apply them to the units that need them. So coven units would have their invul saves. Wyches would have advance + charge, and the other benefits could honestly probably be forgotten.
* I know I just used it as an example, but we can probably just get rid of Blade Artists too. It splits up your opponent's save pools for the sake of a pretty minor lethality buff in a game that is arguably too lethal.
* The drukhari book is full of warlord traits and not-quite-warlord-traits and ways to unlock special warlord traits and stratagems for granting additional warlord traits...Feels like a really complicated way of giving characterful rules to drukhari HQs. Instead of jumping through all those hoops, just make a list of special abilities that drukhari HQs can replace their default special ability with in the same fashion that harlequin characters and exarchs can swap out their default abilities. So instead of having a reroll aura, my archon can opt to fight twice in the fight phase once per game or make an enemy swing last via Ancient Evil. I'd even go so far as to make the faction-specific warlord traits into options on this list. Then just create a single, conventional list of actual warlord traits. No jumping through wonky hoops. Just flavorful options that take the slot of arguably less fluffy reroll and toughness boost auras.
* Ditch the triple patrol wonkyness we have going on. Just let all drukhari detachments regardless of composition pick 1 kabal obsession, 1 cult obsession, and 1 coven obsession. Or heck. Just treat us like every other army and give us generic chapter tactics that can benefit units from all three subfactions. The nod to the rich culture of the drukhari has been nice, but I feel it's generally proven to be more to our detriment than our advantage. I miss being able to have my haemonculus buffing my wyches.

CRAFTWORLDERS
* I wouldn't mind switching warlock powers back to always-on buffs that don't require a psychic test to activate. This would probably require toning down a few of the powers, but I'm kind of okay with that. You could let people roll against a static value of X to Deny the Witch if you really wanted to . If successful, the power is inactivated until your next psychic phase at which point it automatically reactivates.
* A few units could actually benefit from having their datasheets consolidated. Merging wraith guard/blades together would create new, interesting applications for the unit. Ditto storm guardians and guardian defenders.
   
Made in us
Gore-Soaked Lunatic Witchhunter







leerm02 wrote:
...So I have something of a rules challenge for everyone here. I want to strip down 9th ed as much as possible while keeping the "flavor" of 40k. This idea started with my reading of some of the threads about rules bloat, excessive rolling, and the "simpler" design philosophy of 9th as opposed to 8th. Eventually, I started to wonder: what CAN we get rid of to smooth things along and keep the core experience mostly the same?...


I'm going to throw a question back at you here: How much of 9e do you want to keep? Most of my own homebrew projects focus on making use of a version of the core rules I liked rather than trying to disentangle the mess that is 9th, but I don't want to start suggesting ways to back-port stuff to 4e if there are things you really like about 9th and want to hold onto.

Balanced Game: Noun. A game in which all options and choices are worth using.
Homebrew oldhammer project: https://www.dakkadakka.com/dakkaforum/posts/list/790996.page#10896267
Meridian: Necromunda-based 40k skirmish: https://www.dakkadakka.com/dakkaforum/posts/list/795374.page 
   
Made in gb
Lord of the Fleet






London

General Changes
- Characters can join squads again. The main issues that were caused by this were more to do with 7th in general, such as Snap Shots, etc. Now that they're gone I don't see any reason why characters can't join squads, and their previous aura abilities now only affect that unit.
- Mortal Wounds are made a lot less common. Instead we have "Environmental effects" which have a weapon profile and are based on what is actually happening. Eg: A vehicle explosion would cause D6 hits at a strength equal to the vehicle's toughness.
- Make upgrading units much simpler, none of this "only what comes in the box" crap we've seen with DG and Skitarii.
- Bring back allies with no major downside. Now we have the CP cost for additional detachments we shouldn't have to give up other rules if we want, say a squad of Deathwatch in our Guard army.


Marines
- Consolidate the various characters into one datasheet for each. Eg; Lieutenants, Phobos Lieutenants and Primaris Lieutenants are all just one sheet with the different statlines present.
- Get rid of doctrines.
- Reduce all Primaris weapons by a point of Ap, so Ap-1 becomes Ap0. We don't need anymore Primaris superweapons.
- Get rid of some Primaris weapons entirely.

   
Made in gb
Longtime Dakkanaut





The 2 major changes I would make are to represent abilities and special rules in stat lines wherever feasible, and for the remaining special rules, I would consolidate similar abilities to make them identical, and represent them as universal special rules.

For example, space marines:
Angels of death can be replaced with changes to stats:
ATSKNF - replace with increasing Ld by 1

Bolter Discipline - (similar to chainswords, add “Astartes” to the weapon name) Astartes bolt gun is Rapid Fire 2 instead of Rapid fire 1 etc.

Shock Assault - replace by increasing Attack stat by 1.

Remove Combat Doctrines completely. It’s unnecessary and the current CP/detachment system is sufficient to provide balance between monofaction and soup lists.

I’d remove the combat doctrine equivalents from other armies too.

I’d keep subfaction special rules provided they’re not overly complicated.

For consolidating special rules into a single USR, I think a good example is Reserves. Space marines have “outflank”, “Death from above” and “teleport strike” in addition to strategems that do similar and the core rules for reinforcements. There are minor differences between some of these rules, but not all. I’d replace them all with a single rule for reinforcements ( deep strike for instance).

I’d go through the whole rule set with this mindset and I think it would strip away a lot of the unnecessary complications and speed up the game without losing anything significant.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2021/06/20 12:09:43


 
   
Made in us
Confessor Of Sins




 AnomanderRake wrote:
leerm02 wrote:
...So I have something of a rules challenge for everyone here. I want to strip down 9th ed as much as possible while keeping the "flavor" of 40k. This idea started with my reading of some of the threads about rules bloat, excessive rolling, and the "simpler" design philosophy of 9th as opposed to 8th. Eventually, I started to wonder: what CAN we get rid of to smooth things along and keep the core experience mostly the same?...


I'm going to throw a question back at you here: How much of 9e do you want to keep? Most of my own homebrew projects focus on making use of a version of the core rules I liked rather than trying to disentangle the mess that is 9th, but I don't want to start suggesting ways to back-port stuff to 4e if there are things you really like about 9th and want to hold onto.


Really, 4th? Ew. Guess it's better than 6th and 7th if nothing else.

2500pts
2500
3000


 
   
Made in gb
Ship's Officer





Bristol (UK)

I'd like to remove secondary objectives and strategems.
40k has enough to memorise as it is without that crap.
   
Made in it
Gargantuan Gargant




Italy

 Valkyrie wrote:



Marines

- Get rid of some Primaris weapons entirely.


I'd go for:

- Get rid of the entire Primaris line.


 
   
Made in us
Gore-Soaked Lunatic Witchhunter







So in general I think we're learning that "I want to strip down 40k!" isn't a focused enough question to produce usable information. In the course of seven replies we've had several posts suggesting low-interference patches to specific army books, one suggesting radical restructuring of the game, one suggesting squatting an army, and the beginnings of what could turn into a "what edition is best?" argument, none of which are particularly compatible with each other and none of which would do much to fix the game in a vacuum.

Balanced Game: Noun. A game in which all options and choices are worth using.
Homebrew oldhammer project: https://www.dakkadakka.com/dakkaforum/posts/list/790996.page#10896267
Meridian: Necromunda-based 40k skirmish: https://www.dakkadakka.com/dakkaforum/posts/list/795374.page 
   
Made in nl
[DCM]
Secret Inquisitorial Eldar Xenexecutor






your mind

Use USRs.
Drop CPs.

   
Made in us
Confessor Of Sins




 jeff white wrote:
Use USRs.
Drop CPs.


USRs don't make anything simpler. You can argue against CPs but that doesn't change USRs being stupid.

2500pts
2500
3000


 
   
Made in us
Longtime Dakkanaut




ERJAK wrote:
 jeff white wrote:
Use USRs.
Drop CPs.


USRs don't make anything simpler. You can argue against CPs but that doesn't change USRs being stupid.

USRs don't necessarily make things "simpler," but t hey can potentially streamline some wording. All the, "Set this unit up off the table, and have it show up more than X inches from enemy units on turn 2 or later," rules could just be a "Deepstrike(X)" USR. All the, "Ignore damage on an X+," rules could just be a Feel No Pain (X+) USR. And then we could just reference "the Feel No Pain" USR instead of awkwardly referring to rules that prevent damage, or whatever. We definitely don't need anything close to 7th edition's USR list, but it would probably be slightly cleaner to have like, fiveish USRs. The Fly keyword is basically a USR already.

What do we think would be involved in removing stratagems from future editions of 40k? Maybe this is a big enough topic to warrant its own thread, but what would we want to do if we got rid of strats? Off the top of my head:
* You might need more incentive to not soup if multiple detachments are no longer using up CP.
* Some iconic rules (thinking of things like soul traps and crucibles of malediction) have been turned into strats at this point. How would we reintroduce them?
* Some stratagems make up a big part of certain units' appeals. The Flyby Attack strat used to be Reaver jetbikes' who gimmick back in the day.
* Some bits of character customization have become relics and strats that you currently get more of by spending CP.

I've enjoyed the stratagem experiment, but I think I'd be open to moving away from them now. Or at least reducing them to a small number of high-impact rules rather than a bunch of minor things that you use constantly throughout the game. I like having eldar arrive via the webway. I don't love having my ability to dodge (Lightning Fast Reactions) tied to them.
   
Made in au
Longtime Dakkanaut





ERJAK wrote:
 jeff white wrote:
Use USRs.
Drop CPs.


USRs don't make anything simpler. You can argue against CPs but that doesn't change USRs being stupid.


You understand they're operating with USRs right now, except they keep renaming them for every unit.

So rather than doing that, how about they just have a master definition for that rule, and cut and paste it into every unit's profile. But make sure that the master list of rules definitions is always the same.

That changes nothing about how the game currently works, it just creates consistency to mechanics.
   
Made in nl
[DCM]
Secret Inquisitorial Eldar Xenexecutor






your mind

Wyldhunt wrote:
Spoiler:
ERJAK wrote:
 jeff white wrote:
Use USRs.
Drop CPs.


USRs don't make anything simpler. You can argue against CPs but that doesn't change USRs being stupid.

USRs don't necessarily make things "simpler," but t hey can potentially streamline some wording. All the, "Set this unit up off the table, and have it show up more than X inches from enemy units on turn 2 or later," rules could just be a "Deepstrike(X)" USR. All the, "Ignore damage on an X+," rules could just be a Feel No Pain (X+) USR. And then we could just reference "the Feel No Pain" USR instead of awkwardly referring to rules that prevent damage, or whatever. We definitely don't need anything close to 7th edition's USR list, but it would probably be slightly cleaner to have like, fiveish USRs. The Fly keyword is basically a USR already.

What do we think would be involved in removing stratagems from future editions of 40k? Maybe this is a big enough topic to warrant its own thread, but what would we want to do if we got rid of strats? Off the top of my head:
* You might need more incentive to not soup if multiple detachments are no longer using up CP.
* Some iconic rules (thinking of things like soul traps and crucibles of malediction) have been turned into strats at this point. How would we reintroduce them?
* Some stratagems make up a big part of certain units' appeals. The Flyby Attack strat used to be Reaver jetbikes' who gimmick back in the day.
* Some bits of character customization have become relics and strats that you currently get more of by spending CP.

I've enjoyed the stratagem experiment, but I think I'd be open to moving away from them now. Or at least reducing them to a small number of high-impact rules rather than a bunch of minor things that you use constantly throughout the game. I like having eldar arrive via the webway. I don't love having my ability to dodge (Lightning Fast Reactions) tied to them.
Thank you for the respectful engagement. Someone recently sent me a link to a discord server for rules revisions. I have yet to log in but when I do, maybe you might be interested in seeing where these people want to go with this. I am interested, but swamped with work atm so delayed getting involved. Anyways, about strats ...
We used to pay points for certain abilities, then it was up to us to get our units into situations in which these abilities are able to be used effectively. This was a sunk cost and a pressure on the player to move the game in directions that helped this cost investment pay off on the tabletop. There is no such predictive element with in game stratagems. Should I put vectored engines on my falcon or should I spend those points on fusion pistols? Yes points remain a factor, but with a second in game economy introduced with CPs that is both unnecessary and ... gamey, to put things that way. As for army composition, force org and percentage points requirements, e.g. 50% troops, may take care of that. Allowing for 10% allied forces might be mission specific, or agreed upon by players in casual games, or disallowed completely in some cases e.g. orks and eldar, or eldar and dark eldar for that matter, nothing revolutionary but simpler...

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/06/22 04:32:21


   
Made in us
Regular Dakkanaut





Beaverton OR


Hey everyone, sorry I haven't been back to this post in awhile (real life: Ugh.)

I want to give a special shout out to some of the really indepth looks that people have put on here :-) I honestly thought responses would be more in line with: "Get rid of X" and am pleased to discover this isn't the case!

I am also doubly pleased to see that at least a few of my "pet peeve" aspects have already been mentioned, specifically things like getting rid of CP.

Personally, I kinda just hate CP.

I remember when I was getting back into 40k after a long absence (with 8th ed), and my first few games the folks at my LGS didn't bother using CP at all in our games. I LOVED IT! Kinda made me miss that little bit of simplicity when we eventually decided to run "normal" rules again.

Similarly, even though I haven't actually used them yet (still no 9th ed games under my belt, sadly,) I really don't like the extra book-keeping of secondary objectives. Missions with multiple objectives are fine and dandy to me, but those extra headaches seem just plain annoying.

Regarding USRs: personally I like the idea of USRs... but am starting to think that the game becomes more flavorful if you get rid of them and allow for clear and simple special rules on a per weapon/unit basis instead.

Personally, regarding things like this, I have to say that I really like the "format" of card-game abilities (think "Smash Up" or even "MTG"...well, to some extent) in which largely a special rule has to conform to a nice, tight, few sentences with as few ambiguities as possible. I know, I know: card games ALWAYS have to have errata because those rules are NOT un-ambiguous... but the idea seems sound anyway.

To me: a really good, simple, edition of 40k would include enough flavor and variance just in the weapon/unit profiles with only one or MAYBE two special rules per unit/entry.

Going further into fantasy land: we would have simple force-org charts that allowed for a good variety of army composition, as well as the ability to play competitively on a number of missions without having to re-arrange your whole army. (The simple suggestion of: "50% of the points for troops" is totally on the right track IMO!)

All that being said: if anyone has any other suggestions I would love to keep reading them!

In particular: AnomanderRake, I would love to hear some more of your own simplified ruleset that you mentioned earlier!
   
Made in us
Gore-Soaked Lunatic Witchhunter







leerm02 wrote:
...In particular: AnomanderRake, I would love to hear some more of your own simplified ruleset that you mentioned earlier!


The link's in my signature; it's not all the way done and it's wildly untested, but it's playable for the five books I've got written if you feel like trying.

Balanced Game: Noun. A game in which all options and choices are worth using.
Homebrew oldhammer project: https://www.dakkadakka.com/dakkaforum/posts/list/790996.page#10896267
Meridian: Necromunda-based 40k skirmish: https://www.dakkadakka.com/dakkaforum/posts/list/795374.page 
   
Made in ca
Kroot Carnivore





While I think that the concept of CP is good, the implementation of it is... not. Having units be able to perform exceptional feats of skill or heroism to try and turn the tide of battle is really neat and fun, but just Transhumaning your Primaris every time they are hit with something big is boring and repetitive.

I would have to play with this a bit for playtesting to see if it actually works (just going off the top of my head here), but maybe something like, every stratagem can only be used once. Or, you pick X number before the game and can use each once. That way they are hidden "Stratagems" to pull out as a surprise twist rather than a crutch for the army. There would also be a lot less to remember if you only have a few pre-selected ones to worry about.

My other would be to change the missions so that not every single one is an objective grab. Games like that are all well and good, but some variety would be nice. My single favorite 40k book I ever bought was the Battle Missions book back in... 6th I think? It had 3 custom games for each faction. Playing something like "All Around Defense" where a single objective is set up on the center of the table with some defensible cover on all sides. One player deploys everything within 12" of it and the other player walks on the table from any edge on turn one. Whomever controls the objective at the end wins. Really simple with no complex scenario rules, but a lot of fun.

15000 4000 3500 2500 :tyranid: 2500 1000 1000
1000 1000 1000 1000  
   
Made in ca
Fresh-Faced New User




New here but any Idea's I might have had for "simplification" have been mentioned already (Remove CP costs while making stratagems a free once per turn thing, removing Space Marine Combat Doctrines, consolidating list-option bloat & "master listing" special rules). Those very things, thou he didn't introduce Stratagems until later, are what my best friends brother-inlaw did when I was dragged back for late 8th edition & it acted like a interactive Tutorial (IE: made relearning it easy).

While I never got to the "Objectives" Tutorial before Covid hit locally, I can see how managing that plus everything else is dumb plus GW's focus on "Hold all these objective markers" for almost every game mission is friggin nuts... makes me almost miss the "Try to table each other" days, thou terrain placement/density sucked back then so not a lot.

Thou I best to be polite & make a suggestion so how about simplify Terrain rules down to: +1 save, -1 to hit, obscuring & -2 movement over (no special sub-rule of like "Set to defend" for example or god forbid GW's new "This cover has ammo so you get re-roll 1's in it" slag)
   
Made in us
Longtime Dakkanaut







leerm02 wrote:


Regarding USRs: personally I like the idea of USRs... but am starting to think that the game becomes more flavorful if you get rid of them and allow for clear and simple special rules on a per weapon/unit basis instead.


That's false flavoring. The most striking example I can give you is the original 40k Chaos Demons codex, where the demon units had "flavorful" ability names that were essentially "The unit has USR X." "Hellblades. This unit's weapons are power weapons" as a rule on the unit was just so incredibly obnoxious compared to just putting the appropriate mark on the unit's weapon profile for power weapons.

The point of USR's that they're a response to "We have a dozen rules that are all wording variations on the same thing, but with different names" (so that people in the know will all describe them as doing the same thing) and just saying "Yes, these all do the same thing." Especially if you have a situation like the 9th edition rulebook with the 'uncommon' rules interaction appendix.

If all of the Feel No Pain like rules are supposed to act the same (in spite of the natural variation in wording between authors) and a model is only allowed to use one of them (a limitation which none of those rules specify themselves), then Feel No Pain should be a core rulebook rule.

The same goes for things like armor saves, power weapons, invulnerable saves, and mortal wounds. They're a hierarchy of saves and damage types that exists in the game, and if you tried to shove those rules off onto the unit special rules there'd just be a mess.
   
 
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