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Made in se
Willing Inquisitorial Excruciator





This weekend a friend asked in our common game chat if someone was up for doing a game of 4th ed. I checked my storage and was able to find my old rulebook and codexes. After much digging we also acquired the blast and flamer templates. We decided to go kind of low on points, playing two games of 1k p. The first game was tyranids vs guardsmen. The second was grey knights vs orks, with a twist. He included the deamons found in the deamonhunter codex with his ork army. So I guess you could call it possessed deamon orks. After both games we talked about how it felt and what was different. I’ll go over the major points here, maybe it’ll spark some discussion on the state of the game. Note, a lot of this information will be redundant for veteran players but I wanted to have everyone on board.

TLDR: 4th is less complicated and has less layers then 9th. It's slower place and a less demanding game. Things make more sense from a "what if this was an alien battlefield" perspective but less sense from a "let's make a good and smooth tabletop game" perspective. Many things felt like common sense but with some expenses where gameplay is concerned. We really enjoyed the game, to the point where I'd prefer another game of 4th over a game of 9th. Though some things could benefit from some tweaking.

-list building.
It was really quite fun making the lists. For those that don’t know there’s no allies or such in 4th (with the one exception of the inquisition and their deamon enemies). So everything was restricted to a single codex. You have a list of wargear that characters can chose from. This goes for independent characters and squad leaders. It means sergeants and captains generally have access to the same equipment. So I could make imperial guard sergeants with refractor fields, powerfists and storm bolsters. I also don’t need to put a 4+save or involve save on my imperial guard captain. why would he need anything other then the reliable 5+ flak armour? I had lots of fun with this for both my armies. Also it was very easy and enjoyable to make a list. If I make a list in 9th I commonly sit with 3-5 books open, if I don’t use battlescribe. I’d forgotten the pleasure of tailoring my army with one book. I also experienced a great deal of control. Many choices I feel are made for me in 9th, like an imperial guard captain will always have a 5+invo save and a 4+armour save. I enjoyed the sensation of tailoring stuff with minimal choices being forced on me. Also the ability of picking gear for my sergeants was welcome. You are also bound to just one FOC in 4th as opposed to the infinite detachments in 9th. That means you always need to bring 2 troop choices, 1hq choice and a maximum of 3 elite, 3hvy support and 3fast attack. No extra FOC allowed, this is what you get.

-gameplay
Let’s start with the overarching stuff. The whole game had a much slower pace to it. It also felt much less deadly. We both quickly realized that the games would continue until the last turn. Also both players had plenty of units left, though I got tabled at the final turn of the second game. This we figured was also welcome. The slower pace and longer game meant we could chill a bit more during gameplay. There's also a certain design philosophy we both liked. In 9th a lot of gameplay feel very... "gamey". Like things are made to be smooth and to make a good game. In 4th many rules felt very reasonable. As in if the miniatures actually where soliders on an alien battlefield, what would happen and how would they act? I wouldn't go so far to call it realistic. But it certainly makes more of an effort to be somewhat reasonable then some later editions. One more big thing we noted was that ranges are very important. 24" is a real limitation in 4th. You generally deploy 24" or further from each other so getting a shot of first turn with 24" weapons is not at all guaranteed. You can't shot a rapid fire weapon at full range if you move, and only heavy weapons if you remain stationary. This means the 24" works as a area denial kill zone. I quite liked this. You really had to think about movement and weapon ranges. Also leadership is an incredibly important strat. You have to test it to shot at any enemy that's not the closest. Test it after taking 25% casualities from enemy fire. Test it after losing combat and it suffers a -1 if your unit is below 50% of it's starting str. I quite liked this.

-mission select
In 4th every army has a stat called "strategic rating". It's a number added to a dice roll deciding which mission to pick. Since we didn't know the various missions we skipped this rule. It's seemed a bit unnecessary. When you roll for the standard missions you roll 1-5 for missions and a 6 uses the strategic rating rule. So It's an interesting concept but I don't really see why it's there at all. Also all missions had three levels which governed the amount of special rules allowed. We where indifferent to this, good for newer players I guess.

-Deployment
This was way more fun and interesting then I anticipated. In 4th both players take turns deploying units one at a time. Units must be deployed in the following order: heavy support, troop, elite, hq, fast attack. Though some mission variation might occur. The concept of "no mans land" didn't exist. Instead a unit is deployed certain amount of of inches from table edge or table center (or different, depending on the mission). No opposing models can be deployed within 24" of each other. This lead to some mind games of where to deploy certain units and where to commit the force. I really liked this. Since both players deny each other one had to formulate a plan on how to achieve either the mission objective or go for the kill everyone strat. when coupled with the cover rules it provided a very fun experience.

-Cover
It's all about the area terrain in 4th. You can see 6" into a terrain piece but not further. There's no universal d6 run move, so most unit's move either 6" or 2d6 (pick highest) in terrain. This means that during deployment terrain is key. You need to keep check on how far your opponent can see your models and vice versa. I really liked the cover mechanics and the larger terrain pieces dominated the focus of the game. Much as I imagine a real battlefield might have.

-Vehicles
wow, vehicles really are vehicles in this edition. They can't fight in close combat but they also cannot be locked in close combat. This means they'll just fire away at the surrounding models. You measure visibility and range from each guns location. At one point I didn't want to pivot a leman russ because it might get immobilized by the terrain it was in. This lead to it only being able to fire two of its 3 heavy bolters against a group of gaunts. I quie liked this. I made a choice in the movement phase that directly affected the shooting phase. I guess that the vehicles are more fragile in 4th but honestly I didn't really feel it much. Whenever my vehicles died I felt like they would have died regardless of edition. Also it was quite cool when a vehicles gun was destroyed by an enemy missile or a track was destroyed immobilizing the vehicle. I guess what I'm saying is that I really enjoyed the sensation of vehicles feeling like vehicles. Also tank shocking was absolutely hilarious. I was able to set up fire zones for blasts and proper charges with tank shocks.

-Close combat
A charge is 6". That's it. Close combat is one of the things I remembered most fondly from 4th. Sadly it was the part of the game I found the most tedious now, and it did not really feel like a swirling melee. It worked just fine with a unit vs another unit. But once multiple units get involved, as well as independent characters it got very clunky. Units are very limited in who they can hit. This means they can get tied up by models in base to base contact with them. If that happens they can't target their attacks at units not in base contact with them... It's a little difficult to explain. But in essence close combat was the part of the game I enjoyed the least.

-Stratgems, warlord traits and so on.
no stratgems, no warlord traits, no relics, no psyichic phase, no orders. This was actually surprisingly welcome. We both felt like we could focus more on the game at hand and not keep so many other aspects in mind, like when to spend CP or how to maximize our re-rolls. It was actually a much less demanding experience. Also most guard players have at some point made mistakes with orders. It was actually kind of nice not having to think about all these extra layers during game. Though this is highly subjective. I guess you could argue that doctrines and such are a replacement. They are mostly important during list building though and are more like a permanent upgrade for units during the game. So less to think about.

-Final thoughts
If you made it this far then I hope you enjoyed reading this summary. We overall really enjoyed our time spent with 4th. Did I like it more then 9th? Yes actually, I think I did. Mostly because 9th is such a demanding game to play. We often feel like games are decided on the 1-2 turn in 9th. In 4th we felt like games will probably go on until at least turn 5 and still being somewhat inconclusive. You generally don't lose that many models turn 1 in 4th, which we both considered a plus. An alpha strike seems much harder to pull of. The whole game also has a much more relaxing less demanding slow pace to it. You have to do many calculations while playing 40k anyway so we enjoyed the reduction in mental demands. We're planning on trying out 5th next. We figured maybe of making a house rule for the stuff in 4th we found tedious or weird (close combat mainly) and run a sort of 4.5 game in the future. Also to expand unit entries for some models that didn't have rules at the time. I hope this post provides some food for thoughts for people. There's a constant debate of "then vs now" going on in 40k. So at least now I have a bit of experience with the "then". This ended up becoming more about my experience then a proper discussion thread. Any thoughts on the then and now things here is very welcome. I'd recommend trying out playing the older editions for all players. It really does put interesting perspective on the game.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/06/30 09:13:50


His pattern of returning alive after being declared dead occurred often enough during Cain's career that the Munitorum made a special ruling that Ciaphas Cain is to never be considered dead, despite evidence to the contrary. 
   
Made in us
Longtime Dakkanaut





I would agree with you on what you point out, glad you enjoyed your game of 4th.
   
Made in au
Owns Whole Set of Skullz Techpriests






Versteckt in den Schatten deines Geistes.

Nice post.

I preferred 3rd to 4th, but it's interesting to hear the talk of the game being less demanding.

There aren't so many layers of rules piled upon layers of rules (makes sense - the game had done away with most of that nonsense when it moved away from 3rd). It's unfortunate that 9th got to the state 3rd was in so quickly into its life cycle.

Ah well. 10th will be out in 18 or so months, so it won't matter.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/06/30 09:27:30


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

 
   
Made in gb
Longtime Dakkanaut





Really nice post!

I fondly remember 4th edition.

Out of curiosity, especially as you mentioned the importance of 24” ranges, what are your thoughts on the game not allowing pre-measuring for ranges?

Though my memories of 4th edition are mostly good, I do remember there were some match-ups that were really one sided. Specifically nids vs tau or eldar.

I played Tyranids back then, and they were very limited in anti-tank ranged weapons. If some genestealers with their rending claws or a monster hit in base contact with a tank they could take it down, but skimmers had a rule where you couldn’t hit it in CC unless you rolled a 6 or something like that. It made taking out things like hammerheads and wave serpents all but impossible.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/06/30 09:53:20


 
   
Made in us
Agile Revenant Titan





Florida

4th was an enjoyable edition. It still had some quirks, as every edition has such as the overly resilient Falcon and, IIRC, Nob Biker wound allocation shenanigans.

Cool that you all gave it try.

No earth shattering, thought provoking quote. I'm just someone who was introduced to 40K in the late 80's and it's become a lifelong hobby. 
   
Made in de
Terrifying Doombull






Nuremberg

I'd say 3rd/4th/5th was my best time with the game, with 5e being when I had the most fun.

I mostly just played Orks through that entire time, and I often was frustrated waiting for an update to my codex due to how weak it was for a long time. But I enjoyed playing a lot. Probably my least favourite rule from those games was the rules for skimmers. They made sense, but certain armies just didn't have a good answer to them. I'd probably do something like let monstrous creatures attack skimmers normally instead of hitting on sixes, and maybe give a couple extra wargear options for taking them down in melee or something.

I liked how those editions tried to some extent to simulate a battlefield, and I find it offputting for 8e that it's a lot more gamey. Which is weird, because I like 4e D&D which is the gamiest edition - but then again, I also like 3e and 5e.

   
Made in pl
Fixture of Dakka




Very interesting thing to read about, as I had no expiriance with editions other then 8th and 9th.

The 4th ed deployment seems to be cool, at least on paper.

If you have to kill, then kill in the best manner. If you slaughter, then slaughter in the best manner. Let one of you sharpen his knife so his animal feels no pain. 
   
Made in us
Grumpy Longbeard





washington state USA

Welcome back brother!

3rd - 5th were the best of times, some rules implementations were better in one edition then tossed out for the next, which is why my group as well as Mezmorki's pro-hammer bases most of our rules on 5th but borrow the better rules from 3rd/4th or 7th to make 5th better.

As in if the miniatures actually where soliders on an alien battlefield, what would happen and how would they act? I wouldn't go so far to call it realistic. But it certainly makes more of an effort to be somewhat reasonable then some later editions.


This right here is why i prefer old hammer above the current edition. playing the game and having the armies behave like they should in the lore is the best part of enjoying "the play" of the game not just the winning/loosing part.

++ The imperial saint, Andy Chambers...blessed of the emperor, we shall not see his like again. ++


Automatically Appended Next Post:
 Da Boss wrote:
I'd say 3rd/4th/5th was my best time with the game, with 5e being when I had the most fun.

I mostly just played Orks through that entire time, and I often was frustrated waiting for an update to my codex due to how weak it was for a long time. But I enjoyed playing a lot. Probably my least favourite rule from those games was the rules for skimmers. They made sense, but certain armies just didn't have a good answer to them. I'd probably do something like let monstrous creatures attack skimmers normally instead of hitting on sixes, and maybe give a couple extra wargear options for taking them down in melee or something.

I liked how those editions tried to some extent to simulate a battlefield, and I find it offputting for 8e that it's a lot more gamey. Which is weird, because I like 4e D&D which is the gamiest edition - but then again, I also like 3e and 5e.


Well everybody hated eldar skimmers, all the marines had was a land speeder and nearly every gun in the game could shoot them down. So not all skimmers were created equal, however always counting as moving over 6" was a dumb rule for hitting them in CC so our group just uses the actual movement so it is still auto/4+/6+ even for skimmers.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/06/30 11:29:54




GAMES-DUST1947/infinity/B5 wars/epic 40K/5th ed 40K/victory at sea/warmachine/battle tactics/monpoc/battletech/battlefleet gothic/castles in the sky,/heavy gear 
   
Made in us
Shadowy Grot Kommittee Memba






I've always been of the opinion that the best edition of the game is the one where nobody's powergaming. The things you can do to make life miserable for the other person varied, edition by edition, but there's always been *something* that if you avoid it, tends to make the game vastly better.

I will agree, 100%, on thinking the current game is way, WAY, WAYYYY too deadly, and occasionally for me that's the only reason I need to play an older ed. There's things I do not miss at all about them (I'll spare my rant about random breakpoints in stats) but man, just...please god, give me a version of the game where everything doesn't evaporate instantaneously, please.

"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 
   
Made in fi
Ye Lord of The End Times (and a good guy)





 the_scotsman wrote:
I've always been of the opinion that the best edition of the game is the one where nobody's powergaming. The things you can do to make life miserable for the other person varied, edition by edition, but there's always been *something* that if you avoid it, tends to make the game vastly better.

I will agree, 100%, on thinking the current game is way, WAY, WAYYYY too deadly, and occasionally for me that's the only reason I need to play an older ed. There's things I do not miss at all about them (I'll spare my rant about random breakpoints in stats) but man, just...please god, give me a version of the game where everything doesn't evaporate instantaneously, please.


Problem is with GW making core rules slower and slower making things deadlier is only way it can keep games go reasonably fast. Unless GW wants to scale points down so that 2k would be more like current 600 pts.

2021 painted/bought: 538/575 
   
Made in de
Terrifying Doombull






Nuremberg

I think if you want a "IGOUGO" kind of game, then lower lethality is kinda required to allow for a fair game.

I'm probably gonna track down the 4e and 5e rulebooks on ebay at some point. I got the 3e book again and it really struck me how many scenarios there were and how cool they all were. I'm gonna use those scenarios for Grimdark Future because they're just so flavourful and enjoyable! I also like all the hobby advice in the 3e and 4e books, all the different battlefields they show and the crafting tips. That disappears in 5e because they want to sell their own kits, so that's something I miss from back then as well - the kitbashing creativity of those days. They had guides for making your own sentry models, and entire game modes and stuff included.

I'm pretty sure I could play 8e/9e and enjoy it especially if I played someone else who was learning and we discovered it together. But I find the barrier to entry just a bit too high for me when I can get into similar games with a lot less hassle. I'm not really interested in investing in rules when the edition change seems to be locked down to such a short cycle nowadays. 40K goes through editions at double the rate of D&D for example, and I'm not really interested in that. It's about 3 years per edition nowadays and I'm not really in a position to play enough to get a lot out of that.

   
Made in gb
Longtime Dakkanaut




4th was the edition I played most of. It refined a lot of the issues of third, but didn't solve all,and created some of its own.

Vehicles were a lot more vulnerable in this edition, and aside from skimmers (tau, eldar) I remember a lot of factions turning to their footsloggers and camping. 6mas las/Plas was a staple of the edition.

One frustration I remember was the vast gulf of difference between monstrous creatures and tanks. One rail gun shot could obliterate vehicle, it wouldn't even cause a hiccup to an MC. And there were some disgusting MCs back then.

Overall it was a solid baseline, with some tweaks it would have been amazing.

greatest band in the universe: machine supremacy

"Punch your fist in the air and hold your Gameboy aloft like the warrior you are" 
   
Made in us
Shadowy Grot Kommittee Memba






 Da Boss wrote:
I think if you want a "IGOUGO" kind of game, then lower lethality is kinda required to allow for a fair game.

I'm probably gonna track down the 4e and 5e rulebooks on ebay at some point. I got the 3e book again and it really struck me how many scenarios there were and how cool they all were. I'm gonna use those scenarios for Grimdark Future because they're just so flavourful and enjoyable!


GDF is if anything more deadly than 9e. Have you had a different experience with 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 
   
Made in de
Terrifying Doombull






Nuremberg

Yeah I've played it and it is very lethal. I think the fact that it's AA mitigates it, but overall I'm into it because it's easy, not because I think the balance is great. I'd say 5e is much more balanced than GDF, but I can't get my wife to play that with me unfortunately!

   
Made in gb
Ship's Officer





Bristol (UK)

I've heard GDF recently did a big balance patch?
Have you any experience with that?

Although I'd heard the main change was reducing most 2+ save infantry to 3+, so I'd imagine it's only gotten more lethal.
   
Made in us
Decrepit Dakkanaut







This is why I think it is silly that people say "40k has never been about a battle in the real setting and has always been a gamey mess!"

Well, it was once.
   
Made in us
Shadowy Grot Kommittee Memba






 Unit1126PLL wrote:
This is why I think it is silly that people say "40k has never been about a battle in the real setting and has always been a gamey mess!"

Well, it was once.


Aaaaaaaaaaas long as you and your opponent both abstained from such tactics as, you know

-using close combat as a nya nya cant touch me zone and sweeping across the battlefield using pile in moves to always stay in combat
-using wound allocation shenanigans to make sure every single ork nob biker in a unit gets a boo-boo before the first one starts dying
-forcing every single unit to string across the battlefield in perfect 2" grid spacing to avoid blast weaponry
-bitching and moaning at your opponent about base to base contact, quibbling over percentages of obscurement for cover saves, insisting on exact RAW for doors and ladders/staircases for every terrain feature (myeeeeeeeh unfortunately you've placed a ruin in my deployment zone that doesn't have any ladders or stairs to the upper floor, so while I am allowed to deploy my unit on top of it, you are not allowed to climb up to the top with anyone)

etc, etc, etc.

....because those turned the game into a gamey mess. It's almost like the attitude one takes into the game system matters quite a bit more than the actual content of the rules when it comes to avoiding immersion-breaking scenarios.

"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 
   
Made in us
Ork Boy Hangin' off a Trukk





Very nice to read your overview. 4th is still my favorite edition of 40k (hence my avatar image).
   
Made in us
Decrepit Dakkanaut





Yep. Any edition of warhammer can be a blast if you're playing in a carefree environment when no one looks to abuse mechanics.

I had tons of fun in those editions, but they just don't hold up to today's scrutiny.

   
Made in us
Decrepit Dakkanaut







 the_scotsman wrote:
 Unit1126PLL wrote:
This is why I think it is silly that people say "40k has never been about a battle in the real setting and has always been a gamey mess!"

Well, it was once.


Aaaaaaaaaaas long as you and your opponent both abstained from such tactics as, you know

-using close combat as a nya nya cant touch me zone and sweeping across the battlefield using pile in moves to always stay in combat (something you had control over as the player since they could only overrun 1d6)
-using wound allocation shenanigans to make sure every single ork nob biker in a unit gets a boo-boo before the first one starts dying(wrong edition, this was 5th)
-forcing every single unit to string across the battlefield in perfect 2" grid spacing to avoid blast weaponry (this is a tactical choice that has consequences, and spacing out as far as possible in case of explosion is a realistic thing)
-bitching and moaning at your opponent about base to base contact, quibbling over percentages of obscurement for cover saves, insisting on exact RAW for doors and ladders/staircases for every terrain feature (myeeeeeeeh unfortunately you've placed a ruin in my deployment zone that doesn't have any ladders or stairs to the upper floor, so while I am allowed to deploy my unit on top of it, you are not allowed to climb up to the top with anyone) (true but this happens regardless of game - ANY game can have quibblers over distances and rules and coverage)

etc, etc, etc.

....because those turned the game into a gamey mess. It's almost like the attitude one takes into the game system matters quite a bit more than the actual content of the rules when it comes to avoiding immersion-breaking scenarios.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/06/30 17:00:38


 
   
Made in de
Longtime Dakkanaut



Bamberg / Erlangen

Seconded and thirded.

The game had issues back then as it got issues today.

A big part of how much they affect you and your enjoyment is up to having the right people to play with.

Imperial Guard Space Marines
 
   
Made in us
Gore-Soaked Lunatic Witchhunter







 the_scotsman wrote:
...-bitching and moaning at your opponent about base to base contact, quibbling over percentages of obscurement for cover saves, insisting on exact RAW for doors and ladders/staircases for every terrain feature (myeeeeeeeh unfortunately you've placed a ruin in my deployment zone that doesn't have any ladders or stairs to the upper floor, so while I am allowed to deploy my unit on top of it, you are not allowed to climb up to the top with anyone)...


I'm going to pick this one out specially for ridicule; if you're going to whine about base contact you're probably going to whine about "within 1" and pull out the Warmachine measuring tools, if you're going to quibble about percentage-obscured you're going to quibble about whether your antenna can actually see my antenna, and you didn't need ladders/stairs to move up or down in ruins in 4th. Any game can be ruined by being a dick. This isn't news.


Automatically Appended Next Post:
 kirotheavenger wrote:
I've heard GDF recently did a big balance patch?
Have you any experience with that?

Although I'd heard the main change was reducing most 2+ save infantry to 3+, so I'd imagine it's only gotten more lethal.


Not necessarily; AP3 shooting is way rarer/more expensive in 4e than it is in 5e-7e (Guard Stormtroopers are still AP5, no hellchickens, no volley guns, no Knights, three Russes maximum per game (no squadrons, one detachment only, no tank commanders), Basilisks indirect-fired with 24" minimum range and had to scatter 3d6", etc.) and power weapons are still "ignore all armour" (and still very expensive to take anywhere other than on HQs). On top of that there was almost no 2+-save infantry in the first place (off the top of my head that's just Terminators, Obliterators, Meganobz, and I think you could put extended carapace on hive guard), unless you wanted to try paying HQ prices for artificer armour on SM Veterans and end up paying 75-100pts/model for your "broken deathstar" of 1-W bikers.

I haven't heard of this GDF balance patch and Googling it isn't turning anything up, do you have a link?

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/06/30 17:24:21


Balanced Game: Noun. A game in which all options and choices are worth using.
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Made in us
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 AnomanderRake wrote:
 the_scotsman wrote:
...-bitching and moaning at your opponent about base to base contact, quibbling over percentages of obscurement for cover saves, insisting on exact RAW for doors and ladders/staircases for every terrain feature (myeeeeeeeh unfortunately you've placed a ruin in my deployment zone that doesn't have any ladders or stairs to the upper floor, so while I am allowed to deploy my unit on top of it, you are not allowed to climb up to the top with anyone)...


I'm going to pick this one out specially for ridicule; if you're going to whine about base contact you're probably going to whine about "within 1" and pull out the Warmachine measuring tools, if you're going to quibble about percentage-obscured you're going to quibble about whether your antenna can actually see my antenna, and you didn't need ladders/stairs to move up or down in ruins in 4th. Any game can be ruined by being a dick. This isn't news.



It's bizarre to write "I completely agree with your point" as "I'm going to pick this one out specially for ridicule."

to be clear: My point is that the best edition of any wargame to play is the one where people aren't specifically finding ways to game the mechanics as much as possible to pull out a win at the cost of the other player's enjoyment.

There's no edition of 40k where you can't and where competitive players playing during that edition's run didn't find every single mechanic that could be abused to make the game miserable for their opponent. Most of the time, when people go back and play old editions or go and play a different game is either a shared ignorance of, or conscious rejection of, that edition or game's abusable mechanics.

"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 
   
Made in us
Decrepit Dakkanaut







 the_scotsman wrote:
to be clear: My point is that the best edition of any wargame to play is the one where people aren't specifically finding ways to game the mechanics as much as possible to pull out a win at the cost of the other player's enjoyment.

There's no edition of 40k where you can't and where competitive players playing during that edition's run didn't find every single mechanic that could be abused to make the game miserable for their opponent. Most of the time, when people go back and play old editions or go and play a different game is either a shared ignorance of, or conscious rejection of, that edition or game's abusable mechanics.


While this may be fact, I don't think it's helpful to bring up - at least, unless you're making the claim that no edition can be better than any other edition because dicks will be dicks regardless of edition (which is quite the claim).

I don't think you're trying to make that claim, so why bring it up?

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/06/30 18:42:33


 
   
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Mira Mesa

 the_scotsman wrote:
Most of the time, when people go back and play old editions or go and play a different game is either a shared ignorance of, or conscious rejection of, that edition or game's abusable mechanics.
I think this is a critical point, and I think that players only go back and play one or two games of the older edition so the novelty doesn't wear off. I'm absolutely not going to say that the older editions have no merit. However, if you engage with it you'll remember the internal codex balance was usually out of whack, and the diversity of options didn't really create choices. It's not even abuse of mechanics, merely adaption to the demands of the system; if you're at all trying to play well, then you will make such considerations. If a unit doesn't do anything useful for a few games, you'll probably swap it out with a better one.

And actually, here's an interesting video on the changes the game went through. Essentially, the complexity of the game got shifted from stats and special abilities in 2nd, to core rules in 3-7th, and now to complex army rules with simplified everything else in 8th and 9th. That may be why the older edition feels less intense to play: once you've memorized the core book, you're basically there and 4th and 5th weren't so complicated yet as 6th and 7th would become.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/06/30 18:55:59


   
Made in us
Gore-Soaked Lunatic Witchhunter







 the_scotsman wrote:
...Most of the time, when people go back and play old editions or go and play a different game is either a shared ignorance of, or conscious rejection of, that edition or game's abusable mechanics.


Well, yeah. The reason I go back to old editions isn't because the old edition as written as a tournament game was perfect or not abuseable, it's because they're way less work to fix than 8th/9th. (Also because 8th/9th are really abstract/deterministic and vehicle damage tables, fire arcs, blast templates, and scatter die added a lot to my own sense of immersion in the game.)

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/06/30 18:59:25


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 us
Decrepit Dakkanaut







 DarkHound wrote:
 the_scotsman wrote:
Most of the time, when people go back and play old editions or go and play a different game is either a shared ignorance of, or conscious rejection of, that edition or game's abusable mechanics.
I think this is a critical point, and I think that players only go back and play one or two games of the older edition so the novelty doesn't wear off. I'm absolutely not going to say that the older editions have no merit. However, if you engage with it you'll remember the internal codex balance was usually out of whack, and the diversity of options didn't really create choices. It's not even abuse of mechanics, merely adaption to the demands of the system; if you're at all trying to play well, then you will make such considerations. If a unit doesn't do anything useful for a few games, you'll probably swap it out with a better one.


This isn't a bad thing in a normal wargame.

Let's talk about "behave the way they really would on an alien world". If you want your players and troops on the table to fit into the setting, having rules that encourage things to "behave they way they really would on an alien world" is actually a positive thing.

Other wargames do this all the time, like LOTR encouraging pike models to form pike formations. You could view it as an "abusable mechanic" that pikes can attack in 3 ranks deep, or you could view it as a drawback to bring a pike since you're paying points for something that you get no use out of in a disorganized melee (which is the easiest kind of melee to force). Or you could view it as the game naturally encouraging players to rank their pikes into blocks at least three ranks deep, in order to foster a sense of the models/players "behaving the way they really would".

Another example, and more appropriate, is the spreading out against blast templates. That's not an "abusable mechanic" - that's realism. Units of men really should spread out when confronted with explosive weapons and area-of-effect threats. I never really got the critique of this, other than "it takes a lot of time" which is fair enough if you're bored or you have a time limit - no arguments there, it can take a while. Still, there are consequences for this choice to spread out and a clever player can take advantage of them.

The downside, of course, is that GW is crap, and so in the natural push to have things "behave as they would", sometimes they would feth up and apply pressure to make things "behave in totally disconnected and bizarre ways incongruous with the setting." I would submit, however, that this was less bad in 4th than in, say, 9th. In fact, a common refrain today (that horrifies me!) is "Game is not equal to Lore". Just an admission that things being totally disconnected and incongruous with the setting is *shrug* par for the course.

EDIT: To add a TL;DR:
It is okay for wargames to encourage behavior in armies and players. It just needs to make sure that the encouraged behavior is congruous with the setting, rather than incongruous.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2021/06/30 19:03:45


 
   
Made in us
Arch Magos w/ 4 Meg of RAM






Mira Mesa

I agree, and I think in the abstract that the core rules of 4th and 5th lend themselves to that (I do miss vehicle facings and weapon arcs). My contention was the concrete issue of the codexes themselves. You have lots of options, but it's clear that so many of them are bad. You can only take so many purposefully bad choices before the fun of the army buckles. The force organization chart is so strict that the end result is a pretty narrow band of functional builds that are only coincidentally fluffy.

Again, not that this issue rears its head immediately, but it's something you have to confront after continuous play.

   
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Gore-Soaked Lunatic Witchhunter







 DarkHound wrote:
I agree, and I think in the abstract that the core rules of 4th and 5th lend themselves to that (I do miss vehicle facings and weapon arcs). My contention was the concrete issue of the codexes themselves. You have lots of options, but it's clear that so many of them are bad. You can only take so many purposefully bad choices before the fun of the army buckles. The force organization chart is so strict that the end result is a pretty narrow band of functional builds that are only coincidentally fluffy.

Again, not that this issue rears its head immediately, but it's something you have to confront after continuous play.


And the sheer size of the spectrum between good units and bad units, plus whatever your faction's required support stack is, ends up with a pretty narrow band of functional builds that are only coincidentally fluffy in 8th/9th. I know the problem exists now/existed then, but I don't think it was worse in past editions.

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 us
Decrepit Dakkanaut







 DarkHound wrote:
I agree, and I think in the abstract that the core rules of 4th and 5th lend themselves to that (I do miss vehicle facings and weapon arcs). My contention was the concrete issue of the codexes themselves. You have lots of options, but it's clear that so many of them are bad. You can only take so many purposefully bad choices before the fun of the army buckles. The force organization chart is so strict that the end result is a pretty narrow band of functional builds that are only coincidentally fluffy.

Again, not that this issue rears its head immediately, but it's something you have to confront after continuous play.


Yes, codex design is an issue for sure, one that once again GW is pretty crap at, and has repeatedly shown to be. I'm not really sure what the solution to this is (outside of doing it yourself or waiting for GW to improve... someday... maybe.) 8th and 9th isn't really better on this point at all.

I certainly would never argue that going back to past editions helps the "trap options" problem, but it can help the "WARgame" vs "warGAME" problem, which isn't really related (and seems to be more what the OP was praising about 4th).

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/06/30 19:51:01


 
   
 
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