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Made in gb
Dakka Veteran




Markerlight (V2 - progressive re-rolls)
A Hunter Cadre's firepower is guided by markerlight technology, which scans potential quarry with projected holo-beams. Within moments, targeting patterns and optimal aiming vectors are uploaded to the local combat network, enabling a fusillade of withering precision.
Each time a weapon with the Markerlight ability scores a hit, the attack sequence ends, and the target unit gains 1 markerlight counter after the shooting unit's attacks have been resolved. All markerlight counters are removed at the end of the phase.

Markerlight Counters
Each time a TAU EMPIRE unit in your army makes a ranged attack, you can re-roll the hit roll if the unmodified result is equal to or less than the number of markerlight counters the target has (e.g. against a target with 2 markerlight counters, you can re-roll a hit roll of 1 or 2).

Seeker
When selecting targets for a Seeker weapon, units that do not have any markerlight counters are not eligible targets.

Markerlight (V3 - hit trade)
A Hunter Cadre's firepower is guided by markerlight technology, which scans potential quarry with projected holo-beams. Within moments, targeting patterns and optimal aiming vectors are uploaded to the local combat network, ensuring that the T'au most devastating weapons will always find their mark.
Each time a weapon with the Markerlight ability scores a hit, the target gains 1 markerlight counter and the attack sequence ends. All markerlight counters are removed at the end of the phase.

Markerlight Counters
Each time a TAU EMPIRE unit in your army makes a ranged attack, before making a hit roll you can remove 1 markerlight counter from the target. If you do, that attack automatically hits, and the target does not receive the benefits of Light Cover against that attack.

Seeker
Each time an attack is made with a Seeker weapon, an unmodified hit roll of 6 is always required for a successful hit roll, irrespective of the firing model’s Ballistic Skill or any hit roll modifiers.

-----------------
Version 2 is a simplified accuracy boost that benefits everything except flamers. With 1 markerlight token, you can re-roll 1s, with 2 markerlights, you can re-roll 2s, and so on. It's simple, easy to remember/reference, always useful, and scales very well. On the downside, it means one of the most characterful applications of Markerlights - bypassing cover - has to go elsewhere. It's also more powerful than the current Markerlight system at the lower end, but less powerful at the higher end - losing the +1 to hit really hurts.

Version 3 is even simpler; it's a return to the oldest version of Markerlights, allowing you to "trade" each markerlight hit for an automatic hit (which ignores cover) with another weapon. It's an IOU for your big guns, basically. Seeker missiles just hit on 6s, so they naturally benefit the most. On the upside, this is simple, easy to remember/reference, effective, and scales without limit. On the downside, it loses the "focus fire" flavour of 8e, because multiple units can't draw on the same markerlights, and it's absolutely not worth using for anything but a "big gun" that you desperately need to hit with; pulse rifles etc are totally irrelevant to an ability like this.


OLD VERSIONS:
Spoiler:
Markerlight (V1 - markerlight abilities)
Each time a weapon with the Markerlight ability scores a hit, the target gains 1 markerlight counter and the attack sequence ends. All markerlight counters are removed at the end of the phase.

Using Markerlight Counters
Each time a TAU EMPIRE unit in your army is selected to shoot, before selecting targets, you can use any of the markerlight abilities listed below.

To use a markerlight ability, select an enemy unit – referred to as the marked unit – and spend one of its markerlight counters. Remove that markerlight counter from the unit; the ability’s effect applies to all T’AU EMPIRE units in your army, until the end of the phase. You can use the same markerlight ability multiple times in the same phase.

Markerlight Abilities
  • Target Acquired: Each time a ranged attack is made against the marked unit, re-roll a hit roll of 1.
  • Locator Systems: Each time a ranged attack is made against the marked unit, it does not receive the benefits of Light Cover against that attack.
  • Guided Warheads: Each time a ranged attack is made with a Seeker weapon against the marked unit, you can ignore any or all hit roll and Ballistic Skill modifiers.
  • Focused Barrage: Instead of following the normal rules for Rapid Fire weapons, models shooting Rapid Fire weapons at the marked unit make double the number of attacks if it is within half range, or if the shooting model’s unit Remained Stationary in your previous Movement phase.
  • Pinpoint Precision: To use this markerlight ability, spend 1 additional markerlight counter. Each time a ranged attack is made against the marked unit, add 1 to the hit roll.
  • Stabilisation Arcs: Each time a ranged attack is made against the marked unit, you can ignore the penalty to hit rolls incurred for firing Assault weapons in the same turn that the shooting model’s unit Advanced, and/or for firing Heavy weapons in the same turn that the shooting model’s unit moved.

  • Seeker
    Each time an attack is made with a Seeker weapon, the firing model has a Ballistic Skill characteristic of 6+ for that attack.

    Markerlight (V1a - simplified markerlight abilities)
    Each time a weapon with the Markerlight ability scores a hit, the target gains 1 markerlight counter and the attack sequence ends. All markerlight counters are removed at the end of the phase.

    Using Markerlight Counters
    Each time a TAU EMPIRE unit in your army is selected to shoot, it can use the markerlight abilities listed below. To do so, select one enemy unit – referred to as the marked unit – and select a number of markerlight abilities up to the number of markerlight counters on the marked unit. The shooting unit gains the selected markerlight abilities until its shooting is resolved.

    Markerlight Abilities
  • Target Acquired: Each time a model in this unit makes a ranged attack against the marked unit, you can re-roll a hit roll of 1. You can use this ability more than once; each time you do so, add 1 to the results you can re-roll (e.g. if you use this ability three times, you can re-roll a hit roll of 1, 2, or 3).
  • Pinpoint Precision: Each time a model in this unit makes a ranged attack against the marked unit, reduce any penalties incurred to the hit roll by one. You can use this ability more than once; each time you do so, reduce the penalties incurred to the hit roll by one (e.g. if you use this ability twice, reduce any penalties incurred to the hit roll by two).
  • Guided Warheads: Each time a model in this unit makes a ranged attack with a Seeker weapon against the marked unit, you can ignore any or all Ballistic Skill modifiers for that attack.

  • Seeker
    Each time an attack is made with a Seeker weapon, the firing model has a Ballistic Skill characteristic of 6+ for that attack.

    Markerlight (V1b - markerlight abilities, per-unit)
    [spoiler]Each time a weapon with the Markerlight ability scores a hit, the target gains 1 markerlight counter and the attack sequence ends. All markerlight counters are removed at the end of the phase.

    Target Acquired
    Each time a unit with this ability is selected to shoot, before selecting targets, it can use any of the markerlight abilities listed below. To use a markerlight ability, select an enemy unit – referred to as the marked unit – and spend one of its markerlight counters. Remove that markerlight counter from the unit; the ability’s effect applies to this unit until the end of the phase. This unit can use the same markerlight ability multiple times in the same phase.

    Markerlight Abilities
  • Target Acquired: Each time a model in this unit makes a ranged attack against the marked unit, improve the Ballistic Skill characteristic of that model by 1 for that attack (to a maximum of Ballistic Skill 2+).
  • Locator Systems: Each time a model in this unit makes a ranged attack against the marked unit, it does not receive the benefits of Light Cover against that attack.
  • Guided Warheads: Each time a model in this unit makes a ranged attack with a Seeker weapon against the marked unit, you can ignore any or all hit roll and Ballistic Skill modifiers.
  • Focused Barrage: Instead of following the normal rules for Rapid Fire weapons, models in this unit shooting Rapid Fire weapons at the marked unit make double the number of attacks if it is within half range, or if this unit Remained Stationary in your previous Movement phase.


  • Markerlight (V3a - "Miracle" dice)
    [spoiler]Each time a weapon with the Markerlight ability scores a hit, the target gains 1 Markerlight dice and the attack sequence ends. The unmodified result of the hit roll for that attack is the value of that Markerlight dice. This value cannot be changed or re-rolled, unless a rule specifically states otherwise. Place the Markerlight dice next to that enemy unit until the end of the phase.

    Take Aim
    Each time a T'AU EMPIRE model in your army makes a ranged attack, instead of making a hit roll for that attack or a wound roll for that attack, it can Take Aim. To do so, select 1 of the target's Markerlight dice; the value of the selected Markerlight dice is used for that hit roll or that wound roll, as if it had been rolled. Then, remove the selected Markerlight dice from the target.

    ----------

    Version 1 returns markerlights to their old "spend to gain specific bonuses" version, but applies that bonus to all units for the whole phase, like the current "table of bonuses" version. Helping Seeker missiles to hit becomes just another ability on offer. On the upside, it's a fun, dynamic way to use markerlights, which makes them more efficient (since you're not "wasting" a markerlight on a unit that's not in cover, for instance) and opens the door for extra markerlight abilities from Septs, Warlord Traits, Signature Systems, Stratagems, etc. On the downside, it's another set of abilities that need to be picked every Shooting phase for Tau players and their opponents to remember, a whole new "resource" that Tau need to be balanced against, and it's less harder to remember at a glance what bonuses your army has against each unit.

    Version 1B and 1C both try to make this simpler to play with – 1B means you never remove markerlight counters, you just reapply the benefits each time on a unit-by-unit basis. No need to remember which ability you used, just reference the number of tokens by that enemy unit. 1C simplifies it by making the markerlight abilities temporary; you don't have to remember them because they don't last.

    Version 3A is essentially a fluff tweak to version 3; instead of getting an automatic hit, you get to "copy" the hit roll for those Markerlights onto your big guns, by saving it as a "Miracle dice" for a later hit roll. Same difference, for the most part, as Markerlights will usually be hitting on a 4-6. A bit weaker if you're up against penalties, a bit stronger if you have "do something on a 6 to hit" effects.

    This message was edited 4 times. Last update was at 2021/07/19 14:16:36


     
       
    Made in gb
    Lord of the Fleet






    London

    I'm fully for the first one. Trading a counter for one autohit isn't a worthy tradeoff IMO, and I think the 2nd one is too risky to be worth it when the marking units themselves are still BS4+.

       
    Made in gb
    Dakka Veteran




     Valkyrie wrote:
    I'm fully for the first one. Trading a counter for one autohit isn't a worthy tradeoff IMO, and I think the 2nd one is too risky to be worth it when the marking units themselves are still BS4+.
    For the autohit one, I'd probably also make Markerlights into Assault weapons, or even make them autohit. You're basically getting a free, "important" hit each Shooting phase for each Markerlight hit you land, as the Markerlights make your big guns more reliable. It means you'll want to hyperfocus markerlights onto important enemy units/models, and then burn them for important guns, rather than using Markerlights as a general-purpose shooting buff. That's how they used to work, back in 3e; they made a firing model into BS2+ (for one weapon). 4e-7e introduced the "markerlight ability" approach, but made it per-unit; they were more powerful (+1BS was the baseline) but you effectively spent them like Command Points on a single set of shooting attacks each time... which at least made them easier to track. That's my main concern with V1 - forcing players to track 1-6 different buffs on each different unit across the whole Shooting phase. If I was doing it per-unit, it'd look more like:

    Markerlight (V4 - markerlight abilities, per-unit)
    Spoiler:
    Each time a weapon with the Markerlight ability scores a hit, the target gains 1 markerlight counter and the attack sequence ends. All markerlight counters are removed at the end of the phase.

    Target Acquired
    Each time a unit with this ability is selected to shoot, before selecting targets, it can use any of the markerlight abilities listed below. To use a markerlight ability, select an enemy unit – referred to as the marked unit – and spend one of its markerlight counters. Remove that markerlight counter from the unit; the ability’s effect applies to this unit until the end of the phase. This unit can use the same markerlight ability multiple times in the same phase.

    Markerlight Abilities
  • Target Acquired: Each time a model in this unit makes a ranged attack against the marked unit, improve the Ballistic Skill characteristic of that model by 1 for that attack (to a maximum of Ballistic Skill 2+).
  • Locator Systems: Each time a model in this unit makes a ranged attack against the marked unit, it does not receive the benefits of Light Cover against that attack.
  • Guided Warheads: Each time a model in this unit makes a ranged attack with a Seeker weapon against the marked unit, you can ignore any or all hit roll and Ballistic Skill modifiers.
  • Focused Barrage: Instead of following the normal rules for Rapid Fire weapons, models in this unit shooting Rapid Fire weapons at the marked unit make double the number of attacks if it is within half range, or if the this unit Remained Stationary in your previous Movement phase.
  • Stabilisation Arcs: Each time a ranged attack is made against the marked unit, you can ignore the penalty to hit rolls incurred for firing Assault weapons in the same turn that the shooting model’s unit Advanced, and/or for firing Heavy weapons in the same turn that the shooting model’s unit moved.


  • Actually, huh, there's a fifth option: they could just be Miracle dice. Each time a unit shoots a Markerlight, the hit roll becomes a Markerlight dice which is set by the enemy unit, and you can use that hit roll for another shot.

    Markerlight (V5 - Miracle dice)
    Spoiler:
    Each time a weapon with the Markerlight ability scores a hit, the target gains 1 Markerlight dice and the attack sequence ends. The unmodified result of the hit roll for that attack is the value of that Markerlight dice. This value cannot be changed or re-rolled, unless a rule specifically states otherwise. Place the Markerlight dice next to that enemy unit until the end of the phase.

    Take Aim
    Each time a T'AU EMPIRE model in your army makes a ranged attack, instead of making a hit roll for that attack or a wound roll for that attack, it can Take Aim. To do so, select 1 of the target's Markerlight dice; the value of the selected Markerlight dice is used for that hit roll or that wound roll, as if it had been rolled. Then, remove the selected Markerlight dice from the target.
    Definitely the weakest, though.
       
    Made in us
    Longtime Dakkanaut




    Disclaimer: I've yet to actually get in a game with my Tau.

    I actually think I prefer the ones Valkyrie dislikes. In order of favorite to least favorite:
    V2
    V3
    V5
    V1
    V4

    V2 scales well and is simple to resolve. You have an incentive to take a decent number of markerlights (especially if you field a lot of BS4+ units), but the army doesn't feel crippled without them.

    V3 basically lets you spend X points of your army to make your strongest guns way more efficient. That's an interesting trade-off. My main concern is that it indirectly makes guns with more quantity than quality have less synergy than your big guns. A hammerhead's railgun gets a lot more out of this than a riptide's super duper burst cannon.

    V5 Is just okay. It's easy enough to track and resolve, but it's basically V3 with additional complication but no additional benefits.

    V1 is probably going to be the most popular, but I really don't care for this way of doing markerlights. It creates a bunch of floating special rules that you have to track throughout the phase. Plus, a lot of those effects are basically different ways of doing the same thing; so players will get more or less use out of markerlights depending on how well they can math out the average extra wounds generated by ignoring cover vs rerolling 1s vs firing an extra shot. If you only have enough markerlight tokens to choose half the available benefits, then the weaker half of the options on the list functionally become math traps for those who don't carry around spread sheets telling them when to select each option.

    If I'm reading it right, V4 has all the downsides of V1, but also you "use up" your markerlights' targeting data. Which never made sense to me from a fluff perspective. Do markerlights like, have a really limited bandwidth, and the fire warriors can't benefit from them because the crisis suits are hogging the wifi?
       
    Made in gb
    Dakka Veteran




    Wyldhunt wrote:

    I actually think I prefer the ones Valkyrie dislikes. In order of favorite to least favorite:
    Interesting! And thank you both for the feedback, it's tremendously useful.

    Wyldhunt wrote:

    V2 scales well and is simple to resolve. You have an incentive to take a decent number of markerlights (especially if you field a lot of BS4+ units), but the army doesn't feel crippled without them.
    I really like V2, except for its interaction with seeker missiles, where you're encouraged to "use up" any leftover markerlights at the end of each Shooting phase. "Removing" markerlights can't be a cost in this system due to timing issues, unless it happens right away (i.e. "instead of gaining a markerlight counter, do X").

    The only fix I can think of is to change how seeker missiles work under this system; perhaps they change the bearer's BS to 6+, then improve it by 1 for each markerlight? That doesn't really sound right, either. They're not meant to require lots of stacking. Alternatively, they could be a weapon you can't shoot normally, but each time a markerlight hits, you can have a seeker missile in range hit instead?

    Alternatively, I guess I could just make them less dramatic - hunter-killer missiles don't need a big elaborate markerlight system to blow stuff up, after all.

    Wyldhunt wrote:

    V3 basically lets you spend X points of your army to make your strongest guns way more efficient. That's an interesting trade-off. My main concern is that it indirectly makes guns with more quantity than quality have less synergy than your big guns. A hammerhead's railgun gets a lot more out of this than a riptide's super duper burst cannon.
    Yeah, I actually like this one quite a bit - it's retro, appealingly simple, and makes Markerlights into a much more specific kind of support. The issue is that a) by this point, most people don't remember or want Markerlights to be more specific support, b) it's trickier to slot into the T'au general weapons - I'd need to tweak a bunch of guns to suit its existence, because there's no way it can apply to every shot fired by a gun and still be balanced, but it's also much less effective for a lot of guns than might be expected.

    V5 is mainly there for the flavour of literally transferring your accuracy - you're right that nothing it does can't also be done by V3.

    Wyldhunt wrote:

    V1 is probably going to be the most popular, but I really don't care for this way of doing markerlights. It creates a bunch of floating special rules that you have to track throughout the phase. Plus, a lot of those effects are basically different ways of doing the same thing; so players will get more or less use out of markerlights depending on how well they can math out the average extra wounds generated by ignoring cover vs rerolling 1s vs firing an extra shot. If you only have enough markerlight tokens to choose half the available benefits, then the weaker half of the options on the list functionally become math traps for those who don't carry around spread sheets telling them when to select each option.
    That's pretty much my conclusion, as well. It's the "ideal", because no-one wants to give up their shiny cool characterful individual abilities, and no-one really wants to go back to only individual units or models benefiting, but it gets so complicated, so fast, even for 9e.

    Wyldhunt wrote:

    If I'm reading it right, V4 has all the downsides of V1, but also you "use up" your markerlights' targeting data. Which never made sense to me from a fluff perspective. Do markerlights like, have a really limited bandwidth, and the fire warriors can't benefit from them because the crisis suits are hogging the wifi?
    Yeah. The upside to V4 as opposed to V1 is that the markerlight abilities only affect a single unit's shooting - so there's less book-keeping involved, as you don't have to remember who used what on which target etc. When the markerlight's done, it's done, no need to remember it.

    Mechanically, it makes the +1 benefit cheaper, and that's it. So it's certainly weaker, and might warrant Markerlights being made autohit to compensate.

    The real problem is that markerlights of this type - i.e. not the ones that are specifically for big guns, like V3/V5 - are meant to encourage a very Tau-style "focus fire"... which this doesn't, because it only works for one unit. The only "fix" I can think of for that is merging V1 and V4 - you pick the bonuses each time a unit shoots, but you don't remove the markerlights, they just stay there for the next unit. That'd mean no need to remember who's done what, but it'd make them more powerful through flexibility. At that point, I'd probably have to drastically cut down the abilities available, for simplicity's sake; probably just down to "re-roll 1/2/3 etc to hit", "ignore 1/2/3 etc points of hit penalties", and however seeker missiles work. Light Cover would have to move elsewhere, since Dense Cover would be innately ignored by the penalty-ignoring, and the scaling re-roll would replace the +1 to hit option.

    Hm. That could work. Give me a minute, I'll write it up and edit the OP.
       
    Made in dk
    Pyro Pilot of a Triach Stalker






    I like V3 because of the simplicity, but it lacks the focus fire aspect that makes the current version thematic. Adding an ignores cover effect on units with 1+ markerlights would make markerlights have an effect on lesser guns as well.

    I really dislike V1.

    The current one is awful in execution because you have to resolve shots one at a time until you get your first hit and then you might have to re-roll one or more 1s with the remaining markerlights shooting the target, but the concept is fine and the power level is where it's supposed to be I think.
       
    Made in gb
    Dakka Veteran




     vict0988 wrote:
    I like V3 because of the simplicity, but it lacks the focus fire aspect that makes the current version thematic. Adding an ignores cover effect on units with 1+ markerlights would make markerlights have an effect on lesser guns as well.
    Hm, maybe, yeah.

    It's an issue where originally, Markerlights didn't really have such a "focus fire" theme to them; they were just to guarantee your bigger guns hit better. It was about timing your shooting and setting up your dominos, rather than pointing at a specific unit and saying "everyone shoots at this guy this turn". It only became "focus fire" in 8e, but that's a dynamic which does kind of suit the Tau, as well, so I'm loathe to fully let go of it.

     vict0988 wrote:
    I really dislike V1.
    It's an awkward cludge meant to please everyone, yeah. I think "CP"-style Markerlights could work, potentially, but not in this form, and it's still probably more trouble than it's worth.

     vict0988 wrote:
    The current one is awful in execution because you have to resolve shots one at a time until you get your first hit and then you might have to re-roll one or more 1s with the remaining markerlights shooting the target, but the concept is fine and the power level is where it's supposed to be I think.
    Ah, that's a good catch for the v2, "re-roll Xs" version. I completely missed that. It's an easy fix, though; just have to make it so Markerlight counters are added after shooting is resolved.

    For reference, if you're comparing the "re-roll Xs" version to the current table, against, say, a Guardsman...
  • 1 Markerlight Counter: Current Markerlights and V2 Markerlights are obviously equal, except V2 gets the seeker benefit for free.
  • 2 Markerlight Counters: V2 Markerlights are about 10% more effective. Both get seeker benefits.
  • 3 Markerlight Counters: V2 Markerlights are about 25% more effective, unless the target is in light cover, at which point both Markerlights are roughly even.
  • 4 Markerlight Counters: V2 Markerlights are about 25% more effective, unless the target is in light cover or the shooter is eating a Heavy/Advance penalty, at which point both Markerlights are roughly even. If the target is in light cover AND the shooting is eating a penalty, Current Markerlights are about 33% more effective.[/list]
  • 5 Markerlights: Both Markerlights are even, unless the target is in light cover or the shooter is eating a penalty, in which case Current Markerlights are about 33% more effective (or 75% for both).


  • By my reading, the "re-roll Xs" version needs some way to ignore light cover at higher numbers of markerlights. It's also pretty in-theme for it to do so... Just can't figure out how to do that without disrupting the otherwise pretty elegant mechanical set-up of "re-roll numbers that equal your markerlights".
       
    Made in us
    Longtime Dakkanaut




    RevlidRas wrote:


     vict0988 wrote:
    The current one is awful in execution because you have to resolve shots one at a time until you get your first hit and then you might have to re-roll one or more 1s with the remaining markerlights shooting the target, but the concept is fine and the power level is where it's supposed to be I think.
    Ah, that's a good catch for the v2, "re-roll Xs" version. I completely missed that. It's an easy fix, though; just have to make it so Markerlight counters are added after shooting is resolved.

    For reference, if you're comparing the "re-roll Xs" version to the current table, against, say, a Guardsman...
  • 1 Markerlight Counter: Current Markerlights and V2 Markerlights are obviously equal, except V2 gets the seeker benefit for free.
  • 2 Markerlight Counters: V2 Markerlights are about 10% more effective. Both get seeker benefits.
  • 3 Markerlight Counters: V2 Markerlights are about 25% more effective, unless the target is in light cover, at which point both Markerlights are roughly even.
  • 4 Markerlight Counters: V2 Markerlights are about 25% more effective, unless the target is in light cover or the shooter is eating a Heavy/Advance penalty, at which point both Markerlights are roughly even. If the target is in light cover AND the shooting is eating a penalty, Current Markerlights are about 33% more effective.[/list]
  • 5 Markerlights: Both Markerlights are even, unless the target is in light cover or the shooter is eating a penalty, in which case Current Markerlights are about 33% more effective (or 75% for both).


  • By my reading, the "re-roll Xs" version needs some way to ignore light cover at higher numbers of markerlights. It's also pretty in-theme for it to do so... Just can't figure out how to do that without disrupting the otherwise pretty elegant mechanical set-up of "re-roll numbers that equal your markerlights".

    I wouldn't hate if markerlights simply didn't benefit from other markerlights. The shooting phase isn't meant to represent a huge span of time. It doesn't seem unreasonable to me that warrior firing markerlights are too busy lighting up targets split seconds before others access the targeting data to have time to review/benefit from that targeting data themselves.

    Regarding V2 Seeker missiles, how about you just make the seeker rule something like...

    SEEKER: A weapon with this rule never hits on better than a 6+ regardless of the attacker's BS or any modifiers. This rule does not apply when the seeker weapon is targeting an enemy unit with one or more markerlight tokens.

    Pretty straightforward. The seeker weapons can always fire, but they're really bad unless you've markerlit the target already. Cements the weapon's relationship to markerlights, but doesn't create a lot of weird timing interactions. Optionally, you could make seeker weapons not benefit from the V3 markerlight rerolls if you wanted to reduce the (slightly gamey) temptation to hold off on shooting seekers until later in the phase.

    Also, it might be worth giving markerlights a pseudo subphase like they used to have (I want to say in 7th?). As in give markerlight weapons a rule that lets you fire them all at the start of the shooting phase and then circle back and do your non-markerlight shooting with all your units. It's a little weird, but conceptually not that complicated. You can explain it to your opponent simply enough.

    "Markerlights have a special rule that lets me shoot every markerlight in my army at the start of the phase, and then I go back and shoot the non-markerlight guns in my army normally."
       
    Made in gb
    Dakka Veteran




    Wyldhunt wrote:

    Also, it might be worth giving markerlights a pseudo subphase like they used to have (I want to say in 7th?). As in give markerlight weapons a rule that lets you fire them all at the start of the shooting phase and then circle back and do your non-markerlight shooting with all your units. It's a little weird, but conceptually not that complicated. You can explain it to your opponent simply enough.

    "Markerlights have a special rule that lets me shoot every markerlight in my army at the start of the phase, and then I go back and shoot the non-markerlight guns in my army normally."
    I did consider that, and also considered making them an "ability" you use at the start of the Shooting phase. The main reason I didn't is because it makes Markerlights much less flexible; you have to assign them all at the start, regardless of how the Shooting phase turns out.

    It also makes it impossible to use them for Overwatch – and they're a bit more useful for Overwatch in the auto-hit/re-roll misses form. A unit of 6 Pathfinders firing Markerlights in Overwatch with Hold Steady will score 2 hits, which is a neat little boost to any For The Greater Good allies. Hm.

    I guess it needs to be:
    Unit-By-Unit Markerlights – simple, works like other weapons, works with Overwatch, encourages dedicated "marker" units so you don't miss out on buffs:
    Each time a weapon with the Markerlight ability scores a hit, the attack sequence ends, and the target unit gains 1 markerlight counter after the shooting unit's attacks have been resolved. All markerlight counters are removed at the end of the phase.

    Pre-Shooting Markerlights – separates Markerlights from other weapons, ensures you know what you've got before the rest of the Shooting phase
    Models equipped with any Markerlight weapons are not eligible to make attacks with these weapons when they are selected to shoot. Instead, at the start of your Shooting phase, each model in your army equipped with any Markerlight weapons can shoot with its Markerlight weapons. This does not prevent that model and its unit from being selected to shoot later that phase.

    Each time a weapon with the Markerlight ability scores a hit, the attack sequence ends, and the target unit gains 1 markerlight counter. All markerlight counters are removed at the end of the phase.

    Command Phase Markerlights – same as pre-Shooting, less confusion about double-shooting in that phase, no move-and-shoot or disembark-and-shoot for Markerlights
    Models equipped with any Markerlight weapons are not eligible to make attacks with these weapons when they are selected to shoot. Instead, in your Command phase, each model in your army equipped with any Markerlight weapons can shoot with these weapons as if it were your Shooting phase.

    Each time a weapon with the Markerlight ability scores a hit, the attack sequence ends, and the target unit gains 1 markerlight counter. All markerlight counters are removed at the end of the turn.

    Or I could go totally off-piste with:
    Wargear Markerlights – straightforward, simple, you know what you're getting, but no Heavy synergy or anti-Shooting vulnerabilities
    Markerlight: At the start of your Shooting phase, you can select one enemy unit within 36" of and visible to the bearer. Roll a D6; on a 4+, the selected enemy unit gains 1 markerlight counter until the end of the phase.

    This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/07/20 14:19:16


     
       
    Made in us
    Longtime Dakkanaut




    RevlidRas wrote:
    Wyldhunt wrote:

    Also, it might be worth giving markerlights a pseudo subphase like they used to have (I want to say in 7th?). As in give markerlight weapons a rule that lets you fire them all at the start of the shooting phase and then circle back and do your non-markerlight shooting with all your units. It's a little weird, but conceptually not that complicated. You can explain it to your opponent simply enough.

    "Markerlights have a special rule that lets me shoot every markerlight in my army at the start of the phase, and then I go back and shoot the non-markerlight guns in my army normally."
    I did consider that, and also considered making them an "ability" you use at the start of the Shooting phase. The main reason I didn't is because it makes Markerlights much less flexible; you have to assign them all at the start, regardless of how the Shooting phase turns out.

    That seems like it might be an acceptable limitation for the sake of simplicity and fluff. A given game round in 40k represents what? Something like 10 seconds of in-universe time? Basically enough time for the camera to follow a couple units jogging forward, shooting and getting shot at, and some quick and dirty stabbery.

    So it strains my suspension of disbelief ever so slightly that markerlights are lining up their shots, firing, and uploading that data to the tau network quickly enough for non-markerlight units to then pull down that data, have their helmet/suit systems analyze it and turn it into a visual target assist, and then doing their own aiming and shooting. Assigning your markerlights in advance "feels" like there's that second or two stagger between the markerlights doing their thing and the other guns doing theirs. Plus, that layer of pre-planning helps it feel like an interesting decision rather than just stacking on extra bonuses as needed.


    It also makes it impossible to use them for Overwatch – and they're a bit more useful for Overwatch in the auto-hit/re-roll misses form. A unit of 6 Pathfinders firing Markerlights in Overwatch with Hold Steady will score 2 hits, which is a neat little boost to any For The Greater Good allies. Hm.

    Maybe it's just me, but I kind of struggle to put a lot of value in making overwatch more effective. Given its semi-free nature for tau, it tends to either feel like an annoying time waster (if you don't accomplish much) or like a shameful, unearned round of free damage (if you do accomplish something significant.) Like. Sorry you decided to utilize counterplay in the form of charging my shooty army. Here. Lose two models for making a tactically sound decision. I'm going to avoid posting a multi-paragraph rant about why I dislike the design of tau overwatch. Instead, I'll just say that NOT making tau overwatch more time-consuming and effective is a sacrifice I'm very comfortable making.
       
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    Wyldhunt wrote:
    Maybe it's just me, but I kind of struggle to put a lot of value in making overwatch more effective. Given its semi-free nature for tau, it tends to either feel like an annoying time waster (if you don't accomplish much) or like a shameful, unearned round of free damage (if you do accomplish something significant.) Like. Sorry you decided to utilize counterplay in the form of charging my shooty army. Here. Lose two models for making a tactically sound decision. I'm going to avoid posting a multi-paragraph rant about why I dislike the design of tau overwatch. Instead, I'll just say that NOT making tau overwatch more time-consuming and effective is a sacrifice I'm very comfortable making.
    That's fair. My approach to Supporting Fire/For The Greater Good is simply to eliminate the actual/closest target of the charge from consideration. It's not just free shooting for anyone who gets charged, it requires that you actively and deliberately arrange your forces so you can offer supporting fire:
    Supporting Fire (Aura)
    While a friendly <SEPT> unit is within 6” of this unit, each time an enemy unit declares a charge against this unit, that unit can fire Overwatch as if it were a target of the charge. If it does, you can also use any other rules that would be triggered if that unit was a target of the charge (e.g. the Grav-Inhibitor Field Signature System), and it cannot fire Overwatch again until the end of the phase.

    A unit cannot benefit from this Aura ability if it has already fired Overwatch in this phase, or if it is both a target of the charge and the closest eligible target to the charging unit.


    Thoughts on Markerlight as Heavy weapons vs Markerlights as 4+ wargear? The latter is much simpler, as it avoids the whole "mini Shooting phase at the start of the Shooting phase" issue, but bypasses to-hit modifiers in a way that leaves me a bit uncomfortable.

    This message was edited 4 times. Last update was at 2021/07/22 07:14:35


     
       
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    IMO, moving marker light mechanics from "standard shooting phase rules, cannot fire other weapons" to something in the lines of 'out-of-phase/pseudo-phase' would take the tactical element of playing a Tau army away.

    By providing a dedicated "markerlight phase", you are stripping the need for Tau players to be mindful of their order of offense by virtue of allowing X stacks of markerlight before ANY unit can start attacking - I think that's something to keep in mind while you develop this proposal further.
       
    Made in us
    Longtime Dakkanaut




     skchsan wrote:
    IMO, moving marker light mechanics from "standard shooting phase rules, cannot fire other weapons" to something in the lines of 'out-of-phase/pseudo-phase' would take the tactical element of playing a Tau army away.

    By providing a dedicated "markerlight phase", you are stripping the need for Tau players to be mindful of their order of offense by virtue of allowing X stacks of markerlight before ANY unit can start attacking - I think that's something to keep in mind while you develop this proposal further.

    Interesting. Could you elaborate on that? If I understand what you mean, it sounds like you're saying you consider pausing mid-shooting phase to decide whether or not to shoot an extra markerlight at a target is a feature rather than a bug, but maybe I'm mistaken. If that is what you're saying, it surprises me. I'd think that allocating markerlights in advance would create more interesting choice in the form of deciding on resource allocation with limited information. Plus, it feels gamey and awkward for the whole army to stop shooting and wait to see what your spare markerlight in a squad of fire warriors is going to do. Having the markerlights do their thing prior to your main shooting isn't perfect, but I can fluff it in my head as the markerlights constantly picking out targets for the rest of the army, and the army catching up on the targeting data shortly afterwards.


    Thoughts on Markerlight as Heavy weapons vs Markerlights as 4+ wargear? The latter is much simpler, as it avoids the whole "mini Shooting phase at the start of the Shooting phase" issue, but bypasses to-hit modifiers in a way that leaves me a bit uncomfortable.

    I see what you mean. Probably no wrong answers there. Part of me feels like juking/hologramming/teleporting out of the way (to-hit penaltis) should be an effective markerlight defense given that markerlights seem to need to hit their target to work properly. Then again, I suppose markerlights that miss could have a chance of providing targeting data by telling you where the enemy isn't. Neither strikes me as a terrible approach.
       
    Made in gb
    Dakka Veteran




    Wyldhunt wrote:
    Interesting. Could you elaborate on that? If I understand what you mean, it sounds like you're saying you consider pausing mid-shooting phase to decide whether or not to shoot an extra markerlight at a target is a feature rather than a bug, but maybe I'm mistaken. If that is what you're saying, it surprises me. I'd think that allocating markerlights in advance would create more interesting choice in the form of deciding on resource allocation with limited information. Plus, it feels gamey and awkward for the whole army to stop shooting and wait to see what your spare markerlight in a squad of fire warriors is going to do. Having the markerlights do their thing prior to your main shooting isn't perfect, but I can fluff it in my head as the markerlights constantly picking out targets for the rest of the army, and the army catching up on the targeting data shortly afterwards.
    I can see it encouraging interesting decisions either way.

    Markerlights First forces you to pick, at the start of Shooting phase, how many Markerlights you're going to assign to each enemy unit – therefore opening up the possibility of "wasting" Markerlights if you kill a unit early, or if your opponent responds in an unexpected way. You have to make your decision at the start, on the information you have, without being able to "react".

    Markerlights During forces you to pick, during your Shooting phase, the order in which you're going to shoot with Markerlight-armed units – therefore opening up the possibility of shooting with lots of guns before you've assigned all your Markerlights, and encouraging the use of Pathfinders and Tetras (who have lots of Markerlights in one unit). You have to decide which guns you're willing to shoot "early", before all your Markerlights are in place.
       
     
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