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Made in us
Insect-Infested Nurgle Chaos Lord





In My Lab

If your only input is "I wouldn't, USRs are dumb and bad," please do not post. This is specifically about how you'd handle their return. If you have input BESIDES "I wouldn't," but still want to say you don't like them, that's fine. Just be constructive, please.

Now, how would I do it?

First off, not EVERY rule needs to be a USR. If a rule is only on one or a small number of units, it can be bespoke, but should still aim for clarity in the rule. But stuff like Disgustingly Resilient (Death Guard) and Disgustingly Resilient (Daemons) should be USRs, since tons of models have them.

Death Guard's DR would be, in the main rulebook, like so:

Damage Reduction (X)
Each time an attack is allocated to a model in this unit, subtract X from the Damage characteristic of that attack, to a minimum of 1.

Daemons' DR would be, in the main rulebook like so:

Ignore Wounds (X+)
Each time a model with this ability would lose a wound, roll a d6. If the result is equal to or greater than X, that wound is not lost.

On the actual datasheets, space permitting, though, you'd see this:

Damage Reduction (1)-Disgustingly Resilient
Each time an attack is allocated to a model in this unit, subtract 1 from the Damage characteristic of the attack, to a minimum of 1.
The foul, bloated power armor of the Death Guard allows them to shrug off blows that would fell less durable Marines.

Ignore Wounds (5+)-Disgustingly Resilient
Each time a model with this ability would lose a wound, roll a d6. If the result is equal to or greater than 5, that wound is not lost.
Nurgle Daemons are supernaturally durable, to the point where wounds that hit their physical forms are even then shrugged off due to sheer bulk and resilience.

In general, rules would be named as technically as possible-you should be able to tell what a rule does from the name alone, generally speaking, or at least have a decent idea. You'd then get little fluff snippets, space permitting. And, if space does NOT permit, there should be an entry in the Codex that has artwork and a much greater description of the unit, so you can tell that a Terminator with Deep Strike (9") is teleporting in, while an Assault Marine with the same rule is doing a low-altitude drop.

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Made in gb
Fixture of Dakka







I tend to think you currently have three tiers of special rules.

- Universal Special Rules - Present in multiple Codexes (or whatever the plural is), leading to inconsistent wording between books. Deep Strike, Infiltrate, Feel No Pain, etc, would be examples of these.
- Army Special Rules - Mostly present within a single book, but used by multiple datasheets within in that book. Living Metal, Shock Assault, etc, would be examples of these.
- Datasheet Special Rules - Present on a limited number of datasheets, potentially across multiple books.

First step in the process is reviewing everything, and looking for the common rules - and the groups of rules which are currently very similar, without being strictly identical. In the case of the latter, is there a way they could be brought into one common framework, potentially using an N, a Y" or an X+ notation, for example.

Given the three tiers of rules proposed above, you want to see how many rules can be placed in the USR bracket because they feature across a wide enough range of books/units - to use an example from 7th, as the mini-rulebook for that is close to hand, Zealot almost certainly didn't need to be a USR, and could've stayed at the DSR level. Your Damage Reduction (X) rule, though, would probably work as a USR today, given the use in Death Guard, Space Marine Dreadnoughts, etc.

I'd also say you probably don't want to go overboard with USRs - I've said before that 1-2 pages is what I'd be thinking of for the main offenders, though I could maybe stretch that to 3-4 depending on how the above exercise works.

I'd also want to see them printed, in full, as an appendix in every Codex - sure, they might not all apply to your list, but at least they're available as a reference and a frame of reference.

As you say, assuming the current datasheet framework sticks around, I'd want them printed on the datasheet if space permits. If they're an appendix in the book, you can go to shorthand - with the page reference - if you need to, but ideally go with printing them if possible.

I'd also like to see a more thorough use of a keyword/USR system with weaponry, as that seems to be a design space not used in 8th or 9th - imagine how much more elegant Bolter Discipline would be if it could just refer to appropriate weapons with the BOLT keyword, rather than a (very) long list of weapons that qualify. If you did go for weapon USRs (such as the Gets Hot! aspect of plasma, or the additional AP of melta), this would allow all weapons to be updated at once if the design approach shifts.

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 Kanluwen wrote:
This is, emphatically, why I will continue suggesting nuking Guard and starting over again. It's a legacy army that needs to be rebooted with a new focal point.

Confirmation of why no-one should listen to Kanluwen when it comes to the IG - he doesn't want the IG, he want's Kan's New Model Army... 
   
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Longtime Dakkanaut




NE Ohio, USA

Should they return in a future edition?
I'll handle it by opening the main rulebook, noting that " they're back".
Then I'll stick those pages on the scanner & include a copy, taped to the inside front cover, of each Codex for easy reference.
Just like I did in previous editions.
   
Made in us
Gore-Soaked Lunatic Witchhunter







At this point "add USRs back without changing anything else substantive" feels to me like one of the old standby "change to alternating activations without changing anything else"/"change to d10s/d12s without changing anything else" magic-bullet solutions that wouldn't really change much. Adding USRs in without changing the number of layers of card-game buffs you can stack onto the game would probably make no practical difference to how the game plays. I don't think there's a quick and simple fix that doesn't require burning down 9th and starting over with 10th.

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 Crimson Devil wrote:

Dakka does have White Knights and is also rather infamous for it's Black Knights. A new edition brings out the passionate and not all of them are good at expressing themselves in written form. There have been plenty of hysterical responses from both sides so far. So we descend into pointless bickering with neither side listening to each other. So posting here becomes more masturbation than conversation.

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Tacoma, WA, USA

I would use keywords embedded in the bespoke rules to unify the experience rather than reduce thematic rules into a bland list of abilities.

So Reduce Damage becomes a keyword, while Disgustingly Resilient remains the special rule for Death Guard.

Reduce Damage: Damage inflicted on this model reduce amount per attack to a minimum of 1.

Disgustingly Resilient
Those favoured by Nurgle are inured to pain, their rotting bodies shrugging off all but the most traumatic damage with ease. Attacks against a model with this rule reduce damage by 1.

Armour of Heraclus: This model has a 4+ invulnerable save. In addition, reduce damage by half (rounding up).
   
Made in us
Insect-Infested Nurgle Chaos Lord





In My Lab

 alextroy wrote:
I would use keywords embedded in the bespoke rules to unify the experience rather than reduce thematic rules into a bland list of abilities.

So Reduce Damage becomes a keyword, while Disgustingly Resilient remains the special rule for Death Guard.

Reduce Damage: Damage inflicted on this model reduce amount per attack to a minimum of 1.

Disgustingly Resilient
Those favoured by Nurgle are inured to pain, their rotting bodies shrugging off all but the most traumatic damage with ease. Attacks against a model with this rule reduce damage by 1.

Armour of Heraclus: This model has a 4+ invulnerable save. In addition, reduce damage by half (rounding up).
Two things:

1) Do you feel my proposal, in the first post, is just a bland list of abilities? It's quite similar to yours, just with the addition of a more technical name in addition to the fluff name, and slightly different formatting.

2) This is a me thing, but I don't feel like the datasheets need to have tons of fluff. Your Codex has an entire section dedicated to big artworks of the units, along with paragraphs of text describing what they are and how they function. With all that, it's okay to me if the datasheet is more game first, since it's the game section of the Dex.

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Made in au
Repentia Mistress




 JNAProductions wrote:
 alextroy wrote:
I would use keywords embedded in the bespoke rules to unify the experience rather than reduce thematic rules into a bland list of abilities.

So Reduce Damage becomes a keyword, while Disgustingly Resilient remains the special rule for Death Guard.

Reduce Damage: Damage inflicted on this model reduce amount per attack to a minimum of 1.

Disgustingly Resilient
Those favoured by Nurgle are inured to pain, their rotting bodies shrugging off all but the most traumatic damage with ease. Attacks against a model with this rule reduce damage by 1.

Armour of Heraclus: This model has a 4+ invulnerable save. In addition, reduce damage by half (rounding up).
Two things:

1) Do you feel my proposal, in the first post, is just a bland list of abilities? It's quite similar to yours, just with the addition of a more technical name in addition to the fluff name, and slightly different formatting.

2) This is a me thing, but I don't feel like the datasheets need to have tons of fluff. Your Codex has an entire section dedicated to big artworks of the units, along with paragraphs of text describing what they are and how they function. With all that, it's okay to me if the datasheet is more game first, since it's the game section of the Dex.
my responsive thoughts:

1)The different formatting matters. It allows the best of both worlds.

2)You're right, it's a you thing. I don't want this to sound mean spirited, but 40k isn't chess. It's a game about bringing 'your dudes' to life and while you may not need fluff in your datasheet, GW needs it there; it's part of the growth of the game. More importantly to me, *I* like it.

   
Made in us
Insect-Infested Nurgle Chaos Lord





In My Lab

Lammia, as you're not the person I was responding to, I'd like to know what's that different between:

Damage Reduction (1)-Disgustingly Resilient
Each time an attack is allocated to a model in this unit, subtract 1 from the Damage characteristic of the attack, to a minimum of 1.
The foul, bloated power armor of the Death Guard allows them to shrug off blows that would fell less durable Marines.
And...

Disgustingly Resilient
Those favoured by Nurgle are inured to pain, their rotting bodies shrugging off all but the most traumatic damage with ease. Attacks against a model with this rule reduce damage by 1.
If you prefer Alextroy's take on the fluff text, can't argue there, but... Is having mechanical text and fluff text in the same line that different from having mechanical text and fluff text on different lines?

As for the latter... I'd much rather have a system with incredibly bare, rules-focused datasheets, but where the rules let my Daemons feel like Daemons, and furthermore my Nurgle Daemons distinct from my Slaanesh, than to have a system that has gobs of flowery text to cover up bad rules that don't reflect the fluff well. Moreover, Codecs have their entire first third being pictures and paragraphs on the different units. I don't object to the presence of lore on datasheets, but I don't think that you'd need fluff to be on every single page for every single model. If the Codex has five paragraphs and a half-age artwork on Assault Marines, that should be enough to know how they operate and how they should feel-it shouldn't HAVE to have fluff text in the datasheet.

Clocks for the clockmaker! Cogs for the cog throne! 
   
Made in au
Owns Whole Set of Skullz Techpriests






Versteckt in den Schatten deines Geistes.

You just gotta come up with better names for 'em.

Damage Reduction? Nah! Insane Durability (X).
Hard to Wound? Nah! Unnatural Toughness (X).
Ignore Wounds? Nah! Feel No Pain (X).

And so on.

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Tacoma, WA, USA

 JNAProductions wrote:
 alextroy wrote:
I would use keywords embedded in the bespoke rules to unify the experience rather than reduce thematic rules into a bland list of abilities.

So Reduce Damage becomes a keyword, while Disgustingly Resilient remains the special rule for Death Guard.

Reduce Damage: Damage inflicted on this model reduce amount per attack to a minimum of 1.

Disgustingly Resilient
Those favoured by Nurgle are inured to pain, their rotting bodies shrugging off all but the most traumatic damage with ease. Attacks against a model with this rule reduce damage by 1.

Armour of Heraclus: This model has a 4+ invulnerable save. In addition, reduce damage by half (rounding up).
Two things:

1) Do you feel my proposal, in the first post, is just a bland list of abilities? It's quite similar to yours, just with the addition of a more technical name in addition to the fluff name, and slightly different formatting.

2) This is a me thing, but I don't feel like the datasheets need to have tons of fluff. Your Codex has an entire section dedicated to big artworks of the units, along with paragraphs of text describing what they are and how they function. With all that, it's okay to me if the datasheet is more game first, since it's the game section of the Dex.
1. At the core, yes. Once you put the rule first, the flavor text and flavor rule become extra. I've lived through editions 5-7 and mechanics first rules are just not very evocative of the setting.

2. It's where GW has decided to place the fluff. It also drives the fluff into the gameplay. I'd rather it that way than the USR way.

Still, stronger unification of mechanics would be good, just not the the point of having 4th to 7th edition USRs. That's why I feel that an expanded use of rules keywords would be the better way to get the best of both worlds. GW already expanded them in 9th with the extra rules for Vehicles, Monsters, and Blast. They can use that in more places to shrink the datasheet text will unifying rules that operate the same.
   
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Secret Inquisitorial Eldar Xenexecutor






your mind

I like Alex’s descriptions for unit entries. Maybe jnap’s for main book entries… something like that.

   
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Gargantuan Gargant




Italy

I prefer having the complete set of rules, with all the descriptions, listed under the units' datasheets. I hate jumping up and down between codexes and rulebook. like I already have to do and I definitely wouldn't want to do it even more.

But similar special rules should be equal to everyone. No more countless slightly different iterations of the same special rules spread across the codexes.


 
   
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I don't think anything needs to drastically change from how they are now, the rules being on the unit entry is fine, it's just that instead of every unit having more or less the same rule with a different name and wording it would be written the same with a 'universal' name EG everybody has the same Deep Strike, the same FNP etc.

For all my gripes about 8th/9th I don't mind glancing at unit entries rather than flicking through the BRB.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/10/10 06:58:47


 
   
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Longtime Dakkanaut




 Blackie wrote:
I prefer having the complete set of rules, with all the descriptions, listed under the units' datasheets. I hate jumping up and down between codexes and rulebook. like I already have to do and I definitely wouldn't want to do it even more.

But similar special rules should be equal to everyone. No more countless slightly different iterations of the same special rules spread across the codexes.


This really is just how other games do it for the most part, With USRs being simple rules that you shouldn’t be needing to look up. But often put on the rule sheet.
It also offers the chance for condensed rule sheets with a choice for players.

With the fluffy rules, often all that happens is that you once again make nurgle players tell there oponants that yes, nurgle units are disgusting and resilient. But nothing useful in the game, making it more likely to train players to ignore the painfully little fluff the codexes have now.
And the loss of design space for more unique rules which now bloat the system and Weigh it down.

You can off corse use it as a UFR for the faction, but even that could dilute the faction identity down to them just being tough.
And I find currently 40k is just a lot of fluff with less depth to other games on the table because of it.

So at this point I don’t think there much to say than I think other games mostly do USR right and 40k could pick and copy it down.
The few variations used as inspiration where they take it.
   
Made in fi
5th God of Chaos (O'rly?)





 Blackie wrote:
I prefer having the complete set of rules, with all the descriptions, listed under the units' datasheets. I hate jumping up and down between codexes and rulebook. like I already have to do and I definitely wouldn't want to do it even more.

But similar special rules should be equal to everyone. No more countless slightly different iterations of the same special rules spread across the codexes.


But having all in datasheets without universal rules results in different rules for different codexes.

Your two goals are diametrically opposed. I said this will happen when 8e started. It happened.

Only way you get same rules for same is have same source for rules.

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Made in it
Gargantuan Gargant




Italy

Yeah, same source, but always described in full under the datasheets to avoid cross referencing.


 
   
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Pyro Pilot of a Triach Stalker






https://www.dakkadakka.com/dakkaforum/posts/list/781012.page

It's already been discussed to death.

All I'd do is rename existing abilities and cut out the fluff bits like "they hide in the warp" and "they tear out of the warp" and just write "go into reinforcements" "arrive from reinforcements". I wouldn't list the abilities in the main rulebook, list them all at the end of every codex or remove the rules text from codices. The fluff for units should be explained in the fluff section of a codex.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/10/10 08:28:18


 
   
Made in us
Longtime Dakkanaut





I would throw a party if they returned and praise the sun for an end to so many bespoke but the same rules all over.
   
Made in ca
Excited Doom Diver






I did like the old USR list back in the day, but 8
I do like having all the rules on the datasheets, it's easier than referencing a glossary at the end of the rulebook all the time, and was a lot to memorize.

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Made in gb
Lit By the Flames of Prospero






I'd start a riot!
*ahem*
I'd just get on with it TBH, I don't remember my rules now anyway so it doesn't really make that much of a difference to me.
   
Made in gb
Fixture of Dakka







 jaredb wrote:
I did like the old USR list back in the day, but 8
I do like having all the rules on the datasheets, it's easier than referencing a glossary at the end of the rulebook all the time, and was a lot to memorize.

Not sure what happened to the first paragraph there.

Regarding the second, I don't think anyone advocating for the use of USRs has been pushing for them to be then be removed from datasheets, space permitting. I know my position is that they should be in the BRB, as well as an appendix in each Codex, and I certainly wouldn't be against the idea of a card reference sheet for them in each starter.

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 Kanluwen wrote:
This is, emphatically, why I will continue suggesting nuking Guard and starting over again. It's a legacy army that needs to be rebooted with a new focal point.

Confirmation of why no-one should listen to Kanluwen when it comes to the IG - he doesn't want the IG, he want's Kan's New Model Army... 
   
Made in de
Fresh-Faced New User





I would return to same way they where when they where a thing. have a full list in the BRB and as a bonus you can have them in every Codex as was said before here. With the exception of not combining two. e.g. unit has USR C which is USR A and B, just give it A and B.
For me the best example against bespoken rules was true grit. It was a SW, DG and GK special rule with three different rulings.
That is why right now I always read all the rules because there might be a little difference that you miss. With USR you say I have Rule X and everyone knows it without having to read the unit data sheet.

I am always surprised that I read a lot of negativity about USRs but people still say DS or FNP despite the 8th/9th edition do not have these rules. They have rules that have same effect but no unit has ether of these two.
Which for me proves the concept of them.
   
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Not a fan of USRs if the designer doesn't treat them as "universal" - and GW have never managed it in just about any game system I can think of.

If you wanted to bring USRs back to 10th edition I'd start with a clean slate like 8th.

I'd then conceive of about 10-20 genuinely universal special rules (and less is better). I'd then define the rules of *all units*, from Grots to Knights and everything in between in the context of those rules and nothing else. There maybe be additional faction special rules as a bonus - but that's it. You'd need your 10-20 USRs, your 2-3 faction rules and that would be that.

It would be limited perhaps - but that's the attraction of the USR system.

Don't do a 7th, where you have about 100 USRs to notionally define the game space - but because GW refuse even to be bound within that ludicrous amount of space, you then still have bags of special rules on top of this. If you have a rule that applies to about 4 units in the whole game, it isn't "universal".

And equally if you just want Deepstrike, Infiltrate, Outrider, and say FNP to be codified like "Fly" then okay, probably would make some sense, - but again its still leaving a rules system which is largely bespoke.
   
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Gig Harbor, WA

The new edition of kill team makes pretty good use of USRs, but they also wreck it by adding tons of other silly special rules to various sheets.

It gets pretty tiresome to have so many extra sets of rules in so many different places, and so many of them are barely different from other versions.

I don't think the game needs to be this complex to be fun and interesting.
   
Made in gb
Longtime Dakkanaut




Lammia wrote:


2)You're right, it's a you thing. I don't want this to sound mean spirited, but 40k isn't chess. It's a game about bringing 'your dudes' to life and while you may not need fluff in your datasheet, GW needs it there; it's part of the growth of the game. More importantly to me, *I* like it.


This comes up quite a lot in USR discussions. One thing I've never understood is why having a bunch of fluffy text is more important than having rules that properly represent your faction or unit. If the rules text is bland but the rules achieve the goal of making the unit work in a thematic way isn't that better than having fluffy text but unfluffy rules? Then there's the fact that plenty of USR implementations allow for both the fluff and the rules to be given space on a datasheet.
   
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Dakka Veteran






^^^ Yes.

i swear half the angst about the older editions (mainly 6th and 7th) is that the rules were long. But the rules were long because the actual mechanical "rules" were intermingled with fluff text that bloated the whole thing up.

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 JNAProductions wrote:
If your only input is "I wouldn't, USRs are dumb and bad," please do not post. This is specifically about how you'd handle their return. If you have input BESIDES "I wouldn't," but still want to say you don't like them, that's fine. Just be constructive, please.

Now, how would I do it?

First off, not EVERY rule needs to be a USR. If a rule is only on one or a small number of units, it can be bespoke, but should still aim for clarity in the rule. But stuff like Disgustingly Resilient (Death Guard) and Disgustingly Resilient (Daemons) should be USRs, since tons of models have them.

Death Guard's DR would be, in the main rulebook, like so:

Damage Reduction (X)
Each time an attack is allocated to a model in this unit, subtract X from the Damage characteristic of that attack, to a minimum of 1.

Daemons' DR would be, in the main rulebook like so:

Ignore Wounds (X+)
Each time a model with this ability would lose a wound, roll a d6. If the result is equal to or greater than X, that wound is not lost.

On the actual datasheets, space permitting, though, you'd see this:

Damage Reduction (1)-Disgustingly Resilient
Each time an attack is allocated to a model in this unit, subtract 1 from the Damage characteristic of the attack, to a minimum of 1.
The foul, bloated power armor of the Death Guard allows them to shrug off blows that would fell less durable Marines.

Ignore Wounds (5+)-Disgustingly Resilient
Each time a model with this ability would lose a wound, roll a d6. If the result is equal to or greater than 5, that wound is not lost.
Nurgle Daemons are supernaturally durable, to the point where wounds that hit their physical forms are even then shrugged off due to sheer bulk and resilience.

In general, rules would be named as technically as possible-you should be able to tell what a rule does from the name alone, generally speaking, or at least have a decent idea. You'd then get little fluff snippets, space permitting. And, if space does NOT permit, there should be an entry in the Codex that has artwork and a much greater description of the unit, so you can tell that a Terminator with Deep Strike (9") is teleporting in, while an Assault Marine with the same rule is doing a low-altitude drop.


Like computer games do it. Not rocket science. Take a look at Age of Wonders: Planetfall for inspiration.
   
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I happen to really like the fluff descriptions of special abilities. It's understandable and they should address that issue. It would be nice if there is a rules only version of stuff so people who don't care about why (X) does (Y) are not bothered by a couple sentences.
   
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Longtime Dakkanaut





The only way USR's will make me happy is if their rules text is printed on datacards in Codices as well as the BRB.

The fact that they weren't in all the previous editions that included them is the reason why I hated them.

40k is always going to be a BRB + Codex game, so you are always going to need both to play, but in the current version of the game, each of the necessary books is complete- neither contains the name of a rule which can only be found in another book.

I have come around to USRs; I agree that the game is enhanced by common language. But the endless cross referencing that was required in previous version, not to mention the dissatisfaction I felt at buying books which did not contain the text for the rules included in the book killed me.

Lots of folks are legitimately frustrated about the DLC of campaign books because they feel those make Codices FEEL incomplete. In previous editions of the game that included USRs. Codices actually WERE incomplete.

I get it: since you need the BRB anyway, it didn't feel like that big a deal to some people. But that doesn't the fact that previous Codices were incomplete.
   
 
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