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Made in ch
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 Gadzilla666 wrote:
 kodos wrote:
 insaniak wrote:

And they can do that, even if the rules are in the main rulebook. The problem is, those of us who do prefer to learn as much of the game as possible have a much harder time of it when the rules are scattered and inconsistent.

It's not about playing in events. You can't make effective tactical decisions when you don't know what the models on the other side of the table actually do.


I think this is a major point as those who want to play the game likes to have different rules as those who just want to roll some dice

There are people who just want to put models on the table, roll dice and be done. Reading only what is necessary and 8th Core Rules + Datasheets of their used units is already at the limit (and some may have not even read those once before they need it on the table)

Those who read all the rules at least once before they start playing are the Event/Tournament/Beardy-Players as they want to play a game and play to win

current rules of AoS and 40k (and Kill Team) are meant to please the first type of people, who just need enough rules to have a reason to put their stuff on the table and move it.
hence why stuff like Warhammer Underworlds and similar is received so well as it serves the need to play a game without giving up on GW and have the possibility to use those models in AoS.


Problem is just that GW cannot make rules to make both groups happy at the same time and non is willing to move over to a different rule-set which fits their needs better.

Wait, what? Anyone who reads the rules is an "Event/Tournament/Beardy-Player? No, sorry, I don't play events, tournaments, or have a beard (do mutton chops count?) and I still read the rules before playing any game.

What you're describing is why gw makes some rules optional/for advanced play. You can use them if you want to or not use them if you don't. That has nothing to do with USRs.

And writing rules for a game as expensive and time consuming as 40k purposefully as shallow as you describe makes no sense. Why would anyone spend so much money and time on building an army just to "put their stuff on the table and move it".

If gw would write rules with such a goal in mind it would be insulting to long time players who've invested years and large sums of money into the hobby.


i fail to see the issue with you can't make all the people happy.

The core issue is, that regardless of system, GW fails gloriously at even the most basic technical writing.

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Which isn't an issue with USRS or bespoke rules. It's an issue with gw's rules writing. And they can do better. They have before.
   
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USRs are an immense help to new players. Yes, it can make the core rules bigger and a bi more intimidating to start with, but that's more of a book design and layout issue. There are plenty of ways to set up the rulebook to get around that sort of problem and most games already use some variant of Quick Start rules, with a separate full Rules Reference. I think that's better because it makes most of the rules accessible to everyone.

The example earlier in the thread about not knowing what units can do is a very good one and one of the main reasons people can get frustrated playing the game - these are all gotcha rules that you simply have to memorise if you want to know them all. And it's not just about highly competitive players needing to do that, it's anyone who is more than just a beginner playing their first few games.

Speaking of that type of not-quite-beginner player, USRs would help them a lot. Before lockdown my group had a new player show up with Space Wolves. He knew the basic rules pretty well but didn't have much experience with playing the actual game with his army so a bunch of us played against him over the next few weeks. In pretty much every game we'd be having to explain concepts that should have been USRs but it was quite difficult because of the lack of common language between us - we couldn't refer to Feel No Pain, for example. On top of that, even if we knew a rule existed and we were trying to help this player get to know his own rules, the lack of USRs made that more difficult than it needed to be. We'd know a rule existed but we couldn't always easily find it on a unit's datasheet (FNP on the Wulfen was an example of that because of the sheer number of rules they have). When you know a rule exists and still take too long to find it I think that's an indication the system isn't working well. The same would happen when we'd try to explain our own rules to him. The lack of common wording made things more difficult than it should have been. Taking the example above, explaining what Disgustingly Resilient does involved him reading the rule, questioning what it was trying to say then, after seeing it being used a few times, realising it's the same as the rule his Wulfen have. That led to a very puzzled player asking why they're called something different.

Interestingly enough, after half a dozen games he was using the same Deep Strike and Feel No Pain terminology as the more experienced players.
   
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 Gadzilla666 wrote:

Wait, what? Anyone who reads the rules is an "Event/Tournament/Beardy-Player? No, sorry, I don't play events, tournaments, or have a beard (do mutton chops count?) and I still read the rules before playing any game.

That seems to be the main argument of those who are against USR's, if you read the full rules before you play the game (or go that far and learned them) you are not a casual player anymore and therefore not the target group of the game

It is not that I would agree with that, but going by that logic the whole argument about 40k being a good and simple game starts making sense as the less pages you need to read to start rolling dice the better, and therefore even one page of USR's is a page too much

PS: the term beardy came originally from the old Warhammer times were there were so many rules that only the older players (who often had a beard) were able to read and remember everything while the kids/teens only read the basic rules
so yes, if you know most of the rules, you are not casual but a beardy player

 Hellebore wrote:

I'm not sure that tracks. A person uninterested in learning all the rules and just wants to play the game can do that with USRs that are printed on their unit sheets.

You can convert the entire game to using a range of rules standardisations right now and how you play the game wouldn't change at all.
[...]
USRs are a BOON to casual players because they don't have check their rules every time. once they've played a few games they'll get the hang of the mechanics and they'll only need to worry about one version of a rule. Casual players that just want to throw dice are people that don't have time to keep track of the slight wording differences between abilities that play out on the table virtually identically anyway.

of course, but it will make the rulebook have more pages and forces the "casual player" to read more than he would need (as he would read by accident USR's that are not needed for his faction

I like USR's and if I compare the mess that 40k is to something more well written like Warpath or Starship Troopers, I don't really want to touch the 40k rules any more
same for Kill Team after playing Deadzone, but I like playing the game and for me good rules are needed to enjoy playing a game

casual players benefit more from well written and balanced rules than any WAAC player ever will, yet people here claim the opposite just because well written rules will add more words that need to be read.
A reason why I would never suggest any GW game for someone who wants to start playing Wargames (it is a nice event/tournament system because you can find an event everywhere without needing to drive for hours)

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Here's a thought: USRs in their own little booklet. You have them in your rulebook and also have a little booklet tucked in there with them also listed on.

So now when you need to look one up you can just flip open the booklet rather than finding the USR section in the rulebook.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2020/05/14 10:59:31


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If only there was some way to use the reflective properties of the book to create some sort of electrically charged field that we could attract small particles of toner to a drum to then fuse those toner particles onto some paper, but I guess that's only for SciFi land.

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 A Town Called Malus wrote:
Here's a thought: USRs in their own little booklet. You have them in your rulebook and also have a little booklet tucked in there with them also listed on.

So now when you need to look one up you can just flip open the booklet rather than finding the USR section in the rulebook.


Or even more radical why not just stop adding the same old fluff since 3rd edition to the book to bulk it out and make charging sill prices for 20 pages of actual content seem not to bad and then meaning you now have a 1kg weight to carry around before you start carrying your models, but that's mildly off topic.

Using keywording or something for geniunely USR's with variables is one thing(1), but some are saying everything should be a onesize fits all USR(2) and some would say some rules need to be non USR's(3) and some don't want any USR's just GW to git good at writing rules.



1 FNP(X+)
Every time a model with this rule looses a wound on a die roll of (X+) that wound is not lost.

2 FNP
Every time a model with this rule looses a wound on a die roll of 5+ that wound is not lost

3 Protector of the Future (apocothory)
Friendly Models within 6 inches of this model Gain a FNP(6+) see 2 if they alreay have a FNP rule they may reroll the FNP die.

4
Discustingly resilient
Every time a model with this rule looses a wound on a die roll of 5+ that wound is not lost

The Flesh is Weak
Every time a model with this rule looses a wound on a die roll of 6+ that wound is not lost



The only one that IMHO doesn't work is 2 as you need to have the entire game designed before you print the BRB.

1 Can cover a lot but kinda has some issues for say custodes FNP agaisnt psychic powers, Tarranis Knights not getting theirs against psyhcic. Both are FNP(number+) abilities but with different exclusions.

4 Works if GW would learn that Ctrl+C and Ctrl+V works and basically is how 8th should have been.

3, I belive is best as it uses USR's were appropriate but allows for appropriate variations but uses consistent approach to wording to avoid confusion.

Bodyguards is another rule that people complain about but highlights why I think 3 is the best option

Bodyguard(x+)
When a faction unit within 3 inches of a model with this rule is hit with an attack you may roll a die, on an (x+) this attack is resolved against the model with this rule.

Grotshield
When an ork unit within 3 inches of a grott unit is chosen as the target of an attack play this strategum.
For each hit scored against this unit roll a die, on a result of 2+ a grot from the unit is killed and the attack sequence ends.

Living Shield (Tyrant guard)
When a Hivefleet Hivetyrent is within 3 inches of a model with this rule is hit with an attack roll a die, on an (x+) this attack is resolved against the Tyrant Guard

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2020/05/14 11:25:30


 
   
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Ice_can wrote:
1 Can cover a lot but kinda has some issues for say custodes FNP agaisnt psychic powers, Tarranis Knights not getting theirs against psyhcic. Both are FNP(number+) abilities but with different exclusions.
While I dislike the concept of "USR-", this can be fixed with a bespoke rule. "Aegis of the Emperor: Models with this ability have a 5+ invulnerable save. Superior Golden Helms: Models with this ability have Ignore Wounds (6+) against Mortal Wounds inflicted in the Psychic Phase."

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Disclaimer: My YMDC answers are from a "What the rules, as written (or modified by Special Snowflake FAQ) in the rulebooks, actually say" perspective, not a "What I wish the rules said" perspective. Even GW agrees with me, send an email to 40kfaq@gwplc.com for a confirmation reply "4. Apply The Rules As Written. If you still don’t have a satisfactory answer, use the rule just as it is written if you possibly can, even if you are not completely happy with the effect the rule has."
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 BaconCatBug wrote:
Ice_can wrote:
1 Can cover a lot but kinda has some issues for say custodes FNP agaisnt psychic powers, Tarranis Knights not getting theirs against psyhcic. Both are FNP(number+) abilities but with different exclusions.
While I dislike the concept of "USR-", this can be fixed with a bespoke rule. "Aegis of the Emperor: Models with this ability have a 5+ invulnerable save. Superior Golden Helms: Models with this ability have Ignore Wounds (6+) against Mortal Wounds inflicted in the Psychic Phase."

So option 3 then where you mix USR's with Bespoke rules but also make the rules as consistently worded as possible.
   
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I'd actually prefer option 1, but if there MUST be a modification to a USR, you can do it with USR plus Bespoke rule that modifies the USR for that unit alone.

Add me on Discord: BaconCatBug#0294 +++++List of "broken" RaW in Warhammer 40,000 8th edition+++++
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Disclaimer: My YMDC answers are from a "What the rules, as written (or modified by Special Snowflake FAQ) in the rulebooks, actually say" perspective, not a "What I wish the rules said" perspective. Even GW agrees with me, send an email to 40kfaq@gwplc.com for a confirmation reply "4. Apply The Rules As Written. If you still don’t have a satisfactory answer, use the rule just as it is written if you possibly can, even if you are not completely happy with the effect the rule has."
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Spoletta wrote:
7th edition is the best example because it is the most recent one and because it is the only other edition that had to handle similar stuff to 8th.

How is being the "most recent one" means it is in any way representative to what GW would do if they added USR again? What's the logic here?
Also it wasn't the only other edition that had to handle similar stuff to 8th.

Spoletta wrote:
What makes you all believe that if GW were to do it all over it would end up as anything different?

I got several reasons really :
- A change of CEO, going together with a massive change of mentality
- Changes in the design team, both with member leaving and joining, and experience gained by members remaining
- The very simple and very real fact that editions all changed stuff, so: observation
And really, if you are going to deny that last one item, keep in mind that you are the one who really really wants to compare to 7th, meaning you DO believe previous editions were different.

Ice_can wrote:
By insisting everything must by a BRB USR that you can learn from day 1 your tailoring the game experiance to be
Exclusionary to new players due excessive memorization
Benifical to people with multiple armies and a driven competitive focus.
Inflexible design space once USR's have been written and published

I am perfectly fine with things being non-BRB but still USR, the way some Warmachine rules.
On the datasheet, you get :

Flavour name: flavour text.
USR name: USR rule.

You just don't get the rule in the BRB.
Makes it trivial to see when rules are the same, make fixing rules interaction easier, doesn't require cross-referencing any more than the current option, doesn't expose new players to any more complexity than is required for the specific models they want to play, makes it easier for them to recognize what their opponents rule do, prevent missing slight difference in implementation.

This message was edited 3 times. Last update was at 2020/05/14 14:17:24


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Because GW are super good about making sure rules that are the same are worded the same, amirite?

Cries in Dante

Add me on Discord: BaconCatBug#0294 +++++List of "broken" RaW in Warhammer 40,000 8th edition+++++
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Disclaimer: My YMDC answers are from a "What the rules, as written (or modified by Special Snowflake FAQ) in the rulebooks, actually say" perspective, not a "What I wish the rules said" perspective. Even GW agrees with me, send an email to 40kfaq@gwplc.com for a confirmation reply "4. Apply The Rules As Written. If you still don’t have a satisfactory answer, use the rule just as it is written if you possibly can, even if you are not completely happy with the effect the rule has."
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 BaconCatBug wrote:
Because GW are super good about making sure rules that are the same are worded the same, amirite?

Cries in Dante


That is an excuse. Following the reasoning of "GW is bad at rules, so discussing X about rules is pointless," then we should never be discussing the rules in any way, shape, or form. We know the rules folks do their jobs quite poorly. This is why these threads continue to pop up.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2020/05/14 15:17:36


 
   
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 BaconCatBug wrote:
Because GW are super good about making sure rules that are the same are worded the same, amirite?

Cries in Dante

If you mess it up, fix it in an errata. That's what GW should do imo.

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 Hybrid Son Of Oxayotl wrote:
 BaconCatBug wrote:
Because GW are super good about making sure rules that are the same are worded the same, amirite?

Cries in Dante

If you mess it up, fix it in an errata. That's what GW should do imo.
And which is easier, fixing a single rule in a single location, or fixing dozens of rules on dozens of datasheets, each one being a point of failure where errors could creep in?

Add me on Discord: BaconCatBug#0294 +++++List of "broken" RaW in Warhammer 40,000 8th edition+++++
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Disclaimer: My YMDC answers are from a "What the rules, as written (or modified by Special Snowflake FAQ) in the rulebooks, actually say" perspective, not a "What I wish the rules said" perspective. Even GW agrees with me, send an email to 40kfaq@gwplc.com for a confirmation reply "4. Apply The Rules As Written. If you still don’t have a satisfactory answer, use the rule just as it is written if you possibly can, even if you are not completely happy with the effect the rule has."
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Without basing it off the work GW has already done? Doubtful.

Have you ever written a game system? A campaign for 40k? Some homebrew additions to an RPG? Did it blow up in your face? How many of your players enjoyed it?

I think we can agree that many of us could easily streamline the current system into something more intuitive and less complex without losing depth, but writing it from scratch is a completely different beast.

Your suggestion of turning everything into USR and dropping bespoke rules altogether already has lots of valid counter-arguments from both sides. If you ignore constructive criticism, you are already doomed to come up with something that is worse than the status quo.


I should have known when I wrote this, that I'd have to defend it.

It was mostly a joke. I know it would take longer than a weekend to write a game from the ground up.

Yes, I do think that many of us could write a better, more streamlined version of 8th.

However, I have yet to see an argument that makes me reconsider my "All USRs" outlook. I'm not ignoring constructive criticism, I'm saying that I think my approach is the best. So if you have some constructive criticism, please enlighten me.

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 Brutus_Apex wrote:


Yes, I do think that many of us could write a better, more streamlined version of 8th.

However, I have yet to see an argument that makes me reconsider my "All USRs" outlook. I'm not ignoring constructive criticism, I'm saying that I think my approach is the best. So if you have some constructive criticism, please enlighten me.


The main one has been pointed out: lack of flexibility leading to less creativity and variety. USRs are fantastic at codifying genuinely universal rules but there are times when a rule should be unique and you need to move away from USRs. I think you'd quickly lose a lot of the character of many units and armies if you completely removed anything that wasn't a USR and you'd quickly lose the usefulness of USRs if you converted too many bespoke rules to use them, which would end up with a worse version of the situation we had in 7th with a huge list of USRs, many of which were used in very few places.

So, hypothetically, how would you deal with a unit like Dark Eldar Wyches? They get Power from Pain, Combat Drugs and a Cult special rule along with a conditional Invulnerable and a rule that modifies Fallback. Should all of those things become USRs? Should some things be removed? Note, there are much more complicated units than Wyches out there but this is a useful example as a starting point.
   
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i guess he could avoid the critic if he'd differ between general USR and army wide USR.

https://www.dakkadakka.com/dakkaforum/posts/list/0/766717.page

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_______________________________

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10'000 + years of veterancy, or some raidy Boys?
Trick Question, of course it's the loyalists!

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Not Online!!! wrote:
i guess he could avoid the critic if he'd differ between general USR and army wide USR.


Only partially. There are still plenty of good, useful and fluffy rules that are unique to units that I don't think it makes sense to lose.
   
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 BaconCatBug wrote:
Because GW are super good about making sure rules that are the same are worded the same, amirite?

Cries in Dante


To be fair, this is more an organisational problem within GW than a matter of game design.

Since you are a developer, you should be familiar with Conway's law - it applies to writing game rules just like it applies to software development.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2020/05/15 08:26:04


 Daedalus81 wrote:
SemperMortis wrote:
Yes, because everyone lines up on the deployment line when facing off against orkz, especially when said orkz are fielding 3 Bonebreakers...which rely exclusively on getting into CC to inflict any kind of actual harm. All of your arguments rely upon your opponent being a brain dead muppet who just lets you maul him.


Yea...that's called board control.
 
   
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Slipspace wrote:
Not Online!!! wrote:
i guess he could avoid the critic if he'd differ between general USR and army wide USR.


Only partially. There are still plenty of good, useful and fluffy rules that are unique to units that I don't think it makes sense to lose.


then make them army specific?

F.e. nobody i think wants to replace cult ambush with just infiltration.
Power from pain is another candidate, etc.
the same goes for the reflexes beeing shared by witchcults.

Depending on how well they are written they also allow for better granularity and modifications on the fly to specific units without changing the whole rule again and again.
But for that i remain adamant, GW needs to get competent technical writers for their rules.

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A Mostly Renegades and Heretics blog.
_______________________________

Who would win:
10'000 + years of veterancy, or some raidy Boys?
Trick Question, of course it's the loyalists!

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Spoiler:
Slipspace wrote:

The main one has been pointed out: lack of flexibility leading to less creativity and variety. USRs are fantastic at codifying genuinely universal rules but there are times when a rule should be unique and you need to move away from USRs. I think you'd quickly lose a lot of the character of many units and armies if you completely removed anything that wasn't a USR and you'd quickly lose the usefulness of USRs if you converted too many bespoke rules to use them, which would end up with a worse version of the situation we had in 7th with a huge list of USRs, many of which were used in very few places.

So, hypothetically, how would you deal with a unit like Dark Eldar Wyches? They get Power from Pain, Combat Drugs and a Cult special rule along with a conditional Invulnerable and a rule that modifies Fallback. Should all of those things become USRs? Should some things be removed? Note, there are much more complicated units than Wyches out there but this is a useful example as a starting point.

Part of the problem here is that there's a perception that special rules are necessary to add character to the unit. And that approach ultimately just winds up with having too many special rules.

In a small skirmish game, every unit having multiple special rules isn't a huge problem, because there's less overall to keep track of. But for a game the size of 40k, the ideal (IMO) would be for most units in the game to not have special rules at all, outside of army wide stuff.

And once you drastically reduce the number of special rules units are carrying around, you also reduce the number of special rules the game actually needs, and special rules start to actually seem, well, special.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2020/05/15 08:33:29


 
   
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 Jidmah wrote:
 BaconCatBug wrote:
Because GW are super good about making sure rules that are the same are worded the same, amirite?

Cries in Dante


To be fair, this is more an organisational problem within GW than a matter of game design.

Since you are a developer, you should be familiar with Conway's law - it applies to writing game rules just like it applies to software development.

Can't speak for BCB but I'd never heard of it. It certainly is a good explanation of gw's rules writing issues. I can only imagine if the writers of the csm update (don't call it a "new" codex) had actually been aware of what the writers of c:sm 2.0 were planning what would have changed.

Thanks for this.
   
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 insaniak wrote:
Spoiler:
Slipspace wrote:

The main one has been pointed out: lack of flexibility leading to less creativity and variety. USRs are fantastic at codifying genuinely universal rules but there are times when a rule should be unique and you need to move away from USRs. I think you'd quickly lose a lot of the character of many units and armies if you completely removed anything that wasn't a USR and you'd quickly lose the usefulness of USRs if you converted too many bespoke rules to use them, which would end up with a worse version of the situation we had in 7th with a huge list of USRs, many of which were used in very few places.

So, hypothetically, how would you deal with a unit like Dark Eldar Wyches? They get Power from Pain, Combat Drugs and a Cult special rule along with a conditional Invulnerable and a rule that modifies Fallback. Should all of those things become USRs? Should some things be removed? Note, there are much more complicated units than Wyches out there but this is a useful example as a starting point.

Part of the problem here is that there's a perception that special rules are necessary to add character to the unit. And that approach ultimately just winds up with having too many special rules.

In a small skirmish game, every unit having multiple special rules isn't a huge problem, because there's less overall to keep track of. But for a game the size of 40k, the ideal (IMO) would be for most units in the game to not have special rules at all, outside of army wide stuff.

And once you drastically reduce the number of special rules units are carrying around, you also reduce the number of special rules the game actually needs, and special rules start to actually seem, well, special.


I don't disagree, and for clarity I should say I'm 100% behind USRs as a concept and believe the game would be vastly better for all if they were implemented properly. However, I think taking an approach where there are 0 bespoke special rules isn't the way to go. Even after converting to USRs I think we'd be left with too many bespoke rules and many should probably be culled but I think the number that would be left would be greater than 0.

On that note, it could be argued the very presence of bespoke rules and total absence of USRs leads to a proliferation of unnecessary special rules in place of more carefully considered alternatives. For example, the Baal Predator has an utterly useless rule to represent its overcharged engines - +2"it can Advance faster than a regular Predator but all of its weapons are Heavy, so it's a pointless rule. I suspect they were so focussed on the "ooh, shiny!" special rule they didn't just take the obvious approach and give it +2" movement.
   
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 Gadzilla666 wrote:
 Jidmah wrote:
 BaconCatBug wrote:
Because GW are super good about making sure rules that are the same are worded the same, amirite?

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To be fair, this is more an organisational problem within GW than a matter of game design.

Since you are a developer, you should be familiar with Conway's law - it applies to writing game rules just like it applies to software development.

Can't speak for BCB but I'd never heard of it. It certainly is a good explanation of gw's rules writing issues. I can only imagine if the writers of the csm update (don't call it a "new" codex) had actually been aware of what the writers of c:sm 2.0 were planning what would have changed.

Thanks for this.


Doesn't shed a good light on GW now does it?

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Not Online!!! wrote:
Spoiler:
 Gadzilla666 wrote:
 Jidmah wrote:
 BaconCatBug wrote:
Because GW are super good about making sure rules that are the same are worded the same, amirite?

Cries in Dante


To be fair, this is more an organisational problem within GW than a matter of game design.

Since you are a developer, you should be familiar with Conway's law - it applies to writing game rules just like it applies to software development.

Can't speak for BCB but I'd never heard of it. It certainly is a good explanation of gw's rules writing issues. I can only imagine if the writers of the csm update (don't call it a "new" codex) had actually been aware of what the writers of c:sm 2.0 were planning what would have changed.

Thanks for this.


Doesn't shed a good light on GW now does it?

No, it doesn't. I've long held that the lack of communication and coordination between the various rules writers is why we have such unbalanced approaches to codex and other rules sources. The recent disparity between the wd updates for harlequins and deathwatch is a prime example. All the more reason we need some standard language for common rules shared across most factions. If nothing else than to give the various writers templates to work from since they don't seem to talk to their counterparts.
   
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insaniak wrote:Part of the problem here is that there's a perception that special rules are necessary to add character to the unit. And that approach ultimately just winds up with having too many special rules.

In a small skirmish game, every unit having multiple special rules isn't a huge problem, because there's less overall to keep track of. But for a game the size of 40k, the ideal (IMO) would be for most units in the game to not have special rules at all, outside of army wide stuff.

And once you drastically reduce the number of special rules units are carrying around, you also reduce the number of special rules the game actually needs, and special rules start to actually seem, well, special.

And this is where 7th Ed got really bogged down. Units would have up to 3 USRs, not including what comes with the Unit Type, and often have 1-2 Army Special Rules, then they would add up to 3 more Model Special Rules (using "model" instead of "unit" or "unique" to distinguish from "universal" in TLA).

Then after setting up the datasheets with USRs, ASRs, and MSRs, you'd have fun things like Chapter Tactics, which added a couple more Special Rules, and then Detachment Special Rules and LAYERED Detachment Special Rules (like the Decurion and Gladius Detachments) on top of all that. That is a just a huge mess waiting to happen.

8th Edition hasn't really gone away from this completely, as Strategems have taken the place of Detachment Special Rules, and instead of have a large mix of different types of special rules, they're just all ASRs and MSRs. Sure, they're trimmed down a little, but how many units literally have no Special Rules at all?

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2020/05/15 12:34:43


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 BaconCatBug wrote:
And which is easier, fixing a single rule in a single location, or fixing dozens of rules on dozens of datasheets, each one being a point of failure where errors could creep in?

It's not a big deal, really. "All Feel No Pain rules get changed to blahblah" isn't that hard.

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Slipspace wrote:So, hypothetically, how would you deal with a unit like Dark Eldar Wyches? They get Power from Pain, Combat Drugs and a Cult special rule along with a conditional Invulnerable and a rule that modifies Fallback. Should all of those things become USRs? Should some things be removed? Note, there are much more complicated units than Wyches out there but this is a useful example as a starting point.


Well, let's unpack those rules.

Power From Pain is an army-wide rule that you get just for being Drukhari. So, that already is an army-specific USR, no change needed.

Combat Drugs is a Wych Cult specific rule, but lots of Wych units get it. That's another army-specific USR, so again, no change needed.

The conditional Invulnerable is a melee-only save for being fast, right? Wyches aren't the only unit with that kind of ability, so that's a prime candidate for a game-wide USR- call it Dodge (x+).

And lastly, you have to win a roll-off to fall back against them. That's very similar in concept, but not execution, to some abilities in other armies (like Toxicrenes being able to deny fallback). So, I could see No Retreat becoming another game-wide USR, and standardizing the effects across armies.

Basically we have two Drukhari-wide USRs, and then two rules that while specific to Wyches are also identical or very similar to abilities in other armies, which to me suggests that they could become USRs. With some intelligent formatting on the datasheet, I think you could make these 'hierarchical' special rule sets more intuitive to learn. It seems that Wyches don't actually have any totally unique abilities- and considering they're a basic Troops unit, I think that's perfectly fine.

Slipspace wrote:On that note, it could be argued the very presence of bespoke rules and total absence of USRs leads to a proliferation of unnecessary special rules in place of more carefully considered alternatives. For example, the Baal Predator has an utterly useless rule to represent its overcharged engines - +2"it can Advance faster than a regular Predator but all of its weapons are Heavy, so it's a pointless rule. I suspect they were so focussed on the "ooh, shiny!" special rule they didn't just take the obvious approach and give it +2" movement.


From a game design perspective, in an ideal world nothing has special rules.

A special rule is inherently an admission that you are breaking from the baseline and boundaries you've set in the interest of generating a particular effect that your rules cannot accommodate. The best games I've played figure out what differentiates their elements, then write those differences into the core rules. This can lead to some pretty complex wargames, but it also means everyone's on the same playing field and you never have to re-juggle your mental model because you've just learned the enemy can ignore rules or gets their own mechanics that show up nowhere else.

Now, that said, 40K has never really been a serious wargame designed in this way, and I can already hear the moaning about the loss of army flavor and how bland the 3rd Ed indices were- but as a general design principle it's still valid. If you can use the core profile rather than a bespoke special rule to accomplish a particular effect, better to use the core profile. And if you can use a USR or special rule that is part of the core rules (eg Fly, or in prior editions the Bike or Jump Pack abilities), then that's still better than a bespoke rule.

There are a number of special rules I've seen in 8th that, IMO, would be better represented as simply core profile adjustments. The Baal Predator is a good example. Units with innate re-rolls could just be given better WS or BS. Units that generate extra hits on certain rolls in melee could just have more attacks. The inconsistent use of special rules in lieu of core stats that are ostensibly meant to reflect the same qualities gives the game more of a CCG-esque than simulationist feel, and certainly contributes to it being difficult to learn.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2020/05/15 13:52:31


 
   
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 catbarf wrote:
There are a number of special rules I've seen in 8th that, IMO, would be better represented as simply core profile adjustments. The Baal Predator is a good example. Units with innate re-rolls could just be given better WS or BS. Units that generate extra hits on certain rolls in melee could just have more attacks. The inconsistent use of special rules in lieu of core stats that are ostensibly meant to reflect the same qualities gives the game more of a CCG-esque than simulationist feel, and certainly contributes to it being difficult to learn.

I am not sure if it was a conscious decision on the writer's part or a rule of cool thing, but many of these are examples of ways to shift the math in GW's system of d6's. A re-rollable 4+ give a 75% chance of success, which you can't get via a 2+ or a 3+. An extra Hit (or attack) on a roll of 6 gives an average of less than a extra full attack to the model, especially if it has less than 6 attacks.

That, and we all know that special rules a fun until you start tripping over too many of them. How many is too many? That's a personal question.
   
 
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