Friday, 9 December 2011

40k 6th Edition ... what needs fixing?

I typed GW rules fail into google and look what popped up ... funny.
Warhammer Tau (or just plain Tau, as he's now called) got me thinking.  What's wrong with 40k and how could they fix it?

Here's the Macro-problems:
  1. Uber-Unit Spamming is leading GW down a cul-de-sac to WAAC boredom.
  2. Space Marines are over powered in the macro and that, plus problem 1, is yawning the tournament scene into boredomville.
  3. 40k does not scale, armies vary greatly depending on points listings.
  4. The idea that identical deployment equals 'fair playing field' is childish.
  5. The obsession with the 'fairness of a dice roll' makes reserves frequently pointless.
  6. 40k is moronic in some senses, and overtly over-complicated in others.
Here's some suggestions:
  1. SPAM: Drop the 2+3+6+3+3 choices and define builds based upon balanced (fake) historical precident.  You can take three squads of the first company, but you lose the chance of fielding x, y and z.  For example, codex Blood Angels could give you 10 different company structures to chose from, each with different essential and optional units to build with.  This stops the 'best unit in codex *X = win' and shuts STTH's down in one go.  Flames of War have made this the cornerstone of their army building and it allows both balance on the army wide scale AND better scalability.
  2. Spezz Merins:  Simply changing the 'cover save' rules aren't enough.  A torrent of fire should do more than just bounce off Terminators, the addition of a cumulative 'armour save reduction' on torrent of fire might mean that achieving 15 wounding hits on a 5 man Terminator squad reduces their armour save to 4+.  In addition, and this isn't original, TSKNF has no relevance in 40k.  It is an opt-out, and Speez Merins either need to opt in to Europe and leadership tests, or piss off.  Genestealers run away, but Smurf's don't, Necrons run away?  Bollocks.
  3. Scale: 40k armies vary greatly from points band to points band.  Building structures that can't be spammed would stop this cycle, see option 1.  In addition, fixing the leadership rules (which are 90% ignored) and applying those modifiers fairly to the points of units would dramatically balance the game at all levels.  It's not enough that something is tough/weak, but it's ability to stick/run adds a balancing dimension.
  4. The 'classic' deployments: They are childish, they are so stupid, they hand a huge advantage to the first turn 'grabber' to the point where 'Alpha strike leaf blower' guard armies can dominate.  Using grown up 'scenario' rules with benefits for the 2nd turn player would be key.  Changing the rules to "Infinity", so there is a tradeoff between deployment and first turn (ie you can't have both the good one's) - making the choice tactically telling would be a start.  See flames of war, for more grown up ideas.
  5. Random equals fair: This is a stupid religion at 40k.  Many games build some brilliant concepts around having reserves arrive 'when you want them', not piecemeal like idiots.  Changing the reserves rules into something more dynamic would transform 40k and create a real buzz on the game.  All armies have good reserves, but they are largely ignored (unless you're old school Fritz), making reserves more tactical and less random would up the game level significantly.
  6. Moronic Example 1: Tank Shock (lol): Tanks can ram other tanks, people can assault tanks, but tanks can 'tank shock' units.  Give me a break.  A Landraider runs through a mass of gaunts ... I want gaunt goo oozing in the mud.  Don't you?  I want to use my Leman Russ's (and heaven forefend my super heavy tanks) to crush Terminators like popsicles (or bury them so deep in solid rock that it's not funny.  Why not?  Ork Battlewagons can do it, why not other vehicles (instead of the faintly ridiculous shuffle bottom move).
  7. Moronic Example 2: Defensive fire: In infinity every action has a reaction (but thats time consuming), but in Flames of War, the defending unit can open fire at full Rate of Fire at the assaulters.  Which makes sense.  As such, charging a group of genestealers into a 60 man guard unit armed with rapid fire and assault weapons then becomes near impossible.  In flames, this is achieved through 'pinning' the unit - reducing or eliminating the ability of the unit to wipe you out on the way in.  This would be easy to fix.

Now some of the above would break the game (can't see assault-worthy tanks reducing the number of boxes sold, or the meta), but the current game system ain't working ... there's my brain splurge that took 20 minutes to write.

Pull your finger out GW - you lost the initiative at 4th edition and now everyone knows you are the old bullying crabby old man on the block and needs a royal kicking. 
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