Wargame Dork

A blog about tabletop hobby and or strategy games, with a side order of electronic turn based goodness here and there. Now with tons of retro gaming content both electronic and tabletop. Also with 20% more self loathing douchebaggery!

Friday, April 10, 2015

Let's Read (and maybe house rule) Warhammer 40,000 2nd Edition! Part 4: Close Combat (Also known as HAND TO HAND)

  It has been a little bit but now we get into the part where our toy dollies move in close and try to kill each other like they are still fighting an 18th century battle.

  But first:


  I am almost codex complete for 2nd edition!  I merely need the Codex Army Lists book that came with the Boxed Set, and the Battles expansion book that is 90% useless if not complete with cardstock in the back (if it was even useful then mind you..) and I will be 2nd ed product complete.  A handful of White Dwarf issues and I am basically official rules complete!  

(Oh the joys of my blog.  It just makes me spend more money on silly nonsense.)

  Anyhow, our Hand to Hand section starts with noting that models must have their bases touching to be in close combat, and only pistols, close combat weapons, though some fluff mention also includes just using your teeth or rifle butt in the very same section.

  You see, you may either use your pistol, a close combat weapon, or your S value to hurt a thing depending on whatever is higher.  Also facing doesn't matter.  Personally, I am now kind of used to the half inch or more leeway for close combat Warmahordes does.  This allows for fancier bases and not being too nitpicky.  

  The order of close combat works like so:

1:  Roll attack dice.  Each player rolls a number of D6s based on their Attacks (A) stat and get an extra die if they have two close combat weapons or a CCW and a pistol.

2: Calculate score.  Take WS and your highest D6 roll.  Add these together plus any modifers.

3:  Compare.  Highest score wins.  If its a tie, go with the highest I score.  If both I are the same its a draw.

4:  See hit amount.  The difference between the winner and the loser calculates the number of hits caused to the enemy.  If its a tie it is just a single hit.

5:  Roll to wound and save.  Just like shooting but the attacker can choose to use their S or weapon values to select S and armor save modifiers.

  They then box out the Parry rule which if you have such a weapon you can force the other side to make a reroll of one of their attack dice (parries cancel out on each side.  Because of the effectiveness of this most people tended to take parry only CCWs if they could.) and the Fumble & Critical Hit rule.  For Fumbles if you roll any 1s, the other player ADDS that 1 to their score per result.  For Critical Hits for every EXTRA 6 rolled after the first is a +1 to your score.

  Other score modifiers include +1 for being higher up on like a stairway or platform or Charging, and a -1 for Being Encumbered with a heavy weapon or such, or charging an enemy behind an obstacle.

For using a model's S versus armor it is -1 to the armor roll at S4, and up to a -6 maximum for S 9 and beyond.

  When Multiple Combats happen and models are ganging up on a less numerically large unit the player who outnumbers the other gets to choose which order these fights are done, and every additional fight in the same round  adds +1 to their score and 1 extra attack die.  So if you could get 4 guys on 1 foe the fourth guy fighting would get +3 to their score and 3 extra attack dice!

  As we can see these close combat rules are a little slow but.. kind of FUN.  But only for smaller model games and fights.  For horde armies or 3-7th ed 40K sized games it is.. not quite so fun honestly.  It works for the sized games 2nd ed was intended to be played at however.   Even if they made parrying HUGE.  Speaking of huge more modern 40K models with their larger base sizes might get screwed by these rules as you could possibly get more and more dudes on one.  Though to be fair the larger base might keep the model from getting surrounded so it kind of balances?  Maybe?

  Follow Up Moves are next.  If your model has eliminated its enemies it may move 2" in any direction with no penalties for obstacles, including moving into a new enemy to fight in the next close combat round next turn, though without the charge bonus.  Other terrain rules apply however.

  Outside of a 2 page example with some diagrams, we finish this section with Breaking Off.  If for whatever reason including being Broken a model may attempt to disengage from melee but their WS is ZERO, and they do not get parries.  If the model survives they and their squadmates who also survived move back 2D6" and are broken if they already weren't.  And cannot rally this turn.

  There is one more BIG section left of rules (well more than 2-3 pages worth anyhow!) but next time we will cover Breaking & Rallying, Psychology, Heroic Characters, Commanders, and (simple) Psionics.  After that we should have two more entries and the core rulebook is FINISHED.

  

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Fun With 2nd ed Warhammer 40K Army Building!

Well, maybe it will be fun.  We might need to find that one out.

  You see whilst defragmenting my hard drive and doing the sorts of hygiene things one does when one gets up I had a small inspiration.

  I have the Dark Vengeance 40K 6th edition box full of dudes for Chaos Space Marines and Dark Angels.  In yesterday's 2nd ed 40K rules reading post I showed my new codex pick up which helpfully enough covers Dark Angels and Blood Angels.  (The latter of which I used the 4-5th BA lists as my COUNTS AS Pre Heresy World Eaters army I made on the cheap.  If the Horus Heresy rumors are true most of these models will soon be replaced by proper miniatures.  No more scavenging modern Marine Army for my Worldies unless I want them to!  MARK 2-5 ARMOR FOR EVERYONE!  YAAAAAY!!!)

  I might be able to build yet another legal and playable army for 2nd ed 40K meaning people could play without having to even build armies as I would be able to pull off in varying sizes and levels of proxy:

Blood Angels
Dark Angels
Chaos Space Marines
Eldar
Imperial Guard
Ork
Squat
Tyranid

To be sure for some like Orks and Squats I am still collecting cheaply the minis I need, mostly from our lovely friends at Mantic but the others I can already do wonders with.

  But can it be?  Can the less than 100 USD price I paid for my Dark Vengeance box (mostly in fear of a replacement 7th ed set that didn't have Chaos Marines in it.  I can never have enough CSM!) build me a good solid 1500 point list?

  Let's find out.  Let us go deep.  Reality Balls deep.

(Remember it is only heresy if they touch!)



 You see normally in building a list it is good and handy to take out your models and build the list that way in 40K.  But mine have been on their sprue for over a year or so now.  Or close to it.  Whenever 7th ed popped up.  But for me to spend time cutting out and gluing these guys I want to see what I have and can do with them.

 Thankfully the boxed set had a reference card with all the units in the box and what they are supposed to be equipped with.  This will make it handy.  Doing a rough look over I have around 1200 points before wargear and equipment.


  While I will eventually cover army construction in my project for now we are just gonna wing it through skimming books and memories and maybe I will come back later and laugh at my mistakes or something.

 For a 2nd edition army your points work out as follows:

1: Up to half your points may be chosen from the Characters section.  You are generally required to have some of these guys to lead your Lightning League to victory over the ever changing form of Saw Boss.  (You are humming the song now aren't you?  You know you are.)

So for our purposes I can spend up to 750 points on Characters.  Doing so would make me an ass both in being a cheesebag and because it could make a properly played game a complete failure as my handful of models then die easily.

2:  At least 25% of your points must be spent in the Squads section.  Of course Terminators, Devastators, and Bike Squads are in here so most wankers just took the best units possible.  See the Space Wolf and Chaos codexes for the kind of nonsense people could pull off.  

So I have to drop at least 375 points into this section.  This is easy since I have three squads already and a standard Tactical Squad is 300 points stock.

3:  Up to half my points may be spent on Support which includes tanks and neat things like that plus Allies though Dark Angels won't play with Eldar or Squats like most chapters will.  However I can take other Marines, Imperial Guard, or Imperial Agents from the Black Codex.  With modern 40K releases this means I can have Adeptus Mechanicus guys in my army.  Or Arbites.  

(There is no way this vague wording could create havoc and cheese nope.  Leman Russ Demolishers for EVERYONE!!)

This set doesn't come with any Support class stuff but that's ok.  Worst comes to worst I have enough Arbites to fill the gap with their NOT JUDGE DREDD GUYS NOPE LALALA ways.  And I have an unbuilt 2nd edition Predator tank I could make use of and finally assemble.  But more on that bridge when we come to it.

But before we start picking out stuff Wargear must be mentioned.  While in GW's style it wasn't really properly explained there was a rarity list of your cards:

(No this has nothing to do with the most fashionable of unicorns.  Except for whining.  There will lots of whining.  So.  Much.  Whining.)

  In White Dwarf issue 195 or 196 depending on your location in the world the above list was published.  In the 40K and Dark Millennium boxes they had a number of wargear cards and in general you were intended to be limited by that number.  Of course this never stopped anyone.  Folks either just had multiple write downs, or made copies of them.  So the list above was an attempt at curtailing the madness.  A bad one.  I did a quick check of the rules and outside of Vehicle cards being unlimited on a vehicle but no vehicle having the exact same combination (a terribly worded thing.  Does this mean you could just give three tanks the same 2 cards, then two of our tanks just get another piece different from each other?) little else is listed.  Sadly I don't exactly know what the above rarity even means.

EDIT:  I found it!  It is.. it is dumb:

I think my RARE = 1 PER 1500 BLOCK is better honestly.

  However in the online Battle Bible 1.5.1 they have a more in depth listing of rarity and the requirements:

Uncommon can be taken as much as you want per army.

Rare can be taken up to their rarity number per side.

Unique  are ONE CARD PER GAME.  That means both sides combined can only have one of this card.

So for our friend the VORTEX GRENADE, it is listed as a 2 for rarity meaning you can have two of them.  

  Call this my first house rule: Rare items are ONE PER 1500 POINTS OF AN ARMY and then follow normal rarity rules above.  You can still run around with these things but now they can't be grabbed up like candy the day after Halloween.  So in a 1501-3000 game you can have 2 Vortexes or other Rarity cards of the 2+ variety, and in a 3001+ as many up to the rarity number.

Ok we can now begin to build like Bob!

Since we have to have at least one Character I think the Dark Angels Master is gonna be first and points depending I will come back to the Librarian.

He is 115 points stock but I want to make him as close to his model and the Dark Vengeance loadout as I can.  He can take a Power Sword from the Wargear section of his list for 6 points bringing him to 121.  Plus it gives him a Parry in close combat which is tres useful.  Now his DV entry says he has Krak Grenades so that is another 3 for 124.  He can rock three wargear cards and his DV entry says he has an Iron Halo and a Combi Weapon (Plasma) so let's check out our cards!

The Combi Weapon is 10 points and an Uncommon.  Cool.  134.  There is no Iron Halo listed so I give him a Rarity 3 ( but the house rule just says ONE so I shall deal with it like an adult!) Conversion Field which still gives him a 4+ invulnerable save before normal saves apply.  And it has an annoying blinding effect on models without eye protection. 144 points now.

I will come back to him later if I need to fill points as I can still take one more card and still have other common choices from the army list.  So right now Dark Angels Master Shinji Ikari of the Felcher Company is ready to go.  Dark Angels are as emo as they wanna be!

------------------------------------

Now the meat and potatoes (or in my case fake ground beef and macaroni with buffalo spices and velveeta cheese meal) of our little army:  Squads!

I start with the Tactic(lol) Squad!  Squad Smith, commanded by a Character upgrade to the Sergeant into a Veteran for 5 points, allowing him 1 wargear card and to take common list wargear from the Assault section like normal Sargies do.

Since it doesn't say if this counts as Character points I am going to say it DOES because it seems fairer that way.  So Veteran Sergeant Robert Smith gets a Haywire Grenade, which is a 10 point Uncommon card.  And his Plasma Pistol is but a measly 5 extra points.  So 20 points more for Characters bringing my Character points to a current 164.

The normal squad cost is 300 points and they get their Plasma Gun and Heavy Plasma Gun weapons for another 48 points.  I can spend 30 to give the entire squad Krak Grenades like they are supposed to come with but with three Plasma weapons and a Haywire grenade they might not need it and we might not have the points to waste on marginally useful anti tank weapon.

So at the moment I have 348 Squad, 164 Character.  512 total.

We have Terminator models so let us add in a Deathwing Squad.  Squad Sad, commanded by Sergeant Strong Sad, an enigmatic leader to be sure!  Sgt Sad can swap his Power Fist for a Power Sword for free so we do so.  Another one has a Chain Fist for 2 points, and more more carries the Assault Cannon for 41 points bringing this unit to 383 points.

Current points: 731 Squad, 164 Character, 895 total.

Now we have three Ravenwing Bikers for 55 a pop.  So 165 before we give them some toys.  Sergeant Travolta is well known for being the fanatic on the down low but he just gets a Chainsword from the common list for 2 points.  Another biker gets a Plasma Gun for 8, and they all get Krak Grenades for 3 each. 184 for the squad.

Current points: 915 Squad, 164 Character, 1079 total.

Hmm.  I have 421 points to play with still and one model left.  While I COULD jam it all in with expensive wargear as the maximum level Librarian is 210 points and can fit 4!! Wargear cards and I have space for another still on Master Shinji and possibly giving the Tactical Squad Krak Grenades for 30 I am not going to do that outside of seeing how far this one set can go.

Soo.. 210 for the maximum level Librarian.  3 points for Krak Grenades. His Force Sword is a given for 10 more, and 45 points extra hooks him up with a Psychic Hood and Displacer Field for 268 points. (Force Sword is Uncommon, the Hood and Field are both Rare 2s. )

If we stop there I have 153 points left.  If I wanted to be a tool or just load up, Virus and Vortex Grenades are 50 each which could burn a cool hundo, or 25 points for Combat Drugs or Rad Grenades would fill out the list just about.  Figure the Tactical Squad Krak Gs for 30 brings us to 123 left, 100 for a Virus and Vortex, and the remaining 23 points could be reduced to 14 for Blind Grenades for the Ravenwing, and down further to 6 if we turn our Chainsword Sarges into Power Sword.  Then just give Shinji Melta Bombs for 5.  1499 points.

But this would be kind of stupid though it does show you CAN make a full legal 2nd edition army without buying anything else out of the Dark Vengeance box.

However I DO have a 2nd edition metal and plastic Predator just sitting there unbuilt, judging me like Inspecta Deck so what can I do with it?

I got this dirty little minx for free.  Yeah the GOOD STUFF.  Original Rhino sprue with upgrades sprue and metal sponsons and turret.  You know what daddy likes.  Baby wants to purge!

This kit is Autocannon only for the turret, but I have a couple sponson and wargear options.  Core point is 90 with just the Autocannon and no sponson guns.  However I HAVE to spend 33 points on a Techmarine without anything special meaning I have dropped 123 points to have a tank with an Autocannon and can't afford any sponson weapons or many toys for either one.

But, remember how I said 210 is the points for a maximum level Librarian?

Its only 152 points for an Epistolary Librarian which is a Level 3 Psyker and can still fit his 3 wargear cards!  So 210 points as opposed to 268 gives me 58 more points!

So Epistolary Chester Linkin is born! 1289 points spent, 211 left!

Let us leave our Techmarine at his stock 33 until we see what our Predator gets.

90 again, is the stock Predator.  It would cost me 90 points for Lascannon Sponsons which puts me 2 points over and M O O N!  THAT SPELLS UNCOOL!  I could drop Chester to a Level 2 and get a good 70 points back since he only gets 2 cards but no.  However I can take away VSgt Smith's Haywire Grenade and get 10 points back giving me my 180 point Predator and I still have 8 points for some low end Wargear for Smith, our Techmarine, or the tank.

The 8 points would get us merely a 5 point Searchlight for the tank but it is basically going to stay back since I can't manage any armor upgrades to it.  But 5 points will get me a Bionic Eye for Smith which could be handy, and the last 3 can give a Bionic Leg to our Techmarine Droopy.  (I could drop the biker krak grenades but they might need them.)

I mean Bionics can easily hide behind armor or just be touch of paint or putty.

But let's run it all down to make sure my math is correct!

Characters:

Dark Angels Master Shinji Ikari (115):  Power Sword (6), Krak Grenades (3) Wargear Cards: Conversion Field (10) Combi Weapon Plasma (10)  144 points.

Epistolary Librarian Chester Linkin (152): Krak Grenades (3) Wargear Cards: Force Sword (10), Psychic Hood (25), Displacer Field (20)  210 points.

Techmarine Droopy (33): Wargear Cards: Bionic Leg (3)  36 points.

Veteran Sergeant Robert Smith (+5)  Plasma Pistol (5) Wargear Cards: Bionic Eye (5) 15 points.

Character Points: 405


Squads:

Tactical Squad Smith:  (300) 1 w/ Plasma Gun (8)  1 w/ Heavy Plasma Gun (40) Veteran Sgt Upgrade (see above) 348 points.

Deathwing Squad Sad:  (340) Sergeant w/Power Sword (free), 1 w/ Chain Fist upgrade (2), 1 w/ Assault Cannon (41) 383 points.

Ravenwing Bike Squad Travolta: (3x55 = 165)  Sgt w/ Chainsword (2), 1 w/ Plasma Gun (8) Krak Grenades (3x3 = 9) 184 points.

Squad Points: 915


Support:

Predator Bauhaus: (90) Lascannon Sponsons (45x2 = 90) 180 points.

Support Points: 180

Total Points:  1500

Total Models in army: 22

Total Wargear Cards: 7

And that is it!  In active play I would probably write down all the stats and applicable weapons on a sheet and maybe scan and copy the wargear onto the back of the sheet for quick reference.  It is a reasonable model count and can do a little of everything.  Every model counts and their number are low so strategy and cunning are needed especially if up against a horde army like Orks or Imperial Guard or Tyranids.  These guys wouldn't take forever to paint and assemble.  All I need is just a single Techmarine model off ebay!

  Update:  The madness has BEGUN:


It is me.  I am the April Fool.


Monday, March 30, 2015

Let's Read (and maybe house rule) Warhammer 40,000 2nd Edition! Part 3: Shooting

  We have reached that wonderful part where you learn how to shoot dudes.  We call it Shooting.  That's right kids now we get to go DAKKA on some fools.

But first some quick pick ups that won't get properly used because Southeastern Connecticut is full of antisocial gamers who want little private games only playing the same bloody thing forever until people quit or move away leaving them with nothing.  (Don't be an uncommunicative antisocial gamer.  You harm the hobby and you harm yourself!  So many people in this region and in hobby gaming in general just DON'T TALK.  Not about their issues with other people.  Not about games to play or even to network!  This is a HUGE reason why gaming will never be more than a tiny uber niche industry.  The big guns?  Ones with pre set organized play programs because people are too messed up to connect with others so they need venues to do it for them!)


 Another 2nd ed codex!  My earliest numbered White Dwarf yet!  Nicely priced Terminator Librarian and Genestealer Hybrid for my Tyranid Attack set!  And the heretical 7th ed 40K rulebook!  NOW WITH FORTIFICATIONS SENT TO ANOTHER BOOK.

Only two codexes to go for 2nd ed not counting White Dwarf Legion of the Damned and Necron mini codexes!  And both are SPEZZ MUHREENZ.  :(

What do we have here?  Four more White Dwarfs full of early 1990's goodness!  A huge percentage of the CONFRONTATION ruleset!  Advanced Space Crusade Imperial Guard list!  Warhammer RPG stuffs!  

Now my WD hunt includes issues 93 and 94,  134-137, 139, 140, 144, 145, 149-158, and 160.  Not counting the 2nd ed 40K era issues with the Vyper, Falcon, and Fire Prism rules in them of course!  And I already mentioned the Necron and Legion of the Damned issues.  Ideally I want all the unique to those issue WDs with Space Hulk 1-2 ed, Titan Legion/Space Marine 2nd ed Epic, Rogue Trader 40K, 2nd ed 40K, and Warhammer Quest.  A bit less for 2nd ed SH since I generally cut out those articles back in the day but I don't think I did the same for most of the Epic/TL stuff.  1st ed SH stuff is in the book they made but it is expensive!  And I am ahh.. cheap!

  The first thing is Facing.  Unlike Warmahordes we have the less convenient to keep track of 90 degree front arc with their usual "roll it out if in doubt and go with it" deal because they obviously still want 40k to be a game for gentlemen as opposed to powergaming neck beards.

  Now Line of Sight is our next bit.   Obviously you need to see the target so model eye viewpoints and stuff matter.  Again Warmahordes with their bases and universal space taking up works better.  But they even bring up using things like little periscopes and other ways to get a model's view.  However they then give some solid guidelines because people are cheating douchebags.

1:  you can't see through buildings and hills among other large objects.  2:  Line type obstacles like terrain like hedges and walls are called Obstacles. These are things about 2" high and up to an inch wide.   If you can't be seen through it or over the top no shoot may happen. Basically man sized stuff.   3:  if a wall or hedge thingie is higher than the model it just cannot see through it normally.  4:  woods are considered to be thicker than our scenery because reality of model terrain.  You cannot see through it.  However if a dude is 2" in he can shoot out and be shot at in return.

  Position is next.   Effectively repeating if your model can see another model it can shoot and vice versa.  Like being on a big hill means you can see more normally.  But again, can probably be seen back.

  Always important, Cover.  Yes cover.  There are basically two kinds.  Soft cover which is stuff that obscures a target but is no real protection like scrub and woods, while Hard cover is things that could reasonably provide some defense from damage like walls or a tank or a trench.  We get a couple of guidelines too: 1: If a mini is directly behind an obstacle it's got cover from dudes on the opposite side.  But he can be assumed to be able to shoot.  2: Being at the corner of big terrain is like being in hard cover and you can shoot from there.  (This needs more explanation IMHO.  The example isn't enough really.). 3:  Models inside woods count as being in soft cover.   4: Craters, trenches, and pits always count as hard cover, even if in the center of one from models outside of it.  5:  Dudes at doors and windows count as being behind hard cover from dudes outside of it.

 A single page with 1/4 taken up by artwork is probably not enough information for such an important thing.  Oh yeah, the example pictures say that soft cover is -1 to be hit, and -2 for hard but it is a few more pages till they get into any more depth.

  The next page and a half tell us how to Choose a Target.  Because we do need to figure out what we can shoot at and shooting at anything in range is unrealistic and lame.  Basically your dudes shoot at the closest dudes or tank unless they are in cover, broken, or they can't hurt it anyhow.  You also can ignore stuff in close combat, and special or heavy weapon troopers can shoot at other stuff.  Characters can shoot at whatever they want.  It's why most of them don't wear helmets like hockey players in the 70s and 80s.  You are veteran enough to do what you feel like.  Oh yeah, if there is some special objective you are normally allowed to target it too.

  Make sure to declare then measure range.  Don't screw up!  And line of sight matters so if your dudes are looking at a different direction they won't be firing at crap they can't see.  So you can split fire and protect flanks and HOLY COW MAKE MEANINGFUL GAMEPLAY DECISIONS ABOUT HOW TO POSITION YOUR TOY MANS.

(In case anyone is wondering yes this game is so much better than 3-7th ed 40k so far merely rereading the rules.)


Honestly I like this clean and simple black and white layout over the modern full color art books that masquerade as rule books.  Cheaper and easier to read and use!

  Range is next and it's simple.  Weapons have a short and long range and some of these have modifiers to hit.  Yet again it adds depth as you try to get close in to get those bonuses or set up moves to deny the enemy the same.  Sure the mega armies of current 40k would make this unbearably slow, but 2nd ed was around 35 models or so on average.   (Less if you were a character, tank, and terminator using douche.  NO DIPSPIT ABADDON AND MEPHISTON SHOULD NOT BE IN YOUR 1500 POINT LIST.  MAYBE NOT EVEN 2500.)

  Now we bring it together in Hitting the Target.  1 always misses.  Look up chart or subtract your BS from 7.  Add or subtract modifiers.  +1 for large targets like tanks.  -1 for in or behind soft cover, moving 10-20", -1 for shooting from a vehicle moving at fast speed.  -2 if target in or behind hard cover , target moved more than 20".  If these modifiers bring it so you need a 7-9 to hit you need to roll a 6, then a 4+, 5+, or 6+ on the second roll.  Needing a 10 or more is auto miss.

  They take a moment to box out the Space Marine rule of Rapid Fire.  Basically our Marines may fire their Bolters, Bolt Pistols, or Storm Bolters twice in their shooting phase if they don't move.  You can't do this on Overwatch however.  Otherwise normal shooty fun rules apply.   Do not taunt the shooting rules.

  Damage is our last stop and is a chart thingie.  Cross reference weapon S versus targets T.  Roll.  Remove 1 W from model.  If weapon causes multiple wounds roll and subtract if wounded.  1 is always no wound.  For chart shorthand if values are equal it is a 4+ roll.  If S is higher the target number is reduced by 1 but no lower than a 2+.  If T is higher the target number is increased by 1 with 6 being used twice.  Anything beyond that isn't capable of being hurt by your weenie gun. (So a S 4 weapon wounds a T3 on a 3, 4 on a 4, 5 on a 5, and 6 & 7 on 6.  Hmm.  I never really thought about how this seems to work so well before.  Almost as if 4 is the default good value in the game...)

  We have made it through the basics of shootin dudes and bein rude.  Now let's get into some of the trickier bits!

 Now Saving Throws and Modifiers!  Easy!  If you are wounded, roll a d6.  Roll that value or more and you save the wound!  Space Marines still have a 3+ save and poor Guardsmen have a 6+.  And modifiers reduce this.  So a Bolter with a -1 save means the Marine makes his save on a 4+ and the Guardsman just dies.  I SOOOOOOOOOOO prefer this over the 3-7th edition AP deal.  

  They spend a half a page telling you how to roll together instead of doing it model by model.  Simple and sensible really.  They give some advice for what to do if some guys have different cover or T or armor or weapons.  Some of it involves using differently colored dice, splitting group rolls based on what is going where, or even just basing it on percentage of the unit being X.  I say just divvy up the dice rolls or colored die even in bigger games.  Though honestly if you really want to go beyond maybe 2500 points a side 4-5th ed 40K is probably a better bet for large games.  (Yes I DO feel dirty saying this.  DON'T JUDGE ME OLDHAMMERERS!!)

  Removing Casualties is much like the above where its basically DO IT SIMPLE, or take closest out first.  Or go right to left in removal if there is stuff like special or heavy weapons guys, and if in doubt randomize who goes out first.  Easy enough but like the above it is Games Workshop giving your average Gamer entirely too much respect at not being a powergaming twit.  It is a sad fact but folks WILL TAKE ADVANTAGE OF LOOPHOLES.  Hell, the New England Patriots have gotten their legacy doing that very thing!  (Eat it Mike T!  You know they are in league with Satan!)

  Shooting into Hand to Hand is brought up.  Basically dudes in close combat don't shoot out of it and if you shoot into it the shots get randomized into what gets hit.  They then bring up moving and firing. Basically it is totally cool to make a normal move and shoot unless the weapon has a rule saying otherwise.  Like Lascannons are move or fire and Plasma weapons tend to only fire every other turn.  Dudes on a vehicle can fire their gun even if the vehicle is not allowed to though.

  It is time to break out the yellow cardboard kids!  Blast Markers are on deck!  If you are out of range after declaring a target and then measuring it is a dud shot.  If you hit you place the template directly over the target and any other model totally under the template is hit.  Minis partially covered are hit on a 4-6 roll.   If you missed the in range shot you make a scatter roll where you take the Scatter and Artillery dice and roll them.  Follow the chart with even the HIT result arrow being which direction it goes and the number on the Artillery die being the distance in inches.  However a MISFIRE result means the shot is a dud, and a HIT AND MISFIRE combination means the weapon is destroyed and you place the template over the firer.  BWAHAHA!  Note however that maximum scatter distance is only half the range from the firer to the target.   This rarely comes up given the range of most scatter weapons and the restrictions for movement and shooting.  Outside of maybe the next bit:

GRENAAADES!  Grenades are used like guns except the scatter distance die is halved but the distance half rule is ignored.  So a 4 inch throw could scatter 5".  Throw distance is 2" plus two times S with 12" as maximum range.  Sorry Carnifexes no "Fastball Special" throwing for you!  

Ground Targeting is done on a 6 roll unless somehow there is a reason it would have a minus to hit (like cover or speed I guess) which uses the 7-9 rules.  You have to be able to see the point you want to hit and it is otherwise as normal except the HIT/MISFIRE combo roll won't cause your weapon dudette to turn into a Guardsmanburger.

Template  weapons like Flamers are covered and they basically auto hit once you place the template with the tiny point end touching your firing model's base and the big end covering your target completely.  Otherwise it works like any other template so partially covered and fully covered models act like the above blast template things.  Again I kind of wish there was some more detail here because it seems like you could easily game things with how you place your fire template down to hit the most guys.  But Warmahordes seems to work the same way so I suppose that is the benefit of such weapons.  Even if you still have to roll to hit in Warmahordes.  Not that my Khador Beardguys or Trollkin Scattergunners are bitter about this because I never seem to hit or anything...

  SUSTAIINNED JENKIN... I MEAN FIRE.  If you have a sustained fire weapon you roll to hit as normal.  If you hit you may roll up to that many sustained fire dice to see how many hits you cause.  The first hit must always be on the initial target but extra hits can be divided up to any other targets within 4".  It really is vaguely worded though and I do wonder if you can do like we always allowed and for the player to just single shot and not worry about the dice.  But we always rolled sustained dice even if you missed which seems to be incorrect.  So I guess it balances out!   For each Jam result rolled it must sacrifice a turn of shooting to clear.  So if you roll three of them it will take three rounds of your shooting to clear out.  But you can clear them if you are running or hiding.  Just not if you are broken, in close combat, or in our final section of this chapter:

  OVERWATCH!  To get into this mode you cannot move nor can you shoot during your turn.  You merely declare going into this status and put down the counter.  This will allow you to shoot at the enemy during their movement.  You can do it to anything you can see at any time during the enemy movement phase.  However if the enemy is charging the overwatch unit or is going into or out of cover there is a -1 penalty to hit.  Generally at the start of a player's turn collect all the counters and then reapply.  If a unit is shot at (doesn't have to hit!) roll a Ld check to see if they keep overwatch.  Oddly the rules mention using your overwatch to cancel overwatch but it doesn't seem to make a lot of sense unless you can use overwatch on your movement and then immediately use it which kind of contradicts the way the rules are written unless you pay attention to the bit where it says you may shoot at any time during the opponent's movement, and THEN the bit about how you can stay on overwatch from turn to turn if you want.  They just add that pesky bit about removing for ease of use bit.  Bad wording!  BAAAD WORDING!!  (Affirmative!)  

  Oh yeah before we end this section you cannot throw grenades in overwatch.  I guess they didn't exactly have a lot of FPS videogame experience in 1993 where people might do that.  Of course using grenades like this is probably realistically doubtful even for a Space Marine so its cool.

  Shooting is done!  Next time we get stuck in and poke things with swords that have chainsaw blades on them!










Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Let's Read (and maybe house rule) Warhammer 40,000 2nd Edition! Part 2: Characteristics - Movement Phase

  I gave blood today so I had some time to read another couple of sections while a needle was sticking me in the arm.  Time to get down to the meat of the game.

  Characteristics is where we start and it is mostly like it is nowadays except we have a Movement (M) stat which is how far you move in inches.  Everything else is basically the same.  Three stats were dropped from Rogue Trader that were all basically smooshed into what Leadership (Ld) is.

  They actually explain in terms normal people would get what each stat stands for and what a high or low stat would be for with a comparison of a normal Guardsman (ok they say Man but its a IG profile!), and an Ork.  A bit of a quick overview of armor and the fluffy bits that actually CAN influence gameplay that Power Armor has in it.  We rarely used these rules but.. they were not exactly at the forefront in the rulebooks.  Much like Suspensors in Rogue Trader, these bits would be dropped in later editions.

  Now we move on to a page covering Squads.  For this, it is 2" from dude in a unit to another dude, with double that if you have the Dispersed Formation ability.  Generally unless you are in close combat you gotta stick to this and if you can't move back into normal coherency during the next Movement phase the smaller portion of the unit out of said coherency breaks and runs away unless they are in cover which they can stick to.  They automatically rally if you can bring them back together though.  Simple and logical!

  Cavalry gets a third of a page to itself with some eh artwork and one of those adorably atmospheric bits of in world fluff text, in this case saying how a planet is now lost to the Imperium and nobody is ever allowed to go there again.  I adore these little snippets of the universe!  Anyhow Cavalry, yes.  Basically it is the dude on the horsie or velociraptor whose stats you care about, though you use the animal's Move rating and add it's Attacks to the rider.  And your rider gains a +1 to his Armor save.  Mostly Warhammer Fantasy rules moved over.  Except it doesn't really matter as much in 2nd ed given the weird way Close Combats are fought so Cavalry aren't the huge bad asses they are in WHFB.  But still not bad by any means.  Moving faster and a buff to armor isn't anything to sneeze at!

  The Turn is up giving us another general overview of how game play goes, each player alternating doing the THING ZHU LI with all their dudes and then the other guy does and that is the turn!

Movement:  Duh, you MOVE?
Shooting: DAKKA DAKKA DAKKA GLOCK GLOCK MOTHAFUGGA!
Hand to Hand:  The part where both sides try to put sharp pointy things into squishy things that scream and bleed.  Who are generally trying to do the same.
Psychic:  Another part where both sides do thing so the side who spent most of their opponent's turn getting a beer or jamming a thumb up his or her ass in boredom can also do something maybe.  Dark Millennium turns this into a lot of nothing.  We will get to that maybe by May or so.  Possibly.
Rally: No this doesn't involve one of the Gunsmith Cats even if she drives a Shelby Cobra and shoots guns in Chicago.  It is when your dudes who were Broken in previous turns try to stop crying like Bill O R when he got caught lying just like Brian Williams and get back into the fight!

  The rest of this page is devoted to improvising and exceptions.  Basically DON'T BE A POWERGAMING DOUCHEBAG.  Roll a D6 if arguments come up or stuff is unclear then discuss it like a goddamned mature caring adult afterwards.  And it is also cool to come up with fun and neat stuff not in the rules with YOUR FRIENDS too.  With them.  WITH.  YOUR.  BROS AND BROSETTES.  Also sometimes stuff comes up that can be dealt with whenever with no real worries instead of being a massive sperg over exact timing.  This isn't Magic the Gathering with THE MOST HOLY STACK or anything!


  And this is a neat picture of fluffy goodness!  Leman Russ of the Space Wolves telling his furry alcoholic homies he will be back when Armageddonpocalypsepalooza happens.  Even if the picture basically looks like Ragnar Blackmane when he is qualified for the Space Marine version of AARP.  Rogue Trader fluff was still being sorted out and not really solidified into our unironic GRIMDARK in 1993.  It wouldn't really be until the middle of Third Edition that things would get locked down to what we know the setting to be these days.  There were a couple of novels that were already out of print and basically decanonized, but little else.  (PS I might be in the minority, but I love the Ian Watson Inquisition War series.  It got an omnibus reprint back in 2004.  Over 750 pages of whackadoodle Rogue Tradery madness.)

 Now the next five pages cover Movement.  And not the kind involving your toilet.  The ones where you move your wee mans about the field while your SO shakes their head at the (wo)manchild they made the mistake of dating.

  (Oh come on who are we kidding?  Women don't really play minis games.  And minis gamers don't have SOs.  Even if one terrible Something Awful poster says 40K comes up a lot on that Grindr thing and that he has gone to a dude on dude hookup and instead played Blood Bowl.)

  We start this section out with a basic phase overview.  Declare Charges.  Compulsory Moves.  Charge Moves.  Remaining/Normal Movement. 

  Charge declaration doesn't allow you to pre measure.  You cannot normally engage in close combat without charging first.  Otherwise your dudes and their dudes must stay at least an inch apart.  You will move double your M, and can't run through other models.  Chargers cannot shoot, not even if they are found to be out of range.  It is ok to move through terrain though you have to pay penalties.

  Compulsory moves are the first actual moves done in a turn so it can bugger up other movement.  You can be moved into close combat if such things happen but you aren't counting as having actually charged.

  I am not honestly sure I like the idea of having to declare the charges and then go through compulsory moves first.  Maybe its me just playing so much Warmachine as of late.  I am just used to doing one thing with a unit then moving to the next.  I get the point though.

  Now normal movement is made.  Mention is made of some weapons being unable to fire if the model moves.  The rules say you can move everyone else in the unit provided the HW guy doesn't move.  Turning doesn't count as moving though which is nice.

  Terrain is divided into four basic types: open which is normal movement, difficult which is half M, very difficult which is 1/4th, and impassible which DUH CANNOT PASS.  They give advice as to what basically counts for each terrain type and to bring up what is what before the game.  If I ever do make a new reference sheet for the game the terrain types will be listed as to what is what.  But trivia: Unlike most minis games woods and brush/scrub aren't considered difficult only really heavy woods and scrub.

  Obstacles come up next.  If it is no more than 1" high or thick it is ignored for movement purposes.  You can't end up on top of obstacles but you can not have everyone on the same side and its ok.  However if an obstacle is more than 1" but less than twice the height of the model it is that half M again.  This kind of could lead to modeling cheese of course, especially nowadays with the scenic bases.  Which makes the modern Warmachine THE BASE IS THE DIMENSIONS GUIDE obviously the way to do this while not punishing the art people.  Obviously its intended to allow things like Ogryn and Greater Daemons to not really lose much because they could kind of step over it.  Oh yeah, if an obstacle has a gate on it normally it is presumed to be OPEN.  And you can charge and have close combat across an obstacle provided you could normally move that distance even if the model is really stuck behind the obstacle.  You are still base to base.

  Then charging is mentioned.  The whole squad has to charge.  You may be shot in Overwatch on the way in and as mentioned you don't measure ahead of time.  Chargers have to go for the closest enemy model, but if the enemy is already engaged in close combat you can charge into a different model.  Like running charges are up to double your M.

  Running is like charging without the charge part.  You cannot run within 8" of an enemy and if you do run into it you stop at the 8" distance.  They helpfully recommend using those nifty counters.  Now I am pretty sure we NEVER used this rule and probably should have.

  The next page and a half of the section covers Hiding.  Oh yes.  This is where you will really need those counters of yours!

  You see, if everyone in your INFANTRY squad (No cavalry or Terminator units here!) who don't run or charge may go into hiding if they are behind cover or concealed by an obstacle that would be big enough to do so.   Yet again they helpfully remind the reader to use common ass sense.

  Once hidden, the models cannot be seen or shot at.  If any of the models move or shoot they lose their hidden status.  Models that stay hidden can go into Overwatch.  But this status requires two turns to do so, and no movement for the Overwatch status.

  To spot hidden units models must get within their I score in inches or to get into a position you they can clearly see them in like being on the same side of a wall or whatnot.  If they have communication devices which they say most units do they can inform their homies and the hidden counter is flipped over to Detected.  They bring up that some models have items to spot hidden units better and reiterate that friendly models with communicators will also be aware of the enemy location.

  I generally recall we never really played this correctly but the whole bits about who does and does not have communications devices is about as troublesome to look up as gas and light protection equipment.  

  To fire on such hiding units you can't normally fire directly.  Area of effect weapons in all their template y glory will hit our detected pals on a 4-6 d6 roll.  They mention this also applies to templates that scatter onto any hidden units.

  Oddly enough now they mention if a model starts hidden only moves concealing terrain like through woods or along a wall they can stay in their status.

  We get a really awesome picture of old school Tyranids fighting Eldar and then it is on to our next section, Shooting.

  Join me, won't you?

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

A quick bit of info on some of the Warhammer 40K boardgames.


My little current project to read and discuss 40K 2nd edition is also leading me to make a Something Awful Oldhammer 40K thread and of course the board games are going to come up.  So why not share some pictures and a little bit of info on three of them?

  The games I own are Space Crusade, Advanced Space Crusade, and Tyranid Attack.

  Space Crusade was my board game "holy grail" for many years until Ebay and a bit of money finally netted me a mostly complete and in decent condition copy of it.  I first learned of the game in Dragon Magazine when it and its' sister game (Hero Quest) were reviewed.  I am not sure I really even knew anything about 40K at that point but all the bits and gubbins in the box plus what the game was about sounded SO AWESOME OH SO AWESOME.  Sadly it never got released in the US nor did the two expansions bringing Eldar and Space Marine Heavy Weapons Platforms into it.  Which is honestly a tragedy because this game is great.  Not too complicated but with a lot of atmosphere and tension as your squad of Space Marines have to complete a mission and the Sergeant can level up and advance while doing so.  Unlike Hero Quest you control one of three squads of Space Marines.  The Ultramarines, Blood Angels, or Imperial Fists get to get stuck in and you can outfit your unit with various weapons that can be easily plugged into the models to fit your play style.  
  And of course another player takes control of the aliens on board the derelict space ship.  (A Space Hulk for you story nerds.)  And unlike that more famous board game, this one gives you Orks, Chaos Marines, Genestealers, and Necron units to fight against including a Dreadnought.  With more units to help and hinder in a couple issues of White Dwarf of course!  (And thanks to the Internet these rules are relatively easy to find now.  The expansions not so much.  Kind of like my efforts to get to play this game more than once every other year or so.)

(Click for bigger and apologies for the flash glare.  Detail over a bright spot.)
 One of the two English language box covers.  It had a couple of different names depending on where it was released with of course Germany being a killjoy and taking out the killing somehow kind of like an anime edited for US TV in the 70-90s.  (HFIL anyone?)

 LOOK AT THIS PILE OF RADNESS.  A massive board with doors and the like to make the ship variable in layout!  3d elements like bulkheads and said doors!  Hidden blip counters to keep you guessing!  Control tablets to record damage and battle honors!

One day I really do plan on giving this game a full review.  It is just so good!

And much like Hero Quest it got an Advanced cousin from GW themselves that used D12s and was a LOT more complicated of a game.  I passed this one up back in the day because it didn't have the toy value of what Space Crusade was.  The same with 1st edition Space Hulk.  Because I am stupid.
 Rogue Trader Tyranids and those silly poofy sleeve mohawked Marine Scouts!  

 More of that Oldhammer 40K art and the box back.  It has a simpler and funner game called Tyranid Attack which actually had a better variety of models in the box but both games have the same basic concept:  Squads of Space Marines (usually Scouts but both have rules for other forces.  GW gotta make that paper!  Except in a way where you want to give them money to make your game more fun and varied as opposed to obvious money grabs.  Also this is the kind of thing that got people playing the proper 40K game.  I mean you already have some models, why not go all the way?) enter a Tyranid ship in space and try to blow up critical elements of the ship that will break it so it is effectively crippled.  Both ASC and TA share map boards and some component pieces.  I have both games in the box as my TA was just the non minis components I got off someone in the mid 90s which means I could make mega hive layouts if I wanted to.

 On the left of each group of three scouts is the ones that came with these two games.  The middle metal guys are the late 90s metal scout models with the fellows on the right being the current plastics.  I think the metals are the coolest ones personally.  Sure they don't have the weapons loadout flexibility of the modern guys but they just look nicer to me.  I even modded two of them to carry the Heavy Bolters from their poofy sleeved ancestors so my set will be better looking.  (I am more than happy with the classic Tyranid Warriors though.  I love those models.)

 Using the same jigsaw styled lock on board connectors as Space Hulk (as far as I can tell my second and third edition copies of the game work with them.  Again, I don't have first ed SH.  Yet.) the board sections are generally geomorphic and can attach in a number of different ways to make different layouts.  The board art on the six layouts (with a 7th you could get from White Dwarf and glue to cardboard) are honestly a bit garish but it makes for some nice ooky corridors and rooms.  Sadly the designs can only be attached on correct side to side formations but a little finagling could maybe even split them into double corridors.  You just need to make a 1" or so connecting piece to fill in a gap.  There is quite a bit of flexibility though!  

 Even some info and paint advice on the sides of the box bottom.  

And a glamour shot of some of the other models available at the time, some of which I have never seen before like the Ancestor Lord and the Arbite with Power Maul!  I am loving that Chaos Squat in Power Armor too!

  I even have some of their electronic ports because my first experience with Space Crusade was a demo disk on a 1992 Amiga games magazine from the UK at a store that imported such things.  It is why I chose that issue!  Yet again it never got a US release but I did eventually get the PC DOS version imported on CDROM with Hero Quest's translation.  Have both of the PC Space Hulk ports of the old days though!

Not a bad game in the bunch here!  A couple that weren't perfect mind you but not a single bad title!

If you would like to see the Amiga port and maybe learn more about Space Crusade in a manner you can more easily play it well just go here and you can even see the other ports of the game:

(It doesn't seem as if the PC port got the expansion pack either.  Poopie!)

Here is an emulator screenshot of the Atari ST port.  The 68000 machine with normally 16 colors to the Amiga's 32 to the Genesis' 64 to the PC VGA's 256.  But ST emulation is generally easier than Amiga.  Also I wouldn't want to blind you all with the rather bright colors much of the DOS version I own uses.

Isometric view is mostly just for the limited animations in combat resolution.  Normally it plays top down.

  Now these are just some of the 40K boardgames made in the classic era.  I haven't shown 2nd edition Space Hulk here and sadly I don't own the hex and chit wargames they made, Space Fleet, Ultra Marines, or Lost Patrol even though I would love to own them.  I have the remake of Horus Heresy but I really don't count that as a classic era game even if it is a remake.  Much like 3rd edition Space Hulk even if it is an amazing game.

35 bucks for a 100 dollar game?  YES.

The back of the box.  Sexy!


  If you would like to see the same mission played in both of the editions of Space Hulk I own however, I have you covered:



Sunday, March 22, 2015

Let's Read (and maybe house rule) Warhammer 40,000 2nd Edition!

  Like my last Operation Game Collection post showed I have a lot of stuff and love for 2nd edition 40k.  But there were flaws, some of which were due to nobody playing it right, others just due to the non Internet era it was primarily played in.

  So we will read, discuss, and then maybe play test and tweak it.  The plan is for me to cover a couple sections a post, roughly ten or so pages worth at a time depending on size.  You see the 2nd ed rule books weren't really chapter or index set.  There is a table of contents with bold sections for topics but little else.  Given my goodie goodie nature and GW's rampant litigious nature I will only photograph at best two pages an update.

  Well, let's begin with the first three sections comprising pages 4-13!

                                       

  I'm not sure how readable this page is but... READ IT ANYHOW.  Stop getting your palms hairy and damaging your vision to Daemonette porn.  (Also try clicking for bigger.) The game is about playing with friends.  Not being a try hard win at all cost type.  Not an art project with a game attached.  It's a game with lots of things to make a greater whole, with different folks liking certain bits more than other.

  The included minis are 2-4 part plastics that are easily assembled.  No glue is even needed!  They give a little simple advice on taking them off the sprues and even painting them but it's not a hard sell.  They want you playing quickly.  PLAYING.  With the quick start book you could be playing mini games within minutes of opening the box!

  They even gave you a cardstock Ork Dreadnought so you could see how vehicles work in the game.   Good stuff!  

  Next they show how to assemble the card scenery and the Thudd Gun template.  After that they talk about the included dice and the specialty dice plus list what each die has on it which could be nice if you need to make your own with stickers.  A quick guide to the RPG dice and how to get by without them though in a slower way than just buying a set of polyhedrals.

  Next section is Starting the Game.

  They go over the basics of what you are doing with the included minis and they intend games to be one army list per side though with multiple players controlling various units as an option.   (Something few team games ever did.  Probably should have really,)  Point size is brought up with 1000 being Alan evening's game, 1500-2000 being a long afternoon or evening game, and 3000 being an all day affair. Which in reality is overdoing it but for new players it isn't exactly far from the mark.

  Table size is recommended to be a 5 by 3 kitchen table as the minimum with 6 by 4 or 8 by 4 feet being ideal.   Terrain is brought up and they encourage about half the table to be terrain which they say keeps the game fair and interesting.

  While there is some encouragement to buy more stuff or to get tutorials from you nearest GW store in general they are clearly writing to people playing home games with pals.  Some simple and cheap ways to get you by with terrain and even make your play space a touch bigger.  It isn't the modern hard sell at all.  It was about getting you gaming ASAP and encouraging you to expand and improve at your own pace.  

  Now we get into setting up the table with options for how to make the battlefield fair either by alternating terrain placement with limits to the amount in your deployment zone or for one player to set it all up, and then the other chooses which side he wants.  

  Again, more things to try to make a good and fair game.  Which is more fun for everyone outside of the try hard power gamer who needs to make up for their micro penis or something.  Who the hell wants to bother with a game if they just get crushed by bs?

  The actual deployment zone is on the docket, with 12" open on each side, and 24" between forces.  Meaning on average rifles are shooting at each other on the first turn unless you have lots of terrain and maneuver.  You know, what makes it a FUN BATTLE.  Watching your whole army die to Long Range guns is ass.  This way normal grunts have a purpose.  And also can get stuck in and make your camping wieners pay for being cowards.  

  Terrain set up is given a lot of text, with some options for random rolling and ideas on what sort of terrain you should have and in what quantities.  Andy and Rick keep saying that you should have an exciting game.  THEY CARE ABOUT THE GAME.

  Deployment and Strategy Rating (SR) is up next.  Basically take your SR and add a D6 roll.  They even cover what to do if you have allies and their SR.  Dudes can start in Hiding and vehicles at their Slow or Stop speeds.  My only issue is here is that it kind of contradicts itself a couple of times as to exactly what the order is.  Do you just use the SR?  SR plus the roll?  One paragraph says side with lowest SR must deploy first, while the previous one says "To determine which player deploys his models first and who has the first turn, different armies have what's called a Strategy Rating".

  So if I am understanding it correctly:  

1: Roll D6.  Side who rolls highest chooses deployment zone.
2: Lowest SR then deploys.
3: Roll D6 and add Commander's SR.  Winner goes first.  

(A bit badly worded.  We probably did this wrong all the bloody time I bet.)

If correct this means basically Space Marines with an SR of 5 will almost ALWAYS go before Tyranids with their awful rating of 1 since The Nids need a 5 to tie the Spammers' lowest possible roll of a 1 (which I presume would cause a reroll.  It isn't mentioned unless it was on the quick start booklet.), and win on a 6.  Plus the Marines get to see where the Nids are.  Of course Nid players knowing this will generally start their bugs behind cover as much as possible.

So fairly balanced I guess. The bold bit is me rereading something that I bet a ton of folks missed.  So even if you have a massively high Commander SR you still might not go first as it is just used to see who goes first.  I LIKE THIS.  It reduces the uber commanders a bit while still making them useful.

  Mention of Infiltrators is brought up.  Basically they can be placed in the Battle Zone provided the enemy doesn't have line of sight to them, and if behind cover or concealed they can start Hidden.  If BOTH sides have em you roll off on a D6.  Loser puts all of his down first.

  A quick overview of the game turns in the simplest manner explaining why the game ends after four turns (usually) and we are ready to go.  Ish.  

  The next chapter is Mission Cards.  Victory is determined by Victory Points. (VP)  You can get these based on killing and damaging units with the more expensive units being worth more than a smaller one.  (This could cause Tryhard Scum to try to game things with how they build units but honestly it is probably more of a pain in the tuckus than it would be worth for NORMAL WELL ADJUSTED PEOPLE.)  You also gain VPs through said cards.  You can randomly choose, select them, and even keep the choice secret though they recommend not because they say it makes it more fun.  I kind of agree.  I have six missions, with two different colors in the deck.  This could be one big group shuffle so there is a chance both sides would randomly get the same one or allow for both sides to secretly select.  A fair setup really.  Knowing the other side's mission can provide fun as you both try to succeed in your mission but deny the opponent and vice versa.  Keeping it secret adds in some tension however.  But the choice is YOURS.  

Again I am ashamed to admit we never really used them.  WE SHOULD HAVE.  

  They helpfully remind us that Spammer squads are worth 2 total VP per half squad as they tend to have their 10 man squads broken down into 5 bangers.  And a tank would be worth 2 as well with clarifications as to what makes a tank destroyed. (Generally one point for knocking something under 50% status, and another one for wiping it out.  Being Broken also counts as being eliminated.)

  They are then a little cheeky about winning with highest VP counting all of the stuff and then basking in glory and that having a lot of VPs means you really owned your opponent.  (1-2 is marginal, 3-4 good, 5+ LOL.)

  Game length is brought up with a couple options, four turns being default.  Options to play to time, score, or roll before the game for a variable 3-5 turn game are included.

  So far I am generally impressed by the rules and the writing.  It is a lot better than anyone gave it credit for.  The wording is a little odd in some cases but its a light and accessible style, almost like a friend is teaching you the game instead of some dry Avalon Hill styled rulebook for nerdlingers.

  Join us next time for Characteristics, Squads, Cavalry, The Turn, and Movement Phase.  About 10 pages of rules overall.  What other forgotten words or ancient memories will we discover?  Forget justice!  I want to find truth!

And I am slowly building up forces both to properly populate Advanced Space Crusade & Tyranid Attack as well as getting that Astronomican scenario some Orky ladz:

(Not shown: still sealed Rogue Trader blister pack of three Genestealer Hybrids.  I only paid 20 bucks for it but part of me feels BAD about opening it.  And some plastic Nobz I got online from a bitz seller.)

Friday, March 20, 2015

[Operation Game Collection] Rogue Trader Warhammer 40K Update and 2nd Edition

  Catching up with my collection was somewhat inspired by this picture from Facebook:

(Many pictures can be clicked for ultra larger if that's your thing.)

  Would you look at what a 2nd edition Warhammer 40K army was comprised of?  While a little hero heavy this is clearly a force that is easily bought and painted in a reasonable enough timeframe to get a new player active into the game instead of bored, broke, and just throwing it all up on Ebay.  Not even getting into the increasing price per model of modern 40K.

  It was a GOOD TIME AND A GOOD GAME.  I called 2nd ed 40K at that point The Game I Love and I meant it!

  Thoughts of these days are what get me buying dumb things to this day:

 I have actually completed three of these games.  Fire Warrior I haven't because once Chaos shows up the game gets too frustrating to continue.  But if you want to see most of my computer hobby games gone electronic heat:  http://wargamedork.blogspot.com/2012/11/game-collection-hobby-games-gone.html

My Space Hulk collection is STRONG.  I think I am merely missing 1st ed SH and expansions now.  Also depending on what you think of 3rd ed's minor rerelease and a novella.  

  But for those who may have missed it, my previous Rogue Trader collection posts:



  Now let's swiftly catch up on my Rogue Trader collection!

 I got this bad boy at around half the price it normally goes for, giving me the first real expansion book to Warhammer 40K.  It has an absolutely AWESOME campaign I am dying to remix for 2nd edition and run someday.  

Squats!  Hordes of lovely inexpensive lead Squats!  

And the Vehicle Manual!  This book is more a preview of what the vehicle system in 2nd edition would be, albeit much clunkier.  Though putting a clear plastic overlay over a silhouette of your target and aiming for a location does have some fun appeal to it.  Honestly Epic did it better and you didn't need the overlay.  

  This is honestly why I am happy to own Rogue Trader but am unsure if I want to PLAY Rogue Trader.  It is a mishmash of rules and tweaks from 1987 to 1993 that never really mesh well or make a whole lot of sense.  Things change for no reason and the developers seem to be trying to adapt to what the audience wants to do, with much of it still kept to issues of White Dwarf.  It is a little like Original 1974 Dungeons & Dragons.  And like that game there are MANY MANY things that weren't taken out in the first expansion that probably should have.

  (And as we will see, the follow up actually isn't as bad as people think it is provided one used all the rules.  Which I doubt anyone actually DID.)

 The dual format Siege book!  Do you like to fight complex battles for fortified bases?  You will love this book!  And Floor Plans 1 is one of two tile sets I need to run the campaign from Astronomican.

And the backs of them both.

  This means I need the Dungeon Rooms set and Waagh! The Orks to finish my Rogue Trader collection though I am already rules complete as Waagh has no actual RULES in it and the tile box can easily be just printed from the Internet though I want my own physical copy anyhow.

  Then because I HAVE A PROBLEM, I can work on getting the issues of White Dwarf with rules that weren't reprinted in the books and the RT era 40K universe board games.  I already have Tyranid Attack, Space Crusade, and Advanced Space Crusade in some form, plus the remake of the Horus Heresy game.  Luckily I am cheap and easily distracted so I keep bouncing around and don't go too nuts.  

  (I am currently in a looooooong process of populating my Advanced Space Crusade and Tyranid Attack game with good and complete models.)

  So let's finally get to 2nd edition 40K!

 In the 90s GW made most of their games in a certain format:  50-60 bucks for the core game box with the rules (above shown as the Rulebook, Codex Imperialis, Wargear, and a couple small booklets for getting started with a simple army list, tutorial campaign to use with the included models, and lots of cardstock scenery like the walls you see in this post:  http://wargamedork.blogspot.com/2013/03/warhammer-40k-rogue-trader-styled_21.html ), and then an all but ESSENTIAL expansion box for 35-40 in mid 1990s US dollars.  Dark Millenium is that book.

 They helpfully split up the rules into three books.  The main book is actually the RULES to play the game in a handy and mostly portable self contained volume.  The Wargear book is weaponry rules, and the Codex is something that was more or less a "Get you by" book until the Codex volumes came out.  However Squats never got one.

  The problem with this set up is you really couldn't buy the books separately meaning if you didn't want the selection of models in the box you did not own your own copy of the rules!  This lead to a lot of people not actually properly knowing how to play the damned game!  And given the core rulebook being shy of 100 pages, and then the supplemental book being another 40 or so it made things difficult.  And don't forget knowing your army Codex rules...

Given the new 115 dollar! plastic Bloodthirster kit that just came out, showing some Khornate demons in the Codex Imperialis seemed like a good example of how things were done.  A thing I never honestly liked and still don't.  Half the rules for a unit in a Codex being in one section, and the points and other bits in another!  Outside of the earlier small size 3rd edition books this has always been a thing which makes looking rules up during play slow and annoying.  Plus it makes the books larger and unwieldly.

 Dark Millenium added tons of extra cardboard bits plus the Psychic rules that replaced the shorter version from the main box.  Honestly I think this slows the game down.  So many games of 40K got slowed to a crawl as we barely accomplished anything at the end of each main turn of play.

 And very quickly over the 1993-1998 timeframe 2nd edition existed Codexes came out, giving us ten books and two more White Dwarf only armies.  (Legion of the Damned and a limited Necrons list.)  To be fair the Assassins book is mostly a mini booklet covering four uber powered characters however.

 It might be hard to see, but the price tag on the Eldar codex shows what these softback booklets that were mostly black and white cost back in the day.  Twenty Dollars.  So much better than these enormous 50 dollar hardbacks for 6-7th edition right?

 A printed copy and actual included cardboard showing the quick reference rules to the game.  I really want to find a reason to play 2nd ed again and make my own more comprehensive reference card like what I did for Battleforce:  http://wargamedork.blogspot.com/2010/01/ive-been-workin-on-imac-all-my-free.html

Dice, some of which are custom to the game!  Gobs and gobs of dual sided tokens!  Tons of templates!  Note that we have THREE sizes of flame templates.  I have the modern translucent flame and small blast template on top of their cardboard originals to show you that sometimes you can even use your new ones to make your old game better!  I gotta say I love my counter tray too.  Makes life much easier.  Also see how I have a marker to show how much further out the Heavy Flamer template goes.  And we cannot forget the Foot of Gork/Mork!  Sadly I don't have all the parts to the Thudd Gun template which is a bunch of 1" templates you connected with paper fasteners.  Yes, you roll a D12 to move them around.

 And the Turn card EVERYONE should have used when playing, right next to the Mission cards.  And then we have the Wargear cards!  Warp cards!  Power cards!  Vehicle Wargear cards!  Strategy cards!

  Looking back?  WE SHOULD HAVE USED MOST OF THESE ALWAYS.  I'll get into that at the end of the post.

 And Vehicle cards!  Most of them required photocopying your Codex or hoping White Dwarf printed them in lovely color like the Whirlwind above.  These cards had a lot of flavor and were a BIG improvement over the Vehicle Manual rules.  

 The article in White Dwarf made things like using the new Gorkamorka Ork vehicles in 2nd edition.  Sadly this was the days before the Internet meaning if you didn't get the issue you weren't going to be using these things.  And not everything got reprinted, especially in the 2nd ed days.  On the right is a ton of printouts I got from a UK site that was devoted to keeping 2nd edition alive with expanded army lists and rules for later era 40K units to be used.

 These little mini brochures also showed how GW cared about bringing in new blood and getting them PLAYING.  NEVER FORGET THE SQUATS NEVER FORGIVE FAT BLOKE.

 With some rubber bands and a bag for all your D6s and RPG dice for vehicle hits, the DM box can fit a ton of stuff making it an excellent travel box.

Mine shows how much it was used and loved.  I played a HELL of a lot of 2nd edition.

  But looking back?  WE PLAYED IT WRONG ALL THE WAY THROUGH.  While we had fun which is the most important thing, had we used all the rules many of the flaws might not have been quite so bad.  Just like the popular online consensus of why 1st and 2nd edition AD&D are not the utter disasters they think it is.

  There were just too many rules for everyone to keep track of and getting FAQs and the like were very tricky.  If you hadn't gotten the right issue of White Dwarf you would have never known to rip up The Virus Outbreak Strategy card.  You might not have known that most Wargear cards had LIMITS.  Didn't read the rulebook?  You might have missed that armor penetration was reduced at long range!  

  Characters too tough?  Well if you used Missions and Turn Limits characters were seriously nerfed as they simply weren't going to accomplish a ton in 4 turns of play.

  But now?  I want to start a journey of rediscovery.  Where I reread ALL of 2nd edition's rules and talk about them and maybe even play a few games and only then decide what needs to be fixed.

  If I do this expect me to talk a bit more about the generally accepted flaws of 2nd edition.

(And be out of more money as I get a hold of the remaining three army codexes and the Battles supplement book.)

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I like to play nerd games! I am a nerd! Join our nerd ways at https://www.facebook.com/groups/112040385527428/