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!

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!

No comments:


Blog Archive

About Me

My photo
Southeastern CT, United States
I like to play nerd games! I am a nerd! Join our nerd ways at https://www.facebook.com/groups/112040385527428/