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!

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?
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?

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