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!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Let's Read (and maybe house rule) Warhammer 40,000 2nd Edition! Part 5: Breaking & Rallying Through Psychology

  It has been a little while but I have many projects and terrible time management.  But I am back to bring more knowledge of 40K when it wasn't the completely terrible ripoff disaster it is nowadays.  In an attempt to actually get this out I am breaking up what I said was going to be one post into two.

  First up is Breaking and Rallying.  If a squad takes 25% or more casualties off of its current number in a single turn (either in shooting or close combat) it must take a Break Test but it only has to take one of these tests in a single turn.  The squad rolls 2d6 and must score equal to or under their unit's highest Ld score or become Broken.

  If your dudes end up in this situation they can no longer do anything besides stand still if behind cover, or flee 2d6" towards the nearest cover away from enemy models at the start of their turn.  If they are attacked in close combat or enemy models with  Fear or Terror move within 8" of them they will run away again.  When they are fleeing they ignore terrain penalties besides impassible, but player agreed on super difficult terrain could cause a 1 in 6 chance of a fleeing unit to be lost.

  My issues here are the odd writing that says a unit may stand stationary when broken, but the very next paragraph (which is mentioned as MAY STAY STATIONARY OR MOVE AS DESCRIBED BELOW) says you stay stationary when you are in cover.  Its a bit iffy but I would say you only stay put if in cover because if you are messed up by a loss of morale you won't sit out in the open.  The bits saying it is up to the players if very difficult or special terrain can cause casualties and exactly if it means a single model, roll for each flee fellow, or just the unit in general isn't exactly a smart way of doing things.  I do appreciate players being allowed to figure some things out themselves but.. its a RULE BOOK.  Give us some guidelines or make it an optional box out, ala AD&D 2nd edition turning some of Gary Gygax's more annoying and less used rules into options you know?

  Broken units in close combat or charged get messed up like as mentioned in the CC section, and then if they manage to live they flee that 2D6 thang.

  During the Rally phase a unit can try to rally provided they are behind cover, were not forced to flee during this turn, and the closest other friendly unit isn't broken.  Also if the unit is 25% or less of it's starting strength it simply cannot rally and is just removed from the game.

  Space Marines have a Shaken rule which is basically that they cannot move towards the enemy but otherwise fight and move as normal.  This also includes follow up moves from winning close combat, though being so gay for their battle brothers espirity de corps for being able to use follow ups to move into close combat with models engaged with their fellow Space Marines.  So outside of ally and team games they generally can always follow up into enemies if said enemies are engaged with their bros.  If Marines have a reason to make another break test they become broken as normal, though if they rally they lose all shaken/broken status.

  There is a box out for rolling double 1s or 6s when a unit makes a rally check.  On 6s the unit is destroyed, and on 1s the unit gets to move and shoot though if they get into close combat they don't fight it out.  (Shaken Marines don't worry about this rule thankfully.)

  Sixteen color pages, most of which are Eavy Metal pictures of that era's models from various factions painted up lovely in that era's style in bright and vivid colors.  Some people with bad taste call it cartoony but these people are dumbos IMO.

  Our next big section is Psychology, covering Fear and Terror.  Like normal Morale tests you have to roll equal to or under your unit's Ld score, using the rider if it's cavalry.

  Fear tests are taken if a unit is charged by something it fears otherwise it automatically breaks if outnumbered by the charger.  If it isn't outnumbered it has half it's WS rounded up for the first turn of combat and can't overwatch shoot at them.  (This happens once the charger is found to be in range to charge.)

  You also take this test if you want to charge something you fear, but if you fail you stay stationary but can still fire.  Also a weapon that causes fear causes a break test if it hits regardless of casualties it causes and percentages of such.

  Being outnumbered by a fear causing enemy causes a break test at the end of each close combat phase regardless of the casualty percentage thing.

  Terror is basically Fear +1 and does everything fear does, including making units with fear have fear of a terror unit.  (Models with the same level of fear or terror ignore their opponent's fear/terror.)  A terror test is only taken once a game and if passed it is merely counted as fear tests from then on.

  Got that?  Well terror doesn't really do much over fear outside of the test being taken if charging or charged by the terror, and unit/characters taking the test if they start their turn within 8" of Mr Spooky.

  If you fail this minor upgrade to Fear that honestly causes minor confusion you break and flee 2D6" away even if you have cover.  I mean terror has an improved effect but not a massive one.  It just is something else to remember and then remember wrong.  Which is the POINT OF THIS LR PROJECT.  To show us the stuff we missed, did wrong, or just plain ignored because reasons.

  Next up?  Stupidity!  Basically at the start of their turn, stupid units have to roll under their Ld (unlike every other Ld based test I can tell).  If they pass they work like normal, but if they fail?  Well... in close combat on a 1-3 for each stupid creature in the failed unit they don't fight properly, not rolling attack dice or being able to parry.  If outside of CC roll a D6 and do the following as compulsory moves:  1-3:  Normal move distance in a scatter dice direction.  4-6:  stand around and do nothing.

  When under stupid effects no shooting or psychic stuff can be done by the units under it.  Sadly it is kind of unclear if you roll PER MODEL to see what these effects are or PER UNIT as you do for to see if they are stupid this turn.  I would say per unit for speed purposes.

  While under this effect no other psychology effects happen but they take break tests as normal, but while broken models don't have to test for stupid.  If a unit has a stupid cavalry critter the rider's Ld is used, and the rider may still perform actions even if their mount is going in a random direction though any mount based Attack Dice additions doesn't happen.

  Frenzy is up now.  Frenzy can be restrained by passing an Ld check for the turn and the status goes away if they break in close combat.  Otherwise they have COMPULSORY MOVEMENT into anything within their charge range which I guess means checking range even if you wouldn't normally check this until such a thing is declared.  This should have been explained better!

  Frenzied units double their A value but not doubling things like a second close combat weapon/pistol combo.  They may also not parry, and they ignore all psychology effects/things.   They also have to use follow up moves from close combat to get closer to the enemy.  This is all a little odd but ok I guess.

  We finally finish up these five pages of rather dense rules with Hatred which  gives troops a Ld value of 10 for break and rally tests if they hate their enemies.  (Not exactly well written.  AGAIN.  Cmon guys!  What if the dudes they hate are on the entire other side of the field?  It just says ADVERSARIES THEY HATE.  Is this like cops with not white people?  Republicans with the poor?  SA Goons with bronies?  The mere thought they share a vague space with them makes them mad as hell and not willing to take ANY. MORE?)  They have to follow up move into or closer to hated enemies, and in the first round of close combat they may reroll any of their attack dice though they do mention its when they attack.  I am guessing since charging/engaging wasn't brought up this is merely some fluff explanations like the manual has been using all throughout, and it is the first round of close combat no matter if they engaged/charged or vice versa.

  Wooow.  This was a long post for a tiny set of dense and poorly written rules!  But it is important rules, you know?  Luckily outside of Fear and Terror the other psychology effects aren't very common at all so it would give people time to learn the game properly.  I hope.

  Next time we will cover the other six pages I meant to cover this time but energy, enthusiasm, and the sheer denseness of the rules made me pass on this time around.  Character Stuff and Psionics.

I also have some more pickups before I forget:
After MONTHS of searching for the Battles book complete for a reasonable price I finally got it for under 20 with all the card in the back still in there. The book is like 60% battle reports but I still needed it to have a complete 2nd ed book run (almost done there!) and it is cool for a historical document.  I will cover it more if this project ever gets to that point.  (This is up to yall commenting and contributing to keep me inspired otherwise I will inevitably find some other stupid shiny to waste time and money on as I am wont to do.)

And a lead unassembled Rogue Trader era Techmarine for the Dark Angels list.  About 10 bucks shipped!  I glued him together with his original plastic RT backpack, washed my hands because LEAD IS BAD FOR YOU, then gave him a nice lovely coverage of primer.  I am so happy to have him!

See ya next time!


Steve said...

Could I ask, what are the cards at the back of this book? Mine is missing a page or two but I'm not sure exactly what is missing. Thanks!

Captain Rufus said...

Hmm. A lot of them are card version repeats of the articles in the book but here goes:

Pg1: Battle Bunker and Razorback cards.
Pg2: 2 Mission and 4 Vehicle cards.
Rest of card pages: Bunker kit.


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