Saturday, January 19, 2013

Challenges: Voices of Reason (and new shooting)

Thank you for all the great feedback I got from the fellas at on my mad scientist rules for fighting Challenges.  And those of you who have voiced concerns are all right, of course—neither version I did ended up very balanced. 

My main objective was to give Challenges some teeth and value.  My experience with them thus far is useless annoyance.  I hate that to refuse a challenge makes your character worthless but to actual fight the challenge--and winning or losing it--does nothing.  But you voices of reason have all been correct, the way I have it doesn’t soften that, it makes it worse.  Powerful close combat models could still take terrible advantage and imbalance the game.  And as I am an anti-competitive player, I would hate to see an army built around one or two guys geared for winning purely through challenges.  I tried to make this game aspect more meaningful and ended up making it super-powerful instead.

So how about this:

Take 3: Everything is the same as in book but --

1. Refusing a challenge: You can refuse without penalty with a successful LD check but at half your normal value (round up): this is you trying to convince everyone within ear shot that you’re not a coward, you just don’t think you should have to fight the challenger just cuz he insulted your mama.

2. Fighting a Challenge: double each characters' wounds inflicted during a challenge when totaling the combat resolution for the round.

3. If you win both the combat and the challenge, when your unit makes a consolidation move, roll 2D6 and pick the higher.

And that's it.
I understand the “diving on the grenade” thing to draw a badass away from the rest of your unit, but I don’t think that should be the only function of a challenge and I don’t think that refusing it should automatically castrate your character.  So this gives you a chance to back out while still laying odds that you’ll have to kill the grenade diver first.  It also gives some value to the challenge while it's happening, and grants a small reward for winning. 

I think these meet my objectives without replacing every chainsword with a daemon weapon.  Hopefully a more balanced approach.  Now I’m going to stop fiddling with the rules and just paint some guys already.


Oh, while I'm at it I might as well throw this out there too.  I had previously suggested some shooting modifier rules too.  Thinking about that a short time later, I wondered if I'd made shooting too complex too.  One of the things I like about 40K over Fantasy WH is the simplicity of the rules.  WFB is very complex and often takes a calculator to figure out how to proceed.  I do, however, still believe that it should be easier to shoot a huge tank than a single guy dodging between trees.  So I streamlined my previous shooting mods as follows:

1.  Shooting:

+1 to hit
Large Targets:  Vehicles, Walkers, Monstrous Creatures, and buildings are easier to hit due to their size (“broad side of a barn”).
+1 to hit
Crowds: Units of 12+ infantry/beast models, 8+ “Bulky” models, or 6+ bikes/jetbikes/cavalry models make larger targets.
+0 to hit
Fast Vehicles: “Fast”-type vehicles are more maneuverable than other vehicles and do not apply the usual +1 to be hit
-1 to hit
Fast Moving Target: Units/Vehicles that have moved 12” or more, not including charging distances.  Any non-vehicle unit that was in close combat or attempted to engage in close combat cannot claim this modifier as they had to slow down to engage.

   * No more than +/-1 modifier on any shot after adding all relevant modifiers together. 

   * Applies to Snap Shots as well.
   * Does not apply to Template hits.
   * Add or subtract opposite values from scatter totals (so +1 to hit means -1 to scatter).

2.  Snap Shots can be fired for Blast marker weapons but they always deviate (use arrow on a “hit” indication of the scatter die) and you do not subtract BS from the scatter total.  Such is the risk of firing big boom guns from the hip.    


I do like this shooting chart.

Okay, now I'll leave the rules to someone more qualified for a while and get back to my models!

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