Friday, July 31, 2015

Rules of Yesteryear: 40k Modifiers to Hit based on Range

Back to Rogue Trader in today's post. In this earliest of editions of 40k, there were bonuses and penalties to hit your target based on your range. 

In the example below, the las pistol (which I also bet you didn't know had a nickname of "bloogers"?!) there is a bonus to hist of +2 if you're within 8 inches of the target, but a penalty to hit of -2 if you're between 8 and 16 inches away.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Rules of Yesteryear: 40k Target Priority

The year is 2004, and the 4th edition of the Warhammer 40,000 Rulebook is released, alongside the Battle for Macragge (which had a whittled down version of the rulebook).

One of my fondest memories of this edition was the "target priority" rule.

It was an attempt to try to capture the sheer immediacy of battle. If a unit wanted to shoot at an enemy other than the closest one, it had to take a leadership check to be able to do so. I personally really enjoyed this rule, even if it did make the game slightly clunkier, as I felt it really captured what a tabletop war-game should be in essence.

The downside was that most units would have at least a leadership value of 9, meaning that these kinds of rolls were marginally pointless most of the time. Equally, in several tournaments, forcing my opponents to use this rule really saved my bacon a few times. So it is one of those rules that has really stayed with me. I genuinely liked it, and wouldn't mind seeing some kind of analogue to it reintroduced (if some way could be devised to do it so that it wasn't just another pointless dice roll!). 

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Rules of Yesteryear: 40k Vehicle Damage

Inspired by my post yesterday, I thought I'd pull out a few old rules that have long since been discarded. Today, we're going to take a quick, and very visual, tour of the old vehicle damage charts from 1992's "Vehicle Manual". The first picture is of the front cover of the manual.

These rules were released in White Dwarf prior to this publication, but feedback from the public and play testers modified it. Yes: seriously. People wrote letters using pen and paper and sent them to Games Workshop HQ. You don't have to believe me, the authors wrote exactly that in the introduction to this tome!

This next image explains what the system was ultimately all about. The overhead sheet! Basically, you put the crosshairs on where you are targeting on the vehicle (see the next image that shows a Rhino in the cross hairs). 

Here, I'm aiming for the fuel tank. We then proceed to hit (etc.) and you can read what happens next in the summary on the targeting grid.

If you got a palpable hit, then the charts on the reverse of the rhino's sheet would be consulted. The above is an example of what might happen if the fuel tank got hit. I like the 4-6 result of the tank essentially turning in to a heavy flamer! 

Equally, I can totally see why this entire system was got rid of. Its slow, unwieldy, too detailed, too labour intensive (imagine having a sheet for every tank, dreadnought, Tyranid big bug, and variant thereof) and frankly the current more abstract system just flows a whole lot better. 

I regard this as one of the prime examples of the rules changing over the years for the better. But I fear we have reached the stage where cutting back of 40k rules will happen once more as the rule book has become too bloated and the armies too complex. Just an opinion. Regardless, I hope you've enjoyed this trip down memory lane and found these images educational (they're reproduced here for just that purpose - please don't sue me GW!). And for those of you who've never seen this stuff before, I trust its been an eye-opener!!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Plastic Horus Heresy Marine Sprues

I freely admit to being an old-timer. I have Rogue Trader in my collection. I have very old RTB01 Space Marines in my collection. So when news (rumours!) of brand new plastic Horus Heresy marine sprues started to make itself heard, you can imagine my reaction.

To be perfectly honest, I've not been quite this excited about any given release in a long time! I will certainly be there demanding that they take my money to give my these plastic sprues for the Horus Heresy! (As usual, I won't link to these rumours, you are as capable as I am of using search engines to do that). I love what I'm seeing though. Mark IV armour with a wide range of accessories, and even the old missile launcher looking like its right out of the old RTB01 set. I'm amazed. And impressed. And want it to be launched now! (Well, maybe tomorrow will do). 

As for the other rumours. No more codexes in two years time? Probably plausible given what we're seeing in the Age of Sigmar. But for goodness sake, please let Forge World carry on with the Horus Heresy. They're doing a fabulous job at it. Split off 30k from 40k by all means, but give 30k directly to Forge World. Please! I regard it as the true spiritual successor to what 40k could be had the rules been written more betterer plus plus. As for 40k, the rules are becoming rather too complex and the expansions too many to cope with. Hence I do expect simplification and removal of a few things. Its part of the longer term cycle. Remember the overhead sheet that you used to use to determine where lascannon shots landed on vehicles? Yeah, thought you wouldn't. But that's kind of the level we're at at the moment - we need to get rid of a few things to make the game better so we don't mess up every turn because we can't quite remember some fiddly detail of a special rule and how it interacts (or not) with another special rule. 

Long live 30k! Long live 40k!


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