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Space Hulk (third edition)» Forums » Variants

Subject: Cadian Shock Troops Rules rss

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Kevin Outlaw
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Okay, it's been a good few days since I posted one of my half-baked variants, so here's another one...

I love the theme of Space Hulk, but sometimes I wish it felt a little bit more like Aliens (I know it is already pretty close). I want to keep things set in the 40k universe, so looking through what we have available, Cadian shock troops seem like a good choice. They pretty much look like the grunts from Aliens (standard marine types with nice rifles).

I know that Cadians wouldn't actually be raiding a Hulk in the 40k fluff, but I figure there is no reason why the Hulk map couldn't represent a silo on an abandoned Imperial moon, or a deserted way station, or an outpost that has come under stealer attack and only a small group of troops are left to defend it. Hell, you can even create missions where the Cadians have to hold out until the terminators arrive... So, yeah, I may not be holding true to the fluff, but dammit, I want to see grunts being torn apart by stealers.

I also realise there are already rules available for using imperial guard in the Hulk, but as I like coming up with my own (broken!) rules, I thought what the Hell...

I'll give a brief idea of my thinking throughout, and probably recap the rules at the end if you want to skip the rambling and see if I came up with anything worthwhile.

First of all, I think the termies represent mobile weapon platforms. I envision them shuffling along, constantly firing, turning awkwardly. Like mechwarriors. Cadians, on the other hand, I see scuttling along without firing, finding good cover, then setting up a firing position before finally taking a shot (imagine the scene in Aliens when the marines first disembark from the APC and Hudson bypasses the door to get an idea of what I'm thinking). That image pretty much reflects my choices throughout.

I also thought Cadians would be inferior to terminators in all forms of combat (obviously) but tactically better. They have a strong command structure and are good at getting into position. They are also highly trained marksmen, but often put out quantity of shots rather than quality. As for close assault - not their strong point.

I wanted to have the two-squad system used for the terminators, but I wanted it to be one squad that is split in half (as I see Cadian teams being larger than terminator squads in my head). This meant one sarge and one... well, someone who wasn't a sarge to lead the second unit.

For five man missions, you would use the sarge + four others, and then you would just add to that core unit for the larger missions, but there would still only be one sarge total.

Okay - that was what I was thinking when I came up with the basic rules. These rules reflect ALL Cadians, but special weapons etc. may override these (more on that later). Note - when I am coming up with variants, I like to keep them pretty simple so they are easy to keep track of, so sometimes I oversimplify things. This is just how I work.

Because Cadians are mobile, they get 4 APs as normal BUT they move as the stealers - so, turning is free if combined with a move action. This means they are much more mobile than termies, but still not as quick as the stealers.

To counter the extra mobility - remember I said about taking up fire positions rather than shooting on the move - yup, Cadians cannot combine a free shot with a move action. They can either move, or they can shoot.

Most Caddies will have a lasgun or laspistol for ranged attacks. Lasguns rolls 2D6 and kill on a 6, laspistols roll 1D6 and kill on a 6.

Cadians DO NOT get sustained fire bonus. However, Cadians are trained marksmen, so BEFORE rolling to shoot, any Cadian with a laspistol or lasgun can pay AP or CP to improve their aim. 1AP/CP gives +1 to hit. So, if you shoot with 1AP, you hit on a 6, if you use 2AP you hit on a 5 or 6, 3AP means 4,5, or 6, and so on. The maximum bonus possible is 2+ (i.e. rolling a 1 will always miss). This bonus CANNOT be used in overwatch, because you are not paying AP or CP to fire in overwatch. Yes, this means a Cadian can expend all his AP and some CP too in order to have a very good chance of taking out the broodlord (but, hey, that's the broodlord's fault for standing in the open).

By the way - it costs 2AP to go into overwatch or guard, as normal. Guns still jam in overwatch (consider them overheating, or something) and cost 1CP to unjam.

In close assault, a basic Cadian with lasgun will be using his bayonet to stab up the stealer. He benefits from his mobility, but isn't as tough as a terminator, so all rolls are at -1 (i.e. 1D6 -1).

Cadians only have access to flamers - no assault cannons, grenade launchers etc. Flamers have the same rules as terminator flamer units.

HOWEVER, for bonus kicks, in some missions I thought it would be fun to give them grenades. You get one grenade per Cadian. NOTE: for the sake of simplicity, this DOESN'T mean each trooper has one grenade to use. Grenades can be used collectively - meaning on trooper could throw them all, or 10 could throw one each. You keep track of grenades using the assault cannon marker on the game console, and you DO NOT decide in advance who has the grenades. This is a little bit gamey, but I hate having to keep track of who has thrown their grenade, or who has how many left.

Grenades can be thrown up to six squares. You aim at a stealer or an empty board space. For each model in that board section, roll a dice. On a 5 or 6 a model is killed. Keep track of any 6s. If you roll 3 6s for the same grenade, then the structural integrity of the room gives way, and everything collapses. The whole room is blocked. No model can enter or leave it for the rest of the game. If this blocks you from your objective, you immediately lose. If all stealer entry points are blocked, you immediately win. Anything that takes two successes to kill (broodlord) cannot be killed by a grenade, but you should still roll the dice to see if it turns up a 6.

As a trooper has to get the grenade, pop the lever, and then throw it, I figure it should cost 2APs.

Next up: special rules for the sarge.

The sarge is armed with a chainsword and a laspistol. The laspistol is 1D6, kills on a 6 BUT it provides two benefits: First, when moving, you can take a free shot with the laspistol (same rules as termies moving and shooting). The free shot CAN be combined with a free turn as well. This is the only Cadian weapon that allows a free shot when moving. Second, the usefulness of the pistol at close range gives the sarge +1 in close assault (meaning the sarge rolls 1D6 in combat instead of 1D6 -1).

The chainsword allows for the parry skill (as with a power sword) and allows the sarge to cut through a door for 1AP (as chainfist).

Note: the sarge does not get a close assault bonus in the same way as termie sargents do. He really isn't that much better in close assault than the rest of the squad, but benefits from having the right tools for the job.

The sarge does give a CP bonus while he is alive. Because I wanted Cadians to feel like they are more tactical, and are better at taking and giving orders than termies, the sarge does not get to redraw the CP token. Instead, he gets +1 CP. This means, while sarge is alive, the Cadians will always have a minimum of 2CP available.

As I said earlier, I only wanted one sarge, so for the second squad leader we have - a voxcaster. A voxcaster has all the same rules as a normal trooper (armed with lasgun) BUT, he also has the voxcaster special item, which can be used in the Cadian's turn to move the CP token back one (like the librarian's special power). For every 2AP the voxcaster spends, you can move the CP token back one (but it can't go lower than 0). This may seem like a bum deal, but obviously, CP can be used by anyone, AP can only be used by the voxcaster. I also quite liked the idea that if the voxcaster didn't do anything in his turn, then every model in the team got one free AP to spend immediately (which could NOT be combined with other CP to do an action worth 2 points or more - so basically, you could move or shoot once), but I think that was a little too powerful.

Anyway - I think that's about it. (Man, this is a long post.)

RECAP:

SQUAD 1
Sarge - chainsword, laspistol
Flamer
3 x lasguns

SQUAD 2
Voxcaster with lasgun
Flamer
3 x lasguns

General Rules (unless stated, rules will be as terminator rules):
4 APs per trooper.
Follow genestealer rules for movement (i.e. free turn on move, etc.).
NO free fire on move.
No sustained fire bonus.
Marksman skill - +1 to hit for each AP or CP spent BEFORE shooting. (Cannot be used with flamer. Cannot be used with a free move and shoot when using the laspistol.)
Grenades, 1 per trooper (max 10). 2APs to throw, 6 square range, kill on 5+, three 6s will collapse the room.
Laguns 2D6, kill on 6.
Laspistols, 1D6, kill on 6, +1 close assault, move and shoot.
Chainsword, parry, destroy doors for 1AP.
Voxcaster, pay 2AP to move CP token back one. Can be used multiple times.
Sarge, +1CP.

Notes:

I am still testing these rules, so they may not be well-balanced (I get very little time to play games, and even less time to test my variants). In particular, I want to spend more time working on the voxcaster, which I think could be made more fun.

I believe a single box of Cadian shock troops (retail £12) will be enough to make the 10-man squad I have here.

I dunno...

EDIT: PLEASE SEE MY POST BELOW FOR SOME UPDATED VARIANTS FOR CADIANS.
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しんぶん赤旗
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I think that they are too powered up for that imperial guard/colonial marine flavour.

Give them a normal flamer, not a heavy flamer so killing on 4+.
Free turns but no sidestep.
1 dice for lasgun and laspistol but limit range of laspistol (6 squares?).
Limited sustained fire (5+ at best, none on overwatch) and move and shoot to stop the imperial player from lacking mobility (move like a stealer with 4AP is only more mobile than a terminator when you are in very twisty corridors, so in straighter sections an imperial guardsman that cannot move and shoot will be considerably less mobile than a terminator as he will be having to stop and shoot).
Vox caster power shouldn't be unlimited - too prone to silliness.
Hand to hand needs to be fatal, a -3 modifier should ensure that (I only know 2nd ed 40K rules and a stealer is WS7 A4 vs WS3 A1). A sarge would be -2 but with a parry.
Maybe some sort of blow back so that explosion affects adjacent board sections (needing sixes) would be better for the triple 6 result for the grenade? Collapsing the room could ruin games by closing off the map.

What do you think?

 
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Kevin Outlaw
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bolter wrote:
I think that they are too powered up for that imperial guard/colonial marine flavour.

Give them a normal flamer, not a heavy flamer so killing on 4+.
Free turns but no sidestep.
1 dice for lasgun and laspistol but limit range of laspistol (6 squares?).
Limited sustained fire (5+ at best, none on overwatch) and move and shoot to stop the imperial player from lacking mobility (move like a stealer with 4AP is only more mobile than a terminator when you are in very twisty corridors, so in straighter sections an imperial guardsman that cannot move and shoot will be considerably less mobile than a terminator as he will be having to stop and shoot).
Vox caster power shouldn't be unlimited - too prone to silliness.
Hand to hand needs to be fatal, a -3 modifier should ensure that (I only know 2nd ed 40K rules and a stealer is WS7 A4 vs WS3 A1). A sarge would be -2 but with a parry.
Maybe some sort of blow back so that explosion affects adjacent board sections (needing sixes) would be better for the triple 6 result for the grenade? Collapsing the room could ruin games by closing off the map.

What do you think?



Hi - thanks for your comments.

I have not tried to create the Cadians to be in-line with the terminators in terms of fluff - they are supposed to be an adequate replacement team. They can't be the same (or there is no point) but they can't be so weakened that they don't stand a chance. You have to remember, the termies are actually weaker than the fluff makes them out to be in order to make the game fun in the first place.

I have bounced my ideas of the fluff, but made concessions where I think they are needed. Consider these Cadians to be elite troops

For example, -3 close assault might be thematic, but of naff all use in a game. Genestealer is rolling three dice, so he will only lose if he rolls a 1 or 2 on all three dice. That's a bit silly - thematic in terms of the fluff, but silly. A sarge at -2 with your weakened laspistol would be of no use to man nor beast.

Actually - let me go through your points. That's easier.

Normal flamer - again thematic. But in terms of the game, not so good. Flamers have a specific game function - if you weaken them too much, then they become a hindrence rather than something useful.

You say no sidestep (which I would keep as it is great for popping out of cover and shooting things) and then you say the Cadians lack mobility.

1 dice for lasguns would mean the Cadians would have no way at all of killing a broodlord

Your rules for limited sustained fire capping at 5+ is the same as the termie rules, so I think this would make Cadians too strong. I really don't want the Cadians to move and shoot - not what I was going for in the style. Hmm... maybe it would be better if they had 5AP per turn though, that why they could still get off a few shots when moving around.

voxcaster being unlimited - I don't think you understood me here. It is limited to a maximum of two uses per turn (4AP) in which case the voxcaster chap can do bugger all else that turn (unless he uses CP, which defeats the point). Also, it can only be used when the CP counter is on 1 or higher (as the counter cannot go back beyond 0), so it couldn't be used all the time anyway. No silliness possible.

My aim was to have marines that had to think carefully about what they were doing, but had more CP available to do it with.

The whole point of "ruining the game" by blowing up rooms is to limit where and when you use a grenade - as long as there are no more than two targets in a room, you can safely use a grenade - if there are lots of targets, you could wipe out loads, but might ruin your own plans. You have to calculate the risk. If it's your only way out, then you can't use a grenade - like in Aliens, when they are too close to the reactor to fire their own guns.

Like I said, I am not saying my rules are balanced yet, but I am not prepared to bring the Cadians down to a realistic comparison level to the termies or it would be no fun.

Thanks for posting your ideas.
 
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Kyoko Steeple
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GW released rules for running Imperial Guard in Space Hulk in a feature article from Citadel Journal #25. I don't have the original to send you, but you can find a good transcription starting at page 80 of this document. It looks fairly comprehensive, including a number of different troop types and additional rules. No specific mention of Cadians, but it's a good start.

They've also released rules for running Space Marines and Eldar, and rules for customizing Tyranid forces. I haven't had a chance to play with any of it since I'm new to SH and still working with the Terminators, but the variants look neat (especially the Eldar!) and I'd love to hear your experience with it. Have fun!
 
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Kevin Outlaw
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SleightOfHand wrote:
GW released rules for running Imperial Guard in Space Hulk in a feature article from Citadel Journal #25. I don't have the original to send you, but you can find a good transcription starting at page 80 of this document. It looks fairly comprehensive, including a number of different troop types and additional rules. No specific mention of Cadians, but it's a good start.

They've also released rules for running Space Marines and Eldar, and rules for customizing Tyranid forces. I haven't had a chance to play with any of it since I'm new to SH and still working with the Terminators, but the variants look neat (especially the Eldar!) and I'd love to hear your experience with it. Have fun!


Thank you.

I've already got the bible and a bunch of other variant stuff, but haven't really done much with it.

As I said in my post - I know there are existing Imperial Guard rules, but I like coming up with my own stuff, and the existing stuff doesn't use voxcasters and things like that (as far as I recall).

I'm in no way saying my stuff is better than the stuff that's already out there, but I have more fun coming up with my own stuff rather than using existing stuff.

Cheers
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Kyoko Steeple
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I totally respect that! I just thought it might be useful as a baseline.
 
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Brent Lloyd
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I agree with you about the Aliens theme but I was going to approach it a little different. I would use the same stats for the Terminators as the Cadians...fluff about how the Power Fist "disrupts any matter it touches....terrifying weapon" to me is way over blown anyways....it rolls ONE die against a flesh and blood creature!

Just swap out a Terminator model with a similarily armed Cadian model and use the same stats. This red guy has a pistol, this green guy has a rifle...use the same stats done deal. Swap out the guy with "lightening claws" with a guy with a sword and knife...same deal, done deal.


The game still has the same theme, same feel...just not completely over the top fluff. If you use the same stats you have less of a chance of unbalancing the game, yer just changing the look to something more appealing to you. Its your game, enjoy it!

Just my $0.02 anyways.

Peace
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Slev Sleddeddan
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Quick idea on the Lasguns: Make the 1D6 as per 1st ed.
Then, make the aiming bonus from the Marksman skill a second D6 in shooting. This gives a chance of killing the Broodlord with the flashlight, but without over-powering the weapon.

Laspistols should also have a range limit, probably 12.

Th Flamer reduction is gold.

Combat modifiers are needed due to their lighter armour. I'd give everyone +2 to hit them in shooting and melee, and give them -1 in melee.

Chainswords aren't really beefy enough to chop down doors, +1 in close combat would be better.

The balance comes from having MORE of them, say four for every Terminator.
 
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Kevin Outlaw
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Slev wrote:
Quick idea on the Lasguns: Make the 1D6 as per 1st ed.
Then, make the aiming bonus from the Marksman skill a second D6 in shooting. This gives a chance of killing the Broodlord with the flashlight, but without over-powering the weapon.

Laspistols should also have a range limit, probably 12.

Th Flamer reduction is gold.

Combat modifiers are needed due to their lighter armour. I'd give everyone +2 to hit them in shooting and melee, and give them -1 in melee.

Chainswords aren't really beefy enough to chop down doors, +1 in close combat would be better.

The balance comes from having MORE of them, say four for every Terminator.


Thanks for your comments - I quite like the aiming thing giving a second die roll. That might work. I also agree with a range on the pistol.

Chainsword - again, I know the fluff may not be 100%, but I wanted a parallel ability in the Cadian squad. I like the idea of the squad leader having close range items that allow him to clear LOS for the rest of the team, and that includes cutting down doors.

I also wanted to limit to 10 men max - otherwise you lose that sense of a few good men vs the masses. 20 troopers running through the Hulk isn't thematic enough for me.

Weaker flamer - just don't like it. The flamer has a specific game purpose that I don't want to change.

Like I said - I am trying to create a replacement squad that is as good as the termies, but play differently. I don't mind if the fluff is "simplified" (as lets face it, the termies in the game are much weaker than their fluff anyway).
 
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RULES UPDATE

Okay, so I have been thinking about this a lot more (perhaps a bit too much). Thanks to everyone who gave opinions so far. Although I have no intentions of adjusting my rules to reflect a true comparison between a terminator and a Cadian shock trooper (Caddies wouldn’t stand a chance), I do want my rules to be thematic (to a certain degree).

My original rules I thought were okay (although no-one seems to agree ), but I really wanted to give the feeling that where these guys excel is in their command structure. Giving orders and setting up strong lines of fire, etc.

That being the case, I have been coming up with some new ideas. Please remember when reading, I am not trying to make the Caddies totally true to theme. They will be too strong when compared to the terminators, but they should create a much different playing experience where they still stand a chance of winning.

Squad structure is the same. 1 sarge, 1 voxcaster, 2 flamers, 6 lasguns.

My biggest issue was wanting a strong command structure, that got weaker as the team leaders died. So I have been tinkering with the rules for the sarge and the voxcaster. I want them to work together. After all, the voxcaster is not giving orders, he is relaying them to the men.

The sarge gets chainsword and laspistol. Laspistol is 1D6, kills on 6, range of 12, but allows for move and shoot. It gives +1 in close assault and benefits from my overwatch concentrated fire, and marksmen rules (see below). The chainsword allows for parry and cutting down doors (it is a combination of chainfist and power sword, which I know is out of line with the fluff, but for simplicity and game mechanics works fine).

The sarge is 1D6-1 in close assault, so with the laspistol, this goes up to 1D6.

While the sarge is alive, the team gets +1CP per turn.

The voxcaster has a lasgun and benefits from marksmen and concentrated fire. In addition, while the sarge is alive, the voxcaster can give his AP to other troopers within 12 spaces on a 1 for 1 basis. This means, if the voxcaster does not move, you can use his 4AP on other models within range. These are not CP. They have to be used immediately, and if they are not used then they are lost. You can give all the AP to one trooper or spread them out however you want. Thematically, this represents the sarge passing orders to the voxcaster who has to stop to listen to them and then relay them to the troops. If the sarge dies, then the voxcaster has to make decisions himself, so he still gets to use the voxcaster, but he exchanges AP on a 2 for 1 basis (therefore he can grant a maximum of 2 AP to other troops).

The rules for flamers are the same as terminator flamers. Fire is fire, and I don’t want the flamer units to become useless. However, I have been playing with the idea of giving the flamers only 3 shots instead of 6 (to represent they are not as big as terminator flamers).

Next, rules for the grunts. I wanted them to feel like they weren’t the best shots in the world, but they were disciplined and professional. This meant new special abilities to make their shooting better at certain times. To offset the bonuses, they are now all 1D6-2 in close assault (except sarge who is 1D6-1 but also has the laspistol).

The rest of the squad have lasguns. (By the way, all troopers move like stealers (including moving backwards for 1AP, so they can do that cool retreating while shooting thing that Vasquez does in the movie Aliens). At the moment they get 4AP, but I may increase this to 5.)

Lasguns roll 1D6 and kill on a 6. They cannot move and shoot, and there is no sustained fire. Because they only roll one dice, they do not jam in overwatch. However, because of the troopers’ high level of military training they get some special abilities to improve their combat effectiveness.

Marksmen. All troopers can pay 1 additional AP to take an aimed shot. Aimed shots roll 2 dice, and succeed on 5+. Aimed shots cannot be made in overwatch, and they cannot be made using a CP token in response to an alien movement. They can only be used in the Caddies’ turn.

Concentrated fire. If you put a trooper in overwatch, and there is another trooper directly behind him (adjacent space), you can put that second trooper into overwatch as well (pay AP or CP as normal). This reflects the overwatch trooper in front crouching to allow his comrade a clean shot as well. Now, if a stealer moves into LOS, both troopers shoot at the stealer in synchronisation. Roll 1D6 for each of them. 6s kill as normal, but you have doubled the shots you can take. The downside to this tactic is, if you roll a double, the lasguns have overheated. They both jam, and cannot be unjammed. They automatically unjam at the end of the turn though. Note: maximum of two troopers together can use concentrated fire.

You always were an asshole, Gorman. You get one grenade for each trooper (as explained in my original post). You can throw them 6 spaces for 2AP, they kill on a 5+. They also provide an additional benefit. If a stealer kills a trooper, and you have a CP left. You can spend 1CP to ‘pull a Gorman.’ As the trooper dies, he activates his grenade, killing the stealer that killed him on a 2+. Any other model in the board space is killed on a 5+. Don’t forget, three 6s will bring down the roof, so use with care.

Still needs lots of testing... Whatever happens, I don’t want more than 10 men running around the Hulk. There’s safety in numbers, and I don’t want the game to feel safe...
 
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Pete Grey
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I really like the idea of this.

I've thought much about picking up some of them Cadian Shockers because they look so much like the Marines in Aliens.

I hope your idea continues to get flushed out til its perfecto.
 
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petegrey wrote:
I really like the idea of this.

I've thought much about picking up some of them Cadian Shockers because they look so much like the Marines in Aliens.

I hope your idea continues to get flushed out til its perfecto.


Thanks. I appreciate your kind words.

What is your avatar? Looks like an old-school catachan sergeant or something. Lose that power fist and squint a bit and it could be Hicks or Hudson
 
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Pete Grey
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Thanks. He's a Catachan dude with a power fist I made for my custom Lost Patrol game.
 
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Kevin Outlaw
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Somewhere along the line I seem to have started taking this variant seriously, as I am regularly testing it to see how it plays.

(I wonder if anyone is reading these posts...)

So far, I really like the way the voxcaster works. It needs lots more testing, but I think it's quite a nice ability that makes the Caddies tactically more flexible. It's interesting and thematic (if I do say so myself )

Problem is, the Caddies just keep on dying. That 1D6 for the lasgun is just too weak. It wouldn't be so bad if there was move and shoot, but as I have said, I want the flavour for the Caddies to be totally different to the termies - I want to see them running to get the good positions and THEN shooting.

1D6 and 12 square range seems fine for the laspistol, but I think the lasguns have to be 2D6 kill on 6 (no sustained fire). This makes the sarge weaker at shooting than the rest of the troopers, but I see him more as a tactical leader and more of a close combat specialist. He would be better if he had the long range weapons, but he has the weapons of an officer - sword and pistol. So I don't think that breaks the theme.

If the lasguns were 2D6 kill on 6, then the marksmen skill would become, pay 2AP to roll 2 dice and succeeded on a 5+. This is still weaker than termies (if they pay 2 AP to fire they get two rounds of shooting one round at 6+ and one round at 5+, but Caddies only get one round of shooting at 5+) so I don't think this is overpowering the Caddies too much.

Concentrated fire would become you roll 4 dice and kill on a 6. This is very powerful, but I think that reflects the strength of the marksmen and the teamwork element of the Caddies (they are much better when they work together). The downside would have to be worse, so BOTH lasguns in the concentrated fire would overheat if any triple was rolled on the four dice (ie. rolling 1, 4, 4, 4, would cause both guns to overheat). Overheated guns are out of action until the end of the turn, pretty much meaning in this situation both those troopers would die (-2 in close assault remember). This adds a real push your luck element to the team - do you have the stronger shooting, but run the risk of overheating? Or do you think a single trooper can hold the corridor on his own, needing 6s to kill?

Hell, I don't know, maybe 2D6 IS too powerful, but 1D6 is not powerful enough. Maybe 1D6, needing a 5 to kill, is the answer. But then that's like permanent sustained fire all the time (which perhaps is fair as there is no move and shoot...).

Okay, so my options are 1D6 kill on 5+, or 2D6 kill on 6+. If my number crunching is right, the 5+ on one dice is slightly better value than rolling a 6 on two dice. If I went with that then aimed shot would be two dice at 5+ and concentrated fire would be two shots at 5+, but jamming on a double. Ohh, I think I like that... It's easier to remember as well.

Oh - and grenades may have to kill on 4+ instead of 5+. Chucking a grenade in a room and killing nothing is just rubbish...
 
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Pete Grey
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I'm reading them! Please keep it up.

I'd be contributing/playing also, but my dudes are 50% done in paint process. And this dip/stain takes forever to dry!
 
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Slev Sleddeddan
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RedMonkeyBoy wrote:

Problem is, the Caddies just keep on dying.


Sounds right to me

I know it's not what you're going for, but you are basing this on reletively unarmoured figures aremed with flashlights.
 
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Slev wrote:
RedMonkeyBoy wrote:

Problem is, the Caddies just keep on dying.


Sounds right to me

I know it's not what you're going for, but you are basing this on reletively unarmoured figures aremed with flashlights.




True to theme, but no fun.

I know I have said this before, but I’ll say it again anyway...

The way I see it, terminators are basically walking robots. They have advanced targeting systems, hundreds of years of experience, storm bolters that fire LOTS of shells at a rapid rate, two hearts, anti-toxins pumping in their veins, and yet I roll 2D6 and need a 6 to shoot and destroy a static door. That’s less than 33% chance of hitting the broad side of a barn by my reckoning.

Similarly, they are in some of the most advanced armour in the universe and have power fists that can punch through the side of a tank, and yet I roll one dice when close assaulting a door, with a 1 in 6 chance of destroying it (just 17%).

If you have a genestealer standing next to a line of five terminators, in one round, that genestealer can kill ALL FIVE terminators and still have an action point left to dance on their twitching remains.

My point being: the designers of this game used the fluff as a springboard for their ideas, but they didn’t let the fluff get in the way of making a fun and balanced game. To do this, they made the termies much worse than they would be in ‘real life.’

The same rules apply when creating my Caddies. I have to turn them up to 11. I have to make them play differently and yet still have a fair and reasonable chance of winning. I have to make them strong enough to function in the game in such a way that 10 Caddies have the same chance as 10 termies. If anything, I am not making them too strong, it is the terminators that are too weak by comparison.

If that still doesn’t float as a good reason, then consider each Caddie to be like a named hero character in 40k. Those hero characters are stupidly strong in comparison to everything else in the army, but in real life they wouldn’t be that much stronger at all. So, I just have a squad of kick ass marines, instead of a bunch of nameless cannon fodder.

Anyway, all that being said, the lasguns are giving me trouble. 1D6 for normal shooting or 2D6 for marksmen doesn’t work, for the simple reason it feels like you are always better off taking 2 shots instead of 1 (unless going for the broodlord). By this I mean, if I do an aimed shot, it costs me 2AP and I need to roll 2D6 and get a 5. I roll two 5s. Brilliant! I have killed my target. But if I had taken two normal shots, I would have killed two stealers with the same roll. So I think I have to go back to something else.

I’m not happy about it, but I think I am going to have to let the Caddies have move and shoot back. Without move and shoot, the Caddies just end up rooted to the spot, shuffling forward maybe one space and then shooting. I want them to be really mobile, but I can’t give them more APs or they will be all over the place. It’s not so thematic, but if I bring back move and shoot in a weakened format then it won’t be so bad.

Troopers get 4AP. Their movement is as genestealers BUT after each move action they can either do 1 free 90 degree turn, or take one SNAP SHOT (if carrying a laspistol or lasgun).

Snap shots roll 1D6 and kill on a 6.

When taking a normal shot with a Lasgun, roll 1D6 and kill on a 6 (it is still a snap shot, not an aimed shot). The marksmen rule costs 2AP and you roll 2D6 killing on 5+ (basically, double dice and a +1 hit bonus).
In overwatch you roll 1D6 and kill on a 6. The concentrated fire rule gives you 2D6, killing on a 6 (reaction shots are less accurate than aimed shots).
Lasguns only jam in concentrated fire.
Lasguns cannot destroy doors.

I feel a bit like I am going around in circles.

By giving back move and shoot, only having jams in concentrated fire, and increasing the strength of grenades to 4+, Caddies MIGHT stand a chance.

HOWEVER, I would really like it if there were three grades of shooting: snap shot when moving, standing shot (regular shoot action), and then aimed shot (marksmen). Getting three distinct levels withoutout aimed shot being too powerful is tricky.

More testing, methinks...
 
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Erik Balgård
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How about incorporating the great strength of the imperial guard....Numbers! no need to make the guardsmen too good compared to how they should be thematically just give the guardsmen players reinforcements each turn just like the stealers!
 
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Slev Sleddeddan
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Eriku-kun wrote:
How about incorporating the great strength of the imperial guard....Numbers! no need to make the guardsmen too good compared to how they should be thematically just give the guardsmen players reinforcements each turn just like the stealers!


I already suggested that

The plan is to make them as strong as Terminators, and in the same numbers, but with a different "feel" of play.
 
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Slev wrote:
Eriku-kun wrote:
How about incorporating the great strength of the imperial guard....Numbers! no need to make the guardsmen too good compared to how they should be thematically just give the guardsmen players reinforcements each turn just like the stealers!


I already suggested that

The plan is to make them as strong as Terminators, and in the same numbers, but with a different "feel" of play.


Exactly - It would be so much easier if I just had 20 man squads, but then I think I would have totally ruined the theme. One step away from them cruising around the hulk in tanks with heavy weapon platforms

I'm never going to recreate those scenes from Aliens with massive squads. Hicks and Hudson were more than enough

I think I may have the solution to my lasgun issue, but I need to roadtest it more this weekend. It involves a much stronger marksman skill, but one that can only be used on creatures that are a long way away (no-one's aim is perfect when the stealer is breathing down their neck!).

Thanks for all the comments.
 
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Richard Watney
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some ideas from a similar thread a while ago - i particularly like the crouching and fire-then-move rules for the tactical options and mobility, but there should be something there thats worth picking up.

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/441103
 
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RMB I like your rules and I think I understand what you're going for. I feel that another thing that will help you is to focus on elegant rules, which some of your rules already are. By elegant I mean a change that gets you what you want overall while being as simple, minimal and streamlined as possible. Look at how streamlined Space Hulk 3E is, compared even to the simple rules of Space Hulk First Edition.

If I understand you right, you want to have a 10-man squad that has the same chance as a 5-man terminator squad. You understand and accept that in doing so, you are not realistically simulating the capabilities of a 10-man squad of Imperial Guard. I am a big simulationist myself, but it sounds to me like you're trying to create a specific type of fun experience so I'll go with you here.

I doubt I'll playtest these suggestions, so please just consider them more suggestions.

Movement

4 AP seems fine, 5 AP would be like Eldar or something. Move exactly as genestealer is fine and elegant, simulating that Caddies aren't encased in terminator armor. Allow Caddies to choose between a free 90 degree turn before or after movement or a free shot after movement. Best of both genestealer and Marine worlds. Pretty elegant.

You have this snapshot, aimed shot, regular shot. Eliminate, streamline, make it elegant. The free shot after movement is a regular shot. Less to remember.

Melee

1D-2 for a line guy and 1D-1 for a Sargeant is what regular power armor Space Marines got in 1E, seems OK for a playtest.

Lasguns

Try this. 1D6, kill on a 6. Lasguns don't jam during overwatch. Just fine.

Think about allowing lasweapons sustained fire, both during the Caddie turn and on overwatch. That boosts the Caddie power level. I'm not sure if you want to juice up your Caddies this much, but you could try it in a game and see if it creates the feel that you want or is too powerful.

I could certainly see this for say the hellguns that the Shock Troopers get. I know you're not doing rules for Shock Troopers, but anyway. Hey maybe these rules work better for Shock Troopers!

Marksman

It is true that if you spend 2 AP and both rolls come up 6s, then you could have killed two genestealers by just shooting twice normally. But that will happen 1 roll in 36, less than 3% of rolls. On the other hand and assuming no sustained fire bonus, marksman doubles your chance per AP of killing your target for what would be 2 APs of shooting. That's huge. And it gives you a way to kill the broodlord, albeit a statistically small one (1 in 9, about 11%).

You said that rolling two 5s for marksman is one kill but would have been two kills with 2 APs of regular shooting. This is incorrect. Without sustained fire, that would be zero kills with 2 APs of regular shooting. With sustained fire, that would be one kill with 2 APs of regular shooting, putting you in the same position as having used marksman.

Also consider that even with sustained fire, if you go marksman and roll two dice and one comes up 5 it is better than if you took 2 APs of regular shooting and rolled a 5 for one of those regular shots. This is because in marksman, either roll coming up 5 is a kill while in regular shooting with sustained fire, a 5 is only a kill if the SECOND roll is the 5. If the first roll is a 5 then it's a miss and you have zero kills for the same 2 AP of shooting.

Personally though I would drop the marksman thing, as it is getting too fiddly. I mean why couldn't terminators aim too? Any given terminator has been fighting for centuries, he might have learned to aim at some point. Terminators can't aim because it makes the game too fiddly.

Also as a simulation it seems a fail. Would someone really stand and aim carefully at the onrushing genestealer? Does a genestealer coming at you bouncing off two walls, floor and ceiling really give you an opportunity for calm aim?

But if you must use it, at least statistically it looks useful to me.

Concentrated fire

I like the idea of allowing a Caddie to draw LOS through one other Caddie during overwatch. But please think about dropping the rule that if both of them roll doubles or whatever, both their guns jam. As a simulation it's a fail. If one gun wouldn't jam, why would two? Also that's just a fiddly rule, keep things simple. The simplest thing is a Caddie on overwatch can draw LOS through one other Caddie. It simulates how Caddies are trained to kneel or hug the wall or whatever to allow pass-through fire. God knows a normal guy needs the backup in the world of 40K.

Laspistol

Exactly as a lasgun, in all respects, except a 12-square range. Most elegant thing you can do.

Flamer

I'd also recommend making it kill on a 4+, the first edition rules for regular flamers. Please playtest before dismissing. Remember that if that's your only rules change, the flame marker would still block LOS and movement and so fulfill a flamer's primary function. And things left alive in the flames would still be taking a big chance moving around. Also, you get two of them in a squad instead of one!

Btw this makes sense as a simulation too, a heavy flamer appears to put out at least twice as much promethium per second as a flamer.

Grenades

Frags in first edition killed on a 6+. I think these of your rules are OK for what you are doing though: 2 AP throw, six square range, target the whole section, kill on a 5+ if you must.

If you want to have a limited number of grenades, I agree that using "quantum" grenades that any model can use instead of individually-assigned grenades is the way to go. Too much paperwork otherwise, Space Hulk should be elegant.

Drop the structural collapse thing, too fiddly. Keep it simple. Also that rule fails as a simulation. The chance of structural collapse should be the same regardless of how many genestealers happen to be in the section.

If you want to say no grenade throwing near the reactor, well one of the missions has that situation right and there is a special rule for that mission that handles it. That's how you handle it.

Did you think about doing the Gorman thing like how you detonate a thunder hammer -- you do it instead of rolling a die in melee, no CP cost. It kills the Caddie and affects the rest of the section normally. Keeps it simple. If you really want to keep it simple, drop the Gorman thing completely.

It seems the limited number of grenades would keep you from pulling a Gorman every time a genestealer got up close, but I think only playtesting could tell you that. I mean you start with 10 grenades and after some genestealer contacts you will probably have more guys than grenades. The Gorman tactic might start to seem like a go-to play.

Sargeant and Voxcaster

Your +1 CP change for the sargeant seems OK. It is probably weaker than what terminator sargeants get, but I'm not going to crunch the numbers on that one.

I liked your first rules for the voxcaster better than your second, which seem too powerful. One thing I suggest is the voxcaster can only use its special ability while the sargeant is alive. If the sargeant's dead, then the voxcaster is just a regular Caddie. Dialing the CP back one per 2 AP seems about as much as you want to give. I know you're not going for a simulation, but I feel that you should avoid giving Caddies BETTER leadership than terminators.

Re the second voxcaster rules, in many situations there is no effective distinction between giving AP and giving CP. Sometimes you want a guy to do a lot of things on his turn, well he did it using AP so now you have all your CP for something else. Including more stuff with the same guy, which could get crazy. Or you didn't have the CP for what you wanted, so the extra AP make it possible. I know sometimes you will spend CP on a guy who completed his actions a while ago, but in play I think you'll usually be fine with the AP. So maybe giving 4 AP is about the same overall as giving 3 CP? That seems too much.

And in conclusion

Seems like a good start, thank you for posting your rules. Please keep everyone posted on your continued playtesting. I'd be tempted to try a game with Imperial Guard myself someday, I have a box of Catachans that I never put together and those folks really look like Colonial Marines plus they have flamers.
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Thanks everyone - especially Kris. It sounds like in a lot of respects we are on the same page, and we definitely agree that rules should be pretty streamlined and elegant. As you can see, I have tried to do that wherever possible (like with the grenades).

What I really want is a 10-man squad of Caddies that are the equal of a 10-man squad of termies Totally unrealistic, but these guys are the best of the best. They're all heroes

I have grown to really like the movement options of one free turn or one free snap shot. That seems to work quite nicely and reflects the marine's ability to hustle or to move cautiously with guns ready. I'm thinking that's a keeper.

Flamers - interesting you say about 1/2 the prometheum. I know you are referring to output per second, but I am now playing with the rules that they work as normal, but only contain three shots each. This seems to work, as it does not undermine the main benefits of the flamer, but it does considerably limit their usefulness. Also - easy bookkeeping with the tokens provided with the game

Sarge - +1 CP I believe is worse than a redraw, but he also combines with the voxcaster to make that work, so I think overall he is slightly more useful as a tactician than a termie sarge in as much as he is more consistently able to produce a large amount of CP. (By the way, my distinction of the voxvaster giving AP not CP was just to clarify that you could not hold over the points to use in the stealer turn - they have to be used immediately in the voxcaster's action phase, so there is no confusion.)

Grenades - I really like the pool of grenades, as it is nice and easy to keep track of. I know that increasing the chance of an explosion based on how many targets are in a room is gamey, but it seemed a solid way of introducing a push your luck element to using grenades - you have the chance to kill lots of targets, but do you really want to run the risk of bringing the house down? Perhaps it is a bit too gamey, but I wanted a negative to offset the positive aspect of bombing a room. I agree this might need more work...

You also were an asshole, Gorman - I like this rule. I think its funny, and gives the Caddie a chance to give the stealer that killed him a two finger salute. You need a grenade and a CP to do it though, so I don't see it being used that often. If in testing it starts happening all the time, I might have to think again... I didn't want it to be a replacement to a normal attack becausee I don't think any marine would blow himself up if there was a remote chance he could win the fight. Pulling a Gorman is a last act of defiance by a dying man

Concentrated fire - I really wanted a rule that emphasised the teamwork element of the team. Allowing two guys to overwatch together if adjacent seems to create that feel. I introduced the jam on concentrated fire to offset the strength of the tactic (otherwise marines will always shuffle along in pairs). I know it is gamey, but I was imagining that two lasguns shooting repeatedly in an enclosed space would heat up quicker than a single lasgun, thereby causing the jam. I know, a bit abstract, but that push your luck element is there, and stops the ability from being too overpowered. I may simplify this after more testing.

Laspistols - I am very happy with laspistols now. They are 1D6, kill on 6, have a range of 12. They benefit from all the usual lasgun rules, and also give +1 in close assault. I'm leaving it at that.

Lasguns - I've been number crunching, but my maths ain't great... I really like the idea of three levels of aiming to replace sustained fire (sustained fire represents termies' targetting systems kicking in, but Caddies don't have those systems). So I have this structure that I am testing at the moment. It escalates the requirements and benefits, and tries to recreate that feel of marines running into good firing positions and then settling in to shoot:

SNAP SHOT
Snap shot can be taken as a free shot after a move action, or can be performed for 1AP. It represents a quick "from the hip" unaimed shot.

Free or 1AP: 1D6, kills on a 6.

ACCURATE SHOT
Accurate shot represents the marine taking his time a bit more (shooting from the shoulder). It takes longer for him to aim, and he cannot have previously moved in that turn, as it would take him too long to settle down for shooting again. Note: After taking an accurate shot, he can move, BUT he cannot move before taking an accurate shot.

2AP, cannot move before: 1D6, kills on a 4.

Killing on a 4 sounds very strong. It is a 50% chance to kill, but you have sacrificed the ability to move into a good position to take the shot (advanced planning required) and costs 2AP. Comparing this to a terminator: for 2APs a terminator can move and shoot, and then take a second sustained fire shot. So, the termie would have advanced 1 space, taken a shot that has a 30% chance of hitting (one 6 on 2D6), and then taken a second shot with a 55% chance of hitting (one 5 or 6 on 2D6). I think the Caddies are significantly worse off.

DEADLY SHOT
This represents the marine settling down, regulating his breathing, perhaps crouching or finding a firing rest. It costs 4AP, and he cannot have moved in this turn (although he can move after, using CP if they are available). Deadly shots cannot be taken under pressure, so the target of the shot MUST be six or more spaces away (i.e. out of close assault range). The deadly shot is so well aimed that if successful it will kill any target. This means deadly shots are the only option the Caddies have for taking out the broodlord. Because of the restrictions imposed on the shot, it is very difficult to actually make such a shot, and the chance to kill reflects that:

4AP, cannot move, cannot target closer than 6 square: 1D6 kills ANYTHING on 2+.

Accuracte shots and deadly shots can only be performed in the marine turn. Overwatch shots and reaction shots using CP are snap shots that roll 1D6 and kill on a 6. Lasguns cannot destroy doors, even with the deadly shot.

I'm sure people will balk at the strength of these shots, but I will report back once I have done some serious testing to let you know if the marines can stroll through missions with these abilities.

By the way - If I ever nail these rules, I will also be working on a commissar character, who will be the equivalent of the librarian. He will be a great tactician, and will therefore get 20 order points to perform special orders to improve effectiveness of the team. Not really thought about it too much yet though.

Thanks again for taking the time to post your thoughts. I certainly haven't ruled anything out yet.
 
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There are a lot of one-squad missions in 3E. If you were aiming to give a 10-man Caddie squad the same chance of success as a 5-man Marine squad, then you might have an easier time finding the right rules and you'd have a lot of missions to play with. You could get by with simpler rules too. But OK now I understand you are really going for the heroism, good luck with your efforts and keep playtesting.

Re the flamers, considering that the main use of a flamer is to deny movement I would rather have a flamer with six shots and a 4+ kill than a flamer with only three shots and a 2+ kill. In other words I feel that a flamer that is equivalent to a heavy flamer but only has three shots is actually weaker. Remember that sometimes you have to keep flaming an intersection turn after turn and you need lots of flamer shots on a large map.

Btw another simple change that comes to mind is to *gasp* let Caddies move through each other. You still couldn't end a turn with two Caddies in the same square. The simulation justification is the Caddies aren't wearing terminator armor and they are what at least two feet shorter than genestealers. I don't know how much a move-through would add to Caddie power, you'd have to playtest to find that out.
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Been testing again. I am actually pretty happy with most of my rules now. But I have streamlined a little more.

Laspistols - as before, but only offer a snap shot capability (no aimed shot or deadly shot). This makes the sarge much weaker than the troops when shooting, but he gets all the close assault bonuses, so I see him as more of a hands-on kind of guy.

Concentrated fire - has been moved more towards what Kris was suggesting. I didn't like the idea of being able to move through another model as I thought it eliminated too much strategy, and being able to draw LOS through one other model seemed a bit too powerful without limitations, so I now have: If a trooper goes into overwatch, he is considered as not blocking LOS to any trooper behind him. Note: the lead trooper must be in overwatch (representing him crouching, lying down, or hugging the wall like those rebel dudes at the start of Star Wars A New Hope). If there are two troopers in a row, then anyone behind them is NOT able to draw LOS through them, even if the two leading troopers are both in overwatch.

If you have two troopers in overwatch then you can take two overwatch shots at approaching stealers even if those troopers are not standing in adjacent spaces (roll 1D6 each, kill on 6). There is no jamming of lasguns.

EG: (X is an empty space, G is a genestealer, numbers are troopers in overwatch):

X 3 X X X 2 X X 1 X G

In the above example, when the stealer moves forwards, trooper 1 and trooper 2 can both take an overwatch shot. Trooper 3 does not have LOS even though troopers 1 and 2 are in overwatch.

Not sure if this makes overwatch too powerful yet, more playtesting needed...

Note, as a SINGLE trooper does not block LOS when he is in overwatch, troopers are able to move and take snap shots, or perform aimed and deadly shots, as if the overwatch trooper is not there. This heightens the teamwork aspect of the squad as several guys can form a gun wall in overwatch, while troopers behind take more calculated aimed and deadly shots. This seems to be working well so far.

Sarge - I have grown to dislike the +1CP. It is fiddly and can be overlooked when revealing the CP token at the end of a turn. Sarge now gives the standard redraw of CP, as per a termie sarge.

Flamers - limiting to three shots slightly changes the dynamic of the flamer. As troopers have much weaker shooting capabilites, the flamers become a way of quickly clearing out corridors rather than blocking stealer movement. This seems to work as termies are less mobile than troopers and therefore need flamers to block movement, while troopers are less shooty than termies and need the cleansing power.

With 2+ kills but only three shots, certain fun situations can be created where the flamer torches a corridor and then sidesteps out of the way so that other troopers can then leg it down the corridor to set up shooting positions in the following turn. This is pretty thematic, and I like how it plays, SO FAR... Yes, only three shots at 2+ is worse than 6 shots at 4+, but I think it heightens the feel of what I was going for with these troopers, and makes you use the flamers with great care.

Okay, so I am pretty happy with the basic rules. They need more testing, but they seem okay. However, while I have been at work, my mind has wandered from time to time, and I have started thinking about the commissar character I want. I totally haven't tested anything for him yet, but I know kind of what I want - I want a character that is a bit like the librarian, with a similar sort of ability structure, but with powers that benefit the team's performance.

Haven't really thought about how the commissar should be armed, but I have seen an absolutely stunning miniature of a commissar casually aiming a bolt pistol that really sums up how I want the commissar to play. So, until I decide otherwise, the commissar has a bolt pistol (range 12, 1 dice, kills on a 5 or 6, no sustained fire, allows for move and shoot). I don't know about close assault weaponry. I am thinking he would be sort of arrogant, relying on a shield of humans and an excellent aim to avoid close assault, so I am thinking he would be the standard 1D6 - 1, same as the sarge, with the bolt pistol giving him a +1 close assault for 1D6 total.

The commissar gets 20 Leadership Points (LP - use the psychic token to track). Leadership points represent his general awesomeness as a combatant and as a leader. It shows the respect of the men for him, and his ability to give clear orders.

He has one combat skill and three tactics. He can only use one tactic per turn, but can use crack shot whenever he likes. All abilities can only be used in the marine turn.

Crack shot: Like the librarians close assault bonus, but for shooting. After rolling to hit, he can pay as many TP as required to make the roll a success. This cannot be used in overwatch, only when shooting in the marine turn.

Tactician: The commissar uses his tactical knowledge to get the upper hand. Pay one TP to move the CP token back by 1 (cannot go below 0).

Intimidating presence: The commissar's presence encourages the rest of the men to fight harder. Pay 3 TP. Place a token next to the commissar to remind you he has used this ability. Any model within 6 squares of the commissar can reroll one of his fight dice once for each close assault he is involved in until the end of the genestealer turn - Basically, if a marine is attacked twice by the same stealer, he can reroll his dice for the first round of the close assault, but if a marine is attacked by two stealers, he can reroll one dice in the first round of close assault against each of the stealers (two rerolls total).

Suppressing fire: The commissar orders suppressing fire to thin the enemy numbers. Pay 5 TP. Every marine with a lasgun or laspistol within 6 squares of the commissar can take one immediate snap shot. Marines in overwatch do NOT lose their overwatch status.

Okay, this is very rough - just stuff I was thinking up at work. Not sure a reroll in close assault will make much difference in most situations (marines are at -2) but it might be useful to give the sarge a combat boost. A free snap shot for 5TP seems fair (even with a 10 man squad there will only be a maximum of eight people who can shoot, and some of them probably won't have targets, so 5TP seems about right if you can get off five shots).
 
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