Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Three Simple Ways to Speed Up 40k

Over and over when playing 5th edition games, I find myself frustrated by the same three rules. They unnecessarily delay the game without adding commensurate value. *drum roll* The rules in question are ...
  • Wound allocation rules. They suck.
  • Running. Waste of time. Throw in Move Through Cover as a bonus.
  • Rolling armor saves. Yup.

Wound allocation was just a bad rule. Sure there are ways to tweak it so that shenanigans can be avoided, but that's only part of the issue. The rule was added to prevent the last model in a unit always being the Sergeant / missile launcher / melta gun, but I don't recall anyone ever being unduly fussed by this in 4th edition. The book explained that the squad members would pick up the guns of their fallen comrades - and that made sense. Certainly enough sense for 40k :)

Running should never have been implemented in the Movement phase. Go move 180 Orks 6" across dense terrain; then roll a d6 and move them that distance again. Then tell me that was fun with a straight face. And rolling those d6s for Running and Move Through Cover adds up, and all it does is add a major randomness to a game that doesn't need more random. There has to be a better way.

A little more controversially (and not a 5th edition only issue), it is frustrating having to stop rolling your own dice and communicate to your opponent the saving throws needed. I understand that it's fun to be involved with your opponents turn, but I'd rather save time and get more gaming/drinking in to my day.

So I would implement the following three rules if I organised a 40k event (Ha! like I would ever find the time):
  • Ignore the 5th edition wound allocation rules. Instead roll saves without allocation, using the average save of the unit (the same "majority" method used to determine the average Toughness of a unit). However, introduce the 4th edition Torrent of Fire rule; if the attacking unit causes at least as many wounds as models in the defending unit, the attacker may choose one defending model and allocate a single save to it (use the models save, not the unit average). All the other saves are rolled together, then unsaved wounds are allocated by the defender. They must still allocate one wound to every model before any other wounds are allocated, and must allocate to wounded models before unwounded ones.
  • Running is done during movement, and added to the normal movement allowance. In addition, don't roll for distance - instead the model moves an extra 4". If the unit normally gets any rerolls, it instead moves an extra 6". Easy!
  • When it comes time to roll saving throws, the attacker rolls the dice, not the defender. This allows them to reuse the dice that successfully wounded, which will have the right colors for different AP etc. The dice ''' still count as being rolled by the defender''' with regards to other rules (eg rerolls)
So what do you think? Does it sound like it would speed up the game and make for a fun tournament?

Another option for wound allocation would be to apply the Torrent of Fire rule on hits rather than wounds - if as many hits as models are caused, the attacker may choose one model to wound and save separately to the group.


  1. Well, your 'attacker rolls my saves' rule only works in conjunction with yuor Wound Allocation - so it would be unfair to adress either separately.

    The running - I understand, and I think it'd be fine that way, as it is at present...it certainly gives an additional boost to TWC that they don't really need.

    The Torrent of Fire rule, as I understand it, was abused and largely ignored, hence the change to a more balanced system. Frankly, I like the Wound Allocation rules - they aren't really complicated, players just don't like them and don't want to understand them, in my experience...but I don't think the game should necessarily cater to the loudest group, especially when the simplicity they demand inevitably benefits their preferred armies and not others. I don't know if this is the case for you, I wouldn't presume - but it IS for many.

    Also, I don't understand your issue with MTC. Thsi is an eminently useful USR that represents ICs, MCs and stealthy/terrain-trained units' ability to move more rapidly through terrain, and give them a tangible advantage over units not trained for such terrain.

  2. Err yeah I wasn't very clear about Move Through Cover, what I meant was to move 4" in cover normally, and 6" if you have the USR. Maybe I should have stuck to Running and left cover alone? Thanks for your input.

    As regards to my wound allocation changes, they certainly aren't helping out Thunderwolf Cavalry as there are no more allocation shenanigans. I know that I would enjoy the game more playing this way.

  3. Ah, that makes sense, I understand now.

    Well, I can take or leave it, I don't mind the change, but don't dislike the rule. The problem I have with it is that Beasts/Cavalry, as per their rules, will qualify for their free extra 6" - meaning they now have a Guaranteed ability to Assault things 24" away - and that makes them much stronger. TWC don't rely on Wound Allocation games, that's just a bonus it's silly not to take when the options are cheap/free.


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