Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Chapter Tactics

Revising Chapter Tactics

Rules by Master Bryss
Any Space Marine army may exchange the Combat Tactics rule for one of the Chapter Tactics listed below. Only one Chapter Tactics can apply to the army.
Imperial/Crimson Fists: 
  • All units in the army gain the Stubborn special rule
Raven Guard: 
  • All units in Power Armour, Scout Armour or Artificer armour gain the Fleet special rule.
  • All thunder hammers in the army count as master-crafted. 
  • All flamers, heavy flamers, meltaguns and multi-meltas count as twin-linked.
White Scars: 
  • All units may choose to Outflank
Iron Hands: 
  • All HQ choices have the Lord of the Armoury rule, as detailed in the army list. 
  • Chapter Masters and Captains may purchase a Servo-Arm for +25 points.
  • Venerable Dreadnought may be taken as an HQ choice as well as Elites.
  • All units, excluding Scouts, gain the Feel No Pain USR. For tactical squads Feel No Pain Saves are only successful on a D6 roll of 6.
  • Terminator and Assault Terminator Squads may not be taken.  Any Sergeant in Power Armor may be replaced with a Terminator or Assault Terminator for + 15 points. Every third Sergeant upgraded in this way may take an Assault Cannon or Cyclone Missile Launcher at the cost given in the Terminator entry.
Aurora Chapter: 
  • May field Predators in squadrons of up to three. Each Predator in the squadron may choose different weapon options. 
  • Predator Tanks gain the Power of the Machine Spirit special rule.
  • All Tactical, Sternguard and Vanguard squads may take a Land Raider as a dedicated Transport.
Fire Lords: 
  • For every Drop Pod that comes in from reserve the Fire Lords player may place a Large Blast marker anywhere on the table and roll for scatter. On a 'hit' the template deviates 2 D6 in the direction shown on the bullseye. On a scatter the template deviates 3 D6. All models at least partially under the template take a Strenght 10 AP 1 hit. Vehicles are hit on their side armor.
  • Captains and Chapter Masters may purchase a Daemon Weapon (no Mark) as in Codex: Chaos Space Marines for +30 points. 
  • All vehicles may take Deamonic Possession for + 20 points 
  • All infantry models in a Relictors army have 6+ Invulnerable save. 
  • Relictors may not ally with any other faction.
Blood Ravens:
  • All Librarians in a Blood Ravens army may take a third Psychic power at no extra cost.
  • All Librarians in a Blood Ravens army gain an extra wound
  • Tactical squads and Sternguard Veteran squads gain the Infiltrate Special Rule but may not outflank.
Chapter Tactics is being restructured. For every entry seen here a Chapter-Specific character will be designed to accommodate balance and equalize costs. Indrick Boreale is already done thanks to Master Bryss.


Atrotos said...

The Iron Hands, Auroras and especially the Fire Lords don't seem to get much for the loss of Combat Tactics.

I would give Iron Hand units either T 5(4) or a 5+ Inv. - something to show their augmetics in addition the rules you've written.

Aurora I would keep the squadrons + make Land Raiders dedicated Transports for Tacticals and Veterans.

Fire Lords is tricky. As you have it anyone could just reserve and avoid the OB. Maybe they should get 1 OB every turn?

Master Bryss said...

Hmm... we need a stable font size.

At least tell me I need to do more before posting the thing!

OK, corrections:
All Iron Hands Marines have a Feel No Pain save of 6+ to represent a shot harmlessly hitting off a bionic limb.

Apply what you just said to the other two. Dedicated LRs for Tactical Squads and Veterans, and a Bombardment each turn for Fire Lords.

Also, the one I forgot to add:

Blood Ravens: All Blood Ravens Librarians have 3 psychic powers. In addition, all Tactical and Veteran squads have Infiltrate (they used to get this from their 4th edition traits)

Master Bryss said...

EDIT: I also see a shiny new tagline at the top of the blog. Might be a good idea to also add a:

"Send your custom rules submissions and articles to..." sort of thing.

Atrotos said...

I added a couple of things to a couple of entries to make them more attractive. Basically I asked myself 'would I ever take this instead of the Salamanders Chapter Tactics?' Then the rules just wrote themselves.

Master Bryss said...

I approve of these modifications immensely. I can't believe I didn't give Blood Ravens three wound Librarians in the first place!

Natalie said...

Aurora forces may take Predators in squadrons of ... what? Squadrons of one? Two? Three? Twenty?

Atrotos said...

I'm assuming Bryss meant squadrons of three. Fixed.

abusepuppy said...

Yeah, um.... pretty much all of these are strictly better than Combat Tactics. The reason the rules are workable within the context of the special characters is that there is a cost imposed on them by the character themself. Even when the character is "worth" their points by themselves, it still forces you to dedicate a certain portion of your army's points to being allowed to do the thing.

As it stands, these are horribly unbalanced, for all the same reasons that the Traits in the 4E codex were. Army-wide FNP? Jesus Christ on a pogostick. Anytime you are giving out special rules like this- even if it's just special _options_, like "can take Sternguard as HS" or "Tactical Squads can buy a second heavy weapon in place of their special," you need to be paying for it somehow. That can either through losing something of similar value (which Combat Tactics is not, incidentally) or by costing points.

I suppose this comes off as rather harsh, but to be honest, I'm not a huge fan of every single chapter being a unique and special snowflake. It's easy enough to differentiate chapters just by taking different army setups.

Atrotos said...

Abusepuppy you may not pull any punches but your criticism is invaluable. This first thing I would invite you to do is read the Tactics again. Imagine playing against them and consider how much harder it would be in relation to existing rules and combinations.

I'll be honest with and say that Combat Tactics is not the real trade-in to be considered. Rather GW has raised the bar with Vulkan's Chapter Tactics making it the new standard for Chapter Tactics. Each of these is under pressure to remain a viable choice even in the face of re-rollable meltas and thunderhammers.

I'm not sure why you'd be against unique chapters. I'll only be happy when everyone's army is different and adding this extra dimension to the army setups you mention make that even more likely.

Brendan said...

Why not just go with old school bionics for the Iron Hands, Stand them back up with 1 wound on the roll of a 6.

Brendan said...

The problem with comparing them to Vulkan's tactics is that you pay points for those. If you are handing these out for free. Consider FNP, you pay at least 3 points per model for that on plague marines. meaning that over the course of an army you are paying maybe 100 points for the ability. If you just make it that you say, I'm playing Iron hands and so everyone in my army has FNP.

TheKingElessar said...

I suggest NOT giving Raven Libbies a 3rd power, but rather give them a 20 point Epistolary upgrade.

Iron Hands can have a 5+ FNP, in exchange for something, the ability to sweep, perhaps?

I'd give Auroras Predators as Fast Attack as well as HS.

That, or PotMS, make them 40 points more, and give them squadrons of 1-3.

Just suggestions. :)

Master_Bryss said...

If this page is undergoing overhaul, then it would be a good idea to add and modify the Cursed Founding ones I gave you ages ago. If you have'nt got them e-lying around I'll put them up here later.

abusepuppy said...

Brendan touched on my point above, but I'll expound:

Even though Vulkan is pretty easily worth most of his points even ignoring his Chapter Tactics, he still imposes a cost on your army. If you want to do the meltaflamer thing, you have to front 170(?) pts for it. You aren't just throwing them away, but 170 pts of your total is occupado and can't be changed. That is a significant constraint on list building.

Your above ideas, on the other hand, don't (for the most part) limit the armies in any way. They're just _better_ than Combat Tactics because they give you options that are, in almost all the cases, quite good. FNP across the army is so much better than the ability to fall back sometimes it's not even funny- even if it were 6+ FNP on everybody, it would _still_ be worthwhile because you're trading "nothing" for a 1/6 chance to shrug off a wound. It's a strict improvement.

I'm not strictly opposed to unique chapters, incidentally- I don't _like_ them in many cases because they attempt to make every single chapter special and different. If the book says "Blackbird Avengers usually deploy by drop pod and make extensive use of Land Speeders," you don't need to make Pods 5pts cheaper and Land Speeders available as Troops. You can already represent them just by taking Drop Pods and Land Speeders in your army. The push to make every single chapter have its own set of rules eventually results in millions of minor variations of the same codex, which is largely just annoying.

I'm not saying what you're doing here is bad; on the contrary, I like it. But pick and choose what you change very carefully: which are the chapters that deviate from the Ultramarines standard the most? Can it be represented with just choices from the normal codex? How is what I'm doing making the game more fun for _both_ players? Changing things just for the sake of changing things is only interesting up to a certain degree.

Also keep in mind that if you ever want your special rules to get used, you are going to have to get an opponent to let you use them. (Or someone, somewhere will have to do so, at least.) You undoubtedly know just how whiney wargaming nerds are, so follow the Forge World example: when in doubt, err on the side of caution and make things weaker than usual.

Atrotos said...

Bionics work after the turn has ended creating issues with resurrecting models out of coherency or in Close combat etc.

Atrotos said...

Brendan, please see my reply to abusepuppy below.

Atrotos said...

I respectfully disagree on the Vulkan front. Because his stats and wargear are so competitive it's difficult to say that players, especially those wanting to build a Salamanders theme, are *forced* to take him. I feel even if you gave the Sallies Chapter Tactics for free you would still find many people adding Vulkan. Thus the only cost really seems to be the HQ slot.

It might, however simply be more acceptable (and fun) to design a character for every Chapter mentioned above. Master Bryss and I always try to emulate GW's approach as much as possible and in order to maintain this more streamlined design concept I may suggest to him that we do creat IC's to install the contentious Chapter Tactics.

As for my ideas being better than Chapter tactics again I'll have to say it's largely due to existing rules in the codex. If we proceed with individual characters as I described this discrepancy might be less obvious.

I am trying to be selective with the entries I post. Most of them fill a gap that exists in the codex rather than just changing rules around.

I don't use many custom rules myself. Rather I get others to play against me with rules I've written - there's much less complaining that way.

Atrotos said...

Re: Libbies and 3rd psychic power: Why not?

Actually you'll notice that by adding a Termie sergeant to each squad they've already effectively lost the ability to sweep. ;)

Predtors as Fast Attack is actually more powerful because you don't have to squadrom them and they can shoot at more targets. Given recent developments with the BA's regular Predators seem even more in need of this kind of treatment.

Atrotos said...

Bryss I'm thinking we should use your existing Chapter Tactics as a framework for a series of Space Marine characters ala Indrick Boreal. One of the main (valid) points against these Chapter Tactics is the removal of a need for a specific character so we might circumvent this and any balancing issues by creating slightly overcosted Chapter specific characters with which to service these rules.

TheKingElessar said...

Despite the flexibility it grants (good) it makes them more powerful than most Psykers in that regard (bad) whereas giving them the ability to use Force Weapon/second Power for the same cost as Eldar is neatly balanced by the inability to reuse a power, or use multiple PSAs. Having greater access to elite Psykers, rather than simply Psykers with better memory but the same limitations, seems fairer to both them and opponents. :)

I think 40 points for PotMS was too much, btw. BA pay 10/15 for Fast, and they're roughly level.

I suppose the Sweeping is covered, lol.

As fro Aurora Predators - one of the DakkaPred's main strengths is RoF - giving them squadrons allows them to put enough wounds out to virtually annihilate most units in one round. At least not doing Squadrons gives better balance in terms of enemy survivability, though I confess Pred Squadrons would be fun (and totally WIN like in Epic:Final Liberation, one of the best games I've ever played)

Putting them in FA makes them compete with HF/MM Speeders, making it far from cut and dried. :)

Master_Bryss said...

This is a good idea so long as I don't have to do all of them!

#2501 said...

The Iron Hands had Terminators in the HH books called Morlocks. Why doesn't a Mars-aligned chapter have one of their best armor suits at their disposal? Doesn't make any sense to me.

Atrotos said...

Because most of them were killed during the betrayal at the Drop Site Massacre. Read 'Fulgrim'.

osmos777 said...

But that was 10,000 years ago. you would think that they would have time to replenish their supply in that time, especially considering how many new chapters have been outfitted since then.
I will think this through and send some ideas this way on Iron hands and my fav's FIRE LORDS!

sabreu said...

Is Chapter Tactics still being redone?