Thursday, 22 September 2011

Project: Battle Company

Something a bit like this, yes.
So, we're definitely still running and we're moving towards bigger projects. Which is good, because it means I have some motivation to finish the many millions of things I have lying around. Like this.

I've wanted to write a Battle Company army list for some time. You may remember a while back that I experimented with new army composition methods, and one of them didn't work as well as the other. This is that one, brought back and looking very shiny indeed.

When I set out to write it, I wanted the book to focus less on shiny characters with snazzy gear and FOC-alters, and more on the three units that in fluff are the key cogs of a Space Marine army. So there are only three Specials in the book, which basically function as an enhancer to one of those units each, and allow for an Assault or Devastator Company. Yes, I'm allowing Devas as troops, no, I haven't properly tested it yet. This is the first draft, that I am releasing to the general populace to gain feedback and maybe a few more playtesters.

The other key focus of the book (and my prime motive for writing it) is Manoeuvres (yes it's spelt American in the book, blame Sabreu who helped me pretty it up and write the manoeuvres). A Space Marine in normal gameplay feels exactly like a Guardsman, except they don't die as easily. When Guard got orders, they felt more interlinked and the officer-trooper relationship present in fluff was more evident on the tabletop. With the new Manoeuvres, essentially Bastonne-style self-orders, each core unit becomes more individual, and the Sergeant becomes more important than just a power fist or teleport homer.

I'm not going to say much more, because I don't like prattling on and am incapable of doing so anyway. Essentially what I'm asking is that you read the document and give me some feedback on where to take it next, either in the comments section here or by dropping me an e-mail at Long live RulesMan!


Eriochrome said...

I like where you are going but have a couple comments:

1.  Just make clear that Maneuvers only work during your shooting phase.  Wording should be attempted a maneuver no performed.  Might also define the rules such that you say what the units are going to do then roll the maneuver leadership test.  If they fail they still have to do the actions but do not get the bonus.  Shooting nominate the target and you have to shoot at the target, assault you have to assault the target if possible and cannot run or fire weapons that prevent charging.

2.  Tactical Advance:  I think it needs the stipluation that the unit cannot charge that turn.  If you can charge also then this makes this unit essentially fleet that can still double tap then charge.

3.  Assault:  Unit charge move becomes 12 inches but cannot run or shot during shooting phase and gains the move through cover special rule.

4. Crossfire: Both units shoot the target but only 1 gets the bonus.

5. Pincer: After winning combat unit automatically wins intiative test for sweeping advance.

6.  Melta and Krak on MCs is not a defined attack for both units.  I say you allow attack of 1 Krak = S6 normal, 1 M=S8+power weapon with normal weapon skills against MCs  Vehicles should be count as mastercrafted with both unit.  10 S6 krak attacks that autohit is a little over board for throwing 2 units at something like a fast skimmer which you would normal need 6's to hit.

Atrotos said...

I should be ready with a review tonight

Master_Bryss said...

Bearing in mind it's still a beta and I need to see how I'm going to deal with DevaRazorSpam. I look forward to it.

Master_Bryss said...

The next revision willl take all of these things into account bar 5. I discussed this with Shawn and we both agreed it would be silly for two 5 or less-man assault squads to auto-sweep 20 Orks.

Eriochrome said...

I only said you autowin the sweeping advance initiative test.  The unit has to fail its combat resolution test, if the unit is immune to falling back like a 20 orcs would be, it does nothing.  You might give a bonus to the no retreat wounds equal to the number marines more than the losing side.

I really like this stuff since I have a battle company but have never used it except in apoc games since the assault squads and devastator squads are not normally considered highly point effective.

Atrotos said...

Okay, time for some bullets:

- Composition: description repeats itself "For every…."

- I assume maneuvers cannot be executed while falling back - this should be mentinoned

-Tactical Advance: Can I shoot after maneuvers? This is not obvious at this stage and my inclination was to believe that maneuvers replace shooting in the same way orders do. Also, this unit may not be pinned but can still fall back - odd that.

-Flush out: What is the equivalent of a frag missile? Can the unit perform this maneuver if it has moved? Which model does the firing for the purposes of line of sight and range?

-Crossfire: confused, can I shoot with both units or just the one mentioned in the first paragraph. This maneuver seems inappropriately named. 

-Pincer Strike: this is the second maneuver that involves assaulting whilst still in the shooting phase. Based on your description and the general rules for maneuvers the combat is resolved immediately meaning that the shooting phase will continue right after combat is ended. More explanation is required here.

- Take it out!: It seems one squad does not attack allowing the other to hit automatically. Why must the squad choose between its krak grenades and the sergeant's possible melta bomb?

- Publius Arctutrus: 

-- No self-respecting character should ever leave home without his artificer armor, it undermines his performance significantly

-- Why does he cost 163 points? Is it just to make armylist totals lopsided and inelegant? 

-- War-Forged Veterans: A good idea but it doesn't scale! Learn from Cruddace's SoB mistake - special rules that used fixed numbers regardless of points size is bad! It should be "two Assault squads per 1000 points" or something similar. 

--Needs the Independent Character rule added

- Tellus Argentus

-- As above: Power Armor stinks and special rules need to be scalable

- Command Squad: More clarifications and restrictions required. For instance - do these quasi-IC's give up kill points? Must they be outfitted the same way as the rest of the squad? 

- Most of what Eriochrome said.

Overall I applaud this effort but the rules feel rushed. Although I'm too tired to fully explore their limits it seems the rules offer many exploits because they are too concise. 

The idea at hand is excellent and falls much closer to what a Space Marine army might ideally play like on the table. Of course maneuvers could be conceived for virtually any army to make it play more like the fluff describes. 

Huh. What a dangerous idea. 

Master_Bryss said...

Right, I've had a look at how the Imperial Guard word everything and I've done a re-write of a few things to be included in version 0.2.

Arcturus should have cost 165, that's a typing error that wasn't present in my original Word draft (ie. blame Shawn).

Changes will be coming soon. This is why I like to release things when I'm in my 'spontaneous phase' of designing rather than holding off until it feels more like the final version.

sabreu said...

Copy paste error. Told you I make those often. =P