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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi all,

Back in the gloomy days of 4th edition my friends and I played 40k using a modified version of the rules as we found standard 4th edition games to be quite a dry, sterile experience. Anyway, since the release of 5th we haven't had to do that and have been playing the game straight out of the book.

Anyway, one of the modifications we used back in the day was a change to the order in which the turns were played. I've recently started doing this with 5th edition (playing the game out of the book, just modifying the turn sequence as shown below) and I have to say it really works quite well. If you fancy playing a game where you can react to the ebb and flow of the battle as its happening and have always wanted your games to have a cinematic feel to them. Then I highly recommend giving the below rules a go. They're quite simple and merely involve a slight modification of what's already there. I'm interested in hearing any feedback from those of you who try them in a game!


Alternative Turn Rules
These alternate rules are for players looking for an altogether deeper tactical challenge in their games of Warhammer 40,000. Using these rules the players take their turns together with each player taking it in turn to activate a unit and resolve its action. This is achieved through the use of an ‘Initiative’ system which is explained below, along with explanations of the phases that make up a complete game turn.

Initiative Phase
Each player rolls a D6. Whoever rolls the highest gains the initiative. In the case of ties, whoever had the initiative in the previous turn loses it to the other player. For the first turn of the game the player who would normally take the first turn if using the conventional rules automatically gains the initiative. The other player may attempt to ‘Seize the Initiative!’ as normal on the first turn.


Reserves Phase
Roll for reserves/deep striking units. The player who has the initiative may decide who rolls first. The players take it in turns to roll for their reserves each rolling separately for each unit (e.g. I go, you go, I go, you go etc). Any units that arrive are not placed on the board until the Action Phase.


Effects Phase
Any in-game effects which occur at the start of the turn and are separate from a unit (for example, the ‘Demolitions’ stratagem in games of Cities of Death would occur in this phase). The player holding the initiative decides resolves their first effect first before the opposing player. Subsequent effects are then worked out passing from player to player.


Involuntary Movement Phase
The player who holds the initiative now resolves all of their involuntary movement and may attempt to rally any fleeing units subject to the normal rules. The opposing player then does the same. If only one player has units subject to involuntary movement, resolve it before continuing to the next phase.


Movement Phase
The player who holds the initiative may decide to activate a unit first or second. The player who activates a unit first and resolves its movement as normal before passing play to the other player who in turn, selects a unit and resolves its movement before passing play back to the first player. This phase continues until all units have been activated or chosen not to act this turn. Units have to be activated in the following order:

1. Reserves/ deep striking units.
2. The rest.​


FIRST TURN INITATIVE: On the first turn of the game, the player who has the initiative may activate 2 units before passing play onto the next player. This may only be done once, play then resumes with each player activating one unit at a time. If the player with the initiative on the first turn decides not to activate 2 units at the first opportunity, then they may not do so later.


Shooting Phase
The player who holds the initiative may decide to activate a unit first or second. The player who activates a unit first and resolves its shooting as normal before passing play to the other player who in turn, selects a unit and resolves its movement before passing play back to the first player. This phase continues until all units have been activated or chosen not to act this turn. Units may be activated in any order this phase. Casualties are inflicted immediately, as such it is possible to wipe out an opposing unit before it has the chance to shoot.

FIRST TURN INITATIVE: On the first turn of the game, the player who has the initiative may activate 2 units before passing play onto the next player. This may only be done once, play then resumes with each player activating one unit at a time. If the player with the initiative on the first turn decides not to activate 2 units at the first opportunity, then they may not do so later.


Assault Phase
Whoever holds the initiative may opt to charge a unit first or second. Each player then takes turn to charge a unit until all charges have been made (a unit is not obliged to charge if it does not want to). Combat then continues as normal.


Modifications to existing units:

Tau Jet Packs/ Eldar Jet Bikes
Units equipped with Tau jet packs and Eldar jet bikes must decide if they’re going to charge the unit they’re shooting at in the shooting phase BEFORE checking to see if they are in range for their shooting. If the unit is going to attempt the charge in the assault phase then pass play to the next player as normal once the shooting has been resolved. If it later turns out they are out of charge range the unit loses its free move in the assault phase. However, if the player decides that the unit will not attempt to charge the target in the assault phase, the unit uses the additional 6” of movement that it would gain in the assault phase immediately after it has resolved its shooting. This allows the unit to main its ability to pop out of cover, fire, and go back into cover as it would normally be able to do so in standard games
of Warhammer 40,000.


I hope some of you give these rules a go and let me know what you think. In my experience they give a very different and cinematic feel to the game and I'm interested in knowing what you guys think!

Cheers,


El
 

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This is amazing!!

I must show my friends this.

+ rep for you sir!!! :biggrin:
 

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Nice! I've been wondering about something like this, but I really like how thorough you were about making sure things like getting the first turn at board setup and tau jet packs/eldar jet bikes still had something special going on for them.

EDIT: Here's a thought if you want to add an element of your leader's strategic capabilities being important. Perhaps on the Initiative roll, you could add the Ld of whatever in your army has the highest Ld score? Most armies have at least one thing on the table with Ld 10 except maybe Orks, but as those things get killed off your troops become less coordinated as less qualified leaders try to fill the gap.

This might alter how people play the game more than you probably wanted, but it's just something that crossed my mind.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hi guys, I'm glad you like! There's one added thing I forgot to add last night which I blame on the lack of sleep! The rules I've currently presented are how we started out, but we made one smaller modification which we really liked and made it slightly easier to play (in our opinion). Effectively what we did was merge the movement phase and shooting phase into a single action phase. If you want to do this, replace the Movement Phase and Shooting Phase with the Action Phase:

Action Phase
The player who holds the initiative may decide to activate a unit first or second. The player who activates a unit first and resolves its movement and then its shooting as normal before passing play to the other player who in turn, selects a unit and resolves its movement and shooting before passing play back to the first player. This phase continues until all units have been activated or chosen not to act this turn. Units have to be activated in the following order:

1. Reserves/ deep striking units.
2. The rest.

FIRST TURN INITATIVE: On the first turn of the game, the player who has the initiative may activate 2 units before passing play onto the next player. This may only be done once, play then resumes with each player activating one unit at a time. If the player with the initiative on the first turn decides not to activate 2 units at the first opportunity, then they may not do so later.
We find that this really adds a sense of drama to your battles as you have to carefully think about the priority in which you activate your units in case they get destroyed just before they were about to enact an important part of your strategy! It's really up to you which version you use, we've found it's merely a matter of preference. It's important to note that with this version, the Involuntary Movement Phase still happens before the Action Phase.


@The Blammer: Thanks for the rep, I'm glad you like it! Please let me know if you get to try it out or the version in this post!

@Bloodcuddler: Thanks for the rep as well! I'm glad you like the rules, they've been playtested quite often by my friends and I and we've found them to make the game more exciting without sacrificing unit balance. I like your idea about having leaders affect the Initiative roll to an extent. It's something I've thought about and although I've avoided it for one off games as it starts to affect unit balance a bit, it's definitely something I'd like to explore in a campaign setting in the future.
 

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I can see how that would help. That way you can't just keep backing things out of shooting range--without that Tau might have a really cheesy way to play with these turn rules.
 

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This is nearly the same as the Confrontation 3 / AT-43 system... It was the best system around. I must commend you for coming up with what you have yourself. I had tried to adopt the system to 40K before, but quit on the account of lack of interest from local player base...

The problem is that the alternating sequences does not address two problems. In 40K, essentially there are two rounds of close combat resolution which includes 2 distinct assault actions. Without making CC more effective, you would essentially be gutting the effectiveness of assault troops without compensating them for the change. The other problem is that it doesn't go far enough in a tactic sense. It is not that difficult to survive being fired upon by a single unit and assault cannot interrupt an unactivated unit from firing the same turn as assault happens after the shooting phase.

Simply combining the distinct phases in 40K then dividing them among the players is actually not a equivalent shift in how things play out. While shooting is very well translated as mentioned, assault/CC needs to be reinvented. In fact, assault troops just got their effectiveness cut in half.

It would be even better to have a means to predetermine each squad's place in the activation before the whole turn starts, a limited way to modify the sequence, allow players to choose to move/shoot or shoot/move in this scheme, and a means to allow assaults to have a tactical impact. IE, make move/shoot/assault actions happen at the same time, but allow the resolution of CC happen after everything have been activated.
 

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Solution for assault effectiveness:

Assault moves and close combat attacks are seperated into different phases. Then the actual attacks are resolved pretty much like a number of rounds of close combat in the normal rules equal to the number of players involved.

As for determining an order in which you activate your models, you could possibly go in the order of their Initiative, although that might turn out pretty limiting.
 

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I would have to disagree... for the following reason...

In a normal game, each player gets an opportunity to gain a charge bonus from their own game turns. By reducing that opportunity, one must either simply live with the new limiations or adjust the number of attacks each model gets. However, the initiative-based who strikes first will exacerbate the problem of increasing attacks.

As for initiative order, Dark Elder players might enjoy the change too much... Plus it defeats the purpose of having an you-go-I-go activation system... Especially in situation of high initiatives versus lower initiative armies.

Personally, I would reintroduce sweeping assault in this current system. It gives some bite back to assaults despite taking some away. This way, the close combat phase can remain simplified.
 

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No, I meant Initiative as in determining who YOU activate first.

Example:
I'm playing my Chaos Marines against my friend's Orks.

We both roll for the turn, and he gains initiative.

-He activates his Warboss (I4)
-I activate my Lash Prince (I6)
-He activates his other Warboss (I4)
-I activate my Nurgle Prince (I5)
-He activates his Nob Bikers (I3)
-I activate my Noise Marines (I5)
-He activates his Meganobz (I3)
-I activate my Berzerkers (I4)
-He activates his other Nobz (I3)
-I activate my Plague Marines (I3)
-He activates his Boyz (I2)

etc.
Not sure how this would work for vehicles without an Initiative though.

As for the charging, does it really change it that much? If you have the initiative, I don't see how you're really that much less likely to get the chance to charge first unless they just run away from you.
 

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The other problem is that it doesn't go far enough in a tactic sense. It is not that difficult to survive being fired upon by a single unit and assault cannot interrupt an unactivated unit from firing the same turn as assault happens after the shooting phase.
I played most of my Rogue Trader years using a similar system: all players move in the movement phase, all players shoot in the shooting phase, &c. I did not notice assault being less effective; however, it was is different game back then.

Possibly the solution in to split the moving and hitting parts of assault, so that the charge occurs in the unit's movement. This would permit locking units in close combat before they shot back.
 

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Initiative-based alternating activation? That's a lot of bookkeeping... let's not worry about vehicles now, one could always assign them a static number... What if you had a character of higher initiative in a lower initiative squad? What if your character is of a lower initiative? You would have to keep a initiative table next to your army list to remember which needs to activate before another... You also punish an army with higher average initiative to move a specific piece first when they may not want to without justification as to why something with higher initiative always move first in an army when another army's lower initiative would essentially activate at the same time.

As for charging/shocking, it isn't initiative that seizes the moment of charging. It is when the player decide to activate that specific squad/vehicle. It is just a completely different beast now.

There is also a interesting interaction between armies with unequal number of squads. When both army is only closing and trying to get into charge range, an army with more squads always has the advantage. One side has the luxury of moving a sacrificial squad for the opponent to charge and have another squad next to it for a counter-assault assault. The opponent has no choice because they simply run out of things to activate. When in range to attack(melee or ranged), it is the army which can active the most and fastest that wins. Effects that causes pinning and induce routing really shine in this activation setting.

I personally detest having one side doing everything before the other. To me, it is like playing chess where the opponent moves all 16-pieces before you get to move your own 16 pieces... and rinse and repeat... not tactical at all...
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Some interesting points have come up which is great! I'll try and address the main points (not necessarily in order :)):

...people rarely have the same number of units.
Not really a problem, the player who has finished activating their units first merely waits for the other player to finish up. It doesn't really affect the game play in any way that we've been able to see. It may do if you look really deeply into the metagame but to be honest- it's really not that significant.
As IronFortress quite correctly identifies, affects which cause pinning and routing are more useful.


As for determining an order in which you activate your models, you could possibly go in the order of their Initiative, although that might turn out pretty limiting.
I'm not sure what the gain would be. Wouldn't that mean a fair bit of extra book keeping for little effect?


Simply combining the distinct phases in 40K then dividing them among the players is actually not a equivalent shift in how things play out. While shooting is very well translated as mentioned, assault/CC needs to be reinvented. In fact, assault troops just got their effectiveness cut in half.
Interesting point, I've never seen it that way. On paper you are absolutely correct however my group and I have never really seen the effectiveness of close combat troops reduce and a couple of us play Tyranids. I guess in retrospect it's because the game feels significantly different with these rules and you definitely have to change how you play (in a good way though:grin:).

Having said that, whilst in reality I don't think the effectiveness of assault units has been reduced by quite as much as half (simply from my own experience, others may disagree) I think you've brought up a good point and something should be done. Which leads me to...

Personally, I would reintroduce sweeping assault in this current system. It gives some bite back to assaults despite taking some away. This way, the close combat phase can remain simplified.
This seems like a very good solution. I'll have to give it a go but I reckon bringing back sweeping advance in one of its older guises should work very well. The argument for the watered down sweeping advance we have 5th is valid in conventional 40k but doesn't hold much ground when using these rules as the alternate activation system means you can move units out of the way as you see chargers head towards them as well as intercepting them with other units or shooting them as they head towards you.

In a normal game, each player gets an opportunity to gain a charge bonus from their own game turns. By reducing that opportunity, one must either simply live with the new limiations or adjust the number of attacks each model gets. However, the initiative-based who strikes first will exacerbate the problem of increasing attacks.
From play testing we've found this doesn't tend to be the case. Both players have an equal chance to charge and be charged- you have to prioritise the importance of the close combats that are about to occur and activate the units you want charging first so they don't get charged in return- the other player will be trying to do the same. I recommend seeing this in action, you'll find that your unit placement across the board ends up being quite different from when playing a conventional game- it's hard to explain without showing you in person I'm afraid! The only units which have an advantage tend to be the faster moving units but on the flip side, for this very reason, faster units always tend be shot at first! I hope you have fun trying it though. :drinks:

There's been some good feedback guys, I hope I've addressed the points sufficiently. Have a few games with your mates and let me know what you think. In a couple of weeks I'll be able to game some more and I'll have a go at trying an older version of sweeping advance.

Cheers,


El
 

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It's been a while... You're right... Charging doesn't matter, just plays differently due to more tactical considerations.


Having said that, whilst in reality I don't think the effectiveness of assault units has been reduced by quite as much as half (simply from my own experience, others may disagree)

It is only true due to how many total resolved attacks one gets during a single game round. Plus, you need to simulate the hits back for those which survive the 1st player's turn of combat. A general increase in attacks will not properly address this difference. A compromise in having 2 closed combat phases for me is without beauty of simplicity. :threaten:



Not really a problem, the player who has finished activating their units first merely waits for the other player to finish up. It doesn't really affect the game play in any way that we've been able to see. It may do if you look really deeply into the metagame but to be honest- it's really not that significant.

I've always feel there is an elegance in a tightly organized elite force versus a force with overwhelming numbers. A smaller force is suppose to be able to be better coordinated than a large force. A large force is more capable of forcing the opponent's hand by slowly position each squad into position.

Example:

an IG company with Company command, 3 Platoons consisting of 55 troops each... for the same amount of points, one probably have around 30 Space Marines... I don't think the Marines should be forced to move all their squads while IG just barely finished activating a single Platoon when they are only closing...


What is needed is both a Pass and a Reserve in the Activation system... God, I missed that system... :cry:
 

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an IG company with Company command, 3 Platoons consisting of 55 troops each... for the same amount of points, one probably have around 30 Space Marines... I don't think the Marines should be forced to move all their squads while IG just barely finished activating a single Platoon when they are only closing...


What is needed is both a Pass and a Reserve in the Activation system... God, I missed that system... :cry:
Maybe a leadership check to hold your action, so you can react to the enemy's move (like in D&D)? Elite armies tend to have higher Ld, which should prevent horde players from holding all their actions to force their opponent to move first. Of course, it would be a tactical decision how long you wait, or risk getting shot to pieces/charged because you took too long to activate the unit.

I like the look of this system a lot, and may have to persuade some of the guys at the LGS to try it out. It certainly puts some of the tactics back into the game, instead of being Yahtzee with miniatures...
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
It is only true due to how many total resolved attacks one gets during a single game round. Plus, you need to simulate the hits back for those which survive the 1st player's turn of combat. A general increase in attacks will not properly address this difference. A compromise in having 2 closed combat phases for me is without beauty of simplicity. :threaten:
I agree :eek:k:, I reckon bringing back the ability for a unit to be able to sweeping advance into another enemy unit (although it wouldn't couldn't as charging) as in 3rd/4th edition. It will keep the assault unit in close combat longer thus allowing it to make use of what it's good at, albeit in a different way. Trying to fit in 2 close combat rounds per turn would feel artificial and jar with the rules and flow of the game.

Maybe a leadership check to hold your action, so you can react to the enemy's move (like in D&D)? Elite armies tend to have higher Ld, which should prevent horde players from holding all their actions to force their opponent to move first. Of course, it would be a tactical decision how long you wait, or risk getting shot to pieces/charged because you took too long to activate the unit.

I like the look of this system a lot, and may have to persuade some of the guys at the LGS to try it out. It certainly puts some of the tactics back into the game, instead of being Yahtzee with miniatures...

Having the ability to pass activating a unit starts to throw up some complications we've found that you have to start making rulings for and it distracts from the main game in our experience. Reacting to your opponents move by moving one of your units to intercept when its your turn to activate unit is generally sufficient (although one should question their ability to take the real life initiative if they're constantly reacting to their opponents manouveres ;))

However, if you wish to take this rule set (which in all honesty was designed as a simple modification to the rules so that we wouldn't have to come up with a big FAQ to explain all the differences) and find a way of making a leadership based reaction test work, please feel free to do so! These changes we've found are sufficient to make our personal games of 40k a lot more interesting and help us get a lot more out of our games (which is why we always play with mates, around a house with plenty of beer!). If you can take this and make it work for your group (perhaps by modifying it further as you've suggested), then even better!

I'm glad these rules have inspired some of you guys to try them out and maybe even further. The rules I've presented in this post have been play testing fairly thoroughly within our small group and work well for us. I guess the main point of this thread apart from exposing our modification for some feedback was to provide inspiration and remind people of the most important rule as quoted in the Warhammer 40,000 5th edition rulebook, page 2:

The most important rule is that the rules aren't important! So long as both players agree, you can treat them as sacrosanct or mere guidelines- the choice is entirely yours.
Right, I'm gonna have to have a think about this sweeping advance issue...

Cheers,



El
 

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I personally detest having one side doing everything before the other. To me, it is like playing chess where the opponent moves all 16-pieces before you get to move your own 16 pieces... and rinse and repeat... not tactical at all...
One thing I do like about the move-everything in each player turn system is that it makes the battles dramatic. In my opponents turn I see my plan shot to ruin and feel certain I am defeated, in my turn I wreak bloody vengeance and feel I have a chance again. I like that: it is very much the feel of 40K.

But yes, I do know what you mean. Were I interested in 40K as a competitive game it might bug me, but I genuinely love its silliness :D and for all that, it still has nice mechanics that reflect the huge amount of playtesting the system has benefited from.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Hopefully if you give these rules a go you'll see it doesn't take away from the drama, it adds a new kind of tension as you each simultaneously react your opponents moves whilst trying to distract them from a killer strategy you're about to employ :)

However, in my humble opinion, the great thing about 5th is that it's a great game straight out of the box so to speak. These alternate turn rules are merely a way of playing the game differently for a more cinematic feel as opposed to a fix to try and draw some kind of fun out of the game like with 4th:laugh:
 
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