A Vision for the Future of Wargaming: Movement

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  • A Vision for the Future of Wargaming: Movement

    Movement (including charges, deployment, modifications to shooting based on movement, and positioning of models within units) is the most important phase of the game, and it is also one of the most complex things in the game, taking up 30+ pages spread over many different parts of the rulebook.

    Can we find an alternative solution that removes complexity from the game while adding depth?

    The future of Movement


    Action points
    There are a lot of rules surrounding the idea that if a unit wants to move and do something else, then a penalty is suffered, but that this restriction is more severe for some units than others. Listing all the combinations is a really dumb way of doing things.
    The solution is action points. Action points are a budget for doing stuff, where stuff includes moving.
    First we define the types of move:
    • Reform: change formation and facing maintaining center.
      • You can reform as a standalone move, or at any point during a march move.
    • Shuffle: A unit moves up to 2'' in any direction maintaining the same facing
    • Advance(X''): A unit moves up to X'' directly forward
    • Rush(XDY''): A unit wheels up to 90 degrees and then moves directly forward, for a total of exactly XDY''
      • XDY is usually 3D3'', but could be 2D6, 3D6, etc
      • Treat friendly models as open terrain, treat contact with enemy models as charges
      • Rush ends your movement
    • March(X''): A unit moves up to X'' forward including wheels
    MOMENTUM RULE: If you reform or shuffle, then rushes this phase roll ONE FEWER dice.



    A basic unit gets two 2 action points () to spend throughout the turn, nimble units such as fast cavalry get 4. Each option can only be used once ( @Sir_Sully ) :

    Reform
    Shuffle
    Advance
    Rush
    March
    Unlimited reforms



    Shooting weapons (for use in the shooting phase)

    Crossbow 4+
    OR 6+
    Recurve Bow-- 4+
    Catapult 4+



    Other actions

    become Shaken
    X X characters leave or join the unit
    Cross dangerous terrain without testing
    Ambush



    There would be a new opening for units with 3 action points, which could be interesting. Also, units with 1 action point could be interesting (either reform, OR rush, but not both for example)

    This system encompasses all of the movement in the game - for example today's random movers would get Adv and Mar of 0, so their only ways to usefully spend action points would be reform and rush.


    Changes to bases, base contact
    • All models go on rectangular bases, no more circular bases in the game
    • Ban mismatching bases (e.g. 40mm model in a 25mm unit)
    • Units attack as a frontage, rather than models attacking individually; a unit can allocate attacks freely to targets in a frontage, prioritising front > side > rear.
      • There is an exception for characters in units of the same type and size: they can only be attacked by two files worth of rank & file attacks from standard size models, or one file for large or gigantic models
      • All characters can only attack to the front
    • Delete the "front rank" and "stand behind" rules
      • Models that don't take attacks when in a unit get a special rule that says exactly that
      • Champions are an upgrade to the unit, they don't have a separate wound pool
    • Delete duels. Instead, champions get a special rule that has a similar effect to the current challenge that's more streamlined and doesn't generate lots of rules interactions.
    • Other characters can just attack each other.

    The post was edited 41 times, last by Warboss_R'ok ().

  • Following. Don’t have a lot of time to comment at the moment. I like the idea of simplifying movement without losing the current importance of the tactical importance of the phase.

    Your Rush action, I’m not sure about, and will have to think on. Is this also a set charge? (Ie, I rush 10, I can enter combat with units in 10” guaranteed and no more than that). EDIT: Was answered already.

    The AP is interesting to me.

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    The post was edited 1 time, last by Arhain: Answered in OP ().

  • Warboss_R'ok wrote:

    Since this system is a bit more flexible about how to complete charges (for example, you can charge backwards), the dice roll for rush would be reduced, typically being 3D3'' on an average infantry unit
    Ah, did not see this part. Apologies. Note, I also like that the charge range is a little more consistent.

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  • Warboss_R'ok wrote:

    theunwantedbeing wrote:

    Not sure what you mean by banning mismatching bases
    That's the thing where a 40mm base is allowed in a 25mm unit
    So no mismatched bases in units, that's something that can be dealt with.
    There might be a handful of edge cases that would require re-basing, things like war altars on chariot bases (50x100) which would need to be moved to 60x100 bases instead but it's a sensible change to make the whole thing flow more smoothly.

    Warboss_R'ok wrote:

    theunwantedbeing wrote:

    The action point thing if anything seems too simplistic
    What do you mean?
    You're trading off being able to do everything, but suffer penalties for being able to do only some things.
    Which is ultimately a simpler process but I worry that it would become too simplistic, sine you can either have enough points to do everything or only enough to do the one or two most obviously beneficial things, which ultimately makes things really simple as there's little real choice.

    I'de prefer simpler basic movement rules that can combine to fairly complex effects.
    ie. Turning 90 degrees eating up 1" of movement, allow that instead of forcing reforms and suddenly you open up a lot more movement options and tactics into the game while not adding any real complexity, and units end out self governing based on their movement rate.
  • theunwantedbeing wrote:

    You're trading off being able to do everything, but suffer penalties for being able to do only some things.

    theunwantedbeing wrote:

    I'de prefer simpler basic movement rules that can combine to fairly complex effects.
    ie. Turning 90 degrees eating up 1" of movement, allow that instead of forcing reforms and suddenly you open up a lot more movement options and tactics into the game while not adding any real complexity, and units end out self governing based on their movement rate.
    So, games like Xcom that have been developed by big teams over many years or decades settled on the idea of action points, and of having a small integer (1-4) number of them. This is a fairly strong indicator that it's a good design.

    If you have things like "turning 90 degrees takes up 1 inch", then you have to list how many inches of movement it costs to shoot each weapon, and then that causes problems because it entangles the power of weapons with the movement value of units in a way that you don't want. You don't want it to cost 5'' to fire a bow, because that means that if a unit with a 20'' move gets hold of one, it can basically march and shoot with it, but some poor dwarfs with bows are going to be stuck to the ground immobile. You want it to cost a certain *percentage* of your movement to fire the bow

    And if you do that, you want that percentage to be smaller for more nimble units.

    But that leads you to something that looks a lot like action points.
  • Arhain wrote:

    Following. Don’t have a lot of time to comment at the moment. I like the idea of simplifying movement without losing the current importance of the tactical importance of the phase.
    Fantastic!

    Adam wrote:

    I really like your solutions so far, I think that you should compile them into a rulebook
    yeah, it might be worth trying to make a "crazy ideas for 3.0" rulebook. I have some ideas for psychology that have been brewing for a long time, (leadership rerolls for everyone at the cost of becoming shaken) and I was thinking about how the shooting phase could be made more strategic.

    If feel like shooting is a very degenerate phase that's just about target priority, and it would be interesting if there was more to it.

    If you look at Xcom: enemy unknown, the entire game is about shooting (there is very little close combat) but it's extremely strategic.

    One problem with shooting in warhammer is that each unit that shoots doesn't really have any interesting choices to make, whereas in xcom you can choose to either perform an offensive shot, or some kind of defensive shot that suppresses the enemy, blinds them, prepares an overwatch trap, etc.

    The arc of visibility for shooting seems kind of too generous, it makes it too brainless to position shooting units.

    One idea I had is that you should get some kind of a bonus for the direction that your shooting unit is facing in, such as you ignore cover if the enemy is directly in front of your unit, but there's a cost to pivoting the war machine.

    Another idea is that we should nerf concentration of fire in the shooting phase, for example a unit gets -1 to be hit if it has already been shot at this shooting phase as it raises shields or goes to ground. This is because the one decision in the phase - what to shoot at - is often simply a matter of concentrating all fire on one thing, so you decide once what to shoot at, and the rest of the phase is spent resolving all the shots.

    Do we have anyone who plays infinity or warmahordes who can tell us how shooting works there?

    The post was edited 1 time, last by Warboss_R'ok ().

  • Warboss_R'ok wrote:

    Do we have anyone who plays infinity or warmahordes who can tell us how shooting works there?
    @Marcos24
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  • @Warboss_R'ok i've played the starter set of infinity which was a lot of fun, but limited in terms of the full rule set. However its very different. You use d20, and your model has a ballistic skill value that you want to roll under, like a discipline test.

    So if your skill is 14, you roll and hope you get less than 14 (or equal to which is a critical hit).

    However, what your opponent rolls as he's "shooting back at you at the same time" matters. If you're both 14, then your ultimate goal is to roll below, or equal (critical hit) to 14, but you also hope to roll higher than him.
    • For example:
      • You both shoot 3 times (3 dice each) with a skill of 14.
      • Opponent rolls: 2, 12, 16.
      • You roll: 3, 7, 10
      • Well his #2 roll is canceled out because its lower than all of yours
      • He misses with the 16 because his skill is 14
      • And his 12 cancels out all of your hits because its higher than all of yours, and still under 14
      • So he scores one hit and you now take an armor roll. A critical hit of a roll of 14 is basically a lethal strike
    What i like about that is although some troops are more elite with a skill of 15 or 16 etc, your weaker troops still stand a good chance because that elite soldier can still roll a successful roll of 2 which, although his skill is say 17, your skill 14 simply has to roll a 3-14 to win the shot. Elite skills in that game just means greater range to roll a success without rolling over and "missing". Of course a bunch of special rules affect that too (way more rules than T9A)
  • About warmahordes:

    You have a ballistic skill (usually: 4 poor, 5 average troops, 6 good troops, 7 snipers, 8 snipers characters).
    Each model has a Defensive stat (for example: 10 full armored dwarf, 13 light armored human, 14-15 nimble elf).
    Each model has anche armor stat (more or less: 11 naked human, 13-14 light amor, 16 full armor, 17-21 warjacks/beasts)
    Each shooting weapon has a strength value (10 common rifle, 12 handcannon, 14-16 heavy guns).

    When you attack, you roll 2d6 + your ballistic skill and have to equate target defense to hit.
    Being engaged, cover, elevation adds to the target defence. If you declare you are forfeiting your movement, you get +2 to hit.

    Once you hit, you roll :
    2d6 + your weapon's strength - enemy's armor= damage dealt (foot troops usually have 1 wound, characters or Ogre sized troops or cavalry have 5-8, warbeasts/warjacks have 20-30).

    Generals have usually overall higher Defense, armor and wounds than regular troop, since loosing general=game over.
  • Warboss_R'ok wrote:

    Remove the round bases from war machines

    Ban mismatching bases.
    I like these as I think that round bases in particular are easy to be abused.

    Banning mismatching bases would hurt some factions more than others. I'd like to see opinions from, for example, O&G players on how this might affect their play.

    Warboss_R'ok wrote:

    Delete the "front rank" and "stand behind" rules

    Delete the rule that you attack models in base contact
    I can see what you're trying to do here but I feel that it's too simplistic. 2 files attacking a character is also a buff for characters in death stars as often 3 files can attack them. Now that everyone can attack R&F, I don't think there is a major issue with allocating attacks in combat.

    Warboss_R'ok wrote:

    Action points


    There are a lot of rules surrounding the idea that if a unit wants to move and do something else, then a penalty is suffered, but that this restriction is more severe for some units than others. Listing all the combinations is a really dumb way of doing things.

    The solution is action points. Action points are a budget for doing stuff, where stuff includes moving.
    I like the idea because it's a simple way of allowing complex interactions. If you can get a working set of rules together, I'd be interested in testing this as I can see a number of challenges.

    More movement shenanigans that people will be unhappy about


    I can't see people being happy that my cavalry moved around your flank and charged before you could do anything about this. On your current rules, I could move 8" and then charge (say) 3D3" into a flank.

    I think this actually gives cavalry a good advantage for being quick and the challenge is to ensure that cavalry don't become too good compared to infantry.

    Avoidance & Gunline lists
    SE skirmisher lists would be uncatchable for some factions (e.g. Dwarfs). I accept that dwarfs should struggle to catch an avoidance SE list, but it needs to be possible, or people will go back to playing dwarf gunlines. It's more fun for everyone if there is the opportunity to play aggressive dwarf combat lists with ranged support.

    Also adding the ability to shoot and then move or to shoot twice in a turn, is very good. This synergises well with avoidance and gunlines. I think it would be cool to have these options, but they could easily become too strong. Just a thought.

    Challenge here is to make sure that avoidance and gunlines don't become too strong.

    Making nimble units feel nimble
    4 action points for shooty fast cavalry would allow a full march move & a shot with their weapons with no penalties - a small buff for bows. However, fast cavalry without shooting weapons, have been given a huge bonus - they can use their 4 action points to move a long way. This would make shooty fast cavalry feel less nimble even though they're actually better than they are now.

    Maybe fast cavalry can use one less action point to shoot weapons as a special rule?

    Magic
    Would casting a spell use an action point? You can still do the whole magic phase thing, but it happens all at once (rather than in a prescribed order) and some spells can then grant action points, or move action points between units. This could be an interesting interaction.

    Or you could move magic prior to the movement phase to grant this interaction?

    Charging
    As I understand your rules, you wouldn't declare any charges. You just choose to rush, which ends movement and is a random distance (like 2D3"). If you end up in base contact, you charged.

    Does this not present LOS immersion issues? "I know my unit can't see yours behind that hill but I can rush around the corner and 'oh look, an enemy'! How lucky of me!"

    Lower moves
    I assume that if I want to advance less than X" (say 2") I can move less than the prescribed amount? I'm not sure if you intended to but currently, the way your rules read, this isn't allowed. :)
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  • @Warboss_R'ok
    Basically...Yes, It boils down to choose One or more targets for the model you are shooting with.
    Some models have special rules like Covering Fire, forfeiting your shooting to place an Area of effect on the board, auto-damaging anyone entering inside on the next turn. And the forfeiting movement to get +2 in your ballistic skill.

    Keep in mind that Generals and warjacks/beasts have an additional resource they Can choose to spend to buy additonal dice in attacks (High def enemy? I buy an additonal die to hit. High armor target? I buy an additional die in damage roll). But this is not true for normal shooters, that are usually unable to buy additional dice.

    Also, since Dead general=game over,not all' shooting has to be intended as an attrition tool. Sometimes, if your list is suited to do that, you Just work with to open enough Lines of Sight to start a Casterkill Run, shooting everything you managed to get at enemy general. Some models has the Shield Guard, or Sacrificial Pawn rule, to catch bullets targeted at nearby models.

    Warboss_R wrote:

    @Hpn

    What decisions do you have to make in the shooting phase in warmachine? Is it just a question of target priority, i.e. "what to shoot at"?
  • Sir_Sully wrote:

    Banning mismatching bases would hurt some factions more than others. I'd like to see opinions from, for example, O&G players on how this might affect their play.
    The insignificant rule already prevents goblins from joining orcs. The other way round is currently possible, but I don't think the sky would fall if it was prevented.

    It would be possible to deal with this by giving orcs a war litter on a 40mm base, which I think would be much more appropriate since the character doesn't have to hang over the edge of the natural rectangle of the unit

    Sir_Sully wrote:

    can see what you're trying to do here but I feel that it's too simplistic. 2 files attacking a character is also a buff for characters in death stars as often 3 files can attack them. Now that everyone can attack R&F, I don't think there is a major issue with allocating attacks in combat.
    The problem IMO is that base-to-base attack allocation takes up time ( @Adam has an anecdote about how this creates a rules interaction hell with DE assassin and a war platform) but it doesn't actually produce any useful effect.

    The main effect that it actually produces is that narrow monsters and cowboys get an undesired extra damage reduction against ranked units, which @Squirrelloid noticed in a recent thread. He proposed an auto-wound rule (overwhelm) to compensate for this, but then people pointed out that this does extra harm to wide monsters, so he proposed a reduction of "overwhelm" for monsters with a wide frontage.

    But this is all just a whole mess of exceptions and exceptions layered on exceptions.

    So I think the game would just be better and simpler if a unit attacked as a frontage rather than as individual R&F models.