T9A Version 3 Rules Suggestions (long term future)

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  • Something else that bothers me about the current T9A rules that could be adjusted for the (far) future:

    Adjust the ability for units to be able to use all equipped weapons in combination (or not allow the equipment option)

    This could either be via rules changes to units with multiple weapons at once, or more simply, not allowing so many equipment options to be "stacked" on one model/unit outside of specialised unit cases.

    Sounds confusing to put it onto a one liner, but to attempt to clarify I'll give some examples:

    1. HW & Shield = CAN use parry, gain armour from Shield in melee and shooting
    2. Spear & Shield = cannot use parry (must use Spears), gain armour from Shield in melee and shooting
    3. Bow & Shield = CAN use parry, gain armour from Shield in melee and shooting (even when using bows on their turn)
    4. Bow & Spear & Shield = cannot use parry (must use Spears), gain armour from Shield in melee and shooting (even when using bows on their turn)
    5. Bow & Paired Weapons (or any 2-handed option) & Shield = cannot use parry (must use 2h weapons) or armour from Shield in melee, but can gain armour from Shield from shooting (even when using bows on their turn)

    These are infantry examples, but it also affects cavalry when multi-weapon equipped in some cases too.
    (Bows can be substituted for any missile weapon above too).

    I've seen a tendency for bows in T9A lists to be an "add on" to otherwise melee orientated units which I just find pretty odd in most cases. I believe it's partly at least as a result of being allowed to "add on" a bow in addition to all the other melee equipment - which comes with no detriment whatsoever. If missile units were separate entries in lists, or missile weapons were limited to "take 1 of" options, or "replacement" options, this could be avoided.

    I find the combinations very weird & don't make logical sense. Why do Bow & Shield (or even HW & Shield) units have better defensive ability in melee than Spear & Shield for example. Why can't the Spear unit choose to use their Shields defensively? Why are "missile" units just as effective in melee as their non-missile equivalents? Jack-of-all-trades units may also be less interesting tactically in some cases.

    I would prefer to make effective "multi-weapon" using units quite a specialist thing, rather than a default option. So Iron Orcs in OnG with "Weapon Master" special rule seem cool and fine to me to have such a specialised elite unit. And I recall various Elves used to have some similar kind of multi-weapon units, and probably still do in T9A I would assume. But basic core OnG and EoS units (Heavy Infantry) with multi-weapon options (or even defaults) like the cases above, I find very weird.


    Aside: Whilst this is mostly about rules, it also affects miniatures and modelling options. Not many models are made with "Bow & Shield" or even "Bow & extra weapon & Shield" - and whilst you can ofc go to town on nice conversions etc (I have done already on some of my models for T9A) I don't think it looks that great with such an 'over equipped' unit in general! ie: There's not many Bow & Shield Goblin models about, even though it's the default in T9A, and likewise Halberd & Shield human models for EoS (also fwiw neither of these unit options existed in many versions of WFB).


    Also note: I've seen a bit of discussion of the Parry rule too and possible changes to that. Obviously any changes there would heavily affect this too.
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  • Grahf wrote:

    Please, reduce game's duration.

    Uproot every single "the devil is in the detail" rule or gimmicky mechanic. Make it depth, not complicate.
    Keep rules-consulting time way lower than now.

    I'd like to learn to play this game. But right now if I don't commit myself to a 4 hours game (standard 4500), and at the end of it still have the mental toughness to learn from my mistakes, I practically learn close to zero.

    Reduced playing time means you can actually learn something even if you are not someone who plays 12 hours per week, and maybe organise a tournament with the same amount of time spent for a current 4500 single game.

    It would be such a blast.
    i think this is by far the most important point for any future update.

    i´m playing with 10 different players from 2 communities, of which everyone read the rulebook at least once, some have played several etcs and still we have to check rules and we misplay some situations every single game. depth doenst need need complicated rules.
  • YeahGucciFrisur wrote:

    i think this is by far the most important point for any future update.
    I agree.

    For this, IMO we need to take a hard look and compare each rule/phase/section and balance its complexity against the value it brings to the game. Now everbody will probably have their own opinion (which is fair), however the worst offenders from my point of view are (unordered):
    • Miscast rules (happen seldom, need several tables and/or modifiers and require players to shift their attention to something they usually do not care about)
    • Duels/Challenges (crutch mechanic to prevent chars on powerful mounts from too easily flanking troops)
    • Skirmisher (already made largely irrelevant by removing the nested rules anyway), creates additional work to space your light troops (i.e. play time) especially when you reform your light troops during movement anyway most of the time
    • Round Bases (I still don't know their exact rules, we mostly just remove the war machine if charged by anything relevant instead of re-reading the rules)
    • Charge, Failed Charge, Wheels during charge, adjustment after charge, etc. Hugely complex, not at all intuitive, very "game-ish" (what I mean by that: You can force your monster to clip during a combo charge, or you can actually move a long, long way when positioned in a near 90° angle, but you can't charge if you need a small wheel in one and then another small wheel into another direction).

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  • one other thing, which admittedly is a core principle of whfb/t9a and would be hard to change, but i find pretty annoying:

    the endless and tedious game of angles/los/overruns paths. often games are decided by one tiny mistake or milimeters of unit placement, which make a charge/overrun into a crucial unit possible or turn a front charge into a flank charge etc.

    i would like victory to be more of a result of many good decisions in all phases, instead of spending 90% of your brainpower on convulsively avoiding a tiny mistake in the movement and deployment phases.

    once you´re engaged in melee there are basically no more (hard) choices to be made, that can turn a fight around.

    allowing for more decisions in the melee phase and making movement a little less crucial would make for a more fun game imo.

    possible ways to this:

    - allow directing overruns
    - weaken the role of chaff in general
    - allow more freedom of normal movement
    - increase los/front arc sight
    - add more melee, shooting abilities, combat resolution and leadership abilities, that can be used only a limited amount of times to lower the effect of movement mistakes and give more strategic choices in other phases. for example: unit gets +X in value Y when charged the first time, unit can reform when charged, character can command unit to auto-rally or pass panic test, etc, etc.

    those could be either special abilities of units or general command cards, that can be used on any unit
  • Ah, yes, I forgot one thing in my list:
    • Remove overruns (will remove the rules baggage of "which fight to roll first" and "I overran into a second combat, now I get to fight twice").
      • Probably needs a change on the flee mechanic as well, I start liking the idea of unstable/undead mechanic for all troops more and more.

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  • Parting Blow: if a unit flees from combat, the unit that won is allowed another round of combat. Only the front rank can swing, hitting automatically.


    This can dramatically speed up games.
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  • Grouchy Badger wrote:

    Parting Blow: if a unit flees from combat, the unit that won is allowed another round of combat. Only the front rank can swing, hitting automatically.


    This can dramatically speed up games.
    Only if the parting blow annihilates the unit. If not, you actually introduced an additional round of throwing dice with yet another rule set (no supporting attacks, need to re-calculate the number of attacks & hitting automatically (very bad for armies who have an army wide strength of avoiding hits or high Def, very nice for armies who are bad at hitting, you aren't an Elf player, are you?)).

    While I understand the premise of the idea, of units being killed faster, I don't see how adding even more situational rules makes the game faster.

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  • piteglio wrote:

    @Grouchy Badger - in addition or as an alternative to pursuing?

    DarkSky wrote:

    Grouchy Badger wrote:

    Parting Blow: if a unit flees from combat, the unit that won is allowed another round of combat. Only the front rank can swing, hitting automatically.


    This can dramatically speed up games.
    Only if the parting blow annihilates the unit. If not, you actually introduced an additional round of throwing dice with yet another rule set (no supporting attacks, need to re-calculate the number of attacks & hitting automatically (very bad for armies who have an army wide strength of avoiding hits or high Def, very nice for armies who are bad at hitting, you aren't an Elf player, are you?)).
    While I understand the premise of the idea, of units being killed faster, I don't see how adding even more situational rules makes the game faster.
    In edition. Also dont try and inflate the rule with a bunch of crud that doesn't need to be. Its very simple. The front rank rolls to wound, taking only a few seconds to roll 6-7 dice to see if they wound and peel off a few more wounds. The crushing feel of a route needs to be put into the game and can speed up the game by causing more wounds and taking more units into devastated range as they flee.

    This would also only affect units holding and not chasing, and would allow more tactical advantage as you trade chasing the unit and trying to destroy it, to holding your ground and doing a few more wounds.
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  • DarkSky wrote:

    Ah, yes, I forgot one thing in my list:


    Remove overruns (will remove the rules baggage of "which fight to roll first" and "I overran into a second combat, now I get to fight twice").


    Probably needs a change on the flee mechanic as well, I start liking the idea of unstable/undead mechanic for all troops more and more.
    I think this would drastically alter the play of the game. Especially for cavalry or any other unit that is charge dependant for damage.

    While I agree that the length of the game could be reduced, I don't want the game to become simply bashing blocks of troops together - other games already cover this. Fleeing is a good mechanic to have as it adds unpredictability to the game. If you know that your 60 man block has to be killed to the last man (even with crumble) that's a much more secure position to be than Steadfast LD9. I think that the binary nature of "Fine and Dandy" or "Running for your life" does need to be addressed but I think the 40k / AoS method of morale is overly simplistic.

    I'd also prefer to move Flee, Overrun & Pursuit moves to the end of the close combat phase, or add an extra phase on to the end. That way you can still overrun or pursue into a new enemy but no unit can fight twice in the same combat round (unless that's intended in the rules).
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  • Sir_Sully wrote:

    DarkSky wrote:

    Ah, yes, I forgot one thing in my list:


    Remove overruns (will remove the rules baggage of "which fight to roll first" and "I overran into a second combat, now I get to fight twice").


    Probably needs a change on the flee mechanic as well, I start liking the idea of unstable/undead mechanic for all troops more and more.
    I think this would drastically alter the play of the game. Especially for cavalry or any other unit that is charge dependant for damage.
    While I agree that the length of the game could be reduced, I don't want the game to become simply bashing blocks of troops together - other games already cover this. Fleeing is a good mechanic to have as it adds unpredictability to the game. If you know that your 60 man block has to be killed to the last man (even with crumble) that's a much more secure position to be than Steadfast LD9. I think that the binary nature of "Fine and Dandy" or "Running for your life" does need to be addressed but I think the 40k / AoS method of morale is overly simplistic.

    I'd also prefer to move Flee, Overrun & Pursuit moves to the end of the close combat phase, or add an extra phase on to the end. That way you can still overrun or pursue into a new enemy but no unit can fight twice in the same combat round (unless that's intended in the rules).
    I agree with you, that it should not be necessary to crumble an enemy to the last model. I would not want a game like this.

    To illustrate my thought process how it could be handled, my complete idea would be:

    Losing side of the combat has three modes (based on special rules and ranks)
    1. Normal
    2. Steadfast
    3. Unbreakable

    Combat result is:
    1. Draw +/-0
    2. Winning/Losing +/- 1-4
    3. Decimating/Being routed +/- 5+

    Each mode reduces the severity of a losing combat, unbreakable always defaults to draw. Steadfast makes losing into draw and routed into losing.

    If you draw, nothing happens. If you lose you lose one wound (no saves) per combat result. If you lose combat by 5 or more on normal mode you are routed, the unit is destroyed.

    This way you can still break enemies on the charge with cavalry, either by removing their routing or by winning that high, that additional wounds through combat result will annihilate the unit. Additionally the same options for units to be unbreakable (have to kill every model through combat) or steadfast (can break the enemy but takes more time or really one sided combat) still exist. The upside is that you do not rely on one break test to define a whole battle or even game. You can remove all pursuit and overrun rules (which also introduce potentially "game deciding single dice rolls"). Additionally you take some models away from steadfast units, instead of allowing a unit to (with luck) hold for several combats without losing many models.

    Disclaimer : Numbers are just examples, the threshold between 4 and 5 was randomly chosen by me for illustration purposes. Please don't derail discussion by arguing which is the correct number in your opinion.

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  • DarkSky wrote:

    If you draw, nothing happens. If you lose you lose one wound (no saves) per combat result. If you lose combat by 5 or more on normal mode you are routed, the unit is destroyed.
    I'm not saying that I don't like the idea, it could work but I worry that it's too simplistic and would result in much less fleeing and much more predictability. Being steadfast shouldn't make you immune to breaking which that method would.

    Eg
    50 peasants lose to a dragon + character by 5, why would 50 peasants feel that they should stick around as a matter of course? Would said dragon not scare them a bit?

    50 peasants lose to 30 Lion Guard by 10, peasants are steadfast and so don't fancy running away in any circumstances.

    I also think that Rally around the Flag is too strong and so is borrowing Discipline from the general / other units and these could be changed.

    Eg
    Rally around the flag could allow the rerolling of a single dice (not both) or could be a one use only thing to guarantee a successful break / panic test, or to rally a fleeing unit. A general could have the same ability for a total number of uses of twice per game.

    IP could become +1 Discipline rather than set discipline, or allow a non steadfast unit to use their base discipline but to do so they forfeit any rerolls or minimised rolls.

    I realise that this would make very large changes to some armies with low discipline and that would need to be taken into account, but at the moment you can have a "low discipline army" that makes all of their discipline rolls on LD9 rerollable. That doesn't really compute.

    There's also the issue that some models have paid a lot of points for their defensive characteristics and as an example, Grail Knights have Res 4, 2+ AS and a 5+ Aegis save. That's a huge chunk of their points that this would render irrelevant in the event of a lost combat.
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  • Sir_Sully wrote:

    I'm not saying that I don't like the idea, it could work but I worry that it's too simplistic...
    Eg
    50 peasants lose to a dragon + character by 5, why would 50 peasants feel that they should stick around as a matter of course? Would said dragon not scare them a bit?

    50 peasants lose to 30 Lion Guard by 10, peasants are steadfast and so don't fancy running away in any circumstances.
    1. My idea is meant to be simplistic. The goal is to make the game easier to approach while keeping as much complexity and depth as possible.

    2. Your examples show how different you can interpret the same outcome. In my view having 5 and 10 additional wounds in your examples shows exactly what you describe : some of the peasants start to flee, but not all. This in my view is more realistic than either nobody flees or all flee at once.

    3. Of course it is a matter of taste. Do you rather have a smoothed out version with gradual results (+1 cr equals to one more wound/model fleeing) or do you want a dice roll to determine it all or nothing style.

    4. I do not claim my idea is good on its own. As you correctly point out, you need to rework the discipline system, rallye around the flag and general rules for everything to work together nicely.

    5. Your point about Grail Knights doesn't make sense to me though. The defensive properties of the Knights already contributed directly to their combat result, by not allowing the opponent to generate many wounds. So they are never useless in these scenarios

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  • I think that this is something that we're going to disagree on, but I want to put my view across. I find T9A significantly smoother and faster than WFB ever was and I've not found it difficult to play a relaxed game in 2-2.5 hours. Including chatting, beer, pretzels, etc. This does require both players to have a certain knowledge of the rules and not to spend ages thinking about every move....

    DarkSky wrote:

    1. My idea is meant to be simplistic. The goal is to make the game easier to approach while keeping as much complexity and depth as possible.
    My point was that I think you've lost the depth as any large unit would essentially be immune to breaking. If you were daft enough to put your steadfast infantry up against a unit that can win the combat by 5 (or even 10) or more, why should there be so little consequence? This would make the game less tactical because you can just bash your steadfast block into whatever you like.

    It also doesn't really correlate to history where many large units broke fighting a smaller enemy. Thinking of the 2 most famous battles I leant about in History:

    Waterloo - the French army broke after the arrival of the Prussians which forced the Imperial Guard to retreat (who had a reputation of being unbeatable). At that point there were more fighting fit French troops than British, Dutch & Prussian.

    Agincourt - the French force that retreated from Agincourt was larger than the starting fighting force of the English.

    It's not necessarily true that larger = not running away.

    DarkSky wrote:

    2. Your examples show how different you can interpret the same outcome. In my view having 5 and 10 additional wounds in your examples shows exactly what you describe : some of the peasants start to flee, but not all. This in my view is more realistic than either nobody flees or all flee at once.
    Why would any of the peasants stick around? They'd need to be brave and disciplined - hence a Discipline test to represent this (which takes all of 2 seconds for a steadfast unit).

    DarkSky wrote:

    3. Of course it is a matter of taste. Do you rather have a smoothed out version with gradual results (+1 cr equals to one more wound/model fleeing) or do you want a dice roll to determine it all or nothing style.
    Personally, I'd rather the all or nothing style because part of simulating a large battle is that some units will flee at some point (and nobody knows when) and sometimes they'll return to continue the fight. 50 peasants might run from a dragon but they may also rally and then hold some spear-peeps. That's part of the fun and the current rules simulate that to an extent - I think they could be better but the current rules are ok.

    I'd actually argue that your "Fine or Destroyed" method is more binary than the current system. One bad set of rolls for a non steadfast unit is terminal. We've all had those rolls of 11 attacks, 4+ to hit and 2 hits and then your opponent has 11 attacks back, 4+ to hit and gets 9 hits. It's much harder to come back from a bad roll if your unit has just been removed. The current system isn't perfect at that, but there's still hope (might pass Discipline test or escape pursuit).

    There's also the issue of undead. How do you make them feel different and fun if they work the same way as alive people?

    DarkSky wrote:

    5. Your point about Grail Knights doesn't make sense to me though. The defensive properties of the Knights already contributed directly to their combat result, by not allowing the opponent to generate many wounds. So they are never useless in these scenarios
    Losing 1 84 point model from a 9 man unit is much more significant than losing 10, 4 point models from a unit of 50. With no saves. Large units that don't care about casualties will become more expensive, which isn't something I want to see.

    I also don't want to be removing a 80 point model in that manner. It's one reason I dislike the morale rules in AoS and 40K. Removing extra models isn't fun. The only ones that have that rule at the moment have methods to bring those troops back.

    Honestly, I'd rather see morale become more complex than more simple. It's a complex issue that needs a complex solution. Note that Complex doesn't have to mean time consuming. KoE's Blessing is complex (conditional Aegis save, if you prayed) but it isn't any more time consuming than any other Aegis save.

    There was a suggestion for a middle ground - so you'd have a 3 tier system of Fine & Dandy, Shaken and Fleeing. Shaken would have maluses attached and every time you fail a Discipline check you drop down a tier. Unengaged units can attempt to rally in your turn (potentially liked to BSB / General) to move up a tier.

    DarkSky wrote:

    4. I do not claim my idea is good on its own. As you correctly point out, you need to rework the discipline system, rallye around the flag and general rules for everything to work together nicely.
    At least we agree on something! :D

    Don't get me wrong, the idea isn't a ban one. It would work (and does work in other games) and it make the game more streamlined. My opinion is that the game would lose something if this was implemented
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  • @Sir_Sully

    I think it's totally fine to discuss these ideas with different points of view and different preferences. I can perfectly accept, that you do not like parts or all of my ideas, as you voice your own ideas which also make sense.

    I think part of the "fleeing" mechanic is what each of us perceive. You bring example of two battles where the superior numbers still fled and in your mind this is incompatible towards my proposals. For me this isn't so, because (I guess) my idea of how time works in the game is different. In reality soldiers didn't all decide at the same second to flee a battle. Most likely some flee first, others see them fleeing as well, and panic spreads. For me this is sufficiently represented by the additional wounds caused by CR. The breaking point is when you lose steadfast (or the wounds just annihilate the rest of the unit). In the current system, the break point is the discipline test. Each of those can be seen as an accurate way to describe what happens in a real battle. Everybody decides for themselves, whether this is fitting or not fitting.

    One thing I would disagree on though is the length of the game: 2 to 2.5 hours is unachievable for me and all others I play with (unless game is decided turn 2). So from my PoV streamlining the game and removing time consuming stuff is very important.

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  • DarkSky wrote:

    I think part of the "fleeing" mechanic is what each of us perceive. You bring example of two battles where the superior numbers still fled and in your mind this is incompatible towards my proposals. For me this isn't so, because (I guess) my idea of how time works in the game is different. In reality soldiers didn't all decide at the same second to flee a battle. Most likely some flee first, others see them fleeing as well, and panic spreads. For me this is sufficiently represented by the additional wounds caused by CR. The breaking point is when you lose steadfast (or the wounds just annihilate the rest of the unit). In the current system, the break point is the discipline test. Each of those can be seen as an accurate way to describe what happens in a real battle. Everybody decides for themselves, whether this is fitting or not fitting.
    All true.

    The main issue I have is the loss of idea of troops returning to battle. This has happened historically at the Battle of Princeton and the Battle of Waterloo and I'm sure there are other examples.

    As it stands, morale can take up time when moving and rallying fleeing units. You haven't commented on how your suggestion would work outside of combat, which would be interesting. How would you represent Terror or panic outside of close combat?
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  • Something that never happened that I really wish would:

    Duplicate a few more magic rules into the arcane compendium, just before the spells are listed. I like how the types are already there but it would be nice if we also had the miscast table right there and the veil token limits as well as the rules for fizzle. In addition to those rules, it would make complete sense to throw in the flux cards too. I use pdf and on occasion I use dice to determine the flux card for the turn. It’s annoying to flip constantly between the brb and the arcane compendium when it should really be consolidated. ( I think the arcane compendium is not frozen so maybe this isn’t something that needs to wait all to long to happen)
  • Sir_Sully wrote:

    As it stands, morale can take up time when moving and rallying fleeing units. You haven't commented on how your suggestion would work outside of combat, which would be interesting. How would you represent Terror or panic outside of close combat?
    All true. Fleeing after a combat and rallying would not be in the game anymore.

    Terror and Panic: I don't know, honestly.

    I guess you could leave them mostly intact and still have fleeing/rallying in the game.

    Or be radical and do the same wounds mechanism on failed panic tests. For each number above discipline, lose another wound. We would be discussing the exact same pro/con lists like before :D, but the rule book would be a few pages thinner for all flee/overrun/rallye/decimated rally rules and the players would never need to decide which combat is first/second/third, would not need to calculate overrun angles and would not need to roll rallye units in movement phase. Again you decide: Are the rules worth their baggage? Or the other way around: How much gameplay do we lose in this simplification?

    I only know the current system with roughly 50% of the units ignoring those and roughly 50% which don't ignore it (and usually can't flee even if they want to), is very bad from a usability perspective. Then you have insiginificant and four different rules, when panic tests are mandated. Then you have fear, which means ignoring opposing fear, but not panic. Then you have fearless, which ignores opposing fear, but also panic. Then you have unburnt, which treats others as insiginficant, but isn't fearless.

    I can only speak for myself, but in my games 90% of the necessary fear discipline tests are completely forgotten and probably 90% of the terror tests as well.

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  • DarkSky wrote:

    would not need to calculate overrun angles and would not need to roll rallye units in movement phase. Again you decide: Are the rules worth their baggage? Or the other way around: How much gameplay do we lose in this simplification?
    That's essentially what it boils down to.

    As I've said I think that the rules are worth the baggage, but they can definitely be improved and / or streamlined. For me, overruns and pursuits into new enemies adds tactical depth. Like I said, it would be better if a unit couldn't fight twice as it would remove the gamey part. It's not a good feeling as a new player to have an enemy unit fight twice.
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