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  1. - Top - End - #331
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    Default Re: Warhammer 40K Tabletop Thread XXXVII: Highlighting the Contrasts

    Quote Originally Posted by Avaris View Post
    I like the dramatic potential made possible by uncertainty.
    That makes for a pretty **** game.

    The possibility of heroic last stands against the odds or key parts of a battleplan not functioning as intended makes for, IMO, more enjoyable games and moments to remember.
    So the idea is that you're losing so hard, your battleplan falls apart...But due to randomness, you win anyway?
    Seems fair and balanced.

    I absolutely refute though that added randomness, done well, makes a game less competitive.
    Randomness and Competition are opposed concepts.

    In fact, I think it makes it more skill testing
    You may as well say that slot machines are skill testers.
    Skill Testing is never random. You either do the thing, or you don't. That's why it's called skill. And not...Luck.

    Maybe tomorrow I'll bench 200kgs? Gotta risk big to win big, right?

    a good commander will understand the odds arrayed against them, and be able to make tactical calculations about how to prioritise things.
    Except if you don't know the outcome after you've performed an action...You can't calculate anything. Not really.

    the better generals will be able to do so more effectively.
    No they wont. You can't plan for randomness.
    The Excel spreadsheet will be all that matters.

    By contrast, in Apocalypse the prioritisation process becomes much more complex: you don’t just need to decide an order to target things in, you need to weigh up the odds and decide how certain you want to be that it is destroyed.
    But you can't be certain.

    How risky or cautious you play it will have a significant effect on how the game plays out
    As I said, whoever gambles hardest, wins. Whoever has the hottest dice, wins.

    It seems to be specifically about creating these cinematic moments, where large groups are scythed down by gunfire or a small group survives against the odds.
    You can't sell me on a game with good narrative but poor gameplay.
    ...I'll just read a book.

    Having your elite unit targetted by every gun in the enemy army until you put it back in the carry case isn’t fun.
    Yeah. That's why you build your army list so that your good units are harder to destroy.

    Having the chance that your elite unit survives to the next turn, utterly disrupting your opponent’s plans, is.
    So basically...Gambling gives dopamine? Why didn't you say so!? We can agree on that.
    Losing the game...But then winning anyway due to sheer chance? Of course it's fun. ...Sucks for the other player, though.

    And the opponent has had the enjoyment of making a tactical decision about how much they target at it
    Making decisions where I can't reasonably expect the outcome, is the complete opposite of a balanced game.

    although they may not suceed at destroying a unit, they might gain some satisfaction from the knowledge that they had planned for that risk
    No they wont. They will be butthurt when what they thought should happen, didn't.
    Like when you roll triple 1s. Your opponent is probably happy. You're not. Chance dictates that one player gets screwed for no reason.
    ...Except now add in that you don't even know if you've rolled triple 1s until the end of your turn where you can't do anything about it to fix it.

    Basically, chance snowballs into more chance, which snowballs into even more chance.

    Currently, in 40K, if I roll Trip-1s for Damage, I can choose to mititage that - or not - because I know that I have rolled Triple-1s.
    You can't make 'tactical decisions' if you don't know the outcome of your actions - especially if those outcomes are random, too.
    When you take an action, where you don't know the outcome, and the outcome is random, that's gambling. Not tactics.

    The whole point of alternating actions, is that both players get to decide when models die. If the first shot doesn't connect, you get a second go...But only after your opponent now knows what you're trying to do. They counter. Now you have a second model. Did that connect? Didn't it? Based on the outcomes of the previous actions, you are better informed on the next action to take. The only 'uncertain' action you take, is the first one...But not really. Because Readied models go first and you know which of your opponents' models are the threats on the board.

    Then, by knowing what models can shoot first, you know which models can potentially die first. So you can tactically choose which models need to die first. Your opponent, knowing how the game works, knows you know this, and takes steps - of their choosing - to make sure that that doesn't happen. Can't Charge my model if I'm in vertical terrain, right? My valuable model can Ignore Wounds, etc. You choose a bunch of things if your army list, deployment and during the phases, to mitigate the randomness inherant in a game about dice.

    This is what Kill Team does right. Readied models go first. You can make a tactical choice whether to move your models or not. 'Cause if you don't, you get a guaranteed first shot - not including Tactics. Your opponent can then match that with their own Readied models...Or Charging.

    Kill Team is a very tactical game. Unfortunately, the win conditions of the game are very Melee-centric, and thus the game is very unbalanced in favour of certain types units that not every Faction has.

    and far better than the impact of randomness in base 40k where a poor set of rolls from one of the players simply changes the speed at which units are removed from the board.
    As opposed to randomness deciding that things aren't removed at all?

    Nothing you do matters. Unless it does. But you wont know if your decisions matter until after you've already made them?
    Such fair. Much skill. Wow.

    Roulette is fun for some people. I get it. The 'skill' is the risk, in and of itself. The more risk you take, the bigger you win, and there's no skill involved which means anyone can play. The dopamine rush of chance. But it's not my game.
    Last edited by Cheesegear; 2019-06-19 at 05:54 AM.
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  2. - Top - End - #332
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    Default Re: Warhammer 40K Tabletop Thread XXXVII: Highlighting the Contrasts

    I think we can both agree that a game decided by a handful of D6 rolls is bad. That is a thing that can happen in 40k, and not the sort of uncertainty that is good. The two routes you can go from this is to minimise randomness (which is where you’re arguing) or to lean into it, so that individual bits of uncertainty matter less to the game as a whole (which is where I’m arguing). Note I’m arguing for uncertainty, not randomness itself.

    Done well, it is possible to have a game with uncertainty on the micro level, but tactical sophistication on the macro level. Across the course of the game the randomness of dice will balance out along the bell curve, leaving only the uncertainty of where will I have good luck or bad? This makes things more dynamic: being a good general means recognising where you’ve had more than your share of good or bad luck on the micro level and taking advantage of that on the macro level. This exists in base 40k, but is limited to determining the speed at which units are removed, so fairly easily controllable for: just fire more guns.

    In Apocalypse, not knowing whether your attack has been successful adds an element of risk control as a necessary tactical choice. You have to plan for the worst and hope for the best. How players do so is where the skill comes in. Crucialy, you do know what has happened when the next turn comes around; the information is delayed, but not lost. So your thinking becomes ‘if I succeed at destroying that, which should be the case even if the dice are a little below average, I can do X. But if the dice are significantly below average I won’t be able to, but I have back up plan Y.’

    In this way, you absolutely CAN plan for randomness, and in so doing create a more dynamic game. 40k makes it so the random moments are feel bad for one player or the other: they are rare, and the player who receives the good luck can typically instantly capitalise on it. By focussing the randomness at creating uncertainty it becomes another element of the game that can be thought about tactically: you don’t know immediately where you will have good or bad luck, though you’ll have some idea from the initial results of shooting, so plan for possibilities so that you can capitalise on them.

    I probably can’t persuade you of this, but I really don’t see how an elaborate game of rock/paper/scissors (gross simplification I know), where every outcome is immediately known, offers more tactical depth and enjoyment than a dynamic game that makes good use of uncertainty.

    Edit: on the question about D3 versus 2, 2. Because that element of randomness adds complexity but doesn’t really add much to the game. It’s a ‘oh, that was annoying’ moment. Randomness like that doesn’t add anything to the overall game, it just slows everything down. You want to focus the uncertainty in order to make it matter: this is why damage at end of turn is a good approach. The randomness applies all at once, in a big dramatic moment, that each player has had the opportunity to weight in their favour by the amount of damage they stack up on a unit. But then once it’s done you can move on and respond to it. D3 damage is just a drip feed of small amounts of randomness that doesn’t make for enjoyable uncertainty.
    Last edited by Avaris; 2019-06-19 at 05:59 AM.
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  3. - Top - End - #333
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    Default Re: Warhammer 40K Tabletop Thread XXXVII: Highlighting the Contrasts

    I'm not reading that entire quote-war but if you don't want randomness and uncertainty, go play chess.
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    Default Re: Warhammer 40K Tabletop Thread XXXVII: Highlighting the Contrasts

    What's better;
    All other variables being the same, a weapon that does D3 Damage, or a weapon that does 2 Damage?
    Last edited by Cheesegear; 2019-06-19 at 05:55 AM.
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    Default Re: Warhammer 40K Tabletop Thread XXXVII: Highlighting the Contrasts

    Quote Originally Posted by Cheesegear View Post
    What's better;
    All other variables being the same, a weapon that does D3 Damage, or a weapon that does 2 Damage?
    Putting as seperate reply: 2. Because that element of randomness adds complexity but doesn’t really add much to the game. It’s a ‘oh, that was annoying’ moment.

    Randomness like that doesn’t add anything to the overall game, it just slows everything down. You want to focus the uncertainty in order to make it matter: this is why damage at end of turn is a good approach. The randomness applies all at once, in a big dramatic moment, that each player has had the opportunity to weight in their favour by the amount of damage they stack up on a unit. But then once it’s done you can move on and respond to it. D3 damage is just a drip feed of small amounts of randomness that doesn’t make for enjoyable uncertainty.
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    Default Re: Warhammer 40K Tabletop Thread XXXVII: Highlighting the Contrasts

    Quote Originally Posted by Avaris View Post
    You want to focus the uncertainty in order to make it matter:
    But it is uncertain. A D3 has an even chance to roll 1, 2 or 3. And it does matter. If the opposing model has 3 wounds, there is an even chance I can kill it with one shot. If it has two wounds, the odds skew in my favour. And it's exactly as dramatic as I make it. Hell, it's my opponent's Warlord, he's down to three (maybe even two) Wounds, and I have a dude with a Power Fist. Here we go!

    Isn't this exactly what you're talking about?
    Except now skew it up to every single model in your army?

    ...Except instead of learning the results of the D3 immediately...You have to wait 'til the end of the round?

    You must gamble on the results of the D3. Will it roll a 3 and kill my opponent's Warlord? Or should I waste a few more attacks just in case I roll a '1'?
    ...Making choices like that on no information, is the opposite of tactics.

    Meanwhile, if you have a weapon that only does 2 Damage, you know you wont destroy your opponents model with three wounds if you hit once, which allows you to make a better - tactical - choice.

    EDIT:
    That said, if random damage weapons aren't a thing in Apocalypse, then this is moot. Because there will be no uncertainty. You'll have a reasonable expectation if something is going to be dead by the end of the round and there will be no gambling.
    Last edited by Cheesegear; 2019-06-19 at 06:34 AM.
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  7. - Top - End - #337
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    Default Re: Warhammer 40K Tabletop Thread XXXVII: Highlighting the Contrasts

    Quote Originally Posted by Cheesegear View Post
    But it is uncertain. A D3 has an even chance to roll 1, 2 or 3. And it does matter. If the opposing model has 3 wounds, there is an even chance I can kill it with one shot. If it has two wounds, the odds skew in my favour. And it's exactly as dramatic as I make it. Hell, it's my opponent's Warlord, he's down to three (maybe even two) Wounds, and I have a dude with a Power Fist. Here we go!

    Isn't this exactly what you're talking about?
    Except now skew it up to every single model in your army?

    ...Except instead of learning the results of the D3 immediately...You have to wait 'til the end of the round?

    You must gamble on the results of the D3. Will it roll a 3 and kill my opponent's Warlord? Or should I waste a few more attacks just in case I roll a '1'?
    ...Making choices like that on no information, is the opposite of tactics.

    Meanwhile, if you have a weapon that only does 2 Damage, you know you wont destroy your opponents model with three wounds if you hit once, which allows you to make a better - tactical - choice.
    It’s random, but the outcome is not uncertain. If I fail to roll the damage necessary I likely have other things I can immediately use to get the results I want. So the death of the Warlord is, most likely, certain. Therefore, the randomness of the damage doesn’t add anything to the game. Also, the dice rolls in 40k are highly variable in how much they matter to the outcome: all my bad luck came on damage rolls for a unit that doesn’t matter, whereas yours were armour saves on your general? Too bad.

    By contrast, damage at the end of the turn, you’re making a calculated risk that you can’t immediately correct if it goes wrong. So the randomness of it matters. Your decision isn’t based on no information, You know the odds: that character has 6 wounds, a 50% chance of failing a saving throw, so causing 12 wounds is 50% chance of killing them. Then the tactical decision is ‘is that good enough?’ Some players will take that chance, others will push to 75% or even 90%. The good generals will work out the sweet spot between not dedicating all their firepower on one thing and succeeding most of the time, while also having a plan for if it goes wrong.

    (Worth noting, humans are very bad at probability: understanding likely outcomes and planning on that basis is very skill intensive)

    A good tactical game tests your skill both when things are going to plan, and when they are not. Uncertainty adds to that dynamic in a positive way. Randomness for the sake of randomness is bad, but that doesn’t seem to be what we’re getting here: the uncertainty is contollable, you’ll know the odds, and then that randomness is be resolved immediately, all at once, allowing for adaptation to the new state of the battle.

    Edit: I’m reasonably certain that random damage weapons won’t be a thing, or if they are you’ll know the results straight away upon shooting. The damage phase seems to be moving the saving throws to the end of the turn: you’ll know how much damage is on each enemy unit and what they need to save it. So you can get a reasonable expectation, with an element of controllable uncertainty due to armour saves

    Edit 2: Ork preview up, confirming that Power levels are used to select forces (talks about cheap things to use spare Power on). Also indicates that 4 small blast markers is ‘almost enough to scrap a knight’, which suggests that a blast marker does not always equal a wound. I suspect each blast marker is multiple wounds, unsure if that will be static or variable though.
    Last edited by Avaris; 2019-06-19 at 08:44 AM.

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    Default Re: Warhammer 40K Tabletop Thread XXXVII: Highlighting the Contrasts

    Quote Originally Posted by Avaris View Post
    Edit 2: Ork preview up, confirming that Power levels are used to select forces (talks about cheap things to use spare Power on). Also indicates that 4 small blast markers is ‘almost enough to scrap a knight’, which suggests that a blast marker does not always equal a wound. I suspect each blast marker is multiple wounds, unsure if that will be static or variable though.
    That sounds a little bit like Epic 40k, just with 40k-scale miniatures - units didn't have wounds, but they would take "blast markers" until they disappeared.

    ...They were wounds, by any other name, but they didn't necessarily equate with the number of models on a base. Think of it like, each *squad* having a pool of wounds that would cause it to cease to exist when the arbitrary total had been reached, rather than 10 members with 1 wound each that would be chipped away over time

    Epic 40k was not A Good Game. I honestly can't say anything more about Apocalypse, but if that is what they're doing then the less they bring back from Epic, the better it'll be.
    Last edited by Wraith; 2019-06-19 at 09:00 AM.
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    Default Re: Warhammer 40K Tabletop Thread XXXVII: Highlighting the Contrasts

    Quote Originally Posted by Wraith View Post
    That sounds a little bit like Epic 40k, just with 40k-scale miniatures - units didn't have wounds, but they would take "blast markers" until they disappeared.

    ...They were wounds, by any other name, but they didn't necessarily equate with the number of models on a base. Think of it like, each *squad* having a pool of wounds that would cause it to cease to exist when the arbitrary total had been reached, rather than 10 members with 1 wound each that would be chipped away over time

    Epic 40k was not A Good Game. I honestly can't say anything more about Apocalypse, but if that is what they're doing then the less they bring back from Epic, the better it'll be.
    My understanding so far is:
    Action phase: attacks against a unit assign blast markers to a unit for each successful wound. Attack sequence is roll to hit on a d6, roll to wound on a d12 (with the value needed depending on if shooting at infantry or tanks), assign small blast counters equal to number of wounds caused.
    Damage phase: roll saves for your units based on the number of blast markers. Your save is made on a d12 against small blast markers, and a d6 against large ones. I assume, but don’t know, that you then allocate wounds equal to unsaved rolls. We know Space Marines have two wounds each, but have few other details on how the blast markers function.
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    Default Re: Warhammer 40K Tabletop Thread XXXVII: Highlighting the Contrasts

    Quote Originally Posted by Cheesegear View Post
    Don't you play Missions?
    How do you make Detachments?
    Do you know how Terrain works?

    Then we get to Codecies: Pretty sure each individual unit having its own separate rules is basically the same.
    You want me to go dig out the 4th Ed. Rulebook and tell you how many pages of rules are in it? I won't even include the missions.
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    Default Re: Warhammer 40K Tabletop Thread XXXVII: Highlighting the Contrasts

    Even the D2/D1d3 debate isn’t as one sided: D2 is solveable: aim for as many D2 wounds as will exactly take out the enemy. D1d3 requires you to balance the probability of failure versus the opportunity cost of the wasted overkill.

    Over all, in a land of no randomness, a game is decided in lost building, or at the first mistake of a game. Because the less randomness there is, the more there’s a single tactically correct answer. Doing it may be good tactics, but then tactical ability simply is “do I know that it’s the correct move or not”.

    In a battle with more randomness, tactical ability is not only “don’t make a mistake” but “can you take advantage of a lucky break or mitigate an unlucky defeat”. Sometimes, real life underdogs win, and elite units fail. The game should allow that. You want there to be as little chance of that as possible, such that the only way for the underdogs to win is for them to BECOME the top dog, or for the elite unit to make an objectively wrong decision.

    Edit: now obviously just as no randomness is a bad idea, so is all randomness. But I’d argue that a game is most tactically challenging when it requires you to plan for multiple eventualities, not simply to know the objectively best singular tactic. And you are arguing against game design that gives multiple eventualities at all! Chess, checkers, go, they’re all good games, but they’re solveable. And that’s not tactics, that’s memorization of patterns.
    Last edited by Gwyn chan 'r Gwyll; 2019-06-19 at 10:15 AM.

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    Default Re: Warhammer 40K Tabletop Thread XXXVII: Highlighting the Contrasts

    Quote Originally Posted by Destro_Yersul View Post
    You want me to go dig out the 4th Ed. Rulebook and tell you how many pages of rules are in it? I won't even include the missions.
    More rules does not mean a better ruleset. Both large and small rulesets have advantages and disadvantages.

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    Default Re: Warhammer 40K Tabletop Thread XXXVII: Highlighting the Contrasts

    Quote Originally Posted by Gwyn chan 'r Gwyll View Post
    Even the D2/D1d3 debate isn’t as one sided: D2 is solveable: aim for as many D2 wounds as will exactly take out the enemy. D1d3 requires you to balance the probability of failure versus the opportunity cost of the wasted overkill.

    Over all, in a land of no randomness, a game is decided in lost building, or at the first mistake of a game. Because the less randomness there is, the more there’s a single tactically correct answer. Doing it may be good tactics, but then tactical ability simply is “do I know that it’s the correct move or not”.

    In a battle with more randomness, tactical ability is not only “don’t make a mistake” but “can you take advantage of a lucky break or mitigate an unlucky defeat”. Sometimes, real life underdogs win, and elite units fail. The game should allow that. You want there to be as little chance of that as possible, such that the only way for the underdogs to win is for them to BECOME the top dog, or for the elite unit to make an objectively wrong decision.

    Edit: now obviously just as no randomness is a bad idea, so is all randomness. But I’d argue that a game is most tactically challenging when it requires you to plan for multiple eventualities, not simply to know the objectively best singular tactic. And you are arguing against game design that gives multiple eventualities at all! Chess, checkers, go, they’re all good games, but they’re solveable. And that’s not tactics, that’s memorization of patterns.
    Yes, this is exactly what I’ve been trying to say, thank you for putting it clearly!

    Randomness is not, by itself, good or bad in a game. It just needs to be correctly used. From what I’ve seen so far Apocalypse is doing so in a way that will enhance the experience, and on the whole GW is getting better at dealing with this sort of thing, but there certainly are ways that randomness could be used in a bad way.

    Edit: more details on how damage works, which I’m a little less impressed by. Each wound caused results in a small blast marker, then if you get 2 it becomes a large blast marker. Small blast markers save on a D12, large on a D6. Each failed save causes a wound, and once damage equal to wounds has been caused the unit is destroyed.

    Crucially, the number of wounds is actually pretty low: Gulliman has 2, same as an Intercessor squad of 5 marines. This in turn implies that, when shooting the squad of intercessors, you only roll one dice for all 5. Keeps things simple certainly, but I was hoping to be rolling bucketfuls of dice!

    Depending on how the rest of Apocalypse goes, I could see myself combining its turn structure with 40k’s statlines, possibly using the Apocalypse save system of d6s or d12s though. Something like, if the AP of a shot is sufficient to reduce save to 0, each wound causes a large blast marker, if it doesn’t, get a small blast marker.
    Last edited by Avaris; 2019-06-19 at 11:07 AM.
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    Default Re: Warhammer 40K Tabletop Thread XXXVII: Highlighting the Contrasts

    Well, homebrew is fun isnt it?

    As for the '40k is random, go play chess' the point is that how random it is is manageable. You can force things down through fistfuls of dice, like guardsmen on rapid fire range, through sheer weight of probabilities. Or you can do things like Wraithblades with a 2+/3++/5+++ that are very, very unlikely to die to mitigate the 'oh I rolled low lolz now I die' moments. Its not about the game not having random elements, its abou it giving you the tools for a meaningful choice of either investing enough to close to nullify the outcome of the rolls, or just make enough instances that by a prob. curve the result is a given.

    More randomness with less way to affect it is stupid. its not cinematic or narrative, its just random.

    Also, not being able to kill your enemy units means orden of activation doesnt matter. What difference does it make if you 'save your elite unit for last'? nothing has been removed, game state is the same as it was at any other point during the phase, where is the oh so narrative deep tactical choice?

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    Default Re: Warhammer 40K Tabletop Thread XXXVII: Highlighting the Contrasts

    Quote Originally Posted by LansXero View Post
    Also, not being able to kill your enemy units means orden of activation doesnt matter. What difference does it make if you 'save your elite unit for last'? nothing has been removed, game state is the same as it was at any other point during the phase, where is the oh so narrative deep tactical choice?
    Uh, I think order of activation still matters, because you still roll to shoot and hit and wound in that phase, just not saves. So you still have to make that same "Shoot things until they're dead" activation phase choiceline, it's just a "Shoot things until they're probably dead" instead.

    Because of this, I think there's actually less change here than is being described. And it looks like saves will have pretty set ratios. It'll just mean you want to overkill everything by whatever % you think is a decent margin. A 95% confidence interval is actually a 97.5% confidence interval here, because overkill is fine, so you make choices about how important it is that every wound goes off. Is it ok if that unit of Space Marines has 1 guy left, or that the Knight loses its last wound?

    If you're doing good math, it's just a matter of picking how many blast markers of each type you need to make 80% sure, or 90% sure, or 97.5% sure that the enemy is actually dead, and how much you actually need EVERY wound off of whatever it is you're shooting at.

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    Default Re: Warhammer 40K Tabletop Thread XXXVII: Highlighting the Contrasts

    Also alternating activations stops the way Apocalypse used to work, where you had twenty minutes break each turn while your opponents moved, and then twenty minutes of waiting to be told what saves to roll.
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    Default Re: Warhammer 40K Tabletop Thread XXXVII: Highlighting the Contrasts

    Thinking through the maths on a squad of 5 marines in Apocalypse. They have 2 wounds, and a 6+ save.

    If you can cause one wound, say by firing another squad of marines at them, they get a single small blast marker. There is a 42% (5/12) chance of that blast marker converting to a wound.

    Two wounds = 1 large blast marker. There is now a 83% (5/6) chance of them losing a wound. If they’ve already lost a wound a large blast marker should kill them, but will not hinder an uninjured squad.

    Three wounds = 1 large and 1 small. This is the first level of damage which could kill the unit, and they need to fail both saves to do so, so 21% chance (1-57/72)

    Four wounds = 2 large. Passing either of the 6+ saves on a d6 will save the unit, so there is now a 69.4% (1-11/36)chance of success, almost 50% better.

    Five wounds = 2 large, one small. This is where my probability gets rusty, but I think there are 102/432 combinations of dice that will save the unit, so 76% chance of killing it, but only 7% better than before.

    Six wounds = 3 large, so they need 2 6s on a 3d6 to suceed. There are 16 dice combinations for this, so 1-16/216 = 92% chance of success. 16% increase

    Seven wounds = 3 large, 1 small. 2592 possible combinations on 3d6+1d12, of which you need 3 6+ to suceed, of which there are 147 combinations. 94% chance of success, 2% increase

    Eight wounds = 4 large. You need 3 of the 4 dice to be 6s to save the marines, so 1-21/1296 = 98% chance, 4% increase.

    So in essence, upgrading the small blast marker to a large is really important, getting an additional small blast marker less so.

    (If someone better at probability wants to correct me feel free!)
    Last edited by Avaris; 2019-06-19 at 01:38 PM.
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    Default Re: Warhammer 40K Tabletop Thread XXXVII: Highlighting the Contrasts

    Quote Originally Posted by Avaris View Post
    I like the dramatic potential made possible by uncertainty. The possibility of heroic last stands against the odds or key parts of a battleplan not functioning as intended makes for, IMO, more enjoyable games and moments to remember.

    I absolutely refute though that added randomness, done well, makes a game less competitive. In fact, I think it makes it more skill testing: a good commander will understand the odds arrayed against them, and be able to make tactical calculations about how to prioritise things. Sometimes the dice will go against them, so they’ve also got to plan around that possibility: the better generals will be able to do so more effectively.

    Consider the situation where you have an enemy unit which you know is a major threat to your army. In normal 40k the tactical choice is a simple prioritisation exercise: continue removing things in order of priority until you run out of guns. You make decisions about which weapons to use first so as to maximise their potential, but once you’ve removed a target unit the choice is done. By contrast, in Apocalypse the prioritisation process becomes much more complex: you don’t just need to decide an order to target things in, you need to weigh up the odds and decide how certain you want to be that it is destroyed. How risky or cautious you play it will have a significant effect on how the game plays out, and neither is necessarily the right answer, as the tactical test is how you use your other forces to respond to the situation that plays out.

    Now, I like games without randomness as well! But 40k, being a dice based game, isn’t one of these. And by introducing D12s Apocalypse seems to be leaning into this and creating much more depth in the uncertainty available, which gives more options to tweak so that the random element can be controlled for better in game design. It seems to be specifically about creating these cinematic moments, where large groups are scythed down by gunfire or a small group survives against the odds.

    Having your elite unit targetted by every gun in the enemy army until you put it back in the carry case isn’t fun. Having the chance that your elite unit survives to the next turn, utterly disrupting your opponent’s plans, is. And the opponent has had the enjoyment of making a tactical decision about how much they target at it: although they may not suceed at destroying a unit, they might gain some satisfaction from the knowledge that they had planned for that risk, or from having been able to destroy something else with the guns that would have otherwise finished the elite unit off. It’s uncertainty, but well handled, and far better than the impact of randomness in base 40k where a poor set of rolls from one of the players simply changes the speed at which units are removed from the board.
    What is randomization done well? Because I'll give you an example of Randomization done poorly; psyker powers in 7th edition.

    Where Farseers would range to being incredibly amazing to almost useless depending on which powers you got.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cheesegear View Post
    What's better;
    All other variables being the same, a weapon that does D3 Damage, or a weapon that does 2 Damage?
    It depends on the target. I know this isn't your point, but I wanted to address that. In this case it really depends on the target. 1 Wound model? they are equal. 2 wound model? 2 Damage certainly. 3 wound model? D3 damage. 4 wound model? 2 damage. 12+ wound model? I'm actually not sure, but I suspect they are even at that point due to number of dice being thrown.

    Quote Originally Posted by Destro_Yersul View Post
    You want me to go dig out the 4th Ed. Rulebook and tell you how many pages of rules are in it? I won't even include the missions.
    Sure. But don't include any unit special rules either. All of those still exist, they're just on the unit datacards instead.
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    Default Re: Warhammer 40K Tabletop Thread XXXVII: Highlighting the Contrasts

    Quote Originally Posted by Forum Explorer View Post
    What is randomization done well? Because I'll give you an example of Randomization done poorly; psyker powers in 7th edition.

    Where Farseers would range to being incredibly amazing to almost useless depending on which powers you got.
    It’s difficult to come up with examples off the top of my head, but in principle:
    • Not too swingy: having a thing with a 50/50 chance of doing nothing versus winning the game immediately is not good
    • Lasting consequence. While you don’t want it swingy, it should create a need to adapt, instead of just taking the same action again and again until you have a favourable outcome. This is why variable damage weapons and other aspects of randomisation in base 40k shooting isn’t great: if the dice are against you, you just have to fire more guns to correct for it, so it’s basically just an efficiency question rather than a meaningful impact, so doesn’t add much to the game.
    • Knowable probabilities. While you want randomness, you also want to be able to make an educated prediction as to the outcome.
    • Possible to stack in your favour, if you care enough. Being at the mercy of a single d6 roll, as in your psyker example, is bad. But if you have an opportunity to improve your odds at a cost elsewhere it makes the randomisation better.


    Looking at this list, moving damage to the end of the turn, as in Apocalypse, meets most of the criteria. You can make an educated prediction on outcome and stack it in your favour, as demonstrated in my previous post on probabilities. Unlike in 40k, you can’t just fire more guns if the results go against you, so the decision on how much firepower to commit to stack it in your favour is meaningful. With the latest rules article though I’m concerned about the first point: having unit destruction be all or nothing could make things too swingy.
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    Default Re: Warhammer 40K Tabletop Thread XXXVII: Highlighting the Contrasts

    Quote Originally Posted by Avaris View Post
    Looking at this list, moving damage to the end of the turn
    But you aren't moving Damage. You're moving saves.
    If you moved Damage to end the of phase, with no random Damage, I think I'd actually be okay with that.

    But, 'ordered activation' where nothing can die before everything is activated anyway, seems like missing the point.
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    Default Re: Warhammer 40K Tabletop Thread XXXVII: Highlighting the Contrasts

    The idea of moving saves to the end of the shooting phase sounds interesting, but it also sounds like too much bookkeeping. People struggle to remember buffs they put down a turn ago. Let alone armor saves from the start of the turn.
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    Default Re: Warhammer 40K Tabletop Thread XXXVII: Highlighting the Contrasts

    Quote Originally Posted by Forum Explorer View Post
    The idea of moving saves to the end of the shooting phase sounds interesting, but it also sounds like too much bookkeeping. People struggle to remember buffs they put down a turn ago. Let alone armor saves from the start of the turn.
    But now you get to use Games Workshop's tokens that they printed and please use them because we've been making tokens for so long and please don't use a third party's tokens.

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    Default Re: Warhammer 40K Tabletop Thread XXXVII: Highlighting the Contrasts

    Quote Originally Posted by Requizen View Post
    But now you get to use Games Workshop's tokens that they printed and please use them because we've been making tokens for so long and please don't use a third party's tokens.
    I lol'd pretty hard.
    I've been using M;tG spin-down dice for so long.
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    Default Re: Warhammer 40K Tabletop Thread XXXVII: Highlighting the Contrasts

    Quote Originally Posted by Requizen View Post
    More rules does not mean a better ruleset. Both large and small rulesets have advantages and disadvantages.
    Sure. Except that I was responding to this:

    Quote Originally Posted by Cheesegear View Post
    You replace the 'hard' parts of 40K, with something easy. If that includes a different set of dice. Cool. But if it's easier, then my rule is still proven.

    I'll repeat what I said about Contrast Paints:
    Trade Quality (complexity) for Speed. There's a market for that. I know there is. But it isn't me.
    That already happened. It happened somewhere between 4th and now.

    Quote Originally Posted by Forum Explorer View Post
    Sure. But don't include any unit special rules either. All of those still exist, they're just on the unit datacards instead.
    You mean like Bikes and Monstrous Creatures and whatnot? Ok, I'll break it down. No missions, no unit type rules. Just playing the game: 45 pages. If you add missions, that's another 14 pages. Unit type rules take up 4, Characters and Psychic Powers get 3, 15 pages for Vehicles, 3 more for Special Rules. All told, 74 pages of rules.

    The shooting phase alone gets more pages than an entire turn in 8th.
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    Default Re: Warhammer 40K Tabletop Thread XXXVII: Highlighting the Contrasts

    Quote Originally Posted by Cheesegear View Post
    But you aren't moving Damage. You're moving saves.
    If you moved Damage to end the of phase, with no random Damage, I think I'd actually be okay with that.

    But, 'ordered activation' where nothing can die before everything is activated anyway, seems like missing the point.
    For me, the ordered activation allows for meaningful decisions around movement to be made: if you know your opponent has a unit capable of assaulting if you move to a certain location, how soon do you move to that location? Do you want to wait until after they’ve activated so that they can’t assault you, or do you want to move something there as bait so that their combat units get out of position (and are possibly charged by yours). Alternating activation can be meaningful without things dying immediately, it’s just meaningful in a different way. It adds tactical choice: it’s not just ‘where is the best place for this unit to be’ but ‘when is it best for them to be there’

    As for moving saves vs moving post save damage, I like having a bit of uncertainty there, but it needs to be simple and easy to resolve. The problem I’m seeing with the damage system in Apocalypse right now is that units are either at full effectiveness or dead, which means that failing to kill them is less likely to feel ‘acceptable’. If you’ve poured firepower into a unit and not killed it entirely you should at least have reduced its effectiveness somewhat, but that’s not the case it seems.
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    Default Re: Warhammer 40K Tabletop Thread XXXVII: Highlighting the Contrasts

    Quote Originally Posted by Avaris View Post
    if you know your opponent has a unit capable of assaulting if you move to a certain location, how soon do you move to that location?
    Does Apocalypse differentiate between Move and Charge phases?
    ...Also, if you're playing on a massive board - like Apocalypse should be designed for - Melee units are almost meaningless unless they teleport.

    Do you want to wait until after they’ve activated so that they can’t assault you
    On such a large board, it almost definitely doesn't matter. Your opponent can't Charge you.

    If the Shooting phase comes before Charge, or do you want to move something there as bait so that their combat units get out of position
    No. Not ever. Unless there's an Objective there. If there's an Objective there, you don't have a choice whether or not to put a unit there. Play to win.

    ‘where is the best place for this unit to be’ but ‘when is it best for them to be there’
    By the time the activation phase is over, every unit should be in the position that most likely scores the most VPs at the end of the turn. Regardless of what the opponent does.
    Unless being in that position gives your opponent the potential to score VPs, instead.

    "Do you move your unit in such a way that it has potential to be Charged." by definition must imply;
    - Where you move has an Objective which one of you must control at the end of the turn.
    - Your opponent gains VPs or KPs for Charging and/or destroying a unit.
    If it's the former, if you don't, then your opponent will. It's an Objective.
    If it's the latter, the answer is no. Don't give them VPs.

    That is the tactical choice. Not 'How many dice can I force my opponent to roll?'.

    See; A Game is Balanced Around its Win Conditions.

    This is why gunlines are so effective; You don't have to move anywhere that doesn't have an Objective on it. If you're already on an Objective, you don't move.
    Last edited by Cheesegear; 2019-06-19 at 03:50 PM.
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    Default Re: Warhammer 40K Tabletop Thread XXXVII: Highlighting the Contrasts

    Quote Originally Posted by Cheesegear View Post
    Does Apocalypse differentiate between Move and Charge phases?
    No. Once a detachment has activated, it does all of its moving, shooting and fighting at once. So if an enemy detachment has activated and not used its melee ability, you gain an advantage. See also, whether something is in range or line of sight. Timing matters.
    No. Not ever. Unless there's an Objective there. If there's an Objective there, you don't have a choice whether or not to put a unit there. Play to win.
    And what if by tempting an enemy unit to charge at the right point you pull that unit out of position so it can’t push you off an objective later? Playing to win isn’t just about using your units optimally, it’s about creating opportunities for your opponent to make mistakes.

    The tactical choice is not only about ‘how am I scoring VP’, but also ‘how am I ensuring my opponent can’t stop me scoring more points in future turns.’ Positioning is one way of doing this, ‘How many dice can I get my opponent to roll,’ as you put it, is another.

    Also, we don’t yet know much about the Apocalypse win conditions, though I don’t think they will all be objective based.
    Last edited by Avaris; 2019-06-19 at 04:30 PM.
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    Default Re: Warhammer 40K Tabletop Thread XXXVII: Highlighting the Contrasts

    Quote Originally Posted by Avaris View Post
    And what if by tempting an enemy unit to charge at the right point you pull that unit out of position so it can’t push you off an objective later?
    Depends if you're doing progressive end-of-turn scores, or static scores end-of-game scores.
    Static Scores have drastically fallen out of the meta and are total garbage because end-of-game scores create no urgency to turns.

    Playing to win isn’t just about using your units optimally
    Of course it isn't. It's about using your units in such a way that you win the game. I've done many sub-optimal things in my time in order to win the game.
    ...How do you win the game?

    The tactical choice is not only about ‘how am I scoring VP’
    If you're playing progressively, where every turn matters, then it pretty much does.

    but also ‘how am I ensuring my opponent can’t stop me scoring more points in future turns.’
    The opportunities for this in progressive scoring are minimal. Because you must be scoring points every turn.
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    Default Re: Warhammer 40K Tabletop Thread XXXVII: Highlighting the Contrasts

    Quote Originally Posted by Destro_Yersul View Post
    Sure. Except that I was responding to this:



    That already happened. It happened somewhere between 4th and now.



    You mean like Bikes and Monstrous Creatures and whatnot? Ok, I'll break it down. No missions, no unit type rules. Just playing the game: 45 pages. If you add missions, that's another 14 pages. Unit type rules take up 4, Characters and Psychic Powers get 3, 15 pages for Vehicles, 3 more for Special Rules. All told, 74 pages of rules.

    The shooting phase alone gets more pages than an entire turn in 8th.
    Also a lot of those special rules have been removed anyway. I think it's fair to include the page for Beasts, for instance, now that there are no rules for beasts, or the page for bikes now that being a bike gives you an autoadvance of 6", or all the pages for vehicles or flying things that have been reduced with one-word tags. Or how Slow and Purposeful, for instance, now has been built into the move rate.

    Complain about the reduced tactical depth all you want. That wasn't the goal of this update, and won't be the goal of apocalypse.
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    Default Re: Warhammer 40K Tabletop Thread XXXVII: Highlighting the Contrasts

    Quote Originally Posted by Avaris View Post
    For me, the ordered activation allows for meaningful decisions around movement to be made: if you know your opponent has a unit capable of assaulting if you move to a certain location, how soon do you move to that location? Do you want to wait until after they’ve activated so that they can’t assault you, or do you want to move something there as bait so that their combat units get out of position (and are possibly charged by yours). Alternating activation can be meaningful without things dying immediately, it’s just meaningful in a different way. It adds tactical choice: it’s not just ‘where is the best place for this unit to be’ but ‘when is it best for them to be there’

    As for moving saves vs moving post save damage, I like having a bit of uncertainty there, but it needs to be simple and easy to resolve. The problem I’m seeing with the damage system in Apocalypse right now is that units are either at full effectiveness or dead, which means that failing to kill them is less likely to feel ‘acceptable’. If you’ve poured firepower into a unit and not killed it entirely you should at least have reduced its effectiveness somewhat, but that’s not the case it seems.
    All threat ranges (move + charge / move + weapon range) are known quantities; the only way you can 'bait' someone is if they are purposefully playing badly, ignoring your rules, or you are obfuscating something that should be public.

    The question to most of your 'tactical' conundrums can be resolved by proper deployment, flying so you can move wherever, or ignoring LoS so you dont have to at all. I get what you want to play (sounds a lot like WarmaHordes with alternate turns) its just not 40k, and I doubt Apocalypsis will be different enough.

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