So here we are on the door step to the new edition of rules to Warhammer 40K, or at least that's what all the rumour mills will have us believe. The story is advancing and, as with the Fantasy Old World, there is a pall of fear in the air that GW will pull an AoS on us and wipe the slate clean.
Regardless of what happens, there is a list of things that I believe Warhammer 40K needs in order to make it a great game again. Some of them are specific, some of them are general, some of them are probably bull shit.
Lets start with the one that I hope for the hardest.
Kill the Death Star! There is no feeling of helplessness equal to what is felt when you throw everything that your army can possibly throw at the enemy and kill a single ablative model. With all the rules and psychic powers that can be applied to a single unit, of course that's the natural progression of the game. Not only does this make the game miserable to play, but it doesn't even follow any kind of narrative or "fluffy" ideal. In all of the books that I have read, it is rare to see more than 2 or 3 characters that would have the in-game "Character" rule attached to them. Most recently is Deathfire, and at the best of times there is a Captain, Librarian, and Chaplain together, although when shit hits the fan and a battle starts, they spread out so their influence covers as many warriors as possible.
I can think of several ways of dealing with this, and they also coincide with other changes I will talk about. First, simply limit the number of characters able to be in a unit. A single Independent Character per unit would be more in line with most of the books, but even having as many as 3 models with the Character rule (keep in mind squad leaders) would make sense. I don't think that going full AoS and removing Independent Characters all together is the right way to go as the game and the stories are very unit and leader oriented. Numeon, the Captain of the Fire Drakes in the Deathfire book, bolsters the resolve of the squad he joins, fighting side by side with them. AoS does, however, implement a limit to the number of Heroes that can be taken in an army. Limit this to 3-4 total per army and you'll see far fewer.
Lets take a rest on them psychic powers. Invisibility, 2+ Invulnerable saves, 2+ cover saves re-rolling saves, FNP, boosts to toughness, strength, shooting, ignoring terrain, and the list goes on from there. Limit the number of powers that can affect a unit per turn. TO ONE!!
Then let's stream line the rules for casting psychic powers. I really only have a couple half baked ideas as to how to do this but again, AoS seems to have found something that sort of works
Next up, scrub some of those damn special rules. Stealth, Shrouded, Jink, IWND, Hit and Run, FNP. So many characters have them and five them to the unit they join that it's just a matter of finding a way to add that character to the army to get that rule, which is pretty damn easy these days. And those are just ones that make the unit harder to kill, there are a bunch of useless ones that get forgotten that can be deleted and no one would notice.
Speaking of which.
Strike down, Crusader, Blind, Very bulky, Extremely Bulky, Missile Lock (who the fuck has this rule?), Psychic Pilot (Just say psyker), Repel the Enemy, Sentry defence System, FEAR, Soulblaze, and Specialist Weapon can all just be removed from the game in their entirety and barely affect the game at all. That would be several pages of rules gone.
The game, at it's current iteration, takes way too long to play and a lot of this has to do with rolling dice and making choices. Now, since this game is pretty much all about rolling dice and making choices, we have to really make sure we remove the right dice rolls and the right choices. For example, Warlord Traits and Psychic powers. How does it make sense that your Warlord or Psyker's abilities and specialities change from one battle to the next when some of them are absolutely useless. Now you might think, "But Jordan (that's me), if I can just choose my Psychic power then I'd get all the best ones and be unbeatable." To which I would say, "Why did you scroll past the paragraph where I talked about changing psychic powers to here?"
And there are more random bullshit charts and dice rolls, vehicle damage table, building damage table, Perils of the warp, running. All wasting time when a simple result, or maybe 2 tiered result, would suffice.
Lets not forget about the "To-Hit" and "To-Wound" charts. These are archaic and need to go. Moving to a AoS style stat line seems to have revitalised the fantasy side of things, and speeds things along as you don't need to know you opponent's weapon skill and toughness in order to tell him how dead he is.
Next up, choices. The most glaring time sink in my opinion is in the multiple wound pools for shooting attacks, and making armour saves. All weapons should be fired at the same time, and models can be taken from anywhere. As long as the enemy model has range to the unit, then any model can be removed as a casualty. This can also bring in to play removing models that a different unit could shoot bringing them out of range, but would still speed up the game significantly.
Well, I think that's about it. After reading this over it feels very scattered and not very well presented but I'm at a loss as to how I could better prepare it, it's also nearly midnight so fatigue might have something to do with it.
Anyway, I hope you enjoyed it, if you have any feelings on the matter and want no one else but me to see it then leave a comment.
Until next time, keep them dice rollin.