An Appeal for Jump-Shoot-Jump

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J'Kaara Nan
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An Appeal for Jump-Shoot-Jump

Post#1 » Jan 09 2018 03:30

***I was not sure where to post this, or even if it has a place here. I'll remove it if so***


An Appeal for the Return of Jump-Shoot-Jump


Games Workshop won't ever see this, but I had to say it.

The future of the Tau faction is at a turning point for me. While I approve of most of the 8th edition rule changes and overall game improvement, the removal of the Jump-Shoot-Jump Mechanic when Index Xenos 2 was published, and it’s failure to be reinstated with any subsequent FAQ, worries me. While a battle suit heavy army is my preferred playstyle, it worries me that current trends indicate the new added mechanic will simply be a change to 3+ to hit. Easily accessible high accuracy shooting is and has never been the focus of the Tau playstyle.

The guaranteed ability to tactically maneuver was once exquisitely paired with a “possible” chance to enhance shooting. This meant that movement had to be looked at in a different way, as an additional resource unique to the Tau. By removing one element of this complex way of playing, it has made the shooting phase suddenly the most important Tau phase rather than the assault phase, once a beautiful irony for an army that abhors melee. Now it’s just a simple one-two step to strategize, and we’ve officially lost the advantage of movement, and infinitely dumbed down the Tau playstyle. Unless somehow the codex manages to gift us with even more of a nerf from the Index, increased BS seems the more likely inevitable option and this worries me. After all, without a psychic phase, the only fair line of thought would therefore be to strengthen the only strong Tau phase, shooting.

I took a break from Warhammer 40k for a long time, and returned after casually seeing my first 8th edition game while visiting a games/card shop and being excited. It looked faster, more intense and streamlined. By the time I was ready to really hop on board, I noticed the changes the edition brought, and the Index. The JSJ mechanic was gone, and had shown no signs of being FAQ’d back in before the codex release, which would also turn out to be towards the end of the line.

This mechanic was the most exciting aspect of playing Tau. Tau never got exceptional speed all over the army, zero access to the psychic phase, average accuracy without saturated marker light support. But this mechanic allowed me to push and pull the enemy against their will. Draw them into trap and fire zones. The ability to move freely during the assault phase allowed the army to be fluid and rapid, and carefully laid plans and maneuvers multiplied many units into a unified, strong foe. While a competitive meta in 7th edition had many players striving to min/max every variable, most players, enjoyed most the ability to control the battlefield tactically. Tau was the most fun, and most beautiful, when you managed to exploit a movement or deployment mistake, or draw a threat into a well laid ambush. That is what was fun. Not just shooting real 'gud.

That chess like playstyle is gone, and there is no guarantee it will be restored. This may herald another long hiatus from Warhammer, sadly after such a short current personal return. Games Workshop may never see this, and some may disagree with me. However, I simply cannot enjoy becoming, and playing, as another generic move and shoot army.

-Sincerely,
J’Kaara Nana, the Mirror Blade
Enclave of the 7 Swords: 12-5-2

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Arka0415
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Re: An Appeal for Jump-Shoot-Jump

Post#2 » Jan 09 2018 03:33

I definitely agree with what you're saying here, and I'm sorry to hear that you're considering taking a break from Warhammer because of it.

However, if you want GW to see this, ATT isn't the place to post it. If you condense this piece to the main points and actually submit it to GW though, it could get sent on to the right people.

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J'Kaara Nan
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Re: An Appeal for Jump-Shoot-Jump

Post#3 » Jan 09 2018 04:51

Thanks for the input. Any tips on how one might submit something to GW? I don't really know how I would go about that.
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Arka0415
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Re: An Appeal for Jump-Shoot-Jump

Post#4 » Jan 09 2018 05:47

J'Kaara Nan wrote:Thanks for the input. Any tips on how one might submit something to GW? I don't really know how I would go about that.

At the moment you can use their customer service email address, but their most active player-feedback channel is actually the Warhammer 40k Facebook page. People post on that page and regularly get brief feedback from GW. Note that, because it's Facebook, you probably can't write very much I think.

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Kakapo42
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Re: An Appeal for Jump-Shoot-Jump

Post#5 » Jan 09 2018 05:58

I also feel your pain. Not only was I too disappointed to find that Jump-Shoot-Jump was not a feature in the 8th edition Tau rules, but I have also experienced a similar loss in Warhammer Fantasy - many of the feelings you and several others have about Jump-Shoot-Jump are exactly how I feel about the Asrai Archery special rule from the 6th edition Wood Elf army book, and the absence of that rule in the 8th edition Wood Elf book was a key factor in why I never accepted it and continued to use the 6th edition one.

Now that you've shared your feelings however, let's see if we can get something more constructive going. Even without attempting to contact GW there are still a few solutions you could consider. Perhaps the simplest one, if you are on the verge of dropping out of the game, is to go back to playing in the edition you're happiest in. Unless you're playing games in a GW store (or your FLGS is run by a particularly strict manager) then there's no reason why you can't use an older rule set for the game as long as your opponent agrees to it. Ask around, and you might be surprised by the responses; I for one would be more than happy to have a game of 3.5, early 4th or 6th edition Warhammer 40,000 with you should the opportunity present itself. :)

Alternatively, if you wish to stick with 8th edition, perhaps you could try creating your own rules for jetpack mechanics in 8th edition and sharing your results in the Experimental Rules Lab? By incorporating feedback you may be able to create a rules addition that satisfies your needs without GW stepping in.
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GND
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Re: An Appeal for Jump-Shoot-Jump

Post#6 » Jan 09 2018 05:59

Counterpoint

Jump-Shoot-Jump is neither a tactical, skillful nor complex mechanic. It's an easy-to-learn, easy-to-master, all-upside mechanic with mediocre depth and as of 6th edition (when it was changed to 2D6" instead of 6") it's no longer guaranteed and should be called a gamble rather than a tactic. And while it was prevalent in our codex, it was also never unique to Tau.

In more detail. It's an out-of-sequence move in a strictly sequenced game that has no cost and is always available to certain units. Therefore the correct play is to always use it and the only player choice is "In what direction will I move", which is a very basic decision in game terms and can be easily "mastered" after a couple games of 40K. Move toward a strategically important point on the battlefield and/or away from enemy units and/or behind Line-of-Sight blocking terrain covers the vast majority of applications, if not all. It' not complex and definitely not chess-like as it breaks a core design of both chess and 40k - rigid turn structure.

While I understand the appeal of using JSJ - it's a straight up boost to our power, but from a game perspective I find the lack of JSJ to be more mentally stimulating and challenging. After moving and applying overwhelming firepower at area of the battlefield you are left exposed. JSJ is a simple and obvious solution - hide! Without it you have to account for enemy repercussion and plan for it. Using drones (they don't last long and cost points), limiting lanes of fire (also limits you) overloading the table with threats (some of them will die), etc. All more interesting and compelling choices for me. The charge is not useless for us either. With the ability to leave combat and prevalence of FLY, I'm charging my units all the time, every game. I'd wager I've declared more charges in the six months of 8th edition than in all of my Tau games in the previous three editions.

I am completely Ok with GW giving us only a JSJ stratagem in the codex and nothing more. Having to trade a resource (command points) for the ability makes it an actual choice, and even more in matched play where you can only use it on a single unit. And if we don't get even that? Meh. I'll just adapt as always. I love my Tau and the game is plenty fun without me getting an extra movement phase.

I wrote this not as a critique of your view point but rather as an impulse for you to re-evaluate JSJ and its place in the game, as I suspect you are looking at it through rose tinted glasses (I also suspect there are many others like you on this forum). In the end if you still miss JSJ, it's probably better to take a break from 40K. Don't play a game if you are not having fun.

Signed
A player who regularly crams as many battlesuits in his lists as possible since 5th edition.

PS: You can send input to GW Community people through their facebook page or directly to their email address which should be somewhere on their facebook page too.

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russ29
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Re: An Appeal for Jump-Shoot-Jump

Post#7 » Jan 09 2018 06:40

I'd like to agree with J'kaara Nan that we need it back. I can totally see your counter point GND, and that now I do feel the stress when I have to dedicate my firepower properly if not my suits will get destroyed the next turn. However with the coming of the supreme command detachment I feel like that stress is gone. This is coming from someone who plays with a tons of crisis suits and have 6 commander suits. Its not about having JSJ making life easy, since tau commander does that anyway, but a gameplay style that is totally taken off completely. It is almost akin to a tzeentch daemon army not being able to cast any psychic powers but gets more shooting attacks.
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Studioworks
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Re: An Appeal for Jump-Shoot-Jump

Post#8 » Jan 09 2018 06:44

IRC they published an article for people to send all the ideas to them by email, but I'm not sure what was the email.

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QimRas
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Re: An Appeal for Jump-Shoot-Jump

Post#9 » Jan 09 2018 08:54

Ok, so first off I would like to say that I disagree with the return of JSJ. This feeling comes primarily as a player of IG during previous editions and having to fight against it. The mechanic is exceedingly frustrating.

So stepping back from my emotions on this one, is there precedent for it, and what should it look like based on said precedent? Yes, there is precedent in Ministorum Acts of Faith, Ynnari Strength From Death, Craftworld Fire and Fade Strategem, and Astra Militarum Orders. All of these allow for Out-Of-Phase Movement. Lets look at specifics:

Acts of Faith: Once per turn (base) you can select from a menu of 4 options at the beginning of the turn, before starting your Movement Phase. Limited to a single unit per turn for each of the menu options, and you need something to give you access to the second Act of Faith.

Strength From Death: Requires a unit to be destroyed within 7 inches to trigger. When triggered it allows a nearby unit to take one Out-Of-Phase action. Used to be able to trigger multiple times per unit per turn, but this was FAQed. It was also changed so only your own troops deaths can trigger it.

Fire and Fade: This is straight up JSJ. Burn a CP, and you can move immediately after shooting. In Matched Play this is limited to a single use per turn, since its locked to the Shooting phase. In Narrative or Open it can be used as many times as CP allows, so still limited.

Orders:
Mount Up!: This allows an Armageddon unit (and only <Regiment>: Armageddon) to move into a transport after firing, and can not be used if the unit disembarked. The order can be issued by any Armageddon Officer any number of times. However they do have to be in range to do so, which means being within 6" or 18" with special equipment and an extra squad.
Get Around Behind Them!: This is a Tallaran specific Tank order, so can only be issued to Leman Russ tanks by a Tank officer. In practice this means it can usually only be ordered once per turn, and only to a Leman Russ within 6". A Relic/Warlord Trait will allow this to be ordered to a second tank.

Ok, so what does all of this tell us? It means GW is not adverse to the mechanic, but is going to put some kind of limitation on it regarding how often it will be used. All but Fire and Fade require planned positioning and/or an outside trigger, as well as a period of exposure. Adding my personal feelings back in, this makes perfect sense to me. The period of exposure is the biggest deal to me since it means good tactics on the defenders side can give them some recourse to deal with a JSJer. Fire and Fade takes the limit in the other direction, giving you free reign to be annoying, but saying "you can only do it X times" giving the defender against it some hope this won't go on all game. The Matched Play limit of once per turn I think is unnecessary when combined with the overall limit.

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Re: An Appeal for Jump-Shoot-Jump

Post#10 » Jan 09 2018 10:09

The problem JSJ often solved was the fact that we were terrible in combat, both in terms of causing damage and surviving it, and the lack of mobility our suits had. 8th hasn't solved the issue with causing damage (we've arguably regressed in that manner), but we are significantly more survivable. And our suits are very mobile thanks to the 8” movement and the ability to run and still fire most weapons. Combine in the ease of pulling out of combat and the near universal ability for us to shoot afterwards (which no other army has to the same extent that we do), it means that charging is actually a solid tactic for us now in many scenarios. So while JSJ would be nice, I don't see it as necessary any more.

As to whether GW will read this, I wouldn’t count on it, but I also wouldn’t rule it out either with the “new” GW. Some of the GW rules team have already said they read forums for other armies (e.g. Tyranids), so it wouldn’t surprise me if they read through ATT, especially given that it's the main Tau-focused site on the web. Of course I'd always recommend one of the official GW channels mentioned by others if you want any chance of seeing a response.

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J'Kaara Nan
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Re: An Appeal for Jump-Shoot-Jump

Post#11 » Jan 09 2018 12:40

Hey it looks like this topic is indeed dear to many hearts, as well as not universally agreed on. Let me address a few of the counterpoints.

Jump-Shoot-Jump is neither a tactical, skillful nor complex mechanic. It's an easy-to-learn, easy-to-master, all-upside mechanic with mediocre depth and as of 6th edition (when it was changed to 2D6" instead of 6") it's no longer guaranteed and should be called a gamble rather than a tactic. And while it was prevalent in our codex, it was also never unique to Tau.

In more detail. It's an out-of-sequence move in a strictly sequenced game that has no cost and is always available to certain units. Therefore the correct play is to always use it and the only player choice is "In what direction will I move", which is a very basic decision in game terms and can be easily "mastered" after a couple games of 40K. Move toward a strategically important point on the battlefield and/or away from enemy units and/or behind Line-of-Sight blocking terrain covers the vast majority of applications, if not all. It' not complex and definitely not chess-like as it breaks a core design of both chess and 40k - rigid turn structure.


EDIT: Calling Warhammer 40k strictly sequenced displays a lack of understanding of the term. While the game does have several in order sequence phases, each phases order of operations is determined by the player, and in many of the phases either armies do not participate either by choice or design, and some phases armies skip entirely by choice or design. JSJ is not out-of-sequence in such a system, because all armies can assault in the assault phase by choice. The Tau JSJ mechanic was appealing for a non assault driven army, because it allowed me to participate in that phase by giving up damage causing potential while still getting the extra movement all other armies get. This is also not foolproof, thanks to the welcome change to 2d6" from 6".



I'm not sure how you could describe the ability to tactically re-maneuver not tactical, skillful or complex, but I'll straight up disagree. Improper use and positioning has led to many units losing entire shooting phases, being charged prematurely or several other hosts of failure with JSJ units. To call it easy to master and all upside is oversimplifying things, as it is both incorrect, and rude to Tau players who use it extensively in strategic, planned out maneuvers. I would also argue that compared to 99% of army mechanics and abilities out there, it is rather unique, since it deliberately gives up damage by limiting potential damage in an entire phase in favor of re-positioning. If you think that this isn't a more complex mechanic and playstyle compared to move army-then shoot army-then psychic blast enemy-then assault army, maybe try to think of it this way. The Tau style, specifically JSJ heavy armies, instead utilizes its assault phase to retroactively enhance its shooting phase. And to say it is definitely not chess like is like ignoring that the Knight, Bishop or Queen exists in Chess. If you enjoy playing with pawns, power to you. I enjoy the Knight.

JSJ is in fact out of place compared to most other armies mechanics, I am not debating that. But in the absence of a totally dominant (though fairly strong)movement phase, a lackluster shooting phase without markerlight support and target saturation, absolutely zero psychic phase and, despite any anecdotal examples, the JSJ mechanic was thus a unique ability that allowed a non assault army to do something non damage causing but unique, flexible and highly useful.

Simply put, as different as it may be from "core" styles, that is what was great about it. It meant move and shoot armies lost some of their pure advantage, assault armies actually felt like they had to put some effort in and give chase. We have no psychic phase, and we don't move that fastest, and our shooting is good but nothing unique, and we as a whole rarely assault. And that's all great if JSJ is there, because it allows a player to leverage those weaknesses.

There is already a style of play for stand and shoot Tau, and it's called a gunline.
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Re: An Appeal for Jump-Shoot-Jump

Post#12 » Jan 09 2018 01:03

Rather than give it to all/most units as a keyword, I think it would be a good 1 CP strategem for any unit with the Fly keyword. Allow those stealth suits to drop a homing beacon and hop back, for example. It makes choosing to use it more tactical and costly.

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Re: An Appeal for Jump-Shoot-Jump

Post#13 » Jan 09 2018 01:06

It's almost a guarantee that jsj will make a return in the codex as at least a stratagem. Just have to be patient.

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K'Pokk
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Re: An Appeal for Jump-Shoot-Jump

Post#14 » Jan 09 2018 01:13

I started playing 40K in 4th Ed with Eldar. The Crystal Targetting Matrix on the falcon/prism tank allowed it to emerge from out of sight, take a shot, then disappear back out of sight again.

Lots of fun if you are the one using it but plain annoying if on the receiving end. The rule was dropped and changed and has not returned in that form since. I miss the use of it but see why it was nerfed.

I think it all depends on when you started playing as to which rules you mourn.

However, it would be nice to retain some signature rules that are not shared by other armies.

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Yojimbob
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Re: An Appeal for Jump-Shoot-Jump

Post#15 » Jan 09 2018 01:18

Our new JSJ is the <FLY> keyword. Expect a stratagem and nothing more. Use the assault phase as it is intended. Yes, we don't operate exactly as before but trust me, our nearly universal use of <FLY> to escape combat is generating the tears JSJ used to. So in that respect we're the same. :P

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Re: An Appeal for Jump-Shoot-Jump

Post#16 » Jan 09 2018 07:40

I agree with GND. JSJ was not unique to T'au and wasn't a very interesting mechanic. On top of that it was sometimes unreliable. As a side nitpick it also increases game time.

The loss of JSJ means that the suit must now be inherently tougher, and they are. Crisis suits are T5 with three wounds. They must be a little bit faster, and they are. 8'' movement for crisis suits and 12'' movement for Ghostkeels and Riptides. They are some of the fastest units on the board aside from bikes. Having the fly keyword is very beneficial. They can leave combat and do not take vertical distance into account when moving. All very positive.

Bringing JSJ back into the game as it was in 7th is not going to happen, at least not as a voluntary move. It will likely remain as a stratagem much like how it is a stratagem for eldar (a good portion of their units used to JSJ).

Bringing back JSJ means that changes to suits would have to happen elsewhere and they would likely be nerfs. You can't give a unit that kind of mobility and keep them just as strong as they are now.
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CmdrCASh
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Re: An Appeal for Jump-Shoot-Jump

Post#17 » Jan 09 2018 08:57

Wes wrote:Rather than give it to all/most units as a keyword, I think it would be a good 1 CP strategem for any unit with the Fly keyword. Allow those stealth suits to drop a homing beacon and hop back, for example. It makes choosing to use it more tactical and costly.


If it's going to be enacted, my guess based on the other codices, would be a strategem allowing something similar to fire and fade but only for units with the BATTLESUIT or DRONE keyword.
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Arka0415
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Re: An Appeal for Jump-Shoot-Jump

Post#18 » Jan 09 2018 09:27

CmdrCASh wrote:
Wes wrote:Rather than give it to all/most units as a keyword, I think it would be a good 1 CP strategem for any unit with the Fly keyword. Allow those stealth suits to drop a homing beacon and hop back, for example. It makes choosing to use it more tactical and costly.


If it's going to be enacted, my guess based on the other codices, would be a strategem allowing something similar to fire and fade but only for units with the BATTLESUIT or DRONE keyword.

If that existed, and was cheap, it could favor listbuilds with large XV8 units.

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