Rules and helper parts for playing apocalypse

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Temennigru
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Rules and helper parts for playing apocalypse

Post#1 » Feb 06 2018 05:44

I've been thinking. After the apocalypse fiasco in CA, we could write our own apocalypse rules and make some "helper parts" for it, since apocalypse games are unplayable with the current rules.
For starters, I was thinking:

Each unit has to have its own base. For instance, you would take your squad of fire warriors and place all the models into a single larger base. Whenever you lose a model, you remove it from the base. The unit acts as a single model, and moves as a single model. There is no split fire, and you check line of sight and ranges from the unit's base, rather than each individual model, as you would a single model.

There would be a chart with model base size and number of total models in a unit, and how big of a base that unit would use.

What do you think?

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GI-Redshirt
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Re: Rules and helper parts for playing apocalypse

Post#2 » Feb 06 2018 05:53

I'm sorry, what? Apoc is unplayable thanks to CA? How? Having read through the rules for Apoc is CA, I fail to see any standout issues regarding how they have it set up now. In fact, in reality it's pretty much the same as its always been, GW just managed to cut down a book bigger than the BRB into a few pages in CA (rather impressive really. It's amazing what you can do when you get rid of formations!). So what are your problems with Apoc as it stands in the rulebook? What exactly makes it unplayable?

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Temennigru
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Re: Rules and helper parts for playing apocalypse

Post#3 » Feb 06 2018 05:55

GI-Redshirt wrote:I'm sorry, what? Apoc is unplayable thanks to CA? How? Having read through the rules for Apoc is CA, I fail to see any standout issues regarding how they have it set up now. In fact, in reality it's pretty much the same as its always been, GW just managed to cut down a book bigger than the BRB into a few pages in CA (rather impressive really. It's amazing what you can do when you get rid of formations!). So what are your problems with Apoc as it stands in the rulebook? What exactly makes it unplayable?

Apocalypse is not unplayable BECAUSE of CA. CA just failed to address the major issue with it:
GAMES TAKE 9 TO 15 FRIGGIN HOURS
We need rules to simplify the game and make it faster, like what epic did, but without having to buy smaller scale miniatures.

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GI-Redshirt
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Re: Rules and helper parts for playing apocalypse

Post#4 » Feb 06 2018 06:15

Yes, Apoc games take all day, sometimes multiple days. That is Apoc. That is how it has been from the get go. I've played in multiple Apoc games over the years, games that had generally 4 to 6 players on each team, and they always take at least a full day to play. That's the point. Apoc isn't supposed to be the type of game you just randomly do at your FLGS one night on a whim; it's something you plan weeks in advance and block out the whole day for.

The point of Apoc is to be able to put your entire collection on the table at once, marvel at how awesome it looks all set up like that facing down the enemy, then watch as everything on the table dies and laugh at how ridiculous and insane the whole thing is.

Apoc is meant to be treated as an event, a special game you only get to play once every few months, if that. It's an all day affair because it's designed to be that. If you want faster games at this scale, don't play Apoc. Play Epic. Trying to remake Epic with 28mm scale minis is probably a losing battle because the rules won't really match the scale and things are simply too big for the size of the battle you want. If you want to try and come up with streamlined Apoc rules, have at it. You're probably better off converting Epic rules to work with 40k minis, but at that point I would just play Epic personally.

Apoc isn't broken, it isn't unplayable. To claim that it is just because it takes a long time to play (just like it has for the entirety of it's existence as a game type) is disingenuous at best.

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Temennigru
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Re: Rules and helper parts for playing apocalypse

Post#5 » Feb 06 2018 06:19

GI-Redshirt wrote:Yes, Apoc games take all day, sometimes multiple days. That is Apoc. That is how it has been from the get go. I've played in multiple Apoc games over the years, games that had generally 4 to 6 players on each team, and they always take at least a full day to play. That's the point. Apoc isn't supposed to be the type of game you just randomly do at your FLGS one night on a whim; it's something you plan weeks in advance and block out the whole day for.

The point of Apoc is to be able to put your entire collection on the table at once, marvel at how awesome it looks all set up like that facing down the enemy, then watch as everything on the table dies and laugh at how ridiculous and insane the whole thing is.

Apoc is meant to be treated as an event, a special game you only get to play once every few months, if that. It's an all day affair because it's designed to be that. If you want faster games at this scale, don't play Apoc. Play Epic. Trying to remake Epic with 28mm scale minis is probably a losing battle because the rules won't really match the scale and things are simply too big for the size of the battle you want. If you want to try and come up with streamlined Apoc rules, have at it. You're probably better off converting Epic rules to work with 40k minis, but at that point I would just play Epic personally.

Apoc isn't broken, it isn't unplayable. To claim that it is just because it takes a long time to play (just like it has for the entirety of it's existence as a game type) is disingenuous at best.

If you feel that way, fine. But not everyone has that much time on their hands, or patience for that matter. The 2 apocalypse games that I've played so far, people decided to quit after turn 2 simply because they wanted to go home. We really want to fight huge battles with all our models, but the game just doesn't allow it in a timely manner.

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QimRas
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Re: Rules and helper parts for playing apocalypse

Post#6 » Feb 06 2018 07:17

I gotta agree with Redshirt. Apocalypse is structured as an event. CA is pretty clear about that. There is nothing wrong with Apoc as written.

If you want to do massive games at 28mm you can use the NetEpic rules with some scale adjustments and the formation bases like you are suggesting, and it should work. That ruleset is designed for faster games with more units/models.

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Arka0415
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Re: Rules and helper parts for playing apocalypse

Post#7 » Feb 06 2018 07:33

GI-Redshirt wrote:Yes, Apoc games take all day, sometimes multiple days. That is Apoc. That is how it has been from the get go. I've played in multiple Apoc games over the years, games that had generally 4 to 6 players on each team, and they always take at least a full day to play. That's the point. Apoc isn't supposed to be the type of game you just randomly do at your FLGS one night on a whim; it's something you plan weeks in advance and block out the whole day for.

...

Apoc is meant to be treated as an event, a special game you only get to play once every few months, if that. It's an all day affair because it's designed to be that.

Well said. Honestly, I love the new rules for Apocalypse games. Timed elements, structured breaks, it all seems built with the fact that the games take a long time in mind. And honestly, the 40k rules don't really scale that well to huge games like Apocalypse from a competitive standpoint (everything dies on turn 1!) so the idea isn't to make really balanced rules. Rather, the narrative, spectacle, size, and absurdity of it all is the real charm of Apoc games. As you mentioned- it's an event.

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Temennigru
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Re: Rules and helper parts for playing apocalypse

Post#8 » Feb 06 2018 07:37

Arka0415 wrote:
GI-Redshirt wrote:Yes, Apoc games take all day, sometimes multiple days. That is Apoc. That is how it has been from the get go. I've played in multiple Apoc games over the years, games that had generally 4 to 6 players on each team, and they always take at least a full day to play. That's the point. Apoc isn't supposed to be the type of game you just randomly do at your FLGS one night on a whim; it's something you plan weeks in advance and block out the whole day for.

...

Apoc is meant to be treated as an event, a special game you only get to play once every few months, if that. It's an all day affair because it's designed to be that.

Well said. Honestly, I love the new rules for Apocalypse games. Timed elements, structured breaks, it all seems built with the fact that the games take a long time in mind. And honestly, the 40k rules don't really scale that well to huge games like Apocalypse from a competitive standpoint (everything dies on turn 1!) so the idea isn't to make really balanced rules. Rather, the narrative, spectacle, size, and absurdity of it all is the real charm of Apoc games. As you mentioned- it's an event.

There is a place for that, I agree.
But there should also be a place for playing with your entire collection without having to give up an entire weekend and have to spend 100s of dollars with renting a space and other costs.

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Arka0415
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Re: Rules and helper parts for playing apocalypse

Post#9 » Feb 06 2018 08:27

Temennigru wrote:But there should also be a place for playing with your entire collection without having to give up an entire weekend and have to spend 100s of dollars with renting a space and other costs.

If you want to do that, then you just need to add rules for streamlining. Play on a flat board (terrain but no hills etc). Use movement trays. All rolling uses fast dice. Use a chess timer or limit turns to certain numbers of minutes. These could all help.

At the end of the day though, "playing with your entire collection" will take a long time. If I field my Tau and Necrons that's about 7000 points, and a game of that size is going to take at least six hours no matter how fast you play.

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Temennigru
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Re: Rules and helper parts for playing apocalypse

Post#10 » Feb 06 2018 09:07

Arka0415 wrote:
Temennigru wrote:But there should also be a place for playing with your entire collection without having to give up an entire weekend and have to spend 100s of dollars with renting a space and other costs.

If you want to do that, then you just need to add rules for streamlining. Play on a flat board (terrain but no hills etc). Use movement trays. All rolling uses fast dice. Use a chess timer or limit turns to certain numbers of minutes. These could all help.

At the end of the day though, "playing with your entire collection" will take a long time. If I field my Tau and Necrons that's about 7000 points, and a game of that size is going to take at least six hours no matter how fast you play.

A long time doesn't mean it has to take all weekend. If you remove some of the decision making like split fire and checks like line of sight, you could cut down the time drastically.

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GI-Redshirt
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Re: Rules and helper parts for playing apocalypse

Post#11 » Feb 06 2018 11:00

Temennigru wrote:
Arka0415 wrote:
Temennigru wrote:But there should also be a place for playing with your entire collection without having to give up an entire weekend and have to spend 100s of dollars with renting a space and other costs.

If you want to do that, then you just need to add rules for streamlining. Play on a flat board (terrain but no hills etc). Use movement trays. All rolling uses fast dice. Use a chess timer or limit turns to certain numbers of minutes. These could all help.

At the end of the day though, "playing with your entire collection" will take a long time. If I field my Tau and Necrons that's about 7000 points, and a game of that size is going to take at least six hours no matter how fast you play.

A long time doesn't mean it has to take all weekend. If you remove some of the decision making like split fire and checks like line of sight, you could cut down the time drastically.


Split fire and checking line of sight aren't really that big of time wasters in 40k. It doesn't really take too long to check to see if any part of a model can see another model, nor does it take a long time to decide what weapons are gonna shoot where. The biggest time wasters in the game currently are movement and dice rolling. Movement is an obvious one, there is only so fast that a person can properly measure distance with a tape measure and move models while ensuring the distance is correct and making sure not to break the model. The more models are on the table, the longer movement takes. And dice rolling is also fairly obvious, rolling dice to hit (potentially quite a few dice), picking out misses, rerolling some of those misses, rolling to wound, picking out the fails, potentially rerolling those, rolling saves, picking out those fails, rerolling saves, rolling ignore damage, etc. You can see where this is going.

If you really wanna cut down on the time it takes to play a 40k or Apoc game, you have to start with movement and dice rolling. The easiest solution is to play with less models (less models to move, less dice to roll, etc.) . This is obviously an impossible solution for Apoc, which is predicating on a crap ton of models being on the board. So, if you really wanna cut down on time, consider investing in movement trays and, if the other players are okay with it, dice rolling apps/websites. These are your best initial bets for cutting down on Apoc time.

Now, even with these solutions, Apoc is still an all day affair, and needs to be treated like one. If you and your friends approach an Apoc game like it'll be done in a couple hours like any other 40k game, you're gonna have a bad time. No matter what you do to shorten it, assume an Apoc game will be an all day affair. Anything less than that assumption will do nothing but ruin a potentially amazingly fun day for you and everyone else involved.

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Temennigru
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Re: Rules and helper parts for playing apocalypse

Post#12 » Feb 07 2018 04:47

GI-Redshirt wrote:
Temennigru wrote:
Arka0415 wrote:If you want to do that, then you just need to add rules for streamlining. Play on a flat board (terrain but no hills etc). Use movement trays. All rolling uses fast dice. Use a chess timer or limit turns to certain numbers of minutes. These could all help.

At the end of the day though, "playing with your entire collection" will take a long time. If I field my Tau and Necrons that's about 7000 points, and a game of that size is going to take at least six hours no matter how fast you play.

A long time doesn't mean it has to take all weekend. If you remove some of the decision making like split fire and checks like line of sight, you could cut down the time drastically.


Split fire and checking line of sight aren't really that big of time wasters in 40k. It doesn't really take too long to check to see if any part of a model can see another model, nor does it take a long time to decide what weapons are gonna shoot where. The biggest time wasters in the game currently are movement and dice rolling. Movement is an obvious one, there is only so fast that a person can properly measure distance with a tape measure and move models while ensuring the distance is correct and making sure not to break the model. The more models are on the table, the longer movement takes. And dice rolling is also fairly obvious, rolling dice to hit (potentially quite a few dice), picking out misses, rerolling some of those misses, rolling to wound, picking out the fails, potentially rerolling those, rolling saves, picking out those fails, rerolling saves, rolling ignore damage, etc. You can see where this is going.

If you really wanna cut down on the time it takes to play a 40k or Apoc game, you have to start with movement and dice rolling. The easiest solution is to play with less models (less models to move, less dice to roll, etc.) . This is obviously an impossible solution for Apoc, which is predicating on a crap ton of models being on the board. So, if you really wanna cut down on time, consider investing in movement trays and, if the other players are okay with it, dice rolling apps/websites. These are your best initial bets for cutting down on Apoc time.

Now, even with these solutions, Apoc is still an all day affair, and needs to be treated like one. If you and your friends approach an Apoc game like it'll be done in a couple hours like any other 40k game, you're gonna have a bad time. No matter what you do to shorten it, assume an Apoc game will be an all day affair. Anything less than that assumption will do nothing but ruin a potentially amazingly fun day for you and everyone else involved.

I already gave a solution to movement. Units stand on a single base. You move the entire base instead of single models. You are effectively cutting the number of movements by a factor of 3 or 4.
Split fire is one of those things that make players go:
"I will fire my first markerlight into that guy, my second markerlight into that other one, my rail rifle into that fourth one and my ion rifle into the last one. Now what are the toughnesses of each of those units?"
That wastes a lot of time.

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Re: Rules and helper parts for playing apocalypse

Post#13 » Feb 07 2018 05:34

Temennigru wrote:I already gave a solution to movement. Units stand on a single base. You move the entire base instead of single models. You are effectively cutting the number of movements by a factor of 3 or 4.
Split fire is one of those things that make players go:
"I will fire my first markerlight into that guy, my second markerlight into that other one, my rail rifle into that fourth one and my ion rifle into the last one. Now what are the toughnesses of each of those units?"
That wastes a lot of time.


The problem with that is game wide split fire is new in 8th, and arguably speeds things up as you no longer have to umm and aah over where to fire your unit because different weapons are better against different target, you just fire them at the best target. Apocalypse was still a long affair without split fire.

If you want to make it go faster then you need to reduce the number of units, instead of 3 fire warrior squads you have one 36 model fire warrior squad. Crisis suits fielded in units of 9. Group tanks into squads of 3. That way there are fewer targets to fire at and units can die much more quickly. But even then you're only maybe going to shave it down to “most of a day”.

As others have said, apocalypse is intended to take a lot of time. I've played 1:1 games of apocalypse that have taken 8 hours (at just 5000 points). I've taken part in charity apocalypse games than run for 24 hours straight. Even if you simplify it, if you're wanting more than 4000 points a side then you're looking at 4-5 hours minimum.

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Re: Rules and helper parts for playing apocalypse

Post#14 » Feb 07 2018 04:47

Temennigru wrote:If you feel that way, fine. But not everyone has that much time on their hands, or patience for that matter. The 2 apocalypse games that I've played so far, people decided to quit after turn 2 simply because they wanted to go home. We really want to fight huge battles with all our models, but the game just doesn't allow it in a timely manner.


Well, the game itself scales this way. I always assume there is ~30 min for setup and 30 min for each 500 points being played. This works through about 3000 points. And it holds pretty well past that, although you'll probably need more like an hour to set up. So, to echo everyone else, expect a 6000 point game (especially with multiple people) to take 6-8 hours.

You've mentioned movement trays as a way to help. Another way is to have your opponents help. Move the front and rear models and have the opponents move the rest, while you move on to moving the next unit.

Beyond that, *know your units and your opponent's.* Apocalypse games are slowed down by the same thing everything else is, not knowing the rules. It just gets worse because not knowing rules adds a percentage of time to a game, and this can get big when the game is already going to take six hours.

So play with units you don't normally use but want to. Both you and your opponents. Get a feel for how they work, what they can do, and make it more intuitive.

The corollary to this is don't argue about rules so much. Apocalypse is designed to not be competitive and very rarely does any individual roll really matter. The scale is simply too large.

I'd also say deploy the night before. Then come in at 10am and start rolling dice. I've done this against an Ork player at 500 PL (~10k ish points). We took about 2 hours to setup the board and deploy (he took 45 min to setup, I did 22) and we played the next day. We started at 10am, took an hour for lunch and finished at around 5pm. And the only reason we could do this is because both of us are intimately familiar with our armies.


Other ideas:

Parallel process: If everyone is watching one person do something, the game will take forever. Have two or three separate things happening at the same time. This works well for line infantry, because they really can only effect what happens within MAYBE 48", probably more like 24."

Let your teammates roll for you: Accompanying parallel processing, let your teammates roll your saves if your opponents want to attack two things of yours simultaneously.

Take more expensive units: I'll sometimes do this on purpose, even at the cost of raw army efficiency, to have less little dudes to move everywhere.

Play with less players: I find that three people per team is about the cap, with them each controlling 5-10k points, of how many people can be effectively engaged in Apocalypse. Past that, the discipline required to keep the game moving usually just isn't there.


Beyond speeding the game up, what do people think about introducing Apocalypse strategems? I was really disappointed that Planetstrike and Stronghold Assault got unique detachments and strategems, but not Apocalypse. Especially since Apocalypse started the whole idea of 'strategic assets' way back in 2007. Has anyone thought about making some homebrew rules along these lines?

Cheers!

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Temennigru
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Re: Rules and helper parts for playing apocalypse

Post#15 » Feb 07 2018 06:25

shasocastris wrote:

Other ideas:

Parallel process: If everyone is watching one person do something, the game will take forever. Have two or three separate things happening at the same time. This works well for line infantry, because they really can only effect what happens within MAYBE 48", probably more like 24."

Let your teammates roll for you: Accompanying parallel processing, let your teammates roll your saves if your opponents want to attack two things of yours simultaneously.

Take more expensive units: I'll sometimes do this on purpose, even at the cost of raw army efficiency, to have less little dudes to move everywhere.

Play with less players: I find that three people per team is about the cap, with them each controlling 5-10k points, of how many people can be effectively engaged in Apocalypse. Past that, the discipline required to keep the game moving usually just isn't there.


Beyond speeding the game up, what do people think about introducing Apocalypse strategems? I was really disappointed that Planetstrike and Stronghold Assault got unique detachments and strategems, but not Apocalypse. Especially since Apocalypse started the whole idea of 'strategic assets' way back in 2007. Has anyone thought about making some homebrew rules along these lines?

Cheers!

I think homebrew rules can speed up the game much more than just playing with the current rules, which are optimized for skirmishes and small sized games (up to 2k). I've actually never played a HUGE game myself. I only have 9k points worth of units, and since I am the one that has the most models in my group, it's usually a 4v1 game. Me and my group have been trying out new rules for a while to make games run faster, and we really wanted input on some of them.

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Re: Rules and helper parts for playing apocalypse

Post#16 » Feb 07 2018 07:38

Temennigru wrote:I think homebrew rules can speed up the game much more than just playing with the current rules, which are optimized for skirmishes and small sized games (up to 2k). I've actually never played a HUGE game myself. I only have 9k points worth of units, and since I am the one that has the most models in my group, it's usually a 4v1 game. Me and my group have been trying out new rules for a while to make games run faster, and we really wanted input on some of them.


Well, you've only offered, as far as I can tell, one homebrew rule. The movement trays seem like a decent idea? Are you looking for more? Some that you might consider are average rolls for those units. However, be warned, at some point you are just making a 28mm version of Epic 40,000.

And in general I disagree that the rules are optimized for skirmishes. I've found that they scale quite well, and do so far better than any previous edition of 40k. What I think would help your games is to try some at 5-6k a side, and have one person join your team, to make it 2v3. Play a few of these (maybe once a month) and the games will go smoother and prepare your group for larger battles.

Cheers!

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Temennigru
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Re: Rules and helper parts for playing apocalypse

Post#17 » Feb 07 2018 08:15

shasocastris wrote:
Temennigru wrote:I think homebrew rules can speed up the game much more than just playing with the current rules, which are optimized for skirmishes and small sized games (up to 2k). I've actually never played a HUGE game myself. I only have 9k points worth of units, and since I am the one that has the most models in my group, it's usually a 4v1 game. Me and my group have been trying out new rules for a while to make games run faster, and we really wanted input on some of them.


Well, you've only offered, as far as I can tell, one homebrew rule. The movement trays seem like a decent idea? Are you looking for more? Some that you might consider are average rolls for those units. However, be warned, at some point you are just making a 28mm version of Epic 40,000.

And in general I disagree that the rules are optimized for skirmishes. I've found that they scale quite well, and do so far better than any previous edition of 40k. What I think would help your games is to try some at 5-6k a side, and have one person join your team, to make it 2v3. Play a few of these (maybe once a month) and the games will go smoother and prepare your group for larger battles.

Cheers!

Another rule we'll be testing is treating all phases like the fight phase: activating units one at a time.
It sounds counter-intuitive, but it might actually speed up the game since you won't get to shoot with all your units at the end of the round.
It also makes larger games less boring to the player who's turn it is not.

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Re: Rules and helper parts for playing apocalypse

Post#18 » Feb 07 2018 08:25

Temennigru wrote:It also makes larger games less boring to the player who's turn it is not.


But that's what beer is for! :P

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