Campaign Additions: Basic Rule add ons

Discuss home-brewed rules and units with fellow Earth caste engineers.
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Calmsword
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Campaign Additions: Basic Rule add ons

Post#1 » Jun 05 2015 06:35

I feel like every year a 40k campaign gets kicked around my hobby shop with attempts at trying to make the most out of games. Unique scenarios, special characters that we've made up or unique relics. But there seems to be a continual issue in that all campaigns seem to end with a big slug fest, be it narrative or 'Risk' style. Some units get a buff for surviving in other battles- but it never seems like enough to really 'feel' like the realistic event we're hoping for. (We're all fluff people so think about Gaunt's Ghosts or the Damocles Anthology for what we're trying to get at).

I think it could be interesting to add a more extensive rules set to armies, without really changing the points cost but making everything a little more durable with additional rules.

This is taking only the Tau and Space Marine armies into consideration and will only be the most basic of additions to gauge viability and interest.

Cover Saves

A loved the addition of cover saves to almost everything- but I have never thought that it should be treated like an invulnerable save. It should be 'in addition' to regular armor and should be taken beforehand.

Example: Shoot - Cover Save - Wound - Armor

Armor

Space Marine Armor: A 3+ save doesn't seem to do this armor justice for all the variety and fluff we've been told about, but boosting it to Movie Marine status doesn't work either (I've tried... it's awful).

Here's a more 'fluffy' approach to Marine armor:

3+ armor save, -1 cover save, +1 to movement rolls, 5+ we'll be back

It stays hardy, but it incorporates the Marine's bulky nature and some stat boosts.

Firewarrior Armor: While there's less info on Firewarrior armor, we've gotten hints at improved optics, built in shield generators and a large shoulder guard that's designed to offer additional protection.

4+ armor save, +1 cover save if stationary

Weapons

Bolter: A mass reactive bolt that explodes after piercing it's target. It's underwhelming on the board, lets be honest.

Causes pinning

Pinning: With so many higher Ld values, pinning never seems to do very much. Imagine you were in a unit under the barrage of pulse carbines, the photon grenades exploding around you, or what about a trio of your friends shot-sploding in front.

I think the more wounds caused by Pinning weapons should have an effect on immediate moral, say: -1 Leadership per wound.

What do you guys think?
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Co'da
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Re: Campaign Additions: Basic Rule add ons

Post#2 » Jun 05 2015 06:53

An interesting add-on rule might be equipment degradation. However many years or months in, maybe a 3+ save becomes a 4+ save, after the unit's lost its Tech-marine or been cut off - sort of like how Corax's stats change in 30k after Istvaan.

Alternatively, do you have access to The General's Compendium? It came out for Fantasy years ago, but has huge sections on baggage trains, supplies, keeping your troops fed, seasonal events, and a really interesting map system. A lot of those things could be easily lifted into a 40k campaign structure.

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Re: Campaign Additions: Basic Rule add ons

Post#3 » Jun 06 2015 02:11

I've seen the book but I haven't actually studied it- there was also the 'intrigues at court' element, right? I'll try and take a look at it.

But I have thought that some kind of limitation in-game might be a great addition, but perhaps unbalanced?

Ammunition

This would have to be modified depending on the weapon but here are some examples:

Vehicle level weapons would be able to carry enough ammunition to ignore this limitation, but ground operating soldiers would not. The following amounts are for singular battles.

Tau Missile Pod: 6 'volleys'

Space Marine Soundstrike Launcher (standard): 5 (must pre-pick missile types: frag ect)

Grenades: 2 uses (so, a Firewarrior squad would have the benefit of 2 assault phases where they could use their photon grenades)

In order to offset this from being to debilitating, certain weapons like missiles could also earn this addition:

Explosive: For each successful 'hit' an explosive weapon causes 'pinning' and -1 cover save.

Jetpacks

I've also been thinking it would be nice if jetpacks could go into a kind of 'hover' mode: Jetpacks move at half distance but have the ignore cover special rule when shooting and cannot be assaulted save by units with jetpacks.
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Re: Campaign Additions: Basic Rule add ons

Post#4 » Jun 06 2015 07:31

The Compendium wasn't so much hard and fast rules as a huge pile of suggestions. It really gets you thinking. It did have an element of "intrigues at court", as well as some very interesting army-specific rules. Bretonnians, being the ever-chivalrous knights, couldn't break an alliance without announcing it.

Are you familiar with Heavy Gear? In older editions it tracked every round of ammo for every weapon, but much past small skirmish, that became unwieldy. When the game transitioned from an RPG to a wargame, now what it does is, the lasrifle equivalent is essentially unlimited, but grenades and missiles only have three or four rounds per game. (The statline literally has a circle for each round.) I don't think tracking every bullet in a game of 40k would be feasible, but missile pods and the like could certainly be done. Although knowing that might prevent players from taking them, forcing them to stick to different "unlimited" weapons, which could result in interesting tactical choices.

You could also track ammo at a campaign level. At the start of the campaign, each army could be given a number of, let's call them supply points, and for every turn a battle lasts (or if you want to get more detailed, every time a given unit attacks), it costs a supply point. Once you run out of supply points, units might have to take an additional roll when they attack to see if they even have any rounds left. This would create pressure to finish battles quickly and carefully, and later in the campaign, could see less important troops deprived of supplies or even unable to fight.

Actually scratch most of that, you would need to spend supply points before battle. So, the first battle of the campaign would be "free", but after that fielding any given unit costs 1 supply point (or more - a tanks requires more materiel than a scout). And if you run out of supply points, you can still field that unit, but it can't use its ranged weapons or they take a roll to see if they're empty.

I like the hover mode for jetpacks. It basically would turn them into slow skimmers, right?

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Re: Campaign Additions: Basic Rule add ons

Post#5 » Jun 06 2015 04:22

That's correct, just something to add versatility to the options and, of course, to add another possibility of adding a layer of narrative.

I'd love to add a 'weathering' option to armies as they continue in the field.


Here's a bit of a contentious rule concept but I've seen it before. Would love to hear your thoughts:

Shooting

Sustained fire: occurs in 'your' assault phase and allows you to snap fire even if you are not being assaulted.

Sacrifice: if a friendly unit passes a leadership test they may fire on a friendly unit at BS2, rolls of 3,4 hit friendly models.
Tau: cannot use this special rule
Space Marines: cannot fire on other space marine units unless there is Last Man Standing
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Re: Campaign Additions: Basic Rule add ons

Post#6 » Jun 06 2015 04:50

I'm not overly familiar with 40k rules, so I'm not following what Sustained Fire does, I'm afraid.

Sacrifice is interesting. At first glance it seems silly ant pointless, but then, there are an awful lot of Space Marine stories where Brother Brave valiantly sacrifices himself so his brothers can escape or complete the mission. I think it's very thematically fitting for Space Marines. I don't think players would be too inclined to use it at first, but if things start going badly wrong for them, it may seem much more useful.

It could also provide some very "fluffy" situations if you have Space Marines and allied human armies. Shooting through Imperial Guard comes to mind immediately.


Edit: Actually, Sacrifice could work for Tau.

We've often read "If an Ethereal desired, he could order a tau to kill himself and the order would be obeyed immediately." We've never seen that happen because... well obviously we haven't. It's terrible. But, it does exist, and it could be used to justify the Sacrifice rule for Tau.

If an Ethereal is present, a Tau army may use the Sacrifice special rule once per game. If a unit scores friendly kills this way, they may not be taken in the following game.


And, would Tau fire on Kroot? Gue'vessa? Drones?

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Re: Campaign Additions: Basic Rule add ons

Post#7 » Jun 07 2015 03:21

Without wanting to just post the rules - basically snap fire is a free shot a unit gets at a charging enemy but used at lower ballistic skill.

Sacrifice: I think in pure Space Marine armies it would be kind of pointless save for (hopefully) one epic last stand- but think about those games with allies where the Space Marines are only a unit in size. Space Marines on many occasions fire indiscriminately into mobs of 'lesser' humans.

Now, as to Tau, I thought a lot about this. Why wouldn't Firewarriors fire into a unit of Kroot that is tied up with a high priority target- the answer is even fluffier than your example and that is that the Ethereals care about every single species that is a part of the Empire and even mourn the loss of life against those who reject the Tau'va. If you embrace the Greater Good, you're 'in'- I'd personally recommend the Damocles Anthology- really an excellent testament to internal Tau politics.

But I like your 'once per game' approach and I completely agree- maybe even make it an aspect of their 'choose one power' a turn rule, making it truly a massive sacrifice.


Further special rules/additions follow :

Challenges- I'm going to spend some time talking about Close Combat, but I will say that I have always hated the addition to Challenges in 40k. It makes sense between Marine armies or when you're dealing with Orks and the ever noble Eldar- but for Tau? Or even Tyranids? It just doesn't make sense.

Maybe you can help me adapt a Fantasy style approach, Co'da, but what would you think of:

Should a champion reject a challenge then the Challenger gain the Hammer of Wrath (+1 auto hit at high initiative)

Close Combat: The addition of so many ballistic options, I've heard many CC armies get annoyed or outright depressed. I have 3 possible fixes that might work in this campaign package:

1. Units disembarking from transports get a 6+ cover save representing using their transport as cover. If the vehicle deploys 'smoke' or possesses a 'disruption pod' they gain an additional +1 cover save.
2. Charging units can snap shot into the enemy in initiative order but lose all benefits of charging.
3. 'Carnage': (I miss the old terror of a Khorn Berzerker charge- I don't know which unit could get this, but I imagine it could be an interesting addition, perhaps at additional cost/upgrade or strictly to certain units) Units that win in close combat can consolidate into another enemy unit as if they are charging.
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Re: Campaign Additions: Basic Rule add ons

Post#8 » Jun 07 2015 06:30

Tau Army Additions


Inspired by fluff or the Dawn of War game, here's some army options for the Tau- nothing overly complex is the idea and to improve the narrative elements of 40k.

Troops

Shas'Ui Teamleader: (I've never liked that the 'Ui is just a leadership upgrade and gets improvements on close combat- never made sense to me) Once per game the Firewarrior team may reroll 1's.

Kroot: (I miss 4th) WS=4, counts as having 2 close combat weapons, Furious Charge.

Shas'Vre (30pts): Can either join a unit or a vehicle. Same stats as a Shas'Vre but without the suit.
Personal Shield: 5+ inv.,
pulse rifle/carbine
photon grenades
Markerlight

+1 or -1 to Reserve Rolls

Drones

In the Damocles Anthology the Drones were an interesting element in that they had personality and the Tau regarded them as, seemingly, equals. So, as much as I want 'suicide' mode, I don't think it's appropriate. But here's a tweak:

If a friendly unit is 'fleeing' then drones that move toward that unit, they gain the 'Fearless' special rule for as long as the friendly unit is broken.

Shield Drones: 4+ Inv. OR +2 Cover save for the unit (lasts for a turn, chosen at start of enemy shooting)

Battlesuits
ALL:
-1 Cover save
All have 'self destruct' on an initiative test

Equipment

Just tweaks taken largely from discussions on these boards.

Seeker Missile:
+5pts= can be fired by the vehicle but must be within LOS.
+10pts= fusion warhead (gets melta special rule)
+8pts= drone guided bomblets (gets blast special rule)

Vehicle Burst Cannon:
Rending

Special Equipment

Nagi Advisor: A iridium plated tube keeps the mindworm 'Nagi' in it's liquid environment safe. These creatures are incredibly potent psykers. They can be attached to Shas'El, Shas'O and Ethereal's.
-Deny the Witch (4+)
-Steal the Initiative (+1)
-Units that have a Nagi in them can use the highest leadership they are connected to.
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Re: Campaign Additions: Basic Rule add ons

Post#9 » Jun 07 2015 08:46

Calmsword wrote:Without wanting to just post the rules - basically snap fire is a free shot a unit gets at a charging enemy but used at lower ballistic skill.


Ah, thank you. In that case I think Sustained Fire makes sense, but it feels like something you might adapt with a bit of playtesting.

Sacrifice: I think in pure Space Marine armies it would be kind of pointless save for (hopefully) one epic last stand- but think about those games with allies where the Space Marines are only a unit in size. Space Marines on many occasions fire indiscriminately into mobs of 'lesser' humans.

Now, as to Tau, I thought a lot about this. Why wouldn't Firewarriors fire into a unit of Kroot that is tied up with a high priority target- the answer is even fluffier than your example and that is that the Ethereals care about every single species that is a part of the Empire and even mourn the loss of life against those who reject the Tau'va. If you embrace the Greater Good, you're 'in'- I'd personally recommend the Damocles Anthology- really an excellent testament to internal Tau politics.

But I like your 'once per game' approach and I completely agree- maybe even make it an aspect of their 'choose one power' a turn rule, making it truly a massive sacrifice.


It definitely fits with Space Marines + human allies (depending on the Chapter. Salamanders would never do this, Space Wolves probably not, and I think Ultramarines, Imperial Fists, and even Blood Angels would have to be in dire straights to consider it.)

I agree Tau likely wouldn't fire on/through auxiliaries (and certainly not drones). Damocles was great (and did nothing to endear me towards Aun'va!) But I'm also loving Peter Fehervari's work for his look at the Tau. He manages to present, well, "bad" Tau, without them becoming psychotic and cliche 1984 villains. There's ignorance and conceit to them, and it's a wonderful mirror (heh) to Damocles.

I was thinking about Sacrifice some more and I think you could take it even further than once per game. If a Tau unit scores friendly kills, that unit cannot gain any more experience/honours/whatever you might be able to accumulate in the campaign. So sure you can use them later, but they've been broken by the experience. It makes it an even more difficult choice, since you'll have to "buy" fresh replacements if you want a unit that can advance in the campaign.


Further special rules/additions follow :

Challenges- I'm going to spend some time talking about Close Combat, but I will say that I have always hated the addition to Challenges in 40k. It makes sense between Marine armies or when you're dealing with Orks and the ever noble Eldar- but for Tau? Or even Tyranids? It just doesn't make sense.

Maybe you can help me adapt a Fantasy style approach, Co'da, but what would you think of:

Should a champion reject a challenge then the Challenger gain the Hammer of Wrath (+1 auto hit at high initiative)

Close Combat: The addition of so many ballistic options, I've heard many CC armies get annoyed or outright depressed. I have 3 possible fixes that might work in this campaign package:

1. Units disembarking from transports get a 6+ cover save representing using their transport as cover. If the vehicle deploys 'smoke' or possesses a 'disruption pod' they gain an additional +1 cover save.
2. Charging units can snap shot into the enemy in initiative order but lose all benefits of charging.
3. 'Carnage': (I miss the old terror of a Khorn Berzerker charge- I don't know which unit could get this, but I imagine it could be an interesting addition, perhaps at additional cost/upgrade or strictly to certain units) Units that win in close combat can consolidate into another enemy unit as if they are charging.


In fantasy, when a unit champion rejected a challenge, it got sent to the back of the unit, which could be a huge problem, since you lose that additional strength/attack/magic item/whatever in combat, until the unit is mostly dead. But 40k obviously doesn't have units like that. I think Hammer of Wrath sounds good, but it definitely feels weighted towards Space Marines. Not only should a Tau character not be issuing challenges in the first place (well, except for Aun'shi, that's actually kind of his thing), but I can't see a Space Marine player refusing one. I sort of assume any Space Marine character is going to have the edge.

You might consider army-specific rules for refused challenges. Space Marines get a free attack, Tau get a free shot?

I like your three additional proposed CC rules. They feel very fantasy to me! Carnage could be an interesting upgrade for Kroot. Maybe they've learned to redirect their battlefield hunger into rage, or something like that.

Co'da
Shas
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Re: Campaign Additions: Basic Rule add ons

Post#10 » Jun 07 2015 09:05

Calmsword wrote:
Tau Army Additions


Inspired by fluff or the Dawn of War game, here's some army options for the Tau- nothing overly complex is the idea and to improve the narrative elements of 40k.

Troops

Shas'Ui Teamleader: (I've never liked that the 'Ui is just a leadership upgrade and gets improvements on close combat- never made sense to me) Once per game the Firewarrior team may reroll 1's.

Kroot: (I miss 4th) WS=4, counts as having 2 close combat weapons, Furious Charge.

Shas'Vre (30pts): Can either join a unit or a vehicle. Same stats as a Shas'Vre but without the suit.
Personal Shield: 5+ inv.,
pulse rifle/carbine
photon grenades
Markerlight

+1 or -1 to Reserve Rolls


The Shas'vre really stands out here. I love the idea of having one on the battlefield, but not in a suit. For a campaign, it provides a perfect starting point for escalation. If you wanted to do a very narrative campaign, you could have the Tau begin with just the suit-less Shas'vre and whatever handful of troops, and as things escalate with the Imperials (or whomever), he eventually dons a battlesuit, maybe even counting some big battle as his Trial by Fire and becoming Shas'el.

It also screams Kill Team.

Drones

In the Damocles Anthology the Drones were an interesting element in that they had personality and the Tau regarded them as, seemingly, equals. So, as much as I want 'suicide' mode, I don't think it's appropriate. But here's a tweak:

If a friendly unit is 'fleeing' then drones that move toward that unit, they gain the 'Fearless' special rule for as long as the friendly unit is broken.

Shield Drones: 4+ Inv. OR +2 Cover save for the unit (lasts for a turn, chosen at start of enemy shooting)


Big fan of these changes, too. I love drones, but they get no love. Again, Damocles and Fehervari do a great job presenting them in a more complete light.
Battlesuits
ALL:
-1 Cover save
All have 'self destruct' on an initiative test

Equipment

Just tweaks taken largely from discussions on these boards.

Seeker Missile:
+5pts= can be fired by the vehicle but must be within LOS.
+10pts= fusion warhead (gets melta special rule)
+8pts= drone guided bomblets (gets blast special rule)

Vehicle Burst Cannon:
Rending

Special Equipment

Nagi Advisor: A iridium plated tube keeps the mindworm 'Nagi' in it's liquid environment safe. These creatures are incredibly potent psykers. They can be attached to Shas'El, Shas'O and Ethereal's.
-Deny the Witch (4+)
-Steal the Initiative (+1)
-Units that have a Nagi in them can use the highest leadership they are connected to.


Also good changes. I do think Tau need more . . . "stuff", especially for a campaign. It's easy for, in a narrative campaign, a Space Marine player to eventually be able to afford a special weapon, give it a different name, and say it's part of that Crusade's heritage or...etc. But Tau, despite having so many battlesuit weapons, really have a fairly thin armoury. Not a lot of room there for legendary toys. Your foot-Shas'vre I think might require some special goodies, of some sort. The Cadre Fireblade model is bedecked in trinkets. It might be worth trying to develop some of those into campaign additions a Shas'vre can by. The cape might be the shield generator. The scalp locks might grant a leadership bonus to nearby friendly Tau units. A customised pulse rifle with a few more inches of range. There are also man-sized jetpacks depicted in artwork. Maybe a foot-Shas'vre could buy one of those, and have a limited form of battlesuit mobility.

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Re: Campaign Additions: Basic Rule add ons

Post#11 » Jun 07 2015 10:29

More 'stuff' would be great. In essence, I'd love it if Tau had as much to draw on in their army as any Imperial faction- just look at the new Mech armies, they're fantastic!

Instead of going the relic route, which they almost did with those Onager gauntlets, I think it should all be 'new' to represent the modernity that the Tau prefer.

That being said- I would also like to avoid going the simplistic route of just giving the Tau close combat abilities. They don't have the 'essence' required to be as blood thirsty as the rest of the Galaxy and it would throw off what makes them 'them'.

Here's some 'stuff' I've kicked around over the last decade:

Tau Demolition Charge: In the book Firewarrior there was a chapter where Kais used a fist sized drone armed with kles'tak explosives to take out two Space Marines. Here's my take:

Drone: Moves 6'' toward a target, but for every additional 6 inches the opponent gets a +1 cover save to represent them scrambling for cover: Strength 8 AP 3, blast, melta special rules.

Cloaking (Vehicle): A more advanced version of the Disruption Pod and is 'Special Issue' (one per army). Allows a vehicle to infiltrate and cannot be fired upon or engaged until it moves or shoots. Due to the energy needs of the Cloaking field, a vehicle counts as moving 'flat out' with the regular limitations regardless of how far they actually move when they reveal themselves.

Things along these lines. What I'm not sure about is messing with unit rules too much- such as giving Firewarriors special weapons. I do think that Drones should be made universal though, Grav inhibitors and the like, I'm not sure about missile drones.

On the infantry level, I do believe that 40k should have, at least, a smaller version of itself to represent the more regular 'war time' scenarios that occur without special units being brought to bare.

In campaign mechanics, I believe this could be done by selecting an army list of around 1500 points with no special characters or 'uber' elites (terminators, Shas'O, Ethereals ect). Instead, during the game, a player can make the request from their overall faction in order as they game progresses.

Example- Things are going bad by turn 4, all of the objectives are being held and it's turning into a route. A player can petition from a specific force organization section and rolls randomly for help- those forces arrive the following turn.

Additionally, I believe that Reserves have never been handled correctly. While I enjoy the random nature of combat, sometimes you hold something in reserve for a surprise attack (once again, the Anthology shows both sides doing this with Knights or Riptides). In previous editions, the Tau could choose to select one reserve unit at a time to come in on a 2+, controlling the flow of reinforcements, this was never OP, but I believe there needs to be something like this brought back, for all armies.
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Re: Campaign Additions: Basic Rule add ons

Post#12 » Jun 08 2015 09:48

Calmsword wrote:Instead of going the relic route, which they almost did with those Onager gauntlets, I think it should all be 'new' to represent the modernity that the Tau prefer.


Agreed. And the Codecies have done a decent job of introducing new battlesuit weapons and gear in that regard. And as Tau characters are pretty much always in battlesuits, it works, but it's a little limiting for a campaign, especially if you aren't fielding a Shas'O every game. You miss out on all the good story-telling opportunities relics provide. Which simply means we have to find another way to tell Tau stories.

The coolest thing that ever happened to the Tau was the rail rifle showing up in Chapter Approved, and then making it into the Codex.

Given the nature and rapid pace of Tau tech, you could fake a tech tree, just like in any RTS. Maybe some of the options available are experimental upgrades. FFG's Rogue Trader has a Tau upgrade that adds a few inches to any pulse weapon. So for example:

Pulse Upgrade
One unit of Fire Warriors or Path Finders may take this upgrade. Adds 5" to pulse weapons, but weapons suffer from Gets Hot! special rule. If unit uses this upgrade and survives for 5 consecutive games, their weapons no longer suffer from Gets Hot!

I don't know if that's way too overpowered or what, but it's just an idea to represent Tau advancement. Instead of "hey we found a power sword from the Great Crusade" you can have "hey we made a new gun wanna try it out?" and then if it works, it becomes standard.

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Re: Campaign Additions: Basic Rule add ons

Post#13 » Jun 08 2015 11:09

Spot on about the Rail Rifle- excellent fluff.

I guess a tech tree would be interesting- perhaps based on the success of one use items. The problem is is that a 40k campaign happens very quickly- over the course of a few days to a few months. I've noticed a trend in Tau campaigns in the Timeline that reinforcements come in at about 2-3 years into a conflict. The thing I don't like about tech trees and rewards is that it lessens the 'fluff' in that the manufacturing abilities of a invasion/defensive army wouldn't be able to put an experimental item into mass production.

But I do like how things can be 'unlocked' on a situational basis. The Battle for Aggrellan didn't use Riptides until the assault on the prime hive.

Perhaps if there was a series of missions (not related to victory or defeat) a player could earn enough of the necessary elements to then use a given upgrade.

Space Marines: Recover Imperial relics from a temple= a master crafted power weapon

As for the Pulse Upgrade- I think we've got a drone that does that already, a 'pulse accelerator' for a unit. But I like the idea.
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Re: Campaign Additions: Basic Rule add ons

Post#14 » Jun 08 2015 11:45

The Rail Rifle came from WD284, and opposite it, there's "Campaign Honours". This was specifically for the Eye of Terror, but it's worth a look. Mostly Imperial goodies, but they could be adapted. Space Marines have "Honour Scrolls" which I think could be turned into a special upgrade for the bonding knife.

I think the upgrades should probably be represented, story-wise, as being "unlocked", instead of the attendant Earth caste inventing something completely new. Not that they couldn't, but as you say, they wouldn't have the means to make more than a few.

Hmm, actually, you could make a table for new generating new Tau weapons. You would buy a weapon, and then roll for AP, S, range, and a special rule; which would be anything from Rending to Gets Hot!, with hopefully a few more negative ones than positive. You'd never have two of the same, and they would need an additional addendum of 0-3 random weapons per campaign, or maybe even just one, really, but it could be fun. I know it sounds a little Orky, stat-wise, but that's where some creative background comes in, once you have the stats. The Earth caste designed this new blaster because.... etc. This commander has been given the honour of field-testing it... and so forth

Perhaps if there was a series of missions (not related to victory or defeat) a player could earn enough of the necessary elements to then use a given upgrade.

You could do this with a handful of very small side-games, like a unit or two max.

An alternative to traditional wargear for Tau might be command-level upgrades, or, and I need a better name for this, "tactical philosophies" for commanders (or even the whole army). Something like, let's call it Calm Mind - "All Tau units within 6" reroll failed to hit" or pinning or assault or whatever. But the idea would be to give the commander some gameplay representation of the quasi-samurai semi-spirituality we sometimes see in the Fire caste. You could just steal special rules from Tau characters and give them a more generic name and points/resources cost.

You could even use Victory Points as the resource to buy commander abilities. That directly represents their success and growth.

Imperials always have banners that do special things, but for Tau their commander (and/or Ethereal) would be the inspirational focal point.

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Re: Campaign Additions: Basic Rule add ons

Post#15 » Jun 08 2015 10:47

This thread has brought back so many fond memories of my childhood days spent flicking through the Dark Millennium section of my 4th edition rulebook, looking over all the campaign rules and ideas and thinking "Wow that's awesome!" and dreaming up ways to apply them to my Tau. Ahh, those were the days...

In regards to experimental weapons, something just occurred to me - perhaps you could take an idea from Battlefleet Gothic? In Battlefleet Gothic there were optional rules for equipping ships with experimental systems. They were chosen randomly by rolling on two D6 tables, one for an advantage from the experimental weapon, and one for a drawback (coming from unexpected side-effects of the experimental systems). You could come up with a few tables like that, and then if a unit does particularly well or gains a certain amount of experience or something, then you could outfit them with an experimental prototype created by rolling on the appropriate tables.

So for example a Firewarrior team might get outfitted with experimental weapons, determined by rolling on the following tables:

Advantage:

1 - weapons gain +1 strength
2 - weapons gain rending (re-roll this result if the weapon already has rending)
3 - weapons gain -1 AP
4 - weapons gain +6" range
5 - weapons can fire an additional shot
6 - Weapons gain Shred

Drawback:

1 - Weapons become Gets Hot
2 - Weapons type becomes Heavy
3 - weapons loose 6" range (re-roll this result if +6" range is rolled as an advantage)
4 - weapons gain +1 AP
5 - weapons gain -1 strength
6 - weapons fire one less shot (re-roll this result if additional shot is rolled as an advantage)

Then you could also come up with similar tables for things like armour and vehicle systems.

I had some other ideas for campaign elements too, but part way through typing them I realised that they were really more strategic elements of a campaign itself rather than basic rules add-ons. I can however point you to the extended armoury created by Chillrend for his Turiat Catastrophy campaign. It's been used in a couple of other places on here too I think, and I've adopted it myself for my Special Insertion Threat Containment teams (which you'll know from either the April fool's battle threads or my Battlefleet Gothic thread).
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Co'da
Shas
Posts: 100

Re: Campaign Additions: Basic Rule add ons

Post#16 » Jun 09 2015 10:14

I love the idea of random weapons to represent new, experimental designs. On the face of it the idea doesn't seem Tau at all, but the weapon is going to BEHAVE randomly, so it does make sense for new designs. Besides, the random rolls can be taken and made to fit just about anything with a little polish. Experimental rail ammunition, a new ion setting, alternative power source for pulse weaponry . . .

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Calmsword
Shas'Ui
Shas'Ui
Posts: 1511

Re: Campaign Additions: Basic Rule add ons

Post#17 » Jun 09 2015 06:45

The experimental weapons could also offer victory points (another bfg aspect I love- great call Kakapo)

Not to fall too far down the rabbit hole- but I've been thinking a lot about the Tau ability to divert power to different aspects of their suits. Similarly, Space Marines have aspects to their own armor we don't see on the game board.

Suit upgrades:

Space Marines- Terror Sight: a curious technology that allows the user to see the very souls of their target.
A unit leader may use Terror Sight at the cost of being able to shoot, move and if assaulted has 1 attack at IN 1. In return that unit benefits from the Ignore Cover special rule.

Tau
Flux Capacitor (we can change the name but I just watched BttF): XV USR
A unit must pass a leadership test, if successful they may choose from the following list of options which lasts for 1 turn:

Mobility: may reroll all terrain and run rolls but shoot at -1 BS
Defensive Measures: +1 to invulnerable saves but move as though in difficult terrain and can only shoot 1 weapon system.
Offensive Measures: 1 weapon may fire twice at BS2 but 'gets hot'

If the leadership test is failed the XV suffers from a power surge and counts as pinned.
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Co'da
Shas
Posts: 100

Re: Campaign Additions: Basic Rule add ons

Post#18 » Jun 09 2015 06:54

Really liking Flux Capacitor. You might want to go Trek with the name and call it Reroute Auxiliary Power, but I love the effect. Sacrificing weapons and shields for a burst of speed, or putting everything into the cannon, that's a hallmark of any mecha. Definitely a good fit for Tau battlesuits.

The idea of having Space Marines actually use their armour really appeals to me, too. You might take a look at some of the Deathwatch books from FFG. I seem to remember there being some pretty specific abilities for power armour in there.

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