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Frontline: A mini-game for 40k

Posted: Jan 21 2016 02:01
by Calmsword
Hello ATT... (even after almost, what, a decade? I still don't know how to begin a post properly)

I've always been a fan of the infantry. My favorite scenes in Star Wars are the clash of regular soldiers against one another and now that the Battlefield game has come out... most of my bucket list items have been checked off.

But 40k seems to be getting more 'uber' with the introduction of weapons and formations that erase whole sections of the battlefields under a deluge of dice and re-rolls.

I've been kicking together an idea of sorts- and I'd love for you folks to pitch in- but essentially it would be the lesser (hopefully more intense) conflicts happening not where the leader of the 3rd Sphere or an archaic weapon of unimaginable power is wandering around smoting everything in their path...

Enter Frontline (name pending)

Based on an infantry core, the idea would be that victory points are accrued and spent much like the older 'pain' token method the Dark Eldar used to have. Points are specific to races as well as to units, much like the campaign advancement charts.

Let me give you an example:

Firewarrior Striker team takes down a squad of Guardsmen= 1 token

Ballistic Unit Chart:
1 token=Network shield generator= +1 cover save
2 tokens=Focus Fire= 6+ rending
3 tokens= Air support= D3 2D6 scatter (small) templates Strength: 4 AP:5

That's the general idea. Elite units as well as Heavy options ect. would come in after earning more tokens, perhaps leading up to heroes arriving on the more extreme levels. Objective points would generate more tokens and provide additional benefits so that neither side can 'trounce' the other (unless it's a very bad day for someone) much like in Cityfight.

The rules of 40k would largely stay the same with one or two changes to make the standard infantryman a little more durable such as:

Cover saves and invulnerable saves are an additional roll with bulky units (such crisis suits) having -1 to their save. Space Marines would also have -1 to their cover for fluff reasons (and the fact that they predominantly don't camouflage themselves ect.)

Unit coherency would be expanded to 5 inches so that units can spread out (the tables should be cluttered with terrain.

Blast weapons 'center hole' would be AP3 and ignore cover saves.

I've also thought a lot about borrowing the 'deck' idea from Infinity and other games to allow for 'cinematic' moments GW loves to promote such as:

Heroic Last Stand (for you Imperial types): When played, all models that have been removed in this round are revived and have the 'rending' special rule but are are removed entirely at the end of the phase.

The long and the short of it is is that I've got 84 Firewarriors and 20 breachers... I'm never going to be able to really get a game in other than Apocalypse and... frankly, I'm bored of watching my little guys disappear by turn 2 with all the megadeath.

If you're reading this and you like the idea, I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Re: Frontline: A mini-game for 40k

Posted: Jan 21 2016 01:16
by TauMan
Dear Calmsword: How about "My dear A.T.T. tau'fann..." or "My dear A.T.T. tau kindred..."

Alright so it's little formal, but it gets the job done. ;)

I'll PM you with a longer reply about the game idea, but it does sound like you're on the right track. I still hear complaints about how WH40k use to be about your squad of tactical marine up against a small swarm of genestealers. And about how it's so expensive and not 'fun anymore'.

Have been thinking about the same thing for a while.

The TauMan Abides

Re: Frontline: A mini-game for 40k

Posted: Jan 21 2016 01:23
by Ironsky Hello (totally agree - I've only been doing this a few months and the first line is by far the most intimidating)...

Like it. Personally I think that even the latest broadsides are getting a bit too big, and with the release of Knights the up-scaling has got a little tiresome. I have recently returned to playing Combat Patrol, and this idea sounds like a fun slightly larger scale(?) equivalent. Keep us posted on how it develops!


Re: Frontline: A mini-game for 40k

Posted: Jan 23 2016 02:26
by Calmsword
I've gotten a few PM's, excellent recommendations (I'll be replying this evening)- glad to see there is interest.

House Rules
Measuring: (I miss the days where you had to eyeball things so for Frontline I recommend this): If you need to pre-measure you fire all rolls suffer -1 to hit.

For the sake of experimentation I believe that using Tau and Space Marines are the best choices. As such, the following battles and scenarios will take place during the Zeist Campaign. As fluff is important to me, this will reflect in many of the special rules.

If this exercise turns out to be a success, we can expand this model to match other historical events with matching special rules and abilities.

Unit leaders take on a more important roll in Frontline. Instead of HQ options (discussed later) army units rely on their squad leaders to connect them to central command. To represent this investment, D3 unit leaders roll on the tables below in the beginning of the game. The ability is activated on a successful leadership roll of the teamleader model and is lost (including all tokens) on the removal of the leader model.
If a unit leader is not present in a squad then that unit may substitute that position with +3 models (which may exceed the unit counter).

-Additional Targeting information: The Shas'Ui have held counsel at the start of the conflict and have recognized targets of priority: Once per game, all shooting from a unit is +1 BS (this may be included when snap firing).
-Through Compliance; Victory: For every destroyed enemy target/unit this unit gains an additional token.
-Shield Wall: The Shas'Ui has trained his team to work together to form a wall with their shoulder guards: models within 2'' of each other get a +1 cover save.

Space Marines
-Hate Unrelenting: Space Marines are drilled to conserve their firepower but there are times when the enemy must be destroyed at all costs: The Space Marine unit may rapid fire with +1 dice but may not shoot the next turn.
-Relic: The Sergeant wields a relic of the Chapter: The Sargent may choose an item from the Special Wargear list in the codex.
-Indomitable: Space Marines are known as the best shock troops in the galaxy If a Space Marine unit remains within 2" of each other when entering an objective zone, their cover save is an invulnerable save.

Starting small. Equipment is assigned to unit leaders. If unit leaders have not been purchased then that unit does not benefit nor add its benefits to rosters.

Gun Drones, Shield Drones, Marker Drones may be purchased as well as the Pathfinder Drones list for +20 points (Must remain in Controller coherency of 3").

Units may purchase up to 2 Seeker Missiles a unit (count as being 'equipped' to the teamleader. If he dies, they are removed.

Space Marines
May purchase assault weapons for every 5 Space Marines and heavy weapons for every 10 (This can mean building heavier style assault units of 'flamers only' ect. The Equipment roster is army wide not unit specific.

Rapid Assault: A unit has the 'Fleet' USR once per page +15pts

Shield Wall: +1 unit per model ignores the "Frontline USR" of Space Marines getting -1 to their cover save.

Other Units

By now I should be addressing the presence of transports or tanks. In the case for Frontline, vehicles are event specific and are largely not in control by their owners to represent vehicles driving across several warzones (think of this as 'deepstrike space' or 'what idling vehicles are doing when waiting to come in real games of 40k').

For 5 tokens you may pay for a tank to enter play via a randomized table edge. It then travels across the board at 2D6+2 (abiding by the rules for shooting and moving 6/12'') in a straight line.

For 8 tokens:
Tau = 1 Crisis battlesuit that deepstrikes in
Space Marine = D3+1 terminators

For 10 tokens:
Tau =A squad of 3 Stealthsuits enter play
Space Marines = A squad of 3 Assault Marines enter play


Re: Frontline: A mini-game for 40k

Posted: Jan 26 2016 06:08
by Calmsword
Tried my first game, pretty fun- lots of bumps:

Much like Walken's plea for more cowbell, I'm going to be borrowing more from Battlefront.

Problems: It's too much of a shooting game. Those Space Marines meant for close quarters combat just are shot to pieces before they can really do anything. This has been a larger issue with 40k I know, but it tells without high save/toughness elites. Additionally, there's a lot of room for abuse with the points accumulation- by turn 3 you can effectively blitz your opponent with banked special options and abilities.

Potential solutions: Make the game smaller and a little more like Kill Team.

Pick out 1000 points worth of infantry- no unit limitations but codex legal.
300 points worth of equipment- per limitations.

Pick 3 abilities that can be assigned to unit leaders
Focus Fire: Once per game the unit fires with rending special rule.
Kauyon: Instantly pass a morale check and can voluntarily 'route' at 3d6
Mont'ka: Once per game reroll 'to hit dice' for the unit

Space Marines
Blood of Heroes: For every successful armor save in close quarters the unit leader causes 1 St. 3 hit against the enemy unit.
No Quarter: Unit may consolidate into combat (ignore defensive fire)
Unleash: Once per game, rapid fire at 3 but cannot shoot next round.

Tokens: Placed on the board, D6+3 per player, cannot be placed within 12"

Tokens must be used in the turn they were acquired.

What would you guys think about a D66, like the battlefleet gothic advancement boards?

Re: Frontline: A mini-game for 40k

Posted: Mar 07 2016 12:48
by Calmsword
I know a few guys from the 'old guard'; game makers in America that used to be very close with the development of 40k back in 3rd Edition and I ran this idea by them.

If anyone has ever wanted to scale down their games, I would recommend you look into "Inquisimunda". It's a game that adapts the core ruleset of the Necromunda game with an extreme focus on storytelling. A branch of this game adopted by "Iron Sleet" the community I've mentioned, is to use a 12by system. Instead of worrying about points, everything is reduced to selections:

The assumption is that you have 12 models but this can be reduced to buy you more wiggle room on choices when you choose 12 traits to boost, 12 pieces of equipment and 12 special rules all selected from Necromunda but there are growing lists all the time for other races.

Having just played a game on one of my friend's boards:

I have to say it is a tonne of fun. I have since begun adapting to slightly larger 'units', around 20 v 20.