Sunday, April 20, 2014

Warhammer 40,000 The Rules That Just Don't Make Sense

Today I want to take a look at some of the things in the big rule book (brb) that just don't quite make sense. I'm not going to go into individual codex rules at this moment because then I would write a book on the things that don't make sense. These are rules that from a physical sense don't add up with reality. I realize that this is indeed just a game and therefore is not an accurate reflection of real life, but we are attempting to place game values on the physical realm. Some of the things I'm going to mention have to do with the technology in the year 40,000 and others have to do with plain and simple sense. This article is meant to be light hearted and amusing and hopefully it comes across that way. These are in no particular order either, just a list I wrote down to go over.

First up is challenges in combat. How many of you reading this have been challenged by some necron with mind shackle scarabs and realized how horrible of a decision you have to now make? The chose is either my space marine chapter master with all kinds of nasty does nothing while that necron lord slaughters my troops, or I accept and hopefully don't go dumb and punch myself to death by failing that leadership test. In the brb is says that if you deny the challenge your character doesn't fight because he is busy running from the guy that challenged him. I can mentally picture that, but I can also mentally picture the guy that is now "chasing" him down being to busy to kill anyone else as well. I personally think the challenge system should work that way. If you challenge and the guy declines then neither guy has any attacks, they're too busy running and chasing each other to care about the goons fighting around them. Sadly as it stands challenges are kind of a bad rule that doesn't make sense.

How about multiple toughness values? So when I'm shooting and killing stuff the guys closest die first. That makes complete sense. In a multiple toughness unit though, when the number of guys with the various toughness values is equal you have to use the highest. They couldn't simply have said use the value of the guy closest to the shooter? This seems like a really logical thing. This keeps something like a riptide with 1 drone from having that toughness 6 on the drone.

Cover saves. I think the cover saves system is fine in that it gives you a free invulnerable save. Where I think it doesn't make sense is for anyone who has a 3+ armor save. I personally think you should get armor and cover saves. If you want to convince me that a tree has a 32% chance of stopping a laser cannon but power armor has none, I will listen to that argument as long as that tree has the same chance of stopping everything else that gets shot at the power armor guy. What I mean is that no matter how you look at it a tree always has a random chance of getting in the way of someone's shooting attacks. Just because your armor save is better doesn't mean the tree can't still randomly block that shot. I know this would make terrain really good for some armies like marines, but I also think you could adjust the points accordingly. Of course that meas they sell less physical models and we all know GW isn't about to do that.

Jet pack infantry. Evidently jump infantry know how to turn off their jump packs, but jet pack infantry don't. This only matter when you start or finish your move in terrain. For jet infantry all difficult terrain becomes dangerous, because unlike jump infantry, they just don't know how to simply walk and not kill themselves on a rock.

Flying monstrous creatures start the game in glide mode. Why is that? Do flyers with the hover mode start in hover mode? Here's looking at you Be'lakor. Hope you're going first other wise that tyrant, daemon prince, or whatever else is going to die. I guess they just aren't smart enough to stay away from those 50 bolters about to blow holes in their heads.

Night fighting. I put this here because I just can't imagine that in the year 40,000 when you have laser weapons and ships that can cross the universe, you just don't have night vision goggles. So super advanced space marine guy with two hearts just can't quite see in the dark. I guess they just didn't think they could make that work with power armor. All those scopes you see on lasguns, yeah they just can't put a night vision scope on it. The only way tanks can see is if they turn on the headlights. I guess a 40 ton vehicle just can't fit that night vision thing in anywhere. I do like night fighting rules by the way, I'm just saying it doesn't make sense.

Gets hot. This one really kills me, pun intended. If some guy handed me a gun and told me every single time I shot it there was a 16% chance the gun could kill me on accident, my response would be very simple. Can I just have a knife or something sir? Think about that, in an average game that plasma gun will get hot at least once, and if you have that lovely 5+ armor save, you're probably a dead man. Why couldn't they just make this rule have the weapon not fire while the user waits for it to cool down. That makes way more sense to me. Then again I don't put my faith in the emperor to protect me.

The last few rules all deal with vehicles, mostly because I think GW has problems with its vehicles. Number 1 is the way they shoot. So if you move even an inch, you can only fire 1 weapon at full skill and the others are snap shots. If you move more than 6", for most vehicles, you have the further penalty of all your weapons firing as snap shots. So lets look at the US abrams tank. That think can move at full speed going up and down bumps, and still fire its main gun with incredible accuracy. So in the year 2014 our tanks can shoot better than the imperium and better than all the other alien races some of whom were flying in space while we were still monkeys. Other than pintle mounted weapons I think that all a vehicles guns should get full bs or at least the main gun no matter how far they moved.

Difficult terrain tests for vehicles is also pretty dumb. Once again the abrams can drive over a car and not notice it. A tank in the year 40,000 always has a 16% chance of getting stuck if it drives over a wooden fence. Why can't it just work exactly like infantry moving through difficult terrain? It just slows them down a little.

Vehicle armor values are another thing that doesn't make sense. Small arms fire should not be able to hurt most tanks. Trucks, wheeled vehicles, open vehicles where the crew is exposed all make sense. Anything that is armored and enclosed pretty much shouldn't care about a guy with a bolter. Those rhinos though and that rear armor. I guess they just don't know how to slap on an inch or 2 of steel.

Here is the last one I've got at the moment. Vehicles exploding. A strength 3 hit, even on the guys inside, really? I'm pretty sure if I was in a car that exploded I would be very dead. Those should be at least strength 5 and maybe even 6 for any occupants. Explosions are pretty violent things and tend to kill those near them. The rules should reflect that basic idea.

Well that's why I've got off the top of my head. Again we all know its just a game, but I think it could be a better game without those head scratchers. Feel free to leave comments and let us know what rules don't make sense to you.