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Aoi
Sep 12, 2017

Perpetually a Pain.


Mors Rattus posted:

Again, I think the loss in Changeling has more to do with the thing being player-facing. Demon lets you arbitrarily hand massive amounts of merit and skill dots to NPCs. Pledges in 1e let you do the same to yourself and other PCs.

It honestly never occurred to me to do things like this, as it seems unthematic and, well, munchkinny, but I suppose I've heard enough stories from other folks (still far less than the ones who had a great time with the pledge system without doing the above) that it was a thing that happened. It seems like something better resolved by, you know, players and STs talking and agreeing not to do that poo poo, rather than the scorched earth rules changes we got, instead, but...I'm not an OPP writer/developer.

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Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

FATAL & Friends
Walls of Text
#1 Builder
2014-2018



It was definitely a huge overcorrection and could have been solved with just placing some sanity checks on the thing.

lofi
Apr 2, 2018






Does the machine not notice bigass chages as a result of pacts? That might be a motivation to play hardball.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

FATAL & Friends
Walls of Text
#1 Builder
2014-2018



lofi posted:

Does the machine not notice bigass chages as a result of pacts? That might be a motivation to play hardball.

Honestly? No, not usually. It might if you make enough in one place to push a statistical needle, but the Machine is extremely bad at noticing individuals. Angels might investigate, I suppose.

Rubix Squid
Apr 17, 2014


It can and will but only if operational logistics permit it. The great thing about the God-Machine is that everything about it is gears within gears; all of which you can disrupt if you just knew what to throw where.

Nessus
Dec 22, 2003

To witness titanic events is always dangerous, usually painful, and often fatal.





Joe Slowboat posted:

Wait someone called Jenna Moran an idiot dumbfuck, what the hell, she's great. Do not blaspheme the name, etc.
Can y'all tone down the Internet cult poo poo over Jenna Moran like four notches? Sidereals was not some immaculate tome disgorged by the Amida Buddha, beyond critique

Joe Slowboat
Nov 9, 2016

Higgledy-Piggledy Whale Statements





Nessus posted:

Can y'all tone down the Internet cult poo poo over Jenna Moran like four notches? Sidereals was not some immaculate tome disgorged by the Amida Buddha, beyond critique

Sure, but, it's still pretty good and the performative 'gently caress Exalted' stuff is... equally dumb? Like, saying 'Demon uses a lot of Sidereal-type concepts' doesn't require calling the people who conceptualized and wrote the fluff for Sidereals dumbfucks. It's just exhausting how 'this looks inspired by [other thing]' gets framed as 'this is like [other thing] but not total trash lol' presumably to avoid saying that this new thing isn't a totally independent invention.

Also, if you couldn't tell, 'do not blaspheme the name etc' was, y'know, a joke.

That Old Tree
Jun 23, 2012

nah




Nessus posted:

Can y'all tone down the Internet cult poo poo over Jenna Moran like four notches? Sidereals was not some immaculate tome disgorged by the Amida Buddha, beyond critique

How about we just don't call perfectly nice people "idiot dumbfucks" because you don't like the book they wrote.

Mr. Maltose
Feb 16, 2011

The Guffless Girlverine


I mean, thats literally Purpleís brand so Iím amazed people are surprised by it now.

Rand Brittain
Mar 24, 2013

"Go on until you're stopped."

Jenna should be Kickstarting her new companion game to Nobilis, Glitch in November, so I wonder if anybody can be talked into doing a F&F of Nobilis 2e before it starts.

(Iíd do it myself but people might not find my perspective terribly interesting. )

PurpleXVI
Oct 30, 2011

Spewing insults, pissing off all your neighbors, betraying your allies, backing out of treaties and accords, and generally screwing over the global environment?
ALL PART OF MY BRILLIANT STRATEGY!


Rand Brittain posted:

Jenna should be Kickstarting her new companion game to Nobilis, Glitch in November, so I wonder if anybody can be talked into doing a F&F of Nobilis 2e before it starts.

(Iíd do it myself but people might not find my perspective terribly interesting. )

If anyone's willing to get me a .PDF of the core book I'd be happy to take a look at it as long as it isn't dull. If it's either terribly creative or terribly terrible, it makes for good reviewing.

Rand Brittain
Mar 24, 2013

"Go on until you're stopped."

Sure, I can arrange that.

Tuxedo Catfish
Mar 17, 2007

You've got guts! Come to my village, I'll buy you lunch.


Why not 3E?

Mr. Maltose
Feb 16, 2011

The Guffless Girlverine


After your go at Ars Magica and your reaction to Polaris you may want to sit this one out, chief.

Rand Brittain
Mar 24, 2013

"Go on until you're stopped."

Glitch is kind of an aesthetic follow-up on 2e, although the rules are a big advance on either.

Fivemarks
Feb 21, 2015


Are people ever not mad about Purple?

ZeroCount
Aug 12, 2013




I prefer 3E to 2E by a fairly vast amount, stuff like Spirit just feels so anaemic compared to what 3E brings to the table

Rand Brittain
Mar 24, 2013

"Go on until you're stopped."

ZeroCount posted:

I prefer 3E to 2E by a fairly vast amount, stuff like Spirit just feels so anaemic compared to what 3E brings to the table

3E is definitely a mechanical improvement over 2E; I just thought if I was going to draw people's attention I'd draw it to the one that's semi-widely agreed to be the most beautiful RPG book ever created.

Sgt. Alex
Feb 5, 2015


Fivemarks posted:

Are people ever not mad about Purple?

Even Purple is mad about Purple.

Selachian
Oct 9, 2012



Snorb posted:

Also, my exploit strategy was a little different. I just went to the spaceport on Aurora, started bar fights with RAM soldiers, killed them and looted them of their gear, sold it to the equipment store, and repeated until I had six suits of Battle Armor w/ Fields. (Then I went to New Elysium to repeat the process and get Venusian Laser Pistols, and to Tycho to do this until I could afford the best melee weapon in the game.)

The only exploit I ever heard of was for the part of the game where Buck teams up with you -- I understand a lot of people deliberately let him die, or killed him themselves, because he dropped some of the best loot in the game.

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

Classic Gold Box trick, right there.

Snorb
Nov 19, 2010


I don't think you can get Buck killed in the Genesis version. Enemies seem to not want to target him (unless he's the only remaining party member) and if he's in a grenade's blast radius, he immediately runs out of the blast.

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

That is some DM bullshit, right there.

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

Let your word be "Yes, Yes" or "No, No"; anything more than this comes from the evil one.

Nessus posted:

Jojo and Persona share enough DNA that I can give you a fair guess as to why.

Both of these are essentially urban-fantasy-in-the-modern-world settings where characters have visually distinctive and strongly characterized abilities. They are also generally speaking humans who gained their power through, at worst, an accident, rather than having become vampires or whatever. (There is the occasional vampire etc. of course.) The plots also tend to be strongly character-driven, and the protagonists usually either ultimately succeed at their mission, or at least accomplish something, rather than drowning in the horror and misery of modern anomie. In other words, the struggle is worth it-- it may be hard but you can, by the implicit rules of the material, succeed.
Well I can kind of understand why someone thought Godlike is JoJo?

Why is it called that though. JoJo's Bizarre Adventure is an anime about a cute dog that gets lost and finds its way home.

Anyway. This gets me thinking about an Extremely RPGnet convo: what do you use to play Die?

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

FATAL & Friends
Walls of Text
#1 Builder
2014-2018



Because Araki likes the title.

And you use Kieron Gillianís Die RPG, currently in beta/playtesting.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.


It is a pretty bizarre series of adventures, and the main characters are JoJos, so it's pretty descriptive.

Robindaybird
Aug 21, 2007

Neat. Sweet. Petite.



Night10194 posted:

It is a pretty bizarre series of adventures, and the main characters are JoJos, so it's pretty descriptive.

That's pretty much it.

Midjack
Dec 24, 2007





Selachian posted:

The only exploit I ever heard of was for the part of the game where Buck teams up with you -- I understand a lot of people deliberately let him die, or killed him themselves, because he dropped some of the best loot in the game.

What kind of monster kills Buck Rogers over a gun??? :smith:

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

Midjack posted:

What kind of monster kills Buck Rogers over a gun??? :smith:

The same kind of monster that sacrifices Alias and Dragonbait.

Young Freud
Nov 25, 2006



Midjack posted:

What kind of monster kills Buck Rogers over a gun??? :smith:

That Colt M1911 he carries does almost as much damage as a Rocket Pistol but doesn't flake out when it runs into ECM.

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

Let your word be "Yes, Yes" or "No, No"; anything more than this comes from the evil one.

Man, CtD sounds like the opposite of Pool of Radiance in this regard. If you give good equipment to the NPCs who join you for specific missions, you can't get it back without conniving a way to get them killed. And they stop you from doing things that screw over their bosses!

Maxwell Lord
Dec 12, 2008

I am drowning.
There is no sign of land.
You are coming down with me, hand in unlovable hand.

And I hope you die.

I hope we both die.


:smith:



Grimey Drawer



Buck Rogers XXVc: The 25th Century

Careers: Good Rocketjocks Never Hock an Engineer's Tools

Okay, now we get into Careers, or as you know them, Classes. Theyíre basically the same thing. After some discussion about teamwork and how levels and Hit Dice work, weíre presented with six choices. Itís worth noting that one of the big differences between careers is what skills they have available as career skills- itís possible to learn outside of your career, but you get more points to spend on career skills. In a nice show of balance each career has eight career skills.

Rocketjocks are your hotshot space pilots, similar to WWI Flying Aces. To play one you have to be a Human (including Venusians, Mercurians, etc.), Delph, Desert Runner, or Spacer, and you have to have a Dexterity of at least 13, an Intelligence of at least 13, and a Charisma of at least 12. (Gotta be dashing, you know.) They get the fastest XP table, middling THAC0 progression (oh yeah, THAC0ís still around), and 1d6 HP per level. Naturally most of their career skills relate to piloting and driving things, and they get a +10 bonus to all skill checks involving piloting or driving. (Skills are a d100 thing so thatís a nice boost.) Also, every 2 levels they get a +1 adjustment to Charisma ďwhen dealing with someone of the opposite sex and the same raceĒ. Not very open minded. Anyway Buck Rogers himself is a 10th-level Rocketjock.

Warriors are the fighter class. They can be any race except Tinker and Stormrider, and need minimum ability scores of 10 in Strength and Constitution, and 8 in Dexterity and Intelligence. Theyíre the only class that gets to roll 1d10 for HP, they get the best attack progression, and advance moderately slowly. They also get to do 1d6 damage barehanded and can attack twice per round with bare fists, plus they get a +1 specialization bonus to a weapon of their choice every 2 levels (up to +3 for any single weapon). At 8th level a warrior starts attracting a company of 11-20 fellow soldiers, subject to GM discretion. Skill wise they get a decent range of fundamental stuff, including stealth and maneuvering in zero-G.

Scouts are kinda like Rangers but no? Theyíre the planetologists, explorers, etc., at home in a variety of environments. They can only be Humans, and need at minimum a Wisdom of 9 and Constitution, Intelligence, and Charisma at 9. They get a 1d8 hit die and the same THAC0 advancement as the Warrior, but they advance more slowly. The big deal with these guys is that for every level they gain beyond the 1st, they get +5 to any skill check related to their career skills. So, +5 at 2nd, +10 at 3rd, etc. This is good yes. Most of their skills relate to survival in the wilderness.

Engineers are the folks who fix things. They can be Humans, Tinkers, Lowlanders, or Desert Runners. (The latter is explained as their resistance to radiation helping them out.) The ability score requirements are 13 Tech, 12 Constitution, 10 Strength and 8 Intelligence. They get the fastest XP again, get 1d8 for HP, and can use any of their tools as a melee weapon with +2 to attack for 1d6 damage. They donít let other people touch their tools though, thatís just rude. Outside of that they have the slowest THAC0 progression. Their skills naturally focus on repairing things.

Rogues are kinda like xD&D Thieves but also expected to be the facemen of the group, needing 13 Charisma and Dexterity as well as decent Intelligence and Wisdom. They can also only be Humans, for some reason. They get 1d6 HP per level and middling attack progression, but have the fast XP table. They also get a flat +10 bonus to any of their Career Skills.

Finally, Medics are needed to help patch everyone up at the end of the day. They get access to the Treat Light/Serious/Critical Wounds skills to restore HP in and right after combat- they arenít expended like spells, but do require a roll, and canít be used on a given PC more than once per combat. But Iím getting ahead of myself. Medics require a score of 12 or greater in Dexterity, Intelligence, and/or Wisdom, and the class is open to Humans and Tinkers. They get 1d6 HP per level and have a medium-fast level progression, but the slowest combat progression. Their big ability is simply that theyíre the only ones who can learn skills in the Medic group, the others canít even learn them cross-class. Theyíre also the only ones who can operate certain equipment.

EDIT: And I just now figured this out after posting, but this is why someone said you can't actually play a Stormrider PC- they're not eligible for ANY of the careers. Oops.

Overall the careers arenít hugely exciting, but you can see steps have been taken to keep them in balance. It helps that thereís no magic or psionics or Force or whatever, nobody gets access to abilities that fundamentally overwrite the rules of the game world, so itís all just numbers. The gaps in terms of HP and XP needed to advance are narrower here than in AD&D as well. Youíll notice that I said nothing about saving throws here- those arenít actually tied to career. My major complaint is the racial restrictions, this really feels like an AD&D legacy, and one that already felt needlessly restrictive. (No Humans Allowed offers an optional rule that dramatically loosens these restrictions.)

Then thereís a section on changing careers. Despite a lot of text itísÖ actually pretty simple? As long as you meet the ability score requirements for a new career, you can choose to stop progressing in your current career and start that one instead. You begin at 1st level, but retain your HP and THAC0- you gain HP as normal for your new class, but THAC0 only starts improving again once you reach a level in your new career where itís better. You lose any special advantages from your old class, but keep your skill ratings. (Though if a medic changes class they canít improve those skills anymore.) You can only change careers once.

And from there Iíll pause a bit while I try to figure out how to handle the next few chapters (the organization is kinda weird.) Next up: Probably Experience!

Maxwell Lord fucked around with this message at 19:04 on Sep 28, 2019

Midjack
Dec 24, 2007





Young Freud posted:

That Colt M1911 he carries does almost as much damage as a Rocket Pistol but doesn't flake out when it runs into ECM.

Yeah, I played the heck out of CtD in my Commodore 64 in grade school so I remember he had good stuff.

Tasoth
Dec 12, 2011


Jumping in late to the Demon chat.

If I remember right, there is an Exploit or Embed (Demon magic powers) that lets you replicate supernatural effects. Not sure what book it is in.

Someone pointed out that the God-Machine isn't usually able to catch Covers. But it doesn't need to as when you staple an aspect of someone else's life onto your Cover, only the people directly touched by it will have their memories modified to accept it. This means friends just far enough removed to remember someone was dating a different person begin to question why they're dating the Demon now. And this attention will actually start pulling in God-Machine attention. The more people who are out of the loop on a graft, the faster it's going to erode.

megane
Jun 20, 2008





Tasoth posted:

Someone pointed out that the God-Machine isn't usually able to catch Covers. But it doesn't need to as when you staple an aspect of someone else's life onto your Cover, only the people directly touched by it will have their memories modified to accept it. This means friends just far enough removed to remember someone was dating a different person begin to question why they're dating the Demon now. And this attention will actually start pulling in God-Machine attention. The more people who are out of the loop on a graft, the faster it's going to erode.

Yeah, this is essentially what Cover dots represent. A two-dot cover has a backstory full of holes; your supposed parents won't remember anything about your childhood, there's no record of you making phone calls before three weeks ago, your daily schedule is something no actual human would have, etc. It'll hold up in daily life, usually, but if anyone actually investigates you they're going to find inconsistencies. A nine-dot cover is watertight; friends of friends of friends "remember" meeting you at parties a decade ago and all their stories match.

That Old Tree
Jun 23, 2012

nah




Tasoth posted:

Jumping in late to the Demon chat.

If I remember right, there is an Exploit or Embed (Demon magic powers) that lets you replicate supernatural effects. Not sure what book it is in.

Yeah, Flowers of Hell, the players guide. The Embed Deep Cover allows you to spoof being other supernatural creatures instead of just a normal human. The Exploit Show of Power lets you replicate a specific supernatural power you've seen before at fairly minimal effectiveness. I'm not 100% sure how that shakes out for Supernal magic considering how hard it is to quantify just what "a spell" is, but presumably they reproduce what they witnessed including Reach effects because otherwise they could only do the piddliest little spells and would always take three hours to do it.

NGDBSS
Dec 30, 2009








Tasoth posted:

Jumping in late to the Demon chat.

If I remember right, there is an Exploit or Embed (Demon magic powers) that lets you replicate supernatural effects. Not sure what book it is in.
Both effects you're thinking of are from Flower of Hell, the DtD player's guide. Deep Cover is an Embed that lets you register as some type of supernatural when using Spoof instead of just pinging as a human. Show of Power is an Exploit that lets you outright fake any supernatural effect you've perceived that isn't a DtD power, at either 1 success or at 3 for an exceptional success. Both are pretty cool for keeping everyone else guessing and/or perpetuating a supernatural Cover.

e;f,b

Snorb
Nov 19, 2010


Maxwell Lord posted:

EDIT: And I just now figured this out after posting, but this is why someone said you can't actually play a Stormrider PC- they're not eligible for ANY of the careers. Oops.

Overall the careers arenít hugely exciting, but you can see steps have been taken to keep them in balance. It helps that thereís no magic or psionics or Force or whatever, nobody gets access to abilities that fundamentally overwrite the rules of the game world, so itís all just numbers. The gaps in terms of HP and XP needed to advance are narrower here than in AD&D as well. Youíll notice that I said nothing about saving throws here- those arenít actually tied to career. My major complaint is the racial restrictions, this really feels like an AD&D legacy, and one that already felt needlessly restrictive. (No Humans Allowed offers an optional rule that dramatically loosens these restrictions.)

Then thereís a section on changing careers. Despite a lot of text itísÖ actually pretty simple? As long as you meet the ability score requirements for a new career, you can choose to stop progressing in your current career and start that one instead. You begin at 1st level, but retain your HP and THAC0- you gain HP as normal for your new class, but THAC0 only starts improving again once you reach a level in your new career where itís better. You lose any special advantages from your old class, but keep your skill ratings. (Though if a medic changes class they canít improve those skills anymore.) You can only change careers once.

"Someone" here! =p

No Humans Allowed had a chart that showed what carreers a genotype can enter; then they pointed out that Stormriders aren't eligible for any of the careers. The revised chart, thankfully, allows all of the Characters & Combat genotypes to choose any of the classes.

Also, Mars in the 25th Century had a character option that I thought was very interesting (and wish the Gold Box games were able to use it.)

MinistryofLard
Mar 22, 2013


Let's Review: Warhammer 40,000 Kill Team



Part 3: Core Rules - Stats and Movement


Kill Team is played using Warhammer 40k miniatures and the models in Kill Team correspond to the units from the base game. One of the explicit intents of Kill Team is to sort of sucker you into buying more models and eventually have enough that you go "may as well" and buy the rest of your 40k army. The models in Kill Team are also (mostly) limited to those available in plastic at the time of release, up until expansions, so there's a lot of choices from 40k that don't make it into Kill Team for that exact reason. There's also a few units you tend not see, specifically because they're so bad in 40k or too much effort to get hold of so nobody runs them in their 40k army anyway.

Kill Team mostly uses d6 die - d10 is used pretty rarely. Ocasionally you'll roll a d3, which you get by taking a d6 and dividing the roll by 2 rounding up. To make a roll, you roll the die and add/subtract any modifiers that apply. There's also the concept of an unmodified roll, which is the actual roll before any modifiers. A roll that you need to hit to undertake an action, e.g. a 3, (e.g. you need to roll a 3 on a d6 to hit a unit with your gun) is described as a 3+.

A model will have a bunch of attributes, which also map directly from and to those in 40k.

Move: how far the model moves a turn, in inches
Weapon Skill (WS): What the model needs to roll to hit another model in close combat. This is explicitly the roll value - a space marine has the exact same odds of hitting another space marine as it does a grot.
Ballistic Skill (BS): What the model needs to roll to hit another model with a ranged weapon.
Strength: How strong a model is. This is used to inflict wounds in close combat.
Toughness: How tough a model is (duh). This is used, along with strength to assess if a model is wounded.
Wounds: how much damage a model can take before it is out of action
Attacks: how many rolls you get to make in close combat
Leadership: used to determine if your models break
Save: The roll you make to try to avoid damage after being wounded.
Maximum Number: the maximum number of this model that you can take.

Models will have wargear (equipment), and may/will have special abilities. Models can also be specialists, which will give them some further special abilities.

There's generally a few "equivalent' statlines of strength and toughness that doesn't vary as much across factions and units. A Marine equivalent ("MEQ") generally has a toughness of 4, a strength of 4, and a 3+ save. By contrast, a Guard Equivalent ("GEQ") has a a toughness of 3, a strength of 3 and a 3+ save. Marines are 8 foot tall genetically engineered killing machines, whereas a guardsman is a regular human being, which is an indicator of what those stats mean.

Weapons also have their own statline and profile. Weapons will have:
A range: How far in inches the weapon can shoot. Some weapons are melee only.
Type: The game puts this in the shooting rules, but the summary is;
- assault weapons, which can be fired if the model "advanced" (sprinted, basically) with penalty
- Heavy weapons, which take a penalty if the model moved
- Rapid fire, which doubles the number of shots within half range
- Grenades, which actually don't have any special rules associated with them beyond the fact that you can only fire one at a time, and the model can't fire any other weapons. Grenade weapons tend to have short ranges and lots of shots.
- Pistols, which can be fired into close combat.
The type is always followed by the number of shots the weapon makes.
A strength: used the same way as a model's strength. Melee weapons will normally have a strength which modifies a model strength's.
Amour Penetration (AP): A negative modifier which is applied to the target' model's armour save.
Damage: How many wounds a weapon strips off. This is frequently a D3 or D6 value.
Abilities: Any special abilities a weapon has.

The actual gameplay is divided up into phases. The objective of the game is to have the most Victory Points at the end of the match - the one with the most wins. Victory points are accrued depending on the mission - mostly they're about holding particular locations on a game board, or killing particular enemy models in particular ways. This can, uh, favour some factions and army builds than others, but you get to pick your Kill-Team from a roster before the game kicks off via a specific method so you can tailor your army to the mission.

We kick off with the Initiative Phase - basically, all players will roll 2D6, the winner having to go first and then in games with more than two players the next player takes the next sequence, etc.. Having to go first is not necessarily an advantage, depending on what you want to do, as we'll discuss later.

After that, players take it in turns to move all their models in one go. This is why moving first doesn't necessarily give you an advantage, because your opponent has the full power to react to your moves. Shooting takes place after movement and uses true line of sight, so if you move first then your opponent can move their own models around to be able to target yours and make them sitting ducks, or run into cover so that your own models can't see anything.

Models can also advance in the movement phase, where they add 1d6" onto their movement, but makes them unable to shoot (except where they can). Models get to run up and overterrain, which makes matches all 3 dimensional. Some models can FLY (always spelled like that, FLY is Keyword which is allocated to models - all keywords are bold and allcaps, which helps pick them out - a useful stylistic choice), which allows them to ignore terrain.

Models can also charge in the movement phase, which is the only way to get into close combat. If you are within 12" of an enemy model, you can nominate a target (or several targets), roll 2d6 and move that distance directly towards one of them. If you can get within 1" of ta target you can lock them into close combat. This is the case in which you want to have the initiative - you want to charge before the enemy gets to move away, or charges you, as getting the charge off gives you a string of valuable benefits in close combat. In general, you want to go first against a close combat heavy army, and go second against a shooting heavy army. Of course, you have absolutely no way of affecting the turn order roll - sometimes, you roll poorly at the start of the game and all you can do is futz around and turtle instead of taking Victory Points. This is what I mean about Kill Team being a very swingy game. If you fail a charge, you can still move the FULL distance towards the closest enemy target, or you can stay put. Either way, you can't shoot any weapons that turn.

Models you charge get to respond. If they enemy charging them is 1. Within range of their weapons and 2. within line of sight, they can try to fire at them with their weapons in what is called Overwatch. Overwatch always hits on a 6, regardless of any modifiers applying, which means its always a bit unreliable - unless you're firing a weapon with lots of shots or which has a special rule which automatically hits, like a flamer. Autohit weapons are generally capped at 8" in range, which is conveniently JUST the range for a charge to have a 50% charge of making it. Another fun thing is the requirement to be inside line of sight at the start of the charge to fire Overwatch. This means that you can charge around terrain, or even OVER terrain, to avoid, say, an enemy armed with a flamer and jump them from surprise. And a horrifying four-armed alien gribblie hurling over a ruined wall screaming to ambush a guardsman Aliens-syle is peak Kill-Team and is exactly what this game is all about and I love it.

Models can also retreat exactly once if they get charged (to account for being charged, retreating, and then being charged again, though I don't know why you'd retreat close to another charging model), and not if they moved, where they move up to 3" away from the charging model. This can add up to 3" that the charging model has to roll, which is significant, but the retreating model can't do anything for the rest of the turn. Sometimes it's best pray and spray Overwatch.

Models can choose to Ready themselves instead of moving. Readying allows you to shoot before non-Readied models later in the Shooting Phase, which is pretty powerful. A lot of the time, especially if you're moving first and there's no concrete way to avoid a pressing threat, you may as well just ready and try to take out an enemy toting a powerful weapon when they move up for a good shot.

If you have started the movement phase within 1" of an enemy model (i.e. you charged or got charged last turn), you can also Fall Back out of close combat. You move back up to your Movement stat, but can't shoot, move, charge or react for the rest of the turn. Models which can FLY can fall back and still shoot, meaning they can pivot around and are hard to pin down. Since all ability to move is keyed to not starting the Movement Phase in combat, this means that you can completely ruin enemy's capacity to act by falling back out of combat. You can Charge an enemy model if they fell back from you - unless you had to move first, in which case you can't do anything because your turn to move is over. So if the enemy goes second and falls back from a model they started the turn in combat with, your combat heavy model can now be out, in the open and exposed. The issue is that, like with a lot of Kill Team, there isn't a lot you can do about it - you charged, that's it, you're pinned there until you kill them or they run away.

Side note, to avoid confusion the game recommends placing tokens down to indicate whether models have moved, fired, fallen back, etc. The tokens which came with the base game are, uh, cardboard. I bought some 3D printed tokens of EBay.

Movement in Kill Team is basically the core tactical component of the game. It's an intense game of maneuver as you try to either counter your enemy's moves or predict their next action, get into the fight or try to avoid it, and expose the enemy while avoiding exposure yourself. This means that the whole phase is an actual and meaningful tactical exercise - which small unit combat should be.

Next time: Psychic, Shooting and Combat.

MinistryofLard fucked around with this message at 05:30 on Sep 29, 2019

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MinistryofLard
Mar 22, 2013


Let's Review: Warhammer 40,000 Kill Team



Part 4: Core Rules - Psychic, Shooting and Close Combat


The Psychic Phase

After the movement phase, play launches right into the Psychic phase.

Some Kill Teams will contain models which can cast psychic powers. Psykers in 40K are straight up Space Wizards who do Space Magic. Psychic powers draw directly from the Warp and are hella dangerous for everyone involved. In manifesting their abilities, Psykers open their minds up to the Warp and become a beacon in and of themselves for Daemons and other warp entities. The Imperium straight up sacrifices most psykers that come up on its worlds to keep the Emperor's psychic beacon working, press gangs them into using their psychic powers for combat use, or recruits them to use as FTL walkie-talkies or predicting the future. This is, uh, no less dangerous and a lot of their comms or prognostication is in the form of weird visions or something otherwise horrifying. Chaos psykers are already insane and cool with the Warp, while the Aeldari (space elves) are all a little bit psychic. The Tyranids (space bugs) are controlled by a vast psychic hivemind who's vast weight drives every single psyker within lightyears insane with non-stop chittering.

After both teams have moved, players then take it in turns, as determined by the Initiative order, to pick a single model to cast all the psychic powers it has. In the core rulebook, there are only two factions which have access to psychic powers, one Imperial and one Chaos. Each of them only have the ability to cast one psychic power per turn. Every psyker knows one, Psybolt, and is the only one that is in the core book. This is honestly all you need most of the time.

To manifest a psychic power, the controlling player will roll 2d6. If the value is equal to or above the power's "warp charge value" then the power successfully manifests. If the roll is a double 1 or a double 6, then the casting model immediately suffers the Perils of the Warp, and screws up in a way that unleashes daemons or other Bad poo poo into realspace. They immediately suffer d3 mortal wounds (to be explained later, but basically it immediately strips off a wound), if that kills them not only does the power fail to go off and every model within 3" takes d3 mortal wounds as well. Psykers are a danger to themselves and everyone around them.

An enemy psyker can attempt to Deny the Witch! (another name i love), in order to quash a psychic power. In that case, they must roll higher than the opponents roll on a 2d6. Since psykers are not exactly common in Kill Team, this is not that common but becomes a lot more common in the expansions. Most of the psyker rules are there to set up for future releases.

Psybolt, the common power that all psykers know, is actually pretty good and reliable. It goes off on a 5 on 2d6, and automatically just deals a mortal wound to the closest visible enemy model within 18". On an 11+ psychic roll, it deals d3 mortal wounds instead. Mortal wounds aren't exactly plentiful in Kill Team so a guaranteed reliable source of them, even if it's just one, is pretty good.

The Shooting Phase

The shooting phase normally follows immediately after the Movement Phase, since almost all factions are basically barred from the Psychic phase. There are two separate parts to the Shooting Phase - Ready, Fire, in which all players Readied Models shoot, and then Fire at Will, in which everybody else does. Players alternate between choosing the relevant models in this phase - this means that it's a lot less likely to be blown completely off the board before you can do anything. The I Go You Go model is actually pretty good and is probably better than the prior idea, where your best option was to go for the biggest alpha strike you could and hope you could try to survive the first turn.

To resolve an attack, the player going selects a model, checks if it's in range of the desired target (you can pre-measure - this is far better than the alternative), and fires the amount of shots specified by the weapon. They then roll that many dice to hit against their Ballistic Skill, with a few very important modifiers.

Being outside half the range of a weapon imposes a -1 penalty to hit, which is pretty significant - especially when most models hit on a 3+ at minimum. Even more significant is a -1 penalty to hit if the target model is obscured in any way from the shooting model. These are both really big - you tend to keep your models away from half range of a model with a good gun as much as you can, and there is absolutely no way you will ever let your models not be obscured without another option because it's just an easy buff to survivability. This means that Kill-Team battles really encourage clinging as much to terrain in your fire-fights as you can, meaning that games are desperate affairs of running between cover and trying to seize valuable objectives. Jumping outside is a big risk. Each Flesh Wound (to be further explained) also imposes a -1 to hit penalty.

If attacks successfully hit, they then roll them to wound. The wound roll is dependent on the strength of the attack and the toughness of the target. If the strength is half the toughness, it's a 6+, less a 5+, equal a 4+, more a 3+ and double a 2+. Since pretty much all models are T3 or T4, this means that there are certain magic numbers for strength, and exceeding them isn't that valuable. For example, a weapon being Strength 7 is not any more useful in any case than a Strength 6 weapon. Most weapon and model statlines are taken directly from 40K, where being S7 is a bit more valuable, but in Kill Team there are no vehicles so paying a preimium for S7, S9, or even S10 is 99% of the time pointless.

If you successfully wound, your opponent then rolls against their armour save. You apply the weapons armour penetration (always a negative number) as a modifier to the armour save of the target, and if it fails, the enemy loses as many wounds per attack as the damage of the weapon. Pretty much every unit in the core manual has at most 2 wounds, so damage of weapons above 2 sometimes feels like overkill, but high damage weapons help take enemy models out of action.

If you take an enemy model to 0 wounds, you then get to roll to see if they get taken out of the game - you see, people take all kinds of wounds but keep fighting in action movies. Rolling to take out of action is, uh... a complex part of the game and a really awkward part of the rules. It's sufficiently complex that there is literally a goonhammer article written about interpreting it, especially given that a lot of things are tied into it. The sum of it is that no matter how many shots have made it through the enemy armour, you still you only make one injury roll, though you roll as many dice as the Damage characteristic of the weapon which took the last wound off and pick the highest. You need a 4+ to take the enemy out of action, though this is modified by -1 if the target is obscured from the firing model AND the obscuring terrain is within 1" of the target model - you're basically throwing yourself behind cover to avoid the explosion.

Any wound which doesn't take you out of action inflicts a Flesh Wound (this is distinct from a Mortal Wound). Having a flesh wound impacts your ability to land hits in both close combat and shooting, and makes the next wound inflicted more likely to take you out of action. There's also Mortal Wounds, which are literally just a point of damage - you lose a wound, no armour saves involved. Since most models only have one wound, getting hit with a Mortal Wound is pretty big. That's why having access to Psybolt in the Psychic phase is so powerful - you get to inflict a free Mortal Wound, with limited penalty or trade off, which will either take the affected model right out of the game or massively impact their ability to hit you back later.

Some models also have invulnerable saves in addition to their normal save, which can't be affected by anything (including, as errata'd, positive modifiers). Your invuln is basically the threshold past which any more AP is ineffective. These also tend to be pretty rare.

The "standard" gun tends to be the Humble Bolter, which is wielded by Space Marines as their standard armament. It is a sub-machine gun that fires rocket propelled grenades. This translates to Rapid Fire 1, S4, with no AP. This means that a rocket propelled grenade has, when you crunch the math, about a 1/9 chance of actually hurting an 8 foot tall genetically engineered murder machine, and an 8/27 chance of hurting a regular human being just in case you want some context. Warhammer kind of has a problem reconciling the fluff with the actual in game effectiveness, and that's before you consider Flesh wounds (which is actually fine as far as i'm concerned - i expect my action movie heroes to get hit the shoulder and keep fighting).

The Fight Phase

Close combat happens during the Fight Phase. Much like the Shooting Phase, players take it in turns to pick models to fight, starting with those which charged in this phase (or count as such) during the Hammer of Wrath. After that, all other models (including their targets) can hit back. A lot of the time you're counting on the models that you charged with to take out everything in the Hammer of Wrath part of the Fight Phase.

When you pick a model to fight, first you pile in up to 3", having to move closer to the closest model. This means that you actually never want to move into base to base contact with an enemy model if you can avoid it when you charge, in case you need to pile around a bit and hit other models. You then select models within 1" to target with your melee attacks. If you charged in this turn, you can only target models you charged - which means that you can pile into other enemies to lock them into combat, but can't hit actually hit them. They can hit you though in their turn, but any model you really really want to pile into so they can't shoot is generally also pretty weedy in close combat so normally when you do it, it's a calculated risk. You then attack like in the shooting phase, with the number of attacks on your profile and choosing a close combat weapon if you have more than one.

Rolling to hit is modified by Flesh wounds on the attacker, and obscuring terrain in between the attacker and the target. So you can be sitting there ducking behind ruined walls as a guy swings a chainsword (it's a chainsaw, but also a sword - the standard close combat weapon in 40k) at you. After that, you can consolidate another 3", moving towards the closest enemy model again. So you can cut down the enemy you charged, then move right to the next one and lock them down.

The combat phases of Kill Team are also critical to getting to the feeling of tactical combat and the action movie inspiration. By making everyone a bit more Plasticine, models can take damage and keep swinging. On the other hand, because of the lack of models and corresponding dice rolls, a death early on in is pretty unfortunate - even then sometimes shooting, given the generally low accuracy (you are almost always at a -1 penalty for obscuring unless you have some special rules or equipment) means that you feel like your just whiffing until you actually get something. This exacerbates some of the balance issues in Kill Team, which we'll get to later, but in general, you want to be rolling as many dice as possible. When choosing weapons, more shots is almost always far more valuable than strength or AP. The real holy grail in Kill Team is a weapon with a few shots, high strength, high AP and damage - that being plasma weapons, which as we'll get to is probably the most broken thing in Kill Team.

Next time: Morale and Nerve

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