Bolthammer 40Action

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Re: Bolthammer 40Action

Post by kojibear » Sat Dec 09, 2017 7:53 am

Primarch wrote: There seem to be two ways of doing it. Allow pre-measuring and then have a random move, or make people eyeball the distance, declare their action and then move up to a fixed distance. I'm a fan of the latter style tbh. I think it keeps unnecessary dice rolling to a minimum and fits my preference for Risks/Rewards being a player decision (Do I think I'm in range?) rather than a gamble every time. That's just my opinion though.
A bit late to the party, but yes, I endorse this endeavour. :)

I agree with the latter, also, in regards to the above.

I really would like to try the 40K system without the 'I go, you go'.

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Re: Bolthammer 40Action

Post by Primarch » Sun Dec 10, 2017 1:00 am

I've been thinking about possible issues and while I don't yet have all the answers, I think this should be possible if I stay focused. And what are the odds of me getting distracted be another project... oh.
Anyhoo, on with the discussions.

Having been an active member of Warlord's Forums (currently offline due to a major security breach and revamp) for a long time, I've seen most of the complaints made about BA. A lot of them were generally points related, as in Gun X isn't worth Points Y and so forth. Not being interested in competitive tournament points shaving shenanigans, I don't think that they were real complaints about the system. The real complaints, to my thinking are:

Units with too many special rules - The Brandenburgers for example. No, that isn't a new fast food chain, it's a unit of German spies who screw with the enemy deployment and can't be shot at.
Tiger Fear - All enemy units take leadership penalties if they can see the Tiger and choose not to shoot at it, usually because they only have rifles and it's a freakin' Tiger tank. (Or maybe just a late mark Panzer IV).
The Italian army rule which makes your units worse if you have a bad turn and then hinders you for the rest of the game.
Turret Jam - Has anyone ever used this? It seems silly by RAW.
Flamethrowers were considered overpowered in 1st ed. The 2nd ed. rules for them seem to have been toned down a bit. They are still good, but not the game winning wonder weapons they used to be. Though I have yet to really use them/have them used on me.

Those are the parts of the game where it wobbles a bit and traps I want to avoid. I think they can be summed up as:
Rules which negatively effect your opponent's army.
Rules which negatively effect your own army.
That's not to say that there shouldn't be negative effects in the game, just that taking 1 unit should not cripple your opponent's army with nothing they can do about it.

Any thoughts? Where do you think Bolt Action has problems?
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Re: Bolthammer 40Action

Post by Primarch » Sun Dec 10, 2017 11:28 pm

With the goal of getting a working set of draft rules to try out, I'm going to start working through the BA rules and seeing where changes need to be made or additions need to be considered.

I feel that the Orders rules are generally good as is. They are the best part of BA IMHO and what sets the game apart. Of course, if that isn't the case, they can be adjusted later if need be.

On the movement front, BA has a few forms of movement to begin with.
Infantry move 6" or run 12"
Wheeled Vehicles move 12" (turning twice) or run 24" (turning once)
Tracked Vehicles move 9" (turning once) or run 18" (without turning)
Half-tracked Vehicles move 9" (turning twice) or run 18" (turning once)
Vehicles can double their movement IF they remain completely on a road during their move.
Cavalry - Move 9" or 18" in the same manner as infantry. They cannot enter buildings though.
Bicycle mounted infantry move as normal except on roads where they can increase their speed to 24" on a run order.
Motorcycles work like wheeled vehicles but they can turn as often as they like.

40K introduces a bunch of new modes of travel. Walkers, Jump/Jet Pack Infantry, Beasts, Skimmers and Jet Bikes. Monstrous Creatures are also worth thinking about. I'm honestly not even considering Flyees at this point in time, the same goes for Swooping/Soaring winged gribblies. I think switching applicable Flyers back to being Skimmers would be a good idea. Supersonic Fighters never really seemed at home on an area that takes Infantry 4 turns to cross if they jog at a steady pace.

I know 40K just reintroduced individual movement rates for every unit, but that seems unnecessary when the target is to keep things as simple as possible. I'm not sure if it is worth keeping the Half-track distinction either as it really only applies to a couple of vehicles. I guess we can leave it for now? I think we can safely remove bicycles though.

My initial thoughts are:
Jump Infantry - 12"/18" - Assuming that at walking speeds they are using the packs/wings as standard.
Jet Pack Infantry (Tau Battlesuits mainly) - 6"/18" - They're mainly using their packs to rapidly reposition.
Walkers/Monstrous Creatures - 6"/12" - Or should they be faster than regular infantry? The fixed rate Run makes Carnifexes and other assault monsters more reliable.
Beasts - Same as Cavalry in BA?
Skimmers - Same as Wheeled Vehicles, but able to ignore most terrain.
Jet Bikes - Same as Motorcycles, but able to ignore most terrain.

As Skimmers and Jet Bikes wouldn't really benefit from Roads (not that they are all that special given the constraints they put on where you can move to), they would actually go slower than non-skimmers in some cases. A Turbo-Boost rule allowing them to pivot once at the start of their move and then go up to 36" in a straight line was one idea I had. Or am I making this too complex?

Anyway, that's my take on movement speeds. Any thoughts?
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Re: Bolthammer 40Action

Post by YellowStreak » Mon Dec 11, 2017 1:05 am

My 2c.

I'd also suggest looking at/mining K47 for ideas. They have jump packs (like US firefly infantry), walkers (like dreadnoughts), things that cause fear (undead, vampyr) and some unusual weapons (Tesla guns, sonic guns, etc) that could provide inspiration if nothing else. They also have a revised close combat system that is a little more complex than BA, but may be worth reviewing as you'd be looking (like K47) at introducing some unit types that are CC-only or perform very differently to a squad of standard riflemen.

They also have some additional rules that I think make things more interesting (like being able to react to being fired upon - similar to GoA).

I don't mind random charge distance tbh. I always assumed the ground is rough and units are under fire -- that failed charge is the result of a string of nearby explosions or the need to momentarily scatter from suppressing fire(It was stranger in WFB than 40K, although maybe that was the result of your troops being exhausted, drunk or just plain hesitant...).
Although I understand 'keep it simple', does it make sense that Nurglings or Gretchen or Genestealers move the same speed as a human guardsman? Maybe define a couple of infantry speeds (slow, normal, fast? 4"/6"/8"? 5"/6"/7"?) and put each infantry unit into a category.
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Re: Bolthammer 40Action

Post by Primarch » Mon Dec 11, 2017 11:54 pm

YellowStreak wrote:My 2c.

I'd also suggest looking at/mining K47 for ideas. They have jump packs (like US firefly infantry), walkers (like dreadnoughts), things that cause fear (undead, vampyr) and some unusual weapons (Tesla guns, sonic guns, etc) that could provide inspiration if nothing else. They also have a revised close combat system that is a little more complex than BA, but may be worth reviewing as you'd be looking (like K47) at introducing some unit types that are CC-only or perform very differently to a squad of standard riflemen.
I have been looking at the K47 rules this morning. There are certainly some good ideas in there for some things. The Jump Infantry suggestion above is actually the same as the K47 speed. I'll certainly be referring back to it.

As for the variety of movement speeds for infantry, I think the abstract 6" average should be the standard for nearly everything. Only the most ponderous of creatures (or the most nimble) should have rules for Slow or Fast. The examples I saw in K47 were Slow Zombies and Fast Werewolves. Otherwise you risk the argument of how fast are Boyz/Marines/Aspect Warriors/etc. in comparison to each other? This is then followed by jump pack speeds, vehicle speeds etc. As a set of special rules though, I can't really see any problems though.

One of the areas causing me the biggest difficulty is Armour Saves. Most other things can translate across quite well, but 40K armour doesn't really have anything to substitute for in BA. Only Russian Engineers get armour and it simply boosts their to wound value. Same for the body armour in K47. With the variety of armour used in 40K, from simple plates bolted onto an industrial uniform through to master crafted Terminator armour, it's difficult to factor that in without making some infantry completely immune to small arms fire. I'm tempted to keep 40K style saves and add in modifiers base on AP. I think that is one of the changes GW got right in the new edition. Previously saves were an all or nothing type deal, now they vary based on what hits you.
Of course, armour saves then lead on to Monstrous Creatures and Vehicles. Do they both get saves? In previous editions of 40K monsters were noticeably better than vehicles. A meltagun would cause a flesh wound to a creature, but would turn a tank into molten slag in one hit. At the same time, you could eventually bring down a T6 monster with lasguns if you rolled enough dice at it. The new 40K rules where everything can eventually kill everything are a little too much IMHO. I saw a comparison of a Warlord Titan Vs. It's value in Gretchin, online recently. Eventually the Grotz will shoot the Warlord to death. (Losing lots of Grotz along the way). Big AT guns should be necessary for killing a tank (or a big gribbly) and will generally ignore most saves anyway, so my preference would be to give everything a saving throw, use AP modifiers and find a way to let big guns take extra wounds off Monstrous Creatures.

Any ideas?
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Re: Bolthammer 40Action

Post by The Other Dave » Tue Dec 12, 2017 5:38 am

(Naturally, take all my comments with a grain of salt the size of "Dave has only played a couple games of BA," heh.)

If you want to go really simple with armor, you could just say:

1) Heavy / superheavy armor makes you count whatever cover you have as one / two steps better. So a power armored dude in soft cover counts hard cover, as does a terminator in the open. This does mean that power armor gets no benefits from being in hard cover, and terminator armor gets no benefits from cover at all, but that meshes up with both previous editions of 40K and, to some extent, the fluff.

2) Just use vehicle rules for monstrous creatures (at least as far as taking damage and such). If you're going for "supported platoon" level, you'd probably be treating them similarly in terms of force organization anyway.

Which is maybe simpler than you're looking for, but it also has the benefits of staying firmly within the BA design-space framework - if you're really shooting for "BA with a few simple modifications" as an overarching design goal, porting in a whole system of armor saves and save modifiers seems like a step away from that. Again, IMNVIO (in my not very informed opinion) of course. ;)
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Re: Bolthammer 40Action

Post by Primarch » Tue Dec 12, 2017 6:55 am

The Other Dave wrote:If you want to go really simple with armor, you could just say:

1) Heavy / superheavy armor makes you count whatever cover you have as one / two steps better. So a power armored dude in soft cover counts hard cover, as does a terminator in the open. This does mean that power armor gets no benefits from being in hard cover, and terminator armor gets no benefits from cover at all, but that meshes up with both previous editions of 40K and, to some extent, the fluff.
I see where you're going with that, but my first reaction to that is that it wouldn't work quite the way you envision. It would make it more difficult to hit them with the low volume, high damage weapons you'd want to use (e.g. a Lascannon), instead you'd need lots of high volume, low damage weapons (e.g. lasguns). Weight of fire should certainly be an option, but for things like Terminators, they're described as shrugging off small arms fire easily.
The Other Dave wrote: 2) Just use vehicle rules for monstrous creatures (at least as far as taking damage and such). If you're going for "supported platoon" level, you'd probably be treating them similarly in terms of force organization anyway.
That solves a few issues I was having with big beasties certainly. I'm not overly fond of the 8th ed. 'Treat all vehicles as monsters' route GW have taken. Vehicles were IMHO ok in the last edition, I felt that it was the big monsters (well, Battlesuits and Wraith thingies really) that were too good in comparison. A single AT gun could destroy a dreadnought, but you'd simply take a wound off a monster with the same weapon. I think a damage chart similar to the ones used by vehicles would balance things out.

That said, 40K has a lot more man-portable AT weapons around than BA. A single tank/monster is going to get wrecked pretty quickly with the current BA rules of roll to Pen and then roll a 4+ when there are mutiple AT weapons all over the table. Sooo many issues to address....
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Re: Bolthammer 40Action

Post by Primarch » Tue Dec 12, 2017 7:57 am

Primarch wrote:With the variety of armour used in 40K, from simple plates bolted onto an industrial uniform through to master crafted Terminator armour, it's difficult to factor that in without making some infantry completely immune to small arms fire.
Hmmm, maybe the answer is to make some infantry immune to small arms fire. Make Tactical Dreadnought Armour more like an actual Dreadnought. It wouldn't work for a Deathwing army, but for a reinforced platoon with max 1 squad of terminators...

As a rough exchange, what do you think about:
Unit type - 40K Toughness & Saves - BA Damage Rating
Guard - T3, 5+ - 3+
Ork - T4, 6+ - 4+
Guardian - T3, 4+ - 4+
Scout - T4, 4+ - 5+
Aspect Warrior - T3, 3+ - 5+
Marine - T4, 3+ - 6+
Terminator - T4, 2+ - 7+
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Re: Bolthammer 40Action

Post by Primarch » Mon Dec 18, 2017 12:25 am

I will take the silence as a sign of approval then. Actually I think those Damage Values may be a little low for T3 minis.
Considering that T3 equates to a 4+ Damage Value in BA, perhaps the following would be better:
DV = 4 + (Toughness -3)
3+ Save = +1 DV
2+ Save = +2 DV

So, on to weapons then. 40K obviously has a lot of them and some of them have a plethora of special rules. Twin-linked, Shred, Rending, Ignores Cover, Precise Shot etc. Again, simple is better than complex, and special rules should be special as in rare, not 3-for-2 special offer special. :D

The basic weapon types don't need a lot of changes I think.
Pistols have a 6" range in BA and a 12" range in 40K, but they are far more common in the latter.
Rapid Fire weapons seem like a cross between standard Rifles and SMGs.
Heavy weapons in 40K are Fixed/Team weapons in BA.
Assault weapons work the same way in both games.

Strength converts over to Penetration easily.
Pen = Str -3
E.g. Lasgun = Pen -
Bolter = Pen +1
Melta = Pen +5

AP doesn't really matter since the To Wound roll and Saves have been rolled up into one value.

So, what range is best for Pistols do you think?
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Re: Bolthammer 40Action

Post by Primarch » Wed Dec 20, 2017 10:44 pm

I will continue to treat this silence as a deafening roar of approval. :D
The Other Dave wrote: 1) Heavy / superheavy armor makes you count whatever cover you have as one / two steps better. So a power armored dude in soft cover counts hard cover, as does a terminator in the open. This does mean that power armor gets no benefits from being in hard cover, and terminator armor gets no benefits from cover at all, but that meshes up with both previous editions of 40K and, to some extent, the fluff.
I have been thinking about how to apply invulnerable saves to units and this might be a good option for that. Units which would normally have an invulnerable save of 4+ or worse always count as being in Soft Cover/Defending an Obstacle. Those with a 3+ or better always count as being in Hard Cover/Defending an Obstacle. It will make them more difficult to hit, but won't apply to many units. It would be an all or nothing type thing though. Putting a character with a Storm Shield into a mob of plebs wouldn't work.

I've been reading through K47 as per YS's suggestion. They have a few rules focusing on assault. In BA, most models get 1 attack. Some units get one additional attack for every wound caused. K47 adds the option for units to get 2 attacks as standard or even 3.
I'm thinking that only the top tier of assault units should have 3 attacks (Genestealers, Striking Scorpions, Tau Firewarriors (Just kidding 8-) and so forth). Dedicated assault troops should get 2 attacks each (Ogryns, Vanguard, Hormagaunts etc). Units which rely on a pistol/sword combo alone get 1 Attack with a possible second attack if the first hits (Assault Marines, Boyz etc). Thoughts?

As for assault weapons. I was thinking that units would get their 40K Strength -3 as a Pen modifier (so Eldar have no Pen value, CSM have +1, Lychguard have +2). Power Weapons add +1 Pen, Power Fists add +3, (I'm not going to mess about with different modifiers based on the wielders original Strength, nor the calculations necessary to figure it out midgame).
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