Wednesday, December 7, 2011
Flames of War meets Warhammer 40K
Flames of War design elements 40K can learn from
Many subscribers will know me to be an eclectic gamer, well versed in numerous gaming systems.
While I am not suggesting that 40K should just go ahead and adopt the Flames of War system, I am saying they could potentially take a few pages from its book. Here are the most interesting elements to me, but there are many. I’d love to hear what you think of how they could translate it.
Unlike 40K that deals in Victory Points and Kill Points, Flames of War deals in Force Strength. Put simply, the number of non-transport units is your force strength. Once you lose more than half your force strength, you make LD checks to see if the army breaks and runs from its bloody casualties! Transports that are destroyed are counted as kills, even though they aren’t adding to your force strength. So armies that rely a ton on transports to cower in must beware, for if your Force Strength were 8 (but you had 4 Rhinos) and all 4 Rhinos are blown up, then you would have already reached the threshold for LD checks!
You are allowed to send the transports “to the rear” once they disgorge their men. They then simply are removed and no longer play a part in the battle but do NOT count as destroyed and are not penalizing you. In real wars, vehicles are such big targets that (once the troops are out), they are in no hurry to rush the enemy further. They hang back and shoot like a Razorback or get the hell out of there until the battle is over. How might we adopt that in some form for 40K?
You can only disembark at the beginning of the movement phase. This changes an enormous amount about your tactica. The value of open topped Vehicles would rise substantially.
The run move isn’t random in Flames of War.
ALL forces can Combat squad. One of the chief strategies for the charge is to leave a unit “out of command” and your leader takes the rest of the squad forward to assault. You cannot move while out of command but you can shoot to pin the enemy down.
THE most interesting mechanic is when you charge an enemy, they lose their motivation quickly for ammo discipline and start filling you full of led inbound. There’s no reason not to do this, but in 40K the mechanic doesn’t exist. As long as your unit has not been pinned (defined as being hit five times regardless of wounds) in the preceding phase, you get your full rate of fire into the charging unit, which can force them to halt their charge! If you are pinned, you get an ROF of 1, and are +1 to the number you need to hit the onrushing foe, making pinning them down critical.
When artillery hits, and if you are in cover/gone to Ground/in a foxhole then the artillery has to make a second roll, a Firepower roll, for each unsaved wound to see if the wound was stopped by terrain. This might be similar to using the AP rating of a weapon and rolling against it to see if it was powerful enough to break through the cover its target was in. Unlike our current cover saves, this is a save in addition to Armor saves.
Another interesting point is that to hit the enemy, you must overcome THEIR skill at using terrain and staying hidden as the target number. All troops are rated according to their skill in avoiding enemy fire, and cover/concealment modifies that number instead of providing “cover saves” as we do now.
As for transports, if the transport dies, so does everyone inside! It makes sense, but yet we see a majority of units surviving ammunition explosions that would simply burn and annihilate most anyone.
Every last person dies, or you keep fighting and piling in until everyone on one side is dead. No more multi-phase assaults.
As I prepare to play Flames of War tomorrow, I thought it would be fun to muse on how we could successfully take some (or none) of these concepts into 40K and what changes we would have to make to the core mechanic in order to do it.