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Codex Astartes: ideas pooling
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Old 02 Jul 2007, 10:15   #1 (permalink)
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Default Codex Astartes: ideas pooling

I am one of those players who feels that, with the release of the Dark Angels and Blood Angels, the Vanilla Codex is now all but obsolete. With their much more balanced layouts, and more realistic compositions (not to mention the free gubbins!), the Vanilla Codex just isn't anywhere near as good. For one thing, it has too many of the "powergamer" options that were removed (cheap Assault Cannons, for example).

So, I'm going to make a House Rule Codex. However, there is one area that needs consideration; the Traits.


Obviously, using a Blood/Dark Angels format will cause a lot of limitations. As such, many of the Traits will be designed to counter this, restoring some of the flexibility at the cost of other areas.

The other main flaw with the Traits is their "disadvantage". Put simply, anything that isn't a disadvantage will now be left out. I am working on a "tier" concept at present, where each Advantage has three Disadvantages, and you apply the lowest. If you already have that disadvantage, then you apply the next one. If you can't apply a disadvantage, you cannot take that Trait!

For example:

Trait: Trust your Battle Brothers.
Disadvantages:
  • Scouts moved to Elites.
  • No units may Deep Strike.
  • -1 Elite, Fast Attack and Heavy Support slot.

I think we can all agree these are slightly more troublesome than "no Allies" or "No Drop Pods", neither of which I ever include anyway!

On the other hand, I wouldn't field Scouts if they're taking up an Elites slot, and Scouts can be a very useful unit.


Now, let's add another Trait in there:

Trait: Under Strength.
Disadvantages:
  • Scouts moved to Elites.
  • No units may Deep Strike.
  • -1 Elite, Fast Attack and Heavy Support slot.

So, if you take either Trust your Battle Brothers or Under Strength, Scouts are moved to Elites. If you take both, then Scouts are Elites and your army cannot use Deep Strike.


Finally, here's my proposed layout:

HQ: 0-1 Battle Company Captain, Reserve Company Captain, 0-1 Master of Sanctity, Chaplain, 0-1 Chief Librarian, Librarian, Command Squad.
Elites: Terminator Squad, Veteran Squad, Dreadnought. [Techmarine]
Troops: Tactical Squad, Scout Squad.*
Fast Attack: Assault Squad, Bike Squadron, Scout Bike Squadron,* Attack Bike Squadron, Land Speeder Squadron.
[/b]Heavy Support:[/b] Devastator Squad, Predator Destructor, Predator Annihilator, Land Raider, Land Raider Crusader, Vindicator, Whirlwind.

* You may not have more Scout Combat Squads or Scout Bike Combat Squads than Tactical Combat Squads (ie: a 10-man squad counts as 2 squads). Tactical Marines should always equal or outnumber the Scouts!

So, it looks fairly similar to the current Codex, I'm sure you'll agree. It's mainly a change of formatting.

So, any suggestions for Traits (and suitable downsides) are more than welcome. Any other ideas on how to apply Traits are also welcome, but the Traits must have downsides! At present, very few do.


Oh, and before I forget, here's a few other little gems that will be used:
  • Master Crafting will be included, but only for the Battle Company Captain, Chapter Master, Master of Sanctity and Chief Librarian.
  • There will be rules for "customising" your Chapter's battle doctrine, allowing you to make Fearless HQs, or HQs with other special rules. These may be Trait based.
  • There will not be reduced equipment costs for Sergeants.
  • You will, by using Traits, be able to make 6-9 man squads. You will suffer heavy penalties if you want them sporting heavy weapons, however.
  • Venerable Dreadnoughts will still be 0-1.
  • I'd like to allow options such as "Assault Squads as Troops" or "Bikes as Troops". I'd also like to be able to field "1st Company" armies. Naturally, these will require proper counter-balancing so as not to overshadow the official Blood Angels list, or Ravenwing / Deathwing.
  • Numbered amongst the Traits may be genetic alterations / defects, allowing you to create "Cursed Founding" Chapters. Some defects may be chosen to replace a downside given by a Trait (ie: you could choose to have I3 or S3 instead of suffering other limitations.
  • At present, there is no limit on the number of Traits you can have, save the "rule of three" mentioned earlier. This means those who really don't want to follow the Codex Astartes can mess about with it to their heart's content.
  • "Crusading Chapters" is another option I hope to include, which will make the army more akin to the Black Templars, without going totally zealotic.
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Old 02 Jul 2007, 12:21   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Codex Astartes: ideas pooling

This is really good stuff. I prefer your idea for a traits system, and I like the fact that 'Chapter Master' has been replaced with 'Battle Company Captain' (the Chapter Master stats never really did such a character justice).
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Old 02 Jul 2007, 13:33   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Codex Astartes: ideas pooling

Alrighty, here's some Captainy goodness! ;D

[table][tr][td] [/td][td]Ws[/td][td]Bs[/td][td]S[/td][td]T[/td][td]W[/td][td]I[/td][td]A[/td][td]Ld[/td][td]Sv[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Battle Captain[/td][td]5[/td][td]5[/td][td]4[/td][td]4[/td][td]3[/td][td]5[/td][td]3[/td][td]10[/td][td]3+[/td][/tr][/table]
Cost: 75pts.
Unit Type: Infantry.
Wargear: Bolt Pistol, Chainsword, Frag & Krak Grenades, Power Armour.
Options:
  • May replace Bolt Pistol with one of the following: Plasma Pistol at +15pts; Storm Shield at +15pts.
  • May replace Chainsword with one of the following: Power Weapon at +15pts; Power Fist at +25pts; Lightning Claw at +25pts; a Pair of Lightning Claws at +30pts; Thunder Hammer at +30pts.
  • May be equipped with one of the following: Bolter at +1pt; Storm Bolter at +5pts; Combi Bolter-Flamer, Bolter-Grenade Launcher, Bolter-Plasmagun or Bolter-Meltagun at +10pts.
  • May Master Craft a single piece of wargear for +15pts, or upgrade Power Armour to Artificer Armour at +20pts.
  • May be equipped with an Iron Halo at +25pts, or an Adamantine Mantle at +35pts.
Special Rules:
And They Shall Know No Fear, Independent Character, Rites of Battle.

I've left out the Terminator stuff because I don't have my Blood Angels rules on hand, and I want to know how they word it.

Anyone see anything that has been missed off? The reason you only get 1 Master Crafting is because you need a Trait to get more.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Norman
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Old 02 Jul 2007, 13:49   #4 (permalink)
Shas'O
 
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Default Re: Codex Astartes: ideas pooling

It all looks very good so far. But what if I want to run a 1st Company army (Vets & Termies only) or a 10th company army? Honestly, I'm liking everything you have so far. Like Tom, I've never like the idea of the "Master" as the stats aren't correct and I don't think "everyone" would have a Master leading their company.

I have also felt that the disadvantages were a joke. I have an Imperial Fist army which I built for my son and I can honesly say that I've never used the extra turn option at the end of the game when playing against it. By that time my army is either so decimated that it won't make a difference or I've got a handle on the game that I don't want to risk loosing.

Also, I'd love to see an expanded trait / disadvantage list rather than just covering the seven chapters the codex does assign traits to. I mean, they (GW) dedicate two pages of color photos for 14 chapters, how hard would it be to create a page with a list of chapters and traits?

Anyway, nice work.
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Old 02 Jul 2007, 14:16   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Codex Astartes: ideas pooling

  • Quote:
    Originally Posted by Farseer_Emlyn (working on campaign)
    It all looks very good so far. But what if I want to run a 1st Company army (Vets & Termies only) or a 10th company army?
    Those can be covered with Traits. Indeed, any suggestions on what a 10th Company army should contain are welcome!



    Anyways, here's a couple I'm working on so far for the "Mutation" element:

    Trait: Combat Mutation.
    Advantages: The Marines have suffered genetic mutations producing large protrusions of bone, or a similar mutation that can be used in combat. All Marines count as having a Heavy Close Combat weapon.
    Disadvantages:
    • Marines no longer benefit from And They Shall Know No Fear, and cannot use Allies.
    • Unstable
    • Infantry Legion

    Trait: Horrific Visage.
    Advantages: The Astartes have foul, rotting faces, or burst into ethereal flame, or possess some other terrifying and un-natural trait.
    Any squad may be given Horrific Visage at +1pt per model (+5pts for characters). Horrific Visage inflicts a -1 Ld modifier on any enemy unit in assault with the unit with Horrific Visage.
    Disadvantages:
    • Marines no longer benefit from And They Shall Know No Fear, and cannot use Allies.
    • Unstable
    • Infantry Legion

    Trait: Paternatural.
    Advantages: [i]The Marines are gifted with un-natural speed and agility. They can react much more quickly than other Astartes, making them lightning-fast and deadly enemies.
All Space Marine units (with the exception of Dreadnoughts) increase their Initiative by 1.
Disadvantages:
  • Marines no longer benefit from And They Shall Know No Fear, and cannot use Allies.
  • Unstable
  • Infantry Legion

Voluntary Flaws:
You may choose to take a Voluntary Flaw in place of any Trait Disadvantage. You may not take a Flaw more than once. It replaces completely the entry you choose to forfiet (ie: if you ignore "Scouts Moved to Elites", then a second Trait with that penalty will apply the second Disadvantage instead).

Finally, you cannot take conflicting Traits and Flaws (ie: if you have Paternatural Speed then you cannot take Slow Reflexes).

Infantry Legion: The Chapter steadfastly refuses the use of vehicles, believing that to fight on foot is the only way.
A Chapter with Infantry Legion cannot units that are not Infantry. Assault Squads may be taken, but are a 0-1 choice.

Physical Flaw: The Chapter has a flaw in its Gene-seed that prevents proper muscle-growth. The result is that the Chapter's Astartes are much weaker than one would expect.
All Space Marine units (with the exception of Dreadnoughts) reduce their Strength by 1.

Slow Reflexes: The Chapter hails from a high gravity world, or recruits from genetically inferior stock. The result is that the Space Marines have longer reaction times than their Battle Brothers.
All Space Marine units (with the exception of Dreadnoughts) reduce their Initiative by 1.

Unstable: The Astartes are wracked by sudden and violent physical or mental bouts of pain and disorientation as their super-human bodies rebel against them.
At the start of each turn, roll a D6 for each squad, vehicle and independent character who is not part of a squad. On a roll of 1, the unit cannot act this turn, as their deliberating corruption takes hold. Vehicles count as having suffered a Crew Stunned result.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Norman
"Wargamer is never wrong, Frodo Baggins; he knows precisely the rules he means to."
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Old 02 Jul 2007, 15:40   #6 (permalink)
Shas'O
 
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Default Re: Codex Astartes: ideas pooling

A few thoughts. I tried to write up some rules, but I couldn't come up with anything specific. From my limited reading, Codex divergences happen for one of three reasons. 1) A tactical preference by the Chapter (i.e. White Scars, Raven Guard) 2) A major event (loosing all of your terminator armor in a huge battle or the founding of a new chapter) 3) A gene seed flaw (the Imperial Fist's obsession with pain, the Blood Angel's black rage)

So is there any way to work #3 into the traits? For example, perhaps one could buy the "Feel No Pain" trait for certain Imperial Fist units but they then also take a flaw like a lowered Initiative or other penalty in close combat (no Belcher's Gland?). I couldn't come up with anything for the lack of the SusAn organ either (maybe something negating apothecaries?).

Also, I would imagine that a 10th company would be made up largely of Scout Bikes & Infantry (obviously), would be unable to take Elites or Heavies at all (or could possibly take Scouts with Sniper Rifles as Heavies and Scouts with Bolters as Elites with some benefits?). Also, a 10th company would still be led by a regular HQ - but give them the Infiltrate ability automatically and disallow them to take Terminator Armor.

So your 10th company might look like this:
HQ
Captain / Chaplin / HQ Squad - no Terminator Armor, no Assault Packs. Have the Infiltrate ability.

Elites
May not take standard Elite choices. May take 0-1 Scouts with Bolters or Heavy Bolters with the Stealth ability for +X points per model.

Troops
May only take Scout Squads

Fast Attack
May only take Scout Bikes

Heavy
May not take standard Heavy choices. May take 0-1 Scouts with Sniper Rifles with the Stealth or Tank Hunters ability for +X points per model.

It's probably a little cumbersome, but you asked for ideas.
Thanks,
Em
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Old 03 Jul 2007, 00:26   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Codex Astartes: ideas pooling

Quote:
Originally Posted by Farseer_Emlyn (working on campaign)
A few thoughts. I tried to write up some rules, but I couldn't come up with anything specific. From my limited reading, Codex divergences happen for one of three reasons. 1) A tactical preference by the Chapter (i.e. White Scars, Raven Guard) 2) A major event (loosing all of your terminator armor in a huge battle or the founding of a new chapter) 3) A gene seed flaw (the Imperial Fist's obsession with pain, the Blood Angel's black rage)

So is there any way to work #3 into the traits? For example, perhaps one could buy the "Feel No Pain" trait for certain Imperial Fist units but they then also take a flaw like a lowered Initiative or other penalty in close combat (no Belcher's Gland?). I couldn't come up with anything for the lack of the SusAn organ either (maybe something negating apothecaries?).

Also, I would imagine that a 10th company would be made up largely of Scout Bikes & Infantry (obviously), would be unable to take Elites or Heavies at all (or could possibly take Scouts with Sniper Rifles as Heavies and Scouts with Bolters as Elites with some benefits?). Also, a 10th company would still be led by a regular HQ - but give them the Infiltrate ability automatically and disallow them to take Terminator Armor.

So your 10th company might look like this:
HQ
Captain / Chaplin / HQ Squad - no Terminator Armor, no Assault Packs. Have the Infiltrate ability.

Elites
May not take standard Elite choices. May take 0-1 Scouts with Bolters or Heavy Bolters with the Stealth ability for +X points per model.

Troops
May only take Scout Squads

Fast Attack
May only take Scout Bikes

Heavy
May not take standard Heavy choices. May take 0-1 Scouts with Sniper Rifles with the Stealth or Tank Hunters ability for +X points per model.

It's probably a little cumbersome, but you asked for ideas.
Thanks,
Em
Tenth company has scouts as their squads, but they do need a group to show them what to do. Heres some thoughts for options.

Heavy-(0-1) Devestators
Heavy-(0-1) Attack bike
Elite-(0-1) Space marines

Another idea is that each scout squad is led by a veteran space marine(using the standard sergeant profile) He can be armed as the squad, has infiltrate and may take a veteran skill for +10-15 points. He confers the skill onto the squad, but if he gets taken out they lose it.(hence the hefty skill cost)
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Old 03 Jul 2007, 08:13   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Codex Astartes: ideas pooling

I think creating entirely new Scout units is taking it too far; this is meant to be a reshuffle, not making a seperate army list just for Scouts!
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Old 03 Jul 2007, 11:41   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Codex Astartes: ideas pooling

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wargamer
I think creating entirely new Scout units is taking it too far; this is meant to be a reshuffle, not making a seperate army list just for Scouts!
Well, my point wasn't so much to created new scout units so much as it was to mimic what the existing codex does under Be Swift As the Wind, Blessed Be the Warriors, Honour Your Wargear, and Heed the Wisdom. That is to say, allow the option of moving units to different slots but forcing you to then buy a veteran skill for them. Anyway, I understand that it became too cumbersome.
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