Personal, absolutely subjective impressions

There is no peace among the stars: the Imperium of Man is beset on all sides by all kinds of threats. Among them is the Orks, a barbaric and warlike xeno race. One of their fiercest leaders, Grukk Face-Rippa, leads his Red Waaagh! in the Sanctus Reach system...
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TheWise
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Personal, absolutely subjective impressions

Post by TheWise » Thu Dec 28, 2017 3:51 pm

Actually, topic, without further ado.

Advantages:

1. Models, animations, visual effects, sound effects - rather good for such a relatively low-budget game.
2. Tactical depth - is at the very least sufficient: covers, morale, weapon accuracy being lowered over the distance, different armor values for front/side/rear side of vehicles.
3. Giants - Imperial Knights, Gorkanaut/Morkanaut - are awesome.
4. Some logical and really interesting level-up upgrades - Gene-seed mutation, Adamantine Mantle, various special ammunition and so forth.

Drawbacks:

1. Far-fetched game mechanics and visually stupid things like:

a) ranged units not fighting in melee (Space Wolves' Grey Hunters do not fight in melee ... gents, R U serious? Guys with True Grit and optional chainswiods cannot fight in melee?);
b) vehicles tied in melee with infantry, cannot much less crush this infantry, but even drive away (oh really? the Predator, Leman Russ or Battlewagon cannot drive away from a mob of Boys/squad of Blood Claws?);
c) destroying the air units like Land Speeder or Valkyrie with melee weapons - sorry, gents, but this looks outright stupid;
d) lascannons firing something like tracer rounds instead of laser beams;

2. Missing/controversial mechanics:

a) no reaction arcs/zones of control for flamer/missile/laser units;
b) horribly long cooldowns for abilities;

3. Too many unit features, which should be default ones, are moved to level-up upgrades:

a) frag and krak grenades for Space Marine infantry/Stikkbombz for Ork Boyz/Nobz. They are default as per Codex - and must be this in any WH40K game as well;
b) teleport for Terminators - thus making the ranged (Stormbolter) ones way superior as compared to their Flamer and Thunder Hammer brethren. Just imagine the two latter having the Teleporter ... real bane for infantry/vehicles respectively - as they should be (for they are elite amongst elites);
And so on ....

4. Lots of loadouts are pretty far from Codices:

a) squad of 2-3 men, each with a flamer or meltagun - in which SM Codex did you find it?
b) Land Speeder Tornado (represented in the game) shall be armed with both Assault Cannon AND Heavy Bolter, not just Assault Cannon;
c) no Nobs/Pack Leaders/Sergeants as parts of squads. Having them as separate entities is .... better, than none, but still sucks;
d) 2-3 men, all with identic weapons, in a Long Fang squad - what is this, after all? A Pack Leader plus 4 Long Fangs with heavy weapons - that's what shall be at the very least;
e) 5-entity Ork mobz? No. Just no. 9 Boyz plus a Nob. Hard to fit into tile? Scale (all models) down a bit and broaden the camera zoom range;
and so on ....

5. Loadouts are not customizable - which sucks really badly:

a) just imagine - you can equip your Deffkopta with either twin-linked big shoota (vs infantry) or rokkit launcha (vs vehicles);
b) or make your Land Speeder a close-range beast with Heavy Flamer instead of Assault Cannon and Multi-melta instead of a pintly-mounted Heavy Bolter;
c) or equip your Boyz with Big Shoota or Rokkit Launcha;
and so on ....

6. Missing units for Space Wolves:

a) Razorback (with customizable weapons);
b) Wulfen;
c) Fenrisian Wolves;
d) Wolf Scouts (with Cloak aka invisibility, of course);
e) Wolf Guard (normal veterans, not Terminators);
f) Attack Bikes (with Heavy Bolter or Multi-Melta);
g) Iron Priest - vehicles are in disadvantage, for they cannot be repaired during the mission;
h) Land Speeder Typhoon and Land Speeder Tempest;
j) Predator Annihilator and, possibly, other variants;
k) Land Raider variants;
l) Tarantula turrets (as deployables for Iron Priest);
m) all Primaris stuff from the 8th edition - Intercessors, Hellblasters, Reivers, Incessors, Aggressors, Redemptor Dreadnoughts;
n) Dreadnought variants - Contemptor, Mortis/Deredeo, Ironclad, Leviathan;

7. Missing units for Orksez:

a) Lootaz;
b) Tankbustaz;
c) Trukks;
d) Wartrakks;
e) Mekboyz and Big Mek;
f) Kommandoz (yes, with invisibility);
g) Looted vehicles;
h) Gunwagonz;
i) Big Trakks;
j) Big Gunz - Kannonz, Lobbaz, Zzap Gunz and so on;
k) Kill Tanks (Kill Krusha, Kill Blasta etc.);
l) other Mek Gunz;

8. Missing and improperly implemented weapons:

a) all plasma weapons for SM - where are they?;
b) Frost melee weapons for Space Wolves - they're their iconic weapons, after all;
c) Hellfrost ranged weapons;
d) combi-weapons - combi-flamer, combi-plasma, combi-melta ... and combe rokkit launcha, of course;
e) melta bombs;
f) multi-melta;
g) both SM Krak Missiles and Ork Rokkits aren't that much of anti-vehicle weapons (though should be);
and so on .....

In fact - there are only two suggestions (aka Keywords) - Closer to Codex and Customization. If you (I mean devs) don't want to do this - make the proper Mod Tools to enable this opportunity for us.

DocDesastro
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Re: Personal, absolutely subjective impressions

Post by DocDesastro » Tue Jan 02, 2018 12:19 am

Really makes sense! Thought some of it as well when playing. (Started 2nd Ed.). The game looks neat but lcks a bit fluff-wise. Also, XP should be awarded on a 'sprite killed' base. Example: Shootas grant what is it - 40XP for the unit that killed them but not for those contributing. As they are 5 figures, each should be worth 8XP then making it possible for squad leaders/commander units to level without too much hassle - flamer units would benefit as well as do meltas as they often kill several sprites but not the whole unit - which renders them rather useless and I forgo them often for better choices. Not wanting to disturb the balance but OP is right about Space Marines being able to close-combat no matter their armament. I understand the way grenades work currently - as skill with cooldown. Why not try this? A unit equippeds with frag grenades or stikkbombz will do an automatic attack on the square upon close combat while being attacker and before regular attack. No AoE besides square attacked and small to medium damage. But not clogging up a perk for a rather weak skill with what should be standard-issue. Same goes to krak grenades/meltabombs when attacking a vehicle. Besides, some skills are a bit OP. Teleporting for Dreadnoughts is rather...well, a trio of them with that in veteran mode will be able to wreak utter havoc - favorite tactic of mine. Teleport in, flame em, trample them and give em the axe. Kill-tally is awesome while the things are nearly unstoppable.

TheWise
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Re: Personal, absolutely subjective impressions

Post by TheWise » Thu Jan 04, 2018 6:33 pm

Just continueing my speculations of "what I would do, if I had proper mod tools for Sanctus Reach" sort.

The keywords here are: CUSTOMIZATION and CLOSER TO CODEX. Plus - some gameplay features.

Let's start with Space Wolves.

Blood Claws:

- 1 Pack Leader (one of existing models can be used) and 4 Blood Claws;
- all armed with bolt pistols and chainswords plus Frag Grenade and Krak Grenade as DEFAULT abilities;
- one Blood Claw may take a Plasma Pistol (already made for Cadians);
- one Blood Claw may take a Flamer, Meltagun or Plasma Gun (also already made for certain Cadian units) instead of his bolt pistol and chainsword;
- the Pack Leader may replace his chainsword with Power Sword, Power Axe or Power Fist (everything already exists in the game);
- Pack Leader's attacks and attack of the rest of squad are resolved separately;
- level-up upgrades may include, besides existing special ammo and special grenade ones, the replacement of normal Pack Leader with a Wolf Guard one (somewhere on level 3-4) and Wolf Guard one in Terminator armor (level 6-7);
- a Wolf Guard Pack Leader is also armed with bolt pistol and chainsword, just with doubled amount of attacks or higher damage. He may, though, replace the chainsword with Power Sword, Power Axe, Power Fist, Frost Sword, Frost Axe, Lightning Claw (Claws, replace also bolt pistol) or Wolf Claw (Claws, replace also bolt pistol). Bolt pistol, in term, may be replaced with Plasma Pistol, Combi-Flamer, Combi-Plasma or Combi-Melta;
- a Wolf Guard Pack Leader in Terminator Armor is armed with power sword and storm bolter. May replace his Power Sword with any Terminator Melee weapon, and storm bolter with any combi-weapon or Storm Shield.

Swiftclaws:

- 1 Pack Leader and 2 Swiftclaws;
- all armed with bolt pistols, plus their bikes have twin boltguns, plus Frag Grenade and Krak Grenade are default abilities;
- any of them can replace his bolt pistol with a chainsword (i.e. we can have either more shooting, or shooting and melee);
- one Swiftclaw or Pack Leader can replace his bolt pistol with a plasma pistol or any of Space Wolves special weapons (flamer, plasmagun, meltagun);
- Pack Leader can replace his bolt pistol with any Space Wolves melee weapon (frost sword, frost axe, lightning claw, Wolf Claw, power sword, power axe, power maul, power fist, thunder hammer);
- one of the level-up upgrades, besides regular special ammo, special grenades and so on could be a replacement of normal Pack Leader to Wolf Guard one;
- Wolf Guard Pack Leader can replace his bolt pistol with any of Space Wolves melee weapons or Space Wolves combi-weapons;

Attack Bike:

Since it would be a problem to attach such bike to a Swiftclaw squad - it could be added as separate unit.

- 1 Attack bike, crewed by 2 Swiftclaws;
- Attack bike itself has a twin boltgun and a heavy bolter;
- each Swiftclaw has a bolt pistol, frag and krak grenades (i.e. Frag Grenade and Krak Grenade abilities shall be default ones);
- heavy bolter can be replaced with a multi-melta;

Skyclaws:

- 1 Sky Leader and 4 Skyclaws;
- all armed with bolt pistols, chainswords, frag and krak grenades;
- up to 2 Skyclaws can replace their bolt pistols with plasma pistols or any Space Wolves special weapon (flamer, plasmagun, meltagun);
- Sky Leader can replace his chainsword with any Space Wolves melee weapon (frost sword, frost axe, lightning claw, Wolf Claw, power sword, power axe, power maul, power fist, thunder hammer);
- one of level-up upgrades could be replacement of normal Sky Leader with a Wolf Guard one;
- Wolf Guard Sky Leader may replace his chainsword with any Space Wolves melee weapon (frost sword, frost axe, lightning claw, Wolf Claw, power sword, power axe, power maul, power fist, thunder hammer) and his bolt pistol with plasma pistol or any combi-weapon;

Grey Hunters:

- 1 Pack Leader and 4 Grey Hunters;
- all armed with boltgun, bolt pistol, plus Frag Grenades and Krak Grenades as default abilities;
- another default ability - True Grit (ability to use their boltguns during melee instead of pistols - in fact, merely two shots instead of one);
- any Grey Hunter may take a chainsword - yes, they MUST fignt in melee as well;
- one Grey Hunter may take a Flamer, Meltagun or Plasma Gun;
- one Grey Hunter may take a Wolf Standard (increase of movement/action points/ charge distance);
- one Grey Hunter may replace his bolt pistol with plasma pistol;
- Grey Hunter Pack Leader may take chainsword, power sword, power axe or power fist;
- Pack Leader's attacks and attack of the rest of squad are resolved separately;
- level-up upgrades may include, besides existing special ammo and special grenade ones, the replacement of normal Pack Leader with a Wolf Guard one (somewhere on level 3-4) and Wolf Guard one in Terminator armor (level 6-7);
- a Wolf Guard Pack Leader is also armed with bolt pistol and chainsword, just with doubled amount of attacks or higher damage. He may, though, replace the chainsword with Power Sword, Power Axe, Power Fist, Frost Sword, Frost Axe, Lightning Claw (Claws, replace also bolt pistol) or Wolf Claw (Claws, replace also bolt pistol). Bolt pistol, in term, may be replaced with Plasma Pistol, Combi-Flamer, Combi-Plasma or Combi-Melta;
- a Wolf Guard Pack Leader in Terminator Armor is armed with power sword and storm bolter. May replace his Power Sword with any Terminator Melee weapon, and storm bolter with any combi-weapon or Storm Shield.

Suggestions on weapons:

1. Most of dedicated anti-vehicle weapons are merely underwhelming - be it Krak Grenades, Krak Missiles, Meltagun or Ork rokkits. They are, in fact, debuff weapons instead of being the weapons of direct action (i.e. lower the armor value instead of dealing damage to HP ignoring the armor). Lascannons are a pleasant exception.
2. Heavy Bolters are also merely underwhelming in all variants - they look weaker, than regular Boltguns, having besides it shorter range (8 vs 9 for bolters, while their range shall be 1.5x of bolter one);
3. Bolters and Storm Bolters are weapons of Rapid-fire type, i.e. must have their number of shots doubled up to 50% of maximal range;

Combat system improvements:

1. Melee Charge as a separate sort of attack from non-adjacent tiles.
2. Ram Charge (or Ram Attack) - causing minor physical damage, knockback and some morale damage with no retaliation attack. Could be good for Swiftclaws, Warbikers, Thunderwolves and Warbuggies.
3. Usage of pistols during melee combat (say, each melee attack includes a bolt/plasma pistol/slugga shot and CC weapon strike).

Quality of life features:

1. Highlighting of covers, available within the unit's movement field - with separation of two types: mere "shields" and ones with an option to shoot from behind (there were some cases, when I placed my units behind some cover and they were unable to shoot afterwards).

DocDesastro
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Re: Personal, absolutely subjective impressions

Post by DocDesastro » Thu Jan 04, 2018 8:32 pm

I agree totally with your wish for customization of units. However, I see a problem with integrating some of the suggestions made. Squad leaders fall into the category. When attached to the unit it causes more problems than good gameplay-wise. Since per action you can only fire a single weapon what worth has a plasma pistol in a unit? Forfeit 4 bolt pistols for the one plasma pistol to fire? A solution would be looking at the codex again. Blood Claw packs are made of aspirants...marines that usually would become scouts first to make them adapt to the new organs and mental/physical capabilities they now have. Although, they are rather big squads - it is survival of the fittest there. With growing experience combat losses kick in and a green blood claw unit with 15 marines will melt down to about 10 grey hunters. Those are harder, more capable but still grow old...and become small squads of long fangs with the exception of extraordinary marines being invited to the wolf guard or solitary ones joining the wolf scouts which are something very different from nomal marine scouts.

Back to my suggestion: A Blood Claw pack could now cost 280 points and contains a pack leader (single unit, customizable) and 3 units of blood claws of which one can be further customized with a flamer or plasma pistol (buff pistol damage of squad) or having power weapons upgraded. All units will belong to the same pack, might have some small benefits (morale? morale recovery) when around the pack leader within 3 hexes and: pack will earn XP as whole so every unit of the pack will contribute to pack XP levelling the pack together with the pack leader getting different choices. Adjust XP treshold accordingly.

Same goes for Grey Hunters: they could cost about 400 a pack and will have 2 units of bolter grey hunters and one pack leader with bolter/power weapon (seperate unit) as pack champion. They come with bolter/chainsword as standard-issue, have 4 sprites per unit instead of the Blood Claws who have 5 making it 9 marines per pack as is reasonable for Grey Hunters and their squad size stated in the codex. One unit can take special weapons which will be 2 marines taking melta guns or flamers decreasing close combat capabilities but still there will be 2 more marines with bolter/chainsword to fill the gap. Just choose whether to fire flamer or bolter. If marines are killed, bolters go first and special weapons will be picked up.

For Long Fangs it is a leader with power weapon and bolter and accuracy boost for his men - like the signum a vanilla devastator sergeant wields. Additionally 2 units of 2 Long fangs with the same type of heavy weapons. This makes them a bit more fragile, but gives opportunity to mix weapons.

This could solve some of the problems your suggestions make TheWise, which are very valuable on their own.

My 5 cents

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Re: Personal, absolutely subjective impressions

Post by oscarfromastora » Fri Jan 05, 2018 8:23 am

I agree with the author of the post, especially support the idea of the need for units who repair tanks and transport.

TheWise
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Re: Personal, absolutely subjective impressions

Post by TheWise » Fri Jan 05, 2018 9:20 am

DocDesastro wrote:I agree totally with your wish for customization of units. However, I see a problem with integrating some of the suggestions made. Squad leaders fall into the category. When attached to the unit it causes more problems than good gameplay-wise. Since per action you can only fire a single weapon what worth has a plasma pistol in a unit? Forfeit 4 bolt pistols for the one plasma pistol to fire? A solution would be looking at the codex again. Blood Claw packs are made of aspirants...marines that usually would become scouts first to make them adapt to the new organs and mental/physical capabilities they now have. Although, they are rather big squads - it is survival of the fittest there. With growing experience combat losses kick in and a green blood claw unit with 15 marines will melt down to about 10 grey hunters. Those are harder, more capable but still grow old...and become small squads of long fangs with the exception of extraordinary marines being invited to the wolf guard or solitary ones joining the wolf scouts which are something very different from nomal marine scouts.

Back to my suggestion: A Blood Claw pack could now cost 280 points and contains a pack leader (single unit, customizable) and 3 units of blood claws of which one can be further customized with a flamer or plasma pistol (buff pistol damage of squad) or having power weapons upgraded. All units will belong to the same pack, might have some small benefits (morale? morale recovery) when around the pack leader within 3 hexes and: pack will earn XP as whole so every unit of the pack will contribute to pack XP levelling the pack together with the pack leader getting different choices. Adjust XP treshold accordingly.

Same goes for Grey Hunters: they could cost about 400 a pack and will have 2 units of bolter grey hunters and one pack leader with bolter/power weapon (seperate unit) as pack champion. They come with bolter/chainsword as standard-issue, have 4 sprites per unit instead of the Blood Claws who have 5 making it 9 marines per pack as is reasonable for Grey Hunters and their squad size stated in the codex. One unit can take special weapons which will be 2 marines taking melta guns or flamers decreasing close combat capabilities but still there will be 2 more marines with bolter/chainsword to fill the gap. Just choose whether to fire flamer or bolter. If marines are killed, bolters go first and special weapons will be picked up.

For Long Fangs it is a leader with power weapon and bolter and accuracy boost for his men - like the signum a vanilla devastator sergeant wields. Additionally 2 units of 2 Long fangs with the same type of heavy weapons. This makes them a bit more fragile, but gives opportunity to mix weapons.

This could solve some of the problems your suggestions make TheWise, which are very valuable on their own.

My 5 cents
Good 5 cents :-)) Though there is a simpler solution for incorporating of Pack Leaders (and it is even present in my suggestions) - Pack Leader's attacks and attacks of the rest of the squad are resolved separately. I.e. a Pack Leader has his own two attacks plus the rest of the squad have their own two attacks.
For instance, first the Blood Claws' Pack Leader fires his Plasma Pistol twice (two very hard single-target hits!) plus the rest of the squad either fires their bolt pistols twice, or uses the flamer once and fires bolt pistols, or uses the flamer twice, or fires the bolt pistols once and performs a melee charge, or uses a flamer and performs a melee charge. Or the squad fires the flamer once first, then charges to melee, where both squad's and Pack Leader's attacks are spent in melee and so on.
Or - in case of Grey Hunters - a Pack Leader fires his combi-plasma twice, then the squad moves in to flamer range, burns once and shoots their bolters (with doubled number of shots, granted by Rapid Fire nature of the bolters). I.e. - lots of tactical moves open this way.

DocDesastro
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Re: Personal, absolutely subjective impressions

Post by DocDesastro » Fri Jan 05, 2018 12:13 pm

I just wanted to eliminate the need to totally rewrite the game and saw the biggest problem in hit allocation in mixed units: who is to die? This seems not easy and as proof I would showcase such oddities lieke grey hunters packs with 3 flamers. It seems that a unit has to be formed from the same sprites so I am a bit worried about customization. I also do not know whether it is possible to resolve more than one attack or whether there is the possibility of a mixed unit at all, but I know we can have 3 units of blood claws and a leader on board. We need a Pre mission-UI that would enable us to pick whole packs instead of single units. Last, I do not know whether the AI could use such tactical moves itself as you proposed (fire champion, move, fire squad in a mixed unit).

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Re: Personal, absolutely subjective impressions

Post by TheWise » Fri Jan 05, 2018 9:09 pm

I don't know anything of things you mention either, TBH - for I modded the games, which allowed combined squads. As for allocation - probabilities are our best friends here: for instance, bolter fire is distributed evenly, while (for instance) sniper fire hits the squad leaders with highest probability, then squad members with special/heavy weapons, then the rest of squad members. Not sure about this game, but I encountered unit parameters like "target priority" in other games' Mod Tools.
As for buff/debuff auras (passive ones!) for Battle Leaders/Wolf Lords - that's exactly the way these guys shall perform instead of having cooldown-based abilities. For instance, Krom Dragongaze codex-wise has an ability to reduce enemies' morale and so on.

DocDesastro
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Re: Personal, absolutely subjective impressions

Post by DocDesastro » Sat Jan 06, 2018 12:09 am

I would assume, if there is a 'Fire Pistol' action, then we would be fine with plasma/bolt pistols in the same squad. They would be treated as same kind of weapon and then I guess it all comes down to a number of dice rolls for to-hit and damage seperately. Sounds like something possible. Problems might rise when there are weapons in a unit with different ranges i.e. a flamer in a bolter unit. The flamer is, however, easy to tackle. Look at how dreadnoughts do this. Either fire the flamer or the other weapons per action or as alternative have the bolters fire scattered within the cone the flamer projects hitting random targets. I am still not sure about attaching a leader to a sub-unit. Still my intuition would tell me to have him run around alone as he might be equipped in a very different way. Tactically, he could issue orders as abilities with cooldown to units of his pack. Maybe granting a bonus action at the cost of an own, maybe recover morale. Would depend on the kind of leader. Imperial Guard a.k.a Astra Militarum could profit from this as well as the troops are directed by their officers. What is a must in my book is that the pack as whole entity should gain XP so all sub-units share the same XP.

I totally concur with removing some grenade options as abilities as these items should be issued to the troops during setup. Especially grenades should come with a limited number of uses instead of cooldown. Frankly, if I had 3 grenades and would face a horde of greenskins, then I would use them as fast as I could and not throw one, then wait 20 seconds before I am allowed to throw another.

Let me assume the following setup:
Blood Claw Pack
Consists of 1 Pack Leader and 3 units of 5-man Blood Claw units.
Per level - and they start at level 1 the unit might take 1 piece of equipment for the squad, maybe some items locked by level. Let us assume, at level 1 the squad could pick frag grenades only. So every sub-unit including the pack leader now has 3 uses of frag grenades. Advancing to level 2 unlocks another equipment slot. Maybe for level 2 unlocks there are krak grenades available, smoke grenades available or an auspex (works like the ability, but on a permanent base) or charms (small close combat buff) or squad upgrade: flamer (each sub-unit excluding the leader gets one flamer) or medikit for 2 uses. Level 3 might unlock power weapon upgrade (each sub-unit now gets one power weapon), Meltabomb upgrade (each subunit including leader gets 1 use of Meltabomb), Plasma Pistol upgrade (each subunit get 1 plasma pistol), Hellfire ammo for the pistols. Level 4 could unlock exotic grenade types like radiation grenades (one use), fear grenades, pack totem (moderate buff to pack), frost weapon upgrade and so on...

The pack leader might be customized depending on pack level like he starts with bolt pistol/chainsword/frag grenade
Level 2 unlocks: power weapon, plasma pistol, krak grenades
Level 3 unlocks: power fist, meltabomb, wolf hide, charms
Level 4 unlocks: master-crafted weapons, master-crafted armour, frost-weapon
Pack leader customization eats points, however

Pack abilities should be passive perks mostly. I could think of 'fleet of foot' adding +1 movement, fearful howl (squad inflicts additional morale damage in close combat), camo neting, +1 vision range, +1 reaction fire per turn, regains bonus morale, regenerates a small amount of HP per turn, bonus to cover, CC-specialists buffing weapon skill and increases chance to parry and counter. Berserker rage (buffs weapons skill and damage but lowers ranged combat), favor of the armoury (+1 use of each limited item). But not ammunition or grenades.

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Re: Personal, absolutely subjective impressions

Post by TheWise » Sat Jan 06, 2018 9:52 pm

DocDesastro wrote:I would assume, if there is a 'Fire Pistol' action, then we would be fine with plasma/bolt pistols in the same squad. They would be treated as same kind of weapon and then I guess it all comes down to a number of dice rolls for to-hit and damage seperately. Sounds like something possible. Problems might rise when there are weapons in a unit with different ranges i.e. a flamer in a bolter unit. The flamer is, however, easy to tackle. Look at how dreadnoughts do this. Either fire the flamer or the other weapons per action or as alternative have the bolters fire scattered within the cone the flamer projects hitting random targets. I am still not sure about attaching a leader to a sub-unit. Still my intuition would tell me to have him run around alone as he might be equipped in a very different way. Tactically, he could issue orders as abilities with cooldown to units of his pack. Maybe granting a bonus action at the cost of an own, maybe recover morale. Would depend on the kind of leader. Imperial Guard a.k.a Astra Militarum could profit from this as well as the troops are directed by their officers. What is a must in my book is that the pack as whole entity should gain XP so all sub-units share the same XP.

I totally concur with removing some grenade options as abilities as these items should be issued to the troops during setup. Especially grenades should come with a limited number of uses instead of cooldown. Frankly, if I had 3 grenades and would face a horde of greenskins, then I would use them as fast as I could and not throw one, then wait 20 seconds before I am allowed to throw another.

Let me assume the following setup:
Blood Claw Pack
Consists of 1 Pack Leader and 3 units of 5-man Blood Claw units.
Per level - and they start at level 1 the unit might take 1 piece of equipment for the squad, maybe some items locked by level. Let us assume, at level 1 the squad could pick frag grenades only. So every sub-unit including the pack leader now has 3 uses of frag grenades. Advancing to level 2 unlocks another equipment slot. Maybe for level 2 unlocks there are krak grenades available, smoke grenades available or an auspex (works like the ability, but on a permanent base) or charms (small close combat buff) or squad upgrade: flamer (each sub-unit excluding the leader gets one flamer) or medikit for 2 uses. Level 3 might unlock power weapon upgrade (each sub-unit now gets one power weapon), Meltabomb upgrade (each subunit including leader gets 1 use of Meltabomb), Plasma Pistol upgrade (each subunit get 1 plasma pistol), Hellfire ammo for the pistols. Level 4 could unlock exotic grenade types like radiation grenades (one use), fear grenades, pack totem (moderate buff to pack), frost weapon upgrade and so on...

The pack leader might be customized depending on pack level like he starts with bolt pistol/chainsword/frag grenade
Level 2 unlocks: power weapon, plasma pistol, krak grenades
Level 3 unlocks: power fist, meltabomb, wolf hide, charms
Level 4 unlocks: master-crafted weapons, master-crafted armour, frost-weapon
Pack leader customization eats points, however

Pack abilities should be passive perks mostly. I could think of 'fleet of foot' adding +1 movement, fearful howl (squad inflicts additional morale damage in close combat), camo neting, +1 vision range, +1 reaction fire per turn, regains bonus morale, regenerates a small amount of HP per turn, bonus to cover, CC-specialists buffing weapon skill and increases chance to parry and counter. Berserker rage (buffs weapons skill and damage but lowers ranged combat), favor of the armoury (+1 use of each limited item). But not ammunition or grenades.
In fact, though we see the ways to improve this game somewhat differently - we are common in general: this game, being pretty good graphically (yet again, for a low-budget turn-based tactical game ... actually, graphics here are about at the same level, as in the 12-year old vanilla Dawn Of War), badly sucks codex-wise. My suggestions are, in fact, not for this game already, but - maybe - for the next expansion for this game, if any more expansions are planned to be done (there is a space for it - Eldar, Drukharii, other SM chapters, Chaos), while yours are exactly for this game with all its possible and impossible limitations.

Benedict151
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Re: Personal, absolutely subjective impressions

Post by Benedict151 » Thu Jan 11, 2018 4:43 pm

Interesting thoughts guys, thanks for sharing

Unfortunately much of what is suggested is not possible in the current engine whilst others would impact heavily on balance and perhaps playability but well worth reading nevertheless

Ben Wilkins

DocDesastro
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Re: Personal, absolutely subjective impressions

Post by DocDesastro » Thu Jan 11, 2018 6:30 pm

Sad to hear, but at least you read it.

exsonic01
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Re: Personal, absolutely subjective impressions

Post by exsonic01 » Sat Jan 13, 2018 8:29 am

Hmmmm no more units for each faction?

How about just introduce one for the each? From my single campaign + MP experience, it would be great for each factions to have:
SW: Predator annihilator = This would help SW to prepare some good vehicle tactics, and heavy lascannon platform.
AM: Heavyweapon team (Lascannon & Autocannon or Mortar team) = This will help AM to build good defense line, and cheap AT (or mass control if mortar).
Ork: Rockit launcha or Kommando knobz or Looted battle tank = This will help Ork's ability to engage in line battle

Oh well, but this is just my opinion.

TheWise
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Re: Personal, absolutely subjective impressions

Post by TheWise » Mon Jan 15, 2018 3:58 pm

Benedict151 wrote:Interesting thoughts guys, thanks for sharing

Unfortunately much of what is suggested is not possible in the current engine whilst others would impact heavily on balance and perhaps playability but well worth reading nevertheless

Ben Wilkins
TBH - I didn't even expect any of this to be implemented in the current game .... maybe, in some future one.
Along with hexagons instead of squares and - MUST repeat it - SQUAD CUSTOMIZATION and ADHERENCE TO CODICES (sorry for caps).

GordonStraylight
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Re: Personal, absolutely subjective impressions

Post by GordonStraylight » Wed Feb 21, 2018 1:07 pm

Very interesting read, thank you for taking the time.

As Ben mentioned there are some engine restrictions that influenced the game design. For example, we can only have a single type of unit in a squad so things have to change a bit from the codex rules. Our squads are smaller than codex ones so if you have 2 squads of bolter and a squad of flamers that becomes close to a tactical squad.

The other thing is that we are actually not allowed to make anything too close to TT rules, so certain things have been intentionally made different.

I do regret not giving bolter marines a melee attack. In the early balance of the game the idea was to give each unit type very clear roles but now we have added in many new units and the Astra Militarum it makes more sense to make all marines reasonable in melee and just have the cadians being terrible in close combat. It would be a fair amount of work to change but never say never.

Cheers,

Gordon.

vonZipper
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Re: Personal, absolutely subjective impressions

Post by vonZipper » Mon May 21, 2018 8:00 pm

I have to say that I really enjoy the game, it's quite addictive and fun. But...echoing some of what the OP said I find some units having zero melee capability really a detraction from the overall experience.

The other day I had a game where a IG lasgun unit was charged by a unit of Sluggaz and the IG destroyed all but one wounded Slugga figure with reaction fire. Since this was happening on the other side of an obstruction no other units were available to intervene. So, over the course of two turns, the 1/2 health Slugga proceeded to wipe out the IG squad with zero chance of the squad fighting back, retreating or otherwise protecting itself. I certainly think that only some units should be able initiate melee, but I don't think units should be completely helpless once engaged in melee.

Also, vehicles getting "locked" into melee is head-scratching at best.

That said, I really do like this game and am really looking forward to the Chaos DLC. Keep up the good work!

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