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Similar rules in fantasy versus 40k 
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Generalissimo
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I've recently started playing the occasional game of 40k and was struck with the interesting differences between the way that the game rules work for similar actions/events. So, I thought I'd do a side by side:

Regeneration
Fantasy: 4+ save, negated by fire.
40k: Roll a dice for each wound suffered by the model at the start of their turn, on a 6 the wound is regained.
Discussion: Both work, but I slightly prefer the 40k version because it fits more with the fluff of a limb slowly regrowing back, rather than instantly reappearing ala Fantasy. It also helps to distinguish the ability from being effectivly another armour save.
Verdict: 40k.

Cover
Fantasy: Modifiers applied to the to hit roll (-1 for soft cover, -2 for heavy cover).
40k: Cover save provided (5+ for trees, 4+ for ruins, 3+ for fortifications, etc).
Discussion: The Fantasy version makes more sense: if a model is in cover, it's less likely to get hit. The 40k version works some of the time, but the moment twin linked weapons get involved (re-roll to hit if you miss) or non-damaging weapons get involved (e.g. tau marker lights), the logic breaks down. Wouldn't a wall block a beam of light as readily as a bullet? If you miss your target with a twin linked gun, you get to re-roll it, unless you missed by hitting a wall apparently. Doesn't quite work.
Verdict: Fantasy.

Higher than 5 ballistic skill
Fantasy: Max you can ever hit on is a 2+.
40k: If you have a BS of 6 or above you roll an extra dice if you initially roll a 1. BS6 means that a 1 followed by a 6 will still hit, BS7 a 1 followed by a 5, BS8 a 1 followed by a 4, and so on.
Discussion: The 40k version allows for the idea that an archer with BS7 can hit more easily than on with BS5. That makes sense. The fantasy equivalent confers no such differentiation between shooters (unless cover or other modifiers are involved). The 40k version seems more fitting.
Verdict: 40k.

Moving through terrain for infantry
Fantasy: No movement penalties.
40k: If your move of 6" would put you into terrain, don't move and roll a dice instead. You move towards the terrain that amount of inches. If you don't actually reach the terrain, you still only go the number of inches provided by the dice.
Discussion: The idea of a unit of power armoured terminators needing to tip-toe towards a small forest because it might contain a few gretchin is frankly absurd, and in game terms it makes terrain that you are not already camping in very irksome to deal with. The fantasy version is easy and more logical, a clear victory.
Verdict: Fantasy.

Armour penetration
Fantasy: Armour penetration is calculated based on the strength of the attack, with optional 'armour piercing' as a -1 modifier
40k: Armour penetration is decided separately to the strength of the attack
Discussion: The idea that a weapon could slice through flesh but bounce off even leather armour is actually quite a good one. Some attacks would indeed be fatal to humans on contact, but bounce off protected clothing.
Verdict: 40k.

Armour modifiers
Fantasy: The armour penetration of an attack is subtracted from the armour save of the model hit (e.g. an attack that has an armour penetration value of 2 will make a 3+ save into a 5+ save).
40k: Any armour with a value of the same or higher as the AP of the attack provides no save at all. Any armour value below the AP provides its full save as normal.
Discussion: Frankly, the 40k version is ridiculous. So that heavy bolt shot to the chest is enough to tear through dire avenger armour, but doesn't even make a dent in space marine power armour? Surely if it was strong enough to punch straight through avenger armour it would have at least a bit more damage potential against marine power armour than say a lasgun.
Verdict: Fantasy.

Number of saves
Fantasy: Max of armour save and either a ward or regen save.
40k: One save maximum out of cover, armour or invulnerable save
Discussion: On the surface, the 40k version seems more fun: one save max makes for a lot less chance of unkillable lords romping around with endless saves that can't be beaten. Unfortunately, this is all compromised by the introduction of 'feel no pain', which effectively allows those models who have it to get a second armour save. Lame. Still, the thought is there, and so that probably just pushes it in 40ks favour.
Verdict: 40k.

Movement:
Fantasy: Decided by model.
40k: 6" basic, with fleet of foot (re-roll the running dice if you want) for some faster models.
Discussion: Not much to say here really. The idea of a halfling being able to move as far as a human or space human is frankly a bit silly.
Verdict: Fantasy.

Allocating wounds from shooting and combat
Fantasy: Models are taken from the rear, unless there are five or less models left (in which case they are randomised or allocated as per where the hit occured) or a single model is singled out (in which case look out sir may or may not apply).
40k: The closest model takes the first wound. If he passes his save, he takes the next wound, if he passes that he takes the next wound too, and so on. If he dies, the next closest model takes the wound. Characters can choose to use look out sir prior to each wound being allocated to them.
Discussion: The fantasy model encourages the idea of a whirling mass of mayhem where individual characters are hard to pick out unless specifically done (i.e. allocating hits, challenges, snipers, etc). That makes sense mostly. The 40k version is fun - the idea of a single lord covered from head to toe in terminator armour throwing forth his arms and shouting 'I'll take you all on' while his troops cower in a conger line behind him is appealing - but ultimately gamewise really really lame. An Ork Boss can stand at the front of his unit and make it effectively impervious to any but the most powerful of attacks, and if he does take a rail gun to the face then he can deftly look out sir it and so avoid the hit.
Verdict: Fantasy.

Running/marching
Fantasy: a model can usually walk its move and march twice its move.
40K: a model can walk 6" and can then run D6" more (with optional re-roll for the run if a model has the fleet special rule).
Discussion: The fantasy version is a bit rigid, but solid. It allows for tactical plays and planning. The 40k version is rather bizarre. A model may run 1" or 6". Remember that halfling we talked about earlier? Well, he may go 12" in a turn while that eldar aspect warrior may go 7". Some flexibility of range would have been okay, but that level of uncertainty cuts a lot of tactical planning potential out. Not great.
Verdict: Fantasy.

Generalship
Fantasy: A 12" leadership bubble (18" for generals on a monstrous steed)
40K: Roll on the command traits table.
Discussion: The fantasy version is a bit staid, but allows for a flat playing field where every army starts with the same basic general confered bonus. That makes for a fun game. The 40k version randomises the advantages confered, and unfortunately many of the dice roll outcomes are insanely powerful, while others are weak. When an opponent rolls a 1 on the strategic traits row (+1 to all cover saves in ruins) you may as well start again because its so lopsidedly powerful (most 40k boards seem to be littered with ruins as the generic structure). Similarly, a roll of 'you can choose to have night fighting in the first turn' is completely pointless if you're playing with imperial guards against tyrannids.
Verdict: Fantasy.

Shooting at flyers
Fantasy: No difference. The flyer is presumed to have landed between moves.
40k: Snapshots only please unless you have skyfire.
Discussion: While the 40k version is a bit more realistic, in game terms flyers have become ridiculously powerful. Sadly, one suspects that GW's aim was to sell flyers, now that everyone already has a ton of tanks.
Verdict: Fantasy.

Multiple wounds versus instant death
Fantasy: Dx number of wounds done (usually D3 or D6).
40k: if the strength of the attack is double the toughness then the model is immediately killed, regardless of number of wounds remaining.
Discussion: The idea of a character taking a cannon ball to the stomach and yet surviving (e.g. rolling a low number on the Dx roll) does seem fairly unlikely. The 40k instant death outcome seems quite severe, but probably more realistic and more fun in game terms (cuts down on the numbers of over-pointed characters that folks will take).
Verdict: 40k.

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Wed Dec 05, 2012 5:24 pm
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verry interesting^^

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Wed Dec 05, 2012 5:53 pm
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40k was closer to fantasy in the early editions, and they had armor modifiers based on strength and any increased AP back before 3rd edition. Unfortunately it's all or nothing for 40k now (As you mention). I don't see the difference you mention between the armor penetration and the armor modifiers though... I'd think fantasy would win both.

I also like the idea of multiple saves that we already have in fantasy more than the system in 40k (Which also came in 3rd I think).

The things I do like about 40k is the regen as you mention... and that's about it :P

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Wed Dec 05, 2012 5:57 pm
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Quote:
I've recently started playing the occasional game of 40k and was struck with the interesting differences between the way that the game rules work for similar actions/events. So, I thought I'd do a side by side:


I started with 40K years ago and graduated into fantasy, which is by far my favourite game more for the themes etc... not that I don't love my Eldar, I can probably put some persepective on some of the rules differences. Remember (though many might not know this) 2nd Ed 40K was extremely similar to fantasy with AS modifiers being -1, -2 etc... and cover modifying shooting to hit. When it grew into an army fighting army vice a skirmish game then things changed.

Quote:
Regeneration
Fantasy: 4+ save, negated by fire.
40k: Roll a dice for each wound suffered by the model at the start of their turn, on a 6 the wound is regained.
Discussion: Both work, but I slightly prefer the 40k version because it fits more with the fluff of a limb slowly regrowing back, rather than instantly reappearing ala Fantasy. It also helps to distinguish the ability from being effectivly another armour save.
Verdict: 40k.


Fantasy regen used to be "roll one dice for every wound lost at the end of the combat or shooting phase, on a 4+ you regain that wound". So basically in combat you would hack down the beastlord doing 5 wounds in combat, then he would roll 3 dice (for the number of wounds the model actually lost) and on a 4+ would get a wound back. This meant that even though he didn't get to fight he was basically impossible to kill (as then you would layer on ward and armour saves). Terrible. In 40K no single wound models can get regen, and most regen is on tyranid monstrous creatures. So its easy to remember and do.

Quote:
Cover
Fantasy: Modifiers applied to the to hit roll (-1 for soft cover, -2 for heavy cover).
40k: Cover save provided (5+ for trees, 4+ for ruins, 3+ for fortifications, etc).
Discussion: The Fantasy version makes more sense: if a model is in cover, it's less likely to get hit. The 40k version works some of the time, but the moment twin linked weapons get involved (re-roll to hit if you miss) or non-damaging weapons get involved (e.g. tau marker lights), the logic breaks down. Wouldn't a wall block a beam of light as readily as a bullet? If you miss your target with a twin linked gun, you get to re-roll it, unless you missed by hitting a wall apparently. Doesn't quite work.
Verdict: Fantasy.


There are two types of "cover" in the real world. Concealment (aka soft cover) which are things that obscure sight but don't stop bullets, and cover (aka hard cover) which stop bullets and obscure sight (though in some cases you can see through, like bullet proof glass). Fantasy doesn't distiguish between them anymore and neither does 40K though they used to. In 40K because of the AP rules they would have to give and AV to all of the cover in the game as a lascannon can shoot through a tree for example. So they decided to roll everything together in a cover save idea, which includes moving fast and dodging (jink save on skimmers). I think that the cover save mechanic in 40K works better for it as a system, because there were always issues in 2nd ed regarding squads half in and out of cover. And the maths were irritating when you went with larger army sizes.

Quote:
Higher than 5 ballistic skill
Fantasy: Max you can ever hit on is a 2+.
40k: If you have a BS of 6 or above you roll an extra dice if you initially roll a 1. BS6 means that a 1 followed by a 6 will still hit, BS7 a 1 followed by a 5, BS8 a 1 followed by a 4, and so on.
Discussion: The 40k version allows for the idea that an archer with BS7 can hit more easily than on with BS5. That makes sense. The fantasy equivalent confers no such differentiation between shooters (unless cover or other modifiers are involved). The 40k version seems more fitting.
Verdict: 40k.


This works for 40K as you can conceivably have scopes and other nifty superaccurate weapons (lasers for example). In fantasy the super accuracy comes apperenlty from cannons :shock: and magic, as a bow is only so accurate.

Quote:
Moving through terrain for infantry
Fantasy: No movement penalties.
40k: If your move of 6" would put you into terrain, don't move and roll a dice instead. You move towards the terrain that amount of inches. If you don't actually reach the terrain, you still only go the number of inches provided by the dice.
Discussion: The idea of a unit of power armoured terminators needing to tip-toe towards a small forest because it might contain a few gretchin is frankly absurd, and in game terms it makes terrain that you are not already camping in very irksome to deal with. The fantasy version is easy and more logical, a clear victory.
Verdict: Fantasy.


It's not about tip toeing is about getting caught up in the underbrush or stuck in the mud. The terminators ran up to the forest and went "Damn, my servomotor is gummed up with some fluffy creature (probably a tribble), gimme a sec to work it out". I actually prefer that troops lose a certain % of their movement when moving through cover, but I suppose the 40K version works if you think of the them moving from tree to tree, skulking and using the terrain to their advantage, which of course allows them to have a cover save...

Quote:
Armour penetration
Fantasy: Armour penetration is calculated based on the strength of the attack, with optional 'armour piercing' as a -1 modifier
40k: Armour penetration is decided separately to the strength of the attack
Discussion: The idea that a weapon could slice through flesh but bounce off even leather armour is actually quite a good one. Some attacks would indeed be fatal to humans on contact, but bounce off protected clothing.
Verdict: 40k.

Armour modifiers
Fantasy: The armour penetration of an attack is subtracted from the armour save of the model hit (e.g. an attack that has an armour penetration value of 2 will make a 3+ save into a 5+ save).
40k: Any armour with a value of the same or higher as the AP of the attack provides no save at all. Any armour value below the AP provides its full save as normal.
Discussion: Frankly, the 40k version is ridiculous. So that heavy bolt shot to the chest is enough to tear through dire avenger armour, but doesn't even make a dent in space marine power armour? Surely if it was strong enough to punch straight through avenger armour it would have at least a bit more damage potential against marine power armour than say a lasgun.
Verdict: Fantasy.


AS mods used to be in 40K back in 2nd ed. I actually think the AS systems work better for their respective backgrounds. In fantasy the AP power of a weapon is often based upon the strength of the weilder, ans sometimes the design of the weapon (aka Armour piercing rule and Str bonuses). It ties in directly with ability to wound as a stronger hit can wound more easily.

With 40K weapons my be great for penetrating armour but terrible for wounding a tough creature. Take modern weapons have different rounds that do different things, a hollow point bullet flattens on contact with armour and doesn't penetrate, but if it hits the ork its going to blow a big hole in him (S4, AP-). An armour piercing round goes right through the orks armour but leaves a small hole and unless it hits something critical (aka a S3, AP 4) won't kill the ork.

The Str/AP combo is also useful when one looks at penetrating vehicle armour (something fantasy doesn't need to worry about). Modern anti vehicle weapons can do one of two things, hit the armour with such explosive force that they blow off the inside of the armour to destroy critical components (called spalling), or they have a clever way of penetrating the armour directly (HEAT, FSDS etc...). The combo of S, AP, ordinance, and Armourbane rules allow one to represent all of these varied an interesting anti vehicle options and the damage that they do.

Quote:
Number of saves
Fantasy: Max of armour save and either a ward or regen save.
40k: One save maximum out of cover, armour or invulnerable save
Discussion: On the surface, the 40k version seems more fun: one save max makes for a lot less chance of unkillable lords romping around with endless saves that can't be beaten. Unfortunately, this is all compromised by the introduction of 'feel no pain', which effectively allows those models who have it to get a second armour save. Lame. Still, the thought is there, and so that probably just pushes it in 40ks favour.
Verdict: 40k.


Part of the reason I think they are different in 40K is because it's much harder to kill a character in close combat and harder to pick one out with shooting in most cases. In fantasy with things like static combat res you don't even have to attack the character to kill him, in 40K you usually have to go through the character to kill him. No really comming down on either side for this one.

Quote:
Movement:
Fantasy: Decided by model.
40k: 6" basic, with fleet of foot (re-roll the running dice if you want) for some faster models.
Discussion: Not much to say here really. The idea of a halfling being able to move as far as a human or space human is frankly a bit silly.
Verdict: Fantasy.


I loved the 2nd ed movement rules. I loved that my banshees could run 12" and the rest of the eldar moved 10" on a run. That stupid humans could only plod along at 4" normal move, and that genestealers were lightning fast running around and through terrain. The movement rules are now overly simplified IMHO and I'm not a fan. Fantasy for the win here definately.

Quote:
Allocating wounds from shooting and combat
Fantasy: Models are taken from the rear, unless there are five or less models left (in which case they are randomised or allocated as per where the hit occured) or a single model is singled out (in which case look out sir may or may not apply).
40k: The closest model takes the first wound. If he passes his save, he takes the next wound, if he passes that he takes the next wound too, and so on. If he dies, the next closest model takes the wound. Characters can choose to use look out sir prior to each wound being allocated to them.
Discussion: The fantasy model encourages the idea of a whirling mass of mayhem where individual characters are hard to pick out unless specifically done (i.e. allocating hits, challenges, snipers, etc). That makes sense mostly. The 40k version is fun - the idea of a single lord covered from head to toe in terminator armour throwing forth his arms and shouting 'I'll take you all on' while his troops cower in a conger line behind him is appealing - but ultimately gamewise really really lame. An Ork Boss can stand at the front of his unit and make it effectively impervious to any but the most powerful of attacks, and if he does take a rail gun to the face then he can deftly look out sir it and so avoid the hit.
Verdict: Fantasy.


I think each system works well for each section. 40K used to take models from where ever the owning player wanted to take them from except for a few special rules. Now positioning works wonders as you can target the guy with the lascannon and take him out should he be strung out on a limb. I think they are both appropriate for their different systems.

Quote:
Running/marching
Fantasy: a model can usually walk its move and march twice its move.
40K: a model can walk 6" and can then run D6" more (with optional re-roll for the run if a model has the fleet special rule).
Discussion: The fantasy version is a bit rigid, but solid. It allows for tactical plays and planning. The 40k version is rather bizarre. A model may run 1" or 6". Remember that halfling we talked about earlier? Well, he may go 12" in a turn while that eldar aspect warrior may go 7". Some flexibility of range would have been okay, but that level of uncertainty cuts a lot of tactical planning potential out. Not great.
Verdict: Fantasy.


Once again I loved the old movement rules for 40K which were very similar to the current fantasy rules. Boo to the 40k movement rules!

Quote:
Generalship
Fantasy: A 12" leadership bubble (18" for generals on a monstrous steed)
40K: Roll on the command traits table.
Discussion: The fantasy version is a bit staid, but allows for a flat playing field where every army starts with the same basic general confered bonus. That makes for a fun game. The 40k version randomises the advantages confered, and unfortunately many of the dice roll outcomes are insanely powerful, while others are weak. When an opponent rolls a 1 on the strategic traits row (+1 to all cover saves in ruins) you may as well start again because its so lopsidedly powerful (most 40k boards seem to be littered with ruins as the generic structure). Similarly, a roll of 'you can choose to have night fighting in the first turn' is completely pointless if you're playing with imperial guards against tyrannids.
Verdict: Fantasy.


For me the jury is still out. I like that the general only matters for the most part for VP in 40K, as modern armies are more able to carry on when their leadership is destroyed. In ancient times if the king was killed the troops would pretty much just use it as an excuse to flee. One of those things... just different. Though I do wish that some warlord rules would come over to fantasy, as that would be really cool to allow your fantasy generals to have some interesting buffs (and would probably make fighty lords more common in some armies vice all lvl 4 casters...)

Quote:
Shooting at flyers
Fantasy: No difference. The flyer is presumed to have landed between moves.
40k: Snapshots only please unless you have skyfire.
Discussion: While the 40k version is a bit more realistic, in game terms flyers have become ridiculously powerful. Sadly, one suspects that GW's aim was to sell flyers, now that everyone already has a ton of tanks.
Verdict: Fantasy.


I disagree, fliers in 40K are not overpowered. The flier rules are great IMHO, and shooting at them is just fine, and represents taking the pot shots at a low skimming attack aircraft. What is a problem is not every army having ways to deal with fliers that are effective (aka not every army has their own flier or anti aircraft weapons). Even without a dedicated anti air unit in my eldar currently have not had a problem downing fliers. Twin linked, re-rolls from psychic powers and skyfire nexus objectives are all pretty good for rolling to hit fliers.

Quote:
Multiple wounds versus instant death
Fantasy: Dx number of wounds done (usually D3 or D6).
40k: if the strength of the attack is double the toughness then the model is immediately killed, regardless of number of wounds remaining.
Discussion: The idea of a character taking a cannon ball to the stomach and yet surviving (e.g. rolling a low number on the Dx roll) does seem fairly unlikely. The 40k instant death outcome seems quite severe, but probably more realistic and more fun in game terms (cuts down on the numbers of over-pointed characters that folks will take).
Verdict: 40k.


I agree to a certain extent, but most weapons in fanatasy of a particular power do multiple wounds, so its a pretty lucky character that survives a cannon hit. But it is fantasy and amazing magical things happen, thats how legends are made (aka rolling 1 to wound would classify as a miracle IMHO in both game systems). I think that instant death in fantasy wouldn't change things that much though. Perhaps save a couple of trolls or ogres but for the most part it would do anything for the few times a character survives the multiwound roll.

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Thu Dec 06, 2012 1:27 am
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Some interesting points all, many thanks.

Because I started playing both games way back during the early days of GW (the game most regularly set out for playing at my nearest GW was Warhammer Fantasy Regiments...) when - as you say - the two used nearly identical rulesets, it's hard for me to get fully on board with them now having different resolutions for the same rules for fluff reasons, as I think many of these things worked well when they were the same (it was quite a shock coming back to 6th ed and finding how much had now changed!).

Quote:
It's not about tip toeing is about getting caught up in the underbrush or stuck in the mud. The terminators ran up to the forest and went "Damn, my servomotor is gummed up with some fluffy creature (probably a tribble), gimme a sec to work it out".

That's a reasonable explanation. Unfortunately, it's RAI whereas mine is - depressingly enough - RAW. In the book it specifically states that: "Even if the distanace rolled is too short for any of the models to reach the difficult terrain, the unit is slowed down as described above. We assume that their approach is cautious as they attempt to ascertain whether any enemies are within." (LRB, p90)

Quote:
In 40K because of the AP rules they would have to give and AV to all of the cover in the game as a lascannon can shoot through a tree for example. So they decided to roll everything together in a cover save idea, which includes moving fast and dodging (jink save on skimmers).

I get what you are saying, but this still doesn't answer the issue of twin-linked or non-damaging shots raised.

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Thu Dec 06, 2012 12:10 pm
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Well twin linked is really on there to improve ones chances to hit. Which works well with multishot weapons as you also get more hits (which makes sense). Non damaging shots is covered by the wound rolls. I think that it all works out in the long run, I suppose it could be better or more complicated but the rules as they stand keep the game running and don't have it bog down very easily.

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Thu Dec 06, 2012 4:39 pm
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