Playing 40k with Kill Teams round structure?
By - ZoldLyrok
I've done this. It's a fascinating experience, really helps with the pacing. I've found a few things about the general gameplay experience:
You have to be very careful with your charges, since both players can charge at roughly the same time, and you can only fight the unit your charged! This opens your heavy hitters to be immediately counter-charged if you're not careful.
Likewise, shooting becomes far more dangerous. If you leave a unit out in LoS for shooting, the enemy can shoot them right back. And there's effectively twice as much shooting-to-combat as there is in normal 40K.
Lastly, the biggest change I would recommend is to make charges happen in the movement phase, at the end of a normal move or a remain stationary move, and then say that units can't retreat in the same turn they were charged. Otherwise, shooting becomes ridiculously oppressive.
This all makes the game far more tactical and cautious, each side probing the other and being careful not to overcommit or expose anything you're too afraid to lose. Alpha strikes are basically non-existent. The effect of combat for killing's sake is reduced; instead, you use combat and charges to bait out your opponent, lock down enemy units, and control the flow of shooting.
Tau also (slightly) work better, since the killing power of shooting is increased and the movement phase favors armies with lots of individual units. You move low-value units first, and when your opponent has run out of units to move, you can react with the units you haven't gotten to move yet and set up good sightlines.
Did you make an exception for this situation (which is bad even in KT unless you're white scars):
Player A and B have units locked in combat with eachother. Player A wants to be in combat, player B does not. Player A has fewer units total on the battlefield.
Situation 1) Player A activates his unit locked in combat with Player B in the movement phase, but does nothing since he wants to stay in combat. Player B then falls back with the unit, basically not allowing Player A to do anything about it and wasting his unit's activation. This seems very unfair, unless you add a rule that Player A can do some sort of reverse overwatch.
Situation 2) Player B activates his unit early and falls back. Can Player A now re-charge when he activates the unit that was formerly in combat?
Oh, we actually have a semi-solution for this.
If a player selects a unit in combat they grab a dice/coin/marker and put a number hiding face up on the table under their hand.
- 1: Prepair to fight
- 6: Retreat
The other player does the same for any unit(s) engaged within combat. Both players show their action at the same time.
If both players are set to prepair to fight then neither moves and the models are done the movement phase.
If both players retreat then both players must move their models away from the other players mini's. No player gets any sort of action.
If one player retreats and the other is set to fight they may attack via Overwatch rules for their unit. And may select to do so with either:
- Pistols or Combat weapons prior to their opponents movement.
- Shooting weapons after their opponents movement.
The attacking unit cannot move and cannot charge until the next turn.
This basically makes the intent of both actions known, and it removes the weird interaction that occurs based on whoever gets to run away first/second. It also stops the situation where you get into an endless loop of being in combat never able to leave it when both units can move the same distance.
Do you find units geared for shooting + assault in the same turn become bad as they can't do both in one turn?
Our group has also done this, with some modifications:
We alternate initiative; attacker, defender, attacker, defender, attacker instead of roll off, makes it easier to plan a little. But has ported over the strat for 2 CP may activate a unit first, roll of if both use it.
1. Command phase: we usually do not have much rules reliant on timing, so we take this phase simultaneously. If it matter we go in initiative order.
2. Movement: We alternate movement per unit, so fall back is a little wonky. Fixed this by starting the phase by secretly assigning "stand and fight" or "fall back" to all engaged units. Resolve all in initiative ordet. We count models that "stand and fight" as elligible to fight + able to do some limited actions (phase 4).
3. Pstchic: Alternate activating psychers.
4. "Actions/act". Alternating shooting, then alternating charges was to detterent to melee units for our taste. Fixed thus by alternating unit to both shoot and charge. Units that has beeb charged cannot shoot, to stop Monster/Vehicles from murder the charging squad before they may fight. If it matters it is usually a good candidate for overwatch.
Moved declaring most actions to this phase instead of end of movement, most for consistency / convience.
Units with "stand and fight" may either shoot or consolidate. This to delay then engaging the unit that fell back again, or you could charge and the fall back had little meaning exept changing posision. But these units is counted as eligible to fight even if not engaged, so can make a pile-in etc. We feel this also gives new dimentions to bonus range for consolidate and consolidate different direction abilities.
5a. Heroic intervention, not a rule we use much, better to charge. But we did not use it much in regular turn order either. It us there if we need it.
5b. Fight first, alternate starting with player that have initiative. Unit that has charged can only target units that it charged or that charged them. (Making herouc not a bad choice now that I think of it; you do not attac first, but cannot be targeted).
Normal, alternating starting with player that do not have initiative.
Fight last, alternating starting with... has initiative
6. Morale: much as command phase.
Some rules and abilities may not fit this turn structure eg. debuf that happens in shooting that affect enemy advance, but we usually shift them so they either trigger sooner or the (de)buff last to the end of [whatever] next turn.
We resolves at the start/end of ... phase abilities mostly: a) affect whole army / larger group activate start of relevant step, b) self or unit close by when the unit "act". But we are not super strict about it.
Also, a lot of "glass" units may be harder to play because your opponent interupts between activations and may shoot / charge them before they themselves may shoot / charge.
It may take somewhat longer to play, but not too much. The lower downtime between something to do is worth it in my opinion.
We are not going back to regular turn order!
It is much more engaging with less downtime (one of the player complained that the did not feel they had time to go to the toilet while the other player performs their turn, lol). More tactical movement and trading: "I goes first there, but then you goes first there". It "balances" the activation order somewhat.
Tested a regular turn order once after some games. Lost half my army, nowhere to move because opponent had advanced most units to my side (damn bugs). I forfited start of turn 3 out of frustration.
That's just Apocalypse.
There's a lot of little things like heroic interventions that become pointless, some unique rules on models, etc. Fight phase is less likely to mulch any unit that gets close to an enemy, I consider that a win. Probably more I'm not thinking of at the moment.
I think it will be much better than actual warhammer - more balanced, faster, more engaging.
I think that even game designers from GW themselves know it, but their management refuses to make such dramatic changes to warhammer rules because they fear backlash from close minded sector of warhammer player base.
For 500 point and 1000 points, this is probably awesome!
Would love for someone to do a pdf cheat sheet for this and include handling for a few of the more common edge cases