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"Pink isn't a color. It's a lifestyle." - Chumbalaya
"...generalship should be informing list building." - Sir Biscuit
"I buy models with my excess money" - Valkyrie whilst a waitress leans over him

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Project: Biomorph Playtest Patch 1.1

EDIT: I have updated the patch with a set of initial edit after feedback form the community.  Thank you everyone for your comments and criticisms!

This is the first playtest document for Project: Biomorph.  It's a big one.  Bigger than I had originally intended, at least, and I really hope not TOO big.

This is a big moment for us, bigger than I think a lot of people would think.  This is the moment where we stop wish-listing, and start really forging something.  It's also the moment I expect to lose some people.  No matter what changes I make, no matter what I adjust, I know I'm going to get a dozen people telling me "You're wrong!  You're as bad at design as GW!"
Don't be that person.  Please.  This is a playtest document, which means I want you to PLAY it so that we can TEST it and make sure that there's nothing wrong.  And it's not a final list of changes, so don't be surprised when several major issues aren't fixed here- we're yet to tackle them.

I also want to say that even if we never have success with this project, it will still all be worth it.  When the design team and I were designing this pre-release, all of us agreed that our games were the most fun we had had playing 40k in years.  The expert.  The top tournament player.  The new guy.  The old vet- it was all just a blast for everyone, whatever army they brought.

Maybe that's just new car smell, but I really believe this patch will give you games that are a hell of a lot more fun than what you're playing now (and faster, to boot).  You should really consider giving it a try.

Don't theory it.  Don't tell me what's wrong after one glance.  Play.  Play play play.  Enjoy it.  Tinker with it.  Break it.  THEN tell me what I did wrong.

Oh, and please tell me what happened and give me your own ideas for design.

(Also, HUGE shoutout to forum user Maelwynn, who saw my original document, saw all the flaws, and did an excellent job reformatting it.  Top shelf.) And as usual, no morning post for the discussion to continue unabated.

Project: Biomorph.

Game Update 1.1

1)   Patch Notes
2)   General
3)   Movement
4)   Cover
5)   Weapons
6)   Assault
7)   Reserves
8)   Psychology
9)   Vehicles

1)   Patch Notes:-
The following details playtest patch 1.1 of Project: Biomorph.

·      What follows is a series of changes to the rules presented in the Warhammer 40k core rulebook.  This is not a complete rule set in its own right.  This is a modification.
·      All of the following is subject to change. 
·      Future patches will have a “patch notes” section that details new additions and changes to old patch rulings.  For your convenience, these changes will also be highlighted.

Please play your games using the following rules whenever possible, and post reports on the project biomorph forums at:

2)   General
·      Defensive action has been added:

At the beginning of the game, after the Seize the Initiative roll has been done and final player turn order has been established, the player who has ended up with second turn may take defensive action just before the first game turn begins.  That player may choose as many individual units and vehicles as he wishes to count as having moved up to their maximum allowed speed in the previous turn, and any unit may choose to activate defensive wargear such as smoke launchers.

·      All HQ units now count as scoring units.  HQ units that have the “swarm” or “vehicle” unit type still do not score.
·      Instant Death has been replaced with Massive Trauma:

If a model takes a wound inflicted by a weapon with a strength value that is twice as high as their toughness, or higher, that model suffers massive trauma.  Instead of losing one wound, the model loses two wounds.  If a model would suffer “Instant Death” for any reason, ti suffers massive trauma instead.

3)   Movement

·      Dangerous Terrain has temporarily been removed from the game.
·      Units that move through difficult terrain no longer roll 2d6 and pick the highest to determine the distance they move.  Instead:

Terrain offers valuable protection, but can also be difficult to navigate and traverse.  A unit that moves through difficult terrain at any point during its movement reduces its total movement by 2 inches.

 This means that infantry, which normally move 6 inches, move 4 inches through difficult terrain.  If a unit is approaching difficult terrain, and finds that the terrain they wish to enter is between 4-6 inches away, the unit can move up to the terrain until their bases make contact, but no further.  Any models in contact with terrain count as being in the terrain for purposes of gaining a cover save,and for purposes of determing if they are moving through difficult terrain during thier next movment.  If a unit can move 12 inches or more, and chooses to move over 6 inches, then the movement reduction is doubled: the unit reduces it's movement by 4 inches.  Some examples include bikes and charging beasts.  These units would only be able to move a maximum of 8 inches through difficult terrain, instead of the usual 12 inches.  Units and models that have the Move Through Cover or Skilled Rider rules do not suffer any movement reduction from moving through difficult terrain.

Vehicles also suffer reduced speed when moving through difficult terrain: combat speed is reduced from 6 inches to 4 inches, cruising speed is reduced from 12 inches to 8 inches, and flat-out is reduced from 18 inches to 12 inches.  Vehicles equipped with dozer blades suffer no movement penalties from moving through difficult terrain.

Jump Infantry, Jetbikes, Skimmers, and any unit that does not need to touch the ground to move does not suffer any movement reduction due to difficult terrain.

·      Running no longer grants a d6 inches move.  It instead grants a 1d3+2 inches move.  This move is still unaffected by difficult terrain.  Suppressed units may only run 1d3 inches.  For any effect or ability that increses the number of dice rolled for running (EX roll 3d6 and pick the highest.) Roll additional D3s instead.  For abilities that maximize run distance, that run distance is now 5 inches.

3.) Cover
  • Units may no longer claim a cover save for having half of their unit in cover.  At least 75% of the unit must be in cover or obscured from view for any cover save to be granted.
  • Vehicles and monstroud creatures may still claim a cover save for being 50% obscured.
  • Vehicles and Monstrous Creatures no longer have a cover save equivalent to whatever terrain is obscuring them.  Instead, they have their cover save reduced by 1.  For instance, a Rhino obscured by 6+ cover can claim no save.  5+ cover grants a 6+ save.  4+ cover would grant a 5+ save, etc.  Obscured vehicles now have a 5+ cover save as their default, not a 4+.
  • If a player fires at a vehicle and is in one armor facing, but cannot see the facing they are in, only another facing, the vehicle can no longer claim a modified cover save.  Instead, the shot is resolved against the only facing that the firing unit can see, and the vehicle can claim a 5+ cover save for being obscured.

4)   Weapons
·      Rapid Fire weapons no longer need to stand still to fire a single shot at their maximum range.  Even if a unit moves it can fire its rapid fire weapons once up to maximum range, or twice if they are within 12 inches if their target.
·      Gets Hot! Has been temporarily removed from the game.
·      Instant Death has been replaced with Massive Trauma. Please see general changes section for more information.
·      Supressing is a new weapon quality introduced into the game.

Suppressing weapons have the following effect:
A unit can become suppressed for many reasons, but is always subject to the same effects.  A suppressed unit suffers -1 Ballistic Skill, and counts all movement as movement through difficult terrain.  Suppressed units can only run d3
inches, instead of the normal d3+2 inches.  Suppression expires on all of a player's units at the end of that player's turn.

A unit has a chance to become suppressed when it takes casualties from a suppressing weapon.  These weapons have the suppressing or pinning quality listed in their stat line.  When a unit takes casualties from a suppressing weapon, they must take a suppression test, (a special kind of leadership test) after that shooting is resolved.  This test is taken at -1 Leadership for every wound inflicted by suppressing weapons during the attack.

(EXAMPLE: An Imperial Guard Veteran squad comes under fire from a Space Marine Devastator squad armed with heavy bolters, which have the suppressing quality.  After shooting is resolved, the Veterans have taken 5 wounds from the heavy bolters, and one from a boltgun, which killed 6 models.  The survivors would have to take a leadership test at -5 for casualties inflicted by suppressing weapons.  Because they are naturally leadership 8, they will need to roll a 3 or less on 2d6 to pass the suppression test.  If they fail this test, they will become suppressed.)

A unit may be both suppressed and falling back at the same time.

Fearless units never test for suppression, they always count as having passed.  Stubborn units still take a leadership test, but ignore the negative modifier imposed by casualties inflicted by suppressing weapons.

Pinning weapons are even better at pinning down enemy units than suppressing weapons.  When a unit takes wounds from a unit that has weapons with the pinning quality, it takes a suppression test, just like if the wounds were inflicted by a suppressing weapon.  If the unit fails its suppression test, or was already suppressed or entangled, then they must then take an additional leadership test called a pinning test.  This is done in exactly the same way as a suppression test.  This test is taken at -1 Leadership for every wound inflicted by pinning weapons during the attack.  If a unit fails this test, it becomes pinned.

(EXAMPLE: A Space Marine Tactical squad comes under fire from an Imperial Guard Ratling squad armed with sniper rifles, which have the pinning quality.  After shooting is resolved, the Tactical Marines have taken 3 wounds from the sniper rifles, which killed 3 models.  The survivors would have to take a suppression test at -3 for casualties inflicted by suppressing weapons, which they then fail, and become suppressed.  Because they took wounds from a pinning weapon, they then take an additional pinning test, at the same -3 for casualties inflicted by pinning weapons.  If they pass this test, they will not be pinned but they will still be suppressed.  If they fail, they will become pinned.)

·      Pinning still follows the rules from the Warhammer 40k Main Rulebook.
·      See also entanglement in the Vehicles Section.
·      Appendix (i) lists all weapons that have gained the suppressing quality.

5)   Assault
·      Any unit or model that launches an assault through difficult terrain is no longer reduced to initiative 1.
·      See also overrun and the change in vehicle melee to-hit values in the vehicles section at the end of this document.

6)   Reserves
·      Deep Striking units now have an additional option: Hard Lock.

Battlefields are chaotic, and it is often better to wait for a break in the storm before attempting something as risky as a teleportation or drop assault.  By holding back just a little longer, these dangerous assaults can be made much safer, by identifying safer landing zones and refining teleportation calculations.  When a unit that has declared that it will arrive by Deep Strike becomes available from reserve, it can chose to stay in reserve for an additional turn and lay down a Hard Lock Marker.  This marker must be placed in a location that would not cause a deep strike mishap, and cannot be placed within 1 inch of enemy units, or on impassible terrain.   Each Hard Lock Marker can only be used by the unit that set it down.

The unit will arrive at the beginning of the next player turn (usually the opponent’s turn) and arrives before any other reserves.  It will arrive by Deep Strike anywhere within 6
inches of it's Hard Lock Marker.  The unit will not scatter, and will not suffer any Deep Strike Mishap.  If the unit cannot be placed within 6 inches of the marker, place it in the closest viable area where it will not suffer a Deep Strike Mishap.

  • In addition, units no longer must be deployed in a clustered lump when they arrive via Deep Strike.  Instead:

When a unit arrives by Deep Strike, place a model and determine the final position of the unit normally.  You may then place the rest of the unit in any formation, with no models more than 3 inches away from the first model placed.  If that is not possible, place as many models as you can within 3 inches, and then place the rest as closely as possible.

7)   Psychology System
·      Units now automatically pass attempts to rally if they are above half strength, or have any HQ Independent Character attached.
·      Units below half strength may now attempt to rally normally, by passing a leadership test.
·      Units may now rally while they are within 6 inches of an enemy unit.
·      Death or Glory! Is no longer taken after a unit successfully passes the morale test resulting from a tank shock.  Instead, the player may choose to Death or Glory! instead of taking the morale test inflicted by tank shock.  If the players attempt to Death or Glory! fails, their unit counts as having failed the moral test inflicted by the tank shock and must immediatly fall back.  Fearless units are unaffected.
·      Suppression Tests have been introduced into the game. Please see the suppressing entry in the weapons section for more detail.

8)   Vehicles
·      See Psychology section for new Death or Glory! Rules.
·      Units that are inside of a transport when it is destroyed now suffer from entanglement.

If a unit is inside a transport that suffers a Vehicle- Wrecked or Vehicle- Explodes! result, they suffer from entanglement.  An entangled unit cannot fight as well until they clear themselves out of the smoke, debris, and general chaos that comes from being forced out of a detonating or burning vehicle.  Entanglement is similar to suppression in its effects: an entangled unit suffers -1 Ballistic Skill, and counts all movement as movement through difficult terrain.  Entangled units can only run d3 inches, instead of the normal d3+2 inches.  Entanglement expires on all a players units at the end of that player's turn.

Fearless and stubborn units suffer entanglement normally- it is not a matter of morale, but of physically being trapped!

A unit can be suppressed and entangled at the same time, but the effects of both these statuses do not stack.  A unit only ever suffers -1 Ballistic Skill from suppression and entanglement.

If an entangled unit comes under fire from suppressing weapons, resolve the attack and leadership tests normally.

·      Units now have an easier time hitting moving vehicles in melee: 
o   When attacking a stationary vehicle, melee attackers hit automatically.
o   When attacking a vehicle that moved 6 inches or less, melee attackers hit on a 3+.
o   When attacking a vehicle that moved over 6 inches but 12 inches or less, melee attackers hit on a 5+.
o   When attacking a vehicle that moved more than 12 inches, melee attackers hit on a 6+

·      A unit that destroys a vehicle in melee may now become engaged to any unit it was transporting, by using the new overrun rule:

When a vehicle is destroyed by the enemy in melee, there is no time to set up a firing line, or retreat to a safer position.  Troops barely have time to clear themselves from the wreckage, before they find themselves fighting for their lives!

When an enemy unit destroys a transport in melee combat, they can chose to overrun whatever unit that transport was carrying.  Remove the transport or turn it into a wreck normally, and place the squad in accordance with the normal rules for disembarking.  If the attacking unit has chosen to overrun, then both units then immediately make pile-in moves, exactly as if they had just finished a round of close combat with each other.  No additional attacks are made this round by either unit.  Both units will fight normally in the next assault phase, with neither unit gaining any bonus for charging, (no +1 attack, furious charge, etc.) or any defensive bonus granted from special abilities or wargear (no counter attack, defensive grenades, etc.).

If a transport is destroyed in melee and was carrying multiple units, the attacking unit may decide which of the transported units units they do and do not wish to overrun.
Appendix (i)

Weapons that have gained the Suppressing quality:-

Space Marines Codices:
Assault Cannon
Heavy Bolter
Deathwind Launcher
Hellfire Shell
Thunderfire Cannon (Surface Detonation only)
Sniper Rifle (Pinning)
Smite, Fury of the Wolf Spirits (Librarian and Rune Priest psychic powers)
Whirlwind Multiple Missile Launcher (All types) (Pinning)

Grey Knights (in addition to space marine codex weapons):
Gatling Psilencer
Heavy Psycannon
Mindstrike Missiles
Exitus Rifle (Pinning)

Imperial Guard:
Heavy Bolter
Heavy Stubber
Hellfury Missiles
Hot-Shot Lasgun
Hot-Shot Laspistol
Mortar (Pinning)
Multiple Rocket Pod
Punisher Gatling Cannon
Sniper Rifle (Pinning)
Griffon Heavy Mortar

Sisters of Battle:
Heavy Bolter

Tau Empire:
Rail Rifle (Pinning)
Burst Cannon
Ion Cannon

Barbed Strangler (Pinning)
Spore Mine Explosion
Spore Mine Cysts
Spore Mine Launcher
Stranglethorn Cannnon (Pinning)
Strangleweb (Pinning)
Terror from the Deep (Mawloc deep strike attack.)

Synaptic Disintegrater
Gauss Cannon

Big Shoota
Frazzle (Weirdboy psychic power)
Lobba (Pinning)
Da Rippa

Scatter Laser
Shuriken Cannon
Reaper Launcher
Tempest Launcher
Swooping Hawk Grenade Pack
Hawk's Talon
Sunrifle (Pinning)
Ranger Long Rifle (Pinning)
Shadow Weaver
Shrieker Cannon (Pinning)
The Maugetar

Dark Eldar:
Baleblast (Pinning)
Disintegrater Cannon
Shrieker Cannon (Pinning)
Void Mine
Casket of Flensing
Dark Gate
Hexrifle (Pinning)
Orb of Despair

Chaos Space Marines:
Any ranged attack from a Chaos Dreadnought under the effects of Fire Frenzy
Sonic Blaster
Havoc Launcher
Heavy Bolter
Doombolt (Sorcerer psychic power)

Chaos Daemons:

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