I’m a game designer, trust me… – “Fixing” 40k

Hello Wargamers!

Captain Morgan on deck again with another ad-lib article on a subject I have been pondering lately. Everyone who plays 40k has an idea of what would be “best” for the game, or an idea of what is needed to “fix” 40k. As such, we all put on our “Game Designer” hats (spoiler: I am NOT actually a game designer), we sigh, and we wistfully wish that GW would make our dreams become a reality. 


Another rule article? Here we go again...
Another rule article? Here we go again…

This article is going to be the first in a series that I will be putting out as I think of things I would do to change the game’s rules in such a way as to make it (according to my opinion) make more sense. I won’t claim the ability to “balance” 40k, but if it happened by accident then I’d be a happy camper. Without further ado, here are 2 changes that I would make if I could…


Points/rules adjustment – Jump Packs Troops

Quickly, brothers! Strike a pose and shoot them with our pistols before we get shot off the field again!
Quickly, brothers! Strike a pose and shoot them with our pistols before we get shot off the field again!

The fact of the matter is, the way that the rules are right now, assault is very very difficult to do well. If it is done, it is usually done via hyper-conglomerations of several super-powered characters surrounded by ablative wounds. The generic assault units of days gone by are few and far between on the table nowadays, or if they are there then they get picked up before they can have an impact. This is especially true for marines and other models with Jump Packs. So, what would I do to fix it?


Reduce the points cost for taking a jump pack – The state of the game right now is so advantageous to shooting that a points reduction for jump packs is necessary. If you want it on a character, I’d put the max price at 5 points. Compared to bikes, which come with ridiculous amounts of rules that make no sense to have (ask any real biker if they are physically tougher for running a bike into things at full speed wearing), jump packs don’t hold a candle so far as efficiency and viability. Charging the same points for a 10 man tac squad as you would for an assault squad would bring the points more in line (or closer) to where it should be. Even that might not be enough.


"Just by sitting on this bike, I am literally bulletproof" - no biker ever
“Just by sitting on this bike, I am literally bulletproof” – no biker ever


Give jump packs the “fleet” rule – essentially (if you don’t think reducing the points is a good idea), a 12″ move OR re-rolling charge distance is not enough to make them useful enough. 


These are relatively small changes that I think would make jump packs better. So far as other things with jump (like wraithknights), I don’t think it’s necessary. What would you guys do to make jump packs better?


Fundamental Rule Change – Cover Mechanics


You can't aim at what you can't see
You can’t aim at what you can’t see

Cover is one of those game mechanics that is absolutly essential, no matter what army you play. Some armies are especially reliant on cover in order to function at all (tyranids, orks, etc.). I’m not talking about an obvious change either, like MC’s/GMC’s toe in cover, I’m talking about a fundamental change in how cover interacts with models.


Remove cover saves completely – Before you all break your screens, read the next paragraph. I do not think that cover should allow for a save. Instead, cover should make it harder to hit the models behind it. Off the cuff, trees/shrubs/normal difficult terrain would be a -1 to the shooter’s BS, ruins a -2, etc. with modification for shrouded/stealth as you could guess. This would allow people still to take their armor/invul saves like normal, but still have a benefit from cover that isn’t redundant like a save. That also would make markerlights a bit more fair, as you would need to hit with the markerlight with the BS reduction in order to buff the BS of another squad.


Replace “Ignores Cover” with “Reduces Cover” – Ignores cover is too brutal a rule that is too heavily handed out to some factions and not others. Indeed, some armies have 0-1 cover manipulation options in their entire book. Having a rule that reduces the cover BS penalty to a maximum of -1 BS (see above) could accomplish the same thing without completely breaking armies that rely on cover to get across the table. 


What do you guys think? Would these changes help or hurt the game? Let us know in the comments and stay tuned for more articles like this in the future here at FTN



~Captain Morgan