Wednesday, September 28, 2011

How Can We Make Marines More Real?

Captain America And Superman, by Alex Ross
The discussions so far are all going swimmingly; but I'm sensing an undercurrent that needs to be addressed. That being the question: "How are we going to make marines real?" Because I think the answer to that question will inform many of the high-level choices that we make about our game.

Space Marines are the super-heros of 40K. The Mary Sues of wargaming. Of that there is no doubt. Their amazing sales can be attributed to every 12 year old fanboy's secret wish to be a perfect eight foot tall killing machine with super healing powers and acid spit.

In 40K, Space Marines always have the highest leadership, the highest stats, the best armor, and whatnot. That's great for Marine players and their wish fulfillment, but it does get old fast for every other army that has to fight the super-men. Particularly when GW has to keep making them stronger by layering more and more special rules on them with every codex release. The GK codex being a prime example.

So... how do we make them real? With tactically significant flaws aside from just a low model count? How can our other factions fight them without spamming armor-piercing weapons unrealistically?

Looking to reality, real Marines are shock troops. They spearhead invasions and amphibious landings. They hit hard and move quickly, but lack the long-term staying power of the regular army. So how could that inform our choices?

Maybe they don't get the best leadership, but have to take fewer tests. Or maybe we split leadership out into multiple stats like LD, Cool, and WP. So that they could be rock-solid in a fight (High Cool), but not the best at working together (Average Leadership) because they're arrogant Prima Donnas. Or the loyalist ones could have a low Willpower because they're so 'pure' that they don't have any real knowledge of the dark forces they're fighting.

I'm looking less for solutions here than simple ideas. So anything goes.


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