Friday, March 22, 2013

Testing The New Visibility System

CaulynDarr and I tested out the new visibility system with a straightforward battle today (Meeting Engagement). How did it do?

I'm glad to say that the new system performed extremely well. It was quick, and very natural to figure out what you needed to hit. Even more so than the current system that it's replacing. The only problems we encountered were its interactions with a few other rules. But that's to be expected, and none of the fixes we came up with are difficult ones.

The terrain the target was in or behind determined the base modifier (if beyond Aw range). The target unit's actions determined whether you added or subtracted a one from that. Compared to the old system of a modifier for range, another for GtG, and a third for concealment, this was lighting-fast to figure out. It also 'felt' very natural in terms of its effects.

Darr commented on how good our firefights feel now. Especially how a unit that's been ground down to just 1-2 guys can still have an effect on the battle by adding suppression.

The new wound allocation roll worked very well too. Roll 2D6, pick any trooper on a 5+, or trade two 5+ rolls for the unit leader. This felt perfect. Neither too easy, nor too hard.

Issues To Resolve

We did have a few issues during the battle.

1) Falling Back can be simplified.

Right now, we have units falling back at least their base Mv, and no more than double their Mv towards a concealing position. But this needs to change. Especially with the ease now of determining which enemy units a falling back unit can see, and what cover is.

So we're going to change falling back so that you only have to move into a position where your unit isn't exposed to a visible enemy (though you may move further). If you're already sitting in cover, you'll be able to Go To Ground, and remove a nerve marker for doing so, instead of falling back.

2) 6+6 (always hits) needs to go

Darr and I both came to this conclusion separately before we talked, and there's 2 good reasons for this.

The first is that we (myself and all testers to-date) never remember to do it. If a mechanic doesn't come naturally, it needs to go.

The second reason is that it simplifies some of the terrain interactions. When a BS5 autocannon is firing through woods at an Ev5 target across the table (normally a 4+), a +3 modifier should simply deny the shot. It's a waste of time to roll twice for a possible 6+6 when it almost never pays off.

What we discussed replacing the 6+6 system with was a 'fate' system. Where each player would get a pool of 3 fate dice at the start of the game. If you need to make an impossible shot, or re-roll a Ld check, or some other get-lucky thing, then you roll one or more fate dice to see if you can do it. Then, whether or not the roll(s) succeed, you hand those dice over to your opponent. Where they then become HIS fate dice. Allowing him to later roll them when he needs to. At which point he'll hand those dice back to you.

So you get the benefits of always being able to do something impossible, without the time wasting of 6+6. Plus, you get some added drama. Do I use my fate dice now? Or wait until they'll benefit my opponent less?

3) Close-Combat Weapons May Move And Swing

We've talked about this before, but I think that models with dedicated close-combat weapons should be allowed to swing them after they consolidate. Moving, then waiting for your opponent to swing, should be something that models without swords and halberds should have to do.

That about wraps it up. Good test!


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