Monday, April 15, 2013

Fire Priority?

How would you all feel about having a target priority system in WarStrike?

I went to a basement club meeting on Saturday and tested the game again with a friend named Nate, who I played before using the overly-complex variable visibility system. Which he hated.

The good news is that Nate didn't mind the new system at all. In fact, I could barely get him to talk about it. It's a non-issue now, which is great. Nate's complaints and suggestions all centered around close-combat. Which we know needs work.  I have some ideas on that, and I'll be testing them tonight. But at least the visibility system is testing well.

But on to the interesting question I have:

A friend of mine named Ryan was kind enough to loan me a bunch of 2nd Edition 40K books, as most of my collection only goes back to 3rd Edition. Though I did play a few games of 2nd at the tail end of its run, I didn't buy in to the game until 3rd Edition dropped.

It's interesting reading. Although the game (and its fluff) is pretty rough around the edges, it's not unlike ours. In that a typical 1500 point army is about the same size as a typical WarStrike force. There's too much detail in everything, but it has a nice feel. I can see why folks have fond memories of it.

Anyway, it has a lot of rules that no longer exist in 40K, and one of these is 'Target Priority'.

Here's a graphic that explains it well enough:

2nd Edition 40K's Target Priority Rule

So the general idea is this: you can't just shoot whoever you want. You either have to shoot the nearest unit you can see, or the nearest unit that's not in cover. Ignoring any units that are falling back. Heavy and special weapons are allowed to fire at different targets than the rest of the squad. Heroes can shoot whoever they like.

So if we adapted something like this to our system...

  1. Units must fire at the closest visible enemy infantry unit (determined from unit leader).
  2. Or... they may fire at the closest (or lowest Evasion) Exposed enemy unit that isn't falling back.
  3. Heavy/Special weapons may fire at a different target if the unit leader can also see the target and is within X" of heavy/special weapon model.
  4. Officers & Heroes may fire at any target. They may also give up their own ranged attacks to 'order' a friendly unit within X" to fire at any target.
On the plus side, something like this rings true to me. Given how FPS games like World of Tanks play out. Generally, you shoot the thing that's closest to you, because it's the biggest threat. But if you notice a target sitting out in the open, you might take the easy shot/kill instead.

This would allow for plays like running a unit of guard forward as a distraction for a group of Knights (or vice-versa). It would also put more importance on your officers and their positions. Plus it would keep units from ignoring other targets in order to try and pepper something through woods for suppression.

On the downside... 40K players aren't used to anything like this anymore, and some (Stelek) have disparaged it in the past. It was also taken out of 40K, I assume, in order to speed up play. Though I'm sort of thinking that it might speed things up slightly in our game.


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