Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The Basics of Codex Design

Old Books Painting, Sonsoles Shack
Later on I'll be going through and discussing units and books in broad strokes – but for now, lets talk about the basics. First and foremost is go go into (again) which codexes go into which faction, and roughly what you could expect from each one. Here's what I've picked up from the discussions so far – if I've missed anything, let me know.

Codex: Army of Light

The central religious authority of the Empire of Mankind, roughly equivalent to the combined Inquisition/Ecclesiarchy of 40k. They should have a broad array of unit types available for taking, representing a wide variety of combat styles.

Codex: Star Knights

The stereotypical badass space marine archetype, with a focus on maneuver warfare and tactical flexibility. While there would be relatively few unit types, they should each have a huge variety of upgrade options.

Codex: Colonial Militia

This book would represent the militias and armed forces of conventional human worlds. They would typically have lots of light infantry and heavy tanks, but with a lot of room for variety as well as some relatively elite formations. Relatively limited options per unit, but a wide variety of units.

Codex: Colserans

While most Colserans are indifferent at best to personal combat, many of them will go through phases where they'd like to give it a go (seems like fun!). While their personal skills aren't always fantastic, their technology is second to none, and those of them that do it for a while get very, very good at making the most of it.

Codex: Mechanicals

Converting a planet to Colseran use isn't always a pleasant process. As often as not, the planet is inhabited by someone that is less then receptive to the process. When this happens programs will be loaded into combat chassis and equipped with weapons, and sent to clean out the infestations of lesser races.

Codex: Army of Darkness

Some Colserans get a kick out of messing with the stuffy humans – and the Army of Darkness is the result. Whatever the motivation, they are a twisted and evil force that combines human disciple with Colseran whimsicalness, and will attack nearly anything. As often as not, the humans won't even be aware of the Colseran influence.

Codex: Daoists

Similar to the current Tao, but with rules for a broader array of troop auxiliaries and greatly expanded drone use. It's something we can probably go into greater detail with later on.

Codex: Bugs

The stereotypical hungry insectoid race – whatever the particulars, they view everyone else as nothing more or less then food. While they adapt rapidly, their behavior is generally instinctive and they're often lacking in what sentients consider to be higher level functions. They also won't be burdened by the synapse type of rules that are often problematic for armies like tyranids.


I'm also going to be grouping units in the codexes into 4 broad groups for now: Elite Units, Core Units, Specialist Units and Support Units. I know the FOC question is still in the air, but I needed something to work with in the interim :P

Elites are the leaders and top troops of a force, and generally include units of veterans and commandos. Core units would represent the rank and file of an army, and would be the only units capable of capturing objectives. Specialists will generally be recon units, and infantry geared to a specific task. Support units will be the armies heavy units, like tanks and artillery.

Additionally, I want to avoid situations where army builds are dictated by having named character X in your list. Such armies often end up being cookie cutter copies of each other (Vulkan, Crowe, Shrike, etc) While build altering features are nice, the characters are often worth nowhere near their points cost, and end up being little more then a tax.


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