During the previous Commorragh Phase pieces, I’ve been talking fairly high-level conceptual stuff, but I should probably start addressing the nitty-gritty. How would the encounters actually play?
When it came to Necromunda, the game played on basically the 3rd Edition 40k rules with a couple of tweaks. The main area that was altered for the game was that when a character lost his last wound, you’d roll on a further table to see whether or not s/he’d be able to shrug it off. If I recall correctly (and I may well not), the table was a simple three-parter. On a 1-2 the injury was just a flesh wound and the character could get up and fight normally albeit with modifications to their profile. Enough flesh wounds would still put a character down for the count. On a 3-4, the character was down and couldn’t really contribute to the battle at all, but could crawl to try to get away from danger. On a 5-6 the character was gone and removed from the game; they’d roll on the big Injury table and we’d see what happened to them.
Anyway, that’s a bit of an unnecessary tangent at the moment. The basic point to this ramble is to ask: should I use bog-standard 5th ed rules for the conflicts (albeit with various tweaks) or should I try to create a different system? It’s a bit of knotty problem really. Going for the 5th ed rules would be a lot less hassle, but I’m currently unconvinced that it would be the best system for the job. It’s a bit too shallow. However, with fewer models involved, I think the rules can afford to be a little more complicated. Not to the mad extent of Inquisitor, but it could certainly do with something more narratively exciting than ‘you’ve failed your armour save, now fall over’ style of normal 5th ed.
Although, that said, I don’t want to go the way of needing character sheets to record damage mid-game (although I do think some character sheets will be needed for your key characters due to skills, equipment and what have you). Maybe damage inflicts stat-modifiers mid game. Every time you fail an armour or cover save, there could be an additional roll on a damage table to see how it affects the character. Something along the lines of 1-2: lose a wound (chest or head), 3-4: lose 1 WS & BS (arms), 5-6: Lose movement and Initiative (legs). Oh yeah. Movement.
I definitely want movement to work a little differently, even if it’s as simple as giving people movement values again. This gives a greater sense of difference between the characters and faction types. For example, Wyches and Incubi are both close combat focused, only the Incubi have more armour and strike marginally after the Wyches in assault. It only make sense to have the Wyches move noticeably faster across the board to compliment this obvious difference in speed and reflexes. It could also make the Wyches more of a tempting option for hiring if they can cover ground more effectively, rather than just making them cheaper than Incubi.
Another potential difference I can see occurring is sight ranges. In old rules, whenever sight was called into question (or indeed, any form of alertness), the detection area of a model was based on its Initiative. I think this is a good and applicable system, but for the purposes of the game it shouldn’t work across the entire system, as it would make certain characters harder to play. That said, an extended sight range could be a skill or perk for certain equipment setups or character types (sniper and the like).
I would also like to re-introduce the good old ‘To Hit’ modifiers. I prefer these to the rather binary Cover Save system that 40k operates on now. I understand that it’s quicker and involves less maths, but, like I’ve said, with a lower model count, system simplification becomes less important. I’ll delve more into what they could be later.
That’s it for now though. More half-baked rules tweaks and thoughts at a later date.
Stranger things have happened.