Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Rules for Space Marines in Warhammer

Well following my first game with Space Marines in Warhammer the other day, I thought I'd post the rules I used and give you my thoughts on the initial playtest.

You can download the army list I used here:

As you can see, I kept pretty much the normal stats across the board.

For the weapons I had two objectives:

  1. It wasn't realistic for explosive bullets from a boltgun to be the same strength as a crossbow so that needed addressing 
  2. I wanted to represent space marines a little more like they appear in the fiction (more powerful than their normal rules) Even if the resepecitve points values needed to be very high (and the army small) as a result, I was keen to go for "realism"most of all
To accomplish this I increased all weapon Strengths by 1. This worked well in the game and more accurately represented their level of power.

Tricky Thing 1: Movement 

Movement was very difficult to decide on and I had a bit of a rethink mid-game.

Although it would be justified to give superfit Space Marines Movement 5, I ended up sticking to 4. For now. I might change that in future. We'll see.

The hard part was jump troops, bikes and Landspeeders.

Bikes and Landspeeders can move 12" in 40k (bikes turbo boosting up to 24"); but in Warhammer you have march moves that makes it tricky and 24" is faster than a flyer. Should an off-road motorbike be able to go faster than an Eagle or Dragon? Faster than a horse? I'm still not sure.

It got just as complicated with jump troops and I must say I still haven't decided the best way forward.

Tricky Thing 2: Points Values

For points I generally about doubled the cost of each model. I wanted to err on the side of charging more for them . My opponent remained convinced that they should have cost more but I'm not so sure. I was up against a small elite Wood Elf army that had sunk a lot of points into a dragon. The dragon did well but the Treeman didn't really do much and my armour saves and massed bolter fire helped me a lot. I am very curious to see how they would fair against a horde army with large ranked up units.

Now THAT would be interesting.

My opponent felt that 3+ saves had no place in a Warhammer game but I disagree. It was a very refreshing change and I'm looking forward to exploring it more in future.

Tricky Thing 3: Special Rules and Vehicles 

So how did we deal with special rules and vehicles?

As much as possible I stuck to normal Warhammer rules; only changing things to keep the flavour of the unit in question.

For example, I kept Rapid Fire for the boltguns, but bear in mind the Marines were penalised for moving and firing and shooting at long range (this really took its toll on their accuracy and made them far more successful as a static army - it would also give a wily opponent an opportunity to outmanoeuvre them).

I gave Assault Marines with two close combat weapons 2 attacks basic, which made sense as the 40k rule for that didn't exist.

I used the Warhammer rule for high Strength giving an armour penetration bonus, which made the marines very vulnerable to high Strength attacks.

For the vehicles I used the 40k rules (after toying with converting them to "creatures," as the Warhammer rules do). My opponent had a great deal of trouble with damaging them - but that's okay. Bows shouldn't be able to bring down a tank or Landspeeder. They just need representative points to reflect the general lack of anti-tank weaponry. But don't forget that Great Weapons, monsters and cannons would all do a fine job at bringing them down.

And that's about it for now.

I don't have another game lined up on the map until the next campaign turn but when I do I'll be further exploring the rules for Space Marines in Warhammer Fantasy.

Next I'll be delving into the background for how I feel I can justify Space Marines turning up on the Warhammer World. 

On a personal note, before I finish, it really is chuffing cool seeing ranked up Space Marines on a movement tray! It was worth the effort just to see my dream come true at last.

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