Codex LATD 5, updated and fixed again : )

 

 

Ok thanks everyone for bearing with me.  Here’s the latest version, V5:

Codex_Lost_and_The_Damned_ChaosGerbil_v5

“Patch notes” are back!

I am doing generally doing Codex: LATD edits as fast as I can and I haven’t been pausing long enough for proper review. Thank you to the community for helping me get rid of some of the glitches.

I rewrote the allies rules again, these are more well thought out than previous incarnations. They are more lenient, allowing you to take an extra unit per 500 pts. than before. I also added HQs from Codex Daemons and Fabius Bile.

I did not want to give access to Lash of Submission outside of a Apoc type scenario, as it is potentially unbalancing. Likewise many of the HQs from CSM and IG just did not belong, but Greater Daemons and heralds do. Pavane of Slaanesh or whatevere is not nearly as problematic as Lash IMO.

Plague Zombies were too weak, I restored them to T4 and as a present gave them Warp-Spawned. This is a fun little rule shared by Chaos Spawn and a few other units that lets you add one model to the squad for every enemy unit wiped out in melee with a WarpSpawned unit.

Traitors now have Trucks as dedicated transports as they were meant to.

I am also being nice and allowing them an extra bonus:
The Traitors may take a Traitor Truck as a dedicated transport using the entry in the fast attack section. When purchased this way, the Truck will not count against the limit on vehicles imposed by the Scavengers rule.

This should help appease the mech minded masses. Since traitors can upgrade to infiltrate I worry about this being too powerful.

 

Here’s Abuse Puppy responding and my notes:

[quote=”AbusePuppy”]Daemonic Summoning:
The split between Lesser Daemons and Codex: Daemons stuff seems really weird and awkward. Why include both? I would suggest just giving them the Lesser Daemons from the Daemon book and leave it at that.

[color=#0000FF]If including both will be a problem I’ll ditch the generic daemons instead.[/color]

Alliances
This seems… needless as well. Just include the obvious units from the parent codex and don’t worry about minor stuff. It’s very simple to paste in a line like “Imperial Guard Psyker Battle Squad: See Codex: IG for cost and details,” and it raises fewer questions.

[color=#0000FF]I did the lists in previous editions, I may go back to it. The alliance wording got cleaned up in the meantime and is posted on my blog.[/color]

Daemonkin
Just give them the Daemon rule. You don’t have to attach the same text to it as the Daemon rule in that codex.

[color=#0000FF]Good point, but then I want them to deploy normally and not deep-strike. It’s partly an artifact of the past but I have been moving Daemonkin towards invulnerable saves. I can address this in another part of the rules[/color]

Sacrifice
This is sort of an awkward ability. Does it really need to be an army special rule? Eh, I guess it’s fine.

[color=#0000FF]I will look at the wording[/color]

Spawn Movement
So you roll on a chart in order to see how you move randomly. 😐 No. Either have them move 3d6 in the direction of a scatter die (you choose in case of a Hit) or move 2d6 in a direction of your choice. Random movement and mediocre statlines (yes, I know you updated them) are already very punishing.

[color=#0000FF]After much tinkering that seems like a worthwhile solution. I’ll ditch the chart, it is too slow and clunky.[/color]

Why does Curse of the Machine Spirit have a 20″ range? Everything in the game is multiples of 6″ these days.

[color=#0000FF]Idiosyncracy I guess. 24″ it is.[/color]

Prescience… basically just doesn’t work. Don’t make abilities like this.

[color=#0000FF]EXTERMINATUS[/color]

Psychic powers are never continuous. Abilities that work continuously without need for a psychic test are just abilities, not psychic powers (like the Doom of Malan’tai’s Spirit Leech, etc), even if they are psychic-themed.

Fear is… very oddly worded. Why not just give it two shooting profiles, one that causes Pinning and one that causes a Morale check?

[color=#0000FF]Sure[/color]

Apsiring Champion
Rending and Poison should probably be the same cost. Rending isn’t actually that scary.

[color=#0000FF]Yeah lately I have been lowering the cost on rending where I see it but I need to do a more thorough points cost standardization at some point.[/color]

Standard Power Fist cost for S4 models is 25pts, not 20pts. Not sure if that was intentional.

[color=#0000FF]
Wolf guard pay 20.  The LATD army gets bumps in CC ability to balance for deficiency in other areas.[/color]

Don’t call wings/bikes/steeds Transports. Transport has a meaning within the game.

[color=#0000FF]Good point.
[/color]
Exalted Champion
Is Powerful Allies intended to make ANY CSM unit you take scoring? Keep in mind that will include tanks, Dreads, dedicated transports, etc.
[color=#0000FF]Already fixed[/color]
You should probably specify where the 5++ save he has comes from.
[color=#0000FF]I will
[/color]

Plaguemaster
Why does he have Furious Charge and Relentless?

[color=#0000FF]FC already removed, Relentless was an artifact[/color]

Renegade Psyker
Needs the Psyker rule, as it stands he can’t use his powers. Also needs a Mastry level. Do you mean Psyker Battle Squads in his entry? It’s generally better not to have characters actually change the unit entry of their optional troops.

[color=#0000FF]Updated[/color]

Big Mutants
You don’t need to list the upgrade character’s gear separately unless it’s different. Should probably say “one SQUAD MEMBER may be upgraded…” rather than “one character.” The Boss has a listing for options, but no options there. As a rule, avoid “up to three members of the squad” listings in favor of “one member per XX in the squad,” as the latter gives an actual reason to take larger squads.

[color=#0000FF]Updated[/color]

Chaos Spawn
What does the Mindless special rule do? What does Warp-Spawned do?
[color=#0000FF]
special rules marked with * are either army wide rules that are at the beginning, I currently do not have a bestiary so they are there. I need to make this more clear somehow.[/color]

Combat Drug Addicts
Not all Fearless units need to be Leadership 10; this is a good situation for where a lower value would make sense. Give them either “pair of close combat weapons” or Pistol+CCW, listing CCW twice looks like a misprint. Again, Rending and Poison should be the same cost. Why do they have grenades? Are a bunch of strung-out addicts really that prepared? A4 for 10pts is a pretty good deal, especially with S4 on the charge; probably not overpowered, but worth considering. 8-24 is a very strange unit size, why not make it something even (5-30, 10-20, etc)?

[color=#0000FF]Updated. As for the unit size, blood for the blood god.[/color]

Mutants
T4 on a 6pt model is fairly significant, especially with A3; that means a random mutant is as tough as a Space Marine or Ork (both of which are supposed to be far beyond human) and with a fury even beyond that of any but the mightiest of exemplars of men. Again, this is probably not overpowered, it just strikes me as mechanically a bit odd.

[color=#0000FF]Codex Eye of Terror had them at 4 toughness. I figure that if a guardsmen with 2 baseball bats counts as 2 attacks, than adding a tentacle arm or claws should take it to 3. I had a shittier mutant choice called rabble but I [color=#BF0000]EXTERMINATUS[/color] [/color]

Plague Zombies
6pt FNP models are enough of a bargain that the Plaguemaster seems like pretty much an auto-include. Presumably they aren’t scoring without him, I guess due to Mindless?

[color=#0000FF]These were already supposed to be at 7, I am moving them to 8 now that their profile is better than it was with the higher toughness Should I go back to 3 and a lower cost? There should be a horde element to them.[/color]

Traitors
It seems odd that you can have two guys carrying one Plasma Gun and then one guy carrying another. Also, as before, it’s probably better to have the special weapons be an “one per X guys” option. (The heavy team is fine as a one per squad.)

[color=#0000FF]Cleaned up a little[/color]

Traitor Truck
Kinda a lame name. Commandeered Vehicle? Scavanged Vehicle? I dunno. Again, repeat listing of gear make it look like it might be a misprint; just have it as “two front-mounted heavy stubbers.” Smoke Launchers and Searchlight as standard gear seem odd for what appears to be a shoddy, run-down wannabe tank.

[color=#0000FF]Good points and I like the name. I stripped all wargear options for now except for weapons, I will add something custom later down the road.[/color]

Giant Chaos Spawn
Aspiring Champions seem to be able to join these and other Spawn. Is that intentional? You can probably drop their price a bit, as it stands they’re basically Carnifexes (which are bad.)

[color=#0000FF]OK[/color]

[color=#0000FF]Revamped
[/color]
Traitor HW Teams
Are Dominators and Weapon Teams the same price? It doesn’t say. If it’s 12pts per weapon team, they are definitely undercosted- remember, an IG HWT is 60pts for three teams and are a perfectly fine deal. Being able to get Stealth/Infiltrate/Tank Hunters (which is the correct USR name, not Tankbusters) adds significantly to their utility and more than makes up for not being scoring.

I can do a more full review and evaluation of the codex another time, perhaps.[/quote]

[color=#0000FF]Cool, thanks.. posting V5 on my blog now, at BOK.[/color]

 

 

 

Here’s a paste of the allies rules, I would like to condense them for elegance at some point but I needed to expand to be comprehensive.

ALLIANCE RULES

A Lost and The Damned army may select allies from other Codexes.  These will occupy the same force organization chart and have all the same options as the original entry.

You may take a certain number of allies depending on the size of the game:

1,000+ points    1 ally
1,500+ points    2 allies
2,000+ points    3 allies
2,500+ points    4 allies

These may be selected from:

Codex: Imperial  Guard
Codex: Chaos Space Marines
Codex: Daemons

There are a few exceptions:

No HQ choices or Platoons are allowed from Codex: Imperial  Guard
No HQ choices are allowed from Codex: Chaos Space Marines
Vehicle squadrons must be a single vehicle only

Allied units will not count as scoring unless a Codex Lost and the Damned HQ choice specifically says they will.

Dedicated transports costing under 100 points purchased with a unit do not count as an additional ally choice.

Units from Forgeworld books and “homebrew” Codexes may be included only with opponent permission.

Some Lost and the Damned H.Q. Choices will open up additional ally choices, detailed in the character’s army list entries.

For narrative campaigns or special scenarios, feel free to work out with your opponent your own rules for allies.

Chaosgerbil's Modular Mission System for Warhammer 40,000

Let’s face it, the 5th edition missions could be better.

This a 40k mission system prototype, ready for playtesting. Battle Points are used to determine a winner.

Do not be scared by the use of Battle Points, it works differently than you may expect. In tournaments, the winner is granted a bonus of anywhere from 0 to 50 points, depending on the Tournament Organizer’s preference.

If you want to track major or minor victories, thresholds can be set wherever you want, such as winning by 10 or more battle points. Likewise, battle point rewards can be altered for each objective. This is explained more in the notes section below.

The idea is to mix and match objectives within one game. Players can decide randomly or choose bits and pieces that they like. Battle points (BP) make these objectives interchangeable.

Feedback is encouraged, and I am also looking for more optional objectives to add. These will be cannibalized from various sources and repurposed to fit within the system. Balance is key.

For a standard mission: use both primary objectives (worth 10 points each) and 10 points worth of secondary objectives, for a total of 30 points. Outside of tournaments feel free to add, subtract, or modify objectives… as long as all players agree.

Deployments are interchangeable with the objectives, and will be covered in the next edition of the system.

Primary Objectives:

Control: (Max of 10 points)
+2 BP per controlled objective marker. By default this is 5 objectives:  1 at the center, and 2 placed by each player. Use the normal objective placement rules on BRB pg. 91.

Destroy: (Max of 10 points)
+1 BP per kill point, from a list of selected units chosen by the owning player, worth 1 BP each.
(If a player brings less than 10 kill points of units than the opponent will need to wipe out the opponent to score all 10 points for this category.)

(Optional Bonus objective)
Annihilation:
+10 points for destroying or routing off table all of your opponent’s models)


Secondary Objectives:

These can be assigned ahead of time, rolled for randomly, chosen on the spot or even added midgame depending on the event.
To pick randomly, roll 2D6 and use the two objectives rolled. On a double, use “Escort” or “Invasion” instead.

[1] Zone Control: (Max of 5 points)
+1 BP for controlling a table quarter.
+1 BP for controlling more table quarters than your opponent.
To control a quarter you have to have at least one infantry squad in it, and

[2] It’s Bad For Morale: (Max of 5 points)
+5 BPs for killing all your opponent’s Troops.

[3] Assassination: (Max of 5 points)
+2 BPs for every H.Q. unit killed
+1 BP for every H.Q. unit routed off table.
If you killed all enemy H.Q.s you earn the full 5 BPs.

[4] Intimidation: (Max of 5 points)
+2 BP for every enemy unit destroyed or routed off table by one of your Elite squads.

[5] Raid: (Max of 5 points)
+2 BP for each Fast Attack unit within 12″ of opponent’s long board edge at game end.
(When playing short edge to short edge deployments, then this is changed to within 18″ of opponent’s short edge.)

[6] Arms Race: (Max of 5 points)
+2 BP for each surviving heavy support choice on your side. This is reduced to 1 BP for any unit/squadron at 50% strength or less.

[Double 1s, 2s, 3s]
Invasion: (Max of 10 points)

+1 BP for every unit of yours that moves off of your opponent’s primary board edge. Treat the space beyond your opponent’s table edge as “Clear” terrain rather than “Impassable” for normal movement. Deep striking mishaps will still occur if you scatter off table.

[Double 4s, 5s, 6s]
Escort: (Max of 10 points)

+5 BPs for killing your opponent’s V.I.P.:
+5 BPs for moving your V.I.P. off of opponent’s primary board edge (normally the long edge)
Each player gets to use an additional V.I.P. model for this mission, using the profile below.

WS BS  S  T   I  A W LD  Sv:
4    4   4  4  4  2  2  8   4+/4++

Wargear: “Counts As:” Bolt Pistol, Close Combat Weapon, Carapace Armor, Conversion Field, Frag Grenades

Special Rules:
Independant Character, Fearless, Stealth, Move Through Cover

For casual play, players can decide to use other types of units to escort.  You can use diplomats, spies, squads of civilian workers, refugees, assassins, hackers, royalty, or strange alien equivalents.

Just in case Real Genius or anyone else needs a break, here’s some of my models…………..
Good buddies: My Trygon / Mawloc and his Carnifex sidekick

Special Missions:

Salvage: (Max of 20 points per objective for a 6 turn game)
(Replaces primary objectives) Salvage objectives are scored every turn past the first. They are worth an amount of VPs equal to the turn number, as more and more valuable archeotech becomes unearthed.

Ok this last one is just for fun:
Recover the wounded (Max of 10 points)
+1 BP for every surviving unit you chose to be a kill point.

-All squads gain the special rule: Combat Tactics. Models that already had Combat Tactics may also choose to pass  all leadership rolls they make, other than for psyker powers.

-All units may move off of their primary table edge (usually the long edge).
All squads that move off the table are restored to full strength and enter reserves.

-As an example, if your unit fell back off the board edge on your opponent’s turn, if the unit’s reserve roll is successful they could re-enter at the start of your turn.

Notes:

I have been tinkering with 40k missions for a long time. I wanted a flexible system that could easily be added to, that kept games fresh yet remained balanced.  Having multiple simultaneous objectives that all mattered was another goal. Now not every idea in this system is 100% original. I have been inspired by many people, as well as past editions of 40k. For instance, Stelek’s 5×5 system was the first I know of to use kill points selected by a player.

This system is designed to be modular. As a default, games should be played to 30 battle points for a standard 1,500-2,000 point game. If you want to adjust the points or add objectives it is easy to do. Just decide on a total amount of battle points each game should yield and then pick missions accordingly. The BPs may be adjusted to account for including more optional objectives or special scenarios. As an example, you could use 3 objective markers worth 5 points each, no kill points, and 15 points worth of optional missions.

Tournament Play:

To rig this system to favor of decisive wins over losses, you may decide to award a game winner extra points per win. As an example, you can add things like: Winning by more than 10 battle points: +10 Battle points. If you want categories of victory, use point margins divisible by five for simplicity’s sake.

Objectives:

Ideally these should be detailed 40mm or 60mm markers, but players may agree on a different standard. By default objectives will: block line of sight, provide cover to non-vehicle units, and count as difficult terrain. Any objective marker more than about 2″ high should be discussed prior to playing as it may be problematic or abusive. If using flags, you can optionally agree to treat banners as visible for LOS purposes.

Mercenary Lord Darion Haven

A Lost and the Damned Special Character

(Designed by BOBliness, edited by Chaosgerbil.)

A governor on a little-known and inconsequential planet in the Timbra sector on the Eastern fringe, Lord Darion Haven was one of the first to trade with the Tau.

His home planet Learion was hit by rapid and crippling climate change, leaving crops ruined and livestock starving planet-wide. Insignificant to Imperial politics, Lord Haven’s requests for aid were ignored, leaving him no choice but to seek alternate sources of food for his people.

By a coincidence of fate Learion was one of the first planets in the Imperium to be visited by the Tau water caste, eager to establish trade with humanity and begin their assimilation into the greater good.

Favourable trade agreements were established and Learion was temporarily rescued from its fate.
Lord Haven found the Tau intriguing and their technology fascinating. He was obsessed with technology and was a genius at adapting the Tau technology for human use.

In honour of the establishment of trade between Learion and the Tau Empire, Lord Haven was gifted many items of value, including several pieces of implant technology that Tau scientists had worked with him to adapt for human physiology.  In this the early years of the Tau contact with humanity they had yet to realise that they were dealing with more than a few worlds and they pursued their usual path to bring another race into the greater good.

However the Imperium soon showed itself to be far greater than a few worlds as the Damocles crusade smashed into Tau space and drove deeply into the Tau empire, purifying any Imperial worlds it deemed as tainted by contact with the xenos.

Learion was but one of many worlds to feel the brunt of the Emperors wrath and in refusing to resign and refusing to rescind his contact with the Tau empire, Lord Haven doomed his world in a single communication to the orbiting ‘Emperors Flame’. In a handful of days the world’s recently recovered ecosystem and society was decimated by orbital bombardment and Lord Haven was forced to retreat to exile, abdicating governance of his people.

Darion Haven sought out the Tau and offered his services and those of his guard, in return for safety, payment and access to Tau technology.  The Tau accepted.

From that day forward Lord Haven joined the thousands of mercenary bands that work with the Tau, his loyal guard fleeing with him to form the bulk of a force that would be a thorn in the side of the Loyalist crusade.

The death of thousands of his people weighed heavily on Darion’s mind and he was twisted with hatred for the Imperium that had so betrayed him, swearing that he would exact a price in blood from the Marine companies of the Emperor for every man woman and child slain on Learion and this became the driving force of his remaining life. Quickly recognising that his human lifespan was simply not sufficient to enact his vengeance he sought out ways of extending his life, using Tau and Imperial technology alike and often hybridising the two in ways the Tau have not allowed any others to imitate.

In the following decades more of his body was replaced with technology, sometimes as rewards from the Tau but more often as a life-support measure after particularly brutal battles. After his left eye and most of the left side of his face was torn away by a marine chain-sword while defending an Ethereal on Dal’yth prime at the height of the Damocles crusade the Tau surgeons replaced the eye with a cybernetic implant designed to improve his accuracy and based on the Tau markerlight technology.

His continued fascination with Tau technology led to perhaps Darion’s greatest invention, the twin missile launcher system he named Death and Taxes. Having now fled the Imperium, and having found methods to extend his life, he was famously quoted as stating that “though nothing is certain for me any longer, I will bring back the two great certainties to the lives of the Emperors Marines.”

After his assistance in securing an outpost on the desert world of Ili’yetharn Darion was further rewarded with the honorary title of shas’vre, a rank never before granted to a non-Tau and an indication of their respect for his commitment to the greater good. Though still a fighter for hire, Darion has been known to fight for free in any cause against the Imperial Space Marines and has only ever faced the Tau in civil disputes to date.

Though his life as an outcast and his hatred of the Imperium has twisted Darion, he remains at heart a good man, untouched by the taint of chaos. His armies, though traitors to the Imperium, are not worshippers of the dark powers, merely mortals that have been rejected by human society for whatever reason.

Unlike most Mercenary leaders Darion has both the resources and the will to lead on a large scale, often seen at the head of forces numbering in the hundreds if not thousands.

His old Imperial contacts and the area of the galaxy in which he operates ensure that there is never a shortage of men or machines with which he can force combat.

Mercenary Lord Darion Haven                  210 points

WS          BS          S            T            W            I            A            Ld            Sv

Darion Haven              4            5            4            5            3            4            3            10            3+/4+

Unit Composition:

1 Darion Haven (unique)

Unit Type:

Infantry

Wargear:

Death and Taxes**

Eye of Learion**

Extensive Bionics**

Conversion Field (4+ Inv. Sv)

Modified Crisis suit (3+ Sv)

– Suit-mounted Close Combat Weapon

– Suit-mounted Flamer

– Suit-mounted Plasma Pistol

– Suit-mounted Power fist

Flechette Grenades (Offensive)

Photon Grenades (Defensive)

Special rules:

A Traitor In Name Only**

Favoured of the Tau**

Hates Space Marines**

Acute Senses

Independent Character

Fleet

Hit and Run

Relentless

Stubborn

Special Rules:

A Traitor In Name Only:

Dorian was a loyal servant of the Emperor, placed in an impossible position by fate. Though he hates the Emperor and by extension the Imperium, he does not follow the ruinous powers and does not consider himself to be a traitor. While not above using his men as “meatsheilds” to protect himself, he still destroys Chaos forces where he can. As such, no army that includes Darion may include any of the following:
– Any unit from Codex : Demons

– Any unit from Codex : Chaos Space Marines

– Any other HQ selection

– Chaos Spawn

– Gibbering Hordes

– Plague Zombies

– Chaos Hounds

– Giant Chaos Spawn

Favoured of the Tau:

Dorian has offered much service to the Tau Empire and sees them as his adopted home. As such, common mercenary components of Tau forces are commonplace within his forces. His extensive bionics even allow him to communicate with Kroot and Vespid in a similar manner to Tau commanders. A force led by Darion may include Kroot Mercenaries and Vespid Stingwings as Allies choices, which count as scoring units.

Death and Taxes:

Inspired by seeing Tau Broadside battle-suits and Hammerhead tanks in action, Darion worked on a guidance system capable of delivering similar results using Imperial technology. Once completed, he named the weapons system ‘Death and Taxes’. The system incorporates two missile launchers, integrated into Darions armour on twin shoulder mounts. The launchers are of standard Imperial design, but their firing, loading and guidance systems are a complex hybrid of Tau and Imperial technology. Darion’s optics and firing controls are hardwired to advanced Tau Multi-tracker & Target Lock systems. This allows him to fire on the move at different targets simultaneously. All these systems weigh down his suit’s jump jets considerably, which only have enough fuel to power jumps in exceptional circumstances (represented by his Fleet / Hit and Run rules)

Darion can split his fire at any targets he can see within 48”. He can fire two shots, and mix and match frag and krak missiles. If Darion is leading a unit, he may fire his weapons and resolve charges independently of the unit he has joined. He can also fire his suit mounted flamer or plasma pistol at any target, this is resolved immediately after the missiles. Instead of firing two missiles, he may choose one of the special attacks below:

Firestorm:

A hail of frag missiles is launched from the twin tubes in a specific pattern at the designated target area creating a storm of death so dense that only heavily armoured foes can survive it.

Darion must roll to hit twice to use this attack. If neither attack hits then the shot is disregarded. If a single attack hits then resolve the attack as a barrage of two frag missiles on the target. The first missile in the barrage automatically hits the target, the second missile must scatter as normal for a barrage.

If both attacks hit, then place the large blast template over the target model. All models touched by the template take a S4, AP5 hit with no cover save allowed.

One Two punch:

The twin missile system locks onto the target and delivers two super-krak missiles in a precisely timed sequence such that the first missile strikes the center of impact of the first missile half a second after the first detonates. As such the second missile strikes an already weakened area, wreaking greatly increased damage on even the most heavily armoured target.

Darion must roll to hit twice to use this attack against one target. If a single attack hits then resolve the attack as a single krak missile. If both attacks hit, then the attack is resolved as a single S8 AP1 hit which rolls two d6 for armour penetration.

Eye of Learion

The Eye of Learion is one of the three main cybernetic upgrades given to Darion by the Tau Empire in reward for his services during the Damocles Crusade. The Eye is an adapted networked markerlight.

The eye allows Darion to ignore the cover saves of any of his targets. He also benefits from Acute Senses.

Extensive Bionics

Darion has had so many cybernetic improvements made to his body that he is arguably more machine than man. The extensive self-repair systems he makes use of to prolong his life are also more than capable of dealing with combat damage if given time.

Any time Darion loses his last wound, lie him down on the table where he died. At the start of his controlling player’s next turn he will be returned to life with one wound on a d6 roll of 5+. If this roll is failed, remove Darion as a casualty. If Darion is lying down at the end of the game, he counts as a casualty.

Codex: Lost and The Damned 2.15 (UPDATED)

The new version is out!

Codex: Lost and The Damned 2.15 (PDF)

It has a background graphic  now and a new chaotic image for the dividers. I have been increasing the font size from 9 to 10 in entries for easier readability but this process is not 100% done. I updated many entries and made numerous formatting changes.

The whole book got a serious face-lift, with updated graphics and cleaner layout. Thanks again to Atrotos at Rules Manufactorum for the prompt, with this review.

I changed the allies system back to one choice per 500 points, but got rid of the division between “Native” and special allies.  I played with the force org modifying abilities significantly for the H.Q.’s. The list of Psychic powers is expanded and has been moved to its own page for easy reference. I really want someone to go through and comment on the points level for these at some point. I am most likely going to open up the psychic powers list for other characters in the future.

I updated the background image. Using transparency in InDesign is fun, but it is using too much resources in the final PDF.

Upcoming entries, To Do list

–Rogue Psykers entry (To replace Psyker battle squads)

–Tzeentch themed Chaos Marine character: Mad Prophet / Master Of Intrigues He will select some powers from the psychic list but be more expensive than the Renegade Psyker Leader. (Allows one unit of Screamers and/or one unit of Flamers as an allied choice.)

–Slaanesh themed Chaos Marine character: Lustweaver (Allowing one unit of Fiends and/or one unit of Seekers as an allied choice.)

–Khorne themed Chaos Marine character: Blood Lord, perhaps a less generic name would work better. (Allows one unit of Bloodcrushers as an allied choice.)

–Named Characters… Special characters will go in a section at the end of the book. There will be a fallen Inquisitor and a hulking Master of Mutants. Also, Fabius Bile will be added to the allies list.

–Merc Lord Darion Haven, a character sent in by BOBliness. I am in the process of editing his rules to fit in with the book. The background I am leaving intact.

–At some point I will flesh out the Daemon Weapons, I’ll ask Mkerr about borrowing ideas from his, and take a look through “Slaves to Darkness” for ideas as well.

–I am going to email Dave Taylor and ask him about including the Stalk Tank as an entry.

–I need to finish formatting, adding dot leads and making sure everything is the right size.

If anyone has art, photos, units, or battle reports they want included… send them in to me and I will take a look.

Codex: Lost and The Damned 2.0 is here!

Yay! After much tweaking and fixing, I now present to you Codex: Lost and The Damned 2.0. (UPDATED 3/27/10)

I haven’t gotten around yet to adding in new HQ’s and special characters, but I wanted to focus on getting the core product correct.

Feedback is loved! Thanks again to all those who have left feedback for previous editions, helping this document to become better with each version.

I fixed up the Mutant Overlord from a prompting by Yaranaika, hopefully I got the points values to be fair.

Open letter to Gav Thorpe

This is my response to Gav Thorpe, primary author of the current Chaos Codex. Thrope was man enough to pen the following words about the CSM ‘dex on his blog.

http://mechanicalhamster.wordpress.com/2009/09/10/differences-of-opinion/

http://mechanicalhamster.wordpress.com/2009/09/15/the-glory-of-chaos/

I’ve nerd-raged on this topic many times before, so it was only fitting that I address him directly this time.

Disclaimer: The following is based on my opinions.

Oh Gav.   All those words and you still dodge most of the specific complaints leveled against the book.

You can dance around the issues all day long but we can see right through you.  I respect you as a person bringing this forward as a topic, but I can’t respect your arguments, few as they are.

A good codex does not need to be 300+ pages or over several volumes.  The fluff and art of books are well established.  White Dwarf, novels, and supplements like the Index Astartes can contain all the extra detail you want.  What players want is a good set of rules, a flexible set of rules, rules that match the fluff.

It seems like you didn’t try to make an encompassing codex, it seems like you and Alessio followed a brief from management and produced a streamlined book with no restrictions. Well it is streamlined, but you left out most of the fun, and most of what makes for an interesting army list.

I like that the cult troops each have their own entry: it is clean and they have specific special rules that make sense. Except for plague marines they are overpriced but they are decent entries.  But… where are the cult terminators, bikers, raptors, havocs? I bet you know the icon system is awful, but you won’t explain it, defend it, or apologize for it.  Like so many other points you gloss over it in a wall of words.

Where are the veteran skills?  Where are the special rules and options for basic CSM troops? Where are the god-specific vehicle upgrades? Where are the actual daemons?  Where are the cultists? They’re gone.  It wouldn’t have taken another 200 pages to add those missing parts. You say it would take 8 pages to cover each legion, and yet it took about one page in the old book.

Daemons, mutants, and cultists? Yes please.  You say it can’t be done?  The Lost and the Damned codex did it just fine, it was a but clunky but it did the job and was never overpowered. It should have been included as a variant in the main book, I see your point about multiple ‘dexes being cumbersome but I don’t see how adding some other options takes a minimum of 32 pages.  That’s just false.  I’m working on my own version of LATD, the latest is at http://bloodofkittens.com/chaosgerbil/files/2009/10/codex-latd-1_85.pdf

Haine’s book was too hard to navigate, but in cleaning it up you threw the mutated baby out with the bathwater.  The old book worked. It was faithful to the fluff and provided for a diversity of armies.  You say you are concerned broken combos but your book still has them, so you didn’t solve that problem… it just means that to get the most effective list you have to take a hodgepodge of units from different legions.  That’s clumsy.  If you are really concerned about overpowered units or abilities there are ways to restrict them, for example having Lash or Slaanesh special characters only available to a pure Slaanesh force.  Was that too difficult?

I tried to build a Tzeentch list today, only to find that any time I tried to make it fluffy it crippled its effectiveness.  9 man squad?  Can’t take a second meltagun. A 40 point icon on one model just isn’t cost effective, so that has to go. Ok, I can add some Tzeentch Daemons, I mean no I can’t since they’re gone. Tzeentch Sorceror? Taking a Mark and Bolt Of Change costs 55 points. For what?  +1 to my invulnerable save and a good but not great shooting attack.  Mark of Slaanesh + Lash costs less than half that, and for way more effective options.  I don’t think a good codex makes you sacrifice your theme to get a competitive list.

Here’s two more absurd examples. How about a super killy Khorne Lord with a Daemon Weapon?  1/3 of the time he does no damage in assaults and hurts himself.  Great! Chaos Spawn.  40 points for a model I can’t control, with no save, with a maximum unit size of 3. Wow.

You can say “play whatever combos you want” but that just doesn’t work in practice.  There are no GW published alliance rules (barring Inquisition-specific ones) and most players do not want to use homebrew systems.

We’ll probably never see legion codexes and if we do they will be years apart from each other (knowing GW’s glacial release schedule) and so probably inconsistent or unbalanced.

Dude, you dropped the ball.  Please just admit it, or actually counter these points and the points made by the other critics.  Obviously you are an intelligent and creative guy, but this book just failed. Let’s see some intellectual honesty. Continuing with the ice cream analogy, you’re shitting in our mouth and calling it a sundae.

Thanks for your time.

Redesigning Warhammer 40,000

40k uses a lot of rules to achieve a simple result: How many models are removed? We can get to that result in a faster and more intuitive way. I’m working on an alternate ruleset that is compatible with the models and universe of 40k, which could be easily adapted for other settings. Below are some of my guiding design principles:

Cover should help every unit against incoming fire

Basic grunts should have a chance to hit at somewhat longer ranges

Unit costs and upgrade costs need to be fair

True line of sight is true line of sight… a model out of los cannot be hit except by barrage weapons or scattering blasts.

Vehicles should be able to fire more weapons on the move but be either less durable or more costly.

Rules should be simple where possible to allow for fast playtimes, but not dumbed down. Strategy must be preserved.

Rolling tons of dice is slow and inelegant. It takes about 200 dice to resolve an assault from 30 charging orks, and that is just to resolve their attacks.

I’m planning on having:

A stat for ranged firepower which is a combination of B.S. and the ranged weapon used. This will change depending on range, in increments of 12″. Trops armed with special / heavy weapons will have different stats.

A a stat for defense which is a combination of toughness and armor.
This will change depending on cover.

A stat for assault which is a combination of W.S. , Attacks, Strength, and possibly Init. Getting off the charge will still help of course.

Let me know what you think!

A recent history of Nykara

Here is some background for my fantasy world:

A recent history of Nykara

The Golden Age (years previous to 3253)
Little is known by commoners about the history of Nykara before the cataclysm known as The Godfall. Most records were destroyed in the apocalypse or the wars that followed. Each race and each nation has its own conflicting summaries of history, which range from literal truth to complete fabrication. Each culture teaches a history that glorifies itself and blames its rivals. When intact documents surface they are fiercely debated by the scholars and politicians as to their accuracy, and in some cases the records are stolen or destroyed by a disgruntled faction.

One of the few things commonly agreed upon is that there were three empires of men: The Mards in the west, The Shantladi in the northeast, and The Enlightened Kantrow to the south. These empires were mostly at peace. This allowed trading and learning to flourish before the disaster.

The Godfall (3253)
Roughly thirty years ago a cataclysm shook the land. On an autumn day strange lights were seen in the sky and great shrieks and roars blasted forth from the heavens. Enormous quivering beasts fell from the sky in great plumes of multi- colored flame. The sky cracked and ever since it has had a sickly green hue.

Where the monsters fell, destruction and madness reigned. From the corpses of some of the gargantuan entities burst forth multitudes of squirming, gibbering creatures that capered or slithered forth to spread confusion, chaos and death.

Most of the beasts landed in the ocean, sending up great plumes of steam and dying sea creatures. Their mass was so great that colossal tsunamis crashed into every shore, flooding the land and destroying the greatest capitals of civilization. Elevated areas and mountain peaks became new islands, and the rare forts and watchtowers would later become new settlements.

Those who attempted the magic arts that day were either driven mad, suffered strokes, or had their spells go horribly awry. In a few cases casters were reduced to horrific piles of mutated flesh. Sages believe that on that awful day the borders of reality were frayed, allowing other dimensions to seep in at areas of power or instability. The arcane backlash was especially great along the planet’s leylines, and massive cracks split the earth open to release gouts of blue lightning, eerie gasses and strange spirits.

Few know exactly why the colossal elder things fell to earth. It is rumored that a dark summoning ritual went horribly wrong, from a cabal of power hungry madmen trying to harness forces they could never understand. Many blamed the Wizard Lords of Farthet and Satarr for the catastrophe. While it was probably only one faction of cultists that caused the Godfall, magicians are often viewed with suspicion to this day.

The Age of Strife (3253 to 3274)
The two decades that followed the Godfall saw countless battles, large and small. With the destruction of the three human empires, civilization was in total disarray. Most of the ruling class had been magically active and many had been driven insane by the dimensional instabilities affecting magic. With the old coastlines wiped out and flooded over, there was less territory for the survivors to share. Bitter battles were fought over the useful land, which only contributed to its scarcity. The old borders were gone forever.

Roving Ork bands ran rampant once again. A race that was all but wiped out thrived in an age of brute force and violence.

The Dwarves retreated deep underground and locked their holds forever. There are rumored to be secret tunnels that allow access to the vaults of the mountain kings, and many treasure seeking fools have met their end in the labyrinthine tunnels beneath the earth.

Many Gnomes went into hiding or set sail for distant islands, fearing for their life and hoping to preserve their culture and inventions.

Internal power struggles and wars reduced most of the surviving cities to ruins. Looters made off with valuable artifacts and many storehouses of knowledge were burned by ignorant and superstitious rabble. Dueling wizards caused much destruction with their misfiring magical battles. With the farmlands devastated by horrific beasts and magical corruption, and many farmers killed or run off there was little food to be found in the cities. Desperate citizens were reduced to trading valuable heirlooms for crusts of bread. Nobles were seen killing prized steeds for a meal.

Many groups of survivors retreated from the mayhem of the cities. They journeyed into the badlands, banding together for survival. Some of these groups found decent hunting grounds or mining claims and were able to persist. Others were wiped out by a combination of disease, starvation, predators, poisoned water, infighting, bandits, and magical threats. It was common for these isolated remnant groups to devolve into a tribal state, lacking any central authority or trade routes to preserve their culture. By living off the land these many of these people grew close to nature once more.

Mercenary companies banded together from the remnants of scattered regiments, taking advantage of the chaos to make a profit. Over time they picked up bandits and wandering sellswords to swell their ranks. Eventually some of these companies grew powerful and rich enough to conquer territory of their own, using their wealth and manpower to build fortresses and organize peasant labor. Grizzled veteran commanders became barons and dukes, appointing themselves rulers and giving land to their lieutenants. Countries such as Marshet, Sergo, Diabades and Fet were founded in this manner.


The Age Of Rebuilding (3274 to 3287)

With new settlements founded and borders redrawn, stability of sorts finally came to Nykara. While the land is nowhere near as safe as it once was, commerce and culture are starting to emerge once again. Civilization survived in pockets and people are beginning to unite into countries once again. Treaties between surviving and new nations were worked out. Trade caravans once again work their way from village to village. Over time the caravan routes became roads and the villages became towns.

Rulers that came to power through violence and fear are still common, but revolution is on the wind. Slave revolts are usually swiftly and brutally crushed, but oppressed workers whisper about heroic liberators that deal death to tyrants.

Over time the fabric of reality has grown more stable allowing for magic to once again be practiced somewhat safely. The magic guilds resurfaced as powerful entities, despite the fears of the common people. Many of the leyline rifts were sealed by the actions of legendary wizards and adventuring parties, sometimes on commission from the guilds. However, extra-dimensional incursions are still a threat, and at night peasants tell horrific stories of terrible creatures and unfathomable events.

While the rotting corpses of alien behemoths still despoil the land, commoners are feeling the glimmer of hope once again. The wealth of the old empires is still out there: beneath the ruins, in secret storehouses, and flooded cities. Armed groups of the brave and the foolish stage expeditions to claim treasures and fame, to slay monsters and fight for justice or power. Will you join their ranks and fulfill your destiny?