Friday, 5 February 2010

Ramming Rules - Your Thoughts?

A rules query from a friend reminded me of my discovery of the same rule a few months back, and the discussion that has developed from it has brought up salient points from both sides.

The rules in question is one of tank shock / ramming. Now you may not be aware (I certainly wasn't at first) but only vehicles with "TANK" on their profile get to do these. Now this makes sense with "tank" shock but when it comes to a basic ramming I was quite surprised. For starters when calculating ramming damage you get a +1 bonus if your type is tank. Thus I assumed vehicles that weren't tanks could ram. I do however see that rule is in there as vehicles that aren't tanks can BE rammed.

Now I was thinking of introducing some sort of house rule allowing lighter vehicles to ram (they're probably gonna come off worse, it's a fairly desperate move)regardless. One of my gaming group is opposed to this, stating that the allowance of an ability that the vehicle didn't "pay for" in it's basic cost changes the game dynamic. A speeder that has been disarmed can be ignored - if it can ram it's a potential tank busting missile (though it can probably only do so once.) My friend made the point that he wouldn't want it to bust a transport holding an objective, though with hindsight the speeder could probably just as easily contest the objective anyway.

I'm interested in peoples opinion on this matter. I was thinking of making some house rules for games at my place, and would have to play normal rules down the club or elsewhere. Of course I'd have to get the agreement of my opponents before each game, though I think my friend who sees the opposite side to me is worried about being overruled in an apoc game that I am organising. Anyway, listed below are the best house rules I've come up with on this matter, and my reasoning behind them. Any input would be appreciated.

Tank Shock - stays the same, can only be done by tanks. There's nothing like a land raider bearing down on you to make you rethink your location.

"Force Through" - a new rule that allows vehicles that aren't tanks to effectively do a tank shock. The unit isn't quite so intimidated so is assumed to automatically pass the morale check. It'll still step out of the way though, as being run over by a buggy would still mess up the average guardsmans day. Death or Glory can be attempted as per usual.

Skimmers that attempt to force through must take a dangerous terrain test before the target squad moves. This is low flying, accidents can happen.

Tanks can ram as per usual.

Vehicles that aren't tanks can ram. They will suffer a penalty. The lighter option is they take the hit they are due - chances are a speeder would take a penetrating hit anyway. However, to avoid shenanigans using Valkyries, or that armour 14 jetbike, I'm thinking a harsher penalty may be in order, to reflect just how desperate a situation it is for the driver to take such a risky manouver. If a vehicle that is not a tank rams, it is automatically wrecked.

I'm hoping that last rule, if the harsher penalty is used, may swing my friends opinion. Ok, it's a speeder you have to kill that you could have maybe ignored, but it's a one shot weapon, which could prove better in the long run for you than if it had been more cautious and waited for a last turn objective contest.

My reasoning for this house rule is not selfish. The only vehicles I have that aren't tanks (over two 40k armies) are valkyries, and I'm not gonna risk those! Really I just think it'd be more cinematic and fun, especially in apocalypse.

Anyway, your thoughts?


  1. I'm not worried about the Apocalypse game, if I was I would have said so :P

    If a transport is on an objective it would actually be pretty difficult for a non-tank to get within 3" of the objective to contest, since objectives aren't on the board per se and can literally be sat on.

    I just think that changing the rules in this way changes the game quite dramatically. It has repercussions in all of your tactics throughout the game you're playing. For instance I might have to dedicate S8 or S9 shots to a mere landspeeder to make sure I destroy it, rather than S7 or less shots. This makes the landspeeders far more valuable objects than they actually are in tactical terms.

    Furthermore, a Trukk which is Open-Topped and Fast also gains the abilities of a Tank? So what, it can have its passengers disembark and assault after moving 12" and in subsequent turns Tank Shock and Ram when it's job is done? All of that when a Chimera can do less?

    The rules are very clear I think. It can't be equated to Kill Point Percentages as that is a victory outcome and doesn't change game dynamics, such as a custom scenario.

  2. Back again, just wanted to talk about my argument a bit more just so there aren't any crossed wires.

    At the end of the day it is totally up to you to instigate any house rules for games in which you participate in at your house, and in any events you run. I'm just stating my preference for what I would like, which is adherance to the rule book. Of course I would comply with a majority ruling (apart from any games outside of the arenas I just listed).

    I think, if it is a rule you want to put in, a better compromise would be that in order for a non-tank to ram a tank then they must pass an unmodified initiative test. Non-tanks can ram non-tanks as normal, but cannot tank shock.

    Also, since I don't get many games in to make a distinction between house rules and normal rules, then a dossier would be a good idea. You can attach that to any event you run and have it at your house as an "errata" to the rule book. Would also save any explanations.

  3. Good idea on the dossier/errata, might just do that.

    As for the truk, for a 5 point upgrade (reinforced ram) the truk CAN tank shock and ram, not to mention count as armour 12 for the purposes of death or glory and reroll dangerous terrain tests. I think I'm right on the points cost... it's 10 at the most. So the truk is a poor example - it already has the abilities listed anyway. The truk has more versatility than a chimera, but the chimera is a better gun platform, and is far more survivable. They fill different roles. The chimera transports and is a mobile fighting vehicle, a mobile command post sometimes. An ork truk has to wing it as quickly as possible towards the enemy. Once the passengers are gone, anything else it does is a bonus :oP

    As for taking an initiative test... I'm afraid you've lost me there. What's the initiative of a vehicle? Unless you mean leadership, though when vehicles have to take LD tests it's generally assumed they're Ld 10. So wouldn't stop too many. But an interesting suggestion nonetheless.

  4. Sorry, I meant the initiative of the driver/pilot. It's up to them if they make the attempt.

    Regardless of comparisons, the rules are as they are :P lol.

  5. So surely it's an Ld test... they have to have the nerve to make the attempt. Initiative is more used when a reaction is required. Ramming is a decision not a reaction.

  6. All vehicles are Ld10 - great odds really don't you think? Considering it isn't even a legal rule I figured an Initiative test would be better. Depending on the situation it could equally be a reaction or a decision. It's more about the presence of mind of the driver really.

    Had a great idea for a datasheet for you though. Armour 10 all round, Kamikaze Grots! Riding on the back of rockets and their only reason for being there is to ram vehicles.

  7. I already have grot bombs that you can attach to larger vehicles. Basically a hunter killer missile with a grot pilot, so it hits on a 2+ :oP