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Sunday, February 26, 2017

Increase awesome with vehicle damage tables

I look forward to posting a final #Squaduary update in the next few days. In the meantime, I wanted to talk about some homebrew rules that take us back to a flavorful time - 2nd edition 40k!

I am always looking for ways to improve our game and hobby through looking at the great ideas in other games and previous editions. Highlighting these are a priority for this blog.

In this example, I will be looking at the Leman Russ Battle Tank. This set of rules should apply to all variants.

Leman Russ Battle Tank

Source: Games Workshop - used without permission
Crew (5): 1 Imperial Guard Driver, 4 Imperial Guard Gunners

Lets talk about crew. I like the idea of having a crew compliment for your vehicles. In the last few editions, I could not shoot my guns at different targets. Why? If the tank is positioned in a way that it is above, and the heavy bolter and battle cannon are firing at the Archenemy, why can the lascannon and other heavy bolter (each manned by a different gunner) target another enemy? I really do not understand that. I would allow the gunners to shoot different targets. This is a separate point from this article, but a good point nonetheless.

Adapted from the 2nd edition card with only the five text boxes.

Here is the adapted damage table. Look at the flavor that this can add to the game. The card can be available and out, so there would not be a need to search for the rules. There would also only be another round of rolls for hit location beyond the first. I would still add to the roll for AP2 and AP1 weaponry.

In 2nd edition, on average a battle cannon and a lascannon would not penetrate the front armor of a Leman Russ battle tank. This is true with the proportional armor values that I have made for this 

Here is a big question - Would a tank using this damage table be more or less survivable?

Let's take a look - 

Lascannon's chance of taking out a Russ from front armor at BS4 in 7th edition - about 2%

Lascannon's chance of taking out a Russ from front armor at BS4 with these rules:
  • Track - 3.5%
  • Hull - 2.4%
  • Sponson - 2.5%
  • Turret - 0%
  • Overall - 2.1%
Please let me know if you want to see the numbers behind these percentages. From this, we have a lot more flavor and the opportunity to create stories in battles unavailable from the 7th edition damage table. Hull points would still exist here.

What do you think? I personally am curious whether this niche exists of gamers that are looking for ways to adapt their games and add to the narrative in this way. I know that everyone is not interested in changing the format or rules for the game in the way that I am. My primary partners in gaming are/will be my sons, so playing around with the rules is a way to create more believable and enjoyable worlds.


  1. I think these types of rules work great, if a tank is a rarity on the field (such as maybe a narrative kill team game).

    I have a feeling that in the next edition, vehicles and MC's will be simplified into a similar ruleset to simplify everything and reduce rules lookups.

    1. Thanks for your comment. I believe that it could be difficult with multiple vehicles unless you have playing aids. I keep thinking about mobile apps as a great tool for these....Not sure yet.

      I am not sure about rules and how they will be in 8th. Each Triumvirate comes with some complicated rulesets for individual models. If 8th is close, would they have done so?

    2. They are following the end times formula. Powerful unit releases, followed by a reset. Almost all rumors seem to be pointed to very reduced rules bloat for 8th. 20-30 pages of rules vs the current amount, with data cards for every unit (with all rules contained on card).

    3. I loved the End Times with Warhammer. This does have that feel to it. I hope you are only partially right about simplifying. If I could have one simplification, it would be the psychic phase. I would like to see hero abilities (like AOS) being able to be used during that phase too.

      If I could have one 'complication', I would like to have varying monster stats that are affected by wound count. I love the idea of monsters weakening as they take more damage (just like vehicles do now).

  2. I agree with Greg that these rules would great for smaller games or a mini-game focused on tank battles. As part of the 40k games, things do need to simplify instead.

    1. I believe that I am in the minority here. Might come up with a persuasive blog post against simplification (except for the psychic phase)! I will run some play tests first with these rules.

      Thanks for your comment as always.