40K: Charging Distances In 8th?


Do we need a return to set charge distances in 8th Edition or is Random the way to go?

Hello again BoLS Readers, It’s AdamHarry back with another thought experiment about 8th Edition. You guys really seemed to want to talk about the last one about True Line of Sight/Cover so let’s talk about another subject: Charge Distances.

khorne-chaos-kharnCharge? Why that’s my favorite order!

Not so long ago in the grand scheme of things we had set charge distances in Warhammer 40,000 – I’m sure many of you remember how that worked. Well one of the shifts was to the now standard 2d6 “random” charge distance. By itself, I actually don’t have a problem with it – Random Charge Distance really isn’t all bad (we’ll get to that in a bit). But I think the randomness of the charge + all of the other factors (which we will also talk about) together really hurt close-combat in 8th.

The Pros of Random Charge Distances

whk12_preview2 Black TemplarI also prefer a good Charge!

Random Charge Distance (RCD) represents the chaos of combat. If this tabletop war game is supposed to simulate combat in the future then this really makes sense. There are a lot of little factors when military units charge into close-combat. The ground, for one, is typically not flat like a table; there are rocks, potholes, debris, explosions and people shooting at you in real-world combat. There is a lot of stress involved! Not every combatant should be able to make that “40 yard dash” in the exact same time, every time. It’s just not realistic.

ork-warbossIt’s Pronounced “WAAAGH!”

RCD can also be exciting because they add drama to the game – and make you perk-up when that dice roll happens. If there is one dice roll that will make folks stand-up and look it’s a pivotal charge roll. I’ve seen it happen time and time again. One player will be sitting in their chair waiting for their opponent to finish their phase and then the rolls for charges happen. That player will stand up and hover over the board waiting to see what happens. Why? Because it’s exciting! Will they make the charge or will they fail it and spare my poor unit the face-punching? That’s good drama.

Carnifex 4th coverCharges? Oh how I’ve missed thee!

Another benefit of the RCD is that it helps to spice up the game a bit. When a few of your well thought out charges roll double 1’s and you fail, it forces you to come-up with a new plan on the fly. It keeps you on your feet and prevents the game from becoming a chess match where Unit A moves, then Unit B counters and Unit C counter-counters. Some folks are a fan of that style, some are not. I don’t think either play styles are wrong because it’s just a matter of personal preference.

I also think it allows for some really “gutsy” moves. Sometimes you’re only shot is to go for a 10 inch charge. The odds are low you’ll make it, but you know what, it can happen! So you go for it and it pays off swinging the game in your favor. If you had failed you probably were going to lose anyways. RDC allows for that to happen.

The Cons of Random Charge Distance

whk04_previewCharge? No thanks. I’ll stay right here and just shoot some more.

The actual dice roll of the RCD is just one more roll we don’t need. Look, there are already tons of dice roll in the game if we could have a set charge distance that was the same across the board for unit types then we wouldn’t need to add one more roll. Think of all the time we’d save!

The Randomness of the dice also allow for too much movement in some cases and too little in others. Why do Guardsmen have the ability to out-run a Space Marine when their dice are hot? That makes no sense. That “lucky” roll for a 10 inch charge was just that – luck. You’re no tactical genius when your dice are hot. Conversely that doesn’t make you an incapable commander when your dice are ice cold, either. That’s just luck.

eldar-asurmen-horzIf you guys were us, you’d just do both and be awesome.

Also, why is the charge distance randomized but the charge into cover penalty static? It used to be the other way around… Sometimes it feels like the game designers want the game to simulate combat on the tabletop and other times it seems like they don’t. It would be nice if I were a mind reader and knew what they were trying to do. But I’m not. So now all were left with is a game that is this hybrid of “abstractions” and “realism” that can be confusing and counter-intuitive.

Those Pesky Other Factors

Let’s face it, in a vacuum Static Charges vs Random seem pretty valid either way. But charging isn’t the only mechanic in the game. There are lots of other factors that go along with that and I think those factors combined with RCD are what led to a very stale meta for Close-Combat geared armies.

astra-militarum-tank-commanderI checked the Imperial Primer. The only orders I see are “Fire” and “Reload” and the Tanks don’t have a “charge” button.

One factor we have to confront is the proliferation of firepower in Warhammer 40,000. It seems like everyone is shooting Str 6 guns with a billion shots that are all ap1. That’s not the case but it feels that way sometimes. While that is hyperbole, the fact is that armies in 40k have access to more long range firepower than ever before. Couple that in with allies who can make-up for your lack of firepower and there is no good reason an army to NOT bring the big guns to the table. You have access to it, use it!

NecronsBloodAngelsWe don’t care if this is Canon or not. Allies forever!

All that firepower leads to some very deadly gunline style armies. Couple that with Overwatch fire and you’ve got a dangerous combination. Suddenly those RCD can get even shorter because your lead-off models are getting picked off on the way in. That could cost you a couple of much needed inches on the charge. That’s bad times for close combat.

I know a lot of folks will just say “Well you’re just not playing with enough cover.” To those folks I say, “Hey, was that you in the bushes watching my last 10 games?! I thought I recognized you!” Even if you are playing with more than enough cover there are also lots of ways to get weapons that ignore cover completely. I’ve even resorted to bringing my own cover with me and it still doesn’t work as well as you folks claim when the enemy can just ignore it anyways.

venomthrope-art-cropHow can they see me!?

Another thing that really hurts both RCD and Static Charges was the removal of Sweeping Advance. I think that when you combined this removal and the addition of Overwatch back in the game it really made things rough for Charging in general. It feels like there is a lot of risk involved with charging across the board and the pay-off is lower. But what if it wasn’t though…Something to consider.

Then there is one of the big bogey-men of 7th Edition: Invisibility. Just saying it makes me shutter… It’s the one psychic power that I think everyone can agree to hate even when you’re the one casting it. Now, I’m not going to get into that discussion – that’s not the point of the article. But fact that it does exist in the game as a “hard counter” doesn’t mean that it’s a good solution for fixing charging or close-combat armies.

invisible-stalkerThat is some high-quality art work there.

I’m sure there are lots more factors you can think of that have hurt the ability of charging. Again, I bring those up to show how all those things as a whole really negatively impact the game play experience for close-combat armies. That can also color your view on Random Charge Distances as well.

The Verdict?

Will 8th Edition have Random Charge Distance or Static Charge Distances? Only GW really knows. What I do know is that in 7th, we’ve seen close combat armies slip in the power rankings. There are still some that can do well but the basic charging infantry unit isn’t really a thing anymore. I’m not asking for a return to the “Rhino Rush” days – but I am saying that all of the factors need to be considered if we’re going to have Random or Static Charges in 8th.


So what do you think? Do you want Random or Static Charges in 8th?

  • ‘To those folks I say, “Hey, was that you in the bushes watching my last 10 games?! I thought I recognized you!”’

    That was great.

    This basically comes down to what you want in a game. Randomness creates drama by making the dice responsible for a larger swing in the results of actions. Having a set rule covering something makes the game choices more tactical and less statistical. Personally, I think 40k has enough randomness that taking this away wouldn’t significantly lessen the “drama.” Since it could help fix assault, which certainly needs fixing, I’d be in favor of nixing the random charge roll. It would also slightly increase the pace of the game, which is something else I think needs work. (Note that I said pace, not time.)

    • Nyyppä

      I think that there is a sweet spot between the current randomness and no randomness. If we look at the current meta pretty much everything that is reliable is viable and the opposite is just as true. One of the reasons why CSM sucks is that they are weak to begin with and then the relatively strong things are behind random tables that have more bad or meh results than good ones. For example if boons were not rolled but rather chosen CSM would be pretty good.

  • Walter Vining

    RCD I go back and forth on liking and hating. Playing both assault style armies and shooty armies. Set charge distances, plus a die roll I think still allow for the same thing and then you can also still get the random effect. you MIGHT make that 10 in charge now, but you could still only get a 7.

    • Sicxpence

      This is what I was thinking about too. You could then have different modifiers depending on unit

      This would still give the old IG the chance to out charge SM – after all I’m sure Space Marines have to stop to tie their shoelaces at some stage!

      • vlad78

        No they don’t, codex astartes tell them how to shoelace in order not to trip when charging xenos or other heretics. Moreover they don’t have laces to begin with. ;p Laces are for eldars.

    • Mr.Gold

      for example: I +D6

      • Karru

        The problem with that is that armies that rely heavily on Assaulting, like Orks, would suffer from that system. A maximum of 8-9″ charge isn’t the best for an army that has to rely on CC. They could just fix that problem with adding a rule that says “Orks always count their Initiative as 4-6 when they are rolling for charging”. It makes sense for vast majority of armies like Guard, Space Marines and even Eldar. It does create some problems for armies like Orks as I pointed out.

        Since we are on the topic of charging, I’d like to see Fantasy 7th edition style charging benefits to come into 40k. Primarily the nice benefit of hitting first if you charged that turn. That would make Assaulting reeeeally painful. A unit of 11 Trukk Boyz and a Nob with a Power Klaw could dish out a lot of damage before they get hit back.

        • Gilissen Kim

          Just your basic movement + D6, what’s the big deal… Can’t be more easy than that!

          • Neal Laxman

            Nah toughness + d6. Cos an Ork will just keep on ploughing on even if dismembered by your fancy ray guns 😉

          • vlad78

            2D6 is just too random.
            D6 + 6 would keep the current charging distances and make long range charges not a sure thing.

  • DDisforDangerous

    When I started playing 40K we didn’t have random charging distances and it worked fine. Don’t really see what the point to it is apart from added complexity and making assaulting less reliable. It doesn’t really add any options either, it’s just an extra yes/no test that shooting doesn’t have (well, not since they removed Ld tests for shooting at distant targets, anyway).

    • Djbz

      Having failed a 1″ charge before (with a unit with fleet I might add) I couldn’t agree more.
      It’s so aggravating to be rolling 11’s and 12’s when you have no way of failing and then double 1’s when you need a total of 3 because of terrain….

    • Symon Pecanek

      No random movement also went with guess ranges though. I think that was supposed to create the same potential for failed charges. If we can measure everything and know exactly how far we are going to move, it does indeed become chess.

      • vlad78

        Come on , 40k can’t be compared to chess. It certainly couldn’t when there were no random charges.

        2D6 is just too random, 6 + 1D6 would be better if you insist to keep random charges. No stupid 2″ failed charge anymore and still a risk to fail to reach enemy targets more than 8 ” away.

  • orionburn

    “Sometimes it feels like the game designers want the game to simulate combat on the tabletop and other times it seems like they don’t. It would be nice if I were a mind reader and knew what they were trying to do.”

    ^^^ A big o’ plate of that. My bigger gripe/hate is charging through difficult/dangerous terrain. Having some models that aren’t slowed down, some are but have to take a dangerous terrain test…I just am not a fan of it. For realism, yes, I get it, but it’s one thing I’d love to see go away.

  • grim_dork

    I think you have to look at random charge distances as part of the charge subphase, which includes Overwatch and whether or not to commit your defensive fire and how many charges the attacker lines up and what order the they declare them. It also mitigates the effects that pre-measuring tabletop distances has had on assaults. As such it is one of the most tactically nuanced events in the game, and should stay.

    It’s a mistake to just look at the mechanics of it, sure it’s inconvenient but it’s fun and adds a lot to the game.

    • Dan

      Absolutely agreed.

      That said it’s, in my opinion, too large a random range in terms of balance, the distribution curve doesn’t reward risk taking, and it doesn’t require that much decision making on the charging player’s part (always be as close as possible. the curve of the roll is fairly predictable so it’s relatively obvious when charging is appropriate or not)

      I think movement + random roll could be more meaningful, especially if we have a mechanic wherein before any models are moved you do a quick check distance from closest attacker to defender. If the charge distance is too close the attackers don’t receive their +1A as they can’t build up enough momentum. Likewise if the distance if relatively far the attackers should receive some other bonus such as a Hammer of Wrath attack, rerolls on the first turn, +1S, +1A, +1WS or something to encourage a risky “perfect” charge. HOWEVER the attackers should get +1 to their BS cap for overwatch (and wall of flames gets more hits) or something to represent having more opportunity to keep calm, co-ordinate, and aim. This would keep the tension high. Remember that means while it’s significantly more dangerous but even a mediocre/heavily outnumbered unit could be fierce for a turn if the player is capable and willing to take on some risk.

      This would make placement and maneuver far more important, would enable yet disincentivize more reliable charges, and would empower and incentivize riskier, more dramatic long charges.

  • Red_Five_Standing_By

    I think changing Random Charge Distance to be 6+d6 would be preferable. It would mean if you get right up on an enemy, you are guaranteed the charge but at greater distances, fate decides.

    • Severius_Tolluck

      or further yet as some stated by bringing the dreaded movement stat back, or using int in its place, plus d6. So for example guard would be int 3 + d6 possible 3-9 charge range. Where as orks would be 2-8, marines 4-10; etc. Still has random element, but ranges are probably narrower. Course add special rules for races to increase it or decrease depending. Orks waggh / commisars execute etc.

      • Red_Five_Standing_By

        I definitely feel like M is coming back.

        Giving full M would be too much, since jump pack guys could move 12 and charge 12 then. Using half M +d6 would hurt slow units quite a bit.

        To me it seems easier to have an M stat but standardize charge to be 6+d6.

        • orionburn

          I could get behind 6+D6. Failing a 4″ charge is teh suck.

          Since one could argue that’s too much of a charge maybe it’s limited to dedicated assault units. Or perhaps rather than only allowing overwatch on 6″ or more you increase you overwatch BS by +1 on charges of 6″ or more. Maybe an option to either fire overwatch on charges over 6″ or you can forgo overwatch to get into a defensive stance – say you eliminate the +1 for charging an unit. Yes, you can go for it but you give your enemy more time to set-up.

          I dunno. This is one of those things were some additional tweaking of the rules sounds fun, but hate to add more to it as well. My main hope with 8th is to shed some of the dead weight of all the rules.

          • Red_Five_Standing_By

            The added complication concept is why I think keeping it simpler is better.

            Everyone can charge 6+d6. If you go over 6 inches, you suffer overwatch.

            I could see Overwatch BS being increased to compensate for the fact that you can auto get into melee at 6 inches. Dunno, depends on how much you want to punish assault armies.

            I think defensive stance is weird. Maybe you forgo Overwatch to apply a negative to the enemies Initiative?

            I don’t know. Given the way the rules are currently, I think making assault easier is for the better.

          • Dumbcow1

            With so many Tau players in my area….I’m okay with overwatch being snapshots still or just being nixed all together. XD

          • Red_Five_Standing_By

            Yes Tau need to be reworked. GW has mitigated their weakness too much.

          • vlad78

            I’d keep the overwatch as it is, 6+1D6 already extend the reach of assault armies and not so many armies can hit you on more than 6+ on overwatch.

            And to be honest, I would include alternate activation and restore the old overwatch of RT and 2nd edition.

      • Xodis

        Got to give those Orks 2-14 though. Let them get the charge and let them suffer Overwatch almost always…. Makes sense to keep the horde large like they should be.

        • Severius_Tolluck

          yeah that’s why I stated something like a changing waggh to allow more movement.

    • SilentPony

      I could get behind this. But doesn’t this basically get rid of charging through cover? What’s the point of -2″ if they get an automatic 6 to begin with?

      Maybe a system closer to #+d6? That way the faster units can go further, like Banshees and Thunderwolves, at say 6+d6 whereas Terminators, Plague Marines and the like can just get 1+d6? Guardsmen/Tau at 2+d6 and the baseline charge for Marines, Orks, CSM, most Eldar, and the like is 3+d6.
      And maybe charging into cover ignores your base charge distance, so you only get d6 charge?

      That way it represents the physical differences between the unit types? Always felt weird that thunderwolves charge just as far and fast as plague terminators.

      • Red_Five_Standing_By

        You could still have the -2 for charging through cover. You are just 6-2, so 4. if 4 does not get you into melee, then you have to use the d6 and suffer Overwatch.

        To me, faster units should be represented as such in the Movement phase rather than the assault phase.

      • Deacon Ix

        lol I + D6?

        I’m sure I have seen that before

    • Nonparity

      +1 for the idea of overwatch only when the charging unit is over 6 inch away

      • Red_Five_Standing_By

        It is basically the way they do it in Bolt Action and it works really well. Gives you the cost/benefit decision.

    • ZeeLobby

      Damn. Not bad. Good fix

  • MarcoT

    Free wound allocation could solve the overwatch issue at least. I’m a fan of the AoS wound allocation system; do whatever you want, but if you start putting wounds on a model, that model will be the first to die too.
    That rule would also put my sergeants and flamers back on the front, where they belong.

    • cuda1179

      I agree with this. This would speed the game up significantly, which is a good thing.

    • Sebastien Bazinet

      Well if your Sarge is in the front why would it be the guy in the back getting shot? I find this mechanic very weird and easy to abuse: if you are close to charge range I will remove guys from the front to try to negate your charge but if you are really far I will remove guys from the back since I need my front guys in range to shoot back next turn…

      • Karru

        The problem here is that it screws assault heavy armies hard. Ork Horde and Tyranid Swarm armies are basically dead because of this. I move 6″ towards you and then run 4″. You shoot at me with your units and I have to remove around 5″ worth of front row guys. Great, I just moved 5″ total. Now I move 6″ and run 2″. You repeat the process and now from my first turn to the start of my third I have moved around 8-10″ from my starting location instead of 18″.

        It does make sense from the angle of realism. It does make Assaulting less and less reliable, which is not good in for the game since it makes an entire aspect of the game utterly unreliable.

        • Sebastien Bazinet

          I get that assault armies are at a disadvantage right now but if we start allocating wounds as we wish somehow those flamers that I put up front (so they can shoot since template) now die last, good look charging through a bunch of wall of flames. Allocating wounds would work both ways you know. Assault needs to be fixed, free wound allocation is not the fix for it

          • Karru

            I know that, but it sure helps a lot. The alternative would be to just remove Overwatch to begin with. It’s not a good mechanic, purely because how strong it makes ranged units. Ranged units already have significant advantages and enjoy many mechanics over Assaulting units.

          • megatrons2nd

            Wall of death is far to powerful, in my opinion. I would make it count as charging through cover and dangerous terrain, or D6 wounds +1 for each additional flamer after the first.

          • Shawn

            It’s certainly one of the main things I hated about 5th when I played orks. I just wiped out your flamer dude. Oh, that’s okay, someone else just “picked it up” and is using. But everytime!

      • MarcoT

        How is that abuse? Just simple.

        • Karru

          Well, you could take things like Storm Shields or other similar save equipment and place your special weapons, such as flamers, right to the front. Then when you take wounds, you allocate them to your regular joes or if they are especially strong shots, you take them to your storm shields that hide in the back.

          It can also lead to Ironface McInvincible tanking 20 wounds while standing in the back of a unit while his heavy weapons or other damage dealers dish out massive amounts of damage.

          Even with the “allocate wounds until model is dead”, it can be abused. I am not against that system as it helps Assault Armies a great deal, makes the game more forgiving to new players and speeds up the game a bit.

          • MarcoT

            Ironface McInvincible (nice) already exists, he’s just walking on the front now. Good point on the shields, I guess that’s a problem AoS just doesn’t have. There’s no such differences within units. So I agree that’s a bit sucky, but I’m not how big a problem it would actually turn out to be.

          • Karru

            I know he does, but the difference would be that you are no longer able to flank the enemy unit. For example, if I dropped a unit of Sternguard with Grav next to a unit of Thunderwolf Cavalry, I could kill a good chunk of the unit before they even get to the actual meatshield models in the unit.

            Now if the system was free wound allocation, I’d do maybe 1/6 of the damage I would have done normally. All the wounds would go to models with Storm Shields or the Ironface McInvinsible. That’s the abusing part of the system.

            We saw something similar in 5th edition with the Nob Bikers and Paladin Squads. A unit of 10 had to suffer 11 wounds before one model was removed. Considering how easy it is for some armies to make a 2+ save dude with a 3++ and give them re-rolls and possibly even an FNP roll, it would make it even harder to kill those units.

            A proper fix to that problem would be to reduce Storm Shields to a 4++ save and make Invulnerable save the exact same as FNP save. Meaning that you can only take either one, not both. Also, ability to stack Invulnerable saves should disappear completely.

            I am still for the free wound allocation system, I just pointed out the abusable things in the system compared to now.

      • Djbz

        And the current closest model first is also easy to abuse (I.e 2+ save characters “tanking Ap3 weapon fire for 3+ save troopers, and using look out sir to avoid any shots that will kill him)
        It also gets ridiculously immersion breaking when said character’s unit gets hit by a blast that would pierce his squad’s armour only for him to pass most/all his saves.

    • Thomas Gardiner

      That’s one AoS rule I’d like to see in 40k too.

      Wound allocation, rending, cover. All solid mechanics that would work well in 40k.

      • MelonNeko

        I would like to see most AoS rules in 40k.

        • vlad78

          40k is bad enough, no need to include even the poor rules coming from AOS, let’s stick to what would be useful in a sci-fi skirmish game.

  • ieyke

    Random Charge Distance is complete garbage.
    Superhuman killing machines not knowing if they’re going to charge 16 feet or 96 feet is ABSURD.
    It takes the tactical control out of the game.

    What the game needs is more complex terrain rules.
    Mud that slows troops down by X number of inches.
    Rocks and rubble that slows troops down on roll of 1 or 2 as they come loose underfoot.
    Terrain where you can see what sort of penalties you might incur by moving or charging through it, so that you can choose to go around it with reliable movement, or go straight through and risk the penalties that might make you come up short.

    If they want to simulate troops running and coming up short because they were dodging bullets, MAKE THAT HOW THE RULES WORK.
    Just improve Overwatch for a squad shooting at a unit that is charging them.
    The models closest to the unit firing Overwatch die first. If they die, the whole charging unit loses the ground covered by the leading models, thereby potentially keeping them from reaching the gunline.
    Anyone who survives obviously dodged or tanked the hits.



    Honestly, now that I think about it, I’m surprised that at least SOME blast weapons don’t have stun and knockback rules.
    And I mean separate from Ld tests for Pinning.
    Maybe Toughness tests for stunning, and knockback strength/immunity depending on Armor Save or something (like a weapon with Knockback 4 maybe only scatters models with 4+ or worse Armor Saves. Basically like an AP rating. Or maybe Knockback effectiveness is just equal to a Blast weapon’s AP?).

    Artillery Overwatch dropping on a charging squad and sending troops flying, and maybe leaving them stunned…..that’s just a really cinematic/dramatic thing you’d think they’d include in 40k.

    And as annoying as that might seem to the player whose units are getting shot, it might actually help if they’re a swarm army – blasting big holes into densely packed formations and making it so that the next artillery shell won’t have the same clustered target.

    • cuda1179

      I generally agree with you. However, I think charging should be 6 inches for “normal” units and charging into cover should reduce charge distance by 2 inches. That seems fair, is quick, and very easy to understand.

      • ieyke

        Any standardized distance, even with standardized modifiers, promotes tactics like Rhino Rush, where players can calculate EXACT unit movements like clockwork.
        It makes melee TOO reliable and devastating.

        The random element needs to exist to eliminate that reliability, but it needs to not be so unstable(like the ability to roll anything from a 2 to a 12) that it renders melee wildly unreliable. 10 inches is an INSANE margin of error. That’s like 80 feet in 40k scale.

        Instead, replace the random element with a risk/reward system of terrain hazards you could attempt to run thru at the risk of penalties, OR avoid in favor of reliability.
        That makes the game more tactical and puts control in the player’s hand, so that if they fail, it’s because of a risk THEY took, and if they succeed, it’s a reward for a “cleverly calculated gamble”. It’s not the dice being “unfair”, or “you just got lucky”.

        • vlad78

          Like someone else said, make it 6 + 1D6. Charge would be reliable at close range, and unpredictable if attempted from too far.

  • BaronSnakPak

    If they keep the random charge, then I’d like to see them change overwatch, so it’s only fired on a successful charge. The way it is, it’s almost a punishment for assaulty armies. True, overwatch only hits on 6s, but I dont see why the defenders should get to act if the attackers can’t.

    • vlad78

      Because yougoIgo. Make it alternate activation and your problem is solved.

  • Nonparity

    I really think that RCD need to stay to prevent the “must place my unit exactly this away from your unit to be sure you can’t charge me exactly at that moment”. With RCD you can only evaluate the threat range, you can’t know it exactly. This would make the movement phase longer juste for overplanning every inch, and the assault phase really boring knowing that nothing will be able to charge anyway.

  • cuda1179

    One of the largest factor against me getting in a decent game of 40k these days is time. This game takes too much time. A few changes to speed things up would be GREAT. I think games need 20% lopped off their time requirements.

    • Thorolf

      Very true. There’s just a lot of clutter which could be done away with

  • foulestfeesh13 .

    Keep the random charge range but change overwatch to work like interceptor so if you Fire overwatch you can’t fire those weapons in your next shooting phase.

    • Tiernoc

      That would be an interesting tradeoff, if you were firing at full BS. You could choose to fire, but you better kill enough to make the charge falter, or else you’re going to be locked into combat or destroyed by your next turn anyway.

      Snap shots for overwatch are damn near useless for most armies. (example: 10 man Necrons firing Gauss, 20 shots, maybe 3-4 hits, 1-2 wounds, ~MAYBE~ one unsaved wound)

  • EnTyme

    Of all the random chance rolls in the game, RCD is one I actually like. I would rather the “random” be taken out of the pre-battle preparation stage (warlord traits, psychic powers, etc.). I love the tension of the charge roll!

    • Karru

      Charging should have a fixed number in it. Currently it just makes Assault Armies like Orks and the like night useless. Only Assault units that see the light of day are those that can charge on the turn they come in from reserve. This is for two reasons, first is the fact that they avoid a massive chunk of damage and the other is that they might even have a chance to get close enough to get a charge of reliably.

      As many have stated here, 6″+D6 sounds great. It gives a lot to both sides of the argument. Those that like RCD get to have their Randomness and those that want Assaulting to be reliable again get exactly that.

      • EnTyme

        Assault definitely needs a buff, and if 6″+d6 is the solution GW settles on, I wouldn’t argue, but it wouldn’t be where I’d start. I would start by giving assault units better ways to get into charge range. Maybe give certain unit increased saves against ranged attacks, or the ability to run and charge in the same turn. Personally, I don’t think footslogging assault troops across the battlefield should ever be the best strategy anyway. I would prefer buffing vehicles so that you’d see more Ork Trukk armies and the like.
        You know, now that I think about it, I do actually have one problem with 6″+d6 charge range: A roll of “1”(or double “1” in the current system) should be a failed charge no matter what. It actually bothers me in the current system that it’s possible for a unit it get within 1″ of another unit and guarantee the charge. It’s one thing I like about AoS. You can’t get within 3″ of an enemy unit without charging. There’s just something cathartic about your opponent (or you) jinxing himself with the classic gaming curse of “as long as I don’t roll “1”s!”

        • Karru

          Oh there is definitely more “important” ways to improve assaulting. For example, making it so that if you are inside a transport that hasn’t moved that turn, you can Assault. Remove Overwatch from the game, this is because of the current wound allocation system, and allow Fast Open-topped Transports to move 12″ and still disembark their troops and Assault. This makes armies like DE way more powerful in the Assault department.

          Basically make the Transports more viable options for Assault units. Currently the largest issue with Assault units is the delivery. How do they get there and how do I avoid them getting shot of the board before I get to charge? Even if you transport them on turn 1, it still means you have to wait until turn 3 to actually Assault. This is not good in any way.

          You should be able to place your Transports near the enemy deployment zone before the start of turn 2 if you go Flat Out. Then you disembark and if your opponent was foolish enough to place models close enough to the border, he should be punished by an assault. If he didn’t, you can keep your units inside their metal bawkses and try charging the backline units on turn 3.

          • vlad78

            The idea was to allow each player to have at least a turn to react before assault.
            If you make assault more reliable from a transport, you return to the days of the rhino rush which also sucks.

            Furthermore, one of the main problem with assault armies lies with the total lack of decent covers on a standard 40k table and true line of sight.
            GW should dictated that ther should be more than 25% of cover on a table. + the building they made almost all offer no true cover on the ground, too many openings, windows and holes while the rules use true LOS.
            Simply put, whatever the rules, LOS should allow you to find covers enabling to mitigate the damage you’ll be dealt before assaulting your opponent. AT it doesn’t. Most 40k games happen in wide open battlefields.

          • Karru

            Overwatch is still extremely dumb mechanic. If I take a dedicated Ranged unit or a unit that is supposed to be Ranged, I am choosing a Ranged Fire over Melee. If they get charged, then that means I most likely F’d up somewhere along the way.

            As I said before, there is currently barely any downside to Ranged units compared to Melee units. My Ranged units can deal damage at all times in theory. My Melee units first have to suffer round after round of shooting before they get close enough. Then when they get close enough they have to survive even more shooting before they even have a chance to hurt the enemy. At this point, the chances are that the unit is so weakened that their damage output is equal to the Ranged unit they were meant to charge, in Melee.

            It’s not a good mechanic. Ranged units already have a way to react to charging units. It’s called the Shooting Phase.

            The lack of Cover is a problem, but not the largest. The largest still is the lack of reliably way to get them into combat before they get shot off the board. If they use Transports, unless its open-topped, they have to survive a whole round worth of shooting before they can get shot some more and then they can charge. During this time, the opponent also happened to have multiple turns worth of shooting to do against their Transport.

            All of my 40k games happen on a board filled with terrain. We have some LoS blocking terrain, but the most important part for us is to make sure that there are no straight lanes of fire where there is no Cover Save available. If the entire ground level is filled with LoS blocking terrain, then it would upset the balance as most Ranged units wouldn’t be able to do a thing before they get wiped out.

            Furthermore, regarding your comment about the return of Rhino Rush. It might have been a problem in a game where Strength 5-6 shooting wasn’t as common as Lasgun Volleys and Glancing to Death wasn’t a thing, but the current edition has multiple ways to deal with that.

            Overall, it’s not the Cover that is causing the damage. Even if those Orks or Assault Marines are getting cover, it still doesn’t change the fact that a good chunk of them will be gone before they even get the chance to charge. Both options have to be balanced. Ranged units have the upside of getting to dish out damage every turn, in theory, but Melee units have the potential to do more once they get there. The trade-off for Melee units over Ranged units is the fact that most Melee units require a Transport as well so that adds up in points.

  • mgdavey

    If charge distance is random, why not make all movement random?

  • Dominic Pirrello

    It’s still going to be random but I think more armies are going to have static bonuses to their charge rolls when a unit is specifically geared for it like nids and berserkers.
    I miss the good ole days lots of infantry charges but it’s harder and harder to get my daemons across the board or to survive deepstriking. I haven’t fielded a basic bloodletter unit in over a year competitively because there are better troop choices in the codex. Nurgle units are far better at securing objectives for numerous reasons and strangely are often more maneuverable. If my blood letters could reliably get into melee on the attack, then I’d be happy to field them. As it stands I’m better off pinching points for another soul grinder or cannon.

  • Randy Randalman

    Charges are one of the last things I hope GW worries about with 8th.

    -Allies Matrix
    -Points shuffling for units
    -Points added for formations
    -Reel in psychic powers and make them pass/fail like AoS instead of a pool
    -Toughness vs. AV reconfiguration
    -Simplify and/or eliminate flier rules; go back to skimming
    -Fit all rules and weapons profiles for a unit on its data sheet so there’s no need to reference another book
    -Between GW/FW, eliminate several dozen keyword USR’s, as well as redundant ones
    -Eliminate stacking of saves and re-rolls, and the overall layers of dice required to get anything done

    All of that is more important than what’s happening with charges

    • PrimoFederalist

      Yes. Toughness vs AV is my personal pet peeve which I have hated since the Tau got T-value suites because GW didn’t want to give them sh!tty low-armor vehicles like IG and Ork walkers. I love how being plugged into your suite so you actually feel like its part of your body is somehow an advantage (i.e. a sponson gets wrecked, Leman Russ crew shaken; arm blown off Tau the suite which is hardwired into the pilots cerebral cortex, zero change in performance). They should just do Toughness values but with either a “Biological” or “Mechanical” special rule affecting things like haywire and poison.

      Anyway, great points. Points shuffling, paying for formations, unscrewing the allies matrix, and dialing back death stars by eliminating IC shenanigans (i.e. ICs can only join same unit type from same detachment/formation).

  • NinjaWolfHybrid

    I can’t argue against the charge roll being exciting, especially with the potential for overwatch to make it a harder roll. Failed 3″ charge just doesn’t feel right though. Maybe a 6″ minimum on the random roll unless it’s a disordered charge?

    I’m wondering if events from Fall of Cadia such as “unexpected allies” could mean a change to the ally matrix in 8th. Personally I doubt it, because Imperium armies already have the most allies.

    Also wondering if they’ll keep messing with fleet or if they’re finally happy with it.

    Just hope they don’t invalidate a bunch of models somehow with 8th.

  • Chelsea

    Set charge distances + Pre-Measuring is not ideal, it can create some analysis paralysis.
    Warmahordes has both of these now, and it forces you to add arbitrary limits (like the deathclock) to speed things up.

  • Karru

    To me personally I’d like to see RCD disappear completely, but many have pointed out the 6″+D6 charge distance here which I can get behind.

    The problem currently is that Assaulting vs Shooting isn’t exactly a hard fight. Shooting wins every time. With Assaulting you have way too much to worry about. Assaulting units don’t contribute to the battle in any way until they reach CC compared to Ranged Units. When they try to do that, they have to roll dice to see if they even get to actually do anything. You don’t have to worry that your Shooting attack won’t go off because you rolled 2 dice badly, Assaulting is another story entirely. You screw up that 3″ charge because you rolled Double 1’s and were charging through terrain? Welp, that unit is now guaranteed dead. How well did they contribute to the battle? Not at all.

    Shooting units have to consider the following:

    – How far can I shoot
    – How effective is my shooting
    – How many targets can I damage

    Assaulting units have to consider the followin:

    – Will I make it into combat
    – How do I make it into combat
    – How much damage can I do once I get into combat
    – How much damage would an equivalent shooting unit do in the time it takes me to get into CC
    – Do I have the survivability to make it into CC

    Taking a Shooting unit currently has zero downsides pretty much. Shooting units have the strength to damage any standard units in the game and vast majority of other non-vehicle units in the game. Shooting units can still charge, so you can use them to tie up dangerous units. They can technically do damage at all times.

    Taking an Assault unit suffers from more downsides than it does from positive things. Sure that Melee units can do nice amount of damage to a unit or it can tie up some powerful ranged unit, but will it make it there in time for it to matter? Will it make it there at all? How much does it cost to get him there? How much damage would you be able to dish out instead if you took a Ranged unit instead? How much damage will the unit suffer from Overwatch before you even have a chance to damage the enemy?

    All this and I still hear some people trying to defend the “assault units are good, you are just bad” argument. Unless the unit is a Deathstar or high toughness, high speed unit like Thunder Wolfs, it is most likely utterly useless compared to a ranged equivalent.

  • Arcangelo Daniaux

    6 inch change and sweeping advance… I’m missing those old days of glorious close combat after getting two turn of shooting in the face.

  • 301stFeinminsterArmoured

    Set charge distances with Assaulting after Running should be a thing. Likewise, Assaulting from Reserves/after a non-Assault Vehicle debarkation should be a thing, with some limitations, like disordered charges.

  • Deathwing

    I stopped playing Warhammer when it became random-hammer with the charge distances, and I was not at all happy when that came over to 40k.
    Does there need to be SOME variation in the charge range? Absolutely. Look we all remember the days of warhammer 7th when there were those guys you flat out could not beat because they could eyeball charge ranges down to the 32nd of a inch. The kneejerk switch to a 10 inch fuggle range on charges was just stupid though.
    The better way is to give units specific charge distances+D6 now your fuggle factor is only 5 inches instead of 10. You cut the rando in half, while still having some dynamic. Charging through terrain? cut your fixed charge distance in half and roll for the extra D6 as normal. Fleet of xxxx? Reroll the D6. Problem solved. Now if your 6 inches away and your charge range is 6+D6 your space marines arent going to get turf foot on the first step and take it in the crapper from those fire warriors, and likewise you could still see a guardsman named bolt rack out an 11 inch charge (static 5+D6).

  • Lion El’ Jonson

    Personally, I’d be happy with a guaranteed 6+1d6 inches. I love the feeling on knocking off a god tier charge, but I hate failing those 6 and under charge distances. I think 6 guaranteed, with the random chance of scaling it up, is the best compromise to maintain that fun random factor, but still make your assault have some assurance of making most charges.

    • Aezeal

      Hey I doubled you on that. So clearly agreeing.

  • Aezeal

    I say d6 + 6

    • Thomas Gardiner

      ^ This. It’ll never happen, but THIS SO MUCH.

      Combining an element of randomness with an element of fixed values is something GW seem weirdly reluctant to do.

    • Maitre Lord Ironfist

      D6 + X (where X ist Unispecific) but his will bring more Stuff that ist not fully needed.

      • Aezeal

        X is the movement value 😀

    • Thorolf

      I think this is probably the best solution, but the problem with this as my shooty army friends have decried – the average charge distance is now 9.5 inches when before it was 7.

      4+d6 for infantry (7.5 average) is possibly a better solution. And thing which have higher base movement (jump packs, cavalry, beasts,) could be 6 or 7 +d6.

      I also like that the Fleet reroll or other ‘reroll charge distance’ special rules work with this seamlessly.

  • Matt Czuzak

    Maybe a combination of the two, take from AoS where not every infantry unit has the same base movement. So a faster unit could go d6+6 inches and a slower unit would go d6+2 inches?

    • Troy G

      That is my preferred solution as well. It is still possible to pull off the amazing rolls, but harder to fail the easy ones.

  • Gilissen Kim

    Just make it your basic movement + D6, what’s the big deal… Can’t be more easy than that! Beasts will still charge pretty far (instead of just as far as a silly marine or guardsmen) and it’s a perfect mix of both systems.

  • Noah Jerge

    Why not just take the best from both, and give each unit a set charge distance (x) with a random modifier (d6, or d3, etc.) added to it. In other words, units would have x + d6 charge distance.

    • Grumpy Scot

      I’d suggest an extra d3.

  • David

    The problem I have with fixed distance is if your opponent has a reasonable range and the same M they can start forward and keep retreating firing and you will not catch them till they hit the back edge then they step forward and charge you.

    A fix if you had fixed charge range would be to allow running and chargeing since running gives you variability

  • PrimoFederalist

    I was randomly thinking of this last night, actually. I believe fixed distance or a fixed distance plus a dice roll is the way to go. 6+D6 for infantry, maybe 9+D6 for jump pack infantry or bikes, etc. Adds to the predictability and thus places a greater input on the tactical decision making rather than capricious die-rolls. Makes you feel like you actually have some control as the general but still leaves some chance to enhance the drama. Also, just read all a bunch of the comments and it looks like a lot of us agree! I also like the idea of dangerous/difficult terrain playing a role and reforming wound allocation, but the 6+D6 would be the place to start.

  • Infamous Wendigo

    To be consistent about the range at which one can use their offensive capabilities, we should now make shooting ranges random…

    Or do the sane thing and make all such ranges (whether melee or shooting) constants. We have enough randomness.

  • Allan Hansen

    Hmmm movement + d3 ?

  • Arthfael

    Maybe it’s a bit too random. What about 6 + D6?

  • piglette

    Highest leadership +D6 inches

  • Lord Elpus

    If I remember correctly, (I don’t have my copy of 2n ed to hand) Charging used to be movement +2d6 or M+D6.. So it would be nothing new to reintroduce it, after all they brought back over watch..

  • Kamin Huffcutt

    Do both. GIve units a static value between two and six (to represent sprinting ability) and let them roll one other die to round out the value. Example: Space Marine with a charge value of 4 has an average result of 7.5 inches on his charge, and a min/max of 5/10. Harlequin with a charge value of 6 has an average of 9.5 inches, and a min max of 7/12. Guardsman with a charge value of 2 has an average of 5.5 inches, and a min/max of 3/8. That stabilizes the values so that randumb die rolls don’t hurt you too bad, but the element of drama can remain. If that’s not enough, let units add an inch or two to their charge range if they pass an initiative test.

  • Calgar

    The problem with random charges is that 9/10 times a failed charge results in a dead close combat unit. It’s hard enough to survive long enough to get a chance to charge, but failing that charge is game over usually.

    The best way to mitigate that is to make sure you end up 1″ away from your intended victim in the movement phase, but that severly limits the effect threat range of assault units.