Goatboy here to talk about why vehicle really suck and why I’m excited about what we’re hearing about 8th Edition rules!
Goatboy here on another lovely day and the thought I want to bring onto the table top is the idea of moving away from Armor values on vehicles and finally coming to the conclusion that vehicles, as is, really kinda suck. I want you to think about the last time you really cared about the “hull points” on a vehicle. I can bet the last time was when dealing with a Super Heavy of some sort – most likely a flavor of the Knight. Which of course means you pretty much didn’t really use most of the vehicle rules for damage as the Knight pretty much ignores those. In a lot of ways the Knight basically just has a very difficult to breach toughness mixed with a circumstantial armor save. Which brings me to the rumored rule change that vehicles will lose armor values and instead get replaced by an all encompassing Wound pool to use and abuse.
Armor Value Problems
I for one would love this idea as I always found the Armor Value to be a clunky system. Mix that with a very unforgiving damage table and you end up with an expensive box to try and use. I won’t go into how many games I have won when 6’s just kept coming on the dice roll and I watch helplessly as my opponents multi hull pointed boxes go up in smoke through one damage roll. I have also been on the receiving end of many – oops I rolled some 6’s with a few wraith knights on my own sad little Imperial Knights. Its a bad system and doesn’t make you want to buy an expensive tank or cool looking resin monster from Forge World. It also doesn’t help that the most common army has the best answer to any known Super Heavy Vehicle – the Grav Gun.
I can almost see the little Space Marines from up here…
Age of Sigmar to the Rescue
With the rumors pointing to a move towards an AOS style system for vehicles with a wound pool, armor save, and some other mix of rules to help keep them from getting poisoned out I have become a very excited Goatboy for the future of my hobby. Looking at AOS their are a few things that seem to hit both systems and thus could give us an idea on how many wounds we might see on our most common vehicles we have out there. They all fall into the Daemon category as GW loves the idea of a cross platform army as you can get two games for the price of one set of miniatures.
Some Chaos Examples
Will start with the big baddy in the form of the Soul Grinder. He is running at 16 wounds off of the website War Scroll which feels about right. He does get progressively slower as he takes damage and has a stock save of a 4+. I am not sure if will see some changes to Armor Saves. AOS seems to have a much different shooting flavor and 40k is home of the shooting gallery. I mean if you look at the Fluff a bolter should be a murder machine and I suspect the “8th edition” Bolter to be pretty decent. Still the 16 wounds seems like a good starting point and a way to “figure” out the other options.
Now where this gets weird is that you would think some other things should have more wounds due to their old armor set up. Look at the Blood Throne from AOS. It has a small 7 wounds for its stats and no “changes” to how it interacts as it takes wounds. This is a pretty big difference as while yes it is a “vehicle” in AOS it isn’t on the same scale as the giant monster the Soul Grinder is. So trying to figure out the “math” to create valid wound pools for vehicles becomes a heck of a lot harder to do.
Looking at the Slaanesh Chariots and you start to see some other differences from the Khorne one. The Slaanesh one is at Wound Pool 6 and its 40k counterpart has an armor value of 10 all around. The Tzeentch one, having the same armor value as the Slaanesh one gets a whooping 8 Wound Pool to work with. From looking at this there is no real reason beyond the current disdain for creepers of the Warhammer Universe – the Slaanesh bad Touch mama jammas.
So what does this mean at all? Well it means most likely the system to figure out the Wound Pool is probably a heck of a lot more complicated. Here are the rules I can see that are followed. First – if it is a big monster with a dial down set of stats as it gets hurt it needs a big fat wound pool. If its use always stays the same throughout its life its Wound Pool is a lot lower. With that – lets try to figure out some wound pool ideas for the common vehicles we see day in and day out.
Some Marine Examples
Let’s look at the Drop Pod. It is supposed to be a single use item with a small set of offensive power. It does have all sides the same armor so while it isn’t supposed to be living forever it should have a somewhat decent set of starting wounds. I would suspect it would have a pool of 6 wounds with some kind of armor save of a 4+. This would help keep it within the old set of rules where if you could get past its armor you had a good chance at popping it due to being Open Top, Immobilized, and usually hard to get some kind of cover for.
Will move along to the next extreme and try to figure out the Land Raider. I suspect a push to make these guys valid again so I bet their wound pool is pretty high. Something along the lines of a 12-14 with some kind of diminishing set of return as it gets “hurt”. Maybe less firepower as its systems are damaged as well as a slower push as it trudges along. An armor save of a 3+ would seem viable as it should always have a “chance” to ignore wounds to it just like the stories we read about the Land Raider surviving underwater and kicking a$$ for the Emperor!
From there if the mention return of Rhino assaults is true that we will see a bunch get dusted off the shelf. I bet they run in like the Drop pod at a 6 or 7 on the wound table and no real diminishing returns as it gets damaged. It would feel to clunky to have those extra rules on a troop transport as it would slow the game down and leave you looking at a chart all the time. Especially if they come back to being in style again.
Lastly lets think about the Dreadnought. I don’t know about you – but I love these models. I hate it so much that they almost never see the table top unless they are abusing a Forge World upgrade or in the spoiler list in a random event. I want these guys to be good, kick butt, and just show up more often. I don’t know how many times I have read a story from GW where the Dreadnought is coming in hot, kicking a ton of butt, and making me wish mine didn’t get immobilized when someone shoots a brown noise gun in its nether regions and its stopped dead in its metallic booties. I would hope they start at 10 Wounds with either a decent “marine” armor save of a 3+ or some other type of save. Mix that in with a non set of diminishing returns and you have a true vehicular monstrous creature we all would love to play with.
~Do you think this is a valid way of thinking? Does this make sense to help “fix” the game a bit and make everything a viable option? Is there someone sitting with a ton of Dreadnoughts just waiting for the day to get in and crush those fools who thought dreads were lame? Can Murderfang get his day in the sun?