This email came in this morning from a playtester, it introduces us into an odd game mechanic, a unit that can switch from a flyer with hull points to a monstrous creature that has wounds during the game. While the unit was discussed as a Heldrake, the game mechanic obviously did not get past early testing and make it into the Chaos Space Marine codex. Could something like this make it into the Chaos Daemons Codex?


Another highlight, although not the topic of the email...... Lizardmen in November.

Please remember that these are rumors, and to take them with adequate salt. We are simply receiving this email as a means to get a wider discussion going about it. (btw some of the things we have gotten in the past are for this reason, so yes your comments matter)

So please take this post as something to discuss the idea of this game mechanic. Opinions Wanted.

via Playtester from the Faeit212 inbox
I have previously worked playtesting both Lord of the Rings and Warhammer Fantasy but don't want to discuss my career too much because those in the games designers have such unique backgrounds that I'd be too easy to suss out. I was very involved in working through fundamental changes put into the Fantasy Battle 8th edition core rules, and its follow through with the Storm of Magic expansion. Look out for Lizardmen in November.

Sometimes I get taken into 40k for pie-in-the-sky early-stage testing. Lots of us do this, often on a very casual basis. I'm less familiar with the different armies mechanics for that system, and so can help 'idiot proof'  army book mechanics where they break the core rulebook system.

I wanted to let you know about a mechanic I "tested" casually at the end of last year. I want to get it out on the web because its such a strange game mechanic that I'd like to hear a wider discussion, and can't guarantee that it will appear exactly as we play tested it. It also means the gaming community in general can feel around the idea without someone losing their job

The basis of the idea was to take advantage of the two 40k rule systems for flyers; standard flying vehicles with "hover mode", and "flying monstrous creatures"; to create an in game unit which is flexible and unpredictable - (and therefore exciting to play).

So here's how it works:
Monstrous creature stat profile
Vehicle profile.

The model can choose to switch from one profile to the other at the start of a player's turn, and then remains in that profile until the start of their next turn. Both profiles have the same number for wounds & hull points - and they are effectively the same.

Anyone who thinks this is ridiculous, I actually play-tested this unit under the name of 'Helldrake'. The only thing I couldn't figure out before was what kind of unit would make sense both as a vehicle and a unit with a toughness stat.

Needless to say the rule didn't make it in. But I've heard from a friend that the idea didn't die.

I think that GW are re-conceptualising some of their unique selling points, and that they're looking to combine centre-piece new releases with rules that get the gaming community fired up and coming back into the fold.

Happy discussions.

46 Comments:

  1. That is such a good concept on paper. I hope they can make it work somehow for some units on the table top

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  2. I think this sort of thing would be an oddity, rather than a general game mechanic. There aren't many units (other than perhaps a helldrake) which appear part vehicle, part organic monstrous creature. Maybe as Natfka suggests, it could be applied to a new unit in the Daemons codex. Eitherway I don't see it rolled out too widely.

    Part of the problem is that it's so difficult to visualise: a vehicle one moment, and a living creature the next, with constant morphing between the two. At best, it brings to mind some sort of daemonic monster truck. At worst, I think of Thomas the Tank Engine.

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    1. I didn't think of that, that's a bloody good analogy. Actually, it makes a lot more sense than a sentient steam train. What am I on?

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    2. I'm sure many players would still enjoy a daemonic runaway-train tank-shocking infantry. I would!

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    3. Transformers was my first thought. Fits with Tau actually. Sounds fun to me!

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  3. An interesting possibility for the future opens up, when you look at the latest FAQ. Heldrake's have a 360-degree field of fire now, just like a flying monstrous creature.

    Could they further FAQ it to have dual profiles? Or is giving a 360 field of fire a nod to the original concept without rocking the boat?

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  4. Transformers in 40k? The end is nigh...

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    Replies
    1. I was thinking the same when I read the title.

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    2. Yeah, this would make sense for a transformer. It could fit some weird Tau suit, but I think thats a bit of a stretch.

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    3. Daemon transformers? Grey knights, meet MEGATRON!!! :P

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  5. well... the heldrake has 360 shooting and 3 "hull points" is a flyer that can hover and has a 5+ invul save and daemonic possession... all these mechanics pretty much make it a flying MC vehicle lol

    AV 12 is almost an equivalent of T6.

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    1. Is it? T6 can be hurt by a heavy bolter, Armour 12 can't. Heck, to reliably dent armour 12 you need S8 weapons which are wounding a T6 beasty on a 2+ but glancing that armour on a 4+.

      A T6 Flying monster can also be shot down - a flyer can't, even one in hover mode.

      If I could have armour 12 or even 11 flying monstrous creatures or T6 Bloodthirsters, I'd go with the armour 11 any day!

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    2. That's probably why they made it a flyer 'with benefits'. Unless I'm mistaken, flying monstrous creatures can be knocked out the sky by hits regardless of how strong they are so marker lights could even be a threat!
      Still, if the flying creature rules were limited to the profile, it might be choice worth considering. If a heldrake was a 'standard' run and gun AV flyer, it wouldn't have the same appeal...

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    3. The slight advantage of T values though is that someone doesn't land a lucky shot and get a pen, removing all of your wounds.

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    4. Yeah. Dreadnought vs. Monstrous Creature. It always upsets me that some bug can come up and rip my Dread's arm off and beat me with it, while it has no ill effects for losing a wound...I think I will take the Toughness...LOL!

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  6. off topic but new video on gw website WoC. though not much to see

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    Replies
    1. Once again GW makes a terrible teaser that any 8 year old kid with windows movie maker could make.

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    2. It was almost interesting for once trying to figure out which model silhouette they used in the end!

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  7. What about tyranids incorporating a technological aspect not just a biological aspect to their character as they evolve

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    Replies
    1. Could even be 'fluffed' as a dense shell that can slide over vulnerable eyes etc. or like a giant turtle shell to retract into. Represents tougher (AV) defence and the limits of such a defence by removing options like vector strike or assault

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  8. I think this is great idea, helicopters are the cavalry of the modern army, and fighter planes of the future have vertical take off and landing, so what's to say we can't have flying tank like vehicles in 40k

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    Replies
    1. Eldar Tanks do this anyways according to the background. It would be fun to see something like this in the new codex.

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  9. Transformers would be sick. Starscream could be a fighter one turn, and a walker the next!

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  10. Reminds me vaguely of Battletech's Land-Air Mechs and their absurdly complex ruleset. Not sure what to feel about this.
    Apart from Chaos forces I could only see this for Tau, in the form of an aircraft/battlesuit hybrid.
    ...which, now that I think about, would actually be kinda neat.

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    Replies
    1. This... this would be awesome. Imagine some sort of heavy ground attack craft suddenly coming to ground, transforming into some kind of battlesuit and start pounding railguns and missiles into things... agh, must clean drool xD

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    2. What about a gun drone that could switch to flyer mode by soaring up high for strafing runs or bombing?

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    3. If it were an aircraft/battlesuit hybrid it'd surely just be an MC right?

      That large scale walker that's rumored would work for that mechanic though... and it would fit the Tau fluff since it gives it a way of being mobile.

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  11. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  12. Actually, I think the Heldrake would have been interesting for this concept. When zooming it has a vehicle profile, when hovering it has a MC statline. It would actually be kinda cool.

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    Replies
    1. I think that is a great way to split the two effects. C'mon Eldar Wraith-drake.

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    2. So it could zoom, hover, and walk on the ground? Why not, it already vector strikes your vehicle then flames the contents, whats charging into CC with ap2 attacks to finish them off really going to hurt?

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  13. How about a flying vehicle that enters battle field can fly for maybe two or three turns then runs out of aviation fuel and has to resort to be a land vehicle

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  14. Just checking

    I've just signed up to google

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  15. As an Eldar player, whenever I play Wraith Lords I invariably hear a "I wish my Dreadnoughts had wounds instead of Armour & Hull points" from SM players.

    While I have seen Dreads fall faster than Lords in most instances, I think poison weapons & the "wounds on a _" weapons (witchblades come to mind) tend to level that playing field just as haywire weapons can auto-glance vehicles to death quickly.

    I guess it just depends on the local meta...

    I think, as it stands right now, with typically lower saves than vehicles would receive, & less chance for instant death (or vehicle equiv), MCs have a leg up.

    But it does seem like in 6th, the 2 types are starting to balance out a bit more...

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  16. I don't think it'd be able to balance out properly. Especially if its hullpoints and wounds are synonymous. I'm 99% positive all MCs have 4 wounds. Which means this thing would need 4 Hullpoints. And to be even in terms of beings 'wounded'/glanced it would need a toughness of 8 (at AV12). Not saying that theyd balance it like this, but to evenly switch and not have one profile be so much better would be really hard.

    I think the best way to do it would make it a zooming flyer on one profile and jump mc on the other. I can see a giant beastie soaring around and then dropping out of the sky to jump around. Price it well and it could be a really cool concept. Esepcially for a daemon engine flyer thing.

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  17. Just watch what they'll do is make you buy two 60 dollar figures to play this one guy

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    Replies
    1. I counter your point with Orikan the Diviner! He's a necron Special Character who has an ability to transform from mediocre to mephiston levels of awesome (with ignores armour attacks so no 2+ defence, but I digress)
      He is represented with a single model when quite easily he could have been only available in a pack of two for £25 or worse to represent his power!

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    2. I have been defeated. Totally forgot about that guy, though. Maybe GW will be a good guy and do it like that.

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  18. Just the other day I was actually thinking that the Heldrake would make a lot more sense as a Flying MC rather than a vehicle. I guess this explains this feeling I had!

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    Replies
    1. Ya i agree with this for sure.

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    2. Might make more sense but am sure glad it ain't!

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  19. ". ..game unit which is flexible and unpredictable - (and therefore exciting to play)..."

    Huh?! Maybe I´m just too old for this game - time to move to something predictable like Flames of War or something.

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    Replies
    1. Maybe they're a fan of orks, the most random army after daemons!

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  20. I am seeing both Transformers and also Vikings from Starcraft 2.

    I was just thinking about this for Tau yesterday.....

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