Balancing an Apocalypse Force

The idea of balancing an Apocalypse game will surely sound preposterous to some.  After all, the premise behind the expansion is simply to play anything and everything you want in a single game.

This post, frankly, isn’t directed at those purists, though, in some ways, I envy them.  I’ve never had the privilege of playing a “true Apoc” game, where people just show up with whatever models they have, and you split them into sides to wage war–granting additional assets to those that are on the smaller team.  I’m sure that can be fun; however, I prefer to keep a relative limit on the insanity.

In our Apocalypse games, we see things like emperor titans, baneblade companies, and warhounds/hierophants galore.  As an owner of some of those models, I completely understand the desire to play with them.  After all, it’s the only time they stand to see any real play time–besides, they’re pricey models, and take quite a bit of time to assemble and paint.

It just gets a little old to me, to know that I’ll be facing the same force over and over.  The strength of “D” weapons only adds to my frustration.  I’d love to see a mass infantry battle, but with giant-pie-plates of instant-death out there, it’s hard to field such forces.  So, I guess what I’m trying to do here is two-fold:  Balance the forces, and mix things up so we’re not always reliving the same game with the same models.

So, with that in mind, I’ve been brainstorming some ideas on how to accomplish precisely that, and thought I’d share them with you.  Here they are (in no particular order):

  • Set a points limit:  This is surely the most common deviation for Apoc games.  This not only serves to ensure people don’t bring an insane amount of models, it also keeps forces manageable, and ensures the game flows more quickly.  As an added bonus, you can be certain that teams will be balanced simply by splitting teams into even groups of players.
  • Limit super-heavies / strength “D” weapons:  Our gaming group routinely limits super-heavies (eg. Titans/gargantuan creatures) to one per player.  The stated reason is that titans are supposed to take too long, but I don’t follow that logic.  How does sinking so many points into a model with 2-3 guns take longer than moving/shooting/assaulting with several units.  If anything, titans make the game move faster to me.  I’m not sure why the rules for Titans don’t apply to super-heavies either…  Alternately, you can limit strength “D” weapons.  I’m a big fan of this option, since these are precisely the weapons that make super-heavies overpowered (in my opinion).  A warhound with two turbo-laser destroyers is much more fierce than one with two vulkan mega-bolters and, as a result, nobody fields the weaker alternative.  Limiting the super-weapons still allows people to play with their beautiful, expensive models, but also makes then less central to the entire game.
  • Set an “Armor Value Limit”:  This can either be by saying “no vehicle can have an AV value greater than 12 (like we did with the Battle for Argos Prime), or by setting an arbitrary limit on the total amount of vehicle armor in a game.My thought here is to charge players for each armor facing on a vehicle in excess of 10, and giving them a set amount they can’t exceed.  Super heavies cost an additional 5 points per structure point they have.   For instance, we normally play about 4000 points per player.  I’m thinking 12 AVL points per 1000 actual points is a good starting point.   Depending upon how much you wanted to limit mechanization, you can vary the amount.The downside of this method is that Tyranid players have no vehicles, so to do this fairly, you can probably apply the same rules to creatures with more than toughness 6.
  • Nothing Used Last Game: The premise here is that you can’t use any units you fielded in your last Apocalypse game.  Of course, this only works when you’re using the same group of people, and then, they’ll need to own a lot of different models (or at least two armies).  For these reasons, it doesn’t seem like a practical rule for most games, but it does have some merit.
  • Restricted Unit Choices:  Before armies are chosen, a single D4+2 result is randomly determined.  The players then sit down with each codex (to include Imperial Armor, etc.) and remove that many options from each army.  Each player would alternate choices from book to book until all have been picked over, at which point, players build their forces as they see fit. The idea behind this strategy is to limit those units that plague your Apoc games time after time, so you can finally see some variety.  For example, if I were to limit Imperial Guard, I might choose Vendettas, Veterans, and Baneblades.  A seemingly crushing defeat for our local IG player, but by the same turn, he could remove Heirophants, Ymgarls, and Zoanthropes from my Tyranid codex. Naturally, these could be greatly abused.  For example, with six total choices, it’s almost possible to completely eliminate synapse from a Tyranid force.  For this reason, I believe this strategy would work best served by a committee.  Thereby keeping things balanced, but keeping to the heartof the strategy.
  • Swap Armies:  Each player builds what they believe to be a fair army.  Then, just before game time, they all swap armies with the opposing team.  The idea here is that if you believe your army is balanced, you shouldn’t mind your opponent playing it. A big upside here, is that people will start to become more familiar with each others armies (literally), and will become better players because of it.  Downsides mean that other people will play your models (so it’s more likely a variation only for well-known players), and that unfamiliarity of the army you’re playing will probably slow the game down (though I’d highly encourage the owning player to help the out as much as possible).  Additionally, if people know this is going to happen ahead of time, then they might purposefully build inferior armies to give themselves an advantage post-swap.  Because of this, I’d suggest there be chance of this happening before the game.  For instance, at the begining of the game, roll a D6, and on a 5+ players swap armies for the game.
  • Limiting Strategic Assets:  It’s obvious that some assets are vastly superior to others.  This is why you always see “flank march” and “Replacements,” but have probably never seen “anti-plant barrage” or “camouflage.”  We’ve eliminated some entirely from games, and replaced them with strategy cards–a la 2nd edition 40k (see my examples here).  I’ve also toyed around with the idea of seperating assets into power levels and charging more or less depending upon those levels.  For instance, better assets (“flank march” & “vortex grenade”) would cost twice as much as their inferior competition, thereby encouraging people to deviate from the normal choices.  Alternately, you could randomize the assets into power levels and allow players to take one from the “powerful” pile, or 2-3 from the weaker pile.  This will certainly mix up the strategy cards you see in your games. Alternately, you can take a suggestion from Crimson Fist over at E-ville Armory: forgo assets entirely.   There’s definite value in doing just that, but I think I still prefer to use the asset cards… 🙂
  • Restricting Armies to FoC’s:  This is probably the most ghastly suggestion I’m making, it’s also my newest thought I’m kicking around, and frankly, my favorite (for now).   The idea here being, that each player is given a single Force Organization Chart (FoC), and can’t exceed any of the given areas until they fill up the entire chart, at which point they gain another chart.  This process repeats itself until they run out of points.  As for super-heavies, I’d suggest that each FoC also comes with one super-heavy slot.  So, if you want to use two Hierophants, that’s fine, but it means you also need to field at least 2 HQ’s, 6 troops, 3 elites, 3 heavies, & 3 fast attack units.It works well because it doesn’t seem to penalize any army particularly–allowing them to take anything they want, but just forcing them to mix things up a bit.

Of course, you wouldn’t want to use all of these suggestions in a single game.  Too many rules make the game too cumbersome.  I’d suggest you evaluate the current state of your Apocalypse games and ask yourself two questions:

  1. Is there anything wrong with the way we’re playing now?
  2. How would our players react to such limitations?

Based upon the first question, you can really determine whether it’s worth moving forward with any changes to your game.  Some people just love the pure power-gaming nature of true Apocalypse games, and some gaming groups naturally conform to playing with alternate rules (whether spoken or unspoken), but the idea here is that if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!

If you’re finding that seeing the same units/armies on the table, or the same people win over and over again, maybe it’s time to mix things up a bit.  Then it’s a good time to ask how other players are going to react to proposed changes.  Ultimately, this is a game that people are playing to have fun, and if you put too many rules in place, it might put a hamper on that fun.

So, I encourage you to evaluate the state of your game, and at least evaluate whether any change is warranted.  If you’ve made it this far in the post, I’d say it’s worth considering. 🙂

As always, thanks for dropping by…

Sadly, all three of these images were found via google searches for “balance” and came off other people’s blogs–without giving proper credit to their owners.  If any of these images are your own, and you want credit, let me know. 🙂


26 comments on “Balancing an Apocalypse Force

  1. Limiting FoCs and restricting units both seem like really bad ideas. For the former, many armies have a “worthless” slot that simply doesn’t do anything and is terrible (or contains no units they like.) Mostly this is the old 4E/3E books, but even IG have Elites as a somewhat-dead slot. Chaos, on the other hand, has NO even vaguely decent FA choices. Meanwhile, DE and Tyranids can fill their slots up so quickly and cheaply that it may as well not even be a restriction- 680pts completely fills an entire Tyranid FoC, from HQ to heavies, which is just ridiculous.

    Unit denial is likewise very crippling- simply put, I don’t think there’s any good way to run this that people wouldn’t resent. No one likes having their favorite toys taken away from them, and that’s exactly what will happen. If Johnny is known for always brining two hundred Genestealers to the table, you can bet your sweet ass that someone is going to strip Genestealers out of his book at some point. None of the “standard” (non-IA/superheavy) units are really particularly game-breaking in Apoc anyways.

    Limiting Strength D, and to a lesser degree superheavies, is very key. Some house ruling to improve/worsen various strategic assets can also go a long ways. Note that Flank March has some weaknesses of its own (being obvious, getting hit by Ambush), but it and a couple others, like Disruptor Beacon, need to be reigned in.

    • disagree on your first point, every army has something worth it in every slot. Are those choices what you would bring to an Ard’ boyz tournament of min maxing spam….well no probably not, but theyre by no means completely wortheless. This is apoc, it’s the time when you have the points and the wiggle room to bring fun stuff you wouldn’t normally bring. For example you spoke of IG elites being a dead slot, yet in there you have psyker battle squads and Marbo two awsome choices that are very cheap. Continueing on you can take Ratlings, and stormtroopers for some fantastic and very affordable choices both of which are ideal for apoc style battles, and Ogryn’s actually get much more usefull in apoc as well given that Holding the line (essentially all they’re good at) can actually be helpful.

      keep in mind also there is quite a few units in the IA books that take up certain force slots, so your choices are not limited to the codex.

      • Fun stuff? Sure, there’s lots of fun stuff. I think Penitent Engines are an awesome model and in my last Apoc battle I brought fifty Spore Mines to the table in clusters to drop on my opponent. That doesn’t make those units good or worthwhile. Especially for older books that have only very limited options, it’s not fair to expect them to shell out another $400+ to fill their Force Org because they wanted to bring that fourth Exorcist or whatever.

        Most people don’t own many of the IA books because they’re simply too pricey and too… well, filled with fluff and not rules. I realize there are some very good options in there, but short of pirating, few groups will spend the money to purchase ten $75 books they’ll only use once in a blue moon.

    • I’m with Cole on this one for a couple of reasons: I don’t think any slot is completely worthless in any army, they’re just underutilized. Aren’t psyker battle squadrons in elites for IG? Likewise, Marbo and stormtroopers are solid choices. Even if you debate that, you could always spend a minimal amount of points on a “throw-away” unit. For instance, you could fill your elite slots with ratlings for 90 points (not that I think ratlings are worthless, mind you, but certainly cheap).

      I doubt people would be resentful for the unit denial option, but it is possible. The idea here is to mix things up so that the same units aren’t always being fielded, so nixing Johnny’s stealers would be in the spirit of the rule. IMO, it doesn’t (necessarily) make the game any better or worse–just different. It’s certainly not the sort of rule you’d want to enforce if it would ruffle feathers though. If there’s doubt, certainly skip it over. In our gaming group, I think people are mature enough to see the rule for what it’s intended, and I doubt they’d take it personally. To boot, most of us have multiple armies, so if Johnny couldn’t play stealers, he’d likely switch to his chaos force…

      As for no “standard” units being game breaking, there are two points there. First, the restrictions aren’t limited to the codex, so you could ixnay titans, baneblades, or necron pylons, as well as normal codex selections. The other thing I’d like to add is that there are a ton of units (when used in excess) that I’d consider game breaking in Apoc: Ymgarl Genestealers, IG Heavy Weapon Teams, Orbital Strikes, etc. In small quantities none of them are bad, but in the “Johnny x200” model, they’re all ridiculous.

      Of the options, the only one we’ve really done (at least consistently) is limiting D weapons, as they’re just ridiculous. Pray tell, do you play Apoc games much? Got any suggestions as to how I can make the above list seem more plausible? It’s great to have a differing viewpoint, because if you feel this way, someone else is bound to do so…

      • PBS and Marbo are indeed Elites for IG, but these are both pretty specific units that not everyone runs; other than that, there aren’t a lot of choices. My point was mainly that having to fill a FoC limits some armies much, much more than others. (I stand by my statement that there are no Chaos FA choices that are even remotely good.) Forcing players to take units that they don’t like and may not even own seems to defeat the point of Apocalypse, in my eyes.

        I would be very surprised if people didn’t find unit denial annoying. Johnny didn’t buy all those Genestealers for nothing- he got them because he loves infiltrating them in and running forward to murder people. Taking that away from him- and especially if he’s painted/converted his horde of models- is a huge disincentive for him to play the game. I realize that, for some people, it will be less crippling, but it still feels like a poor way to handle the situation to me.

        Orbital Strike is the only “unit” I might consider unbalanced in Apoc- Heavy Weapon Teams? Really? They’re T3/5+, practically anything can cause ID on them and even normal shots will ruin them pretty badly. Ymgarl are good, but with their points cost and inability to effectively handle tanks… well, I don’t see them doing all that well in Apoc. For one, it’s much easier to completely block off pieces of terrain, preventing their arrival.

        I think many of the ideas- especially limiting Str D weapons and superheavies- are very plausible. I haven’t played tons of Apoc- maybe a dozen games total- but I feel it’s been enough to get a feel for how the games flow. Swapping armies could be a lot of fun if people are into it, but that’s a much more personal yes/no thing than most of the other options on the list. The super-hilarious part would be “cheesing” the system and having two players bring the absolute worst possible armies to the table and then try and win with their opponent’s list of trash.

        Limiting points values, although it’s technically not how Apoc is played, seems to be the norm in my experience. All the games I played were a matter of roughly equating points and then adding the couple of Assets to finish things.

        I also liked the idea of changing up Strategic Assets enough that I’m writing an article of my own over at 3++ on it. Keep an eye peeled for the next day or so, I’d be interested to hear what you think of my changes.

      • From an earlier discussion, I recall that you and I have differing opinions on what constitutes a “good” unit (the one where you schooled me with the Pyrovore bash). So, let’s agree to disagree on that point.

        I’m surprised that you say you “might” consider orbital strikes unbalanced. It’s high strength, low AP, large blasts that keep raining down, without giving your opponent anything to shoot at. Better yet, you don’t even have to own anything to consider them proper models. A force with 100 strikes is hard to deal with (of course, the answer would be to just try your best to hold objectives, which obviously can’t be done without models, so that would leave the orbital striker hoping for a tie at best). But yeah, I also feel Ymgarls and IG Heavy Weapon Teams are overpowered (in high quantities). I brought 2k of Ymgarls to a game, and it shut down several players shooting entirely. Yeah, they have some trouble with tanks, but anything outside of a tank is just dead.

        Why I think IG heavy weapons are overpowered is they’re just cheap. 25 points for an autocannon or 35 points for a lascannon. Sure, they’re only hitting half the time, but without composition requirements in Apoc, you’re looking at 160 autocannons or 114 lascannons (in a 4k game). I can’t think of anything that can live up to that sort of abuse. Yes, there are certainly options (specifically focused assaulters, or outflankers, could do something, but that’s alot of devastation). The fact that they have 2 wounds is icing on the cake–s’not necessary, but it doesn’t hurt. Combining them with any mass effect that gives them all cover saves, improved leadership, etc. only makes them better.

        Looking forward to your take on changing the assets… as always, thanks for dropping by.

      • If I recall correctly, the Orbital Strike can’t just be keyed wherever you want it, it has to be aimed at a piece of terrain, which is a pretty big limiter, and you have to write down it’s target before the beginning of the game.

        If someone actually built the all-HWTs army (and threw in, say, a Baneblade or some other 10″ blasts to neuter any hordes they might encounter) it would be pretty crazy, but who actually _has_ that many bases of those guys? There is a practical limit imposed by the models that players own (although this doesn’t really stop the Orbital Strike army, of course.)

      • You’re right that it has to be aimed at a piece of terrain, but that’s
        too vague IMO. It really should’ve been required to aim at a
        specific spot on a board, but as it reads now, you can dictate they
        fall on a massive piece of terrain and move it around on that terrain
        feature each turn as it suits your need. That particular item is
        incredibly abusive but, as you’ve pointed out, there are ways around
        it (like don’t go near terrain and you can be “safe” (unless they

        I don’t know anyone personally who owns 100+ heavy weapons teams, but
        it’s a possibility. Even 50 of them is pretty devastating (leaving
        room for those baneblades and other nasty templates), and I do know
        two people who own that many (which really isn’t too major an
        accomplishment, considering you get multiple weapons per base.

        The point being that there are many terribly powerful units in the
        normal codicies–people just gloss over them when playing Apoc.
        Vendettas are pretty ridiculous as well, same with Leman Russes,
        Ordnance batteries, or hell, most anything in the IG heavy support

        IG make me cringe.

  2. Plenty of food for thought here. This must have taken a lot of time to put together and be the result of plenty of pondering, so thanks for putting it out. It’s a good page to bookmark and return to every time a big game comes round.

  3. let’s see…
    Limit points: Yes course

    Limit Super Heavy/D weapons: You know my stance on D weapons, perhaps a system where each player gets access to bring 1 D weapon, if they do not take a D weapon they get 250 bonus points! It forces people to not play triple laser pew pew titans, and also helps even out a little the potency of the D weapon.

    Set armor limits: not a fan unless it’s just for a themed game like we played at your place, but for a general apoc house rule im not a fan. Limits on structure points or Gargantuan wounds however could be accetable.

    Nothing used from last game: you so crazy

    Restricted unit choices: Interesting idea that i would be game to try, perhaps instead though limit each unit to being only take once until all units have taken sorta thing, so an IG player would have to bring an Infantry platoon, a Vet squad, and a penal legion squad, before he could take a second Vet squad.

    Swap armies: Could be very fun, to get around anyone making a gimped force just make it a random draw of who’s army you get, so it’s not an opponent for sure it could be your team mate getting your force.
    Limiting assets: totally fine by me

    Restricting to FoC: Could be interesting, at the very least it would be cool t have a house rule about number of codex’s in your force.

    • I like the further idea of penalizing D weapons by giving people 250 extra points, but do you think it’s really necessary?

      You know me, I’m all about themed games. Always looking for a new twist to make games different.

      On the topic of your restrictions, I like the idea, but it seems rather complex (and also somewhat arbitrarily penalizing to people who don’t own a ton of models). I’d prefer not to force people to go out and buy models just to play an Apoc game, ya know?

      Your changes to the swap armies strat sound good to me.

      As for the limiting of codices in your force, do you find that to be an issue? Do people really stretch across a ton of books for a game (And if so, is it that bad?) I wanted to do a chaos force with options from CSM, Daemons, Witchhunters, Daemonhunters, IG, etc. The idea would be to use parts from each that fit with the daemonic theme. I don’t see it as abusive though, just more thematic.

      • In say the Muldoon Apoc games, sure i do think it’s necessary, there D Weapons are many…in fact this last game is easily the least amount of them iv seen..and we still had what 4 Eldar multiple shot D weapons, 4 Imperial multiple shot D weapons, and 1 Ork thingy that i think fires D class (i’d have to go look at his sheet again but i know it can do mad damage). Think how players would feel if they were offered another 250 points just to NOT bring a D weapon.

        The restrictions are complexish, but it’s not that hard and if your worried about people not being able to feild models because they don’t have the available models to fill spots they don’t normally take you could modify it (making it more complex =) to be like a number of differing units between multiples or some such.

        The Codex thing is a minor gripe really i dunno for me if you can give me a well thought out reason for the multiple codex choices im good. And i don’t think iv seen any real issues with it, i was quite amused with our ghost friend Kris though at your last apoc game. His Pedro Kantor led Honor guard squad, with Space wolf Rune Priest, Inquisitor, and Blood Angel Apothecary was pretty juicy 😉

      • Yeah, that Cole multi-codex thing is too abusive. We did that the one game,
        but in future games, I think it’s best to prohibit rules from one army to
        cross over to another. That way those units couldn’t even join each other’s
        units (or we could rule that they could, but they just don’t lend bonuses to
        those models in the unit that don’t share a codex with them).

  4. Another way, which does take a bit more effort on the part of the organiser, is to run a specific scenario, which will then place it’s own limits on the battle. For example, I have designed a D-Day style beach assault scenario I want to run at my local club. Because we assume the assault is taking place across the length and breadth of the beach and you’re just seeing one portion of it, and it’s all hitting at the same time, this rules flank march out for both sides – any reserves that go to another sector get gratefully snapped up by that commander, they aren’t going to just let them quietly pass through to attack your battlefield. The scenario also has the defender on a last stand, limiting them to one super heavy per player. On the flip side though, the attacker likely won’t have ANY super heavies, as they don’t have big enough assault boats. (So unless they have super heavy skimmers or flyers, they aren’t getting used) The scenario in it’s nature also of course stops the attacker from deploying any of the battlefield preparation assets, whilst the defender get’s nothing that could be described as orbital support (as they are besieged)

    Oh, and in case you’re wondering why a beach assault is necessary in the days of drop pods, at the head of the beach is a shield generator that prevents anything arriving from orbit… so they have to drop further away and take out those shield generators. Yeah I know I totally borrowed inspiration for both halves of my scenario from two very well known movies, but that has appealed to the players in my gaming group. They can see WHY the restrictions don’t fit with the theme of the mission, which makes those restrictions a lot more palatable to the gaming group.

    Oh and as for the infantry army, after several attempts at my friends two titans with little sucess (occassionally killing warhound “junior” but never getting the reaver) I tried a new tactic – I ignored them. I took a 5k force composed entirely of infantry (except two valkyries) This was for a mission where the parameters were only troops could capture objectives. Now those str D weapons were still brutal… but he made his points back a lot slower killing a few guardsmen per turn that a baneblade per turn. I ignored his titans and worked over his scoring units. In the end I had a solitary lascannon team, a valk, a penal legion squad and a commissar lord. I was against two titans, a land raider, a predator, two dreadnaughts and a terminator assault squad. I won by one objective to nil though…

    • 100% agree on scenario play in Apoc bringing the whole thing into the awesome gaming category.

      Up here (i game with Rob locally) we have a great set of guys who get together a couple times a year for sorta ad-hoc apoc games where we don’t know who’s coming, what theyre bringing ect. it’s just show up if you want and don’t bring more then 4k points, with a few minor restrictions like no more then 1 titan or 3 super heavies. everything else though is fair game, and for that you never know what will show up to fight you…we even have one guy who’s scratch built an Emperor Titan (he calls it the angry 4 year old due to it’s size =)

      I obviously can’t speak for everyone, but i personally would love some extra restrictions thrown up in certain areas which is my interest in this post of Rob’s.

    • That D-Day scenario sounds great. Will you be posting your results somewhere? I’d love to hear more about how you implemented it, and how the game went. This is definitely the thematic sort of thing that makes games into memorable events. If you don’t have a blog and would like to post it here, I’d be happy to let you.

      As for ignoring targets that are hard to kill. I’m generally in agreement with you. Things like Monoliths and Wraithlords tend to be more trouble to kill than they’re worth, so I tend to ignore them. But, D weapons change that equation dramatically. For instance, in the massive Apoc game we played earlier this year, Scott brought his Emporer Titan (affectionately dubbed the “4th Grader,” because it’s as tall as one), and it just devastated things with 12 D weapons. You simply can’t ignore something that crazy. It must die…

      Thanks for dropping by… and please write up more on that D-Day battle plan. You’ve captivated my attention… 🙂

  5. Hear is my 2 bits.
    Strenght D Large blast(or bigger) with more than one shot per gun are a problem if its not shoting a Titan. No normal tank, MC, or normal unit can stand up to that kind of firepower. This forces players to butild lists around Titan killing or bring Titans. This is where most players are at in the Anchorage gamming group.

    Now i did say Strenght D mulit shot Large balst is a problem. If you are are useing a 1 shot large blast, small blast, or a no blast weapon it is not as bad because they can only realy hit one unit and killing all of that unit in one blast is not as likely.

    Telling people what they can and cant take in an Apoc game defeates the hole point of the Apoc game. Now comming up with a battle mission and asking each person to build a list to fit that mission is a good thing. It can let each person build what they think will fit the mission.

    On deployment: I have always felt that most of your teams army should be deployed at the start of the game. This takes limits the effect of distupter beakens, falnk march, and ambush. Again all you need to do is have a mission where you need to deploy half of your units. If every one know about the mission they can build something they like and that will fit the mission.

    D*** players: This will happend sonner or lator in any game you play. And with Apoc being a no hold bar tipe game this will happen sooner than normal. They may not mean to but every one is doffernt and toes will get steped on. So keep your game at home with people you can trust not to cause you problems, or just learn to deal with with the people you get in pick up games.

    • Yeah you werent at the last game Chris but my Baneblades fired 2 shots at an eldar tank a mile off on turn 1(only reason they even got these shots is because Cody used a callidus to move the tank into view btw…), and popped smoke turn 2 because the other team left our entire side of the board empty until the end of turn 2 when an eldar titan, Eldar superheavy tank, Hellhammer, Reaver titan, and Khorne super heavy walker thing, plus some other little stuff rolled on.

      Now it’s apoc so shit happens, but what got me was that i came to this apoc psyched to set my boyz up on the line and take what was coming, i wasnt sitting back like last apoc that ended on turn 3 before my guys really got into it….instead i spent nearly all the game doin nothing and we ended on 3 again.

      • I know I have missed the last 2 Apoc games because of work or vacation. But the last few I did make I played my Necrons with 20 man warrior squads. Now they are an easy kill for someone going for a sweeping advance. But it never happened because most of the armies that got fielded we built to shoot their super big guns and that was it. So I keep res orbs close and had no problems holding up under the fire. Where one green tide whold have wiped out my hole army, but no one built an all assault list that was deployed. So I hade nothing to fear.

    • Good points, pretty much all around. I’d definitely say that not all of these suggestions are intended for pick-up Apoc games (like we have in Muldoon), but rather to refine the game for established players. While I’d love to see some of these implemented in the giant games of Apoc because I really think it adds to the experience, but that seems like a pipe dream really.

      These are the sort of rules we establish for APoc games at my house though. You’re right in that they work out much better in a restricted environment (And surrounding yourself with good people is key to enjoying any game), but I’d say as long as you post the rules ahead of time, and clearly communicate things, it shouldn’t matter.

  6. I am surprised to see such a thought out list of such length! However, I believe you forgot one option: play other people! Now, that sometimes isn’t possible for us Alaskans just because of the small demographic that plays 40k at all, much less that can come up with an Apoc-sized force, but as a general rule playing other people always shakes things up.

    • Too true. Inviting others to your game does necessarily add a new twist to
      things. I’m a little leery of inviting random people to Apoc games though,
      because the game is so inherently unbalanced, that a power gamer can come in
      and spoil the mood. We played with one guy who was a blatant cheater, and
      it ceased being fun. We had to take turns watching his movement, dice
      rolls, etc. and that one person put a damper on the whole day.

      It’s not that I’m against inviting new people, but I’d like to feel them out
      before committing to playing a full day of toy-soldiers with them, ya know?

  7. not to bring back an old threat –
    But I find that having only troops as scoring, and requiring 2 troops for every HQ starts to bring a good balancing factor.

    Also the requirement that all superheavies are published in advance means that the generals are aware of what they are facing and can start to counter them.

    Lastly we make D strength equal to S10, AP1, lance. Still dangerous but manageable.

    I’ve found that these rules really do make for a smooth game that isn’t just geared towards “I HAVE COOL STUFFZ!!!!!”

    • Oh, don’t worry about posting on older topics: I’m actually glad to
      see people are reading things other than the most recent posts.

      Your suggestions are quite good. Though I’m not super-thrilled by the
      5th edition style “only troops score,” mentality, it’s a pretty
      standard rule for us. Having to announce super-heavies pre-game, is a
      good idea though, and I’m glad to see other people feel the need to
      neuter D weapons. I hadn’t considered just reducing their potency.
      Since you didn’t say, I presume you let people still take cover saves
      against them? and they don’t cause instant death?

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