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Expanding AT - Xenos

Homebrew Xenos

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#1
Grifftofer

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So with the new rules released, my mind has been running hot with thoughts of all the things that could be added into the system, seemingly, relatively easily. Unfortunately there isn't much of a gaming community nearby, so rather than spend my days talking to myself I thought I'd regurgitate some of my thoughts to you all and generate some discussion. So please tell me what you think.

 

Now I've tried to keep my mind on areas where it seems unlikely that AT will be treading for at least the next year or so. Namely Xenos and expanding the scale to include smaller things. Also I'd like to apologise for the wall of text.

 

Eldar

As a long time Eldar player I've spent a lot of time pondering the Eldar. Where possible I'd like the various races to play differently to the Imperium and with the combination of speed/frailty and holofields, Eldar are probably one of the furthest along the spectrum away from what we have.

 

Defenses

  • Armour: Given that the Eldar traditionally prioritise basically everything else over armour I would think that the Armour of Eldar Titans would be in the range of Imperial Knights (9-12, 13-15,16+). i.e. Even the lightest weapons in the game are at least a threat to them if they hit, and hitting an Eldar Titan with a big weapon is going to cause issues.
  • Structure: In keeping with the speed/frailty ideas I think that even a Phantom would be relatively fragile (Approximately Warhound structure levels). This makes every hit on them telling and makes them much more of a skirmishing force than a comparable Imperial battlegroup.
  • Holofields: I went back and forth on this a few times. Perhaps the simplest way of doing these would be to give Eldar Titans a holofield save against all incoming hits (similar to the old BFG rules). But I feel that having Holofields provide cover is more fitting with their fluff and it feels more like the Eldar is avoiding fire rather than stopping it. Initially I would probably go with Holofields always providing a base 25% cover and that increases to 50% if the Titan moves. I went with this rather than providing a penalty to hit rolls, because the penalty would stack with existing cover and allow for mobile Eldar titans in cover to become essentially untargetable.
  • Agility: With the passive holofield effect Eldar titans are still going to be relatively easy to hurt compared to an Imperial that uses terrain. So in order to compensate I thought that each Eldar Titan could have in essence a limited number of 'dodges' where the pilot uses their superior reflexes/technology to avoid shots that should hit them. The limit on how often it can be used would be based on the Titan's Manoeuvre rating and reduced by 1 for each turn the Titan makes during the movement phase. So a Titan turning to bring its weapons to bear would have fewer 'dodges' making it a balancing act between offense and defense. Declaring "Power to the Stabilisers" would boost the number of 'dodges'/turns that can be made. I was thinking that the 'dodge save' could then be based on a command check with each successive dodge being harder to make, but the notation required for that on the command sheet and the fact that not everyone has enough d10s to make the rolling quick means I've been leaning more towards a straight 3+/4+ save roll. Unlike with shields any hits that aren't saved will go through to hit the body of the Titan, so high volume firepower will have an advantage against Eldar regardless of Strength.

Weapons

  • Eldar Titans tend not to have the carapace weapons that are seen on those of other races, limiting them to only 2 arm-mounted weapons each. In order to make up for that I was considering something akin to the Warlord's Ardex-defensor Cannon ability, with a slightly longer range (8" or so) and only available in the foreward arc. The specifics of volume/strength of shots is certainly up for discussion.
  • Pulsars: These tend to be the primary weapon of the Eldar Titan and to my mind they are the Eldar Turbo Laser equivalent. So I would probably advocate them having very similar stats to the Turbo Laser with some addition to cover their rapid rate of fire. I think that there are two main alternatives for representing this rate of fire. The first would just be to give the weapons the Rapid trait in addition to what they have. The other would be to give them more Dice than Imperial equivalents, which could be either fixed, or variable. One other option is that they could have a new trait, but I feel that the two previous options would be easier to implement/balance.
  • Distortion Cannon: For me this seems the perfect place to make use of the Warp and possibly Blast traits. Now given that a multi-use Warp weapon could be very powerful I think that this should also have Draining and a relatively short max range (24" or less). This would force the Titan to move into the range of enemy rapid fire weapons and risk taking damage, which feels appropriate given its potential.
  • Melee weapons: Although the Phantom is smaller than the Warlord I believe that it should be relatively equivalent in terms of firepower, so I would probably use the Arioch Power Claw as a base and make it lower strength in exchange for more dice (like the Reaver Power/Chain Fists).
  • Sonic Lance: This weapon has been giving me the most difficulty. I have been leaning towards this being an anti-shield weapon as there isn't much in that role so far and it makes sense to me that the vibrations could easily mess with delicate void shield equipment. So that necessitates it being at least strength 4. I also think that given how it's represented in 40K the flamer template is appropriate, as is the Firestorm trait. On top of that in order to make it good at its intended role it will need to have a reasonable chance of hurting shields, so Shieldbane and/or Voidbreaker (X) are viable options. Exactly how far this should go I think I'd need to play with because this combination of abilities feels a bit tricky to judge theoretically.

Other

  • Revenant Jumpjets: For these I think that simply letting the Revenant push it's reactor to ignore terrain for the movement phase seems fairly reasonable.
  • Other stats: For comparison purposes I will equate the Phantom with the Reaver Titan and the Revenant with the Warhound.
    • Command: I see the Eldar pilots as being more experienced than their Imperial counterparts due to their expanded lifespans, so either a higher Command value or some form of re-roll ability (Infinity Circuit?) would seem appropriate.
    • Ballistic/Weapon Skill: For gameplay reasons I think it is preferable to leave the base BS/WS values the same as they are for the Imperial versions.
    • Speed/Manoeuvre: I think that the Phantom having Warhound levels of mobility fits with the fluff. Which then leaves the Revenant needing to be faster/more manoeuvrable. So, perhaps 10"/15" for speed and 5/7 for manoeuvre? That would let it keep pace with knights and turn 180° without needing to push it's reactor.
    • Servitor Clades: I think that having these be the same as their Imperial equivalents would make for a good starting point, because although they won't be needing to repair voids they will be wanting to push their manoeuvre/speed to capitalise on their advantages.
    • Reactor: I think having this be the same as their equivalents is fitting, but maybe skewing it so they are more weighted to the green/yellow than the orange/red?
    • Criticals: I feel like most of these would work as they are (with the obvious exception of VSG Burnout). I think having the Body Location be: 1. Reactor Leak (1); 2. Reactor Leak (1), Holofield Damaged; 3. Reactor Leak (1), Holofield Overload. With Holofield Damaged being you reduce the cover benefit of the Holofields by 25% and Holofield Overload being reduce the cover benefit of the Holofields by 50%. So with the Damaged level you have to move to get any benefit and at the Overload level you have no benefits until you fix it.

 

Well, that's taken me much longer to type up than I thought it would. So I'll stop here for now. Please let me know what you think of this so far. Am I completely off base here or should I keep plowing away along this path?


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#2
Apologist

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Broadly, I think you’re on the right lines - being conservative is fairly sensible, as playtesting will show where you can afford to be more extreme.

I’d like to go into more depth, as it’s clear you’ve put no mean effort in here, but time is short - so for the mo, I’ll keep to the following notes:

Re: lack of carapace weapons, the wings do have weapons mounted in them - these were lascannons and missile launchers. You could definitely go with a defensive approach to help differentiate them from Imperial Titans, but you could also make them main weapon systems, should you so desire.

I think the main problem Eldar will have is that they have just two weapons to their Imperial equivalents three. To compensate for that, I’d suggest that their guns are generally more highly-powered, non-draining and/or easier to repair, to reflect their higher tech-level. Basically, make them more reliable and higher base level of damage, but with less opportunity to ‘power them up’ unsafely.

On a related note, I think a different system of resource would be fitting. Perhaps Eldar Titans can’t push (as they don’t have plasma reactors), but instead have a fixed (and dwindling) supply of [psychic macguffin], encouraging them to be aggressive early-on?
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#3
Gillyfish

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Just thinking about defences first.

 

I like the idea that holofields might provide cover. I'm not sure that you should worry too much about penalties to hit as 6s are still hits, and with thinner armour, that's still enough to worry an Eldar Titan. One option to consider might be re-introducing the older rules about template weapons ignoring holofields. However, with the current ruleset, I think that might be too damaging, so perhaps if the central hole hits it does full damage, otherwise none, might be worth trying out. You could also say that holofields don't count when the attacker is within 2" or, perhaps, when they are stationary (but that's a bit extreme - I think your ideas are on the right lines).

 

Overall, I think their playstyle out to be hit-and-run, with good speed and turning options so they can get out of trouble and get behind cover. 


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#4
Apologist

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Agreed; sounds sensible. In broader game terms, Eldar should be more worried about high rate of fire than strength - it’s a nice way to make megabolters, gatling etc. more attractive for the other player.

With thoughts on the jump jets; you might like to play around with the charge mechanic - allow them to charge in different directions (not just forward).
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#5
Apologist

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I’ve been toying with some gargant rules - would you mind if we used this post as a shared location for developing xenos? It’d be handy to develop orks and Eldar together, as it helps make sure there’s that third angle, rather than always comparing to Imperials.

Edited by Apologist, 04 September 2018 - 10:23 AM.

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#6
Captain Idaho

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For now I think that is a great idea. If the topic gets congested I'll separate it out into 2 different topics.

#7
RipOffProductions

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another thing to consider about Eldar Titans, would firing arcs matter to them? after all, they are increadibly mobile devices, so even if they still had to use arcs and positioning, they should have much higher turning ability, and maybe not have the halved movement when moving backwards or sideways.

 

and on the subject of firing Arcs, Ork Gargants should have things for side and back arcs, even if they are useless against anything tougher then a Knight or Warhound.



#8
Gillyfish

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I have also been pondering Gargants, so that may well be worth another thread.


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#9
Grifftofer

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First off. Thanks for all the replies. Being able to discuss this is already honing my initial thoughts into something much improved. Also I'm more than happy for this to become a general discussion thread for AT Xenos Homebrew. Bring forth your ideas.

 

Broadly, I think you’re on the right lines - being conservative is fairly sensible, as playtesting will show where you can afford to be more extreme.

I’d like to go into more depth, as it’s clear you’ve put no mean effort in here, but time is short - so for the mo, I’ll keep to the following notes:

Re: lack of carapace weapons, the wings do have weapons mounted in them - these were lascannons and missile launchers. You could definitely go with a defensive approach to help differentiate them from Imperial Titans, but you could also make them main weapon systems, should you so desire.

I think the main problem Eldar will have is that they have just two weapons to their Imperial equivalents three. To compensate for that, I’d suggest that their guns are generally more highly-powered, non-draining and/or easier to repair, to reflect their higher tech-level. Basically, make them more reliable and higher base level of damage, but with less opportunity to ‘power them up’ unsafely.

On a related note, I think a different system of resource would be fitting. Perhaps Eldar Titans can’t push (as they don’t have plasma reactors), but instead have a fixed (and dwindling) supply of [psychic macguffin], encouraging them to be aggressive early-on?

I have to admit I was leaning more towards them having more powerful arm weapons. The idea of the having a different resource to manage is an intriguing one. And having it be a fixed, spendable resource would force you to consider it's use carefully... Would this resource be usable to do the same things as the reactor in your opinion? (move quicker/turn faster/power esoteric weapons etc.)

 

Just thinking about defences first.

 

I like the idea that holofields might provide cover. I'm not sure that you should worry too much about penalties to hit as 6s are still hits, and with thinner armour, that's still enough to worry an Eldar Titan. One option to consider might be re-introducing the older rules about template weapons ignoring holofields. However, with the current ruleset, I think that might be too damaging, so perhaps if the central hole hits it does full damage, otherwise none, might be worth trying out. You could also say that holofields don't count when the attacker is within 2" or, perhaps, when they are stationary (but that's a bit extreme - I think your ideas are on the right lines).

 

Overall, I think their playstyle out to be hit-and-run, with good speed and turning options so they can get out of trouble and get behind cover. 

I can't believe I managed to miss that sentence on 6s always hitting before modifiers. That makes it much more viable to run holofields as I initially envisioned, and it might even make it unnecessary for there to be the secondary defense of 'dodges'. In regards to templates I think it will be ok to have it just inflict the hit penalty, as they still have a chance of hitting even when they scatter. And I'm not sure about holofields being ineffective in melee range as that is a fairly strong incentive to not get that close for an Eldar Titan and they do have melee weapons, so I'd rather not make them completely pointless... Maybe Melee trait weapons (or attacks using WS?) can only suffer a maximum of -1 to hit from Holofields? So you'd still be harder to hit, but not as hard.

 

Agreed; sounds sensible. In broader game terms, Eldar should be more worried about high rate of fire than strength - it’s a nice way to make megabolters, gatling etc. more attractive for the other player.

With thoughts on the jump jets; you might like to play around with the charge mechanic - allow them to charge in different directions (not just forward).

If I remember correctly only the Revenants have the jump jets and they didn't have any melee options IIRC, so having it affect their charges seems a little counter-intuitive to me.

 

another thing to consider about Eldar Titans, would firing arcs matter to them? after all, they are increadibly mobile devices, so even if they still had to use arcs and positioning, they should have much higher turning ability, and maybe not have the halved movement when moving backwards or sideways.

 

and on the subject of firing Arcs, Ork Gargants should have things for side and back arcs, even if they are useless against anything tougher then a Knight or Warhound.

Regarding Fire arcs. I did consider having Eldar Titans have different fire arcs on their weapons compared to Imperial Titans, but as I would then have to design new tools to make those arcs easy to see in-game and the ones in the box are already there and ready I thought that simply giving the Eldar incredible manoeuvre values would be enough. I do like the idea of them being able to move sideways/backwards more easily/quickly though.


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#10
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Someday I'll do ork rulez, for eldar nerf those horrid 2++ save

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#11
Grifftofer

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Someday I'll do ork rulez, for eldar nerf those horrid 2++ save

Hehe. Don't worry, well do I remember the days of Battlefleet Gothic and Eldar with their 2+ save against almost everything tongue.png (Not to mention more recent shenanigans)

 

So I may have spent this afternoon procrastinating rather than focusing on rules tweaks, but it has been somewhat productive at least:

 

y1d2OvM.png


Edited by Grifftofer, 04 September 2018 - 03:08 PM.

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#12
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Awesome :)

 

Once I finished my first two Reavers I'll do a size comparison with the first edition Phantom, and hopefully that one should still be roughly in scale. Can't wait to do some playtesting than ^_^


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#13
RipOffProductions

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Idea for Gargant stats: the biggest ones should have 6 weapon hardpoints aragned like so:

 

[Left shoulder] [Head] [Right Shoulder]

[Left Arm] [Belly] [Right Arm]

 

with some kind of really weak "default weapon" on the space in case you decide to not equip a given slot with anything, maybe something that's only useful against targets with no Void Shields or similar protection.

 

and a stat called "Boyz with Shootas" that can't be "repaired"(unless infantry are added to the game, in which case this stat doubles as transport capacity and tracking) that gives you dice to use for something similar to Knight Meltaguns or the Warlord's Ardex-Defensor Cannon rules



#14
spu00sed

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Looks good.

Some musing idea sort of things.

Holofields
Rather than provide cover (since that is limited) what about a simple -2 to hit beyond x” and -1 to hit under x”. This means an Eldar Titan can hide and be very hard to hit.

Jump jets
Reveneant jump packs, possible based on a command check, place the Titan anywhere within y” facing in any direction. Possible some mechanic to reduce its holofield save, to represent the jump thrust being something enemy engines can lock onto.

Hull points
Love the phantom data card, however it feels too light weight. Either have low armour or reduced holes on the board (what are they called). Phantoms and warlock titans should be able to go toe to toe with warlords.

Titan weapons
Phantom and warlock (no idea about reveneants) shoulder weapons should have some use. I see them as the elders anti shield weapons. Their arm mounts should be devastating, however voids (and power fields) can stop them.

An interesting idea would to have several different draining stats on the weapon. Allowing for a few wepoans to be very versatile.

Reactor
I feel each race should have someohting different for the reactor (Orks should never be allowed near a plasma reactor). But they should still have the same basic mechanic.

Eldar could have a spirit stream the spirits of the dead Eldar pilots, they could also use this is change the command roll
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#15
TheTrans

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Hey gang,

Got a mate looking into running orks, this isn't a development of rules, just purely a reskin which may be the way to go in the short term to let our xenos brothers play some AT as well!

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#16
noigrim

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Maybe change miu for infinity circuit and reactor by spectral core?

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#17
TheTrans

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While my Lucius armour is off getting casted I've not got a real want to look into eldar.

Let me know if this is incorrect, but approximates would be great :).

Phantom Titan = Reaver

Revenant Titan = Warhound
Wraithknight = Knight

 

So logically from a starting to model standpoint

Phantom Titan = NFI
Revenant Titan = Wraithlord

Wraitknight = Wraithguard

 

How does that look, any chance an AT player on here has some eldar laying around they could get some sizing shots? 


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#18
noigrim

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Maybe change miu for infinity circuit and reactor by spectral core?


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#19
RipOffProductions

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one thing that hasn't been brought up yet, Xenos Titans wouldn't have the Machine Spirit machanic that the Imperial and Traitor Titans do.

 

Orks can have their massive crews and all sorts of mismanagement/poor communication as an alternative.

 

but Eldar? do they have anything to substitute Machine Spirit stuff? 


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#20
Captain Idaho

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Spirit stones.

#21
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Spirit stones.

true, but those aren't as wild and unpredictable as Imperial Machine Spirits, they're fully conscious/self-aware Eldar souls, rather then the animalistic and instinctual thing that lies in the heart of a God Machine of the Imperium.  



#22
Captain Idaho

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Probably so but I'm sure in the maelstrom of battle the fog of human and Eldar emotions will disrupt things.

#23
TheTrans

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Yeah I feel you could use the same machine spirit table, but just reskin it:

Imperial Titans:
Haughty - Stop Moving

Stalwart- Repair Roll

etc

Orks
Wot?! You said 'All Stop'? - An order got miscommunicated through the speakin-tube in the clash and clamour of battle... End current Action

Gotz to fix my pride n joy! - The Mekboy that created this vehicle is overcome with an oddly protective sentiment over his machine. He orders his myriad units of grots to stop what they are doing and rush repairs on his creation.
etc

Eldar-

This one avoids danger - The gestalt mines of the soul stone network within the titan have come to a prescient conclusion that this current action would lead the collective into direct damage.

The Bone Replenishes - The almost sentient matter of the wraithbone interal matrixes rerout to varying areas to carry out much needed healing of tortured systems... make repair rolls

etc

Super easy to 'fluff' it up for some sweet proxy action! 


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#24
RipOffProductions

RipOffProductions

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Yeah I feel you could use the same machine spirit table, but just reskin it:

Imperial Titans:
Haughty - Stop Moving

Stalwart- Repair Roll

etc

Orks
Wot?! You said 'All Stop'? - An order got miscommunicated through the speakin-tube in the clash and clamour of battle... End current Action

Gotz to fix my pride n joy! - The Mekboy that created this vehicle is overcome with an oddly protective sentiment over his machine. He orders his myriad units of grots to stop what they are doing and rush repairs on his creation.
etc

Eldar-

This one avoids danger - The gestalt mines of the soul stone network within the titan have come to a prescient conclusion that this current action would lead the collective into direct damage.

The Bone Replenishes - The almost sentient matter of the wraithbone interal matrixes rerout to varying areas to carry out much needed healing of tortured systems... make repair rolls

etc

Super easy to 'fluff' it up for some sweet proxy action! 

reusing existing rules for a "proxy" where all you're doing is using an Ork or Eldar model to represent your Titans might be fine, but I was under the impression that this thread was about speculating about/homebrewing rules for Xenos factions, who I feel deserve to be more then just a reskin.



#25
Elzender

Elzender

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Well, for eldar titans, it could be justified in a similar way to wraithguards. I'm rusty on eldar lore, but I recall the wraithguards needing a seer to guide them to avoid losing touch with the real world. Maybe the eldar souls in the spirit stones in the titan might lose focus, or overcome the senses of the living pilot, causing him to momentarily lose control of the titan.

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Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Homebrew, Xenos

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