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Armour Saves, are they necessary?


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#1
Wulf Vengis

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I was pondering Cover Bonuses and how they increase your armor save just now and thought; "Why do we have armor saves? We've got AP to determine if an attack penetrates a targets armor, then Toughness to determine if an attack wounds. Why do we still have an armor save? Even vehicles have converted their armor values to a Toughness system".

So, why DO we have armor saves?

As a side question why does the armor save come after the toughness check (the wound roll)?

Edited by Wulf Vengis, 27 November 2019 - 09:36 PM.

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#2
Panzer

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It's a design decision to make it less depending on just a single roll. You might as well ask why we don't just roll a single dice to determine who wins the game. ^^


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#3
Rogue

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On the side question, my understanding is that the armour save comes last to give the owning player a sense of agency - you roll to kill my guy, then I roll to save him.

And maths-wise, the order of dice rolls makes no difference anyway, so why not let the owning player get that last chance to rescue his guy?
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#4
Hymnblade

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As opposed to just using the Toughness and Wounds stats to convey how well-armored something is, for example?

 

There was a time when counting how many wounds things had left was almost exclusively for characters and monsters, so giving troops more than one wound to represent armor would mean extra bookkeeping. With Primaris and Custodes and 8e vehicles, that ship has kind of sailed though.

 

Two dice rolls also allows for finer distinctions than one; how do you make a Bolt Rifle that's in between a S4 Bolter and a S5 Heavy Bolter, if there's no AP stat? It does give an extra dimension for some mechanics; things with a high save are specifically vulnerable to armor-piercing weapons, not just generally powerful weapons. Usually a Marine is tougher than an Ork, but against a power sword, they're in the same amount of danger.

 

I'm not sure it's critical for the game system to be able to do things like that, but the psychology of "I get the final say in who dies" is nice, and keeps you at least a little bit engaged during your opponent's turn.


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#5
Wulf Vengis

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Good answers all. I think i forgot a piece of my thought during typing before (children are a distraction). Allow me to elaborate and try to make sense of my full thought.

If every model followed the "armor value is equals toughness" mentality that vehicles did when their armor values became toughness alongside an armor save then we could better balance gameplay at the cost of changing up the toughness scores across most units in the game additionally updating the armor save system to 2d6 would allow better balance potential.

How this works: A models Toughness score would become it's Armour Value. This number would be used to determine if a model is wounded by an attack in the same way as Toughness. Additionally

Example: Rhino used to be Front Armour 12. It became Toughness 7 Armor Save 3+. We could then assume that a space marine would be toughness

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#6
TorvaldTheMild

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Of course they are necessary.  A roll of a wound determines that it has hit a crucial point that will wound, the armour save determines if the armour is penetrated.  If we don't have them, then a terminator will be as easily wounded as a space marine scout.  Also AP is irrelevant if there are no armour saves.


Edited by TorvaldTheMild, 27 November 2019 - 10:25 PM.


#7
Lexington

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Technically, they’re not necessary, and you could probably roll them into a combined system of hits/wounds that would only require a single die roll, or two at most.

However, one thing I’ve heard Rick Priestley day is that Warhammer’s initial success could be pinned to the armor save mechanic, because it required the other player to be active even when it wasn’t their turn. I imagine this wisdom has carried through to the modern day.
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#8
Wulf Vengis

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Technically, they’re not necessary, and you could probably roll them into a combined system of hits/wounds that would only require a single die roll, or two at most.

However, one thing I’ve heard Rick Priestley day is that Warhammer’s initial success could be pinned to the armor save mechanic, because it required the other player to be active even when it wasn’t their turn. I imagine this wisdom has carried through to the modern day.

This, this combined mechanic is what my brain had formed whilst looking over cover bonuses and how they apply to AP and armor saves. If combined correctly the resulting save would still be done on the attackers turn and would require a save. But for a brief moment there i actually had the prefect system worked out in my head whilst reading that would simplify the hit>wound>save system by making a models Toughness and Armour Save the same value thereby simplifying the combat system and also allowing a better balance across all factions. The AP interactions of weapons would be more balanced a well.
The attacker would roll to hit then roll to wound against a models toughness/armor value and you would roll your armor save on 2d6 under the models Toughness/Armor value. The armor save would still occur during the attackers turn (except with overwatch).

Edited by Wulf Vengis, 27 November 2019 - 11:10 PM.

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#9
Trokair

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While I don’t understand how you exactly want this to work, if memory serves Lord of The Rings (or whatever it is called these days) has a Defense stat that is somewhere between a toughness and a save stat as seen in 40k. 



#10
EnsignJoker

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You can consider toughness the toughness of the armor the shot is trying to get through. The armor save is whether the armor holds up to a shot that had the ability to penetrate or destroy it.

#11
ERJAK

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So that you don't have 2 solid hours of solitaire every game.

I already leave to go get a sandwhich during my opponent's turn sometimes.
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#12
Nemesor Tyriks

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Toughness and Armor are fundamentally different though. A tough thing might not have good armor. If you punch me in the head, it'll hurt. If I'm wearing a football helmet, it probably won't. I am the same creature in both instances, but I am much better protected in the second example. I don't see why merging them would benefit anything.
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#13
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I will say, after playing warcry, having an armour save helps give the defending player some involvement on the safety of their figures. Just watching your opponent roll dice, and remove your models, isn't as engaging, and makes you feel helpless. The armour save gives you some control, and feels nice to have.

#14
Plasmablasts

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D&D combines the hit, wound and armour save rolls into a single roll. However, that system uses a d20, so many more possible results than a d6, and much higher wound (hit point) numbers than 40k (a zombie may have a similar HP total to a super-heavy vehicle), which would be too unwieldy, I think, in a war game.

I agree that the save roll helps to keep the defending player engaged.

Separating wound and armour save rolls also allows for differentiation between similar weapons. The most obvious to me are the power weapons, where the sword, axe and maul form a spectrum of declining effectiveness vs armour and increasing effectiveness against toughness. Merging wound and save rolls would cause those to be all lumped back together again as “power weapons “, unless new mechanics were introduced.
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#15
mughi3

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removing armor saves would require a complete game redesign

Dust has a wound system similar to 8th ed 40K but everything basically gets the same save.

the dice have symbols on 2 sides army/shield/bullseye- vehicles only ever get the shield if they are using cover, aircraft get the army symbol if they move, if they double move they also get the shield. infantry get the army symbol always even in the open, and they add the shield in cover.

there are only 3 things that universally negate all saves-railguns, fire, close combat

by comparison the forces of valor game-"battle tactics" is a WWII game (that can play as modern as well) that has no armor saves at all. vehicles are either not damaged/damaged/destroyed. all cover does is allow mobility damage to be ignored. infantry in the open are fine/panicked/dead, in cover they are either fine or dead. close combat is the same-you get hit=dead no saves because it is WWII there is no body armor.
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#16
MARK0SIAN

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The other thing to consider is that each dice roll in the chain acts as a filter to reduce the amount of damage getting through.

The current system is already insanely high in terms of the lethality/amount of damage getting through. Taking away one of the filters would only make that worse when, personally, I’d prefer to see the overall lethality drop.

However, I do think GW needs to look at exactly what they want the toughness stat to represent. It doesn’t really have a defined role right now. It used to be that it was meant to represent how tough the actual marine/Guard/ork was to wound in the first place, with the armour being how well they were protected on top of that. However that went out the window long before 8th edition. The Toughness stat feels like it’s in a weird place and perhaps needs to change to link with the armour in a more direct way. They’ve already done this in a few places like Gravis armour but I think they need to expand on this across other factions.

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#17
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Aside from many of the other points: it adds inclusion for the other player in your turn. Having to sit and watch whilst your minis are decimated (I’m only going by my own gaming record here against WarriorFish XD ) and having zero involvement would be hugely deflating.

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#18
Volt

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Always liked the way Lion Rampant rolled. You have a unit with an armor save of 4. That means an opponent needs to roll 5 wounds to remove one model from the unit.


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#19
Slasher956

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Always liked the way Lion Rampant rolled. You have a unit with an armor save of 4. That means an opponent needs to roll 5 wounds to remove one model from the unit.

 

for that to work you'd need to roll characters back in to unit OR have it per phase... ie SMs with a 3+ save equate to armour 4 so a guard or eldar character would never kill a model in combat .. or with shooting on their own.


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#20
mughi3

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Aside from many of the other points: it adds inclusion for the other player in your turn. Having to sit and watch whilst your minis are decimated (I’m only going by my own gaming record here against WarriorFish XD ) and having zero involvement would be hugely deflating.

BCC


That was always a bit of a problem with 40K's I go you go system, it was negated to a degree in previous editions by fixed armor saves and hard cover saves, but now that cover is basically irrelevant and armor is reduced by weapons short of just hiding behind something that blocks true LOS a decent turn by the person going first gives them a huge advantage in damage/return fire reduction.

other games have attempted to remove this effect through total reaction games like infinity or alternating action/limited reaction systems like DUST.
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#21
Panzer

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I rather have armour saves getting reduced by weapons than the binary system of either full armour or no armour (which usually resulted in no armour) we had before.


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#22
mughi3

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I rather have armour saves getting reduced by weapons than the binary system of either full armour or no armour (which usually resulted in no armour) we had before.

I feel just the opposite. it was so much simpler like the removal of the WS chart in 8th-this number is what you need, and if you don't have it find some hard cover.

Anti tank weapons SHOULD by their very nature remove armor saves entirely from infantry models.
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#23
TorvaldTheMild

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I don't understand the need for a combined roll.  The save roll isn't complicated or taxing, it adds an element of agency for the other player and it adds a dynamic of the armour itself, which is extremely important in 40k, with everything between terminators and t-shirt saves.  I can't see why anyone would want to combine the roll and get rid of armour saves.  Also in a D6 game its impossible to express the type of armour in the game with a D6.


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#24
Panzer

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I rather have armour saves getting reduced by weapons than the binary system of either full armour or no armour (which usually resulted in no armour) we had before.

I feel just the opposite. it was so much simpler like the removal of the WS chart in 8th-this number is what you need, and if you don't have it find some hard cover.

Anti tank weapons SHOULD by their very nature remove armor saves entirely from infantry models.

 

 

It's really not complicated enough to use "it's simpler" as argument. If you have problems with basic addition/subtraction this might not be the game for you. It's not like you have to memorize a chart like it was the case for Weapon Skill pre 8th.

 

Also Anti-tank weapons DO ignore armour saves from pretty much every infantry model. It seems you are underestimating how durable Power Armour is supposed to be in 40k. Not that it offers a lot of protection either since it gets reduced to a 6+ against real anti-tank weaponry (or to a 7+ against Melta and stuff aka it ignores armour saves).


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#25
Volt

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I don't understand the need for a combined roll.  The save roll isn't complicated or taxing, it adds an element of agency for the other player and it adds a dynamic of the armour itself, which is extremely important in 40k, with everything between terminators and t-shirt saves.  I can't see why anyone would want to combine the roll and get rid of armour saves.  Also in a D6 game its impossible to express the type of armour in the game with a D6.

It's not hard at all actually, you just need to play with statistics. The first and foremost largest problem 40k faces currently is dice roll bloat; the game has too many god damn dice for too many weapons. Ideally, both for our sanity and shortening game time from the insane bloat, one model should only ever get one roll, and possibly that should be reduced as well to something more akin to apocalypse (or lion rampant) - a unit has a degrading profile based on the losses it sustains. One thing I would absolutely scrap as completely nonsensical is weapon differentiation. There is no point in classifying missile launchers, lascannons, multi meltas, fusion guns, etc as different weapons.

 

All we need is three classifications of weapon type - light, medium, and heavy. Tactically and strategically, a lascannon or meltagun do not differ enough to justify different statlines compared to how they would perform in combat. Same goes with melee weapons. We don't need thunder hammers, power fists, scythes, swords, chainswords, etc. We just need light, medium, and heavy melee weapons. How you model your units really shouldn't matter as what does matter is how the weapon is used by a squad, and not so much how that weapon works. It'd be like having different rules for different small arms in historical wargames - the stopping power of an MP44 vs an M1 Garand don't matter on the scale we're trying to represent. What matters is if the squad is suppressed, taking casualties, or if what's being fired at them can even hurt them.


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