Saturday, July 4, 2015

Tactica: Simultaneous Loving Baby

I wanted a picture of two Adeptus Astartes kissing, but this game is too hetero for such a thing to be found on the internet.
There's a lot of bitching about rules, and units, and units with rules.  I do quite a bit of it myself.  But when it comes down to it, I think my biggest bitch has to do with alpha strikes.  I myself beta strike, so I'm not one of these filthy jerks, and I only do it because the cool kids are.  Seeing 20% or more of your army evaporate on the first turn is....really dumb.  It sucks the fun out of the game.  So many matches are won or lost on the dice roll to go first.  Since the casual season is coming up fast, it's led me to think our first week of games might be a little lab experiment....

I'm thinking of simultaneous turns.  We keep the movement phase, combine the psychic and shooting phases, keep the assault phase.  The big difference is that the players alternate moving/shooting/charging/etc one model/unit at a time rather than moving their whole army, shooting/assaulting with their whole army, sticking their entire foot inside your arsehole by proxy with their army.  This will obviously lead to a few issues with bookeeping, but that could be taken care of with some chits that mark an activated unit, or us getting less blazed pre-game, or a combination of the two.
What will this do?  Well, it will mean that some moves get blocked off during the movement phase.  It means some guys will get shot before they get to shoot.  And it means that some assaults will...wait, do people still assault?  I'm hoping it will make the game a bit more tactical, because you are reacting to what your opponent does and working with real target priority.  Rather than, what do I want to completely wipe off the table whilst they sit with a thumb up type of priority.
I don't see any issues here.  Deep strikes/reserves/whatever that happens at the start of the phase happens at the start of the phase, with players alternating bringing in their reserves.  Then they alternate moving their units.  The caveat probably has to be that a unit must finish everything it's going to do, can't think of a multi-mover, but I'm sure it's there.  Should be fun, because you could actually block some movement, and need to think about being too close/too far away.
I would say these should remain separate, but since I lean on psychic shooting, it would make it really unfair for any psyker-heavy army to have it's own phase.  Besides, what's the big deal about these occurring at the same time?  It will make some real mind games, waiting for your opponent to turbo-boost into position to hit with mind bullets, running guys out of range of psychic shrieks.  It would also be great to just blow that psyker off the table before he gets around to dropping his brain lazer.
I'm thinking having a deny pool and a cast pool will be the beta test, and try running just a common pool, though again, that seems to buff psychic-heavy armies.
Thinking of myself and eldar, since I see that a lot, the biggest thing would be that turbo-boosting/running ends that unit's ability to act in the shooting phase.  So no hurtling across the board to blow up some rear armor.  And that again, a unit that can run/shoot has to do them both at the same time.  A unit has to fire all it's guns it's going to - no going back for that lone melta.
I think this will be really fun.  It will make assaults more powerful, because you might have both moved towards each other, but you better choose your most important charge first.  Cause you're getting counter-charged, suckah!  I believe the BRB says jetpack movement happens at the end of the assault phase, so that takes care of that.  If it doesn't, it does now.

So to summarize:
In each phase, you activate units until you pass, or have no more units to activate.  You may "null" activate, which would mean, for example, activating a unit then not moving it.  You may only activate a unit once a phase, unless it is a psyker psykering.
Players alternate activating a unit then moving it.
If a unit gets multiple actions in the movement phase, they must all be accomplished in the same activation.
Shooting/Psychic Phase
Players alternate activating a unit, then shooting/using a psychic power/flat-out/run/turbo-boost. 
A unit that can run and shoot must do both in it's activation.
Psykers can be activated multiple times, up to their maximum number of powers, and with their unit an additional time to shoot. 
Turbo-boosting/running ends a psykers ability to activate psychic powers.
Players have a "denial pool" and a "casting pool" of dice.  The "denial pool" is used to deny powers.  The "casting pool" is used to cast powers.
Players alternate activating a unit then assaulting with it.
Jetpack/jetbike movement occurs at the end of the assault phase, after all assaults have been resolved.

Soooooo internet...why am I dumb?  What are the obvious game-breaking rules that I missed?  Why can't this work and be totally fun?  I'm thinking we'll break out the poker chips, get ready for some frothy arguments, and I'll report back once we got our games on.

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