Saturday, June 26, 2010

Rules from the Man-cave: Discarding the Force Org

Looking at all the retro rules added back into Warhammer FB 8th has got me all nostalgic, for the 2nd ed army building restrictions. To be honest I have never been a fan of the Force Organization chart for army construction, hell even GW tried to impose the 2nd ed standard to the force org chart with the implementation of the comp system. They have since abandoned it, but most tourneys have not.

Looking at what they have done with army construction in 8th ed WFB, For the sake of fun I propose that you discard the force org for the following army building restrictions.

Your army must contain at least one HQ model.

Up to 25% of your armies points may be spent on "Unique/Special Character" HQ models.

Up to 25% of your armies points may be spent on Generic HQ models.

A minimum of 25% of your armies points must be spent on Troops units.

Up to 50% of your armies points may be spent on "Support" units (no more than 3 of any entry under 3k)

Support units comprise all the Elite, Fast Attack and Heavy Support units

or if the 50% "Support" units is too much for you you could alternatively do the following:

Up to 25% of your armies points may be spent on Elite units (no more than 3 of any entry under 3k)

Up to 25% of your armies points may be spent on Fast Attack units (no more than 3 of any entry under 3k)

Up to 25% of your armies points may be spent on Heavy Support units (no more than 3 of any entry under 3k)

We have been using the above for our Apocalypse games to keep them fun, playable and semi-balanced for quite some time now. It really has made Apoc much more fun, and the fact that we limit the big stuff probably helps too.

Comments and feedback welcome as always. If you try these rules out for yourself please let me know how it went.


  1. Should be...
    Up to 25% on Generic HQs
    Up to 25% on Unique HQs
    Minimum of 25% on Troops
    Up to 50% on Heavy Support and Fast Attack (Max 3 identical units under 3k)
    Up to 25% on Elites (Max 3 identical units under 3k)

  2. Sure, I guess, but not every codex has unique HQ's, some of the older ones still have special characters.

    I'll change the wording slightly, Unique/Special Characters aught to cover it.

    Thanks for the feedback.


  3. Nostalgia is right. This reminds me of the days when Composition for tournaments actually made sense.
    You army must contain 40% Troops.

    Thanks for the flashback! It was a great break from yet another college paper.

  4. Yeah, I fondly remember those days.

    This system actually works very well with 5th, because in most circumstances only troops can score objectives.

    Seriously you and Snake should give this a shot! ;-)

  5. Percentages kills themes just as badly as the FOC does. If you want an all-"x" force percentages disallows it.

    The small scale of 40k begs for armies that are completely made up of one type of unit with few supporting elements. A daring Terminator assault backed by Assault Marines. An air-borne regiment deploying with deadly accuracy. A Khorne warlord leads his berzerkers in a linebreaking charge.

    The FOC is a symptom of poor internal balance. If all choices were properly costed an all-Terminator army wouldn't be broken.

  6. Thanks for the comments.

    I don't totally disagree, but my suggestion of percentages does give more freedom in army building, than the current force org.

    Imagine a fast themed Night Lords force with 3 squads of both Raptors and Bikers.

    Or an Iron Warriors themed siege list with 3 Vindicators, 3 Defilers and maybe some Oblits to back them up.

    Either way we are stuck with the force org in normal games.

    You'll get no argument from me that the points system in 40k is abysmal. It is lacking any sort of formula in its construction and implementation. Making up the point values for units outta thin air throws balance out the window.

  7. Certainly an interesting idea. I was hugely sceptical about the return of percentages to Fantasy but it's making army building fun again and I think this does certainly allow for more flexibility in armies.
    The argument that percentages stop an all x-force are irrelevent because the FOC is an even bigger hindrance on that even limiting the maximum number of troops choices (!) Ultimately if you want non-standard force types then you have to take the characters that allow that etc but that's got nothing to do with whether you use percentages or the FOC. That's purely with the authors of the army books.
    Anyhow, great little piece mate :) Certainly thought provoking and that's always great! :D

  8. Thanks Elazar, I concur with your analysis of the difference between the percentages and force org type charts.

    Keep the feedback and comments coming. We could probably really flesh this out with a little work.

  9. Well seeing that most games around here are about 1700 points it won't make that big of a difference to be honest. 425 points heavy support is about 3 units anyway but I can imagine that for larger games this can be a lot more fun.

    who knows maybe 6th edition will feature these percentage rules again who knows.

  10. Percentages will work wonderfully well with some armies but others will suffer horribly.

    For example Necron Warriors are consider by some (i.e. the advanced gamer) to be under performers with the real workers being Lords, Immortals, Destroyers, H. Destroyers, Tomb Spiders and Scarabs. So having to spend 25% of points on a single Troop choice that performs poorly is not a good thing. There is the plus side that there isn't a limitation to 3 Heavy Support slots.

    But the trade off may not be worth it. Of course chances are Necrons will get a new codex before 6th Edition comes out... but I won't hold my breath.

    @ Atrotos - I completely agree with you that certain themes will be killed by percentages. However, FOC also kills certain themes now. There is always the option to make Special Characters alter the percentages and/or alter unit restrictions). Could possibly be an article for Rules Manufactorum in the future.


  11. @ Messenger of Death: I had a go at altering the FOC myself, as seen here;

    Using percentages is certainly difficult, and I'd push for 60% support units (in theory 20% each. which works OK). I'd also make at least one scoring unit compulsory, unless we were to change the base missions. Maybe I'll try something like that sooner or later...

  12. Thanks for the comments guys!

    CJ, I am hoping they bring back the percentages in 6th!

    Messanger of Death, I don’t think it hinders Necrons that badly at all. The two compulsorily squads of Warriors that you have to take now are almost 25% of 1500 points; in fact if you add one to the other twenty you must take you’re at 25%. Even at 2000 points you only need 28 Warriors to make 25%.

    Master Bryss, you bring up a good point, raising the Support percentage to 60 is probably a good idea. We had originally though about making Support a 75 Percentage to open up maximum flexibility, but deferred to the 2nd edition 50 as a base line. Cause even if you make it 75% you’ll never be able to use it all, needing an HQ and 25% troops, but it would mirror the options of 25% Elite, FA, and HS slots.

    Maybe it’s time for a poll with the choices being 50, 60 or 75% I’ll get that put up later today.