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"Heresy Check" Topic


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727 hits since 9 Dec 2012
©1994-2014 Bill Armintrout
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Personal logo etotheipi Supporting Member of TMP09 Dec 2012 2:12 p.m. PST

OK, I will start with the (overwhelming) majority of what I know about the 40K universe, I learned from 1d4chan – they know the material and don't take themselves too seriously. Those who disagree with that should reconsider reading my post.

I am making space hulk teams…

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… apparently many of them for lots of people for Christmas now at the direction of She-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed.

So I was browsing 1d4chan while mulling over what to do to make a Collingwood Magpies themed set. Veritcal black and white stripes.

I ran across Malal (I don't work for GW, I don't care what their IP issues are). First, black and white vertical split (right? did I read that right? did 1d4chan lead me astray?). OK, not stripes, but not far off. Check one.

Being a god of chaos within chaos, like Eris, this would resonate with my daughter well. Check two.

Two checks, good enough, I'm making them. (And they don't look too bad BMS so far.) Also, if it can be the Sons of Malice, it can be the Daughters of Malal on my table. That will also resonate well with her.

Now, in a scenario, since Malal is Chaos against Chaos, I will infer that Malal would also like Materium against Materium or Imperium vs Imperium. That goes along with the nihilistic "everything-vs-everything" vibe.

So, if that doesn't get me shot by a Comissar so far … In play, if a DOM (Oooh! That's a good acronym – hadn't seen that until I typed it) kills an opponent with a close combat attack, instead of taking damage, that opponent is converted to the DOM team and fights against its own team. (Possessed by the last remnants of Malal's Chaosity?) Because of this perversion (even the Chaos gods don't like Malal, so its even perverse to them) any action directed at a "convert" by its original team (chapter, if you let them stay for a while) gets a -2 to all dice rolls. Grey Knights are immune to all that mess. Duh.

Reasonable? Consistent with the 40Ksphere? Too severe a penalty?

Personal logo nvdoyle Supporting Member of TMP09 Dec 2012 2:26 p.m. PST

That's a HUGE series of advantages. Double points for every unit/character with it at least. More likely triple.

Taking over an enemy model is almost unheard of. Almost. Having the opposing team lose something is one thing, for you to gain it at the same time…big plus.

And then, to have the other team at a disadvantage when acting against their former teammate and a -2 at that? Enormous bonus. Does it count towards just to-hit, or to-wound as well? Most traitors are hit by their former teammates even harder (see the old Gue'vesa rules from one or two editions ago; IG who fight for the Tau, they're easier to hit/wound than normal because of the Imperial hatred for traitors). I'd think that if Malal is so hated by Chaos, they'd be more anxious to destroy a traitor than try to get it back.

But if you like it, go for it!

Here's how I'd do it:

When an enemy infantry model's last wound is taken in assault, roll a contested Leadership test. Both sides test Leadership, and the one rolling lowest and still succeeding wins. If Malal wins, they take possession of a the model at -1 wounds (minimum of 1), and the former team-mates get Preferred Enemy against it for the rest of the game. If the opposition wins, the model stays dead.

(there may be some possession-type rules I'm unfamiliar with, though…)

Chief Lackey Rich Supporting Member of TMP Fezian09 Dec 2012 3:21 p.m. PST

Ah, my old buddy Malal. Had a whole army painted up as his loonie followers back in the day, which probably wasn't appropriate at all because Malal doesn't do armies – except when he does, because he's really the God of Madness, as you'd expect from a Chaos God that hates Chaos. Usually he's more into the Doomed Champion With A Great Destiny trope because they're more fun to jerk around with, but sure, he deserves some corrupted marines of his own, especially if they're nutters.

I wouldn't take the painting scheme to heart, they're pretty much getting that from the shield in the Kaleb Daark strip, which was black and white anyway so not much of a color guide. Black and white contrasting colors and horned skulls (three-eyed for bonus points) are to be expected, but if you want to do stripes instead of an even vertical split Malal won't care. Swirly hypno-patterns and jagged stripes would probably look good too, but that doesn't help much with looking like an Aussie football team.

For rules – Malal offers lots of power, but he was never big into recruiting. Or self-preservation, for that matter. Also, he's crazy as a bedbug and makes Tzeentch look like a paragon of predictable behavior. I'd suggest just giving them a bonus to all their attack and wound rolls, while giving the same bonus to rolls made against them. That way they can go out in a proper blaze of glory, which is dandy since Chaos is getting it in the neck even when the DOM's are the ones dying. They ought to be even more fearless than average, mostly because they're too irrational to know when something is actually dangerous. You might also give them some kind of animosity or squabbling rule to reflect conflicting advice from the voices in their heads, but that might be too many special rules.

Personal logo etotheipi Supporting Member of TMP09 Dec 2012 6:41 p.m. PST

Thanks for the insights.

I went ahead and went with b/w split, though I did add an extra stripe on the pauldrons. All in all it is a good, solid look. If I get some of the bigger (terminator?) armour or make a champion, I may go with a more optical illusion pattern.

Too much cheese, eh? Well, that's why I asked. I figured a close combat kill was a good limitation for the possession. Most kills are at range(?), and if not, the target is likely wounded already anyway. But, yes, -2 is a lot of penalty. Maybe all together it is too much. So, I think I'll cut the cheese. Since the conversion/possession is enough of a bonus, I'll just leave it at that with no frenemy penalty. And of course GK can't be possessed.

I like the unpredictability bonus, but I think I would limit it to units that come into the game as DOM (new converts aren't chaosy enough yet). The two basic ways to do the bonus/penalty pairing would be deterministic (the player chooses the level, or how to change the level, possibly within a set of constraints) or stochastic. I think stochastic sounds more like monkey-snot-crazy. A die with -2, -1, 0, 0, 1, 2 where the rolled value applies to all rolls from or at a DOM; reroll at the beginning of the DOM turn.

I wonder if there is a way to do something like that without adding a rule. (Also not a fan of lots of rules) Maybe the DOM get a random precise quota of kills from each team (including their own) at the start of a game. They would loose points for overs or unders. That would tend to make the DOM behaviour irrational to anyone except the DOM player. Maybe …

Personal logo nvdoyle Supporting Member of TMP09 Dec 2012 7:29 p.m. PST

Or you could give every unit a different special victory condition. Might be hard to do…but if any condition is fulfilled, victory points!

Personal logo etotheipi Supporting Member of TMP10 Dec 2012 4:07 a.m. PST

@nvdoyle – I like that idea. It takes a lot of work to implement, but it is work outside the game not during the game. I actually enjoy some grinding prep work when I know it will result in a game that focuses on play rather than rules.

Though, maybe not every unit, but small groups aligned to different objectives. I could mark the bottoms of the bases with symbols to differentiate (assign) the different objectives.

Personal logo etotheipi Supporting Member of TMP13 Dec 2012 6:16 a.m. PST

… so if I wanted to add in a "Aspect of Malal" figure, a triceratops skull would be a good head?

The more I think about this character, the more I feel it would be a good hook for a collaborative/competitive game. Four CSM teams start in corners of the board, with the aspect of Malal in the center. Ostensibly, the goal is to cooperate and destroy the aspect that has materialized. However, the team that fires the "kill shot" gets all the victory points. And you get smaller VP bonuses for waxing the other teams' CSM. Malal basically just wanders around laughing at it all. (Not sure, maybe you can skip moving one squad to give Malal an action, but then he needs combat stats.). Basically, there is no way one force (two squads, maybe) can muster enough firepower to take out the Aspect by themselves.

The basic framework underneath the scenario (success requires cooperation, victory requires competition) seems to line up well with this old skool 40K character.

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