Radical YCE: suggestions

Jayward

Gang Champion
Aug 4, 2020
287
454
63
I gave the melee rules a bit of a run out in skirmishes with my housemate; we both built 1250c gangs with basically nothing but melee and pistols and went at it. We didn't test all of the rules; things like the shooting heavy cover change didn't come up because we had no super accurate stuff. Didn't test any of the non-mandatory rules.

Thoughts:
- Things like the 'charge = Mx2' and pistol range changes were a bit hard to gauge because all we had was melee and pistols. Meant we had no context against general weapon ranges.

- Charge from pinned was fine; pinning people was still super useful, but not a complete game-over for the melee folk.

- Consolidate into melee felt good, although we were still using it as 2" so it wasn't a true test. The consolidate change appears to be in both mandatory and non-mandatory sections?

- Number 10 on 'Getting into combat' (the one about pinned fighters) didn't mesh well with the other changes. We weren't 100% clear on how it worked with alternating melee attacks; we assumed the alternating attacks were based on essentially repeating steps 5 and 6 of the close combat sequence and removing normal reaction attacks. So does the pinned guy who was charged get to turn around? If he doesn't, he gets no attacks and you're back to rocket tag. If he does then the whole thing boils down to 'he turns to face and gets -1 to hit' in which case you might as well rewrite the rule to just be -1 to hit.

- Move to engage felt bad, but that might be because I built a character to abuse it. I had a Death Maiden with Sprint and Step Aside. This gave her an engagement range of 18"; half the board. If her target attacked her on their activation she would generally have more attacks than them (4), they would swing once and she would Step Aside, she would swing twice and they would die. The same thing actually happened when she was charged herself; they swung once, she stepped aside, and so on.

There were essentially two problems here; Step Aside is powerful with alternating attacks, and it becomes doubly powerful when you have a high-damage, high-AP weapon (Venom Claw in this case) which can kill on the counterstrike. This might not be strictly an issue with 'move to engage', per se, but it felt like a proper NPE when combined with that Death Maiden.

- Alternating attacks didn't take as much time as I thought, but it still took a long time. Everything seemed to take about 4 times as long, and things like Flesh Wounds/Blade Breaker/Entangle mean that the situation had to be reassessed after every attack. It was honestly such a slog. With regards to the lethality, combat characters still massacred non-combat characters. If a combat beast charged another combat beast, or non-specialists charged each other, sometimes it wasn't the charge target that died. So combat still feels like rocket tag, but you have less advantage for charging.

We had a chat about the alternating attacks afterwards, and we both felt that it really favoured my Death Maiden with her high-damage weapon. The Power Swords and knives felt less powerful because they were simply 1D; you couldn't realistically kill a 2W target before it got a hit off, and if it had a higher D weapon you might just die in one shot. It might even have been a bit hairy with things like my Stiletto Knife Juve; if you don't put him down in 2 attacks you might get fragged by the wound-ignoring counterattack.

Overall I don't think alternating attacks actually solved the problem it was intended to. Combat was still incredibly lethal, but it felt more random who died.
 

JawRippa

Gang Hero
Mar 31, 2017
1,486
2,125
138
Saint-Petersburg, Russia
Thanks a ton for testing and feedback, Jayward, that is very helpful!
The consolidate change appears to be in both mandatory and non-mandatory sections?
Non-mandatory has the cut part that basically adds downed fighter's base to consolidation, since you could consolidate to whoever was within 3" of the downed fighter. Since it felt out of place, that part was removed and put into mandatory, but the main buff to consolidation (ability to engage, 3" instead of 2", Fast target) remained in mandatory.
- Number 10 on 'Getting into combat' (the one about pinned fighters) didn't mesh well with the other changes. We weren't 100% clear on how it worked with alternating melee attacks; we assumed the alternating attacks were based on essentially repeating steps 5 and 6 of the close combat sequence and removing normal reaction attacks. So does the pinned guy who was charged get to turn around? If he doesn't, he gets no attacks and you're back to rocket tag. If he does then the whole thing boils down to 'he turns to face and gets -1 to hit' in which case you might as well rewrite the rule to just be -1 to hit.
#10 means that a pinned enemy when engaged stands up, but pivoted by an enemy. This allows first 1 or 2 attacks from charger to hit that enemy from outside frontal arc, which buffs backstab type of weapons and allows bypassing additional armour on frontal arc. Enemy chooses to pivot or remain after it is their turn to do retaliation attacks, if they choose not to pivot, they are smacked with all attacks simultaneously.
- Move to engage felt bad, but that might be because I built a character to abuse it. I had a Death Maiden with Sprint and Step Aside. This gave her an engagement range of 18"; half the board.
I think this is a problem of sprint and step aside skills, rather than the core system. Sprint could easily include a note that it can't be used to engage enemies, step aside could be once per round rather than fight (it probably could use an additional -1 penalty to an initiative check as well and still be a really good combat skill).
- Alternating attacks didn't take as much time as I thought, but it still took a long time. Everything seemed to take about 4 times as long, and things like Flesh Wounds/Blade Breaker/Entangle mean that the situation had to be reassessed after every attack. It was honestly such a slog. With regards to the lethality, combat characters still massacred non-combat characters. If a combat beast charged another combat beast, or non-specialists charged each other, sometimes it wasn't the charge target that died. So combat still feels like rocket tag, but you have less advantage for charging.
Alternating attacks are not there to reduce lethality (infact, they increase lethality since fleshwounding someone early increases their chance to go OOA). Their purpose is to make it risky to charge someone who is good at close combat, even if you are good at it yourself, which the system seems to do successfuly judging by your game. High damage/Toxin attacks will be greatly favored in a system like this, but I think that it is fine. My first few tests with the system felt as a slog as well, because of unfamiliarity, but then it became a habbit and resolution started to be faster. Perhaps there could be some ironing out regarding sequencing to allow faster rolling, but I'm not sure where it could be simplified without returning to alfastrikes.

Edit: Were you using reworked Retreat rules? They are a lot less punishing to do, since the action relies entirely on your initiative rather than opponent's.
 
Last edited:

Jayward

Gang Champion
Aug 4, 2020
287
454
63
I feel like I haven't conveyed how problematic we found the alternating attacks combined with easier engagement rules. We couldn't reliably remove a melee character with anything once its engaged. You can retreat and possibly die to reaction attacks, you can shoot into combat and have a 50% chance of hitting your own guy, or you can charge your own combat character in and run the risk of dying anyway and achieving nothing.

This may have been exacerbated by our melee-heavy builds, but it was not fun. We also kept saying things like 'Oh, man, imagine how busted this would be with Needle Ways/Infiltrate/other' where you don't even really get a chance to shoot the melee monsters beforehand.

Having tried it, I would not be inclined to play a game that used the alternating attacks as they stand.
 

Jakkarra

Ganger
Jun 8, 2021
90
105
43
Perhaps a page could be taken from the new Kill Team rules? Attacks could be simultaneous, but successful attacks/damage could be used to negate damage/attacks from your opponent. Charging providing extra attacks would still then provide a significant advantage.

This would, of course, likely require the reworking of Parry, Power, and other such defensive (and defense-negating) abilities, as well as determining how multi-damage attacks, the strength of a given attack, as well as attacks that inflict statuses like Toxin interact with a system like this. Would that be rather too much work, or do you think that the concept has some merit?
 

Jayward

Gang Champion
Aug 4, 2020
287
454
63
Funny you should mention it, me and my housemate did actually discuss something like that after the game! We haven't played Kill Team, but Infinity has a kind of 'net hits' system and extra attack rolls are a huge advantage.

What we had in mind was that hits would get negated by opposing hits from the lowest hit score first, so that if you rolled 3456 as your 4 hits and your opponent rolled 555 for his three, you would be left with the 6 as the net hit. We liked going lowest upwards because otherwise a lot of things like Power and Rending EDIT: Shock would never come up. After net hits you roll wounds and saves as normal

We thought it would be good because it still allows fast rolling, and reduces the lethality of combat. (At the time we thought that was the aim here)

We had a few things that we thought would be stumbling blocks; what do you do in case of a draw was one. Who chooses attacks negated if there's more than one of a certain score and you can only negate one was another. Step Aside being able to reliably negate one hit is even more powerful in a net hits system seemed problematic. And the removal of reaction attacks entirely means that something would need to be done with Disarm and Entangle, and other such things.

None of them seemed insurmountable, and I was quite taken by the idea in general, but any big shift like that is almost certainly going to throw up a bunch of things we didn't consider.
 

JawRippa

Gang Hero
Mar 31, 2017
1,486
2,125
138
Saint-Petersburg, Russia
The problem with Killteam parry/strike mechanic is that stats are very different in KT21 as well as pool of wounds. When we tried doing anything similar, there was no situation where mixing parrying and striking was beneficial. You pretty much always parry (if you have a chance of survival) or strike (to deal some damage before dying).
 

Jakkarra

Ganger
Jun 8, 2021
90
105
43
The problem with Killteam parry/strike mechanic is that stats are very different in KT21 as well as pool of wounds. When we tried doing anything similar, there was no situation where mixing parrying and striking was beneficial. You pretty much always parry (if you have a chance of survival) or strike (to deal some damage before dying).

It definitely can't be lifted wholesale, for the reason you state, but I do think that simultaneous "opposed" combat rolls has some merit... but it's definitely a case of figuring out how to actually implement it into Necromunda's ecosystem. Jayward's trial-run of the "alternating" system seems to indicate it has some rather unfortunate cracks.

What implementations have you tried in the past? I'm interested in hearing what exactly went "wrong" with it.

I think if the melee-oriented skills/weapons allowed use of your dice/interactions with your opponents dice in interesting ways then this might open some doors.
 

JawRippa

Gang Hero
Mar 31, 2017
1,486
2,125
138
Saint-Petersburg, Russia
What implementations have you tried in the past? I'm interested in hearing what exactly went "wrong" with it.
  1. Opposite combat roles similar to old necromunda. Why it failed: Current profiles do not support it. To make it work, players would have to roll as low as possible , which feels wrong.
  2. Simultaneous attacks. Why it failed: Makes it impossible to have a melee glasscannon type of fighter. Combat of high skilled melee fighters often results in mutual destruction.
  3. Strike or Parry system from killteam 2021. Why it failed: it is impossible to do anything to a high skilled melee fighter as a juve, as they don't have enough of weight of successes.
  4. There were suggestions for making a WS comparative table; basically if you have 2 fighters both with WS2+, they hit each other on 4+. I haven't tried it, but it is impossible to make such table symmetrical.
Overall, from my experience alternating attacks are the best alternative to what we have. I suggest trying out more games with them. However I would not mind suggestions on simpliying them or even entirely different system altogether but I can't think of anything on my own.
Edit: Also alternating attacks require very little tweaking regarding skills and weapon traits, since most of them would work as is.
 
Last edited:

Jayward

Gang Champion
Aug 4, 2020
287
454
63
Just saw your earlier edit, Jawrippa: we were using the Retreat rules as well, but neither of us found a situation to use it:
- All my champs and leaders who could retreat on a 2+ were melee, so they were better off fighting.
- Everything of mine that wasn't a champ was 3+, and all the Orlocks had 4+. Using an activation to give my opponent a 33-50% chance to kill one of my guys seemed like a terrible trade, so we were both tending to either fight if we had decent weapons or take no actions if not. It seemed better to either make your opponent use his activation, or keep the guy there as a potential assist.

I wouldn't take that as a condemnation of the change, though; we both thought it sounded good. If I'd had any ranged Champs stuck in combat then retreating on a 2+ would be a lot more attractive. As I mentioned, having two melee gangs go at it isn't a great test for wider context.
 

Jayward

Gang Champion
Aug 4, 2020
287
454
63
  1. Opposite combat roles similar to old necromunda. Why it failed: Current profiles do not support it. To make it work, players would have to roll as low as possible , which feels wrong.
  2. Simultaneous attacks. Why it failed: Makes it impossible to have a melee glasscannon type of fighter. Combat of high skilled melee fighters often results in mutual destruction.
  3. Strike or Parry system from killteam 2021. Why it failed: it is impossible to do anything to a high skilled melee fighter as a juve, as they don't have enough of weight of successes.
  4. There were suggestions for making a WS comparative table; basically if you have 2 fighters both with WS2+, they hit each other on 4+. I haven't tried it, but it is impossible to make such table symmetrical.
Overall, from my experience alternating attacks are the best alternative to what we have. I suggest trying out more games with them. However I would not mind suggestions on simpliying them or even entirely different system altogether but I can't to think of anything on my own.
Edit: Also alternating attacks require very little tweaking regarding skills and weapon traits, since most of them would work as is.

I don't know what the opposite combat roles thing is, and I could see how the WS table would be problematic. But I don't see how alternating attacks is any better than 2 or 3. If you have a melee glass cannon in alternating attacks (I'm assuming this to be a high number of high quality attacks on a character with no defensive skills and 1W) then if their first attacks don't outright kill they run the risk of dying to the counterattack. Compared to the existing system where the glass cannon will kill anything it charges and die if charged.

Mutual destruction is off the table, but I still felt that combat of highly skilled fighters was essentially a coinflip.

For point 3, alternating attacks is worse than the existing system for allowing Juves to do anything to a melee fighter. Speaking as a long-time fan of the Escher Stiletto Juves, they have less chance of working against anything melee-focused in Alternating Attacks because they can only get off one stiletto knife attack before dying, even if they charge.
 
  • Like
Reactions: JayTee

NoOneII.

Gang Hero
Honored Tribesman
Oct 6, 2021
537
1,162
113
Germany, Hessia
The new Killteam has an interesting approach on that.

Both fighters roll simultaniously. Failed dice are discarded, successes are retained.

Then the Attacker assign the first of her successes to either "strike" the opponent for damage, or to "block" away one of the opponents successes.
Then the defender does the same with one if his remaining successes.
Then the attacker again, etc. until all successes are either used or discarded via blocks.

This would not directly work in Munda, because in munda most models only have 1 HP. In KillTeam a guardsman has 7 HP, a Spacemarine has 13.
A gun-butt has 2 or 3 damage, a powersword is in the 5 or 6 range, a powerfist is at 7, roughly from the top of my head.

This system makes melee into a thing that very often hurts both parties.
Unless you can kill on the first strike in a charge, due to having a powerfist and/or the enemy being shot up already, you probably take some damage in return. An enemy who knows that survival is not possible by blocking two of your 5 successes will spend their 2 successes on poking you in return. (Not before the attacker has blocked one of their successes, tho)

Again, as is, this is not directly transferable to Munda, but there might be some value in it that is.
 
Last edited:

Jayward

Gang Champion
Aug 4, 2020
287
454
63
Ah, okay, I wasn't sure exactly how the Killteam system worked.

My earlier suggestion was similar, but essentially you are always choosing Block to begin with. If the attacker gets 3 hits and the defender 2, both the defender's hits are cancelled to leave one net hit. I was also thinking that you would have to cancel lowest scoring hits first, so that weapons with cool effects on a 6 don't become completely useless

I haven't sat down and worked out all the kinks, but I liked the idea because it (in theory!) would make combat an actual contest and reduce the overall lethality of melee, whilst still allowing fast rolling.

It does mean anything involving reaction attacks would need rewording, though.
 

Kiro The Avenger

Gang Hero
Apr 4, 2018
1,715
2,260
128
Bristol, UK
A melee system is really difficult to work out.

How viable should a melee Juve be? In a system that allows retaliation attacks for free, cheap melee fighters struggle because they're giving their target free attacks.
They're kinda viable in Necromunda because they get to frontload their attacks and have a decent chance of winning. Although I don't find melee Juves very effective in spite of that, and they're known to just get themselves killed even attacking weaker targets.

In an alternating attacks system, these cheap fighters become even worse as they can't frontload their lethality.

In Necromunda, a melee fighter can range from WS5/3A when charging to WS2/8A when charging, that's an obscene range and I postulate it is objectively impossible to have the lower end be usefully viable and the upper end not be instant blenders.

Any system will either have to overhaul large amounts of the game to bring that range in a bit, or stick a pin somewhere on the scale as the target.
Do we want to reign in the lethality, at the cost of scrapping Juves?
Or keep Juves viable, at the cost of Deathmaiden blenders?
 

JawRippa

Gang Hero
Mar 31, 2017
1,486
2,125
138
Saint-Petersburg, Russia
I don't know what the opposite combat roles thing is, and I could see how the WS table would be problematic. But I don't see how alternating attacks is any better than 2 or 3. If you have a melee glass cannon in alternating attacks (I'm assuming this to be a high number of high quality attacks on a character with no defensive skills and 1W) then if their first attacks don't outright kill they run the risk of dying to the counterattack. Compared to the existing system where the glass cannon will kill anything it charges and die if charged.
Opposite combat roles = old necromunda melee system. Roll a number of dice equal to your attacks. Pick one highest, and add your WS to it (WS used to work like this: higher = better). Whoever ends up with highest score with all modifiers gets to strike their opponent equal to combat score difference. In case of a tie whoever had better initiative got 1 free hit on opponent. It does not work in current munda because WS is a different stat now.
Mutual destruction is off the table, but I still felt that combat of highly skilled fighters was essentially a coinflip.
Since Necromunda has very small wound pools (1 to 3 at most for average fighters), melee where you do not frontload all of your damage will always feel like a coinflip since combatants die after 1 or 2 successfully landed hits. Thank goodness that we at least have a 33% chance of flesh wounds.

My earlier suggestion was similar, but essentially you are always choosing Block to begin with. If the attacker gets 3 hits and the defender 2, both the defender's hits are cancelled to leave one net hit. I was also thinking that you would have to cancel lowest scoring hits first, so that weapons with cool effects on a 6 don't become completely useless
It sounds nice on paper, but since melee champions will always have a lot of successes on average compared to common fighter, they will cancel out all successes and strike back, making it impossible for juves or common gangers to go up against them. Alternating attacks allows to at least take a wound off an enemy or fleshwound them before you get oblitirated with retaliation attacks. At the very least you always start the combat with 1 or 2 attack dice rolls, giving you some chance to scratch an opponent.
I guess if you wanted to make charging into an opponent a good thing even as a juve in alternating attack system, you could alter the rules so that it is only possible to get 1 or 2 attack dice on charge; retaliation is always done with 1 attack dice. This way a juve will charge, strike once and get a single attack die of retaliation, making it possible to survive it (easier than surviving 2 attack dice of retaliation) and do another attack.
Any system will either have to overhaul large amounts of the game to bring that range in a bit, or stick a pin somewhere on the scale as the target.
Do we want to reign in the lethality, at the cost of scrapping Juves?
Or keep Juves viable, at the cost of Deathmaiden blenders?
I'd say that priority should go like this:
  1. Charging or initiating combat first =/= Instant victory most of the time
  2. Juves should have opportunity to shine, even if the chance of that is small
  3. Resolution speed
 
Last edited:

Jayward

Gang Champion
Aug 4, 2020
287
454
63
It sounds nice on paper, but since melee champions will always have a lot of successes on average compared to common fighter, they will cancel out all successes and strike back, making it impossible for juves or common gangers to go up against them. Alternating attacks allows to at least take a wound off an enemy or fleshwound them before you get oblitirated with retaliation attacks. At the very least you always start the combat with 1 or 2 attack dice rolls, giving you some chance to scratch an opponent.
It's even harder for Juves and Gangers to go up against dedicated combat people in alternating attacks compared to currently, and actually makes them worse at taking down non-melee as well. An unarmed champion has a pretty good shot at taking down a melee juve that charges them.

'Might cause a wound before getting obliterated' is a nice thing to have if getting charged, but it's a terrible standard if you are the one charging. If I wanted some chance to scratch an opponent, I'd just shoot them. I can do it from outside of their charge range, and there's no chance of obliteration on my own action.
 
  • Like
Reactions: JayTee

Jakkarra

Ganger
Jun 8, 2021
90
105
43
Would inflating ganger wound pools (Perhaps with an increase to damage as well) help in any way? I suppose it risks overcomplicating the game, but the much larger wound pools in Killteam do provide a lot of interesting possibilities, and its always felt a smidge strange how "all or nothing" Necromunda can be, given how it essentially is almost an RPG, rather than just a skirmish game.

I think this is part of the issue with melee, due to the fact that you ignore a huge factor in the survivability of models (Due to the free coup-de-grace turning Seriously Injured into Out of Action). If you actually manage to do damage in melee, you're exceedingly likely to outright kill your opponent

Alternately, and I know this may sound a little esoteric; But have you considered treating SI results in melee as Flesh Wounds instead? (Or perhaps even just ignoring SI results, and treating them as some sort of "passed" save roll? The theming perhaps being that the model is fighting on through the pain thanks to adrenaline.) I'm not sure if the decrease in lethality will make Melee exceptionally undesirable though.
 

Kiro The Avenger

Gang Hero
Apr 4, 2018
1,715
2,260
128
Bristol, UK
A radical suggestion is removing retaliation attacks entirely.
This pushes the scales more towards favouring Juves than otherwise, and also removes the general problem with creating multi-combats.

It does reduce the lethality of blender units as they won't be able to kill stuff for free, thereby reducing the amount of damage they can put out.
 
  • Like
Reactions: almic85

Kiro The Avenger

Gang Hero
Apr 4, 2018
1,715
2,260
128
Bristol, UK
Would inflating ganger wound pools (Perhaps with an increase to damage as well) help in any way?
I think this would be a huge change to the fabric of the game.
A Killteam like system could work, but you'd have to rebuild the whole game and at that point might as well work on a Necromunda skin of Killteam rather than vice versa.
 

JawRippa

Gang Hero
Mar 31, 2017
1,486
2,125
138
Saint-Petersburg, Russia
A radical suggestion is removing retaliation attacks entirely.
This pushes the scales more towards favouring Juves than otherwise, and also removes the general problem with creating multi-combats.

It does reduce the lethality of blender units as they won't be able to kill stuff for free, thereby reducing the amount of damage they can put out.
But then blenders will just blend each other on charges?..

Would inflating ganger wound pools (Perhaps with an increase to damage as well) help in any way? I suppose it risks overcomplicating the game, but the much larger wound pools in Killteam do provide a lot of interesting possibilities, and its always felt a smidge strange how "all or nothing" Necromunda can be, given how it essentially is almost an RPG, rather than just a skirmish game.

I think this is part of the issue with melee, due to the fact that you ignore a huge factor in the survivability of models (Due to the free coup-de-grace turning Seriously Injured into Out of Action). If you actually manage to do damage in melee, you're exceedingly likely to outright kill your opponent

Alternately, and I know this may sound a little esoteric; But have you considered treating SI results in melee as Flesh Wounds instead? (Or perhaps even just ignoring SI results, and treating them as some sort of "passed" save roll? The theming perhaps being that the model is fighting on through the pain thanks to adrenaline.) I'm not sure if the decrease in lethality will make Melee exceptionally undesirable though.
Inflating wounds is a no-go, too radical. Same with flesh wound instead of SI, it'd make melee toothless
 

Kiro The Avenger

Gang Hero
Apr 4, 2018
1,715
2,260
128
Bristol, UK
Blenders are hyper lethal in Necromunda, when two of them charge each other one of them will almost certainly die.

Alternating attacks will just make which one dies a coin flip - a poor proposition if you're using your two precious actions to initiate that charge.
It'll also have the effect of almost totally ruining Juve and Ganger melee fighters; as they'll face an almost coin flip in attacking enemy targets and will be totally hopeless against tougher melee targets.

If that's intentional, fine. I'm just describing the effects.
Personally I don't think that's really an improvement. I honestly think melee works as good as It's likely to get without major overhaul. The only minor change I might suggest is removing reaction attacks entirely.
 
  • Like
Reactions: JayTee