3rd Edition Rules Updates - Part 1

August 25, 2023

Hi everyone,

In our last post, we gave you an overview of what 3rd edition is, why we are making it, and what the general changes are that are coming.

We already knew that the community was going to be buzzing about this news, and that you are all thirsting for more information about what is actually changing in the rules. Well, today we're going to give you a first preview of many of the changes that are coming, explaining what problems we are trying to solve, and how.

So lean back, and enjoy this voyage into the world of miniature wargaming design!

There are lots of things that are happening with 3rd edition, but there are two overarching common issues that have been currently plaguing the games, which affect everything else, and which we are trying to solve in this new edition.

The first major issue is the ratio of wounds vs toughness / offensive cost vs defensive cost across the board.

Currently, some units in the game are much deadlier than others, and some units are extremely deadly for what they cost, and how much damage they can take. This can cause a lot of unbalanced match-ups, where units can be upgraded with very powerful weapons for little cost, and then take out super expensive units for cheap.

The problem here comes from two different things: the ratio of wounds vs toughness, and the ratio of offensive costs vs defensive costs.

In simple terms, currently many units are able to deal many more wounds than their own toughness value, and the cost of dealing those wounds is much lower than the cost of units getting better defense (in terms of a better defense value, higher toughness, regeneration, etc.). This deals to the aforementioned problem, where a super cheap unit can destroy a super expensive unit, discouraging players from investing into tanks, monsters, etc.

So, how are we solving this problem?

The first thing that we are doing, which is the simplest, is re-adjusting the cost value of weapons, making them more expensive. This means that in the future, you will be able to buy fewer deadly weapons, and units that are able to dish out tons of wounds will also be more expensive. In order to make sure that games can still be played at roughly the same points values, we are tweaking the numbers, which is going to slightly change the cost of most units. The important thing however is the proportional cost of offense vs defense is changing, making things a little more balanced.

The second thing that we are doing, which is much more involved, is reducing the number of attacks that units have across the board, as well as reducing the number of attacks that units can get via upgrades. Right now having more attacks almost always trumps having special rules or different quality/defense, and by reducing attacks across the board we are going to tip the scales a bit, toning down raw attack numbers. This is something that we will continue to tweak over time, so you can expect offensive powers to keep changing, at least for the first few months of 3rd edition.

Finally, we are tweaking a lot of other things across the board, and here's a few highlights:

  • Flamethrowers are going from A6 to A1 Blast(3), and they will get the new Reliable rule (weapon hits on 2+)
  • Furious is not going to give +1A on the charge anymore, but instead will provide extra hits on rolls of 6
  • Lances will not have Impact(1) anymore, but instead will get the new Lance rule (weapon gets AP(+2) when charging)
  • Poison is not going to multiply hits by 3 anymore, but instead will force opponents to re-roll 6s when defending

There are many more tweaks coming here and there, but overall, you can expect attack numbers to go down, as well as the amount of rules that give units more attacks to go down as well. This will make for much more balanced games, making tactics prevail over raw number of attacks.

Alright, so that's enough about offensive vs defensive stuff. Let's get into the second major issue, which is that of modifiers on high quality vs low quality.

Currently, there are many core rules that serve to modify quality values when taking certain actions. For example, cover terrain gives the attacking unit -1 to hit when shooting, which disproportionately affects low quality armies compared to high quality armies. An army of Quality 3+ only gets a 25% reduction in effectiveness when shooting into cover, whilst a Quality 5+ army gets a 50% reduction in effectiveness. This problem doesn't only exist with cover however, but it extends to other common special rules, as well as army special rule.

In simple terms, currently where high quality armies just get a minor setback from shooting into cover, low quality armies struggle immensely, to the point of frustration for many players. This situation is made worse by low quality armies not always having access to special rules, upgrades, or weapons, that help counter-act their low quality.

So, how are we solving this problem?

The first thing that we're doing, is changing how cover works. In the future, targeted units in cover get +1 to defense rolls, instead of attackers getting -1 to their hit rolls. This drastically changes how the game feels, with low quality armies being able to deal a lot more hits into cover, giving them a better chance at damaging the enemies. Not only that, but this also means that cover now interacts with AP, meaning that there is now an actual counter-play to cover, besides charging. This is a huge boost for low quality armies, which usually can't rely on their melee strength to counter cover, again changing how the game feels.

The second thing that we are doing, is reducing the number of special rules that give units -1 to hit, or tweaking them to be a bit more balanced. For example, Stealth is going to keep giving enemies -1 to hit when shooting, however only when units are over 12" away. This sort of conditional rule gives low quality armies a chance to counter stealth by moving close, instead of leaving them stuck at rolling dice until they get a 6.

Finally, we are going to be tweaking a lot of army special rules and magic spells across the board, giving low quality armies more way to get buffs to their quality or defense, whilst giving high quality armies more tactical rules such as extra movement, better morale, and so on. Please note that the tweaking of armies is going to take a while, because we want to monitor how players are affected by 3rd edition, and we are also looking at adding more flavorful rules to armies, which takes time.

Alright, that's it for today, we hope you enjoyed this deeper look into the new changes that are coming. :)

Keep your eyes peeled for the next 3rd edition post, where we will talk about even more rules changes that are coming!

Happy Wargaming!

– OPR Team

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