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OPINION: chapter traits should still be a thing


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i won't lie, i was pretty disappointed when i found out that chapter traits ceased to exist. as we get more information on different SM detachments, it feels annoying that i have to trade my army's personality to play a detachment. The whole idea behind detachments is that its an alternative style of play for your army. More than any other faction, space marine chapters are distinct armies from each other. However, by making each detachment a chapter with the serial numbers filed off, it misses the point. the Blood Angels and Iron Hands first companies play identically, even though they should be extremely different.

I think there's a simple solution: have chapter traits be replacements to Oath of Moment. BA could, say, get back their old +1 to wound in melee, White scars get advance and charge, Iron hands get a 6+ fnp, etc., or you could stick with the standard Oath of Moment. then you could slot in your detachment. You could have a blood angels heavy support force that still has their melee buffs, or an imperial fists infiltrator force that's still tough and resolute. best of both worlds. I have heard part of the reason subfactions are being reduced is because there were balance issues, but if the only point of divergence were the chapter traits, wouldn't that make it easier to balance, rather than each subfaction getting unique wargear, warlord traits, and strategems?

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I actually wonder if that may end up being exactly how it works with divergent chapters eventually. 
 

But if not, we will manage, these things go on circles anyway, at some point the concept of chapter traits in some form will appear again

 

p.s. blood angels won’t go back to +1 to wound now I don’t think. If anything, the sons of Sanguinius version is the best you can hope for

Edited by Blindhamster
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How could Chapter Traits work alongside the current Detachments of 10th? Simply put, they cannot.

 

Detachments are the name of the game and each one is designed with a certain Chapter in mind, but free for all Chapters to use. Every codex, not just Astartes, are going to be built around Detachments. So there's the first hurdle.

 

If one wants Traits to come back, they have to be on top of Detachments. You now have Traits, a good-in-theory-bad-in-practice system, affecting the balance of each Detachment. People are complaining about balance now. Throw in Chapter Traits or, emperor forbid, the pick 2 system and now a Gladius Taskforce using one Chapter is brutally OP vs a First Company Taskforce with another Chapter being woefully unplayable and therefore never chosen.

 

Until GW instigates drawbacks to choices again, things like Chapter Traits won't ever work, especially on top of other rules, because the choice that has the most benefits will always be chosen. Hell, Detachments should have locked out certain choices but GW is too afraid to introduce drawbacks for choices.

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Debuff? Nobody has argued for debuffing Space Marines. I simply pointed out that Detachments do the same thing as Traits used to, just by a different name and without the arguments of "You can't use Iron Hands rules for your Ultramarines".

 

I believe every choice should have a pro and a con. Using the new First Company Taskforce, for example, you should only be allowed to take Terminators, Dreadnoughts, Blade/Stern/Vanguard veterans and Land Raiders. Nothing else, so you lose out of flexibility in return to buffed veterans. But GW has long since sworn off negatives in list building, so we get what we get.

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The more I think about this, for thematic and rule of cool reasons, I sorta wish they gave each first founding (and second such as CF and BT), their own couple of chapter specific detachments (read: 2), and access to Gladius, 1st Company, and a Phobos/Light detachment. I'm thinking that would have given some nice opportunities to make the codex complaint chapters a bit more unique? But I also get how that would fail the realistic side for example if the Iron hands player wanted his Iron Hands to run the Siege Detachment that the Imperial Fists, get etc. Not to mention thats a lot of work I don't trust the GW game design dept to be able to pull off without a cornucopia of problems :(

 

IDK? When I started the hobby the codex complaint chapters all generally played one or to different ways depending on what units you used, and the 3 divergent chapters had their tweaks and unique ways they played too, and Grey Knights were always their own unique beast. lol. I understand what GW is trying to do today in terms of how your marine army plays and I get that and part of me agrees with it, but my thematic and nostalgic side still isn't fully behind it.

 

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Yeah I miss subfaction rules and it removal is just one of the reasons I don't like 10th.

 

When Games Workshop released the subfaction special rules for Space Marines, the GW faithful declared it a brilliant move.

 

When Games Workshop removed the subfaction rules for Space Marines, the GW faithful declared it a brilliant move.

 

I have no doubt when GW reintroduce the subfaction rules, we'll see social media celebrating how innovative it is again. 

Edited by Captain Idaho
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I would say that Chapters traits are still athing. Under a diferent form sure, but still a thing.

 

8 hours ago, Cpt_Reaper said:

How could Chapter Traits work alongside the current Detachments of 10th? Simply put, they cannot.

 

Under my understanding of the Codex leaked material and WarCom notice, through Detachment rules you get access to stuff that are not so different fro the Chapter traits. Not exactly te dsame as previous traits we wre used to, but in essence, Detachments are the new version of trait mechanism.

Remind me of 3rd Ed system in away, although potenctially less unbalanced. 

 

40k-marine-traits-4th-ed-codex.jpg

 

Of course, can´t deny that we loose some deep customization options and flexibility.

 

Then, in respect to the first founding chapters, these ones will stay and be developped a little bit more. Don´t misundertand me: I have no clue of how they will look, but neither do I anticipate any kind of dramatic turn around leading to get every single chapter being merged into a same hot pot were all marines are egal except they bear livery of diferent colours... A in 1st Ed basicaly. :tongue:. Yet, seen what´s supposed to be in the Vanilla Codex in terms of number and structure of detachments, I could perectly see some DA/SW/BA/BT Detachments reduced to 3 or so in the associated codices. My guess is:

 

- DA: 3 detachments - Deathwing - Ravenwing - Standard DA

- BA: 3 Detachments - Standard BA - Flesh tearer - Death company heavy

- SW: 3 Detechments - Standard SW - Greatwolf Company - Bloodclaw heavy

- DW and BT: No idea - may be some "Preferred enemies style of stuff

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That was 4th edition, the codex I started with. What isn't listed in that screenshot is the Drawbacks system, which was the other half of the Traits.

 

There were levels of Codex divergence, determining how many drawbacks you had to take.

  • Minor Divergence: 1 Trait Advantage and 1 Minor Drawback
  • Notable Divergence: 2 Trait Advantages and 1 Major Drawback
  • Significant Divergence: Two Trait Advantages choses from two different Traits (E.g. one from Sombre and one from Dutiful) and One Major and minor drawback.

Some of the drawbacks were pretty significant. Locking out units like terminators, not allowing certain choices of wargear or stopping the use of Infiltrate or Scout Move.

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my main problem is that it feels like it takes away from the personality. Someone needs to tell Corbulo that the cure for the red thirst is simply to switch to a seige formation. Once a salamander joins the first company, their flamers stop working so well. 

Imperial Fists should be able to run a competent infiltration force, but they shouldn't be quite as good as raven guard at that task, and vice versa. a blood angels Assault Force should be more effective than an ultramarines one, but that doesn't mean that an ultramarines one should be bad. When a chapter runs a detachment that aligns with their strengths, it should be good, but if it doesn't, it should remain characterful. a Blood Angels gunline should be better able to hold its own in melee compared to sat an imperial fists one, but not be as precise as they are. 

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4 hours ago, MaximusTL said:

my main problem is that it feels like it takes away from the personality. Someone needs to tell Corbulo that the cure for the red thirst is simply to switch to a seige formation. Once a salamander joins the first company, their flamers stop working so well. 

Imperial Fists should be able to run a competent infiltration force, but they shouldn't be quite as good as raven guard at that task, and vice versa. a blood angels Assault Force should be more effective than an ultramarines one, but that doesn't mean that an ultramarines one should be bad. When a chapter runs a detachment that aligns with their strengths, it should be good, but if it doesn't, it should remain characterful. a Blood Angels gunline should be better able to hold its own in melee compared to sat an imperial fists one, but not be as precise as they are. 

The problem with having BA chapter trait that is the red thirst, is from a lore perspective it completely mischaracterizes the thirst and the BA relationship to it. The BA resist the temptation of the thirst for the most part. Veteran brothers who are experienced may dip into it a bit here and there to mold the flaw to their advantage, but no, it’s not just some all encompassing thing that is just on, all the time.

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Subfaction rules in general are something I wish would come back; personally I'd rather they followed the 3rd-4th edition approach of giving a large toolbox to make the army how you want it with certain builds being thematically appropriate for certain factions, and really divergent Chapters (Blood Angels etc) getting more bespoke rules or even a whole Codex. Personally I think that approach is more flexible and user-friendly than having "set" faction rules for every single first-founding Chapter. Marines are supposed to be tactically flexible forces that can organize to complete any task, even if some are more specialized than others; just because the Imperial Fists are consummate defenders doesn't mean they're useless in any scenario that doesn't require sitting in a fortress, and they should be able to fight in any operation they find themselves in even if they are more adept at holding ground. Likewise, some later foundings/successor Chapters are actually far more specialized than the first founding guys- the Exorcists being expert daemon-fighters (but with the added bonus over the Grey Knights of not being hyper-specialized to that task and also not being an Imperial state secret), the Raptors being incredibly competent blitzkrieg fighters with an emphasis on mobility, etc. Having a "your dudes" system that can easily represent canon Chapters would IMO at least be far better than having set rules for the "poster boys" and forcing successor Chapters to basically just be reskins of them. I wouldn't limit it to Marines either- I actually really liked the Blood of Baal Hive Fleet rules, and would love every faction to get something similar. Imperial Guard and Chaos warbands would both be great for that kind of thing especially but I don't think any faction wouldn't work with it.

 

Of course to do so you'd need an actual functional ruleset with more nuance than a stick of dynamite, which 10th...isn't.

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25 minutes ago, Evil Eye said:

 having "set" faction rules for every single first-founding Chapter. Marines are supposed to be tactically flexible forces that can organize to complete any task, even if some are more specialized than others; just because the Imperial Fists are consummate defenders doesn't mean they're useless in any scenario that doesn't require sitting in a fortress, and they should be able to fight in any operation they find themselves in even if they are more adept at holding ground.

To my understanding is there nothing that stops a Imperial Fists player from using any of the Detachments available. They are not looked in to only use the one Detachment that is classic IF in feeling.

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One big thing to keep in mind is that 40k already has a huge amount of factions to balance, before bringing subfactions into the equation.  While increased customization is almost always fun when making lists, it makes a difficult to balance game even more difficult when one faction splits into several more mini factions.
 

In addition the game does not have nearly a wide enough spread of stats or randomness to make adding a small bonus possible right now. A +1 to a die roll is a very significant modifier when the dice is a d6, and should not be lightly applied on an army wide basis. There is simply not enough spread to show that one space marine chapter is just a bit more specialized in close combat without wildly swinging the balance one way or the other.

 

Lastly, concerning drawbacks, this can lead into a what I was going to do anyway issue. As, an example, the can’t use terminators drawback literally is beneficial for me to take if I don’t own or want to use terminators. It gives me free advantages because my list never included terminators in the first place.

 

I am all for deep customization and options, but the very real  truth is that unless 40k moves away from their current d6 system there is a lot of difficulty in making it work well. There is hardly enough variation to justify having the 5 marine factions we have already(6 if you count the grey knights), let alone bringing even more into the mix now.
 

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2 hours ago, Arikel said:

One big thing to keep in mind is that 40k already has a huge amount of factions to balance, before bringing subfactions into the equation.  While increased customization is almost always fun when making lists, it makes a difficult to balance game even more difficult when one faction splits into several more mini factions.
 

In addition the game does not have nearly a wide enough spread of stats or randomness to make adding a small bonus possible right now. A +1 to a die roll is a very significant modifier when the dice is a d6, and should not be lightly applied on an army wide basis. There is simply not enough spread to show that one space marine chapter is just a bit more specialized in close combat without wildly swinging the balance one way or the other.

 

Lastly, concerning drawbacks, this can lead into a what I was going to do anyway issue. As, an example, the can’t use terminators drawback literally is beneficial for me to take if I don’t own or want to use terminators. It gives me free advantages because my list never included terminators in the first place.

 

I am all for deep customization and options, but the very real  truth is that unless 40k moves away from their current d6 system there is a lot of difficulty in making it work well. There is hardly enough variation to justify having the 5 marine factions we have already(6 if you count the grey knights), let alone bringing even more into the mix now.
 

I do agree with your assessment and thinking these are significant questions.

 

Not to go off topic, but this is partly what got me wondering and inspired me to make the thread in which the conversation is about 40k as a game utilising concepts such as pinning, suppression, battle-shock etc more effectively, because the designers are stuck trying to provide bonuses to weapon stats in terms of lethality and then balance them, which soon becomes are crowded room, if you will.

IMO, moving the games focus away from 'how good is something at killing' to 'how well can something be a detriment to my opponent' would relieve this issue.

Edited by unrealchamp88
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Just because you don’t own or want to buy a certain unit doesn’t make it a feee advantage. It’s designed with the drawback to produce a certain style of play. 
 

You just happen to prefer that style of play. It still limits you as much as any other player from deviating from the build for that formations design. 

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49 minutes ago, Dracos said:

Just because you don’t own or want to buy a certain unit doesn’t make it a feee advantage. It’s designed with the drawback to produce a certain style of play. 
 

You just happen to prefer that style of play. It still limits you as much as any other player from deviating from the build for that formations design. 

Essentially it’s a useless limitation though. If I designed a list with no terminators in it, because I never had intentions of using them, and rules come along that give me a bonus based on the drawback that I could not use terminators, I am getting nothing but a benefit from this supposed drawback. It’s not a well thought out design essentially. 
 

 

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Eh, I think you’re both right. It’s just one is negative reinforcement and the other is positive reinforcement.

 

A) You remove the drawback by following the right composition. All that’s left is the good stuff.

 

B) You gain the good stuff by following the right composition.


I do think @Arikel is correct about the granularity. Personally, I don’t think any edition of 40k has had it to the point different Codex chapters would be as different as we started to see in 4th edition.

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6 hours ago, Dracos said:

Let’s just agree to disagree with my perspective being you’re not understanding game design. You’re looking at it too much from a personal perspective. All cool though 

As you wish. It is my view that it is poor game design. In particular I was referencing the bonuses and drawbacks system @Cpt_Reaper mentioned above. That kind of system, while often allowing for wonderful thematic armies, is also rife for abuse if the drawbacks are not actually detrimental in all situations.

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The main problem with introducing Chapter Tactics again is basically GW's lack of playtesting. They got rid of their 3-rd party playtesters (i.e.- fans/competitive team players) during the end of 9th ed because of leaks- this in turn means that GW doesn't have the depth in terms of both amount of playtesters (can't play enough games with the few they have) nor the viewpoint of competitive meta-breakers (players specifically looking for broken interactions to push their armies to the top). Without a large, dedicated playtesting crew, I don't trust GW to screw up the balancing that would be required to make all the different Chapter Tactics and Detachment abilities work. 

 

As someone who enjoys themed armies and customization of my lists, I agree that losing the options that Chapter Tactics/the First Founding supplemental codices gave is disappointing. As a player however (especially one who goes to tournaments), I would rather have less options that were better balanced than something that is extremely broken and makes the game no fun to play. Until GW either imports a set crew of playtesters, or goes back to utilizing a bunch of clubs/teams to playtest, I don't think that something like Chapter Tactics should be re-implemented. 

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To the thread topic I say no. This current version, while taking some getting used to, is far better and more open for players collections. 10th was supposed to be all about ease of use from rules and army building and this is good. Space Marines dont need traits on top of traits on top of special chapter specific rules. 

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On 9/18/2023 at 6:10 PM, MaximusTL said:

You could have a blood angels heavy support force that still has their melee buffs, or an imperial fists infiltrator force that's still tough and resolute. best of both worlds.

You... literally can do this by taking the most appropriate detachment and then just taking units that suit the less conventional theme you're going for. Eliminators and Infiltrators look to be pretty zany in a Siege detachment if that's how you wanna roll, and blood angels detachment still buffs melee even if you build away from it for some reason. Heck, Infernus marines as a light assault option in Blood Angels could be at least a little interesting.

 

A big rationale for maintaining strong separation of marines chapters was that they were supposed to have different numbers of specific units than Codex compliant. Today the gloves are off for everyone when it comes to selecting units, though, which IMO opens the door to alot MORE interesting builds. Detachment benefits are even more broad in their application than they were in past, and are clearly intended as an interesting and impactful choice for all units, not the 'special subset' that your chapter 'prefers'. 

 

1st Co. kinda seems DOA unless we're missing half the detachment rule IMO, but other than that they all look pretty sweet tbh. I like that sometimes I'm going to be playing a 'basic codex' list that feels more like Salamanders because of the detachment rules, and sometimes it's going to be an Ironstorm detachment and the Salamanders vibes will just come from the paintjob and wargear. And the relic / mastercrafted vehicles.

 

For me, if there are specific Salamanders rules, I feel bad even thinking about taking anything else. But I also know that there are many themes to pick up on within Salamanders that make vehicle-heavy, veteran-heavy and siege/defense-heavy all equally sound from a lore perspective, depending on the units and mission of the day. I'm actually really looking forward to comparing my 1st Co. list as Firestorm and 1st Co. just to see which is actually more fitting.

 

Cheers,

 

The Good Doctor.

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