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 High Initiative and Climb Tests

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Major Sharpe
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PostSubject: High Initiative and Climb Tests   Sun 23 Feb 2014 - 7:39

So this is an relatively fine point of the rules, but it's something that has come up surprisingly often and I wanted to get some feedback on how to address it.

It is my understanding that the per RAW the rulebook declares a natural 6 as failure for any characteristic test.  While I know this is commonly subject to house rules, in my group we have always played that a natural 6 fails.  This is arguably how it should be, as otherwise I6 models would suddenly have the horrendously OP ability to automatically succeed at diving charges.  

The problem is that there isn't enough of a difference between I5 and I6.  Initiative is used primarily for three things: determine to-hit order for ongoing combats, detect hidden models, and climb/jump checks.  Of these, climb/jump checks are by far the most common.  While there is certainly a very situational advantage to being able to strike first in a second round combat against an I5 model, or to have +1" of detection distance, these are the only benefits of I6 over I5 and make that advance roll something of a scrub.

I'd propose the following change to the rules for climbing and jumping:

Climbing Up/Down

Mordheim Rulebook (pg. 11) wrote:
To climb, a model must take an Initiative test.  If he fails it whilst climbing up, he cannot move that turn.  If he fails it while climbing down, he falls from where he started his descent (see the Falling section).

If a model fails its test against Initiative 6 or higher, it will not succeed in climbing.  However, a model of Initiative 6 or higher that was attempting to climb down will not fall as the result of a failed test.  The model simply stays where it is, unable to find a safe way down.

Note: Models of Initiative 6 or higher who are knocked down or stunned near a ledge where they are at risk of falling will still fall on a failed initiative test.
 
I think this compromises nicely with the existing rules, while allowing some slight benefit to climbing for high-initiative models.

Falling

Mordheim Rulebook (pg.12) wrote:
A model that falls takes D3 hits at a Strength equal to the height in inches that it fell (eg. if the model fell 4" it would take D3 hits at Strength 4).  No armor saves apply.  Falling will not cause critical hits (see the Hand-to-Hand Combat section for the Critical hits rules).  A model that falls may not move any further or hide during that turn, even if it is not hurt.

Certain rare individuals are sufficiently acrobatic that they are able to mitigate the damage caused by falling.  A model of Initiative 7, 8, or 9 will take D3 - (Initiative - 6) hits on a fall.  If this reduces the number of hits to zero, then the model takes no damage.  It is important to note that a model which has avoided falling damage has still fallen, and is still subject to the normal penalties (eg. may not move, hide, or complete a diving charge)
 


So what does everyone think?  Useful rules errata or pedantic trivia that encourages munchkin-ing.   The climbing rules are somewhat personally motivated, as I have an Elf Ranger who is serially incapable of passing any climbing test, and has nearly fallen to her death on several occasions.  I think it also throws high-level Skaven or Vampire heroes a bone, as otherwise their 6+ Initiative advances are truly worthless.
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Von Kurst
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PostSubject: Re: High Initiative and Climb Tests   Sun 23 Feb 2014 - 12:26

This would unfairly deprive other players of the enjoyment of seeing an elf fail. In our group we stop play and applaud when something like this happens. Stupid pointy ears.

The other night 2 I5 skaven failed diving charge tests one after the other! It was awesome.
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Aipha
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PostSubject: Re: High Initiative and Climb Tests   Sun 23 Feb 2014 - 14:48

I find an Initiative increase rather useless, no matter what I play. I do however love the rule of always failing on a 6; especially, as Von Kurst mentions, when playing Elves (usually me) and failing all your climb tests. It's the curse, but it's what balances Elves (and Vampires, and Skaven)! So I'll definitely not change anything; especially since a Druchii with a Darksteel Halberd, Lightning Reflexes, 4 Attacks, Strike to Injure, Web of Steel & Fury of Khaine is most likely to Kebab! one of my Heroes and take one or two henchmen OOA - when I charge him. This is where Initiative really comes into play and it's a major advantage even beyond 5 of it.

Besides, it would take the risk out of diving charges, which is a huge boost if you make it.

I see your point, that there's too little of a difference, but I don't see a reason to change it. Only Elves can go much beyond the 6, as high as to 9, but that is as it should be - more of a disadvantage than an advantage (other than in the case I just described before). Same goes with Skaven or Vampires, who are already quite powerful - no need to add to that!

That being said, if you find it to be an issue, your suggestions are fine, but I see a minor flaw - you only take an Initiative test of 6 into consideration; if there's a fix from 5 -> 6 on the 'climbing up/down test', why is there no fix from 6 -> 7 or 7 -> 8? The way I see it, the problem has just been moved. Your 'falling' section takes that into account more nicely.
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PostSubject: Re: High Initiative and Climb Tests   Tue 11 Mar 2014 - 5:04

Whenever I make rule changes or suggestions, I try to make the rules match 'the spirit of Warhammer rules' as closely as possible.

For example, in this case, I'd recommend stealing another concept and applying it here. Ballistic Tests (in WHFB, not Mordheim) have a 'hit on 7s and above' chart. You could just make Initiative Tests follow the same concept. Initiative 6 units only fail on a roll of a 6 followed by another roll of a 2 or higher. Initiative 7 only fails on a roll of a 6 followed by a roll of a 3 or higher. 8->6/4, 9->6/5, 10->6/6. So you're not getting quite as much value from higher initiatives, but you're definitely making failing much rarer.
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PostSubject: Re: High Initiative and Climb Tests   Today at 14:43

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