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NetEpic/SM2 Tactics...?

 Post subject: NetEpic/SM2 Tactics...?
PostPosted: Wed Oct 07, 2015 11:38 pm 
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I have never played a game of SM2 or NetEpic, but after reading the rules (well, more specifically, after reading SM2), I can't help but wonder if most games turn into a simple slugfest. The incredibly long weapon ranges and the lack of downside to just staying put and shooting away seem like they might privilege the player who gets to First Fire first. There are also no ranged penalties, meaning shooting is often no more complicated than a binary "target is either in range and subject to my full shooting or target is out of range and not subject to any shooting." Even the shooting stats seem somewhat superfluous... After all, 5 dice on 6+ or two dice of 4+ or one dice in 5+ will always produce the same result since there is no contextual modifiers to either the dice or the target number (that is, 5 dice on 6+ will always result in an average of .833 hits).

Of course, I realize SM2 is just the super-simple system to allow you to play with infantry alongside your Titans (who are the real stars of the show). If you don't play primarily with Titans, however, do the basic ground forces rules in SM2 or NetEpic produce a tactically rich experience? Is it your experience that the games play out as above, with units shooting it out across empty no man's land with the occasional mad Rhino rush to get some Khorne Marines into melee? Are there rules that I overlooked for pinning and suppression that encourage you to move on a disrupted enemy?


Last edited by Commander Karth on Thu Oct 08, 2015 3:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: NetEpic/SM2 Tactics...?
PostPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2015 6:52 am 
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For a tactically rich experience i recommend you try E:a instead. We stopped playing NetEpic pretty fast because of the same reasons you described. It just felt like we stood still and fired on each other over and over.

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 Post subject: Re: NetEpic/SM2 Tactics...?
PostPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2015 6:54 am 
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I haven't played a straight game of SM2 in 20+ years so my memory is a little hazy, but i think you were probably right regarding first fire and stagnation, however in my last dozen or so games of NetEpic (using the 'Evolution' modification, which you can find on here) i have seen a wide variety of tactics, maneuvering and some brutal close combat, so i can only assume that its now 'fixed' or at least a lot better than it was in the SM2 days.

Yes, the stats are quite simplistic, with most of the modifiers coming from the part of the unit you can see to hit, the cover they are in etc, rather than the weapon stats themselves changing.

The sheer variety of units available in SM2/NetEpic make every game very different for me, i can imagine if you were to field Marines vs Marines (with an empty no mans land inbetween as you mention) every game you'd soon tire a bit, but having hundreds of units to choose from and a bit of terrain keeps it fresh for me!

in terms of encouragement to pursue disrupted enemies then that is dealt with by the Morale/Break point rules, again they are very simplistic and don't exactly represent pinning/suppression as you might expect from a more modern ruleset, but they do speed the game up.

I might be an exception to the rule as i'm not a 'war gamer' (never have bee really) so when i look at other rule sets. The sheer number of variables to the stats, the over use of abstraction totally kill the fun for me, as does the competitive side of things, i enjoy SM2/Netepic for the grand scale of the battles and quirky units.

As always i'd suggest giving it a go, i think now i'd skip SM2 and go straight to NetEpic Gold or Evolution as the changes made have definitely ironed out a lot of the issues.

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 Post subject: Re: NetEpic/SM2 Tactics...?
PostPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2015 1:39 pm 
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OP sounds like a Troll to me. Seriously, play the game before you start dissing it. You cannot understand a thing until you have experienced it.

Simple rules set? HA! Hardly. While it may at first glance seem simple, it has nuances that are only revealed during game-play. As mentioned above, Terrain placement is very important for reducing the ability for everything to shoot across the whole board. Thus maneuvering and use of cover are essential. Sure, the game can be played without any blocking terrain, but if you are doing it that way then you are going against the intentions of the game. Also, various Special Abilities can change how the game works.

If you want more information about how NetEpic plays and you cannot get a game on yourself, there is a whole sub-forum here of Battle Reports for you to read.

As to it being "just a slug-fest", well, um, yeah. It represents a conflict, and all conflicts can be summarized as "just a slugfest" so that is not a valid complaint.

Sorry, two dice at 4+ and one die at 5+ do not produce the same results. You seem to have failed your Statistics class. A roll that requires a 4+ has a 50% chance of success, whereas one that requires 5+ has a 33% (and 1/3rd) chance. Thus the 4+ can be expected to hit approximately every other roll whereas the 5+ would be every third roll. A significant difference.

Is SM2 / NetEpic a Tactically rich experience? Well, that depends on what each player puts into it and what they prefer. If both a gamer and their opponent prefer terrain light, First-Fire heavy battles, they can do that. If they prefer terrain heavy, close combat heavy games, they can do that. It also depends on how one defines "Tactically Rich". SM2 / NetEpic are both flexible enough to provide a framework that any player or group of players can houserule as needed to provide the experience that they prefer.

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 Post subject: Re: NetEpic/SM2 Tactics...?
PostPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2015 3:49 pm 
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Magnus, I feel like I have offended you and I apologize for that. I can assure you that I have only respect for SM2 (you can see my initial thoughts about the game in my first thread). I actually just picked up a box of SM2 for a fair amount of money, so I am seriously considering giving the game a try (when it arrives by economy mail, grrr... So slow!). That said, I am happy to elicit much of your response: an impassioned defense if there ever was one! I think you bring up valid points that only a NE/SM2 veteran could, which is what I was hoping for... A glimpse into the game beyond just the appearances of a dry read of the rules.

I also apologize if I mispoke... what I meant to say is that 1d6 on a 4+ always gets the same results as itself. I mean, it always gets a 50% chance to hit (even at "long range" or "in rainy weather" etc). Another way of saying the same thing is that I was disappointed to find that there were almost no modifiers to shooting in the game, so you could just boil a 3d6 at 4+ shooting stat to "1.5 points of damage" instead of having two shooting values (the dice and the target number). I totally see how you could read my words otherwise, though! Has anyone ever thought of adding contextual modifiers to shake this up a bit (like attacks at long range lose the first die, so the 3d6 @ 4+ would become 2d6 @ 4+). That would make two attack values (say 1d6 @ 3+ and 2d6 @ 5+) function incredibly differently in different circumstances. Might be an interesting house rule?


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 Post subject: Re: NetEpic/SM2 Tactics...?
PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2015 5:11 pm 
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Yeah, sorry about that. I've seen far too many posts by people (mainly in other forums) who are all: "Well, I don't play this game and just read it and it sucks!" I guess that I incorrectly grouped you in with them. Apologies.

Actually, in thinking back a bit more, I guess that the rules that were only in the SM2 box were fairly simple. However, there were several expansion sets that covered additional rules and statistics for the various Factions in W40K, eventually culminating in the Titan Legions box for 2nd edition Epic. (Well, the Tyranid expansion was after TL, but same difference at this point.) Also, much of the SM2/TL rule ambiguities were sorted in various Q&A articles in White Dwarf, and those may be difficult to come by these days. Thus on that note...

I would strongly recommend that you read through the NetEpic Gold rules. These are based on SM2/TL rules and fix a lot of issues that it had. Of course, it also introduces new issues, most of which various people are working to fix. Myself included. For example, the points values of formations were always somewhat randomly set by GW. I am developing a Points Formula for models and their formations to (hopefully) help equalize and balance the game a bit better. It is still a work in progress, but it is at a usable state. (Note that the points issues date back to SM2, I did not mean to imply that they were introduced in NetEpic.)

Gotcha, I see what you meant by the rolls now. While there are currently no set modifiers for environmental factors in the game, a couple of people are working at adding in scenarios to expand the game in exactly this manner. You might look through the 'Alternative Rules' sub-forum to find those thread(s), as it sounds like you may want to contribute to them.

SM1 did have 'range bands' with to hit modifiers for 'long range' and there was some discussion of doing that for the next version of NetEpic, but I don't recall how that discussion went.

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 Post subject: Re: NetEpic/SM2 Tactics...?
PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2015 11:07 pm 
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Quite alright! I think the NetEpic rules are definitely the ones I am least familiar with. I recently did a reading binge of every version of the game except for NetEpic and SM1. I'd love to see what the NetEpic crew did with the game... The idea of a living rulebook with fan contributions and active development is very interesting.


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 Post subject: Re: NetEpic/SM2 Tactics...?
PostPosted: Sun Oct 11, 2015 3:50 pm 
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Cheers Craig for the mention of my Evolution system. It may be of interest to you CK as I have tried to address the problem of over reliance on First Fire orders by imposing a penalty (as well as a bonus). To give you a good flavour of what to expect without reading the rules, I put together a wee tutorial video. Feedback welcomed! Cheers!

http://youtu.be/zDpIIaI6UFo

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 Post subject: Re: NetEpic/SM2 Tactics...?
PostPosted: Sun Oct 11, 2015 3:59 pm 
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Your incorporation of the alternating activations was helpful as well.

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 Post subject: Re: NetEpic/SM2 Tactics...?
PostPosted: Sun Oct 11, 2015 6:59 pm 
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jimmyzimms wrote:
Your incorporation of the alternating activations was helpful as well.


Thinking of giving it a go Jimmy? ;) ;D

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 Post subject: Re: NetEpic/SM2 Tactics...?
PostPosted: Sun Oct 11, 2015 7:11 pm 
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Too busy pushing rebel cruisers around going *pew pew* ;)

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 Post subject: Re: NetEpic/SM2 Tactics...?
PostPosted: Sun Oct 11, 2015 7:26 pm 
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Me and some friends started playing a few months back. Granted we are not above 5-6 games yet, but we have played with marines, orcs and IG so far. We also had some initial conserns regarding the first fire/snap fire dominating, but so far for us the close combat units are really shining. But its the close combat troops with high movement (orc bikes, IG horses/bikes) that are the real stars, in no battle have they killed less than their cost.

Its actually turning into a game where we have to give much more respect to mobile CC troops and start placing infantry as a barrier in front of artillery to screen it off etc. So our experience is almost the total opposite of your fear, there are alot of movement across the board and it often turns into a bloody melee....at least the way we play the game.

Im sure that if both buy a pure shooting army and are content to just first fire away all day it might play out as you say, but that has not been our experience.

Our only "complaint" so far is that when using the victory point system and at 2000 points (small battles to learn the game) its very hard to win on victory points and most battles have been to the last man standing so far :) (yes, we place 6 objectives)


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 Post subject: Re: NetEpic/SM2 Tactics...?
PostPosted: Sun Oct 11, 2015 8:08 pm 
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Glad you're enjoying it Ronnie! I remember you asking questions so good to hear you've got a few games in and you're finding it fun! Out of interest, which version are you playing again?

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 Post subject: Re: NetEpic/SM2 Tactics...?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 12, 2015 10:18 am 
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We are playing netepic gold standard rules. We might branch out later but for now we will stick with standard rules to learn the game.

Group of 5 have bought into it so far so should get a lot of games lafter on


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 Post subject: Re: NetEpic/SM2 Tactics...?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 12, 2015 8:22 pm 
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Cool, keep us posted as to how you get on!

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