Because I had so many arms, I decided to make a little tree to hang them off of. I had a basic little shape but immediately decided to overcomplicate it. (The skull and base aren’t mine but the rest is.). I’m not competent enough for cables, but that’s what green stuff is for.
Elsewhere, I was lamenting a general, pervasive lack of effective technical writing. It’s something I deal with professionally and, uh, it’s frequently an issue encountered with rules writing. It is vital to be able to communicate complex concepts clearly and effectively. I know folks who have Masters degrees in it (I am not one of them).
Anyway, that Kill Team Balance update came out, and I complained about it, because I think it’s an example of this. It could be less clear, but it’s not perfect. And really, maybe that’s OK: when you design a game where ▲ = 1 and ■ = 3 you’ve made an active, conscious decision to reject clarity.
I’ve been converting up Genestealer Cults Enforcers while we watch Inventing Anna, and doing it with the idea of running them in Kill Team has given me some guardrails. Unfortunately, although I think Kill Team list construction is Really Good the way it’s expressed is Really Not. Some of the rules read like they’re an eight year old telling you about Minecraft: just a stream of consciousness ramble modifying everything that’s already been stated.
Which is how I ended up reformatting the GSC KT list construction rules, which I figured I’d reshare here:
BROOD COVEN KILL TEAM
A BROOD COVEN kill team must contain consists of 2 fire teams selected from the below lists:
(1) LEADER operative must be selected from one of these fire teams.
(0-1) ICON BEARER operatative may be selected from one of these fire teams.
Options indicated as UNIQUE are limited to 1 instance across the entire Kill team.
NEOPHYTE HYBRID FIRE TEAM
ARCHETYPE: SECURITY / INFILTRATION / RECON
(7) A NEOPHYTE HYBRID fire team includes 7 NEOPHYTE HYBRID operatives selected from the following list:
(0-1) NEOPHYTE HYBRID LEADER equipped with one of the following options:
Gun Butt and either Autogun or Shotgun
One Option from each of the following:
Chainsword, Power Maul or Power Pick
Autopistol, Bolt Pistol or Web Pistol
(0-1) NEOPHYTE HYBRID ICON BEARER
(2-7) NEOPHYTE HYBRID TROOPERs each separately equipped with a Gun Butt and one of the following options:
Autogun or Shotgun
(0-2) NEOPHYTE HYBRID GUNNERs each separately equipped with a Gun Butt and one of the following:
(UNIQUE) Grenade Launcher
(0-1) NEOPHYTE HYBRID HEAVY GUNNER equipped with Gun Butt and one of the following:
(UNIQUE) Heavy Stubber
(UNIQUE) Mining Laser
(UNIQUE) Seismic Cannon
… and so on. There are Acolyte Hybrid and Hybrid Metamorph Fire Teams that follow the same pattern… but I think the Neophyte rules are the hairiest and prove the point.
This doesn’t change anything from the actual creation rules, and it’s probably not perfect… but I think it’s an improvement.
It collapses the Gunner and Heavy Gunner options into single entries each: it doesn’t make sense to me to give each variant their own entry in some cases but list them as options in others…. especially when they all refer to the same profile.
This is also important because there are rules that govern selection of the profile, not the loadout.
It pulls the breathless, run-on paragraph about those rules in-line with the other list construction rules. You can see how many of what options you can take instead of having to look at the list to see the entries, look at the paragraph to see what the constraints are, then back to the list to see which entries you can’t take.
Enumerate options. If you can take up to two: say 0-2. If you’re going to have to have minimum 2 of something, say that: 2-7.
I’m using digits instead of text numbers in most places. I probably should be fully consistent with that, but am not.
The “you can only take one of these per Kill Team” rule is pretty common. I know that GW’s current design rejects USRs and emphasizes rewriting rules as many times as they need to reference it, but I think that’s bad. Why repeat yourself like that, and why not make it clear that this constraint applies to the Kill Team and not the Fire Team (which are terms that are similar enough to only help this be confusing). So: the “UNIQUE” designator.
The constraints about only being able to take one LEADER is best expressed in the context of the overall Kill Team, not the Fire Team. Ditto ICON BEARERS. You could almost use UNIQUE on these, but if you simply relied on it you’d be able to take a NEOPHYTE HYBRID LEADER and an ACOLYTE HYBRID LEADER.
I capitalized the equipment names. They’re in-game terms, so I don’t think they should be lower-case.
Man “Gun Butt” is in there too many times. Be nice to just nuke that and return to a default melee weapon. Too many butts!
I’m not a technical writer or a game designer… but I think this is a significant improvement over the readability of the as-published text.
Early last year, I painted up a few kits of Genestealer Cults because I felt like it. I told myself maybe I’d play Kill Team with them, but really: they’re neat models and I felt like painting them. In the end, I picked up a few more Genestealer Cult models than I ended up painting and they’ve been rattling around the shame pile since.
They’ve all gotten LoF arcs in the off-chance I actually play Necromunda with them at some point.
Can I just say: Genestealers on 25mm bases are tall, unbalanced and weird. Genestealers on 32mm bases are unimpeachable. They’re flawless. I love them.
I also banged out the box of Slave Ogryn models in pretty speedy time: I did 2 each for my Goliaths and Enforcers and then 2 more just in their own scheme. I also painted up the Enforcer Null & robo dog.
Oh and hey somehow I never put the Ambots on the lightbox.
I picked up a few Genestealer Cult models a few months back for no reason other than that they look cool. I didn’t intend to paint up a 40K army of them (nor did I) but I certainly kept the idea of playing Kill Team with them on the table (I haven’t).
They’re painted up Duncan-style, per one of the WarhammerTV video guides. I deviated a little where it came to carapace and flesh, but otherwise, there’s nothing revolutionary here.
I’ve got to say: painting these was kind of a delight. I didn’t do it for any reason other than “I felt like it.” The Citadel method’s easy and produces good results with little effort. And Games Workshop minis really are pretty great, and it feels like it’s been a while since I painted them. (Not true, I’d just painted some Adeptus Titanicus before these, but that’s a little different.)
I think I might still have one batch left (Acolyte Hybrids? and an Acolyte Iconward?) but I don’t know that I’m likely to get to it soon. And I don’t think I’m likely to pick up any more, either.
But man, it felt good to just build a box of GW minis, paint a box of GW minis. Done.