Huge Bases should have facing, still in Mk4

Hear me out.

The main reason the designers got rid of facing was because it was too time consuming at the scale the game has grown to. For anyone who didn’t have so-many-reps under their belt that they had to stop and think about facing, it was a bad use of time and mental energy. It was a cool extra detail to think about in the Mk1 days, when we had about 15 models in an entire army. It was overdue to be jettisoned by Mk4.

But it should come back as one of the flavorful rules for Huge Bases with Defense 10 and under.

Units with facing should have a split armor value; e.g. 20/16 for their front and back arc.


  • Mk4 players are already familiar with split values from AoE attack powers.
  • It answers some of the balance issues around including huge-base models in the game. Worried they’re too tough and that low-point-value lists won’t have a way to deal with them? Now there’s one more way to get a collossal down, that everyone has access to.
  • It adds to the flavor that these BIG models are ponderous. Unlike the smaller stuff, they can’t just turn on a dime. Also, IRL, the big boys of the battlefield, tanks, all have much weaker armor on the rear. They can’t handle the weight of carrying the front armor that’s meant to face enemy fire all around. (An M1 Abrams carries about 8x the thickness of armor on its front as on its rear.)
  • Their bases already have the arc markings in the mold itself.
  • The big win from getting rid of arcs was not having to stop and think about facing each individual model in a squad. But thinking about where you face 1 collossal feels like a worthwhile decision. Making that decision for 1 model a turn isn’t too much time to spend. If you keep the weapon-arc rules, the decision is often made for you organically.

I DON’T propose this for anything with Def11 or above: Anything with a basic, human-even-bad-human Def is fast enough to face its foes. Denny3 on her dragon, Old Witch2 on her chicken hut, these are nimble enough that they can spin to face an attack. But many Gargossals have super-low defense. Back strikes would still be a game-enriching feature for them.

I could get behind this.

Granted I still see the removal of facing as the biggest change I dislike in Mk4 so I’m not unbiased here.


I like the idea, but unfortunately don’t see it coming up in the newer streamlined rules. I also don’t know that it actually accomplishes anything major.
I can see keeping arcs though, just split down the middle, for huge bases though. It makes sense with weapons and damage grids.

I think this is cool, but I expect it to be lost in this new edition along with the ability to throw things at other things (my favorite fluffy rule from the previous edition, RIP Rube Goldberg Bradigus assassinations). While I think armor facings is a cool rule with potential reasonings in fluff, I think it’s easy enough to say that these cultures that figured out big magical stinking robots also figured out how to place armor evenly around their whole chassis. Honestly if I were facing a giant stompy robot, I’d be aiming for the joints before I’m trying to maneuver around the back of it to look for a weak spot


I disagree. Adding in facing for a tiny subset of models (huge bases) requires returning about a full page of rules to the base game, in exchange for very minimal benefit.

I’ll address some of your bullet points with counter-arguments.

Split armor values have been removed from the game wholesale. Previously, they existed because the data was required to fit on physical cards which had to conform to physical card sizes.

Split AOE values are one thing; it’s like a sentence in the rules and it’s super-easy to remember, given that it’s a streamlining of the “half POW rounded up” from previous editions. (Why force the player to do math when you can just print the value? And, with a printed value, you can toggle both the direct damage and blast damage simultaneously, thereby removing several printed rules such as High Explosive.)

This is already a non-issue. Colossals and gargantuans are already only available in 100-point games anyway. :slight_smile:

Also, a list that can’t deal with a colossal as-is still wouldn’t be able to deal with a colossal, because the colossal’s controlling player is never going to oblige you and turn it around so you can attack its weaker ARM.

Seriously, though: I’ve played this game since Escalation in MK I. The nature of this game just makes back strikes incredibly difficult to pull off. It hardly ever happened in practice.

There’s already a lot of abstraction in this game, and real-world comparisons don’t add much. :slight_smile: I think the (almost certainly) lower SPD values (assuming everything translates from last edition) and the giant footprint of the 120mm base already deliver the “this is a big ponderous thing that can’t always go where you want it” feeling.

This is a pretty weak justification for additional rules. Other game systems (we all know who) literally change base shapes and sizes every few years and expect players to re-base their armies.

The old bases had arc markings. We don’t know if newly-manufactured bases will continue to have them. Heck, we don’t even know if they’ll release any new huge-based models in the future!

See above regarding facing and back strikes.

Also: the weapon arc rules half the time were punishing for the controlling player, resulting in time fiddling around while trying to decide the optimal half-a-degree rotation required to achieve your goals.

Sweep power attacks were all but useless precisely because they were restricted to a single arc in previous editions. I can’t count the number of times I looked at a situation and thought “Hmm, I could sweep and maybe kill a third of the guys engaging me…or I could activate normally and punch something important to death or shoot that caster, or even better I could trample and kill all the infantry engaging me and also buy additional attacks and kill that jack/caster afterward. … Yep, everything is better than a sweep!”

It’s entirely possible and likely that the colossals will have their various facing-restricted weapons re-tuned to account for the lack of arcs. :slight_smile:

That’s a very arbitrary distinction. Why is a reverse-jointed chicken hut nimble enough to not have back ARM values, but the programmed-for-combat highest-possible-grade warjack cortex not? That is, at best, a very weak fluff justification for added player mental load. I could just as easily say “Denny3’s necro-dragon is optimized for long-distance flights and its serpentine anatomy makes it difficult to maneuver in close engagements,” and both our positions would carry exactly as much weight. :slight_smile:

Under this proposal, some huge-based models have different ARM stats, and some don’t, and now the player has to remember which is which so they don’t plan a whole turn around getting into the back arc to gain advantage before realizing it doesn’t matter. That doesn’t sound compatible with the general direction of streamlining so far.

Also: for two editions, the Sacral Vault – a literal rock on wheels – was higher DEF than a Conquest. I have nothing else to say about that. :stuck_out_tongue:


I don’t have time at the present to read through everything else (I’m totally not on the forums at work), but I will say that collosals are available in more than 100pt games. That’s just the point value at which there is a game mode in which you may also get free ones

You’re right, they become available at the 75-point level. That’s still no longer a low-point-cost game, so you’d best be prepared to crack heavy-ARM, many-hit-point models at this level. After all, a Colossal is no more durable than two heavies put together (and with Khador’s new access to shields, I’d say two heavies may be more difficult to crack than a single Colossal).

Colossals, although not vulnerable to some “lose your turn” debuffs, can still be debuffed or neutered by spells and abilities.

Most importantly - maybe we shouldn’t ask for changes to model rules before we see the actual rules.

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