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Epic Space Marine v2 the rebirth

 Post subject: Re: Epic Space Marine v2 the rebirth
PostPosted: Tue Nov 04, 2014 10:48 pm 
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Hi!

the -1 TSM for shields was actually a very heavily used house rules across epic gaming tables, TL just formalized what people were already doing. Otherwise a platoon of 10IG stands was way to effective in stripping shields.

The TL+SM2 problem is hardly unique to it. AT+SM1 suffers the same problems (far, far worse IMO). Problem is GW is real good at making a basic system and amazingly bad at expanding those systems.

Flyers and AA are another SM2+ TL headache. They were poorly thought out and implemented. We're still struggling to this day with optimal solutions.

As far as complexity, I fall on the side of favoring it. I'm not very fond of "streamlined" systems. I have a ton of those for historical gaming and generic sci-fi. When it comes to the 40k universe in epic, the more detail the better. It's all about creating that universe at this scale. Fluff is king and mechanics are a slave it to it.

Interestingly this is the only game where I hold that opinion. In any other game the reverse is true.

That said a certain amount of "uniformity" is desired (and even needed). The Platinum version of net epic being talked about has a lot of it, standardized points formulas, uniform army construction templates and such. So complexity and detail don't necessarily mean a hodgepodge of different mechanics and stats.

I agree that SM2+TL has way to many differences for the sake of difference. The host of the same weapons with different stats across several armies (and even within the same one) is very bad design.

SM2 on its own is a great, solid, easy to play system. It has enough on its own to entertain for quite a while. I think they could have added more units and revised certain problematic rules without adding new mechanics. But that wasn't (and isn't) GW's forte.

Of course you can "tinker" with the bare bones system it IS quite robust. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Epic Space Marine v2 the rebirth
PostPosted: Wed Nov 05, 2014 11:43 am 
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I agree that Titan Legions broke SM2. The Imperator Titan and Mega Gargants completely altered the game to such an extent that it became very unbalanced, and rendered certain units obsolete. Titan Battle Groups were arguably just as bad. They were a 'no brainer' choice, and skewed the game even further in favour of titans, and against infantry and vehicles. The game became and arms race of who could field the most titans. This was not my cup of tea at all.

The Tyranid expansion also didn't help. Some aspects of that army were overpowered, in my opinion, and this, combined with Titan Legions, effectively killed off SM2 as a balanced game. The best way to play it, in my view, is to use the Titan Legions rulebook for the revised SM2 rules, but not to use the Titan Battle Groups, Mega Gargants, or Imperator Titan. It works if you avoid turning into a game of titans.

Regarding Andy Chambers, I don't agree that he solely wrote overly complex rules. He was responsible for streamlining 40K from second to third edition after all, which involved doing the complete opposite. Games designers are very much constrained by the brief which they receive from GW's management, so I wouldn't say that it's fair to blame the complex tiers of rules on him.

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 Post subject: Re: Epic Space Marine v2 the rebirth
PostPosted: Wed Nov 05, 2014 10:49 pm 
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Irisado wrote:
I agree that Titan Legions broke SM2. The Imperator Titan and Mega Gargants completely altered the game to such an extent that it became very unbalanced, and rendered certain units obsolete. Titan Battle Groups were arguably just as bad. They were a 'no brainer' choice, and skewed the game even further in favour of titans, and against infantry and vehicles. The game became and arms race of who could field the most titans. This was not my cup of tea at all.

The Tyranid expansion also didn't help. Some aspects of that army were overpowered, in my opinion, and this, combined with Titan Legions, effectively killed off SM2 as a balanced game. The best way to play it, in my view, is to use the Titan Legions rulebook for the revised SM2 rules, but not to use the Titan Battle Groups, Mega Gargants, or Imperator Titan. It works if you avoid turning into a game of titans.

Regarding Andy Chambers, I don't agree that he solely wrote overly complex rules. He was responsible for streamlining 40K from second to third edition after all, which involved doing the complete opposite. Games designers are very much constrained by the brief which they receive from GW's management, so I wouldn't say that it's fair to blame the complex tiers of rules on him.


Hi!

Pretty much what we had to do with net epic. Re-write the tyranids, eliminate titan battlegroups and titan mission cards. The Imperator and mega-gargant were under-priced as well.

I could appreciate making titans more important, since standard sm2 made they weaker in relation to how they were under AT1 + SM1, but they went about it all wrong.

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 Post subject: Re: Epic Space Marine v2 the rebirth
PostPosted: Sun Nov 09, 2014 6:17 pm 
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Sorry been so busy I haven't had time to respond!

primarch wrote:
Hi!

the -1 TSM for shields was actually a very heavily used house rules across epic gaming tables, TL just formalized what people were already doing. Otherwise a platoon of 10IG stands was way to effective in stripping shields.


I could see that, but honestly, infantry units (at least prior to SM2, and definitely in 40k, were made up of squads with not just basic weapons, but assault weapons and support weapons too. So I just think that even though it might say 'Bolters', its more like a abstract name for a number of weapons. Take Chaos Marines for example... All they are armed with is a missile launcher? No they all would have bolters too, but for the sake of simplifying the stat line, they just have one weapon listed. And they needed it... Chaos didn't have a lot of long range options, but in truth the average Chaos marine squad is similar to a Space Marine Tactical squad, who also have missile launchers.

But I can see how 30 Imperial Guardsmen would overwhelm a Warlord, or Ork Clans doing the same. But there are a lot of other units on the board... I would try to screen a titan.

And the flip side to this, I have had Space Marine detachments sitting on an objective with their Rhinos, who wouldn't be able to do a thing if a Warlord walked up. In one of the games I posted earlier, I had a Warlord who was constantly being battered down by Tactical stands as he tried to take shots at an enemy Warlord, and the constant loss, then repairs of the void shield was pretty exciting. In TL, none of that would have happened.

Quote:
The TL+SM2 problem is hardly unique to it. AT+SM1 suffers the same problems (far, far worse IMO). Problem is GW is real good at making a basic system and amazingly bad at expanding those systems.


Yeah AT/SM1 is a real mess if you go outside either game set. Do you dabble in Codex Titanicus? Do you stick to the earlier rules in White Dwarf prior to Codex? Do you use the later army lists? I just explain to people that they were experimental times, and had SM2/TL not come along, there would have been something like a Codex2, which I would have loved, as it would/should have had expanded Eldar rules, and that was the only disappointment I had in those days. But if you were to get into that system today, without having a clear idea what went on, I imagine the average gamer would think it was a real mess. Which it was. But I loved it.

Quote:
Flyers and AA are another SM2+ TL headache. They were poorly thought out and implemented. We're still struggling to this day with optimal solutions.


Yeah totally agree. I forgot to address them, but honestly I never like the rules for them, and with getting back into the game, I have just decided to ignore them. I think they make good VTOL rules which is fine, but I think Epic40k did a better job with air support than SM2/TL, even though it was probably the most abstract part of the game. And worse in SM2/TL, how some of the units 'face up' to the point where they can't target ground units??? Come on. Some of the best anti infantry and armor weapons were originally designed to shoot aircraft.

Quote:
As far as complexity, I fall on the side of favoring it. I'm not very fond of "streamlined" systems. I have a ton of those for historical gaming and generic sci-fi. When it comes to the 40k universe in epic, the more detail the better. It's all about creating that universe at this scale. Fluff is king and mechanics are a slave it to it.

Interestingly this is the only game where I hold that opinion. In any other game the reverse is true.


I loved the complexity of AT/SM1, but everything had the same complexity. In TL, the rules for the Imperator and Mega Gargant are so ridiculous that we spent so much time of the game reading and making sure we were doing things right. Everything else took 5 seconds to sort out. Granted it had been a long time since I played, but I even remember how the Imperator dragged things out back when we played in the early days, and never once did one die either.

Quote:
I agree that SM2+TL has way to many differences for the sake of difference. The host of the same weapons with different stats across several armies (and even within the same one) is very bad design.


I am okay with this. As I said above, I think SM2 just simplified the stat line, and in some cases, just gave a name just to give it a name. Its kind of like Firepower ratings in Epic40k. Does it matter what the weapon is? Or just its effectiveness? And the one thing I guess I could appreciate would be some units being more effective with similar weapons than others. In AT/SM1, the bolter was a bolter and everyone who had it used it the same, which is fine, as I expect any competent user to use it decently. However, it kind of robs each army of a little flavor. Space Marines should be more effective with it, orks not as much.

Quote:
SM2 on its own is a great, solid, easy to play system. It has enough on its own to entertain for quite a while. I think they could have added more units and revised certain problematic rules without adding new mechanics. But that wasn't (and isn't) GW's forte.

Of course you can "tinker" with the bare bones system it IS quite robust. :)

Primarch


I agree. I probably appreciate the SM2 box set now than at any other point during the whole time I have been in Epic. I was always in a hurry to bust out the sexier and more powerful units, which typically meant blowing by many basic units. Now I am realizing how much fun there is in the more basic units, and how a Land Raider actually means something at the level. I've started to expand on what I have to fill in what I don't have that they made rules for in that set.

Which btw reminds me of something. I stumbled upon these two images on BoardgameGeek:

Image

Image

and at first I thought, cool, this guy just built up his army based on what came in the box set, plus a few things. Then a moment later I realized he had basically only expanded on them to be able to play all of the re-fight scenarios in the Epic 40k Battles book. It hit me like a bolt of lightning. Its kind of the same thing I did with SM2. I realized I had bought so much Epic stuff for Epic 40k, that I feel like I have lost vision of the game sort of. And since I have to provide mostly everything every time I play, I tend to use units that I like or are worth something. Even though Epic 40k only includes Space Marines and Orks, the variety of the units/models is excellent. So I did the same thing this guy did with my extra Epic 40k set, and that's what me and my friend are going to hit next. Just try out Epic 40k within the constraints of what mostly came in that set.

This has made me look at a lot of what I have collected over the years. I love the building and painting aspect of it, but I realize I have gone overboard on a lot of things, and in all honesty can have fun games building around the core box sets. 40k 2nd edition? 20 Marines, 20 Orks, 40 Grots, card Dreadnought. Boring right? Who wants to play with those models? Well, add a few characters, metal Dreadnought, and a Warbuggy, and its a decent game. I think the more exotic and complex units really hurt the game, and I don't like flipping through rules at game time, so I have realized that its better for me to just stay close to what the game originally included, and far easier to set up and play. And cheaper too! I am a huge for of Dark Vengeance for that reason.


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 Post subject: Re: Epic Space Marine v2 the rebirth
PostPosted: Sun Nov 09, 2014 8:07 pm 
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KTG17 wrote:

I could see that, but honestly, infantry units (at least prior to SM2, and definitely in 40k, were made up of squads with not just basic weapons, but assault weapons and support weapons too. So I just think that even though it might say 'Bolters', its more like a abstract name for a number of weapons. Take Chaos Marines for example... All they are armed with is a missile launcher? No they all would have bolters too, but for the sake of simplifying the stat line, they just have one weapon listed. And they needed it... Chaos didn't have a lot of long range options, but in truth the average Chaos marine squad is similar to a Space Marine Tactical squad, who also have missile launchers.


Which is why I preferred the first edition rules. They actually stated what support weapons a squad carried and that would relate to the armor save modifier. Of course that was supported by the whole mechanics behind that rule set. SM2 when a different way. One after all these years I'm not totally "sold" on.

Quote:
But I can see how 30 Imperial Guardsmen would overwhelm a Warlord, or Ork Clans doing the same. But there are a lot of other units on the board... I would try to screen a titan.


It doesn't really work this way in practice, since the titan is such a large model visible from most vantage points, it was just too easy to sacrifice a low cost detachment brought for solely that purpose. Take into consideration infantry could hide in certain terrain and thus gain cover bonuses making shooting at them to avoid their purpose an exercise in futility.

The only real solution under those mechanics was the -1 TSM for downing shields. Granted its not the best solution, but it worked and stopped the abuse.

Quote:
And the flip side to this, I have had Space Marine detachments sitting on an objective with their Rhinos, who wouldn't be able to do a thing if a Warlord walked up. In one of the games I posted earlier, I had a Warlord who was constantly being battered down by Tactical stands as he tried to take shots at an enemy Warlord, and the constant loss, then repairs of the void shield was pretty exciting. In TL, none of that would have happened.


Had the SM charged the titan under SM2 rules, they would have taken it out, since SM2 doesn't provide for titan defense against infantry swarms. In the old days the second most popular exploit was rhino/cheap infantry swarms with one "elite" unit in the mix.

According to stock SM2 rules, the CC resolution is done by the the whim of the outnumbering player (infantry player), so you'd sacrifice those rhinos and other stuff then with with the extra dice an a unit with better CAF as the last roller.

Needless to say it was quite a shock how much titans were "gimped" relative to AT1. Soon no body wanted to field titans under the stock rules, too many points easily trumped by severely low cost methods.

Quote:
Yeah AT/SM1 is a real mess if you go outside either game set. Do you dabble in Codex Titanicus? Do you stick to the earlier rules in White Dwarf prior to Codex? Do you use the later army lists? I just explain to people that they were experimental times, and had SM2/TL not come along, there would have been something like a Codex2, which I would have loved, as it would/should have had expanded Eldar rules, and that was the only disappointment I had in those days. But if you were to get into that system today, without having a clear idea what went on, I imagine the average gamer would think it was a real mess. Which it was. But I loved it.


I'm gearing up to do just that. Clear up, clean and update those rules. As time goes by I find myself increasingly liking the original mechanics and ways they interacted. I recently spent a whole week going through the entirety of the rules and have formulated an outline to make the attempt.

As much as I like SM2, I believe a cleaned up AT1+SM1 would work better, have more tactical options and have an all around "feel" of epic I'm looking for. :)

It will be another "gargantuan" task. But I've done stuff like that before. ;)

Quote:
Yeah totally agree. I forgot to address them, but honestly I never like the rules for them, and with getting back into the game, I have just decided to ignore them. I think they make good VTOL rules which is fine, but I think Epic40k did a better job with air support than SM2/TL, even though it was probably the most abstract part of the game. And worse in SM2/TL, how some of the units 'face up' to the point where they can't target ground units??? Come on. Some of the best anti infantry and armor weapons were originally designed to shoot aircraft.


Agreed. HORRID flyer rules. Net epic Platinum has some good ideas on that front though.

Quote:
I loved the complexity of AT/SM1, but everything had the same complexity. In TL, the rules for the Imperator and Mega Gargant are so ridiculous that we spent so much time of the game reading and making sure we were doing things right. Everything else took 5 seconds to sort out. Granted it had been a long time since I played, but I even remember how the Imperator dragged things out back when we played in the early days, and never once did one die either.


Problem with those two units was that they introduced a whole "mini-game" with those two titans. The AT1 rules were complex, but they all operated under the same rules.

Also, they over compensated the weakness of titans in SM2 and made those two way too powerful for the power scale of the game. In essence every other titan was made obsolete by their appearance.

Once you gave 2d6 armor saves to titans that made them "building" tough. Leaving all others with the standard 1d6 armor save made the Imperator TOO GOOD.

Quote:
I am okay with this. As I said above, I think SM2 just simplified the stat line, and in some cases, just gave a name just to give it a name. Its kind of like Firepower ratings in Epic40k. Does it matter what the weapon is? Or just its effectiveness? And the one thing I guess I could appreciate would be some units being more effective with similar weapons than others. In AT/SM1, the bolter was a bolter and everyone who had it used it the same, which is fine, as I expect any competent user to use it decently. However, it kind of robs each army of a little flavor. Space Marines should be more effective with it, orks not as much.


That's a good point. I did this with my Heresy rules. Where the weapon efficiency was dictated by the weapon user,not the weapon itself.

SM2 did this a little clumsily. I would have been nice to have standard weapon list and under each army list give the differences to hit and saves for the users. It would have saved some space. ;)

Quote:
I agree. I probably appreciate the SM2 box set now than at any other point during the whole time I have been in Epic. I was always in a hurry to bust out the sexier and more powerful units, which typically meant blowing by many basic units. Now I am realizing how much fun there is in the more basic units, and how a Land Raider actually means something at the level. I've started to expand on what I have to fill in what I don't have that they made rules for in that set.

Which btw reminds me of something. I stumbled upon these two images on BoardgameGeek:

Image

Image

and at first I thought, cool, this guy just built up his army based on what came in the box set, plus a few things. Then a moment later I realized he had basically only expanded on them to be able to play all of the re-fight scenarios in the Epic 40k Battles book. It hit me like a bolt of lightning. Its kind of the same thing I did with SM2. I realized I had bought so much Epic stuff for Epic 40k, that I feel like I have lost vision of the game sort of. And since I have to provide mostly everything every time I play, I tend to use units that I like or are worth something. Even though Epic 40k only includes Space Marines and Orks, the variety of the units/models is excellent. So I did the same thing this guy did with my extra Epic 40k set, and that's what me and my friend are going to hit next. Just try out Epic 40k within the constraints of what mostly came in that set.


Your talking to the wrong guy about model constraints.... ;) :D

Jesting aside, I agree you can have very nice battles with the "basics". One thing I always wished for was some kind of system for "rarity". In real battles all you had were basic units, so those that came in the boxed set were those most like to be available.

Of course that is no good for the selling of miniatures, so I know why GW didn't do that. ;)

Quote:
This has made me look at a lot of what I have collected over the years. I love the building and painting aspect of it, but I realize I have gone overboard on a lot of things, and in all honesty can have fun games building around the core box sets. 40k 2nd edition? 20 Marines, 20 Orks, 40 Grots, card Dreadnought. Boring right? Who wants to play with those models? Well, add a few characters, metal Dreadnought, and a Warbuggy, and its a decent game. I think the more exotic and complex units really hurt the game, and I don't like flipping through rules at game time, so I have realized that its better for me to just stay close to what the game originally included, and far easier to set up and play. And cheaper too! I am a huge for of Dark Vengeance for that reason.


Well if you think you've gone overboard I hesitate to think what you think I have done with my collection. ;D

Primarch

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 Post subject: Epic Space Marine v2 the rebirth
PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2014 5:53 am 
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Oh I know, I have seen all the pics! It's pretty amazing but I am the type of person who if isn't using it, I get rid of it. I'm not a hoarder. Unfortunately, I get rid of a lot of things out that I later wish I didn't. Like Epic!

About rushing Titans in CC... I've written a response and deleted it like 3 times because I can't make up my mind on it. I guess I just try to play realistic. Use troops as they are intended when I can, and change when the situation needs it. I don't think I would enjoy playing with players that exploit the rules by using cheap troops to specifically overwhelm Titans in CC, unless I was playing Tyranids. I know CC is a valid way to bring down a Titan, but more as a last resort as opposed to sending the little guys to their doom as a primary strategy. Which to me, if came about because of the -1 to knockdown shields, broke SM2/TL even more than I thought.


Last edited by KTG17 on Mon Nov 10, 2014 6:05 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Epic Space Marine v2 the rebirth
PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2014 5:56 am 
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Oh btw, if you do anything with SM1, morale rules should be changed. I don't know what Jervis was thinking when he wrote them, but for only infantry to have them and not vehicles is a little ridiculous, and even if a detachment were to lose a 'commander', there would be someone else to step up and lead, and not have to roll a tough number to do something other than sit still or fall back. Just doesn't make much sense to me, and in the early days, we just ignored that rule, and just used commanders to designate HQ units.


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 Post subject: Re: Epic Space Marine v2 the rebirth
PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2014 2:08 pm 
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KTG17 wrote:
Oh btw, if you do anything with SM1, morale rules should be changed. I don't know what Jervis was thinking when he wrote them, but for only infantry to have them and not vehicles is a little ridiculous, and even if a detachment were to lose a 'commander', there would be someone else to step up and lead, and not have to roll a tough number to do something other than sit still or fall back. Just doesn't make much sense to me, and in the early days, we just ignored that rule, and just used commanders to designate HQ units.


Hi!

Agreed. I like their morale system, but it needs to be refined and extended as a global mechanic.

The other one is CC, but that was clearly evolving to the SM2 CC mechanic as of the last WD revisions, so I'll go with that.

Also, flyers will have their own phase, like titans, but at the end of the turns for missions.

Those three seem to be the main mechanical/turn sequence issues to be tackled. Everything else is is tweaking/additions.

I'm thinking of applying the Net epic platinum formulas to it as well in hopes of balancing the points costs of all units, besides cleaning up the formation building rules, since net epic platinum is coming up with modern 40k formations that are built similar to the original AT rules, there is some overlap there as well.

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 Post subject: Re: Epic Space Marine v2 the rebirth
PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2014 2:11 pm 
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KTG17 wrote:
Oh I know, I have seen all the pics! It's pretty amazing but I am the type of person who if isn't using it, I get rid of it. I'm not a hoarder. Unfortunately, I get rid of a lot of things out that I later wish I didn't. Like Epic!

About rushing Titans in CC... I've written a response and deleted it like 3 times because I can't make up my mind on it. I guess I just try to play realistic. Use troops as they are intended when I can, and change when the situation needs it. I don't think I would enjoy playing with players that exploit the rules by using cheap troops to specifically overwhelm Titans in CC, unless I was playing Tyranids. I know CC is a valid way to bring down a Titan, but more as a last resort as opposed to sending the little guys to their doom as a primary strategy. Which to me, if came about because of the -1 to knockdown shields, broke SM2/TL even more than I thought.


Hi!

Oh, I agree none of this is necessary if you have a stable gaming group with "friendly" players. I play like that myself. :)

But having run a gaming store and played hundreds of games with people across the country, I realize that the way you and I may approach it is not shall we say, typical. ;)

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 Post subject: Re: Epic Space Marine v2 the rebirth
PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2014 8:21 pm 
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Oh by the time I got AT/SM1, SM2 had been out for a short time, and I didn't realize how different the systems until reading up on White Dwarf. When we read about close combat killing the loser without a saving throw, we just used that method for SM1. The original rules using saving throws could leave units in CC for quite sometime, especially since there were saving throw modifiers for cc.

I guess you could say we played a ton of AT/SM1/CodexTitanicus with a lot of house rules...


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 Post subject: Re: Epic Space Marine v2 the rebirth
PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2014 11:44 pm 
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KTG17 wrote:
Oh by the time I got AT/SM1, SM2 had been out for a short time, and I didn't realize how different the systems until reading up on White Dwarf. When we read about close combat killing the loser without a saving throw, we just used that method for SM1. The original rules using saving throws could leave units in CC for quite sometime, especially since there were saving throw modifiers for cc.

I guess you could say we played a ton of AT/SM1/CodexTitanicus with a lot of house rules...


Hi!

I like the idea of a save in CC. I think SM2 made units too brittle, but the SM1 way of doing it just doesn't work.

I would use SM2 CC but introduce a form of armor save that is quick and easy to use.

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