I think the underlying principle is that some tactics have counters, and others do not. It's basically impossible to stop an enemy raining artillery fire on your forces, engaging them in firefights, or moving across the board. In comparison, it's relatively easy (for certain armies) to stop opponents engaging in CC.
I definitely agree that some strategies are more effective, and have much less potent counters. I only meant to say that in Epic the best lists are rarely one dimensionally built around a single type of unit. So for instance while FF units are very effective, a list that is nothing but FF units will be weaker than a list that is balanced with some other elements, such as some long ranged weapons that can prep the assault with blast markers while covering the rear objectives.
And I agree that it’d be nice to see a bit of tinkering to reduce the effectiveness of clipping. And I like the mental image you give of troops armed with axes withdrawing instead of getting shot up then retreating in a panic. But allowing troops to just withdraw for free would cause a lot of problems, I think – it would be really problematic with units with a 10cm counter charge, if nothing else.
Thing is, with clipping it’s rarely the damage caused by the FF itself that’s decisive, but the penalty the clipping unit suffers for losing the engagement. A clipped formation might only lose a couple of troops to FF, probably less than they’d lose to sustained fire, but with average dice they might expect to lose 3 or 4 more units in the resolution and be broken.
So what about giving the defenders the option of an orderly withdrawal? Instead of counter charging the defender announces he’s going to make an orderly withdrawal – he can’t move any troops in a counter charge, and both sides still roll their FF and CC, but after that you don’t roll to resolve combat, instead the defender must withdraw troops away from the attacker, but takes no extra casualties and doesn’t count as broken.
It would be similar to your suggestion, but the defender couldn’t just scoot away for free, he’d still take fire and probably lose troops as he withdrew.
I could see there being potential for abuse if this was used against major assaults, so perhaps it could only be used when a minority of the defender’s unit was in engagement range after the attacker’s move – make it a quarter and it would only be an option when dealing with clipping.
Once I actually started reading the rules and building lists (yes, after buying a bunch of stuff.. Don't judge me) I found I couldn't see a way to put that list together well.
It seems, like CC, durability is an attribute in Epic that you past points for, but is difficult to leverage to win games.
I’d say that durability is hard to leverage out of some units, but it isn’t a general rule. I certainly don’t think Leman Russes have the problem.
I actually think the issue with Vindicators and Land Raiders might be the units themselves. Vindicators are built around Demolisher cannons, and they have really underwhelming rules right now.
Land Raiders… I think the problem there might be with the basic incoherence of the Land Raider as a weapon platform. An armoured carrier with heavy AT weapons for support doesn’t really have a clear job, it leaves it not very good at delivering troops and supporting their assault, and not very good at sitting back and providing AT fire. I have no idea how the issue might be fixed.
Leaving aside that 4+ RA fails more often than you think...
And other times it passes way more than you’d think Whether it’s Terminators, Super Heavies or Leman Russes I’ve found that I seem to take either no casualties or twice as many as average. I suspect the prob dist might be way flatter than I’d assume.