Wednesday, July 18, 2012

My Initial Overall Thoughts on 6th Edition.

I have been wanting to write a post on my thoughts about 6th edition. I will make this caveat now, and I will say that I have played only a couple games. These are simply my thoughts on the rules, tactics, list building and other specific details that I feel are important. Plus, I think it would be a good thought experiment to record my thoughts, and later I can come back and see how correct or incorrect I was about the game.

So, things that are pertinent in my mind:
  • Movement in the movement phase is still just about the same. The strategic value of the movement phase, however, is ENORMOUS. No longer can you string models out to get half in cover and that ONE heavy weapon in LoS. You must consider where you place your models relative to the entire squad. This is HUGE, but I think it is huge in the improvement section. Did it ever matter in 5th edition whether you fired at the unit from the side, the front or the back? No, because your opponent was able to pick which models took the wounds anyway. Now, moving your models in position to attempt to force that Wolf Guard to die is a viable and important decision to make. 
  • Characters mean something. Instead of just a random upgrade you may take or have to take, the Sergeant, Nob, Justicar can actually make a big difference. Whether this is good or not is hard to say. Generally speaking, you don't have a choice in the matter anyway, but now you really may want that Sybarite in your Dark Eldar Warriors squad to be able to Precision Shot a Blast Pistol. With the characters comes "Look Out Sir!" which I find very silly in game terms and in fluff/narrative terms. I see that becoming wound allocation shenanigans all over again with Nobs and Paladins, but at least its a dice roll and not just a major exploitation of Rules as Written. Although, the image of Paladins flying 6 inches across the field to take a stray lasgun shot though is absolutely hysterical.
  • Assault is not dead. Most units that were good in assault in 5th edition are still good in 6th edition. The trick is that some units become much better and others became worse. Death Cult Assassins are useless, but Thunder Hammer/Storm Shield terminators are extra baller. Different I Steps are gonna be odd though with the 8 Pile In moves.
    The random charge means that you may have to engage closer in the movement step, but at least its not a trot across the field until you are at 6" Now you can actually get a CHANCE at taking an enemy by surprise. It makes the game a little more interesting. Obviously, the nerd rage will ensue at an Overwatch killing that one guy putting you out of assault range or you bomb a charge roll, but the rage is just the same as rolling a DT for a charge and getting a double 1 in 5th ed. Be a smart player and reduce the randomness. 
    Also, it's WAY easier to assault a vehicle and kill it. That's a definite buff to assault.
  • Transports are not dead. Now, with Hull Points, they are appropriate priced.  Vehicles were hugely random in 5th. That Rhino just survived my whole army of shooting because I couldn't roll more than a 1 for the Penetrating Damage result. Yeah, let's talk about balance in that. Now that 35 point Rhino is actually worth its points. It will survive WAY better than the two Space Marines you could replace it with. Hull Points give a reliable means to destroy vehicles, which will help out the game. So instead of NEEDING to bring 20+ S8 shots just to handle Guard, you could bring a smaller number and do as best you can. Those who cry "Mech is Dead!" are being very silly. "Mech because Mech" is dead. 5+ Cover save on your vehicles plus immunity to a certain number of low strength hits make them well worth 35 points.
  • There are a boat load of standardized special rules in the new rulebook. It's gonna be important to understand those rules and know how they operate. The standardizing is an important step. It helps make Magic: the Gathering rules easier to understand; it should do the same for 40k. 
  • I find Wound Allocation more sensible this edition. It may be more difficult to use at times, but it is better for the most part. There will likely be some shenanigans in the future, but for now, I like it fine. 
  • Snap Shots are a great addition. It adds some more value to shooting, which is probably not needed honestly. I think though that it makes for a more interesting game though.
  • Flyers will likely be incredibly retarded for a while, and then people will figure them out. I'm not terribly worried about it.   
  • Jump Infantry got a major buff, as did Bikes. The other unit types are about the same.
  • NO MORE FEARLESS WOUNDS! My Daemons jump for joy, but my Grey Knights will need to pump all the lead into dem Orks. 
  • I will pass on the random terrain, objectives, and fortifications in tournament play. Friendly games, I don't care much, but I imagine it will go the route of Fantasy anyway. I go around the terrain and not bother rolling for something retarded.
  • The new missions are a boon and a burden for me as a tournament organizer. In friendly play, things will work out fine. Having 18 different missions is way more interesting than 9. The secondary objectives add an extra layer that needed to happen, particularly for Capture and Draw. There are some rules though that need to be edited. I will be working on those edits for my tournaments at Arkham. Thankfully, I have some big tournaments to look for some guidance.
  • Yes, Shooting is better. No, it is NOT the supreme ruler of 40k. PS. Its a fucking SCI-FI game. Obviously the massive laser of death is better than a freaking knife. It's the world; don't play if you aren't looking for tanks and lasers.
These are my thoughts for now. On the whole, I am looking forward to adding some more depth and fun elements to the game. Frankly, I was getting tired of the dry chess game that was 5th. Simple rules with obvious outcomes. "Clearly that round of shooting just crippled my whole army. Ok, games over." At least in 6th, there will be some crazy shit happening. We shall see how this proves out in the long run.

What do you think? 


  1. Agreed, especially about terrain. In the few games I've played where players could set up their own terrain, it's been hugely cheesy.

  2. What do you mean by "set up their own terrain?" Like the fortifications or the basic terrain set-up?

    The random generation for the terrain actually works pretty well. I haven't had a problem with it yet. For tournaments though, expect a slightly higher concentration of terrain ~33% spread out evenly amongst the table.

  3. agree with a lot of points here. I think flyers are an issue now, but won't be later once people start bringing their fair share of twin linked moderate-high strength weapons.

    Assault was kind of buffed, kind of nerfed. There are a ton of ways to fail an assault, and some units that just straight up aren't worth charging into because of overwatch. I won't say it's not viable, but assault is probably a little less viable than it was in 5th.

    Wound allocation sucks and makes assault even less viable. Removing the front row of models means that your units are going to be losing ground as they take wounds. Likewise, if you are pelting a unit with shots before you charge it, you are putting yourself out of range. Lovely.

    Also 40k is not pure sci-fi, ala star wars, star trek, or BSG. It's sci-fi fantasy, wherein hand to hand, fluffwise, has been equally as viable as shooting. there is as much technology for super cool lasers as there is for super cool swords.

    bottom line: they added a lot more random crap to the game, which makes it more about rolling dice than it does about flawless tactical execution.

  4. All solid points Leigh.

    I see what you are saying about the Sci-Fi Fantasy... Unfortunately, GW writes great fluff, but they have trouble implementing it well in their actual gameplay :/

    I agree that dice has become a larger factor, but I feel like there are ways that you can mitigate their impact. Granted, they may be difficult to accomplish, but it can be done.
    An example from 5th: We can both agree that the Vehicle Damage Chart was difficult to use, in terms of achieving success through dice, and it almost required the use of an AP 1 weapon to have a strong chance of killing a vehicle. So, players adapted to this by either bringing a large amount of AP 1 weaponry (Guard, Space Wolves), or they brought an overabundance of S7-S8 shooting relying on weight of dice to destroy a vehicle(Guard, Grey Knights, Tau). Dice and probability made killing vehicles tough, but the adaptation was made.