Sunday, January 24, 2010

Myths about 40K Fifth Edition

5th Edition 40K Myths

I read them all the time online, and you probably do too - the great myths about fifth edition.

I don’t think that the current edition is perfect, but a lot of the common complaints don’t hold up to scrutiny. Let’s look at a few of the more common ones.

5th ed changes are weighted towards shooty/assaulty armies!

Let’s look at the big changes that are weighted towards different kinds of armies:
*Pro-shooty – able to see/shoot through area terrain, no consolidation into fresh combats
*Pro-assaulty – Run, better transport rules.

So assaulty armies will be able to close a little faster, but shooty armies will be able to fire at them more on the way in due to not being able to completely hide as easily, and the assault army won’t be able to chain-assault across the whole enemy line as easily as before.

On balance, to me it looks like it evens out.  Since I hear players of both shooty and assaulty armies complain about it, I think it’s probably pretty well balanced.

Everything grants a 4+ cover save!  Why do guys in tall grass get the same kind of cover as those in ruins?

Actually, they don’t. If you go by the suggestions in the main rules, a lot of things do indeed grant 4+ cover. But not everything does – a number of things are 5+ or even 6+.  One of the most important things you can do before a battle is go over the terrain with your opponent and agree on what everything counts as – cover saves, difficult or not, dangerous or not, etc. If you decide to make it all 4+ that’s certainly an option for you, but it’s not 5th edition’s “fault”.

Speaking of terrain, this new TLOS sucks!

Back in 4th ed, there was an abundance, even overabundance of “just call it area terrain”. That piece of green felt? Yeah, that’s a forest, I’m behind it so you can’t see me. Other than that, everything else already used “TLOS”! Unless you previously designated all terrain as infinitely tall sight-blocking area terrain, you were already using TLOS but just didn’t call it that.

Again, if terrain bothers you, go over it with your opponent before the game and come up with an agreement. It’s in your hands. If you want to make that forest represent three-mile tall redwoods with impenetrable mist between the trunks, go right ahead.

Fearless sucks due to No Retreat! I’d be better off not being Fearless at all!  It’s a disadvantage!

Fearless most certainly does NOT suck. It is 100% an advantage when getting shot at, allowing you to ignore all those morale and pinning checks, allowing you to auto-pass tank shock tests, etc. Someone shooting at your Fearless unit holding an objective will have to kill every last one of them, compared to non-Fearless units that might run off.

A good way to avoid No Retreat wounds is to be more careful about what assaults you get your Fearless units into – make sure that you will win, barring bad luck. Even if you lose by a few wounds, you get saves against those wounds – and for units like Berzerkers or Plague Marines (who also get FNP…) it’s no big deal. The real crying comes in when you lose big on a weak unit, and those Ork Boyz or Guants have to take another 10 wounds. But guess what? If you WEREN’T Fearless, you’d be making a morale check at -10 or have the chance of being run down and completely destroyed.

Anyone with Fearless units that thinks they’d be better off without it is welcome to ignore Fearless when they play me. After a few of their units are forced to fall back or are wiped out by sweeping advances I think they’ll change their mind.

Victory Points were totally fair - they should use them instead of Kill Points!

Kill Points aren’t perfect, I’ll readily admit that. But I think a lot of people are looking back at 4th ed VP games with rose-tinted auspexes. Remember VP denial armies, whose main goal was to do a little damage and then spend the game hiding and running away? Remember killing 40% of a squad and getting no VP? Remember killing 90% and only getting half VPs? There were just as many situations in VP games that could lead to apparently illogical results as there are in KP games.

What do you folks think? Myth or reality? Are there others that you frequently hear that you’d like to debunk?


  1. I can't believe no-one's commented this ... oh I can your writing thing is broken.

  2. My writing thing is broken?

    Has some one set me up the bomb?

  3. Very good article, loved it! Few people present the opposing view on some of these ideas that I think most people in the community think are true.

    KP in particular I like more the VP. Mainly b/c army building becomes a tactical choice. I can bring my uber list, at the risk of giving up a million KP or I can run a Deathwing which is harder to play, but I gives up only about 8 KP. I think too many people see it as negative b/c it limits them in ways they don't want to be limited.


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