Monday, July 16, 2012

6th Ed Impressions, Part Nine - Bringing it Home


 Overall I like 6th edition 40K.  There are some wrinkles, but for fun games with fun opponents I think you can have a great time with this system.  With fun lists and terrain and missions set up to tell a particular story or a campaign I think it will be fantastic.  Random pick up games or tournament games with random people using random objectives and random terrain etc etc, can still have fun but it's not using the whole potential.  For those with a dedicated gaming group that are into narrative gaming this will be a golden age of 40K.  With promises of more terrain, warlord traits, missions and the like to come in White Dwarf we may also see a return to some of the fun and free-wheeling of the old Chapter Approved days.

As for specific rule changes, I'm shocked at how much the pendulum has swung towards assault armies.  Units arriving from reserves not being able to shoot is crazy, and makes a number of units who rely on shooting pointless to outflank, as they'll just get assaulted off the board after they arrive.  Not being able to shoot after disembarking even from a stationary vehicle is huge!  Being able to assault nearby units that shoot at you in the opponent's turn isn't too bad on its own since your swings only hit on sixes, but it still influences the balance.  And not being able to shoot flyers at all due to the speed but being able to assault them is just another insult to shooty armies.  And that's all not even factoring in the random firing range for shooting attacks or half the plasma weapons moving to AP3!

Of course, the above is a joke - for the reality, flip shooting and assault.  Assault still has its uses - it keeps the enemy from using all those guns to shoot you even more, it can get you closer to objectives, etc. - and there have been some changes to improve assault (killing vehicles through assault is a lot easier, decent chance for night fight in all standard missions) but on balance I think things have moved even further towards shooting.  I think that assault armies may still be able to do well, but you're going to have to really plan ahead when playing them, from terrain placement on up.

Call me a hypocrite after saying that, but I do like some of the changes to shooting.  Full-range move and fire rapid fire, snap fire moving heavy weapons, keeping heavy guy stationary while rest of squad moves, snap fire while gone to ground are all nice, and while in many cases the impact on the game is small, the impact on the entertainment is higher, as your units are more involved and have a chance, even if it's small, to stay involved in the battle in more cases.  On the same note, more forgiving regrouping is also good, though I do fondly remember shepherding lots of enemy units off the table back in previous editions.

I've enjoyed the 6th ed games that I've played so far, and look forward to more, especially ones that I can arrange in advance.  I look forward to playing my various armies under the new set, and though there may be some tweaks warranted to some, I don't think any have been crippled by the changes and some even may have boosts.  I am also certainly looking forward to the new Chaos Space Marines codex and will enjoy building and playing all sorts of stuff from there, and playing against it with my loyalist armies.  I just need to finish up these Space Sharks to clear my painting que for Chaos!

On another note, I think the new rules provide a great opportunity for 40K podcasts.  While some podcast titles are pretty straightforward, like 40K UK, some pull from the miniatures (The Heroic 28s) or loosely from the background (The 11th Company or The Imperial Vox Cast), others are not directly 40K related, like the Overlords.  There are also a lot that pull their titles from the 40K rules, like Deepstrike Radio, The Independent CharactersThe Preferred Enemies or The Eternal Warriors.  
It's here that I think 6th ed introduces some good new fodder for prospective podcasters.  If you're starting up a new 40K show, there may be some good inspiration.  Maybe you can invite listeners to jump into the Wound Pool podcast.  If your focus is to help tournament players be aware of rules disputes, power armies they may face and registration deadlines perhaps Look Out Sir would be a good title.  The Insane Heroes sounds likely (maybe Adamantium Will can be one of the hosts), The Hammer of Wrath podcast can bring you news fast (at I10!), The Soul Blaze podcast can cover controversial topics that keep on burning, or you could lead the Warp Charge while making good Hull Points.  Of course, if listeners (or you!) can never be sure what you may be covering from episode to episode, perhaps Mysterious Objectives Radio is for you.  Perhaps you'd even like to Deny the Witch or make a Psychic Shriek across the internet.  I look forward to listening!


  1. Thank you very much for all of these posts - I haven't commented but I have read them all! and now today having read the book for the first time cover to cover (my work may have suffered ; p )I found it to be exceptionally easy to read.

    I agree assault has had its teeth blunted a little but I think the game is much more about combined arms there are so many instances where you have to think about using multiple squads to support and engage and I think assault is no different.

    I am still a little confused about vehicles by my reading they appear (even though they can be glanced to death) still more survivable and it’s much easier for them to get cover than before. I suspect overall they are just slightly more durable, maybe a smidgen...

    what really pleases me is tightening up all the transports rules. these have been exploited for such a long time no more magical extra inches for you mounted death company.

    my friends and I play in a very narrative manner and with little or no deep thought - hey the avatar and the blood thirster should fight on top of that tower? that would be awesome let’s do it! so everything about this edition really plays to our childish glee.

    I can see it not being for everyone but I really hope that everyone just plays it all as written for 6 months or so and doesn’t knee jerk loads of extra restrictions for tournaments like they did for 8th edition fantasy.

  2. Good; I'm glad this made going through the book easier for you.

    I agree about combined arms and coordinating units. Absorbing overwatch, multiple characters for challenge options and the like will be handy, and you'll need several squads in most cases if you want to get through something like an Ork mob in a reasonable time.

    I think that vehicles are more survivable at long ranges, where they get hit with fewer shots, ESP fewer ap1 shots, and are mo likely to have cover. Many will be able to do there job for a few turns. At shorter ranges, more shots coming into play, attacker able to avoid cover better, close combat being deadly to them - they're more vulnerable.

    Glad that you and your friends are enjoying it!


Related Posts with Thumbnails