Yes, yet another of those posts. Having just gotten through the book and seen parts of a few games played, here are my impressions on the new rule set.
I'm not going to go into detail about all the changes - if you've been paying attention you probably know a lot of the major basic stuff already. Rather I'll go through the book and point out some things and my thoughts on potential impacts.
Overall I think the set is pretty well written. Most questions I've had while reading are soon answered by continuing to read or with a little cross referencing. There are a few points that are a bit confusing and I'll try to remember to point them out below. For the most part though I think it's a pretty well-written product, and hope that the future codices are as well thought-out. I may not agree with all the decisions, but at least they're pretty clearly presented for the most part.
I am also somewhat amused at a number of the changes that match or are close to what my buddies and I came up with as house rules back in 3rd ed (and what a number of others doubtless did too - things like throwing grenades, being able to fall back from something you can't hurt).
p.15 - Allocate Wounds and Remove Casualties - You've probably heard at least the basics - hit the closest guy until it's dead, move on. Something that you definitely want to keep in mind when you're placing models, as there are a lot of shennanigans and sniping that you can do with this. Combined with Look Out Sir and shuffling wounded models to the back in subsequent turns, you can make tough units even more so. If there's someone in the enemy unit you want to kill, position your own firing guys so that he's the closest (ie stop 1" away from him and keep the rest of your guys 2" away from anyone else). There are even more sniping possibilities elsewhere (challenges, targeted witchfire, snipers, characters, different ruin levels, focus fire...) so individual models like heavy weapons and squad leaders are potentially a lot more vulnerable. Homogeneous units have a lot fewer worries and fewer decisions to make.
p.18 - Cover - just like movement is individual, so is cover. No more half unit in cover = all get a save. Be careful with positioning, especially since with Focus Fire the enemy can choose to shoot at only the guys out of cover. I'm sure that crafty players can find ways to use this to their advantage though, tempting the enemy to shoot up the guys in the open while leaving more important ones unharmed...
- Go to Ground - while you're hunkering down, you can still take Snap Shots (hit on 6) and even engage in Overwatch. I can see a lot of shooty Ork units and IG blobs being in semi-perpetual GtGround when they're serving a defensive purpose.
p.21 - Assault/Charges
- Roll Charge Range - A lot of my 5th ed charges were through terrain so they were essentially random anyways, so that's not a big change for me, it just mostly means there's a greater potential threat range. Compared to all the other things in the rules that work against assault and favor shooting, IMO this one tends to actually favor assault.
- Overwatch - Take a deep breath folks. Given that most of the time these will only hit on a six, it's not going to be that devastating from most targets to most chargers. Things to keep in mind if you're worried about it:
- Still hits the closest model, so line up your pre-charge formation accordingly to take best advantage of your saves and whatnot.
- Each unit can only do one Overwatch a turn. You declare a charge, they do Overwatch, you roll distance and move to contact, then proceed to next unit, declare a charge, etc. So sometimes you can arrange to have your tough unit declare and soak the fire, then send in the 6+ save guys behind them free from Overwatch fire. So it may be worthwhile sometimes to try those 10-12" charge attempts just to soak Overwatch from those units you actually want to make contact.
- Range still matters, so keep that in mind when assaulting something with blast pistols, fusion pistols and other 6" range guns - if you're worried about your termies soaking those shots, maybe be sure to start the charge at 7".
- Use your own shooting to thin them down and remove special weapons before the charge.
p.23 - Pile In - Pile ins are 3" and happen at each initiative step. So generally you'll want your faster guys up front so they can hit, then get taken as casualties, then your slower guys pile in later and get their own swings in.
p.26 - Combat resolution - the big thing is that No Retreat no longer exists.
p.26 - Our Weapons are Useless - if you cannot hurt the enemy, you can choose to auto fail your morale check at the end of combat. Risky, but keeps you from being tarpitted forever if you really don't want to be.
p.27 - Disordered Charge - if you do a multi-charge, you don't get the bonus attack for charging or the bonus for Furious Charge (see p.37). Something to keep in mind if you were hoping for some AV10 glances from those Ork Boyz.
p.76 - Assaulting Vehicles - couple quick notes - most vehicles can't fire Overwatch shots. Passengers CAN fire Overwatch to protect their ride from the fire points, and Walkers get shots off too. So be wary of assaulting that wagon full of burna boyz!
p.31 - Regrouping - can regroup if not under *25%* now as normal (no longer 50%). If under 25%, can still try, but need snake eyes. If you have an IC attached, you roll as normal even if under 25% (see p.39). Once you rally you get the 3" consolidate, can Snap Fire, but no Run or Assault. It no longer matters how close the enemy is, so no more escorting units off the table.
I think that's a good bite for now. Next up we'll start with Special Rules and see some peeks at some things that might be coming in future army books. Stay tuned for Part Two!
Also check out some great summary info available through From the Warp!