As I've gone through this series of posts, looking at the different rules and using them in-game, I've come to see some of what may be the rationales for some of the ways rules work in combination, and I've also gotten some ideas for things I would have liked to have seen included.
In no particular order:
- Chance of night fight in every mission - a bit of a bone to assault armies I think. Not something you can rely on, but there are pretty decent odds to either have NF first turn, limiting the damage from a first turn strike, or even better on turns 5+, protecting your units on objectives from cross-board firepower. It's also a benefit to squishy armies in general.
- Mysterious objectives - I think that these are designed to encourage people to fight over objectives more in the earlier turns, and give you a reason to stay on one pre-turn 5. Before, objectives essentially didn't really exist prior to turn 5 (unless you had some custom scenario). Now, you might get some benefit from occupying one during the game. There are also some Warlord Traits that are objective-dependent, further encouraging the game to center more on the objectives (which in turn makes their placement even more important). This is on top of the secondary objectives which all encourage more aggressive play (get first kill, kill enemy leader, get into enemy DZ). In addition, they further emphasize the importance of scoring units, as they are the only ones that can take advantage of the MO bonuses. I wonder if just generating all the random mysterious objective effects at the start of turn one (or even before deployment) would encourage this even more. I've complained about mysterious objectives, but I can see what may be the intentions, which are good.
- Snap Fire - I've mentioned this before, but I think one of the big reasons for this is just that it keeps more units more involved in the battle, which keeps the player more interested and involved.
- More forgiving regrouping - As with snap fire, it allows units to be more likely to stay involved, which keeps the player involved. It also helps to narrow the gap between the two or three armies where morale actually matters compared to all the Fearless/ATSKNF armies.
- Character changes - Characters, independent and otherwise, are often the coolest figures in an army and the focus of the army's background. It makes "cool" sense to make them more central to the game. While I may not really like the challenge mechanic as is yet, I understand the intent as part of making characters both more capable and therefore more important to your army, as well as potentially more vulnerable, making targeting them something the enemy can focus on (precision shots, snipers, etc.). I can see players starting to develop game plans to strip out their opponent's characters to give themselves an edge, and I expect to see things like plasma pistols on characters make a comeback to take advantage of precision shots with them.
- Weaker, but universal psy-defense - With a few significant exceptions, most psyker defense is a small chance, and can't affect powers used on a player's own units. I think these changes improve the involvement players have, both being able to have some chance, even if small, of protecting their own units, and also gives them the ability to reliably use a lot of cool powers to boost their own units without getting shut down half the time. Whether psykers end up overall weaker or more powerful (my personal guess) I'm not sure, but the main thing is that they're more interesting than everything relying on if a 4+ roll stops it or not.
- Vehicle overwatch - Regular vehicles can't fire overwatch. If they're having overwatch, I think it would have been cool to carry over a defensive weapons rule, and clarify certain weapons as qualifying, letting them fire overwatch. Things like pintle-mounted storm/combi-bolters, the shuricats on eldar vehicles and other weak, maneuverable weapons. It wouldn't help much, but it would be cool, help keep the vehicle player interested, and more reason for people to put those cool heavy stubbers on tanks.
- Full reserve - I can see the intent of the reserve changes, wanting armies to be on the table and fighting. Also one of the reasons for speeding up the reserves rolls/auto arrival. However, it does hurt certain builds and leans things more towards the first-turn strike armies. I think it could have been more interesting to just give the equivalent of Deathwing/Drop Pod Assault to everyone - divide up your reserves - half come in turn 1, the other half roll as normal starting turn 2. Speed things up, everyone has stuff on the table turn one, but allows for jumper/outflank etc armies to still do their thing.
What are your thoughts on the intentions behind some of the changes?