Tuesday, July 24, 2012

First Thoughts on 6th Edition part1

Hello ladies and gentlemen.

 It's been a long time since my last post, as a result of both my busy schedule and the "dead period " that followed the recent release of the long-awaited 6th edition. I have already indulged into the new book and I had the chance to play a few games and experience the new rules in action. Thus , having read some articles online, I would like to give my personal opinion about the 6th edition. It is important to make clear that by I am just sharing my first thoughts about the rules and I have, by no means, mastered the new rules , I am just trying to acclimatize myself to the new changes ,much like the whole 40k community does.

To begin with , it is important to mention that the 6th edition, unlike any other previous BRB have made quite a strange impact on the gaming community. I had the chance to speak with a couple of store managers which pointed out that no one was nagging about the new rules, or flaming GW etc. On the contrary , it seems that we all have embraced the new ruleset with a rather warm welcome, which is a nice on itself.  Perhaps it is too early to judge, but this absence of misery allows everyone to be more open minded towards 6th ed.

 So, we have a new book which appears to be more balanced than anything we have seen in the past. It packs some major changes that will definitely affect the metagame , but it seems that all new changes follow two major guidelines:

- Smoothing the gap between codexes
- Making people buy more stuff.

Which is not all that bad , when you think about it. In the new book, we have a host of changes that eventually lead to a much more balanced game, based on strategy, rather than rules abusing and spamming.

My personal opinion is that GW has done a great job tuning the old rules and adding some new rules ,but nothing is " broken".  Take the vehicles, for example. Now , they follow the hull point system. That means that it is quite a bit easier to break a tank , but now all tanks remail fully functional until they get wrecked. No more stun & shaking from glancing hits ruling your armoured fist Guard.
  In a similar fashion , Flyers have become much more survivable, but their transport capacity has been hindered and their movement is more "rigid"
All in all , to me it seems that GW wanted to make changes that would not affect dramatically their codex range and/or that would not cause confusion to the gaming community. So, limited changes to the new rules and the introduction of lots and lots of new stuff

Before commenting on the new rules , it is important to note the most important changes that came with 6th ed:

- The introduction of Allies & Fortifications
- Flyers getting boosted
- Cover Save nerf
- Transport Vehicles nerf
- Snap Fire & Overwatch
- New missions set
( Again , it is possible that I am forgetting some important changes , but anyway… )

Each and every one of these changes has its own impact on our gaming habits. First of all , the new Allies mechanings….now every army ( well, almost every army , ‘cause apparently Tyranids want to be VS the World , for some reason..) has the opportunity to get an allied detachment.  This is a wonderful change which has only positive effects on the game:  under-powered /old codexes can now  be used in combination with some more power-gaming codexes ,  make beautiful , fluffy lists or ever terrifying combos. In any case ,  allies have all the potential to dramatically increase the number of lists people use and shed light to some forgotten units and armies of the game. It remains to be seen if allies will be used to a great extent ,  but it is a smart move from GW from both gaming and marketing spectrum.
  About Fortifications….when I first saw that people could actually buy GW terrain and use it in their lists I first thought that it was just a vulgar display of greed coming from the manufacturer , and I  still believe that  Fortifications made their way into standard gaming so that our beloved Citadel could just sell more…  but from a gaming point of view they are rather interesting. You can get one for  cheap ( 50 points is not bad ) , it gives 4+ cover AND it was the option to fill it with anti- aircraft and anti-infantry weapons. It is also treated as an immobile vehicle  and can house troops inside… All in all a nice package that you can place in strategic positions and guarantee a successful defensive gameplay. They will be certainly used by specific armies/ generals but for the most part I believe that they wont affect  the standard gameplay so much.


Well, all I have to say is that it was about time to  give flyers a boost. In 5th edition , it was just ridiculously easy to face  Stormravens , Vendettas , not to mention the Necron croissantes…. Luckily , now Flyers have become the new sh*t  , taking the place of the ubiquitous Land Raider as a transport and gun platform , and even outdating some of the older mainstream vehicles. They have gotten over  200% faster , are almost impervious to damage from non-skyfire units and they can fire more weapons than ever before , not to mention the Evade rules and the new transport drop mechanics.  Yeap , it seems that flyers will become a common sight for sure , and we will get the chance to do some air-modelling  with sci-fi crafts.
 Actually , flyers have become so powerful now , that any 6th edition list should cover two aspects:  Ground forces and Air Forces. As peculiar as that may sound , every list we make from now on should be able to attempt domination in two levels.  And still maintain a balance between the amount of points you spend on each type of force.
 The only few drawbacks that flyers have is their low armour , compared to non-flyer vehicles , and the fact that when the enemy takes one down , it gets more painful for the units it carries and for anything that is near. Also , while flyers can move fast , their manoeuvrability  is rather limited,  so this part requires some care.

This concludes part1 of this early commentary about the 6th edition. I hope you found it interesting. Part 2 will come fast. Feel free to comment  and thank you for your time.

Stefanos Kapetanakis

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