11 July, 2012

6th is Out! Rules Thoughts

6th Edition is out! Woo!

. . . .

You already knew that? I always get caught up reading codices and new books. I've been slowly going through the new rules. I've not been in much of a rush for a few reasons:

1) I haven't played in a while so there's no reason to push myself to devour them all at once, 
2) this allows me to think over what I've learned and process the new stuff properly without mucking it up, and 
3) general laziness.

Now, I'm actually thinking of visiting the local 40k haunt this weekend to observe some gaming. No matter how much you read and analyze in a book and on the Internet, nothing helps you figure out the rules better than putting models on the table. Or in this case, I'll at least find out the interpretations others are using and see how some non-Inquisitorial armies function on the plywood tableau. 

But since I'm already writing now and the weekend is still days out, I'll put down some items I found particularly noteworthy in the new rules. Before that, though, I find the book to be well done. The pages are colourful, and many of the pages have your typical "inspiring" Imperial lines on them. It's a nice touch. On to some of my analysis of 6th Edition:

  • Both Attack and Wound characteristics are specifically not capped at 10 like the others. I don't think this will come up often (The Tyranid's Doom of Malantai is capped in its own rule at 10), but it's interesting.
  • Perhaps it was clear before, but the Line of Sight rules specifically call out Tails, Wings, and Weapons as ignored for targeting models. I've had players in the past try to target peripheral parts of my Canoness and say they could shoot her.
  • Whether or not a model has moved is no longer determined by other models in the unit. In 5th, if any model in a unit moved, that Heavy Bolter couldn't fire. No longer! In addition to Snap Fire giving you shots even if you move (on 6+ only), if your heavy weapon model doesn't move, it isn't considered to have moved! Crazy, I know.
  • Speaking of Snap Shots, Template and Blast weapons can't Snap Shot. That means your Missile Launcher can only Snap Shot with Krak Missiles.
  • Overwatch: awesome. You get to take Snap Shots at a unit charging you. It's a little more involved than that though if you dig a little deeper:
    • Despite not being able to normally take Snap Shots, Template weapons get to inflict d3 hits  while ignoring their normal weapon range during Overwatch attacks.
    • It is resolved between the declaration of the charge and the actual rolling of charge distance. Originally I didn't realize the importance of the timing, but then I thought that if you're 12" out from the enemy you could declare a charge with no penalty at all if you didn't make it! Not so. Your opponent gets to shoot you up for free if you declare a charge and can't make it into Base-to-Base contact.
    • Only once per turn per unit. Imagine this scenario: You have a squad of Thunder Hammer/Storm Shield Terminators in assault range of some filthy Xenos and a squad of Assault Marines equally in range to charge and eradicate the filthy Xenos. Both you and the enemy have some Tactical options. You could charge with the Terminators first and hope the enemy wastes their Overwatch on your 2+/3++ models so your far squishier Assault Marines can get in without taking a few casualties. Or if they choose to save their Overwatch for this other potential threat, you can simply choose to wait until the next turn to join the combat when they can't Overwatch you due to being mired in combat already. Tactics!
  • Focus Fire is also the cat's pajamas. Combined with the new closest-goes-first wound allocation rule, this makes things far more cinematic. Don't want to give your opponent a 4+ save for having 6 of his 10 models in fortification with the other 4 in the open? Focus on taking the easy ones out! Templates with their ignoring of Cover lets you target outside of Focus Fire for those particular hits. You'll likely want to make the opponent resolve your flamer last so you don't accidentally reduce the potential of the Template.
  • Moving on to Vehicles, we have a change to Gets Hot!. Vehicles apparently no longer have sufficient cooling systems in the grittier dimness of the far-time. While rolling 1's now prevents the Vehicle from firing its plasma even on a Template or Blast (You roll and hope to make the 2+ before placing the markers), you at least get a 4+ save to ignore the glancing hit.
  • So in the old days of 5th Edition, if you were unfortunate enough to lose a model to Gets Hot! in a vehicle to the point where you might need to roll a morale check or they panic, it was debated over whether they should flee the vehicle. In 6th Edition there is no question; models embarked are Fearless.
  • Look Out, Sir! deserves its own post. It's complicated enough.
As I mentioned earlier, I've been reading and absorbing the book slowly, so I haven't gotten through too much beyond the phases of the game and some special rules. Besides, this post is long enough as is. So I'll have more analysis over the next few days. I've also got some thoughts on Allies, Sisters, and Tyranids in the coming days!

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