Saturday, December 22, 2012

6th Edition 40k: a perspective

Of late Drakin and I have begun our usual process of thrashing out the rules for 6th edition- this involves allot of cursing, gnashing of teeth and general insults across the table as we learn and relearn the rules.  Getting our heads around some of the new nuances as well as remembering the old tricks we had learned in 5th ed.

We have so far played just about all the book missions and all 3 of the deployment's and I thought I would take a few minutes to write down a few views from my side of the table on how I feel 6th is shaping up for me this coming tournament year. 

Return to the game:

After taking most of 2012 off from 40k in a gaming sense due to the impending release of the 6th as well as the distinct lack of quality event available in Victoria at the time and an overload of no-comp half ass - poor mission development, non existent terrain events that seemed to fill the void, I have been looking forward to dipping the toe back in.

Hobby never really goes away and I have found some really great games to play with - I'm looking at you Saga and Infinity.  That aside reading through the rules in July and then having a few smallish cracks at the game - I was worried-  More things to remembers and more steps to follow plus flyers.

For the most part I think I was right to worry.........

More things to remember:

40k has always had allot of rules but in 5th there was allot of streamlining of the core mechanics - there was less fiddling and for the most part you could drop into a pretty consistent rhythm an not forget to much - probably playing well over 100 games does help with this. But from the last 8 games Ive played I feel there seems to be far more to remember, more steps and sub steps, more rules that feel at times wedged into the core mechanics to try and drive a narrative.

In some cases it works but then in others blimey you need checklists for sure! I mean there's warlord traits, book powers, random objectives, mysterious terrain, different wound groupings, closest to closest, flyer rules, look out sir the list goes on, fight sub phases, initiative pile in moves. 

So far its been very frustrating to keep a handle on all these new elements and still prosecute an effective winning strategy.  I think we have started to get a handle on it but then again its very very frustrating to work though all this. At times I think some things really did not need changing.  I like the change to firing in terms of closest dies 1st that's a good move- but then all the different phases in the fight phase seem overly bloated for the system.  Choosing with cover group or Armour group your assigning shots to we haven't started on but that will change and add more to the game as well.

Again it feels like some rules are there to make sense of the changing meta and drive a more tactical game and then other times its like they shoe horned these rules into just because it sounds cool.


Lets just put this out there - I play space wolves for the most part have a grey knights army I wont play anymore (its boring). So wolves are one the codex's that got the short end of stick in 6th when it comes to flyers (hello no native air defence or native flyers) and then the rules-  now maybe i would not have so much of an issue about this if they had done general updates to provide most codex's with at least a native flyer defence, but seeing as they didn't  and I'm now using forge-world to fill that gap I think is out and out balls.  Space Marines one of the 1st 5th ed codex's gets a flyer update and wolves get left out in the cold (I guess they like it being snow and all) and while some say well there are allies - I think having to pay possibly twice as much to access the same functionality is crap.

Flyers also in my view have some dodgy rules i'e no matter how far it fly's it can still fire all weapons to full effect?  not even fast tanks can do that- I would not have such an issue if there was some sort of opportunity cost associated with getting across the board more but there is no down side, this is bullshit given most of units have to weigh up the cost of speed vs fire power.  I personally don't like it and this may be further enhanced since my main army has non of the this love- yes you can use defence lines and what not but again I really think faq's should have done more to give every army a response to the flyers in their existing codex's.

What I like about 6th:

Missions- I think by far most of these have been a great success and the reason is simple- Primary and Secondary objectives- The ability to score points by achieving certain tasks on the battlefield in addition to the main objectives has made most of the games ive player very very close- to within an few victory points.

This is a major departure from 5th where by turn two one army would clearly have the ascendancy over the other without the other having much chance to do anything to claw back any honor.

Warlord Traits- While not useful all the time i think they add some good additional options to the game and make commanders a little more purposeful in games- yes it form  part of the layering of rules i was complaining about earlier but this one i like and think was a good move- not a game breaker but definatly can offer some chance to create some different opportunites.

Disembarking from drop pods- this i think was a good move- pods where great but the problem was having to run to get cover- now you can deploy into cover and then shoot- I think it has opened up pods allot more from a tactical point of view.

All in all the games have been tight and competitive and victory decided on roll of the dice and mistakes of your opponent (the way it should be) but I think there is more learning's to be had but also I still think Ward and GW got some things wrong with this edition that I really don't think should be up to new Codex's to rectify considering how long it takes them to update all the races.  Dark Eldar and Necrons or even sisters or black Templars anyone?

More games will tell but it wont change that I think Drakin is the son of a motherless zombie :)