Thursday, July 19, 2012

Digressions on 6th ed

Space Wolves
I've been out for holidays, and that includes posting blog entries too :p It doesn't mean between mojitos and friendly matches on TV my mind has not been busy interpreting the new rulebook and FAQs, nor trying to devise playstyles and armies for 6th ed. I have not played a game yet so all that I have now are hypothesis and assumptions, which will probably proven wrong with time. Here are some thoughts:

  • Space Marine armies of all colors, shapes and degrees of facial hair based in light AV11 vehicles will be less viable than before with the hull points rules, reduction in cover and I think increase in TL Str 6-7 weapons we're going to see. Perhaps spamming 10+ vehicles will still work but I certainly don't see these 4-6 razorbacks hybrid builds as before. Hybrid SM armies will have to use other resources, namely larger foot slogging units (if possible with some AI protection in the form of 2+/3++ saves toting guy leading the way), jumpers for BAs, TWC, whatever the army has to offer.
  • 2+ saves can't be hurt by EW as before, so plasma will need to be taken to deal with these efficiently. What rapid fire, the extra range and hull points bring to the table make it a much more viable choice against the previous allmighty melta. Which in turn, if we see less melta in the tables, could cause other side effects in the form of LR or other big guns that were too easy to kill before, for what they costed.
  • Challenges will also impact the way ICs and sergeants are equipped. A PF in a 1W guy will have a hard time in a challenge, as he will be wiped out way before he gets to strike. Are we going to see challenge-oriented characters? I would think so. Artificier armor, invulnerable saves and some type of EW (we shall see which one prevails) will be more often seen when available. At this moment, no option seems clearly better than the others, so we might end up in a rock-paper-scissors meta in which characters will be good against some types and not as good against other. For example, if your opponent has a 2+ save you will need a mean to bypass it, and that means generally striking at I1 throgh a PF, TH or power axe. On the contrary, these weapons will put you at disadvantage if your opponent has a 3+ and strikes at normal initiative. Let's keep in mind not all the characters have access to 2+ saves so this is not as easy to solve as equipping your guyas with 2+/3++ saves and a PF.
  • Flyers are completely in the air (no pun intended) as there are almost no AA guns. Once GW unveils the whole thing we will have a better idea. For now the only way to efficiently deal with Flyers is using flyers, which strangely is what GW wants to sell you now. Are we so easy to manipulate as GW thinks?
  • The change in reserves might turn out for good, as you get more stuff sooner (3+ in T2 and T3). However not being able to reserve more than 50% of the units is bad. It's bad because it makes certain armies illegal (DoA), and it's bad because sometimes you have to reserve, or be alpha-striked. Say you go second and face a leaf-blower style IG army, or Str6 spam (some builds can pour 100-shots-per-turn), Tau gunlines, wolves missile-spam, you name it. And say there's not a lot of cover to hide behind. I'd like to hear a viable solution to this other than buying your own cover in the form of GW terrain kits.
  • On the upside, I like that the change rules will revive some units from their death limbo. Death Company (hehe), Sanguinary Guard, quite a few Eldar units, hopefully Chaos Space Marines and Tau... the list is long. I won't neither miss seeing 3 hydras every time I face IG lol.
  • Things like premeasuring and random charge distances are, well difficult to justify. Anyone who plays the game enough can eyeball distances reasonably well, and missing from time to time gives it this "almost certain to happen but not guaranteed" feeling that is good for the game. The 2D6 charge will sometimes punish well articulated tactics, more than expanding the charge range I'm afraid. Because if you are at 11", are you going to attempt charging and get the overwatch damage?  Conversely, if you are at 5" you will likely try to assault if that was your plan all along, and yet you can miss that assault. Probabilities are not high but we know things happen when you roll too many dices. Bottom line: random 2D6 will not likely grant incredible charge distances, but rather screw from time to time charges that should have happened. Reminds me of shooting point blank melta to a LR and failing to hit.
  • Last but not least, the commercial policy of GW. So they launch the new rulebook in June but the starter set comes in September, so you either buy both, or are meant to not play these months (of course there are ways to...). They bring Flyers to the game in a way that you either use Flyers, or get screwed by other Flyers. Allies are designed in a way that will push many people to get GK or IG, or *potentially* (we still need to see the effect of allies) face stronger builds. See what I mean?

So, we're in July, the sun is shining and beer gets warm very fast. 40k is still a great way to haven fun, and I do so by musings around with my own ideas. Time will tell how right or wrong (likely) I am! Looking forward to my first 6ed tourney late this month. Fun times ahead!

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