Monday, July 9, 2012

6th Edition Inital Thoughts (from yet another random guy)

After getting in a game of 40k this weekend, and watching a couple others as well, I have complied some thoughts about game mechanics and how it looks like the battlefields are going to be shaping up. So instead of bitching about this that or the other thing, because its not going to get changed for a few years anyway, ill just point out some things I noticed.

1* Rune Priests are on par with Eldar for psychic stopping ability, and while you wipe the coffee out of your keyboard, let me explain. First let’s start by classifying powers as ‘offensive’ and ‘defensive’ powers. Powers that fall into the ‘divination’ category are mostly ‘blessings’ that act as a ‘buff’ for friendly units. ‘Prescience’ is a perfect example of a defensive ‘buff’ as it grants any unit within 12” of the psyker the ability to re-roll misses. On the other hand we have ‘offensive’ psychic powers, these are spells that will typically target enemy units and cause some sort of adverse effect on the target unit, ‘Psychic Shriek’ is a great example of this as effected units get no armor or cover save against wounds caused by it.

Psychic hoods, while better than normal ‘Deny the Witch’ rolls, can only negate powers used against a unit within 6 inches of the psyker with the hood. So in order to negate psychic powers your character with a hood needs to be within 6” AND if has to be an offensive spell targeting someone near them. ‘Blessings’ and other ‘defensive buffs’ can’t be blocked by the psychic hood which makes them almost guaranteed unless the psyker fails his psychic check. The only two armies who can make this more difficult are Eldar who make you roll three dice for your psychic check on all psychic powers and Space Wolves where the Rune Priests can use their Runic Weapons to block any successful power within 24” of them. Whether the power is a ‘defensive’ or an offensive power the Rune Priest gets a 4+ shot at it.

In my first game I used two Rune Priests with two different roles, the first I put JOTWW and Living Lightning on one Rune Priest and made him my ‘offensive’ priest and put him in a drop pod with Grey Hunters to go wreck face. The second Rune Priest I used as a ‘defensive’ psyker to sit in the back field with my Long Fangs and Scoring units to give them coverage with the Runic Weapon (also don’t forget that your squad still gets their ‘deny the witch’ if the Rune Priest doesn’t block it) and to give ‘Prescience’ to the Long Fang squads so they can re-roll misses. This combo worked out perfectly for my Wolves with the priests knocking down powers, and thinning the ranks for the enemy with Living Lightning and Long Fangs that were rerolling their misses, very frustrating for my opponent while I consistently swatted down his powers and he was powerless to stop mine.

2* Speeders are too fragile. Anything with an armor of only 10 and 2 hull points is absolutely not worth it in my opinion. My opponent got first turn and after a hail of storm bolters my Land Speeder Tornado was a smoking pile of 90 points. Why is this important? Well, most missions have ‘first blood’ as an objective - whoever destroys a unit first claims that objective. So my 90 point speeder also gave up one of the three objectives to a bunch of storm bolters on the first turn – brilliant.

Will your opponent always get first turn so he can blast your speeder out of the sky immediately? Probably not, but the ‘Jink’ save only gives you a 5+ and a concentration of fire is still going to bring it down fairly quickly. When you couple the fact that strength four weapons can glance it to remove its hull points, of which it only has two, to destroy it – it quickly becomes a liability instead of a force multiplier. While the argument might be made for the Tornado to use long range missile fire to stay away, you still run the risk of drop pods and deep strikers blowing it apart quickly and easily.

3* Keep track of all the things your units are doing! Certain actions need to be done in certain phases and you need to remember them, you will quickly forget about actions you wanted to do. Here is a great one to remember. Flat out moves for vehicles happen in the shooting phase now, almost like a ‘run!’ for vehicles. This means that you can shoot with a squad into a target, then move flat out with a vehicle and block line of site back to that squad for the opponents turn – but you have to make the moves in the right order to pull it off! There is a ton of new things that go into every action, deny the witch and over watch are perfect examples – so you may want a cheat sheet in the beginning so you don’t forget things.

Also get yourself some tokens so you can remember things. You will need to mark hull points, wounds and ‘blessings’ on your squads. Eldar players already knew all about this with their markers for ‘Fortune’ and ‘Doom’ so take a page out of their book and get yourself some colored markers so you can keep track of stuff on the table.

*4 Independent characters with a 2+ save are an absolute bear in close combat. Once they get in they can soak wounds until they take a few wounds and then they can ‘look out sir’ on a 2+ to get wounds to other models. I saw Necron Lords with War Scythes absolutely rip apart squads taking full advantage of their 2+, so remember challenges! By using a challenge you can tie up those nasty 2+ armor save guys so you aren’t just feeding wounds into an infinite sink on the other side.

*5 Premeasuring and snap fire are your friends! Here is the situation, 5 Terminators deep strike in my back field and make their way towards my Long Fangs. I measure the distance from the Death Wing to my Long Fangs. Then I place a marker down at 14 inches (a pretty safe bet they won’t get more than a seven inch assault) and I move 2 of the Long Fangs to the other side of the marker while the other three can remain where they are. I fire off 3 missiles at full BS and the other 2 with snap fire, because I used ‘prescience’ on my Long Fangs the two that moved actually have a 33% chance of hitting because they reroll misses and I manage 4 hits. One manages to get through and actually kills a terminator. Rewind this same situation to 5th edition and I am either standing and firing and then waiting to get charged, or I am running away to stay away from a charge. I think that the two Long Fangs moving back in an ‘Australian peel’ like this while the rest of the squad lays down cover fire is more realistic and much more interesting!

In another situation my Rune Priest watched his entire squad fall to a torrent of fire only to get charged by the last Terminator. During the charge he got off a shot from his bolt pistol managed to wound the terminator – who promptly failed his armor save and fell down dead in front of the Rune Priest. That type of dramatic ‘scene’ would never have happened in 5th edition and adds so much flavor and depth to the game it actually makes it more interesting.

You didn't think I would let you get to the end without at least one gratuitous picture - did you?

Ray Allen makes us all happy
*6 Bring Note Cards! Mysterious Woods, Exploding random objectives and bubbling lakes of toxic goo are the new normal. Until you have a firm grasp of everything on the table get some note cards to put down on the table next to things so you can quickly remember what they are without going back to the rulebook. Warlord traits are another thing, bring your note cards so you can write it down and keep it in front of you so you can remember to use it. I didn’t even remember mine until the end – and then I thought of two situations where I actually could have used it! So take a quick second and write them down and keep them on the board in front of you – it will save you time in the end so you are not looking things up or just plain forgetting about them.

still practicing_



  1. Not sure how you figure out that a straight 4+ negation is the same as forcing an extra dice?

  2. I was just throwing down thoughts and ideas, I didn't actually do any math to reach my over-generalizations ;)

    When I, me personally, look at psychic defense - in my mind it comes down to Eldar still being the most disruptive with Wolves further behind. Am I worried about a psychic hood? Not really. But a Rune Priest knocking them down on a 4+, yeah - that's 50%.

  3. You make Look Out Sir when wounds are allocated if you have units with equal armour saves, if you have units with mixed armour saves, you allocate hits before making saves. Any wounds suffered as a result of this can't be saved with Look Out Sir since you make you LOS at the allocation step.

    Models with 2+ save can't tank hits for models with 3+ save and then transfer the wounds after they have failed their save.

  4. Sorry if that was confusing, and yes you are of course right. My point is that you can 'tank' wounds on your IC at 2+ until you fail a couple and then start 'LOS' (look out sir) them onto other guys. Because he is a Independent Character his 'LOS' roll are 2+, then of course the guy who took the wound would need to save.

    Watching that Necron Lord chew through a Space Marine Command squad cause me to add a Wolf Lord, Terminator Armor, TH/SS with Saga of the Bear to my army for my next test game. I would have NEVER used one of those guys before I watched that last game.

    Maybe im jumping to conclusions before I need to on this, maybe not - time will tell!