Tag Archives: 6th Edition

Warhammer 40k 6th Edition – First Impressions

Yesterday saw me head over to Gribblin Towers for a chance to try out 40k 6th ed. Gribblin has had the book since launch, and being the studious person he is has read the rules and has a decent idea how things work. Myself on the other hand has the attention span of a newt and therefore generally has to rely on others for the first few years of any system until it gradually sinks in and I can bravely do things on my own.

So we lined up our forces in an objective based mission with approximately 1000 points a side. The mighty Space Marines versus the gribbly Tyranids. We rolled for special commander traits and then promptly forgot about them (commander traits seem to be a little bit of extra flavour and in no way game breaking).

Turn one begins and we’re off. A few minor tweaks here and there to movement but nothing significant. A bit of shooting; no huge changes to ingest. Wounds are now taken from the front of the unit seems fair enough and easy enough to take on board. Assaults and charges are now a bit more random, again with wounds coming off the front of the unit. A minor and probably overlooked tweak which could have game altering effects regards wound allocation. In our game four terminators took nine wounds. In fifth edition you would allocate 2 wounds per terminator with one extra for Mr Unlucky. In sixth edition you just roll nine saves, if you fail four the unit is removed. Without boring you with statistics the lifespan of your average terminator unit subjected to lots of shooting or attacks in sixth edition is actually pretty low compared with fifth due to this change; and this applies to any small unit that relies on a good save to keep itself alive.

A blazingly obvious change in 6th edition is the introduction of proper rules for flyers. No more tanks ramming aeroplanes out of the sky in this edition! The Tyranids had a flying harpy which caused no end of chaos and destruction. Being very difficult to shoot down I think flyers may well become the new mainstay of many a force.

Overall the game was fun and enjoyable. The minor rules tweaking seems to be a bit of an effort to stop people cheesemongering ridiculously win-at-all-costs spiked armies. This will hopefully benefit the tournament community which is who I think the rules were aimed at. From a personal perspective though the flyer rules are a fresh addition otherwise it does seem a bit like change for change’s sake. It seems that a lot of these tweaks add an unecessary extra layer of complexity to an already solid fifth edition without actually making the game more fun or playable.

Long term I’ll happily play 6th edition again. However 5th edition works well and is fun to play so I’m puzzled as to why I would want to switch to 6th edition at the moment.

GW: The Company I Love to Hate or Hate to Love…. I’m Not Sure

Just a couple of things this morning from the opening salvo of 2012. Firstly I bought this month’s White Dwarf, it’s got a lot of stuff for the latest Warhammer Fantasy release the “Vampire Counts” in it. They’re an army that has appealed to me right from day one, I’ve never gotten around to the army though, but I have come close a few times. I had a little chuckle to myself when after the Editorial and contents page there was a double spread advert for Dreadfleet. I’ll not go into that here, I am sure all regular readers are more than aware of my feelings for the game, the picture at the start of this thread should suffice if you’re in the dark.

In other news I doubt many people will have heard about the leaked 6th edition rules, or what are rumoured to be 6th edition. After all the¬†furore¬†when this document first hit the Intertubes there has been a lot of sudden declarations of it being a fake, despite what would seem to be considerable evidence to the contrary. I’ve seen the rules myself and had a quick scan through and, personally, I’d be happy for 40k to develop this way. A lot of the problems with 5th edition have gone and it does seem to change-up the meta-game. Now, there are things I don’t like but overall I see enough positives here for this to be a good change for 40k.

Going back to that White Dwarf I purchased (taking the number of White Dwarfs I’ve bought over the past ten years up to needing two hands to count) it also alludes to this being the 25th anniversary year for Warhammer 40,000. I’m going to be very interested to see what overpriced tat the Sherriff tries to hawk onto us so that we can “share” in the celebration of this momentous event. I’m going to go with a generic hot beverage container costing upwards of a decent night out with one’s significant other. I can tell you now which I’d prefer and which one is much more likely. I think I might have the steak!

I’m certainly looking forward to this years releases. I’m impressed with the speed at which Fantasy armies are coming out. I’m sure Gribblin will be wanting to throw down soon with the new Vampires and we should also have a pretty interesting project kicking off here towards the end of the first quarter! Stay tuned for that. I also imagine we’ll be getting at least one Space Marine Codex this year. Black Templars are on the rumour mill and a new edition of 40k means that the generic Marine codex will need to be updated pretty quickly thereafter to make sure they don’t have to abide by any of the rules in the new book. Can’t have them behaving like all the other armies can we?

I’ll be keeping an eye on Mantic to see how Warpath and Kings of War develop. I’d certainly be interested more in their games once the product lines are a fully viable contender to the GW crown. I know that both my wallet and, perhaps more importantly, my wife would be appreciative of a reduction in the cost of my hobby..

Wishlisting and 6th Edition 40k

With all the fun of Games Workshop’s new rumour policy exploding in their faces, I’ve been enjoying thinking about the rumours for the next edition of the Warhammer 40,000 main rules that are expected to land next year. While this won’t be a discussion of those rumours I’d like to put some of my own thoughts forward on the game and the things I would like to see. I’m hoping that I can put forward these ideas in a concise and easily understandable format. Firstly, there’d be an automatic win for anyone playing unpainted Dark Eld……. What? What do you mean that’s not balanced? It’s more balanced than anything Mat W……. Oh, alright! I’ll go back to being serious.

And we’re off. I think the first thing we need to do in order to move forward is to consider where we have come from. We can therefore learn from the mistakes of the past and hopefully all arrive in a better place. Way back in the dim and murky past that was 3rd edition vehicles were king. Every man and his cybernetically altered Dachshund threw down with tanks. Come 4th edition tanks were nerfed into the ground so no-one ever took them. We come to 5th edition and the enter the world of Mechammer, most armies mechanise their squads. In my own Dark Eldar force all my squads are mounted on transports, they give them the mobility for taking objectives as well as striking the enemy in a place and at a time of my choosing.

There are certain armies that struggle against the Mech heavy environment, especially among the older Codexes. Orks have by far the weakest anti-tank in the game, at least at range and hitting a moving vehicle can be quite a challenge. The way that glancing hits work makes it harder for the Necrons to use their auto-glance to good effect. That will probably be rectified in their new book though.

With a new edition of the game arriving we are pretty much guaranteed that the way things work is going to be changed. I have no doubt that the new rules will be pretty much finalised, however I don’t think that should limit our discussions. Therefore I share my thoughts about how I would like to see things, I would ask that you bear in mind that this is my opinion and you are therefore free to disagree. I also think GW are likely to hose vehicles so we all have to go out and buy more troops to pad out our armies… but that’s another topic.

I like the way that the Force Organisation charts work in 40k, it does an admirable job of balancing the forces we face and limiting others. I’m not too much of a fan of the current trend for certain characters to make units move from their normal slots to troops. In many cases this comes across to me as a little unbalancing as you get powerful units and remove one of their balancing factors (the limited number of units you can take) and make them the core of your army. You can see this in the fact that I have yet to see an army of Grey Knights that doesn’t have Purifiers as Core.

What I think could better achieve a mechanised balance is adapting the FOC to something similar to the Platoon system used for the Imperial Guard. Rather than the HQ, Elites, Troops, Fast Attack, Heavy Support we move to Infantry, Mechanised, Armour or something similar. Within each of these sections we have access to the standard FOC areas. For Infantry for example you have access to 1-2 HQ choices, thus fulfilling the need to take an HQ, all normal options for retinues etc exist. Then you have 2+ options for Troops. These troops would not have access to any transport options but would have their maximum squad sizes changed to allow you might want more of them. Instead of 10 you could get 15 for example and therefore add in an extra member of the squad to take a special or heavy weapon. You could also have 0-3 Elites and Fast Attack covered in here for flavour.

In the Mechanised Platoon we would see maybe a 0-1 HQ choice that provides an option for a character and retinue with a transport and then maybe 0-2 Troops choices that also are allowed transport options. This would mean we still are allowed to take more troops and the focus on them as the core of the army is maintained, meanwhile we can also take some dedicated transports, but the battlefield will not be flooded with them. I can’t think off the top of my head of a Fast Attack unit that takes a transport so they would probably survive as options within an Infantry or Armour Platoon dependent on if they are Jump Infantry or units with an AV.

Our Armour Platoon would therefore consist of the options for armoured Fast Attack and our Heavy Support choices of the tank and anti-tank varieties. I think you could also change-up the meta game by only allowing 2 types of Platoons within an army. Although that might take things too far and hurt things like the combined arms nature of armies such as the Imperial Guard, although it would certainly serve to restrict the number of vehicles and the games where you end up facing a parking lot.

Games Workshop and 6th Edition 40k

Normally I don’t like just posting links to other sites rather than creating a proper article of my own, but Carabus sent something through that I wanted to share with you all.

More shenanigans from Gouge Workshop. I’m intrigued by 6th edition 40k and hopefully we won’t get a stupid rulebook the size of the Fantasy one. However, I’m really not a fan of GW’s direction, sure the stuff they make is not bad but with all the things they’ve been doing recently…

Luckily I’m a big enough boy to understand that I am not obliged to give GW my money, unfortunately a lot of their target demographic don’t seem to understand that idea.