Friday, June 1, 2012

Adventure 40k End Times? Or Appropriate Skull and Groin Trauma?

This was my wish list for next Edition, prior to my seeing the “Leaked” 6th Edition ruleset on Scribd: I sorta see advance deploy, deep striking and the like becoming more strategic and less tactical, more like how it works in Apocalypse, when staring at it from the current core rule set. I think what I have been discussing with my buds, our wish list of changes, would be for 40K to have more “free” usable items to really create plays. As it is, there are so many things that 40K offers for games that are too damn risky because the detriments usually crush what little benefit pays out if there is success. When I say risk I mean what seems unfair risk. It is a usability issue disguised as a balance problem. Case in point, Deep Strike. It's almost a joke. So many races are offered it and so few can use it in characterful ways. If a race can't realistically use it without wearing space marine armor or riding a spore into the ground then keep it out of my differences for my points totals and give me something I can use outside of buying yet another model that gives me the board effect I want in Deep Strike, etc.
Then today my boy John sends me the “Leaked” 6th Edition ruleset on Scribd. I’m sure many of you have seen it already and have decided if it is real, has merit, etc. I ate my sandwich and started reading that vehicle damage table since, you know, that's practically part of my IG codex.
Then I read the rest of it. 

Here are some observations from a pedestrian player to his immediate friends at all levels who play, not the homeless tourney hookers. I’m only interested in changes that may bring faster, more conclusive and less slogging play, which better translates to a good story, so I like the following that I see in this leaked, possibly-real document:

1.       Evasion and Patch Up are interesting. More later but I want to say that first.
2.       Airborne, page 47. That is basically jump troops that never have to land and take terrain tests but still benefit from terrain. Finally in the spirit of some models and fluff, dare I say intuitive representation?
3.       Movement, assault and shooting is the turn order now. This I liked when I heard it before but consensus was it seemed to indicate a fan-produced fraud. Still, this seems solid design. Not sure about authenticity either way but I think it has merit when stacked with Evasion, revised Deep Strike, Reserves. More below.
4.       Flyers have rules now as do Agile for large creatures and Eldar Titans. Funny to see them cited in a main rulebook, pg 54 of this leaked thing. Yup, Titans, Flyers and Superheavies are all in this set of main rules, so they are now peeled from Apocalypse and exist in the core rules. This seems right, now that I think of it, since GW just went wild releasing plastic flyers now and superheavy kits over the past year.
5.       Wow, reserves are drastically changed, to the tune of resource management: You have a pool of dice for all units in reserve. You can allocate up to 3 dice to each unit and use those dice for making reserve rolls, in effect choosing who gets better odds of showing up. Pg 137.
6.       Deep Strike has changed. You can deep strike units outside of 18" of an enemy and they just stick the landing? Win. If you try within 18" you do the scatter roll bit. Deep striking units that successfully land 12" away from a unit or close can trigger a Defensive Fire action from that threatened unit. Sweet.
7.       Strategems and fortifications are in this too, which originated from City Fight and Apocalypse.
8.       Weathered Bastion pg 147 sounds exactly like the bastion I built years ago but never finished. Now we have stats for it and it's official, assuming this is all legit. Open top, troop capacity, gun ports, points cost, blah, blah, blah. At last, some fluff on the table outside a Space Marine with new style cape. And I didn't need VDR to have it.
9.       To my Nid player bro John: If Evasion is true, your Nids just became a level of faster we've both been complaining about. Add in how Deep Strike and Reserves works with all the assorted features and I think your army got a HUGE boost.  Think about it this way. According to these rules, you have better say in what happens with reserves. Now, putting things in reserve may not be a last resort but instead a strong first tactical choice… a universal one. Deep strike is way more accurate which is great for flanking your units via Spore or whatever, you can drop stuff right along board edges now with no fear of scattering off the edge... that's more real estate for you to use in a game. But Evasion may help you the most since that is army-wide and free. If it affords you even a bit more protection, it's really good. I do believe Evasion is real, since they put shooting before assaults now. There needs to be another layer to the shooting/hitting dynamic just because of that alone. But with the shift in order of assaults then shooting really may not change my IG army much, it changes Nids a lot more; I see this simple swap of order as just making things more decisive/conclusive: I'll get more shots off in general and that may cack units more solidly but then and you'll close faster and kill quicker. But if all of that is true, it favors your army most, since I still have to shoot the same-sized army, which is now faster, where I am not as much more shooty in the same way... over what I'm betting is a shorter amount of time.
10.   Gotta tell you though, if these are the rules for Flyers then Santa got my letter. I have waited 15 years for these rules, at least between Forge World rules and house rules. The Vulture, Valkyrie/Vendettas will be super fun to use, acting like strafing aircraft and skimmers, evac'ing and acting like they are CAP's, as they should behave. It would be interesting if winged Hive Tyrants, Lords of Change and the like could act as flyers or something.

So, the question stands, until the rulebook comes out. Will next edition be Hug Wolves and smelling people being hugged? Or will it be cat language butchery and insane Kenny Loggins five hole fatalities? I want the latter.

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