Follow Chaos Corner by Email

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Initial Impressions: 6th Edition

Hey there Chaos fans! Woo Boy! We do live in exciting times for 40K, don't we? New models, new paints, and a brand spanking new rule book- 6th Edition is here. The book is huge- a might tome indeed. It is a whopping 432 pages long. Though it is $75, my wife who works in the publishing biz, says that 75 isn't outrageous for a book this size in today's market. She would know. Flipping through the book at a glance, you can see that this book has everything. There's a ton of model pics, amazing artwork, gate fold pics/art, the rules, the storyline, appendices, and a ton more. The book is simply crammed with stuff.

The Mighty Tome
Now, I have only fully read from basic rules through to the 6 Eternal War missions- I can read the fluff parts at my own pace. I really wanted to get to the gaming rules first. It will take several read-throughs to take in the whole thing. However, I can tell you that the game is going to be a bit more complicated, but not cumbersome. Basically, the structure of play is the same, but there are a few tweeks, options, rules, etc. that make the game more complex than 5th (I remember people complaining that 4th/5th made it too simple). I won't say it harkens back to earlier editions, but it certainly adds depth to things. Without having played yet mind you, I think the game is going to be fun, and the player will have to think a bit more carefully about things. There is also going to be a bit more randomness- not so much that the game is just a matter of dice rolls- no. There is a ton of strategy and tactics to be used (more than before). However, there will be moments when you may try a desperate move, which is a dice roll and bam! Either you succeed in something crazy/brave/daring, or you fail miserably, ashamed and exposed to danger. I think it will make for some rather wild moments, dramatic, intense and fun.

Yes, I'm weak... I caved and bought it. Wanna make something out of it?

As I said, this will take several read-throughs (and practice games) to get everything, but here are some of the things that first jumped out at me that are of big importance:

1) 2D6 charge length: at first glance, I know people will dislike this, I welcome it. I think this is going to make for some exciting charges. Some charges will fail, others will be 12"- a huge, desperate charge. I think it reflects the chatoic nature of war. Sometimes they can charge straight in, other times the explosions and such will stop them. I think it'll be a great game mechanic. It will frustrate sometimes, but be exhilirating at other times. (Fleet allows you to re-roll this).

2) Overwatch/Snap Fire: again, another mechanic that makes realistic sense- If I'm being charged at from 6" away, I'll probably try to open fire, to stop 'em from getting to me. Shooting at BS1 (6) is a perfect way to represent this. I think this will make CC a bit more challenging, but in no way will it prevent CC (as some doomsayers have whined). It will just make it more realistic and more desperate.

3) Allies: certainly, this is GW's way to get people to buy more models. Their very text suggests reasons why Imperial Guard might work with Ork mercinaries... Yes, they want you to buy. However, long time players already have a ton of models. This is a nice way to incorporate them into games. I'm looking at this and saying "Yes! I can do a Plague Marine army with Chaos Daemons!" or "I can use a Traitor Guard army with a detachment of Plague Marines"... I don't know how this will impact "army balances", however this looks like it can be fun, and certainly good for storylines and such. This is no longer relegated to just an Apocalypse thing.

Wonderful artwork throughout
 4) Universal Special Rules: Many of the rules here have been tweaked, some are the same, and their are a ton of new ones. I can already see where the new Chaos Codex may be headed here... things like "Concussive", "Fleshbane", "Fear" and more... intriguing. Fearless is more like what it was in earlier editions. FNP has gone from 4 to 5+, but I'm OK with that. And wait till you see what flying monstrous creatures are capable of.

5) Challenges/Look Out Sir/ Focused Fire: here's some smaller, additional rules that will make things a bit more complex, but also making the game more strategic. With Challenge, your squad leader actually matters beyond simply a higher leadership. Look Out Sir takes a "heroic" idea straight out of war story sacrifices. Focused Fire allows you to fire at those outside of cover, meaning ypu have a greater chance at kiling the enemy without a ton of cover saves.

6) The Eternal War Missions: 5th edition sucked when it game to missions, with only 3 types; so limiting. 6th gives you 6 missions, with primary and secondary objectives. There's enough variety here, which is a vast improvement over 5th. I can't wait to try The Relic mission, which sounds alot like "Capture the Flag" from video games. There are other scenarios/missions later in the book, though I haven't gotten to them yet.

7) Vehicles/Flyers: On the one hand, vehicles are in danger because of hull points. However, I have not read anywhere in the book (again, I need more read-throughs) that "2 stunned = wrecked" as some had suggested. The hull points issue may mean that vehicles can be killed off a bit more easily. Yet, tanks can move 12", and then move an additional 6" for Flat Out (no shooting at all). That should help get tanks behind some obscuring cover. As for Fast Skimmers- oooohhh boy! My Dark Eldar are going to be very happy, I think. Finally, Flyers do indeed add some complication, as they are treated far, far differently from skimmers (flight modes, vector attacks, etc.). However, I am interested to try it with my Dark Eldar Razorwing... it may turn out to be something that shakes up the game a bit more. 

I'll stop at 7, as that is Nurgle's number... There's a ton of other stuff, but these seven are the big ones for me at the moment. I am really looking forward to trying out these new rules. Just reading it got me excited about trying out new ideas and seeing how they'll play out. I've read elsewhere that people were apprehensive about 6th, they didn't want to change from 5th, or they want a complete and total change to be in line with other tabletop games. They are entitled to their views, though I don't share them. As of now, I think that 6th is going to be really, really good. It changes the game just enough to make it interesting and different, without changing it so much that it would be unrecognizable. I'm content so far, and I can't wait to play my first game of 6th. Should I play as my old Plague Marines? The Dark Eldar? Chaos Daemons? Should I use allies right away, or save that for a later occassion?

I'll post again after I have read more of the massive tome... Still to come is the Dark Millennium fluff and the Campaigns/Scenarios section, plus the Psykers appendix. Until next time...

No comments:

Post a Comment