Sunday, 8 July 2012

Some thoughts on 6th edition - Part 1

Having had a read of some of the new rules I thought it would be interesting to start a bit of a debate on the latest edition and to share my thoughts on it. In this part I will look at what I think are the key changes in the basic rules for moving, shooting, assault and morale.

The movement phase seems to have somewhat thinned down but nothing overly noteworthy appears to have happened here. The shooting phase is a different kettle of fish!

The first, and my favourite rule is the change back to the second edition style of play whereby only models in a squad that actually move count as moving, allowing half a squad to redeploy to counter a threat whilst still allowing heavy weapons to fire. I also like the addition of the snap shot rule allowing non-blast/template weapons that are normally move or shoot to fire at BS1 on the move.

The new wound pool method of allocating wounds to the closest model until it dies should be quite interesting as it means multi-wound squads such as Tau battle suits will become slightly less survivable as they get forced to take break tests quicker than they would have done before. I think it will only be a matter of time before people start to counter this by clever deployment of models within the squad to protect more valuable troops; although it does produce a slight quandary over where to position meltaguns!

The assault phase has had some positive inclusions, such as AP on close combat weapons, although I still find it amazing that a guardsman's rusty bayonet is just as like to slip through power armour as a chainsword swung by a superhuman augmented warrior! I also don't like the fact that pistols are not taken into account for AP but hey-ho at least it's a step in the right direction.  More on weapons at a later date however...

I also love the idea of over watch fire allowing the defending unit to snap shoot at the attackers as they come barrelling towards them, that conjures up some great images of brave guardsmen hastily shooting at a rampaging enemy under the command of rock steady officers!

However, I do believe they have made a right hash of the basic rules of the assault phase. Firstly they have made the highest initiative strikes first massively over complicated, especially with introducing the pile in moves part way through. My opinion is a simple statement as per fifth edition of models strike in initiative order was fine and adding in the pile ins will just make it more complicated.

The other new rule I can't abide is the everyone rolls 2D6 for charge range! Not only does this mean an army like a BA red flea army can be in combat in turn 1 it also makes them horrifically open to failing a charge at a crucial moment. I really struggle to see how in a group of highly trained jump-packed warriors Bob trips as the unit charge and so the whole squad stops to pick him up and brush him down in the face of the enemies guns?! The converse to this is that a bunch of lumbering terminators can somehow cover a quarter of a standard battlefield in one charge! Come on GW that rule is just daft! I could understand it before when units charged through cover but having to do it every assault will seriously discourage me from taking an assault orientated army!

I also don't like the disordered charge rule, how can a unit that is charging all pent up and ready to unleash hell somehow looses this advantage just because they happen to engage two units?

Morale seems to have changed very little between editions, with the exception of the introduction of a rule allowing you to shoot at BS1 as units fall back.  I think this is a great addition representing the need for units to provide cover fire in a disciplined fall back manoeuvre or just the sheer blind panic spray and pray attempts to cover one's own backside in a rout!

That's all for a fairly text heavy post, next time I'll start to look at some of the more advanced rules. Over to you for your thoughts and comments!


  1. I quite like the piling in during the assault... it means that people can't try to shield their characters from the fight as effectively. The regular troops beat the crap out of the regular troops, allowing the power fist sarge to step through and take on the enemy character. Course he get's a "look out sir" roll so it's not like combat sniping, but you can still hope he fails those rolls. It also tones down mindshackle scarabs somewhat - you have to be in base contact with the bearer at the START of the assault phase, and with most res orb lords being toward the back of the unit to keep them alive longer you can pretty much guarantee the first round he won't be getting in until his initiative step, and certainly not being able to use pile in to effectively pick his target. Ken complained mindshackle were overpowered, well perhaps they were written with sixth in mind.

    And the disordered charge is another rule I like. Imagine it being that you can do a focused charge against one target, but if you're saying "right you three that way us four this way" and getting shot from several angles, I can imagine that would disrupt your rhythm somewhat. From a rules point of view, people have long used the multi charge as a mechanic to hide in combat for just long enough to give their opponent no response to them during their turn - now if you're multi-charging you'll be less combat effective and maybe you can't guarantee you'll break through in two rounds of combat...

  2. Yeah I agree with the initiative pile in bits as is more in line with how initiative works, you wouldnt step up and wait a few mins before you hit someone, it bw all one action. I think look out sir on a 2+ for ic all the time is bit much esp in cc, generally means he survives but then flees to combat res and gets run down. Otherwise so far am liking the changes.

  3. I can see your point, but I still think the mechanics worked fine for combat before, after all if you were within 2 inches of someone then you could still fight, now it's effectively been extended to 5 inches...

    I would agree with you on the 2+ look out sir rule, it now makes much more sense to bury your commander in a survivable unit.

    I'm certainly not saying I hate the rules, after all I have so far only read them, not played them, but I don't like how close combat reads.