After a couple of days of speed-reading, cogitating, and performing mental gymnastics to come up with interesting lists and combinations of lists, tonight I got my first game of 6th Edition 40k.
I figured the best way to learn the ropes of this latest revision of the game was to focus on one or two new aspects, picking a list that would enable me to try a couple of new rules, rather than trying to lane everything all at once.
I decided to focus on psychic powers and vehicles. My list was two squads of missile launcher-Long Fangs, three Las-canon Razorbacks, two five-man Grey Hunter squads, a dreadnought with las-cannon and missile launcher, and a Master of Runes. These were joined by a Blood Angels detachment of ten assault marines in a Land Raider Redeemer, with an Epistolary and a Sanguinary Priest. Four psychic powers then and a whole lot of shooty.
I was up against a foot-dar army. A battery of d-cannons, some Striking Scorpions, lots of guardians, some jet bikes, some Vipers, and a Fire Prism. Oh, and an Avatar.
Long story short - I won, quite comfortably. Eldar on foot are hopeless against marine missiles and even the Avatar dies quickly against massed Las-cannons. Basically it was a story I am used to seeing. My army has a lot of targets for an enemy to choose from and I have not yet faced one who could correctly prioritize targets. My opponent tonight, for example, seemed obsessed with destroying my dreadnought, despite there being two scoring units of marines, sitting on an objective in Razorbacks, closer to the Eldar.
I have to say though, at this early stage, I am not a fan of how vehicles work, specifically how they take damage. In the old system, both glancing and penetrating hits could hurt you. You could take a vehicle out with a glancing hit, but it was difficult. Penetrating hits had a greater chance of removing vehicles from play. As 6th edition stands, glancing hits seem to sort of wear vehicles out. There's no element of chance, no difference between any two glances. They are all equally damaging and as few as two will wreck your toy. Its a simplification of the vehicle damage system - but only the one half of it.
I think GW has fixed a problem here that didn't really exist. They have exchanged a system that, due to the element of chance, could result in a vehicle heroically struggling through a multitude of hits or perhaps just suffering a catastrophic failure early in it's life, for a sort of 'lives' system wherein vehicles have a fairly predictable lifespan and may not be worth taking at all. Meh, only my first game and all. I just liked that randomness in 5th
Psychic powers are also very different. Would you believe that in six turns, I didn't get off one power? My Rune Priest fell victim to a combination of Eldar stones and the new Perils rule. He failed two psychic tests and, now, gets no saves. Bye bye. My Blood Angels psyker, on the other hand, just never had cause to use one. There were no assaults in the game so his Smite and Haemorrhage powers were never needed. The nerf to Hoods meant he wasn't even of any use to dispel the Eldar witches casts.
One positive discovery from all this was that fast skimmers get the Jink rule. So those Stormravens may be of use as transports after all.
Overall then, my first experience of 6th was positive. I wouldn't say the game as a while felt like a massive improvement over 5th. It's more of an acceptable alternative.
I'm not a fan of how vehicles are now treated but I didn't see any compelling reason to change from a list with several of them included. Small units and Long Fang spam also seen viable, but, if there had been some close combat, I might be saying otherwise.
Psychic powers are harder to judge, given that I got to use none of them. The nerf to Hoods sucks though, as does the new Perils. The fact that anyone can resist them and, more so, that everyone has an equal chance to do so, also kind of sucks. Looking at that list then, it seems I'm going to give psychic powers a thumbs-down.
Again though, it's early days and this was a first game. It was fun enough and if course winning if always good. Hopefully I'll get a few more games in in the next few weeks and find more joy from this latest edition.