I’ve kept an intentionally low profile on the 6th Edition speculation, because previously I was awfully pessimistic. I would rate my current outlook on competitive 6th Edition as “Very Cautiously Optimistic.”
Without going into a whole ordeal, I have a mere three gripes with everything I have heard. However, what my gripes lack in plurality they gain individual potential to ruin the game.
First, I think allies have the potential to totally break the game. If the rules are handled properly it could be done balanced; but it’s far more likely that allies will either be out of control, or never worth using. I don’t know yet exactly what the restrictions will be, but I can’t think of many ways that they would be GOOD for tournament play. While they may not harm it, they certainly can’t help it. Even if the rules for allies prevent all broken combos, except one, that one is enough to spoil the whole thing.
Second, I think buying fortifications are super dumb. Look at the all the drama around the blogosphere surrounding NOVA’s terrain and how it matches up with individuals’ conceptions of how 40k terrain should be. Terrain is, clearly, a very touchy issue and incredibly difficult to balance. So any rule that lets a player manipulate or place his own terrain is bound to create all kinds of balance issues. Again, fortifications might be balanced for 90% of the lists that would take them, but the 10% that are wildly imbalanced are enough to ruin a tournament.
Third, one of the deployments is short table edges. This is so scary, because it puts certain armies at an immediate disadvantage while greatly benefitting others. Of the three issues, I feel this is the easiest to mitigate, especially since most tournaments use long edge deployments for each scenario anyway regardless of the alternatives.
In summation, the things I listed have the potential to be OK if handled absolutely perfectly, but if handled wrong could be a disaster. I highly doubt the risk is worth the reward, but the allies and fortifications rules seem like something that the sales wing of the company forced the design portion of the company to include. Top down game design from non-designers is usually bad. And I’ll leave it at that with my fingers crossed.
On a positive note…
Many of the rumors I thought would make Templars awesome are confirmed. Er, as confirmed as they could be at this juncture.
|Re-rolling ur misses, and sometimes ur wounds|
Let’s list the things that are stronger in 6th that Templars have the best of already…
1. Terminators. Ours are the same price as everyone else’s, shoot at vehicles better, and fight in close combat better than everyone else’s. Oh yeah, power weapons are “confirmed” to be AP3 last I heard. Game on.
2. Skimmers. Our Typhoon speeders are cheaper than everyone else. And now they can get a cover save. This isn’t a huge upgrade, but if I’m reading correctly they can go flat out, get a cover save, and shoot their weapons at BS1. Fine by me. Two frag missiles at BS1 can still do some decent damage to infantry. This is just a strike upgrade.
3. Preferred Enemy. The re-roll of 1’s to wound is great, since 1’s are the only thing Thunderhammers don’t wound on. Since vehicles have weapon skill now, I also assume this works on vehicles, though I wouldn’t be shocked if they word it to say “non-vehicle” units or something to that effect.
4. Land Raiders. 4 Hull Points and the new vehicle damage chart means that the only thing killing them quickly is a lot of melta. This means that a Crusader will likely get to deliver it’s payload, and a godhammer can shoot at range all day. What long range weapons will someone bring that can reliably pop a Land Raider now? It is pretty darn hard for a Lascannon to do it since glances don’t mean much to a Land Raider anymore. I don’t know if that will be enough to get people to bring Godhammers, but it might.
What are my initial thoughts? Tough to say. All the things, except the Typhoons, that I mentioned are not cheap. You could write a list with terminators and land raiders that is really bad. Too many shiny toys. But in a tournament like NOVA, we’ve seen kp/vp denial lists do rather well.
On the other hand, I could also envision a list with three troops sitting in dedicated transport Land Raiders just holding objectives all day with Terminators providing shooting and counter charge duties. It would probably not be the ideal way to do a BT list in 6th, but we have seen that 2 or 3 nearly indestructible troop choices can be as good as 6 cheap ones.
Thoughts? Comments? Questions?