Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Things That Sucked in 5th But Are Awesome In 6th

Hey gang.  After having a few games under my belt I'm going to refrain from claiming to have solved the game or know what's the end all, be all of 6th Edition.  That said, I have made some observations that I think stand up pretty well.  

Fortunately for the world, everyone and their brother have been talking about their views on 6th Edition.  Rather than rehash everyone else's topics, I thought I would discuss units that were either bad or mediocre in 5th edition which have become strong in 6th.  This can be either rules that directly improve them, or more commonly, rules encourage a style of play that indirectly benefit them.  So without further adieu...

Oh wait, I was good in 5th too!

1.  Deathstars.  But only certain ones.  Multi-wound models are ideal, but what's most important is the models count as upgrade characters: Sergeants, Warlocks, Nobz, etc.  The key to manipulating wound allocation now is being able to bounce wounds as needed regardless of positioning.  Farseer with Fortune leading a unit of Warlocks with an attacked 2+ armor save Phoenix Lord are cute, because on a 2+ you can't move any AP2 shots directed at the PL to a Warlock who gets a 4++ re-rollable save.  Conversely, if you get lit up by a Battle Cannon, on a 4+ you can move wounds to the PL who gets a re-rollable 2+ armor save.  This will ensure that an already tough to kill unit is even tougher to kill.  Multi-wound units like Mega-Nobz are even crazier to get rid of, and if they are on bikes the old plan of Power Fists/Thunder Hammers instant killing them doesn't work so well.

2.  Powerfists.  As a corollary, IC's armed with Fists/Hammers are insane.  They have a 2+ LOS to keep clean of wounds.  What this means is, any Fearless/ATSKNF unit with an IC with a fist is going to inevitably grind you to nothing.  The Fist will do a couple of wounds every turn and will never be killed, and will never break.  This is very scary.  A lowly Ork Warboss with a Claw in a unit of 30 Boyz can easily wipe units several times their points value if you can't kill the IC.  A possible solution is gearing your IC's to beat up other IC's in challenges, in order to mitigate the damage they can do.

3.  Attack Bikes.  Multi-melta attack bikes were outclassed by MM Speeders in 5th.  In 6th, however, Attack Bikers are survivable whereas MM Speeders are not.  Attack bikes are mostly immune to Instant Death now, whereas before one Krak Missile ended their day.  Attack bikes can still be torrented down by small arms fire, but they stand up better to lascannons/missiles than Speeders.  Typhoon Speeders are still good, but bringing an MM Speeder into a range where it can be effective is suicide.  As Attack Bikers are slightly more survivable, and cost fewer points, I see them replacing MM Speeders by and large.

4.  Predators.  Oh yes.  These are all stars now.  Doubt me at your own expense.  Predators are now the choice de jour of Vanilla/BT/DA/Chaos Space Marine Heavy Support.  BA and SW get insanely cheap Devastators that you can't pass on, but everyone else should be taking Predators outside of special builds.  Here why: fire suppression is dead.  The entire concept of Shake Stunning a Predator the whole game until you randomly Wreck it is over.  AV13 at 36-48" is going to shoot at you every turn and you won't stop it until it's dead.  Sure, you can focus fire on one, but it's going to take 5 or 6 Missile Shots from an MEQ to remove one Hull Point.  So essentially, to Catch a Predator is a significant firepower investment.  You might get lucky and Explode it, or Shake along the way, but for the most part, the overall firepower a Predator brings to the table over the course of the game is vastly improved from 5th.  And from a cost effective standpoint, they compare favorably to Devastators for the books I cited above.  This is similar to the next entry...

5.  Vindicators/Demolishers.  I said it.  They sucked in 5th, but they have game in 6th.  For starters, the drawback of "one gun syndrome" is significantly lessened.  You're just as likely to Explode it as you are to Weapon Destroyed it.  And you are significantly more likely to simply Wreck it long before either of those results.  So guess what: it will shoot it's Cannons every turn until it dies.  And unlike 5th, they smash vehicles to smithereens.  And they kill Nob bikers to smithereens.  Don't get me wrong, they are not the end all be all, but they are vastly, vastly improved.  For Templars and Blood Angels, they should be strongly, strongly considered as they will get to shoot before midfield weapons like Psycannons/Multi-meltas can even think about stopping them.  Going back to the Nob Bikerz, if T5+ deathstars (which several codices can do now) become a force on the tournament scene, the value of Vindis will only increase.

6.  Chaos Havoks with Autocannons.  In my opinion, if you gave me the option of a gun that fired one shot that could easily penetrate a vehicle, or a gun that fired multiple shots that easily glance a vehicle, I'll take the latter.  Glances are how you reliably kill anything short of AV14.  That being the case, Havoks with Auto-Cannons are kings of the battlefield.  A single unit of AC havoks will do about 2.66 glances to a Rhino per turn.  A unit with Krak missiles will do 1.75 glances.  Yes, the Kraks are more likely to penetrate, but you are going to kill the Rhino with glances before you kill it by exploding.  That being the case, Havoks with AC are the superior choice for Light Mech control.  Additionally, the AC Havoks have more game against Monstrous Creatures, Flyers and random Infantry than Missiles.  Unfortunately for most loyalist Marines, their Devs don't get AC, so that leaves Chaos Marines smiling.  Do you bring Predators or Havoks?  Either choice is good, but Predators are clearly more cost effective with AC/LC than as Dakka Preds.  If you want anti-heavy mech, Predators.  Anti-Light Mech or MC, Havoks.  It comes down to how good the remainder of your list is at killing the other stuff.

I have some more of these, and I'll share them with you guys in future installments.  So for now I'll warn you about this: if you dismiss AV13 long ranged firepower as non-competitive, you'll be making a huge mistake.  Keep bringing Missile Devs and MM Speeders to your own detriment.



  1. Loving what you have so far. As a Vanilla Marine player, I felt sort of left in the dust. Now that 6th is here, it's great to see all the versatile options I have, again. :)

  2. Hmmm... I'm going to disagree with you on one important point, which is Multimelta Speeders.

    Changes to the game have made both Speeders and Attack Bikes better, but have separated them into separate rolls. Speeders are now the kings of Drop and Pop. The 3+ for reserves (easily made into a 2+ with allies, etc) means that if you throw a few Land Speeders into Deep Strike reserve, they are very likely to come in. The new fast vehicle rules means you can outfit a Speeder with two Multimeltas and fire them both on the turn it comes in. The new Deep Strike mishap table is far more forgiving.

    Attack Bikes are also an excellent choice, but for a different roll. Moving up the field behind vehicles and then popping out to nuke things.

    I would offer that both units have their place. I have used Land Speeders in all three games and they performed admirably in the roll I expect of them: an 80 point unit that will pop in and nuke a vehicle for me.

    I would say that putting more than one speeder in is a waste. Two multimelta shots are reliable enough, that 4 is simply overkill. Additionally, no matter how many speeders you have, they are all going to die, so you may as well limit the pain to a single model. A unit of Marines can simply bolter/krak grenade all three to death even if you have a full squadron. It's a poor investment.

    I will be running two speeders (singles, with two Multimeltas) in my Loganwing army. They add a valuable tool that the army otherwise lacks.

    Good stuff other than that. Looking forward to continued conversations about this brave new world. :D

    1. Oh man immediately after publishing realized I used the wrong "role" ... feeling dumb, lol.

    2. Strong points. I'm not the biggest fan of suicide units, but if that is a role that becomes strategically useful in 6th Edition it's worth having.

  3. Hey cool, my thought exactly.

    For my orks I was thinking. Real T5 nob bikers, no Fearless wounds, 2+ look out sir for IC, we are back in business.

    One more think I want to use it 15 Burnas (maybe with a Burna, KFF wielding Big Mek) in a battle wagon. With 6'' disembark they can get better positions to maximize template coverage and then who's want to charge them? 30 S4 hits in overwatch on average. Also all of them can overwatch from inside the BW. Insane stuff!

  4. Autocannon Havoks: awesome. I love the concept, and now they are bad-ass. I'm gonna have to build more of them.
    Death Company are as well a unit that sucked in 5th but is now very, very scary.

  5. Is it just me, or do the shooting rules on page 13 prohibit the Vindicator's Demolisher from being fired as a Snap Shot? There seems to be no rule that specifically allows Ordnance weapons on vehicles to be fired as Snap Shots - only a general prohibition and then a repetition of prohibition for non-vehicles.

    1. For a while, I thought so as well. And I was pretty disappointed. I read the Snap Fire rules and its reference to Ordnance weapons being unable to fire "Snap" shots, but then I looked at the Ordnance rules itself, and it says "Non-Vehicles" cannot make Snap-Fire shots. If they meant all ordnance, they wouldn't have included the part about vehicles. So, in my opinion, yes...vehicles can snap fire. But because of BT PotMS, we don't suffer from the BS1. ;)