Saturday, May 31, 2014
First Thoughts On 7th!
Before I start let me warn everyone that I have not played a game of 7th Edition, or 6th for that matter... lol. This will be an outsiders view of 7th edition. I borrowed the book from a friend and I read the rules and here are my thoughts.
Let me start by saying that I even though I don't buy into rumors until I actually get to read the rules, I kind of gave in and got extremely excited when I saw a rumor stating that consolidating into another unit after a successful assault like it was back in just like, at least in my opinion, the glory days of 3rd and 4th edition. And then I read the rule book and searched and searched and searched. Read and reread the whole damn thing and my heart was crushed! NOOOOOOooooooooOOOOOOOOO! How could they?! 5th Ed got rid of consolidating into another unit, which hurt, 6th kept that status quo and added in random assault range and overwatch/snapfire along with terrain you can buy to slow down assaults even more, and 7th did the same, more or less.
The lack of consolidating into another unit after a successful assault really hampers assault armies IMO. You get penalized for smearing a unit in assault because you just open yourself up to gun lines, rapid fire weapons, etc on your opponent's turn. Smart players set up their army with bubble wrap. They're like "go ahead, kill that sacrificial unit, I'll just pump you full of bolters and las the next turn".
The game still feels like it is designed around shooty armies. I understand that some people might prefer it that way but I think assault needs more teeth. Assault armies used to be feared, as they should be. If I was a guardsmen I could handle being in a fortified position taking fire, but if someone is crazy or blood thirsty enough to charge my position and do it well, I might start to get a little scared. Assault is designed to wreak havoc on your opponents positioning. It makes the battlefield more fluid and less static. I think that in 7th there are plenty of things in the rules that already help gun lines deal with assault whether it be fortifications you can bring, overwatch/snapfire, random charge range, wounds being taken on the closest models, etc. IF consolidating into another unit was indeed brought back I think that it would still strike fear into people who play the static style, but they will still have enough tools to deal with it. If you roll well on overwatch/snapfire and can eliminate a good amount of the models that are at the front of the unit then their charge can fail, which opens them up to more incoming fire. That fortification you brought can stop a charge dead in their tracks as well. Shooty armies still have the upper hand in this edition and assault armies are still at a big disadvantage.
I know some will say "but you can still charge multiple units at once." Yes, I know that, but with all of the advantages shooty armies already have compared to assault armies, it makes it even more difficult to have charge range on multiple units. Also, most people these days set up their armies with multiple assaults in mind and try to space them out or stagger them out a bit.
Moving on, I like the mission cards. I'm not a competitive 40K player at all, as lame as it sounds, I'm all about the narrative. 40K is meant to be a fun game and the randomness can make some of the stupidest things happen, but that what makes it fun IMO. The mission cards (whatever faux latin name they gave them escapes me) just adds to this.
There's also the Psyker phase. I'm actually kind of glad they put Psychic Powers into their own phase, it makes it more like the Magic phase in Fantasy. I'm not too familiar with the new Phase so I can't comment on it too much but from what I've heard things can be a little broken at times. The summoning of demons thing is actually pretty cool in my opinion. I didn't really see anything new in the fluff but it seems a bit odd that Space Marine Librarians would be summoning demons. I internally rationalize this by thinking "shit, things but have gotten pretty desperate in the land of 40K that Space Marines are summoning demons." After all, the Golden Throne is supposed to be failing and our good old friend Abbadon is launching his 13th Black Crusade (for the 4th time already?). I understand that the Forging a Narrative section somewhat explains this, but it didn't explain enough. As I've always said, I would love it if they moved the narrative forward, even by an inch, and I would be frothing at the mouth, lol. I've read reports of people summoning in almost 1000 points of demons during a game. That's a little too much. I also don't quite understand how armies with no Psykers, such as my beloved Black Templars, deal with the Psychic Phase besides the +1 to Deny the Witch they get from Adamantium Will. No idea if that's any good or not. I do like the Perils of the Warp Table, adds a nice, fluffy touch.
There also the Battle Forged vs Unbound debate. My take on it, being the causal fluff guy that I am, is sure, why not. It's a tool that lets you make an incredibly fluffy themed list that might not have fit under the old Force Org. I also like how you get a bonus if you do use the Force Org, but I think they should have gone a step further. Why not take a page from Warmachine/Hordes and do something like their Tier lists? The Tier lists limit you on what models you can take in a list, but they all fit a specific theme that follows the fluff, and there are nice bonuses for taking a Tier list as well, but they're not overpowered. I understand how people are concerned that all the WAAC offs will abuse the living hell out of Unbound lists, but I don't play against WAAC offs and I advise you do the same. As for the tournament scene, I don't care, I don't play competitively and 40K is just not a competitive game.
So overall, even though I have not played a game of 7th, I don't think it's too bad. I'm still pist off about the lack of buffs to assault, but hopefully if I ever get a game in I could possible house rule it in. If I am able to house rule it in I think it would make an outstanding article reporting on how it changed the game, for better or worse. I like the mission cards, Unbound is awesome for fluffy lists and the Psychic Phase seems ok as well, as long as you don't summon in 1000 points of demons, lol. I can see myself playing a few games of 7th just for shits and giggles. And that says quite a bit considering I never played 6th.