5th vs 6th (and then some)

fite1Since Thor recently brought back the subject by reintroducing the survey, I thought I’d jump in with more commentary than he bargained for… Having spent some time with 6th edition now there are changes I like and some I don’t, and some I’d liked to have seen but which didn’t come about.  Here’s a few of my thoughts:

1. I have mentioned before a modified shooting rule for “broad side of the barn” shooting.  Therefore this is a suggestion that obviously didn’t come about:

* Large Targets +1 to hit with shooting attacks.  These include (1) Vehicles, (2) Monstrous Creatures, and (3) units of more than 10 models (so 11 or more).  It just seems logical to me that a big landraider should be easier to hit than a single guy running across the field.  Same for a big monster or a big gathering of infantry, bikes, what-have-you — shoot into a crowd and you’re bound to hit someone.

* This bonus to hit does not apply to Fast Vehicles and Flyers (zoom or hover modes) due to their speed and maneuverability.

2. Running.  It always seems stupid to me when a unit leader says, “Okay boys, let’s run this out and get there quickly!” and then they jog another inch and stop.  In my opinion Running should be exactly like Difficult Terrain — roll 2D6 and pick the higher.  This still allows for chance to affect it but makes it more likely your men will actually RUN rather than trip or play hop-scotch. (another suggested rule)

3. Vehicle Damage.  I say go back to the 5th edition way of doing this!  I can see why the hull point system came about and it makes some sense, but I don’t think that a hail of bolters or shurikens that only glance should bring down a hover tank.  A glance is a glance for a reason.  It makes perfect sense to me that a tank or dreadnought would take hit after hit and keep coming — that’s what they do!  Vehicles have taken a big loss with this “glanced to death” system.

4. 6th seems to have skimmed out most of the Eternal Warriors.  I think they’ve gone overboard, even stripping immortal daemons of this status.

5. Assaulting from reserve.  Go back to 5th!  Some units’ whole schtick was to outflank and assault!  It’s dumb to have these stealthy combat units, like Eldar Striking Scorpions and Genestealers, sneak onto the board edge next to the enemy and then stand there to be shot — shot TWICE, actually, if you include Overwatch.  Suckin’!

6. 6th ed shooting changes — for the most part I really like things like Overwatch and Snap Shots.  Snap shots allows those guys with heavy weapons a chance to still be worth something when they move, which is great, as well as allowing vehicles to fire and move.  Great idea!  My only complaint is with template and blast weapons.  They should get a snap shot too.  Make them deviate on every hit if you have to, but allow these guys to pull the trigger just like anyone else.  It’s especially apparent with firing a missile launcher: fire a krak and you can snap shot; fire a frag from the very same weapon and you can’t.  WHY NOT???  It’s the same weapon!  (My guess — laziness or disagreement at GW on figuring out the rules for it.)

7. Characters — I really like how they’ve gone toward giving the models more life, including emphysizing (spelling on that?) characters.  It gives your army a lot more personalities to play with and brings your game/forces more to life.

8. I’ve already extensively commented on challenges.  I’ve learned to like them more as they are but still don’t feel it’s a perfect system…

9. Revision and standardization of the Universal Special Rules was a nice touch.  Simplifies things and brings them all under (nearly) the same roof.

10. Hit allocation.  I preferred 5th edition to be honest.  The “cinematic” argument is that hitting the front-most model makes for better and “more logical” action but it seems to me that multiple guys shooting or striking multiple guys…  they aren’t all going to be shooting at the lead-most man.  If you have 10 shooting 10, they’re going to spray shots pretty evenly.  I liked the controlling player having a say in who lives and dies.  Yes, it favors the victim more, but what’s wrong with preserving your best stuff?  THAT makes the game more dramatic and cinematic, I think, to preserve your coolest stuff for use and getting your points worth out of them.  I happily support the Precision Shots/Strikes for characters and snipers and such, but that should be the extent of it — otherwise, you pick your own casualties.

There, ten’s a nice even number.  Any discussion/disputes???

J. D. Brink





    The rules you’ve picked out all need attention. I especially like your point about snap fire. I can only assume that GW weren’t able to find a suitable way of reducing the effectiveness of blast weapons in line with non-blast weapons.

    Why not always scatter at BS1?

  • TheRhino

    Gonna have to pick this one apart. Sorry.

    1. So, under your system, Marines hit all of those targets on a 2. My twin-linked weaponry would love this. Guard, with their walls upon walls of high S, low AP heavy weapons will hit on 3s. The vendetta fires three twin-linked lascannons at BS3. And you think people dislike them now? Necron Warriors will become the best tank killers in the entire game, as they’ll shoot at vehicles at BS 5 with Gauss weaponry.

    2. Have you ever tried running over rough terrain while being shot at? It’s not a 50-yard dash on the local track, or a romp through daisies.

    3. Cheap, low-AV vehicles die to torrents of fire, yes. Mid-to-high AV vehicles do not. Light-skinned vehicles can be suppressed and destroyed by pinpoint machine gun fire.

    4. It’s a result of balance. If every multiwound model in a Daemon army had EW, you’d have to take every single wound off every single model. In an army that can take units of multiwound models in every single slot except Troops, that’s not balanced. An army like Guard or marines relies on those heavy weapons to pull some weight. If the effect of firing a S10 demolisher cannon is exactly the same as firing a S5 Whirlwind vengeance Missile, why bother with a demolisher at all?

    5. This one I actually agree with, especially combined with the no-more-than-half restriction on reserves.

    6. Again, balance. The percentage chance of landing a snap shot before using any special rules or war gear is 17%. The chance of landing on target with a scatter weapon is 33%. Just about twice as effective. Why would you NOT fill every slot in your army with blast weapons? Template weapons auto-hit!

    7. No comment.

    8. No comment.

    9. I agree.

    10. You DO have control of which models die. You have COMPLETE control, because YOU are the one that moves them. If you’re facing a wall of Guardsmen, it might behoove you to put your flamer in the back for a while. Doing otherwise and then griping that he died first is just poor play. Yes, yes. In past editions the rules tried to explain away wound allocation by saying that someone else picked up his weapon. Blah blah. But if your flamer guy was vaporized by a battle tank, I’m thinking the idea that his flamer was destroyed right along with his face is perfectly acceptable.
    I think you’re thinking too hard on these rules. 40K is not a battlefield simulation, it’s a game that uses a set of rules to determine a winner. If 40K subscribed to some sort of realistic simulation system, you’d be facing an entire table of Orks with only 10 Marines. Land Raiders would be unstoppable. Daemons wouldn’t die to lasgun fire. You have to divorce yourself from the idea that the rules have to make sense, and just learn them, then use them to play the game.

    • I was in the process of doing the same when your post came through, Rhino. So I’ll respond to yours instead of the main post since I agree with you save the following exceptions:

      5) I also agree with this one. I am hoping that GW will at least give this back to certain units as a special rule (i.e. genestealers.)

      6) I like the idea of blast/large blast weapons auto-scattering at BS1 or 3d6 when snap fired (there used to be a reason for the arrow on the “Hit” symbol, and this would be a good place to bring it back.) I’d also like to see blasts/large blasts score a single hit on flyers on a 6, no blast marker placed on a hit or miss (as the shell bursts harmlessly in the air or simply flies off the battlefield.) I would keep the restrictions against template weapons, Artillery, and Ordinance though.

      10) I also prefer this mechanic to allocation as it make positioning a more important aspect. You can protect your special models by placing them in the rear (or by putting a hefty shield model up front) but your opponent can also outmaneuver you to set up lines that improve the chance of killing these models.

      • TheRhino

        The problem with #6 is that if you force a full scatter at BS1, why bother firing it at all? A small blast, for example, scattering at an average roll of 7 would ALWAYS miss its target, as it’s only a 3″ wide template. You might as well fire that krak missile instead, as it’s actually more likely to hit and do some damage.

        • It would almost always miss the initial target but still have a decent chance of hitting the unit. Against a single model or vehicle you’d be smarter to use the krak in any situation. And for weapons that done have the option (i.e. plasma cannons) it would still be better than nothing without being broken.

          • TheRhino

            I’m sticking with the theory that they disallowed it purely to avoid off-unit shenanignans. They probably wanted to avoid the “Ok, I have no chance of landing this shot, but I’m going to fire anyways because there are plenty of other models nearby I might hit.”

        • cpyke

          If that was the rule it would be a bit too powerful I think. Snap shots mean you have a 17%ish chance of hitting, and if you don’t, nothing happens. Blast on the other hand, if you are shooting into a big unit, you are almost guaranteed to hit something. Especially if you have a unit that can snap shot with large blast weapons. Maybe if it always scattered with 3D6 or something? I don’t know.

    • JustHippie

      I agree with both of you on #4- the EW issue. I feel they went overboard by not giving at the very least Greater Daemons EW(instead we got Skulltaker as the only EW). It was too much when the whole dex was EW but it also had fewer multi-wound units. Having a Greater Daemon die to a silly force weapon when they come from the warp is just sad.

  • cpyke

    I really like the new system for vehicle damage, but I think it still needs some refinement. Any rules that pretty much removes a unit’s usefulness in my opinion needs some changes. For example, the close combat dreadnought. In this case I don’t think it is the vehicle damage that is the problem, but grenades. It seems crazy to me that a 10man unit of marines fighting a dreadnought in close combat would all be able to stick a krak grenade in some joint in it’s armour without blowing each other up. I think that in close combat, grenades should be limited to only allow one guy at a time to use them, but make them stronger. Being able to be glanced to death doesn’t seem like a problem to me. Maybe some vehicles should have a few more HP so they don’t just pop when someone looks at them (landspeeders possibly).

    As for the hit allocation. I love the new system. It brings in a bunch of new tactics that you can/need to use. Protecting the important weapons in the back. Outflanking (not the special rule, just moving behind) enemy units to get shots off on valuable targets etc.It makes things much more interesting. As much as I liked keeping my big guns until last, I’ve always thought that was a bit unrealistic. I’d rather pay careful attention to what I’m doing than move my guys without a care in the world knowing that the best weapons will be around until very last.

    I like your “broad side of the barn” idea, but not the rules you proposed. Maybe going the other way around where a unit of 2 or less normal infantry units (on the small bases) would force you to shoot at -1BS or +1 to cover save. (or something along those lines)? Making things shoot better at units would just mean that more things are going to die on both sides, but making it harder to hit small, nimble units would make things more fun later in the game with more units in play.

  • JD Brink

    Well I’m glad to see I got some feedback… And all valid points, though i think we could go back and forth forever and will always differ on some of them, including which ones are more like simulation than simple game play. I’ll just comment on a few comments:
    — maybe “broad side of the barn” could be just rerolling 1s? I do see the point that some guys would just never miss, which wouldn’t be fair either. And if you tried to keep track of “this vehicle moved and that one didn’t” for modifiers it’d be too complex. I guess when you’re dealing with a 1-6 dimension there’s not enough variance to allow for too many variables.
    — I still say running should be 2d6, pick higher. After all, when you were moving your full 6″ in the Movement phase and picking through difficult ground at 2d6, you were being shot at then, right? “Running” is just continuing the same motion rather than stopping to shoot. So why should it be so much more difficult?
    — Snap firing blasts may be a balance issue, but if you make it always deviates and 3D6 then it’s your gamble. The guy knows if he whips that plasma cannon around so fast and pulls it he’s taking a big chance, but he does it anyway. He has the ability to take that chance. It’s dumb to say the weapon doesn’t function. If you hit your own guys that’s your fault. If you fire into a big crowd you should hit someone. The template thing they kinda fixed for d3 overwatch — something of that nature would make sense too. Or a scattering template marker that might hit your own too?
    — I agree that eternal warrior shouldn’t be handed out, but it should apply to some. greater daemons got the be “greater” cuz they badass. If Abaddon is an eternal warrior, why shouldn’t a Bloodthirster or an Avatar be? I’m for making the Heroes a little more Superhero — for me, they’re the coolest part of the game. THAT’S cinematic, having your Bruce Willis badass survive despite the krak that detonated on his back. Which is also some of my dislike for front model dies first — then all you’re great heroes are leading from the back like cowards. Realistic, maybe, but not as cool.
    — Yes, light vehicles can be chewed up by machineguns but I hate to see a bunch of sidearms do the job.

    Thanks for the back-and-forth!

    • BenitoSenence

      Interesting comments, I have to agree about the run though. I play with units with fleet but a run of 1″ is not running to me. After playing other game systems the GW 40k for run is by far the slowest of systems for units giving up shooting to move “faster” to get in another position

      • TheRhino

        Perhaps a simple option to either run a flat 3″, or roll the d6 and get what you get?
        I feel the problem with a 2d6 run mechanic is that it makes fleet crazy good. Unless you have shite luck, you’re always running 4-6 inches if you’re fleet. With the 2d6 take highest you’re proposing, EVERY unit is now de facto Fleet, and actual Fleet units simply move an extra 6″ in the shooting phase.

        • JD Brink

          I forgot about fleet now affecting your run move too. So yes, that would be an unfair advantage with that extra bit. the flat three 3 or roll is a good gamble to play too — you can actually RUN 3 or you can take a chance. that would play well i think.

          • BenitoSenence

            The problem with the new fleet it work with the old units. Fleet provided light armor troops the ability to cc. That’s what fleet should do and that way a run is an extra 6″

            • JD Brink

              Right, fleet used to be you could move and run and assault. Now the charge move is up to 12″ so it covers that already. I think fleet works well for this edition.

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