Sunday, June 24, 2012
6th Edition Ruminations: "2d6 Charge Range" Thematic Drama or Nerd Rage Quit? And "Is 6th Edition Mainly About Shooting?"
We are all eagerly awaiting the full rule set to see how our specific army/lists/tactics will be affected.
It is easy to get hung up on "micro" changes, relatively speaking, and miss the macro changes.
One change that I would consider game changing, or "macro" is the 2d6 charge range.
Another is the early indications that 6th Edition is unequally leveraged for shooty armies.
While the change to charge distances has been glossed over till now in most discussions, I feel this is a very large change to what we have all been accustomed to.
Think about it. We are all quite used to moving and arranging our units to be no more than 6" away to guarantee a charge. Now...there is no guarantee. Has anyone ever had a game hinge on a successful assault into/through difficult terrain to have your dice fail you? I know I have. In fact it happened to me in a tournament game 3 on table 1...and cost first, second, and third place.
You can, using statistics, say the average roll on 2d6 added together will result in 7". But will you hang your command squad on it? Do you roll average all the time? I know I don't. Statistics only go so far. I am more of a hands on guy.
Now I will say we don't know yet if you roll 2d6 and then pick what you want to charge or pick what you want to charge and roll 2d6. Obviously the former is much more forgiving and easier on the assaulting unit. We will have to wait and see. Of course there are some times when GW does have you roll at the worst time....Chaos Possessed anyone?
So I rolled 2d6 20 times, this is what I came up with:
10,4,6,7,8,8,9,8,4,5,5,8,5,8,6,3,6,6,11,5 or Avg 6.6...Pretty close to 7
Again 19 times with a reroll (for JP, move through cover) for any roll under 7:
6,6,8,8,10,11,9,11,7,9,9,7,8,8,9,10,7,8,5, (what is interesting is I re-rolled over half)...avg 7.8
So, did I roll the averages yes. Will I roll the average when I need it in a game...for me...hell no.
What is the point? I foresee many gamers, especially early in 6th, will rely on shooty armies. Those that do not have to assault or do not care if you do assault. A 2d6 roll for every assault will mean you will fail to assault quite often. With the fire power currently found in top tier armies combined with "Over watch", fortification, "snap fire", hull points, and changes to rapid fire weaponry....failing a charge will not be pretty.
How will we all take the first few games of 6th where we fail a charge probably once or twice in every game? Time will tell.
This ties into the second precocious statement I made in the title of the post, "Is 6th geared towards shooty armies?" I think absolutely based on early information. You can decide if this is good or bad for yourself.
Let's put the pieces together:
Changes to Rapid fire....doubles threat bubble of a plethora of standard troop units plus some elites.
Flyers...able to fire but low chances of getting return fire
Jink saves on speeders and some bikes, and jet bikes
Ability to bring normal to huge cover granting, gun toting fortifications to clog attack routes, provide cover saves, and go to ground behind
Reduction to cover saves
Focused Fire for enemy out of cover
Cover that eats you alive now...except when you bring your own
Allies or the ability to bolster your list with whatever your missing....now everyone can have Mephiston in their force, or take 3 Leman Russ, or now my Space Wolves can bring Mephy and a Storm Raven to give Bjorn a ride....sweet!
Hull Points and Changes to damage charts...no pen...no result...keep shooting...at least till your hull points run out
Vehicle squadrons do not block own line of sight...so stack them one behind the over and fire away.
Relentless may grant more shots to rapid fire weapons (not confirmed yet)
Vehicles can fire all weapons all the time, albeit some at BS1
.....and you will be unsure if you can make assault because you have to roll 2d6 to get in
Does it look like we are leaning towards a very shooty 41st millennium yet?
Quick application to armies that will stand out early...those that shoot very well, have access to best psychic powers and unit types, and those that do not care if you assault them....let's think for a minute.....
Yeah, Space Wolves look really good in 6th based on early info. Along with MSU IG and of course GK's. What is better than being able to have rapid fire on 2 plasma gun toting Grey Hunters, cheap devastators, allies with strom ravens...and then be able to yell "COUNTER CHARGE!" when you do get past my gun emplacement fortifications that have been giving me a cover save...all while my scouts sneak on behind enemy lines to contest your fortified objective.
With hull points, and vehicle damage table changes look for MSU Vehicle Spam BA's to move into a higher position on the tournament scene.
GK's out shoot everyone now, let's add some IG to the mix and wait for you to assault...say hello to my little friend...the halberd, rad grenade, as psychotrope grenade...ah but I digress.
Don't take this last set of ruminations as negative. I can deal with change and will just adjust my tactics and army lists accordingly. I will have fun regardless.
But, what about those of us who have a OCD streak or don't accept change that does not immediately benefit our finely tuned toy soldiers? How about the competitive gamer that builds their list to take out all the "chance" he can? How will we feel after the game where we failed 4/5 assault rolls and got hammered? Ah, then we may see some Nerd Rage!
For those that do experience uncontrolled nerd rage quit...please find my email address upper right of the blog and send me a line. I will take your army off your hands for cheap!
Thanks for read,