Friday, July 6, 2012

6th Edition Ruminations: "What Do I Need to Know to Get Started?"

If I had to lay down a set of rules/tactics that I absolutely must know in 6th edition, what would I include in that list? 

Do I need to memorize all the new Commander traits and psychic powers or even flyer rules before getting started? 

What are the big changes I should be aware of right off the top?

There is an enormous amount of information in the new rule book and the purpose of this post is to give you as simple of a check list as possible to get into 6th edition. 
This post assumes you are not brand new to 40k altogether rather are returning or transitioning to 6th.

Macro/Micro changes are arbitrary categories assigned by me. They reflect the difference between 6th and 5th edition. They DO NOT reflect their potential impact on a particular game. 

For example, Flyers may be a game changer...but if you do not own just need to know how you can shoot them down and what happens...but only if your opponent has them. They do not affect every game. Conversely the 2d6 charge rule for assaults will affect every game, or wound allocation/model removal.

Generally Macro changes you want to learn first; and forward and backwards. Micro changes feel confident you can look up during the game without hurting yourself overmuch.

Macro Changes
  • Learn Game Set Up (pg 424): This just makes the game quicker and lets you focus on more important things.
  • Night Fight(pg 124): d6 roll 4+ Turn 1. If not activated roll again Turn 5(4+), if activated in affect rest of game. Make sure you learn what your army can and will want to do when this happens.
  • Special Rules (pg 32-43): Know yours backward and forward....look up your opponents in game.
  • Pre-Measurement: "Anything can be measured at any time" do so. This begins before deployment and does not stop until game ends. Your tape measure is your new best friend. Measure everything.
  • Buy an Imperial Bastion with Quad Gun and include it in any army 1500pts and over (pg 116)
  • Learn how to position your squads to protect your specials and characters in movement and assault (pgs 12-16, 19, 25-28). Simple everything in an Oval or Circle formation with your specials and Characters in the middle until you need to move them forward.
  •  Cover Saves: There isn't much, some wants to eat you alive. So find ruins and bring your own...see Imperial Bastion. 1/2 a squad in or out is gone. Read up.
  • Wound Allocation: From your shooting and taking casualties from opponent shooting, also in assaults...know this like the back of your hand.
  • 2d6 Assault (pg 20)
  • Overwatch (pg21): The choice to charge or accept a charge is totally different in 6th and quite army and situation dependent.
  • Learn Character and Challenge Rules backwards and forwards and plan for all scenarios (pg 63, 64-65)
  • Vehicle Rules: This is a large category and army specific. The changes feel in between Macro and Micro...but prudent time spent here is well spent.

6th Edition is focused on shooting, at least currently. New codex and meta game breakers might change this at some point. 6th edition games will be won and lost in how you can position your models to protect or cherry pick your characters/specials; "Challenge" will ruin your day or save your butt (I foresee getting quite sick of challenges midway through 6th), and wound allocation in mixed squads will see you bounce tremendous amounts of fire off your Characters or see them picked off early on lucky d6 rolls.

With the lack of anti aircraft guns currently look for many early 6th lists to include a hammer unit in a transport it will most likely get to your lines intact. Also 2+ saves will rule early in 6th with changes to AP values of close combat weapons.

But, don't count out the horde lists...especially horde lists that have guns (Shoota Boys, Hormaguants). With 50% night fight and more shots than you can count combined with no more fearless wounds from assault resolution these lists may end up the sleepers of 6th edition.

Micro Changes
  • Reserves (pg 124): Only 50% of units (rounding up) can start game in reserves, not including those that must start in reserve.
  • Movement Rules (pg 10, and then reference BRB for specific unit type)
  • Embarkation/Disembarkation 
  •  Commandeer Traits (pg 111): Have a general idea what is good for your Warleader/army.
  • New Psychic Powers (pg 418): Again, have a general idea what is good for your army if any.
  • New Missions and Deployments (pg 110, 118)

If your head is spinning with all the new possibilities with allies, force org changes, flyers, and multitude of other new candy this helps you focus and get your game on.

Thanks for the Read,


  1. Good rundown on a lot of the big stuff.

  2. Thanks! There really are a tremendous amount of change in this edition...have to start some where.




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