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Friday, 16 May 2014

7th Edition 40K - Worth it?

These last few years have seen radical changes as GW continually introduces new things previously unheard of before. Especially seen in its release schedule. We have seen data slates, Mini Faction Codices, speedy releases, White Dwarf changes, website changes, Allies and the list goes on. Now we have something coming many people could not believe. That is the end of an edition after only 2 years. Initially this is seen as bad thing and its pretty easy to see why. So much so that people thought it would be a 6.5 edition for example. So I decided I'd weigh up some Pro's and Con's of what we know. 




Con's

So lets start with the bad. This is the easy part unfortunately.

Only after 2 years since the last, a new edition has been released. Meaning we have to purchase a new book pretty quickly compared to what we are used to. It has also failed to bring with it a new starter set. This stops players from getting their main source of the rules using these starter sets. Maybe  this is because the edition was brought about so soon they couldnt make a new starter set? Or maybe it was intentional? Who knows. But either way this has been pretty controversial in the eyes of many. 

Usually with each release comes a starter set. Macragge was my first followed by 2 more after. These sets contained a small treasure that was both portable, easy to use and a cheaper alternative. This was also known as the mini rule book. The only replacement to this is the rumored "half - mini rule book. An incomplete starter rule set. Incomplete however can mean many things so lets hope it means that it doesnt include escalation etc but still has the rest. 

Then we have the next big thing. Unbound. And people thought 6th was bad for the age old FoC.

Unbound has huge potential to be fluffy, but this is a double edged sword, as it also shares the potential to be horribly abused. Imagine an army of lone wolves. The only way to win is to not kill them. Many other lists are also stupidly possible. Given that most players are sensible, this may not be an issue. However there are always the few that ruin it for the many. At least they have given bonuses to Bound armies. The impact of this cant be predicted yet I think. 

Demon Powers. Potential to be bad. 

So from a fluff point, we can now have most factions asking demons for help. However, this isnt as much of a problem as the potential to do something a bit odd and far fetched. I have read, from the minds of those who click onto loop holes pretty quickly, that it is possible to summon Demons who can summon more Demons. Given how warp charges now work, the more Psykers you have the more warp charge you have. Summoning Psykers will increase that pool as long as you summon more than get killed. GW may have addressed this in the rule set, but based on what we know this could be big. 

If this is true, there may be a fair few Demon sets being sold...

Price increase. On the fence about this one though. 

So the book now costs more. Which automatically makes it a negative. BUT this rule book has a bit more than its predecessors. Full colour, split into 3 parts meaning you no longer need the giant book to lug around and the previously released expansions are all present in the new book. I think having full colour is horribly wasteful and needless. While it contains some nice art, it also put the price of their books way up. Not a good trade off at all. With this it was one step forward, two steps back. 

Snap Shots. This is both a curse and a blessing

Snap shots now make a bit more sense with its -2 to BS. However this has the obvious downfall of harming assault armies, which already struggle with using their knives in a gunfight. Eldar for example hit on 5s (for the most part) while snap shooting. It makes sense from the view of better shooters are still better at snap shooting, but as a game mechanic I think they fumbles a bit on this one. Enjoy charging anything with BS 4 or more Orks.

Positives. 

Ever liked the magic duels in Fantasy?

The Psyker Phase. I love the magic phase in Fantasy and the 40K version fixes one problem but falls short on another. In Fantasy the number of magic dice doesnt scale with the game. You get 2D6 no matter what size the battle. However in 40k its D6 plus combined mastery level of your force. More psykers means more powers. But the casting is a bit off in my opinion. If I want to cast a level 3 power, I will need at least 3 4+ results on however many dice I choose to roll. I much prefer Fantasy in this respect as each power has a level (more variation in level) and the casters skill adds to this roll. 

In saying that though, the ability to stop powers like in fantasy is amazing. There is nothing worse than watching that Farseer buff his already decent troops without resistance. Now this is set to change. I can use my dice to counter their dice. Now armies can duel using powers and counter powers. This is one of the big positive changes in the new edition. 

Jink has been improved, for those who dont have it. 

Jink has always pained me. Move 1" to get a save and fight at full efficiency. Well this is set to change. Now skimmers must choose between getting their save or fighting at full efficiency. If they choose the save, they will be firing snap shots in their next phase. Reducing their BS by -2. This isnt a big change believe it or not but at least their is some negatives to getting that jink save. This hurts some armies and units, but Eldar for example may not notice this as much with all their Twin Linking available. 

Objective Cards. This one barely made it through.

Now these were originally rumored to be random changing objectives. Thankfully this is not the case. Instead it changes up the game a bit by giving you minor objectives within larger objectives. As I understand it, you have a deck of 3 cards. You may swap out one of these cards a turn for another card. These cards will have the objective number on them along with a method of gaining victory points near that objective. For example one card may be to win a challenge on objective 2, if this is possible you may hold onto that card and try win a challenge in that area, if its not possible or risky then you simply swap the card out for another. 

While I am a fan of no objectives and creating my own throughout the game (like platoon one holds the hill etc etc) these cards can certainly make for an interesting match. Since we dont know what many of these cards are its hard to tell what effect they will have over all, but so far I actually dont mind them. 

Vehicle Hit Point Buff.

Very minor but now Vehicle explodes is on a 7 instead of a 6. Weapons can still wreck or damage hull points however its just that teeny bit harder. A positive change, but more could be done. Only time will tell (or a quick rolling of the dice tonight) if this one will turn vehicles from expensive coffins to more of a benefit to the coffin industry.

All units Scoring. 

So now all units can score. Ill tie this one in with the Bound Bonus. So first off, I have always wanted this to happen. Imagine Storm Troopers jumping out of ships and flying towards the battle zone through all  the flak and destruction to take and hold the enemy supply dump. Previously all they could do was clear it. Its much the same with Hell Hounds and sentinels too. But this has one unfortunate problem. Troops are becoming less important to the overall game. The basic average Joe for many armies now has no purpose. I consider us guard fortunate because we have the troops that are always useful objectives or not. But I dont see troops being vital to army function in the future which pains me to no end. 

In saying that though, Bound armies have a particular buff that can quickly turn the tide of battle. Assuming they havent been wiped out or arent facing an army of Lone Wolves, they can deny the enemy units from even scoring by simply contesting objectives. Combined with a re roll on Warlord traits (this may come in handy) there is at least an advantage to be held by staying true to the age old FoC. 

D-Weapons. Still scary, just .5 less scary. 

So D-Weapons simply remove units from the board currently. But now they have changed things up a bit. Instead of flat out ignoring all saves, the Mega Guns now allow cover unless a six is rolled. If you roll a 6, its no saves allowed. They havent changed, but unless you get about 2-3 sixes against your unit, they may just survive. So in the grand scheme of things D weapons are still awful to have on the other side of the table, but at least there is a glimmer of hope on the horizon. 

Conclusion 

So all in all an OK release. Certainly more good than bad this time. Almost everything had a draw back. In my opinion, it may be worth giving it a try. I got the Imperial Guard codex for 100 dollars (NZD) and that was a pile of crap. But for a mere 40 dollars more I can have a set of books that have a lot more content, actually changes a lot of bits in a more meaningful way and has far more uses. So im starting to consider it as a pretty good deal by GW standards. 

Also this is the first time they have released videos and information regarding the release before it came out (that I am aware of) and is a huge step forward for GW. Other companies talk a lot about their releases and give heaps of insight into whats coming. While its still in its infancy I hope GW takes this further. 

The book being split into 3 parts just blows my mind. Im so used to seeing this HUGE book that contains a tiny section of rules that the idea of them actually splitting it up shocked me. Other companies are pretty good when it comes to rule books and what GW has done is yet again another step forward. Convenience is always positive. 

The game also has opened some actual tactical possibilities too. Usually the game is fairly straight forward. But with the new Phase and Objective cards there is a better element of player decisions and counters. I dont know how well those 2 changes will do on the table top, but the theory behind them isnt too bad. 

So this edition im gonna give them the benefit of the doubt. This is GW last chance to not disappoint me with a 40k release. Especially after the Astra Militarum Release. The Wood Elf release was almost an ideal one. Lets hope that 40k 7th edition can carry that same momentum. 

I may have missed a few things, but these were the points that stuck out to me. Im sure there are many changes, such as the warlord table and extra missions etc. So hopefully the book contains some surprises. 

So what are your opinions?

9 comments:

  1. First of all yaay Wood Elves.

    Secondly good post, i think the decision to not include a starter set is nonsensical, maybe because they thought this was a 6.5 instead of a 7 that they could get away with it. Overall there is nothing that i outright dislike about the rumors for 7th ed, yet. I hope they upgrade the to wound table so that you can always wound on a 6 so that you don't have the extremely funny situation of wood elf glade guard being able to kill a greater demon of nurgle with bows and arrows yet have guardsmen being unable to kill the same demon with laser guns.

    One thing i do wish for is that armies will be given a way to deal with flyers, so that dont have to auto include your armies anti flyer (or just flyer) in order to deal with enemy air support.

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    1. As each Codex gets updated im sure everyone will have anti flyers. But with the new snap shots anything with BS4+ can kinda hurt them now. And yes that is very true.

      I feel like my lasguns should have a chance of killing giant beasts, even if it is small. I mean surely I can hit it in the eye or something haha. But yes I agree.

      No starter set is crazy. There is a rumor that one will be coming later this year, but its kinda pointless and leaves random new customers potentially a bit disadvantaged until then.

      So far 7th doesnt seem bad at all. So I may buy these rules so the club can decide if I wasted money or not haha.

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    2. If it is wasted money, bring it to the club and charge for use, that way you will get your money back. You gotta think like GW......

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    3. "In the fight against monsters its hard not to become a monster yourself."

      The quote is something like that anyways. But I could never do that. The people at the club carry little spare change.

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  2. Hmm. Unbound. Unfortunately there will be people who will spam the most powerful stuff. You have always been able to Unbound its just that previously it was Apocalypse or in a special scenario agreed with an opponent beforehand. GW previously encouraged it through scenarios like last Stand at Glazer's Creek where Praetorians took on a randomly rolled Ork Army.

    I'm semi inspired by it though. Things I want to look at based on my favourite units:

    1. 1st Company Ultramarines: Mixed army of Terminators, Vanguard and Sternguard.
    2. Night Lords: My Talos conversion leading a squad of Chosen and 30+ Raptors
    3. A Blood Axe Kommando army with Snikrot in charge. No Warboss required.

    Others you could go for based on background: A Codex Space Marine reserve Tactical Company where everyone is equipped with Land Speeders (or Bikes) or a jump pack Reserve Assault Company.

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    1. As solely a guard player I cant really see unbound having an effect one me. Unless I wanted all tanks. The FoC sort of fits in with how the army works in the fluff. Except for the vehicles I guess.

      But you are right, Glazers Creek is a great example of a narrative game. And more importantly its legal in the new rules. But its also a double edged sword. Huge potential. As I said above pretty much. Most gamers are sensible and I doubt we will see many people in person abusing it.

      By the way, you should really look into that kommando army. Have you ever seen Kromlech Orks? Would be a very cool army.

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    2. `I have some of the Lovat hat Ork heads. I must get around to buying some of the WWII sten/ bren weapon packs they do.

      I have a fair few Kommandoes already built using the standard ork boys. Those not wearing the hornless helmets have got green stuff berets. I may hold on until we see what Orkiness may be arriving with the rumoured Codex.

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  3. I think 7th is going to be really good. The new psychic phase is sounding better and better. Demons can be summoned, but only demon models can make maximum use of it, and they will have to sacrifice using other powers like invisibility, witchfires etc in order to summon. Changes to jink was needed, certain armies got far too much bonuses from up for just moving an inch. Snap shots, will see how it works out, but I like -2 better, armies with better BS should shoot better. Vehicles are harder to one shot, its a nice boost and needed but doesn't swing too far the other way. All units scoring, but only Forged troops are uncontestable which is a very large boon, troops will be very important in this edition.

    While unbound can be abused, practically I see very few truly doing this in anything other than a large tournament setting. Even the army of lone wolves can be tabled and lose, which is not as hard as it seems. And when it comes to unbound, you will have to actually have those models, no proxy for that, if you want ten riptides, I better see ten riptides. That is my caveat on unbound, if you want to play it you better bring the models.

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    1. I agree. Heck even Rex at the Dice Odyssey agrees! 7th is looking to be a decent edition, and I think it would have been wildly accepted if it werent released so soon.

      As for Demons summoning demons, remember it increases the warp charge every turn. So all they need to do is survive the first turn to reap the benefits of increased warp charge etc. But you are right, there may be huge down sides and it probably wont be usable if they dont allow the same power to be used twice a phase.

      Snap shots make more sense, but it kinda feels like -3 would be better. That way BS5 makes it better, so the average troops still hit on 6s.

      All scoring and vehicles are awesome. As said above units can now work as they should but troops are still superior. Pretty good set up in my opinion.

      The Lone wolf list, with heaps of Feresian wolves and so on can do pretty well we worked out. Unless confronted by the superior Eldar and necron flying lists or jet bike lists. It is also a mere 30 space marines to use. I used that example because combined with wounds from wolves and even adding in drop pods the list can apparently be deadly in the average game. But yea I have seen someone buy 3 Revenant titans to be competitive... I am very sure there are people who will spend a bit less for the same result. As rare as it is.

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