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Offline Masked Thespian

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What is the current state of the game?
« on: November 01, 2015, 08:33:07 PM »
Hey, everyone. How's it going?

For the past 6 years I've been living in Japan. Unfortunately, despite my attempts to maintain my miniature wargaming hobby it's fallen by the wayside. However, this Friday I'm returning to the United Kingdom where, amongst other things, the majority of my hobby items are, including 15 years worth of miniatures, though I'll probably have to start trimming down the number of armies I now run.

I expect that my motivation to glue, paint, and play will increase, simply due to easy access to models and other players, but I've mostly been out of the loop for the past 6 years so I don't really know how things are currently going. What does the current state of the game look like? In particular:

  • Does the current rule set favour ranged combat or melee combat?
  • Are there any particular strategies that are commonly known that are overly or unintentionally powerful? I'm thinking of things like Rhino rush in 3rd edition.
  • Does someone who prefers a good story over a finely tuned army list have a place or are things all about having the most cut-throat lists?
  • Are any of the currently available Codexes considered to be particularly powerful or weak?
  • How much do the expansions get played these days? Things like Apocalypse, Planetstrike, Cities of Death, etc.
  • What big changes have taken place since 5th Edition in the rules themselves?


Thanks in advance for any responses.
Regards,
MT.
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Offline Narric

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Re: What is the current state of the game?
« Reply #1 on: November 01, 2015, 08:58:52 PM »
What big changes have taken place since 5th Edition in the rules themselves?

There is now a Psychic phase, instead of using Psychic powers during other phases, and it works similarly to the old Warhammer Fantasy Magic rules (Random Powers, Mastery Level dictates how many dice you can roll)

Flyers were brought into the game proper in 6th edition. I haven't looked at the 7th ed rules fully, but Flyers were much harder to hit unless you had special wargear or training.
Iirc, There are now Gargantuam Creatures and Superheavies in normal 40k, to account for the larger models being produced.

Melee Weapons now have the same statlines as Ranged weapons, which has also lead to Power Axes diverging from the old Strength of user AP3 template of previous editions. Power Axes are S+1 and AP2, but make the character I1. Power Lances are most effective on charge, and iirc are just AP3 weapons in subsequent turns.

Leading from that there are now a lot more rules to play with. Fleshbane makes a weapon wound on a 2+, and Armourbane is 2D6 armour pen. You also have Shroud which is basically Stealth, but the two stack (so +2 to cover saves if you have both, but cover is required so no open ground cover saves). Concussive weapons make targets wounded but not killed I1 for a turn.

Vehicles have Hull Points, AKA vehicle wounds, most common heavier Tanks are HP3, whilst lighter vehicles are HP2. Transports have a much larger range for disembarking, with the area being 6" from the entry points, rather than 2".

Without digging my own 6th ed rulebook out thats the most I can remember of some of the changes. I think for the most part they were kept for 7th, but someone with the 7th ed rulebook will know :P

One big change was "Unbound" armies which can be made up of any number of any FOC selections, so you can have an army of HQs if your were so inclinded. Iirc, not allowed for GW sanctined Tournies, but good fun for friendly games. Can be a hassle if playing against an unknown opponent and they only have the one list.
The tradeoff is that Unbound armies get no bonused, whilst FOC following, or Detachment following forces get special bonuses. Armies made up to the tried and true FOC can secure an objective, and have the unit leave it whilst still keeping the VP.

The Imperium has almost as many Codexi as there are Non-imperium armies.

Quote
Does the current rule set favour ranged combat or melee combat?
I believe the game has somehow made it that an army that is built fluffily will work. Better to ask people like @BigToof about that though.

Quote
Does someone who prefers a good story over a finely tuned army list have a place or are things all about having the most cut-throat lists?
Depends on your gaming scene.
Pickup gamesare probably more cutt throat in store, but playing against friends you'll likely have more room for more fluffy or experimental lists.

Quote
Are any of the currently available Codexes considered to be particularly powerful or weak?
They all seem to have some loop-hole or another that makes them OP against other factions, but this would only be obvious in a cutt throat environment. It would probably boil down to whether you buit the list to the"correct" playstyle for the army I think.

Quote
How much do the expansions get played these days? Things like Apocalypse, Planetstrike, Cities of Death, etc.
CoD is more or less part of the core rules now, as Strategems are the new Objectives, and Terrain itself can offer hidden goodies when you remember to roll for it. Planetstrike is probably used more for campaigns than standard play, whilst Apocalypse has been overshadowed somewhat by Unbound being a standard rule.



Thats the best I can answer.

I personally have been getting out of 40k, and moving into Magic, with interest in a few other wargames by other companies. I still have Space Wolves and a small group of Fallen, but thats about it for me.
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Offline Mabbz

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Re: What is the current state of the game?
« Reply #2 on: November 01, 2015, 09:47:33 PM »
What big changes have taken place since 5th Edition in the rules themselves?
Narric has covered most of the major points here (although he was slightly wrong about shrouded; it gives +2 to your cover save, which combines with stealth for +3), so I'll just cover a couple of things here.

Formation. Following on from what Narric said about unbound list and the FOC, you are now encouraged to take multiple detachments. Usually this means a standard FOC and some allies, but you can also take Formations as a separate detachment, which are detailed in the various codexi and basically give you bonuses if certain units a taken together. Formations can be taken as your only detatchment, and they don't follow the FOC, although they do restrict in other ways.

To use a space marine example, 3-5 veteran units (terminators, vanguard or sternguard veterans) can be formed together into a 1st company task force, which gives each unit special rules (like -2 Ld for any unit within 12" of at least three units from this formation). Alternatively, a 10th company task force is made entirely of scouts and gets various ambush style rules. These formations are designed to make fluffy lists more appealing,

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Does the current rule set favour ranged combat or melee combat?
Hard to say. There's a lot of fast, hard to kill units and quite a few Formations get Deep Strike accuracy bonuses, which can make things challenging. On the other hand, units get overwatch, which lets them shoot their would be assaulters as they charge. Also, there are a lot of powerful shooty units out there (see my AdMech review for heavy 2 plasma cannons on troops choices)

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Does someone who prefers a good story over a finely tuned army list have a place or are things all about having the most cut-throat lists?
As Narric says, depends who you play. Formations may have helped the fluff-lovers, while unbound might not. Of course, the fluff of some of the new models is... questionable at best.



Out of curiosity, whereabouts in the UK do you live? If it's Nottingham, I might wind up giving you a game.

Offline Narric

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Re: What is the current state of the game?
« Reply #3 on: November 01, 2015, 10:08:48 PM »
(although he was slightly wrong about shrouded; it gives +2 to your cover save, which combines with stealth for +3)
Knew I'd get something wrong :P Was it the same in 6th, if that is the 7th ed ruling.

Out of curiosity, whereabouts in the UK do you live?
I forgot to ask this, myself XD
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Offline BigToof

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Re: What is the current state of the game?
« Reply #4 on: November 02, 2015, 03:29:20 AM »
How has the game changed since 5th???

One moment.

(Intake of breath)

I'll try to take it from the top.

1.  Missions are different now.
There is a new style of missions known as Maelstrom missions.
They use 6 points that are laid out and you pull random "maelstrom objectives" that are rolled on a large chart or pulled from a deck of cards (yes, I know... weird).
Pretty varied overall: some are kill x unit, some are hold this objective or get to a certain part of the board.
You earn victory points per round now, so it's much harder to just come in last turn and steal all the points.
The old missions are still there as "Eternal War" missions though, and it's random what kind you get.
it's a love it or leave it kind of scenario.  Some people HATE the new missions as it's a random choice and sometimes you just get rolled over as it seems like your opponent gets all the easy objectives, but other people love it as it forces you to actually have a mobile element and it punishes the beans out of the old gunline style of play (not that there's anything wrong with that).

2.  Setup is sort of different
There's a new "Vanguard" style setup that is asymmetrical quadrants.  It's a bit weird, but you can get used to it.
The big thing is that the person who setup first gets to choose to go first or second, which takes a lot out of the whole wanting to setup first sort of thing.  Different, but not crippling overall.  I don't particularly care for it, but whatever.

3.  Psychic Powers are HELLA different
It's very old-Warhammer style with you rolling on different charts, with some meh-kind of powers, but others are just silly good.
The one that is so powerful that IHC people nerfed it is Invisibility.  You can only hit them on 6's in shooting and assault, and you can't hit them with blasts or templates (usually).  It makes Deathstars really scary.
Denial is also old-Warhammer style as you get denial dice and you try to roll to stop them.  Some armies aren't very good at this (Tau), but others are surprisingly effective (Eldar, Marines).

4.  GW took Assault out back and broke it's legs
Sorry, I had to say it.
Assault is massively nerfed in this edition.  There's now Overwatch, which lets enemies shoot at you for free as you charge in.  Granted they only hit you on 6's, but that's more guys lost going in.
It's also a RANDOM CHARGE LENGTH (sigh), that granted is 2d6, but the first time you fail a 3" charge in open ground as you get shot to shreds by overwatch... you'll know the game is different.
The only real assault left is the "Super Friends" Deathstar that is Invisible Space Wolves with allies.

5.  Formations are here (AKA Pay2Win)
I only say this as it's the newest GW pony that everyone hates.  Basically if you get certain types of models together, you get special rules.  They usually involve the newest models, but some feel like they were put together by the marketing team (i.e. You mean if I use six Space Marine Troop units they get FREE RHINOS AND DROP PODS???  or If I use this special unit with the new Tau suits they ignore cover, gain +1BS AND always hit Tanks in rear armor??).  Some are fluffy yes, but some cause internet rage.

6.  Imperial Knights and Gargantuan Creatures are a thing now.
GW went nuts and unleashed Apocalypse style monsters into the regular game.  Knights are pretty and yes, you can make a whole army of them.  I'm less appalled than others, as I don't mind people putting more points into big units while my smaller cheaper units hold objectives.  And it's always hilarious when the local Deathstar mate gets Stomped by the big guys (Stomps can ignore ALL saves and auto-hit, so it's a sort of balanced way to keep out some cheese).

7.  The Big Lists
The newest cheese is abbreviated (so no, not a complete list) as follows:

A.  Eldar Scatterbike Destroyer Cheese
Every Guardian Jetbike can have a Scatter Laser now.  No, you didn't read that wrong.  Guess what new model came out?
Wraith units (including a GC version) have "D" weapons that have a chance of eliminating your model with no saves (on 6's, but it makes some people rage when you hit that Land Raider and everything goes poof without any saves at all...).  Eldar have the usual Psychic Shenanigans as well.

B.  Space Marines SuperFriends/Battlehost
Either a BIG ball of Independent Characters around a hard center of Thunderwolf Cav or bikes or a bunch of Free Rhinos running around.  The Deathstar is hella annoying as you can buff them all, then can multi assault and basically win any combat, hit and run and do all sorts of shenanigans.  Oh, and Space Marines now have Grav weapons that wound based on your armor save.  So, Terminators are wounded on 2+ and Orks on 6+.  There's a unit called "Centurions" that are basically a Terminator in a bigger suit of Devestator Armor that are hella popular as they are T5 and when comboed with powers that let them teleport each round, they can wipe out a unit a turn.

C. Chaos Daemons
One Psychic power lets you summon units for free.  No, you didn't read that wrong.  Daemons still use a 6th ed. book that can be basically mined for psychic mojo and if used heavily, you can easily get a third or so of an army as free reserves.  Oh, and they can get a 2+ invul re-rollable if you let them.  Nasty lists, but just not that shooty as the others.

Tau are looking also fairly powerful.

The rest are kind of second tier at best, with Orks and Chaos near the bottom (sigh...).

Right, rant done.

Overall, I still enjoy playing the game, but it's much more random and sometimes it's just a bit discouraging to see how unbalanced it all is.  But, I enjoy it more than the old 5th edition of "how many more Razorbacks do I have than you" style that was running around...

Best,
-BT
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Offline Waaaghpower

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Re: What is the current state of the game?
« Reply #5 on: November 02, 2015, 07:21:44 AM »
Don't listen to the naysayers about Melee, it's still entirely viable. The problem is more with a lot of melee *units* being poorly costed or underpowered, but melee as a whole is still totally doable. You do have to play it smart, you can't blindly charge at whatever and expect a surefite victory, but with good placement it's viable.

Something I don't know if anyone mentioned, premeasuring is now totally legal and encouraged. So while your assault range is Randomized now, you'll never fail an asault because you have a skewed idea of what 6" looks like.

Heh. Penis humor.
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Offline BigToof

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Re: What is the current state of the game?
« Reply #6 on: November 02, 2015, 12:20:36 PM »
Apologies if I went too hard on assault, but it's just so many factors you really have to think about all the time.
I used to just worry about movement, but that's not that hard after a while.
Having to trust dice to get your people in and then suffer wounds (overwatch) even if you fail is kind of an unnecessary kick in the teeth.
Plus, if you do have a decent assault unit, it always gets shot to bits after you make your assault, which is annoying to say the least as there's no way to really continue assaults in a reasonable manner.
I understand why GW wants to nerf assaults as it hurts shooty armies (including marines) if you could do things like assault from reserves, deep strike or scout, but it's a bit much as it is.
Compared that to "I point my guns at him, roll dice, you roll dice, remove targets" it's much less stressful and arguably a better use of time.
...
That said, if Assault regains some teeth anytime soon I will not  be complaining (Go Orks!).

Best,
-BT
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Offline Masked Thespian

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Re: What is the current state of the game?
« Reply #7 on: November 04, 2015, 01:26:46 AM »
Thanks, everyone.  I did get myself partially up to speed with 6th Edition but I never really got into it due to a lack of opponents and models, and when 7th rolled around I don't even think I finished reading the entire book, though I'll have to change that.


Out of curiosity, whereabouts in the UK do you live? If it's Nottingham, I might wind up giving you a game.

Initially, I'll be located close to Northampton.  Nottingham's about an hour and a half from there.  I used to go to Warhammer World to play at Campaign Weekends pretty regularly during the mid-to-late 2000s so it's not too far of a trek.

Ideally I'll be getting a new job within a few months, but I don't know where that will be, yet.



Edit

I'm also going to have to pare down the list of armies that I run from somewhere around 10 down to 2.  I've realised that I've never really run most of the armies that I own and that I'm not really going to have the time to do so in the future.  I'm fairly certain that I'm going to stick with Tau and Chaos Space Marines/Chaos Daemons as my final two armies, even though it means I'll be getting rid of a lot of models that I've owned for a long time and have an emotional attachment to.  My Eldar and Imperial Guard, for example, I've owned for almost 20 years and are mostly the older models (mostly in lead).
« Last Edit: November 04, 2015, 01:52:54 AM by Masked Thespian »
Regards,
MT.
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Offline Charistoph

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Re: What is the current state of the game?
« Reply #8 on: November 11, 2015, 04:25:54 PM »
I'm also going to have to pare down the list of armies that I run from somewhere around 10 down to 2.  I've realised that I've never really run most of the armies that I own and that I'm not really going to have the time to do so in the future.  I'm fairly certain that I'm going to stick with Tau and Chaos Space Marines/Chaos Daemons as my final two armies, even though it means I'll be getting rid of a lot of models that I've owned for a long time and have an emotional attachment to.  My Eldar and Imperial Guard, for example, I've owned for almost 20 years and are mostly the older models (mostly in lead).

Well, Tau just received an update to their 6th Edition codex (literally, nothing in the 6th Edition book changed, they just added to it, not that much in there actually needed help), and Chaos Marines are hoped to be done soon as they are the oldest, but if you like Khorne, they have their own codex now as an option with both Daemons and Marines in the same book!

Changes from 5th Edition, there are a lot of them, but most came in 6th:

General Principles:
* Measuring any time is fine, and often encouraged.
* More definitions on how modifiers work (important, there are a lot), and how rules interact (not that there aren't still problems here).

Army Building:
* Armies are made up of detachments.  You can have as many as your points or TO allows.
* The old FOC is now the Combined Arms Detachment.
* There is a smaller Allied Detachment option available, but the units cannot be from the same codex as your Warlord (baring some exceptions).  Allows for 1 HQ, 1-2 Troops, 0-1 Elites, 0-1 Fast Attack, and 0-1 Heavy Support.
* New detachment type: Formations.  They have a set list of units to work with, and give some new Special Rules to play with.
* New detachment type: Choice Detachments.  They treat Formations and units like the Combined Arms treat Troops and HQs.  They have a Core Formation and a list of optional Formations and units.  All the Formations keep their Special Rules AND get the bonuses from the Detachment.  It is brutally effective.  Necrons get more durable, Space Marines can get free Rhinos, and Tau can fire multiple units as one!
* Your army gets a Warlord.  Like Fantasy's General, but they can access buffs that are just for them!

Deployment:
* As noted a few more missions are available in the rulebook, including 66 card objectives which 6 are changeable for any 7th Edition codex.
* Infiltrators and non-Infiltrators cannot join during this phase.  So Shrike can join only Scouts unless you find a way to give someone else Infiltrate.

Movement Phase:
* Only basic movement allowed here.  Advanced movement like Flat Out and Run is moved to Shooting officially.
* Arriving from Reserves can be punished because of a USR called Interceptor.  A unit with a model or weapon with this rule can shoot at you at the end of the Phase you arrive.
* Movement only affects the model's shooting.  If you moved 9 Marines with Bolters and didn't move the Lascannon-carrying Marine, the Lascannon can fire as normal!

Psychic Phase:
* Yes, it has its own Phase now.
* You generate power dice and then try to get 4+ successes with them to power your spells.
* If you have a Psyker, you can summon Daemons now.  Yes, even the Ultramarines.  But not Tau, Necrons, Dark Eldar, or Black Templars.
* You can attempt to Deny the Witch by rolling 6+s to match or beat their 4+ successes.  Good luck.

Shooting Phase:
* Weapons are fired by name.  If a unit has Pulse Rifles, Pulse Carbines, and a Markerlight, than each group is fired and resolved separately.  Such as all Pulse Rifles fire together and their Saves against them are rolled before moving on to Pulse Carbines.  Markerlights are still only useful to their firing unit if Networked.
* Snap Shooting (aka Snap Firing) is a thing.  Under certain conditions, a model may choose to Snap Fire or be forced to Snap Fire.  In those cases, they fir at BS 1, and if the weapon uses a template or hits automatically, it is not allowed to fire.
* Moving and using a Heavy Weapon causes it to Snap Fire instead of just being completely denied.
* The range of the weapon may cause Wounds to be not Allocated if the target has models farther outside of the weapon's range.
* Wound Allocation is applied to the nearest model first.
* Characters like Sergeants and Ethereals can take a Look Out Sir! roll and have the Wound Allocated to a nearby model.

Assault Phase:
* Overwatch has returned!  Great for Tau and Dark Angels, everyone else is meh about it.  If you are being Charged you can Snap Fire back.  Templates can do a Wall of Death maneuver instead of not shooting!
* Assault Phase order of operations has changed:  Declare all charges; Pick unit to Charge; Resolve Overwatch; roll Charge Range (usually 2D6); See if you made it base to base;  Fight.
* Characters can d-d-d-d-Duel! in a Challenge similar to Fantasy.  It was pretty broken in 6th, but not as bad now.
* Charging two or more units lose you any Charge Attack bonus.
* If your unit has no way to harm what they are fighting (Kroot v Walker), they can choose to Fall Back, but still have to take the hits from the enemy that round.

That's the basics of the games mostly covered.  There are a lot more when it comes to unit types (such as the previously mentioned Vehicle Hull Points) and other Special Rules.  But I need to get going, and will come back to provide more updates if no one else gets to them first.
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