So here we are a few weeks after the release of the 6th Edition of 40k. This brand new edition brings a ton of new and exciting changes to the game as usual, and this time the core rulebook introduces ways to use Flyers, Allies, and for the first time ever it even allows pre-measuring. I have gotten the chance to play three games of 6th Edition as well as watch about a dozen games so I'd like to give you my "first thoughts" on some of the rules changes. Initially though, I'd like to say I love it so far! :)
First off, after reading through the entire rules section I have to say I think overall these rules are vastly superior to 5th Edition. I think that most of the murky rules from 5th got clarified and some of the silly things got re-worded or even changed completely. However, here are my thoughts on some of the rules I'm not such a fan of at least so far.
1. Snap Fire. I can't possibly understand someone rolling 10-20 dice and hoping for sixes, then further hoping that those sixes turn out to be wounds, then hoping those wounds don't get saved (or that they damage a vehicle). Let's pretend a regular Space Marine Tactical Squad fires 10 rapid-firing Bolters at an assaulting Ork mob. This is a best-case scenario as not only are there usually different weapons for the last three models in the unit (special, heavy, sergeant), but the bolter wounds ignore the Ork's armor save and would translate to direct wounds. 20 shots at BS1 would statistically equal 3 hits, and wounding on a 4+ would mean two Orks die at best. Against other units wearing 3+ or 4+ armor, you'd be lucky to kill a single model. Honestly, I think rules like that are cool and fluffy and I'm glad it's there, but I think they were a little drastic making it BS1 (it should have been BS2 at the most, or possibly acted like dangerous terrain for the assaulting unit if the defending unit chose to overwatch and thus maybe the defending unit would get -1 attack for doing so, and that -1 could put you at 0 attacks).
2. Feel No Pain. I play both Blood Angels and Tyranids (as you guys may already know) so having Feel no Pain on certain units is fairly important, moreso in Blood Angels than the Nids. Getting that situational 4+ save has helped me out tremendously in more games than I can remember. However they have now changed it to work on a 5+ but instead of it being very situational you now get it almost all the time (except against anything that would cause Instant Death). I don't think in the end that that was a good trade off, but it makes models with Invulnerable saves a little more durable because now they can make that Feel no Pain save even after a failed Invulnerable save. With the re-wording, I wouldn't be surprised to see Feel no Pain being handed out a lot more as new codexes are released.
3. Preferred Enemy is another rule that I'm not sure I'm happy with right now. Instead of allowing you to re-roll all failed rolls to hit in close combat, you now get to re-roll failed rolls to hit and to wound in shooting and in close combat, but only if the dice come up as 1's. Again we see a solid Special Rule getting nerfed overall but triggering in more instances and being more widespread. I'm sorry but I still just don't see it as being worth it, and what I mean by that is I don't think it will be worth going out of your way to pay for it points-wise by say, buying a Librarian who can cast it, or paying for a vow, etc, not when you have Skyfire Aegis Defense lines that cost nearly the same.
4. Wound Allocation got a lot better actually since the firer can select which wound pool is going to get saved first. This eliminates the whole "but that guy with the 2+ armor save standing in the front of the unit protects the whole unit" nonsense as you can have him take the AP1 or AP2 wounds first, then move on to the rest of the unit. It works best when you have multiple AP values too. The only problem I have is the concept of taking casualties from the models closest to the firing unit. It's great in theory, and I mean really great, but it just slows everything down (especially when adding in things like Look Out Sir! rolls).
5. Random Charge Lengths is the biggest issue I have with 6th. I honestly don't think all models like Dreadnoughts should be able to charge up to 12" while faster units like Bikes may only charge 2" just because you rolled it. I know units with Fleet and Jump Packs get to re-roll their charge distance but I still see this as a game-changer. In all of the games I've played so far, assaults are failing left and right. Call it bad luck, but I call it a bad rule. I'd rather have random run and/or fleet moves with standardized charge distances, but I know they don't know how to balance the whole "pre-measuring is always allowed" rule without random charges so I guess I should have known. I still don't like it though and I think that shooty armies are going to get a LOT better because of this.
Stay tuned guys, I'll have some batreps and some army lists on the way! I don't want this to come across as too negative because I really do like 6th edition A LOT but I thought I'd share my feelings on those rules for now.
Thanks for reading!