Someone has been kind enough to share their early copy of the 6th Edition rulebook with me, so I immediately looked up the rules on Fortifications. Ruh Roh Shaggy!
The Aegis Defense Line
So for 50 points (less than a stock Chimera) plus some upgrades, you can plop down one of GW's Aegis Defense Line kits for your infantry to hide behind. For another 50 points, you can add the Quad gun that can shoot normally at aircraft.
Obviously, it's a great way to boost your defensive capabilities. Instead of the standard 5+ cover save, you get a 4+. If you Go To Ground behind it, you can boost that to at least 3+ (I've heard 2+, but can't find anything in the rules yet to confirm that). Not bad at all.
But is it too good?
Let's consider some issues:
Problem 1: It's Too Big
I actually own an Aegis Defense Line kit, having originally bought it for the autocannon bits. So I pulled out the box and clipped the walls off of the sprues so that I could see how big it is on the field. The only rules for deploying it state that the walls have to remain in 'base to base contact' with at least one other section. So...
You can make a wall that's 29 inches long. That's slightly over 40% of the standard 72-inch table width. If you're playing at NOVA or Adepticon, that's more than enough distance to completely wall-off the space between the area terrain on your side. It's also long enough to deploy an entire IG platoon with 3 full squads and their heavy weapons behind.
My Blood Angel jumpers just found something great to hide behind when going second! Actually, there's something better, but I'll get to that later.
Problem 2: You Can Take More Than One
Yep. You can take one fortification (of any type) for every 'primary' detachment that you have. So if you're playing a 2000 point game and take 2 (non-ally?) detachments for your army, you can take 2 of these and simply wall-off 80% of your side of the table.
Why would Guard gunlines take Chimeras now? Just sit and hide behind this wall and use the points you save on more heavy weapons!
I also see this kit being VERY popular with skimmer armies. Since you can force terrain tests on enemy ground vehicles while hopping over them yourself.
And That's Not All...
The Skyshield Landing Platform? It's 75 points and everyone on it gets a 4+ Invulnerable (not cover) save. Plus it's pretty tall. So if you have Broadsides, Obliterators, or Long Fangs in your army, this kit will be the perfect place to put them so that you don't have to worry about the LOS-blocking terrain on your side of the table. Sorry MVB...
At least it's a bit easier to get on top of it now. Going up just counts as crossing difficult terrain, and you don't have to be next to a leg or anything.
And The Bastion?
It's 75 Points without the top-gun. Nuff said. Same problems, height-wise, as the Skyshield. Plus you can put a gun on it in addition to your regular shooty troops.
The Fortress Of Redemption?
It's 220 points before upgrades. Each section is an AV14 vehicle, basically. Are you ready to face two of these across the table at 2000 points? Would that be fun more than once or twice for kicks?
These rules/costs are so obviously broken that I really don't think they'll be a problem for competitive play in themselves. After a few months of experimentation, TO's will simply ban fortifications and that will be it.
The problem is, these fortifications will be the only way that some armies have to deal with Flyers. So if the fortress guns aren't available, what will that mean for balance there?
Dunno yet. I'll keep reading.