Saturday, June 30, 2012

Something *else* that needs to be said

by Anonymous Foodie

There's been so much hubbub about allies, fortifications, and 6th in general that I wanted to chime in somewhere that wasn't a cluttered reply board, cause it makes me feel all fancy inside.

I'll start with what have been the hot button issues to start, then move on to a few generalized tidbits...

Allies -
Once you decipher the technicolor dream coat that is the ally chart, what you end up with is, more or less, imperials being able to work together like proper bro's, and everybody else getting a mix-match of allies (except Nids, of course, who don't like to play with their food before eating).

Yes, what allies you can take follows the fluff - I rather like this.  You get nods to quirky bits like Eldar and Tau working well together.  Dark Eldar and Eldar play together nicely.  Grey Knights are too superior to really share the limelight with the less pure of the Emperor's Finest.

So the balance comes in (as much as it does) with the requirements.  You have to have a mini-legal force before you can take the really fun toys, and you're still limited... we're not talking adding 3 squads of Long Fangs as your heavy support options.  Further, if you try taking minimum HQ/Troop options to get to those big toys as cheaply as possible, you're still adding a couple hundred points to the overall cost, and it's going to be a relatively useless couple hundred points.

In essence, I'm not looking at this and saying "oh snaps, GW is making all imperials so hardddssss"... it seems more a fun way to include some fluffy match ups.  Will there be some broken pairings?  I'm sure there will be.  But it's not like we don't see that out of stand alone codices.  I think the pro's (in terms of interest and variation) outweigh the con's (potential mixed imperial abuse).

To put it into a little further perspective... who here has played in a team tournament?  Because that's all this is allowing you to do, as an individual.  I've played team games where it's two completely separate armies, I've played team games where they work together as one (can cast powers on one another, etc).  I can't recall a time when I've said "Dang, I wish that Eldar power hadn't worked on that space marine unit".  Mainly it's just been a fun game.

Fortifications -
The hullabaloo has to stop.  Srsly kids.  Let's think for a minute.

When's the last time you saw a foot list and didn't laugh at it?




yeah, thought so.  Mech is king.  Mech is so king, that the Duke of Foot lost his fealty and has been shoveling piles of poo for the past few years.  While being publicly mocked.  In a dress.  With daisies.

I think I've made my point.

Yes, there are exceptions, but to stand up and say that a Mechanized list is not usually a better option than a non-mechanized list is straight up silliness.  I think it's high time that the foot sloggers got onto equal footing.

Vehicles seem to be getting their edges sanded down just a bit... easier to hit in combat means that no, you can't just drive up the middle with no regard to consequences.  The potential for Glances to stack to automatic wrecking means that no, you can't just wallow through hordes of angry enemies and expect to come out with the wax coat still intact.  It means that transports are a way to get your guys where they need to go sooner, so that they can get out and do what they need to do.  I means that they are not a mobile bunker that your guys sit in all game and then claim an objective from.

Vehicles will be useful.  Incredibly so.  It seems that some are getting even faster and tricksier.  It would seem that you can Snapfire after moving, which will allow for more firing (even if it's  unlikely to hit). 

Having a fairly inexpensive option like the Aegis line allows you to take a foot army and have a reason to take a foot army, other than "I couldn't afford the tanks this month".  You're still immobile.  You're still hindered by terrain.  You're still liable to get outflanked by those (now faster) vehicles.  But you have a big piece of shield in front of you, so you stand a chance.

As a Dark Eldar/Tyranid player, I welcome my victims to stand still in a big huddled group.  It makes the meat-things that much easier to harvest.  And it'll break up the same 5 pieces of terrain on every board.  It'll change up firing lanes just that little bit.  It adds dimension, not insanity.

And the towers... granted I haven't seen the full rules yet, but I'm inclined to not worry.  I've played regular games of 5th with the bastions I don't know how many times.  Never has it broken a game.  The same can be said of the Fortress of Redemption.  Coming in around the cost of a Land Raider, you get a big, immobile hunk of a thing with some guns on it.  For that price, I sure hope you get some weaponry.  Things to keep in mind - turrets of all sorts are often given vastly greater arcs of fire than are actually allowed.  Mech players tend to be the worst at this, in my experience.  Set mounts in 5th only get a 45 degree arc of fire.  I'm not even sure if they can shoot up at all.  Even full turrets only have a 45 degree horizontal arc.  Assault the sucker, it can't shoot down on you.  All of these things are liable to have nasty-huge blind spots, in addition to having to work around terrain like anything else - terrain that they can never move around.

Adding in a fairly inexpensive AA gun is just a built in tit-for-tat to hold in flyers.  Yeah, you can take a big nasty that can't be assaulted and is hit on 6's, but you'd better believe your opponent will have a cheap gun in his ranks that'll drop you in a heartbeat.  It's a rock-papper-scissors balance.  I can take X, which is hurt by Y, which I have to counter with Z by my own devising. 

I think people are spending entirely too much time looking at a specific rule, in and of itself, without finding everything else that kinda makes it okay. 

Don't look at the guy with a shotgun aimed at the velociraptor.  Expand the view to see the second velociraptor sneaking up on the guy from behind.


  1. You make some very valid points. I maybe need to go back and rethink my attitude to fortifications a bit.

  2. A very good post and very well said. There is a lot of fear and reactionary talk about specific rules without looking at the big picture. I think that GW has a good grip on what they are doing for the most part and ever bit of these new rules are calculated and measured. We're not going to know how the game has changed for months yet so let's go play some games!

    1. I'm sure everything GW does is calculated and measured. But don't assume that their first goal is achieve balance. Usually, it's to sell models. They had these kits to sell, so they got rules and were undercosted to make sure they would move. Just like the Valk/Vendetta.

      It's not the increased durability of infantry I mind, but the way that they went about it. The rules could have said infantry can start the game in foxholes or something to give them cover saves. But instead GW chose to push a kit. That has some unintended consequences that will cause problems for competitive tournaments.

      Infantry are feared in Flames of War, but they don't require player-placed walls to make that work. Just good rules that make them awesome on defense.

    2. You know what else works? A wall you make yourself out of $2 plasticard. Don't buy GW if you're simply going to complain about the cost for 3 months straight. There are so many other options available, even without scratch building.

  3. But 'nids could have allies fluffwise - Genestealer/guard hybrids there are even some cool Genestealer/Ork hybrids out there. They don't have to be allies of convenience they could have been allies of infiltration, shame GW didn't go with that. Not that I care I have enough issues bringing in nids anyway.

    My beef abotu Fortifications is this:
    Tyranid FAQ
    Q: Are Tyranid units inside buildings (ie the Bastion) subject to instinctive behaviour tests? Further, are they able to manual fire emplaced weapons? (p33)

    A: No to both questions

    So my hope was that the purchasing of Aegis Defence Lines, Bastions and fortifications etc would herald a new renaissance in folk creating their own xenos equivalents to get the benefits but by doing it old school hobby style on the cheap and with some exciting creativity. Obviously a Tyranid Bastion equivalent in my case mighty be a nice challenge. But apparently the FAQ implies that only Imperial folk can use the weapons emplaced within - BOO! I was looking forward to using spare deathspitters and Tyrannofex weapons to represent the weapons attached within. But if the nids can't use them that sucks.

    And don't get me started on no charges from outflank/infiltrate/reserve by-by Web Way Portals, genestealer or striking scorpion outflank assaults. No idea how to play now!

    1. True, the option to do a "proper" genestealer cult would have been fun. I do want to say, though, that if I'm understanding right and the bastion weapons fire automatically on their own unless someone is gunning them, then that makes sense fluffwise - the guns would have their own sentience, and would fire similar to how a spore pod just fires at the nearest target. I'll have to read over the rules further...

    2. I am with you on Genestealer cults. Stealers and Gaurd should be able to be taken in a IG army to bring back that very flavorful and fun list from the dark ages of 2nd Ed. the problem with that is that is a very specific arrangement of forces rather than just letting IG and Nids be allies. If GW wanted this would be a great way to service the fans by making a WD article. Then again, if they were going to do that, they could have done it at any point in the last 15 years.

      It does stink that Nids can't use weapons emplacements but I can't see any reason why they could. Nothing really supports it in the fluff. Granted this is stinky for bug players and they should get emplacements, cover and bastions of their own that Imperials can't use. It's only be fair.

    3. Okay, i haven't seen the new rules yet but
      (1) I'm onboard with the stealer cult and i say do it! it's your game, as long as your opponent is okay with it just adapt the rules to make it work. The way I envision it it's a primarily guard force with a few stealer units and broodlords. you could also mutant-up your regular guard units, pasting in a stealer arm here and there as hybrids, or make some new monstrosities count as ogryns, or take a rather big-headed ugly primaris psyker as an HQ choice.
      (2) What do you mean now more outflanking assaults??? so my scorpions have to walk into the back field and stand there to be shot at now? Shouldn't the new overwatch rule balance out an outflank assault move anyway??

    4. Point (2) any model outflanking, infiltrating or coming on from reserve cannot charge in their first turn. So yes your models come on, stand there and get shot at. Much the same way as if they'd deep struck - where you couldn't charge.

      Of course Ymgarl Genestealers are able to assault from reserve due to their 'dormancy' rule. Uniques Special Rules trump general ones so I may be utilising them a lot more.

  4. Hey, quick question. Could A Nid player (like myself) use Spore Mine Clusters to block the placement of fortifications? When are fortifications placed? I don't have the rulebook yet :-( But if they deploy with the army as usual, a couple spore mines might be worth forcing a fortification to shift to an undesirable location.

    1. Fortifications are placed as part of the terrain process, so they should be down before spore mines hit the field.

  5. Velociraptors are cool. That is all.


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