Sunday, May 25, 2014

In the grim darkness of the far future, there is 7th edition

So the future is now,
7th edition of the game we love is upon us! I spent my Saturday dorking out with my newly purchased rule book and it's complement books. I start this review with a caveat, I have not played a game. What I did do is spend my Saturday night reading the rule portion of the books. Being that I've played since 3rd edition, I do have some experience behind my opinions I with share. But ultimately, you learn much more by playing actual games. So I reserve the right to change my mind on anything I type here!

The Package

The rules now come in a package that actually contains 3 books. The rules, an introduction to the models and armies, jammed with pictures, and the story line or fluff. This is a lovely idea! I won't have to carry that
85$ but worth it, I think
heavy rule book around with me as I travel to friend's homes or events. More room for beer, yea! I still like to read the story line and look at excellent pictures of models for inspiration, but I can leave those at home when I travel the universe for games. Every edition I owned before this one, all of them very heavy to lug around, basically because the Fluff, pictures and rules were all in one book.

All three are quality hardcovers. Loaded with color images and illustrations. I'll admit, I haven't read the story line book yet. I will but lets be honest, after some 14 years in the hobby, I've read the fluff many times over. I wanted to crack into the rules! My first viewing actually went to the picture book. It's what we are use to, the army introduction portion of the rule book. Each faction is introduced, along with nice full color images of painted models. Many of those are armies we have seen before like the yellow Iyandan army seen in many White dwarfs and the Apoc. book. GW tends to focus on the newer models in each army and that is fine by me. I'm unlikely to ever buy a box of guardsmen, it's nice to look at the new models each army has received. This book is also where the advertising is, paints, books ect. If I were new to the hobby, the picture heavy book would suck me right in. Well done GW.

The Rules

The rules book portion of the 7th edition package is very well organized. It clearly is intended to be picked up when needed and riffled through using the page numbers (now located on the upper right hand side) to find what you are looking for quickly. There is a fine summery located in the back. For the most part the organization of the information makes sense. For now (you never know what game situation could come up) everything seems well worded and concise. I will say for the most part, they didn't reinvent the wheel here. Most of the groundwork laid by 6th edition is here.

The largest change occurs in the Psychic phase. Now there is a Psychic phase. Right after a players movement phase. The way you cast and deny the witch is very different. Each player earns a pool of dice equal to a d6 (rolled by the player whose turn it is) plus the mastery levels added up of all your Psychers in your army. So if you have a lot of Psychers in your army you get a lot of dice. The owning player must roll +4's to equal the warp charge for success. The opposing player must roll +6's equaling all successful +4's to deny the power. I think this sounds very cool. It forces both players to decide how many dice to pull for each power cast. I really don't care if it comes from fantasy, it sounds interesting. I look forward to seeing how it plays.

This guy only got better in 7th edition
I've found other interesting psychic changes like to Focused Witch Fire. Mind War became useful again. In 6th edition, a player needed to roll 7 or lower (I think?) on the leadership test to actually choose the model who would be effected by the power. This didn't happen often. Now to cast Mind War for example, you need only one +4 (success) more then the warp charge. So Mind War (warp charge 2) needs three +4's to hit the model desired. Very much an improvement.

In 6th edition, I didn't mix my psychic disciplines. I used Runes of Fate for all Farseers and Runes of Battle for all Warlocks. Now in 7th I am rewarded for this! If you choose all your powers from one discipline you receive the Primaris power free! Even Warlocks (mastery level 1). So Warlocks all have two powers from Runes of Battle, the Primaris and the power rolled. Very cool. There are is a new discipline called Deamonology, it includes a summoning ability that is the Primaris power. I can say without doubt, Antaries will not be summoning any Chaos Daemons. Just like ramming with a skimmer, I just refuse to do it because it's so very un-Eldar.

Objectives, Force Org...ect.

Probably the change I've seen most talked about is Unbound vs. Battle forged lists. An Unbound list is.. what ever the heck you want. Does that mean my army of 54 Eldrads can be released? Well no luckily. Named characters are still named. Only one Karandras per game. Good. But, unbound can be anything else. So I can make a list that is all Eldar skimmers. Nothing but Fire Prism, Wave serpents, Falcons. An Eldar armor company! Now, I wouldn't bring this list to an off game with a friend. But if say.. a guard player wanted to test his armor against mine, and we set it up ahead of time, we can do it in 7th Edition.

All units (other those those with rules like scarabs or nurglings) now count as scoring units. But here's the counter, Battle forged lists, their troops get a rule called Objective secured. It allows them to overrule an elite or HQ holding an objective. If both units have the rule, it is contested. What all this means is in a typical mission based game of 40k, you still need troops to win. Bring on your Unbound list, my balanced, Dire Avenger heavy, Eldar will likely take the day.

Here's what I think about all that as a vet. All this inclusion is cool. Here's what I'm going to do, in a friendly one off 1500-2000pts game. I'm taking my Battle forged lists every time. I'll follow the old force org, basically. My crew though, can get inventive, and if it calls a four player game with story driven theme. I can do that now. During our one a year Big game, our credo has always been "bring the cheese".

You are a jackass if you bring a Titan to a game with an opponent who doesn't know about it beforehand.

The missions and mission cards are very cool. GW has expanded the way we can play a one v one game very nicely. I won't go into full detail here, but there are a good set of rules to keep a 14yr. vet of the game enjoying a simple 1500pt rolled mission game in a whole new way. Kudos GW. 

- Night fight is much better. All units just have stealth. No more range involved. 4+ first turn only.

- Jink is interesting. it's declared by the owner for a +4 cover save. Unit can only snap fire next turn. If you use it you take a penalty, cool. I'll have to think it over before a Fire Prism uses a jink.

- Guns in a unit are fired kinda like int. order in assault. So if I have a squad of Night lords, I would conduct the shooting phase as follows.. fire the bolters/opponent saves, fire the Melta guns/wound/save, fire the pistol wound roll then saves by opponent. This might seem a little confusing but it's not really. Different weapon types will wound in different order. So you can fire your bolters first to say, hopefully kill some basic troops in front of a Powerfist. Then use the Melta to kill him. There is a sequence in shooting now. That helps the tactical mind.

- I like that most of the rules are in the book, super heavy damage table, rules for D weapons, ect.. If you are playing in an apocalypse game, everything is in one book.

I'm pretty happy with what GW did. I'm excited to play games. I'm not a tournament player. I'm more a forge the narrative type player, drinking a beer as we forge away. Long live 7th edition! How about at least three years..


Sunday, May 18, 2014

Ave Dominus Nox!

It's been a while since the big game. I've played Eldar to about 30-0 before I decided to put them into stasis for a bit. Not long, with 7th Edition of the game upon us, Antaries will be back soon. My Chaos war band has been my focus the last two months. It's a combination of Noise Marines, Bezerkers, and Chaos Marines.

Chaos has, for a long time, been my secondary army. I've modeled about 3500pts. For a while now Night lords have been my favorite traitor legion. I love their colors, the lightning, skulls, red gauntlets..The author Aaron Dembski-Bowen has been the best contributor to Night lords storyline. I find it the most interesting of the legions.

The sons of Konrad Curze do not worship Chaos gods specifically. They look down on the more feverish followers of the ruinous powers. This means no marks or possessed. I also plan on using the Night lords red gauntlets. When a Night lord has failed or betrayed the leader, they are ordered to paint their gauntlets red showing that they are marked for death. A death chosen at the time of the lords choosing. Why execute a perfectly good soldier? Another interesting element of the Night lords is that they don't really follow anyone but themselves. They valued following Horus as much as they valued the Emperor. Which was... well not at all. I always try to role play my games a bit to add to the fun. The Night lords have always had some psychic ability, Curze, Sevatar, Talos, so it's possible my unknown Chaos lord might be based off a sorcerer. For the moment the Night lords faction of my war band are content to share the spoils with Voltan of the Emperor's Children and Crom of the World Eaters.

I'm just working on basic troops for now. Here are a few finished
Game play wise I want a close assault force. My chaos army will be geared to fighting in close. Plenty of Melta guns and every trooper has modeled a cc, pistol and bolter. My Chosen squad has 3 members with 2 Lightning Claws. To honor Curze, there will be plenty of Night lords with two claws. My Eldar largely fight a ranged battle, I want this army to be best up close and personal.

I've played 2 games so far, lost one pretty badly to the Orks and a close loss, Blood Angels, Space Wolves and Flesh Tearers vs. My Chaos and Guard. To be honest I was very happy to lose. It had been awhile. 

7th Edition

By now you've read some rumors on what's next for us in the 40k game. I was a big fan of 6th edition, I loved the direction it took the game. From true line of sight, to things like restricting transport movement if you want to disembark. It was a good edition. I'm not really going to react till I read the full rule book, but I think some of the changes like the Psychic phase sound interesting.

I am inclined to think this edition will ask us to police ourselves as gamers. The options that GW seem to be offering seem quite nasty, like an unbound list. Me? I'm going to keep modeling and painting Night lord troops, because I like skirmish, and I'm going to fire bolters. I'll post a full review once I have the tome in hand till then.... DEATH TO THE FALSE EMPEROR!