I’ve now played 2 games of 6th edition and I’m getting there!
My last game was against Little Geek’s Demons. He tabled me! What did I learn?
Well first, demons got way better in 6th edition!
Flying monstrous creatures are pretty hard core! When Little Geeks FMC’s come in they “swoop”, which means I can only hit them on sixes. When they move they can jump over my vehicles and hit them with a “vectored strike” which is a “sort of” assault. It hits on threes on the side armour. When it lands it can still fire one weapon, or if it’s a Lord of Change with some sort of upgrade thingy, 2 weapons. In one turn Little Geeks Lord of Change swooped over a Baal Predator, knocked off its assault cannon with a vectored strike, landed and then toasted a devastator squad with Breath of Chaos! His blood thirster is also a FMC….. so it is a truly horrible close combat monster, that you can only hit on sixes before it rips you apart….!
Demons can now tear vehicles apart quite easily. Little Geek runs 2 big squads of fiends – so hitting on 3’s, with 6 s5 rending attacks each on the charge, they easily rip apart anything that isn’t AV13+. Fiends are also beasts, so they can catch anything but the fastest vehicles.
It’s not all good for Demons – blood letters and blood crushers are pretty weak now (hell blades being AP3), but who cares when you have fiends!
And that made me think about how weak vehicles are now. Much has been made of hull points weakening them, and that’s true. But the really weakness I think is how vulnerable they are in assault. Now you hit them on 3’s rather than 4’s or 6’s. Couple that with hull points and even a pack of 10 Kroot will tear a rhinos apart no matter how far it moved… (30 attacks on the charge, 20 hits, 9 glances ..hell they could multi charge 2 rhinos and still have a reasonably good chance of killing both of them!) And if the Kroot wrap around the rhino before they charge it…..the contents are dead as well!
The other problem is the inability to charge on the turn you disembark even if you haven’t moved, and even if you have been blown out your transport. The earliest you will every be able to charge anything out a rhino is turn 3, and only then after hanging around for a turn getting shot at, assaulted and allowing your “target” to get out the way.
And to top it all you can’t claim an objective while inside a vehicle, nor can a vehicle contest.
Anybody who ran a mechanised army will have to radically rethink how they do it. A few thoughts
· Razorbacks are now backfield support units. The last thing you want to do is move them forward into assault range. Arming them with twin linked heavy flamers is now pretty pointless, and assault cannons questionable. In this role they are perhaps stronger as they are harder to stun.
· I’m struggling a bit to see a role for Rhinos – moving forward with them is now pretty dangerous, but staying in the back filed is pretty pointless. Over 200 points to shoot a heavy and a special out the top hatch. Not exactly points efficient.
· Chimeras are better because they have the 4 firing hatches – but hull points, and a 5+ cover save effect them too – auto cannons and XV8s with missile pods will strip them of hull points pretty quickly (on average 6 deathrain XV8s will kill a chimera!).
· Putting anything in a transport you might want to use in assault (unless it’s open topped or has an assault ramp) is pretty pointless. For blood angels 5 man assault squads used to be a cheap scoring upgrade for a razorback, with a melta gun (maybe with an infernos pistol on the sergeant), who, if you gave the sergeant a power weapons, and there was a priest hanging around, were OK in assault, particularly if you teamed up with another 5 man squad. Seems to me there is just no point in thinking this way anymore.
· For marine armies I wonder if we’ll see the resurgence of the tactical squad? The ability to combat squad and keep both squads in the rhino increases flexibility. Being able to jump out and rapid fire something over 12 inches away helps, and 8 rapid firing bolt guns, a missile launcher and a plasma gun on overwatch might make you thing twice before you charge them. Is this the new use for Rhino’s?
· Landraiders become relatively better. Harder to “one shot” and you can assault out of them.
· Ironically I think predators become better. While hull points and 5+ cover makes them easier to kill at range, it’s harder to stun lock them so, while they might not last as long, they are more likely to fire to full effect until they die.
· In a Tau army there is now even less point in bringing hammer heads and fire warriors in devil fish. Disruption pods only give a 5+ save. One of the big advantages of a hammer head over a broadside was the ability to tank shock on to an object to contest it.. not any more! I bought a Devilfish for my fire warriors so they could move forward onto objectives, tank shocking if needs be….not any more!
Hmmmmm……back to the drawing board…!