In 5th edition I used to have lots of fun running a 3 Stormraven Blood Angels list. It wasn’t super competitive, but it was OK, and a lot of fun to run. I won “best Blood Angles player at Throne of Skulls using it (going 4-1), came third at the WPS Club Challenge, and won a local RTT.
The whole idea was to stuff 3 Storm Ravens full of Furioso Dreadnaughts and Death Company, take minimal scoring units, and rush my opponent. I tended to win big or lose big, depending on how many Storm ravens my opponent downed in his first turn. I knew it was weaker in 6th edition, but I had no idea how weak until I took it to a recent 3 game tournament … man it really sucks now! I went 1-1-1, and really should have lost the game I won. Ironically I won best BA player (out of 3 of us), which I think speaks volumes about how weak BA are now.
The list has so many problems, but the biggest one is Ravens becoming flyers. The list relied on getting the Dreads into combat ASAP. In 5th edition AV13 combat dreads with Blood Talons were brutal. They ate pretty much anything that didn’t have an invulnerable save, and the Stormravens were the ideal delivery mechanism – move 12”, get out 2 (plus the width of the base) and then assault a guaranteed 6”, giving them a 23” threat range. The Death Company Dread was even better because he had fleet – a few times I managed a turn 1 assault with a good run roll the DC dread (for the noobs, fleet was different in 5th – it allowed you to run and then assault).
Now, the biggest problem with the list is getting the Dreads into assault. Because I need to start the Raven’s off the board, and they can’t assault the turn they come on, the earliest I can get them to do anything is turn 3. I also need to start most of the army off the board, so risk losing by having what’s on the board wiped out if my reserve rolls are poor. At the tourni I ran a Bastion with comms relay, manned by Mephiston (and man he sucks now too – in one game a Rune Priest in Runic Armour held him up for most of the game!). Even with that I lost game 3 because one Raven refused to come on until turn 4.
And even when the dreads get into assault, they are nowhere near as good now that Blood Talons are AP3.
Now things move on, and lists never stay the same. I’m OK with that, and I wasn’t expecting the list to do well if I’m honest, however, writing this has me thinking about what I missed from 5th edition. Perhaps it’s rose tinted spectacles, but if GW had kept 5th ed, and simply updated all the old codicies, I can’t help feeling we would have a better game now.
So, for all the old codgers out there – what do you miss from 5th edition, or to put it another way, what do you dislike about 6th?
· Random charge distances. How annoying to miss a 3 or 4 inch charge.
· Challenges. I really don’t see the point of challenges.
· Flyers (although as more and more Codices get reasonable counters, it’s getting better)
· Random events that can effect the whole game (my pet peeve being the warp storm table)
· Allies, or rather Battle Brothers. The way that Independent Characters can join units and grant them USRs is too easy to abuse.
· The very obvious lack of play testing leading to silly powerful units – eg Helldrakes, Wave Serpents, Screamer stars, Seer Councils, Tau Buff Commanders, Riptides etc. This was a feature of 5th to be fair, but it seems much worse now.
On the flip side, what do I love about 6th edition?
· The pace of codex release. While some of the codices may have issues, the fact that by the end of next year they will probably be all up to date for 6th edition, is fantastic.
· Making Vehicles more balanced (maybe – you could make an argument that this went too far)
· Allies – I know, I know, that’s contradictory, but it’s not allies I dislike as such, it’s the (hopefully!) unintended consequences of allowing allied HQ’s to grant USR’s to units they join.
Hmmm…. that’s about it really. I cant think of any change in the 6th edition rule set (other than perhaps rebalancing vehicles) that has actually improved game play! Oh dear…!
Could somebody please tell me I’m wrong? There must be lots of game mechanic in 6th edition that weren’t in 5thwhich have actually improved game play?