40K Sixth Edition is coming

So the new version of the Warhammer 40K rulebook is winding its way to my FLGS and I have been reading the, limited, details of the rule changes on the various 40K blogs and in the new White Dwarf.

In lieu of actually playing a game or two its difficult to say what I think about the game but there are a few things that are clearly in the game that can be discussed.

Allies
I am looking forward to the Allies rules in 6th Ed, if only because I like them in 2nd and I think that they add to the narrative of the game, to use a term that is popular with GW as of late, help you collect and paint small forces of models that you like and also make the army building stage more flexible and the game more interesting. It also allows you to build armies involving Space Marines that make more sense. The idea of a force consisting of nothing but Marines seems odd given their relatively small numbers in the Imperium and their background. If I can now expand either a Guard force with Marines or fill out a Marine force with Guard or other Imperial troops it makes the army seem, to me, more in line with the 40K background.

Wound allocation
It is front to back now as it is in almost every similar game. I can’t think that this won’t speed the game up and also add some more tactics to the game since you don’t want your special weapons or characters out in front until they are needed. Having to make decisions i a game is always a good thing.

Psychic powers
This seems like a good idea at the moment. More psychic powers are a good thing and consolidating them is also a good idea as it means that you need to remember fewer powers. Random powers is also a good thing as it means that not every army build is going to be the same.

Flyers
This has the potential to be a total mess and also seems like an attempt to drive the sales of more AA equipped models and terrain. I’ll wait until I’ve played or watched a few games with flyers but I don’t see that this is really a good addition to a game of 40K’s scale and size.

Vehicles
The changes to the vehicle damage chart and the addition of Hull Points will make vehicles more interesting to use and allow them to have a more varied place in the game. The results of a shot against them will not be as clear-cut as it was before. Vehicles will also eventually succumb to accumulated fire even if it has no additional effects. So a series of glancing hits or Weapon Destroyed results will eventually destroy the vehicle. No more nigh-invulnerable vehicles.

I am sure once I get the rulebook and give it a read that there will be more things that will be revealed that will impact on the way the game is played. Sixth Edition though seems to be yet another minor rewrite of the rules. GW seems more interested in trying to tweak the game into a more playable fashion instead of making dramatic, wholesale changes to the game. Makes sense. You’d really not expect them to risk dramatic changes to a game that is such a cash cow for them.

Not sure when I will be able to get a game in but I am looking forward to giving it a try again. And if it doesn’t solve the problems with the game then there is always 40K Second Edition to go back to.

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