Saturday, June 30, 2012

First Game of 6th Edition... 1st Impressions

The new "I-win" Button

I played my first game of 6th Edition this afternoon and I have to say I am really looking forward to the changes.  I took the following army which works out to approximately 1999 points:

Primary Detachment (Space Marines)
Libby with Null Zone/Avenger
Tactical Squad with Flamer/ML and Rhino
Tactical Squad with Flamer/Lascannon and Rhino
3 MM Attack Bikes
2 MM/HF Landspeeders
Stormtalon with Typhoon ML
Autocannon/Lascannon Predator

Allied Detachment (Honorguard Counts As Grey Knights)
5 Pallies with Brotherhood Banner and Pyscannon x2
5 GKSS with Pyscannon and Pysback

My opponent took the following list:

30 Hormies
Large squad of Warriors
2 Squads of Genestealers
2 Trygons

It used to be a full-reserve list, but it has since been hit pretty hard with a nerf bat.  However, it still has some tricks namely due to the Flying MCs.  We rolled up the Emperor's Will (Cap and Control) mission with the Apoc Deployment.  It was a pretty brutal game, as my ground-based shooting was able to kill one Flyrant in Jump mode while the Stormtalon downed the other.  As always, Draigo and the Pallies ate big-gribblies while Bolters and Flamers took care of everything else.  I won't go into a full bat-rep, but here's what I noticed:

1.  Vehicles do not like CC... or glances.  Against even a non-shooty army, it felt like my Rhinos were significantly squishier.
2.  Not being able to assault out of stationary vehicles is a HUGE deal.
3.  Focus-fire is BOSS.  In my game I was able to focus fire with one unit and then clean up the survivors in cover with another unit with templates.  I have a feeling there are going to be many opportunities to "abuse" this. 
4.  Pallies are even more crazy than I first thought.  Not only do they get Look Out, Sir, but they also get Precision Strikes.  The downside is wound allocation for/from them takes forever.  Overall, they still are pretty survivable, especially if Draigo is out front.  The 2+ LOS! makes a significant difference in their survivablitity.
5.  Properly challenging/responding to challenges is going to make a big difference in how melees work out.  Being able to soak a nasty beatstick with a Sarge is a huge deal.  Also, the way allocation seems to work, there is some discussion on whether ICs can be picked out of combat short of a challenge. 
6.  I didn't have too much luck with Snapfire/Overwatch, but I can see the potential.  Twin-linking becomes a lot more important.  I think Vulkan with snap-firing MMs would be pretty awesome. 
7.  Allies do not seem to work unless one of the sides is very, very cheap and fills a significant gap in the primary army.  I felt that mixing two fairly expensive armies in my list actually made it weaker rather than making it stronger.  Also, I think for a competitive list that you really need Brothers-in-Arms to make it work, especially if you have buffs/auras/Psychic Powers.
8.  The new Psychic Powers are pretty nasty.  Divination and Biomancy have some really nasty spells, especially with some allies.
9.  Random-charge distances are pretty devestating... for both sides.  Charging anything in cover is very risky beyond a few inches unless you have special rules such as Fleet/MTC or are Jump Infantry.  However, being able to potentially charge 12" is not something to scoff at.  I still think this is a net win for shooty armies, though.  If they hide in cover, they have a very good chance of doing damage with Overwatch, just for the charge to fail. 
10.  Flying vehicles seem to be pretty solid.  Offensively, I liked the Stormtalon and it was key in keeping the skies clear.  I didn't get a chance to test its durability, but I figure that it will hold up to anything but Hydras, Lootas, and other Flyers.
11.  Flying MCs are going to be THE boogeymen of this edition.  Unlike vehicles, you cannot hope for a single, lucky hit to explode it.  You have to hit it multiple times (on sixes!) and in most cases hope it fails a 3+ armor save.  You either have to hope you can kill it while it is in jump mode, hit it with LOTS of shots, or hit it with your own Flyers.  I think that any competitive army is going to require either Skyfire/Interceptor weapons or its own Air Force.  Without one or both of those, I do not see an army being able to handle a list packing multiple Flyers.  Because Flyers are effective against both ground and flying units, I think that is the route I will take.  Time to start building my Stormtalon...

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