Sunday, July 22, 2012

More Playtest Thoughts

Hail to our new 2+ Save Overlords!

It's been a crazy week, so I have not had a lot of time to blog.  However, I played my 2K Space Marines against a Dark Angels list on Thursday, and it was a very interesting game.  I am still learning a lot of the nuances of 6th and it really looks like details matter even more now than in 5th.  My opponent took the following list:

Belial with LCs
Librarian (Had the Divination Primaris Power and the Overwatch Power)
Deathwing with Banner, Apothecary, TH/SSs and CMLs
Deathwing with TH/SSs and CMLs
Deathwing with LCs and CML
Tactical Squad with PP, Flamer, and ML
Ravenwing Squad with PF, MGx2, and MM AB
Land Raider Crusader
Veteran Squad with lots of PWs and SS

We played Big Guns in Vanguard Deployment with 5 objectives.  Overall, I played pretty terribly, but was able to still pull out the win at the end.  The biggest issue was that I misinterpreted the Scouts rule and thought that they still had to remain in their deployment zone because the rule states "redeploy".  However, it turns out that they still can basically move as normal.  I put the Landraider out front and center in front of my army thinking it was safe but it promptly got meltaed on T1.  That really hurt my ability to respond to the Deathwing units dropping in my lines.  I did not move the mini Calgar-star very well, and it absorbed a charge from Belial's squad and the Vet Squad.  Calgar and the TH/SS Termies went down swinging, but didn't do very much damage.  I spent the rest of the game scrambling and slowly grinding the Deathwing Termies down.  At the end of the game, I still had four Combat Squads, two Rhinos, the Dakka Pred, and the Stormtalon against four LC Termies and a couple of Tactical Marines.  My takeaways:

1.  As expected, 2+ saves are very powerful, especially when backed up by 3++ saves.  The Veteran Squad would have completely decimated the TH/SS Termies in 5th Edition, but pretty much bounced off in this game.  Same thing with Belial's LCs.  Shooting still gets the job done, though. 

2.  Weight of fire is the name of the game.  Throwing lots of dice solves problems such as Terminators and makes snapshots/overwatch more effective.  I think finding the right balance between quality shots and spamming fire is going to be key to having a solid all-comers list.  Assault Cannons (especially twin-linked ones) are a good compromise in ROF and Str/AP.  I am still not sold on Plasma Guns, though, but that could just me being stubborn.  As a corollary, I think having additional bodies is going to valuable too.  I am actually considering a fourth Tactical Squad for more scoring presence and more Rapid Fire shots. 

3.  Null Zone is still very powerful.  I really missed having Null Zone against all those 3++ saves.  Null Zone would have really helped my Termies to smash face.  (So would have better positioning, though.)  But where it would have really helped was in allowing my quality firepower to get past the 2+/3++ saves.

4.  Being able to flat out all vehicles during the shooting phase opens up a lot of possibilities.  There were several points where I should have moved flat out and sacrificed snapshots in order to stay out of assault range.  Several people have commented about using vehicles to play "peekaboo" to hide units after they have shot and I think that is a very valuable tactic.  I am finding that my Marines work better the less time they spend in their transports because of the changes to Rapid Fire.  Now the transports can unload the passengers, allow them to fire, and then Flat Out to block them off from retaliation. 

5.  I think LRs are about as effective in this edition as they were in the last edition.  Meltas still kill them dead while pretty much everything else bounces off.  It's easier to get them cover, though.  In the game, each of our LRs died to melta fire and HPs never came into play.  For the most part, their survivability remain unchanged from 5th.  However, the random charge distance does place LRs at a disadvantage from mechanized melta troops.  Mechanized troops are assured an 18" melta engagement range, while LR passengers have to hope to roll well to charge 18". 

The biggest issue is now if it is possible to assault from an assault vehicle that gets destroyed in your opponent's shooting phase.  RAW it looks likes if the ride gets wrecked then you cannot charge, but if it gets exploded then you can. However, there are a lot of camps arguing multiple points, so there is no real consensus. That makes me think that more than likely, charging from either situation is out.  My local store is playing it as you can assault after getting wrecked/exploded, but that isn't something I can count on in the future.  The biggest reason I think the LR is worth keeping is the fact that it can prevent Terminators from getting torrented to death. 

6.  I am starting to warm up to the idea of Vindicators as a problem-solver.  They can handle pretty much everything but MCs.  If the meta shifts from the light-mech of 5th, then I see it as being more valuable than the Autocannon/Lascannon Predator.  Right now, I am going to give the Autocannon/Lascannon Predator a few more tries as I think the 48" range and ability to take shots at Flyers/MCs is important. 

7.  I am SERIOUSLY considering a small unit of Deathwing Terminators as an ally.  I think they provide a solution to my debate of TH/SS Termies versus Tactical Terminators.  I can kit them out with a couple of TH/SS to absorb hits and still have a token amount of shooting including the CML.  They would be slower, but would have more attacks/FNP, be Fearless, and be scoring.  Belial would provide a cheap second character to play LOS!/wound allocation games and help reduce torrenting. 

8.  Tough Heavy/Fast units are great to have in your list for the Scouring/Big Guns Never Tire missions.  Yes, they can give up VPs if they die, but the ability to score (and hopefully contest) more than makes up for it IMO... scoring LRs make me smile. 

I am slowly getting a feel for 6th Edition and hopefully can get another game or two in this week.  I still do not think my list is "finished" and there are several units/builds I want to test out before I settle on a final list.

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