Monday, May 28, 2012

Conspicuous Absence - 40k Rulebook Pulled from GW Site

As has been widely reported, GW retailers have been instructed to pull the 40k 5e rulebook this week and that appears to have taken effect on the GW web store as well. At approximately 01:00 May 28, 2012 UTC, Games Workshop officially pulled the 5th edition Warhammer 40,000 from all international sites thus signaling the death knell of the edition that brought us true line of sight, wound allocation wonders, and occupying buildings as if they were vehicles (oh wait, no one ever played that last one so forget about it).

Of course, blogs and forums and the such have been aflame (and atwitter and afacebook) with rampant and tawdry rules rumors, wishlisting, grumblings, and fornications (ok, given the community the last may strictly speaking not be true - but one never can know really). So in the spirit of all of the above, I will add my own meanderings on the subject.

Anything that puts paid to gridlock 40k cannot be a bad thing. I am tired of vehicles exploding catastrophically only to have a bunch of muscly rambo types emerge virtually unscathed and completely unphased in order to wreak havoc with their melta-nonsense. And this assumes that the vehicle didn't take umpteen shots that managed to simply stun it until the one lucky die roll turned it to rubble.

Granted the rumors about random pieces of terrain able to take psychic tests to force me to play with an army two tables down doesn't exactly leave me with a warm fuzzy. I do take some offense at the notion of a rock-paper-scissors test to resolve the single champions close combat although this would give my platoon commander a chance against Marneus Calgar. Or what about the universal special rule - Spiky Bits... any model with a spike on their codpiece grants a 1+ weapon skill?! At any rate, my firewarriors have already begun sporting attachments worthy of Tetsuo the Ironman!

Regardless, 6e should be a lot of fun. I mean clearly Games Workshop is looking to provide a more streamlined set of rules to alleviate much of the confusion that currently reigns at tournaments. To me this is no more evidenced than by their ardent and undying support for the officially sanctioned tournament scene.

I do feel some anguish for all those rhinos and chimeras that will soon languish in foam whilst their speedier (and more expensive) flier brethren flit about the battlefield mincing anything that dares pop its head out of some psychically active piece of random terrain that just magically appeared from my wargamers backpack...

Monday, May 7, 2012

40k 6e Rumor Source Has Been Outed!

I figured that is was about time for 23Lines to jump on the rumor spec-ulation bandwagon. But rather than posting my own wishl... er secret source I figured I would post something dredged up by my man Lo Pan over at the SomethingAwful forums. Big thanks to Beer4TheBeerGod for this creatively formatted set of rumors:
So given all these rumors I figured it was finally time that I reveal the rumors that MY source has given me. The guy's totally trustworthy and has an inside line into the GW design studio. He said that given all the misinformation out there it was time to clarify what was going on with 6th edition. Now some of this stuff might be slightly off in order to protect my source's sources, but he's always been right in the past.
  • A lot of the devs have been saying that 6th Edition will be a "throwback" edition, with a lot of elements from 2nd edition merged with some modern gameplay elements that we've seen from the last two decades of development.
  • Now the phases are Movement, Action, and Recovery. Assaults and shooting will be done simultaneously in the action phase. Recovery phase is for doing morale checks.
  • Units moving in the Movement phase have a standard value (no die rolling). Difficult terrain cuts your movement in half, but only for the portion of your movement that goes through that terrain.
  • So the Action Phase is where the majority of the game takes place. The active player gets to allow each unit to perform a single action, like shoot or charge or use a psychic power. 
  • Every unit affected by a given action will have a chance to respond to that action if they pass an initiative test. For example a unit being shot at could choose to return fire or take cover. A unit being assaulted could counter-charge, stand and shoot, or retreat to try and get out of assault range.
  • Xeno and other armies will have a bonus to certain reactions. For example orks have terrible initiative and will routinely fail to stand and shoot or take cover, but have a bonus to initiative checks to do things like return fire or counter-assault. Different Space Marine chapters have bonuses and penalties. Good luck getting Black Templar to take cover!
  • There is a major change with regards to armor and invulnerable saves. Armor save modifiers are back! Cover provides either a +1 or +2 bonus based on hard or soft cover (hello 2nd edition!) but can be ignored by template weapons like flamers. Weapons have modifiers based on strength and other factors. 
  • Randomness has been incorporated into assault moves, but it's not that bad. Charge range is base movement + 1d6 to represent running at the enemy. 
  • Another big change in assault: Fearless wounds are gone! Instead the opposing side gets a free attack for every point the fearless side lost by.
  • Casualties are now handled differently. Wound allocation shenanigans are gone! Whole models must be removed as much as possible. Normally players dictate what models are removed except for certain circumstances like a Vindicare or other special effects. Wound balances are carried within the unit as opposed to a specific model, so no hiding a wound on a Nob and then conveniently forgetting about it later.
  • To mitigate the effect of things like hidden power fists Independent characters can attack specific models in CC. 
  • Units have another reason to fear flamers; assault weapons can now be fired from a vehicle regardless of how far they moved. This makes the Land Raider Redeemer pretty devastating.
  • Some of the biggest changes have been to the philosophy being applied to this edition. GW is really trying to appeal to both the casual and competitive gamer. For the tournament player the rules set is really tight and streamlined. The mantra we've been hearing is "simple rules, complex gameplay." For the casual player GW put a LOT of effort into making an AWESOME campaign system with an amazing mission generator. Things like allies and purchasing strategic elements are part of the campaign system.
So yeah, that's what my exclusive insider GW source has told me. What have you guys heard from YOUR sources?
Most of this is just regurgitated pap from the "leaked" PDF playtest rulebook. However, if you look closely you will find an easter egg depicting the actual source of EVERY 40k 6e rumor floating around on the web right now! Post in the comments if you suss it out...