Wednesday, 14 June 2017


Last post we looked at the core rules and terrain, in this post we are going to take a look at army building and the missions through all 3 styles of play, Open, Narrative, and Matched play.  Once again, I'm going to thank my good friend and owner of Maxx Collectibles, Garth, for giving me access to these books so I can write this post and not be the last one(as is often the case).  Lets jump right in with...


Let's start with the battle forged army.  This army is build using the detachments provided in the rule book, or in the upcoming codexes.  Detachments will have a number of restrictions placed on them such as limitations on factions within the detachment, limitations on battlefield role slots, and benefits that are provided if all the restrictions are met.  For matched play there is a suggested limitation on the number of detachments an army should contain at different point levels, but other styles leave that up to you.

Now looking at the types of detachments and the restrictions of having a battle forged army, the matched play style bumps up the restrictions another notch.  All of the UNITS in your army, unless you have an "Unaligned" army, must share at least one faction keyword even if they are in different detachments.  Now this confuses me a little because there is no "Unaligned" faction keyword yet it is written in all caps and in the same font as "Imperium" and "Chaos", the 2 alignments they use as examples.  So what I get from this is that if you have a detachment that has "Imperium" or "Chaos" as faction keywords, then every unit in your army must have at least one common faction keyword.
This strikes me as a bit odd as it gives "permission" to have Tau and Nids as allies.  Open and Narrative play have no such restrictions because if you have Eldar and Slaanesh in the same army you either don't care or your Narrative is broken.

As I have mentioned these detachments several times, I guess I should go into what they look like in a little more detail.  Each detachment has an assortment of battlefield role slots available to it, much the same way the CAD did previously.  Although with 12 different detachments in the main rule book, there is a good amount of variety in ways to build your army.  For example, there is the Battalion Detachment, which closely resembles the CAD we all know and love.  It has a minimum requirement of 2 HQ units and 3 Troops units and has the option to include 1 more HQ, up to 3 more Troops, up to 6 Elites, up to 3 Fast and Heavy, and up to 2 Fliers.  While the Vanguard detachment has a minimum of 1 HQ and 3 Elites with an optional 3 Troops, 3 Elites, 2 Fast, 2 Heavy, and 2 Fliers, that means an all Dreadnought army for some people...

There are benefits to taking some detachments over others besides the different battlefield roll slots. The Battalion Detachment grants you +3 Command Points while the Vanguard Detachment only grants +1.  What are these Command points I speak of?  They are points that you can use to activate stratagems throughout the game.  The basic game has 3 standard stratagems, re-roll a die, interrupt the order of chargers attacking, or auto passing a morale test.  Many of the Narrative missions have stratagems specific to that mission which I will get into later.  These stratagems cost typically 1-3 Command points and depending on your play style have limitations as to how many times and when you can use them.  Matched play limits you to using each only once per phase.

Now that we have discussed the shape of the army, lets discuss the size of the army, because most of the time you don't want to fight an army that is twice your size in power level.  Now the open style of gaming is, as the name suggests, completely open.  Feel free to bring whatever you want and however much of it you can carry.  However be aware that if you are heading out to a local gaming store this method just aint gonna fly.  So GW has come up with 2 methods of limiting the size of the army, Power Level and Points.  Now points is a system we all know and love, each model, each piece of wargear and upgrade is worth a specific number of points and you build an army with a point "cap".
Power level is similar, but different.  Each unit comes with a power level, listed on their data slate, that increases as the unit increases in size but does not change with wargear changes or upgrades.  This is a real simple way to build an army quickly and get it relatively "balanced" for a quick start.  I actually really like this method of army building and I'll tell you why.  For a long time the idea of having a "sideboard" or alternate army lists available, in tournaments and events, has been talked about.  The idea being that an army would adjust it's weapons and/or units dependant on what it would be facing and that a tank wouldn't be missing a dozer blade because Dave over there really needed that Stormbolter.  This gives the game some tactical diversity so that you don't auto lose due to a bad match up because of how the meta in your area is sitting.  In the latest meta from 7th ed, the strong lists were typically Imperial Deathstars, Eldar, Tau, and Daemon summoning.  If you built a list that you could deal with all those lists, but don't have the stopping power to deal with big mobs, one bad match up against a Green Tide trashes your chances of winning an event.  There are several other games that employ ideas like this, Magic the Gathering, Warmachine/Hordes (I think).
With the Power level style, since wargear doesn't affect your power level, you are able to swap out wargear and upgrades on a whim simply swapping out models or magnetised arms to suit the enemy you are battling.  It would make checking and building army lists amazingly easier but it presents a problem in how to determine when and where unit changes can be made.  I think that it would be acceptable to finalise changes to a unit as it is being deployed.  That way as players alternate their wargear changes as they see what the enemy army has brought to the table, giving the game yet another tactical angle.
This does run into another issue, and I think is dependent on a very strict WYSIWYG requirement and a VERY clear understanding in "counts as armies".  In situations like that I would not allow simple swaps like "this dreadnought, that looks just like the other 3 I have, is actually an Ironclad."  If you want it to be an Ironclad, you have to do something to it, modelling wise, to make sure it looks like an Ironclad.
The biggest issue with Power Level is that some upgrades are more expensive than others for a good reason, they are better.  If points isn't an issue, then all armies will employ all the best wargear to the point where armies with the best weapons will have an advantage regardless of the expense of the upgrades.

Along with the army building restrictions, each play style comes with a couple missions designed to aid that play style.  The open play missions are very simple with very few special rules.  I won't spend any more time on these because of their simplicity.  They are great missions for getting people into the game or for shooting the shit with a buddy and having a handful of beers, but they don't have depth or balance for a great story or competitive play.

The matched play missions have not changed all that much.  The 6 Eternal War and the 6 Maelstrom of war missions see a return with some minor changes, mostly clean up and simplifying.  I have not compared the Maelstrom objective list so I can't tell you if your current set of cards is viable, but they seem to be pretty much the same.
The biggest change to Matched play games is the 3 new deployment maps that have been added.  Each of the 3 new maps (actually one is old) leaves the armies with a 18" space between deployment zones, as opposed to the 24" space practised by the returning 3.  I really like this as it bumps the assault armies a little, getting them a little closer right from the start of the game.  I think this offsets the Hammer and Anvil deployment where power shooting lists can avoid combat armies.  The maps are very unique shapes as well, 2 of them being a version of Hammer and Anvil and Dawn of War respectively where the deployment line points towards each other.  It's a little wonky, and I can see how it's going to be a bit of a pain in the ass trying to measure that out, but it's something different and I am ok with that.

Now we come to my favourite part, the Narrative missions.  These things bring back so many memories it give me chills.  For those of you who have played for a while, all the way back to 4th edition, you will remember that in the back of the rule book there were dozens of missions directed around narrative play.  They were not well balanced, probably not play tested, with deployment zones that would make a physics major weep, but the story you could weave with these missions were amazing.
There are 6 of them, and while I am not going to sit here and go over each one, I feel like I would be doing a disservice to "fluff junkies" everywhere if I did not talk about my favourite, AMBUSH!  The narrative behind this battle is that there is a column of army A making it's way along and it suddenly gets ambushed from all sides by army B.  Picture this, if you can.  The defender's deployment zone is a 12" strip that extends from the centre of one of the short table edges to the middle of the table and the attacker's deployment zone is everywhere else that's 18" away.  The mission then suggests how to set up terrain and what type of terrain to use.  As it's an ambush it suggests that the attackers deployment zone be dense with terrain while the defender's be a relatively sparse path to the opposite edge of the table.
In addition to a couple special rules like Dawn Raid, there are 6 dedicated Stratagems, 3 for each player, to use throughout the game.  The attacker can spend point to perform a "Preliminary Bombardment", while the defender can make a reactionary shooting attack with one of his units that was targeted.
The victory conditions are that the defender must try to get as many unit to the opposite short table edge as possible, once they make it there they can leave the table and have "Escaped".  Add up the Power level of all the units that have escaped and if the total is more than 1/3 of the starting power level, the defender wins.

That's it for this one folks.  I'll not spill the beans on everything, besides, I'm sure you've seen everything I've mentioned here on the interwebs anyway.
To say the least, I'm pretty excited for this new edition of Warhammer.  Looking forward to running, and playing in some new events.

Until next time, keep them dice rollin.

Friday, 9 June 2017


Hey there ladies and gentlemen, welcome a 40K Misfit first.  Since the creation of this Blog I've never really had an "inside scoop" on anything coming down the pipes as far as releases go.  I've always just bought the book and then done my review (albeit sometimes months later) just to get my overinflated opinion out there.

Not this time.  Thanks to my friend and owner of Maxx Collectibles, Garth, I actually have had the opportunity to look over the rules books in their entirety in order to do this review, before the books have actually been released.

I know, right!  It's like I'm somebody or something.
So without further ado, lets get into it...

... starting with the core rules.  We got a couple new phases, making the turn look like this: Movement, Psychic, Shooting, Charge, Fight, Morale.  So the Assault phase got divorced and left us with it's 2 sub-phases who have grown up to become full phases of their own, and we get a whole new phase, the Morale Phase.

Terrain no longer effects movement, unless specifically noted.
The FLY special rule is introduced, which seems to work much like jump packs of old
Falling Back is an entirely voluntary thing in which you can simply move out of combat.  If you do so, you may not Advance, Shoot, or Charge that turn.  If the unit falling back has FLY, it may still shoot.
Speaking of advancing, they added the old RUN rule to the movement phase and called it Advance.  Most of us did our run moves in the movement phase anyway.  You are still not allowed to Shoot or Charge if you have Advanced.

Each Psyker data slate dictates the number of powers each psyker may cast.
Roll 2d6 and roll equal to or higher the Warp Charge value to cast.
Double 1's and double 6's cause Perils of the Warp, D3 Mortal wounds
Deny the Witch is an opposed roll made by an enemy psyker, against your casting attempt.  Must be within 24" to attempt to deny.

A model may shoot will ALL OF IT'S WEAPONS.  It may shoot them at the same target, different target, the whole unit can shoot at different targets.  It's like splitfire on steroids.  Regardless of how or where everyone is shooting, all shots and targets must be declared before dice are rolled.
Characters may not be chosen as a target of a shooting attack unless they have 10 or more wounds, or they are the closest enemy unit.
New weapon types: Assault weapons can shoot after the unit advances with -1 to hit.  Heavy weapons are at -1 to hit if the model moves in the movement phase.  Rapid Fire, same as before.  Grenades are no longer used in combat and are purely a projectile weapon.  Pistols may be used in the shooting phase even if there is an enemy model within 1" of you, but they must target the closest enemy unit.
In general, these rules apply to ALL models.  So that predator with the 3 lascannons can shoot all of them with only a -1 to hit penalty if it moves, regardless of how far.
Rolling to hit is essentially the same except the stat line gives you what you need to hit.
Rolling to wound changed up a bit.  If the S and T are equal, you need 4s to wound.  Nothing new there.  If the S is higher that the T, then you need 3s to wound.  If the S is 2x or higher than the T, you need 2s to wound.  This works the same backwards, if the T is higher than the S then you need 5s to wound.  If the T is 2x or more higher than the S then you need 6s to wound.
This tripped me up a couple times in my practise game as the Heavy Bolter Pistols wielded by the Interceptors were not wounding my cultists on a 2+, they required a 3+ to wound (S5 vs T3).
Once the number of wounds are determined, the player commanding the target assigns wounds to models making saving throws applying any modifiers.  If a model with multiple wounds loses one, it must lose the rest of it's wounds before a different model an be assigned any wounds.  After the save is failed, damage is assigned.  Damage may result in multiple wounds lost for each failed save, in any case, if the amount of damage from a single hit exceeds the number of wounds left on the target model, the remaining wounds do not spill over into another model.
Example: The Helbrute's Power Fist does 3 Damage for each failed save.  If he hits and wounds a model with only 2 wounds and that model fails it's save, the remaining point of damage is lost and is not applied to another model.
Note:  Some models are equipped with an Invulnerable save.  These saves can not be modified by any means and may be taken IN PLACE of an armour save.  Only one SAVE may be taken.

This manoeuvre gets it's own phase, but remains primarily the same as it was with a few exceptions, starting with moving the models.  The first model you move must end within 1" of an enemy model.  This can be any of your models, not the closest one as it was before.  After that it's fair game, you can move up to the number of inches rolled on the dice with seemingly only one restriction, that you do not come within 1" of a unit that you did not target with your charge (you can choose multiple targets and receive multiple overwatches).  You don't have to get as many models within 1" as you can, you don't even have to end your charge with all your models closer to the target.

Now there is a neat little thing they have called Heroic Intervention, you may have heard of it before but never used it.  I think you will use it now.  Once your opponent has completed all of his charge moves, any and all of your characters that are within 3" of an enemy model may make a preemptive "counter charge" of 3", ending their move closer to the closest enemy model.  You will want to be careful with this though, and the next phase will explain why.

ALL UNITS THAT CHARGED THIS TURN FIGHT FIRST.  After all the the units that have charged this turn make their attacks, players then begin to alternate making attacks with their units who are in combat starting with the player whose turn it is.
The first step in resolving a fight is to Pile In, and you do that by moving up to 3" in any direction as long as you end the move closer to the NEAREST enemy model.  Now I put nearest in caps because the nearest enemy model may not be in the unit you charged.  If you remember, there are very few requirements on how to move your charging models and you may be able to move your charging unit to just outside of 1" of several other units, then Pile In to them saving yourself from Overwatch.

Now, while you may be able to suck in some nearby units into your combat, when it comes to declaring targets of your attacks, these may only be chosen from the units that you charged.  So you won't be able to attack those extra units you sucked in.

Attacks are resolved the same way as shooting, I won't go into much detail.  You can split your attacks between any close combat weapons you have, and between any eligible target units.  So if your Chaos Lord has a Power Fist and a Lightning Claw, and is within 1" of a squad of Guardsmen and a Chimera, he can send attacks with the Power Fist into the Chimera and attacks with the Lightning Claw into the Guardsmen.

Once the unit has made it's attacks it may make a Consolidate move which follows all the same rules for Pile In.  Yes, that means that you will get another chance to drag in a unit that was not previously part of the combat into the combat and avoiding Overwatch.  This is big for 1 main reason that affects a lot of things.  Lets take a look at a scenario quickly to show how these wonky new Pile In and Consolidate moves could affect a game.

Lets say I have a large unit of cultists, 30 or so.  My opponent dumps a load of fire into them turn 1, with with a good Advance during my turn 1 I get into a good spot to be able to assault 3 of my opponent's units, lets say 3 units of guardsmen with 20ish cultists.  I don't want to get Overwatched by all 3 units so I decide to charge only the one in the middle.  Following the charge rules I move at least 1 model within 1" of the enemy unit, I will actually try and get most of my unit into this one to do max damage, but I will also spread out some of my cultists to the sides so that the closest enemy model to those cultists will be models from the 2 guardsmen units on either side.  When my time to Pile In comes, I will be able to Pile In to the 2nd and 3rd guardsmen units dragging them into the combat without taking any Overwatch fire.
I will not actually be able to direct any attacks against the 2nd and 3rd units of guardsmen, and they will be able to attack me, but I have used the cultists correctly and tied up 3 units of guardsmen.  Since they are locked in combat they will not be able to shoot and I will force them to either Fall Back or get stuck in and stay put for another turn killing the cultists.  This could be so that I can get another, stronger, unit in to kill more guardsmen which would again prevent another round of Overwatch, or to force them to Fall Back away from an objective or just to take table control.  If they stay in combat it will also force them to Pile In, bringing them closer to my models.  I could actually set it up so that their Pile In move, which was only caused because I Piled In to them, will bring some of their models to within 1" of a second unit that I placed that wasn't able to charge due to Falling Back or Advancing, and will then be able to attack.
Basically what I am saying is be aware of the domino effect of having units too close together and getting them all caught up in combat.

We have a brand new phase, the Morale Phase.  So this is where the effects of all the killing that has happened in the previous phases rears it's ugly head.  In this phase every unit, on either side of the table, that has taken at least 1 casualty must take a Morale check.  The way this works is, take the number of models that were killed, add D6, and subtract the unit's highest Ld value.  If you have anything left over, you must remove that many models from the unit.

The next couple sections are focused on Missions and army building, which I am not going to cover in this post.  Oh stop whining, you're only here for the funny pictures and captions anyway.  I'll cover them in a another post.

I will talk about terrain though, as there is a fairly comprehensive list of table top terrain that can pretty mush apply to anything and everything I have seen on the table.  I will say that cover is not as easy to get as it once was and not nearly as strong.  A unit must be entirely within a piece of terrain to gain cover, which is only a +1 to their save rolls.  Terrain no longer slows your movement (except where noted) and you can't walk through walls (except where noted).

All infantry units entirely within a wood gain cover.  All other units only gain cover if 50% of the model is obscured.  I feel like woods will be the most difficult to represent on the tabletop.  Most woods have movable pieces to facilitate the placement of models so the requirement of getting that 50% coverage seems abstract.
There is also a -2" penalty when charging through woods.
Now I know it's called woods, but remember, on an alien/hive/daemon planet, there are lots of things we could consider woods.  Crystal shards jutting from the ground, large fleshy tubers, forests of cables hanging from a manufactorum balcony could all pass as woods.

Here is something new, unless the model has fly, non-infantry units can only go on the ground level of a ruin, they also need to be 50% obscured to get cover.  Infantry can move all over ruins and get cover from simply being in it, again the entire unit must be in, and in this case can move through the walls.

Craters are simple, Infantry get cover, -2" for charging over them.

Infantry can gain cover when they are behind the barricade, from the point of view of the shooter, and within 1" of the barricade.  It's not entirely clear if the whole unit needs to be behind and within 1".  I'm going to assume that it does because for every other situation the entire unit must meet the restriction or no one does.

Obstacles come in 2 shapes.  Tank traps reduce the distance of vehicles and monsters by half when they Advance or Charge over them.  Tangle wire does the same thing to everything else.

Any unit will gain cover when behind the statue and any unit with the Imperial keyword will gain +1 Ld when within 3"

These things are a little tricky as the wording has me a bit confused.  The easy bit is that they follow the rules for barricades.  The weird part is that they will cause a mortal wound on a save roll of 7+.  So, the way they explain it is that a save roll of 6 is actually 7, because your roll is modified by +1.  However, if there is an AP on the attacker's weapon then there is a further modification that prevents a save roll of 7+.  Does this mean that only weapons that don't have an AP will be able to cause the pipes to cause those mortal wounds?

Now this one seems very specific, because GW has a specific terrain piece called battlescape.  However I could see this term being used on several different types of debris piles.  The crashed aquila lander, any wrecked vehicle, any minefield, etc etc.  The battlescape follows the rules for a wood, but if you Advance or Charge you roll a d6 for each model and on a 1 the unit suffers a mortal wound.

Finally we come to the odds and ends, the little rules that don't belong in any one specific category, but are no less important.

Wobbly Model Syndrome is still a thing...unfortunately.  I was really hoping they would do away with this.  Especially since movement has become so much more fluent and less restrictive.  No more difficult terrain, fewer restrictions to make successful charges, no movement restrictions on fliers.

Reinforcements have changed drastically.  As far as I have seen, and I haven't looked deep into the missions yet, you can only put a unit in "reserves" if it has a special rule that specifically allows it to providing it's method of deploying mid battle.  Another change is that there is no more roll to bring in "reserves", you simply decide when you want them to come in and then bring them in, but they must come in by turn 3.

Aura type affects will affect the model with the aura as well.

And finally, for my last item of the post, is transports.  There are no more access points or fire points, and any unit that happens to be embarked does not affect the table whatsoever, unless specifically noted.  Models may begin the game embarked on a transport, or they may embark during the game by every model moving to within 3" of the vehicle.
To disembark, you must place all of the models from the unit within 3" of the transport BEFORE it moves.  The unit may then act normally.  You heard right, assaulting from a vehicle is a thing again!  Rhino rush is back baby!  It is important to note that all of the models have to be able to disembark before you move them as if not all of the models can disembark, the remaining models are destroyed.
Likewise, if a vehicle is destroyed, all of the models must disembark, then the vehicle is removed.  For each model that was embarked, a D6 is rolled and on a 1 a model is slain.

Well, there you have it.  Another review done, later than most of the other reviewers, but earlier than most everyone else has the book.  So that's cool.

Thanks again to Garth from Maxx Collectibles for lending me the BRB to do this write up.

Until next time, keep them dice rollin.