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40k 7th Edition Rant

PostPosted: Tue Apr 29, 2014 11:41 am
by Cptn_Snuggles
I need a support group to let off some steam... ready for a super rant?

So the big rumor on the web these days is the imminent launch (in May) of 40k 7th edition.

I would agree that there have been a few things new in this edition that were "game changing" being flyers and allies. Flyers slowly worked themselves into a more manageable level with the addition of anti-air and more air for armies, as well as "super flyers" like vendettas getting points increases. Allies on the other hand got more and more broken with super bro units abusing the battle brothers rules. Other armies like Nids got the shaft with no ability to ally.

Let me regress a bit.

Games Workshop is a business. I'm in sales. I get the fact they need to make money. The problem is I see them getting desperate. Books and especially digital editions are easy money grabs and relatively reliable sources of income. They know what to expect out of a new edition in terms of $. So apparently their fiscal year closes at the end of May. No big surprise that 7th edition 40k is scheduled to release before the end. It just seems like a blatant attempt at a money grab.

I'm used to their typical behavior of making whatever new kit in a codex "required" to be competitive, and making whatever the previous good build obsolete. Heck, I'm still pretty angry over all of the guard stuff I just purchased in the last 6 months that I can't even use outside of forge world (medusa, griffon) plus my cool characters they're going to make me buy an EXTRA supplement just to play (Marbo, Al'Raheim, etc.). I've gotten used to this behavior by GW... the will to resist has been beaten out of me.

Yes 40k 6th edition needs some tweaks (which I'll get into) but this could easily be an FAQ printed for free (perish the thought). Previous editions did just that. Let me break down the releases for you all:

Rogue Trader: 1987
2nd Edition: 1993 (when I joined the hobby, seems so long ago!)
3rd Edition: 1998
4th Edition: 2004
5th Edition: 2008
6th Edition: 2012
7th Edition: Supposedly May 2014

So we basically get about 4-6 years between editions. We haven't even gotten to the two year mark for this edition before it's supposed replacement. Let me break down what I've bought for rules between 6th edition and now with most of this being necessary to play.

- Big Rulebook
- Mini Rulebook (no way I'm carrying around the big one to games)
- Death from the Skies (or you had to buy the white dwarf)
- Stronghold Assault
- Escalation

Some of these relatively recent. So basically 7th edition will probably obsolete the rules of all of these. We start all over again. And in typical fashion, the only rules that will be available to start will be the big rule book... mini rulebooks months after.

This is all in the last 2 years. Yep, just 2. As a customer I feel a bit swindled. Now I'm being told there will be a new edition that is being rushed to get out before their fiscal year ends? Really? One of two things is happening:

1. Very minor tweaks/adjustments, meaning major money for something that could have been FAQ'd. It's not like we don't already have to carry around a metric ton of rules anyway with all the digital codexes.

2. A major overhaul, meaning they basically have been working on this since 6th edition was released, which makes me feel like 6th was rushed.

Either way, this is ridiculous.

Now, I do agree there need to be some things that need to be fixed.

Allies: battle brothers is broken. The design team does not factor in all the broken combos between codexes, at best they look at inner-codex balance. This could easily be fixed by making all battle brothers allies of convenience. On the flip side helping the xenos armies by making all armies able to ally with each other using desperate allies at the least.

Assault: It just doesn't work. Perhaps going back to some sort of consolidation into fresh combat will help assault units become viable. As well as getting back to some element of assaulting out of transports. For the most part units can't make it into combat, and if they do and slaughter the unit they attack they sit around to be shot to pieces.

Ignore Cover: It's the new black. Everything seems to ignore cover these days. It seems to be getting a bit extreme.

Things that I think are ok as is and hope they don't get changed:

Flyers: I honestly feel they've been balanced over the last almost two years. Adds an interesting element to the game

Look out sir: Maybe we limit it to 4+ on everybody but it's still a great part of the game.

Overwatch: not extreme but still a good way to have a last shot at incoming charges

Pre-Measuring: awesome. makes for a lot less hard feelings in a game and levels the playing field between new and old players (who got really good on knowing distances). A ton less blow ups in games due to someone making dodgy movement.

Fortifications: These are pretty cool and add an interesting element to the game. Highly doubt they will go away since they help plastic kits sell.

Random charge length: maybe I'm the only person in the world that likes it, but if you want your charge to be sure to succeed, get closer to the target.

Ah well. I'm a sucker for Games Workshop. They still make some beautiful models and I love the background of the game. There is also a pretty big player base (for now) so I can actually get games in. They just are making it harder and harder to want to keep up with all this blatant money grab BS.

Ok, now I feel a little bit better. Deep breath.


Re: 40k 7th Edition Rant

PostPosted: Tue Apr 29, 2014 3:08 pm
by Redbeard
I largely agree with much of this. I think 6th ed has been a bungle of unplanned consequences. I doubt 7th will be better, it will probably be an over-reaction to the ills of 6th.

I will say, though, that I disagree with you on random charge length.

With pre-measuring, I can know, with 100% certainty, that my Hammerhead needs to shift an inch to get a 72" shot in range, but my assault guys don't know that they can make a 4" charge.

If it's that a chance of failure leads to a "more fun" game, then why not roll a d6 for every unit before they fire, to see if they need to reload instead. That would be lots of fun.

Re: 40k 7th Edition Rant

PostPosted: Tue Apr 29, 2014 3:48 pm
by Cptn_Snuggles
It's all a variation on what level of randomness you are comfortable with in the game.

It also means that prior when the Hammerhead was 7" away there was no chance you could reach it. Now you at least have a chance.

Forgot to add, one other thing I liked: pre-measuring. Maybe was the best thing they added to 6th edition. Makes for a lot less bad feelings or dodgy movement. So many times I throw down the tape measure before my opponent begins moving so there is no hard feelings when we get to the range they'll need to charge. Plus having a good estimate of knowing distances favored a veteran way too much and I thought was a barrier to entry to new people. We got really good through the years figuring out how far 6", 12", 24", etc.


Re: 40k 7th Edition Rant

PostPosted: Tue Apr 29, 2014 5:48 pm
by Redbeard
I agree with that. Pre-measuring goes a long way to making it a game more of skill than of guessing distances. It's the random charges being so swingy that pisses me off, combined with overwatch and forced casualty-taking from the front. The three combine in such a way that, short of deathstars and single-model units, getting into combat is pretty rare in 6th ed.

On your opponent's turn, you get rapid-fired, knocking back some of your guys.
You declare a charge, get over-watched, losing another inch or two in casualties.
You then fail a 5-inch charge, and do it all again the next turn. It's like insult on top of injury.

An assault unit's primary means of affecting the game is in getting into assault. And while you're right, it is now potentially possible to make longer charges, I've found that in actual games, it takes more turns to get there, and you're subject to more damage along the way (the aforementioned casualty removal rules lead to this). Having charges randomly fail is akin to a shooting unit randomly being unable to shoot for a turn in the way that it takes a unit out of the game, and leads to huge swings in game position.

And that's why, with a few exceptions among the deathstar/MCs, assault is all but missing from 6th ed - especially tournaments. Things that cannot be relied upon to do their job aren't worth taking.

Re: 40k 7th Edition Rant

PostPosted: Tue Apr 29, 2014 10:05 pm
by Turtle
assault is mostly missing from tournament 40k for a much simpler reason than that.
Laziness and an unwillingness to adapt.

when the switch to 5th edition came, along with it came changes to how terrain worked. True line of sight being the biggest one
Now I love true line of sight. It makes a ton of sense and for various other reasons it's a great addition to the game. This post is not about that however. Especially since we cannot change it and it's here to stay.

What didn't change in 5th edition was the terrain people used. Sit down at any table anywhere in the country and what you will get is pretty much the same thing. Almost nothing exists to completely block line of sight. In years past you could hide an assault squad behind a forest then jump out and assault. These days you bring shooting armies because there is no reason to do otherwise. Tables are essentially an open battleground. Yes you get cover saves, know who cares though? Nobody. It's high volume shots to make you roll dice and then pick up your guys. 5+Cover doesn't matter much when you have a 3+ armor save

Now you bring an assault unit and it can be shot for multiple turns before it gets a chance to assault.

Sit down at a table that has multiple pieces of terrain that block entire units, vehicles and monstrous creatures and see what happens. Assault units will be able to get into position to assault. Shooting armies will have to bring counter charge units to survive. Or an assault element of their own. We saw it for years before 5th edition hit.

WHOA!! whats that?!?!? The whole meta just shifted because people finally started doing what they should have been doing for 6+ years. Updating the terrain to match the game and not just updating the armies. Amazing.

Instead we get people whining about how random charge ruins assault. Oh no i didn't roll a 5+ on two dice boo hoo the game is broken. I can't assault because sometimes I'm unlucky.
There are tons of ways to make assault other than just being lucky, You know what else helps make assaults in the current edition?
Jump Packs
Land Raiders
Storm Ravens
Beasts-(not slowed by terrain even while charging)
Cavalry (not slowed by terrain even while charging)
Bikes (not slowed by terrain even while charging)
Any open topped vehicle.

Holy crap thats a lot of stuff that helps units make assaults. I suppose this edition does have things for assault to work....
Huh go figure
Weird how almost all the dedicated assault units have ways to help you get there. Whats that? You can't get your shooting unit to try and make assaults better? Stop whining they're a shooting unit. If there were good at everything it wouldn't be right.
So instead of complaining about the edition, which we cannot change how about instead we try to do something about making it better. especially with 7th edition coming up, and odds being the terrain rules will stay the same.

Make some line of sight blocking terrain and start using it. And we all will see lots of change in the meta and how it works.

Re: 40k 7th Edition Rant

PostPosted: Wed Apr 30, 2014 8:49 am
by Redbeard
Turtle wrote:assault is mostly missing from tournament 40k for a much simpler reason than that.
Laziness and an unwillingness to adapt.

I'd argue that it is missing because people were willing to adapt. It didn't take a rocket scientist to realize that assault was the considerably weaker option in 6th ed, regardless of the terrain, and hence, people adjusted and played shooty armies.

I mean, are you really presenting an argument so arrogant as to assume that you're the only person who understands how 6th ed should be played and that all the other players who have adjusted their armies did so because they failed to get it?

What didn't change in 5th edition was the terrain people used. Sit down at any table anywhere in the country and what you will get is pretty much the same thing. Almost nothing exists to completely block line of sight.

At most places I've seen, the majority of the terrain is made by GW. I suppose that this endemic failure then stems from the gaming company that produces both the rules and the terrain not realizing that the terrain they produce isn't what the game needs?

Now you bring an assault unit and it can be shot for multiple turns before it gets a chance to assault.

The terrain is not the only reason for this. In 5th ed, an outflanking unit could show up from reserve and make a charge. Now they are required to sit there for a turn and get shot at. In 5th ed, a unit of Howling Banshees could get in position to charge in the comfort of their Wave Serpent, and get out and charge the next turn. In 6th ed, they're required to spend a turn on the ground, getting shot, before they're allowed to assault.

Sorry, but your "it's all the terrain's fault" just doesn't hold up to the most casual scrutiny. 5th ed has True LoS, and the same type of terrain that we're currently using, and assault armies managed. In 5th ed there were several viable assault builds.

Sure, if you design a table with no firing lanes, assault armies will dominate. But that's not balanced either.

Instead we get people whining

Look, weasel words. Dismiss your opponent as "whining" and you don't have to address their actual arguments. How mature.

about how random charge ruins assault. Oh no i didn't roll a 5+ on two dice boo hoo the game is broken. I can't assault because sometimes I'm unlucky.

It has nothing to do with lucky or not-lucky. It has to do with a large set of changes, all of which benefited shooty tactics over assault tactics.

In 5th ed, without pre-measuring, both shooty and assault armies had the same questions.

A shooty army had to guess their guns range, and might miss out on shooting if they guessed wrong. An assault army had to guess their charge range, and might fail if they guessed wrong. The shooty army had as many tactical decisions to make as the shooty army. It had to ask, if I move, my rapid-fire and heavy guns may not fire. Do I move up, hoping to get into that 12" band, or hold still and fire?

The assault army had similar questions. Do you run to get closer for the next turn, or are you in 6"? Do you shoot, and risk killing the guy in-range for the charge, or do you just charge?

Both tactics had decisions to make based on some level of uncertainty. Granted, as we got better at guessing distances, that uncertainty was lessened, but it was still there.

6th ed changed that. It increased the level of uncertainty for assault tactics (even when using the various tools you listed that "help"), and decreased the uncertainty for shooty tactics. The shooty player has no uncertainty about whether he's in range to rapid-fire or not. He knows whether to move up or not. Not only that, but he no longer loses his shots for choosing to move, whether to get closer or further away. Heavy Weapons no longer count as moving if the unit moves, so one guy can stay still if he needs to, and in most situations can still snap-fire even if he moved.

The amount of firepower in the game has increased constantly through 6th ed. The number of shooting opportunities increased, at the very minimum simply due to the addition of overwatch (and some armies can practically fire their entire army at you when you declare a charge). There's an entirely new category of thing in the game that is immune to assault tactics (flyers), forcing assault armies to drop more assault elements if they want to cover that base.

But keep telling yourself that it's all the terrain's fault.

If you believe that uncertainty in actions is a good thing, then you should support it for both shooty and assault tactics, which might mean rolling to see if your gun is loaded before shooting. If you're not in favour of uncertain actions, why force assault to be uncertain? In light of all the changes that benefited shooty tactics, why should assault be the only uncertain action in the game?

Re: 40k 7th Edition Rant

PostPosted: Wed Apr 30, 2014 8:59 pm
by Generalissimo_Fred
Who knows what 7th edition will bring. It may very well be a compilation of all the expansions and dataslates to date, which would not change anyone's current lists and it would not be required to purchase if you have kept up with the expansions.

I hope it will be more than that. We'll see.

Re: 40k 7th Edition Rant

PostPosted: Tue May 06, 2014 9:19 pm
by Brian
I'm a victim of a short attention span. When I saw that 7th is coming out 2 years "early" I was overall pretty pleased. 6th edition really does have some serious problems that are causing it to stagnate way faster than 5th did...