Monday, June 20, 2011

Warhammer 40k 6th Edition Sneak Peek

Taken from Dakka Dakka (initially Blood of Kittens)- can't vouch for any of the validity:

* first 6th edition codexes, but release before or with rulebook, small release with single or two waves: Black Templars (1 waves: 2x plactic, 2x Finecast), Tau (1 wave: 3x plastic boxes, 4x Finecast), Necrons (2 waves)

* first real 6th edition codex: Codex Chaos Legions, really big release in three waves, doesn’t invalidate Codex Chaos Space Marines which gets extensive White Dwarf update as Codex Renegade Space Marines

* two starter sets, each with rules, dices, movement markers, mission booklet, one with Dark Angels and fitting scenery, the other with Black Legion and Chaos scenery. You can combine both to play the campaign or use one set alone to play a selection of dumbed down scenarios against every other force, first starter set that comes with a model for a well established special character

* 6th edition is finished rulewise for some time now, the overall goal is to fix some of the long time problems of the game system. Expect a lot more fundamental improvements than last edition. The rules were even more ambitious at some stage of development, but didn’t get approved as they were too far away from the established rules. The main designer left company and his successors brought the rules back in line with the existing codexes. The rules are nonetheless a bigger step forward than from 4th to 5th. Changes are so big that the next edition relies partial on erratas to fix old codexes. Development relied heavily on feedback of veteran playtesters. You can see some results of this new approach by the way the FAQs were handled in the last months. All codexes since Codex Tyranids were written with the new rules in mind, especially the new mission and reserve structure.

* The main design goals are: one book to rule them all, heroic characters, visceral combat, streamlined mechanism, cleaned up presentation and strategy before chance

* strong narrative focus on Chaos, perspective shifting from the Empire to the struggle between free races and the Warp

* the biggest rule changes:

#similar ballistic to hit chart as wound chart: compare BS to target’s speed and unit type. BS 3 hits moving infantry on 4+, but lightning fast jetbikes on 6+ and stationary tank on 2+… HUGE

#victory points are back, but with another twist: you get two victory points if an unit holds an objective for an entire game turn, if a scoring unit holds one, you get three and one if you destroy a squad leader or vehicle

# before the game there is a bidding contest for the opportunity of the first turn, if you bid more strategic points you can go first, but the enemy can spent these points on stratagems as in Cities of Death: 22 generic stratagems – for example for one point you can decide on night fighting or place an automatic gun, for four you can shift your reserves, most expensive stratagems are at 12 points and are really drastic, every unspent point can be used once a game for a reroll

# new turn sequence: prepare-movement-assault-shooting-consolidate
new phase “consolidate” phase for random movements, jetpack movements, pursuits, morale checks/effects and resolving shooting reactions
assault before shooting – big units are real roadblocks!

Some more examples for the development doctrines

One rulebook for all:

# flyer rules are incorporated in the main rules

# narrative rule section that expands core rules: formations, super heavies, gaining experience

# modular rules, core rules can easily be expanded by narratives rules or another expansion set

Heroic characters:

# independent characters more powerful, armour save and invulnerable save at the same time

# squad leaders more important, no more 50% rallying threshold, unit can rally as long as squad leader lives

# independent characters can snipe

More visceral combat:

# standard cover only 5+ now, Feel No Pain (1) only on 5+

# slow slogging units very vulnerable

# some weapon types are specialized in taking out specific unit types and are incredible good at doing this (sniper vs. infantry without armour), but on the other hand ordnance vs flyer isn’t going to do much


# no more random movement at all

# 5 general types of psychic powers

# wound allocation like 4th edition on unit basis, but attacker can chose every 5th wound to go to a single model (sniper weapon every second wound)

# artillery is normal immobile vehicle squadron, crew has no other game purpose than to be a counter for rate of fire and attacks

clean up of combusted rules:

# there are tiers for most of the special rules. Instant Death (2) circumvents Eternal Warrior (1) for example. Feel No Pain (1) is 5+, Feel No Pain (2) is 4+ and Feel No Pain (3) is 3+. If no value is given, the special rule is tier 1.

# no more difference between leadership test and morale test

# terrain rules on a single page, true line of sight, non-vehicles models are ignored altogether, rules for special terrain like bunkers, ruins or deathworld mangroves in narrative rule section

less randomness, more strategic options:

# more elaborate reserve rules, can nominate turn of arrvial and has only small change to arrive earlier or later, or can intervene behind enemy lines, arrives randomly but can hinder enemy reserves, must be distributed evenly between turn two and three, later arrivals only randomly

# no more random game length

# no roll for first turn

# deep striking units more than 18” from enemy away don’t scatter, but landing in 6” is much more dangerous

# movement impairing effects from pinning weapons even if morale check is passed (if roll is above halved Ld), Fearless not immune to this, but only effected if rolled over full Ld

# more reactions to shooting than going to the ground depending on unit type and special rules. bikes can evade (3+ cover as same as before, but cannot assault or shoot next turn), jump troops can fly high, units with Stealth can attempt to vanish, …

They had me at Codex: Chaos Legions


  1. There is a heap of stuff there, some of which I have been expecting and can definitely see happening (like flyer rules being brought into the main rulebook, a more modular rules set and various streamlining changes for stuff like wound allocation and cover) but a few which definitely seem pretty out there so I'm taking with salt. The most radical one appears to be the changes to the turn order, I'm expecting them to add defined phases for Start of Turn/End of Turn like they did for Fantasy to make it clearer when some things are resolved, but moving assault before shooting is a big one. Certainly I don't believe the statement saying that 6th rules are finished, by all accounts they are definitely still in playtesting.

    Actually most of the model/starter set and codex stuff is believable, its just that some of the rules changes seem to be drawing on a number of different game systems (Fantasy, 2nd Edition 40k and some non GW ones like AT-43 and FoW) which make them seem more like a wish list.

  2. Remember it's not real until someone threatens to quit!

  3. I'm going to quit if this comes out..............:p

    Oh wait some of this actually sounds good! I must say the change in shooting sounds far fetched but, boy does it sound interesting ..... May even mock it up to see what type of impact it might possibly make on the game.

  4. I've never really been a big fan of 40k, but i'm not averse to trying 6th (especially since I have a 40k army already).

  5. What? No. I can't believe they are trying to make the game more fun [rage quits].

  6. The in thing to do is for the top players to decide it's too hard to relearn the game, and go play warmachine instead right?

  7. Hey, I want it known I was the first to quit. And i've also quit 7th and 8th Edn 40k already.

    Personally don't give a fat rats what the rules are -if they release Codex: Chaos Legions I'm there

  8. You're there, you're queer, get used to it?!

  9. As a big Chaos collector and fan, this all sound terrific :)

    The rules, well, that DOES sound like a much bigger change than 4th to 5th was, which is fine, might reinvigorate some taste for the game that has been squashed a bit recently in Au by GW buiness decisions.

    Now that I think about it, Fields of Blood 2008 was my first 5th edition tournament, and its nearly coming up 4 years ago now... so I guess it has been a while since the release of 5th!

  10. Oh also, do you think that perhaps there is less emphasis on Vehicles and needing to Mech up this edition? I hope so, as I liked it when all Infantry armies were viable.