Okay. Tomorrow is the big day for 40k. I know some of you have the book already but for the hoi polloi Saturday 30th it is.
I'll be picking up my book nice and early and there are a number of things I'll be looking for.
The most important is that there is some incentive in the game to take more than minimum sized Troop units - normally naked, certainly with little spent on upgrades other than a shooty vehicle. To me this has been the biggest failing of 5th Edition, that Troops have been reduced to "deckchair" units rather than the main fighting units of 3rd/4th Edition. In my case, it killed my interest in the game as the points spent on Troops dived - unless they came with offensive vehicle. Even then they were minimum sized unless they had a cute splitting rule.
Leading on from this, comes the second thing I'll be analysing - the introduction of more missions. Quantitatively I know from the "buzz" that there are more missions, however I'm keen to know that they are actually different missions. If all they do is replicate one another than quantity doesn't mean variety. I'll be looking for variety in victory condition which leads to the need to have a balanced army make-up to be the most competitive. Situations where you need numbers rather than the ubiquitous scoring unit etc.
The last edition clearly seem to favour spamming offensive vehicles. I'm hoping that this balance has been redressed. This might be as simple as making a cover save 5+, the proof will be in the pudding. Certainly the combined effect of Hull Points and a reduced cover save should alter the meta and once I have the details it will be interesting to do some number-crunching.
Over time 5th Edition threw up some rules quirks that had what I'd suggest were unintended consequences. For me, wound allocation for instance, fell into this category. It allowed people to apply RAW and get the benefit when I'm guessing it was never considered in the writing. So you suddenly had armies consisting of Nob Bikers and deckchair gretchin. The impact was alleviated as more books were released that changed meta but wound allocation shenanigans has remained a constant. I hope GW has taken the opportunity to tidy up some of these areas. And yes I know there will be new ones.
Finally, I hope GW uses the promised FAQs/Army Update pdfs to recalibrate some armies within the new rules. If they have done their homework they would have seen that there has definitely been significant Codex creep in power throughout 5th Edition. A similar thing happened with Fantasy through 7th (peaking with Daemons and Dark Elves). GW then started to wind back the power level and now the Fantasy game is the most balanced it's been in a decade (Evidence: Even Special Characters are being let back into the game). However when you look at 40k certainly the top armies all come from the latest books.
Concerns? Yep, I'm already reading on the internet that army size has to go to 2000 points to accommodate Allies and Fortifications. I'm starting with a very jaundiced view on these inclusions - Fateweaver giving Abaddon a 2++ reroll - Grey Knights allying with Black Templar. I think they have enormous potential to f#*k up the game as you can be sure that GW have not investigated every potential combination and you know that via the net the most abusive combo will be debuted within a week.
So exciting times. We'll see how many of my issues will be addressed.