So what of the game itself? Well its interesting to see that a lot of the rumours were true, or at least partially true. Here's a small selection of the things i'm most looking forward to.
- Close combat weapons now have an AP value. This is awesome. Ease of wounding is still handled by the strength of the attacker, but actually defeating armour is based on what is in their hands, as before, but- there is no on/off switch like the old power weapon rule. And if the rumours are true, power axes/ swords are AP3, and Powerfist/Klaws etc are AP2, meaning that whilst powerweapons are still around they represent the top of a scale that winds all the way back to AP6, though every CC weapon in the game. I'll be very interested to see what AP they give to Chainswords and Uge Choppas for my Dark Angel and ORk armies respectively. Oh, and i'm seeing Terminator survivability in close combat becoming pretty impressive against some armies.
- Grenades are now thrown (or can be, as well as as CC against vehicles /entering combat?) This one harks back to 2nd edition, where the grenades had some of the wildest effects imaginable- I vividly recall the crazy results that Hallucinogen grenades used to inflict on my foes, or the smoke, plasma or blind grenades.. Whilst I'm not expecting the return of all these different grenade types, what I'm hearing is a return to offensive use of the humble hand grenade. Hey, if you can shoot em from a grenade launcher, you should be able to throw them at a target as well.
- Wounds from shooting being taken from the front back. Thank you! One for realism- hit by a torrent of firepower, your troops at the front take the brunt of the attack. This is how it happens in real life!! No idea on whether the special, heavies or sgts (etc) fare, as normally these guys miraculously survive (or it represents their companions picking up their wargear?) with generic plebs taking the hits.And the general removal of the whole wound allocation shenangigans is a breath of fresh air, does one guy holding a different weapon to his teammate next to him make him more/less susceptible to being removed as a casualty? No, it does, and never should have. So chalk one up for a sense of 'realism' (if you can apply that to a game set 38,000 years in the future).
- Psychic powers on the comeback!! To be honest, unless you've played Fantasy or can remember 2nd edition you may not really understand until the new edition hits. Psychic powers are some of the most fun elements to use on the battlefields of the future, and adds another element to the game. 5th edition kind of dulled it down to 'supporting powers' and 'shooting powers', but im hopeful of some more enviroment/game changing effects.
- Psychology. Word on the street is that Terror (and maybe Fear?) are coming back, meaning certain actions against a Terror/Fear causing unit can only be accomplished after a succesful Ld test. Again, really really good. Guardsmen (or anyone else TBH) should not be able to assault a Bloodthirster without some apprehension and the possibility of standing around wetting themselves. Prior editions only had you test after you lost combat, now the door swings both ways (again).
Its been a busy week for me here, with some illness and late nights with the baby, as well as some very slow/delayed progress on my Orks. I've now completed my Deff Dread build, and was able to set the bottom arm mounts up with magnets, so i can swap the weapons out as needed. For now its running with an extra CCW (3 total) and a Skorcha (heavy flamer). I've only just been able to start throwing some base colours and check patterns on, and TBH i think this is how it'll stay for a while.
Conversely, i've finished the construction of a second Rokkit-equipped Buggy/Trakk, once again piloted by a Rokkit-boy with a packpack full of ammo. I've almost got enough spare parts kicking around for a third, except i need another 6 tank wheels- a full 'skwadron' of three is my goal. For now these guys are running basic colours, and the drivers havent been painted up yet- they're just blu-tacked in place.
And i've also gotten round to adding magnets to all my Ork infantry- they can now be transported quickly and safely on a metal serving or baking tray, instead of jumble up in a box like they've had to endure previously. This took quite a while to do, as I had to cut small sqaures of plasticard (about 1.5mm thick) to space the magnets close enough to the bottom of the base so they'd grab solidly. Im pretty impressed at how strong they are, none of them move at all, even with the tray inverted or hanging sideways. Eventually all the Orks will be magnetised, and i'll move them around on a custom built wooden carrier tray, using a 1mm sheetmetal surface, but this will do for now.
Next up will be a small Bat-rep from a 'Final Fifth' tourney on the 30th at one of the LGS's, which will be my last game of 5th edition- its 4 games at 1200pts, with the emphasis on fun, i'm really looking forward to it. I've also pre-paid for my copy of the 6th edition rulebook, which i'm picking up there as well. All in all, its gonna be a very exciting weekend!!