Saturday, May 31, 2014

7th Edition Part 2 - New Psychic Phase and More Misc Commentary

First, a correction in the last post…FMCs have the Jink special rule as standard, so in fact they do get a Jink save in order to avoid taking wounds.  Other than that, the more I look at this rule set the more I like…

By the way, I am going to disagree with the esteemed Reecius who recently posted some comments regarding this edition on BOLS.  The Tactical Objectives are not broken!  They can be abused, and if not properly managed by players who take time to talk to each other before a game, they can be severely unbalanced.  This is a player issue…not a rules issue.  I mentioned in my last post one way the issue of balance can be addressed.  It is similar to the issues regarding the Unbound Lists.  Actually communicating with your opponent before play begins will go a long way in solving most of the potential problems.  Moreover, there are some nice Warlord Traits that go with the TOs as well.

I would be remiss if I did not comment regarding the packaging in this addition.  Honestly, I like the 3 volume set format.  Even though still hardback, this Rules volume is better organized and 1/3 the size of 6th.  The Dark Millenium volume does a good job of introducing the 40K universe to anyone who has never been exposed to the back story, and is even a good read for us seasoned veterans.  A Galaxy of War, the 3rd volume, is a grand collection of 40K modeling.  I don’t know who does the photo shoots for GW, but they do an excellent job.

In terms of the rulebook layout, there are lots of small insets that clearly lay out the sequence of specific game components (manifesting psychic powers, shooting, assault, deployment, e.g.).  There is also not shortage of clarifying rules explanations, providing a significant decrease in the ambiguity of 6th edition.  Lastly, I like that there is an appendix in the back.  It contains the USRs, melee/ranged weps, terrain datasheets, psychic powers and all the commensurate tables.  Nicely done.

Let’s get to the psychic phase; I will assume players have already rolled for powers for each of their psykers.  The mechanics are essentially that you generate a warp charge for each level of mastery in your army.  Taking Nids as an example: A Swarmlord (ML3) will generate 3 charges.  A brood of Zoanthropes (ML2, no matter the number of models in the unit (1-3)) would generate 2 charges.  And so on.  Remember that if your unit has Brotherhood of Psykers, as ZThropes do, you only get the number of charges that the unit generates, not one for each model.  Once you have the total for your army each turn, you then roll a D6 and add the result to find your total available charges for your turn…don’t forget that your opponent gets to add the D6 to his total during your turn as well.  You then decide what power to attempt to manifest.  Roll as many die as you wish up to the number of charges you have.  For every 4+ rolled, you harness a warp charge.  Your opponent can use die to Deny the Witch, and needs a 6+…each of his successful rolls counters one of your 4+ rolls.  If you still have enough harnessed warp power to manifest your power, you’re in business.

Perils of the Warp is much more punitive now…if you roll two or more 6s when rolling to harness warp charges, you get perils.  Most of the results on the Perils table result in a wound being taken.  One requires a LD pass or you get sucked into the warp.  On a 6, as usual, good things happen.

The main beef with the new rules in that some armies can dominate the board during the psychic phase…the most common example is that some daemon armies can generate 2-3 new units every turn!  I need someone to explain how a 2000 pt list can generate 30+ warp charges.  Even with 4 Hive Tyrants and 6 ZThropes broods, I could only come up with 21.  Anyway, it is right and good that one army or another can dominate a certain phase.  Don’t the Tau dominate the Shooting Phase?  Why can’t my army smack them around during the Psychic Phase?  Goes around comes around.  People always take the most extreme example and use it as some benchmark for how broken a rule is.  Bloody talk to your opponent before you play!  If you don’t like that they are doing insane taffy pulling with the rules, tell them so.  You don’t have to play the guy!  I like the changes here.  My only regret is that my Nids cannot at least use the Biomancy powers.  This would make complete sense (ARE YOU LISTENING GW??!!). Either that, or FAQ the Hive Mind Powers to include the Biomancy versions of those powers.  Why should a Space Marine be able to generate FNP with a 4+ AND Eternal Warrior from Endurance and Catalyst only gives a 5+ FNP??!!
A minor rule change to close this one out…Bikes and Jetbikes that Jink can only Snap Fire in the following shooting phase.  I LIKE IT!!
Create, grow, feed, adapt

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