First up, I'll say I definitely like it, I've only managed to get in 2 games but they've been good fun, and there's a lot of new subtleties to the game to get your head around. Its also nice that (at least so far), there seems to be a bit more of a narrative to games with all the new rules centred around characters.
I haven't come against any fliers yet, and I'm interested to see how they perform, they seem to have a lot of potential to be pretty powerful, but at the same time, their limited manoeuvrability means that careful positioning can be used to counteract their power. As well as this edition seeming being focussed on firepower, it also seems to be focussed on the ability to put out numbers of shots. With the number of situations where you have to roll a 6 to hit (overwatch, snap-shots, fliers), rolling more dice is going to be the only way to increase your odds of getting hits. I can see Necrons being very potent in the new edition, and plasma may just get a look in again over the ever present melta weapons. Vehicles have also changed quite a bit, Hull Points and the relative ease they can be stripped means that they are going to be less and less likely to survive into the late game.
As mentioned, the increased focus on the characters in units and an army is a nice change, something I like. The challenge mechanic in combat is also very interesting, I've pretty much failed to make use of it in the games I've played (due to my own forgetfulness), but that has also got me thinking on how it might be made use of. In my head, unit characters (small c for unit ones, big C for Independent Characters) seem to be falling into 3 distinct camps (informed mostly by how I play my Wolves) that I've named:
- "Naked" - these guys are given little if any extra wargear, and are there to try and challenge an opponents tooled up c/Character to try and take their attacks away from the rest of the squad who end up doing the damage. They are there to take one for the team.
- "Sponge" - most likely either in Terminator armour (as there is relatively little AP2 in combat), or with another type of invulnerable save. Similar to the "Naked" characters, their job is to take away the attacks of c/Characters from the majority of your squad, but the additional points paid for their invulnerable save means they will stand some chance of surviving a turn or two.
- "Rock" - much like a "Sponge" with an invulnerable save to hopefully survive the attacks of the opponents c/Character, but these guys hit back. Especially against a Character, these guys are very likely to be at a lower Initiative step than whoever they are challenging so I'd probably favour a power fist on these guys to hit back with as the Initiative change won't change whether they attack first or second.
I imagine we may start to see a lot of Terminators leading squads in Space Wolves armies, but I'd caution against this in many situations as one of the often forgotten drawbacks of Terminators is that they (and any squad they are with) cannot Sweeping Advance so if you beat your opponent in combat you won't be able to wipe the squad out, but will have to do it by killing every last opponent. I don't know about you, but its pretty rare that I kill every opponent in combat, but much more likely that I wipe them out with a Sweeping Advance if I win combat.
Something else I think we may see more and more of is the humble Assault Cannon. Going back to the need for a 6 to hit no matter what your BS is, having 4 dice to roll gives you a much better chance, especially as Assault Cannons are almost always twin-linked on marine vehicles. Couple that with rending now being AP2 they may be the new Terminator killer, and might even be useful against fliers. Their short range will of course be their continuing drawback.
Anyway, that's probably enough nonsense from me for one post. Let me know if you think any of this is relevant or just plain wrong, and I'll try and produce some nice pics for the next post. Cheers - Andy