Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Musings on 7th

Morning all, hope you're all feeling positive and happy this morning! Cos today I want to talk about the rumours we've all been hearing about a new edition/update to the 40k rules recently.

First, GW kept this one pretty quiet, and although mutterings have been going on for a while now, we'd normally have heard something much further out from the release date.

The latest we've no doubt all seen is some pages from this weeks white dwarf, where the editor appears to be talking about some changes that are being made, first to the way armies are chosen, and second with the introduction of a dedicated psychic phase.

Now as to the first of these points, the article describes 'battle forged' an 'unbound' armies', with battle forged armies adhering to the force organisation chart and gaining certain bonuses for doing so. The unbound option apparently throws the foc out of the window, allowing players to take whatever models they wish, but not gaining the benefits of a battle forged force.

This immediately led to plenty of people online trying to come up with the most broken lists they could think of for unbound armies, and claiming that the game was yet again broken. What we don't yet know though is what the battle forged bonuses are, and until we do, there's no guarantee that taking an unbound army will be broken. Imagine for example a bonus that meant your opponents army could only start with a single model on the table and could only bring on one unit from reserve per turn? Then with all your firepower focused on a single unit you could very well beat that army of forge fiends, defilers and heldrakes!

I guess what I'm really saying here is don't read half a rule and claim it's broken, when the second ensures it isn't.

Secondly then is the idea of a dedicated psychic phase.

I've got mixed feelings about this, if I'm honest. I've played enough games now to know that psychic powers cause people problems, they forget to manifest their blessings before moving stuff etc, so I can see that having a dedicated phase will make the game easier to play, with fewer things to be done 'at the start of' a particular phase. I really do feel sorry for Astra Militarum players, with reserves, orders and psychic powers they must highly confused as to what to do first and when!

On the other hand, I don't like the implications of a dedicated phase on how that will apply to everything else - for starters where does it appear in the turn sequence? If it comes first you handicap any psychic shooting you may have as you won't have moved so could be out of range (and so by moving into range for next turn your opponent has the opportunity to move back out again!). Similarly, if you put it after the movement phase you hamper any movement related powers (such as giving a model move through cover). After the shooting phase are you going to prevent psykers from shooting in the preceding phase? That's just asking for yet more 'forgetful' moments, unless they're merely prevented from manifesting witchfire type powers. If it's after the combat phase, you're jut painting a target on part I your army if you bless them 'I'll just concentrate my fire on that unit with prescience thanks' so that it's effect is nullified next turn.

I'll wait and see, but it for me the creation of this phase is pretty awkward at best.