Monday, 8 May 2017

8th edition - large models and infantry


Greetings all - time for another rules update! This one covers the last couple of snippets we've had over the weekend and today, dealing with large models, and infantry. As usual, I'll follow on the released information with a quick assessment of what that's likely to mean for us going forward.


Large Models



First up then, let's have a look at the released info on large models. We already know that the superheavy classification is no more, and that with a single profile type governing all models in the game some stats will be significantly different to what we're used to seeing.

The post confirms that the biggest Nids have over a dozen wounds, with Imperial Knights (presumably renegade knights will be identical in this respect) beating the 20 mark. This means that in order to strip these models down, small arms fire won't cut it (hitting, wounding on a 6, then beating the save, yeah the odds are getting ridiculous - 486 bolter shots should take down the Morkanaut indicated - ironically less than the 500 GW suggested it would need in their next post).

We also see that another mechanic from AoS is introduced, that of a decaying profile. Or in other words, we'll see these big guys and vehicles getting less effective as they get more damaged. We also receive confirmation that they'll become less effective in different ways too, the Morkanaut used as an example suffers in its speed and combat capability, whilst its shooting is unaffected, but others may suffer different impacts.

Infantry


At the other end of the scale, we see how infantry are altered to bring their true purpose to bear. Now I love the new system they have of wounding things, essentially it functions around the principle of doubling. If one stat is double or more when compared to its opposite, then you need either a 2+ or a 6+. If it's less than double its a 3+ or a 5+, whilst equal values require a 4+. This is where we get the difficulty in taking down vehicles, because whilst it's certainly possible now for any weapon to hurt anything, the number of weaker weapons required to do it becomes unworkable.

Now the big reveal in terms of infantry units however, is that units no longer target other units as a whole, and whilst shooting may still be done on a unit by unit basis, individual models within a unit can now target different units, so no longer is it pointless putting a lascannon into a 10-man tactical squad - that lascannon can pick his own viable target whilst his squad mates lay down covering fire on any infantry units that might be heading their way. 

Conclusions


No I've done the conclusions for these two snippets together because I think they're inextricably intertwined. 

First, the really big piece of information is that models are now going to be far more appropriate to their fluff, with big creatures or vehicles being the hulking beasts of the game they should be, and whilst they might shed armour plate and weapon systems throughout the game, there is no longer the option to simply 'one-shot' them. Well, that's the impression given, although if you read the detailed text of the article, it does note that there are 'almost' no weapons that can instantly kill these big guys. What does that mean? We've already seen that lascannons do D6 damage, are we going to be looking at some weapon systems that are capable of inflicting 2D6 or 3D6 damage? If so it will be interesting to see how prevalent they are within the game!

Second, the ability of infantry squads to 'hide' heavier weapon systems has always been a little bugbear of mine, and re-arranging squad loadouts to take advantage of the combat squads rule to give me a special weapon squad and a bolter squad now can finally be cast aside, and the unit can operate as a viable whole, wielding weapons appropriate to their targets whilst retaining the solidity of a bigger squad (and tempered by the increased potential for a poor battleshock roll). This is because the models in an infantry unit can now target whoever they like, regardless of who else the unit has shot at this turn.

We can really begin to see now how all the little decisions are coming together, and how they will influence the game. As anyone who's ever watched their prize big vehicles fail to achieve anything before being popped by that lucky meltagun will know, the pain of losing a big model to a lucky shot becoming an unheard of occurrence is a most welcome change!

I'm thinking we'll definitely be seeing more heavy weapons in tactical squads (I'm certainly thinking how to squeeze more big guns into my lists) from now on, the limited to hit modifier and the potential of all those meat shields for them makes them a much more viable prospect than it ever has been before.

We're promised more information on characters tomorrow, this will be an important element of the game to get right, and it'll be interesting to see how they will start to interact with the rest of our armies.

Till next time,
TBE