Punting the Punditcracy: Shark Jumping in 6th…already?

Of course, I couldn’t help myself.

I mean honestly how could I avoid it.

It only took five days before I gave in to see what people are talking about around the Internet in regards to 6th edition.

So far it was what I expected; some good, some bad, and some jumping the shark.

Here, are two of my personal favorites shark jumping moments.

First one comes from the owner of one of the largest wargaming forums.

From Yakface Dakkadakka…

There is a huge msssive imbalance with the objective missions that can have an odd number of objectives (‘Crusade’ & ‘Big Guns Never Tire’) in that players get to place the objectives AFTER they’ve chosen sides and deployed terrain. Now that objectives can be placed within 6″ of a table edge that means especially in Hammer & Anvil deployment (the short table edge deployment) the player who gets lucky enough to place the first objective has a MASSIVE advantage of having an etxtra objective deep on their side of the table.

 

Even the 6 objective mission ‘The Scourging’ suffesr from this problem becasue the different objective values are randomly determined, so it is entirely possible for one player to end up with both the ‘4’ point objective and one of the ‘3’ point objectives deep on their side of the table immediately giving them a huge advantage.

 

As MVBrandt suggested, I do not think these rules are fit for tournaments for this reason. Can a player overcome the deficit presented by these situations and still win? Of course, but the mission is still inherently imbalanced and therefore not right for a tournament.

 

If you DO want to use some of these missions, a Dakka user ‘Dok’ suggested a very simple fix that helps out quite a bit:

 

For any mission where you get an odd number of objectives, the very first one placed must go into the very center of the table (or as close as humanly possible given the position of the terrain). After that the rest of the objectives would be placed as normal per the rulebook.

 

I’d also suggest that for ‘The Scourging’, I suggest this: Take the ‘4’ point objective and the ‘1’ objective out of the pool of objective markers, mix them up and then hand one back to each player (without knowing which objective is which). These markers must be placed first and must be deployed somewhere along the ‘center line of the table (based on the deployment type chosen for the game), but otherwise are deployed as normal.

 

Both players then each get one ‘3’ objective marker and one ‘2’ objective marker and mix them up without looking at their values. They then proceed to place these objectives as described in the rulebook (remaining 12″ away from the other objectives already placed).

 

As for whether or not to allow the Mysterious Objectives rules, while I normally ahbor randomness, it does seem like if you’re using Warlord rules, that you need to include the rules for Mysterious Objectives as well, because I think the two are written to kind of play off each other…and also the Mysterious Objectives are anotehr way that ‘Skyfire’ gets added into the game.

Yakface is usually well thought out in his critiques, but this one sadly missed the marked.

Oh God, I get to place an objective on my side of the board!

The horror!

Almost sounds like Capture and Control.

You know what isn’t like Capture & Control; 6th edition a game not determined by who controls only two objectives. Instead, 6th has this marvellous thing where you can win by getting points other ways.

Now on to the scary Hammer and AnvilBig Rule Book pg.119 where objectives are only 6″ inches from a board edge. I get it, he thinks that my foot slogging Ork army is only going to move 6″ per turn and my only hope is the game goes to a turn 7. Perhaps, Yakface thinks I won’t be taking flying transports, deep strikers, outflankers, jump troops?

Then he moves on to changing the rules for Big Guns Never Die Big Rule Book pg.128and The Scourging.Big Rule Book pg 129. First off, both these missions have extra ways to get VPs, so why again are we caring about one lonely objective 6″ from the board edge? Are we really that afraid of the random four point VP marker ending up being the one 6″ from the edge? Is my opponent really going to count on that to happen?

I have a better idea: at tournaments make an army that can handle all sorts of random circumstances– now before you go saying, my army doesn’t have the tools to do such and such thing, remember that thing called Allies. How about at the very least play a few more games before passing mission judgement.

I just have to wonder has Reece ever missed a 5th edition assualt through difficult terrain and lived to tell the tale? 

Now we move on to Reece Robbins and his 6th edition opus magnum that I am sure you will find in every  senior thesis on competitive 6th edition apathy. Without jumping on the whole soap box, let me select one criticism that tickled my fancy.

Reece Robbins Frontline Gaming…

Assaulting is also one of the aspects of the game I do not like. Random charges are really awful, IMO (you will see a trend of me disliking random things). I understand why they put it in sense they added pre-measuring and they don’t want units dancing around one another’s max charge range, but the mechanic stinks. Units with the ability to reroll one or both of the dice (such as Fleet) is going to be critical to making an assault army that is reliable.

What you get with this is a situation where you can plan for the average, but the long and short of it is that getting the charge is just a crap toss. In our first game, a Black Templar unit failed its charge from 4.5” away and the unit was subsequently destroyed and that decided the game…on turn 1. Now of course, anecdotes do not make statistical evidence and the majority of the time you will roll a 6, 7, or 8 on the roll, but no amount of skill mitigates this. It really does just come down to getting as close as you can and hoping you roll a high enough number….skill is diminished greatly in this system. I think a superior system would have been choosing to either take 6” OR roll if you wanted to.

he other bummer is that units that only assault will almost always try and get that lucky long assault because why not? They have nothing else to do. Yes, Snapfire may deny them of that charge and result in a wasted effort, but in our experience Snapfire has not been something to rely on or factor into decisions unless it is a weird situation such as a unit with Foreboding cast on it, or with a huge amount of flak fire. So what you will see happen is the long bomb assaults being icing on the cake more often than game a game winning move (as the defender with pre-measuring can just make sure he is out of charge range if he needs to), and the short range failed charges being devastating blows.

In other words, it will be a disappointment and game loser more often than a game winner, IMO.

Not being able to charge units you can’t see is another big change. It makes sense to a certain extent, but it hurts assault armies a great deal.

 

Reece is not the only one with random charge hate, but he encapsulates some competitive players feelings about all things random.

I just have to wonder has Reece ever missed a 5th edition assualt through difficult terrain and lived to tell the tale?

I sure have. Did I cry occasionally about it? Sure I did. Did it ever cost me a game? No, because if I need one charge to win or lose a game I am pretty sure I was already losing up to that point. This is where recalibrating your mind to a new set of rules is always best.

Take a second of think of this for a second. Name all the assault specialists in 6th that don’t have a way to increase close charge range or distance probability? Now think about all the assault specialists in 6th that don’t, but what they have instead?

Here, is a list of some range changers.

  • Monstrous Flying Creatures (Flying)
  • Death Company & Assault Marines (Jump Packs)
  • Dark Eldar units (Fleet)
  • Beasts (Fleet)
  • Calvary (Fleet)
  • Bikers (24″ Boost)
  • Genstealers (Fleet)
What about dedicated assault units without such abilities?
  • Ork Boyz & Nobs
  • Terminators
  • Paladins
  • Monstrous Creatures

What do all those having in common? For Boyz and Nobs, it is Feel No Pain or sheer numbers. For Terminators is the change to power weapons and AP values. Paladins… do I need to say more? Monstrous Creatures have an easier time getting cover.

So what is my point?

Simple GW actually built-in ways for dedicated assault units to get into assault. Either with more movement, fleet, or just being harder to kill. I guess, the only people hurt at the moment are Khorne Berserkers and Grey Hunters. Remind me to weep the next time the under powered Grey Hunter misses a random charge.

If you subtract the number of missed difficult terrain charges, plus the amount of missed judged charge distance; I bet in five years it ends up being the same amount of times you will miss a random charge.

That is the thing good players never were just traipsing through the tulips allowing my units not to make a difficult terrain test. Also, remember people are still thinking with their current armies in mind. Not the ones they will be making in the future that account for the random charges in the game.

Reece’s second point is people going for the epic charges. As an opponent, you have to account for long charges by hiding in terrain and making sure the units that can pull it off like Beasts are not in a position to do so. Epic charges always have the added effect of keeping your opponent honest. This is where the magic of pre-measuring comes in. Reece even says you can make sure to be out of epic charge range if need be.

This could be partly why Rapid Fire weapons were changed. Now I can move my Tactical Squad (if I have to) and not lose all my effectiveness. While Reece dismisses it, Snapfire is the anti epic charge. An epic charge will more likely rely on one model just being a close enough to pull it off. In that case Snapfire while it cannot take out an entire unit it can take out that lead model making the charge.

This is just two examples of respected members of our community getting stuck in the past before they play enough games and I mean lots of them to find out that things might just be more balanced than they seem.

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Warning

Punt the Punditcracy is rated lighthearted. This article is dedicated to calling out the talking heads on the Internet when they speak shenanigans about the games we love. 

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Author: TastyTaste

Creator of this Pretty Monster known as Blood of Kittens. 40k fanatic been in the game since 1989 and loving every second of it. Always remember don't hate the player hate the game

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