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Analysis: Astra Militarum in 8th Ed, HQ Units

Let's analyse the HQ options available to Astra Militarum . Like all my reviews, this will be from a competitive play perspective, ...

Thursday, 5 May 2016

Review: FAQ First Draft


If GW asking for community input to a FAQ was surprising, GW asking for community review of the draft is simply amazing! Let's make the most of this opportunity to consider these proposed rules changes and provide useful feedback.



I like how the FAQs start with a few, 'read the fucking rules' answers. So many of these questions should not have been asked. I will not be addressing the stupid questions, just the rules changes.

The first rules change is that Psykers in Chariots can now cast any type of power, instead of Witchfires only; I can only think of Daemons as beneficiaries here.


Lances now reduce Necron vehicles to AV11; probably not that big a deal, since Eldar could already beat Necrons and Dark Eldar still can't.

As I said a while back, a Harlequin Solitaire benefits from Caress of Death on his Kiss attack. I told you so.

The ruling on Gets Hot Blasts and rerolling 1s is a direct contradiction of the Rulebook. If this is published as-is, never use a Leman Russ Executioner again.


GW have potentially caused a new problem by referring to 'units' being obscured and receiving cover saves, when they should have written model.


Jump ignores vertical distance in every move except Charge moves; consistency would have been nice. Jump also suffers from Difficult Terrain during Charge moves.

But on the upside, adding a single Jump model to any other unit gives them a reroll to Charge moves! Imperial Superfriends deathstars will make good (evil) use of this. This is also more internal inconsistency, because Fleet only works when all models in the unit have it.


You can no longer project passive 'bubble' benefits from inside transports. This really screws Astra Militarum. It is also a direct contradiction of the Rulebook.


Void Shield Generators get nerfed in multiple ways. Measuring range to a VSG now directly contradicts the Rulebook, and is inconsistent with all other range measurements. Void Shields no longer block Grav (or Psychic Shriek but that is far less significant). This is huge boost to Marines, and they now have zero reasons to take Melta, Plasma, or any other non-Grav weapons. Encouraging homogeneity is not good design.

You can assault into a Ruin even if there is no true physical space to place your models; you can only assault onto a Battlement if there is true physical space to place all your models. Bad inconsistency.

The long-running generous interpretation of 'area terrain' for Monsters and Gargantuans has been debunked. No, having one of a Wraithknight's toes in a Ruin was never meant to make it twice as durable. Funny how 'overpowered' things are not so bad if you actually play by the book.

The walls of Ruins are now effectively Impassable. The Difficult Terrain roll used to allow you to make otherwise unrestricted lateral movement through the walls of Ruins, but now you need to find a big enough gap to crawl through. This could slow down games and render some players' terrain collections unusable. I guess you can still move over walls, but given that most walls are at least 3" tall, and you would have to pay 3" to move up and another 3" to move down the other side, most Infantry are still shit-outta-luck.

Thinking further on it, making walls Impassable is going to cause problems for Deep Strikers too.

But at least there are no more Scouting Skitarii forts!


Vehicles being destroyed if they don't fit on the table is a direct contradiction of the Rulebook.


Read the fucking rules.


Nothing saves you from Stomp!!! ...except Look Out Sir.

Taking 25% casualties from 'collateral stomping' can force a Morale check... even though 25% casualties in Assault Phase would not normally force a check.

As an aside, I'm really glad GW have made this draft FAQ available for comment, because there is a lot of inconsistency and Rulebook contradictions throughout.


READ THE FUCKING RULES


Don't Go To Ground against a Vortex weapon!

A mix of read the fucking rules and direct contradictions of the Rulebook you were just fucking told to read. I am frustrate.


L2READ NUBZ


OMG PLZ QUIT 40K


Shooting is always horizontal, except when it's diagonal. Thanks GW.


Shuts down an exploit. If you are sad about this, learn to play.


Things that don't stack. don't stack.

Bubbles not being projected from transports gets reiterated. This is really quite unfortunate.

Psykers can no longer cast more powers per turn than their Mastery Level. This was a common assumption based on previous Edition rules that was never explicitly stated in the Rulebook. This will really slow down Fateweaver and the 'Conclave' style Formations that allow one Psyker to access the powers of multiple Psykers.

Farseers don't get to reroll Deny the Witch against powers that don't target them.


Tau Overwatch just got even better. Battlesuits can shoot two weapons, and if they have two Flamers and a Target Lock you can allocate 2D3 Wall of Death hits per charged model against any enemy unit on the table. I can already see the big squads of Crisis suits parking in front of deathstars and troll-tempting them to charge.


If you have two Ordnance weapons with the same name then you can fire both at full BS; this is really just a corner case for Valkyries, and Hellstrike Missiles still aren't good.


You can Jink against attacks that don't specifically target you; Eldar say 'rawr'!


Skyfire Blasts and Template now hit flyers; Tau and Flyrants rejoice.

Jinking prevents subsequent Vector Strikes; Flyrants despair.


Oh no, GW just answered a question with: "An element of common sense is required here." This community engagement stuff is obviously still new to them ;P

You can base your models on any size base you like. Exploitation incoming!!!

GW are enforcing the 45 degree down firing arc on flyers... I guess they're publishing a new flyer supplement because they don't want to sell flyer models? I am confuse. Oh well, since I can base my models however I like, my flyers will be skimming 1" above the ground and have no problems getting firing arc ;)


Using the latest published rules is just a recommendation; I guess one of my Detachments will be using 6th Ed Wave Serpents now.

Non-Battle Brother Allies contest your Objectives! TROLLOLOLOLOL!!1


Immobilised Skimmers cannot Jink. A logical clarification.

Jinking transports now equal Jinking passengers; throw your entire Dark Eldar army in the trash, right now.


In case you didn't know that you could collaterally hit Invisible units with templates, GW have helpfully explained the process.


Having its toe in a Ruin no longer confers cover to a Wraithknight, but a skirmish screen of Jetbikes will do the trick!


Infiltrating is no longer compulsory.

Scouting after Seizing opens up some interesting new options.


HOLY SHIT, this is a huge change to how grenades work. Close combat Walkers just got a lot better, and all vehicles get some relief. Monsters and Gargantuans keep on laughing.


Sensible.

Note that Tank Hunters no longer helps Grav.


Flyers can no longer be blocked; a sad day for players who actually use tactics and stuff.


There is no such thing as 1+ FNP, learn to play.

Interestingly, passing a FNP rule now counts as saving the wound.


Boom! Obvious, but some players still tried it on.


Psychic Shriek just became the new counter to Invisibility.

Summoning a Bloodthirster onto the ground is now a thing. Sadface.


A multi-Faction unit counting as all its constituent Factions contradicts earlier rulings about rules only working against single-Faction units (e.g. Preferred Enemy).

The big one is that Battle Brothers can no longer deploy inside an allied Transport; this means no more hitching rides in Flesh Tearer Drop Pods. Time to eBay your Skitarii.


Read the fucking rules.


Read. The. Fucking. Rules.


Another instance of direct Rulebook contradiction for Gets Hot Blasts.

Preferred Enemy is explicitly clarified to not allow you to reroll Blasts. This is a logical clarification, even if it contradicts the implication of the Rulebook.

Twin-Linked now works properly with Multiple Barrage. Yay Wyverns!

Barrage always resolves against side AV, but now it hits the facing closest to the hole... FAQs are not meant to make the rules more confuzzling.


So single models can now multi-charge... too bad geometry and the 'shortest distance' rule typically combine against you. Point-blank charges with Knight-sized models may benefit.


The rules. Fucking read them.

Every stupid question GW wastes time answering is one less legitimate question that gets a sensible, consistent answer.


Ambiguous sentence is ambiguous?

Conclusion

I'm really happy that GW are making this effort. There are some significant rules changes, and some bad rulings, but at least they are trying. Opening up this first draft for community consultation is also a great thing.

What I really want is consistency. I've left some Facebook feedback, and I encourage you to do the same. Please keep it constructive, because we don't want to bite GW for making an outreach effort.

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