Tuesday, August 12, 2014

So, I had a couple of games of 7th...

Note: This post has been sitting in my draft folder for a few weeks now. I've had quite a few more games of 7th ed since I first started this post, but not much has changed regarding how I feel about 7th, so I'm putting this up anyway. 

This weekend I caught up on some serious 40k-ing. Got in my first game of 7th, fielding Deathwing against Adi's Tau, then another game using 30 Blood Angel Tactical marines against Wong's Grey Knights. First impressions? Let's try and be organized about this...

Blood Angel Tacticals SUCK 
Had to get that out of the way. They are more expensive and in every possible way inferior to their counterparts from other chapters. And the one thing that makes them uniquely Blood Angels (i.e. the Red Thirst) only makes them worse at being Tactical Marines. Fearless means no going to ground. Furious Charge means having to choose between the bolter and their hardly adequate close combat prowess.

Pictured: Fail on two legs

So, here I sit, with 3 lovely squads of Tactical marines, relegated to shelf garrison duty. Or maybe I just suck at using them. Whatever the case may be, I'm going back to my good old Assault Marines and their magnificent Razorbacks. If anyone reading this has a clever way to use Blood Angel Tacticals, do tell, coz I'm certainly curious to see how they work...

The Psychic Phase
The source of much mixed feelings thus far, and this has greatly changed the way my Blood Angels operate. In 6th ed, one of the pillars of a decent Blood Angel list was that 100 pt Librarian who'd be puttering about and enhancing his comrades with Prescience. In this edition, 1 Librarian, even an Epistolary is no guarantee of pulling off Prescience reliably. In 6th, 2 Epistolaries equated to 4 powers being cast with great reliability. In 7th, you'll be lucky to get off 2, and that's assuming your opponent can't do much about it. If your opponent has an overwhelmingly greater number of Warp Charges, then your Librarians are pretty much useless, as all your powers get squelched by your psychically superior foe.

Obviously a better psyker than mine

I've mixed feelings about this. On one hand, it's an interesting new mechanic, and yay, Prescience is no longer an auto-include. On the other hand... well, I suppose it's going to take a while for psychically weak armies to find their sweet spot, in terms of how much to invest in psychic powers and which discipline serves them best. And, of course, this means a resurgence in the power of seriously psychic armies, notably Grey Knights, Daemons, and perhaps a little Eldar.

Tactical Objectives
Honestly? I don't like them. For years, I've been pretty used to the idea of putting your army on the board with a clear mission in mind long before the first dice is rolled. Now, I put stuff on the board, and I know where the objectives are but I don't know whether they'll reward me. In fact, until I draw my first hand of objective cards, I have NO idea what I'm playing for. There are a few ways to react to this:
  1. Just roll with it. It helps if you have an army that can respond quickly to the changing objectives. 
  2. Ignore it, and focus on killing your opponent's army. Coz if he's dead, he can't score, right?
  3. Don't play it, and just stick with the Eternal War missions. 
Personally... I'm kinda inclined towards 2 and 3. Mainly because it feels a bit silly when you put a couple of hours into the game only to essentially have it decided by luck of the draw. It's a little more random than I like, I think.

What do?
Well, first off, it's pretty clear that I can't rely on psykers as much anymore. Also, vehicles are back in a big way, thanks to the buffing of the vehicle damage chart and the nerfing of the Smash USR.  So... what does this realistically mean for my armies?
  1. Blood Angels - Well, on one hand, I can't rely on my Librarian for Prescience anymore. On the other hand, packing close combat death in a Land Raider is back in fashion, so I think my Chaplain/Reclusiarch may see some action, together with my new Land Raider Crusader...
  2. Deathwing - Yay! Null deployment is on! This edition is excellent for Deathwing, so no changes here.
  3. Necrons - No Psykers, so no real difference. Haven't seen action yet, though...
  4. Astra Militarum - My atheist army of men. Again, I place no faith in Psykers here, and play a large volume of vehicles. This army quite likely has gotten stronger with this edition, so no need to change anything.
  5. Chaos Space Marines - Another army without a Psyker. But you know what? I've a Daemon Prince that just might be tempted to start turning to Malefic Daemonology... 
Meta-wise, however, it's worth noting that at my FLGS, the players with more mature armies with larger collections (like myself) are moving on from 1,750 pts to 1,850 pts. No biggie. Fortifications for everybody!

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