Lee wanted to get a game in with the new rules after having a few days to read over it. Being I had taken leave of the game for about a year I decided to dip into the waters to see how the changes are.
We met at Learn to Play Games in Tampa as they was open on Memorial Day and Anthem was not. The owner was really cool and the store was clean and well laid out. Clearly more of a card and board game store they also really want to bring in more mini gaming to the store.
Lee had the typical IG and tested out a few odd and end things...2 Wyrvens, several Chimeras, some veteran squads and a regular platoon, Inquisitor, Commander, some Priests and Commissars. A ton of shooting in essence....against my small horde of Word Bearers that had a Dark Apostale, Sorcerer, 4 Squads of 10 Marines (1 with 2 flamers, 1 with 2 meltas, 2 with 2 plasma guns), 2 Havok Squads (4x Heavy Bolters and Missile Launchers x2 and Autocannons x2 in the other), 2 small squads of cultists and a Vindicator....we opted for 1500 to keep the game small as we was learning the changes to the rules.
We opted to try one of the Maelstrom Games, which are the more advanced missions, we got the one where you can score off your opponents cards as well as yours. In these missions the objective cards can really swing a game it seems. We placed 6 objectives, I won table side, Lee got first deploy/turn. I failed to seize on the first turn. At first our dice was wiffing but the large number of shooting from all the Chimeras, squads and weapon types plus Wyrven Bombardments started to take a heavy toll. I tried to stick to the game to rack up victory points and managed to earn first blood....many of the scoring cards came up on my end and I was able to stall Lee enough to rack up a decent total before my army crumbled in the end. We rolled for another turn and got it, this really helped Lee fill the gap...
The result: 10 VPs (me) and 7 VPs (Lee). I got first blood and a lucky 3 on a d3 on a card with a bunch of other 1 point cards. Lee got my Warlord, Enemy Lines and 5 from objectives. The Word Bearers was blasted to atoms and was to me a hollow win. It did prove the cards creates a random element in the game and does make things slightly less predictable.
Psychic Powers: Interesting changes, overall I think I like it....I do see a heavy psychic army pulling a ton of dice into a pool and stomping someone in the psychic phase. Being in its own phase is nice to see again.
Like the Circle of 3-4-5 of vehicles going from weak to tough to weak to slightly tougher in 6th....I killed TWO Chimeras the entire game and it was a pain in the ass. AP1 and AP2 weapons are IMO gold now if you REALLY want to destroy a vehicle. Vehicles are back, they are no longer plastic coffins...
We really didn't do much hand to hand as I was foot slogging and he mostly sat back and shot with Chimeras advancing squads safely. Shooting is a bit more brutal with model removal and the resolving X set of weapons first also seemed to be a nice return.
What would have helped me was to have a Demon Prince and used the new Psychic powers to summon squads of demons to rampage on the field, fluffy for Word Bearers anyway. Also, Rhinos...or rather transports in general, a MUST in any army. Drop the cultists and take a few would have helped.
After thoughts, they fixed a few issues and opened a can of worms in many other aspects. To me the scales just reversed now. I had to say this but really their new stuff like the Wyrvens was DIRT cheap and UGLY in the game....yea, GW wasn't marketing these bitches to sell like other new kits right? Right! I do see several abuses that can spawn up quickly and I am unsure how this will impact the competitive gaming. To me keeping it simple and playing with friends is what I will do....and watch the local tournaments. Personally, the Unbound option just screams ABUSE ME! Like other famous lists you see on the net that are very popular to use by power games that just have more money than sense. Yea, I have a 9 Vendetta lawnmower list....pat yourself on the ass and call you Susan because you are that special. You broke the game and exploited the rules. Feel good? Want a medal? Making the game not fun for others a good thing? Nope. Oh well, it is going to happen....I just plan to avoid the stupidity. Yea, I am now a beard and proud of it.
In many ways I am slightly disappointed by how GW handled this edition, the editing is rushed as I think the rules testing was also. They are clearly mining for cash and don't give a rats ass about a game really as long as they are sucking in the cash. They had a great game and concept and slowly been sucking the good from it and also pricing themselves to the point it is just stupid. Great you have a quality product but you don't have to charge designer drug prices for it.
Shots of the game...