|Now all on the same side....|
so that's most of the rules covered, time to start examining the Force Organisation Chart. yes, it has changed, for the first time since 3rd ed in 1998!
The core chart for you Primary Detachment hasn't changed. All of the compulsory choices must be taken from one Codex, as well as your Warlord. This is the same as all previous editions.
Everyone also gets access to 1 Fortification. This is a 0-1, so you don't have to take it (even though it's a black box in the book) and represents emplacements which you've presumably captured before the start of the battle, rather than constructed (at least, that's what my Tyranids will be believing for a while.)
You then get access to an Allied Detachment. This MUST be from a different Codex to the Primary detachment, and can be 1 HQ, 0-1 Elite, 1-2 Troops, 0-1 fast Attack, 0-1 Heavy Support.
Then at 2000 points or more, you can take an additional Primary Detachment, opening up an additional force organisation chart (so extra allies, and extra fortifications.)
How does this impact the game? No idea! The full impact of allies has yet to be seen, and I doubt that the Games Development team have any idea how far this system can be broken. What it definitely does do is provide armies with tools to deal with specific threats that they otherwise wouldn't have- for example, all Space Marine army variants now have access to the Imperial Guard Hydra to help them deal with Flyers. personally, I really like this rule for the modelling, theme and gaming opportunities it opens up. I also suspect that it is integral to the ruleset, so ignoring it (banning it) isn't an option for me (despite the fact I expect it to be played as banned for a little while to come, until people get used to it.)
So what size game to play? Well, as a Tyranid player I want to say 2500 so I can get all of my lovely Elite choices on the table. For everyone else (and my Nids, realistically) I'm going to stick with the standard 1500pts for the UK. I've got plenty of ideas on what to ally with what, and army combinations, and I'll be letting you know about any successful combos as they occur.
Skipping ahead slightly into scenarios, there are a few things to consider. Firstly, you General gets to roll up a Trait at the start of the game (before deployment.) these aren't earth-shattering, but it is a nice touch. Personally, I'm sticking to Strategic Traits since they have the highest level of dick-move potential :)
Also, you can only reserve up to half of your army now. No more Null Deployment. this means that you need to have a long, hard look at the infantry sections of you army and see what you want to have for the first few turns, and seriously changes the army mechanic- with Hull Points, vehicles probably don't want to start on the board, but would rather roll on from reserve. This is a fantastic change, and much more in line with the way I enjoy playing- yes you should have options, but they shouldn't be totally open. Having the first 2 turns of the game with 1 player not really having anything to do wasn't great, I'm glad they fixed it.
You also need a few Heavy Support and Fast Attack choices for 2 of the missions, where they become scoring. You'll also need some Flyer defence. Since you also need Troops, and 1 HQ, points start to become slim for the rest of the army- awesome! No more brainless choices! Throw in Allies, and this game starts to look.... interesting....
Comments, as always, are welcome.