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Saturday, 30 June 2012

40K 6th- First Impressions- Vehicles

Now with 3 Hull Points- then again, he's Immortal...
Hi all,

the 40K Endurance Review continues with Vehicles, which were the king of the tabletop in 5th Ed. Has anything changed?

I've got no idea- not enough time has passed, not enough games have been played. Here's what I know, and my initial reactions.

All vehicles have a new stat- Hull Points. there's a list at the back of the rulebook (pages 410-416) detailing the stats for every existing vehicle at time of writing, so it's all fairly clear (but does mean that you need to lug the book around with you for a while.) So how do they work? Every Glancing or penetrating hit strips a HP. Once a vehicle is on 0 HP, it is wrecked. Simple. In the main, vehicles have 3- so 3 Glancing hits will wreck a tank. Now that sounds pretty horrendous- to offset it, vehicles only need 25% obscured to claim a cover save, and there's plenty of jink saves and the like floating around. Also, Glancing hits don't roll on the damage chart- so the only way they can kill tanks is by stripping HP. This makes Missile Launchers and the like as valuable against light armour as before, but less valuable against high-end armour (13 and 14). by the same token, S 9 and 10 weapons are at a premium, as is armour bane, for its ability to damage vehicles.

Leaving that for a second- vehicles can move 6" at combat speed, 12" at cruising speed. They aren't slowed by difficult terrain, but count it as dangerous- a roll of 1 Immobilises them. For shooting, at combat speed they can fire 1 gun at BS, all others can Snap-fire. At Cruising speed, all weapons can Snap Fire. if a vehicle moves and fires Ordnance, it can only Snap-fire with other guns (not important for standard vehicles, but can affect Fast vehicles like Fire Prisms.) Fire Arcs for shooting and getting shot remain the same with the exception of Pintle mounts, which can now fire 360 degrees. Also, in lieu of shooting, a vehicle can move Flat Out (essentially, tanks can now run!) up to 6" in addition to their Move.

So Glancing hits only remove HP, what do Penetrating hits do? You get to remove a HP and roll on the damage table. This has changed to reflect the new rules- 1-2 is Crew Shaken (same as 4th Ed) and most things are clarified (such as when troops have to disembark from a transport). My favourite tweak is that Weapon Destroyed results are now random- no more removing the main gun straight away. My initial thought is that Sponsons on Tanks are now more valuable- not only can they Snap-Fire, they can also protect the main gun. Just a thought. The final change is that AP2 guns get +1 to the damage roll, AP1 guns get +2. So melta weapons need a 4+ to Explode! a vehicle if they get through its armour. 

So far it seems to be fair trades short term, but tanks are less survivable long-term. That's my feeling right now, anyway. Tanks are certainly easier to assault- they count as Ws 1 if they move, WS0 if they don't. vehicles cannot lose a combat, nor can they be locked in combat (except Walkers)- but you still generate a combat result, each Glance counts as 1 wound, each penetrating hit counts as 2 wounds. Why- because units can lose combat if they assault a vehicle. How? Wargear like the Dark Eldar Envenomed Blades. This is another rule which is hardly ever going to have an effect, but when it works it'll feel great :) i love the fact that GW have put these little touches into the rules.

What else is worth mentioning- Transports are less open to abuse. When a unit disembarks, it has to have all of the models fully within 6" of an access point at the end of their move (whether the vehicle has moved or not.) They can't assault that turn unless it is an Assault Vehicle. You can also perform an Emergency Disembarkation at any time, in which case they are placed within 6" of the vehicles hull but count as moving through dangerous terrain. After that, it cannot perform any voluntary actions- so it's not an easy fix to get out where you want, you'll be standing around in the open for a turn with your pants down. 

A quick note- certain damage results force a unit to disembark. Any models which cannot be placed during this process count as destroyed.

So that's the core rules for vehicles (Vehicle types in a future post.) Overall, I think that the changes to Vehicles are going to have a large impact on the way we've been playing 40K- no more metal box shuffle for 6 turns. it's going to be interesting to see how this plays out- for my part, I'm going to be using Transports as transports- to get my units into position faster then disembark- rather than unit markers (which is essentially how I used them in 5th) and heavier tanks as gun-boats in the traditional WW2 sense. I'll see how it plays out.

Comments, as always, are welcome. 

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