IMPERIAL LECTURE SERIES
Why sixth edition is a shooty edition
Click here to return to Lecture Series articlesSixth edition of 40k is unquestionably a shooty edition. While 5th ed was already mostly shooty (razorspam, leafblowers, etc.), the imbalance has reached insane new levels. Looking at ONLY changes made by the 6th edition rulebook...
RELATIVE BUFFS FOR SHOOTING
- Your charge distance is at the mercy of the dice. I have seen several assaults that would have been in range in 5th fail in 6th.
- You can no longer run and assault with Fleet.
- Grenades got nerfed for assaulting through terrain.
- Assault grenades no longer hurt vehicles.
- And, because it really needs to be mentioned twice given the scope of the rule, transported units can overwatch if their transport gets charged, walkers can overwatch, and flamers are overwatch BEASTS. There is now literally no point in attempting to assault a unit of burnaz.
- A unit type that IS IMMUNE TO CLOSE COMBAT was born and became a staple in many lists (fliers)
- You can't assault out of a non-assault vehicle ever and that includes when it is destroyed on you
- Multi-charges were nerfed
- Challenges killed a lot of the potential of combat beast characters
- You can't assault on the turn you come on from reserves
- You can't assault if you Infiltrate or Scout and go first
- The distance from which an assault vehicle brings you closer to the enemy is reduced
- Some random objectives half your assault range
- Furious Charge got nerfed
- Wound allocation forces you to take the models from the front as casualties, this makes an assault unit take an extra turn(s) of being exposed to gunfire before they can get stuck in.
- Wound allocation means that hidden weapons upgrades are no longer hidden. You only need to kill a squad to the point where the upgrade model is the closest to something. This is very easy to achieve with deepstriking.
- Loss of by-unit cover in favor of by-model cover destroys the ability for foot hordes to advance upfield.
- Addition of focus fire
- Addition of Precise Shot.
- Worsening of cover. Intervening units only give 4+, hills no longer area terrain, etc.
- Power weapons got screwed up. Either Ap3, or I1, take your choice...
- You can no longer disembark after moving more than 6" in a transport (killing mech assault units).
- grenades can now be thrown.
- walkers can no longer tie up squads in close combat.
- grenades now work against monstrous creatures in close combat. This hurts dedicated assault units relative to basic infantry that have no desire to be in close combat.
- pre-measuring makes it much easier to make sure shooting weapons are in range, while not helping assault units make it into assault more reliably.
- rapid fire now puts more shots out on the move.
- you can now move and fire heavy weapons. This and the above change to rapid fire mean that you can now back up away from assault units while still shooting.
- parts of a squad can now move without affecting the accuracy of heavy weapons.
- old wound wrapping gotten rid of. I'm glad, but for the purposes of this discussion, it is a boost to shooting more than assaulting.
- pile-in moves reduced to 3" from 6".
- unengaged models in a unit that is locked in close combat must now move closer to the enemy units. Used to capture objectives far away while in close combat with this one in 5th.
- barrage weapons may now fire within their minimum ranges.
- barrage weapons no longer lose strength against vehicles from off-center scatters.
- artillery units got MUCH more survivable.
- models with two pistol weapons can now fire them both.
- vehicles can shoot all weapons at cruising speed.
- in order to charge a vehicle, you must have some way of damaging it.
RELATIVE BUFFS FOR ASSAULT
- hypothetical increase of maximum charge range from 6" to 12". Given that assault range is no longer reliable, I still consider this more of a nerf than a buff. I mean, if you're 12" away, are you really going to attempt to charge? The most likely result is that your opponent will get some free overwatch, and you're still not making it into close combat.
- hammer of wrath.
- assaulting vehicles now gives you much better chance to hit.
- rage rule change
- gets hot now affects those rare vehicles that have it
So, some of these changes are more important than others, and you can uselessly nit-pick them all you like, but the fact is that there were 39 rule changes to make shooting better, and arguably up to 5 rule changes that make assault better.
Put another way, for every rule that made assault better, there were EIGHT rules that make shooting better.
6th ed is a shooting edition. End of.