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minionboy
31-07-2013, 00:17
So I put together an article that I thought you guys might be interested. Basically, I'm hypothesizing that a significant reason that shooting armies are dominating assault armies in 6e is largely due to inadequate terrain used in competitive settings. I know that might sound crazy, but after playing this edition for a good while now, I've definitely noticed that assault based armies are doing well for many players I know when they are playing in the setting of a local store and not in tournaments. The same player that utterly dominates with an assault army playing in local shops, ends up getting his butt kicked against literally the exact same opponents in a tournament.

Thinking about it, most tournaments haven't increased their terrain to match 6th edition, and instead are still using about 25% terrain coverage (which is about 9 decently sized pieces), instead of the average of 12 plus fortifications that the current edition recommends.

Are there any other assault army players out there that have noticed these same trends?

Here's the full article:
http://www.thediceabide.com/2013/07/40k-assault-terrain-and-meta/

Nym
31-07-2013, 02:26
Keeps coming up, and definitely not true, at least for Orks.

I rarely play in tournaments, and when I do they happen at my LGS or club, where terrain is plentiful (I've seen half the board covered in ruins sometimes). Still, my Orks now get obliterated when I run an assault list. When I run a shooty list, things are just fine. In 5th edition, I can't remember a game where my Orks didn't get stuck in by turn 3 or 4. Now they just never make it to the opponent lines.

Assault *got worse*, people need to understand that once and for all. There's been all kind of multiple buffs to shooting / nerfs to assault :

_new cover system (area terrain) and focused fire
_nerf to multiple charges (no bonus attack, no furious charge)
_casualty removal from the front (takes longer to get in cc)
_random assault distance (now you get to fail your charge AND take a full overwatch to the face)
_overwatch (it's *free* shooting where there was none before, it's definitely a nerf to assault armies even if the internet keeps saying "I've never lost a model to overwatch noobs !!")
_nerf to closed-top transport vehicles
_no assault after reserve / outflank
_challenges to neutralise a strong character
_silly fortifications like the Aegis Defense Line, which prevent assault armies from "softening up" their opponent with whatever meager shooting they have.
_Sniping through wound allocation to kill the CC powerhouse (*cough* Nob *cough*) before it gets a chance to reach your lines
_etc...

From the top of my head, the only good thing for assault in 6th ed is being able to hit moving vehicles on 3's instead of 6's.

Again, does it mean that assault armies can't win ? Nope. It's just that multiple nerfs made it much harder to pull a victory with assault than with shooting. Shooting *is* king in 6th edition, but even kings can die... Terrain (or lack of it) has *nothing* to do with the current situation. Assault armies have *always* suffered from lack of terrain in tournaments, nothing new here.

PS : irondog has a point though in his comment, time constraint is a big thing. If your game lasts only 2,5 hours, it's going to end before you got a chance to get stuck in. That's terrible for any kind of assault armies. Some armies like Orks are still *very* strong in assault if you can put 150+ boyz on the table and run a 5-6 turn game. Unfortunately, you'll never get to play 6 turns with 150 boyz in a tournament.

IcedCrow
31-07-2013, 02:31
What we need are battle reports. Until you have battle reports demonstrating the game in depth, this is a pointless conversation of personal anecdotes.

MajorWesJanson
31-07-2013, 02:43
Assault has taken a number of hits in the rules:
Disorganized charge
No assaults from outflank
Limits on assaulting on vehicles
Overwatch

All have hurt assaults, though a few things did improve:
Hammer of Wrath is a great mechanic
Power weapons are far more versatile

Variable charge distance and Challenges are a wash, with some good and some bad aspects for assault forces.

But sparse cover, aka less than 25% really does magnify the disadvantages of assault now.

IcedAnimals
31-07-2013, 04:37
aren't the new power weapons in general considered more of a nerf than a buff? Previously high initiative models were capable of using their power weapons and killing off the enemy before you were capable of striking back. Now those high initiative models have all been given ap3/4 weapons. Which means they no longer ignore all armor types. Or to ensure they are capable of defeating all armor types, they have to take initiative 1 weapons for the most part. (fists and axes). Outside of a few exceptions this means that most assault units have actually been reduced to usually attacking last.

So on top of eating overwatch they also have to survive the melee attacks of the unit they charged.

MajorWesJanson
31-07-2013, 05:20
aren't the new power weapons in general considered more of a nerf than a buff? Previously high initiative models were capable of using their power weapons and killing off the enemy before you were capable of striking back. Now those high initiative models have all been given ap3/4 weapons. Which means they no longer ignore all armor types. Or to ensure they are capable of defeating all armor types, they have to take initiative 1 weapons for the most part. (fists and axes). Outside of a few exceptions this means that most assault units have actually been reduced to usually attacking last.

So on top of eating overwatch they also have to survive the melee attacks of the unit they charged.

AP2 on all power weapons made 2+ save units pretty much a joke, and helped lead to the proliferation of the THSS terminator. It was a buff that 2+ save units needed.
Before, power weapons were all the same. The buff is that you can now choose to specialize- Swords are good against 3+ models. Axes kill 2+ saves, but go last, so things like PF terminators and Meganobs aren't just targets in melee. Maces give you extra strength, but at cost of AP. Lances/Spears give you a buff on the charge, but otherwise are weaker. Getting Power Weapons away from the "one size kills all" mentality is a good thing.

Too bad they went the opposite direction with Destroyer weapons >:(

Dark_Kindred
31-07-2013, 05:22
aren't the new power weapons in general considered more of a nerf than a buff? Previously high initiative models were capable of using their power weapons and killing off the enemy before you were capable of striking back. Now those high initiative models have all been given ap3/4 weapons. Which means they no longer ignore all armor types. Or to ensure they are capable of defeating all armor types, they have to take initiative 1 weapons for the most part. (fists and axes). Outside of a few exceptions this means that most assault units have actually been reduced to usually attacking last.

So on top of eating overwatch they also have to survive the melee attacks of the unit they charged.


AP3 power weapons are still boss and I think people need to realize that. There was a time when all these Dark Eldar players looked at taking Power Axes and then realized it didn't matter....what rubbish. Your conclusion, that most assault units have to attack last, is false. I can't remember the last time I saw a Power Fist that wasn't on something beefy like a Terminator or Thunderwolf and those were things that you never wanted to assault in the first place.

You conclusion is also not borne out by any evidence I can see.


Terrain is very important but so is target priority when getting a unit into assault. Solo-assault armies tend to fail hard in that regard.

If you don't have an assault vehicle, then using Rhinos as LOS terrain or whatever is also a good move. If you can, making terrain out of your vehicles is a legitimate strategy---even wrecks accomplish this.

Personally, I think assault can be a hugely powerful tool precisely because people have discounted it out of hand.... just like mechanized armies and land raiders.

pantsonhead
31-07-2013, 06:14
I'm not sure that more terrain privileges assault, exactly. It privileges movement. This is somewhat counter-intuitive, because it slows movement, but of course it also blocks LoS. I think that most of what you're noticing is that terrain is bad for immobile, long-ranged shooting armies.

A CC army will obviously do a lot better against a gunline army on a table with lots of LoS-blocking terrain than when charging across an open field. But mobile, short-ranged shooting armies are the real winners here. Terrain is still troublesome for CC units for all the usual reasons. Mobility helps negate cover saves, and terrain eliminates the disadvantage of short range relative to long range. Plentiful LoS-blocking terrains enables mobile armies to escape a lot of return fire without sacrificing their own damage output.

Speaking as a player of shooty Eldar lists, I love boards with lots of terrain. The more the better. My skimmers can move 12" and fire, and if terrain really gets out of control they can even take a Move Through Cover upgrade. Plus if I can get a 4+ natural cover save on a skimmer my Holofields upgrade it to a 3+. The vast majority of my firepower is AP5 or worse; most targets get their armor saves anyway, and some of my guns ignore cover. Almost all of my foot units can run d6-rerollable inches before or after shooting, and this isn't slowed by terrain at all. My Jetbikes, Warp Spiders, and Swooping Hawks ignore terrain unless they land in it. If CC units get uncomfortably close my Jetbikes can essentially pick up and set down anywhere else on the board regardless of intervening terrain and my skimmers can move 30" in a turn if they need to, again regardless of intervening terrain (except they need a clear spot 12" in). It takes longer for anything to get close to my Shadow Weavers, and they don't need LoS anyway. Anywhere on the board becomes a good spot to drop off Dire Avengers to shoot up a unit before they run back out of LoS. Even a bad Battle Focus roll doesn't doom me to CC if there's intervening difficult terrain.

Tau are also notable winners here, with JSJ on practically everything and more Ignores Cover than anything outside of Heldrake lists.

IcedCrow
31-07-2013, 12:22
aren't the new power weapons in general considered more of a nerf than a buff? Previously high initiative models were capable of using their power weapons and killing off the enemy before you were capable of striking back. Now those high initiative models have all been given ap3/4 weapons. Which means they no longer ignore all armor types. Or to ensure they are capable of defeating all armor types, they have to take initiative 1 weapons for the most part. (fists and axes). Outside of a few exceptions this means that most assault units have actually been reduced to usually attacking last.

So on top of eating overwatch they also have to survive the melee attacks of the unit they charged.

This assumes that every unit you are fighting in combat has a 2+ save. Which is extraordinarily rare.

Thrax
31-07-2013, 12:57
This assumes that every unit you are fighting in combat has a 2+ save. Which is extraordinarily rare.

So in other words, yes, a nerf. Just not a problematic one to some people.

minionboy
31-07-2013, 17:53
I certainly don't disagree that assault was nerfed this edition, but I think that GW might have had some (small) idea what they were doing, and it could be a decent reason why you're supposed to be playing with more terrain. There is no doubt that terrain hampers shooting armies ability to draw LOS to the enemy, so when they increased the amount of terrain on a typical board by 33%, that is something which hurts shooting more than assault.

Additionally, nerfing power weapons is more of a wash than anything. No more AP2 sergeants hiding in squads to fight off a few terminators before they strike, instead Terminators are more powerful assault units than ever.

In regards to battle reports, what's the point? There are literally hundreds of battle reports online, go find some that use more terrain and some that use less terrain and see the difference it makes in assault. Even better, play the game yourself! :)

tneva82
01-08-2013, 05:35
I certainly don't disagree that assault was nerfed this edition, but I think that GW might have had some (small) idea what they were doing, and it could be a decent reason why you're supposed to be playing with more terrain. There is no doubt that terrain hampers shooting armies ability to draw LOS to the enemy, so when they increased the amount of terrain on a typical board by 33%, that is something which hurts shooting more than assault.

Plus looks cooler to have 33% more terrain on board :)

Heck best looking boards I have seen have been crawling cityfight boards. That's where I'll be aiming for. Though first I need to bolster IG model count a bit(750 point with 1 troop. Need more! 2nd batallion box + pair of chimera's ought to be enough for a while).

Menthak
01-08-2013, 21:24
What we need are battle reports. Until you have battle reports demonstrating the game in depth, this is a pointless conversation of personal anecdotes.

Quoted for truth.

Torga_DW
01-08-2013, 21:59
AP2 on all power weapons made 2+ save units pretty much a joke, and helped lead to the proliferation of the THSS terminator. It was a buff that 2+ save units needed.
Before, power weapons were all the same. The buff is that you can now choose to specialize- Swords are good against 3+ models. Axes kill 2+ saves, but go last, so things like PF terminators and Meganobs aren't just targets in melee. Maces give you extra strength, but at cost of AP. Lances/Spears give you a buff on the charge, but otherwise are weaker. Getting Power Weapons away from the "one size kills all" mentality is a good thing.


I agree generally with this, but not how the problem was fixed. Too many overfixes everywhere that sometimes didn't address the underlying problems in my opinion. If anyone's interested i can go into detail, but the short version is: they split melee weapons up into classes (power fists, power swords, close combat weapons and pistols) and then priced the power side of things as if they didn't have any differences, while the close combat weapon side of things were (and still are) basically meaningless on their own. Rather than fix the issues between the weapon classes, they've just subdivided one class (power weapons) into further classes.

My quick fix, leaving everything else in place as it is in 6th, would have been to make power fists ap2, power weapons ap 3, and then have mastercrafted type weapons gain -1 to their ap. And drop the price of power fists, since their higher cost is an additional penalty to how they work in the current melee environment.

I think a lot of the issues with assault right now stem from not addressing the issues with terminators. Just my opinion, take it with a grain (or truckload) of salt.

edit: to further clarify, i think (largely, not always) that terrain issues come from meta issues which come from rules issues. Fix (instead of just change) the rules and i believe a lot of meta and terrain problems will go away.

tneva82
02-08-2013, 05:23
edit: to further clarify, i think (largely, not always) that terrain issues come from meta issues which come from rules issues. Fix (instead of just change) the rules and i believe a lot of meta and terrain problems will go away.

Except terrain will always be part of rules.

Boost assault notably and suddenly shooty armies will face extinction on the kind of tables that you should be playing now(and which are kind of tables I prefer visually anyway). There would be no point in taking shooty armies when assault armies would trump over them. I shudder to imagine trying to play any army that's not 100% geared to close combat on my terrain boards with 3rd ed rules and codexes. Would be suicide.

Terrain is integral part of the rules and you can't develope rules without considering what sort of table you are playing on. You change the rules without changing amount of terrain and somebody's going to get screwed. Big time.

Torga_DW
02-08-2013, 18:18
Yes, terrain always has been part of the rules, notably the amount which has gone from 'the more terrain the better the game' to 'at least 25%' to the current system. And people complaining about planet bowling ball has been around all that time.

The thing is, you used to be able to consolidate into new close combats fairly reliably until 5th (the rules). Wasn't as big a deal for marines as it was for say guard, a horde army whose style was mainly shooting in numbers. There were ways to deal with it, but they weren't what i'd call optimal, such as treating each of your squads as a table edge that the enemy could assault from reserves from. Which of course had an effect on terrain placement for people who didn't want to get steamrolled without having much involvement in their game. Cue the 3rd edition blood angels rules, and the rhino rush was born, worsening the problem.

Ironically, I think the v6 version of overwatch might have been good in the v3 and v4 rulesets.

Carlosophy
02-08-2013, 19:27
I know realism doesn't really come into it but this far in the future, firepower should be the dominant force on the battlefield. The signature weapon of the marine is the bolter, not the chainsword. The signature weapon of the guard is the lasgun, not the laspistol. It has always been this way.

IRL a commander would want maximum firepower backed up by assault units to shift dug in enemies. Heck, the Necrons are millions of years old and still favour this method of warfare.

I don't think its anything to do with a Nerf, but rather GW wising up to the way the models would act IRL.

minionboy
02-08-2013, 20:17
I don't think its anything to do with a Nerf, but rather GW wising up to the way the models would act IRL.

Then that would mean that combat weaponry should be cheaper, yet it's an equal cost to take a pistol/ccw as it is to take a basic ranged weapon for most armies, so I don't buy that one bit. GW at least knows that better = more expensive, and they've done a very good job of making combat = shooting in terms of point costs.

Mandragola
06-08-2013, 22:03
Another big hit for assault was objective placement. It's something I think is really bad for the state of the game, but especially for assault. Now that you place objectives after knowing sides they are on the sides of the board, never the middle.

So holding the middle, where assaults used to happen, has no value. Previously, my tau somehow had to get fire warriors or kroot to stay alive in midfield and fight MEQs for objectives. Not any more. Assault armies now have to get all the way across the board to find my troops, which will take them a lot longer.

All this means that it's not simply an issue of assault getting harder to do. That's true of course, but without objectives for assault units to control there's really no point in trying to hold ground.

jackers
06-08-2013, 22:45
Another big hit for assault was objective placement. It's something I think is really bad for the state of the game, but especially for assault. Now that you place objectives after knowing sides they are on the sides of the board, never the middle.

So holding the middle, where assaults used to happen, has no value. Previously, my tau somehow had to get fire warriors or kroot to stay alive in midfield and fight MEQs for objectives. Not any more. Assault armies now have to get all the way across the board to find my troops, which will take them a lot longer.

All this means that it's not simply an issue of assault getting harder to do. That's true of course, but without objectives for assault units to control there's really no point in trying to hold ground.

This is why I usually place at least 1 objective in the midfield area of the board (sometimes 2 if there are 5 or 6 objectives), and I always encourage my friends and opponents to do the same. It makes the game so much more fun if you are fighting over the entire of the game board, rather than just your own board edge.

MasterDecoy
06-08-2013, 23:04
Another big hit for assault was objective placement. It's something I think is really bad for the state of the game, but especially for assault. Now that you place objectives after knowing sides they are on the sides of the board, never the middle.

So holding the middle, where assaults used to happen, has no value. Previously, my tau somehow had to get fire warriors or kroot to stay alive in midfield and fight MEQs for objectives. Not any more. Assault armies now have to get all the way across the board to find my troops, which will take them a lot longer.

All this means that it's not simply an issue of assault getting harder to do. That's true of course, but without objectives for assault units to control there's really no point in trying to hold ground.

I almost always place my objectives in the opponents half (when Im aloud to) on account I play very aggressively and try to overrun the opponents lines (even with my tau), It also forces them on the defensive as they are reluctant to leave the objectives ungaurded

Ssilmath
06-08-2013, 23:06
Another big hit for assault was objective placement. It's something I think is really bad for the state of the game, but especially for assault. Now that you place objectives after knowing sides they are on the sides of the board, never the middle.

So holding the middle, where assaults used to happen, has no value. Previously, my tau somehow had to get fire warriors or kroot to stay alive in midfield and fight MEQs for objectives. Not any more. Assault armies now have to get all the way across the board to find my troops, which will take them a lot longer.

All this means that it's not simply an issue of assault getting harder to do. That's true of course, but without objectives for assault units to control there's really no point in trying to hold ground.

This is something easily answerable, especially in tournaments. In casual play, just talk with your opponent and place more of the objectives towards the middle. If you need to, get together some of your most common playing partners and discuss it, shouldn't be hard to come to an agreement to put one objective in each deployment zone and the rest in the middle where both players have a decent chance of getting to it.

In tournaments, the TO's should be placing objectives before the game, and should be taking care to measure their location. If I were running a tournament, I'd set out the objectives into position and then place the terrain around it in a fashion that encouraged tactical positioning, sheltered them from at least some of the firepower stationed in a deployment zone and close to the midline.

megatrons2nd
07-08-2013, 02:24
I think that balance between shooting and assaulting has finally been achieved. I remember having more things die in a couple rounds of assault than an entire game of shooting in older editions. The consolidate into combat was a horrible rule. The fact that armies built for close combat got twice as many attacks as a shooting army was also a bad idea. And First turn assaults happened more often.

My opinion on the matter is that cover was nerfed. The loss of the not being able to shoot through 6" of area terrain rule was the worst change to happen. If a forest would block LoS to a unit then more maneuvering would be required. The (not quite) TLOS rules are poorly implemented. The size categories was a better idea, but was also poorly implemented. If the way cover is used is reworked the game would be much better off.

Scribe of Khorne
07-08-2013, 02:58
I think that balance between shooting and assaulting has finally been achieved

Well good thing its only what you think, because its faaaaaaaaaaar from balanced. :D

Mandragola
07-08-2013, 10:59
I agree that objective placement needs house-ruling and many people do it, but not everyone does. I've played in several large tournaments that have used the in modified rules. These rules help shooting armies in general, but where two shooting armies fight each other they also add a massive element of luck, as its common to get many more points worth of objectives o. One side than the other.

It's easily fixed by placing objectives before deciding sides. That can lead to further complications with placement of fortifications though. The game set up stuff in general is very strange, with stuff like the ability to put a hill down in front of the other guy's fortification.

megatrons2nd
07-08-2013, 12:37
Well good thing its only what you think, because its faaaaaaaaaaar from balanced. :D

Go ahead and play 1 game where area terrain blocks LoS through it. Assault units do a looooot better.

The not quite TLoS rules and the way cover functions are the issue, not the way close combat and shooting interact.

Another Idea, make area terrain have two cover save types available, the 5+ for being in it, and a 3+ for through it, as the supposedly tangled undergrowth that can't be modeled blocks more of the LOS, and is already assumed to be what gives cover in the area terrain rules. Or simply use 3rd or 4th edition terrain rules with the current rulebook for everything else.

T10
07-08-2013, 12:37
aren't the new power weapons in general considered more of a nerf than a buff?
Most models with 2+ armour save are assault oriented, so I figure the increased likelihood they get their save counts towards an assault advantage.

-T10

T10
07-08-2013, 12:39
I think that balance between shooting and assaulting has finally been achieved.

I can only speak for myself, and I make sure to include both shooty units and close combat units in my army. I guess it's balanced enough for me.

-T10

Scribe of Khorne
07-08-2013, 20:58
Go ahead and play 1 game where area terrain blocks LoS through it. Assault units do a looooot better.



Sure but...area terrain doesnt block LoS. You can tell me all day 'do this, do that' but in the end, in the rules we actually have, not the ones we make up, Shooting outperforms assault.

Ssilmath
07-08-2013, 21:04
Sure but...area terrain doesnt block LoS. You can tell me all day 'do this, do that' but in the end, in the rules we actually have, not the ones we make up, Shooting outperforms assault.

So put terrain that blocks line of sight on the board, and put some area terrain down as well. If you're really creative, make terrain pieces that do both (Maybe a wall surrounded by jungle growth) or have some of both (A large, counts as 2 pieces of terrain piece that has tall walls on one side and ruined walls on the other).

People have been saying for the last couple of months at least to increase your amount of terrain and make a good portion of that block line of sight. It's fully within the rules, and by their experiences it has done wonders for leveling the playing field. Have you done any of that, tried to mimic what has been working for other people?

Scribe of Khorne
07-08-2013, 21:18
Yes, I get all that, 'add terrain' is a valid enough suggestion. Making area terrain LOS blocking is just making up your own rules.

I didnt say that I lose playing an assault heavy list either. ;)

Scammel
07-08-2013, 21:32
The 25% set-up in that article seems pretty much perfect to me and it's made me realise that our group probably ends up playing with nearer to 15% a lot of the time (and it's something I'm desperately trying to change).

totgeboren
07-08-2013, 21:38
Nowdays I'm starting to include more and more assault units, (bikes, Khorne marines in Land Raider, Maulerfinds, Spawn, fast daemons) but it might be because I mostly face Eldar. They outrange me, outmanuver me and outshoot me, but if I can get into close combat, they lose all their advantages. :)

However, slow assault units are pointless. They run around for a few turns, and when my opponent feels like it, they die.

Torga_DW
07-08-2013, 22:51
The 25% set-up in that article seems pretty much perfect to me and it's made me realise that our group probably ends up playing with nearer to 15% a lot of the time (and it's something I'm desperately trying to change).

I think that was one of the good things that has come out of the 'must play by the official rules only' mindset. When someone tried to have you play your slow-moving assault army against their stand-and-shoot shooty army on the table they'd set up (the deathworld known as planet bowling ball), you could/can point to the rules and say well its in there, we have no choice but to add more terrain. Having the right level of terrain makes a huge difference in those situations.

edit: assuming that more and varied terrain is available at the club/store/tournament.

Nurgling Chieftain
07-08-2013, 23:20
I thought it was planet Cueball. Planet Bowling Ball may be mostly flat, but it does have some enormous pits around...