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View Full Version : What makes an edition "biased" to a phase?



Awilla the Hun
16-04-2009, 19:53
Recently, I read someone in a thread about the IG saying that he's going to get lots of assault troops (!), before complaining about how little the shooting phase matters. This got me thinking: how do you describe an edition of warhammer "biased" to a phase? For example, I hear lots about how 3rd edition was based around assault troops. Why is this? I played it, but I was too young to know that much in them days...

Explain, please. As far as I can see, 5th ed may be "assault biased" because... well, everything's based on how much kills, rendering cannon fodder useless. But that doesn't make shooting useless at all. Indeed, shooting is vital, because it lets you get a "counter volley" in, and it allows you to blow lots of assault troops up on their charge, and...

I'm confused.

tuebor
16-04-2009, 20:03
Recently, I read someone in a thread about the IG saying that he's going to get lots of assault troops (!), before complaining about how little the shooting phase matters. This got me thinking: how do you describe an edition of warhammer "biased" to a phase? For example, I hear lots about how 3rd edition was based around assault troops. Why is this? I played it, but I was too young to know that much in them days...

Largely due to being able to assault out of closed top transports after they moved. Marine (especially Blood Angel) Rhino Rushes were the order of the day. Most games I played against Marines back then consisted of either me blowing up all their transports or them moving up in Rhinos, disembarking, shooting once and then charging what was left of my Guardsmen.


Explain, please. As far as I can see, 5th ed may be "assault biased" because... well, everything's based on how much kills, rendering cannon fodder useless. But that doesn't make shooting useless at all. Indeed, shooting is vital, because it lets you get a "counter volley" in, and it allows you to blow lots of assault troops up on their charge, and...

I'm confused.

I don't really see 5th as overwhelmingly "assault biased". Sure, things like Run and ld modifiers in combat made it a bit tougher for shooty armies, but not being able to consolidate into a new combat helped my Guard immensely. Combat is more devastating but one has to be a bit more judicious in using it these days.

Also, TLOS lets me hit more things more often, even if they do get a cover save but then I've always been of the "And They Shall Know Far Too Many Armour Saves" sort rather than "And They Shall Know No Armour Saves".

I think 5th is really all about mobility more than either shooting or assault. Killyness does nothing for you if you can't get to the objectives, which is what counts in 2/3 of all games. I've had numerous games where I'd have lost severely in a Kill Points or Victory Points game, but I had the objectives.

Nakor
16-04-2009, 20:07
that guy must be on crack. from all accounts i have heard, the IG gunline just got freaky naughty. i mean 50 guys in 1 squad with a commissar would make a great tar pit but screw that why not just have all those guys do some shooting (thats what IG do yeah?) with a couple of orders (extra lasgun shot, TL vs MC etc), not to mention LR SQUADRONS. you gotta be carful how you handle them but it is now possible to legally have 9 LR in your list. again i say that guy must be on crack.

Count de Monet
16-04-2009, 20:13
Perception, what army you play/play style and if you're a "glass half empty" type makes it "biased".

"My assaulty army got shot to hell! 5th ed is biased against assaulty armies because of LOS!"

and

"My shooty army got creamed! 5th ed is biased against shooty armies because of Run and Cover Saves!"

will both be heard. And if you hear both, it's probably not biased. ;)

Hashshashin
16-04-2009, 20:31
I think 5th is definitely more balanced then 4th and definately more so than 3rd. My World Eaters used to just ping pong from one squad to the next with follow up charges now they have to stand out in the open with there chainaxes in their hineys for at least a turn before they can kill more...but that's why I love 40K as soon as you think you have an ironclad tactic the codex changes or the rules change.

tuebor
16-04-2009, 20:45
will both be heard. And if you hear both, it's probably not biased. ;)

Indeed. For exactly the same reason I think the new Guard book is going to be balanced. I've seen equal amount of Internet vitriol about both how overpowered and underpowered it is, which can only mean that it's going to be fairly well balanced.

SMann233
16-04-2009, 20:57
I'll throw in with Hash here - 5th is the most balanced of the recent editions in terms of shooting v. assault.

Assault lost the ability to sweep into the next unit and the absolute screen of area terrain, which hurt them a lot. But in turn, they gained run, and hideously common cover saves of actual quality. It's a barrier for shooting armies. In the end, I'd say most assault based armies are about as good as they were before. (Some specific units got far worse, but others got better in turn. Nids took it on the face with the switch though.)

Shooting gained TLoS, which means you can almost always shoot. Also, the above mentioned death of sweeping advances to the next unit is a huge boon for most shooting armies. That's pretty much it, but it helps. :D Shooting got more balanced, but is arguably still behind, depending on the codex.

What else could help shooting? The return of overwatch.



That said... Shooting/Assault mixed lists > either! (Unless you're biker nobz.)

Jackmojo
16-04-2009, 21:44
Its pretty easy to list rule changes from one edition to the the next (particularly in 3rd-5th, since its all basically the same rule-set) that appear to favour one type of approach over another.

5th edition added the following things which modified assault:

Assault Positive:
tougher transports
less penalty for transported units when transport is hit
run
big leadership penalties for Combat resolution
additional casualties for fearless troops only from assault
better cover saves
less benefit to cover vs assault (increasing standardization of frag grenades)
easier to hurt vehicles via assualt (always rear armour, no skimmer rules, more grenades)
outflank
generally close starting positions
easy save negation (most assault units include some number of 'no save' attacks either via upgrade character with power weapon or unit wide ability such as rending)

Assault negative:
Changes to power fists (one less attack essentially)
no consolidation into new combat

Shooting Positive:
Easier line of sight via TLOS
no more target priority
Improved blast effectiveness (no partials, always lands somewhere)

Shooting Negative:
abundant cover (from other units)
better saves from cover
vehicle cover saves

I think that the above is why some folks say 5th is assault biased...mind you I think 40k has been assault biased since 3rd (assaulting kinda sucked in 2nd, and I don't recall how it worked in 1st), but it might actually be less assault oriented now then it was at the beginning of 3rd.

All I want to improve shooting would be better morale impact from shooting (akin to melee, it ought to be possible to destroy a unit in a single shooting phase with a specialized shooting unit as it is with a specialized assaulting unit).

Jack

self biased
16-04-2009, 22:05
I think 5th is definitely more balanced then 4th and definately more so than 3rd. My World Eaters used to just ping pong from one squad to the next with follow up charges now they have to stand out in the open with there chainaxes in their hineys for at least a turn before they can kill more...but that's why I love 40K as soon as you think you have an ironclad tactic the codex changes or the rules change.

i had a space marine chaplain roll an entire tau flank all by his lonesome one evening.

what i don't like about assault these days is that there's no incentive for an assaulting unit to succeed on the turn they charge. they want to win on their opponent's turn so that they can be protected from shooting, and then assault their next target.

Legionary
16-04-2009, 22:54
5th is assault-biased, because as others have said armies that charge in and assault generally do better than armies that sit back and shoot. Cover saves, running, transports etc all make this the case.

The_Outsider
16-04-2009, 22:58
"My assaulty army got shot to hell! 5th ed is biased against assaulty armies because of LOS!"

and

"My shooty army got creamed! 5th ed is biased against shooty armies because of Run and Cover Saves!"



What does this mean? It means you now have to build armies that can do a bit of everything (how much of everything will depend on the codex in question) and not skip a phase like you could in 4th.

In 5th ed Tau's most valuable unit besides firewarriors is the humble kroot warrior- otherwise tau get completely gimped in CC.

Similarly, a berzerker army is going to need some form of ranged support (havocs work well) as otherwise they get gimped on approach.

[edit] Hence why my DE army is a hybrid force of both devastating firepower and awesome assault units, such flexbility means while my force never shines at one aspect at an army wide level, it does mean I am never caught flat-footed against any opponent on any board.

[edit2] It is easy to hide behind words like "biased" or cheese" if you as a player do not adapt both your tactics and your army to the game - the only edition of 40k (as we know it) that was biased was 3rd ed simply because of how rapid fire worked - 4th pretty much stopped rhino rush dead in it's tracks and that solved a huge chunk of balance issues there.

Nil
17-04-2009, 06:04
One uber shooty squad will not take out a squad a turn in shooting.

One uber assault squad will take out a squad a turn in assault. This is mostly due to combat resolution.

If you want to play for minor wins, shooty is fine, but it's hard to play for massacres without concentrating on assault.

RichBlake
17-04-2009, 06:15
One uber shooty squad will not take out a squad a turn in shooting.


The following units disagree:

Hellhounds and Bane Wolves
Leman Russes (practically any sort)
Basilisks, Collossues, Manticores, Deathstrike Missiles
A Whirlwind firing those cover ignoring missiles
A mob of 50 Guardsmen with FRFSRF (150 lasgun shots at 12")
Firewarrior squads against anything in a 5+ save
Practically anything shooting Guardsmen in the open

Also Guardsmen tend not to get wiped in CC anymore due to every other model giving units the Stubborn special rule. Which just goes to show the ONLY reason people say 5th is CC bias (i dont think it is btw) is because of leadership modifiers in combat.

Creeping Dementia
17-04-2009, 06:30
One uber shooty squad will not take out a squad a turn in shooting.

One uber assault squad will take out a squad a turn in assault. This is mostly due to combat resolution.

If you want to play for minor wins, shooty is fine, but it's hard to play for massacres without concentrating on assault.

Umm, every Tau player spends roughly zero time and effort on assault and many of them seem to be doing just fine. I personally laugh at assault focus, the average uber assault unit will maybe kill one unit, and then it gets shot to hell.

I personally think that 5th edition is biased more toward the movement phase more than anything. If you aren't mobile then you're generally fighting an uphill battle. You can have the best assault or shooty unit in the game, but if you're lacking the ability to get the unit into the right place then you've lost.