View Full Version : Thinking of getting back into 40k, what are major differences since 3rd ed?

13-01-2010, 17:30
I'm not looking for a complete run-down ofcourse, but I'm just curious what are some of the key changes from 3rd ed to the latest incarnation. Also, how well does the game scale at 1,000 pts. Fantasy is still my main game, so I don't want to go too big with 40k games.

Oh, I'll be returning to Orks, I've played them since 2nd edition and from what I hear.. Orks are finally a powerful army. So it'll be quite refreshing to actually not be fighting an uphill battle anymore.

13-01-2010, 17:46
I may get ninja'd, but here goes: EDIT: Wow, NOT ninja'd

- Victory points are no longer the norm. Victory is determined entirely by controlling the most objectives or killing the most units, depending on the mission.
- Only "Scoring units" can hold objectives, though any other unit can contest an objective. Barring rather rare special rules, only non-vehicle Troop units are scoring units.
- Unless I'm mistaken, all missions use deep strike, infiltrate, and scout rules

- Many units can "Run", which allows them to move an extra 1d6" if they forgo their shooting. They will also be unable to assault after running unless they also have the "Fleet" rule, such as many Eldar units do (or that an entire Ork army can do once per game).
- All blast weapons scatter 2d6" minus shooters ballistic skill.
- A unit disembarking from a vehicle may not assault unless the vehicle didn't move or is open topped (like many Ork Vehicles).
- Only a single damage table instead of a separate glancing and penetrating hit table. A "glancing hit" is simply a -2 modifier on the table. There are other modifiers too, most commonly the +1 that all AP1 weapons receive, such as meltaguns.

- Many subtle and not so subtle changes to shooting and assault. You may need to simply read these sections of the rule book thoroughly.

I may have missed something critical, but if I did I'm sure there will be a dozen responses in no time. I think I got some of the big stuff that would surprise a person coming from 3rd edition.

EDIT: More thoughts:
- "Infiltrators" and "Scouts" may "outflank", allowing them to enter the game form one of the sides of the table when the are available from reserve instead of only your own table edge.

self biased
13-01-2010, 17:55
no, that sounds about accurate. there is a less abstract line-of-sight that's used, and wound allocation is another can of worms you need to pay close attention to.l

13-01-2010, 18:02
The cover saves is one major difference . Standing in bushes will give you a 4+ cover save (not affected by modifiers except weapons with the ignore cover rule, such as flamers). Really plays a difference for those with low armour as the orks. All terrain that gives a cover save in difficult as well, which affects movement.

13-01-2010, 19:22
Also, if your run into enemies with rapid fire weapons (most of them) rapid fire is now 2 shots within 12" (even if you moved), or 1 shot at 24" if you stood still. However, you may not assault after firing a rapid fire weapon.

Still, a full squad of marines jumping out of a rhino within 12" can really lay some hurt on your boys.

Hmmm, overrun is gone. When someone breaks in close combat, you just roll off and add your I to the score, if the fleeing units fails to win, they are destroyed. The winner may only consolidate D6", and may not initiate a new close combat.

This is a big difference from the 3:ed/WFB system of
1. Assault
2. Win
3. Overrun 2D6 into a new close combat.
4. Repeat

So flamers and such are quite pain for ork boys if your opponent is clever and make use of some sacrificial units.

You may only assault the same unit as you shot too.

Short version: Assault units are not the be all end all units of 40k. You will probably be much better off using a combined arms approach instead of the 'Always close combat All the time" that was 3:ed.

Edit: Wow, I didn't realize just how much better 5:ed is compared to 3:ed. No wonder 3:ed made me stop playing. ^^

13-01-2010, 19:32
Here's the big one:

Almost everything in the game gets a 4+ cover save.

This is &$%# but it happens.

13-01-2010, 20:23
There's no more crossfire, or 'rock throwing.'
If you have 30 boyz in range, all 30 of them will hit with their normal number of attacks - not ten with their normal, and 20 with a single strength 3 each.

13-01-2010, 21:05
No "partial hits" on templates anymore. If the template covers any part of a model's base, it's hit. This speeds up blast/flamer attacks and generally results in more fiery death.

edit: Also for transports - Penetrating hits don't automatically result in the embarked unit getting bounced. Destroyed transports don't auto-pin either. Combined with the more forgiving damage chart (no 'wrecked' result for glances) means Rhinos, Trukks, and Chimeras abound.

13-01-2010, 21:08
All the posts above accurate summerise the main rules changes. These have had quite a big affect on the way the game plays:
- Troop units are now very important. You generally see people taking more of them and proper units too, as they need to take objectives and take some punishment doing it. In my view that's been very good for game balance. Also, because the victory conditions are the only things relevant to who wins it has taken the focus away from just killing things and more towards objective play. That means even if you are getting hammered you can still grab a win or draw by careful objective play which makes the game a little more interesting for the losing player as they can still get something from the game.
- Because of the need to reach objectives, the change to the vehicle damage rules and reducing transport costs in most new codexes mechanised armies are now extremely popular. All in all mobilility in general is now very important.
- Because of kill points cheap, weak units like landspeeders and lone attack bikes are less popular.
- The introduction of outflanking, along with more accurate deepstriking (most of the new codexes include options to help deepstrikers), infiltrate, scout etc. has given players lots of interesting deployment options.
- Due to everyone and their mum getting a 4+ cover save, high AP weapons are less strong and multiple shot/blast/template weapons much stronger (also helped by no partials).

Basically, 5th ed has made the game much more mobile and more troop based.

13-01-2010, 21:37
Wow, thanks for all the feedback so far. I'm still unsure if I'm going to get in as I have yet to finish my Lizardmen army..

How well do games of 1,000 pts go in 40k now? Ofcourse in Fantasy, 1,000 pts is very limiting to many armies as they really need Lord choices to be fun/viable.

13-01-2010, 23:01
1,000 pts are very playable, but with the need for a few units of Troops to actually win games, alot of points will have to go in here, meaning less to spend on all the fun and wacky things in the Ork codex.

On the other hand, the Orks might be one of the strongest list at lower points(DE are also mean at low points), seeing as how good their basic boyz are. Also they have access to cheap transports, buggies and killa kanz, so you can get a well rounded, fun to use force, even if you might need to stay clear of units like Nobs and tooled up Battlewagons.

What armies will you face mostly?

Last year, me and my friends played lots of 1,000 pts games, then people wanted to include more stuff, so we went up to 1,250 pts. That a kinda magic limit, in that you get a good working army, but you also have just enough room to squeeze in some extra stuff. :)

Come to think of it, thats one thing 40k really has got going for it compared to fantasy. You can just pick a point level and make a force, and you will probably be able to make a fun army. In fantasy, you really need to hit that 2,000 pts mark if you want to play the game as its supposed to be played.

14-01-2010, 19:28
Thanks for all the input guys.. I'm going to start by trading off my excess Fantasy stuff for some Orks, I definitely wanna get my hands on some Deffcopters.. so I'll probably have to find someone with the starter boxed set.

14-01-2010, 22:14
Most armies don't scale up well at all for 1000 points, and some have problems making interesting lists at 1500, just like in fantasy, but not quite as severe at lower points.

Orks, tau, witch hunters, imperial guard, and dark eldar work at all points levels, because the stuff you 'need' to take is cheap, effective, or both, leaving room for fun things.

You can pick up pieces from black reach for pennies on ebay, and if you don't have at least one set, order one. It's well worth the money, especially since you get the rulebook, templates, and some dice, too.

14-01-2010, 23:01
Cost! Though there are some less expensive options with the Orks. Assault on Black Reach orks are a definite buy.