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Thread: My first game of 5th edition: Impressions (longish)

  1. #1
    Librarian Snotteef's Avatar
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    Jul 2005

    My first game of 5th edition: Impressions (longish)

    Hey all! I've been playing 40k since the final days of Rogue Trader (over 16 years now: Gosh I'm old!), but I stopped playing the game about a year ago, because I didn't like the direction the game was moving in (especially all the Special Character love.... I HATE them ) and my local scene was becoming a little too competitive for my tastes. Well, a year is looooong time for a 40k junky to be without his favorite game, so I bought 5th edition, read it thoroughly and I've just played my first game.

    My initial impressions upon reading 5th edition went like this:


    1) Cool mission system (I'm glad infiltrate and deeps strike are no longer worthless 1/3 of the time).
    2) Mostly improved assualt rules
    3) Much better rules for vehicle damage
    4) Improvement in the cover save system (it's just gotten better and better with each edition since 3rd)


    1) Hate true LOS (I thought the area terrain LOS system was the most innovative thing in 4th edition: made it easier to play with people you didn't know very well... I like things clean cut, and I hate bending down over my models all the time and knocking over terrain with my big, clumsy head).
    2) Hate combat resolution: It works in fantasy, because the kills are offset by ranks, outnumbering, banners, etc. Without those factors, assualt heavily favors small, elite units.
    3) Hate, loathe, and despise the wound allocation rules. Sure, it gives you a chance to kill the one marine with a lascannon, but it is slower and clumsier than 4th edition, imo. I like to just roll all my saves all at once and start removing guys.
    4) Not in love with the new defensive weapon rules. The whole point of defensive weapons was to make tanks more mobile. With S4 defensive weapons, the rule fails in its intent. When the trial vehicle rules came out, they were S5 and it was determined that S5 was too WEAK, so they bumped it up to S6, now it's all the way down to S4. Not a huge deal and probably more balanced, but I don't like it. I hate that tanks are back to being static firebases.
    5) Kill points are dumb. I can do arithmetic. VP's are inherently balanced, kill points heavily favors small, elite armies, at the expense of a little, simple math. Yuck.

    Well, it seems like my impressions and my experience with the game are pretty much in agreement.


    1) They are cool, but I didn't particularly enjoy Dawn of War; probably because I was playing shooty marines, allied with IG and we were facing Orks and World Eaters (meaning 18" apart was tooo close and all our fire support was off table) .
    2) Yup. I like the assualt rules. Very clean.
    3) Vehicle damage rules are MUCH better than 4th. I especially love cover saves over hull down... I've been asking for that since 3rd came out.
    4) All good here. Lots of tasty cover saves, making cover *gasp* useful.


    1) I still don't like true LOS (I played 3 other editions with it and vastly prefer the 4th edition area terrain), but I can live with it. I just have to school myself to remember that my vehicles behind area terrain are not automatically out of LOS (I forgot last night, but night fighting saved me... whew!).
    2) My impressions were confirmed here. I don't like it. Numbers should count in combat resolution. A simple +1 for outnumbering your opponent would have gone a long way. I don't like, but I can live with it.
    3) My impressions were confirmed and then some. They're even worse than I thought. Not only is it more time consuming, but it allows people to take advantage of it, to make nigh-unkillable units. I faced an Ork Nob unit on foot, all with different equipment (but sharing Cybork bodies), with a Painboy. We fired 4 Battle cannon shots at them, at least 10 plasma gun shots, 2 Plasma cannon shots, and near-infinite small arms fire and didn't even get them down below half strength. That is ridiculous, but at least each round of shooting took forever as the Ork player allocated wounds and rolled saves, individually, for each model. Nothing against the guy. He was nice, but the wound allocation rules suck.
    4) Yeah, I don't like it, but it's not a big deal. I'd like to move and fire my predator more often, but it's dirt cheap, so no big loss.
    5) Kill points are stupid. I hate them. By turn three, the only way we could have won was to completely annhilate the enemy. VP wise, we hadn't given up much, but we lost alot of cheap units (did I mention my ally was Guard?) and gave up more KP's than their armies even contained. What would have been a close game with VP's was a complete slaughter. Confirmed.

    Don't get me wrong. I think 5th is pretty good (I like 4th a little better overall). I'll probably keep playing, but I think the design team could have put together a better rules set, by simply applying the axiom: If it ain't broke, don't fix it. The things that they did fix, they fixed well, but as usual, GW seems to have over-corrected.

    Thanks for reading a bunch of stuff that people probably talked to death when 5th came out. It's new to me, however, and I feel like sharing (and ranting... it's a talent).

    P.S. One other lil niggly rule that bothers me: Frag grenades. Why are they plasma grenades now? Dumb. Makes them worthless for Orks and overpriced for Dark Eldar. Not a big deal, but I'm not a fan.
    Last edited by Snotteef; 14-02-2009 at 16:18.
    "Pain? Pain is like love . . . like compassion! It is a thing only for lesser men. What is pain to Doom?"

  2. #2
    Veteran Sergeant Earlydawn's Avatar
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    Feb 2006

    Re: My first game of 5th edition: Impressions (longish)

    I tend to agree with the OP. I love running, go to ground, the vehicle re-balancing. I loathe real LOS and new casualty removal. I didn't take a solid look at the assault changes beyond no consolidating into assault, but it certainly sucks if swarmier armies don't get compensated for numbers.

    LOVE the new scatter rules for blasts. Also, the vehicle squadron rules - was the downgrade / upgrade rule for stunned / immobilized new? I don't have either edition with me, but it seems to me like it is. Love it.. although I would have preferred that you could still opt to keep coherency with the vehicle to spare it from the immobilized auto-destroy.

    I would have:
    • Kept the area vs berm system for claiming cover.
    • Kept the old wound allocation system. Sure, it functioned a little backwards and had some problems, but it made it easier to hide special weapons, which, in my opinion, is a deserved advantage of taking a big unit.
    • Kept defensive weapons where they were. As mentioned, vehicle bunkers =/= fun.
    • Given stationary vehicles a 360-degree fire arc on all weapons if stationary, to represent rotation pertinent to targeting. Good incentive to use vehicles "bunker" style, without unecessarily hurting a mobile strategy.
    • Kept the morale considerations for hordes.
    Last edited by Earlydawn; 14-02-2009 at 20:01.
    "Phase one complete. Let's take the bridge."
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  3. #3
    Librarian maelstrom66669's Avatar
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    Aug 2008
    Anderson IN

    Re: My first game of 5th edition: Impressions (longish)

    Ive not had much probs with the wound allocation, but all my games thus far havenet really had mixed units very much, or a bunch of different weapons.

  4. #4
    Chaplain Cythus's Avatar
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    Feb 2009
    tomb world

    Re: My first game of 5th edition: Impressions (longish)

    love 5th edition, only 2 major problems for me:

    KP, its brilliant for me as I am Necrons with about 5 KP in a 1000pt army, but its totally inaccurate, VP only required simple maths and 5mins but apparently GW thinks thats too much to ask hobbyists

    combat resolution WTF? i have 50 orks you have 1 hero, you kill 5 say and I now have a leadership of 2? old combat resolution was better

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Bristol, UK

    Re: My first game of 5th edition: Impressions (longish)

    If you had that many Orks in a squad they'd be fearless

  6. #6

    Re: My first game of 5th edition: Impressions (longish)

    A few thoughts of my own:

    1: Wound Allocation: It does slow things down a bit, but I don't begrudge it, because it's logical. It doesn't make sense that the most valuable troopers are always the ones that are the last to go. With the current system, there still less likely to go than any individual bog-standard trooper, but they're no longer entirely safe until each and every bog-standard trooper is dead. My one issue with the rule is that it's a slight de-facto nerf to units that rely on upgraded troopers for a good part of their combat effectiveness (such as SM Tac Squads, IG Infantry Squads, etc) vs units that have uniform coolness throughout the squad (such as Eldar Aspect Warriors, Tau Fire Warriors, Necrons, etc).

    2: Combat Resolution: I like it better the way it is. For one thing, it's a lot easier to keep track of how many casualties each side took than it is to count up how many figures are on each side of a combat after you've got them all piled into a big scrum. For another, it makes the No Retreat rule have some bite on large units. Last edition, No Retreat was based on how much the winning unit outnumbered the losing unit by, so a sufficiently large Fearless unit (Ork Mobz, I'm looking at you) would never take No Retreat wounds, whereas small elite units would suffer from them all the time. Now, those gargantuan units have to worry about No Retreat as well, which I think is a lot more fair.

    3: Kill Points: No one is crazy about them, but they do accomplish one thing that straight VPs wouldn't, which is to give players a disincentive to spam cheap scoring units to gain an advantage in objective-grabbing missions. The flipside to that is that the objective-scoring missions give players a disincentive to pile all their points into a small number of units in order to not give up so much KP in the Annihiliate mission, because then there's a goodly chance you'll lose your Troops choices quick and be unable to claim objectives. Assuming that one's style of play is to make balanced lists that you apply to any mission against any opponent, the system works adequately. The system breaks down if players tailor their army lists to their opponent and the mission, but I suspect that's always been the case.

  7. #7
    Chapter Master Baneboss's Avatar
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    Jul 2006

    Re: My first game of 5th edition: Impressions (longish)

    I am with you that 4th edition was better. Indeed some crucial things were changed but on the other hand others became worse.

    1) I like 4th edition LOS more. It made the game more tactical as you could actually hide units.
    2) Wound allocation system is abusable right now.
    3) I dont like KPs (maybe because im IG but nonetheless i think theyre not balanced)
    4) I dislike focus on special characters.

    I think we have pretty much same experience with new edition.

  8. #8
    Chapter Master
    Join Date
    Jun 2007

    Re: My first game of 5th edition: Impressions (longish)

    With I don't believe 5th edition is perfect, I infinitely love it better than 4th.

  9. #9
    Commander Thrax's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007

    Re: My first game of 5th edition: Impressions (longish)

    You are preaching to the choir here, Snotteef! Our gaming group is currently creating a 4th/5th hybrid with a touch of 2nd thrown in. Kill points are asinine and TLOS is mucky with all the 4+ saves. Wound allocation is ponderous at best and actually creates as many problems as it solves. So...

    We're using 4th ed cover saves but shots may penetrate up to two pieces of area terrain (no more).

    Any rolls of a 6 to wound are set aside and re-rolled> if the the original score to hit is achieved or better then the attacker gets to choose which models must make saves.

    Overwatch is reimplemented with a morale check made for the unit attempting to stay on it.

    Swarms are immune to Instant Death.

    Okay, these are most of our changes briefed and I really didn't mean to turn this into a rules forum answer, but even though overall I believe 5th to be a nice progression in rules in some areas it stumbles and so why not fix it if you can?

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