My Predictions for 6th Edition: Results

A year ago, I posted my predictions for what 6th edition would be.  To be honest, they were really my wishlist for 6th edition, and not predictions, but this was the closest I would come to being Nostro-rob-mus, so I thought it would be fun to go back and see how accurate my thoughts were back then, and whether the people at GW read my blog for inspiration.

Some caveats before I begin:

  1. As of the time writing this, I still hadn’t actually played a game of 6th edition and I hadn’t made it all of the way through the rulebook.  Many (if not most) players surely have more knowledge of the rules, but I think I undersatnd enough to make some basic statements.  Feel free to correct me if (when) I’m wrong.
  2. I’m impossibly biased, so I’m bound to slant my success rate in my own favor.  Again, feel free to slap me when I’m wrong.
  3. These were made more than a year ago, and I didn’t have the foresight of all of the rumor-mongers.

With that said, I made seven statements about what I think would make sixth edition better.  Let’s look at each one in turn:

  1. Reset to basic rules (a la 3rd Edition)
  2. More Generic Rules – Change FAQ
  3. More Mission Variety
  4. Decreased Durability – Vehicles
  5. Decreased Durability – Infanty
  6. Elimination of Wound Allocation
  7. Increased Value of Leadership

Reset to basic rules (a la 3rd Edition)

Well, it’s easy to say that they didn’t do this.  Obviously, they didn’t invalidate all previous codicies.  So, at first glance this was a clear miss; however, they did make enough rules changes to require every unit in the game to be listed in the rulebook.  My clear desire here was to push the reset button in order to balance the power levels.  To some degree that was done, but the ‘dexes that were superior in 5th, seem to still be definite leaders in the new edition.  I’d love to hear from some people that actually play the game, to find out if you feel the power levels of the ‘dexes became more (or less) balanced with the new release.

I really want to give myself partial credit here, since they did put rules in for every unit in the 6th edition rulebook, but I may be stretching things a bit on that one…

More Generic Rules – Change FAQ

My request was to make more Universal Special Rules, and allow them to apply across more codicies, in order to make it easier to understand various army rules, as well as to stop weird problems with different armies having the same wargear/abilities that eventually wind up doing completely different things (ref: Dark Angels stormshields).  Undoubtedly, GW made a big push in the rulebook in this direction–I don’t see how anyone could argue that this wasn’t a successfull prediction.

More Mission Variety

Three mission types in the previous edition was a huge shortcoming that was addressed in the new edition.  Whereas there were previously only three missions, that’s now been expanded to six, which was my bare minimum.  Though they only met my minimum, they did add things like “mysterious objectives,” secondary mission objectives, and–perhaps most importantly–more variety in the missions available.  Again, this seems like a pretty successfull prediction.

Decreased Durability – Vehicles

Some may argue whether this came to pass, but with the addition of hull points and the ability to reasonably glance a vehicle to death (which was techinically possible under the old rules, but horribly unlikely), I would say this too has come to fruition.  Vehicles were pretty well nerfed across the board with this edition–only time will tell if this was done in a way to balance things, or if they’re now unplayable, and people switch back to exclusive foot armies.  Whatever the case, I’m chalking this up as another success for me.

Decreased Durability- Infantry

Upon first inspection, you might question the validity of this, but if you dig into my actual thoughts on the matter, well, you might still question the validity.  My elaboration included thoughts like:

  • A general reduction of cover saves (many saves have been reduced from 4+ to 5+)
  • Combining similar rules like WBB and FNP (failure)
  • Reducing the number of eternal warriors (failure)
  • “Hidden Character” elimination (one could argue for this point, but could also argue against it)

FNP got a general nerf (though it also works against more wounds suffered, so maybe not).  Based on my specific statements, this is a failure.

Elimination of Wound Allocation

My goal here was to streamline things, not necessarily kill wound allocation entirely.  When characters aren’t involved and like armor units are, I think wound allocation in 6th is far faster than 5th is.  The problem is when GW does something silly like make paladins or nobz units entirely made of characters to make wound allocation nutty again.  Likewise, the ability for a tyranid prime to join a unit of carnifexes and give them wound allocation (which previously was exempt from those shenanigans) is just dumb.  While I think there was progress in this direction, this will wind up not being the answer.  I’m certain that within two years time people (or at least I) will be thoroughly annoyed with this new allocation as well.  Maybe partial credit here?

Increased Value of Leadership

It’s hard to say that they actually did anything with this.  There is a psychic power that can make even fearless units take leadership tests/break, but that’s about all I can think of.  All in all, I’d say this was a miss too.


In total, I made 7 predictions/hopes, three of them I got right, two with partial credit and two were way off.  If I get half credit for those that I got partially right, that gives me a depressing average of 57%.  Well, that’s if you look at these as predictions (which I’ve referred to them as throughout this post), but if you consider that my original post was a wish-list for 6th, you’ll actually see that GW only satisfied 57% of my wants.  Since 60% is the bare minimum to be considered passing, it would seem that one of us failed on this.

So, was it me or GW?

Did you make any predictions/hope posts about 6th edition?  How accurate were you?  And how are you feeling about 6th in general so far?

Image Credit: “Fortune Teller” image by Santiago Caballero.

27 comments on “My Predictions for 6th Edition: Results

  1. I’d have to say I shared all your wishes on 6th.

    It would have been nice to see LD factored into deny the witch now I think about it. Deny the witch is done based on sheer force of will and LD seems perfect for that. I won’t toss out mechanics that could have worked but seems a great fit.

    Something with a bit of value on LD, with precision shots/strikes and challenges, losing your leader is pretty common now and having a unit with good LD without that leader is pretty big. I feel you meant LD having more value to mean give it more use in the game, which I agree with, and this isn’t exactly that but it’s something I suppose.

    • I’m not sure how you would base deny the witch on Leadership and still make it happen sparingly. Perhaps if they used a mechanic that was akin to a fixed number that was subtracted from your leadership? Let’s say 8? That way, a unit with leadership 9 would still save 1/6 and LD would save 2/6? Naturally, low leadership armies would squawk (and I’m not sure they wouldn’t have a right to).

      I can’t think of a way to institute such a rule that wouldn’t come across as fiddly, but it’s an interesting notion for sure…

  2. Reset Balance levels…Well sure to a small extent they have, i believe while yes the strong codexs are still strong many of the lower codex’s have gained some power. In the end most codex’s had playable “comp” lists, and i think 6th has done a decent job of really improving the number of options available in those lists. Their cores may remain similar for some, but some of the optional bits are less cut and dry and more open to player choice.

    Generic rules, yeop

    Mission Variety, yes they did enhance it with 6 missions. But one thing i predict we are going to see is even MORE of the MSU style armies. MSU if peeps don’t know is “multiple small units” It essentially boils down to a philosophy that 2 5 man units are both harder to kill entirely, and can more accuratly wield their power. The reasons for this are rooted in their being only a single Kill point mission now with 5 other possible missions, KP’s being the major negative to MSU. Secondly putting masses of wounds on units is less valuable now that wound allocation acts like a line at the DMV where as before if a single shooting attack could cause enought wounds they would have to make a save on your special model. There is lots more, MSU really would need a whole article, but the point is while mission variety has increased your goal when building an army for random missions really has decreased…you need to be able to take multiple objectives, have an alpha strike unit, and be able to defend/snipe warlords…. the KP mission isnt worth planning for with a 1/6 chance of it coming up.

    Vehicles durability has been nerfed, for a few useability has increased through less chance your vehicle will be useless through glances all game, but overall vehicles are suffering. Overall they have been nerfed in sooo many ways, from Nades in CC on Dread’s to Transports not being able to disembark units before moving to let them assault. They are NOT unplayable, anyone who thinks that is being dramatic…but they are NOT as good as they were before in most cases.

    Infantray Durability has gone up imo. 2+ saves are amazing now and worth what most codexs ask for em. Sure Cover and FNP in most cases went down a dice level, but are far more common. Models get cover on a per model basis, assuming you play with a reasonable amount of terrain you’ll find more cover saves being taken at the end of the day. FNP is far better then before, so many attacks ignored it before and now very few do, sure it’s not a 4+ but getting to take it against nearly everything far out weighs that. The discussion of FNP vs RP(reanimation protocols….We’ll be back) is now a more valid one with both sides having bonuses and negatives in comparrison.

    Oh wound allocation…it’s different, it has it’s own faults for sure. If i had my choice i would go back to 5th’s rules, but add in that like models being wounded were pulled from the front….but anyway i don’t want to confuse people at this point with alternative rule discussions. Overall i don’t mind the new version but i don’t think it’s all that good either.

    Leadership seems unchanged. It matters and can matter tremendously at times….but is most often badly or seldom implemented. My Necrons are all LD 10, but seem to run from every fight they lose by 1 or 2 wounds…. Basically LD needs to be further used and be used for less severe issues… They could do cool stuff like giving units the option to enhance their Overwatch to BS 2 if they pass a LD test(strength in the face of a charging enemy) or allow a unit to charge a different target then it’s shooting attack if it passes a LD test, ect. ect.

    • Your take on infantry durability is peculiar. My thoughts:

      2+ armor saves are only better if you can inject them into a situation where it causes mixed armor saves. Otherwise, they can’t be used to “protect” the rest of the unit. And even if you can inject them, they’re only beneficial when you put them out front (assuming the enemy doesn’t have enough AP2 weapons to torrent them down), or in assault.

      I think they make things like destroyer lords in a unit of wraiths, amazing, but other examples should be pretty hard to come by…

      • 2+ armor doesnt need to be used to help shield a unit though it can be, it’s only infantry based and much better then before due to a severe reduction in the number of attacks the ignore it.

        examples of shielding however are quite common if you want them, Ork characters can take 2+ saves, Necron IC’s and basic Lords can take em, Wolf Guard and Wolf IC’s can take em, Space Marine IC’s can take em, Nid Primes or Tyrants can take it…and on and on. Shielding is not really my point in saying Infantry got more survivable, but anyway..

      • The only thing 2+ armor became more survivable against is power weapons. Shielding, etc. don’t help against plasma, melta, lascannons, etc. So, is that really such a huge bump?

        Shielding works fantastic against ‘Nidz (because they have almost 0 ranged AP2 guns), but against other armies, I don’t think it will hold up (just my speculation, of course, since the only game I played was with my bugs).

      • “The only thing 2+ armor became more survivable against is power weapons. Shielding, etc. don’t help against plasma, melta, lascannons, etc. So, is that really such a huge bump?”


    • Er… I forgot to expound. The thoughts that you should get more cover saves is at best partially true. Previously, you only received cover if half the unit was in cover (but then, the entire unit got the credit). I’m sure there’s an equation that can be used to find out how often cover saves were granted, but I’ll be damned if I know what it is (anecodotally, 5th edition seems to be remembered as “everyone always got a 4+ cover save,” so I’d wager it happened pretty often. So, it may be partially true that you get to make more saves now, but I doubt it.

      Furthermore, with the new “focus fire” rules (one that you seem to overlook fairly often), you can negate cover saves for units in mixed units entirely. Further reducing it’s effectiveness.

      • spend 50 points and you get a whole bunch of 4+ cover you can place yourself. Go to ground in area terrain and get +2 to your save and can still snap shot while on the ground. Forests grant cover to anything shot through them. Defensive nades grant stealth when within 8″. Dangerous terrain which is also cover in most every case, is much less deadly now thanks to armor saves on failed dangerous so you’ll see more units in that. LOS is required to charge, so units that don’t want to be charged can hide in LOS blocking cover and force an enemy to manuever around to a see them prior to charging.

        and then theres night fight cover….

        I don’t forget focus fire, i just don’t see it being as amazing as you think. It’s great if your opponent has a reasonable number of models out of cover or if you only have a couple shots. Being sure a model is not obscured for a single one of your firing models can be difficult on a crowded field with decent terrain.

        While a few units may be wishing for 5th ed. cover back, most are better off in 6th. And were just talkin infantry here, cover is vastly expanded elsewhere. Certainlly MSU strategy is much better off with the new cover rules, adding more fuel to it’s fire.

        Another bonus to infantry survival would be the new Psychic powers, there’s FNP, Invulnerable saves, probably cover saves too though i can’t confirm at the moment.

      • “Go to ground in area terrain and get +2” – Page reference please. Not denying the truth, just want to see it as I apparently missed it on my first go-around. As for Focus Fire, it’s probably more accurate to say that I believe you underestimate it. Granted, you’ve played far more games than I, but I’ve seen multiple times where you/your opponent didn’t use the option when it was a statistically better option. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think it’s game-breaking or anything, but I’m guessing it’ll be beneficial to use at least once per game–I’m sure it’ll count more when firing high AP weapons / or vs. armies with low armor in good cover.

      • Physically at work today so no access to book, it’s under area terrain whatever page that is. The aegis defence line does this as well despite not being area terrain.

      • RB-104

        Defense lines are weird. I presume that as “fortifications” they inherently give you a 3+ cover save, and a 1+ then if you go to ground behind them?

        That’s a pretty solid purchase for 50points.

      • nah they count as Barricades per their rules, which give a 4+. Then they have the added bit about +2 for going to ground behind them.

        Still a pretty solid choice, add in an interceptor gun of some sort….

        I havent got behind fortifications yet though, still can’t get it into my head that my “army” can bring buildings….

      • Can you help me out on this? RB-18 says that “fortifications” give a 3+ cover save. RB-114 has the Aegis Defense line on it, but I don’t see the word “barricade” anywhere in that section (although above it, I do see under the heading “Terrain Type” the line “this can be anything from a line of barricades to a large building.”

        I see on RB-104 that “barricades and walls” give the 4+ cover save. Is there just an assumption that the defense lines count as barricades (seems logical to me, but from what I can tell RAW people might take issue with it)?

      • pg 114 Aegis Defense Lines
        Terrain Type: Battlefield Debris (Defense lines).

        pg 104 Defense Lines
        Defense Lines follow all the same rules for barricades and walls except that a unit that decides to go to ground behind a defense line gains +2 to its cover save, rather than +1.

        pg 104 Barricades and Walls
        If a model is in cover behind a barricade or wall, it has a 4+ cover save. For the purposes of charge moves…..

  3. I too agreed with your whole wishlist for rules changes – in principle if not in all of the specifics. But I think you’re overall result is less good even than you think:

    Rules Reset – Yeah, I think you’re giving yourself too much credit for this one. It’s true that stat lines are in the book, but you really can’t do much with this information: it’s pretty useless without the context of the codex. I think they did it because they had to assign certain rules to all existing units (hull points and unit/character typtes), and it would have looked odd just having long lists. This way looks more professional, and _appears_ to be more generous/useful. But it’s not actually an attempt to bring everything together in any kind of reset.

    Generic Rules – agreed. Although I’m disappointed that they _still_ didn’t take the chance to turn WBB into FNP. Even a ‘4+’ version of FNP rather than the newer, lesser version would still have been easier to understand without having looked at the Necron codex.

    Mission Variety – agreed. The caveat seems to be (from looking around the internet, rather than playing actual games) is that some of these missions look like they might never be played; like they’ll be treated in the same way the existing battle missions book is. i.e. As a potential source of inspiration for a wacky game, but not as a serious ‘core’ mission. I’m thinking particularly of the mission played lengthways, but there may be others. Still; there are more missions, and the different modifications to the core mission rules look interesting too.

    Decreased Vehicle Durability – agreed. And I’m quite happy with the changes too. At least at this stage, there’s nothing (that I’m aware of) that I dislike in principle.

    Decreased Infantry Durability – I don’t have enough experience to comment. I would say that the reduction of cover saves though, combined with the ability to target parts of a unit that are out of cover (and thereby reduce the availability/useability of what cover there is) are probably significant enough changes to ensure that killing infantry is easier.

    Elimination of Wound Allocation – I think this is a failure. There are already enough exceptions to the simplified rules on allocation of shooting rules (thanks to characters) that it’s not as simple as it could be. And now there’s all sorts of close combat, initiative step/take casualties from within certain distances allocation rules to worry about too.

    The only wish of yours I didn’t share was for a setting reset. I do get why people want progression in the timeline, but I think this would kill 40K. I wish they would pick a few regions, and home in on them, and then make major plot changes over time that affect those particular regions. But the core of the setting I want to remain as it is. I think it would be very difficult to keep the 40K feel if something like the Emperor dying occurred. And it would instantly become nothing more than a lame ‘all against all’ and/or badly-plotted soap opera with awful scripting as various one-dimensional special characters battled it out with each other…

      • Well, if taken as ‘predictions’, you failed; if understood as ‘wishes’, then GW failed.

        That said, despite GW not succeeding in resolving all of these problems, I feel a bit harsh putting it quite that strongly. The new edition looks like a lot of fun, although I haven’t had that much experience with it yet. And I also never expected GW to do a full reset. Nor did I expect them to go as far as they have with standardised special rules. And they’ve actually done better with vehicle rules changes than I expected. It’s not what I’d have done, but as an adaptation of the existing rules, it looks pretty good.

        Call me a cynic, but I was always expecting GW to create as many new problems as fixes for old ones. (If only because their design philosophy doesn’t seem to be ‘create and hone a perfect rules set’ but ‘change for the sake of change’ – although I do admit that this does help keep things fresh, and that they clearly are trying to make the game as cinematic as possible.) It remains to be seen whether they’ve created a better rules set than the one it replaces, but I do find myself pleasantly surprised overall: I’d basically given up on 40K as a rules set, and was making semi-plans to use alternative rules. But the new edition actually makes me quite excited to get some games in.

      • Well, they were officially a wish-list for me, but I twisted it into a “predictions” post. I guess I could’ve entitled it “GW’s score card for 6th edition,” but that seemed improper: I don’t have enough games under my belt to really rate the edition just yet…

        I hear what you’re saying about GW changing for the sake of changing. It really seems that way in most of their editions. The only ones I got the feeling they were aiming to truly improve the game as a whole was from First > Second > Third.

      • I dunno Rob, I liked fourth a lot more than third. Totally the best edition up until this one.

        Loving the changes so far. The wound allocation is much better than fifth and once you get the hang of it, it goes really fast. I also really like the pushback effect that it seems to have.

        The imagery of a badass character striding forward implacably, bullets whizzing and bouncing off his armor ineffectually while the rest of his squad takes cover behind him as he truly leads from the front is a cool bit of cinematic imagination which sits really well with me, so I like the shielding thing too.

      • I have a hard time distinguishing between 3rd & 4th. I get confused by the v3.5 assault rules, but weren’t the essential differences between those editions assault based (with a smattering of vehicles, but that too, mostly affected assault)? Even the codicies between those editions seemed relatively minor to me.

        Then again, my memory gets rusty.

        For the record, I’m not saying I liked one edition over another. For the record, my favorite two periods of the game were 2nd edition (which was crazy and over the top, but that’s when I really got into the hobby and played alot of games with my friends), and the begining of 3rd–where the game was truly balanced (at least until the first ‘dexes started coming out).

        I can’t properly judge this edition, since I have so few games under my belt (read: 1), but it does look promising. I’m hoping wound allocation goes smoother than I expect it to, though I’m sure I’ll have a hard time with it and my 2nd edition friends (mainly because they tend to play like 1-2 games a year, so it’ll be a learning process every time).

  4. Yes, I’d agree with you there. In each case though, the change coincided with a much larger ‘below the surface’ change in what was expected from the game. So 2nd ed was not merely an attempt to overhaul and improve the rules, but to do so in recognition of the fact that customers (and GW) wanted to use Citadel figures to play battles rather than RPG-esque skirmishes. 3rd ed was based on the realisation that by this point (and with this many new vehicles, psychic powers and armies), the 2nd ed rules were now constraining the size of games: people wanted to play with still more miniatures (and naturally GW were happy with this move!).

    • You’re almost certainly right about the rationale behind the release of 2nd edition–but do you really think the rules were somehow constraining? I’d sooner say that they believed 2nd edition was getting out of hand, so they pressed the reset button and tried to dumb the game down to appeal to a broader audience.

      Granted, the points cost of a marine was halved in 3rd edition, and the ‘recommended game sizes’ didnt’ change, so effectively you had to purchase twice as many models, but I look at that as a gimmick that was tacked on to the game.

  5. Yes, I do. It didn’t bother me at the time, but I can see how it would have put some people off. Certainly I commonly played games that were larger than the rules were really designed to cope with. But as a teenager I had the time and dedication for that not to be a problem. More to the point, I think that GW felt it too. They could see kids like me playing large battles and thought ‘we can make the rules facilitate this, rather than get in the way’. It was a good commercial move, but also, I think that probably GW staff felt the same way: that as more models (especially plastics and vehicles) were released, people were just getting used to playing larger and larger games. They said as much in their WD coverage. I’m sure the new edition was in part inspired by the realisation that the rules were becoming terribly cluttered, but having made the decision to update them, they then decided quite clearly to make the rules much more streamlined and ‘large game friendly’.

    Funnily enough, the release of 3rd edition drove me out of the hobby. I didn’t like a lot of the changes, or the art and general feel that I got at the time. Although to be honest, I think I was also getting to the age where I was leaving home, having other things to do with my time, and so the new edition was the trigger rather than the cause. Looking back on it now, I think there’s a lot to be admired in the edition, and 4th, 5th and 6th are all clearly variants of it.

    Funnily enough it was the ork codex that brought me back into the game: it just felt like it enabled me to play the army I wanted to play. Having Andy Chambers write it and write about it in WD helped too, of course.

    • Interesting take on things.

      What do you mean though, when you say that third edition was designed for larger games? Practically speaking, what made it easier to field a larger game in 3rd edition than in 2nd edition (aside from the points costs being cheaper–which doesn’t actually matter)?

  6. Oh, I agree on the points cost. There were a whole load of things that made 3rd ed easier to use for bigger games:
    – the army lists were stripped right back. Instead of masses of cards and long lists of equipment to look though, wargear was very tightly restricted.
    – Many points costs (for upgrades at least) became multiples of 5, making some of what wargear was still available unattractive, and so taken less often, but also making it easier to work out costs. It also was intended to ensure that all wargear did something significant, and wouldn’t be forgotten about – by you or your opponent.
    – All modifiers were stripped out (shooting/to hit, save modifiers, etc.)
    – close combat was changed from being a string of single combats to unit vs unit combats. You no longer rolled one figure’s hit rolls, you rolled a whole squad’s at a time.
    – I don’t remember if majority armour save rules came in at this time or later.
    – would allocation rules were designed to be quick and easy to use. ‘Defender chooses’ makes the decision pretty easy, and avoided the need to randomise hits (I can’t remember if there was a torrent of fire rule in this edition or the next, but the principle was very simple).
    – A lot of the missions were put into a single book, given standard special rules and no longer relied upon you having secret cards.
    – Psychic powers almost disappeared from the game (going from it being almost a game within a game)
    – vehicle-specific charts were replaced with a single damage chart that affected everything equally, etc.
    – All the different dice sizes were removed. No more D4, D8, D10, D12 and D20, etc.
    – the removing of the ‘movement’ stat and replacing it with a standard move 50% higher than previously meant that most things moved around the board faster.

    What all of this means is that moving, shooting and fighting became less convoluted and faster to resolve – thus allowing players to use a lot more miniatures in the same amount of time.

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