So I finally got my copy of 6th yesterday. AND MAN WHAT A TOME. This thing is huge. I feel like I am going to have to get a starter set rule book. I got the gamer's edition, and while I like the bag, the buckle is facing the wrong way! It rubs my sternum into oblivion pretty quickly which is a bummer. The one other non rule related comment I have is OMG OMG THE TERRAIN. I love the featured terrain and I really wished GW terrain was cheaper. I would honestly buy tons of it to make huge projects like in the books, but since I can get by in the game with home made terrain at a fraction of the price I don't bother.
Okay, now for rules. I am going to likely jump around alot at this point, point out some jewels that you likely missed, and really hit on my biggest pet peeves that aren't getting too much discussion. Where I can, I will endeavour to provide pg numbers for references.
All in all I like the improvements and can't wait to get games in. There is nothing horribly dissapointing about the game as a whole and I can't wait to see the meta take shape here over the next several months.
I will try and start positive and actually, quite obscure (I have had to point it out to each of my friends).
DID YOU KNOW You no longer count the entire squad as moving when one moves. It is model by model for determining shooting (pg 13, Under Moving and Shooting). This is great for defensive fire. You can now leave your heavy weapon stationary and move your squad around him to make sure you have range. Combine this with premeasuring, you can figure out where to precisely place your flamer or melta and leave your heavy weapon in place and get fully effective fire. Realise that your unit isn't in cover as well as you thought, well adjust them, keep your heavy still and BAM still full fire power.
Artillery (pg 46). Now you are scratching your head. Artillery Gothmog? Really? Who uses it? Well, I do with my Siege Kried "Genswick". The fact they are T7 2 wounds per gun is great. Gone are the days of a single glancing hit ruining a heavy mortar. On top of that, the fact it isn't a "vehicle" means it has 360* arc of fire. So my heavy mortars are now 50 pt, T7, 2 wound (plus crew) S6 AP4 Lg Blast Ordanance Barrages that can reroll scatter. These will be so much FUN.
Beasts (pg 48). They can now charge into ruins (pg 98). Hormaguants REJOICE!
Vehicle Squadrons (pg 77). The fact that an abanddoned immobilised vehicle is a seperate unit instead of destroyed now is great. It sucked that one immobilised Russ essentially immobilised them all. Now an immobilised vehicles can sit and fire its weapons while the others continue to move and fight.
Unusual Power Weapons (pg 61). Really the saving grace of Characters with Axes, like Dante and Astorath. Lets these combat beasts strike at Initiative still, albiet AP3, but without falling to the crushing Unweildy rule. Good for my sanguinary guard as well.
I am nuetral on wound allocation. It seems a little clunky, especially say in CC with multiple units of mixed T and Armour Saves and Characters. It will likely get confusing fast, so make sure you have pen and paper to take whatever notes you need.
Can I place a flyer in hover mode on the table during deployment. As I understand now, I can't and it has to start in reserve. To me this is pretty dumb, as in modern warfare, armoured formations and the like travel under cover of CAS all the time. In addition, it isn't like these battles are all unexpected/ambushes, so why can't air support be immediately on hand for the battle?
NOW MY RANT
Power weapons/Force Weapons (pg 61). This ruins alot of thematic/conversion opportunities AND forces alot of rework on models in alot of cases. One of my friends LOVES his librarian model with a force staff, BUT HATES the rules, and I agree. AP4 on a SM character is bleh. So he is forced to either get a new model/convert the one he has and give up that which he loved. As for me, I had been trying to add as many axes to my Blood Angels as possible, but now I don't want to, which sucks from a purely hobby persepctive. As well, so much is now up to interpretation and WYSIWYG. Furthermore, what is to stop me from magnetising my power weapons on sergeants. They are all the same point cost. Why not just switch it as I see fit?
POWER AXES!!! These are horrible! Well okay, they are good, but horribly unfair IMO. They are far more effective for low I armies, and low S armies. To me, they should have just been minus 1 Initiative, but to make them I 1 is atrocious. Why can't a genetically enhanced super warrior swing an axe faster than Cadian Sergeant McMinPoints. Furthermore, if I have a character FORCED to take an axe he can now easily lose to a naked sergeant with nothing but a powerfist (likely as cheap, say SM with Axe and IG with fist). Not only that, but he may be subject to instant death and be stuck in a challenge.
Low I armies have no reason not to take axes. They were going to strike last anyways, why not be higher S and AP2 at the same cost of AP3 Low S, you strike second anyways. So I am going to use IG as an example again. An IG with an Axe went at I 3, pretty much after everything. So now they get to be S4 and AP2 and still go after everything. Much better chance to wound and kill armies like Space Marines. Now lets look at the Space Marines perspective on this fight. If he has an axe he now can't kill this threat before hand, and doesn't have to great of an improvement to wound (and none if he had furious charge) and really has no benefit of AP2 against them.
Basically what I am getting at is a power axe is a poor man's power fist. Doubling S3 was never going to do much, and you couldn't get +1 A for 2 CCW. And it is still cheaper than a fist. Where as a rich man really doesn't benefit as S5 over S4 isn't very significant, and not at the price of I1. Might as well take the fist instead, which costs more.
POWER MAULS/STAFF- Way to nerf librarians and chaplains. Especially Chaplains. Not like I have much choice in their weapons (well I do with Librarians, but see above about my friend) but a Crozious is now far less effective and really just makes them worth it for their buffs rather than their ability in combat.
Reserves- This is irritating to me. The fact I can no longer play all reserves lists. Yeah, it probably adds alot of balance back in, but it really kills alot of fluffy builds. Lets list some now
-Descent of Angels
-Imperial Guard Drop Troop Regiments
As well, the innaction of units coming in from reserve kills some major fluff points such as
I hate rules that spoil fluff, and this one hits some lists hard. Can you think of any others? Fortunately drop pod assault is still viable (which makes SW the only viable way to do DW, Ironic right?)
Transports- The fact that no matter when I disembark I can't assault is terrible. It really nerfs assault armies who now have to disembark, suffer a turn of shooting, charge, and then suffer overwatch and HOPE they make the charge. Pretty rough IMO, and definately gives shooting armies an edge. I also feel bad for mech assault armies that people have invested so much money in. BA Razorspam for instance. Not only was all that money spent on Tanks, none of the marines in it have Jump Packs meaning that the player has to replace EVERYTHING or do alot of conversion work or just suffer the pain of shooting.