The Death of 5th Edition 40k.

Your days are numbered 5th ed.

With the large volume of 6th edition rumors frothing and spewing into the Internet, I thought I'd share why I feel 5th edition is fundamentally flawed as well as the reasons I'm so excited for 6th edition. Before delving into the new and excited things that are purportedly coming around the bend, I feel we should examine what are, in my arrogant and blathering opinion, the flaws of the current system so as to build a better appreciation for what's to come. :)

There are three fundamental things that you can find in nearly every successful modern design. These three things are modularity, scalability, and weight. The first two are pretty self explanatory, while weight is a general term for size, complexity, depth, or literal weight of materials. What makes 5th edition 40k so broken is that it posses these elements in a very improper balance.

For modularity, we've seen 5th ed. 40k bloom in some very interesting ways since 2008. There have been a slew of supplements released for it, but they're a bigger pain to play than they're worth. They bring to the table a bunch of overly complex rules and new systems that are in almost every instance contradictory to the main rule set of the game. It's understandable as most of these supplements are aimed at selling models that tend to be more expensive, such as Spearhead selling tanks, Planetstrike selling tanks, elite units, and terrain, and Apocalypse aimed at selling Forge World models. The only book that wasn't directly written to sell models was Battle Missions, however, this book contradicts main rules for deployment, objectives, and special rules in the main rulebook as well and is just as guilty as the others in this respect.

Scalability is arguably 40k's biggest source of complaint from players and Internet commentators. This is where you see the game fall on it's face the most. Allesio's rule set is best designed for smaller scale battles which he favors as a designer. This is most evident in wound allocation and the various advantages that certain units can gain from its use. One can also see a glaring issue in scalability in that certain armies have a drastic advantage at different points values. What I've heard in regards to this is that the game testers run lists at 1500 points, while many tournaments, as well as casual players have found that the best balance for all armies is at approximately 2000 points. If you go any higher or lower, certain armies will have an undeniable advantage over one another.

Finally, we reach weight. I feel this is the least of 5th edition's offenses. It's a pretty simplified game. There is still some fat that could be trimmed from the rules, however. There are many things that are pretty convoluted and it tends to break the flow of a good game when you have to read up on the difference between leadership and moral checks, though in purpose they're nearly identical. This also goes for vehicle rules as well as the many complex rules for the assault phase. Wound allocation and the rules for true line of site would also fall here too; along with victory points and rules for Objectives. All of it needs to be cleaned up and streamlined a bit.

Could this be the new 'to hit' chart for 6th edition?

Many things have been 'leaked' about 6th edition, but most of the plausible things I've heard were the first rumor sets. You can find them here to have a look for yourselves:
As you can see, there's a lot of information to be had. I won't repeat it all here as I feel this article will be long-winded enough without it. While I'm sure you can see that many of my concerns have been addressed, I'll touch on a couple specifics that I feel stand out the most.

One of the things I'm most excited for is how the rulebook is intended to be modular. It's going to work with the supplements and allow them to snap into the rules rather than fight them. We also see some annoying rules streamlined, like leadership checks and specifics for cover. We also see some implementations for the game to scale by adding in rules for the inclusion of Apocalypse, though the rest will largely depend on the scaling of 6th edition codexes.

There are also some large  changes in the form of the phases being in a different order, making assault far more risky in exchange for the massive damage you can deal. On top of that, there is a stroke of genius in using the two most complicated and complained about rules in the game to fix each other. Line of site and wound allocation now work hand in hand to form something far more fair and strategic.

The rest of the changes tend to be smaller, but their impact will be large. They exchange convolution for strategic depth. Knowing how far your units will run, knowing that you can make yourself harder to hit by moving and by what class, suppressing enemy units with guns like the heavy bolter that we rarely see used now, and allowing jump infantry to evade fire (making them actually worthwhile).

If you've read through the pages provided, you'll see that's only a small sampling of what's to look forward to. While I'm not holding my breath for all of these to make it through and make it though unchanged, it does give one a lot to look forward to next summer. We'll basically be playing a brand new game and I'm excited to see what other changes it will bring.

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