Let's Read: Sixth Edition Part 1
Posted by Son of Dorn
The long-awaited and dare I say, overdue, first installment of Let's Read: Sixth Edition is finally here. This installment is gonna be a little short, as I get my bearings in the book and decide the manner in which I'm going to write these installments. And after a brief detour for the 5th edition of the Space Marine codex, I hope to get plugging away at these with a decent pace.
Now, all that being said, let's begin. I decided for the first section that I would do brief coverage of the outer portions of the book and the layout (after a fashion). Now, please bear in mind that these are not instructions on how you should read the book. I'm also not pointing out things you might think are obvious, just to be condescending. These are more for myself. A means of exploring the new rules for a second time, and looking for details and connections that I missed the first time. It'll also be interesting to make comparisons to 5th, and certain changes that have been subtle.
The first major thing that comes to mind is the cover. The last 2 editions have featured a hammer motif of some sort. This edition marks a return to a more classic, action-oriented cover. And of the cover itself, we see Dark Angels and Chaos Space Marines, who we now know were the first 2 Marine codexes of the new edition. Now, everything we see is pretty standard fare, with 2 exceptions: the Space Marine Captain has a tiny head; and the Chaos Marines are a little more varied. Tiny heads on marines are nothing new, but Chaos sporting a more bug-like appearance, is. I'm really quite fond of it. It's a more modernized take on the 80's sci-fi spiked appearance. The Chaos Marine with the sideways, caterpillar-looking mouth looks pretty cool. I wish kits were done up like this as alternates.
Now, let's have a look inside. Being from the United States, I've been taught from birth to look for the author of a publication near the front pages. Here, however, we have to turn to the back. So hop on over to page 432 with me. Fifth edition had one author, but here we see three. We have Adam Troke, Jeremy Vetock, and Mat Ward; apparently in alphabetical order by first name. With what we know now, it's fairly easy to piece together who did what. With Jeremy Vetock handling many of the newly released codexes, and Mat Ward having done many of them through out 5th, it's reasonable to presume that they were the ones who did much of the design work for the new edition. While Adam Troke, on the other hand, has been seen picking up a lot of work doing background writing and even the entire 'fluff' section of the new Eldar codex. So I'd like to think that Mat and Jeremy worked on the rule set, and that Adam (and probably Mat) worked on the 'fluff' section of the book.
OK, now back to the front, again. Just a couple of rapid fire tidbits from the leading sections of the book. on page ix we learn that the calendar for 40k begins at the first human colonization of a foreign world. There's also plenty of new filler that's been brought in from the Horus Heresy series, rather than the previously vague bits from the last several additions. And, as ever, everything is still on the brink of total Armageddon.
On page xi, you can see the 25th anniversary model from the tail end of 5th edition. There's still several laying around at my friendly, local game store. Gotta keep working it into things until they're all sold I suppose. Maybe I should pick one up just for some geek cred.
Now, on page xiii we can see Adam Troke pictured in the corner building a list with pen and paper. No list building applications for the design team? HA! Yeah, right.
Next, we get a little wink at the players who've complained to no end, on page xiv. Here, Mat and Adam are playing a game of Warhammer with Blood Angels and Necrons. They may as well be winking at us in the photograph. And wouldn't you know it, this is the first page where we see information on 'Forging a Narrative'. Coincidence?
And finally, for this installment, I spotted a pretty important notation on page xvii. The designers specifically state that certain rules are featured in bold as the book was designed to be skimmed for clarification during play. They warn that this is a tool for speeding up reference and that rules must still be taken in context for the game to work. I heard of a few sneaky players trying to misuse this feature when 6th first dropped. I'm glad we were given that clarification in writing.
Well, that's it for the first installment. What do you think? Is the structure of this sound? Are there details I missed or details I did cover that are too irrelevant? What do you think? Look forward to the beginning of the rules section once I finish with the 5th edition Space Marine codex.