First I'd like to say that I really like 7th edition. The quality of the rulebook, and the fact that they split the rulebook from the fluff and hobby sections so you don't have to carry them to games is great.
I particularly like the increased clarity they have added to the rules, with better attention to specifying the order in which things in each of the turn phases are done.
However with such a huge ruleset there are bound to be areas where GW has dropped the ball, and not thought through the implications or playtested them enough (do they have any playtesters who aren't GW Fanboy Fluff Bunnies?). An alternative thought is that rather than dropping ball some changes are concious decisions to allow people to use what ever models they want, mix up the game so people have to buy more models, or another two figures to those of us who want a more balanced game :)
Well here are my top 3 areas in which I think GW has dropped the ball:
Number 3 - Flying Daemon Princes having Jink even when Gliding
Flying Monstrous creatures just have the Jink special rule, not when their Swooping but all the time. I think the changes to the Jink rules was supposed to make it a cost to benefitting from the Jink cover save.
Most most common units with the Jink rules are Flyers, Vehicles and Bike (including Jetbikes), all of these units have a choice now between benefitting from their improved Jink cover save and reducing their damage output from firing in the following turn.
However Jink's downside is only in shooting, so if you have a unit that does not shoot or that it isn't their main aim then the Jink has now downside. You could already do this with the aforementioned Bike units if you built them for a combat role, however with all the bike units shooting is significant part of their damage output (excluding characters on bikes).
Daemons can easyily create Flying Daemon Princes where none of the damage output comes from shooting, but from Psychic powers and Combat ability. Nurgle Daemon Princes with Shrounding could Jink all the time for a 2+ cover save, and Shrounding is not hard for other Daemon Princes.
The reason this is only 3 on the list is because:
1) Tau, Eldar & Guard can remove cover saves easily
2) A 4+ Jink is only one better than the 5+ Invunverable save the Daemons already have
However Daemons have the easiest access to a 2+ rerollable (cover or invulnerable) save, so expect them to continue to be around the top tables of tournaments for some time to come (and that's without looking at the Number 1 of this list)
Number 2 - No Restrictions on Detachments
This is not a new one, as I posted about it before previously, and even before the rulebook was released the Sons of Sanguinius blog had already highlighted it.
Gone is the concept of dual force org at 2000 points in 6th edition. 7th edition allows you to have as many primary detachments as you want once you fill the minimum requirements of 1 HQ, and 2 troops. The Sons of Sanguinius blog shows how 8 Helldrakes could be fitted in a 1850 point army, along with 60 troops and 3 sorcerors that can summon more daemon models (if they want to take the risk of using daemonology).
Allowing as many detachments as a player wants can lead to ridiculously spamy, boring to play with and against, but very effective and powerful lists. Also such lists lead to an increase in the Rock, Paper, Scissors element of pick-up and tournament games (as opposed to player skill).
So what do I think is even worse than multiple primary detachments....
Daemonology Conjuring Powers
|[you again ?]|
4 Lvl 3 Tzeentch Heralds 95pts each = 380 pts [12 Warp Charge Tokens]
6 Units of 16 Horrors = 144 pts each = 864 pts [18 Warp Charge Tokens]
So 1244 points so far with 30 Warp Charge Tokens, the rest can be usual units for a more rounded list, or you can carry on with Fateweaver or more heralds as the 2nd HQ. Are Tzeentch Daemon Princes heavy support ?
With so many Warp Charges a normal army with 3-8 warp charges wouldn't have a chance of getting many spells off (if any), plus they run the chance of perils, while the daemon army suffers nothing for throwing 12+ dice at a Deny the Witch test.
Now the downside is that all the Daemon troops aren't doing much but generating warp charges, as you need the warp charges from 2 units to have slightly better than a 50:50 chance of casting one of the Conjuring powers, however by conjurering further psykers (eg, 10 horrors or lvl 2 tzeentch heralds) by turn 2 you could generate a massive army to supplement you.
After discussing this with my mates on Sunday, that evening I saw that Frontline Gaming had a battle report trying out a similar list (premise was the same but they used units of 11 horrors, giving 2 warp charges each).
Here's a link to their battle report. A comment in the report that another 2k army was generated by the end of turn 2 is scary. Also the daemon player said it would have been over very quickly if it wasn't for the Imperial Knight, as it held up loads of daemonettes, when he should have generated plague bearers to go against it, as they have a Rust ability that means they Glance vehicles on a 6 and 2 units of plague bearers should have seriously hurt it (if not killed it).
I normally go to a few of the tournaments each year that use mild comp (eg. no triples of a unit outside Troops, a limit on Fliers/FMC, a limit of 3 Henchmen units if you have Corteaz etc). , so what would I do if I were them.
Basically I would limit detachments to one primary and one other. I was going to say only one primary detachment, but I wanted to give Tyranids some love (GW doesn't :) )
I would limit the total number of Warp Charge counters allowed, say something like 18 a turn, however I appreciate playtesting would be needed to see if this was a fair limit.
On the 2+ rerollable saves and FMC Jinking I thinking changing that would go too far in actually rewriting the rules, as opposed to mild limiting in some areas. I also think the FMC Jinking while gliding, although probably not intended is nowhere near as game breaking as the other 2.
What would you do if you ran a tournament ? What type of tournaments would attend or not attend, ie. only comped ones or any (because this is all being blown a bit out of proportion) ? I'd loved to see you opinions, so let me know in the comments section.
Overall though I think GW have done a good job with 7th, and I think playing any army that used 3 or less detachments and didn't go overboard on loads of psykers (and I mean more than 5 or 6 cheap characters/units) would be a fun interesting game. What more can you ask for ?
Until next time, Happy 7th :)