[Disclaimer: I will only be looking from the view point of Battleforged armies, as I believe Unbound is designed (and intended) to be used for fluffy narratives playing between gaming buddies or perspecially organised events, and NOT pick-up games]
By the time this is posted 7th edition will be with us, and this will lead to changes in the way troops are valued and are used.
The biggest change is that all units can score. This used be the domain of infantry based troop units, from the small and cowardly Inquisitoral Acoyltes and Eldar Jetbike units which would stay in reserve and pop out to dash to an objective late game to the in your face Dark Angel and Grey Knight Terminators who would smash through an enemy army to sit on a opponents objective.
So to stop a lot of armies just taking 2 troop units Troops do get the following new rule:
Close combat troop units are also good at this, because rather than clearing an enemy off an objective you could assault with a troop unit. Rather than have to wait for the enemy unit to be completely wiped out, you'll probably be able to secure the objective (get within 3" via end of combat phase consolidations) the turn you charge. You could secure the objective while being safe from shooting reprisals by being locked in combat - Orks, Wyches & Blood Angel Assault Marines rejoice :)
These tactics are particularly useful in Maelstrom missions, where tactical objectives are scored as soon as you complete them. Therefore the quicker you complete the tactical objectives the more tactical objectives (and therefore scoring potential) you get.
Below is an example of 2 Maelstrom missions:
Most of the tactical objectives are around controlling one or more objectives (most are controlling one object for 1 Victory point, while some ask you to hold multiple or more than your opponent to all for various Victory Points ranging from D3 to 3+D3).
Having a cheap troop that can quickly secure an objective and score the Victory points will be very useful
Lastly it appears (I will have to have a full read of the rulebook to be sure there is nothing disallowing it, but the screenshot below from the rulebook says that dedicated transports bought for troop choices count as troop choices in all respect:
This is huge, and increases the usefulness of dedicated transports. A Wave Serpent (not just the 5 Dire Avengers inside) would now be scoring. Dark Eldar Venoms & Raiders bought for troop wyches, wracks & wariors are now scoring. For armies with good efficient transports for their troops slots it now doubles the number of Objective Secured units they can have.
Winners and Losers
So with these changes there will be winners and losers in the troops slot. So lets look at my 2 main armies and see how their troops get on.
|[My 1750 Pts Tau Army in action last weekend at ASMOH '14]|
Fire Warriors and Kroot are not fast units, and while they have a durable transport, I normally conclude that I'd rather have a 2nd unit of Fire Warriors rather than a single unit in a devilfish.
There are army styles where the majority of the army is fire warriors in devilfish for a mounted mobile cadre, but in most armies Fire Warriors in the main are seen on foot.
Fire Warriors and Kroot are also not that durable. If they move up to capture an objective when an enemy is next to it they are likely to die the following turn, and they are not so cheap to expendible such as 3 Jetbikes, 3 Wracks, 10 basic guardmen. Tau had this issue in 6th edition, normally they would have to clear an objective and the area around it before they claimed it. In 7th edition it might as well be one of the tougher more mobile troops that does the capturing for distant objectives.
Kroot and Fire Warriors will still be good for capturing and defending objectives close to the Tau lines, so you won't suddenly see them disappear, but they will reduce in number I forsee, compared to the more mobile and firepower units (eg. crisis suits).
Dark Eldar have reasonably priced dedicated transports, which if bought for troop units can now score. Wyches can secure an objective while in combat with a non-troop unit on an objective. Units of 3 wracks can be sacrificed to get an objective, so that the rest of the army can move on to winning the next tactical objective (maybe next turn their transport does the sacrificing).
I'm going to try out my Dark Eldar list unchanged for a while to see how it goes, with no reduction is the number or size of the troop choices. They are all good on their own merit and add something to the army, so having the Objective Secured ability is icing on the cake.
It's an interesting time for 40k with new tactics required and the composition of armies chaging to adapt to the new rules. It will be a fun time trying to figure out new army builds that work as well as our existing 6th edition lists.
How will your troop choices change ? Are they winners or losers ?
Next up I want to talk about objective placement, particularly in Maelstrom of War missions.