The new rules seem fantastic to me. I must admit that I don't own the rulebook yet (only days away now!!!) and I haven't played the new version of the game. But I am a regular on the blogosphere and I've seen, read, heard, watched, and even witnessed mostly everything this new edition seems to offer. And from my 'outside observer' point of view, I have to admit that I've gotten rather excited.
I'm not a fan of a couple things for sure, but the thing that I admit being totally geeked about is the whole AP-values being assigned to close combat weapons. Now I'm not gonna sit here and say that I knew it was gonna happen or even that I wished it had happened long ago. No, I'm just here to say Wow! that was a brilliant move!
Why, you ask? Well, there's two main reasons.
1. It finally adds something to the close combat phase that has always been there in shooting. I DID think about this concept many months ago, of course, but it was just a 'crazy' thought. The thing is- there are so many different kinds of guns that have so many different effects. But when it comes to anything up close and personal, there were all of three rules- does it ignore armor saves? Does it add or double strength? And does it strike last or at initiative? That's it? That encompasses millions of years of sentient conflict and infinite possibilities for the oldest types of weapons? Yeah, I guess only bullets and beams can ever be different, while blades and hammers are really the same...
In addition, how cool are the new layers of toughness and impact warriors now gain just because... Think about this:
- Power Swords are simply AP 3 CCWs. This comes in handy later...
- Power Mauls are AP 4, but they add 2 to strength and are concussive! Chaplains may not be able to mow down marines like they used to, but they'll REALLY hurt a Hive Tyrant if they survive and can shred vehicles with impunity.
- Power Glaives/Halberds/etc. I think are AP 3 and add one to strength or something. I know I've read this, but I don't play any armies where this matters, so I've forgotten. Sorry, guys.
- Lightning claws are AP 3, but they get to reroll wounds.
- Power Axes are AP 2 and add a strength, but they are unwieldy. Luckily, they cost the same as Power Swords, so it's really similar to taking a 'mini-' power fist.
- Power Fists are AP 2, double strength, and unwieldy, as always.
- Thunder hammers are power fists with Concussive!
- and so on, and so forth.
2. The second reason I declareth Yay!- Power Swords. For too long has the Power Fist ruled everything. If I was fighting against a Space Marine player (and there are plenty), or a Chaos player, or an Ork player, or a unit of Striking Scorpions, or a... you get my point here, I'm sure. But whenever I fought any of those things, I knew I was facing somebody with a Fist. Meanwhile, my lads are usually loaded up with Power Swords. Not only would I have a grand total of THREE more marines in my army for it, but I would kill about THREE less enemy than they kill of me in close combat. I was always sad at my choice, but I have my reasons for it (and, of course, I DO have Power Fists in alot of squads, just not EVERY).
Why does this matter so much? Well, think about how many times your IG squad would get charged by a Space Marine squad, lose four guardsmen, kill one marine, and then lose two more guardsmen to their power fist. It would always lead to the IG failing their morale (well, the three dudes left, anyway) and then getting chopped down on the run. Was there anything you could do about it? Nope. But now there is. With the new 'Challenge' rules, your cheap-ass IG sergeant can call out that damned Space Marine sarge armed with a Power Fist. The guardsman is higher initiative, hits half the time, and with a single roll of a '5' will kill that unstoppable armored bohemoth of killy death. Oh, and that IG sergeant won't die (most of the time)!!! Now your lowly little IG man is a fair match to a Nob and Aspiring Champion alike.
This will mean that more people will pay the less points for the Power Sword option now, but I guarantee that the popularity of Terminators and Artificer armor will keep that swing in check. I believe that the Power Sword will, for an appropriate points cost, finally be an outstanding option to the Power Fist and will level the battlefield with the great debate once again-
What's more valuable, the Power Sword or the Power Fist?
Let me know what y'all think on this topic. I appreciate you listening to me rant for a bit, and I hope I made you as excited as I am about a glowy, bladed weapon... :-)