Tuesday, January 24, 2012

6th Edition rules leak and Eldar...

So unless you've been living under a rock (or have a life maybe), you've probably missed out on hearing about those tasty 6th edition rules and codex updates being leaked...I just wanted to go over a brief analysis and overview of the rules and talk about how they might affect Eldar.

At first, I was skeptical and waited to make sure it was a legit file free of viruses but after a few people were able to verify that it was virus free and looked real enough, I jumped into the file that can be found here. I read it over fairly quickly and then reread it and feel fairly confident with my grasp of the rules and how things work (some things are of course a bit hazy in application) but overall I really like the rules and how they feel. I also believe that this is not a hoax, too much corresponds with previous rumors that were from reliable sources but in the end, time will tell. In the meantime, dig in, enjoy and please excuse the walls of text!

The major changes:
I will break this subject up into three parts/posts. First of all, I will go over basic changes with units and changes in the overall turn sequences/phases. I will then go over the changes regarding missions/objectives and finally go over how these rules will likely affect Eldar. Keep in mind that this is not an exhaustive list of every change and detail in the leaked rulebook. This is merely a collection of what I felt to be the most important details that would get people who never read the new rules up to speed on some of the biggest changes.

For starters, the basic order of the game now is movement, combat, shooting, consolidations. This change means that you will have to be more tactical about how you want to move/charge and shoot as being in the right place is more important now than ever. I'll explain why in the following sections along with some of the biggest changes in each phase but first...

Special Rules/Unit types:
(And unit types)
Before going on into the specific phases and their changes, I wanted to lay down a foundation with unit types and their special rules. Basically, every thing's move value is now adjusted to fit their unit type and every unit type has appropriate special rules to further classify them. Below are the BASE movement values for all of the unit types followed by definitions of their special rules.

Unit Types (with appropriate move values and special rules):
-Infantry move 6"
-Jet Pack equipped models move 6" - Special rules: Airborne, Draw Back, Deep Strike
-Monstrous Creatures move 6" - Special Rules: Monstrous, Massive, Multi-Targeting (2), Relentless
-Beasts/Cavalry move 7" - Special Rules: Bounding Leap/Gallop
-Jump Infantry move 8"  - Special Rules: Jump, Deep Strike (These are jump pack equipped guys like Assault Marines and Warp Spiders)
-Flying Infantry move 8"  - Special Rules: Airborne, Deep Strike (These are things like Swooping Hawks, Gargoyles, Scourges and so on)
-Bikes move 8"  - Special Rules: Fast, Flesh & Steel, Jink, Multi-targeting (1)
-Jetbikes move 8"  - Special Rules: Fast, Flesh & Steel, Jink, Multi-targeting (1), Airborne
-Eldar Jetbikes move 8"  - Special Rules: Fast, Flesh & Steel, Jink, Multi-targeting (1), Airborne, Fleet, Draw Back
-Ground vehicles move 6"  - Special Rules: Vehicle, Fearless (2), Hulk, Intractable, Multi-targeting (1), Relentless
-Skimmers  move 8"  - Special Rules: Vehicle, Fearless (2), Hulk, Intractable, Multi-targeting (1), Relentless, Airborne
-Fast Skimmers move 8"  - Special Rules: Vehicle, Fearless (2), Hulk, Intractable, Multi-targeting (1), Relentless, Airborne, Fast, Jink
-Walkers move 6"  - Special Rules: Vehicle, Fearless (2), Multi-targeting (1), Relentless, Massive
-Artillery move 3"  - Special Rules: Vehicle, Fearless (2), Multi-targeting (1), Relentless, Massive, Crew

Special Rules (this is not an exhaustive list but it will give you a good start):
Deep Strike- You get to Deep Strike, surprise!
Fast- Allows you to move at triple your move value if you want
Fleet- Adds 2" to your move value
Bounding Leap/Gallop -This rule lets a model charge at triple their move value rather than just double unless they move through difficult terrain.
Jump- Allows you to move up to any level in a building (infantry can only go up so far so fast)
Airborne- Allows the models to ignore difficult terrain penalties for all movement except Flat-out
Draw Back- This is a shooting action that allows the models to move 2d6" in the Consolidation's phase
Relentless- This allows models with this rule to shoot heavy Weapons when moving at combat speed. They can also use Heavy and Rapid Fire weapons as secondary close combat weapons (great for Space Marine bikers) and they can shoot Rapid Fire weapons with Sustained Fire at 18" rather than 12" (Three shots). 
Flesh to Steel- This rule just makes the +1T from bikes only effective against shooting attacks.
Massive- This rule just means that unless a model with this rule moves, it is easier to hit (+1 to hit) from shooting.
Jink- When a unit with this rule moves, it is harder to hit than normal (-1 to hit). 
Crew- Great news for Artillery...Basically crew members are just "wounds" for the guns. For every unsaved glancing or penetrating hit the artillery takes, remove a crew member and when there are no more crew, a gun is destroyed. 
Fearless-This basically just affects how likely a unit is to be affected by leadership tests, Fearless (2) is basically what Fearless today is.
Vehicle- This just means it follows the Vehicle rules in the rulebook.

Multi-Targeting (x)- This rule takes a little explaining but for starters, units with this rule can make multiple shooting actions based on the number in the brackets (so Multi-Targeting (3) means 3 shooting actions per turn). This number can be doubled if the unit remains stationary and models with the Fast special rule can get this benefit even if they have cruised or charged, though they can't fire the same weapon twice. This number can be decreased on Vehicles from Weapon Destroyed results
A basic recap of Multi-Targeting is that it allows a model to shoot more than a model without this rule. Eldar Jetbikes, for example, have Multi-Targeting (1) so if they held still they could shoot two weapons but since they have the "Fast" rule, they can move and count as having stood still for the purposes of this rule so they can move and shoot two weapons. This also allows them to move and shoot one weapon as well as do a "Draw Back" move. Eldar Vehicles have the "Fast" rule so they can move and shoot two weapons unlike other vehicles. Jetbikes got really good IMO!

The Movement Phase:

The movement phase got a huge revamp! For starters,  movement values and how certain rules like fleet affect those movement values really change how units will be interacting with each other on the table. How you move and where will be a HUGE tactical decision.

Some basic things to note about how the movement phase works now and what you can do:
-You can hold still and be able to do a heavy shooting action in the shooting phase (basically shoot heavy weapons just like now).
-You can do a normal move (called a combat move) up to your normal movement allowance. With this kind of move, you can still do a shooting action as well but only with Rapid Fire and Assault weapons unless you have the Relentless special rule in which case you can fire Heavy Weapons too.
-You can do a run move (called a run/cruise move) which is double your movement value but you can't do a shooting action in the shooting phase (unless you have the "Fast" rule) and you can't go through difficult or dangerous terrain with this move (unless you ignore it from some other special rule like Move Through Cover or Airborne).
-Difficult Terrain works now only limits you from being able to make Run/Cruise or Flat-out moves through it (or if you start in it you can't make the aforementioned movement types). Of course, if you have an appropriate rule, you can ignore this restriction. Basically, you no longer have to roll a d6 to see how far you can move through terrain.
-If you have the "Fast" rule, you can do a flat out move at triple your move value and you can't do this through terrain like with the above run move unless you ignore it from a special rule.
-Jump infantry take dangerous terrain tests when ending in difficult terrain and are subject to the above restrictions with Run/Cruise and Flat-out moves through terrain.
-Flying Infantry/Jetbikes/Eldar Jetbikes have the "Airborne" special rule that lets them ignore dangerous terrain tests in difficult terrain and they can Run/Cruise through terrain without penalty (but not do any Flat-out move through it).
-Skilled Rider lets the unit auto-pass any dangerous terrain tests (yay for Shining Spears).

Wait, not that kind of charging...
Charging is done in the Movement Phase now. To charge a target, you can move up to double your move value to get into base to base contact. Normally, after combat, you can't shoot but one exception to this rule is that if you charge an enemy with only your normal movement and destroy them in that first round of combat, you can still shoot in the following shooting phase.

What this means specifically is that if you have a unit of Storm Guardians and they decided to charge a unit 16" away (they move 8" because of fleet (6+2) and can therefore charge 16" (8X2)) and manage to break/wipe out their target in combat, you will just consolidate and hang out being unable to shoot in the shooting phase. If you charged 8" and wiped out the unit you charged, then you can consolidate and also shoot in the following shooting phase. This will add a very tactical dimension to the movement phase and really get you to thinking regarding how to move and when to charge.

The Assault/Combat phase:

There really isn't much that is different here other than certain things are renamed (defenders reacting in cover and striking at Initiative 10 is now called an Alpha Strike, for example). Also, if you happen to charge into an ongoing combat, you can launch an "Alpha Strike" at I10 as well, so that is something new and interesting. If you lose combat and take no retreat wounds, those wounds ignore your armor saves so only Invulnerable saves can be made UNLESS you pass a LD test modified by how much you lost combat by in which case you don't take any wounds. This will make Embolden a worthwhile choice, perhaps, on Spirit Seers.

Once combat is fought (and it is fought much like it is currently), you either hold in combat and pile in like you currently do, or, if you break from combat you need to roll a 5+ to get away, or die and get wiped out. If your Initiative is greater than everyone you fought, this is a 4+.

Some things worth noting about Combat are:
-The to-hit chart has changed in the following way: if your WS is double your target's, you hit on 2+.
-Conversely, if your target's WS is double yours then you hit on 5+ and if it is triple you hit on a 6+.
-Flamers/Template weapons can be used in combat IF you charge, you get d6 attacks at the weapons profile instead of your normal attacks (hello Storm Guardians with Flamers).
-Pistols can be used in combat and have their own profiles. They are all the same as their shooting counterparts except that they have ap5 and rending in close combat and can only grant +1 attack when being used as the primary CC weapon if two of the same pistols are used (they still grant +1 attack if you use another CC weapon as the main weapon). Fusion pistols are Melta S8 AP5 Rending, for example. I think my Harlequins will take some now from now on.
-Power Weapons without any other special rules grant a 5+ parry save in close combat.
-Consolidations are now a flat 3"

Vehicles in Close Combat:
Take that you naughty vehicle!
-Vehicles that don't move are hit automatically, vehicles that do move are hit as if they were WS10.
-Grenades can be used against Monstrous Creatures now, and still are effective against tanks/Walkers but hit at WS1 to demonstrate trying to find a vulnerable place.
-Walkers in combat are still the same as they currently are.

Shooting Phase:

There have been a lot of changes to how certain things work and I think they have a greater bearing on the Shooting Phase so I'll list them here.

Terrain Effects:
For one, terrain now offers a 5+ save all around except for fortified walls which are 4+ and certain hedges/walls/fences and such are 6+.
-Forests and Ruins are classified as Dense so they block LOS completely unless you are in the terrain, which means you can shoot through it and be shot through it without penalty.
-Intervening units do not give cover naturally anymore but you can take a "look out" test and the intervening unit will grant a 5+ cover save and any saves that are made, the unit granting cover take those hits instead-pretty realistic and cool IMO.
-Going to ground is still +1 to cover saves but this only lasts for that one time you go to ground (rather than the whole shooting phase as it is now).

Rolling to hit:
Shooting is now based on comparing your BS to a targets EV or Evasion Value. It starts off as being a basic 3 which will see no changes to what your current to hit roll is.
-The roll to hit is modified in the following ways:
-1 to the roll needed to hit if the target stayed still in its previous turn
-1  to the roll needed to hit if it is massive (Tanks, certain vehicles like Dreadnoughts, Monstrous Creatures)
+1 to the roll needed to hit if it moved and has the "Jink" special rule (Eldar vehicles/Jetbikes have this rule FYI)
+1 to the roll needed to hit if it is a swarm

How this works is lets say you are a guardsman, you have a BS of 3 so you hit an EV of 3 on a 4+ which is how it always was. Now, if you are shooting a target that stood still, the roll to hit becomes a 3+ (-1 to the EV). If the target was "Massive" the roll is also brought down to a 3+ (-1 to the EV) and if the target was Massive and stood still it goes down to a 2+ (-2 to the EV)! Conversely, if the target was an Eldar Jetbike that moved, the roll to hit is on a 5+ since it has +1 EV. 

So you can quickly see how certain Eldar units will really become more effective simply by being harder to hit. An Eldar tank moving will still be hit as normal (-1 EV for being massive but +1 EV for the "Jink" move) but now IG and other tanks that don't have the "Jink" rule will be hit on a 3+ if they move and 2+ if they stand still by BS3 models.

Blast Weapons:
Blast weapons need to roll to hit using the BS of the model, if they hit they don't scatter, if they miss then they scatter double the number on the dice roll in inches in the direction the scatter dice indicates (even if a hit is rolled, you'd use the arrow in the hit symbol). If barrage weapons are trying to shoot something and the hole of the template is out of LOS, it always scatters. If you miss with the roll to hit, you scatter as per double the number on the to-hit roll, if you hit, you scatter the distance in inches based on the number on the to-hit roll. Manticores won't really be so scary any more (not that Wave Serpents particularly cared).

all images shamelessly stolen from the interwebz
A lot has changed with vehicles, mainly in how damage is worked out while certain other ways of using vehicles has been gussies up with new terminology.

The damage chart:
-The damage chart is the same, 1 is shaken, 2 is stunned, 3 is Weapon Destroyed, 4 is Immobilized, 5 is Destroyed-Wreck and 6 is Destroyed-Explodes.
-Glancing hits are -2
-Blast weapons with the hole not over the vehicle are still full strength but are -3 on the damage chart
-Tanks get to apply a -1 to the damage table due to their awesome sauce construction (unless they are open topped, then they don't get this bonus)
-Open topped has no +1 modifier anymore, Vypers rejoice!
-Ap 1 weapons simply negate the -1 modifier a Tank applies

Special Rules:
Intractable- Units with this rule are either automatically hit if they didn't move (or are immobilized) or count as WS10 if they did move. They also can never be held in close combat, so after a round of CC units cease to be counted as engaged with them. Glancing/Penetrating hits count for an overall combat result but the units with this rule are not bound by any results or tests from losing a combat.

There are also big changes regarding how Stunned, Weapon Destroyed and Immobilized work (or stack):
When you get multiples of these results due a new rule called "Hull Breach," bad things happen, If you get multiples of one result, it will go to the next highest result. What this means is that if you stun a Vehicle, then Stun it again, the second Stunned result gets bumped up to a Weapon Destroyed result. If you get a Weapon Destroyed Result and it has no Weapons left, it goes up to an Immobilized result. If you get an Immobilized result and it is already Immobilized, it gets bumped up to Destroyed-Wreck. This makes Stunned and multiple results of the same thing mean something now and it makes Extra Armor/Spirit Stones much more worthwhile.

Regarding Squadrons:
They now have a special rule where any Shaken, Stunned or Immobilized result gets applied to the whole squadron unless they can pass a test on a 5+...Kind of harsh but you get to add how many vehicles in the Squadron you have beyond the first so essentially as long as you have 3 Vehicles it is a 3+ to ignore Shaken, Stunned or Immobilized and no more being destroyed with an immobilized result. I can see Vypers with Spirit Stones, Vectored Engines and Holofields being kind of hilarious now.

Transports are a little different in that all you need is to have the squad leader be within range of the vehicle to embark the whole unit. Also, it is a lot more unforgiving when your transport is destroyed and the access points are blocked. Lastly, template weapons that hit a fire point (or any part of an open topped transport), models inside take d3 wounds-Destructor Jetlocks got really amazing.

The Consolidations phase:
This is a new phase where you do movements and actions that were more "maintenance" oriented. In this phase you basically "clean up" your movements and put the finishing touches on your turn.

Things you can do in the Consolidation phase:
-Perform Draw Back moves with units that have this rule
-Have Independent Characters join or leave units
-Test to regroup with broken units (you can regroup as long as there are no enemies within 12", that's a big change)
-Embark transports (and embarking automatically causes a broken unit to regroup)
-Regain combat readiness. This means that you automatically stop being shaken, stunned or immobile and effects that temporarily prevent your unit from acting in certain ways wear off in this phase automatically.
-Patch Up-this is a rule that will ensure no model in a unit will have more than 1 wound left (take that wound allocation). Basically, if more than one model (not counting ICs) has a wound, you must remove enough models so that no more than one model has less than full wounds.
-Concluding actions-this is a generic rule that says to resolve any rules that need resolving and end your turn.

Phew, that was a mouthful! I hope this post was informative and that you stay tuned for the next part where I will talk about missions and objectives and what everything means for the Eldar. Let me know if you have any questions or have any feedback for clarity/corrections on this post-this was quite a long post and I thank you for your patience in reading it.


  1. Great post! I'm really looking forward to mu first test games and this little rundown really ups a lot . Also love seeing the fireprism scatter less and the nightspinner now shooting s6 rending on every vehicle under the template is great even if it's only shaking or stunning things now.

    If only our eldar jetbikes had 2 weapons and l our aspect warriors had a dedicated cc weapon so the could use theif assault weapon for an extra attack in close combat.

  2. Yeah, our Jetbikes have much to be desired but under the new rules they sure pack more of a punch. A unit with a Warlock upgrade becomes a lot better with destructor and Storm Guardians/Striking Scorpions can use the pistols in CC and rend (and also hit vehicles on 5+, rather than 6+ with WS4 which Scorps start with and Guardians can get through Enhance). Jetlocks can shoot Destructor and use their catapults/Singing Spears, too as a matter of fact.

    Shining Spears might be cool with being able to do laser lances and their underslung guns-the Exarch will be able to do a Cannon+Star Lance, for example. This might be great to charge 10" with the shining spears and wipe a unit (with having 1 or 2 Autarchs in there) and then shooting nearby targets. Then in the consolidation phase doing a double back move on top of it all.

    Warp Spiders now shoot 3 shots at 12", that is something to keep in mind and our aspect warriors will still get their +1 attack for 2 CC weapons in assault. Banshees will get a 5+ in close combat due to the Parry rule given from power weapons. These are just a few tidbits, I'll have to do a post on how the rules affect all of our units =).

  3. Nice break down of the alleged new rules. One thing though, why would scorpions get rending? Also I think you are limited to one attack (or the number of attacks on the pistol profile) if a pistol is used in HtH. I'm thinking the engage movement will be a massive boon for the Eldar. Being able to engage out of a vehicle then shoot up another unit after if the assault went your way will be a huge boost (especially Fire Dragons).

  4. Khaghnor: I read the rule wrong, I thought you get your basic attacks with the pistols and so thought the mandiblaster with Scorps would let them get 2 attacks with their shiruken pistols at s4 rending but I was wrong =).

    The movement stuff will be huge, I agree. In one super well executed turn for a unit might see the following:
    You can disembark from transport,charge, kill everything in combat, consolidate so the squad leader is 3" from tank, shoot a target because you wipe a target out with your first round of combat when only charging from your base movement and then embark on the tank all in one turn. Sounds nifty if its possible.

  5. SO with the glaces on vehicles now. say you roll a 2 and have a -2 for a glance that makes it a zero, does that mean that you are now unaffected by the hit?

  6. No, you go to a minimum of 1 which is shaken. There are ways to get a -4 to the table (-3 from glancing blast weapon where hole is not over the vehicle and a further -1 for being a tank).

    I have heard that this new damage mechanism makes tanks and certain vehicles more difficult to destroy. I mean they are definitely much easier to hit (tanks on average will be hit as if you were 1 or 2 BS points higher) but they are also a lot more difficult to put out of action. Extra Armor will be key and I am not sure how the game will change it but now you will need 3 weapon destroyed results to put a tank out of being able to shoot and a further weapon destroyed result to "hull breach" the tank into an immobilized result which will then be ripe for being "hull breached" again into a destroyed result, but with the -1 from being a tank some vehicles will be ridiculous to destroy.

  7. Seems like Vypers will be viable choice again... I knew after getting 9 warp spiders and drooling over Vypers that someday they will be really awesome :D ... or at least usable (vypers)

    This just means: Jetbikes, here I come!!