What Elephant?

Banksy Elephant - Béatrice de Géa /Los Angeles/Times  2006
Used without permission From Here
I finished up more Orks and am currently sorting the pictures out. Instead today I thought I'd talk about something else. Can you guess what? Read on to find out what.
Do I move on?
Well that was obvious.  This book is the first time I've owned the current rulebook for 40k, generally the core book has been something I always meant to get but never got round to it all the way back to 2nd edd when I first started playing.

With 6th though I decided to shell out, Dan picked up the book for me when he got his.
As it turned out he kindly paid for it to say thank you for all the help getting back into the hobby and the work on his terrain.

Thing is I read it cover to cover once and used it a few times in games but I've only managed maybe 15 games since 6th dropped. Most of them I used the mini Dark vengeance set for any rules checks and so the big book was just used for the mission pages.

So for most of last week I was really unsure whether I would bother with 7th, sometimes looking forward to it eagerly and as more leaks came out less happy. While the rumours were telling us that old sweeping advances are back along with the new mission, and gubbins revealed by GW I was happy as larry but as people got the book in hand I lost some of that enthusiasm.

Well clearly I've picked up a copy and to be honest I agree with much of the consensus that the game has been tightened up and has a general level of improvement. I love the demonology and Psychic phase, the new missions look like a lot of fun and the army building options are less restrictive than ever  yet give a solid advantage to those wanting to follow structure.

Yet there are also a host of changes that just make the game better, challenges are still fun but no longer abusable to tarpit a big nasty or on the other hand to sweep a whole unit with a single character. 

Some tweaks I'm less impressed with but since they are getting positive comments by many, I assume my lack of gaming just didn't flag up the issues (level of OP) with them and often a tweak elsewhere makes the nerf balance out (looking at you MCs - flight mode change blocking charging + Grounding test change)

three things stand out though that I really don't like and a fourth was something kicking around in rumours that never showed up.

Grenades and Flamers Vs buildings
Big Sad face for me this one, storming buildings murdering the occupants and stealing it was a big + for me in 6th. Our gaming group are in discussion about it, but Lester has already agreed we can include a toned down version when playing 7th ed.

Clearing the building
During the assault phase for any unit assaulting a building in CC Models within an inch of a buildings firepoint armed with Assault, Plasma and Defence grenades can shove them into the building causing  D3 automatic hits per grenade. 
Flamers within an inch cause d6 auto hits.

Grenade Gully example
Grenade Gully
Fortification Buildings purchased using stronghold can pay 10 points for a grenade gully. Models inside receive a 3 invulnerable save vs Grenades used to clear the building.

I will be the first to admit that the old rules for both grenades and flamers are massively OP the shear volume of hits large units could get against the occupiers was revolting, allowing Krak grenades made the whole thing even worse (d3 S6 AP3 ouch). This simple change above I think make it fair and has a viable counter, and it's logical that only the basic grenades are small enough and easy enough to deploy in this fashion. 
While it would be fun to have the Grenade Gully bouch the grenades outside and risk the attacker I think a complexity line need to be drawn somewhere (no matter how bi a grin the idea gives me maybe a 50pt instead of 10pt upgrade...)  

Allies Chart
Of the things that made me happiest in 6th was being able to represent Traitor Guard, while we still kind can the down side of the 'come the apocalypse' we now have is just a pain in the arse.

Chaos Space marines should be battle brouthers with traitor imperial forces from the Guard and Knights. Making all the awesome traitor allies people have made for 6th a pain in the arse to use is almost as big a Dick move as scraping units that GW sell models for, anything that puts people off their collection that they have spent time an money on is unfair.
While not quite the same meaning for GW products as the above link 'Usability' is core to GWs problems. Sometimes it's like they don't want to sell us stuff (Chaos Drop pods  anyone?, knight conversion kit and rules?), GW have embraced multi unit kits within a single army yet refuse to make kits that are designed to work across armies.
I could go on for ages about this but that not the point of the post maybe another day.

To fix these issues we've already decided that the allies chart is simply incomplete, should one of us really want to play something that is not covered (stealer cults, traitor guard, Gue'vesa etc.)  then we will just create a new faction for them and a new allix matrix and usually battle brothers with the factions main race and even follow the mains race matrix if appropriate. 

So traitor guard would follow the allies matrix for CSM as it's easy enough. Stealer cults may have more options if I ever get round to it as I can see Dark eldar for one convincing the cultists to 'accept help' as the cults can be somewhat naive.

Terrain rules.
This one just feel like a GW corporate sticking their oar in and trying to deny that people don't just use GW terrain (try spotting any non GW stuff in any GW picture. Done it? Rare isn't it?).

Easy fix here just keep my Dark Vengeance rulebook nearby to use those pages and rules. 
Though since we always found the mysterious terrain rules a little dull in a "oh that one yet again", (1 in 6 trees are normal? really? I want the oddities to feel a little special) I'm going to knock up some of our own charts based on 2d6 rolls. I've already started making note for rubble so keep an eye open as I'll likely share the Data slates once finished.

Sweeping advance
The one rumour that turned out to be false that I really was hoping for was the ability to wipe an opponent and sweep into a new one. Though it's a little too much to house rule something so fundamental so we probably won't. Sad Face 

Over all I'm liking what we now have and can fix what I don't like. I still think there wasn't a need for 7th yet and it could have waited till 2016 like we expected. But I'll still be playing and having fun doing so just with £45 (thanks FLGS) gone on this I'll be less likely to get many new orks beyond the book for some time, just need to watch out for rumours of the Stompa price hike, sorry I mean rebox.
I hope 7th brings many great battles and have fun.