I did, however, get to look over the book a little at my local store and get in a couple turns of playing. So far I'm liking what I see! Although I thought 5th edition was pretty well-designed (certainly a vast improvement over the abomination of 4th!), I've noticed in the last year that the meta-game has practically split the game into two versions: those who played for tournaments with a very strict meta-game, and those who took whatever without any specific consideration to certain lists. Building a strong army for one version didn't necessarily guarantee success in the other version. Additionally, list-building darn near became more important than actual tactics, and the game was heading towards a glorified rock-paper-scissors game.
After reading over the rules for sixth a bit, playing it briefly, and extensive discussions with my friends, we seem to have noticed the meta-game has shifted extensively. Most relevant to the above comments is that there seems to have been a MASSIVE leveling effect on many of the armies. Armies that were once only taken for fun are suddenly fairly strong, previously top-tier lists are more in-line with each other and second-tier lists. Overall, the game seems to have literally overnight become vastly more balanced, and pretty much every army has something they can bring to the table. As a player who enjoys making his lists as fluffy as possible while still being competitive, this excites me greatly. I think I'm most excited about the new allies system. Essentially, most armies can include small detachments of other armies (with various exceptions and levels of compatibility).
This is also going to vastly increase the number of viable and possible lists one might run into, and for me, gives me a LOT of extra flexibility for better representing my Chapter, the Lords of Oblivion. I suspect I'll be mixing in a lot of Blood Angels for Assault Squads as Troops (and thus scoring units), elite Chaplains (this way I can have a Captain, Chaplain, AND Librarian in a single list), and Furioso Librarians (a very fluffy choice for my Chapter), or Space Wolves for multiple Rune Priests and Grey Hunters. The new psychic power disciplines in the core book are pretty good, and I suspect Telepathy will be taken pretty regularly, since it's very in-line with how I envision my Chapter fighting (it's almost designed to be the psychic power for internet trolls. U mad, Chaos?)
To that end, I've compiled a few lists over the last week, which I figured I'd share, that contain a variety of units and setups to help learn the rules and differing tactics to keep things fresh and fun. All lists are built to the standard 2000 points (though tournaments might be changing that since at 2000 points you apparently get an entire second FoC to pick units with, which might make things a bit too crazy). My first list is the return of my Lords of Oblivion 8th Company, i.e. my biker-oriented list. I initially built this army out of a half-dozen Ravenwing battle-forces I bought from a friend who got them for free for winning the 'Ard Boyz finals a few years ago. I never actually finished painting the whole army, though it's about 2/3 done (so in about the same state as most of my armies ). Here's a couple pics of one of the bike squads.
Anyway, the core list is taken from Codex: Space Marines, with an allied detachment from Codex: Blood Angels. Everything is fast, zipping about the field, as befitting the "Aquila Bellum" (War Eagles) of the Lords of Oblivion.
Captain Solarin (Captain on Bike)
-Relic Blade/Storm Shield
Chaplain Gor'in (Chaplain on Bike)
-Power fist/storm shield
-power fist/storm shield
-Company Standard/storm shield
-Storm shield, melta-bombs
Bike Squad Gaelin
Sergeant w/ power fist
Attack bike w/ multi-melta
Bike Squad Torlus
Sergeant w/ power fist
Attack bike w/ multi-melta
Land Speeder Squad
2x Speeders w/multi-meltas
4x Scout Bikers
2x Grenade Launchers
Sergeant w/power weapon, and grenade launcher
Allies from C:BA
Codicier Mattias (Librarian on Bike)
- Might of Heroes and Unleash Rage
- Biomancy, Divination, Telepathy, Telekinesis185
Assault Squad Traelus
Sergeant w/thunder hammer
Fairly similar to what I had before, but with a Librarian and Chaplain added in, making it much more fluffy, and a scoring Assault Squad to beef up the numbers a bit. The Land Speeders can Deep Strike in behind a vehicle, nuke it with the multi-meltas, and then probably get blasted, but at 60 points each, that's a pretty fair bargain. The Scouts are good harassers, coming in off a flank and pumping krak grenades into something, and possibly tying something up in combat. They've even beaten Genestealers before! Meanwhile, the bike squads rush forward, using their new Jink saves to survive better, while the Command Squad with all the characters attached rushes forward and slams into the biggest thing it can hit and (most likely) wiping it out.
My second list is based on the Lords of Oblivion 1st Company. Though I usually use elements of Codex: Grey Knights to represent the first company, I DO still have some Sternguard and Vanguard Veterans painted up, so I decided to try and do a list utilizing them instead. Ultimately, this combines Space Wolves and Blood Angels.
Rune Priest with Terminator Armor
-Living Lightning and Murderous Hurricane
Wolf Guard Squad
6x Wolf Guard in Terminator Armor
-storm bolter/power weapon
-assault cannon/power weapon
-thunder hammer/storm shield
-thunder hammer/storm shield
"Sternguard Squad" Wolf Guard
Land Raider Crusader
Land Raider Redeemer
Reclusiarch in Terminator Armor
-Wings of Sanguinius and Might of Heroes
"Vanguard Squad" (Assault Squad)
5x Marines, no jump packs
Sergeant w/power weapon
5x Marines with jump packs
-2x power weapons
Sergeant w/ glaive encarmine
Still fairly hard-hitting, but I'm not as satisfied with this list. It took a few hours of points-wrangling to get this, and it still feels a little off somehow. Well, I suppose I can try it once or twice and see how it does.
I still have to build a proper 3rd Company list, which is my main force. I would love to start fielding Captain Tiburin again. Maybe I should start working on updating my homegrown codex to 6th edition...
In the meantime, thanks to a trade with a friend, and some bitz-ordering from both eBay and Anvil Industry, I've got a ton of bionics bitz on the way. Yes, that's right, I'm building an Iron Hands army! They're easily my favorite official GW Chapter, and my own Lords of Oblivion draw their gene-seed from the Iron Hands (by way of the Brazen Claws). So, it's only fitting I FINALLY do a proper army of them, especially after finding some VERY inspiring bitz and for cheap. I'm mixing in a few things from Forge World obtained via eBay, mainly some of the older marks of armor and some pre-Heresy/Rogue Trader-era weapons, which seems very fitting for them.
Their list is taken purely from Codex: Space Marines this time. I don't have a finalized list yet, but here's what I'm looking at building. I'm certainly open to feedback on what I should take, particularly with the Captain/Iron Father.
SGT w/ 15 points of wargear (i.e. power weapon or plasma pistol)
With the Tactical Squad, I can reduce the SGT's wargear costs (i.e. give him a storm bolter) and take, say, a melta-gun instead of a flamer. The idea is these guys shouldn't be getting into combat very often, since they'll generally suck at it, especially as combat squads, so I'm not too worried about giving them lots of close-combat upgrades.
For HQ, I've got a couple different choices to represent my army leader. The Captain gives me a lot more options and lets me create what I think is a fluffier Iron-Father, plus has an actual invulnerable save. Pretty much the only thing I could realistically do with a Master of the Forge is give him a conversion beamer, though that might be a fun conversion project.
-Auxiliary grenade launcher
-relic blade and storm bolter
-Null Zone and Machine Curse if using C:SM powers, or probably Telekinesis from the new powers.
25 points of upgrades (maybe five combi-weapons)
(I think I'm getting two or three of these, but they're Black Reach ones, so no weapon options off-hand, though I have some spare bitz, specifically an assault cannon and a couple missile pods. I also have a spare Ironclad, which also seems fitting)
SGT w/ thunder hammer and combat shield (seemed fitting to represent his advanced bionics)
Thunderfire (also seemed a fitting choice for the army)
Probably 1-2 Terminator Squads as well. Black Reach stuff again, so not much for upgrades, though I've got a spare assault cannon and I think enough bitz to make one of the squads a Terminator Assault Squad.
So, obviously, a crazy-shooty army, with the Captain, Dreadnought, and Assault Squad being my only real CC units (unless I also get some Terminators), and they'd probably be best for a counter-charge force. Otherwise, blast away, rush Razorback units forward to grab objectives, and have some fun.
I think that wraps it up for today! Whew! Lengthy read, I know, but I hope you enjoyed! Expect lots of pictures of the Iron Hands force in the coming weeks, along with the Black Serpents as I continue to work on them!