So Mark3 has been out for a couple months now and I felt like putting some of my thoughts out on the either to discuss some of the major overall changes and how they have impacted the game and the local meta. Since there are so many things to talk about I thought I would start with just the general rules and go on to individual faction impacts in later posts.
- Power Up — Some of the implications of this new rule are pretty obvious. Less stress on casters. More flexibility with battlegroups. The one impact I really wanted to talk about what how it affected the perceived caster strength levels inside of factions. Casters that were left on the shelf because of a spell list that indicated the caster should take big battlegroups he/she were unable to actually fuel are suddenly the hot topics. Darius, Karchev, Gorten, and Amon Ad Raza are being looked at in a new light. Mortenebra and Nemo are up a notch. The best part is that this change I feel elevated casters that needed it a lot but didn’t break casters that were already pretty good. I think it just gave a lot more flexibility in list building and made large battlegroups much more viable and as someone who was drawn to the game because of big stompy robots and beast, that is always a good direction I think.
- Point restructure — This biggest impact of the new point structure and the recosting of models is just the way lists have changed. More points out of the total armies ae going to caster/lock battlegroup points. This leads to battlegroups that include multiple jacks/beasts instead of just one colossal/gargantuan are much more common. Units have been much better defined to their roles and the panacea models/units seem to be far less common. The granularity of points allows for models to not be shoehorned into a point cost that doesn’t fit. Just a lot more flexibility for the creation of new models.
- Speed debuffs don’t stop charges — This one I think is huge for the enjoyment of the game, especially playing into casters like Deneghra who can get speed buffs out there very trivially. Nothing was worse that having your front line’s movement reduced to a slow crawl while the opponent danced around outside of your reach.
- Frenzy rules — Although I’ve been bitten several times by the changes to the rules, they are so much simpler now(attack the closest model in line of sight, then closest model, always an extra dice on attack, extra damage die if a charge was successful) and I really appreciate that.
- Tough — As a troll player, I rolled my eyes when I heard this one. Just another shot at my blue skinned boys by the evil rule makers over at PP but after playing for a couple weeks I really don’t feel a negative impact. The only thing it really removed was the corner case where a single tough model managed to contest a zone/flag because I could roll 5/6 eight times in a row. There is also a lot more rules that ignore tough(sniper, decapitation, anatomical precision…) but overall I think removing the mostly unavoidable ability that could drastically shift the outcome of a game was a good overall move for the game.
- No more caster theme forces — Lets all agree that not being able to play lists like Runes of War or Family reunion kind of sucks but that also means we don’t have to play against them lol. I really feel like the tournament metas had stagnated and if you weren’t playing a top shelf theme, you were playing with one hand tied behind your back. There are some definite negatives for sure with models being unplayable in normal games because of field allowances. I think faction themes will allow a lot more variation in the tournament scenes with more casters staying viable. This should keep the game fresh.
- Pre-measuring — Saved what maybe the biggest one for last. Love, love, LOVE this change. Just takes so much pressure off of the player to not have to try to constantly eyeball distances or pull some high school geometry out of the recesses of my mind to determine if I could pull off an attack. There are one or two players in my local that are very good at doing this and they unanimously support the change because it just makes the game so much more enjoyable. Its definitely an adjustment though as several times a game either my opponent or myself will be mulling over a decision and suddenly realize “oh, I can just measure that”.
Overall, the new mark seems to be a pretty big success. Sure there are certain models that jump out as overpowered (nothing to look at with Madrak 2, he’s just fine) and will probably be erratad soon if they haven’t been already but the power balances seems to have leveled out a bit and I really anticipate seeing a lot more variation in casters and list composition. I know that I missed some other changes to the general rules but these were the ones I thought really have stood out so far. If there are some you think I missed, leave a comment and we’ll get a discussion going. Thanks!!