Sunday, 28 May 2017

Detachment Issues (8th edition force org charts)

Just to be clear: as I queue this post these images are still “leaks” and thus rumours. They look legit but we've all been bitten before. That said, let's talk crunch!

Now, I hate the standard force organisation chart with a fiery passion. It doesn't work for me. I know what its meant to do. Its to provide balance by restricting every player to the same basic menu of unit types which isn't a bad design philosophy but it can be a little limiting that, say, no matter the context or importance of a mission your army isn't going to commit more than three units of elite troops to it under any circumstances.

This isn't to say the standard force org is going away but it is getting more versatile. For one thing, the “standard” version lives in a tiered system...
So, different sizes of chart for different sizes of game, I can get down with that. I also like that you get more Elites with six slots in the normal-sized game Battalion Detachment, a move that reminds me of Fantasy going to maximum 50% Special choices. I imagine that some of the more powerful Troops choices will find themselves bumped up to Elite status to compensate but I can appreciate the opportunities for army theming this represents. We also get an extra HQ slot (two of the three being compulsory), which is no bad thing since most armies now have so many HQ options that just two and only two was starting to feel very restricting.

Flyers are now part of the standard force organisation as their own discrete entity, which is nice.

The flipside of this trend seems to be raising the compulsory Troops choices from two to three which might seem unfair except for the fact that there are now force orgs that don't require troops at all.
So, basically, one themed chart for each of the other choices: Vanguard for compulsory Elites, Spearhead for compulsory Heavy Support and Outrider for compulsory Fast Attack. Each has Troops at 0-3 and the other choices at 0-2. These measures and dropping the HQ slots down to two again gives these charts a significant downside to the Battalion. These are charts for a more strict theming than the three-tiered standard and I like that. My mind is already brimming with ideas for a Flesh Tearers Outrider Detachment (all the Assault Marines...).
And then there's a page of various housekeeping exercises: flyer, fortification and super-heavy detachments that presumably slot along the side of a main army plus an HQ themed chart which seems designed for campaign theming and the like when you want the big boss man / woman / alien / robot / daemon present for a special game with his own cadre of hangers on and a big thing.

All in all, yet more reason to look forward to a very versatile edition of the rules, me thinks.