Welcome to the second part of this week-long special post. Today, we’ll look at how our chose combat battles have changed.
Firstly, and probably most importantly, AP values have been introduced. AP’s have only really been introduced to specialist weapons: generic combat weapons have AP-. This certainly has changed power weapons in particular. No longer can they cut through terminator armour as easily (or other 2+ saves) and they no longer prevent feel no pain rolls. Whist this hurts some combinations, it boosts others. My terminators, for example, can actually make use of their powerful exo-suits in combat, whereas before they would be chopped up by any generic grey knight squad, power weapon sergeant or lucky officer.
Power weapons (and force weapons) have changed further, in that there are different ‘types’: sword, axe, and maul. The type is determined by what the actual model has. I think this is an interesting change to the game, as it makes my choices more varied and makes models more representative.
Each type has different rules. Swords are ‘average’ power weapons, axes have better strength and AP (but are slower) and mauls have even better strength (but less AP) and the concussion rule (the rule that thunder hammers have).
I am hoping to add a few mauls to my thousand sons (the sorcerers have access to force staves, which are the same thing as power mauls, but with the force weapon rule) to help me in combat with tougher enemies like dreadnoughts. I've also decided to give my power armoured lord a power-axe (as shown). And as a further boost, fearless is back to the 4th Ed version; we no longer take wounds for losing combat (yay).
Another new feature is the challenge. Similar to 8th Ed fantasy, your commanders and sergeants can challenge enemy leaders in single combat. Other models cannot intervene (other than to take the place of combatants via ‘heroic intervention’), making it a true cinematic duel of the ages. In my first game, it was fascinating seeing my terminator lord do battle with a rival lord with a jump-pack, whilst the enemy cheered on their commander, after my unit was killed to a man. Thankfully the gods favoured me, and I was the victor (thanks to weaker power weapons). That was, until I was shot in the back by enemy obliterators. Whilst you may not always want to challenge, it is a very fun feature which I intend to use as much as possible, simply because I enjoy the image of my characters clashing with enemy leaders in a competition of martial skill.
Come back tomorrow for another interesting feature: Psykers and Shooting.