Oh yes, Shooting Phase! The shooty-ist phase in the game.
Shooting is flat out better. Whole squads don't have to all shoot at the same target anymore (again). This is a huge win for the flexible squad, like Imperial Guard or Space Marines. My Dreadnought had a great time; Assault Cannon at the Genestealers, Heavy Flamer the Lictor, and charge the Carnifex, all in the same turn. All tank-like vehicles benefit hugely as well. Oddly less gamey and more fluffy.
Hit modifiers now apply, but not very many. You want to move and fire a heavy weapon? That will be -1. Shooting at somebody in cover? -1. All quick, easy, and makes sense.
The new "To Wound" table is also a very nice change. Everything can (potentially) wound anything else is fun and good for balance. Vehicles having Toughness instead of Armor value works far better than I thought it would.
One small change I didn't notice until their first time shooting, is Storm Bolters are now Rapid Fire (2) instead of assault, which makes for 4 shots at 12" or closer. Very nice.
The within 1" of an enemy rule is a nice constant throughout the ruleset. A good example of the little things that make this a much cleaner version of 40K.
Morale Phase. Face it, most of us either forgot, ignored, or had lots of troops that were immune to Morale Tests. Not anymore! Taking one test for any unit that took losses is fun, easy, and can make a huge impact on the battle. You do have to track casualties, but that is easily achieved by leaving the dead guys knocked over on the table.
Conclusion: Obviously I really like this New 40K. It plays faster and easier. Overall it feels more like what 40k units are supposed to do. I'll yap about Command Points, Army Building, and other usch stuff soon.
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