How Long Does It Take?

GW released updated FAQs for most of the armies and the BRB yesterday. I'll leave it to others to do a rundown, but the one change that caught my eye in a big way was the ruling regarding weapon range as it relates to wound allocation. Essentially, you can only allocate wounds to models in range of your guns. The rule is poorly written and allows a single longer range weapon to circumvent the wound allocation for all lesser ranged weapons that fired alongside it. Intent is clear, implementation is not.
I'm not going to spend any time talking about the value of the rule, how it can be interpreted, or what in-game balance issues it causes. I am going to talk about bookkeeping in 6th Edition 40K.

I'm curious as to how long your typical 6th Edition game is lasting now. Due to real life, I'm relegated to mainly playing 3 games a month at the FLGS monthly tournament. We vary our formats and points levels, but folks seem most comfortable in the 1750-1850 range around these parts.
I've played a good amount of 6th Ed games so far (though not "a lot," by any stretch of the imagination). I've rarely had a game go a full 5 turns. Maybe two in all the games I've played so far. Our tourney rounds average about two hours. Most games are landing at about the 3 full turns, with possibly a rushed 4th turn if you're lucky or there have been a lot of casualties to reduce the total unit count. That's not much! The few non-tourney games I've played have gone the full 5 turns, but required two and a half to three hours to complete.
I feel some of the blame for the extension of play time lies with the increase in book keeping required by the 6th Edition game, as well as the increased player freedoms like premeasuring at will.

6th Edition rules contain a good amount of counters and status tokens. Soul Blaze, for example, applies a status marker to an afflicted unit, and that status requires dice rolls for effect, then hits, wounds, and saves. Morale checks as well, if the effect kills models. Biomancy powers like Iron Arm create a status token (unless you're one of those people who refuses to use a token to indicate status, which is confusing and I hate you for it, ;)). You then have dice rolls to determine effect.
Even before a game starts you have additional rolls for psychic powers, warlord traits, Chaos Boons, etc.
Premeasuring allows players to extend the game time by premeasuring every range and option. A player can conceivably check range for his movement, move the models and make dice rolls, measure for shooting an/or movement in the shooting phase, make dice rolls, measure for assault ranges or movement in the assault phase, make dice rolls, etc. Yes, I love being able to measure bolter range before I commit, but I can't deny that doing so repeatedly in a game causes the game to go longer than I'd like.

This new wounds-from-range-only rule just tacks on more time. You not only have to check range for target acquisition, but again for eligible casualties. More time spent, less turns played.

Does anyone else feel that 6th Edition is an edition of book keeping? Don't get me wrong, I love the edition, but man-oh-man does it take forever to play.

1 comment:

  1. Agreed. Making it a skirmish game or a role playing game can add some interesting elements, but for a table top company on company game, you can abstract quite a bit with out effecting the end result.