I wanted to share some thoughts about the Index: Imperium 1 book that I’ve been reading through. Darien has done a great write up on the Xenos 1 and 2 books, which you can read here if you missed it. Sadly I’ve not managed to get any games in with the new rule set, but Darien’s post covers most of the changes and has generated a fair amount of discussion.
The book itself is really nicely laid out, and I quite like that they’ve included both the Power Ratings and the more conventional points system that we’re all used to. The simplicity of the Power Ratings is great as it allows you to quickly build a list on the fly to get a late-notice game in against an opponent. My only concern with the Power Ratings is that they could be open to some abuse, as you only appear to pay for models in most instances, not upgrades; a 10 man Space Marine Devastator Squad has a Power Rating of 11, regardless of whether they’re equipped with Heavy Bolters or Lascannons. I think this system will come into play more often for more friendly games than anything else, as you’ll be relying on your opponent not to be “that guy” who squeezes every little bit out of the rule set he can.
I think the community will mostly make use of the more conventional points system for pickup games; this is more granular than it ever has been before and actually requires a little bit of time to wrap your head round in the first instance. The points systems for models are not with their profiles – it took me a little bit of time to find them, especially as Index: Imperium 1 is such a big book! They’re all hidden away at the back of the book in an appendix. The majot change here seems to be that you’re buying your models naked now, and then need to apply any costs of the equipment they come with. For example, I want to field a Grey Knight Strike Squad. Each model is armed with a Storm Bolter, Nemesis Force Sword, Frag, Krak and Psyk-Out Grenades. Therefore I would need to pay the points a Strike Marine (19 points), and then pay the points costs for each item of his equipment as listed in the appendix; however, if I were to equip a Strike Marine with a Psycannon, then I wouldn’t need to pay for his Storm Bolter or Nemesis Force Sword. It’s going to take a bit of getting used to, but I quite like the way they’ve approached it.
I was really pleased to see that they’ve included entries for pretty much every Space Marine model they’ve ever produced in the book… Are you the owner of a now-defunct Tyrannic War Veterans Ultramarines army? Rejoice, for come the 17th of June, you’ll have rules for your beloved models once again! Got a Terminus Ultra you converted back in the day? Fear not, it’s back (and it’s nasty!). The Fortress of Redemption even snuck into the Dark Angels section of the book!
The biggest bit for me from reading through the book and the core rule book is the freedom that Imperium Armies will have to create some themed lists (Sorry, Xenos!). Units now have multiple Faction Keywords and all units within a detachment must have a common Keyword. For example, an Ultramarines Captain will have the Keywords Imperium, Adeptus Astartes and <Chapter> (which would be replaced with Ultramarines in this instance). From what I’m reading, that means that you could field an army with Imperium being the common Faction Keyword for a Detachment, borrowing units from different Chapters, and even the Astra Militarum, all within one Detachment. This is balanced by the fact that most characters’ abilities will only affect units of their own more specific Faction, so the Captain has an ability that only affects models from his own <Chapter>; your Ultramarine Captain will not be buffing your Blood Angels Assault Marines (Why would they listen to a jumped up Ultrasmurf anyway?!), and your Astra Militarum Commissars will not be “inspiring” your Deathwatch Killteams.
So where does this leave things for me? Well, it allows me to recreate one of the armies that I used to play way back in 3rd Edition – Daemonhunters! I can finally put together an Inquisiiton-led strike force of Grey Knights backed up by disposable… I mean… valued… Storm Troopers, without having to carry around 4 different Codices and make use of multiple detachments! I appreciate this will not really be the most powerful army going forwards, but it’ll look cool and I’ll be able to relive the glory days of 3rd Edition!
What are your thoughts on the new edition?