So what is the game like?
Garro from the Heresy30K Forum played today and posted this summary:
I played the first mission on saturday morning in store while waiting for pre-orders to go live.
Very fun, simple to get into, and very blood thirsty. Here's a few points i've picked up
- It's surprisingly tactical, as you take turns activating units, with each unit being about to be activated twice a turn, making unit order and locations important, as your opponent can counter you between movement and shooting (or shooting twice, or moving twice).
- Bolters are as lethal as they are in the books, all weapons wound and crit on the same dice rolls, the special/heavy weapons are just bonus effects rather than the main source of damage. you roll all your shots at once, then choose which weapons 'critical hit' effect is active, this ranges from additional attacks, to auto-removing the target's remaining activation counters, to removing armour dice.
- Wounding works differently as well, basically, you have your wound pile of successful attacks, and you pick the first model in the hex, they then get a base about of armour saves (fixed number, rather than one against every wound), successful saves, removes a single wound counter from the pool, then if there are more wounds left than the model's stamina stat, he dies. (removing that number of wounds from the pool, then picking the next model and so forth until you run out of targets or wounds. this means weapons like the bolter (with 4 shots) can lay down enough firepower to auto-kill other models, through sheer weight of fire.
- The 'you move a unit, i move a unit' mechanics work well for keeping players focused on the game, as they don't have long periods of doing nothing, but rolling a few armour saves. each unit has two activates each turn, and can move 1-2 hexs, shoot, merge hexes with other models if room or melee with each activation, so players have to be tactical in moving and shooting as the opponent has a chance to move models out of the way or open fire before you can do the second part.
- Specialist weapons (everything that isn't a bolter) seem well balanced, and add flavour rather than sheer damage output (they do that as well). each has its place, and as all weapons wound on the same dice roll, your taking them for their attack dice numbers (all high) and their critical damage effects which are all useful.