Vehicles in 6th edition have changed the way we play 40k. My first response to 6th edition increased the number of infantry units on my battlefields. I saw a huge shift in what I thought were the strongest lists, and that in general included less and less armour. However, as time has gone on, I have taken a complete 180 in my lists, and more and more vehicles are making it into my lists.
So what do I think of mechanized lists in 6th edition?
First off, I want to give a props to Mercer over on Imperius Dominatus for a good article on 6th edition vehicles. In essence, my conclusion slightly differs from Mercer's, but I agree on all his points. So in that regard, I am not going to go through all his points. So go on over and read what he has to say.
I am going to make the declaration that I believe mechanized lists are stronger now than they have ever been. Over the next few articles I am going to go into probably too much detail about what I think of vehicles in 6th edition. Now there are some serious changes to how mech is used in 6th. Lets start with transports. I do not expect many people to believe what I do about 6th edition vehicles, but follow along and lets see where it takes us. (I may convince myself otherwise... who knows)
If you are using lots of dedicated transports, you already know you cannot assault directly from one, unless it is specifically an assault vehicle. This means that transports in general are for shooty armies. Melta and Plasma guns for example.
The effects on passengers from a damaged vehicle is one of the biggest changes to 6th edition. For example, getting your vehicle destroyed, does not allow you to assault the next round.
page 80 main rulebook for Effect of Damage on Passengers
Q: If passengers disembark from a Transport that has suffered a
Shaken or Stunned result, do they still suffer these effects in their
next Shooting phase? (p80)
Q: If a unit disembarks from a destroyed vehicle during the enemy
turn, can it Charge in the Assault phase of its own turn? (p80)
A: No, unless the vehicle in question was an Assault Vehicle
This is important because lets say a squad of Havocs with Autocannons shoots up your rhino. It is destroyed, but also suffers several other effects, including a stun effect at the time it was wrecked (the stun effect happened even though the vehicle was destroyed). This results in a devastating blow to the passengers, as they are now stunned and cannot shoot in their next shooting phase, not to mention they have now been de-meched.
Transports have definitely changed. Your transports must fit into the role of your list. A rhino offers firepoints, and two models to fire out of it. Rhinos used in this role, should be given extra armour, to keep your guys inside firing (albeit shaken results will force snap shots). Otherwise your rhino is simply a method to get your troops very quickly across the battlefield. Rhinos going flat out are extremely fast now, and can get you were you need to go up to 18" in a single round.
Razorbacks are the king of MSU. They remain so, but to be efficient in 6th edition they must be cheap. Look to Blood Angels and Grey Knights for the best razorbacks. Razorbacks from other army types have lost a bit of their luster, as they are not as point efficient as their brothers.
Transports in general now more than ever must have a very specific role on the tabletop. You can no longer claim an objective while sitting inside your vehicle.
This is yet another notch in why people should think heavily whether they want a transport for their unit. First Blood. Secondary objectives are very valuable in 6th edition, and rhinos and other light armour are the first and easiest way to obtain that objective. So when you are designing your list, its important to consider, "am I just giving my opponent an important victory point?"
You might after reading this first segment on transports think that I do not like razorbacks or other light armour lists. This is very far from the truth. Its important to understand the limitations of your dedicated transports and their drawbacks before we can make the best use of these vehicles.
Later tonight, look for part 2.