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So it has been a couple years since I played 40K, and it seems Games Workshop has come out with a 6th edition rules book since then.

I saw it in the store and first noticed that it is almost twice as thick as my 5th edition book. I also noticed it was plastic wrapped so I couldn't even flip through it.

So my question is not so much "what are some of the new rules" as much as it is "what more is in the book that makes is so much bulkier?"

A perfect answer would cover some of the new rules (in a general sense) and give me a brief overview of the contents (I expect there will be story sections, rules, painting techniques, pictures, ect., but what else?).

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Nice synopsis on rules changes. –  fredsbend Sep 25 '13 at 21:39
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The rule-book itself is full color with expanded art and fluff sections. Though you won't find anything here that wasn't present in previous versions outside of some new artwork. Most of the price increase was because it's GW and that's just what they do. Any other gaming company would probably charge 10-20% less for the same thing.

GW did just release a rules only version that drops the fluff and color artwork for a price reduction. The new starter also contains a mini-rulebook just like last edition.

6th was a pretty big overhaul to the game. For better or worse a lot of mechanics from the current version of Fantasy where ported over. I'll go over the big changes:

  • Flyers - Probably the biggest change and also includes Flying Monstrous Creatures. They move fast and are hard to hit (always requiring a 6+ to hit regardless of BS). They also neglected to give many of the armies any units with the new Skyfire rule to shoot them down. This has had a great impact on balance.
  • Allies - You can take small detachments from other codexes based on an allies matrix. Some allegiances are good enough that your characters can join up with allied squads. Game balance has been tossed out the window this edition.
  • Hull Points - Vehicles essentially have wounds now. Usually 3 for standard vehicles, 2 for lights like speeders, and 4 for the big guys like Land Raiders. Pens or Glances take off a hull point. There is no damage table for glances anymore. They also made AP 2 weapons add 1 to the damage table, and AP 1 adds 2. Pretty much everyone's mech has been shelved this edition. It's far to easy to glance vehicles to death.
  • Snap Fire - Pretty much anything can move and shoot now, but heavies need 6+ to hit if they move.
  • Assault - Big changes here. Assault moves are 2d6 now instead of a fixed 6". They also included challenges between characters. Defender can also snap fire into assaulting units now.
  • Wound Allocation - Another big change. Wound allocation is by closest model. Characters can jump out of the way to transfer the hit to a mook on a 4+(2+ if it's an IC). This effectively allows you to take a nasty character with a big squad of guardsman for +20 wounds.
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Also making the rules section of the book bulkier, fortifications (You can now bring buildings are part of your army list) and greatly expanded terrain rules. –  Affe Sep 25 '13 at 15:41
    
Thank you for the information. I guess the majority of the new bulkiness is rules. Would you say that, overall, you prefer the previous edition? It doesn't sound like you like this one too much. It also sounds like game play goes much faster (things die faster). Is that right? –  fredsbend Sep 25 '13 at 21:35
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@fredsbend The rule book is about 1/3 actual rules including photos and art in the rules section. I preferred 5th edition over 6th. 6th isn't unplayable, but the design team made some deliberate decisions to move from tighter balance to more "forging the narrative" style game play that ramps up the randomness. The game actually plays much slower this edition. People abuse the heck out of the new wound allocation system and other things leading to games taking 20% longer than they used to. –  CaulynDarr Sep 26 '13 at 11:27
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