It's the Movement Phase. Should I Attack?
Picture: Ahrimaneus' Gaming Blog
The Movement Phase has seen a gradual shift in recent times. Previously, all you did was move in it. The possibility of attack was there in the form of Tank Shock, but that did one of two things; make someone flee or politely ask them to step aside. It didn't do any damage whatsoever, in fact it was far more likely to do you damage.
Go a little forward, and Phil Kelly writes the newest Ork Codex. This Codex contains the BigBomm, an attack made on a unit moved over by a Jetbike unit. We'll come back to this.
5th Edition. Ramming. An attack proper for vehicles, although Ork Trukks could do it too with a Reinforced Ram, which also temporarily boosted front armour. Again, that's important.
So, Dark Eldar, by Phil Kelly. A large fuss is made over Pain Tokens, but in a way it's not the most significant mechanic in the book. Nope, that honour goes to the prominence of the Movement Attack. The Raider and Ravager could both ram with incredible power, being fast and having go-faster sails giving them S10 in many cases (I'm aware against some things this is likely to kill you too, but that's part of the fun). Ramming becomes viable for Raiders, who before had little use with no Lance once it delivered its Troops.
That BigBomm from before? It simultaneously gave birth to Bladevanes (an attack made on a unit passed over by a Jetbike) and the Void Mine, which is a blast attack with similar scatter. These two units are much more important than Ramming for two reasons. It opens up new possibilities for players, and new choices. Caltrops can be used if you don't need Heat Lances. Should the player shoot or move, which is more accurate and protects the Reavers at the expense of power.
The other reason is more significant in the long run. The Voidraven paves the path for more bomber-type units, fighters and dropships already covered by the Razorwing and Valkyrie. More types of flyers promotes the appearance of more in the future. The upcoming 'Summer of Flyers' will hopefully give me a model so I can use these innovations, but I'd like to see it go further, in the form of Spinneresque new rules for units like the Marauder, Nightwing, etc. Flyers in 6th in some way seems a possibility.
And all this spawned from a little Orky helicopter, that really shouldn't be working, written up four years ago by Phil Kelly (by now the fact that he is my favourite Codex author should be apparent). It wouldn't surprise me if a look in other Codices now and in the future give little inklings of what is to come.
Next time, I exploit the Attack Move by...staging a naval battle with Dark Eldar, as well as showing off the malleability of the 40k system.