Okay, so I have this shiny new codex...one I've awaited for quite a while.
It is a simple little book, with undead robots, flying saucers and such.
It is a book that has been introduced during the reign of the 1+1 paradigm (unit+transport), the year of the (pseudo)flyer and the edition-of-mech...
and something is distinctly lacking...
something I consider QUITE frustrating (and with the lack of Thunderwolves, Tervigons etc, possibly frightening).
New models that SHOULD be here now, vs waiting for an ephemeral '2nd wave'.
I speak of the 'scythes'.
The biggest issues(with regards to the new model range);
-1 unit transport is available (not the Barge, that's really a chariot, though a GREAT tool).
-A transport that can ONLY tote the basic troop(and attendant character joins) that falls short compared to the new and wonderful plastic Immortals.
-A transport that has questionable current-ed value to army synergy.
-in an environment where securing territory with mobility (while at the same time protecting the elements seizing that territory) is paramount to play, providing a new army with only one true method of achieving that aim is not a way to encourage a dedicated player base to maintain the loyalty they have.
This isn't just from a tournament perspective, but also a new player/fluff player perspective.
You cannot maintain enthusiasm for an army that will find itself constantly fighting the steep learning curve of short-legged unit availability long enough to capitalize on a 2nd (or 3rd) wave, if the players begin to see little way out of a marketing induced oubliette.
-with nearly all other armies fully capable of playing the transport-shuffle, you have to wonder how new player will react when he/she is told they cannot play the same game? Kids like neat new models, like the 'Terminator' feel of some of the models...and they are going to be told they can't do what you can, over and over again, as you paste them with your chimera mounted Purifier squads? (or other can-shuffled uber-units).
Kids are the future of our hobby, and have a distinct sense of 'fair-play' in them...and though the veteran might recognize this, and tailor his/her play accordingly...that other new kid playing his GK or SW won't always know this, and will play what makes sense, or was learned on the interwebbernetz.
-without 6e rules in hand, I can't tell you whether or not the GhostArk will/won't be DOOM on the field. What I can tell you is, though there may be ways to make it work in the hands of good(or great) players, they are QUITE over-costed as a basic transport. They are slow (relative to other open-topped skimmers), with no inherent weapon flex (I'm looking at you, Razorbacks) and vulnerable in a melta-heavy environment (shared with other OT vehicles, as I said in my previous article). I'm using them because I like the concept and model. I know that I'm going to be relying on exceptional army synergy to compensate for a lack of protection for said army...protection provided, in spades, to all our Imperial enemies.
What I do see lacking, though, is a synergy with the rest of the vehicles in the 'dex. They slow down your barges, they slow down your scythes, they slow down armies designed around teleportation elements and they go faster than the Monolith. WTF?
They do compliment an AV-13 oriented army, but that's about it...and at 50$ a pop, requiring 4-6 of them (coupled with the 4+ 33$ barges) gets VERY prohibitive to be shoehorned into singular play styles.
Now I cannot argue that GW does try to maximize its income with controlled waves, to avoid overwhelming a saturated market, control mold/sculptor resources and generate peaks of hype. I can't complain about these things, as they keep the hobby I love afloat...
they have also capitulated (as is evidenced by their most recent design trends, 'dex writers, and 'hands-off' approach on the GT circuit...not to mention 'Ard Boyz) to a more competitive player base. With a new edition 6months out, I cannot speculate how potent the units we have had given to us already shall be, but writing 'forward' could very well leave the Necrons flapping in the wind with regards to dedicated players when that finally comes about, and net fewer wave releases ('Nidz anyone?).
A slight tweak to the rules, making the Ghost Ark/Doomsday Ark more effective (points efficient?), and making them a 2nd wave release (eg; Dark Eldar Razorwing) while placing the 'Scythe' kits into the first wave, would have (IMHO) been a far better application of resources/release schedule than we saw.
Though I do NOT have a fear that we will truly see a 'scythe' kit fiasco like that of Thunderwolves/Tervigons/etc etc, the trend of marketing blunders leads me to fear some of the simple decisions GW makes, and question how truly interested I am in grabbing the next 'Big Thing' when it comes down the pipe...until such a time as at least the 2nd wave hits/is a few weeks out.