Pimpcron: The Death of Cover in 40k
A eulogy for your most powerful ally before 8th edition.
We are gathered here today, to celebrate the life of a dear friend. I am The Pimpcron and I want to take a moment to say goodbye to my friend Cover. He is survived by his wife Invulnerable, and their children Feel No Pain and Reanimation Protocols. He was a true hero, saving countless lives from utter destruction more times than we can count. Cover was always looking out for the little guys, and never paid much attention to the people who could defend themselves with better saves. He will truly be missed.
This Is Not New News
I just received my copy of the 8th edition rule book! (Postal service to my Tombworld is a bit slow) I was leafing through it and I realized that cover isn’t the same! Okay, I am aware that 8th has been out a while, and the change in cover isn’t anything new. But the other day I was in the middle of a game and found myself missing the way cover used to work. Specifically, I miss the way that being obscured would give you a cover save; just like being into obscure hobbies used to give you a save against dating.
As it stands now, you are either IN cover or you are considered out in the open, even if you aren’t really out in the open. Can the tip of your foot see my model’s ear through a pinhole 48 inches away in a driving rain of hamsters during a Chaos Warp storm? Well unless I was IN the foot print of a building, you’ve got a “clear shot” at me despite the strange conditions and hail of rodents.
I Get It, I Get It, I Totally Get It
I’m fully aware that this new cover system has been made into what it is because of simplicity. No more arguments over what percentage someone is obscured while you stick head down into the scenery for a ground-level view. And with GW’s propensity for spikes on their models, I’m sure eye injuries are down by a factor of 10.
Best wear goggles checking line of sight.
I can’t tell you how many times I checked line of sight, and went about my business while my opponent struggles to tell me Pox Walker is dangling from my eye ball. They just stare at you like there’s food on your cheek, and kind of wipe their eye and grimace saying, “You’ve, uh, got a little something …” until you get the hint and wipe a Pox Walker out of your eye. How embarrassing is that?
But aside from the overall improvement in quality of life for gamers, it just feels kind of empty for me. No, I’m not about to go into how “unrealistic” this cover system is for my humongous angry Fungi to be saved from the .75 caliber explosive rounds being shot from your (also) humongous genetically enhanced super soldier-monks. I’ve been making games my whole life, and I am the first to accept that some things need to be abstracted for ease of use and speed of play. But I do feel like some of the cinematic feel of previous editions has been stripped.
It’s a Pendulum, Baby!
Ever wonder why a car might be slightly side-swiped on their right, and then go careening off to the left and fly off the road into the ditch? It’s called over compensation. We just came from several editions where cover was what made or broke your army. Cover was our everything. Hitting my Squig with a Lascannon shot? Pssssh. I got this. He’s in cover.
On second thought, some walls are more hazardous than they are helpful.
I was about to say that “it’s only natural”, but I guess I’ll change that to “it’s common” for people, organizations, and game rules to over compensate for problems. So we went from Coverhammer, to Lifeboathammer. It’s like they’ve made terrain into life boats; you’re either in them or your dead. Side note: Is it still too soon for Titanic jokes?
Anyway, I guess cover is just another casualty of the changing of the times. And just like the lack of templates, removal of fire arcs, armor facings, etc., I think overall the game is more fun and faster for it. In life you don’t get to choose what changes you want, it just kind of happens and you have to deal with it. It just feels like they went too far with it trying to correct the issues of the past.
What do you miss most about the older editions?
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