The changes of Jink deserve their own post because a lot of the really common units of 6th edition have been impacted upon this. First, let’s review the rule changes (and remember we have a summary of this being developed here – the more you guys add to it the more comprehensive this will be and make sure nothing slips through!).
Jink – pg 167
Before any to hit dice are rolled, declare if you are using Jink. Jink provides a 4+ cover save however; the models are forced to Snap Shot (BS1) the following turn. There are two significant changes here.
Quick note as well – you do not need to move to be able to make a Jink save. You can therefore currently take Jink saves if you are immobilised.
Firstly, this mode of jink now applies to all models – not just flyers. This means Bikes, Jetbikes and Skimmers no longer get a free cover save for moving; there is an opportunity cost for doing so. Secondly, you must decided to jink before to hit rolls are made, not before wounding / armour penetration rolls are made. This makes it a lot easier for shooting armies to suppress opposing units but also means lucky shots like single meltaguns against flyers can be a much bigger deal.
Now this impacts each unit differently so we’re going to look at it in general and then focus on some of the most popular units…
Firstly, if a unit is electing to Jink their shooting has been diminished in trade of a better cover save. The key therefore is to maximise this opportunity where the reduced shooting effectiveness is less of a big deal. Getting Jinking units into combat or shooting them at flyers is going to result in… well very similar results. Often when assaulting, you’re not looking to blast everything you have in case the assaulting unit gets left out high and dry and if you’re shooting at flyers, well you’re already shooting at BS1. If you can set up such situations prior to knowing you have to Jink, Jink is a lot less of an opportunity cost.
Jink is a 4+ cover save. There exists other 4+ cover saves – find them and you’re not forced into this predicament. One has to be wary however of terrain effects on units generally with Jink (I.e. Bikers and Skimmers with Dangerous Terrain checks). Units which ignore this (Skilled Rider / Move Through Cover) are fantastic as they can utilise this advantage without suffering from any potential drawbacks. All of these units are fast as well with a minimum 12″ move – this makes getting those cover saves (it’s still only 25%) a lot easier but there are opportunity costs to this as well. Sacrificing board positioning for a 4+ cover save to avoid jinking is sometimes better served by jinking. Be very mindful and remember that these units have this opportunity or advantage – remember it. Being able to have a 4+ cover save in the best possible physical location is a strong advantage – you lose shooting the next turn but positioning is very important.
As an aside, Ignores Cover removes Jink and terrain covers effects – if this is out there, maximise your positioning rather than sacrifice this for a cover save that’s going to get stripped.
There are modifications to Jink saves (Skilled Rider) but a lot less than previously. Turbo-boosting and Flat Out on fast units previously improved that cover save (to 4+) but no longer. There are still upgrade pieces that impact this however such as Disruption Pods, Holo-fields and White Scar Chapter Tactics. Be mindful of these and the impact it has upon the opportunity cost relationship (3+ cover versus 4+) and also remember, as both opponent and foe, which improve all cover saves and which only improve Jink saves. This is also key to understanding the rule – when to Jink and this will impact upon the order of shooting and where firepower goes. You therefore need to have a strong grasp of the rule and implications as both the opponent and controlling player. Even if it’s a strong idea to Jink, Jinking is not always the right answer if it forces an opponent to place more shooting into that unit which might go elsewhere to damage / suppress other parts of the army. Sometimes not Jinking and losing the unit is a better game plan.
Onwards to the popular units!
- Heldrakes – what??? 4+ vs 5++ is a different that needs to be considered. Particularly if you’ve got a meltagun pointing up your rear or skyfire coming your way.
- Wave Serpents – Wave Serpents are shooting machines so reducing their effective shooting is pretty damn major but they are also really fast scoring units now and when taken as an option for a Troops unit, have the Objective Secured rule. Look for lots of these guys to be doing late contests / objective grabs while still being relatively difficult to down given their cost and firepower level as things currently stand. Also, Holo fields are likely to become more common to bring any Jinking up to a 3+ if they moved the previous turn.
- Space Marine Bikes – This is where things have probably been hit the hardest as Bike armies utilised their speed, often terrain ignoring rules and general statline to be better, faster Marines with mobile cover. Given the extent of AP2/3 weaponry, this is huge but now the opportunity cost of cover saves or shooting is most keenly felt here. That being said, Bikes are still a strong Troops unit for Space Marines (or Allies) and remember, if they are White Scars / Black Knights, they are getting a 3+ cover save to be factored into that opportunity cost.
- Tau Vehicles – I’ve lumped everything here together though really the Devilfish could be considered separate given it’s potential status as an Objective Secured scoring vehicle (but unlike the Wave Serpent, it doesn’t have the firepower for a slightly cheaper cost). Sensor Spines may become more popular to move into ruins and gain those 4+ saves (3+ with Disruption Pods) but the Skyray didn’t like to move previously anyway (snap shooting a Markerlight? ew) and the Hammerhead should be able to get decent cover and therefore not need to Jink. Both of these options Jinking though reduces their firepower output significantly and is therefore only likely to be seen in extreme cases.
- Eldar Jetbikes – This unit probably feels the impact the least. Most Eldar Jetbike units are small squads utilised as objective grabbers. They either stay in reserve or hide. Nothing has really changed here and Jink wasn’t a major component of this strategy. If you’re using larger units or Spears or a Solitaire however; the same issue as with Space Marine Bikes arises but with greater mobility. The biggest impact I imagine here will be on the Solitaire who doesn’t bring his own 5+ cover save which is brought up to a 2+ by Stealth / Shrouded and although cover saves for a single model aren’t hard to get, it does limit some of his swiss army knife appeal.
- Dark Eldar Vehicles – Dark Eldar vehicles don’t like snap firing – poison becomes a lot less useful, they don’t have access to twin-linking except through Eldar allies and the majority of their vehicles shoot singular shots. Flickerfields are 10 points a pop and can’t be ignored by Ignores Cover and in combat so you’re going right back to the pros and con weighing of 5th edition – 10 points a pop adds up but are probably really good buys on Ravagers and less so on Raiders. 4+ is still better than 5++ though, same as with a Heldrake.
- Night Scythes – They weren’t too fussed about jinking before – they laugh when they roll 6’s anyway and now with an improved cover save, Night Scythes are harder to bring down but easier to force into jinking. Look for these to continue to do well until GW FAQs Tesla doesn’t work when snap shooting…
I like the new Jink concept – it places a decision in the player’s hands and allows them to utilise this rule to force decisions not on themselves but opposing players. Strong use of the rule, the units’ speed and ability to get to places on the board will put pressure on opponents while requiring more thought behind their use (rather than just taking 30 White Scars Bikes and throwing them straight at an opponent).