|You heard it here first!|
OK, I only downloaded this about 45 mins ago but here are a couple of things that jumped out at me:
Special Rules look a bit Grim - "Grim Resolve" seems to take away the best part of ATSKNF, i.e. if the unit contains a model or models with this rule then they cannot choose to fail morale checks. Bummer
More Tactical flexibility - A Tactical Squad with a Vet Sgt, Flamer and Missile Launcher is the same cost as in C:SM, however you don't need to take a Vet Sgt and you can take either a special or heavy weapon with less than 10 models in the unit. Small change but allows you to better min/max the unit to fit the points you have available. It's a similar story with the Scouts too.
Vets are animals - Company Vets squad are a slimmed down version of Sternguard, they trade off the special ammo for a point reduction, other than that the options are the same. I quite like this because you can do a combi-weapon Drop Pod unit that little bit cheaper
Death in all Directions: Deathwing Terminators can split fire, well a single model in the unit can, and he has to pass a leadership test to do so. Also Deathwing Assault now guarantees that units with this special rule held in reserve will arrive by deep strike on either the first or second turn (determined in secret before the start of the game). Vengeful Strike also means that the unit's shooting is Twin Linked on the turn it arrives from Deep Strike. Nice but these guys are a bit more expensive than C:SM termies.
Ravenwing a mixed bag - The basic Ravenwing Bike Squad looks pretty unimpressive, basically the same as the C:SM bike unit, except: they have Hit & Run (handy), come with a Teleport Homer (DWA in style) and can attach a Land Speeder to the unit (eerrr?). I expect that the overall cost of the unit wont justify the inclusion of a teleport homer and Hit & Run though!
'tis but a scratch - The Ravenwing Black Knights look like the real deal though, they are damn expensive but they have a twin linked plasma weapon on their bikes as standard and all get S5 rending CC attacks. I expect that despite the cost someone will come up with a good use for these guys!
New for old - The new vehicles are a mixed bag, the flyers look pretty good but not over powered, possibly over costed though. And the Land Speeders are ... well they're Land Speeders AV10 HP2 floating kill points, even the Dark Shroud is not going to save them or make them any more useful imho.
In summary, this seems to be following a trend set by the Chaos book towards balance, some might say "blandness" but I think there are a few units in here which may set this army apart and stop it from being perceived as "too safe" so I'll stick my neck out and say that Black Knights and the new flyers may help this book to stand out a bit. Deep Striking will be an early theme with the ability to DWA and drop relatively cost-effective combi-weapons tooled up vets in pods but I think we may still see bikes come to the fore in the form of the Black Knights, they may even ally in well too.
Let's hear your first impressions, please comment below.