Thursday 4 May 2017

The Coming of 8th

Hobby is once more taking a back seat while I have the enjoyment of working and doing a degree in the evenings and at the weekends.

But  I am keeping an eye on everything and like many  I’ve been following the news about 8th Edition of 40k.

So I thought I’d spend some time rambling about my thoughts about what is coming...

1. Games Workshop and the Way 8th is Being Introduced to us.

I think you would be hard to find someone who hasn’t been both impressed and delighted by the change in GW over the last couple of years. We have gone from a situation that was almost negative in how GW interacted with the general hobbyist out there, except for Forge World, it was closed up tight with never get an insight into the company or its plans. It felt like we were ignored and frankly taken for granted, easily dismissed and replaced with someone new.

But with 8th we see the new outlook fully swinging into place.

Announcements at events initially broke the news of 8th edition. Daily releases on the Warhammer Community site are giving insights into the new game, a FAQ sheet covering many of the big questions people may have went up and we had an interactive Q&A session. This is all far more than anyone could have dreamed would happen just six months or a year ago.

From me this is a big win. It’s generating (mainly) excitement in the forthcoming release and put many worries to rest. I look forward to seeing more in the coming days, weeks and months(?) before the game finally hits the stores.

2. 7th is Dead, Long Live 8th?
aka Things I've Missed And Wanted Back.

So GW have been giving us insights into the new edition, showing us some stats, discussing rules which are changing etc.

I am not going to list everything we’ve heard about (plenty of other places do that better), but here are some changes I am most pleased to see return.

Movement Rates – I’ve never liked the flat 6” movement for infantry, it has never made sense to me that a lithe, athletic Eldar moves no faster than an Imperial Guardsman lugging a Lascannon or a Tyranid Warrior could not out pace a fat Ratling carrying a gun that’s as big as he does.
To Hit Modifiers – Yay. While we have not yet seen all of the shooting rules just the fact To Hit Modifiers are back in some way pleases me.
Save Modifiers – I couldn’t stand the AP system, purely for the fact it didn’t make sense in any way, shape or form.
Meaningful Morale – So many things got to ignore this it was almost pointless. I want scary things to be scary…and life to be brutal.
Meaningful Cover – What’s the point of managing to get into cover when so much in the game just ignores it?

3. Getting Rid of the Bloat *
(*And no I don't mean the good bloat which should be rightly seen as a gift from Nurgle)

The biggest drawback of 7th for me was that it got so overwhelmingly bloated. So many, sometimes really unnecessary, rules. As it progressed more and more was bolted on making things even worse.

I don’t get to play often, every few months at best and when I do get to play I don’t want to spend half of my time checking rules constantly.

I want depth to the game, I don’t want a simple game…but it has to flow, it has to be much more instinctive with rules easy to retain in your head without having to look things up, roll on tables etc.

Having Universal Rules was a nice idea, collecting them all together in the rule book so that things were consistent over the armies…but there are so many of them…and so many of them reference other USRs…

For example this is the reference section I have to have on my Nurgle Daemons army list – this just covers the overall force – any special rules for individual units are covered in their bit on the list.

If I take a Plaguebearers unit this is the breakdown of rules which cover them:
·         Daemon of Nurgle – page 26 of Codex
o   Deamon – page 26 of Codex
§  Fear – page 163 rulebook
§  Instability – page 26 Codex
·         Fearless – page 163 rulebook
§  Deepstrike – page 162 rulebook
§  Invulnerable Save – page 37 rulebook
o   Slow and Purposeful – page 171 rulebook
o   Shrouded – page 170 rulebook
o   Hatred – page 165 rulebook
o   Defensive Grenades – page 180 rulebook
§  Stealth – page 172 rulebook
·         Instrument of Chaos – page 64 of Codex
·         Plaguesword – page 62 of Codex
o   Poisoned 4+ - page 169 of rulebook
·         Plague Banner – page 64 of Codex
o   Chaos Icon – page 64 of Codex

Not many then, spread across just the two books. (Note, chance I may have got those page no's wrong).

I want to see depth to forces, I want them to have character and reflect their background. But what I don’t want is an encyclopaedias worth of rules to field an army.

I haven’t even mentioned yet the wholly unnecessary (IMO) rules like Mysterious Terrain...I just want a tree to be a damn tree. I can’t be arsed with it.

There is so much I would happily trim down, cut out, set fire to etc. I do think AoS went a bit too far as when I played my Daemons they did feel a bit thin on character and lacking in options, however from what I have heard once they gain their own tome it’ll will flesh them.

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed playing 7th...but in all honesty not as much as I should and as games dragged on I found I had less and less interest, I got bored as we keep having to check things. Every game I later remembered something which would have been very useful.

I admit this is turning into quite a long post...

4. A New Chapter.
And in this case I don't mean just another bunch of Marines.

The background for Warhammer 40,000 is what makes it, the models are great, the games are good (many of them), but it’s the story that makes it what it is. The Grim Dark we love, where everything is falling apart and even those who are the good guys are frankly evil bastards.

But for too long it has been in a limbo, more and more has had to be crow bared into it with re-writes stretching the believability (I know, a bit of an oxymoron that) of the setting. You can only have so many build ups to a climatic event only to have it turn it out to be anticlimactic due to that being the only result that won’t upset the balance.

But now we see things being shaken up, things changing and the story actually moving forward.

There is a risk to this, we may lose things we love and worry about the fate of the armies we have, but I think any fears are unfounded (can you really see them dropping a Space Marine chapter even after blowing up their planet?) and the benefits far outweigh the negatives as it opens up so may possibilities.

I for one will be eager to read how things develop and what dark corners we will be led into.

5. The Holy Grail?
(It Was The Best Album The Manic Street Preachers Ever Did. I Miss Their Early Days.)

Now do I think 8th will be the Holy Grail of games? Of course not, there will be things in there I don’t like because you will never find a perfect set of rules that meets everyone’s expectations and hopes, every game is always a compromise.

My hope is that 8th has a better balance between depth of rulesease of game playenjoyment of actually playing than the current edition is. There is no point in my opinion making it so multilayered and detailed that you end up taking hours to play with constant rule checks and admin, but on the other hand don’t make it so thin it has little tactical depth or character to armies, most of all make it fun to play or I’ll probably never bother getting the dice out at all.

From what I have heard so far I am in a positive frame of mind.

If you got through all of that, well done. Get yourself a cup of tea and a biscuit to celebrate.


  1. I'm looking forward to it as well, even though I rarely play. I keep telling myself I won't buy all the books.... but I almost know better.

  2. I agree with every point you make. After 30 years of being an almost exclusively GW customer, about 3 years ago I had had enough and stopped supporting them. The new GW has me feeling broadly positive for their direction of travel. I bought Bloodbowl because it was something I couldn't afford when it first came out and the new sculpts were solid. I bought Shadow War: Armageddon purely because it was essentially 2nd edition WH40k, but with updated stats, which would let me use a few models from each army.
    I don't think I'll ever be a fan of Age of Sigmar however I have high hopes that the new edition of WH40k will rejuvenate my enthusiasm for the game and setting - which had withered to nothing.

  3. I think a lot of the bloat from 7th edition is/was fixed by regular play. You're absolutely right that there's a lot of reference points for rules for units, but I play weekly, sometimes more often, and 90% of the rules and stats I need for my armies are in my head, and the remaining 10% come up so rarely that checking the rulebook wasn't a chore (bizarre layout aside).

    That being said, I am still looking forward to 8th edition, a reset of the system to remove the loopholes that have been exploited by waac players for years, and whilst I don't necessarily agree that the game needed to be sped up (my club night has approximately 5 hours to get games completed) it will be interesting to see if games are truly that much faster and we could fit much bigger games into an evening once more.

  4. Cautiously optimistic but getting more optimistic as new hints are released, 16 Jun is hinted at in the latest White Dwarf, next issue on sale 16 Jun, Grim Darkness/Far Future/ Only War...

  5. I felt the same way you have described feeling in 7th edition since all the way back in latr 5th ed. The game simply hasn't been fun for me in years.

    I am a little hopeful for 8th edition. That said so far I am amazed by simply how much the rules I've seen so far are nearly identical to Age of Shitmar. I just don't have it in me to trust that they will produce anything with much more depth than that.

    I imagine my opinion isn't going to be palatable to many, but I'm just being honest here. I sincerely hope that thia game I've played since I was 7 was playable again. I just cant ignore the last 15 years of experience. Corporations rebrand themselves all the time. Usually it is nothing but a meaningless PR stunt. They seem to to be puttinf a genuine effort into PR right now, but I've yet to see anything that makes me believe that they have genuinely changed as a company. The snide and dismissive shit about being "New GW" is so condescending. Maybe after another year or two with a track record of actually doing ANYTHING good for us I'll accept they deserve my business again.

    In our relationship with GW we have been treated like shit, and so we dumped them. Now they are crawling back saying they missed us and that this time it will be different. There are terms for people who buy that sort of line, suckers is the least offensive one I can think of.


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