DEEP THOUGHT: Warhammer 40k vs. Age of Sigmar



Simplification? There’s been a lot speculation on what will be the new direction for 40k when the next edition drops.

Funnily enough it will be eighth edition which to many signaled the beginning of the end for WHFB. Back when I first started to play 40k there were actually more people playing Fantasy at the time in my area.

Here is my take on sixth and seventh editions for 40k…


Sixth Edition

This edition was a major paradigm shift away from fifth edition – the game became much more complex and the shooting phase stole the thunder from the assault phase. A lot of veterans dropped out. Some have said this edition brought the game back in line with second edition – I started to play right at the beginning of third edition so I can’t really say. The game became much more streamlined with less rules and the tournament scene flourished at the local level along with Games Workshop Grand Tournaments. I really enjoyed third edition and it took me around six months to really get a solid handle on the rules.

Did sixth edition bring a lot of new players to the game? I don’t really know but I did notice the number of players attending local tournaments dropped off quite a bit. It was a struggle for me to master the new rules and just about the time I got there the infamous Black December happened – Games Workshop released both the Apocalypse book introducing Lords of War along with Stronghold Assault. They just threw them over the fence with no warning… We all had to figure it with little to no help from Games Workshop. It was a dark time for 40k and I worried what would happen to our game. Needless to say sixth edition was a huge change in and of itself.


Seventh Edition

To me this edition was a major maintenance edition sorely needed to tie everything together cohesively and for the most part I think the development team was successful. Many of my own personal pet peeves with the games were addressed. I think Games Workshop knew there a considerable amount of discontent and that it was justified. To me that is why it came about so quickly unlike any other edition before and I think it’ll be awhile until we see what GW has in store of us in regards to the release of the next edition… We can and do speculate though… It’s part of the hobby.

Of course a whole new phase came about following in the foot steps of the WHFB Magic Phase. The psychic phase obviously needs more work but it’s very new so I understand. Hopefully they’ll get it all sorted.


The Next Big Thing

Many say the game now is too complex and they look back at third edition with fond memories. Many too feel heavily invested in the current game having successfully made the transition… It’s a lot of time, effort and money.

I ran a poll on my blog asking what do players want. Out of over 50 people who responded roughly two thirds voted not to drastically change the rules – the rest would like to see the game simplified. I don’t know how much change is wanted but my gut feeling is not anywhere close to degree of change we have all seen happen with the newly released Age of Sigmsr. I say this because I think more people would have voted for change otherwise… But it’s just my best guess. Like I said there’s a lot of heavy investment in the current edition.

Could the rules benefit from a move to a more simplified version of the rules? I think so – for me there are plenty of rules now that seem superfluous and I often to forget about some such as Soul Blaze. Personally I don’t want “Age of the Emperor” but I’d like to some form of streamlining.

CONCLUSION • How Does the Development Team Feel

This is the proverbial biggie no doubt about it and I think many of them also feel heavily invested and there must some level ownership felt towards what they have accomplished over the past few years. It required a cleansing of the old guard, purging many of the veteran developers such as people like Alessio, Andy Chambers, Pete Haines and Gav Thorpe to create an environment that supported the fundamental changes to the game that occurred in sixth edition and I feel certain there many of the younger generation developers are still there.

Honestly I have no idea what will actually occur and your guess is just as good as mine.

~But based on hints and trends in existing GW books, what do you think GW will do with 40K 8th edition?

  • Can we at least get an FAQ for this edition before we start worrying about the next?

    • Razerfree

      Do FAQs make GW money? There’s your answer.

      • jazeroth

        no so we won’t get them

        • Razerfree

          You’ll get them the day Sisters of Battle get a new Codex.

    • Muninwing

      WM/H just released a new set of FAQs that fixed some major problems in the game by altering/adjusting abilities.

      so it is possible. in fact, if you go with a points-based balancing, it might just be necessary (and less necessary the more effective your pre-release playtesting is).

      there are people who forgot that at the start of 6th GW declared that they were going to update essentially the whole game (every faction and codex that they deemed important, etc), and that 7th was a step to fix the problems with shifts in 6th.

      after they finish updating codexes, they aren’t just going to release 8th… they will stop releasing codexes altogether and go to a incremental across-the-board release schedule.

      if they take a lesson right now from the WM/H FAQs and their reception, they can pull it off. if they decide to keep to business as usual, they will keep screwing up. and each screwup costs them players.

      i might not like PP games (partly because i don’t like high fantasy, or skirmish-sized games… but mostly because of their louder fans), but the company has a really good model for moving their game forward that GW has not adapted to. we’ll see if they can pull it off.

  • Psytox

    Hey I love 40k but I do worry that nowadays GW design everything according to what will make the shareholders the most money. I’m personally working with a few guys over on warseer to write our own version of the 40k rules. Of course, we aren’t expecting anyone else to adopt them but we are making the game exactly how we want it to be.

    • Arthfael

      If “Age of the Emperor” gets released, I may well use those. Or just stick to 7th, maybe slightly house ruled…

      • Wyatt Michael Kinsinger

        I’d refuse to play it as “Age of the Emperor”. LOL

    • Prax

      At the end of the day… they’re a company, they exist for profit, expect them to try to the thing to make the most money.

      • Erik Setzer

        That’s a line people like to trot out, but if you wreck your games, and your games *are* what’s selling all those models, then in the long run you actually do continuous harm to your ability to make money. It might make money short-term, but at the expense of long-term viability. Most companies don’t do that.

        • Muninwing

          you just explained the leading reason — regardless of the “barrier to entry” and the “cost of play” and the “too complex” arguments that GW execs trotted out to avoid blame — for what WHF 8th’s terrible balance did to their player base.

          decent players with the “good” armies got bored with the ease of the game. decent players with the “bad” armies got frustrated at losing when they should win. both started playing less.

          AoS would not exist as the sole WHF game if they hadn’t been writing offensively imbalanced lists and rules for nearly a decade. AoS fans like to blame WHF players for the source of their own anger (“you should have bought more, or played more”) but in many cases they were waiting fr the new edition to make the game better, and hoping GW would balance things a little less badly next time.

          when people treat them as demons for trying to make a profit, or having to drop the unprofitable aspects of their business model (like bitz ordering, which i miss, or specialist games, which they could have reorganized and refreshed), or gutting/closing their stores (there’s no GW store northeast of NYC… everything in new england started closing a year after one of them won an award for best numbers).

          these are “things we don’t like” and not “reasons why companies are evil.”

      • Psytox

        Oh of course! I completely agree. It just has a detrimental effect on the way that rules and codex’s are written. I buy GW stuff for the sake of playing games, not to simply collect – which in my opinion is pretty unrewarding and pointless.

        • JJ

          I agree 110% GW needs to get rid of the idea of Model collectors! If the rules suck I don’t buy your game. If i want cool stuff to sit on my shelf I’ll just send my money to Gentle Giant!

        • Ancelica

          Which is unfortunate, because GW have said themselves that the are a model company, not a game company. Hence the lackluster rules for AoS.

    • false-emperor

      This whole “make the shareholders money” excuse I hear over and over is utter crap, the facts are that GW has had the stick it to the customer practices since well before they went public.

      Units of 10 models, 4 figures per blister, then 3 figures per blister, codex creep, editions released early, books made obsolete, models made obsolete, etc.

      Business as usual, not this new “make the shareholders money” excuse. Next we will hear GW is just a miniature company. 😉

      • Me

        I do not think that going public has that much to do with it. The purpose of any for-profit company, publicly traded or not, is to make money for the owners.

        Of course, none of that affects the rest of your argument…

        • false-emperor

          yes, companies want to make money, they are not non-profits (which just want to grow)

          I get tired of the same old GW corporate press release jargon, and canned sentence statements.
          we are just a miniature company
          the shareholders, cry tear……..

          • Me

            That I can totally agree with. One of the biggest bullets they could have used to shoot themselves in the foot with is the statement that they are just a miniature company. Words like that make people who enjoy the game feel less than secure in their investment (time, effort, and money). I personally do not like the idea that my favorite part is an afterthought. I think that the miniatures are amazing, but I buy them to play the game. Without the game, they would not have any access to my wallet.

          • false-emperor

            And then the advocates/white-knights/fanboys tell you that you are taking “a game of toy soldiers” to serious, sound familiar?
            Or you are accused of being “that guy” or a “WAAC” player, etc., gets old, it is almost like GW is paying people to surf blogs…

          • euansmith

            I used to surf blogs… until that fateful day a shark took a bite out of my board…

          • false-emperor

            lol, remember all the cheesy movies form the early 90s when they thought surfing the net would be like real surfing…


          • jeff white

            yeah. the eye-wear will likely be an led projected in the air at a certain strobe frequency that will resonate with a sound wave that sets up a pattern of interference in the air. Thus, a hologram is projected from a single source, like in that famous R2D2 projection of Leia in Star Wars 4.

          • Michael Gerardi

            “Land (raider) Shark!”

          • Drpx

            The irony being that it’s the less serious types who typically get burned out first after getting utterly destroyed for a month or two because unlike the competitive WAAC types, they can’t/won’t drop $300 because GW changed a word on a stat page.

        • Dave

          The problem with them going public is that now instead of just needing to be profitable, they also must show growth. If not the shares lose value and the company loses value. It’s a wicked cycle for a niche company. They must find ways to grow..that’s shown to be pay-to-win deals, shortened rules lifespans and ever increased pricing models. It can’t last.

          • false-emperor


          • AKOF

            They haven’t grown in a decade. Their numbers read stagnant all over them. For all their high prices, they hardly make any money, which makes sense when your former CEO embezzles millions for a website.

        • jeff white

          >>>The purpose of any for-profit company, publicly traded or not, is to make money for the owners.

          who told you that?

  • And it isn’t what the development team feels like that determines the future of 40k right now, but rather what Jervis “no points, no competition, forge the narrative or else” Johnson feels like.

    • Spacefrisian

      Meanwhile that same Johnson guy is destroying established narrative stuff….there is a word for those kind of peeps.

      • Secundum

        Yeah- ‘That Guy’.

    • Michael Gerardi

      There’s no magic in that Johnson.

    • I really doubt that Jervis Johnson has any more control over the direction of GW’s game development than you or I do.

      • Reading standard bearer and other articles and introductions by him, and then looking at AoS, I would say that is a direct reflection of his design philosophy

  • Dave Scammell

    From my experiences so far, I’ll admit that I do find Age of Sigmar’s simplified rules pretty liberating and enjoyable, but ultimately a little too shallow. It’s nice to have 40k there as the robust, intense and more complex game. But I’m totally with you, Black Blow Fly, that it could reeeeally do with some simplification. There’s just too much to practically memorise and keep up with on a very frequent basis, and sometimes, if I haven’t played for a few months, I do find the rules a little too daunting to get back into the game quickly and happily. That’s more my problem than 40k’s of course, but I’m sure I’m not alone in this respect.
    GW are almost certainly going to change things up, hopefully just small steps to streamline and simplify the there-and-then playing of current rules (like putting all a unit’s rules and weapons on one, self contained sheet; having free, constantly updateable rules; or any number of small changes) and won’t overhaul the game too much. I’ll admit though, scared as I am about points potentially going, it would be extremely liberating to be able to field whatever I wanted without worrying whether they were points-efficient (e.g. 90% of the Nid codex) but then again it would be much better if GW put some effort into making sure everything was priced properly in the first place…

    • euansmith

      Correct points value would be nice; though the game would have to be tightened up a lot in order to reduce the ability to buff up a unit beyond its points value.

    • false-emperor

      40k can be played without points now, if you can find anyone to play, Bueller, anyone, Bueller, bueller………….. 😉

      • euansmith

        I think he’s taken the day off…

        • My best friend’s sister’s boyfriend’s brother’s girlfriend heard from this guy who knows this kid who’s going with the girl who saw Ferris pass out at 31 Flavors last night. I guess it’s pretty serious.

    • Muninwing

      ” I’ll admit that I do find Age of Sigmar’s simplified rules pretty liberating and enjoyable, but ultimately a little too shallow.”


      it’s not a terrible game. most of the issues i have with it have to do with quality and the feel that the game was incomplete at release… and that the release itself was an act of panic and not a quality plan.

      the fluff is still pretty badly written, but some of the 40k fluff isn’t much better. it was excusable in the 80s (when hair metal is popular, taste is given a wide berth), but the world has moved on since.

      no… my biggest concern is that it lacks staying power.

      the games i played reminded me of LotR. and that was fun for a few weeks, or a couple months, and then i went back to 40k and started a new army.

      Malifaux was at least a little more engaging… a new system and all. but i played for a few months and went back to 40k.

      not everyone likes what i like, or plays how i play. supposedly, the LotR line was successful somewhere. maybe there are enough people who don’t get bored of its plateau for it to establish itself. maybe GW will go back on their “no, this is it… no bigger games or extra rules supported” statement and they add to it to give it depth.

      but from a company that has made more big mistakes than slam dunks over the last half-decade, i’m not expecting that kind of presence of mind.

  • 3dken

    No, the new game is going to be called “Age of Abaddon”. Death to the false Emperor! 🙂

    • EndreFodstad

      Age of the Emprah!

      • Tesq


      • euansmith

        Age of Calgar… he is our spiritual liege!

        • Ross Webb-Wagg

          Age of WAAAGH!

    • false-emperor


    • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

      Age of 7 or above.

  • crevab

    I have no idea what they have planned, but regardless of my preferences I hope whatever it is will stop them from bleeding customers.

    • Spacefrisian

      They could plan for an actuall market research department, one that actually does market research. And without any input from Jervis Johnson.

      • crevab

        Dat’s crazy talk yo

      • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

        Jervis must go, he is the millstone around GW’s neck.

        • Razerfree

          Jervis isn’t at fault that GW doesn’t do market research. He contributed more to their success than anyone else on there. If there is a head that needs to roll it’s the one belonging to the guy who has been preventing GW from using marketing techniques of the current century.

          • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

            he has a strong vision for the game, but it is a vision few outside GW share, even fluffy players. that is the fundamental problem.

          • Razerfree

            If you’re talking about AoS, I don’t agree to it either. But it was well known that fantasy needed a complete overhaul and he just happened to be the man for it.

          • And you believe GW won’t AOS 40k why? Because they don’t “need to”. Don’t make me laugh, it’s coming within 2 years mark my words.

          • Razerfree

            Depends on how successful AoS proves to be. My guess is that 7th is the last edition you will probably see in it’s current format, and 8th (if they even decide to call it that) will be a total revamp like they did with fantasy to reduce the effort they make on rules to a minimum.

          • euansmith

            Apparently they are going to skip Warhammer 40k 9th ed and the next release will be called “Warhammer X: empowering us all”… it will be the last set of rules you ever need to buy… until the next one…

          • false-emperor

            yep, GW retail stores were hosting/running 40k vs fantasy games for over a year before AoS dropped, so…..

          • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

            not just AoS, its was also his idea to remove as far as possible all restrictions on building armies for 40K which has led to the current madness of OP lists, Rock-paper-scissors-hammer, crazy special rules interactions, whateverStars etc etc.

          • I remember reading someplace that he didn’t even really like how the current version of blood bowl was (which he had a big part in creating) and this version is the best ever and no one play a different one it seems. But he feels it is just too competitive. Yes. BLOOD BOWL. A game with acknowledged imbalanced tiers but designed to emulate American Football can be too competitive apparently…

          • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

            He should go and work for the Early Learning Centre making non competitive sandbox toys, he is not suited for the tabletop gaming industry. He fails to understand even fluffy players want clean rules and points balance. Everyone seems to be on the same side in this debate except him.

        • EndreFodstad

          Jervis isn’t the problem. He is just one of the vehicles for them.

          • euansmith

            A “vector”, like female mosquitoes and malaria?

          • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

            now I have an image of Jervis, buzzing around on tiny wings sucking the points values out of things…

  • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

    I really hate the current psychic phase, so I design armies with no psykers so I don’t have to use it. Luckily many of my opponents feel the same way! It struck me as odd that they changed it as of all the things that caused complaints the psychic phase was hardly the biggest.

    Most of the complexity comes from three things-

    1) unnecessary special rules interactions (which is codex design not rulebook) and could largely be sorted by removing the Battle Brothers level of allies,

    2) army design with formations etc which needs to go back to how it was at the start of 6th. I don’t mind some groups of units getting special rules if taken together, but those units should be part of the normal CAD.

    3) the duplication of rules for creatures and vehicles which features many oddities (why doesn’t my Dreadnought have an armour save but my Riptide does for instance). These should be simplified and brought into one system.

    Other things I’d change which are less important-

    remove the run move in the shooting phase which adds maybe 20 minutes plus to the length of an average game, when it would be easier just to add D6″ to the move in the movement phase if you aren’t going to shoot. Likewise with Flat Out. Vehicle shooting in general is over complicated. Lets have all guns if stationary, one of moving and none of moving fast regardless of type of vehicle. I would support the return to a M characteristic for all units which would be easier than all the present categories and rules different for vehicles, bikes, jump troops, infantry, cavalry, beasts etc etc.

    remove TLOS and replace with the system of levels used in KOW. It also adds too much uncertainty and stupid squinting through multiple windows/gaps which we all know no-one would get a shot through in real life.

    Assault needs to be made better as the balance has shifted to shooting but relative points values have not changed.

    I like the current shooting rules but wound tanking from characters is stupid, lets have average armour values across units please the way we have average toughness.

    Lastly some form of alternating activation is long overdue. Lets have either a dice bag system like BA (maybe allowing an activated character to himself activate one or more other units), strictly alternating units, or something similar.

    • Lee Mason

      Agree with every word of this the game has become broken over the last 2 years and has drove me away from a game I loved when I started playin 15 years ago

    • Nameless

      alternate activation will only work in a system where each activation is worth roughly the same investment. to highlight the issue player A could have finished activating all of his knights/wraithknights or whatever-star and player B could be activating his 3 unit of cultists.

      • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

        Well ‘strictly alternating’ activation (no dice bag/cards, just taking turns to ctivate a single unit) gives each player the chance to choose what to activate first so no problem if one player activates a Wraithknight, the other can follow up by activating their Baneblade or whatever.

        Strictly alternating activation favours elite armies, which is where the dice bag mechanic is good because it redresses that balance somewhat by giving horde armies more chance to activate reflecting their ability to encircle an opponent.

        Think about it though- anything would be better than the current system where effectively I get to activate my entire army followed by you using yours. Almost any system would be an improvement over that!

        It could be an opportunity to have fluffy rules- Space Marines being able to activate two units if they want to instead of one to reflect better command and control for instance. Eldar always getting to activate the first unit in each turn, Tyranids Shadow in the Warp being able to deny a close unit an activation until the end of the turn etc.

        • StingrayP226

          Having played alternating activation games often having more activations works in your favor. Allows for more flexible reactions… IE if I have more I can active my big ones first or activate a weak unit to force my oppenant to move/expose his bigger models so I can seize the advantage.

          One tactic is to make a glass cannon pop out of its hiding spot last activation of a turn (which I will always have if I have more activations) then next turn the glass cannon returns to hiding. My oppenant will at most have 1 activation (if he goes first) where he can react before the cannon returns to hiding. This can force an oppenant to come after the cannon if he wants to kill it.

        • jeff white

          genius, all. and agreed.
          is there an implicit advantage to fielding more units, then?
          i guess that is cool.

          • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

            with the dive-in-a-bag mechanic that Bolt Action uses if you have more units then you have more dice in that bag (one for each unit on the table). So when the next dice gets pulled there is a higher chance it will be one of your units. That said if you have more units then they will on average be weaker obviously, but it still gives you an advantage, especially since there is a chance you will be able to activate several units in a row sometimes.

    • effinger2

      Wow, right on. The psychic phase, while simple, is just a mess. It is next to impossible to stop and slows the game to a crawl once both players use psychic powers. In big games it should be banned because it is a nightmare and brings the game to a halt.

      • euansmith

        I liked the old “The Sarge Dies Last” system of casualty removal, where the player controlling the unit removed the casualties as they wanted. It was quick, fun and effective.

        • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

          there is a lot to be said for that, but ‘from the front’ is logical too and rewards outflanking.

        • effinger2

          Yup and you put the flamer/melta guy upfront to get a shot off but… he gets killed way too fast. If he’s in the back he never gets a shot off…. annoying. It would speed the game up if the owning player removes the models. Sure, Sarge dies last but… it’s a game and I don’t need to spend 4 hours playing a game because players are micro measuring distances and model placement.

          • false-emperor

            Agree. How about the unit just keeps the upgraded or special models until the last, what would that really hurt with Knights stomping around, I mean really?

            Especially annoying, because 40k is also a HOBBY, and some players painstakingly convert and meticulously paint their upgraded and special models to look dynamic, so it hurts/pains them even worse if said models are removed right away/first.

          • Cary Gould

            I also agree with removing special/heavy weapons last as squad members would be picking up the melta gun because they have all been trained on how to use it and know its a superior weapon, therefore increasing their survival.

          • euansmith

            “Pick up the Meltagun and take out that Dreadnought before it kills us all!”

            “I can’t, Sarge, I’m not certificated on it! Aaaaaagh!”

          • It would also really help assault armies out.

        • Tsumugi123

          Well it really depends. While allowing the defending player to take their own casualties makes game faster, but it doesn’t really make sense. I believe that was the original intention by GW.

          Although, I do think that equally trained soldiers are not able to pick up weapons from their fallen comrade is just as stupid as Michael at front got shot at but Bob in the rear died instead.

      • Pyrrhus of Epirus

        i dont get this comment, i play eldar, i run a double farseer on bikes list, my psychic phase is 2 mins tops. Unless your playing demons, this should be a non issue.

        • effinger2

          We tend to play bigger games. Once you move the bar higher players tend to take more ‘stuff’ and psychic stuff creeps in. Plus, players uses heavy psychic armies.

    • false-emperor

      GW has always had the marketing strategy;
      “What once was bad is now good, and what once was good is now bad.”
      We see this constantly as; codex creep, nerfing our units, making our models obsolete, making our books obsolete, and etc. and it is nothing new.

    • Me

      Maybe if they did not want to get rid of Battle Brothers complete, they could alter it so that Psych Powers and maybe USRs are locked out as they are for every other ally level. So basically, they could share rides and not worry about shooting each other.

      • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

        that would be a good compromise, but even sharing rides leads to some unfluffy issues like non marines in drop pods. I think maybe they should be able to join each others units without sharing USR’s, and that be it.

        • Me

          I could live with that.

          • jeff white

            better to keep them separate unless in inquisitorial retinues.
            would make these more colorful and important at the same time.

            this way also makes more sense at least because it forbids nonsense,
            which most of it becomes…

    • Manwiththedogs

      Right on target

    • ZeeLobby

      shoot. Id buy this.

    • jeff white

      keep tlos, imo.
      one snipe through a blown out window as a squad passes under another squad?
      what is the problem with that?
      imo, terrain is a third player on the table, and needs to be interactive.
      plus, in a simulation, as a good war-game is a simulation of war, we aim for realism.
      the model comes at the cost of complexity but we aim for realism.
      the ideal is the simplest rules set that delivers the maximal complexity.
      go is a game like this.
      the best games do this…

      • jeff white

        or let me do it for them… i am cheap.

      • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

        I don’t think there is any problem with shooting through a single window but I often see shots taken that draw line of sight through several windows or through small gaps in units or vehicles. In the real world that target would only be visible for perhaps 1/100th of a second, no way you could aim anything at it.

        Also while realism is important, 40K is not an attempt at simulation, it is a game, and so rules which make the game harder to play, unnecessarily time consuming or reliant on fine judgement calls that the players may argue over are counterproductive.

        • jeff white

          every war-game is a simulation.
          a good system balances simplicity with realism.
          a bad system does not, delivering overly complex rules and poor realism.

          line of sight from models can be drawn through one stationary object to a target during the shooting phase, e.g. one building window, one blown-out fence wall. line of sight cannot be drawn through moving things including vehicles and troops models, for example, and including models from one’s own side.

          if one were to put a herd of cows on the table, for terrain, then these would count as non-moving like a building, and tlos would be the rule.

  • Shiwan8

    7th is like a windows/ios update. It fixes some things and breaks a lot more important things. The game is pretty easy to fix.

    Things that actually changed between editions 6 and 7:
    – Tanks sucked against anything capable of penetrating their armor, now they suck a little less.
    – Monsters had a role, now they are useless (excluding flyrant that is just bad).
    – Grenade rules were simpple and people understood them, now they are simpple and almost no-one understands them.
    – Psychics were better and now they are clearer.

    The rest is pretty much the same. Designers still have mostly no idea of what they are doing. GW still goes from one extreme to another. So on and so on.

    Future? From the looks of it it will suck for anyone not playing marines and/or eldar. Marines flood the field with bodies/free vehicles and eldar gun, run and take hits better than anyone else.

  • Squeeker

    Well now play several NON GW games, only 40K left, and i am getting rid of all the stuff i dont use incase they ruin the game. Tau and Eldar for a start because they are n fun to play against.

  • sjap98

    Please, don’t delay, release Age of Vect today!!!!!

  • markdawg

    I hate the part where my opponent gets to psychic phase then move,shoot and Assault while I get to do nothing. Also Rules bloat so many USR stacking gets really annoying.

    • euansmith

      Yeah, your opponent’s turn sucks 😉

      I get what you mean, though. Maybe some sort of alterate movement and simultaneous shooting would help; like a version of close combat, where the target could return fire.

  • Erik Setzer

    I don’t think simplifying the game will “fix” it. The core rules aren’t that bad. It was when they went nuts with formations and “detachments” (that ended up meaning not just a style of FOC but also a formation of formations), and then people were getting confused on how to even select an army. But on top of that it added a LOT of special rules, and it got especially worse when they weren’t just covertly using the formations and detachments to sell more models of certain types but instead became overt about using formations to sell models with the webstore exclusives. We now have multiple formations and detachments that straight up ignore core rules, and having formations/detachments that remove balancing factors of the rules within a year of those rules’ release is just speeding a path to breaking the game horrendously. More so when that design philosophy didn’t apply to all of the books released during that time, and so you have wildly varying power levels in just twelve months’ time.

    So the real issue isn’t so much the main rules – though they could use a bit of tidying, sure – but rather that they basically started throwing those rules out the window and going nuts with rules designed to sell models at the expense of game balance even before the ink dried.

    “the infamous Black December happened – Games Workshop released both the Apocalypse book introducing Lords of War along with Stronghold Assault.”

    You mean Escalation? Apoc was released earlier and doesn’t have LoW rules. Escalation has LoW rules and was released alongside Stronghold Assault.

    “Of course a whole new phase came about following in the foot steps of the WHFB Magic Phase. The psychic phase…”

    Or, rather, an old phase was brought back and re-introduced to the game. Come on, if you’re going to act like one of us old fogey gamers, at least remember how the game used to play. (Also, remember that 3rd edition was *not* universally loved. 4th edition got more love.)

  • John Felger

    The issue is game balance. Complex of simple, the mechanics will never fix anything as long as they don’t address balance.

  • Katharon

    Better question: why are they being compared at all?

    • euansmith

      Its generated 34 comments so far and more views 🙂 I guess it works for BoLS.

    • Because the design philosophy of one product could easily be transferred to the next.

  • ctFallen

    I left towards then end of 2nd and came back at the end of fifth and I thought it sucked. To me it felt like they sucked all the flavor out of the game, then 6th came and it started to get better and now 7th and I think its awesome even if somethings could be better, like the psychic phase. As to tournaments I don’t really care for them but have nothing against them either but the guys at Frontline Gaming are saying their tournaments are getting bigger every year.
    As to Sigmar, I think its ok even if I find it closer to a board game like heroscape then what it was and thats prob good to get new people into the hobby but not what I’m looking for. Tho if they suck all the detail and flavor out of 40k like they did with AoS i’ll prob just stay with 7th. Even if it is tactically deep I need more than that, i like detail even if that makes it more complicated.

  • ChubToad

    Let the flame wars begin, another “Deep Thought” article has been born on BoLS!

    • euansmith

      “Some men just want to watch the world burn…”

      • ChubToad

        Specially BoLS with these kind of articles..

      • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

        smells like white spirit?

        • euansmith

          Its the smell of victory… Liquorice on the other hand is the smell of Victory V…

  • false-emperor

    Where does 40k have to go from here?
    7e EVERYTHING (almost) is allowed, and is basically is a forced Apocalypse. What additions can be made? None.
    The only place 40k has to go is down, reboot, wipe, etc. just as whfb8e, which had everything (almost) allowed and giant point total games.
    Note; GW retail stores were hosting and running 40k vs fantasy games for over a year before AoS dropped, so the writing has perhaps been on the wall all along.

  • TweetleBeetle

    7th edition is the right direction for the game. Grown ups can handle complexity. More importantly, let’s get all the codices resembling Necrons (on forward) and the armies will be fine. Changes and updates can come via data slates and campaigns. If people want simplicity, play Age of Sigmar or WarmaHordes.

    As for adjustments, nothing drastic is required. Sure, there will be bad players who think everything except their own army should be nerfed. Or they will suggest radical points and stats adjustments. Changes should be simple:

    1. Stacks of saves – get rid of this. No more 2+/3+, rerollable save should it fail, plus a FNP option that is also rerollable, plus a Look Out Sir option. One save, one second chance. The end. This is one of the cleaner features in AoS and WarmaHordes. It shouldn’t take seven sets of dice to determine if a unit takes a wound.

    2. Movement Phase and unit coherency – clean these up. For all the internet complaints about rules enforcement and WAAC players, the only valid case they have is with the inches. You can’t cheat rolling to hit, wound, and save when two sets of eyes are watching. The one area I see people bend all the time, whether knowingly or ignorantly, is movement and coherency. They’ll squeeze little 1/4″ here and there, “accidentally” knock a guy over and then put it back in a slightly different spot, spread them out 2.5″ instead of 2″… They do it when trying to get a vehicle full of dudes closer, trying to get near an objective, or simply to avoid a template.

    The latter one is tricky, because distance is distance. There aren’t really rules to tighten that up, but this seems to be the only one among the major games where people do it frequently.

  • Matthew

    My fondest games were 3rd edition and 5th edition.

    3rd edition because I was new at the hobby and it was new and exciting, I was also young then and the fluff was amazing. My gaming community was strong too.

    5th edition because I started becoming a very good player in comparison to my gaming community. I could beat players utilizing relatively cheesy lists (Tau missle spam, Grey knights, etc) with basic vanilla Ultramarines. It was all about tactics.

    The game died for me in 6th edition. I got bored and switched armies to Imperial Guard. The amount of damage I could lay down in the first turn was just ridiculous. I got bored of the “setup ,shoot, opponent looses moral and stops trying” structure. I missed the close games.

    I believe what I enjoyed was the game, not the list creation. This edition you are punished/rewarded too much for what you bring to the table. Remember those times when the hobby store would roar with cheer because that lonesome guardsmen killed the warboss, demon price or hive tyrant in CC against all odds?

    • false-emperor

      5e was the smoothest rules set, albeit a little stagnant because of older codices, but was fully supported by GW.
      I still see 5e as 40k’s pinnacle in popularity, FLGS were full of players, Tournaments were abundant, painting competitions, large groups of players, conventions had giant Apocalypse games, and etc.

      How does GW not see the connection of support and sound rules equals sales? Look at GW stock during 5e.

      • Drpx

        Yeah I don’t why some people think 6e was better than 5e unless they’re that guy who brings two knights and three allied armies to every game.

  • Corsair6

    I do believe that the game needs to be streamlined some — not nearly as much as Age of Sigmar. The rule set has become unwieldy Entry into the game has become difficult for newbies and for those who have needed to step away for a while for whatever reason. There needs to be scalability to allow skirmish (for introduction to the game and quick nights) through Apoalypse (vets and the obsessed). The game does not need a major melt and re-pour, just some simple elegant solution to what boggs down gameplay.
    I see a lot of complaining about GW doing what is going to make them the most money. Well, it is a business. Businesses are expected to make money. Deal with it.

  • deuce1984

    I hated 6th but 7th has been a great middle ground between 6th and 5th. I think some rules fat still requires skimming but for the most part, very little needs changing.

    Things to change, modify, or revise:
    Random charge length
    Look out sir
    Warlord traits
    Random psychic powers

    • jeff white

      no premeasuring
      with anything

      keep tlos imho

  • TumbleWeed

    One of the things I’m curious about is the random charge length. As someone who took a break from the hobby for a while, when did that come about? It seems strange that you attempt to charge, roll dice and if you don’t make it the whole unit just stands where they are, kicking their boots and saying “Oh well!” Maybe it adds some randomness to the assault phase, but is that needed?

    • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

      IIRC it came in in 6th. It was part of a package of things that nerfed assault unnecessarily, most importantly random charge and over-watch.

      I think random charge is needed if movement isn’t random, as it adds an element of unpredicatbaility, but since movement is itself random in 40K it seems completely unnecessary.

      If they wanted to add excitement, they should have made it 6″+/d6, so you can get a simple easy charge in without being hung out to dry for no fault of your own. I’ve lost games through failing a 3″ charge and it just seems stupid, definitely not fun!

      • TumbleWeed

        I like the 6″+/d6 idea, and if you don’t make the charge your units still move that far (potentially out of cover). Personally I don’t think the movement needs to be unpredictable to make things interesting. I think troop movement needs to involve as much strategy as possible while shooting, CC and psychic powers have all the randomness you need.
        I like the idea that 40k is a wargame with tactics and generalship versus a random dice-rolling boardgame. Leave that to games like Risk and Monopoly. But that’s me personally.

        • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

          good idea about moving anyway. Since the unit had to give up running to charge it makes no sense that by charging they may actually move less distance than if they hadn’t charged!

          • TumbleWeed

            See that just sounds confusing and nonsensical, which shows the problems with the rules right there.
            “Ok men! We’re gonna stop running and git ready to cheeearge! Hold up a sec and prepare for combat!”
            “Sir, when we stopped, Jensen twisted his ankle! We should stop right here five feet from the enemy and get shot in the face!”
            “Grrr, very well! Wait here men! For the Emporah!”
            This is an account of the last seconds of a galant Tactical Squad that stopped five feet short of a Tau gunline. Too bad they stopped running!

          • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

            except that it reflects the fact that real life doesn’t happen in turns. I know what you mean though, but if you stay still on failing to charge what does that mean?

            OK guys lets stop here for a minute and not shoot because I think we might be able to charge those guys over there and kill them with our future chainsaws. Have a breather while I get my laser rangefinder and theodolite out for a minute to check. Oh no on second thoughts they are too far away.

      • I like and don’t like the 6″+d6. I don’t like it because it raises the average assault distance to around 9″. But I feel that is acceptable in the current meta because of over watch, not being able to assault out of a stationary vehicle, and front to back wound allocation. Not to mention challenge and look out sir shenanigans.

        Maybe a fairer solution would be 6″ or 2d6″, you choose which to use?

        • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

          thats a good compromise, or 3d3, giving a more even curve from 4″ to 9″.

          • TumbleWeed

            Wouldn’t hurt adding more dice here, since they could easily be rolled all at once and only once for each charge. So the 3d3+1 or even 4d3 could be ok.

      • Michael Gerardi

        Random charge was one of the many 6th ed idiocies that drove me out of 40K. And I wasn’t the only one.

        I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: DIVISIONAL PLAY is the answer.

    • Sutr

      random charge length came at exactly the same time as pre-measurement. once you start being able to measure everything and anything at any time you need that random charge to mantain randomness.
      notice however that the average charge range went from a fixed 6″ to an average 7″

      • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

        but charging across terrain deducts 2″ which makes even a 4″ charge risky.

        • Sutr

          Average roll of 7″ – 2″ for terrain equals 5″ charge. Over half the time you’d make it (not counting overwatch) while before (if i recall correctly) it was best of 2d6. Odds are you’d be better off nowadays anyway.

      • Matthew Pomeroy

        With the release of their modular game board it kinda became a necessary evil, after all 2×2 makes it almost premeasuring by sight anyhow.

        • Sutr

          Well, that too 😀

    • KRQuinn

      I know that random charge length drove a lot of veteran WHFB players out (along with the over the top Magic Phase and pre-measuring) of the game. I was pretty amazed when they added these things into 40K but I should not have been I guess.
      I have always thought it stupid that in 40K you don’t even move if you fail the charge. At least in WHFB you moved 1 Dice worth of the fail which made more sense to me, it made declaring a charge and failing even worse though.

  • jeff white

    when gw ruins 40k, we will simply support a better open source ruleset and use lots of other models too. chip and bif can keep 40k:PoS but i will be hawking one of those HH boxes that is for sure.

    • TumbleWeed

      The hardcore fans and tight groups of friends will do this, but the world of pick up games at a local store and the organized tourny scene will dissappear. My guess anyway.

      • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

        that is the usual pattern. AT-43 anyone?

      • jeff white

        nah, i see it getting stronger.
        40k is the new baseball.
        gw makes balls and bats.
        right now, gw is the big bat and has some excellent balls,
        but this will not always be the case –
        gw management has effectively spelled this out.

  • Tesq

    the only things i dont like about 7 ed it’s pshy phase, 6 ed was definetly better, 7th it’s too much play big or go home with psy character. I wanna play 1 psy man and use it. Not see his power get negated everytimes, also it’s too easy negate atm, You should decide if negate or not and what use with the same dice pools not get more dice to negate to add to alredy your in enemy turn.
    Also psy power need more aoe or they need to be able to select models from enemy units. Minds cannot be cover by line of sight nor by men in front of you, when you attack someone mind you shoudl felt it(?). Atm the onyl power that works are benediction and they are so strong…..They shoudl be a crap cos they buff whole units and cannot be negate, while offensive power should be more powerfull but can be negate.
    Also you cannot seriusly negate a psy weapon lol…..

    • Andrew Thomas

      But you can negate Benedictions, just on 6s.

  • Svenone

    I don’t think player drop off has anything to do with the rules of game itself, the core concepts are pretty straightforward once you learn them (which through the starter set like DV is a pretty gentle learning curve).

    The problem is the lack of fun that comes from playing codices that are published over the course of X amount of years and different design philosophies. Chaos and Daemons (not including Daemonkin) are now the oldest books, one is showing its age more than the other, and newer codices like Dark Eldar or Blood Angels are still lagging significantly behind which means they’re considered to be “older” than they are on paper as far as game balance/power.

    Not only that, it’s pretty ridiculous if they can’t realize that the barrier of entry isn’t the rules but the cost associated with starting a collection, that and the fact product isn’t readily available. FLGS that carry GW are few and far between with limited offerings and who wants to order something that’s 5-7 business days when we live in a world of Amazon 2 day shipping.

    • TumbleWeed

      Couldn’t agree more on the barrier of entry bit. A company that claims a desire to “expand the playerbase” is pricing everything consistently higher and higher, making it less accessible, and alienating parts of their playerbase who act pretty much as recruiters for the hobby if they enjoy it.

      • StingrayP226

        Plus there is the daunting task of assembling 30 +infantry, several vehicles, and maybe one huge model before games can be played. I love the posability/flexibility of the models but I still have a lot of work before I can put an unpianted army on the table as a new player… I like the hobby side a lot but it can be a barrier before I can get to the gaming side that is daunting.

        • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

          GW desperately needs a pre-painted minis game. BFG or some form of Epic with Titans would lend itself brilliantly to this.

        • TumbleWeed

          The hobby side never really bothered me, personally, but I can see how that would be intimidating. Especially for younger players. When I first got into 40k at the age of 14, I built a couple kits, slapped some orange paint on them and made a clumsy looking board. When I started making friends in the scene I started to realize I’d have to put in dozens more hours before I’d have a reasonably sized force, but at least I had names and backstories for every trooper!

        • Andrew Thomas

          Or 3-5 huge models if you’re going for that “I win most of the time,” approach.

  • LordKrungharr

    I don’t think the rules need too much simplifying, but they do need to use consistent wording and phrasing throughout to avoid the American tendency for rabid rules lawyering fiascoes (of which there are WAAAAAY too many now). That would help keep people playing, and lessen a need for FAQs, which GW seems to hate providing.

    They should also stick to established mechanics when introducing new sub-rulesets like Destroyer weapons. It just doesn’t mesh well the way they wrote it in 7th. Do I Look Out Sir the D-hits? Or the wounds caused by each hit? Super unclear.

  • Mathew G. Smith

    You know what current GW reminds me of? Early 90s Marvel. Creative work coming out, but management have clearly lost their minds.

  • Chumbalaya

    Age of Ultramar can’t get here soon enough. 40k needs to be burned to the ground and started anew.

    • KRQuinn

      You’ve been grumpy since 5th ended..where are the rusty Necrons anyways?

  • Garrett Sorensen

    The intent as I understand it is to consolidate all of their models into one game. Mark my words. If age of sigmar does well. The same thing will happen to 40k.

  • StingrayP226

    GW should take their “We are a Miniatures company” line to heart and get rid of their rules division. Instead outsource their rule making to someone who knows what the f*** they are doing like FFG.

    AoS and 40K get a good rules company to design the game and GW can focus on their “collectables” will make everyone happy. Plus puts FFG in a good position to take over the 40k/AoS universe once GW sinks itself.

    • Then we can play 40k and AoS with 1000 little cardboard counters and prepainted figs and keep games down to 10-15 models per side.

  • Wyatt Michael Kinsinger

    I’m new to the whole Warhammer 40k scene, so I can’t provide any real insight. However as someone who started getting interested in 6th, then started playing in 7th, I really have enjoyed the experience of 7th ed.

    • Shiwan8

      It’s not a bad system. Honestly almost everything wrong with the game is in the codices. Unless you are borderline fanatic about competitive gaming or just like to auto-lose you’ll find this true when you meet your first tournament orientated gamer.

  • Defenestratus

    I guess I’m the only one who wants it more complicated – not less.

    2nd was the best edition bar none.

  • Andrew Thomas

    Cut out the chaff and go back to individualized special rules. And give horde armies more love.

  • edendil

    Sixth Edition: “the game became much more complex… The game became much more streamlined with less rules… it took me around six months to really get a solid handle on the rules”
    I’m confused. I think it will take me about six months to get my head around this paragraph.