Goatboy’s 40k Thoughts: 8th Edition Thoughts

crystal_ball

Goatboy here and today I want to look into my crystal ball and try to figure out where GW might be going with 8th Edition.

Right now it feels like we are heading into a much healthier game as the company has slowed changed its direction and finally started to “listen” to their customers.  They have also started to embrace all the things that kept players into the game and hopefully this will continue in the new and updated version of the game we love to play, build, paint, and complain about.  With this in mind – lets think of ways they can still keep the flavor of 40k and not blow it up.

First thing I suspect will see is a big change in how you build an army.  I do not think Formations, Battle Hosts, Decurions, and other game build designs are going away.  In fact I see those as staying.  I can see some either getting tweaked or removed but for the most part I suspect them to still be the “new” way to build armies.  The biggest thing I suspect will be coming is the massive change to how Battle Brothers, Allies, and actual army construction will work.  I know GW knows how bad some of the “combo’d” Battle Brother options there are.  They listened to a lot of things and even “nerfed” one set of rules spreading in the latest FAQs and I bet we will see more.  I would either expect there is no “faction” mixing in units or some other way to limit it.  I think GW sees their armies as built up of mini little armies together and doesn’t want a Dark Angels guy leading a ton of Space Wolves across the battlefield.  This would also mean that you would see less Librarian Conclaves going against their creed to summon Daemons on the battlefield for some “suspect” friends.

allies-table-7th

This gets an overhaul I bet

Of course this would gut a lot of armies and most likely push Eldar back to being the best of the best but as a whole it would probably be better for the game.  You could still have Allies you would just need to ensure they have buddies to either hide in or help keep their leaders alive.  It would also hurt some other factions as well – but really when was the last time you saw an Inquisitor used as something more then just a Grenade Caddy or Servo Skull provider?  It would also mean some of the too forgiving USR’s might be harder to find in armies that shouldn’t have it.

After that I bet will see a big overhaul of the listed USR’s.  This could mean either a complete removal from the main BRB and locked into codexes, army formations, etc or a big rework that limits how they interact with other options in your army.  Hit and Run could see a big change if they went into every model in a unit has to have it.  I also wonder if adding in an Initiative roll off instead of just passing an Initiative test.  Its a bunch of small things that could just help make the game run smoother, create better interactions, and maybe allow the game to grow again as the markets gets more saturated.

warscroll-104

Warscroll unit-rules combo format. Coming to the Grimdark?

After these initial things I do suspect our psychic phase to have a complete reworking.  The old way of limited interaction where you just throw as many spells out as you had mastery level created a very one sided phase (Old Leadership roll phase all done at the beginning of the turn).  It also caused issues with Blessings and other things getting spread around a bit too much.  The new phase is a bit to clunky and dice demanding.  Also it almost has the same amount of non interaction when you have certain armies gaining access to guaranteed spells via formation rules and other bonus’s.  You also have the turns where nothing goes off as you can’t roll past a 4+ on a set of dice.  It also has the issue of needing a ton of psychic power to be usable or none at all.  The question is how to fix it and one thought was to utilize something like the old Fantasy system where while you couldn’t cast a ton of spells you had more of a guarantee to hit the spells you needed.  It also allowed for more interaction as you basically had to fight against your opponent as you threw dice out.  I don’t know if that way would be good either – but I think something needs to change.

SMLibrarianTerminatorArmour01

My phase needs an update!

From there they probably need to overhaul how assault works.  Right now the shooting phase is pretty dang nutty – so assault armies have to be extremely survivable to get there.  This means that any non extreme army has a good chance to fight an unkillable unit or an army that completely removes you from the table before you can even play.  This makes things extremely hard for those players who don’t want to play the newest and best a$$ kicking army.  I think one thing that could help is bringing back assaulting from vehicles that didn’t move.  This would let players maybe play with boxes that are not free, help push things to be faster but not too much faster, and hopefully not bring back the old rule of being able to consolidate into more combat.

Eldar Banshee1

Can we get a hand please? There’s a lot of shooting out there!

After all of this I can be pretty sure will see 3 different versions of 40k coming.  Just like Age of Sigmar has 3 different ways to play – 40k can easily incorporate that.  You can have the crazy, whilly nilly, Apocalpyse style version which lets you do whatever you want whenever you want.  You could have a very locked in Narrative style play that pushes stories and heroes for the game.  Finally you could have a true competitive set up that tries to emphasize diversity and balance between the armies.  I would love to see 40k adopt a Magic like strategy of either creating simple formats or other things for different GT’s, games, etc.  Could you imagine them bringing back a GT with a Highlander theme?  Or how about other formats?  What if they had a “ban” list or some other type of legal formations list?  What if the Narrative games worked out as storylines for specific GT’s and influenced later product?  The sky’s the limit if you start to utilize the power of their own game instead of just being the best miniature making company.  What if they actually embraced the rules as a selling point and tried to create something that fed all our gaming desires?

60040299063_GeneralsHandbookENG01

A lot of good ideas can be lifted from this little guy.

I really wish the GT’s would come back and will see how the new AOS ones work out.  I have been slowly looking at that game as while I would rather have 40k GTs, the idea of having something like that experience coming back intrigues me.  Plus the chatter points to the new General Handbook being a good thing filled with balance, fun and decent interactions.  As usually I am cautious but I have a crap ton of daemons, a ton of the Khorne AOS stuff, and a desire to see my bad guys actually decent on the table top.

Overall I think 7th edition was all moves in the right direction.  The game doesn’t need a complete overhaul – just some tweaks, changes, etc to make things work better and hopefully allow for more diversity and fun.  I don’t expect 8th to break the game.  Look at how all the old books still will have to work.  8th will be a push towards something that will hopefully become the gold standard for the GW 40k universe as the new CEO fully takes over, the development team is fully established, and the direction of the game itself is defined, refined, and correctly presented.

crystal_ball

~What do you think GW is going to do to the game?

  • Hawt Dawg

    I am 100% sure you can still cheese it out with a min-max spice, topping it off with some good old cut n’ paste drink.

    • ZeeLobby

      We wouldn’t love him if he didn’t!

      • Hawt Dawg

        Only when he adds Imperial Knights…

  • jcdent

    I like the absolutely horrible idea of moving USRs out of the main rulebook. When everyone is praising WMH for having everything in one book, we surely need to scatter stuff more.

    All in all, I wouldn’t mind a complete axing of the ruleset, because it’s just bad. I’m in 40K for the universe, not the ruleset, I can push Space Marines on anything, especially if that anything doesn’t have grav weapons and other MEQ killers, glancing, WT’s, LOWs, formations, detachments, random psychic powers because they couldn’t be assed to balance them, deathstars…

    So what I’m saying is that I should be playing Tomorrows War: With Space Marines Now.

    • Jamie Richard Micheal Seddon

      I suppose WMH got it right as they invest in making the ruleset work rather than lining shareholders pockets iv played both systems for along time and I agree 40k is a terrible rule set its not balanced and GW doesn’t need to as most 40k players will stick with it regardless rather than start a new game

      • ZeeLobby

        Maybe… I mean 40K has taken a giant dive locally. And sales were down again. They stated AoS had sold well, so there’s really only one other system to account for the loss in sales. It’s gotten to the point where if our local group does play, it’s with stuff they have rather than buying more.

        That said, 40K easily has enough of a base to make it’s death a long slow one if it wanted.

    • Xodis

      Having all rules for a specific army in their own codex is perfectly normal. Even WMH will eventually outgrow MKIII, just like it did MKII and we will have rules scattered about in books. The best thing WMH brought to the table was units being full available on a single card, just like AoS is doing. Would make sense and make the game a lot easier as far as rules bloat goes.

      Keywords also allow buffs or synergy to be limited to the units it was meant for eliminating all the shenanigans people complain about.

      • ZeeLobby

        I wish AoS had cards, though some of their rule text would require 4/5 cards per unit.

        • Xodis

          I know there are already ways to make them, but once popularity goes up I think we will see some official ones or some grade A “print your own” cards, especially if 40K goes to a card like system.

          • ZeeLobby

            True, that’d be cool to see. I mean the way PP gets around it is that they still have USRs. I’m really hoping they don’t throw them out, as it’s what makes small rules easy. That said, they could definitely use some trimming.

            For example, I’d love to see them really use the FnP(4+), FnP(5+), FnP(6+) system and possibly apply it to other things (poison, invulns, etc.). And then remove army specific ones that basically do the same thing except for that one rare instance because FnP actually was FAQed at some point.

          • Xodis

            That would be cool too. My idea would be having USRs and then associating them to Keywords: Space Marines gets these…. CSM gets these… Can also help with adding Black Legion gets these… Iron Warriors get these… and lets you break , and so on. Makes it possible to fit a unit or character on a single info sheet/card and also be customizable as far as building an army/faction goes. I just hope its not too basic like 5e was and they keep some flavor in the units/armies. +1 inititive is awesome for mark of Slaneesh, but access to noise weapons, relics, and possible a special Slaneesh USR would be even better. We would probably see more themed armies that way.

          • ZeeLobby

            Yeah, I like that idea too. I think it’s definitely possible. We shall see. One things for sure right now, it’s just confusing as heck. I’ve stepped away for the past year, and now I have no clue what things do on the table. Was never really an issue pre-7th. I agree that keeping flavor is key, but not when it greatly impacts playability.

          • Xodis

            I quit at the release of 6th. Didn’t like the Dinobots or the direction of CSM as assaulting became even worse. I also agree there needs to be a balance of flavor and playability. A fluffy army that sucks on the table is no better than a bland army that dominates everything IMO.

          • ZeeLobby

            I agree 100%. And I don’t expect balanced perfection. There will always be stronger armies than others. I just want to see the effort/attempt. A lot of the older editions did OK at this because they had game designers who played the game a lot. I’m not sure they have those anymore, or if they do, they don’t voice balance concerns enough for GW to take them seriously

            That said, 8th edition may be GW taking them seriously, so I’m excited to see the result.

          • Xodis

            Oh I agree that we will never see a level of balance that Chess has….but Starcraft levels of balance are pretty easily attainable even with all the diverse factions. Im with you hoping that 8e brings me back into the game with its balance and hopefully original and fluffy approach to armies.

          • ZeeLobby

            Yeah, definitely excited, and hoping. At the same time definitely cautious. Did GH help AoS a lot? yes. Did it really work? It’s way to early to tell. Will it be updated as new releases come out? Still way too early to tell. So we’ll see. I’m hoping 2 years from now I’m like “man, GW definitely turned things around”.

          • babelfisk

            I’m not sure if Starcraft levels of balance are attainable for 40k. Blizzard spent a lot of time keeping Starcraft balanced, and worked hard to adjust the game as new tactics were developed by the player base.

            In order for GW to reach that level of balance they would have to be releasing FAQ/Errata every month or two, and be gathering large amounts of game play data in order to make the updates actually help. I can’t see that being feasible for any tabletop game company.

          • Xodis

            I can see the core game being released that way along with the first wave of ‘dexs. Sure it would probably have a slower “patch” time then Starcraft as the game grew, but even the initial balance of the prime releases would be preferred to the Wild West style of rules loop holes and shenanigans we currently have.

          • Wayne Molina

            Virtually every other war game has a good enough level of balance across a variety of faction. There is nothing about 40K that makes it the exception to this rule if GW actually wanted to do it and would actually try. I see a lot of people constantly say oh 40K is too complicated to properly balance, but this is a bold-faced lie because there are just as complex or more complex games out there that have no problem with balance so why is 40k the exception?

          • Xodis

            More factions makes it more difficult, and I dont know of a wargame, video or otherwise, that has as many factions. I dont believe its too difficult however, I just dont think its been the focus of design. Rule of Cool has always been the goal for GW until what we have seen recently.

        • Horus84cmd

          Pretty much may as well use the app for that. I know not the same thing, but same end result.

          • ZeeLobby

            True. I’m just not a fan of each unit having it’s own several special rules. I mean it’s manageable, there’s just real strength in USRs and they kind of threw them out with AoS because they assumed people “didn’t want to look stuff up because the actual practice of looking stuff up is annoying”, when really it was that people “didn’t want to look stuff up, because finding it and poor rules make it annoying to decipher what the rule does”.

          • euansmith

            You are just a USR zealot… um… that gives you Hared and Fearless… 😉

          • ZeeLobby

            Haha. I just think it’s crazy when anyone states “USRs are bad”. They can be amazing if implemented right.

    • euansmith

      I guess the options are that you can fit a limited group of USRs in to the BRB, or a massive spread of them across the units War Scrolls/Data Slates.

      Option A calls for a streamlined set of USR that are applied to different units across the entire range. This could make things simpler and easier to balance a bit.

      Option B allows for loads of different colourful special rules, and might lead to a hot mess of conflicts and combos.

      Given GW’s part history I would expect more of option B than A.

      • BT

        From looking at it in a player’s viewpoint, if I am playing Bob and he screws up his codex USRs, how am I to know unless I am also playing the same codex with those same USRs? Or worse yet, you have a player who plays twister with the words to suit their needs/interpretations?

        This is why I, as a player who doesn’t own every codex, want the USRs in the main book. What I feel GW needs to do is make the USRs cost freaking points. If you have Hit and Run effect the whole unit from one guy, maybe Hit and Run should increase the critter’s cost with it. I am kind of tired of Space Wolves and other chapters having a ton of extra free USRs for jerk-off regular marines that cost the same as the vanilla marine counterpart. Sure, Acute Senses is fluffy, then I guess those guys can be more expensive that a regular Marine too.

        • euansmith

          I’m all for a limited number of clearly defined USRs combined with Keywords to clear up any questions. 😉

  • Keaton

    Drives me nuts when I still see people describe armies as either “shooty” or “assaulty”. As though when you’re picking your army, you have another sub choice to make. Like people are playing two different games.

    That’s garbage. Shooting is meant to compliment assault and vice versa. Very few armies in the game have to make such a binary choice.

    I think maybe this is 5th edition mentality? When everyone shook hands and agreed to just assult each other in the middle and see how the die rolled? But theres no such mandate anymore. I think people would do well to relook at how they play the game and why they aren’t having fun or aren’t doing well.

    • Jamie Richard Micheal Seddon

      whilst in theory I agree shooting compliments the assault forces etc but when u have armies like grav spam marines, eldar and tau with riptides wings and double stormsurge u don’t need to assault bcoz you can easily shoot an army off the board

      that’s why you see more shooty armies than CC

      • Karru

        Indeed. Ever since the insane amount of nerfs to Assaulting, there is literally no reason to use CC units when a ranged unit can do the a lot better job usually cheaper. Also, describing an army as shooty or assaulty is extremely helpful and good thing to do. I mean, how would you describe Orks for example without having to make a powerpoint presentation? It’s used to describe what the “main focus” of the army is. Orks are good in melee as can be seen with their BS 2 and lack of long range weapon options for basic Boys. Meanwhile Tau has an extreme amount of long range fire power and methods to increase the damage output of their ranged attack, but have basically nothing once they are engaged in melee.

        • Keaton

          Orks not being good at shooting is a myth which survives because people can’t look past their BS.

          Shoota boys are way better than Choppa boys, for example. Lootas are great. Dakka Jet is great. Mek Gunz are great.

          And I said very few armies. Yes the Tau are shooting focused. Khorne Daemonkin are assault focused. Outside of those two, you will be hard pressed to convince me of another army that has to make that binary distinction.

          • Karru

            They are not binary distinction. I can make a Khorne Daemonkin army that shoots stuff and never assaults. The point is to quickly explain what the armies strengths are. Eldar are mostly shooting, since their melee units are squishy with low strength so if someone asks me to describe them I’d say “They are a shooty army that moves fast.”

          • Keaton

            Sure. But this isn’t a quick rundown to someone who is new to the game. This is an article on a tabletop gaming site. We should be more nuanced than that. If people think buffing “assault armies” and nerfing “shooting armies” is the way 8th edition is going to save us all, I just don’t buy it.

          • Karru

            But that is the problem with the current edition. Assaulting is useless and only way to fix that is to nerf ranged combat and buff assaulting. There is literally no reason to take CC units outside Deathstars or units that can assault on the turn they arrive from deep strike. It won’t fix everything that is wrong with 40k but it will do a lot of good for the game.

          • Keaton

            Assaulting isn’t useless. That’s hyperbole.

            The problem with the game is that troops should be half their current point costs across the board, and people shouldn’t play with LoW, Super Heavies, Gargantuan creatures, Allies, and they should follow the damn FoC.

          • Karru

            Now there is something we can agree on. That’s one of the reasons why I liked 5th edition so much. None of those things you listed existed back then and troops were actually needed to win the game. As for the Troops being half their points, no. Troops should be relevant to the game, like they were in 5th. The killing and all that should be left to everyone else, while troops hold objectives.

      • Keaton

        Well, my argument would be that those are simply powerful units for their points cost and not indicative of a balance problem between assault and shooting necessarily.

        I could say the same thing about Bikerstars, TW Calvalry, Imperial Knights, etc.

        The argument always goes like this: “Its hard for me to assault with my basic troops because they often get shot to death before they arrive. The only way I can win is by bringing deathstar units because they can survive the shooting! Nerf shooting!”

        Rarely is there mention of how terrible deathstar units are for the game. Or that there is the implied reality and shooting is simply something you can’t/won’t do.

        If you want shooting to be significantly weaker, you need to make assault less devastating. Assault not only gets higher strength weapons point for point once they’re stuck in, it also takes the unit they assault out of the fight, so to speak. Assault is supposed to be more powerful because its harder to do. Maybe that needs tweaking.

        • Karru

          Deathstars are one of the biggest problems in the game right now. You seem to forget that the reason why assaulting is more devastating is that they aren’t able to do it all the time. Unlike ranged combat, I can pretty much shoot all the time. Assault units have to reach their targets and take fire along the way. That is the reason why Assaulting is devastating once they get in.

          Assaulting was overnerfed with this edition and made basic CC units useless. Normally you could bring a unit of Khorne Berzerkers in Rhinos and once they reach the opposite side, pop out and Assault. Not possible any more. Now they have to sit there for a turn while the entire army just blasts them to smithereens. Again, I’m trying to focus on the buffs that Ranged units has gained during 6th and 7th. Abundance of Ignore Cover, Overwatch and over all reduce of Cover, all these made Assaulting more and more useless compared to Ranged.

          • I mean, that’s been the rule for vehicles since 5th, you have to go back almost a decade to a time when you could assault from a stationary vehicle

          • Karru

            Page 67 on the 5th edition rulebook:

            Disembarking

            If the vehicle has not yet moved, then passengers may disembark and move normally. The vehicle can also then move normally. The disembark models may shoot (counting as moving), and may assault as normal.

            The question is, which one of us has a misprint on their rulebooks?

    • shiwan

      Many of us did relook. We found out that we either chose wrong codex or wrong style codex (meaning not marines, eldar or tau).

      • Karru

        Exactly. 6th and 7th edition are based around shooting and armies that have good basic saves. Thanks to the abundance of Ignore Cover weapons available to basically everyone armies like Orks or Tyranids are now in big trouble. They can adapt and switch to big creatures or mechanized, but they still have to somehow get there before they are shut to pieces by long range fire or just get withered down thanks to superior speed.

        • BT

          Also, Overwatch came back in 6th, so the shooty armies got an effective extra turn of shooting in, at their best rate of fire (double tapping with bolters/plasma for example). That /really/ hurt Assaulting armies. You couldn’t charge Turn 1, so you had to just take it for a turn, maybe two, and then you had to eat the overwatch as you went in.

          Anyone with a brain can see that as a sucker’s bet. You are practically throwing points away and fighting a up hill battle.

          Another change that was made was that all power weapons use to ignore all armor (I am pretty sure that was 4th). That was when Howling Banshees were king because they had power swords and their Scream lowered the targets Init to 1, so they always swung first. Only thing that kept them in check was the 3 Str…so you had a 50-50 shot of losing your squad… oh yeah, with no Overwatch.

          I think GW over-reacted one way, then the other. Maybe in 8th there will be a better balance between the two extremes. Personally, I like Overwatch and the concept behind it, but the guys charging /need/ something as well.

          • Karru

            There was the problem of overnerfing Assaulting. Removing the possibility of charging from Outflank and Transports that stood still Assaulting no longer possible for example. Also the Fast Transports became not so fast since they made it so that you cannot disembark if you move more than 6″. Also the RNG charge distances hurt somewhat, but it has it’s positives as well.

            Also things like Ignore Cover and the Power Weapon nerf you mentioned was also very, very bad for assaulting units. Overwatch was just the smallest of the problems. They also started to remove assaulting from reserve, like the Heroic Intervention of Vanguard, after 6th edition rolled out.

            These days, only assaulting units that can be used are either Deathstars or units that can assault from reserve. If there is even one turn that they can be shot or they aren’t nearly invincible, there is absolutely no point in taking CC units.

    • BT

      Orks and some other codices will disagree with your assessment that there is no real distinction between ‘shooty’ and ‘assaulty’ armies. When you look at Snap Shot as only a 50% reduction to your shooting, you really don’t do shooting.

      • Keaton

        Disagree. Orks are best played now as an army with a good deal of shoointg imo. Their weapons and stat points are balanced around their lousy BS, so the snap shot thing is actually a benefit.

        Mek Guns, Lootas and other stuff are really devastating for their point cost (potentially). Nob Bikers and stuff will always be great assault options, but I think thats an old school mentality. I know Orks have their problems, but a lack of available shooing isn’t one of them.

        • Karru

          Everything is best played as shooting now, so that pretty much invalidates this argument. If you actually go trough the Ork book, you can easily say that they are meant to assault things. CC Walkers, Power Klaws, Nobz, lack of “long range” fire power outside of Heavy Support and Fast moving CC units. Yes, Orks have a lot of shooting but it is inaccurate as hell. Their strength is in Close Combat.

          • Keaton

            They have a lot of units that are meant to assault. But if you think their strength in this codex is assault, you’re just wrong.

            Everything is not played best “as” anything. That’s my point. I don’t think this edition is perfect at all, but we’re oversimplifying here.

          • Karru

            Their main strength does come from melee, that’s why they are not as powerful in this edition as they were in 5th or 4th. Well, partially thanks to that, the insane amount of Ignore Cover also helps. My points is that Orks thrive in CC, just like Tau thrives in Ranged Combat. This means that Orks are mainly CC and Tau mainly Ranged. Both factions can assault and have options for it, but when your entire book is filled with things like Furious Charge, Power Klaws, things that allows them to not run away when in CC and WAAAAGH!, I somehow have this feeling that they are meant to be assaulting things.

  • happy_inquisitor

    Looking at what AoS did with Assault might give us a hint of things to come. Part of the problem with assault in 40K is that it is too decisive when it happens – once you get into assault most target units are shut down from what they want to do for the game (shoot) and have no way to escape their fate. The designers have tried to make that workable at a game level by assault being hard to achieve but really that just creates a frustrating experience. An all-or-nothing mechanic like 40K assault is probably just a bit of a game mechanic dead end.

    In AoS assault is nothing like so powerful; shooting units can still shoot while locked in combat and pretty much any unit can retreat from a combat it really does not want to be in. Not surprisingly the game also makes it a whole lot easier to get into close combat – a more rewarding experience for a wider variety of players.

    • Horowitz Tal

      you forgot that the shooting is also much more sparse then in 40K, where every unit can shoot.
      that most of the stats are really flat and the large difference would be the amount of dice throwing and the increased wound value of everything making stuff stick more

  • OolonColluphid

    Dark Eldar just need better ranged attack. Just replace Rapid Fire with Salvo and they won’t be charging to their deaths fifty percent of the time. Both Eldar have better ranged weapons in the fluff than everyone else, except for the Tau.

    • sjap98

      I always had a problem wit rapid fire forbidding to aussault.
      maybe make rapid fire:
      1. shoot once at half range and be able to assault OR
      2. choose to shoot twice at half range or once at full range and no assault…

      Oh and make Dark Lances Twin linked, just because we always roll a 1 or 2 with them!

      • OolonColluphid

        Rapid Fire has always been a bit strange compared to every other form of shooting. Maybe it should be like the Pariah Bolter from 30k.
        If you charge after firing twice or shoot at max range it counts as a disordered charge.

    • Djbz

      Dark Eldar having Rapid fire weapons has always irked me.
      All Dark Eldar infantry weapons should be assault or salvo.
      They are supposed to be absolute masters of maneuver warfare, they should be dashing around shooting and then assaulting and then using the hit and run rule (which is also lacking in how many Dark Eldar units get it) as that is the entire idea of their army- a hit and run raiding force

      • OolonColluphid

        Salvo 1/2 should also replace Rapid Fire for Bolters and Hot-shot lasguns. But GW seems to forget how the factions in their games are supposed to fight.

      • Andrew Thomas

        Also, basing wargear access solely on what comes in the unit’s box rather than allowing (read: encouraging or forcing) players to kit-bash the way Marines and to a lesser extent, AM do, especially when the wargear in question is a better fit on many other units (i.e: Solarites getting Power Lances vs. Arena Champions/Helliarchs), is disappointing. Everybody, with a few noted exceptions (Tau, arguably Tyranids) should have access to the generic Power Weapons list.

      • Painjunky

        Agreed. DE warriors should have assault rifles and 2 CC weapons standard + a run shoot run mechanic.

  • petrow84

    I really wonder, how much alternating activation instead of the IGO-UGO would improve / ruin the gaming experience, like in Epic 40k. My main beef with that one is the force-activation, but that could be countered by the way Deadzone did; if you have less unactivated units, you can pass back the initiative.

    • EnTyme

      In it’s current state, alternating activations creates as many problems as it fixes. The game just isn’t balanced enough for it right now. I have had some success with alternating phases, but even that still has its problems.

      • petrow84

        Could you share your experiences? I’m curious about trying it out.

        • EnTyme

          As the game stands, the main issue with alternating activations is that it further emphasizes MSU lists. In the games I’ve played with the system (admittedly only 3), the side the more units won by a large margin.
          Alternating phases felt a lot more like the current game with less standing around doing nothing but rolling saves (or at least it feels like less). The biggest drawbacks I have seen is that it makes assault even worse and makes the Psychic and Assault phases awkward. Assault as a mechanic is worse because it’s really easy to kite when you don’t have to wait until your opponent has moved, then run, then maybe attempt a charge before moving your unit away. The Psychic and Assault phases are awkward because even in the current system, there is some interaction from both players during each phase, and it’s weird to do these back-to-back.
          One of the more interesting ways I’ve tried to reduces the awkwardness is by combining these into a single Psychic Phase and a single Combat Subphase per game turn. In the combined Psychic phase, one player rolls “Offensive” warp charge, and the other rolls “Defensive” warp charge. The “Offensive” can only be used to Harness the Warp, while “Defensive” can only be used to Deny the Witch. Mastery Level warp charge can be used for either. Results of the phase are resolved simultaneously.
          The Combat Subphase can be combined for simplicity, but this makes assault even weaker than it already is.

          • petrow84

            Thank you for your answer.

            Were you able to pass the activation? Or were you forced to activate anyway, after your opponent did?

            I mentioned Epic, because that force-activation kinda killed the fun. I mean, why would a Titan have to react to the movement of a single infantry squad, than waiting for the right moment to strike?

            Also, in its current form, I think, the psyhic phase just don’t work. I wonder, how it would go with the pre-6th edition rules, where you had to pay for the psychic powers, and used an Ld based test, rather than warp charges.

    • mugginns

      Alternating activation would make 40k playable again.

      • I see people say this, and I don’t see how. Maybe you play at smaller point amounts. I’m trying to imagine how a 2000 point alternating action battle would be fun. It sounds like a pain to me. 40k wasn’t designed to play that way originally.

        And yes, I have played games with alternating action, games designed that way.

  • generic eric

    Whatever they do, they should collate all of the Tyranid rules into a larger codex, while finishing the update to Imperial Armour 4: The Anphelion Project. The Patriarch decrees the cult uprising! The hivemind compels it. So it shall be! All the Tyranid & genestealer rules in a single volume.

  • Xodis

    These seem pretty obvious from a customer/gamer point of view, was hoping there would be more inside info.

  • Horus84cmd

    The game doesn’t need a complete overhaul – just some tweaks, changes, etc to make things work better and hopefully allow for more diversity and fun. I don’t expect 8th to break the game.”

    Could not disagree more because Oh boy does it need re-working from the ground up. Small tweak/changes won’t work. Every phase is too intertwined.

    Ironically, I don’t feel the problem with 40k is necessarily the current rules per say, broadly, they worked at the outset of 7th. However, then more and more crap was dumped on top to allow different ways of playing and here in lies the rub. Id say the real issues stem from that 40k doesn’t know what “sort” of game it want to be anymore. It’s tried to be a jack of all trades but, as we currently sit, it doesn’t succeed at any of these anymore.

    I’d say anyone who doesn’t prepared themselves for a completely overhauled rule set is going to severely upset and disappointed. The designers need to decide on what kind of game 40K is going to be and write a game that fits that. If they want a system that scales from using a handful of model to a case load then they need to write rules that allow that scaling from the outset – not from bolt ons that break the game, as they have done over the last 4 years. I would note at this point that is exactly how and why AoS work so elegantly.

    “Look at how all the old books still will have to work.”

    No, just no. In no way do the old books have to work. If GW choose to scrap them, they will. They’ve done it several times over the editions of 40K and WFB and they will do it again. I’d put money on it.

    Whatever 40K end up being I’d be a confident betting man in saying we see a sales structure akin to AoS. Free core rules and free core unit rules but having the option to pay for additional funky formations etc.. and background.

    • Karru

      Agreeing 100% regarding the “just put a bandage on it” mentality. This game cannot be fixed with a simple “tweak”. The game is a mess with the rules spread around like a watermelon after a mortar strike. As much as it pains many, I think that three book way should be implemented. One that is AoS levels of basic, basically the introduction to the game. Second book would be 5th edition levels of “complicated”. “Basic” stuff so no allies, formations, Super Heavies etc. just the basic game with all the rules. This would be the “Standard”. Then a third “advanced rulebook”, this would contain the rules for formations, super heavies, allies and all the things that make 40k complicated mess. To me that would please everyone, those that want to AoS 40k get their game, those that want the thing to be toned down get what they want and finally those that want to take it to the next level can use the Advanced version.

    • ZeeLobby

      I always get blasted for this, but I REALLY dislike allies, formations and detachments. All they added were wonky ways to break the system. Think about if every current force simply couldn’t ally with others. You’d already see a lot more interesting builds within a codex rather than power picking from several.

      • Karru

        Exactly. Allies were a nice idea, I mean I immediately when I saw them started to think fun and thematic armies, but then the reality hit and I realised that it was just a tool to power game. Formations wouldn’t be as bad if GW actually took the time to balance them out and gave them to everyone, not just a selected few.

        • ZeeLobby

          Yeah, I mean give a real negative drawback to any of those things, and they do a much better job supporting fluff, while avoiding having to account for them in balancing. I mean it’s fun taking fluffy armies to tournaments (i’ve done it several times), but at higher events you rarely win. I don’t expect to win at tournaments, and i don’t expect power gamers to run fluffy armies, but it’d be nice to see them not just cherry pick the best unit from 5 different factions and then face roll with them.

      • Hawt Dawg

        God, I hate your guts.

        Allies FTW!

        Tau and Eldar makes perfect che… Sense.

        • ZeeLobby

          Haha. You’d be surprised how many people despise my disgust with allies purely because it lets them build “fluffy” armies, and then show up with Eldar/Daemons, or insert an Imperial Knight to stomp their poor Ork friends face. I mean you could do all this fluffy stuff before with friends. It’s not like Allies was some holy land provided to us by GW. It could have been actually if they had policed it well, haha.

    • shiwan

      As a person who plays melee armies (because that is how the codices I play are structured) I can not agree with the idea that 7th edition is, as a core rule set, worth a something.

      Other than that I think you are spot on. At the moment full sigmarification of 40k seems actually a lot better than anything we have now. I’d honestly rather take 4 page rules without points, as horrific as that is, than the present rule set in which playing the game is pretty pointless over 9/10 times.

    • Wayne Molina

      The game needs a complete overhaul just because the core set of rules are from Third Edition which is what, 18 years ago now? And if rumor was true was cobbled together based on some Homebrew World War II Miniatures game at the last minute. The game wants to be a variety of things and does none of them well. They need to redo the core rules from scratch and have a game that scales from a handful of models walkthrough Squad based to company level and then becomes extremely abstract when you get into larger scale games. So for example at the lower level individual models may have a variety of special rules and customizability. When you get to company level, which would be the default, it becomes slightly more abstract with less focus on the individual model but it’s still there. When you move up to what is essentially epic played in 28 millimeter, the rules become increasingly abstract so for example Squad just has a heavy weapon that gives it some bonus it doesn’t matter what type of heavy weapon it is at that scale. Something like that would greatly help the game I think

  • krisbrowne42

    Things I’d like to see:
    1. Do away with ranged weapon types… AoS does this right for missile weapons – Give a # of shots, a target # for hits, a target # for wounds.
    2. Scale down # of USRs – If something basically says it’s Something + Something, just list both… Nuke shrouded, and give Stealth(-1)
    3. Rework saves – another place where AoS does better. Turn AP into a negative modifier instead of a flat denial, ala rend, and simplify cover.
    4. Do away with, or nerf, overwatch.. Or leave it as is, but reduce the number of ways to fudge it. DA having 50% or better chance of hitting incoming charges, or Tau being able to overwatch with ½ their army on a single charge, really takes the fun out of assault-heavy play.

    I _like_ the current model of alliances, mostly, but I’d do away with anything beyond Allies of Convenience, and make that more detrimental.

    • EnTyme

      Pretty much agree with all of this. Having finally gotten to play some AoS this weekend, I have to say 40k could benefit a lot from some of the mechanics.

    • jazeroth

      i’m started sigmar, like most because there are points now, and i like it alot. i don’t want everything moved to 40K but a few rules would be good with me

    • generalchaos34

      I’ve always felt that overwatch should work just like intercept. Meaning that if you overwatch you cannot shoot in the following phase. Now on its face this seems stupid, but in light of things like Tau, it means that doing overwatch is a tactical choice. If the enemy is 4 inches away, go guns a blazing. If the enemy is 8 or more and theres a decent chance of failure….maybe you will want to hold off on that overwatch instead of just getting a free shooting round. over all it wont change too much other than make players have to choose their overwatch wisely and hope they dont screw themselves over.

  • Defenestratus

    Kill allies altogether.

    Problems = solved.

    • ZeeLobby

      I could not agree more.

    • Xodis

      But that would mean no CSM/Deamon armies…..thats just sad. How do we then do DeathWatch/Any Imperium army? CSMor Deamons with Traitor Guard? etc… Allies needs to be fixed with a scalpel not a Thunderhammer.

      • ZeeLobby

        I’m fine with those additions IF there is a balanced point cost involved with including allies. There has to be some negative detriment. The problem is do you really think GW is capable of creating a formula to solve that issue? I just don’t think they have it in them. So I’d rather see it go.

        After all, no one is stopping your gaming group from allying units together if you want. Heck I wouldn’t mind if it was only “match” play that removed allies.

        • Xodis

          Keywords as seen in AoS do a pretty good job at preventing “overlapping rules shenanigans.” So I would have to say yes I think GW can…if they do or not is another story.

          • ZeeLobby

            It’s not the overlapping shenanigans. It’s being able to take an army whose design space is shooting, and being able to ally in another army whose design space is assaulting, and basically just negating what defines those two individual factions in the first place.

            For example. I miss seeing that I’m playing a BA player and thinking “oh man, assaults gallore”, only to see them drop a bunch of grav-cents…

          • Xodis

            That’s less a fault in allies and more a fault in the core system which I think we all agree needs to be reworked. No army should be binary Shoot/Assault, it should either be a focused army that performs one better than the other or a balanced army that performs both equally well. A point cost just for taking allies would also hinder that type of abuse, but shouldnt be needed if armies were all balanced anyways.

          • ZeeLobby

            Yeah, I just don’t think GW will be able to pull off that balance. I mean think of the sheer size and number of factions, especially after the past 2 years of them pumping new ones out. I mean are they really going to playtest all of that, or update costs on a bi-yearly basis to fix those issues…

            I mean that’s why 40K got to where it was. Cause they didn’t do those things. So I’d rather just have them do the one thing that they are capable of and just take allies out. Or make some static cost for adding them in. I mean heck, just only allowing allies in the form of an Allied Detachment made things saner.

          • Xodis

            I think they can if they put the same (or better) effort they put into creating the Generals Handbook. As a business they need to pump out the primary armies, then work on the supplemental armies. Makes sense to release 2 at a time and make a campaign about it too. As long as they show effort and balanced progress, everything should be fine. Of course we will see SMs or a variation of them at every release but as long as they keep pushing out another Xenos or Chaos army with them it should do fine in both sales and customer support.

          • ZeeLobby

            But they didn’t even create Generals Handbook. They took an existing comp and tweaked it a little, and then inserted it into the pages. They might have used the years worth of data, but we don’t know. All we know is they took something the community created and published it. I mean maybe if they do what they did with that and basically hire outside help. But my concern would be a 6th/7th issue all over again. Sure they created the initial ruleset and values, but wil l they update them. I dunno.

            But yeah, I really hope they push some of the non-imperial factions. I left 40K because of rules issues, but latter 7th has done little to convince me that the factions I played will see actual update/support anytime soon either. We’ll see I guess.

          • Xodis

            I never heard it was an existing comp, or is it that some of the numbers are just very similar? Then again it has a ton of other information besides just point cost, thats another conversation though…

            I think GW understands now that rules help sell the armies, and not by just swapping out the OP and UP symbol to force purchases. AoS has hit a new market and new levels of success due to the GH, so they have empirical evidence that good rules will help push better sales, no General Manager worth his salt could deny it now. Which is why I think its a safe bet that future rules will be pretty solid, as it easily will benefit them.

          • ZeeLobby

            Maybe someone can help me out. I forget which comp group GW approached, but they did work hand in hand with an existing system. Now that was back in January, so they may have modified it heavily from then. I thought it was interesting when I heard of it, as that’s pretty bold for GW. But it also shows a glaring lack of designers in house.

            And yeah, I’m hoping GH pushes them back towards the golden age of “we sell games, not just miniatures”.

          • Horus84cmd

            Bad Dice were the gaming group that helped with the development of the GHB. GW didn’t straight up take a existing set of competition rules and amend them. GW took their idea (which, I guess was several different options/approaches to the design of the book) to Bad Dice and as the word develop implies, the two worked together to reach the end result. I’d imagine that a lot of this was around tweaking warscroll point values, getting the unit raising magic to fit right, play testing the various army/general buffs etc…

          • ZeeLobby

            Close enough. The point was the talent wasn’t in house.

          • Horus84cmd

            I think that’s a tad disingenuous to GW writers. From the outside we, as it stands as consumers, don’t exactly know what/how input was down to Bad Dice and which bits were GW (or vice verse). Either way approaching a well respected gaming group was a sensible choice to get a wider view of the system. I hope dearly they take the same approach when it comes to 40K.

          • ZeeLobby

            I mean we’ll never know. One could just infer that they likely had little hand in actually testing/rebalancing anything in the book though, as look how little they’ve done concnerning their major systems over the past several years. Add to that they decided releasing AoS without any real game design was OK, and that they let go many of their original designers that made the games great, and I just see very little evidence of talent within the organization.

            That said, I do hope they reach out more frequently for such things. At this point I wish they’d just outsource the rules completely, but then that wouldn’t let them nudge sales in certain directions (formations allowing the inclusion of units outside the regular restrictions, etc.).

          • Horus84cmd

            Are GW designers bad? Or have the current team had to navigate through a system that was lumbering, creaking and out of kilter to begin with? Again we can’t really say? Maybe or maybe not. Perhaps the current team wanted to make loads of changes but have had their hands tied the last decade, by higher ups that didn’t want to rock the boat? who knows? Where does the buck stop? The lower level designers? The lead developers? The head of the studio? The mighty Jervis Johnson, a fantastic rules writer of so many iconic games? Has he lost his edge? Is he too proud to let someone else mess with the fundamentals?

            I personally don’t think it’s as black and white and easy to point fingers and say the talents not good.

          • ZeeLobby

            If you can’t see touch or hold it, then it’s as good as non-existent. Until they SHOW this hidden resource, they might as well not have it. So I’m patiently waiting.

          • Karru

            Well, I think that you can blame their design teams a bit. I mean, just look at the Black Legion formations. You have a formation that gets Fearless as long as the FEARLESS Lord is in the unit. I mean, I believe that every good designer should know or at least do some research into their own game before they do stuff like this.

          • Horus84cmd

            I can’t recall but aren’t chaos sorcerers not fearless and that formation allow both Lord and Sorcerers. So isn’t that wording to cover the Sorcerer characters that can join the terminator units.

          • Djbz

            Yes they can have Sorcerors instead of Lords.

          • Horus84cmd

            but are sorcerers already fearless? Because, if not, that means the rule wording is justified and not designer being stupid as implied by Karru.

          • Djbz

            No they’re not fearless.

          • shiwan

            It’s a designer being stupid. Had it been just a sorc + termies without a lord as an option then ok, it would just be a very bad formation. Now it’s designer stupidity.

          • Horus84cmd

            Sorry I don’t understand how it’s sloppy rule writing. The formation itself may not be great but that a different issue. The rule as written FOR the formation itself makes sense and is not stupid – which was position Karru was taking. The fact a Chaos Lord is already Fearless is neither here nor there. The rule is sensibly worded and written to cover all combination of character to units the formation allows. This not only avoids ANY confusion, but is also a tidier paragraph to place in the book – they would have to use a lot more words to single out the sorcerers as part of the rule.

      • Wayne Molina

        The easy answer would be to not make it global. So for example deathwatch would specifically be able to be allies with Imperial armies. But the general rule should be allies are not a thing by default but there is always the caveat that you can allow it if it fits the type of game you want to do just like you used to do back in the old days. I remember games of 2nd edition and 3rd Edition where I had a combined force of Imperial Guard and Space Marines it wasn’t in the rules but no one had a problem with it because it was a fluffy Army idea

  • ZeeLobby

    Remove allies. Nuff said. GW will NEVER test the game enough to make sure that allies don’t break something, and they honestly make the game pretty one-dimensional, as it’s usually possible to just ally in something to negate the designed weakness of a force.

    • shiwan

      Making everything AoC solves most problems.

      • ZeeLobby

        Not really. It doesn’t prevent you from removing the drawbacks of a shooty army by inserting an assault unit, etc. You still fall into the “just pick the best from multiple factions”.

        • shiwan

          Sure, but the best armies at the moment are that alone anyway and almost every deathstar relies upon multiple factions in combinations. If in addition only one IC can be in a unit there are yet again less stars.

          It’s not perfect but since GW has decided that some factions must suck and others must be broken killing allies does little more than kills the codices that are below the top codices.

          • ZeeLobby

            Which wouldn’t matter, because the factions that are below the top anyway are there because they have no strong allies… Or because they have allies which clearly just outweigh them in every aspect (like DE and CE), and at some point you just gotta ask, why aren’t i playing that faction that’s just outright better.

          • shiwan

            Can’t argue that.

          • ZeeLobby

            I do get what you’re saying though, and am not 100% against allies. I just think they need to revisit basics again, and anything above basic will just confuse whoever they’re working with now.

          • shiwan

            That is certainly a good point. Making formations and detachments cost points based on the power level of each faction (this should be tested by people who actually know how to abuse the system) would help too.

            All in all they should target the present problems specifically and make sure they will not over do it.

          • ZeeLobby

            Yeah. That’s my worry. The more they try to carry over, or push in, the more likely they’ll miss glaringly bad things.

          • shiwan

            I really don’t think that they tried to hit them. I mean, putting 7th ed psychic rules and missions to 6th ed and adding 5th ed assault rules is it. They do not need to do anything else than kick the allies in their present for mand the “perfect” rules would be there. In stead they killed monsters and made shooting way too efficient in comparison.

          • jeff white

            psychic phase sucks

          • shiwan

            Compared to what?

  • Lee Williams

    What is a GT? I don’t mean to be a newb, maybe I should know it.

    • el_tigre

      Grand Tournament, the old format GW tournaments for fantasy and 40k. It was a long time ago but I think I remember regional qualifiers and such.

      • Lee Williams

        Thank you

  • Pyrrhus of Epirus

    the only thing i want from 8th edition is to not have to buy another god dam edition in two years. I came back to the game 2 months before 7th dropped, bought the 6th rulebook, bought the 7th rulebook. This time, i think ill pirate the rulebook on my ipad.

  • Ryan

    Good article man and it was fun talking with you at war games con.

  • Damistar

    Out of curiosity, is there any credible information on whether there will even be an 8th edition or is this all just rumor mongering and wishful thinking?

  • Krd Da Levitator

    I seem to be all by my lonesome, thinking that the 7th edition is my favorite, i´ve played since the 5th edition. Sure, there are things that were better in the 5th edition, but i like the Move, Psychic,Shoot,Assault -phases = easy to remember. I´ve taught people to play the game and it is MUCH more easier ATM, than in the older versions. BTW, i play Dark Eldar & Eldar…
    There are few simple things for example, that could balance the game rather easily IMHO :
    – No more Ignores Cover (unless maybe with a SINGLE Psychic Power, available for all who have Psykers), except flamers. This makes the ruins and all the buildings really valuable for the less armored folk –> balances the game for fe. Nids, Orks, Dark Eldar
    – No more D in the regular games, or with minuses on the chart (a la D-Scythe)
    – Grav needs to be TONED THE F DOWN. Amount of shots need to be halved and grav-amp needs to be gone
    – Only D3 -flamer hits inside of Open-Topped vehicle (now there´s a reason to play Wyches 😉 )
    – Removal of few useless USR`s (fe. Soul blaze anyone?)
    – Maximum Warp Charge dice 10+d6
    These are just some examples, i´m going in to a tournament, where there´s LOADS of nerfs to balance the game. Some of these ideas are straight from their rules set. I went there last spring and it was awesome. Now, fe. Eldar can´t bring Formations, all Super Heavies/Gargantuan are banned, all armies can´t bring their cheese platter ;). Let´s face it…some of the GW FAQ´s are straight up stupid, some are the kind of the one´s we had house-ruled already…I´ve said it before…it´s the players who make the game as they wish = cheese, no cheese. Only exception is, if you have to play pick up games all the time. Then you might get hit with blue cheese special, like when i faced a player ranked third in the country and his Tau with my Dark Eldar…quess, was it fun? Nopedy nope nope, but played it ´till the end still…power from pain 😉

    • ZeeLobby

      Some of the stuff they’ve introduced is great. Some of it is meh (randomized assault ranges). And some of it is just downright awful (allies, formations, detachments).

      Our group recently introduced a new player last year, and they just had no clue how to build a list, even after we explained it multiple times. From where all the options actually were (over multiple books) to what allies could offer, that whole portion just became a mess.

      Part of me also despises true line of sight. It takes a lot of tactics out of the game, even if it makes things easier.

      • Krd Da Levitator

        1 HQ, 2 TROOPS…there you go…when we enlisted more players to 40K (i used to work at Warhammer), we started from the 500p and every single new player (starting from age 12 and up) got help to build their list. The result? Awesome games with 500p, small and deadly on a smaller table and no one was confused how to operate. We showed the ropes from their army and the basic game mechanics. Of course, if you make a friend buy models with 2000p immediately, it might get tricky…;)

        • ZeeLobby

          It’s never really that WE tell them to play 2000p. It’s that they want to, haha. I definitely understand that it’s doable, but trying to explain some of the current mess can be exhausting.

        • Karru

          My problem with the current system is that when it comes to new players they just automatically rotate to Space Marines usually. I’ve seen so many new players start with things like Chaos Space Marines, Grey Knights and even Orks, but after a few games and after they see what Space Marines have with their insanely broken formations, weapons and rules, they drop or just proxy them as Space Marines.

          I mean, they can play what they want, but it’s still sad to see the “lesser” armies getting even lesser since no new player wants to play them.

          Also, having helped a lot of new players it can get confusing fast once they start asking about the lists more skilled players run. I still think that 5th edition had it right, for me it will always remain as the best edition of 40k. Troops were relevant and not just mandatory choices, Assaulting was a thing, you had Cover Saves and no book was hideously boring or underpowered like we have these days. You also had to actually think what you should bring. These days you just go with 1-3 CADs so you can spam the special slots or just ally and make a “no weakness” list.

  • Matt Mo

    Great article and I agree with pretty much everything you said, well done goat man

  • Simon Steffensen

    Consolidate into combat, yes please!

    • jeff white

      not count as charging

  • Andrew Thomas

    Limited and Casual army formats would be awesome. They should consider making assaults more viable by making sure that dedicated assault units have the rules support to do what they need to do (fixing all of the CQC units that lack assault grenades, or ways to get around charging through cover would be a start).

  • jeff white

    GTs should specify army composition CADs