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