Goatboy here, to talk about the new 40K rules GW dropped at Adepticon.
Goatboy here again, and while I wasn’t at Adepticon to hear the good news I did read up on it pretty heavily as it was introduced. The coming of a new edition is always an exciting time. Heck I have been through a lot of changes. Most versions I liked as I obviously kept playing. I know that I got very tired of 5th towards the end and have that same feeling for 7th right now so a change is something I do look forward too. GW has lately paid a lot of attention to their fans which has left me highly optimistic with hopes of a return to the glory days where everyone was excited to play and event and you didn’t see the same sort of lists all the time.
Let’s look at the tidbits they dropped during Adepticon and then think of some things that could be showing up based on the interesting bits.
40K “General’s Handbook”
The creation of a “General’s Handbook” for 40k seems like an obvious thing. It did wonders for Age of Sigmar and has turned that game around pretty spectacularly. It would make sense to split up 40k into 3 versions – Narrative, Open, and Competitive. This would also allow them to work on creating Competitive Seasons, rebalancing things, and printing FAQ and other tidbits to help facilitate a living and growing game that isn’t locked into the same sorts of lists each event. It also lets them “release” new missions, new thoughts, and get a way to compile White Dwarf rules in a way to allow for less – where the heck did you get that rule from? I like a yearly refresh and if the rules are simplified it would be a great way to make sure everyone gets access to them since they could add in the 10-20 pages of rules each time.
The idea of Command points seem neat but I am waiting to see how they are utilized. I know originally Objective Secured was the method to try and bring a reason to take a CAD over some other kind of formation/detachment but there are too many things that either give that rule, don’t care about that rule, or just are too good to even matter versus that rule. I think they handed it out too much. Most of the time the CAD is there to activate either a Lord of War (Magnus) or get access to a fortification. There needs to be a benefit to creating a true force that matches the fluff/story. The new Chaos Space Marine Detachments seem to fit pretty well with most armies going all one Legion most of the time. I hope they can work out a way to make it good as it would be nice to actually play themed armies that did the good work of wrecking your opponents army.
The return of movement stats is pretty interesting as we expected them to remove some specific unit stats – not add a new one. I know a few added on unit rules seemed to help mix it up a bit (Daemon of Slaanesh and Dunestrider) but I did think this was a stat that could easily have been tweaked to allow a lot more variety in the units. I know the released stats from the new Necromunda set is a good place to see what most likely is going to be the movement for most basic things so it is interesting to see 4 inches be the common trait amongst the units shown. It goes against the old basic standard of increments of 3 inches (6, 9, 12) so it is a bit weird feeling but I will have to wait and judge as we look at the other options that might come in from a change to a locked in movement trait.
I am guessing will see the movement go towards the rules of Age of Sigmar where there is no difficult terrain so everyone moves their “complete” movement with the run move done at the same times as your movement phase. This will help speed up the game and give a reason why the Eldar in their new “army wide rules” removed Battle Focus. Of course they can just say if you run you can still shoot if your one of the Space Elves so it might lead to anything else other then the keyword rules getting changed. Still I know GW wants to speed up the game a bit so move+d6 run would be an easy thing to throw in.
Saving Throw Modifiers
I love the idea of shooting weapons causing negatives to your armor saves. Age of Sigmar has a really awesome system for armor saves by making every save the same. Invulnerable to Armor save are all basically the same so instead of having a 2+/3+ it is just a 2+ save. Adding in armor save modifiers means you can continue to produce 2+ reroll save abilities as there is an out to getting past it. This lets you create some of the stories of terminator armor walking through layers of lasgun fire. It also lets things get easier as everyone’s save is just a single stat. I really like how they can differentiate different guns and make the boltgun something interesting. Heck other guns can now be very interesting as well. Allowing everything to be useful would be a great thing to bring to the game.
Speaking of shooting – I suspect will see the removal of templates. It seems to be the biggest pain in the butt rule as you try and figure out how many things you hit by staring through a colored piece of plastic. It would be simpler if they just did x amount of hits and would free up issues of what level they hit on, or if they don’t hit on a level, or trying to figure out if they scattered to far. How many times have you felt like someone cheating you on that scatter die as you both looked at it and thought the scatter was more this way versus that way. This removal of Templates is great for AOS and I think it is about time to have this happen in 40k. Even though I have some amazingly made chaos templates I just don’t think we need it anymore.
Charging Units Attacking First
The return of Charging mattering is a pretty bold statement. I am sure they will leave random charges in the game so this is kind of an odd set up. Until we see how Psychics, Independent Characters, and crazy murdering units end up in 8th edition it is hard to figure out if this is going to be a very bold change. I like how AOS does the back and forth assault phase but it is something I don’t know if it will fit within 40k. I think if we see changes to the game that we have heard rumors about then this might show up but until then it is something we have to just wait and see on.
Making Leadership Matter
I do like the morale acting like Battleshock from AOS. I never liked getting run down in the game and thought it was sometimes too random in nature. If we had the old psychic spell Terrify that would remove fearless then I could see it being useful – but as of right now either your unit doesn’t care, blows up due to instability, or you want that unit to explode so you can shoot your enemy. Adding in Battleshock mechanics makes for a very bloody and deadly game which ends up being a lot of fun. If models are leaving the table on both sides then the players feel like they are doing something. So far the Necromunda stats seem to show leadership staying the same stat so I am guessing it will still as 2d6 roll with the number you need to hit will be your Leadership minus how many models you lost.
I have heard chatter that characters are going to have a change coming. I don’t know if they will no longer be allowed to join units or get forced to only join up with units with the same “faction”. People are saying they are going to not be a part of a unit but you can’t shoot at them unless they are the closest unit. Formations and other combo’d units would have the characters joined but that is the only way to combo them up. I am not sure about this but it would make things like the Heralds formations for Tzeentch a lot less of an issue especially if they couldn’t hide as easily. This would be a pretty big rule change and invalidate an old keyword (IC).
Summoning & Psykers
The chatter I heard at LVO seemed to push the idea that Summoning would be moving towards the AOS model. You would have to pay for it in your army generation. This plus what is most likely a point system for formations means will see the end of “free” things in games. I know I play Daemons but I always hated how I would have 300-500+ points extra if I wanted to bring all the summoning crap. Plus flying with so much extra stuff is annoying and not something that feels great for the game. The idea also turned to how clunky the Psychic phase had gotten so that too is something I expect to get “fixed”. I bet it will just be you have X set of spells on each “character” with an emphasis on different types of casters you could add to your army. Your Mastery Level will be how many spells you can attempt with some kind of true counter system. Will see as they released a ton of new “spells” but we all know GW could just be like – everything is gone just like the old Fantasy game.
All of these thoughts are pretty interesting and give me hope we might see a “great” edition coming. Will get a hopefully fairly balanced game that has a bunch of decent armies. I am suspecting will get more previews coming as they try and “sell” this new edition to the players. It gets hard as a lot of what made AOS worked – would mean GW would need a complete overhaul and new set of rules. They could just do this, make a ton of new books, and make everyone upset you spent money on these campaign books. Will just have to wait and see.
~ A LOT of these rules changes sound very familiar. I wonder how they might all get wrapped up into a single package…