At last we can get a good look at the stats of some sample units in the grimdark to see exactly what GW has in mind:
Earlier we had compared some sample stat blocks from both games to get an idea of what GW was up to. today we have yet another datapoint to start to figure things out:
40K 8th Edition Stat blocks
We just got these from GW today.
The Other Systems
Now let’s go back and look at some sample stat blocks from the other GW systems:
Our Sample Bloodletter
The Bloodletter is an excellent unit to use as out test. It exists in all three systems and does pretty much the same thing in all games. It’s the kind of baseline core/troops units that isn’t flashy so it doesn’t have anything too crazy to translate. It’s very much the same kind of unit as say a Space Marine Tactical Squad, or a unit of Ork Boyz.
Age of Sigmar
Compare & Contrast
It certainly looks like we are seeing some HUGE changes in the new edition just based on the stat blocks revealed.
Here is what the Stat block looked like in 40K Rogue Trader – 1st Edition, way back in 1987:
The transition from Rogue Trader to 2nd Edition and onto 3rd in 1998 removed Intelligence, Coolness and Willpower, leaving us with the current statblock we all know and love.
Right out of the gate 8th Edition sees yet another stat biting the dust – Initiative. It made it through 7 editions, but it’s day is done. That is already a big shock and implies a total revamp to exactly how assaults will be working.
On the other hand, after 19 years, the Movement stat returns to 40K. YAY. Look for the designers to take advantage of this to give units a lot more nuance and texture. I like the way Terminators are 1″ slower than tactical marines for example. It’s those little things I really enjoy. Just think about how fast things like Harlequins or how slow Nurglings might go. Lots of room for cool design there.
Then we get to the REAL big ones, changing WS and BS to fixed values is entirely new for the 40K universe. Yes we’ve already seen it in Age of Sigmar, but it’s a big deal for the Grimdark. I think while strange at first, it will speed up play and remove one set of charts that have been with us for 30 years. Just think of the new generation of 40K players who will enter the game without ever knowing the old BS chart in their heads. Madness!
Onto the Vehicles. I think the thing I like the most of the 4 profiles show is the Dreadnought. this instantly takes it from dusty shelf model to something that can see some serious action on the tabletop. Even more importantly it gives me hope for things like Predators, Carnifexes, and all manner of other quality models who can get back in the fight. More tabletop model variety is ALWAYS a good thing.
Last but not least, when we see things like the 14 wounds on Skarbrand and GW saying that “10” is no longer the max stat, I have high hopes for all kinds of the big boys in the game like superheavies and monstrous creatures.
On balance, I am VERY optimistic. Yes it looks like some of the elements from Age of Sigmar Warscrolls have been incorporated into the Grimdark. But certainly not all, and there is still mostly classic 40K sitting in those statblocks. It looks like GW is trying to thread the needle of keeping 40K’s heritage while cleaning it up with some modern design elements lifted from AoS.
I have no idea when it’s hitting the tabletop but I can hardly wait to try it out – my Predators especially!
~ I can’t wait to see what things like a Baneblade look like! What sidelined units’ return are you most anticipating?