40K: 8th Edition – Large and In Charge

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Large models are going to be pretty beefy in 8th, come take a look!

Today’s 8th edition update is all about bringing out the big guns. And big fists and swords and, well, really just any kind of big…ness. We’re talking Large Models here.

via Warhammer Community

So, as we know, gone are the days of vehicle armor, glancing hits, penetrating hits, and so on. All models have the same stats at their core now, as we’ve seen from previous unit profile pics. It’s just a matter of variation that separates the units–they’re all working from the same page. Everything’s got wounds and toughness, everything’s got an armo(u)r save.

…some armo(u)r works better than others, though, as seen here.

What does this mean for the bigger models in the game? Well, for one, it means that (if you believe GW) “gone are the days of a lucky first-turn meltagun blowing up your Land Raider.” Here now, are the days of a lucky squad of first-turn meltaguns blowing up your Land Raider. Although I imagine even that will be pretty rare.

If you wanna take out some monstrous creature or massive battle platform, it’s going to take actual effort now. As GW puts it:

You’ll soon see that some of Warhammer 40,000’s biggest hitters have A LOT of Wounds, high Toughness and a good save. The biggest Tyranid monsters now have over a dozen wounds, where Imperial Knights have over 20!

This makes them almost infinitely survivable against small arms fire, but means that high-power weapons that can take chunks of wounds off at a time (lascannons, powerfists, battle cannons, etc) can take them down relatively quickly when brought to bear in force.

This can make big models very powerful, but there is a counter mechanic in the rules. As these large, powerful models take damage, their combat effectiveness starts to degrade.

This last part seems especially important. So let’s take a look at one of their big models: the Morkanaut.

First of all, that thing is toughness 8 with 18 wounds and a 3 up armo(u)r save. That is a beating on a stick–but you’ll notice that there are a few values that are marked with an asterisk. That’s because they change as it takes damage.

In the Morkanaut’s case, as it takes more wounds, it loses both movement, weapon skill, and attacks–basically making it less mobile and assaulty, and more of a shooty heavy target as it takes damage. But you have to deal out a fair amount of damage to really degrade its effectiveness. Even when it’s at half health to just below, it’s still capable of wrecking shop (especially compared to a Tau Pathfinder).

Anyway, I like this mechanic of big things degrading as they get shot at. When I look at this statline I can picture a Morkanaut going off on a rampage then slowly getting shot apart as its armo(u)r, limbs, and weapons get shot off.

I dunno if it’s the most balanced way to do big things–it’ll definitely make them a target of concentrated fire, but how much can they endure?

Read the full Large Models Update here

What do you think? Is this new life for big models, vehicles, monstrous creatures, etc.? Or does this mean you’d never take them because they get worse as they get shot?

  • DrLove42

    Its interesting that not all vehicles will have this…the Dreadnought profile they showed didnt have the degradation stars for M or A. So smaller MCs maybe dont have it, but the massive ones have it

    • Or they simply didn’t reveal that yet when they showed the profiles.

      • Fergie0044

        Probably – after all G-man’s stats didn’t show any degradation and he has 9 wounds. I expect him to slow down a little as he gets hurt.

        • You sure he doesn’t get faster instead? 😛
          (We know GW likes it ‘cinematic’ and what’s more cinematic than a near-dead hero suddenly going over 9000?)

          • Fergie0044

            Lol – or his heroic sacrifice of getting slightly wounded inspires nearby ultramarines and gives them FNP!

        • AircoolUK

          Wounds effects don’t apply to normal infantry types, even super-mega-hero’s like Gollyman.

      • SiggisMarines

        Well a lot of these changes seem to be trickling through from AoS. In AoS it’s only the behemoths that have a degradation table. Everything else including models up to 8 wounds (probably more, but I haven’t looked to close) can go down to 1 wound remaining and are unaffected. My guess is that tables like this will be more for the lords of war or super heavies. Dunno though could be universal for vehicles and monstrous creatures.

        • Fergie0044

          Well the article does mention the landraider specifically, so it will certainly be for some of the larger non-LoW vehicles.

        • Interesting. So maybe regular vehicles will just become… really resillient. Just as MCs were before. We will see if poison now affects vehicles then and how much poison there will be.

    • AircoolUK

      Wounds affects tend to kick in around the 10-14 wound models in AoS. No doubt it will be similar in 40K.

    • AEZ

      In AoS only 10+ wound big monsters have this. Monstrous infantry, chariots, characters (even bigger ones except for montstrous sized ones) etc don’t have it.

  • Defenestratus

    The mechanic is solid – but utterly too predictable and not really all that much fun. I will sorely miss the excitement of rolling a penetration and then seeing what the dice gods had in store for me.


    • You will get that excitement when rolling a 6 for your Lascannons and Gravcannons.

    • V0iddrgn

      Soooo many players hated how it took a

      • Shinnentai

        The slew of dice-rolls will be the same, or more though right? Damage chart roll is removed, but now the vehicle gets an armour save as standard, and you’ll be rolling for damage amount when using anti-tank weaponry.

        You won’t have to look up the damage chart effects, but you will have to be constantly reminding yourself of degraded stats.

        Not saying this is a bad change, but I don’t see how it’s streamlined.

    • Hussein Alobaidi

      People also absolutely hated it xD (Pen roles that is)

      • Tomoyuki Tanaka

        I absolutely hated penetrating rolls too. Making the sign of the aquila and praying to the Emperor every time my opponent scores a penetrating hit against my Leman Russ tanks certainly isn’t healthy.

        • NNextremNN

          praying to the Emperor is the most important part to stay healthy 😉

          jk I know what you mean

  • Fergie0044

    Baseless speculation time! Lets compare the dreadnought with the morkanaut. Morkananut has got 2 more S and 1 extra T and of course 10 more W. Same save, A and to hit (initially). Also of note is that the morkanaut starts of with better movement – happy days for large walkers and MCs all round as it’s probable they will now be faster than 6″.
    While the extra S is nice I would have expected a higher A for the morkanaunt compared with the dreadnaught. Extra wounds alone won’t be enough to make it useful, especially a relatively low 4. Hopefully it will have some wacky weapons or special rules!

    • Yea… I assume some hefty profile for the claw and some stomp-like shenanigans.

      • Fergie0044

        Hopefully – it’s such an awesome model I’d love to see it more often on the table.

        • Or it’s just cheap enough 😉
          I mean Rhinos are basically crap, but they are even cheaper than crap and thus very worth taking.

    • V0iddrgn

      Here’s hoping the KFF makes it even tougher!

    • shmabadu

      Perhaps they view the Morkanaut as a vehicle/MC destroyer?

    • NNextremNN

      Not everything is made to kill hordes of infantry and this guy even carries a few orks which can charge out of him.

  • Heinz Fiction

    Meh, not viable anymore. 648 shots from lasguns will take out this Morkanaut easily. 30 Guardsmen will only need 10 turns to do so on average 😉

    • Marios Kontopyrgos

      pff 53 shots from Hot shot lasguns as they will likely melt through its 3+ save.

      • SprinkKnoT

        You’re assuming hotshot lasguns still remove 3+ saves. Much more likely they do -2 or -1 now.

    • Karru

      Yeah, they are totally doomed. I mean, my average Infantry Army does carry around that many guardsmen in a 1850pts game. I personally detest taking anything heavier than a Lasgun. I mean, I might hurt someone! 😀

    • EnTyme

      What this article also fails to mention is how this mechanic will make assault armies non-viable :p

      • Hahahahahaha! That’s funny

      • Heinz Fiction

        True. If said Morkanaut ever reaches the 30 Guardsmen against all odds, they will just disengage, lose are mere turn of shooting and continue to dismantle him with their lasguns! 😉

        • NNextremNN

          And why should that Morkanaut charge the 30 guardsmen instead of I don’t know maybe that imperial knight?

        • Nyyppä

          Nah brah. It’s just going to deploy in front, move straight up and assault anything it wants while any units it’s passing through are instantly dead. Obviously anything it hits is killed in a table wide nova that will only hurt the opposing player’s forces, but it will cripple them all if they don’t die off too.

  • Farseerer

    This is great. Possibly the best AoS mechanic so I’m glad it getting ported over.

    It’s a shame that it looks like we have lost the complexity added by the different armour values on different facings but this makes up for it for me and seems like it would be easier to consistently balance across the huge range of vehicles/MCs in the game.

    Any guesses on how many wounds the Warlord will have?

    • Multigeneral

      All of them. xD

    • Fergie0044

      4,862,517. It can only be defeated by waiting for the slow inescapable march of time to physically degrade the actual model.

      • Farseerer

        This is obviously correct, you must be a employee of GW.

        Care to share any more snippets from the upcoming new edition?

        • Fergie0044

          Sisters ARE coming back – we’re redoing the entire range in finecast!

          • With Squat allies I’m told

          • Reven

            Awesome! Only the finest casts for the Sisters! 😀

    • davepak

      well, what we don’t know, is that if some vehicles get modifiers to their saves, based on facing.

      This is purely speculative, but I am guessing if they wanted to do vehicle facing, this is how they would do it.

      • JayBiga

        Lord, I hope not. Vehicle facing is another one of those things, like scattering with templates, that can lead to endless discussions and much flipping of tables.

        • davepak

          You have an excellent point. I am ok with all facings being the same, now that even low str attacks have a chance.

  • Karru

    For the Morkanaut, that doesn’t seem too bad. My bigger worry is how bad the chart will be for those with lower wounds. Losing 2″ of movement every time you reach the threshold will be bad for a thing with 8 wounds. Even a single Lascannon hit would have a amazing chance to cripple a Dreadnought in one go to the point of uselessness.

    • Iron Star

      Based on what we have seen so far, the dreadnoughts will have static stats. These are just for things larger/more-complex than a dreadnought.

      • Karru

        I truly hope so.

        • Iron Star

          They also said differnt things lose effectiveness in differnt ways, so for a dreadnought that would ->likely<- be its arms, not its stubby legs.

        • Gorsameth

          We saw the dreadnought profile already, it had static stats. I assume these decaying stats are going to be solely reserved for what are currently SuperHeavies and Gargantuan creatures.

          • Karru

            As Hendarion mentioned, there is a slim chance that they just didn’t “reveal” the table for the Dreadnought. It’s most likely the case you pointed out though.

          • Adam Sinclair

            it would’ve had “asterisks” in the stat line if so.

            I play AoS and smaller monster type things dont degrade like Daemon Princes, only the big centrepiece models.

            I envision it will be the same in new40. vehicles and some MC’s

    • 301stFeinminsterArmoured
  • Jonnie Mnemonic

    I love it and can’t wait for he new edition. If everyone would give AoS a chance they would see its a good system

    • Karru

      This has been debated to death, the problem might not be the system itself, if it suits you. For some, a system that is mostly comparable to how Magic: The Gathering works when it comes to making army lists. Focusing more on the combos within your deck is way more important than actually considering the potential threats you opponents bring.

      The lack of interaction between armies is one of the things that keeps me from AoS. The fixed stats makes the game feel too much of the same, no matter how much I change my army or what my opponent brings.

      It’s a game that is not for everyone, those who enjoy it do so, but one shouldn’t expect that those who don’t enjoy it do it because they don’t want to “give it a shot”.

      • But see thats the thing with war games. Which one DOES suit you (time, schedule, complexity etc) For me, I have little time to learn a huge system and not a ton of finances to buy multiple rule books and the miniatures. Such is being an adult in my the industry I have spent the last 20 + years in. Something like AoS and (the way this is looking) 8th seem to suit me just fine.

      • Fergie0044

        Hopefully (hopefully) there’ll be more interaction in new 40k. For example, I’d like to think we’ll still have dedicated anti-vehicle and anti-flyer units/weapons. No real evidence of this yet, but we still have a month of rules drip feed to get through!

      • Xodis

        As we see more releases for Stormcast, its obvious thats a failure on part of GW for not releasing more models at an accelerated pace, than the game itself. Stormcast has enough variety in units to completely change the way a game will play out against any opponent. Sure the basic (anything can hurt anything) premise is there, but the variety of units is what makes each game unique. When GW gets off their butt and finishes all the OTHER factions, it will greatly improve the game, as of now only weapon choices matter as we have previously discussed.

    • SilentPony

      I gave AoS a chance, and its terrible. Its just a tabletop moba, and hell even the models look like something out of DOTA.

      • Countdiscount

        AoS is not terrible, and like most of the very few people that still say this, you most likely just don’t know what you’re doing, so each game you end up with a big dust up in the middle of the board. Play a good AoS player, and they’ll take your army apart surgically.

      • Nick Vaughn

        What they did to WHFB still upsets me, and I still play in a group that actively plays fantasy, but AoS is mechanically a great game and it will translate to 40k fantastically.

      • Matthew Pomeroy

        in the 4pages really only 2 of actual rules, I dont see anything particularly good about it. It certainly has its fans, but to me it seems like a half arsed attempt at a game. I have been playing it off and on for a bit, to me its definately a bottom tier game that if it didnt have GW stamped to it would never have gotten out of a kickstarter.

      • Nilok

        I don’t think you understand what a tabletop MOBA would even look like. One of the primary things about a MOBA is you only control one character in a team of other players with few expetions trying to destroy an enemy base via lanes. AoS has nothing to do with MOBAs and is closer to War Machine.

        If comparing something to MOBAs and Dota just an easy buzzword to say you don’t like it?

    • NNextremNN

      But I prefer the grimdark sci fi fantasy setting over AoS.

    • Grom The Punch

      It’s probably a fine system, and it will probably make a good transition to 40k, but it’s a terrible game to recommend to someone who liked WFB. It has nothing to do with the old game system, no ranks and file maneuvering, and an almost completely re-done universe. The hatred from fans of the old game is warranted.

      I suppose someone could give a game like that a try even if they loved WFB, but if you are going to switch genre’s to a skirmish game, why not pick a better more established one like malifaux, infinity, or dark age? If your really competitive there’s warmahordes.

  • AircoolUK

    The system allows units with similar wounds to be tough in different ways.

    For example, with the Gorkanaut, it can take some punishment, then starts to degrade. Meanwhile, someone like a Chapter Master who is pretty heroic even by hero standards will have less wounds and a few survival tricks up his sleeves but still fights just as hard on one wound as seven.

    Meanwhile, I bet the Gorkanaut has ways of regaining wounds such as oiler grots or a mechboy.

    • Goatsplitter

      I don’t like AoS, but I think it’s ruleset is going to marry up to 40k wonderfully. One doesn’t have to like what GW did to fantasy to be stoked over where 8th is heading. So yeah, I second the motion we stop wailing on this dead horse.

      • Matthew Pomeroy

        If you stop beating dead horses, they get up and start walking again!

      • Nick Vaughn

        So much this. The transition from fantasy to AoS was pretty dramatic from a rules, play style, and theme standpoint. Moving from a large scale movement oriented rank and file system to a smaller scale skirmish system was a tough pill to swallow. Plus the whole universe was blown up and reborn into something I have no real interest in learning about. Even though I like AoS, I still struggle getting over the change and have a dedicated group that plays WHFB still.

        With the new 40k, I like the streamlining that’s going on and the good aspects they’ve plucked from AoS. I also like that the universe wasnt completely destroyed but the story was appropriately advanced. 40k is also a skirmish game already so nothing is changing from that end. TBH I think the application of several of the AoS rules applies better to 40k than it does to a fantasy setting.

        So yeah…even though I still long for the Fantasy of old and it makes me sad it isn’t supported the same way anymore, the system they’ve applied to AoS makes a lot of sense in 40k and I’m really stoked to get my hands on the new edition.

  • Alienerd the unbannable

    I wish you could ‘target’ certain areas of large models such as this. Like if I said to my opponent I would be aiming at the legs, then any damage that resulted would affect the movement of the model. Armour values etc could differ depending on which part of the model I was aiming at. Either way, if this leads to Orkanauts being viable then yay! 😀

  • Randy Randalman

    I like that he has to take a lot of damage before he gets worse. Gives the Morkanaut some serious durability. He’s already immediately more playable than he was last edition.

  • ZeeLobby

    Massive PLUS imo. It’s great that we don’t HAVE to kill big things to make them ineffective. Before it felt way to much like fishing for pen destruction.

  • I’d also bet that the damage table example is a partial of the actual table that includes ranged attacks

    • Koonitz

      The article from GW clearly indicates that the table is complete. The morkanaut has no penalties to its already admittedly orky shooting by taking damage. Only melee effectiveness.

      • Strange, I’m not reading it was the entirety of the model. I must be blind :/

        • Koonitz

          “At 4 Wounds left, it’s all but crippled, though its shooting output will be undiminished – so it starts as a combat wrecking ball at the beginning of the battle, crashing through enemy lines, and ends up as more of a semi-mobile shooting fortress at the end of its life.”

  • Dhalgren Schroeder

    The lower effectiveness as it gets damaged makes sense..but, to quote from the GW page linked above..

    “You can see, though, as it gets to the
    point of only having half its Wounds left, this walker starts to get
    less effective – it will move slower and its attacks will get more
    clumsy as servos are fused, and sensor arrays fail to register.”

    I always felt shooting was way better than CC in the 7th rules, and now, when they could balance them..this. So a bigass tank/knight cant have literally ONE wound left, clinging together with some duct tape and a prayer, almost unable to move or fight in CC…yet the HUGE guns on it (say 2 big guns and a rocket array is the case on some Knights), can fire just fine?
    No reduction to range, as sights get damaged, barrels dint, ammo runs dry, power cells overload.
    Yeah..I can totally see why one applies and not the other.

    • Countdiscount

      GW said the reduction in effectiveness is different with different models. We still haven’t seen the Morkanaut’s weapon selection. So say the Morkanaut is good at close combat, but doesn’t have very good options for shooting. Then maybe the Gorkanaut is the shooty one and has it’s shooting crippled by wounds

      • Ghaniman

        It’ll probably have the same weapons it had in 7th. So 2 twin-linked Big Shootas, 2 Rokkit Launchas, Kustom Mega-blast, and Kustom Mega-kannon.
        It’d have to have some form of way of knocking weapons out, or even at 1 wound, and the 5+ Ork shooting, it’ll still be dangerous.

    • Nick Vaughn

      Well, ork shooting isn’t exactly great to begin with and I would imagine other large models will have their stats adjusted appropriately to what their strengths are. I doubt every large model is going to be crippled in CC and kept intact for shooting. I wouldn’t jusp to conclusions just yet based on one model in a sea of oversized models GW makes.

    • Nyyppä

      Well, since this is another copy paste from AoS and the actual weapons are not shown I’m willing to bet that the shooting is affected too.

  • MechBattler

    This, I like.
    Vehicles and MCs will finally feel really effective again. The shift and power creep going on before just made a lot them feel impotent.
    This is an AoS mechanic that I’m glad they imported unchanged.

  • Commissar Molotov

    So now we’ve got Land Raiders slowly bleeding to death? Growing more and more feeble as their paint is dinged by lasgun fire?

    …No, thank’ee. That’s just ridiculous.

  • Crablezworth

    I was thinking the other day, nothing would make the game look better than every large model having a plethora of wound counters next to it… forge the garbage fire!

  • James

    This is super cool, I like the idea of vehicles degrading, but that morkanaut is absolutely mental tanky can’t help but get the feeling with all vehicles like that, squishy infantry like guardsman and cultists will be a bit useless.

  • Tothe

    Meks and grot riggers will likely become very important to Orks.