8th Edition 40k – A Positive Change

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8th edition a month away. We’ve been given a handful of rules. Let’s wildly speculate! …I mean, look at what we know so far.

We’ve been given general outlines of each of the phases from Movement, Shooting, Psychic, Charging and Fighting along with some unit and weapon profiles. We are still waiting on the impact of morale, impact of terrain (and how much), blasts, deep strike, missions, units and points costs, stratagems, army composition… okay fine, we’re waiting for a lot but what was ever the harm in looking at what we know now? We’ve been following the slow drip of rules over at 3++ is the New Black and I think we have enough to start looking at a bigger picture.

Things We Know

Let’s do a quick bullet summary:

  • No more initiative stats and movement characteristics are back in the unit profile;
  • To hit in shooting and combat is a flat rate (though there appear to be modifiers such as moving with heavy weapons, smoke launchers, etc.);
  • You cannot shoot units within 1″ of you except with pistols;
  • AP is now a modifier to armor saves as is cover;
  • Stronger weapons can do multiple wounds (i.e. Lascannon does D6)
  • Running is part of the movement phase;
  • Physical templates and blasts are gone; templates hit D6 models;
  • Psychic powers manifest based against a 2D6 roll of difficulty (i.e. Smite requires a 5+);
  • Mortal wounds bypass all saves and invulnerable saves;
  • Vehicles have wounds and save characteristics and wounds will generally be higher across the board;
  • Charging means you strike first in the charge phase;
  • Charging is 2D6″ if within 12″ and you can engage if 1″ away (1″ stay away from non-engaged models still exists during this phase);
  • You can Overwatch multiple times unless engaged;
  • During the fight phase, activated units move 3″ and can engage new enemy units;
  • You can voluntarily leave combat but forfeit your movement and shooting next turn;
  • For non-charging units, players take turns activating units in combat;
  • Morale is a phase at the end of a turn where for each unit that lost models you roll a D6 and add the number of models lost – compare this number to the Ld characteristic and the unit takes the difference and removes that many models.

Thoughts on 8th

Overall, I really like these changes. There have been some vaguer indications and rumors of other changes but nothing concrete, so I’ve not included them here.

What I’m most excited about is the increased emphasis on moving. You see this in the movement characteristics and Terminators being more powerful (presumably) but slower than Marines. We see to hit modifiers while moving with heavy weapons rather than no shooting or the deity-awful snap firing. You see running incorporated into the movement phase giving you greater control over where your army finishes in relation to each other. You see charging being very important in the combat sense and the closeness of units after combat engages being even more important. You see the ability to leave combat at the expense of a turn for that unit. Overall, there are more options in this most important of phases.

We at 3++ have long held the belief that movement is the most important aspect of the game, and most wargames for that matter, but especially so in 40k. In movement in 40k, you roll the least amount of dice in any phase which means you have the greatest control. You don’t have to worry about hitting or wounding or armor saves or anything. You could conceivably, control a game without ever rolling dice or rolling very few and depending upon mission parameters, win. If you’re in a position where the opponent cannot shoot you, it doesn’t matter if you don’t have a re-rollable 2++. If you’re out of shooting or charge range of your opponent, it doesn’t matter what your durability is. If you’re on the objective at Turn 5, it doesn’t matter if random game length kicks in and ends the game. Movement dictates so much on your subsequent phases, what your opponent can do (or will try to do) and subsequent turns as well. Getting it (and deployment) wrong have drastic effects and having more options means greater tactical flexibility and depth.

I’m also really excited about the improved streamlining of rules (particularly with a non-specific reference to USRs and interactions but we will save that for later when we have exact information). KISS is a great philosophy and although I might have preferred things like random charge length (RCL) to be based on movement + D3 or 1/2 movement +2D3, et al, the game seems much more accessible, free flowing and less tedious (i.e. the psychic phase isn’t a complete unicorn filled fun pen). Vehicles having wounds seemed a logical step after the horrendous and wild swinging of vehicle efficacy from 3rd through every edition up to 7th. Those that played remember the days of indestructible transports in 5th edition (3++ after all), the death traps of transports in 4th, the rhino rush of 3rd, the easily torrented and spammed (so cheap) hull points of 6th and so on. No balance has ever truly been struck and while 5th edition was probably the best the game has ever been, it was held back by the power of the armored boxes. The lack of vehicle facings is something I will miss as that was an important component of movement but I feel this is more than made up for with other changes.


Close Combat Returns

8th edition has been marketed as the edition that combat comes back to the fore. For much of 5th, 6th and 7th editions, shooting was and is, king. There were very specific combat units or roles (Guardsmen blobs, TH/SS, MCs, etc.) backed by a potent shooting force and combat has been much maligned as the red-headed stepchild of shooting for the past decade of 40k. Unlike 3rd or 4th edition where you could consolidate into combat, once you had destroyed your enemy, you have been left high and dry in these later editions. This leaves you being shot up constantly as you try to cross the tabletop and then shot to death after you’ve killed a likely sacrificial unit. That’s not changing it seems and is potentially even more of a factor given opponent’s can choose to leave combat (penalties and practice unknown other than losing that unit’s shooting and movement). There are some key changes back in this direction though. Movement in general seems like it will be faster for assault based armies and, while I hate random charge length (and most things random, which is very odd given the amount of dice involved in this game…) it increases the threat range of assault units, particularly when once engaged, you can start engaging more units. This means spacing and positioning of units is going to be huge – leaving units clumped together, much more so than in the past, will allow canny opponents to engage multiple units. While you can disengage the next turn, disengaging three units compared to one drastically changes you shooting and movement options. It appears that gone are the days of being able to have one long bubble-wrapping unit and multiple layers and defenses are going to be important. Hey look, another reason why movement is so important.

Shooting Nerfed?

Also importantly, shooting appears to be a little bit less effective with cover saves adding on top of a model’s armor. We don’t know how prevalent cover is going to be or what weapons have AP piercing (are autocannons and heavy bolters going to be -1AP or -2AP? how does Rending, Gauss and Shuriken work?) but so far it seems you can have Marines walking around with 2+ cover saves. This has me leaning to shooting not being the one and only true weapon of 40k and the disparity between combat and shooting will be much smaller. My gut is that shooting will still be the more effective of the two unless there are other rules impacting this (or units / points cost) we are unaware of; however, combat and its consequences will have a much bigger impact on the game in the last three editions combined. Even if it’s just forcing changes in movement, it will become a much more key component of the game IMO based on what we know so far (did I hedge enough?).

There’s so many competing factors here that I am really excited to get models on the table and see how they play out. Lots of minor things are interacting here so what might seem trivial, could be significantly compounded once on the table.

So that’s some wild piecing together of rules and lathering at the bit to hear more and plug the holes.

~What are your initial thoughts on the rules released so far?

We’re very excited at 3++ so come join our crazy theorising in the chatbawks until we get the full rules.

  • Heinz Fiction

    Core rules seem to be Age of Sigmar with a few tweaks, which might not be the best rule set out there but certainly not the worst either. Thankfully they seem to have developed a complete game around these core rules this time.

    • ZeeLobby

      My feelings exactly.

    • wibbling

      Well, you already have Age of Sigmar, so correctly to say ‘two new games’.

      • Heinz Fiction

        What I’m saying is that – unlike AoS – WH40k 8th edition will be a complete game at release day with army composition rules and everything you need.

        • Valourousheart

          AoS was a complete game at release day. Just because tournaments couldn’t figure out how to organize with the rules is more an issue with tournaments than an issue with the game’s completeness.

          • Heinz Fiction

            Nope, it was an incomplete beta version of a game. And that is not an opionion, it’s a scientific fact.

          • Karru

            It was complete, you say? Then what about the Summoning that was extremely overpowered? How about the fact that Horde armies were at a disadvantage and armies like Ogres were powerful due to how the Sudden Death rules work?

            I take it your answer is along the lines of “those were just things power gaming waac’s did, when it comes to people that only play for fun, it wasn’t a problem because both players agreed to not do it”.

            I’ve heard this comment multiple times in the past and there is only one thing I can say. Wrong. The rules were incomplete. There were so many obvious holes that weren’t twisted, they were 100% legal without having to do some malicious scheming and rule lawyering. They were part of the rules, these were things that people HAD TO house rule in order to prevent them from happening or triggering automatically.

            If the AoS rules on launch would have been complete, there wouldn’t have been things like these within them.

  • Shawn Pero

    A lot of people are claiming the sky is falling (what else is new eh) but this really is coming across as the most balanced edition yet, just by how it looks like certain basic army build styles are shaping up to be put up against each other. Both shooting and CC seem to have pros and cons. I can’t imagine the individual codexes will be crazily unbalanced, especially seeing what the rules teams have turned AOS into.

    • ZeeLobby

      It’s too early to claim balance at all without points or stats. That said, it’s basically the AoS ruleset, which does a good job of providing balance through randomization and reduced complexity. Guess it just depends if you enjoy a simpler game or not. Some people liked 40K’s complexities.

      • Shawn Pero

        I’m going by GW’s recent design, activity, and the evidence laid out in front of us right now. All that’s making the magic 8-ball point to “Good Game”

        • Karru

          What do you consider “recent” in this situation? Only the “good releases” like those in AoS in terms of rules or all recent design choices made by GW? Let’s just say that the Gathering Storm Release and the quality of rules for Chaos vs Imperium in that release would like to have a chat with you. Same thing with Eldar releases.

        • ZeeLobby

          I mean AoS is not balanced. There are still clear winners and losers. It may be in a better position than fantasy has ever been, but let’s be honest, that was a low bar. Also don’t forget, WE balanced AoS. The GH was based on a community comp, and balance changes going into GH2 are primarily based on our feedback. These are both good things in my opinion, but it throws some real doubt as to how balanced 8th will be out of the gate.

          I mean tell any video game developer to balance 20+ game factions and they’d say it’s impossible, even with the simplified AoS mechanics. I’d love to be surprised, but imo nothing they’ve done as of late guarantees a balanced game. It’s one of those things everyone is projecting, cause they’re tired of the imbalances of the last 2 editions, and AoS is more balanced than 40K (which is almost every other game in existence), but I’d still be shocked if it was great right out the gate.

          • Heinz Fiction

            I’d say as long as it is more balanced than the current edition it’s already a win. And that is possible for sure.

          • Charon

            If it is a win depends on the compromises/sacrifices that were made.
            If you have 10 $ and end up with 15 $ it is also a win… if you do not factor in losing both of your arms in return.

            The problem I see here is that GW is not known for actually balance a agme by testing and thinking but by “well if we add a completely random roll here that either instant kills or backfires, nobody can tell if the unit is balanced or not”

          • ZeeLobby

            Haha. Well I have my doubts about that even, but if it is that’s true.

            GW Developer: “Time to balance this game. Give me my stat dart board and point game wheel!

          • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

            After Ravening Hordes and most of the way through 6th WHFB was very well balanced.

          • ZeeLobby

            Forgot about ravening hordes. That was an era of balance. I’d say from that point forward it started to skew though. There were definitely some winners and losers, but the gap was small. 7th definitely open-end the doors and 8th broke them off their hinges though (shockingly, again, after they let go of their developers).

          • Heinz Fiction

            8th edition fantasy was surprisingly balanced. There were stronger and weaker armies but the gap was not nearly as wide as in 7th were some books were clearly written under heavy drug influence. This balance was paid for with a lack of diversity though. Armies felt quite samey all in all.

          • Dennis J. Pechavar

            Tell that to Tomb Kings. In 7th they were the most balanced army. They did well but were not a death train. Come 8th they went right to the bottom of the barrel and stayed there. Otherwise that is for the most part correct. Baring Ward and his DoC nonsense.

          • Heinz Fiction

            I played Tomb Kings, dude. In 6th they were feared, in 7th – although unchanged – they couldn’t compete with anyone who got a new army book. In 8th they were still bottom tier but still not as far behind as before.

      • Matthew Pomeroy

        Thats a major concern of mine personally, I already have AoS, its a good little bottom tier game. But I dont want AoS in space, I want to play 40k (or 30k) and a big part of it is the depth of the game.

        • Nyyppä

          A bigger part of both of those is also the lack of balance. It’s funny how from all of the 23 or so factions out of which 18(19-20) are marines even the marines have a huge power gap between the weakest and strongest legions. HH is still wayyyy more balanced than 40k even with that being said.

    • markdawg

      They have the best chance to make it balanced by whipping the slate clean. That’s a Fact! Lets hope they deliver.

    • Nyyppä

      Nothing crazy unbalanced in AoS? The team FEC says “hi” from the pit under the lowest tier of armies.

    • Karru

      Here’s the thing, judging by the current list of things we know about this game, things are not nearing balance at all.

      First of all, the entire game seems to currently cater towards elite armies, mostly Marines. Here’s why:

      Heavy Weapons suffer -1 to hit if they move, which for Elite armies that have +3 to hit already doesn’t mean that much.

      Cover Saves being modifiers to saves instead of getting a solid save. In the earlier editions an Ork boy would get a 4+ or a 5+ save from cover. Now that boy will get a 5+ or at best a 4+ that can be modified to go away or to the 6+ save he already had. Meanwhile, depending how they count the modifiers, only way to get a Marine below a 3+ save would be to hit them with a -2 weapon. +1 from cover brings their save to 2+, which is then lowered once back to 3+ save and then reduced to a 4+ save. While low armour save armies are getting worse or same saves than in earlier editions, Power Armour armies are getting better saves.

      Moral system. SM with a Ld 7 needs to take at least 2 casualties before they can lose extra models and that only happens if one rolls a 6. Meanwhile, we can assume that Orks have Ld 6 (SM currently has 8 and Orks have 7), which means that losing even 1 model means they can lose extra models. Orks losing 6+ models in a single volley isn’t “rare”, especially when they make Blast Weapons XD6 hits.

      A few things to note here, these are all based on the facts and some assumptions we currently have. We do not know if Orks get some type of Mob Rule of old, where their Ld increases depending on the number of models in the unit beyond 7 nor do we know how much is the Cover Modifier or how it is calculated.

      • Heinz Fiction

        Thats a good observation but it can be mitigated if “being elite” is priced accordingly.

        • Karru

          That’s something I’m afraid of. The likeliness of that happening the good way is low, judging GW’s previous track record. The most likely scenario is that Marines and Co. will remain around the price they are right now while they make Horde armies cheaper in points. This in turn makes people less inclined to start Horde armies because they once again increased the already ridiculously high entry point.

          • Ari Varey

            One thing you failed to mention is that marines basic weapons offer no -ap modifier. So say Ork boys get -ap to their cc weapon. Clear advantage there. Say Eldar get -ap or are easier to wound with on their base weapons. Now they are less resiliant, but now, more dealy than marines. So will marines be good? Yes. Will they be the end all? No.

          • Karru

            Something to note here, depending on the modifier Cover gives, which will most likely be +1 to save, the current system is still worse than what used to be in terms of effectiveness for Horde Armies.

            Before Orks got a 5+ or a 4+ save, no matter what was shot at them, as long as it didn’t ignore cover of course. Now they get a 5+ against weapons that have no AP, 6+ to weapons that have -1 and none to weapons with -2 or -3.

            Space Marines on the other hand are getting 2+ against weapons with no AP, instead of a 3+, 3+ against weapons with -1 (same as before) and 4+ against weapons with -2 (again, same as before as it can be assumed that AP3 weapons will be -2 if a Lascannon is -3).

            I don’t understand what you mean that they are deadlier. With no AP on their weapons, most armies will have trouble against Marines who are rocking a 2+ save from Cover. Meanwhile they themselves have the same or worse saves than before.

          • Dennis J. Pechavar

            Orks all over the world winced at the money cost of gunz vs the 35 pts the models cost in game. Note I’m not with my book so those are “example” costs. Sadly they look really cool but not able to buy them on my budget.

          • Karru

            I feel ya, the Mek Guns are really cool looking, but my issue with them is that I don’t like the weapons they have in the kit. I’m more of a Kannon or Lobba type of guy. The price is also a concern, it’s a 30pts model for 36€. The Kannon/Lobba are also ridiculously priced, 24€ for a 18pts model.

            The good thing with Orks is that it is pretty “easy” to make some yourself. Orks don’t have to be neat when it comes to scratch-building their stuff.

      • Marquo

        Very good analysis here, although I always felt 40k skewed towards hoards, because there are a lot of high powered attacks that would kill a terminator or marine just as easily as a guardsman (in light cover, in the terminators case). There was no consistent mechanism making more elite units more durable. Hopefully this will just make units a little more consistent with their cost regardless of what’s attacking them.

        • Haighus

          Especially with templates going.

        • Karru

          Here’s the thing, with the coming system regarding AP and High Powered Attacks, they will be more effective against horde armies than they would be against Marines and the like.

          If a Lascannon, currently AP2, is -3, we can expect that most “heavy” weapons that used to be Marine killers, like the Battle Cannon or Plasma Guns will be around -2 with just extra damage as a “bonus”. This means that in Cover a Marine would get a 3+ save depending on the cover. If they get +1, they are reduced to 4+, otherwise it’ll be 3+.

          Meanwhile an Ork would be reduced to none or a 6+, depending, while they used to get a solid 5+ or a 4+ save against these shots. That is definitely a big problem for low save armies.

          Both the AP System and Cover System are bad for low save armies while it is absolute gold for high save armies. Normally, removing the save from a Marine was bad for them, as it reduced their save. Meanwhile low save armies didn’t care because they would get a better Cover Save. Now Horde armies are in a bad shape due to their Cover save being reduced greatly as well as being boned with Morale. Losing 4-5 models in a unit means a lot more casualties when you roll for morale.

          Overall, I am convinced that they didn’t properly test these changes out. It’s either that or GW wants to force people to buy more models for their Horde armies by giving them rules that only take effect after you take at least 20+ models per unit to counter these “issues”. This leads to less Horde armies being played, which is very bad for variety.

  • bob82ca

    Well I know I’m the only guy on here that thinks the game will be worse. Not happy with the direction. I’m hoping for the best but I can’t help but think the game will be very sluggish. The fact that you test for battleshock at the end of all of the phases means people will have to bring wound counters (d20’s or something) to keep track of casualties. Squads can fire their weapons in all directions…expect the shooting phase to be absolutely ridiculous (and take forever). Plus seeing that the game is going in the direction of AOS you can expect random objectives/terrain that nobody likes and slow the game even more. “You’re standing in an ammo forest…you get +1 shot”. IDK I will play with my little nephews probably.

    • NIck Cathers

      Wound counters.
      It’s model based, so just don’t pack away the models until the end of the turn? all in all sounds like there is way less bogging down so far.

    • We have no confirmation that split fire is correct so judging the edition based on that is probably unwise. Yes keeping track of models that died will be something you need to do but it’s not exactly hard. You can use multiple D6s.

      Also again, no indication that we are going to see the randomness of terrain that we’ve seen in 7th . If that is the case, then yes it will be less than stellar but none of that has been indicated yet.

      • AircoolUK

        It’s also not hard to say ‘ok, we’ll skip the extra terrain rules’ if you don’t like them.

        Personally, I find them to be an extra layer of complication that I can’t be bothered with. On the other hand, the terrain pieces that offer bonuses of some sort make excellent objectives because you actually have a reason to capture that objective, and you get something in return for holding that objective.

        GW is learning a lot from its customers, and one of those things is that sometimes we prefer to choose something than having to roll for something. Leadership traits and psychic powers being the obvious examples here. Also, 40K already has a ton of terrain with its own rules and most AoS scenario’s tell you NOT to roll on the random terrain table.

        Most people use wound counters/dice anyway. The easiest way is just to strike them off ‘gatepost’ style on a bit of paper.

        In AoS, we just print/scan/photocopy the Warscroll we’re using and scribble down such things as wounds and buffs on the copy, then throw it away at the end of the game.

        Enjoy playing with your nephew, he’s likely to be a little more open minded at his age.

    • Crevab

      Wound counters are gonna be a given once they jack up the number of wounds things have.

      • BaronSnakPak

        Wound counters are already in 7th: HQs, MCs, Vehicles, LoWs, etc.

        • Crevab

          More than just a d3 or d6. d10s, d20s

          • ZeeLobby

            They’d be smart to put trackers on cards.

          • spla5hmummy

            Cards that we can put in plastic sleeves and mark with a whiteboard pen like in warmachine would be awesome. Saves referring to a dex constantly too.

          • Koonitz

            That would also not be difficult, at all, to make on your own. A bit of photo manipulation, and a trip to a local print shop and you’ll have everything in order.

          • spla5hmummy

            Correct sir. Plus they’d be unique which is always nice.

          • Koonitz

            However, on the other hand, if you don’t mind my indulging in a discussion, I’ve found games that include these types of cards as a necessity just added a little more unnecessary clutter and bookkeeping to a game. Games like WarMachine/Hordes or XWing/Armada. You now have to set aside more table-space just to hold these ‘side board’ items, especially as you will want to place them somewhere your opponent can see them (for fair play, if nothing else).

            I thought it was a novelty, but always had this issue with their execution… If they become the norm in 40k, there are so many boards that’ll have to be adjusted to add extra space to their 6’x4′ size. In most people’s personal gaming spaces, that’s not a big deal, but in a gaming store where space may be a premium, or at an event like a tournament, it can become a serious issue real fast.

            Then again, we have maelstrom objective cards, now, which are more often than not shoved onto an inactive corner of a battlefield, more than anything else. Who knows. *shrugs* Just bouncing thoughts around.

          • Matthew Pomeroy

            Board size makes big difference on those items. maybe something like WoKs hybrid card/token thing?

          • Koonitz

            I honestly think that just having a simple tracking method next to a model is still going to be the easiest way. We’ve been doing it all through 6th/7th with MC wounds and vehicle hull points, that the only difference is that those of us with access to different polyhedrals will begin bringing them, instead of using multiple d6’s. It’s already being done with Age of Sigmar’s 12-16 wound beasts. Just gotta make sure there’s a suitably flat surface on the base or the model that dice will sit nicely on.

            I always liked seeing the creative ways people had to count damage on their models, including the simple void shield generators on the top of warhound/reaver titans being magnetized, to removable flags and banners to represent hull points on a Knight.

          • Matthew Pomeroy

            my warsphinx has 12 wounds but he is usually destroyed in the first turn, so I usually dont worry much about it. little red glass tokens on his base.

          • euansmith

            I’ve seen 40k tables littered with drink cans, tape measures, mounds of dice, psychic cards and army lists; I doubt that unit cards will stand out amidst the general clutter. 😉

          • AircoolUK

            As mentioned earlier, we just scan-print/photocopy our Warscrolls and record wounds/buffs/debuffs etc… on the copies, then just discard them after the game. It’s not as messy as using wipe clean surfaces, especially as they’re prone to any marking getting wiped off by accident.

    • Koonitz

      1) Shooting each model at different targets is rumour, only. Though it is in Age of Sigmar, it rarely causes problems, as, sure, you can fire every one of those 20 archers at different targets, but you almost never want to, so you’re most likely going to mass fire as normal. Partially because it’s a good idea, partially because you’re a reasonable person and would only take advantage of it when there’s a huge tactical advantage for doing so.

      2) Battleshock testing every phase has already been discounted. The battleshock test for 40k, as it is in Age of Sigmar, is at the end of each player’s turn, with casualties cumulative over all phases. That means each unit tests once per turn, not once per phase. Note that at the end of the turn, casualties don’t carry over, so once the test is made, further turns only take that turn’s casualties into consideration.

      3) Random terrain already exists, to some degree, in the sense that you have random objectives. Who uses that? I don’t, almost no one else does. Why would you suddenly feel like you’re forced to use random terrain? People might use it for one or two key terrain pieces to add flavour, but, as with random objectives, people are going to drop the paperwork about 2 turns into their first game after they’ve realized they’ve forgotten to consider them all, anyway.

      Use the rules you want. GW always says this, and this is a very clear example of where you might want to leave something behind or use it sparingly to make a narrative game.

      4) Wound counters for casualties sounds like you reaching. Casualties mattered in WarHammer Fantasy and people never bothered to bring dice to count them. They just left the dead models near the block until after the wounds were counted, then removed them. Just do the same thing by tilting the models over or keeping them in a nearby pile. Assuming you have units taking that many casualties.

      None of the problems you’ve brought up seem like it’ll cause near as much problems as you seem to think they will.

      • Pascalnz

        just as an aside, I like your points, but, my group always uses mysterious objectives. there are psychic powers and faction abilities that help you change them to what you need when you find them. they are pretty darn useful

    • Not the only, I think 8th sounds markedly worse than 7th

      • Munn

        I think that the only thing that could possibly be worse is 6th.

        • And I think 7th is the best edition of 40k, it’s an opinion, it’s subjective

          • euansmith

            I agree with your statement and disagree with your opinion 😉

          • And I think your reply is reflective of your views, so THERE

      • markdawg

        I don’t think any rule set with the IGOUGO mechanic can be considered great. It’s such a huge flaw I was really hoping they’d make a modern game but this “new rule set” is stuck in the past.

        • That’s fair, although it doesn’t bother me personally

    • Kinsman

      Really tough to make 40k worse, man. Really tough.

      • ZeeLobby

        Eh. The 40K core rules were fine. It’s the 6th/7th bolt ons and a lack of care for balance that made 40K bad.

        • Matthew Pomeroy

          well said.

        • Koonitz

          Though bear in mind that a certain amount of the complaint wasn’t necessarily that the rules were bad. More that they were bloated and games took longer than people would like.

          That is why a large focus on these rules is on streamlining the game and, as GW stated, bringing an average game down from 3ish hours to 1.5-2 hours.

          That requires some trimming of the complexities of the rule-set.

          • Matthew Pomeroy

            even with as streamlined/dumbed down (whichever your tastes go) I have never seen or played in a AoS game that was less than 2 hours, even before GHB. I dont think less rules will make a difference when army sizes are likely to grow. I brought 2 units of TK mtd lancers, 1 unit of mtd archers, 1 unit of chariots, 1 warsphinx w.tk, and 10 foot archers to a fight that took almost 3 hours. thats not a particularly big army as it was only 30 models.

          • Koonitz

            GW’s playtesting has said otherwise. Assuming the points for units stay largely similar, with only balancing changes, and the game point levels stay largely the same, they’ve already said that games are in the 1.5-2 hour mark.

            It’s possible that adding a casual atmosphere, perhaps a few drinks, snacks, general tom-foolery, a game will creep back up to the 3 hour mark, but as it stands, I believe them when they said they’ve streamlined the game.

            Now, if the community takes the opportunity to increase the point size, then we’ll have no choice but to accept that the community doesn’t know jack about what they want. They want a quicker game (they always could have lowered the point scale, by the way), GW gives it to them with a more streamlined rule-set. They take that leash and immediately increase the points of the average game because, now that they have more time, they can include more cool things, and they creep right back up to 3 hour games, again, and complain.

            It’s entirely possible this may happen, but I think as long as the community keeps 1,500-2,000 points on their mind, we’ll see shorter games.

            Edit: Of course, we will need to bear in mind that it may take a few games to get the new rules down pat enough to actually reduce the game length that much.

          • Matthew Pomeroy

            well like I said, I have never seen nor played in a game that took less, so not giving gw the benefit of the doubt.

          • Koonitz

            To each their own. *shrugs*

          • David

            The gw community knows what it wants
            3 hr games
            No aos moral
            balance between armies not strategies/all units

            The problem is the loud voice of people who don’t play the game and want it to be somethings else

          • markdawg

            No the rules are terrible dude. Play other games and you’ll figure out pretty quick that 40ks rules suck and could be way better.

          • Matthew Pomeroy

            Generally my opinion if a game is good or not is based on 3 categories: miniatures, rules, and fluff. I find GW on the whole is awful at rules, 50/50 on fluff and usually leaning towards better on the models. I wont say 40k is a great game, nor will I say AoS is even a good one, but they do have their roles and having armies of models to play with makes it worth doing. I love playing with my wood elves even though I think AoS is pretty bad. I will keep my Black Templars playing even if I think 8th blows too.

          • markdawg

            Good on ya man I’m not telling anyone to quit. All i’m saying is if your honest and you’ve tried other games 40k rules as a wargame are really quite poor. 40k dose do one thing better than any wargame. You can really put your own stamp on your army as a hobbyist and really personalize it. This is where 40k shines!

          • Matthew Pomeroy

            I always thought the original 2 editions of warzone were far superior rules wise to 40k, and I was hoping AoS would have been more like Chronopia or LOTR or really anything but what it turned out to be (for full disclosure, even in warhammer I despised the character of Sigmar, he was IMO so lame he was the least interesting char in his own trilogy) the fluff and models keep me in 40k, the models in AoS.

          • ZeeLobby

            I guess. I honestly think most of that bloat was due to the new editions. I mean heck, they tried to add a whole new dogfight phase. You had battle brothers buff sharing creating weird interactions. Fliers, SHs, GMCs, etc. All new unit types to account for. You had general traits to roll for, terrain rules to roll for, psychic powers to roll for, every army had new tables. No one ever described 5th edition as bloated. If anything people thought it was too shallow. And those rules were the same core rules as 6th and 7th.

          • Charon

            Wont happen. A lot of people are not going for that. As soon as a game is quicker (and o be fair it is not quicker because of “easy rules”, it is quicker because you remove units extremely fast) people start to adjust points.
            2nd extremely complex you played your 1500 points games with like 30 models on each sind in a couple of hours. When 3rd made the game faster and cut the points in half people did not suddenly switch to 750 and be done with the same amout of models in way less time, they basically doubled the points for 60 models per side.
            And over time the standard size of 1500 grew to 1850 – 2000.
            Prediction: If the game goes faster and is more lethal, people will just start to play at higher points instead of playing multiple games in a row.

    • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

      I have worries too. Armour facings gone, difficult terrain not slowing models, free vertical movement up to the limit of M, all very odd and undermines this ‘movement game’ the OP is talking about.

      Loss of facings and Initiative reduces the differences between units and takes away flavour. Will Leman Russes now be like Land Raiders but with different guns?

      Plus the weird version of alternating actions in the combat phase seems far too gamey for me. Why should my guard hit those Dark Eldar first just because I choose to activate them?

      Other than these things it mostly sounds ok with some positives. It only takes one really stupid thing to ruin a game though.

      • Haighus

        I suspect the alternate combat activation won’t matter very much- most combats are not going to be more than a round I think, based on the Fall back rules.

        DE will probably be much better able to pull off a charge than the Guard (likely a higher Move value), so they get to hit first. Surviving Guard will probably then retreat. So if the DE get a chance to assault again, they will get to go first again. This is how I see most combats playing out.

        I wonder if Assault units that are left behind by a Fall back move will get to consolidate at the same time? Would allow them the chance to get into cover before being lit up.

    • Nyyppä

      Couple of things I think are noteworthy:

      Sluggish compared to some games, sure, but not compared to 7th edition. If a game of 1500p takes 90 mins it’s already taking only half of what 7th edition games take.

      Squads already can fire their weapons to all directions. You still get just one target by default to fire at.

      40k already has a bunch of terrain that gives bonuses. Ammo boxes give rerolls and so on.

      You test morale at the end of the player turn. Not after each phase.

      Wound counting vs. WC counting is pretty even match in my opinion.

  • Crevab

    Some things I like, somethings I don’t. Eager to see more and cautiously optimistic.

    Also, enjoying the show of people grasping at straws to argue about whether the game is balanced or not. We can barely tell balance after seeing the whole rules, much less what we’ve got now. Calm down, people!

  • DayVision

    The idea that 8th will be good for melee is pure speculation at this point. The only rule that has been released to support that conclusion is the extra 3″ move in assault. We haven’t seen any melee weapon profiles or assault unit profiles but if the basic marine is any indication I wouldn’t expect assault marines to be feared. Especially when your enemy can disengage to let his buddies shoot you. Consider how long a group of assault marines would be locked in combat with tactical marines and then think about how many times that tactical group would be able to walk away and pull the assault group around with them.

    On a side note the ability to shoot pistols in melee could really make berserkers semi viable, because the optional plasma pistols. But they could, and should, be changed in 8th anyway.

    • Munn

      answering speculation with speculation

    • Koonitz

      Very little about 8th is NOT pure speculation right now. The ONLY reason GW is releasing these daily articles is to maintain focus and discussion and to build hype. Without the articles, but knowing 8th is coming, a lot of people will just stop buying, stop modeling and, to a lesser degree, stop playing, until 8th is out.

      Reading into these incredibly out-of-context articles doesn’t give us the full picture and won’t, until 8th is finally released, with full rules and points, and people get a chance to play a few games.

      Oh, and the 3″ move in assault is incredibly not new. It is the 3″ pile-in move EVERY SINGLE MODEL gets in 7th edition. The only difference is that now you can come within 1″ of an unengaged enemy model during said pile-in.

      • Charon

        Works on the same people that complain about 8 video games they pre ordered and how the gaming compaines are ripping them off with unfinished products but still preorder the next game.

        No rules -> not buying.

  • TBH, its way to similar to AoS, which I already play and think is alright, but which I also think is a pale shadow of 40k. Very little chance I’m going to continue playing in 8th, I’ll stick to shadow wars and hope the new game eventually gets replaced with something better

    • ZeeLobby

      Shawn actually sent me a shadow war box I wanted purely for this reason. Im sure we’ll get in some 8th games when it drops, but we’ve picked up so many other systems while 7th lingered that im not sure AoS in space will do it for us.

    • Munn

      It’s fine if you feel that way but my initial response would be to think you either aren’t very good at sigmar or don’t actually play it.

      • That’s an odd response to not particularly liking a game’s mechanics

        • Charon

          No it is basically the standard fanboy response when you hurt their feeling implying AoS is shallow and boring.

          • ZeeLobby

            Lol. Yup.

    • Commissar Molotov

      I suspect Shadow Wars was just a sop to everybody who didn’t wanna play ‘AoS in Space.’ I’m afraid I’ll be right there with you.

      • Haha, if it wasn’t intentional it sure was a happy accident

  • Kinsman

    We are sure about Mortals bypassing Invuls, as well? That would be different than AoS, generally.

    IE, Rune Shields are saves specifically for Mortal Wounds. I thought (assumed, granted) that Invuls would basically only affect Mortals.

    • Red_Five_Standing_By

      Invul saves just improve your armor save, IIRC

  • Randy Randalman

    40k was a mess. These rules are cleaner and leave it up to the general. Plus, putting every army on a clean slate is the best move they’ve made for balance in 20 years.

    • Matthew Pomeroy

      provided they actually do that with the clean slate, then yeah it could be great..but if they flub that, then we are no better off.

      • ZeeLobby

        And let’s be honest. Their going to flub it. Hard. I mean we “balanced” AoS for them, as they adopted a community comp for GH and are now rebalancing it based on community feedback. They’ve playtested 8th with some of the better positioned members of the community, which probably helped define some of the core rules, but these were the people who presided over events that were skewy as heck and never balanced. My guess is the first year will be rough, with clear winners and losers, and possibly by year 3 there will be a semblance of balance, assuming they don’t add 3 new factions every year.

        • Matthew Pomeroy

          true, cant argue that one. Still not sold on AoS being balanced but I have a vary small sample size of players. 45 minute drive 1 way to find an opponent is not much fun. was hoping when they finally put the rest of “warhammer” factions to pasture and have them completely replaced that the setting might start to show some signs of creativity. for 8th, I am not sure its worth going over yet…but if its good maybe. I do love me some shadow war though.

  • Jennifer Burdoo

    Close combat has always been the focus. There are effectively twice as many cc phases as movement and shooting phases, and in close combat the player can effectively choose who he kills by moving into cc with the appropriate opponents – whereas in shooting the casualties are allocated by his opponent. You want it to be more even in terms of phases, play the LOTR games that do all movement, all shooting and then combat. Except even then, there’s a limit on how many figures get bows…

    • Koonitz

      I’d disagree about being able to choose casualties in melee easier. It’s actually a lot harder to engage the target you want in melee compared to shooting.

      After all, if you have a 48″ ranged weapon, the only way to hide from it is to break line of sight. Even then, not always, as many weapons are barrage, not requiring line of sight. To avoid melee, you just need something in front of you the enemy has to charge first.

      Also, in 7th Ed, you can far more easily pick off the models you want in an enemy squad as casualties are NOT chosen by the defender. They are taken from closest model first. Outflank or deep strike behind a unit and you may be able to catch a straggling sergeant or heavy weapon. Or use a barrage weapon to land on the head of your desired first casualty (such as the afor-mentioned sergeant or heavy-weapon), as casualties from barrage weapons come from the center of the blast marker, first, allowing you to more easily snipe enemy models than you could with actual sniper weapons.

      In melee, the enemy unit will pile in so all models are in base contact, rendering all models equally distant, allowing the defender to pick whichever one he or she wants as the first casualty.

      • Jennifer Burdoo

        Ah, thanks for the comments. I haven’t gotten enough 7th ed games in to get used to those rules. What about the fact that you can still get twice as much hacking done in a turn as shooting? Is that likely to change?

        • Koonitz

          AoS does the same thing, so that’s not likely to change. However, that has rarely ever been a problem. Sure, you do get to attack in both phases, but that’s not new to 40k since I started back in 3rd Edition. 6th/7th does it, and that certainly didn’t stop shooting from being way more powerful.

          Besides, always remember that, though you may be swinging twice, so too is your enemy, whereas in shooting, your enemy cannot retaliate. So if you don’t crush them in a single turn of combat (thus nullifying any benefit of swinging twice), you’re going to take casualties, too.

  • Nyyppä

    It now depends on the command points and how the armies are designed.
    The cover may be an issue, sure, but it has always been one. As it is it’s all about having enough for the fragile armies to have a chance against the sturdier ones while the hard to kill armies not benefitting too much from it. I personally would have made it a to hit modifier instead of armor modifier but the rule is what it is.

    • Haighus

      Hit modifiers would’ve been an interesting way to do it.

      I am very keen to learn more about command points. I feel they could be one of the best new changes they add. It is what Warlord traits always should’ve been.

      The concept works really well in the Space Hulk boardgame for example.

      • Nyyppä

        What ever strengthens the agency of both players is good.

  • wibbling

    7th edition was fine, but became complicated with the interactions of various rules -rules exploited by poor players.

    All I hope for is an end to the endless whining from the ‘pointless player’, that who’s only interest is in humiliating the other player with their ego, one with no interest in the game, fluff or character but who is figuratively playing with a spreadsheet.

  • mgdavey

    “What I’m most excited about is the increased emphasis on moving. …. We see to hit modifiers while moving with heavy weapons rather than no shooting or the deity-awful snap firing. You see running incorporated into the movement phase giving you greater control over where your army finishes in relation to each other. ”

    If units can move and fire with less penalty, and running and charging is a random move, then movement is NOT emphasized. Based on those things, shooting is still king. A maneuver-based army is handicapped.

  • JayBiga

    As a veteran player, been in the game since Rogue Trader, my experience is that this will make shooting more important than in the last editions. Not more deadly, but more important. Since now cover is important again for models with good armor saves, shooting will have an influence on their movement. Do I leave the safety of cover so as to advance towards that objective, or do I stay put and use this cover to set up a gunline for this unit? Suddenly Marines et al need to ask these questions, which they did not need to worry about in a loooooooong time. Those that only played Marines suddenly need to relearn how to play them.

    I like the new cover mechanic, obviously just based on what I read, better than the original mechanic of to hit modifiers. Used to be that cover meant your shot either had no effect at all, or was full force. This new mechanic represents the fact that it is perfectly possible to shoot through a wall with an anti tank gun pretty well.

    As far as the game is concerned I am very optimistic. Fluffwise, I am on the fence, since I’m very skeptical about the new übermarines. (Might paint some up as Ultramarines, but with an Ü instead of a U on their pads.) 😉