Games Workshop is trying to make 40k Datasheets more useful to players – how do they stack-up to their AoS counterparts?
If you missed the big teaser today, Games Workshop showed off the new style Datasheets for Rubric Marines. It’s a big shift away from the unit stats we’re all used to but they aren’t that different. The two biggest changes are 1) No more USRs and 2) Power Level, not Points on the sheet (but there will be points). But just looking at the sheet there were some big similarities to the Age of Sigmar Warscrolls so lets take a look!
Now, because there are no Rubric Marines in AoS, I chose a unit that wasn’t a daemon unit, but was still Tzeentchy at the same time – Tzaangors!
Compare that to the Rubric Marines sheet:
I wanted to include the weapon stats in there as well just for comparison sake. Looking at the unit stats, the layout of the AoS Tzaangors takes up a much smaller footprint and still manages to convey the same information. They also have less weapons/stats to list over-all. But the similarities are there. Now, mechanically, 40k is going to be a tad more complex with Str vs Toughness charts for everything. And the Attacks characteristic is based on the unit, not the weapon. Still, it’s pretty clear the new 40k statsline is a hyrbid of the older version and AoS.
Both sheets have all the options listed for the unit. Functionally, they convey the same information, but I like the way the AoS version does it. Personally, I would have put the Weapon options directly under the Statlines in the 40k version. That way you have all the relevant unit/weapon stats in one block at the top and then all their wargear and options below that. Regardless, both sheets list unit minimums, requirements for upgrades (“Two in every Five” or “One in Ten” etc.) and relevant info about the unit leader. The 40k version also lists the new Power Level ratings.
I like the 40k version because things are a bit more defined, but I appreciate the AoS versions “get to the point” style. But they both manage to convey a lot of info in a small foot print.
I really, really love this aspect of the datasheets. Having the unit special rules on the datasheet makes things a lot easier for new players and for vets. New players can see all the rules for the unit on the sheet (or in the publication in case of “Death to the False Emperor”). Vets will appreciate being able to quickly glance at the rules of their armies and other armies that they don’t normally play. That’s HUGE and big time saver.
These are all good things in my book because you get quickly reference the rules on a single page and you can get back to playing. You don’t need to pull out a different book or books to reference some random unit rule – it’s all right there on the page. Now, because it’s 40k, there is a lot more info going on compared to it’s AoS cousin, but they share the same DNA.
The Keywords in 40k are clearly a theme borrowed from AoS. What’s curious (because we don’t know how it will work yet) is that in 40k, units will get two sets of Keywords. In AoS, all the keywords are combined into one. Why the distinction? Faction Keywords are used when determining detachments and can impact things like command dice or other in-game effects. We’ll have to wait a tad longer to see how that pans out.
The AoS version is shorter and more concise. However, AoS doesn’t have things like the Command Points in the game. Functionally, they do similar things, but mechanically they serve some different purposes. But yet again, one clearly inspired the other.
Neither one has points on the sheet. We know those are coming at a later date. If I had to put money on it, for 40k, expect the points in the same publication but in a different section. The 40k units also have the Power Levels which is something AoS certainly could have used at launch.
Overall, these new 40k Datasheets have taken the AoS model and just injected some more granularity. I think they are more fiddly than the AoS versions, but they have to be due to the rules in 40k appearing a tad more complex. Is the extra stuff necessary? Yes. Will that extra complexity make the game better? We’ll see!
Personally, I think when the General’s Handbook came out with points, AoS was “fixed” – it became a really simple and (dare I say) elegant game system. I’ve made my feelings known about this already. It seems like GW has taken the AoS formula and added in some tweaks and complexity for 40k. How will this pan out? I’m not a fortune teller or from the future, but it’s looking pretty good to me so far. One thing is for sure, I’m pumped for 8th Edition 40k!
Do you like these changes to the Datasheets? Is there anything “missing” besides points? Should the 40k sheets have been more or less like their AoS counterparts? What changes would you have made? Let us know in the comments below!