40K: Get Ready to MOVE

Warhammer 40,000 8th Edition promises to be the fastest moving edition in more ways then one.

It’s been decades since we’ve had a Movement stat and that’s just the beginning.  I’ve been playing a lot of 8th these last few weeks and let me tell you – get ready because you might get whiplash at how fast this game moves.  Here’s just three big concepts you need to get your head around:

The Board Size May be Smaller

For the first time in a while, GW gives you official table sizes for your games:

Matched Play Guidelines (p.214)

  • Up to 1000 pts: 4’x4′ table
  • 1001-2000 pts: 6’x4′ table
  • 2001-3000 pts: 8’x4′ table

It’s nice to see GW give advice not only for the bigger games, but the smaller ones as well. I wouldn’t be surprised to see TO’s starting to crank up some space efficient 1000pt events with folks crammed into taped off 4×4 tables.  If you have been playing for as long as you can remember on 4’x6′ tables, give a 1000pt / 50Power Level armies a spin on a 4×4 – it’s fun and frenetic!

Everything Moves Faster

With the arrival of the Movement stat, everything is getting faster. Sure the “standard” units still move 6″ and vehicles 12″, but then you hit the really crazy units who motor like you can’t believe. Here’s just a taste:

  • Howling Banshees: 8″ +D6+3″ Advance (and fire at full effect)
  • Razorwing fighter: 20″-72″ + 20″ Advance
  • Screamers of Tzeentch: 16″ + D6 Advance
  • Warbuggies: 14″ +D6 Advance
  • Flying Hive Tyrant: 16″ + D6 Advance
  • Land Speeder Storm: 18″ +D6 Advance

Compared to the last few edition, units who want to move really get out there. You can routinely get deep into enemy deployment zones by the end of turn 2 if you try. The truly fast units will be anywhere they want to be by mid game, and be able to traverse the entire table from turn to turn. The game has very free-wheeling feel from turn to turn that is much closer in feel to Age of Sigmar and X-wing than previous editions of 40K or stately games such as Star Wars Armada.

The Sarge said CHARGE?  – WHAT?!

The Rules Promote Speed

Finally you get some of the bigger rules changes from previous editions. Things such as firing heavy weapons with a -1 to hit are unheard of, and are making long abandoned weapons like the Heavy Bolter hop off of shelves for the first time ever. Then you get Advancing now available to all units, and the some faction abilities to Advance and fire with no penalties.  It all adds up to longer distances moved per game by more units than 40K has ever seen.

Putting it all Together

Small boards, faster movement and rules that encourage mobility all come together for a new 40K tabletop experience. Get ready to forget assuming your static gunline will get 2-3 turn of shooting at the bad guys as they approach. Instead start to look for new movement opportunities for your own army.  Seeing things like CSM Havocs ADVANCING while raining down a hail of autocannon fire on flankers trying to skirt the board edge is COOL. Seeing Tau Gunlines blaze away, only to break cover and mount an effective fighting withdrawal – while raining down deadly firepower is something exciting to see.

In short – in 8th Edition get ready because we are ALL Eldar players now. Get ready to move and have fun exploring, and using it for your advantage.

~ What are you planning to do with your newfound mobility?

  • Karru

    I really enjoy playing my Guard Infantry army this edition because of these changes. Before I really couldn’t move that much at all with my main army so the army was very static. Now I can go full on russian WW2 tactics and just march across the table as a massive flood of bodies.

    My Marines don’t feel all that different from this change and I haven’t got around to trying out my Orks or Eldar yet. Overall I see it as a positive change as it makes the very boring Sitzkrieg not that common nor viable any more.

    I do see some issues with the massive speed boost many units and armies got from this. Tau for example is in big trouble right now as they seem to get easily overwhelmed unless they invest HEAVILY on Kroots at which point they find themselves severely outgunned. I’ve now seen a couple of games where Tau gets absolutely smacked for various reasons that are mostly attached to their own nerfs but also on the overall game changes.

    Beyond the loss of Markerlights, the issue other with Tau really is their lack of ability to fight in CC. While they posses multiple, relatively devastating Close Quarter Weapons such as the Breacher Team Pulse Blaster, unless they manage to completely wipe out the enemy on their turn or at least during Overwatch, they are doomed. Even with things like Suits “Fly” Keyword, the Fall Back move isn’t really that useful once you realise that it is impossible to Fall Back if you don’t have the unit any more.

    So while these changes are very positive for the game, I do feel that there has been a “slight” oversight when it comes to compensating certain armies for their own need to stay away from the enemy, yet don’t have the mobility to pull it off.

    • Iconoc1ast

      Yay for IG Infantry!!

    • Luca Lacchini

      DE have some weird rough edges, due to equipment changes (no grenades, splinter racks vanished, a couple trinkets), but this edition changes made them scary awesome.
      10 hellions + 9 reavers (kitted for AT work) + wyches and twin succubus HQ on a raider and a venom = 1000 points of hurt, coming at’cha REALLY FAST. And fun to play, too.

      Tau (sorry: T’au), OTOH, completely screwed. Too many trinkets and equipment options missing, EMP grenades gone, points value completely overhauled…

      Guard is a different beast from the one I knew (at least organization-wise), but seems to have its inner balance.

      8th might become known as “fast attack edition”, the cavalry-type units really got the spotlight.

      • Anasa

        Tau changed from Mecha: the army to Drones&Infantry: the army.

        • Karru

          Yeah, currently I feel like Tau are just more “focused” but bad versions of Guard. They lack the numbers of Guard, but have the accuracy and nearly the durability of Guard. What they don’t have is the price of Guard, instead they are priced between this odd place of “Elite army” and “Horde army”.

          They pay lots of points for many of their units and weapons, but that means very little because they can’t hit the broadside of a barn with them. The suits are the biggest losers because they can get super expensive very fast and still lack the damage output of what their price suggests.

          Infantry and Drones has been the only thing I’ve seen from them that seems to work in any way decent.

          • Anasa

            Compared to previous editions, a horde of fire warriors and pathfinders supported by Ethereals, Fireblades and Pulse Acceleration Drones is dirt cheap and seems pretty powerful. It’s not a guard-sized horde, but it certainly has numbers and dishes an insane amount of Str5 shots at 30-36″ range and is a ***** to assault thanks to their Overwatch buff. While pulse rifles no longer wound T3 units on a 2+, they do wound almost everything on at least a 5+, making them more versatile against vehicles and MC:s with a 3+ save. Also, thanks to split fire, it makes more sense to give rail and ion rifles to path finders, which in turn increases their flexibility. Not sure about the suits, though. They might do the job in small numbers as dedicated specialist units when properly outfitted, which is how I view they should work in the fluff.

            Been playing with Tau since 4th ed, but seeing as I’ve yet to actually play a game of 8th and thus lack the practical knowledge, I may be in the wrong here.

      • Karru

        I partially disagree with your Guard comment regarding their inner balance. Their Vehicles vs Infantry is completely out of whack. As most Guard Vehicle based weapons are Blasts, that means that most Guard Tanks have extremely limited damage output. Then when you start comparing prices and then survivability, at least I noticed that Infantry is way more durable than any Guard Tank. The only exception is certain Artillery pieces such as the Manticore, but only if you can place it into a place where it can’t be seen for at least 3 turn.

        Infantry is ridiculously priced compared to their tanks which causes the issue. They really need to drop the price of most Guard Tanks or they need to improve their weapons. The thing I am most bitter about is the Exterminator change (and Guard Tanks in general) compared to how SM was treated.

        Exterminator was Heavy 4, Twin-linked Autocannon. What changes it received in 8th? It became just Heavy 4, that’s it.

        Meanwhile, SM for some dumb reason got 2 extra shots into their Assault Cannons and then they doubled those shots for their Twin Assault Cannons. The biggest kick in the nuts is the Predator Autocannon. Instead of 2 Autocannon shots, it is now 2D3 Autocannon shots and causes 3 wounds instead of 2 like a regular Autocannon or the Exterminator. This makes absolutely 0 sense in every possible way.

        • Luca Lacchini

          It’s because Guard is now different.
          I have two custom Exterminators (made from WW1 british tanks), with lascannon and flamers side sponsons, and everyone keeps telling me they’re the worst tank possible ever, stat-wise and theorycrafting backed up by the holy mathammer.
          I realize their point cost is really odd, but when put on the table, they have a serious output of hurt at any range and against most opponents. They DO NOT fit the same niche they did before, but they do have theirs. Tanky vehicles seem to behave more like the old monstruous creatures, while transports and the such kept their old habits.
          Veterans, infantry squads with heavy weapons teams attached, they work in a different manner. But they do work. Sometimes it’s difficult getting the hang of their new… shtick (and I’m NO expert at this), but it’s definitively there.

          T’au are a different breed. I still can’t get my head around a reasonable force that works, with strong and weak points, but with an inner logic. You have either greatness or glaring pits of abject failure.
          But I guess that’s me.

          • Karru

            Here’s some tips on how to work with Guard Infantry:

            There is no such thing as too many. If you want Infantry, go all out. Infantry Squads for your core, equipped with your Heavy Weapon of choice, I use Missile Launchers myself due to their multi-role ability.

            Then you need actual firepower. Heavy Weapons Squads do just that. With 4pts a piece without their weapon, you can bring a lot of these bad boys to the table with varied weaponry. I prefer Lascannons on these guys. For every two Squads, remember to bring them their own Company Commanders for Orders. 30pts to get those re-rolls is great, especially considering you no longer need to see the target so you can just stick the Commander behind a wall and give out your Orders.

            Now you need to wrap these boys up. Conscripts, lots of them. I use between 40 and 60 of them, in two to three squads. You want to have as many targets for your opponent as you can possibly manage, this is where the durability kicks in you see. Instead of getting to focus on one large unit, the opponent has to split his fire across multiple different units.

            Now that you have your HQ’s, Troops and Heavy Support filled, you need to get yourself some Elites and Fast Attacks, ’cause you are getting yourself that lovely Brigade detachment.

            For Fast Attack, I go with either Scout Sentinels (units of 1) if I’m planning to go cheap. The other option is Hellhounds with Heavy Flamers. Hop them from cover to cover, preferably out of LoS of the enemy until you need to flame the enemy frontline or spearhead.

            Elites is a no brainer for Infantry Guard. Commissars only, ignore the rest. Platoon Commanders are 20pts for 1 Order, so you are far better off with taking the Company Commander for 30pts, you have plenty of HQ slots to spare. Command Squads are no longer needed, because you can use any Vox, including those in Infantry Squads, to shout out your Orders.

            Finally, you want some Bullgryns. I use 5 myself with Slabshields and Mauls. They are meant to be the counter-chargers once the enemy does his pitiful attempt at breaking my Conscript wall.

            My current win-rate with this list is 100%. Okay, I have only played 8 games with it thus far, but 6 of those have been total steamrolls. You just advance and flood the enemy. The width of this army is so large that the enemy has no hope of flanking you with DS units, they always have to come face to face with my Conscripts.

          • Fergie0044

            So, what do you think is an ideal counter to your army? Or better yet a good counter to your army while still being well rounded?

          • Karru

            Snipers. You want to take Snipers. The entire backbone of my army are the Characters. Aim for the Commissars littered across the lines. Once you take those down, it’s only a matter of concentrated fire to bring my army down, since Guard isn’t known for their bravery.

            For this reason, I do have 3 Commissars “encouraging” my Conscripts alone. The basic tactic I would employ when facing this army is to use my multi-wound weapons, such as Autocannons, Missile Launchers and even Lascannons to bring down the Heavy Weapons Squads in the backline. Once I notice that there are units outside Commissar’s Summary Execution rule, I start to focus slightly more on those. Even losing 5 models is rough for a Guard unit, as all you need at that point is to roll a 6, your 10-man unit is dead as the rule states that a model flees, so two wounded Heavy Weapons team flees as well.

            Whatever you do, do not under any circumstance charge the Conscripts. Even if you manage to wipe them and even if you manage to consolidate into the other Conscript unit, the unit(s) that managed it are now doomed to die. If the endless volley of Lasfire, Grenade Launchers and Heavy Weapons don’t finish them, the Bullgryns will. The Conscript wall is meant to be so large and tightly packed that you can’t sneak your way behind it. That means you’ll be standing out in the open during the Guard player’s shooting phase.

            It is mostly a case of concentrated firepower and sniping. I believe that in this edition, every army should have Snipers in them for the sole reason that they might face off against armies like this that rely heavily on Characters.

            Orks and Tyranid armies actually have a decent shot at beating this list without going too “gimmicky”. Those two games that weren’t complete steamrolls, it was against Orks and Tyranids. Both of these armies have the same advantages as this list, Numbers. Tyranids have speed on top of that and ways to F with the Guard shooting with things like Venomthropes.

            Basically your options are either to fight the army with the same tactic, which is horde, or you pick off my characters one by one and/or concentrate fire on my units. You see, most people are used to picking off Guard Infantry in a way where they do some casualties here some there and expect them to die in the Morale phase. My list prevents that, which makes it very strong.

            It is a strong list, but not unbeatable.

          • Fergie0044

            Nice run through, thanks.
            None of my regular opponents play IG, so i was just being curious. But I will have to contend with Nids fairly often and maybe orks so I’ll soon learn how my nurgle boys deal with hordes.

          • Heinz Fiction

            I think every army will need some chaff units like those conscripts or a good way to deal with them.

  • Crevab

    And you didn’t even touch on the “No reserve roll, no scatter” rules that is Deepstrike!
    But why, oh why did they call the Run move, Advancing? It’s gonna take a bit to stop the mental hiccups that happen whenever I see penalties or bonuses to that

    • Karru

      Because Vehicles use the rule as well. Unless you want to be stuck with an image where a Land Raider decides to grow legs and start walking after you say “My Land Raider is going to Run”, I advice on using the word “Advance” instead. 😀

      • Crevab

        Vehicles have wounds as well, sooo

        • ZeeLobby

          Did you see Mr. Rhino, he’s bleeding out over there!

        • So… GW decided to go with a neutral word in one spot, but not in another. Classical GW decision actually.

          • Tyr

            Tbf, it beats renaming wounds. Doing that would just confuse so many more people…

      • Mr.Gold

        just imagine it acting like “The Luggage” (from the Discworld Series)…

  • marlowc

    It’s great to see more movement in the new game isn’t it. But 40K will never be a true game of manoeuvre, as the gun ranges are way too long for the size of the board – unless you’re playing with a Necromunda level of urban terrain! Can’t be helped of course, as it’s due to the size of the gorgeous models, which is why I play 40K in the first place.
    Really looking forward to the new Epic game when it comes out – early next year? The models are small enough to give us a real game of skillful manoeuvring on a 6 x 4.

  • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

    its funny, I am really in favour of the new M characteristic, it just strikes me as odd they took away a lot of the reason for flanking and maneuvering by doing away with armour facings and removal of models from the front.

    Now I guess we’ll see rushes to objectives, which is fine, but also cheap mobile units rushing up to expensive shooty ones to tie them up and force them to withdraw. Trukks rushing Baneblades and locking them in combat just seems very odd. It will truly be the Bubble-wrap-hammer edition. http://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/a9de65f63f3269de82085afd5c95fc54347d097e33ded4ad3224dcab13b5904d.jpg

    • marlowc

      Absolutely yes – I’m a bit apprehensive about people abusing things like Rhinos in this way. Luckily, my group don’t usually play beardy like this, but even so 🙁

      • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

        with powerful units able to deepstrike at will and with perfect accuracy, filling in the gaps on your table half will be crucial. I’m already seeing people talking about armoured sentinel spam etc as a way to prevent deepstrike.

        Even though the points costs of many units have gone up, I think we’ll see more models on the table than ever in the form of huge units of chaff. I suspect GW will be very happy about selling all these models, but it reminds me of the changes to 8th WHFB which spelt the end of the game for many, with its huge blocks of infantry dominating.

        • euansmith

          Though units are able to deepstrike accurately, and can shoot, they’ve still got to make that 9″ charge in to combat.

          • ZeeLobby

            But if you use your CP/buffs wisely, you’ll make the charges that matter.

          • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

            True. The most powerful deepstrike units will be those with good shooting. However now charging a unit locks it up for a turn even chaff deepstrikers dropped simply to multi charge backfield units will be very strong.

          • Mr.Gold

            Tempestus Scions are quite good at this – cheap, easy access to plasma/melta etc (the elite squad can have all four models with these weapons…) and deep strike…

    • Graham Bartram

      …”odd they took away a lot of the reason for flanking and manoeuvring by doing away with armour facings and removal of models from the front”

      This! This is my biggest issue with 8th … and universal split-fire. Or rather, universal split-fire with no negative modifiers.

      • Heinz Fiction

        Splitfire is good, as it removes a lot of cheesy and unrealistic tactics around MSU. Also it doesn’t artificially penalise mixed weapon loadouts like the rules used to in previous editions.

        • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

          I think interpenetrating MSU units will be extremely strong as bubblewrap now there are no templates, in order to project 9″ no deepstrike bubbles and to tie up units in assault and absorb overwatch.

          • Heinz Fiction

            They might be and there is nothing wrong with that even though you’ll sacrifice first turn in some scenarios if you go that way (alternating deployment).

            What is not ok is when 2 squads of 5 Models next to each other are more survivable than 1 squad of 10 because the rules say you have to put all your 40 shots into one of them for reasons.

          • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

            Going second is an advantage in some missions anyhow.

            It seems to me that unless the units follow 30k style costing 2×5 will always be safer than 1×10, especially now templates are gone and multi hit weapons only hit one unit at a time.

          • Graham Bartram

            …and of course the total amount of special weapons available is often higher for two 5man squads, compared to a 10 man squad. Skitarii vanguard for example can take 2 special weapons in a 5 man squad and 3 in a 10 man squad. So you can take 4 for 2 squads.of 5. Plasma away!

        • Graham Bartram

          That’s true to a point, but I would prefer to see full BS against the First unit they fire at and then -1 BS to the other units. As I said my issue is with universal split-fire with no negative modifiers. I say that as someone who benefits greatly from the splitfire rule BTW, my Skitarii Vanguard plasma troopers are positively peaking.

    • Tyr

      Trukks rushing baneblades? Why would they want to do that? Baneblades *thrive* in CC. They become untargetable while still being able to shoot normally. AND they also deal another 9 S9 attacks. Baneblades *want* to be in CC.

      • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

        don’t they have to fall back to be able to shoot? Do they have a special rule allowing them to shoot from CC?

        • Tyr

          Nope, thats exactly their special rule. They get to shoot at full BS even while theyre in CC. They can fire HB and HF at the attacking unit, their other weapons have to choose something else, but thats it. No other limitations.

          • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

            Then replace Baneblade with Monolith or similar.

  • euansmith

    “The Serg said CHARGE? – WHAT?!”

    The Sarge is called Serg?

  • Heinz Fiction

    I like to move it, move it!

  • TK TV (Teemkill)


  • Jim Cook

    Moving and shooting heavy weapons is what’s getting me in the store tomorrow.

  • Andrew

    Putting it all together, this edition is complete and utter garbage. This edition was specifically designed for the competitive player that can’t handle loosing a make believe game. And these are the last people GW should be placating, first off as soon as you have a new release that deviates from the status quo they will start complaining again. Also if you ever take a real close look at the competitive players, those who can’t handle the fact that 7th was slightly unbalanced, they are the biggest losers barely able to gather $4.00 for a paint pot let alone buy any models. Seriously if half the time they spent complaining on the balance of the game was spent on something productive then maybe they could actually amount to something. Put players like myself who loved the variety of 7th edition and actually just play for fun and actually are successful in life, we spend tons of money on merchandise.

    • Karru

      I just love your statements here.

      This edition is total garbage because it is aimed towards competitive gamers.

      Competitive gamers are the worst because they can’t handle losing in a game.

      7th edition was only slightly unbalanced.

      7th edition had variety.

      Oh boy, where to even start. Top to bottom sounds great, let’s go with that. First of all, this edition is in fact not aimed strictly for competitive players as I am sure you’d know if you had read the rulebook at all. You quickly realise that most of the book is filled with narrative scenarios and missions as well as some extra rules for all the old Supplements, like Planetstrike and Death From the Skies. This edition is aimed towards everyone. Now both sides can enjoy playing, even against each other and people are no longer required to have 30 minute negotiation sessions where people list things that shouldn’t be allowed to be played because they happened to be playing one of the stronger armies.

      Next up, Competitive gamers in fact aren’t the scum of the world you make them up to be. Believe it or not, most of the competitive players I’ve met are amongst the nicest people on the planet. There are and will always be A-holes who will do all they can to break the game, but those are unfortunate facts that plague any game that puts two humans against each other.

      Saying that competitive games can’t handle losing a game can be turned against you as well. You sound like someone who can’t handle challenge. If you come up against someone who prefers to play to the strengths of their army, instead of playing against them or trying to overcome the fight, people like you instead like to complain their heart out that it is because “competitive players that we can’t have nice things”.

      I wanted to save the best bit for last. 7th edition was only “slightly” unbalanced, you say? So, which army did you play? Space Marines? Tau? Eldar? Only people I’ve heard saying that 7th edition wasn’t “as bad as people made it up to be” were people that played one of the top tier armies that had options thrown their way from left and right. Their biggest problem when it came to list building usually boiled down to which unit did they have to leave out because they were so great.

      Meanwhile the Mediocre Club had some options, like Guard, Grey Knights and Blood Angels but still had to really think what their list should have as they could have easily taken units that were both overpriced and/or utterly useless.

      Then there was the ” ‘We don’t really like you’ an Introduction to bad game design by Games Workshop” Club. Orks, Chaos Space Marines, Tyranids and Dark Eldar. These armies were 90% of the time utterly doomed if they came up against the top tier armies, unless they went with a highly focused and spammy/broken build. No matter if you played in a narrative scene or casual groups, unless you gave these armies some advantages, this could be anything from extra points to the opposing army doing some very dumb build, they would most certainly lose the game outright.

      Now, 7th edition technically had more variety than 8th edition currently does thanks to the fact that GW had to throw away all books from 7th and start all over. But that variety ranged from utterly broken to utterly useless with very few things in between, it was usually either end of the spectrum. There were some major rules that were good like Chapter Tactics, Legion Traits and so on. Then there were these lovely utterly bad “free extra rules” that were attached to formations. Some armies got theirs just cause while others were left in the dark. A good example would be the Ad Mech War Convocation. Literally no reason to ever play a game without it. It was a standard Ad Mech army, but if you didn’t take it, you were giving away free rules and points.

    • marlowc

      I don’t agree that 40K has ever been aimed at competitive players – not if you mean serious competitions. I think people will always see it first and foremost as a great fun game, with brilliant minis. There’s not enough real skill in 40K to appeal to serious tournament type punters.
      By which I mean if you gave me the army that won the latest 40K tournament, I could go up against the “best” players in the world with it, and not be too shabby. Do the same with the fleet that won the last X-Wing competition, and the top guys would run rings round me, wouldn’t even win 1 game :).

  • Erik Giersdorf

    Uh screamers don’t move faster. 16+d6″ is quite a lot less than 12+24″

  • Crablezworth

    I’m not sure how much moving is really incentivized without a wound pool for range. Right now all you need to see and be in range of is a single model and the entire unit can get wiped. Also, with no more pulling from the closest or armour values there’s less reward for positioning.