40K Deep Thought – Why Doesn’t 8th Play Faster that 7th?

8th Edition arrived with a lean trim ruleset that made 7th look like a byzantine nightmare. So why aren’t we finishing games any faster?

Remember the ramp up to 8th Edition in early summer of last year?  People were really worried that 40K was going to be “Age of Sigmared” and all of our beloved detail and granularity of rules from 7th would be swept away.

Then 8th arrived and people pulled out the little 8-page core rules pamphlet and freaked out – a little.  It wasn’t bad and once the community got to see the a handful of datasheets we jumped in with both feet.

Sure we didn’t have a giant 7th edition rulebook, but the unified statline combined with the ultra streamlined core rules would set the stage for a new improved Warhammer 40,000 for a new generation of gamers. So we all thought.

How Fast Is it?

But three quarters of a year in I’m really not seeing games play any faster and I’m not sure exactly why.

What I tend to see if folks playing 2k games are routinely finishing turns 3-4 in about 2 hours. Sure if both players know both armies rules, and are playing quite efficiently – you can wrap it up under time. Sure if you are playing a mission with a sudden death victory condition – you can finish under time. BUT, if you have novice to intermediate players who are doing things like say – talking to each other, or looking stuff up a lot – 2 hours won’t cut it.

So basically – about the same as 7th.

Now the game isn’t the same at all – it just takes about the same amount of time.

I would say that more things happen in a smaller number of turns than in 7th. Armies are moving faster, more action is taking place, and you get a lot of drama – say in cases like when two very psychic armies face off in the chess match that the Psychic Phase can become.  I’m also not seeing a giant amount of games in 8th where the ulitmate victor can’t be determined by the end of turn 3, or 4, but it’s still taking a while to wrap it all up with the full number of turns.

What’s the Cause?

I’ve talked to several players who have a variety of opinions on exactly what is occurring in 8th.

  • Some say the number of dice being rolled has been increased from 7th – which slows things down. Take Twin weapons as an example.
  • Some say the psychic phase can eat up a lot more time than in 7th with a ton of units with myriad powers being able to duke it out each player turn.
  • Some say the reshuffling of USRs from the main rulebook into hundreds of slight variations on datasheets requires more in-game referencing which slows things down.
  • Some say the rapid escalation of overlapping unit special rules – strategems – relics – army special rules combos have brought a complexity to the game that again requires a lot of looking things up and slows the game (kind of reminding me of the crazy calculations you had to use to determine who won a round of close combat in Warhammer Fantasy).
  • Some say a slightly lower point cost scale per model has increased modelcount – slowing things down.

Some of these I can agree with – it does feel like I’m rolling more dice than in 7th – but other theories seem uncertain. While the psychic phase can get crazy in certain matchups – just as often you will have two armies which skip the entire phase, say T’au vs Necrons.

So at the end of the day – I like the game. I’m having fun. I thinking GW accomplished its goal of making 8th easier for new players to get into. But I think if the goal was to make a faster swifter game – it’s fallen a bit short. For a game with a core rulebook thinner than X-Wing – I just think that’s very odd.

~What parts of 8th do you think takes up the most time? 


  • Piers Horgan

    From what scouce have you taken this? Gaming group, big tournaments?
    In my opinion i play the games at least a 3rd faster and most of my gaming group would agree. Only learning the options for stategems seems to slow it down a bit.

    • SacTownBrian

      My games are all faster too. Of course if you go by LVO then slow play is a stratagem tha doesn’t cost CP.😉

      • LankTank

        Haha This guy!

    • Same here, we’re much, MUCH faster than in any previous edition of the game. We played a game with 300 Power (ca 6000 Points) per side in less than four hours, something that took a whole day back in 5th and 6th.

    • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

      I play at a club where 7th and 8th are played at the same points level and same sort of terrain. Both editions seem to take almost exactly the same time.

      • ZeeLobby

        Yeah. Bubbles and rerolls. I’m sure some factions are faster in 8th, but some have also slowed down.

        • YetAnotherFacelessMan

          Ooo, nuance! Complicated answers that vary from person to person! 😀

    • orionburn III

      BOLS tends to think the entire world does what their gaming group does. Just like when they said nobody uses the missions from the book and 95% of the comments section said otherwise…lol

      • Not all all. We look at games from all over the world.

        The main point would be that it’s surprising that with such streamlined core rules there is no significant reduction in turn length. A statistically significant reduction (say 25%) would result in 90 minute games – and NOBODY is playing that fast at 2k. So at most we are talking about little 5-10% up or down differences compared to 7th.

        For every player who says 8th is faster, another will say it’s slower and on average it all nets out to about the same.

        A related issue may be the continual increase in “default” game size. Over the years we’ve seen the game go from 1500, to 1750, to 1850 and now 2000 for the game size most people expect to play. Who knows, maybe in 10 years we will all be playing 2500 pts?

        • orionburn III

          It’s all in good fun, Red. 😀 There’s a few times authors (not you) have made some pretty bold claims but the community on as a whole feels differently. That being said what our group perceives in its gaming “worldview” may not jive with other groups. It really boils down to what people prefer.

          In the end GW will always be happier when games get bigger and bigger. In truth I do wonder how much of a difference there is in model counts as points for formerly cheap things (Rhinos & Drop Pods come to mind) have significantly gone up. Now that would make for a good article to do the maths on popular 7th ed list builds and what that would be in points in 8th. I however am too lazy to do that. 😛

    • BaronSnakPak

      In my scene, games of 8th are easily longer than games of 7th. The exception to the rule is when someone forfeits after an alpha strike.

      • ZeeLobby

        Haha. Maybe that’s how Piers Horgan plays.

    • Looking at all the games we play both here in the Studio, we witness at competitive events, and the myriad of youtube / twitch batreps from all over the world – that are full length. So a decent sized pool from all over the place.

  • Sir Postalot

    My 8th casual games are faster and include nearly no rules issues. I can usually play a small relaxed game in under 2 hours. This was not the case in 7th.
    The few 8th tournament games I played where just as long as 7th tournament games this could be because these games have always been artificiality restricted in time but it might also be because of the other usual reasons -> contemplating what to do, the whole explain your list routine and or rule bickering.

  • Steven Hyche

    Also 2000 > 1850

    • orionburn III

      This is a big part of it. Honestly I don’t recall the last time I played a game at 1850 pts. We bumped it up to 2000 pretty quick in our group and that’s the minimum we run anymore.

  • Alex Peña Sevillano

    Games arent faster cause people are playing more points, and also the meta has deviated to bigger model counts. If you use the 8th and 7th rules for the same set of models 8th is significantly faster.

    • 40KstillRulesTheTT

      Sure thing, but more than the model count, I blame the number of units. Many players have like 15 or more units in their 1500 point games where I play… So I blame detachments ! Also, overwatch shooting takes way too much time for the little it does… I know this for a fact since I compared (my games and those of others) the length of many games, and my conclusion is that: shooting army vs shooting army takes up to 30% less time than shooting army vs army with some/full assault units. Also, some players need to be rushed along during deployment (“so have you placed your unit ?” “No” “OK so f…ing DO IT already”) 😀

      • David

        Only 15 I’d be looking at the 30’s for 2k

      • SYSTem050

        I know this due to anecdotal evidence.

        Fixed that for you

      • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

        True, if people are maxing out detachments it makes a big difference. Kinda the opposite effect to 30k where you might play at 3000 points but because of the FOC you probably have less units than the average 1500 point game of 8th and the game goes very fast even though it uses the 7th ed rules.

      • fenrisful2

        …says the player who brings 5 IK to a 2K game.
        Those lists are boring.

      • Patriarch

        Shooting army vs shooting army will be a shorter game because neither of you will be bothering with charge or fight phases. During your turn, your opponent is only there to roll saves and morale tests. If he trusts you, you could do all that for him whilst he makes the brews.

    • Russell Moody

      This is exactly what I thought about after reading the article. 8th takes more time due to more models per army on the table.
      The other reason is that 8th does see a lot more dice rolling because you no longer skip firing or attacking with certain units. Back in 7th there were lots if times where you either didn’t get a save, or your weapons were completely useless. Now in 8th there are times where things are almost useless, but there is always this small chance of doing that wound.

  • Stephen Henry IV

    A fast 7th ed game was like 3 hours, a slow 8th ed game is about the same. Don’t know what you’re talking about.

    • David

      No hoard vs hoard in 8th can take 3hrs for 2 turns

      • orionburn III

        And hoard on hoard games should take longer. You can’t fairly compare 2k lists of marines vs marines to a list of let’s say Nids vs Nids. Having only played Nids thus far in 8th it’s hard getting used to the low model count as I build a list for my Dark Angels (and blow the dust off of them).

        There are simply too many variables that go into a game to expect the same result. 8th was sold as being a faster playing game, and I do think it is overall, however we’re (most of us anyway) playing bigger games now.

        • The army size creep could certainly be a factor. GW certainly has no issues with folks wanting to play larger armies.

          • Red_Five_Standing_By

            It is the tournament organizers pushing the points total ever upwards though. If they all got together and decided 1500 is the points total for all of the major tourneys this year, there would be grumbling in the community but everyone would start building 1500 point lists.

            This problem is not GW’s making, it is really all on us as a community. We inflicted this upon ourselves.

  • WaarrggBobo

    Some of the core elements which make game slow existt. Namely: large numbers of models to measure and move and check coherency on, then measure from again, and potentially measure and move again. Then roll tons of dice, count results. Oppn rolls tons of dice.

  • Dave Weston

    I struggle to get past turn 2, it feels slower to me. Most of the action takes place in those two turns though. I had a game the other night, thanks to reinforcements (and losing a lot to my opponent) my turn only consisted of moving three units but bringing 8 on just brought it to a halt.

    Mixed movement is also an issue for me as I’m constantly having to check who moves what and then when stuff takes wounds they’re move changes again! That felt far from streamlined.

    Assault is also slower because multi-charges, getting the most out of pile-in moves and the specifics of getting your guys positioned properly when you have Genestealers with 6 limbs, it’s incredibly fussy and time consuming.

    I tried to solve this the other day by using movement trays. Found them utterly impractical with the amount of terrain you now need to use. http://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/447479304218dbed96c392c1ddec63c6cdd838009f6253fef5579366737f1280.jpg

    • Richard Palmer

      You’ve always needed to use a lot of terrain, regardless of the edition. If you haven’t, you’ve been doing something wrong.

      • Dave Weston

        In past editions you could get away with about 4 or five decent LoS blocking ruins and your armour save wasn’t being eroded by AP as much. Take a look at the attached terrain image from the LVO 2016

        And then compare it to what GW is using in their 8th edition games on twitch http://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/f4c31f580647f70d644fa891aeffed87db0d55fdfa51aa9dfe425c0942e63b59.jpg

        There are almost no direct lines of fire from one deployment zone to the other.

        I think 8th has a greater need for terrain because you have to be obscured and in it. Hiding behind a wood offers no benefits now, so they have to be substantial enough to do both.

        • Crevab

          Yeah, those LVO boards are a bit sparse

          • Those LVO boards are standard for most tournaments I see, which reinforces people throwing a fit when you try to use more terrain.

            “Tournaments don’t do that so we shouldn’t in casual games either!”

          • Koonitz

            They’re standard because they have to spread the terrain they do have over lots of boards. GW’s games are played at WarHammer World (usually), and should have more than enough terrain to go around for casual games.

            I’ve personally ALWAYS encouraged lots of terrain (ie: GW’s level) on any 40k game I’ve played, regardless of edition, and despite the fact I tended to play a medium to long ranged shooting army as standard.

            High terrain/claustrophobic boards just tend to make the game more fun.

          • Yeah I totally understand the logistics. The problem is that a great many people assume and/or desire their non tournament games to also be like their tournament games.

          • Red_Five_Standing_By

            Those tournaments should eliminate a row of tables and distribute the terrain across the remaining boards.

        • Muninwing

          4th recommended using about twice as much terrain as this. maybe more. 5th started cutting down on that, but still recommended more.

          i see like 8 pieces. playing strictly by the terrain deployment rules of 6th, you got a minimum of 6 pieces… but an average of 12.

        • Indeed. 8th is extremely harsh on TOs. It takes years to build up terrain stockpiles to acceptable standards for hundreds of tables and 8th has ramped up the need for big LoS pieces.

          I’m thinking all the big events will be throwing together easy to assemble things like “billboards” and the like.

          Which should throw the meta slightly towards shooting, but then again in 8th everything moves faster and lots of armies can turn 1 assault you… so meh…

  • Simon Chatterley

    From experiences at 2 big recent events I am seeing armies that are heavily involved in every phase. Big movement turns, then heavy psychic, then heavy shooting and then 1st turn charges that lead to big combat phases.

    I’ve had a game where the first turn took an hour because of that very reason. It’s hard to fight that back when you are only getting 2 turns.

    Depending on the mission you are playing will make a difference too. The ITC Champions pack makes horde armies very strong due to objective holding and this just slows the game as well.

    I don’t think imposing a 2 1/2 limit helps either as if that “involved in every phase” army gets the first turn you are fighting against the tide. Conversely going to 3hrs will only bring more hordes.

    Its a perplexing conundrum for sure and I have no clue to the answer other than to penalise slow play. WHich then opens a can of worms as to what that is…

    • David

      Thats not why you bring hoards- you bring hoards as a hard counter to the alpha lists which put enough firepower to table an elite list and effectively win or lose on the dice roll to go first

      • Simon Chatterley

        Really? Because every game I played with hordes had them sat on objectives or moving to objectives.

        Cultist bombs are a little different and I use one myself but the Poxwalker farm takes the board pretty quickly and in the ITC game you find yourself losing really quick as they Hold 1 and hold more very quickly. Killing a horde is also not always easy so hard to get Reaper or the kill more objective.

        Alpha was being blunted by scouts and nurglings pretty effectively and having your key units in space as well meant you were hard to be alpha’d.

        The meta has changed towards things that target out of LoS as well if you play ITC. Thats another massive factor and a reason for the hordes as hiding a unit of 10 on an objective is no longer a thing. All the top lists can take care of that fairly easily now.

  • Simon Bates

    Unless you just don’t have enough dice to roll everything in one go, I don’t see why the changes to twin weapons would have slowed anybody down. Previously you rolled your D6 once and then if you missed you got a re-roll, now you roll 2D6 once and (unless you have one for another reason) that’s it. The latter is generally going to be faster, surely?

    Not really convinced re the psychic phase either. Psychic tests are very straightforward in themselves, at least compared to 7th (arguably not as simple as 3rd-6th when they were just Ld tests) as are Deny the Witch rolls. Are there really notably more units using psychic powers than there were in 7th?

  • Fredddy

    1.) The unit and model count increased slightly from 7th ed 1850 points to 8th 2000points (I play Guard)
    2.) 8 page ruleset is just a hocus-pocus, the total mass of rules to deal with is the same as 7th, the rules did not ceased to exist, they were just moved to another sheet to stiff superficial people.

    3.) for me, the biggest impact for the game length was the change of the close combat rules. Now things are much more complicated with fallback and consolidation- you have to move each individual model carefully in every combat phase instead of just thrashing each other in a big pile like it was in 7th after the initial charge. (I still prefer the current CC rules though)

    • 40KstillRulesTheTT

      Exactly, I initially enjoyed CC rules in 8th, but over dozens of games now I started to realise how time consuming that phase has become. It was already bad in 7th, though. I think overwatch and the second consolidation move should have been thrown away when they playtested 8th…

  • David

    Im substantially slower in 8th and struggling to finish in 3 hours largely because of the high model count armies- I miss my War Con Its only alpha lists that are really faster in 7th

  • David

    I think also the making of a lot of big singular models like IK bad has had an impact on set up times

  • Jason Anderson

    I chose you chose combat. I find the alternate activations slow things down.

    Also rerolls everything gets rerolls now. This unit rerolls 1s this one rerolls wounds….

    Best example of reroll slowdown is a game I played vs SM. guy had a unit rerolling 1s to hit, 1s to wound. When a modelled dies he rolls to see if it gets to shoot again, then rerolls to hit and wound on you turn.

    • Jason Anderson

      Just think about it… you shoot at him with a similar unit. Worst case scenario:

      1 roll to hit, 1 reroll
      1 roll to wound, 1 reroll,
      1 armour save
      1 ignore wound on 6+
      1 4+ roll to shoot again
      1 roll to hit, 1 reroll
      1 roll to wound, 1 reroll,
      1 armour save

      12 single die rolls and this could actually set off a chain if you also get to use a similar shoot before you die ability….

    • I can see that. Two aggressive assault armies locking horns can take forever to get through the fight phase. The back and forth across the table with lot of units, characters, strategems, consolidations, can drag on.

      Now throw in Ancients and Noise Marines for even more fun.

  • Antoine Henry

    The truth is it depends of the game you play and the armies on the table. I would say that overall 8th goes faster because games rarely go to turn 4.

    Otherwise, i do not see any streamlined rule…Special rules are as said the same problem as before, even more i would say because they all have a different name. The mess was that special rules had heritage on other units. Here you have Aura’s and different rules and now Stratagems (= Formation but more flexibility) and Faction specific rules etc… I do not really see how you can defend the fact that 8th is already a mess like 7th with -1 or +1 etc… There are some good things but I think they are already messing it all.

    Fast people tend to be casual that do not know the game or try to be tactical or are regular players that manage their time better. Overall a 1750 pts game take the same time as before if one army has 15+ Units and take a lot more time with hordes.

    • orionburn III

      Agree…it all comes down to what the game is all about. I’ve had some go super fast, other games take the same as 7th, and some have been slower paced.

      I think the intent of the article is that we were all told 8th would be so much faster to play compared to 7th and it’s a yes/no situation. When 8th first came out, yes, I’d agree with that. Now that more complexity has been added back into the game through stratagems and updated rules for individual units/codexes it’s added a bit more flipping back and forth in books.

  • CloakingDonkey

    It is 100% the amount of weapons you are firing. It also happens to be why I hate 8th edition with a passion. As soon as you play with any vehicles, especially flyers and big tanks (which in my meta of treadheads is always) you spend the shooting phase firing a dozen tiny, inconsequential weapons at various targets because you’d be an idiot not to… And your opponent sits there, watching you do stuff for 20-30 minutes.

    That, on top of the issue with terrain and alpha striking makes this the dullest beer&pretzel game there is. Even AoS is more exciting. A lot more exciting actually.

    • Fredddy

      Yes, I forgot that in my comment above, this is very true: back in the 3-7th the 10 man IG squad shot at an AV14 tank with a lascannon. Now the lascannon, the bolter, the plasma and all the lasguns too, which is not only a lot of math and rolling, but even adds an extra step of determining who is in rapid range.

      • fenrisful2

        Houserule it to take average from the lasguns.
        9 rapid fire range lasguns against T6+ Sv3+ causes exactly 1 dmg. If not in rapid fire range 4+ it.

        • Fredddy

          House rules are hard to force on a tournament, and watching the enemy tremble before the mighty conscript squad rapid range frfsrf lasgun salvo worth more than the actual chance of killing the 1 wound Knight with it 🙂

      • CloakingDonkey

        Yep. Where it was once nice to have heavy and special weapons in a squad for utility, now you’re basically just buying separate rolls you have to make. Vehicles turning into Monsters was streamlining only in theory. It works fine in AoS because AoS doesn’t have quite so much shooting and virtually all shooting units have 1 set of ranged weapons, not potentially 3-6 like the Tac Squads and Vehicles in 40K.

      • My pet peeve is units that have an insane number of crappy shots. You almost don’t want to go through the motions of all the dice rolling for the meagre results.

        Looking at you Repulsor and Redemptor!

  • fenrisful2

    All, the rerolls, and random number of shots + random DMG heralds a lot of more dice rolls.
    In addition to this flipping through a whole deck of say 30 stratagems, which should be used in all different situations does take up a lot of time.
    Keeping track of the command points also takes up time, which several armies on top of that, can recycle.

    We are both rolling more dice in total, we are rerolling more dice, and to top it off we roll fewer dice on each roll, so the number o rolls (Wether it’s 1D6 or 20D6) has increased significantly.

    Ths wouldn’t be a problem in a computer game, because the computer would make all those randomisations, calculations and all the rules checking.
    In a board game these needs to be clunkier, especially when locked into the D6 system.
    Taking away the autofail on 1, and allow for autosuccesses would go a long way in reducing the number of dice rolled. This would open up for many re-rolls to instead become a +2 and taking full advantage of the bonus. Lots of excessive dicerolling could be spared this way.

    • Nyyppä

      These things you see as slower mechanics have not slowed down any of the games I’ve played.

  • Defenestratus

    I’m just playing 7th instead of the hot garbage of 8th.

    • Nyyppä

      Hot pile of crap instead of hot pile of garbage. Well, we all have our preferences.

    • TenDM

      Of all the editions, why 7th? Every edition has it’s problems but detachments were so powerful and so poorly thought out that they broke the game.
      I have rose tinted glasses for 2nd and 3rd, but with all the information out there you could pick an edition where none of the armies you friends play suck too hard.

      • Defenestratus

        Well 2nd was my favorite edition out of them all. No other edition will touch that one. Thats probably mostly nostalgia talking – my mind reaching back to my childhood’s pleasant experiences…

        But, 7th has rules for pretty much all of our models at this point. And in our group of friends we don’t try to create the most broken lists with which to stomp face.

        In fact, sometimes we allow our opponents to create our lists for us – which is a really fun way to play.

        • TenDM

          Heh. The amount of proxing I’d have to do if I went back to 2nd. I’d definitely be using Drop Pods as Rhinos. They were the only things that interested me about Space Marines back then so I’m not giving them up.

          I just found it really hard to be fair in 7th. Playing Eldar didn’t help.

          • Defenestratus

            I play Eldar in 7th still. Pretty much exclusively.

            I only win about half my games just due to the fact that I don’t spam the “good” units and I take the warhost detachment every game. Do I take the aspect warrior detachment? Hell yes I do, but I also take things like vypers, support weapons, and phoenix lords.

            Thats probably one of my biggest gripes about 8th…. army composition isn’t racially unique. For some reason Eldar decide to organize their armies the exact same way as IG do… so silly.

          • TenDM

            I am a huge fan of the 7th Edition Detachments. I remember hating that my old Imperial Guard list had to be built the same way a Space Marine list was. If 7th did it right it would have been great but they powered it all up. 8th lets me go pretty wild on the condition I get +1 CP instead of +3, so I’ll take that.

          • Dennis J. Pechavar

            7th made me give up on playing Eldar. No matter how much I toned the list down it wasn’t fun. Also the grumbles when I showed up no matter what I used got annoying. Mind you I never had a Wraithknight or used scat bike spam list and I still was the bad guy.

    • Are you playing any 30K my friend? The new red rulebook is sexy.

  • Nyyppä

    Different style of armies. That is the reason. If you reduce the armies to say 20 models per army, you know, like it was in 7th, and you will see how fast the system is. Now that the armies have often 100+ models it tends to take more time to move, cast, shoot, charge and fight with those than it did when there were 3 mandatory min troops and 1-2 deathstars. It’s not the rules…at least not directly.

    As a person who played hordes during the last 2 editions and do so now too I can say, from experience of about 20 games, that it takes about as long to play a 7th edition game with all the rules memorized than it takes to play an equal model count 8th edition game while constantly looking for rules that one does not remember.

    The system is faster than it used to be. You can’t find that out by testing it with vastly different army sizes. You need to use similar or same lists you used to.
    A great example of how much faster it is is deep striking. You used to aim at something, roll a die, 2/3 times you rolled another die or 2 to determine how far the scattering went, you deployed if you had room and if you did not you usually just rolled yet another die to determine what happened to the unit. Now you just deploy and if necessary you’ll see if the closest opposing units are too close. This is how much faster the current system really is. The same difference in relative speed can be seen in psychic phase and morale phase. The rest of the phases are pretty much as fast as they were.

    • Koonitz

      But to counter-argue, I argue that they aren’t trying to find out whether the game-system is faster. They’re trying to find out if the GAMES THEY PLAY are faster.

      Because of the change in rules, model-count in competitive-slanted games has gone up. Because of this, the time saved for playing a streamlined system is then lost by using greater model counts. Thus, the games are the same length, or longer.

      Sure, you could have a faster game if you don’t always play competitive horde games, but some people play in competitive metas and, thus, are kind-of shoehorned into it

      • Nyyppä

        No. You use the same lists and compare the results. That shows the actual facts.

  • Agent OfBolas

    My 40k games are at least twice faster than 7th edition. I love it.

  • Sage

    Personally I haven’t played much 8th because I hated having to constantly flip through the book looking for stats and each War scroll. I rarely have to do that in 7th or Heresy. Maybe for a special character or unit. Not every time a model moved, shoots or fires and unless you take a small variety of units it killed the game dead for me.

  • TenDM

    I think it’s better use of the time rather than less time. It’s switched from time resolving bloated rules to time thinking about our actions. CPs and Stratagems make us stop and think quite a lot. Splitting fire is another worthwhile slow down. It slows the dice rolling down but it adds enough strategic depth to targeting to win or lose games.

    On top of that the ‘simplistic’ nature of the rules means we have to squeeze more out of basic functionality. You can’t just leave a guy behind a fence and get cover. With the addition of health levels it’s not as simple as pouring everything into an enemy until it’s dead. It’s not the deepest game ever but there’s some new stuff to put serious thought into.

  • Byungwook Kim

    Whats more is that, in 8th edition, you play with roughly half the number of models used in 7th.
    That plus too much rules reduction…
    I still enjoy playing 40k, but 7th was better.

  • Randy Randalman

    Wow us this article dumb. All ITC data has said that over 80% of 8th edition tournament matches are getting through to turn 6. In 7th, most were getting through to turn 4.The rounds are also 45 minutes shorter in 8th than they were in 7th.

    They game is lightning quick now by comparison. Far fewer layers of dice, death stars stacking bloated rules, and annoying tables scattered over seven books to reference.

    • Yes, because the statistically tiny sample of competitive players, who are know they are playing under time constraints reflects the global 40K community.

      Now who has myopia?

      Try again.

  • zeno666

    First its the mandatory lowering points for everything so everyone has to buy some new models. So more models on the table.

    Second its the constant bickering over rules because of the badly written rulebook, and someone thought he’d read in some FAQ that it didn’t work that way any longer. Or no one can’t find what they’re looking for, because that situation didn’t occur during the “playtesting”.

    Third. Flipping through stradegem cards mumbling “I think I have something that allows me to do that…”

    Fourth. People fail to see how crappy the rules really are. Yes, some people just refuse to believe it. But these rules are really bad. And yes, a tank can climb to the top of a bastion…

  • Severius_Tolluck

    Well by your indication of time I am not surprised you feel it takes as long. We are at 6 months since launch, which is half a year (50%). not 3/4 or 75%

    • 8th Launched on June 3rd. * It will be 8 months in 2 days, and rules starting being teased out in the month before it launched.

      Math better.

  • GiftoftheMagi

    After several discussions at my local GW store and watching local tourneys, the games were faster until the end of last year. Players blamed more reference time needed to check how the lastest rule changes affected the play, new codexes and changes to them, and conflicts in special rule or strategems. It seems that with the increase of codexes and regular rules updates, players are having an increase in the time needed to absorb them…and more codexes with rules that may change next week has increased confusion.

    The last in store tourney had 2k points and had to end 9 matches early due to time restraints, which was 2 hours 30 minutes per match. This was not the case in September according to the store manager.

    • Fredddy

      The time to look for rules is not the problem, it will eventually decrease with time. The stats and special rules of my army did not change much between 3rd and 7th, but for 8th, I have to relearn everything. It took a few months, but now I dont have to check for every basic characteristic. Same for other people I guess (well, for multi-codex armies there is more stuff to learn).

  • V0iddrgn

    My 7th Ed. games took around 5 hours to play. I knew the rules for the most part but having to look up rules was always apart of the game in 7th. The only times my games go past 3 hours now are when my opponent walks off to talk to other players in the middle of rolling dice. Very irritating.

  • Erich Schoenholtz

    All the games of 8th I’ve played have played faster than previous editions. A close tie to the speed of 8th edition games was early 3rd edition games before the codexes got out of control.

  • Talos2

    This comes up at both my clubs, everyone agrees that it’s no faster. If I go to a tournament where you’re playing several games I still feel as rushed as I ever did to get them all finished, actually I’ve had some feel more strained time wise. WE often have 8th and heresy games going on at same time and they usually finish at similar times

  • YetAnotherFacelessMan

    Anecdotal, but my games are a lot faster.

    • Anasa


    • Matthew Pomeroy

      anecdotal here, but much, much slower on this end, have watched some abysmally long boring slogs. The ork vs IG was impossible to actually watch, went to smashburger and came back, fight still going, took well over 3hours @2k pts

      • YetAnotherFacelessMan

        I have an IG friend who is equally slow in every edition. Some people are just slow players. I imagine putting 30-model units in the hands of a slow player and then putting them across the table from a whole bunch of potential targets will do nothing to speed them up. IG v Orkz sounds like a slog even for skilled and practiced tourney players.

        I remember playing that matchup in 5th and it was super fast… because my poor orkz were wiped from the table before I got a turn. 😉

  • sjap98

    1st turn charges. Charging from deep strike and auras/bubble re-rolls are to blame.
    Specially lots of close combat from the get go.

  • fonkin

    Maybe because they’re slow-playing the opponent to run the clock down and waiting for them to make a critical mistake during the movement phase of a major tournament game… Too soon?

    • Never too soon 🙂

      A completely different issue is how TOs should try to wrestle with slow play – a long term problem with the game across many editions.

      An honest question – how would you feel about using chess clocks like Warmachine does for competitive events? Secondary – what happens when one side runs out of time?

      • fonkin

        To be completely honest, the shine was off the “competitive play” apple for me a looooong time ago, but I think it might be a step in the right direction to start using some sort of time monitoring to minimize that kind of ass-hattery.

      • Koonitz

        Perhaps not necessarily time clocks like Chess, something nearly identical. Each player times how long they take for their turns and add them up at the end of the game (regardless whether the game ended on time or not).

        The quicker your time in comparison to your opponent, the more points you score. Thus, if you play an in-meta horde army, or slow-play, you will rapidly lose points in this particular field. Thus, you will have to decide whether “another 30-man conscript blob” is REALLY worth it, or if slow-playing your opponent to win an extra 3 points on victory conditions is worth a possible loss of 3 points for taking too long.

        Play a small model count elite army? You may lose points because they’re not an in-meta army, but you may regain just enough because you finished your turns much faster.

        Or just give out separate prizes for “Most efficient!” Problem here is, prizes will always go to Imperial Knight or Custodes army players.

  • silashand

    All of my games have been much faster, probably 25-30% so. Not sure where you are getting this info.

    • Watching large numbers of games from all over the world. It’s faster for some, slower for others. It seems to net out overall for the community.

      • Red_Five_Standing_By

        I think it is slower for really competitive people because they are juggling more things with their soup lists and all the different stratagems.

        Normal people do not take big soup armies and thus are juggling fewer things on a moment to moment basis.

        • I agree that the growth of soup lists pulling from many books contributes to the issue. It takes time just trying to keep the rules straight to yourself, much less explaining what it going on to your opponent.

          • Red_Five_Standing_By

            Which is one of the reasons I really hated that GW allowed people to both field multiple detachments and soup lists. After a few years, we will just be back in the same boat we were at the end of 7th, where people will need a stack of books to field an army.

  • James Regan

    I think some of this is definitely to do with the increase in points people play- have GW just stopped recommending 1500 over the last two editions (I’ve been out of the competitive loop)? As i have seen plenty of theorycrafting articles talking about 2000 these days- which would mean it isn’t a rule-set issue at all. If the game’s still balanced off 1500 pt games, tournaments/players are just adding things to make their games be the same length, no matter what the actual rules are.
    Again, I’ve been out of the 40k comeptitive loop for a while, so I don’t know how much is this phenomenon and how much is to do with the rules themselves, but if people are playing with a larger points cap it seems obvious that games will be slower.

  • David Reynolds

    I find that our games of 8th edition take as much time as 7th. Part of it is the increased points and model. It does seems much more happens sooner, so the game is quite engrossing from the start. It also seems that the outcomes do indeed tend to be decided by the end of turn three or four. I am fine with how it plays, I recommend that GW accept the fact that the thing that has accelerated the most is the coming of the ultimate outcome and simply reduce the number of turns to four base. We have not played to turn five in a LONG time.

  • Kabal1te

    As someone that played against a person that in 7th loved running orks in the green tide formation, moving 301 orks as a single unit, taking the time to ensure that every ork was perfectly 2 inches from each other ork as they moved, then ran, and eventually waaaghed to charge moving the entire blob as many as 3 times a turn, I can honestly report my 8th ed games have been faster.

    • My condolences Kabal1te – I still shudder just thinking about facing an all conscript army at an Adepticon years back. So many, many dice. Glad to hear 8th has eased your pain.

  • NagaBaboon

    First of all the game still has the same size table, number of minis, rolls and turns, there’s only so much quicker it can get. the rules have trimmed it so that it plays faster from the start, it’s rule checking/explaining that is the main candidate for slowing games down and if both players are very familiar that’s not an issue.

    Second, it does play quicker, it may not half game time but I reckon it’s shaved it by about 20% at least, games are far more likely to actually get finished in an evening at my local club than they ever were in 7th.

    • Muninwing

      from 3rd to 6th, barring extras like terrain placement or various silly shenanigans, a game was usually about a half-hour for every 1000 points on the board. less with pricier models. so a 2000 point game with 2 players was about 2 hours.

      i never had an issue finishing a 1750 or the like in 2 hours until 7th, where the psychic phase sometimes lengthened it. so going back to 2 hours for a 2000 point game isn’t so much quicker, it’s no longer slower.

  • Anasa

    I assume games with soup listers are also slowed down due to the amount of available keywords, strategems and special rules.

  • Muninwing

    did anyone really have to do “Crazy calculations” to tell who won a round in WHF?


    because it was usually simple counting up then down…
    “i won by two (put up two fingers) and have rank, rank, rank, banner, outnumber… (seven fingers)… and you have rank, rank, banner… (drop three fingers)… so i win by 4. roll”

    30 seconds max.

    this is one of the reasons why the new, sleek, supposedly simplified (but not) GW products are no better and sometimes worse. they got rid of simple mechanics that were straightforward and worked within the game system and replaced them with shiny extras that were supposed to save time and effort and brainpower… but they just cut out half of the interesting stuff and replaced it with changes that look different but aren’t necessarily better, faster, simpler, or more intuitive.

    • You’re right – GW made a special calculator tool to help you keep track of Warhammer Fantasy hand to hand results because it was so simple…


      • Muninwing

        i had forgotten about that cashgrab… hm… i mean set…

        yeah. some people needed more than their fingers. usually, though…?

        i think the hardest time i had was remembering the factors that counted for +2 instead of +1… like flanking… and outnumber… which one was a +2? but inevitably someone at the table or someone at the store would remember, and we could both add it up at once.

  • Jared McWilliams

    8th has more models. Most units cost less points than 7th, save transports- which aren’t commonly abundant in lists.

    To compoound that most people play 2k for 8th compared to 1850 for 7th. More points + less points cost of models = more models.

    Even still with more models I find 8th is faster, less checking 4 books and 2 faqs for what an unit does and I have yet to run into a player that spends 45min generating psychic powers unlike 7th.

    • Muninwing

      are you sure? i keep feeling like my models cost more points now. can we get a spot check on this?

      • Ronin

        Bigger stuff costs more, but smaller models costs less or the same which is what I noticed.

        • Muninwing

          hmm… armored company, Deathwing, Ravenwing… no wonder i saw increases…

  • Red_Five_Standing_By

    Maybe in the hyper competitive world in which people bash soup armies against one another, games feel like they take as long but for the rest of us, games are much faster.

  • Bernd Lurk

    Never played 8th but in 6th and 7th we needed more than 4 hours for a 1000pt game. This is due to the BILLIONS of special rules of each unit and their equipments, including the not so special but still different rules of vehicles, fast moving units (bikes, jump infantry) – how far can they go, does this still apply in ruins, what about entering and leaving such terrain, what about cover, rolling BILLIONS of dice for each encounter, looking at values, comparing it to values in tables, checking rerolls – what a mess.

    X-Wing is a fast game, no measurement for each model, rolls and rerolls are clear and you play much smaller games and you only get special rules if you take them – and then you can always read them because they are printed on a card and not somewhere in a book of several hundreds of pages and the rules are not intermixed with tons of prosa.

    Also: If one player has the book and the other does not, then this one player needs to keep track of everything. That sucks and costs time.
    X-Wing is so simple that you can play it after 10 minutes of introduction while 40k needs repeated games to burn in. And when you finally got most of it, they release a new ruleset.

    • Red_Five_Standing_By

      X-Wing has you field 8 ships at most. Usually 2 or 3, maybe even just 1. X-Wing is akin to a board game compared to 40k, where you regularly field 40+ models (with some armies going into the hundreds).

      I am not sure how you were playing in 6th and 7th but a 1k game should take you 2 hours, at most. That includes lots of BSing, rules look ups and bio breaks. It really sounds like you and your opponent never really learned the rules for your army. If you are fielding jet bikes, you should know their rules. They had like 3 small paragraphs of rules. It might take a game or three for it to sink in but it should not have been something you had to reference every game from now until the end of time. 🙂

      Why are you flipping through the book every time you need to find your units and the stratagems? I feel like a couple of sticky notes to mark pages would really improve your experience.

  • ZeeLobby

    Because they added all the crap back in. Every unit has it’s own special rolls, and now bubbles of rerolls and other crap are everywhere.

  • It’s rerolls and then more rerolls and then modifying the dice then bookkeeping monsters wounds and looking up how many dice my monsters roll this turn then looking up the rules in 4 books!

  • Ronin

    Favoring mass infantry and throwing rerolls everywhere I think are the biggest culprit. Rerolls should have been +1/-1 modifiers in my opinion. My tank list doesn’t take as much time to play, but make some popcorn and brew some tea when I’m running my infantry lists with reroll to hit and wounds..

  • 3 Lords of War, some other heavy units like Land Raiders and Storm Ravens. We had a mixture of Space Marines and Chaos Marines and one Ork player.

    Eh.. Templates will just bring back minutes of spacing out minis and arguing if a mini is under the template or not.

  • LankTank

    It was 6 Custodes vs 10 Primaris. Those point sinks are crazy!

  • Callum Rae

    It’s because you’re having a good time, stuff takes longer when you’re having fun. I know, weird right?

  • Jordan Cafolla

    My Sisters play a lot faster, My eldar play a lot slower.

  • Da Gargoyle

    I have not noticed play go any faster. Though on occasion the carnage may mean fewer rounds. But there is still, movement, psychics, shooting, assault and now morale. Further target selection has to determine the issue over characters, there are strategies and other cards to manage, and accounting for the number of wounds monsters, vehicles and characters have, and recording battle effects from wounds lost. Why would it be any faster? Now we even have to determine if overwatch can be carried out on assault. Of course my games tend to be 1000 to 1500 max