Goatboy here to talk about all the new 9th edition information. It sounds like it will have a LOT more change than we thought!
I am very excited for the new edition as while I enjoyed 8th I thought it really needed a cleaning/refining/rebuilding to get it back into gear. The Marine update was a bit much especially with so many nerf bats, changes, and updates to the game. I figured 9th was going to be more like a 8.5 to 8.75 edition but it is sounding like it is really going to be its own thing just utilizing some of the bones of 8th to build upon.
New Command Points
The first thing I found interesting is the overall shift of command points. I both loathed and loved command points in 8th. I think the majority of pregame stuff was fine as it helped mold and define your army. I didn’t always like some of the in game strats as I either found them to be too powerful or to underwhelming. I also think that some of them basically nullified a strategy/attribute in the game to the point where it really didn’t matter (leadership). Still the Strats were designed to make your army feel interesting and give you something to do without having to rely on pure point increases or changes. The new way of getting a flat amount to start with and then having extra things cost command points to build your army out. They started this with the specialist detachments so I think overall this is a good idea. It helps level the playing field as it seems most armies will start with 9 command points based on how they build it out. It also makes me think the command point generating options we have – Red Corsair and Warlords – could be powerful in the new landscape of everyone getting a Command Point Allowance. It really depends on how they handle this command phase and updating the current Stratagems in the game.
The next fun thing is the whole push to bring down the amount of models on the playing field. I know GW really wanted us playing 1750-1850 pts but the competitive scene was really stuck on 2000 points being the ultimate playing field. Now GW is basically bringing that size of game and still keeping us in that nice flat 2000 point limit. Overall I am fine with it as those lower levels causes you to rethink how your army works which is something I find interesting. You have to figure out your points and look at what makes your models tick in the game. It looks like an overall 20-30% increase in a lot of units and a move back to more Elite based armies in the future. I am fine with this as that is how I play the game most of the time. It also means games can finish, lunch can be easily had, and you could get a chance to shop a bit at one of the stores at the bigger events.
New Table Size
Speaking of game sizes the change in the “table” top size is a big one. I know a lot of people are upset as they feel it invalidates the mats they had but I grew up playing on felt with blue tape separating the tables. Sometimes they were 6 feet and other times they were not. Moving to this smaller size is better for TO’s as it does allow them to create more space for their games, get a chance to utilize mats differently and you all of a sudden have space for your dead pile on the table top. On top of all of that you need less terrain so that is a good thing too. It sounds like the major events were all in talks with this decision as a lot of them are play testers. It does means games will be very brutal as there is no real way to hide (baring some neat new terrain rules we got hinted at).
I am super stoked to see a true Warhammer App for the players to use. Having a method for true army building is great as GW could easily see what is getting taken too much and maybe set up a true method of in event play testing as they can see things working out. I hope there is a submission option in there to give some feed back and depending on how they build this App out it could be a very powerful tool to keep tabs on the naughty options and units.
The final thing that has me excited is the overall push to a unified set of missions/rules. This is great as I have played a lot of ITC and even some weird GW missions. Having everyone on the same page is great as it allows you to play the same game you are on the east coast to the west coast and overseas. The overall push to release missions throughout the year to help keep the Meta game moving is a good thing. On top of that we have the ever lovely Mike Brandt helping out which means a ton of people are involved in making these games fun, full of tactics, and good for the competitive scene. It also means we have a real good chance to hit the ground running when events hopefully get to start later this year as well.
I hope this coming week we get to see some Forge World thoughts on common units. It would be neat to see how the rules team would go about cleaning them up and fixing some of their weird interactions. After that I want them to delve into this Command Phase and of course – why are troops even going to be important in this edition? I get the feeling a lot of the scoring is only controlled by troop options. Oh – I also want to know what this Faction thing is about as the Crusade shows 7 factions and I am wondering if Matched play uses them for the whole – all within the same faction? Of course it means that the soup/combo option is still there but without having the ability to take a Stratagem unlocking detachment it gets harder to truly soup as much. I know they didn’t like that option in the game so I bet there is something stopping that but will see.
What has you excited about the new edition? Are you guys excited? How much do you want to paint those new Marine bikers red to make Akira marines?