Today let’s take a look at some big changes people wanted, but didn’t get.
The announcement of a new edition of any game is a heady time. It is a time ripe with possibility and potential, when a game we know and love will change, hopefully for the better. This was true when Games Workshop announced the 9th Edition of Warhammer 40,000 in the not to distance past. Many people had their dreams for the edition, wishes for things that might change to improve the game. Some of these were obvious, like new missions, more consolidated rules. Others were a little more far fetched, like kill all the Primaris Marines. With the Edition on the cusp of release and weeks of teasers behind us we now have a pretty good idea of whats in the Edition, and what’s not. Today let’s take a look at some major changes people wanted from 9th, that we are not getting.
Power Level (Or PL) was introduced in 8th Edition as an alternate way to build list. Instead of using the more granular points systems, each unit costs a certain PL, normally a much smaller number than the point cost. While adding more models to the unit, and sometimes some equipment, will change the PL of the unit normally you can equip the unit however you wish without paying points. This lead to a quick, if abuseable, way to build armies. Not everyone however is a fan of PL, and in Matched Play games it only came up on rare occasions. Because of this some people hoped that PL will be done away with in 9th. However early reveals show that PL is very much around in 9th.
40K has used D6s as the primary dice since the first days of the game. Other dice have come and gone in the meantime, scatter dice, rapid fire dice and other strange interlopers, but the humble D6 has remained a staple of the game this whole time. Some players however feel that this should change. They argue, not without some merit, that the D6 is simply too limited in options to give you a good spread of results and to properly represent the wide variety of units that are active in 40K. Indeed they point to the fact that Apocalypse moved to use D12 as a sign that a dice change was needed, and maybe coming. Of course this was always a super long shot. We know that the old D6 is sticking around in 9th, and nothing has given us any inkling that other dice are being brought it. While this change might be good for the game it doesn’t seem to be coming anytime soon.
This was anther idea pioneered in Apocalypse that players hoped for. In that game all damage, for both players armies, is resolved at the end of the battle round. This effectively removes Alpha Strikes, as even a unit that has taken so much damage it is sure to die, won’t be removed until the end of the round and is guaranteed to be able to act that round. This change is also great for larger centerpiece models, guaranteeing them at least a round of action and overall helps with snowballing in games. This is another rule that was a pretty long shot and from all we’ve seen isn’t in the new Edition. We aren’t getting it as it would like take a new phase which isn’t listed anywhere.
2. Getting Rid of Stratagems
Stratagems were another invention of 8th Edition. While they are now a major part of the game they have proved to be controversial. They’ve significantly changed the game, making it more combo-heavy, and according to some more like a CCG, such as Magic The Gathering, than a real tabletop game. In addition many players feel that the current system is broken, with a huge disparity among the usefulness of various stratagems. Thus it shouldn’t really be surprising that a umber of players were hoping that GW would ditch the stratagem experiment all together.
From the previews that’s quite clearly not happening. Command Point generation is getting an overhaul, but stratagems are here to stay. Indeed we’ve seen the announcement of more basic stratagems that all players can use. If anything it seems 9th wants to expand the use of stratagems with more of them and more CP to use them. This is understandable given how much heavy-lifting stratagems do as a rules device. In addition there doesn’t seem to really be anyway you could get ride of them with out rewriting all the army books.
For pretty much its whole history 40K has used a system where players alternate taking turns. On their turn they will run their whole army, moving, shooting attack, etc. with all models. This is commonly known as a You-Go-I-Go system. While many games, especially older ones use this system, another one has become equally popular. This system is known as alternating activation, where players take turns activating one of their units and then preforming actions with it. Once done the other player will activate one of their units and so on. In this system players don’t have individual turns, but share one turn between them.
There are a large number of games that use this system, Star Wars: Armada for one. Its got its own hosts of pros and cons, which I won’t go into here, but it is popular. As such a large number of players have been hoping that 40K would go to this system, indeed some of our commentators have already house ruled it this way. It was one of the first questions asked of the Design Studio after the announcement of 9th, and was met with a pretty quick no. Indeed based on the team’s response, that it would make 40K not be 40K anymore, I doubt we will see this one anytime soon.
Let us know what changes you wanted to see but aren’t getting, down in the comments!