Monday, 24 April 2017

Warhammer 40K 8th Edition

Okay so I know I said the next posts would be battle reports from the Birthday Bash events (all those weeks ago now) and they are still on the way, but I think there's something more important to discuss at this moment; 8th Edition is on the way!

So on Friday we had a teaser on Warhammer Community that simply said there would be a big announcement on Saturday afternoon. Speculation was one of three main possibilities: Adeptus Titanicus, Warhammer 40,000 8th Edition or possibly a redevelopment of Elves Aelfs for Age of Sigmar. As we all now know, the announcement was that 40K 8th is definitely a thing and that we would all be playing it this year. Along with the announcement was an FAQ with a few vague details about the new version. Today Warhammer TV hosted a live stream Q&A with Pete Foley who has headed up GW's team for the development of the new edish.

So now that I have read the FAQ and watched the live stream I thought I would type out a few initial thoughts. Remember, we are still lacking any real, gritty details so I am speculating as well as taking what we know into account. As it stands I am looking forward to 8th. I like the sound of everything really. You should probably know this before you read any further.

Let's kick this off.

Three Ways to Play

This basically breaks 40K down into three 'tiers' of play that allow you to vary your games based on how you want to play. Open Play allows you to just throw some units on a table and get rolling some dice. There's nothing stopping you doing this in 7th but now it sounds like there will be more support for it in the rules. Narrative Play is exactly as it sounds. Thematic, story-based gaming that allows you to forge a tale as well as playing 40K with a structured system. We are told this will use a 'Power Points' system whereby you pay for a unit but whatever wargear they have is just there. No extra points for Plasma, Melta or anything else. It sounds as if this will allow a degree of balance between two opponents without taking too long to build lists and allowing for things like one-sided struggles. All very fluffy sounding. Match Play sounds closest to the points system we use in 7th. Points for everything. This works very well for AoS and I can't see why this wouldn't translate to 40K. It should contribute to the ease with which new players can get into the game, while preserving the complexity many seasoned players want.

Wounds for Everything

One thing we now know is that everything will work on the wounds system. Vehicles will have a toughness value and wounds. Coupled with this we have been told that stats will be able to exceed the old cap of 10. Expect lots and lots of wounds on those Wraithknights and Land Raiders, but don't worry; everything has a chance to hurt everything else. Want to take that Imperial Knight down with Lasguns? Go for it, but expect it to take a lot of shots to manage it. I like the sound of this. Depending on how the value actually pan out, I can see this making things like Land Raiders entirely viable again (GW insist every unit will have a place on the table again - I hope so!). It also sounds as if MC/GC/Vehicles will scale with the amount of damage they have taken, much like the big monsters of AoS. This allows the big bad monsters to be horrific to begin with but less scary as you go along. I can't wait to see what they do with this for 40K


We heard today that codexes will be back for 8th, but that they will be down the line from release. Everyone lamenting the loss of these tomes can rest easy. What they will be releasing from day one will be five books containing all the rules needed to play every unit in the new game. They will be grouped (obviously - five is not enough books for one each) and will apparently be less expensive than current codex books, so less than £25-35. I predict £15-20 each.

As a side note, if you bought a codex less than 8 weeks before the Saturday announcement, you can contact GW customer services and they will give you a voucher. You will need proof of purchase though.

Command Points

A new system is being included in 8th, the Command Point. Command Points are earned based on the makeup of your army. No fewer than 14 Detachment Force Organisation Charts will ship with the core rules. Each one has a varying amount and ratio of different unit types and, if you fulfil the requirements, they give you a certain amount of Command Points. CPs allow you to use special abilities in the course of the game. The example they gave was being able to 'interrupt' a charge and be able to attack before your opponent (more on the charging below). They are limited (you can't earn more mid-game) and you can only use one per phase so they will have to be used tactically by the sound of it. I like this extra level of control that shouldn't make the game any slower realistically.


Charging units go first! This will give the power back to the close combat units. At first it sounds a bit broken, but when you consider that movement values may slow down infantry units in general, it should be quite nicely balanced. Khorne Berserkers and just about every Blood Angel and Space Wolf unit will benefit from this. I can't wait (for obvious reasons). Whether unwieldy weapons will still attack last remains to be seen, but make sense to make things like Powerfists go last to stop this being utterly imbalanced.

Templates Be Gone

No more templates. I like the idea of this but it seems I am in the minority. Instead of templates, weapons that would use them generate random amounts of hits or wounds, from what I can tell. It takes away the headache of scatter (we've all had *that* person try and alter the scatter to their advantage under the guise of arrow ambiguity) and the sheer indomitable wound count from flamer templates (I'm looking at you, D-Scythes!). I like this idea but I think a lot of people are losing their minds over it.

They still haven't given us a release date for the new edition but there are a couple of hints we can try and speculate on. Firstly, when asked if there would be anything at Warhammer Fest, Community's Andy Smillie said there would be lots more cool stuff. That's only a month away. Also he casually dropped that there would be more info on Warhammer Community every day until release. Whether this was a slight slip of the tongue or not, I don't know, but if it wasn't it doesn't seem like they would give daily updates for months and months. The optimist in me thinks early June would be a good guess (GW Managers apparently have three weekends of restricted leave in June or so it has been reported). I am impatient and don't want to wait too long for new goodies so I am going to stubbornly insist this will be a summer release.

There are many other things that we learned today but these are the main points for now. I will do updates on my opinion as and when any further info drops that's worth mentioning. For now, tell me what you think. Let's do this! Let's thrash this out and rip it to shreds now. I want to hear all the things you love or hate in the comments.

Bye for now!