Thursday, May 11, 2017

7th Edition Warhammer 40,000: The End

It is like the conclusion to Return of the Jedi, isn't it?  Recall the moment?  Darth Vader has been dragged quite literally towards a ship that can carry both he and Luke to safety.  One redeemed, the other with realized purpose and the torch nearly passed on.




7th Edition:  "You were right about me"

So it is here.  I will not post another 7th Edition based post, and it is strange to think that the data bank of memories and tactical notes, clues, tricks and themed forces will slowly lose meaning over time as people forget what it was like to play 7th Edition or even what some of the terminology meant.  A generation of gamers will come to have never played it, and will never understand the things I wrote, or even the gist of some of the lessons to be learned.  For the present company of Generals who form the Unorthodoxy Empire, I salute you all as we head on into this brave new world of 8th Edition.

I have struggled with the implications.  For posterity, it's good to note that the new CEO of the company has done an absolutely smashing job at the helm, easing people into the transition towards 8th Edition and avoiding the missteps of the Age of Sigmar (AoS).  AoS was nothing short of a jarring stab in the back by the old regime.  Not only was it catastrophically wasteful of peoples money, but it was simply not even a game on the same plane as Warhammer Fantasy had been.  En masse, model collections became obsolete overnight.  The company flushed hundreds and, in some cases, thousands of dollars of their clients money down the toilet and did not apologize for doing so.

The new leadership led us up to this new edition with leaks and then with full blown "FAQ's" (which were little more than promotional pieces) followed by...actual FAQ's with a LOT of information in each one.  They have allowed us to digest and discuss each change like never before, giving us a little breathing room to assimilate and come to accept the new reality and many blogs are dedicated to the pontification it breeds.

The information we have is that 12 pages comprises the primary rules, while the "War Scrolls" approach of the Age of Sigmar will be repeated for the units themselves.  You will be able to download the individual unit information if you have enough patience, and a printer.  Perhaps most significantly, all units you own are promised their own data sheet so nothing should be driven into obsolescence.  We were also apprised that there would indeed be supplements, 5 of them to represent the five categories of factions, as Games Workshop sees them.  These are what we assume collate much of the information for you.  They will likely expand on it much the way Age of Sigmar did...eventually...

7th Edition was an apology edition much like the movie Highlander III was an apology for Highlander II.  It stopped the incredible bleeding of Warhammer 40,000 fans that occurred when the latch to Pandora's box was carelessly left untended during sixth edition.  8th Edition will need to justify its sleek new look, an obvious effort to attract new gamers with rules they can easily learn, if not master as easily.  They adroitly went out of their way to allow the "major voices" in the tournament scene have the rules and play them ahead of time, and even write articles so that the gaming populous would accept the new rules with more open arms.  Strategically intelligent and it seems to have had its desired effect, much like the play testing of 5th Edition Dungeons and Dragons did.

I really do hope that you have enjoyed reading my blog as it is a labor of love.  I don't see waves and waves of comments or anything, but I see the view statistics and they have grown steadily over the years which means either I'm saying something interesting or you're incredibly bored.  I hope its the former and not the latter but whatever your motivation for reading...keep doing so.  I will be back and my dedication to the road less traveled will continue.  Our quest hasn't changed, Generals.  We still seek to find the diamond in the rough.

If you have thoughts about 8th Edition, share them.  I'd love to discuss it below.

13 comments:

  1. I'm very much looking forward to the new edition, I think it's beneficial to re-set the rules every so often as the tendency is always to start with a streamlined system and add more depth to it as time goes by. Whilst not a WHFB player I felt this was very much what had happened to that game since the days when I did play it back in my school years. I borrowed a friends copy of the rulebook to try and learn the system but even as an experienced gamer it seemed extremely convoluted and unnecessarily complex.

    I've recently started playing Age of Sigmar and my only concern is the pace at which the factions are being released - it's several years now since the change and we only have a handful of books that are truly in the format I'm expecting them all to follow going forward (Sylvaneth, Blades of Khorne, Tzeentch and Kharadron Overlords). I would very much hope that the pace of codex releases for 40k is a bit quicker than that, and can only hope that what we'll actually see is that recent codices were written to be translatable into the new ruleset and will be ported across pretty quickly.

    As for your blog, I find many of your articles extremely insightful, and whilst I don't play at the sharp end of tournaments as you do, I do find myself taking things on board for my own games from someone who is clearly very capable and thinks about the detail of the rules

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for the kind words. As for the PACE of release, that is an extremely valid point. I tried to explain this to an Age of Sigmar enthusiast who is very excited about the new direction for Warhammer 40,000 and he told me all my concerns were "invalid". Lol. But I am a veteran of many games and I have seen the trend. WarMachine, Flames of War and Age of Sigmar all made it so you had to buy something to get the physical copies of things unless you felt like having to print and print and print. I think they have alleviated some concerns already by mention of the five books that will be dropped along with the main rules. Still, the pace is a great point that you bring up.

      Delete
  2. 8th is definitely a new nut to crack, but, I am very open minded and even excited at the chamges to 40k which GW has shared. It seems the design team has really focused on current woes of 7th and will attempt to correct. Deathstars infinity summoning marginalized units and game length have been subject to scrutiny on the community blog.
    I dont think the 40k roll out will mirror AOS as GW course correction in an attempt to repair that game and IP a result in my opinion due to the change in leadership; kirby to roundtree.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your feelings were very clear on the subject of Kirby, and although he wasnt really your specific target until later in the game, it seems that Games Workshop heard you and bloggers like you tolling the bell. I'm happy to hear that you are happier about it all. The negative energy that got expended over the dissatisfaction over 6th Edition cost the community dearly. I was one of those who worked his tail off to resuscitate that community as you know. On the other hand, we also know that good things came out of the bad. I don't think the ITC (Independent Tournament Circuit) would ever have come about had there been no glaring need for it. I think that this in turn allowed the community to be involved in the play testing and some minor aspects of design. And that in turn may well have made 8th Edition survive the inevitable wailing of gamers which happens upon each new versions release. Like a lightning strike that ignites a forest to eliminate the ground cover and the old trees, we might look back and realize that without the lightning strike that was 6th Edition Warhammer 40K andits apology, plus the coincidental timing of the downfall of Warhammer Fantasy, nothing new might have been truly possible. We shall see.

      Delete
  3. Really intrigued by the talk of 8th being streamlined to bring 2k point games down to 2 hours of play. I realize that is very much a YMMV sort of thing, but quicker games would be a big boon to me.

    I'm also intrigued by the "Narrative" mode and the "power level" balancing system. I'm a fairly casual gamer myself (though I do very much enjoy reading the more in-depth tactical articles here, especially the stuff about using maneuver and baiting your foe), and I'm quite happy to engage in "unbalanced" fights with a more narrative theme to them (stuff like the missions in 3e where one side was attacker and the other defender). I'm curious to see how that will differ from "Matched" play other than being quicker to throw an army together.

    Finally, I've been a so-so fan of the games over the years, but a huge fan of the fluff, and it's always interesting to me to see how the rules and fluff contradict each other. For the most part, they tend to harmonize, but there's always one or two spots that are just blatantly off.

    It's always fun to see a new edition of this game take shape. Can't wait to see what the players do with this one once they get their hands on it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That echoes a lot of other people and their sentiments on various forums. A faster game is undoubtedly better for all concerned in matched play particularly. The different modes of play are really just a nod to super casual gamers, but the game WILL be judged on its matched play.

      Fluff can be really off, I agree. The Codex's contradict the books largely because the Codex's changed! Some units are very far apart from the fluff. Look at the ridiculous way they describe the Bolter ammo and the damage it does in the books! If it was that fearsome on the table, truly, I'd expect Marines to wipe entire armored colums on their own! It hardly matters though because in the end, I play more than i read so I get less warped about that stuff than I suppose some better read players probably do.

      Once I "figure out" 8th Edition, I imagine the blog posts will be flowing.

      Delete
    2. No disagreement on 8e being judged by matched play. That being said, I think a table laid out for a siege of cities-of-death game will garner a lot more attention at the FLGS. I'm honestly not certain if GW has embraced competitive players for the first time in years, or if they're setting up Matched and Narrative for a knife fight. :/

      Really looking forward to you 8e articles; the interaction between transport and close-combat rules have me thinking that pre-emptive "counter"-charges will be a viable and effective tactic against melee-focused armies.

      Delete
    3. So many FUNDAMENTAL changes at one time are going to require some practice to mentally master things that were simple assumptions before. As for narrative play, I have always been a fan of the idea of a battle waged according to "historical" parameters. Flames of War has done this and attempted to emulate battles that probably werent as fair as they could be and in a surprisingly balanced way. It is possible that "narrative play" could be popular with people like me. I dont think it would win a knife fight against Matched play. Matched play is still going to be "the thing" that makes or breaks the game and its unfortunate that Warhammer Fantasy had to learn that lesson so brutally.

      Delete
  4. I'm eager and excited for 8th. Their hype train has got me all excited. My only concern is that they keep the game balanced moving forward. AoS has been a slow release schedule and each new book becomes the new hotness. Older factions (many without any release of any sort) really suffer when compared with the way the new releases can string along dramatic combos that weaker factions struggle to keep up with. Yearly point adjustments in a Generals Handbook type release will help. I like dataslates for simplicity and I look forward to seeing you ferreting out some obscure combos that no one else picked up on. If nothing else it's an exciting time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am happy to hear so much enthusiasm. the enthusiasm seems to be generally shared. I have reservations about the information that dropped about Super Heavies. I really feel it was unfortunate, but a lot of the information tends to excite me more than cause me to fear. My frustration will show up if we are forced into mono-builds. Age of Sigmar is what it is: the death rattle of 8th Edition Fantasy. All things are revealed quite soon. one thing I find weird is that some people arent playing as much now. Its like they erected a magic barrier and no one wants toplay until 8th. I dont get it. But I guess that speaks to the excitement.

      Delete
  5. I really do need to see all the rules in context to form a strong opinion at this point, but overall it looks to be an improvement.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is a very large club. You won't be waiting long.

      Delete
    2. I am looking forward to anti-tank weaponry having advantages over mid-strength high ROF weapons. Among other things. The Orks teaser was just released, and they sound greatly improved.

      Delete