Saturday, 10 June 2017

8th Edition Overview - and what could 30k adopt straight away?

I know, I know, not another one of those blogs, right? There are plenty of people posting reviews of 8th, but I wanted to add my own, particularly with regard to what 30k could take away from 8th even if we are sticking with 7th for now.

I was lucky enough to get a sneak peak of the rule book a little early (that's what games clubs are for right?), in advance of release day (or night, if you're opening your shop until 2am so customers can collect their order as soon as 8th is released, like these crazy guys in Chester... get down there for the party if you're in the vicinity!).

What follows is my view of what I like about 8th and what could be easily ported to 30k without upsetting the 7th edition rule set.

Power Rating
I like this. I like this a lot! Essentially each unit is assigned a power rating, which is the average strength of that unit considering all the options they could take. Ideal for large narrative games where the granularity of six 20-man tactical squads isn't so important. This could easily be adopted, if not always used. Personally when having our annual large battle at Four Dads HQ, adopting this army selection style would be ideal. We're always a couple of points either way anyway.

I'm a little bit sad that templates are going away. I've been using templates ever since first plating Space Hulk around 1991. I guessed this might be happening though, none of the boxed games since Betrayal at Calth have had templates, which in my mind showed GW were thinking of ditching them and trying it out. Thankfully 30k still has templates but at the same time removing them and adopting the random allocation method would speed things up without effecting the game mechanics.

Wounds Vs Hull Points
In my mind these are pretty much the same thing anyway. A vehicle has X hull points is the same as saying the vehicle has X wounds. I know the granularity of the way weapons now work mean that a vehicle loses wounds slightly different to the way they lose hull points, but that's in the weapons domain, not the wording of lives/hull points. I saw a lot of people getting hung up on this in recent weeks and really it's just wording...

Data sheets
What a fantastic idea. All of a units rules are in one place. No flipping between books to find a specific special rule and how that rule is modified for that particular unit. Now it's all in one place. Even if 30k is not adopting 8th right now, Forge World could do worse than look at following this model when the Red Books are updated. This alone will speed to game up quite a bit.

Back in the day I loved playing Planet Strike, Cities of Death, etc. and now the rule book incorporates the rules for these expansions! That is fantastic in my opinion. The fact that the main rules are only 8 pages long, the fact there isn't 30 pages of 'universal' special rules (when were they ever universal?!), means there is bags of space in this tome for ideas on more interesting ways to play 40k. I like it a lot. And again, these could easily be translated into 30k, they are just suggestions after all and the rules given are not particularly effected by the rules for the unit. I.e. these expansions are separate to the rules to play 40k, which means they could be used for 30k too.

The fluff in this book is fantastic as always, and I'm not saying 30k could adopt the fluff. in fact I think it's going the other way in this case... all of a sudden the Ultramarines have 18 companies and Guilliman is leading about 15 different chapters in to battle. I don't think he likes the monster he created in enforcing the Codex Astartes and breaking the legions apart... I think big Robbie G wants his legion back! I'm not going to reveal too much because reading the fluff is one of my favourite bits of the hobby, and I want you guys to read it first hand.

The fluff for the Primaris Marines is still a bit meh. They've been on ice for 10,000 years and just happen to have thawed out on the exact day Robute wakes up? I realise we need some fluff to ease the pain of phasing 'standard' marines out... but... Who knows what will happen to 30k in this area. We don't have Primaris marines so I'm interested to see the fluff that phases our marines out in the future. The Primaris Marine miniatures do look fantastic though, I can't argue with that. The guys at Citadel have done a fantastic job with that sculpt.

All in all, I think it won't be long until we see 30k transition to 8th. Yes, Forge World are releasing a 'tweaked' 7th edition rule set, but I wouldn't surprised if we see some 8th edition rules included in that 'tweak'. And I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of people start adapting 8th for games of 30k...

Dave - a blog dedicated to The Horus Heresy and Warhammer 40k - Get in touch on Twitter: @davetgent

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