Hello gentle readers,
Today we are doing the near unthinkable, talking about a GW mainline game. For those that have read my previous posts, they have seen a hate/hate relationship bloom with GW over the past few years. I watched my beloved games turn into miniature selling schemes and prices go through the roof. My investments in their miniatures have kept me in the orbit of their games if not actually playing them.
Well, GW is about to release their 8th edition of Warhammer 40,000 and the journey so far has been surprising.
Winds of Change or Clever Ruse?
First off, GW has been releasing good info about the new edition. Nearly every day they have talked about the various phases of the game, giving a general outline of how they work. These are actual articles with real words as opposed to a ten second teaser video that showed nothing. For those that are wondering, no, I don't know the name of the rogue GW employee that has released this info. For his safety, that is being kept very secret. :) You can't blame anyone for thinking that. This is a huge turnaround for GW from years past. So either someone hit their head really hard, or they actually paid attention to the community when AoS dropped. Either way, this has been well received by the community at large by all accounts that I have seen. Lets hope that this new direction for GW is a permanent one.
40K, Age of the Emperor
The rules themselves are very much like Age of Sigmar. Movement values are back for troops, and armor is no longer a static save. Since 40K has always been a skirmish game, the change isn't so drastic unlike Warhammer Fantasy Battle to AoS. I believe we have been promised a free 12 page rulebook. So more meaty than AoS, but still very simple and streamlined. This means that the units themselves are going to be loaded with any special rules they might have. I'm fine with that. I always liked that units could have very individual abilities in AoS that fit their nature. One sore point that may come up is that the 7th ed books are completely irrelevant now. But to sooth that over, GW is going to release info for every unit currently in the game, IIRC. So again, very AoS like. But learning from AoS, they are releasing point values for units from the start. Using them is optional, but at least they are there, allowing no disruption to the competitive community.
Is that Hope?
So what does all this mean? Well honestly, it means I'm actually excited for 40K again. I have friends that have sworn off GW, reading the forums and asking questions about the new rules. In one swoop, GW looks to be making 40K accessible to new players with the "Play with what you have" style of play, yet keeping the veterans happy with point values. Also, they have outright said that they are hoping to speed up play, so that a typical game (based on previous game size) will take only 90 minutes.
Wasn't Born Yesterday
That said, we still don't have the rules yet, nor a solid release date. Also, we don't have the "warscrolls" for the various units. Simplifying the rules is good and all, but if you don't get the flavor and balance right for the units, then it is all for naught. GW seems to be heading in the right direction with 8th edition 40K. Whether or not they will stay on that path is still to be seen. I will say that with what they have done so far, I would recommend people to keep an eye on this one. It could turn out to be not only GW's biggest win, but a win for the players as well.
Till next time...