Unless you've been hiding under a Stonehorn, you will be aware that last week Games Workshop announced that the new version of Warhammer 40,000 will be released this year, and this week have been revealing snippets of what we can expect.
In this post I am going to look at what has been revealed, and how it will change the game we love. Unlike some click bait sites, forums and the comments on the Games Workshop Facebook page, I wont be making speculative guesses based on a cocktail of current rules, new rules and wish-listing.
Last Saturday whilst I was busy cursing the movement of the Silver Tower in game two of the South Coast Grand Tournament, alongside the news of the 8th edition of 40k, there came a list of FAQs, to hope shed some more light on what was coming to our table tops.
I wont go into these in details as they can be found here, but in a nut shell, all the rules and profiles found in the existing Codices will be out of date when the new v
ersion is released, however on day 1 there will be new rules and profiles for every model currently sold by Games Workshop. This is just like the Age of Sigmar release nearly 2 years ago, which can only be a good thing, fingers crossed you get in game bonuses for making a motorcycle noise whilst moving your Ravenwing...
The first reveal of the changes to the rules was how the new profiles would look, with a few Space Marine stat lines shown off.
Lets have a closer look at a generic tactical Space Marine
Movement: 8th edition brings back varied movement values, each and every unit in the game will now have its own movement value, rather than the standard 6". To my Surprise a standard Space Marine still moves 6" rather than the 4" of old, with these power armoured warriors moving this fast, imagine how fast an Eldar on foo
t, or a Jet bike will be going.
Weapon Skill: Rather than a set number, which would then be compared against your opponents WS, it is now a set target number, much like it is in Age of Sigmar. Although using the comparison chart became second nature, this change makes combat quicker and more refined.
Ballistic Skill: Like WS, BS is now a set roll rather than a number to be compared on a chart. This is essentially not a change, but rather than having to remember the 'rule of seven' you just have to look on your stat line. Again, another AoS style update, but not really an update as shooting worked this way anyway.
Strength & Toughness: S and T are unchanged, apart from the fact that no stat will ever be capped at 10, this allows greater scope for showing off the immense strength of a Titans power fist, of the toughness of a Nurgle Great Unclean One.
Wounds & Attacks: Again these are just single numbers, but again not capped at 10. A Space Marine Terminator for example now has 2 wounds making them more survivable against lesser firepower. With vehicles gaining the same profiles as infantry, expect
battle tanks to have wounds well in to the teens or twenties.
Initiative: This stat has gone from the profile, and how rules in 7th edition that used this will change is as yet unknown; all we do know is that in Close Combat, the charger will got first.
Leadership: Again, still a number, and presumably again not capped at 10. Moral rules have changed to match AoS, so if a Space Marine Tactical Squad was to lose 1 member, they wouldn't lose any more to Battleshock (or what ever it is called in 8th) , 2 deaths and a 6 would result in an additional death. But 'We shall know no fear' may still be about and how that effects morale im sure we'll find out soon enough.
Save: Still a singe dice roll for save (unless changes are yet to be revealed) this doesn't look to have changed. I expect units will get updated saving throws, but so far Space Marines retain their 3+
Weapons were the next new rule to be revealed, and this is where some of the bigger changes appeared. Gone are the templates of old, with the Flamer showing off some of the changes that these kind of weapons will have.
Ranges will undoubtedly be changed, but the standard Boltgun retains its 24" reach. Each weapon has a type, be it Rapid Fire, Assault or Heavy, these are familiar names, but how they interact with the new rules, we are yet to hear.
Strength looks to be as it was, I expect some weapons will get updated stats, but so far everything looks just like it is in 7th edition.
The first big change is AP, no longer a static number, giving either a save or no save, we now see the return of the save modifier. This change means that hopefully more units will have a chance of surviving being shot, no longer will a Terminator die straight after the 'to wound' roll of a lascannon, they'll get a 5+ save (I know they get a 5+ inv save right now, but with this simple change in save, there's no need to remember all those extra rules)
Next up is Damage, another big change in the way that weapons work, most weapons in the current edition of 40k do one wound, but in 8th edition, they will be doing all kinds of amounts of damage. How this will work has not yet been outlined (shooting rules are being explained tomorrow) so I wont theorise on how this will work, but it appears like Lascannons will be the weapon of choice for taking wounds off those big monsters with 10+ wounds.
Finally we see Abilities, again, we've only seen the Flamer ability, so what this will include, we don't yet know.
Movement was the next updated rule to be revealed and not too many surprises to be found here, where the big changes had mainly made their way over from Age of Sigmar. 'Running' (now called Advancing) is now done in the movement phase, and the ability to leave combat, but forgoing the chance to shoot in order to do so. We did also see that some units, such as fliers, will have minimum movement values to represent their speed, and lack of ability to slow down as they swoop over the battlefield
The final rules reveal of the week is Psychics, gone are the dice pools, and no return of the psychic cards, instead we have another bleed over from Age of Sigmar. In 8th edition you will be rolling a simple 2D6 attempt against a Warp Charge value, with your opponent having the chance to dispel if they are within 24". A much simpler system, but one that is tried and tested in AoS, again we dont know about any limitations on the number of powers that can be cast, and if spamming the same named power will be allowed, but what we do know is that Mortal Wounds will be making their way to 40k.
So there you go, all the rules that have been revealed so far. As you would expect from teasers, they give just enough away without spoiling the whole picture, and for those of us who have patience, they are just enough to get us pumped for this new addition.
As some one who has played a lot of 40k, and is currently in the middle of a campaign, I am very much looking forward to this new edition of the rules. I love Age of Sigmar, and the rules that have made their way over to 40k are very welcome. Thankfully, Games Workshop have not just AoS'd 40k, and look to have retained all the flavour we love about this game, with an attempt at making it easier for new players and still as engaging for verterans.
More rules are looking to revealed this week, starting with shooting tomorrow, I shall return next week with my take on what we get shown.