New 40k is coming: Part 2

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Welcome to part two of my look in to Games Workshop's sneak peeks of the new edition of Warhammer 40,000.

Since last week there have been five major rules reveals, here's my thoughts on them.

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Shooting Phase
The major change to the shooting phase in 8th edition, is the ability to shoot pistols at the unit you are engaged in combat with. This is a big jump from not being able to do anything but fight when engaged to potentially being devastating for units such as Ork Slugga Boyz who will no doubt put out a lot of damage in the combat phase, and before that blast away some of their opposition in the shooting phase.

The next big change to the shooting phase is that if you are armed with a heavy weapon, you only get -1 to hit for moving, rather than only hitting on a 6. Obviously not a big deal for units that were BS2, but Space Marines unleashing their Heavy Bolters on the run at 4's to hit, will see a lot more deaths from these often overlooked weapons.

Finally, cover has changed from giving a flat 'bonus' save, to giving a bonus to saves. No longer will Power Armoured units be 'wasting' the potential of the bunker they are hiding in, but will be even harder to shift.

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Charge Phase
Charging gets its own phase, (or maybe its just a phase within the Close Combat Phase) and although there aren't many changes here, there are a few subtle differences between 7th and 8th edition.

If you want to charge, you still have to be within 12" and you will still get shot at on the way in, but now you don't have to get in to base to base to complete the charge, but can end up 1 inch away and still be successful. Will this see Age of Sigmar style strategic piling in? We'll have a look at that in a minute. Unlike Age of Sigmar it appears you will declare who you are charging before you roll, so no changing your mind if the number rolled is not ideal.

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Fight Phase
Another new phase, or a sub phase of the Combat phase, where we get to beat the snot out of each other.
The initiative stat has gone from models profiles, so in combat, the chargers will go first, no longer will Orks smash into their opponent only to find out that they only have a handful of greenskins left to fight with once their opponents have ripped through them. Yes, this does mean higher initiative units like Eldar will not be able to get the upper hand if they are charged, however, with their potential higher move, you'd hope they would be able to position themselves to not be on the end of too many hits to the face.

Age of Sigmar pile ins make an appearance, not not moving into base contact on the charge is a good idea if you want to pile deep into the mass of troops you charge. Again how you position your units to receive the charge will affect how well your opponent can use pile ins to their advantage. There will be much more to the combat phase than just pushing models together and rolling dice.

After the initial charge, the combat phase turns takes its inspiration from Age of Sigmar where players take it in turns to pick a unit to fight with. Again, another game within a game, do you try and dish out some damage before your inevitable demise, or do you try and punish your opponent before they strike you.

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Morale
Lets get straight to the point, Morale is handled in exactly the same way as Age of Sigmar

At the end of the turn, roll a D6, add the number of models that have died, what ever that beats your Leadership value by, that's how many more models die. Simple.

This rule is second nature to Age of Sigmar players, but much like them when AoS first hit, this rule will take a bit of getting used to for 40k players. Don't worry, there are still units like Chaplains and Commissars that will buff units to reduce the amount of deaths from a failed morale test, but this straight forward rule will make a big change to the overall nature of the game.

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Battleforged Armies
Finally for this week of reveals is the first real look at Battleforged armies, essentially the new version of force organisation charts. Gone are formations, and in their place we have these new ways of creating your army.

The detachments look very similar to the old force organisation charts, with each unit type divided up, with minimum and maximum numbers of these units in your army. There are 12 of these detachments at present, and I would expect each new codex to introduce army specific detachments to reward the flavour of your army.

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Transports and Fliers gain their own sections on the Detachments, as well as the usual Troops, Elites, Fast Attack, and HQ etc.

Finally, depending on what detachment you use and complete, you get Command Benefits, which I'm sure will be reveled in more details soon, the one thing we do know is that you can burn them in game to go before a charging unit in the combat phase. I for one look forward to seeing what they can be used for, and I'm sure armies will get their own specific benefits too.

Tomorrow a new week of updates begins, starting with Lords of War. I've been meaning to get a Knight, and this could be the time to grab one, as I start to think about what army I will create for 8th edition. The front runner so far is Deathwatch, but watch this space.

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