Saturday, 25 March 2017

Reading tea leaves: 40k 8th edition reveals

Yes, reveals, not leaks. GW's commendable turn of telling people things continues with a preview of the mechanics currently being tested for 8th edition. Yes, its time to read some tea leaves and make some assumptions that are almost certainly wrong. Let's go!

Movement Characteristics

Yes! The basic sense here is that the generic unit types (Infantry, Jump Infantry, etc,.) will be going and replaced by a Movement characteristic on the unit's stat line. This knocks out a chunk huge of the main rulebook, which is just sensible, and puts more emphasis on the individual Codex. The less flicking between books the player has to do, the better.

Charging units fight first

An unfortunate reality of 40k's meta is that if you play a low Initiative army you're most likely to play against high Initiative (read: Space Marine) armies. If nothing else this rule is an inducement to dust off my Orks since my mighty close combat army might actually get to fight a combat round or two in this edition.

Armour Save Modifiers (for shooting)

Whether its a Strength based modifier or a Rending value as in AoS is unclear but I do think its sensible to bring this concept in. The fact that, say, an AP3 weapon completely knocks out the protection of power armour but has zero effect whatsoever on Terminator plate has always been a strange abstraction to me and modifiers are a simple way of bringing that concept into play whilst still keeping the spirit of how these weapons are meant to work (lascannons will still be the shit, lasguns will still be just shit).

3 Ways To Play

Definitely better to bring this in at the beginning than how they did it with Age Of Sigmar. Its the same tryptch of Open, Narrative and Matched play. Now, Open Play is still as unappealing to me here as it was in AoS but I can't pretend that having more options of play is somehow a bad thing.

Command Points”

Um... this one is a bit complicated because it isn't really explained. The basic idea is that if you build an army as the background dictates you get Command Points, a series of benefits like re-rolls and unspecified army specific special rules.

How army selection actually works under this system is left unsaid. Most likely, in my view, is that the Force Organisation Chart becomes optional and you get Command Points for following it. Also,perhaps the chart will be bespoke to each army, completely replacing the generic version rather than just supplementing it as the bespoke charts in this edition have.

Age of Sigmar morale checks

About the only one I'm not thrilled by. Its not a mechanic I'm super fond of in AoS and that's a game with the option of large units. 40K has always generally lent towards five- and ten-man squads so I suspect this mechanic will be a lot less forgiving, especially the high-cost elite units like Terminators.

Overall, though, I'm looking forward to this, which I wasn't expecting to be. 

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