Tuesday 25 April 2017

Initial Thoughts on 8th Edition Rumours

Clear some room on that Bandwagon and get me my Soapbox! As many of you will be aware, a new edition of 40k is looming closely on the horizon. Many writers and bloggers out there are sharing their opinion on the rumours that have been published so far, so I thought I would share my own thoughts on what is coming for 8th edition.

7th Edition and Me
I actually really enjoyed 40k in 7th edition. 

Don't get me wrong, 40k certainly had its problems in 7th edition with rampant overpowered formations, psychic nastiness and invisible deathstars. I don't know whether it was simply the club environments that I played in during 7th, but I rarely came into contact with too much of the "nastiness" the last edition of the game (or Innes, as he was affectionately known 😏). As such, most of my games of 40k in the recent years have been highly enjoyable and have created many interesting battle reports and articles for the blog. 

The latest edition of the game also introduced one of my favourite ways to play it- the Maelstrom of War missions. Maelstrom games really were my favourite way to play 40k for the past few years. It really shook up what had become stale Eternal war missions where the aim of the game seemed to be simply annihilating your opponent so that they could not contest end of game objectives. I hope that the new edition of the game has a similar mission type. 

Over the course of 7th edition, I started three new armies (White Scars, Deathwatch and Genestealer Cults), so I must have been enjoying it in some regards. I know many players and bloggers have soured on 7th edition and I can completely see why, but I have continued to enjoy the game a lot over the past few years. I think it has helped that I have multiple different armies. My Orks really suffered in 7th edition, but I always had my Guard, Dark Angels or White Scars to fall back on. For those players that only had one army, especially if it was amongst what is considered the lower-tier, I can see how un-fun 40k could become if you were getting stomped by much stronger armies on a weekly basis at the local gaming club. 

Equally, I am not one to be dragged kicking and screaming into each new edition. I eager anticipate each new edition of the game and am always interested to see what is likely to change. My evolution of 40k series has helped me to see how the game has developed over the years.  Based on the rumours seen so far, 8th edition appears to be a sizeable shake up of the game, more akin to the change from 2nd edition to 3rd edition, than 3rd-7th have been. 

This is an exciting time to be a 40k player. Third edition is what go me in to 40k. The dramatic changing of the overblown ruleset to something much simpler was a breath of fresh air and led to a lot of excitement in the local community. Sound familiar?

I am even more hopeful for 8th edition now that I know the team over at Frontline Gaming have been heavily involved in playtesting. Reece, Frankie and the gang really do care a lot about the game and are keen to see it grow even stronger in the future. 

Age of Sigmar-ification
I don't think we are going to see as dramatic a change to 40k as Warhammer Fantasy saw with Age of Sigmar, but it is obvious that Age of Sigmar has had a significant impact on the new edition of 40k based on some of the rumours seen so far. 

As I have said previously, I was not a huge fan of Age of Sigmar when it was released. I played a couple of games and was not thrilled with the new system, so have never really looked back at it. 

However, there has been a lot of good buzz and positivity about the game since the release of the General's Handbook, which introduced points and matched play. Players at my local gaming groups now rave about the game on a weekly basis. So much so that I recently invested in some of the rules books for Age of Sigmar and hope to get a few games in with my Vampire Counts in the coming months. 

I think that the diminishing power of vehicles and monstrous creatures as they suffer damage is an interesting concept. This seems to have come directly from Age of Sigmar and is very well regarded in the game. Also, the apparent move of vehicles from armour values and hull points to toughness and wounds is one that I think most players are happy about and were expecting. 

Modifying Your Expectations
Based on the early rumours, it appears that "To Hit" modifiers and armour save modifiers are likely to make a return in 8th edition. 
I was honestly surprised by this. The games designers back in 3rd edition seemed quite adamant that removing these modifiers was the way forward to simplify the game. However, this was almost 20 years ago (really?!? God, I feel old), so they can be forgiven for changing their minds and going back on this. 

I am also quite pleased that strength and toughness values appear to be remaining. This wasn't an overly complex system and I think I prefer it to the flat "wound everything on a 4+" system of Age of Sigmar. One aspect of the new edition that I am interested in is that everything in the game has the potential to hurt anything else. We all know the frustration of having a unit stuck in combat with a unit that it simply cannot hurt or letting vehicles and Drop Pods run rampant around the board (okay, maybe the Drop Pod isn't running) with no means to damage them effectively. 

Overall, things seem promising for 8th edition. It is hard to judge much of these rumours in a vacuum, without the full rules set or army rules. 

Future of the Blog
Don't worry, St Andrews Wargaming is not going anywhere! In fact, there seems to be a lot of opportunity for a ton of new content in the near future. 

I have three tournaments booked over the summer period at the moment. Odds are that these tournaments will still use the 7th edition rules, so that will be a nice goodbye to 7th edition and a chance to say farewell to crazy formations and psychic powers. I might even consider taking my Deathwatch to the highly competitive events. Even if I get crushed, it's not going to matter when 8th edition drops!

I will probably put an end to my White Scars tactica series. I think I simply delayed this too late. I published the first part and have started on the second part, but it seems a bit pointless now to finish off the rest of the articles. 

All of the rules dropping for free on launch date will definitely be interesting. I hope to continue with my codex reviews and rules reviews for 8th edition. Obviously, there will be a huge amount of work involved in this with all the rules coming at once, but I hope to get them quickly after release. And, of course, I hope to bring you plenty of new battle reports for 8th edition as I get my games played. 

Also, for those of you looking for a humourous look at what I expect for 8th edition, check out my article on my Insane Demands for 40k over at Frontline Gaming. 

What about you, dear reader? Are you extremely excited for 8th edition or cautiously optimistic? What is the biggest change that you would like to see? Is there any content you would like to see on the blog in the run up to 8th edition? 


  1. Honestly, I'm pretty sure this is the edition change that I'm most excited for since I started playing back in 2nd Ed. GW's level of engagement with the community and player base have never been higher, and they've clearly learned from the AoS screwups. The specifics have been re-hashed all over the place, so I won't go into any real detail, but I have a very positive attitude about this.

  2. Aye, I am of similar mind to West Rider. Well put.

  3. It's an echo chamber in here - I totally agree with all of the above.

    The community engagement team real have got the hype train running smoothly. I am super pumped and excited by whats coming.

    1. lol!
      Yeah, the level of engagement from GW is unbelievable to an old veteran of 40k such as myself. I never would have believed it a few years ago.

  4. I'm definitely cautiously optimistic about 8th going forward. There are certainly things like the theoretical balance of command points driving the decision to be mixed or single faction that are worrisome, but as a whole, I think the changes seem largely positive to me.

    All the rules being free is great, and will certainly free up the budget for more events. (That's me locked in for Revolution now, so I'll look forward to seeing you there)

    All in all I'm looking forward to good Tyranid rules, and a fun edition in that order. I'm sure I'll break it within 2 months anyway.

    1. Do you think Revolution will be 7th edition, or will it move to 8th? Will be good to catch up there again! Haven't decided what I am taking yet. Might bring my Deathwatch along, or go with the White Scars. Depends how well I want to do.

    2. I think it'll be whatever format ETC is. Tim King is the England Coach and he'll want the maximum amount of practice for them. I'm hoping for 7th for the practice personally, but 8th would be a fun diversion.

      I'm not playing marines for ETC, but I should be bringing them for Revolution since my ETC list is a bit shit for singles. Going for the win ;)

  5. What a nice writeup to herald the new edition and wrap up 7th in a way.

    I actually returned to 40K only this edition after having mostly been absent from 4th to 6th. From what I can tell 7th is actually regarded as one of the better editions. Like you said it has it's weaknesses with the ballooning of the rules of formations and detachments that by now it's very hard to keep up. So I'm definitely looking forward to a fresh edition with some new ideas and some simplification.

    I know our gaming group has some pops that simply can't invest as much time into crafting lists or reading up on all the new rules, so it'll be nice for them as well I imagine. So yeah, a thumbs up so far from me.

    PS: Maelstrom is here to stay apparently :)

    PPS: This might be a good chance so say thanks for your great blog and all the effort you put into it! Looking forward to another edition full of batreps and reviews!

    1. Yes, more maelstrom for me!

      You are more than welcome Chris. Plenty of exciting new content for the next edition, I am hoping.

  6. Tyranids. Please make them relevant again. I'd like to see the Lictor return to its former glory. It's not scary. For a beast that stalks its prey it sure dies really easy. I'd also like to see the Pyrovore actually be decent on the table.

    The biggest thing I am looking forward to is less books and faster gameplay. After a few months I get a grasp of the rules and can remember them. That hasn't been the case with 7th. Too much bloat.

    1. There was an interesting article on Frontline about one of the writers hopes for Nids https://www.frontlinegaming.org/2017/04/26/tyranids-hope-is-the-first-step-to-disappointment/

      I'm hoping my Orks get improvement. Though going first for charging is going to be great for them.

  7. I really look forward to 8th edition, though like you I enjoyed much of what 7th edition was. It has been fun this last week quickly sharing with friends each time a new rule mechanic came about. This trickle of information is the right way to energize us for this edition.

    Great write-up. I mirror a lot of your thoughts.