Thursday 11 May 2017

8th Edition 40k Reveals- Week 2 Thoughts

Another week gone, another host of 8th edition hints and reveals released by the Warhammer Community page. This post will take a look at some of the information that has been released and my thoughts on them.

The last post covered aspects of unit and weapon profiles, movement phase, psychic phase, shooting phase and charge phase.

Fight Phase
The biggest news from the fight phase is that charging units strike first. This is a big change from the current edition, where you can spend several turns charging across the board to be slaughtered before you get a chance to strike.
My Orks are particularly interested in this new development, and will hopefully become a force to be reckoned with in the new edition of the game. I will be interested to see if this rule applies to weapons that traditionally struck last, such as Power Fists.

Interestingly, in the fight phase you get to move 3" to try and engage more enemy units in combat. This seems like a way to get into multiple combats without having to suffer the overwatch fire of the enemy units. This will make careful positioning of defensive troops and attacking units quite important in the new game.

Much as was expected with the loss of the initiative value, combats will be performed by choosing alternate units to attack, much like Age of Sigmar. This adds further tactical depth to the fight phase, as players will have important decisions to make; Do you choose a weaker unit that is likely to be wiped out to attack first, hopefully taking down a few of their opponents or go for a strike with your units against an Imperial Knight to try and take it out before it crushes you? I will also be interested to see if things like Thunder Hammers and Power Fists get to strike first on the charge, will strike in normal order or will have to go last in each fight phase? I'm hoping that they get the chance to strike first, as that could potentially make Terminators awesome once more. Hitting on a 2+ in some combats is also a nice bonus for certain units in the game.

Morale Phase
Morale will now see itself put into a single phase of the game, with a mechanic that is identical to Battleshock from Age of Sigmar. At the end of the turn, roll a D6 and add the number of casualties suffered that turn. If the result beats your Leadership value, lose as many models as the difference in the values.

This is a big simplification of the rules and could be even more punishing for many units in the game. I like that you only test for morale once at the end of each turn, rather than potentially in each phase of the game as you could in the current edition. Having not played too much Age of Sigmar, it will be interesting to see how this works in practice.

I imagine that certain unit or characters will mitigate the effects of morale, such as large Ork mobs or Imperial Commissars.

What will be interesting will be to see the effects of bloody combat. If each side suffers a bunch of casualties, do both sides roll for morale, or just the winning side? Say a unit of Orks charges a unit of Guardsmen. The Orks kill 12 and the Guard kill 10 Orks. We don't know the Leadership values of each unit, but it is safe to assume it is less than 7 (the new Ld value for Space Marines). Even though the Orks have won, they could potentially take a lot of casualties from the ensuing Morale phase. This new system could potentially see both sides wiped out in the morale phase.

Not having to fall back or test to rally should also speed up the game a bit. I will be interested to see how "And They Shall Know No Fear" interacts with the new system. Perhaps Marines will get a re-roll or will be limited in how many casualties they can suffer from the test. For a long time now, Marines have been able to ignore most of the effects of morale in the game (not getting swept in combat, automatically rallying and acting normal). Maybe the rule will allow units that fall back in the movement phase from combat to operate normally in their turn?

Battle Forged Armies
Formations are dead! I think this issue will divide a lot of players, as there has already been a lot of debate over whether formations are a good or a bad thing.

I occasionally dabbled in formations, but most of the times I stuck to the CAD for making up my armies, so I don't think I will miss them too much. The only exception is my Ravenwing Strike Force. I used to field my all-Ravenwing army regularly and would love to see a similar way to field my Dark Angels in 8th edition.

I will be interested to see what bonuses Command Points give to any army.

Large Models
As we have seen previously in the release information, large models (including vehicles) are moving to Toughness and Wound values in the next edition. They also appear to be following the Age of Sigmar theme, where taking more wounds on a large model means they get progressively worse with more wounds suffered.

The example of the Morkanaut has T8, 18W and a 3+ save. Wow! Based on just that alone, Morkanauts seem to have gotten a lot tougher. I think that many players will be happy that their vehicles can now no longer be "one-shotted" with a Lascannon or Meltagun. However, there still may be extremely powerful weapons in the game capable of taking out a Dreadnought or Vehicle in one shot, we will have to wait and see.

The mechanic of decreasing stats as you suffer wounds is pretty good. I know there was a lot of frustration in slowly stripping Hull Points from an enemy vehicle, with it having no effect until the last hull point was gone.

I imagine that we will be seeing the penetrating damage table disappear. No more immobilisation or having to snap fire on vehicles will give them a great boost, I think.

Not to much information on infantry released so far, but a look at the new "to wound" chart has brought about some changes.

From the chart, it appears that certain units have become more durable. For example, a Space Marine is toughness 4. In 7th edition, S5 wounds him on a 3+, whereas S6 and above wounds on a 2+. Under 8th edition, S5-7 will wound on a 3+, whereas a weapon will need to be S8 or above to wound on a 2+.
Alternatively, a Space Marine Biker is S5. Whereas now, a S7 weapon will wound on a 2+, in 8th edition, you will need to be at least S10 to wound on a 2+ now. Equally, a S3 gun will now wound a Biker on a 5+, rather than a 6+ as in 7th edition. This suddenly makes the prospect of massed Lasgun fire a bit more dangerous for anything that is T5.

Huge changes for Character models in 8th edition 40k. It appears that characters are now no longer allowed to join units. However, to mitigate this, Characters cannot be targeted by shooting unless they are the closest model.
This is a big change to the rules. First of all, it probably spells the end for Deathstars in the game (a good thing in my opinion). Secondly, careful positioning makes characters a lot more durable.

One of my issues with Age of Sigmar is that characters are pretty easy to kill if you have a lot of shooting in your army. My Death army has almost no shooting and relies heavily on characters to buff the nearby units. Unless you are a huge character, such as Nagash or a Vampire riding a Dragon, it can be quite easy to kill off these support characters, rending the rest of the army much poorer.

I like the changes seen so far, hopefully allowing characters to continue to buff their range (probably with aura-type abilities), without having them get killed off too easily.

However, based on some of the other information release, it appears that certain units will be able to target characters specifically. This could make sniper units very valuable on the battlefield and a prime target for the enemy army. We could actually see Imperial Assassins, Ratling Snipers or Scout Snipers become highly valuable units in your army.

Astra Militarum
Various different authors will also be contributing with articles giving hints about how certain armies will now function in 8th edition.

The latest one comes from Reece at Frontline Gaming, a site full of awesome articles from fantastic writers ;)

A few snippets of information were released about various units. Commissars will apparently limit the casualties from the morale tests in 8th edition. Another tease was that Ratlings will be able to fire on characters, even if they are not the closest unit. This will make them great for taking out buff-ing characters before going for enemy units.

Most excitingly, we get to see some stats for the Leman Russ. The iconic tank will be T8, 12W, with a 3+ save. That is going to beef up the Leman Russ a fair bit, requiring at least 2 full strength Lascannon wounds to take it out. This means a Space Marine will need to hit it with around 10 Lascannon shots to take out the tank, a big improvement on its current use.

Another big boost is that orders are automatic now, rather than having to test. It will be interesting to see what the orders are, but the article states that First Rank Fire, Second Rank Fire gives a Guardsman 4 shots at close range. Taking out a Land Raider with Lasguns doesn't seem so funny now, does it?

Weapon Profiles 2
Hot off the press is the additional information released on weapon profiles.

First up is twin-linking. Whereas before this gave you re-rolls to hit, you now get double the number of shots. They also gave the profile for the Heavy Bolter.

When the post first went up, it said double shots at half range for twin-linked weapons. This got me very excited when I thought Heavy Bolters were going up to 6 shots each! I imagine that twin-linked assault cannons are going to be very popular now.

Another change leaked was that you can now fire both parts of a combi-weapon, but with -1 to hit. Either that or you can shoot one with no penalty. There also appears to be no restriction on firing the secondary weapon only once, so plenty of chances for your combi-melta to go tank hunting. This will make Sternguard and Deathwatch particularly potent, especially if they keep access to special issue ammunition rules.

Also revealed are the stats of a Meltagun. These are only damage D6, but at half-range you get to roll two D6 and pick the highest. Great for increasing damage on the tougher targets in the game. A save modifier of -4 means it will be picking off Marines and denying saves to many of the vehicles we have seen so far, as well as wounding them on a 4+.

The Battle Cannon is also teased. This will get D6 shots each turn. I was kind of hoping for 2D6 shots, but D6 isn't too shabby either. Especially with D3 damage per wound. This has the potential to finally make the battle cannon a useful weapon against individual models, such as vehicles or monstrous creatures, as in the current edition, you are restricted to a single hit in most cases. It is also type "Heavy", giving me hope that Ordnance weapons forcing snap shots are a thing of the past. Very glad I did not strip the sponsons from my Leman Russ tanks now.

So those are the some of my thoughts on the new information released to date. Next week, I will take a look at the further info that we get from GW. 


  1. Nice review, I'd skimmed over the detailed implications of the wounding chart, and it seems that what bikers gain against weapons like autocannons they lose against lasguns - you certainly won't be fancying your chances with white scars against a footslogging guard list now!

    1. I think it will be very important for combat. S3 troops now have a decent chance against T5 units. My Orks are looking forward to taking down some bikers!

  2. Yup, nice review, but I'm pretty sure that formations and detachments will stay, but cost points. At least I read that on Faeit. Thanks Michael!

    1. GW have confirmed that formations are no more. Instead they will be releasing 12 force organisations charts for armies to pick from. Gives it a level playing field for all. As a necron player I applaud this move as let's be honest the decurion detachment is bent as f***!

    2. What I think we might see is the introduction of certain army-specific "formations" that cost points, much like we now have for Age of Sigmar.

    3. I think that army specific FOC's are more likely, each with various command points. For DA's I would imagine a ravenwing fast attack heavy one and a deathwing elite heavy one, along side a combined hunt one. Plus obviously the standard demi and full company ones, keeping the marine fluff elements there.