Meat for Meta: The 8th Edition Wishlist

Would you go big or go small in changing Warhammer 40k?


Meat for Meta is rated editorial nonsense. These articles are meant to complain about some group, somewhere, that is playing the game for all the wrong reasons or simply to just make fun of 40k nerd rage.

As Games Workshop continues to pump out draft FAQs for Warhammer 40k, it has got me wondering what changes I would like to see with whatever they call the next edition of the game. I am always torn between wholesale changes or tweaks. If you go with wholesale change then you invalid much of the purchases players have been making for the game over the last couple years, especially if they go with full reboot. Then you have tweaks which seem smart, but often lead to new unintended problems, like leaving certain armies completely unprepared and being forced to wait for an update to be relevant again. It though isn’t like we don’t already have almost completely useless armies floating around as is.

Since we don’t know what GW is going to do, I think it is easier to go wishlisting for what should, but won’t happen. Here are my Top 10 changes I want to see.

Number One, in my book is fix the damn psychic phase! It is by far the most broken part of the game. Now my solution isn’t to blow it up, because it would really screw with lots of armies. Instead, I have two things I want to see happen. First, there needs to be a Warp Charge cap, I think something between 10-15 sounds fair. Second, make denying powers even easier no matter the type, like success start at 5s. This means powerful psychic armies will still have lots of different spells to cast, but they just can’t get everything off and an opponent has a decent chance to stop one power a phase.

Number Two, end super friends, this is by far the most unappealing thing to face for most players. Combinations of Independent Characters joined together in unkillable units makes the game less tactical, destroys fluff, and is totally unpleasant for everyone. A simple cap on the amount ICs that can be in a single unit should do the trick. If you want to get even more bold, return the game to 4th edition were ICs couldn’t even join units, (unless a Retinue) but still have a “look out sir” mechanic for balance.

Number Three, limit Formations and Detachments. While many oldtimers hate Formations and Detachments I find them really fun, often fluffy, and dynamic. It just doesn’t make much sense if you can spam and/or repeat them. The new large style Detachments also mean a simple limit won’t be a big deal. I think a non-duplicating cap of say three of any combination would do the trick.

Number Four, nerf Grav weapons. Grav is one of the dumbest things in the game  as currently constructed, it makes Plasma weapons completely lame, but most importantly the additional Immobilized damage result really hurts anyone using Walkers and Flyers. Removing that bonus would do wonders for so many units.

Number Five, allow whatever doesn’t work on Fearless units to still work on They Shall Know No Fear units. This would create another tier of abilities that actually play a role in the game dominated by the sheer number of Space Marine players.

Number Six, change Ignores Cover. As many have suggested just give any unit with Ignores Cover rule a -2 modifier to any cover save. This now means units that rely on cover saves are not automatically deleted because of a cheap piece of wargear or psychic power.

Number Seven, change how re-rolling works. No matter the type of re-roll the second re-roll is hard cap to 4+. This will even the playing field ever so slightly for units that rely on re-rolling something to basically remove the fun from opponents. It will at least give an opponent a chance to either save or destroy a super unit.

Number Eight, remove/change Destroyer Weapons and Stomp. All players want is a chance to roll dice no matter the situation, Stomps and Destroyer weapons remove such a chance, creating a completely unpleasant interaction without any recourse.

Number Nine, fix Maelstrom mission. GW is so close with these, they just need to find away to create a tactical interaction between players. It is as simple as giving each player a chance to stop the other from accomplishing cards to making sure each player can actually do the card they pick up.

Number Ten, change allies again. The current Matrix is close to perfect, but the big problem is the Levels of Alliance. Come the Apocalypse shouldn’t even be a thing, to Battle Brothers being rework again especially to not allow anyone who is everyone to get into a transport.

I am sure this list doesn’t even scratch the surface for needed  changes, but for the most part all these changes work in consort together. The idea is to remove unfun elements and create a more tactical game where you simply just don’t roll the right combination of powers and automatically win. Creating list combos are fun, but the battle shouldn’t be decided in the army build phase. The game always works best when everyone can respond to a battlefield situation, things like Ignore Cover and Stomp often take away any ability to respond because you just pick up your models and go. Warhammer 40k isn’t as far away from greatness as you think, but for some reason GW doesn’t think things through and/or slaves to accountants. Whenever 8th edition comes I hope we can get to a place where even middle tier armies and lists have a chance to compete with the big boys.