My last post was in 2012 
That's around 5 years ago
6th/7th edition broke me, they were awful
Bad rulesets combined with poor codex updates
However 8th is now here

The Prodigal Son Returns....

Warhammer 40k 8th edition has landed and it caries with it the hopes and dreams of thousands of players burned by the terrible 6th and 7th edition with it's over powered fliers, crazy allies and stupid death stars.

No more however, a fresh new ruleset with many many changes is being herald as the saviour of 40k. Only time will tell if this new edition is the dream we have all been waiting for that saves Games workshops reputation or if it pulls an Anakin Skywalker on us and delivers us into darkness (and not even the good grim darkness we all know and love).

A quick look at 40k 8th edition's Core.

8th has smashed into our lives with a completely new core ruleset and a whole bunch of new codex updates, many are the same as previous codexs (unit wise) only with different rules and different points costs.  Which brings me to point #1 about 8th edition - 

Points vs Power

Warhammer 8th Edition now comes with a sort of "get started/quick play mode" in the form of power.  Each unit has a power rating meaning you can simply show up, agree on a power level to play with each and then pick units based off their power rating and just add them into the game, no working out points needed.

Of course this has caused plenty of debate about who should use it and if you should bother at all. Many units can be way more/less powerful than the points version due to the upgrades you can give them without actually changing their power rating.

Points -

  • More Accurate Measure of the unit's strength in a game
  • Can take a while to create a list due to the new system that means non characters have to buy their basic Wargear plus all that standard points adding up
  • Steep learning curve for new players
  • Lots of flicking around between unit pages and points costs as the books are a little badly laid out
Power - 
  • Inaccurate unit strength, it's possible to add the same unit to 2 different armies with the same power levels and then change wargear, keeping the same power, resulting in 2 very different strength units.
  • Very fast way to build a list
  • Very user friendly
  • Great for new players or being taught the game

In my opinion it will become fairly standard to expect points to be used in the majority of situations except for training new players or quick pickup casual games.  But whichever you pick, you should still have a decent game and unless 1 person is really abusing the power system, it should still be a balanced game.

Either way there are already some fantastic list build tools that do much of the work for you, for example -!/rosterCreator

Is a work in progress but the guys there are doing a top job so far with it (coughfinishOrkspleasecough).

Since posting, GW being the miserable sods they are got rid of this (without making their own) so we are back to pen and paper. :( RIP lovely online creator tool

Core Rules

The rules are now actually very short and fairly concise.  Plus they are free to download from GW's website!

How great is that.

The game boils down to the normal movement, psychic, shooting, assault, morale phases like it always has.  

Movement Phase

Movement has changed from a flat 6" or 12" move for everyone, to specific movement values for each unit depending on what it is.

As you can see the Hive Tyrant has a basic movement of 9" or 16" if it's flying

This at least allows some variety in each unit, running or advancing is done in the movement phase also.

Psychic Phase

The Psychic Phase then follows and has been cleaned up from the horribly complex one they used last edition with it's pool of dice nonsense.  Now it's just a case of rolling 2 dice and beating the score needed to cast the spell, for example, should our Hive Tyrant above want to cast his Catalyst spell he rolls 2D6 and has to get 6 or higher, then an enemy Psyker nearby (range may vary depending on the unit) can try and deny it by rolling 2D6 and scoring Higher than the value that was rolled.

Shooting Phase

Shooting is very similar to how it has always worked,  each unit/model has a roll it needs to hit, like our tyrant here that hits on a 3+ (unless it gets hurt but more on that later).  There are some modifiers to shooting, like spells or abilities but mostly you will always hit based off your BS value.  You will pick your target and fire at them rolling first to hit, then to wound, with saves following that.

Here are some fun changes in shooting - 

  • Every unit can now split fire, which is nice.
  • You can throw a grenade once per shooting phase for units that have them
  • Templates have gone, instead of blast and flamer templates most of those guns now fire D3 or D6 shots
  • You can move and still fire heavy weapons, only you get -1 to your hit roll
  • Assault weapons can fire even if the model has advanced
  • Pistols can fire IN COMBAT!
Wounding has also changed and has a new matrix, before it would be s4 hits t4 on a 4+, t5 on a 5+ and t6 on a 6+.

Most of that is the same only now,  you have to be double to get that 6+ or 2+.  What this means is weapons that are S5 are now amazing since they hit most infantry on a 3+ and everything else right up-to t10 on a 5+, yes your heavy bolter is now a gauss weapon that can hurt everything in the game.

Cover has been completely nerfed, no more standing behind a chest high wall and getting a 4+ cover save even against missile launcher or Melta gun.  Now all cover is just +1 to your armour save.

Armour still exists but AP (armour penetration) has been replaced by a negative value that will reduce your armour save instead of getting rid of it completely.   A marine with a 3+ save before got hit with a plasma gun they had no save and just died, now they get -3 resulting in a 6+ save or a 5+ if they are in cover.

Lots of lovely weapon analysis has been done like this by the fantastic folks over at 3++

Models with multiple wounds will have to now take into account the damage of the weapon, which have been added, for example a Lascannon no longer results in 1 wound, it does D6!

Should your save be failed you remove a model of your choice, no more from the front/closest model anymore.

Fight Phase

The charge and fight phase is similar to before, picking a target, declaring a charge against it, the target gets overwatch against you hitting on 6s, then you roll 2D6 and see if you get within 1".

At this point however some changes are apparent, first of all there is no longer Initiative, you go first if you charged, otherwise each squad/unit in combat activates based on a take turns process, starting with the player who's turn in it, each one picking whichever squad they want to fight and is in combat within 1" of an enemy unit.

After moving your unit you may get a free 3" pile in move to get your guys closer also but this must be towards the closest model, meaning its actually possible to get a cheeky free multi charge into a different nearby unit.  This brings me onto the end of a battle where you can now consolidate into a different unit, chaining combats right through enemy lines if they don't spread out.  Handy since pile in moves don't result in overwatch shots!

Morale Phase

The last Phase and previously most overlooked phase, especially for people playing marines and their ATSKNF nonsense.  Morale now affects every unit and unless a special rule makes you immune you must roll a D6 and add the number of models you lost that turn, if the result is higher than your Leadership value you remove further models based on how much you go over.  Big weak squads beware! I've already seen morale decimate a large Kabalite warrior squad.

So that's the basics. I'll be back with some list/codex reviews to see what GW did to our beloved armies in their temporary stop gap fix while we wait for the main codex re-writes.