New 40k – what we know so far

The sky is falling, the sky is falling! Admittedly, when we first heard that 8th edition was imminent and would be taking an Age of Sigmar style route many of us felt as betrayed as Horus did. However, GW have been showing us gradually that it’s not all doom and gloom (even in the Grimdark future), and that the lessons learned from the AOS initial release have enabled them to bring forth a new edition of 40k which I for one am actually quite excited for.

Rather than repeat what they have shown us here I will simply direct you to the Warhammer Community site for their regular updates. But I will cover a few of the points with my own views.

What we do know is that we’ll get the basic rules for free and there will be the basic information for your factions available too. Hard copies will be coming and I guess will include bonus stuff that the free version might not (fair play they need to make money still) but to get going you’re not going to need to outlay a lot of cash. If the recently released Traitor Legions book gets invalidated I will be pissed off, especially since it basically replaced the Black Legion Supplement and the Traitors Hate book itself after I had forked out for them too, no word yet on whether the formations within it will still be usable (though it was said that the recent Gathering Storm stuff would be so I hold out a hope).

They’re advocating 3 play styles: Open, Narrative and Matched. Open seems pretty much what the old “unbound” format was (just bring and battle). Narrative looks to be the one I’m going to be more focussed on, forces picked according to a story-based reason rather than just because of their death-star combos. Matched pretty much will be the tournament style from the sounds of it, though this can easily combine with the Narrative style I reckon to make for some very interesting games.

Gone are the Armour values for vehicles, everything uses the same style profiles and vehicles will be multi-wound with decent saving throws. The Movement stat is back, with different factions and unit types having differing movement rates – this to me feels good as Eldar/Nids should be more mobile than Guards/Marines/Necrons.

One big change is that templates are gone! Flamers have a range  and hit D6 models automatically – I’m very interested to see how this works with my heldrakes (though haven’t seen anything about flyers in particular so far).

Weapons will also have save modifiers rather than a flat AP value, for example a bolter doesn’t change your save target but a lascannon gives you a -3 penalty (so a marine in power armour can survive a hit on a 6!). Some weapons will give multiple shots, eg heavy bolters, while others will inflict multiple wounds on a single target, again the lascanon is their example causing D6 damage – excellent for taking shots at those pesky multi-wound vehicles and monsters but a bit of a waste shooting a guardsman (though it will still kill him and sometimes it may be necessary – the important part of overkill is the last four letters!).

Running, turbo-boosting, flat-out vehicles – this all takes place in the Movement phase now rather than the shooting, kind of makes sense as it’s a continuation of the movement.

A big one they revealed too is that you can move out of combat! Yes it will incur penalties and limit the actions the unit can take during the rest of the turn but this is huge. No longer can you be locked in to a combat if you dont want to be. Not only can units that aren’t ideal for assault retreat but dedicated assault units cant be bogged down by swarms/hordes if they would be better suited chasing down other targets. I’m really looking forward to this as I have a new-found love of my raptors and warp talons.

The psychic phase gets a massive overhaul and as a follower of the Dark Gods I do like my sorcerers so I’m still on the fence for this until we see the full version. However, the tease tells us that psykers can cast as many powers as their mastery levels (and enemy psykers can attempt to dispel as many as theirs). Each faction will have their own powers but every psyker will know SMITE – a power that can inflict Mortal Wounds, which can’t be saved by anything! WHAT! Psykers are the new D-weapons!

Remember those penalties for leaving combat I mentioned, well apparently no shooting is one of them, I guess the unit is too busy getting the feck out of there to do so. Running (or Advancing as its renamed) also prevents shooting, as does having an enemy within 1″ – unless you’re equipped with a pistol, which you can then shoot in his face. And yes this includes when you’re in combat (those raptors are looking more and more fun)!

You still can’t have other units shoot into the combat, but with the option to either fall back or shoot the fighting units pistols it’s going to be a tactical choice.

Heavy weapons and vehicles take a -1 to hit if they move (looks like snap fire is gone, though no word on how that affects shooting flyers yet).

Cover gets an overhaul too, with it increasing the saves in a similar way to the weapon modifiers decreasing it but with hopefully better clarifications on who counts as in cover and when (none of this “well my knights toe is on the terrain base so I get a cover save” bullshit).

As always these are just my thoughts on the teasers they have revealed to date. You might not agree, and that’s fine

 

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