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Games Workshop's Live Q&A; Thoughts On 8th Edition.

Hey guys, it's Bruce here with our first blog update in a long old while.

If you are reading this blog, chances are you know a thing or two about tabletop games, so you probably know that GW just officially confirmed what we all knew was coming: a new edition of Warhammer 40k!
I sat down this afternoon and watched GW's amazing live Q&A session and I've made notes on all the big changes they have confirmed will come with the new edition.

Lets take a look:

  • Big image behind the two hosts (Pete Foley, heading the team behind 8th ed and Andy Smilie, the head of the community team) is a large space marine helmet, blue on one side and green on the other. Probably hinting at the Ultramarine / Deathguard starter set?
  • Andy repeatedly mentions that a huge amount of the rules have been created using feedback from the Facebook page and online forums like Bolter and Chainsword / Dakkadakka etc. 
  • Movement is changing. No longer blanket ruling different types of units (infantry, beasts, bikes etc) we will not have specific movement distances on a unit by unit basis.
  • Initiative will now work on a charge-by-charge basis. I assume this means we will do away with initiative values altogether and replacing it with a Sigmar style "I go then you go" method.
  •  Vehicles will no longer have armour values. Vehicles will now have wounds and have different stat lines depending on the amount of damage they take. The same ruleset will work for monstrous creatures, getting weaker and weaker the more damage they take.
  • Weapons and attacks will now have save modifiers in play of AP values. This means that everything can effectively hurt everything else in the game. Somethings will obviously be better at wounding than others, but now that lonely little cultist actually has that tiny chance of bringing a Wraithknight to its knees! Mwahaha!
  • The game will continue to use the D6 system.
  • The games will run much faster, an average game now being closer to 90 minutes as opposed to the current 3 hours.
  • GW have implemented a 3 ways to play mechanic; Matched Play for competitive / tourney environments, Narrative Play for campaigns and story driven scenarios and Open Play for casual "beer and pretzel" type games.
  • Narrative and Matched play will use a Force organisation system to help guide team balance. At the moment we have 14 separate Force Org Charts which will offer their own bonuses and perks when their requirements are met. The more elaborate the force org chart, the more "Command Points" your army will be granted. These "Command Points" can be used once per game phase and will grant bonuses such as activating your units in your opponents turn or striking early in close combat.
  • Templates will be a thing of the past. No more blast, flame or apoc templates to lug around anymore.
  • Every current unit on sale by GW will be fully supported with rules on day one. Great news for those Sister of Battle players who were worried about getting squatted. ;)
  • The rules have been Beta-tested by numerous groups "for a very long time. A really long time". Apparently every single unit in every single army has had multiple on-board time spent looking at their rules and the way they balance against everything else. "This edition has spent more time play testing that any other, by far".
  • The core rules will be free to download.
  • The will be 5 main books available for purchase on the day of release. These books will contain the full rules for all current armies / factions and their units and wargear. Each book will focus on a general group (we expect one for Chaos Marines / Deamons, one for Marines / Sisters / Inquisition, one for Eldar/Dark Eldar/Harlequins etc).
  • Once the initial release has passed, each army / faction will get its own updated "codex" specific to its own fluff, relics, wargear etc.
  • Down the line we can expect more game expansion books, similar to the previous Cities of Death or Planetstrike books.
  • Famously OP units (the Riptide was mentioned in particular) have been given specific attention, along with famously underpowered units (like Pyrovores), but every unit in the game has been re-balanced to level the playing field and grant extra variety amongst collectors of the same army.
  • An update or revision of the core rules will be released every year to rebalance the game and to accommodate shifting metas. This will be based off community feedback throughout the year.
  • Rulebooks and Codexes will be both digital and printed.
  • GW will be releasing a 40k "Army Builder type" app. This will be similar to the Sigmar app they currently have available. This will not be available on release as it is still being worked on.
  • There will be a section of the core rules to help TO's to organise and administrate tournaments and other events.
  • Chaos vs The Imperium was going to take centre stage of the story in the upcoming months.
  •  The 8th edition game designers are actual tabletop gamers who play in tourneys themselves across lots of different game systems. This should really help when it comes to internal game balance, something that has been notable missing for 40k for some time. 
  • There will be 2 different point systems for working out your armies value. "Power Level" is a simplified version of the old point system. This gives you a rough idea of what each unit is worth regardless of what the unit is equipped with or what upgrades they have. This overall unit value will be a quick and easy way of arranging Open Play games by giving you and your opponent an estimated value to work with. "Granular Points" will work like a more specific version of the current points, letting you work out exactly how much each model is worth along with the value of their equipment, powers and wargear. These points will be more specific than the current ones, giving you even more control over the balance of your army.
  • There will be new races and factions released as the edition goes on.
  • Matched play games scale well from between 1,000 - 4,000 points. Seems like they want to use Shadow War for lower point / skirmish games.
  • Similar to the rules in Sigmar, each unit will have keywords (Astartes, Eldar, etc.) Powers will only affect other units with matching keywords, so exotic / non-fluffy units won't be able to buff each other. This was done in an effort to discourage "deathstar" units.
  • Combat has been re-balanced, so dakka heavy armies will no longer have the upperhand.
  • 30k will be sticking to 7th edition rules "for now". We expect them to move to 8th once all the legions have their specific units / rules released.
  •  Every day until release GW will be posting articles, FAQs and videos teasing stuff for 8th ed.
  • Anyone who buys a 7th edition rulebook or codex withing 8 weeks of 8th edition, you can get vouchers worth the value of the book to buy the new ones. Good Guy GW!
That about sums up the topics that were mentioned in the Q&A, but wow! What a lot of information to digest! It seems like 8th edition is going to bring in a lot of changes and I'm super exited to see how it all plays out.

Let's have a look and see what some of the other Six Up Save guys think today's Q&A and 8th edition in general:

Balance is something I think everyone is keen for, so a hard re-set of the rules and factions is awesome. Being rewarded for playing fluff sounds great, so I'm hoping to see some fluffy armies on the tournament scene, and a bigger variety of winners at tournaments. Tyranids and Orks being viable and even competitive is exciting!
I am a little upset about losing templates, but I suppose it's one less thing to carry/remember to bring and for a newcomer to the hobby it's one less necessity to buy into. The possibilities are great, I have much hope and faith in what GW have been doing recently and what they will continue to do in the future

Spoons: "I'm Excited for a streamlined rule set that isn't bogged down by having to reference multiple books. I can't believe that each unit is going to have different movement stats again! No longer will a terminator outrun a screaming banshee. Overall it's looking really positive, but I am worried customising load-outs on vehicles and characters will be over simplified."

Comrade Chris: "Personally, I'm Excited about close combat; being a Khorne daemons player and generally devoted to combat, it's what I'm passionate about. Being able to hurt anything and striking first when charging will make my combat only lists much more viable.

Proxy Jay: "The price of these combined books and later codexs is my biggest worry. That's a lot of money to put down on anything that isn't plastic. It will be very interesting to see how everything works in the new edition in general, but I am especially looking forward to everything being a level playing field again... or at least that's what I'm hoping for."

Jack "Skittles" Whitefoot: "Well I'm really excited, I can't wait for my Orks to become balanced again!"

Legit Jamie: "I'll be glad to see the end of the 'whoever has the biggest and best shiny will win' mentality of the game. Glad to see they will reduce the effectiveness of formations and all that bullshit too. Love the idea of tanks and monsters getting weaker as they sustain damage. No longer can a fancy tank be undone by a lucky roll of a 6!
I am worried about what the players will do with the new system; there are always those dicks who will do their best to break a good thing. Emperor knows it happened in Sigmar very quickly,  we're even starting to see it happen in Hersey..."

Martin: "I've only watched bits of it so far but I'm pretty excited by it. It really sounds like they may have balanced the game out. Everything can now hurt everything. Vehicles all have the same stat lines and get worse as they are damaged. It all sounds great to me so far."  

Matt: "Errrr dunno what to say other than: 8th I am excited"

Sassy Sam: "I'm Looking forward to running more narrative driven games, so much so I might even dust off my daemons. As a TO i am interested in comp play, so I'm glad they are adding in specific rules to help run events. I must admit, I am Gonna miss templates but I suppose it's a small price to pay to shake things up from 7th editions stagnation. #make40kfunagain"

Damien"I'm extremely exited for 8th edition. Its been sad to see a game I'm so invested in become so bloated over the last 2 year and while i believe to core rules of 7th were in fact very good, the power creep of a few armies has sadly left the others in the dust. I'm looking forward to the more combat based armies standing a chance again and being able to run my favourite units, not just the competitive ones. Bring on that breath of fresh air that it needs"

The Beast: "I cannot wait for 8th Edition! One of my favourite aspects of Sigmar is the larger monsters getting weaker as they take more wounds. It makes sense, both thematically and logically. A Baneblade gets a laser targeting relay blown off so it's ballistic skill is reduced or a Carnifex gets a Crushing Claw sliced off so it has less attacks in Close Combat. So I am very excited about the changes to vehicles and monstrous creatures. I only have very small reservations, I don't want them to nerf units completely, for example Wraithguard should be powerful due to their fluff, but they should be balanced compared to other units."


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