Friday, April 28, 2017

8th Edition Announcements: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly (so far)

Well hasn't it been an exciting couple of days. Whether you like what you have seen or not, it has at least been that. Now lets discuss some of the detail
- All models have rules at release- I am sure one or two minor things someplace in a Forgeworld book, or any existing unit without a current model, will get forgotten, but by and large it is nice to know that nothing will not be included NOR will they get short changed and only KINDA included like Brettonians and Tomb Kings in Age of Sigmar

- Day one rules- Free core mechanics and new condensed, and supposedly cheaper, codicies to buy. I am not sure about the cheaper part, but it is good to see day one rules for everything.
- Army building app- While not a day one release, still nice to know an official one is coming, which means you units will be updated automatically as things change too. This also leads me to think that 8th Ed is sooner than we thing. Since they know it will not be ready for 8th ed release, it can't be too far off.

- Vouchers- if you bought a codex between Feb 25th (I believe) and April 22nd they will give you a voucher for its full value. What remains to be seen is if this applies to Imperial Armour books as well.
- No universe destroying- What has been rumoured and shown about the lore so far is consistent with 40k and actually seems pretty good. I for one think that new map is neat.

- 3 ways to play- while I am sure that Matched will come to dominate most play, the fact that there is a variety of built in a methods to play, each with their own method of balance, is nice. I especially like that Narrative and Matched play will have their own points systems.
- Deathstars are gone and benefits for being single faction- LOVE THIS. The days of loophole manipulation and best unit selectiveness seem to be a thing of the past. And the ability to see armies that better reflect the lore and intent/flavour of the army is welcome to me. Plus, I think it will ultimately create a more dynamic game, instead of seeing the same few armies and lists over and over.

-Individual weapon damage output. I really really like this. The fact that each weapon is now more representative of how much damage it does and what it is designed for. Lascannon is still one shot, but a potential to do a lot of damage. That's neat and will go a long way towards balancing all the weapons instead of just seeing Grav Spam. Everything will have its place.

-AP save modifiers- at first I was unsure of this, but I have come to like it. The idea of outright just ignoring armour past a certain point was kinda silly. That armour is still there. It still is going to do something. Its just a question as to what degree it will influence the hit.

-Ballistic Skill- FINALLY instead of that silly reverse table, it is just a straight up "ROLL THIS". Makes so much more sense.

-Adding run to the movement phase- I typically did this any way to save time, but it is nice that it is formalized and makes it so that you can no longer see how things "played out" before deciding if you were running or shooting. Forces you to plan and think ahead your actions more.

-Simplified Psychic Phase- Really like that all psykers will now be much more defined and have utility rather than batteries. Also like it going back to a straight 2d6 system. This should really speed up that phase which as of now seems to take a disproportionate amount of time. HOWEVER this can easily move to the BAD or UGLY IMO. Every psyker gets SMITE which takes only a 5+ to do d3 Mortal Wounds... yeah... "D is gone"... but not really...

- Loss of templates- while not TERRIBLE it kinda stinks. I for one liked them. They weren't problematic for me and them felt right for a game full of explosions and inaccurate equipment. Especially when ever you placed templates for Super Heavies. You could just imagine the BLAST! Now that is will all just be dice, some of that magic is gone. You loose the narrative element of using a template. It robs the imagination and I don't think it really offers that much in terms of mechanics improvement. In fact, I think it detracts from the tactical aspects of the game as well, as unit spacing, unit placement, and shooter maneuver/angling aren't necessary. In fact, now keeping a smaller foot print is even better for going into cover our avoid LOS to certain units.
Plus, I owned a sweet custom army themed set that now is useless.

- Expansions seem to be Narrative Only (for now)- from the live QnA, they heavily suggested that Planetstrike, City Fight and other expansions (Apocalypse and Zone Mortalis?) would be for Narrative play. As some one who LOVES Zone Mortalis and really likes City Fight, I am kinda disappointed. I am sure they will be adaptable for Matched play, but the question looks: How much work will it take to adapt?
-Weapon Skill- While I like the change to BS, the WS change doesn't do it for me. Combat is two sided. Imagine Jet Li for a moment. If he is fighting you, he is probably going to kick your butt, right? (Assuming you aren't some super martial artist). BUT NOW imagine him fighting, IDK, Jackie Chan (I know these are just hollywood guys, but for the sake of argument), it is going to be HARDER for him to land blows, because Jackie KNOWS how to fight back. It just MAKES SENSE. Now lets look at it the other way. You are a random guy who hits on a 5+ lets say. Now you walk up to a tank or gargantuan creature, like a stromsurge, AND YOU MISS 2/3 OF THE TIME? What are you a Storm Trooper? Can't hit the broadside of a landraider? Its literally a wall of metal...

-Mortal Wounds- Wounds that allow no saves of any kind. This existed before. It was called D. They nerfed it from 6th to 7th. Now it is back. Hopefully scaled back. Can move up to the good if handled properly, but as of right now, seeing the Smite Psychic power, I am worried they will be all too prevalent. If the game is "faster" just because everything dies and not because mechanics are any better, that isn't really a good thing IMO.

- Invalidation of ALL BOOKS AT ONCE- This one stings. It stings bad IMO. Not only do I own a TON of GW books, I own a whole bunch of FW ones. To have them all be worth nothing at once is pretty rough. And don't give me the line of "But they have so much fluff and art and painting guides etc. etc." in them. All that is just going to be copy pasted into the next thing I buy. So what was the point again? Sure, books always end up being invalidated, but it is gradual and spaced out. The fact that I have NUMEROUS books less than a year old and will never touch them again is poor. Especially when you consider 7th Edition was the SHORTEST EDITION TO DATE and yet had THE MOST BOOK RELEASES. Kinda a dick move, further validated as dicky when you consider that on their live stream they have said this has pretty much been in development for two years... which BTW is HOW OLD 7th EDITION IS. They may not have known from the start, but I am sure sometime between 15 months and a year ago they KNEW all the books would be gone. And yet they kept making and selling new 7th ed ones for us.

-Everything can hurt EVERYTHING- This feels silly to me. Sure it may be ASTRONOMICAL CHANCES but the idea that a lasgun can kill a Land Raider or a Titan is ludicrous. And the thing is it will inevitably happen. Even if there is a 1 in 10,000 chance, enough people play this game on a weekly basis and enough dice are thrown that IT WILL HAPPEN. IT IS A MATHEMATICAL CERTAINTY for something that should be an impossibility...
-Voluntary Fall Back from Assault- UGH. Without seeing more, I do not like this. There is no way that can be all it is. Sure you can't run or shoot etc. etc., but you didn't mean to do that with your IG conscripts, Tau Fire Warriors/Kroot, Plague Zombies or Eldar Guardians. They were just an ablative unit to absorb first charge. Now I can't even lock you in place and you will get to shoot EVEN MORE at me? Why do you hate combat GW? There better be something like one of the following with this

  • It triggers attacks of opportunity for the not-falling back player. You want to turn your back to me? I get to hit you with impunity.
  • The non-falling back player has a chance to follow and overrun you. What, just because you are done fighting, my Death Company is just going to let you walk away? FAT CHANCE.
  • Normal assaults can sweeping advance old school. CHAIN ASSAULTS! WOOT!

-Vehicle profiles- I like that walkers have T and W now, I really do. But I am not sure about the rest of the vehicles types. And IDK how I feel about progressive damage. Also, unless vehicles get different saves for various facings, it really is another thing that robs tactical employment from the game. If shooting all sides is equal (the same Toughness values), then there isn't much incentive to move tactically to engage.