Warhammer 40’000 8th Edition: A Heretic’s Overview

Greetings all,

The Warhammer Community site has had some ace articles, recently their focus has rightly been on 8th edition and now the rules have hit, I think it’s time we looked at what 40k is now.

First off, seventh edition is ace, if you’re playing 30k that is. The Forgeworld lists compliment seventh’s rules and it is a shockingly balanced system. I mainly play Heresy and I have two active armies, my Night Lords and their less bastardly yet more nefarious brothers, the Alpha Legion.

I rarely play seventh 40k as the system is incredibly imbalanced. The trouble is that there are a number of units that just outperform other units to such a degree that there is no point taking certain entries. Wraith Knight, I am looking at you with death in my eyes. Gargantuan Monstrous Creatures are insane, they’re are such bastards of colossal proportions that I had nightmares about them before I knew they existed.

That said I’m not here to rant and I have played some bloody good games of 40k in seventh, they just required a number of gentleman’s agreements beforehand.

So what is 8th?

Well 8th edition is the lovechild of 40k in it’s glorious 3.5 edition and Age of Sigmar and this is a damn good thing. The rules are deceptively simple, around 8 pages gives you the basics, that and a few datasheets and you’ll be detonating mass reactive bolt rounds in to the faces of  the Imperial dogs in no time.

Movement and maneuvering is going to become an art form. Movement values are back, those badass Cataphractii, well they’re still hard as nails. Hell, they have 2 wounds apiece now. They’re sat on a move value of 5” though, so you’re going to be some kind of hero if you try foot slogging them across the board. Whereas Eldar troops predominantly have movement 7”, those filthy Xenos will be dashing across the battlefield in the blink of a third eye. Another major change is that you can now assault from transports, just only if the transport hasn’t moved. So thinking one turn ahead with the placement of your forces is vital.

Another major change is that it looks like units arriving from reserve can assault the turn they arrive, they can even be placed without scatter now. The caveat though is that reserves cannot be placed closer than 9” away, so a charge of 2d6 makes it a gamble of long odds that your dangerously close unit will make it in. Again, this adds to the maneuvering and emphasis on careful deployment of your army. Sure you could Deepstrike a unit of Assault Marines in, get lucky and charge a Chaos Terminator squad, strike first (as that’s how chargers roll now) and hell, let’s say you decimate several of them. Well done, you sir are a consummate badass. Now it’s your opponents turn. The Chaos Terminators fall back. A squad of Chosen disembarks from the Rhino to your left hefting Chainswords. The one to your right opens up and out charge a squad of Berserkers, followed closely by a hulking Marine clad in baroque armour. A world of hurt is just a couple phases away. You realise that your Assault Marines have been lured in to a trap. Shit just got real. Good thing you have some Predators rolling up, lets hope those canons are packing some serious firepower.

Chaos Space Marine

I threw a couple World Eaters together like Eternal Hunt had.

Speaking of, armour piercing is now back to modifying an armour save, rather than just flat out ignoring it. Which is ace, as now the weapons you arm your awesome models with involves a greater degree of thought (at least I think so). Whereas before the option of Powerfist vs Power Axe was somewhat of a no brainer (unless you were seriously running low on points), now each weapon has a slightly different advantage. Do you want more attacks? A sharper blade to slice through armour? Maybe something weighty to bludgeon your enemies with? Dual wielding? Or a pistol to blam your adversary in the face, because your blade is too good for that gutter trash’s blood? Well the options are there, which is ace. Even the Chainsword has it’s own benefit, it generates an additional attack. Which is ace, as having a pistol and combat weapon no longer gives you the bonus attack in combat. So often you’ll be relying on your profile.

Profile’s are rather different from 7th, I won’t go in to them in detail. Basically WS and BS are straight up dice rolls. Initiative doesn’t exist, if you want to strike first then attach bayonets and chargle like the lad King you were born to be. Leadership is now absolutely vital, as morale checks cause you’re hard as nails Marine’s to flee off the board (most likely to join the eight fold path). Even And They Shall Know No Fear has become a ‘re-roll failed Morale checks’, so still insanely useful, just not the powerhouse of 7th.

Chaos Space Marine True-Scale

Right, I’m going to call it a day there. My first game of 8th edition should be tomorrow (Sunday 18th June, which at the time of publishing is now today!). I’ll be bringing my True-Scale heretics out to slay some filthy Xenos and there may well be some lapdogs of the False Emperor too. So I shall try and jot some notes down and report back in the week.

Have a great one all.

Ed

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