Like many current or former 40K players you may have become disenchanted over the past few years with the seemingly constant updates of the rules and codices. And given that Games Workshop’s stuff is not exactly cheap, have probably fallen off the 40K bandwagon along the way. You may have rolled your eyebrows at the thought of yet another edition (8th, which came out last month). However, here are a few reasons why you should pick up 8th edition 40K and roll with it:
It’s all very well GW charging a premium price for a premium product. However, they clearly found that their prices were such that they were no longer the entry-level game of choice. Especially when you can pick up something like the X-Wing starter set and off you go. Having to pay £35 or more for rules, £25 for a Codex, and then the £100-200 for the starter army was definitely not entry-level. In competition with War Machine, Malifaux and the aforementioned X-Wing and there’s no comparison.
All that’s changed. You can now download the basic rules as a pdf for free. Yep, that’s right free. OK, you can still get the hardback rulebook for £35, if you like the background “fluff”, plus expanded stuff on scenarios, campaigns and other special rules.
ALL armies have now been converted into 8th edition and contained within five soft back volumes, called Indices, each £15 and containing 3-8 armies each. Bargain. Yes, they will be releasing all new codices throughout 2017 for completists, but the Indices are really all you need.
The Return of Great Boxed Sets
My playing of 40K goes way back to 2004, and the halcyon days of 4th Edition. What really got me successfully into the game was the Battle for Macragge boxed set. A real bargain including Space Marine & Tyrannic armies, terrain, the rules, fast play sheet, dice, templates etc. There have been other good boxed sets but these have often cost circa £75…and at that price you’re generally committed to Dark Angels, Chaos Marines or whatever.
The great news is that the bargain box sets are back. In fact there are three. The Big Kahuna is Dark Imperium at £95. But you can also go low with Know No Fear at £50 and First Strike at £25 (which I think was the price of Macragge in 2005).
The core rules have really been stripped back. True, you can build into something as complicated as 7th edition, BUT you can start small and simple. The rules are condensed into about 12 pages of A4. This follows the path set by Warhammer : Age of Sigmar. So whilst at first glance they appear simpler, they actually contain many subtleties.
Highlights of the Rules:
Movement: Summarised into one page of A4. But different models now have different movement rates. The slower moving but relentless Necrons move at 5” for example, whereas most human types move at 6”;
Psychic Phase. Stripped down and simpler. Note that only Psykers can Deny The Witch, so armies like Necrons will suffer;
Shooting: Just 5 weapon types: Assault, Rapid Fire, Heavy, Pistol and Grenade. Interestingly certain types of weapon can erode an opponent’s armour save and do more than one point of damage. For example, a lascannon erodes an opponent’s armour save by -3, and does D6 points of damage…suddenly it’s worth having them!
Charge and Fight Phase. Ostensibly the simplest, but actually the subtlest, of the rules. Choosing which units you charge actually becomes crucial. And the new Heroic Intervention rule gives characters a bit more teeth.
Morale: Simplest of the lot, described in just two brief paragraphs.
As I said, definitely worth checking out 8th edition…it’s really the best of both worlds, keeping the best of earlier editions, making the system more accessible but without chucking the baby out with the bathwater, which is arguably what happened with Age of Sigmar.