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"My take on 8th Edition" Topic


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662 hits since 27 Aug 2017
©1994-2017 Bill Armintrout
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kallman27 Aug 2017 1:50 p.m. PST

Okay I have only played two games of the 8th edition rules but have found the siren song of the game system I have known and played the longest calling me back. 8th has gone a long way to address many ills of the 7th, 6th, 5th and 4th editions. This current edition feels more like the Rogue Trader I enjoyed so much from a more innocent time while being more fluid in its game play.

I have dove back in and bought most of the indexes and even finally ponied up the cash for the hardback rule book. I am holding out on whether I will go so far as to buy any of the new hard bound $40 USD+ codexes. Been burned there too many times.

So here are my take aways both pros and cons and of course your mileage may vary. And granted I have not played more than two games but I have spent a lot of time on 1d4Chan and feel the writers there have a brutally honest grasp of how the game plays.


Template weapons are gone replaced with those types of weapons now doing "X" amount of wounds to a unit. The downside to this is I have noticed that it has encouraged players to group up their units into mobs for optimum firepower and we now have a Napoleonics in Space game. Some here may feel that has always been the case with 40K but in the days of template weapons I know I tried to give my units maximum spread within the two inch allowed distance. The benefit of doing away with the templates is that it speeds up game play as you do not have that guy who sits there trying to line up the maximum number of your models under the template and ends arguments as to what models are under said template.

Game play is much as before, move, attempt to advance move (but cannot fire unless you are Eldar…oh excuse me Aledari??? Bleeped text?) Psionics (magic) (Which plays really fast and reasonable now, and if you have a Psyker you have a chance to cancel the psioncis of your opponent) then shooting, then attempt to assault.

This last bit, the assault phase, has been the best improvement to 8th edition. Well, perhaps one of the best. Now your unit that is about to get charged has a chance to take overwatch (with exceptions of course) needing to roll a 6 to hit the oncoming attackers. The attacker have to roll two D6 to see how far they charge and must come within one inch of the unit they are attacking in order to make contact. This suddenly gives your units a chance to inflict some damage before coming to grips with those Assault Teminators, Khorne Berserkers, Warp Talons and other nasty hand to hand troops that will shred your more squishy troop types. And the added bonus of if the attacker did not plan well or whiffs on the dice rolls they don't make contact.

Moral has been cleaned up and now makes a hell of a lot of sense. You roll a die add the number of casualties and check the number against the leadership of your unit. If the number exceeds the leadership number the difference is how many more models you lose because they have beat feet or are now a whimpering heap curled up in a fetal position. This tends to make hand to hand contests last for a few turns if you have high leadership and well armored and/or invulnerable save units. However…you can chose to leave combat in your movement turn (yep leave combat. This is a good tactic for more squishy units. An example from my game last night my son's Eldar (I refuse to call them anything else!) were in a tough hand to hand fight with my SM Terminators and a Librarian in Terminator armor with his Eldar Farseer already wounded and not looking like he would last another round. In his turn he withdrew from the fight along with his Guardians who were just bouncing off the Terminator's armor and formed a massive gun line that was far more effective at getting rid of my Terminators and my Librarian. Did I mention he brought up some Firedragons? I hate those guys.

Everything now has wounds including vehicles. This works pretty well with the vehicles stats degrading as it takes damage and best of all you much loved Landraider might actually not blow up on the first time. Unless a bunch of Firedragons gang up on you and did I mention I hate those guys.

This makes everything in the game consistent in terms of game play within the framework of how 40K is played. You no long take time looking at armor values as your toughness stat and saving throw (now returned to being modified by the weapon type, YES!) For some the downside is that a tank's facing no longer matters. So getting into the rear of a Predator or Leman Russ tank is not going to give you a better chance of blowing that thing up. Nope you got to hit it will high strength and hopefully multiple damage weapons to wear it down. I will take this trade off even though it makes me look askance at this abstraction/fudge.

What do I not like? GW had a chance to bring things back to being in line with the fluff of the Grim Dark Future, and whiffed. The game now resembles something more closer to the Armageddon supplement as you can pretty much take any type of unit you want within either its point value or now there is a power rating for all units. Power rating is used for quick open play games. We agree we are going to go with a force at "X" number of power rating. Everything is WYSIWYG but this does not tend to be a balance game per se. (Has it ever been balanced?) For example a five man unit of Chaos Space Marines is a Power Rating of 5 regardless of how they are kitted out. A Blood Thirster is a Power Rating of 17. This is good for quick down and dirty games when time is pressing and you did not bring your army list.

In points value games you can use detachments to min/max you force now more than ever before. Want to bring in three Helltalon fighters (if you have the income and a direct credit line with Forgeworld) and that is known as a flight detachment. Now here is the thing I do like about the detachments rules and actually give those of use who like and want to take a balanced force and hope to survive is that depending on the type of detachments you take you gain Command Points. I like the Command Points. Command Points give your re-rolls on any and everything as well as the chance to use special Stratagems to confound and out fox your opponent. The more traditional force you take, the more Command Points you earn. In my game last night this became a game within the game for my son and me. I used two Command Points to make it hard if not impossible for him to bring in reinforcement on one of his turns. He used a stratagem to bring a unit into my back deployment area. And the list of stratagems, combination and force specific stratagems suddenly make it possible to put some hurt on the min/max player.

40K 8th is not a perfect game. There are far better game systems that reflect a far future style of combat with much less clunky mechanics. I play some of those games and enjoy them. Here is the thing, at least for me I have never found anything that is as quirky,fun,gonzo, that is a dark space opera, that embraces the mythic cycle or is as frustrating and as iconic as 40K. Again, YMMV. Good for you. GW makes some really nice if over the top models and I enjoy building them and painting them. And now I feel I can come back and enjoy a game with them from time to time until GW breaks it again. For now I will work to field my Chaos Space Marines (mostly made up of Khorne followers) or bring my champions of the Imperium my own Space Marine Chapter "The Sons of Americus." Yes they are painted as WW II style olive drab with white stars in circles on the right shoulder paldrons and an American Flag on the left paldron. They have names like Kowlski, Sanders,and Kelly. One of the dreadnoughts is called York. There is this odd Space Marine with a beard and complains about negative waves who is a commander of one my Predator tanks that sometimes fires paint and makes pretty pictures. We try to keep him out of sight when the Inquisition comes calling.

Capt Flash27 Aug 2017 2:12 p.m. PST

Thank you. This was one of the better reviews I've read of anything in a while.

basileus6628 Aug 2017 3:47 a.m. PST

Great review! Thanks a lot. I am still sitting on the fence, though. Have the armies, have the opponents, even have the terrain! But haven't found the motivation to try it yet.

Personal logo Chuckaroobob Supporting Member of TMP28 Aug 2017 11:49 a.m. PST

After being GW free for about 5 years I must admit 8th ed calls to me.

kallman28 Aug 2017 5:52 p.m. PST

Yep pretty much the same for me Chuck.

Pythagoras28 Aug 2017 8:05 p.m. PST

It isn't always about the game itself… but the people you play with….. or something…. okay….. it is the game…I had nothing…

ScottWashburn Sponsoring Member of TMP29 Aug 2017 8:42 a.m. PST

I had not played 40K since 2nd edition, 20 years ago. But I am trying 8th edition and liking it quite a lot.

Mocaiv29 Aug 2017 3:36 p.m. PST

8th has sucked me back in as well. It has been fun so far.

ScottWashburn Sponsoring Member of TMP02 Sep 2017 12:02 p.m. PST

Played my third game today. Still enjoying it! :)

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