Sunday, January 22, 2017

40K: 8th Edition - Things We Can Be Sure Of

Through the cloud of rumours, wishlists and speculation, there are some things we can be sure to see when it comes to 8th edition.

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Just a heads up; I am not going to be awfully specific here.  Well then, Dan, aren't you just speculating as well?  Not so fast, sparky.  I am SURE of what I speak.  That's not speculation...well, it kind of is.  But hey, nobody takes this game all that seriously anyway, right?

Take These To The Bank

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Most Folks Will Enjoy 8th Edition:  So many players are hoping for some streamlining of the 30 minute game turn, that any improvement will be welcomed.  This same group is mostly comprised of folks who have also played through at least 3-4 editions of 40K, and have persevered through the inevitable wave of change each new edition has brought.  The players who willingly throw down in 8th edition are those who find a way, and no matter what we are given, to make the best of it and carry on with our hobby/gaming lives.  There will always be things we don't like about any game we play; we just enjoy 40K too much to let the annoying bits drive us away.

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Some Folks Will Despise 8th Edition:  A wave of despair will hit the Interwebs within hours of 8th Edtion hitting the shelves.  Why?  Because there are always those for whom change is anathema.  Doesn't matter what the change is.  It is change, and by God, it can't be as good as what we already have (no matter how bad that is).  At this very moment, there are folks who are unhappy with the way the story line has been advanced in Wrath of Magnus and Fall of Cadia.  They don't like new rules both books have given us...both in terms of unit rules and formations.  They complain about overpowered this and overcosted that.  They tell us that the direction GDub has taken the hobby in the last twelve months will not fix the problems with the game in general.  Fortunately, the cynics, IMO, represent a smaller and smaller portion of those who follow 40K.  It's just that the Interwebs give them a disproportionate voice.  They are, of course, entitled to their opinions.

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The Story Line Will Continue To Move Forward:  No more ring around the rosy, a pocket full of spears.  Whether in rules supplements, Black Library stories or in the 8th Edition rules themselves, the long awaited End Times of 40K are underway.  Will it be the same as AoS End Times?  It can't be; mostly because of the scale of the 40K universe.  But heroes/villians will actually die.  Other heroes/villians will appear or maybe even reappear!  This WILL happen.  Worlds have been, and will continue to be, destroyed in epic fashion.  I am one of those 40K players who enjoys the backstory as much, if not more, than the gaming itself.   But the same rivalries, recycled over and over again, can get a bit stale.  One of the reasons I enjoy the Hours Heresy stories so much is that despite the fact I know the conclusion, the stories I read always move the story line forward.  I am confident GW will carry this mechanic into the 40k universe, as they have already done successfully with both Wrath of Magnus and Fall of Cadia.  Victor Kiam once said "Even if you fall on your face, you're still moving forward."  Go for it GDub!

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Our Screaming Wallets:  I have no doubt that the coming year will continue its' assault on our wallets.  From a hobby perspective, we will most definitely see additional Primarchs; daemon or otherwise.  New supplements to drive the story line forward.  With those, new units, new rules, new models.  8th Edition itself promises an opportunity to add updated models, new units for existing armies, and alliances that will drive hobbyists to expand into armies they might never have considered before.  Changes in rules will also cause otherwise underutilized units to become valuable again.   Speaking of supplements, this will be the instrument GW will continue to use to move things ahead.  It is an efficient and profitable way to incrementally draw us forward...resistance is futile.

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40K Will Become A Gateway:  8th Edition will be used by GW to make the game more accessible to newcomers of all ages.  It will provide definitive means for younglings to start rolling dice and enjoy the game without the time investment of building, painting and attempting to run the rules maze.  This does not mean that 8th will diminish the value of hobbying and taking the game seriously as an adult gaming experience.  It does mean that newcomers will have the chance to learn to love the game and the universe before being chased off by glue, paint and rules daemons.  GW knows that newcomers who enter through the gateway of Kill Team will eventually move up the consumer ladder.  They will enjoy the game enough to want to spend more time painting, buying more complex models and learning a more complex rule set.  Most of us started playing with plastic toy soldiers long before there was 40K.  There was no painting, no building, and we made up our own simple set of rules.  Some of us even used cans of Pledge and cigarette lighters to simulate flamethrowers, melting plastic men with sardonic glee...did I just say that?!  8th Edition will be the opportunity for Games Workshop to get more folks involved again in playing with plastic toy soldiers...their plastic toy soldiers.

We can speculate on all of the minutia of rules, army selection, alliances and which polyhedrons we will be using.  It is a fun exercise and one that I think GW pays close attention to as it puts the finishing touches on the next iteration of our beloved game.  However, there are things we can be certain of.  Am I being arrogant?  No, it's just that, like you, I have been around long enough and seen how GW has changed as a company in the last year or so.  I for one am taking a bit of comfort in the fact that I know what is coming (sort of).

What are you sure we will see in 8th Edition?

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