Wednesday, April 26, 2017

40K: 8th Edition - Finally, A Living Rule Set

From everything we have seen and heard, looks like this might be the last "edition" of 40K.

Stormy, have you lost your mind?  Of course there will be other editions of 40K in the future.  Really?  Let me ask you this dear reader...why do you need a new edition when the rule set changes and adapts to player feedback on an ongoing basis?  Why write another rule set when this new one will constantly be updated as GW has done with most facets of AoS?  I think the folks in Nottingham have finally realized the value of community input, and have taken full advantage of the plethora of information it provides.  Let's take a look at how this has worked in Sigmar, and how it has already translated over to the newest 40K.

First, let's take a quick look at the Q & A on Warhammer TV with Pete Foley and Andy Smillie.  How many times did they use the word "feedback?"  How many times did they mention how much community input was used in development of this newest rule set?  How many times did they mention how extensive the playtesting was?  Rhetorical questions of course; because the answer is a bazillion!  This is exactly a bazillion more times than all of the aforementioned input has been recognized by GW in the release cycle of previous versions of the rules.  Now let's carry this forward a bit.  Do you honestly think that the same folks who are giving us this new rule set will suddenly stop seeking community feedback after it is released?  You need look no further than the evolution of AoS in the last twelve months.

Next, GDub releases the General's Handbook, which not only breathed new life into Sigmar, but exploded interest in the game in all corners of the gaming community.  This included 40K players (like me) and those who had not a single positive thing to say about AoS.   Then they start giving us Battletomes for specific factions.  In the past few months we have started hearing that not only is a revised/update General's Handbook being released, but the points for all of the existing factions are being updated!  The AoS competitive scene at Adepticon, year over year, grew enormously.  All this, it can be argued, because GW engaged the AoS community.  This has turned the AoS rule set into a living document that can respond to the needs of the player community because GW is now part of the player community.

Has the same thing occurred in the development of 40K 2017?  Well, start with the fact that key individuals at Games Workshop have stated such.  The same level of engagement that has allowed Sigmar to rise from the dead is in no short supply in what we see with the 40K release coming "sometime this year" according to Andy Smillie.  The fact that we will be getting a "Warmaster's Handbook" (sounds about right to me!) is one element that allows us to keep the rule set current.  Just as it was created with community input, it will be revised and released annually to keep the rule set current.  No more dealing with a static "edition" that, historically, has lasted anywhere from 2-6 years between updates.  Points will also be updated based on player experience in all three forms of the game.  I am reassured units that have been significantly under/overcosted will get a genuine vetting before another year of gaming is under our belts.  I am optimistic that adjustments will be made on a regular basis, rather than waiting literally years.

How old is that codex you have on your shelf? Two years, three, ten (well, not quite that old)?  Won't it be great that the rules/unit points for your faction of choice will be updated regularly (at least annually)?  No more staring at the dusty tome on your won't have time to gather dust!  How long have Chaos Space Marine players been asking for an updated dex?  How about Orks?  Anyone else with moss growing on the corners of their books?  The new Traitor Legions book provided some modicum of relief, but to be honest, it was only a band aid to get us to the summer of 2017.  Now that we are here, ALL of our codices, supplements, and other player aids (including templates) are going to be obsolete anyway.  I am certainly happy that I won't, at least from what I have seen/heard, have to carry around four or five books to play my army (Iron Hands/Admech).

Something else that indicates a living rule set?  Take a look at the Age of Sigmar app.  This app is something every 40K player would drool over.  Every faction, every unit/model, every battalion (AoS version of formations).  It also includes Azyr, a great list builder.  All this, and it has been updated continuously as models are added/removed from the line.  In the case of the new Kharodron Overlords (steampunk dwarves), all of the units from their new battletome were uploaded to the app within a week of release.  Imagine (but not for long!) a supplement that is released, say, Shield of Baal, and all of the new units and formations from the book are part of an app within a week...a bloody week!  Not six months, not year, not never...a week!  Living rule set indeed!

There will certainly be things we will love about our new rule set, as well as those we wish had never escaped the warp.  Either way, the latest version of 40K rules and unit costs will be responsive to feedback and real world play experiences.  For me, this is the most exciting part of the changes coming our way.

What gets you the most excited about this latest 40K rules release?

1 comment:

  1. Very well said. What's up man. Use can use this to link to my blog and get project mayhem(big game 2018) updates.


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