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Author Topic: 8th Edition First Impressions (Salt warning)  (Read 2676 times)

Offline Waaaghpower

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8th Edition First Impressions (Salt warning)
« on: June 10, 2017, 09:36:09 AM »
So... I'm salty. I don't like this edition. I'm going to try and start with the things that I think are good, but... That's not going to take very long.

So! Armor save modifiers and really high wound values. Both seem like really, really good ideas to me. It allows tanks and vehicles to take a consistent, reliable amount of damage, instead of having to cross your fingers and hope you come out the other side of a shooting phase unscathed. Instead of an all-or-nothing scenario, where even the heaviest of tanks could only take four hits, there is now a lot more room for things to be relied on. I know that my Battlewagon can't be one-shotted by a Meltagun, and so I can feel safer rolling it forward and relying on it to take shots that I need it to take.
Armor save modifiers are also pretty good. They allow light armor to be used once in a while (My Ork Boyz and their T-shirt armor are finally going to get to see some use, since AP5 and AP6 weapons no longer exist,) and make it so that heavy armor can be weakened without being completely taken away. Power Swords now actually fill an important role, instead of being a niche weapon that was wedged between the much more versatile Power Maul and the far stronger Power Axe.

Movement values are another good way to distinguish units that are otherwise similar. Letting one unit be an inch or two faster is a better way to distinguish them than giving out Fleet or other similar buffs. The unit is faster, so let it actually be just straight-up faster.

The changes to cover are also a net positive, in my opinion. It's no longer mandatory for lighter units to hug cover at all times, since the benefit for say, Orks, has been significantly lowered, and is more consistent - You can't have a shrouded unit of Guardsmen taking 2+ saves anymore. However, there's actually a reason to stick Power Armor in cover now.

There's a couple little things I like, too. Running being part of the movement phase is nice. Twin-linked being replaced with straight-up more shots removes some complications, and allows other things that give bonuses to hit to be more useful on more weapons. A few other tweaks seem nice. Command Points seem neat.





All these changes would be great, but they come at what in my mind is a massive, massive cost: By my estimation, about half of the game is just flat-out gone.
This might be a slight exaggeration, but it really doesn't feel like it. The design team at GW seems to have followed the philosophy of 'If it's broken, just remove it wholesale if we can and leave something pointless in its place if we can't.' Vehicles were too fragile, so they removed armor values entirely - And with it, they removed specialized anti-tank weaponry, the dichotomy of different weapon types needed for a TAC list, the strategy of flanking enemy armies to get better shots on tanks, the careful placement you had to make when planning how to fire, and of course the vehicle damage table. Meltaguns are actually bad at killing tanks now, since they wound most heavy tanks on 4s, making them unreliable at best compared to Lascannons or other S9 weaponry.
You can't bring large psychic armies anymore. All powers except Smite are limited to one use per turn, so bringing more than 3 Psykers (Since only 3 powers exist per army) is heavily discouraged.

Blast Templates and scatter dice were sometimes unclear and caused arguments, so they were stripped out and replaced with randomized rolling. Worse, flamer templates - Which didn't have any of those problems - Got stripped out too and are also now just a random, completely unreliable roll. Armies which used to rely on blasts to compensate for a low Ballistic Skill, like Orks and Guardsmen, have had some of their best weapons turned into absolute crapshoots. Even accurate armies like Space Marines now have to rely entirely on luck to get the damage they need - Firing a Vindicator into a large squad can now cause anywhere between 1 and 36 wounds, even if the hit, wound, and save dice all go perfectly. Templates are now just as good against lone soldiers as they are against massive hordes - Where there used to be strategy and careful placement and using ramming or other tricks to set up your opponent for tons of hits and massive damage, you now get random dice.

A bunch of cool weapons have been stripped from the game. The Shokk Attack Gun still exists, but is a shell of its former self that does practically nothing since it never hits, and lacks any of the charm of its old version. (The random chart is gone.) You can't take Artificer Armor for space marines or Power Armor for Inquisitors, you don't have a choice but to get 'eavy armor on Warbosses, most special issue wargear (Auspexes, Attack Squigs, and everything in between) is gone. What special gear still exists has been toned down to be nowhere near as cool or interesting as it used to be - For example, Psycollum used to be available to all Ordo Hereticus Inquisitors, and gave the inquisitor and their unit BS10 when firing against Psykers. It's now only available to Greyfax, and gives her and only her (No unit) the ability to target enemy Psykers even if they aren't the closest unit. That's it.
I could probably compile several posts just listing what gear options have been removed or rendered invalid, but that would take a really long time and I don't feel like investing that much effort, so I'm not going to.

Most vehicle squadrons are gone, for no real reason that I can discern.

Formations are gone. I'm not sad about the removal of some of the more broken formations (Free razorback spam wasn't fun for anyone involved,) but formations as a concept were a lot of fun and some of the better ones made the game far more interesting as a result.

Characters attaching to squads is gone. This is apparently a bid to get rid of Deathstars, but... Death stars were fun. Not the really cheesy ones, sure - Screamerstar was just frustrating - But having a Thunderwolf Lord and his trusted Rune Priest advisor riding in with a pack of wolves was a fun thing to do, and now it's not really an option in the same way. The replacement feels half baked and designed to discourage players from actually bringing characters.

Drop pods still exist, but now inexplicably cost more than 100 points, which makes running a real Drop Pod assault list effectively impossible. (Not to mention that you can no longer transport Terminators or Dreadnoughts inside the pods, for some reason.)

Wolf Guard Terminators are now literally the same as regular Terminators, except that their captian has 1 less Leadership and they don't get a Teleport homer. So they're the same cost with less benefits.


These are just the armies I play, and this is just a small sample of the things that have been either removed or just been broken to the point of unusability. It's also not getting into the fact that 8th edition is clearly launching in an unfinished beta - Things like Chapter Tactics and Ork Clans are clearly supposed to be here, but just don't exist yet, making some chapters play at an explicit disadvantage for no reason whatsoever. (Why am I playing Iron Hands again, when all it does is lock me out of Special Character access with zero benefits?) A lot of armies feel like they really, really need to have all their toys back - Unique detachments, relics, chapter/clan/hive fleet/whatever benefits, unique Warlord Traits - And they just don't. If Games Workshop didn't have time to finish their game, they shouldn't have released it, they should have pushed back a couple more months so that they could release a polished, complete experience that wasn't missing giant chunks of gameplay with tons of stripped out content.


This isn't a balance issue, but the indexes are hot garbage to read and build lists from, just by the way. The units are listed in one section of the book, the optional gear they can take is listed in another nearby section, and then their points cost is in the back of the book and the points cost for their gear is on ANOTHER page in the back of the book. And everything is done in weird integers now. It took me 45 minutes to assemble one list, using a prearranged collection of models - I wasn't building anything with comp, I was literally just adding up points. And it took me 3/4ths of an hour.


I'm glad that Games Workshop are trying to balance their game, but the way they did it - By homogenizing and stripping down to barebones - Seems like the worst possible way to do it. (Also, if I wanted to play Age of Sigmar, I would go play Age of Sigmar. I don't like how the two rulesets seem really, really similar, as though GW isn't capable of running two different types of games and thinks that if they only sell two reskinned versions of the same game they'll be more popular.)


Two last things - 'Wait for the codices' and 'Just play narrative' are not real answers. I've heard both of them, mostly from the manager at my LGS.
Waiting for the codices doesn't work, because the thing I mention above - GW shouldn't release their games in an unfinished state and expect players to pay for the indexes. I don't want to play a broken, unfinished game for however long it takes them to make new codices for all the armies that everyone plays at my LGS.
'Just play narrative' doesn't work, because that relies on players to self-police for balance and effectively house-rule their games into being fun.


So... Those are my opinions. What are yours?
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Offline Deraj

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Re: 8th Edition First Impressions (Salt warning)
« Reply #1 on: June 10, 2017, 04:00:06 PM »
I understand your frustration, let me just lead off with that. I've been playing 40k for... (suddenly depressed) 22 years, and have never actually enjoyed the game, but loved the fluff and the models enough to look past that and continue to play, so my opinion on 40k as a game is next worthless. However, lets do a little bit of time travel. I know you don't want to wait, but the new edition of 40k looks a huge amount like age of sigmar. When fantasy up and went away, I was pissed. It took me nearly 2 years to even think age of sigmar was worth it, but the more changes that occurred, the more that I played the game, the more I saw it fixing a system that I hadn't even fully realized was as broken as it was. And 40k was flat out broken. I wouldn't call it unplayable, but to the average player? It sort of was. Now having specifically read your battle reports I can say that you appear to be a very top tier player, capable of handling some of the more broken aspects of the game, so the new edition... perhaps isn't exactly for you.

Now... lets talk about the unfinished beta. GW have been amazing at listening to their fans for the last year or 2. The best way to beta test something is through sheer numbers, so play it, learn it, talk about what's broken, and hope that it will be fixed.

I'm trying to just respond to bullet points at the moment, so lets talk about the codices being garbage: They are. There are 4 books for literally everything in the game, yeah, that's not going to work. What is the fix? For starters I would assume, much like age of sigmar, there is or will be an app for building armies, so if you really have a problem with the list building aspect, it's a quick, easy fix. I personally am not a fan of apps, but army builder is a great program, and there are a ton of programs that are much the same out there.

The templates going away? I've literally seen people throw hundred dollar miniatures in rage at tournaments because of template arguments. Fun stuff. I will not be sad to see them go. The same can be said for vehicle facings. I liked them, but even using one of the x-wing lasers to draw facings, there were still stupid arguments. Often.

And just as some closing thoughts:

1) It superficially looks like age of sigmar, but in the same way 7th 40k looked like 8th edition fantasy. They are still massively different. It just happened to take some ideas that work really well for AoS, and cherry picking good things is a way to make things better.

2) It's been a week. Nothing is great that quick. Never buy an iphone the day it comes out, never expect a wargame to not have bugs in a new edition.

3) The tagline on the GW site for 8th is literally: "The Game You Asked For." They're no longer saying "Modelling company first, rules company last." An effort is being made, so hope for the best.



....but seriously, I never thought I'd be a gw apologist :P

Offline Irisado

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Re: 8th Edition First Impressions (Salt warning)
« Reply #2 on: June 10, 2017, 04:03:14 PM »
Waaaghpower, there are a few problems with some of your arguments in my opinion.

Your complaint about the removal of the random chart for the Shokk Attack Gun contradicts your complaint about random dice rolls being introduced for the old template and blast weapons.  Note that I agree with you that adding more randomisation is a bad idea, however, your argument seems contradictory to me, unless there is something that I've misunderstood.

Regarding incomplete rules, consider the transition from second to third edition.  There were no codices initially back then and the armies were all listed in one black and white book which came with the third edition starter set if memory serves me correctly.  It is, therefore, unsurprising that such a major rule change is being carried out in this manner.

The complexity of the rules had reached such ridiculous levels that something had to be done.  There was a similar outcry when second edition was changed streamlined heavily in order to create third edition.  Major change is always going to cause a shock.  I think that the removal of a lot of the complicated weaponry, rules, and other concepts is a massive benefit to the game.  It needs to move at a faster pace and to be more dynamic.

I share your concern about a number of the weapons, such as melta, no longer being as effective and I am also less than thrilled with all this dice rolling to determine damage.  That said, the general direction of the rules in most respects is much more positive than I've seen for a while, at least in my opinion.

I do not follow the point you're making about it being a new idea that the two sets of rules (40K and Age of Sigmar) are similar.  40K and Fantasy were similar in many ways for a very long time.  Yes, there were differences, notably concerning the AP/save modifier and movement systems, but essentially they were very similar.  It's true that the rules are probably more similar now, but there is precedent for that from the Rogue Trader and second edition eras.  Interestingly, the 40K rule set was far more suited to the Age of Sigmar rules concept than Fantasy.  I think that it would have been better to keep Fantasy more akin to how it was and to make 40K the different set of rules.

All in all, I'm more optimistic about eighth edition than you seem to be.  The idea of living rules which can be updated and revised more quickly should mean that the game is more responsive to the needs of the players.  Whether GW has embraced the full concept of free rules remains my only major concern, as I would like to see the datasheets published online, as is the case for Age of Sigmar, but, so far at least, there has been no confirmation that this will happen.
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Offline Deraj

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Re: 8th Edition First Impressions (Salt warning)
« Reply #3 on: June 10, 2017, 04:22:04 PM »
Your complaint about the removal of the random chart for the Shokk Attack Gun contradicts your complaint about random dice rolls being introduced for the old template and blast weapons.  Note that I agree with you that adding more randomisation is a bad idea, however, your argument seems contradictory to me, unless there is something that I've misunderstood.


The complaint there is 2 different things. The shokk attack gun used to actually do different things based on the rolls, which added a bit of random, dumb fun. The shokk attack gun losing its chart takes away a little bit of the spirit of the unit and the fun of taking it. The change in templates does away with a little bit of the tactics of the game. They're both indicative of a general dumbing down. That said; in my opinion a little dumbing down isn't the worst thing, but once again; thats simply opinion. 

Offline Waaaghpower

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Re: 8th Edition First Impressions (Salt warning)
« Reply #4 on: June 10, 2017, 09:03:21 PM »
@Deraj
Fair enough, though I think we're coming from a somewhat different direction. I generally enjoyed the rules of 40k. There were definitely some pretty big imbalances (I played through 5th edition with just Orks, and watched the rise and fall of many-a-army while I was learning how to play,) and I'm not going to cry about all of them being gone. 6th edition Psychic Phases were overpowered to the point of absurdity, and 7th edition Psychic Phases were a tedious slog.

Even though I like the 7th edition rules, I'm glad that they're fixing a lot of the imbalances. I think it's great that they're trying to make the playing field more level for everyone. I'm just upset that they chose to do this by stripping out tons of mechanics and simplifying the game in almost every single way.


I don't necessarily mind them watching players and using that for feedback, either, but releasing the game with tons of missing features is what gave me the 'Beta test' feel.


I'll agree that codices are currently garbage. I played an Apoc game a few weeks ago and had to bring a foot and a half of books. I wouldn't mind a couple more books (Or slightly thicker books) in order to get Chapter Tactics, Relics, and unique detachments back, though. Most of those things could fit on a pamphlet for every army.


For templates causing arguments... My problem with the 'It caused arguments, so we're going to remove it' thing is that mechanics like those are still in the game. You're not going to have people arguing over how many models are under a template or which armor facing you're in, but you ARE going to have people arguing about whether the Character is closer or the Squad, and who they can fire at, and whether my psychic power that hits everyone under a line hits 5 models or 6, and whether my 6" radius effect from my Character is wide enough to hit both of my squads, and whether you're within 18" of me for me to cast Deny the Witch, or if you're just outside of that, and whether you placed your Drop Pod 9" away or if it's 8.9", and whether that 7" charge is enough to make it or not.

My point is, those arguments are kind of inherent in any game that uses measuring tapes. Scatter dice were definitely not a good mechanic since they could be extra fuzzy, but they could have kept in Flamer Templates and Blast Templates while removing scatter dice. Just for an example off the top of my head: Maybe instead of a scatter die, you could mark the template with six or eight cardinal directions, and roll a D6 or D8, then check the relevant arrow and move the template in that direction. No more ambiguity about direction, you're moving in one of a small preset list of options for direction. Flavor is maintained, you keep all the strategic elements that blasts provide, and about half the arguments are gone. (This doesn't fix the 'How many models are under the template?' argument, but I don't think that this would be impossible to fix either.)


In regards to your closing comments:
1: Fair enough. I haven't actually played AoS, I just know that every time people were discussing rumors about 8th, someone would pipe up and say, "Well THIS is how they do it in Age of Sigmar", and every single time that guy would turn out to be correct.
2: Also fair, but this only addresses issues of game imbalance and the litany of problems that need to be FAQd and the clearly unfinished content. It's not going to bring back weapons and armor that have been removed from the game, it's not going to bring back special issue wargear, it's not going to bring back the weapons which still exist but have been changed to the point of being unrecognizable. (Grav weapons have gone from being MC killers to being... Decent against Terminators, I guess?)
3: I'm of the personal opinion that the community is full of people who don't know what they want. Maybe I spent too much time hanging out in the 'House rules' section on DakkaDakka, and maybe I'm in the minority since I actually like the rules that we already had, but I really think that just giving players exactly what they ask for is almost never a good idea.



@Irisado
As Deraj commented, those were two different complaints. I have no problem with a couple of weapons using random dice rolls, and in the case of the Shokk Attack Gun those rolls both added a trade-off - It was a very powerful gun, (Large blast, usually high strength, AP2,) but had the potential to blow up in your face - and they added a ton of flavor, since it made sense that Orky weaponry of that caliber would never be reliable.
My problem is not with one weapon having an ability like this, it's that I don't want EVERY weapon to function like this. One weapon being randomized adds flavor and intrigue, every weapon (Or at least every blast, template, or high-damage weapon) being randomized regardless of fluff or army is just frustrating to play. (For the same reason, I don't mind the randomized rolls on a Loota's Deffguns, but I think it's idiotic to have the exact same randomized rolls for Predator Autocannons.)

As for your comments of streamlining: The game seems to be streamlined in all the wrong ways:
Building your army takes twice as long as it used to, firing large weapons requires two extra rolls, and moving characters around with infantry squads now requires tons of precise, careful measuring to ensure that all of your AoE buffs are hitting everyone they need to, since you can't just say 'He's attached to that squad, therefore they get his buffs' anymore.
All of the streamlining is in unit variety and weapon variety. Even though adding armor save modifiers and damage dice seems like the perfect opportunity to make weapons feel more diverse, I can't help but look at the massive sheets of different weapon options and feel like everything looks like exactly the same thing. Guardian Spears and Sentinel Blades feel like almost the exact same weapon. Power Lances and Power Mauls literally do the exact same thing. Every kind of Deep Strike feels exactly the same. Heck, the Exorcist Missile Launcher now just feels like any other explosive blast weapon, since every single weapon now shares the same gimmick. They didn't cut down on clutter, they cut down on variety.

I wasn't around for the 2nd/3rd edition Transition, so I can't comment on that, but what I CAN say is that I... Don't think that it's a good thing to be compared to? From what I've heard, there was tons of cheese and broken rules in 3rd edition, with players completely destroying the game with various broken lists. That doesn't make me feel better, it makes me feel more concerned for the future of the edition.


And knowing that it's going to be a living body of rules doesn't help, either. The core rules themselves are fine. I like the new Psychic Phase. I like the new Command Points system. My problem is that GW seems to want to prevent imbalance by removing any weapon, unit, or ability that is interesting.
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Offline Osiris

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Re: 8th Edition First Impressions (Salt warning)
« Reply #5 on: June 14, 2017, 11:39:36 AM »
After reading this, I was not all that surprised by the good and bad takeaways that you presented...however, what did surprise me was that you did not mention instead of playing just by points, there is now the option for power level armies. Unless, by narrative play, you meant this. I am not sure how you feel about that, as it seems to be one of the biggest changes, at least in my opinion. Barring all that, vehicles are now a truly viable option, and actually act like vehicles (sweet). I also agree that drop pod themed armies will be difficult to manage (sucks for me, as I love my drop pods).

Either way, I do not mind terribly that they removed the templates, nor do I mind terribly that some tactics that were abused in sixth and seventh have effectively been smushed.  What I do mind, is the concept of power level based armies, where you can take whatever upgrades you want (many say that you should only base it on WYSIWYG, but let's be real here haha), and still be within that power level that you are playing in. To me, that is the biggest issue so far. 

In the positive light, with this edition, it seems that it pays to pay attention to deployment and army types moreso than ever before - e.g counter deployments. I also think that this new edition is aiming to bring back elements from second, third and fourth editions, with a new modern twist on the rules. Overall, I would say to give it a few games, and if you are indeed unhappy still/salty, bide your time for a new edition, or ask if seventh edition games can still be played on occasion. (I sat out the majority of fifth to sixth and parts of seventh editions myself, except for some heresy and friendly matches with close friends :P).
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Offline Waaaghpower

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Re: 8th Edition First Impressions (Salt warning)
« Reply #6 on: June 14, 2017, 06:42:27 PM »
After reading this, I was not all that surprised by the good and bad takeaways that you presented...however, what did surprise me was that you did not mention instead of playing just by points, there is now the option for power level armies. Unless, by narrative play, you meant this. I am not sure how you feel about that, as it seems to be one of the biggest changes, at least in my opinion. Barring all that, vehicles are now a truly viable option, and actually act like vehicles (sweet). I also agree that drop pod themed armies will be difficult to manage (sucks for me, as I love my drop pods).
I do not consider the 'power level' thing to be a real, viable option. Trusting players to self-police and self-balance is not remotely realistic. It's okay for introductory games, where you're teaching new players and want to put together an army without scaring them, and its fine for estimating unit value for various abilities (Like Daemon's Summoning), but it is not a real way to build an army for a balanced list. It favors min/maxing and optimization waaaay too much, and punishes players for bringing lighter, inexpensive gear. (For an obvious example, in Power Level play, there is literally no reason to ever bring a Heavy Bolter, Grav-Cannons are superior in every way.)


Also, as a friend pointed out, to-hit modifiers apparently come AFTER rerolls, which is possibly the dumbest change I could ever have even concieved.
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Offline Mabbz

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Re: 8th Edition First Impressions (Salt warning)
« Reply #7 on: June 15, 2017, 09:42:15 PM »
So I just had my first proper look at the new rules, and played a 750 point game with my Tau vs mechanicus. In the interest of getting the game started, I just took my old 750pts list and worked out how much it was now, and worked it out (very, very wrongly) as 743pts. Initially I thought the Index was ok-ish in terms of writing, a bit cramped and it was weird that the points were in a different place than each armies actual rules, but ok.

After the game, I found I had misunderstood one aspect of the points system; specifically, the pts/model listed doesn't even include their base wargear unless stated otherwise (i.e. just special characters and drones for the tau). So my two standard broadsides (Heavy Rail Rifle and 2x SMS) that I thought I paid 80pts each for, should have been more like 183pts/model. Why basic wargear isn't included in the price, I do not know. Suffice it to say, I won the game since my army was about twice the points of my opponent's.

The hugely expensive broadsides seemed weird to me, but I figured, well, maybe everything is more expensive this edition. And for the most part that does look true (also, broadsides did get a buff to survivability, with an extra wound and toughness). Then I noticed the Gun Drones.

Drones cost 64pts for a maxed out squad. Unlike most models, that basic cost includes their weapons: two pulse carbines. Since all models can fire all their weapons this edition, and twin linking is gone, that means that 64pts squad puts out 32 pulse rounds at 18". Now bear in mind that in addition to normal drone teams, I can take them on every character, vehicle and a lot of other units. Sure they're inaccurate, but we have drone controllers, markerlights and commander abilities for that. They're short ranged, but they're pretty fast and RAW means they can benefit from a pathfinder team's pulse accelerator drone. They're moderately tough in large numbers, they can act as shields for characters within 6" (who can't even be targeted unless they're nearest).

Part of me is thrilled; I've always wanted to do a drone army (I'll have to update my old Commander Dronestorm house rules to 8th). But I feel this shows the biggest shift in the meta with 8th edition. I expect hordes to be king.



On the core gameplay front, I didn't have any real problems with it. I'm still not sure I like the removal of the initiative system for combat (despite playing as Tau), but it isn't terrible. I would have preferred to keep initiative combat, and change the +1A for charging to +1I or something.

Shooting seems pretty solid, although I strongly recommend taking invulnerable saves now. Vehicle explosions cause mortal wounds, which was a bit unpleasant and killed my commander. My Broadsides did barely anything with their Heavy Rail Rifles thanks to their average Bs and some bad rolling on my part, which I felt emphasized my point about hordes; big, powerful guns can be effective, but can also be unreliable, especially where Invulnerable save are involved.

Movement seems fine, although I couldn't find rules for moving through terrain.

I quite like the new Morale system. It's simple, effective, and gives an advantage to single model units that I feel would otherwise not be as competitive in 8th.

Offline BigToof

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Re: 8th Edition First Impressions (Salt warning)
« Reply #8 on: June 16, 2017, 09:52:56 AM »
I'm actually quite excited to play 8th.
7th had become just too bloated to try and introduce to anyone and some of the older armies (Orks, Dark Eldar, Tyranids) seem to have gotten some punch, while there have been nerfs (notably Tau).
But most of all, I'm glad that a lot of the excess rules have been cut out and I hope that as codexes are reintroduced there will be more flavour added as well...
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Offline Waaaghpower

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Re: 8th Edition First Impressions (Salt warning)
« Reply #9 on: June 17, 2017, 09:27:04 AM »
After playing two more games:
The mechanics of going first are immensely, incredibly broken and unfair. Winning the roll-off and getting to pick deployment zone is an immense advantage for shooting armies (who can effectively give themselves an extra 12" of buffer space), and I predict with complete that tournament lists will be built around having as minimal deployment as is possible while maximizing CPs.
Or, y'know, Tournies will houserule this mechanic away.
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Offline Irisado

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Re: 8th Edition First Impressions (Salt warning)
« Reply #10 on: June 17, 2017, 11:19:40 AM »
@Irisado
As Deraj commented, those were two different complaints. I have no problem with a couple of weapons using random dice rolls, and in the case of the Shokk Attack Gun those rolls both added a trade-off - It was a very powerful gun, (Large blast, usually high strength, AP2,) but had the potential to blow up in your face - and they added a ton of flavor, since it made sense that Orky weaponry of that caliber would never be reliable.
My problem is not with one weapon having an ability like this, it's that I don't want EVERY weapon to function like this. One weapon being randomized adds flavor and intrigue, every weapon (Or at least every blast, template, or high-damage weapon) being randomized regardless of fluff or army is just frustrating to play. (For the same reason, I don't mind the randomized rolls on a Loota's Deffguns, but I think it's idiotic to have the exact same randomized rolls for Predator Autocannons.)

It's a trade-off.  Some people will like it others will not.  The fact of the matter is though that more abstraction was always going to be more likely for this edition, owing to the fact that seventh had become far too detailed and had far too many unit and weapon specific rules.  The approach is, therefore, one of standardisation.  Yes, this results in some character being lost for certain units and weapons, but it does help to streamline the game.  I'm neither saying that it's a good thing nor a bad thing at this stage, but I will say that I think that it's less of an issue than you're suggesting.

I remember when second edition was streamlined into third edition and there were a lot of complaints about the loss of diversity and specialisation, many of which are similar to the points that you're making in this topic.  The vast majority of players got used to it though, and as third edition progressed and then moved into subsequent editions, those complaints disappeared for the most part.  I've thus seen it all before and I think that it is wise to let the changes sink in before getting too worked up about them :).

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As for your comments of streamlining: The game seems to be streamlined in all the wrong ways:
Building your army takes twice as long as it used to, firing large weapons requires two extra rolls, and moving characters around with infantry squads now requires tons of precise, careful measuring to ensure that all of your AoE buffs are hitting everyone they need to, since you can't just say 'He's attached to that squad, therefore they get his buffs' anymore.

I read contradictory opinions about army list building, so I think that the jury is still out on that one.  I agree that there is still too much dice rolling though.  As for buffs, I don't think that this is that big a deal.  It just takes some getting used to.

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All of the streamlining is in unit variety and weapon variety. Even though adding armor save modifiers and damage dice seems like the perfect opportunity to make weapons feel more diverse, I can't help but look at the massive sheets of different weapon options and feel like everything looks like exactly the same thing. Guardian Spears and Sentinel Blades feel like almost the exact same weapon. Power Lances and Power Mauls literally do the exact same thing. Every kind of Deep Strike feels exactly the same. Heck, the Exorcist Missile Launcher now just feels like any other explosive blast weapon, since every single weapon now shares the same gimmick. They didn't cut down on clutter, they cut down on variety.

This is similar to the transition between second and third edition.  It will seem strange to start with.  I recommend giving it some time to settle down.  GW had to reduce diversity to make the game more user friendly in my opinion.  It was impossible to return the amount of diversity between units and weapons as had been the case in seventh edition without also retaining the complexity in the rules which had, in my view, reached absurd levels.

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I wasn't around for the 2nd/3rd edition Transition, so I can't comment on that, but what I CAN say is that I... Don't think that it's a good thing to be compared to? From what I've heard, there was tons of cheese and broken rules in 3rd edition, with players completely destroying the game with various broken lists. That doesn't make me feel better, it makes me feel more concerned for the future of the edition.

There have been numerous overpowered units and broken rules in all editions of 40K.  Every edition of 40K has, eventually, fallen into the broken list trap, so trying to single out one edition over another in this respect is an exercise in futility.  Third edition had its problems, notably the Rhino Rush, and the fact that it was the first edition using a completely different approach to the rules.  However, the difference compared to eighth is that because eighth is meant to be a living rulebook, updates and improvements can be made more quickly than was the case under the old rulebook and codex system.  I really don't understand, therefore, why you're claiming that it won't help.

I do agree with you that it's not a good idea to give players exactly what they want.  Direct democracy is a flawed concept in both Politics and wargaming, however, seventh edition had broken the previous model for rules beyond repair, so GW had to make radical changes.
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Offline Waaaghpower

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Re: 8th Edition First Impressions (Salt warning)
« Reply #11 on: June 17, 2017, 06:18:52 PM »
I'm just going to respond to one specific thing, Irisado:
That 'Living ruleset' thing scares me.

GW has a recent track record of  scratching out previously legal sets of wargear, if not axing them entirely. I've mostly only talked about rules complaints here, but this is actually a modeling complaint:
I like my army to be WYSIWYG. I like my army to look cool and be painted. Painting up units that I enjoy playing with was one of the most satisfying things about the game for me.

And I don't want do that anymore, because I'm freakin' sick of Games Workshop pulling out the rug from under me about what wargear choices are legal. This isn't even including the gearsets that remain legal, but become deoptimized to the point of only belonging in 'Haha this is a sillyfun list', like 6th Edition Flash Gitz.

The first example that comes to mind is my Wolf Guard. On bikes, I can give them their built in Twin Boltguns and add Storm Bolters, and they still have a Chainsword/Pistol. They're so far not particularly overwhelming, but putting out 8 shots per model is really heckin' satisfying and fun.

And I don't want to risk assembling these guys up and investing time and energy getting them WYSIWYG and legal, because I just *know* that the moment I get them done, some designer is going to look at them and decide, "Huh, we should probably disalow this", and... I dunno, make it illegal, or give Storm Bolters a -1 to hit, or quadruple their points cost or something.

(If you're not convinced, I can provide a full ledger of models in my collection that I can't use, or at least can't use viably, because they were at some point decided to be either cheesy (regardless of if they are,) unrealistic, or just plain I-don't-know-why.


Also I lied, I'll briefly respond to your other points:
Abstraction and streamlining are fine. It's randomization and homogenization that I find boring.
List Building ceases to be an issue with third party apps, but needing someone else to come fix your game is never good.

The buffs (and, as it turns out, measurig to see who the closest unit is for Consolidation and shooting at characters) absolutely is tedious. I played two games last night, both of them revolved heavily about staying in or outof bubbles, drivibg around to get close to characters, and exploiting the deployment rules for better positioning and first turn.

I played 40k for its diversity and color. Stripping that out for balance would impress me more, but I'm four games deep and am not hugely impressed by that balance. Cheese abounds already.
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Offline Irisado

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Re: 8th Edition First Impressions (Salt warning)
« Reply #12 on: June 18, 2017, 11:30:25 AM »
I've not had anything that I've ever fielded rendered unusable by a rule change since third edition.  The change from second to third edition was so significant that it was bound to invalidate some options, but otherwise I've fielded more or less the same units with the same weapons since third edition.  I don't optimise my wargear/units for particular editions, I pretty much use them as is.  If that means some weapons are less effective from one edition to the next, that's just the way it is.  This is why I prefer all round lists which are not excessively tailored or optimised.

GW has always taken this approach with their rules, as you alluded to above.  The only difference this time is that any changes will probably be made more quickly.  If there are combinations that you are convinced that they may change, hold off constructing the models until there has been a review.  I doubt that you would have to wait that long.

Randomisation is tedious, I agree and I also prefer heterogeneity to homogeneity, however, I would have to be persuaded that this edition involved too much homogenisation.  This is not to say that I think that eighth is somehow a silver bullet to all the problems with GW's rules.  I do not believe this for one minute, but I do think that, in a number of respects, it is a step in the right direction.

The comments pertaining to overpowered combinations are issues that I find unpersuasive.  Having played Rogue Trader and second edition, most of the balance issues since then have been far less serious.  There are likely to be balance issues, but this has been true for all editions.  I think that it's far too early to complain about balance in eighth when there's so little data to analyse at this juncture.

I get the impression that you play a lot on a highly competitive tournament scene.  That has never been my cup of tea.  I'm a casual player.  I suspect that this is the main reason why we have a number of divergent views, although we do agree on some points.
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Offline Waaaghpower

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Re: 8th Edition First Impressions (Salt warning)
« Reply #13 on: June 20, 2017, 03:47:22 AM »
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I've not had anything that I've ever fielded rendered unusable by a rule change since third edition.  The change from second to third edition was so significant that it was bound to invalidate some options, but otherwise I've fielded more or less the same units with the same weapons since third edition.  I don't optimise my wargear/units for particular editions, I pretty much use them as is.  If that means some weapons are less effective from one edition to the next, that's just the way it is.  This is why I prefer all round lists which are not excessively tailored or optimised.
I don't optimize my armies for maximum competitive power either, but I do generally like to have my units optimized, or at least not intentionally crap, since I hate feeling like I'm intentionally wasting points. For example, with the new Inquisitorial Acolytes, I will not be using any of them with Laspistols. Bolt Pistols are the same cost, and unambiguously better for zero downside. Also, I haven't been playing since 3rd, I've been playing since 5th, and I tend to get new models and units regularly - I played only Orks in 5th, added Space Wolves, then Space Marines, then Inquisition, then Sisters of Battle in 6th, then added Grey Knights, Deathwatch, and a few other minor bits here and there in 7th. (Assassins, Astra Telepathica, etc.) I built those with whatever seemed coolest at the time.

However, most of my invalidated units are simply combinations that I think were cool: I took an Inquisitor with two Daemonblades, because the idea of him carrying around the souls of Daemons in order to achieve the maximum human potential of power is really cool to me. On the board, it was a crapshoot - Sometimes incredibly powerful, sometimes worthless - But it was always fun to play.
All of my models that I built to have WYSIWYG with relics (Most pertinently, my Wolf Lord who I gave a bonesword, so that he could really weild the Krakenbone Sword, and my Librarian who I gave a Thunder Hammer from the Iron Hands upgrade pack so that he could have the Mindforge Stage), are not really useable. My Wolf Lord can, I guess, have a Relic Blade? But that Librarian can't be a Librarian anymore. My Cataphractii Captain with a Storm Shield is bust. Sororitas Command Squads don't exist anymore, Psycollum doesn't exist anymore, and Condemner Boltguns barely do anything anymore, so I have nothing to do with the five Condemner Boltguns that I have five Sisters all armed with. Most of my Deathwatch are bust (Though incidentally, they randomly and suddenly allow Deathwatch Veterans to take Bolt Pistols, which they don't have parts for and require kitbashing because that didn't exist in 7th).

Usually, my list building involved a sort of reverse optimization: I would pick a list or army style that I want to try, then retroactively figure out how to make that list good. I've played melee-centric Adepta Sororitas, Space Marine Parking Lots, pure Inquisition, pretty much anything I could think of that sounded fun. Sometimes that would lead me to stumble upon something genuinely OP, but OP lists are incredibly boring to play, so those lists usually get shelved after a single use.


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GW has always taken this approach with their rules, as you alluded to above.  The only difference this time is that any changes will probably be made more quickly.  If there are combinations that you are convinced that they may change, hold off constructing the models until there has been a review.  I doubt that you would have to wait that long.
My Inquisition models were legal since the beginning of 6th edition. Are you saying that I should have held off for that long? Sometimes those changes can be predicted (For example, it's not too surprising that they changed Deathwatch a few months after the codex came out,) but other ones are a complete, unfair crapshoot. (How in the heck am I supposed to predict that an entire unit is going to be axed from the SoB codex?)

Also: I shouldn't have to wait six months or a year to find out if GW is going to pull out the rug on me before I start building my kits.  If they can't decide what they want to allow before they release it, they shouldn't punish players for that.

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Randomisation is tedious, I agree and I also prefer heterogeneity to homogeneity, however, I would have to be persuaded that this edition involved too much homogenisation.  This is not to say that I think that eighth is somehow a silver bullet to all the problems with GW's rules.  I do not believe this for one minute, but I do think that, in a number of respects, it is a step in the right direction.
I don't have exact data on it, but I think that a lot of weapon profiles across armies definitely are a lot similar. If you look for the number of weapons that used to have different rules, and are now S8 AP-4 Bonus Damage at Half Range, or S9 AP-3 D6 damage, I think you'll find that a lot more weapons have a lot in common. Also, the loss of AP5 and AP6 equivalents means that most anti-infantry weapons are a lot more similar in effect, as is the fact that all weapons are useable on all things - Since S3 can now hurt tanks just as well as S4, instead of S3 being useless against tanks, but S4 being sometimes capable of glancing tanks from the rear.

Why should I take a Vindicator over a Predator now? Or visa versa? You get +1 Strength and D3/D6 shots instead of 4. They do the same battlefield role. What's to get excited about? A slightly different type of rolling that does the same thing? I may as well just go with whichever gives the slightly better cost/damage ratio and call it good.

Combi-Weapons are just regular Special Weapons plus Bolter Shots. Flamers fill almost the exact same niche as Storm Bolters, getting almost the same number of average hits and doing the same damage since it no longer ignores cover. Plasma Cannons actually do the same amount of average damage as Plasma Guns when within 12", since D3 shots means 2 shots and that's what you get from a Rapid Fire weapon anyways. The Command Land Raider now just gives the same benefits as a Space Marine Captain.
Captains give re-rolls on 1s to hit. Chaplains give re-rolls on hits in Close Combat.
A regular Captain is as accurate as Cypher now, because 2+ with Rerolls on 1s can't get any better than it is. 
Ork Deep Strike is equally as accurate as Space Marine Deep Strike and Eldar Deep Strike.
Chapter Tactics and Marks of Chaos have been axed. (And no, 'Just wait for codices' is not a good counter-argument. There's no reason why they couldn't have included them in half a page in their respective books, and having to wait months or more to get content back to the point it was pre-update is crappy.) A unit of Chaos Space Marines now plays identically to a unit of Space Marines in almost all circumstances.

Acts of Faith give the same buffs to every unit, and one of those buffs - Recovering wounds - Is actually the same as an ability provided by other units. (Actually, Hospitallers are just less versatile versions of Imagifiers, since they do the same thing as an act of faith: On a 4+, recover wounds for a nearby unit.)

Also, this is a minor point, but Ministorum Priests only give one buff, and it's only useful to a tiny number of units that could potentially take it, and Astra Telepathica really only help IG.

I could keep going, too. For a really, really long time. But I think this helps make the point.

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The comments pertaining to overpowered combinations are issues that I find unpersuasive.  Having played Rogue Trader and second edition, most of the balance issues since then have been far less serious.  There are likely to be balance issues, but this has been true for all editions.  I think that it's far too early to complain about balance in eighth when there's so little data to analyse at this juncture.
I don't mind imbalance, but I do mind imbalance in this particular context: If the whole point of 8th edition was to flatten out the balance, and that's why they had to sacrifice the unique abilities, weapons, and rules that all the different armies and units have, that's fine. But when they remove all of those things, and the game is still increadibly breakable at a glance, that's a major problem. (And from all of the data I have: The deployment rules are crap, and first turn leads to an almost guaranteed win. I've played four games, and this has been true from all four games, plus all of the games I've heard about from other players, with one exception: A killpoints game between pure Imperial Knights and Orks, in which first turn did not matter.) This will require more time to confirm for certain, but it seems pretty clear already that the rules for deployment and first turn are incredibly imbalanced and unfair.

It feels like, instead of trying to balance the game, they just tried to remove all of the things people were complaining about instead, without realizing that their new fixes caused new breaks.


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I get the impression that you play a lot on a highly competitive tournament scene.  That has never been my cup of tea.  I'm a casual player.  I suspect that this is the main reason why we have a number of divergent views, although we do agree on some points.
Not really. I play with one CSM friend at his house, and then a group of friends at an LGS, and another group of friends on different days at the same LGS. If I were a WAAC player, I'd be happy about how cheesy the new edition appears to be: More tournaments for me to break, after all!
I'm disappointed because I like playing with all my different toys. I like putting down my big models and smashing them together while making dinosaur noises. (Proverbially*.) It's a game, I enjoy playing with it, and by stripping out a ton of options and ways to play (While ironically adding two game modes that are unplayable if you want a remotely fair game,) GW has removed many of my favorite things.
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