Well, I am back at it here and, Wow! what a time to get back into 40K tactics… with 8th edition and basically a “reset” of the entire game from top to bottom, there is SO MUCH to talk about, it is hard to know even where to start.
On top of all this, GW appears to be releasing new Codexes at the rapid rate for the rest of this year (and probably beyond), so we can expect the game to keep changing and evolving for the foreseeable future, which is both exciting and a little daunting, when trying to keep abreast of everything from a Tactical perspective.
Alright, so now that I have had a chance to take a comprehensive look at the current rules and Indexes, here are some “first reaction” thoughts overall about 8th Edition:
TOP 3 THINGS I LIKE–
(1) There are so many positive things about what GW has done with the game in general and 8th edition in particular, that I have an embarrassment of riches here in things I like, but probably my very favorite part of 8th edition is the ability to CHOOSE key things when building and using your army, rather than roll for them. By this, I mean Warlord Traits, Psychic Powers, what Stratagems to spend Command Points on, etc., etc. This is awesome and makes the game so much more fun and user-friendly from my perspective… I mean, who likes rolling up a useless Psychic Power before deployment when you really need a specific power to make your entire army strategy work? If GW had only done this and nothing else, it would have been a MAJOR improvement already.
(2) Right up there with being able to choose things, vice roll for them, is how GW did a “top to bottom” revamp of EVERY SINGLE FACTION, enabling them to, number one, balance things better than I have ever seen them in my entire time playing 40K and, number two, breath whole new life into tons of units that were previously uncompetitive or only really useable from a fluff/scenario-driven perspective. I love seeing “forgotten” units (like DE Mandrakes, AM Rough Riders, and Tactical Terminators) suddenly viable again in competitive games and I also love seeing entire factions, especially Tyranids, Harlequins, Sisters of Battle, and Militarum Tempestus, lifted up to totally on par, if not superior to, the “traditional” power houses (i.e. Eldar, Tau, vanilla Marines, etc.).
(3) Finally, I really like both the simplification of certain overly complex portions of the game (e.g. Psychic Phase in previous editions, combining Movement and Advancing into a single phase, removing initiative and WS comparison requirements, etc.) and GW giving players more “agency” over how their units act (e.g. when your units come in from Reserves, being able to split fire with ALL weapons in all units, being able to have transports hold multiple squads at once, etc.). Throw in improvements to mobility in the game (i.e. different Move stats for all units to better differentiate unit types, the ability to assault out of all vehicle variants, and no more Difficult/Dangerous Terrain, to name a few), and I think you have what makes for a simpler, more enjoyable, and overall more tactically rewarding game as a whole.
There are LOTS of other things I like about 8th edition, so as I am sure you can tell overall I am a quite a fan of it! There are a few things I don’t love/wish were different, such as there only being one kind of Cover for everyone (I wish they at least had “Soft Cover” for a +1 to Armor Saves and “Hard Cover” for a +2 to Armor Saves to differentiate terrain types and their tactical value in the game) and weird rules interactions (i.e. Flamers now being a strong “anti-flyer” weapon… I wish they had a rule that said Flamers could not hit any unit that is in “Supersonic” mode, but of course could hit them if they switched to “Hover” mode), but as a whole this is the best version of the game I have seen to date and I am eagerly anticipating what comes next, especially as tactics and armies evolve.
Alright, first impressions out the gate here, so until next time, here’s a salute to 8th Edition and also to the excellent team at GW (and the “general population” play testers who assisted them) who has come up with such an outstanding gaming system for this edition!