May 9, 2014 Gareth

Darth Vader and 40k 7th Edition

So, 40k 7th edition is confirmed for May 24th. But the story doesn’t end there. That’s just the start.

Vader?

Stay with me on this one. I’ve taken a few days to mull this over and during that time there’s been a lot of discussion across most of the major outlets. If you’ve read even one other article about 7th edition you have probably read something about balance. 6th edition has a few problems, every edition to date has had them. What confuses me is the perpetual hope that the new edition will bring balance to the force game. We all know the prophecy.

In the time of greatest despair
an edition shall be born
which shall destroy the doubters
and bring balance to 40k

Well, something like that anyhow. I just don’t think it’s going to happen, so why worry about it?

Balance is difficult to achieve under any circumstances. 40k is a designer’s nightmare if you’re aiming for balance. The fact that they get so close, and give the design studio some credit here, they do get close, is despite the way the game is set up rather than because of it. With a rule set spread across a number of codexes and supplements, the idea of single book bringing it all together feels a little ridiculous. Ok, a lot ridiculous. 7th edition may be more or less balanced than 6th, we won’t know until some months after its been released, but I think the codexes are the real power brokers. When Grey Knights hit they were amazing because of the codex. They’ve gradually/rapidly faded from the top tables because of more recent codexes which are able to counter or out-beard them.

I heard the 11th Company say that 6th edition has been defined by the Tau. I think that’s accurate. Sure the core rules are crucial, they lay out the way the game is played. But the single biggest influence on what worked and what didn’t work during 6th edition has been the Tau. Let’s go one step further, the Tau codex.

Set aside 40k for a moment. Let’s think about Infinity the Game. The factions have some differences, but they are far more superficial than you might initially think. Weapons all work the same way, and good tactical play is based on the same fundamentals for all factions. This is why Infinity is recognised as a well balanced game. It’s actually difficult to make bad choices during army design. Sub-optimal? Sure. But outright bad? No. You could take a force composed solely of the units agreed to be the worst in the game and compete with someone bringing nothing but the best.

Infinity and 40k are worlds apart in terms of structure. 6th brought some streamlining of special rules to 40k, but nowhere near the levels found in Infinity.

So, that prophecy? Often misinterpreted, I think it is.

Where did all of the leaks go?

Now this is a bit more juicy. One of the most notable aspects of the recent stream of rumours about Warhammer 40,000 7th edition is that they are all from White Dwarf. We’re yet to see much conversation about the format of the new release. No chat, no pictures, no nothin’. We’ve known for some time now that Games Workshop have been actively engaged in reducing flow of rumours from the studio, but this is impressive. 40k is their focal product. There are more people interested in everything 40k than in any other part of their product line. Sites like Faeit 212 exist because the relatively large numbers of people who enjoy speculating about new rules, new armies, and new editions.

Nothing.

Not a peep.

What about the box?

Cast your mind back. You may recall that most of the 40k section of the internet was discussing, in pretty decent detail, the contents of the 6th edition box months and months ahead of its release. Beasts of War have a video discussion from April 2012 and our pals at the Bell of Lost Souls posted a rumour of the release in March 2011! That’s two major outlets, with decent inside sources providing quality rumours in excess of a year before 6th edition landed.

We knew what was coming, when it was coming, and we were excited about it. The boxes have been a pretty big deal in the past. Assault on Black reach was awesome, as is Dark Vengeance. I bought multiple copies of both. I want to know more about the rules, the boxed set, everything!

Think about it for a moment. What do you actually know about 7th edition? It’s going to be on sale or at least pre-order in 15 days and we know very, very little.

The things we do know all come from an official source, White Dwarf. You can boil it down to daemonology psychic powers, new ally chart, unbound armies, and unknown bonuses for using the FOC. Not a lot when you think about what we knew about 5th or 6th edition.

Curious?

planetstrike

I sure am.

I want to know about cover, assault, movement, vehicle rules, outflanking, scout, deep striking, reserves, majority toughness, look out sir, and all of the other rules we could anticipate changes to. Providing a new ally chart, unbound option, and pyschic deck is a supplement. It’s got more in common with Planetstrike or Cities of Death. A new edition should be a major revision to the rules, and I haven’t heard much about those.

Have you?

P.S. It’s good to be blogging again!
spent600

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Gareth

A London-based board games developer, Gareth loves everything to do with games and family entertainment.

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