Monday, May 26, 2014

40K Today - The Initial Edition Mess


If you're reading the internet at all, it's a bit of a mess. People who have very little experience with the new game are doing one of two things: 1) swearing it's the worst ever and needs to be completely changed ... or 2) swearing they know it's perfectly fantastic and they'll stab anyone who suggests tweaking it.

It's probably somewhere in the middle, in reality. There are a lot of fixes to the base game. Then there's the psychic phase, which would probably be a net improvement except that denying the witch is sort of a figment (the odds are hilarious), and some of the powers are dumb (see video batreps summoning thousands of points into the game, fortunestars with re-rolled 2+'s still that you can only hit on a 6 with shooting or combat and can't template or blast, etc.). Then there's GW's utterly BS White Dwarf claim that the FOC would be left alone for those who still liked it, only to basically throw it out with a fake label by letting you take as many detachments you want as long as you fulfill the minimum.

Soo ... there's a lot of work to be done in terms of playtesting, getting a true feel for the new edition, seeing how broken the hyperbolically broke-accused things are or aren't, and letting the people who are kneejerking that it's all perfect realize their initial prophecies may be just as incorrect in their absolutism as those who are projecting the entire edition needs a rewrite 3 days in.

On the plus side, people like Reece and Kirby and myself and others are already reaching out to each other to try and be as on the same page as we can be. That won't be uniform - no event should feel fettered by the bounds of others who aren't fiscally responsible for the outcome - but it will be a good deal better and more collaborative than we've seen in the past, IMO. This is especially true in the case of me and Reece, as our formats are far and away the most mimic'ed in the US at the "full size event / GT" level (all manner of things are run at the local hobby shop level, though it also heavily includes BAO and NOVA formats). As in the past, we'll in part do our own thing (FW or not, for instance), but I do think we've grown closer over the years and will be more coordinated in how we look at the game. Time will tell.

I'll also be working heavily with the many TOs who run NOVA style events, and the global group of players who are participant in the mission catalog, to revise those and edit those and manage the format and all of that, so that the NOVA Open this year is as fair and fun as possible for 40K players.

We'll also adjust the Narrative Supplemental Codices to both add supplements for Astra Militarum and adjust the extant ones for the new edition.

Further, if we DO instigate any changes or tweaks to the game after very careful consideration (and I haven't decided any such thing at present), the Trios Team Event still exists for the more unfettered version of 40k, so the full gamut of event possibilities will lie available to the attending 40k player.

So there's a lot of discussion, playtesting, more discussion, fending off internet hyperbole (of which I've been plenty a contributor historically, to be fair), and more to go ... but we're off to the races ... the internet's losing its mind, and we could probably have said all of this to those who've been through it before just by saying one line:

"Games Workshop just released a new version of Warhammer 40,000"


  1. To be fair I said I was gonna stab someone who suggested changing it in the first week. Not in general. I'm open to adjustments that might need to be made I just can't stand knee jerk reactions with limited experience in the mindset of the previous edition and now what we are playing now.

    That and I think quite a few things are being looked at in a vacuum. Invisibility + Fortune and Summoning are two of those things.

    Valid (to me) Decisions to be made:
    -Are we going to use the tactical cards? If yes then they probably need balancing, if no then it's not a huge deal.
    -Unbound vs. Battleforged. And if no Unbound do we limit Battleforged. And if we limit Battleforged is it to 6th edition or is it just 2 Detachments (of any kind) or is it 3?
    -Lords of War. Are we going to include them. Ranged D got a massive tone down and is now basically Wraith/Distort weaponry from the eldar book with templates. Is there a reason to keep these out of the game now?

    Some of those decisions might result in a modification of the rules. Some of them may not. But all are pertinent to the format of an event and don't really change actual game rules so much as structure for army building and they don't heavily effect in game play.

    1. Some thoughts on tactical missions:

      First, I would like to say that I really enjoy them. Adding the dynamic of having to change tactics mid-game adds a lot to a game where traditionally, you developed a strategy in the beginning of the game, and then executed your original strategy.

      Tactical missions force players to incorporate more Outflanking, Deep Striking, Infiltration, fast units in order to score. Some armies are by their nature faster, but well placed gunlines can park on 3 objectives (denying them) and project threat to the ones they cant get to quickly. If tactial missions are not used, then powers such as Scryers Gaze have reduced capability. I wouldn't want to play all Tactical missions, but I think a mix would be great. It is going to make players really think about their list building, and add more tactical based decisions in your list building. A final note, much of the randomness of a tactical mission is having the possibility of drawing Objective X 3 times, and having no way of scoring on it. You can remove 1-2 of the Objective charts to reduce this possibility. Just some ideas on how to incorporate a really fun way to play the game, but balance some of the randomness of chart rolling.

  2. Good thoughts Mike, I look forward to seeing what you and Reecius come up with. You guys did a nice job trying to keep things fair in 6th edition and I think you guys will continue to be thoughtful and fair for this new edition as well.

  3. For me I have four main concerns for the game:

    1) Lords of War and Battle Brothers. I think this gives a huge advantage to Imperial Players. Things like the Stormlord will give players fits now that they can be embarked upon by battle brothers and their ridiculous amounts of fire points allows some serious shenanigans. Don't forget about the PFG and Techmarines repairing hull point damage.

    2) Daemonology. This has been beat to death already. How to solve the summoning of daemons and not over nerf armies which rely on psychic shooting (Chaos Daemons mainly)

    3) Invisibility and Death Stars...nuff said there...

    4) Multiple detachments. 4 Farseers in a Seer Star. Fortune all the time Baby!

  4. My thoughts are...
    1. New Psyker phase is good. Even if you don't have a psyker, you have a chance at stopping that one power that will kill you. Note: Not sure about the Malefic Powers summoning tons of daemons.
    2. Unbound should be out. Nuff said.
    3. I would really like to see the new Missions played in games 4 and 8 minimum. I can really imagine people having stress attacks trying to maneuver their troops with little notice.

  5. So Mike I'm really curious about what your initial thoughts are on Daemons and summoning. There's a lot of back and forth on the interwebs saying it's really not as bad as it sounds on paper and others are saying it's way OP.

    1. Many more thoughts coming, but needs real world testing. Also, primary concern will not give much care to whether elite players can "handle" it, rather how it impacts Joe Standard.

    2. Thanks for the response man. Looking forward to reading what you come up with.

  6. I should probably read this rulebook.

  7. i think that daemonology is the biggest problem(after limiting detachments, and throwing out unbound) if 1 player can summon a bloodthirster, lord of change, then he's at a 200+ point advantage over the other player. and we all know that just 1 thirster will be on the very low end of summoned units-abilities. its not really a game when one player can add 750-4k of units to his army(plus it takes too long)

    best solution i've heard- only 1 unit per army can choose daemonology.

    i think that's fair for both players.

    regarding lords o war, i think they pretty much hafta be in there, unless you're going to disallow codex knights, and those are really outta the bag now anyway. we are instituting a 35% rule for LoW at our up-coming tourney. that would keep out the 900 point monstrosities(reavers etc.)

    you guys should put some polls out and ask the community

  8. I'm less troubled by what the decisions are than by when you guys are going to make them. The NoVA is a terrific event and I'm confident that whatever decision the team come to I'll have a great time and meet a lot of amazing people.

    I would appreciate an indication of when a clear spec will be released, if only so I can stop thinking about army ideas until then!

  9. Cool, I don't really care what the comp or specifics are, I just need to know soon so I can figure out my army and play test it. I don't have that much free time t do it, so the more lead time the better!