Monday, May 15, 2017

New 8th Edition 40K Rules - Faction Focus

Seems like GW are releasing one of these articles every other day so the next one will probably be out before you read this. These articles are pretty light on meaty content but there's still some useful stuff to be teased out of (most of) them.

Faction Focus - Chaos Space Marines
You have to feel for CSM players. They got the first codex in 6th edition only to spend the rest of it feeling like they were screwed over by every subsequent book that came out. They're getting a similarly raw deal now. They get the first Faction Focus article but despite writing a lot of words, Frankie (off of Frontline Gaming), doesn't actually tell us anything of substance. Those units you don't use. They're good now they are. That's basically it.

Clearly GW have responded to the complaints about this on social media and all the other articles now have at least a couple of titbits of actual info in them. Poor old CSM players will have to wait (possibly until release day) for anything more useful.

Faction Focus - Astra Militarum
More of the same puff piece that makes you think your Guardsmen will be a forced to be reckoned with and that some rarely seen unit (here Rough Riders and Bullgryns) will now be a viable choice. There's some useful information thrown in here though such as Ratlings (and presumably all snipers) being able to target Characters.

We get some actual stats too. A Leman Russ will be T8, 3+ save and 12 wounds. It's interesting to compare this to a Dreadnought. Formerly AV12, 3HP it now gets eight T7 wounds with a 3+ save. Clearly the Leman Russ is tougher but with the new To Wound chart it doesn't seen hugely better than a dread. It'll be interesting to see if a Land Raider gets a 2+ save or higher toughness to correlate with the AV14 all round.

Orders are now automatic (cutting out a Ld test - more streamlining). First Rank, Second Rank seems similar to how it does now but for me the interesting thing is that Rapid Fire seems like it'll work in the same way it does now.

Faction Focus - Eldar
Again, more talking up of units with minimal back up. The snippets are interesting again though.

Phoenix Lords sound like they'll be cheaper and offer some army (or at least bubble) benefits. Oh and Asurman deals some mortal wounds with his sword. Good for him! Guide, Doom and Fortune are back but no word on how they work or how easy they'll be to cast. Sounds like both Striking Scorpions and Howling Banshees have had some love too. Still can't see how the Banshees will make it into combat though, even if they are really fast moving.

The last little bit is the Wailing Doom. We don't find out how many attacks the Avatar gets, whether he'll be more durable, faster or given a new model but we do know some things about his sword. Nothing that drastic here. It's what you'd expect from it really. Dealing D6 damage will make a huge difference when the Avatar is taking on a single multi-wound model but won't stop him getting stuck wading through a pile of weaker models though. At least Morale might help him there.

Sidenote: has combat resolution gone then? Do you just roll for Morale at the end of the game if you lost models? Can you still overrun units? Have they already told us this and I've missed it?

Anyway, as an anti-tank weapon it's pretty decent but isn't likely to be one-shotting anything substantial. Taking a chunk of wounds from an MC is a massive upgrade for the Wailing Doom (and indeed the meltagun) though.

Faction Focus - Chaos Daemons
Easily the most significant bits of info in this post out of the lot. It really seems like GW are trying to release more and more information in these posts. I mean, I'm assuming they schedule these posts like I'm doing with mine but it's interesting that they're getting more and more meaty.

I like the Khorne mechanic of what is effectively Furious Charge in this Initiative-less world. Interesting that it works in the first round of combat regardless of who charged too. Tzeentch giving a bonus to invulnerable saves isn't really that new but interesting that a LoC now has 4++ and 16 wounds (although we still don't really know how invulns work). I'm sure Daemons players won't be happy but I'm pleased that splitting Horrors are being dealt with too. Having a unit that always takes at least three turns to get rid of was stupid. You can still do something similar but you'll have to allow yourself some "Reinforcement Points" for this.

Sidenote: makes me wonder what other uses Reinforcement Points have. Tervigons spawing gaunts for example. What about things that weren't freebies in 7th?

Daemonettes sound similar to Banshees in that they're striking first the majority of the time. Having said that, I'd again wonder how they're going to get their alive though. Interesting that the larger the unit the better they are too. Maybe there'll be other things to discourage MSU for other factions too.

Nurglings are getting what sounds like FNP 5+ which isn't much of a surprise but makes me wonder if other units will be losing it. Interesting ot see what Mischief Makers does. Sounds like they can do some sort of Infiltrate move.

Obviously, the big deal for Daemons came in the Points and Power Levels post with Summoning no longer giving you "free" units. So far, Daemons seem to be the army that will seem the most different in 8th. No more spamming summoned units, no more piles and piles of psychic dice to buff a single psyker, no more silly combos of characters to make incredibly resilient units. Daemons had a long period of being a low tier army. Whilst I'm really not a fan, I hope they don't get relegated back there. It's early days though and I'm not going to condemn them yet (unlike a lot of people on FB). I still think Summoning will be a useful mechanic that gives you a tactical advantage in that you can bring in the right tool for the job and that having a pile of psykers on the table will still be advantageous.

This all reminds me a bit of the NFL in the offseason. The hype slowly builds for all of the teams so that you really start to thing your crappy franchise (the Bears) will have any hope in the season. Then the season starts and you remember they've still got a crap roster and won't be winning anything. I really hope I'm wrong!

One thing I do like is that Reece and Frankie are writing these posts. They know more about the current meta than it seems GW themselves do. Talking about things like Screamers with re-rollable 2+ saves is at least an acknowledgement of some of the problems with the game as it is now.

I really can't see how their claims of "every unit will now be viable" (or words to that effect) can be true. There's too many units for everything to be useful. Perhaps the gap between units will be smaller but I still reckon there'll be units that get spammed whilst others still don't get used. Maybe these will be different ones to what we see now but there'll still be more preferable choices in competitive play.

Still, I'm finding myself more and more addicted to these posts and therefore more excited for 8th edition. Good job on that at least GW. Sure I don't necessarily like everything they're doing but at least they're doing something! None of us really wanted a 7.5th edition that didn't really solve the problems of 7th. We didn't want AoS (as it originally happened) either. Despite the nay-sayers on Facebook telling you other wise, this isn't AoS for 40K. They've clearly learned a lot from how that went down with people. Actually involving the community in the whole process is a massive step forward.

Cautious optimism remains.


  1. Yep, glad they've used gamers to address balance. And getting more optimistic the more I read. Even like the Primaris Marines, fluff is a little meh, but I bet I buy some!

  2. Just to answer a few of the questions you posed from what I've read (which is probably more than I should really have had time to read).

    Combat res is gone, replaced with the battleshock mechanic, so instead of sweeping advances, failed morale checks (at the end of the turn, not per phase) cause additional model losses. That means the Avatar and any single model unit is immune because a unit only takes the test when they lose models.

    They also confirmed on facebook in answer to a question that Tervigons will need to use reinforcement points to spawn gaunts.

    I like the faction focus pieces, and as you say, we seem to be getting more meaty stuff with each one.

    I too can't see that 'every' unit will be perfectly balanced with every other unit, however with the option to revise points for units that appear to be overpowered without having to release a new codex they can certainly correct any major issues of balance, and with the option for units to fire different models at different targets, I think we'll see many more mixed units instead of mono-tasked squads.

    The mix between MSU and maximising unit size is an interesting one too - MSU mitigates against failed morale checks by limiting the modifier you can apply to the test, but bigger units get other benefits and can hide specialist weapons much better, which can now target things freely. Tactical squad lascannons just became a much better idea, and I think we might even see full devastator squads now that the bolter guys aren't simply a costly meat shield.

    As for banshees, it seems that charging is now allowed out of vehicles (all) so that would seem to be the method for delivering them to combat intact, especially now the serpent isn't going to be 1-shotted by a drop pod melta (maybe a whole squad, but not just one!)


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