Monday, April 3, 2023

40K Friday - Monday Edition: Tenth Edition


Well, it's here. After much rumor-mongering over the last six months GW went ahead and announced that we will be seeing the next edition of Warhammer 40,000 in June of this year. If you haven't seen it all here's the page where they are posting the information as it comes out. 

So far I am cautiously optimistic. It sounds like they recognize the issues with the way the game has developed over 8th & 9th and that multiple layers of complexity in play do not automatically make for a better game. Some high points for me:

  • The new datasheets do not appear to be simplifying the units themselves but putting all of the information onto them and then making them available as card packs is a huge improvement. A one-stop reference to use during play is a great step and we do not appear to be losing any stats (like the rumored Toughness elimination a while back) or any flavor as of now.

  • The new detachment system sounds like they are implementing some modern game design thinking. The way to allow for a wide range of options for players is not to pile on more and more layers but instead to have a fixed number of "slots" that can change based on what kind of army you want to play. All-terminator army? It probably won't be locked into the Dark Angel Deathwing only but will be an option any marine army can use that will have different options than a standard marine strike force type army. Same with an all-biker army or a tank army or really any themed force you can think of. This -should- give us a ton of flexibility without drastic power differences or weird rules hiccups like only being able to use Dark Angels characters if you want to run and all-bike or all-termie force or even crazier stuff like an all-character force. We shall see but it sounds good right now.

  • The new army construction approach looks promising beyond the detachment piece too. I was a fan of the old one (HQ+ 2 Troops!) as well as the more recent versions most of the time but it could really get in the way at times and turned troops into weakened units commonly seen as a tax to get to the good stuff. This looser approach has a lot of potential but of course the obvious question is "why wouldn't you just take all the good stuff now and skip the troops type units?". They say they will be adding some unique capability to units but only the first one will grant it or it will only be usable once per turn regardless of how many of those units you have so there is less of an incentive to  spam things and more incentive to include a wider range of things. This seems like a great way to do it if they a) get it right and b) maintain the approach going forward and don't break it 3 codexes in.  
  • The approach to the launch is refreshing as well. Free rules plus free indexes for all armies will give players a chance to try out the new edition with all of the forces at their disposal. I'd love to see this time used as a giant playtest round to sort out the rules and possibly the armies as well but I doubt the rules will benefit much from this as they are not calling it a playtest. The codexes will as I am 100% sure index feedback will drive some of the changes that will be made for the codex versions of the army, especially the later codexes, so we have that at least.

 Some other interesting implications of what they've announced so far: They do specifically mention "datasheets" and right now for example Space Marine armies have 3 different types of land raiders and two types of predators, Orks have their various buggies that are individual sheets, Imperial Guard now have 3 types of Troop infantry squads ... depending on how those kinds of things translate to the new edition it may be possible to field some really interesting armies. Assuming some kind of Forge World style HQ land raider shows up in 10th we could field the old Epic land raider company in 40K ... all on its own.

Also there will be effectively two releases/updates/stress points for players. There is the initial release with the indexes which will look and play one way and then a later update for each army when the codex comes out and inevitably changes how the army plays to some degree. We saw it with 8th where some index armies could go toe-to-toe with new codex armies and some were ... less capable. It's bound to happen this time as well as I do not think their approach is changing so much that we will get all of the codexes released at the same time or even in a very short window. It would be great if they could shorten the usual pattern for these but who knows at this point. I'd much rather see all the codexes released in say, Year 1, then campaign books and the like released for the rest of the edition. 

So, for now at least, I am pretty optimistic about the whole thing and looking forward to exploring a new arena with some old and new armies.

Meme-ish Monday