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Well, Games Workshop just exploded our corner of the internet with the huge announcement of Warhammer 40k 8th edition.

Warhammer Community

“Over the last few months, it’s been pretty clear that something has been coming – we’ve seen the Baal System threatened by the Tyranids, war erupting across the Damocles Gulf, a Daemon Primarch return in the Fenris System and most recently, the events of the Gathering Storm, in which worlds fell, gods were born and a Primarch rose from his 10,000 year slumber.

The new Warhammer 40,000 will see the continuation of these epic events – this is the universe you know and love, but the story of the galaxy is advancing. Be prepared for some major and exciting developments in the story of the Dark Millennium.

This is the game you know, but improved, faster, bloodier and better. The rules team have gone to great lengths to make sure that every unit, weapon, vehicle and character has its role – everything will be useful, and every miniature will have a place in your army.”

From this we can expect to see some big changes to the game we all know and love, but let’s not be too hasty to scream and shout “It’s getting ‘Age of Sigmar’d’ #*?#!”. For one, we don’t know what the changes are yet. All we know is what has been mentioned above and some other bits mentioned in the new FAQ. The story is advancing, and the way we play will change from the core rules down to each and every model.

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As I just mentioned, there is also a new FAQ up on the Warhammer Community website which goes through and answers some much anticipated questions. I urge you to go and check it out for more of an insight to what’s coming.

There are some key points to take from the FAQ which will help us understand some of the changes.

  • It’s out this year
  • There will be 3 ways to play (seems familiar)
  • New starter box
  • Core rules will be free
  • All armies updated with new rules from the start in new “low cost books”
  • Current codexes aren’t compatible

We can establish a few things from this. Not only will the new edition be available this year, it will also be accompanied by a new starter set and all current armies will be updated with new rules ready to play from the off. How great is that? Not only do we get our hands on it soon, but all armies will be updated and ready to play at the start. This in itself is huge. No more out-of-date codexes!

Speaking of which – codexes. All current codexes will not be compatible with the new edition. Sucks for some, I know, but look on the bright side. Everyone is getting a new book. Everyone will be on a level playing field, so to speak. Everyone will have a new and updated army. What’s not to get excited about! This also points out that there will be some huge universal update to something. I imagine it will be along the lines of data sheets (movement stats for each unit?), army construction, points? Something fundamental found across the core of all armies will be different, and I think some of the answers might be inside the Shadow War: Armageddon book.

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Some of you will notice a few familiar things. And yes, they are, dare I say it, familiar to Age of Sigmar.

Free core rules! Bonus. And this is one of the things I really liked about AoS, free rules to play. It seems like 40k will be getting a similar treatment. Core rules are free for everyone (makes sense), and a ‘Generals Handbook’ style supplement to go with them. Goodbye £50 rulebook! This is also where I see the main concern however. Will the rules be shrunken down to a couple of pages? I can’t see it myself. It’s too early to call and the truth is, 40k is a very well established game. There’s nothing fundamentally wrong with it or it’s player base. Nothing drastic actually needs to happen. We know they’re tidying the rules up and making the game smoother etc. but we don’t know much more than that. Fantasy and 40k have always been two very different games, and both are getting updates for very different reasons, and I think it’s important to remember that. One other important factor to take into consideration is that it’ll be good house keeping to have two games using similar building blocks. It makes sense from a business perspective. Two games, both with free rules, a rules supplement, and both with vast armies and books to go with. Nothing says they have to be exactly the same.

There will be 3 ways to play! Open play, narrative play, and matched play. I won’t go into it too much, but most of us will play matched (points based games) or some form of narrative games anyway. I can’t say for sure that these 3 game types will be exactly the same as Age of Sigmar, but we’ll have to wait and see.

The final thing similar to Age of Sigmar is the army updates. This time round though, everyone is getting updated together at the start. The story is advancing, but the universe is the same. I think the updates will generally be to get the armies in line with the new rules. All armies and current units will still be supported.

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With those key bits out of the way, there is plenty of room for speculation. It’s too early to call on most things, but GW have been dropping little hints here and there recently. What I am wondering though, is if the image above might be a hint as so what will be inside the new starter set? Could we see the Raven Guard take on the Death Guard? Is that too similar to the last starter set though, Space Marines vs Chaos Space Marines again? I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

Wings

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