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Playing 8th Edition 40K

In my last blog, I spoke about playing my first game of Warhammer 40,000 in nearly two decades. We used the new 8th edition rules.

Land Raider AKA the Squad Evaporator.

I've not played 40k in a long while, but kept up with the developments in the game out of professional interest. Based on the streamlined rules of Age of Sigmar, the new  8th edition 40k rules are quite compact (being only some ten pages in total) and are, admittedly, very clever.

The devil is as always in the detail, namely in the army lists and special rules. These add an additional layer of complexity to the game, but it is where a lot of the character lies. As with previous editions, you are largely reliant on your opponent to faithfully play his special rules and for you to know yours. If you have the resources, of course, you'll also be familiar with their army list too.

IMHO, the system has reverted back to the original 1st Edition rules, with vehicles having a toughness rating and wounds instead of an armour rating. This also means that a vehicle is equally as tough no matter which direction you shoot it from, which along with no arcs or templates, removes part of the tactical manoeuvre from the game.

Explosion and flamer templates are gone, instead blast weapons have a random number of multiple shots. This seems a little odd at first (with my Leeman Russ battle cannon rolling 2D6 shots as it didn't move). This is still a game of rolling lots and lots of dice!

The biggest shock was returning to IGO-UGO mechanism, the alternate turn. Having the first turn is still a very big advantage. Waiting for your turn seemed to take ages (ok, maybe 15-20 minutes), where all I did was make the occasional saving throw and take off models from the table.

I can see that there are fun aspects to the game, but I was left feeling deeply this wasn't for me. I've been spoilt by newer activation systems. I think I'll put my beloved Guard back in the cellar. Who knows, in another 10-15 years, they may be dusted off to come out and play whatever is new for 40k then...

5 thoughts on “Playing 8th Edition 40K”

  • Travis

    I agree with you about the igo-ugo system. It seems so archaic. There are so many fun and innovative turn systems out there, like Bolt Action and Chain of Command that keep both players involved and engaged for the entire game, instead of sitting around for half an hour (or longer) waiting. The igo-ugo also places way too much emphasis on who gets the first turn. There are many examples of a player packing it in once the top half of the first turn was over. They just did not have enough left to continue.

  • Jay Arnold - @VeteranWargamer
    Jay Arnold - @VeteranWargamer May 24, 2018 at 10:43 pm

    No! Keep your Guard handy! Use other rules! Is skirmish your bag? Try Fistful of Lead - Galactic Heroes, coming this fall. Or 5150 from Two Hour Wargames. Want more of an RPG-like experience? Give Rogue Stars from Osprey a go. For a gritty, tactical platoon game, Stargrunt II from GZG is my go-to choice and is free to download from their site!

    Keep gaming with those great figures. Just use a ruleset that pleases you!

  • mike Smith

    I tried 40k some years ago but there was to much to get my head around. Space Crusade ffrom Hasbro was a good game as was the original Space Hulk. My own Table Top Battle rules has some very simple rules.Enjoyment is the main thing.

  • Brian Van De Walker
    Brian Van De Walker March 12, 2020 at 1:18 am

    You could also use them for boltaction, a lot of people where doing that for awhile.

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