Friday, April 17, 2015

Warhammer 40k 8th Edition?

An Unusual Change

For the longest time, the discussion in the community was how every newly released Codex was being toned down. I heard over and over among friends and online boards, "You wanted balance, this is the cost!" That cost was being defined as special rules only deriving from the Big Rule Book.

Flavor was found in the supplements and expansions that were released as companions to the Codex. Formations and unique detachments brought special point-tax free rules to go along with building your army. If you wanted an edge, you needed to follow these new army structures.

Courtesy of Lexicanum
It was good business for GW in my summation. Books are good $$ and the complexity of formations made people buy units they may have been missing to complete the required unit composition. It was also good for the player base. For the most part these new units were fluffy and fun to play with. They came with unique stories that were represented with appropriate flavorful rules. It opened up the restriction of the Force Organization Chart by allowing more room than the standard in some cases or being able to double down on certain slots through formations.

What Happened?

There was a very clear change in direction however at the end of 2014. The yellow highlighted line I messily drew on the image above shows that division in how a codex army can be organized.

Prior to this moment in 40k history, books were developed with a similar theme that tied directly to the edition. All of the books developed during that edition of the game followed a similar format.


The bulk of the book is the same. There is one key element that was suddenly very different. The Necron Decurion Detachment. Something that looks like a detachment but foregoes the use of traditional terms and 'slots' that prior detachments had used. It looks an awful lot like formation choices to fill mandatory and optional force organization.

Harlequins didn't have this. In my mind it was easily accepted as, "Necrons have dynasties and cool tomb world structure...okay, I dig it." Harlequins didn't have HQ slots however. I saw confusion among players. Do they need them to be considered a codex? Is this just "an ally book?" An expansion-esque on Eldar and Dark Eldar and a way to tie them together? Okay, I'm okay with this too.

Now...Daemonkin. Basically taking two factions, Chaos Daemons and Chaos Space Marines and slapping together a unified ruleset under one Chaos God. Okay, now this is cool. This is something I like. It's like taking what I mentioned about Eldar, Dark Eldar, and Harlequins but actually giving you a single book that represents that. They also have a nifty way to summon more daemons and buffs with the blood tithe. I hope there's more like this.

Skitarii. Suddenly we're back to Harlequins but with Imperial forces. These guys are great additions, like Imperial Knights. I can see them being on their own...but there is little traditional about them. Everything I've seen screams, "We make Imperial stuff better!" 

So is this how 7th will shape out? Supplements and filler forces that give loads of options and new models? If so - I LOVE this change. Shield of Baal was a great way to give two armies loads of fun new toys. Let's keep this coming but keep the core books stable for a while, right? Right??

Then this leaks...
Wait. Is that a "Decurion" too?? Why are we suddenly including these cool organization rules and options where prior 7th Edition Codicies didn't have them and likely won't have them for years to come. Sure, they got a new CEO...but these things have to be on the back burner for a while before they get published. It's not like Tom Kirby came in and said "SO SHALL IT BE!"

Why is it that we are seeing this sudden codex style change in the middle of an edition?

In the past we have seen books that have unusual rules at the end of a current edition. We've had 10 months of 7th edition. I know GW is moving at breakneck speed, but is it outrageous to think that we could see a new edition as soon as a year later?

Ask Apple, I guess.

Why do you think this new, and quite awesome, detachment structure was introduced? Why didn't the earlier 7th Edition factions get it? Leave me your thoughts because I feel crazy to think an 8th Edition is on the horizon.

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