Don’t you just love that prolonged burst of excitement in anticipation of a new edition?! Everything old is new again, everything new is super new. You know what can be a little irksome, though? Having to relearn all those rules, phases, sequences, etc. Sometimes it definitely seems like brand new players would have an easier time learning than veterans having to re-learn what they already know.
But don’t worry, we’re here to help. Below you’ll find a short list compiled to show the biggest things in Warhammer 40K 8th edition that are likely to trip you up if you’re coming from 7th. Together we’ll get through this and will shave valuable time from re-reading rule books so we can all get back to playing the game.
1. Templates? What are templates?
In 7th Edition you’d have blast templates and flame templates for certain weapons. These would help you determine how many units a flamethrower would hit or powerful Demolisher Cannon was going to hit by placing it over the targeted unit, providing they hit after rolling to scatter.
Well, you now have three less things to carry about with you for games. Templates are gone. Finito. Caput! In an effort to speed up gameplay hitting targets with weapons that would likely hit a number of models at once (such as flame weapons and large explosives) you simply roll to determine how many hits/attacks you get. This way you can still potentially take out a handful of enemy models in one well-aimed attack of devastating weaponry without arguing with your opponent whether “that Terminator blatantly gets hit by the blast template, open your eyes!”.
2. We love to move it, move it.
7th Edition rules had units determine their movement ranges via type. For exmaple, infantry could move 6″, bikes and cavalry could move more, etc. This meant that if you forget the movement capabilities of a unit type you’d have to pick up your rule book, trawl through the pages, etc.
8th truly knocks this one out of the park. Each unit now has its own movement value which can be found on the data sheet. It’s easier to reference and now means each model can be more appropriately spec’d out. Far more sensible than a batch of vastly different and varied units having the same movement simply because they are all infantry.
3. Dakka here! Dakka there! Dakka everywhere!
When it came to shooting I always felt inhibited in 7th edition, despite a fair amount being down to having to use your tactical wit. You’d have to prioritise what an entire unit shoots at because they can all only shoot at the same unit. This means that you’d have to blow all of your weapons on, say, a squad of incoming troops. All of anti-vehicle weapons, all your big-monster-killers, everything. Because this enemy squad was a higher threat you couldn’t even think about putting some specialised attacks on another enemy that turn with that squad.
Well, that’s all changed now and this is possibly one of my most favoured changes being heralded into 8th edition. All the models in your units can fire at whatever they want. You’re no longer tied down to all models firing at one target. You can now even charge an enemy unit that you didn’t shoot at in the same battle round. Versatility and dynamism is the name of the game here, folks. Use your anti-infantry weapons against infantry and your anti-monster weapons against your monsters.
4. Vehicular Mayhem
Vehicles were often a mixed bag in the previous edition. They were typically big and effective units but due to the way the rules worked they were sometimes quick and easy first kills. One lucky shot and your tank or dreadnought could explode in the first turn, instantly wiping that many points off your army before any chance of even moving.
Vehicles have had a colossal rework. Gone are Armour Values and Hull Points. Vehicles now have Toughness and Wounds just as every other unit. They typically have a lot of Wounds, too. This means vehicles are more likely to last longer in the game rather than being cheap kills for your opponents. With statline characteristics no longer being capped at 10 you can probably expect to see armies solely consisting of armoured boxes of death and destruction.
There’s plenty more changes but too many to go into without this article becoming a little on the chunky side. You can expect more coverage coming very, very soon.