Warhammer 40,000 (Called 40k by fans of the game) is a tabletop miniatures game made by the British company Games Workshop that has been around since 1986. In it, two or more players take turns moving their armies around a battlefield in a sci-fi battle to the death. The game’s minis are built and painted by the players who can choose the weapons and poses to personalize their armies. Using many six-sided dice to determine the outcomes in shooting exchanges and hand-to-hand combat . The game has a reputation for being unapproachable because of its complex rules system and long game times. The rulebook is usually about 200 pages long and that doesn’t even count the story and in depth narrative pieces written into the book. That is all about to change with the upcoming release of the 8th edition of Warhammer 40,000.
As a long time fan of the game I was initially skeptical of a new, simplified rules system. I was afraid simplifying the rules would remove the thematic feel and tactical depth from the game. After an entire day of playing the new system I can see my fears were unfounded. While the changes to the game are substantial, I think that streamlined is a more appropriate term to use when describing the new rules. Prior to 8th edition, playing Wahammer required templates and use of multiple charts in order to resolve actions. The 8th edition system is designed in such a way that the math that went into those charts is done by the game itself. This change cut down on the number of times I found myself scouring the rule book to find a specific chart or rule to apply to a given situation. As a result, I was able to play two games of 40k in the time it used to take to play one. When a game could run around three hours, it was a welcome change.
The fact that the games are faster means that focusing and keeping the play/action/engaging is a lot easier. When gameplay doesn’t feel like a complex math problem, It’s easier to remember that it’s a fast paced war that your armies are fighting. Another fantastic change in the game is how vehicles and larger models function. In previous systems games became a race to see if you could could keep your big monster alive longer than your opponents. In 8th edition these giant threats now suffer combat damage, and decrease performance as they pile on wounds. This shift in the game makes the game feel much more cinematic than in previous editions. It also Encourages players to make new choices in how they want to play. After all, giant creature that has to limp along on one leg isn’t anywhere near as threatening as a large group of smaller enemies that are at full strength. You’ll need to think quickly and anticipate your enemies moves to achieve victory.
Overall, I’m incredibly excited about the new edition of 40k, and I believe that the new rules are a step in the right direction. The release of 8th edition is an amazing time for new players to join in. Smaller armies are easier to play with with the game featuring a “bring what you have” approach to casual play. Veterans of 40k will find themselves at home with a familiar system for point values, allowing for more competitive play. I never thought I’d find myself saying that Warhammer would be a game anyone could just pick up and play. Games Workshop has caught lightning in a bottle with this one, The new Edition releases Saturday June 17th and is definitely worth a look if you’ve been on the fence about trying Warhammer 40,000. Stop by one of the events below to see this new game system in action As soon as it releases!
Uncanny! Plymouth Meeting Mall
500 W Germantown Pk, Plymouth Meeting, PA 19464
The team at Uncanny! Will be hosting a number of tables built out for skirmish matches. Witness epic battles in the 41st millennium, try out a turn or two yourself. Or even just hang out and start building some of the brand new models with members of the community of all skill levels.
3850 Lancaster Ave. Philadelphia, PA 19104
This Saturday Redcap’s Corner is hosting modeling and open play. Celebrating the release of the new edition of 40k. With Open Play and modeling starting at noon, stop by and see all the new edition has to offer.