Thursday, 6 July 2017

8th Edition - First Game and thoughts on the new rules and stats - Dark Angels v Blood Angels

4 days after release and I could hold my excitement no longer and managed to get together with a friend for my first game!! I acquired a 40k 8th edition rulebook on my 40th birthday which happily coincided with the release day of 8th edition - Bonus!

Index & List Building
The day of the game I nipped out to my FLGS and picked up Index: Imperium 1 book (I wanted 2 to play my Astra Militarum army the Emperors Feth but unfortunately they had sold out so Blood Angels it was!) to get an hour or so to pick an army list for a game of 1500 points - I don't quite get the power levels yet!

My first impression of that book was definitely one of complication as it certainly had a load of stats - 220 odd pages of them - blimey. However a lot of them are for different armies or are repeated and after using it alongside the game you quickly find the reference pages at the back.

I had five first impressions on the Blood Angels army lists:
1 - The Sanguinary psychic powers are awesome and also knowing Smite means that a librarian can be vicious!!
2 - Mephiston is back - and he's badass! The Sanguine Sword is awesome and actually does damage again at last! Also his points have come down dramatically.
3 - Assault squads can't have inferno pistols or hand flamers anymore. This is gutting as it took me ages to get some for my squads and those weapons really fit the Blood Angel fluff.
4 - Where is the Death Company Chaplain with jump pack?? It's a fantastic model, it was only released last year and I have only just painted it!!! You can still use him by selecting the normal chaplain and giving him the correct upgrades but he is no longer an item in the list - Gah!
5 - Wow terminators with TH/SS's are now super expensive points wise. I know this is a different game but a rise of 60 points up to 280 for a squad of 5 is a lot...

Having flicked through the book I thought I would mainly use infantry and keep things fairly simple for the first game so I took:

Chaplain - Jump pack, inferno pistol, Crozius
Tactical squad - Sergeant with Power Fist, 8 marines with boltguns and 1 marine with heavy flamer
Drop Pod
2 Assault squads - Jump Packs, 2 Plasma Pistols in each, 1 power fist in each.
Dreadnought - Twin Lascannon, Missile Launcher
Death Company - 10 Marines, Jump Packs, 1 power sword, 1 power axe, 1 power fist
Terminator assault squad - 5 terminators TH/SS

This put me at 1487 points and a power level of 90.

Mike my opponent was playing Dark Angels and was just under 1500 points but with a lesser power level. This was interesting as my power level was higher even though I had marginally less points?

Mission and Set Up
We played the standard Only War mission and I have to say that I really enjoyed the way of setting the game up:
- One player choosing a halfway mark on the table was fun as you could literally draw a line through the table anywhere which gives some good tactical decisions.
- The player with less power level gaining an extra command point is great as a balancer.
- I found that deployment was fun and tactical with players alternating setting units up - this was a particular highlight as you are left with a decision of reaction to your opponent or following a battle plan. Also you get to choose whether units are in reserve or not which has tactical uses on set up.

Overall I found that setting up was really fast and more tactical than in any edition before and it also promoted more interaction between players as we were lambasting each other for placing units in different positions.

Playing the game
I found that playing the game was really quite simple. Moving through the different phases was easy and the new rules made much more sense from a 'realistic' view - all weapons being able to damage anything on the board is far better as there are no wasted units. Also I feel that because of this different units need to be used in certain roles adding to the tactical element of the game.

From the point of view of a dad who has limited time or who may be teaching someone new the game, I found that there is 1 complicated and time consuming part to the new edition.

The new unit profiles
Now there are no special rules - except there are!! They are all in the unit profiles and there are tons of them!
I really like the fact that every unit now has the same profile - much easier to teach someone how to play but there are a lot of different stats to learn. Now this is no different from before and because each unit follows the same stat line once these are learned from your own army the game will speed up massively - I just can't remember what I had for breakfast this morning let alone learn a bunch of extra numbers!!
The only issue are the special rules and certainly the ones for other armies and their units which I have no hope of learning. Please note that this isn't a moan - the rules have always been this way and this edition has definitely reduced the extra rules so I'm happy!

My favourite change
This has to be the assault phase which is much better. Charging units go first - Hurrah!! How this hasn't happened before I don't know! A first turn charge opportunity - excellent and risky - perfect! The ability to use command points to jump in out of turn - great idea and very tactical! Power fists and thunder hammers hitting first but being penalised for being unwieldy - Actually makes sense!
Love all of this and now the assault phase is so vicious with the new morale rule it's much quicker and less likely to get bogged down turn after turn.

A great example was below - The Dark Angel Terminators deep struck from orbit, made their charge into my death company and completely wiped them out with 2 casualties taken. Serving them right the Assault squads converged to take their revenge good and proper....
Dark Angels up the creek

So after 1 game I am properly hyped up for this edition and have now arranged another so watch this space for more views. If you have any thoughts let me know in the comments.

See you soon
James – A blog about Warhammer 40k and the Horus Heresy by four Dads


  1. Power Levels don't change when most upgrades are taken (they're basically an average of the cheapest and most expensive possible builds for that Model Count), so a force that spends more Points on upgrades will have a lower Power Level at a given Points Level than one that spent their Points more on adding Models.

    Power Levels are great as long as everyone's on the same page as far as what kind of Game they're looking for. They can be abused, but if you're basically just porting Armies across from a previous edition, they work pretty well.

  2. Yes I agree. I like the idea of using them as you can just take a bunch of models you like the look or feel of and not worry about points.
    You definitely need to ok this with your playing partner though and check its ok to be up or down points or power level wise.

  3. You can have infournous pistols and hand flamers in your assault squads per the index (it is not on the unit stats but in the BA intro on the margin. The FAQ just added that assault squads CAN take meltaguns AND Plasma Guns - a huge change!