Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Warhammer 40k 8th ed review

Ahh 40k, how much we used to love thee. 

The following is a few images from an old comic that I used to produce about seven years ago when gaming 40k 5ed with a group of mates. 

There are a lot of memories there. 

Anyway, recently a mate of mine convinced me on the weekend that 8th ed is the bomb and it was time for us to give it a go again. 

So I picked up a copy of the rules and had a bit of a read. Whilst sitting and working out some lists for our first game I figured I should do a review. 

In terms of the physical product, Games Workshop have once again produced an outstanding publication. The main rule book is some 280 pages long, with beautiful glossy pages, magnificent art, nicely bound and protected with a quality hard cover. There are a couple of reasons why Games Workshop is a massive force in gaming and the soundness and quality of their physical product is usually one of them. 

The ‘Core Rules’ themselves have been dramatically cut down and simplified and now take only 8 pages. Games Workshop have undertaken considerable effort to simplify and reduce the complexity of the game and this is evident in the brevity of the rules themselves. 

6th and 7th ed’s were pretty similar, more a refinement than a new set of rules, compared to 5th ed, but 8th ed is truly a new edition with many changes and a different flavour to game play. The game is very different to previous editions but definitely still has a 40k feel to it. For example, there are no fire arcs any more, vehicles have hit points and toughness values and are treated kinda like a large creature used to be in previous editions, there are no more templates but rather previously templated weapons now hit a number of models, usually a random number, cover is simplified, to hit rolls have been simplified, weapons now have a negative effect on the armour save rather than the AP value of old. For the most part none of these changes, to me, are a bad thing, but rather they are just different. I’m going to miss the glee of placing a large Str 9, AP 3 template down on the table but then again I can see the advantage of just rolling d6 to see how many models have been effected, much quicker. 

As to the army lists, wow haven’t Games Workshop produced something different here. They have brought out five new ‘Indexes’ being Imperium 1 (covering the Space Marines), Imperium 2 (covering the Imperial Guard and anything else with the empire of man), Chaos (covering chaos marines and demons), Xenos 1 (coving the eldar and necrons) and Xenos 2 (covering the orks, T’au and Tyranids). These are a massive innovation and a very welcome addition to what Games Workshop would normally produce for a new set of rules. 

Each of these books is reasonably priced at about $40AUD each and covers the all the rules normally covered in a codex minus most of the fluff (which is quite heavily covered in the Core Rule Book in any case).  

This is a very welcome innovation and, to be frank, was the deal maker that got me to decide to re-invest in 40k. No waiting two years and spending approximately $80 to $100AUD’s per Codex to have it redundant shortly after the purchase of the last one. Now I’ve got all the lists, which total about 800 pages over the five volumes, for what I think is a reasonable price of $200AUD and they’ll probably be current for two to three years. 

Over the years I’ve collected a reasonably extensive set of armies including large Space Marine and Imperial Guard armies (about 4,000 to 5,000 points of each) as well as pretty decent armies for Eldar, Orks, Chaos Marines (about 2,000 to 3,000 points each) and have started Necron and T’au armies (probably got about 1,000 point of each). So for me I can immediately get back into the game with any of these forces. That is a great boon. 

Whilst the Indexes span some 800 pages, they are very summary in their format, very workman like in their nature as they are mainly stats, but they do cover probably every model that there is to be had. They are clear and well laid out and there are summary pages for each army at the end of each book.
There is a lot of flexibility in list building and I’m now eagerly awaiting my chance to get my first game on against my regular 40k opponent. 

So there you go. A brief review but I hope it’s informed your thinking about the merit of the product. To me the fact that it still feels like 40k but has changed from previous editions is welcome as is the simplification of the rules and the sheer ease and affordability to get back in the game. The fact that the game plays quicker is a bonus as well. 

I’m not always a great fan of the way that Games Workshop have treated their customers over the years but in this case, well done. 



  1. I got 40K troops all the way back to the early 80's. My problem is I got hooked on the Flight of fantasy Heresy series. Talk about a great series for role player. Flight of fantasy had just released their latest adventure Death Watch. This was last year. But for some they lost or give up the license for Games Workshop. You can find more on my blog http://gary-oldsargeswargameandmodelblog.blogspot.com/search/label/40k

    Great review...

    1. Fantasy Flight Games are good aren't they. I've got Death Watch. Very good read. Haven't had the chance as yet to play it but sometimes it's just nice to have the books to read them.

      Bummer they gave up the license.

      Thanks for the link to your articles.

  2. Great review of the new rules Tim - it would be nice to think that GW have taken steps to improve how they treat their customer base.
    Love the look of the old "comic" and hope we can look forward to similar battle reports when you get stuck back into 40K gaming :-)

  3. Yes we can only hope can't we. Still this edition seems to be going in the right direction.

    The old comic was a bit of a hit with the lads but she used to take a bit to produce. I've got a game scheduled for this weekend so I'll see if i can whip out the camera and get a few pictures in. At least put together some type of battle report.