Wednesday, May 31, 2017

No 8th for Horus Heresy

I wanted to write this article a few days ago, but I was a bit "hot" thinking about it. Hence I decided to delay writing it until now since I've cooled off a bit(!).

At the weekend, it was announced that 30k and the Horus Heresy would be parting ways with the mainstream 40k by not transitioning to the 8th edition of the rules set. The reasons behind this are anyone's guess, but probably a superposition of some of the following: a lot of work in converting to 8th; needing different rules in place; needing more time to play test; needing more time to consider how to do it; focus on 40k rather than 30k in the first instance (etc.). Genuinely, I don't know, but its probably some or more of these kinds of reasons.

This choice has me torn, and judging by the wider community, there are strong views on either side of the argument.

There are plenty of people who will rejoice at this decision. The shoe-horning of 30k in to 8th was bound to cause problems. And 8th does solve many of the problems with 7th edition 40k … but those problems were never really there in 30k anyway. The main one I can think of that will be "left over" for 30k is how to run psykers. The 7th edition of the psyker rules set has never sat well with me. Perhaps the new 30k rules will modify these?

On the other hand, it does present problems for me personally. How will I face off against the local Eldar player? Sure, Forge World might produce a 30k Eldar rules set at some point in the future (they will be doing daemons very soon in Angelus after all). But until then, how should I accomplish that?

Well, one thing is for sure. I will not stop playing either 30k or 40k! Indeed, we have a "bye bye 7th edition" tournament coming up locally that will feature a large variety of armies that we're looking forward to playing in. More on that another day.


The GunGrave said...

I think it's a bit mad not to transition the 2 at the same time, but ultimately I think that's what will happen in the end. It seems silly to have 2 different rules sets flying a round. I can barely cope with 1 let alone 2 sets of rules!

Dave Mary said...

My guess is it was a lot to do with the expensive (an relatively new) hardback rule books Forgeworld offers up for the 30K gaming experience. Folks who recently purchased all the black books + red books could be thought to have a reasonable beef about their rules being OOP so soon. More so since the foibles of 7th that folks seem to dislike so much really don't appear to affect 30K.

It would seem a migration to the new rules is inevitable (and they seem to say so in the wording of their statements), but likely needs a cooling off period to see how 40K runs in the new rules (ironing out any remaining kinks) and then giving them time to provide new rules in a manner that doesn't alienate a large population of folks who may have spent in the neighborhood of $1000 for their current rule books...

A thorny problem I can only imagine caused many passionate discussions in house as the new edition was defined and rolled out...

30k plus 40k said...

I am firmly in the camp that says 8th edition would have improved 30k.

The chasm of problems that 7th edition suffered in 40k were very much down to rules additions rather than the main game mechanics true. By which of course, I am talking about formations and the in balance between codices.

However, the foibles of 7th edition are the Universal Special Rules (USR) within the core mechanic. When a unit was designed in 7th edition, in order to represent what that unit can do in game, rather than writing a rule for that unit, a certain amount of jury rigging was performed with the currently available USR to fit that role.

This has led to certain mechanics working better than others. This in turn has led to a broad homegenisation of Astartes armies in 30k.

Who hasn't seen the army made up of a flare shielded spartan, quad mortars, a leviathan, tactical vets with sniper and then caterphractii terminators?

8th edition was a ripe opportunity to add value to the lesser used units of the games, of which there are many, such as destroyers and recon marines, breachers and tartaros terminators.

I am still holding out hope for the move to 8th edition in a year or so, to allow that ground up re-balance which I think 30k DOES need. Yes it is nowhere near the imbalance of 40k in 7th, but I think that comparison hides an imbalance nonetheless.

With regards to the books, the black books very often become out of date anyway due to re-pointing and rules changes appearing in the red books, I don't think anyone buys them purely for rules. And the red books could easily be released as 1 or 2 indices as we've seen how many they can fit into a book for 40k.

Finally, the redesign of rules for almost all of the vehicles will have already been done for 8th edition, as evidenced by the on release availability of chaos and imperial indices for forgeworld units.

I am not a doomsayer and I will continue to have fun with modified 7th, but 8th would have addressed the issues with 30k that ARE there. To say its a perfectly balanced ruleset where all choices are equally viable is to ignore the vast evidence from events and the lists represented, that this is simply not true.

Apologies for the rant :)

Kraggi said...

I am on the upset side of the fence for this, I haven't played a lot of 7th (either 30 or 40k), but what I have played has left me wishing for previous versions of the game.

8th has me excited and a ruleset I want to learn, but keeping 7th ed in there alongside 8th is only going to make me make mistakes and probably going to highlight even more issues with 7th as you play the two side by side.

I hope this is simply a case of they are so far through Angelus they don't want to re-do it all for release, and that we will get 8th ed rules for 30k.

Given the huge amount of crossover, there is no reason they couldnt look to release 8th ed rules for the models to allow us to play it in 8th - as sort of a public beta to get it right.

Ah well, rant over.

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