The Rumour Mill has been frothing for months about a “revised” version of 40K 6th Edition. In the last couple of days there have been leaks from White Dwarf Weekly confirming it was happening – and it appears to be a whole new edition.
Obviously, this is the Internet, and specifically, this is the online 40K community. Where previously we had people saying we needed a revision/new edition to “fix the imbalance,” “add clarity [about what is/isn't official],” “make the game fun again,” etc, etc, etc… we now have much wailing and gnashing of teeth. The sky is falling! This is the “death” of 40K! It’s a “money grab.” Insert your favourite Games Workshop hate here!
Sometimes you just can’t make this stuff up. Ask for a new edition; get a new edition; complain there’s a new edition.
So what do we know about what’s coming? Two main things:
- There’s a “new” psychic phase, just like the magic phase in Warhammer Fantasy.
- You now have the option of building your army in one of two ways: “Bound” (which uses the Force Organisation Chart), or “Unbound” which is a free-for-all, take whatever you want affair.
That’s pretty much all of the interesting details we know. If you want my opinion (and you wouldn’t be reading this if you didn’t) these are awesome changes to 40K. Why?
I hate the current implementation of psychic powers in the game. Having to remember to use different powers at different times in different phases is a massive pain in the hoop. Not using psychics right can lose you a game, yet at the moment they’re so fiddly that it’s all too easy to forget them until it’s too late.
I put “new” in quotes above because a dedicated psychic phase is not unheard of in 40K. We had one in 2nd Edition, and while it added an extra phase to the game, it was beautifully straightforward and it worked. I realise that at least half the player base isn’t old enough to have played with a dedicated phase, and so it’s a big, scary change… but trust me on this: the game will have one less potential point of frustration.
The FOC (or lack of it)
For years and years and years, players have been complaining they can’t field certain “fluffy” armies on the table because the force-org restrictions wouldn’t let them (think Space Marine “Reserve Companies” and the like). Guess what? You just got your wish. Got the points for it? By the sounds of things now you can take it in an “Unbound” list. What was the first complaint about this change? That it would be the death of fluffy armies. Seriously.
If you’ve been paying attention to Jervis Johnson’s column in White Dwarf, he’s been telegraphing such a change for months.
The one fair criticism which could be levelled at this change is that it opens the door for all sorts of spam-list abuses. Is that a game issue, or a player issue? Has everyone lost sight of “just because you can, doesn’t mean you should”?
Not to mention, we haven’t got any details of the “bonuses” given to Bound (FOC-using) lists. These could still turn out to be an equaliser.
If you’re playing amongst your good friends then sure, take that ridiculous list as a one-off, for the lolz. But taking it to your FLGS for a pick-up game? That makes you That Guy. What do we always say? Don’t be That Guy.
As for tournaments, I imagine they’ll be Bound-List-only, perhaps without the bonuses, depending how the chips fall on those. That way no one has to get their knickers in a twist any more than they do nowadays. It’ll be the same 40K the Internet Community have been anticipating the death of for more than a decade.
In a nutshell, I like this change because it brings so much freedom to the game. I can have a load of fun playing more-or-less what I want, without having to tick boxes on an FOC that’s grown to sprawl over an A3 page when printed… if I want to. Or I can have fun playing with a “cohesive” army and reap some in-game benefits for doing so. The choice will be mine to play the game how I want. GW have actually written into the rules what they’ve been trying to tell us for years: have fun, playing the game your way. We won’t know for sure until the rulebook hits the shelves, but as I said on twitter yesterday, 7th Edition sounds like it’s going to be a hoot to play.
Addendum: My Wishlist for 7th Edition
If I can wishlist for a moment, here’s some more changes I’m hoping to see in 7th Edition:
- Less “Ignores Cover” – at the moment, there are far too many ways to apply IC, which essentially makes cover useless as a game mechanic. No cover makes it harder for assault armies to do their thing. Would need to be an Errata item for existing codexes though.
- Less low AP – massed AP3/AP2 is too common, and exacerbates the prevalence of Ignores Cover, making anything without an Invuln save far too squishy.
- No more random charge distance – seriously, I hate this bit of 6th. I need no other justification other than it just feels stupid to play.
- Special Rules do not affect Allies, unless specifically noted – 80% of shenanigans gone in one fell swoop.
- Assault from Deep Strike – would make for some epic moments, and would be a significant boost for assault armies. Definitely of benefit if Ignores Cover remains as-is.
I doubt any of these will happen, but a guy can dream, right?