7th Edition - Initial Thoughts

Friday, May 23, 2014

I picked up the new rulebook, psychic cards, and tactical objectives from the FLGS when they went on sale today at 1pm (midnight in Nottingham). Here's my initial thoughts after a first pass through the rules.
First up, the form factor. I really like that they split the 'Big Book' content into 3 smaller volumes. Carrying around just the rules will be much easier this time until a mini softback version comes out. It's a high quality hardback that is organized really well for the amount of rules packed in. By now most are aware that they've wrapped in rules for super heavy's and added references to formations, data-slates, stronghold assualt, and escalation to further legitimize their place among the rest of "standard 40k".

Most of the core rules are carried over from the 6th edition rulebook with a few simplifications and of course a couple of big changes that have been the topic of much discussion: the new Psychic phase and Unbound army composition.

The simplifications -- focussed fire is notably missing from the shooting phase. Focussed witchfire is still a thing but the rest of normal shooting allocates to the closest model from the firer / shot.

They've also explicitly stated that a unit can only benefit once from a Blessing, no stacking by casting the same power multiple times on the same target:

Excess wounds from a challenge now spill over to the remaining unit:

While the Allies matrix has been revised there has been no toning down of USR combos between Battle Bros; in fact now they can use each others' transports too:

That's a pretty big change that we'll definitely notice on the tabletop. The biggest change has got to be the Psychic phase and the new mechanic for manifesting warp charges to cast psychic powers. It's a lot harder to successfully generate the charges you'll need for some of the better powers and the more dice you throw in the more likely you are to perils (which actually hurts this time around, unless you are immune of course). I really like that there is now a chance of denying any power even if your army isn't being targeted. Bottom line, psychic powers are getting toned down in general, either by limiting their effectiveness, reducing their likelyhood to go off successfully, and increasing the chances to deny. I'm pretty happy about the direction they took with this part of the game.

The new tactical objectives also seem like a good addition to the game. I'll get a better sense of this when I can get some games in.

I haven't fully absorbed the scope of all of these changes but my initial impression is positive. I haven't even scratched the surface on the other 2 books but they look like some nice eye candy. That's it for now. Next I'll try to go through the new rules from the perspective of each of my armies to see what has been gained/lost. Till next time!