So after having had a read through 7th edition, I have decided to write a small review and ask the community as a whole whether they think this edition was needed or not.
Just 2 months ago the general consensus on these forums was that 7th edition was not going to be 7th edition, but rather 6.5 with all the FAQ
and Errata thrown in. Then the rumor changed to it also including Escalation and Stronghold Assault. Then it changed to being 7th edition alright, but nothing major. There was however, that vocal minority that kept insisting GW
will be GW
, and what that means is that they will release a new edition that nobody asked for, which fixes a couple of things but breaks a couple of other things and introduces new things nobody really wanted. And so finally we have a full fledged new edition just 1.9 years into 6th and it turns out this minority was right after all. Why am I not surprised?
Let's take a look at the good things first, shall we? And there a quite a few tidbits that I appreciate.
- No more Taudar. (this is awesome. Two top tier armies combining and abusing each other to dominate 6th's meta have finally been dealt with. And by dealt with, I do not mean nerfed into oblivion - both Tau and Eldar are still top tier armies with solid codexes that have almost no useless units at all. They will continue to perform well, just not so well as to leave everyone else raging)
- No more Marinetau. (while not as obvious as the Taudar alliance, marinetau also had many exploits such as a buffmander allowing a gravstar to re-roll all failed hits and grant them ignores cover while tanking wounds, or an Honor Guard providing Tau with some much needed elite close combat power. And you just couldnt go wrong putting Divination Tiggy in the middle of a Firewariror gunline that is "enhanced" by an Ethereal. Fluffwise Space Marines and Tau also would be allies of convenience, at best, but I am glad GW
has stayed true to the grimdark lore and made them desperate allies now. Suffer not the xenos to live!)
- Adepta Sororitas and Black Templars can finally ally without anyone going like this
split into three hardcover volumes in a slipcase. (i like this. I really do. One of my biggest complaints about buying the BRB
was that it was a chore to carry around to games, making minirulebooks so much more lucrative. Now, the Rules are about as thick and bulky as the Space Marine codex, and if you can carry that, you can carry The Rules).
- the clean layout. (seriously. I cannot emphasize this enough. I love the simplistic, clean, spartan interior design of the rulebook. It reminds me a lot of the 5th edition rulebook. I hated how 6th ed was full of spindly needly grimdark doodles that crept all around the text, it was hideous. I am glad they have done away with that).
- tiny buff to close assault units' ranged weaponry as units can now no longer go to ground and still overwatch. this used to be annoying in 6th ed as it was pretty pointless to spend points on giving assault troops plasma pistols because the defenders would go to ground, benefit from an improved cover save (sometimes making it just as good as their armor save in the case of space marines in ruins), and then still overwatch normally before getting charged.
- only 1 grounding check per FMC
at the end of the turn. (grounding spam in 6th ed was hilarious and sad at the same time. It never should have happened. happy this is fixed.)
- Flying Monstrous Creatures can no longer assault on the turn they change flight modes (this is a fair balance, because in 6th ed, apart from the grounding thing, there really was little reason for you to field a footslogging Tyrant when you could field a flying one. 90% of Nid players had a Flyrant as HQ
. We need more variety)
- D-weapon nerf (i welcome it - wasnt too keen on imperial knights roflstomping wraithknights for breakfast - though I have the foreboding feeling that we will see ranged D-weapons in this edition, and a lot of them
Oh and GW
, whats with the old D-weapon rules written for the Imperial Knights codex that came out ...like...2 months before 7th edition? I find it hard to believe the rules writers came up with the nerf after hearing the playerbase rage about Imperial Knights and thus nerfed it within the last 2 months. So now we have a codex that is not even 2 months old and some of its rules are already outdated. And technically since the official wording is "codex before rules", Imperial Knights actually didnt get fixes at all. This is once more, Gee Dubs being Gee Dubs)
- extra rules for manufactorum, sanctum imperialis, basilica administratum etc. (i like the flair, though I think most people have kitbashed the kits to look completely different than how they are "supposed" to be built/look like)
- sanctic daemonology. (rolling all GK
powers into one convenient discipline is good in my book)
- psychic focus (free primaris power as a reward for staying loyal to one discipline? thank ye kindly!)
- new perils chart
- skyfire+interceptor allowing you to use normal BS
on ground targets being removed. (i like this new change, as I always felt the quadgun and icarus las were too good all-purpose weapons that you just couldnt go wrong with - especially the way you could exploit them using characters with precision shot handling them. Now they are specific anti-air, and thus more straightforward and balanced, and also make things like Stalkers or Hydras not appear as crap as last edition in comparison)
- you can now pop a transport and then charge its occupants, all with the same unit. So a multimelta dreads/hellbrutes just got a whole lot better.
- immobilized flyers can crash and burn
- buildings have hull points
- explodes radius confers S4 hits now instead of S3 (stay away from those vehicles, lads!)
- you can fry the passengers of an open topped vehicle with flamers
- wounds now spill over from challenges into combat, so Abaddon attacking a unit of guardsmen can no longer be rendered harmless for a turn through the sarge sacrificing himself. On the other hand, other models locked in the combat can allocate wounds to the challenger after all other enemy models in the combat (if any) are dead, so a lone cc
-monster charging into a big squad and challenging its sarge to get rid of that pesky powerfist will nevertheless find itself attacked by all other squad members. Then there is the removal of Moral Support "Get 'Im Boss".
- gun emplacements bought for ADLs
can now be placed anywhere within 6" of the defence line, clearing things up.
- Linebreaker is 12 inches from your opponent's Table Edge, not deployment zone.
- Witchfire Beams no longer lose a point of Strength for every model they hit.
- Blind ruling has been cleared up: only one test regardless of the number of hits
- units that have gone to ground from pinning can no longer fire overwatch
- precision shots no longer work during snapshots
- you can charge out of a building
- scout + infiltrate combo: you can now infiltrate and do a scout move as well
- swarms can now score
- vector strike nerf to only 1 hits vs. non-flyer targets now instead of D3
- ramming has been changed in that 1) dozerblades grant +1 to ramming strength, and 2) the strength is calculated differently - instead of being +1S for every 3" moved and +1S for every AV
value over 10, it is now replaced with a strength value half of the vehicle's front AV
, rounded up. So while this does mean moving at bare minimum combat speed is already enough to ensure similar amounts of devastation as moving at cruising speed in 6th ed, I personally think this makes ramming more useful and thus better for aggressive players who need every tool at their disposal they can get to stand a chance in a meta dominated by shooting.
- smash attack nerf to only 1 now. While this might actually belong in the "ugly" category according to Tyranid players, you need to realize that this had tons of abuse in the previous edition, like the charge bonus also being a smash attack. Also, this change has made Dreadnoughts viable again now. Nobody even considered taking one with a DCCW
to fight against MC
in 6th edition, 5th edition, or even 4th edition (about 3rd I dunno). While 6th edition took away MC
's default armorbane and introduced smash to make up for it; 7th has gone one step further and crippled smash as well. While this does affect a lot of S6 MCs
, I think those that are supposed to be killy in cc
usually have optional wargear that gives them more bonuses anyways; so I'm glad that 7th is trying to make the humble Dread with DCCW
a valid MC
basher once more instead of getting roflstomped in the first round of combat as has been the case for the past 10 years. Besides, a Carnifex is still going to have a field day cracking one open.
- changes to ATSKNF
: no longer regroup D3"
- The Psychic Phase. Okay so the good thing is, Leadership isnt an issue anymore (I always found it weird that leadership determined a psyker's ability to cast spells), but on the other hand having all spells going off on a set value (4+ per warp charge) is mundane. Basically, you get a pool of dice (D6
+number of mastery levels of all psykers in your army) at the start of every turn and manifest powers by rolling any number of dice you want from the pool (no risk, no fun, right?), and if enough dice come up 4 or higher to equal or exceed the warp charge cost of the test you're taking, it goes off. Sadly, the enemy can now Deny the Witch your blessings as well, so there's always a 16.66% chance for him to pull a PITA move and cancel your power.
- Jink is no longer a flat 5+ save for moving, it now works exactly how evasion works for fliers (even when you are stationary!). If you choose Jink, you get a flat 4+ cover save, but you can only fire snap shots in the next phase. While this on first glance nerfs skimmers a lot, the fact that average jink has improved (hooray for transport skimmers who just want to get stuff across the table), and the fact that you can still use holofields / d-pods to hide behind terrain and get that 3+ cover save and still fire your main cannon at normal BS
puts the tanks on par with Imperial ones. Let's face it - skimmers WERE overpowered in the previous edition as they were insanely hard to take out. Wave Serpents also needed some nerfing, but with scatter laser's laserlock twin-linking their entire ranged armament, they came off relatively unscathed.
- Shooting works slightly differently now. When you select a unit to shoot, you then choose one of its weapons to shoot, then roll to hit, wound, etc. for every model with that weapon. Then you move onto the next weapon, until everything has fired. (this prevents people using their bolters' range to allocate wounds from their flamer onto models that the flamer template could not reach. so I am glad this is fixed). But on the other hand it has made the whole process more tedious.
- Assaulting through terrain is different, you now roll 2d6
and subtract 2 from the distance, rather than rolling 3 and picking the two lowest. (not sure if this is better or worse)
- Independent characters can no longer join Monstrous Creatures, so no more Buffmander + Riptide units. (well, this is sad, but fair I guess. However, on the other hand another classic example of GW
fixing one thing and breaking another - now thanks to the different wording, you can attach ICs
to one man infantry squads like Mephiston or Castellan Crowe. Dunno if GW
intended this or not).
- Terrain rules have changed, in that they've removed the whole terrain density deployment process. The book basically says to set the board up in such a way that both players are happy with it (good luck with that). In addition, you now deploy fortifications with your army, not when you put terrain on the board, meaning that you can deploy your ADL
without having the opponent plop an obstacle right in front of it. (i felt the old rules were fine and more tourney friendly, but as always GW
wants to give tournaments the finger)
- Maelstrom of War missions that utilize Tactical Objectives. GW
sells a deck of cards so you can draw cards and use them as temporary objectives. They range from killing things in assault, taking specific objectives, getting into the enemy's deployment zone, all kinds of things. (looks interesting, but can definitely be very confusing)
- owners of chariots have relentless now and can allocate wounds either to the chariot or to the rider. (this allows for a Necron Overlord with his 3++ phase shifter to suck up all melta shots directed at his chariot, which really is unfair to be honest. Also, WBB
can bring back the entire chariot.)
- small changes to rulebook warlord traits, including the addition of tactical traits (only relevant for maelstrom of war missions...almost an auto-take there, otherwise entirely useless)
- changes to psychic powers (some got nerfed and rightly so, like prescience; some got nerfed needlessly like invisibility that was split in two, some got buffed like Iron Arm that now gives a solid +3 characteristic modifier rather than D3 or other powers that have 18" range instead of 12"; and some disappeared altogether, like the awesome puppet master
- leadership tests prior to using counter attack or split fire have gone the way of the dodo. (personally I didnt mind them at all - you need to collect your wits before pulling off such a stunt, after all)
- speaking of leadership, when a model is required to take a leadership test it now has to use its own profile instead of that of the highest LD
in the squad. Enjoy your colossal Officer of the Fleet nerf, AM
- strafing run no longer pinning
- defensive grenades no longer confer the stealth special rule to shooting attacks received within 8" range, however can now be offensively used as thrown blind grenades
Things that I hate - and this is what has ruined 7th edition for me:
- Malefic daemonology (SCREW you gw
, seriously screw you. Having a 2000 point chaos daemon army and being able to summon 2000 more points into the battlefield is where the fun ends. having eldar farseers summon daemonettes and SM
libbys summon bloodthirsters is also utter fluffrape. I have no words to describe how much of a nerdrage I am having right now)
- Every unit is scoring, with the exception of anything that is flying - dropping down to gliding/hovering makes them scoring again, however. (okay what the hell. ever since 5th edition troops have gotten some form of importance and worthiness. people just used to min/max beforehand to get a legal FoC
and then spam their favorite FoC
slots. Nobody bothered with troops before 5th. Now again, nobody will.)
- Oh, troops can deny others from scoring due to having "objective secured"? (Yeah, lets see your tactical marines deny my lightning claw terminators from taking their objective. What are you gonna do? Bleed on me?)
- Every vehicle is scoring. (oh wow. that really puts the nail in the coffin for armies facing armored companies, doesnt it? Having most of your low strength weapons useless against armored companies was offset by them not being able to score. Now that that's no longer an issue, all tank armies can just relax and win games without a hassle)
- You can ally with Come the Apocalypse now, just have to deploy more than 12" apart. (wow.....really...I am speechless. So Tyranids and Necrons can fight together with Chaos daemons and Tau vs a huge Imperial Guard army? Fething great.)
- Lists can now be Battle-forged or Unbound; Battle-forged means that it comes from one army, Unbound lets you throw the FOC
out the window and play whatever you want within the points limit. (UNBOUND - freaking hate it. If Unbound couldnt score, it would be fair. But they literally have no drawbacks except not being able to re-roll warlord traits)
- Also, Battle-forged lists can have any number of combined arms detachments at any points level. (wow...just wow. 2 FoCs
at 2k points were already frowned upon in 6th, to the point where people adopted the 1999+1 policy. This on the other hand is the deathblow to traditional listbuilding even in battle forged armies. Thanks GW
, thanks a lot)
- And if all this isn't enough, battle forged armies can now legally include a Lord of War. (feth you GW
. I DONT WANT TO
PLAY APOCALYPSE but I'm forced to deal with this gak now because denying my opponent a game will make me look like a douche and its not his fault for bringing something that the rules 100%ly legally allow him to field) GW
goes one step further and puts iconic special characters into the LoW section like Ghazkull Thraka or Kaldor Draigo...so if I bring one of these in my 2000 point army, and my opponent brings a Baneblade, I have no reason to complain because I have a LoW and so does he...
- Being able to deny the witch on powers that arent targeting you.
can no longer precision shot or precision strike
- Sniper rifles no longer have their hallmark pinning (neither do barrage weapons now) and they also can no longer hurt AV
11 or 12 vehicles through rending.
- Imperium best bro alliance. (so GW
removes Taudar, Marinetau etc., but merges all Imperials into one super awesome bestest buddies 4 lyfe alliance? Great. Combos and exploits galore. We'll see what the future holds)
- Battle brother allies can board each others' transports, allowing for limitless shenanigans. Especially with the Space Wolf codes putting drop pods in the FA
section instead of DT
, you can now have Grav Centurions turn 1 deepstrike into the opponent's midst and unleash hell.
- Vehicle damage table having explodes only on a 7+ (*sigh* great. this will only convince people to go even more down the line of glancing vehicles to death using multi-shot mid-strength weapons than taking single shot high strength weapons. It also is another nail in the coffin for Railsides in the Rail vs. HYMP
debate and for Vanquishers in the Pask Punisher debate)
- The main rule book now includes the rules for units that were previously Apoc
/Escalation-only, like Gargantuan Creatures and Super-heavy Vehicles. This will probably mean their introduction in future "regular" army codexes.
has made it an official rule that you must agree with your opponent what is allowed in a list and what isn't allowed (completely useless rule for pickup games, and with something so vaguely worded I think it's just GW
trying to weasel their way out of writing a coherent and balanced ruleset. I now have a right to complain and whine about my friend's Paskisher, and he can whine about my 12 Jetbikes zipping across the board and claiming objectives (now even denying his units from claiming them just by ending their turn near them) This will get us nowhere)
- Adepta Sororitas being allies of convenience with Eldar. Like....seriously? SERIOUSLY? They were called Witchhunters for a reason. The fact that they can march along with an army of witches is a kick to the fluffnads. Of course, this is a consequence of throwing all Imperials into 1 faction.
- Orks being Allies of Convenience with Chaos but desperate allies with Eldar or Tau, and come the apocalypse with Imperials?
- having to buy Stronghold Assault just to be able to field an ADL
(if you dont have the old 6th ed rulebook lying around). No more points costs listed for these fortifications in the BRB
. Sucks for new players.
- the restriction that barrage weapons can only target top levels of buildings is gone.
- the restriction that a blast or template weapon can only target one level is also gone.
- the two rules above combined now allows you to place your marker always on the topmost level for maximum carnage, as long as you can reach it with the range of your weapon
- Chaos Space Marines can take sanctic daemonology. smh
- Area terrain is gone. Poof. No more. With the exception of Craters (6+ cover saves now; +2 to cover when GTG
), ruins, and rubble, there are no generic "Area Terrain" rules anymore. So, things like forests and such that we'd designate as area terrain will only grant cover saves if the model is 25% obscured. This new ruling can potentially have huge effects on the various pieces of scenery people have created.
- Now in 7th the entire Ruin is just a bubble of magic cover (even for monstrous creatures) but somehow not cover the second you have a vehicle in it, unless its facing is 25% obscured. So a wraithknight or riptide with its toe on the base of a ruin or rubble is getting a solid 4+ cover save, while if your rhino isnt 25% obscured from the firer, sucks to be you. Some of the most visceral memories I have in 6th was flying a storm talon over a ruin to the other side so I could get a shot (no cover) on a unit that was otherwise obscured, this makes movement matter, this makes flanking MATTER, from my experience the second you go with magic bubble (area terrain) you start to diminish tactical play for the simple fact that you’ve removed any context as to how one unit may sacrifice shooting for movement to gain a better firing angle later in the game.
- Ruins used to have pages of rules. We lost the brilliant mechanic that allowed models to jump down from great heights, albeit at risk of taking damage without an armour save etc.
- We also lost the rule pertaining to what models were allowed on upper floor of ruins (whether walkers or monstrous creatures could be on upper floors of ruins or not). Hell, we even lost the incredibly relevant restriction that the model you’re attempting to move ACTUALLY HAVING TO
FIT where you wish to place it in a ruin. So legally I could pass a dangerous terrain check and tank shock vertically up multiple floors of a ruin. Oh and I guess now bikes may as well be jetbikes for the purposes of movement.
- Oh, let’s not forget all the rules for how to handle close combat in three dimensions. You know, the rules that allowed you to still charge and count as being in base to base, ya, that rule is gone too. Throwing out area terrain while essentially making most terrain types area terrain just seems baffling to me.
Unfortunately for all the things 7th edition fixes, it ended up breaking a whole lot more things. So you are actually paying 50 pounds to get 6th with more stuff broken. Actually, scratch that. Since you need the mission cards and the stronghold assault book to make use of the fortifications you have at home, the grand total will be 75 pounts for the new ruleset. And some things didn't get fixed at all, like Ordnance weapons still being terribad in terms of weapon synergy (ESPECIALLY the missiles on the Valkyrie!) and assault still not having gotten fixed and shooting still being heavily favored. So, looking at all the changes, if we refuse to play any changes from the bad list, we remove a huge chunk of changes that 7th brought to the table. If we look at all the changes from the good list, almost all of them can be incorporated into 6th with minimal collateral damage. That leaves us with the meh list, where of course you have the psyker phase, but apart from that, 7th edition clearly is an edition nobody asked for. I'm willing to bet money 8th edition will see the light of day in summer 2016.