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Made in us
Painlord Titan Princeps of Slaanesh




my biggest gripe is something that happens/ed in almost every edition. There is an Army Codex that is published that players have been waiting for and then a few months later there's a new edition. GW then goes on to say that the Codex was designed with the next edition in mind so players shouldn't be worried. My question is why didn't GW just release them in the other order (new edition then codex)?
   
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NE Ohio, USA

Leo_the_Rat wrote:
my biggest gripe is something that happens/ed in almost every edition. There is an Army Codex that is published that players have been waiting for and then a few months later there's a new edition. GW then goes on to say that the Codex was designed with the next edition in mind so players shouldn't be worried. My question is why didn't GW just release them in the other order (new edition then codex)?


Ah, the secret here is to just ignore GW when they make that claim. For the most part it's just marketing/pr bs.
   
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Fayetteville

Wyldhunt wrote:
Sounds like the_Scotsman had a very similar experience to me. I started in 5th, and from what I recall...

5th edition's biggest issue was the over-emphasis on tanks. Everything had to be riding in a tank or it would be too slow and squishy to contribute. Most vehicles were immune to S4 or lower in shooting and ALL vehicles were immune to S3 or lower in melee. Also, only troops could score objectives, so you should probably buy a tank for each troop unit (no sharing rides) to keep them alive until the end of the game. All of these issues were especially annoying for my squishy S3 eldar. Many craftworld units simply couldn't touch vehicles in an extremely vehicle-centric edition, so I ended up having to leave huge chunks of my codex on the shelf or risk them being a liability. On more than one occassion, I would face (mostly guard and marine) lists that had more tanks than my army had anti-tank units, and that was after fielding 3 squads of fire dragons.

I know a lot of people remember 5th edition fondly, but it was possibly the edition I enjoyed the least. Many games as eldar were a matter of moving my tanks in circles without shooting them all game (to maximize their chances of staying alive) and then hoping the game ended on the turn I disembarked.


It's funny how people can have such different experiences of the same game. Late 5th, after all the marine codices had been released and the parking lot meta was fully established was peak 40k for me. I became a footdar player and had great fun being the skew list. Everyone was tooled up with melta and other antitank weapons which were wasted on my Guardians and Dire Avengers. The Avatar being flat out immune to melta was a constant source of comedy as opponents had a hard time grasping that. I never fielded Serpents or Falcons. At most I'd run one unit of War Walkers. I always ran Wraithlords and they we're quite durable against all that AT fire. Melta wounding on 4's threw them for a loop too. I didn't start running mech lists until 6th when the serpent shields were a thing.

Mind you, I didn't win a lot, but I had great fun and some very close fights. It wasn't all gravy though. IG was always a bad matchup, for example. I recall one game against a local hotshot who was very good and always chasing the meta. He was running Grey Knights when they were the hotness. When he saw my footdar he chuckled and said "this shouldn't take long." He did eventually beat me, but the game was a far from the blow out he was expecting.


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Longtime Dakkanaut




 Arschbombe wrote:
Wyldhunt wrote:
Sounds like the_Scotsman had a very similar experience to me. I started in 5th, and from what I recall...

5th edition's biggest issue was the over-emphasis on tanks. Everything had to be riding in a tank or it would be too slow and squishy to contribute. Most vehicles were immune to S4 or lower in shooting and ALL vehicles were immune to S3 or lower in melee. Also, only troops could score objectives, so you should probably buy a tank for each troop unit (no sharing rides) to keep them alive until the end of the game. All of these issues were especially annoying for my squishy S3 eldar. Many craftworld units simply couldn't touch vehicles in an extremely vehicle-centric edition, so I ended up having to leave huge chunks of my codex on the shelf or risk them being a liability. On more than one occassion, I would face (mostly guard and marine) lists that had more tanks than my army had anti-tank units, and that was after fielding 3 squads of fire dragons.

I know a lot of people remember 5th edition fondly, but it was possibly the edition I enjoyed the least. Many games as eldar were a matter of moving my tanks in circles without shooting them all game (to maximize their chances of staying alive) and then hoping the game ended on the turn I disembarked.


It's funny how people can have such different experiences of the same game. Late 5th, after all the marine codices had been released and the parking lot meta was fully established was peak 40k for me. I became a footdar player and had great fun being the skew list. Everyone was tooled up with melta and other antitank weapons which were wasted on my Guardians and Dire Avengers. The Avatar being flat out immune to melta was a constant source of comedy as opponents had a hard time grasping that. I never fielded Serpents or Falcons. At most I'd run one unit of War Walkers. I always ran Wraithlords and they we're quite durable against all that AT fire. Melta wounding on 4's threw them for a loop too. I didn't start running mech lists until 6th when the serpent shields were a thing.

Mind you, I didn't win a lot, but I had great fun and some very close fights. It wasn't all gravy though. IG was always a bad matchup, for example. I recall one game against a local hotshot who was very good and always chasing the meta. He was running Grey Knights when they were the hotness. When he saw my footdar he chuckled and said "this shouldn't take long." He did eventually beat me, but the game was a far from the blow out he was expecting.


That's crazy. Glad to hear you had good times though. You're definitely right about IG. I remember being confused about everyone's hatred of GK because their expensive marine bodies were actually a prime target for my banshees and dragons. XD

And despite my drama, 5th edition obviously wasn't so bad that it kept me from continuing to play to this day.
   
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Axis & Allies Player




I think 2nd edition's greatest failure wasn't actually its own fault: It never had a 'tidy-up' edition afterwards to trim the worst excesses and tighten things up a bit.

Compare to Warhammer Fantasy Battle, which was in its 4th edition when 2e 40K came out. Both WFB 4th and 40K 2nd saw the first line of dedicated army books and codexes respectively. But WFB's next edition, 5th, was a 'tidy-up' edition. It wasn't a huge revision; it was the same game system with a few tweaks to the rules, a revised magic supplement and so on. It also added some extra stuff like multiple scenarios and a simple campaign system to the base game.

Of course, WFB 5th then received its own army books, which went on to cause problems--as always seems to be the case--and the whole thing was given a much bigger overhaul for 6th edition (which was comparable to the changeover to 3rd edition 40K; all the army books had to be redone).

By contrast, 2nd ed 40K was just reaching the point of "OK, time to tidy all this stuff up" when it ripped out the core Rick Priestley game engine and replaced it with the totally different 3rd ed system.

If 2nd ed had had a consolidation-and-polish edition like WFB 5th, they would probably have adjusted the psychic phase, made transports less like deathtraps, streamlined close combat, toned down the really nasty wargear combos, and added in more scenarios and a campaign system--but kept the same basic game engine.

And then they'd probably have released more codexes and revised versions of older codexes that borked everything up again. Because GW.


Post 3e, another issue that hasn't yet been mentioned in this thread is the demise of Epic. Back in the day, if you wanted to play with the big toys like flyers and superheavies and Titans, you played Epic and could fit everything in a lunchbox. You always had that option when you had a hankering for a really, really big battle--so 40K could stay more focused on smaller games, better suited to 28mm. When Epic withered away, GW started shoehorning the big units into 40K, where they frankly don't belong.
   
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NE Ohio, USA

Zenithfleet wrote:

Post 3e, another issue that hasn't yet been mentioned in this thread is the demise of Epic. Back in the day, if you wanted to play with the big toys like flyers and superheavies and Titans, you played Epic and could fit everything in a lunchbox. You always had that option when you had a hankering for a really, really big battle--so 40K could stay more focused on smaller games, better suited to 28mm. When Epic withered away, GW started shoehorning the big units into 40K, where they frankly don't belong.


But we HAD big stuff in 40k 2e. Armorcast, a 3rd party company had the license to make Baneblades, shadowswords, titans, etc.
GW simply realized that there WAS enough of a market for this stuff to make doing it in house practical.
   
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Ork Admiral Kroozin Da Kosmos on Da Hulk






Well, the OP is very disappointing, just yet another veteran telling the kids how everything used to be better in the old times. So no, not nailed anything at all.

However, the topic is rather interesting and other people like Da Boss and scotsman have provided some very interesting feedback, so I'll give my two cents:.

4th edition
I didn't really play any 'real' games, and frankly didn't know enough about the game to judge, so I'll just skip this one.

5th edition
What made 5th edition "fail"? I guess mostly codex creep. Well built guard, SW and BA lists were above anything that 4th edition codices put out and stuff like exploiting the hated nob bikers' wound allocation shenanigans stopped being a beardy easy win and started becoming a mandatory asset to be able to compete. Then GK and Necrons came out and completely blew those three out of the water and broke the game because both codices were written to specifically to "beat" 5th edition and exploit its flaws.
Other issues the edition had were the mobile bunker meta with everyone spamming transports since the damage table was technically the same as a 3++ save, as well as S7 and S6 with rending being the best weapons against everything.
5th also had a few minor issues, like scoring fast hover skimmers tank shocking across the entire board for easy wins, named characters being mandatory for certain themed lists and instant death weapons making monsters obsolete, but nothing unfixable.
My opinions on planes being added to 5th isn't really that it was bad or broken in any way. While valks, vendettas, dakkajets and croissants felt odd being fast skimmers which often remained stationary, but this was the one implementation which was the least game braking of all attempts to implement fliers so far.
It is also worth noting that the quality of 5th's rules writing was already a decade behind what was already considered a good standard for other games. YMDC today is totally dead compared to 5th edition, when half the rules were genuinely unclear or non-functional and playing the game RAW was simply not possible.

6th edition
Oh boy, where to start...
Initially it seemed like it was a jab at trying to fix the problems of 5th, but for every problem it fixed, it created three to four new one.
Challenges were completely broken and were exploited as defense mechanism against melee characters and neutered unit champions. It literally did the opposite of creating interesting duels between combatants.
Psychic disciplines were massively unbalanced against each other and not available to everyone. Some armies like eldar, daemons or GK could get not get nigh guaranteed casts on anything they want, they could also deny each dice a normal army like vanilla marines or ork rolled with six dice of their own. That would have been bad enough, but invisibility, sanctuary and daemon summoning also reared their ugly had.
Then there were invincible flying monstrous creatures gliding across the board with impunity unless you had an anti-air weaponry, many of them with psychic powers.
Allies also made a return, giving birth to abominations like the taudar list.
To make bad worse, GW also released a bunch of terrible codices, enabling multiple armies to get huge expensive deathstar units with re-rollable 2++ saves that could cast invisibility on themselves.
Dragging the entire Apoc ruleset into the edition without making changes to it also didn't help, but outside of random units throwing out destroyer shots it rarely affected my games.
Literally the only good thing to say about 6th is that it was over soon.

7th edition
I guess 7th edition's core rules were an honest attempt to fix 6th edition's problems but it simply didn't go far enough. Challenges, psychic powers, instant death, allies, USR became even more of a mess and many other rules still only worked well for marines and eldar. The era of "everyone brings a knight" came about, characters were tanking entire artillery battalions worth of shooting for the unarmored guys standing behind them, independent characters joining each to get avenger-style units, rhino sniping and melee units being forced to travel even more distance due to the casualty removal from the front.
Where did 7th fall apart? IMO with the ork codex, and yes, that's the first one in the edition. It was one of the rare occurrences where an army waited six years and three editions for their update and was off worse than before. The supplement released at the same time was even worse, its content being the equivalent of telling ork players to go die in a ditch.
Afterwards, Space Wolves also got an underwhelming codex and for a short time everyone was hoping that GW would now nerf all armies to get back to a decent game.
So in the beginning of 2015 7th edition was already lying on the floor and slowly dying from mistakes made back in 6th, when GW decided to double down and completely ruin 7th by introducing decurions, releasing even more powerful versions of already powerful codices, shelling out more and more powerful formations, releasing supplements, campaigns and expansions left and right, creating an absolute nightmare of a ruleset that was not only horribly imbalanced, but completely impossible to keep track of. To give an impression of how bad it was, by the end of 7th, there were a total of 46 different rule sources (none of them free) just for vanilla space marines.
GW providing absolutely no rules support for their terribly written rules was just the icing on the cake.
At the "peak" of 7th I actually dropped 40k with no intentions of ever returning.

8th edition
8th edition did a lot of things right. Challenges were gone, they dropped the bad parts of psychic disciplines and kept the good ones, the inherently unfair initiative stat gone, movement stat, damage table gone, no more spacing out models, high wound counts for vehicles and monsters, simplified unit types and more, all written as something that actually vaguely resembled technical rules writing.
There were a hand full of things from old editions that I shed a tear for, but in general the core rules did everything right, and there even were rules updates for everyone right off the bat. After a few games it turned out that internal and external balance still sucked, but I liked the new game enough to start DG to allow me to return to the game while waiting for the ork codex to save them from their super boring index gameplay.

Where did 8th fail? IMO it failed in two steps.
The first step was stratagem creep and the the resulting wombo-combos. A new codex was evaluated solely on what stratagems it had, lists were build to get the maximum amount of CP possible and funnel all of them into whatever unit would turn those CP into as much damage as possible. Most people were looking forward to their PA not for their new army updates, but for more and better stratagems. A clear indicator of how much of an issue this was for players is that people still complain about combos today that have long been patched out of the game removed by 9th codices.
The second failure was not codices, but supplements. Despite the flaws of stratagem stacking and CP farms, 8th was a fairly enjoyable and balanced game for most people until the supplements for SM 2.0 dropped. The power level of supplements stacked on an already powerful space marine codex not only ruined competitive gaming with the IH disaster, but even at casual levels flavorful space marine collections were suddenly curb-stomping armies of similar levels drawn from other codices.

9th edition
9th edition is an improved version of 8th in almost every aspect. Most codices have vastly improved internal and external balance (not you, drukhari) and crusade is giving me exactly what I found lacking in 8th's narrative game mode that had almost no support beyond "forge your narrative!".
Has it failed yet? Yes, no, maybe.
There surely are issues.
1) GW being a lot less active in terms of updating codices and missions. While the last changes were certainly a surprisingly brave step in the right direction, they seem to be much more reluctant to make broad changes to the points of non-problematic units than they were in 8th

2) matched play is boring and repetitive. I never liked ITC but still gave matched play/GT every chance. It simply becomes stale after having played too many games, and I dearly miss the CA2019 missions of 8th which actually played different from each other and didn't just boil down to number of objectives and how many of them you have to hold.

3) terrain works if set up correctly, but it's incredibly hard to do so. More than a few games over the course of 9th that I played or watched were decided solely by setting up the board incorrectly.

4) many armies could stand to lose a layer of rules or six. Each army needs to have a complexity budget that must not be exceeded under any circumstances. There should be enough budget for one interesting and possibly complex rule like contagions, the Waaagh! and Speedwaaagh!, necron reanimation protocols or tyranid synapse. All other rules that are layered on need to be simple and stupid, like 'ere we go, shock assault, bolter drill, simple abilities that can be explained in a single line (almost sounds like USR... gasp!).
An army that is complex to build because it is fractioned into three different splinters like drukhari, has rules like power from pain and hyperspace raid does not need thousands of combinations of obsessions layered on top of that. An army like space marines that traditionally has complex chapter tactics and a bag of abilities combined into angels of death do not need even more complex mechanic like doctrines, chapter command and super-doctrines layered on top.

5) the number of stratagems is just too damn high. I think I'm rather infamous by now for my stance on whether the game is too complex or not, so that is clearly not the reason why I want to cut down on stratagems. My reason is that I think that the vast majority of stratagems add absolutely nothing to the game, simple as that. In all my games I always use the same few stratagems and so do my opponents, even when running vastly different archetypes. Which leads me to believe that when GW is designing stratagems, they are just throwing mud at a wall and hope enough of it sticks to make a good codex.
If a stratagem works for just one unit, that's not a stratagem. That's an ability activated with CP.
If a stratagem requires you to buy specific wargear, that's not a stratagem, that's wargear activated with CP.
If a stratagem upgrades a unit, that's not a stratagem, that's a unit upgrade paid for with CP.
If a stratagem does something very narrow that almost never matters or has a high chance of failing, it's wasted cardboard.
If a stratagem unconditionally increases damage... well, stop that. There is too much damage already.
Delete all those and suddenly you are left with a tiny pile of utility and reactive stratagems - which really is all there should be.

So, for 10th I wish for better terrain rules, less stratagems and less, but more meaningful layers of codex rules. Outside of that, 9th is fine as it is.

This message was edited 6 times. Last update was at 2021/12/02 12:15:32


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Reading through this whole thread, I think there are two major lines of criticism that are fairly clear, and also unsurprising, that relate to negatives or "fails" in a given edition. Broadly these are either:

#1: Problems with core rules creating game-wide "headaches" or "annoyances"

Examples:
- 2nd edition: fiddly close combat resolution process, overly detailed vehicle rules, overly complex psychic phase
- 3rd edition: transports were too powerful in the hands of assault focused armies
- 4th edition: transports too weak/pointless/deathtraps - except fast skimmers (cough, eldar...)
- 5th edition: wound allocation process open to "shenanigans" with multi-wound models, vehicles too durable again
- 6th edition: vehicles too flimsy - except flyers which were annoying, challenges too fiddly, casualty removal frustrating, psychic phase too fiddly
- 7th edition: psychic powers too strong, WAAY too many USRs in use, formations, continuation of 6th's problems
- 8th edition: stratagem bloat / wombo-combo'ing, general increase in lethality (wound system), loss of simulation fidelity*
- 9th edition: escalating complexity with layering of codex rules, continued increase in lethality, loss of simulation fidelity*

* This is more subjective, but by "simulation fidelity" I'm referring to rules that were stripped out of the game in the interest of simplicity but which impacted the sense of immersion and degree of abstraction present in the game. I view the following as contributing to a loss of fidelity: (a) oversimplified morale system; (b) vehicles really just being the same thing as a monstrous creature; (c) removal of blast/template weapons; (d) overly abstracted and inconsequential terrain rules; (e) reduced board size (and often increased movement speeds), (f) ability to freely measure everything and freely shoot / split fire at will.

#2: Problems arising from codex power creep (or noticeable deficiencies) across the course the editions and/or bridging between editions.

It seems like the power creep issue really became a major talking point starting towards the end of 5th edition. But the reality is that at any given point in time, there always a strongest list that best leverages the rules. Blood Angel transport spam was a thing in 3rd edition for example. But I think there is a difference between there being one-off cases of overly strong lists compared to a trend/assumption that each new codex is going to get stronger and stronger. All said, I get the sense that 9th edition is actually a better in this regard than late 5th and onto 6th/7th edition was.

In some cases #1 and #2 feed into one another, which was the case for flyers in 6th edition, where flyer rules were, at a system level, pretty punishing if you didn't have the tools to deal with them. But many codexes didn't have access to flyers and/or access to anti-flyer weaponry, so it created a codex power creep problem. Another example would be formations in 7th edition, where the rules set the stage for formations to exist, but some armies didn't really get them to the same degree (or at all), whereas others were hugely buffed because of them.

Mission Design
Another aspect of all of this that I don't see talk about enough, and which I think has a big influence on how the game plays, is the mission design and the typical missions likely to be encountered in a competitive "matched play" type situation (but not necessarily a tournament).

- 2nd edition: Had these big mission cards that determined how victory was determined, using either a discrete winning objective and/or a way of scoring VP's. Fairly diverse range of missions, especially with Dark Millennium.

- 3rd edition: Had four different types of "scenarios" (standard missions, battles/sieges, raids, breakthrough), with each scenario type having 3 or 6 different missions. Many missions used "Victory Points" based on point value of destroyed / neutralized units. Mission primary objective also granted VP bonus (that was often pretty hefty)

- 4th edition: Collapsed missions into 5 standard types, but each could be played at three different "levels" of complexity. Missions using victory points awarded points for killing/neutralizing, but VP awards for missions objective now better scaled to the size of the game. Had a table for determining margin of victory (which was cool IMHO). The 6 mission types were reasonably diverse as follows - 1: controlling table quarters; 2: securing objective/loot markers; 3: straight fight (bonus VP's for keeping your own scoring units alive); 4: get units into enemies deployment zone; 5: control the center of the board.

- 5th edition: Reduced further into 3 standard mission types but with 3 deployment maps that any of missions can use. 1: Seize Ground (controlling points at the end of the game); 2: Capture & Control (each player just has 1 point in their deployment zone); 3: Annihilation (1 kill point per unit eliminated). I think 5th edition took a very dull approach to mission design personally. I liked 3rd and 4th much better.

- 6th edition: Established the current trajectory I feel. There were six standard missions, but 4 were just variations of control point capture with some minor twists - all based on endgame scoring. 6th also introduced "secondary" missions in the form of first blood, line breaker, and slay the warlord. I view this mission set as a rework of what 5th edition was trying to do - adding some more nuance, but not sure it amounted to a significant enough change.

- 7th edition: Started to expand the scope of mission design again. "Eternal War" mission set was a tweaking to the 6th edition set. "Maelstrom of War" added the whole tactical objectives system which was tied to objective markers on the board (for many of the objectives). Managing your deck of tactical objectives was a mini-game unto itself in many ways.

- 8th edition: Reworked play into 3 buckets (open play vs matched play vs. narrative play). Open play used 3 simple mission templates (all based on just eliminating each others forces). Matched play is essentially the 7th edition mission sets. Eternal War based on holding objectives at the end of the game, Maelstrom of War based on tactical objectives. Narrative Play missions are a throw back to the 3rd edition mission designs in some ways (ambush, blitz) with a few new ideas too. Eternal War missions were adjusted by the ITC mission set to incorporate progressive scoring. There was also an "Open War" deck of cards that let you custom build / randomly generate different missions.

- 9th edition: Biggest shift was integration of ITC style missions into the Eternal War mission pack, with a big expansion of secondary mission objectives. This was the first time that board objectives officially granted points on a round-by-round basis as opposed to at the end of the game. Missions now scaled based on the size of the game being played as well. Another huge addition is the entire Crusade system, along with its mission pack, which is more narrative focused in its objectives and mission design than the Eternal War / ITC missions. Open War deck updated for 9th. Maelstrom of War released as a supplement / WD.

My biggest lament regarding 9th edition right now is that the ITC-style Eternal War missions are really freaking dull and repetitive. I wish the standard pool of "matched play" missions was expanded to include a broader range of scenarios, much like in 3rd edition. While having progressive scoring is nice, it would be great if some missions still had end game scoring. Having a broader range of scoring situations creates more possible variety in the "tempo" of the game. This in turn loops back into army design, as you need to consider how your army will operate under a greater potential range of situations and tempos.





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Terrifying Doombull






Nuremberg

3e missions were the best that I've seen, we often used them in 4e and 5e because they were just more interesting.

2e mission cards were fun to read but we hardly ever used them.

5e missions were very dull and I hated kill points.

   
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 Da Boss wrote:
3e missions were the best that I've seen, we often used them in 4e and 5e because they were just more interesting.

2e mission cards were fun to read but we hardly ever used them.

5e missions were very dull and I hated kill points.


For sure. We had made a tweaked set of mission rules based on the 3rd edition missions that were part of a map-based campaign we were running at the time. We kept using that set into 4th and 5th edition (with a few tweaks) because the battles were so much more diverse and interesting.

40K is a better game, with more tactical depth being achievable, when player's put aside the pretense of "fairness" or their WAAC attitudes and embrace more dynamic or asymmetric mission designs. You'll end up facing a broader arrange of unexpected situations that tests your tactical thinking and flexibility far more than having a narrowly defined mission set where the gameplay is just an optimization exercise.

Want a better 40K?
Check out ProHammer: Classic - An Awesomely Unified Ruleset for 3rd - 7th Edition 40K... for retro 40k feels!
 
   
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Boom! Leman Russ Commander






Oslo Norway

Played the convoy mission from 3rd or 4th recently, and it was a fantastic game. Not something I would play every pickup game, but absolutely a great narrative battle

   
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RaptorusRex wrote:
And finally, think about who is introducing and supporting these Primaris Marines. Roboute Guilliman. The Avenging Son. He is the closest thing to a walking divinity the Imperium has.


Pretty sure they said that same thing about Horus...

Zenithfleet wrote:I think 2nd edition's greatest failure wasn't actually its own fault: It never had a 'tidy-up' edition afterwards to trim the worst excesses and tighten things up a bit.


That's a really interesting point. We have 4 clean up editions of 3rd edition and one of 8th, so we're able to see those run their course better. 2nd indeed had nothing, and it would have been interesting to see what could have been done with the game before deciding it was too far gone.

ccs wrote:
But we HAD big stuff in 40k 2e. Armorcast, a 3rd party company had the license to make Baneblades, shadowswords, titans, etc.
GW simply realized that there WAS enough of a market for this stuff to make doing it in house practical.


I'm not sure if that's totally accurate. I recall that Armorcast was the last in a long line of recasters, and that GW didn't start introducing these kinds of models for another decade. Correct me if I'm wrong though.

Jidmah wrote:Well, the OP is very disappointing, just yet another veteran telling the kids how everything used to be better in the old times. So no, not nailed anything at all.



If this is what you think this thread is, then I recommend you head to the eye doctor. I'm incredibly critical of 2nd edition, which is the edition I'm most fond of. Meanwhile, I only had a few things to say about the 3rd to 7th edition era, and I hated 3rd edition. Lastly, I asked where each edition fails. I'm not going on about how my nostalgia is more important than yours. But hey, if you want me to go on about how much better things were in the old times, about we start with a player community that didn't need to gak all over everyone else so they could feel superior. Or how the community wasn't toxic as all hell and we didn't need GW to come out and remind people that Nazis were bad. If you want to talk about the olden days, let's do that. But this thread is about objectively looking at what parts of each system didn't work, and that includes the ones we like the most.
   
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 Mezmorki wrote:


#1: Problems with core rules creating game-wide "headaches" or "annoyances"

- 3rd edition: transports were too powerful in the hands of assault focused armies


I reckon there was a much bigger problem with the core rules in 3rd edition: there wasn't enough 'core' there. In the effort to streamline the game for larger armies, too much was stripped out. Like the Movement stat for each troop type, which had allowed for a basic way to differentiate fast-moving combat armies like Tyranids from slower footsloggers. The 3e Codexes had to bolt awkward special rules back onto the game again, like the Fleet of Foot/Hoof/Claw rule, because they were things that the core game should have included 'under the hood' but didn't. It was like Orks sticking all kinds of worky bits onto the outside of a looted tank after they'd tossed out the engine for not goin' fast enuff.

2nd ed was clunky, but I feel it was more versatile straight out of the box without the need for add-ons, because it had more baked into the core rules. 3e needed a 'cityfight' supplement, whereas I suspect 2e could have handled urban combat just fine (though I never really tried it myself). Arguably 2e's more 'simulationist' approach also helped with this.

(I say this as someone who initially loved 3rd because it was easier to learn and play as a young teenager. I played most of my games in 3rd. It was only later that I started to think 3rd ed's revamp was a devil's bargain that caused endless trouble for the next few editions.)


Another issue that I don't think has been discussed much yet is the problem of legacy miniatures. GW's games are tied to the models, but their range is so big that they can't redo the whole range every time a new edition comes out. It's not just a case of nerfing certain things while overpowering others; sometimes the rules change and leave the old models high and dry because they were designed for an older game system and don't really function properly in the new one. In the case of the revamp from 2e to 3e, certain troop types and their weapon loadouts--often fixed because they were one-piece metals--couldn't seem to find a decent niche in the new system. Like Eldar Warp Spiders.
   
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ScooterinAB wrote:

ccs wrote:
But we HAD big stuff in 40k 2e. Armorcast, a 3rd party company had the license to make Baneblades, shadowswords, titans, etc.
GW simply realized that there WAS enough of a market for this stuff to make doing it in house practical.


I'm not sure if that's totally accurate. I recall that Armorcast was the last in a long line of recasters, and that GW didn't start introducing these kinds of models for another decade. Correct me if I'm wrong though.


Will do.
You ARE correct in that Armorcast wasn't the only company making 40k scale resin kits in the '90s. There were others - Epicast, Forge World Models (do not confuse them with FW as owned by GW), & Biasi Studio. They were all making stuff under license from GW through the 90's. And at the same time/overlapping. And sometimes using/sharing each others kits.
Read a condensed account here: http://www.collecting-citadel-miniatures.com/wiki/index.php/Resin_Vehicles_%26_Titans
Armorcast held their license to produce until 1998. They then sold down stocks throughout 1999.

Forge World (GWs version) launched in 1999. You can look this date up easily enough.
They started off a bit slow, but they ramped up quick enough.


So yeah, we've had the "big stuff" in the game since 2e. And smaller stuff as well!

   
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ScooterinAB wrote:
But this thread is about objectively looking at what parts of each system didn't work, and that includes the ones we like the most.


And yet, you somehow decided to respond to my first line which criticized your post instead of anything else I wrote.

Sorry if I offended you, but your first post really doesn't have a lot of objectivity in it for any of the editions later than fourth.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/12/03 07:43:17


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ccs wrote:
Zenithfleet wrote:

Post 3e, another issue that hasn't yet been mentioned in this thread is the demise of Epic. Back in the day, if you wanted to play with the big toys like flyers and superheavies and Titans, you played Epic and could fit everything in a lunchbox. You always had that option when you had a hankering for a really, really big battle--so 40K could stay more focused on smaller games, better suited to 28mm. When Epic withered away, GW started shoehorning the big units into 40K, where they frankly don't belong.


But we HAD big stuff in 40k 2e. Armorcast, a 3rd party company had the license to make Baneblades, shadowswords, titans, etc.
GW simply realized that there WAS enough of a market for this stuff to make doing it in house practical.
I used the Exarch power "Disarm" to remove a Reaver Titan's Plasma Blaster after defeating it in CC once. Lolololololol.


Automatically Appended Next Post:
 Jidmah wrote:
Well, the OP is very disappointing, just yet another veteran telling the kids how everything used to be better in the old times. So no, not nailed anything at all.

Another young'un who doesn't know that the old times were better. Pffft.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/12/03 08:07:19


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 Jidmah wrote:
Well, the OP is very disappointing, just yet another veteran telling the kids how everything used to be better in the old times. So no, not nailed anything at all.
Spoiler:

However, the topic is rather interesting and other people like Da Boss and scotsman have provided some very interesting feedback, so I'll give my two cents:.

4th edition
I didn't really play any 'real' games, and frankly didn't know enough about the game to judge, so I'll just skip this one.

5th edition
What made 5th edition "fail"? I guess mostly codex creep. Well built guard, SW and BA lists were above anything that 4th edition codices put out and stuff like exploiting the hated nob bikers' wound allocation shenanigans stopped being a beardy easy win and started becoming a mandatory asset to be able to compete. Then GK and Necrons came out and completely blew those three out of the water and broke the game because both codices were written to specifically to "beat" 5th edition and exploit its flaws.
Other issues the edition had were the mobile bunker meta with everyone spamming transports since the damage table was technically the same as a 3++ save, as well as S7 and S6 with rending being the best weapons against everything.
5th also had a few minor issues, like scoring fast hover skimmers tank shocking across the entire board for easy wins, named characters being mandatory for certain themed lists and instant death weapons making monsters obsolete, but nothing unfixable.
My opinions on planes being added to 5th isn't really that it was bad or broken in any way. While valks, vendettas, dakkajets and croissants felt odd being fast skimmers which often remained stationary, but this was the one implementation which was the least game braking of all attempts to implement fliers so far.
It is also worth noting that the quality of 5th's rules writing was already a decade behind what was already considered a good standard for other games. YMDC today is totally dead compared to 5th edition, when half the rules were genuinely unclear or non-functional and playing the game RAW was simply not possible.

6th edition
Oh boy, where to start...
Initially it seemed like it was a jab at trying to fix the problems of 5th, but for every problem it fixed, it created three to four new one.
Challenges were completely broken and were exploited as defense mechanism against melee characters and neutered unit champions. It literally did the opposite of creating interesting duels between combatants.
Psychic disciplines were massively unbalanced against each other and not available to everyone. Some armies like eldar, daemons or GK could get not get nigh guaranteed casts on anything they want, they could also deny each dice a normal army like vanilla marines or ork rolled with six dice of their own. That would have been bad enough, but invisibility, sanctuary and daemon summoning also reared their ugly had.
Then there were invincible flying monstrous creatures gliding across the board with impunity unless you had an anti-air weaponry, many of them with psychic powers.
Allies also made a return, giving birth to abominations like the taudar list.
To make bad worse, GW also released a bunch of terrible codices, enabling multiple armies to get huge expensive deathstar units with re-rollable 2++ saves that could cast invisibility on themselves.
Dragging the entire Apoc ruleset into the edition without making changes to it also didn't help, but outside of random units throwing out destroyer shots it rarely affected my games.
Literally the only good thing to say about 6th is that it was over soon.

7th edition
I guess 7th edition's core rules were an honest attempt to fix 6th edition's problems but it simply didn't go far enough. Challenges, psychic powers, instant death, allies, USR became even more of a mess and many other rules still only worked well for marines and eldar. The era of "everyone brings a knight" came about, characters were tanking entire artillery battalions worth of shooting for the unarmored guys standing behind them, independent characters joining each to get avenger-style units, rhino sniping and melee units being forced to travel even more distance due to the casualty removal from the front.
Where did 7th fall apart? IMO with the ork codex, and yes, that's the first one in the edition. It was one of the rare occurrences where an army waited six years and three editions for their update and was off worse than before. The supplement released at the same time was even worse, its content being the equivalent of telling ork players to go die in a ditch.
Afterwards, Space Wolves also got an underwhelming codex and for a short time everyone was hoping that GW would now nerf all armies to get back to a decent game.
So in the beginning of 2015 7th edition was already lying on the floor and slowly dying from mistakes made back in 6th, when GW decided to double down and completely ruin 7th by introducing decurions, releasing even more powerful versions of already powerful codices, shelling out more and more powerful formations, releasing supplements, campaigns and expansions left and right, creating an absolute nightmare of a ruleset that was not only horribly imbalanced, but completely impossible to keep track of. To give an impression of how bad it was, by the end of 7th, there were a total of 46 different rule sources (none of them free) just for vanilla space marines.
GW providing absolutely no rules support for their terribly written rules was just the icing on the cake.
At the "peak" of 7th I actually dropped 40k with no intentions of ever returning.

8th edition
8th edition did a lot of things right. Challenges were gone, they dropped the bad parts of psychic disciplines and kept the good ones, the inherently unfair initiative stat gone, movement stat, damage table gone, no more spacing out models, high wound counts for vehicles and monsters, simplified unit types and more, all written as something that actually vaguely resembled technical rules writing.
There were a hand full of things from old editions that I shed a tear for, but in general the core rules did everything right, and there even were rules updates for everyone right off the bat. After a few games it turned out that internal and external balance still sucked, but I liked the new game enough to start DG to allow me to return to the game while waiting for the ork codex to save them from their super boring index gameplay.

Where did 8th fail? IMO it failed in two steps.
The first step was stratagem creep and the the resulting wombo-combos. A new codex was evaluated solely on what stratagems it had, lists were build to get the maximum amount of CP possible and funnel all of them into whatever unit would turn those CP into as much damage as possible. Most people were looking forward to their PA not for their new army updates, but for more and better stratagems. A clear indicator of how much of an issue this was for players is that people still complain about combos today that have long been patched out of the game removed by 9th codices.
The second failure was not codices, but supplements. Despite the flaws of stratagem stacking and CP farms, 8th was a fairly enjoyable and balanced game for most people until the supplements for SM 2.0 dropped. The power level of supplements stacked on an already powerful space marine codex not only ruined competitive gaming with the IH disaster, but even at casual levels flavorful space marine collections were suddenly curb-stomping armies of similar levels drawn from other codices.

9th edition
9th edition is an improved version of 8th in almost every aspect. Most codices have vastly improved internal and external balance (not you, drukhari) and crusade is giving me exactly what I found lacking in 8th's narrative game mode that had almost no support beyond "forge your narrative!".
Has it failed yet? Yes, no, maybe.
There surely are issues.
1) GW being a lot less active in terms of updating codices and missions. While the last changes were certainly a surprisingly brave step in the right direction, they seem to be much more reluctant to make broad changes to the points of non-problematic units than they were in 8th

2) matched play is boring and repetitive. I never liked ITC but still gave matched play/GT every chance. It simply becomes stale after having played too many games, and I dearly miss the CA2019 missions of 8th which actually played different from each other and didn't just boil down to number of objectives and how many of them you have to hold.

3) terrain works if set up correctly, but it's incredibly hard to do so. More than a few games over the course of 9th that I played or watched were decided solely by setting up the board incorrectly.

4) many armies could stand to lose a layer of rules or six. Each army needs to have a complexity budget that must not be exceeded under any circumstances. There should be enough budget for one interesting and possibly complex rule like contagions, the Waaagh! and Speedwaaagh!, necron reanimation protocols or tyranid synapse. All other rules that are layered on need to be simple and stupid, like 'ere we go, shock assault, bolter drill, simple abilities that can be explained in a single line (almost sounds like USR... gasp!).
An army that is complex to build because it is fractioned into three different splinters like drukhari, has rules like power from pain and hyperspace raid does not need thousands of combinations of obsessions layered on top of that. An army like space marines that traditionally has complex chapter tactics and a bag of abilities combined into angels of death do not need even more complex mechanic like doctrines, chapter command and super-doctrines layered on top.

5) the number of stratagems is just too damn high. I think I'm rather infamous by now for my stance on whether the game is too complex or not, so that is clearly not the reason why I want to cut down on stratagems. My reason is that I think that the vast majority of stratagems add absolutely nothing to the game, simple as that. In all my games I always use the same few stratagems and so do my opponents, even when running vastly different archetypes. Which leads me to believe that when GW is designing stratagems, they are just throwing mud at a wall and hope enough of it sticks to make a good codex.
If a stratagem works for just one unit, that's not a stratagem. That's an ability activated with CP.
If a stratagem requires you to buy specific wargear, that's not a stratagem, that's wargear activated with CP.
If a stratagem upgrades a unit, that's not a stratagem, that's a unit upgrade paid for with CP.
If a stratagem does something very narrow that almost never matters or has a high chance of failing, it's wasted cardboard.
If a stratagem unconditionally increases damage... well, stop that. There is too much damage already.
Delete all those and suddenly you are left with a tiny pile of utility and reactive stratagems - which really is all there should be.

So, for 10th I wish for better terrain rules, less stratagems and less, but more meaningful layers of codex rules. Outside of that, 9th is fine as it is.


Funny... that is not what I saw in the OP. I saw a genuine attempt at community-sourced critical analysis, inclusive of said "kids"... and what if things used to be better? Or, is this not somehow politically correct? Must the message always be that the present is the high point in human evolution, I suppose to hold back the feeling that somehow people have made a mess of things, and the "kids" you reference have some pretty indissoluble problems in front of them? Blinders, rose-colored glasses, as it were?

   
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ScooterinAB wrote:
I've been playing with the idea of trying to frankenstein a version of 40k I and my friends are happy playing, but I also want to take it past that if I can because one of the louder players in my group seems to have a suspicious bias about what edition we play.
With regards to this point. If you are playing period rules and books rather than a mix and looking for minimal changes then there are a few things to consider -

- Admech, Custodes, etc, don't exist in the earlier editions so you'll need to see what the other players are looking to bring.

3e - Ban BA overcharged engines and CSM siren. Be careful around craftworlds and CSM iron warrior cheese. Be aware of starcannon spam and the fact that some books can cherry pick all kinds of extravagant power-boosting wombo-combos (CSM 3.5) whereas other books are more along the lines of "this is your one troops choice, this is your one option". Many modern units don't exist.

4e - Consider banning eldar holofields and spirit stones, YMMV on the lash of submission. Ruleswise 4e is an extension of 3e including target priority rolls and chain-combats. 4e books with 5e rules do work depending on your preferences (no need to ban holofields/stones under 5e vehicle rules). Book releases during this era did notably shift from 3e to 5e style costings and free wargear (with DA and CSM) but nothing outrageous, even the raw on-paper power of 4e daemons was held in check by their erratic deployment.

5e - A significant number of new units were added during this edition. Consider adding +1 to damage rolls on immobilized vehicles. For wound allocation treat all 'upgraded' squad models as one group rather than breaking them down futher. Use the update pdf for the old 3e and 4e books to bring them in line. Consider using VPs rather than kill points.
A few strategic bans (such as Jaws of the World Wolf, squadrons of heavy artillery, and the early flyers) may help. The late-edition Necrons and GK really double down on the codex creep though.
   
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I think it would be better for everyone if you guys would stop derailing the thread by responding to the most unimportant sentence in a sixty line post.

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1st edition is complete garbage, you'd have to be some sick Slaanesh worshipper to like this lol.

2nd edition is the hairiest edition of 40k, I call it the bray edition, because it's hairy like a braying Beastman.

3rd edition is the fickle edition, nothing is really nailed down here is it? What even are the rules? I don't know, I haven't read them, really badly written.

4th edition is the scaly edition, I can get down with that, but there are still some major problems, I cannot really say too much about the problems except that it's an objectively scaly edition.

Instead of writing this sort of gak I could say "what were the benefits and downsides of the rules in these editions?" or "It seems to me that this or that system has these downsides, did it feel that way to you when you played it?"
   
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But why go for actual discussion when throw away comments work so much better? /s
   
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 Jidmah wrote:
I think it would be better for everyone if you guys would stop derailing the thread by responding to the most unimportant sentence in a sixty line post.
You know there might be a lesson in that, if you pay attention. . .

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Wyldhunt wrote:

That's crazy. Glad to hear you had good times though. You're definitely right about IG. I remember being confused about everyone's hatred of GK because their expensive marine bodies were actually a prime target for my banshees and dragons. XD

And despite my drama, 5th edition obviously wasn't so bad that it kept me from continuing to play to this day.


A couple of thoughts. I was new to Eldar in 5th and didn't have any preconceived notions about how they should play. I was also relatively new to 40k, having only played a handful of 4th ed games before 5th dropped. So I wasn't saddled by experience that limited my perspective. I figured this out in 5th when I was playing BA. The old hands on B&C were still stuck in a 4th ed mindset and did not grasp the potential of transports in 5th. I glommed onto them almost immediately particularly because of how the 4th ed WD BA codex worked with Death Company. Two combat squads produced 2 "free" DC models. A full up 10 man tactical squad produced only 1. But at the time, the old hands were telling me that combat squads were a waste of time as were razorbacks. It seemed intuitively obvious to me that combat squads in razorbacks were an excellent option, but they were adamant that they were nigh useless. By the time the SW codex dropped in 2009, everyone had figured it out and the parking lot meta was born.

Halfway through 5th I started on Eldar and was similarly inexperienced. As I built out my army, I found the high price of serpents and falcons a complete turn off. I had wanted to run Banshees, having chosen Iybraesil (high five) as my craftworld, but I couldn't find a way to make them work. It always seemed I could fit in more stuff by dropping the transports so my lists were always some mix of rangers, avengers, guardians, wraithlords, dragons, wraithguard, and warp spiders. Along the way I learned that this was all an established archetype popularized by high profile players like Reecius and Blackmoor. And then it turned out to be hugely fun because no one was tuning their lists against it.

I continued running the footdar in 6th making adjustment like adding a bastion until the new codex came out. That codex was objectively better and significantly boosted the power level, but it never felt the same. In 5th no one complained to me about how OP my Eldar were, but I was told a number of times in 6th that my army was unfun to play against.



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 Arschbombe wrote:
In 5th no one complained to me about how OP my Eldar were, but I was told a number of times in 6th that my army was unfun to play against.
5th edition was a rare dip in the power of the Eldar codex, not bad but also never overwhelming even with skew lists and forgeworld units.

In 6e they just gave eldar +1 across everything - faster, more accurate, more armour, more firepower, all kinds of special abilities. More than a few tournaments were ending with Eldar vs Eldar finals and that continued into 7th (Adepticon 2016 for instance had 6 Eldar players in the top 10). Between that and the shenanigans of previous editions 5e and early 6e were probably the only times in oldhammer that Eldar were not considered OP.
   
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Agree with A.T. I probably played 50% of my 5th edition games against eldar and while they were super annoying (which kind of fits their lore ), they weren't OP by any means. Games against them could go either way.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/12/04 11:28:13


Earth is not flat
Vaccines work
We've been to the moon
Climate change is real
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Stand up for science!
 
   
 
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