Change We Need? Simple Fixes For 8th Edition 40k

horizontial of marine and chaos

With rumors of 8th edition Warhammer 40k springing up everywhere, everyone is turning their minds to what should change in the game. What would you change?

So first off, 8th edition is supposed to be a game of “Stream lined 40K”. Well my first suggestion is to get rid of Salvo weapons. Yup, you heard me right. Salvo has got to go. The way they currently work makes no sense. The idea is that they are high fire rate weapons. Kinda spray and pray. Movement should not be a function of their effectiveness. Range should be. Solution: combine Rapid Fire and Salvo.8th ed

So in actuality I would get rid of “Rapid Fire” because it is 2 words. BUT all Salvo would work as rapid fire. A Grav-gun would still be Salvo 2/3, but that would mean 2 shots at full range and 3 shots at half range. So a bolter would be Salvo 1/2, for 1 shot at 24″ and 2 at 12′. This would remove the “did they move?” component for all but heavy weapons, which is the way it should be. It would also make Relentless just a rule that mattered for Heavy Weapons again. A Space Marine Bike should not be essentially more accurate than a Space Marine on foot. Nor should Centurions or Terminators.

While we are on the subject of shooting: Plasma Weapons. These used to be GREAT. You mean S7 AP2! So what there is gets hot! But now in an age of Grav Weaponry, Innumerable INV and Jink saves, and the latest OPness that is the frag cannon, they are for the most part a complete and total waste! Well for their points that is. An easy fix would be to 1- lower their cost or 2- Give all plasma Fleshbane and/or Blind. It is a ball of superheated gas, it just makes sense.

Another problem to fix: Dreadnoughts and other Walkers! These things need to be based on toughness. Sorry, but it is true. The disparity between walkers and monstrous creatures is rediculous, especially since a MC gets FNP, Move Through Cover and a plethora of other special rules to keep it alive, but a Dreadnought can be killed in single shot!

Now, looking around it seems all Artillery, including the massive Imperial Guard emplacement pieces, have gone the way of Toughness and Armour saves. Heck, even the ARMOURED CONTAINERS HAVE TOUGHNESS! It literally has “armoured” in the name and has a T val instead of AV! Why not walkers as well. Trust me GW, you will sell more kits AND it allows you to remove one whole unit type from the game (walkers) by making them all Monstrous Creatures!

The biggest problem though is assault in a shooting game

It used to be you got shot in the shooting phase and that was it. In These days BA were great. To counteract this, you  eventually couldn’t charge out of a vehicle UNLESS it was an assault or open topped vehicle. Annoying but okay.

But then there came overwatch. And a psychic phase full of Witchfire. And Interceptor. And Grim Resolve. And Cognis Weapons. And a million powers to reroll to hits or to wounds or saves. FNP everywhere. Do I need to go on?

All of these things slowly made Assault go from GREAT to “Why bother?”

I am not saying the game needs to go back to the days where assault was king. But it needs something. There is too much stuff now that counteracts it to leave it how it is.

Now the biggest reason for DISALLOWING charging after disembarking from a stationary vehicle or coming in from reserves is that your opponent doesn’t get a chance to shoot you, but you get to shoot and assault.

Well the 1st part isn’t entirely true is it. They do get overwatch. BUT for the most part it is valid. They should be able to do something or you shouldn’t be able to hit as hard. And I still agree with not getting to assault from a moving vehicle unless it was open topped or an assault vehicle.

“Don’t worry, I am not going to land on you swinging. I think it is only fair I stand directly infront of you and let you shoot at me before I charge you. Oh, and go ahead and shoot then too. I don’t mind. Its not like I am trained to be death from above anyway…”

However to me it just doesn’t make sense that a dedicated and trained assault unit like Assault Marines or Howling Banshees can’t run headlong at the enemy at all times, but every joe shmoe in the game can shoot his weapon like the Hero in every Action Movie EVER!

So what to do?

Well I propose a simple fix:

When you disembark from a vehicle, there is a detriment to shooting. Maybe snap shots only, though that seems a little harsh. Minus 1 or 2 to ballistic skill is far more reasonable. Simple and effective. Allow me to charge, but don’t give me a full effective round of shooting. And if getting out is such a hassle to prevent an assault as it is now, why am I able to take aim and fire to full effect. Even better would be to apply this to all non-vehicles arriving from reserve as well IMO. Every one has to take a moment to orient themselves to the battlefield.

If you think this is too powerful, we can take this one step further: You may only make a disordered charge after disembarking or arriving from reserves. BAM. See how I did that. Now I can still come to grips. I won’t be as effective, but I served my purpose and made contact with the enemy. As well it makes the nerf shooting gets for doing the same not seem so bad.

What this allows is for me to not worry about leaving my vital assault troops sitting unprotected while my opponent can deliver their effective shooting units with impunity. Contrariwise it also means that shooting troops will never get hit full force by an assault unit that just appeared.

This would also go along way to balance Drop Pod of Doom armies/elements like Skyhammer, Grav-cents etc. etc.

Lastly, while talking about assault, lets talk about Power Weapons.

You have
– Power Sword: S: User, AP: 3 Melee
– Power Staff: S: +2 AP: 4 Melee, Concussive
– Power Axe: S: +1 AP: 2 Melee, Unwieldy
– Power Lance: S: +1/User AP: 3/4 Melee *(First Turn, higher profile)
– Power First: S: x2 AP: 2 Melee, Unwieldy, Specialist Weapon
– Thunder Hammer: S: x2 AP: 2 Melee, Unwieldy, Specialist Weapon, Concussive
– Lightning Claw: S: User AP: 3 Melee, Shred, Specialist Weapon.
-Countless specialized ones, including AP2 at initiative weapons

It is the inconsistent performance for cost that bothers me, as well as some of the non-sensical decision made, especially IRT to power axes.

I will address each weapon at a time.

Power Sword- Baseline, no change required.

Power Staff- Very under-utilized. What I don’t get is how an Axe is unwieldy and this isn’t, nor is this two handed or specialist. What I would do if I were designing 8th is slap either two handed or unwieldy on a staff (probably two handed) and reduce its points by 5. I would also possibly separate mauls/maces and leave them as is if it went this route.

Power Axe- UGH. I have waxed poetic on this in the past on my own blog. More than once at that. Okay, ALOT! But here I go for a 4th time. WHY ARE AXES UNWIELDY?!?! Sure, they need a detriment to counteract their bonus, but these weapons unfairly benefit lower S armies in a game where T4 is the base line. That Guardsmen Sgt. McFartFace doesn’t care about being I1 if it means he will kill a terminator. But that SM Sarge who has decades, if not centuries, of experience with the weapon is JUST AS SLOW? To me, axes, for their measly +1 S, should be -1 or -2 Initiative. Basically have an “Unwieldy” and “Ponderous” rule, where one just slows you and the other sets you at I1. As well, since there are SOOOO many ways for armies to bypass the Initiative penalty ans still get AP2, it is illogical and unbalanced for armies that can’t to have to be I1 for ALL AP2 attacks. BUT at the same time, that would become “Too Good”. I agree. That is why, if this were to be done, I would say bump an axe UP 5 points. Basically it is already the bridge between Swords and Fists, so why not cement that fact in terms of cost and capability as well.

Power Lance- To me, it should ALWAYS be S:User. AP3 first round, AP4 subsequent is fine. But instead of the S bonus, it should be an I bonus. The idea of a lance/spear is to hit your enemy BEFORE they are in range to hit you. That is why in Napoleonic Warfare, Lancers were maintained to counter the largely Sabre based cavalry of Europe. They had the reach to strike FIRST. SO to me, a lance should have a +1 or +2 I bonus on the charge.

Power Fist- Stay as is. Fine at cost and ability. Keep at I1

Thunder Hammer– I guess it is fine as it is. I think you should get the +1 A for stacking with a Storm Shield like back in the day. But alas. Mostly it is too many points for only gaining “Concussive”.

Lightning Claw– Goodish. But why not take anything else? A pair of LC should be 25 points, not 30 IMO. That would make them much more desirable. Basically, have it be a separate line in wargear lists with its OWN point cost. So 15 for one, 25 for two.

Tell me, what do you think of this?  I honestly believe there is just WAY too much to counteract assault these days and not enough mechanisms to enable it. These seem like a pretty simple and logical fixes IMO.

If you are not one to walk the beaten tactical path, then come check out more articles like this on Sepulchre of Heroes, home of the 9th Legion. You can also find there plenty of other thoughts and discussions on the hobby and Warhammer 40k, particularly Blood Angels. We feature ample hobby content in painting and kitbashing and cover several GW specialist games such as Battlefleet Gothic and Blood Bowl. Working daily to Bring the Hobby Back, so check us out!

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About Gothmog

Hobbyist and Gamer since 1999. Blood Angels faithful since the beginning. I am also big into various GW Specialist Games and Historical Wargames. Love the hobby, love the fluff, Grognard for life. @Gotmog_Balrog

  • Realspace Raider

    –> Assaulting from a “non assault” vehicule / or from reserve (deep strike included): disordered charge seems to be fair.
    The purpose of assaulting is not always killing things but tarpitting the enemy. Warp Talons, portal succubus with a squad of wyches, BA / RG jumpers, depp striking demons, etc… would find their place in any assault list . In the case of charging after DS there is already one major handicap: deviation !!! and that’s already a big deal

    • IRT DS. The problem with deviation being a “handicap” is now there are a million ways to get around it it seems.

      • Realspace Raider

        excepted for chaos termies 🙂

        • Well, everything Chaos needs fixing…

  • Kolobius

    I was actually just thinking of the plasma getting fleshbane yesterday. And changing the WAY OP Deathwatch frag cannon to something like str 4 ap3 fleshbane. because it is incredibly powerful right now.

  • Skoll Rodriguez

    To make assault better ap and strength of range weapons across the board . Nobody takes terminators even though they are infinitely better in assault than when power weapons ignored all armor. Volume of shots and strength has gone ludicrously up now armies can bury any 2+ save beneath a mountain of s5+ shooting. When that fails d shots and ap 2 abound in codex like tau, eldar and even fellow marines , all comes with nice high strength too

  • Nicklas Wackerfeldt

    Your list of power weapon looks like a houserule to use. if not changed by GW.

    I play Nidz, Their CCW has gotten nerfed in both 5th and 6th edition.
    Sure they have high init but, they have 1 problem in the assault face… no grenades.
    I think that only units that actually use a grenade in shooting face should benefit from them, and/or MTC and beast should ignore initiative penalty on charge through terrain.

  • Well reasoned! I like it!

  • Let’s just hope gw adopts something like this. The idea of modifiers to stats is spot on and should really be transferred to a lot other places in the game. 3rd edition anybody?

  • Shannon Martin

    Walkers are too slow…there should be some mechanism for getting my Deff Dreads across the board before the game ends

  • Bichop

    I disagree with the power weapons.
    Its true that a Space Marine recives more penalties than a Imperial Guard Sergeant when they are equipped with a power axe, but its much deadlier weapon on a Space Marine. 15 point close combat weapon on a WS3 S3 T3 S5+ miniature is not cheap.
    And the power swords have the same price for both armies, wich is unfair.

    I agree with you in everything else.

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