Thank you David Walsh for this amazing guest article.
With the new edition announced, I’m noticing something pretty exciting. There’s a lot of new players going through their first edition change! This is great! We need new players to keep this hobby going strong, and it seems like GW has been doing a good job of recruiting. So, here’s some simple words of wisdom for those going through “the change” for the first time.
1) Don’t Panic! Seriously, you’ll see a lot of whining over the game being “broken” or models becoming “useless”. This happens with every edition change, with every miniatures game, even role playing games, or board games. There will always be those who don’t know how to handle change other than to stubbornly stamp their feet and express their dislike of something they’ve never tried. This will happen with just about every rules leak, or new model leak, or even rumors of rules with no verification what so ever.
2) Some models might rotate into the background for effectiveness. But it also means some of the older less used models may come back into the forefront. (Come on incubi!) This has it’s ups and downs, but it’s a common thing when an edition changes. Think of it as GW trying to stick to it’s word of making all your old models useful. With every new edition is a chance for GW to live up to that promise.
3) Vehicles always change. I mean, in every edition, there are some changes to how vehicles work. Usually not across the board, but I wouldn’t be surprised if armor values changed, or the system was rewritten again. This seems to be a common balance problem for GW. Don’t worry though, if a vehicle was solid before, they will almost always remain amazing. (Land Raiders, Drop Pods, Helldrakes, etc.)
4) Some models will appear to be terrible at first, but with a lot of the new rules changes, it turns out they synergize better with different models than before, or serve a new purpose more in line with their fluff. Sometimes old models with new rules are waiting for a new model to be released that unlocks an amazing synergy. Sometimes the old models just function so differently, it takes time to see what they are intended for now.
5) Finally, don’t be upset if some of your old models start to collect dust under the new edition. We all lost some favorite strategies when 7th dropped (TauDar, I miss you!) but you’ll live. And those models will likely find a use again later in the edition, or within the next.
One last note. No one says you have to burn all your old books. As an ex-GW manager, I can tell you that most stores welcome older edition games. Provided you play the modern stuff from time to time, most managers will work with you on playing older editions. Just talk to them first. I know my local store even ran Fantasy 8th edition tournaments up to a year after AoS.
New editions are great for the hobby! This is an exciting time to be involved, and for the first time (for all you edition changing newbies) you’ll be there from the beginning! No one will be more of an expert on the rules than anyone else for a while, and a world without rules lawyers is fun for everyone!