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Full Version: Can someone sum up the major changes since 5th ed?
WargamerAU Forums > Wargaming Down Under > Warhammer 40,000 > 40k General Discussion
5th ed was the last one I played. And I didn't even play much of it to be honest. I had a decent idea of rules and how everything worked but still had to refer to core rules in addition to codex rules.

I'm interested in knowing what major ways the game has changed in terms of core rules. I heard something about a psyker phase or something being added as an example.

Really interested in getting back in at some point. Still got my warhams in a box waiting to see daylight. Tonnes of conversion projects half completed. No complete army.

Much appreciated.
Blackhearts Reaver
6th ed was the introduction of flyers on big elevated bases and more complication rules . 7 flyer Necron Croissant lists and 5-6 flyer IG lists abounded until proper AA came out (flyers were 6's to hit unless decicated AA fire).
7th ed was the buff-arama and the introduction of the Lord of War into 40K (imperial knights, Baneblades etc) it was also the introduction for Special detachments and Army formations for bonus rules. better rules. (eg Space Marine formation that got free transports...). It was a horrible power edition that created Death Star units with 3-5 Characters and psyker buffing the huge unit to make it nigh invulnerable and death dealing. Think paladin bricks/ Thunderwolf cavalry and add 1000pts worth of characters and buffs.

8th ed has been a complete rewrite. Movement, Psykic, Shooting, Charge + Fight Morale, are now the phases.
8th ed also has 3 modes
-OPEN play + chuck anything on the table and roll dice.
-NARRATIVE play more scenario driven with a simpler army construction based on average point costs for units (uses Power levels~1/20 of the highest cost+ lowest cost/2) eg a 10 marine tactical squad can cost around 130-220pts and gets POWER level of 9. and you can field it armed with any variations. with games being 25POWER, 50 POWER, 100POWER etc.
-MATCHED play is standard 40K with points and micro costing everything you add to a unit. points are also updated now each year so too powerful> becomes more expensive and never used units get cheaper. smile.gif
I have only ever seen MATCHED play games.... there was a bit of NARRATIVE at the beginning as people got used to the rules... have never seen an OPEN play game.

Movement is basically the same except they have brought back variable movement rates. Run (Advance) is +1d6 some units like bikes get and auto +6" instead.
4-6" = foot slow.
7-9" is foot fast
10-12" is vehicle/jumpack biker
14-18" is jetbike, landspeeder,
20-60" flyer

Psychic phase brings a lot of direct hurt(usually small damage but effective) or buffing units/debuffing enemy.

-Shooting is similar to before. Stats are now just a target number So a unit will have a number like 3+ (no BS score etc) to successfully hit. Weapons are basically the same. Movement is by model now. So your squad lascannon can stand still and the rest can move a bit. Move and fire for forbidden weapon is now only -1 to hit. So you can move and shoot hv. or Advance (Run) and shoot assualt weapons for just a penalty. Also templates are gone. Now you just get a range and number of shots with small blasts=1d3 "shots", big blast=1d6 shots, flamer=1d3 or 1d6 but Auto hits at 8" rg ....
- AP now works like 2nd ed. you get your armour save like before (2+ 3+ etc) weapons have a modifier to this roll. eg Autocannon -1, ML -2, Lascannon -3, so armour means something now but 3+ and 4+ armour is a bit less effective. 2+ armour is now much more effective.

-Terrain means much less now. Direct LoS blocking is more important. If you are completely on terrain you get +1 to armour (50% required for Vehicle/ monster /etc) if you are behind squads or behind terrain but not in it, you get nothing..... so terrain has been really watered down. LoS is also direct. If you can see a helmet you can kill the entire squad. Shooters are by model so only the firers who can see the target unit can fire at it. Shooting like movement is by model so you can shoot the lascanon at the tank and the bolters at some troops.... yay.

Charges. 2d6" charges now so it is not guaranteed.(you can get special rules +1", reroll charge dice, reroll 1 dice etc to mitigate). Initiative is gone. If unit charges it goes first. then each player get to activate 1 unit at a time. (special rules can override). At the time of charges the recipient can shoot you (but only hit on 6's = overwatch) and yes you can teleport in and charge (looking for 9" on 2d6 with possible bonuses).

Fight =damage as normal. Fight in 2-3 ranks depending on base size. when you activate a unit to fight it can pile in 3" before it works out who can fight. So combats are now deadly. No more 4-8 phase of ineffective slapping..... a dedicated h2h unit gets in and it chops up .... also WS is no longer contested> so you have a number (like shooting) 2+ hits for characters, 3+ for good h2h troops, 4+ generally 5+ ad 6+ generally vehicles.... (yes vehicles can fight but they can't tankshock anymore) and you can get lots of rerolls/ +1's/ etc so h2h is generally worth it if you make it with a good h2h unit.

Also in combat you can pull out anytime if you can possibly move away (eg not surrounded) and then just shoot the hell out of them with the rest of you army. (jumpack jetpack/flyer FLY keyword can always move away)


IC (characters) can't be targeted unless they are the closest target. Friendly unit "protection" can be out of LoS or in combat as well....

Vehicle rules are gone. Vehicles are now just like Monstrous creatures. Toughness wounds and a save. generally T5-9 and 6-28 wounds > tau piranha T5 6wds 4+, Landraider T8 16wds 2+....

Weapons do more damage but models can have more wounds. Eg bolter=1 damage, Autocanon=2 damage, lascannon=1d6 damage. Imperial knight chainsword=6 damage. Marine has 1 wd (still) Terminator/biker/primaris =2wds, landspeeder=6wds, landraider=16wds, Imperial knight =24wds, Castellan (big knight)28 wds, Heirophant tyranid =60wds...

Wound chart has been simplified Works in both h2h and shooting.
Str double= 2+
Str greater but not double =3+
str =T = 4+
Str less =5+
Str half or less 6+
But 1 always fails, 6's always wound.... so my gretchin can still hurt a Baneblade.

Teleport/burrow/reserves. are very different. Now these types of special deployment all work generally the same. you can deploy them to the table turn 2 or turn 3 (after that they are considered destroyed) they are placed on the table no scatter anywhere + not within 9" of the enemy. (at the end of movement phase).

This is how they have written most of the new rules. Simple, no random and you get what you paid for. No more rolling random psychic powers, or worrying about scattering off the table etc.

There are army building formations (for Matched Play) and these give you a certain amount of STRATAGEM Command points(CP) to spend per game:
~1-5 small games
~5-13 medium games
~13+ bigger games You can get more if you cram in formations but generally compromise the list to do so....

Stratagems are special one off abilities you can use to add a small bonus (penalise your enemy) in crucial parts of the game. Each army has strats specific to them.
There are a few that are generic. eg use
1 CP pt to reroll any one (ingame) dice,
2 CP pts to autopass a morale roll.
2 CP to interrupt assault charges and fight back with a unit instantly (after the enemy has 1 fight).

these can be game breaking.... eg tyranid 2CP for a unit to fight 2x , 2CP for a void missle to become sniper (target Characters) etc

The codex are also written in a fairly clear way with set Keywords in each unit so you know what rules effect what units or types of units (eg Space Marine, Eldar or Psyker, Vehicle, Infantry etc.).

I have played every edition since 2nd ed and would rate this edition as the best (if not in the top 2). It is definitely the best edition for beginners or returning players.... 8 pages of normal rules. (+ some advanced rules).
that created Death Star units with 3-5 Characters and psyker buffing the huge unit to make it nigh invulnerable and death dealing.

This makes me moist.

and yes you can teleport in and charge (looking for 9" on 2d6 with possible bonuses).

Finally, mah god.

So the to-wound roll is still matched against the target's toughness but it sounds like rolling to hit when shooting on close combat is fixed as per the units profile. Is that right? Or is there still a chart for that?

Very exciting stuff. You mentioned a lot of things I found 'weird' about the game like how you can get lucky and destroy a beastly land raider in one hit. I remember seeing something like a guardsman kill a monolith in a GW store (memory is fuzzy).

LOS - a lot of models are taller.... not just characters. One of my half finished projects is an ahriman mod where he's nearly twice as tall due to standing on a platform with floating pieces below it.
Blackhearts Reaver
So the to-wound roll is still matched against the target's toughness but it sounds like rolling to hit when shooting on close combat is fixed as per the units profile.
correct. It makes knowing how much damage you are likely to do a lot more reliable.

Yeah can't kill a landraider with 1 lucky shot anymore. (You can if you have a FW Relic Legion Falchion tankdestroyer>> a baneblade sized TD with twin volcano cannons.... 2d6 hits that do 2d6 damage each hit (doubled vs other titanic things....).

IC (now "Characters") are not targetable unless they over 10 wds. so model IC as tall as you want. Other units will be disadvantaged if you model them very bulkily or very tall and can't hide as well. Also Base size has no official rules. But the designers notes basically says the base it came with or something appropriate. A lot of IC have Aura abilities (6"radius or 9" radius etc) so modelling on much larger bases, for advantage, will be frowned upon. But if you put and IC on a 40mm people probably won't mind cos a lot are now anyway. They won't mind if you put you old metal carnifex screamer killer on a 60mm round instead of a 40mm square lol....

I have been waiting to bring out my 40mm tall eldar Avatar on a 25mm base..... wink.gif
The big thing that I disliked with the new 40k is the lack of terrain rules. It seems to be that there is no maneuvering left and just dice rolling and figuring out the order in which to shoot or punch things.

Has that changed? Or did we just use the wrong kind of terrain to make it a dice-off
It seems like there is more emphasis on the physicality of terrain so the basic little hills with some trees or something will only be as effective as the amount of LOS it blocks (interpreting what blackhearts has said).

Which I can imagine being the intent. To encourage more larger pieces of terrain, like full structures, walls, thicker terrain etc.

As I said earlier, I never played a huge amount but really like the tight city tables i've seen around online.

In practice - you tell me whether this is the case or not.
Terrain that doesn't block LOS functionally does nothing in most games
Blackhearts Reaver
Area terrain (with a base) give +1 armour to INFANTRY if you have a unit on it. (vehicles and MC need 50% Obscurement) and that means a lot less than it did when it was 4+ special save no matter what.....

Games work much better if you have big solid buildings (not the crappy GW ones with holes in every side). and hills with higher levels
eg I use :
-20-25mm low level wall cover/craters etc for armour bonus.
-60-75mm higher (blocks to rhino's and most infantry.
-170-225mm (170 blocks to Defilers 225 blocks to Imperial knights.)
-I sometimes now even use 300mm to block to even bigger stuff and flyers.

Having terrain that actually creates alleys and differing levels forces tactical decisions/gambles etc and makes 8th edition a lot more enjoyable.

As they say >> sadly using less terrain or GW terrain usually ends in a dicefest.
When I used to build terrain for older editions of 40K I used to use the formula about 25% of the total table area needs to be terrain "footprint" eg a 6'x4' table needed terrain if pushed together to be about 3'x 2' worth. and that area could be broken down into 1/3 LoS blocking, 1/3 area and 1/3 low walls and craters.

In 8th ed I have revised that to :
About 25%-33% of the table area and that has to be broken down into about 40-45% LoS blocking, 35-40% area and 20% low walls and craters. to get more fun games.

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