AAR- Exploring 8th Edition 40K

I've been a fan of Warhammer 40k for a few years now, and was a very active player in previous editions. I've played in a tournament and even made the trek to the MiniWargaming studios in Canada to film some battle reports. So when the new edition was announced, I was thrilled. Age of Sigmar did (after a bit of tweaking) really streamline fantasy and make it fun to play. The hope among most of the community was that 8th would do that for 40k. Now that I've played my first game, I can honestly say that it's a much better ruleset. Yesterday, I met up with Tim and we played a 50 power level game of Chaos Marines versus Primaris Marines. We didn't take a lot of pictures, but the game was quick and fun. To play a similar game in the old edition, we would have been constantly referencing wound and to-hit charts but in this, there are no real charts. It's all so simple!

To get started, we set up some terrain and spent about 10 seconds going over what it did in game. Tree clumps were area terrain and the hills actually had to block line of sight to count. We then rolled to set up objectives and carried on into turn 1. I only took pictures of the setup but my Primaris marines made for a scary sight glaring across the table at Tim's Chaos Marines.

My left flank grabbed the hill straight away. There are no penalties for moving into difficult terrain anymore. I love it.

It's so lonely on the right. In this version guys in power armor actually have a reason to be in cover. I only needed it once, but it was awesome.

Commanders have special buffs for the units around them. Placing them in the right place makes all the difference.


The game went differently than I expected. Based on power level, we should have been equal. Tim's Space Marine squads were almost completely kitted out with special weapons where all mine were stock. But my marines are really an 8th Edition army while Tim's were 7th with some extras slapped on top. It was a massacre. I lost 5 models out of 21 while Tim lost 40 out of 41. Having played 7th so much I wasn't expecting that.Looking back, I can see why it was such a rout. My basic guns all have longer ranged shots and a -1 AP modifier, which meant Tim had to make 4+ saves instead of 3+ and that cost him. I also had 4 models giving buffs to the guys around them while Tim had 1.

When it came to close combat my guys were brutal as well. This is not something tactical marines were particularly good at in previous editions, but my Primaris marines just beat down Tim's. My special characters had swords and powerfists that were terrifying while the power claws on Tim's sergeants didn't do that much. I either saved it or they did a wound. My basic guys had 2 and my special characters had 5. Even overcharged plasma guns to the face didn't hurt that much. And close combat went so much faster than in previous editions because the complex hit and wound chats are gone, replaced by such a simple chart.

I think that's the general theme of 8th Edition. The core mechanics are simple and easy to follow. Complexity and interest builds from the special rules individual units or models have. They're generally easy to remember and never really seem out of place. The promise of new codicies completely geared toward 8th Edition with strategems, chapter tactics, and other unique abilities will take the game to a new level from where it is now with the index books. I think we're seeing the beginning of a truly special rules system and I can't wait to see where it goes.

Now if you'll excuse me I need to dig out my Imperial Guard...

CSW Mike

4 responses to “AAR- Exploring 8th Edition 40K

  1. I am intrigued. Maybe My Dark Angels will see some action soon.

  2. I should have the Death Guard painted up in the next week or two, so we can try a game of the two new armies and see how they fair against each other. The game i played with two "index armies" did seem pretty balanced, so I guess it is probably the case of the new stuff being have some extra bells and whistles over the stopgap lists.

    I’ll look forward to another game soon.

  3. I’ve been hearing a lot of positive feedback for this so far. Maybe Age Of Sigmar softened the impact for rules changes within the hardcore GW crowd.
    I have the starter box for 8th though, I dig the new marines, and will gladly add the nurgle stuff to my existing chaos troops. Looking forward to giving this a try at some point.

  4. NIce review Mike. Good to hear the experienced opinions of CSW’s biggeset 40k fan!

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