Saturday, 17 May 2014

Warhammer 40,000 7th Edition - First Thoughts

Tonight, Games Workshop have put up the new Warhammer 40,000 Rulebook (7th Edition) for Advance Order. I don't work for the company anymore so I have seen very little of the new rules besides leaked photos of White Dwarf and the videos that they have put up on YouTube. I also have very little money, so I have been unable to Advance Order it myself.

Still, I thought I'd have a gander at the new products and share my thoughts.

It seems like only yesterday that I was working in the Kingston-upon-Thames Hobby Centre as a trainer manager, teaching beginners how to play 5th Edition 40k, extolling the virtues of the hardback rulebook and the Assault on Black Reach box. I'm reliably informed that this was three and a half years ago, but part of me wonders if they are lying. 

I remember taking over Games Workshop Epsom as Manager in February 2012, 40k's 25th Anniversary. I remember well too the release of 6th Edition and the Dark Vengeance box. Despite it's failings, I love 6th Edition - the cinematic leaning of the rules was something that truly excited me but sadly, as always, seemed to be pushed aside for finding loopholes in the rules and arguing over the placement of commas. Yes. Seriously. 

But alas, I'm not going to rant on about the virtues and failings of 6th, neither am I ready to discuss whether or not there was a need for 7th. Suffice it to say that I am glad of a new edition and excited to get my hands on it. £50 to play a new edition daily/weekly at a gaming club is a damn sight cheaper than a single night out on the town, so...

But I digress. This is not a commentary on GW pricing strategies or how their business operates, merely a first glance opinion of the new rulebook. I won't even look at the limited edition products or the other additionals (Psychic Power cards etc). 

So what do we have?

First off, the 'rulebook' is now divided into three individual books. The Games Workshop website states:

"Each volume of Warhammer 40,000 presents a different aspect of the hobby. The first 144 page book, A Galaxy of War, explores the art of collecting and painting your own force of miniatures.
The history of the 41st Millennium is presented in the second book, Dark Millennium. In 128 pages it describes the crumbling Imperium of man and their many enemies, within and without, which wage war against humanity and each other.
The final volume, The Rules, is a 208 page book contains all the rules for playing games of Warhammer 40,000."

This is a very welcome change. No longer am I to purchase the 'hardback' rulebook, read it, use it a handful of times until the smaller one becomes available, then relegate the larger one to my shelf.
Now, I have the small version as part of the box. When I travel to a gaming event, I need only pack this small book into my case. It's not immediately going to be replaced by the smaller one. I will no longer feel the need to buy the starter box merely for the small book. 
This also means we are likely to see the small Rulebook sold seperately as they recently did for 40k (likely online only) at a reduced cost. Nice. 
By moving all the fluff and hobby into seperate books also makes it easier for reference. Again, it also means the books could be made available seperately. As anyone will tell you, I place a lot of value on choice. This pleases me greatly. 
The books themselves have an interesting art style to them that I'm a fan of. They look clean and bright, and if those leaked photos are anything to go by, so does the interior. I wasn't a fan of the 6th Edition cover, I still prefer the 4th and 5th versions of being emblematic rather than artistic. Whilst the new rulebook still follows the artistic route, it's more subtle, and I like that. 
All in all, I'm really impressed with how the new Rulebook looks, and I can't wait to get my hands on a copy to review it properly. Until then, the new White Dwarf is out tomorrow so I'll be having a good look. 
Who knows? Maybe this edition might get me back into 40k? I've been painting the Ltd Ed Web Exclusive Space Marine Captain as a Mantis Warrior, so...

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