Tuesday, April 29, 2014

The 40k 7th Edition Money Grab

Looks like I'm due for another rant!  So the big rumor on the web these days is the imminent launch (in May) of 40k 7th edition.

I would agree that there have been a few things new in this edition that were "game changing" being flyers and allies.  Flyers slowly worked themselves into a more manageable level with the addition of anti-air and more air for armies, as well as "super flyers" like vendettas getting points increases.  Allies on the other hand got more and more broken with super bro units abusing the battle brothers rules.  Other armies like Nids got the shaft with no ability to ally.

Let me regress a bit.

Games Workshop is a business.  I'm in sales.  I get the fact they need to make money.  The problem is I see them getting desperate.  Books and especially digital editions are easy money grabs and relatively reliable sources of income.   They know what to expect out of a new edition in terms of $.  So apparently their fiscal year closes at the end of May.  No big surprise that 7th edition 40k is scheduled to release before the end.  It just seems like a blatant attempt at a money grab.

I'm used to their typical behavior of making whatever new kit in a codex "required" to be competitive, and making whatever the previous good build obsolete.  Heck, I'm still pretty angry over all of the guard stuff I just purchased in the last 6 months that I can't even use outside of forge world (medusa, griffon) plus my cool characters they're going to make me buy an EXTRA supplement just to play (Marbo, Al'Raheim, etc.). I've gotten used to this behavior by GW... the will to resist has been beaten out of me.

Yes 40k 6th edition needs some tweaks (which I'll get into) but this could easily be an FAQ printed for free (perish the thought).  Previous editions did just that.  Let me break down the releases for you all:

Rogue Trader: 1987
2nd Edition: 1993 (when I joined the hobby, seems so long ago!)
3rd Edition: 1998
4th Edition: 2004
5th Edition: 2008
6th Edition: 2012
7th Edition: Supposedly May 2014

So we basically get about 4-6 years between editions.  We haven't even gotten to the two year mark for this edition before it's supposed replacement.  Let me break down what I've bought for rules between 6th edition and now with most of this being necessary to play.

- Big Rulebook
- Mini Rulebook (no way I'm carrying around the big one to games)
- Death from the Skies (or you had to buy the white dwarf)
- Stronghold Assault
- Escalation

Some of these relatively recent.  So basically 7th edition will probably obsolete the rules of all of these.  We start all over again.  And in typical fashion, the only rules that will be available to start will be the big rule book... mini rulebooks months after.

This is all in the last 2 years.  Yep, just 2.  As a customer I feel a bit swindled.  Now I'm being told there will be a new edition that is being rushed to get out before their fiscal year ends?  Really? One of two things is happening:

1. Very minor tweaks/adjustments, meaning major money for something that could have been FAQ'd. It's not like we don't already have to carry around a metric ton of rules anyway with all the digital codexes.

2.  A major overhaul, meaning they basically have been working on this since 6th edition was released, which makes me feel like 6th was rushed.

Either way, this is ridiculous.

Now, I do agree there need to be some things that need to be fixed.

Allies: battle brothers is broken.  The design team does not factor in all the broken combos between codexes, at best they look at inner-codex balance.  This could easily be fixed by making all battle brothers allies of convenience.  On the flip side helping the xenos armies by making all armies able to ally with each other using desperate allies at the least.

Assault: It just doesn't work.  Perhaps going back to some sort of consolidation into fresh combat will help assault units become viable.  As well as getting back to some element of assaulting out of transports.  For the most part units can't make it into combat, and if they do and slaughter the unit they attack they sit around to be shot to pieces.

Ignore Cover: It's the new black. Everything seems to ignore cover these days.  It seems to be getting a bit extreme.

Things that I think are ok as is and hope they don't get changed:

Flyers: I honestly feel they've been balanced over the last almost two years.  Adds an interesting element to the game

Look out sir: Maybe we limit it to 4+ on everybody but it's still a great part of the game.

Overwatch: not extreme but still a good way to have a last shot at incoming charges

Pre-Measuring: awesome.  makes for a lot less hard feelings in a game and levels the playing field between new and old players (who got really good on knowing distances).  A ton less blow ups in games due to someone making dodgy movement.

Fortifications: they're cool and add a neat element to the game.  I highly doubt these are going away as they help sell models.

Random charge length: maybe I'm the only person in the world that likes it, but if you want your charge to be sure to succeed, get closer to the target.

Ah well.  I'm a sucker for Games Workshop.  They still make some beautiful models and I love the background of the game.  There is also a pretty big player base (for now) so I can actually get games in.  They just are making it harder and harder to want to keep up with all this blatant money grab BS.

Rant off...  I'll get back to my usual painting updates next.


  1. We still do not know if this is a new edition or a printed update to the current rules do we? I mean, all rumors are calling it 7th edition. I work in the game industry and have dealt with the public calling something a new edition when it was not. Is this possible? I for one believe that there are more than minor tweaks to make this edition better. For instance, what minor tweaks can you do to make assault something that does work? I cannot think of anything small.

    1. You're right on anything changing the assault phase can't be small. It is probably the thing that has had the most changes over the different editions.

    2. It really has impacted the game a lot. 6th Ed started out as my favorite edition of 40k ever. As we get deeper into it I feel there has been elimination of many of the things I enjoy about the game. I, for one, I really anticipating this update/new rules set.

  2. Preach it, brother!

    You're right on the timeline, either they've known this was coming a long time (in which case they're swindlers -- well, we already knew that), or they rushed out 6th ed without proper play testing and were therefore irresponsible with all this. Either way, it's WAY too soon for a 7th edition. They should release a 6.5 edition, maybe, basically a digital update or a mini-book (at reasonable price) that updates things. It could be done cheaply, but no doubt won't. The only thing GW does better than make cool toys is make good excuses to grab our money.

    (okay, now I'm ranting...)

    as for things to change, I'm sure everyone has their own list. I agree, assault units got screwed by overwatch, coming out of reserve, and coming out of transports. I like overwatch, but the rest... needs work. I hate having my outflanking assault units walk on and stand around to get shot. doesn't make sense.

    I also don't care for glancing vehicles to death so easily, the current challenge rules, and plenty more.

    okay, i'll stop now. :)

  3. You're going to be really upset when they release 8th in May 2015.

    j/k but probably not far off.


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