First, GW has not called it 8th edition, just "New Warhammer 40,000". I do hope they call it something other than that. It is the 8th set of rules, but one could argue it is only the 4th different rules set. Hear me out,
Rogue Trader was clearly the First, but rapidly became 1.5 after the Red and Yellow books, and the new Vehicle Guide radically changed how shooting, hand to hand, and vehicles worked.
2nd Edition was a cleaned-up 1.5 with a brand new Psychic Phase, and Vehicle rules (this is a bit of a theme with 40K). Most importantly it was a boxed set, with everything needed to get playing.
3rd Edition was released five years later, and it was very different from 2nd. The following versions (4th-7th) were just refinements of 3rd, with the only radical changes coming to...the Psychic Phase, and Vehicle rules. If you knew how to play 3rd, you could pick up any of the later version very quickly. 19 years is a good run for the core rules, but the rules have gotten so fiddly even veteran players struggle to remember all the fine points of the current edition.
A quick re-cap of the last two weeks news from Nottingham.
Coming back from 1st/2nd Edition:
Infantry Squads may fire at multiple targets. It just makes sense.
Shooting and saving is going back to 1st/2nd Edition. I really like this. I feel modifiers is a better system over the all-or-nothing system of 3rd+.
Twin Linked Weapons are two weapons, not just an extra chance to hit. More shots means more shots! If I shoot four Lascannons I should be able to get four hits.
Must shoot at closest target. I will need some more clarification on this one.
Movement stat. Some units more faster/slower than others. Simple, but welcome return.
New for this edition:
All models work them same. This is huge. Tanks, Infantry, Monstrous Creatures, Dreadnoughts, all have Toughness and wounds. About damn time. Obviously this removes the 10 cap on Strength and Toughness.
No more templates. Interesting. We will talk about this in depth next week.
To Wound chart is much simpler/elegant. Faster to be sure.
Characters cannot join other units, but give benefits to nearby units. Sounds cool.
What we haven't seen yet:
The Turn structure
Line of Sight
Official release date and products.
I'm still excited for this new edition, I haven't seen or heard anything I don't like yet. I will admit, for a while there I thought 40K was just going to slowly fade away. Doesn't look like it now.
The Emperor Protects
And Sometimes Even Makes Sense