Oddly unnoticed (at least by me), June saw the 1st anniversary of Warhammer 40K 6th Edition!!
It’s been (only? alreadly?) a year since Games Workshop released the latest new edition of their most successful miniatures wargame, which arguably happens to be the most successful miniature wargame worldwide: Warhammer 40K.
Even though I am late, I thought it’s still well worth it to take the time and do a little retrospection.
How the Game of 40K Changed
It’s been a hectic year for Warhammer 40K, and the game is – for better or worse – a very different beast than it was in the spring of 2012. Here are a few of the more obvious changes to Warhammer 40K that come out of 6th Edition.
#1 – Allies
Allies was one of those ideas that were heavily criticised one year back.Prediction of game-breaking power-combinations were everywhere. Yet, overall, Allies appear to have worked out surprisingly well for Warhammer 40K (at least from my end of things).
Today, allies rarely see are the centre of “this is broken!” debates, yet they do make collecting 40K miniatures much easier, allowing people to add smaller detachments without committing to a full new army. Moreover, a well-executed, allies-compatible complementary colour-schemes is nice thing to see on the table. And some combos (e.g. Tau + Eldar) do perform nicely on the table.
Are allies a blessing or a curse to the game?
Do you enjoy playing with allies in 40K? Do you loathe them? Ignore them?
#2 – Randomness
Random distances. Random Psychic Powers. Random Terrain (anyone using these on a regular basis?).Random army elements (hello Daemons!).
6th Edition worships the dice gods like no edition of Warhammer 40K before.
Like allies, the decision to introduce more random elements was a change a lot of people really seemed to hate last year. Unlike allies, there still seem to be larger group of people who hold the grudge against 40K’s love affair with random tables until today.
At its best, more randomness (slightly) reduces 40K’s front-loading on list-building, throwing unexpected twists into the game itself and force players to think on their feet. At worst, they nullify the input of players in determining the outcome of a match.
Are there, in your opinion, good sides to the new randomness in 40K, or is it all bad?
#3 – Flyers
No game of Warhammer 40K without Flyers these days. No 6th Edition list that doesn’t (have to) consider anti-flyer weaponry.
The first few months of 6th Edition really drove home the point of how much Flyers will change the game. Necron Scythes and Heldrakes ruled the skies.
Ironically, the recent Flyers were all far less disruptive, both because they weren’t quite as good (in my opinion) and because most 40K players (I believe) have by now “adapted” to the omnipresence of flyers in the game, accepting them as inevitable part of Warhammer 40K.
But are Flyers a good addition to the game? Do they make the game more fun? Do they add tactical depth to 40K? Or are flyers merely a further complication that bog the game down?
#4 – Hyper-fast Codex releases
Four years of Warhammer 5th Edition (2008 to 2012) saw a total of eight new Codexes (not including the Sisters of Battle White Dwarf update).
In only one year of Warhammer 6th Edition, we’ve already seen five new Codexes (not counting the Iyanden Supplement).
The advantage, obviously, is that the existing armies in Warhammer 40K get updated much faster. Black Templars – the oldest book at the moment – have now gone 8 years without an update. Orks – the second-oldest after Templars – have gone only 5. That’s clearly an improvement from the ~ 10 year gaps we saw for Space Wolves or Dark Eldar before their respective updates.
On the other hand, the rapid codex releases obliterated the idea of an established, known meta-game. Gone are the times when the armies had time to “settle in”, and a certain degree of common knowledge of how armies interacted could take root among 40K players before a new Codex gave the game a new jolt.
Curiously enough, I have seen people recently that said GW is going at it just a little bit too fast!
Do you enjoy Games Workshop’s fast release of Codexes? Would you like them to slow down again? Or speed it up even more?
#5 – Codex Supplements
The latest new arrival on the scene, Codex Supplement – with Iyanden being the first – have arrived on the scene. More are sure to follow, with a (possibly eBook-only) Farsight supplement announced in the latest White Dwarf.
Being the most recent development, its difficult to “judge” Codex Supplements at this point. They appear to be a highly divisive topic. Some people seem to truly loathe them, as they add new “rule books” with very little rules to the game. Other love them, seeing how they expand the background for certain factions in the 40K universe (with a few flavourful rules added for good measure).
Either way, Codex Supplements are likely here to stay.
Do you think Codex Supplement are a good way to expand the current Codex-range? Do you think they are redundant? Which Codex Supplement, if any, would you like to see in the future?
#2 – 6th Edition One Year On – Your Thoughts?
Writing this retrospective-article, it somehow morphed from a summary to a collection of discussion points, which may be for the best. What is your opinion of Warhammer 40K 6th Edition after one year, compared not to an “ideal” of 40K, but to the edition(s) we had before?
- What aspect of Warhammer 40K 6th Edition do you like best?
- What aspect of Warhammer 40K 6th Edition do you like the least?
- Do you feel Warhammer 40K has, overall, improved over 5th Edition?
- Do you feel 6th Edition is a step backwards from the game it was before?
I am looking forward to your thoughts!