Whilst PC gaming, hardware and peripherals will always be our first love, it comes as no secret to those are close to RageQuitters that for the past 18 months, both myself and WildCard have gotten deeper and deeper (steady) into our childhood hobby – Warhammer 40,000.
After never having fully relinquished our 1990’s models (Wildcard with Blood Angels Space Marines and myself with Night Lords Chaos Space Marines), it was actually by pure chance I stumbled across the hobby once again.
After seeing someone’s screen name of ‘Carnifex’ in a game, it reminded me of Tyranids from the tabletop hobby. For ‘fun’, a did a google search on the word as a nostalgia trip late at night back in late 2018.
The more I searched, the more spell-bound I became – I learned that the revolutionary 8th edition had landed the year before and was hailed as ‘the best edition ever’.
Games Workshop (GW) always use this phrase on every edition they release (well they are not likely to say it is worse than the previous edition!) but in this case I tended to agree.
What had become a bloated mass of very complex rules over many, many books and supplements was no streamlined into a common-sense ‘just enough’ set of rules that was easy to remember and was condensed into its raw form into a few simple pages.
I discovered (unlike old 90’s GW) that the sheer volume of updates and engagement with the community was staggering – this edition was more akin to a tangible, physical-world MMO rather than a fire-and-forget board game that needed home-brew / house-rules to keep going over the years.
With twice-yearly updates including a ‘Big FAQ’ on balances / rules clarifications and notable changes and also a Chapter Approved supplement that had a whole host of points changes (like a massive balanced pass in MMO terms) – I was completely hooked!
Beautiful rules books, codexs and other publications in printed form are still at the core of all releases supplementing GW’s model range. I discovered, however to my delight, that ePublication forms of these were available for use on mobile devices making the amount of books you need to carry around for ‘on-the-go planning’ and to games themselves much easier.
To me this have brought the hobby into the 21st century without forsaking its heritage completely; I rather liked the fusion between the two mediums.
One negative side, however, of all this attention to the community, rules updates, supplements, FAQs etc.. is unfortunately 8th edition has been subject to quite a bit of “rule sprawl” itself which, combined with its primary focus on printed materials, has resulted in a lot of material becoming obsolete and out-of-date in a short space of time.
Take poor WildCard for example – to field his Blood Angels army, he now needs:
- Warhammer 40,000 8th edition rule book
- Codex: Space Marines (the 2019 edition – the original Codex: Astartes is obsolete now)
- Codex: Blood Angels (for BA-specific units)
- Psychic Awakening: Blood of Baal (supplement with essential updates)
I believe whilst GW have done well on the ePublications, they have missed a trick here – there has been a distinct lack of rule consolidation, previous publication updates etc… in electronic form which have been as ‘fire and forget’ as the printed material itself in terms of lifespan.
This leads us nicely onto the announcement of Warhammer 40,000: 9th edition which has recently been reveled in the last few weeks.
As always, this edition is promising to be the ‘best edition ever’ (jury is out on that one with the limited information available but the models look cool!) but one of the best bits of news is that from the day 1 launch, there will be a Warhammer 40,000 mobile app which is promising to have all the rules in the same place.
Now here is the kicker and very clever – they have also stated that every physical purchase of a rulebook / codex will also include a free digital copy to accompany this.
This is a game-changer for me and a very wise move – not only will this reduce the amount of PDF ‘book piracy’ that is rife on the internet but it will (should – fingers crossed) solve the issue with rule-sprawl – if GW gets this right, all the latest rules, balance changes and points adjustments will be in one central location which receives regular updates.
Fingers crossed – we’re looking forward to Warhammer 40,000 9th edition and we welcome you to share your thoughts with us.
Stay tuned for more updates as this edition unfolds and hobby updates from myself and Wildcard.