Monday, June 20, 2011

Rumors of 6th Edition

by SandWyrm

From 'rideroftheerk' on the Blood of Kittens message board...
I was told in privacy but can’t vouch for the accuracy. Corrected some spelling errors from icq conversation:

>>I am really pissed! The recent shift in GW’s marketing strategy is only the beginning. The goal is to completely control every bit of information that is going out and make every advance sneak peek look like an accidental leak. Think of Apple and you know what they are trying to achieve. They simultaneously try to keep the internet crowd happy with some leaked bits here and there and the store crowded focused on the next release. 

Prepare for more of these infamous “you see one eighth of the miniature and should stand in awe” pictures. The restructured White Dwarf will be the only place for “official” news. The days when Games Days were a good source for exciting news are gone. No more seminars. Independent shop owners will get the info at the same time as the public. 

From autumn on product codes will be chiffres and retailers have to order bulk packages for new releases without knowing what is in it if they want to get the releases on the first day. If they want to buy the boxes individually they have to wait two weeks until GW releases the chiffres. Mail Orders won’t arrive on the day of release, they will be SENT on the day of release. So no more accidental early arrivals. If you want to buy a product on the day of release you have to go to a GW store or one of the shops that have bought the release package. There is no chance to get the products via an online store on time. The retail embargo for the southern hemisphere were initially planned for every single country, so no more exports from UK to continental Europa, but GW’s law division stopped this as it would have violated EU laws. So now they will introduce two boxes for every release with exactly the same content but different boxes. One is for the retail in a single country and comes at the standard wholesale price. The other box has all the necessary taxation and regulatory clearances for export. These boxes are virtually the same but GW is charging an extra fee for them. Online shops can choose to stop exports or accept a serious blow to their profit margins.

We, the gamers, are sitting on the receiving end of this dishonest policy once more. We are treated like children and that is exactly the goal of these changes. So here are some of their plans, as long as the info is available, to spoil some of their surprises:

* first 6th edition codexes, but release before or with rulebook, small release with single or two waves: Black Templars (1 waves: 2x plactic, 2x Finecast), Tau (1 wave: 3x plastic boxes, 4x Finecast), Necrons (2 waves)

* first real 6th edition codex: Codex Chaos Legions, really big release in three waves, doesn’t invalidate Codex Chaos Space Marines which gets extensive White Dwarf update as Codex Renegade Space Marines

* two starter sets, each with rules, dices, movement markers, mission booklet, one with Dark Angels and fitting scenery, the other with Black Legion and Chaos scenery. You can combine both to play the campaign or use one set alone to play a selection of dumbed down scenarios against every other force, first starter set that comes with a model for a well established special character

* 6th edition is finished rulewise for some time now, the overall goal is to fix some of the long time problems of the game system. Expect a lot more fundamental improvements than last edition. The rules were even more ambitious at some stage of development, but didn’t get approved as they were too far away from the established rules. The main designer left company and his successors brought the rules back in line with the existing codexes. The rules are nonetheless a bigger step forward than from 4th to 5th. Changes are so big that the next edition relies partial on erratas to fix old codexes. Development relied heavily on feedback of veteran playtesters. You can see some results of this new approach by the way the FAQs were handled in the last months. All codexes since Codex Tyranids were written with the new rules in mind, especially the new mission and reserve structure. 

* The main design goals are: one book to rule them all, heroic characters, visceral combat, streamlined mechanism, cleaned up presentation and strategy before chance

* strong narrative focus on Chaos, perspective shifting from the Empire to the struggle between free races and the Warp

* the biggest rule changes:

- similar ballistic to hit chart as wound chart: compare BS to target’s speed and unit type. BS 3 hits moving infantry on 4+, but lightning fast jetbikes on 6+ and stationary tank on 2+… HUGE

- victory points are back, but with another twist: you get two victory points if an unit holds an objective for an entire game turn, if a scoring unit holds one, you get three and one if you destroy a squad leader or vehicle

- before the game there is a bidding contest for the opportunity of the first turn, if you bid more strategic points you can go first, but the enemy can spent these points on stratagems as in Cities of Death: 22 generic stratagems – for example for one point you can decide on night fighting or place an automatic gun, for four you can shift your reserves, most expensive stratagems are at 12 points and are really drastic, every unspent point can be used once a game for a reroll

- new turn sequence: prepare-movement-assault-shooting-consolidate

new phase “consolidate” phase for random movements, jetpack movements, pursuits, morale checks/effects and resolving shooting reactions
assault before shooting – big units are real roadblocks!<<


Some more examples for the development doctrines
One rulebook for all:

- flyer rules are incorporated in the main rules
- narrative rule section that expands core rules: formations, super heavies, gaining experience
- modular rules, core rules can easily be expanded by narratives rules or another expansion set 

Heroic characters:
- independent characters more powerful, armour save and invulnerable save at the same time
- squad leaders more important, no more 50% rallying threshold, unit can rally as long as squad leader lives
- independent characters can snipe

More visceral combat:
- standard cover only 5+ now, Feel No Pain (1) only on 5+
- slow slogging units very vulnerable
- some weapon types are specialized in taking out specific unit types and are incredible good at doing this (sniper vs. infantry without armour), but on the other hand ordnance vs flyer isn’t going to do much

- no more random movement at all
- 5 general types of psychic powers
- wound allocation like 4th edition on unit basis, but attacker can chose every 5th wound to go to a single model (sniper weapon every second wound)
- artillery is normal immobile vehicle squadron, crew has no other game purpose than to be a counter for rate of fire and attacks

clean up of combusted rules:
- there are tiers for most of the special rules. Instant Death (2) circumvents Eternal Warrior (1) for example. Feel No Pain (1) is 5+, Feel No Pain (2) is 4+ and Feel No Pain (3) is 3+. If no value is given, the special rule is tier 1.

- no more difference between leadership test and morale test
- terrain rules on a single page, true line of sight, non-vehicles models are ignored altogether, rules for special terrain like bunkers, ruins or deathworld mangroves in narrative rule section

less randomness, more strategic options:
- more elaborate reserve rules, can nominate turn of arrvial and has only small change to arrive earlier or later, or can intervene behind enemy lines, arrives randomly but can hinder enemy reserves, must be distributed evenly between turn two and three, later arrivals only randomly
-no more random game length
-no roll for first turn
-deep striking units more than 18” from enemy away don’t scatter, but landing in 6” is much more dangerous
- movement impairing effects from pinning weapons even if morale check is passed (if roll is above halved Ld), Fearless not immune to this, but only effected if rolled over full Ld
- more reactions to shooting than going to the ground depending on unit type and special rules. bikes can evade (3+ cover as same as before, but cannot assault or shoot next turn), jump troops can fly high, units with Stealth can attempt to vanish,

GW is up to it's usual tricks business-wise. But a lot of those 40K rules changes sound... not bad.  It sounds like Alessio was really trying to simplify the game before he left GW. Maybe a bit too much for the suits' tastes? I just hope it's not too convoluted now that they've backtracked a bit from Alessio's design and added some of the complexity back in.

Of course, we'll have to see how much these new rules nerf our existing armies. But for now I'm more positive on the future of 40K than I've been in a while.


  1. Sounds like a bad time to be trying to run a games shop and, on balance, a good game coming out next year. Some interesting ideas we will have to see how many of them make it through...

  2. Hm, not quite sure how I feel about this. Some of the rules rumors sound a little silly and a little unwieldy (gaining experience?), but for the most part it sounds like it would benefit the armies I play (CSM, CD, Eldar). Standard cover really needs to be 5+ and not the 4+ it is now, and being easier to hit large vehicles than troops only makes sense.

    On the business side, all I can do is facepalm. Order a bunch of stuff and not know what it is? That's just stupid and I can't imagine any company thinking this is a good idea.

    Overall, a lot of stuff I'm really hoping is true and a lot that sounds rather silly. Here's hoping the silly stuff isn't what really gets implemented.

  3. Maybe it's because I never actively experienced an Edition change (as in, I've only known 5th), but in a way I'm scared of this. Some things sound good, some meh (more accounting on what moved how far, what unit type? counting every 5th wound to allocate? hm). Overall I'm a bit afraid of change D: Tzeentch wouldn't be happy with me.

  4. Huge grain of salt here; especially since the rumor comes right after another rumor saying GW is clamping down on leaks. Plus I wouldn't put it past Tasty messing with us. He's posted lots of times about how the community eats up bad rumors. It's usually 50/50 safe bets and wishful thinking.

    I also think that GW is rather averse to taking major risks. The rules set is pretty solid right now relatively speaking, and I don't see them rocking the boat in too big a way.

  5. I embrace it. New changes bring new challenges and new fun!

  6. im gonna just be more of a "roll eyes" moment type of guy on these rumblings. some of this yes. some no. i honestly am fine with them changing rules and what not. who knows maybe it will work better. i dont like the 5+ cover but meh. the ordering before knowing what you get is just plain stupid. i would NEVER order something i didnt know what it was. its like a frickin grab bag kids. ntm, the fact that my friends still have a crap ton of beastmen minotaurs at their game store that they have now taken 30% off. still there. i wouldnt want to get something like that when a new release comes out and i go, "well crap". buh to GW.

  7. I think the ordering blind is actually ok. This gives the GW shops an edge over independent retailers that are not willing to take a risk. By not buying blind they have to wait to the new product while GW gets a day or two of selling edge. Seems fair to me if you are both a distributor and a retailer.

  8. Having the ability to save strategem pts and use them for a reroll is a huge change. Pie plates will hit when they really need to and that last wound on the hq with an invulnerable will not be going anywhere. We've all played close games that came down to a leadership test, a save or a difficult terrain roll. This does away with that. Part of me is cool with it (I'll never lose Mephiston to jotww) but I think I'm going to miss the exhilaration of that die roll.

    Overall if the rules change goes down like this I think I'll be fine. The only version change that forced me into retirement was 2nd edition. Some people loved it. To me it was an abomination. The change from 5th to 6th will likely breed some of the same feelings from the community since this sounds like it will be more drastic than 3rd-5th but most of us are too invested to turn away now and will deal with whatever they give us. I hope its more good than bad.

  9. GW reformed the fantasy rules set in major ways for 8th edition. I don't see why they wouldn't do the same for 6th ed 40k.

    I really don't feel bothered by GW's secrecy or otherwise. Surprises are nice, having to know every scrap of info ASAP isn't something I can relate to.

    The EU thing where there are "pre-taxed" boxes for retail is presumably rubbish. The EU is a free trade zone. A single market. There ARE no taxes or regulations to pass to sell to other EU states. If GW is trying to impose restrictions it's basically scamming the retailers and I think that'd be illegal.

  10. It's not Tasty that posted this, but one of his users. I suppose Tasty could be messing with us, but not taking credit for something isn't his style. He's too much of an attention-whore for that.

    I believe the rumors are mostly true because they follow GW's MO. In that they're putting band-aids over the biggest problems of 5th and doing their best to merge Apoc into 40K-proper so as to sell more models. It also explains Alessio's departure as a clash over how much to simplify things and embrace the competitive community.

    So what I get from all this is that we'll have 3 games in one book. A streamlined (faster, but somewhat more convoluted) tournament ruleset with stratagems and fliers, a set of narrative extensions for the fluff bunnies to play campaigns with, and Apoc formations for really large games.

    I wonder what the final page count will be. :)

  11. A sliding scale to-hit roll could cause all kinds of balance issues. I could see it as part of a 3rd edition style complete codex reset. I could buy first turn bidding plus stratagems, but I've got two words that may get in the way of stratagems ever happening again: "Virus Bomb."

  12. I'd bet the idea behind the blind ordering is so they can slip in a bunch of minis that no one wants or are hard sells. Just my guess though.

    The rules rumors start to feel reminiscent of a much older 40K game. While there is some streamlining, it looks like a lot of added minutia. I never have time to actually play, but if I did I'd enjoy a swing back in the Rogue Trader or 2nd edition era details-wise.

  13. 6th edition will be coming ... we all know it it is just a matter of when. Who knows if this is really the hearkening of the real release or not ... all I know is it is within the window of reality in terms of the ever 5 years or so new rules version. As for the rumors who knows. It is apparent that there has been massive complaining about 5th ed for years and GW isn't about making tourney players happy GW is about selling models. They've farmed out every other aspect of their company to others (Fantasy Flight, usually THQ for video games, etc.). They want to make money from their mini lines obviously ... so the new edition will be designed to maximize that.

    Who knows if the rumors that there will be a 6th ed are true, I'm not even going to pay attention to the specifics just yet. 40K was on the back burner for me anyway ... I've sold 3 armies in the past six months (out of over a dozen that have been mostly gathering dust). I'll probably dump more 40k stuff and wait to buy anything new until we get more info on all this. If its a hoax oh well I'm clearing out armies I'll never play again ... regardless. The hobby has changed so much for me though each passing year it has less and less to draw my interest. Fewer people in the local area care about painting, about the backstory of the 40K universe, about the things that brought me into the hobby fifteen years ago. In the local area the percentage of MTG/Store Trolls playing the game has increased dramatically (to the point that is the majority of the players now). GW's own support has dried up (on the West coast anyway). So the annual trip to Gamesday to get me psyched has just become a faded memory. I will forever love the GW 40k and WHFB universe and probably always buy their black library releases and play any decent video games they release (what rare titles those are). Mantic's line is looking better and better ... Spartan Games stuff is looking cool. There is always the rise of Privateer Press (a new sci fi system next year! Level 7?? Huh??). So I'm in a holding pattern with GW ... I pray they bring back the fun that drew me into the hobby ... that they clean up the shat codices that Chaos has to choose from. I hope they figure out a way to bring back some balanced support to the hobby and curtail the net list o' the minute crew a bit. If not I'll always have found memories I guess.

  14. Sorry, Lord Of Excess, but I think you have a really skewed idea of what hobbies should be.

    You seem to think that other people have screwed up your hobby and that it's other peoples responsibility to fix it. Hobbies should be about finding personal enjoyment in doing something simply by the act of doing it. Your hobby is just your hobby. You make it what you want. If GW or the "store trolls" perceive the hobby differently and that's a problem for you, that's your problem not theirs.

    I think you are going to be continually disappointed in "the hobby" if you expect that a game company or other players will magically come to the decision to make and play games in your ideal way. You're going to be stuck in a continual cycle of people not living up to your expectations.

    Figure out what you want your hobby to be and work to draw in like minded individuals, but don't degrade others because they don't think on your same wavelength.

    P.S. My hobby is to erode the human soul.

  15. Of course. Sea salt, or iodized?

  16. Funny that they're thinking of dicking about with indy retailers.

    I have a buddy that was at a meeting in GWHQ recently and they gave the Marketing guys a bollocking for the sales strategies used and the fact that they were all being undercut by Maelstrom while they paid to advertise GW's stuff.

    GW's response was to say that if they allowed the indy retailers to discount their stuff then they'd undercut GW's shops.

    'Like Maelstrom has been undercutting us?' was the response. It was met with silence.

    They also weren't too happy when Privateer Press were brought into the debate.

    The inability to sell Forge World from their shops (despite paying to advertise it in WD), being prevented from ordering in Sterling and, again, Maelstrom being favoured by GW not clamping down on them and causing headaches for the rest of the shops were all hot topics too.

    I don't know how much further GW can go with pissing off indy retailers. They'll only take so much before they all wander off and put more time/effort into Privateer, Wyrd and other games companies. My LGS has done just that and Whoremachine is cleaning up - it's outselling GW by a ratio of 5:1 for the past 2 months.

  17. Seemed vaguely believable until the part about bidding for first turn with stratagem points and Move-Assault-Shoot.

    They're not dumb enough to think they can do stratagems properly after Apoc, CoD, and Planetstrike all trying and failing miserably at even remotely balancing those things. They flat out won't work.

    And changing to Move-Assault-Shoot would take far more than "FAQs to update old armies" to bring things in line. It would require an entire rewrite of the Assault phase (which wasn't mentioned at all) and practically an entire rewrite of the Shooting phase (what is an "Assault" weapon when you're Assaulting BEFORE you Shoot?)

    Those two glaring oversights alone are enough to write off all of it.

  18. Anything to allow all the complainers to stop the "doom and gloom" talk.

  19. Yes please! This doom and gloom crap is depressing and annoying.

  20. Tiers for special rules is already done on psychic mastery (and the "buy powers" model is probably the one that is going to be used on 6th edition codexes), but move-assault-shoot? LOL NO, that's not going to happen.

    "Non-vehicle models ignore for TLoS"....yeah, what's the point of TLoS then? I can shoot through a wall? That isn't going to happen either.

    The change to the narrative to more Chaos focused with a new re-launch of a Chaos codex, that is going to happen, it probably HAS to happen since that would give neckbeards their oh-so-precious grimderp and former Chaos players are a large subset of PP fanbase. Also, this edition probably milked the loyalist cow for all it's worth.

    Fliers are going to be integrated on main rules (duh), I don't see many people bothering much with narrative rules if it's the usual "lol good game" BS rules that they push.

    A rework of reserve and deep strike rules is also likely.

    "no roll for first turn"..yeah, come on. That's, once again, not. going. to. happen.

  21. Also, the whole concept of "bid for first turn" strikes me as being written by someone who got alpha-striked off the board by IG one too many times and just wants to shut his eyes and make it all go away.

    What if you play Daemons? I never want first turn. I'd get to bid zero every time and get a bunch of special benefits for free?

    Saying "FIRST TURN IS A HUGE FREAKING DEAL AND IF YOU DON'T GET IT YOU'LL GET PRESENTS INSTEAD" is a game-breakingly stupid idea. Reworking the Reserves rules would make having first turn LESS important, which is the proper direction to take thing.

  22. I’m literally just getting to grips with the 5th now 6th? No. Give me a couple years of enjoying what I’ve literally just learnt please. haha.

    I guess the only positive is, being I’m a complete newbie I havent developed tactics or anything yet.

  23. I knew a deployment change was coming that DE character says reroll for deployment. THis nominally means for first turn under current rules but always sounded to me like next edition would be different.

  24. CaulynDarr thanks! You prove my point (at least in my mind and that is all that counts!). My hobby isn't "my hobby." I never claimed ownership over it ... nor did I say I expect other players to do anything. Things have changed, life changes, deal with change for it is inevitable. I totally agree. My point is simply that a company certainly can attract a certain customer base with how it markets, how it designs and how it supports ... ITS product (see GW now its THEIR hobby ... they actually OWN it ... you can review their annual shareholder report, their copyrights, etc. for proof). That is my only point there. Look you know full well as do I a hobby at its core is a frivolity that one pays to indulge in .. when that no longer provides what one deems (totally subjective) to be a good value ... why would anyone continue to spend money and time on it? Again that is totally subjective ... defacto .. so what is "call it quits" for one guy might be "buy in!" time for another. Each individual has to weight is what they put in worth what they get out? You don't know me, you don't know what I've done to try to make (someones ... not mine I guess) "hobby" as you put it what it can be. I won't go into detail here, but I've spent years in my local area trying to rebuild what I had in the old days and I've come to the place where I'm facing my own reality. Here where I live ... it just isn't going to happen. I can only envy you guys in Indianapolis (not only do you live where Gencon is every year! you lucky bastards) you seem to have a good community. You can straw man what I'm saying all you want but it doesn't change the situation for me and for many like me. At the end of the day what I do as an individual consumer has zero baring on GW, on "the hobby" etc. I'm just a random guy on the internet who occasionally stops by this blog to see what someone I'll likely never meet is doing with a hobby that is similar to one I used to be able to participate in half way across the country. I gave my two cents ... which apparently you vehemently disagree with ... bravo sir ... enjoy your hobby or whomsoevers hobby it is these days. I do like the bit about the hobby of eroding others perceived hobbies? lol. Is it fun? How expensive is it ... perhaps I should take that up as well ... oh wait apparently I already have! Cheers guys ... random interneting has been fun but apparently I have parades to raineth upon in other parts! (Doot Dee Doo
    ! This weeks is a good one!)

  25. Nice post Lord of Excess,

    It is true we do have a great community here in Indianapolis that has many areas of the country wanting something similar. I appreciate your honesty in your situation. We wish you were closer.


  26. @The Lord of Excess

    Dude, first, they are called paragraphs. Use them.

    Second, if you are going to quit, just quit. No need for the long text walls.

    BTW, I retract the "swap to a Chaos narrative HAS to happen" because with the Warhammer 40k:Space Marine and Dark Millenium coming, it would be stupid of them to cause a disconnect between the new recruited fanbase and shiny Space Marine rules and minis. And SM print lots of money.


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