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
- 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.