A long time ago, I wrote a contradictory piece about how every edition of 40K is broken. It detailed all the editions before 7th and why they had been unbalanced. But, there was a problem.
I was wrong.
Not about the unbalanced aspects of the various versions of 40K, but about the numbers. For example, this upcoming edition of 40K is branded as 8th edition.
But what makes an edition? Can a little tweak like Entanglement or Flyers really change the way the whole game is played?
In my opinion, no. What makes an edition is the framework of the rules. The "engine" of the game, so to speak. Honestly, the update in the assault rules from the main 3rd edition rulebook to the revised assault rules for 3.5 released in White Dwarf was a bigger change than the change from 3.5 to 4.
Think about it. How do you do things in 40K? In 3, 3.5, and 4 you move troops 6". You shoot using the same rules. But, from 3 to 3.5 you fight in assault differently. The process was streamlined. And, with a few tweaks, that system stayed around in 4th.
How much change happens between editions. From Rogue Trader to 2nd, there was structure added. More rules to make it a 1v1 game. From 2 to 3, the to-hit grid and to-wound grid was added. Units had rules based on Type, such as Infantry or Beasts. Distances and ranges were always a multiple of 6". But, then from 3rd to 7th, these rules remained. Sure, the Psychic Phase, Flyers, and D strength weapons were added, but if you add a room to your house, is it still the same house? It calls to mind the Ship of Theseus. Philosophers may debate and say the ship is different, but it looks the same and still has Theseus tooling around on it.
It's very telling that the 8th edition book is coming with a slate of source books replacing all the other codexes. The last time this happened was...
...you guessed it. 3rd edition with the "black codex" rules in the very back for all of the previous armies.
Here in 8th, every rule has been changed. Movement brings back the movement characteristic. Shooting no longer uses the old 1-10 BS system, but instead a flat roll as a characteristic for each model, right in its statline. Modifiers are back. Cover saves are gone. Just like shooting, Assault is a flat roll, abandoning the to-hit grid. Vehicles are now glorified monstrous creatures. Points have changed drastically, or have even been replaced entirely by Power Rating.
It's a big change.
The third big change.
Making this 4th edition.
Whether this edition is good, or I like the fluff, big things are happening.
Let's get into it.
Coming up soon: A big announcement from me and Lexington! A new workstation for my painting! Stay tuned.