7th vs 8th
So 8th has been around long enough to get a handle on the rules, and 7th is thoroughly consigned to the trash heap. No one will do a “Kings of War” style game to resurrect 7th because nu40k is so bad. In fact 8th might well be the best system that 40k has ever had. This is quite a pleasant surprise. What’s even more surprising is that GW was able to make such dramatic improvements while not fixing the two most game-breaking things in 7th, and even amplifying one.
The first big issue with 7th was invulnerable saves. These were ubiquitous in 7th and could render some units nigh unkillable. Magnus with his re-rollable 2++ was just ridiculous. There were too many invuln saves and a lot of characters had 3++ or even 2++ which just sucked, especially if they could finagle access to re-rolls. This led to incredible death star units that would either obliterate the table, OR run into each other and roll 2nd edition shadowrun levels of dice until someone rolled too many ones.
Well, rerollable saves are still here. What’s more, some of them are grantable auras, some entire ARMIES feature them *glares at his wife’s Harlequins*. I can only complain so much with Azrael handing out a 4+ in a 6″ bubble to go with his re-rolls on to-hit rolls. This hasn’t been as bad because I have yet to see one better than 3++, and it’s hard to get re-rolls for it without using command points, which are a rare resource. Even 3++ is rare. Still, I’m sure issues will develop around them, invuln saves are just too potentially unbalancing to have in game without them causing issues. Once GW starts handing out ways to re-roll them more, or boost the save, problems will happen.
The other big problem was re-rolls. Re-rolls were a huge problem in 7th, largely related to invulnerable saves, but they gummed up the game. It seemed like you were constantly re-rolling for every little thing. This is still a major thing with 8th. In fact a lot of army planning is figuring out how much you can fit into the 6″ re-roll bubble around your commanders. 8th edition games revolve around clumps of units orbiting Captains and Lieutenants, using re-rolls to apply as much firepower as possible to enemy units.
This problem it seems GW has used to solve itself. The first couple rounds can be incredibly deadly. Twin-linked weapons firing twice means you can build incredible firebases using razorbacks, land raiders, or dreadnoughts that can take advantage of re-rolls to put immense volumes of highly accurate firepower downrange. However once these firestorms have gone back and forth a few times, well, there’s not nearly as many dice to re-roll. Armies get pared down fairly fast to the bone currently, due to the sheer firepower a 40k army can develop on a target.
While 8th has not dealt with these issues directly, it has streamlined so many things to speed up play, and has become generally so much more lethal that neither slows down play, or is so difficult to deal with that the game is negatively affected by it. You know. Yet.