40k Year in Review
So I’m going to do a simple year in review for 40k. Not much structure as this is just a horrifically busy week for me. More an overview.
The Best of Times
8th Edition Release(s)
So after going through the fiasco that was the Age of Simar release, and watching as PP fucks up Warmahordes almost as bad with their 3rd Edition release, GW manages to orchestrate a very careful, organized launch, and carry that momentum clear through the end of the year, starting well before the actual release with the return of Magnus and Guilliman, and continuing through the release of 10 codexes this year, massive upgrades to Space Marine armies, and some pretty solid balancing of armies.
The New Kits
Holy shit these are great. The Primaris look very good, even if they are a bit of a pain to assemble, the Death Guard look amazing, and all of the Primarchs look simply incredible on the table.
Fate of Konor was a ton of fun. Armies on Parade was great fun. There’s plenty of chances for events from purely collecting/modeling competitions to ultra-competitive high intensity tournaments. Des Moines has had at least 1 major event every month, and that’s JUST for 40k.
On Message, On Target
Ok, look, we all know I’m a feminist, and that representation in 40k is a bit lacking. Female dominated armies are a bit lacking, and boobplate shows up a lot more than it should. In addition the features of nearly every sculpt are very “European” even for armies that supposedly aren’t. GW has been vocal about increasing diversity and cutting down on some of the more sexist elements of their models. While there has been limited opportunity for them to do it with their long pipeline from project inception to release, they’ve played a lot of the right notes, now let’s see if the players on stage match the music.
I mean, yeah buying Chapter Approved every year is going to be a bit of a drain, but MAN it’s nice to see them FAQing and Errata-ing and just maintaining things. SO nice.
The Worst of Times
(Not) Fixing the Rules
So the biggest things they needed to fix were invuln saves and re-rolls. They did not fix them. They added mortal wounds. Now there’s army comps that can spam them through psychic powers that made the problem with Alpha Strikes just incredibly worse. I think they will need to figure out what to do about the huge number of 4++ or better invuln saves (I think even special characters shouldn’t have them very often) and re-roll auras… I like how they make any character interesting but holy hell does it slow down the game. Just give a +1 to hit or wound and call it a day.
First turn is huge. Way too big. I’m hoping next year’s Chapter Approved brings us some alternating activation because the way things are it’s just ugly sometimes. You can be crippled in a turn and that before you get a chance to go.
Marines are great, what else is there?
Not. Much. Eldar got a brief re-release of old models. No real upgrades or new releases. Nids got a little love, but not much. Grey Knights got nothing. CSM other than Death Guard got nothing. Other Chaos got only stuff originally designed for AoS. I get that Space Marines sell better than anything, but they HAVE more than anything. Give Eldar or Orks that kind of love and see what happens!
Things aren’t all steak and sunshine even for the Marines. More and more, chapters with distinct and carefully developed histories are being turned into Ultramarines. This isn’t good, it isn’t interesting and it doesn’t help the narrative. Hopefully GW starts looking at the issue and either puts someone in charge of fluff development that isn’t Matt Ward.
It’s been a great year. Probably the best for 40k in a long damn time. There’s clouds on the horizon but there’s a lot of sun and a lot of clear seas too. Just a matter of navigating the waters wisely, and so far GW seems to have hit more clear water the storms.